This Season's Trend in Gamer Marketing? Necromancy.

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A spankin' new ad for Beatles Rock Band features the Fab Four alive and well, loitering with fans on Abbey Road. There's even an almost-convincingly-cut scene of George Harrison strumming alongside a kid with a Rock Band guitar.

The frothy setting -- utterly devoid of the angst that made them not-a-band-anymore -- melts into animated versions of the Beatles themselves, beating their instruments over the coloured Rock Band bars that tell you what string to hit. Song featured in the ad is Come Together off their Abbey Road album.

No strong feelings of disdain here; it's certainly a lot less callous than that one time Saatchi used All You Need is Love to sell diapers or the time Ben & Jerry's distilled the spirit of John Lennon in a hippie ice cream.

Oddly -- and we might change our minds about this later -- the ad made the notion of bringing the Beatles back as an animated pleasure-band a lot less traumatizing than watching a stilted cartoon Kurt Cobain play marionette for Guitar Hero. It's cheesy, sure, but it could have been a trainwreck.

Identity of the agency behind the ad remains a mystery for now. Word has it there'll be a reveal after the game comes out. Anyway, whoever you are, nice job; we'd be liars if we said the work lacked charm.

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'Sometimes I Think the Polar Bear ... is Just a Myth.'

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The Toronto Zoo has completed a brand-new habitat to accommodate the return of its polar bears. No, not sure where they're returning from, but it must've been some awesome digs because their just-finished gilded cage is 10 acres across and outfitted like the Tundra.

To promote the exhibit, Lowe Roche is disseminating this spot in which a square but well-meaning dude mistakes the habitat for the real thing, then penetrates it and goes off in search of adventure and meaning.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Promotions, Television



Times Tough? Reward Your Stalwart Family -- with Upholstery!

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"It's funny how new furniture has a way of restoring people. Add something special to your home and experience it firsthand."

Awww. Tent cities have hardly folded up and we're already being hawked side tables. The piece at left comes from "Is it Home Yet?", a campaign/sweepstakes meant to bring gunshy spenders back into furniture showrooms.

The World Market Center Last Vegas, a showroom and exhibition space for the furniture industry, is pushing the effort, with help from collaborators like the National Home Furnishings Association and the Western Home Furnishing Association. In addition to a nationwide multimedia push, it will receive still more attention from widespread celebration of "National Home Furnishings Month" -- September, a traditional (but cozy!) period of change.

Note the ornaments of an industry calibrated for battle: a couch that, according to its materials tag, meets or exceeds "comfort and happiness standards"; and a slogan that appears on a rustic welcome mat. You can also expect to be heavily exposed to soft-touch shots of smiling unbroken families, cushy stuffed couches and other timeless accoutrements of the resilient nuclear unit.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-24-09    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Online, Outdoor, Promotions, Trends and Culture



Ye Olde Theatre: All Minimalist and 2.0-ey.

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We dig the theatre, especially reworkings of Shakespeare and his frothy contributions to the perpetually-tragic human condition, so these posters for the Denver Center Theater Company hit us in a smushy spot.

Meant to promote a 10-play series targeted to more youthful play-goers, the posters each take a play (Shakespeare or otherwise), then interpret it in contemporary symbology and use a few words to encompass the heart of the drama.

The posters are two-sided. One side is for the imagery and the name of the play; the other side is for the text. At left, the eyeball and the drop of blood represent Othello. The other side reads, "Who can you trust when you can't trust yourself?"

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-24-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Packaging, Promotions



Hottest Body Promo Gets Cool Brush-Off

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Speaking of MySpace, the hot mess at left was recently rejected by the social networking site for being too sexually explicit.

The ad is part of a campaign, "Hottest Body in the World," for Parfums de Coeur's new men's fragrance, Body Heat. It's a contest where users turn in photos, the hottest of which will be used on a Hollywood billboard. (The winner also gets $10,000.)

Featured prominently at center is a screenshot from a :30 commercial that will run across Fox TV stations and on Facebook. It depicts a shirtless man and some hot fawning ... fawns, one of which is edging down toward his waist.

