Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I came across this attractive little video on Agency Spy for European energy company Electrabel and thought it'd be a nice send off into the new year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Barbie Plays Up Nostalgia

Oh, Barbie. It's a pretty iconic brand, but seems to have dropped out of the lime light recently, or perhaps thats just because I don't pay too much attention to the popularity of various childrens toys. I was an '80s child though and Barbie was all the rage when I was a little girl.

Barbie's new ad campaign for this season is very nostalgic, aiming at those fond memories women my age and a few years older have of playing with Barbies as children. Since those blissful days, Barbie has gotten a bit of criticism for its unrealistic proportions etc. Enough, perhaps, that women might now feel a bit guilty about giving a Barbie to their impressionable young daughters. Barbie seems to be combatting those thoughts with a heafty dose of nostalgia, and I for one, think it's working.

The commercials themselves aren't anything new, but the conversational stories and vintage footage of old Barbie Dream Houses worked like charm to bring back fond memories of playing with Barbies. I absolutely adored my flimsy cardboard and plastic Dream House, complete with modern '80s plastic furniture. All it needed was the Barbie Corvette...

The spots really would have made me consider giving my child a Barbie this Christmas, if I had children of course, but I am a 26 year old single woman without children though, so while I am the target age group, I'm not entirely their target audience. Are there any mothers out there for whom these spots evoked the same fond memories? Did they work?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Would Anyone Actually Cross Over To Animal Crossing?

A couple weeks ago, I saw this commercial and my jaw literally dropped. Seriously? Is this really a product on the market for Wii? Animal Crossing seems like a child-like video game version of Second Life. While that's not really my cup of tea, I guess I could see some people liking it—like kids. The weird thing is, this game does not seem remotely aimed at kids. The commercial features two 20-something women in nice houses discussing their activities of the day and then deciding to 'go watch the fireworks' together. Oops, but the catch is, they are doing all of these activities on the video game while talking to each other. They're actually sitting on their couches watching cartoon fireworks. Seriously? The whole thing seems bizarrely out of sync and their target market off base. Are they really getting a 20-something market for this product? Are they getting anyone for this product?

Maybe I just don't get it. Has anyone out there actually played this game? Maybe you can shed some light on the mystery.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just in Time for Christmas: Men's Body Spray from Burger King

In its latest stunt, Burger King (yes, CP+B) has released a men's body spray called "Flame." For just $3.99, you can have your man smelling like "seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat." But unless you live in NYC you'll have to order it online at the Web site dedicated to the spray. To see the fragrance make its debut on TODAY, visit this link.

If you weren't among the throngs of people terrified by the King before, you probably are now. That image is truly, truly horrifying.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Are Fallon Plaque Is Complete

Because we blogged about this a few months ago, the good people at Fallon sent us an update on their We Are Fallon plaque. The idea was, they solicited former and current employees to donate awards they'd won at the agency to be melted together into a giant plaque to hang in Fallon's new office space. The idea is very cool, melting together awards to represent what's made the agency what it is today. They received over one hundred donated awards for the project! More than one from some ad greats like Bob Barrie. Speaking of which, you should check a few more of the promo videos that came out since we last blogged about this as well as the final making of the plaque videos at their website for the project.

It's all very well done, but would you expect any less from Fallon?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing Scares More Than a Clown

Came across this video on an old friend's facebook page. He stars as the clown. I won't tell you what the ad is for, just that it's a fun three minutes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Where They Like to Be: CP+B In Headlines Again

We're not the only ones talking about Crispin Porter + Bogusky lately (see BK's Whopper Virgins most recently). Turns out Steffan Postaer, Chairman and CCO at Euro RSCG Chicago, is weighing in on his blog as well.

In this post from Friday, Postaer sums it up nicely:

Crispin looks for work that will create buzz, urgency, relevance and drama.
They are willing to tip over bunches of sacred cows to get it.


They are maddeningly consistent. They always delight or piss everyone off.
One of the two. Sometimes both. They are seldom, if ever,

He discusses CP+B's philosophy of making their clients "famous" and "relevant." And he calls them a sweatshop. (Heck, CP+B's own Web site admits they're a factory.) Postaer's post is a good read. The comments from his readers are insightful, too.

Today, in related news, Creativity has named CP+B 2008 Agency of the Year. Big surprise, right?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Charlie Brown As A Copywriter

Our agency is a much more friendly work environment than what's portrayed here, but I thought this little twist on a Charlie Brown Christmas is a fun little piece for anyone in the ad world.

(via AdFreak)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday To The Creative Cooler!

