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Live-Blogging Lost 4.1 January 31, 2008

Posted by Amy in Lost, TV.
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8:59 – First new Lost episode of the year! OMG awesome. I really couldn’t be more excited & not just because I am in serious writers’ strike-induced new episode withdrawal. However, I’ll be real, not only has it been a long time since this show’s been on, but I only sporadically watched it last year anyway. So this should be fun & informative, right?

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Ad Post: Nike: 35 Years of Greatness January 30, 2008

Posted by Amy in advertising, sports.
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So I thought the most important day of the year for advertising (although I’m starting to think we’re going to be disappointed again, based on some of the sneak peeks we’ve been seeing) coming up this weekend was a good excuse to put up a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Of all the commercials out there, there’s no brand whose spots I enjoy watching more than Nike. Perhaps you’ve seen their latest for their Jordan brand:

Air Jordan XXIII 1:00 spot
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Portland

As Nike advertising so often does, it takes something as simple as still photos & old footage, builds it up with powerful music & a powerful message & makes it inspiring. Nobody does it better.

So when I was looking for that spot, I got trapped in a YouTube timewaste watching other Nike commercials. Here are some of my favorites…what are yours?

See Lance Ride
There are no words in this poignant ad, just a lovely instrumental soundtrack & buffalo, bikers & young cancer patients, all drawn to Lance Armstrong as he rides through the countryside. This ad came out in the height of the Live Strong yellow bracelet craze, during the summer Armstrong rode to his historic sixth Tour de France win & I interned at the Lance Armstrong Foundation & read letters from people all over the world, drawn to him, just like in this spot.

Don’t Fence Me In
Just a fun, wonderful ad, what a shame it only ran in Canada. Love the inside joke with the octopus & the old men cheering when Naslund & Kovulchuk get back to the ice.


Let Your Game Speak
There’s a side-by-side version that really shows you just how exactly this was done. It’s ridiculous. But like so many Nike spots, it’s the music that makes it.

“A little bit of history being served up to us by Tiger Woods.”
A utterly whimsical spot takes video of six-year-old Tiger Woods playing golf and sliced it seemlessly into footage of the since-more-accomplished Woods’ play at the British Open. In the background, Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane of the The Faces sing, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger…”

Leave Nothing
Is there an ad that better depicts the spirit of football? At the end, right before the screen goes black, with Steven Jackson versus six guys, that last moment… that is all every fan wants of every athlete they root for.

“This guy can do anything!”
In terms of innovation, who but Nike would do this? Andre Agassi playing baseball, Marion Jones doing gymnastics, Brian Urlacker & Michael Vick playing hockey (“Two minutes for roughing for Vick & obviously not happy about it”) & Lance Armstrong boxing, tell me the last line doesn’t give you goosebumps.

Notes from the NHL All-Star Game January 27, 2008

Posted by Amy in sports.
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Just a few brief notes…

  • Stunningly, the game was actually—dare I say it?—pretty great. I mean, there was actual suspense. Solid goaltending despite the score. Lots of pretty goals. A big rally from the West. No decision until the final seconds. Good stuff.
  • What occurred to me was people might ask, what made this ASG different from all those horrible ASGs we’ve seen? Absolutely nothing. They didn’t do anything different. It just happened to be a good game. It’s a crap-shoot.
  • The anthems just made me so depressed. Who the F is Kathleen Edwards? She was wearing a t-shirt & literally looked like some college student they pulled off the street. But I checked & it turns out that she in fact a recording artist. And then came the American anthem… the Atlanta boys choir? Seriously, NHL? Seriously??
  • Again, I just have to say that apparently, I have seriously underestimated both Rick DiPietro‘s goaltending skills and his personality. He was a revelation this weekend. I’m going to stop ragging on him about his contract.
  • Isn’t it amazing how the mere presence of Gary Bettman can just suck the good will out of a room? It doesn’t matter how harmless a situation it is—it’s an All-Star Game, for goodness sake—Bettman shows up & the situation turns hostile.
  • PS: Could not believe him when the announcers asked him about the schedule change. “We have to take it slow?” Is he serious? “It would result in less divisional play…” Um, that’s what we WANT, you imbecile! You say that like not seeing LA & Phoenix every other game would be a bad thing. ARGH! And I simply don’t believe him when he says they’ve done research & the majority of people don’t feel strongly about changing the schedule so every team visits every other team. I literally think he made that up. I hate that guy so much, it actually hurts.
  • Anyway. Sorry, he gets me riled up. Besides Bettman, it was actually a pretty good show. Mike Ribeiro had some nice chances. I’m glad he had a good showing. Now it’s back to the real world…

Notes from NHL All-Star Saturday January 26, 2008

Posted by Amy in sports.
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Okay, so here’s what I don’t understand. You’re the NHL. Nobody cares about you except for me and like four other people. You insist on signing a three-year extension to continue wasting away in the sightless oblivion known as Versus instead doing what any league that really cared about reaching a wider audience would have done, which is crawl on hands and knees back to ESPN2 and beg them to squeeze you in around the Spelling Bee & drag racing.

