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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    This Saturday Night Live ad parody, in which a dad (Taran Killam) drops off his daughter (Dakota Johnson) to join ISIS, sparked a raging debate this weekend on social media.

    The sketch lampoons Toyota's "My Bold Dad" Super Bowl ad for the Camry, which showed a proud father driving his daughter to the airport as she begins her hitch in the U.S. Army. In SNL's skit, the dad urges his daughter to "Be careful, OK?" as she climbs into a rough-terrain vehicle with three heavily armed, scraggy-bearded jihadi types. "ISIS. We'll take it from here, Dad" is the tagline.

    Detractors argue that the radical Islamist group's atrocities are too heinous, and too freshly carved into our collective psyche, for the comedy treatment. They believe the parody is offensive, or at least in bad taste. Defenders applaud SNL's bold decision to court controversy in its quest for laughs. (This camp includes Arsenio Hall, who tweeted that the sketch was "#hilarious.")

    Personally, I wouldn't use the word "hilarious," even without the hashtag. Its savage satire will, however, get under your skin—and maybe even make your skin crawl. That's a good thing. Western teenagers and young adults (like Jihadi John) who choose to join extremist groups only recently hit global headlines. We're in new and unfamiliar territory, processing gut-wrenching details and struggling, as individuals and as a society, to understand.

    That's why the debate is so important. And so wonderful. We should never have to reach a "safe place" or stoop to group think as we parse provocative concepts. SNL is free to say whatever it wants, and viewers are equally free to express their agreement or take umbrage. Jousting in the marketplace of ideas, defending our opinions with fierce passion—that's what America is all about. Or should be all about, at any rate.

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    Kim Kardashian West first grabbed our attention in October 2007 with the premiere of E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Who could have guessed where that basic-cable reality show moment would lead? Since then, Kim, 34, has entered that rare pantheon of mononymous celebrities. Like Madonna and Oprah, Pelé and Plato, it's just Kim—global trendsetter, designer, model, actress, celebrity endorser, magazine cover queen, tabloid leading lady, social media pioneer, famous wife (twice), famous mom (and sister and daughter)—and now, a superstar in the tech world.

    Coming off her dual high-octane covers of Vogue and Paper in 2014 and a buzzy T-Mobile ad in this year's Super Bowl, she is now looking to build on the success of her huge mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which raked in more than $74 million last year and which Adweek selected as the year's Hottest Mobile Game in our annual Hot List. (The New York Post reported last week that the game is on track to bring in another $200 million this year, with Kim getting an $85 million cut.)

    Earlier this month, the most famous woman in the universe spoke to (and posed for!) us, and here she reveals how her hit game came about (and how she plans to make it even bigger), her further aspirations in the tech space, why she's so unapologetically obsessed with Twitter and Instagram, and what is ahead for the 10th season of a TV show that gave the world a megabrand called Kardashian. 

    Adweek: Where did the idea for Kim Kardashian: Hollywood come from?
    I had just had the baby [North West], and so I was being really choosy about what I was working on. I got a call from the company Glu Mobile to partner up and do a video game. I asked my husband [Kanye West], "What do you think of this? What would the concept be?" And he was like, "Oh my God, you have to do a video game? It's so cool."

    So, we went back and we came up with this really cute concept that I thought was relatable and very much like me. It had to be something that fit my personality.  

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The game is a monster hit, with 28 million downloads and 11 billion minutes of play since it launched last summer. What do you credit that success to?
    Something that really worked in the game that was kind of an accident are the updates. [For example], your character can go on vacation to Mexico, and that's one of the places that I go all the time.

    I actually didn't know the date of the launch, but I happened to be going to Mexico on the same day. Once I started posting pictures through Instagram that I was in Mexico, everyone was playing along [and saying], "I just updated my game, and I'm in Mexico with you." They would literally get a bikini like the one I had Instagrammed in a photo. 

    The game often follows Kim's real-life events. |  Photo: Juco for Adweek; Styling: Charlene Rox Borough; Hair: Michael Silva/The Wall Group; Makeup: Rob Scheppy/Cloutier Remix; Set Design: Dane Johnson;Look: Atsuko Kudo Paris cup Bra; White; £150.00; Atsuko Kudo, Crystal Pencil Skirt: White £123.17; Shoes: Saint Laurent; Kim's Personal Shoes

    People thought we were doing that on purpose and that it was planned, and it wasn't. We realized that it worked so well because we are in such good communication—myself and the Glu team—to make updates in real time. I try to tell them as far in advance of when I know I have a trip planned, and we try to get as many lifelike things that I'm actually doing to really happen in the game so you can play along with my real life.

    Does the game always correlate to your real-life schedule?
    We try to mirror it as much as possible. The look of the game was really important to me. I must have pulled thousands of references of all the different ways that characters should have their hair, the outfits and the shoes. One time there was a strap wrong on one of the character's shoes—her feet weren't matching. I had to change the programming to fix that. It was important to me that everything is right.

