Northwestern Says Wreck Worries, Get Insurance


Looks like Northwestern Mutual realized that marketing is about engaging customers, not just setting impersonal messages out to sail and hoping that small nudge into the big ocean will yield die-hard customers.

Per their own words, the brand "no longer desires to remain reserved and
unassuming." This year they'll be bold and assertive in their communications efforts.

Wreck Your Worries, a calming space where you can characterize your concerns and choose a weapon to destroy them (we picked the golf club), heralds the intro for the new Northwestern. The campaign reminds us that we do take our problems to the office space, and now instead of stewing over them in passive aggressive silence we can blow holes through them with a mase on an insurance website.

A little silly, but we like it.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online

Pepsi Asks Consumers for Billboard Help


We're going to venture a guess and say Pepsi is fast losing the identity contest between itself and Coke, which reminded everyone in its series of Super Bowl spots of its place in feel-good Americana. That's the only explanation we have for this invitation to design Pepsi's next billboard, a campaign that falls in line with their new series of customized can designs. Very Jones Soda.

Well, here's to hoping Pepsi finds what it's looking for (a salute to the spirit of youth and discovery, according to their site intro). If nothing else, the Super Bowl showed us consumers can outdo marketers on their own territory. And we have yet to see a really good consumer-generated print ad.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online

Dane Cook Pranks Your Friends Via E-mail


To promote Tourgasm, Dane Cook launches a prank site where you can send customized dean letters and expulsion notices to friends. The prank letters are somewhat convincing but anybody who's been on the net long enough knows to check the e-mail address first. And it looks pretty spammy. Additionally, inches from the letter text you're told that Dane Cook has pranked you. That really destroys any possibility of shock and dismay.

One reader mentioned being pranked into thinking he got his ex preggers. We figure that, like people who still fall for voice mails that start with, "Hello ... hello...?" There remains a market out there for those who fall for prank e-mails. Plus it's Dane Cook and nothing he does could possibly be unfunny.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Viral

Adrants Names Emerald Nuts Best Super Bowl Ad


Naming the best Super Bowl commercial is, at best, uselessly subjective and wholly irrelevant but we're going to do it anyway. And, in a shocker, we're going to agree with Advertising Age's bob Garfield and dub the Emerald Nuts Robert Goulet commercial our favorite. It's just twisted and quirky enough for us to appreciate and, not to be dismissed (although it usually is with Super Bowl ads), did a pretty good job of sliding some product benefit into the ad. So, Bob, what do you think? More importantly, what does everyone else think? Are we nuts? Oops. Sorry. Anyway, both of us (Angela and Steve) thought it was the best so we're going to honor it the Adrants Favorite for this year. The ad was developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco and was directed by the kooky and famed Perlorian Brothers.

more »

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Super Bowl 2007

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'Experience Old Spice' Invests Youngbloods with Worldliness


We were ready to pan this new campaign by Old Spice but after exploring it we realized there was no way that we could. Experience Old Spice reaches for a younger demographic, but instead of trying to make itself young and cool like other brands, Old Spice positions itself as the brand of choice for men of culture and experience.

And who better to tell you what manliness is than Bruce Campbell, the kitsch king who demolishes zombies with chainsaws and boomsticks?

The campaign includes a 50-question test gauging whether you're man or boy. And instead of asking beer-oriented questions while a chick undresses, these are actually pretty tough. Can most 20-something guys tell the difference between a Monet and a Van Gogh? We're sure they'll be able to after this.

Also check out the section where worldly men their pass life experience on. Learn critical skills like how to shake hands like a Siberian and how to read aircraft gauges. And get advice from Bruce Campbell himself.

We love this campaign. We just love it. And we hope they expand on the effort, because it's the perfect way to reinvigorate an aging brand.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online

Pizza Hut Improves MySpace Effort, Still Falls Short


So, Pizza Hut's removed most everything we found unliveable about their Pizza Hut delivery guy effort on MySpace. This time around they're shooting for something innocuous and mild, changing their protagonist from a ridiculously self-absorbed tool to a fairly average gamer and HD lover.

