- Geek rigs maternity device to tweet when his unborn baby kicks. Probably the earliest instance of Twitter use EVAR. (Thanks, Atif!)
- Collateral Damage's top 10 marketing blunders of '08. There's way more than 10 ("It was a very good year for very bad things"), and the top two are tied. Go figure.
- Deep Focus does FlightLipDub.com -- the new online home for Flight of the Conchords.
- Free Will Power aims to safeguard "the future of pro-choice America." There's spoken word poetry! And a T-shirt contest!
- It's a site on the hunt for beautiful ads.
- Another advertising socnet.
- Best and worst of AdFreak. If you consider what Collateral Damage's worst marketing campaign was, you can probably guess AdFreak's best ad of '08. We'll give you a hint: celebrity mashup.
- Pepsi blocks other non-alcoholic beverages from entire first half (!!!) of next year's Super Bowl. And Halftime! Now that's just gluttonous.
- To promote its Scott Shop Towels ("like paper towels but way tougher," the PR folk explained), Kimberly Clark goes on safari for grills gone wild!.
- Bill Green lends valuable insight on how to gain a near-instant boost in Twitter followers.
- Evil Dead -- the Musical.
- If the Peanuts crew were an ad agency, Lucy would be the obnoxiously bitchy, but refreshingly honest, Christmas party organizer. And Linus would be an AD. (The security blanket should've been the tip-off.)
- Powder Blue trailer strips Jessica Biel down to her bare minerals. Eat your heart out, Natalie Portman! (Neither link is SFW.)
- Burger King's King loses wallet.
OK first of all, who knew Diesel made clothes for kids? And who would assume they did given the nature of most of their past advertising work which has included bondage, strippers, near nudity, porn, a meat puppet, disco dancing, S&M and voyeurism. Not exactly child-friendly behavior.
But that hasn't stopped the brand from going after kids. Sadly, though, they appear to be having a tough time getting the word out. A six minute video which some might call enchanting and worthy of being called a film has been on YouTube since September 29. It's received just 2,212 views and no comments. What's up with that?
Alex Leo over at HuffPo wrote a post on five sexist trends the ad world just can't shake. The following tropes "use stereotypes and violence to prey on our most vile desires" -- and probably aren't going anywhere, despite "cultural outrage" and "personal boredom."
The list (in far less detail than Leo provides):
o Bondage. One awesome example is the ad at left, for Remy Martin's "Things Are Getting Interesting" campaign. Experience has taught us naughty domina girls sell more than liquor, however; they also push PSPs with whip-cracking finesse.
o Rape. Illustrated by this ad by Dolce & Gabbana -- which I think had more of a "gang-bang" in mind than a "rape," per se. It's a feathery-fine distinction.
"I'm drunk as hell and I'm not going to take it any longer!" Or something like that. One imagines that's the sentiment behind an new effort from alcohol industry watch dog Marin Institute called Free the Bowl. In response to what it calls "oppressive beer ads," Free the Bowl is a contest for 13 to 20 year olds which asks for the submission of videos aimed at asking brewers to stop advertising (wasting mony?) in the Super Bowl.
*old school sound of needle sliding off the record*
Um, say what???! Like that's got a snowball's chance in he...wait...isn't there a better metaphor for this? Hmm. That's as likely as an SUV getting manufactured in January. Oh wait. That's got as much of a chance of the U.S. government EVAR paying off its deficit. Hmm. That's as likely as Janet Jackson ever appearing in another Super Bowl half time show. Uh. That's as likely as George Parker not saying fuck for an entire day. That's as likely as an ad blogger never again using Donny Deutsch's Speedo picture. That's as likely as no one in the ad industry getting laid off in January. That's as likely as Advertising Age ever letting Steve Hall write for them. OK, this is getting boring.
- A whiff of Hugo Boss Femme may put you in a self-adulating, decidedly Diddy state of mind.
- Twitter marketing toolbox. *twirls finger*
- Contemplating facial hair? Upload your likeness here. For Schick -- which may actually lose customers that may have otherwise grown mustaches out before realizing they looked like Super Mario. (And not in an awesome, sliding-through-the-magic-pipe kinda way.)
- Bob Knorpp contemplates the legal saga of the Bratz. Complete with at least three hooker jokes.
- This HP Mini 1000 is brought to you by Vivienne Tam. We find them semi-sassy.
- Hey Facebook, "your dreams of avarice are fucked."
- Just another world record-breaking stunt.
- Cab driver advertises MBA credentials to customers. One good thing you can say about this economy: it makes everyone a marketer.
Beck's has launched a blog, Different by Choice. Yawn, right? But the way they've announced it and the way it's formatted is so annoying, it can't be left alone.
In an email beginning with "Hello Important Marketing Blog People," Beck's blogger Darius asks, "has anyone told you recently how hot you are?" and then goes on to explain how he "destroyed" 850 other potential bloggers vying for the job "'cos that is the way I roll." Ugh. Cue the Agency.com Subway video.
No sooner are we lauding the importance of honest, graphically intense PSAs, we get this from Strawberry Frog, "ChangingThePresent.org seeks to make the world a better place one gift at a time by connecting givers with 350 non-profit organizations offering 1,600 gifts and to a universe of 500,000 registered philanthropic organizations. The two :30 spots spoof traditional holiday commercials by poking fun of gifts like bow-topped cars by replacing it with a sheep adorned by a big red ribbon (supports the Heifer Project International), and a beautiful jewelry box containing a polio vaccine (UNICEF)."
Without belittling the very important objective this campiagn seeks to accomplish, it just feels like the wind has been removed from the sails. Or maybe it's just the sudden emotional shift from empathetic compassion to tongue in cheek humor. Both are good. Both can work. Let's just hope the two campaigns don't appear back top back which, of course, they won't becasue one is UK based and the other American. Just sayin'.
It seems public service advertising is the only kind which contains any sort of meaningful drama or that's allowed to depict reality without being glossed over by meaningless creative pontification. All other forms of advertising pale in comparison. Mostly because PSAs depict real life. And real life is a far cry from the kind of fairy tale life painted inside the cozy confines of an ad campaign.
British children's charity Barnardo's is out with a powerful commercial in which a girl is repeatedly subjected to the after effects of child abuse. As the commercial progresses, the girl's troubled life is repeated with increasing intensity until it culminates with the rapid fire reality of child abuse, a cycle that, if unchecked, is doomed to repeat tself over and over again until dramatic steps are taken to prevent it.