Friday, January 30, 2009

Pepsi Strives To 'Refresh' Us

The other night, this entertaining Pepsi commercial caught my attention. I mostly thought it was a fun concept, maybe a little too similar to the recently run Heineken Share the Good spots in direction and tone, but fun nonetheless. The spot ends with a call to action to 'refresh' our generation, fitting with the optimistic sentiment that seems to fill the air these days despite being in the middle of a recession. I thoroughly enjoyed the spot.

But after seeing the spot, I went to the Refresh Everything website to see what else was connected to this campaign and I can't say I'm sold on it. The site appears to be a New Year Campaign for 2009, focusing on 'Refreshing the World.' Pepsi offers the site as a place with 'opportunities to change the world into a fresher, funnier, much better place.' Change, huh? Jumping on the Obama bandwagon are we? Even if you're game with Pepsi trying to change the world, the campaign seems a bit oddly disjointed, combining hopeful videos to our the president to and online Super Bowl Party all under the same loose 'refresh' campaign.

But the different 'refresh' ideas don't seem to jive together. An online Super Bowl party with Will Arnett idea is interesting on its own, but I really don't see what's refreshing or remotely fresher and funnier about it. The page is still tagged with "Every generation refreshes the world. Now it's your turn." but how exactly are we refreshing the world with an online Super Bowl Party?

The video uploads as letters to the president fit a little better with what appears to be an all-embracing 'positive change' tone to the campaign, but again, it's not so refreshing really. How many other companies are doing similar stunts? According to AdRants IKEA has a "Welcome Obama!" guestbook and Facebook and the New York Times have a Presidential Suggestion site, so the upload your video isn't so original.

I guess I wouldn't mind either tactic on their own, but thrown together into one campaign on one site that feels chaotic and disjointed just isn't grabbing me. The concept really should, I'd like it to inspire me, the very spot that took me to the site inspired me, but once I got there, it just fell flat. Check out the site for yourself and let us know what you think!

Cash For Gold to have Super Bowl Ad

Got a tweet today from SpotBowl:

In a sign of the times, Cash For Gold bought one of the last remaining SB spots.

Say it with me: *groan*

More here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday To 1984!

Today is the 25th anniversary from when Apple ran their famous ad for Macintosh computers. They ran it nationally only once, during the superbowl in 1984. If your in the ad world, you know this commercial, it's famous. If not, check it out, since it's a great spot. Find out more about its history here.

A 14+ Hour Ad?

Yep, that's right, a 14 hour and 40 minute ad (online of course) to promote Emirate Airlines non-stop 14 hour and 40 minute service from Dubai to Sao Paulo. Okay, so this is a bit out dated since it ran in 2007, but hey, the Creative Cooler didn't exist then! The concept is still great. Fernando talks about everything Brazilian, from music to food and sports with no edits, no cuts and no breaks. Fernando starts talking at 5:30 a.m. and video above will start at whatever time code syncs with your computer's internal clock although you can skip ahead or go back to whatever section you like. Check it out!

(via Jaffe Juice)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

KGB Steps Into ChaCha's Territory With Some Great New Ads

The other night I saw an intriguing ad for KGB. No, not the Soviet Union Secret Police KGB, although the name did make me sit up and pay attention. I'm referring to the Knowledge Generation Bureau. The spots themselves are very well done. They have a great mysteriously serious, yet funny tone to them, though they don't spell out exactly what the company is or does. They just hint at it, and ask you to text a question.

So what is KGB? It's a two-way text messaging information service. Essentially, you can text any question you may have while on the go to this number and an 'agent' or 'guide' will answer it. The people on the other end are mainly college students and stay at home moms who are looking for some extra cash. When I first saw the KGB ads, I wondered if ChaCha renamed itself and launched a big new campaign. For those of you unfamiliar with ChaCha, it launched last January with exactly the same services. You didn't see ads for it though, or at least I never did. It was one of those sevices mostly spread by word of mouth and blogs. A little googling soon revealed, however, that these are not the same company at all, they're competitors.

