Xerox happy to welcome other brands into its latest ad campaign

By David Kiefaber on Thu Sep 2 2010


Xerox is gambling a little bit, some believe, by featuring some of its clients in a new advertising campaign. Called "Ready for Real Business," the campaign will showcase big-name brand icons, like Mr. Clean and the Target bulldog, from companies that employ Xerox for generic office labor. Young & Rubicam will make the initial print and TV ads, and the range of brands Xerox is partnering with is pretty wide, including a hotel chain, a motorcycle manufacturer and the University of Notre Dame. The supposed risk with this kind of advertising is twofold: Other brands don't want to play second fiddle to Xerox, and Xerox doesn't want those familiar brands overshadowing its own. No use spending millions on a campaign if everyone who sees it walks away singing the Notre Dame fight song. But Xerox's chief marketing officer, Christa Carone, is optimistic, mentioning to Forbes that some execs wanted to see their brands promoted in media where Xerox advertises but consumer brands don't. I'm still somewhat repulsed by multiple brands occupying the same ads, though. It seems a bit like cousins kissing to me.

There is plenty to fear if you don't fly Virgin Atlantic upper class

Posted on Mon Mar 1 2010

I'm currently reading the book Nothing to Envy, an exposé of the famines and dictatorial control of citizens' everyday life in North Korea, so these satirical complaints by putative Virgin Atlantic Upper Class customers come off as particularly jarring and pathetic, as well as witty and well-executed. The videos, from Young & Rubicam in New York, feature people who are afraid of not flying the airline. Executed in superb, Christopher Guest-like mockumentary style, the interviews get more and more outlandish. There's the exec who is scared that if he doesn't get that lie-flat bed on Virgin, he won't get his six hours of beauty sleep. But he acknowledges that having 10 hours of sleep is "just unfair," though he declines to explain further. Another man claims that when he doesn't get the aisle seat, he has to get on his seatmate's schedule and, in a sense, become that person. A recent flight was particularly hard, since the seatmate was a 45-year-old woman with marital problems and a son away at college who doesn't call. "Why doesn't he call?" the man asks plaintively. "It hurts." Another man—a Napoleon Dynamite lookalike—is brought to tears recalling how a recent non-Virgin flight lacked a free massage. I suggest all these folks bring a copy of that book for the next flight.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

How long can Sears keep up these Brett Favre retirement jokes?

Posted on Tue Feb 2 2010

Sears can't get enough of Brett Favre and the retirement jokes. In this new ad by Young & Rubicam, a Sears sales rep stands with the Minnesota Vikings quarterback in front of a Samsung flat-screen TV. He compliments Favre on an amazing season, then says he thought about retiring from Sears that very day, but decided to stay at work. Favre tells the rep that was a good choice. (No one should retire before their time!) Sears has posted a whole bunch of Favre commercials, including three new ones, over on its Web site. You're encouraged to vote for your favorite. The retirement jokes might be wearing a bit thin, but as long as Favre continues to hem and haw about next season, Sears will probably keep it up.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Play a game of Scrabble, enjoy a major fantastical extravaganza

Posted on Wed Jan 6 2010

This ad from Y&R Irvine makes us want to play a game of Scrabble. Like, right now. While board-game ads usually take place in the ho-hum living room, this one plunks the viewer right in the middle of the action. The game board itself morphs into a maze of streets, and each player—mom, dad and son—brings out his or her best vocabulary cards to win the match. (There's a genie, a giant knight and an alien driving a spaceship, for instance.) In a voice reminiscent of a genie or magical creature, the voiceover at the end says, "Everyone has them. Words. Want to come out and play? Scrabble. What words will you bring to the table?" Yeah, we're fully energized to play a match. Evil twin AdFreak, we challenge you!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Accenture ads with Tiger Woods sure look a bit funny these days

Posted on Wed Dec 2 2009


It's funny how an unexpected turn of events in real life can make you reassess a superstar's body of work. It's hard to look at O.J. Simpson the same way in those Naked Gun movies, and I'm sure a lot of people are giving Michael Jackson's lyrics a closer read to find signs of drug-induced agony. In the case of Tiger Woods, we can't really make much of his golf games, but what about those Accenture ads from Young & Rubicam? They turn out to be full of karmic goodies. The one below, for instance, shows Tiger looking across a stream and contemplating his options. "It's what you do next that counts," reads the headline. Another is even more prophetic: "The road to high performance isn't always paved." Still another shows Tiger next to a crude line graph that reads "interpretation 60% information 40%." The only difference now is that the second entry should read "0%." UPDATE: OK, 10%.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman




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