Salesgenie.com, an online service of InfoUSA, has once again became known for the most questionable ads shown during the Super Bowl in the USA. The mailing list company sells contact and credit information relating to businesses in the United States and Canada. Viewers are shown examples of businesses run by members of ethnic minorities stuck for sales. They are told to log in at www.salesgenie.com/tv (which is currently offline) to get 100 sales leads for every sales rep in the company.
Ling Ling the Panda struggles to find customers for his Bamboo Furniture Shack. Ching Ching his wife doesn’t want to go back to the zoo and calls Panda Psychic for a miracle. The answer is to call Salesgenie.com. Some time later the store is thriving. Ling Ling and Ching Ching, now conspicuously affluent in their brand new bamboo car, take their two children to the zoo to see the grizzly bears. This ad has been pulled off air by Salesgenie.com due to criticisms of racist stereotyping. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
Ramesh, an Indian salesman for Hank Bulleymonger, VP Sales at Acme Widget Company, is told he must double his sales or lose his job. Ramesh has seven kids and goes online to ask how he can double his sales. The spot finishes with Ramesh being awarded salesman of the year award. Click on the image below to play the Office Worker video in YouTube
A pirate shoots down a plane advertising SuperGenie. The pilot (a genie) escapes with a parachute which in turn promotes the mail order company.
Vinod Gupta, founder-chairman of Salesgenie.com, conceptualized and wrote copy for the ads himself. Gupta, originally from the Uttar Pradesh province in India, founded his own business company, American Business Information Inc. with a capital of 100 dollars.
Creative work for the Salesgenie campaign was organised at Creative Mint by Geoff Callan and Daniel Grace from Creative Mint, a San Francisco-based ad agency.
Animation was done at Rocket Fish, Burbank and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rocket Fish was recently formed by Animation Magazine founder Terry Thoren, previously CEO of Klasky Csupo, where he built advertising unit Ka-Chew and oversaw the production of 400 hours of animation including the popular series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.
“Salesgenie gave us witty scripts and allowed us the freedom to create,” says director/designer Mike Milo, who worked closely with art director Michael Bruza. “[They] wanted the spots to be retro and edgy, so I tried to give them the style of early UPA and Hanna-Barbera. It seemed to fit nicely.”
“The commercial was animated entirely in Flash at the Rocket Fish studios using a combination of symbol-based animation and hand-drawn art animated on Cintiq Backgrounds,” adds Thoren, who served as exec producer on the spot. “The images were textured to give them a painterly feel and rendered digitally. Character Designs, model sheets and props were done on a Tablet PC, making the entire spot ‘green.’ No trees were hurt making this film!”