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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    If you're into beautifully spare design, follow Peechaya Burroughs on Instagram.

    The graphic designer and photographer, born in Thailand and now based in Sydney, Australia, says: "My photographs mainly consist of things that I create or manipulate by hand. Occasionally I use Photoshop when enhancing the idea and presentation of an image fits well. Driven by childhood memories and very much fascinated by children's imagination and their quirkiness, the direction of my photography is light, easy to approach with a little touch of everyday optimism."

    See more of her work below. Via Design Taxi.

    Click to enlarge.

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    Police brutality doesn't just affect its victims. It affects the moms of the cops who inflict it. And it's their responsibility to speak out against it, argues this hard-to-swallow new PSA.

    At the beginning of the one-minute clip, the hashtag appears: #AsAMotherSpeakOut. Viewers might naturally assume the grieving woman is the mother of an unarmed teen killed by a cop. But as the story progresses, it turns out she's actually the mother of the police officer who pulled the trigger.

    It's easy to imagine the knot of emotions a person might feel in such a scenario—sorrow and regret over the dead teenager; compassion and protectiveness toward her son; disgust with the violence he's perpetrated; shame for indirectly bringing it to bear on the world; and in the ad's key point, a moral obligation to decry it.

    Here, that denunciation takes the form of writing to a congressman, questioning the legal standard that defers to the police's perspective when they use lethal force (part of the Justice Department's reasoning in not prosecuting former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown).

    The general idea—that in the end, all the parties involved, and their families, suffer as a result of police brutality—is worth considering. But the ad's broader, well-intentioned purpose—calling on the public to participate in seeking a collective solution to a systemic problem—suffers to some degree at the hands of its own tricky execution, and the complexity of the issues at hand.

    Sure, the cop has a mother whom he loves—but his face as he decides to pull the trigger seems a picture of rage, more than anything else. And while the camera doesn't show the kid's final second (perhaps a subtle reference to the Brown case, or just the generally perceived difficulty in parsing the truth in many police shootings), it would take a particularly generous reading of the ad to find it suggesting that the cop saw a reasonable, immediate threat (something that, despite the circumstances of the Walter Scott shooting in South Carolina, the legal standard for police using deadly force on fleeing suspects requires).

    So, the PSA—created by Shape History, a creative studio for social impact—casts the cop as a clear-cut murderer, and asks sympathy for his mother, but falls short of her explicitly saying he's escaped justice due to a flawed system. Meanwhile, another generous reading might find the spot suggesting that the lethal force standard engenders a malicious-at-worst, careless-at-best, shoot-to-kill policing culture. But it fails to get into the details of how systemic issues might have fostered a tragic act of violence, and instead emphasizes dramatizing the act itself, and the remorse of the killer's mother—effectively lamenting an aspect of the aftermath that's generally overshadowed, as it should be, by greater focus on the greater injustice, the victim.

    Sadly, the real instances of police brutality—and the havoc they wreak on communities—are clear enough evidence that the system is flawed, already.

    Via Hello You Creatives.

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    Virtual reality is great for getting closer to things. And for so many young people, it doesn't get much better than getting close to celebrity athletes and superheroes.

    72andSunny's new Samsung campaign has plenty of both, thanks to the client's stable of star atheletes and its partnership with Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The centerpiece is a two-minute VR experience for the Galaxy S6 and Gear VR Headset in which you're placed dead center in the middle of a battle between the Avengers and Ultron robots.

    Adweek previewed the impressive VR experience last week. (It will be available for download later today at the Oculus Store.) Those without a Gear headset can still get an approximation of it, though. The YouTube video below was designed as a 360-degree experience—if you watch it on an Android device, you can move the phone around in all directions and see difference parts of the room as the action unfolds:

    For the 72andSunny creatives, it was a nice way to continue to experiment in the burgeoning VR space. "It's kind of like looking at a sculpture instead of looking at a photograph," partner and executive creative director Bryan Rowles said. "You have to make sure everything is moving and interesting at all times."

    The larger campaign, themed "We Are Greater Than I," is part of the Galaxy S6 launch globally and is built around the idea of teamwork. That's a theme for Samsung across its sports and entertainment projects, and it's a theme of The Avengers as well—thus, the partnership was nice conceptual fit.

    72andSunny also made two cinematic films for the campaign, in which four celebrity athletes and two superfans are recruited to be Avengers themselves. The athletes include official Samsung endorsers Lionel Messi, surfer John John Florence and cyclist Fabian Cancellara—as well as  Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (who isn't a Samsung athlete but who got the gig mostly because wears a Hulk Under Armour compression shirt under his football jersey).

    Check out those films here:

    "We didn't want the films to be dead ends," said Rowles. "That's where the virtual reality experience came about. You get to experience this campaign, not just watch a film about it."

    The third piece of the campaign extends to the real world, as Samsung is distributing 1,000 briefcases globally that will have a Galaxy S6 in it, plus the VR goggles with the Avengers VR experience preloaded on the phone.

    Many more people will see the films than experience the VR. But Jamie Park, head of experiential marketing at Samsung Mobile headquarters in South Korea, tells Adweek that even limited reach with the VR can have a remarkable effect.

    "We've seen a growing interest from studios around the additive experience VR can deliver to fan engagement," Park said. "We have been partnering with other brands to help create VR storytelling content, and you will continue to see more of that in the future. We believe that a single great experience can create an enormously positive impact that will help strengthen both brands and build long-term customer loyalty."

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    Stan Lee gets more than a bit part, for a change, in this great Audi tie-in to The Avengers, as he plays the part of the world's greatest cameo actor. It's a piece of pitch-perfect fan service tailor made for Marvel junkies who delight in wondering which cameo role Lee will play in every Marvel film. After all, as the Audi spot says, "When it comes to small roles, Stan Lee is the biggest."

    The video, by San Francisco agency MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER, is probably so on point because it's directed by a comic book junkie: Kevin Smith, who also has his own cameo role here as "Hockey Fan," an enthusiastic student at Stan Lee's Cameo School.

    In other words, Kevin Smith is directing Stan Lee directing Kevin Smith (specifically directing him to be a paperboy).

    The ad also features additional amusing cameos by Tara Reid, Michael Rooker, Jason Mewes and Lou Ferrigno. And the Audi S8 has its own cameo at the start and end of the short film. It's even credited.

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature the Audi R8, Audi TTS and Audi A3 Cabriolet as the automaker continues to be Tony Stark's car of choice. Even better, Audi is releasing exclusive footage from the movie online, bookended with Audi ads, of course. 

    Though the spot it great and has racked up 1 million views in two days, it doesn't tell us anything about Stan Lee's next appearance. Which leaves us with the breathless question: Which piece of insignificant dialogue will Stan Lee rattle off this time?

    And will he get to wear a jaunty hat?

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    Minute Maid and PFLAG Canada got viewers choked up this week. Apple rolled out some grand 60-second spots for the Apple Watch. Prudential South Africa told a remarkable tale about consistency. And a Russian insurance company hacked YouTube brilliantly for a sneaky message about road safety. Check out all the ads below, and vote for your favorite.

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    Every 20 seconds, a family in Sub-Saharan Africa loses a loved one to unsafe drinking water. Deutsch took that brutal fact and made a gorgeous, bittersweet campaign for the Water Is Life charity—getting Ethiopians to pose for their first family portraits, which could also be their last.

    Award-winning photographer Neil DaCosta took the photos. The print ads, each with a call to action, will run in Bloomberg, The Economist and Forbes, among other magazines.

    "Most people go into these rural areas of Ethiopia, snap a picture of the tribes and then leave," said Water Is Life president Kristine Bender. "This is the first time anyone has physically printed, framed and given them a family portrait. You could see the gratitude on their faces. Knowing we are making a difference by capturing an important moment in their life, the project's goal isn't just to give family portraits, it's to keep these families alive."

    More images and credits below.

    The portraits—click to enlarge:

    The print ads—click to enlarge:

    Client: Water Is Life
    President: Kristine Bender
    Email: kristine@waterislife.com
    Agency: Deutsch New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
    Executive Creative Director: Menno Kluin
    Creative Directors: Sam Shepherd, Frank Cartagena, Julia Neumann
    Art Director: Brittany Rivera
    Copywriter: Kevin Meagher
    Photographer: Neil DaCosta
    Design Director: Juan Carlos Pagan
    Designer: Brian Gartside
    Retoucher: James Cullinane
    Director of Integrated Media: Karen Benson
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
    Director of Digital Production: Suzanne Molinaro
    Asst. Digital Producer: Libby Carespodi
    Print Producer: Donald Odell
    Producer: Joe Pernice
    Post Producer: Francess Tom-­‐Sahr
    Senior Editor: Eric Grush
    Editor: Pete Slife, Marcus Land
    Digital Designer: Alex Miller
    Developer: Shane Akins

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    Twenty seconds into Opperman Weiss' new 90-second anthem spot for Chobani, it's clear something is amiss. A family in the countryside, caked in mud, trudges through fields, but Mom and Dad aren't talking. They're a farming family, but this isn't your typical farming-themed commercial, even though it opens with the almost clichéd amber waves of grain.

    "This is a modern American story," Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness told Adweek on Friday. "It's a family, and we don't know what happened with them. Something happened that involved the kids. And then they work through it as a family. And they come out of it stronger and better and closer."

    Here is the anthem spot:

    The point is, Chobani doesn't see a pretend world—the world of most yogurt commercials. It sees the real world. And when viewers see the authentic, real-life moments in the ads, they may be more inclined to believe the realness of the brand.

    It's an approach that almost turns Chobani into a lifestyle brand—if you buy the lifestyle here, you well may buy the products, too.

    The spot features an original song written for the brand by artist and producer Eef Barzelay, who also appears in the spot. The song's refrain is, "To love this life is to live it naturally." The tagline itself is "Love this life," and "it's the intersection between the brand and our products and the role they play in people's lives," says McGuinness.

    The 90-second anthem rolled out online Friday morning and will break in theaters Friday night before showings of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It will also run on TV during a number of show finales this month, supported by a pair of :30s featuring the same family.

    You can see those :30s here:

    "We kind of went from how our yogurt is made to how our yogurt makes you feel," McGuinness adds. That kind of lifestyle play wouldn't work for every food brand, but "we think we have the authentic credibility to play in this space," he adds.

    Chobani is also debuting new packaging to show the real ingredients inside each cup.

    Check out the print work and credits below.

