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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Innovative products deserve advertising that itself is innovative—embodying the promise of what's for sale in the way it's being sold. This Audi campaign from German agency thjnk does a nice job of that.

    The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron uses a fuel cell coupled with a hybrid battery and additional electric motor in the rear. Notably, nothing but water vapor comes out of the exhaust. And so, Audi created billboards that similarly leave nothing behind.

    It's clever and intriguingly produced, though it's not quite clear how the effect is achieved. In any case, it's perhaps most reminiscent of 2012's "Invisible Car" campaign for Mercedes, which also promoted zero-emission fuel-cell technology—by draping the car with an LED "costume" that made it look invisible.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

     


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    Taco Bell is calling McDonald's a disgusting communist pig, but McDonald's doesn't care, because McDonald's still has the Big Mac. And now, the Big Mac is getting its very first lifestyle collection of merchandise for those who want something a little more meaty than what Martha Stewart can deliver.

    The collection—which includes everything from clothing to wallpaper to bed sheets, all emblazoned with images of the chain's signature sandwich—was launched Tuesday at a "McWalk" fashion show in Stockholm, Sweden. (It follows the success of Big Mac thermal underwear—at the time, a one-off product that McDonald's Sweden made as part of its sponsorship of the Swedish Alpine and Cross Country Ski Team.)

    If you're so inclined, you can order this stuff at bigmacshop.se.



    While not an April Fools joke (you'll have to wait until next Wednesday for those), this stunt was part of a global day of McDonald's hijinks that took place Tuesday. Called imlovinit24, it featured goofy antics from McDonald's marketing teams in 24 cities worldwide in 24 hours.

    Among the other highlights: a coffee-cup-shaped ball pit in Sydney, Australia; a giant Big Mac jigsaw puzzle in Madrid, Spain; a Joy Maze in Bucharest, Romania; a McOrchestra in Vienna; and a Ne-Yo concert in Los Angeles.


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    As places where people from all walks of life converge, hotels have always been sources of great stories. Everybody knows that—but no marketer knows it better than Karin Timpone. As global marketing officer for Marriott International, Timpone isn't just responsible for the messaging for 4,100 properties doing business as 18 brands in 79 countries. She was brought aboard in 2013 to find the best stories inside that realm, package them for social channels and use them to draw a new generation of guests. Good thing Timpone had some experience at this sort of thing. She previously led the marketing departments for Disney and Yahoo. Timpone spends much of her time traveling in Marriott's far-flung empire, but she was kind enough to give us a call after her most recent return to the U.S.

    You were brought aboard in November 2013 to help Marriott draw the "next generation" of travelers. Do millennials have different expectations of a hotel brand than older customers do?
    We listened to what millennials were asking, and one thing was being more connected in a relationship kind of way. There are some cues that are specific to newer customers, but that's where a lot of people are going. Mobility, healthy eating—these are things a lot of travelers want. 

    Karin Timpone joined Marriott International in
    2013. She previously worked on brands ranging
    from ABC.com to Absolut vodka.


    You were at Disney before coming to Marriott. Can you name one thing that you learned about marketing at Disney that you're applying at Marriott?
    I was at Yahoo before I was at Disney, and I had in my hands a rich set of data. Everybody talks about big data, but I had really rich data, so it was an unbelievably rich way of thinking about relationships with customers. And I've organized my entire marketing strategy around this—thinking about the customer's needs, what's relevant to them and communicating in an authentic way.

    A recent effort of yours is mcgarrybowen's work on "Make Room for a Little Fun" for Courtyard, which likens business travel to rowing a Viking ship but ends with a guy enjoying a glass of wine. How is that messaging more authentic from what came before?
    We made room for a little fun, focusing on the successful traveler who's looking to have some fun on the road and making sure that after that meeting, he's seeing the cues inside the brand that give him the permission to have a little bit of leisure. Let's think about how we really live.

    We found a "brand video tour" for Courtyard on YouTube featuring lots of dancing, and then there's "Two Bellmen," an action film shot at the JW Marriott in L.A. featuring a pair of bellmen who stop a heist.
    It got a million hits on YouTube. We're talking to the right group of people, and they're starting to buzz about it.

    Content marketing isn't a new idea, of course, but why are you investing so heavily in it?
    Many years ago I did a master's in media technology and change. I was working in the spirits business [for the Seagram Company], and we were doing provocative advertising on TV. At the same time, I was taking films to Sundance. And it occurred to me that a moment would come where technology would open the floodgates. Every marketer could have an authentic conversation with the consumer in a meaningful way, and that's what enabled social media. So I had spent a lot of years in the content business, learning how to make it, monetize it and distribute it. I wanted to be in the position of having a lot of stories to tell.

