With a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese (and the promise of his involvement in future episodes), a monstrous cast with Steve Buscemi as the lead and Sopranos‘ writer/producer Terence Winter at the helm—HBO’s Boardwalk Empire can’t lose—or can it? Well, just to be sure, HBO is teaming up with some interesting media/product partnerships including Bloomingdale’s, Caesars Atlantic City and Canadian Club whiskey. And some of this $10M campaign was spent along my daily commute at the southeast corner of LaSalle & Eerie.
Besides all the typical testosterone-targeted car and beer commercials, this year’s Super Bowl ads followed several tired themes: funny animals & babies, too hot stupid for prime time, half-naked men/nearly nude co-workers, Denny’s super obnoxious (and grotesque) screaming chickens and waaay too many Internet memes that didn’t translate well to TV. That said, Miller High Life’s “Little Guys on the Big Game” ad stood out to me. Considering the 30-second slot cost $3M, I thought it was pretty cool they gave it up to four small businesses—especially when one of those businesses was Chicagoan Tim Herron‘s Baseball Card Shop.
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) is kind of like the AIGA of TV advertising. To promote their upcoming 2010 Show & Next Awards, the AICP created Stop Babies + Puppies. With a motto of “Make Art. Not Clichés.”, the Stop Babies + Puppies site is half viral marketing and half tongue-in-cheek critique. I’m especially fond of the Cliché Ad Machine (sponsored by ThoughtEquity and Corbis Motion) which allows your inner auteur to mashup and remix cheezy clips of babies and puppies for your own sentimental commercial barf-fest.