Apparently, as indicated by this very sparsely attended ad:tech Chicago 2006 session, not many people are intrested in listening to creative types hyping their most recent creative endeavors. Moderating the collection of creatives, Click Here ACD Brian Linder, DesignKitchen CD Sam landers, Arc Worldwide Group CD Tim Irvine and AvenueA Razorish Disciplne lead (whatever that is) Brooke Nanberg, was Program Partners SVP David Hutchinson.
Landers, the most "creative looking" of the bunch, took the audience though the very Flashtastic work he had done for Motorola to promote the brand and, well, I'm not sure what else. The most telling bit of education here was the utterance by Landers, "oh, it's still loading." Linder shared the work his agency did for high end tequila Patron. Unfortunately, the campaign consisted mostly of low brow humor - not exactly the approach to position a high end brand. His agency also created a site, simplyperfect.com, that carried the campiagn's theme of debate but enabling people to take two side of an issue and post it for others to comment upon.
Irvine shared work for Cadillac that attempted to take the "old" out and inject the car with some "badass" as one critic said while describing the new Cadillacs. Irvine created a fairly cool online car racing game that appeared to be engaging. Within the first month of the campaign the site got 170,000 page views, 57,000 visitors and 150,000 downloads. Nanberg, in explaining her work for AT&T's Digital Lifestyle center - a site that illustrates how AT&T integrates with life, suffered the unfortunate side effect of Flashturbation. Pages took forever to load. Pages hung. Pages froze. And the kicker is the site actually has a Troubleshooting link right up top as if it was in the plan that many people would have trouble viewing this site. The one shining nugget she left us with as if it were an earth shattering insight was "creative is non-linear." Um. OK.
Here is, perhaps, one of the most uninteresting car commercials we've seen in, well, ever. Trying to highlight the engineering feats of the new Lexus ES 350, Team One Advertising, along with Digital Domain, have created spot with an oddly mismatched voiceover, awkward pacing and the inclusion of special "computer aided design" effects intended to reinforce the spot's concept but, at least to us, don't. No doubt the digital effect and production of this spot are impressive but they can't make up for the less than exciting message the spot tries to convey.
Slathered in self adoration and needlessly explaining its creation, this Nike site that captures Tiger Wood's golf swing while providing links to the products he's using would be a far better experience if it didn't take over 30 seconds explaining how it was created in a remote (somehow better than a non-remote) sound studio using a military defense camera that shoots 4,000 digital stills per second. Crap. Just film the fucker with a video camera and be done with it. And leave the preening self-glorification and self-congratulatory back slaps for those all important "concepting" session while playing foosball and trying to pick up this week's hot intern.
This Land Rover spot is actually pretty good but we had to watch it a few times to make sure the fast paced message drilled its way into our skull. The spot highlights the vehicles features in s manner that is far more interesting than some spokemodel pointing them out of some baritone announcer listing them off while the camera pans over the car doing these things all by itself. It just seems this spot puts a bit more reality into the car's features. Although, it's unclear just how long all those people could last stuffed into the vehicle. Unless you're a kid, there's not a vehicle out there that has seats other than the front that are all that comfortable for long periods of time.
There's nothing like a campaign focused towards women in mini skirts laying drunk on the sidewalk with their panties exposed to get the world writing about it. Yup. The Suffolk (England - the only place this kind of campaign could happen) police, continuing their "Lock Em' Inn" campaign which urges people not to misuse alcohol, have published a Conde Nasty-like magazine called Safe! that, through its tongue-in-cheek lifestyle editorial approach, continues to urge women not to drink too much, not to wander around alone and to make sure they get home safely - with their pants on.
Slingbox, a device that allows you to watch anything from your home-based cable box or DVR while anywhere in the world through an Internet connection, has a new competitor. Sony is launching Location Free which pretty much does exactly what Slingbox does. Unfortunately, Sony's website for this product doesn't do a very good job explaining the product whereas Slingbox does. Sony's site is heavy on Flash and light on clear product description. Slingbox provides a simple site with a simple to understand (albeit a bit informercial-ish) product tour video that clearly explains exactly what the product does.
You know a company is adhering to those unwritten, politically correct rules which state "one must represent all ethnic groups in commercials" when the spots feature white people with a voice over read by a black. OK, that was crass but let's be blunt. It all sounds very forced sometimes. Maybe it's just that these spots from Pizza Hut aren't very good and that's making us get all uppity about all this PC stuff. Pardon our digression. We'll be back with regularly schedule advertising oddities in a moment.
Here's some visual beauty for all you creative types. For the first time in the U.S., Bombay Saphire gin is advertising itself as a gin and tonic ingredient on television. The campaign includes two spots. One features a martial artist carving a glass out of a block of ice to hold the gin and a second spot has an elephant gingerly stepping over and around martini glasses until she sniffs out the glass holding the Bombay. Oh sure, both are an art director's visual orgasm but they fit the brand perfectly in our humble, gin-drinking opinion. We'd buy the stuff even though recent entrants to the gin club, Hendricks and Q, are a bit more exciting to the pallet.
Oh, and just so we all understand it's not just spoiled celebs that cause "issues" on the set, Maya, the elephant in the spot, needed to have her sidekick, Methusalem, an aging camel with her at all times, .
While watching this :90 spot, part of a new brand campaign from Dow Chemical created by FCB Chicago, we are reminded of the unfortunate mindset that invades large companies which do so many things it becomes impossible even to remotely explain what the company actually does do. We saw this to a certain degree in the latest GE campaign and now we are witnessing it in this latest campaign from Dow Chemical. For an agonizing 89 seconds, we are subjected to meaningless fluffery and puffery, written as if the copywriter was in the midst of an epiphany with God, which somehow ties Dow to a missing chemical element, the Human Element. Then again, what else can you say about a company that does everything?
Now here's a different approach to bra advertising. Rather than show a hot model with miles of cleavage bursting forth, change the perspective and show the reaction of the people when presented with what a bra can do for a woman...and to the people around her. That's exactly what Wonderbra has done in this campaign that illustrates what it is like to be a woman wearing a Wonderbra. Or, for that matter, what it must be like to a sexy woman wearing just about anything. It's almost creepy.
Oddly, the campaign, without intending to do so, illustrates to those of us who can't keep our eyes off an attractive woman that being stared at just might not be all it's cracked up to be. Men, take note. On the other hand, women, if you're going to hoist your boobs up and out for all to see, expect to get what you see in these ads and don't complain about it.