Category Archives: commercials

Redesigning the College Snuggie

Let’s face it. There’s been a lot of talk about Snuggies in pop culture this year. “The blanket with sleeves” came out of nowhere and gripped the nation. From themed bar tours to the Washington Post’s annual Peeps diorama contest, you’re never far from Snuggie’s influence.

And if that weren’t enough, the brains that brought you the outstanding three-color collection have upped their game and expanded their product line to include… collegiate licensed Snuggies!

If you haven’t seen them in their full glory, take a gander:

Picture Source: Blanket Wars (Even better, this picture is from a blog post entitled “OU Will Choke Versus Texas.”)

How does one make an eyesore like the Snuggie even more hideous? Make it look like it was made from the contents of the clearance rack at the fabric store. That fabric ain’t just for pajamas anymore!

Though I’m not (yet) a member of the cult of the Snuggie, I understand why people would buy them. Who doesn’t like being warm? And being able to eat whilst wearing a blanket? Or the ability to change channels without exposing bare arms to the draft of a room?

I also understand why people would want collegiate Snuggies in particular. Every sports fan relishes the opportunity to show off a little team spirit. I mean, if I got a Snuggie, you’d be darn sure I’d get a college team one. (Looks like I’d have to get Texas though, because the makers of Snuggie don’t offer a UVA one. Good research on that one, I must admit. They know their audience, and UVA alums likely wouldn’t bother with a Snuggie: it would clash with their ties or pearls.)

Well, instead of continuing to mock Snuggie, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and offer a design suggestion: K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.) Good design should be minimalist, simple and straightforward. Not cluttered.

How should Snuggie go about this? Pretend to make team sweatshirts, just with tons more fabric. Like this:

Or this:
Yes, UVA can have its own Snuggie after all!
Texas should prominently display the Longhorn logo on burnt orange. Carolina the interlocking NC on its signature Carolina blue hue. Virginia Tech would use the interconnected VT. Florida: the Gator. The Jayhawk for Kansas. You get the picture. Make it simple. Make the primary team color the star, not the blinding repetition of several logos.

How would you redesign the collegiate Snuggie? Would you make them like replica jerseys with the ability to personalize a name and number on the back? Add a belt in a contrasting color? Build in a foam finger at the end of one sleeve? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Final two pictures edited from this image.


Filed under ACC, college basketball, college football, commercials, fashion, graphic design, marketing, mascots, sports, Texas, UVA

Foulest Commercial Ever?

…or at least that I’ve seen in recent memory:

Definitely edgy. And makes me want to yak. A lot.

Brandfreak awarded it the “”so bad it’s good’ award.” “It’s not an image you’ll soon forget,” they said. Yeah, I’ll say. Well, it certainly cuts through the clutter.

Interesting work from 180 LA in Santa Monica, Calif.

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I’ve known for a little while that Gatorade had been planning to unveil new packaging, since I had “read” this blog post about it on TheDieline, the self-proclaimed (and can’t say I disagree) “leading package design website.”

Gatorade redesign. Photo courtesy TheDieline.
I wasn’t a fan of the design at first… It seemed a little Adobe-ish for some reason, even though Adobe uses a sans-serif font and this G has a quasi-serif, but I thought the lightning bolt logo would save the design from being a total dud due to easy recognition. I say Adobe-ish because the label blends in exactly with the color of the contents and is straightforward, simple, brightly colored and easy to read, just like these Adobe product logos:

Adobe logos from The System.

While in Ukrop’s (the best grocery store in the world) last week I saw several “new package Gatorades” but they were missing the signature lightning bolt. Yeah, it was in the sports drink section, and yeah I knew the brand planned to redesign its package, but I wonder if anyone else had walked by looking for product, got confused and left. Probably not, but you never know.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of those Gatorades lacking the lightning bolt, and I’m also not wild about the related “G” commercials that have flooded the airwaves these past few days. First of all, I was actually aware of the packaging change, and still didn’t recognize right away that the commercials were for Gatorade. Truth be told, after the first watch I sorta thought, is this a commercial for Georgetown? Why are all these athletes on here? What’s G? The G reminded me of the Georgetown G (see below). It also briefly crossed my mind that it could be for some new line for Nike.

The Georgetown G. From

Anyway, here are some of the new “G” ads. What do you think?

The ads are the work of TBWA\Chiat\Day. I think the music is catchy (it’s been in my head off and on all day long, with the exception of Texas’ “give ’em hell, give ’em hell, make ’em eat shit” chant from the Fiesta Bowl) and the use of celebrity endorsers certainly makes it memorable (Lil Wayne’s voice, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Serena Williams, etc.). But what difference does it make if people don’t know what the product is?

In my non-scientific convenience sample of my family (five), I was the only one to know what the product was within three views. That’s pathetic for the brand considering at least three of us drink the product semi-regularly and all five of us are passionate about sports and recognized the majority of the athletes.

