Lindsay Lohan Sues Grand Theft Auto V

Lindsay Lohan is on a tear.  She’s decided to sue the makers of Grand Theft Auto V.

Lindsay Lohan

Lohan is suing the software company Take Two for supposedly stealing her looks in the ultra-violent Grand Theft Auto Five video game. Apparently the most offensive thing to Lindsay Lohan about Grand Theft Auto Five, a game where the player is free to run on murderous rampages, was the fact that her likeness might have been ripped off. The character in question is named Lacey Jonas and is apparently: “an anorexic celebrity who enlists players for help dodging paparazzi in a race throughout Hollywood” In my estimation, though, Lohan should feel lucky she wasn’t modeled after main character Trevor who loves to shove dead bodies down toilets. I don’t think the links between Lohan and Grand Theft Auto can be denied under more careful scrutiny because back in 2012 Lohan was sued for allegedly hitting a guy with her car in a parking garage. This could just be art imitating life.

If you thought the irony couldn’t get any deeper, Lohan cites that the game also has the Chateau Marmont Hotel, one which she supposedly frequents in real life. Only one problem: she was banned from the Hotel for not paying almost 50K worth of bills.

Also, I’m sure the fact that GTA V raked in over 800 million dollars on its release day has nothing to do with Lohan’s sudden “irreparable hardship”. And if she somehow wins this lawsuit, maybe the funds could go to paying down that room service…

Howard Davidson Arlington MA


P&G Pushing Adult Diapers

P&G is getting down and dirty and pushing for adult diapers.

Broaching a subject that nobody, including me, is a big fan of talking about, “adult diapers” are going to be getting hundreds of millions more dollars worth of attention. Though adult diapers haven’t always been very secure for P&G in the past. Some ten years ago their marketing budget outweighed actual sales and everyone involved was left with just an awkward silence. More than anything else though, it worries me that the methods of containing incontinence hasn’t changed in ten years. I can’t remember the last time I was in diapers and I’d like to keep it that way.

P&G Diapers

The reason why the timing might be right now to dump millions more into adult diapers is because thousands of baby boomers are turning 65 every day and P&G can see the writing on the wall. Fewer babies are also being born, so their shift in age group might just pay off. Ah, the circle of life. Are you tired of reading about this yet?

What these extra dollars probably mean is that Americans all across this great land will be forced to endure more uncomfortable, squirm inducing T.V. commercials with their family along with Viagra, Cialis etc. only this time about diapers for grandpa. Seldom do these commercials take the humorous route to quell the awkwardness, instead opting for either manhood affirming boldness, or sappy romance. And if anyone can blunt the humiliation of being sold adult diapers, they’ll be sure to make a crap load of money.


Skyy Vodka Offers Celestial Advice

Skyy Vodka is looking to the heavens to offer celestial advice to consumers.

Their new tagline, “West of expected,” looks to the sky with some tasty new spots.

Skyy Vodka

In a parody of the “Cosmos” television show, a bespectacled ‘scientist’ gives lectures on everything from tipping etiquette to the importance of having a wingman. Using celestial metaphors, the host explains how, “With a little fresh thinking, the universe can be surprisingly smooth.”

The nerdy emcee’s tone is drier than a vodka martini, adding an additional spritz of humor. The campaign sets Skyy apart from its competitors, whose relentlessly ‘hip’ ads have developed an assembly-line feel. Skyy’s new spots appeal to the intellectual without even a splash of pandering.

Skyy encourages viewers to put down their cell phones and actually interact with the living, breathing human beings around them. (If you’re reading this on your phone in a bar right now, shame on you!) The host exclaims, “First person to check their texts has to buy the next round” – a rule I’m immediately implementing with my friends.

The commercial spots are supplemented with a print campaign that really pops with clever catchphrases:

  • “No Artificial Traditions Added.”
  • “Your Bartender has a Name. It’s not ‘Hey.’”
  • “Vodka Born in the Motherland. California.” My personal favorite, as it skewers the Eastern European companies’ emphasis on their foreignness. ‘Merica!

The Venables Bell & Partners agency produced the ads, which are being rolled out on nearly every major cable TV channel. Skyy is looking to make a statement, and they want that message heard loud and clear.

