Among Women, Fling's Fingers Make a Limp Tease

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After 20 years of riding its existing array of brands, Mars introduces a new candy bar: the Fling, a skinny, "shimmering" (wait, what?) 85-calorie chocolate "finger" whose packaging is hot pink and whose creative invites you to "pleasure yourself."

Just not beyond a PG-13 rating. We just watched the first-ever ad, the first 15 seconds of which gave us that embarrassed schoolgirl flush: two pairs of legs in a dressing room, making motions and noises as if they're doing The Do.

The camera pans over the tops of the rooms, revealing the frisky couple is not a couple at all. The man is in a separate room, grunting as he struggles with clothing that's two sizes too small; and the woman, who's finished shimmying into a tiny dress, moans with quiet glee as she collapses into a seat and pleasures herself with one of Fling's, uh, fingers.

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by Angela Natividad    May-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Strange, Television



Ten Grenades, An Exploding Car and 5,426 Car Parts Say Slow Down

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This is drive safely commercial for Auckland's Rodney District is an amazing piece of work. Truly amazing. Not as technically amazing as Honda Cog or as emotionally charged as the classic The Faster the Speed The Bigger the Mess (which you can view here) but still, amazing.

Saatchi New Zealand, working with production company Flying Fish and a demolitions engineer, blew up a car with ten grenades and then reassembled the vehicle, piece by piece, creating a work of art. The finished piece is stunning. And the music. Well, that works too.

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by Steve Hall    May-19-09    
Topic: Best, Cause, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Here's Work for Robots that Star Wars Neglected to Cast.

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US Cellular launched a really neat program called Battery Swap. If you're on the road without a charger and your phone's dying, or your battery is just really crappy in general, visit a US Cellular store to exchange your old or uncharged battery for a new one -- at no charge.

To promote the program, Publicis & Hal Riney went diving in the generic mascot bargain bin. The result of that pursuit is a poindexterish robot character who dances and slaughters multi-generational slang

(*shakes head sadly*) How far some robots fall while others penetrate untold heights of stardom.

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Jezebel Gets Frisky, Malibu Bowls (Again), Google Bitch Slapped

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- The Firsky thinks Gawker site Jezebel is engaging in double talk by lambasting sexist advertising while accepting money from advertisers who, according to The Frisky, make sexist advertising.

- Subway is out with a new Subway Kids game.

- More Malibu Rum Island Bowling silliness.

- adMarketplace would like us to know "For the second straight quarter, Google reported that it cut its Traffic Acquisition Costs (payments to AdSense publishers) in the first quarter of 2009. Their payout to publishers dropped 1.7% in Q4 2008, and an additional 2.1% in Q1 2009, costing AdSense publishers thousands of dollars."

by Steve Hall    May-19-09    
Topic: Commercials, Games, Online, Research, Weblogs



Because Melting Crayons Have Everything to do With Your Friends

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This would appear to be a lot of money to spend simply to tell people you'll back up their mobile phone contacts, something Verizon has been doing since, well, ever. Now U.S. Cellular (does anyone even use U.S. Cellular?) wants us to know they, too, will back up your precious contacts. And U.S. Cellular does know they are precious.

So how was this accomplished? We couldn't gush better than the press release which reads, "To highlight U.S. Cellular's 'My Contacts Backup' feature, which stores your numbers even if you lose your phone, the team found inspiration from the idea that your phone numbers aren't just numbers; they're connections to the people who matter most. The spot celebrates the humanity behind what a phone brings to your life in a colorful way."

Yes, people, your friends are melting crayons.

by Steve Hall    May-19-09    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary



MINI Makes Minimalistic Mess

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Somehow lots of big, fat, black magic markers versus one slim, green pen are supposed to convey the notion of Mini's minimalism. To us, all it does is make is make a big, confusing mess.

We don't get the logic. The big (bad) black pens help draw the car. That's a good thing. The small (good) green pen annotate what the black pens have built. To us, it look like happy team work. Not the David and Goliath battle MINI would like it to be.

by Steve Hall    May-18-09    
Topic: Bad, Commercials



Bikini Bowling. Yes, It's Another Strange Japanese Ad

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If there's one thing the Japanese appear to be obsessed with when it comes to game shows and advertising, it's attractive women in bikinis. Doing strange things. Like sliding down a bowling alley sideways while wearing a bikini for a Ladies Beauty Bowling competition. All to promote a hair removal product.

Strange as it is, we like this ad but can someone at Ogilvy Mather Japan, the agency which created this ad, please tell us why, if this ad is running in Japan, all the signage is in English and the the voiceover is accompanied by English subtitles? That is, aside from making it easy for us English-speaking ad critics to understand.

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by Steve Hall    May-17-09    
Topic: Commercials, Racy, Strange



Talking VWs Spice Up Suburbia. Or Not.

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In case you're not yet sick of Volkswagens with German accents and too many opinions, here's fresh fodder for the pile: "Carefree Maintenance," by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

In addition to plugging a current VW model (fortified with free scheduled maintenance!), it features cameos from the classic Bug and the '63 VW bus, which sounds sort of stoned.

Whatever's clever, dude. Oh, yeah, one more thing: Heidi Klum couldn't make the shoot this time, but there's a Zoloft-enhanced man covered in motor oil, and I guess that's almost the same thing.

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by Angela Natividad    May-15-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



These Brides Ain't Doin' Much for the Institution of Marriage.

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If the Religious Right thinks gay marriage is destroying the culture of wedlock, they're clearly not regular Bridezilla watchers, which does to marriage what My Super Sweet Sixteen did for debutante parties: make sane people extremely reluctant to have them.

The ad for Bridezilla's latest season was put together by Filter Advertising. To the soothing tune of Unforgettable, brides of all shapes and sizes throw tantrums and contort their faces into cruel shapes you couldn't even imagine exist in nature.

All for the perfect realization of that most sacred of vows.

See? This is why we should just stop taking the ceremony so seriously and all do themed weddings. That way, if everything goes horribly wrong, you'll at least have a light saber handy.

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by Angela Natividad    May-15-09    
Topic: Commercials, Promotions, Television



This 'Mexican Beauty' Will Make You Puke

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OK, this is just wrong. It's one thing to watch Mena Suvari frolic in a bed of roses, a much punned scene from the movie American Beauty. It's quite another to watch a fat guy make eyes at you from a bed of Doritos. One is quite enjoyable. The other? Puke inducing.

Oddly, it's an Australian commercial created by Make in Brisbane.

by Steve Hall    May-15-09    
Topic: Commercials, Worst










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