Wednesday, September 24, 2014
by , Wed, Sep 24, 2014

What would Thomas Edison think of GE's reinvented light bulb? The GE Link bulb allows users to control lighting via smartphone, Wink hub and app. To promote the lighting enhancements, Jeff Goldblum stars in a two-minute over-the-top ad that has a cheesy infomercial feel to it, which is why it works. I was waiting to hear that users could "set it and forget it," but to no avail. Goldblum's character describes the importance of good lighting. Goldblum himself ages a good 25 years when the lights go off. He explains how the GE Link bulb is luxury at an average Joe's price. "Now you can kiss your horribly-lit, non-successful life, goodbye," says Goldblum. The infomercial also touts the ease of installation for the Wink hub and light bulbs. But don't take Goldblum's word; this infomercial comes complete with testimonials from regular consumers who can set their lights on a timer or adjust all lighting at once. Watch it here, created by BBDO New York and directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. The video is currently running on select cable TV and digital channels.

GEICO has so many different advertising themes for saving on car insurance that I can't keep track. Just when I was getting used to its "Did You Know" themed ads, the brand launched a new advertising campaign under the "It's what you do" umbrella. If you want to save money on your car insurance, it's a given that you'll switch to GEICO. Just like it's a given that stars of horror movies make dumb life-and-death decisions. The debut ad has a Halloween theme, playing off the stereotypical behavior found in most scary movies. When being chased, why run up the stairs and not out the door? Why listen to your friends for escape advice when their ideas are horrible and yours is sensible and smart? Four friends outrunning a killer are looking for a place to hide. There's the basement or attic of a dark house, or in the garage, near a wall of chainsaws. The whiny blonde friend has the best escape plan -- jump into a running car -- and it's unanimously rejected. The group hides by the chainsaws, next to the killer, and runs to the closest cemetery to hide. There's four people who will have no use for car insurance. See it here, created by The Martin Agency.

True Religion launched an online and cinema campaign that plays off the line: "May I Be So Bold." The jean and apparel company's version skips the niceties and goes straight to "Be So Bold." The video begins with a group of friends walking into a bar. And, as Prince once sang, they "walked in through the out door." Immediately, this group's entrance is noticed. Just about every member of the slow-swaggering entourage is clad in demin, eyeing the bar's clientele. This group is looking for a fight and they find it at the back of the bar. This isn't your typical bar fight, for this battle is waged on a Ping-Pong table. The dive bar transforms into a place to be as two men draw a decent-sized crowd for a game of Ping-Pong. See it here, created by 180LA.

directtvRob Lowe is so good-looking that even his so-called creepy self isn't that horrendous in an ad for DirecTV. Lowe, a DirecTV user, stars in two ads that illustrate what Rob Lowe might look like if he had cable TV instead. "Creepy Rob Lowe" watches people swim at the rec center when his cable goes out and smells people's hair in a dark movie theater. Heartthrob Rob Lowe needs only to stress about what tea to drink while watching his favorite show. See it here. The second ad shows a hands-down, "Less Attractive Rob Lowe." The picture quality between DirecTV and cable is the difference between Rob Lowe in a tailored suit or Rob Lowe with a beer belly, unibrow and thinning combover. Watch it here. The best part of the campaign? The theme from "St. Elmo's Fire" closing out each commercial. Grey New York created the campaign, directed by Tom Kuntz.

skittlesSkittles has launched its first-ever Halloween ad, which surprises me because the mini bags of Skittles are an ideal Halloween treat. "Web" was created as both a 15-second TV spot and 45-second online-only version. The short ad is so-so and the extended version is the one to watch. The 15-second spot sees a trick-or-treater, dressed as a mummy, stuck in a spider's web, attempting to reach Skittles bags. His friend dressed as Dracula asks if he wants help and a large spider replies "go for it." See it here. The extended version continues after this moment, with the spider adding that he would help the boy down if he got stuck. This moment led to a lifelong friendship between boy and spider, sharing holiday meals, playing games and riding matching motorcycles. But this is a Halloween ad, so everything that just transpired isn't real. The spider admits that he actually ate both boys and laughs heartily recalling the incident. Watch it here. DDB Chicago created the campaign.

lasvegasWhen I watched this ad, I thought it was selling a fashion brand or maybe a luxury perfume. A new hotel in Vegas was not on my radar. Delano Las Vegas opened on Sept. 2, and its 60-second video, "Defiantly Inspired," left me uninspired and looking for a book on abstract art for dummies. There's a chic couple dressed in white. There's an eyeball, fire, a gold beating heart, and random snippets of furniture. The couple shed some clothing, look passionately into one another's eyes -- and then there's more furniture, a desert, fire, and people running in shadow.  What happened to the days when a hotel ad mentioned things like what restaurants and clubs are in-house, or what shows visitors can see? Watch the video here, created by RPA.

chunkyRichard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, is the latest football player to work alongside his actual mother in the Campbell's Chunky soup "Mama's Boy" campaign. Created by Y&R New York, the campaign launches with a two-minute video starring "Mama Sherman and the Legion of Souper Fans." "Copter Caper" follows Mama Sherman and four actual, die-hard Seahawks fans who go to extreme lengths to make sure Sherman eats his Chunky Soup. When Sherman is lost, the five fly throughout Seattle in a helicopter until Sherman is found and returned to his mother's house for Chunky beer-n-cheese soup. There's also a sweet message about teamwork woven into the outlandish video. Shorter versions of the video will run during football games throughout the season. Watch the video here and check out Chunky's Tumblr page for additional campaign extras.

