September 29, 2008

Would you steal this ad?

So last Monday, I wondered if these posters lamenting the theft of their astroturf ads were fake or if ESPN really did hang actual astroturf around the city.

A few days later, I saw this NY Times story explaining that the crime scene tape posters were put up after the “real” ads were stolen.
And then the next day, I saw this bus shelter a block from the Flat Iron building.

But I still wonder if they put up more of the crime scene tape posters than actual turf ones.

September 25, 2008

Aren’t politics fun?

Here are my two favorite election inspired products:

Baracoli T-shirt

McCain Milf ’08 bumper sticket

Have you registered to vote yet?

It’s easy to find all the info and forms you need at

Created by interns at Concept Farm to encourage college kids to vote, the site also let’s you customize and post their icon on any image.

September 24, 2008

How do you get there from here?

Google put up big versions of their map pin icon around Grand Central yesterday to promote the addition of public transit to their directions feature on google maps.

They also gave away cute little subway maps:

September 23, 2008

Have you ever had to pee thru a tube for your job?

Copywriters Brian Pierce and Nik Bristow are in the middle of their non-stop, cross-country drive to promote Willie Nelson’s BioWillie brand of biodiesel.
You can chat with them and watch live streaming video from the car at

Here are a few pics from last night's launch party:

Brian preparing the web cam and radar detector:

Nik preparing his condom catheter:

And here's their awesome poster:

September 22, 2008

Did ESPN do a real ad with fake astroturf?

I've seen this ad up in about six places since I got back from vacation:

The copy starts with "If you're responsible for the theft of the poster made from real NFL turf that was once hanging here..."
So did they really hang grass around the city first or not?

September 19, 2008

Will these ads make people proud to be a PC?

Microsoft launched the next phase of their campaign with this spot:

(Did you notice the email addresses at the beginning? I'll let you know if I get a reply.)
They also ran this spread in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

And these ads in Times Square:

I love the inclusion of Tron Guy saying "I'm a PC."
But I can't help but think that diver holding the "I'm kinda scared" sign is worried about Vista crashing instead of the sharks around him:

I think this campaign does a great job of turning Apple's "I'm a Mac" campaign into a rally cry that Microsoft can hang their hat on.

UPDATE: Here are the replies from the emails in the TV spot:

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:40:40 +0000
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: I'm a PC

Hello! I’m a PC – and I can’t answer your email right now. I’d like to say that I’m out climbing Mt. Rainier or biking across Europe with the Swedish Beach Volleyball Team, but in fact I’m probably just chained to a desk somewhere in the depths of Redmond pounding out product specifications.
Now that I have been in a commercial, Microsoft has given me access to super-secret “BillyG” level of executive resources. That’s right – I have my own email auto-responder!
This, as you have probably surmised, is my pre-prepared auto-response (All natural, no filler. No animals were harmed in the making of this response. Except for a ferret.) I really would like to have answered you myself, but if I did, (a) I’d probably get no work done, and (b) then I’d get fired, and (c) then I’d have no chance of doing any more of those really awesome commercials.
So let me try to prognosticate a few of your questions and answer a few of them.
Why did they put you on TV?
I think it’s my devastating good-looks and animal magnetism. No, really – there’s a ferret stuck to my leg right now.
But really – you aren’t even an actor!
No I’m not. But I play one on TV. I really am a Microsoft Program Manager. I work on IPv6, and other things that you haven’t heard of.
How did you get selected?
I auditioned along with a couple of hundred others. I guess I looked very Engineery. And the ferret probably helped.
Are you interested in more acting?
Oh no, I think that Engineering is MUCH more fun.
What’s with Windows Vista?
You’ve been watching those commercials again, haven’t you? Windows Vista rocks. Listen to real users, not actors.
-The Real PC, Sean Siler

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:40:47 +0000
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: I'm a PC

this is an exciting time… wait, you know what? it’s always an exciting time. i am as excited and passionate about Microsoft as i was when we were Micro-soft. the goal never changes for us, so everyday seems like the first day, and the first day was really just about one thing: connecting people.
maybe this didn’t answer your question at all. but I wanted to say it anyway. i mean, this is an auto-response email. and i will try to answer a few of them, but they will all say the same exact thing…
this is an amazing company. and, yes, the future really is delicious.

September 17, 2008

How far would you go for your clients?

How about driving almost 3000 miles without a bathroom break?
That’s what two copywriters are going to do to promote Willie Nelson’s BioWillie brand of biodiesel.

Brian Pierce and Nik Bristow from Atlanta’s Fitzgerald+CO are going to follow the route of the Cannonball Run - without a single fuel stop.

Their record-setting trip will begin in Midtown Manhattan and end in Santa Monica. Well worth checking it out at

Or better yet, see them off at their kick-off party:
Monday, Sept. 22nd, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
XR Bar at 120 West Houston St. (corner of Houston & Sullivan)

If you show up dressed as Captain Chaos, I’ll buy you a beer.

September 16, 2008

For a good time, call... a brand?

Another ad that uses a real phone number.

Interesting concept, but the execution could be better. The answering machine message you get isn’t that funny and is only two minutes long. (I listened to the whole thing so you don’t have to.)
If this gum’s flavor only lasts that long, what’s the point? Why not make the voicemail go on and on for a ridiculously long time?

September 12, 2008

Why cover for a killer?

I don't really get the concept of showing fake magazine covers for a show about a serial killer, but they look cool.

September 10, 2008

Is this campaign the right prescription for boosting sales?

"Dr's orders" is a nice play. But my favorite line for Dr Pepper isn't from an actual ad:

This "Sorry, no house calls" out of order sign was originally posted here.
"The doctor is out" would also have been acceptable.

September 9, 2008

Best Stop Sign ever

Spotted in Austin, TX

I'm back, but it may take me awhile to catch up.