    How about the one with that Canadian guy Jordan Axani who'd bought around-the-world plane tickets for him and his girlfriend Elizabeth Gallagher—but she dumped him before the trip. Axani started a Reddit contest to find a new companion with the same name, and Marriott joined the viral conversation by tossing in free hotel rooms.
    We got on board with that right away. We said, Marriott hotels would love to be with you on your journey. Stories are happening right inside of our hotels—like the search for Elizabeth Gallagher. We made our hotels part of the journey, so it was content in a way that connected authentically.

    Speaking of hotel journeys, I hear you always travel with plenty of water. Is that because local water can be scary, or do you just like water?
    It's so funny—water is my favorite drink. When I'm in my office, I use a canteen, I'm very eco-friendly. But I'm a big believer in using my canteen. 

    Elizabeth Gallagher (the second) and Jordan Axani


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    It was Friday, Feb. 2, 1962, and President John F. Kennedy summoned his press secretary Pierre Salinger into his office for an urgent meeting.

    "I really need some help," said Kennedy.

    "What do you want, Mr. President?" Salinger replied.

    "I need some cigars," JFK replied.

    "Fine," Salinger answered. "How many do you need?"

    "A thousand," said the president.

    Kennedy didn't need a thousand of any old cigar; he wanted H. Upmann Petits, his favorite. He also wanted them before the following morning. In Kennedy's desk drawer was Proclamation 3447, which would slap an embargo on all U.S. trade with Cuba. By 8 a.m. Saturday, Salinger came through with a shipment of 1,200 Petits, and the president signed the embargo into law. 

    Photo: Nick Ferrari

    Even if you're not one of the estimated 12.6 million Americans who smoke cigars, there's a good chance you've heard of H. Upmann, which has come to embody all of the privilege and decadence of its category. Winston Churchill was known to include H. Upmanns in the 10 cigars he smoked daily. Milton Berle tried to get 500 of them into Paris on his honeymoon. Upmanns are, said one reviewer, "as famous a brand as there is."

    "In addition to being a great name, it's a quality product," added Janelle Rosenfeld, marketing vp for Altadis USA, H. Upmann's American distributor. "Three hundred pairs of hands are involved in the making of each cigar. We were the original artisanal product."

    In 1844, German banker Herman Upmann took a trip to Cuba, fell in love with the local cigars and started a proprietary brand he gave away to his investors. Upmann's cigars were so popular that they outlasted his bank.

    But thanks to JFK's trade embargo, there are actually two H. Upmann brands these days: the ones made in the Dominican Republic that Americans can buy and the ones made in Havana that they can't. The fact hasn't diminished U.S. demand for the brand, nor hurt its mystique—in part because the leaf blends for varieties like The Banker are painstaking matches of the original, and easily command $125 a box.

    Still, purists believe Cuban cigars should come from Cuba. With President Obama's relaxing of the trade embargo in December, puffers are hopeful that they'll soon be able to light up a true Habana. (For now, visitors to Cuba can take home $100 worth of cigars—a fistful at most.) "How it will all unfold, nobody knows," Rosenfeld said. "But it raises awareness, and that's exciting." 

    JFK: CSU Archives / Everett Collection; Castro: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images


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    Cats aren't just great alarm clocks. They're also excellent sleeping masks.

    Two gag infomercials for the Animal Foundation animal shelter in Las Vegas (created by agency R&R Partners) hawk exciting new multi-purpose products for your home—"Pet Cat" and "Pet Dog."

    Dogs are surprisingly efficient vacuum cleaners and capable concierges. What else can they do? "The list goes on and on," the voiceover assures you—and you should pause it while it's scrolling by, because most of the options are great (even if maybe one too many is about warming some body part … as accurate as that may be).



    The writing is sharp and funny, the acting perfectly overdone, and the voiceover as cheesy as possible—dead-on parody. Each pet even comes with a free accessory—for the dog, a leash, aka an instant gym attachment, and for the cat, a paper bag (it's better than having a TV).

    So hurry up and don't miss out on this amazing opportunity. Litter box and Nature's Miracle not included.

    CREDITS
    Client: The Animal Foundation, Las Vegas
    Agency: R&R Partners
    Executive Creative Director: Arnie DiGeorge
    Creative Director: Ron Lopez
    Copywriters: Chrissy Deem, Mary Money
    Art Director: Rachel Hogan
    Senior Brand Manager: Sarah Catletti
    Brand Manager: Amber Allen
    Agency Producer: Sherpa Pictures
    Business Affairs: Pam Petrescu


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    OK Go has collaborated with plenty of brands—including Chevrolet, Google, Samsung and State Farm—on its own music videos. But here is the first truly traditional commercial the band has ever filmed. Though of course, this being OK Go, it's far from typical.

