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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    "To send a clear message that the reason people fall off the wagon and go back to their sedentary habits is because they've bought into a fitness culture that is broken—one that should be traded in for an untethered, inspiring health and fitness lifestyle."

    Phew, I'm glad Venables Bell & Partners cleared that one up—in a statement supporting its new 75-second ad for Reebok.

    Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks directed the amusing, fast-paced spot starring a chicken that escapes from its coop and dashes around the countryside, evading all sorts of dangers. "We are encouraging people to break free from conventional fitness resolutions to push themselves," says Yan Martin, Reebok's vp, global brand communications. (Metaphorical chicken. Delicious.)

    "Live free range," says the on-screen copy at the end.

    The ad is part of the athletic footwear and apparel giant's "Free Range" campaign, which also includes social outreach. Specifically, Reebok mined social posts for New Year's fitness resolutions, and is sending out inspirational T-shirts to those people. Those shirts, printed with users' own words, will be delivered in egg-cartoon-shaped packages, naturally. The brand also invites folks to share their stories via the #LiveFreeRange hashtag.

    Which came first? Well, Nike's did. (And that bird was hella fowl.) Still, Reebok has uncaged one plucky hen.

    Client: Reebok
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
    Spot Title: "Free Range Chicken"
    Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness
    Creative Directors: Tom Scharpf, Erich Pfeifer
    Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd
    Art Director: Byron Del Rosario
    Copywriters: Meredith Karr, Allan Eakin
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
    Senior Brand Strategist: Jake Bayham
    Production Company: Biscuit
    Director: Noam Murro
    Director of Photography: Simon Duggan
    Executive Producers: Shawn Lacy, Colleen O'Donnell
    Line Producer: Jay Veal
    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Stewart Reeves
    Visual Effects, Telecine: A52
    Visual Effects Producer: Heather Johann
    Sound Design, Mix: 740 Sound Design
    Sound Designer: Rommel Molina
    Music: Elias Arts
    Business Lead: Katie Acosta
    Account Director: Lilli Jonas
    Account Manager:  Danielle Sabalvaro
    Project Manager: Daniela Contreras

    Client: Reebok
    Ad Title: "Free Range Social"
    Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness
    Creative Director: Tom Scharpf
    Art Director: Byron Del Rosario
    Copywriter: Meredith Karr
    Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
    Senior Brand Strategist: Jake Bayham
    Technical Director: Lucas Shuman
    Production Partner: Freestyle MKG
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Director of Interactive Production: Manjula Nadkarni
    Production Coordinator: Megan Wasserman
    Experiential Producer: Natalie Stone
    Digital Producer: Ashley Smith
    Business Lead: Katie Acosta
    Account Manager: Danielle Sabalvaro
    Project Managers: Daniela Contreras, Shannon Duncan
    Director of Analytics: Jeff Burger

    Client: Reebok
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
    Spot Title: "Free Range Chicken"
    Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness
    Creative Directors: Tom Scharpf, Erich Pfeifer
    Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd
    Art Director: Byron Del Rosario
    Copywriters: Meredith Karr, Allan Eakin
    Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
    Senior Brand Strategist: Jake Bayham
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Director of Interactive Production: Manjula Nadkarni
    Production Company: Biscuit
    Director: Noam Murro
    Director of Photography: Simon Duggan
    Executive Producers: Shawn Lacy, Colleen O'Donnell
    Line Producer: Jay Veal
    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Stewart Reeves
    Visual Effects, Telecine: A52
    Visual Effects Producer: Heather Johann
    Sound Design, Mix: 740 Sound Design
    Sound Designer: Rommel Molina
    Music: Elias Arts
    Production Partner: Freestyle MKG
    Experiential Producer: Natalie Stone
    Production Coordinator: Megan Wasserman
    Digital Producer: Ashley Smith
    Business Lead: Katie Acosta
    Account Director: Lilli Jonas
    Account Manager:  Danielle Sabalvaro
    Project Managers: Daniela Contreras, Shannon Duncan
    Director of Analytics: Jeff Burger

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    Following in the footsteps of other omnipresent consumer brands with something arty to prove, Pepsi MAX made a huge mess with mousetraps and Ping-Pong balls for a video it calls "Chain Reaction."

