Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah

Take that, political correctness!

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

I'll be taking off until the new year. See you in '09!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Sweet Gift from Sony Style

This commercial is for general Sony products (a camera, PSP, Vaio laptop, Handycam camcorder.) Maybe they'll do an outdoor campaign with real jumbo candy statues. Animation by Tronic.

The name of the group responsible for the music is Nylon. Let me know if you have the song name.

I like the idea of linking delicious sweets such as chocolate and peppermint to holiday gifts and electronics, but the comparison isn't very logical. Nevertheless, some good animation. Made my mouth water!

Guru Grade: 5 / 10

Monday, December 15, 2008

UHU 5 Second Micromercials

That's right, a five-second TV commercial. The German glue company hopes to catch your attention with these quick flashes. I'm not sure how people will respond to these ultra fast blurbs. I comprehend the message because I'm watching it on a computer screen on Youtube. If I was at home and it came on TV when I wasn't really paying close attention, I think this ad would flash by without me even taking notice.

The UHU glue is shown extremely quickly on screen, after we see backwards video of cars disassembling and bridges crumbling.

This is one of the first attempts I've seen to stray away from the normal 30 second or minute long television ads. I am eager to discover whether other companies will resort to these ad flashes. Sure, you can get the message across about your glue and how it will stick within one second, but how will other products market themselves in a similar five-second time allotment?

Click here to watch another

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Volkswagon Spacefox: Dog Fish

This commercial is pretty clever. My favorite part is when the Dog Fish chases the cat, then the cat chases the dog fish. Let me know if you know the name of the song. Sounds like Stand by Me in spanish or something

Guru Grade: 7.5 / 10

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Captain Morgan: Holiday Miracle

I was watching UFC's Fight for the Troops last night and a few of these commercials came on. They're called "Holiday Miracles," but are really just things that would entertain and amaze you while you're drunk, like reappearing limes and magic redirecting spills.

I think those two are the funniest out of the four, but here are the other two:

Click to watch "Found"

Click to watch "Coaster"

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Teens and Jeans: A Comparative Look at Sex in Advertising

I saw a curious correlation with these two spots. The first one is an ad for Levi's 501 jeans. I'll give some incite after the vids. Take a look.

Next up is a British public service campaign. Viewer's discretion may be advised!

Obviously the two ads are intended to produce different reactions. The first one, for the Levi's, is meant to display the excitement of a spontaneous hookup... the uncertainty, the nervous feelings, etc. The other has similar properties during parts of it, but because of the reverse chronology we see the whole picture and what can arise from such activities.

Levi's says go for it. But they don't consider the sometimes nasty side effects of a mystery bed mate. In reality, advertisement number two is much more feasible. It's not all flirting and playful Levi's removal. Some serious things can sprout from such a simple act.

I thought the PSA was another great display of the U.K.'s stellar government awareness programs. Click here to watch a brilliant campaign from a little while ago that received a lot of good feedback.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Garmin: One for All Holiday Jingle

Garmin wants to let you know that no matter who you are, their products can help you find your way. Everyone from mini-mini van drivers, scooter riders, bike peddlers, jogging nuns, hiking vikings, and boating fishermen are covered.

The song is based off of a classic Christmas tune, Carol of the Bells.

The lyrics are as follows:

One for a man, in a little van
Get there with ease, hair in the breeze
One for commuter on motor scooter
Rolls down a hill, bugs in her grill
One for the sport, where all the shorts
Are very tight, made for a bike
One for a nun, out for a run
Wrist keeps a log, what she has jogged
One for a viking out for some hiking
Find the village, he will pillage
Find what you want, find what you wish
There's even one... to find a fish
Give-a give-a give-a give-a Garmin
Find something fun for everyone
Garmin dot com, Gaarminn dot cooooooom
Guru Grade: 8 / 10

TIME's Top 10 TV Ads of 2008

Click here to watch/read

TIME has released the Top 10 Everything of 2008. Lists include albums, buzzwords, campaign moments, gadgets, books, movies, photos, and even TV ads. Right up my alley.

I'm not very fond of these lists. For one, they're ordered from 1-10. I think they should go from 10-1 to build anticipation and excitement for the #1 item. And silly lists each item on its own separate page. Very annoying to click through. Finally, the lists I've seen aren't that great. No Dark Knight in top movies and Love Lockdown as song of the year!? Yuck. Unfortunately, the TV ad list also fails to impress.

#10. It's 3 a.m.
Not worthy. Hillary, pick up the damn phone already.

#9. Guitar Hero's dream band
Not worthy. Just because you can assemble multiple celebrities doesn't mean you should throw them all in the same spot while imitating Risky Business.

#8. Obama's infomercial
Worthy, but only for the epicness of the spot. This half hour ad was a huge purchase for the Obama campaign, which obviously saw successful results on election day.

#7. Visa's Olympic tearjerker
Worthy. I really liked this commercial. It was moving, and didn't end in the classic "USA wins" kind of way.

#6. Old Spice's meta-humor
Not worthy. Not funny.

#5. Scorsese to direct AT&T
Worthy, but maybe for a movie theater where this would have aired (not TV.)

#4. I'm a PC

Worthy, but not for #4. I would include these commercials simply for their attempt to combat Apple's dominance.

#3. Fate, according to Nike

Worthy! For #1! Loved loved loved this ad. Everything was perfectly done, especially the music.

#2. Fed Ex's horror flick
Not worthy. Funny, but not Top 10 funny.

#1. T-Mobile's NBA series
Not worthy. It was good, yeah. But it was all one idea: retired Barkley can't stop calling current b-ball phenom Dwayne Wade. The convos were predictable and not all that laughable.