    How involved are you with the game on a day-to-day basis?
    [The developers and I] talk daily—no set time, but we have these open emails and chats. If I have an idea, I send it to them. I [also] go down to [their home base] San Francisco every other month and meet with the whole team. The process and the approval process would just take too long [otherwise]. It's important that we connect and have a good relationship. And I think they value that because we do get everything done and expedite everything because we just have that open relationship.

    Why do you think the game has taken off to the extent that it has?
    I don't know if I expected it to do this well. I'm really thankful that it has because I've put a lot of hard work into it and spent a lot of time on it. It's how I think of my show—someone can always relate. People always want to get their mind off of things and have something fun to do because their lives are so hectic. It's a fun game that you can really get addicted to and just lose yourself in for a couple of hours.

    Gaming apps are well-known for their quick life cycles. How do you plan to keep the momentum behind your own game going?
    I think that adding my family members [as characters] and a bunch of cameos will get people excited. I started with adding my mom and now my sisters [last year]. Even my pets that I've had either now or in the past are in it. I want to make it as lifelike as possible.

    Within the tech space, where do you see yourself fitting in?
    I hope to have a bigger presence in the tech world. I love coming up with different app ideas, and I have a few more that are coming out. Once you get started and you have this creative bug of ideas that you want to get out, I feel like I've partnered with the right team, and now I have the creative outlet to make that happen. I'm happy that people are into it and perceiving it well. I just want to create more apps. 

    Kim enjoys coming up with new app ideas. |  Photo: Juco for Adweek; Styling: Charlene Rox Borough; Hair: Michael Silva/The Wall Group; Makeup: Rob Scheppy/Cloutier Remix; Set Design: Dane Johnson; Look: Atsuko Kudo Sleeveless Joy Dress; Black, £225.00

    You were also in a hilarious Super Bowl ad this year for T-Mobile. How did that come about?
    When they were trying to figure out who they could partner up with for a Super Bowl commercial, [they wanted] someone who had a big social media presence and someone who has always had a T-Mobile phone. I thought it was really a genuine, perfect fit because I'm always on my phone, and I thought the commercial was so fun. The director, Paul Hunter, wanted to make it just silly, sarcastic and poke fun at the fact that everyone has all this data on their phone and takes so many selfies. They would be devastated if they were lost—or at least I would [laughs].

    Does your social persona play a role in how you work with brands?
    You have to have a sense of humor every once in a while. So many people think that taking so many selfies is just ridiculous. For me, what's so funny is I love taking pictures and posting them on social media for memories. I genuinely love the glam of life and hair and makeup and all of that, so I love just sharing my life with people—that's who I've been. I live my life on a reality show. But sometimes people take it very seriously, or they think it's ridiculous. I'm kind of letting them know, yes, it is ridiculous, but it's all fun. I can look at a photo on social media and see a picture and know exactly where I was by the outfit I had on or who I was with. I take it more as a fun, emotional scrapbook that I love to look back on.

    What do you look for in partnerships?
    I've really cut back in the last two to three years. Before then, if I thought a product was fun, I would attach myself to it. Now, I really want to make sure the messaging is right and that I stand by the product 100 percent. I want to make sure it's an authentic fit and that I'm not just doing it for the check or because I think it's a good look.

    I want to make sure that I'm not spread too thin and that I have the time for my family and my friends and to be able to live a good quality of life. That's kind of what life is about—you pick and choose the things that you're really passionate about. It's a lot about the people that you want to surround yourself with. With that T-Mobile commercial, I loved the director, Paul. It didn't seem like I was tediously shooting a commercial. Of course, the agents come in and say, "OK, you have eight hours [to film]. That includes hair and makeup." Everyone knew that wasn't going to be enough time. [I said] we need to be here 16 [hours]. We wouldn't have been able to do it with other restrictions. It's about just wanting to be there and picking the right partners. 

    You've got 29 million Twitter followers and 26.5 million Instagram followers. How do you brand yourself as a celebrity with social media?
    I don't think of this as a planned-out thing. It just kind of happened. Social media plays a huge role in my life and my career. I came at the right time when people just started to get into reality shows. Social media works when you're open, when you're honest and people want to feel like they're getting a little glimpse into your life. It's not that I brand myself like I'm a celebrity. It's just I'm living my life and sharing a part of my life with the world.

    Do you think you'll always be that open on social media?
    You never know. I love sharing my world with people, so I don't see me just having a freak-out and just stopping. Will I do it forever? I'm not sure. But I love the whole idea of it, especially because you get to share things your way. You get to tell your own story through your eyes.

    You also have a new book coming out this spring that is a curation of your photos, right?
    [I took] my first selfie in 1984, and that opens up the book. For a decade, I've carried a big digital camera, and I think it's just fascinating to see the process of what types of photos evolve. Mine started off on digital cameras, then they went to a BlackBerry and then a smartphone. There's just such an evolution of the selfie. And I captured that, I think, really well. 

