Acknowledging the power of online communities, blogs and social media, HP is releasing the next series of its "The Computer is Personal Again" campaign online before it hits TV. Unfortunately, the three commercials, starring Mark Burnett, Pharrell Williams and Mark Cuban, will not take full advantage of the web's viral capabilities as, according to the press release, the spots will be released on the HP website and, apparently, not simply seeded out to YouTube, a far faster method of spreading them around. Surely, they will end up there anyway, but HP has chosen to launch them from a site that, on the plus side and the reason they are hosted initially on HP's site, is said allow people to create personalized versions of the spots to feature on blogs or to send to a friend. This, of course, follows nicely with the personalization focus of the campaign.
In this heartwarmingly witty Bridgestone tire commercial, a poor dog scorned by his lover takes matters into his own hands the only way a lover can. But, Bridgestone is there to prevent unfortunate things from happening. Now only if Bridgestone could heal a broken heart.
Not that any animal in their right mind would actually want to live in a zoo if they had the choice but these commercials for the Toronto Zoo would have us believe so. OK, so that statement was tinged with tree-hugging liberalism but would you want to live in a cage if you didn't have to? Anyway, there's three spots and they're sort of funny. There's also a website at which you can here other animals plea for a life in the zoo. They were created by Lowe Roche.
Here's an amazing commercial from MTV that captures all the humorous elements of a boyfriend coming over to his girlfriend's house to pick her up and facing the wrath and annoyance of her family as well as his girlfriend's embarrassment over the confrontation. It ends in the usual way with the girl grabbing the guy and running out of the house as the family continues to berate. But, there's a twist to this ad. The boyfriend is black, the family white and they, not the black guy, speak "beatbox" which, in a stereotypical twist, the black guy can't understand. The ad ends simply with "Speak." It's a powerful message in many ways. It encourages communication on many levels. Parent to child. Child to parent. Family member to family member. Family to boyfriend. Girlfriend to boyfriend. Without one understandable word, the ad communicates better than most ads that carry understandable words.
You know a company is adhering to those unwritten, politically correct rules which state "one must represent all ethnic groups in commercials" when the spots feature white people with a voice over read by a black. OK, that was crass but let's be blunt. It all sounds very forced sometimes. Maybe it's just that these spots from Pizza Hut aren't very good and that's making us get all uppity about all this PC stuff. Pardon our digression. We'll be back with regularly schedule advertising oddities in a moment.
Here's some visual beauty for all you creative types. For the first time in the U.S., Bombay Saphire gin is advertising itself as a gin and tonic ingredient on television. The campaign includes two spots. One features a martial artist carving a glass out of a block of ice to hold the gin and a second spot has an elephant gingerly stepping over and around martini glasses until she sniffs out the glass holding the Bombay. Oh sure, both are an art director's visual orgasm but they fit the brand perfectly in our humble, gin-drinking opinion. We'd buy the stuff even though recent entrants to the gin club, Hendricks and Q, are a bit more exciting to the pallet.
Oh, and just so we all understand it's not just spoiled celebs that cause "issues" on the set, Maya, the elephant in the spot, needed to have her sidekick, Methusalem, an aging camel with her at all times, .
In Slovakia, they have a unique way of informing people they should clean up after themselves when in public. It's gross. It's funny. It aired. It, albeit oddly, gets the message across. We'd love to have seen the dog trainer in action on this one.
Toronto agency Lowe Roche has created a new commercial and online game for Nestea. In the commercial, a guy finds out it's a lot easier to simply take the Nestea plunge than it is to cool off by launching a bunch of snowballs from a tennis ball machine. For some reason, this makes us think of that dot com gerbil that was shot from a cannon. Anyway, in the game, players try to plunge as deep as they can without hitting various objects. It's an acceptable time waster.
OK. It's fully understood that this new spot from Hyundai intends to make people Rethink Everything but this little showdown between a lion and a gazelle should never have been made as a :60. A :30 would have been just fine to make the point. Of course, this nit pick is irrelevant because, as we all know, :60's run about once and are then followed by a gazillion GRPs worth of the :30 so we'll just shut up now. Sorry, we can't help ourselves. Of course the :60 had to be made to justify the trip to some far off exotic looking locale buoyed by a bloated production budget to support the film crew and all those agency folks who love to be heard on their cell phones saying "I'm on location now. Have my assistant deal with that." Anyway, someone will probably correct us now and explain the whole thing was done using CGI and the exotic locale was some production geeks cubicle.
In a nod to the age old "smell my fingers" routine as proof of contact, this UK commercial for Scampi marries horny guys with hot chicks to sell chips. Not much more seeds to be said.