Thursday, August 28, 2008

Truth in Advertising #27

New business projects are often the most demanding.

(Busy with new biz—we'll post something new soon.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Adweek Gets Political

Adweek asked a number of Creative Directors from agencies around the country and to make fake ads for the 2008 elections. In a time when political ads seem to be pretty creatively dead with nothing more than politicians kissing babies or bashing the other candidate, I was excited to see what some top creatives could come up with.

The result? Some great ideas playing it straight as well as plenty of tongue-and-cheek ads on both candidates. Check out the Adweek article to see the work and be sure to visit the video player in the side bar or you'll miss my two favorites—the satirical McCain and Obama tv spots from Goodby Silverstien and Partners.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Subtlety Is Key

This is a fun little video with a sort of surprising end—at least to me. Watch it, then read below.

Learn how to hack at

Did you watch all the way through? Up until the end, did you realize this was a Sprite commercial/video? I sure didn't. After seeing Sprite and their lime green at the end, I did remember flashes of it throughout the video. Until the end, however, I completely didn't realize it was a promotional video at all. Now that I do know it's for Sprite, I'm a bit torn. I love that they were so subtle throughout the video, but now that I know it was a sponsored video, I wonder how much of it was staged. I wondered that while watching it anyway, but knowing it's a commercial makes me assume most of it was staged and it loses a bit of its charm. What do you think? Did you like how Sprite handled branding the video? Did knowledge of Sprite's involvement also make you question the 'real' quality of the video?

EA Sports Walks on Water with New Ad

How's this for Youtube recognition? According to this post at Awful Announcing, EA Sports created an ad for its new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 in direct response to a gamer's post on Youtube.

We're thinking the Youtuber who posted the original video never would have guessed Tiger Woods himself would have a hand in responding. How cool.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Brilliant Piece of Animation

I just couldn't leave our blog sitting on that last horrendous commercial, so I'm sliding in this fantastic little animated piece set to a John Lennon interview. It's really brilliantly done.

No Wonder People Hate Advertising

There are some pretty bad commercials out there, but this has to be one of the most distasteful I've seen in a long time. It really just makes me ill. As stated in the AdFreak post I discovered this in, it's no wonder people hate advertising.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Commercial Favorites

There are a number of nice commercials circulating during the Olympics this year. Two of my favorites are below:

As a huge fan fan of the Killers debut album, this Nike spot featuring All These Things That I've Done caught and held my attention immediately. While it wasn't the album's major single, it was always a personal favorite and Nike put it to great use in this spot.

My other favorite also circles around the music choice—not because I'm a huge fan of this particular song, but because it just works with the spirit of the Olympics. It put a smile on my face :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Missing Megan

If you haven't noticed, my counterpart is still MIA. You may also have noticed the typo on the poll to the right (others have). Sadly, my bad proofing skills have come to light without Megan keeping me in check—see how things fall apart when she's not here?

Unfortunately, I can't edit the poll without erasing it completely, thus erasing all the current votes, so the typo will have to stay until the poll is completed. That would drive Megan crazy. Good thing she's too busy with giant moving trucks and setting up her new home to notice—yet.

Hurry back Megan! We miss you! And this blog is starting to feel decidedly one-sided.

Downfall (of Twitter)

This video has been circulating in Twitter circles, and yes, you probably have to be a Twitter user to really appreciate it, but as a Twitter user and someone who just watched Downfall last week, I found this hilarious. Probably won't make too much sense if you happen understand German though...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wonderbra Takes On Real Women

Wonderbra is taking some cues from Dove, but taking it to a whole different level. Apparently Wonderbra ran a campaign in June (with an amusing little spot by itself) recruiting women to model in their bras for their now running D to G Cup campaign in the UK.

All I can say is I love it. From using real women as models to the mosaic technique, it's a well executed campaign. Using real women may have lost a little bit of it's edge since Dove has been doing it for awhile, but I'm very happy to see another major women's brand adopt the concept. Unfortunately, even though they're different markets they look kind of similar, thanks to Dove's models being shown in their underwear. At least the mosaic treatment helps separate the two. On the website you can zoom in on the billboard and see all the individual women's photos that make up the final picture. I'm actually surprised it took so long for another company to adopt it. Despite what some research may say, I personally respond very well to campaigns that use real looking women.

