Thursday, December 31, 2009

Critic-Cal Short Attention Span Wins 2009 CNMA Award

For those who had seen the Critic-Cal Short Attention Span viral video, it was no surprise that this campaign walked off with an award for Best Branded Entertainment at the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards earlier this month.

Doug agency created a fictitious character, Critic-Cal, as a rapper -film-critic with a short attention span to humorously engage young audiences and encourage them to attend the short film festival which runs mid June in Toronto. As part of this campaign Critic-Cal created a music video about the pitfalls of full length Hollywood movies This viral video ran together with a social media build which saw profiles on Facebook and Twitter. Traditional media also ran to complete this campaign for the Canadian Film Center's Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Words cannot do this campaign justice, so watch below and marvel at the creativity that was used to pull this campaign together and read about the details of the campaign that made it a success.

Critic-Cal Short Attention Span Music Video

Details on Critic-Cal campaign

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Friday, November 13, 2009

UNITED BREAKS GUITARS Reaches Over 6 Million YouTube Views

Many people interested in public relations have been following the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS story which first unfolded four months ago when Dave Carroll, a solo singer-song- and member of the then relatively unknown group, Sons of Maxwell, uploaded his song UNITED BREAKS GUITARS to YouTube, describing his on-going, year-long saga with United Airlines which refused to compensate him for the $1,200 damage it inflicted on his Taylor guitar worth $3,200, The song, UNITED BREAKS GUITARS, instantly garnered attention on YouTube, going viral on the Internet to the tune of over 6 million views between July 6th 2009 when it was first uploaded, until today November 13, 2009, where it still inflicts negative publicity on United Airlines who have done very little to deflect this negative publicity.

News coverage of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS was extensive following Dave Carroll’s video-upload to YouTube. The story was covered around the world by media giants such as CNN, BBC, and the CBC, by influential Internet blogs such as the Huffington Post and Mashable, and by reputable newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. The coverage slowly died down after a few weeks, increasing yet again with the upload to YouTube of the second song in the trilogy of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS that was promised by Dave Carroll to his supporters,

Since then, while YouTube views of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS continue to climb, the first song having reached over 6 million views, publicity has changed direction, moving into customer service speaking engagements. Dave Carroll has appeared at a number of events including Washington’s congressional hearings on passenger rights. One of his latest engagements was at a Customer Service and Social Networking conference in Colorado Springs where ironically, traveling yet again on United Airlines, his luggage was lost, taking an unfortunate detour via Calgary and Dallas-Fort Worth before it was found and re-routed to its correct destination. Once again, negative publicity swirled around United Airlines and YouTube views of the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS songs climbed to reach over 6 million views.

All in all, these episodes have catapulted Dave Carroll’s music to popularity. His websites have increased from 40-50 hits per week to over 50,000 after the first few weeks of the upload, to over 250,000 during the height of his publicity. Sales of his music have consequently increased from 1-2 songs per day to hundreds of songs per week with UNITED BREAKS GUITARS reaching popularity on iTunes in Canada and the UK during the summer months. Dave Carroll even starred in a recent TV commercial supporting local Canadian TV stations in their David and Goliath battle against giant cable companies,

Below you can watch the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS YouTube songs 1 and 2. You can read more on the public relations aspect of this incident at To see the final song #3 visit



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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Robin Hood Flour Creates Baking Experiences for the 21st century

Robin Hood flour is one of those iconic Canadian brands associated with caring family traditions and old fashioned goodness. Picture a scene of a young child baking with its mother, smiles all around, and there you have it, the Robin Hood flour brand and all that it represents, even 100 years after it first hatched on the Canadian Landscape in 1909 in Saskatchewan. The Robin Hood flour brand of the 21st century has managed to capture its heritage and old-fashioned goodness by creating contemporary baking experiences that help people bake with ease and confidence. They have crafted a website at that would be splattered with batter from frequent use if it was hard-cover, and its most recent venture lies in the creation of pop-up stores, BAKE BATTER & ROLL, that help create baking experiences for the 21st century consumer. Visitors to these stores can decorate cookies and cupcakes to their hearts’ desire, bake the goodies at the Toronto location, and call on helpful assistants who may be needed to help create that memorable baking experience.

Robin Hood flour has its origins in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan where its flour mill dotted the Prairie landscape and from where many of its first employees originated. There it created that top quality flour which is recognized by Canadians by its deep rich yellow bag with the Robin Hood archer, and remembered  for helping to create traditional baking experiences. Until recent decades, Robin Hood employees that could trace their careers back to those Prairie origins were fondly referred to by others as the Moose Jaw Mafia, a tight knit group of loyal people who helped nurture this iconic Canadian brand into what it is today. Not long ago, those long serving Robin Hood employees could nostalgically recollect the times during the war when residents of Atlantic Canada would collect the white Robin Hood woven flour bags, sold in the province at that time, to make curtains during hard times. Today the familiar rich yellow, bag stamped with the Robin Hood archer, still represents that top quality flour you can trust, but it also stands for a brand that understands how it can help create baking experiences that resonate with the 21st century consumer who multi-tasks and may not have the luxury of time to bake.

So how does a brand maintain its high quality standing in a market that has become increasingly commoditized and marginalized? No easy task, particularly when the category is low profile and not growing in relevancy. Despite the challenges, Robin Hood Flour today continues to remind us that it is the King of Flours and relevant to 21st century consumers. In the past few years with the help of Ogilvy & Mather, Robin Hood flour has managed to create advertisements, websites, direct mail pieces, and targeted retail programs that  break through the clutter of invisible communications with memorable messages that resonate.

