BlackBerry Personifies Personal Assistant with Weird Mascot

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We thought the Microsoft Butterfly was kind of nifty. The guy in the BlackBerry suit? Not so much. Giant plush costumes are so deceptive in their frozen state of cheer and rarely work outside Chuck E Cheese and college football fields, where they can be ridiculed at leisure by their own peers.

The requisite BlackBerry Mascot MySpace, as if we care.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Promotions, Strange



Red Cross Scares Buffalo with Threats of Sturm und Drang

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Nothing motivates like a good scare - just ask Karl Rove or mom and dad. Somebody must have tipped off the Red Cross, because based on the billboards they're posting in Buffalo, NY for campaign Prepare WNY, they're running amock with the tactic, toting arbitrary future dates (like Nov 9, 2009) as sites of terrorism.

Fortunately the zealous .org is no Oracle of Delphi. Catch Up Lady says once you get past the hype the site's pretty mundane, doling out advice on how to make survival kits and wrap gauze and such.

Everybody knows all you need to prepare for nuclear war is a pack of bacon band-aids. They don't just soothe wounds; they make you feel awesome, provide comic relief, and, once you get desperate enough, are attractive enough to eat.

As a sidenote, it's funny to us how the Red Cross of all organizations can do something so flagrantly tasteless while Cartoon Network gets penalized for a bunch of Lite Brite Mooninites. Really, what the fuck, man?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Outdoor, Social, Strange



Burden of Inch Angst Now Shared by Both Sexes

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We grow ever nearer to the elusive notion of gender equality. Don't believe us? Now men aren't the only ones breaking a sweat over the measuring tape.

Start your conditioning on the merits of the designer vagina right here. And to think! Just a few years ago the makers of Gattaca thought perfection paranoia would end in pursuit of good health, pretty eyes and sharp minds. The devil is always in the details.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Online, Racy, Strange, Trends and Culture



Sweet Home Alabama Likens Sex Toys to Prostitution

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Boing Boing reports some news that bummed us out. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals just upheld a new Alabama statute that bans commercial distribution of sex toys, comparing such stimulation to prostitution.

It is "unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs," says the statute.

We hang our heads for any state stripped of the right to experience Lelo, more a high culture bearer than detractor by any measure. Boing Boing also points out that while the gentle vibrator has gone into exile, guns are still A-OK. What a consolation!

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Policy, Strange



Hooters: Breasts? Owls? Soda?

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The next time you're in the grocery store walking down the soda aisle and your six year old daughters asks, loudly, "Daddy, what are hooters" for all nearby shoppers to hear, you had better quickly blame Hooters, the restaurant chain, lest you be stared down by fellow shoppers who wonder exactly what sort of language you teach your child at home. As you turn to your daughter and tell her quietly so other shoppers can't hear, "Well, honey, you don't have to worry about that for about six years. We'll talk about it then," an internal debate suddenly overwhelms you. Oddly, you can't seem to reconcile why hooters are on the shelf in the grocery store when they're usually attached to females and supported by a bra. Or, wait, are hooters just owls?

Suddenly, you forget why you're in the store in the first place. You take your daughter out of the cart, leave the store, walk to your car in which your wife is waiting and blurt, "Honey, your daughter wants to know what hooters are." Your wife stares at you and wonders how in the world a conversation about hooters would begin in the middle of a grocery store. Oh wait. The whole point of this story? Hooters is now selling Hooters-branded soda. And creating embarrassing moments for all.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Brands, Point of Purchase, Strange



Nourish One Another Makes Print Statement with Harvest Divinity

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Project Open Hand is running a Bay Area print campaign called Nourish One Another to encourage donations for nutritional services and AIDS assistance.

We took note because we often see this strange print ad displaying an ecstatic upward-looking man with wings and a huge halo. It took us a few days of nonchalant notice to realize the wings were made of - what are those, bananas? - and the halo was made of wheat. Then we thought, hey, that's clever and quaint in a pastoral sort of way. And it's also got this understated weirdness going on. We always have to credit an ad whose details we learn over time, and not always intentionally.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Good, Outdoor, Poster, Strange



McD's Stirring Spoons Remembered Less for Stirring, More for Blow

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There's something totally classy about blowing coke up your nose with a McD's coke spoon. It ties you to America somehow, and to cheeseburgers, and to childhood.

In the '70's, McD's strange-looking stirring spoon gets adopted by the white powder cult. Panicked about becoming accomplices in the empire of blow, family-friendly McDonald's discontinues the multi-faceted units.

But this kind of thing doesn't die quietly. Artists Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney bring the hot spoons back - plated in 18k gold, disco-fever style. Pissed at their insolence, McD's released a cease and desist.

Oh come on. It's every fledgling brand's wet dream to be appropriated by some enthusiastic subculture. And who doesn't want the designer drug users (possibly now enthusiastic - and wealthy - pop-art consumers)? They define trendy.

Plus, coke-heads are generally skinnier than the obese protesters long courting the golden arches. They make natural retaliatory press. Getting fat? Forego the baked apple pie for a spoon. It's free! (Magic dust sold separately.)

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Pepsi Pinball Ad Uses Music From Song About Giving Head

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Shannon Stephaniuk from Glossy Inc. did some sleuthing for us about the music in the new Pepsi Pinball commercial. We really like commercial during which a guy takes a wild ride on the ball through the streets of San Francisco. We also really like how the snickering creatives behind this ad, as Shannon's research indicates, seemingly slipped past the client the fact the original lyrics of the version of the song used in this ad, 1977's Jet Boy Jet Girl, are about one guy giving head to another.

Perhaps all those hipster marketers over at Pepsi are too young to remember seventies punk. Perhaps they actually know what they're doing trying to connect with in-the-know hipsters all while slipping it under the radar of Pepsi's culturally disconnected top management. Perhaps neither the agency nor the client has a clue regarding this song's origin. Perhaps, as one commenter points out, it's because the song is not really the song but a version of the song sung by another guy in another band that used to be in the original band. Confused? We are too. No matter what, we just think it's pretty funny.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-07    
Topic: Brands, Strange



Banana Republic Has Disillusioned View of Architects

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Gawker takes a look at a recent Banana Republic ad that features what, apparently, are architects all styled up with Banana Republic fashions. Gawker wonders, as we do too, if architects really dress like this. To discover the truth, Gawker spoke to an architect, "Frankie," who works at "a large firm downtown with an eccentric, megalomaniac starchitect at the helm." A taste:

Gawker: So what is it like being surrounded by nubile 23 year olds in khaki coordinates at all times?

Frankie: I am not really sure, to be honest with you. I think I may be involved in some different types of architecture than these people.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Strange



U.S. Government Wants to Legislate Japanese Commercial

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OMG! According to the United States Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, watching someone drinking a beer in a Japanese Asahi beer commercial may cause alcoholism in the States! Everyone, cover your eyes immediately before you succumb to the power of the almighty television commercial...in a language you can't even understand...in a commercial you will never see aired in America...because its a friggin Japanese commercial! Why doesn't the U.S. government just skip all this shit and force us right into the 1984-like world in which they really want us to live?

Overreact much? How about gone entirely insane. The government wants to take legal action against Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka who is seen in the Asahi ad consuming beer, a no-no in the States. While it's one thing to enforce the U.S. regulation of not showing the actual consumption of alcohol in advertisements, it's entirely another to foist that law on another country or a person who just happens to now live in the U.S. but made the commercial in another country under an entirely different jurisdiction.

more »

by Steve Hall    Feb-16-07    
Topic: Commercials, Policy, Strange, Trends and Culture










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