Dot Box, which originated the idea, called the MySpace rejection an "odd development considering MySpace's less-than-prudish reputation."

But we're kinda with @RGA on this one:


Was this ad too hot for MySpace [dramatic pause, raised eyebrow]...or was it not trashy + poorly designed enough?

One ... two ... three ... Discuss.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-21-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Promotions, Trends and Culture



Even in Death, Obama Girl Remains Selflessly Political

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In what could, for some, be considered poetic justice, Barely Political contributes to the untimely-yet-prolonged death of its charmingest Frankenstein Monster: Obama Girl.

Amidst a campy new jingle and some ass-wiggling with a faux Republican, a reluctant Obama Girl -- recently informed that she's cheated vindictive Death -- is thrown into a wall of knives. The resulting perversion of a quaint Victorian pastime gives her the chance to perform something most actors salivate for: a death scene.

The chill demeanour she maintains, even as life leaks unconvincingly out of her sternum, is a tribute to our casually jaded generation. She even gets a dandy little healthcare message in.

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Megan Fox Says Eat And Kill Boys to Overcome Peer Pressure

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In a "PSA," actress Megan Fox tells us the world of high school can be tough and cruel but kids should not to succumb to peer pressure. Her recommended solution? Fuck 'em. Stand up and be yourself. Kill and eat your peers and you won't have any pressure left to deal with.

Sounds simple enough.

by Steve Hall    Aug-14-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Good, Promotions, Spoofs, Video



GARY COLEMAN FACEBOOK FRIES.

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I swear AdRants gets the best PR releases. An earlier one from today was probably the best so far: ELTON JOHN MAKES GUEST APPEARANCE ON NEW ALICE IN CHAINS ALBUM. Yes, PR people are still screaming at me in all caps. But better than Elton covering Would? is Gary Coleman, french fries and Facebook. It's either the lowest point in pop culture or a watershed moment as William Shatner appears to have passed the baton of shame down to the next generation. Canadian french fry chain New York Fries and agency zig out of Chicaga has enlisted my hero for its 25 year anniversary. Before you go "Fries in a cup, what the fu...?," trust a half-Canuck: We love fries in a cup--and we put vinegar on everything. Coupled with Gary predicting your Fry Cup Fortune on Facebook for a coupon, what's not to love!

Here's to you Mr. Coleman.

by Bill Green    Aug-11-09    
Topic: Promotions



Body Parts Candied, Charter Cures Idiocy, Graduation Hijacked

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- Be very wary of the kid who's mastered the art of turning important body parts into Fruit by the Foot.

- Yawn. American Legacy is still recruiting people to work for big tobacco companies.

- We have Charter Communications to internet access but we haven't transformed from an idiot to an employee of the month. Hmm.

- Mullen Creative Director Edward Boches outlines the seven thing Alex Bogusky should blog about.

- So what do you do when you're worried your movie won't be a hit? You pay a high school girl $1,800 to say she loves some guy she doesn't even like during her graduation speech.

- We got this box in the mail too. Didn't write about it at the time. Probably should have. Not a bad stunt.

- When your office building's revolving door doesn't work, don't call maintenance. Call the agency that created the marketing stunt.

by Steve Hall    Jul-29-09    
Topic: Agencies, Commercials, Guerilla, Promotions, Social



Esurance Wants Your Bollywood Booty

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Esurance, The Independent Film Channel and Saavn have teamed up to offer Bollywood lovers a chance to co-star in an animated music video with icon Erin Esurance. There's an Erin Esurance? Who knew? Oh silly us. Of course there's an Erin Esurance. She's the spokescartoon for the brand.

Anyway visitors to a promotional site will have the chance to enter the Esurance Bollywood Casting Call Contest. Participants will submit videos of re-enactments of their favorite Bollywood movie scenes. The winning entrant will star in an Esurance Bollywood music video that will premiere in September during "Wake Up To Bollywood," a presentation of Bollywood films airing each Sunday morning at 10 AM, on IFC.

So get your Bollywood Booty on, people.

by Steve Hall    Jul-21-09    
Topic: Brands, Promotions








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