Hippie Goes Hip-Hop
Later this month. Coke will launch a campaign to introduce its new calorie-free drink, Zero. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a remake, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and shot last week in Philadelphia, of the classic "Hilltop" spot which featured the famous song, "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" which also introduced the tagline, "It's the Real Thing." The new commercial is being labeled "Chilltop" and the song will be sung by G. Love.
Fast Company's Ryan Underwood isn't too thrilled with the song's new lyrics which have, as he writes, "about as much personality as the mahogany table around which they were surely penned."
If advertising portrayed even a hint of reality, this is what the Paris Hilton "Spicy Paris" commercial for Carl's Jr. would look like. It was done for recruitment company Accolo. You know it was only a matter of time before the spoofs rolled in.
A MetaFilter poster points to a commercial on this Australian website for Kan Tong, maker of Asian food products and sauces. The commercial imitates and pokes fun at the stereotypical Asian television spot in which the slogans are repeated over and over and actors act wacky. One one hand, it's just plain funny. On the other, as indicated by several comments on MetaFilter, it's offensive and perpetuates Asian stereotypes as envisioned by Australians.
Where Can I Find That?
It seems the "Spicy Paris" commercial, featuring Paris Hilton, was a big hit both in generating site traffic for Carl's Jr. as well as, perhaps, influencing hamburger sales for the chain.
According to competitive intelligence service Hitwise, searches for the term "paris hilton" grew 102 percent and queries for "carls jr" grew an astounding 802 percent between the weeks ending May 21, 2005 and May 28, 2005. Comparatively, brand searches for Burger King - in the midst of its co-promotion of Star Wars: Sith Sense - increased just 52 percent during the same time period.
Hitwise Clickstream data reveal that, for the week ending May 28, 2005, a full 58.4 percent of those visiting carlsjr.com continued on to spicyparis.com, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to www.carlsjr.com continued directly on to a Carl's Jr. store locator Web site. While Carl's hasn't released detailed sales figures for this period, indicators do point "Spicy Paris" having influence.
"By examining both search volume and clickstream data for this campaign, it is clear that the Spicy Paris campaign had two positive results for Carl's Jr.", said Hitwise VP of Research Bill Tancer. "First it raised awareness for the brand, but also prompted an immediate increase in consumer searches for local Carl's Jr. Restaurants."
Who said sex doesn't sell.
Stay Free examines the, in hindsight, cult-like advertising McDonald's did over the year. From McDonaldland to the Evil Grimace to Shamrock Shakes to Happy Face to Mayor McCheese to talking wastebaskets to Double Dutch to the Hamburgler, Stay Free writes, "Here's a mind-blower for hungry third-world countries: in America, where the soil yields healthy food in abundance, we teach our kids to fantasize about over-processed crap with the nutritional value of the inside of a York Peppermint Patty growing in the wild." Revel in the history of McDonald's television fantasy land. After viewing the commercials, you can understand why intelligent life forms visiting this planet don't stay for long.
TVGasm points to a craigslist posting looking for a new Quiznos "Baby Bob," which, by the way, is actually a girl. TVGasm laments the continuation of this campaign even though it has been highly rated by IAG and Advertising Age.
While the baby thing has been done over and over and over it seems the public will always be gullible for a cute baby face.
After teasing us for a month, it's nice to get at least a bit of gratification after only sixty seconds. While sixty second gratification isn't always a good thing, in the case of the Maryland State Lottery, who brought us the elaborate Bovine United mystery, a fast finish can be quite pleasurable. Especially when really bad, mock German band, "I'm So Hot," videos are involved. Created by Eisner Communications, this :60 spot allows us to wallow in the absurdity of a wannabe band for 55 seconds before we are relieved to learn they've been put out of their misery by the Lottery's "The Hot Family game.
In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, we're also treated a kooky, War of the Worlds-like spot for a new game, "Destroy All Humans"; an annoying bug dying on behalf of a pest control company that has a frog as its mascot (you can't make this stuff up); more ridiculous attempts to make Buick cool; a Trojan condom commercial that drags out the HIV card; Lance Armstrong causes an entire town to go fitness crazy for a fitness center and, finally, a fan that pushes a TV off a piece of furniture because Poliflor Furniture Cream With Teflon creates such a slippery surface. A furniture polish that breaks TV's is a good thing? That "I'm So Hot" German band needs the fan more than the TV does.
When will people learn. If you don't like something and you want it to go away, don't say anything. Certainly don't make comments you know will get picked up by every major publication in the world thereby destroying the strategy you set out to accomplish. Obviously when Television Council research Director Melissa Caldwell's Mom said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," Melissa wasn't listening. Nope. She had to go open her big mouth to complain about the Car's Jr. Paris Hilton commercial saying, "This commercial is basically soft-core porn It's inappropriate for television." If Caldwell didn't realize that comment would get every media outlet, including this one to, once again, wag our tongues and drooling even more publicity all over Miss Hilton and Carl's Jr., well, then, she needs to go to her room until she can say something nice.
To help Melissa's cause so that we all know what we're not supposed to see, here's another link to the "soft-core porn" commercial.
That's Hot! Too Hot
Maximizing publicity like Tom Cruise trotting out Katie Holmes, Carl's Jr. reports the website, which hosts its new ad in which Paris Hilton appears washing a Bentley and chomping on Carl's Jr.'s Spicy BBQ Burger in a stringy black swimsuit, crashed for four hours today due to the hormonal onslaught of male eyeballs ogling the soap covered heiress as she has virtual sex with the Bentley.
Commenting on the crash, Carl's Jr. EVP of Marketing Brad Haley said, "It was a mixed blessing. It turned out that Paris was too hot for our servers." well put, Brad, but are you sure you didn't just ask your IT guys to turn off the servers for a while to...oh...create this publicity stunt?
Working with New York agency Pedone & Partners, Hornet director JJ & Maithy created a nostalgic (yet well timed to this summer's Steve Martin and Beyonce Knowles Pink Panther movie release) Pink Panther-themed commercial for Sweet 'N Low that captures the panther doing his thing until he runs out of pink. Of course, Sweet 'N Low is there to fill the guy back up so he can go on with his highjinks. See it here