• What is the Goal of Verizon's Set of Videos for Black History Month?
    What the dickens is Verizon hoping to accomplish with its series of videos celebrating Black History Month? Is it seeking to inspire? To awaken? To info-tain? After viewing all seven video vignettes, I'm still not entirely sure. The program, which debuted just before the start of Black History Month, taps nine successful black Americans to relate their business and life philosophies. They talk about the challenges they faced and the wisdom they've accumulated.
  • I'm Lovin' It: McDonald's Over the Top Videos Launching McCafe in Canada
    Regardless of how much money, time and creative energy are actually devoted to video campaigns, a solid 85% of them come off underrealized and sadly obvious. That's why it's a happy morning when I happen upon a webisode-dealie like "Originals," a nine-part series produced by Fresh Baked Entertainment to help launch McDonald's McCaf drinks in Canada. While it may employ the overworn mockumentary format, "Originals" is the rare piece of branded content with a sense of genre awareness. To wit, it bills itself as "an original webseries completely lacking any originality."
  • Mitsubishi's "Ride the Storm" Rides the Line of Safety
    In anticipation of the imminent passing of my current jalopy, I recently test-drove a few cars. While I relished the consequence-free fiddling with seats and mirrors and the opportunity to register my disgust with heated seats - in my book, as much an over-luxe scourge as platinum-rimmed toilets - there's only so much one can learn about a car by piloting it through suburbia on a sunny day. Upon returning to the dealership, I asked if it would be okay to return on a snowy, rainy or otherwise weather-impaired afternoon. The sales guy scoffed: "No, that would be dangerous." To ...
  • Skiver Advertising's Agency Campaign: Funny, but What's the Purpose?
    There's a reason most "funny" videos promoting professional-services firms don't push into the triple-digits in YouTube views, much less go viral: they're all the same. They mine the workplace setting for material, finding comic inspiration in community-fridge banditos and interns with borderline social disorders. They attempt to amuse while strenuously avoiding any topic that could offend a hypersensitive current or future client, which rules out everything except oatmeal-mild jokes at the company's own expense.
  • Cartier's "Painted Love," Deconstructed
    It's Valentine's Day, the day in which Big Chocolate, Floriculture Inc. and Baubles 'R' Us conspire to pressure oafs and oafettes into treating their partners the way they should on a random August Thursday. This means it's high time to check in with Cartier, my favorite upscale producer of bedazzled soap dishes and romanticalistic branding videostuffs.
  • Bugaboo Videos Lack Sales Drive
    On several occasions over the last few months, I have been informed by self-appointed children's advocates that my kid's stroller is not, in fact, a Kevlar-reinforced tank. This advice might have something to do with the way I navigate our buggy through the streets of New York, which pairs a child's impatience with a convicted sidewalk-rage perp's speedlust. Hey, it's not my fault that some people - hello, kindly retirees out on restorative midday strolls - aren't able to abide by the societal code of right-side-slow, left-side-fast.
  • Charles Barkley and Lenny Clarke: Ideal Weight Watchers Spokesmen
    I got into it with a crudit platter during the Super Bowl. It was sitting there, all smug and superior, among the empty beverage vessels and strip-mined chicken wings that, just hours before, had teemed with such promise. As I crammed another fistful of mini-weenies into my maw, the carrots and plum tomatoes got all up in my bid-ness: "Hey blimpie boy - why not try chewing with your mouth closed?" Never cowed by taunts from insentient foodstuffs, I shot back, "Oh yeah? You're stupid and dumb and nobody likes your dumb stupid niacin!" I looked up to find the ...
  • Nick Jonas and Quaker Granola Bars Crown A "Quaker Chewy Superstar."
    As a person who writes things for the Internet and mostly receives feedback via email, I've become a raging paranoiac about incoming communications. I will not click on an emailed link unless the sender has completed the sort of verification protocol usually required of State Department appointees. Sorry, mom - I have no way of knowing that the Snapfish link to pix from Cousin Ruthie's senior-obics pageant isn't spoofed. Rules are rules.