    Client: Chobani
    Founder: Hamdi Ulukaya
    Chief Marketing and Brand Officer: Peter McGuinness
    Director of Brand Communications: Jessica Lauria
    Brand Manager: Danielle Palmer

    Agency: Opperman Weiss
    Art Director: Jeff Weiss
    Copywriter: Paul Opperman
    Executive Producer: Mark Johnston
    Managing Director: Julian Shiff

    Production company: RSA Films
    Director: Laurence Dunmore
    Executive Producer: Marjie Abrahams
    President: Jules Daly
    Line Producer: Michele Abbott
    DOP: Brendan Galvin

    Editorial: Bug Editorial
    Editor: Andre Betz
    Executive Producer: Caitlin Grady

    Music: Duotone
    Executive Producer: David Leinheardt
    Creative Director: Jack Livesey
    Producer: Giovanni Lobato
    Musical Talent: Eef Barzelay
    Songwriter: Paul Opperman

    Telecine: The Mill
    Head of Production: Sean Costelloe
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield

    Audio Post: Heard City
    Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
    Mixer: Cory Melious

    VFX: Blacksmith
    Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
    2D Lead: Daniel Morris
    2D Artist: Iwan Zwarts

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    No one wants to dwell on time spent in the bathroom, and toilet paper that's done its job well is easily—and best—forgotten.

    But Quilted Northern, a brand forever condemned to bathroom humor, is out with six new spots from Droga5 about the plight of those bathroom accoutrements fated to bear witness, over and over again, to the ill-made products of even the most banal human existence.

    There's "Daddy Gator," a reptilian ship captain—a child's toy—perpetually landlocked with his eyes fixed on the john. There's "Little Miss Puffytail," a porcelain rabbit with a similarly distasteful vantage, who wants nothing more than for someone to put her out of her misery. There's "Sir Froggy," the toilet paper holder, who's never flown anywhere, but boy are his arms—and eyes—tired.

    Perhaps the best is "Great Grandpa Thaddeus," whose noble visage some ungrateful and spiteful descendant has poised in a most undignified position overlooking the family throne. The "Birds" on the wallpaper are similarly doomed, save one that's been liberated by an even worse outcome. The sixth and last spot returns to child's play with "Conductor Randy," a figurine forgotten underneath the radiator—and a more unfortunate friend.

    Based on Quilted Northern's research that people only remember toilet paper when it doesn't work, the campaign's sales pitch—it's so good you'll forget it, but please keep it in mind because of these silly ads—borders on convoluted. But it works well enough, in the end, because they actually are pretty amusing and memorable.

    It is a bit surprising that the brand, though, opted against making a stand-in for the Charmin bear one of its tortured animals. Nobody, try as they might, can forget that guy.

    Client: Quilted Northern
    CMO: Douwe Bergsma
    General Manager, Tissue: Vivek Joshi
    Senior Brand Director: Jason Ippen
    Senior Brand Manager: Ann V Anderson
    Senior Marketing Director, Brand Center; Shari Neumann

    Campaign: Designed to be Forgotten

    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Creative Directors: David Gibson, Nathan Lennon, Mike Long, Alex Lea
    Art Director/Copywriters: Molly Jamison, Eric Dennis
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production Ben Davies
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Anders Hedberg
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Matt Springate
    Senior Strategist: Nick Maschmeyer
    Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
    General Manager/Head of Account Mgmt: Susie Nam
    Group Account Director: Brett Edgar
    Account Director: Michael Arani
    Account Manager: Jasmine Moesel

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Bennett Miller
    Executive Producer: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Shannon Jones
    Producer: Suzie Greene Tedesco
    DP: Adam Kimmel

    Editorial: Exile
    Editor: Conor O'Neill
    Assistant Editor: Rex Lowry
    Executive Producer:  CL Weaver
    Producer: Denice Hutton

    Post Production: Method NY/Atlanta
    Flame Artists: Mike Wardner, Glen Bennett, Jay Tilin
    Head of Production: Jennifer Hargreaves
    Producer: Natalia Wroble

    Music: Adelphoi ("Daddy Gator," "Great Grandpa Thaddeus," "Sir Froggy," "Conductor Randy" Adelphoi, "Birds")
    Composers: Jamie Masters, Andrew Sherriff, Ashley Bates, Stephen Patman
    Producers: Jonathan Watts, Lotte Bowser

    Music: Manners McDade ("Little Miss Puffytail")

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    "You save a dog. A dog saves you."

    That's the poignant message of "First Days Out," a four-minute online film for Pedigree by Almap BBDO in Brazil that follows Joey and Matt, two former inmates who begin to turn their lives around after they adopt rescue dogs.

    Joey, who served 12 years for armed robbery, finds the world transformed, and in some ways unrecognizable, after his release. At first he's alone, confused and frightened about his future, but a trip to the pound changes everything.

    "Having a dog with me in this house was so much better," he says. "Sadie became my family." Soon, he's training kennel dogs for adoption.

    Matt, who served two years for burglary, is initially estranged from his father and reluctant to connect with others. At one point, he draws a heartbreaking parallel between his own life (inside and out of prison) and the lives of the dogs in the animal shelter: "They all looked kind of sad, just like I was—just caged in." After adopting Jeanie, he feels as if his "future's bright again," and he starts going on job interviews and brings the dog to meet his dad.

    The immensely moving documentary, directed in a relaxed, naturalist style by Ricardo Mehedff via Hungry Man, is part of Pedigree's new "Feed the Good" campaign, its first global push in several years.

