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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Ikea's list of 2014 advertising triumphs is endless: the horny chairs for Valentine's Day; the awesome RGB billboard; the whirling-kitchen ad; the ethereal ode to sleep for Ikea beds; the climbing-wall billboard; the hilarious pitch of catalog as tech device. Almost no marketer had a better year.

    Now, Mother London gets the brand off and running for 2015 with the remarkable spot below, in which a flock of itinerant T-shirts are seen flying around the world before finally finding a home.

    It was directed by Blink's Dougal Wilson—who actually made two of Adweek's 10 best ads of 2014 (Lurpak's "Adventure Awaits" and John Lewis's "Monty the Penguin"). The spot also features some great puppeteering work by Blinkink directors Jonny & Will.

    Hopefully it's just the beginning of another strong year for Ikea. Full credits below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Ikea
    Agency: Mother, London
    Creative Directors: Tim McNaughton, Freddy Mandy
    Creatives: Rich Tahmesebi, Pilar Santos
    Director: Dougal Wilson
    Production Company: Blink
    Puppeteering: Jonny & Will, Blinkink
    Editor: Joe Guest, Final Cut
    Postproduction: MPC


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    You might remember Newcastle Brown Ale's antics around last year's Super Bowl—a little stunt from Droga5 called "If We Made It" that imagined what a Newcastle Super Bowl ad might have looked like if they could have afforded one.

    The whole thing went pretty well, to say the least.

    Given that success, Newcastle obviously had to screw with this year's game, too. And so it begins its 2015 Super Bowl ambush with the video below—in which the brewer, which still doesn't have $4 million lying around, pretends to crash a certain "Crash the Super Bowl" contest by a certain unnamed snack maker (OK, Doritos), so that it can get on the Super Bowl for free.



    Newcastle's fake Doritos ad, also made by Droga5, is amusingly bad—which frankly is a step up from some of the actual Doritos finalists, which are short on the amusing part. It's full of stupidly obvious Newcastle product placement, in keeping with the brand's ethos of undercutting typical marketing tactics. There's even a case study (see below) about the "failed attempt to infiltrate a snack chip contest."

    "We had such a good time almost making that Huge Sports Match ad last year, we decided we'd stop at nothing to finally make our way into the Really Large American Football Contest in 2015. Even if we still can't afford it," the brand tells us.

    It's a bit of a convoluted premise—Newcastle's meta anti-advertising stunts often have a kind of pretzel-like structure to them. But the brand confirms there's more silliness to come in the next few weeks, so it should be fun to see what else they have in store.


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    Kwikset, the keyless entry and re-keying company, unlocks the humor of home invasions in these amusing, mildly edgy tales of suburban paranoia to promote its SmartKey technology.

    The ads, running exclusively on YouTube, posit a support group for people who can no longer invade the house of a woman named Amy because she has installed Kwikset locks. "I just can't move past it," a middle-aged music teacher despairs. "I've never laid my hands on a better piano." Others in therapy entered Amy's home uninvited to try on (and steal) her clothes, splash around in her hot tub and enjoy her home-theater system. Once, when Amy was away for a week, they threw a wild party at the house, and some dude secretly lived in the guest bathroom to avoid paying rent.

    "It's easier to give an acquaintance a key than it is to ask for it back when the two of you lose touch," says Nick Lange, creative director of Nurture Digital, which created the campaign. "We're targeting homeowners who know their spare keys are in circulation, but who can't quite justify the hassle and expense of hiring a locksmith to change their lock."



    While using the same fear-response mechanism that drives those disturbing commercials for home-safety systems and related security services, Kwikset suggests the threat in cheeky fashion instead of trying to scare the crap out of us. The comedy—directed in classic sitcom fashion by Shawn Wines—allows the viewer to evaluate the product's potential without feeling unduly manipulated. "We felt that humor was a way to make the message of these ads fresh," says Lange. "It's a fine line when your whole campaign is about breaking and entering."

    Could some folks object to the campaign's tone (making light of serious crime), or its other un-PC elements, like an elderly neighbor who keeps showing up at Amy's because she's forgotten where she really lives?

    "The fact that these pieces take risks that might rub some viewers the wrong way was a serious concern," says Lange. "When viewers look carefully, though, they'll see that the stereotypes being referenced here are ultimately turned on their heads. The older woman who sometimes forgets which house is hers is revealed to be a master lock-picker who knows exactly what she wants—her neighbor's hot tub."

    "A lot of our favorite comedy pushes viewers a little outside their comfort zone," he adds, "and we felt that doing the same would make these ads most worth our audience's time."


