How Many Ads Can Talk You into Eating Chocolate Plastic?

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In the press room at ad:tech I met a guy called Frank Nein of OrionsWave, who observed the ad and marketing sectors are falling into turmoil -- spinning uncontrollably into hell, sifting through the din in search of equilibrium in a world gone self-publish and multi-platform.

And I can't stop thinking about Chris Franklin of Big Sky Editorial, who laughed at the idea of a viral ad. "All ads are viral!" he'd said. The point he made was that in order for an ad to succeed, it should be watchable again and again.

How many of our frenetic new manifestos are ideas that have always been there, or at least should have been?

With that, and as a kind of tribute to the future, I give you the Tootsie Roll ad. I couldn't count on my fingers and toes how often in childhood I saw this spot.

What's awesome about it is, most everyone I've met who's roughly my age still knows all the words to the song. We enjoyed watching it then; a lot of us still do.

And in our lifetimes, we ate a hell of a lot of Tootsie Rolls.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 8-07    
Topic: Commercials, Industry Events, Opinion, Television



Going from Quirky to Metal Always Betrays a Little Insecurity

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Here's a new ad for the 40 gigabyte Playstation 3. It was put together by TBWA\Chiat\Day, LA. The song is called Ladies and Gentlemen by Saliva.

Nice way to showcase the visually arresting aspects of the console, but let's face it, the PS3 will never be the Wii. And to be honest, all this uber-sleek metal shit lacks the confidence PS3's ads demonstrated before Sony knew it would be a flop. You know, like that scary baby spot. There was also a pretty good one involving a Rubik's cube.

And here are some EyeWonder ads for the same campaign: 1, 2. We're not really fans of EyeWonder spots but if they were all as visually interesting (and as quiet) as these ones, we might feel differently.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 2-07    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Packaging, Television



'Dolby Volume' to Eliminate Overly Loud TV Commercials

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What with everyone using their TiVos and DVRs to skip ads, we really can't see why Dolby had to go out and actually spend time creating a technology that levels the volume of programming and commercials on TV putting a top to advertiser's trickery that makes their ads louder than the programming. Personally, the few times we haven't skipped ads, any change in volume is so insignificant it seems foolish a company would actually spend time and resources on a problem that really isn't a problem. But, this is about geeks in a technology company and they simply can't help themselves.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-07    
Topic: Commercials, Tools



New NYSE Spots Are Well-Produced, but Not Disarming

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"One market. Infinite possibilities." That's the going slogan for the NYSE, a brand so big and so embedded in the American financial subconscious that seeing an ad for it almost confuses us.

This pair of spots -- dubbed Market Conditions and One Destination -- are chock-full of NYSE listed companies and glorify the speed and interconnectedness so necessary to business today. The agency responsible is Fallon Worldwide, but the smooth production comes from Stardust.

We were really fond of the last spot, which moved slowly and did a better job of illustrating a blooming world of "infinite possibilities."

All in all, these do a serviceable job of keeping the NYSE salient in ad land, but they're not especially resonant. It could just be the new narrator. He has a smack of fresh 90s dot-com-ness to him.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 1-07    
Topic: Commercials, Trends and Culture



Delta May Shortchange You at the Counter, But Hey, Wanna Laugh About It?

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What do you get when you mash up the quirky language spots proffered by Berlitz, and self-deprecating animations for Virgin America?

You get Planeguage by Delta. (Or more accurately, by CAA.)

See the spot entitled "Middleman" here.

The music's a little jarring but the scenes -- unrestrained kids, the woman who keeps opening and closing her shade, the little dance you do when you've been holding your pee -- are too close to home not to crack a smile.

Nice to see airlines spending money on advertising again. Now, if only they could pull their CRM act together. Some watchers have commented a company like Delta should hold off on making jokes about their crap airline experience -- when it's you that gets stranded, and you that gets aisle-bumped, you're not laughing.

A cute campaign does not a great experience make.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 1-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online



Helen Bamber Foundation and Emma Thompson Fight Sex Trafficking

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Well here's a powerful one from the Helen Bamber Foundation. It features Emma Thompson playing the part of a woman with two very different lives. One, a normal woman and the other, a sex trafficked prostitute. The graphic nature of the commercial hits home hard with the message women who are traffiked for sex lose much more than just their names. Powerful stuff.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 1-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Racy



Dwyane Wade Love Letter Becomes Promotional Vehicle for Converse

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Aww. Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade's letter to basketball reads like an earnest, and early, version of Common's "I Used to Love Her," a love letter to hip-hop.

But unlike hip-hop, the game doesn't start turning tricks in adulthood.

The letter is the inspiration for a Converse promotion by Anomaly. The spot, "From Robbins, Illinois," started airing on October 28th. Around that time, the Wade 3 signature basketball shoe was also released.

See the spot and behind-the-scenes footage here. The :60 piece does a good job of capturing a moment that apparently meant a lot to him.

Also, Wade is really into triangles.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-31-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Promotions, Sponsorship



CVS Pharmacy Ad Turns Dial Back 70 Years

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"It's in your nature to care for others. To listen, to advise, to always be there."

That statement, coupled with the image of a happy mother tossing her red ribbon into the air as birds whisk it away, may fool you into thinking you've slipped back into a world pre-dating Rosie the Riveter.

And then you hear Sarah McLachlan. Yeah, that's right. Sarah McLachlan. It's the Lilith Fair, a Disney worldview and an appeal for Zoloft, all rolled into :60.

Bob Garfield trashed this ad for CVS Pharmacy. It's called Watering Can (we couldn't have made that up) and was put together by Hill Holiday.

The verdict? Garfield calls it puke-worthy. We'll just call it condescending and icky. Stick with slanging pharma, CVS.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-30-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials



Tea-Sipping Monkey Channels Plush Socks in New PG Tips Ads

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Fans of the long-running PG Tips chimp ads will be happy to know the simian is back. (As a sock puppet, sure, but CAPS may call this innovation.)

Founder Duncan Richardson of JDI Integrated Advertising told us that the PG Tips chimps are among the most beloved ad icons in the UK, with campaigns running 20 years deep, give or take a little.

Now the monkey's got an up-to-date left-field wit, a broader sense of drama, and a strange kind of innocence that can only be conjured by braided cotton and beaded eyes -- all of which you can see in The Return.

Monkey (or triangle teabag?) fans can hit PG Tips' Monkey Store to buy shirts, or monkeys wearing shirts, with stuff like "Mr. Shifter?," "3% invisible" and "Monkeh!" printed on them -- none of which we understand, but that only makes it funnier. (And we're not even high!)

We are leaning toward the flirty pink "Back to mine for a cuppa?" That monkey is raunchy.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-28-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Online, Trends and Culture



Some Ads Just Don't Age Well. We Blame the Music

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We realize how old this DHL ad is, but we're going to review it anyway because it saddens us that over the past few years we have paid DHL's efforts no mind whatsoever, and now it does next to nothing ad-wise. (Unless you count this, but we sure don't.)

Point of fact: If every DHL delivery actually did come with a passel of ass-shaking Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, the First World may actually use the service. It could be like a sassy singing telegram.

Second point: Disclosure is important. But sometimes, it can be sad. (See comments section.)

One more: Any ad that tries making serious use of an MC Hammer track is just begging to be associated with 1990. And not too much happened there. (Unless you count Manuel Noriega's surrender and the first McD's to open in Moscow, but we sure don't.)

by Angela Natividad    Oct-28-07    
Topic: Commercials, Sponsorship, Television










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