    The ad, which the band worked on in China for much of February, is for the Chinese furniture store Red Star Macalline. Full of optical illusions, it visually references OK Go's 2014 video "The Writing's on the Wall" (which the band later accused Apple of ripping off) but is set to another OK Go track, "I Won't Let You Down" (a remixed version by drummer Dan Konopka).



    Hear the band talk about the project here:



    CREDITS
    Director: Damian Kulash Jr.
    Co-Director, Creative Director: Mary Fagot

    Executive Producer: Fung Ni
    Director of Photography: Luke Geissbuhler
    Art Director: Julius Mak
    Production Manager: Bihong Chan
    Assistant Director: Joan Chen

    Photography Group:
    Steadicam Operator: Alec Jarnagin
    First Assistant: Kenan Qi
    Assistants: Xinfeng Zhang Hongyan, Zhang Yanru
    Equipment: Wei Pang
    Digital Image Engineer: Tiger
    Equipment Company: Yiying Shanghai

    Lighting Group:
    Lightman: Kok Kin Wing
    First Assistant: Jingdong Wang
    Lighting Assistants: Bin Xu, Xinbin Jiang, Yongchao Hu, Chaoliang Wang, Yang An
    Lighting Equipment : Chenjun Zhou

    Art Group:
    First Assistant: Ong Wan Hoong
    Art Assistants: Harris Eddie Sequerah, Rae Chen
    Props: Songyi Wu
    Studio Factory Manager: Yubin Xia
    Recordist: Yan Xia

    Production Group:
    Executive Producer: Xiaoming Tang
    Production Assistants: Jojo Ying, Yuanbiao Wang, Yong Dong Longhui, Li Yi Zheng
    Translators: Lingyi Chen, Yifei Gu
    Runner: Chao Huang
    Transport: Shuguang You

    Casting: Fei Huang, Jingyuan Yuan
    Choreography: Guanglei Zhang
    Dancers: Weijia zhou, Chuanjing XU, Kaijie Wang, Xi Xu, Zhijing Cao, Yimian Song, Xuqin Hua, Wentao Fan, Qin Zhang, Xubin Geng, Chunmeng Yan

    Costume:
    Stylist Director: Mengjia Zhan
    Stylists: Yuanjun Xiao, Shiqi Zhang, Yinghui Huang, Zhihui Wang, Chen Wang, Bin Lang, Huiting Wang

    Postproduction:
    Offline Editor: Fenny
    TC: Jian Wang
    Online: CiCi, Yuqian Jin
    Post Producer: Jojo Ying
    Postproduction Companies: Liveplus Shanghai, Film Vally Shanghai
    Music Studio: Take One

    General Planner: Red Star Macalline "Two Days Coming" Program
    Agency: 25hours, Shanghai
    Production House: Steam, Shanghai
    Advertising Agency Executive Creative Director: Lei Tao
    Advertising Agency Creative Director: Song Zhang
    Advertising Agency Art Directors: Lei Shi, Binyan Huang
    Account Director: Lingning Yan
    Account Executives: Yan Huang, Da Li


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    Amsterdam is known for its famous "coffee shops," but coffee is not the main attraction. Amsterdam-based coffee brand Moyee hopes to change that—and make the city better known for coffee as well. But it can't avoid the pervasive influence of that other mind-altering substance entirely.

    So, with help from 180 Amsterdam, it orchestrated a special taste test. Cannabis is said to heighten one's senses of taste and smell, so it had real people (not actors) try its coffee—while under the influence.

    Their reactions are colorful indeed. Check out the results below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Moyee Coffee
    Founder: Guido van Staveren van Dijk
    Creative Director: John Weich
    Agency: 180 Amsterdam
    President, Chief Creative Officer: Al Moseley
    Creative Director: Martin Beswick
    Art Director: Stephane Lecoq
    Junior Copywriter: Ben Langeveld
    Junior Art Director: Ingmar Larsen
    Account Team: Dan Colgan
    Producer: Claire Ford
    Assistant Producer: Davide Janssen
    Strategy Team: Paul Chauvin, Vincent Johnson
    Director: Tobias Pekelharing
    Executive Producer: Daphne Story
    Editor: Fiona Fuchs
    Postproduction: MPC Amsterdam
    Audio Postproduction: Wave Amsterdam


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    Fairy-tale weddings aren't seen as particularly cool in advertising these days, not since the industry discovered girl power. (As those famous Mercy Academy ads reminded girls back in 2013, when the tide was really turning: "Life's not a fairytale.")

