Monday, August 31, 2009

Meaningful Announcements: Start Of Senior Year Edition

So, maybe I'm making excuses; maybe I'm getting lazy; and maybe I'm not performing up to the standards to which I should accustom myself. But, you know what? It's senior year (classes begin tomorrow) and, despite my skepticism and rebelliousness, I do attend class, work part time, and engage in a couple of social functions. So I'm probably not going to be posting unless I find something really worth reviewing. At this point, I'm going for quality over quantity (no more of these ones with the pussy magnet); I'll probably also be working on other blogging skills like posting links and using multiple authors. For today, I'll leave you with a bunch of Durex print and outdoor ads (this tv spot was big a few weeks ago) that could have been another lazy Who's Doing Better installment. Here's a good one:

At this point, there's nothing more to say other than what Ferris said on that fateful day:

"You killed the car."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What The Hell Do Pizza, Brownies, And Dog-Eating Have To Do With Each Other?

Well, it all adds up to a bit of racism and a lot of publicity notice for New Zealands' Hell Pizza. The operation has been responsible for many instances of controversial marketing like those described in the original article and this anti-Bush billboard. The company seems to be willing to piss anybody off to get some widespread promo so I'm not sure why this piece that pokes fun at the culinary practices of some Tongans (I initially thought it was a Filipino thing but I guess there aren't any in NZ) has people up in arms. The statement reads, "at least our brownie won't eat your pet dog." It's one of the silliest pieces of copywriting I've ever seen; it just seems like another goofy statement referencing cultural differences.

Giving this piece credit for bringing on the hate is like believing that Bill Donahue speaks for all Catholics. You are giving it too much credit when it is only a dumb idea with lazy execution. However, I will give it a 'good' rating because of all the attention its getting. I guess by that method Paris is a dope celebrity.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Cannibalism Part Of This Good Breakfast?

Yes, and it's cute and it sells Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes. Though I'm more of a Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks kind of cat (both are drug references by the way), I have to say that this piece called "Pieces-Gone" and campaign, which has been going on for a while, from the General Mills' brand and McCann Erickson are strong in cuteness and message; I'm not a big fan of the old spots that lied to kids in a different way. The ingredients for the cereal are as follows: cinnamon, sugar, and crunch. The sugar sparkles, the cinnamon-laced toast crumbles, and the breakfast looks good enough to cause bad health.

My six-year-old niece approved of this spot just seconds ago, certifiably pushing it from 'good' to 'dope.' You have to wonder, though, if this could increase instances of accidental cannibalism by stoners; nothing worse than biting off the hand that holds the joint.

Really Important News: Coronary Disruptor Edition

Every now and then, products come out that are either certifiably despotic or hilariously inappropriate. And some just set you back a couple of decades as does this new "sandwich" (called the Double Down) from the always health-conscious KFC. It consists of two slices of bacon, melted swiss and pepper Jack cheeses, and the secret “Colonel’s sauce” sandwiched between two fried chicken fillets; see a spot here. It's not quite 'The Luther,' but it's damn close.

Though people have bitched about this kind of thing, I've got to admire KFC for being so bold though it's not nearly as cool as when I heard about this (I pray it's still happening).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is Brett Favre Ever Going To Make Up His Mind?

Well, he did for a small decision, but he just can't seem to find the right HD television. In this new spot for Sears and its Blue Electronics Crew, the ancient quarterback just can't decide which TV he wants. A store employee mentions that there are "some guys out there who agonize about making decisions" and Father Time replies, "those guys drive me crazy." The portion ends with Favre still unsure (sequel?) and a couple of the product attributes that differentiate Sears from Best Buy or Walmart (you know, where you are more likely to shop). Despite all of that, the spot is presented in good fun with Favre taking soft shots at himself and Sears touting their strengths in the electronics department.

The piece ran during preseason games this past weekend. The Vikings better hope that Favre is careful and doesn't get a concussion opening the box. (See 5:25 to find out where I stole that joke from.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who's Doing Better Ad Reviews Than I Am?

