Microsoft says a mouthful in this ad from Crispin Porter + Bogusky. And—surprise!—those words are spoken by Siri, Apple's voice assistant, from an iPad sitting next to a Windows 8 tablet. As the latter wordlessly flips through various features, Siri apologies for being unable to run those programs and perform the same functions. "I'm sorry, I don't update like that," she says. "I'm sorry, I can only do one thing at a time." I half expected a tax app to pop up on the tablet's screen and be greeted by an awkward silence from Siri. Maybe in the sequel. This is Microsoft's second spot in a week to deftly parody a rival's ad style (in this case, Apple's stylish minimalism), following its skewering of Google's Chrome browser. The tablet ad, which references the iPad mini's "Piano" spot from last October, is approaching 2 million views on YouTube in just a couple of days. There are some chatty personal assistants, like Indigo, available for Windows devices. But for my taste, the ultimate Microsoft PA voice would speak in measured, calm-yet-crazy cadences, providing sadly poignant commentary as the OS crashes into a sea of blue when its mind begins to go.
May 24, 2013, 11:59 AM EDT
Justin Bieber Is Sad About a Lot of Things, but Probably Not the Teen Employment Rate New billboard disagrees
Today in weird, leechy Justin Bieber news, we have this new billboard that just went up in Los Angeles speculating on the cause of the young pop star's dramatic descent into sadness, as seen in pretty much everything he does these days. The ad, from a group called the Employment Policies Institute, offers the least likely of explanations for the Biebs' malaise—suggesting it has something to do with the employment status of his millennial-age fans, as it relates to the level of the minimum wage. The irony, of course, is that the billboard will make Bieber even more sad, should he happen to spy it on his express elevator to hell.
May 24, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
Atlanta's Most Infamous Stripper Pimps Charity Advertising Contest Blondie puts her sensitive side to work
The Creative Circus, Atlanta's advertising school, has hired the most famous, perhaps infamous, stripper in town to pimp its do-goody-goody advertising contest known as A+, where all the winners receive a pimp cup. They're trying to make Atlanta a "more livable city" one stripper promotion at a time. Blondie is Atlanta legend. I heard about her before I even moved here. She strips at the Clermont Lounge, officially known as the place strippers go to die. Her great trick is crushing cans with her boobs. But she's not all flash and bling. She's a sensitive soul who is also well known for writing poems. (It is considered an honor to receive one.) Watching the promos, created with ad agency Iris, where Blondie is dressed like a ridiculous caricature of a southern belle, posed in front of a plantation and giving advice about how you have to dig deep down to your nasty self and bring it out like The Exorcist, one can only blink and repost. There simply are no words. More videos below.
May 24, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
Jell-O Hijacks Twitter's Profane #FML Hashtag, Changes It to Mean 'Fun My Life' More effing around by CP+B
The ubiquitous Twitter hashtag #FML (there have been 37,000 #FML-tagged tweets in the past seven days alone) is generally understood to be short for an obscene phrase uttered when things are at their bleakest. But now, Jell-O is here to help. The Kraft Foods brand and agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky are trying to hijack #FML and make it stand for "Fun My Life" (rather than doing something else to your life). Between now and June 14, everyone who tweets the #FML hashtag is entered into a pool, from which a certain number will win "Fun My Life" prize packs "specially created to get their life back on track." You can follow along at jelloFML.com, which also shows how the brand is tweeting at #FML-ers.
May 23, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT
Ad for 5,000-Case Limited-Edition Beer Will Disappear After 5,000 Views Catch this Cascade video while you can
Here's a clever little gimmick. Australia's Cascade Brewery recently made a limited-edition batch of beer with special "experimental" hops from a secret garden in Tasmania's Derwent Valley. There was only enough for 5,000 cases, and so the brewer—with help from Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne—made an ad for it that can only be watched 5,000 times. Check it out below. The special embed code (which can take some time to load) includes a ticker that's counting down to zero. "Whether you caught the film in time or not, make sure you don't miss the beer," the brewer says on its website. Come on, people, we can make this thing obsolete within the hour if we put our minds to it. Via The Denver Egotist.
UPDATE: Video has been having trouble loading—either that or it hit 5,000 and ran.
