How Your Depraved Facebook Posts Would Get You Tortured in Other Countries Amnesty app puts your freedom in perspective
How often would your Facebook activity get you beaten, tortured or beheaded in the world's most repressive countries? A lot more often than you'd think. Amnesty International of New Zealand and agency Colenso BBDO of Auckland created an app called "Trial by Timeline" that analyzes your Facebook posts and lets you know how you might be brutalized in countries that persecute people based on everything from sexual orientation and religion to drinking and writing for the media. (I was beaten and tortured more than 270 times, but at least I wasn't beheaded or stoned to death.) It's a morbidly fascinating way to explore the liberties most of us take for granted. The app actually came out late last year but didn't get much attention until it was featured recently by The Inspiration Room and a few other sites.
May 16, 2013, 9:25 AM EDT
What could be better than an Auto-Tune leprechaun singing about his magically delicious cereal? Nothing! This 15-second Lucky Charms ad, which mixes current commercial footage, vintage images and goofy-great vocal manipulation, will air during high-profile TV shows this week like the Billboard Music Awards and the season finales of American Idol and The Voice. Its inspiration came from major doses of hallucinogenic drugs and/or a St. Patrick's Day promotion for the General Mills brand that included a mashup music video that went viral with nearly 1 million views. There were many hot-shot creative hands on deck here (see the credits below), but all you really need to know is that the result is super groovy. Watch the full video for a trippy walk down memory lane.
May 15, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT
Man Strikes Back at Abercrombie & Fitch by Giving Its Clothes to the Homeless Stunt takes apparel brand beyond 'cool kids'
It's fairly well established that Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't want the wrong sort of people wearing its clothes. A couple of years back, it even offered (as part of a goofy PR stunt) to pay Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino to stop buying its apparel, saying his implicit endorsement "could cause significant damage to our image." Now, the clothier is getting heat for its supposedly exclusionary marketing policies once again—this time based on a 7-year-old quote from CEO Mike Jeffries. In the quote—dredged up in the wake of similar criticisms levied at A&F in a new book—Jeffries says, "In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids." That incensed a guy named Greg Karber, who decided to try to piss Jeffries off by giving A&F clothes to the most uncool kids he could find—homeless people. Despite Karber's best intentions, his video of the stunt comes off as forced and, in a way, exploitative itself, as he's simply using the homeless as a tool to trash the brand. (The charity aspect is clearly incidental.) But the video, posted Monday, is quickly closing in on a million views, proving yet again that hating on Abercrombie is a pastime most people can get behind.
May 15, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
Intemperance comes in many flavors, and SLO Down Wines has pairings for all of them. The California winemaker has rolled out three irreverent ads (from Harvest Films director Baker Smith and Arcade Edit's Paul Martinez and Dean Miyahira) about how well its Sexual Chocolate wine goes with group sex, horse role playing and bong rips, respectively. There's some light parody of insufferable wine-chat ("It's the deep red of a … really red thing"), but they don't spend too much time dwelling on it, and I'm glad they committed to the weird direction these ads went in. Well, except for the part where I saw Brandon Allen in a thong. I may need a glass of wine to throw in my eyes after that. Credits below.
May 15, 2013, 10:06 AM EDT
Hyundai Remixes Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds' for New Ad But every little thing isn't quite all right
Hyundai is getting a lot of coverage for putting Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" in an ad for its Assurance Connected Care in-car customer-service program, largely because the late reggae icon's music is so infrequently licensed for ads. The automaker is also sponsoring a remixed version (done by Bob's son Stephen Marley and DJ/producer Jason Bentley) of Marley's Legend album, which features the song, and a three-minute documentary about the remix project. Despite all the fuss, what strikes me most about the spot, from ad agency Innocean, is how bland it is. It's not bad per se, but the music takes a back seat, as it were, to an informative but uninspired voiceover ("What if your car could help schedule its own service? Call for help with your exact location if you ever ran into trouble out there?") and sight gags involving signs that read "No worries" and "It's all good." The only special element is the song, and it's basically background music, like a tune playing on the car's radio. Any upbeat track would have been equally effective. This is Bob Friggin' Marley! Lively up yourself! Why not seed something more, you know, high concept?
May 15, 2013, 9:26 AM EDT
UPDATE: The bakery is now claiming its social-media accounts were hacked, and that it did not post the incendiary messages. This claim is not being wholeheartedly accepted by commenters on the Facebook page. Original post below:
Social media allows consumers to talk to brands, and brands to yell back loudly at consumers with massive meltdowns that will forever be preserved thanks to the glory of the print-screen button. Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro, a horrible restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., has just demonstrated a valuable lesson for every brand out there: Don't feed the trolls. Really, don't engage. Panties all in a bunch over the fact that Gordon Ramsay gave up on them, the owners took to Facebook to defend themselves. Yes, Ramsay declared that for the first time in the history of Kitchen Nightmares, he had met two owners he simply couldn't help. So, Amy and Sammy decided set the record straight by swearing, threatening to pursue legal action against Yelp and Reddit, claiming god is on their side, and generally freaking out in all caps—drawing more and more Internet ire with every expletive-filled rant. It's a glorious day for crazy on display. Click through to BuzzFeed for more exquisite details on what not to do.
May 14, 2013, 5:09 PM EDT
Game Maker Fills Pool With 55,000 Gallons of Blood and Guts, Invites You to Swim in It Latest Resident Evil nastiness
There's a bunch of genetic meddling going on in the new video game Resident Evil Revelations. It may stand to reason, then, that marketer Capcom would stage a wholly unnatural promotion for its release. The company has created "the world's only blood-filled swimming pool"—good gawd, let's hope it's the only one—and tossed in some realistic-looking entrails and body parts. Then what, you ask? For two days later this month, it will invite people to take a dip in the London pool and search for swag! While bobbing for licensed merchandise in viscous liquid might not be everyone's idea of a good time, Capcom has reason to believe that fans of its horror-adventure franchise will be up to the task. For the last installment, Resident Evil 6, the game developer opened a fake butchery selling human body parts in London's famous Smithfields meat market. For the upcoming stunt, 200 people will have the chance to slog through intestines, brains and torsos under the watchful eyes of zombie lifeguards in a 55,000-gallon pool. (That's the equivalent of 11,327 blood-drained people, for those keeping track.) Goggles and towels will be available for loan, but no word on barf bags.
May 14, 2013, 2:37 PM EDT
Campbell Ewald Live-Streams Hatching and Feeding of Baby Peregrine Falcon on Its Roof Because why not?
What does an ad agency do when it realizes Peregrine falcons have laid eggs on its roof? It whips up a cool logo, builds a Tumblr, chooses a hashtag, sets up a webcam, and turns the whole thing into a mini social-media event. It all began at Campbell Ewald a few weeks ago. Today, at approximately 5:54 a.m. CT, the first egg hatched. Check out all the #CEfalcons action over at cefalcons.tumblr.com. There's some cute videos on there, although it's not going completely smoothly for the first baby falcon (called an "eyasses," actually). In one video, "Mamma Falcon tries her best to force the new baby back into its egg, less than three hours after it was born." BBDO had better guard its National Geographic account closely in the wake of this.
May 14, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT
Bug Spray Traps Thousands of Insects on Gross, Sticky Billboard All of them were harmed in the making of this!
This new billboard in Milan for an insect spray also serves as a huge pest strip, thanks to a few layers of aerosol glue. The glue was applied in the shape of an Orphea can's spray arc, which filled in as bugs got stuck in it. The visual effect of that little mosaic of suffering is quite unique, and now all of Milan's summer tourists will see and understand the potency of aerosol glue. And maybe Orphea, too. Agency: Publicis Italy. Via The Denver Egotist.
May 14, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT
JCPenney Says Thanks for Coming Back, but Isn't It a Little Soon for a Victory Dance? What a difference two weeks makes
Is JCPenney stocking up on slacks with extra room in the crotch? I'm inclined to think so, judging from its ballsy move of releasing a feel-good commercial from Young & Rubicam thanking consumers for "coming back" to the troubled retailer just two weeks after an ad apologizing for missteps under ousted CEO Ron Johnson. Many web commenters have posed the obvious question: "Isn't it too soon to say thank you?" Sure is. Just do the math, Einstein! Penney is set to release first-quarter earnings this week that reflect a 16 percent sales slump following a $4.3 billion loss in sales last year. In fairness, the chain has begun making changes under new CEO Myron Ullman, reviving coupons, sales and its St. John's Bay collection. And its recent mea culpa and #JCPlistens social outreach campaign have been well received. Still, two weeks of anything—and Penney offers no particulars—won't right this ship. Heck, even two good quarters probably wouldn't be enough. That doesn't mean I don't applaud JCP's moxie. For all its muted, mom-centric imagery, the new spot bespeaks a certain swaggering style—i.e., "We're back because we say we're back!" At least there's some substance here, with Penney returning to its roots and focusing on core values. That beats another troubled retailer's strategy of tossing Robin Thicke and phallic symbols into a video and hoping for the best.
May 14, 2013, 10:28 AM EDT
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