Ad Freak contends France made serious media history yesterday when at the stroke of midnight they officially lifted a ban preventing gaudy supermarket ads from chafing the eyes of its chic denizens. The moment was consummated when, moments after the ball drop into '07, an ad for cheap Systeme U washing powder debuted on the TF1 and M6 channels.
Opinions range from optimism as France makes a friendly leap toward the 21st century, and outraged notions of culture bastardization and handicaps for small businesses.
Cheery allies for the lift include Serge Papin, chairman of Systeme U. "This is a great opportunity," he said. "We have everything to gain from it." Well, obviously.
The release of the ban comes shortly after publicized concerns over the rampant commercialization of the Champs-Elysees, a wonderstreet rapidly devolving into strip mall fare. Looks like the charmed sophisticate haven is losing ground to, dare we say it? McDonaldization? Or is that a battle that's already been lost? Sometimes we fall behind.
AdTunes, the site that tracks music used in advertising has highlighted what it believes to be the Top Ad Music of 2006. From the odd combination of that haunting Gary Jules rendition of Tears for Fear's Mad World featured in the movie Donnie Darko with a Gears of War commercial to that elevator music-ish tune by Royksopp called Remind Me featured in the Caveman Geico Airport commercial, the list brings together some of the best musical choices of the year.
The Presidential Office of Colombia, known for its heavy-handedness in rumour if not in actuality, turns to humour to explain why people should avoid cocaine. The 15 second ad says "Cocaine is addictive. Very addictive." We suspect this may not be true as we've been snorting at least 7 years and can quit anytime. To drive the point home, a man on a bus leans forward and snorts the dandruff off the shoulder of the man in front of him.
The ad generated a grade school reaction. We all went "EWWWWW!" and jerked our knees up. Then we watched it again. And again. And again.
500,000 watches later, we are still going "EWWWW!" and showing all our friends, who don't seem deeply impressed, then we all snorted cocaine and laughed over the thought of psychos snorting dandruff. Doesn't the Presidential Office know anything? You need a credit card and a flat surface to snort cocaine. Coke capital of the world indeed.
Our friend Bucky Turco, wrigin over at Complex, points us to a recent Hoover radio commercial in which promises to rid the world of dirty, unannoying unsightly.....um...hip hop? Yes, the vacuum manufacturer thinks, as James Bond did of the Beatles in one of his early flicks, the world should clean itself up and it's promising to do it's part. Check the spot out here (ignore the video ad and just click "download")
Honda just can't seem to get past that woeful day when it Asimo robot fell down the stairs during one of it's debuts. Not to be deterred by that mishap, Honda, with help from Wieden + Kennedy, released this past weekend a new Asimo commercial with not one, but several stairs which the robot succesfully ascended. Of course, in true fashion., the commercial has already been spoofed with an intercut footage of that early woeful day.
Some time ago, Danish comedians Wulffmorgenthaler created a comic strip that showed a frog being carried away by a fly stuck to his tongue. Earlier this year, DDB Berlin let loose a Volkswagen commercial that showed yes, frog being carried away by a fly stuck to his tongue. The usual pissing match has ensued. Some think DDB should apologize. See the strip here. Watch the ad here. What do you think?
While everyone's embroiled in the Wal-mart/Julie Roehm debacle, the retailer is still out there pushing its wares. With a holiday theme including the singing of The Twelve Days of Christmas, the Jason Reitman-directed spot illustrates perfectly what it's like to show up at a party empty-handed and how Wal-mart can convert you from loser to sophisticated party-goer in the length of time it takes to sing a Christmas carol.
Hmm. These four news commercials for the Bahamas are both dumb and funny at the same time. To urge vacation-hesitant weirdos to consider the Bahamas as a destination, the spots center around a "Bahamavention" during which very weird stuf happens and people are converted into Bahamas vacationers. Is it just us or is that Bahamas logo strikingly similar to various versions of the Microsoft Windows logo?
Sanex, the Sara Lee body care brand (wait, don't they make frozen cakes?) is working with PR agency immediate future to release a European commercial Sony Bravia-style. The agency has set up a site that will follow the creation of the ad which involves "over 100 bodies imitating skin cells." We've been promised updates as the campaign develops and we'll share them with you, good or bad because, as you know, criticizing something can be as much fun as praising it.
UPDATE: Oops. Someone forgot to tells someone something. The ad's already out. So much for the sneak peeks. It aired in Denmark in November. We'll still share any goodies regarding the production of the ad if they are of any interest.
Shock value is the new Second Life. Oh wait, we used up our lame Second Life references already. Anyway, we had Volkswagen crashing their cars to prove their safety. We had cars crash to urge people not to drink and drive. And then there's bloody hell breaking lose inside a car to prove to people wearing a seatbelt is far better than killing your friends with your head. Watch it and wear your seatbelt. It delivers a strong message but you won't see it on TV here in the States. We're way to squeamish about being that honest. We like our sugar coated lives and all the pretense that goes along with that fairy tale life.