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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Well, this might just blow your damn mind.

    Honda and Wieden + Kennedy London have created a rather incredible "double-sided story" on YouTube to promote the Civic and its sportier sibling, the Civic Type R. While watching "The Other Side," you can press and hold the "R" button on your keyboard to switch between parallel storylines. 

    Watch it here: Honda's "The Other Side."

    "We wanted people to feel Honda's other side as well as see it," W+K notes today on its blog,"so we dreamt up a technique that brings together both narratives through a simple interaction." (The technique is a bit reminiscent of Interlude's famous interactive music video for Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone.")

    Without revealing too much, I'll just say the dual film directed by Daniel Wolfe follows the travels of a seemingly mild-mannered dad who leads a rather interesting double life. 

    You can watch a few teasers below, but you really need to see the full experience for yourself on YouTube.


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    The mini-wave of brands casting gay couples in TV ads this year continues to rise, with the likes of Honey Maid,Cheerios and DirecTV all diving in. More power to them. But Ikea was the first marketer to feature a gay couple in a mainstream commercial. Twenty years ago.

    The 1994 spot below, from Deutsch, ran after 10 p.m. in three markets where Ikea then had a significant presence: New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The late-night airing ensured that the ad wouldn't be seen during "family hour" programming. That concession, however, did little to quell the objections of the American Family Association and its leader, the Rev. Donald Wildmon.

    Wildmon called for boycotts of Ikea stores, one of which, on Long Island, N.Y., was the target of a bomb threat, which turned out to be unfounded. The retailer, however, continued to air the ad, which was part of a lifestyle campaign featuring different types of consumers (a divorced mom, adopting parents, empty nesters, etc.) that began in 1993.

    The creative team behind "Dining Room," including creative director Greg DiNoto, associate cd Kathy Delaney, copywriter Dallas Itzen and art director Patrick O'Neill, are no longer at Deutsch. But O'Neill, who later worked at TBWA\Chiat\Day and now is chief creative officer at blood testing company Theranos, shared his memories of helping to create something that didn't win awards but was truly groundbreaking.



    AdFreak: Where did the idea for "Dining Room" come from?
    Patrick O'Neill: We would base a lot of our stories on the real people we would see. We'd go to the New Jersey store—in Elizabeth—and because [the ads] were based on real people, we would watch, observe and see how people use the product, who they were, what kinds of things they were buying. And we'd figure which stores were the best ones. And there were a lot of gay couples there. We thought, Why don't we do one? Donny [Deutsch] thought it was a great idea and felt like it was a true representation of Ikea's values, which is they're always accepting of everyone.

    So, that store was like your focus group or idea center?
    It was. And we figured out where life intersected with furniture. ... You had to understand what was going on in the culture at that time, I thought, versus just doing [ads] in a sort of timeless manner. Divorcees still go there, that kid still gets adopted, and gay couples still go there, you know [laughs]. It just wasn't a typical depiction in media.

    What was the shoot like?
    A lot of the grips and all the people that were working on the set—you could feel that there was a lot of tension in the air because it was so unusual to see.

    Did you shoot it at the store?
    Yes.

    Who was the director?
    Paul Goldman. He had just started directing. [At Deutsch] he worked on the original "It's a big country. Someone's got to furnish it" campaign that was the year before.

    How nervous was Ikea going into this?
    They believed in it from the beginning. They were never nervous about it.

    Did you have to test it?
    No.

    Did you think at the time that more people would follow in the footsteps of that ad?
    I did.

    Why didn't that happen?
    It's interesting. I think the reason why people remember the ad was because it was done in a way where it was, "Wow, they really did it." We weren't mucking around. It was clear what was going on. And there were bomb threats. There was backlash. There were New York op-eds written about it. I mean, there were all kinds of things happening. In the years that followed—not too long after—Ellen [DeGeneres], she came out. Melissa Etheridge came out. A lot of women came out at the time. So, I think the culture started doing it without it being commercials. But as far as brands, I think they were nervous about it.

    Does the groundswell we're seeing now reflect what's going on with state marriage laws?
    Yeah. I think it's also that the millennials and younger are very accepting of [gay] marriage. When that is legitimized by a large core of consumers, you can have that in communications because the approval rating for that is much, much higher once you get to a certain age group.

    Would a different creative team have done the same thing?
    No. ... Look, the way we cast, and had them speak about their relationship, and the premise—it was all based on real stuff. I think the reason it turned out the way it did was all those people working together on it. We knew gay people, and I felt like the lone representative [laughs]. I felt a lot of responsibility making sure I didn't let my people down.

    How proud are you of this, ultimately, and is it still up there in your top three ads?
    Well, I'm proud of it because it was the first one. It was scary in some ways. Everyone was true to the period, but there was no precedent. And it wasn't a welcoming environment. So, that part of it makes me proud and happy to be part of.


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    After poring over roughly 5,000 entries in the chain's third annual Halloween pet costume contest, Petco found a winner in a Yorkie named Jack. You see, Jack's owner June Harper created a Mork costume (of Mork & Mindy) in honor of the late Robin Williams. 

    "I'd like to think Robin Williams would laugh if he could see the photo of Jack in the iconic red suit," Harper said in a statement. "Winning the contest and knowing that so many people will see this photo makes me feel like I accomplished my goal of honoring the man behind so many endearing characters." 

    With this contest, Petco smartly plays into what pet owners do already: love and cherish their pets and dress them ridiculously for their own amusement. And Harper's snapshot earned her a cash prize of $25,000 and a one-year supply of Old Mother Hubbard treats. 

    Social Media Profile (as of 10/30/14)
    Facebook Likes: 3 Million 
    Twitter Followers: 116,000
    Instagram Followers: 60,733
     

    As a brand on social media, Petco has a bit of an unfair advantage. Most humans with beating hearts love to look at photos of cats, dogs and animals in general—and Petco's got that in spades. If they happen to be advertising their latest deals and promotions, well, people see that, too. 

    Recent Advertising 



    Again, the brand plays to its strengths. Petco uses what looks to be YouTube videos compiled to show all of the different interactions you might have with your pup and tugs at your heartstrings just enough to make you want to feed him or her well. 

    Fast Facts


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    LeBron James can go home again. And again. And again.

    The NBA star's return to Cleveland from Miami was always going to be fodder for numerous ad campaigns. And indeed, we've already seen spots from Beats by Dre and Sprite this week. Now it's Nike's turn to get epic—timed to Thursday night's Cavaliers home-opener against the New York Knicks.

    It's suitably goosebump inducing, as LeBron leads not just his teammates but all of Cleveland in a massive pre-game huddle—the ultimate come-to-Jesus moment for the city's once-and-again favorite son.



    Nike Basketball partnered with Wieden + Kennedy for the spot, which was directed by the Malloy Brothers. LeBron's mom, Gloria Marie James, makes a cameo, as do Coach Dru Joyce and teammates Kyrie Irving, Dion Waters, Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Joe Harris.

    Nike is also introducing the LeBron 12 Hrt of a Lion shoe today, and is currently working on the nine-hour process of unveiling a 10-story, 25,000-square-foot banner on Ontario Street welcoming James back to Cleveland.


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    GIFs have left the nest!

    The digital video files first made a jump to TV a while back, thanks to Fiat. And now they've ventured all the way outside in a fascinating Netflix campaign from Ogilvy Paris.

    For the streaming service's launch in France, the agency created 100 different GIFs, some of which "reacted" to current events and even things like the weather (for example, a rainy scene from a film when it's actually raining at a bus stop).

    People who hate GIFs will surely be appalled at this. And yes, it's a little jarring to see the hypnotic-looping videos running on large formats outside. But they're undeniably eye-catching in ways that other digital video just isn't.

    Check out the case study below.


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    We've already seen how Joan Harris (aka, Christina Hendricks) might adjust to life at a modern ad agency. Well, this guy is way more of a train wreck.

    Canadian ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo put together this crazy video for Wednesday's Agency of the Year event in Toronto. It's hilarious, if you don't mind a little nudity, profanity and off-color humor.

    It took some balls to make this. Well, one nasty, hairy, protruding ball.

    Credits below.

    Video is NSFW for various reasons, but watch it anyway.



    UPDATE: Also, it seems Dick collected Zulu Alpha Kilo's silver hardware for Digital Agency of the Year on stage at last night's event:



    CREDITS
    Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
    Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
    Writer: Sean Atkinson
    Art Director: Shawn James
    Agency Producer: Tara Handley
    Editor: Michael Headford
    Accounts: Devina Hardatt
    Director: Bruce McDonald
    Production Company: Revolver Films
    Producers: Luc Frappier, Rob Allan
    Director of Photography: Johnny Cliff
    Casting: Shasta Lutz, Jigsaw Casting
    Transfer, Online: Alter Ego
    Audio, Music: Pirate Toronto
    Audio Director: Chris Tait


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    Happy Halloween! Unfortunately, we could only scare up one spooky spot for this week's collection of best spots. But don't worry, the other four ads are a treat.