    With the help of London filmmakers HarrimanSteel, a perfect grid of mousetraps was laid out, with a Ping-Pong ball balanced on each one. After all that work, a single ball was launched under some of the most dramatic lighting I've ever seen to upset the whole display. The ball then rolls down a big science-museum funnel into another Ping-Pong ball/mousetrap installation, this one with colored spheres.

    All this happens to the beat of music that sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks' take on dubstep, and I don't know how to feel about that at all.

    I shouldn't like the more pretentious visual choices being made here, but I do, because it's fun to watch huge companies clutch their pearls at the thought of being a constant, low-humming presence in the back of consumers' minds. I'm not sure it justifies the filmmakers hugging at the end like they've landed a rover on Mars, though.

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    If you've arrived at this ad without having seen Ogilvy's previous work for Thai Life Insurance, take a minute or two to get familiar—here and here. Oh, and grab some tissues first, you old softie.

    OK, now that we're up to speed, here's the latest spot from the wizards of weeping, the sultans of sobbing, the ballers of bawling. 

    In the perfect short-film-style vignette, we follow the life of our unlikely hero, Pornchai Sukyod: a husky schoolboy with unusual superhero aspirations. Despite its three-and-a-half-minute run time, it's a flawlessly shot and edited spot that presents a concise, poignant narrative—with a reveal that feels nothing at all like an insurance commercial.

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    Axe has been trying to move away from its narrow, misogynistic views on relationships and sexuality for some time. But this BBH London spot is easily the Unilever brand's most inclusive yet.

    Airing first in Australia (where the brand is called Lynx) before rolling out to other global markets, the hair-care spot packs a lot into 60 seconds. As our hero flips through TV channels at home, we get brief scenes that take place inside each show—with the protagonist in the lead role.

    Around the 30-second mark, though, we get a scene that would be remarkable for many brands—and astounding for Axe. "Kiss the hottest girl," the voiceover advises the Axe user, "or the hottest boy!" And in the vintage scene, we see the guy do just that.

    Even better, they don't make a big deal of it. And it's not even mentioned in the press release. (Nick Gill, executive creative director of BBH London, says he's "enormously proud" of the ad—because it's "witty, exciting and full on filmic invention," not because it's revolutionary in any way.)

    The spot has been getting press just for the gay kiss, and no wonder. Axe has been proudly regressive for years. It's a shock to see it suddenly get this progressive.

    Client: Axe/Lynx
    Agency: BBH London
    BBH Creative Team: Jack Smedley, George Hackforth-Jones
    BBH Interactive Art Director: Vinny Olimpio
    BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz, Nick Gill, Gary McCreadie, Wesley Hawes
    BBH Team Director: Cressida Holmes-Smith
    BBH Team Manager: Freddie Vereker
    BBH Strategist: Tom Callard
    BBH Strategy Director: Agathe Guerrier
    BBH Business Lead: Helen James

    Film Credits
    BBH Producer: Glenn Paton
    BBH Assistant Producer: Katie Burkes
    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Noam Murro
    Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
    Producer: Jay Veal
    DoP: Eric Schmidt
    Post Production: Framestore
    Editor/Editing House: Neil Smith and Saam Hodivala @ Work Post
    Sound: Will Cohen @ String and Tins

    Print Credits
    BBH Producer: Sally Green
    Photographer: Photographer: Alan Clarke
    Typographer: Rich Kennedy

    Local Agency Credits
    Client: LYNX Australia
    Marketing Director: Jon McCarthy
    Senior Brand Manager: Johnny Hammond
    Brand Manager: Lindsey Roberts
    Digital Agency: Soap Creative
    Media Agency: Mindshare
    PR Agency: Liquid Ideas

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    We live in a pretty amazing time. We can inhale information and imagery to the point where the excess spills over and blows away as fast as it arrived. This is great and all, but if you're a parent trying to raise kids in this torrent of data, you know how hard it is keeping them safe from the deluge of inappropriate content.

    And then there's teaching them how to manage their own data. How do you give your children the right tools to understand the viral age?

    Well, Leo Burnett Change in London (which also did that chilling Cosmo cover for another social cause) and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children present this rather candid anecdote of the implications of sharing personal data virtually. In this case, it's a boy named Alex who's taken a photo of his, erm, willy—and who is shown the potentially terrible consequences of Snapchatting the pic to someone he trusts.

