A guy called James Neate just created a crew, Brandstalkers, whose mission it is to "virally" promote brands it loves -- as opposed to advertising them in conventional ways. (Frankly, "viral" is getting pretty conventional, in use of name if not in outcome. Repeat after me: VIRAL IS AN OUTCOME.) In return, the group takes a small "grant" from the companies it represents.
Its debut effort was for Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican taqueria based in Sydney. It involves half-naked guys and a lot of Sharpies.
Gotta love brand gospel writ on flesh. You can probably gauge the success of the campaign by the number of Japanese tourists it attracted.
- Gay folk write odes to pet pups.
- Folksy new site for Kubler Absinthe. The "Creativity" tab suggests an upcoming CGM effort where people can "contribute to the myth of Absinthe." See videos for preparing mixed drinks. They're cool, and don't you love that background music? Also check out "fact and fiction" and the how-to-drink, which I thought was really neat. By Decon/NY.
- Palin inspires rampant web subculture. So many options! Brings back fond memories of Miss South Carolina.
- Really good resource on getting paid to blog.
- M. M. McDermott is not impressed by Millennials, but he'll cater to them on the Baltimore Sun's hipster spin-off. While reading a stylebook and wearing a nametag labeled "COCK."
by Angela Natividad
, Trends and Culture
I oscillate between being impressed and appalled by the juxtaposition of human tango and car (?) tango in this promo for Ford Fiesta.
"Tango at the Tower" isn't just a random spot; it's footage from a Tower of London event featuring Jodie Kidd and Ian Waite (Strictly Come Dancing), the key dancers in the video, as well as a handful of other celebs: Andrew Castle, Suzanne Shaw, Liz McClarnon, Mark Ramprakash.
"I know a lotta ex-straight guys too!"
At left is a promotional poster for Regent Releasing's Saving Marriage, a documentary that chronicles the two-year political odyssey leading to gay couples' right to wed in Massachusetts.
Set against a Pepto Bismol-pink background, a white car sports a "Just Married" wreath and cans on string. Clearly some couple had a happy day.
For Johnson & Johnson's Aveeno label, Ogilvy commissioned a street artist to create a three-dimensional "fountain of youth" with chalk on pavement.
See a sped-up video of how the drawing was made. It's sorta like watching a Bob Ross segment, except too fast for you to follow and there aren't any "happy trees."
Of late, Ogilvy's totally stuck on this street art thing. See what it did for IBM and Tom of Finland. If it keeps this up, subversive street punks might actually go back to using Sharpies and aerosol paint.
It'll be like the '80s again.
You've probably seen ads for Cisco's "The Human Network" campaign, which tries making the possibilities of Web 2.0 seem accessible to ordinary business people. (What, there are still execs out there that don't video-conference?)
Phase two of the effort uses the banality of airline travel to demonstrate how the so-called "human network" makes it unnecessary to leap time zones for work. In "The Save More Travel Less Effect," an array of business people perform the airline safety procedure you hear every time you get on a plane. They do a nice job of seeming alternately bored, frustrated or severe.
In this spot, a deserted baggage belt rotates slowly as the frustrations of travel flash across the screen: jetlag, wake-up calls, expense reports, lost luggage, etc. As the words go by faster, the music picks up: this is a life you can leave behind!, the ad seems to shout. Three cheers for the human network!
Part of doing Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years "properly" is reflecting on how they've been done before, a cultural habit that primes everybody for Memory Lane. That's why the holidays are a perfect time to bang out some pop culture nostalgia, wrap a tagline around it and call it an ad.
Under year-old slogan "The Magic of Macy's" (JWT/NY), Macy's cashes in on these sentiments by leveraging its long brand history. Check out this patchwork quilt of "Macy's" mentions in movies and shows like Charlie Brown, Family Guy, Seinfeld, I Love Lucy and Miracle on 34th Street (which I watched every Christmas as a kid!), among others.
- Last night Steve Hall hit Nokia Theater for Adobe's Battle of the Bands (photos here). Later he ran into Barbarian Group, which brought him a-frolicking to a hip hop club. Steve has all the fun.
- Guinness World Records taps greenfield media to manage its 3D book campaign. You'll need 3D specs to get the full experience from the ads, which run from Oct. 6 to Dec. 25 in the United Kingdom and United States.
- Blogging taxpayers aren't keen on this whole "Wall Street bailout" thing: "[We] have yet to see any online evidence of organic support for the Paulson proposal. Instead, what's going on may be the largest flowering of civic dissent since the antiwar protests of 2002-2003, but with a [bipartisan] twist." Our own online digging corroborates that (HuffPo! Michelle Malkin! YouTube junkies!), but Pew says 57 percent of the public favors the bailout. Confusing.
"Red Alert 3 Remix," a promotional video for EA's Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, is the fruit of a partnership between DraftFCB and remix artist CB Shaw. The latter interspersed offbeat Hollywood icons with references to 'net memes and gaming footage -- all to the tune of Hell March, the track used in the opening sequence to the first Red Alert. Good way to draw legacy gamers back into the hype, though many will probably feel alienated by the invasion of Planet Hollywood.
But the line-up is pop culture genius. Jenny McCarthy, Gemma Atkinson, George Takei, Jonathan Pryce, Andrew Divoff, Peter Stormare, Tim Curry, JK Simmons, Kelly Hu, Autumn Reeser, and Ivana Milicevic have all been enlisted as characters in the game.
- Recap of the McCain/Rachael Ray glee-fest.
- University of Georgia claims narcissists can be pegged by their Facebook photos.
- Save your soul -- and the rotting souls of others -- while microblogging. Way to multi-task!
- AIG yanks all corporate ad campaigns.