Ad agency Arnold promises to stop using apes in its advertising

Posted on Tue Jun 9 2009

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Ad agency Arnold, whose clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, Volvo and Jack Daniel's, has put the kibosh on using apes in its ads, and renounced any previous apesploitation on its part, after meeting with PETA last month. PETA has said that "chimpanzees and orangutans used for entertainment endure a lifetime of misery," and are forced to endure "training techniques that include kicking, punching and hitting them with fists and sticks." (Maybe they should be limited to doing commercials for G4?) PETA has a surveillance video, posted here, of apes being trained like James Bond movie villains. Not knowing what specific ape-centric ads Arnold has made, I can't comment on how often they indulged the abuse of innocent simians. But it is a shame that they're treated so poorly, because few things are funnier than monkeys in costume, as illustrated by CareerBuilder's "Yeknom Industries" spots. But if it took years of savage beatings to get that monkey to photocopy his butt, I'll try my hardest not to laugh. Much.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Carnival Cruise Lines and Arnold are bringing the sea to the city

Posted on Tue Mar 10 2009

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Walk around any major city right now, and you're likely to notice something: a hell of a lot of abandoned storefronts. But where you and I might see the signs of a prolonged economic downturn, Arnold and Carnival Cruise Lines see an opportunity. The ad agency and its client, which turned heads with their big balls last year, are now rolling out virtual aquariums in Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. The computer-animated aquariums are designed to engage passersby who presumably will be tickled by Carnival's thoughtfulness. The cruise line hopes pedestrians linger a while and whip out their mobile phones, which they can use to create their own personalized fish. Hey, why not? Free entertainment, right? The idea, like so much electronic outdoor media these days, is not only to hawk the product (in this case, cruises to warmer locales) but to "engage." Beats looking at graffiti-ed plywood in any case.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Bathed in violence, the latest Volvo commercial hurts so good

Posted on Thu Jan 15 2009

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[The spot's been pulled from YouTube. We'll repost when it's available.] Fans of demolition derbies and The Dukes of Hazzard will get their fix with this latest ad for Volvo, which shows the company's cars throughout the years smashing into walls and other immobile objects, all to the tune of the 1812 Overture. There's no narration, but the point is to outline the car maker's 80 years of safety testing and show off the "City Safety" automatic braking system on the XC60, which acts as an extra pair of eyes on the road and applies the brakes when an object appears too close. I don't know if the spot, via Arnold in Boston, completely explains how City Safety braking works, but it's nice to see the cars getting roughed up, even if none of them blows up like in the movies.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

With nothing to lose, Wynonna Judd endorses Glaxo's diet pill

Posted on Tue Jan 13 2009

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While Zone Delivery is ridiculing celebrities who have trouble with their weight, another weight-loss brand has just hired one.
  GlaxoSmithKline has signed up country-music superstar Wynonna Judd—who's battled weight problems for years—to endorse alli, the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter, all-lower-case diet pill. The singer has begun appearing in TV and print ads from Arnold in New York (see one ad here), in which she tells how alli helped her pursue healthier food choices in life. "Absolutely the most important reason I chose alli was because it's FDA approved," she says in the ads. "I can't recommend that people take something I'm not willing to take myself. I had to be able to say, it's okay to take alli. It's safe."
  Judd is the first celebrity to hawk the pill since it became available to the public in June 2007. "Wynonna and alli decided to partner because we share the same philosophy about weight loss—that it's not just about weight, it's about changing your relationship with food," says Rachel Ferdinando, vp of weight control for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Carnival counting on big balls to make impression with cruisers

Posted on Wed Dec 31 2008

You've got to applaud Carnival Cruise Lines for taking an unexpected approach in its latest marketing.
  Ad agency Arnold, which featured the standard fun-and-sun imagery for years when it handled Royal Caribbean, takes a totally different approach here. The run-up to Carnival's big media buy (with ads breaking in earnest since Christmas) consisted mainly of stunt-marketing exercises with a giant piñata and a giant beach ball emerging as central icons.
  After building some buzz, footage from those events graces commercials that play down actual cruising, yet still manage to capture a sense of carefree and slightly irreverent fun. There's also the sight of a huge multicolored inflatable ball bounce around the concrete canyons of landlocked downtown Dallas—surprising imagery that might just keep some viewers from turning away.
  It should also tip the scales against Dallas as a rival getaway option, if only because the place seems filled with unstable, anti-social types who get off on pushing big balls from rooftops onto unsuspecting passersby below.

—Posted by David Gianatasio


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