Friday, June 27, 2008

Bronze Lion, Epoch hardly knew ye

So the J.C. Penney debacle has reached its ignominious end. Cannes has withdrawn the Bronze Lion awarded last week to production company Epoch Films, which created, and submitted, the unauthorized J.C. Penney ad "Speed Dressing" to the award show. (A clip of it is above, which, like the first one, will probably get taken off YouTube.) There are many dumbelinas in this tale of award lust, but I'd give the top award to Epoch for actually thinking they could get away with this, although it's surprising that the commercial didn't raise a little bit of an eyebrow with the people who run the Cannes Ad Festival or with the jury which judged it. The premise of the commercial is completely implausible coming from an advertiser like J.C. Penney. Abercrombie & Fitch, maybe, but J.C. Penney? And even if the commercial had a less racy subject matter, you have to wonder why Epoch would submit it to an award show. If it won, it was only going to put a spotlight on the fact that the production company acted without the ok of its agency, Saatchi, or the client, J.C. Penney, and that can't help its reputation with them or with other prospective clients. There was no upside for Epoch for winning a statue over this commercial, even if it didn't feature teens in states of un-dress. As for the jury, they may be least responsible, though they also shouldn't feel good about this. As Cannes jury contain people from all over the world, they may not have gotten how discordant this commerical was for this particular brand. OK, time to move on.

Honda wants to know how you do it yourself

The Honda Pilot is sponsoring a do-it-yourself contest on YouTube, where people submit videos of do-it-yourself projects, with the best submission winning $15,000 in cold, hard cash. (One professionally-produced video, I think shot by Honda, is above.) Oh, you want to know what this has to do with a Honda Pilot? Not all that much, though there's an attempt at linkage in the copy about the contest: "The new Pilot from Honda. Ride it like a toolbox: the trailer-hitching, eight-person-seating, MP3-playing, safety-equipping, hill-start-assisting handyman of the road."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yes, you can subscribe to Adverganza

Thought I'd put up an Adverganza feed a long time ago, but someone—can't remember who—got in touch earlier this week to ask where my feed was, and I discovered I didn't have one. Horrors! You can see the link at the top right. I suppose you could blame me for being so lazy (no, wait busy!), but I think I'll just blame Google for the fun of it. Now go subscribe people!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Director's cut of Nike's "Take it to the NEXT LEVEL"

Nike Football has made the wise decision to post a 3-minute director's cut (the director being Guy Ritchie) of the "Take It to the Next Level" film that currently has about 3 million views on YouTube. This one is even better, because Ritchie gets to extend the concept--which is the world seen through the eyes of a world-class soccer player--in more ways off the field. Take a look.

What's so special about Cadbury's "Gorilla"?

Most of you are probably over Cannes, and I am too, except that I never got to muse (I mean rant) about the perplexing choice of Cadbury's "Gorilla", from Fallon London, as a Grand Prix winner for Film. According to this story, the Film jury picked it, among other reasons, because it "defies the conventions of the category," by not showing chocolate. True enough, I guess, but there's nothing particularly new about commercials that de-emphasize showing the product. The fact that in this case it was the confectionery category is merely an interesting aside. The jury chair, JWT worldwide chief creative officer Craig Davis of JWT, even went so far as to call the spot "courageous." In a commercial world already inundated with talking lizards and babies who trade stocks, what's so special about a gorilla who drums? It's not a bad commercial. It has great momentum, and a lot of amusing quirks, such as when the gorilla seems to be trying to work the kinds out of his neck, but at the end of the day, "Gorilla" is nothing more than a very well-crafted gimmick. Even in a tie--with T.A.G./McCann Worldgroup's much more deserving "Halo 3" campaign for xBox--it is in no way the best spot of the year.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Weirdest Old Spice ad of the centaur-y

More ridiculousness from Old Spice. Beginning to think that the team at Wieden + Kennedy who does this stuff is really into the controlled substances.

