Kevin Faddis points us to yet another odd Zambia-based Harvey Tiles billboard which reads, "A roof without HARVEY TILES can't make your mind free the same as sex with a baby can't cure HIV/AIDS." Initially, one might react to this buy saying...oh...WTF but there's a reason behind the choice of words on the billboard. The man who wrote the copy explained on an ESPN site saying, "There is a myth some people believe that if you have sex with a virgin, you are bound to be safe from AIDS. It's a rumor that started up here about a year ago. And then they started bringing people in to the police because they had been sleeping with babies. The slogan is to remind people not to sleep with babies. The owner sells tiles and, at the same time, he educates people."
OK, then. Gross but, then again, it's a different world in Zambia than it is in many other parts of the world and if it takes a shocking headline like this to stop people from having sex with babies then we say "good job" Harky Tiles.
We love when we get little tipster emails from people that say things like "Thought you should check out this new site..." and "Viral marketing at its best" because, inevitably, it's not and we relish the opportunity to squat down and dump all over it like a 400 pound slob who's just had an enema. This, unfortunately, is not one of those times. This viral, and we do call it viral because we're sure it's been paid for or influenced by The Coffee Bean, follows the antics of three roommates as they terrorize a fourth who is a mascot called Mr. Ice Blended for West Coast-based The Coffee Bean.
The site, Masot Roomate, has a bunch of videos that show the guys pulling various pranks on the mascot from attacking him on the job, impersonating him, placing his hands down their pants and mascot mascotnapping him. Without fail, all the guys have MySpace profiles which look like they were all recently created and, for the most part, all have the same friends. In another section. Another section of the site, called "5 mascots we wouldn't ever fuck with" explains why the Kool-Ais Man, The Fruit of the Loom Guys, Grimace, McGruff the Crime Dawg and The San Diego Chicken are off limits. Only an unleashed creative type would obsess over these icons and write such lines as, "I spent my formative years with my junk cradled in the safe confines of their white cottony briefs" about the Fruit of the Loom Guys.
Well, it's happened. A couple years ago, we said the proliferation of advertising would, one day, reach the point where people's house would be painted with a brand's logo as part of an ad campaign or promotion. To promote the Simple Life on E, an Atlanta house was decorated with the E and The Simple Life logos and the shrubs in front have been trimmed (likely pre-shaped fake bushes) to spell "Sundays". Oh sure, the whole house is just one big purchased promotion and, likely, it's not the first but it's the first we've seen. It's actually done quite well. Particularly nice job on the "broken" window. We wonder what the neighbors think though. A second photo can be seen here.
It looks like a New York agency's cultural sensibilities didn't match those of Eagle, Idaho residents. In this video, a local news reports Eagle's Mayor is threatening to cancel Eagle Fun Days this weekend, part of which is the local fire department's Rocky Mountain Oyster Fest. With the festival based on bull's testicle, the fire department thought it would be a good idea to promote the event bay asking a New York agency to help ouot. They did with some spots that might be considered humorous to some but Eagle mayor Nancy Merrill told the fire fighters to pull the spots or she'd cancel the event. The fire department complied, pulled them off the website and canceled their TV schedule. Radio ads did air but Merrill has called a meeting and is still threatening to cancel the event. While the agency told the television station they meant no harm, the station is apparently, keeping the agency's name confidential. Come on guys. Step forward. Take credit. The campaign's great. Just not for Idaho.
UPDATE: FCB did the campaign and CEO Steve Centrillo sets the record straight in the Comment section stating they are fully aware of Eagle culture since one of FCB's creative directors comes from Eagle. He also states Mayor Nancy Merrill is overstepping her bounds, advancing her personal agenda and using her position as a bully pulpit.
UPDATE II: You can see all the work here.
We all thought the whole Chevy Novo "No Go" thing was a bad naming gaffe but that doesn't hold a candle to H&M's naming of their new men's jeans Fit Sliq. A harmless name to those of us who regularly speak English but not so harmless and carrying an entirely different meaning in Swedish. In Swedish, it means - brace yourselves - cunnilingus or "cunt licker" in a more exact translation. Yes, according to Adland's dabitch, a women well versed in Swedish, the jeans just might become a hot item as "Swedish men and the occasional lesbian raid the stores for a pair of these naughty naughty jeans."
The kicker to this whole thing is that H&M is a Swedish company. Perhaps it's not a gaffe at all but an inside joke or perhaps it's an English speaking product manager run amok. Either way, it's funny. I mean, unfortunate.
We are tired. So tired. Tired of typing the words "Burger King," "Chicken" and "Crispin Porter + Bogusky." But, it is our duty, as one who conveys the latest in advertising goodies, to tell you that, yes, CP+B has launched yet another chicken-themed campaign to promote Burger King Chicken sandwiches. We've seen everything from the Whopperettes to CoqRoq to Subservient Chicken to Big Buckin' Chicken. Now, there's this site called Huckin' Chicken on which a guy in a chicken suit does increasingly more daring motorcycle stunts based on how many people visit the site. It's a nice twist on a viral campaign but maybe CP+B should just move on to Big Fuckin' Chicken and close the book on the man in a chicken suit approach to selling sandwiches. Oh wait, there's still Suckin' Chicken to endure.
Adland points us to a fetish-focused site for electronics distributor Cosmos on which the usual arty images of perfect males and female bodies are adorned with links to products available from Cosmos. What this has to do with selling technology we don't know but, oh wait. Silly us. Sorry. We lost the mantra for a moment there. OK, now it's back. Sex sells. Sex sells. Sex sells. Repeat after us. Sex sells. Sex sells. Sex sells. OK, we feel better now. Sorry for that brief lapse in knowledge on our part. We'll try not to let it happen again. There is some nudity on the site.
Appearing to be some sort of lung capacity test for cancer prevention, an officious sounding woman instructs visitors to Lungster how to conduct an online lung capacity test using a microphone or headset. The test calls for the visitor to blow as hard as they can into their microphone or headset to determine lung capacity. But, midway through the test, visitors are interrupted and told, well, just take the test yourself to find out. It's worth it.
The site was created by McCann Norway.
Here's a whacked, little microsite for James Ready beer that involves monkeys, an image of your face and lots of monkey noises. It's all promoting cases of James Ready 5.5 which are available for $24. Cundari created the work.
Bringing back the goofiness of yesteryear's advertising, this Canadian campaign for Chevrolet offers the perfect mash up of Ward Cleaver morals and today's penchant for doing whatever the hell we want. Using old school TV style, A Past School Special covers bad influence, peer pressure and principles while promoting Chevrolet's Cobalt, HHR and Aveo. There's a companion website to the campaign and, of course, MySpace profiles.