Overall, it seems like they tuned in during prime time one night and randomly picked ten commercials they saw. Kind of sad. Also, I feel much better about posting Youtube videos in posts now. I used to fear that it was a cheap act to embed videos from an external source due to the unpredictability of the host as well as other factors... but if TIME can do it, I think my ass is covered. Atleast I try to give you guys the best quality; some of the videos on their list looked like they were shots taken of TV screens, a very unprofessional display.

Further Disappointment with Geico Kash Meeting

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about how Geico's caveman and gecko are washed up advertising tools and how they need to invent something else. Sure enough, here comes "Kash." He's a stack of money with googly eyes.

The name of the song is "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell. Possibly the only good thing about the commercial.

I can't say I didn't expect something strange or even outrageous from Geico's next mascot, but a pile of money squeaking up on the window cleaning apparatus during a meeting was something I had never imagined. Or cared to imagine. I don't like it. Maybe future commercials will be better, if they choose to continue the life of Kash, that is.

Here's another spot about a couple eating dinner. So strange.

Guru Grade: 3.5 / 10

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lexus: December to Remember 2008

Ah yes... Because nothing says 'Merry Christmas' (er, um, *Happy Holidays) like monthly payments in the mail.

I don't get this commercial. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm too shallow to comprehend the ideas conveyed here, but it looks to me like they're trying to say that buying a Lexus is just as childish and silly as buying a video game system.

Oh look how dumb he was as a younger being, thinking that little old video game was the best thing ever! HA! Let's scoff at that lame gift. Scoff and try to pretend that this car he's getting won't be a regretful purchase once the economy completely caves and he can't afford groceries! His future self will be in just as much disbelief.

I've seen two other ads from this campaign. One involves a girl who got a pony, and the other features a boy with a big wheel. Seriously, a pony. These people are still just as spoiled as they were as lil tykes.

Guru Grade: 4.5 / 10

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Burger King: Whopper Virgins

Hmm... Whopper Virgins. The campaign, formulated by Crispin Porter + Bogusky (the minds behind the famous "I'm a PC" commercials,) is an ode to classic experimentation. Take a society who has never eaten neither a Big Mac nor a Whopper, and ask them which one they like better. Sounds good... in theory. You see, such foreign countries generally do not have the same types of food as the good ole US of A. They don't drink Starbucks every morning, have hotdogs at baseball games, or drool over such delicious delicacies as fried Oreo's. It's safe to say their idea of what tastes "better" will not match up with our American ideal of scrumptiousness.

These ads have been receiving some criticism. People fear that the experiment is infringing upon the values and cultures of the countries included in the taste test. I think people should be mad (or entertained) by the obvious sexual connotation held within the name of the campaign "Whopper Virgins."

"The world's purest taste test results" will be revealed in the Whopper Virgins documentary on December 7th at 10 p.m. Eastern at Who wants to bet on BK?

My preference? I havn't had either in quite a while, so I'm sad to say that I don't recall the taste of either as being overly satisfying. McDonald's fries are way better though.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

GameStop: Hint or Else

I was curious to discover what was being advertised as I watched this commercial for the first time last night. The blurred out dirty magazines being pulled out from under the bed made for a hilarious scene. GameStop requests you visit, where you can also find two other spots from the campaign. Not bad.

Guru Grade: 7.5 / 10

McDonald's: R&B Jingle

I'm not sure if this is meant to be funny or not. If it is... well it's not funny. If it isn't, why why why? One of the worst commercials I have seen from a big company in a while.

The singer is Don Lee from N2U.

Guru Grade: 1.5 / 10

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Geico Caveman Needs to Evolve

Click here to watch

I've had it with the damn Geico caveman commercials. They were great in the beginning. I laughed and marveled at the simplicity of their humor. However, the time has come to drop it.

Have you seen the new caveman commercials? There's plenty of them... all playing off of how even the spot's star character is tired of being in the commercials. For example, the commercial where the caveman is playing a tennis match against Billie Jean King: Mr. Caveman is just chilling out, thinking he's beating her, only to realize that it was an advertising trap. Hilarious. But they don't stop there. I can think of at least 3 other commercials with the exact same premise: the one where he's on the Jumbotron as the number one fan, the one where he's on a beach and sees the plane fly over with the Geico banner, the one where he's walking along the coast and finds a Geico keychain in the sand using a metal detector...

Enough already! They should have got the hint when the TV series got cancelled before the end of its first season.

The Martin Agency, the creatives responsible for the (once) brilliant campaigns relating lizards and neanderthals to car insurance, have fallen into a slump. They need to step away from the cavemen and stop kicking a dead mammoth. To create more great Geico ads, The Martin Agency really has to realize the has-been status of the caveman, and reinvest their efforts in a new way.

And this goes for that little green gecko, too. How many more unfunny spots of the mock-nature-show host looking for footage do we have to endure? Quit it, anonymous wildlife enthusiast!

For the record, my favorite Geico character of all time is Bob Wehaddababyitsaboy.

Barnardo's: Break the Cycle

Kind of glad I don't live in the UK. Is this what it's really like? Yikes.

The powerful message delivered by this PSA actually warns viewers who are under 13 to not watch, and for good reason. The violence and suggested drug use are vivid and shocking. The slap to the back of the head really got me. The editing was getting ridiculous at the end, but it was necessary to convey the message properly.

Check out their website for more information:

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HP: In the Air

Hewlett-Packard now has a wireless printer. Not a new technology, but the way they conveyed the idea was interesting. If you ever think about it, all those pictures, videos, songs, and data really do float through the air... Imagine if you could turn on a switch and see it all. Between cell phones conversations and wireless internet connections, there would be a lot to look at.

This commercial is clean and well produced.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

If anyone is interested in the credits, please let me know. I'm considering posting the agency/directors/producers for spots from now on, but only if they're wanted.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Simpsons Pokes Fun at Apple 1984

A funny episode. All hail Steve Mobs.

