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Posts Tagged ‘Craig Allen’

Audi, Iron Man Try to Make Commuting Sexier Than It Really Is

This 30-second spot, produced by Venables Bell & Partners, attempts to show the audience how billionaire superheroes commute to work. The average worker takes the bus, the train, maybe drives an average car. Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 supercar. Of course, he could also just commute in his Iron Man suit, which would make the R8 seem irrelevant, but that wouldn’t be very good Audi product placement.

You’ve seen this type of spiel before: “It’s never a bad day at work when your commute looks like this.” I’ve never been a fan of this pitch to consumers. After enough time, a car becomes a car. And if your job still sucks, if you have that pontificating boss, or you work till 9 p.m., going home in an R8 won’t stop you from hating a job (but it might help you attract women). And with a minimum MSRP of $114,000 on last year’s model, you’ll most likely hate your bank account afterward, too. But at least it looks cool, right? Credits after the jump.

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VB&P May Need Honkaholics Anonymous

What the beep? is right. Venables Bell & Partners is teaming with gasoline company 76 to stop honkaholism, a vicious nonexistent affliction that doesn’t actually affect many people. If you happen to live in New York City, you may hear the occasional overzealous honker, but building an ad campaign around the concept of overhonking seems overzealous in and of itself. Not to mention the humor rooted in the idea of a gasoline company trying to stop noise pollution, which is like a drug dealer trying to encourage people to take Tylenol.

The campaign comes fully stocked with website, billboards, the above 30-second spot, and even a touring “Stop Honkaholism Bus.” If you’re compelled to dig deeper, you can receive a free Honk Suppressor for your dashboard, which means instead of hitting your car horn, you pound a fist into the suppressor instead. Kind of like a Nicotine patch for your vehicle. It is free, so VB&P and 76 should get points for that. Credits after the jump.

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W+K, Oreo Relationship Concludes with ‘Super Important Test’

In case you were wondering, the domain name www.superimportanttest.com is no longer available, thanks to W+K and Oreo, who bring us, yes, a “Super Important Test,” which as we imagine was the intention is hardly a test. You have two options (cookie or cream) and you’re correct either way. Get it?

Super Important Test” marks not only the conclusion of W+K’s Oreo’s “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign that began with the buzzed-about “Whisper Fight” spot from the Super Bowl and the subsequent “Separator Machine” clips, but the relationship between W+K and the Mondelez brand itself. As you may know, Draftfcb and now the Martin Agency work primarily on the Oreo account.

Anyhow, W+K curated quite a bit of content for the website–more than 30 different videos may play after you click cookie or creme–but this type of limited platform really begs the question: What’s the point? How does this sort of advertising advance the OREO brand in any meaningful way? I’m asking a serious question, not just trying to be glib, so if there is an answer, please post a comment.

Virality for the sake of virality is turning into a common approach for most creatives, and a website full of 30 unrelated internet videos that may or may not be funny seems like a great way to waste an advertising budget. Oreo was never going to choose cookie over cream or vice versa, but it didn’t have to choose. This is a case of a clever idea that simply ran out of ingredients.

Stills and credits after the jump.

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The Old Spice Wolfdog Calls it Quits

And thus, W+K Portland and P&G bid farewell to Old Spice’s “Wolfdog,” who in the past week has garnered over 4 million views via videos such as this and this and who’s even produced a Tumblr as well as  a record. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and Wolfdog is now out as Old Spice’s director of marketing and you can see his resignation clip above. Some people, though, have told us that this campaign is fairly similar to the one from Atmosphere Proximity to promote “The Big Ad Gig.” What do you think? Check out one more clip from the week-long campaign if interested as well as credits after the jump.

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Audi’s Super Bowl Spot: Let’s Get Some Ass at Prom!

Audi and VB+P are traditionally all about appealing to consumers’ inner-adolescent with their Super Bowl ads. Remember when vampires were a big deal? Audi remembered, so they put vampires in their Super Bowl spot last year. However, as the Twilight film series has ended, Audi and VB+P are telling a bit more of a timeless story with this year’s installment, “Prom (Worth It).”

