Verizon to offer 99-cent cab rides to NYC's stampeding hordes

Posted on Tue Jun 9 2009

Cab copy

On Wednesday, and for one day only, Verizon will be offering 99-cent rides on select taxis around New York City as part of an effort (organized by McCann Erickson and Universal McCann) to tout its pre-paid cellular service. It'd be an obvious joke to say that the profanity from the driver will still be free, but I'm nothing if not obvious. Two weeks from now, Verizon will offer 99-cent Mr. Softee ice cream treats. It should be about 99 degrees in Manhattan by then, so most of the premiums will probably melt. Oh, the pre-paid plan's daily usage fee is 99 cents, in case you were wondering about the pricing scheme. Verizon was wise not to bundle the taxi and ice cream deals together. The way those cabbies take corners, they would have had to do a 99-cent dry-cleaning promotion next.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Hornitos tequila campaign feeling woozy after a long night out

Posted on Mon Mar 30 2009

Hornitos copy

This latest ad campaign from Hornitos tequila wallows in booze-fueled debauchery. First off, the campaign's theme—"Mischieve," a fusion of "mischief" and "achieve"—approximates the slurred speech of someone who's had a few too many. Then, the copy lines invite disaster. "If you're going home one hour late, may as well be three" sounds like an invitation to throw down some more shots, and "We'll just cuddle" probably isn't the best course of action (or the stopping point) for most folks after doing so. The artwork, reminiscent of horror-film posters, seems to depict lost souls peering out from a stint in rehab. Honestly, they don't look like they're having too much fun. (The photos are apparently candids, taken at some private party in January to which I was not invited.) The overall effect is oddly sobering, like a warning of what could befall "Overmischievers," which probably isn't what the client had in mind.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Mammoth Mountain invites you to enjoy vast white nothingness

Posted on Wed Feb 18 2009

Mammothcabin copy

According to David&Goliath's extremely minimal print ads, Mammoth Mountain in California gets 400 inches of annual snowfall over its 3,000 feet of vertical rise covering 3,500 acres of terrain. (You can barely make out the ski lodge, the grooming machine and the skier in these three ads.) Basically, if you visit the ski resort this winter, it's highly likely you'll be trapped under tons of densely packed powder and search crews won't be able to find you. With my luck, one of the snowboard-riding mannequins from the outdoor portion of the campaign would crash through an emergency vehicle's windshield and dash any slim hope of my rescue. Sure, I'm exaggerating. But you've got to admit, a person could go snow-blind just trying to read the tiny type on these ads.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

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

From the grave, John Lennon endorses One Laptop Per Child

Posted on Tue Dec 30 2008

John Lennon once hauntingly sang, "Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can." Now, more than 35 years later, Lennon is literally the ghost in the machine, shilling post-mortem for One Laptop Per Child, the group that provides computers to kids in impoverished countries. His widow, Yoko Ono, gave OLPC the OK. And the staunchly liberal Beatle would probably have admired the group's mission, even though it capitalistically equates the ownership and manipulation of technology with social justice and parity. At the very least, John would have appreciated the way his image has drummed up global headlines for the cause. The man used to stage "bed-ins" to generate publicity—though peace was the commodity he was trying to sell. All that aside: Was this low-budget atrocity really the best they could do? The zooming logos, pixelation and oddly sped-up Liverpudlian delivery seem like random elements from Lennon's LSD phase. "You can give a child a laptop and more than imagine. You can change the world," John says in the ad. If he wasn't already dead, lines like that would have killed him. Via Rolling Stone.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Radio Flyer comes up with a kiddie wagon for the 21st century

Posted on Wed Dec 24 2008

Cloud9 copy

Radio Flyer has a new 2.0 version of its classic red wagon in development. It's called the Cloud 9. Tom Schlegel, the company's vp of product development, tells CNN: "When we're designing our products, we're really looking at how can we get kids outside and playing, away from the video games and TV screens and computer screens." The high-tech Cloud 9, though, might make kids feel like they've never left home (or at least the comfort of their folks' minivans)! It comes equipped with padded seats, cup holders, foot brakes, fold-out storage containers, a sound system and a slot for an MP3 player. There's even a digital handle that tracks temperature, time, distance and speed. With all that stuff, it's unclear just how fast this thing will go. Parents should be ready to break a sweat if Cloud 9 makes it out of the prototype stage and into showrooms—I mean, toy stores—nationwide.

—Posted by David Gianatasio


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