Friday, December 17, 2010

The art of looking surprised. for that car/diamond. I never saw it coming...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't you wish your agency had a clue...

This spot for Verizon has been running a lot lately. Too bad Heineken Light used the exact same song a year earlier. Not sure who Verizon's agency is, but they appear to be clueless to what's already been done.

Or maybe just lazy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

He's had his 15 minutes of fame.

Maybe even 16. Now would someone please make this guy go away.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NFL likes music more than ideas.

Every NFL commercial this year features "slice of life" shots of people and a 30-second music track from some band. It's the easy way out. If I hear "snatch and grab it" one more time, I may get sick.

Don't you think an organization with this much money and stature could do something better?

Like DIRECTV, for example...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Once again, simple is better.

I always impressed how smart Hyundai ads tend to be. And in this case, so beautifully simple.

Is it just me, or does this guy look like a white Tracy Morgan?

Anyway, in this case a little bit of silliness goes a long way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

How to know when it's time to fire your agency.

When they give you crap like this.

Shame on you, Richards Group.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The way we were.

Or are...

Happy Election Day. Thank God it's over.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

fake web site

It's been done before, but the small web banner for "Mediocrity" caught my attention.

It's just Subaru having a little fun. The "Build Your Own" section was predictable but engaging to go through.

Is it just me, or does the fake car look like a Camry?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mile high club?

I guess fantasies don't have to be to scale. Imagine flying inside that plane...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

What do a hard stick, a camisole and a hocky puck have in common?

Apparently, they feel like a cool blast of water on your face.

Hmmm, not sure 5 (count 'em, five!) razors will ever feel like a camisole...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fake fans in the stands.

A soccer (futbol) team in Italy got sick of having their players play to thousands of empty seats, so they took matters into their own hands and created--fake fans! One can only assume the ads are still real.

Jacksonville Jaguars--this just might be the way to keep your NFL franchise!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saw this commercial a few dozen times

before I noticed the dogs playing poker in the background.

Nice touch.

Guess this guy is the second most interesting man in the world. Time for a new spot, however. Four games into the season, and they've already beat this one to death.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exactly WHY are we advertising?

Let me see. You're a monopoly selling an "invisible" product to consumers who have no alternative.

There is no news, no information, and no announcement in this commercial.

Why then, are you making TV spots??

Perhaps this is God's way of telling us you have too much (of our) money.

Otherwise, it's a cute idea...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Please God, make it stop. Make. It. Stop!

Watch any football this weekend?

Ready to throw a brick through your television?

If this keeps up, I'm gonna start rooting for Microsoft...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cool-as-shit car.

Lame-as-shit concept.

With uninspiring music. And annoying in that special way that only MB commercials can be.

I've got a "universal gesture" for you...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ray Lewis keeps not being funny.

Why, baby, why? Do you need the money at this point?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kindle vs. iPad

Wow. You get the feeling that Jeff "Bozo" Bezos of Amazon wrote, directed and produced this incredibly insipid commercial for the Kindle.

But it does create questions: who lays out at the pool with a white T-shirt on? Why doesn't he just go sit in the shade? And did she buy her overpriced sunglasses on Amazon?

Don't think Apple has much to worry about with this stinker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mac Attack

A new TV spot from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine goes for the shocker ad attacking the fast food industry, namely, you know who.

But bad acting, extremely lame music and questionable production values make this one a loser. In other words, I believe this Unhappy Meal will have zero effect on anyone.

With the possible exception of lawyers.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Uh-oh. Here come the dumb-ass football commercials.

The season has officially started and here's our second loser of the week. Old Spice, no doubt trying to recapture the glory of Shower Man, trips in the backfield with Ray Lewis doing a bunch of odd things for no particular reason.

Lame. Sad. A big waste of money. And further proof that Axe does "wacky" consistently good, while Old Spice is a one-hit wonder.

At this rate, it's gonna be a long season.

Coors Light commercial, anyone?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Mayhem" quickly losing its edge.

Sorry, to keep posting about the AllState campaign, but this latest commercial doesn't really cut it. Too convoluted a premise. Not particularly funny, evil, or memorable.

Love the idea of a football tie-in, but they missed an opportunity here.

Wide right.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun with the letter A.

It's subtle at first, but they'll hit you over the head with it by the time the commercial is over.

Still, a pretty simple yet interesting idea...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Simple ideas are always the best.

Now if they had only kept it to 30 seconds...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Geico steps it up a bit. Wheeee!

I've commented on this series before, and mentioned the lost opportunities of such a wide-ranging concept. But Geico gets it right this time--in other words, it's actually funny.

And probably slightly less expensive to produce...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Almost funny.

Jamba Juice is feeling the heat from McDonald's since they started selling smoothies. Hence this parody "commercial" (44 seconds running time) on YouTube.

An idea stolen directly from the Bassomatic days of Saturday Night Live.

Just not as funny.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interesting use of animation and live action.

In this case, the animation enhances the footage, making it more interesting (though there's some great camera angles and editing in this spot as well).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And speaking of great Allstate commercials...

if you've ever owned and ridden a motorcycle, this will affect you.

Again, everything is awesome, including the music.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free music.

OK, here's a fun way to listen to what's new. Lots of downloads here, so if you hear something you like, you can add it to your iPod. Sign up for their newsletter, and get an email of free music a day!

And who doesn't like free?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nice sentiment. Manipulative music.

Great idea. But if I'm not supposed to pity a shelter dog, why is the music so freakin' weepy?

Almost an A+.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Too funny. And not even too long.

Think of it as viral advertising. What a great idea for Orbit.

You know people will share this with one another. Just like I have with you.

Guess that's what makes it viral...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Budweiser doesn't get it.

Great film. A ton of production dollars. And a half-ass commercial.

It's pretty obvious the creative team here doesn't care about or really understand soccer.

Pretty sad for the official sponsor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

World Cup fever

In celebration of the World Cup (USA! USA!), let's enjoy some of the better commercials, starting with this one from ESPN.

Great copy and a wonderful use of stock footage makes this spot relatively inexpensive to produce--right up to paying for the rights to the U2 song.

Oh well, they can afford it. Nicely done.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hey BP. FU!

Instead of showing us a nice photo of clear blue water and an untarnished marshland, how about a little truth in advertising next time. A tarball-stained beach might be nice. Or perhaps some dying wildlife.

In fact, how about no advertising at all, and use that money to help the poor Gulf states whose economy you're wrecked.

Just a thought...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New music. Just for fun.

Anything to get that Staples commercial out of your mind.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The most obnoxious commercial (currently) in the world.

It's not funny. It's extremely trite. And the biggest offense: It's trying to create one of those "Where's the beef?" or "Wassup?" expressions that becomes part of popular culture. Only in this case, it'll never, ever happen.

This spot has been around for awhile and frankly, I thought it would be long gone by now. But I saw it last night, so hence my rant.

Both the agency and the client should be shot for subjecting us to this commercial.

Pity, too, because Staples commercials over the long haul have generally been pretty good.
But this is one big stinker...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mayflower puppet: 1/2 cool, half freaky.

Grey is one of those big New York agencies whose work is usually pretty mediocre. So this spot was a bit of a surprise.

One one hand, I like the stopping power. The payoff is pretty good, too.

Then again, the faux Fiest music is both annoying and a rip-off (stop trying to be Apple, please). The puppet is downright creepy and strangely inanimate for so many puppeteers. And they spent a LOT of money on this commercial.

Bottom line: probably better as a :30. But at least this spot breaks through the clutter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A movie trailer that doesn't give it all away.

Most trailers reveal too much, or give up all the movie's best lines.

Not this one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not since "Spinal Tap" have you seen a rockumentary this fun.

Good music. Exotic locations. Rock star attitude.

Is it any wonder creative people keeping coming up with ideas as old as this one?

Friday, April 30, 2010

If HAL pissed you off in 2001, watch this.

From McCann-Erickson, Madrid.

I guess they run 2 and-a-half minute commercials over there. This is better than some TV shows!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sony scores.

You can see this one coming a mile away, but nice production values and little kids actually playing soccer make this spot memorable.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The power of music

Video trailers are like movie trailers, only harder to make interesting. The dark, moody soundtrack on this one matches the visuals perfectly. That's why it becomes so compelling to watch.

Once again, music is everything in advertising.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are you fucking kidding me?

Tiger's back. Talking to the gallery. Smiling occasionally. And looking real sincere in this insincere ad from Nike.

Watch quickly. They've already pulled it off of YouTube.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hey, maybe the Mini really IS a chick car...

Hmmmm. The ad also seems to feature Chris Farley and David Spade sorta lookalikes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Well, that didn't take long...

Chatroulette is the newest social media craze where you can take your chances and go online and get hooked up (via webcam) with...well, anyone in the world.

Didn't take long for marketers to crash the party. But in this case, as an April Fool's gag, it's exactly what marketers do best (and in this case, best they not do it more than a day!).

Kudos to Dr. Pepper for getting there first.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Southwest having fun at other airlines' expense

Here's the latest in a series of commercials (others follow) where Southwest proclaims their love for bags (by not charging you for them). A fun concept, no doubt great for employee morale because it features real employees, relatively inexpensive to produce, and it hits the one true advantage Southwest has over the competition.

I mean, flying any airline these days is a drag. So why not fly the one that charges you less? Plus you'll avoid all the idiot travelers who try and cram as much in their carry-ons (and I use that word loosely) as they can. You people know who you are...

Anyway, smart advertising from a smart company.

Monday, March 22, 2010

GE gets a little too personal.

The idea of electronic medical records that can be accessed by any physician is an idea that's long past due. It is the future of medicine and already being practiced by many hospital systems.

But in these "funny" commercials (the music is your cue) from GE, they disregard the feelings of the patient.

Seeing a doctor is a highly personal experience--not something most people want to share with residents in an academic medical setting, let alone a room full of doctors or a stadium crowd.

The "Stadium" spot is a little lighter, but still feels kinda creepy. Big Brother may not be watching, but apparently everyone else is.

(and why does the female doctor get stuck doing the cheerleading thing?? perhaps we're not quite as forward-thinking as we'd like to believe.)

And finally, the "Say Ahhh" spot quickly goes from cloying to annoying. You can see it (the song) coming a mile away, and it goes on for far, far too long.

Maybe the Cranky Ad Guy is being too cranky. These commercials are, without a doubt, some of the best "healthcare" ads out there. But amongst all those great production values and corporate chest-thumping, the human element is strangely lost.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Muscle Milk hustle

The trouble with sports tournaments is that you inevitably see the same commercials over and over.

If you watched any b-ball this weekend, no doubt you got a perplexing look at these commercials for Muscle Milk. I have to admit, the first few times I saw them was on a huge flat-screen TV with the sound off. Visually, they were impossible to ignore. Must have been the faux Super-8 (film) color treatment...

Hearing them with the announcer and the music didn't make them any better (the music tries too hard to be "humorous" even thought the copy is kind of funny). No, these spots are pure, politically incorrect eye-candy.

In other words, perfect for the playoffs...

Monday, March 8, 2010

The NASCAR-ization of our nation.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea of putting little logos on everything, a la NASCAR, but it's got to stop.

Here's Lindsey Vonn in a cool-looking outfit that would be a lot cooler without all the logos scattered across it, like some attention-deficit child unloading his stash of stickers. Ironically, in this ad for Rolex, their logo is the least noticeable of all of them.

I mean, do these logos really work? Do you associate Nature Valley with Lindsey? Why, because she looks "natural?" Does she drive an Audi? Slam a few Red Bulls before a big race?

