29 February, 2008

Friday Ad Haiku: Microsoft's $300M "Project"

Normally, I try to keep the Friday 5-7-5 a little breezy, but recent news of Crispin Porter & Bogusky's successful pitch for Microsoft's latest Windows campaign has got me all hot and bothered. A project worth 300 million smackers will do that to anyone, I suppose. I'm curious to see how CP&B intends to reverse the thorough ass-kicking that Microsoft's image has taken from not only Apple's brilliantly choreographed Mac vs. PC campaign, but also the failure of Vista to not suck.

They helped Burger King reclaim its flame-broiled throne, but this is Sysiphean in comparison.

To our ad brothers-in-arms, for what it's worth, a word of advice:

It worked for Whopper
But don't bother with Vista
No one would Freak Out.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: False Advertising

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/Hot Mess

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28 February, 2008

Intern Sweatshop: A New Series

One of the great things about working at a mid-size agency: you get the opportunity to stick your hands in the guts pail of sundry tasks and duties; job titles are more like suggestions than pay grades. I rather like that. Only downside is these duties sometimes eat into my non-billable tasks such as throwing prima donna temper tantrums, stealing editors' food from the kitchen, and, most importantly, the sweet release of blogging. It's a busy time around the shop as of late and, seeing as how I can only expect the Cap'n to post so many ad blogs about shots to the groin and pooping snowmen, we're going to open up a new series 'round these parts.

Submitted for your approval, the first in a series of blogs from our agency's favorite renewable source of semi-forced free labor, the intern pool. --ed.

The Starbucks Shutdown
National companies thrive on television advertisements as a way to pound their ideas into the minds of consumers. Up until recently, Starbucks hasn’t followed this mantra. Somehow, it still manages to maintain a healthy caffeinated cult. But on February 26th those who worship at the altar of the almighty non-fat frappe were forsaken. For three hours anyway. Starbucks closed its 7,100 doors for a “coffee break” to retrain unenthusiastic baristas. Americans had a caffeine meltdown. The news was posted nationally across the U.S. in papers, on the internet, and on television, inadvertently giving Starbucks what they are known for not doing: advertising.

What happened to Dunkin Donuts, or reasonably priced 7-Eleven for coffee, or any other advertising coffee joint?

Well, Dunkin Donuts got wind of the “coffee break” and made a pitch to win over Starbuckees by giving out free coffee; they needed to. It was an attempt to save some face. Perhaps we can distract you with our new foam-filled latte. We even made it somewhat expensive and tiny, although not up to par with the normal four-dollar tall Starbucks latte. Maybe a box of munchkins will make up for a three-hour caffeine-induced headache.

Americans need Starbucks coffee like they need cigarettes or Britney Spears in tabloids drinking Starbucks while smoking cigarettes. Dunkin Donuts can probably give up hope to win over Starbuckees. Overly-priced coffee is what the world wants, not Milky Way hot chocolate. Sorry, guys.

Megan Stewart, Intern

Intern Sweatshop: A New SeriesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

26 February, 2008

Top 6 “No’s”, Captain Awesome Is Told Nearly Every Week

1. No, the client does not want a commercial that has an alien mothership blowing up the Arizona coastline.

2. No, the client does not want an alien mothership.

3. No, the client does not want to blow up the Arizona coastline.

4. No, we’re not going to send you to the Arizona coastline. Arizona doesn’t even have a coastline.
Captain Awesome looks confused.

5. No, we haven’t found someone to replace you yet. Every time we mention salary, the interviewee just starts laughing.

6. No, you can’t write a blog about this. Now, go back to your office…cubicle…(groans)…Fortress of Awesomitude.

Captain Awesome scurries away, with his arms spread wide, making airplane propeller sounds.

--Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

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22 February, 2008

Friday Ad Haiku: False Advertising

When I woke up this morning, last night's "winter storm warning" was merely a light snowy fur. Of course, when I got to my car, I realized that fur covered a shell of ice. So hear's to building things up to be more than they are, things not being at all what they seem and "all the hype" not living up to expectations.

For Your Friday Haiku Pleasure:
False Advertising

Make-up. Wonderbra.
Pretty girl facade hides an
Albino scarecrow.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5:
Account Executives

Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

Friday Ad Haiku: False AdvertisingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

20 February, 2008

Tales from the Spam Filter: Sigh, want some drugs?

What, no more Viagra poetry or sweet euphamisms? No mention of "Angry Pants Sticks" or "Love Pencils"? Spamming Zombie Email Account (from an FAA-contracted aircraft parts manufactuer!), you disappoint me. You're not even trying anymore.

Hon, I'm from Baltimore. I bet I know more places to buy drugs than you do.

Previously in Tales from the Spam Filter: Neil Armstrong takes one giant leap for male enhancement.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/I got G-Packs, yo.

Tales from the Spam Filter: Sigh, want some drugs?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

18 February, 2008

We're not saying "throw the race". Just enjoy the track longer than the other competitors.

There's something to be said about an old-fashioned Assault and Battery. Or your traditional Grand Theft, Auto. Crispin Porter & Bogusky's Coke Zero campaign featuring fictitious Coke brand managers lobbying against Coke Zero has endeavoured to add Taste Infringement to the list of great American legal infractions.

