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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Tokyo's Narita International Airport has built a new terminal with walkways outfitted in the style of indoor running tracks—a fitting precursor to the 2020 Olympic Games, which the city is hosting (even if it's a bit premature, as the 2016 Games haven't even happened yet).

    The terminal's foot traffic lanes are color-coded and use stenciled symbols to represent various airport destinations. The design—for which Japanese agency Party can be thanked—is also a side effect of the project's low budget (there are no moving walkways), and the flights operating from the terminal are mostly low-cost carriers.



    As a whole, the theme provides some fun (if unintentional) commentary about the rush of modern air travel. And so as long as people can figure out the stencils/lane color pairings, it's a success on a couple of fronts. If they don't, they'll get a head start on being aggressively inconvenienced by the time the Olympics show up to wreck their city for months on end.

    Via PSFK.


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    Somebody get this kid a bike! (And snowshoes, while you're at it.)

    Orri, the plucky lad in this fanciful Wieden + Kennedy London spot introducing Arla's Skyr Icelandic yogurt to the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, really has it rough. Most of the action takes place in 1968, as the boy braves storms and covers vast distances, always on foot, to deliver messages that arrive via his remote village's only telephone. (Often, these communications are of a less-than-urgent nature, such as, "Your trousers are ready for collection.")

    Does he even draw a salary? Or get tips?

    On the plus side, Orri enjoys heaping bowls of Skyr to power his travels.



    The low-key, humorous film, W+K's first work for the brand, is expertly directed by Dougal Wilson, who placed two spots ("Monty the Penguin" for John Lewis and "Adventure Awaits" for Lurpak) among Adweek's top 10 ads of 2014.

    This 90-second Skyr ad, "The Messenger," really delivers, subtly touting the brand as a hearty snack or meal while keeping viewers engaged and smiling. W+K's Thom Whitaker, who wrote and art directed the work with Danielle Noël, chatted with us about the commercial:

    Where did the idea come from?
    Skyr's full of protein, so we wanted to tell a story of extraordinary Icelandic strength, but one which people weren't familiar with or had heard before. We'd heard about young Icelandic kids working as telephone messengers back in the '60s—which we thought could be the perfect story to tell.

    Why go this route with the creative?
    Because of Iceland's tradition for Viking sagas, it felt right to create our own epic story for this Icelandic yogurt. We wanted to go back to the old tradition of classic storytelling—a bit like the old Stella Artois work.

    Skyr has got a pretty wide appeal. It's very much Scandinavia's answer to Greek yogurt, and in Iceland it's part of everyone's daily diet, so we thought the story of the little boy was universal enough for everybody to enjoy.

    Why keep the product mostly in the background?
    We wanted to weave Skyr into the story in the natural way, while giving as much screen time as possible to the boy's epic journey, so that the final payoff becomes even stronger.

    Some have likened the approach to Wes Anderson. Agree or disagree?
    It does have a bit of a Wes Anderson vibe to it, but that wasn't really intentional. The brightly colored houses and the retro wardrobe might have something to do with it. We should have set the titles in Futura!

    Any amusing anecdotes from the shoot?
    The lighthouse scene was pretty interesting—a full-on Icelandic storm was battering the cliffs and it felt like we could be swept away at any second. I don't think we've ever been so happy with a first take.

    Skyr's got more work coming out soon?
    Short films [not by Dougal Wilson] are out next week on YouTube and Facebook and are called "Skyr Guides." They're also from W+K, but Toby Moore and Selena McKenzie are the brains behind them, not us [Thom Whitaker, Danielle Noel].

    They're basically two short portraits of modern-day Icelanders who exhibit the same sort of strength as Orri does in our film: Kolla, a cyclist who braves the Icelandic climate every day, and Joi, a modern-day Viking who's a doorman at one of Reykjavik's oldest nightclubs and who's not averse to putting Skyr on his steak. They're all about introducing us Brits to Skyr—the history of it, what it's good with, how it's pronounced.

