2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brands under fire

Sadly, Hyundai Not the First Auto Brand to Depict Suicide Attempt in an Ad (Updated)

Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 07:01 PM

The recent, cartoonish prospective print ads by Ford's agency in India—depicting Silvio Berlusconi and Paris Hilton as heartless kidnappers—turned out to be mere child's play in the modern universe of tin-eared automotive marketing. Hyundai has just set the bar at a new low with an online ad in Europe for its iX35 fuel-cell car, which depicts a suicide attempt in the car—which eventually fails because of the vehicles clean emissions.

The spot by Innocean, Hyundai's agency of record because it is owned by Hyundai, shows a man sitting in the driver's seat of a Hyundai in his garage, having made all the necessary preparations for offing himself by breathing in carbon monoxide. But, despite the foreboding music, it doesn't work. The commercial shows a tube—run into the passenger compartment from the exhaust pipe—emitting what looks like smoke but turns out to be vapor, as the car runs on "100-percent water emissions," a tagline informs the viewer. The guy is out of luck.

Hyundai today pulled the ad (which was posted last week) from YouTube, but it has gone wildly viral and enraged the brand's fans and non-fans the world over. "Hyundai understands the video has caused offense," Hyundai Europe said in a statement (update: scroll down for additional statements). "We apologize unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing."Continue reading...

truth in advertising

Dove Puts Real Beauty to a Forensic Test in Powerful Viral Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 04:53 PM

Only four percent of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful according to Dove, whose latest installment of its famed Real Beauty campaign presents a social experiment to dispell negative personal perceptions. 

The tagline of the campaign, "You are more beautiful than you think," demonstrates the disparity between a woman’s self-image and a stranger’s perception, playing on the common saying , "You are your own worst critic."

Created by Ogilvy Brazil, FBI-trained artist Gil Zamora, an forensic expert who has sketched more than 3,000 eye witness reports, first drew portraits of seven women of different ages and backgrounds according to their own description, followed by sketches of those same women according to strangers who had just met them on the same day. 

In the "Dove Real Beauty Sketches" video (watch below) produced for the campaign, the participants say things like, "My mom told me I had a big jaw," "I kind of have a fat, rounder face," and "I'd say I have a pretty big forehead."Continue reading...

viral buzz

April Fools' Day 2013: Google Leads Brand Pranks Sweeping the Web

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 05:54 PM

Every April 1st, Google tries to outdo itself with a new array of April Fools' Day pranks, and this year was no different.

Users of Google quickly spotted a “Google Nose” link that appeared on April 1st that invited consumers to smell what they are seeing on the site, whether it is a campfire or a flower. Or, at least, it would let them “leverage new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available.”Continue reading...

viral buzz

April Fools' Day: Brands Show Off Their Funny Side on Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2013 11:23 AM

Happy April Fool's Day! If you thought your favorite brands were too serious and focused on great products and innovation to have a laugh or two, think again. Here's a roundup of some social media jokes from YouTube, Honda, Twitter and even the little town of Ely, Minn. 

Be honest: did you fall for any of them?Continue reading...

branded entertainment

The Secret Behind Pepsi's Branded Content Success

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2013 11:24 AM

At 30 million views, does it matter if it's real? Pepsi MAX's branded viral hit "Test Drive" is set to pass the 30 million mark on YouTube and the brand is beginning to roll out edited versions of the video for TV that will drive back to the longer original online. But at 30 million views, how many who would want to see a disguised Jeff Gordon take a used car salesman for a spin haven't yet seen it?

"Test Drive"—created by the TBWA\Chiat\Day LA agency—is Pepsi MAX's second branded viral to surpass 20 million views on YouTube. Two of the brands other videos are well over 10 million combined—an astonishing record of branded content success. branchannel spoke with the brand and the creator behind Pepsi's other viral hit, Uncle Drew, about branded content and their (secret) next project.Continue reading...

viral buzz

Viral Video Watch: 15 Branded Harlem Shake Videos

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2013 06:29 PM

It's the dance trend that will not die. Watch Lululemon's Harlem Shake (yoga-style) version above, and below, Pepsi's two Harlem Shake videos and other brands shaking their thang worldwide, from Australia to Israel:Continue reading...

social media watch

UPDATE: Chrysler Yanks Tasteless Dodge "Viper Rides Meteor" Video

Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 05:32 PM

Two strikes and you're in the hole. That's where Chrysler stands with social-media mistakes today after the company took down (as we suspected they might) a timely but insensitive promotional video on YouTube that was first noted by brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady.

The four-second video depicted a Dodge Viper that had been edited into a video to look like it was riding on the meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains today with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people.

Titled "Viper Rides Meteor" on the Chrysler Group's PR-managed Pentastar Video YouTube channel today, the short clip came with the description: "Yeah ... it's that fast. The SRT Viper outraces that meteor :)" Actually, the pricey sports car has a top speed of about 206 mph, Road and Track says. Russian authorities estimated that today's meteor was traveling at about 30,000 to 45,000 mph when it cracked up.

A Chrysler source told brandchannel that the company was still investigating how the tasteless video percolated through internal procedures to reach its public YouTube channel. It's not the first time Chrysler has been so embarrassed on social media, either. In 2011, what Chrysler said was a compromised Twitter account led to a vulgar tweet that read, "Whoa -- What? RT @chryslerautos: I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f------ drive."

auto motive

Dodge Viper Shows Poor Timing and Taste With Russian Meteor Video

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2013 02:10 PM

Chrysler's Dodge Viper brand released a video titled "Viper Rides Meteor" on the Chrysler Group's Pentastar Video YouTube channel today, with the description: "Yeah...it's that fast. The SRT Viper outraces that meteor :)"

With more than 1,000 people injured, not to mention the brand's recall over airbags today, it's bad timing and taste for a video — let alone a smiley face. Watch it below.Continue reading...

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