Friday, October 28, 2005


Here is a chilling spot that so far no station has agreed to broadcast. It’s a spooky public service announcement that brings up the issue of how we would think about landmines overseas if we had to face the same problem here in North America. The fact that this ad is being shown on the Internet, and even on this blog, is a testament to the unrealistic filter that media censors represent. But be warned, it is scary stuff.

Creative Wonders link

On the same note, there is a company that makes jewelry out of landmines, and donates a portion of their profits to the cause. An interesting angle for the socially conscious consumer. When Peace Talks

Making tracks

Like most small town boys, I grew up in a town without a track. This involves running 300 m laps around goal posts on worn grass trails and breathing in a lot of lime. But nowadays, this doesn’t need to be the case. Increasingly, more and more governments and tire companies are jumping on board a plan to recycle old tires into track surfaces.

Last April the California Integrated Waste Management Board allotted $1.6 million for Sacramento to build playground mats and track surfaces. In the process, tons of tires will escape landfills and stockpiles. The old, ground up tires provide a resurfacing that is more pliable, longer-lasting, and reduces injuries.

In New York the Take the Field organization dedicated a $2.5 million to a state-of-the-art, and environmentally friendly, athletic facility made from recycled car tires for Flushing High School, thanks to the support of Ford Motor Company. Each field is made from 25,000 tires, which are recycled into 300,000 pounds of crumbed rubber.

Nebraska had a similar initiative in May.

Nike has instigated a Reuse-A-Shoe program where it will create tracks out of ground up old sneakers. The program collects and recycles more than two million used athletic shoes each year by cleaning, cutting and grinding them up to create a material called Nike Grind.

The Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Michigan is a completely green building, that uses recycled tires converted into flooring and carpeting. The ‘Astroturf’ on their training fields is made of recycled crumbled rubber from tires as well.

Between tire companies and government initiatives, there are plenty of opportunities to put all of these old tires back to good use.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Selling smack to kids

It is amazing how many jingles and ads we can remember from when we were kids. My mom continues to say ‘Thank you, thank you, Leslie thanks you” In fact, she has been saying it her whole life. It was only recently that she found out that Leslie was the man on the salt when she was a child. In the commercials Leslie would always thank you for passing the salt. For the kids who grew up in the 80s we had the slinky song, fruity marshmallow crispies, silly rabbit trix are for kids, kellogs sugar smacks and tons more. It is burned into our brains. In Quebec they actually have laws against advertising to children (as well as laws against those annoying fall-out ads in magazines) which is probably a good thing. However, there is an argument that the quality of children’s entertainment will suffer if there as a lack of funding available without advertising revenue and the commercial spin off of toys, lunch boxes, cereals etc. Here are some ads here that will probably jog your memory of life in the 80s. (You will need a PC to view them). Creative Wonders link

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Neil French fiasco

By now it is all over the papers; Creative director, advertising guru, copywriting legend Neil French’s comments about how women never make it to the top in advertising or the corporate world because they are ‘crap’. It made a big scene, offended women all over the world, and in the end cost him his immediate job at Ogilvy. Of course that sentence was taken out of context, but the gist of what he was saying is that ‘anyone who does not give 100% to their occupation – at the extent of sacrificing family or time to raise kids – will never make it to the top.’ The inference was that women are more likely to make sacrifice for family than men. Interestingly enough, here at Creative Wonders, we have the opposite. Diane Lund, our CEO, founded Creative Wonders 13 years ago, and has been in the advertising game for more than 25 years. We also have senior Art Directors, Production Managers and Designers, all of whom are women. In fact, I’m the only guy here most of the time. Lucky me!

Anyway, here are a few of Neil's favourite ads: The Parker Pen Grumpy Elf and His Elfins and The Elfettes.
These are probably some of the best low-budget tv ads I have ever seen, Neil himself is doing the voice of the elf and wearing the hat.

He also has some very nice writing with The legend of Martell and the classic Chivas Regal print and Chivas Regal tv ad

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Got Horror?

Today the latest Got Milk? ad was pulled from the World Series by television stations following a complaint by the major league players association.

The ad hit a little too close to home with a poke at last year’s steroid scandal, by suggesting that milk, too, is a performance-enhancing drug.

Interestingly enough, I have never seen this ad, and I’ll bet you haven’t either, my faithful reader. However, here we are talking about it, and this news is being spread around the globe as we speak.

It reminds me of the Nike Horror ads that were pulled during the Olympics in Athens. They had Suzy Favor Hamilton, an Olympic runner, escaping from a chainsaw-wielding ‘Jason’ in a remote cabin. Letters and complaints poured in from feminists, parents and anti-violence advocates.

However, the ad also successfully divided the feminist ideology of what defined empowerment, and led to a flurry of academic debate.

Decide for yourself Nike Horror

The result: it’s a pulled ad, that ran a handful of times, and we are still talking about it five years later.

Monday, October 24, 2005

LoLo Lounge

Well, LoLo was a smashing success this year, and for all of you who didn’t go, you missed out! The LoLo Lounge (it stands for Lower Lonsdale) had the red carpet treatment for its guests, complete with valet parking, a chocolate fountain, live and silent auctions, a martini bar, a wine bar, stocked with limited edition proprietors reserve bottles of Jackson Triggs, and a beer bar generously provided by Sailor Hagars. There was live music, and excellent food from the Circle of Chefs and even the Temptations who put on an amazing show. All in all, I think we raised a good chunk of money for youth and families in Lower Lonsdale. I’ll get back to you with the exact figures, but it was a great night, and I hope to see even more of you out next year for LoLo 2006 – LoLo goes Latin.