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Didn't You Hear pointed us in the direction of "Fast girls, Fast cars, One wild ride" -- two sponsors' attempt to penetrate the hype wormhole opened by the Ken Block Gymkhana practice video (which is also sponsored, just less obviously).
Sports Illustrated poster girls Melissa Haro, Jessica Hart and Damaris Lewis ease into respective Nissan 370Zs and demonstrate the car's uber-fun-and-fastness by grabbing onto things, throwing their arms up and shrieking like they're on Medusa.
The 370Z is cool and all, but this whole setup feels terrifically desperate. Then again, we usually react poorly to anyone who prefaces a pitch with "They're in for the ride of their lives!"
For you intellectual sadists, there are laughs to be had in the YouTube comment stream.
Red Bull's partnered with Oakley to build a secret half-pipe behind Colorado's Silverton Mountain -- all so snowboarder Shaun White can have somewhere to train. (Okay, okay, it's not just for Shaun White.)
The space is closed off to the public and can only be accessed by snowmobile or hellie. Word has it the thing cost $500,000 to build.
Just goes to show -- brand love pays dividends as long as you stay away from other kinds of pipes.
It's called "Ken Block Gymkhana Practice." (But what is Gymkhana?, you ask.)
We didn't really get the big deal, but that was before we realized our fingers had burrowed into the glass tabletop. Then Ken Block did donuts around a guy on a Segway, and it was like, "Ohhh."
(It's racer porn. Plenty sexier than that one time you watched two Ford Fiestas tango in London. Even if you're not a speed junkie, the handling depicted in Gymkhana is fit to give you tingles.)
Mad Media put the video together in collaboration with Ken Block, DC Shoes and Subaru. Stats listed below.
In this cockle-warming story about a hyperventilating geek who now wears onesies and gets his pick of trophies (both metal and collagen-enhanced), Tony Stewart reinforces the power of Swagger.* The Old Spice product previously de-geeked Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J.
Actually, LL Cool J's still pretty square. Sometimes getting all muscly to stop being square will only make you squarer.
But we digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the Swagger campaign. It's starting to feel a little less highlariously kitsch-tacular and more like Axe/Lynx. Which sucks because once upon a time, both brands were uniquely neat, and now they're almost exactly alike, except Old Spice is too red and Axe/Lynx is too potent.
Work by Wieden + Kennedy/Portland -- which succeeded, as always, in stimulating provocative discussion on YouTube.
Joining the distinguished ranks of Dame Edna and Fergie, Hello Kitty is lending her likeness to MAC cosmetics.
"We are thrilled to partner with a brand that shares the vision of offering an innovative, authentic and transforming experience to our loyal fan base," said Janet Hsu, who said some similarly frothy thing when Sanrio announced its partnership with McDonald's earlier this month.
- Speeding could turn you into Haley Joel Osment.
- The Marijuana Policy people are boycotting Kellogg's for firing Phelps for smoking pot, even though he's been nailed in the past with a DUI. They feel this is hypocritical because pot doesn't necessarily kill; it just makes you real, real sleepy.
- So Good is boycotting Kellogg too, as is HuffPo.
- Guerrilla Comm rebrands.
- Twitter to charge brands for use. No word on how.
- Dame Edna for MAC.
- French billboard rage.
- Radiohead licensed
House of Cards one of its songs to a homeless shelter for an ad, dubbed "House of Cards," that breaks this month.
Young female online gamers are probably a good market for Gwen Stefani. She vibes kinda like a gamer, and her creepily coquettish Harajuku Lovers label has a decidedly Bejeweled-friendly aesthetic.
Soooo, from January 20 to February 1, Harajuku Lovers partnered with SPIL GAMES to organize an online scavenger hunt on GirlsGoGames.co.uk, a site targeted to casual girl gamers from ages 8-15. Users had to hunt down five different Harajuku girls/fragrances -- Baby, Love, Music, Lil' Angel, and G* -- on HLFragrance.com, then enter codes for each to win a shopping spree at Topshop.
Following up from that, Harajuku Lovers re-skinned GirlsGoGames between February 2 and February 4. Users could watch videos, learn the Harajuku Lovers theme song or play branded games that make it okay to seem jail-baity because everything is animated in pastel and written in bubble letters.
Example: Are you girly and sweet? Don't you just love yourself a pair of Mary Janes? Then by all means dive into Baby.
From Kellogg: "Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract."
How fickle is sponsorship. You win all those golds and everybody loves you, then you smoke one joint* and those self-righteous cereal-peddlers won't even look you in the eye.
Hello Kitty is the ultimate licensing whore. Her oblong, be-ribboned visage has been plastered onto everything from toasters to credit cards to vibrators -- er, massagers -- to brassiere.
Now you can find the world's most ubiquitous cat in your Happy Meal. Through February 26th, McDonald's is stuffing them with one of eight Sanrio watches.
Failing to observe this approach has already been mined dry by Nike and Dove -- among others -- Adidas launched "Me, Myself," a girl power campaign that rings like a modern-day sports riff off celebrated femme manifesto Our Bodies, Ourselves. The campaign release, for example, is heavy-laden with buzz words like distinctive, inspirational, individuality, confidence and -- our favourite -- intimate portraits.
WNBA MVP Candace Parker lent her face to the in-store/online program. Members of the fairer sex can submit "real" stories about their training struggles and successes on the website (where incidentally, you can also "mix and match outfits"!); three entrants will become the face of "Me, Myself" alongside Parker.
Parker synopsized the effort thus: "[Me, Myself] celebrates women of all ages and athletic abilities and shows that despite our struggles we can achieve our impossible."
Guess that's somewhat more productive than eating your feelings.