31 December, 2009

Blogcat Goldthwait

At the Confessional, we like to keep track of how many visitors we get per day, where in the world our traffic comes from, what sites direct people here (that's how we found out we're the 69th most popular advertising blog in the UK), if we're still big in Japan (we're not), that sort of thing.

Well, just yesterday we picked up a little traffic from www.blogged.com/topics/bobcat-goldthwait. It's a tracker from Blogged that provides links to blogs featuring Bobcat (or Robert Francis) Goldthwait. Now, I was posting about pro-animal research advertising, and I only mentioned Bobcat Goldthwait because of a special he hosted, and because I love the movie Hot to Trot (Bobcat, Virginia Madsen, Dabney Coleman, the voices of John Candy and Burgess Meredith). I also saw a couple links from other bloggers, like Emma Brooks, Make the Logo Bigger and Where's My Jetpack, who seem to think we're the cat's pajamas. What's wrong with them?

But it goes to show you that you never know who might be reading. We've actually earned a few clients who found out about Renegade by reading our blog. Today, Bobcat Godlthwait fans. Tomorrow, IBM. Who knows?

Anyway, I felt this was a completely awkward way to end a great year at the confessional. I'll leave it to Matt (currently on vacation) to give you all our year in review after the holiday.

My resolution for next year: swear around the office more. I've had two coworkers tell me I don't curse enough. They must not be around me on deadline. That's probably for the best.

Happy %*&^ New Year. Bring on 2010!

Blogcat GoldthwaitSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

30 December, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas--from PNC Bank.

Here's a fun little video I'm stealing from a friend's blog, which is okay, because he stole it from PNC Bank. For the past 26 years, PNC Bank has calculated how much the gifts in the "12 Days of Christmas" would cost each year, based on inflation and changes in the market (they actually explain that on this little microsite too). It's pretty cute and actually looks like they spent some money it. Kudos to PNC for shelling out some dough for some holiday cheer and learndings. And they're not my bank spending the money, so I reap double the rewards.

Merry everybody!

--George Convery, Copywriter

The 12 Days of Christmas--from PNC Bank.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

23 December, 2009

Unfortunate Moments in Hospitality Signage History: Glory Hole

It was a cold evening in December. The Christmas shopping, finished. And the family was hungry.

For brains.

Times when the lights were on, but no one was home: The bowlings are not translationable; van wrap crap; when twitter attacks; restaurant has low self esteem.

Unfortunate Moments in Hospitality Signage History: Glory HoleSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

21 December, 2009

No mulligans.

New York Daily News is inviting people to submit their own Tiger Woods ads. Naturally, male enhancement jokes abound. Here's our submission to the mix:

Think you can do better? Submit here. If you can't, may as well VOTE for ours.

No mulligans.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

It's beginning to look a lot like McChristmas.

So far, the most impressive light display I've seen this year is a digital rendering of every McDonald's location in the contiguous United States. Little beacons of light, filling our bellies, burning our hearts, and reminding us that, no matter how far away we roam, we'll always be within 145 miles of a Big Mac and/or "the runs".

And really, isn't that what this season is all about?

Other Moments in McHistory: Skimming Latte Lovers from Starbucks; No gold for you; Eat your vegetables, Fatty

It's beginning to look a lot like McChristmas.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

17 December, 2009

Nothing like an A-hole with B-roll

There's something about b-roll that warms the cockles of my...wherever cockles are located. And not just because our agency also has an in-house production shop. Perhaps it's the joy of watching visual cliche play out at 30 frames/sec. Makes me tingly in my ad parts.

And then, there's this:

Tip of the hat to...ME! for having the brilliant idea to eavesdrop on the link-rich conversations of @jetpacks, @thebeancast, and @zoneviii - and reap the rewards. Administering pat on the back...NOW!

And, in case you were wondering, my favorite B-roll shots:

(photos via here, here, and here)

*Active senior couple looking at sunset: Great for Erectile Dysfunction or mortuary services ads.
*Racially diverse 20-somethings having way-too-good a time just sitting on a couch: Perfect in spots for prescription STD medication or vocational schools.
*Lady sitting in the middle of a park with laptop: If you're advertising online college degrees or a new birth control method, you have this in Standard and Hi-Def.

And yours?

Nothing like an A-hole with B-rollSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

15 December, 2009

You Know Folks are Jumping on the Bangwagon When Leprosy Starts Advertising for Itself

I've been on the lookout for advertising like this ever since I came across those bastards at "Cancer for Christmas."

So when I saw this billboard for "Leprosy" on O'Donnel Street a couple weeks ago, I immediately snapped a grainy picture with a crappy cell phone camera.

Alright, the picture looks like something out of Twister, but the billboard reads, "Ever had Leprosy? Thanks to medical research, you won't." So I did a little research and found a couple more.

