Now infamous Harvey ad for ThinkBox.tv. (created by The Red Brick Road - Gemma Phillips (copywriter), Mark Slack (art director), and Justin Tindall (creative director))
I'm enamored by a marketing and television advertising specializing in proving the benefits of TV to advertisers has created a ridiculously successful commercial about just that. "If a dog can sell you on the concept of himself through persuasive video, think about what it can do for you!"
The washing machine kings at Sears have a web portal to their real website for the livingly-challenged, catered specifically to zombies looking for products to suit their needs.
Talk about working outside your marketing target audience. Sears is the last company I would expect to take both an interactive route, including company made videos on how Sears can fit your zombie needs, as well as a such a well executed stunt that only an edgier audience could appreciate.
Regardless of how much Sears has surprised us, the site is phenomenally funny.
Please change your language to Zombian when entering the web portal.
What a befitting Halloween tribute for a company whichdas always sdadalsdjm oijkjfkdsjfoie jdfadsj haaaababababaarrrrr arrrrrrgghhhhhhhh brainsdfs BRAAAAINS! BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!
Disney has always tapped into the magic of emotion in adverstising, making the whimsy of Disneyland seem like it will light up the face of not just any child, but your child.
Their new ad brings together viewer interaction + childhood excitement in all of the the right ways. The "home video" feel of it makes the potential customers relive their last visit or imagine the possibilities of suprising their own family. I'm sure it has been a challenge for the majority of Ad majors in my class to embrace the emotional approach to advertising when we spend so much time being witty + funny, but this is one of my favourite examples of how this approach succeeds in the best, see-yourself-in-those-shoes ways.
According to a Wpg Free Press article I stumbled upon, the infamous cult film maker John Waters will be part of the discussion at an upcoming series of symposiums on the correlation between artists + their city. Waters is best known for his cult films out of his home town of Baltimore (including the now famous Hairspray + Crybaby)
The series called My City’s Still Breathing (Nov. 4-7) is part of the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 program, where Winnipeggers will be able to see local and visiting experts deliberate and debate the relationship of art and design to city-making.
Irregardless of the importance of the debate, JOHN WATERS IS COMING TO WINNIPEG on November 4th @ The Garrick Theatre.
I don't even care what he's talking about. He could sarcastically read the phone book in the style of a monologue + it would be an experience I wouldn't miss for the world.
For more info, visit www.artsforall.ca or The John Waters symposium details page.
So I'm sitting on the couch eating shelled peanuts + watching Night Court when I was reminded that I received a package in the mail today.
I am a huge fan as of late of the website Canadian Free Stuff, so I had no idea what it could be. It was squishy enough to not be free food samples + too big to be my hair product minis.
I was under the impression things like this never work.
In the past two weeks I got free samples from Aveeno, and now this puffy package.
I saw that the envelope was from Canadian Club.
I entered a super simple promotion in August: refer 5 friends on Facebook to Canadian Club and they will send you a t-shirt.
Sadly there was no 'small' to select, but I did indeed get a medium-sized t-shirt from Canadian Club in the mail!
I have learned 3 things from this experience:
1) Free things are awesome. 2) My friends who must have 'Like'd CC, unannounced to me, are awesome + facilitate my love of t-shirts. 3) Canadian Club's promotions department knows what they're doing.
Besides having a wickedly designed website, their Hide A Case contest has captured many people's attention. Contestants (4 US, 4 Canadian) solving five out of the six puzzles advanced in the contest, and the end will be eight finalists will go on an adventure to find a hidden case of Canadian Club whisky to win $100,000. It's an elaborate contest that really leads the way in interactivity + product marketing.
But you'll have to excuse me.
I'm going to take a nap in my oversize Canadian Club t-shirt now.
PS: The Proctor & Gambler SAMPLER is back! Visit to get Tide, Head & Shoulder or Crest White Strip samples sent to your house!
"Buster plainly is a man inclined towards a belief in nothing but mathematics and absurdity ... like a number that has always been searching for the right equation. Look at his face — as beautiful but as inhuman as a butterfly — and you see that utter failure to identify sentiment."
-film critic David Thomson on the straightface & physical comedy master Buster Keaton
I ironically discovered the link to Catfish's website through Facebook.
With the release of The Social Network, Catfish is being called 'The Other Facebook Movie'. The film was a Sundance hit & is in limited release in the US right now.
Catfish is a fictional tale that says it's not based on a true story, but indeed true. The plot line sounds like it's happened a million times before:
The main character, Nev, is a 24 year old photographer. An 8 year old girl contacts him through MySpace and asks for permission to draw one of his photographs. Nev is so blown away by what talent the rural Michigan girl has that he supports her painting efforts & befriends Abby and her mother through Facebook.
Megan is the beautiful sister of the child prodigy. Nev's filmmaker friends document the whole process, which from an outside perspective seems to border the invasive. As he uses websites like Google & Facebook to find out information about her, even the placid beginnings of the film conjure up images of Internet acquaintances doing the same to you. Megan & Nev starts a texting-and-Twittering relationship and he inevitably sets out to meet her by traveling to her Michigan farm, without any prior notification that he is coming for a visit.
The premise seems benign enough, but the film is shot in faux-doc style akin to The Blair Witch Project.
Even the sound effect @ 2:00 in is a shocking device used well to immediately get the adrenaline flowing & the potential for a troubling ending theorizing.
For all of it's promised anxiety-inducing moments, the film is apparently very genuine in it's address to the social, personal, truthful & privacy conflicts social networking sites like Facebook pose in our global society.
The trailer was reminiscent of Winnipeg filmmaker Sean Garrity's Zooey & Adam, promising through a series of quotes that the last half of the movie will take you on an emotional roller coaster. My advertising class pitched potential promotional campaigns to him during the release of the film; I immediately recognized the similarities between the two but understood from my experience with Zooey & Adam that endings can be a double-edged sword to either be accepted/analyzed or rejected/called a "let down".
Catfish is not slated for release in Winnipeg (yet), so only time will tell.
The trailer & buzz around the movie make it clear that Catfish uses the theatre-of-the-mind to fill in the dark & lurking gaps about what possible conclusion the film could amount to. The discomforting feeling that comes from thrillers, not horrors, is an art that few filmmakers are either willing to attempt or can successfully achieve, but I would like to be able to experience how well Catfish does this for myself.
The most phenomenal part of the Catfish movie is the website used to promote the film, making you the voyeur.
Clicking the 'ENTER NEV'S WORLD' button on the website takes you into Nev's computer, allowing you to look at photos, archived chats, etc.
A few minutes into the exploration, a dialogue box for an Instant Messenger pops up and you get the voyeuristic pleasure of watching a conversation between Megan & Nev unfold.
The fake desktop view is the ultimate actualization of what anyone armed with the web smarts to investigate your personal information can achieve through social networking sites. While the extreme interactivity of the site is impressive, the guise of reality about it makes the experience of poking through Nev's personal files disturbing.
While a very well thought out promotional tool, the creepy 'Facebook-stalker' draw of it is tempered by the Twitter widget on the desktop which allows you to Follow the movie & 'desktop icons' which allow you to watch the trailer.
It's a bold move to not maintain the illusion of really delving into the characters' personal lives, but the film doesn't perpetuate the slim chance it could be a real documentary, like Blair Witch did.
IKEA's newest effort involved releasing 100 cats into an IKEA store.
The results appear to be 100% less chaotic than I imaged.
For having a concept that seems like a technical nightmare, the effect of the ad is rather touching. It's hard to predict if it was pure luck to get the camera shots they did of the cats snuggled up on the furniture exactly like they would at home; if it was kismet, god bless those cats. If it wasn't, and the creative team knew the cats would settle down eventually & had it all planned, bravo.
Stylistically beautiful, it makes me want to sneak into an IKEA store at night & gingerly turn lighting displays on. It has the allure of a forever-Christmas tree.
Regardless of how hilarious the 'making of' video below portrays the hairy event as, the results definitely touches the inner most human part of furniture buying; not style, not size, not ease, but comfort.
I love Halloween like Uncle Fester loves lightbulbs. (I feel like I'm betraying my love of The Munsters by saying that. Oh Herman.)
As much as many people would inevitably hate to admit it, advertising is a seasonal sign that the most gruesome and fun holiday is upon us.
Regardless of where you live, your skimpy or spectacular costumes have to come from some Halloween depot & that store probably has an advertisement wedged into your consciousness that helped you along with your decision.
The Village of Values holds a special place in my heart when it comes to Halloween. (Value Village's website is also very clean & attractive, but that's beside the point)
When I was young (and in my adult years, as a special nostalgic treat) I was always delighted by Halloween commercials, including those for Value Village. Talk about taking a holiday & working it to your advantage; selling second-hand & new costumes gives Value Village an even larger opportunity to sell the main component of their store, used clothing. I recall their ads saying that if you cannot find something you like, make your own costume out of the thousands of pieces of clothing about the store. Super clever & obvious campaigning.
Party City also has their stuff together; it's always a classic to do the Thriller and it always works. Very simple list endorsing costume selections, and that's about it. The baby is pure gold & helps you to remember them. (Plus, I was totally a devil for my first Halloween costume. Just saying.)
Spirit Halloween is apparently amazing. I haven't visited the new addition to Winnipeg's Halloween shopping experience, but from what I've heard they have an awesome selection of large yard & indoor displays (like Party Stuff on steroids, because their only job is to carry Halloween items).
I'm by no means an expert spot producer, but less is more when it comes to Halloween. A focus on large display items, or even just a video of one of their displays repeatedly scaring people would do the trick rather than the shopping list approach.
(10 seconds of Spirit Halloween Minnesota's promotional video is just a hand flying at the screen... View the madness [HERE] ... There's a nun, a kid in a firefighter's jacket + Pinhead mask, an orangutan... It scared me more than the actual store)
On the assumption we all know what Halloween is, it's a great time for creativity in advertising your product or service at kids & parents.
The Mall of America's beautiful paper cut-out style TV spots is the perfect creative promo for what I imagine would be the ultimate "Trick or Treating at the mall" experience, away from scary lawns (like mine).
Seasonal themes are great and something audiences should look forward to if they are consistent in look & feel, even getting as lucky as to incorporate characters. (MOA's Christmas advertisements also tickle my holiday fancy)
Regardless of whether you choose to make your own costume this year or buy one, definitely take time to enjoy Halloween commercials in all of their cheesy, fabulous glory.
This is definitely not my last deluge into Halloweenie commercials. Stay tuned.
IF YOU DARE. MUAHAHAHAHA. (I <3 Vincent Price, for the record. Le sigh.)