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.
Up until the payoff, this could be a commercial for anything. After all, sex sells everything, right? Why couldn't this be an ad for...oh, a house painting company? A car wax brand? A....lawn fertilizer brand?
But a condom brand? So predictable.
OK so there's nothing new about a horny dog humping a person's leg. Happens all the time. In fact, embarrassingly, it happened in the middle of a Cub Scout den meeting years ago. I never lived that one down. Anyway, this humping dog comes courtesy of Erwin-Penland for the Greenville Humane Society in South Carolina. It's goal is to urge pet owners to spay and neuter their furry one under the heading, Sips for Snips.Snips??? That's just painful!
CEO Joseph Frick of Independence Blue Cross, the biggest health insurance provider in Philadelphia, used his recent colon cancer diagnosis to fuel this ad campaign by Tierney Communications.
The height chart at left lends a practical, and sort of charming, picture of how needs change as the mortal coil unravels. (Nagging question: why is 5'9," "Mammogram Reminders," followed by 6'1," "Senior Fitness Programs"? I thought people shrink when they get old? Is Independence just that good?)
Tagline: "Just a few ways we're here for you every step of the way" -- a little clumsy, but it gets the idea across.
Hoping to milk the star (?) for all his worth, Nationwide has released behind-the-scenes footage of its ad featuring Sanjaya Malakar. Shot in India, footage depicts the American Idol castaway singing in the face of a firmly shut door (what a metaphor!). You'll be pleased to know Sanjaya's hair is as wack as ever.
Nationwide loves a talented media whore, and Sanjaya certainly fits the bill, so it was just a matter of time before the two found each other eventually.
To learn more about his partnership with Nationwide, read a recent Sanjaya interview.
Highlighting the fact 500,000 girls are sold into the sex trade each year, this Amnesty International commercial likens the process to a cattle auction. Not a pleasant scenario for a teenage girl whose hopes and dreams for life are anything but to become an enslaved receptacle for man's seemingly uncontrollable desire for sex.
Ever see that puppet show Thunderbirds? Revel quietly while Brains, its token geek, rocks out to Rhythm is a Dancer for Drench bottled water. Tagline: "Brains perform best when they're hydrated."
(Technically speaking though, wouldn't a "Drenching" be bad for our little wooden friend?)
The spot sparked a passionate discussion on BBC's Ad Breakdown about whether Brains sold his soul to the "commercial puppet master" or is just having a "joyous moment." Also, a bunch of people don't get what a dancing Brains has to do with bottled water.
That's understandable; then again, I'm still trying to figure out how Cadbury's gorilla ad sold chocolate. The Consumer is a fickle animal.
Emo heartthrob Kazutaka Nomura of PWRFL POWER gets animated, woos the uncatchable Erin Esurance, and teaches her a powerful lesson about self-esteem. In song.
Not that she needed it. She does, after all, prance around in spy clothes to sell car insurance.
This is part of a partnership between Esurance and the Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks. The website, linked above, also includes a bio and an interview with PWRFL POWER, as well as tour dates.
Tonight, at 8:10PM on London's Channel 4, 19 skydivers will spend three minutes and 20 seconds attempting to spell out the word Honda in Britain's first live commercial. part of Honda's ongoing skydiving campaign, the ad will appear during the reality show Come Dine With Me and, as Honda Manager of Customer Communications said, "If it works, people will know who it's for. If it doesn't, they won't." Brave simplicity. Nice.
Here's hoping all 19 parachutes open successfully after the crew finishes its spelling exercise. Damn, it's almost that time there right now! Someone send us the video!
Here's the video.
The beauty, and success, of Crocs shoes (no, we never owned a pair, thank God) came mostly from word of mouth and the desire to be cool because you wore strange looking shoes that squeaked. It's sort of like the Flip Video camera which used to be packaged in those impossible-to-open, hermetically sealed plastic packages that hung from hooks in Wal-Mart until it experienced a Web 2.0, "Must. Vlog. That.", iJustine-fueled rebirth.