Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Think Before You Speak

I have to admit, sometimes PSA's drive me crazy. But recently I saw an ad for Think B4 You Speak from the Ad Council that didn't make me change the channel. The ad is about using the word "gay" for something derogatory. It's something I hear a lot of people say and even though I have gay friends, it never really bothered me. But it obviously bothers a lot of people and I think this ad was a clear, honest and slightly humorous way to let people know that using this word in such a way is a problem. The tag: "Imagine if who you are were used as an insult. When you say 'that's so gay,' do you realize what you say? Knock it off."

This ad was created on a volunteer basis by ArnoldNYC. You can find the campaign's landing page at ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. And here's a link to more information on the "Think B4 You Speak" campaign. There are two other ads I've seen for this campaign, one with openly gay actress Wanda Sykes, "Pizza Shop" and one with Hillary Duff, "Fitting Room."  As for the print ads, I really like the simple art direction of one set (shown below) but I think the message in the bottom right corner could be upsized some to make the message more clear. Overall, I think the print and television ads relay the message of the campaign to people more directly than the radio spots. Here are 3 of the print ads:

(Images from http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=539)
Searching around the Ad Council site for other campaigns, I found Fatherhood Involvement and the correlating "Cheerleader" ad on Ad Council's YouTube page. Copy: "The smallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child's life. Take time to be a dad today." It totally cracks me up and when I see it, I want to watch it twice! This is probably my favorite that I've found so far on the the Ad Council site and YouTube...

Here's a link for more information about the "Fatherhood Involvement" campaign. I think the radio spots are just as strong as the tv ads. Not such a huge fan of the print ads, however. This campaign was also created on a volunteer basis by Campbell-Ewald.

Here are some more causes I enjoyed browsing:
Wildfire Prevention (Good 'ol Smokey Bear) 
* Credit Scores Education (Credit Fairy)
* Lifelong Literacy (Ad Council link)

* Inspiring Invention (Ad Council link)

And lastly here's a 15 second spot for AmericansForTheArts.org called "Brahms Breakfast." I think it's a simple, fun way to remind parents that the morning is a great time to feed children nutritionally and educationally. Find out more about the Arts Education campaign at AdCouncil.org.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Diet Coke's new website

"Because when you start with good taste, you don't need anything else." -from the new Diet Coke ad with Tom Colicchio (a judge on Top Chef, in case you aren't familiar with him).

(I found this ad on the "Coke Conversations" YouTube Channel which also features the famous "Hilltop" commercial from 1971... you know, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke...")

The new Diet Coke ad is quick and straightforward. The message: Diet Coke tastes good without all the bells and whistles of other diet drinks. (Here's a behind-the-scenes.) Not only am I a fan of Tom Colicchio, but I am also a big fan of Diet Coke. This is simply because of the way it tastes. It tastes good. I can't say I don't like Diet Pepsi, but when I want a Diet Coke, it's because I crave the taste. When I want a Diet Pepsi, well, I want one because there isn't a Diet Coke around.

The ad above led me to check out DietCoke.com to see if the landing page has anything to do with the new ad campaign. And leave it to the Coca Cola brand, it definitely does. There are multiple sections that I found entertaining: "Celebrity + Style," "Cooking + Entertaining" and "Wellness + Balance" (I think Coca Cola did a significant amount of research on Diet Coke drinkers before revamping their website; I stayed and surfed around for about 15 minutes... that's much longer than I spend on most websites, even Facebook!) On "Cooking + Entertaining," Tom Colicchio invited me to the Diet Coke kitchen where I found great recipes like Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Mango Chutney, Panzanella (something I've always wanted to learn how to make!) and Vegetable Stew with Couscous. And the site is not just for the novice chef like myself. Experienced culinary wizards can hone their pate piping skills and polish their soup service. Party hosts can get help calculating the amount of food necessary to satisfy their guests and find out how to serve cheese safely, stylishly and selectively.