    You're filming the 10th season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians right now. What do you hope people have gotten out of the show?
    I hope they get out of it that we are a normal family. They may not think we're normal, [but] we are a family like everyone else's that goes through so many different things and we're always there to support each other. We've been a really close family regardless, but the show has brought us closer together just by spending so much time together.

    I feel like people get that message. There's always a family member that someone can relate to. Someone came up to me yesterday and was like, "I have two sisters and we always do what you guys [do.]"

    How long do you think the show can keep going?
    We still have a few more years left in us. We always say when it gets to be really crazy and not fun anymore, we don't want to do it. And we haven't gotten there yet. (Page Six reported last week that the Kardashians re-upped with E! for a whopping $100 million, guaranteeing another four seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its assorted spinoffs. NBCUniversal later told TMZ that story was "grossly inaccurate.")

    Is there any pressure to keep surprising people with the next big thing?
    No matter when we think we're so boring, no one wants to see this anymore, something really crazy happens and there are a couple more seasons of the show. It just naturally happens. I don't know why or how. We never would have imagined that this would have gone on so long, but we're all blessed that it has. 

    Photos: Juco for Adweek

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    What would you do if you were walking through a well-lit shopping mall and your shadow suddenly turned into Donald Duck? It might be enough to strike panic into the heart of any reasonable person. Is it time to go on a diet? When did things get so wildly out of hand? Is this an acid flashback?

    But a new reality-style video from Disney—promoting Disney Parks—finds a string of shoppers seeming to have a pretty great time when silhouettes of the company's classic cartoon characters start stalking and mimicking them from behind a backlit set of doors.

    It's very charming, especially for the kids in the audience, and the young-at-heart—because who doesn't want to be Buzz Lightyear?

    At least some of the reactions are likely staged, but it almost doesn't matter—they're entertaining either way. One very serious businessman balks then smiles at the notion that he's "getting shadowed by a Goofy." One sane woman shakes her head no, backing away, terrified, saying "I'm good," when Snow White's evil queen offers up a poisoned apple.

    But the stunt is perhaps most delightful when a grown man tries to catch a shadow football thrown by a shadow dog. (It's least convincingly spontaneous when Minnie Mouse crushes a teenager in a dance-off.)

    Regardless, it's a testament to the iconic status of the characters (most of the silhouettes are proper, easy-to-recognize brands in their own right). And it certainly gets across the idea of good, family-friendly fun. As much as you might want to, hating Disney characters (or at least, hating all Disney characters) is like hating puppies and sunshine—you just can't do it.

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    The Skoda Fabia is a pretty special car. Just park it on the street and see what happens. It's way more attention getting than you think. A very clever ad by AIS London and MindsEye director Luke Bellis.

    There have been ads like this before, of course—notably, this 2008 spot about driving safely around cyclists.

    Client: Skoda
    Agency: AIS London
    Art Director: Jay Packham
    Copywriter: Ian Cochran
    Director: Luke Bellis
    Producer: Ben Sullivan
    Production Manager: Carmen Siu
    Production Company: MindsEye
    1st AD: Jonathan Sidwell
    Director of Photography: Dan Stafford-Clark
    Gaffer: Stefan Mitchell
    DIT: Nelson Oliver
    Art Department: Hayley Macdonald
    Art Assistant: Ruth Pickard
    Postproduction: Tundra
    Head of Post: Espen Haslene

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    It's the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola's classic glass bottle, and the soda brand is celebrating hard—with 14 new global ads in different styles.

    The first might be best described as a super-diverse high-five stop-action hand party, shot by pop photographer David LaChappelle. Human paws of all colors, ages, types and garnishments inch toward each other, craving meaning, and connection, and presumably Coca-Cola, while a soundtrack about loving together reaches fever pitch in the background.

    Naturally, in the end, all those lonely hands find their true purpose in life—coming together to pay homage to the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle.

    In a second spot, Coke's life actually flashes before its eyes. It had its first kiss in 1915, with Adrien Brody's great-grandfather apparently, before seducing a stern young journalist during the anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s, and then proceeding to hang around for every good thing that's ever happened, including break-dancing, bikinis, oceans, marriage proposals, Santa Claus, pool parties, street soccer and lots of young, beautiful people making eyes at each other.

    And here's a third spot that tells a tall tale—most of it animated—about the creation of the Coca-Cola bottle. There's not much truth in advertising in this one.

    There are still more ads on the Coke's YouTube page, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta has even mounted a whole exhibit, The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100.

    See the 12 other ads below.

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    Viewership rates for YouTube preroll ads are generally abysmal. According to some research, 94 percent of preroll gets skipped immediately after the first five seconds (which are unskippable). And in fact, that number seems low.

