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Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall cut his teeth on the Windy City ad scene and has written for a variety of publications including Mashable, The Onion A.V. Club, Prefix Mag, Tiny Mix Tapes, Gozamos, Emmie Music Magazine, and more. His day job currently consists of running digital and social media marketing strategy in Chicago.

Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery Are Here to Yell, Make You Feel Nauseous for FOX Sports

From Pereira & O’Dell New York comes a new spot already being hailed by SB Nation as “weird” and “gross.” Starring FOX Sports’ Big East basketball commentators Gus Johnson (who FOX has been marketing as an overly loud spaz, as though that was a good thing) and Bill Raftery (who announced he was bringing his trademark nonsensical “onions!” catchphrase from ESPN to FOX in November), the spot imagines what it would be like if this odd duo was to analyze childbirth.

In addition to SB Nation‘s glowing review, Sports Grid is boldly declaring the spot an “early contender for worst ad of the year.” But don’t just take their word for it! “Terrible commercial. A bit disturbing. Not funny,” says one YouTube commenter. “Fire the idiot who approved this commercial,” says another! Well, you know what they say: When Gus Johnson pounds a desk and causes a newborn baby to come rocketing out of his mother’s vagina, you’re bound to get a big reaction. Credits after the jump.

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Carl’s Jr. Would Have You Believe That Terrell Owens is Still Living a Charmed Life

Hey, look at that! It’s former All-Pro NFL receiver and notable public nuisance Terrell Owens getting paid for his time by appearing in a 72andSunny spot for Carl’s Jr. It’s a post-Christmas miracle!

Sure, Owens hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2010. And, it’s been eight years since he last suited up for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he was let go after getting into a beef (get it?) with the team owner and QB Donovan McNabb (who he accused of getting “tired” during the Eagles’ Super Bowl loss in early 2005). But, agency and client needed someone to shit on Philadelphia’s notoriously vocal fans to contrast them with the deliciousness of their Philly Cheesesteak Burger, and Owens was more than happy to oblige.

But, should you feel any sympathy for how he was treated in Philadelphia, or during his multiple attempts at an NFL comeback over the last few years, remember how he he frequently implied that San Francisco 49ers QB Jeff Garcia was gay despite it having no bearing on anything. Remember how he called out Donovan McNabb for not playing through a sports hernia and implied he wasn’t a warrior like Brett Favre. Oh, and remember his terrible VH1 reality show. Because we should really bring that up more often. Credits after the jump.

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Thanks to a Few Droga5 Folks, Your New Year’s Resolutions Now Have 100% More Kanye

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Despite having told a bunch of Canadians this his resolution for 2014 was to stop talking shit “for a long time,” Kanye West will more than likely “cheat” on his plans for the new year within the next few days or so. When I saw him in Chicago a few weeks back, Yeezy (who seems to also have a few things in common with creative directors) dedicated about 30 minutes of his famous ranting to the argument that he wasn’t, in fact, as crazy as the media would have you believe. Give the guy a microphone, a podium, or an article in a national publication, and you have no idea what he’s going to say. That’s what makes him so much fun.

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So, whilst we whittle away at our resolutions for 2014, creating numbered lists and attempting to convince ourselves of our own dedication to self-improvement and not being such drunk assholes all the time, a few creatives at Droga5 are encouraging us to put a twist of Kanye into our plans with “New Yeezy Resolutions.” Powered by a simple randomized quote generator, the microsite lets us re-live some of our favorite Kanye boasts from the past year, adding a few to our own resolutions if we feel so inclined.

For example, will you spend 2014 confident in your poor grammar? Embrace your inner Yeezy and promise yourself “I will spell the word ‘genius’ wrong.” Are you finally prepared to wholly embrace your alcoholism? Place one hand on your copy of Yeezus and recite the words, “I will be totally weird and totally honest and totally inappropriate at times.” What about some personal rebranding? Repeat after Kanye: “I will be like Nike.”

Have fun with this thing here.

Thanks to Samsung, Here is Your Frontrunner for the Worst Ad of 2013

Making bad advertising is easy. But, every now and then, somebody produces something so atrociously heinous that it almost makes you want to stand up and applaud.

Congrats, Samsung. “Are You Geared Up?” may be the absolute worst thing we’ve seen this year. You found rock bottom, and you dug even deeper. You combined bad acting with a nonsensical script, added in a dash of uncomfortable pacing and stretched the whole thing out to a cringeworthy two-and-a-half minutes.

