'What's This? Oh. It's a Body, Bloated in the Sun'

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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."

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by Angela Natividad    May-19-08    
Topic: Cause, Good, Online, Spoofs, Strange, Trends and Culture, Video



BusinessWeek Grants Microblogging Some (Very Late) Validation

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Last week, writer Stephen Baker of BusinessWeek wrote a collaborative article with Twitter users. The compilation took several days and generated more than 250 contributions, including quotes and citizen reporting.

The result, "Why Twitter Matters," was published today. (Expect tons of linkbacks to individual tweets, not to mention gratuitous use of "tweet" itself.) Looks like the stream-of-thought community just won a new convert.

Hey, Baker. Think Twitter ex-architect Blaine Cook looks anything like Jesus?

by Angela Natividad    May-15-08    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Online, Trends and Culture



Travails of Miley Cyrus Illustrate Need For Destigmatized Sex

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It's probably just me. No, I'm sure it's just me but I'll ask the question anyway.:Is there something strange about Miley Cyrus jumping immediately from that Vanity Fair/Annie Leibovitz "scandal" -- where she was portrayed as, well, a bit more sexy than our sexually repressed society can handle -- to an appearance in the Body by Milk campaign, where she sports...white stuff all over her lips?

One could argue it's just a natural transition to the next level of, um, participation in the oh-so-seedy activity of -- OMG! -- engaging in dirty sex acts. But, that would be gross so let's just leave that stuff on the table.

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by Steve Hall    May-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Pepperidge Farm Gets Racy. Or is it Racist?

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In a lengthy analysis of a recent Pepperidge Farm print ad for the company's Milano cookie, Beyond Madison Avenue in which such details as "soul mates" versus "soulmates" are examined, the writer points to another take on the ad, from 360Nu.com, which...wait for it...calls the ad racist. Yes. A racist cookie ad.

It seems there may need to be a WTF category added to Adrants to house all these idiocies. However, before immediately tossing this off as yet another case of Chronic Overthink, the 360Nu writer offers interesting commentary on marketing, advertising and packaging as they relate to the reflection, creation, perpetuation or racial stereotypes.

Using two examples, angel food cake with white frosting over black cake and Devil Dogs with black ...stuff over the white, a corollary is made between the white over black as positive and the black over white as negative (devil).

Whether or not you decide to file this away in your own personal WTF category, you should at least read the piece firts. Then you can label the writer a crack pot or an insightful genius.

by Steve Hall    May-15-08    
Topic: Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture



George W. Bush Unites Globe in Shared Mockery

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In the course of his Presidency George W. Bush has both enraged and made us laugh, often at the same time. We've seen plenty of ways where his unique talent has manifested in reactionary advertising. Sometimes the results are funny, sometimes they piss us off, and often they do both at once.

Either way, it's become impossible to leave the States without a good sense of humour -- or an iron-on maple leaf.

Ivan of CreativeBits put together an invaluable collection of print ads where Bush is the star. This close to November, it almost makes us fond of the guy -- the way you grow fond of a stooge you're about to screw over in a drug bust.

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by Angela Natividad    May-14-08    
Topic: Cause, Good, Magazine, Political, Poster, Trends and Culture



Renegade Espouses Marketing as a Service

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It would be easy to toss off this Renegade video which espouses its belief marketing should be a service to consumers rather than an intrusive method to get people to buy stuff. It's not new and it's been voiced by many an agency eager to illustrate they know marketing has to engage, enable conversation, provide benefit, offer participatory experiences and provide a service that goes beyond an excuse simply to sell product.

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by Steve Hall    May- 5-08    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Social, Trends and Culture, Video



Miley Cyrus Has Nothing on This Nubile Young Thing

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Yikes! Not that the whole Miley Cyrus thing should have been a thing in the first place but this Disney licensee ad in China, based on American laws and standards, would most certainly have been a BIG THING had it appeared anywhere in this country. A ten year old (?) in her underwear on a big billboard? Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen.

As AdFreak reports, once Disney caught wind of the nubile young thing, the thing quickly became an un-thing and the board was taken down.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-08    
Topic: Outdoor, Racy, Trends and Culture



MarketingSherpa Releases New Online Advertising Handbook

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MarketingSherpa has released its 2008 Online Advertising Handbook + Benchmarks report. They sent a copy for us to take a look and it is without doubt the most complete, concise and fact filled piece of hefty online data goodness out there. It's all about planning, designing, executing, and measuring online ad campaigns and has research from a survey with 577 online advertisers.

Dayparting, frequency capping, demographics, online media consumption patterns, spending levels, clickthrough myths, designing the perfect online ad, ad recall, average clickthrough rates, conversion rates, landing page design, online video, gaming, rich media, targeting strategies, contextual and behavioral advertising, online media buying tips. Everything. It's all in there.

The Handbook also includes an advertising eye tracking study conducted with MarketingSherpa's partner, Eyetools which reveals how important online ad placement (position) can be to a campaign's ROI. Get smart. Buy it here. (And, yes, that's an affiliate link and yes we do get a cut of the purchase price.)

by Steve Hall    May- 2-08    
Topic: Good, Online, Research, Trends and Culture



Prada Auctions, Yelp Yelped, Mo Rocca Talks Money, and Love Grows on Trees

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- Big spenders who can't be bothered to attend a fashion show: Prada wants your business. Click on "Prototypes Auction" at Prada.com to see what's bid-worthy.

- Product packaging can be vastly improved with the addition of Braille.

- Twitter, allegedly the 439th largest social networking site, is deemed niche but influential. (The niche aspect is part of what makes something influential in the first place ... right?)

- Yelp.com released a self-serving documentary to showcase its whole anti-Zagat, down-with-the-homies feel. The mini-doc was fast made mockumentary fodder by the anti-Yelp Elite, which seem to think Yelp's all about hair. No arguments here. And apparently Yelpers find the mock more amusing.

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It's An Ad Contest for CATS!

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In tangent with Cat Fancy, Petfinder.com has launched "Cats Rule!", an ad contest that aims to do two things:

- Improve public perception of cats
- Encourage people to adopt homeless ones

Entrants must create a 7x10" print ad that demonstrates "the value and importance of cats, specifically of adopting one." The winner gets a full-page run in Cat Fancy's September issue. It will also appear on Catchannel.com and Petfinder.com.

That's one thing I don't get about this campaign. If its purpose is to alter negative public perceptions of cats, why preach to the saved? Get that bad-boy a full spread in Modern Dog or ... hell, Dwell.

The deadline for submissions is May 23. See guidelines. If after the height of lolcat and Caturday you can't put together a bangin' cat ad, sell your Big Black Pencil and go be an accountant somewhere.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Trends and Culture










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