Now I'm not here to weigh in on the appropriateness of animal testing, unless it's testing the best tasting barbecue sauce! ZING! What I want to talk about is the conversation.

I recently learned of a growing movement among actual scientists (not lobbyists or simply ignorant idiots) who are against the whole global warming hoopla. Now this is a comparatively small group, but a group nonetheless. And their main gripe is not that global warming isn't happening, their complaint is that scientists who propose evidence that man-made global warming is not destroying our environment--or at least not destroying it to the degree proposed by numerous studies--are essentially blacklisted.

Why? Because as they see it, global warming and what some refer to as the "Green Agenda" is a cash cow for the scientific community, and scientists who oppose the principles of global warming are hurting the scientific community's bottom line. How many projects and studies have been funded to research climate change and its effect on our environment? In a bad economy, this field of study has been keeping many scientists and labs in business. Carbon credits is another huge industry that has sprung up in the past five years. Some economists say it's poised to be the next big speculative market on Wall Street. Without the threat of global warming, this market doesn't even exist.

Now I'm all for preventing global warming. I was celebrating Earth Day when I was 10. Do you remember the 1990 Save the Planet: A CBS/Hard Rock Cafe Special hosted by Bobcat Goldthwait and Katey Segal, where Bobcat Goldthwait sang the Village People's YMCA to the the tune of U2's With or Without You? I do. And if you can find that clip somewhere, please send it to me. I lost my VHS of the show. Besides, you're stupid if you're not doing your part to not totally screw up the environment. I don't have a bar graph or anything, but really, what do you have to lose.

Now these less-than-happy-with-current-global-warming-views scientists may have their own agenda. Perhaps their non-global-warming-related projects aren't being funded because so much money is being invested in studies on climate change. But what I'm saying is these scientists at least deserve to be heard. Whether they're right or wrong, they deserve the opportunity to state their case. And in turn, animal researchers at least deserve to state their case as to why what they do is valid and useful to society, in scientific journals or on billboards. You don't have to agree with them. You can argue back with them. That's the way free speech works. Everyone has the opportunity to say their peace short of spray painting F*** Bank of America on the side of your house, so people on passing commuter trains can read your opinions on the international financial services company. If PETA can put naked protesters in a busy intersection, why can't scientists promote their message on a much more tasteful billboard.

The question then goes to ad agencies, do they want to work for these groups? With small to mid-sized agencies dropping right and left, you may feel your moral compass veering off magnetic north, and I think that's okay. If you vehemently disagree with a cause or if their message is in complete opposition with an important client, by all means, turn down the business. If your biggest client is Nicorette, you probably won't be doing much advertising for Lucky Strikes. But if you only kind of have an opinion on a subject, at least listen to the argument. And if you feel their voice at least deserves to be heard, whether you agree or disagree, do the work and cash the check.

Just because you make commercials for Pepsi, doesn't mean you don't like the taste of Coke. After all, Pepsi sucks. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't be given the option to decide which soda they like better. I'm not saying don't have a moral compass. I'm saying, your job is to help people get their message out. Then let the public decide which message they feel is right. Then there's the question of how good are you and how stupid is the public, but I'll leave that for another post.

Feel free to disagree. I know lots of people who hate me.

--George Convery, Copywriter

You Know Folks are Jumping on the Bangwagon When Leprosy Starts Advertising for ItselfSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

14 December, 2009

Tiny bubbles and marketing baubles

Had the pleasure of paneling on The BeanCast last night with a great group of dudes including marketing powerhouse Joseph Jaffe, AD/blogger pimp-daddy extraordinaire Bill Green, socialmesiter Aaron Strout, and host with the most Bob Knorpp.

Topics ran the gamut, from personalized search to Super Bowl ads.

It was a hell of a time, so if you don't already subscribe to The Bean Cast, get your arse over to iTunes or pick it up directly here.

One of the topics that got me riled up during the show was the hubbub over the spot Method pulled after complaints. Take a look if you haven't seen it already:

Method: Shiny Suds from Kreatif360 on Vimeo.

On the show, I defended the creative and lamented the fact that, once again, a brand has bowed down to a vocal minority's pissing and moaning - a handful of bloggers lambasted the spot for being misogynistic while the more zealous (read: bat-scat insane) ones went as far as to insist that it supports rape. (AdRants' Steve Hall got a taste of how scary Crazy can get.)

Listen, the spot did exactly what it was created to do: cut through clutter while eliciting an emotional response to the idea of scummy chemical residues lurking long after they're first sprayed. Without brand context, I thought it was brilliant. If you aren't making something that scares the hell out of someone, than you aren't doing your job.

The bigger concern here should be, does this kind of advertising mesh with Method's brand? They're innovative, but not necessarily edgy. And certainly not seditious. Jaffe made a good point in the podcast - the spot may have been on brief, but was it on brand? If anything, perhaps the spot shouldn't have been made at all - not for Method anyway. But to take it down after the fact paints the brand as timid. There's no room for timid.