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    Agency life is different everywhere, of course, but mostly it's the same. And few art projects capture the clichés and peculiarities of that existence quite like Derrick Lin's photographs.

    Lin, a brand strategist at Resource in Columbus, Ohio, has been taking photos over the past year of miniature figurines arranged in typical agency situations, from the mundane to the slightly less mundane. The results are amazing—funny, beautifully crafted and oddly poignant. And relatable to people in office jobs everywhere, not just in advertising.

    Lin spoke to the Daily Mail earlier this year, and explained the project this way:

    I have always been fascinated by all things miniature and by small details, so it occurred to me that the miniature figures, with the contrast of their size and their lively poses, could be a great medium to express our many emotions.

    In the advertising industry, every day moves fast, and sometimes it can be stressful. Our work days are never short of those little moments any agency person will immediately understand. But I realized that those moments were actually universal and that anyone who works in an office could easily relate to them.

    I try to find the amusing light out of our daily frustrations, be it stress, escape or imagination. I actually start with the captions. I look for a humorous and straightforward way to visualize each idea, and then I think about how to plant the punch line alongside the picture without being too obvious.

    I use my iPhone and office lighting to take the photos because I want to achieve a friendly and "everyday" style. Shortly after starting my Instagram page, I had coworkers cheering for me and volunteering to be in the pictures, they are always encouraging me to share my series with the Internet.

    Check out some of his recent photos below, and the whole series on Tumblr and Instagram.

    Via Design Taxi.

     
    "Can't believe we still have to come to work when it's this cold."

     
    "Well, everyone is back in the office. Now what?"

     
    "After counting the number of pitches won, campaigns released, and potential disasters avoided, we are ready to flip over the last page of the year."

     
    "Sometimes it takes a lot for ideas to be noticed."

     
    "Office holiday parties can be fun unless you happen to be an introvert."

     
    "Office fridge cleaning day."

     
    "Fetching the best ideas from our memories can be challenging some days."

     
    "We're thankful our clients are spending quality time with their families."

     
    "Sometimes we wish the client can see what we see."

     
    "Waiting to see if we won a pitch makes time go by so slowly."

     
    "At the end of each week, it's time to track all the work we did."

     
    "Working in advertising means we are always ready to jump in and help put out the fire."

     
    "Every vacationer knows there is a mountain of work waiting for them to come back."

     
    "Our work is subject to rigorous internal review before the client sees it."

     
    "On some days we wish there is more excitement in the office."


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    It's not easy to advertise X-rated products in a PG way. But Jung von Matt/Elbe does so in outlandish style with this spot for a German erotic retailer.

    Visual metaphors for sex are a comedy staple, and there's a bunch of them here, as the spot gets more and more absurd on its way to an explosive climactic moment. "All this for a couple of euros," the woman says at the end. "Awesome!" the man replied. Voiceover: "All you need for more fun in bed. EIS.de. Make love for less!"

    Steve Summersgill (Game of Thrones, The Grand Budapest Hotel) was the production designer on the eye-catching spot, with Daniel Warwick (who's done a bunch of ads for Playboy) directing.



    CREDITS
    Client: Eis.de
    Campaign Title: Make love for less!
    Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt/Elbe, Hamburg, Germany
    Executive Creative Directors: Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, Deneke von Weltzien
    Creative Directors: Florentin Hock, Reza Ramezani
    Copywriter: Eduard Hörner
    Art Directors: Annika Bassmann, Nadine Nolepa
    Account: Stephan Giest, Oliver Kielinski, Niels Böse, Julia Zierbeck
    FFF: Lisa Kriszun
    Director: Daniel Warwick
    DoP: Carlo Jelavic
    Production Design: Steve Summersgill
    Styling: Edyta Kopcio
    Production Company: Bigfish
    Music Production: Eclectic, London
    Agency Website: jvm.com
    Media: TV/Online/Social Media
    Industry: Retail Services


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    2014 was a busy year for logo redesigns, but who actually improved on their old marks?

    PM Digital put together the infographic below showing 11 major logo revamps from 2014. For each one, PM says whether it loved the new design, liked it, or would have preferred the old one be left alone. There are some oddities here: PM likes the new Olive Garden logo, which was widely panned, and doesn't like the new Netflix logo, which we felt was a nice evolution.

    What did you think of each redesign?

    Below the chart, check out some analysis from Roy DeYoung, senior vp of creative strategy at PM Digital, about each mark.



