French ad authority bans e-bike commercial because it "discredits the automobile sector"

The Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) of France has banned the airing of a television commercial for VanMoof electric bikes. From a statement by VanMoof (Via Core77):

According to the ARPP, certain shots of the car's reflections "discredit the automobile sector [...] while creating a climate of anxiety." It is notable that the ARPP rejected what would have been one of the first bike ads on French TV, despite recently pledging to reinforce the sustainability aspects of their policies.

The [banning] decision comes at a time when the French car industry is in trouble, with sales plummeting due to COVID-19 and widespread economic decline on the horizon. In a bid to support the sector – responsible for almost a third of the country's greenhouse gas emissions – the government recently introduced a recovery plan worth €8 billion.

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"Clone Machine" to easily sneak away from a Zoom meeting

This is easily done yourself, but it was smart of Coors Light (and their creative agency) to create a one-click "Clone Machine" that captures and loops 30 seconds of video of you smiling and nodding along as if you're paying attention on a Zoom meeting. Read the rest

Every COVID-19 commercial is exactly the same

Youtuber Microsoft Sam saw something interesting.

I left the agency side of advertising over a decade ago because the creativity was smothering me. Read the rest

Ikea makes pizza table that looks like the little plastic table inside pizza boxes

Ad agency Ogilvy Hong Kong teamed up with Ikea and Pizza Hut to create a life-size table, the Säva, that looks just like the little plastic "tables" inside pizza boxes. (Those little tables are officially called "pizza savers.") From Hypebeast:

Each table arrives in a humorous package that resembles a pizza box and, like other products, comes with details on how to assemble the product. IKEA illustrates a step-by-step process on unpacking the different parts, assembling the legs, calling Pizza Hut, receiving the pizza and placing it on the perfectly-sized table.

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Burger King shows sandwich decaying to moldy slab of meat and bread in new ad

Burger King's switching to preservative-free ingredients, and chose to market this fact by showing what will now happen to its sandwiches if they are left out uneaten. Welcome to the intersection of advertising and earned media, puke bags are under the seats. Read the rest

McDonaldland commercial from 1970

I would like to have now whatever they served in McDonaldland in 1970, which clearly involved more than beef, bread and condiments.

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Yes, Sam Elliott recites "Old Town Road" in this very funny Super Bowl teaser commercial

Sam Elliott had the horses in the back with a wrangler on his booty before Lil Nas X was even in diapers.

(Adweek) Read the rest

Watch this fantastic coffee ad

How did Dad rescue those glasses? Read the rest

Strip club gave away tents with their logo to homeless people

In San Diego, California, strip club chain Deja Vu Showgirls distributed 150 tents to homeless people. The tents are emblazoned with the Deja Vu logo, natch. From 10News:

A picture of one of the tents was posted onto the “Homeless News San Diego” Facebook page and it received both praise and criticism. Some believed it was a form of shameless advertising. Others applauded the company for stepping up to help.

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Genius billboard advertising the new Dracula TV series

In this brilliant billboard for the new Dracula TV series, the 3D stakes create an ominous shadow. (And yes, there's an electric light in case the sun doesn't cooperate.)

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Billboard promises sedation

Driving near Pittsburgh, PA, my wife Heather noticed this excellent billboard featuring a woman saying "Scared of the dentist? No, I called and got SEDATED!". Read the rest

Japanese fabric softener commercial from 1988 is kawaii AF

In 1988, I worked in a toy store and quickly became annoyed by all the requests for the Snuggle bear. But this I can tolerate. For a moment anyway. Read the rest

This personal computer will never become obsolete

The Atari 800 was released in 1979. I wish I'd bought one at the time because apparently it will never become obsolete.

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

Video ad for temperature control mug would be a great parody, but it isn't

The video ad for this smart mug, for sale on Amazon, is either brilliant or an SNL parody.

I can not embed the video, you have to click to the Amazon product page to load it.

(Thanks, Jolie!)

**UPDATE** A kind reader found an embeddable copy, and it has subtitles!

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Amazing "extra virgin olive oil" labeling scam

MrConsumer specializes in spotting packaging tricks such as mouse print: small, low-contrast or otherwise obscured text designed to fool the consumer into thinking a product is something it is not. He spotted this very bland, normal looking bottle of olive oil available at Target. It's just olive oil, right? It says right there that it's extra virgin olive oil. Look closer, with a child's perfect eyes.

So how does this company get away with a label so seemingly deceptive? No one had gone after them — until last month. A New York law firm just filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that its label is violating the deceptive practice consumer protection laws of all 50 states.

Here's the class-action lawsuit filed against Iberia Foods, the company behind Sunflower Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is in conspicuous gold that is prominent to the eye. By contrast, the sunflower oil disclosure is in black typeset that b lends into the dark green background and will be readily missed once the more ostentatious olive oil disclosure catches the hurried shopper’s eye

In any case, much supermarket olive oil is reportedly fake even when it's "honestly" labeled.

I recommend Dehesa de la Sabina [Amazon], an award-winning olive oil sourced from a single-estate cooperative in Spain and not outrageously expensive. Read the rest

38-year-old Macaulay Culkin is Home Alone again in this fun ad

Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin, of course) is no longer a boy but has been left home alone again in the same house he was back in the early 1990s. The difference? This time the house is controlled by voice-activated devices so he's able to get stuff done without lifting a finger by talking to Google Assistant.

It's a cute advertisement but remember, ya filthy animal, that EFF has put "creepy, surveillant" devices like the ones featured in the video on the don't-buy list.

Personal side note: My awesome cousin James was the art director on this!

Thanks, Andy! Read the rest

Public watched opioid addict detox on big screens in Greenwich Village

The film above documents "Treatment Box," a one-day installation in New York City's Greenwich Village over the summer where passers-by could watch 26-year-old Rebekkah suffer through the horrors of painkiller and heroin withdrawal. Anti-addiction organization The Truth orchestrated the recording and public showing of Rebekkah's five-day experience that was edited into a single long-form video. After the detox, Rebekkah entered a treatment facility for treatment at no cost to her. From Ad Age:

The scenes of her shaky limbs, nausea, vomiting and insomnia played out on a three-dimensional installation at Astor Place in New York City in June. Passersby stopped to watch a life-size Rebekkah in her room, often huddled in bed, wracked with pain. Interspersed are short interviews where she explains that she was prescribed opioids when she was 14, after injuring her ankle during cheerleading practice. Addiction quickly followed, and two months later, she tried heroin. “I feel like I’m coming back from the dead,” she says on Day 3 of detox...

Before beginning the campaign, the organizations met with a medical ethicist to determine whether the project should move forward, and the treatment protocols were reviewed by Phoenix House, a national addiction treatment program.

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