    Check them out below, and vote for your favorite.


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    Ask what makes a great creative creative director, and you'll probably get as many different answers as there are creative directors.

    The 3% Conference recently went around asking a bunch of cds about their role, and compiled answers from 10 of them in the video below. Hopefully it's useful.

    The video was produced by the Pitch Agency in Los Angeles, and promotes the 3% Conference CD Bootcamp on Nov. 4.



    CREDITS
    Directors: Rob Schwartz, Pitch CCO Xanthe Wells
    Producer: Esther Gonzalez
    Editor: Nathan Connella
    Production Company: Bicep


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    Ever feel like real-time marketing is all about being first, and not about being good?

    You're not alone.

    John St., the Toronto agency that regularly produces scathing parody videos about the ad business, just released the hilarious video below about the breakneck pace of marketing today—and how every brand feels the need to react to real-time events within minutes.

    As it did with Catvertising™, John St. is now pretending to be running a whole new dedicated unit called Reactvertising™, where it goes to absurd lengths to make sure its clients are clued into current events 24/7 and can react within seconds—indeed, knee-jerk-like—to breaking news.

    "Does your agency take hours to respond to the latest trending hashtag or celebrity death?" John St. asks. "Is your brand missing out on being part of the conversation because you're reacting too slow?"

    Watch below and see how to get quicker, quality be damned.

     
    A few more videos from the campaign:


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    Asics and ad agency Vitro always do something special around the New York City Marathon, whether it's having people race against a virtual Ryan Hall in the subways or daring you to remain upright on the treadmill from hell.

    But this year, they've outdone themselves with an awesome campaign that's both physically and virtually magical.

    The running shoe brand always honors runners, and this year it's doing so in classic style—by making little statues of them. It asked everyone who entered the marathon to send in 2-D front and side head shots. Then it hired a team of artists to turn the 2-D images into printable 3-D files, creating small yet life-like statues for each runner. (It was capped at 500 statues, first come first served.)



    That's cool enough. But on race day this Sunday, it gets cooler.

    Vitro photographed each statue in three different landmark locations along the course. Then its digital team linked the photos with each runner's Facebook account and his or her RFID race timing and tracking chip. So, when the runner passes each landmark in real life, a photo of the mini-marathoner statue passing that same landmark will auto-post to the runner's Facebook account in real time—providing midrace updates to family and friends.

    But that's still not all. The 500 statues were booked in less than eight hours, and lots of runners were left out. So, Vitro is also holding a Twitter marathon. Any runner in the real race can enter, and for every tweet on their behalf, Vitro will advance them along a digital marathon course. The first 50 runners to finish will get their statues made as well. You can visit minimarathoner.com to sign up.

    It's great stuff all around from a brand that keeps improving its time every year.

    More images, plus credits, below.

     
    Mile 8

     
    Mile 15

     
    Mile 24

     


    CREDITS
    Client: Asics
    Agency: Vitro
    Creative Group Head: K.T. Thayer
    Digital Creative Director: Oliver Duncan
    Art Directors: Jeremy Stabile, Will Roth, Ryan Smith
    Copywriters:  Bill Wanek, Doug Hyland
    Production Director: Michael Berberick
    Production Manager: Cristi Perkins
    Digital Production Manager: Allison Mellon
    Digital Designer: Andres Herrera


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    Petco had a whole Halloween contest around dressing up pets this month, but you don't have to be a pet brand to get in on that action. Droga5 did this cute ad for Chobani, featuring pooches in their Halloween costumes—while enjoying the treat that is Chobani yogurt.

    Check out the video below. Happy Halloween!


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    You may not have heard of Lasse Hansen, Carter Czech or James Flook, but chances are you’ve seen them naked. Or nearly so. How? You’ve seen their chiseled torsos in the stores, bags and ads of Abercrombie & Fitch.