Who knows.  Maybe Skyy can take sales beyond earthly limits.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA


Fake Banned Grey Poupon Ad Goes Viral

A fake banned Grey Poupon ad has gone viral.


The bogus ad hit the Interwebs with some gross but kinda funny messaging.  The ads asked What do you pompon?  And well, the answers were:

  • A guy who does it traditionally — on his burger
  • A lady who does it on picnic food — on potato salad
  • A mom who brown bags it (so to speak) and does it on her kids’ lunches

You get the idea.  So do the 3.5 million YouTube views who have seen the spots done by sketch a comedy group called Online Broadcast Virtual Station (OBVS)

Kraft Foods might as well Poupon themselves for not thinking of such a clever advertisement. For a company with such an iconic advertising history you would expect them to pull off something as clever as this stunt.  Following in the footsteps of other fake “banned” commercials, a trend that has targeted Carl’s Jr. and Skittles as well, the fake “Banned Grey Poupon Ad” has gone viral, as the video continues to spread.”

The videos clearly don’t stink.  People were convinced it was Kraft Foods’ next big experiment for the Grey Poupon brand. The brand of course couldn’t take the credit and had to report that it was fake.

As a rep says, “We’re not surprised that people may have some fun with an iconic and loved brand like Grey Poupon. ‘But of course,’ we didn’t produce or approve this video.”
But they sure as hell wish they did.


Jimmy Kimmel Helps Old Navy Sell Flip-Flops

Old Navy has Jimmy Kimmel selling a new collection of summer flip-flops.  He’s getting help from 36 vending machines and a hashtag.

The late-night host and his team of writers created a skit during “Jimmy Kimmel Live” scored big time during the airing and on YouTube for Old Navy’s “Tweet For Your Feet” campaign.

Old Navy

Basically Old Navy was giving away super cheap flip flops to the first 9,000 tweeters to participate in their en masse Twitter firestorm. For all those in the lucky 9,000, one dollar flip flops could be retrieved from a glorified vending machine by using the hashtag #flipflophooray. And if one thing has always screamed quality, it’s vending machines. Jimmy Kimmel and Amy Poehler have also been flashing their mugs all over Old Navy lately, with Kimmel’s sidekick Guillermo partaking in some admittedly funny beach hijinks while wearing a stack of sandals.


With this two pronged strategy, I can only assume Old Navy is looking to appeal to the cheap hipsters while simultaneously pushing its more, uh, mature customers into the digital age. And believe it or not, but the strategy has payed off in huge dividends. Ivan Wicksteed from Old Navy is claiming that the sales figures brought in by the Twitter sale are rivaled only by black Friday numbers. This style of sale may be the big new promotional strategy, so look out for more players to try and get in on Old Navy’s action. For all you consumers though, if you can pry your eyes away from the beautiful and not so beautiful beach bodies this summer, Old Navy may have some flimsy sandals coming your way…


Molson Beer Fridge Returns to Canada

Molson Canadian Beer Company’s custom fridge filled with the Canadian beer has returned to Canada.

The Molson beer fridge spent years traveling the globe. It went from downtown London to the depths of the jungle. The swanky fridge only opens for people with Canadian passports. On Canada Day – July 1 – Molson put a fresh twist on the successful marketing campaign, bringing it home to Canada and giving it a new unlocking gimmick.


Seeing as the vast majority of people in Canada logically possess Canadian passports, Molson has now decided to test Canadians’ level of patriotism. The fridge requires the thirsty individuals looking to unlock “the magic inside” to sing an accurate – or at least semi-accurate – rendition of “O Canada.” The Rethink agency says we’ll see more of the red refrigerators in the months to come. The Molson campaign, which has the tagline “I am Canadian,” will continue its tour, quenching the thirst of the parched throngs of Europe, and perhaps beyond.

Molson continues to show that there’s still mileage in the fridge campaign. With the nationalistic pride of the ads, it’s no surprise that Molson Canadian continues to be one of the top-selling beers in Canada.

Despite the company’s merger with Coors, the Molson brand continues to resonate with Canadian consumers. Fun, patriotic marketing campaigns like the Molson fridge deserve much of the credit.

I’ll be curious to see what Molson does with the fridge next. Perhaps it could travel America, requiring customers to name five active hockey players to open. Maybe the fridge will lead them through some sort of quiz regarding the basic rules of curling.