    But PNC Bank isn't worried about that. The company goes all-in with this gorgeous ad from Deutsch, imagining the ultimate fairy-tale union. And regressive or not, it will surely prove irresistible to many dads as they ponder their daughters' futures.



    The spot looks fantastic. The teddy bear, hummingbirds and unicorn horn were all created in CGI, and the agency made more than 100 unique, whimsical costumes for the wedding guests. (Visual effects was done by The Mill, and the costume designer was Florencia Tellado.) There are six items at the wedding that can be seen in the little girl's room: the hummingbirds on her curtains, the boy band (on a poster), ballerina statues, the unicorn book, the teddy bear and the toy soldier on her nightstand.

    The actress playing the bride happened to be an equestrian and could ride the unicorn. The music is perfectly treacly, and there's enough humor in here that you might expect the ad to take a left turn at the end (which it doesn't).

    As for the appeal of a fantasy wedding? The ad actually seems to suggest this might just be Dad's vision alone, not the little girl's at all. Won't he be surprised 25 years from now when he's socked away $100,000 and all she wants is a backyard party.

    "It's every father's dream to give his daughter everything she has ever imagined, and more. And in our new campaign, 'Know,' we use emotional storytelling to highlight how PNC helps insight happen through the tools, guidance and experiences we offer," says Deborah Van Valkenburgh, svp of strategic brand management, corporate marketing, at PNC Bank.

    "By giving our customers a clear view of both their everyday and long-term finances, we help eliminate the 'financial noise' that surrounds them and give them the confidence to achieve their financial goals. So just in case a unicorn or boy band is needed at a dream wedding, we can help make it happen."

    CREDITS
    Client: PNC Bank
    Agency: Deutsch, New York
    Director: Albert Kodagolian
    Production Company: Interrogate
    Effects: The Mill
    Costumes: Florencia Tellado


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    In life, as in advertising, the best idea usually wins.

    That simple insight informs McCann's campaign for the 2015 Clio Awards, featuring pairs of famous foes—Nelson Mandela and Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid; Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner; Al Capone and J. Edgar Hoover; and angel and devil.

    "It's just this simple idea that, throughout history, the best ideas always go right to the top," says Noel Cottrell, chief creative officer at Fitzgerald & Co. (part of McCann) who helmed the campaign, on the Clio site."There are very few times when bad ideas have trumped. If you think about fashion, or politics, or life generally, the best ideas win. We think it's a great expression of that."



    The campaign is alternately goofy and serious. Cottrell—who is from South Africa, and feels a strong connection to the Mandela-Verwoerd ad—says that flexibility is a strength.

    "One image could be Nelson Mandela and Hendrik Verwoerd, another could be Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and still the best idea wins," he says. "I love that the campaign can stretch like that, from being sort of flip and funny to serious and controversial. I'm hoping we can carry on doing this."

    More images below.

    (Note: Clio and Adweek are both owned by affiliates of Guggenheim Partners.)



    CREDITS
    Agency: Fitzgerald & Co.
    Chief Creative Officer: Noel Cottrell
    Group Creative Director, Art Director: Ryan Boblett
    Group Creative Director, Copywriter: Brad Harvey
    Creative Director, Art Director: Andrew Whitehouse
    Network Creative Manager: Eric Monnet
    Director, Project Management: Cris Tally
    Assistant Account Manager: Siera Williams
    Senior Integrated Producer: Deb Archambault
    Senior Vice President, Director, Talent Partnerships: Kimberly Kress
    Talent Manager: Gordon Corte


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    Ricky Gervais is the ultimate anti-pitchman in this amusing set of ads for Australian broadband and cable company Optus, promoting its deal to bring Netflix to the country.

    The creator of The Office and Extras, who's done Netflix ads before, is less interested in talking about Optus and more interested in boasting about how much they paid him and how little effort he put into the pitch. He also delivers the whole message in his trademark stupidly arrogant David Brent style.



    There's also a funny spot in which he rushes to get the talking points in before the ad-skip button appears for YouTube viewers.

    The campaign was created by APN News & Media's content marketing arm Emotive in collaboration with M&C Saatchi and Fuel Communications.

    "Allowing Ricky to take control of the scripts and deliver it with his globally renowned comedy style was a bold move which could only happen with a progressive brand like Optus. We're all chuffed with the result," says Emotive CEO Simon Joyce.


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    Did Jaguar's high-wire stunt above the River Thames in London make a big splash? You'll have to watch and find out.