Not only did you create The Room of online advertising, but your ad was so shitty that it went viral. Your spot was featured on the front page of Reddit under the headline “Hands down the worst ad I’ve ever seen. Take a bow, Samsung.” On top of that, the online legions have taken to your Samsung Mobile YouTube page, where you’ve received 13,000 thumbs down votes to 2,000 thumbs up votes. And, some genius left the comments on, which just adds to the chaos of terrible. Here are just a smattering of some of our favorite comments:

  • “There’s no way this is a real ad from Samsung. That would mean someone from Samsung had to actually watch this train wreck of a commercial and approve it. So it has to be fake. Right?”
  • “I feel like I just watched porn without the porn.”
  • “I’m almost speechless because of how terrible this is.  I’m embarrassed that it’s for an Android product.”
  • “Thanks Samsung, I forgot for a moment that women are prizes that can be won through the creative use of technology and being creepy as fuck.”
  • “HAY GURL CHECK OOT THEESE COOL PICS I TOOK OF YOU SEECRETLY WHILE I FOLLOWED YOU. TEE HEE YOUR PICTURES OF ME ARE SO FLATTERING HERE IS MY CONTACT INFORMATION ANONYMOUS STRANGER I WILL BE ALONE IN MY HOTEL ROOM TONIGHT. HAHAHA I AM GOING TO HAEV SEX WITH YOU BECAUSE MY WATCH IS A PHONE!”

In other words, it’s been a pretty fun morning. However, one Reddit-er has an interesting theory for why this terrible, terrible thing exists:

This was shot in Korea (that’s why everyone has a Russian accent). It was probably never meant to be seen in English. The main audience will see this with a Korean dub (that’s also why the actors speak so slowly).

The English script was probably written and edited by non-native speakers, and the company probably doesn’t give a shit what the English version sounds like, because the Korean dub is the one that will be seen. All that matters is that the white people look cool and pretty. It’s like that other commercial with the Samsung hard drive or whatever.

It’s an interesting theory, but as one commenter replied, “I wonder if Samsung has heard of the Internet.” Judging by this, it seems unlikely. If anyone has any info on the agency behind this, or would like to nominate anything else for Worst Ad of the Year, please do so in the comments.

This Year’s Grammy TV Campaign Is Actually Pretty Great

Right about this time every year, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA debuts its TV spots for the Grammys. And, every year, they’re pretty underwhelming. A few years back, we got a swirly, graphics overload with CGI re-tellings of artists like Eminem’s life story. Last year, we got the hashtag-happy #TheWholeWorldIsListening, which aimed to put viewers into the shoes of stars like Rihanna while trying to convince them that the awards show was still in any way relevant.

This year’s first spot, “Anthem,” looked more like a VH1 commercial than anything else, and it seemed we were in for yet another year of mediocrity. But then, dare we say it, the Grammys and Chiat LA ctually surprised us. The latest spot in the Music Unleashes Us campaign, “Drive” (above), does a fantastic job of convincing viewers that they owe it to the artists who get them through times of sorrow and heartbreak to watch their performances on the Grammys.

From Pink and fun., we move to Macklemore and “Doughnut Shop,” another well-produced and compelling spot filmed outside of Inglewood’s famous Randy’s Donuts. Again, these spots excel at following through with what the campaign promises – portraying the affect that popular music has on the average TV viewer. It both ignites and unleashes, an important sentiment for the Grammys to glom onto as the show still figures out its approach to celebrating an industry that doesn’t know what to do next. One more Katy Perry-tinged spot, and credits, follow after the jump.

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In Change of Tone, Jaguar USA Opts for Slapstick Comedy, Chicken Murder

Since establishing in-house agency Spark 44 a few years back, Jaguar’s ‘Alive’ campaign has strived to inject a little animalistic danger into the luxury car brand. Specifically, Jaguar’s sporty F-Type was taken out of the garage and unleashed on the world in a series of spots that the cars behaving like the wild jungle cats they were named after. The ads were…okay. But, they were still a step forward for a brand that didn’t have a reputation for producing many TV spots (other than EuroRSCG’s break out “Gorgeous” from almost a decade ago).

So it’s surprising to see Jaguar, which has put so much behind the look and messaging of “Alive” (including this weird Lana Del Rey thing), to pivot and produce a comedic takedown of Mercedes-Benz’s “Magic Body Control” TV spot from September with “Jaguar vs. Chicken”. You see, as Jaguar posits, jaguars eat chickens, haha! So take that, Mercedes! Haha! Yeah! Jaguars are better!

This is the second video this month which has marked a strange tonal shift from the brand. On December 10th, the brand released their “take” on viral cat videos, which again seems very  out of step with how they’ve been marketing the brand since 2011. As there are no credits, I don’t know if this is still the work of Spark 44 or not, but it will be interesting to see if Jaguar continues on their path away from luxury and toward silliness.

Coke Zero is Under the Assumption that You Still Like, Respect Metallica

Yesterday, metal legends and running joke Metallica performed a concert at Antarctica’s Carlini Scientific Base to 120 people in a transparent dome of some sort. Of the 120 attendees, 20 were scientists from Russia, Korea, China, Poland, Chile, Brazil and Germany. These winners of “Music Zero” “enjoyed the talent of Metallica in a quite exceptional way: through headphones, to respect the harmony of the environment,” which…wait, what?

It’s impossible to blame anyone at the concert for rocking out at this concert. After all, once you get bored of watching penguins slide around on their stomachs, there’s not a lot entertaining that happens on the most-desolate of continents. But, I have to wonder, why is a brand that seems to target college-aged youth trying to make a statement with a band like Metallica, who the average millennial may remember first from their douche-y drummer getting pissy about Napster and again from the 2004 couples therapy session, Some Kind of Monster?

Now, this could be a sign of things changing at Coke Zero, and a decision from on high to start marketing to a consumer who remembers that Metallica was actually a pretty solid band pre-Load. It’s also very possible that Coke Zero had some money to burn and no other band was willing to travel to Antarctica to throw a concert. But, in a world where metal is getting an awesome resurgence via bands like METZ, Deafheaven, and Liturgy, there’s gotta be a better alternative to Metallica. Set list after the jump.

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Saatchi & Saatchi NY CCO Con Williamson Announces Resignation

220410-Con-Williamson-1-bodyWe’ve just received confirmation from sources outside of Saatchi & Saatchi’s New York offices that CCO Con Williamson announced today his plans to leave the agency, reportedly to start a new shop. A toast in his honor was held at the NY agency earlier today.

Williamson joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 2010 after a CCO stint at the agency formerly known as Euro/RSCG NY. Over the past decade he’s also spent time at Fallon, JWT, and his own agency, Lodge212.

No word yet on who’ll be joining Williamson at his as-yet-unnamed new agency, but we’ve heard tips that a few other Saatchi NY colleagues announced their resignations today too. A more official announcement from Williamson and the agency is expected tomorrow. As always, we’ll keep you updated.

Also, as it’s Friday, we’ve embedded a Drake video below.

Derrick Rose Wears Headphones, Doesn’t Play Basketball for Skullcandy

How excited Skullcandy must have been.

In the battle of headphone brands, competing with the insanely popular Beats By Dre product line must have seemed like an impossible task. Marketshare was decreasing rapidly. What they needed was a miracle, the kind of great idea that can rocket their brand back into the competition. What they needed was a celebrity endorser big enough to compete with Dr. Dre but cheap enough that it didn’t totally break the bank. But who could that be? How can you get someone who’s universally respect and beloved at a reasonable price tag?

And then, it became clear. Derrick Rose, Bulls star point guard and Chicago’s most cherished native son, was on his way back from an entire year spent cheering from courtside after sustaining a devastating knee injury. The narrative was already being written by Adidas: Rose was back, and better than ever. The story was one of redemption; an opportunity to tell off the critics who felt he was sitting on the bench when he was well enough to be back on the court. “The Return” is what Adidas called it. Rose had the charisma, the talent, the credibility and, much to Skullcandy’s delight, a relatively reasonable price tag due to his year spent in street clothes. It must have sounded almost too perfect to Skullcandy’s marketing team. As preseason rumors spread this fall about Rose adding four inches to his vertical jump, fives must have been highed, glasses must have been clinked, and the familiar feeling of optimism must have crept its way back inside the Skullcandy offices.

I wonder who was watching the game, a late November Friday night as the Bulls faced the Portland Trailblazers. Who saw Rose pivot awkwardly on his knee while fighting for the ball, and limp gingerly toward the sidelines? Who had to make the mournful phone call when it was reported the star needed emergency knee surgery? Who first gasped when news broke on Twitter that, oh God, not again. Who remembers the studio, Gentleman Scholar, who wanted to use the above spot as their showpiece? Who can see a billboard on the Kennedy Expressway and thinks “Skullcandy!” instead of feeling a toxic mixture or sadness and frustration brought the reminder that another cold winter in Chicago would go bye without seeing #1 on the court?

Man, sucks to be them, huh? By the way, the song that plays in the background is “Back to Ballin’” by Wale. HA!  Credits after the jump.

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Muh-Tay-Zik/Hof-Fer Wears Ski Masks for Google Maps Office Photoshoot

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Two things Google has historically absolutely excelled at are creating groundbreaking products and figuring out how to monetize them. One such product is Google Maps, which allows your business to pay Google-licensed photographers to come inside your office and photograph it for Maps’ Street View feature.

Now, if you’re in a super-hip business like an advertising agency (where art students-turned-art directors bring the skinny-jeans heat), your office is probably designed to look simultaneously forward-thinking and client-friendly. (This goes double if you’re in close proximity to Silicon Valley.) How better to impress stodgy CPG brands looking to get millennials addicted to their brand of high-calorie salted snacks? How better to convince tech startups backed by high-rolling investors that you’re as cool as they are? Well, SF-based agency Muh-Tay-Zik/Hof-Fer did the pay-for-Street View thing, and they decided to play with Google Maps’ strict “no faces” policy.

Should you visit Google Maps, visit these coordinates to take a tour of Muh-Tay-Zik/Hof-Fer, and visit their delightful ski-masked staff. There’s even a dog with a ski mask, but it doesn’t have any ideas cut out, so it’s kind of sad. He’s probably pretty scared, huh?

And now some tips for one-upping these guys should your agency go the same route and be bored:

1. Scary clown masks

2. Replace all human heads with dogs heads via putting dogs on your shoulders

3. Kanye-style sequined masks

4. All bears and sunglasses

5. Embrace the blurred out faces, but all pose as though you’ve been caught in the midst of a lewd act

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