(If you're really that brain dead, here's the original commercial.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Hess Truck is Back!

As a former collector of the annual Hess Truck, I thought it would be appropriate to show you this year's commercial for it. Looks like this one will lift and plow. Neat!

It's hard to analyze the spot too critically. Who can rag on little tykes singing about one of the only toys that has survived the ages? Even if all they do is substitute a new line of the song each year, it will still get stuck in your head.

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Swedish Fish: A Friend You Can Eat

I hate it when videos get deleted from Youtube...

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Cadbury Adams USA LLC"

Sorry folks :/

Gotta, admit... I didn't think Swedish Fish even advertised. After all, their deliciously juicy scale-lined carcasses practically sell themselves. Honestly, what's not to love about Swedish Fish? Sure, there was that one time when I ate an entire bag and had an allergic reaction to the Red 40 dye and swelled up like a balloon, but those things happen.

Notice that there is a cat in an advertisement once again. Continue to prepare for kitty domination.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

I Am King, Says Diddy

When I first stumbled upon this thing, I thought it was just going to be a viral video promoting P. Diddy's music or something. Then I started watching it, and I knew he had to be selling something. In the end a product is finally revealed: cologne, called "I Am King," the same title of this "movie."

From Diddy's blog:

"I am debuting my new movie "I Am King" for my new fragrance "I Am King" which is available exclusively at Macy's. This fragrance is dedicated to Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King and all you men out there who take care of your families and respect and treat yourself like the Kings that we are all. I would like to also announce that this is my audition tape for the next James Bond. There is a black president and it's time for there to be a black Bond. God Bless..."
I used to like my boy Puff. He was one of the few rappers who could talk and actually back it up. For example, he promised us "Ten years from now we'll still be on top..." in "Mo Money Mo Problems" (released in 1997) and what do you know? He's still very successful. But with this "movie" which is nothing but a glorified television commercial, he tries to act like he is the grand messiah of epicness. I'm not buying it. Take that how you want it.

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green Apple Ad is Sour

The flawless shimmer of a Mac ad just doesn't shine right on YouTube, so here's a direct link. (Even though YouTube went widescreen!)

Click here to watch

The name of the song is "Run" by Broadcast 2000.

The greenest family of notebooks, eh? Wouldn't that be some spiral bound made out of recycled paper or something? Honestly, how "green" can a computer be? Sure it uses better materials and takes less energy to run, but compared to having no laptop at all, you're still doing damage.

This whole green movement is merely a global-warming-inspired fad. Just like hula hoops and Tamagotchis, it will become another trend in pop culture that you curiously think back on as you watch 'I Love the 2000's' on VH1 sometime next decade, so it's very weird to see Apple jump on the bandwagon here. They make trends, not follow them.

There's not a speck of creativity outside of what Apple has already been doing in their ads. White space- check. Catching song- check. Fluid motion in animation- check. Where's the new hook? Use the green theme, but beef it up a little, would ya?

Guru Grade: 3.5 / 10

You're in the Movies, Burt Reynolds!

More video game commercials, jeez. I'm a bit timid to put some of these out, because they kind of sell themselves in many cases, leaving no room for creativity in the advertisements. This one's got Burt Reynolds, and he's more obnoxious than ever. However, that game looks really freakin' cool. How do they do it without a green screen? Marvelous.

Guru Grade: 5 / 10

Adidas: Celebrate Orignality

Finally! I was aware of an Adidas commercial with Katy Perry and David Beckham in the works for some time now, and it's just been released. Adidas Originals has invited these and other celebrities, including Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, Mark Gonzales, DMC, Method Man, Young Jeezy, among others, to celebrate 60 years of "Soles and Stripes."

The full length video is shown above, and there are two other spots:

30 Second

The name of the song in the 30 second and minute long ad is "Beggin'" by Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons (Pilooski Re-edit).

The more I watch it, the more celebrities pop out. Was that Estelle? Looks like quite the party.

(Note: Guru Grade may be skewed by the seductive shots of Katy Perry... ~swoon~ )

Guru Grade: 8.5 / 10

Zune, Common, and Afrika Bambaataa

Basic .mp3 player commercial trying to compete with the iPod... They show you how Mixview works with their new Zune software.

The name of the song is called "Universal Mind Control" by Common. The dude he's talking to is Afrika Bambaataa, the artist who released "Planet Rock," one of the most sampled songs of the century.

The only part I like about this commercial is Common's song and how he raises his hand in the beginning. That's hardbody.

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Monday, November 24, 2008

PlayStation Network T-shirt Spot

I saw this while watching 'A Colbert Christmas' last night. Pretty cool effect, but the music video for D.A.N.C.E. by Justice did it better. Anyway, nice to see PlayStation trying to incorporate community into their products, rather than just the appeal of having the priciest tech on the market.

The name of the song is "Pass It On" by Her Space Holiday. (previously unreleased)

This ad as well as others touting the "Entertainment Unleashed" motto will be running throughout the holiday season to entice buyers and make you feel bad for buying your kid a Wii instead of a PS3.

For more information and to see other PlayStation ads, click here.

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stella Artois: The Race

I wasn't planning on posting this, but I'm still waiting for some other videos to pop up online before I can talk about them, so I figured, why not.

This spot makes me happy. Reminds me of 'Life is Beautiful.' It's funny in a disgrace-your-heritage-for-a-pint kind of way (but not really disgracing your heritage, if you see the end.) Bravo. Buon giorno, Principessa!

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Saturday, November 22, 2008

J.C. Penney: Beware of the Doghouse

Click here to watch

J. C. Penney has just released this entertaining video. It's quite long for a TV commercial (about 5 minutes) but it keeps attention and provides some decent entertainment. I think they worked off of a premise that many people will be able to relate to - either positively or negatively. In the end, we learn that diamonds are still a girl's best friend.