Even my mom would appreciate the page about "Sweeteners and You" where you can find out about the sweeteners in Diet Coke and also download podcasts about "Why We Love Sweet Tastes," "The Science of Taste" and the "History of Sweeteners." There's a wealth of information on the new Diet Coke website... check it out!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Go" with Visa...

I adore sushi. Anyone who knows me knows this. And I love ads. So sushi+ad = wonderful. Thank you Visa. 
  This ad is called "Experiment." (...and no, I have never overdosed on wasabi. I usually use the whole clump!)


I thought I'd explore the campaign online (it's titled, "More people go with Visa"). Most of these ads primarily promote Visa debit cards and the tagline is the same as the title of the campaign, "More people go with Visa." 

You can view some of the "go" print ads and television commercials here (best viewed with IE). My favorite tv commercial from this page is "Dinner Party" because of "Oye Como Va" in the background and the familiar voiceover... Morgan Freeman perhaps? (I think it's his voice in most of the ads.) A print ad other than "Experiment" that I like is Brazil's "Bikini." Very bright and eye-catching. I especially like the international television ads (this is Visa's first global advertising campaign). Of course the Japanese commercial sticks out to me. I'm most attracted to the art direction - the colorful dust and the word "go" in the stars.

My favorite television commercial I've seen recently for Visa's "Go" campaign is "Super Freak." COPY: "Who isn't a little freaky? Visa debit is the safe, secure way to pay online. More people go funky with Visa." It's funny and the main message is clear and to the point: Visa will protect you from freaks when you buy things...

I've seen a few other ads for the campaign including (what I think was the first) "Let's Go" (60 sec. and also 30 sec; music by Smashing Pumpkins.) "Let's Go" is a general summary of the "go with Visa" concept, focusing on achieving your dreams and goals. It asks people if they might "go" in a new direction, and want to "walk out the door and go left instead of right." Maybe they'll "go forward" or do something they've always wanted to do. 

I've also seen "Aquarium" (60 sec; music by Moody Blue). The "Aquarium" tagline is: "More people go explore with Visa." The art direction in this one is beautiful, espeially the jellyfish, the fire-breathing seahorses and the fish swimming into the word "go." The 30 second version is on tv all the time. "Aquarium," viewed through the eyes of a young girl, suggests doing something you wouldn't normally do like "going to the aquarium with your daughter on a Tuesday." Apparently, "Let's Go" and "Aquarium" premiered on March 4, 2009 during American Idol. I've also seen "Pizza" a lot (tag: "More people go manje with Visa" ...a bit more fun and upbeat than "Let's Go" and "Aquarium." I saw a very quick behind-the-scenes on YouTube in my search.) 
   Here is "Aquarium" ...extra large for your viewing pleasure:

I also found Visa's "go" campaign landing page. It seems a lot similar to Sprint's "Now Network" landing page that I wrote about last month.
On the landing page, Visa urged me to "get out and about" by promoting various activities/hobbies such as starting a book club at readerscircle.org, joining a coed team on sportsvite.com, picking my own fruit at pickyourown.com and boosting my heartrate at xperiencedays.com. I could also "go save" at Target.com, Overstock.com and Sears.com. Lots of cross-promotions.

Ultimately, I found the advertising section on Visa's corporate homepage. The site explains that the ads aren't meant to encourage people to spend more money, they are meant to encourage them to use Visa more when they do spend it. The reason they chose the "go" theme is because Visa is for people who are "ready to go." The ads show people "on the go" and "taking action," either living out their dreams or filling their everyday needs. Visa invites people to "make the most out of life every day" and pay for things electronically instead of with cash and checks. The campaign also focuses on how Visa's methods of payment are "confident," "secure" and "convenient" (specifically seen in "Super Freak"). Visa says they understand the difficulties people are facing in today's struggling economy and that every person's needs are unique. That's why Visa offers multiple tools for making payments such as debit cards or "check cards." Visa also offers free "financial literacy." More information can be found in this press release (from March 2009).

