FujiFilm 3-D camera makes picture parties a lot more immersive

By Todd Wasserman on Thu Nov 11 2010

It's bad enough that every movie out there is in 3-D these days, but now digital cameras are going 3-D, too? In this ad for FujiFilm's FinePix Real 3-D W3 digital camera, some bore is about to show pics from his recent New York trip to his friends, but once they see the photos are in 3-D, they're suddenly immersed in a magical stop-time version of Manhattan where a skateboarder is frozen mid-twirl. After interacting with the 3-D world, one friend asks if the camera does 3-D video, too, and an open fire hydrant provides the answer. To get the full effect, see the in-cinema ad in 3-D rather than the 2-D version here.

Trey Songz, Drake, Pitbull and Rihanna band together for Kodak

By David Kiefaber on Mon Oct 11 2010

Kodak is changing with the times (or rather, trying to catch up to them) by using Trey Songz (above), Drake, Pitbull and Rihanna as hip, young spokespeople for the Kodak 2.0 initiative. All four are involved in the new "So Kodak" campaign by Partners + Napier. Simply put, since digital cameras and photo sharing have completely eclipsed traditional photography, Kodak has to update its image and, to a lesser extent, its business model. There's been a minor controversy over its taste in celebrities, three of whom could be considered unwholesome choices. But it's unfair to lump Rihanna with the rest of them, since what happened with Chris Brown wasn't her idea. In fact, claiming she's somehow an "edgy" figure now because she got beat up is pretty insensitive. Regardless, the speculation is that Kodak thinks courting controversy will reverse its sluggish fortunes. And it might. But in the long run, it needs to compete with the instant gratification of iPhones and Droids, whose photo resolution keeps improving. If they don't have an answer for that, they're screwed no matter what they do.

Sony 3-D televisions are great, but do not take off those glasses

Posted on Fri Jun 18 2010

Warning: Don't take off your 3-D glasses. Otherwise, you'll fall flat. At least, that's what happens in this new spot promoting Sony's 3-D televisions. In the ad, from agency 180, football star Peyton Manning and pop sensation Justin Timberlake get a guided tour of Sony's 3D-enhancing movie, PlayStation and sports programming capabilities. As they walk around the super-high-tech room, they express their admiration for the new technologies until—no!—Mr. Bringing Sexy Back takes off his 3-D glasses. Oh, the horror! Both Timberlake and Manning instantly collapse into 2-D, as does everything else in the room. (Can't say their sultry hot tour guide didn't warn them!) Fortunately, due to their athletic and dancing abilities, both bounce back. "You haven't seen 3-D until you've seen it on a Sony," says the voiceover. Uh-huh.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Cisco asking for great, brief works of art from your Flip camera

Posted on Tue Mar 23 2010


I learned several things by watching videos submitted to a contest called "Do you Flip?" In no particular order: Gabrielle Reece looks amazing under water, Stephen Colbert can't train his dog, babies have funny expressions, and daredevils make good subjects. Cisco, the marketer behind the ingenious little Flip camera, says it will use random clips from folks, famous or otherwise, in a new ad campaign. Everybody's invited, but there's already some stiff competition (see above) and one vid that reminds me of an old Kids in the Hall skit. People are getting pretty creative in the space of 10 seconds or less. Flip asks that submissions be family friendly and logo free, with the participants willing to be part of a produced commercial. No word on how many of the videos will be included in the upcoming campaign, but Flip can likely make good use of all those free, bite-sized pieces of consumer-generated content. Operative word: free. So, go ahead and send in your cat's adventure on a treadmill. You know you want to.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Pentax's new film looks great, but can we give the clowns a rest?

Posted on Fri Feb 12 2010


What is it about scary clowns? We've seen them pop up in Philips's famous "Carousel" ad, a recent Walmart  spot and now in this five-minute film for Pentax. To be fair, the Pentax film, "Uncle Jack," has a lot more going on than just the clown. There's the title character, a fugitive who manages to tell a thinly veiled version of his own story to his apple-cheeked niece over a Bluetooth headset as he's on the run. And let's not forget the photography. Like "The Rider," another recent Pentax short film, this was shot with a Pentax K-7 and, like the Philips spot, was designed to show off the visual crispness and of course, the colors. But next time, how about a peacock or something instead?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

J&R giving New Yorkers more bike messengers, Chinese menus

Posted on Thu Dec 3 2009


As we Noo Yawkers know, bicycle messengers and Chinese menus are as much a part of the landscape as taxis and slow-walking tourists from the Midwest. Until now, though, no one's capitalized on those Gothamite fixtures quite like J&R Music and Computer World has. The chain, a local presence since 1971, is working with agency Toy to get the word out about its same-day delivery service by dispatching bike messengers with huge (empty, one hopes) boxes on their backs that are purported to contain J&R appliances. Of course, there's a social-media component: Spot one of the bikers, take a pic and you get a $10 gift card (what sports!). But for me, the cleverest touch is the faux Chinese menu, being dropped under doors, in mail slots and building lobbies, which lists items like PC hardware instead of the usual General Tso's chicken. Then again, New Yorkers may be too jaded to notice what's on the menu, and if they do, it's because they're hungry and they might get pissed off by the whole thing.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Would you like Sony to blast your town with sound at all hours?

Posted on Tue Oct 20 2009

Every once in a while, a commercial comes along that's completely puzzling. Sony's "Soundville" video above, for instance, leaves me scratching my head for several reasons. The idea was to hire Juan "Cadbury Gorilla " Cabral, the Argentine commercial director, to show how Sony's speakers can enliven drab surroundings. Cabral pulled off a similar feat for Sony in 2006, when he set off dozens of huge paint jets to color a Glasgow housing project. But here, he and Fallon London have picked Seydisfjordur, a small village in Iceland, to attempt the same idea with acoustics. While I think the intent is to see this and think "the power of music," instead I thought "martial law." I also wondered how the villagers felt about having music piped in at all hours. I'm not the only one. Creative Review in the U.K., for one noted: "It does beg the question about what scenes were left on the cutting-room floor however, with the villagers appearing to relish the sound intrusion in their lives (with the odd expression of surprise), rather than reacting in the angry way one might expect when your village gets taken over by an ad agency." Also, why Iceland? I mean, I know this wouldn't work the same in, say, Rio, but haven't these Icelanders suffered enough recently?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Best Buy wants your scariest, most obsolete gadget or appliance

Posted on Fri Oct 9 2009

Finally, there's hope for those living in dark, damp, technology-deprived caves. Best Buy is getting festive this year with a Halloween-themed "Scary Technology" photo contest. Now through Oct. 26, you can submit a photo of your scariest, most outdated piece of technology, with a 140-character caption. The person with most backward-ass gadget or appliance will be crowned the winner on Halloween. (Zelda Rubinstein, the creepy old lady from Poltergeist, tells you all about the contest in the video at left.) The winner gets a new home theater valued at $3,500 and a gift card for $2,500; two runners-up get gift cards for $1,500 and $1,000. A Best Buy rep says the contest should also help "drive awareness to recycling and trade-in programs as a responsible way to get rid of old electronics." Best Buy has recycling centers in every location. And of course, after you recycle your old TV, you'll already be inside Best Buy and might just take a shine to a new one.

—Posted by Sarah Knapp

You won't believe these [bleeping] ads for the Powermat charger

Posted on Thu Oct 8 2009

There's a new device called Powermat that can wirelessly charge your mobile phone, iPod and other electronics. The charging device looks like (as the name implies) a mat that magnetically attaches to electronics without you having to plug them in. If you're thinking WTF, then you're the right audience for the Powermat ads, which portray flabbergasted consumers. In the spot shown here, two college students try to figure out the Powermat. The device is so incredible, it evokes numerous profanities. For instance, the guys proclaim that it is "[bleeping] cool" and that they can "get so many [bleeping] chicks with this thing." Another spot shows co-workers also yelling profanities as they examine the Powermat. "How the [bleep] does it work?" asks one woman, while another woman replies: "It's [bleeping] quantum mechanics." Indeed, the Powermat is cool, although its $100 price tag may be a little much for some people. I still think it's worth it, given what you get for the price: 1) a wireless charging station, and 2) an easy way to learn how to curse like a sailor.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

One day, hopefully, we'll be free of Ashton Kutcher's Nikon ads

Posted on Wed Jun 3 2009

The more I see Ashton Kutcher's ads for Nikon, the less I like Dude, Where's My Car? In this particular execution, Ashton prances around a high-end party in a glittery white suit jacket, acting obnoxious rather than humorous or "cool." The artist formerly known as Kelso from That '70s Show takes pictures not only of his hot flock of groupies and hip friends (one of which closely resembles P. Diddy) but also of the older, more out-of-place guests. Ashton, in his ridiculous car salesman attire, proceeds to ridicule these unfortunate folks. This seems odd, since Kutcher produced the show Beauty and the Geek, a gallant effort to restore the confidence of the awkward and dorky. Plus, he married a much older woman. Despite my love of most things Kutcher, I can't help but acknowledge how these ads have become progressively more cheesy and Ashton increasingly annoying and even creepy. Sigh, long gone are the merry prankster days of Punk'd.

—Posted by Allison Shafir



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