How Nike Brilliantly Ruined Olympic Marketing Forever

Unless you happen to be a company like GE, Coca-Cola or McDonald's—a brand that can afford the reported $100 million to $200 million it costs to be an official Olympic sponsor—you'd better not mention the Rio games in your marketing.

Fashion Ads Become Freakish and Haunting After Artist’s Acid Wash

As if the Photoshop-perfect faces on outdoor ads weren't nightmarish enough, German street artist Vermibus ratchets up the horror by using chemicals to transform such posters into grotesque visions for an art project called "Dissolving Europe."This guy's acid wash has nothing to do with jeans. He targets noses, lips, cheeks, chins, ears and eyes. By the time he's done, his subjects resemble nuclear-blast victims, their features twisted into misshapen parodies of the human form.Of course, "ugly" is in the eye of the beholder. Some will find his creations possessed of a certain warped beauty that exposes the truth underlying our pervasive consumer culture.That's a valid interpretation, and it's clearly in line with the artist's view as he traversed Europe, removing promotional posters from their displays and replacing them with his freakish creations. (You can view more of his projects on his website.) A 10-minute film chronicles his journey, and it's fairly hypnotic. The best scene shows Vermibus wearing a gas mask to protect himself from toxins, like some hybrid artist/terrorist, as he defaces/transforms an advertisement.Of late, there have been many examples of public advertising being replaced or subverted to make broader social statements. There's Banksy, of course, railing against capitalism. And those fake ads about NYPD drones. Outdoor ads were swapped out for classic paintings in recent French and English installations. And Richard Sargent's photographs of decaying billboards in California were especially evocative.Ultimately and unfortunately, these efforts become footnotes on the overloaded media landscape. They're fodder for thoughtful articles and blog posts, but all too quickly forgotten. Billboards brake for no one. Ad campaigns keep coming. There's always another pretty face.Via Fast Company.

Dropped by Dish, AMC’s Zombies Invade NYC

When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. And when there's no more AMC on Dish Network, the dead will walk New York City.

‘Deserve to Die’ Campaign Puts Lung Cancer in Spotlight

A funny thing happens when you plaster U.S. cities with posters saying certain types of people "deserve to die." Namely, those people get a bit upset.

Flying People Spotted Over NYC in Movie Promotion Stunt

Thinkmodo kept with its "Do a weird thing in New York" approach to viral marketing by remote-piloting three person-shaped RC planes around the city for the upcoming movie Chronicle.

Agency CEO Hires Laid-Off Borders Workers to Sell His Book

Well played, sir. To promote his book about the evolution of successful businesses, Aaron Shapiro has hired booksellers laid off from Borders, which he cites as a perfect example of a corporation that failed to adapt.

San Francisco Wants Advertisers to Stop Cleaning the City

"Reverse graffiti," a trick used to draw art or advertising into filthy city surfaces, is a trend we've been watching for a few years now.

Advertising’s easy with a busty mannequin

KT's Barbecue of Reading, Ohio, made the news for sticking a skimpily clad, well-endowed mannequin in front of the store by way of advertising. In the CNN video, owner Kenny […]

Dutch students hopped up on slidevertising

I'm learning a lot about Holland from recent ad campaigns by Amsterdam agency THEY. Apparently, everyone in the country is fixated on sex, death and coffee. Hopefully not in that […]

ScooterGirls take advertising for a wild ride

In these uncertain times, and given my bulging HR file here at AdFreak (something about my "attitude"), it's probably a good idea to have a plan B job-wise. If things […]