Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Warm Winter Woes and Under Armour

Whether you love the cold or hate it, you have noticed that winter this year wasn't quite the same. It has made headlines everywhere across the nation, including Ad Age.

In Ad Age's article yesterday, they cite this past December-January as the fourth warmest period on record, with snowfall 91% below normal.

Google cites the online search results from Dec-Feb 13th where it's clear people swapped their snow boots for their outdoor running shoes this winter (see below).

Other fun facts:

-Fewer people needed chicken soup and tissues: Campbell Soup Co. sales fell 2% and facial tissue volume was down 12%.
-Walgreens administered 5.5 million flue shots compared to 6.3 million last year saw record visits in January
-Higher visits seen at malls, movie theaters, bars and restaurants
-Retail brands across the board, including right down to Abercrombie are now turning to aggressive markdowns to clear their winter merchandise. (Forget the lack of snow, for those who get cold easily, now is the time to shop!)

So now the end of winter is near and with that the end of football, BUT just the start of NFL scouting. Under Armour has just released a new TV commercial with Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback. The ad will be running today during the NFL scouting kick off. Coolest part of this ad? I just discovered and got to see this DJ perform last week here in SF! Think I'm more interested in the Araabmuzik DJ here than the spot itself, which reminds me of every other U.A spot I've seen.

Interesting behind the scenes on the music here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Salomon opens first flagship store in U.S.

Salomon is opening its first flagship store in the U.S this upcoming March as part of the brand's goal to grow in retail and e-commerce. The store will be located in the new downtown Salt Lake City shopping center.

If you're looking for Salomon-branded apparel, shoes and accessories, this is your stop. For all Salomon equipment, skis, boots etc. the store will be directing you to the nearest independent retailer.

Salomon has had a presence internationally in countries such as Singapore, France and Russia and most recently in Q4, a store opening in Vancouver (article on opening here: ) . The stores carry their new design that "offers a warm and rustic contemporary ambiance and the influence of the mountains is evident with signage featuring way finding codes and symbols. Rough wood and rock are punctuated with contemporary finishings.

Once shoppers are suitably inspired by the store’s surroundings they are invited to explore Salomon’s digital kiosk and discover sport specific footwear options and their technical benefits. Knowledgeable staff are always on hand to lend their expertise and the Footlab offers a dedicated fitting center to ensure a perfect fit for Salomon’s array of technical footwear." -

Looking forward to seeing how they will expand in the U.S.!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Speaking of Google pulling heart strings in their work...this little video is all the rage today on Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Love this Vimeo staff pick as well!

Hearts (The Valentines Day Video) from Moist Creation on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

And now the Grammy Awards...Ads

So just when you are recovering from all hoopla around the Super Bowl, you are hit with a whole new wave during the Grammy Awards. While I myself did not have the opportunity to see them (guest in town and I don't have TiVo) :( I will vicariously live through your comments and through the commercials I manage to dig up post-event.

So for those of you like me who just missed them let's relive some of the talked about ads going around:

Google +
We've seen it with their search ads and now Google does it again: pulling at your heartstrings to show you just how much Google is part of your life and those very special moments.

Interesting use of an underground artist, Wiz Khalifa in the Bing commercial. Not quite sure how I feel about it, him being used in a commercial setting but I'm pretty impressed they used him to demonstrate they're not so "uncool."

Although this new Chipotle ad has been online for a while, Chipotle aired it as a commercial on national TV for the first time and gained quite the buzz last night. The spot is scored to Willie Nelson covering Coldplay's "The Scientist" and uses child-like visuals to play out a farmer's growth that turns into a dreary, unhealthy supply chain until he comes back to his senses and realizes sustainable farming is the way to go. Great way to portray Chipotle's sustainable roots in the most simple way. If you download the song to the spot, proceeds go to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

Ad Age featured some of the reactions. This one was my favorites:
@mikelafloyd WAIT. THIS WILLIE NELSON THING IS A COMMERCIAL FOR CHIPOTLE?!?! I was getting emotional over burritos?! #grammys


Like most have mentioned, not only did Adele sweeps the Grammys in awards but also took the stage with Target's latest commercial. The girls singing are all part of the PS22 Chorus from a school on Staten Island. Cute how the girls even have the hand movements down.

Target: Color: Who doesn't love color? And who doesn't love French music?? Love the track which is a popular French children's song.

Target: The Fray Fan: Similar to the Adele spot, Target taps into the Grammy's music mood with all their fan ads.

Target: Twilight:

Gotta love Target playing on the awards show theme with their string of :15s as well:

Now I'm off to dig up some more I might have missed and find someone who recorded the show...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Behind the Scenes of those commercials you loved...or hated

Now that we've had the joy of watching the Super Bowl ads, if you're like me, you are wondering what went into the production of each of them. Here are a couple of behind the scenes videos from some of the advertisers we saw during the game:

Volkswagen BTS: Must see. Even the dog is interviewed. Very charming clip.

Lexus BTS: Wasn't impressed with this ad but BTS shows how the set was made from scratch.

Teleflora: This ad was just awful and the Behind the Scenes almost makes it worse.

Pepsi: Good thing I watched the Behind the Scenes to find out who this Melanie Amaro was: X Factor winner!

Chevy: While our ad panel Monday night had improvements to this spot, I still find the main character to be hilarious.

Hyundai: One of the Creative Director panelists on Monday really liked this spot for how simple and to the point it was. Looks like the cheetah wasn't a very cooperative actor however:

Camry: Not behind the scenes content but had to post an example of one commercial I think irked me the most. I guess half naked girl couches and rain that makes you skinny are just not funny to me!

Audi: As mentioned on Monday, this seemed to be one of the ads that was unanimously enjoyed by all the attendees and panelists. It stayed true to the brief and to the brand truth. Audi has lights bright as daylight = truth and so they cleverly adapted that to a popular trending topic nowadays: vampires.

Lastly, did anyone notice a strange resemblance between the Chrysler "It's halftime in America" and Reagan's 1984 presidential ad "It's morning in America"? I know I was fully convinced that the Chrysler commercial was a political ad until I saw Clint Eastwood come to light. Interesting parallelism.

Chrysler TV ad:

Ronald Reagan TV ad:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Bowl Ads: You know you love them

The Super Bowl is over. Some of us are still losing sleep over the loss of our team, some of us are still hungover from the celebration and some of us (like myself) are spending hours online revisiting the ads.

Last night, I had the opportunity along with fellow coworkers, to attend a panel of creative directors hosted by the SF Ad Club on the Super Bowl and the top ten Super Bowl ads according to USA TODAY.

USA TODAY uses 286 volunteers in Phoenix and McLean, Virgina and monitor their reactions to the ads during the program. Volunteers used handheld meters to register their score. According to USA TODAY, these are the following top ten Super Bowl ads:

10. Fiat

9. Career Builder

8. Honda CRV

7. Hyundai

6. Bud Light

5. M&M's

4. Doritos- Baby

3. Skechers

2. Volkswagen

1. Doritos- Man's Best Friend

I must say the only one that made the list that I really enjoy is the M&M's commercial. Perhaps I am biased since that is my favorite candy. For so long we have seen M&M's bring on the humor with essentially what is a bunch of M&M guys having a good time and occasionally hitting on the green M&M. Now we see the M&M guys acting completely foolish in the most stereotypical "checking out the bare naked girl" way while little do they know she is the most intellectual in the room. Ok so maybe I'm reading too much into it but it's sure to cause any female watching the spot to laugh. It was interesting that not a single guy on the Ad panel last night found it funny. Sorry boys.

The Honda spot with the older version of Ferris Bueller seemed quite charming. After all, that movie was a classic growing up. But while you had to see the full spot to get a bit more of the story, the ending just seemed to fall short. And as one of the panelists mentioned last night, it took cool Ferris riding in a Ferrari, to old Ferris riding a "mini van". He sort of has a point.

Surprisingly, across the board on the Ad panel last night, the Fiat spot seemed to be a success. It took what used to be a more "feminine" car to a "hot and sexy" car that even men might take a double take. On the car of course, not the sexy Italian model in the spot.

But the lesson here is that sex, dogs, babies and monkeys seem to still be what people react to the most; which as one of the panelists mentioned, is just a crutch for those of us attempting to release real, original ad work. One of the examples used as a success was Audi's "Vampires" spot which we will discuss later in the week.

Would love to know your thoughts so feel free to comment on this post! After all, the Super Bowl happens once a year so watch and review while they're hot!


A Patriots fan advertising geek (so yes, I thank advertising for saving the Super Bowl for me)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Red Bull Signature Series on NBC

We all know Red Bull is into the all extreme, after all "Red Bull gives you wings" but now they're bringing the extreme to TV.

The Red Bull Signature Series on NBC and NBC Sports Network will feature sports such as snowboarding, skiing, freestyle motocross and more, but most importantly, extreme athletes performing epic stunts.

If you like what you see, you can tune in almost every week and see the athletes in action.

Check out the series promo:

Check out a snipet of the series here:

For those who love music as much as I do, seems like dubstep is really catching on in the outdoors. Song featured in the promo is "Sail" by AWOLNATION. Music video below: