Creatives young and old have had a love/hate relationship with Bob Garfield, who for the last 25 years has produced his "Ad Review" segment on Advertising Age. (His position on this? On a scale of one to five, few ads are total zeros and few ads are prize fives. Over his whole career the average ad has received about a 3.4, significantly higher than the average true quality of industry television advertising output at large.)
Ad bloggers, whether or not they agree with his arguments, arguably see him as the person who began what they continue today. He's also the author of The Chaos Scenario and co-hosts National Public Radio's "On the Media."
I ran into Bob at the Carlton this weekend, then later Monday in front of the Palais, sporting a decidedly cannois summer hat. (I didn't know at the time, but it was also his birthday.) He thoughtfully agreed to sit and talk at a nearby beachside restaurant -- which we only later discovered is probably the loudest atmospheres in all the land.
So forgive the sound on this bad-boy. Click below to see the video, and read the rest of this piece over at Yahoo! Scene.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.