Helen Bamber Foundation and Emma Thompson Fight Sex Trafficking


Well here's a powerful one from the Helen Bamber Foundation. It features Emma Thompson playing the part of a woman with two very different lives. One, a normal woman and the other, a sex trafficked prostitute. The graphic nature of the commercial hits home hard with the message women who are traffiked for sex lose much more than just their names. Powerful stuff.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 1-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Racy

Dwyane Wade Love Letter Becomes Promotional Vehicle for Converse


Aww. Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade's letter to basketball reads like an earnest, and early, version of Common's "I Used to Love Her," a love letter to hip-hop.

But unlike hip-hop, the game doesn't start turning tricks in adulthood.

The letter is the inspiration for a Converse promotion by Anomaly. The spot, "From Robbins, Illinois," started airing on October 28th. Around that time, the Wade 3 signature basketball shoe was also released.

See the spot and behind-the-scenes footage here. The :60 piece does a good job of capturing a moment that apparently meant a lot to him.

Also, Wade is really into triangles.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-31-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Promotions, Sponsorship

CVS Pharmacy Ad Turns Dial Back 70 Years


"It's in your nature to care for others. To listen, to advise, to always be there."

That statement, coupled with the image of a happy mother tossing her red ribbon into the air as birds whisk it away, may fool you into thinking you've slipped back into a world pre-dating Rosie the Riveter.

And then you hear Sarah McLachlan. Yeah, that's right. Sarah McLachlan. It's the Lilith Fair, a Disney worldview and an appeal for Zoloft, all rolled into :60.

Bob Garfield trashed this ad for CVS Pharmacy. It's called Watering Can (we couldn't have made that up) and was put together by Hill Holiday.

The verdict? Garfield calls it puke-worthy. We'll just call it condescending and icky. Stick with slanging pharma, CVS.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-30-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials

Tea-Sipping Monkey Channels Plush Socks in New PG Tips Ads


Fans of the long-running PG Tips chimp ads will be happy to know the simian is back. (As a sock puppet, sure, but CAPS may call this innovation.)

Founder Duncan Richardson of JDI Integrated Advertising told us that the PG Tips chimps are among the most beloved ad icons in the UK, with campaigns running 20 years deep, give or take a little.

Now the monkey's got an up-to-date left-field wit, a broader sense of drama, and a strange kind of innocence that can only be conjured by braided cotton and beaded eyes -- all of which you can see in The Return.

Monkey (or triangle teabag?) fans can hit PG Tips' Monkey Store to buy shirts, or monkeys wearing shirts, with stuff like "Mr. Shifter?," "3% invisible" and "Monkeh!" printed on them -- none of which we understand, but that only makes it funnier. (And we're not even high!)

We are leaning toward the flirty pink "Back to mine for a cuppa?" That monkey is raunchy.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-28-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Online, Trends and Culture

Some Ads Just Don't Age Well. We Blame the Music


We realize how old this DHL ad is, but we're going to review it anyway because it saddens us that over the past few years we have paid DHL's efforts no mind whatsoever, and now it does next to nothing ad-wise. (Unless you count this, but we sure don't.)

Point of fact: If every DHL delivery actually did come with a passel of ass-shaking Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, the First World may actually use the service. It could be like a sassy singing telegram.

Second point: Disclosure is important. But sometimes, it can be sad. (See comments section.)

One more: Any ad that tries making serious use of an MC Hammer track is just begging to be associated with 1990. And not too much happened there. (Unless you count Manuel Noriega's surrender and the first McD's to open in Moscow, but we sure don't.)

by Angela Natividad    Oct-28-07    
Topic: Commercials, Sponsorship, Television

SF Zoo Uses Word Associations to Drive Traffic to Animal Kingdom


This simple three-note spot convinced us, in just 10 seconds, that we need to visit the zoo.


And you probably do too. Props to Fresh Creation for pointing it out.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-26-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Promotions, Video

Oddly Quirky Commercials Celebrate Environmentally Friendly Bank


Here's a series of commercials for Vancouver's Vancity Savings Credit Union which promotes environmentally friendly financial products with goofy scenarios such as a married couple using aerosol spray while discussing the wife's use of the credit union's credit card that donates to environmental causes, and an Eskimo couple debating whether or not global warming is a myth.

See the enviro VISA, the climate change mortgage and -- our favorite -- the mixer mortgage.

Created by TBWA\Vancouver, the commercials are shot by OPC director Brian Lee Hughes using his usually quirky style and mood. They're not the best we've seen from him but their brand of humor seems to click with us.

by Steve Hall    Oct-26-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Strange

Hellgate London Proves Less than Hellish


For EA's Hellgate London, Wieden+Kennedy, Portland enlisted production company Biscuit Filmworks to create these spots that remind us of both The Blair Witch Project and the death of LonelyGirl15.

Something about tearing limb from limb and not dying in here. Lots of camera fuzz and shakes. Each spot ends with the conviction-dripping statement, "I'm going to London." Ho hum.

Maybe it's just that threats made in English accents aren't super scary. Sure Snatch had blood and gore, but mainly it was rollicking laughs.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-25-07    
Topic: Commercials, Promotions

Audi A3 the Prize in City-Wide Cat and Mouse Game


Like a cross between tag and musical chairs, DDB Barcelona and Agosto Productions have created a new commercial for the Audi A3 which pits drivers against would be drivers in the city of Buenos Aires. The goal of the game is to remain the driver of the A3. To do that, the driver must keep moving and away from those who are chasing the vehicle. If the chaser catches the driver, they become the driver and the game continues. During the commercial, chasers use increasingly inventive ways to get the driver to stop including corralling a bunch of kids to cross the street in front of the car. Surely and sadly, in America, some humorless cause group would take issue with that tactic.

No matter, it's a good spot. It shows the car. It has fun. There are no curvy, winding mountain roads. That alone gets it points.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good

Kings & Queens Makes Aristocracy of Freaks, Geeks, the Beautiful and Damned


Lest we forget that showers are also battlefields for drawing brand allegiances, Lowe, Athens and Kings & Queens -- makers of shower gel, body oil and 21st Century royalty -- come leaping out of left field to reignite our senses.

This campaign never makes you feel the same sensation twice. See the everyday technocrat turned King Caspar. Watch a retro Nefertiti claim a honey-slathered victim. Catch the demure Chinese Princess experimenting in her lab.

And finally -- the crowning glory -- observe a trailer-made brand of Sheba and Solomon. (The paper crown at rest beside the rollerblades: priceless.)

The logic follows: "It's all about being part of an urban culture that makes you feel like an everyday royalty." Ahh.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-24-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Strange