Guru Grade: 7.5 / 10

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't Forget Your Free Dr Pepper

A couple months back, Dr Pepper made a silly statement promising to give a bottle of their product to everybody in America if Axl Rose released Guns N' Roses' final studio album in the year 2008. The album has been in the oven for about 10 years now, and it will finally be released on November 23. Yep, that's this Sunday! What's even better is Dr Pepper has stuck to their word and will give US residents one day and one day only to log on to their website and sign up for a free bottle of Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper hasn't really advertised for this event. I reckon they don't want to be giving out TOO much free fizz. Anyhow, here's an ad just to justify the post. Enjoy.

The name of the song is "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project.

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lips Xbox 360

The name of the song is "Take on Me" by a-ha. Classic.

There's a pair of little walking lips in everyone! It may just take a little longer for some people to build up the courage to awake their sleeping soprano in front of the whole party. But don't worry... if little walking lips guy can do it, so can you! A very goofy spot indeed. I like when little lips dude beat boxes at the end.

Guru Grade: 7.5 / 10

Charles Schwab: Talk to Chuck

I have a friend who is severely freaked out by these commercials. They've been running for awhile now. The animation technique used is called interpolated rotoscoping, designed by MIT Media Lab veteran Bob Sabiston. The purpose of this cartoony appearance is to emphasize what the person is saying, which can often be ignored if there is nothing else to catch your attention.

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sonic: The Stalls

Click here to watch

Sonic spoofs the Hills! This is the first season of "The Stalls" wherein your favorite characters from those funny drive-in commercials cause some front seat drama while dining on the finest in-car fast food. Although the premise may be cheap and corny, this campaign is special because it is one of the first episodic TV commercial series, airing on Mondays around 10:11 p.m. Eastern.

The folks over at Sonic are playing perfectly into the hands of its target market. The teenage girls and college students who worship the stars of the Hills are probably the ones going to Sonic most often (At rush hour: 3 in the morning, of course.)

What I like most about these spots is the way the captions roll across the screen, imitating the Hills' production design to a tee. However, the spots are only 30 seconds long, leaving little time for a decent amount of content. I think a minute long episode would be better. The ADD generation probably wouldn't sustain anything longer than that though.

A television commercial series! Finally! I'm really happy about these little clips, and it will actually keep me coming back for more. Guess that means I'll be watching the Hills, too. Whatev. TTYL.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

Friday, November 14, 2008

Samsung and Ozzy Osbourne

This commercial is for the new Samsung Propel device. I was a dedicated viewer of MTV's 'The Osbournes' and I've seen quite a bit of Ozzy's mumbling. While I understand where they're coming from, I don't think they needed to exaggerate his speech as much as they did. Hopefully they continue this campaign and include people like Don Vito.

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Toshiba: Time Sculpture

Just a cool video I found:

The song is "Air War" by Crystal Castles.

View 'The Making Of' Here

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Moar Cats in Advertising

I always thought cats hated water, but I guess they found a way to get across seas to be pictured in this Royal Mail spot from the U.K. And of all things to be doing on Election Day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dupont: Open Science

Here's a new spot by the Ogilvy, NYC team. They animate a fictional world and try to explain what 'open science' is. I'm not impressed.

Sure, commercials like this are nice to look at. They're visually appealing and have a certain artistic charm, but what else? A good advertisement has to be more than just pristine execution. Any ad agency can make a pretty spot with an endless budget, but a creative idea- something special needs to be added, and I don't think this commercial had it. Check out the dialogue:

"What is open science? It's minds working together to do amazing things. It can rebuild cities, making them safer and more sustainable. It can bring solar power to remote villages. It makes materials lighter, which saves fuel. It can feed a growing planet. Science that's open, opens up possibilities everywhere."
Sounds good, right? They've paid close attention to their audience, by using words and phrases that will be met with agreement, such as "sustainable," "solar power," and "saves fuel." But is this what you're really doing, Dupont? Show me some remote villages that you're providing solar power to. Give me an example of the sustainable methods you employ. Explain how open science can "feed the planet." Oh, what Dupont? You can't. This was all just vague rhetoric you used to accompany some fancy visuals.

Why create this animated fantasy world, where the skies are blue and cities are built in the blink of an eye? Is it because the real world we reside in is so far from that ideal that it seems like an impossibility to attain the things that you promise?

Face the facts. Our planet is in a dire situation, and life is not flowers and butterflies. Instead of lying to the public by exhibiting a perfect dream world, get real and start putting your "science" where your mouth is.

Something like this ad from is what I'd rather be seeing from Dupont.

Royal Caribbean: Nation of Why Not

Click here to watch

This flashy spot is part of a new campaign for Royal Caribbean. They created a colorful fantasy land and combined it with all of the things you can do on a cruise. Royal Caribbean wants you to discredit the normal limits of technology and do things that seem oxymoronic, like climbing a mountain at sea or ice skating on the equator.

The Nation of Why Not campaign comes at a perfect time- right after the presidential election. It might not sound all that ridiculous to some McCain supporters to actually "secede from land"...

The music is very catchy, but I don't think it is an actual song. Probably just produced for the commercial.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cats in Advertising

We've almost come full circle, back to the times of the Egyptians. Soon we will worship cats and take direct orders from them. A curious online obsession with "lolcats" created by 4chan and icanhascheezburger has led us down this hole. Now felines have crept into advertising...

Cats are ninjas in this Toyota Corolla commercial, packed with a lil' action. If it were any other animal, you'd think it was the dumbest ad you've ever seen. But they are cats. So it is awesome. This is episode one "The Heist." There are two more coming soon.

Hubert here has lost his marbles and now dines on Whiskas cat food, prancing around the house like a four-legged tail-haver.