    "By nourishing the lovable innocence in every dog, Pedigree helps feed the good they bring to the world," explains Leonid Sudakov, CMO of Mars Global Petcare.

    That same theme informs all campaign elements, which include TV, print, online, in-store and social media. Of course, interpretations will vary. For example, a 30-second spot by Colenso BBDO in Australia, titled "Good Fight," feels more like a typical "commercial" than "First Days Out." Still, its quirky take on an a street fight about to happen is far from typical pet-food ad fare.

    We chatted about "First Day Out" with Mehedff and his brother Alex, who produced it.

    AdFreak: "First Day Out" sort of takes the "cute puppy" commercial in a fresh, more meaningful direction. Can you speak to that a bit?
    Alex: Advertising is moving into this new territory of content storytelling. A more emotional engagement. With this in mind, we need to approach the narrative of the film differently. The creative [idea] behind this film is just brilliant. That moved us in a big way to get involved and tell a moving story.

    Anytime you move away from the "typical" creatively—and hats off to the agency for this brilliant idea—it becomes a golden strategy. We're happy to have been able to deliver up to par with the idea. We hope it will move people, engage emotionally with the audience … and place the brand in a very special place.

    Take me through the process of putting the project together.
    Alex: The process is just deep character research, where you cast real people and see what they can bring to the story. You definitely need a couple of weeks. If you rush this phase, you're dead in the water.

    Ricardo: We started nationwide, and were able to get many candidates. Some were inmates who had participated in dog training programs while in prison. This is how we found Joey. He'd done 12 years, and in the last four, he got into the dog training program that, in his owns words, changed his life. When he got out, he was truly alone, and since he spoke so well about dogs, Pedigree helped him adopt a dog for himself. And the incredible thing is, you could really see the change in his spirit and mood. Sadie really brought a smile to his face. The job he got as a dog trainer was directly related to his experience in the dog training programs in prison.

    Matt never had any contact with dog training programs in prison. He was just a kid going through a rough patch with his father and having a hard time getting adjusted to life on the outside. Pedigree suggested that he adopt a dog and see what would happen.

    What were the biggest challenges in making the film?
    Ricardo: We found many other good characters in our research, but were limited to only shooting two of them. Then, shooting in a way that could capture the emotion and truth of their stories and experiences. I found that the best way to do this was to shoot them in the most naturalistic way, with as little interference as possible.

    What surprised you most?
    Ricardo: How the dogs really helped these guys. I thought it would be strong, but their connections were really intense.

    From the first day I met Joey, he was always a very serious, soft-spoken guy. He was really nice, but very quiet. Almost never smiled. Sometimes I would kindly ask him to smile, but it just didn't look right. The moment he adopted Sadie, he became a different person, a natural smile formed. This guy truly loves dogs. And his facial expressions show this.

    It must be tough not to make this kind of material seem overly manipulative.
    Ricardo: That was my goal in making this film. I have a strong background in documentary filmmaking, having worked closely with Eduardo Coutinho, one of the most important doc filmmakers in Brazilian cinema. I direct and edit my films, so that really helps in the storytelling process. As I'm directing, I'm usually editing the film in my head.

    This film was about capturing the magic that occurs between man and dog. I knew this magic exists. I just wanted to shoot it in a way that was non-invasive and let their relationship flourish and grow naturally.

    Advertiser: Mars
    Agency: AlmapBBDO
    Title: "First Days Out"
    Product: Pedigree
    General Director, Creation: Luiz Sanches
    Executive Directors, Creation: Bruno Prosperi, Renato Simões
    Creation Director: André Gola, Pernil
    Digital Creative Director: Luciana Haguiara
    Creation: Pernil, André Gola, Fabio Cerdeira,  André Sallowicz,  Felipe Cirino, André Leotta
    RTVC: Vera Jacinto, Ana Paula Casagrande, Diego Villas Bôas
    Producer: Hungry Man
    Managing Partner: Alex Mehedff
    Executive Producers: Rodrigo Castello, Renata Corrêa
    Direction: Ricardo Mehedff
    Photography: Grant Weiss, Mike Alex, Ricardo Mehedff
    Line Producer: Mariana Barbiellini
    Track: Big Foote
     Editor: Ricardo Mehedff
    Postproduction Supervisor: Rodrigo Oliveira
    Finishing: Great Studio
    Color Grading: Psycho N'Look
    Assistance: Fernanda Antonelli, Pedro Fragata, Samantha Kechichian, José Maria Fafe
    Planning: Cintia Gonçalves, João Gabriel, Daniel Machado, Augusto Veríssimo, Marília Rodrigues
    Media: Flávio de Pauw, Brian Crotty, Fábio Cruz, Juliana Melo, Carolina Pimentel
    Digital Media: Kaue Cury, Livia Novaes, Rogério Beraldo
    Business Director: Rodrigo Andrade
    Approval: Leonid Sudakov, Marina Sachs, Oduvaldo Viana, Fernando Manoel

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    It's about time someone lightened the mood around those controversial Protein World ads in England. And of course it's Carlsberg that's done so—spoofing the campaign with a topical ad that suggests an alternative to being "beach body ready."

    "You don't need #ProbablyTheBest body to enjoy a beer on the beach, or in your local pub. Budgie smugglers optional," the brewer said in tweeting out the image above (and using a colloquialism that refers to Speedo-style swimming trunks.)