    Roy DeYoung, senior vp of creative strategy at PM Digital, analyzes each new logo:

    Airbnb
    Airbnb made waves with their logo redesign. Whether or not Airbnb intentionally created a provocative and somewhat sexual image, the flat redesign did accomplish the challenge to communicate the brand's overhauled messaging and positioning. The company named this new symbol Bélo to indicate a sense of belonging and connectivity. Airbnb no longer thinks of itself as simple home exchange provider, but a global connector. Bélo aside, the company also cleaned up and contemporized the wordmark. We'll have to wait and see if this redesign becomes as iconic and universally recognized as Airbnb is hoping.

    Pizza Hut
    This year Pizza Hut overhauled its menu and needed an updated logo to support the change. To capture a millennial and mobile-focused audience's attention, and communicate their new, slew of customized menu options, Pizza Hut de-cluttered and introduced a flat logo reminiscent of a blank pizza pie covered in sauce, and awaiting customers' personalized choices. While this is definitely a radical change, the restaurant chain still managed to incorporate their iconic slanted roof symbol.

    Hershey
    It's difficult to look at the new Hershey logo objectively as there is a significant heritage associated with their brand emblem. However, from a pure design standpoint, the new logo is far superior as it is cleaner, easier to decipher the hierarchy and will likely pop across a variety of devices and environments. In introducing a new logo, the brand also quietly dropped the 'S, and essentially diluted ownership through this slight name change. Although, because of the historical connotations, it's likely that people will continue to refer to the brand as Hershey's rather than Hershey despite the new logo.

    MLS
    Coming off the heels of the World Cup, and the soccer frenzy it inspired in the United States, the MLS needed to make a smart branding move to maintain interest and capitalize on the momentum of the global tournament. Their previous and outdated youth soccer patch-like logo was desperate for a more relevant overhaul. By introducing a crest as the face of the league, the MLS is not only signifying that they're ready for a new era of American soccer, but they're also playing homage and leveraging the historical equity of the sport's European roots. With this redesign, they took a complex, unclear illustration and added more visual integrity to the organization. Additionally, the crest will reproduce well across a range of environments, from flags at matches to mobile applications.

    Foursquare
    Foursquare completely changed the direction of their brand this year and this logo redesign aptly communicates their new story. Now that Foursquare has siphoned their signature check-in feature to another app, the company is focused on serving customized local reviews and suggestions. The new logo is highly reminiscent of a pin you would place on a map signifying the company's authority in location targeting. The brand has also graduated from their previous rounded, multicolored, and playful typeface into a clear and commanding wordmark.

    Southwest
    As far as the typography goes, the wordmark treatment is a nice evolution and they have eliminated the dated convention of all-caps. While I think they needed to move away from the oversized jet, the inclusion of the heart is puzzling. The brand is clearly trying to indicate a position of customer first but it doesn't align with the brand. Southwest has carved out its niche in the industry by putting price first- and the strategy seemingly works for them! Travelers choose Southwest to get the best price, not necessarily the best flying experience. The updated logo deviates from the essence of the brand.

    Reebok
    Reebok's logo redesign offers a slight, yet contemporary, clean-up of the typographic treatment of their brand name. While the font evolution is positive, the symbol within the new logo is challenging. Although the previous logo shared undertones of Reebok's competitors (Adidas and Nike) the new logo also does not feel completely original. The red triangle is reminiscent of both Citgo and Mitsubishi and will likely fail to achieve an instantly recognizable and differentiating status. Although introducing a color into the logo was a strong choice, this logo feels like a cop-out, or at least an unfinished product.

    Netflix
    Netflix's logo update managed to fly under the radar because the changes were fairly minimal, which doesn't necessarily constitute diminishment. Netflix must have decided it was time to clean up as this update, and the elimination of the drop shadow, has introduced a logo that is tidy and unblemished. Yes, the drop shadow might be dated from a design perspective, but it gave Netflix's previous logo a hint of nostalgia for the vintage, back-lit cinema marquees. In following the design trends of today, Netflix has forgone the subtle homage to classic Hollywood movies to usher in a new brand era.

    Olive Garden
    Olive Garden's logo update was a long-needed move. The predecessor to this update was not really a logo, it was a sign. Now with the shift to a logo, Olive Garden can confidently deploy its brand emblem across a range of environments and screen sizes. Olive Garden also implemented subtle repositioning through switching out Italian Restaurant in favor of Italian Kitchen under the brand name. This update showcases cleaner lines and more balance which will help make an impact within digital promotions.

    Black + Decker
    Like everyone else this year Black + Decker went flat. The previous Black + Decker logo was iconic and ingrained within the mind of consumers across every generation. The updated logo is straightforward and painstakingly clean. Additionally, the company also switched out the "&" in favor of the more timely "+" sign. Black + Decker is completely on top of the design trends of 2014, but in favor of gaining a trendier status symbol, they may have seceded some emotional connectivity that identified the brand to so many consumers.

