PuppetVision points out New Zealand charity, CanTeen, an organization supporting young people living with cancer has launched a spot featuring the Muppets singing their famed "Mahna Mahna" song to promote National Bandanna Week and the group's green CanTeen bandanna. FCB created the commercial and got Disney in LA to quickly approved character usage and then shot the spot just two days later with the Muppets cast.
Along the lines of the United Nations Mine Action Service commercial which which shows a girl who, while playing soccer, steps on a land mine and gets blown up, UNICEF in Belgium has created an anti-war commercial which shows Smurf characters getting shot to pieces by warplanes. The spot, which aims to raise money for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi and carries the tagline "Don't let war affect the lives of children," is set to air this week. After viewing a preview of the spot, reactions ranged from approval to shock to terror in children.
UNICEF spokesman Philippe Henon explains the approach was needed to grab attention, "It's controversial. We have never done something like this before, but we've learned over the years that the reaction to the more normal type of campaign is very limited." Acknowledging the potential reaction, UNICEF has promised the spot will air only after 9PM.
The Smurf characters, which have been around since 1958, along with Tintin and Lucky Luke were created in Belgium and family members of the late Smurf creator, Peyo, gave permission to use the characters. Publicis created the spot which can be viewed in the middle of this news report.
Design and production company Troika Design Group just finished some promos for the Food Network called, "Food is..." which consist or lushly filmed food.
Or, if you prefer the press release version, Troika just "completed their latest campaign for long-time client Food Network. Entitled "Food Is…," the ID package comprises nine five-second spots that fuse gorgeous live-action footage together with crisp graphics creating vignettes in which food and life interact in emotional and unexpected ways. Troika handled all aspects of production, including writing, directing, animation, original music and sound design."
Kenwood Italy has come up with an automotive sound system that's so great, it apparently brings the dead back to life, with the help of 'Stayin Alive,' of course. Weird. And not really that good either but have a look.
Ever the witty marketer, Carlton Draught, following the debut of its brilliant Big Ad, has launched another inward-looking commercial. This one pokes fun at brewers' fixation with their brewing ingredients, brewing methods and, in the case of Budweiser, its reliance on the Clydesdales.
UPDATE: In Comments, "Bill Gates" dishes on us for occasionally crapping on Ad Age by pointing out we are in error and that this ad was out well before the Big Ad. Remorsefully, we will crap all over our staff for this inexcusable transgression and force them all to bow to the feet of the Ad Age Gods.
To launch its new 2006 Jeep Commander, Jeep enlisted Missy Elliot and MAkinE Studios to create a pimped out, hip-hop spot which merges vehicle with music video in a very cool manner. It's certainly much better than most other lame-ass car commercials out there today. Originally designed as a teaser, which aired during MTV’s VMAs, the spots were selected by Jeep to be the primary on-air promotional spot for audiences nationwide. View the commercial here.
Ad Age has done two things of note today in its TV Spots of the Week column, First, it features a Toyota Prius ad that is unauthorized by the car maker and was created by Area 51 Films and distributed by New York PR firm Juice to highlight director Theodore Melfi. The second, months after the ad raced through the Internet, Ad Age has finally decided to include Carlton Draught's Big Ad. Why the wait?
Other spots this week include a great spot for Cincinnati Bell, created by GJP Advertising, which shows a guy using dial up and as the camera zooms out, we realize he an exhibit in a museum...next to a cave man exhibit. Quite brilliant actually. Unless, of course, you're the loser still using dial up. Dockers does a love connection with San Francisco street cars. Canada's CHUM Television has a spot, created by Mitchell Gabourie, for the Buck Calder experience, a comedy series that follows an American director working in Canada making a fool of himself.
An ad, unveiled Wednesday night, promoting the upcoming NHL season which opens with a Chinese philosopher's quote, a bare-chested player and a woman in a bra and robe has been called offensive by Chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations Martha Burk, the woman who led an unsuccessful attempt three years ago to get the Augusta National golf club to admit women. Responding to NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur's assessment the spot simply portrays the woman as the man's spiritual trainer, Burk said, "That's a major stretch. The woman is a sexual ornament, in my view. It's appealing to adult men while trying to masquerade as something for kids."
The ad, which is hardly gratuitous and carries the tagline, "My NHL," was directed by MTV Video Music Awards winner Sam Bayer. Conductor, a California-based ad agency, produced the spots, which were filmed in British Columbia. The campaign, which break Monday, September 26, is set to air on NBC, Outdoor Life Network, and Canada's TSN. The ad can be viewed on the homepage of NHL.com.
Rick Bruner has pointed us to this very cool commercial for the recently unveiled and soon to be released Nintendo Revolution game controller which, as the name indicates, intends to revolutionize the game control. The Revolution has done away with wires and now looks like a television remote. It transmits the player's every hand motion, wirelessly to a receiver which is connected to the TV. The ad does a great job demonstrating the units use and the freedom it gives to gamers.
It appears the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is hopping on the consumer-created advertising wagon as indicated by this post in the group's Yahoo Group. The organization plans to launch a contest October 3 which offers a $5,000 prize for the person who submits the best, we assume, pro-marijuana video. Maybe the groups should also shoot for some product placement action on the now-popular Showtime series Weeds.