That's right, today the Creative Cooler turns one year old. We published our first post on 12/12/2007, a bit nervous with the knowledge that what we were writing was being broadcast across the internet for everyone to read. We shouldn't have been quite so nervous since, well, we didn't have any readers yet...

A year later we're blogging 'pros' and eagerly experimenting in all sorts of different social media outlets. We've sincerely enjoyed writing this blog for the past year and we hope you will continue to read through an even better second one!

In celebration of our first birthday, we've launched a little sideline to get some of our non-client related, fun ideas out in the world. If you've been following this blog, you've probably noticed I voice my opinions about fonts rather strongly. To the point where Megan, and other writers in the agency, can identify certain fonts and immediately know my approval rating of them. I am a known Helvetica opponent and in one of many discussions on the font, a little t-shirt idea sprung up and we ran with it. You can find it at our new Cafe Press store.

We promise there will be more tees and other goodies available soon. We have plenty of ideas floating around, but we wanted to get off the ground. We hope you enjoy our new little extension to the blog! Please let us know of anything you'd like to see on the blog in the coming year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2009 Ford F150 Spots Impress

Every once in a great while there's a vehicle campaign that's actually kinda cool. And this time it's not Mini. It's Ford. Spend just one weekend watching football and you're bound to catch this ad or one of its counterparts.

This copywriter thinks the art direction on these new spots is super fun and exciting. Yes, 'super fun and exciting' is a technical term. I've always been a fan of seeing copy animated and love the thrilling twists, turns and drops these new Ford spots feature. They've extended the campaign with Web banner ads and a cool Web site with lots of interactivity and heavy duty videos.

Ford has used Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs as its celebrity endorser. The 2009 F150 often has superb product placement in the episodes this season.

Truth In Advertising #71

People are often annoyed by advertising. They are even more annoyed by spam.

**We love comments on our blog, please comment about anything and everything, but if you spam our readers in your comments, they will be deleted. Sorry. Nobody likes a spammer.**

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

JC Penney Finally Hits Home With A Great Holiday Campaign

This mini-film and website seem to be making their way through marketing's unpredictable viral channels—I found out about it because the mini-film was forwarded to me. Viral is always tricky and unpredictable and I have no idea how well it's done so far, but I'm a fan and intend to forward it on—and blog about it of course.

The premise of the campaign is for JCP's jewelry department. Attention Men: Get Your Wives and Girlfriends Jewelry And Stay Out Of The Doghouse. It's a pretty cliché concept, but taken to a brilliant extreme by Saatchi & Saatchi. The Beware Of The Doghouse website houses the almost 5 minute mini-film as well as options to put someone in the doghouse (or warn them). The mini-film is entertaining enough to warrant 5 minutes of your time, while the simple web component ties in nicely and works well enough to get user participation. Meanwhile the site links directly and intelligently to the JCP jewelry website.

Considering some of JC Penney's campaign flops and PR nightmares this year, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Do you have anyone to send to the Doghouse?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Is the Whopper Virgins Taste Test In Bad Taste?

Last night BK revealed its Whopper Virgins campaign. If you didn't already know, teasers have been circulating for a couple weeks now with a reveal of their documentary type video of the taste test last night.

The reviews have been mixed and I sit a bit mixed myself. The mini-documentary was nothing unexpected. It seems like a pretty straight and serious little documentary. The campaign has come under fire mostly due to the idea of feeding unhealthy, trans-fat laden food to healthier rural cultures and presenting it as a wonderful thing. My personal problem with it is how heroic Burger King seems to paint themselves. Really? I mean I love to travel, learn about other cultures and teach them about mine in return, but the Whopper is not something I epitomize as American. The hamburger, maybe, but that hamburger wouldn't be fast food. Granted, I realize it's a commercial for Burger King, but still, really?

The other major problem with this ad is the question of whether they're making fun of these cultures. At first, I thought documentary seemed sincere and had issues with it then, but after a debate with my creative director, I'm not so sure. His take was that the documentary is really poking fun at these cultures and their naivety of the hamburger, Christopher Guest style. I'm not entirely convinced, but given it's by CP+B, who knows? If it is really intended to be a mockumentary, then I really have a problem with its condescending tone, but I'm just not sure if it's quite absurd enough to qualify.

AdWeek's Barbara Lippert has an interesting review too.

