NBC's Apprentice Promo Eerily Similar to Lemonade:The Movie

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As you may have heard, Eric Proulx made a wonderful movie called Lemonade: The Movie. I had the pleasure of being one of 16 people featured in the film which told the stories of people who had been laid off, the trials and tribulations they went through and the new directions and successes they found.

Well, along comes The Apprentice. This year, the show is going back to its roots. Leaving behind the celebrity idiocy, the show will, again, focus on unknowns who were laid off during the recession and are currently trying to make a go of it. The promotional clip for this year's show is eerily similar to Lemonade: The Movie.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-10    
Topic: Opinion, Strange



Banned Pregnant Nun Ad Takes Aim at Pope Benedict

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Antonio Federici ice cream, which had its pregnant nun ad banned by the UK's Advertising Standards authority for making a mockery of Roman Catholic beliefs isn't taking the ban laying down. The company plans to continue with the same theme and, in addition, make a point of targeting Pope Benedict with the campaign during his four day visit to the UK which begins today.

An Antonio Federici spokeswoman said, "We intend to defy the ASA's ban and will publish another ad from the series before the Pope's visit later this week. We are also in the process of securing billboards close to and along the planned route of the Pope's cavalcade around Westminster Cathedral."

The ad carries the tagline, "Immaculately Conceived ... Ice cream is our religion."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-10    
Topic: Campaigns, Opinion, Policy, Political



I Was Lovin' It Until I Saw This Commercial

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In a PSA from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine we see a dean man laying on a gurney with his grieving wife at his side. As the camera pans down his body, we see the man is holding a half-eaten hamburger. As the camera pans to his feet, we see the Golden Arches drawn over his cold feet and we hear a voice over tells us all the bad things a non-vegetarian diet can do to us.

The message is clear. McDonald's is killing us. Of course that's totally untrue. Much like the pro-gun camp would say, food doesn't kill people, people who put the wrong kind or too much of it in their mouth do. Obesity and all that comes with eating bad food isn't caused by a marketing campaign. It's caused by shoving the wrong food in one's mouth.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-14-10    
Topic: Cause, Opinion



Newsflash! Could Alex Bogusky Be Cornelius Trunchpole?

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We were, apparently, wrong before and we could be wrong again. Many of you may have heard of a character named Cornelius Trunchpole who's been making the rounds in advertising's social media scene. The "elderly gentleman" can be seen on Facebook, his blog and on Twitter spouting witticisms from the good 'ol days of advertising.

In an exclusive interview with Adrants, Trunchpole said of his career in advertising, "On leaving the Army I went straight to work at the London ad agency Wilson Bagley, where I quickly rose to the rank of Creative Director, writing copy for such accounts as Coleman's mustard, Heinz, and Monster Munch crisps. Following a chance meeting in a London phone box I was then offered a job at the McCann Advertising agency in America, where within weeks of joining I had facilitated the companies merger with the Erickson agency (an achievement I received not even a word of thanks for). At this point I was still only 14 years old."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-14-10    
Topic: Opinion



9/11 Memorialized With...Lottery Balls

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Over the weekend, 9/11 memorials were held across the nation. In New York, one such memorial was held at at City Hall Park. Organized by inventors Steven Brandstetter and James Devlin of J&S Gaming, the event featured the pair's Lottery Ball Characters which were turned into life sized costumes to represent the likeness of a police officer and a fireman.

According to the press release, the purpose of the rally was to "pay tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect and serve our communities." Brandsetter and Devlin put the rally together with the consent of retired NYPD police officer Stan Jefferson who was reportedly forced into retirement because of an illness he contracted while working at Ground Zero.

Apparently, the government isn't doing all it can do and the rally aimed to bring that to the attention of the public.

The campaign also brought something else to light. The sad fact some people are so lacking in the common sense department, they have no idea when something grotesquely oversteps the line of acceptability. To diminish the lives of those lost during 9/11 to a couple of stupid lottery characters - as if the event were sponsored by Tony the Tiger or something - is deplorable, inexcusable and plain idiotic.