    Carlsberg even appears to have gone the extra mile by posting its version of the ad next to the Protein World ads in the London Underground.

    In the meantime, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has said the Protein World campaign will be taken down as the ad watchdog investigates whether it should be banned for good. A decision is expected in a matter of days.

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    The marketing department at USA Network must have been worried people would think the lead character of its new hacker drama was pro-establishment—because the posters for the show, Mr. Robot, are anything but subtle.

    "F*ck Wall St.," "F*ck Social Media, "F*ck Society" and "F*ck the System" reads pretty much the only copy in four blustery ads that can't but evoke FCUK, except that the guy in the images, actor Rami Malek, is wearing the Mark Zuckerberg anti-fashion uniform of a hoodie (even though it turns out Facebook is now, apparently, officially The Man).

    USA deserves credit for not mincing words, and speaking truth to power, especially about the whole finance thing, given the sorry state of affairs—parent company NBCU's parent company Comcast has a market cap of only $149 billion. But at least in the trailer, there seems to be some grand Robin Hood caper brewing, toward the mass redistribution of wealth. (If the plebes can't have it in real life, they might as well get it in their fiction.)

    It was probably inevitable that someone would make a TV series about a good-looking, bad-boy hacker with a heart of gold, because everyone knows hacking is about being a revolutionary—not about old rich white men transferring their money to young white men who use it to fund fanciful whims that every once in a while turn out to be viable businesses.

    But in all seriousness, the show looks like it might actually have some potential—Christian Slater plays some lord of the digital underworld—so long as it doesn't include any mega virus monsters that infiltrate digital air conditioners to release a neuro gas.

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    It's become conventional wisdom that Photoshopping of models creates an impossible standard of beauty. But one retoucher seems inclined to vindicate the process somewhat by peeling back the curtain on what really goes into it.

    Rare Digital Art, a firm that's worked with top fashion magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair and brands like Intermix and Yves St. Laurent, has created three 90-second time-lapse videos to show the painstaking work required to digitally polish a portrait.

    The first video is arguably the most dramatic, purporting to capture six hours of retouching. Watch as Elizabeth Moss, Rare's founder, transforms the model bit by bit, making over her hair, skin, nails, fingers, nails, lips—even straightening her teeth. In the second—covering four hours of work—Moss thickens the model's hairline, and lightens her eyes (a fate spared the first subject, but only because she was wearing a blindfold). In the third, a mere hour and a half compressed, the model gets a new shape for her face.

    The clips make for an impressive display of craft and a clever, lean-in sales pitch for a service that, right or wrong, is tangentially vilified by the popular narrative about positive body image (on which even large consumer brands like Dove are eager to capitalize). Moss tells PetaPixel she made them because "the quality of the other before-and-after retouching videos available online are pretty terrible and not at all representative of what is typically done on high-fashion editorials and campaigns."

    She adds: "With all the talk about Photoshop use or overuse, I thought it would be interesting for people to see how we actually add pores to skin (we do this in the second and third videos, sampled from the girl in the first video)."

    On one hand, it's a little thin to play off what's essentially an ad for her company as if it's a public-service announcement in defense of the profession. Adding what might be considered slight imperfections to an image in pursuit of making the whole a more emotionally manipulative facsimile of a real human doesn't exactly address the core criticism lobbed at excessive retouching—that, in the end, it distorts audiences' perceptions of themselves, and undermines self-esteem by showcasing ideals that don't reflect reality. (Then again, when do they ever?)

    At the same time, probably by design, much of the work here seems harmless. Who, other than craftspeople, cares if the creatives change the hairstyle, lighting and lipstick color in postproduction rather than in camera? Other aspects do seem more bizarre. Is it really necessary to narrow the third model's cheeks so she looks more gaunt?

    The answer, obviously, is somewhat subjective, and almost irrelevant. Even if it's worth questioning who gets to make the decisions about what defines beauty, and to challenge them with alternates, those decisions aren't about representations of truth. They're about selling fashion products, or selling magazines that are vehicles to sell fashion products.

    Even if more and more people acknowledge that, and view media through that filter, appealing to vanity and base desire still seems like a pretty good way to make a buck.

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    A high-tech house proves to be far from a "smart home" when two burglars arrive in "Welcome," the latest amusing spot from Tribal DDB in Amsterdam for insurance company Centraal Beheer. The long-running comic campaign is tagged "Just call Apeldoorn," the Dutch city where the client is located.

    This minute-long ad is more subtle than previous installments like "Speedboat" and "Self-Driving Car," which relied heavily on slapstick and noisy effects to deliver the message. Still, one key theme—technophobia—is carried over from past work, and once again viewers are promised a nasty future shock if we don't take proper precautions (like buying insurance from Centraal Beheer).

    The humor is pleasantly subdued, and the perfectly paced build-up puts us slightly off balance until the satisfying payoff (not payout, however, unless you have Centraal Beheer).

    You've gotta love those final scenes, with a cocksure, sweaty Silicon Valley-type hyping his home-control gizmo in a packed auditorium. Good luck with that IPO, Einstein!

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    You've dreamed about it. But Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger are doing it.

    After a decade in advertising, the South African couple—inspired by a talk by Stefan Sagmeister—recently quit their agency jobs and hit the road for an epic adventure. They're traveling the world for a year and documenting the experience. But this isn't some Lost in America-style escape plan. The How Far From Home project is intended to be a grand creative exercise that will hopefully recharge their batteries.

