Mother plays matchmaker in Dell's new 'Rendezvous' Streak spot

By David Kiefaber on Fri Nov 5 2010

Ad agency Mother did this spot for Dell's new Streak tablet, and it has the same yuppie social-media focus that just about every competing product does. That said, it's also the first new Dell ad I've seen in a while—part of a global rebranding in the wake of the whole Enfatico disaster. "We wanted to show that our technology enables something important—relationships—and forge an emotional connection with viewers," says Liz Matthews, Dell's global consumer brand director. The "meet cute" plot line is pleasantly inoffensive, though it's not totally clear why you'd need a device that's halfway between a smartphone and a tablet. Maybe they need a snappy tagline. How about "Dude, you're getting a Streak"?

Dance with hipsters to horrible music in your lovely Ikea kitchen

By David Kiefaber on Thu Oct 14 2010

This slick TV spot by Mother London for Ikea's kitchen furniture has a really cool, almost theatrical set that frames one of the worst songs I've ever heard—Jona Lewie's droning, minimalist "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties." It's a real song, too, as this extended video demonstrates, and it doesn't get any better with added time. Is this the best they could do? I mean, the guy from Owl City plays similar stuff, and at least he doesn't sing like he's whacked out on quaaludes. But I digress. At muted volume, the ad is a treat, with an Escher-esque layout and innovative inclusion of the drawers as stairs between levels, which also shows off their storage space. Whether actual Ikea furniture could survive being stepped on by drunken revelers is up for debate, but it's a cool visual. The work upgrades the company's image from "college kid dorm room" to "monied hipster party chic," but it's going to take a lot to repel the anti-Ikea forces. Just this year, an Icelandic couple got sued for installing an Ikea kitchen in their upscale Manhattan apartment.

Ikea: an excellent choice if you like cat hair all over your furniture

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Sep 14 2010

Ikea apparently got hip to the idea that cats equal viral success. This video from ad agency Mother, for the brand's U.K. operation, shows cats descending on an Ikea location at night. If you like cats, that's cool. But since I'm more of a dog person, I thought about the coughed-up furballs and impossible-to-remove urine smell that felines are known to leave behind. Nevertheless, the cats look happy here to be ensconced in Ikea's beds. Lucky them, they don't have to try to construct this junky furniture at home. Sorry, did that sound catty? There's also a behind-the-scenes video, which you can see here.

Animal kingdom is here to help in new skin-care print campaign

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Aug 23 2010


The skin-care category isn't typically a hotbed of creativity. Ads are usually focused on three things: celeb endorsers, lots of copy and lots of promises. But ad agency Mother in New York has gone a different route with a new print campaign for StriVectin-SD, which is billed as a "super-charged way to aggressively fight deep wrinkles and stretch marks." Those skin problems are depicted in a novel way. For crow's feet, for instance, the ad shows actual crow's feet. Other ads show a wrinkly pug, a hen and a lizard, all of which are illustrations of what your skin shouldn't look like. "The mission came from the clients," says Mother creative director Bobby Hershfield. "They wanted to do something bold and different." Even if that means the metaphor, at times, is a bit of stretch.

New Virgin Mobile ads tell kids it's better to be crazy than stupid

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Jul 20 2010

As Lindsay Lohan's plight shows, being a twentysomething these days isn't all peaches and cream. There are no jobs for you, and you have to wear those doofy semi-ironic fedoras or—for the fellas—unsightly facial hair. To make matters worse, advertisers are constantly telling you to be this or that. Earlier this year, for instance, Diesel made being stupid all the rage. But now, Virgin Mobile and its hipster ad agency, Mother, are telling Gen Y to "say goodbye to stupid" and hello to "crazy." Seems like solid advice. Upon greater reflection, being stupid isn't all that cool, but being crazy has its appeal, in that James Dean beautiful loser kind of way. If you could somehow be stupid and crazy, though, you might just be onto something.

