October 20, 2008


VIFF Turns Camera Eye to Film Festival Audience


“I was immediately attracted to the idea of turning the movie screen into a kind of mirror to the audience,” says Chris Hutsul of Soft Citizen, referring to the spots he directed for the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

They’re smart, funny and unexpectedly existential — but also familiar, because you see yourself in each of these snapshots: your rage at late-coming friends, your perplexity toward abstract cinema, or the way some foreign films turn you into an overthinking, turtleneck-sporting douchebag. With a ponytail.

o The Overanalyzer
o The Foreign Film
o The Seat-Saver
o The Front Row
o The First Question
o The Die Hard

They end neatly — gratefully, even — with the words “We’re glad you’re here.” (So glad, in fact, that they — meaning VIFF — have also given you a game to play. It’s an amusing one-time distraction, enough of an experience to leave you feeling good, post-chortle.)

Agency: TBWA/Vancouver. Soft Citizen produced, Secret Location assisted with interactive production.


Is time running out for tween magazines?

Cosmo_girl_copy CosmoGirl is spitting out its last issue this December. With magazine sales falling off a cliff and more young girls choosing Cosmo itself over its sexless tween counterpart, CosmoGirl‘s ad pages dropped 14.5 percent in the first half of 2008. So, Hearst is cutting its losses and focusing on Seventeen. But don’t worry, there won’t be a sudden dearth of Jonas Brothers coverage. The CosmoGirl Web site is still raking in the ad bucks and will remain online. In fact, tween content has been steadily growing online through cheaper-than-print virtual worlds like Neopets and Club Penguin. Disney’s Club Penguin Times, a fake online weekly, is more widely read than a lot of U.S. newspapers. And of course, we can’t forget the crazy-popular Stardoll site. Last week, Elle U.K. announced that it’ll be launching Stardoll magazine. Elle Girl‘s own print edition crashed and burned in 2006, but they’ve also thrived online, so Cosmo Girl might learn a thing or two from them about how to survive in the new tween landscape. Clearly, it takes more than a three-page spread of your most mortifying moments.

England’s Cactus Kid campaign gets spiked


Does this U.K. campaign for Oasis fruit drinks, starring a rebellious girl and her cactus boyfriend, strike you as offensive or irresponsible or a tacit endorsement of teenage pregnancy and underage sex? Or is it just corny and vague? You be the judge, but some easily offended British consumers have already decided on the former. In fact, 32 of them complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, which concluded that the work was indeed “irresponsible and could discourage good dietary practice.” It’s been ordered off the air. We don’t agree with the dietary ruling. We agree, however, that it encourages questionable sexual practices. I mean, the guy’s a cactus.

—Posted by David Kiefaber



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