One thing that is clear – the Molson fridge campaign still has plenty of gas in the tank.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA


Nestea Takes a ‘Plunge’ Reviving TV Ad

Nestea returns to American televisions after being gone for two decades with their revived “Take the Nestea Plunge” campaign.


Originally run from the Seventies through the Nineties, Publicis Hawkeye is bringing back to life Nestea’s original campaign, which is tied to a new reformulation that has reduced the beverage’s calories and improved its taste.


The main objective of the revived campaign is to regain shares lost by Nestea in recent years and the “Nestea Plunge into Summer” sweepstakes will surely help with that. Other companies such as Arizona have been seeing growth as consumers switch from soda to iced tea, which is perceived to be healthier.

The Nestea brand suffered because Nestlé and Coca-Cola disbanded their joint venture, Beverage Partners Worldwide, within the U.S. as of 2012. The Nestea brand was “marginalized” because it “hadn’t been actively communicated in a decade,” but now under the Nestlé Waters North America brand and leadership, there is renewed focus on rebuilding its sales and share.   I guess

Rick Tanner, VP of marketing for Nestlé Waters, said that research shows that the “Take the Nestea Plunge” resonates with younger consumers and that many older customers still remember the campaign. The Nestea brand still has a 95 percent awareness among American consumers as well.

The “new” campaign includes a new TV ad and social media campaign with the hashtag ‘#NesteaPlunge’ for users to post their own pictures and videos.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA


Kashi Has Crumbled in Court

Kashi, the all natural food company known for dreaming of a world where everyone embraces natural health, has crumbled in court.


The semantic battle of the century over the words ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ is raging on like never before. Kellogg, who owns Kashi, took a pretty big hit by trying to pass off some synthetic compounds that do actually appear in nature as ‘natural’ on some food labels. Is something still ‘natural’ if it’s made in a factory? Apparently not, because Kellogg now has to pay five million dollars and take ‘all natural’ and ‘nothing artificial’ off of said labels. Just like Coca-Cola is being sued for having an infinitesimal amount of actual pomegranate juice in their Minute Made bottles, big food companies are constantly getting caught with their pants down whilst attempting to ride the wave of cash driven by a ravenous health food craze.

Of course the fact that Kellogg agreed to this settlement in no way means that they think they were in the wrong: “We will comply with the terms of the settlement agreement by the end of the year and will continue to ensure our foods meet our high quality…” You get the idea.  I mean, just because you agree to change your company’s labels and pay millions of dollars in no way implies guilt, right?  Kellogg is just another helpless corporation being slashed at by the nosey health foods crowd. It’s like I’ve always said, what’s so great about really being all natural anyway? I want to wear my green halo and unwittingly consume things like synthetic pyridoxine hydrochloride without a bunch of court cases bringing me down.

Either way, I suppose I’ll live to snack another day.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA


Fiat’s ‘Endless Fun’ Series Defies Description

Fiat’s new series of spots titled “Endless Fun” defy description. I swear.


Descending into the fiery depths of laziness, ridiculousness and internet trend exploitation, the new ads for Fiat are just GIFs of stupid things happening in and around the new 500s. One such sequence involves a Marilyn Monroe-esque encounter with wind and a cat chasing a car on a TV screen. Not to disparage the 500, but I’m sure Fiat’s founders might have had a different vision for the future marketing of their autos. The ads, in addition to making no real sense, seem to be rubbing that fact in our faces with a guy in a horse mask looking at the camera and the words “deal with it” flashing across the screen in reference to an online meme whose popularity has long since peaked.

Chrysler’s CMO Oliver Francois is at the helm of this push to make the pint sized Fiats more palatable to the supersize me, SUV laden U.S. Public. And Mr Francois has zeroed in on some pretty nifty buzzwords to justify their new strategy, calling it: “Crazy weird. Crazy fun.” Well, maybe just that first word. Did I mention these spots are dirt cheap to produce?

The real driving force behind the GIF commercials soon becomes clear as soon as cost is brought up.

After all, GIFs are just a fast sequence of photos. Bottom line is that these is a trendy, eye catching and cheap line of commercials, but my real question is: Are the people who are going to be in on the internet references really old enough to buy a Fiat? Or even a pack of cigarettes?

And don’t even get me started on the twerking.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA