By David Kiefaber on Wed Apr 6 2011
A Times Square digital board that once advertised CBS's Two and a Half Men is now silently urging people to resist anti-Muslim hate speech (see below). The world turns in odd directions sometimes. The billboard's owner, Neutron Media, needed to fill the space after it was left vacant following Charlie Sheen's various public meltdowns, and offered it to the American Civil Liberties Union at a discount. "Charlie Sheen's loss is our gain," the ACLU writes on its blog. "ACLU: #Winning!" If only it had been an anti-drug message, now that would have been funny. But they should keep another one of these ads on deck in case Mel Gibson gets pulled over again.
Posted on Thu Aug 20 2009
CBS and Pepsi Max are embedding a video player in a print ad for the fall-TV-preview issue of Entertainment Weekly in September. That's right, it's a TV commercial inside a magazine. And it's a 40-minute commercial, consisting of clips from shows on CBS's fall schedule. They're calling it "the first-ever VIP (video-in-print) promotion." Opening the page pulls a little mechanism that causes the commercial to start after a five-second loading delay. Which gives you exactly enough time to think, "What the heck is with that tiny screen?" The video device is a quarter-inch thick and seen through a die cut that conceals a larger circuit board. The whole effect is considerably more impressive than the e-ink cover of Esquire last year. Of course, due to the high cost, only a small number of issues in New York and Los Angeles will carry the ad. As a stunt, it's extremely effective. As a new form of media, it's dead out of the water without some more interactivity. It's too bad it can't respond to its environment and work together with an out-of-home campaign. But the future is coming. This is just one small step for media technology, but one giant leap toward my dream of auto-updating periodicals that can respond to nearby ads.
Posted on Thu Jul 30 2009
Craig Ferguson seems to think so, judging by his opening rant on CBS's The Late Late Show last night. Wonder how it went over with the program's advertisers—you know, the folks who created the universe-destroying cult of the young and stupid in the first place. Via The Live Feed.
Posted on Tue Dec 2 2008
It's that time of year, when marketers roll out holiday ads in an apparent contest to see who can be the hokiest and most cloying and insult viewers' intelligence the most. This weekend, I came up with a few nominees for the worst holiday spot of the season.
Lexus | "A December to Remember"
What does it take to kill the "December to Remember" sales event? I've gone on record a couple of times about how objectionable the idea of giving luxury cars as Christmas gifts is. Even with the economy in a tailspin, Lexus isn't giving up on the concept. The annoying music is back, the stupid bow. One change: a schmaltzy parallel is drawn between wanting iconic gifts like Atari and Big Wheel as a kid and wanting a Lexus now that you're grown up and might have to work until you're 75.
Kay Jewelers | "Read My Lips"
Let me try to create the scenario. Guy and girl sit down to exchange gifts, guy nervous. Guy starts stammering to girl and signing. She's deaf. He's not good at signing. But he wants to be, see? And guess what, he got her a Bulova watch! (Why no Leo diamond, cheapskate?) Her response when he asks if she likes it: "Read my lips." Kiss. I guess it's laudatory of Kay Jewelers to recognize hearing-deaf relationships in the service of selling watches. So, why does it annoy me so much?
CBS Cares | "Hanukkah Prostate Exam"
In this "CBS Cares" PSA, a woman urges her female friends to think outside the box during Hanukkah. Golf clubs? Sweater? Nah, she suggests giving their guys something they'd never expect: an appointment for a prostate exam. Sure, there might be an awkward silence when he sees the gift, but it's worth it. Granted, it's a very worthy message. Still. What's the connection to Hanukkah? Is a prostate-exam gift certificate not a good Christmas gift?
Submit your own nominees, with YouTube links, in comments.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey