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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Coca-Cola didn't have much success turning nasty tweets into nice ones as part of its Super Bowl campaign. But now, Dove—in partnership with Twitter itself—will try to do something similar during Sunday's Academy Awards.

    And perhaps most crucially, this effort—unlike Coke's—won't be automated.

    The Dove/Twitter campaign is called #SpeakBeautiful, and it begins with a video posted online today that will air during the red-carpet coverage of Sunday's Oscars (when Twitter is perhaps at its cattiest as the stars parade by in their designer outfits).

    The ad is based around one disturbing statistic—that women posted more than 5 million negative tweets about beauty and body image (their own or someone else's) last year. Here's another stat from Dove that isn't in the video: Only 9 percent of women admit to posting negative comments on social media.



    Persistent, often anonymous hate is indeed a hallmark of social media, as Coke found out firsthand. But Dove's ad insists it "only takes one positive tweet to start a trend." And it will try to generate more of them on Sunday, using a special technology.

    The brand explains: "When a negative tweet is posted, the technology will be used by Dove to send non-automated responses to real women, which include constructive and accessible advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.

    "Advice will come directly from social media and self-esteem experts who collaborate with Dove and Twitter to empower women to speak with more confidence, optimism and kindness about beauty online."

    That sounds dry, even didactic. Hopefully in practice it will be fun and not preachy.

    The whole campaign is based around new research from Dove about self-esteem and social media. Among its findings:

    • 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women's looks
    • Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media
    • 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic
    • 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves

    "Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post," says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. "The power to #SpeakBeautiful is in the hands of us all—we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online."


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    Coca-Cola hasn't had much luck making the Internet a happier place lately, but maybe this will help—a fun campaign from Coca-Cola Puerto Rico that puts smiley-face emojis right in the brand's web addresses.

    The brand registered URLs for every emoji that conveys happiness. Entering any of these happy icons into a mobile web browser, along with the .ws suffix, leads users to Coca-­Cola Puerto Rico's website.

    Why .ws, which is actually the domain suffix for Samoa?

    "Emojis are not accepted on domains such as .com, .net, and .org," DDB Puerto Rico says. "After doing some research on domains that do accept emojis, we opted to go with the .ws because the letters could stand for 'We smile' and hence seemed most relevant to the brand."



    For now, all the emoji URLs lead to a special landing page, Emoticoke.com, where consumers can sign up for a chance to get emoji web addresses of their very own. The campaign is being supported by traditional media, including outdoor.

    "The vast majority of our audience now visits our website via a mobile device. And since emojis have become a kind of second language for Coke's younger consumers, we felt this was a great opportunity to connect on a deeper level with our most important demographic," says Alejandro Gómez, president of Coca-Cola Puerto Rico.


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    Jim Elliott, the new global chief creative officer of Arnold Worldwide, and voiceover artist Paul Guyet made these two amusing videos (in what looks like Michael's house from GTA5) explaining how to win a 2015 Radio Mercury Award—by demonstrating all the terrible radio ad clichés that will guarantee failure.

    Elliott (who's also the chief Mercury judge this year) even has a "NO" button to make his disapproval absolutely clear. Guyet is clearly having a ball with his impressions, and some of them are frighteningly accurate. Yes, nightclub ads really do sound that rapey.



    The side effects portion of video No. 1 introduced the phrase "anal snoring" to my lexicon, which I consider a plus. Video No. 2 is more of the same, with Elliott and Guyet taking on AutoTune, bad writing and yelling, and long website URLs.

    After all this, I'd be interested to hear what they like about radio advertising, because the tropes these videos are crapping on represent about 99 percent of it. Hey guys, how about some examples of what wins a Mercury?

    Submissions are being accepted now through April 6 for this year's Radio Mercury Awards. Enter at RadioMercuryAwards.com.



    CREDITS
    Client: Radio Advertising Bureau
    Voiceover artist: Paul Guyet
    Script: Robert Rooney, Creative Director, Y&R NY
    Director Kevin R. Frech
    Camera: Taylor Christoffel
    Recording Studio: Sound Lounge
    Recording Engineer: Collin Blendell
    Production Company: Logical Chaos
    Editor: Nick Fehver


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    There was plenty of light mockery in this week's best ads—with bros, Jesus and men on blind dates taking the brunt of it. Throw in impressive spots for Adidas and Adobe, and we have our five top spots. See them below, and vote for your favorite.