Their website at is a delightful example, a destination where bakers become immersed in an abundance of recipes and everything “baking”. The revamped website is a very welcome addition to this brand whose first foray into a companion brand website was a short step away from very little. Today, recognizing the needs of 21st century consumers, Robin Hood flour has created a website that uses social media to connect with consumers and does not shy away from using video to make their recipes even easier to use. Consumers can join the site to swap recipes, vote on polls, join a forum, rate the recipes, add comments to the recipes, and save them to a personal recipe box.  Time sensitive promotions and featured videos give the site a fresh feel which results in a website that encourages visitors to surf, sign-up and indulge in recipes and treats that can be found just beneath the surface.

Robin Hood flour’s latest venture that helps create baking experiences for the 21st century consumer is found in the form of pop-up stores, BAKE, BATTER & ROLL, mini-bakeshops set up for a short period of time, scattered around Canada. These stores are cheerfully decorated with baked treats and centered around a giant pink rolling-pin-shaped table where people can bake, (Toronto only), and decorate cookies and cupcakes, (all stores). Cleverly, Robin Hood has recreated an environment where families and friends can connect by having fun baking home-made goodies ... 21st century-style! Here, if needed, friendly assistants help steer the task at hand, immersing visitors in the Robin Hood experience of treasured memories and baked goodies that can be taken home and enjoyed. These pop-up stores can be found in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Richmond B.C., with an online version at http:/ The Toronto store is located at 1034 Eglinton Avenue West and will be open in November on weekdays from 4.30 pm – 8.30 pm and 9 am - 5 pm on weekends. Visitors must pre-register at and may need to go on a waiting list. In western Canada,  BAKE, BATTER & ROLL pop-up stores will briefly appear at the West Edmonton Mall on November 7th and 8th, Cross Iron Mills in Calgary on November 14th and 15th, and B.C.'s Richmond Centre on November 21st and 22nd.

Click below to visit the Robin Hood flour website, to view their current TV campaign featuring the charming Elizabeth and Andrew, and for perspective, to view a nostalgic Robin Hood flour ad from 1980.

Robin Hood Flour website

Robin Hood Flour’s Current TV Campaign

Robin Hood Flour's Elizabeth and Andrew animated campaign

Robin Hood Flour’s 1980 Commercial

Bake shop image is credited to Stacey and Mark at Tasting Toronto

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marketing that Makes a Difference - Childhood Cancer Foundation 2009 Fundraiser

STAYIN' ALIVE is the Childhood Cancer Foundation's annual fundraiser created to help raise funds for their cause. This is one of those meaningful marketing campaigns that run under the radar, working on small budgets and the sheer elbow grease of dedicated individuals who make a significant difference to people’s lives. The Childhood Cancer Foundation runs such campaigns out of a small office in Toronto manned by four individuals. The foundation helps support children afflicted with cancer and their families. They produce brochures and educational kits for these families and run fundraising initiatives which provide funding for childhood cancer research. While you and I may be relaxing on the weekend, putting up our feet in front of the TV, Mary Lye, their Director of Marketing and Communications, can be found personally spearheading their community-based, local fundraisers, whether this is at a local mall, at a Marlies’ hockey game, or at the University of Ottawa’s Shave for the Cure fundraiser ..... Creative to the core, Mary also drives their new online initiatives that see teenagers with cancer being able to communicate and connect with each other through a private social network found on the CCFC website at

(Click to enlarge image)

The Childhood Cancer Foundation relies heavily on their annual October fundraiser, STAYIN’ALIVE to support their programs. This year, on October 29, 2009 the STAYIN’ ALIVE gala will transform the Palais Royale in Toronto into an upbeat social event. The sounds of live Cuban music will have supporters tapping their toes to Latin rhythms, sharing conversations over exotic dishes, and exchanging quips while considering bids on silent auction items.

For those unable to attend this wonderful gala-event, contributions are warmly accepted online at

Tickets for STAYIN’ALIVE can be purchased at The event also includes a silent auction where participants can bid on an opportunity to skate with the Marlies, Toronto’s junior A hockey team, or bid on a personal portrait created by portraitist, children’s book illustrator, musician, and Jazz FM show host Laura Fernandez, or Toronto Raptors’ tickets, just to name a few items in their silent auction!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Twitter Fundraiser Engages Drew Carey to donate $1 Million to Cancer

Combine the power of Twitter with the cache of celebrity endorsement and you have a powerful fundraiser ready to roll. Comedian Drew Carey, and the host of CBS’ The Price is Right has put his celebrity name to work, using his ability to drum up publicity to draw attention to an individual’s personal fundraiser. After seeing an @ message through Twitter, Carey was alerted to the fact that cancer afflicted Drew Olanoff was auctioning off the name @drew as a fundraiser for LiveStrong, a cancer research foundation started by the cyclist Lance Armstrong. Drew Carey initially bid $25,000, increasing the amount to $100,000 if he managed to reach 100,000 followers on his Twitter account. A few days later, on a live broadcast of a CBS morning show, (host station of The Price is Right), Drew Carey exponentially increased the amount to $1 million if he managed to reach 1 million followers on his twitter account by December 31, 2009, thus demonstrating the power of social media to spread the word. Drew Carey also offered to pro-rate his donation if a lesser number of followers was reached.

The result? Drew Carey’s Twitter followers increased from 13,000 on October 3 when he first put in his bid for the @drew Twitter name, to 50,000 on October 7, after the CBS broadcast. By October 16, his Twitter followers had reached 99,473 and counting...!

Drew Olanoff, a 29 year old blogger and avid social media user from LA has been fighting Hodgkin's disease since May 2009 and turned to the power of social media to help him through his illness and raise funds for cancer research. Blogs, Tweets, and websites have given him a sense of support and community, while his, “Blame Drew's Cancer” campaign provides a sense of purpose and meaning.

