Friday, 31 October 2008

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #3

Continuing with the short training video from everyone's favourite Day Shift Manager, Chad Vader helps with the important issue of "Decoding the Dress Code" within the workplace:

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #3

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Vice President - Parody of American Boy

Although I use YouTube on a daily basis, there has only ever been one user to which I feel justifies subscribing to their uploads. 'James at War' (real name James Warren), in my opinion, is the best parody artist out there (potentially surpassing the legendary "Weird Al" Yankovic) and is worthy of my attention.

Each of his creations so far have been memorable in their own right and his latest song is no exception. "Vice President" is a wonderful spoof of "American Boy" by Estelle featuring Kanye West, but using Sarah Palin featuring John McCain instead. The lyrics are wonderful as they do not try to be funny, but instead rely on them being believable and fitting the music:

"Put me on the ticket and we'll win this race. Take me to the White House Mr. John McCain. I really want to, campaign here with you".

I will at some point feature some of James at War's work for everyone to enjoy. However, please enjoy this parody. For those unfamiliar with Estelle's work, her original can be found just below the parody.

In his next project, James at War is looking to create a real music video to go with his Popstar song that he shall be placing onto iTunes later this year. To recreate the Rockstar video he is parodying, James at War is wanting YouTube users around the world to film themselves in unusual places miming their favourite parts to the Popstar song. He shall then use these clips of footage to format the music video. Good luck to him. I may even consider contributing myself!

Vice President - Sarah Palin ft. John McCain (Parody of American Boy by Estelle ft. Kanye West)

American Boy - Estelle Feat. Kanye West

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #2

Time for Training Video Number 2 - "Custodial Empowerment and You":

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #2

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #1

In the first of a short series of training videos, Chad Vader introduces what you should do when you have "A Spy in Produce". Whilst the Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager 1st series was filmed and posted a couple of years ago, these training videos are far more recent (with this video having been added to YouTube in May 2008).

Chad Vader - Empire Market Training Video #1

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 8

This episode of Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager is the final episode in the first series. Part VIII is entitled "Clint vs Chad" and features the showdown between the two shift managers of Empire Market!

The end of the episode promises that Chad Vader will return for series 2, but so far it has not come to fruition! Instead, Blame Society Productions have made a sequence of short films that feature Chad Vader in training style videos for the new employees of Empire Market. Coming very soon to this very blog (tomorrow?).

Until then, please enjoy Episode VIII:

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 8

Zyliss - The Best A Potato Can Get

It has been a while since I can honestly say there was an advert on TV that stood out for it's inspired comedy genius. Most adverts have been either trying to be epic or trying to reassure a credit crunch concerned public.

However, today I saw an advert for a Zyliss Multi-purpose Peeler, that is an absolute classic. Essentially, the ad is just a spoof of the Gillette Shaving ads that promise the closest shave, etc. It's a classic example of taking what is essentially a boring product and making it seem sexier by linking it to a familiar product. The Zyliss ad even comes complete with the tagline "The best a potato can get".

What I feel is the nice touch comes towards the end when a quiet voice in the background calls out for the voice-over guy to "Keep Going" as the ad hasn't quite filled 30 seconds. It may not be classed as genius, but it certainly made me chuckle.

See for yourself:

Zyliss Multi-Peeler Advert - The Best a Potato Can Get

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 7

In the penultimate episode of the series, Chad Vader has formatted "The Plan":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 7

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Barack Obama and John McCain Dance-Off

This great video came to my attention today of a Barack Obama vs. John McCain Dance-Off. Obviously it is not real but I must admire the effort that has been made to make the dancers look like their real-life counterparts. Although they are not flawless, the faces remind me of the photo-realistic effect that they use on the latest Fifa and half-life games.

It would be so good to see this happen for real. Perhaps if the US election becomes a dead-heat with an exact split between Obama and McCain of 269 of the 538 representatives (although this currently seems very unlikely), then they could decide the outcome based on a Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With The Stars style vote with the dance of choice being a break-dance. Although the smart money would have to be put of Barack Obama, you never know, John McCain might turn out to be great at popping a move or two!

Obama and McCain Dance-Off

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 6

For those waking up on Saturday morning (hang-over perhaps?), how about taking in another episode of the superb Chad Vader. Apparently, in it's peak, this set of videos made the news on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. If only they were advertising something!!!