    PayPal
    To mark the dissolution of their longtime marriage to Ebay, PayPal introduced a logo overhaul fit to usher the brand into this new era. The eye catching overlaid Ps express motion and, subliminally, transaction. However, the redesign feels incomplete as there are inconsistencies within the typography as the kerning between the letters are slightly off. While this is a good step in the right direction, PayPal should reconsider another round of touch-ups to finish the job.


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    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lay out their hosting strategies for this year's Golden Globes in this blooper-reel-style NBC video that leans rather heavily on the ladies' charm (and some well-timed edits), rather than the strength of their material.

    For example: Tina's "I'm not gonna dope" line, which would fall flat without the quick cut. Or Amy's joke about Hollywood Foreign Press members being ghosts, which sounds like a rejected Anchorman line, though her bright-faced delivery makes it work. (We'll ignore the Banksy thing altogether.)

    Still, the spot fulfills its intentions to the letter. Awards shows are awkward and cursed with uninspired writing, but if the hosts are good enough, they still basically work.


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    For anyone who thinks playing ice hockey strapped into a sled is easier than playing it standing up, Gatorade would like to set the record straight.

    Last August, the sports brand (with help from TBWA Toronto) enlisted NHL players like Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers to surprise the Cruisers, a team of sled hockey players, with some fresh—and, a new video shows, relatively amateur—competition.

    The concept is something like a cross between Guinness's 2013 "Basketball" ad, which saw able-bodied men strap themselves into wheelchairs for a game of hoops with a disabled friend, and a 2012 Budweiser reality-style spot in which the brand treated recreational ice hockey players to the pro treatment, like stands full of screaming fans.



    Scott Hartnell of the Columbus Blue Jackets add some extra credibility—and a little comedy—to the proceedings, when he nearly eats the ice. But mostly it's nice to see the sledge hockey players get a chance to face off and trash talk with some of their icons—and ultimately, get their own moment in the spotlight.

    Perspectives from the players:



    Perspectives from the sledge athletes:



    Highlights of the game itself:



    CREDITS
    Client: Gatorade

    Agency: TBWA Toronto
    Executive Creative Director - Allen Oke
    Creative Director - Gerald Kugler
    Creative Director - Rodger Eyre
    Writer – Robbie Percy
    Art Director – Caitlin Gauthier
    Producer - Lauren Sloan
    Account Supervisor - Andrew Harris
    Account Director - Patrick Lemoine

    Director - Lionel Coleman
    Line Producer - Adam McCloy
    Production House - Wilfrid Park
    Exec Producer - Tuula Hopp

    Editor - Ross Birchall @ Saints
    Post Producer @ Saints - Stephanie Hickman

    Transfer - Tricia Hagoriles @ Alter Ego

    Audio/Music - Adam Damelin @ The Eggplant
    Producer @ Eggplant - Nicola Treadgold

    Online Editor - Sean Cochrane @ The Vanity
    Exec Producer @ The Vanity - Stephanie Pennington

    Shirley Mukerjea - Director of Marketing - Gatorade
    Sean Cauterman - Associate Marketing Manager - Gatorade

    NHLPA
    Devin Smith - Director, Marketing and Community Relations
    Paul Drake

    SDI
    Dave Adams - Account Manager
    Theresa Martel - Client Services Director


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    Three elderly couples recount the happiest moments of their lives in this sweet slice of branded content from British insurance company Beagle Street.

    The four-minute film, directed by Gary Tarn, features interviews with Maurice and Helen Kaye, each over 100, who have been married for 80 years; Doug and Betty Hale, married for 73 years; and William and Maureen Norman, wed for 60 years.

    The stories they tell aren't especially earth-shattering, yet each tale is special and poignant in its way. The couples recall first meetings, wedding days and the births of their children. Recollections of a hospital visit to a wounded spouse during World War II, and the arrival of a dazzling engagement ring years after the nuptials, might have you reaching for the Kleenex.



    Matthew Gledhill, Beagle Street's managing director, says "Happiest Moment" was made to encourage the younger generation to "worry less and live in the moment with the people you care about most." What's more, he says, "the film and our research clearly show that happiness is linked much more heavily to relationships, friends and family than societal or monetary status."

    The video accompanies a survey of 1,000 Brits over 70 years of age. More than 12 percent said their happiest moment in life was the birth of their first child (suck it, younger siblings!), followed by their wedding day (11.5 percent) and the birth of their grandchildren (10 percent). For the record, the birth of other kids placed fourth at 8.5 percent.