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    Saatchi & Saatchi uses suggestive visual humor, and deadpan delivery from actor Alan Cumming, to skewer the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration's rules around donating blood.

    At issue is a recent revision in the FDA's regulations that allows gay and bisexual men to give blood, but only if they have haven't had sex for a year. (They were previously barred entirely, based on concerns about exposure to HIV.)

    With tongue firmly in cheek, Cumming introduces a series of eight non-sexual activities that that are "guaranted to make your year without sex fly by."

    Among them: Apply your manual dexterity to packing powder into a Civil War musket; thrust your hips into yoga; and polish your trophies. The logo "Celibacy Challenge" logo also is a riot—a pair of red briefs with a white lock over them.

    The ad points to celibacychallenge.com, where you can sign a petition.



    Saatchi and Bullit director Ari Sandel created the mock PSA for GLAAD and the Gay Men's Health Crisis, which want the FDA rules to be based on risk factors, not sexual orientation, and are petitioning the federal agency to make that change. The pro-bono ad, which is being distributed online via the hashtag #CelibacyChallenge, went up Thursday on YouTube.

    CREDITS
    Clients: GLAAD, Gay Men's Health Crisis
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Jay Benjamin
    Creative Director, Art: Johnnie Ingram
    Creative Director, Copy: Chris Skurat
    Design Director: Juan Saucedo
    Art Directors: Mete Erdogan, Matilda Kahl
    Copywriters: Callum Spencer, Viktor Angwald                                                 
    Chief Production Officer: Tanya LeSieur
    Director of Content Production: John Doris
    Executive Producer: Dani Stoller
    Integrated Producer: Matt Micioni
    Lead Creative Technologist: Steve Nowicki
    Digital Strategist: Shae Carroll
    Information Architects: Robert Moon, Kelly Redzack           
    Head of Art Buying: Maggie Sumner
    Lead Retoucher: Yan Apostolides
    Proofreader: Ed Stein
    Chief Marketing Officer: Christine Prins 
    Talent Director: Akash Sen
    Account Director: Rebecca Robertson
    Associate Director, Business Development: Jamie Daigle
    Account Supervisor: Carly Wallace
    Project Manager: Bridget Auerbach
    Production Company: Bullitt 
    Director: Ari Sandel
    Directors of Photography: Warren Kommers (Alan Cumming)
    Benjamin Kitchens (vignettes)
    Executive Producer, CEO: Todd Makurath
    Line Producer: Nathaniel Greene
    Editing House: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo
    Assistant Editor: Mark Popham
    Producer: Fanny Cruz
    ​Flame Artist: Tristian Wake
    Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Music House: Nylon
    Producer: Christina Carlo
    Audio: Sound Lounge
    Mixer: Glen Landrum
    Post House/Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole


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    What is branding? You could spent a thousand years reading a million books on the subject. Or you could watch the two-minute video below, which tries to capture its fundamental essence—with snazzy little motion graphics to help you along.

    "Entrepreneurs, innovators, disruptors, CEOs and CMOs have enough landmines to sidestep when tackling the branding beast," says the video's creator, David Brier of DBD International."Written plainly with equally minimalistic motion graphics, this video unveils the magic, the spark and the simplicity that is branding in its most fundamental form."

    What do you think? Useful, or overly simplistic?


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    Here's an ad that should be a show-stopper during the Oscars on Sunday night.

    The beautiful 60-second spot from Comcast tells the story of Emily, a 7-year-old girl who was born blind. Comcast asked Emily to describe what she sees in her mind's eye when she watches The Wizard of Oz—and then the company built that version for her, using skilled set and puppet designers and makeup artists.

    The ad goes on to explain that people with visual disabilities can get more out of watching TV with Comcast's "talking guide." Developed by the Comcast Accessibility Lab, it includes voice guidance and one-touch access to closed captioning—and is part of Comcast's commitment to helping people with disabilities enjoy entertainment.

