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October 9, 2015


There will be a lot of movie ads during the Super Bowl

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 9th 2009 11:04AM
Superbowl trophyWith a three million dollar price per thirty seconds along with an extremely down economy, many of the regular supporters are bowing out of their standard Super Bowl spots. But apparently Hollywood is stepping up to fill in the gaps.

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.

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Australian TiVo commercial is attractive, unoriginal

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 14th 2008 12:32PM

TiVo launched an advertising campaign in Australia recently to promote the release of the first TiVo set top boxes in that country. And at first glance, the ad looks pretty cool and creative. At least until that little light bulb goes off in your head. You know, the one that says "haven't I seen this ad before?"

As Gizmodo Australia points out, you probably have. Because it's practically identical to an ad that Apple used about a little while back to promote the iPod Nano.

I don't know about you, but I can't imagine this being a coincidence. The two commercials are just too similar.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

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Psych does Ebony & Ivory - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 21st 2008 2:01PM
Shawn and GusSo, I'm minding my own business the other day, watching one of last season's Burn Notice episodes in anticipation of the new season, when I see a commercial that made me laugh out loud. It was a promotion for the new season of Psych. Gus and Shawn (Dule Hill and James Roday) in a familiar-looking black and white set, at a grand piano, sitting side by side singing "Ebony and Ivory." It was hilarious. So funny that I decided you had to see it. (below)

James Roday laying on a Paul McCartney accent. The giant keyboard with the title Psych where Steinway should be. Dule Hill in the Stevie Wonder part, with impossibly wide collar flaps and a toothy grin.

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Zach Braff goes to Bristol University - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 4th 2008 1:01PM
Zach Braff on ESPN adOne of the things that helps me keep my cool when I meet or speak to celebrities is the knowledge that at one time, they were just another person struggling to keep his or her head above water, just like everyone else. Take Zach Braff, for example: it wasn't too long ago that Zach was just another struggling actor and not one of the highest-paid stars on TV. And, thanks to the fun that is the interwebs, we can find evidence of that very easily.

The video after the jump is from a commercial for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show, which looks like it was from 1998 or so. At the time, those wacky guys at the Worldwide Leader were referring to themselves as "Bristol University" (the network is located in Bristol, CT), and this particular ad shows student registration for classes like "History of the AFC Central Division 1994-1997," taught by Chris Berman. But the most popular class is the one taught by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (of course), and Braff is one of the students who get to ask the cheerleaders about the class' content. You can see some elements here of what made him a good choice to play J.D. on Scrubs three years later. It's just too bad that class doesn't exist ...

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I can has hot Wendy's burger? - VIDEO

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 15th 2008 2:23PM
wendy's commercialI don't understand why certain commercials get to become "banned." I've seen a few since the latest multitude of Super Bowl commercials, and most of those have been funnier that anything shown on TV! Who the heck decided these commercials weren't fit for television? There were even a couple of questionable ones shown during the game this year, ones that offended quite a few people. Who cleared those monstrosities?

Case in point, the following "banned" Wendy's commercial, from 2007, for their four-alarm spicy chicken sandwich. The scientist holds said sandwich out to his assistant with tongs, so you know right away this thing means business. I haven't had fast food in years, but I gotta say I started wondering where the nearest Wendy's joint was so I could try one of these bad boys; that fourth "hint" (hit?) of spice is a doozy. Continue on for the video. (And for those who don't get the headline, read up on LOLCats.)

[via Digg]

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Apple's gonna make me buy that damned Feist song

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 17th 2007 11:38AM
Feist: The ReminderNow I know how Apple manages to pump up iTunes sales; they play an iPod ad with a certain song so many times that millions of people have no other option but to log on and download that song, just in an effort to get it out of their heads before they snap.

Case in point: The current ad for the new iPod Nano plays the song "1234" by Feist. I guess they used the song so Apple could show the different colors of Nano while Ms. Feist counts off in a sing-songy fashion. Also I think they want to show how great a video with a large number of people in it (she uses a large backing chorus on the song) looks on the Nano's itty-bitty screen (though I can barely see it on the ad, but whatever).

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Do TV commercials work just as well if you fast forward?

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 10th 2007 12:21PM
Max HeadroomWe've heard of networks doing all sorts of crazy research to prove to advertisers that PVR owners don't skip commercials as much as they pretend to. Or when they do actually fast forward, they're still paying attention.

Last month, the head of NBC Universal's news research division said that the network has been performing "neurological and biometric" research. Essentially they hooked about 20 TV viewers up to special equipment and measured their physical responses to commercials. They found that people were paying attention. And in fact, after they were finished watching TV episodes, the viewers were able to remember brands that had been advertised just about as well as if they had watched 30 second commercials.

On the one hand, the sample seems pretty small. And it's possible that the reason viewers were "highly engaged," is because they were still pumped up from watching Heroes, or because they were trying to figure out when the fast-forwarded commercials would end.

