airbnb brings the magic home

05.04.2015
airbnb announces its expansion to Cuba in an ad whose minimalist design suggests the golden age of advertising

Bienvenido a casa cubana

While MadMen (returning tonight) takes pride in its fetish for period detail, airbnb brings to life the magic and modernist vibe from advertising’s golden age. A superlative ad in every way. 

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The AFA claims to speak for God and what it says isn’t pretty

25.03.2015
The American Family Associate advocates for traditional, God-prescribed marriage

The AFA’s hail-Mary pass to defend traditional marriage

Holy-moly! I’m all for free expression of religion, advocacy and even the pairing of the two. But this takes the (wedding) cake. In a last ditch effort to save civilization, children and Christianity from the “desires of man,” the American Family Association is urging the Supreme Court to “adjudicate rightly that which is God’s alone to decide.” In other words, “affirm marriage as between one man and one woman.” To legitimize same-sex marriage, the organization argues, “would be saying that God has no place in our public square” and that “mothers and fathers together are no longer relevant in the lives of their children.” Can you spell “hyperbole?” Painful as it is to admit, this is a well-done ad and that makes it all the more pernicious. It pushes all the buttons of the faithful (some of whom are serving on the High Court) and presents a crabbed and incorrect reading of the our nation’s civic bible–the Constitution. You have to wonder, hasn’t the AFA (or its lawyers) ever heard of the Establishment Clause? I’ve got to believe that God take a more expansive view of love in all its forms. The bigotry and intolerance enshrined in AFA’s theology reside solely in the minds and hearts of man.

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It’s all over but the shouting

01.03.2015

What is it with all the screaming? Are braying animals or shrieking humans really the best way to, um, break through the clutter? From Discover Card’s “No surprises” (a goat, a mic, a man with an extreme startle reflex) to Geico’s “Scapegoat” (bad karma on the assembly line) and Sprint’s “Apology” (don’t ass-k), engaging viewers seems to have taken second place to shocking them with high-decibel tactics that all but drown out the key messages. For futures, let’s all use our inside voices, OK?

Speaking of unpleasant, the new BMW campaign promoting the X5 SUV hits all the low points—tense family dynamics and dialogue centering on a very unfunny portrayal of a grandmother in her 80s with overly romanticized memories of her youth. Although the vehicle has three rows of seats (one for the designated “backseat driver”), it’s clearly not large enough to accommodate all the emotional ugliness. A surprising turn for a brand that usually takes the creative high road.

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