    Take a look below. And thanks a lot, Carlos Danger.

    Via Ads of the World.

    Client: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
    Agency: Leo Burnett Change
    Copywriter: Alison Steven
    Art Director: Liam Bushby
    Creative Director: Beri Cheetham
    Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall
    Planner: Kit Altin
    Agency Producers: Abby Jenkins, Bruce Macrae
    Media Agency: OMD
    Planner: Alexandra Gill
    Production Company: Hornet
    Directors: Dan & Jason  
    Editor: Anita Chao
    Executive Producer: Jan Stebbins
    Producer: Cathy Kwan
    Storyboard Artist: Carlos Ancalmo
    Lead Character Designer: Adrian Johnson
    Designer: Anna Bron
    Animation Director: Mike Luzzi
    Animators: Angela DeVito, Jacob Kafka, Keelmy Carlo, Krystal Downs, Mike Luzzi, Mark Pecoraro, Natalie Labarre, Nivedita Sekar, Sean Lattrell
    Lead Compositor: Ted Wiggin
    Compositors: Richard Kim, Stephanie Andreou
    Postproduction: Prodigious
    Audio Postproduction: Nick Angell

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    State Farm has been running the "Magic Jingle" advertising campaign for a while, in which customers are able to summon their agents out of thin air in times of crisis by singing the famous jingle: "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."

    What's been left unspoken—until now—is how weird the scene must be back in the State Farm offices, with agents constantly disappearing while chatting with colleagues.

    This new spot from Translation looks at the campaign from the latter angle, comically checking in on disappearing agents in State Farm offices across the country. The spot was directed by Roman Coppola, with longtime David Fincher cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth handling DP duties.

    "There really are endless jokes to make and directions to explore with the concept of teleportation," Translation creative director Nick Sonderup tells AdFreak. "We knew the spot worked because there were just so many ways to execute it. On the surface, the idea that a State Farm agent will be there no matter when you need them is only one part of the story. When you consider what those agents might be in the middle of when you sing the jingle, and they're summoned to your side—that's when it clicked and we knew things could get really fun."

    "It's also a response to the way the 'Magic Jingle' campaign has become part of culture," adds Patty Morris, State Farm marketing director of brand content. (Indeed, just look at all the "Magic Jingle" parodies on Vine.)"We've seen so many terrific user-generated parodies and creative ways of approaching the idea. We took the opportunity to rethink it ourselves, and the result was a completely fresh piece of creative that stays true to our original strategy."

    Client: State Farm
    Campaign Title: "State Farm Magic Jingle"
    Spot Title: "Magic Jingle Disappearing Agents"
    First Air Date: Jan. 10, 2015

    Agency: Translation   
    Founder, CEO: Steve Stoute
    Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Creative Directors: Nick Sonderup, Andy Grant
    Art Director: Allison Bulow
    Copywriter: Jameson Rossi
    Partner, Strategy: John McBride
    Director of Content Production: Miriam Franklin
    Director of Business Management: Thalia Tsouros
    Vice President, Account Director: Susanna Swartley
    Account Supervisor: Sara Daino
    Assistant Account Executive: Jake Thorndike
    Producer: Andy Murillo
    Junior Producer: Kristen Cooler

    Production: The Directors Bureau
    Director: Roman Coppola
    Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth
    Managing Director, Executive Producer: Lisa Margulis
    Executive Producer, Head of Production: Elizabeth Minzes
    Producer: Mary Livingston

    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Carlos Arias
    Assistant Editor: Alexandra Debricon
    Post Executive Producer:  Eve Kornblum
    Post Producer: Lisa Barnable

    Visual Effects Company: The Mill
    Visual Effects Artists: Gavin Wellsman, Jeff Butler
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Boo Wong
    Visual Effects Producer: Colin Moneymaker

    Audio Post: Heard City
    Mixers: Keith Reynaud, Mike Vitacco
    Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
    Producer: Sasha Awn

    Sound Design: Henryboy
    Sound Designer: Bill Chesley
    Executive Producer: Kate Gibson

    Original Music: Beacon Street
    Composers: Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau
    Executive Producers: Adrea Lavezzoli, Leslie Dilullo

    Media: OMD

    State Farm
    Marketing Director, Brand Content: Patty Morris
    Advertising Manager: Troy Johnson
    Marketing Analysts, Mass Media Brand Content: Christine Williams, Jeff Greeneberg

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    As a rule, fashion ads are beautifully vapid. And they just got the send-up they deserve.

