For those of you who dread Mondays, read this: "Life is short. Stay awake for it." Yes, that's the slogan of Caribou Coffee's latest campaign. Now, the coffee company is asking you what you stay awake for. With help from ad agency Colle + McVoy, it's launched Make the Cup, a site where you can type in captions (and even upload photos and videos) explaining what kinds of inspirational things wake you up. The best caption submissions sent in by Sept. 13 will indeed make the cup—and be seen by thousands of Caribou Coffee drinkers nationwide. Hmmm, now this gets our groggy brain thinking early in the week!
"Cute" is probably the best way to describe Caribou Coffee's fall campaign, a series of five animated YouTube shorts featuring Jack (a pumpkin) and Gourdo (a gourd). The two banter back and forth in that dry Bob-and-Ray style, but I wonder if the 30-second format is too constraining, since it results too often in the comic-strip-like set-up/punch-line format. Still, the campaign, from Colle+McVoy, has its moments, like when Gourdo dreams of becoming a somewhat older gourd with a sombrero surrounded by maracas, and when Jack appears ready to attack Gourdo with a knife. Most intriguing is Jack's voice. After hearing the commercials a few times, I was pretty sure it was Ron Livingston, or a guy who sounds just like him. Now, I'm told it's Joe Weismann, with Dan Mandle voicing Gourdo.
As long as some cheeky chap doesn't invite me to cough up 10 cents for a "moneystache ride" to boost his lottery-ticket budget, I guess I'm cool with Colle+McVoy's new campaign for the Minnesota State Lottery. The TV and out-of-home campaign features folks sporting the "moneystache" made famous by Mr. Monopoly and other game elements to support the Mega Monopoly Scratch Game. The tag: "Grow your moneystache." A 30-second television spot broke on Tuesday. In it, an underling visits a female executive's office to ask a question, and notices that she sports something resembling a milk mustache. Each time she looks up from her desk, her lip liner looks a bit puffier, and finally blossoms into a handlebar 'stache that's part John Bolton, part feral Chia Pet. Other components of the campaign include red plastic Monopoly "hotel" bus shelters and moneystache mirror clings in bars and restaurants. But we'd really like to know if they're handing out "Get out of jail free" cards.
The solution to our dwindling oil supply isn't solar energy. Nor is it wind or even diesel fuel. The answer is propane. Yes, the Propane Education & Research Council claims that unlike other alternative energies (many still in development), propane can immediately help cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. The council launches a TV campaign today, via Colle+McVoy, to educate consumers, lawmakers and policy advocates about this miracle fuel. The "Do more" campaign points interested folks to Propane.com for more about propane, which does so much more than help grill tasty hamburgers and steaks. It can also heat water, power school buses and warm homes. While this seems like a nifty solution, as we obviously need to get away from our dependence on oil, it brings me back to the days of kerosene heaters. (What the hell were we thinking placing scalding hot metal heaters in our homes that released black, acrid plumes after they were extinguished?) Of course, the propane advocates aren't suggesting putting these throwback-type heaters in the home. Instead, they are promoting the idea of running your lawnmower with propane and heating water for a bath with it in its Time and Newsweek print ads. Still, I'm sure most parents would cringe at the idea of putting their children on a propane-powered school bus.
Lottery ads are fairly formulaic: You dangle a huge sum of money and goad the poor suckers who buy your product into believing they actually have a chance of winning. So, give the Minnesota State Lottery some credit for trying to mess with the format a bit in a new round of ads that goof on soap operas. The six spots shown in the video here, from Colle + McVoy, nail a lot of the hallmarks of the genre—the zooming close-ups, the over-the-top reaction shots—all in the service of the tagline, "Add some drama to your day." As a bonus, the actors are reused in different ads, so people at home can speculate about whether the blonde woman in the wedding dress in one ad is meant to be the same character as the one who's in love with an astronaut in another. Or if the bearded bad guy in one spot is the same character who, in another ad, is near tears after finding out the man he thought was his father isn't and would prefer to be called "Marcus."