So what's the difference? I can't speak to quality, as I have not used KGB yet, but with some more digging there is a price difference. ChaCha is free, up to a certain number of questions per month and KGB charges 50¢ per message, though that is not listed anywhere on their site, they text you back that info. KGB has been around under different names and launched a similar service in the UK in 2007 and other text messaging services in the US for the past couple years and just started their two-way texting information service in the US this month.

KGB clearly has some better marketing. They're great spots. ChaCha has been around longer but has no or few ads (as far as I know). ChaCha appears to be a start up with only this specific service in mind compared to KGB which is a global telecommunications company with multiple text information services. But ChaCha is a free service and KGB charges (and rather deceptively), so which one will do better? We'll have to wait and see. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MillerCoors Takes Super Bowl Ads to the Extreme

It's 1.20.09 and, here in the United States, all thoughts are on one thing and one thing only: The Super Bowl.

OK, OK, I'm joking. We all know today will live on in history as a new president moves into the White House. But seriously, it's less than two weeks until the Super Bowl, the day everyone watches to see what the world of advertising has in store. I know today's presidential inauguration was particularly of interest to everyone everywhere, but it seems the ads set to debut during this year's Super Bowl have been completely forgotten.

What I'm really trying to tell you is that Miller Brewing Company (now MillerCoors, I think) will run some brand-new 1-second ads in local markets during the pregame on Feb. 1. The message? According to High Life Senior Brand Manager Kevin Oglesby:
"Miller High Life is all about high quality and great value, so it wouldn't make sense for this brand to pay $3 million for a 30-second ad. Just like our consumers, High Life strives to make smart choices. One second should be plenty of time to remind viewers that Miller High Life is common sense in a

Or, as AdAge puts it, the spots, via Saatchi & Saatchi, are meant to poke fun at competitor Anheuser-Busch and the dominance they have in Super Bowl advertising.

The video below gives background behind the 1-second ad. You need to check out the actual site,, to watch all of the spots. They're hilarious.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hyundai Is Banking On Job Security

Hyundai has a very interesting new promotion running these days, if you lose your job within a year of purchasing a new car from them, they'll take it back. Well, that's what the commercial says anyway. It's an interesting new gimmick from the auto world (you can find out more from this Q&A on YouTube with Hyundai's VP of Sales or on their website). We've done the cash back, the employee pricing, etc. but these days car sales are way down, like everything else, and a three to five year commitment seems out of the question for many people who fear they could get laid off any day now. Brilliant.

I have no idea whether this gimmick will work, but it's an interesting development in today's economy. My brother wanted to sell his 5 year-old car over the holidays. He's busy and didn't want to bother with a private sale, so he took it to the dealer and to CarMax to see what they'd offer. It wasn't good. He soon learned the reason his offer was even lower than expected was due to a large influx cars, new cars. The lot had a disproportionate amount of 2008 models whose owners could simply no longer afford them. That reality makes this tactic seem like it's hitting the right spot.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Geico Stalks People with Kash

Is it just me or are Geico's latest spots conjuring a resounding, "HUH?!" When I saw this spot a few weeks ago I was literally dumbfounded:

Geico's latest "mascot" is Kash, a wad of bills with giant googly eyes that stares at suspecting (and sometimes unsuspecting) people in random situations. He apparently made his debut back in December, but luckily I was too caught up in pre-holiday craziness to notice. This article from Adfreak and this one from Adrants explain more.

Whether you love it, hate it or find yourself indifferent to the latest from Geico, one thing's for sure: they always do a great job with brand recognition and recall. A gecko, cavemen and now Kash. What's next?

Want more? Visit Geico's Web site for other commercials they proudly display.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Facebook Edits Whopper Campaign

Facebook, in its own on going campaign for privacy has forced CP+B to edit its Facebook Whopper Sacrifice application to remove the notification feature. In other words, you can now drop those Facebook friends for a Whopper and they'll never be the wiser. I get Facebook's reaction—it's the same privacy reason there's no notification if you remove someone from your friends list normally. Unfortunately, part of the fun part of the application is now lost. I'd find it amusing to get such an email. Or I'd be more inclined to de-friend some of my really close friends just for kicks (and a free Whopper) and then re-friend them in a day—and I'd expect similar retaliation.