    Not taking loved ones for granted and believing in yourself were the top pieces of advice they had for living a happier life. Choosing the wrong career was the biggest regret. (As a journalist and blogger, I've got nothing to worry about. Right?)

    Sure, the survey's hardly scientific, and some might object to the film's predictably treacly tone. Still, Beagle Street's approach is compelling, and provides a refreshing change of pace. Older people are often the punch lines of jokes in commercials. It's high time marketers (and all of us) respected their life experience and paid attention to what they have to say.

    Via Hello You Creatives.


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    It's rare for a brand to base an ad campaign around photographs of the product after it's been completely torn up and clawed and chewed to pieces and is looking like hell.

    Temptations cat treats is doing it anyway. The brand recently noticed that cat owners seem to enjoy posting photos and videos of destroyed packs of cat treats to social media. So, with help from adam&eveDDB in London, it decided to subject some packs to a bit of professional destruction.

    Check out the video below, in which a pack of wild animals (OK, probably high-paid cat models) is let loose upon a box of Temptations treats. It isn't pretty, but it leads to some pretty fun print and out-of-home posters. The Mars brand is now encouraging consumers to start tagging their photos of apocalyptic bag ruination with the hashtag #PackAttack.




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    In the good ol' days before pesky digital came along, making content was a problem for the TV networks. Now, with social media and YouTube dominating our attention spans, it's also a challenge that marketers and agencies must face daily.

    And there's one idea in this new reality that's already becoming its own cliché: altruism.

    I'm not talking about actual giving or good deeds. If you want to work in a soup kitchen or make a donation to charity or pour ice water on yourself, then you unquestionably should. I'm talking about do-gooding and altruism as a marketing technique and as a creative idea.

    It's a blight that particularly plagues digital, partly because digital embraces so many careers and disciplines that don't involve the perceived cloven-hoofed immorality of (big A) Advertising—and also because the process of digital ideation thrives on user benefit. One way or another, I guarantee that "doing something for charity" will crop up in pretty much every brainstorm session you'll ever have for digital content.

    I'll always support anything that helps move funds from the offshore accounts of giant corporations into the pockets of the needy. That's not the issue. The issue is that it's a creative cop-out—lacking the imagination to generate a powerful emotion, and we fill the void with pity for the unfortunate.

    The problem is not with the intention. The problem occurs because for marketers, the giving is in the wrong currency.

    Marketing is not investing. We are not a bank. Marketing is the business of generating and spreading thoughts, ideas, images and words. Not bullion. From ads to websites to vines to tweets, we make cultural artifacts. The river that marketing swims in isn't made of cash; it's made of culture.

    We all want to give back and be altruistic. And we all want to make work that's famous, has a usage for our audiences and wins awards.

    The wonderful thing is, if you treat culture like it is a bank, then you'll be many steps closer to achieving all those goals.

    From VW's Darth Vader to Oreo's Facebook posts, great, famous and effective work has a single commonality: They all made investments into our shared cultural bank. They gave us something to talk about, share and enjoy.

    It's not something you can do all the time. By necessity a lot of marketing has to make cultural withdrawals, be it borrowing equity from celebrity or from third-party content.

    Your agency's mission might be to win awards or be famous or serve consumers or maybe just do something that your mom has actually heard of. These are not objectives but rather side effects of what happens when your work makes cultural investments.

    So, why not make 2015 the year to up the proportion of your cultural deposits? Simply make it part of your process to ask, "Does this idea enrich or deplete culture?"

    To help you on your way, here are four tips that can springboard culturally valuable content ideas.

    1. Short-handing and naming 
    Take a nebulous thing/action/insight that takes a lot of words to express and give it a name. The shorter the better. "Wassup," "Priceless," "Boom Chicka Wah Wah" give us the ability to express complex ideas in brief.

    2. Is it replicable?
    Can your idea be used in common conversation not related to your product? Does it allow for a joke? "I don't always eat moldy cheese, but when I do..."

    3. Novelty
    We don't say, "An interactive film experience that cleverly uses real user content." Instead we say, "Something like Museum of Me." We don't say, "Provocative, sexy and challenger-brand like." We say, "Like Axe." If you have a hard time giving your executional technique a name, then you are probably creating something new and culturally valuable.

    4. Reflect a truth 
    Does your communication hold up a mirror to the world and show it a truth? "Think Different" and "Think Small" share more than a verb. They succinctly articulate truths that before we saw them we didn't realize we believed.

    If you have an idea that distributes some wealth—do it. Unquestionably. But if you have an idea that might get famous, win an award or become colloquial—do that too. Shamelessly. Just because it benefits your business doesn't mean it won't benefit us all, and our industry will be able to look back at 2015 and feel proud that it made our culture, and hence our world, a wealthier place.

    Steve Hicks (@TwitH1x) is a digital brand consultant and was the creative co-founder of mcgarrybowen's digital practice.


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    McDonald's really wants people to think it cares about community. But go figure, not everyone is convinced.

    The brand's new ad from Leo Burnett, which aired Sunday during NFL games and on the Golden Globe Awards, focuses on McDonald's franchises that have, over the past 20 years, used their roadside signs to support, celebrate or otherwise acknowledge local and national events, both happy and tragic—everything from 9/11 to the homecoming of troops to a nearby base to Boston's spirit in the wake of the marathon bombing to the 30th wedding anniversary of a couple who've celebrated every year of marriage at a McDonald's. (The campaign includes a Tumblr page that explains some of the more specific examples.)

    The centerpiece spot, part of a broader brand refresh that began with the quite well-liked "Archenemies" ad, got a less-than-enthusiastic response on Twitter during NBC's Globes telecast."McDonald's is presenting itself as the face of corporate kindness? PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES A LIVING WAGE," said one detractor, in a post retweeted more than 80 times. Said another,"@McDonalds I just threw up in my mouth watching your commercial… Desperate attempt to rescue your image."



    To be fair, some viewers enjoyed the spot. "This McDonald's marquee sign is fantastic!" tweeted the handle of Des Moines radio station Star 102.5. But the backlash around the fair pay debate is predictable, given the high profile of the recent Fight for 15 protests. And that makes a sign like "Keep Jobs in Toledo" seem kind of tone deaf, even if it technically refers to a nearby factory at risk of closure.

    Plus, the soundtrack—a children's choir covering indie pop band Fun's "Carry On"—makes such a clumsy grab for the audience's heartstrings that it's hard not to think of crocodile tears. In the words of another viewer, "I'm not lovin' it."

    See more of the Twitter reaction below. What do you think of the ad?

     
    LOVIN' IT

     
    NOT LOVIN' IT


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    David Beckham, Rita Ora, Pharrell Williams and Damian Lillard are not superstars. Or at least, that's what they'll tell you in this dramatic new "#OriginalSuperstars" spot for Adidas.

    Johannes Leonardo in New York created the 90-second spot, which will be accompanied by six more 30-second executions. It's the agency's first work for Adidas Originals since being added to the brand's roster of agencies last year. 

    Filmed in black and white, the spot has a timeless feel to it as it celebrates 45 years of the iconic, three-striped Superstar shoe. The campaign will also launch Pharrell's own Supercolor line for Adidas.

    "#OriginalSuperstars" follows the four celebs as they redefine and complicate what it truly means to be a superstar by telling you everything it's not. Beckham and company claim stardom isn't about having your own bodyguard. It's not about having thousands of strangers know every intimate detail of your life. It's not even about people being able to identify you solely by your first name.



    Pharrell and Lillard don't necessarily give you an answer to the pressing question, but the campaign is designed to challenge how people use the word superstar today and ignite a discussion to discover who the true superstars are.

    CREDITS
    Client: Adidas
    Agency: Johannes Leonardo
    Chief Creative Officer: Jan Jacobs
    Chief Creative Officer: Leo Premutico
    Executive Creative Director: Tom Martin
    Executive Creative Director: Julian Schreiber
    Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
    Creative: Matt Edwards
    Creative: Wes Phelan
    Business Director: Carter Collins
    Account Director: Sam McCallum
    Account Executive: Gulru Soylu
    Broadcast Executive Producer: Cedric Gairard
    Print Executive Producer: Maria Perez
    Integrated Producer: Peisin Yang Lazo
    Strategist: Jennifer Colman
    Designer: Andrea Gustafson
    Designer: Dave Kerr
    Designer: Annette Lay
    Audio: Sonic Union
    Mix Engineer: Steve Rosen


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    Of all of the holidays that are made up, National Cheese Pizza Day (Sept. 5) remains one of my favorites. Today just so happens to be National Kiss a Ginger Day—meaning, you should kiss a person with red hair, not the spice in your cupboard.

    Well, sandwich chain Jimmy John's took the opportunity to tweet a fellow fast-food restaurant and famous ginger, Wendy's. The latter's response was pretty fun, too, and fans are going wild for it.

    A+ for use of emoji and keeping things light and fun.

    Now, as you can see below, it could be Chester Cheetah's turn to make his move.


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    Newcastle Brown Ale keeps finding new and interesting ways not to appear on the Super Bowl. This year it's already tried crashing the Doritos contest (sort of). And now it's gotten Aubrey Plaza on board to introduce a truly, audaciously stupid idea: getting small brands everywhere to all go in on a Super Bowl spot together.

