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.
Bob Garfield hates the new BMW campaign from GSD&M which, of course, means we have to like it. Bob thinks GSD&M's use of the bureaucracy-kills-ideas concept with images of old, retro boardroom dudes portrayed as pompous fools without a good idea left in their bones reflected against BMW's refreshingly idea-centric, independent approach is really, really bad. He goes on to explain how that concept is old are tired and how it mirrors a creative process he claims had something to do with killing what could have been a good concept. All potentially true.
AdArena stumbled upon an ad for Chantelle Push-Up bras that indicates women might need to do a bit of alteration to their little black cocktail dress to accommodate the uplifting qualities of a Chantelle Push-Up bra before they strap themselves in. That, or, once again, it just proves the right choice of image is far more powerful than even the most beautifully written copy. Or, more accurately, it just proves we're obsessed by women in little black cocktail dresses wearing push up bras. Or, most accurately, it proves that sex, well, just sells. Excuse me while I run to the store and buy a Chantelle Push-Up bra for my girlfriend. Actually, scratch that. She doesn't need any pushing up. Far from it. I'll just go get the little black cocktail dress. Wait, wasn't this an ad for a push up bra? So confusing. Oh well, Chantelle's loss.
OK. We like Deep Focus and we like HBO. We especially like HBO's Entourage so when we were sent a link to a promotional site at which you can get get an interview with Ari Gold for a position in his new agency, we had high hopes for the site. Let's put it this way. Can we, as an industry, right now, right this very second, put a lid on any project even remotely similar to Burger King's Subservient Chicken? And, for the love of GOD, can we please stop trying to latch onto something that was over the day after Crispin Poprter + Bogusky launched that site?
Copyranter points out an Alstate ad that appeared in tuesday's Wall Street Journal that showed a snow globe version of San Fransico with a $400 billion price tag attached to it. Apparently, while that seems low, that's the price to rebuild San Francisco after an earthquake of 1906 proportions. The headline reads, "If San Francisco had the same size quake as in 1906, it could cost $400 billion to rebuild." Whille Allstate may want San Francisco residents to feel as though they are in good hands, that's not exactly the most comforting method to do so. Although it certainly gets one thinking about just how much insurance one should have when living on a fault line.
Apparently, we're the only ones that don't like this Freddy Kruger Fonzies commercial. Every ad blog has this thing up. It was sent to us. We watched it. We said "whatever" and thought we'd move onto something more clever. Nope. Apparently Freddy Kruger has died so many times and been "so over" for so many years it's OK for some horror-hipster creative team to whip up this overly predictable slop. Some like to call it foreshadowing. We like to call it a bad concept. We can just hear the copywriter during the concepting meeting. "Dude, the AE says these Fonzie chips are, like, finger licking good. Check this - we should get that Freddy Kruger dude to lick his fingers in the spot an then have him scream and shit. That would rock!" Not.