    Part of the problem is, very few marketers specifically tailor ads to pre-roll—they prefer simply to run their TV spots unchanged. But that ignores the fact that those first five seconds are crucial. If you don't hook people then, you'll lose them.

    Geico understands this, though, and is rolling out some fun new digital ads today—from The Martin Agency—that really put the emphasis on those first five seconds. Absurdly and comically so. The ads will run as :15s, :30s and even longer spots, but what happens after the first five seconds is part of the humor.

    Two executions, "Family" and "High Five," roll out today in various lengths. Two more are coming soon. UPDATE: All four spots are now posted below.

    Client: Geico
    Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
    Mgr., Broadcast Production and Agency Relations: Amy Hooks
    Marketing Buyer: Katherine Kalec
    Marketing Buyer: Brighid Griffin
    Marketing Coordinator: Thomas Perlozzo

    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    SVP/Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    SVP/Group Creative Director: Wade Alger
    VP/Associate Creative Director: Neel Williams
    Associate Creative Director: Mauricio Mazzariol
    VP/Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Broadcast Producer: Liza Miller
    Junior Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
    Sr. Integrated Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Financial Manager: Monica Cox
    SVP/ Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
    Account Supervisor: Josh Lybarger
    Account Executive: Allison Hensley
    Senior Project Manager: Karen McEwan

    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Terri Timely
    Executive Producer: Justin Pollock
    Executive Producer: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
    Line Producer: David Lambert

    Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
    Editor: Caleb Hepler
    Executive Producer: Kristin Branstetter
    Producer: Jojo Sheer

    Telecine: Co3
    Colorist: Tim Mascik

    Post Facility: Running with Scissors
    Flame Artist: Chris Hagen
    Executive Producer: Scott Friske
    Senior Producer: Cheryl Lage

    Music: APM

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
    Engineer/Mixer: Jeff McManus

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    Do you love numbers? Not as much as Sid Lee does.

    The agency's Paris office is channeling Count von Count with a side project in which it set up digital sensors to count everything that goes on—how many cups of coffee are poured in a day, how many times the toilets flush, how many times employees use the "command + z" keyboard shortcut (that's undo, for all you mouse-clicking Neanderthals), how many documents the fax machine sends (zero, since 2013, because ha ha, umm ... what's a fax machine?), etc., etc.

    You can watch all this from afar, in real time, at dashboard.sidlee.com.

    It's more or less the perfect masturbatory agency promo for the age of breathless excitement about a near-future techno-utopia where everything is Internet-connected and reams of data provide unprecedented insight into humanity, and solutions to its problems.

    By creating a public dashboard (powered by Arduino software) that tracks a largely mundane physical reality—the nuts and bolts of being a group of people who move through space making ads for a living—Sid Lee is almost able to have its cake and eat it too—proving competence in hardware-meets-software technology that might seem shiny to clients, but also casting a little self-aware doubt on the value of such an exercise. Or for less skeptical viewers, maybe it really is just a rah-rah celebration of the untapped potential of such stats—and a nice little blueprint for countless case studies about squishy success metrics.

    Regardless, it's fun to look at pretty graphs. Unfortunately, they don't count how many bats are flying around the agency.

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    Photos taken on iPhone 6 are so good, you can blow them up and put them on a billboard.

    That's the message of Apple's new "Shot on iPhone 6" print and outdoor campaign, which features real photos—taken by real iPhone 6 users—that Apple found online and loved. The company tells AdFreak that the campaign will feature shots from 77 individuals in 70 cities and 24 countries across the globe.

    All of the photos were noncommissioned, found images. Apple combed through tens of thousands of photos to choose the ones for the campaign. The overall message is that iPhone is the world's most popular camera, and is even better with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus thanks to improved software and hardware.

    Check out a sampling of the photos below (with blurbs by Apple), and many more at apple.com/worldgallery.

    • Shot by Gabby K. in Snoqualmie Pass, WA
    Soft lighting and a focus on reflections can add a dreamy, ethereal quality to a photo — here, they create the illusion that the subject is almost floating.

    • Shot by David K. in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Centering a large object in a panorama can be used to dramatic effect. This towering spire makes the other buildings look tiny by comparison.

    • Shot by Cielo D. in Alameda, CA
    Shooting your subject in a reflection — like the one on this wet street — can make a simple scene seem surreal and surprising.

    • Shot by Paul O. in Chicago, IL
    By capturing a hint of rainbow in this otherwise monochrome scene, the photographer offsets the earth tones and brings the image to life.

    • Shot by Cole R. in Star Valley Ranch, WY
    Establishing a central focal point can have dramatic impact. Here, wispy clouds lead the eye to the hut and create a stronger sense of focus.

    • Shot by Cory S. in Lake Cushman, WA
    The presence of human subjects in a natural setting like this forest creates a more relatable sense of scale and emphasizes the height of other elements in the photo.

    • Shot by Robyn W. in Corvallis, OR
    Finding interesting lines in a scene, like the vertical pattern the trees make here, can create a more captivating composition.