Today's edition isn't really an ad review as much as it is a huge compilation of ads utilizing sex appeal. And by huge I mean like John Holmes huge. Most of the stuff is pretty recent ranging from the WTF:

to the creative:

to "I'm pretty sure they're crossing the line"

to "Yeah, they're crossing the line"

It's obvious that human eyes will avert to your work when it is so blatantly sexual. But remember, if there is no substance or story or concept, you are just another scumbag advertiser trying to trick the poor, innocent American consumer. At least we're not lawyers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Now That's A Classic: Heineken & The Biz

I know that this is a really old spot and that this post seems like kind of a cop out, but I don't care. I really should have a category for classic spots and damn right this piece deserves it. It's by Wieden + Kennedy for Heineken's Let A Stranger Drive You Home campaign. It features a classic rap track with one of the catchiest hooks in history; people have compared it to that Journey song except the difference is that Journey totally sucks. It's a perfect set up and a punch that delivers like Heineken had to deliver that cabbie actor his paycheck. Its only industry rival was a campaign that told you to stay thirsty.

Another strong and successful spot was the walk-in fridge one with the match shots of women and men freaking out at their respective pleasures. However, this spot just had it all: great acting, photography, direction, music and message. It's a truly persuasive beer commercial. It's a classic.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Can Usain Bolt Help Jamaica Finally Overcome Reggae?

And let me preface my answer by saying I am a huge fan of Bob, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, and Gregory Isaacs. But I hope the answer is yes, since the list of Jamaican associations goes: Rastafarianism, marijuana, dreadlocks, reggae, and maybe poverty. What I'm getting at is that Usain Bolt could become an international sports superstar. He struck big with just murdering the 100 and 200 meter races in Beijing last summer. He's been linked commercially to Puma, Gatorade, and Digicel (you would think that Sprint would try to steal him away); he already has a signature move; and he actually is an amazing athlete. The questions are: does the building of Bolt's brand have anything to do with Jamaica and what exactly can someone as young as he is (turns 23 tomorrow) do to revamp the country's image? The possibility is definitely there; check out the new 100 and 200 meter records below.

On the real, I really hope that Bolt can get Jamaica some much needed positive pub (and maybe a shower). It's a place that could really use a hero who is not 50 Cent.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What The Fruit Is Cranberry Doing Here?

Well, there's a decent chance that she's here to promote Nestle Raisinets' new Cranberry Raisinets. And she does so in highly fashionable fashion in two new webisodes from the chocolate giant. The first is full of innuendo, normal raisins gossiping, and a mildly clever rip off of the theme from Shaft. The piece seems a little too cute considering its demo: crazy women. The product itself seems perfect; what's better than cranberry and chocolate besides doing the dishes?

The second one is kind of obvious. They're setting up some tension (seriously, a fresh new individual enters the realm of wrinkly old prunes, of course there's some chocolatety tension) that will reach a peak into part 4 of the series but then everything will work out and cranberry will be a part of the Nestle family. Plus, you have to love a shot of a berry with Jesus light in the background.

I'm iffy on the idea that the pieces include "drama." They're very lighthearted and incorporate bright colors. The level of feuding is more likely to reach High School Musical than what this could have been. Upcoming webisodes include 'Cran Fan' and 'Dance Off.' Though the pieces seem more Disney than guilty pleasure, you've got to love a bunch (get it?) of jealous women.

I'm kidding. No you don't!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So It's Not Cool To Mock People From Toronto?

Really? They bombed the Baldwins. They extended Andrea Bargnani 50 million for 5 more years. And they (partially) produced this. Anyway, the story is that Coors Light, which has done a lot of goofy outdoor work, has pissed off some people in Toronto with their new billboards shown below featuring a cold certified brewski next to, "Colder Than Most People From Toronto." The ads themselves were placed in British Columbia (not the American one, that's the District) and probably got a few laughs, eh. Because these stiffs have no sense of humor, the boards were taken down and the company apologized.