    Next week is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin, and the event's title sponsor is out with a new video that's a delightful parody of fashion marketing nonsense.

    Justin O'Shea, an industry insider with a striking aesthetic (his day job is buying director at online high fashion boutique MyTheresa.com), makes his acting debut here, delivering a perfect deadpan performance. The story shifts flawlessly between the sort of trite, atmospheric melodrama that's the hallmark of the fashion category, and its foil—the laugh-out-loud relief of the mundane.

    "The streets blazed with a gentle chaos," says O'Shea. "I knew just the place where I could get what I needed." Spoiler alert: That place, it turns out, is a grocery store. What he needed was some milk (or maybe it's kefir).

    True to form, the three-and-a-half minute film, directed by Danny Sangra, is gorgeously shot. O'Shea's ride, a stunning 1970 Mercedes C111, gives it a huge boost on that front. His collection of tattoos helps, too.

    In fact, the whole spot flies right by, aided by co-stars Veronika Heilbrunner (O'Shea's real-life girlfriend and colleague at Mytheresa.com) and their fashionable friends Julie Knolle and Gabe and Raffi Chipperfield.

    Overall, it might be one of the best fashion ads ever. Too bad it's for an automaker.

    Via Jalopnik.

    Client: Mercedes-Benz
    Director: Danny Sangra

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    Tostitos would like you to know that Chip Kelly, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, is not the official chip of the NFL—because Tostitos is.

    Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is out with a new series of 10 pre-roll ads, 15 seconds each, riffing on the pun. Chip Kelly, the story goes, is not happy about the lack of respect.

    Overall, they're pretty cheesy, which is appropriate, because who doesn't love nachos? But the highlights are probably Kelly getting kicked out of a shopping cart, an Eagles player following calls from a bag of Tostitos, and a security guard strong-arming the campaign's announcer.

    The spots mark Kelly's advertising debut, though—so at least he can add that to his résumé.

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    Whether you agree with the nominations (The Lego Movie was ROBBED), it's an exciting day for Hollywood, as the Oscar contenders were announced this morning, including esteemed cinematographer Dick Poop.

    Everyone's favorite teenage M.D., Douglas Howser, will be the host of this year's broadcast, and will certainly not disappoint like that shlub Neil Patrick Harris usually does. 

    Kidding aside, the Oscars rolled out this 30-second spot today featuring a little optical trickery to promote the show, which will air Sunday, Feb. 22, on ABC.

    And here are a couple of NPH Oscars spots from a couple weeks back:

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    Deutsch LA unleashes some potent adorbs for Dr Pepper in this ad starring a super-shaggy "mop dog"—a Hungarian herding pooch known as a Puli with a dreadlock-style corded coat.

    Try as it might, our lovable hero just can't seem to fit in. The stray hitches a ride with a Dr Pepper delivery dude, played by Domingo Molina, who memorably essayed a villain in early episodes of Breaking Bad, and they head for the pound. Will the guy keep the misfit pooch, validating the brand's new tagline, "Always be one of a kind," and giving us a three-hanky happy ending? C'mon, Krazy-8, what's your play?

    This stuff is hokey and sentimental, manipulative in the extreme—one more example of a brand taking the easiest route to play on consumers' emotions. (Why not just drive the beast to the Super Bowl so it can frolic with the cuddly canine commercial stars from Anheuser-Busch and Go Daddy?)

    That said, director Simon McQuoid of Imperial Woodpecker unfurls the tale, and the tail, with understated aplomb. And that scrappy scamp is so darn cute … sniff … I can barely see the screen as I type this.

    Oh man, that mop dog will wring every last tear from your eyes.

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    In its first work for the NBA, new lead creative agency Translation uses the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words to powerful effect.

    Excerpts from King's "I Have a Dream" speech serve as the backdrop for images of inclusiveness, as the league celebrates its history of firsts when it comes to breaking down racial and other barriers. Those images begin with Charlie Cooper, the first black NBA player, and end with a "We Are One" sign—a reference to how fans and players responded to racist remarks from former Clippers owner Donald Sterling last year.

    In between are still photos and video of the likes of Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Yao Ming and Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player.

    The ad breaks online today and will extend to TV during the NBA's slate of games on Monday—Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It's part of a broader campaign that continues into Black History Month in February and features a mentorship program for students; video vignettes about why Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams is passionate about African American history; and an NBA Inside Stuff piece about a Tuskegee Airman who was the grandfather of Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris.

    So, kudos to the league for going well beyond just creating an ad.

    That said, while many will find the ad artful and inspiring, don't expect it to be universally loved. Any commercial use of King's words—however well intentioned and well timed—is bound to draw criticism. Telecommunications company Alcatel learned this hard lesson in 2001, when it unveiled an ad from Arnold that depicted King making his famous 1963 speech but without the crowd of 250,000 that had amassed to hear it. The brand message was, "Before you can inspire, before you can touch, you must first connect." Critics, however, recoiled at the blending of history and commerce.

    By contrast, the NBA ad—while obviously designed, at least in part, to sell more tickets—feels commemorative and will run on TV for just five weeks. The league obviously got approval from King's estate to use the audio. And it's backing up the message of the ad with programs and actions to help the black community.

    Nevertheless, some will still find fault with any commercial use of King. Even an ad as graceful as this one.

    Title: Breaking Barriers
    Client: NBA
    Agency: Translation
    CEO: Steve Stoute
    Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Executive Creative Director: Betsy Decker
    Art Director: Matt Comer
    Copywriters: Andy Ferguson, Betsy Decker
    Director of Content Production/EP: Miriam Franklin
    Associate Producer: Philinese Kirkwood
    Account team: Tim Van Hoof, Chris Martin
    Chief Strategy Officer: John Greene
    Head of Brand Strategy: Tim Flood
    Strategist: Lindsey Neeld
    Project Manager: Matt DeSimone
    Editorial Company: Cut & Run
    Editor: Dayn Williams
    Assistant Editor: Adam Bazadona
    Post Executive Producer: Rana Martin
    Post Producer: Jean Lane
    Visual Effects: Sibling Rivalry
    Creative Director: Matt Tragesser
    Animator/Compositor: Gabe Darling
    Executive Producer: Maggie Meade
    Head of Production: Joanna Fillie
    Post Producer: Tracey McDonough
    Telecine/Conform: Company Three/Method
    Colorist: Rob Sciarratta
    Flame Artist: Carmen Maxcy
    Audio Post: Heard City
    Mixers: Phil Loeb, Evan Mangiameli
    Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
    Music: Trackmasters

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    Next time you're at the supermarket scanning the shelves for whichever loaf of bread is on sale, because you don't really care which brand you buy—because bread is bread is bread—imagine if the top shelf had a loaf slapped with a Fendi logo. Would you buy it?

    Israel-based artist Peddy Mergui presents a fascinating fantasy world where luxury brands make various food products in his series Wheat Is Wheat Is Wheat.

    "By infusing the packaging of our most basic commodities with values of prestige and luxury, Wheat Is Wheat Is Wheat explores the dynamic and often blurred ethical boundaries of design within consumer culture," says his website. "This exhibition is meant to highlight the challenges a designer faces when tasked with promoting economic interests while remaining true to his or her own moral compass."

    It's been a while since art school, but I think this project's statement translates to: "There's an ass for every seat. If you build it, they will come."

    Take a look below at these ludicrous collisions of commercialism. 

    Tiffany yogurt: Because being regular isn't good enough. 

    Prada flour: We'll just assume it's white. 

    Nike fruit: Just eat it.

    Louis Vuitton sausage: Just don't ask how it's made. 

    Gucci pickles: The silliest dill. 

    Ferrari pasta: As if you even eat carbs. 

    Dolce & Gabbana tea biscuits: Are we sure these aren't real?

    Chanel baby formula: It's actually from the teat of Gerard D

    HSBC basmati white rice: This bag is actual size. 

    Bulgari butter: When it melts, it turns into the Pope's tears. 

