Nokia Decapitates Barbie to Sell Phone

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Looks like Nokia is doing whatever it can to stay alive and the brand has enlisted Barbie to help. In a new ad, called Freedom, for the very girly Nokia N8 Pink phone, director Dave Wilson tells us he wanted to "celebrate the world of hot pink and the glamor that goes with it." You can check out both the making-of video and the actual ad below.

Of the music in the commercial, Wison said, "Being able to work with the Sugarbabes' Freedom as a soundtrack for the piece lent itself to the empowered personas that we'd created for the dolls." Good God what a load of ad blather! But, hey, the ad is kind of fun. Except for the fact Wilson gleefully twists Barbie's head all the way around as if she were Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

All to sell a phone. From a company that isn't doing so well financially and is rumored to be in talks with Microsoft over selling itself to the software giant. But hey, pink is the new success. Or success is the new pink. Or whatever...

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 2-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Racy, Strange



Nissan LEAF's 'Green' Commercial Makes No Sense

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Here's the issue we have with "green" commercials like this one from TBWA\Chiat\Day for the Nissan Leaf: they make no sense. In this commercial, a world is envisioned in which everything is powered by a gasoline engine. Except at the end when Robert Downey Jr. wonders what it would be like if everything didn't because we call drove a Nissan Leaf.

Uh, where the hell do people think the energy comes from to generate the electricity needed to charge the Nissan LEAF's batteries? Currently, mostly fossil fuels which power the electric plants. have you seen an electric plant? They have smokestacks. Which emit fumes. Which harm the atmosphere.

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by Steve Hall    May-31-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



ConocoPhillips Tagline A Good Fart Joke

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Like a fart joke told at a church dinner, ConocoPhillips 66's decision to go with the new tagline, "Experts in gas since 1927," is questionable at best. It's like a fifth grade boy asking a classmate to pull his finger. Which is probably why the brand's agency, Venables Bell & Partners, decided to cast Pee Wee football players in one of the campaign's ads.

Awkward connotations aside, the brand would like us to understand the new approach is supposed to celebrate the company's "unique heritage and long standing history of striving to bring consumers the best in performance gasoline." Way to bring eloquence to gas.

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by Steve Hall    May-19-11    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Audi Owners Are Crazy!

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We all know some people can get pretty crazy over the cars they love. But all this Audi commercial does is illustrate how idiotic its customers are. In the ad, people risk life and limb to jump out of their BMW's, Luxus' and Mercedes' - while on the highway - and hop into the seat of a brand new Audi atop a car carrier.

Yes, the ad is meant to illustrate the "extraordinary" things people will do to get their hands on an Audi but really? It's much easier - and far less dangerous and stupid - to walk around an Audi car dealer lot to check out a new vehicle. But, of course, that would be a really boring ad so idiotic stupidity will always reign supreme in advertising.

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by Steve Hall    May-18-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Walmart Gets Rapped With New Orleans Bounce

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We're going to go out on a limb here to say Walmart had nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of this video in which New Orleans rapper Mr. Ghetto, accompanied by two booty shaking dancers, prattles on about the wonders of shopping at Walmart. All we can say is it's pretty fucking strange. But it will likely get Walmart more for their money than any recent marketing effort has.

With almost 56,000 views on YouTube in one day, the video is equally liked and disliked by viewers. Predictably, several comments center on race and the sad state of rap. Over at Walmart, we have to believe the marketing folks are either high fiving each other right now or shaking their heads in embarrassment they're associated with this dreadful oddity.

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by Steve Hall    May-18-11    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Strange, Video



Rachel Bilson Sells Condoms...Uh...Ice Cream

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Perhaps during the last week or so while fast forwarding through commercials, you may have caught a peek at the odd combination of Rachel Bilson and a box of condoms. You think to yourself, "condom ads on TV...no big deal. After all, TV is rife with penile stiffening products, why not condoms too?"

Had you paused and rewound to watch the commercial, you would have seen Bilson who, stuck in a traffic jam, decides to hop out of her car, run over the tops of other cars to chase an 18 wheeler filled with condoms.

Oh wait. Had you actually paid attention while watching the commercial you would have realized it wasn't a commercial for condoms at all. Rather it was Unilever's U.S. introduction of the very questionably (for this country) named Magnum ice cream.

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by Steve Hall    May-17-11    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Strange



Helium-Fueled Monks Capture Joy of Cadbury

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From the moment it starts, you can tell exactly what's going to happen in this Glass And A Half Full Productions/Ogilvy Johannesburg work for Cadbury. It follows the classic unexpected - except in advertising - behavioral shift a group not known for the unexpected suddenly displays as if they were magically set free from the bonds that confine them to their routine.

In this particular case, it's reclusive monks who spend their entire day is respectful silence and study. That is until a balloon falls from the ceiling, helium hilarity ensues and a monastery transforms into a dance club with monks raving to Flo Rida's Low.

And of the monks, Director Erik Van Wyk, speaking in classic adver-babble, said, "What this endearing group does so beautifully and simply, is reflect humanity back to us. The part of humanity we like." Um...maybe they were just glad to get up off their asses for a while.

Snark aside, we like the work. After all, who doesn't love seeing a group do something fun and uncommon?

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



Saucony Debuts First-Ever Television Commercial

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We have mixed feelings about this new Mechanica-created television commercial for Saucony, the brand's first-ever television outing. Of course we understand the concept of the ad which is to find your inner string strong. And it is inner. It's more than just muscles and vigorous training. It's a mindset.

But the concept plays out like an overwrought Nike wannabe commercial. Which, of course, doesn't necessarily make it bad. But there is an upside. It features a hot guy. And that's a rarity in advertising these days so we must say this commercial isn't all bad.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-27-11    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary



Dos Equis Offers Advice to Men on Approaching Women

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As a man who might approach a woman in a social situation, would it behoove him to throw caution to the wind and scream out loud at her? That would seem to be the stance of those who are offended by a new Dos Equis ad which carries the headline, "Approach women like you do wild animals, With caution and a soothing voice."

Writing in AdWeek/AdFreak (it's kind of hard to tell the difference these days), David Gianatasio said the ad "not only offends women but adds an extra layer of insult by showing the world's least interesting Great White Colonial Man swaggering around in the brush with a pair of tribesmen at his side."

We beg to differ, David. A healthy dose of caution and soothing suavity is always advised when approaching women. After all, men certainly don't want to risk getting their head bitten off, a suffering which, sadly, is perpetrated upon men by women far too often.

Better safe than sorry. Always good advice in our book when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex.

by Steve Hall    Apr-25-11    
Topic: Brands, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Strange



Ford Puppet Hits on Sexy Reporter in New Campaign

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Chevy has its Angels and Ford has...well...Ford has Doug. Doug is a puppet. And a puppet with an attitude and an attraction to blond reporters and, well, any female of any kind. He's also a wise ass who carefully walks the line between making the brand message interesting and turning the entire thing into a comedy routine. He's witty and stupid all at the same time. And it kind of works. And in any event, it's far more interesting that a typical :30 or :60. Far, far more interesting.

Doug's best lines include, "may I smell your fingers?" and "are you all business or it is just that suit?"

Directed by Paul Feig and written by a host of comedy writers, the collection of videos touts the Ford Focus and its many features. The unveiling of Doug as the new spokesperson for Ford was preceded by several unbranded videos in which the puppet stops a convenience store robbery, saves a choking victim and performs CPR.

We like this advertainment. We actually watched all of it. Of course, that's out job but that's besides the point. We actually liked it and found it entertaining. Which is a very, very good thing.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-22-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Creative Commentary, Video








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