Some methods are less direct, like this spot for Zyrtec. Notice the menacing beast, just waiting to pounce.

Keep an eye out for more cats in advertising, and report back here. Meow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pillsbury: Home is Calling

This is Pillsbury's first big brand campaign since 2001. The obvious triple shoe tap is from The Wizard of Oz. I wonder if they had to get permission, since they never exactly referred to the film directly, but they definitely used the idea.

If you go to the Pillsbury website, you can see that they are donating money to Feeding America every time the video is sent through e-mail, so you might want to check that out.

This commercial is really simple. Take a person, put them in an unfamiliar or stressful environment, make them wish they were home. While it's a good idea, I think the minute-long ad is a little much. After the first few shoe taps it just gets repetitive. Anyway, Pillsbury's soft sell approach should capture the attention of comfort seekers who need some relief from these tough economic times. We're going to be seeing a lot of emotional ads during the holiday season this year.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Microsoft Gives Power to the PC People

The "I'm a PC" commercials were such a success that Microsoft decided to let you show your PC-ness:

This is your 5 seconds. Make it count. Raise your mouse hand high and show us what kind of PC you are. Be honest, but be original. Be uniquely You. And feel free to think outside the webcam. Use a video camera. Go on location. The better the piece, the better chance you’ll have of making it to TV.

So I figured the TV ad guru should take a crack at getting in one of the commercials. Heck, I'm just as quirky as any of those people. Here's what I came up with:

Unfortunately, they already have another commercial out that's all about food, so my chances have severely declined already. But bacon is the greatest victual of all time, so maybe they'll throw it in there.

Click here to watch

Ad Showcase: Columbia Sportswear Pioneers

Click here to watch

I was first intrigued by the off-road unicyclist. Then I saw the oil tanker surfers, and I knew I'd have to do a showcase about these ads. Other "pioneers" include a group of guerrilla gardeners, a blind sled dog racer, and a pair of tundra golfers.

I thought these odd sports were cooked up by some ad agency, hoping to attract attention to Columbia Sportswear, but these athletes are real. Check out the website to see some in-depth interviews. Some of their stories are very interesting.

"Nobody had really done street unicycling before. Nobody had tried to grind a rail or jump down stairs or anything like that, so that became my goal. That's what I wanted to do. I had seen skateboards do it and I had seen bikes do it, and I said, ya know, maybe this is possible on a unicycle," Dan Heaton, street and mountain unicyclist.

The spots all have a slight theme of poking fun at these adventurers, but they still provide respect to the strange activities.

The song playing over all of the spots is called "Quest for Glory" by Q-Factory.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Elected 44th President of the United States of America

Congratulations!!! Good job voters!

New Ad Council Campaign is Really Gay

There's a new campaign trying to reduce bias against bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender students in America's school. Too bad it sucks.

The Ad Council thinks that saying "that's so gay" is harmful to homosexuals. Really? Sounds like a simple observation to me. They also say on their website that it is a homophobic remark.

I really hate these commercials for a few different reasons. First off, saying "that's gay" doesn't even mean "that's homosexual" anymore. The word has evolved and changed, just like it did from "happy and jovial". The Ad Council fails to realize the new use of the word. I've actually heard homosexuals use "gay" in this context. They don't care because they know it doesn't mean "homosexual." Words change.

Also, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. I will NOT "knock it off." What are these people thinking, throwing out demands through a one-way medium!? I'm not gonna listen to Wanda Sykes anymore than I'm gonna watch her bad acting.

If they want people to stop making fun of each other, they should probably start with their own ads, and stop making fun of ditsy teenage girls, people who make certain fashion choices, and guys who can't grow full mustaches. It's hypocrisy in the ugliest form.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Smokey the Bear: Get Your Smokey On

Click here to watch

Only you can prevent wildfires! I remember it as "Only you can prevent forest fires." That's because in 2001 they changed it to wild ones only. Another piece of Smokey the Bear trivia you might not know is that his name really isn't Smokey the Bear. It's Smokey Bear. A song by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins popularized the incorrect middle name, which seems to have stuck.

The Smokey Bear campaign celebrates its 64th anniversary this year, and Smokey is back and better than ever. His new CGI appearance has taken on a whole new look. The Smokeys of the past didn't look too frightful to me, but this one looks like a hairy linebacker. Stern and burly.

Anyway, the commercial in the link has two people in a diner spotting a could-be forest fire starter. The guy turns into Smokey when he confronts the smoker. I saw this while I was watching the Simpsons on Hulu. Sweet.

Starbucks: Free Coffee for Voters

Click here to watch

Once again posting up some reminders to vote. Starbucks, the wonderful company that they are, will provide FREE coffee to anyone who votes on November 4th.

I really like this commercial. It's a typography styled spot that looks like text on the side of a cup of Starbucks coffee. Typography is an emerging art form, and this is the first time I've seen it used effectively on a TV commercial. It caught my attention with the simple flow and catchy piano tune. The name of the song is "Ja" by Stefanie Klo.

So go vote, and if you want go to Starbucks and get yourself a free tall cup of fresh brewed coffee. Myself, I'll be chillin' in Dunkin' Donuts.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Just some reminders!

Choose or lose. Take off your shirt.

Vote for change. You're not doing anything important on Tuesday anyway.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama: American Stories, American Solutions

You're in for a long one here folks. Obama bought this HALF HOUR spot and aired it on seven TV channels during prime time. Epic.

Don't forget to GO VOTE!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Basketball Bonanza

There's been a few commercials relating to b-ball lately that I've found semi-enjoyable. And lucky for you, I've decided to lay 'em all out for your viewing pleasure. Pick and roll.

