Seriously, Is There Anything a Japanese Fetish Game Show CAN'T Sell?

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There's something about Japanese pop culture that compels us to watch and not look away. Japan is the seat of all fetishes, magnified for your viewing pleasure. (And we're not just talking* sexual ones.)

To ensure eyeballs for Nivea's line of shaving products, DraftFCB and Rubber Republic tapped into "glabermania" -- the addiction to shaving and being smooth. Inspired by our game show-crazed Japanese cohorts, here's what they came up with.

Come on, don't knock it. What else do you and your jaded creative homies have to do on Saturday night? Grab a camera and pool your shaving cream; think of it as a company morale-builder.

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Carlos Mandelbaum Gets Wasted

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In the continuing saga of Carlos Mandelbaum and his insightful take on the state of marketing today, his latest outing examines the fantasy life of corporate managers. Mandelbaum ponders the penchant of corporate managers to fantasize they are warriors or mystics or...students getting all philosophical and intellectual by enjoying mind-expanding lectures by really cool professors...like the dude that did those weird UPS whiteboard ads.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-09    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture, Video



Skittles Rips the Modernista Model!

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To better represent the interest of its users, whose lives "[revolve] around social and user generated media," Skittles tore a sheet out of Modernista's playbook and relinquished control of its website.

Visits to Skittles.com drive users to the Wikipedia article about the company, with navs featured in a pop-up that explains what users are looking at (Modernista has one of these too):


"Don't sweat it, this is still Skittles.com. It just has a new twist. User this as your guide to find anything and everything Skittles that's online. Have fun."

Interesting. When Modernista surrendered itself to the Zeitgeist, we thought the move was brave and forward-moving, not least because it nods to pure transparency. (We saw that earlier this month, when Modernista's "n3wz" section, which points to either Google News or Google Blog Search, was deluged with articles about layoffs at the agency.)

It also opens the label up to just general meanness. Modernista hardly had its new "site" up 24 hours before Wikipedia yanked its page. Modernista.com now points to the Facebook Fan page.

Aaaanywho, the Skittles "site" model will work about the same way. The nav bar will drive you to places all over the "interwebs," including YouTube and flickr. We like that "CHATTER" points to a search for "skittles" on Summize, meaning you can read everything Twitter users are tweeting about Skittles in real-time.

Ballsy!

UPDATE, 9:45 AM EST on 2/28/09: Skittles.com now points directly to Summize results for "skittles." Looks like Wikipedia is an equal-opportunity antagonist -- although Wiki articles are still used in the "PRODUCTS" section.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Brands, Online, Trends and Culture



Havas Does the Social Graph, Mullen Gets Diabetes, Winformercial Strides

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- Havas Digital has partnered with global social graph mapping company Media6Degrees to help the agency "integrate consumer insights with hyper-targeting and provide increased value for their advertisers." Damn, that was mouthful!

- Mullen has reeled in the American Diabetes Association account and has signed a three year contract with the organization.

- In the UK, they stick human beings inside vending machines to sell Kit Kats. Those witty Brits!

- Crispin Porter + Bogusky does the celebrity magazine thing for Old Navy.

- Not anywhere near as inspired as the Where the Hell is Matt Harding videos, this following "Winfomercial" attempts to...I don't know...turn a game show into a commercial?

- In case you needed even more proof America is the kingdom of the superficial, check out this Sarah Haskins Target Women video about skin care products.

by Steve Hall    Feb-26-09    
Topic: Agencies, Guerilla, Trends and Culture, Video



Drink Milk Now or You'll Have A Heart Attack Doing Jumpstyle at 75

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You know how old people always dance to, well, old music? That's because it's the music they grew up with. They didn't have rock, hip-hop, trance, disco, new age and they certainly didn't have Jumpstyle.

According to this Duval Guillaume-created commercial for the Agricultural Marketing Board of Flanders, "People always dance to music from their youth." We see a loving old couple dancing to some old tune and then...quick cut...to two dudes doing Jumpstyle with the tag, "So you know what's awaiting you. Start drinking milk."

Did we or did we not tell you eight months ago this dance craze would soon appear in an ad? Oh yes we did, brotha!

Angela and I learned Jumpstyle today. If you're lucky, you'll get to see us do it at the next ad conference. It should be good for a laugh.

by Steve Hall    Feb-25-09    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Trends and Culture



The Carnival of Ideas: Thought Candy for Creative Conspiracy Theorists

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YouTube's given rise to more than its fare share of pro-bono talking heads, so it's not often we watch any one "thought leader" video in full. But "The Command Economy," an ad manifesto from Carlos Mandelbaum's Carnival of Ideas, gave us pause. (He's got these expressions that grab you! And we love that musical text-reader gimmick.)

Listen with audiovisual fixation as he explains how the '80s ruined everything (which we already knew), and how advertisers' bad-ass commanding attitude have something major in common with the Berlin Wall.

It's tasty bait, and we wanna find out where he's taking us.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-09    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Video



Mr. Trooper: Proof of the Social Importance of Cheerleaders

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To demonstrate gratitude to the US troops fighting overseas -- and encourage other people to do it, too -- musician Astara Mink came up with "Mr. Trooper," a smoky, sugary-sweet '40s-style anthem.

The video was done pro-bono and directed by Scott McCullough. It features five all-American sex kittens (including Mink) that occasionally wear teeny little polos, and other times wear nothing but the Stars and Stripes. They do things like simper and dance in tandem. There's even one of those scenes where they lie on the ground and make snowflake shapes with their legs.

Families with a soldier of their own can buy a Mr. Trooper video here. As for the heterosexual female troops, we're sure somebody's coming up with a showtune for you too. Well ... don't hold us to that.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-18-09    
Topic: Cause, Online, Specialty, Trends and Culture, Video



Because a Villain's Not a Villain 'Til You Can Buy 2, Get 1 Free.

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You gotta admire a guy who can throw a blanket over $50 billion and make it disappear.

Pay tribute to this modern-day Svengali by investing in your very own Bernie Madoff action figure. For a paltry $149.99, you'll get plenty more than did the overeager speculators that hosed Madoff with their hard-earned savings: a plastic doll with a fistful of cash, and a wristwatch plated in 24-karat gold!

Hard-up? Aren't we all. Scale down with the $110 variant. He's not as snappily-dressed, but he does come with a hammer the size of his head.

Big-ups to @bloggersblog for the links.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-17-09    
Topic: Packaging, Trends and Culture



Stone Tweaks Twitter Stance

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Co-founder Biz Stone wrote a blog post that elaborates on a suggestion he made earlier about monetizing Twitter. The crucial stuff:

"Twitter will remain free to use by everyone--individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we're thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services."

So businesses already using Twitter can chill: they won't be charged extra for what they're already doing. Stone seems to be saying -- and we write that tentatively, because he leaves a lot of room for interpretation -- that only add-ons will cost anything, unless he means Twitter plans to bring ad support to high-traffic areas. (Hot hash tags and Summize search results look prime for this.)

"[We] hope to begin iterating on revenue products this year," he added.

Sounds like Jeff Bezos et al. are starting to tap their watches.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-09    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Social, Trends and Culture



'We Want People to Be Screaming from Houses Across the Country'

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Guerrilla Comm and Silicon Alley Insider scooped us on this Onion spoof on Sony: its complex, overambitious product line, and utopic rape-your-eyeballs ad strategy.

Imagine all that in a news brief coloured by the profane angst-rage you suffer once you finally get that "motherfucking time vampire"* home. (Oh yeah, language NSFW.)

"Maybe the Onion was inspired by 'BD-Live,' the confusing and ill-advised plan to integrate Blu-ray disc watching with instant messaging," said Alley Insider. And the sad part is, that crazy POS was real.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-09    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online, Spoofs, Trends and Culture








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