Online Game Gets Goofy With Fish, Pigs, Snails

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Conjuring the weird and the WTF, Pasedena-based Ayzenberg has created three deliciously odd commercials for the hugely popular (out side the U.S.) game Maplestory, a free game, from Korean company Nexon, that makes it's money from in-game micro-transactions, a somewhat new trend in gaming. Called Fish, Pig and Snail, the commercials were directed by Erich Joiner along with Ocsar winning DP, Robert Richardson.

The campaign recently launched on MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, G4, Cartoon Network' Adult Swin, Sci-Fi and Fuse.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-07    
Topic: Commercials, Games, Good, Strange



Crush, Coupland Explain Why Seratonin Levels Drop Inside Office Supply Stores

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This is the first of a promotion by Crush, Toronto for Douglas Coupland's new novel The Gum Thief, "a story of love and looming apocalypse set in the aisles of an office supply store."

We're going to take a wild shot in the dark and say the innocuous office supply is Staples, because use of the word staples, the brand Staples and the object staples has hit us a few times. Of course, we could be totally wrong.

The spots cover three elements: protagonists Roger and Bethany, and The Glove Pond -- a novel inside the novel. Coupland narrates and each spot kind of makes us hate life, but in a funny way. We'd be receptive to reading the book, but mainly we feel compelled to sit around making staple animation. (See Bethany.)

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 9-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Promotions, Publishing



Panasonic to Reunite 'High Definition' Families With High Definition

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Under the premise that contemporary families have become little more than communal strangers, Panasonic tries bringing back family time with its "family" of HD products and this ad.

Because nothing bonds like Shrek in HD.

The ad debuted last week on ABC and USA Today and is part of Panasonic's Living in High Definition campaign. (Get it? "High definition"?)

If you think your family could use some lessons a la Full House from Panasonic, you could win a spot in the program by entering here. Lucky households will make formal pledges to spend more time with one another and other super-exciting stuff.

Thank Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners for this winner.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 8-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Promotions



Sexy 'Sidaction' Leads to Raw Awakening for Sexually Active French

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One thing we can say about French AIDS PSAs: they're compelling and almost always raunchy, even if they don't always take on a playful persona.

Leo Burnett, Paris just put together Sidaction, which pairs the heat of the moment with a crucial truth about sex in an AIDS-slammed environment.

Beyond an orgy of writhing bodies, the spot's end leads to jarring -- but not pushy -- imagery. We hate to ruin the surprise, but you'll never look at the hourglass scene in Disney's Aladdin the same way again.

It's great work. Now if only we could stop thinking about Vaseline.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 8-07    
Topic: Cause, Commercials



iPhone Ads Use 'Consumers' to Say What Apple's Just Too Darn Modest To

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Ahh, three spankin'-new iPhone ads. The synopsis: iPhone Saves My Ass in Front of My Boss, iPhone -- and Maybe My Wallet -- All I Need in Life (why is this guy parked on the sidewalk?), and iPhone is God's Gift to Mankind.

And who better to convey these messages than the breathy customers whose lives were saved? (It's possible they're all early adopters justifying that nasty $200 price cut announced two months after the iPhone's debut. Way to go, Steve!)

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 7-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless, Television



Honda Matches Rough Edges to Finer Things for Ridgeline Campaign

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Hrm. All right. These spots for the Honda Ridgeline are kind of clever. In fact, they remind us a little of that Honda Fit series we just looked at (with the comic-book headlines and abrupt punchlines), except a little less...

...what? Is it wit we're lacking? Well, they certainly make an effort. Watch tough meet classy, rugged meet spacious, tradition meet innovation, and rough meet smooth.

Due props go out to RPA and LA-based MJZ for the use of Chuck Norris, a lumberjack and lasers, though. It's rare when those elements don't coalesce into a hit of mind-boggling proportions.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good



Sony Bravia Play-Doh Ad Proves (Possibly Too) Inspired

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You know you're stunningly geeky when you suffer edge-of-seat anticipation for the next installment of a Sony ad. (Will it be like Paint? Will it be like Ball?)

Shedwa finally ends our wait - and the final result isn't much like its predecessors at all. Created by Fallon with the work of 40 Passion-based animators, this is arguably the smoothest, most well-orchestrated use of stop-motion animation -- and, well, Play-Doh -- we've seen yet.

The ad also has an emotional pull that can probably be attributed to use of The Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow." Ad editors call this laziness - pop hits always bring easy emotion to a piece.

Which is the perfect segue into a still bigger buzzkill: Looks like the ad was a rip off a panoramic originally created by, but not credited to, husband/wife team Kozyndan.

Come on, Fallon/Passion. Credit your muses. How can we love it now?

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 5-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Commercials



Honda Goes Fit with Comic Book Headlines, Robot Tones and Fast Wit

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It's like pulling teeth to find an ad that gives you practical information in a clever way without bashing you over the head in either direction.

But these retro-vibing :15 spots for the Honda Fit manage to be quick and informative with a witty -- but thankfully minimalist -- "WTF?" aspect. Eyes was like a speedy sci-fi take on the Nissan Rogue ad, which also debuted just recently. And Gas Mileage, while slightly less memorable, maintains the campaign's pace and says everything it needs to without tempting you to push fast-forward.

a52 produced the spots for agency RPA out of Santa Monica, CA.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Television



Wolves to Be Killed in Yellowstone, NRDC Says 'Please Don't'

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We suppose it's a good thing to stick up for endangered species like the NRDC's Mobilizing America For Our Environment is for the Gray Wolf in and around Yellowstone park. We're guessing those in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's plan to kill close to 600 wolves this winter think the creatures are predatory and a danger to humans. We're not here to judge (OK, sometimes we are), we're just going to point you to a not so great spot calling attention to the cause. We'll let you decide.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 5-07    
Topic: Cause, Commercials



Sorry, What's Mio Selling Again?

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We've been subject to some foul premises in our lives, but few things have generated an adverse physical reaction the way this ad for Mio has.

Produced by Duval Guillaume in Brussels, the tagline reads, "There's always a way out." Ponder on that as you like if you ever accidentally swallow a live bug.

It's probably worth mentioning that we just consumed an inordinate amount of peanut butter. This really has nothing to do with the ad, but after watching the spot, our stomachs are not happy.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 3-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials










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