You can find Drew Olanoff at @drew and @BlameDrewsCancer on Twitter. You can also follow his campaign’s progress on the campaign website at where people are invited to blame the small and not so small things that go wrong in their lives on Drew’s cancer. People are invited to tweet their woes on Twitter with the hashtag #blameDrewsCancer. Well intended tweets use humour to cheer on Drew Olanoff is his battle with cancer. The tweets intentionally range from the sublime to the ridiculous and come from friends, from people unknown, and from well known celebrities. Actress Alyssa Milano BlamesDrewsCancer for the Dodgers losing their game, while a_inawindstorm BlamesDrewsCancer for a car needing new tires. To date, almost 14,000 people have blamed over 33,000 things on Drew’s cancer.

The, “Blame Drew's Cancer” campaign is also using the power of YouTube to spread Drew Olanoff’s social media campaign to his friends, supporters, and well wishers. Friend and music artist Paul Dateh wrote the song, “Blame Drew's Cancer,” weaving it into a music video that encourages viewers to add their name to the cause. You can watch this musical message and tribute at and add your support by tweeting your woes at

You can join Drew Olanoff’s fundraiser by following @DrewFromTV on Drew Carey’s Twitter account at Each follower will result in a $1 donation from Drew Carey to the LiveStrong foundation, (up to a maximum of $1 million). Details can be found at and Drew Carey’s personal blog at

Below you can watch the Drew Carey’s CBS interview where he announces his $1 million pledge, a CNN Skype interview between Drew Carey and Drew Olanoff, and listen to Paul Dateh’s YouTube music video tribute to his friend.

CBS Interview with Drew Carey

Watch CBS News Videos Online

CNN Skype interview with Drew Olanof and Drew Carey


Paul Dateh’s YouTube song, “Blame Drew's Cancer”

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Have you met SALTY from Unilever’s Knorr Sidekicks?

It isn’t often that a sodium reduced product gets attention, but this initiative from Unilever’s Knorr Sidekicks manages to take a humdrum food item and give it a cute emotional twist that makes even the most cynical viewer smile. Introduced in late August with an integrated marketing communications program that uses magazine ads, TV spots, and a microsite, consumers are introduced to SALTY in a TV spot that drives the campaign. In an effort to meet consumers’ demand for healthier food choices, Knorr Sidekicks have introduced low sodium versions of over 20 items in their Sidekicks’ line, essentially replacing them with a lower salt version of the original. Now items such as rice with Cheddar and Broccoli, Scalloped Potatoes, and Butter & Herb Pasta come with 25% less sodium.

The TV ad, SALTY, uses animation and live action, centered over a sound track of Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” to engage the viewer in the spot. Alone, many may tout these elements as ordinary, soppy, or even annoying, but they manage to cleverly work together in this spot, making one hope that the animated character SALTY, may surface in another spot for the product ... maybe even become an emblem for other Knorr salt-reduced products.

Initially, Unilever were undecided as to whether SALTY would become a mascot, inevitably waiting to see how this little soul fares in the world of commercial clutter and consumer feedback! I’m rooting for SALTY, a visual hybrid of sorts between a Fisher-Price/Play Mobile/Charlie Brown type figure, (definite Mom appeal here), complete with cliché story-book emotions that see him dejectedly crying in the rain, taking shelter near abandoned beer bottles in lonely back alleys – yes, definitely reading too much into the ad, but rather hoping that SALTY comes back – who knows where the story might lead? And to think that we are talking about a salt shaker! Clearly, the character is able, in a few short seconds, to create emotional links between the brand and the viewer.

The microsite at, is fully integrated into the campaign, showing SALTY in the opening screen and humourously using a short slide-show of snap shots to take one down SALTY’S memory lane. In addition, the microsite provides recipes, dinner planners, time savers, tips on healthier eating, and product information. It also allows consumers to sign up for monthly newsletters which provide recipes and tips, thus providing the Knorr Sidekicks’ brand with a database of consumers to which they can market directly.

Below you can see the SALTY commercial for Knorr Sidekicks and the making of the SALTY ad which cleverly demonstrates the intricacies that go into a spot that intertwines animation with live action footage. SALTY'S character development, design, and digital modeling was crafted by Bigshot Toyworks, the animation created by Sons & Daughters, and the spot directed by David Hicks for ad agency DDB Canada.

“Salty” for Sidekicks

The Making of “Salty” for Knorr Sidekicks

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cadbury Eyebrows Campaign with a Canadian Twist (October 15, 2009 update)

The fun Cadbury Eyebrows campaign from the UK is now officially in Canada with an added twist that makes it uniquely Canadian! “Have you found the Eyebrow Language decoder on yet?” This starts the latest Canadian Tweet for @DairyMilkCanada on Twitter. Already enjoying over 735 followers, (October 15, 2009) Cadbury Dairy Milk is Tweeting about their fun new EYEBROWS campaign which originated earlier this year in the UK, and is currently unfolding in Canada with a set of unique creative elements that is getting a buzz. Some people love the campaign while others wonder about its relevancy to chocolate! For the sceptics, the connection is made clear by Cadbury, irreverently poking fun at itself on its YouTube channel, stating that the ad is, “Yet another feat of ridiculousness and joy,” a feat that gets attention, starts conversations, and creates memorable engagement with a product that too is fun. This Cadbury Eyebrows ad is linked below, (

The Canadian Cadbury Eyebrows campaign engages chocolate lovers with TV spots, billboard ads, transit ads, and commuter newspaper ads. It also interacts with Canadian consumers through the social media they use. Twitter, (@DairyMilkCanada), directs followers to YouTube mash-ups and a microsite. Its Canadian Facebook Dairy Milk Eyebrows page, (, entices people to become fans and win chocolate for a year. Its YouTube channel, (, provides a forum for video responses, comments, video ratings, and viewings. The Eyebrows ad currently boasts 4,855,072 views on YouTube, 12,892 comments, and 123 video responses from around the world – all creating a buzz for their chocolate, (October 15, 2009).

