May's Guest Review

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Peter Nicholson
Peter Nicholson
Joakim Borgstrom
Joakim Borgstrom
FedEx Kinko's "Coffee"
A big sight gag of an overreaction in the office.

PN: A man sloppily chugs a pot of coffee in a meeting when he expects to have to pull an all-nighter, unaware that FedEx Kinko's is the answer to his problems. It's a funny idea about a boring subject. Great casting, great timing, and FedEx Kinko's is a great client for doing it. But someone might want to fix that coffee machine. It doesn't seem to keep the coffee very hot.
Four stars.

JB: It gets the message across, but it's just following a tried-and-tested formula. Nothing original or outstanding here. If it's a joke, then I suppose I should be laughing.
Two stars.



Sony PS3 "This Is Living"
An online hotel houses the chronicles of some crazy characters at the elaborate ThisIsLiving.tv.

PN: Heavy mental involvement required. I love it. This is a great example of pulling you into a story. I wish there was a simple explanation of this experience, so let me just say, go try it yourself. My guess is there are many secrets to uncover, and I didn't have the proper amount of time to discover many. I did figure out how to kill the flying butterfly, which was cool.
Four stars.

JB: This website has very impressive animations and transitions, a really cool design, and the use of sound and video support it well. The only problem is I had to spend 20 minutes trying to understand what to do. Surely the point of it can't be just to move around the different rooms? If "This is living," then maybe I need to get a life because I just don't get it!
Three stars.

Crunch Fitness "We All Crunch"
Characters modeled on real-life Crunch patrons.

PN: I find this campaign insulting. It characterizes everyone as some stereotypical moron represented by a clichéd doll. Why do I care if Mercedes wants to keep her butt looking like a grapefruit? God forbid someone actually thinks having an ass that looks like a grapefruit is a good thing. FYI—it looks more like a papaya. I like the earrings, though.
One star.

JB: I guess it's difficult for a gym to be really original—they are, in their nature, pretty generic. The dolls are an interesting idea, and the style of the dolls is quite original. If you see one execution alone, I don't think the idea really translates that well, but the campaign gets the theme across quite well. I think the idea could be adapted for online and possibly even for merchandise, so there's room for expansion. It's all a little bit gimmicky, but it surely stands out from the "body beautiful" image that gyms sometimes present
Two stars. Michelin "The Road of Tomorrow"
The jolly Michelin Man cruises through an enormous dome of activity at MichelinMan.com/forward.

PN: I always wondered where the Michelin man lived, and now I know. The site is impressive visually, but it becomes frustrating as you move through it—it doesn't maintain the same quality as you dig deeper into it. The videos and demos are very old and they don't feel like they fit in the site. I tried to play the games, but you can't play them from a Mac. And it redirects you out of the Michelin site without an easy return.
Two stars.

JB: Once you're in this slow-loading site, it feels clunky—if you accidentally click on the wrong link, you need to wait for a 3-D travel clip to load before you can go back. It's difficult to skip certain things or to jump to another section, and I felt like I had to wait a long time for each link to load. The heavy 3-D effects aren't really enough to encourage me to stay and explore more.
Two stars.

Street Review

Sam Munson
Sam Munson
Sam Munson has been irascible since an early age.

PS3 "This is Living"

Confusing but weirdly seductive. Is this an attempt to turn the PS3 into some kind of lifestyle accessory? (Eww.) The jumpy interface and cluttered-but-clean look of the site work well together; the "interactive" stuff—dressing a mannequin, designing a thong—dull, dull, dull. The dancing night clerk is cool, though. But wow—Sony's crammed a lot of stereotypes into just one site! For instance: dancing black guy; closet queen; gay dude obsessed with soccer players; "sassy" Latina; crazed veteran; magical, silent Asian man.
Two stars.
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