May 23, 2013, 2:02 PM EDT
Lego Builds Awesome Life-Size Star Wars X-Wing Fighter, Its Largest Model Ever Iconic jet appears in Times Square
Lego has unveiled a life-size Star Wars X-Wing fighter jet made entirely of Legos in Times Square. It promotes an upcoming Cartoon Network show called The Yoda Chronicles. You can also see a life-size Lego Chewy, Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO and Boba Fett in the promo for the show. But the X-Wing has the distinction of being the largest Lego structure built to date. At 11 feet tall, 43 feet long, 44 feet wide and almost 46,000 pounds, it's made of 5,335,200 individual Lego bricks. It took 32 people four months just to put it together. And you can climb into the cockpit for a photo. Which means all you Star Wars and Lego fans must make a pilgrimage to this, the largest and most awesome Lego thing ever made, and get a picture of your child sitting in the cockpit shouting "Pew! Pew!" See lots more photos at Gizmodo.
May 23, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
This Chevy Volt ad, titled "Silent Anthem," is an extended version of the Volt footage we saw in the "Find New Roads" launch spot in February. Visually, it's interesting, although it's as much an ad for wind farms and iPads and robot dogs as it is for the Volt. The deer/dog moment at the end is pretty barfy, too, but at least this campaign reaches for something beyond the norm. The Volt bookended the launch spot, which made it feel like the focus of it. But the other vehicles in it have been getting their own individual :60s as well. Check out three of those after the jump.
May 23, 2013, 1:07 PM EDT
Young & Rubicam is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a fun project in New York that, fittingly, brings old and new together. It's a billboard in Times Square that will feature—from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon—a giant mosaic of tweets and Facebook posts from everyone who has posted a message with the hashtag #advertisingis. Thus, you still have a little while to get your social-media account up in lights with a post on that topic. The company doing the mosaic is Hyperactivate, which is part of Y&R's Spark Plug incubator program, which we wrote about last year. We'll have a photo of the billboard later this afternoon. For now, check out Y&R's 90th anniversary reel, featuring the work the agency is most proud of through the years.
#Advertisingis "...yes mom, we make commercials, like the ones you see on TV. No, mom, I didn't make that one."— Javier O. Garcia (@OG_Jav) May 22, 2013
May 23, 2013, 12:41 PM EDT
Nikola Tesla Takes Down Silicon Valley VCs, but Will It Get Him a Statue? Amusing video doubles as a fundraiser
Some days it seems almost anybody can make an enjoyable video promoting a Kickstarter project, but these guys get bonus points for simultaneously giving the venture-capital system a big poke in the eye. "Nikola Tesla Pitching Silicon Valley VCs" is a biting look at what might have happened if one of history's greatest inventors had to rely on today's venture capitalists. It also happens to promote a Kickstarter effort to build a WiFi hot spot statue of Tesla in Silicon Valley. What's interesting is that the video isn't some sort of populist celebration of Kickstarter. Instead, it depicts crowdfunding as a stopgap solution to the lack of large-scale vision among venture capitalists, whose tech-industry kingmaking is increasingly being called into question. The team behind the video, a creative project firm called Northern Imagination, admits the clip was pulled together quickly, which probably explains the strange audio levels and Tesla's questionable "Serbian" accent. But it has clearly struck a chord, inspiring GigaOm to write a 1,000-word essay on what the video "says about the state of Silicon Valley." In the meantime, the Tesla statue-raisers could still use your help. As of Thursday morning, they were still nearly $100,000 short of their goal, with only 10 days left. Via Boing Boing.
May 23, 2013, 10:29 AM EDT
Having Shipped Its Pants, Kmart Now Offers You 'Big Gas Savings' More almost-profanity from Draftfcb
Kmart's "Ship My Pants" ad was a major success, to the tune of 17 million YouTube views and counting. But can Draftfcb turn almost-profanity into a running gag for the retailer? It attempts to do so with this follow-up spot, "Big Gas Savings," which features some big-gas humor indeed. It even features the same family from "Ship My Pants," and once again the kid gets the best line. (In the earlier spot, he blurted out, "I can't wait to ship my pants, Dad." Here, he shouts, "Dad, look at that big gas truck!") It's not quite as funny as the original, perhaps, but it seems destined to get similarly big-gas numbers on YouTube. And if nothing else, the #biggassavings hashtag clinches it. Credits below.
May 23, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT
AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.