Below you can see a video response/spoof that is posted on the Cadbury Glass and a Half Full YouTube channel,

Also unique to Canada is the billboard, transit, and commuter daily newspaper campaign, EYEBROW LANGUAGE, which you can see in Toronto and Vancouver. This part of the Eyebrows campaign teases consumers with ...     “Wheel of Fortune / hangman-type” ads that ask people to decipher the message by going to the Cadbury Dairy Milk microsite at Here a language decoder is provided together with other fun elements such as a downloadable ringtone from the commercial's song, "Don’t Stop the Rock," by Freestyle.

The daily commuter newspaper ads are designed with the characteristics of the media in mind. Ads run in the daily commuter newspapers Metro and 24 Hours in Toronto and Vancouver over a 4 week period. The headlines are written in “Eyebrow Language” and ask the readers to decipher the message. Cleverly, the first ad of the week brings attention to the campaign, the second ad of the week engages the reader with an opportunity to win a prize, and the third ad of the week provides information on the contest-event which occurred the previous day! Ads that took place early in the campaign in Toronto had decoders go to a local mall at a specific time, twirl, clap three times, and yell chocolate to win a prize. Video clips and photos of these mini-events are being uploaded to the microsite for this campaign.

You can enjoy mash-ups of the Cadbury Eyebrows Campaign at

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Monday, October 5, 2009

War Child Canada has Toronto Busking for Change!

For the second year in a row the streets of Toronto were flooded with musicians as top music artists and less well known musicians busked for change on September 29, 2009 to raise money and increase awareness for War Child Canada. Busking for Change successfully raised money for War Child Canada on the streets of Toronto and Calgary with over $100,000 being raised in 2009, over double the amount raised in 2008! War Child Canada is a young charity, (founded in 1999), that provides humanitarian assistance to children afflicted by war. The charity has well known associations with the music industry and uses social media to spread the world and garner support from individuals. It communicates through its YouTube channel,, and its website at In addition, it uses Facebook to communicate to "fans,", MySpace to post music tracks from its fundraising albums,, and Twitter to spread the word on fundraisers and cause-related issues. War Child Canada has been recognised over the years for its inventive and creative marketing approaches that yield results.

Busking for Change was pioneered three years ago by Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and three years later approximately 50 recording artists busked for change for War Child Canada on the streets of Toronto, a similar event taking place later in the week in Calgary. Chantal Kreviazuk, who lends her name to a number of charitable causes, and is married to Raine Maida, led the way at First Canadian Place, determined to raise $30,000 for War Child Canada and specifically for a Darfur youth centre. Other musicians such as Sass Jordan, Shiloh, Brian Melo, Never Ending White Lights, ill Scarlett, and USS, just to name a few, could also be found Busking for Change and wooing pedestrians to part with their change for War Child Canada. One could also donate online to this cause at

War Child Canada has a well known association with the music world. Earlier this year singer song-writer Liam Titcomb spearheaded a two month summer fundraiser, traveling across Canada to raise money for the cause – his inspiration, involvement in Busking for Change last year in Toronto and seeing the generosity of the human spirit.

War Child Canada recognises the power of music and the ability of well known recording artists to rally people around their cause. They released three albums over the last few years, benefit compilations, with contributions from celebrated music artists such as McCartney, Radiohead, and Our Lady Peace. The latest album, HEROES, released in Canada in March 2009, included 16 cover songs selected by top musicians from their music repertoire. Each musician designated a more recent artist of their choice to record their song selection for the War Child fundraiser. The album was released in the UK, the US, and Canada. Music icons that lent their support to the War Child fundraiser are Bob Dylan, Roxy Music, The Clash, Paul McCartney, U2, David Bowie, Joy Division, The Kinks, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, Blondie, and Leonard Cohen. You can hear clips from the War Child HEROES album on MySpace at Further details on War Child Canada’s marketing efforts can be found at .

Below you can see War Child Canada's promotional piece for Busking for Change, a video clip on the event from the Torontoist, and a fundraising piece for War Child Canada from Chantal Kreviazuk.

Busking for Change promotional piece from War Child Canada

Torontoist video clip from Busking for Change

Busking for Change initiative for War Child Canada from Chantal Kreviazuk

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Coldplay STRAWBERRY SWING Music Video Gets Attention

Despite negative publicity over the years, music videos have often led the charge in using creativity to reach out and market their wares to interested buyers – after all, aren’t music videos a form of advertising for the music industry? Coldplay’s STRAWBERRY SWING music video is as an example of a new music video that gets attention through the creativity it uses to weave a story and entertain.

Coldplay is a band that has used interesting approaches in their music videos over the last few months to encourage people to listen to their music, purchase it in one form or another, and attend their concerts. Their last two music videos, single releases from their album Viva La Vida, have used creativity to get attention; their February 2009 music video release for LIFE IN TECHNICOLOR ii, unexpectedly rendered the band members as puppets, and their latest single release and music video for STRAWBERRY SWING, uses the stop-motion animation technique being seen more and more frequently in videos/ads/short film renderings. This stop-motion animation technique was successfully used by Olympus cameras in their July 2009 PEN Story advertising campaign where a viral three minute ad video was created by shooting 60,000 photos, developing 9,600 prints, and then re-shooting over 1,800 images to get just the right shots. This visual story was told over a catchy tune, “Down Below” by Johannes Stankowski, produced and arranged by Michael Kadelbach, (

Coldplay’s STRAWBERRY SWING music video also uses stop-motion animation. This music video, released at the end of July 2009, coincides with the planned digital release of the STRAWBERRY SWING single on September 14, 2009. The STRAWBERRY SWING music video uses a stop-motion animation chalk rendering technique to portray their front man, band member Chris Martin, as a super hero fighting with a giant squirrel to save a female hostage. As you watch this music video you will marvel at its creativity and wonder how it was actually put together in a manner that gets attention and encourages you to listen to the story. This STRAWBERRY SWING music video is worth watching for is creativity and usage of different media to engage the viewer into listening to the story, relayed through the music’s haunting melody – quite beautiful!

The STRAWBERRY SWING song was written by Berryman, Buckland, Champion, and Martin. The video was directed by the art collective Shynola.

From a marketing perspective the STRAWBERRY SWING music video has been uploaded to YouTube, is available on the Coldplay website (, and has been discussed on music sites where free downloads of the STRAWBERRY SWING ringtone are available. The STRAWBERRY SWING music video has been given extra traction in the UK through media buys in July/August 2009 at Odeon cinemas where the STRAWBERRY SWING music video airs prior to the movies BRUNO, and THE PROPOSAL. Let’s not forget that the Viva La Vida album is front and centre of Coldplay’s current concert tour.

Below you can see the STRAWBERRY SWING music video and the PEN Story three minute stop-motion animation ad video.

Coldplay STRAWBERRY SWING music video (Viva La Vida album)

Olympus Viral Ad Video, The PEN Story

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Soccer star Kaká featured in Sony BRAVIA'S Motionflow campaign

FIFA’s World Player of the Year, Kaká, the Brazilian soccer star who plays for Real Madrid, is the focus of Sony BRAVIA’S new Motionflow advertising campaign for 2009, competing directly with Phillip's "Carousel" online campaign, ( The UK advertising agency responsible for this unusual and creative campaign is Fallon Worldwide, the agency which in 2005 introduced the Sony BRAVIA advertising premise, COLOUR LIKE NO OTHER. This memorable platform is heralded by a trilogy of "larger-than-life" spots that have surprised and entertained viewers over the last 4 years with captivating sound-tracks and imaginative portrayals of colour. This trilogy of ads; “Paint,” “Balls,” and “Play-doh” got attention with an over abundance of paint, bouncing balls, and colourful bunnies which communicated the vivid colour spectrum visible through Sony BRAVIA’S high definition LCD TV sets.

Fallon’s latest campaign for Sony BRAVIA moves away from this COLOUR LIKE NO OTHER platform, focusing instead on the smoothness of motion that Sony BRAVIA’S new Motionflow 240Hz TV technology provides. (Motionflow technology provides the viewer with 200 frames per second, delivering an extremely smooth viewing experience.) The “larger-than-life” premise from the previous BRAVIA campaigns still remains, almost as a Sony BRAVIA signature trademark, but this time it is diverted into the creation of a technological marvel as the centerpiece of their spot - a modern-day zoetrope. A zoetrope is a contraption that harkens back to 19th century film technology. It works by rapidly moving successive static images to give the perception of movement.

Fallon’s mission for the Motionflow campaign was to build a “larger-than-life,” fully functioning zoetrope and use it to demonstrate Sony BRAVIA’s Motionflow technology. They did just this, creating in northern Italy a BRAVIA-drome (zoetrope), a large donut-type (room-size)carousel of sorts, as the centre piece of their set for the 2009 advertising campaign. The campaign featured celebrity Brazilian soccer star and FIFA’s World Player of the Year, Kaká. Once the BRAVIA-drome was built, the commercial shoot took place, complete with the zoetrope and sixty-four static images of Kaká controlling the soccer ball in amazing ways. The shoot comprised of crowds of people, including Kaká, watching as the BRAVIA-drome containing his static images started to spin. As the BRAVIA-drome spun and gathered momentum, the static images of Kaká intermittently appeared to be moving until a speed of 44 km/hr was reached. At this speed the static images of Kaká seamless and smoothly flowed, moving sequentially as if on film to display the soccer player’s incredible ball control. This action all comes together in the final edits of the spot which uses the song UNDERDOG by Kasabian to give it that added edge.

The music for the campaign can be accessed through the Sony BRAVIA microsite for this campaign, which also includes the Motionflow Kaká ad, information on the TV, interactive visuals of Kaká, behind the scenes footage, and information on the idea behind the campaign. The campaign also includes a BRAVIA in Motion YouTube channel where additional footage can be seen,

The Motionflow campaign first aired in Australia and is now moving into the European markets, and will be rolled out into other countries as appropriate. The campaign also includes print, internet, viral, and in-store materials.

A few interesting facts from these “larger than life” Sony BRAVIA campaigns:

• The BRAVIA-drome weighs 10 tonnes and is 15 meters in diameter. It is also collapsible and can be easily dismantled and assembled at other locations.
• The BALLS spot was filmed using 250,000 balls being thrown down the streets of San Francisco. It uses the song “Heartbeats,” from Jose Gonzales’ Veneer album.
• The PAINT commercial used 70,000 litres of environmentally friendly paint. The music is from the “Overture to The Thieving Magpie,” by Gioachino Rossini.
• The PLAY-DOH spot was filmed in New York City. It uses the soundtrack “She's a Rainbow,” by the Rolling Stones.