    CREDITS
    Client: Arla Foods
    Project Name: Arla Skyr
    Media Channels: TV, OOH, DOOH, Online Films
    Client Lead: Sam Dolan
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
    Creative Directors: Dave Day, Larry Seftel
    Copywriters, Art Directors: Thom Whitaker, Danielle Noel
    Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
    Agency Executive Producer: Danielle Stewart
    Group Account Director: Katherine Napier
    Account Director: Will Hunt
    Account Manager: Maria Kofoed
    Head of Planning: Beth Bentley
    Planning Director: Theo Izzard-Brown
    Planner: Rachel Hamburger
    TV Producer: Matthew Ellingham
    Creative Producer: Michael Winek
    Production Company: Blink
    Director: Dougal Wilson
    Executive Producer: James Studholme
    Line Producer: Ewen Brown
    Director of Photography: Karl Oskarsson
    Editing Company: Final Cut
    Editor: Joe Guest
    Post Producer: Julie Evans
    Executive Post Producer: Julie Evans
    Visual Effects Company: MPC
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Bill McNamara
    Flame Artist: Tom Harding
    Visual Effects Producer: Julie Evans
    Colorist: Jean-Clément Soret
    Titles, Graphics: MPC
    Music, Composer: Alex Baranowski
    Sound Designer: Anthony Moore
    Producer: Becs Bell
    Mix Company: Factory
    Mixer: Anthony Moore
    Producer: Becs Bell

    Online Films:
    Art Directors, Copywriters: Toby Moore, Selena McKenzie
    TV Producer: Greg Hemes
    Production Company: TrueNorth
    Editing Company: WracK

    Print Production:
    Art Directors: Thom Whitaker, Danielle Noel, Kelly Satchell
    Copywriters: Thom Whitaker, Danielle Noel
    Head of Design: Karen Jane


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    If you're not into Star Wars, you might as well sign off the Internet for the rest of the year. Not only are the filmmakers going to bombard you with content, everybody else is, too.

    Case in point: A Craigslist user in California posted a "buyer beware" listing warning people not to purchase the Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer seen in the most recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.

    Fake Craigslist ads are a hallowed genre, and this one is pretty solid—as the user warns that the vehicle is "totally infested with roaches and womp rats" and "there's no way this thing is ever going to pass emissions."

    Check out the full text below.

    BUYER BEWARE: Imperial II-class Star Destroyer - $1 (Mad River)

    I just wanted to make sure people are aware, this is a total scam. I drove all the way out there to look at this thing and the guy wanted a huge deposit before he'd even let me take it for a spin.

    After looking around a bit I'd be surprised if this thing could even finish the Kessel run, let alone do it in a decent time. It's totally infested with roaches and womp rats, so when you figure the cost of a 6.2 trillion cubic foot fumigation job, this thing is a total write-off for that reason alone.

    I know it's had Sand People in it, but all the tracks are single file so who knows how many have been in there or what parts they've ripped off.

    You can't even get this thing licensed in most states until you remove all 384 turbolasers and the ion cannons will have to be retrofitted with low-capacity magazines (thanks Obama), and there's no way this thing is ever going to pass emissions.

    The "carbon scoring" conveniently makes the serial numbers unreadable, so I can't even verify what model year this thing is, but I suspect that it's the year that no one wants because there weren't any handrails on the control deck. The whole "open bridge" thing was a terrible idea. It's like the Pontiac Aztec of star destroyers.

    So save yourself a trip. The guy just wants this crap off his farm but doesn't want to pay the Jawas to haul it away.

    Believe me, this isn't the star destroyer you're looking for.


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    Nike FuelBand may have fizzled out, but luckily the Joe Boxer Inactivity Tracker is here to take its place.

    Kmart is promoting its Joe Boxer pajamas with a new digital bracelet that's just like any of the other quantified self-fitness pieces on the market, only instead of making you feel guilty for missing your workout, it will celebrate you for it.

    The brand is giving away the devices with select pajama purchases while supplies last—an accompanying app rewards extended sloth with badges like "Cryogenic" and "You rock!" (in this case, meaning the noun first, and the adjective second).

    Even if you don't snag one of these hot ticket items, you can enjoy the hourlong launch ad below—a window into the "2015 Joe Boxer Lounger Games," where two guys sit in recliners trying to move as little as possible.



    It really goes all in—purportedly focusing on the ninth hour of the fierce competition—and delivering 60 minutes of impressively inane announcer commentary, which makes it just like any other sport, really. (There are plenty of amusing tidbits mixed in if you skip around. Or if you have the stamina to watch all the way through, presumably, you can also tune back in for hour 10 on ESPN 35.)