    Apple iMilk: That extra 1 percent is for the 1 percent.

    Via Visual News.

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    Waka waka waka.

    Bud Light on Friday released the 15-second teaser below for its upcoming 60-second Super Bowl commercial, in which—as promised—a man accepts a challenge to play a crazy, life-size game of Pac-Man.

    As seen in the teaser, the dare is written on the label of his Bud Light bottle. That ties into a new Anheuser-Busch packaging campaign that began in December, in which Bud Light bottles now come with almost 50 different "Up For Whatever" messages to inspire drinkers to be more spontaneous and fun.

    In the full 60-second Super Bowl spot, titled "Coin," from EnergyBBDO, the man follows the hint on his bottle and "finds himself in a giant Pac-Man maze, having the time of his life," says the brand.

    The work builds on Bud Light's buzzy 2014 Super Bowl campaign "Epic Night," which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle and took the brand away from its usual scripted jokes and into dynamic real-life stunts. This year's campaign will be supported by a three-day House of Whatever event in Arizona, near the site of the Super Bowl.

    In addition to the Bud Light spot, A-B plans to air two 60-second Budweiser ads (one of them a sequel to last year's chart-topping "Puppy Love") on the Feb. 1 Super Bowl telecast.

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    Exercise is hard enough already without your arm fat flapping like a chicken wing to discourage you. But if we could learn to stop worrying and love the sweaty slap of our chubby thighs, we might never think twice about hitting the gym or the field.

    At least, that's the premise of Britain's "This Girl Can" campaign. The wiggling, jiggling, sweaty anthem is getting press and shares for its honest depiction of what average women working out look like—so that women of all shapes and sizes will feel better stepping up the plate or the Zumba stick.

    A bit clumsily cut to Missy Eliott's "Get Ur Freak On" and having some of the worst typographic design you've seen in ages, the video has nonetheless racked up millions of views on Facebook and YouTube due to its inspiring, anthemic nature.

    Sport England (a British government department previously known as the English Sports Council) funded the effort and did the research that found a serious gender gap in exercise. Some 2 million fewer women than men in the 14-40 age range regularly participate in sports. They tried to figure out why.

    Was it because our ladyparts make it harder to lift weights? Nope. In other European countries, there's no such gap. What was holding England's women back?

    Digging further, they found that body image issues were the main issue. This campaign is meant to be the solution—a website, a YouTube channel and an inspirational film series that celebrates the wiggling, jiggling and sweating that comes along with being a healthy active woman at any size.

    It might encourage you to get out on the field. At the very least, it will fill your girl power needs until another anthemic video comes along next week.

    Agency: FCB Inferno
    Managing Director: Sharon Jiggins
    Creative Director: Bryn Attewell
    Art Director: Raymond Chan
    Copywriter: Simon Cenamor
    Planning Director: Vicki Holgate
    Senior Account Director: Hollie Loxley
    Producer: Ally Mee
    Media Company: Carat
    Production Company : Somesuch
    Exec. Producer: Tim Nash
    Director: Kim Gehrig
    DP: David Procter
    Producer: Lee Groombridge
    Editor: Tom Lindsay at Trim
    Post-production Producers: Andrew McLintock and Adam Sergant
    Post-production: Framestore
    Audio post-production: Wave Sound Studios
    Music Company/Sound Design: Soundtree

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    Some companies might take exception to your scribbling all over its catalog. But not Ikea.

    For a while now, British illustrator Sarah Horne has found the Ikea catalog to be an inspiring canvas on which to draw fantastical scenes—with mythical creatures all relaxing in minimalist Swedish homescapes. Well, Ikea saw the drawings—and loved them. And over the holidays they invited Horne to be an official children's illustrator in residence at its Wembley store.

    "As a child I was always doodling and dreaming up a never-ending number of fantastical dinner parties that featured fictional creatures from the pages of my favorite storybooks—imagining what it would be like to have dinner with a dragon or breakfast with Bigfoot," Horne says.

    "Although I'm all grown up, my mind runs riot with the fantastical meals I always wished I could be a part of, using pages from my favorite Ikea catalogue as a canvas to bring my mythical creations a little more into reality."

    Horne's pictures gave Ikea an idea. They could use them to help reinforce the idea of the importance of family dinner times.

