Adrants Ponders Dov/Julie Paradox

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For Dov Charney, who's bowing out of American Apparel in pursuit of his own manifest destiny, office life has been a source of both business and pleasure.

Short of being a lumberjack or Chuck Norris, Dov Charney is a king among men. Dov Charney:

* Masturbates regularly in front of reporters
* Gets freaky with colleagues (thanks, Jewlicious)
* Pushes American Apparel's squeaky clean clothes with skanky adverts
* Still manages to position American Apparel as an ethical business that pays good wages and poses no harm to overseas workers

While Julie Roehm fights for footstools over in Pariah-ville, she must be shaking her fist at what Dov got away with over the course of his career, also behind the guise of a similarly apple pie all-American style company.

Granted, American Apparel ain't all sex, and it isn't the first brand to use R-rated tactics to pull in a fickle demo.

Are we looking at a double standard? And double standards aside, is America just too uptight about this sex stuff?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Brands, Social, Trends and Culture



Suicide the New Stupid Dad Ad Trend

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We've done stupid dads, talking animals, women in bikinis, rape, humor, shock, poignancy, cavemen, rodents out of a cannon and hundreds of other hooks to get people to look at our ads. The meme of the moment now is suicide. GM did it. VW did it. Now we have children contemplating suicide for...lollipops. Yes, Chupa Chups thinks it's the end of the world without their lollipops with girls contemplating a jump from atop a doll house and boys contemplating death by milk. Surely the Center With Nothing to do But Complain About Innocuous Ads will have something to say about this one.

by Steve Hall    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Bad, Trends and Culture



Social Meme Mash-Up Makes Art on Big Ball

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A cross between a collaborative rubber band ball and a chain letter, this piece of "potential art" has been bouncing through the webosphere, inviting collective creative design for an ever-growing montage.

Drawball zooms into a spot about 1/4096th its size, which is where users can leave their mark. The result isn't just a mishmash of arbitrary graffiti; it includes americana logos like Coca-Cola, new pop culture icons like Digg and representations of various subcultures.

Like Wikipedia.org, the Drawball project proves surprising to some: people left virtually unregulated will work together to build something meaningful, even if the meaning can only be seen in the aggregate.

To witness the evolution of Drawball from beginning to end, check out Drawball Playback, where a year's work of collaborative art unfolds. It's a little like watching the progression of mankind in hyperspeed, as various image colonizations and social eclipses take place over the life of the project.

We wonder if human colonizations are this provocative from a distance. Maybe that's why God never intervenes.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Best, Consumer Created, Online, Trends and Culture



Burden of Inch Angst Now Shared by Both Sexes

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We grow ever nearer to the elusive notion of gender equality. Don't believe us? Now men aren't the only ones breaking a sweat over the measuring tape.

Start your conditioning on the merits of the designer vagina right here. And to think! Just a few years ago the makers of Gattaca thought perfection paranoia would end in pursuit of good health, pretty eyes and sharp minds. The devil is always in the details.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Online, Racy, Strange, Trends and Culture



Interactive Installations Spice Up Brand Experience

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To liven up the boring auto show and to provide some customized interactivity with an automotive brand, Mindflood along with experience marketing company George P. Johnson teamed to create some very impressive consumer experiences for Acura and Scion. We can remeber going to auto shows and thinking it was cool just to touch the car ans sit inside it. That's so yesterday. The Acura Interactive Oracles and the Scion Mix it Up Experience give people so much more to play with including complete vehicle customization, t-shirt creation and a complete interactive experience of the vehicle.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Events, Good, Point of Purchase, Trends and Culture



Dolce & Gabbana Ad: Cartoonish Edginess or Gang Rape?

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What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.

One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Racy, Trends and Culture



Snap Dragon Paints Picture of AmerAsian Youth

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To herald in the Chinese New Year Snap Dragon Consultants issued a press release entitled "Ten Things Every Brand Should Know About Asian-American Youth."

This was part of a report from performer/playwright Kate Rigg's nationwide talks with Asian-Americans ranging between ages 14-23.

Among other gems, Rigg reveals Asian-Americans:

* Dig Korea
* Dislike the stereotypes that rocketed out of the William Hung years
* Want more street cred
* Like to gamble
* Are secret fans of easy listening

Oh, no. How could they divulge that? The gangsta-lean reputation we spent years crafting around the weekly violin lessons is officially destroyed.

Actually our parents couldn't afford violin lessons for long, so they punched holes in the cardboard tubing from a dry cleaner hanger and told us to learn the flute instead. We had to colour it yellow ourselves. How's that for street cred, beeyatch?

Check out the press release here.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Research, Trends and Culture



McD's Stirring Spoons Remembered Less for Stirring, More for Blow

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There's something totally classy about blowing coke up your nose with a McD's coke spoon. It ties you to America somehow, and to cheeseburgers, and to childhood.

In the '70's, McD's strange-looking stirring spoon gets adopted by the white powder cult. Panicked about becoming accomplices in the empire of blow, family-friendly McDonald's discontinues the multi-faceted units.

But this kind of thing doesn't die quietly. Artists Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney bring the hot spoons back - plated in 18k gold, disco-fever style. Pissed at their insolence, McD's released a cease and desist.

Oh come on. It's every fledgling brand's wet dream to be appropriated by some enthusiastic subculture. And who doesn't want the designer drug users (possibly now enthusiastic - and wealthy - pop-art consumers)? They define trendy.

Plus, coke-heads are generally skinnier than the obese protesters long courting the golden arches. They make natural retaliatory press. Getting fat? Forego the baked apple pie for a spoon. It's free! (Magic dust sold separately.)

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



U.S. Government Wants to Legislate Japanese Commercial

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OMG! According to the United States Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, watching someone drinking a beer in a Japanese Asahi beer commercial may cause alcoholism in the States! Everyone, cover your eyes immediately before you succumb to the power of the almighty television commercial...in a language you can't even understand...in a commercial you will never see aired in America...because its a friggin Japanese commercial! Why doesn't the U.S. government just skip all this shit and force us right into the 1984-like world in which they really want us to live?

Overreact much? How about gone entirely insane. The government wants to take legal action against Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka who is seen in the Asahi ad consuming beer, a no-no in the States. While it's one thing to enforce the U.S. regulation of not showing the actual consumption of alcohol in advertisements, it's entirely another to foist that law on another country or a person who just happens to now live in the U.S. but made the commercial in another country under an entirely different jurisdiction.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-16-07    
Topic: Commercials, Policy, Strange, Trends and Culture



'Automated' Advertising Systems Another Threat to Agency Infrastructure

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More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.

Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Agencies, Tools, Trends and Culture







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