Anyway, here's part 6 - "New Job":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 6

Friday, 24 October 2008

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 5

Although these videos were added around a year ago, I somehow managed to miss the fact that they had been created. Today's episode is Episode 5 - "Holiday Blues":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 5

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 4

Chad Vader Part 4 today, with the brilliantly titled "Dog in the store":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 4

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 3

Today is Part 3 of "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager" - "The Night Shift":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 3

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 2

Continuing the series of short videos of "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager", here is Part 2 "The Date":

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 2

Monday, 20 October 2008

Two Ronnies - News at Ton

Rick Lamb posted a video this afternoon of what I consider to be one of the greatest comedy sketches of all time. To compliment this fact, and to give the audiences out there a greater dose of The Two Ronnies, I thought I would follow it up with the News at Ton:

Good Ovoning. Horo's Tho Nows at Ton!

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 1

I first came across Chad Vader a couple of years ago but recently came across some newer footage that I hadn't seen before. For those that have not seen any of these videos it is based on the idea that Darth Vader had a younger, less-talented, less-charismatic brother that is a Day Shift Manager at a fictional small supermarket "Empire Market". The premise is very simple but, having worked for a supermarket in the past, I find that the setting is absolutely perfect. Every supermarket has at least one manager that believes that they have absolute power over the staff and act as if they are running a galactic empire!

So I thought it would be quite enjoyable to have a these videos lined up over the next few weeks.

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager - Part 1

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Unfinished Swan

Ian Dallas and his team are creating a virtual maze. Although this in itself isn't necessarily interesting, the visuals of the maze are quite amazing.

The video below shows the early videos of the game that is expected to be fully ready by March 2009.

Black Painted Bench in a White World!

It consists initially of a completely white world with absolutely no way of determining your surroundings or even the walls of the maze. You are, however, equipped with a paintball gun that fires black paint pellets. On contact with the surfaces and objects that make up the maze they splatter (very realistically) and give an impressive image.

They have also created a cityscape-type world that is almost completely black and the gun now fires white paint! The visual images it creates is very reminiscent of Frank Miller's "Sin City" or the upcoming Frank Miller film "The Spirit"(all we need is a little red!).

Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live

"It's live from New York...It's Saturday Night"

Sarah Palin appeared this weekend on Saturday Night Live in a further push to gain supporters in the run up to the election. Although this is no where near the first time that major political figures have made appearances on SNL, it continues to surprise me when they do!

The US Elections are understandably a huge talking point at this moment in time, and can therefore pull large TV ratings, but I get a little uneasy at the mixture of comedy and politics. I just couldn't see this happening in the UK. Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt we will ever see Gordon Brown as a guest presenter on 'Have I Got News For You' (of course Boris Johnson has done so a couple of times, but he is an oddity, and more of a comedian that happened to be in politics rather than the other way around).

Barack Obama was due to appear on SNL a few months ago but called off the appearance as he (rightly) felt that dealing with Hurricane Ike was a more important issue.

I suppose it is not so much the fact that politicians go on the show that disturbs me but the fact that they insist on acting foolish when there are there! I present 'Evidence A':

Sarah Palin dancing in her seat to an Alaskan rap song
Sarah Palin dancing in her seat to an Alaskan rap song

See below for the two main videos of Sarah Palin's appearance (including the full Alaskan Rap Song!

The Sarah Palin Opening Video

The Sarah Palin dancing to the Alaskan Rap Song video

It is increasingly becoming more about the entertainment value of the US Elections than about the politics, despite polls suggesting that people are caring more about the candidates' views on the economy than the character of the candidates themselves. Can anyone explain to me why people are more likely to vote for someone if that candidate is able to make jokes about themselves and their policies? I would want someone controlling my country (or 1 step away from it) that actually takes their job and policies seriously, not someone that I think would be great to have at a dinner party! Boris Johnson has thus far managed to fill both of these roles at the same time but, as I have said, he IS an oddity!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Wal-Mart's Spread Across the USA

Flowing Data have created a very interesting map of the USA that shows the spread of the Wal-Mart stores from its beginning in July 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas up to the end of 2007.

