Re-Civilized or Uncivilized?

Nivea ad

Twitter is a-titter about a new campaign from Nivea. I think Draft fcb did it but I’m not certain. The overall campaign’s theme is “Look like you give a damn” so we know, up front, it’s going to court controversy (the Christian right doesn’t like it when people day “damn.” Damn.). The campaign shows a black man about to throw an afro-clad head far, far away. There is a version with a white guy who looks like he’s going to throw a Jesus head but apparently what irks people is that the headline on the ad with the black man is “re-civilize yourself”. So it’s clear Nivea and its agency wanted to get “earned impressions” by being controversial but it’s bad for the brand in the long run. Unlike the successful Old Spice campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, this one is getting press by harkening back to a dark time in this country’s past. Dumb, dumb.

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Talk To The Hand


Wowa! Or I guess that’s “Lady Wowza” to you. There’s a new campaign just out from Summer’s Eve which uses a hand to represent a va-jay-jay. Fifty bucks says there were more men than women involved in the development of the concept. All kinds of groups are up in arms because the ad that targets Hispanics features a leopard thong and the ad that features an African American hand is a little too “gurlfriend” for some people’s tastes. I think it’s actually a great idea for communicating a difficult subject to promote on TV but the execution is flawed. Yes, they definitely pandered to ethnic and racial stereotypes. They could have done something simple, like the talking heads from Anthem, and it would have been much funnier and more effective. If the adage that any press is good press is true then these folks have a winner. Adweek thinks it’s a great improvement over last year’s campaign, which had the message that if you douche more you earn more. Like I said, wowsa!

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Wowsa, That’s A Lotta Budget

It appears David & Goliath are acting more like Goliath than David with this :60 TV spot, which supposedly will run during the Superbowl. Wow, all that money to advertise a $19,000 car. The visuals are interesting but I have to say I think they could have done more with sound design. The animation of Poseidon is terrific. The aliens don’t look fierce enough or cute enough for me, though. It will be interesting to see if the :60 or the :30 runs during the Superbowl.

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Aaron Sorkin is my hero

Aaron SorkinAaron Sorkin has the backbone to say what I, and perhaps many other people, would like to say but are afraid to say because of the crazy, hunt-you-down-and-kill-you-if-you-don’t-believe-exactly-what-I-believe-conservatives out there. He’s having a tiff with Sarah Palin and, by extension, The Learning Channel which is entertaining to watch. Ms. Palin hunts and kills, quite gleefully, a caribou on her reality show (which airs on The Learning Channel) and Sorkin called her out on it. She snarkily snapped back, via Facebook, and instead of taking the high road, Sorkin let her have it this morning in The Huffington Post. You can read the whole post here. Thank goodness there are people like him around who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. We need more of those people on the lefty side of the political and social spectrum. The righties routinely show that they have the courage to say things that can be perceived to be against the norm. All hail Aaron Sorkin and let’s all hope and pray that the righties don’t take him down!

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TEDx Means Excellent? Extra? Extraneous?

Check out this interesting article in The NY Times about the expansion of the TED brand into local events. Way back in 1998-2001 I worked for two guys (at different times) who used to get invited to TED every year. I was so jealous and I wanted to go. I’d drop hints but neither of them caught on (or ignored them). Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED, sold the conference to another group in 2001. Then, Al Gore used TED as a platform to hone his presentation about the environment, which eventually became An Inconvenient Truth. Then, TED, got really popular. I still wasn’t invited but by then I decided I didn’t really want to go, because even if you were invited chances were that you would be listening to the luminaries dispense their wisdom not from an auditorium seat mere feet from the speaker, but in a sweaty tent in a separate location via a big screen TV, and you would have paid thousands of dollars to do so.  So, now TED is democratizing its brand by allowing folks around the world to host their own TED conferences. I feel conflicted about this. On one hand, it’s great that so many people are taking the initiative to put their views out there, but on the other hand I think the thing that made TED great was that it was a group of great minds coming together to solve problems. Now it seems like it’s simply a badge of honor to have done a TED presentation. I dunno, maybe I just like exclusive groups from which I’m excluded.

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Replacing My FarmVille Addiction With …

Check out this article about Purina’s foray into the Facebook game world. In a move that may not give Petville a run for its money, Purina is launching a Facebook game where users can take care of their pets in a pet resort. I couldn’t get the beta site to work, but based on the graphics in the image at left it looks like they are trying to copy Petville’s style. I’m sure Zynga is thrilled, especially since they probably tried to get Purina as a sponsor. I’d love to try it out, if they only would let me.

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Guy Fieri Must Have A New Agent


From “Minute to Win It” to Aflac, Guy Fieri is all over the place. Check out his ad for Aflac above. It’s pretty gross so I’m not sure how early this one is going to air, but it’s great for Guy Fieri. Not sure how great it is for Aflac.

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Ninja Baby Girl

My darling Stella does not like her tail to be pulled. See fabulous ninja moves above. We have no idea how she got her arm out and back to fast. Check out her face after Sam picks up her phone. Devious!

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When Bad Photoshop Happens To Bad People

Photoshopped BP image

Photoshopped BP image

OK, so let’s say you made a big boo-boo and dumped a gazillion gallons of oil into the sea. You’ve guaranteed that the world’s eco-system is permanently changed due to your mistake. You’re trying to manage the situation, right? Hmmm … maybe photoshopping the images you post on your website isn’t the smartest thing to so. But maybe you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Someone from AmericaBlog discovered that images posted to BPs website had been altered. They discovered the error by looking at the meta data of the images. BP says that what they did was to insert images onto screens that were blank in the original photo. Perhaps that’s true but it makes me, and possibly many other people, wonder what else they’ve faked. Like maybe the cap really isn’t in place and they’ve just sent out a video image of a previous capping experiment they did. Their stupidity and arrogance is truly staggering.

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What the doody were they thinking

Check out the new campaign for Quiznos by WongDoody . I’m all for putting cats in advertising. In fact, that’s one of my goals for 2010. However, the spot has to be entertaining. This one is just weird. Clearly, they’ve been influenced by rathergood.com, who popularized the Viking Kittens series, but the hook of that series is that it’s cute kittens juxtaposed with hard rock. There’s no irony and the kittens take away from the message, which is $4, $3, $2 sandwiches. If you look at the press release it’s clear they also want user-generated content. Unfortunately, I think this is a classic case of the client and/or agency wanting to put everything but the kitchen sink into the concept. Also, apparently they created the concept and produced it in a week. Next time, spend some money on music licensing and kill the part about using the UG content in the ad campaign.

Quiznos still with kittens

Quiznos still with kittens

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