As if you needed an excuse to sign up for another round of golf

Posted on Thu Aug 20 2009


A great advertising mind is a terrible thing to waste. Trade association thinkLA understands that, and that's why it holds the annual AIEF Charity Golf Day: so the Lee Clows of the future won't be wasted picking apples for minimum wage, and our fledgling Alex Boguskys don't wind up flipping the burgers at Burger King. During the all-day event (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) on Sept. 15, senior and executive members of the ad and marketing community will convene for a day on the green for Google-sponsored golf and networking at the Moorpark Country Club in Moorpark, Calif. This year's honorary chair is Steve Jett, national manager of marketing communications for Lexus. Registration is 100 percent tax deductible. The Advertising Industry Emergency Fund benefits individuals in the SoCal ad and promotions community who have experienced emergencies—such as the fires, earthquakes and landslides that are the region's specialty. AIEF gives people with life-threatening illnesses financial support for medical bills and other expenses. For more details on AIEF Charity Golf Day, go here.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Minnesota Lottery's game could lead to uncontrollable facial hair

Posted on Wed Aug 19 2009

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.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Kellogg marks Pop-Tarts' 45th birthday with a pop-art celebration

Posted on Tue Aug 4 2009


Some Pop-Tarts were on display last Thursday in West Hollywood, and this time, it wasn't because a paparazzo popped a pic of a pop princess sans undergarments. In the tradition of Andy Warhol, pop artist Burton Morris has retooled the Kellogg's Pop-Tarts packaging—fitting, since the pastry got its punny name as a nod to the '60s art movement. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of Pop-Tarts' 1964 debut, Morris collaborated with Kellogg for a collection that will be at the Hamilton-Selway Fine Art gallery on Melrose through Aug. 21. Among the works are eye-popping Pop-Tarts-inspired paintings, pastry storage tins and a workstation encased in a fort of Pop-Tart boxes reimagined by Morris. Kellogg also commissioned the artist to create five special-edition boxes of its toaster pastries that will be in stores this fall. The brightly colored acrylic paintings on canvas, which go for between $8,500 and $12,500 a pop, resemble the comic-book style of Roy Lichtenstein, Warhol's contemporary. Maybe that's why Spider-Man creator Stan Lee is a fan. He popped in to say hi to Morris, who happens to share a birthday with the Pop-Tart: He debuted in '64, too.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

W Hotels pays homage to its favorite 'Entourage'

Posted on Wed Jul 22 2009

Adrian Grenier

Attention all potential parasites and plus-ones: Better find your version of Vincent Chase pronto because W Hotels and HBO are teaming for an Entourage-themed promotion this summer. The promo launches tomorrow, July 23, at an exclusive party at the just-opened W South Beach in Miami at which Entourage star Adrian Grenier ("Vincent Chase") and fellow cast members will appear. At the South Beach W, any posse that wants to party between July 27 and Sept. 27 can do so in a clearly marked Entourage Bungalow tricked out in tribute to the boys' decadent Hollywood pad. Designed for a group of four, the rental, which comes with toys such as PS3 systems, a manned yacht, jet skis and a personal driver, will set you back $5,000 a night. Civic Entertainment Group, New York, brokered, created and executed the promo. The agent Ari-allergic have no need to fear: Actorman Jeremy Piven will not be attending the gala, perhaps because of Miami's proximity to marine life/mercury.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

In Los Angeles, a naked Terrell Owens isn't everyone's cup of tea

Posted on Thu Jul 16 2009


There's nothing more truthful in advertising than going au naturel, but apparently you can't handle the truth, Los Angeles! For VH1's campaign for The T.O. Show, NFL star Terrell Owens went buck naked on billboards. See a larger image here. The placement even coincided with National Nude Week. However, the Owens image at La Cienega and Olympic received numerous complaints thanks to its proximity to a private Jewish elementary school. The poster, which doesn't reveal any appendages that aren't kosher, has been swapped with another shot showing the athlete's upper back and arms spread like eagle wings. Meanwhile, vendor CBS Outdoor moved the sexier shot to a billboard on Santa Monica at Palm—in way-gay-friendly West Hollywood. The T.O. Show premieres Monday, July 20.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

When it rains, he pours

Posted on Thu Jul 9 2009

Ladybird Johnson may be rolling around in her grave screaming "blight!" but this bleeding billboard has purportedly saved lives in Papakura, New Zealand. Highway deaths typically increase around Easter during the area's rainy season, so agency Colenso BBDO, Auckland, created pro bono billboards to remind drivers to slow down and "drive to the conditions" during inclement weather. The gimmick? When the rain kicks in, the ads leech "blood" thanks to a material embedded in the billboard, which give the boy a weepy and grisly post-accident appearance.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Hey kids, are you ready to rock (and talk about lung cancer)?

Posted on Wed Jul 8 2009


The American Legacy Foundation is launching an all-ages musical interlude this summer for its anti-tobacco brand truth at small venues as an offshoot of its Vans Warped Tour sponsorship. To keep butts out of teens' mouths, the latest tactic puts butts in seats at free concerts with minimal subliminal messaging about the perils of Pall Malls et al. The first truth's Live Playlist gig, held June 24 at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory, was a private concert for about 1,000 teens featuring headliner Escape The Fate (whose 2006 debut album was titled "Dying is Your Latest Fashion.") Sing it Loud, I Set My Friends On Fire and The Blackouts also appeared on the bill. Teens got tix by signing up at The Hollywood event featured games with truth tchotchke prizes, a fashion show and cig-inspired art installations dubbed Weapons of Mass Destruction. On one club wall, a petition collected signatures to rechristen Lung Cancer more literally as "Big Tobacco Disease" (See picture above.) Marketing agency The Ad*itive also helped with the effort. Truth has been kickin' the nicotine habit for a decade with Arnold (originally the work was shared by the Boston-based agency and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami). Finding new ways to drive the anti-smoking message to youth in economical, unexpected ways is a continual challenge after 10 years of groundbreaking guerrilla efforts.  "The moment you become stagnant is the moment you become irrelevant," said Tahir Moore, truth marketer for the event and the Warped Tour.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

L.A. set to invade New York with TNT's transit ads for 'Dark Blue'

Posted on Thu Jul 2 2009

Darkblue copy

It's Woody Allen's worst nightmare realized. Los Angeles comes to New York! The sunsets, the New Age colonics clinics, the surfer speak, the medical marijuana dispensaries, Angelyne, the plastic people! OK, those last two are redundant, but the point is that TNT is bringing the West Coast city famous for car congestion on stagnant streets to New York City's biggest transportation hub to promote the launch of Dark Blue, a Left Coast-based police drama.  
  It won't be all sunshine and granola-topped Pinkberry parfaits. Throughout July, New York's Grand Central Terminal commuters will find themselves walking through L.A.'s gritty underbelly as part of the promo. Across the terminal, some 100 different pieces of creative—posters, column wraps, staircase signs and video motion boards—will inform commuters, "Now entering Underground L.A.," hip them to the July 15 premiere and introduce show characters such as Carter Shaw (Dylan McDermott). Even the No. 7 shuttle that runs between Grand Central and Times Square won't be spared an L.A. makeover. The outside of the cars will be wrapped to depict the Los Angeles skyline, while the inside will be tricked out as warehouses with cops peeking in windows.
  "The idea was to create an immersive, subversive experience and take it literally underground in the center of New York," says Tricia Melton, TNT's svp of entertainment marketing. "People know this whole undercover world exists, that the guy pumping gas next to you could be working undercover."

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Commodes are one hot commodity in ad campaigns this month

Posted on Tue Jun 30 2009


If you're a fan of public-restroom advertising, urine luck this month. Clear's WiMAX service, a new mobile Internet experience, is rolling out in a few markets this summer (Atlanta, Las Vegas) after debuting in Portland, Ore., in January. So is its out-of-home campaign, which was created by Secret Weapon Marketing in Los Angeles. "This is not a bathroom stall," a public-restroom-centric ad informs. Other executions are tailored to different locations, such as parking lots, restaurants and sports arenas. "It's a place to get super-fast mobile Internet." Who knew? The idea is to reinforce the message that Clear's service offers "the best Internet access, anywhere, anytime. Clear is Everywhere." Good to know—I just hope it's not watching me go potty.
  Meanwhile, talking "urinal cakes" featuring the face of Gene Simmons were the talk of the latrines when A&E partnered with Alloy Media + Marketing/AMP Agency for a buzz effort to promote its series Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Once "triggered," the disc spouts Simmons' typical brand of wisdom/humor, such as, "Even my tongue is bigger than that. ... Get out of here!" The targets are placed in 150 venues throughout hotspots in New York and Los Angeles—or at least they were. The cakes featuring the KISS leader's likeness have reportedly been lifted from various venues.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp works LOLcat phenomenon into adoption efforts

Posted on Thu Jun 25 2009


Those darn cats! First, they were demanding "cheezburger" and "playing off" our human failings with jaunty keyboard tunes. Now, thanks to the latest Internet silliness, some lucky cats can "has" homes, too. In a promotion with the popular time-wasting Web site, is encouraging animal lovers to get attached to pets on its online adoption boards by making LOLcats out of them.
  While scouring pages of Petfinder's adoptable kitties, surfers click a button to access the LOL Builder, which opens up a window containing that cat's photo and text fields that allow you to add a pidgin caption. The new LOLcat is then added to the art gallery, where visitors vote for their favorite cats on a "cheezburger" scale of 1 to 5. The top vote getters are displayed on the home page, and all submissions link back to the animal's adoption page. "We're finding that over 75 percent of the visitors who are coming from [the LOL cats promo] have never been to Petfinder before," says Kim Saunders of, which is part of Discovery Communications. The promo runs through the end of the month.
  Check out my LOLcat above: a 9-year-old Persian named Funny who's looking for a home in Southern California. To my knowledge, Funny has no health issues. She just looks like Wilford Brimley.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp



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