U.S. Cellular Brings Love to the World

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Oh for fuck's sake! Are you kidding me? "That's why we do more than just connect calls. We believe in connecting people." Seriously? Well, U.S. Cellular, if you are so great at connecting people and making the world a perfectly happy, feel-good place, why don't you dial up Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-il, Omar Al-Bashir, Pervez Musharraf, Than Shwe and the rest of the world's dictatorial idiots, feed them some of your feel-good crap and see if you can, in fact, help the world become a better place. That, at least, would be worthy of producing these sixty seconds of sugar-coated puffery.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-26-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Creative Commentary



MySpace to Redesign. See Mock-Ups Here

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MySpace is redesigning its site, partly to make it more ad-friendly.

It also plans to improve nav, music and internal search, MySpaceTV (expect better embed/sharing options) and profile editing (kinda nifty).

Phase I of the redesign goes live June 18th. One advertiser bought all MySpace's ad real estate for that day. No word on who it is, but expect a major brand or an overhyped movie. (Film promotions for The Incredible Hulk are currently wreaking havoc on the homepage.)

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Life Changing Box For Sharp Aquos TV?

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The promise of the extraordinary. The surprise of something new. The power to bring change. It's... It's... It's... Life Changing Box, a Lowe-created site and Facebook game that involves a box, co-ordinated game play and prizes. Beginning today and running for a month, no one's saying who it's for right now so, if you care, you're just going to have to play the game and wait.

It's all fairly intricate but here are some overview points from the release:

  • There are 10 boxes total in the game
  • To gain possession of a box, users use a currency called a Touch
  • All players get 24 "Touches" per day
  • Each Touch enters the player into a Round
  • At the beginning of each Round, the box will randomly jump to one of the players who entered that Round
  • The player given the box holds it for the entirety of the Round, which lasts between 30 minutes and 8 hours, randomly decided by the application
  • If the box doesn't open in a Round for the player, a new Round will begin and everyone must Touch the box again to participate
  • 20 prizes will be awarded with values ranging from $400 to $14,000
  • If you invite a friend to the application and they win, you win a duplicate prize

Let's hope it is actually life changing and not some lame promotion for some lame brand. All the details are here, the box is here and the game is here.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Games, Online, Social



Lady Lashes Out Against Ubiquitous Yogurt Advertising

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We take it for granted that most ads are full of shit most of the time, but every once in awhile you need to take a whole industry to task. This video does that for the woman-targeting yogurt peddlers.

"Yogurt eaters come from every race, but just one socio-economic class: the class that wears gray hoodies. It's that 'I have a Masters, but then I got married' look!"

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Rhea Scott Talks Music Videos, Little Minx, Exquisite Corpse and Fresh Underpants

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I recently got to sit down with Rhea Scott, Ridley Scott's daughter-in-law. (A breathy PR guy related that trivia to me about four times, which is why I mention it in the VERY. FIRST. SENTENCE.)

Rhea once headed the music video department at Propaganda. 10 years ago she started Little Minx, a production company focused on turning ad directors into filmmakers. From what I gathered in the film reels, directors are encouraged to treat each ad like a miniature manifesto. (It probably also helps to be a surrealist art fan.)

Little Minx is able to provide the necessary creative resources -- read: king-sized budget, the ideal artist's sponsorship -- through parent company RSA.

Rhea says the company was named for her second daughter, "the ultimate little minx" and the child actress in "Come Wander with Me," part of a promotional project called Exquisite Corpse.

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Law Firm Intimates Women Are Better Lawyers Than Men

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Ever notice how women, when in conflict with another, or with a man for that matter, discuss the issue at great length until every last feeling is expressed? Ever notice how men, when in conflict with another (but not a woman), just punch each other, offer up a fist bump or brush it off with a "no worries, dude?" Though some might debate the point, that's not sexist. It's just a natural difference in the way men and women deal with confrontation and disagreement.

So perhaps an ad from 100 percent women-owned Buffalo law firm Schroder, Joseph Associates, LLC with the headline, "Ever Argue With A Woman," is compelling since arguing legal issues requires ad nauseum debate to the point of excruciating insanity. In the courtroom, that's a good thing. Not so much when you're at home and just want to sit down with a beer and watch the game.

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by Steve Hall    May-30-08    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Crocs Alligator Bites Tail of Shark That Jumped It, Succeeds

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The beauty, and success, of Crocs shoes (no, we never owned a pair, thank God) came mostly from word of mouth and the desire to be cool because you wore strange looking shoes that squeaked. It's sort of like the Flip Video camera which used to be packaged in those impossible-to-open, hermetically sealed plastic packages that hung from hooks in Wal-Mart until it experienced a Web 2.0, "Must. Vlog. That.", iJustine-fueled rebirth.

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by Steve Hall    May-29-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Good



Weezer Wired, Hulk Whored, Philly Punks Out, Billboard Butters Up

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- Wired interviewed the director of Weezer's Pork and Beans music video, which is a whiplash-inducing tribute to 'net-ebrities.

- Apptera promotes The Incredible Hulk to callers who request information on Iron Man.

- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! launched a site called Now We Know Better. Scroll over the vintage homemakers to see them magically turn into ... modern homemakers! The site's a dream destination for daytime TV addicts: game shows, girl talk and margarine.

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Fuel Efficiency and Cement-Encased Man Don't Work For Honda

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Honda decided the two-hour season finale of guilty pleasure Grey's Anatomy last week was a good time to show their new commercial, previously mentioned here as part of their new campaign promoting the 2009 Honda Pilot.

In the spot, a man in a Pilot approaches a man who had accidentally been encased in cement. He offers to help and after getting the man, still trapped in a cement block, in the back seat, notes they won't have to stop for gas because of how fuel-efficient the Pilot is. The other man, who doesn't seem the least bit worried about the fact he's essentially a talking head sticking out of a chunk of cement, agrees that the Pilot is indeed really fuel-efficient. He read it on a blog.

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by Amy Yen    May-28-08    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Television



Converting the Converted, and Other Tricks of the Light

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On Wednesday at the One Show Festival, design guru Brian Collins illustrated the power of branding with a history lesson about pirates.

Or rather, just their flag.

Back in 1748, if you had the misfortune of being a single bobbing ship at sea when a tattered vessel with a skull and crossbones crossed your path, you knew instantly what to expect.

"You're fucked." (Collins, verbatim.)

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by Angela Natividad    May-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Creative Commentary, Industry Events, Opinion








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