    Photo: Nick Ferrari; Model: Zachary Hancock

    Ah yes, the mere mention of the store’s name is enough, isn’t it? Lots of fashion brands use sex to sell clothes, but only Abercrombie pushed the all-American college kid into the orgy pit. The shirtless guys hired as store greeters, the A&F Quarterly issue that discussed oral sex, the skimpy underwear line for preteens—all of it turned heads, piqued parents and sold billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise.

    The tactic worked for two decades—until it didn’t. Last summer, some long-buried quotes from CEO Mike Jeffries surfaced and went viral—stuff about how A&F only wanted “cool, good-looking people” as customers and how “a lot of people don’t belong, and can’t belong” in its clothing. Suddenly, those beefy bods didn’t seem like such a hot idea. “We’re all tired of the scantily clad teen ads,” analyst Jim Cramer raged on CNBC. “If I want a six-pack, I’ll buy a Coors Light.”

    And so Abercrombie & Fitch is legendary for two reasons: It’s the brand that showed marketers how to push the envelope and showed what happens when it gets pushed too far. As The New Yorker put it, Abercrombie is “one of the most successful—and most hated—brands in retail history.”

    It’s all a far cry from where the teen-chic label started—which was, oddly enough, selling to grown-ups. Abercrombie originally catered to gentlemen adventurers with its flasks and fly rods, club bags and hunting rifles. When Teddy Roosevelt left for his African safari, he stopped for provisions at Abercrombie first.

    But times changed, and A&F was losing $25 million a year by the time Jeffries showed up in 1992 with the crazy idea of turning A&F into a “young, hip” brand. The flip-flop-wearing, Ivy League-educated CEO brought in photographer Bruce Weber, and the pair inaugurated A&F’s relentless, unapologetic worship of all that was young, beautiful and barely clothed. Naysayers laughed, but not for long. The chain’s earnings climbed steadily for 52 quarters. The run would have continued, say some, were it not for those ugly quotes and the news that the store didn’t make large sizes for women. A&F sales fell 11 percent in 2014’s second quarter.

    But veteran fashion consultant Robin Lewis points out that the brand’s real mistake went beyond sins of the flesh. “Jeffries did a brilliant job 20 years ago when he locked into the zeitgeist of the times,” he said. “But Abercrombie didn’t look over their shoulder at the younger millennials coming up—this group had a whole different set of values. And they’re going to H&M and Forever 21. And that’s why this brand is in the shitter.”

    Boys: Simin Wang/AFP/Getty Images; Jeffries: Michael Locclsano/FilmMagic for Paul Willmot Communications


    0 0


    Specs
    Who Executive creative director Craig Mikes (l.) and president Bryan Christian
    What Full-service agency
    Where Austin, Texas

    Some of Proof Advertising's most creative work takes place at Proof Annex, its bar running through Austin's main drag on 6th Street that is also home to the agency's headquarters (which is technically on 7th Street). Bearing the motto "Nothing watered down," Proof handles clients including Subway, Hyatt Resorts and the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, representing $100 million in traditional media spending in addition to creative, account and digital services. While its work with Subway Canada prompted the opening of the Proof+Grey office earlier this year—a partnership with Toronto's Grey Canada—the 4-year-old shop's roots remain tied to Texas. "Austin's definitely got the credibility [in advertising] these days—it's basically our best calling card for recruitment," noted ecd Craig Mikes. That, and its own bar, which not many agencies can claim.


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    Next time you go into a pitch meeting, you probably want to know what the client's business actually is.

    Such is the helpful moral of this comedy video from Smartypants, a new branded content production company from New York-based Seftel Productions, that does not in fact have much to do with pants. Yet a pair of inept but entertaining strategy consultants, played by improv artist Rich Hollman and actor Jim Conroy, enthusiastically make a bid for Smartypants's pants business anyway.

    Hollman comes across as something like a cross between Chris Pratt as Parks and Rec's Andy Dwyer and Rainn Wilson as The Office's Dwight Schrute. Conroy, whom you might know as one of AT&T's awkward but knowledgable "Network Guys," delivers some pretty strong shades of Steve Carell as Michael Scott.



    (Joshua Seftel, the parent company's namesake, doesn't play himself in the clip, but does make a cameo as a white-suited workman. His directing credits include the 2008 John Cusack feature War, Inc., the first two seasons of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and a number of documentary and PSA projects.)

    Spoiler alerts: The pitch itself includes a live jingle performance about zippers and buttons, sewing kits for on-the-go mending, and a sweepstakes for a pair of custom-tailored jeans from Brooklyn Denim Co. That last part, at least, is real—enter at the Smartypants Facebook page for your chance to win.