Before I finish, I just thought I'd mention that while watching Hulu the other day, I thought I was going to see a Visa "Go" ad but instead saw this static display below:

It may not have been a commercial, but it was still a 10-second ad in my book... 

Want to "go" explore more about this campaign? "Go with Visa" also has a YouTube page.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'll keep this post short and sweet. Because that's what Japanese commercials usually are. 
               Below is a great video comparing two ads for navy recruitment, one from Japan and one from the U.S. 
                               You'll have to watch it til the end for the twist!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blast from the past...

You know an ad has staying power when it is played seasonally. I saw the spot below ("Man Breasts") the other day for  breast cancer awareness and giggled as much on the inside as I did last year... enjoy. And don't forget to check out the Rethink Breast Cancer homepage.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My new favorite gum - Orbit Mist (Mango Surf) !

I am a gum freak. I love to try new kinds. Recently 5's "Solstice" and "Zing" tickled my tastebuds. But my new favorite, by far, has to be Orbit Mist. (specifically the "Mango Mist" flavor - it is SOOO delicious!) This is a Wrigley brand and it absolutely lives up to its name (5 Gum is also a Wrigley brand with their own YouTube page).

I don't know how else to describe Orbit Mist except to say it is a WET gum. Sure, most gums increase the amount of saliva in your mouth but Orbit Mist is really different. It reminds me a bit of Ice Breakers but the flavor lasts longer and the bursts of "wetness" are equally intense. It just makes your mouth feel wet and refreshed. The name is a perfect fit. And I love the flavor names... there's also "Watermelon Spring" and "Peppermint Spray." I saw one commercial on TV but after searching YouTube for the Orbit page, I also found this ad below ("Pieter") that I like better. The penguins, the water filled bubble, the computer guy in the hat with the big ears - it all works!

I also saw a striking print ad for the mint flavor of the gum (with a woman wearing an umbrella) which led me to search around and see if it was a campaign. Indeed it was. Looks like there are 3 ads in the "wearable art" campaign. The campaign was created by Energy BBDO (Chicago) with art director Isabela Ferreira and photographer Nadav Kander. Here's my favorite:

I've definitely been passing the good word around to my friends and other than word-of-mouth, it looks like the brand is getting a lot of buzz from other sources like Seventeen magazine.

Additionally, I have to give the 5 Gum brand some credit too because their commercials are just as intense as the flavor of their gum and the ads are equally over-the-top as the Orbit Mist ads, just in a different way (I guess I'd sum it up and say that the 5 gum commercials are extreme and the Orbit Mist ads are in-your-face in an out-there kind of wacky way). My favorite 5 gum spots:


and "Solstice"


To add to this brand's ferocity, 5 Gum has an intense landing page for gum-chewing fans of new music and up-and-coming artists (two screenshots below, to the left is the "5 Feed" landing page and to the right, the artists page). Great graphics and tons to keep you entertained. And they've got a Facebook page too.


Lastly, an amusing parody of the "Rain" commercial. :) (The "Rain" spearmint ad was the first 5 commercial I saw on TV. "Elixir" is also a good representation of what the gum makes your tongue feel like! The tagline "Stimulate your senses" is perfect.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A magazine I'm willing to buy!

Top fall shows I'm going to watch: The Office, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Glee, Community, 30 Rock, Project Runway and Top Chef. First magazine I'll buy this fall? The Entertainment Weekly Fall TV preview issue (which hits stands Fri. Sept. 11).

Why? Because of the 40 minute video advertisement! 

Simply open a page and view the CBS/Pepsi promotions by means of a super-thin video player. There are even five different channels to choose from! Here's a preview from Wired's YouTube page.

The technology was created by Americhip (out of Los Angeles). It's run by a battery which can be repowered by a mini USB cable on the reverse side. The screen is made of TFT LCD ("thin film transistor liquid crystal display").

Who knows, maybe I'll be convinced to flick the channel to CBS in a few weeks...