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Venables Bell & Partners

eBay Reminds Holiday Shoppers That Ponies Are Dangerous Animals and Terrible Pets

Yes, the holiday advertising season is upon us, and with it comes glad tidings of great consumer spending.

Taking the lead for Christmas 2012 is eBay, that magical monolith of online shopping, who in this spot for VB+P is reminding idiotic, out-of-touch wealthy parents that buying your young daughter a pony is a fucking stupid idea. Sorry, dumb parents, but ponies are terrible pets that do not cope well with being indoors. Also, it’s been proven that ponies will most certainly turn on their young female owners, stomping them to death in protest for being plucked from their wild environs for a life of servitude (not really).

But, really, if you’re even slightly considering buying your daughter a pony for Christmas, you need to stop. This will not make you a good parent, and in two years, your daughter will neglect her tiny horse and force you to have to lure it into a field off the highway to put down. And, do you really think one bullet will kill that thing? Any way you look at it, it will be more expensive than buying a stuffed pony on eBay. Credits after the jump.

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VB&P, Conoco Give Denverites New Outdoors Gear Via Talking Car

 

Initially, Venables Bell & Partners’ latest campaign for Conoco gas reminds me of Yahoo’s giant “Purple People Greeter” mailbox. Both are sassy talking objects that attract dogs, love hugs and give gifts. But while Yahoo’s chubby mailbox handed out an assortment of presents to New Yorkers (a dog bone, Yankee tickets, a giant lollipop), Conoco’s vocal car is filled with outdoor gear, designed to delight nature-loving Denverites.

“The Great Conoco Fill-Up” is specifically tailored to the adventurous people of Colorado’s capitol, inspiring them to “fill up and get out there.” After the talking car–which is, what else, an Audi–catches passersby off guard, they’re told to take their pick from ski boots and water bottles, a kayak or a mountain bike. Of course they’re stoked, and will go home to tell their family and friends about their good fortune. But will they start choosing Conoco gas? Is one good deed enough to get a brand some new, dedicated users? Credits after the jump.

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eBay, VB&P Salute Crazy People

Ladies be lovin’ handbags, amirite guys? I mean, what woman in America can’t totally relate to how absolutely insane this purse-coveting psychopath becomes upon seeing the item of her dreams?

To be honest, I only recently became aware that the target demographic of Venables Bell & Partners’ and prodco Arts and Sciences’ new spot for eBay, “Frenzy,” is actually all too real. My ladyfriend works for a luxury consignment store in Chicago, and I find it absolutely fascinating how closely her company is tied to eBay. In my uninformed mind, selling second-hand apparel online means finding the strengths (or surpluses) in your company’s inventory and writing Google Ads to move product. However, I’ve come to learn that a highly-rated eBay account is the best advertising for a company that sells high-end designer products. If the game is to sell a $40,000 python skin purse, eBay can actually make all the difference.

The new campaign from VB&P consists of two other TV spots. The second of which (above) finds parents indulging in their conspicuous consuming habits in order to ease the transition into new parenthood. Hey, if you can’t sleep at night, it might as well be the fault of a crying baby AND a brand new speaker system. Yes, these people are terrible. Credits and the third spot follow after the jump.

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VB&P Continues Automotive-Themed Work, This Time for eBay Motors

Well, it appears that San Francisco’s Venables Bell & Partners has been quite busy as of late, as the agency’s not only given us an appealing new spot for Audi, but it’s also been churning out a web series for eBay Motors dubbed BUILT. What’s the idea, you ask? Well, we have four cars that are being built by four different teams in four garages from parts solely found on eBay. The series, ten episodes in all, has finally concluded and now the four end results are being put up for auction through Sept. 14. Take a gander at what you’re bidding for, if you so choose, below. We’re kinda partial to the Lowrider ourselves, though we imagine the current $20G bid will go up a bit.

You can check out the last episode of BUILT after the jump.

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The Audi S8 Will Make Pedestrians Suspect You’re a Criminal

Debuting tonight during the Giants vs. Cowboys NFL season kickoff, the above 60-second spot from Venables Bell & Partners titled “Suspect” marks the first time Audi is introducing its full line of S models to the U.S.

Despite the YouTube commentariat noting that the S8 is too overweight to be race-engineered, an accusation that sounds plausible though I am too unfamiliar with racing to confirm or deny the validity of it, Audi has selected the campaign tagline “Heighten Every Moment” to describe the intensity that waiting in your car for your girlfriend to pickup coffee will undoubtedly provide. Yes, most passerby will assume you stole the S8, and may have your sights set on that armored car as well. Just don’t be a minority driving the S8 (especially in Arizona), or you’ll most likely be shot by a rent-a-cop with a transistor radio.

Audi is also pleased to announce today that it will be returning to Super Bowl advertising for the sixth consecutive year in early 2013. Watch this year’s spot, “Vampire Party,” here and view credits for “Suspect” after the jump.

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With Google Fiber, Kansas City Will Have Something to Brag About

Last year, Google chose Kansas City over a number of contenders to be the first place to get access to the Internet monolith’s new super-fast 1GB-per-second service, Google Fiber. Announced today, KC residents will have access to 1GB-per-second download times for a monthly fee of $70.

As is becoming tradition, Google tapped Venables Bell & Partners to create a new charmingly whimsical scale model spot to celebrate Fiber’s launch. The result, “The Next Chapter of the Internet,” depicts the evolution of the Internet through toy cars, where traffic jams are synonymous with the terrible days of dial-up modems. Hey, remember when stealing a song on Napster required at 45 minutes of download time? That sucked.

Set to a little synth cover of The Cars’ timeless (yeah, I said it) classic, “Just What I Needed,” the sad little cars start zipping around like Hot Wheels. How stoked is Kansas City for the arrival of Google Fiber? Here’s the brand’s community activation video from agency Enso of residents begging their fellow Kansas Citians to pre-order Fiber by Sept. 9. Remember guys, it’s for kids, science and, uh, Wendall Phillips (which is a high school by the way).

View credits and Google’s “thanks” to the people of Kansas City which VP+B released last week, after the jump.
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Remember That VB&P/Craigslist Thing? Either Way, Here’s the End Result

You may recall that in December of last year, we told you that San Francisco agency Venables Bell & Partners was leasing some of its office space to a lucky few for the rather economical price of $10/year as part of its 10th anniversary celebration.

Finally, after narrowing the competition down from 60 to 14 finalists for a sit-down, four Bay Area entrepreneurs were selected by a panel that included founder/ECD Paul Venables, president/co-founder Bob Molineaux, head of strategy Lucy Farey-Jones and ECD Will McGinness. After an eight-month process, the panel has picked Kalon Gutierrez and Luis Garcia, founders of Schoolbags for Kids, Patricia Compas-Markman, a CalPoly engineer who invented the water treatment device DayOne Waterbag and Christian Amundson, an engineer-turned-filmmaker. The video above should sum things up well enough for you. 

VB&P Adds to Digital Department

After spending the last four years as senior integrated producer at Mekanism, Manjula Nadkarni has joined up with fellow Bay Area operation Venables Bell & Partners as director of interactive production. The hire is part of a move by the indie agency to bolster its content studio dubbed Lumberyard, which was launched at the end of last year. Nadkarni is teaming up with VB&P director of content development Deva Ferar, who manages the Lumberyard space, and will work on interactive production assignments for clients including Intel, Google and ConAgra.

In addition, Venables hired Team One alum Aiden Bordner as director of experience design, Aaron Clinger as technical director and former Isobar SVP. director of client service  Katie Acosta as group account director.

VB+P Graphs ‘Super Bowl and the Digital Water Cooler’

Super Bowl: The only day in America where TV viewers actually want to watch commercials. This year’s NFL championship, pitting the New York Giants against the New England Patriots, is in a sense a “rematch” of the 2008 edition of the big game. Due to this unfortunate match-up (blame Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams for their failures), it’s possible that TV ratings could actually be lower than last year’s game. This would clearly be a total bummer for advertisers who spent $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. But, on the bright side, maybe people will be talking more about the ads than the actual game at the water cooler the next day, right?

Of course, the veritable “water cooler” has evolved in the digital age. The folks at Venables Bell & Partners have decided to provide a handy infographic that maps the who, where and how of post-game advertising conversation. Out of the bevy of stats they’ve given us, a few stand out. For example, “Almost one in five (19%) Americans searched for ads before the game in 2011, about double (11%) who did in 2010. Of that group, 48% searched for ads on Facebook, putting the site just ahead of popular video sharing site YouTube, brand sites, and media sources as the lead destination to find ads.” In other words, Facebook is becoming a more popular video search engine than YouTube, a fact than is no doubt pissing off the powers that be at Google.

Also, “Americans are almost as likely to ‘like’ a brand on Facebook that advertises during the Super Bowl (20%) as they are to ‘like’ a team (29%), with 23% of young adults likely to ‘like’ a brand.” Not a bad way to measure social media ROI compared to TV ROI, is it? Well, at least it’s somewhat “believable.” Check out a full-size image after the jump.

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VB&P Conjures Some Google Maps Magic

For its first work for Google, SF-based Venables Bell & Partners along with prodco 1st Avenue Machine went all out with the above online spot for the company’s ubiquitous Maps tool.

As you can see, VB+P decided to concoct a real life Maps equivalent, resulting in a giant, labyrinth-inspired cube that requires two people to operate. Eventually, the familiar leads to the unexpected as the cube flips and the blue marble suddenly enters a mall. Wait, Google Maps can access mall directories? And public transportation maps? And suggest alternate routes of travel when traffic becomes an issue? Well, for Maps’ less popular features, a viral spot like this is a clever way to reintroduce consumers to a product they’ve already grown to rely on.

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