The tag sure seems like a self fulfilling prophecy at this point. This goes to show that you can't count on Canada for anything, whether it's taking a joke, inventing a watchable sport, or making Sarah Palin look sane. And you know what else Toronto? Measuring the temperature in degrees Celsius is totally lame.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Really Important News: Michael Vick & Benji Edition

So not all of my posts are going to be titled with an inane rhetorical question, fancy that! By the way, these are just going to be random things and will in no way be substitutes for my amazing ad reviews. Anyway, the awesome, holy-shit, can't-believe-it news is that parolee and former dog fighting organizer guy Michael Vick, who was just signed by the Eagles, is set to star in the new Disney film "Benji Joins The NFL" with the famous and lovable Benji. It's obvious that there are millions of jokes one could do about this unexpected partnership (maybe Vick can kick the little pooch through the uprights for the extra point). I would guess that the late night comedians and Jimmy Fallon are going to have fun with this one.

How Do You Reinforce The Idea That Texting Is Dangerous?

Why, you make a short film, entitled COW, meticulously detailing a highway wreck set in motion by a distracted female texter. And a really hardcore one at that. Though you can feel that something is wrong from the beginning (you don't cut to two passengers in the back unless you're sure they're going to die), the piece just piles it on with smash after glass after crash, a highway sign reading 'Tredegar welcomes careful drivers,' and the ever-reliable "wake up Mommy and Daddy." The spot is from the school Tredgar Comprehensive and the Gwent Police in the UK. Not only is the work currently the number one viral video; it is very effective. I'd say it's almost too effective such that you forget about the texting causing the destruction and just start becoming spiritual again.

Here's part two featuring tense and grieving relatives. I really want the campaign to be about women drivers rather than txting (British translation I guess) because I'm totally in the mood for misogyny. But I won't. I also promise to limit my texting (which somehow is not a word on Blogger) to city driving.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Have These Gentlemen Intentionally Forgotten When Napoleon Dynamite Came Out?

It would appear so since director Jared Hess (responsible for this and this) and distributor Fox Searchlight (responsible for this and this) are still trying to build upon the success of the 5-year-old cult smash. Hess' "unique view of the world" presented in the aforementioned movies seems to be taken a step further in Gentlemen Broncos, which is coming out October 30. The trailer makes it very clear that the film will present a whole lot of quirkiness, weirdness, fantasy, or whatever buzzword the fat Hollywood producer signed the check to. The really bad-looking special effects work gels nicely with the clumsy way in which the reality-based portion is shot. The titles, however, do not communicate the movie's 3rd act very well; it seems that it is made up of some fantasy mind game when there is actually a movie-within-a-movie element.

I'm not going to see the damn thing, alright. Napoleon Dynamite was so bad that I needed a laugh track under the audio to figure out what was supposed to be funny. But I acknowledge that it is pushing the right buttons. I prefer comedies with characters, not just profiles based on some of your idiot slacker friends.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Even If It Means Killing And Eating Every Boy At Your School?

Yes. Because you need to be yourself. While reading SlashFilm, I caught this fake PSA for the new film Jennifer's Body. In the piece, Megan Fox tells kids to avoid the peer pressure that can crush your fragile high school self esteem. The catch is that she, although inexplicably introducing herself as herself instead of her character (though seriously what's the difference?), narrates the spot in the spirit of Jennifer Check, who in the movie is possessed and goes on a killing spree, yada, yada, yada. Look, there's only one reason people are interested in the movie and, despite Michael Bay's insanity, nobody is tired of Ms. Fox. Oh, and in case you "digital marketers" haven't figured it out: Megan Fox doing anything + The Internet = Great Success.

And when she says, "I say 'fuck em' cause they don't know shit," she almost isn't reading from a prompter. You're almost intrigued by her character; but not her acting (at least not yet). Whatever. It's called Jennifer's Body; you're going to watch because of Jennifer's body; 20th Century Fox is distributing this Megan Fox showcase. Sometimes things sell themselves and you just have to let nature take its course. Here's to the only person who kept me from protesting the Transformers movies.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Will Seeing Film Differently Lead People To See Volkswagen Positively?

I have never had any objections to building rapport. Even Michael Vick is working on it. If you try hard enough for a group of people and deliver on your promises, you should be okay. That's why VW's ongoing campaign called "See Film Differently" should warm cinephiles and film festival frequenters up to the idea of Jettas and Passats. The pieces aren't going to sell cars (does Obama even speak German?) but they can bring movie lovers together with stories of real emotion. My favorite new one centers around a man who moved by Rocky (hey, yo, who wasn't? ya know) became a content weightlifter.

