Thursday, April 28, 2011

Look Ma, No Tailpipe!

Check out this weeks new ad campaigns from Amy at Mediapost, especially story 2:

Are flash mobs the new black? Potty humor from Kohler. Let's launch!

1The tables are turned on a would-be convenience store robber in an ad for Toronto Crime Stoppers. The perp puts his hood up to disguise his face. He points his gun at the cashier, who is wearing a ski mask. Shoppers inside and neighbors outside are all wearing ski masks, hiding their identity while the criminal's characteristics are clearly seen. This part reminded me of "The Town," when Ben Affleck and his criminal crew were dressed as masked nuns and drove past a kid who couldn't believe his eyes. "You stay anonymous, criminals don't," closes "Anonymous," seen here. Print ads, seen here, here and here, show criminals attempting to mask their identity with a hood, bandana and hat, but their faces are imprinted onto the objects, making them look transparent and offering an unobstructed view of each person. DDB Canada's Toronto office created the pro bono campaign.

2Talk about perfect media placement. Nissan placed a billboard outside the New York Auto Show comparing the 100% electric Nissan Leaf to the 1,000 cars inside the Auto Show that spew toxic exhaust. One side of the billboard featured an exhaust pipe emitting smoke (environmentally friendly smoke. Imagine that irony), while the other side contained a picture of the tailpipe-free Leaf. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

3Now I know why this bumblebee wears a helmet. He busts through anything that gets in his way. Jack Daniel's launched "King Bee," a TV ad supporting Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, the brand's first new product launch since 1997. The spot debuts today on Facebook, just prior to its TV appearance. The ad follows a high-strung bumblebee that tears through any object it encounters, from a large tree branch, delicate dandelions and a bottle of Jack Daniels, infusing the whiskey with a honey flavor. "Fly Straight. Drink Responsibly," closes the ad, seen here and created by Arnold Worldwide's Boston office.

4A camper deep in the wilderness can't get a quiet night of sleep in a TV spot for RAM Trucks. A chirping bird makes it impossible for our outdoorsman to sleep soundly, so he retrieves his bow and arrow and kills the bird. Satisfied with his actions, the camper goes back to sleep, only to be roused by a ribbiting frog. It's back to the truck so he can enjoy the "Silence." See the ad here, created by The Richards Group.

5Barnes & Noble launched a great TV ad promoting its Nook color. The spot is Mullen's first work for the brand. I love this ad because the Nook itself takes a backseat to the overall message of the ad, which encourages reading in all capacities. Viewers see the Nook in action, but the majority of people are reading from paperbacks and hardcovers. Nook positions itself as a complement to books, encouraging people to "read forever." "By hook or by crook, by book or by Nook, I will read," closes the ad, seen here.

6Reason #345,500 to avoid Times Square at all costs. It's a rainy day and you're trying to get from point A to point B, and a flash mob with red umbrellas breaks out? Serenity now. A whopping 125 people took part in the event for Arby's where the flash mob sang karaoke to Arby's "It's Good-Mood Food" ad campaign. The umbrellas paid tribute to Gene Kelly's dance in "Signing in the Rain," and I'm sure the majority of passersby got a kick out of it. See the flash mob in action here, created by BBDO New York.

7Think you West Coasters are flash-mob-free? Think again. American Airlines celebrated adding ten new destinations from LAX by dancing in downtown Los Angeles at the US Bank Plaza. "Come Fly With Us" featured 40 dancers on a sunny day putting smiles on the faces of unsuspecting passersby. I always love when flash mobs break up: they simply walk away and go about their business. Maybe it's the sunshiny weather, but this flash mob didn't seem as intrusive, and it might have made me smile. See it here, created by The Marketing Arm and produced and directed by Psyop.

8Sometimes you just need a little toilet humor to conclude your day. It can't be easy to advertise toilets. One rarely thinks about what's getting flushed (thankfully), so Kohler took the "Na Na Hey Hey" song, added flushing sounds, and voila: an ode to what's passing. Men in a public restroom, twins at home and a mom starting her day all sing the famous song while exiting the bathroom. See the ad here, created by GSD&M. Carat handled the media buy.

9Random iPhone App of the week: MedHelp and GE created Pic Healthy, an app that encourages healthy eating. Users take a picture of what they're eating and ask friends to rate the meal on how healthy it looks. When I take pictures in my food diary, I usually get comments like: "Eww, you ate that?" Users can earn points for eating well, honesty points for how accurately they rate their food and for uploading and sharing food photos. The app is available for free in the App Store.

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

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