In a more reliable, though still unscientific poll on CNBC‘s Sports Biz with Darren Rovell blog, the survey found that 37 percent of the 287 respondents “don’t like the spot, don’t like the ‘G’ idea.” Though 57 percent of the respondents did enjoy the ads, but were almost evenly split between “OK with the ‘G’ idea” and “just say it’s Gatorade.”

According to the blog post, one reader said, “I don’t know why this is so awesome, it just is.”

Bleh. Can’t say I agree. I stop paying attention to the voiceover about five seconds in, though I keep wondering what celebrity will next cross my screen. And the song never quits!

Additional reading: AdAge on G

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More Microsoft WTF?

Here’s the second installment of WTF? Microsoft. This time the ad is far too long, and instead of a lousy minute and a half, it reaches four full minutes and some change. Unbelievable. It’s funnier, but still irksomely long and nonsensical. There are however, fleeting moments where I thought I was seeing a brand message or learning about Microsoft products, which is an improvement over the previous ad.

I did enjoy the double reference of Cabo San Lucas. Done so in a mocking manner of course, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

Jeers for ending the commercial in the lame, annoying way as last time. Seinfeld asks about the future of Microsoft to its founder, will there be a “Frog with an e-mail? Goldfish with a website? Amoeba with a blog?” Once again he begs Gates to “Give me a sign,” this time with the billionaire performing the robot.

Oh, the commercial, it’s something. But nothing I care for. It probably hits its campaign goals if Microsoft aims to succeed virally and by word-of-mouth in an effort to drum up brand awareness. If it’s to take back some of Apple’s market share though, I’d venture to guess it isn’t going to be overly successful.

Here is AdAge’s discussion, which found a lot more glimpses of excitement in the commercial than me.

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Dr J, Dr P

Y’all catch the Dr. J Dr Pepper commercial yet? I get the vibe it’s been around for a little while, but I’ve been seeing it a lot lately.

Well I must say I’m a fan. Why exactly? Because it is so perfectly corny in every way. Check it out:

It has all the “nos” of creative advertising wrapped into one beautiful, hilarious, so-bad-it’s-good package.

How, you ask?

Does it have a ridiculous celebrity spokesman for the product?
Check, Dr. J, obviously a candidate who’d know lots about… soda. And Dr. J, Dr Pepper, very funny, we get it easily.

Oh, so an athlete is the spokesperson. Is there a cheesy slo-mo sports play in the commercial?
Check, oh you know it.

Ah yes, and for Dr. Pepper. Clever. How many times is that pun approached?
At least 3 times (Dr. J name is a pun in every mention, so there’s at least a pun in introduction, when he mentions being a doctor, and tagline at end).

Is a cheesy over-the-top sports feat accomplished (an impossible goal or shot, slam dunking on the moon, etc.) to a play-by-play soundtrack or equally silly song?
Oh yeah, Dr. J hits the glass with his ice cube from 10 feet away. In slow motion. Gotta love the music during the shot though. It was my favorite part of the commercial.

How about a cringe-when-you-hear it line from the script?
“Trust me. I’m a doctor.”

And a pun-tastic tagline to seal the commercial?
Check. Dr’s orders. Doesn’t get any better than that!

Apparently we can expect more where that came from from Deutsch/LA, where similar ads will feature another doctor with expertise, Dr. Frasier Crane. The boundless corniness of this installation will certainly be tough to top.

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WTF Microsoft?

Have you seen the new Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercial? Summed up in one uttering, it was WTF?!

The commercial drags on for 90 seconds and consists of Jerry and Bill shopping for shoes at a cheesy location of a “Shoe Circus.” I’m guessing it’s supposed to be like Shoe Carnival. Anyway, Jerry pretends to know a lot about breaking in shoes and makes awkward unfunny jokes for a good 70 seconds of the commercial. At the very end it is briefly mentioned that the ad was for Microsoft Windows. I have no idea what this message was supposed to mean. Was the spot supposed to be the next link we all forward on YouTube? Was it supposed to be funny? Am I the only moron that didn’t get it?

I guess my overall reaction is that it was a humongous disappointment. My feeling is, if you’re going to have a commercial run for that long I better be amused or learn something. I, of course, came away with neither. Choosing to have Jerry Seinfeld on the commercial certainly was a brilliant decision in order to cut through the clutter, but I was at a loss the whole time for why he was there and what was the message of the commercial. Either way it was 90 seconds of my life I won’t be getting back. If you’d also to lose 90 seconds of your own life (you’ve been forewarned), feel free to click below:

After reading AdAge I realized I wasn’t the only one confused. Apparently it was supposed to be some sort of teaser ad to hold us over until something else is launched. In the meantime, I don’t get how Windows is supposed to be delicious. Or what’s with the conquistador thing? I’m kind of surprised to see that this was a CP+B ad, as I’m usually a fan of their zany work. Everyone loved Mini of course, but I enjoyed the creepy Burger King and hilarious candid camera-esque Coke Zero ads with lawyers and “taste infringement.” Maybe Crispin’s follow-up for Microsoft will answer many questions, or we can hope, bring at least something funnier to the table.

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