Wear a cup.

Other moments in Cry Baby History: Bunched knickers over Snickers.

Tiny bubbles and marketing baublesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

10 December, 2009

Big, fat data-chomping heifers

A University of California, San Diego study reveals the average American consumes upwards of 34 Gigabytes of data each day. I'm proud to say I take in information with the same glazed-eyed, gluttonous zeal as the lady who parks her Rascal in front of the beef station at the Golden Corral.

One of the more interesting tidbits from the study: A solid 60 percent of our total media consumption is still TV, print, and radio. Suck it, Zuckerberg.

More here. Less here. And if you're expecting to spend some extra time in the bathroom, the report itself here.

Big, fat data-chomping heifersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

04 December, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The King's Comeback

It's late on a Friday, and I'm just getting to posting the haiku our intern wrote a week ago. Somebody's trying to show me up. And I can't do anything about it, because she isn't even taking this internship for credit. Goodie-goodie. But seriously, this is probably the most well-researched haiku I've ever read. And I'm still creeped out by it. Enjoy. -Captain Awesome

For people who grew up in the 90s, Burger King was a McDonald’s wannabe that, for some bizarre reason, didn’t even have a Burger King as their mascot. It wasn’t until 2003 that Burger King’s current advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B), re-introduced the public to the creepy smile of the invasive, sneaking King.

The King hadn’t always been such a creep. Back before the 80s, Burger King had a different sort of king—a friendly, benign cartoon character outfitted with his own entourage of knights (Sir Shakes-a-Lot) and royalty (The Duke of Doubt). Cute, yes, but terribly average.

Then the revolution came—the BK Kids Club Gang dethroned the King, in a (in my opinion) failed attempt to rival McDonald’s gang of clowns, burglars and ducks. Do you remember them? I barely do.

As unmemorable as the BK Kids Club Gang was (Why a club AND a gang? To attract both nerds and gangsters?), all those years with this group of kids only paved the way to the King’s resurrection from the grave. And he has returned to power with a vengeance, creeping into people’s homes and work areas, sneaking upon them unawares, presenting them with a Whopper made just for them.

Our new King basically took a glance at Ronald McDonald, who was only borderline creepy, and said, “Bump being kid-friendly!” And ever since, he’s been terribly successful. He’s just so gosh-darned creepy that you can’t help but pay attention and remember.

So for your Friday haiku: The Burger King

Wake up with the King
Watching tenderly. You won't

Forget him. Ever.

- Hannah Cheng, His Majesty's Creative Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The King's ComebackSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

03 December, 2009

Deep Thoughts from an IT Professional

In reference to reloading our account director, Kory's windows profile.

"By definition, all surgery is invasive, but there's a difference between lancing a mole and removing an appendix."

--Matt Troxler

Deep Thoughts from an IT ProfessionalSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

01 December, 2009

Twitter Billboard: When Social Media Attacks

It seemed like a solid concept: A news station in Alabama decided to pipe their Twitter feed into their electronic billboard to update passersby with their latest stories of the day. Can't disagree with the intention.

After all, social media works best when it's a part of a coordinated marketing effort that includes a mix of tactics. New media and traditional go well together. Like new beer and old wine. That's good, right?

The station makes a living breaking brand-spanking news. And they figured, Twitter's great at doing that.

Unfortunately, it's also great at biting the unwitting in the ass publicly:

No one ever suspects the smiling, clean-cut, racially harmonic news anchor team next door.

Kinda reminds you of those old contextual ad horror stories (that still happen).

Other ad fails: Van Wrap F-Up; Bowling doesn't translate well.

Twitter Billboard: When Social Media AttacksSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

23 November, 2009

Where's BIlly Mays: I Didn't Even Make It Past the First Round

Halloween is nearly a month old, but I'm finally getting around to recounting the results of the Where's Billy Mays "HallowClean" contest. And Sadly, yours truly didn't even make the top 500. A travesty I'm sure. If you weren't aware of the contest, you probably should leave your cave once in a while, or at least use the wi-fi in your cave to visit some other websites. I heard about it through WOM, but the contest was covered by a variety of media outlets from TMZ to the Huffington Post to People. And according to his son, Billy Mays III, the contest received more than 1500 entries, including this, that I took in our pristine Renegade men's room.

The awesome thing is, I was planning this costume since last Halloween. And the Kaboom, did I buy it at the grocery store just for this special day? No, I took it right out from under my counter. And the next day I used it to clean my shower, which had turned a lovely shade of black from the combination of hairspray and mascara I used to get the full Billy Mays effect.

