Maybe the problem is I’m just not that much of a Star Wars fan. Oh, it’s not that I dislike the films (y’know, except for the prequels); when you’re eight years old in 1983, the experience of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater, and owning the subsequent action figures and Ewok lunch boxes, makes you a loyalist for life, if for no other reason than nostalgia. But mine is a casual affection, not a gaping maw requiring the constant ingestion of information, and that is apparently what Star Wars fandom has become these days — if the furious response to Disney’s D23 expo is any indication. You see, the new owners of the Star Wars franchise had the nerve to share nothing new about Episode VII last weekend, and fans are livid. Because that’s the point we’ve arrived at with movie hype: the choice to maintain some semblance of secrecy about a project two years from delivery is not only a vile insult, but an indication of big trouble. Come again? … Read More
As big brands become more environmentally conscious, green advertising is steadily increasing in an attempt to court new generations of eco-savvy consumers. Billboards afford ad companies the biggest space and greatest visibility, and corporations are taking advantage of these intrusive structures in more thoughtful ways. Lush gardens, solar and wind-powered displays, and other “living” signs have been transformed from otherwise obnoxious ad clutter into attention-grabbing and ingenious eco statements. … Read More
Photographer Trevor Traynor‘s Newsstand Project confirms that the overcrowded street stalls are a universal language. Also, finding the cashier to pay for your newspapers, magazines, and gum is like playing Where’s Waldo no matter what country you live in. The artist, who we learned about on Photojojo, took Instagram snaps of newsstands in Lima, Barcelona, New York, and Paris. The square format frames the stands perfectly, zeroing in on the ad-heavy facades littered with glossy covers and inky newsprint. Grab a coffee, and wake up with more of Traynor’s newsstand photos in our gallery. … Read More
Who knew the Les Misérables Broadway banner image of Cosette could look so satanic with a McDonald’s logo in the middle of her forehead? Ben Frost, apparently. Website Who Killed Bambi? introduced us to the artist who paints pop culture characters on different kinds of packaging. Junk food, cereal boxes, tiny pharmaceutical containers, and more are covered in Frost’s cheeky redesigns. The artist imagined Linda Blair from The Exorcist as the “hostess with the mostess” on a cheery Twinkies package and painted a depressed Mickey Mouse pondering his failures on a box of Xanax. See more icons Frost painted for pop culture posterity in our gallery. … Read More
In an advertising landscape that’s run by (and caters to) the Don Drapers of the world, it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing commercials like this one from Volkswagen, set to air next Sunday at the Super Bowl. Various critics have been attacking and defending the ad, which likens driving a Volkswagen with being more chilled out – a trait that’s illustrated by characters emulating Jamaican accents. The commercial signs off with the closer, “Get in. Get happy.” The emergence of this spot, along with CBS’ rejection of a SodaStream commercial earlier in the week, got us thinking about other controversial Super Bowl ads over the years — including some that didn’t even make it to game day. … Read More
We’re not usually ones for base humor, but a little surrealist veggie-based lewdness never hurt anybody. To celebrate World Vegan Day and promote the er, apparently very positive ramifications of a vegan diet, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) commissioned Fallon to create this ad full of dudes showing off their extremely phallic vegetables with all maner of gyrating and bouncing. Yes, it’s totally puerile and absurd, but for our money, pretty darn effective. At least, um, we couldn’t look away. Click through to watch the video, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More
One difference New Yorkers might notice when subway service is finally fully restored? According to an MTA spokesperson, the controversial advertisements that urged readers to support the civilized man in his war against the savage should now be gone. The posters, which were placed in several New York City subway stations such as Grand Central and Times Square, concluded their four-week run on October 21st. “But there’s always some lag time getting them down,” the spokesperson added over the phone. One can only hope that any remaining ads were washed away in the storm.
For Pamela Geller, writer, activist and force behind the 46- by 30-inch ads, the marketing campaign accomplished what she had hoped it would: it got people to notice. “I intended to raise awareness of the nature and magnitude of jihad activity, and have done so,” she wrote in an email.
Since the campaign’s arrival in late September, the shock value and racist undertones of the posters have been reported in daily newspapers, nightly news broadcasts and websites like this one — right here, right now — effectively magnifying the poster’s image and spreading Geller’s message well beyond its initial trajectory. Although the ads were only placed in 10 subway stations across Manhattan, the end result was more like a billboard on each street corner in every borough.
How many new devotees, financial donations, or sympathetic nods of the head the coverage garnered for Geller’s cause is uncertain, but considering that the attack on the US Consulate in Libya had just occurred a couple weeks prior to the campaign’s launch — not to mention the anniversary of 9/11 — for those already thinking about reaching out to a figure such as Geller, the thought must have been all the more tempting. What is certain, however, is that many who were once unfamiliar with Geller and her ilk are now slightly less so. But did it have to be this way? … Read More
Did you know that Huey Lewis and the News were a punk band? Well, according to the ad below for a ’90s compilation called Punk, those clean-cut fellows who wrote “Hip to Be Square” were basically the Sex Pistols. Other “punk” bands on the CD include Crowded House, The Knack, Toni Basil, A Flock of Seagulls, and Culture Club. But it isn’t just the tracklist that elevates this commercial to potential camp classic status — it’s the pair of hosts in Party City wigs, one of which appears to have been plucked from a Slash costume, addressing the kids at home in a slacker sub-dialect of Valspeak. Among other things, we can be thankful to this commercial for revealing what punks are truly angry about: “wasting money on CDs with only one or two good songs.” Mystery solved! … Read More
Did Moonrise Kingdom go way over budget or something? We ask because Wes Anderson has been doing a lot of high-profile commercial work lately, which suggests he’s in need of some fast cash. You may recall that his duo of Hyundai ads premiered during the Oscars; today, he’s launching a series of short films for the Sony Xperia smartphone. In these minute-long collaborations with the animator Laika, kids explain their adorable theories on how the phone work, and the pair brings them to life. The first one — ostensibly from the mind of eight-year-old Jake Ryan — involves robots. Lots of them. Excellent. … Read More
In an era when Lady Gaga holds the title at Polaroid, it’s no surprise that Diet Coke has hired Jean Paul Gaultier as its celebrity creative director. With the role will come special-edition bottles and cans, new retail displays, etc. No, what’s strange is that Gaultier has already produced a trio of two-minute web videos for the brand, and they’re pretty freaking weird. In each clip, he plays “The Serial Designer,” an outlaw savior of sorts to marionette women with fashion emergencies.
The puppets make the ads odd enough, but in one, romance-themed video, Gaultier sips a Diet Coke, gets a wild look in his eyes, and then brazenly undresses one doll and clothes her in one of his own designs, to her delight. Later, the toy’s shrink asks her whether she “intends to press charges,” and she replies, “Are you crazy? Heaven knows how Jean Paul has transformed me into a real woman!” Now, the pressing charges bit is kind of a catchphrase for the series — the joke is that Gaultier sneaks in and forces his clothing (and Diet Coke!) on ladies — and we’re talking about puppets, here. But even so, are we the only ones who detect a somewhat troubling undertone? Watch the videos after the jump and let us know what you think. … Read More