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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

In honor of Earth Day, here’s a very very happy ad for the Discovery Channel.

Called “I Love the World,” it begins with a conversation between two astronauts hovering over Ol’ Blue. “It never gets old, huh?” says one. “Nope.” comes the reply. And then they break into song, which is carried by a wide variety of happy people, from Bear Grylls (from Man vs. Wild) to Stephen Hawking. A few of my favorite moments include Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs crawling through some kind of disgusting pipe, singing “I love real dirty things,” and Adam from Mythbusters casually setting Jamie’s sleeve on fire while merrily singing the “boom-di-a-da” refrain. Like a preview for Mamma Mia, it just makes me feel happy.

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I’m a huge fan of the Sony Bravia commercials that feature brightly colored randomness in public places (San Francisco bouncy balls, exploding paint barrels on old apartment buildings, claymation bunnies in downtown New York City). I’ve even reported on an apparently local effort for the same effect, colored string on a pyramid. But a good advertiser should know when it’s been “done” and move on to newer things.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case. A new TV spot goes back to the big “balls” success, now attempting to wow its audience with streets filled with soap foam. People play in the foam. They photograph the foam. They get hit in the face with foam. And overall, the spot comes across as a dry attempt to cash in on past success. 

It’s quite sad, really, but it’s a reminder to advertisers out there who are tempted to return to the same old ideas that worked before – a new idea only works when it’s new. Creativity doesn’t run out, people just get lazy. The last thing a client wants is an audience rolling its eyes and saying, “Next!”

Found on AdFreak.

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A few months back I discussed how men are being used in advertising as the ultimate fall guys. When comedy is needed and someone needs to look stupid, ultimately it’s the guy in the spot who has to act the part. Fathers and husbands especially are the clueless “Homer Simpson” types who can’t do the simplest task without being correctly by a patient and amused wife, or even the exasperated kids.

It seems that this view is beginning to gain steam in the advertising community, as demonstrated by an article found today on Advertising Age called Men Are Not Idiots. I say it’s about time. I’m all for comedy in advertising, and taking these messages with a grain of salt – but equal-opportunity bashing is called for here. When was the last time an ad was shown where the bumbling, clueless character was the cute-as-a-button little girl in pigtails?

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The BBC loves an April Fools Day prank, and this year they wanted penguins to fly. Take a look: 

And of course, the “making of,” which doesn’t go into a lot of detail but does show how much effort went into this fun spot, which did dual duty as a prank and as a promotion for their iPlayer. Fun stuff.  

Found on AdFreak.

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As a regular listener to a variety of NPR shows, I have heard a few from the series This American Life, though since they’re on the weekend it’s typically on a long car ride which is convenient considering the show lasts a full hour with a single theme but several linked stories that can ramble on a bit. Recently, the show made the leap to TV, producing artsy shorts with the same “real guy” rambling voice over linking it all together. Most of the shows are produced live-action but some even use animation, and I found this fantastic episode on Veer today. The quirky, simple animation style perfectly matches the style of the show, and takes the story to the next level of humor, poignancy and beauty without changing the audio a bit. It’s truly an amazing leap that some said couldn’t be done.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.veer.com posted with vodpod

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