    The whole FCB project pokes some excellent fun at the tech-driven zeitgeist, and the world can always use more paeans to laziness. But any real pro couch potato will tell you it's better to skip the long pants altogether, especially with summer coming up fast.


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    He took the tea kettle? Ouch, that Hertz!

    This cute British spot from adam&eveDDB starts off sentimentally, as a middle-aged couple are saying goodbye to their son, who is moving out—with help from a Hertz rental van. But it soon becomes clear that the tears will come for another reason.



    At least he left the kitchen sink.

    "Yes it is a departure—deliberately so," agency creative director Steve Wioland tells Adweek. "We had a limited budget, so we had to do something to cut through. The team came up with a lovely insight: Stealing from parents is something many students are guilty of. We thought it was really funny."

    Director Guy Shelmerdine employs an appealing documentary/home-movie style, and the understated, naturalistic performances are spot-on, helping to make "Cleaned Out" something more than the sum of its (purloined) parts.

    "Key to the humor was getting the pace right," says Wioland. And the ad rewards replays because "there are a few things missing [from the house] that you may not notice on the first viewing."

    Of course, the way things are today, that dude will probably move back home soon enough, reconnecting the satellite dish so he can watch TV all day long while chilling on a couch in the basement.

    CREDITS
    Client: Hertz
    Vice President, Marketing, Pricing: Olivier Lecocq
    Brand Communications Manager: Paul Wareham
    Project: "Cleaned Out"
    Agency: adam&eveDDB, London
    Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest
    Executive Creative Directors: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim
    Creative Directors: Matt Woolner, Steve Wioland
    Copywriter: Frances Leach
    Art Director: Christopher Bowsher
    Planner: David Mortimer
    Media Agency: Forward3D
    Media Planner: James Ross
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Guy Shelmerdine
    Editor: Andy McGraw, Stitch
    Postproduction: MPC
    Audio Postproduction: Andy Stewart, String and Tins


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    Are you unique enough that your child could pick you out of a lineup by touch alone?

    The charm-bracelet pushers over at Pandora Jewelry have just released The Unique Collection, but you won't see much jewelry in this two-minute spot by Danish agency Malling Publications. Instead, you can watch them prove how every woman is unique, and try not to cry, as kids are blindfolded and asked to pick out their moms by touch alone.

    The children, ages 3-9, touch rings and bracelets, hair and noses. Check out the video to see how they do.



    Even more touching is the worry on each mom's face as she waits to see if her child would recognize her, followed by tears of joy when they do. It underscores how irreplaceable our moms are, and how important it is to them that we know them well—particularly on days like Mother's Day. (Hint, hint, buy her some personalized jewelry.)

    Though the video stars moms and has been released well before Mother's Day (it already has more than 14 million views on Facebook and 7 million on YouTube), Pandora's call to action wisely tells people to celebrate the woman in their heart—noting that all women are unique, whether they're a mom or not.

    It's also a not so subtle hint to her significant other, because c'mon, that 3-year-old isn't paying for the bracelet himself.


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    This Trebor Mints ad from Wieden + Kennedy London has a bit of that 1990s Gushers weirdness to it, either as a tribute to nostalgic thirtysomethings or just for shiggles.

    It opens with a teen admitting to his father that he prefers soft mints to their harder contemporaries, which makes his dad go all Malory Archer and crush his whiskey glass out of anger. Weird how that never cuts anyone's hand on TV.

    And it only gets stranger from there.



    Though the concept is hardly revolutionary, they kept the weirdness to one element of the ad that mostly delivers, so it works. For my own sanity, I won't get into the Punnett square logistics that resulted in minty dad's human son. No sense asking questions I don't want answered.