    Suspended about 60 feet above the murky depths at Canary Wharf, Jim Dowdall, a veteran Hollywood stunt coordinator, attempted to drive the new Jag XF sedan roughly 787 feet across a pair of tiny carbon-fiber cables, each about the width of a human thumb.

    The car was fitted with specially grooved wheels and a safety "keel" on its undercarriage for Tuesday's crossing, which was, naturally, broadcast live online. According to Jaguar, the stunt was designed to promote the car's lighter, mainly aluminum frame. It aimed to set a record for the world's longest high-wire drive.



    So, did the Volvo Trucks-style stunt make a big splash in terms of generating excitement for the British automaker?

    The answer there is a resounding … sort of. I guess. The escapade certainly generated more media attention than your typical new-car launch. Still, the 15-minute YouTube chronicle has tallied just over 70,000 views on Jaguar's main YouTube page—and 16,000 more on Jaguar USA. Those stats aren't exactly meager, but still underwhelming.

    The enterprise is intriguing in a WTF? sort of way, but there's an odd, unappealing coldness here, and the dreary urban backdrop and lack of spectators are a big part of the problem. It's as if Dowdall performed his high-wire act for the silent steel towers of London's financial district. Images of the white Jag suspended above the gray water are almost poetic in a bleak, Ballardian way. They convey a sad sense of loneliness and modernity, testimonies to the triumph of the car, skyscraper and all-seeing media eye.

    Speaking of the media, video host Gabby Logan works hard to generate a sense of excitement, but her rah-rah "reporting" comes off sounding insincere. Everything feels a tad forced, unfocused and under-explained. Beyond publicity, what's the point, exactly? Even Dowdall seems nonplussed and almost dismissive of the event.

    "I've been very lucky to be able to drive cars in some very silly situations," says the veteran driver, who has performed stunts in Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones films. "That's probably one of the silliest."


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    The NBA is putting a whole new spin on throwback jerseys.

    The professional basketball league has launched its first campaign around NCAA March Madness by employing a neat visual trick—showing NBA stars with overlaid animations of the college uniforms from their NCAA days.

    Stephen Curry, James Harden, Al Horford, Kyle Lowry, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook all star in 15-second ads from Translation, voiced by the indomitable Dick Vitale.



    It's not just the clothes that change. Westbrook, presently of the Oklahoma City Thunder and formerly of the UCLA Bruins, transforms into a bear wearing a pair of the player's infamous red glasses. Even the YouTube video descriptions are packed with Vitale slang, Easter eggs for the hardcore zealots.

    Running under the tagline "The dance never ends," it's a nice simple concept, illustrating that some of the college stars that viewers are cheering on now will be in the NBA soon enough—and that it's OK to enjoy both leagues.

    The spots don't show the pros giving up wads of cash as they return to the NCAA, though.



    CREDITS
    Brand/Client: NBA
    Campaign Title: "March Madness"
    Spot Title: "2015 March Madness Animated, Baby!" 
    First Air Date: 3/23/15

    Agency: Translation 
    Chief Executive Officer: Steve Stoute 
    Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Chief Strategy Officer: John Greene
    Executive Creative Director: Betsy Decker
    Senior Creatives: Matthew McFerrin, Armando Samuels, Matt Comer
    Head of Brand Strategy: Tim Flood
    Strategists: Lindsey Neeld, Geoff McHenry
    Director of Broadcast Production: Miriam Franklin
    Executive Producer: Carole McCarty
    Associate Producer: Philinese Kirkwood
    Business Affairs Manager: Brian Enright
    Senior Vice President, Group Account Director: Tim Van Hoof
    Account Executive: Chris Martin
    Senior Project Manager: Matt DeSimone

    Production Companies: Blacklist, Golden Wolf
    Executive Producer: Andrew Linsk
    Producer: Patrick Gantert
    Creative Director: Ingi Erlingsson
    Producer: Ant Baena
    Production Assistant: Corina Priestley
    Roto / Prep: Krishnan Balakrishnan, Nikita Alagan, Aravindan.C, Thirupathi Raja, Stephan, Arun.N, Murthy.N, Satish.R
    Design: Stefan Falconer, Pedro Vergani
    Animation: Stefan Falconer, Tim Whiting, Pablo Lozano, Mattias Breitholtz, Romain Loubersanes, Steffano Ottaviano, Harj Bains, Samuel Bell, Duncan Gist

    Postproduction Company: WAX, New York
    Editor: Joe Dillingham
    Assistant Editor: Nate Kim
    Managing Partner: Toni Lipari
    Senior Producer: Evan Meeker
    Conform: WAX

    Color Grade (NBA footage): CO3, New York
    Colorist: Tom Poole
    Producer: Rochelle Brown
    Assistant Colorist: Kath Raisch

    Color Grade (Animation): WAX
    Colorist: Steve Picano

    Audio Post: Sonic Union
    Engineers (Mix): David Papa, Fernando Ascani
    Studio Director: Justine Cortale
    Mix Assistant: Ben Conlon

    Voiceovers: Dick Vitale, Todd Cummings

    Music, Sound Design: Future Perfect Music
    Composer: Victor Margo
    Executive Producers: Maxwell Gosling, John Connolly

     


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    Advertisers are in love with short branded documentary films these days that are built around some sort of surprise for one of the main characters. The idea, in fact, has become clichéd—meaning a lot rests on the execution of the idea.

    This new Knorr film, "Flavor of Home," from DLKW Lowe is a good example.

    The idea is fairly run-of-the-mill. The Unilever food flavoring brand gets a British mother to travel to the Arctic and surprise her daughter—who's moved there to be a guide on a dog-sledding farm—with a home-cooked meal.

    But the concept is really nicely executed, from finding this particularly down-to-earth mother and daughter to shooting the gorgeous landscape of Finland. Tears flow early and often, but somehow it manages not to feel mawkish—mostly because it just feels real. This is mostly thanks to director Nanette Burstein of Hungry Man, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for her boxing documentary On the Ropes.



    OK, the film is also underpinned by a decent insight, which is that flavors alone can trigger emotions. In a Knorr study, 82 percent of respondents said that the taste of some foods reminds them of childhood, while 77 percent said food is always a part of life's most meaningful moments.

    But most important, they don't make a meal of it—and that's the best balance of all.

    CREDITS
    Client: Knorr/Unilever
    Agency: DLKW Lowe
    Global Creative Director: Richard Dennison
    Creative Team: Rob Bovington, Stephen Webley
    Agency: Lowe & Partners
    Planner: Rebecca Morgan
    Account Team: Richard Ellis, Monika Tomala
    Agency Producer: Trudy Waldron
    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Nanette Burstein
    Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
    Producer: Jack Beardsley
    Editing House: Marshall Street Editing
    Editor: Gary Forrester
    Postproduction: Absolute
    Audio Postproduction: 750 MPH
    PR Agency: Edelman
    Global Media Agency: PHD
    Media Agency: Mindshare


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    Here's an easy way to make sure the product is the hero. Make everything else around it really, really tiny—and leave the product at regular size.

    It works great in this campaign for Frooti, one of India's oldest and most beloved mango juice brands.New York agency Sagmeister & Walsh designed a whole new visual language for the brand around this idea of a miniature world—which it then brought to life in a stop-motion commercial with help from Aaron Duffy's agency SpecialGuest, 1stAveMachine director Marc Reisbig and animation house Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

    See the spot here:



    As Duffy says, the colorful spot really is an "absurdly ear- and eye-catching little film." The spot features a miniature version of Bollywood superstar and longtime Frooti spokesman Shah Rukh Khan, who then appears in person at the end to deliver the pitch.

    "The goal was to introduce the new packaging in a fresh, bold, and playful way," Sagmeister & Walsh says of the rebranding. "We introduced four bold colors to the brand which complement the yellow of Indian mango and add a sense of playfulness across the imagery."

    See a bunch more imagery below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Frooti

    Creative Agency: Sagmeister & Walsh
    Executive Creative Directors, Partners: Jessica Walsh, Stefan Sagmeister

    Creative Agency: SpecialGuest
    Co-Founder, Executive Creative Director: Aaron Duffy
    Business Director: Ashley McGee
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Jonathan Emmerling
    Creative Development: Edward Choi, Chloe Corner

    Production Company: 1stAveMachine
    Director: Marc Reisbig
    Executive Producer, Partner: Sam Penfield
    Executive Producers: Melinda Nugent, Garrett Braren
    Producer: Leanne Amos
    Head of Production: Lisanne McDonald
    Associate Producer: Christina Jang
    Visual Effects Director: John Loughlin
    Editor: Jonathan Vitagliano
    Compositor: Chris Russo
    Colorist: Seth Ricart/Ricart and Co.
    Music Composer, Supervisor: Amit Trivedi

    Animation, Postproduction, Online: Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
    Executive Producers: John Harvatine IV, Eric Towner, Matt Senreich, Seth Green
    Supervising Producer: Janet Dimon
    Producer: David Brooks
    Line Producer: Barb Cimity
    Production Manager: Mario De Jesus
    Director of Photography: Helder Sun
    Animation Director: Harry Chaskin
    Animator: Matt Manning
    Animator: Alfonso Estrada
    Director of Character Fabrication: Tennessee Norton
    Character Fabricator: Tommy Keiser
    Editor: Jenny McKibben
    Visual Effects Lead: Jack Hamilton


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    America's homeless face myriad challenges, from mental illness to problems with addiction and substance abuse to amateur typography. The last of those is something that a Chicago art director is trying to address through a project called The Urban Type Experiment.

