• 'SNL' Named Video Critique Brand-Video-Making Brand Of The Year
    So I'm about to drop the little dude off at daycare last week when I notice somebody eyeing me from down the hall. Panicked by the thought of non-virtual communication, I grasp around in my pocket for a weapon but, alas, find only Chap Stick and two nickels. The corridor narrows and dims cinematically; I steel myself for the inevitable. Then the guy sidles over and, with a big smile, waits for the recognition to wash over me.
  • McDonald's 'Our Food. Your Questions.' Leaves More Questions Than Answers
    In a nifty bit of philosophical-nutritional synergy, while my mind was still fixed on burgers and mortality I happened upon the most recent video volley in McDonald's "Our Food. Your Questions." series of dietary propaganda. Previous installments attempted to answer queries like "what are McRib patties made of?," "why is the McRib seasonal?" and "where did the McRib come from?" These are all questions I have asked, usually when pondering secondary options as I encounter a 30-deep line at the bagel store after six beers. I love that McDonald's has bothered to answer them and believe they should give the ...
  • UPS' 'Your Wishes Delivered' Provides Artificial Uplift And Little Else
    For today's exercise, then, I set out to find a piece of brand video whose approach to the upcoming holidays might be described as "sardonic," "contemptuous towards those who would consume conspicuously" or "evidence of an imminent psychotic break in its creator." After an hour or two of clicking and then recoiling in horror upon hearing the first lite-jazz notes of a Starbucks-ified holiday classic, I gave up.
  • NPR Soars With 'Serial,' 'Wit' And 'Angel & Devil'
    I've never warmed up to NPR's offerings, despite the urging of family and friends to give them another chance. "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!," "A Prairie Home Companion" and the rest - they've always struck me as programming for people who crave wittiness and/or intelligence by association. This is just one guy's opinion, of course, and that one guy just declared his undying love for fart jokes.
  • Stove Top Should Have Done More With Its Thanksgiving Video Campaign
    As a brand director, then, I would marshal all my resources around Thanksgiving. Brand loyalties can't be forged or cemented in or around a holiday without much of a specific retail bent, you say? Hogwash! Betsy, withdraw our entire year's marketing budget from the bank. Small bills only. There are yams that need to be candied.
  • There Are No Winners In Alger's 'Conversations With Tomorrow'
    "Conversations With Tomorrow" is a new video series from Alger. Alger plies its trade in the asset-management sector, which generally can't be bothered with trifles like online branding. So the fact that Alger cares enough to rouse its marketing minions and assemble a thoughtful, professionally rendered series in which Serious People engage in Important Talking Sessions should, in itself, prompt us to get the pom-poms out of storage. Awesome doing of marketing thing, money-business company! Way to go! Here's a sticker commending you on your basic sentience!
  • There's Not Much To Like About 'Microsoft Band: Live Healthier' Video
    It's thus been a trying week for advertising and me. But even if the election experiment had gone swimmingly (by, say, nudging me towards a candidate who's pro-basic human decency and anti-patchouli), there's still little chance I would've been able to find much to like about "Microsoft Band: Live Healthier," a rare Microsoft attempt to do something online that doesn't involve accidental sabotage of my desktop.
  • Dobrow's Take On This Year's Crop Of Branded Halloween Videos
    Halloween, what happened to you, man? You used to be all about the mystery and menace. In recent years, though, you stopped scaring and started caring. You've gone soft, not unlike a fun-size Milky Way left in one's pocket during an Acela jaunt down the coast. It's like you're not even trying to be spooktacular anymore. This is a shame. If there's one day on the calendar that brands should circle and annotate with "let freak flag fly," it's Halloween. Brands, and everything/everyone else whose whereabouts aren't regularly monitored by the government, can pretty much do anything they want on/around ...
  • JBL's 'Reflect BT Wireless Headphones - Epic Fail' Is A Perfect Fit
    It's still rare that marketing content is crafted in such a manner as to make me fumble for my wallet and spill its contents on the nearest merchant's countertop. That said, JBL's "Reflect BT Wireless Headphones - Epic Fail" is one such piece of content.
  • Denny's Web Series, 'The Grand Slams,' Needs To Be Weirder
    As anybody who reads this column knows, I am a big fan and regular semi-advertent practitioner of willful stupidity. My shoelaces rarely find their across-the-tongue soul mate. I have presented at every DumbCon and delivered keynote speeches ("Opposites De-Tract: Paula Abdul and the Psychological Duality of Cartoon Selves" and "I Do Not Understand Twin Peaks") at the most recent ones. Beavis is my spirit animal.
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