Eastpak Loves Little People

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Hmm. After viewing this new Eastpak campaign from Satisfaction in Brussels, one might think it's an early tie in with the next Transformers movie. That or the brand is trying to become the latest fashion-wear for skateboarding little people who love to rock.

Or, take note cause groups, Eastpak is saying it's perfectly OK to stuff a little person inside a back pack and watch them do silly things as if they are some new form of entertainment. But hey, overseas, they aren't as outrageously politically correct as we are here in the States. They have no problem referring to the people in the ad as "our pint-sized cast of characters." So it's all good.

You can view the ads here, here and here.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-10    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



If Only Benjamin Moore Were As Good As It Claimed

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Branding is a powerful thing. Benjamin Moore used to be my paint of choice. After all, why not? Their ads, including this recent campaign from Cramer-Krasselt which highlights creative people from various practices, have always touted the brand as a quality product.

Then I started reading Consumer Reports.

Year after year after year, Benjamin Moore never performed well. Consistently Behr, a Home Depot Brand, always won. So who are we to believe? A marketer with a beautifully crafted ad campaign? Or a non-commercial entity whose sole responsibility is to impartially rate consumer products? We think you know the answer.

by Steve Hall    May- 3-10    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Hot Women in Ads? Get Used to it. They're Here to Stay

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AdFreak describes new work from Hunky Dorys as "an advertising campaign that pairs scantily clad females playing a contact sport with suggestive headlines in a blatant attempt to curry favor with the young male target market."

Um. Well, isn't that the entire point? What's blatant about using images of hot, half-dressed women to catch men's attention? It's basic human nature. Men love hot women. Men want to be with hot women. And when they can't...which is most the time...they settle for staring at hot women. In magazines. On TV. On the internet, In porn flicks. And, yes, in advertising which, if you think about it, is really a public service of sorts.

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by Steve Hall    May- 1-10    
Topic: Opinion, Racy



If You Want to Live in Alabama, You Had Better Learn English

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Well here's a political commercial the politically correct won't like. Of course, since we're not at all politically correct around here, we love this new ad for Tim James who's running for Governor in Alabama...where, as James makes very clear, English is the spoken language.

James wants the state's driver's license exams to be administered only in English. Currently, the test is given in 12 languages and James claims that's just too costly. If elected, he'd give the test only in English.

The best (most contentious to some) line in the ad? "This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it."

This is not going to get this man elected. Oh wait. Yes it will. This is Alabama. We're rednecks. If you want to live here, ditch your ethnic ways and become an American like the rest of us.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-28-10    
Topic: Bad, Good, Opinion, Political



Big Boobs Banned by Network, Lane Bryant Pissed

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Hello? This is Adrants, right? So where's our commentary on the Lane Bryant ad featuring a woman whose breasts are apparently too big for Fox and ABC? Excuse us if we took off a few days to enter the actual world where women with actual breasts and actual cleavage exist. And who aren't cast off as mutated oddities as the networks seem to have done to the women in the new Lane Bryant commercial.

"Good God! She has breasts! Holy shit! Look at that cleavage! We can't possibly air that! That would break our B cup limit! That would likely cause men to get erections in public!The cause groups would eat us alive! Besides, the she weighs more than 120 pounds! And that makes her fat! No one wants to see fat people in ads. Tell those fatties over at Lane Bryant that if they want that spot to air, they're going to have to cover up that cleavage."

So sexy. So not what your father's network would air.

by Steve Hall    Apr-23-10    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Racy



Coke Continues to Twist the Mind of Youth

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Haven't we all had enough of these stupid commercials that promise you the world if only you drink a Coke...as if that can full of sugarized crap has anything to do with your ability to achieve success on your own?

So here we have some crap about a "boy who didn't know how to celebrate so he set off on a quest to find his own celebration." Complete with joyous lyrics about freedom and fire, the boy flies, fights against robots and climbs mountains of celebrations. But it's not until he takes a sip of Coke that he realizes the only place he needs to search for celebration is inside himself.

Gag! Please! Seriously? A kid needs to drink a a Coke to realize his potential? Seriously? What twisted sort of education is that for today's youth? Oh wait, it's the same thing every other marketer does. Buy our product and you will be magically transformed in the most supremely perfect person on the planet.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-23-10    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Worst



Coke Gets Stylish with Karl Lagerfeld

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If you can get over the fact, Coke is just unhealthy sugar water to which the entire human race is seemingly addicted, then you might be able to enjoy a modicum of excitement for the new limited edition Coca-Cola Light packaging from Karl Lagerfeld. And if you can get over the insanity of a soda brand pimping itself as if it were DKNY or Dolce and Gabbana then you can come to appreciate the fact a brand as big as Coke can do anything it wants (New Coke, anyone?) and still succeed.

Then again, this all happening in France which makes it completely normal.

by Steve Hall    Apr-19-10    
Topic: Brands, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Keystone Skank Defended

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A skank? A skank? How dare you skankify the lovely Kiki whose only crime was to be born hot. We think it's fine to trash the idiotic behavior that finds its way into commercials but to pick on a sweet, innocent young lady just to score some points with the God of Snark? For shame! For Shame!

What the hell she was doing up in a tree we have no idea but that doesn't give you the right to pummel the poor child with vitriolic barbs! And why Keystone's Keith Stone thinks it's OK to actually say, "What's the dealio?" is beyond us but to even mention him in the same sentence as the far more suave Most Interesting Man is a travesty. It's like comparing Busch beer to Oban scotch!

Good God, AdFreak. It's almost as if you drank some AgencySpy for breakfast!

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-10    
Topic: Opinion



Nike Sponsors Tiger Woods' Mea Culpa in 'Daddy Death Card' Ad

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Last night, ESPN and The Golf Channel aired a new Nike commercial featuring Tiger Woods...and his dead father. The black and white commercial with Woods in Nike garb staring motionless into the camera is voiced by his late father, Earl Woods, who says, "Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?"

Of the commercial and Woods, himself, Nike said in a statement, "We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father."

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-10    
Topic: Best, Celebrity, Commercials, Opinion, Strange, Worst



Bob Garfield is Only 55? Long Live the Ad Blogs

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While reading Bob Garfield's farewell piece today in Advertising Age, nothing really surprised us. The man said everything we expected him to. He lobbed a few barbs, apologized for a few missteps, trashed ad blogs, pimped his books, reminded us he's almost always right...and told us he's 55. Say what? 55? Only 55? Seriously?

OK, that's just mean and it plays right into Bob's hatred for the horror we ad blogs purportedly promote: the cheap punchline. To wit, Garfield wrote, "What is paramount is being an honest broker of your own judgments, and never succumbing to the temptation of skewing negative for the sake of a cheap punchline. If you wish to see what happens when this principle is ignored, spend five minutes reading the ad blogs or Gawker. They are intermittently amusing, deliberately mean and ethically bankrupt."

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-10    
Topic: Opinion








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