There's also a piece about a kid into magic via Willy Wonka and one about a man practicing Dudeism via The Big Lebowski. See some older pieces on the Youtube channel. Now, no shit I'm in a bunch over the "Volkswagen supports independent cinema" tag since TBL is the only sort of independent flick. Haven't people been moved by Jim Jarmusch or David Lynch? Anyway, the efforts are very strong and are targeting areas that dumbass car companies have largely ignored. I wonder what the dude inspired by Caligula will talk about?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

God Rested So That Young People Could Dance?

In promoting its fourth season of America's Best Dance Crew that premiered last Sabbath (accidentally caught part of it during breaks for the Joan Rivers Roast), the MTV (also producing) has been running spots with the tagline, "Sundays are for worship." While the line by itself makes no sense unless there's somehow a troupe called 'Worsh1p' or some involvement with Rev Run, the spot the MTV has been using features slick DP work, good sound, and a ridiculous move about 30 seconds in, resulting in an intriguing piece.

You can watch an extended clip via the MTV here. Look, I realize that the dance shows (like those silly dance movies) are stupid; for Moses' sake, the name-attached is Randy Jackson. But you've got to admit, some of that breakin' is mad fly yo!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Did Wet N' Wild Confuse Big Budget With Professional Production (1st Local Ad Review!)?

Look, I don't want to be too hard on local ads; there's no way that they'll measure up to high-profile pieces from national campaigns in terms of production value, creativity, and ambition. But what I can do is make sure that a core message is present and that that message is executed with sensible direction.

In this spot by Co Creative Studios for the grand opening of Hawaii Wet 'n' Wild (used to be Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park), the point is to be informational and intriguing. There is a new waterpark in town...and his name is; guess I can't throw in a 48 Hours reference. The idea is obviously fine: people in Hawaii (not sure why the people on Ni'ihau need to know) should be aware of something fun to do during the summer, especially since a lot of residents were unaware of the change in title. Starting off like a 1960's PSA, the piece dives right in with crane shots, POV shots, and well-lit photogenic glory; the thing is bursting with energy. The music sort of sounds like techno with Down Syndrome. All the individuals at the park seem to be having a fun time in the sun and from that point of view the spot works perfectly.

But this is Ads Honorem and it's time to bring the pain. One of my major beefs with this production is its lack of understanding of its target audience. It feels like they're going after the 12-25 crowd made up of local residents. Look, people from Hawaii are used to getting either loud Mainland ads or subdued Local ads neither of which kill. This piece is the former; and worse yet pretty much everybody featured is haole. C'mon, when you have a little bit of a budget, get some bruddahs and sistahs on da water slides; it's called building rapport. By the end we go from a fun-filled family time to a shitty Abercrombie and Fitch shoot. Also, get your damn website up; if you're changing to such a special name, give the people a reason to see it in their heads.

Overall, it's a good spot with energy. It accomplishes much of what it sets out to do in a fairly homogeneous fashion. However, you don't need to look picture perfect. Amusement parks sell well when they're on either the uniquely absurd extreme or the highly relateable one. Something you don't want to do is trade in your local-sounding name for a mainland-sounding name and estrange the masses that could keep you in business.

A big time "Aloooooo-haaaaaaa" to Co Creative and Wet 'n' Wild for making this ad review possible. Hopefully, there are many more to come (that I can actually embed).

Friday, August 7, 2009

What Have The Milwaukee Police Done For You Lately?

Nothing? Good, and that's the way they would like it to be. Some of the stimulus money from the bailout is going to training and hiring more cops and, according to these two spots from Cramer-Krasselt, the Bears have done their job; they just need bigger platoons. The first called "Car" shows in a single black-and-white shot a woman walking down a dark alley. Most ads would assault the woman (and the viewer) with scare tactics. However, the spot turns the tables and the woman makes it safely to her car; the tagline is, "2945 fewer crime victims in Milwaukee last year."