This first one is for NBA TV. It's footage of Kevin Garnett talking about himself and his team throughout the season. I like how they splice the clips together. At times it progresses almost seamlessly. It was probably a pretty cheap spot, too. The music dawdling in the background is "Slonce Moje" by Human.

Next up is an ad for American Airlines. Don't you love happy endings?

Kevin Garnett returns to endorse the video game NBA 2K9. The commercials epitomize the attitudes and habits of gamers just chilling with their bros.

Click here to watch another

And another

Ad Showcase: UPS Whiteboard

Click here to watch

Remember these gems? Some quick strokes and the Postal Service. I just saw one on TV today and it reminded me how enchanting this campaign can be. I don't know why, but I love watching this guy draw his little sketches on that dry erase board. Do you think he practices that a lot?

The man with the marker is named Andy Azula, and he's the creative director of the campaign. Usually people in that position stay behind the camera, but the agency felt it was appropriate for him to appear in the actual commercials after they found several focus groups preferring him over the other professional actors cast for the role. The ads are directed by Errol Morris.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gears of War 2: Last Day

Seems to be a lot of worthy video game commercials lately. Maybe I'm just their target market and they know what I like!

The name of the song in this commercial is "How It Ends" by Devotchka. The discordant sounds give an edgy feel to the video, and if you've ever played the game, you know that the song fits in perfectly.

I distinctly remember the commercial from the last Gears of War game. It was a very dark and dreary spot with the song "Mad World" by Gary Jules. Once again they have chosen a tune that will capture the interest of the audience and generate attention. I think it has something to do with the executive producer, Jeff Baron. He's been involved in the Nike Fate commercial as well as several other spots with awesome audio.

Ahh... the sweet, sweet sound of curb stomps and chain saws awaits me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guitar Hero Loves Celebrities

This Risky Business styled ad features Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, and Tony Hawk rocking out to "Old Time Rock and Roll" performed by Bob Seger. It's for the new Guitar Hero game. I'm sure this assemblage of super stardom will attract many of potential heroes.

Rock on, America.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

True Change

Remember that classic Budweiser "Wassup" commercial? Here's a spoof of it. Wasssuuuuup.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Sun for 30p

All this for just 30p! Brilliant!

I had to post this ad from the UK. I thought it was pretty cool, a very unique idea.

The name of the song in this commercial is called "I Just Can't Get Enough" by Wallis Bird. It's a cover of Depeche Mode.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cox Pod Digis

This spot is a few months old, but I've just stumbled upon it. Cox Communications hopes these little guys can emphasize their message: "Your Friend in the Digital Age." The little pod people are called Digis.

The song in this spot: Justin Sconza (from band Walter Meego), “Pretty Picture,” published through Spectre. Click here for more.

For more information from the studio responsible for the comercials, click here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Channel Surfing: New Pepsi Logo

This segment features specialty marketing that may go beyond the usual limits of this blog.

Well, there it is. Surprising eh? I can't believe Pepsi is abandoning such a well known brand icon. Already people are voicing their opinion about the face lift...

The new logo is just a small part of PepsiCo's $1.2 Billion attempt to try and get back some drinkers who have drifted to the Coke side of life. Over the course of three years, Pepsi hopes to increase their market share with new packaging, merchandising, and advertising.

So why the new logo? Is Pepsi trying to tell us something about who they want for president, or which airline they prefer? No, apparently the white band is supposed to be a smile. Other brands will also be getting remodeled as happy mouth shapes: Diet Pepsi will be a grin and Pepsi Max will be a laugh. Also, Mountain Dew will become Mtn Dew. Srsly.

They claim that Coke is not the culprit, but the bad economy. People have stopped buying carbonated soft drinks, and they hope the change can bring back drinkers. Unfortunately, the move also comes with a 3,000 person job cut, and six plants will be shut down.

Note: All of these images have been stolen from the internet, and are in no way mine.

Apple Strikes Back

With the Seinfeld spots and Microsoft's new attempts with advertising Windows, Apple has released two new commercials. Here's the first one, called "The V Word":

And the next one is probably going to be more effective, titled "The Beancounter":

I can hear Bill Gates' shrieks of pain from here.

It seems that this little battle between the two computer giants always ends in the same way; with the victor smirking beneath their white background and playful melodies. Now, I am a proud PC user. I enjoy the bickering between the brands, but I will not take sides. It's like two opposite viewpoints: neither is "right", neither is "better", it's what you prefer.

These ads can also be related to the presidential campaigns. As the race gets more intense, parties resort to negative smear campaigns, and I bet it won't be long before Microsoft takes the low road as well. So far, they have focused on themselves and simply defended their case, but this ugly sport can no longer sustain civil communication... The fighting will escalate until ridiculous things happen: a Gates vs. Jobs wrestling match, an online civil war between the operating systems, mass virtual havoc! Until, of course, Google launches their line of computers/OS's and they take over the world. THE END.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Holiday Inn Express Rap Battle


Bonus commercial!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fable 2: Destiny

This mysterious, almost movie-like trailer is a great spot for Fable 2, a video game for the Xbox 360. It's very Lord of the Rings esque, and displays how you can transform and who you can become in the game. The agency responsible is named T.A.G.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nike Fate

It's official. Wieden+Kennedy are the top of the top, by far my favorite agency.

This commercial features Troy Polamalu and LaDainian Tomlinson as they grow up as active youngin's and eventually clash in the big league, as if fate would have it. The music to the commercial really puts the icing on the cake. It's "The Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone. Old school retro style.

The tag line is Leave Nothing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

MTV Tr3s: "Words" by Soy Mono

Click here to watch

MTV's Hispanic channel tr3s celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with these goofy spots. I find it kind of ironic that a commercial trying to honor Hispanics comes off as slightly racist... Oh well, they're freaking hilarious. Check out all eight, chico.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dentyne: Make Face Time

Click here to watch

If you were curious, the song used in all of the spots is called "Summer Day" by Coconut Records.

