Friday, January 02, 2004

Starting off the New Year

The wacky, intrusive Aflac duck gets "animated" in a new TV spot breaking this week that also features Looney Tunes legends Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. The spot opens with Bugs and Daffy on a park bench discussing the need for insurance in the "cartoon business." The Aflac Duck is seen being nearly toppled by the Road Runner, while quacking "Aflaaaac!" As the spot proceeds, the Road Runner continues to dodge disaster, Bugs chomps his ever-present carrot and Wile E. falls victim to his own traps and is last seen plummeting to the bottom of a canyon with the Aflac duck in tow."

"Israeli police were not amused by a British Airways advertising campaign that placed hundreds of road signs in Israeli cities directing drivers to Buckingham Palace and other London landmarks. "They look very much like official traffic signs and we think they may confuse drivers," a police spokesman said on Tuesday. He said police had written to the airline and municipalities to demand their removal. BA said the signs - right turn for Hyde Park, left for the London Eye and straight on for Buckingham Palace - would come down anyway on Wednesday at the end of a two-week "London is closer than you think" campaign."

"A welsh tobacconist and a former dotcom businessman are planning to take on the big boys in the tobacco industry with a youth cigarette called Shag. The brand, aimed mainly at university students, is the first major independent cigarette brand in the UK since the controversial Death cigarettes were launched by the Enlightened Tobacco Company in 1991. Death, which featured a skull and crossbones on the packet, quickly became a cult brand before it was stubbed out by the taxman. The Shag Tobacco Company hopes its brand will have the same appeal. "It's a fun name, like the FCUK brand," said Peter Lloyd, the tobacconist who had the idea. "The packaging has been designed in black and white so the health warning doesn't look so odd on it." The organisation has also designed a Shag clothing line but cannot sell it in the UK because another firm owns the name for clothing. "We're talking to Spar," Mr Lloyd said, but added that it was difficult to persuade some shops to stock the brand because of the "oligopoly" in the UK of the three leading tobacco manufacturers. Shag hopes to get round this via point-of-sale advertising, which is still permitted, and by giving out Shag-branded condoms."

Year of the child- An article from India that takes a look back at the ads of 2003. "It is just a recap of the year and an attempt to highlight the interesting things that the advertising world attempted during the year 2003 -- things that are worth noting. And the focus on television because it is the lead medium for most national brands."

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