Crest Makes Even Playground Destruction Seem Pleasant

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Hmm. Nothing like a good tube of Crest to gloss over the travesty of modernization at the cost of childhood play. Yes, Crest can, in fact, make even the destruction of a playground in favor of a power plant seem, well, pleasant.

Here's another. This one makes even lice seem like a good thing.

by Steve Hall    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Strange



Kids' Ambitions Reflect the World Their Parents Made

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In "School," a Greenpeace ad by DDB/Paris, a teacher poses this question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Her students' responses are laced with guilt-inducing grownup undercurrents: climate worries, health concerns and capitalist gusto conceived in ecological exploitation. Fascinating.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



The Tour de France Needs a Champion: YOU

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Take Back the Tour -- not to be confused with Take Back the Night, though it wishes to be taken just as seriously -- is a movement that aims to "champion [Tour de France] riders who compete clean, while giving a platform ... to [their] passionate fan base."

More to the point, it reminds bike junkies that VERSUS (the sponsor!) is "the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France."

"Show me another sport that's as tough, as demanding and as epic in its grandeur, grit and beauty than the Tour de France, but it's a competition that has seemingly lost its way over the past few years," said SVP Bill Bergofin of Marketing and Promotions for VERSUS. "[This] campaign ... will provoke a dialogue ... which will hopefully help to restore the Tour to its glory."

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Events, Good, Online



BMW Hits the Spanish Turnpike with Jack Kerouac

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Perhaps worried about Lexus poaching the literary crowd, BMW released an ad where Kerouac's On the Road is the star.

Feels a little Moulin Rouge-ish. You know, with the fast-paced prose and the music, the random intrusions of hitchhiking bands and too many cars and, at some point, a horse. (The pressie calls it "vibrating and action-packed." Which sounds a lot like an ad for a very expensive sex toy, actually.) I didn't like it at first, but after five or six watches I found it almost breathtaking.

The spot went live on Barcelona-based Agosto.tv and will also run on television. It's supposedly the first ad to be broadcast in HD to the Spanish market.

Voice-over text from On the Road is below.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Commercials



Who Needs Trucks to Deliver Seafood?

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If you want your seafood fresh, John West is the seafood company for you. From sea to retail and nothing in between. Ooo, ooo! Did I just write a tagline there? hardly. Anyway, John West fishermen go the extra mile to deliver their goods.

The campaign,from CheethamDell JWT, launches June 23 in Northern Ireland.

by Steve Hall    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Commercials



Holiday Films Goes Live in Toronto

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Derek Sewell of Blink, Toronto and Josefina Nadurata of Reginald Pike have started their own Toronto-based production studio, Holiday Films. The studio has eight directors already, and its objective is to "provide original creative solutions" for clients, says Nadurata.

Check out the Holiday Film Reel. The couple at left comes from a grandiose Cadillac ad whose music reminds me of the alien diva from The 5th Element. (It's probably the quickened tempo that strikes the memory.)

Spring's here. Some people make babies. Others start production companies.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Commercials, Events



Invasive Eyeballs Put Pressure on Chinese Volleyball Team

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If you've been following Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" campaign for the Beijing Olympics, you're probably familiar with the format by now. Here's the final ad, featuring Feng Kun of the Chinese Volleyball Association and some disembodied eyes that are supposed to represent a Watchful Nation.

The pressure's on. I had that feeling at a spelling bee once. Unlike the CVA, I did not win my gold.

Previous spots: Together, Zheng Zhi and Hu Jia.

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Events, Sponsorship, Television



Amsterdam A Damn Good City With Damn Good Beer

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Oh look. Amsterdam is cool. It's full of perfectly hipsterific people who dress colorfully, ride bikes, play stupid games on lamp poles, ride bikes, dance in the streets, ride bikes, hang out at delis, have big street celebrations, ride bike and, oh, ride bikes.

Oh wait. And they like to drink Amstel Light too because, well, Amsterdam is a Damn Good City for Damn Good Times with Damn Good Beer.

Or, at least, The Richards Group says so.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Commercials



Joy Division Sponsors Zune, Twitterati Defects for Plurk, Facebook Seeks Ad Feedback, John McCain Tells War Stories

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- Maybe inspired by Apple's limited-edition U2 iPod, Microsoft is releasing a limited-edition Joy Division Zune.

- Expect downtime from Twitter when Steve Jobs takes the floor at WWDC.

- Speaking of Twitter, a lot of fed-up users are defecting to a fancy new site called Plurk. Plurk enables users to follow conversational threads, and encourages use with "karma" points and little gifts. Also, the colors are soothing.

- Facebook has launched an ad feedback feature.

- Filipinos aren't the only people featured in creepy dating ads.

- John McCain: put Obama in office if you want. But hey, if you do, EXPECT APOCALYPSE.



Rhea Scott Talks Music Videos, Little Minx, Exquisite Corpse and Fresh Underpants

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I recently got to sit down with Rhea Scott, Ridley Scott's daughter-in-law. (A breathy PR guy related that trivia to me about four times, which is why I mention it in the VERY. FIRST. SENTENCE.)

Rhea once headed the music video department at Propaganda. 10 years ago she started Little Minx, a production company focused on turning ad directors into filmmakers. From what I gathered in the film reels, directors are encouraged to treat each ad like a miniature manifesto. (It probably also helps to be a surrealist art fan.)

Little Minx is able to provide the necessary creative resources -- read: king-sized budget, the ideal artist's sponsorship -- through parent company RSA.

Rhea says the company was named for her second daughter, "the ultimate little minx" and the child actress in "Come Wander with Me," part of a promotional project called Exquisite Corpse.

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