Audi's Dumb Evil Knievel Ad Results in 'YouTube Blue Balls'

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In what has to be the dumbest car stunt advertisement is a very long time, Audi of America, to tout its 450 hp RS 5, has recreated the famed 1974 Evil Knievel Snake River Canyon jump. The jump, across a 4,781 wide section of the Snake River in Idaho, was a failure with Knievel landing in the river bed below.

The three-minute video begins with footage from the famed attempt and with Knievel intoning "Each time I was hurt, they all said that guy is lucky he's not dead. And they were right. But I wanted to get up and try again."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-10-12    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Kia Hamsters Return in Epic Period Piece

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The Kia Hamsters have come a long way. In a new, epic 1:30, the Hamsters find themselves on stage in an 18th century opera house livening things up. Entitled "Bringing Down the House" and set to "In My Mind" (remixed by Axwell), the hamsters take over an ornate theater with a shocking (to stuffy 18th century, wig wearing patrons) display of modern music, high-energy dance moves, a laser light show and a balcony stage dive that gets the audience on their feet and digging the futuristic vibe.

The commercial will debut in 18,000 movie theaters inside National CineMedia's FirstLook pre-show program on August 31. Television will follow during the MTV Music Awards on September 6.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-30-12    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Avis Drops 'We Try Harder' For 'It's Your Space'

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While we won't likely know for a year or so, Avis' tagline shift from "We Try Harder" to "It's Your Space" will either go down as the biggest ad flop in history or the crucial change the brand needed to pull itself back to the number two spot (Recently, it slipped to third behing Hertz and Enterprise).

The tagline, "We Try Harder" was created in 1962 by DDB. And it worked, pulling Avis out of a decade-long slump and into a position of profit.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-28-12    
Topic: Campaigns, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Why Axe's 'Headless Breasts' Ad is Strategically Sound

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While some have said the new BBH-created Axe work - a departure from the agency's brilliant Keifer Sutherland/Susan Glenn spot - is a sad return to the brand's roots where mostly women and sometimes men are reduced to playthings, toys for the horny male middle school mindset.

We say smart move. All the brand has done, and always has done, is celebrate the carnal desire that is ever present between man and woman. It's an innately human desire. It's a fact of life. And no amount of pious, politically correct sugar coating is going to diminish the fact that men and women are, forever, sexual beings that, yes, are sometime vile, vulgar and animalistic in their dealings with one another.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-21-12    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Levi's Helps Millennials Take Over the World

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Writing in More About Advertising, Stephen Foster says Levi's has "lightened up" with a follow up to the Wieden + Kennedy-created opus, Go Forth Braddock. That spot, if you recall, pulled the heartstrings by focusing on American despair and how that despair, so says the commercial, motivates people to work towards a goal. Idealistic is an understatement.

The agency's new work, This is a Pair of Levi's, is far from a "lightening up" of the original. In fact, it pours on the hipsterific poetics as if the entire world suddenly and collectively participated in a gigantic hand-waving, come-to-Jesus beatnik meeting of epic proportion.

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 6-12    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Creative Commentary



Four Reasons Not to Buy A Scion iQ

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There are so many things wrong on so many levels with this new Scion iQ campaign. But first, the gist of the campaign. To tout the fact that despite the iQ's small size four adults can still fit in the vehicle, four commercials feature four groups of people in the car eating donuts and drinking milk while the vehicle does...ahem...donuts in a donut shops' parking lot.

So what's wrong with the strategy? Aside from the fact, it's fun to watch people get tossed around a car while trying to eat, is it really smart for the brand to associate itself with what's being communicated in the ads - unsafe driving? Yea, yea, yea. We all know...don't try this at home. But you know, sadly, there are just enough idiots in this world who will see this, try it, crash and then try to sue Scion for their idiocy.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-12    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Fiat Nails Men's Relationship to Women and Cars Perfectly

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So that supposedly offensive (to whom we aren't quite sure) Fiat ad in which a nerd is approached by an Italian woman after she catches him staring at her as she adjusts her shoe? Here's what we have to say about that.

The ad, created by The Richards Group, just funny. That's all. It's not offensive in an way, shape or form. It's just a true statement of fact: men are perplexed, dumbfounded and all out distracted when in the presence of a hot woman or a hot car. The ad is a dead on depiction of men and their relationship to women and cars. And that's just the way it is.

OK. Can we all move on now? Oh and thanks to Who is That Hot Ad Girl, here is all the background you'd ever need on the woman in the ad, Catrinel Menghia.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-18-11    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Racy



Taman Whisky Bluntly and Brilliantly Mixes Messaging

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Well now. Here's a "liquor ad' that takes an unexpected turn. We've seen many alcohol brands - out of public and political pressure, of course - urge people not to abuse alcohol in a way that results in harm to oneself or to others. But we've never seen a brand do it so honestly and abruptly in the middle of a commercial that lulls you into the beauty and elegance of the brand.

The ad calls attention to the fact one in five parents in Sweden drink too much causing their children to suffer, eight out of ten acts of violence in public places are alcohol related and more than 325,000 Swedes are addicted to alcohol. It's just a good thing that the country has rehab centers where alcohol Addicts can get help from when they need it.

And in a twist on it's own tagline, the commercial closes asking, "How smooth is that?"

We love the ads honesty. We love its fearless deliverance of a sales and safety message all in one. We love the blunt, sudden, mid-commercial shift from the sales message to the safety message. And we love the fact it tricked us into thinking Taman was an actual liquor brand.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-16-11    
Topic: Best, Commercials, Creative Commentary



McDonald's Gets It All Wrong...Uh...Right in Fishing Ad

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Hey this is a cute McDonald's commercial but let's analyze all that's wrong and odd with this spot. If a boy is out fishing in the middle of nowhere with his father/grandfather, how likely is it they'd have McDonald's take out? It'd be pretty cold by the time they got to the fishing hole. How wrong is it the boy uses a french fry as bait knowing even if the fish bit it, it'd kill it. Oh wait. strike that. And how likely would it be a crowd of crazed kids would come crashing out of the middle of nowhere at the mere sniff of a McDonald's french fry? Oh wait. Strike that too.

Apparently, we are completely wrong on this one. The power of the McDonald's french fry is so overpowering most people would do anything to get their hands on one. Guess Leo Burnett is a lot smarter than we thought.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-15-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Wodka Vodka Delivers Escort Quality With Hooker Pricing

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Not exactly a creative strategy that is likely to get Wodka Vodka in the good graces of some folks but, hey, at least it appropriately positions the brand. The headline of a recent ad reads, "Escort Quality. Hooker Pricing." It was pitched to us in an email which read, "In short, it's high quality like an escort, low cost like a prostitute... but drunk college girls are free!"

Apparently they are free to say this sort of thing because the email also informed Wodka Vodka "has been ranked above or equal to the likes of $30+ Ciroc or $50 Belvedere by spirits authorities such as the Beverage Tasting Institute and The Tasting Panel."

So yea. Get your cheap on with some Wodka Vodka tonight.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 4-11    
Topic: Campaigns, Creative Commentary










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