'Big Bang' Flips with (Too Much) Ease from Smart to Banal

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We're not sure how or why, but while trying to steal a Rich Media ad off MySpace we ended up downloading a widget for CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

After contemplating the widget for awhile we decided to look up the show. That quest brought us to this trailer, which is really less a trailer than a three-minute hard sell with a laugh reel and every cliche imaginable, strangely coupled with Bill Gates philosophy and new media name-dropping.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Promotions, Television



Michael Mann Blends 'Last of the Mohicans' With Nike's Never Quit

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Sit back in your chair. Close your eyes. Imagine the theme music from the movie The Last of the Mohicans welling up inside your head. Picture Daniel Day-Lewis running through the woods and over the mountaintop to save Madeline Stowe from certain death. Now, open your eyes and watch this new commercial (YouTube or higher quality on the U.S. Nike site) from Nike called Never Quit directed by Michael Man. It's transfixing. It's intense. It puts you in the game. It makes your blood rush. It sends chills through your spine. It proves there's more than money in the game of American football.

Now, turn the sound off and watch it again. Pretty lame, right? Music is masterful, even more so than video sometimes, at conveying and amping up a message. Of course, we're partial to this sort of emotional manipulation but, then again, isn't that what advertising's about? Thanks, Bill for calling this to our attention.

by Steve Hall    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Best, Commercials, Creative Commentary



You Don't Need Hot Women to Sell Men's Underpants?

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We like Stanfield's. We like Stanfield's because it knows it's a corny underwear brand (as opposed to the other extreme), worn by a bunch of mama's boys. Or at least agency John St. does. (It probably doesn't help that the company is Canadian.)

Stanfield's latest campaign, "Separating the Men from the Boys," takes a handful of "unmanly"-men and adds embarrassingly "manly" characteristics to them. One such man brings inordinate heft to an exercise ball. Another turns down guy's night for book club. And another sports the power of polar-therm by conducting a conversation in a cold freezer.

The audio is slightly disconnected from the video, so try not to let that drive you crazy.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good



Hardee's Bootylicious 'Flat Bun' Teacher Causes Uproar in Tennessee

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The Hardee's Flat Buns commercial has caused an uproar in Tennessee with Tennessee Education Association President Dr. Earl Wiman (who you've got to hear) saying, "It is unbelievably demeaning." The ad shows a female teacher dancing seductively in front of a class that raps about the positivity of flat buns which the teacher, of course, does not possess. The commercial is part of a campaign launched earlier this summer which included the Flat Buns website.

Wiman wants concerned citizens to complain to Hardee's, saying, "I am asking that all of our members and the public who care about children and their education to contact their local Hardee's to voice their concerns."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Racy



Virgin America Presents Virgin America's Virgin Americans

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Virgin America has launched a campaign with a self-deprecating look and feel, slightly a la Perrier. By poking fun of its own neurotic clientele and unique flight experience (the vibrating chairs, the plugs, the as-you-order food), Virgin demonstrates it can laugh at itself while laughing ever-more-loudly at the competition, which just doesn't promote in the cool-as-shit way it does.

The animation used in the campaign was popularized by jaded kids floating shorts from Sick Animation or episodes of Adventure Time, which use the medium that first taught us about society to bitchslap it across the face.

Our favorite spot is "Plugs." The campaign was created by Anomaly, our new heroes for the next 10 minutes.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online



Trunk Monkey Returns, DC Does Ad Week, Baby Not Bulletprof

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The Trunk Monkey has returned. Sadly, he's not as funny as he once was.

- The Creative Weblogging Network has launched a self-service shop to help advertisers choose from its 130 blogs.

- Seems Washington DC doesn't want to miss out on the fun and has launched its own Advertising Week to be held September 17-21.

- More smelly ads can be found in the Los Angeles Times.

- Not that anyone heard of it in the first place but the creators of Bullet Proof Baby want us to know the site was part of a promotion for the movie Shoot 'Em Up.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 7-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Industry Events



Getting You Car Stolen is a Nightmare. And Farmer's Insurance Knows Nightmares!

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It's not often we're surprised by an ad. This one by Campbell-Ewald for Farmer's Insurance scared the crap out of us. And the guy in it kind of looks like Kevin Spacey.

Other spots from the taglined "Sanity makes a comeback" effort were equally interesting. There's this wind insurance one where a woman's papers keep blowing around (wait for the part where she slams into the wall and breaks it - that's pretty funny), a confusing one where a woman leaps on a garbage truck and hitches a ride with a cop on a horse (it was fun guessing what that was for), and a pretty good one about transient suburbanites getting by after a house fire.

We like this campaign a lot - it does a neat job of crawling into the minds of people actually dealing with hazards in real-time.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Television



ASA Bares Teeth at Another Lash-Enhancing Vendor

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Shortly after snarling at L'Oreal for its Telescopic Mascara product, which vowed to make lashes "up to 60 percent longer" (a promise aided and abetted by Penelope Cruz), the UK's Advertising Standards Authority has unearthed another deviant: Avon.

Avon claims its mascara makes lashes 65 percent longer. Despite a lie that's five percent more misleading, however, the company isn't using a celebrity model to push its snake oil, so hopefully the body public won't be too susceptible.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 6-07    
Topic: Commercials, Policy



Three Idiots Think They're Harry, Hermione and Ron

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W+K Amsterdam has whipped up some not so magical spots for EA's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix video game. In the two spots, three characters take on the roles of Hermione, Harry and Ron and try, first, to run through a wall in their school and, second, to hide from their teachers in the teachers lounge. Sadly, their school isn't quite like Hogwarts. And it isn't in a movie. And the school must suck if it hasn't been able to properly educate these three idiots on the difference between fantasy and reality.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 6-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials



RAZR 2 Disrupts the Globe, We Are Not (Yet) Impressed

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With all that Wirebreakers nonsense, we were beginning to worry that Motorola had wasted all its creative genius on one crappy series of first-generation RAZRs.

It turns out we were mostly right. Meet the RAZR 2. According to this ad, it's got jealous engineers worldwide screaming, crying, vandalizing toilets and spitting out their coffee.

The latest round of steroid-enhanced promises are impressive, but unless Motorola's nailed out the faults of the last generation (we're still feeling burned by the crashing screen, malfunctioning buttons and sketchy reception), it's going to have customers reacting in exactly the same way as this multilingual chorus of emo engineers.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Mobile/Wireless










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