While the rest of you were DVRing past the commercial breaks or using them to refill your popcorn bowls, I was taking notes on the ads that ran during Sunday night’s Academy Awards broadcast. Here’s a summary.
1. I detested the endless barrage of unimaginative JCPenney ads. Their only marginally interesting feature was the company’s new logo, which made its on-air debut Sunday night. The Brand New blog revealed last week that the logo had been designed by a third-year graphic-design student at the University of Cincinnati. Because that’s how 109-year-old multibillion-dollar nationwide chains now roll, apparently.
New JCPenney logo
As if the ads weren’t enough, a JCPenney sign even appeared during the opening montage with actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco. (Watch the montage—arguably the high point of a mediocre awards show—here. JCPenney is in the Back to the Future sequence, around 5:27.)
Naming note: JCPenney (no more periods or spaces; we’re young and hip now!) was called Golden Rule when it was founded by James Cash Penney in 1902.
2. ING Direct’s ads featured the staggeringly inane tagline “Touch the ball.” Yep, that’s going to restore my faith in the American financial system.
1. Kudos to JPMorgan Chase for “Change,” which employed 3D paper animation to create a sophisticated version of a child’s pop-up book. The agencies responsible were Psyop and McGarryBowen. (Hat tip to Purple Penning for that info.) Watch the spot at the Strictly Paper blog.
2. After that weird cross-dressing spot that aired during the Super Bowl, Living Social must have decided—wisely—to change course. The two new ads that debuted on Sunday had an infectious score and a charmingly homemade look, like a deconstructed version of last year’s “I’m on a horse” campaign for Old Spice. And they kept the brand promise front and center.