    You can follow the project on their blog,Instagram,Twitter,Pinterest, and Vine. We spoke to Cartell and Dirnberger via email about how they got started and where they're headed.

    What was your advertising background? Did you both have agency jobs?
    Yes, we were both in advertising at the time of departure. Steve worked at Joe Public (in our opinion, the best [above-the-line] agency in South Africa) as an art director, and Chanel was the creative director at Cerebra, the best social business agency in Africa (we would argue). We were basically at the top of our game, at the best agencies South Africa had to offer. It didn't get better than Joe Public and Cerebra, and after a combined stint of 15 years in advertising and marketing, we felt we needed a change, and to re-energise our creativity.

    0 kilometers // Johannesburg // South Africa

    Did you reach a breaking point where you knew you had to quit?
    We wouldn't call it a breaking point, but after nearly a decade in the industry, your feet start to itch (not literally, of course). We were both lucky enough to attend the 2014 Design Indaba in February last year. We went to (the godfather of creative sabbaticals) Stefan Sagmeister's talk, and it was after hearing his theory of "time off" that we knew it was what both our creative minds needed. On a scale of 1 to 10, Stefan rates taking a creative sabbatical as a 12. Every seven years, Stefan closes his New York design studio for 365 days to pursue "little experiments" that are difficult to complete while working full time.

    After hearing his talk, and knowing that we couldn't spend the next 30 years simply doing the same thing every day, we made a conscious decision to spend the next year saving every last cent, so we could also enjoy time off to pursue our own experiments, and not live how society says we should. We wanted to challenge ourselves to see how we could excel creatively, and what better time to do that, then right now?

    As neither of us had traveled extensively before, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to sponge other cultures, experiences, languages and people, while taking a year to experiment and create. We'd always dreamed of doing strange things like sleeping in igloos, fishing in Alaska (more Steve than Chanel :), and visiting designer cities like Berlin and Copenhagen. With enough savings and smart research, we could travel and experiment simultaneously.

    6,292 kilometers // Abu Dhabi // United Arab Emirates

    How did Up by Jawbone get involved as your sponsor?
    A friend of Chanel's imports the product into South Africa, and after hearing about the journey and our focus on creative challenges, he offered us each a band and challenged us to live the #GetUp way (10,000 steps and eight hours of sleep a day). We accepted the challenge, and are completely ecstatic to promote the product in any way we can. It aligns to the How Far From Home vision of staying healthy and creatively stimulated, so it was the perfect partnership.

    Can you tell me what expenses they're covering?
    As the sponsorship is only a challenge with no set contract or promotion, no expenses are covered by them and no content is obligatory. We received the Up bands for free, and promote the brand when we feel inclined to do so, and when it aligns to a content idea.

    8,365 kilometers // Salzburg // Austria

    You wanted see "how far from home" you could get, figuratively speaking. Is this to challenge yourselves again and reignite your passion for life and work?
    Yes, absolutely. The How Far From Home concept is a literal one (to see how far we can get from Johannesburg) as well as a figurative one (to see how far we can push ourselves creatively, and challenge ourselves daily). We dreamt of a journey that allowed us to live outside of the comfort zone, and would give us the opportunity to say "yes" to a whole bunch of crazy cool experiences, while fueling our creative needs. Life at home was very comfortable—friends, family, amazing jobs, shiny cars, a beautiful home—we wanted something that would shake it up a little.

    8,678 kilometers // Vienna // Austria

    In what sense is this a "creative" trip, and how can people follow along and contribute to the creative project?
    Being two creatives, our need to create is strong. When we're not cramming kilometers in busy cities, we're finding every opportunity to experiment, brainstorm and create. Steve loves to illustrate, Chanel is design obsessed, and we both love photography. With the blog, we're experimenting with creative writing, and sticking to our 7-to-9 schedule, we're left with plenty of time to brainstorm projects.

    We encourage the community to send us challenges and give us things to do. So far, the challenges we've received have been purely travel-related, but creative challenges would be golden. Since we began our journey, we've shifted from seeing ourselves as ex-advertisers, to problem seekers and content creators. No challenge is too big, and we're hungry to brainstorm and create, no matter who the challenge comes from.

    9,245 kilometers // Untersberg // Austria

    You have 63 items on your "Wanderlist." Do you want to cross all of them off by the end?
    Our Wanderlist is currently sitting on 63, and we've recently received a ton more from our community (which we are sifting through to add soon). As challenges come in, we'll keep adding them. Although we know the trip has to end sometime, we want to see how long we can keep going for. Financially, we don't think we'll be able to afford to do all 63 this year (and the rest that have come in from the community), so we'll try squeeze in as many as we can, and maybe "take a break" to work for a bit to make the rest happen. If finances weren't an issue, we would absolutely do all 63 (and more).

    10,027 kilometers // Berlin // Germany

    What do you think you'll do after it's all over? Head back to advertising?
    We have only planned until the end of December 2015. After that, who knows? We might decide to catch the next flight to see where we end up. We like that it's unknown, and we'll let it be another challenge we have to solve then :)

    11,185 kilometers // Oslo // Norway

    Via Design Taxi.

