Refuse A Lunch for Charity

The folks at Refuse A Lunch are asking people to turn down those expensive business lunches and give the money you would have spent to charity, specifically The Leukaemia Research Fund. They also have a blog with tips and other random related things.

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Surreal Painter

Cronin and Company have created a virtual painter and gallery for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT to promote their upcoming exhibit of surrealist painters, including Dali, Picasso, etc. The mini site let's you create your own surrealist piece of art which you can print out or post to the online gallery.

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Citroën looks for Happy Days with The Fonz

Citroën's about to break a new interactive tv spot out for their C3 model. The ads feature various characters from Happy Days with the Fonz driving around in the new C3 superimposed onto modern day settings and were made by Euro RSCG for OMD Fuse. Starting October 10th, the ads will run on satellite TV channels like Channel 4, E4, Five, ITV and Sky and viewers will be able to access extra Citroën C3 and Happy Days content.

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Cillit Bang stains their cult reputation with comment spam

Oh my, a handbook case of how you don't seed a brand on the web is Cillit Bangs latest gaffe. Tom Coates at plasticbag.org tells about the crass commercial message he received as comment spam to a heartfelt post he made about his feelings for his estranged father here: Cillit Bang and a new low for marketers.
Barry Scott, the cillit bang guy in the UK chirped in with a comment, just to be able to link his weblog, barryscott.blogs.com. How tacky. (I wonder if the Danish cillit bang guy, Jakob Holm has a blog as well).

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Is buzz illegal?

The International Word of Mouth Conference going on in Germany. And today, Adage.com ponders if buzz marketing illegal.

As marketers more frequently look to recruit consumers brand agents to spread goodwill for brands, industry attorneys view buzz marketing as a likely area of regulatory involvement, especially around the issue of compensating people to participate in buzz programs when they fail to disclose their connections to marketers and agencies. While there is no legal precedent specific to word-of-mouth marketing, there are Federal Trade Commission guidelines for ads that are likely to apply.
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Guinness noitulovE (Evolution)
 

New Guinness spot goes back through time

Last night a new Guinness spot broke on ITV1 in the UK. The commercial, a £1m blockbuster, was directed by Danny Kleinman and brings back the famous strapline "Good things come to those who wait."

The spot by AMV BBDO starts with three fellas having a pint in a pub and then the trio leave the pub and regress at lightspeed through billions of years of evolution all to a rendition of "Rhythm of Life" from the musical Sweet Charity.

"I wanted to give the sense of an amazing explosion of history and time and expanse of nature - continental plates shifting and volcanoes erupting and lakes becoming mountains and give a sense of that and tell a story of these three characters," Mr Kleinman says. Ultimately, the three morph into hapless mud-skippers, who lead a miserable life in a pond.

"You know what this creature drinks, this disgusting muck, and you are really pleased that you can get a Guinness, you are left feeling relieved that you are not a primordial creature in the mud," he said.

For this spot, £15m was spent on media for TV and in cinemas.

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Volvo: Now that we need you.

There was a time in America when you could tell what people's politics were just by looking at them. Long hair meant you were a Democrat. Wing-tip shoes, you were a Republican, and so on.

This even went as far as to what kind of car you drove. A Lincoln was most likely to have a Nixon sticker on the bumper. A Volkswagen bus, a peace sign. But a Volvo, a Volvo meant you cared. You wanted to clean up the environment, quit wasting natural resources, bring our troops home in an orderly fashion. You believed things should be built well and sold for the price that allowed the maker to make a profit, and the buyer to feel he or she had gotten a good value.

Volvo people cared about safety--a lot. Remember the Volvo ad with the stack of cars and the headline: "Are you in the market for a hardtop?" Straight forward, to the point, demonstrating instead of just promising.

It is simply amazing that, with millions and millions of two-ton bullets flying all over this country at 80 mph (oh, yes you do) that people, let alone automakers, don't talk about it more.

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Life outside work?

Just checked out something from IKEA in England. It's a pretty heartfelt idea that hits in a good way. Basically the idea is that if you buy IKEA kitchens you save money and can spend extra time out of the office and use your time on other things like family, hobbies and the such. The 30 second spot is well executed and the website has some interactives to get you going with all the spare time you get on your hands.
see the film and check the site out here

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No "squish" please we're British.

An ad encouraging men to get checked for prostate cancer, starring Ricky Gervais, comedian with a past as a new wave popstar now most famous for his role as David Brent in "The Office", has banned from radio waves before nine pm as it was too offensive.. A soundeffect has also been removed from the ad - a 'squish' noise - to santize the ad. Why? Well it's a touchy subject (pun intended) I guess. The sound effect is in the ad as Ricky who plays the doctor is inserting a finger to check the prostate.

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US uses Hollywood images to try to boost foreign tourism

In an effort to boost foreign tourism to the USA the American Federal government is starting a $6 million advertising campaign in the UK this year (and $10 million next year in the UK and Japan) to try to promote the country.

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