• John Lewis And Argos Christmas Videos Are The Season's Best So Far
    Two of the season's hottest holiday videos, both of them for giant British retailers, couldn't be less like each other, except for one key narrative element: Both embrace family togetherness during the Christmas season. The 2011 annual holiday video from Great Britain's up-market department store chain John Lewis is so wholesome and sweet and touching that it might be mistaken for a segment from a Hallmark Channel movie. For most of its ninety-second running time it appears to be telling the story of a frustrated little boy who can't wait to get his gifts on Christmas morning. He anxiously suffers …
  • More Bromance, Less Boobs in Branded Video Campaigns
    Every time I happen upon a GoDaddy.com TV commercial, two questions spring to mind. First, how many liters of skin-glistening baby oil does the production team spritz during an average shoot? And second, what kind of individual speeds over to the company's web site to check out the aggressively hyped "unrated" content? I want to meet this goober. I picture him as simple-minded and easily led, unskilled in his pursuit of Internet-grade titillation. I also sense that he doesn't learn from his mistakes ("forget the last 18 unrated and too-hot-for-tenth-grade videos - this time, Danica Patrick is TOTALLY gonna get …
  • Macy's Fuels Bieber Fever for Black Friday
    Black Friday is upon us once again, this year spreading like black plague into Thanksgiving Day itself as retailers try with unprecedented gusto to move as much merchandise as possible in this ever-corrosive economy. One can't turn on a television or go online without being reminded of Black Friday sales at every click. I'm more of a Cyber Monday shopper than a Black Friday guy, and nothing about any of these ads encourages me to crawl out of bed in darkest night to wrestle with frenzied shoppers at any store or, as people will do this year, head out on …
  • Columbia Sportswear's Online Campaign For Omni-Heat Outerwear Goes To Extremes
    Talk about polar opposites. It's one thing to have a spokesperson promote a clothing line without actually wearing the products that it features. It's another thing entirely for that line to consist of state-of-the-art outerwear that offers high-tech comfort against extreme cold and for the spokesperson to wear little at all, regardless of the temperature. That's the polarity at play in Columbia Sportswear's online documentary style campaign for its Omni-Heat electric outerwear: clothing that heats up at the push of a button.
  • 'In Search Of Incredible' Fails To Find It
    "In Search of Incredible," a video campaign from Asus and Intel designed to tout the sonic virtues of Asus' N Series and Zenbook laptops, feels counterintuitive from the outset. The campaign throws out a tough premise -- listeners/orphaned-sock buyers can get "exceptional sound" from the N Series and "incredible sound" from the Zenbook -- and then falls over itself attempting to support it. This can't end well.