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    As the world oohs and ahhs over Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, Oreo is here to remind you that all babies are special, whether or not they're born into royalty. A nice message from The Martin Agency to the one demographic that can't even chew solid food.

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    Most food brands prefer their family advertising to be wholesome, hopefully mirroring the product, and leave the quirkiness to candy brands on a sugar high. But Droga5's first campaign for Johnsonville upends that tradition—with ads that celebrate family in its most comically unusual forms.

    Among the oddball characters we meet in four new spots are a mobster neighbor; a grandmother who's actually a male drifter; and the most amusing man-child we've seen in a while. The point is that Johnsonville sausage brings people together and makes them family, whether they are or not.

    The casting and acting have to be top notch in a campaign like this. And for the most part, they are—the man-child is a high point in particular. (The mobster is my least favorite of the bunch.) The tagline is, "We don't make sausage. We make family. And sausage."

    The spots are timed to the beginning of summer grilling season, but the client wanted the message to go well beyond that—indeed, the desire to branch out and highlight its other sausage products led to the creative approach.

    The goal was to "translate the emotional connection and passion our consumers have for our brand and from grilling brats, and build awareness for Johnsonville beyond brats," says Fabian Pereira, vp of marketing for Johnsonville.

    "Johnsonville owns grilling, and that's great, but they also have a lot more to offer. Or at least a lot more sausage to offer," says Scott Bell, group creative director of Droga5. "We needed an idea that could just as easily talk about making pasta with Italian sausage or brunch with breakfast sausage. That's how we landed on the idea that when you're sharing Johnsonville, you're family. It doesn't matter if you're sharing brats at a tailgate or sharing a meal at Sunday night dinner, that act of sharing sausage forges a bond. A bond we refer to as sausage family."

    Bell adds: "Homer Simpson said it best when he said, 'You don't make friends with salad.' We think he'd agree that you can do better than just make friends with sausage. You can make family."

    Johnsonville is also planning some other fun stuff for the year, including a Brat Signal app and a "Bratfast in Bed" Father's Day campaign that encourages families to surprise Dad in bed with sausage and beer.

    Client: Johnsonville
    Vice President, Marketing: Fabian Pereira
    Group Marketing Director: Jim Mueller
    Group Marketing Director: Ryan Pociask
    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Scott Bell
    Senior Copywriter: Ryan Raab
    Senior Art Director: Dan Kenneally
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Jesse Brihn
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan
    Senior Strategist: Nick Maschmeyer
    Senior Strategist: Candice Chen
    Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen
    Group Account Director: Dan Gonda
    Account Director: Chris Einhauser
    Account Manager: Kate Tyler Monroe
    Production Company (Live Action Shoot): Arts & Sciences
    Director: Matt Aselton
    DOP: Corey Walter
    Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
    Managing Director: Mal Ward
    Producer: Zoe Odlum
    Production Company (Food Shoot): Schrom
    Director: Michael Schrom
    DOP: Michael Schrom
    Executive Producer: Carl Sturges
    Production Supervisor: Andrew Greenberg
    Food Stylist: Rick Ellis
    Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
    Editor (Family Favors, Misunderstood, Grandma): Ian Mackenzie
    Editor (Stay At Home Son): Nick Divers
    Assistant Editor: Mike Leuis
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Producer: Biz Lynskey
    Postproduction: The Mill
    Executive Producer: Jeremy Moore
    Producer: Andrew Hamill
    Lead Flame Artist: Ilia Mokhtareizadeh
    Flame Artist: Brandon Danowski
    Flame Artist: Emily Bloom
    Sound: Mackenzie Cutler
    Mixer: Sam Shaffer, Marc Healy

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    Seeing ultrasound images is a special part of most pregnancies, but women who are blind, of course, don't get that experience. So, Huggies Brazil approximated it for one visually impaired woman by 3-D printing a sculpture of her unborn child that she could touch.

    Ad agency Mood worked on the project with 3-D printing firm The Goodfellas.

    "As a brand, Huggies considers each moment of this new phase in the lives of many women—the maternal role," says Priya Patel, birector of baby care at Kimberly-Clark Brazil. "Huggies believes that such protective embrace and bond help babies grow up happy."

    Client: Kimberly-Clark / Huggies
    Agency: Mood
    Creative VP: Valdir Bianchi
    Head of Digital: André Felix
    Creative Director: Bruno Brasileiro, Felipe Munhoz, and Rafael Gonzaga
    Creation: André Felix, Bruno Brasileiro, Felipe Munhoz, Rafael Gonzaga, and Ricardo "Brad" Correia
    Artbuyer: Rita Teofilo and Thiago Campos
    Project Manager: Rafael Coelho
    Client Services: Fabio Meneghati and Andrei Sanches  
    Digital Media: Mariana Costa and Sabrina Titto
    Planning: Daniel Rios and Rafael Martins
    3D Production: the goodfellas
    Graphic Production: Julio Coralli and Dayane Souza
    Post-production: Byanca Melo 
    Photographer: Lucas Tintori, Rodrigo Westphal Galego, and Fábio Kenji
    Soundtrack: Lua Nova - Conductor Fred Benuce
    Producer: La casa de la madre
    Stage Director: Jorge Brivilati
    Screenplay: André Castilho
    Client approval: Lizandra Bertoncini, Maria Eugênia Duca, Priya Patel, and Simone Simões
    Public Relations Agency: Edelman Significa and Giusti Comunicação

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    When Nike plunked down $305 million for a slightly down-at-the-heel Converse in 2003, it tasked David Maddocks with getting the brand back in the running. (He did, helping to increase sales sixfold.) And so two years ago, when the 87-year-old footwear brand Cole Haan needed a refresh, Maddocks wasn't surprised when his phone rang. After all, he was Converse's CMO when the brand was bought by Apax Partners, the same venture capital firm that bought Cole Haan from Nike. But while the two jobs have some similar elements, Cole Haan lacks a hipster, rock 'n' roll past. It does, however, have an American past, and Maddocks has pioneered a variety of ways to send that message—from launching a documentary called the American Dream Project to melding traditional looks with high-tech engineering in Cole Haan's ZeroGrand shoes. We caught up with footwear's turnaround man in his New York office.

    As recently as 2012, Cole Haan had a "made by the streets of New York" positioning—very downtown, very club-oriented, very young. You seem to be up to something quite different now.
    We want to make sure we're inviting everyone, young and old, to participate. We want to honor our heritage while moving into the future, and that doesn't exclude young, hip and edgy people—we have amazing products for them—but it also includes their boomer parents.

    With some marketing help from Giant Spoon, you guys recently released the American Dream Project, a documentary that hits the road to discover if the American Dream still exists. How does that theme fit with an upscale footwear company?
    The film was about how America is still a land of promise, and we share that belief. A brand needs to stand firmly for what it believes and put it out there. Brands have to engage in what I call media-ification.

    Meaning ... ?
    It means we're all going to become media channels. And the sooner and faster we do that, the better. Look back to 1951, a simple little greeting card company in Kansas City decides to underwrite a program consistent with their values that today is a network. So we all have to be thinking that way.

    Cole Haan got a lot of attention a few years ago with its funky LunarGrand shoes, and last year you launched ZeroGrand, which is even lighter and more flexible. I know they're comfy to wear, but what's the deal with a shoe that's an Oxford on top and a sneaker on the bottom, anyway?
    The casualization of American fashion has also been combined with the desire to dress up a bit more. It's really the combination of craft and style with modern engineering—an interesting and wonderful dichotomy. The consumer wants Grandpa's stuff, but they don't want it served up the way Grandpa had it. They want a bit of dash and exuberance, and we have the opportunity to give it to them.

    What's the hardest part of marketing a footwear brand?
    The barriers to entry are low. Therefore, the trick is to really understand consumers and find an original voice.

    Last month, Cole Haan rolled out a spring kids collection. Is the thinking there to broaden the revenue stream, or are you hoping to train a new generation of Cole Haan buyers?
    Every generation has made its way to Cole Haan, and it shows up in people's lives at a critical occasion—when they get married or the first job. When a brand is invited into someone's life, it's an amazing inflection point. So it only makes sense if a young person is taking their first steps, we should be there.

    Speaking of taking steps, do you test walk the product?
    They're on my feet right now. I wear them every single day. And because we make such a variety, we've got everyone covered from work to weekend.

    How many pairs of shoes do you have in your closet?
    About 150 pairs.

    Really? Converses included?
    I've got some great classic Converses. For Product Red, we did a mud-cloth shoe that was terrific. Those are coveted.

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    Audi Ireland has decided to directly address the stereotype that women are bad drivers in a Twitter campaign that aims to undermine that perception.

    The automaker last week posted a series of images that appeared to make fun of women drivers—including scenes of poorly parked cars and men in passenger seats looking terrified. The tweets were tagged #womendrivers.

    But the tweets also contained links, and it turned out they pointed to stories of women being real drivers in fields like technology, science and sports.

    It's an interesting idea, and a bit surprising that an automaker would even tackle an issue with such obvious pitfalls. The problem, as some have pointed out, is that you have to actually click on the links to realize Audi isn't just being negative and weird. (The automaker has been posting an explanatory video on Twitter, too, though of course it's easy to miss individual tweets.)

    So, is a campaign like this clever, or maybe not such a good idea after all?

    Agency: Atomic, Dublin. Via Design Taxi.

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    How much is that doggie on the billboard?

    Barley, the pixelated pooch in question, appears to follow shoppers around East London's Westfield Stratford mall in OgilvyOne's "Looking for You" campaign, designed to promote pet adoption for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

    A chip secretly placed in leaflets handed out to shoppers triggers the canine's capering, enabling him to follow the shoppers from one digital board to the next.

    "Battersea rehomes animals all over the U.K. and beyond, and this could help encourage people to choose to rescue a dog," says Carly Whyborn, head of operations at Battersea. "We're using innovative technology in a way that has never been seen before, and we hope more of our abandoned animals find loving homes because of it."

    OgilvyOne worked on the project with Framestore, RFIDiom and Exterion Media. The two-minute campaign video was produced by Creation Company Film.

    A couple of years back, the agency crafted a similar, much-praised digital outdoor campaign for British Airways. Called "The Magic of Flying," it featured billboards that showed a boy pointing at actual BA flights as they passed overhead. (The signs also disclosed flight numbers and destinations.)

    The Battersea concept is more basic, yet firmly on-brand, a simple high-tech tug at the heartstrings to remind Brits of the life-changing magic adopted pets can bring to their lives.

    Barley has already found a new owner, but Battersea and other rescue organizations have plenty of dogs and cats that would happily follow you home for real.


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