Their latest efforts for the Daytona 500: hilarious. The Coke brand manager duo attempts to sweet talk, plead, and otherwise cajole drivers who sport the Coke Zero logo to please, please, please stay out of the winner's circle to prevent the soft drink from stealing regular Coke's thunder. After all, they claim Coke Zero's already stolen Coke's taste, those sonuvabitchin' soda pirates.

And even if you've never parked an RV in the infield grass or smoked homemade squirrel beef jerky in a racetrack port-a-potty, you'll enjoy the dig they get in at Tony Stewart at the end.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/Pole Positioned

We're not saying "throw the race". Just enjoy the track longer than the other competitors.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

15 February, 2008

Friday Ad Haiku: The Account Executive

Remember to smile.
Give 'em the ol' shuck and jive.
You have people skills.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Office Decor

Friday Ad Haiku: The Account ExecutiveSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

13 February, 2008

Was Andre Agassi Right?

Those who remember Canon’s campaign featuring the tennis world's answer to Patrick Swayze would recall the slogan “Image Is Everything.” Now, we wouldn’t go so far as to say image is everything. I’m a firm believer that no matter how brilliant the creative is, your poop cone idea may never get the market penetration you’re looking for.

But whether you’re selling goods, services or the seriousness of your local law enforcement, image can be pretty important.

Take a look at the following, and tell me I’m wrong:

This image says, “Stop what you’re doing, young scallywag, or I’ll tell you to stop again in my Outside Voice.”

This one says, “If I don’t hit you with the first shot, I’m probably not going to chase you.”

And this picture of Peruvian anti-riot police says, “Do what we say, or we’ll blow up Alderaan.”

In some cases, image does make a difference. Those guys look like the Kevlar Knights of the I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass Table.

Now take a look at some products for which image pretty much is everything

Axe body spray, with a campaign that essentially says, "Use Axe, and you will attract women," has been hugely successful. But it’s just spray deodorant, the fumes on which many a prepubescent chump has choked on in middle school locker rooms across the country. However, call it a “body spray,” pump up its image, and suddenly new life has been breathed into an old product. Tag body spray by Gillette adopted the same strategy.

Gatorade refers to their new G2 as an “off-field hydrator.” It’s really just low-calorie juice. But Pepsi labels the product as Gatorade and uses sports stars like Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning to build a brand image. Whatever happened to hydrating with WATER? But water is another culprit. People will pay $3.99 for a bottle of Fiji water, which tastes no better than $1.19 Aquafina, which tastes no better than tap water, simply because Fiji has an image that it's better than less expensive faucet-derived water.

The next big thing: Darth Water.

Trust me.

Previously in law enforcement: kids dig teddy bears.

Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

Was Andre Agassi Right?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

12 February, 2008

The Will Ferrell Theory

Memorize this formula: WF+P=S, where WF=Will Ferrell, P=Any product that hasn't been banned by the FDA, and S= a metric S%$#-TON of Hilarious (and a possible increase in product revenues).

Wieden + Kennedy's latest ads for Old Spice, though not the best in their series (see: "Foam"), demonstrate the formula's infallibility.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/Ad Scientist

The Will Ferrell TheorySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

08 February, 2008

Friday Haiku: Office Décor

Why is it some people’s offices look like a board room, some look like a dorm room and some look like a sultan’s harem? Our VP of Production has antique cameras and framed posters from classic movies and jazz musicians. Our Director of New Business Development always has five lamps on, yet it still feels like dusk. My office has two people, a twelve-year-old couch, and a picture of my niece...taped to the wall. So this week’s haiku is dedicated to the office décor you love and love to hate.

Leather couch: awesome.
Hang in there kitty: cliché.
Three-foot droid: I’m scared.

Last week's Haiku: Super Bowl Spots

Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

Friday Haiku: Office DécorSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

07 February, 2008

"Get a better audience"...and some duct tape and a handful of lollipops.

(Click photo to enlarge.)

A sunglasses ad pulls double-duty as an unintentional law enforcement PSA about the dangers of child predators. Cuz, when you're scoping for the perfect teddy bait--er, bear you don't have time to worry about the harmful effects of UV light. I wonder what kind of van he drives as he's on the prowl for "a better audience."

You'd think the smokey aroma of his soul burning in hell would have given the AD on this project some kind of hint that this ad is so very, very (very)...wrong.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/Citizen on Patrol

"Get a better audience"...and some duct tape and a handful of lollipops.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

04 February, 2008

How's about you gimme a real breakfast, and I don't shoot you in the face.

Tony "Paulie Walnuts" Sirico don't take no mouth from no freakin' counter chump.

So many things right about this. A tough, simple character talkin' straight about breakfast. I dig the direction Denny's is taking with this. One hell of a pitchman they landed. Plus, he was the only guy willing to work for a U-Haul full of silk ties and phone cards.

Note to Dunkin' Donuts' early 90's Sirico ad: Thanks for playing.

Related: Audi marketing exec makes you an offer you can't understand.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Copywriter/Consigliare

How's about you gimme a real breakfast, and I don't shoot you in the face.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

01 February, 2008

Friday Ad Haiku: The Super Bowl Spot

I hear there might even be a real football game in between commercials this year. Over/Under on the number of times the announcers compare Eli to Peyton? Tom Brady to God?

2 Mil for an ad?
Just run on the field nude with
Logos on your ass.

Now accepting haikus and prop bets.
Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Art Directors

"Tom celebrated his first Super Bowl win as he did every win that year: by playing his first-generation Nintendo Game Boy."

Friday Ad Haiku: The Super Bowl SpotSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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