    CREDITS
    Client: Trebor
    Marketing Manager, Gum, Candy, Mondelez: Elena Germani
    Senior Brand Manager, Mondelez: Elena Mallo
    Project Name: "Choose Your Trebor"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
    Creative Director: Kim Papworth
    Creative Team: Max Batten, Ben Shaffrey
    Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
    Agency Executive Producer: Danielle Stewart
    Group Account Director: Andrew Kay
    Account Director: Hanne Haugen
    Head of Planning: Beth Bentley
    Planning Director: Georgia Challis
    TV Producer: Lou Hake
    Creative Producer: Danny Wallace
    Designer: Michael Bow
    Production Company: Hungryman
    Director: Taika Waititi
    Executive Producer: Matt Buels
    Producer: Camilla Cullen
    Director of Photography: Bob Pendar-Hughes
    Editing Company: Work Post
    Editor: Rachel Spann
    Post Producer: Josh Robinson, The Mill
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Dan Adams, The Mill
    Music, Sound Company: Wave
    Sound Designer: Dugal Macdiarmid
    Producer: Rebecca Boswell
    Mix Company: Wave
    Mixer: Dugal Macdiarmid
    Producer: Rebecca Boswell


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    There's something irresistible about tiny billboards.

    We've seen them before, of course—for example, there was this LittleBigPlanet campaign from 2008 and this Lego stunt from 2012. And now, the upcoming superhero film Ant-Man is joining the parade, with ant-size billboards popping up in several Australian cities ahead of that country's July 16 release of the movie.

    There's even an ant-size bus shelter with an ad on the side.



    Check out more images below, via Screencrush and This Is Film.

    For its next stunt, the studio might want to enlist the World Wildlife Fund's horde of leaf-cutter ants to parade the film's tagline around.


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    Sagmeister & Walsh says a brazen robbery has occurred at its New York offices, with three men making off with its most valuable property—and the whole thing caught on tape by the ceiling camera that normally streams live footage of the studio to the agency's website.

    Except … wait just a minute.

    Creative Review reported on the robbery, and the agency tweeted a link to the story.

    But it's soon clear that something is fishy. The pantyhose over the head seems a bit clichéd. And then, the kicker—the Creative Review story says the thieves took the agency's work. And apparently nothing else.

    Asked today about the supposed crime, the receptionist at the agency laughed out loud and confirmed the gag. An agency so good that robbers come and steal the work? Well played.


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    If your brand hasn't made custom emojis yet, sorry—it's now mandatory.

    Or so it seems, given the rush of marketers doing so. And the latest brand to jump quite literally into the mix is Foot Locker, which is stocking its smartphone app with a library of "Shoemojis," beginning with 80 individually drawn sneakers from iconic brands like Nike, Adidas, Asics, Under Armour and more.

    "Communicating with your fellow sneakerheads will never be the same," says BBDO New York, which conceived the concept with the client. More images below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Foot Locker
    Project: Shoemoji
    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Chris Beresford-Hill
    Executive Creative Director: Dan Lucey
    ACD: Damjan Pita
    ACD: Derek Harms
    Director of Creative Technology, Experience and Design: Simon Mogren
    Art Director: Bhanu Arbuaratna
    Senior Designer: Jason Merenda
    Copywriter: Allie Townsend
    Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
    Director of Digital Operations: Clemens Brandt
    Senior Producer: Carissa Ranelycke
    Director: Janelle Van Wonderen
    Account Manager: Nick Robbins
    Account Executive: Samuel Henderson
    Senior Digital Strategist: Rhys Hillman
    Production Company: The BBBDO Digital Studio
    Technical Director: Michael Condouris
    Associate Technical Director: Konstantin Rosinov
    Studio Director: Marty Ford


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    Click fraud is a big problem, but it's also an exceedingly boring topic. So, how do you liven it up to warn marketers about it? The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has tried a bit of comedy in the hopes that it will get more attention than a white paper.

    Check out the video below—a fake newscast about a man who finds out he's a bot. And yes, the phone number at the end is real. Give it a try: 1-844-AM-I-A-BOT



    We spoke to Danielle Delauro, svp of strategic sales insights at CAB, about the video.

    AdFreak: Fun concept. Where did you get the idea?
    Danielle Delauro: We present a lot to advertisers and agencies, and we always get questions about the extent of bot traffic online. We started out thinking, how can you tell when it's a bot? We started tossing around ideas, and the video took direction pretty fast.

    What appealed to you about a fake newscast?
    We've seen a number of networks tackle serious issues in a fake news setting, and do it successfully. We thought the setup would help us highlight a serious industry issue that is so pervasive it's almost absurd. On one level, you can't help but laugh.

    Do you think this approach will break through where more rational attacks might not?
    We hope so. There's been a lot of official reporting on the topic—white papers, studies, articles—that have exposed the issue rationally. We thought something funny could touch a nerve and get people to feel the issue rather than just think it, and then share it with friends and colleagues. It's a lot more natural to share a short video that makes you laugh than a long white paper. That's why the 1-844-AM-I-A-BOT number is important. It creates another level of sharable experience.

    How committed is CAB to exposing click fraud? Is putting digital's purported reach in perspective a major priority these days?
    We're committed to helping advertisers sell more stuff, so we're advancing reality in all things video. Marketers need real audience at real scale, and bots don't have credit cards. So we're prompting marketers to put the video options in the right balance, by putting audience claims in perspective.


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    Eight victims of gun violence are memorialized in lifelike but faceless plaster statues in FCB Chicago's "The Unforgotten," a traveling public-service installation and media campaign.

    Created for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, the campaign takes pains to imbue each statue with as much of each victim's personality as possible. (For example, family films and photographs were studied to determine the subjects' characteristic gestures and body language.) The figures, created by FCB art director Jordan Sparrow, are dressed in the victims' actual clothing. They wear sweatshirts, jeans, scarves and sneakers. Some carry backpacks. One figure slings a guitar because it was modeled on a young musician who was fatally shot while helping his band unload their gear. The statues' name tags work with a mobile app, allowing users to access videos about the victims' lives.

    "This cause desperately needed an unusual approach," says FCB Chicago creative chief Todd Tilford, "something shocking to compel people to take action, while at the same time honoring the victims, and the families and friends of the victims. Not in a loud, screaming way, but in a powerful, silent way."



    The initial exhibit was held April 10 at Chicago's St. James Cathedral Plaza, and Tilford says plans are underway for the installation to visit other cities in Illinois and possibly around the country.

    The three-minute campaign video features interviews with family members and shows the statues posed in parks, on sidewalks and in bus shelters. The clip closes by asking viewers to "Help us get guns out of the wrong hands. Unforget the victims and sign our petition at The-Unforgotten.org." The campaign hashtag is #Unforgotten.

    Mannequins have been effectively deployed in recent PSAs about the homeless and people with disabilities. The figures created for "The Unforgotten," while similar to mannequins, achieve a haunting, visceral presence owing to their level of personalization. The absent faces remind us that human beings lost their lives—clothing and artifacts are all that remain.

    Tilford believes these surreal specters transcend blood-soaked category clichés, and refutes the idea that the approach might be a tad too abstract or esoteric.

    "While the memorial statues were artistically designed, they went far beyond being 'artsy,' " he says. "How do we inspire real change? What if we could bring some of the victims back to tell their stories? That's what we did. We did something different."

    CREDITS
    Client: Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
    Agency: FCB Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    Group Creative Director: Chuck Rudnick
    Art Director: Jordan Sparrow
    Executive Creative Producer: John Bleeden
    Creative Producer: Rachel Chapman
    Film Director: Ben Flaherty
    Account Supervisor: Ky Anderson
    Group Management Director: Karyn Kerner
    Senior Strategic Planner: Hayet Rida
    Director Experience Planning: Katie Swindler

    PR Agency: Current - Lifestyle Marketing and Public Relations
    President: Virginia Devlin
    Vice President: Alexis Valenti

    Production Company: Lord + Thomas
    Executive Producer: Katie Roach
    Executive Producer: Jared Stachowitz
    Senior Editor: Steve Immer
    Copywriter: Anthony Williams
    Group Creative Director: Derek Sherman
    John Skibicki: Lead Developer

    Experiential Agency: FCBX
    Management Director: Marty Kane


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    Showing crazy trick shots is a pretty good way of getting viral video views, as we've seen in branded efforts from Wheaties (bowling), McDonald's (soccer)—and of course, that old, fake-as-hell Michael Jordan and Larry Bird ad "Nothing But Net."

    Now there's a new kid in town, Peter Bamforth—a YouTuber who makes "videos about anything and everything." But he's particularly adept at trick shots. His "EPIC Ping Pong Trick Shots" video from 2011 got 300,000 views.

    And now, he's returned with more trick shots—starring Oreo cookies.

    It's a pretty impressive feat, not only because of the level of inventiveness in materials, but also for the patience this kid must have. Check it out below.



    Bamforth tweeted his creation at Oreo, which congratulated him—and then linked to one of its own trick-shot Vines from 2013.


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    Toyota wants you to know it has a car that literally runs on bullshit.

    This new ad for the automaker's Mirai fuel cell vehicle features an engineer visiting a dairy farm, loading a pickup bed with cow manure, taking it to be processed into hydrogen and using it to power a ride.

    Directed by Morgan Spurlock, the ad is the first in a series titled "Fueled by Everything." Created by Droga5, the campaign hopes to persuade consumers that hydrogen cars are a viable alternative to internal combustion engines, despite a skeptical marketplace—hence the ad's mix of folksy and defensive. (Ron the farmer's cool demeanor casts doubt on his sincerity at moments, but there are some real action shots of heifers unloading.)



    A small number of Mirais go on sale in California this fall, and Toyota's tack is to point out the abundance of fuel—not just crap, but also sunlight, wind and more—presumably in part because a leading criticism of the technology is the shortage of hydrogen stations. One doesn't follow the other, but Toyota is working with other car makers to develop infrastructure in the Golden State.

    It's not clear though, whether drivers will be able to bring their own manure.


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    Do the Spanish have a tough time pronouncing "Ogilvy & Mather." Apparently so, judging from this comical video series from the agency's Spain operation—aimed at getting people to pronounce the agency's name "like a lord."

    Along the way, we get a little bit of Ogilvy history and one unexpectedly swift kick in the balls. There's also a website, ogilvyandwhat.es. A funny and peculiar campaign, indeed. See, your work isn't over when you get that Induction Box.

    Via Ads of the World.


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    Activision unleashed its live-action trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 today. And it's a typically impressive production from 72andSunny—a documentary-style look at a world decades from now in which humans have used technology to fully optimize our physical selves (including weaponizing our very bodies) but are starting to lose our souls in the process.

    There are some notable differences, though, from past Call of Duty campaigns.

    First off, there's no celebrity anchoring the proceedings. This is somewhat rare. Past Black Ops ads have featured Jimmy Kimmel,Kobe Bryant and Oliver North. And the larger Call of Duty advertising canon has starred everyone from Megan Fox and Jonah Hill to Robert Downey Jr. and, last year, Kevin Spacey.

    But perhaps even more notably, Activision fell in love this time with a new platform—Snapchat—to rile up Black Ops fans and get them to contribute to the marketing of the game they love, leading up to this new trailer.

    First, have a look at the live-action trailer, released today. It follows the ever-escalating technological improvements to human performance. And it asks how far is too far—and if we will lose our humanity along the way:



    Now, let's step back and look at the Snapchat campaign from early April, developed by Edelman Digital and AKQA along with game developer Treyarch. The campaign involved going into the software and updating the maps for Black Ops 2, which was released two years ago, to hide the Snapchat ghost symbol in various places in those worlds.

    Black Ops 2 players immediately noticed the software update, of course, and within a matter of hours they began to find the Snapcodes—which opened short, distressing video clips. The meaning of the clips was never explained, and they didn't mention Black Ops 3—but the gamers quickly began speculating about whether they were indeed a teaser for just that.

    Here's video of the first major YouTuber to discover the in-game Snapchat tags:



    This is the first time Activision has planted Easter eggs in an existing game to tease an upcoming game. And Tim Ellis, chief marketing officer at Activision, tells Adweek that Snapchat was an almost perfect vehicle through which to do that, particularly for this title.

    "It's a game that is all about being cryptic, secretive and morally ambiguous. And the way in which we revealed this speaks to those qualities," he said. "We all know Snapchat is the fastest-growing app in the social space. It's also one of the dark socials. For a game that's all about covert, dark, non-traceable, cryptic messages, Snapchat was a great fit tonally. It's a great marriage of media and message."

    Here's a YouTuber who grabbed the Snapchat videos and cut them into a Call of Duty video:



    It didn't hurt, of course, that Snapchat's main demo—like Call of Duty's—is young males, and that Snapchat delivers roughly 200 million monthly average users.

    No money changed hands. Unlike some paid Snapchat campaigns, this one was completely organic. And the results were impressive. Activision has increased its Snapchat follower count by more than 300,000 since the teaser campaign kicked off.

    "We were gaining two followers per second on day one," says Ellis.

    A few days after the Snapchat campaign broke, Activision confirmed Black Ops 3 with the official teaser trailer (see below), all of which set the stage for the live-action piece.



    The campaign continues this Sunday with the big unveiling of the gameplay trailer, created by Ant Farm.

    As a whole, the campaign clearly turns the marketing process into a game itself for the audience, serving as an homage to hard-core fans while also using them to keep the franchise growing. "With a young male player base, it's always important for us to be progressive and use surprise and delight tactics whenever possible, says Ellis.

    As for the lack of celebrities, well, maybe that will change as the expected late-2015 release date for the game gets closer. Says Ellis: "You can be sure there will be lots more surprises along the way."

    CREDITS
    Client: Activision
    Game: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
    Spot: "Ember"
    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Executive Officer: John Boiler
    Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Chief Strategy Officer: Matt Jarvis
    Executive Creative Director: Frank Hahn
    Creative Director, Writer: Josh Fell
    Creative Director, Designer: Rey Andrade
    Lead Writer: Jed Cohen
    Sr. Writer: Kako Mendez
    Sr. Designer: Robbin Ingvarsson
    Strategy Director: John Graham
    Sr. Strategist: Daniel Teng
    Chief Production Officer: Tom Dunlap
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Executive Producer: Dan Ruth
    Producer: Shannon Worley
    Production Coordinator: Alissa Stevens
    Brand Director: Mike Parseghian
    Brand Director: Simon Hall
    Brand Manager: Brian Kim
    Brand Coordinator: Jack Young
    Business Affairs Director: Amy Jacobsen
    Business Affairs Director: Alex Lebosq
    Business Affairs Manager: Kelly Ventrelli
    Business Affairs Manager: Beau Thomason
    Business Affairs Manager: Casey Brown


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    Foot Locker is happy it can finally celebrate the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight—for real.

    Last fall, the shoe store released a commercial in which Pacquiao thought Mayweather had agreed to face him in the ring (when in reality, two guys he overheard at a gym were actually talking about a different wildly anticipated event … a sale at the retailer).

    But now, with details of the May 2 match finalized—both fighters were committed as of February after years of failed negotiations, though an 11th hour impasse between promoters wasn't resolved until Wednesday—Foot Locker is patting itself on the back for the old spot by running a new one, in which Pacquaio revisits the ups and downs of his false hope.



    The boxer gets credit for self-deprecating charm, even if the whole thing is like the Russian nesting dolls version of a Foot Locker commercial. And while he may be confused in the end, rest assured that—as a manager type explains—the fight is, in fact, really happening.

    That, even if the $90 pay per view price ($100 to watch the pros beat the crap out of each other in high definition) costs about the same as a pair of sneakers.

    Check out the 2014 spot here:



    CREDITS
    Client: Foot Locker

    Agency – BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide – David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer,  New York - Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director – Chris Beresford-Hill
    Executive Creative Director – Dan Lucey
    Copywriter – Mike Motch
    Art Director – Austin Mankey
    Director of Integrated Production – David Rolfe
    Executive Producer – Anthony Curti

    WW Senior Account Director - Troy Tarwater
    Account Director – Janelle Van Wonderen
    Account Manager – Nick Robbins
    Account Executive – Samuel Henderson

    Production Co – O Positive Films
    Director – Kenny Herzog
    Exec Producer – Ralph Laucella
    Exec Producer – Marc Grill
    Line Producer – Grayson Bithell
    Director of Photography – Marc Laliberte
    Editorial – MackCut
    Editor – Erik Laroi
    Executive Producer – Sasha Hirshfeld
    Assistant Editor – Patrick Blumer

    Sound – MackCut
    Sound Mixer – Sam Shaffer

    Online – Smigital
    Flame – Jim Hayhow
    Asst. Flame – Joseph Miller

    Color – Company 3
    Colorist – Tim Masick


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    Adland's trend toward weepy gratitude continues, just in time for Mother's Day, as Hallmark rolls out a series of videos from Leo Burnett in which people express love and appreciation for their moms.

    The ads are part of the brand's "Put Your Heart to Paper" campaign. Hallmark encourages its subjects—who are unaware their moms are watching in another room and will soon join them on camera—to express their deeper feelings beyond predictable phrases like "Thank you" and "I love you."

    This elicits some heartfelt, even impassioned responses.



    Alana, raised by a single mother and a new mom herself, says, "If I didn't have my mom, I think I would be lost." Emilio says of his mother Floridalma, "She taught me what it is to be a man and what to look for in the mother of my children."

    It's almost impossible not to be moved by this stuff. Which, of course, is the whole point. Still, the basic concept—thanking those you love—no matter how well intentioned or executed, feels tired, simply because it's been trotted out so much lately.

    Ogilvy's award-winning "Why Wait Until It's Too Late?" campaign for funeral insurance company Dela got things rolling. Other notable entries include MetLife's "Who Do You Live For?" spots from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and the recent "Thank List" initiative created for American Greetings by Mullen.

    With these mom-themed videos, Hallmark contributes a perfectly fine flight of tearjerkers to the category. At this point, however, I'm a little burned out on branded gratitude, and crying mostly because I wish the trend would stop.



    CREDITS
    Client: Hallmark
    Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: Susan Credle
    Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman
    Creative Directors: Mark Wegwerth, Christopher Cole
    Senior Art Director: Kate Sullivan
    Senior Copywriter: Adam Ferguson
    Head of Production: Vincent Geraghty
    Executive Producer: Tom Keramidas
    Senior Producer: Rena Dusenbury
    Business Manager: Anne Carbo
    Senior Talent Manager: Linda Yuen
    Music Supervisor: Chris Clark
    Music: Massive Music
    Managing Account Director: Karla Flannery
    Account Supervisor: Amy Walloch
    SVP Participation Strategy Director: Kevin Lilly
    Planning Director: AJ Livsey
    Production company: Chelsea
    Editorial company: White House Post
    Post Production Company: The Mill
    Director: Lauren Greenfield
    Head of Production: Adam Guliner
    Line Producer: Julianne Maloney
    Editor: David Cea
    Assistant Editor: Travis Hockswender
    Executive Producer: Kristin Branstetter
    Audio Mix: Erik Widmark
    Colorist: Luke Morrison


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    As brands continue to use popular YouTubers for ad campaign, Durex has found the perfect endorser with Hannah Witton—a vlogger whose non-branded content already includes plenty of talk about sex and relationships.

    Durex used the hashtag #DurexHannah to solicit questions from fans, which Witton—a 23-year-old British YouTuber with 120,000 followers—answers in the video below. Witton, who already counts a sex education series among her regular pursuits, had full editorial control, Durex says, choosing the products she wanted to feature in the video and doing the filming for the campaign herself.



    She also reveals a special discount code for Durex products in the video. The campaign was devised by TMW Unlimited and assisted by ChannelFlip Media.


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    The Apple Watch is here, and with it come the first true commercials for the device. And they're less about the nitty-gritty of product features and more about how the watch will fit seamlessly into your life—and improve it in innumerable ways.

    Three grand 60-second spots rolled out on YouTube early Friday. They bear little resemblance to the early iPhone ads, in which Apple felt the need to give a product demo. Indeed, they're much more like more recent iPhone spots, offering montages of life scenes in which the device is seen offering immediate and seamless value to the user—making things like commerce, exercise and even love that much easier and more rewarding.



    The spots are themed that way, in fact. The first one is called "Rise," and it's all set in the early morning, as people are beginning their days—with help from the watch. (That's a really nice idea, by the way—setting a commercial in the morning to herald a new day for technology.) The other two ads are "Us" and "Up," focusing on the watch's impact on human connections and exercise.



    There are lots of product features on display—we see the watch do things like open hotel doors and get scanned by cash registers. (Funnily enough, one of the spots actually features—gasp—a QR code on the watch. Did Apple not get the memo about those?)

    But these glimpses of product features are somewhat problematic, as they tend to make the viewer want to decipher functionality in every scene—when some of the footage is clearly meant to be more atmospheric and less informational. (Also, frankly, it's tough in some of the scenes to see what's happening on the small watch face.)



    The ads are very nicely shot, though, and they cover a ton of ground. Which means you're likely to find some reason in these 180 seconds to want an Apple Watch for practical reasons—even if you don't already want one for emotional ones.


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