    "Instead of blowing Newcastle's marketing budget, let's team up to blow all of our marketing budgets!" the 30-year-old Parks and Recreation star says in the video below about Newcastle's so-called "Band of Brands" idea.

    Because what could be more compelling for any brand than to share 30 seconds of airtime (price tag: $4.5 million) with 20 or 30 other brands?

    Interested parties should head to NewcastleBandOfBrands.com, where you can, according to Plaza, "find out how our brand can help your brand help our brand, most importantly."


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    Recently, publishers started ditching their swanky Midtown New York offices for more cost-effective downtown digs. Now, it seems there's another shift happening as creative agencies join the migration. At the forefront of that movement, you'll find Adweek's 2014 U.S. agency of the year, Droga5, one of the first major ad agencies to move to Wall Street.

    The agency recently relocated its New York headquarters from the NoHo neighborhood to 120 Wall St., the hub of the Financial District. The new facility spans 92,000 square feet and five floors, including two penthouse floors, and houses 320-plus employees who work with clients such as Chobani, Honey Maid, Newcastle Brown Ale and Under Armour.

    In the video above, group account director Steven Panariello walks us through Droga5's new office.


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    One day, all the world's persistent infrastructure problems will be obsolete, says Cisco. Indeed, you'll only be able to see them in museums.

    That's the theme of "Building Tomorrow Today," a new Cisco campaign by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners that begins today with "The Last Traffic Jam," a striking 30-second spot that shows a traffic jam—now a remnant of the past—as an art piece in a gallery.

    Future ads will depict other "last" scenarios, including the last long checkout line and the last product recall, as frozen moments from the past that are now displayed in an art gallery.



    GSP creative directors Justin Moore and Nick Klinkert spoke to AdFreak about the "The Last Traffic Jam":

    AdFreak: This is a clever idea. How did you arrive at this concept of a Museum of Lasts?
    Moore: People talk a lot about 'firsts' in tech. So we loved the idea that "lasts" can represent a more interesting view of the future—a way of showing how the Internet of everything can have a real, positive impact on people's lives. After we got to the idea of "lasts," the museum concept felt like a pretty short leap.

    Klinkert: Research found that business and technology leaders feel more and more responsibility to solve exceedingly complex problems in the world, with the help of technology. The ultimate goal is to confine these problems that affect us all to the past. The team quite quickly became interested in a place where all these problems could live—"the Museum of Lasts."

    Where did you film this, and what were the production challenges?
    Klinkert: We shot these in Zaragoza, Spain. They built these massive, beautiful buildings for the water expo in 2008, and they gave us the scale and the look that we were after. The "art installations" are actually real people standing very still (and treated in post) to replicate hyperrealistic statues of people.

    Can you tell me about the visual look?
    Moore: We wanted to make the point that technology is ultimately about people. So we spent a lot of time looking at the work of artists like Ron Mueck and researching how modern museums create exhibitions.

    Klinkert: Visually, we were interested and inspired by the amazing, hyperreal sculptures of Sam Jinks and Ron Mueck, and the way large-scale installations in museums work these days. A lot of them have an interactive component to them, a lot of them are playing with relative size, and they are very fascinating to look at.

    Did you storyboard exactly how the tableaux would look, almost like doing little paintings?
    Klinkert: We had a pretty clear idea of how it would look at first, but a lot of exploration went into the final execution of it. The traffic jam is obviously a universal problem that affects a lot of people. We wanted to illustrate the frustration, impatience and the boredom of the people in the traffic jam. We toyed around with a lot of other ideas, but at the end of the day we wanted it to look as if an artist picked up a chunk of congested freeway in a major metropolitan city and put it in an elegant museum space.

    Why the British voiceover?
    Moore: We're just looking for something fresh and interesting. We tried lots of voices. But something about the English accent seemed to suit the cadence of the words.

    How does this evolve the Cisco campaign from last year's work?
    Moore: Strategically, we've got a sharper point of view on what Cisco's vision is for the future, and how it relates to what they're doing right now. Creatively, the campaign's just getting better and better.

    Klinkert: It's really a creative expression of what they are doing right now—Cisco is helping to make the Internet of everything possible. And with that, hopefully we can see the last traffic jam or the last product recall in the not too distant future.


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    Sorry, Flo. America has a new favorite spokeswoman in AT&T's Lily, the store employee character played with bright-eyed, quirky charm by improv actress Milana Vayntrub.

    The 27-year-old Upright Citizens Brigade veteran was originally cast for a single spot, "Supervisor," in late 2013. But her endearingly comical way of explaining the Mobile Share Value plans was quickly a hit, and she's been a fixture ever since in the BBDO campaign.