    • Shot by Shan L. in San Francisco, CA
    Sometimes the best shots aren't planned. The bird flying through this photo adds a sense of scale and surprise to an iconic view, making the whole composition more interesting.

    • Shot by Ahmed A. in Albuquerque, NM
    When photographing a flat landscape, focusing on foreground elements — like the partially inflated balloons in this photo — helps create greater depth of field.

    • Shot by Jun I. in Tokyo, Japan
    Capturing opposing subjects together, like the manmade overpass and the natural element provided by the trees in this photo, helps create a compelling contrast.

    • Shot by Alastair B. in The Cairngorms, Scotland
    Filling the frame with the subject can help the viewer focus on its details — like the texture of the reindeer's fur and antlers.

    • Shot by Jirasak P. in Mae Hong Sorn, Thailand
    Convergent lines, like those created by the trees and shoreline, can provide a more interesting perspective in a composition.

    • Shot by Jeremiah C. in Atlanta, GA
    Using reflection is a great way to capture two perspectives in the same image. Here, the puddle shows the photographer's top-down perspective as well as the ground-up perspective of the building and sky.

    • Shot by Garrett C. in Joshua Tree, CA
    An out-of-place subject, like this boat in a desert, can make for a more interesting composition.

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    Jeff Goldblum, who's enjoying something of a renaissance as a pitchman, has scored another gig in a peculiar role as a futurist for Apartments.com—helping to introduce the company's advanced, perhaps even futuristic new apartment-listings website.

    In the campaign from RPA, Goldblum plays Brad Bellflower, an eccentric Silicon Valley maverick who's pretty damn impressed by everything on the new Apartments.com, which includes "custom search filters, videos, and most of all, heart."

    The launch spot, which broke Sunday on The Walking Dead, shows Bellflower in a black void, surrounded by flashing white shapes, as he mutters futuristically about "game changers," of which the new Apartments.com is clearly one.

    It's both parody and not-parody, which at first makes it hard to understand what to believe, though by the end of the :60 it's clear Bellflower loves Apartments.com, and you should too, though maybe not quite as cosmically.

    "Change your apartment. Change the world" is the tagline.

    "Like any good Silicon Valley maverick, Brad's vision for his apartment-listing website is nothing less than to change the world. But hyperbole and parody aside, finding a great place to live or moving to a new area really does change your world," says Andrew C. Florance, founder and CEO of CoStar Group,parent company of Apartments.com.

    Check out some out-of-home work from campaign below, plus credits. The company plans to spend $100 million on advertising, media, b-to-b marketing and search in the campaign.

    Client: CoStar Group
    Spot: "Launch"
    First air: 3/1/15

    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
    Creative Director, Art Director: Hobart Birmingham
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Perrin Anderson
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Kirk Williams
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Eric Haugen
    Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
    Vice President, Executive Producer: Selena Pizarro
    Producer: Joshua Herbstman
    Agency Assistant Producer: Grace Wang

    Production: Anonymous Content
    Director: Tim Godsall
    Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
    Executive Producers: Eric Stern, Rick Jarjoura
    Executive Producer, Production: SueEllen Clair
    Line Producer: Brady Vant Hull
    Production Supervisor: Timothy Kreis

    Editorial: Cut+Run
    Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
    Head of Production: Amburr Farls
    Editor: Steve Gandolfi
    Assistant Editor: Sean Fazende

    Finishing: Jogger Studios
    Creative Director: David Parker

    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
    Producer: Andrew McLintock
    Design Director: Sharon Lock
    Computer Graphics Artist: Mike Bain
    2-D Supervisor, 2-D Lead: Michael Ralla

    Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
    Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
    Sound Engineer: Dave Wagg

    Transfer: Company 3
    Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
    Producer: Alexis Guajardo
    Colorist: Sean Coleman

    Music Company: Barking Owl
    Head of Production: Whitney Fromholtz
    Creative Director: Kelly Bayett

    Talent: Jeff Goldblum

    —Out-of-Home Credits
    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
    Creative Director, Art: Hobart Birmingham
    Creative Director, Copy: Perrin Anderson
    Associate Creative Director, Art: Kirk Williams
    Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Haugen
    Senior Copywriter: David Sullivan (for Living Near Burritos, Duck and Finding an Apartment Faster only)
    Senior Art Director: Rob Anton (for Living Near Burritos, Duck and Finding an Apartment Faster only)
    Photographer: Michael Muller
    Digital Artist: Art Machine

    —Digital Credits
    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
    Creative Director, Art: Hobart Birmingham
    Creative Director, Copy: Perrin Anderson
    Associate Creative Director, Art: Kirk Williams
    Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Haugen
    Junior Art Director: Josh McCrary
    Junior Copywriter: Earl Lee
    Photographer: Michael Muller
    Digital Artist: Art Machine

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    This ad from BBH London for Mentos NOWMints is amazingly funny—perfectly paced, surprising, silly, and close enough to making sense that it actually serves the brand, especially because it's so memorable.