    Two-time Academy Award winner Robert Redford delivers the voiceover at the end.



    The spot, which alone is a wonderful mix of palpable emotion and impeccable craft, is supported by lots of online materials that show the whole backstory. There are videos introducing Emily, showing her describe her Oz in much greater detail, and highlighting the craftsmanship that went into building the physical manifestation of what she imagines.

    The website, EmilysOz.com, also offers more information about the technology behind Comcast's accessibility services.

    All in all, it's one of the more beautiful campaigns of the year so far.

    "We want to create opportunities for people who love film and television but who might not have the opportunity to experience it to its fullest," said Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast's vice president of audience, who has been focusing on the usability of the company's products and services for people with disabilities. "By bringing the talking guide to as many people as possible, we can help to bridge that gap and make entertainment just as compelling, captivating and fun for people with a visual disability as it is for anyone else."

    It's also a major creative triumph for the agency.

    "We're really proud of this one," said Paul Caiozzo, executive creative director of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in New York. "It's the first big national spot to come from this office, and it's great to have this work debut on a big stage like the Oscars. It's a beautiful moment for GS&P New York."

    He added: "It's not often you get to do something that feels meaningful on a level far beyond advertising. It definitely shows how entertainment truly is for everyone."

    See the supporting videos below:



    CREDITS
    Client: Comcast/Xfnity
    Senior Director, Brand Strategy and Communications: Sherri Davis
    Campaign: "Emily's Oz"
    Campaign Website: http://emilysoz.com

    Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, New York

    Creative
    Co-Chairmen: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein
    Executive Creative Director: Paul Caiozzo
    Creative Director: Nathan Frank
    Art Directors: Michael Hagos, Peter Jostrand
    Copywriters: Josh Chua, Sam Dolphin

    Account Services
    Managing Director: Nancy Reyes
    Account Manager: Laura McWhorter
    Assistant Account Manager: Nate Baker

    Brand and Communication Strategy
    Group Brand Strategy Director: Conner Huber
    Brand Strategist: Jane Jun

    Business Affairs
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Judy Ybarra

    Production
    Director of Broadcast Production: Tod Puckett
    Executive Broadcast Producer: James Horner
    Broadcast Producer: Tess Kenner
    Assistant Broadcast Producer: Charlotte Dugoni

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Andreas Nilsson
    Director of Photography: Matty Libatique
    Production Designer: KK Barrett
    Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
    Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
    Line Producer: Emily Skinner

    Editing, Finishing: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Paul Watts
    Assistant Editors:  Christian Oreste, Rhys Hecox
    Executive Producer:  Eve Kornblum
    Producers: Jenny Greenfield, Jen Milano

    Visual Effects: A52
    Lead Flame Artist: Stefan Gaillot
    Computer Graphics Supervisor: Kirk Shintani
    2-D Visual Effects Artists: Stefan Gaillot, Matt Sousa, Andy Bate, Enid Dalkoff, Steve Wolf, Tiffany Germann
    3-D Artists: Jose Limon, Joe Paniagua, Jon Balcome, Christian Sanchez, Adam Carter, Paulo Mauro, Vivian Su
    Producer: Scott Boyajan
    Executive Producers: Patrick Nugent, Jennifer Sofio Hall

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorists: Tim Masick, Rob Sciarratta
    Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
    Color Producer: Rochelle Brown
       
    Mix: Heard City
    Sound Engineers: Keith Reynaud, Jeremy Siegel
    Managing Director: Gloria Pitagorsky
    Senior Producer: Sasha Awn

    Sound Design: Jafbox Sound
    Sound Designer: Joseph Fraioli

    End Treatment Graphics: Elevel Post
    Animator: Jessica Gibson
    Executive Producer: PJ Koll
    Producer: Samantha Liss

    —Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
    Director: Cassie Jaye
    Directors of Photography: Margaret Parus, Sertac Yildizhan

    Editing Company: Main Documentary
    Production Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Parker Whipple
    Producers: Jenny Greenfield, Jen Milano

    Editing Company: Mini Documentaries
    Production Company: Elevel (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
    Editor: Graham Willcox
    Assistant Editor: Lori Arden
    Producers: Carley Ridgway, Samantha Liss


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    The 1980s were a special decade. Disco was experiencing its death rattle; Ronald Reagan was the president for almost the entire span; cellphones were as big as bricks; and fashion, oh the fashion was just—tubular.

    Earlier this week, in honor of Molly Ringwald and John Hughes's birthday, Comedy Central's late-night game show/Internetgasm @midnight challenged its viewers to play a fun hashtag game, imagining if that totally awesome decade never stopped. 
     



    Of course, brands caught wind—and showed us their take on how things might not have changed. And actually, they turned in some totally rad tweets.

    Check some of them out below.
     

































     






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    Apple scored Hollywood royalty in the form of Martin Scorsese for its latest iPad commercial, which got prime placement on Sunday night's Academy Awards—with the legendary director narrating the 60-second spot.

    The ad manages to be inspirational—by, oddly enough, valuing hard work over inspiration. Scorsese's words actually come from his commencement speech to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Class of 2014.

    "I'm not talking about 'following your dream,' " he says. "I never like the inspirational value of that phrase. Dreaming is a way of trivializing the process, the obsession that carries you through the failure as well as the successes, which could be harder to get through. If you're dreaming, you're sleeping. It's important and imperative to always be awake to your feelings, your possibilities, your ambitions."



    It's a nice message on a night where "following your dream" is a constant mantra. And the realism is reinforced by the casting of the ad—actual Los Angeles County High School for the Arts students who were tasked with making a movie with an iPad. They combine perfectly with the voiceover—novices working in the shadow of the master's encouragement.

    The spot pitches the iPad as a filmmaking device, and follows its own advice. According to Mashable, the new spot was itself filmed entirely on an iPad.

    Read more about the ad, and the students, on this Apple web page.


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    If you were a fan of Christopher Guest's classic movie Best in Show, PetSmart has the perfect campaign for you.

    The brand, with agency GDS&M, hired the writer, actor and filmmaker to direct a set of commercials in his signature mockumentary style, under the tagline "Partners in Pethood." The results are, unsurprisingly, great. 

    Like the movie, which Guest co-wrote and directed, the campaign features a parade of awkward, pet-obsessed nutjobs—including two played by Anna Faris and Jennifer Coolidge—who deliver their various quirks in perfect deadpan.

    Faris plays a ditzy, catty dog owner throwing a birthday party for her terrier. In a second ad, Coolidge, a veteran Guest talent, nails the overbearing mother-in-law act in the campaign's best, and riskiest, clip—the interplay with her character's son is pretty spectacular.



    Both ads broke during the Oscars on Sunday night—in 30-second versions—and three more spots are worth watching for more ridiculous, doting pet lovers.

    There are even some good extra tidbits in the behind-the-scenes video, which goes out of its way to strengthen the somewhat odd "Pethood" positioning.



    "When I hear the term 'Pethood,' it makes me want to give my child up—I have a human child—and just be the mommy to a bunch of animal," says Faris. Adds Coolidge, "I never really liked my children, but I sure love my animals."

    In other words, it's a wonky portmanteau, but pokes fun at its target consumers in just the right spirit. And while Big Lots took a swing at treating pets like people in its focus-group themed spots last fall, the talent, pacing, and heritage here blow any competition out of the water.



    CREDITS
    Client: PetSmart
    Title: PetSmart Partners in Pethood
    Agency: GSD&M
    Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
    Group Creative Director: Scott Brewer, Ryan Carroll
    Associate CD/AD: Ross Aboud
    Associate CD/Writer: Kevin Dunleavy
    Art Director: Morgan McDonald
    Copywriter: Scott Chalkley
    Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
    Producer: Monique Veillette
    Assoc. Producer: Adriane Weast
    Business Affairs: Mellissa Mathias
    Account Leadership: Scott Moore, Sabia Siddiqi, Brittany Hammer, Lauren Bradshaw
    Project Management: Sara Rosales
    Experience and Insights: Andrew Teagle, Rene Huey-Lipton
    Print Production: Ellen Hanrahan
    Art Production: Jessica Spruill
    Print Campaign Photographer: David Emmite
    Print Retoucher: Jeremy Kelty, Lilli Salerno
    Digital Production: Amy Torres
    Web Developer: Todd Black
    Studio Services: Michele Head, Summer Ortiz
    Production Company: Go Film
    Director: Christopher Guest
    Executive Producer: Gary Rose
    Producer: Mark Hyatt
    Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler, NY
    Editor: Gavin Cutler
    Senior Asst. Editor: Ryan Steele
    Asst. Editor: Pamela Petruski
    Post Producer: Esme Wright
    Post EP: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Colorist: Fergus McCall, the Mill, NY
    VFX/Online: Schmidigital, NY
    Flame Artist: Jim Hayhow
    Asst. Flame Artist: Joseph Miller
    Sound Design & Final Mix: Sam Shaffer, Mackenzie Cutler, NY
    Original Music: HUM Music, LA
    Graphics: Brad Hodgson, Perfect Form, Austin


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    Bonpoint, the luxury French fashion house for children, wants you to play peekaboo with its child models.

    Fred & Farid Shanghai produced an interactive website for the brand, which asks for access to your webcam and microphone. Adorable children in expensive clothing stare at you while you cover your eyes, uncover them, and shout peekaboo. The adorable children then laugh.

    The agency calls it "maybe the cutest interactive website ever," but I found it super uncomfortable. I took one for the team, tried it out, and had to adjust my screen so the children were "staring" at my ceiling and not at my face. On the plus side, you get to admire their clothing and then click on a link to buy the whole outfit (for $200).

    The kids are adorable, and the clothing is beautiful, but something about it—maybe it's the green light suggesting that you're being recorded—feels a little bit like I'm starring in an M. Night Shyamalan film.


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    Everyone and their personal brand logged on to social media on Sunday night to let their followers know how much better they are than movie stars. Meanwhile, actual brands spent the night unabashedly making it all about themselves—instead of throwing shade on celebs.

    Some tried to have a real-time marketing moment, but among the flurry of thematic entries, most seemed preplanned. Check out some of their efforts below.

     
    —From the red carpet:

     

     

     
    —Lots of brands paid homage to Ellen's epic group selfie from last year:

     

     

     
    —Farmers Insurance and M&M's were both thrilled by J.K. Simmons' win, as he endorses both brands (he's the voice of the Yellow M&M):

     

     
    —PetSmart scored with this real-time tweet, after Birdman won Best Original Screenplay and one of the winners thanked his dog Larry:

     
    —So many versions of the Oscar trophy, too:

     

     

     

     

     
    —One brand even paid homage to the Emmy trophy, for some reason:

     
    —Among the best of the rest:

     

     


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    Baffled about what to do with your worst-performing employees? Reward them with a trip to the Cannes Lions festival in the south of France this summer!

    That's the tongue-in-cheek message of the festival's official ad campaign, which launches Monday. Don't think of it as a reward. Think of it as an investment in creativity. After all, as the tagline points out, sending underperforming staff to Cannes as delegates is "cheaper than severance."

    Photographer Dan Burn-Forti shot both the print ads and the online videos, created by McCann London.

    "Although our campaign is humorous, it makes a very sensible point. Why should being a Cannes Lions delegate be the preserve of the already excellent?" says Rob Doubal, co-president and chief creative officer of McCann London. "If we really want a more creative world, as we all profess, we should also be encouraging the not-so-excellent performers to be inspired by Cannes Lions."

    So, if your boss hasn't penciled you in for a Cannes trip, now's the time to evolve your approach from sucking up to just plain sucking.

     
    The print ads:

     
    The videos:


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    Honda teaches you to speed read in a series of ads which—in a nice nod to its vehicles—keep accelerating if you're up for a challenge.

    Apps have revolutionized speed read lately by displaying a single word on the screen at a time, one right after another in rapid succession. Partly because this reduces eye movement, these apps help readers not just beat but destroy the average reading pace of 220 words per minute. (Most of the apps default to 250 words a minute to start.)



    The Honda campaign, from Wieden + Kennedy in London, uses the same technique—with the on-screen copy that flashes by in a trim, minimalist 40-second spot. A second ad lasts 30 seconds, with the text moving that much quicker. A third and final ad lasts just 20 seconds. (It's kind of a shame there aren't more. I was prepared to see how fast I could really go.)

    The three spots combined have more than half a million YouTube views in a couple of days. That's some speedy likes for some speedy reading.


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    No workplace email gets trashed faster than a mass reminder to clean out the company refrigerator. Heck, I wouldn't even bother to open one. (Such an email, I mean. The fridge—I'd open that, sure. I've got to stow my Limburger-onion hoagies someplace.)

    At Boston agency Allen & Gerritsen, however, the weekly "Clean the fridge" emails are savored like delicacies thanks to facilities associate Mike Boston, who also happens to be a local hip-hop artist. Each Friday, Boston (yes, it's his name and where he lives, deal with it) cooks up a sweet confection of pop-culture references, employee/client riffs and in-jokes designed to remind staff to remove their leftovers from the premises.

    His couplets blow the doors off the fridge:
    "Chickens go from so sad to so mad, it's so bad
    Clucking 'round the ham like a nomad with no dad."

    And they expose moldy (nay, "fuzzy") dregs to the masses:
    "Those cuddly-wuddly eyes! How could I deny you?
    Spoon-fed with hummus love.
    Where in the fridge'd they hide you?"

    Tasty puns are on the menu:
    "Clean your spoon wisely.
    Fork you and have a knife day!"

    As are some appetizing free verse reminders:
    "Please claim your food in the refrigerators or label it.
    This is the one time it's ok to put a label on things."


    Lest anyone think Boston is just a bard of the break room, he's begun to put his stamp on the agency's creative product, writing and recording a track for the Boston Celtics' "Green Runs Deep" campaign.

    Check out a few of his full emails below. Dude's rhymes are fresh. Even if the food isn't.

    Photo: Indi Samarajiva/Flickr


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    For Reebok, the race to distill the soul of its brand—and ignite sales to reverse its market-share decline—has been more of a marathon than a sprint. But with its "Be More Human" global repositioning, the finish line might just be in sight.


    Launched last month, "Be More Human" casts the athletic apparel and footwear company as a coach, cheerleader and, the brand hopes, gear supplier to everyday athletes who embrace a "no pain, no gain" mentality to attain personal fulfillment. "We want to be peoples' partners in their journey," said Yan Martin, Reebok's vp, global brand communications. "This is a mission we've been on for years."

    Unfortunately, the company has also spent years losing ground to the competition. Since its acquisition by Adidas in 2006, Reebok's share of the U.S. sneaker market has fallen to about 2 percent from nearly 8 percent, per SportsOneSource. (Meanwhile, Nike's share has nearly doubled in the past decade to 60 percent.) To some extent, Reebok has become a challenger brand, and it now mirrors the real folks shown in "Be More Human," who bust their tails and lose gallons of sweat to stay in shape and better themselves. Presumably, Reebok can feel their pain.

     

     

    TV, online videos and an info-packed microsite eschew glitz, glitter and celebrity endorsers. Forays into fashion, where shoes and apparel become hipster accessories, are likewise absent. (Reebok's trod those paths before, unsuccessfully.) Instead, we're told that strenuous personal sacrifice—such as rising before dawn for extreme exercise sessions—ultimately helps people make greater contributions to their families and communities. "We do it to be better. Period," explained the voiceover of "Freak Show," the campaign's 60-second anthem spot. Much of the work focuses on the rapidly growing "tough fitness" category where the brand has established a strong presence through deals with high-intensity workout firm CrossFit and the grueling, muddy Spartan Race. 

    "We were basically trying to come up with an idea that felt provocative and spoke to our audience in an authentic way," said Will McGinness, ecd at Reebok agency Venables Bell & Partners. "Tough fitness is an organic movement driven by everyday people, and we wanted to shine a spotlight on their dedication."

    Though the message can seem preachy, industry watchers generally applaud the approach because it's true to Reebok's heritage—the brand rose to prominence in the '80s as a serious running shoe—and taps into CrossFit and other hot trends. "I can see how this can expand into talking one-on-one with very specific target groups," noted Åsk Wäppling, who blogs about marketing at Adland. What's more, she said the campaign provides a refreshingly honest counterpoint to competitors' star-fueled ads by depicting a world most consumers can instantly relate to. "The color palette of the TV ad is so nice, bringing rainy, dreary reality to the Reebok universe," she said.

    Actually, the company's universe has been somewhat less dreary of late. Reebok has leveraged its tough-fitness prowess to record seven straight quarters of net sales growth, reversing a long-term downward trend. There's been talk of Adidas potentially unloading the brand—the German firm insists that Reebok remains a key offering over the long haul—but experts say doubling down on the tough-fitness message makes sense regardless of ownership. (Indeed, early "Be More Human" engagement numbers reflect consumer interest. The lead video has garnered about 20 million views across all platforms in its first two weeks, and the campaign's "Human Score" online fitness test boasts an 85 percent completion rate, which Martin said has surpassed the company's expectation.)

    "Reebok's fitness positioning is unique and correct," said Matt Powell, an analyst at NPD Group. While it may "take some time to catch hold," he believes the overall strategy "positions the brand for future success."


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    Is your creative director a douchebag? Before you reflexively blurt out yes, take a moment and put a little science into proving it.

    The Creative Director Douchebag Detector Device asks you to describe your boss (or yourself, if you're so inclined) and then determines the kind and level of douchiness embodied therein. 

    "This state-of-the-art-futuristic-hi-tek-gismo will calculate the potential DBAG risk of that overly paid Creative Leader," the device's makers say. "Simply adjust the dials and toggle the knobs to the exact specifications you are looking for in said Creative Leader and…. Beep! Boop! Beep! DING! You will know with 99.997% accuracy whether the Creative Leader you want to hire has real potential … to be a complete Dill Weed."

    Via AgencySpy.


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    Hello Flo is growing up—sort of.

    The company has had two hilarious viral successes in advertising its Period Starter Kit for girls—with "Camp Gyno" (10 million YouTube views) and "First Moon" (30 million YouTube views) setting the bar for pubescent period humor. But Hello Flo has expanded its product line, and now expands its advertising focus, too.

    Its latest video pushes the "New Mom Kit," but while the target audience may be older, the humor remains just as irreverent. It's a short mockumentary called "Postpartum: The Musical," and it stars a new mom who's so traumatized by the first few months of motherhood that she writes a musical about the experience—warts and all.

    "No one even warned me about cracked nipples," the woman says at the outset. "The blood, the pus, the pain. I wanted to stick my nips in a tub of Chapstick and stay there. Forever."



    Company founder and CEO Naama Bloom stepped outside her comfort zone for this video. Jamie T. McCelland and Pete Marquis wrote and directed both "Camp Gyno" and "First Moon," but Bloom used a different creative team this time around—writer Sara Saedi and production company Senza Pictures.

    Adweek asked Bloom about the creative process for this third spot, and the pressure to deliver after two big hits.

    Why did you decide it was time to focus on a different Hello Flo product?
    HelloFlo is a women's health company, and that extends beyond puberty and periods. This video is the first very public expression of that, but we've been selling the New Mom Kits on our site since the summer and also have fairly robust content on our blog, which covers many aspects of women's health.

    You switched up the creative team. How come?
    I first reached out to Pete and Jamie for that exact reason—we had a great collaboration and quite a bit of success on the first two videos—but timing just didn't work out. It was really scary to do something without them because I have so much faith in their ability to tell my brand's story.

    How did Sara Saedi get involved?
    When I found out that Pete and Jamie weren't available, I reached out to a friend who writes sitcoms in L.A. I asked her if she could recommend a few female comedy writers. I met with all of them, and Sara was my pick because she understood what I was trying to do and we had good chemistry.

    Did you have several ideas for scripts?
    Sara sent me a few ideas, but the one that resonated the best was the musical. She originally described it as Waiting for Guffman-esque. Since WFG is one of my all-time favorite movies, I instantly fell in love with the concept.

    The lead actress is great. How did you find her?
    We worked with a casting director, Matthew Wulf, who also cast the last two videos. We saw about 15 people for the part, and Leah Curney, the actress, blew us away. She was believable as a new mom, had great comedic timing, and had the voice to carry the musical numbers.

    Are you expecting this video to go viral like the others did?
    I don't think you can ever expect something to go viral. And compared to the previous two, this spot has a much more narrow audience. However, as someone who has given birth to two children and personally experienced everything that our main character sings and talks about, I can say with confidence that it will resonate with people. I hope when it does, they share it.

    CREDITS
    Client: Hello Flo
    Production Company: Senza Pictures
    Writer: Sara Saedi
    Producer: Brandi Savitt
    Casting: Wulf Casting
    Music, Lyrics: Found Objects
    Director of Photography: Mark Schwartzbard
    Editor: David Fishel
    Art Director, Wardrobe: Ally Nesmith
    First Assistant Director: Lenny Payan
    Production Coordinator: Julia Brady
    Hair, Makeup: Rebecca Levine
    Script Supervisor: Leslie Zak
    Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Theis
    Assistant Camera: Cory Stambler
    Gaffer: GT Womack
    Key Grip: Ben Hunt
    Sound Mixer: Wil Masisak
    Boom Operator: Matt King
    Assistant Art Director: Nelson Mestril
    Production Assistant: Jordan Bush


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    We live on a saturated planet. At times it seems there's no room for originality. Ideas churn at breakneck speed, from the physical to the virtual world, and the world inside our heads. And in our litigious society, we worry more than ever about being indebted to others.

    The video below challenges the notion that all good ideas are taken by stitching together moving graphics and inspirational quotes from such famous creative minds as Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Luc Godard, Roman Krznaric, Dieter Rams, Woodrow Wilson, Pablo Picasso and Maria Popova.

    "Originality comes from making connections—seeing patterns where others see chaos, and taking old ideas and elevating them to new perspectives," says one quote, among many that pepper the short film.



    Director Andrew Vucko spoke to Motionographer.com about his inspiration for the video. "For a long time, I wanted to develop a piece that I could fully immerse myself in, but I had trouble finding a unique enough idea that I could commit to," he says. "There were so many different styles and avenues I was inspired by that it became really difficult to choose one specific direction."

    He adds: "Eventually, I took a step back and chose to build something on the very topic that was plaguing me—the theme of originality. From there, I searched for references and inspiration, coming across all of these interesting quotes on the subject. While at first each quote felt like a separate idea, as I continued to read, I realized that they could be combined into a single narrative."

    What's your take? How do you balance being original with being inspired?

    CREDITS
    Direction, Design, Animation: Andrew Vucko
    Sound Design, Music : CypherAudio
    Production, Direction, Mix : John Black
    Composers: Tobias Norberg, John Black
    Sound Design: Jeff Moberg, John Black
    Voiceover: Chris Kalhoon
    Thank you: Ryan Dadoun, Nicolas Girard, Luis Campos, Chris Bahry


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    If you're looking for an unconventional workout, Reebok might suggest carrying a stranger up a flight of stairs, just so he or she doesn't have to walk.

    Last week, when the escalators in Stockholm's subway stations were out of order, the sportswear brand, along with agency The Viral Company, recruited a bunch of athletes from Fit 4 Life, a local CrossFit gym, to give commuters a lift.



    Despite the reasonable odds that the women panting at the top of the stairs—as well as some of the people who don't seem to mind getting slung over some rando's shoulder—are agency employees, the idea is cute, and a nice, down-to-earth extension of Reebok's lofty new "Be More Human" strategy. (While there's nothing special about Good Samaritans helping solo parents carry strollers up stairs, helping a pregnant woman by actually carrying her is a little more unusual—she was, according to the agency, late for a meeting.)

    Nonetheless, the ad's everyman heroes aren't really doing anything impressive until they're carrying their passengers raised overhead with one arm, like this guy. And they're obviously not truly hard core unless they have a giant tattoo of Reebok's logo, like this woman—though she is just one of some 28 Reebok-branded humans currently known to reside in Sweden, according to a recent headcount from the company.


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