No, Lexus Did Not Intentionally Use 9/11 Imagery In Ad


Al Pacino once said in Godfather III something to the effect of "As soon as I'm out, they pull me right back in." That's how we feel about this manufactured conspiracy theory we were going to ignore - originated in a MediaPost opinion piece by Eric Sass - that a new Lexus commercial somehow uses 9/11-like imagery. This is a waste of time. Everyone is reading waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much into this. What...all ads shot in NYC that show the skyline will now be accused of treading inappropriately on 9/11? Please. Yea, there's two cars in the commercial. It's hardly as symmetrical as some claim nor in any way reminiscent of 9/11.

If you want to complain about an ad that reminds us of 9/11, why don't we look at the Cingular billboards with the two bars extending upward from the board. Those ads have been running for years. Sure 9/11 sucked. It always will suck. It will always a sad day in our history. But to think marketers are maliciously trying to make fun of 9/1 is just indicative we all have way too much time on our hands to analyze this crap.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion

Arnold Gets $250 Million Or $150 Million From Progressive


We love it when the media duel to beat each other to the punch with their email alerts. At 12:37PM, Ad Age tells us Progressive Insurance has handed it's $250 million account to Boston's Arnold. At 1:00PM, AdWeek tells us Progressive Insurance has handed it's $150 million account to Boston's Arnold. So which is it guys? $250 mill? $150 mil? That's kind of a big difference. Do tell. Progressive?

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Agencies, Brands

Teen Queen Returns, Hollywood Director Returns, Jesus Returns


- Anastasia Goodstein is expanding her youth focused Ypulse to include networking events, a new blog aimed at parents of teens, consulting and speaking. We missed her teen insight while she was at CurrentTV and we welcome her back.

- The Art Directors Club is naming Janet Froelich, Issey Miyake, Nancy Rice, Bert Stern, Art Spiegelman, Nicholas Negroponte to its Hall of Fame.

Writing in MediaPost, Eric Sass thinks the imagery in a recent Lexus commercial featuring two cars racing through New York City is to reminiscent of 9/11. We understand the point but we just don't see it.

- We're not so sure an Oscar winning Hollywood director making the move back to shooting commercials is necessarily a step up but that's the step Barbara Kopple has taken with Nonfiction Spots.

- The New York Times says in its new campaign These Times Demand the Times.

- Lebron James helps a couple white boys get down with it for MTV's SPorts Blender.

- Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners is continuing their "Secret Decoder" campaign for Mini USA that involved a secret code mailing to owners. If you're not an owner, Brent has the code for you here.

- Here's the new Apple ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day promoting the new colors for the new iPod nano.

- Altois is giving away its new Curiously FUssy tin designed by New York artists Lindsey Adelman in a drawing.

- In a video interview with CoBRANDiT, Rocketboom's Andrew Baron reveals he can get $80K per week for a sponsorship now. Amanda who?

OK, here's another one of those spots we were talking about before that uses celebrity sports figures to sell shoes.

- Ironic Sans thinks reverse product placement - fake movie/TV products - is the wave of the future.

- Jesus sighted on MySpace page.

- In some sort of viral movie trailer contest, Scott Rankin won for his spoof of the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail which he re-named Caaktall.

- alls-based Six Flags is having a cockroach eating contest to drum up business.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Celebrity, Weblogs

It's Official. Hot Pregnant Women to Replace Stupid Men In Ads


Two makes a trend and and now it's official. Hot pregnant women are the new advertising hood ornament. Following the formerly reported ad for SEAT Altea car maker which featured a hot pregnant woman adorning the hood of a car, hot pregnant (photoshopped) women are now promoting Nova Shin beer. Or at least we think that's what they're promoting. It was odd enough to have a pregos Demi Moore and Britney Spears on magazine covers. Now we'll be seeing them in ad everywhere because, of course, pregnancy is a beautiful thing, right?

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Strange, Trends and Culture

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Naked Juice Protests Fake Ingredients


Michael Shostack has the scoop on last week's launch a Naked Juice campaign which began with a street protest with Kiwi and green shirted women holding signs that read, "Say no to added sugar" and "Down with free radicals." The street stunt was a precursor to an outdoor campaign consisting of billboards, transit posters, wild postings and cab ads. Thirty of the 60 cabs will be fully wrapped with Naked Juice Branding. Unfortunately, there was no actual nudity promoting Naked Juice but what's up with that guy in the bannana suit? Is he hung or what?

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Good, Guerilla, Outdoor

Cemetery Offers Better Ways to Visit


A cometary isn't something one normally would se promoted with an ad campaign but Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cometary, with help from Red Tettemer, has launched a promotional campaign with the tagline, "The Underground Museum." The campaign includes print, guerilla and outdoor. We especially like the toaster the agency tossed into various ponds and fountains throughout the city which included the copy, "For an easier way to get to Laurel Hill Cemetery, visit

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Guerilla

'Mysterious' Flying Cars Promote GM's 100,000 Warranty


Oh how we love a fun viral campaign. Especially when it comes from the biggest of big boys, GM. They've had three amateur videos floating around since the beginning of the month that, while capturing seemingly innocent events, reveal flying cars in the background. Will Video For Food has a good analysis of the campaign and points out an accompanying Anglefire (that company is still around?) website called Future Technology Today which delves deeper into the videos. The whole thing became very obvious once GM began running ads promoting its 100,000 warranty on Jalopnik showing flying cars in the banners.

While we in the industry love to analyze this stuff to death, we wonder how effective virals like this are once it becomes obvious it's a GM commercial. At first glance, one might not notice all the cars in the videos are GM. But anyone with a web connection and Google can quickly find all the answers they want about these videos. We're not complaining. We're just wondering.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Video, Viral

Elaborate TiVo Viral Continues


A couple weeks ago Davis Freeberg sent us a link to a video called Blue Moon, a 50's-style video explaining an important scentific discovery that turned out to be, yes, a TiVo. Of course, the whole things just a viral campaign and theres a website, TiVoisAliens to go along with it as well. Now, Freeberg dug deeper and found what he claims was some hacking into his computer after tracking down the IP address of the person running the TiVoisAliens site. He even claims subtle imagery of the Ogilvy logo is present in one of the spoof images on the site. Rather than going to all this trouble, perhaps TiVo should just stop playing nice with marketers and make a product that actually does what consumers want: skip commercials.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Viral

Harvey Nichols Fashion Ads Deliver High Fashion Messaging


We're sure there's many different levels of inner meaning to these Harvey Nichols ads for its Beauty, Womenswear and Menswear lines sent to us by Adrants reader, Susannah, but we won't bore you with our analysis. Rather, we'll just point you to them and you can interpret them yourselves. DDB London did the ads.

by Steve Hall    Sep-18-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Magazine