Tag Archives: tv

Accidental AutoTune Celebs – Antoine and the Bear

Antoine Dodson's YouTube rant has spawned a hit song as well as a Halloween costume.

The Rapist and the Rainbow

A funny thing happened at the most recent wedding reception I worked. The mother of the bride says to me (as the DJ), “Have you heard that song about that guy on YouTube who stopped the rapist?”

A song about the what…? I don’t think so.

“You know, about the intruder who snuck in and was trying to rape the guy’s sister in her bed?”

Hmm. No, I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.

Then there was the 13-year-old’s birthday party, where some kid wanted to hear the “Double Rainbow” song.

Is that a Skittles commercial? No? I don’t think I’ve heard that one either. Sorry, just not as hip as I used to be. (So much music, so little time.)

Lyrics by YouTube, Music by Gregory Bros.

“Bed Intruder” and “Double Rainbow” have a few things in common.

They’re both hit iTunes songs that were inspired by viral YouTube videos. Both have resulted in new commercial opportunities for their accidental stars. Continue reading

Up In Smoke: Vintage Cigarette Ads

"Do You Inhale?" never worked as a pick-up line for sea captains. But Lucky Strike wants you to think "how important it is to be certain your cigarette smoke is pure and clean."

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

Just for kicks (’cause kicks just keep getting harder to find), let’s return to those carefree days before smoking was banned from bars and beaches and the public airwaves. Back when LS/MFT stood for “Luck Strike Means Fine Tobacco” and ABC meant “Always Buy Chesterfields.”

Hard as it is to imagine now, cigarette advertising used to be everywhere. Thirty years ago, who would’ve imagined that vintage cigarette ads would become expensive collectibles? All manner of cigarette ads used to feature a galaxy of movie and sports stars (including a future president) puffing away, enjoying pure smoking satisfaction.

A whole series could be written on Leo Burnett’s iconic Marlboro campaign alone, but for now let’s just take a few puffs and savor a sampling of tobacco campaigns of yore. Alternately poignant and pathetic, cool and comical, they’re like a window back in time. Back when smoking was KOOL. Continue reading

RIP Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper, Reluctant Ad Pitchmen

A tale of two celebrity spokesmen.

Gary Coleman for CashCall: “No one else would lend me money, not even my relatives.” Funny or sad?

Some people think stars die in threes. If so, it’s often tough to figure out when to start and stop counting. Not this time.

The demise on consecutive days of Gary Coleman, 42, and Dennis Hopper, 74, has left many people expecting a third celebrity death is imminent. The two actors became stars at early ages, then ad pitchmen later in life.

Dennis Hopper looks up 'retirement' in a spot for Ameriprise. Would you take financial advice from an aging alcoholic anarchist?

Coincidentally, in their roles as celebrity endorsers both offered financial advice. But whether either star was effective as a corporate spokesperson is debatable.

Continue reading

The Most Interesting Campaign in the World?

“The Aztec calendar has his Cinco de Mayo party chiseled in.”

Break out the cerveza! What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with a good Mexican beer? That, and a good Mexican beer ad campaign.

Few advertising campaigns are universally loved. Because if there aren’t a few haters, it’s usually an indication your ads are not standing out enough. But I have yet to meet the person that doesn’t at least get a chuckle out of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign for Dos Equis. Hard to believe it’s been running since 2006.

People hang on his every word, even the prepositions. Continue reading

Why "Love Hate Advertising"?

Can you be both embarrassed and proud to be in advertising?

I think that’s what I am.

Here’s a quote I’ve sometimes used to justify my choice of career:

“If I were starting life over again, I am inclined to think that I would go into the advertising business in preference to almost any other. The general raising of standards of modern civilization among all groups of people during the past half-century would have been impossible without that spreading of the knowledge of higher standards by means of advertising.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR manages to make advertising sound almost noble and uplifting. Continue reading