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.
"I'm a PC and I sell fish!"
Say what you will about the Microsoft/Seinfeld ad campaign (or "Phase I" of a grander design), it's hard not to like these fresh-out "I'm a PC" ads.
The spots -- quirky, friendly and feel-good -- debuted last night during The Office. See all three below.
Crush/Toronto, the fine folk that produced the promo work for Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief (kicking off our love affair with his books), partnered with Blok Design/Mexico City to produce the opening title sequence for Arte en Construccion.
The latter is a Mexican TV program that "[examines] the creative process of leading artists in Mexico."
The score is playful, almost exploratory; the visuals are well-shot and deliciously tactile: grains of sand, vibrant pink against dull landscapes, thread being manipulated between metal points. Thankfully, it's also short, so you can enjoy all its charms without holding that wry grin for over a minute.
On October 2 in Times Square, Netflix kicks off a five-day movie-watching marathon. The objective: to make the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours spent watching movies.
Provided you don't die of sleep deprivation, drowning or electrocution,* winners get "undeniable notoriety associated with holding the title of world champion," plus $10K, a lifetime Netflix subscription, and a Popcorn Bowl trophy -- the first of its kind!
But jobless film buffs be warned: the current record-holder, Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India, will also compete. The time to beat is 120 hours and 23 minutes.
To promote the marathon, DECON produced three spots for TV and three for online. The online ones are pretty much the same as the TV ones, except more to-the-point (see?).
Each ends with a huge Netflix logo, followed by the ominous words, "The training has begun." Titillated? Is your calling calling? Enter on Facebook.
- GI Direct hopes to inspire direct mail marketers with Creative Formats, a visul muse that makes direct mail seem rad as scrapbooking. Search by feature, format, market sector or size of run.
- MoveOn.org goes behind enemy lines in hopes of, I don't know, making McCain implode. Meet Billy Mires, bus driver of the "Straight Talk Express." He'll pass on charming yet ironic factoids like how John McCain invented the BlackBerry.
- The anatomy of toothpaste. What you see at left is Colgate Total Mint Stripe. Was it Andy Warhol who said art is whatever you can get away with?
Art, movies, TV, books and music have probably depicted the break-up from every possible angle. So if you're an indie artist trying to ride a power ballad to fame, what's a homie to do?
Tap the zeitgeist. Pun intended. For his song Someone Else, Chris Blake claims to have Googled "biggest regrets" and cobbled the results into a music video, which he then posted on YouTube.
Regrets range from provocative ("My reluctance to hold my daughter") to banal ("Spending too much time on Facebook"). I dig the contrast between the words and backgrounds.