Dentyne has released this campaign that demands you "Make Face Time" by getting off the computer, turning off the cell phone, and going out to meet with people face-to-face. And with the minty help of Dentyne, maybe even you can score a make-out session!

When surveyed by Dentyne gum, 9 out of 10 Canadians prefferred face-to-face communication over any other form, and 6 out of 10 felt that technology was actually getting in the way of friends and family. While these statistics may be inflated (I'm not sure of the accuracy or randomness of the sample or how the survey was conducted) they are something to consider with the rapid growth of the internet, cell phones, and other new media. Have these innovations caused us to forget about what they were made for in the first place - to better communicate with the people around us?

Right now, I could send a message to somebody in Hong Kong, and they would receive it in seconds. It's a marvel of human acheivement that should not go unnoticed, but I could also do the same for somebody sitting in a room two doors down -- somebody who is easily accessible and who is only a few short steps away -- but should I? This is the ethical question that Dentyne is answering with their campaign. Yeah, you can walk over and talk to them, but laziness and efficiency have led many to choose the simpler option.

We're running head on into a region of human society that has never been encountered before, so naturally there will be problems adapting to the rapid information exchange of the modern day. As of now, our digital world cannot provide most of the things exhibited in the "Make Face Time" commercials, such as intimate human emotion and group interaction on a personal level. These kinds of missing qualities are the attributes that gives new media a bad reputation for being antisocial tools. Hopefully one day our computers and phones and next-new-things will incorporate those human features.

Dentyne is so serious about their intentions to ween you off of your technological addictions that they have a 3 minute timer on their website that will actually stop you from browsing the page and will tell you to "go browse the worldwide something else". Unless of course you're watching the TV ads, then it pauses for you. I guess social interaction still isn't as important as the bottom line.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maybe, Michael Jordan, Just Maybe

Well I really cannot find any worthy content these days, so I had to dig something out from the old bag 0 tricks. This is an old Jumpman 23 spot, and I fancy it quite a bit. Enjoy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm a PC, and I blog about TV commercials

Click here to watch another

And another

Just when I thought Microsoft was done for good this year advertising-wise, they throw this at me while I'm watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (disgustingly hilarious, by the way). I'd just like to say: that's what I'm TALKING about.

Can we all just decide on one thing first? Even if you enjoyed the Seinfeld spots, there was no way they were turning any kind of profit. They can tickle your nostalgia lobe and make you dust off those Seinfeld DVDs that have been collecting dust ever since you got them for Christmas last year, but if those commercials actually convinced you to buy a PC, then I am truly afraid for your mental well-being. With that said, I really enjoy these new ads from Microsoft.

Everybody knows the infamous PC vs. Mac ads from Apple. Microsoft looked at their options and decided "Hey, ya know what? Life as the PC guy really ain't that bad." After all, PC's are very widespread. All different kinds of people use them to accomplish important tasks and other things in life that are vital to them.

They've even recruited some well respected celebrities including basketball star Tony Parker, his wife Eva Longoria, N*E*R*D front man Pharrell, influencial medical doctor Deepak Chopra, Ultimate Fighting Champion Rashad Evans, and of course your boy Billy G -- but that one's a no brainer. He must have nothing better to do after stepping down from CEO. I heard that sometimes he gets so bored he tries to see which pile of cash will burn faster: fifties or c-notes.

The "Life Without Walls" campaign also features Microsoft employees, random civilians, children from third world counties, environmentalists, an astronaut, a blogger, a fisherman, some dude with a beard, a broadcaster, hot foreign chicks, and the hook: an almost spot-on look-alike of John Hodgman, the "real" PC from the Mac ads.

As I sit here typing away on my Toshiba laptop, running Windows Vista, I must say that I am kind of comforted by all of these other PC users. Damn. That's good advertising. And even better? Great brand reinforcement. When marketing expensive products such as computers, brand reinforcement is a must-have.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AIG to Pull Ads Due to Irony

As you've probably heard, AIG has been bailed out by the US government in an event that will cost us a hefty $85 billion. Ahh just put it on the tab, Uncle Sam. Heres an ad from AIG that they have cut from their advertising efforts for obvious reasons:

"The strength to be there." Yeah, right. Epic fail + facepalm.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama on the Economy

After the recent economic downfall (aka the beginning of the end) I thought I'd post a serious commercial concerning the ordeal. Barack voices his opinion and does so quite eloquently...

watch video | digg story

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Microsoft and Seinfeld: A Comic of Truthiness

click to enlarge

'Nuff said.

Quantum of Solace Coke Zero Trailer

Click here to watch

The 22nd James Bond movie comes out on November 14 here in the states, and I'm super excited. I thought Daniel Craig did an excellent job in Casino Royale, this upcoming film's prequel.

This commercial displays all the great things about 007: cars, girls, excitement, and action. It looks like they took the footage and drowned it in Coke style. The smooth curves of reds and blacks exude Coca Cola. If you happen to notice anything around you, you might find that I am quite fond of these color combinations.

I guess Coke Zero is revitalizing their brand with this new campaign. I also saw them on my college campus just handing Coke Zero's out for free. Sounds good to me. I mean, who doesn't appreciate the simple joy that is a free bottle of Coke? It's a rare gift that transcends the boundaries of fiscal and monetary needs, and proceeds to fulfill the basic human emotions of compassion and happiness...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Double Stuf Racing League: Mannings vs. Williams

Click here for more

Ah yes, the Oreo. Their Double Stuf variety, which promises twice the cream filling, has launched a new marketing strategy that pits individuals against each other in a battle of twists, licks, dunks, and gulps. Nabisco has recruited two pairs of well respected athletes: tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and football fames Peyton and Eli Manning.

