Baby carrots prepare to shove sugary candy aside on Halloween

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Oct 12 2010


Does this fall under the heading of "trick" or "treat"? A Bunch of Carrot Farmers and Bolthouse Farms, the people behind this summer's $25 million "Eat 'em like junk food" campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, are launching Scarrots, a bag of 25 single-serve 1.7-ounce bags of baby carrots that are intended for distribution to trick-or-treaters. At the very least, it's a good alternative for the old lady on your block who used to give out apples. It's harder to get razor blades into a bag of sealed carrots.

Kraft testing a new Mac & Cheese product cooked up by CP+B

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Sep 1 2010


The latest idea for Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese was literally cooked up by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency, which won the account in March, came up with a new product—a frozen version of the staple in an aluminum tray that you can throw on the grill. "We wanted dads to use it," says Bill Wright, group creative director at CP+B, "and the only way was to be able to make it so you can throw it on the barbecue grill." Wright says the grill "lends a nice, smoky flavor" to the Mac & Cheese. Kraft is currently testing the product in "very, very small release." CP+B's other work for the brand has been no less quirky. Ads, which sport the tagline, "You know you love it," play up the guilty-pleasure factor. "The most fun you can have with your stove on," reads one outdoor ad. TV spots, meanwhile, show parents screwing their kids out of their Kraft dinners. Wright says the product intro shows how CP+B thinks beyond advertising. "I don't know if you usually get product ideas from your ad agency," he says. This isn't the first time CP+B has gotten into product creation. The agency is credited, for, among other things, dreaming up Chicken Fries, now a Burger King menu staple.

Crispin helping Green Garage get rolling toward a happier planet

Posted on Tue Mar 23 2010

When he's not blowing off reporters, Crispin Porter + Bogusky creative guru Alex Bogusky is indulging his passions, which include using his creative powers for good. One such extracurricular activity is Green Garage, a Boulder, Colo.-based business that promises to "green-tune" your old clunker by installing a dual-stage oil filter and biodegradable oil, among other eco-interventions. In step with the current wave of green brands, it also avoids preachiness in favor of upbeat, common-sense arguments about saving money. A Crispin-produced ad running locally in the Boulder market also maintains that tone with line-drawn animation showing "Ron," a guy who loves his SUV but feels bad that it pollutes the environment. Thankfully, Green Garage allows him to keep his gas guzzler. "A happy wallet leads to a happy Ron living on a happy planet," says the voiceover. Most environmentalists would probably be happy if the Green Garage concept works, even if they are less sanguine about some other Crispin clients, like Burger King and Coca-Cola.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Coke Zero soliciting your ideas for making March Madness better

Posted on Mon Mar 22 2010

The NCAA men's basketball tournament has spawned all kinds of bracketology ideas, including Adweek's own March Adness. So, it's no surprise that marketers are glomming onto the idea. The latest such effort is Coke Zero's Brain Bracket, which sounds like a horrible disease but is actually an attempt to crowdsource the brand's tie-in with this year's tourney. (The winning idea gets $10,000.) The initial idea, explored in this commercial from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is pretty lame, perhaps purposely so: a "mascot cam" inserted in North Carolina's ram. North Carolina didn't even make the tournament this year. It's not the worst idea when he's checking out some cheerleaders, I suppose, but it's no Whopper Freakout. Speaking of which, you have perhaps the best creative agency in the U.S. on your roster and you're asking consumers for your next big idea? What a waste. And here's an idea for you, Coke Zero: How about a contest Web site that actually works?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Burger King's King is finally recognized as being a crazy bastard

Posted on Mon Mar 15 2010

Discussing Burger King's King mascot, Adam Carolla once noted that actors in the ads reacted strangely to the appearance of the King in their homes. Instead of being nonchalant, Carolla suggested, they should yell something along the lines of: "Who is this madman? Get him out of my house!" So, give Crispin Porter + Bogusky points for verisimilitude in this latest BK ad: At least here the King evokes something of a normal reaction. "Stop that King. He's crazy!" yells one man, as the King, shown in an office setting, busts a window, starts a fire and pushes an employee out the way. The King really is crazy here. He jumps off a building and lands (safely) in a dumpster. But the King also means well. He presents another worker with a fresh Steakhouse XT burger just before the men in white suits tackle him. This spot isn't likely to prompt me to try the new offering, but I do applaud this new story line. In future installments, how about the King in a straightjacket? Or maybe give him the Hannibal Lecter treatment. After all, that burger would probably go well with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

'GQ' story on personal brands fails to enhance Alex Bogusky's

Posted on Mon Feb 22 2010


An article in the March issue of GQ magazine (which isn't online yet) is worth checking out, and not just because it quotes Brandweek twice. The piece, titled "Meet the Happy New Me, Same as the Crappy Old Me," chronicles the attempts of writer Shalom Auslander, an author and NPR contributor who's often compared to David Sedaris, to rebrand himself. Auslander, who writes copy for an unnamed ad agency, consults other, anonymous branding experts to decide what his personal brand should be. They never really come to a conclusion, but along the way we get copious one-liners ("I prefer writing fiction and occasional journalism, but the Dark Lord pays well, and there's free coffee on the 23rd floor" and "If the Cow-schwitz bovine death camp known as Burger King can be a barrel of laughs, what's stopping me?"), and the article casts much-needed doubt on the idea of personal branding. But the reason the piece is a must-read for ad types is a cameo by Alex Bogusky. In the story, Auslander is en route to Denver to meet with the man Fast Company calls "the mechanic of cool" only to find that Bogusky has canceled the meeting, leaving the author no choice but to fly back from his stopover in Chicago. Auslander brands Bogusky a "glorified shoe salesman" and considers flying to Denver anyway to excrete on the doorstep of Crispin Porter + Bogusky's headquarters. The only problem with that plan is, knowing the agency, they'd probably film that and turn it into a hot viral video.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Windows 7 spot shows off kindergartener's mad slideshow skills

Posted on Tue Sep 15 2009

Tying your shoes is not a prerequisite for making an awesome slideshow. In this commercial for Windows 7, by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a little girl named Kylie finds "happy words" on her dad's computer, all of which praise the new Microsoft operating system. So, like any normal kindergartener, she decides to match them with pictures of a piglet wearing bunny ears and a cat swimming in marshmallows. Then she sets everything to a pumping glam-rock hit. The resulting slideshow is pretty impressive, considering many adults with years more technological experience can't even figure out what PowerPoint does, let alone how to use it. The ad, part of Microsoft's "Good News" campaign, tips off viewers to the late-October release of the new operating system. This half-minute spot is pretty cute, but "The Final Countdown" is too overplayed to be enjoyable. Sometimes what happens in the '80s should stay in the '80s.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Whopper Jr. gets poked and prodded in shopping-network spots

Posted on Fri Jun 5 2009

Burger King lovers will be happy to hear, via these three new commercials, that their beloved juicy Whopper Jr. is now selling for a buck (what isn't, these days?) and that he's bigger than ever. So stuffed, in fact, that he can't even fit through the door. We say "he" because the burger in the spots by Crispin Porter + Bogusky is actually a young fellow dressed up as a burger. The good news is that the ladies on the fake shopping channel think he's so darn hot. "Pardon me for looking," says one, "but you have some wonderful things hanging out back here." Hmm ... now would that be lettuce?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Waking up with the King is no longer such a pleasant experience

Posted on Fri May 29 2009

Say, is that Bam terrorizing his poor dad in the middle of the night with yet another marginally funny and completely humiliating Jackass stunt? No, it's the King waking up some poor unsuspecting guy who may never sleep another wink after seeing that plastic freak standing over his bed. (The commercial, one of three new ambush-style spots, touts Burger King's late-night menu). If you ask me, the whole "gotcha" ad genre is wearing pretty thin. Don't look now, you've been punked! So is the grainy, hand-held shot-by-amateurs (not a slick, award-winning ad agency) ruse. Must mean I'm not the demo—young, male fast-food "heavy users" think this kind of prank video is an absolute gut buster, I'm told. It's not the first time The King invaded someone's bedroom space, and it probably won't be the last. Lock your doors, fans.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Microsoft takes aim at Apple's RAM in fourth 'Laptop Hunters' ad

Posted on Tue May 5 2009

This latest ad in Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" series from Crispin Porter + Bogusky points out, while helping stripey filmmaker protagonist Sheila find a laptop for under $2,000, that Macs don't have much RAM. Which is, for once, a valid nitpick from Microsoft. Macs have a great operating system and superior editing software across the board, but their computers don't come with enough memory for any of it to work properly, and haven't for ages. And God help you if you're a writer. Apple word processors crash harder than Nick Hogan. But this ad doesn't linger on what's bad about Apple products, preferring to emphasize the basics about what makes PCs so great. It may not be as "punchy" as previous ads in the series, but that just means I didn't want to punch everyone involved with it, for once.

—Posted by David Kiefaber



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