We open on a classic American pastime, a young lad about to go to prom who, judging by his lack of date, is a loser. His dad, in a surprising move, allows him to take his sleek Audi A6 to the big dance. This isn’t the only unrealistic part of the spot, as the boy ends up making out with his crush and getting a shiner from her boyfriend. It’s not exactly the kind of bold move I support, especially as the boy doesn’t seem to ask permission from his female victim. But, according to Audi, who cares? He took what he wanted, and was rewarded. There’s nothing more American than that.

The campaign, which uses the #BraveryWins hashtag, doesn’t seem to be targeting suburban high-schoolers like the protagonist in “Prom,” and instead aims at fathers who are fearful that their spawn may never get any action. In any case, it’s cute enough to be a crowd-pleaser, but I hesitate to think that this will be one of the Super Bowl’s most talked-about ads. Credits after the jump.

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Google, Audi Join Forces for a Pleasant Ride Through San Francisco

Worlds collide in the latest spot from Venables Bell & Partners, as Google and Audi share in the stage in “Enhancing Navigation.” How significant is this pairing? Well, I want you to question that as you listen to this classic Powerman 5000 song from 1999. God, what a ridiculous song.

Anyway, the above spot follows an Audi A4-driving couple through a freeze-framed Google Street View rendering of San Francisco. As we watch the couple traverse a familiar blue line and arrive at various red checkpoints, it’s funny to think of how much Apple Maps made Americans pledge their undying allegiance to Google Maps. Perhaps it’s this rekindled fandom for Google (and the jangly soft indie folk track) that gives this spot a warm, almost nostalgic ambiance.

Finally, we see the couple arrive at (SPOILER) a sunny beach where we realize they’re using Google Maps (which pulls from Google Earth and Google Street View) to navigate to their own wedding. As an Easter egg, you may notice that the couple’s four pits stops along the way were to pick up something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Yes, the thought of something that cloying is a bit gag-inducing, but somehow VB&P keeps this spot fun-cute as opposed to annoying-cute. Credits follow after the jump.

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Google Fights Siri Using the Power of Adorable

From Venables Bell & Partners, the same agency whose larger-than-life contraptions for Google Maps and Google Fiber injected a third-dimension into the online world, comes two very different-looking spots for the new Google Search App.

Unlike the Maps and Fiber work, which relied on large, custom-built machines to explain the functionality of the Google’s tools, VB+P is relying on a more traditional mode of storytelling for the Search App, focusing on how the voice-activated tool assists regular people in daily life. Yes, a young girl being forced to dress like Martin Van Buren for a school project is a bit improbable. But, still, mom goes into mom-mode with the help of the Search App, and creates something pretty amazing in just a matter of minutes.

A second spot, “Umpire,” is just as pleasant. What I like about these spots is their simplicity. Unlike Siri, Apple’s voice tool which, due to its terrible functionality most iPhone users avoid like the plague, the Google Search app functions as an easy on-the-go reference tool that seems to actually work. While neither of the real world situations depicted in the spots is all that likely, imagine the wonders the Search App could perform on bar bets. Why, you don’t even have to go to Wikipedia first anymore! Credits after the jump.

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As We All Figured, Only Dikembe Mutombo Can Save the World

W+K’s ongoing work for Old Spice demanded one hell of a refresh and the agency thankfully obliges with this rather promising effort for the P&G brand, which stars beloved former NBA center, Dikembe Mutombo. Though long since retired, the man who could talk so much shit with just a wag of his finger is still very much involved in humanitarian causes, so who better to help avert the imminent apocalypse promised by the Mayan calendar than old #55.

Yes, this is the basis of a real-time, online 8-bit gaming experience from W+K for Old Spice dubbed “4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World,” which will have our hero embark on weekly globe-trotting missions based on current event and help prolong our lives on this planet. So far, from visiting the game play site alone, we gather that this week, Mutombo must stop Gangnam Style and encourage people to vote–might be a little late on that one–but hell, we’re 100 percent behind this mission. Along the way, we’ve met a Cosby sweater-adorning, intelligent talking bear and other odd characters all while trying to figure how the hell get out of level 1. We must say, though, that regardless of how odd and chaotic this whole campaign is, we’re quite enamored with it thus far and will take it over some of the recent Greg Jennings work any day. Give it a shot here. Credits after the jump.

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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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