You can see the Sony Motionflow spot below as well as the “making of” the spot, and the trilogy of the COLOUR LIKE NO OTHER spots from the previous 3 years; “Paint,” “Balls,” and “Play-doh.”

Sony BRAVIA Motionflow Kaká's ad

The making of the BRAVIA Motionflow ad with Kaká

Sony BRAVIA, BALLS (2005)

Sony BRAVIA, PAINT (2006)

Sony BRAVIA, PLAY-DOH (2007)

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Caramilk Secret, Still Wondering Campaign?

After numerous requests, this blog post looks at the current Canadian advertising campaign for Cadbury’s Caramilk chocolate bars which revives their Caramilk SECRET campaign from many years ago. “How do they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar?” This is the light hearted theme of the 2009 Caramilk summer advertising campaign, STILL WONDERING, which picks up on a communications platform that has run intermittently for over 35 years.

The Caramilk SECRET campaign was made popular over the years, originating back to 1968, when the first Caramilk SECRET ad launched showing a person drilling a hole in the Caramilk chocolate bar prompting the question, “How do they get the Caramilk inside the Caramilk bar?” Probably one of the most famous TV spots was the Cannes and Clio award winning MONA LISA commercial from 1973 where the Mona Lisa smile was attributed to her secretly eating a piece of Caramilk chocolate while Leonardo da Vinci was trying to figure out the Caramilk secret.

After numerous ads over the years that followed the Caramilk SECRET platform, and a diversion over the last 5 years to focus on the eating experience, Caramilk had gone back to its roots and launched another SECRET campaign, STILL WONDERING, which begs the question, “How do they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar?” This campaign is rather unusual in its whimsical approach and has been met with mixed reviews. Many people enjoy its eccentric qualities, while others have questioned, “What were they thinking?” Nonetheless, when one looks at the campaign in context of the light hearted approach of previous Caramilk SECRET campaigns and the type of humour used, it falls into place quite nicely. Of course, the issue that currently exists is that awareness levels of previous Caramilk SECRET campaigns remains relatively low after a lengthy hiatus. This issue will be remedied over time through consistent messaging and strong media weights which will give the campaign additional traction.

The STILL WONDERING campaign, created by Saatchi and Saatchi New York, includes TV spots, on-line components, print ads, a microsite, and audio boards on the Toronto subway system. At the end of June, 2009, 50 innovative interactive audio boards were put on the Toronto subway system allowing listeners to plug their earphones into various spots on a Caramilk STILL WONDERING ad to listen to an assortment of quirky voices, unusual accents, strange sounds, and foreign languages, all intentionally incoherent in their explanation on how the caramel gets inside the Caramilk bar. There are six selections on the ad (see above); a five year old boy, a Cockney man, a Xhosa tribesman, a whale, a fax machine, and a speed reader! These Caramilk STILL WONDERING audio options can also be seen and heard on videos posted on the campaign’s microsite at People that have listened to the audio transit ad seem rather amused, perhaps a little confused, but have nonetheless enjoyed it enough to spread the word to others, encouraging them to also listen to the ad.

The TV component of this campaign MODERN DANCE is currently playing at heavy weights, using an interpretive dance, a Cirque du Soleil type spoof, to explain the secret of how the caramel gets inside the Caramilk bar. Some have called the spot bizarre while others have enjoyed its quirkiness. MODERN DANCE is certainly unusual and uses a catchy sound track reminiscent of melodic, Peruvian folk music to engage viewers. The music track, called Cachapaya from the Swingle Singers, is originally from the British-South American band Incantation.

Below you can appreciate the Caramilk SECRET platform by listening to a short interview with Cadbury’s on their Caramilk brand and see segments of their original 1968 ad. You can also see the famous Mona Lisa ad from 1973, followed by two further spots in the SECRET platform. Their current STILL WONDERING campaign for Caramilk follows, including their interpretive MODERN DANCE spot and website executions for COCKNEY, XHOSA, and 5 YEAR OLD. The STILL WONDERING microsite is at By the way, Cadbury tell us the Caramilk secret is still safely under lock and key in their vault!

Cadbury Interview with Watch

Caramilk Mona Lisa Spot, 1973

Cadbury Caramilk Spot, 1986

Cadbury Caramilk Factory Spot

Cadbury Caramilk Modern Dance Spot, 2009

Cadbury Caramilk Secret Revealed in Cockney, 2009

Cadbury Caramilk Secret, Revealed in Xhosa, 2009

Cadbury Caramilk - 5 Year Old, 2009

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cadbury GOO ON THE LOOSE Campaign Announces Social Media Winner

As part of their UK new product launch for Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted, a year round version of the Cadbury Creme Egg, Cadbury in the UK just announced the winner of their social media campaign devised to spread the word of their gooey new product and create a buzz in the market. The GOO ON THE LOOSE campaign created by CMW London used traditional media such as TV ads, but also used social media to spread the word in a way not seen before. The social media elements included a microsite created specifically for the promotion, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and the use of YouTube for their viral TV spots. (See examples at The social media campaign ran from mid May to mid July and started with press kits being sent out to bloggers to encourage them to write about the campaign. A challenge was then let loose to young adults over the age of 18 to become super agents in the quest to find the missing Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted bars. The agent who most successfully created a buzz in the market would win the grand prize.

The social media campaign used Twitter to send out clues on the whereabouts of the missing Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted bars, with prospective agents vying to become one of the selected top 10 super agents who would then compete for the grand prize of £20.000. Once the top 10 agents were selected, they were each given a video camera with which to film their quest for the missing Twisted bars. They were challenged to spread the word of their feats and the Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted campaign through social media outlets such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, YouTube, Flikr, and MySpace etc. The winning agent would be selected based on creativity, social networking skills, the lengths gone to spread the word, and finally the buzz created.