That is all.

by Steve Hall    Sep-13-10    
Topic: Cause, Guerilla, Opinion, Worst



Celebrating Boobs Might Not be the Best Way to Hype Breast Cancer Awareness

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Breasts. If any alien race landed here on earth and witnessed our obsession with breasts, all they'd have to do to take over our world would be to morph into an army on bikini-clad women sporting boobs the size of cantaloupes to peacefully subdue us.

Perhaps that's why marketers have leveraged that very same obsession to sell stuff. The bigger the boob, the bigger the sell. So it's not surprising that when breasts (or breast-related items) are the "product" itself, boobs of all shapes, sizes, color and jiggle factor are trotted out. Just look at any breast cancer campaign. Tracy Clark-Flory did and she didn't like what she saw. Not one bit.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-10    
Topic: Cause, Opinion



Has Pre-Roll Video Advertising Met the Grim Reaper?

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This contributed article is written by Jaffer Ali, CEO of Video Snack Network. He lays out the facts regarding video pre-roll advertising and why it's a bust.

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces. --Sigmund Freud

This article is likely to irritate a lot of people. Of course that is not the goal, but an expected byproduct nonetheless. Let me first begin by stating in absolute terms that I wish I were wrong about what follows, because my life would have been rendered easier.

Here is the conclusion and the rationale will follow:

Pre-roll video is a terrible DR and branding vehicle!

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 1-10    
Topic: Opinion, Video



Summer's Eve Says Douche Before You Ask For A Raise

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So Summer's Eve runs an ad in Woman's Day offering women eight steps to take when asking for a raise and all hell breaks loose. Why? Because the first step is to make sure you use Summer's Eve Feminine Wash before you make the request.

Oh yes, people. We can't talk about "down there." On no. That area is strictly taboo. It's OK to tell people to take a shower, use good soap, style your hair properly, wear the right jewelery, be sure your skirt isn't too short, your heels too high, your cleavage overexposed. To be sure your shoes are properly polished, your deodorant appropriately scented, your posture professional, your handshake firm and your breath as fresh as a rose.

But to inform a woman, who may very well need what a feminine wash can provide, she might want to consider making sure THAT area is as fresh as all her others is a travesty. A blight against women. A disgrace. And an objectification of the entire female species as nothing more than a sweet smelling receptacle for the urgency of men.

Hey, did you expect anything other than a contrarian point of view from us?

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-10    
Topic: Brands, Magazine, Opinion, Strange



Should Marketers Eliminate Sex As An Advertising Strategy?

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And now for a completely different point of view. Previously we wrote about a story in the Hendersonville News in which a woman named Susan Hanley Lane shares her feelings regarding a racy Skechers billboard she saw when she was with her father in law as he was getting haircut. Noting the odd juxtaposition of the two figures on the billboard having simulated sex advertising-style, with the presence of her father in law and two small girls playing outside near the board, Susan makes a convincingly cogent argument that, perhaps, we've taken this sex sells thing a bit too far. Wait, what? Did we just write that?

She notes the walled garden that used to be called childhood has collapsed and has been replaced, at least for girls, by girlhood. In other words, kids aren't kids anymore but have, because of the continual presence of adult imagery, become young hotties in training. And can you blame them what with marketers selling bras to pre-teens and hypersexualizing everything else?

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by Steve Hall    Aug-26-10    
Topic: Opinion



Six Ways Brands Should Think of Social Media as a Party

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We've said this many times before but Big fuel Communications CEO Avi Savar is saying it with much greater detail. Check out his guest post on the notion social media should be approached as if it were a cocktail party.

I've been using this analogy for some time now and it seems to resonate with everyone who hears it. If you are a brand looking to connect with consumers through Social Media, think of Social Media as one giant party. Here's why:

1) Social Media is one giant party.

Let's set the stage.

Imagine the social web as one huge cocktail party. In one corner of the room, a group of moms are talking about education and parenting issues. In another corner of the room, a group of recent college grads laugh over Will Ferrell's latest movie. Everywhere you turn, different groups of people are enjoying themselves, sharing stories, discussing current events, pop culture, trends, etc. All the groups are mingling, making new "friends," and the most influential people in the room have the most "followers" hanging on their every word.

Sound familiar?

Social Media is a true reflection of society today--and what better representation of social behavior, fragmentation, hierarchy and influence than a giant party?

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-10    
Topic: Opinion, Social








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