Newsflash! Commercial Explodes During Live Broadcast

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Like full on spam, this email screamed, "Catastrophe hits live during the broadcast of a Direct Insurance commercial." After quickly checking Twitter (what? that's where all the news is these days, people) to make sure there was no actual catastrophe, it became apparent this was yet another ploy for publicity.

The release continued, "During a live broadcast of the Israeli 'American Idol' show, a Direct Insurance commercial for catastrophe coverage burnt up before the eyes of avid viewers. After burning, a simple slide appeared: We apologize for the technical difficulties but catastrophes can happen to anyone".

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by Steve Hall    Aug-17-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



Nissan Flirts with the Mold, but Fails to Break It

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This new spot for Nissan (:30 and :60) immediately piqued interest: one car circulates a vinyl album. Interesting retro tones punctuate the background. The camera pans out, revealing many vehicles circulating many vinyls. It's an image that brings Warhol to mind.

What's going on? What'll happen next? Will Nissan pull a Dell?

Nah. One jalapeno-red maverick races off its track (cut to big Nissan logo!), encouraging others to do the same. (A vaguely familiar idea. Got a quote for me, Mazda?) They briefly fall in line, a tactic car advertisers seem to love, then park with a screech in haphazard fashion.

The 350Z, arguably Nissan's sexiest model, pulls abruptly into the foreground. The tagline follows: "Escape the pattern. Nissan."

Bleh.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Magazine, Poster, Television



Bionic Lobster Takes On Disability, Alienation, Maniacal Chef

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"After finding a Leatherman on the ocean floor, our hero transformed himself from clawless freak into BIONIC LOBSTER: the handiest lobster alive."

Awesome premise -- one-clawed lobster gets new lease on life -- by STICK and MOVE/Philly for client Leatherman. (If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it's that everyone loves a story about broken fish prevailing over life's hard knocks.) Happily, they went all the way with it: See spot where Bionic Lobster fends for his life, MacGuyver-style, in a seafood restaurant. And there are comic books! Three parts so far, and if you bother to download the PDFs, well-made and funny too.

Looking forward to seeing more stuff by STICK and MOVE.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



Southern Comfort: What to Have when You're Just Trashed

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Southern Comfort (with Lime!): for when you're beyond sensory cognizance. The music sucks, your conduct questionable, everyone's funny, and Ugly at left is starting to look like a Good Investment.

The spot's called "Suspended Moments" and is part of a big hard year-end push. Also, in efforts to get down with the music scene, Southern Comfort goes by SoCo now. (It worked for J-Lo, Diddy and BevMo, right?)

Beginning next month, "SoCo Music Experience" webisodes will air on Heavy, My Damn Channel, Pitchfork.tv, Complex.com and DeathandTaxesMagazine.com. I'm not sure what a "Music Experience" is, but if I had to guess, I'd say they're like trashy music videos with slipperier floors. And heavy on the indie bands for good measure.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Visa Gives Michael Phelps its Brandtastic Congrats

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On Visa's behalf, Morgan Freeman congratulates US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "on having won more gold medals than anybody EVAR." The ad started airing hours after Phelps exceeded his own expectations of winning eight gold medals -- seizing his 10th on Tuesday. (He is now up to 11.)

Don't tell me they didn't have this bad-boy lying in wait, because I seriously doubt Freeman looked up from his gardening or whatever to go, "Oh! Phelps delivered the goods, I think I'll put together another sepia montage and say 'Good job' all over the world."

A recent Nielsen Online buzz tracking study found Phelps is the most-discussed Olympian athlete online. And on TV last night, I found out Phelps' wingspan is 6'7" -- THREE INCHES WIDER than he is tall. Also, his feet bend 15 degrees more than the average swimmer, making them more flippery or something.

UPDATE: Everyone seems to think I hate this ad. I don't. I think it was crafty of Visa to have it on the pipeline, I think it was a lovely way to fist-bump Phelps, and I think the campaign as a whole is a positive step away from the mediocre "Life Takes Visa" stuff we've been seeing. There. Please feel free to untwist your underpants.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Sponsorship, Television



My God, is that an Asterisk You're Hiding? You Filthy Fake.

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Apparently asterisks are bad.* In a campaign called "Don't be an Asterisk," the US Olympic Committee and the Ad Council associate them with steroids and inauthenticity.**

Witness as a high school jock repulses once-loving classmates when an asterisk starts forming on his forehead. (Apt, I guess, since steroids are supposed to make you break out like whoa.)

But here I was, all this time, thinking the teen angst market was reserved exclusively for the zit zappers. Speaking of which, J&J -- parent company of Neutrogena! -- funded this effort, which was put together by TBWA/Chiat/Day/NY.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Magazine, Strange, Video



New Colorado Lotto Spot.

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See the new Colorado Lottery spot by Cactus. It promised instant fun but didn't deliver, although the spot probably would've been mildly amusing if it weren't buttressed by a threat to hit us with talent fees if we host the goddamn ad and don't take it down by October 6.

Fucking wet blankets.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television, Worst



Objectified Nude Men Need Cause Group Righteousness

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Oh the horror! The double standard! The blatant sexism! Wait. What are we talking about? Oh yea. Nudity in advertising. Put a few nude or barely dressed women in an ad and everyone cries OBJECTIFICATION! Place a few nude guys in an ad and the whole thing becomes a squirmy laugh.

Of course, the guys in this ad for the Norwegian Automobile Federation aren't quite the objects of desire we see in the usual "hot chick sells stuff" variety of ads but still. Where's the outcry? Where's the cause group supporting the rights of these men? Why are we laughing when we should be raging against the machinations of a clearly sexist piece of work? Oh the horror! Will someone please call a cause group!

by Steve Hall    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Racy, Strange



Mushrooms Marketed, Frumputantes Invade, Olympics Opening Ceremony Trashed One! More! Time!

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- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.

- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.

- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.

- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)

- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.

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What, Thespians Don't Play Charades?

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Check out "Theatre" for Holland Casino. It clearly identifies its audience, demonstrates why casinos are more entertaining than a "high culture" jaunt ("It's more fun when you take part") and even made us laugh. I srsly almost choked on my couscous when dude was all, "IS IT A BOOK...?!"

Nice change from gaudy and cheesy. Good stuff by agency TBWA and production company Czar/NL.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-13-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television










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