U.S. Cannes Contenders Presented

From Axe to Altoids to Ikea to Nextel to Adidas, Ad Age has collected ten Cannes contenders from U.S. agencies for your viewing pleasure.

by Steve Hall    Jun-20-05    
Topic: Commercials

Distorted Dog Promotes Olympus Cameras


This is freaky. Very freaky. This spot, called Distorted Dog, another in a series for Olympus cameras, uses distorted imagery of dogs to somehow convey Olympus cameras are better than the competition. While we've never seen a camera do this to our dog, we hope we never see a dog like this one.

by Steve Hall    Jun-15-05    
Topic: Commercials

Coke to Introduce 'Zero' With Remake of Classic Commercial

Hippie Goes Hip-Hop

Later this month. Coke will launch a campaign to introduce its new calorie-free drink, Zero. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a remake, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and shot last week in Philadelphia, of the classic "Hilltop" spot which featured the famous song, "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" which also introduced the tagline, "It's the Real Thing." The new commercial is being labeled "Chilltop" and the song will be sung by G. Love.

Fast Company's Ryan Underwood isn't too thrilled with the song's new lyrics which have, as he writes, "about as much personality as the mahogany table around which they were surely penned."

by Steve Hall    Jun-14-05    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials

Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. Commercial Gets Reality Treatment


If advertising portrayed even a hint of reality, this is what the Paris Hilton "Spicy Paris" commercial for Carl's Jr. would look like. It was done for recruitment company Accolo. You know it was only a matter of time before the spoofs rolled in.

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-05    
Topic: Commercials

Australian Commercial Pokes Fun At Asian Commercials


A MetaFilter poster points to a commercial on this Australian website for Kan Tong, maker of Asian food products and sauces. The commercial imitates and pokes fun at the stereotypical Asian television spot in which the slogans are repeated over and over and actors act wacky. One one hand, it's just plain funny. On the other, as indicated by several comments on MetaFilter, it's offensive and perpetuates Asian stereotypes as envisioned by Australians.

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-05    
Topic: Commercials

Paris Hilton Causes Hunt For Carl's Jr. Restaurants

Where Can I Find That?

It seems the "Spicy Paris" commercial, featuring Paris Hilton, was a big hit both in generating site traffic for Carl's Jr. as well as, perhaps, influencing hamburger sales for the chain.

According to competitive intelligence service Hitwise, searches for the term "paris hilton" grew 102 percent and queries for "carls jr" grew an astounding 802 percent between the weeks ending May 21, 2005 and May 28, 2005. Comparatively, brand searches for Burger King - in the midst of its co-promotion of Star Wars: Sith Sense - increased just 52 percent during the same time period.

Hitwise Clickstream data reveal that, for the week ending May 28, 2005, a full 58.4 percent of those visiting carlsjr.com continued on to spicyparis.com, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to www.carlsjr.com continued directly on to a Carl's Jr. store locator Web site. While Carl's hasn't released detailed sales figures for this period, indicators do point "Spicy Paris" having influence.

"By examining both search volume and clickstream data for this campaign, it is clear that the Spicy Paris campaign had two positive results for Carl's Jr.", said Hitwise VP of Research Bill Tancer. "First it raised awareness for the brand, but also prompted an immediate increase in consumer searches for local Carl's Jr. Restaurants."

Who said sex doesn't sell.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Research

Aliens: McDonald's Doesn't Control the World


Stay Free examines the, in hindsight, cult-like advertising McDonald's did over the year. From McDonaldland to the Evil Grimace to Shamrock Shakes to Happy Face to Mayor McCheese to talking wastebaskets to Double Dutch to the Hamburgler, Stay Free writes, "Here's a mind-blower for hungry third-world countries: in America, where the soil yields healthy food in abundance, we teach our kids to fantasize about over-processed crap with the nutritional value of the inside of a York Peppermint Patty growing in the wild." Revel in the history of McDonald's television fantasy land. After viewing the commercials, you can understand why intelligent life forms visiting this planet don't stay for long.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 8-05    
Topic: Commercials

Quizno's Baby Bob Campaign to Continue

TVGasm points to a craigslist posting looking for a new Quiznos "Baby Bob," which, by the way, is actually a girl. TVGasm laments the continuation of this campaign even though it has been highly rated by IAG and Advertising Age.

While the baby thing has been done over and over and over it seems the public will always be gullible for a cute baby face.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-05    
Topic: Commercials

Maryland Lottery Continues Tease And Reveal Strategy


After teasing us for a month, it's nice to get at least a bit of gratification after only sixty seconds. While sixty second gratification isn't always a good thing, in the case of the Maryland State Lottery, who brought us the elaborate Bovine United mystery, a fast finish can be quite pleasurable. Especially when really bad, mock German band, "I'm So Hot," videos are involved. Created by Eisner Communications, this :60 spot allows us to wallow in the absurdity of a wannabe band for 55 seconds before we are relieved to learn they've been put out of their misery by the Lottery's "The Hot Family game.

In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, we're also treated a kooky, War of the Worlds-like spot for a new game, "Destroy All Humans"; an annoying bug dying on behalf of a pest control company that has a frog as its mascot (you can't make this stuff up); more ridiculous attempts to make Buick cool; a Trojan condom commercial that drags out the HIV card; Lance Armstrong causes an entire town to go fitness crazy for a fitness center and, finally, a fan that pushes a TV off a piece of furniture because Poliflor Furniture Cream With Teflon creates such a slippery surface. A furniture polish that breaks TV's is a good thing? That "I'm So Hot" German band needs the fan more than the TV does.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 6-05    
Topic: Commercials

Parent Group Proliferates Paris 'Porn' Commercial


When will people learn. If you don't like something and you want it to go away, don't say anything. Certainly don't make comments you know will get picked up by every major publication in the world thereby destroying the strategy you set out to accomplish. Obviously when Television Council research Director Melissa Caldwell's Mom said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," Melissa wasn't listening. Nope. She had to go open her big mouth to complain about the Car's Jr. Paris Hilton commercial saying, "This commercial is basically soft-core porn It's inappropriate for television." If Caldwell didn't realize that comment would get every media outlet, including this one to, once again, wag our tongues and drooling even more publicity all over Miss Hilton and Carl's Jr., well, then, she needs to go to her room until she can say something nice.

To help Melissa's cause so that we all know what we're not supposed to see, here's another link to the "soft-core porn" commercial.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Commercials