    It also sends up fresh-breath kissing clichés. Right from the start, the subtly awkward acting hints that a twist is coming, but it's not clear exactly what until the payload hits … and it really doesn't disappoint.

    And while cute animals, as a rule—and in ads—may not be particularly fresh, this one definitely gets pretty rude with the driver. Loverboy can be happy he wasn't the one to catch it, though hopefully the product doesn't actually taste like rabbit, too.

    The spot positions NOWMints as "little moments of pleasure." The spot will air only in Italy, though of course it's online for the rest of the world to enjoy, too.

    Client: Mentos NOWMints
    Agency: BBH London
    BBH Creative Team: Shelley Smoler & Raphael Basckin
    BBH Creative Director: Gary McCreadie & Wesley hawes, Shelley Smoler & Raphael Basckin
    BBH Strategist: Jamie Watson
    BBH Strategy Director: Ben Shaw
    BBH Business Lead: Carly Herman
    BBH Team Director: Tom Woodhead
    BBH Team Manager: Francois d'Espagnac
    BBH Producer: Natalie Parish
    BBH Assistant Producer: Sarah Cooper
    Production Company: Blink
    Director: Benji Weinstein
    Executive Producer: James Bland
    Producer: Patrick Craig
    DoP: Simon Richards
    Post Production: The Mill
    Editor/Editing House: Max / Stitch
    Sound: Sam Ashwell / 750mph

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    Prepare to feel all of the feels—and have a box of tissues nearby—as you watch this PSA about bias and diversity from the Ad Council.

    The poignant three-minute spot, for the "Love Has No Labels" campaign, hopes to shake people up and help them realize that everyone holds biases, even if they aren't aware of them. To illustrate this idea, the Ad Council and R/GA set up a giant X-ray screen in Santa Monica, Calif., on Valentine's Day, found real people of different genders, abilities and sexual orientations and had them perform little dances behind the screen.

    At first, you're not quite sure what you're in for, as a pair of skeletons embrace. But just keep watching. It uses a sophisticated live setup by Persuade Content, part of Psyop, to deliver a powerful message that's bound to tug on even the grumpiest person's heartstrings.

    As the people step out from behind the screen, the video captures some audience reactions. People appear to be caught off guard from the moment the first two kissing women poke their heads out to the end, when two young girls, each of a different race, embrace on stage. But that's the point.

    The yearlong campaign, which extends online with stories and a quiz about bias, is designed to make people aware of their implicit biases—how we make snap judgments about others without even realizing it. 

    "We decided to take this on because we felt it was very important to encourage people, all Americans, to examine their unconscious biases," Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman tells Adweek. "As much progress as we've made as a country, we absolutely still have more work to do."

    Clearly, the PSA has already struck a chord with viewers.

    Uploaded first to Upworthy's Facebook page on Monday, it now has more than 11 million views, 50,000 likes and 100,000-plus shares. Comments of strings of heart emojis and declarations of praise ("That's the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time") show how the general public feels about the spot. 

    "I think what we have here is one of those moments in time where we have a great idea. There's a huge heart in the culture right now for these causes," Sherman says of the PSA, which will run in donated spots online and on TV. "You have an incredible piece of creative, and you tie that in with the 50th anniversary of Selma, and the stars are completely aligned." 

    The campaign also includes partnerships with eight nonprofits, including the Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights Campaign, so viewers can get more involved in a cause that speaks to them.

    Client: Ad Council
    Campaign: "Love Has No Labels"
    Agency: R/GA
    Production Company: Persuade Content

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    Is it wise or foolish, when trying to get a job in advertising, to tell agencies you don't plan on sleeping after you start work? You might just get the job—but then, you've pre-debased yourself and won't ever be able to slack off.

    The guy behind the video below figured it was worth a shot—and put together an impressively creative direct mail piece that he sent to agencies in Copenhagen, hoping his tireless focus on his own tirelessness would win them over.

    "No Sleep" pills? A résumé made to look like a doctor's prescription? A business card printed on a pillow? He included all of this and more. Check out the video to see whether it worked. Via Hello You Creatives.

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    The original Always "Like a Girl" commercial—which broke last summer and got 56 million views on YouTube before getting a plum Super Bowl ad slot last month—was primarily a challenge. It urged girls to redefine the phrase from one of weakness to one of strength.

    Now, with International Women's Day on Sunday, the Procter & Gamble brand has released a follow-up video showing how the meaning of the phrase is already changing.

    P&G also released some new stats around the campaign from its Always Puberty & Confidence Wave II Study, conducted pre-Super Bowl. According to that study, 76 percent of women and 59 percent of men ages 16-24 said the video changed their perception of the phrase "like a girl." Also, 81 percent of women said the video can change the way people think about the stereotypes surrounding women's physical abilities.