The use of a green blob to represent each store does help emphasize the virus-like spread of Wal-Mart over the 45 year period and is rather impressive to see that there are now over 3200 stores! I could never see Asda (which the Wal-Mart group also own) doing the same thing in the UK.

Wal-Mart's spread across the US landscape
Wal-Mart's spread across the US landscape

I visited a Wal-Mart Superstore in New Hampshire around a year ago and must admit it was a rather spectacular store (unlike even the largest Sava-Centre). Almost like the largest supermarket, Halfords, Currys, PC World, Homebase, B&Q and John Lewis rolled into one. You could get absolutely anything in that place.

That is, however, everything except a kettle! Americans do not seem to understand what one of these are! Shame.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Barack Obama - Burnout Advertising

Proving that Barack Obama is once again more technologically advanced than his rival John McCain, Obama has taken advantage of the rapidly growing in-game advertising market with the help of Electronic Arts' (EA) highly popular "Burnout Paradise" Game.

Using the dynamic advertising that allows billboards (and a lot else!) to be updated regularly through the internet, Barack Obama's campaign team have put together some virtual 48 and 96 sheets and planted them within the game.

Barack Obama Burnout Billboard
Billboard within "Burnout Paradise" featuring Obama

It is a fantastic use of advertising and technology that will only further consolidate the lead he has been showing in the polls with the younger voters. The posters appear around the streets that make up the game world and simply feature the image of Obama himself and encourage people to vote early. Similar ads have been seen from where it allows people to do exactly that. EA have defended their decision by making it clear that they are happy to advertise any credible politician or organisation, and in no way reflects their opinions.

His rival, John McCain, also ventured into the world of computer games. However, in a throwback to the early days of gaming, the best his campaign team were able to create is the game below: "Pork Invaders" (from "Space Invaders" - if your old enough to remember it!). Please note that the game is here for informational reasons and do not reflect my political opinion (cough....hint)!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Pasta Hut - Pizza Hut Rebranded

Pasta Hut

A lot of newspapers have been following the story today that "Pizza Hut" is re-branding itself as "Pasta Hut" in order to attract the more healthy conscience customer of today. Understandably this has got many people talking on how a major brand of 50 years (30 or so in the UK) could suddenly change its name!

The Pasta Hut website allows visitors to vote on the name change and whether they prefer the old or new name. So far the voting has put Pizza Hut as a clear favourite.

Pasta Hut vs Pizza Hut Vote Results
Pasta Hut vs Pizza Hut Vote Results

However, there has been a great deal of follow on talk around that this is simply a marketing ploy by Pizza Hut to get people talking about their brand and remind people that they have a pasta bar as well. Patrick Altoft has pointed out that the Financial Times seems to have fallen for the trick if it is indeed one. Other blogs have suggested that the change will only happen in 30 UK outlets and is only a temporary change to help keep the customers guessing.

Pizza Hut

The idea of altering an established brand does sound like a rather extreme way of rebuilding a customer base and with a tight economic climate the cost behind replacing all branding would require a massive budget that could potentially have been put to a more effective use. Either way it appears to have been quite successful in the PR department. I'm just waiting for the news next week of "Baguette King".

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

John McCain is your Jalopy

For those following the John McCain / Barack Obama Presidential debates (and all the other online activity surrounding the McCain/Obama Election covered brilliantly by Nick Burcher), I came across a very curious website called "John McCain is your Jalopy".

It simply consists of a white screen with a phrase that suggests (if it even needed doing!) John McCain is an old man. The phrase that is showing is clickable to then produce another phrase.

#Side Note#
For those that don't know:

n. pl. ja·lop·ies Informal
An old, dilapidated motor vehicle, especially an automobile.

The site is in the same style as the various "Ridiculous Random facts about Chuck Norris" (or Vin Diesel, or Jack Bauer, etc) websites that I often quote on the wall of an old school friend's Facebook wall. "Chuck Norris can speak Braille" for example.

I really enjoy these sorts of sites, especially when they enable visitors to add possible "facts" to the list.

Some of the highlights for me were:

John McCain gets confused by his remote control

John McCain has a full bowl of Werthers Original

John McCain can'tremember what he ate for breakfast

John McCain thinks plastic zippers are the bees knees

John McCain is yelling at spiders again

John McCain doesn't like the cut of your jib