You can view the finalists at wheresbillymays.com. I'm not quite sure what put those 3 winners over the top. Personally, I loved the Billies who paired themselves up with full-sized bottles of Kaboom and tubs of Oxi-Clean. But I am jealous I won't get the autographed picture to frame and put on my bare office wall. Too much time being brilliant, no time to decorate. On the bright side, I did win our office Halloween contest, and the costume was a huge hit at the Halloween wedding I attended the next day. And no, at no point did I consider putting some white powder under my nose as was recommended to me by about a dozen people.

But to make sure I got the details right, I looked at a few pictures of Billy and watched a few of his informercials. Aside from the obvious blue shirt (which he didn't always wear) and the khaki pants, I noticed a few things I'd never realized before. He always rolled up his sleeves. Did that give the viewer the subtle message that Billy was a man who wasn't afraid of hard work and getting dirty? In both the Ding King and Dual Saw spots (two of the few where you see his feet) Billy is wearing sneakers. Not fancy dress shoes or loafers, regular sneakers.

And the beard. The beard has had its ups and downs throughout history, but in many circles, beards equate to strength and manliness. My old roommate frequently laments how after a month he still can't grow more than a sad attempt at a 9th-grader's stubble...and cries just a little. Sorry, Adam. Yes, I'm sure there are many arguments on both sides of this point, and you can feel free to tell them to King Leonidas or any Hell's Angel you run into. I'm simply saying Billy's Paul Bunyan-esque beard and powerful delivery could both be received by the viewer as signs of strength.

Now granted, this all may simply have been Billy's style, but, much like watching Pitchmen, it shows me Billy Mays was more than a guy yelling about cleaning products. He knew plenty about how to sell.

Anyway, this Halloween I paid tribute to an ad-man I very much admire. And here's another tribute from a Billy fan. Enjoy. And Billy, I hope to continue seeing the Dual Saw, Ding King and Mighty Mendit infomercials for a long time.

--George Convery, Copywriter

Where's BIlly Mays: I Didn't Even Make It Past the First RoundSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

20 November, 2009

Friday Ad Haiku: Bumper Stickers

Passed someone on the highway the other day who had at least a dozen anti-Obama bumper stickers on their car. And I'm sure I've seen cars with at least as many anti-Bush stickers in the past. But regardless of your political affiliation, what will 12 bumper stickers about the same topic do for you that 1 or 2 about the same topic won't? Because if someone isn't convinced by "No-bama" or "The Audacity of Hype," surely, "Why work, the governement will keep your money anyway," will convince them that your political views are obviously correct.

So this Friday Haiku revisits a topic we all know and love.

Your Friday Ad Haiku: The Bumper Sticker

Highway billboard, blah.
I bludgeon your cul de sac
With my opinion.

Last Week in the Friday 5-7-5: Intern Sweatshop: Dueling Haiku

-George Convery, Copywriter

Friday Ad Haiku: Bumper StickersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

13 November, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Kudos to Muppets

This week our interns present dueling Haikus. And no this is not a competition. They just got done something really fast and I scrambled to find something they could work on. You'll be happy to know they spent the rest of the day working on research and transcriptions.

Today, I’m going to appreciate the Muppets by dedicating this blog entry to the Muppets’ endurance and foresight to keep up with recent trends and make people of all generations love them. Kudos to the writers, who do not flinch away from having our favorite monsters dabble in various forms of pop culture.

In celebration, I present to you their excellent blooper reel, released in 2008, featuring the musical talents of the bodacious Beaker. Please, enjoy:

Your Friday ad haiku:

You just got rickrolled!
But it would have been better
If Swedish Chef sang.

- Hannah Cheng, Muppet Loving Creative Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Kudos to MuppetsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Funny Happy Hour

In my consumer behavior class, we have been looking at various ways to successfully reach your target market. My professor brought up one Heineken commercial in particular for its usage of humor appeal that would attract the "beer drinker."

After viewing this commercial many times, I still couldn't understand what was being said, so eventually I found the English version. It makes me crack up every single time I watch it (although I still think it's funnier in Dutch) and makes me a little thirsty -- just in time for Friday Happy Hour after work!

Make sure your volume is up --just not too loud!

What are some of your favorite humorous commercials?

And now for your Friday Haiku: Cheers!

Five PM Heine-
Why does Dutch equal funny?
Like my beer closet?

-Amanda Gazi, Closet Jealous Creative Department Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Funny Happy HourSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

11 November, 2009

Sesame Street was brought to you by the letter Scotch.

I've been in meetings that've played out a lot like this. Wouldn't mind if they all went this way.

Anger. Tears. Laughter. And dead-on creative. All in less than 3 minutes.

Now, get me a glass. No ice.

(Tip'a the highball to ad diva, Angela Natividad).

Our obsession with Mad Men runs deep: Deja Vous; Mad Whale; Sterling Cooper, Eh?; Lucky Stroke.