    This spot—created by Leo Burnett, as the original was—won't go megaviral like the first one, simply because the first one had that magical insight. But it's a good way to keep the campaign going.

    "The theme of this year's International Women's Day is 'Make It Happen,' and that's exactly what girls are doing by rewriting the meaning of #LikeAGirl," said Always global vp Fama Francisco. The new video celebrates amazing young girls around the globe and encourages everyone to continue the movement every day and everywhere, because together, we're making #LikeAGirl mean amazing things."

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    Sure, drones are almost taking people's heads off at TGI Friday's. But they can be loyal and useful airborne employees for brave ad agencies willing to embrace the future.

    Or maybe they'll just wreak havoc.

    Check out the video below, from creative and technology agency MRY, to see what might happen if a creative agency actually hired drones. And check out the New York City Drone Film Festival on March 7, of which MRY is a sponsor.

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    The "Play with OREO" campaign, which launched in January, continues this month with a lovely new set of out-of-home ads featuring groovy illustrations from 10 artists.

    The artists were given words to play off—functional ones like "dunk" and "twist," as well as more emotional ones like "dream" and "wonder"—and asked to come up with a scene that brings those words to life. The only requirement was that the scene include a character with the Oreo cookie wafer as the face/head.

    The ads will run outdoors in New York City, Los Angeles and Indianapolis and shared through Oreo social channels starting this week. The featured artists are Shotopop,Jeff Soto,Ryan Todd,McBess,Andrew Bannecker,Geoff McFetridge,Andy Rementer,Alex Trochut,Craig and Karl and Brosmind.

    See all the ads below, along with credits.

    Client: OREO, Mondelez International, Inc.
    Advertising: The Martin Agency
    Public Relations: Weber Shandwick
    Social: 360i
    Media Buying: MediaVest

    Client Credits:
    VP, Global Biscuit Category Jason Levine
    VP, Brand Strategy and Communications Jill Baskin
    Senior Director, OREO & Chips Ahoy! Janda Lukin
    OREO Global Brand Manager Flavio Ackel
    OREO Sr Associate Brand Manager Kerri McCarthy

    Agency Credits:
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    SVP/Executive Creative Director: Jorge Calleja
    VP/Creative Director: Magnus Hierta
    VP/Creative Director David Muhlenfeld
    VP/Associate Creative Director/Design: Chris Peel
    Associate Designer: William Godwin
    Senior Studio Artist: Matt Wieringo
    VP/Group Planning Director: John Gibson
    Strategic Planner: Gigi Jordan
    EVP/Worldwide Acct Director: John Campbell
    SVP/Group Acct Director: Darren Foot
    VP/Account Director: Leslie Hodgin
    VP/Account Director: Britta Dougherty
    Account Supervisor: Molly Holmes
    Account Coordinator: James Salusky
    EVP/Managing Director Production & Development: Steve Humble
    Senior Art Producer: Anya Mills
    Senior Print Producer: Paul Martin
    Junior Print Producer: Jamie Parker
    Group Project Management Supervisor: Giao Roever
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Juanita McInteer


    —Bernstein Andruilli
    Jeff Soto
    Ryan Todd
    Andrew Bannecker
    Geoff McFetridge

    —Big Active
    Andy Rementer

    —Levine Leavitt
    Alex Trochut
    Craig and Karl

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    Harley-Davidson has always celebrated the individuality of the rider, and the motorcycle brand cranks that up in new ads from agency Wolfes LLC with theme "Roll Your Own." And the work tries to break the stereotype of who rides Harleys and how they ride them.

    The campaign debuts Wedneday with a series of 30- and 60-second broadcast ads, print ads, online advertising and social content. The ads will air during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, as well as on theCHIVE.com and Heavy.com.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    There's a lot of text going on in both the print and broadcast work, with Twitter handles, brief and sometimes cryptic headlines, the #RollYourOwn hashtag and the DarkCustom.com URL.

    "The new creative is about each rider defining their independence and attitude, whether kicking up dirt on the track or sliding through the curves on ice," says Dino Bernacchi, U.S. marketing director at Harley-Davidson.

    See more of the work below.

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    Everyone loves a good how-to. We were mesmerized by Aaron Draplin's sick design skills a few months ago. And now video tutorial site Lynda presents another killer demo. 

    To celebrate Photoshop's 25th anniversary, the site has been rolling out some interesting vignettes of artists and designers using their platform to make cool stuff. In the video below, we watch James White create a rad '80s-inspired neon laser horse from scratch, and it's pretty cool. It's part of his "Overdrive" series and an impressive larger body of design and illustration work.

    White explains his inspiration: "The reason I chose this—for Photoshop's 25th anniversary—is because I think this is the image that I wanted to create almost 20 years ago, in 1995, when I first started using Photoshop."

    Check it out:

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    The downtown business commission in Halifax, Nova Scotia, created this video to get you to buy one of its date-night packages. But it might force you to give up dating altogether.