beeboothOrganic food marketer Cascadian Farm is on a mission to educate the world about the importance of bees and sustaining a threatened bee population. The company has launched "Bee Friendlier," a website full of information on bees and the ways that typical consumers can help them thrive. The site also provides links to program partners and places where folks can donate to bee-friendly causes. A fun, light-hearted section of the site is the Bee Photo Booth, where visitors can tweak pictures of themselves by adding bee beards or bee hair to their social media profile pictures in an effort to spread the word. Here's to a beeutiful you! Solve and Pixel Farm Digital created the site.

stubhubStubHub's beloved Ticket Oak promises only good surprises at checkout in a Halloween-themed TV spot running on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," "NFL Sunday Ticket," ESPN.com and ESPN mobile, among other outlets. A man dressed in a skeleton costume tries to scare Ticket Oak while he's sleeping. The joke is on the skeleton though, when a little girl, dressed as a princess and hiding in Ticket Oak's mouth, emerges with a loud shriek, sending the scared skeleton off to hide. The ad promotes StubHub's all-in-one pricing feature, where the price users see is the price they pay at check-out. Watch the ad here, created by Duncan/Channon.

hermesHow much is that Hermes scarf in the window? When money grows on trees, I'll splurge. Until then, I'll live vicariously through the whimsical website devoted entirely to Hermes silk. Created by AKQA, lamaisondescarres.com is an e-commerce site packed with more than 600 versions of Hermes silk that includes shawls, twills, scarves and stoles. The inspiration of the illustrated site was to create the ideal brick-and-mortar store, with silk in every window, constantly changing rooms and a treasure chamber. While this would be a blast to visit in-person, an online version was easier to replicate. The quirky house also contains a saloon and color-mixing kitchen. The site opened in 27 countries across Europe, Asia and America. Check out an into video to the site here.

statefarmState Farm recently partnered with Broadway Video Entertainment, the media and entertainment company owned by Lorne Michaels, so expect to see a rebirth of famous "Saturday Night Live" characters of yesteryear. In "Trainers," NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers receives personal fitness advice from iconic SNL characters Hans & Franz, played by Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon. The kindhearted bodybuilders want to repay Rodgers for helping them save money with State Farm's 'Discount Double-Check." And so begins a series of amusing vignettes where Rodgers completes a series of untraditional methods of exercise, like pulling an army tank and kayaking with Hans & Franz attached behind him on water skis. Rodgers' diet also changes, with a significant increase in protein intake and raw eggs, not to mention dumbbells. They're not just for lifting. The 60-second video ends with Rodgers at football practice, unable to catch a ball. See it here, created by DDB Chicago.

nbk2k15Gamers, put your best face forward in NBA 2K15, launching Oct. 7. For the first time, gamers will be able to scan their face into the game. This new technology prompted NBA star James Harden to call his beard guru for grooming his famous beard. In a 3:00 video supporting the game's launch, beard guru Fritz flies in from the Swiss Alps to ensure Harden's beard looks its best. Fritz does a lot of deep thinking and close staring at Harden's beard, then removes a small pair of scissors and trims approximately two hairs. Probable cost: $1,000. Fritz then uses crystals to rid the beard of bad energy, contemplates the use of a chainsaw and knife and then plays a flute mimicking the moves of snake charmer. When satisfied, Fritz begins work on Anthony Davis and his unibrow. See it here, created by CP+B and directed by HAM.

gatoradeI don't think Gatorade could have picked a better song to pay homage to Derek Jeter's illustrious career than Frank Sinatra's "My Way." En route to Yankee Stadium, Jeter asks his driver to stop early, so he can walk to the stadium. He encounters giddy women thrilled to shake his hand, school kids at recess, sanitation workers -- and, my favorite, a group of Yankee fans readying to watch the game at a local bar. The bartender tells Jeter that he's been waiting for a visit since 1998, and Jeter says he was never invited and autographs a rookie picture of himself. By the time Jeter makes it to Yankee Stadium, the crowd of fans is dozens of people long and deep. Jeter hugs those closest, autographs baseballs and suits up for the game. Add Sinatra's "My Way" heard throughout the spot and the equation for the perfect ad is complete. See it here. During the Yankee's home game against the Orioles on Sept. 22, Gatorade coolers, cups and towels will feature Jeter's No. 2 in place of the Gatorade G. TBWA\Chiat\Day LA created the campaign.

budAnheuser-Busch has launched a pair of pilot programs on Facebook that greatly benefits beer drinking adults 21 and older who live in Denver and Chicago. For residents of these cities, giving and getting the gift of beer is just a click away. Bud Light Birthday and Buds for Buds are fairly self-explanatory. Facebook users will be prompted through posts in their News Feed to gift their friends a free Bud Light to complement Happy Birthday wishes or buy a Budweiser for friends to celebrate other occasions, like the start of the weekend, an engagement or just because. Writing on someone's Timeline seems like a thing of the past... In both scenarios, an online voucher will be sent to the recipient, which they can redeem in-person at a local bar or restaurant once they show ID to prove they are of legal drinking age. No external application must be downloaded to gift or redeem a beer. People who click on the News Feed post will be taken to a customized mobile or desktop page to send or claim a beer. Gift delivery and fulfillment is powered by Gratafy. Plans for a national launch are slated for spring 2015. AKQA created the campaign. Cheers!