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    Halloween is over, but the terror continues.

    Creatives—especially freelancers—rely on a cornucopia of clichés to help navigate a career path defined by fear and uncertainty, and a new video packs them in nicely.

    Shot to promote the Stand Out! Photographic Forums, a conference held last month in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the video cuts together interviews with a range of camera-driven visual artists. The discussion covers topics that should be familiar to a broader set of creatives: the fear of failure, and the importance of vision, drive, faith and experimentation.

    Art photographer Gregory Crewdson is perhaps the best known of the bunch. The speakers, who specialize in a range of subjects, styles and skills, also include Matt Armendariz, Annabelle Breakey, Eric Crosland, Tim Kemple, Pratik Naik, John Schell, Dan Saelinger, Roberto Valenzuela and Benjamin Von Wong.



    Of course, it wouldn't be creative advice without a healthy dose of artistic bravado."If it feels good while you're doing it, you're not doing it right," says Crosland, who directs ski films. "You should be suffering a little bit."

    Via Design Taxi.


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    If you thought there was no way to top a Paris Hilton-Hannah Ferguson slow-motion car-washing, sex-eating burger-palooza, you'd be wrong, Carl's Jr. wants to tell bros.

    Supermodels and celebutantes don't have the market cornered, after all, on using their scantily clad bums, stripper moves and garden hoses to hawk fast food. Along comes Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Carl Brutananadilewski, a husky, hirsute late-night star, to show everybody how it's done.

    Just don't eat that burger before you see the new commercial, airing online and during Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, where Aqua Teen Hunger Force anchors the block and Carl regularly heckles his neighbors Meatwad, Master Shake and Frylock.

    Though lacking in the bronzed beauty and sex appeal of the burger joint's former brand ambassadors—Padma Lakshmi, Heidi Klum and Kate Upton among them—Carl "brings a certain willingness to the role and a unique interpretation of fresh baked buns," said Steve Lemley, svp of field marketing and media at Carl's Jr. and sister chain Hardee's.



    The animated character is willing to wear a physique-inappropriate banana hammock, in other words, and writhe around on a Dodge Spyder while chomping a burger and slapping his ass.

    The spot, written and produced by Aqua Teen Hunger Force creators with assists from 72andSunny and Initiative, promotes the chain's bread, baked fresh in stores, which makes its buns "denser and a little sweeter" than competitors' products, according to the press release.

    Make that connection between the food and Carl's lumpy posterior at your own risk.

    Hungry yet?


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    Is Lowe's "Fix in Six" the best-ever use of Vine by a marketer? You can ponder that question over more delightful creative from the campaign, as BBDO New York has released eight new looping videos in the series.

    The stop-motion shorts—which have won the retailer its first Cannes Lion (a bronze in Cyber) as well as a silver Clio, best in show at the Mashies Awards and various other honors—use the six-second format to show simple DIY tricks you can try at home. The craft is great, the tricks are useful, and the whole campaign is a welcome counterpoint to the traditional view of Vine marketing—which is that it almost has to look slapdash to be authentic.

    Check out the new videos below. By the end, you'll be asking yourself: Mayonnaise, really?



    CREDITS
    Client: Lowe’s
    Campaign: #LowesFixinSix

    Agency: BBDO, New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Directors: Lauren Connolly, Tim Bayne
    Creative Directors: Mike Sweeney, Molly Adler
    Associate Creative Directors: Carolyn Davis, Matthew Page (Doll, Pumpkin, Sponge, Fish)
    Senior Art Director: Miles Gilbert (Stampede, Tank Top, Mayo, Wood Stain)
    Senior Copywriter: James Harvey (Stampede, Tank Top, Mayo, Wood Stain)
    Executive Producers: Kristin Tomborello, Ashley Henderson
    Senior Producer: Tara Toliver

    Senior Directors: Jim Reath, Bob Estrada
    Account Director: Heather Linde
    Account Supervisor: Tyler Harris
    Account Executive: Ryan Dillon-Curran

    Production Company: humble
    Executive Creative Director, Director: Sam Stephens
    Director of Photography: Manfred Reiff
    Executive Producers: Eric Berkowitz, Persis Koch, Ned Brown
    Head of Production: Andrea Theodore
    Producer: Jason Haymond

    Postproduction: humble
    Post Creative Director: Kris Merc
    Head of Postproduction: Sue Romweber
    Post Producer: Suzie Cimato


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    It's official: Internet domain-name company Verisign has launched one crazy (and at times creepy) campaign.

    Which of the four videos from FCB Chicago is the most self-consciously bizarre? You've got the giant yellow smiley-fish tormenting a late-night bus rider; a cabbage in a convertible chasing a dude in an alley; a leggy frosted cake that dumps her date for a dance-floor suitor; and an oversize flirty bee in a bar with, um, pollination on hizzz mind.

    The wacky work, themed "Make your idea official" and using the #InternetOfficial hashtag, touts Verisign's .com and .net registration service. (What else, after all, could an anthropomorphized disco dancin' dessert treat be advertising?)



    The costumed creations—revealed in each clip as business mascots (the bee, for example, appears as part of the logo for the fictitious "HoneyMayo" condiment brand)—represent great ideas that entrepreneurs can have at any time, and each vignette dramatizes "that 'eureka' moment that comes with an idea," says the company. "So rather than flirting with, dancing around, or ignoring their idea, people should act and secure their domain name today."

    The ads successfully make that point, albeit in an absurdist and roundabout way. A few online commenters have winced at the abundant weirdness, and whined about some brief cartoonish violence. I found the mild edginess compelling and in keeping with Verisign's message. Great ideas really can knock you around a bit before you get them under control and make them pay off.



    CREDITS
    Client: Verisign
    Agency: FCB, Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    Group Creative Director: Teddy Brown
    Creative Director: Tyler Hattery
    Associate Creative Director: Alison Hammer
    Director of Broadcast Production: Chris Bing
    Producer: Lara Hurnevich
    Management Director: Hollie Platte


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    Lowe's must have known its human-size robotic "shopping assistants," which are rolling out this holiday season, would be mocked, right? They couldn't possibly have believed that people would just let that slide.

    Enter John Oliver and Nick Offerman.

    The Last Week Tonight host, who expertly skewers corporate buffoonery of all kinds, smartly posits that employees at home improvement stores aren't just there to sell you stuff—they're there to referee the impending nuptial doom that such stores cause.

    Check out Oliver's fake ad below—showing the nonrobotic, personal touch of rival chain Home Depot's employees, as epitomized by macho do-it-yourselfer Offerman.



    It's a great bit, with hilarious performances, too, by Louie guest star Sarah Baker and Archer/Bob's Burgers genius H. Jon Benjamin.

    Oliver isn't wrong about these stores and the tension they cause, either. There's even a scene in He's Just Not That Into You where (2009 spoiler alert!) Bradley Cooper reveals to Jennifer Connelly that he's been cheating on her in a Home Depot.  


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    A few weeks ago, we were super excited to hear news of a real working hoverboard. And now that we've tackled Back to the Future, Electrolux has its sights set on the Jetsons. 

    The Electrolux Design Lab has whittled down 1,700 entries from 27 countries to six finalists in its tech design contest for students. The theme of the competition is to prototype healthy living solutions for the future—specifically, culinary enjoyment, fabric care and air purification.

    "For this year’s global design competition, we asked students to submit concepts based on our theme 'Creating Healthy Homes,' " says Lars Erikson, head of group design at Electrolux. "The finalists' concepts are truly innovative and offer new ideas on how we might be living our lives in the future, whether it’s eating healthier or being more sustainable."

    The winner will be announced next week. And while there's no guarantee these products will ever hit the shelves of your local Best Buy, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

     
    1. Set to Mimic
    Your kids will eat that cauliflower now—because it tastes like potato chips! If this thing ever exists, I'll be putting some grass and dirt on the plate, and saying "STEAK!"

     
    2. Future Hunter-Gatherer
    In the future, you can hunt fish with a lightsaber, and a man will deliver one to your door in plastic wrap!

     
    3. Pure Towel
    Here's the one I could actually imagine being sold at Bed Bath & Beyond. 

     
    4. urbanCONE
    In the future, the air will be cleaner. But it will also be full of drones and these weird things. 

     
    5. PETE
    "Here you go, honey, I drank a two-liter of Coke Zero and turned the empty bottle into this dress. Let's go. We're late."

     
    6. Lotus
    This "seed of fresh air" would be particularly handy if you have flatulent roommates or partners. 


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