Sure, these logos generate cash, and cash is king in America, but couldn't we tone it down a bit. You know, like professional golfers, who currently keep their whoring tasteful--with just one or two sponsors emblazoned on their hat/shirt/bag/umbrella.

Tiger Woods for Trojan condoms? Now there's a sponsorship that makes sense!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A different kind of healthcare spot.

We do a lot of healthcare advertising at my agency, and we always try to make sure it doesn't fall into expected cliches, like sick little girls holding teddy bears or a line of doctors walking "ER" style down the hall.

But for all the healthcare TV spots I've seen in the US, good or bad (mostly bad), I've never seen anything quite like this.

Must be a different sensibility in Sweden...but a fun spot to watch, nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Promo for BBC Global

A commercial for an upcoming BBC TV program that almost looks like a trailer for a movie.

Nicely done.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger!

OK, if you simply live for cheeseburgers (like I do), then take a moment to visit the Cheese and Burger Society. With 30 delicious suggestions on a burger you can make tonight!

Fun web site. Great idea starter for dinner.

Hamburger helper, indeed!

Friday, February 26, 2010

And you thought our winter was bad.

It's been a tough winter on the East Coast, even in the usually warm and sunny south.

But everything's relative, and after watching this commercial from Tropicana, you should feel a little better about where you are and what you've gone through.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why directors have director's cuts...

They're not commercials. They're too long. No client would ever sign off on them because they don't "sell" enough.

But they sure are fun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favorite Olympic spot so far...

Not usually a fan of anything from Proctor and Gamble but this spot is nice. What could be too cutesy has a nice payoff that makes watching it worthwhile.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bank of America living in fantasyland.

You'd think with all the financial troubles out there, a corporation like BOA (part of the problem) would keep a pretty low profile.

But apparently, they're pleased enough with themselves to take out a full page ad to pat themselves on the back. Their wonderful deed? They put together a high-dollar deal with Disney.

Wooo-hooo! Big bucks for big business. I believe I've seen this movie.

Hey BOA, if you really want to be a superhereo, how about lending some money to small businesses? And until then, we liked it better when we weren't hearing from you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A most unusual TV commercial

that will make sense once you've finished watching it. Not sure how long this will be up, so share with friends quickly!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snickers finds the magic formula.

Lots of folks talked about the Betty White spot during the Super Bowl, but this newest Snickers commercial is even better.

The premise of "you're not you when you're hungry" is brilliant. And what they've got here is a concept that can go on and on, while employing a host of "hungry," affordable B-list talent.


Monday, February 8, 2010

My favorite Super Bowl ad

wasn't on TV, but ran in Fridays' USA Today (as you can tell by the see-through print on this very thin paper).

A nice show of support for both the city and the team.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The edition of "The Office" you never saw.

Bud Light ads tend to be juvenile and sophomoric. So is this one, but it's funny. Even though you can see every gag coming, it's entertains throughout.

Not sure where this would run except the web at a minute and 20 seconds, but that's good enough for me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Geico takes a good idea and runs it into the ground.

The premise is simple: can Geico save you money? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods?

A great idea, but as any NFL fan can tell you, we are sick to death of seeing these commercials. The mistake they made was making a simple premise way too expensive. Paying for Charlie Daniels, Ed Jones and the rights to Elmer Fudd means they have to repeat the same sad commercials over and over. And over. There must be a hundred ways to execute this idea less expensively, allowing for the production of more commercials, and being more entertaining in the process.

And as for Charlie, if I see him one more time, I may just have to bash that fiddle over his head.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New year. Old commercial.

Do you have a favorite movie? Novel? Song?

For me, I can never decide on any one. But when I think back on the greatest commercials of all time, this one immediately comes to mind.

It's simple. Impossible to ignore. And speaks to Nike's brand personality better than anything they've produced since.

Once again, a testament to the power of sound design.