    AT&T figured a customer-service character would be a "persuasive, transparent and believable way" of presenting the plans to various customers and families in the ads, said Meredith Vincent, AT&T's director of advertising.

    "We were looking for someone approachable, friendly and relatable. When the Lily construct became a campaign, we were thrilled to find that Milana has great humor and great range as an actress, which really helps to keep the campaign fresh." Indeed, she isn't going away anytime soon.

    COPYWRITING: One of Vayntrub's great strengths is her improv background. Indeed, the scripts are just the starting point.

    "A lot of what airs is unscripted. Milana is an incredible improv actress, and I think we've done a good job of finding actors who play well with her," senior creative directors Stephen McMennamy and Alex Russell said in a joint email.



    The structure of each spot generally looks like this: Lily explains the plan; the customer does or says something weird or unexpected; and Lily affably plays along. The humor is subtle. The ads often end on a funny look rather than a joke. Lily's unflappable nature is a constant, and makes her feel real and relatable.

    "Making a long-running retail campaign is hard," the creatives said. "You need to give people a reason to pay attention to some pretty hard-hitting stuff. So, the more of these we've done, the better we've gotten at recognizing the situations that best tee up Milana's strengths. Which are many. She does a lot with what we give her, making our jobs way easier."

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: The agency has used a few different directors, but for a while now it's been Hank Perlman of Hungry Man. His experience comes in handy when the production schedule gets crazy, with the agency racing to shoot several spots in a row and the scripts changing up to last minute.

    "We all trust him, especially Milana, so the shoot days are easier than they probably should be," the creatives said.

    Visually, the ads are pretty straightforward. "The biggest challenge has been finding different ways and places for people to interact in the store," the creatives said.

    Sound design plays a small part over a bed of ambient store noise.



    TALENT: AT&T isn't surprised viewers have found Vayntrub to be funny and likable. "But we were a bit surprised to find how invested they became in her character," said Vincent.

    "For example, her last name, 'Adams,' is widely referenced by fans, though it was only mentioned in one spot ["Slam Dunk," March 2014]. And she has a lot of 'admirers' and dedicated fan-run Twitter feeds. Not only is she approachable and friendly, she has also shown a lot of wit and charm, and a little bit of sass."

    The character recently popped up on ATT.com, and her likeness will appear in AT&T retail stores beginning this month.

    No one is more happy about all this than Vayntrub herself. "This campaign has been a really fun collaboration between AT&T, the agency, director and actors," she told Adweek. "I feel lucky to be a part of something so big that allows me to improvise and play."

    MEDIA: National broadcast and cable, and online.

    MOST RECENT SPOT:

    OTHER SPOTS:

    CREDITS
    Client: AT&T
    Spot: "Superstition"

    Agency: BBDO Atlanta
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald
    Senior Creative Director: Stephen McMennamy
    Senior Creative Director: Alex Russell
    ACD/Art Director: Chris Miller
    ACD/Copywriter: Jason Duvall

    Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
    Executive Producer: Jenny Russo Novak
    Music Producer: Melissa Chester

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Hank Perlman
    Director of Photography: Eric Steelberg
    Line Producer: Caleb Dewart

    Editing Company: PS 260
    Editor: JJ Lask
    Executive Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson

    Visual Effects: Spon
    Executive Producer: Bryce Edwards


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    It's supposed to be Doritos' time to shine. But this year, everyone seems to be crashing the brand's "Crash the Super Bowl" contest.

    First, Newcastle Brown Ale piggybacked on the competition for its own purposes. And now we get this subversive and very well-made Doritos parody from SumOfUs.org—which starts off goofy and funny but ends on a very sobering note.

    We won't give away the reveal. But suffice it to say, the reason this spoof works so well is that, in its initial ridiculousness, it plays so much like a real (fake) "Crash the Super Bowl" entry. Also, that absurdity strengthens the surprise message at the end—guilting the viewer into wondering whether the playfulness of Doritos ads generally is one big ruse.

    For more on the campaign, visit SumOfUs.org.


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    Social media moves quickly, and yesterday's trending #KissAGingerDay is today's #FiveWordsToRuinADate.

    Mere mortals have been playing the hashtag game by tweeting quips like "A salad for the lady?," "I'm an Android user," and "Do they have WiFi here?" But brands are also hopping on board.

    Some tweets are a little predictable, and some are more clever than others, but generally it's good, clean fun for everyone. (Except it's Twitter, so take what I said about good and clean and fun with a grain of salt, please.)

    Got a favorite?


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