The updated MySpace also includes Youtube videos that pretty much demonstrate how irresistible the guy is when he's got a box of pizza in his hands. Judging from the jump in friends (it's nearly doubled), the revamped MySpace is apparently slightly more palatable than the previous effort, but unless Pizza Hut plans on using the guy outside of MySpace in long-term ad campaigns or other guerilla efforts, we don't see it working much in their favour.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Guerilla, Online

Bud Light Slapping Ad A Nod to Fist Bump


As Sunday turns into Monday and time allows for the additional digestion and review of Super Bowl commercials, Bud Light's slapping ad has us laughing out loud this morning. When we viewed it during the game along with the insanity of the rest of the event, we didn't have time to enjoy the very hilarious wink/nod embedded in that ad. You all, of course, remember the YouTube video fiasco in which Tom Ajello's fist bump became the signature of than positive about the ad business. Well, wasn't it hilarious to see that very same notion become the basis of the Bud Light Slapping ad in which a guy, in response to an offered fist bump, says, "Yo, Steve, fist bump is out man!"

After that, the commercial turns into a humorous slap-fest but the funniest part of the ad is the end when the old dude (ad exec? hmm) offers up a fist bump and says to the young dude, "Nice job in there, Larson. You saved the account" to which the young dude responds by slapping the old dude. There's no way this commercial's creative concepting occurred without mention of and its famouos fist bump. Nice work, guys.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Super Bowl 2007

Angela's Super Bowl Analysis


Furious ad reviewing afforded only the time between commercials to shove popcorn and ice cream into our mouths. That means we missed most of the football, but we did catch a few highlights:

* Peyton Manning (predictably) kicked ass
* Coach Dungy of the Colts became the first African-American coach to take home a Super Bowl trophy
* Rex Grossman bums us out

That's all we have to say about that. With regard to the ads, our favourite was the Emerald Nuts Robert Goulet spot, with maybe Bud Light's Rock Paper Scissors in close second. We were not thrilled by Sales Genie or the number of times we had to sit through their repetitive, generic and overly long bits. They struck us as out of place.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Super Bowl 2007

Budweiser Wins USA Today Super Bowl Survey


In USA Today's annual Super Bowl Ad Meter, Budweiser topped the list with its Crab commercial. Rounding out the top ten were six other Anheuser-Busch commercials including Bud's Stray Dog, Bud Light's Rock Paper Scissors, Bud Light's Language Course, Bud Light's Auctioneer Wedding, Bud Light's Gorillas and Bud Light's Hitchhiker.

Damn! You think the 238 survey participants were drinking Bud Light while watching the ads? Hmm. The other lucky three to round out the top ten were Doritos for its consumer-generated Crash, FedEx for Moon and Sickers for its Kiss.

Where the hell is the kitschy Robert Goulet Emerald Nuts ad you ask? It ranked number 17 on the list but if it were uo to us, we'd move it up a bit. Perhaps knocking one of those Bud Light spots out of the top ten.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Super Bowl 2007

AOL Dubs 'Blockbuster Mouse' Favorite Super Bowl Ad


AOL's Super Bowl ad poll found Blockbuster's Mouse commercial to be the favorite among this year's crop of ads. Rounding out AOL's top five are Budweiser's Dalmation, Bud Light's Gorillas, Bud Light's Hitchhiker and Taco Bell's Lions. That poor Blockbuster Mouse is getting all the love this year. It's the least he can get after being violently dragged around by a rabbit.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Super Bowl 2007

iFilm Dubs 'Blockbuster Mouse' Most Viewed Super Bowl Ad


In this year's annual tally, iFilm found the very hilarious Blockbuster Mouse ad to be the most viewed ad on its Super Bowl video site. The ad did make us laugh and did hold our attention. Rounding out the top five most viewed ads were Bud Light's Rock, Paper Scissors; NFL's Chad Johnson Super Bowl Party; the Snickers Kiss (one of our favs for it's hilarious awkwardness) and Pizza Hut's ad with Jessica Simpson. (Well, we all know whay that one was watched over and over.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Super Bowl 2007

Garfield Reviews, Bud Light Ads Most Viewed, Adranters Discuss


- Bob Garfiled reviews the Super Bowl ads. He commented on all the slapping in the ads and he liked most of them except the Salesgenie ad but admitted that ad might actually work for the advertiser.

- AdWeek reports Super Bowl TiVo data found two Bud Light ads to be the most viewed by TiVo owners. "Language Course" was the most viewed followed by "Rock, Paper, Scissors." We can understand "Rock, Paper, Scissors" but "Language Course?" Maybe because it was so bad people had to rewind to see what they hell the ad was all about.

- Aside from polls, there seems to be little agreement on whether this year's Super Bowl Commerials were better or worse than in past years. Join the ongoing debate in the Adrants Discussion Group.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Super Bowl 2007