Michelin Man continues battle with not-so-scary villains

By Elena Malykhina on Tue Jul 27 2010

Michelin has dreamed up yet another adventure for its brand mascot, the Michelin Man. The tire company this week unveiled a third TV spot as part of its ongoing global campaign, dubbed "The Right Tire Changes Everything." In April, Michelin introduced a TV spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day showing the Michelin Man battling an "evil gas pump." This time, the character battles a "hungry road" that requires drivers to constantly buy new tires. Using similar fast-paced animation as previous spots, the ad shows the pneumatic dude coming to the rescue and supplying drivers with Michelin's HydroEdge tires. Maybe it's just me, but the latest ad seems to be more lighthearted than the previous one. Sure there's still a villain involved, it's just not as terrifying as the "evil gas pump." Perhaps Michelin is just rolling (pun intended) with the times, and by that, I mean an improving economy.

Apple's first iPad commercial greeted with collective indifference

Posted on Mon Mar 8 2010

Google surprised everyone by running a TV spot on the Super Bowl, one that was pretty well-received. Apple, a current rival of Google on many fronts, pulled off a similar sneak attack during Sunday night's Academy Awards show with its first ad for the iPad. Since the goal was to create demand for a totally new device, Apple stuck close to its playbook. It didn't introduce any new characters or celebrity announcers. Instead, it was a glossy demo of all the neat stuff that the iPad does. Which is maybe why the spot, by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, has gotten a ho-hum response in the blogosphere. "What's remarkable about the ad is there is nothing remarkable about it at all," Chris Matyszczyk writes in CNet's "Technically Incorrect" blog. "It's very neat, but very standard communication from Apple." Matyszczyk points out that Apple posted similar—perhaps even the same—footage of the iPad on its Web site during the introduction. (Google, incidentally, had also run its Super Bowl ad on the Web months before.) YouTube commenters also seem unimpressed. One points out that the ad was pretty much the same, save for the soundtrack music, as a 2007 ad for the iPod Touch. (Note: a TBWA\C\D rep could not confirm if this version was an official ad or a similar one from Nick Haley.) Does it matter that Apple's ad was sort of meh? Probably not. Whatever the ad's merits, the device looked pretty cool. Rather than thinking "Apple is slipping," most people watching the ad likely instead thought, "I want to get me one of those."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Skittles of our lives

Posted on Mon Jul 6 2009

Mars' Skittles brand continues its foray into absurdism with a new spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, that portrays the evils of eating Skittles out of unlikely objects. Thinking it’s no big deal, the hungry snacker in this ad disregards his friend’s warning and steals some Skittles candy from his giant hourglass. Seems harmless enough, right? Except this seems to have a reverse Benjamin Button effect, making the teen age rapidly. “I mean, look at me, man. You’re speeding up time. How many did you eat?” he says, while pieces of hair fall from his hat. “Like two?” his friend replies, bewildered. Within seconds, the teenager with the jeans and hoodie jacket transforms into an old, frustrated senior citizen. Lesson No. 2: Life is too short. “Taste the rainbow.” (Or else others will.)

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Keep your personal planets aligned with a Jimmy Dean breakfast

Posted on Thu Apr 23 2009

Know what happens when you forget to eat a Jimmy Dean breakfast? You get all "spaced out."
  That's the name of this new ad by TBWA\Chiat\Day. (We've seen it during our morning runs on the treadmill.) It shows the Jimmy Dean sun guy leading his galactic colleagues in a solar-system rotation exercise. Unfortunately, it's 10 a.m., and Mars is collapsing after bumping into a window and landing back-first on the floor. Earth doesn't do any better (spinning sluggishly near the fern), until the sun asks, "Who hasn't had their Jimmy Dean breakfast this morning?" A few seconds later, everyone lines up in proper orbit style. "I feel awesome," one of the planets says. "You're all awesome," says the sun.
  Yeah, man.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Snickers 'Snacklish' campaign pays tribute to NYC's Dr. Zizmor

Posted on Wed Mar 25 2009

Snickers Dr Z

Every once in a while, an advertiser puts its ego aside to salute greatness, and when this happens, every single one of us can be enriched in some way. By this time, you've probably figured out that I'm talking about Snickers and it's salute to Dr. Zizmor, a fixture of New York subway ads for more than a quarter century. As part of the candy bar's pun-happy riffs on the Snickers name, Snickers and agency TBWA\Chiat\Day have done some ads aimed at weary straphangers. While most seem to be lampooning generic ad categories ("Learn to speak Snacklish"), there's one aimed at the venerable Zizmor (renamed "Doctor Feedzmore"), a dermatologist whose Mona Lisa smile prompted New York Times columnist Dan Barry to once compare him to Dr. T.J. Eckelburg, the eye doctor on a Queens billboard who is referenced in The Great Gatsby. Wrote Barry of Dr. Z: "The eyes in his smiling, baby-chubby visage bore like laser beams into our skulls to read our innermost insecurities—about acne or moles or stretch marks or the risqué tattoo that seemed like such a good idea down at the beach that time." What's the word for this kind of praise? Snackperbole?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Snickers kindly asks you to start speaking like a blithering idiot

Posted on Wed Mar 11 2009


Snickers has been making up funny words for its advertising for a couple of years. But now the habit is being formalized with the new "Snickers Speak" campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, which encourages you to learn "Snacklish." Adland has a bunch of the ads here, showing the distinctive blue, red and white bold-type logo now spelling out a series of puns aimed at the average working/schooling American. These ads are all over the subway cars here in New York, enticing me to "Take night classes at the CHEWNIVERSITY," "Pledge SIGMA NOUGAT" and "Enroll at CITY CHOCOLLEGE." And enticed I often am, heading to take a midterm exam on an empty stomach. Non-collegiates, meanwhile, are encouraged to "File for workman's CHOMPENSATION" or simple "NOUGETABOUTIT."
  If you love it enough, friend it on Facebook, leave it messages, and make your own Snacklish-like logo here (and post it wherever you want). Stay away from words like "NUTSRAWESOME," though. Some people haven't heard about the campaign yet.

—Posted by Yana Polikarpov



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