A few days ago we watched this (subtitled!) video for the Miss Teen America pageant, in which Miss South Carolina is asked (by a girl named Aimee Teegarden! Who finds these people and how do beauty pageants get so many of them?) why 1/5 of Americans can't locate the US on a map.
Her response was curious at best, but the point she made was that too few Americans have maps, and we also need to help South Africans and the people in the Iraq.
This on its own is probably not worthy of rantage, but this - inspired by Miss South Carolina's epiphany - kind of is.
Following this, we wondered why this took so long. After all, it's a rule there has to be a Microsoft-related spoof for every Apple product released illustrating just how awful it might be if Microsoft actually tried to do anything Apple does. So here, courtesy of Adrants reader John Brock, we have zunePhone. Yes, a Zune that's also a phone. Predictably, it doesn't work so well. Of course the iPhone is far from perfect itself but Microsoft just lends itself to this sort of thing.
For shits and giggles, some time ago Harry Woods and Gill Witt put together this would-be ad for a less funded project of Frito Lay's - namely, Funyuns. (We used to eat them. They are completely unnatural and completely amazing.)
The result, Ahmadinejad Loves Funyuns!, is not really super-funny. In fact, it seems like something a little kid playing cut-and-paste-current-affairs would do. And it only gets less funny as it progresses. Maybe you just have to be high.
For most people working closely with the internet, it's almost laughable to think somebody out there is still falling for schemes where a company is updating its databases and "needs" your username and password.
But apparently people still do. It happened to a friend and Adrants reader, whose Gmail account is now being used to send urgent messages demanding financial aid via wire transfer for her dire-straights "husband" in Nigeria. We were like, "What, she got married? And the guy's trapped in Africa? And he uses Western Union?!"
Thankfully there's help - like that promised by this banner ad, which claims it will check if your credit card has been compromised if you'll just tap your card number and expiry date into the boxes.
We're sure a couple hundred people fell for that one, too.
If you're going to run a UGC campaign, you're inevitably going to get some entries that just aren't after your best interest.
We thought this entry for Heinz was awesome, mainly because it poked fun at the whole UGC idea, and also because it reminded us of when we were kids and thought everything had "that secret ingredient" (or a "secret ingredient" pesticide) in it - from Cheetos to Mountain Dew.
KetchupFriends, which created the entry, actually put together a whole series of equally subversive oeuvres for Heinz. This one's creepy as hell but you get the idea.
We're wondering if the "friends" behind the ketchup are actually enlisted by the brand in some way. If so, that's a risky positioning move that maybe wants rewarding.
We'll keep mum about your dark side, Heinz. Don't worry.
Senior Editor Danial Lyons of Forbes has just been outed by a New York Times reporter as the Fake Steve Jobs that's got everybody frothing at the mouth.
Having crowned Bill Gates "the Beastmaster," Eric Schmidt "Squirrel Boy" and open source addicts "freetards" during his anonymous reign, Lyons hit everybody with his schoolyard candor - from major CEOs to tech journalists to forum geeks.
There doesn't appear to be a successor in line. Post-unmasking, Lyons wrote, "My plan at this time is to live forever and to remain in charge here, though perhaps with fewer restrictions on my power.
"The truth is, I am not human - I am a man-god, son of Zeus, born to a mortal woman but fathered by the ruler of the gods, lord of thunder."
We like this Danial Lyons.
After playfully rebuking the NYT reporter for robbing people of their "childlike wonder," he alluded that Fake Steve Jobs will live on as part of the Forbes.com family.
Released in early July, we apparently missed this video featuring Taryn Southern gushing about Hillary Clinton Obama Girl-style. Offering to be Hilary's Oval Office maid or White House aid, Southern sings, "let's seal the deal with a hug and a kiss and put a hot chick in the Oval Office. And bringing on the lesbian vibe, Southern continues, "I know you're not gay but I'm hoping for bi."
A former Adrants intern just found her first full time job in advertising and wrote to tell us how she got the job.
"Hey there. So after the awesome internship with you guys, my friend Tim told me he just got a job at an agency and, just like you always said, practically all the work he does has to do with sex. So you know I've only been out of college for a while and all I've been doing is clubbing, drinking and fighting off guys who only want me for sex :-) Seriously! What's up with that? It's not like I have a sign on me that says, 'Free orgasm. Insert here!' I mean, you know I'm nice looking but still! That doesn't mean any guy can just climb on top of me, groan like an animal for 60 seconds and then just roll over. I mean come one. I have a college degree! I'm not just a repository for a guy's pent up urgencies whenever his need arises.
A buddy at Deep Focus sent us this news about Rap Cat, demonstrable success that guerrilla advertising, performed properly (assuming Rap Cat was), unlocks the quality of loyalty and evangelism in the demo it's meant for.
We don't know about all that. And five pages on a video that we couldn't hang with past the first minute was five pages too many. We did think Rap Cat was a good way to showcase how vacuous mainstream rap is (and has been for awhile), and maybe it's commentary on the whole lolcat phenomenon too. Who knows.
All we know is we felt embarrassed watching it, and somewhat impatient, and a little aggravated, and after all that washed away we had a strong suspicion Rap Cat was intended to generate just those feelings. Because it sure wasn't funny.
(For the record, Deep Focus had zip to do with Rap Cat. The bling-sporting feline was the brainchild of Amalgamated, a wee NYC firm.)
"Welcome to DMBDO, the hottest agency in the business, where the work comes first, unless something better comes along." This is the welcome line for Puppet Agency, a wicked take on agency life in serial form.
We tried in our lazy two-minute way to figure out who was behind it, but the whois on the domain is, of course, anonymous. But we've been tipped it's
BBDO. Blue Sky Agency.
The featured agency episodes, though, are funny as hell and surprisingly insightful. They take every inane frustration you suffer at your desk, talking to all sorts of digression-happy vainglorious folk, then magnify them - with puppets! And oh, what a theme song.
See the first installment, Junior's Advice. Way to encapsulate a character that doubles as both puppet and complete tool.