This next one called "Store" in color shows what is typically a convenient store robbery executed by a hoodlum with his hands in his pockets looking sketchy as hell. This one isn't as effective because we learned in the first one that an innocent woman was safe; in this one, a young kid just isn't a thief. I might have gone with a security cam shot for this one though the shot the director uses maintains autonomy within the campaign.

We're also getting some extra cops here (yeah, I'm from the 808). Unfortunately, it's just because the jakes we have right now aren't articulate enough to pronounce 'Click it, or ticket.'

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What The M************ F*** Is 230???

Most believe that it has something to do with GM's Chevy's Volt, which has been on a roller coaster ride of costs and market prices. The tagline under the 230 wherein the zero is a single smiley-faced electrical outlet (hence the Volt) reads 8-11. Now, you don't have to do viral stuff on the Internet or on the streets, but there are many examples of big budget virals looking really damn lame. It's either because they are trying too hard to be viral that they ignore the basics or they just seem like big fat fascist conglomerates. This clip was posted by Youtube user 'whatis230', utilizing an already inauthentic tactic.

I'll update this piece in a post next week. It would actually be kind of uplifting if GM could find a way to get back on its feet. But couldn't it be unlike the Chevy Volt and not need to be plugged in so much?

Update on August 11: Didn't feel like it deserved a new post. The number stands for an EPA-estimated 230 miles per gallon. Which was what everyone was predicting. Still it's quite a figure despite the fact that the new Nissan electric will pull "367 m.p.g., using the same E.P.A. standards"; they're obviously trying to get the buzz started early. Maybe they could start a contest wherein participants who eagerly await the Volt log their mileage troubles in their current busted ass vehicle, perhaps a Toyota.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Since When Does Artful Animation Push Your Music Sales Over The Edge?

Well, the Gorillaz did it and had huge hits like "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc." Now a London-based indie band called One Eskimo has created a trailer (below) and a game to engage listeners for the release of its iTunes-accessible animated series "The Adventures of One Eskimo" coming out August 31st. Unlike the Gorillaz, One Eskimo is utilizing a much more heartfelt approach and the sweetness is ever-present in both pieces available here. I don't just want to watch this online; I want to catch this touching film in theaters. For Xenu's sake, humanity's only source of enduring animations comes from Pixar!

I haven't even mentioned that the story revolves around One Eskimo with the help of his animal friends trying to save his one true love, Little Feather, from the clutches of Mr. Top Hat. The effort will undoubtedly sell more albums and increase the fan base. I have no punchline, marketers. Just tell amazing stories.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Peeing In The Shower Finally Feels Good?

Well, it has always felt good but now it seems that it is doing good, at least according to this new piece from Saatchi & Saatchi Brazil for SOS Mata Atlântica. The group is of the Atlantic rain forest-saving variety (see this recent cutting-edge piece with a stunning reveal and this smart Google Maps demonstration). In the spot, animals, aliens, and famous apes relieve themselves during showers and the spot finishes by stating the importance of saving 12 litres (Hispanic for 'liters') of water.

While there may be other issues with pissing down your tub's drain, the work utilizes such a lighthearted and carefree tone that, no matter how gross women think it is, it's great for Miss Nature and her bushes. Or, if you've got some Febreeze, take a less philanthropic approach.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Does Anything Say "Rock & Roll" More Than The Ignition Of Lighter Fluid?

Other than VD I can't think of anything, especially after seeing these new print spots from Brunner Pittsburgh for Zippo. Let's face it: the ubiquity of cell phones has slowed down the previously ubiquitous practice of the crowd lighting up during a rock concert. Some fools are so lazy that they can only make the Satan hand thing or the royal salute. Zippo is looking to change that by going back to the roots of letting The People decide who really rocked by a show of the flame (pre-Village People). In these two fairly subversive (one of my buzzwords) pieces, Zippo takes aim at the biggest television show and the biggest video game of the decade. The art direction is surreal yet perfectly clear and the copy-writing is some of the best I've seen all year.

The third spot is here because I didn't find it as clever or as undercutting as the above two. I imagine they could get in trouble for putting the words 'guitar' and 'hero' together though they may just end up boosting the game's profits. I cannot believe that there isn't an app for this yet.
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