What? Wait? Flash mobs? That's so...four years ago. Oh but wait. We're talking about advertising here. Not exactly the industry that latches onto trendlets in a timely manner. But since the press release also dubs the stunt "performance art," I guess it's OK.
To promote Taco Bell's Fruitista Freeze, Philadelphia's LevLane hired actors costumed in iced-over beachwear with their skin tinted blue who would freeze in position for hours while a support team outside Citizens Bank Park last week during an MLB Phillies home game handed out coupons for the frozen tropical beverage. Also, a flash mob in street clothes would do the same for a few minutes.
Because the stunt was, apparently, so successful and because, it seems, LevLane is so nice, the next day they did another stunt for free. Last Thursday during lunch, all agency employees wore orange t-shirts and walked to Philadelphia's City Hall. On cue, the majority froze in place while a few others handed out more Frutista Freeze coupons. Ten minutes later the mob thawed, walked to nearby Love Park and refroze.
So there you have it. The flash mob lives on. Or is it performance art? Hmm.
We take it for granted that most ads are full of shit most of the time, but every once in awhile you need to take a whole industry to task. This video does that for the woman-targeting yogurt peddlers.
"Yogurt eaters come from every race, but just one socio-economic class: the class that wears gray hoodies. It's that 'I have a Masters, but then I got married' look!"
When Ben Relles created Barely Political and hired Amber Lee Ettinger to play the role of Obama Girl, it was little more than a fun little one-off that no one thought would rise to the level of popularity it did. Month after month, Obama Girl videos appeared and month after month, Obama, himself, kept winning primaries moving closer and closer to a potential seat in the White House as out next President.
-Dior has dumped Sharon Stone as spokesperson for comments she made about China while at Cannes: "I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And then the earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"
- Psst. "Dunkin' Donuts is one of our sponsors."
- New York's tourist campaign has been dubbed too white and misrepresents the ethnic make up of the city.
- That Coors Light Perfect Pour dude is back with even more goofy pour stunts that are...OMG...like, so totally unbelievable.
Ever notice how women, when in conflict with another, or with a man for that matter, discuss the issue at great length until every last feeling is expressed? Ever notice how men, when in conflict with another (but not a woman), just punch each other, offer up a fist bump or brush it off with a "no worries, dude?" Though some might debate the point, that's not sexist. It's just a natural difference in the way men and women deal with confrontation and disagreement.
So perhaps an ad from 100 percent women-owned Buffalo law firm Schroder, Joseph Associates, LLC with the headline, "Ever Argue With A Woman," is compelling since arguing legal issues requires ad nauseum debate to the point of excruciating insanity. In the courtroom, that's a good thing. Not so much when you're at home and just want to sit down with a beer and watch the game.
Ever see that puppet show Thunderbirds? Revel quietly while Brains, its token geek, rocks out to Rhythm is a Dancer for Drench bottled water. Tagline: "Brains perform best when they're hydrated."
(Technically speaking though, wouldn't a "Drenching" be bad for our little wooden friend?)
The spot sparked a passionate discussion on BBC's Ad Breakdown about whether Brains sold his soul to the "commercial puppet master" or is just having a "joyous moment." Also, a bunch of people don't get what a dancing Brains has to do with bottled water.
That's understandable; then again, I'm still trying to figure out how Cadbury's gorilla ad sold chocolate. The Consumer is a fickle animal.
Contributing to the idea that anything the zeitgeist has to say must be useful to The World At Large, SaysMe.tv lets would-be propagandists air political ads on the cheap.
For anywhere between $35 to, I don't know, close to $100, you can air your own ad on a network in your area. (Provided you live in Philly, Raleigh, Indianapolis or Charlotte. But hey! More coming soon!)
The results, oddly enough, are really dull attempts to look like the stuff already on TV. Even promising titles like "You Don't Know Bama" left me with going, "Hmmm. NEXT!"
Come on, zeitgeist. Pull out a rabbit.
For people that are bored with the power struggle between the charismatic black man and the woman who'll pursue her ambition to the ends of our patience, some relief is circulating the 'net today:
- Why choose if you can combine? (via MarketingProfs)
- Obama, Clinton fight it out jedi-style
And in other (actual) news...
- Obama and McCain have begun seeking VPs. (Well, that's what the story suggests. Obama, for the record, said, "I am not commenting on vice presidential matters, because I have not won this nomination.")
- McCain cuts ties with the Hitler pastor.
- Clinton beats McCain ... at a vodka competition. Four years ago.
Brett Ratner, the director who gave us X-Men: The Last Stand and the Rush Hour trilogy, has launched Brett Ratner Brands.
Less an agency than a "consultancy," Ratner aspires to marry brand messages to pop culture.
His first such effort was for Guitar Hero. During the American Idol finale this week, two ads appeared -- one with Idol finalist David Cook in briefs, lip-synching to Old Time Rock 'N Roll, the other with David Archuleta in boxers, following suit, Risky Business-style.
Ratner said he wants to make ads "everybody wants to be in." His models include "Got Milk," HP's "Hands" and iTunes' "Celebrity Playlist."
Somewhere in the bowels of my memory is a man with a 'fro, a soothing voice and a paintbrush. As a kid I watched him on TV, mesmerized as he effortlessly whispered magic onto his canvas.
Right about now, though, I'm wondering whether those gripping pastures and endless telephone lines were not actually thinly-veiled and mildly traumatic messages about ethnic cleansing.
I like how at the end he gets all sinister and hisses, "We're almost done here, aren't we? No. It's never done."