Sesame Street was brought to you by the letter Scotch.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

06 November, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Hot Chocolate for the Soul

At an early point in my musical education, I was introduced to Hot Chocolate’s “I Believe in Miracles (You Sexy Thing),” but I wasn’t really told who the band was until much later in life. All I knew was the song, and it was a great song, a groovy song, a song that could set me off into a fit of giggles.

This is how a 10-year-old (or so) first encountered the unforgettable lyrics, “Now you’re lying next to me, making love to me!”

Trust me, I had no idea what the song was actually about. Now that I look at that mouse, though, he’s surprisingly creepy. Just goes to show that Hot Chocolate is likable, even to a ten-year-old, and even if sung by a funky-looking mouse wearing no pants.

And believe it or not, Hot Chocolate got even better when I encountered a more radically re-contextualized version from Ryan North's cult favorite, Dinosaur Comics.

Click it to big it.

Some things never stop being awesome, even when the presentation keeps changing. So while you enjoy the original song, here’s your Friday Ad Haiku:

Since you came along
I believe in miracles
(Now it’s a haiku).

- Hannah Cheng, Creative Intern

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: The Hoax - Part 2

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Hot Chocolate for the SoulSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

04 November, 2009

Hell Just May Be Shamwow: The Club Mix

So I fell asleep on the couch watching Colbert last night and woke up at three in the morning to this commercial on Comedy Central. I was hoping I was tripping on a combination of undercooked steak, week-old salad, Countrytime lemonade and handfuls of leftover Halloween candy. Because if I wasn't, I was pretty sure that I'd died and gone to hell. I dare you. Just try and look away.

Needless to say, it took me a while to go back to sleep. Like I said, I saw this Shamwow Jam (also referred to as "Jam Wow"), by Steve Porter as an actual paid advertising television commercial. Apparently it's been running for a couple weeks now. And a search on youtube revealed what's noted as the original version, intercut with scenes from Fresh Prince and House Party, as well as this one for the game Audiosurf. And yes, there's one for the Slap Chop, too.

In all honesty, if you played this at a bar/club, I think people would go nuts for it--which is both very cool and very, very sad.

Thoughts? Have you seen something worse?

--George C. Convery, Copywriter

Hell Just May Be Shamwow: The Club MixSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

30 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The Hoax - Part 2

I was trying to explain to my roommate what I was working on here at Renegade. As soon as I mentioned the word “hoax” she became side-tracked. She could not stop talking about Milli Vanilli and how they deceived their fans – did they even have fans? So for your entertainment, my roommate and I wrote a haiku about the dread-locked Milli Vanilli:

Girl, you know it’s true.
The greatest hoax of all time-
Lip synching failure.

- Amanda Gazi, Creative Deparment Intern

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: For the Sake of Attention

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The Hoax - Part 2SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

25 October, 2009

Top Five Things a Commercial Editor Never Wants to Hear

5. "We want it relaxed and subtle, but exciting and 'in-your-face'."

4. "We got some direction on that $5,000 dollar spot we need completed tomorrow. Have you seen those Coke commercials with the animated polar bears?"

3. "It's not 'edgy' enough."

2. "I love the direction you're going with this. The color scheme is perfect and the pacing is exceptional...I love everything about it. Now I just need to forward this to my boss."

And the number one thing that a commercial editor never wants to hear:

1. "We told the client we'd just fix it in post."

Top Five Things a Commercial Editor Never Wants to HearSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

23 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: For the Sake of Attention

I guess our intern misunderstood when I said, "Just write me something quick." But you gotta love kids who work their tails off for no money, only the slender hope that maybe on Friday someone will bring in donuts. Not this Friday. Hey, that's a hell of a lot better than the intern who used to steal my coffee. The Intern Sweatshop rolls on. - Captain Awesome

This Friday’s haiku was inspired by Falcon Heene also known as “Balloon Boy” and his parents’ attempt at the classic flying saucer-missing boy hoax. This story got me thinking about other advertising "hoaxes" gone awry.

Taco Bell created a stir when word got out that they purchased The Liberty Bell in efforts to reduce the nation’s debt – soon thereafter to be known as “The Taco Liberty Bell.” Thousands of people protested the selling of the Liberty Bell and even more became upset when, a few days later, Taco Bell revealed that this simply was an April Fools Joke. Despite the backlash of this attention-getting joke, Taco Bell’s sales jumped by more than half a million dollars. Let’s see how that annoying Black Jack Taco commercial serves them.

In an effort to stay competitive, Burger King had a light-bulb moment, too. BK decided to advertise their new left-handed Whopper to gain more foot traffic to their stores. When left-handed customers went to the fast-food locations asking for the new Whopper, they became very upset to learn, while standing at the counter, this was only a stunt. Burger King, as a proud lefty, I am offended.

Snapple had the brilliant idea to erect a gigantic 25 foot, 17 ½ ton popsicle in Union Square on the first day of summer. Much to Snapple’s surprise, the temperature reached 80 degrees that day sending a sticky, pink goo down busy Mahattan streets. Snapple reported that they knew the popsicle would eventually melt, they just did not expect it to happen so quickly. FAIL.

How about the Lite Brite invasion that took over the streets of Boston? The effort at guerrilla marketing for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie went terribly wrong when police officers mistook the Lite Brites for explosive devices. When a marketing campaign causes a bomb scare, something is not right.

So in honor of these advertising Einstein's Your Friday Haiku: Great Hoaxes in Advertising

Taco Bell, B K.
It’s all about deception.
Now, don’t get upset.

-Amanda Gazi, Truthful Creative Department Intern

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: A Dieter's Epiphany

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: For the Sake of AttentionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

22 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Boobvertising!?!

We just want to say that our intern came up with this topic all on her own, after doing extensive research, and had no prompting from any of us. Although we did discuss the title with her at length. All kidding aside, she does delve into an issue close to her heart, while drawing attention to an interesting campaign being run right here in our own backyard. Enjoy.

So that’s the trick to capturing this audience’s attention. Now things are starting to make sense. When exactly does objectification of the female body cross the line of morally acceptable and ethical advertising?

I have found busty ads that I consider controversial and one that takes a completely new and unique approach to advertising focused on “the girls.”

Does the slogan “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce” ring a bell? This billboard, featuring a scantily clad duo in provocative positioning, created quite a stir a few years ago. The ad was conceptualized by Chicago divorce attorney, Corri Fetman.

Fetman created so much buzz with the racy advertisements that she was forced to take them down. She then resorted to plastering the images on box-trucks to be driven around Chi-town. Fetman also claimed to have been the busty woman in the ads; it was no surprise she was later approached to pose in Playboy Magazine. Shockingly, she accepted the offer.

Another advertisement, for a procedure some consider inappropriate and many consider a great contributor to the objectification of women, is this one centered on breast implants.

It is not the content of the billboard that is the problem here, and sure, the imagery used is, well…a little risqué. But the real issue here is that this billboard was placed directly outside of a military base in Morongo Valley, Ca—a base populated mostly by males. Yeah.

I suppose it is assumed that while soldiers are leaving the base headed home, this advertisement would motivate them to purchase their girls at home a lovely set of…well…girls. I can’t wait to welcome back my soldier with a loving hug, a warm, home-cooked meal and my new efforts at becoming a Pam Anderson look-a-like, DDD’s and all. “Welcome home, honey. Thanks for the gift.”

The sheer concept of targeting this billboard towards men, positioned in a place where mostly men would see it, seems to be what I like to call the “bissue” – the big issue. Alright advertisers, let’s think this one through. How do you suspect a man would propose the idea of implants to his girl? “Oh honey, I saw this ad today for a boob job on my way home from work and immediately thought of you.” SLAP! Now ladies, if you want to enhance your bustline, go right ahead. I am all for it. But if your man is the one making the suggestion, well, your fist hurts even more when holding a roll of quarters.

On the flip side of all of this, I found an ad campaign that is entirely focused on women’s breasts but is done in a tasteful and professional manner. It purposefully causes some excitement, but that’s only temporary until one learns who is behind this campaign.

I was driving through Baltimore city when I noticed a sign similar to the one above. I was completely shocked. So, I went home and googled the tagline. Bingo, I responded in exactly the way viewers were supposed to. I succumbed to this example of effective advertising. And here is what I learned.

This new campaign is implemented by the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Signage like the one above has been placed all around Maryland trying to rally support. The organization has also released other forms of advertisements to get the word out.

According to a press release from the organization’s Development Director, Lenore Koors, the campaign is “based on the premise of ‘telling your story’ and the physical and emotional connection to local breast cancer survivors and co-survivors.” These pro-bono marketing services were provided by PUNCH of Sykesville, Md., says Koors, as an attempt to let the “Thousands of Maryland breast cancer survivors know they are not alone in their fight and to offer them the opportunity to tell their stories – firsthand accounts of their struggles with this disease, their treatments and their successes.”

This concept was to include ten local survivors who were chosen based on their stories submitted to the organization’s website. These women provide real life case studies to be used in the campaign. They were also photographed and filmed for PSA and webstory materials. Koors adds that these women are the “Faces of this campaign, and the faces of hope.”

The organization also has a facebook page where other women can share their own empowering stories and submit pictures of themselves, yes indeed, supporting their own local breasts for a chance to win some fun Komen prizes.


Check out some of the ads seen around town:

I personally like this campaign and the organization’s approach to capturing attention. With these innovative headlines and strategically centered images, Komen Maryland is driving the point home that breast cancer support is the most important thing to beating this horrible disease.

But I have to wonder, is this campaign acceptable to me simply because of the nature of the organization and because this is a good cause? Or is this a creative, tasteful and well thought out spin on what so many beer companies and car magazines having been doing for decades? After all, in advertising there is such a thing as too much boob. But as far as this campaign goes, those girls at Komen have this girl’s support.

-Amanda Gazi, Creative Department Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Boobvertising!?!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

21 October, 2009

Eat, drink and be scary.

(We have a poster, so you know it's official.)

Rather than compete with the schedule-clutter of the holiday season, the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore has eschewed the typical Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Non-Denominational Winter Celebration party in favor of a Halloween shindig at Westminster Hall, burial place of the original bad ass of horror, Edgar Allan Poe.

(Edgar "There's No Such Thing as Last Call" Poe)

Stop by, eat rich people food, tour the crypts, abuse the open bar, and network with tons of advertising/media/client folks - all while dressed like a French Vampire Hooker Nurse. The more inappropriate your costume, the better. (No Balloon Boy themes. It's too soon, people.)

So if you'll be in Baltimore on Wednesday (10.28), get thee to this party, post haste. Click the link below. Vincent Price would have wanted you to:


Eat, drink and be scary.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

19 October, 2009

The David Hasselhoff of Ad Blogs: Indian Edition

So, not only do we apparently kick ass in the UK, we're now considered the 5th best ad agency blog in the world according to an Alexa ranking-based survey by Orchard Fresh, an agency out of India.

Finally, indisputable proof that any findings based exclusively on Alexa stats are absolutely and thoroughly infallible. Please disregard earlier surveys of the World's Greatest Ad Blogs; they are obviously out of date, biased, or not tabulated in India.

Still no word about how we stack up in the adopted homeland of the Hoff.

Auf Wiedersehen, haters.

The David Hasselhoff of Ad Blogs: Indian EditionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

16 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Desperate Food

Alright, so we keep our interns busy, but if you had interns as good as ours, you'd put them to work too. Tomorrow, I'm getting my car detailed. So don't judge us. Just enjoy. Now excuse us, it's noon and our interns are taking us out for beers. After all it is Friday. Here's yet another edition of our 938-part series: The Intern Sweatshop.--Captain Awesome.

I think it was during the Atkins diet craze that I saw a bottle of water that had “CARB-FREE!” emblazoned on the side. Staring and smiling, I realized, even at my tender young age, that “____-free!” claims on food items were riding the coattails of popular diets hard. Water, of course, has always been carb-free. Chocolate syrup has always been low-fat, but it only started claiming that fact during the "FAT IS BAD" craze. But the eye-catching starburst catches the twitchy attention of the desperate dieter searching for anything that could wiggle in under his particular food restriction--and voila! A potentially ignored purchase is made.

A more deceptive ploy is the “Made with real _____!” claim. Technically, a smooch of 100% cheese lightly dusted on a thumb and then pressed gently against the advertised cracker validates that claim. The bigger the claim looks on the box, though, the more a Cheez-It sounds like a slice of fresh cheese, and the healthier a loaf of bread "made with whole grain wheat" sounds.

So the moral of this is: food wants to be eaten, regardless of your darn diet--and you will be trapped into eating it.

On that note, Your Friday Ad haiku: A Dieter's Epiphany:

On low-carb diet.
Ugh. Hungry, hungry, hungry—

- Hannah Cheng, Hungry Creative Department Intern

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5:
The Writer's Hangover

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: Desperate FoodSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

14 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Hate Snuggies? Taste the Irony!

This is a public service warning: if you’ve ever made fun of Snuggies—online, over the phone, at your grandmum’s tea party—you’ve been an important part of the Snuggie Revolution.

Your ridicule was the key to the Snuggie’s success. It’s ironic, and it stinks, but it’s true. Your laughter and outrage at the original commercial piqued the interest of others. You were a link in the whole word-of-mouth chain that brought the infection to daytime television.

Sure, you may not be as guilty as Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres and Jon Stewart, who all dedicated segments of their shows to ridiculing the oversized blanket. Regardless of who’s most at fault—the grassroots haters or the celebrity jokers—Facebook and YouTube are rife with hundreds of fans, anti-fans and parodies of Snuggies. Hundreds who have seen the Snuggie’s original commercial—and have spread the zombie virus of Snuggism.

So now, a lot of people want to buy a Snuggie. My best friend, for one. Her five-aunt-and-uncle extended family, for more.

Why? The Snuggie’s now on par with that silly Halloween costume or that perplexing high fashion outfit. It's cool to be weird! So instead of leaving their backwards bathrobe at home, people have taken the Snuggie to the street for Snuggie pub crawls.

Thanks to the Snuggie’s high demand, its creators have recently released some new sexy prints that featured in the New York Fashion Week.

