Freak Week: If the Shoe Fits…

AdFreak had a foot fetish last week, as we looked at several odd campaigns for footwear brands. The freakiest of the bunch was the new Converse campaign from Anomaly, which features bizarre hybrid creatures like the lion-gerbil and the dog-boy. The ads, running online and on wild posting, point to, where consumers can customize shoes (though not any animals) by mixing and matching parts. It’s a campaign that Skittles’ sheepboys would love.

A second strange shoe campaign came from the Danish footwear maker Bianco, whose new ads promise an “Orgasm for your feet.” Print and TV executions show feet in the throes of toe-splayed ecstasy. Naturally, there’s a contest connected to the campaign, as the brand is asking its fans to send in photos of their own climactic feet. The winner gets 60 seconds to try to empty a Bianco retail store of its contents. The campaign, from Danish agency & Co., is one in a long line of goofball efforts from Bianco. In previous campaigns, it recommended becoming gay in order to immediately double the size of your shoe collection, and suggested, in macabre yet tongue-in-cheek fashion, that you get your hands surgically removed and replaced with feet, so you can wear even more shoes.

Our favorite ad-making comedy duo, Rhett & Link, returned last week with a big announcement: They are launching a new contest to find a handful of small businesses across America that wouldn’t mind getting a free commercial produced by the pair. Rhett & Link excel at making local commercials, as evidenced by their staggeringly popular spot (posted on AdFreak in April) for North Carolina’s Red House Furniture that spoofed racial stereotypes, positioning the retailer’s products as perfect for black people or white people (or all people!). People can visit to nominate their favorite local businesses to get the Rhett & Link treatment. The whole thing is sponsored by Microbilt.

Finally, the strangest celebrity endorsement of the week came in a South African ad created by King James for investment firm Allan Gray, starring a look-alike James Dean. The moving 60-second spot imagines how Dean’s life might have unfolded had he not died at 24. Somewhat creepily, the ad promotes long-term investments with the line: “Given more time, imagine the possibilities.”

Best of BrandFreak: Visit Denmark, have illegitimate kids

AdFreak’s sister blog BrandFreak last week looked at a bizarre tourism campaign from Denmark that centered on a Web video of a Danish woman seeking the father of her baby. The woman, a pretty blonde who speaks excellent English, says the man was visiting Denmark the year before, and left her knocked up after a mostly forgotten night of romance. She doesn’t know his name, but she’s hoping he’ll recognize her. The video came under immediate fire — and was eventually the subject of a Bill O’Reilly rant — for promoting promiscuity and unsafe sex. The whole episode has been an embarrassment for VisitDenmark, which soon pulled the clip off YouTube, and its ad agency, Grey. Over at Adland, they offered this pithy summation: “These days Denmark is most known for cartoons that offend Muslims, deporting Muslim asylum seekers by forcing them out of churches in the middle of the night, and hippie-land Christiania is about to be torn down. Good thing they still have loose women and unprotected sex to sell the country by, right?”