Volkswagen Encourages U.S. Soccer Fans To Root For Brazil (Or Iceland, Belgium, Switzerland, Or Germany)

For the first time since 1986, the United States didn’t qualify for the World Cup. It was embarrassing, but there will still be Americans watching, and they’ll need a team to root for. So Volkswagen has a new World Cup-centered campaign, cleverly called “Jump On The Wagen”, where fans of different countries’ teams pitch the US for support. Brazil has the most trophies, Iceland doesn’t have enough people to do the wave, Belgium hosts the world’s biggest EDM festival, Switzerland brought us Swiss Army knives, and Germany brought the frankfurter. Compelling reasons, all. The attractive Icelandic fan is played by Sarah Skogland…anyone know who the Brazilian fan is?


Budweiser Tells The Immigrant Story Of Adolphus Busch In Its Super Bowl Commercial

Advertising often reflects the events of the outside world. So at a time when immigration is a red-hot topic, especially in the United States, it’s not surprising that Budweiser would create an ad about the immigrant story of the co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, Adolphus Busch. It’s a compelling, well-shot commercial that’s racked up more than 6 million views only a few days after being released online. Here’s more from Adweek.

This Sad T-Rex Appreciates Audi’s Piloted Driving

If you’re a T-Rex, having a normal life around humans would be difficult. For the T-Rex in Audi’s new spot from Germany, the struggle is real. He and all of his dinosaur brethren terrify people, and are banned from public transport. Then, his tiny arms cause him to fail at making his bed, and he becomes a viral laughingstock. He becomes depressed, and even participating in sports doesn’t work out. Poor guy. But then he discovers Audi’s Piloted Driving. No longer are his short arms an impediment…this T-Rex is back. It’s a bizarre ad, but great writing and a lovable concept make this one a winner. Well done.

Visa: Yusra Mardini Swims On

Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini will leave Rio without a medal. She didn’t qualify for the semifinals or finals. But in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter. Yusra is a refugee from Syria, and currently living in Germany. She’s a member of the first Refugee Olympic Team. Last year, Yusra helped swim her boat to safety, pulling 17 refugees behind her. Visa pays a stirring tribute to her in this spot.

This Johnnie Walker Spec Ad Is Spectacular

Big hat tip to AdFreak for this great one. It was directed by Daniel Titz and Dorian Lebherz, who are both students at Germany’s Film Academy of Baden-Württemberg. Their Johnnie Walker spec spot “Dear Brother” follows two brothers traversing the wild locale of Scotland’s Isle of Skye, their childhood home. The melancholy, foggy setting reminds me of another great whiskey spot for Tullamore Dew. A wistful voiceover speaks of “being free” and towards the end that notion of freedom takes on a new meaning. The brothers are played by Robin Guiver and Matthew Lewis-Carter. Cinematography, copy, and music…all simply fantastic. Methinks these guys will go far.

A Morbidly Sweet Christmas Commercial From Germany

This spot from German supermarket chain Edeka has become wildly popular, racking up more than 27 million views (!) in less than a week. The ad starts with an elderly man hearing from his family that they won’t be able to make it for Christmas. They’re too busy with their own lives around the world. We see him dejectedly eating Christmas dinner alone. But as Jill Taylor once learned, it’s never a good idea to reject seeing an elderly parent. He dies, and the family members receive the news. His death brings them together…but then everyone is in for a big shock when they visit his house. Personally, I’d think the family would be more angry when they found out he faked his own death so they’d come together, but hey, everyone reacts differently. It’s kinda dark and twisted, but ultimately quite sweet. The song is “Dad” by Supreme Music featuring Neele Ternes.

My North Korean Dream

This is a post I’ve been mulling over for a while. The death of Kim Jong-il seems like the ideal time to write it.

In late August/early September, I installed the Feedjit tracker on my blog. I knew from WordPress statistics how many views Commercial Society was getting, but I had no idea where they were coming from. The tracker gives real-time updates for when people visit my site, including what post they view and their geographic location. Knowing where visitors are coming from has proven to be the most interesting part. It is absolutely fascinating to look at the globalization of advertising. Just as an example off the top of my head, there was a 20 minute span where people viewed the same post from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, and Iowa. Whenever the same post is seen a lot in a short period of time, it’s a good indication that the commercial I wrote about has just been shown on a highly-rated program, often football. To date, my blog has seen seen in over 110 countries, spanning 6 continents (still waiting on Antarctica).

Not surprisingly, one of the countries where my blog has not been visited is North Korea. I recently saw a show on the National Geographic Channel about life in North Korea. It was one of the most disturbing and unsettling things I’ve ever watched. They talked to “normal people” (though I’m sure they were carefully selected by the government). You could see the confusion and conflict in these peoples’ eyes. They said life in North Korea was great, and constantly praised the “Dear Leader”. But it was hard to tell if these people were truly happy, brainwashed, or completely miserable but forced to speak well of North Korea at gunpoint.

One thing I wondered about was Internet in North Korea. There is Internet, but it is extremely censored. In addition, common people in North Korea are starving, so it’s not like they have access to computers (or even know about them). So Internet is only for the super elite. Which means that it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible for a common person in North Korea to visit this blog.

But now Kim Jong-il is dead. Nobody knows exactly what’s next for North Korea. Kim Jong-il’s son Kim Jong-un is likely to take over…and it will probably be another awful dictatorship. So let’s assume everything stays the same. I have a dream. I have a dream that somehow a lowly North Korean peasant gets access to a computer, and somehow stumbles onto Commercial Society. Enlightened to the awesome worlds of consumerism, commercialism, and capitalism, he/she starts a REVOLUTION to overthrow the shitty North Korean government. OCCUPY PYONGYANG! FREEEEEDOM! You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

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