Soon enough, the Snuggie will come in satin and silk—you know, for those formal/intimate (yes, they’ll be interchangeable) occasions. After all, who doesn’t want to be warm while looking absolutely snazzy?

It won’t stop there; we’ll have leather Snuggies for the tough motorcycle crowds, because they get cold too. And of course: standard cotton Snuggies for the everyday man relaxing on his day off and for the mumsies wanting to kick off all their clothes after caring for their spawn all day.

Let’s not ignore the fact that, if the Snuggie is properly secured with a belt, it could totally be work-appropriate attire. Take a moment to imagine your coworkers shrouded in the loving warmth of Snuggies. Sure, some of them might end up looking like slouches, but others could probably pull off the medieval monk look with pizazz.

Take the Grim Reaper, for example. The hard-working chap cuts quite the dashing figure.

The possibilities of Snuggie expansion are endless. So if you’re really trying to end the tyrannical reign of pants, ridicule the Snuggie some more. The cult will only grow.

Hannah Cheng, Creative Intern

Also from the Snuggie files: Stern drink s big ol' glass of Snuggie Haterade.

Intern Sweatshop: Hate Snuggies? Taste the Irony!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The envelope, please...

So, the Baltimore Sun's inaugural Mobbies Awards results are in. And, well damn folks, we're really humbled by your support. Our lil' ol' ad blog peeped its head out in the standings here and there, and we couldn't be more pleased.

And we couldn't have done it without you. Seriously.

Below you'll find the list of the winners, conveniently compiled by the good people over at Inside Charm City. If you're in Baltimore - or are just obsessed with this town - I highly recommend checking them out; every one of 'em deserves a spot in your RSS feed. And in your hearts. [single tear]

Best Overall – Renegade Agency Confessional
Foodie – Dining Dish
Humor – The City That Breeds
Pop Culture – MamaPop
Music – Bmore Musically Informed
Neighborhood – Baltimore City’s Past and Present
Politics – Tales of Two Cities
Sports – Testudo Times
Ravens – Right Off Russell
Orioles – Camden Chat
Terps – Shell Games
Family – The Land of Bean
Personal – The City That Breeds
Photography – John Waire
Art + DIY – Baltimore Etsy Street Team
Business + Technology – Renegade Agency Confessional
Misfits: defying categorization – You Don’t Say

Now, we celebrate. If you're within gunshot range of Baltimore, get your arse down to the Metro Gallery TONIGHT to commingle with all the fine folks - the nominees, the winners, the organizers, the bartenders - who made this whole thing possible.

Click to make the map all big and stuff.

Again, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. Or whatever it is we advertising people have pumping blood through our bodies.

The envelope, please...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

09 October, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku

Well, today our intern delivers a haiku on what many of us have had to endure at least once in our lives (or we've lied about it and said we haven't--not while working here of course)--going to work...with a hangover.

Let me get this out right away. I'm not advocating drinking. I'm advocating creativity through drinking. My 21+ year old roommate was tossing in bed when I left this morning--hangover. I knew she had to get up and go to work not long after me, so I set up her hangover-suppression routine: one glass of water next to the bed, a Tylenol on the side, another glass of water at the sink, and the path to the bathroom cleared of toe-jamming obstacles.

I’ve done this whole working with hangover thing once--I worked at Potbelly at the time--so you can understand why I've never done that again. When it comes to writing for a living, though, I can’t help but wonder if Absinthe-chugging writers like Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde wrote their best after a serious hangover. Maybe their drinking was basically brain exfoliation: killing off the old, unproductive brain cells to reveal the gushing geysers of legendary creativity.

While I’ve opted out of testing this hypothesis, I fully support anyone interested in thorough experimentation. The Friday Ad Haiku: The Writer's Hangover

Spare the rod and you’ll
Spoil the brain; so punish it
With late night drinking.

-Hannah Cheng, Good Girl Creative Department Intern

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Spec Work

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad HaikuSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

06 October, 2009

HD or Bad Trip?

While doing some research on HD commercials I came across these two gems. The first, titled "Experiment" is actually more than two years old and is from Fallon London, the company behind two previous Sony Bravia spots--Balls and Paint. This one, however, features every Sony HD product you can think of, plus a poodle, half a '71 mustang and Iron Maiden. After this assault on your senses, you may need a cold shower afterwards.

Do you think that was some creative director's last hurrah? Okay guys, I've always wanted to do a commercial with all of these things. Oh, and does anyone recognize the pooch from this spot? He must be the Christopher Walken of advertising.

This next spot won't cause you to question your religion, but it does raise some serious ethical questions about Samsung.

We're Samsung. And we want to tease your baby.

-Captain Awesome, Copywriter

HD or Bad Trip?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
The Renegade Agency Confessional - Blogged

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP