Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users, Compares Itself to Chair

Facebook, the industry leader in “I don’t care what your baby did today,” has teamed up with other-industry pioneers – the likes of (get it? likes? ehhhh…) Wieden+Kennedy Portland and Babel director, Alejandro Iñárritu – to mark the fact that there are now over 1 billion user accounts on the site. Including fraudulent baby accounts.

The 90-second spot (above) looks pretty – what we would expect from this agency-director team; although it feels like Terrence Malick is also involved somehow – but suffers from an unexpected lack of storytelling and emotion. Unlike Google and its “Search Stories” series, Facebook chose to skip the complex human side and simplify its existence down to inanimate objects. Like a doorbell. Or basketball. Remember children, “chairs are for people. And that is why chairs are like Facebook.”

Cold, unapologetic chairs. Now go enjoy that revolutionary accomplishment of software engineering, built for human people. To do human stuff!

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A Brief History of Brand Slogans™

(via Know Your Meme)

Without much thought, most of us can probably rattle off a handful of catchphrases from old TV commercials. Slogans, tag lines, catchphrases – whatever your vernacular preference, although some might argue their differences – are the caboose on the advertising gravy train. (Or maybe not; does that even make sense?) However, only a few are transcendent enough to be remembered beyond the lifespan of their initial campaign. Others, if you think a little harder, can be recalled from their sheer power for annoying the shit out of us.

Let us reminisce on (or, in other cases, prod at the comfortably repressed) notable slogans of the branding world. Continue reading

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Vitaminwater Wants ALL of the Internet in its Commercial

The latest vitaminwater ad – this for the tasty XXX variety – has gone a tad overboard with the Internet references. As we discussed a few months ago, memes are no strangers to ad campaigns. However, agency CP+B – who once put phone chargers at bus stops – missed the point with this one.

The commercial comes off as an attempt to throw a bunch of recognizable elements into the mix without making a connection to the brand. So this is the drink to grab when the Apocalypse.com begins? Aside from Sexy Sax Man, who can follow us around if he’d like, the spot lacks anything amusing or lasting. A who’s who of hardly-eligible nostalgia, without a worthwhile payoff. We’re left with the completely forgettable tagline, “you’re up,” from the same Underwhelming Ballpark as Bud Light’s “Here we go.” That the best you got?

Leave it to the users on vitaminwater’s official YouTube page to sum up the feeling with the top-rated comment: “I’m never buying vitamin water ever again.” The (forty-six) people (who voted it up) have spoken.

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Super Bowl Commercials: A Look Back at 2012

The Super Bowl of 2012 (or XLVI, if you’re counting) was once again a showcase of the most innovative, creative and inevitably underwhelming advertising that millions of dollars can assemble. Conversations and opinions on the bunch formed in the days leading up to and following that Super Sunday. Now, here is another one – a tad late. Also, two teams played football.

Our first impression was, overall, quite positive. And after ruminating for a week or two, well, still the same. Of course, there were a few facepalms and disappointments (we’ll get to those), but let’s start with the winners.

Honda CR-V: “Matthew’s Day Off”

Technically, this isn’t the version that ran on TV and – as is the trend – it was released online prior to the game. Nevertheless, Honda capitalized on the incredible amount of nostalgia most of us have for Ferris and, for all intents and purposes, won our hearts with this one. Despite featuring a significantly less-cool ride – however appropriate for its current day subject – this extended spot garnered 14.5 million+ Youtube views and an estimated $2.24 million in earned media. Hey, that’s almost 30 seconds worth! Continue reading

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Keeping Up with Internet Culture: Viral, Social, Memes & Other Searchable Terms

Thank you for participating. You can all go home now.

What would we do without the Internet? A place of such incredible expanse, any attempt to adequately answer this question would likely require an attention span no Internet-enthusiast has possessed since the dawn of this damned thing. So many cats, babies, lulz and baby cats, coupled with so little time to ingest them all leaves only a small window to capture our attention. You better be funny, cute or both because why else would anyone share or advertise with something that isn’t? (The answer to that is, “because it is mysteriously mesmerizing and I am powerless against its will.” But how do you create that? If there was one thing to be learned from spending a day with the Internet IRL, it is that these questions would be better served as a dissertation topic.)

By harnessing that cute, funny and occasional mysteriousness you might come up with one of the Internet’s most widely enjoyed phenomena – memes! If any of your time online is spent wasting it, then you probably have a favorite meme or two along with several others that vex your sensibilities. These bits of ideas and concepts that spread like wild would appear to be an advertiser’s best friend. Yet seizing the Internet zeitgeist for a campaign is not easily accomplished – partly because what is hot on the world wide webs right now might not be a week from now. Continue reading

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This is SportsCenter, Not Real Life

For nearly two decades, ESPN has been extending its flagship brand, SportsCenter, beyond the studio, giving us a peek inside the offices where the proverbial magic happens. Merging the world of sports with cubicle life, “This is SportsCenter” has something for everyone – mascots, athletes, TV personalities, retired athletes, other mascots and so on. The series has become nearly as recognizable as the name it is promoting, and with Wieden+Kennedy New York at the helm, its popularity should come as no surprise. (W+K is, of course, unstoppable.)

With all of the crazy stories coming out of Bristol recently (Connecticut, not Palin. Heyo!), it has become difficult to distinguish whether the fictionalized version of the Worldwide Leader is more entertaining than the real one. Nonetheless, not even the creeped out, nauseous feeling you may experience from being exposed to Chris Berman, Tony Kornheiser and Stuart Scott can diminish the greatness of TiSC; mainly because those network puppets don’t show up in the commercials. Whether through a TV screen or book screen, life at ESPN appears more interesting than your typical office (because it is).

Since the campaign is filled with memorable spots, along with the fact that the Internet doesn’t need another “Best of” list, let’s imagine what “This is SportsCenter” might look like translated into a setting resembling Initech. Continue reading

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Great Moments in Brand-Band Synergy

There are two things in this world very dear to me: music and movies (actually, three if you’ve seen this blog before). Slightly higher if you count friends, family, yadda, yadda (Hi, Mom). As one of the few people who have a Blockbuster online account (nonconformist!), I wanted to discuss the recent Netflix pricing news and what Little Boy Blue could do to position itself as a serious threat to Big Red. However, as Blockbuster has roughly zero interesting ad campaigns to show for its multitude of bad business decisions, it felt like I’d be cheating, as advertising is kind of the point of this blog. Moving on.

As a bit of a music snob (nonconformist!), seeing a great band get recognition on a larger scale provides a nice, warm feeling inside. Mainly because it proves you’re cool for reading obscure electronica blogs. These days, it seems lazy for an ad to feature a mainstream artist unless they are the subject. Getting a big-name musician attached to your product is often tantamount to saying, “we spent a lot of money on these people and now you will like us!” (Hi, Pepsi). For those moments when music is vividly woven into a brand story and leaves you saying “wow,” we honor their brand-band synergy. (Sorry for bringing that one back from the marketing buzzword graveyard. That should probably only be done ironically.) Continue reading

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