Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

FPS – First-Person Soccer

May 1, 2008

Nike’s advertising department does it yet again.  I don’t know how these guys continue to make such original,  effective spots year after year, but I’m not complaining.  Hell, it almost makes me forget about their abysmal human rights record.



April 10, 2008

I consider myself a reasonably bright guy. I’m no scientist, but I’ve read a few pop-sci books (A Brief History of Time, The Elegant Universe) and I feel like I understand the concepts well enough. Not only that, I’m a pretty big sci-fi nerd, and have loved the concept of time-travel since I was a little kid. That being said, the first time I watched the movie Primer it made my brain go “ow.” The plot follows the exploits of two Dallas-area engineers named Abe and Aaron, who stumble upon the ability to travel backward into time by accident while attempting to construct a gravity-degrading superconductor in their garage. They become aware of the enormous space/time implications as they become more brazen in their use of the machine, which causes some serious time-fuckery. I really thought I was following everything just fine for the first 2/3rds, but by the last half hour I was wallowing in a puddle of my own mind-goo. Abe and Aaron travel backward in time again and again, creating duplicates of duplicates as the plot’s comprehensibility (and the quality of their penmanship) disintegrates. As the movie wore on, it became increasingly unclear which timeline I was watching, and which copy of the characters were acting out the increasingly byzantine script.

And I loved every second of it. I watched it again shortly thereafter, and understood a bit more. A few months ago, I watched it for a third time, and just recently for a fourth — enough to think that I have a pretty decent grasp of the film’s machinations. It really is a sneaky little fucker, but there is a lot of pleasure to be had in unraveling its structure. Which makes this temporal map of the movie’s time-lines such a great resource. Taken by itself it’s nearly as confusing as the movie, but used in conjunction it can be an invaluable, ah, Primer primer.

Also worth checking out is this A.V. Club article about Primer and the “New Cult Canon.” It has a few clips from the movie and provides a more thorough explanation of the film’s creation and plot.


March 24, 2008
FedEx Logo

With the NCAA Tournament on hiatus until Thursday night (and let it be noted that last week I was RIGHT ON THE FUCKING MONEY when I predicted Davidson would end up in the Sweet 16. Go Team Brock!) I thought it would be a good idea to discuss something completely unrelated to collegiate athletics. Ergo, logos. Specifically, the FexEd logo, pictured above. It’s almost certainly my favorite corporate logotype. While I appreciate the simple san-serif type, a mash-up of classic modernist typefaces Futura and Univers, the logo’s true brilliance is in its use of negative space. Take another glance at the image above, this time focusing on the white spaces between the letters. Notice anything interesting? Yep, an arrow, plain as day, nestled between the “E” and “x.” And it’s no accident. The logo’s creater, Lindon Leader, has this to say:

“The power of the hidden arrow is simply that it is a ‘hidden bonus.’ It is a positive-reverse optical kind of thing: either you see it or you don’t. Importantly, not ‘getting the punch line’ by not seeing the arrow, does not reduce the impact of the logo’s essential communication.”

And it is the arrow’s incredible subtlety that really makes the logo work so well. In an age where consumers are constantly bludgeoned by heavy-handed attempts at branding, the FedEx logo is a breath of fresh air, a logotype that actually respects our intelligence. Infinitely superior to that goofball with the awful haircut and dry-erase marker that’s currently pimping UPS. (interview with Lindon Leader at the Sneeze.)

The Shoe Spectrum

February 28, 2008
In 2006, Adidas introduced a series of viral advertisements, which they dubbed the “Adicolor Series.” Released over the period of a few months, each video explores the semiotics of a particular color. And because each video is the product of different creative teams, the end results are incredibly varied. Shown above are my two favorites, Pink and Yellow. The other colors are: Black, Red, Blue, and Green. Black is particularly twisted; I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Sweet Sassy Molassy!

January 31, 2008
This video is part of a new promotional campaign by EA Sports for the game FIFA Street 3. A good spot in its own right, but I definitely prefer this 2005 Nike commercial featuring Ronaldinho. It takes the same concept (incredible soccer skills via CG soccer ball) but the finished project appears at least somewhat possible:
And of course, Powerade had a similar advertising shtick a few years back featuring Michael Vick and LeBron James, among others. (FIFA link via Adverblog.)

Lint Licker!

January 29, 2008
Hilarious ad from Orbit Gum. I wish people would use elementary school euphemisms all the time.

BONUS! More Shoe Advertising!

January 25, 2008
As an addendum to my previous post, here is a 2005 Adidas spot directed by Spike Jonez. The music in this one was written by Jonez’s brother and sung by Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame.) It won two Gold Lions at the 2005 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, three 2006 Silver Clio Awards, and a 2006 Gold EFFIE Award. Well deserved, I’d say.

The Greatest Commercial of All Time

January 25, 2008
Created by Nike for the 2002 Winter Olympics, the above commercial is quite possibly the greatest advertisement of all time. It functions less as a commercial and more as a short film — the editing, the music, all perfect. The long jumper –> baby –> snowboarder transition (:55 seconds into the clip) is goddamn sublime. Am I the only one that would happily purchase a DVD filled entirely with advertisements like this? Throw in some other Nike spots, a few Volkswagon ads from the past decade, ESPN’s “This Is Sportscenter” campaign, and you’d have yourself a great collection.
I suppose this is a bit of a contentious subject, so what do you guys think? What’s the greatest commercial of all time? And don’t give me any of that Apple 1984 bullshit, OK? OK.