On the other hand, Silicon Alley Insider raises a good point. If the 5-second blipverts are just as effective as full 30 second commercials, should NBC really be promoting this research? Because what it really suggests is that advertisers are paying too much for full length commercial spots.

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Craig Ferguson's monologue is back to normal tonight

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 16th 2007 7:18PM
craig fergusonAngry fans have quite a bit of power over CBS these days. The network tried a little experiment last week with Craig Ferguson's talk show, and it ended up failing miserably. Fans probably noticed that at about 3 minutes into the show, Craig and Co. broke for a commercial. The commercial break forced Ferguson to pause in the middle of his monologue for a word from sponsors and then resume his routine afterwards.

I want to know who on earth thought this was a good idea in the first place? It sounds like some money-grubbing accountant's idea... not someone who actually watches late night television. Amazingly, Craig agreed to the experiment. Fans got pissed off and inundated his show with angry e-mails, forcing an end to the I-coulda-told-you-it-was-a-bad-idea experiment. Now that it's kapput, Ferguson says "I will never do it again. It is over."

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Cookie Monster eats a machine - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 16th 2007 9:03AM

cookie monsterMuppet fans know that some characters evolve while others just spring up from out of nowhere. Cookie Monster, for example, began life as somewhat more ferocious-looking monster (the row of sharp teeth helped) in several commercials before being toned down and brought to Sesame Street.

In the clip below, a pre-Sesame Street Cookie Monster devours a machine while the machine describes how it works and what its many functions are. Actually, it only has one main function, but you'll have to watch the clip for that.

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Jesse Jackson lookalike owns a flea market - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 12th 2007 11:01AM

sammy stephens and jesse jacksonI was pokin' around NBC's YouTube channel the other day when I came across this video of Leno interviewing celebrity lookalikes on the street.

The bit isn't all that funny, but check out the first guy Jay interviews. That's right, it's Sammy Stephens, owner of Flea Market Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama. Stephens' commercial, which features him both rapping and dancing has made him a minor celebrity both online and on TV (Ellen DeGeneres loved his commercial and invited him on to her show).

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Mr. T, a tank and Snickers - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 5th 2007 11:01AM

snickersI thought I had seen everything Mr. T has done, but this commercial is completely new to me. You should skip to the bottom of this post and watch it, then come back here for my analyzation. Okay, then.

So, the commercial starts off with a soccer game, and one player overplaying his injury a little too much. We cut to a scene of Mr. T driving a tank toward the soccer field. He smashes two cars along the way: did those cars have people in them? Mr. T does not care. Mr. T has bigger things on his mind: big, nutty chocolaty things.

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ComSkip, commercial skipper

by Chris Tew, posted Feb 22nd 2007 10:29AM
ComSkipComSkip is a completely free commercial skipper that works with a variety of PC PVR software for Windows. It will read an MPEG file and analyze the video for those tell tale signs of a commercial break and cut them accordingly.

ComSkip can read MPEG PS files up to HD resolution (max 2000x1200) at 25fps (PAL) and 29.97fps (NTSC).

You can remove commercials by just simply opening up the videos with ComSkip. With certain PC PVR software you can configure ComSkip to automatically run after a TV show is recorded to remove those commercials straight away.

[Via MAKE]

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Bruce Campbell wants you to wear Old Spice - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 10th 2007 11:03AM

bruce campbellLast night I did the unthinkable. I actually stopped and watched a commercial on my Tivo. Correction: I stopped and actually hit rewind on my remote so I could watch a commercial. Why did I do this? Two words: Bruce Campbell. If you don't know that name, then you're obviously not a fan of that classic horror trilogy consisting of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness. Evil Dead II is the best one of the three, and I'm willing to fight anyone who says different. You might also know Bruce as the titular lead in the TV series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., or from such series as Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules and Jack of All Trades. Bruce often works with his childhood friend Sam Raimi, and has appeared in all of Raimi's Spider-Man films. Raimi also directed the Evil Dead films and executive produced Xena, Hercules and Jack of All Trades.

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Mary Tyler Moore dances for Hotpoint - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 7th 2007 9:02AM

mary tyler mooreI would love to see the young versions of Mary Tyler Moore and Marlo Thomas put in a cage together and have a battle of cute. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, I'm guessing they would just emit cuteness until one of them was overcome and their head exploded. This violates several laws of physics, but I'm convinced it would work because their cuteness is almost supernatural. What I can't explain is why I would express my admiration for an actress by imagining a scenario in which they might be violently killed. I really need to think these things through better.

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Rod Serling, creepy man in your child's bedroom - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 4th 2007 7:32AM

rod serlingI loves myself some Twilight Zone, but when I watch repeats of the classic series I can't help but notice that the dialogue in Rod Serling's scripts was somewhat overwrought. I sometimes have trouble watching certain episodes and not imagining Serling hunched over his typewriter, giggling to himself at how clever he's being. That's not necessarily a criticism -- if anything, it's that mix of segments that made you roll your eyes and ones that truly gripped you that kept the series interesting and still makes it stand out even today.

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