Self-Absorbed Hipsters Angrily Unbutton For Levi's

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OK so for all you hipsters...no wait...emo...no wait...hmm...losers with nothing to do but screw around in the trashy side of town, these new Holland and Belgium-based Levi's commercials are for you. Can't you see yourself in them? trying really, really hard to be ever so hip and cool while jumping in mud puddles and throwing chairs buildings and otherwise kicking the shit out of everything around you like a bored eight year old?

Are we supposed to feel sorry for your lame-ass life? Actually care you think what you're doing somehow makes you today's version of James Dean? That you somehow don't think you look like a slob and should really be reading GQ rather than moping around like a self-absorbed little brat?

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by Steve Hall    Sep-17-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Policy



Creativity Lives! In a McDonald's Coffee Pot.

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Oh wow. This is absolutely amazing. Creativity does still exist! To hype a limited time free coffee offer from McDonald's, Cossette West created this custom designed lamppost to mimic a pot of coffee being poured into a coffee cup. So simple. So effective. So wonderfully creative. Love it.

See? Here at Adrants we don't hate absolutely everything. And we love when we get to see creativity like this. It rejuvenates our love for advertising. So thank you, Cossette West.

by Steve Hall    Sep-16-09    
Topic: Best, Creative Commentary, Outdoor



Rishad Tobaccowala Talks Brand-Building, Damage Control and the Art of Seduction

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At ad:tech Chicago last week, and prior to his opening talk, I approached Denuo CEO Rishad Tobaccowala in hopes of scoring an interview later on. He was in a hurry and answered in a way I found brusque and upsetting -- which ended up colouring my feelings about the keynote.

Tobaccowala emailed to apologize immediately after reading the article I wrote, and was also good enough to give me almost three hours of his time in an interview -- more of a conversation, really -- later that week.

We never did get around to a formal Q/A. But I learned so much about branding and relationships from him that most of the gems would be lost if I didn't whip out the cam and start recording.

See the footage below the drop.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-09    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Events, Good, Industry Events



Coinstar Does...JCPenney?

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This commercial's redeeming qualities? Women in short dresses wearing high heels. A catchy tune that alludes to something other than what the commercial's actually selling. Nice legs. Nice graphics. Gymnastics. And lots of coinage.

What's it for? Apparently there's a really big need for a vending machine that will convert your spare change into paper money. We thought banks did that. Oh right. Who wants to deal with a bitchy teller when you can deal with an emotionless machine?

Yea. That's it. It all makes sense now. Except the whole thing still looks like a JCPenney commercial.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-09    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary



Hugh Hefner Still Gets The Girls. Well, At Least in Commercials

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There once was a time Hugh Hefner carried a level of cred untouchable by all others. He had it all. A successful business. All of life's material pleasures. And any woman he wanted. Yea, he still has all that but lately, with his increased appearance in advertising, the man has been diminished to a sad characature of his former self. Now he's just a horny old man in a fancy bathrobe.

What's up with all his commercial appearances? Does he need the money or is he just selling out like every other celebrity on the planet? yea, the man still has a sort of jokey appeal and when seen in a commercial, the reaction still nets a little chuckle and grin. But really. What happened to retiring gracefully?

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Creative Commentary



ad:tech Chicago: Sharpie, Ben & Jerry's Squeeze Merit Out of Social Media Sphinx

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My last ad:tech Chicago session was the Social Media Industry Forum, presented by Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer.

The sesh had a festive air for many reasons, not least that it was Ramsey's birthday. ad:tech's Warren Pickett burst in near the end to furnish him with candle-lit cupcakes.

But the company was also lively: we had a frothy, sometimes cynical and perennially candid band that included Digital Marketing Manager Katie O'Brien of Ben & Jerry's, President Rick Murray of Edelman Digital (which does interactive stuff for B&J's), PR/Social Media Manager Susan Wassel of Sanford Brands (here to rep Sharpie), and Digital Strategist Akash Pathak of DraftFCB, which worked with Wassel to bring life to Sharpie's label.

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Hey Wait. Aren't Hunger Drives Supposed to Feed People?

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OK so how do you raise money for the hungry? You spend a lot of money erecting tables and 200,000 place settings. And rather than actually feed 200,000 people, you just use the whole thing as a fund raising stunt which, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. It just might have been a bit nicer to actually feed the hungry as well as call attention to their plight.

The stunt comes from Y&R Israel. It's for the Charity Organization and consisted of 1.3 kilometers of empty dinner table.

Where's the beef?

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-09    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Strange



Yawn. Groceries Sold With Stop Motion

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OK. What's up with the whole stop motion thing? Sure, it can net cool results but why go to all that trouble when you can just film a commercial regularly and save a lot of money in the process? After all, everyone in advertising is lazy right? And clients are always bitching about how much everything costs.

Oh wait, they're creative too. Sadly, they're derivative as well. Which...is why we get the same thing over and over and over again.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-09    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



One Club to Ban Award Show Scammers.

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A happy ending to an ad nauseam kinda week? Ad Age reports that the One Club has decided to ban any agency that submits scam art from its One Show competition for five years. In doing so, the intent is to cut down on work produced exclusively for award shows. Face it, having just one single award show do this is not enough. Other shows need to join with them here, and One Club leadership has apparently reached out to the other major shows. Regardless of comments that say this is too little, too late, it's a big step considering what's been done to this point. Credit to the One Club for addressing the problem.

Is it the same thing as enforcing existing rules only with harsher penalties the way pro sports do when it comes to steroids? Maybe. But change comes with small moves, right? Whether this seems like it was in response to one blogger's calls for such a ban I can only guess, but it's a big start in the right direction.

by Bill Green    Sep- 7-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Creative Commentary



ad:tech Chicago: Weighing Hearts and Brands on Ancient Scales

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ad:tech Chicago's "Love for Sale -- How Great Creative Seduces Its Target" session was broken into two discernably useful parts: statistics on online dating, and seduction as a metaphor for marketing.

We'll begin at the beginning.

The Online Dating Crowd

Accompanied by Liz Ross of Digitas US, Fusion Idea Lab's Matt Brennock regaled us with both statistics and close-to-home anecdotes -- the kind that's fueled many a romantic comedy.

I heard one guy say the pair had great chemistry, and he commended them for "[opening] the kimono" the way they did. Given the topic matter, and Brennock's zeal for reminding us (first once, then twice, then...) that men really do just wanna get laid, the geisha metaphor was oddly appropriate.

Some stats:


  • The average online dater is 42 years old.

  • Match.com remains tops, with 3.4 million uniques/month, but people increasingly drift away from these big-box dating sites and into more niche fare: j-date, veggiedate, Christian singles. (AdAge blogger Kelly Eidson seized this opportunity to send me a link to STD Match, a dating site targeted to people living with sexually transmitted diseases. There are also -- as if you didn't know -- ethnicity-specific sites.)

    If the world wasn't our oyster before, the marvelous advances of the internet, coupled with mankind's enterprising creative spirit, have ensured it certainly is now. There's a match worth blogging.

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