What do you think? Is it intended to be serious or absurd? Is it condescending or funny? Is infiltrating foreign cultures with Whoppers something to be ashamed of or proud of?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cleaning Up Clean Coal Misconceptions

Clean coal is quite the buzz word this year. It was thrown around during the elections by both parties and it's been popping up in various news stories and industry speak all over the place. I try to keep up on climate control measures and sustainability, but when the term 'clean coal' started cropping up everywhere, I really didn't know what it meant. I really wasn't sure how I felt about clean coal since it seemed a bit like an oxymoron, plus it still depletes natural resources. I intended to look into it someday, but never quite got around to it. I inferred from all the references I'd heard, however, that 'clean coal technology' was something that was currently available and clean (aka as clean or close to as clean as other alternative energies like wind or solar).

That is not the case.

Driving home last night, I was listening to NPR and they were discussing a new ad campaign launching today from the Alliance for Climate Protection headed by Al Gore. Robert Siegel interviewed both Al Gore and Joe Lucas, vice president for communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and covered their dispute over the term 'clean coal' and the ads below that started running today.

Perhaps I'm a bit biased, but based on my experience with the term as I described above, I sided with Gore on this one. According to Joe Lucas, clean coal technology is a relative term, like medical technology. It refers to technological advancements in that industry, meaning our current polluting coal plants are using clean coal technology right now since they are cleaner than they used to be and as the technology progresses, they will continue to get even cleaner.

Gore and the Alliance for Climate Protection, however, suggest the clean coal technology simply doesn't exist, at least not right now and maybe never. Again, it's all in how you choose to interpret it. Gore's argument is the industry is throwing around the term as if clean coal currently exists and is as clean as other alternative energy sources. He asserts that is simply not true. Gore suggests that the industry is using the term to get authority to build plants now with a 'plan' to retrofit these plants with 'clean coal technology' when (or if) it becomes available. Much of the argument is semantics, but this is the argument behind the Alliance for Climate Protection's new ad spot.

As much as I agree with clarifying that we don't currently have clean coal technology, the ad implies not only that it doesn't exist, but can't exist. The truth is, it doesn't exist yet, and maybe it never will, but it makes the ad itself a bit confusing and misleading. I think it's on the right path and I agree with its mission, but it doesn't come close to telling me what I should know about clean coal. Outright calling clean coal's existance a lie actually makes me skeptical without further information. There is a website with some information and links, but the URL is barely visible at the end of the ad for less than a second. I had to re-watch the ad and specifically look for it to see it at all. The site itself is pretty basic, so while there's a web component, with the amount of education needed, I'm surprised the web component isn't more extensive. As someone sympathetic to their cause, if the ad makes me skeptical at first, what chance does it have of convincing anyone?

Great idea and worthy cause, but this campaign just isn't cutting it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some Topics Are Just Off Limits

Will advertisers ever learn? Pepsi Max has a new print ad featuring a very lonely calorie that's committing suicide. Oh, dear. Does this sound familiar? Will advertisers ever learn that even if the creative concept itself is great, sometimes you just don't go there. Suicide is one of those subjects. Conceptually, it's great, but no matter how right the concept is, or how great the art direction is, consumers are NEVER going to find it funny.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BK Seeks Outside Taste Buds

Burger King's latest campaign, the Whopper Virgin taste test, is intriguing. It pits the BK Whopper against the McDonald's Big Mac. Hmm...I wonder what the outcome will be? The Whopper? It's a clever way to refresh the age-old taste test idea and I'm curious to see what CP+B pulls out for the final taste test results reveal next Monday.

The site,, is just a tease with flash banner visuals, some looping music and a count down at the moment, but hopefully once the campaign gets going it'll become more interactive. We'll see...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Complaining Consumers Isn't Always A Sign Of A Bad Ad

Recently, we've discussed two brands with ads that upset consumers and they're respective actions, the Motrin and Kotex ads, weren't necessarily the best ads, whether or not the amount of complaints was warranted. This new British Public Service Announcement, via AdFreak, uses an effective, violent shock factor that, not surprisingly, has a number of people up in arms.

The ad mimics the cyclical nature of abuse very effectively. It's a little hard to watch, but I think that's what makes it good. Really good. Maybe it's a little violent for prime time, but hey, they do warn you. What do you think? Is it too violent?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wii Music Brings Back Memories

Back in January, I posted about a weird video game music concert that came to town and this Christmas a Wii commercial caught my attention and reminded me of that odd concert tour. While I'm not really a big enough fan to ever want to go to a video game concert, you have to admit, hearing the old Super Mario Brothers theme song brings back memories (like my brother running around screaming 'thank you fat man in the red suit' for our Nintendo under the tree—oh yes, it's on video). Santa and childhood memories aside, I really enjoy this new Wii commercial. Simple and nostalgic, it's a nicely executed, clever way to advertise the new Wii Music for the holidays.