For all of you who think we do nothing around here but heap praise on agency-of-the minute Crispin Porter + Bogusky, we have news for you. We have a new favorite agency and you've probably never heard of it. It's in Cleveland - which many a New Yorker may never have heard of either - and it's called Brokaw. In existence for 15 years, the place just drips with wit.
Tossing political correctness aside, Brokaw created a campaign for Horton Crossbow which proudly proclaimed "Hunters really aren't so different from other environmentalists. We just like to keep souvenirs." Then, the agency released a 15th anniversary video highlighting its work but, eschewing all sense of normalcy, self-mocked itself with a montage and song that was so bad it was good. Following that, it did some really nice work for the Cleveland Art Institute.
One could look at this eBay auction promising a marketer complete access to this person's non-personally identifiable information for a 30 day period so as to razor target the marketer's advertising as a joke or one could realize this is exactly what the future holds: people divulging detailed information about themselves and selling it to the highest bidding marketers in return for a promise to view all their advertising.
Back in April, we reviewed a new campaign from Iceland vodka maker Reyka Vodka. It was quirky. It was different. It was really good. And, as we wrote, the campaign was "oddly transfixing in a 'wow, this doesn't look like an alcohol ad' sort of way."
Upon receiving a sample of the product and, of course, drinking it, we are pleased to report the vodka itself is oddly transfixing in a "wow, this doesn't taste like your usual, everyday vodka" sort of way. Simply, it's really great stuff. It has a flavor but, as the ad campaign touted, it's distinctly vodka tasting as opposed to some of the high end vodkas that have been "smoothed" so much, they taste like nothing at all.
The folks over at Commercial Alert don't like the fact Jack Daniels has signed on as a major sponsor of AMC's upcoming series Mad Men which will display the brand and the product prominently in the show with a character getting drunk on the stuff at a bachelor party in the first episode. Drunk at a bachelor party? That never happens.
With Mad Men taking place in the sixties, the height of the three martini lunch, to us, it makes all the sense in the world for liquor sponsors to be all over this show and for the show's characters to, heaven forbid, get drunk once in a while. Remember, this was the era of pre-political correctness, pre-cause group, pre-well, everything. People had unfettered, guilt-free fun back then.
While women might hate getting cat calls from construction workers, men, on the other hand, love any attention they can get and stench-maker Axe is taking advantage of this in a new Bom Chika Wah Wah promotion that has females dressed as construction workers cat calling men as they walk by. Ask A Copywriter was one of the unfortunate (fortunate?) to experience this ritualistic name calling and snapped a shot of the lovely cat callers who were dressed in denim shorts and stylized construction vest tops.
A long time a go in a place far, far away, a certain class of people were once not so affectionately known as retards. Now, far more affectionately, if a bit sterile-sounding, they're known as mentally-impaired/challenged/disabled. As well, there once was a class of people known as cripples. These very same people are now known as the handicapped.
In the 19th century, doctors coined the terms midget and dwarf to describe people whose height was other than normal or proportional. These height-challenged (oops, did we just make up a new one?) are now known as little people. Doctors even threw around the terms moron, imbecile and idiot to describe people of varying (and low) IQ levels. Now, not so much.
Propaganda and advertising play in the same sandbox. With that in mind, we re-examine Forbes' longtime "Join the Movement!" marketing stint, where images like this and this are used to trigger a taste for the concrete jungle that recalls a certain Slavic brio (1, 2).
The Economist kinda does it, too.
When did red become the new green? Are they two sides of the same coin? Oh God, is that what Christmas is all about?!
Dear Wieden + Kennedy (and most other ad agencies too),
Please repeat on the conference room white board 100 times: A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film.
Or at least stop your PR people from referring to :30's and :60's over and over again as films. They're commercials. They're ads. No matter how beautiful or creatively fueled they are (and your latest work for Nike certainly is, indeed , beautiful), they're ads. They're just ads. Sorry. No amount of creative puffery can change that. Most movies aren't even films let alone :30 and :60 bits of creativity that sell stuff.
So, please, can we lay off the inflated sense of ego and just realize all we do in this business is sell stuff? We can glamorize it all we want. We can give it fancy names. We can even go to Cannes a week after "real" filmmakers do to make ourselves feel as though we are they're equals. We are not. They make entertainment. We sell stuff.
The Pompous Assholes From Adrants
(who, at heart, are really, really nice people who totally understand the business of the press release which, for better or worse, must follow a format that is far removed from how normal human beings speak but, for better or worse, we are stuck with and make fun of from time to time which then causes unrest because of that fun-making which, in turn, causes us to profusely apologize to the very nice human whose job it was to write the standardized information delivery transferal, all of which, for better or worse, rightly earns us the the title Pompous Assholes)
There are unconfirmed and likely false rumors floating about that Nike will sign a marketing deal with high school pole vaulting sensation Allison Stokke. A few weeks ago, Stokke became the subject of a leering Internet drool fest much to the chagrin of Stokke and her family who felt, first hand, what's it's like to be the object of Internet admiration. While images of Stokke are said to have been circulating for years, it wasn't until an image of her posing her her pole appeared on the sports blog With Leather that things broke loose.
Stokke, 18, is a senior at Newport Harbor high school in Newport Beach, California, set the freshman female pole vaulting record of 12' 8" and now jumps consistently over 13 feet. She's won titles, broken records and earned scholarships but now she's feeling the unfortunate fame of becoming an Internet celebrity. At first, she kept it a secret when friends tipped her her images were beginning to appear all over the Internet. Shortly after that she told her parents and has now considered consulting handlers to deal with all the sudden media attention.
Creativity is subjective at best but we think we'll have overwhelming support when we say the newly released London 2012 Olympic logo sucks. On the other hand, creativity is subjective at best but also we think we'll have overwhelming support when we say the newly released 2012 Olympic logo is brilliantly infused with modernity of motion and the mastery of motivation. You choose. We can't.
Viewing the logo, designed by Wolff Ollins, initially caused an immediate WTF? Letting the logo sink in while viewing the illustrative brand video behind the logo causes an entirely different reaction. The support for the brand direction could have easily gone down the ill but well traveled road of Olympic fist pumping, rather it quite eloquently examines what motivates humans to achieve. Interestingly, it wasn't for quite some time, we realized the logo's imagery visually represents the numeric date 2012.