Cadbury just announced the name of their top super agent, and winner of the £20.000 grand prize, Dean Stokes, who not only managed to get the Cadbury campaign talked about on the top rated Mashable blog, but also created numerous humorous viral videos of himself uploaded to YouTube. Dean Stokes could be seen gently spoofing the secret agent campaign with police outside Downing Street, at Wimbledon talking in hushed tones outside an Andy Murray match, and in London hotspots such as the London Eye. In total, 2,000 fans followed Dean Stokes on social networking sites and his viral videos received more than 5,000 views of YouTube - an accomplishment for both him and Cadbury. Let’s not forget that another 9 agents were also spreading the word about the Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted GOO ON THE LOSE campaign through social media outlets, making the campaign a measurable success for Cadbury.

Since the announcement of Dean Stokes’ win, the buzz continues to spread through articles and interviews on what Dean Stokes will be doing with his winnings. You can see a smattering of how Dean Stokes used social media to create a buzz in the market by going to his YouTube channel, visiting his blog, and seeing his Twitter updates. Below you can also see one of his best video uploads during the social media campaign and the final viral video he used to sell himself in the competition. All in all, a very imaginative campaign by Cadbury, and a very creative endeavour by Dean Stokes.

CMW London's video review of this successful campaign is also posted below. It identifies the intricate elements that went into the campaign, highlighting the positive campaign results for Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted!

Dean Stokes’ YouTube Channel
Dean Stokes’ Blog
Dean Stokes’ Twitter

Agent Dean Stokes' Viral Video - Mission to London Goo on the Loose

Agent Dean Stokes’ Viral Video - GOO ON THE LOOSE - A Look Back & Creme Egg Twisted Bars Surrender!

CMW London's campaign review - Twisted Campaign 2009 - Operation Goo on the Loose

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Olympus PEN Story Ad Campaign

Olympus is celebrating 50 years of their PEN cameras with a new product launch, the digital PEN EP-1 camera. It is being launched with a global marketing and ad campaign that makes one marvel at their creativity. The PEN Story 3 minute ad video is going viral on the Internet, their sequence of four short ads is getting more and more views on YouTube, and their microsite is becoming increasingly interactive as users upload content to share with others. The PEN Story microsite is truly amazing in its use of technology to bring the PEN EP-1 camera alive for viewers.

The PEN Story marketing campaign has a global website at and a number of country microsites. The European microsite is a super example of how the Internet is used to bring the whole campaign together with interactive tools, user generated content, downloads, and viral videos. A simple splash page arouses curiosity with its scrap book design that places the viral ad video front and centre and gives viewers access to free music downloads and a ringtone of the PEN Story video. A camera link takes us further afield into the world of Olympus PEN cameras,

Within the site, the section titled LIVE EXPERIENCE enables people to apply for a one week trial of the camera and then share experiences with others on the website. In addition, a viewer can immediately experience the PEN camera by using the mouse to digitally point the image of the camera at a scene on the website. By selecting different camera settings, the viewer can then alter the photos and see the result of six built-in filters such as such pop art, soft focus, pale & light colour, light tone, and grainy photo,

The website creatively showcases the PEN camera’s simplicity, technological features, photographic capabilities, as well as audio, and video functions – all in an interactive and creative fashion that gives viewers an immediate, creative, and enjoyable experience with the product. This microsite also leads to an area designed specifically for user generated content. Here users are invited to upload links, photos, and specs to share with others. To date, (July 18, 2009), 101 links, 1825 photos, 30 specs, and 74 friends have been added to the site which also has a link to a Facebook page where people can join discussions, ask questions, and join the community.

The viral element of the PEN Story campaign includes 4 short ads placed on the Olympus PEN Story YouTube channel,, and a 3 minute ad video uploaded to the Pen Story YouTube site, and posted on the PEN Story microsite. The short ads use a simple animated graphic-illustration format to reveal the history of the PEN camera, showing its evolution from 1959 to 1963. The viral ad video uses a different format, Stop Motion animated photography and a flowing melody titled, "Down Below," (music by Johannes Stankowski, produced and arranged by Michael Kadelbach), to draw us into the PEN Story. The PEN Story ad video is a visual narration of a young boy, first seen in a snap shot outside his elementary school house. The ad video shows the lad walking off the snap shot as a young boy and into his life as narrated by a continuous spilling of photographs. Fifty years later, as a middle aged man, we see him retrace his original footsteps, down the school house road, to pose for a class reunion photo outside the original school house we saw at the start of the ad video.

Olympus tell us that the PEN Story viral ad video was created by shooting 60,000 pictures, developing 9,600 prints, and reshooting over 1,800 photos to get just the right images. Since the YouTube ad video-upload on July 2, 2009, the PEN Story ad video has enjoyed 708,099 views. Olympus credits another YouTube viral video as the inspiration for their PEN Story video and you can read this credit on their YouTube description of their ad video as linked below. Taijin Takeuchi’s viral video, “A Wolf Loves Pork,” (Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig), uses the same Stop Motion format as seen in the Olympus PEN Story spot. Three months after its upload, “A Wolf Loves Pork,” (Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig), has enjoyed 2,071,368 views on YouTube.

Below you can link to the PEN Story website, view the sequence of short ads, watch the viral PEN Story ad video, and see the Takeuchi inspiration.