    "As an art director it's my job to grab people's attention with great design every day. So I set out to see if great design could have an impact on people in the most ignored platform," the site says.



    Basically, the art director makes the acquaintance of a new homeless person every week, re-letters his or her signage, then checks back to see if the efforts helped at all. The site is pretty honest about how helpful the work has or hasn't been, which makes it seem less like a roundabout self-promotion tactic and more like genuine outreach.

    See more of the work below. Via Design Taxi.


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    It was a varied week in commercials, from propaganda to punch lines. Check out our picks for the week's best spots, and vote for your favorite.


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    Safety is a huge part of the Volvo brand. And now, the automaker, with help from Grey London, is extending the concept beyond its own drivers—to cyclists with whom they share the road—and beyond advertising, into product development.

    Client and agency have collaborated with Swedish startup Albedo100 to produce LifePaint, a reflective safety spray designed to increase the visibility and safety of cyclists and others on the road at night. Invisible in the daytime, the spray glows brightly in the glare of headlights at night.

    Here's the launch video for it:



    It's not really paint. The transparent spray washes off and will not affect the color or surface of materials. It can be applied to almost any fabric—clothes, shoes, strollers, children's backpacks, even dog leads and collars—and last about a week after application.

    Beginning today, 2000 cans of LifePaint will be given away at six London and Kent-based bike shops. If successful, the project will expand nationally and perhaps internationally.



    "Our job isn't just to advertise our clients," said Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of Grey London. "It's to help them make a positive impact on culture. With the creation of LifePaint, we've turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?"

    Grey also used LifePaint to create "invisible" black posters that only reveal their message in the flash of a smartphone.



    "This is the sort of work we want to be making," says Grey London creative director Hollie Newton. "Properly integrated innovation. Design a valuable, remarkable product for a brand, and then launch it with the same level of craft."

    CREDITS
    Client: Volvo
    Creative Agency: Grey London
    Chief Creative Officer: Nils Leonard
    Creative Director: Hollie Newton
    Creative Team: Jonas Roth, Rasmus Smith Bech
    Account Team: Cristyn Bevan, Sophie Critchley, Alex Nixon
    Planning: Wiktor Skoog
    Head of Film: Glenn Paton
    Integrated Producer: Francesca Mair
    Assistant Producer: Talia Shear
    Designer, Typographer: Chris Chapman
    Creative Producers: Helen Llewelyn, Glen McLeod
    LifePaint Collaborators: Albedo100
    Production Company: Caviar
    Director: Andrew Telling
    Director of Photography: Jeremy Valender
    Executive Producer: Louise Gagen
    Producer: Adam Smith
    Editor: Matt Newman at GreyWorks
    Colorist: Julien Biard at Finish
    Postproduction: Gramercy Park Studios
    VFX Supervisor/Lead flame: Mark Beardall
    2D Artists: Jamie Russell, Steve Miller, Kalle Kohlström 
    Post Producer: Annika Gustavsson
    Sound Design: Munzie Thind at Grand Central Studios
    Music Composition: Adam Halogen via Wake The Tow
    Microsite: Paul Cackett, Piers Cleveland-Copeman, Johan Runge-Goransson @ clear.as


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    Remember when you were in middle school and you would doodle the logo of your favorite band on your Trapper Keeper? The Led Zeppelin logo, or Tupac's face, or the Grateful Dead bears? You'd feel like a badass when you came even remotely close to the original.

    In that same spirit, here's a series of time-lapse Instagram videos from Sebastian "Seb" Lester—an English designer and calligrapher who's got some prettty impressive clients under his belt. 

    Watch below as Seb magically re-creates the logos and marks of iconic brands like Google, Adidas, Star Wars and Converse with pen and ink and a steady hand. Lester says of his passion for language and lettering:"I find the Latin alphabet to be one of mankind's most beautiful and profound creations."
     

     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on




     

    A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

    Via Design Taxi.


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    Color can communicate a lot of information, but not as clearly as if it were an actual language. So OPI made it into one.

    A sassy, gorgeous new campaign from the nail polish company, created with TBWA's DAN\Paris, turns various shades of the brand's product into an abstract, droplet-shaped alphabet that fans can use to chat on a special mobile app.