Anyone else notice the US Open and Nike logos? Interesting...

Anyway, the press conference mocking spots are centered around a curious self-made sport. They are hoping people will actually partake in the game, maybe even buy some of their official cups, jerseys, and headbands. Will this competition be successful? Well, plenty of stupider sports have been invented.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's a Commercial About Nothing!

More disappointment. Back later with more criticism. In the mean time, feel free to comment.

UPDATE: Okay, I'm somewhat torn on how to feel about this one. On one hand, it's a decent spectacle with some laughable moments and situations. I love ping pong. On the other hand, it's a long and pointless episode that has nothing to do with Microsoft other than one of the characters is Bill Gates.

It seems as though Microsoft is going for the "cool" factor. They want that sexy appeal that other certain computer giants emanate, but it seems that no matter how hard they try, failure to gain access to the popular table at the global corporations lunchroom will follow.

The reason why Mac commercials are so successful is because they had a great creative idea (personifying the machines) AND they pointed out certain features that make Macs "better".

With this new set of ads from Microsoft, they avoid all of the issues with Vista and Microsoft as a whole. They have not stood up for themselves and said "Hey, this is our product and this is why you should buy it." Instead they take Apple's criticism and choose to turn the other cheek by making commercials that avoid all of the issues.

I'd really like to see how these ads pay off in the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

iPod Nano and Touch Ads from Apple's Let's Rock!

This ad is a fun little commercial, displaying all of the colors of the new iPod. It is called nano-chromatic. The name of the song is "Bruises" by Chairlift.

This spot for the new iPod Touch looks like the iPhone commercials. The tag line is "The funnest iPod ever." The name of the song is "Around the Bend" by the Asteroids Galaxy Tour.

(Click on the videos to watch them in a higher quality definition at Youtube.)

I've been keeping up with a liveblog (the most fascinating nerd sport in the world) broadcasting straight from Apple's "Let's Rock" convention. They're announcing a whole new line of iPod Nanos, as well as a new iTunes (8.0), new iPod Shuffles, and also the new iPod Touch.

Super excited that Apple has finally abandoned the silhouette campaign! (I hope!) This company has the potential for some great spots, and it's a shame to waste every iPod commercial on snazzy editing of an unseen dancing ghost coupled with the next soon-to-be top 40 artist. Even though those are still awesome.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Microsoft and Seinfeld: Shoe Shopping

Well, that was disappointing. I felt like there was a laugh track missing... oh and funniness. Churros and showering with clothes on? Not doing it for me.

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry... Don't sell yourself to these numskulls. Yes, for a moment I thought these ads could be the revitalizing boost that Microsoft needed to get on the same cool level as Macs, but clearly that's not the case. How does this even relate to Microsoft!? Bah.

Maybe I'm just bitter because they never made a Seinfeld movie.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Where are the Seinfeld Microsoft Commercials?

Click here to :(

The news a couple of weeks ago was that Jerry Seinfeld was being paid $10 million dollars to do a series of ads for Microsoft. The new campaign was supposed to pull Microsoft out of the gutters and back onto the street alongside those Apple folks. The first ad was supposed to air September 4, (today) but there's no sign of it so far. Perhaps they'll debut it around McCain's speech this evening? Or maybe Microsoft is caught in a tizzy over Google's new browser, Chrome, which is inevitably superior to IE8?

I'll be back when it surfaces...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brylcreem: Effortless

It has been a pretty slow week, so I'm going to post something I've had lying around for awhile.

Cool tricks, huh? Any weary viewer would think that some kind of computer animation was involved in the production of the commercial, but believe it or not, it was all done in one flawless take. The skillful actor, Sam Veale, was chosen as the winner of a Myspace challenge issued by Brylcreem. And for anyone interested, the music was done by a Scottish indie group called B Raymond and the Voicettes.

Click here to watch behind the scenes of the ad

Spots like this one are the reason why I love advertising. When executed properly, commercials can be a truly beautiful art form. It takes a lot of imagination, time, and hard work but in the end something really cool is produced. The ad may not sell hair styling products, but it carries an immensely important aesthetic value that will be appreciated by many.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Name That Drug

Click here to watch

Recently there's been a few drug companies that seem to have found a loophole in the drug advertising system. The law from the Food and Drug Administration is, if you are advertising a product, you have to name all of its possible side effects and dangers, which can often consume many costly seconds. However, if the product is not named, then side effects can be omitted from the ad.

The ads you saw obviously direct you to the website Silence Your Rooster. Here the product is advertised, and all of the information about the drug at hand (Ambien CR) can be found, without the advertiser having to buy air time.

It's a neat tactic, and I wouldn't be surprised if this became the next big thing in drug advertising. All they have to do is set up some brand association in an initial set of ads, then drop the drug name and rake in the broadcast time.

Another company working this angle is Pfizer, who advertised their anti-smoking drug Chantix with an ad directing people to

Friday, August 29, 2008

Levi's Commercials

Levi's is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Their jeans and other denim products are deeply rooted in the family tradition of quality and excellence, and their ads uphold to the same standards. The spots I have here are probably a bit longer than the commercials you're usually used to:

"Onion Peel"
Click here to watch

Click here to watch

I really enjoyed these two, especially Knockout. The thing I like about advertising simple products, such as jeans, is that the target market already knows about the product. I'm aware of Levi's. I know how much they cost. Now I just need some incentive to go out and buy a pair of dungarees. Perhaps a little minisode that tickles my cranium? Yes, yes... that'll do.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ad Showcase: Car Commercials of August 08

I've been seeing a few automobile adverts that, while not warranting their own post, are worth a nod. Enjoy.

Mini: Demon Carts

Audi A4: Progress is Beautiful

Lexus ES - Perspective

Chevy Volt - Disappear