Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coffee, Candy, and Cellphones

from Amy at Mediapost:

Schadenfreude is cause for "Celebrations." Skittles puts your finger to work. Let's launch!

1Sprint launched a TV spot, "Anthem," on Monday, debuting a new tag line: "All. Together. Now." Say goodbye to the "Now Network." The new tag line aims to demonstrate the sheer amount of time people spend interacting with friends on their mobile devices. "Anthem" begins with social media overload: people are checking in to locations, emailing, friending people on Facebook, browsing through pictures and watching YouTube videos. As memorable YouTube video clips are shown (Charlie bit my finger, for example), a voiceover says, "Unlimited is good. And thanks to Sprint you can talk, text, and post as much as you want, for no extra cost. So go ahead world, unlimit yourself." Watch the ad here, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The Simply Everything Plan costs $99.99 per month, plus a $10 data charge for smartphones. Remember this price as we look at another wireless carrier out to save consumers money.

2Boost Mobile launched "Be Heard," a TV and print campaign that takes tweets and Facebook rants about the rising costs of wireless plans and brings them to life. The company, naturally, has a solution: its $50 Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage plan. "Working Man," the first of three TV spots, launched Monday. The title character has no social life, for he spends his days going from one job to another. He's a taxi driver, construction worker, deliveryman, window washer and toilet scrubber. While he's cleaning a toilet, a tweet appears onscreen: "How many jobs do I need to pay a cell phone bill?" "We hear you, " responds the voiceover. Watch the ad here, created by 180LA.

3BBDO Toronto created five online videos for Skittles where your finger plays an interactive role. Users are prompted to touch their computer screen and watch unlikely scenarios play out. There's WarFingers, where a machine-gun-toting middle finger is mortally wounded. He asks "Dex" (for index) to take care of pinky. Watch it here. Use your thumb in the next video to hitch a hide on the back of an elderly man on roller skates, carrying a bucket of Skittles. See it here. A young girl experiences heartache in the next video, seen here. She has a face full of Skittles and fears she's being used because of its uniqueness. In another video, a strong finger and a cage cop apprehend a thief. Turns out, the thief and cop know one another. Watch it here. I saved the strangest and creepiest video for last. An adorable cat licks your finger at the start of the video, only to be replaced by a man cat. Yes, a man acting like a feline. Remove your finger! See it here. Woods & Low directed the videos, produced by FamilyStyle and edited by Posterboy Edit.


Never underestimate the power of coffee. Cumberland Farms launched its first TV campaign in more than 15 years to tout its Farmhouse Blend coffee that tastes too good to cost 99 cents. A man pumping gas and drinking his Farmhouse Blend coffee thinks he's dreaming when he sees a princess standing beside a white horse. His fantasy is short-lived once a petite man in medieval wear shouts to the princess: "Get in the truck. The kid's party starts in 10 minutes." Watch "Princess" here. "Heaven" is funny. A woman sitting in traffic and drinking her coffee believes she is having a religious experience when an angelic figure appears before her in a white cloud. In actuality, it's a construction worker carrying two sets of orange cones and informing the woman: "Nothing to worry about ma'am, just a busted steam pipe!" See the ad here. Full Contact Advertising created the campaign.

5Celebrations candy launched a print campaign that allows me to use the word "schadenfreude." Some people celebrate birthdays or a job promotion, while people in the Celebrations campaign take pleasure in someone else's misfortune. A gymnast falls off the uneven bars and lays motionless on the mat. Her competition breaks out the candy. See it here. Kids rejoice when their bus driver has an accident. Wouldn't they just send a replacement bus? See it here. Parents wave bon voyage to their child, leaving the nest. The kid looks sad, but the parents are far from it. See it here. CLM BBDO created the campaign.

6A period piece with two knights jousting in the rain takes a modernized turn... on Segways, no less, in an ad for the Washington Lottery. "Play Together, Win Together" ask viewers: "What have you and your friends always wanted to do?" If you win big, why not buy Segways and full armor and joust in bad weather? Dreams can come true, even the wacky ones. Watch the ad here, created by Cole & Weber United.

7Torture doesn't disappear and neither does this iPad ad for Amnesty International Deutschland, running in the tablet edition of the German daily newspaper, Die Welt. As a user is scrolling through newspaper sections, a man appears. He's standing in a corner with his hands tied and a sack over his head. Left or right swipes do nothing to rid users of the image. A pop-up box appears after several attempts, stating: "Torture disappears only when one is doing something about it." Users can then click on a link that brings them to Amnesty International's Web site for additional information. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Berlin.

8Do you like zombies, video games and stories told backwards? Then you must watch this video game trailer for "Dead Island." There are zombies, young and old, fighting a family of three on vacation. Bad destination choice. The violence between humans and zombies is set to calming, soothing music, with an occasional fighting grunt added. Nicely done. See it here, directed by AXIS and produced by Little Minx.

9I can use an adult beverage after that "Dead Island" trailer. Thankfully, there's "Tipsy," a suave wine bottle who sings about food, wine, love and the Sonoma International Film Festival. "Tipsy" ran throughout the film festival, April 6-10. He starts off strong... and sober, but once his cork pops, he's knocking over food until he falls on his side, spilling vino on the table. Watch it here. ICA created the trailer, produced by Psyop.

10Random iPad App of the week: Backpacker magazine launched "The Backpacker Survival School" iPad app, helping users survive a sticky situation in the middle of nowhere. Need to remove a tick? Treat a snake bite? Set a broken bone or cross a raging river? There are pictures, stories and videos to help. Users can also take a survival quiz for a chance to win free gear. The app costs $2.99 in the App Store.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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