Right now the Whopper Sacrifice application is completely, down. AdFreak and Inside Facebook and reporting that Facebook and CP+B are figuring out the best way to modify the application to adhere to Facebook's privacy concerns. Personally, I think they should have sending the message as an option, but not necessarily a requirement. Especially since the application also has an option to send an angry message back to the person who de-friended you. I doubt Facebook would go for that, but maybe. We'll see.

Pantone Is Optomistic This Year

Or maybe they're just trying to put everyone in a cheerier mood, because the color of the year from Pantone is Mimosa, a bright, beautiful and very cheery yellow.

As we posted a few months ago, you can get Pantone stuff for your house or apartment, like wall paint and fabric. Wouldn't this be a fun kitchen color?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ditch Your Friends For A Whopper

Crispin Porter + Bogusky is at it again. Yes, we're blogging about them once again, but it's well earned praise for their new Facebook marketing strategy for Burger King's new Angry Whopper. Burger King is offering a free Angry Whopper to anyone on Facebook who drops 10 of their friends. You simply add the Whopper Sacrifice Facebook application, drop 10 friends and they'll snail mail you a coupon. Okay, the snail mail part is rather lame when your concept is so digital, but I'm sure it's to keep it away from mass emailing. Beware though, the friends you ditch will get a message saying you've deleted them for a Whopper. Rather insulting really. You weren't worth 37 cents?

The New York Times article on the campaign is cites rave reviews from Facebook users looking to clean out their large friends lists, but really couldn't you delete anyone and just add them back after you have your coupon? I'm sure you probably could. I don't plan to participate, probably mostly thanks to a lack of fast food in my diet and that $3 worth of fatty food doesn't seem worth the effort to page through my friends list and decide who's history, but if I was still in college, broke and unhealthy, it'd be another story.

What do you think? Would go ax ten Facebook friends for a free Whopper? Are you going to?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pizza Hut Goes Natural

Pizza Hut is continuing its hidden camera concept with its new all natural pizzas. The hidden camera aspect of the two new spots is toned down from the first Pizza Hut Tuscani commercials we blogged about a few months ago, but the idea is still there. The two new spots and extremely similar to the original Tuscani ads. Essentially the chefs serve their guests all natural pizza, then surprise them with the fact it's made by Pizza Hut.

Overall it seems Pizza Hut is really trying to reinvent themselves with all these new menu choices. While I really don't have any interest in Pizza Hut's pastas—I just don't go to a place like Pizza Hut if I'm in the mood for pasta, but the new all natural pizzas are a definite must try. Whole wheat crust? Fantastic! I haven't actually ordered one yet, but intend to the next time I'm in the mood for pizza. Has anyone tried it? Has anyone tried the Tuscani pasta?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Truth In Advertising #22

The holidays do not stop January placements and mail-by dates. As the first week back after the holidays, this week has been crazy—we'll be back posting soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update: Free Dr. Pepper Delivered

We blogged about Dr. Pepper's free soda giveaway coinciding with the release of the new Guns N' Roses album back in November. Due to overwhelming traffic, the Dr. Pepper Web site was down for most of the 24-hour registration period, so I called my info into the toll-free number the following day after Dr. Pepper extended the offer.

To follow up, I received my free coupon in the mail today, so look for yours soon. It's good through the end of February. Interestingly, I also received my People magazine today and in it, a Diet Dr. Pepper ad with a coupon for a free 2-liter, good through the end of March.

(Does anyone know, are there really 23 flavors in Dr. Pepper? And what are they?)

Cold Winter? Think Beach Balls

Carnival Cruises has a fun new-ish spot running that features a couple giant beach balls bouncing around downtown Dallas. How fun is that? But did they really do this? The answer is yes. There are a few videos on You Tube featuring the actual event, which was a Guinness World Record for the largest beach balls (36 feet in diameter). The spot is really fun. The idea, the music, everything really gets you into a beach party mood. Well done.

Carnival is also running a similar Piñata spot, but it feels a bit like a 'weak sister' compared to the beach ball one. What do you think?