    "We know how easy it is to get bogged down in the craziness of everyday life, so we hired our children's illustrator in residence to put the wonder back into dining together," says an Ikea rep. "At Ikea, we firmly believe that each and every mealtime is special in its own right, whether it's a midweek supper for your partner, breakfast with the kids, or pizza at home on a Friday night. It's all about spending quality time together and treasuring those moments as a family."

    Hear more from Horne below. Via PSFK.

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    Moody black-and-white photography. Whispered dialogue. Ethereal soundtrack. Pouty orgasm faces. Sensual mid-air ballet.

    Amazingly, this isn't a perfume or fashion ad from the '90s but Cheil Worldwide's latest spot for Samsung Mobile, supporting the brand's Gear Circle Bluetooth headset.

    You know you're in for a wild ride right from the start, when some skinny dude, chillin' on the rug in front of a cozy fireplace, engages the product and a wraithlike blonde woman—previously unseen—flies up toward the ceiling, as if she'd sprung out of his very soul. The guy's also suddenly and inexplicably shirtless at that point, naturally. Soon, he's also soaring above the ground.

    "A bit much for a pair of headphones, don't you think?" one YouTube commenter asks.

    Perhaps. And yet, this stuff is so self-consciously goofy and packed with artsy pretense—not to mention very well made, by Keystone Films director Liukh—that it's tough to look away.

    "Once you belong to the circle, you'll never want to go back," a voiceover says at the end. A British accented voiceover—awesome!

    That line is vaguely creepy. (A slap at the cult of Mac?) Still, the spot's blithely campy approach helps it take flight. It's sure to get a rise out of viewers.

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    If you could magically turn your iPad into a much bigger tablet, would you?

    Fuhu is promoting its giant new Nabi tablets. (They're available in 24-, 32-, 43-, 55- and astonishing 65-inch versions.) To that end, it made a new reality-style video featuring magician Adam Trent, one of seven stars in stage show The Illusionists, pretending to transform random people's iPads into Nabis, outside the glass-box Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

    It's good, harmless, not-at-all earth-shattering fun, mostly offering a new twist on classic magic tricks, like Trent pretending to pull strawberries out of the popular video game Fruit Ninja—because duh, the resolution is just that good.

    But the best part is by far when that one little kid basically tells the silly magic man to take back some of these freaking strawberries, idiot, because there are too many, and what is he, some kind of fruit sherpa?

    As for the Nabi, we'll leave it to you whether you want to carry a TV around and pretend it's a tablet. Seriously, it's so big it has a handle—but maybe that just makes it cooler.

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    So, this is why Newcastle Brown Ale hired Aubrey Plaza as its 2015 Super Bowl endorser: Her perma-sarcasm and lack of energy make her the world's worst spokeswoman—or if you like, the world's best anti-spokeswoman.

    The brewer and ad agency Droga5—who specialize in deflating marketing's overblown self-importance—continue their march toward the industy's most overblown, self-important night by having the Parks and Recreation actress sullenly and amusingly milk a cow. This part of the brand's email to us sums up the approach pretty well:

    You can't make an overblown Big Game ad campaign without releasing a semi-controversial clickbait video ahead of time to prime the pump and get people "excited" about the coming advertisement. (As excited as Aubrey, even.)

    Newcastle is actually buying a regional Super Bowl spot this year. In an earlier video with Plaza, it announced a plan to crowdfund that spot with a bunch of other brands.

    "In exchange for a small contribution, any brand can join Newcastle's team and have its logo and messaging featured in an actual Big Game spot," the brand says. Today is the last day for interested companies to submit their "Band of Brands" proposal for consideration at NewcastleBandOfBrands.com.

    "At first we tried to sneak our way into the Big Game by entering a popular commercial contest put on by a certain snack chip brand, but that didn't work out for us. Now we're trying to leverage 'strength in numbers' to see what that does for us," said Priscilla Flores Dohnert, brand director for Newcastle Brown Ale. "Everyone loves a great underdog story. What's more 'underdog' than being short on cash and not having the right to advertise during the game?"

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    Hold on to your patties, because Carl's Jr. just released an extended version of its regional Super Bowl ad, in which it shows even more skin than usual.