    The concept is actually based on this viral video from 2009, featuring a montage of 1980's VideoMate dating profiles that was truly full of nerfherders. Halifax's collection of clueless Romeos and one singular Juliet is likewise sure to bring the Internet to the schadenfreude party as quickly as the original did.

    The point is that the hardest part of dating in Halifax is finding someone to date. (And that is probably true, given that OkCupid has an outdated interface, eHarmony will reject you, Craigslist will probably get you killed, and you're now going to have to pay twice as much for Tinder if you're over 30.)

    But if you've got the dating part covered, Halifax will handle the rest.

    And after watching the video, couples probably will book date nights right now—if only to make sure they never have to get back in the dating pool again.

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    Monday's release of Tinder Plus, the paid version of the popular dating app, was met with a certain amount of consternation, particularly among elderly users over 30. But this 90-second spot for the premium version is something most people will be able to get cozy with.

    Created by MagnaCarta.tv and director Matthew K. Firpo (who've done lots of Tinder ads in the past), the spot—structured almost like the popular one-second-a-day videos—plays out as a girl's fast-paced reminiscence of a recent vacation. And quite the vacation it was—powered mostly, it seems, by Tinder.

    It's international in scope, as she goes from London to Paris to Istanbul, which helps to demonstrate one of Tinder Plus's key new features, "Passport," which let you search a new location without actually being there. It also briefly shows off the "Rewind" feature, which lets you undo a swipe-left and not lose that person into the ether.

    The spot is stylish, youthful, nicely shot and full of energy, thanks to the track "Class Historian" by Broncho. It's also a great conceptual fit for the service it promotes—it doesn't linger on any image for more than a second before you're on to the next one.

    It's a pretty straightforward swipe-right.

    Client: Tinder
    Production Company: MagnaCarta.tv
    Executive Producer: Maximilian Guen
    Director: Matthew K. Firpo
    Cinematographer: Jordan T. Parrott
    Additional Cinematography: Jake Saner
    Sound Mix: Luciano Vignola
    Editorial + Color: Matthew K. Firpo
    Associate Producer: Rosanna Bach
    Song: "Class Historian" by Broncho
    Featuring: Allison Lanier & Steve Wittman

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    Traveling constantly for work can suck, and Delta wants you to know it understands.

    A new ad from Wieden + Kennedy New York tackles that familiar trope, as a drone of a man trudges through relatable little first-world indignities—the electronic keycard to his hotel room not working, getting lost going for a run in foreign streets, ironing a tie he's still wearing (but wait ... isn't that how everybody does it at home, too?).

    The whole spot hangs on the pensive singsong 1970 recording "Love You" by pop group The Free Design (also, how Suzanne Vega's 1987 classic "Tom's Diner" might sound if it were a nursery rhyme). The track is hypnotizing, if maybe a little preachy or misleading, implying the sad sack should be better enjoying his surroundings, some of which are stunning.

    He does make the most of his suffering ... maybe? To some degree? Looking at the views? Talking to people? Eating different foods? But mostly his face says it's a lonely, alienating and exhausting trek.

    The creatives also might peek through the curtain a little (sick of leaving loved ones behind to go on shoots?), but it doesn't really matter. The images are generic enough examples of business travel that the guy could just as easily be in plastics.

    Eventually, he makes it to a safe haven ... the plane.

    "It's not home, but with every well-considered detail, it becomes one step closer," says the voiceover. True as that may be, it certainly puts a positive spin on the situation, given that yet another intercontinental flight might actually end up being the least comfortable part of the whole ordeal.

    Client: Delta Air Lines
    Project: "On the Road"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman and David Kolbusz
    Creative Directors: Sean McLaughlin and John Parker
    Copywriter: Eric Helin + Jean Sharkey
    Art Director: Mathieu Zarbatany + Devin Sharkey
    Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
    Broadcast Producer: Cheryl Warbrook + Helen Park
    Brand Strategist: Meranne Behrends + Sam Matthews
    Account Team: Liz Taylor, Meghan Mullen, Jasmina Almeda
    Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Keri Rommel, Sonia Bisono, Rylee Millerd

    Production Company: Epoch
    Director: Martin de Thurah
    Managing Director: Mindy Goldberg
    Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan
    Head of Production: Megan Murphreee
    Producer: Michaela Johnson
    Production Supervisor: Terry Gallagher

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Mikkel Nielsen
    Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
    Post Producer: Jen Milano
    Post Executive Producer:
    Editorial Assistant: Misha Kozlov

    VFX Company: The Mill
    VFX Lead Flame: Nathan Kane
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    VFX Flame Artists: Krissy Nordella, Ben Kwok, and Jamin Clutcher
    VFX CG Artists:
    Producer: Colin Moneymaker

    Sound Studio: Sonic Union
    Sound mixer: Steve Rosen / Fernando Ascani
    Producer: Melissa Tanzer + Justine Cortale



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