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.
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.
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.
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!
- 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.
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.
And if you believe that, then you probably need it. Produced by Czar/NL for agency TBWA.
- iPhone apps have a "kill switch" that empowers Apple to yank any app off your phone whenever it likes. Steve Jobs says they'll never "pull that lever" unless an extreme situation calls for it (like if an app were disseminating a virus) -- but hell, the I'm Rich app wasn't hurting anybody and Apple was quick enough to pull that off the ropes.
- Glad Facebook wasn't around when Shakespeare was. Hamlet might've been much different (but still such a riot!).
- One expat rails against marketing stereotypes about the French, particularly sexy maids and misuse of "Ooh la la."
The Olympics has a way of bringing the sap out in advertisers.
Visa's "Go World" campaign, no exception, trots Olympian trivia out to American viewers while convincing us these anecdotes aren't just important; they're a source of pride, a means to connect with the world by way of titanic achievement against insurmountable physical odds.
All this to win the synchronized high-dive? Yeah. See spots...
OK, whoa. Christopher Walken? In a commercial? For the Colorado Lottery? OK, not really, It's an impressionist but still. And this impressionist might be this commercial's only redeeming quality. With a juggling monkey and a giant on a pogo stick as the only other choices in this WAY TOO BUSY commercial for scratch tickets (yea, we had to watch a few times to see what the hell the commercial was for), we'll take a Walken impressionist anytime.
Created by Cactus, the best part if this spot is the disclaimer which reads, "Please note that this spot can only be promoted online through Oct. 6. Starting Oct. 7, this spot must be pulled from all websites, or responsible parties may be subject to talent usage fees. If you have any questions, please contact Cactus PR Director Ashley Boyden at 303-455-7545."
Those damn royalty fees!