    The spot, by 72andSunny, stars Charlotte McKinney—who according to a Google search might be the next Kate Upton (a claim supported by a subsequent Google Images search). The ad will air on the West Coast in the fast-food chain's markets.

    It's called "Au Naturel," and indeed, it appears to show McKinney walking around in the buff—with suggestively shaped everyday objects strategically covering her up, à la Austin Powers. There is a twist at the end, of course.

    "Charlotte McKinney loves going All-Natural, especially when it comes to her burger," says the brand. "Introducing fast-food's first All-Natural Burger with grass-fed, free-range beef that has no added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics."

    The ad was directed by RSA's Jake Scott, whose work includes last year's "Puppy Love" Super Bowl spot for Budwesier. So yeah, the guy has range.

    Client: Carl's Jr.

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Creative Officer, Founder: Glenn Cole
    Group Creative Directors:  Justin Hooper, Mick DiMaria
    Creative Director: Mark Maziarz
    Junior Writer: Reilly Baker
    Designer: Esther Kim
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Executive Film Producer: Molly McFarland
    Film Producer: Brooke Horne
    Film Production Coordinator: Taylor Stockwell
    Group Brand Director: Judson Whigham
    Brand Director: Alexis Coller
    Brand Manager: Scott Vogelsong
    Brand Coordinator: Anthony Fernandez
    Group Business Affairs Director: Amy Jacobsen
    Business Affairs Manager: Audra Brown, Maggie Pijanowski
    Business Affairs Coordinator: Calli Howard
    Group Strategy Director: Matt Johnson
    Strategist: Eddie Moraga

    Production Company: RSA Films
    Director: Jake Scott
    Executive Producer: Tracie Norfleet
    Producer: David Mitchell
    Head of Production: Elicia Laport
    Sales Rep: Shortlist

    Postproduction Company: Whitehouse Post
    Editor: Rick Lawley
    Assistant Editor: Devon Bradbury
    Executive Producer: Joni Williamson
    Producer: Evan Cunningham

    Transfer: CO3
    Colorist: Mike Pethel
    Senior Producer: Matt Moran

    Visual Effects Company: JAMM Visual
    Visual Effects Supervisors: Jake Montgomery, Andy Boyd
    Computer Graphics Supervisor: Jonathan Vaughn
    Executive Producer: Asher Edwards

    Sound Design, Mix: On Music & Sound
    Composer: Chris Winston

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    Adman turned best-selling author James Patterson often creates TV ads to promote his books. But for the launch of his latest novel, Private Vegas, he turned to ad agency Mother for something decidedly different.

    In what Mother New York creative chief Paul Malmstrom calls a "pretty absurd stunt," the author is inviting one fan to experience "The Self-Destructing Book," aka "The most thrilling experience money can buy." This fan will have to pay $294,038 for the experience, which includes getting a self-destructing version of the 416-page book, having a private dinner with Patterson, and witnessing—through gold-plated binoculars!—the epic demise of the book.

    At the same time, via a Web application, 1,000 more readers will gain access to a free digital version of Private Vegas that will disappear after 24 hours in a cinematic and spectacular way. That aspect of the promotion plays on Patterson's reputation for writing page-turners with short chapters and cliffhangers that keep you reading. What's more, the digital version will include flourishes such as a splattering of blood when a character is killed.

    The bigger stunt is supported by several videos that Mother created as well.

    Asked why he hired an agency for a promotion that the former JWT creative director could have created himself, Patterson told AdFreak, "Well, I'd been writing some of the scripts, and I just thought we could get better talent on this thing, you know?"

    The author added that he wanted to shake up the marketing aspect of publishing, which of course now competes with everything from TV shows to feature films to Internet content—some of which he creates himself.

    "I wanted to do something big and exciting and different. Went to Mother and Mother came up with a few ideas, as mothers will. And we all decided that this was the coolest one," Patterson said.

    The destruction has nothing specifically to do with the plot of the ninth installment of Patterson's crime series, which comes out on Monday. The $294,038 figure, however, does have special significance. When asked about it, Patterson deferred to Malmstrom, who laughed before explaining, "That's the actual cost [of the campaign]. We added it all up, and that's the exact sum. And we didn't mark it up."


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