PEN Story European Website

Ad #1 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN” (1959 PEN camera)

Ad #2 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN EE” (1961 PEN camera)

Ad #3 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN D” (1962 PEN camera)

Ad #4 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN F” (1963 PEN camera)

Viral Ad Video, “The PEN Story”

Takeuchi Inspiration, “オオカミとブタ。Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig”

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ritz "Let It Rain" Campaign Releases Song

Ritz crackers just released the anticipated full length version of the jingle which accompanied their LET IT RAIN commercial. The full length song can be found on YouTube, as linked below, or found on iTunes under the name, "Make Believe - Ian LeFeuvre," This song was created in response to interest from viewers of the LET IT RAIN commercial who wanted to know where the song came from. Ritz' response was to launch a social media challenge through YouTube, promising to create a full length version of the song if the uploaded commercial reached 10,000 hits on YouTube. In 3 weeks the challenge was met and Ian LeFeuvre, the creator of the jingle, set about creating the song which was just released 6 weeks later.

Ritz' other social media challenge, for people to upload videos of themselves enjoying a Ritz cracker, and to create artwork for the iTunes download did not transpire due to low involvement. These videos were to be spliced into a music compilation, but due to the lack of response, it did not materialize. Perhaps this YouTube generation of technically capable, creative souls were hoping for raw footage and an MP3 from which they could make their own mashups? Most likely, they were just eagerly awaiting to hear the song they had been promised, thrilled at the direct response from Ritz!

This successful campaign from Ritz demonstrates how in the world of social media the communication process is no longer static. Companies that are creative, open minded, flexible, and responsive will be able to interact with their consumers and create campaigns that evolve and develop over time. The result is a more engaged consumer, more memorable campaigns, and communication programs that become conversations.

You can see elements of this Ritz crackers campaign below starting with the initial commercial, followed by the social media challenges from Ritz, and finally the release of their song, Make Believe by Ian LeFeuvre.

Let It Rain Ritz Commercial

Social Media Challenge

Social Media Response

Make Believe Song - Ian LeFeuvre

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Phillips "Carousel" Featured in 50 Cent Music Video

Phillips’ “Carousel” the winner of the Film Grand Prix (and the Cyber Silver Lion) from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2009 is now collaborating with the musician 50 Cent and is prominently featured in their new music video 50 Cent- OK You're Right from their album BEFORE I SELF DESTRUCT which will be in stores September 2009. The music video, which can be found on YouTube and linked below, prominently features footage from the Phillips "Carousel" film, and in fact starts by zooming in on the Phillips TV, taking us directly into the film footage. These scenes are then carried over into other parts of the music video through synergistic images of clowns and other scenes from the film.

Phillips' on-line film CAROUSEL was created by Tribal DDB Amsterdam and is truly an unusual promotional piece that deserves a closer look. It uses imagination to communicate the benefits of a new technology and ambushes the consumer on the Internet with its creativity. “Carousel,” is the second on-line film to win this coveted award in the last 3 years, rising out of the shadows of the Dove "evolution" spot which won the award in 2007.

“Carousel” is an important piece of communication that needs to be examined in terms of how the Internet is used to effectively communicate with consumers. It appears that discerning consumers respond to nothing short of creativity on the Internet and this is needed to deliver results - particularly, if traditional media is not part of the media mix. Phillips uses this creativity to market their new Cinema 21:9 LCD TV on-line, allowing viewers at home to experience the same smooth viewing found in a movie theatre. “Carousel” is the 2 minute and 19 second on-line video that Phillips posted on their microsite,, and uploaded to YouTube for all to experience.

In this on-line video Phillips uses the power of the Internet to communicate the product benefits in an interactive fashion not seen before. When viewing the film on Phillips’ microsite, viewers can intuitively use the mouse to move the video forwards or backwards frame by frame and click on interactive hot spots to see more. These hot spots take viewers into the depths of the film, showing how the video was created from the perspective of the director, special effects experts, and lighting specialists – fascinating. To ensure Phillips learns the most from this approach, they are currently running a short market research survey on the site to assess the effectiveness of this approach.

The film is shot in one continuous sequence, offering a glimpse into the world of film production. It uses a haunting sound-track and no words to tell the story of an armored-car heist gone painfully wrong with all the expected accoutrements of money, gunfire, breaking glass, police, and casualties. The story seems to unfold from an almost CSI-type perspective, where the viewer is taken back to the crime scene, seeing it frozen in time. As we view the footage, we realize when we come to the end, that we are remarkably right back at the beginning of the sequence.

Philips’ intention was to create a film that would excite movie-lovers, a segment of their target audience, and demonstrate the TV’s main benefits of Ambilight, Cinema 21:9, and superior picture quality. Technically, the film was shot keeping the actors motionless in a particular pose, while the camera continuously shot the sequence, navigating its way through the scene of still actors and props. Importantly, the music was formatted so that it could be properly distorted as the viewers interacted with the film either through the hot spots or as they moved the frames backwards and forwards.

I cannot imagine how much it cost to create this film, but what we are seeing is the transfer of traditional media funds into creating expensive pieces of creative that can be aired for very little on the Internet – probably still saving the company money!

Below you can see the “Carousel” short film, the making of “Carousel,” and for context, the making of that other on-line sensation that paved the way from Canada in 2007, Dove “Evolution.” It is preferable to watch the "Carousel" video off the Phillips' website, rather than YouTube, in order to see all the interactive features As an aside, see if you can find the numbers "21:9" (the name of the TV), cleverly embedded in certain places within the film. This campaign directly competes with the new Sony BRAVIA Motionflow spot featuring the Brazilian soccer star Kaká, (

Philips Carousel Commercial - Adam Berg Commercial of the Year Stink Digital

Philips Carousel for Cinema 21:9 TV - How they did it

50 Cent Music Video "OK You're Right"

Dove Evolution The making of

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