Alright, so you say on Versus, you’re their top priority so you’ll be showcased more and get as much airtime as you want. But that hasn’t been the case at all. You’re still only showing games a couple of times a week. There’s no nightly highlight show in the vein of the great NHL2Night. And All-Star Weekend, an event specifically designed to showcase your biggest stars, receives the same limited coverage it always has.

What, do they need to keep the airways open for bass fishing and the rodeo?

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Live-Blogging Project Runway 4.9 January 23, 2008

Posted by Amy in Project Runway, TV.
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10:00 – Victorya & Sweet P are sad that Kit is gone. So am I. Over in the boys’ apartment, Ricky laments that every time he goes to judging, he’s told he’s not good enough. And yet, we still have to put up with his presence. Why is that?

10:03 – Christian chooses to stay with his model & thanks the model he eliminates “more than life.” Okay. I’m going to start thanking people like that from now on. “Did you get that report I sent you?” “Yes. Thank you more than life.”
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Everything JJ Abrams Touches Continues to Turn to Gold January 21, 2008

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Something totally improbable happened with JJ Abrams‘ latest endeavor…it completely lived up to a brilliant marketing campaign. I mean, here’s a monster movie, set in modern-day New York City, featuring a cast of unknowns, shown entirely from the perspective of a hand-cam. (I really want to hear what this sounded like pitched to the studio.) In grand JJ Abrams’ style–he of “Alias” & “Lost” & soon of “Star Trek” movie fame–it is promoted with one of the most memorable, most talked-about teaser trailers ever. Remember this?

Then, incredibly, “Cloverfield” turns out to be great. (more…)

Live-Blogging Project Runway 4.8 January 16, 2008

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10:00 – Previously on Project Runway, everyone except Kevin knows you ALWAYS listen to Tim Gunn. Bye, Kevin!

10:01 – Ricky says he’ll miss Kevin, but he’s glad it’s not him. And then he immediately bursts into tears. Okay, no he didn’t. (more…)

Ad Post: Jeep Liberty Pouring In January 13, 2008

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Jeep Liberty 1:00 spot
Agency: Cutwater

I don’t like, or remember, very many car ads, but I tend to really like the ones I do remember. (One of my favorites recently would be the Versa “Autoclaustrophobiaspots, which were brilliant.) I like that this ad is so unexpected…it doesn’t take itself too seriously & it’s so incredibly likable. I liked the “Have fun out there” tag when they ran that 66 Year Anniversary spot to death last year, but it fits even better here.

Jeep seems to have been around forever, but they still come off as a very youthful, fun brand. It’s easy to forget that Jeep was the sports utility vehicle before sports utility vehicles became gas-guzzling soccer mom accessories. Hope we see more from them soon, it’s nice to see entertaining car advertising again.

Live-Blogging Project Runway 4.7 January 9, 2008

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10:00 – Christian blow-dries his ridiculous hair. Victorya says that crazily enough, she misses Elisa. I know how you feel. That crazy, crazy girl kind of grew on me.

10:03 – Heidi says the challenge is to design for one of the most important days of a woman’s life…prom. (more…)

Ad Post: eBay Hail Mary January 8, 2008

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eBay :15 spot
Agency: BBDO New York

eBay & BBDO are managing to outdo even the brilliant “It” campaign of recent years with their new “Shop Victoriously” spots. Whether bidders are fighting for the Hail Mary pass for a vase, racing at the track for a radio, fox hunting for a thermos or ice-fishing for a guitar, these commercials are charming. And anyone who’s gone on eBay know the little adrenaline rush you get from bidding. It really is better when you win it.

It’s interesting that eBay has changed their messaging focus back to the auction function of the site. The “It” campaign was really all about finding whatever you could want on the site, but with the proliferation of online shopping sites like Amazon & Overstock.com, the auction aspect of eBay is really its differentiator. Thus the new campaign is selling the experience, rather than the product. Doing just a quick search about the new campaign, it seems to be getting mixed reactions. I wonder how it is translating in terms of traffic.