K-Y's edible sex lube clears up any problems in your relationship

Posted on Thu Jun 10 2010


The next time you're in trouble with the missus, just break out the K-Y. That's the message behind some new ads from Mother, New York, for K-Y Kissable Sensations, a version of the company's sex lube that evokes the taste and smell of food. Check out three spots after the jump. Apparently, the promise of yummy glop breaks the ice between couples who have recently had a falling out. In one ad, a woman isn't even speaking to her husband, until he produces the magic goo. To explain the product's efficacy, the ad uses time-worn metaphors for copulation like trains, cars jumping ramps and a bursting watermelon (the latter in connection with an African American couple—calling the PC police!). One question for Mother & Co: Why are the women always opting for the chocolate while the men get strawberry? Don't men like chocolate, too? Especially Sexual Chocolate?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Continue reading "K-Y's edible sex lube clears up any problems in your relationship" »

Forget 'Food, folks and fun,' now it's all about moms and meat

Posted on Thu Sep 3 2009

Test Kitchen Compressed

Marketers have turned into the Eddie Haskells of the media world, sweet-talking blog-happy mothers to further their cause. The latest example: McDonald's has kicked off a program for curious moms who wonder what they're really feeding their children. The fast-food chain has recruited four women, dubbed as the Baltimore Washington McDonald’s Moms Quality Correspondents (MQC), to witness how burgers are made and served on a daily basis. In the process, the women have to capture and share their experiences online via photos, videos and journals.  The most recent journey, for instance, involved a trip to Keystone Foods (a McDonald's beef supplier), where the women toured a facility in white coats and hair-nets, learning about "quality and food safety regulations." Ultimately, the chain hopes to drive consumers to the MQC site and get everyone excited about it's newly launched Angus Third Pounder (and the real beef that it’s made with). Is it working? Judging by their online journals, these fledgling journos appear to be lovin' it.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Weirdos and criminals count on NBC New York for the best news

Posted on Fri Aug 14 2009

A washed-up, junk-food-addicted runway model. An embezzling CFO. A shady real-estate broker. No, they don't walk into a bar. They appear in new ads from Mother in New York for local NBC Web sites. Liz, a faded beauty turned agoraphobe; Ron, a former CFO who's now doing grunt work in a restaurant kitchen; and Ted, a real-estate broker on house arrest in a fabulous pad—from the looks of it, they're sad, disgraced and unrepentant, respectively, and they all rely on NBC's crack Web sites to make it through the day. Is this supposed to boost traffic? (The campaign is running in 10 cities, via print and TV.) Could be I'm missing something here, or that the philosophy behind the spots—everybody needs information, especially when their lives are disintegrating!—isn't working for me. They're just too bleak, and kind of mean. Sure, having a laugh at how the mighty have fallen is zeitgeist-y at the moment. But wouldn't the ads have to be funny to serve that purpose?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

truTV will make you talk back at the screen like a complete idiot

Posted on Tue Jul 28 2009

Warning: truTV transforms viewers into hecklers. In this spot for the cable channel, via Mother, New York, a narrator explains that the "real-life action" on truTV makes viewers think they can communicate with the people in the programs. Thus, the man in this ad shouts at his TV screen just about everything you'd hear from the loudest moviegoer during any horror film. ("What are you doing" and "No, don't eat that" will be particularly familiar to those who've attended a few too many student-discount nights.) His neighbors hear him and think he's reprimanding them, which makes for awkward elevator rides. As funny as this commercial is, what really caught my attention were the scolded neighbors. The woman was simply breaking her diet to enjoy a snack—I felt bad for her. But the man was photographing a dog in a bikini. What's that about? I'm glad he was embarrassed. Maybe truTV is good for something after all.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Buy a Dell laptop today, or at least apply to work in their factory

Posted on Mon Jun 22 2009

Dell laptops aren't made by a largely indifferent workforce in Taiwan or South Korea, but in a happy U.S. factory where the singing never stops. At least, that's the conceit in this new ad from Mother, New York, which features jolly workers singing the 1958 Chordettes hit "Lollipop" as the Wonka-esque factory cuts colorful laptops out of a gum-like substance that has been stamped by an elephant's foot. The idea is to highlight the candy-colored nature PCs made by a company known for clinging to beige way too long. Dell has pointed out the array of laptop colors before in ads, which seemed a (way) belated response to Apple's 1998 "Bondi Blue" iMacs. But there's no denying this ad is playing to Dell's strength—its wholesome image. Lord knows former Dell CMO Mark Jarvis tried to make Dell edgy, but that's hard to do when your CEO looks like Peter Brady.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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