Emphatically not into Enfatico ad

You pretty much never see an agency buy an online display ad to promote itself, and that's not a good thing. In fact, the first time I've ever seen this done came today, from Enfatico, the new all-Dell agency created by WPP, and to me it seems crazily off strategy. (I found it on the Adweek home page.) The ad, at left, would seem to exist to attract clients, and yet, the agency's first, and probably only, priority in the near-term is to concentrate on Dell. Maybe the ad was meant to recruit talent, but all it does is link to the Enfatico home page. Why does this exist? Branding? Why do you need to brand when you're Dell's house agency?

Does this ad hit or miss the Target?

God, I love contextual advertising.

Here's that fake J.C. Penney commercial

Before this JC Penney commercial that's entirely fake and is causing controversy gets taken down, here it is. Here's the chain of blame, J.C. Penney isn't pleased with ots agency, Saatchi, which says it is unauthorized work done by the production studio, Epoch Films. Now, where can Epoch point?

Adverganza's Tuesday morning picks, 06.24.08

Wherein I scan the Monday and Tuesday morning headlines on Tuesday because I was not in the office yesterday.

From Advertising Age:

Ad spending flat, flat, flat.
—Shocker! Some people have anti-trust concerns about Yahoo and Google's partnership.
—Even the Toyota Corolla isn't selling.
OMFG! Some people don't like this CW promo.
—In the U.K., men can love their ketchup. Just not each other.
—An interview with the Washington Post's Katherine Weymouth.
—In the wake of the iPhone, pity the poor, has-been iPod.
—Hugh Laurie loves his Burger King gold card.

From Adweek:
One Laptop per Child isn't just a byte dream.
—Kraft may be shifting the deck chairs a bit more.
Are personal care ads too honest?
—Marketers are pitching products to young voters via new technologies, even if politicians aren't (see below).
—Will jerseys in sports other than soccer start to carry logos?
—Search outfit Outrider opens a social media practice.
—New York Public Library opens a show about famous ad execs.
—With HBO's "Voyeur" the talk of Cannes town, why didn't it win the big prizes?
—Tangerine Toad's (aka Alan Wolk) Adweek column debut, "You Are Not My Friend." Well, I like to think he's one of mine.
Barbara Lippert is all smiles about Saatchi's new work for Crest.
Jonah Bloom mops up Cannes, figuratively speaking, luckily.

From Brandweek:
The SuperBrands home page. And a video that answers the question, "What Is a SuperBrand?"
How AT&T could benefit from the latest iPhone price cut.
MadCrazyLove for Lincoln's MKS Sedan.

From Mediapost:

Fox partners with Passenger, not MySpace for a community built around its TV shows.
—Just what the world needs: another ad auction service.
Vera Wang blogs.
—"Peanut Butter Manifesto" author at Yahoo, takes his jar of Skippy elsewhere.
IPG lets Alan Cohen go free.
Gannett buys a stake in Cozi.
—Google launches an ad planner, freaking everyone out.
—Gavin O'Malley on yesterday's OMMA Social.
—Martin Sorrell may not like Google, but it has the best corporate reputation.
—Not sure anyone cares, but PIC Media divorced Interpublic.

From Mediaweek:

—Once again, the presidential candidates are slow to grasp online advertising.
The impact of DVRs on TV viewing is getting stronger.
The top editor at The Washington Post resigns.

From The New York Post:

—Yahoo has 700 jobs open.

From The New York Times:

—The cable nets are up 7 to 8 percent in the upfront.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—Visa opens up shop on Facebook. Subscription required for some silly reason, because the Journal picked this up from the AP, which is a long way of saying you can read it for free here.
—The kerfuffle about that fake J.C. Penney ad.

More to come ...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Get ready for Adverganza's Tuesday morning picks!

I'm the emcee of Mediapost's OMMA Social tomorrow at the Yale Club, which will pretty much eat up my Adverganza blogging time, so I'll do the Monday morning picks on Tuesday, complete with late-breaking headlines! You may see a few posts from me over at the Mediapost Raw blog today, so check it out if you're so inclined. Back at ya on Tuesday.