Oxfam America is encouraging people to give useful presents to those in need, as opposed to ugly Christmas sweaters that no one has use for. An animated Scarlett Johansson instructs users to purchase gifts from OxfamGifts.com for those in need, like books for children, chickens for a farmer or fruit trees for a village. Throughout the spot, Johansson chides the ad’s animator for not being able to give ideal holiday gifts. The animator has the last laugh at the end of the spot, when he unravels Johansson’s sweater, leaving her wearing a sexy, low-cut dress. See the ad here, created by Energy BBDO.
But how does it smell? And do I really want to know? KOKO Productions launched "Artisan," a holiday spot that tests the company’s claim that it can make anything sound good -- even a pile of dung. Viewers watch as a man scours a farm for the perfect pile of dung. He throws it in a sack, takes it back to his studio and begins molding the dung into a long tube shape. He then cooks it atop a fire, makes the right amount of holes, and then plays “We wish you a Merry Christmas” on his homemade flute. Watch the ad here, created by DDB Canada's Vancouver office.
Do the holidays stress you out? Let Digital Pulp come to the rescue with its helpful and entertaining website, YouBetterNotStress.com. The site consists of nine different red boxes for users to click. The topics range from a recipe for making pumpkin rum chillers, the top 10 holiday movies for people who don’t like holiday movies, to a gallery filled with ugly Christmas sweaters. I was thrilled that “Love Actually” and “Trading Places” made the agency’s movie list. Also check out the agency’s amusing 2012 predictions and gift list created for Digital Pulp’s CEO. The focusless camera and like/dislike stamps caught my eye.
Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam is sticking with tradition –- its virtual holiday tradition -- with a Virtual Holiday Dinner. The table was open from Dec. 16-19, and reservations went fast. The table of five setting lets family and friends from across the world get together for a Christmas dinner. The dinner is made possible using Skype. Each guest would call into the dinner and take over one of the five robot dolls sitting around the dinner table. Video cameras are strapped to the dolls and each are fitted with facial-tracking software, making it possible for diners to move their doll’s heads from side to side. Participants can choose a variety of themed dinners, like “Business as Usual” or “The Overly Friendly Christmas Dinner.” Once finished, Wieden+Kennedy plays a short video of their Virtual Holiday Dinner.
Old Spice Guy has a new name this holiday season: MANta Claus. And a happy ho, ho, ho to you, too. His mission is to give unusual and quirky gifts to all 7 billion people in the world, which includes his loyal Internet followers. The Old Spice channel is chock full of personalized videos, along with gifts for certain cities and states. Billings, Montana received its very own Old Spice billboard, while Baltimore residents received a print ad that doubled as a letter to their bosses, in an effort to get everyone a promotion. The campaign, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland, kicked off when Old Spice Guy gifted @beautyjunkies a pair of high-heeled shoes made from necklaces.
Random iPhone and iPad App of the week: Thornberg & Forester created a “Holiday Jam,” a holiday-character generator for the iPhone and iPad. Shaking, shuffling or swiping one’s mobile device can create more than 20,000 unique combinations of characters. Creations can be emailed to friends or posted on Facebook. The app is available for free in the App Store.
Thanks to everyone who joined me on the journey of sifting through some great -- and not-so-great -- creative this year. Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy holiday surrounded by family and friends. Out to Launch will return on Jan. 4.