What do you think?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Loving The New Office Max Penny-Hating Spots

I'm enjoying Office Max's lastest penny commercials. They're a clever way to emphasize that age-old dirt cheap prices message and hit on a fun truth about pennies: No one wants them. I'm as guilty as anyone else of penny-hating and have a big jar of pennies accumulating in my apartment mostly because I hate carrying them around in my wallet. While I think the hidden camera direction is starting to be far too over used, these hit an actual funny truth worthy of the technique. Plus, I enjoy the goofy product placement style at the the end of the spots to set off their silliness.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Red Hot Journey to Nirvana

At the beginning of the summer, our boss painted a wall in his office with chalkboard paint and allowed only song lyrics to be written on it. Two months and many contributors later, there's no more room on the wall and we're starting over with a new theme—but not before documenting this one and the surprising amount of memories it holds. Listen in to the eclectic mix...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Making a Silent Disease Heard

DDB Canada and The Looking Glass Foundation have developed a series of truly compelling ads on eating disorder awareness:

JC Penney Attempts to Pay Homage to John Hughes

Now that the whole Speed Dressing uproar has died down, lets take a look at the official back to school campaign Saatchi did for JC Penney, "Get that Look", an homage to The Breakfast Club.

Sadly, I think JC Penney pretty much bombed this campaign. First you have the simple issue of age. At 26, I'm at the cusp of the generation that's familiar with the Breakfast Club and friends of mine just a couple years younger generally haven't seen the movie. So how many high schoolers are going to get the reference? Few—if any. Their parents will, but what teenager actually shops where their parents want them to?

I suppose you can argue, does it really matter? The site is nicely dynamic with short videos and games that unlock free ringtones etc. but I'm not sure I would have found it all that interesting if I wasn't looking to see connections to the movie. Without knowledge of the movie it's just a bunch of models dancing and running around a school.

But then if you are a fan of the movie, like me, you'll be sorely disappointed. I found their 'homage' rather appalling. It's visually well done with a a great set and favorite scenes, but it really misses the mark on tone. I get that it's a shallow clothing campaign and all, but the lack of angst, decently discernible characters and models doing a poor job attempting to act makes the whole thing fall flat. Muddling the princess and the basket case together? Ignoring the John Bender character completely? Making the nerd as well dressed as everyone else? And overall it's far too PG for the movie—I mean, they don't even appear to be in detention! And not to mention turning scenes like running in the halls, avoiding the principal to recover some pot into a scene chasing after the princess's escaped chihuahua. I mean really? Could you reverse that much more? I guess the real movie was just too risque for JC Penney, but then why did they use it?

Friday, August 1, 2008

SPECIAL FEATURE: Interview with FontStruct - Part II

Interview with FontStruct - Part II

CC: Do you expect FontStruct to expand beyond modular fonts?

RM: Probably not. FontStruct is a modular font building application, and it's limited nature is closely linked to its success. There's already a faction within the community who complain when we add new bricks (building blocks) to the system. So some people want less, even when admittedly most are screaming for more.

CC: Is FontStruct working to drive people to FontShop?

SC: It certainly is. The little commercial type teasers on each page are just a small part of how FontStruct is working for FontShop. We have found that creating creative tools like this does wonders for our company's image, which has always been rooted in our dedication to the creative community. FontStruct is a confirmation of FontShop's place as a leader in the design world, not just another font seller.

CC: What is your all-time favorite font? Favorite FontStruct font?

RM: I am truly and constantly amazed when I see what people are creating with FontStruct—at how much time they invest in it and their ingenuity and skill. A couple of personal favorites are Queen Mab by Bent Hamm ( and Origamistic by deshzx (

SC: My favorite typeface changes every week, but currently it's the recently launched FF Tisa by our house brand FontFont.

My favorite FontStruction is also constantly changing as new, great stuff is created almost daily. I am really impressed with Gene Buban's (geneus1) work which is always very complex and often takes on the theme of a current movie release:

I am also impressed with the FontStructions by Anton Terekhov who has managed to create some very functional, legible typefaces despite FontStruct's modular format. The latest of which is his Skipper series: