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February's Guest Review

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Todd Waterbury
Todd Waterbury
Leo Premutico
Leo Premutico "Viral Learning Center"
Comcast's Ziddio invites would-be internet auteurs to go to viral trade school.

LP: In the piss-take infomercial category, at least this one's well executed. Suffers a bit from the "Check out the website to find out what this all actually means" epidemic, but the "exploding whales" and "nasty stuff" ensure you'll still be watching (and laughing) when it appears.
Three stars.

TW: Instead of embracing the low-tech, lowbrow nature of user-generated content and creating a tedious, unfunny version of it to advertise a user-generated content site, try embracing the funny, original nature of user-generated content and create a funny, original ad.
No stars.

Halls "Protect Yourself"
The lozenge is guardian in these safety-themed posters.

LP: Think of something that does the same something as your product, then swap them out . . . sound familiar? The nice art direction and campaignability somewhat save it.
Two stars.

TW: This was the one project under review that I encountered before I was asked to judge it here. I was at LaGuardia, speeding to my gate when I was stopped by the "School Bus" ad. It stopped me precisely because I didn't have to stop. The combination of simplicity, playfulness and intelligence gave me everything. The "Rollerblade" and "Soldier" executions are just as strong, but the rest feel forced.
Three stars.

Toyota "On Toyota's Mind"
A floating brain introduces some of the concepts intriguing Toyota at

LP: Nice sentiment from Toyota, true to the company's vision, and the site doesn't make them feel like a corporate giant trying to force-feed you with information. They've also managed to do it without loads of annoying self-indulgent layers between the entertaining bits and the "corner assist" and "easy flat system" demonstrations.
Four stars.

TW: While it's clear to me that the Toyota Prius symbolizes a cleaner, better world, it isn't clear what message, or what world, Toyota is championing here. The introduction presents a smoggy/foggy mass emanating from a teeming, ambiguous world. The aesthetic is reminiscent of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, but more Delicatessen than Amelie. Is this the world we live in now, which Toyota will one day improve? Is this their vision of an ideal future? The ambiguity continues as the information within the site isn't focused on the Prius, or even on Toyota's environmental innovations.While much of it is informative and, in places, optimistic, I was still left wondering what, indeed, was on Toyota's mind.
Three stars.

MasterCard "Arrivals"
Director Simon Ratigan hung around at the airport to catch reunions in this holiday-themed MasterCard spot.

LP: Pretty basic tactical extension of the nice MasterCard campaign, but Heathrow airport has never looked so good.
One star.

TW: There are times in the life of a campaign when it feels, from the outside at least, like those who originally created it (on the agency side and the client side) had either lost the point or left.While it can be debated whether or not it felt like this has happened in the life of the "Priceless" campaign, the "Arrivals" spot is not one of those times. This spot delivers the original point that is as good as - and, in certain ways, better than - the best spots in the campaign. The confidence and restraint shown by not using the voiceover expands the music, the moment and the emotion.
Four stars.

Street Review

Thomas Henry
Thomas Henry
IT professional by day, Grade-A wild man by night, Thomas Henry can frequently be found patrolling Bed-Stuy with his Boston terrier. "Viral Learning Center"

For the YouTube demographic that Ziddio is going after, this is very, very effective, because it's hilarious. The only problem is that it may be too funny. It was hard to take seriously at first; I really thought it was a joke altogether. That would be the one thing that would've maybe kept me from going to
Three stars.

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