Apple heralds Beatles' arrival in iTunes with 3 new commercials

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Nov 22 2010

In case you've been under a rock (with a Sony Walkman, no doubt), you are probably aware that Apple Inc. and Apple Corps have struck a deal to finally bring the Beatles' music to iTunes. Apparently, Apple is eager to reach the under-a-rock demo, because the company and TBWA\Media Arts Lab have rolled out three new TV spots announcing the Fab Four's entry into Apple's digital jukebox. The ads are pretty much what you'd expect: shots of the Beatles, with their songs playing in the background. (The spots use songs by John, Paul and George. Alas, Ringo is the odd man out again.) The images will no doubt evoke nostalgia, not only for the going-on-half-a-century-ago 1960s, but for the wall-to-wall ads for The Beatles: Rock Band that hit last fall as well. Two more spots after the jump.

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Smirnoff and JWT learn how the whole wide world likes to party

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Nov 22 2010

While the digital age has made the world seem smaller than ever, global culture remains endlessly diverse. To celebrate that diversity, and to expose different cities to other's local nightlife scenes and cultures, Smirnoff and JWT New York have created the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange. Fourteen cities around the globe have spent the past few weeks swapping ideas about what makes their nightlife unique. On Nov. 27, all will be unveiled when parties take place simultaneously in cities as far-reaching as Sydney, New Delhi, Buenos Aires and Miami (which is swapping nightlife experiences with London). Artists including N.E.R.D., Bonde do Role, Spoek Mathambo, Boys Noize, Los Amigos Invisibles, King Britt and Zane Lowe (himself the curator for the U.K.) will play at parties throughout the world. Fans can hit the "Like" button on Smirnoff's U.S. Facebook page for an invitation to the Miami event.

Geico considers insurance implications of 'Three Stooges' scene

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Nov 17 2010


Never let it be said that Geico lacks a sense of humor. While other brands are still wondering what to write on their Facebook pages, Geico has produced an Onion-esque bit of social-media noodling that's likely to keep its fans happy until the next caveman ad. On the company's blog, a Fredricksburg, Va.-based Geico claims adjuster named Brenda Shaw considers the policy implications of "Brideless Groom," a Three Stooges short. Would Geico cover all the stuff that gets broken in the skit? What about the harm done to each Stooge? "The bureau drawer that Moe smashed over Larry's head, that's an intentional act," Shaw writes. "But one of the fine distinctions would be, did Moe intend to cause injury or was the action taken for a different purpose?" Ah, we could ponder such things all day, but what about Shemp and his new wife—what should they do? Buy life insurance, of course. Next, a Pfizer rep will outline what sorts of psychotropic drugs the Stooges would need to chill out a bit.

You haven't lived until you've group texted your love for a brand

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Nov 15 2010


Just when you thought your brand presence on Facebook and Twitter was enough, here comes a new form of social-media fandom: the group texting community. Apps from BrightKite, textPlus and Fast Society, among others, turn your texting function into a chat room. While such groups are often short-lived (to plan for a party, for instance), the Dairy Queen group, "DQFans on textPlus," is apparently in it for the long haul. According to this interview, the group was created by a "proud Canadian" teen named Kenda. A Dairy Queen rep confirmed that the company had no idea it was breaking new ground in mobile social media.

Scott towels' Facebook app helps you shut up your whiny friends

By Todd Wasserman on Fri Nov 12 2010


A lot of brands don't seem to know what to do on Facebook. Some post insipid updates like, "What's everyone doing this weekend?" Some just post boring press releases. But now, Kimberly-Clark's Scott brand has offered something useful: an app for industrial-strength Scott Shop Towels that you can use to tell your whining friends to shut up. The "Suck it Up" app, created by Colossal Squid Industries, went live today. Share it with the complainers on your Facebook feed.

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.

Cardboard shelters get a lot fancier in homelessness installation

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Nov 10 2010


Those watching this year's Veteran's Day Parade in New York City will see a curious sight: a fully furnished apartment made of cardboard at the parade's end point on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 60th Streets. What gives? A program developed by JWT with Rubenstein Associates, a PR class from New York University and two teams of students from the Fashion Institute of Technology aims to draw donations to a New York non-profit called Services for the UnderServed (SUS). The idea is that potential donors can see items like microwaves, beds and lamps that help homeless people get back on their feet through the program. Direct donations to the organization can be made online through Anyone can make a $10 donation via mobile phone by texting "SUS" to 20222.

Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera shines in latest Kahlua ads

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Nov 9 2010

There were a couple of things I didn't know about Kahlua before this campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day: 1) It's from Mexico, and 2) It has a sense of humor. The new ads feature Ana de la Reguera, a "prominent Mexican actress," according to the press release, who, as it happens, looks a lot like Penelope Cruz. Bringing a bit of Old Spice-style absurdism to the proceedings, de la Reguera takes aim, like that old Saturday Night Live "Nicaragua" skit, at Spanish over-pronunciation. Thus, Robert is Roberto!, shoes are zapatos!, and Kahlua is deliciouso! Another ad (posted after the jump) notes that in Mexico, they often combine things that don't go together, "like this couch in this field" or a boombox that also makes toast. Silly. I don't know how much Kahlua this will sell, but it did sell me on de la Reguera, who looks like she'd be hilarious in a Naked Gun-type farce, especially after you've had a few Kahluas.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme wants Aussies to stop hoarding DVDs

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Nov 8 2010

Apparently, DVD hoarding is a big problem in Australia. Who knew? To clear out people's old DVD collections, and make way for new ones, Sony Pictures enlisted none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme to make the case for "DVD Amnesty"—a program that offers $5 off new DVDs for each old DVD donated. "I'm Jean-Claude Van Damme, and I bust my balls in my movie career," Van Damme says, "and it's painful to hear that some Australians are treating their DVDs like stockpiling plastic." For me, this campaign is bittersweet: While it's sad to hear of Australia's DVD problem, it's heartening to know that Van Damme still has something to do.

DreamWorks jumps into FarmVille with a 'Megamind' mega-farm

By Todd Wasserman on Fri Nov 5 2010


As the belle of the social-media gaming ball, Zynga's FarmVille has engaged in quite a few corporate hookups of late. There was that 24-hour fling with McDonald's, then another promo with Farmer's Insurance. Now, DreamWorks is promoting its upcoming movie Megamind with a "Mega-Farm" amusement park inside the game—part of a one-day-only promotion tied to the animated movie's premiere today. For those who play the game and annoyingly bug all your Facebook buddies, the promotion includes a "Mega-Grow" formula which helps you instantly grow crops that don't wilt and a collectible decorative item for you to feature in your very own farms. Virtual farmers, rejoice!



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