    In the launch video, a talking red dot—corresponding to the letter A—introduces itself. "My mom thinks I'm very classy, but I can also be pretty naughty," it says.



    The idea of anthropomorphic nail lacquer might seem a little silly at first blush, but it's oddly hypnotizing, and a great fit for the linguistic concept. And once the clip demonstrates fully formed words and phrases, the power of the idea really hits: Packaged cosmetics—generally aesthetic, but also relatively mundane—start to look like something more akin to modern art.

    Sure, at moments the copy is a little sappy—inviting viewers to "cry in color." But it recovers quickly, encouraging users to "swear in color," too. (Based on the first and third letters, debuted earlier, it's pretty easy to guess which four-letter word is on the screen—kind of like playing a really easy version of Hangman with paint instead of blanks).

    The clever tone extends to outdoor and print ads featuring the rainbow code, with lines like "400 colors 10 fingers life is so unfair" and "Last night a color saved my life." The campaign swag, meanwhile, includes all kinds of neat little gems, like a "Don't trust anyone with a chipped mani" (T-shirt); an "I'm almost single" tote; a "Ryan is a good kisser" mug (presumably Gosling?); and an "I do my best to look busy" laptop case (all meaning, unlocked, apparently, by phone).



    The centerpiece app, meanwhile, isn't as much work to use as it might initially seem. It translates the color language—type your message in on a standard keyboard (French AZERTY edition in the demo video)—and swipe the screen to decode an incoming sequence. (That might actually make the concept a little less cool, but does significantly lower the barrier to entry, even if it's easy to imagine some lacquer-crazed, chat-happy teenage girls being willing to go to the trouble to actually memorize the alphabet.)

    Overall, it's similar in spirit to branded emoticons, but a little more esoteric—probably a good thing, given other marketers are scrambling to beat that fad to death in record time. And OPI's idea is solidly grounded in the product. Given that cosmetics are effectively a form of self-expression already, this just makes it more literal.

    "We are a new language for everyone, because color is the universal language," says A, the talking drop of nail polish. That might be stretching it a bit far, given the same colors can have different connotations in different cultures, but the spirit is close enough.

    If OPI is really aiming to become synonymous with hue, it's got some pretty stiff competition in Pantone. Then again, Pantone's system is even more complicated.

    Lots more images, plus credits, below.



    CREDITS
    Client: OPI
    Agency: DAN\Paris
    Client Managers: Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Ruthi Stirling, Marleine Pacilio, Katie Barth
    Agency Managers: Julie Hardy, Philippe Simonet, Hugues Cholez, Franck Botbol
    Creative Directors: Franck Botbol, Hugues Cholez, Nathalie Huni
    Conception/Copywriter: Glen Troadec
    Artistic Directors: Nicolas Cremmydas, Nicolas Barres
    Movie Producer: Christophe Courty
    Photography: Baptiste Massé/Mécanique Générale
    Producers: Justine Myard-Guidi, Mathieu Gauchée
    Chief Technology Officer: Ivan Zindovic
    Lead Developer: Sidney Bourgallé
    Social Media Planning: Lydia Faraj
    Music Production: Benoît Dunaigre\Else


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    Can we be even more like Mike?

    Gatorade's 50th anniversary celebration continues with three spots from TBWA\Chiat\Day, each reimagining the iconic Michael Jordan-inspired "Be Like Mike" jingle we've been humming for nearly a quarter century.

    An impressively remastered version of the original Bayer Bess Vanderwarker ad from 1992 was unveiled last month during the NBA's All-Star weekend. Visuals from that spot appear in these three new commercials, but each has its own unique vibe.



    "Groove Like Mike," my favorite, feels like the '70s, with retro-cool animations and a righteously funky take on the song. "Move Like Mike" finds gym rats, inspired by footage of No. 23 playing on monitors around the place, working out and scrimmaging to subtly insistent beats. (Maybe the NBA will adopt that backboard video screen to blast ads during games.) "Dream Like Mike" shows a kid playing driveway hoops against MJ, a bold mix of "Be Like Mike" driving him to new heights.



    The clips are fun, multilayered and reward multiple plays. Animal Music did a fine job with the remixes, giving all three versions a fresh sound while staying true to the spirit of the original. There's just one problem. Now, that damn song will be stuck in my head for at least another 23 years!



    CREDITS
    Client: Gatorade
    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    Creative Director: Renato Fernandez
    Art Director: Pierce Thiot
    Copywriter: Scott Cleveland
    Producer: Garrison Askew
    Music Production Company: Animal Music


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