Aflac Duck Speaks to Melania Trump


Debuting tonight and featuring Melania Trump, is the 22nd Aflac Duck commercial. The new spot is the third installment in a new series of Aflac television ads created to educate consumers on the specific benefits of Aflac insurance. Developed by the Kaplan Thaler Group, "Experiment" joins two ads from earlier this year, "The Broken Leg" and "Pet Shop," in showcasing the duck outside its typical one-word role.

"Following five years of saying only 'Aflac,' we believe viewers will enjoy seeing the Aflac Duck talk," said Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. "The commercial gives the duck a voice in a very clever and entertaining way. We were pleased that Melania Trump was available to help the duck talk about the benefits of Aflac with glamorous appeal."

We are breathless with anticipation.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials

Mischa Barton Extends Keds Deal

But I Am Emoting!

She can't act but she can sure snag a multi-million dollar advertising spokesmodel contract - or at least her agents can. Mischa Barton, thespian-challenged O.C. hottie, has extended her current agreement as spokesbimbo for the Keds division of Stride Rite through 2007 and added international duties as well. As part of this agreement, Barton will appear in the footwear company's print, television and outdoor advertising campaigns, direct mail, in-store materials and online in North America and around the world, as well as make personal appearances domestically and abroad on behalf of the brand.

Reading from a publicist cue card, Keds Corporation President Shawn Neville said, "We are thrilled to extend and expand our successful relationship with Mischa through 2007 and across all international markets. Mischa personifies the Keds brand essence of authenticity, classic style, confidence and cool. Together, the Keds team and Mischa will continue to create product and marketing that reflect this essence and help Keds re-connect with its rich heritage and become a leading active lifestyle brand around the world." How deep inside the head does the hammer have to be implanted before PR people realize real people don't talk like this? And, when they are forced to, they are made to sound like idiots.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Celebrity

Winer And Calcanis Bitch About RSS

Put a business guy and a tech guy in one room and it's just a disaster waiting to happen. In a classic commercial versus Utopian discussion of whether ads should be placed in RSS feeds, Calcanis and Winer go at it dissing barbs left and right. Winer doesn't think Calcanis has the "right" to have a business that involves RSS nor does he think Calacanis has the "right" to pay bloggers (with income generated by ads in RSS feeds) to publish their content. Accompanying the insanely questionable notion of that logic, Calcanis tells Winer, "You can cry about it all you want, but this train has left the station and you're still at the ticket counter bitching about why you even need a ticket."

The conversation is largely pointless. It's just version 37.8 of the same old "free versus pay" bitch session that's gone on since the first ad was scrawled on the wall of a cave. The conversation will never be resolved. There is no answer. People hate ads but they also hate to pay for content. RSS is simply the current whipping boy until the next new delivery medium comes along. One thing is certain. Where there are people, there will be ads. Get over it.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Opinion, RSS

Eyebeam Contagious Media Conference This Saturday

Eyebeam's Contagious Media Showdown conference is this Saturday. The conference will have keynotes by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky and the Yes Men and workshops by the people who created the Rejection Line, Black People Love Us, The Nike Sweatshop Email, Blogdex, and Fundrace. CP+B will also be looking at books if conference participants want to interview. The full day of workshops costs $20 and people can RSVP here.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Viral

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Carl's Jr. Paris Hilton Spot Too Hot For TV

Photo: The Superficial

Oh the things we do to perpetuate the publicity of marketers smart enough to realize their hot ads will never run in the first place. It's only a matter of time before this one's floating all over the web, released "by mistake." Perhaps it already has been. We're talking about a new commercial for burger chain Carl's Jr. starring Paris Hilton doing her sexy thing as we've all seen her do before. Trouble is, she's just too hot in that Rick Solomon, military green video sort of way and networks are not too happy to air it.

The ad shows plenty of Hilton washing a car with water hoses gushing forth wantonly while the heiress slathers white all over the place. Somewhere in the spot, she's eating a big ass BBQ Six Dollar Burger. It's all just the next logical step from the company that brought us the Straw Girl and the writhing mechanical bull commercial.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials

'The Apprentice' Trounced by 'Survivor'

Because of a Presidential press conference last Thursday night, CBS's Survivor was pushed back one hour placing it squarely against the other Mark Burnett reality show, NBC's The Apprentice. In a serious ass kicking, Survivor pulled 21.2 million viewers to The Apprentice's 12.4 million. Boo Hoo, Donald.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Television

Agency Revenue Up 8.6 Percent

Ad Age has released its annual Agency Report indicating U.S. agency revenue grew 8.6 percent to $17.59 billion. Fifty Seven percent of that figure was generated by the four agency holding companies; Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Agencies, Research

Paris Hilton Frolics With Oraguntans to Promote Zoo

Two year old, cash-strapped Parrot Jungle Island in Pinecrest, Florida needed all the help it could getting the word out it's more than just a place to see parrots. The zoo cum destination has expanded from a gigantic bird cage into a full blown jungle paradise. So, when Paris Hilton's people called wondering if the heiress and reality TV star could spend a day with the birds, Parrot Jungle Island said sure but asked Hilton to hang with the orangutans instead. It was ll part of the park's efforts to increase awareness of it broader, less bird-like offering.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-05    
Topic: Celebrity