That's still no excuse for stealing material, if that is in fact the case with this British ad. UK comic Micky Flanagan claims an ad agency stole a joke from his act for a phone service commercial and is a stone's throw away from filing a lawsuit. Punchline Magazine posted videos of the joke and the ad. Is this just a coincidence or is the ad pulling a Carlos Mencia?
First, listen to Flanagan's joke...
And now, watch the ad, which is after the jump.
I could understand the concern. If someone sees an advertisement for the latest Adam Sandler flick, they could confuse it for an Academy Award nominee. The Academy has put some restrictions on the types of ads that can be used which will hopefully prevent such a mix-up. Sadly, these restrictions have only permitted for one studio advertisement so far: Disney-Pixar's Up.
It does seem a bit of a conflict of interest from getting advertising revenue from organizations to whom you are giving awards. At least Hollywood will not be confused for a society of principle. Studios big and small have always used their bank accounts and marketing campaigns to purchase an Academy Award nomination anyway. This just makes the process more obvious.
How do you feel about watching an Academy Awards broadcast with movie ads?
Since its origins, television has always been supported by the movie industry. It makes sense since they're so interconnected (television is mostly an ad-based revenue stream and I've heard that the marketing budget of a lot of studio films is something like 40% of its total cost).
I'm sort of sorry to hear this. I'm not a sports fan but have always tried to catch the Super Bowl because of the clever commercials. It's not likely that Star Trek or X-Men Origins: Wolverine is going to do a Bowl-specific ad. On the other hand, if they did get Hugh Jackman to dress in costume and puncture a football with his claw, or Chris Pine to vaporize it with a phaser, it would be the talk of the water cooler the next day.
They're taking the thirty second commercial and sharing it among advertisers each of whom pay a fraction of the cost. On one hand, it's a brilliant business move. It only takes a few seconds for subliminal advertising to work (which is why there are billboards along the highways of most of the country). On the other hand, it's unlikely we'd get any of the amusing storyline commercials that take two or three spots (these are usually the best part of the broadcast).
If this works, then it could be new way for advertisers to inundate the public during one of the most watched television events of the year. It's just another step in making television and the Internet into the same thing.
UPDATE: It looks like NBC nixed the idea.
This is yet another step in the inevitable merger of television and the Internet. It wouldn't surprise me if in the future, Google either acquires a television network (it could be NBC or some other one) or starts one all its own. It's certainly ubiquitous enough in Internet advertising to break into another medium (sort of like Microsoft's strategy).
It does say something that NBC is turning over some of its ad sales to a third party. As the article states, it could be a way of attracting businesses who only advertise on the Internet. It could also be a way of streamlining their business model so they can concentrate on producing shows in a more cost-effective manner (I knew that MBA would come in handy some day).
Via Pop Watch comes Phat Phree's list of the top 50 greatest local commercials of all time, complete with YouTube clips. In this case, "greatest" doesn't really mean "greatest" in the usual sense, but instead refers to local commercials that are so amazingly bad you just can't forget them. The top five commercials are all for Norton Furniture in Cleavland, Ohio, and hokey smokes, are they weird. It's like Peter Lorre's and Salvador Dali's brains had sex and these commercials were the result.
I've watched a few of the commericials, and they all have their own kind of odd charm. I can't recall any local ads worth mentioning from my Iowa youth, though: they were mostly your typical spots featuring bad acting and lame gags. Still, when budgets are low and you can't hire real actors, you have to do the best you can.
If any of you have find memories of gloriously bad local ads, share them in the comments.
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