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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Diddy and his girlfriend Cassie Ventura basically have sex in this NSFW spot for his new fragrance, 3 AM. But he says it's actually not about sex—not really.

    "I think if people hear about the video, they're going to hear that it's racy and provocative, but I also think they're going to hear people say that it's beautiful," he tells Style.com."That whole interaction has nothing to do with sex as much as it has to do with love. My concept is that love is the new sexy."



    The minute-long video is essentially an extended, quick-cut seduction sequence. "I like this style of commercial," Diddy says. "I was brought up during that Calvin Klein time, and those sexy videos are part of what made me want to get into the fragrance industry. It was those types of ads."

    The rapper and entrepreneur will roll out the fragrance at Macy's, but the retailer apparently wasn't thrilled with the racy promo—and has demanded a toned-down version to play in stores, says Page Six.


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    What is the future of smartphones? Well, for one thing, they will reside inside your skull, not in your hand. And when they malfunction, your whole body will hiccup and crash—and you'll need to head to the doctor for an upgrade.

    At least, that's the reality in this parody iPhone 7 ad from Noka Films.



    "Upgrade is a story of a young woman who is experiencing an embarrassing malfunction with her older model of the iPhone and is desperately seeking an upgrade," the filmmakers say. "iPhones and similar smartphones are now an integral part of our modern life, and in a way, beginning to alter who we are. To ridicule our addiction to our smartphones, we played out a world where this technological evolution may one day take over us."

    The idea of an iPhone implanted directly in your mind is "not so far from the truth," they add, considering the "underlying strangeness of today's world of marketing, innovation, and increasingly virtual reality."


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    We've seen a few different Tinder hacks from marketers, but here's an interesting one that gets at the heart of the dark side of relationships.

    An organization called Women in Distress created fake profiles on the popular dating app for three different "abusers." As users swiped through their photo albums, the guys went from nice to nasty, eventually going to far as to throw a punch.

    The Bravo/Y&R creatives "liked" every woman's profile they encountered in the first four weeks, so even if a woman simply liked the man's photo without seeing his whole album, she was prompted to look at the album when the "match" chat window opened.



    The point, says ad agency Bravo/Y&R, is that even nice guys can become violent fast, and that women need to "look for help at the first sign of things turning ugly."

    There are certainly a few problems with the execution. The guys look a little cartoonish in the images. Plus, the whole thing is a bit spammy—and the lack of a trigger warning might be problematic. Still, it's well intentioned and might get Tinder users thinking about what they really want out of a relationship.



    CREDITS
    Client: Women In Distress
    Project: Tinder Beater
    Agency: Bravo/Y&R, Miami
    Chief Creative Officer: Claudio Lima
    Art Director: Gabriel Jardim
    Photographer: Mauricio Candela
    Motion: Fernando Lancas


    0 0

    Hallmark's "Put Your Heart to Paper" campaign featured interviews with people who didn't know their moms were watching. Now, Tempur-Pedic has hit it big with the opposite—interviews with moms who didn't know their kids were watching, and didn't know they were about to get a very nice surprise.

    It's not tied together as simply or as obviously as Hallmark's campaign, but this spot does a reasonable job of pointing out how little moms get to sleep, and showing some very happy moms lolling around on the product.



    RPA made the ad, which tries to tell moms, "You're important. Sleep like it." And it's actually based on some pretty interesting research. In a Tempur-Pedic survey of 1,000 moms, 87 percent of them said they're kept up at night by family concerns, finances, jobs and wondering if little Timmy is going to need braces.

    In case you were wondering what Mom really wants for Mother's Day, 40 percent of moms said waking up from a good night's sleep and spending a whole day with their families, while another 30 percent said they'd prefer to sleep late and enjoy breakfast in bed.

    So, if your mom is having sleepless nights, consider getting her a bed for Mother's Day. It might not be the coolest or most affordable option, but it's still way better than a vacuum.

    CREDITS
    Client: Tempur Sealy
    Title: Moms: You're Important

    Agency: RPA
    EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    SVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
    VP, Creative Director: Alicia Dotter Marder
    Jr. Art Director: Dennis Haynes
    Jr. Copywriter: Megan Leinfelder
    VP, Director - Content: Mark Tripp
    VP, Director of Digital Production: Dave Brezinski
    Sr. Digital Producer: Ana Ponce
    Digital Production Coordinator: Kristin Varraveto

    EVP, Management Account Director: Tom Kirk
    VP, Account Director: Rebecca Mendelson
    Account Supervisor: Amanda de la Madriz
    Supervisor, Digital Content Strategy: Joanna Kennedy

    Production Co: Bö's House of Visual Arts
    Director: Mark Tripp
    DP: Stephen Carmona
    Producer: Tracy Chaplin
    Production Designer: Kristen Vallow

    Editorial: Butcher Post
    Editors: Teddy Gersten/Nick Pezzillo
    Assistant Editor: Amy Rosner
    Executive Producer: Rob Van
    Post Producer: Alexa Atkin
    Lead Flame Artist: Moody Glasgow
    Telecine Company: The Mill
    Artist: Adam Scott
    Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson

    Audio Post Company: Lime
    Audio Post Mixer: Dave Wagg

    Casting: Cornwell Casting
    Casting Directors: Jason Cornwell, Damon Collazo, Sandra Petko
    Casting Producer: Tina Eisner


    0 0

    Everyone loves a good long-copy print ad. And here's a clever one from FCB Lisbon for Harmony Condoms that stretches out the phrase "Oh my God" into an impressive 1,000-word sentence. The tagline: "Looong-lasting pleasure."

    Full ad below, via Adeevee.

    Click to enlarge.



    CREDITS
    Client: Harmony Condoms
    Agency: FCB Lisbon
    Creative Directors: Edson Athayde, Luis Silva Dias
    Art Director: Eduardo Tavares
    Copywriter: Viton Araújo


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    0 0

    Lately, Honda drivers have been going nowhere fast. And their strange travels have yielded some memorably unusual advertising.

    First, the automaker took us on a CR-V journey that wouldn't end. Now, in "Feeling," Wieden + Kennedy London radically slows down various Civics as they cruise through city and country. In this nearly frozen world, engineers attend to every conceivable aspect of the ride, from arranging raindrops, birds and butterflies outside the cars' windows to manipulating drivers' hands on the steering wheels and gear shifts.

    "One of the most important things for Honda engineers when designing a new car is that it feels great to drive," W+K's Max Batten tells Adweek. "We thought this would be a good story to tell for the Civic." Thematically, he adds, "this campaign is about linking the Civic to those split-second moments where driving can be so satisfying."



    Impeccably shot by Johnny Hardstaff via RSA Films, with impressive effects from MPC, the ad is initially disorienting, even a tad creepy. (Unhand me, engineer!) Still, it rewards repeat viewings with great details like a magnificent horse romping ridiculously s-l-o-o-o-l-y in a field beside one of the cars.

    "We wanted to create a world that draws the viewer in and rewards them for noticing all the details in the storytelling," says Batten. "The surreal quality is something we really liked."

    Production was no picnic. "It involved a huge amount of planning," Batten says. "All the action was shot in layers, which were combined at MPC. The frozen elements were created using a combination of slow-motion filming and CGI. The shots had to be incredibly precise, and Johnny did a fantastic job bringing it all together."

    Ultimately, "Feeling" and other recent Honda films like "Endless Road," "Illusions" and "The Other Side" follow the roadmap for offbeat, memorable excursions—something the brand established a dozen years ago with its trend-setting "Cog" commercial.

    "It's always good to shake things up, especially in a category that's rife with clichés," says Batten. "One of Honda's strengths is that they want to make work which stands out."

    CREDITS
    Client: Honda Europe
    Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
    Creative director: Scott Dungate
    Copywriters: Ben Shaffery, Max Batten
    Executive creative directors: Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth, Iain Tait
    Agency executive producer: Danielle Stewart
    Group account director: Nick Owen
    Account director: Alex Budenberg
    Account manager: Maria Kofoed
    Head of planning: Beth Bentley
    Planning director: Martin Beverly
    TV producer: Michelle Brough
    TV production assistant: Tom Dean
    Production company: RSA Films
    Director: Johnny Hardstaff
    Executive producer: Kai Hsiung
    Line producer: Annabel Ridley
    Director of photography: Martin Ruhe
    Editorial company: Work Post
    Editor: Art Jones
    VFX company: MPC
    VFX supervisors: Adam Crocker, Anthony Bloor
    Flame artist: Adam Crocker
    VFX producer: Dionne Archibald
    Lead 3D: Anthony Bloor
    Colorist: Jean¬Clément Soret
    Music and sound company: Nate Connolly, Mutant Jukebox
    Sound designer: Sam Ashwell
    Sound studio: 750mph
    Producers: Shervin Shaeri, Mutant Jukebox
    Mix company: 750mph
    Mixer: Sam Ashwell
    Producers: Sam Robinson, Mary-Ann D'Cruz


    0 0

    Coca-Cola isn't just a soft drink. It's an essential part of the human experience—the key to true happiness—says a grand new ad from the brand in Europe. So, suck up your laziness and bootstrap yourself some soda.

    The 70-second anthem by Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam (it's the office's first work for the brand) introduces a new theme, "Choose Happiness," and continues Coke's tradition of casting itself as synonymous with joy. But it takes a more aggressive tone than usual. Not only can you be happy, you should be happy, right now, and all you have to do is reach out and grab it. That Coke, right there on the shelf, that is.

    Set to a song and rap by Amsterdam-based HT, the spot (plus a more exhausting, full-blown branded music video, complete with an indecipherable hook) argues that happiness is a choice. Which is sort of true in some contexts, but is also oversimplified advertising-speak.



    The broad-reaching argument rests in large part on urging you to consider all the dandy things your hands can do. They can make beats, and hold jump ropes, and give hugs. (Incidentally, Coke would also like you to know your hands can make the shape of Coke bottles, if you join them together with other hands.)

    The spot deserves credit for including moments that aren't totally pollyanna—there's a lover's spat, and even a pseudo-political statement encouraging protest. But it's also a bit divorced from reality. If you have a hard time smiling with a face full of pepper spray, try washing that down with a Coke—it might settle your stomach, too.

    Naturally, what Coca-Cola really means by "Choose Happiness" is that you should choose among the red, green, black and white versions of its product. The branding at the end of the spot includes four bottles—representing Coke's Classic, Life, Zero and Diet offerings—part of a new European strategy to lift the profile of the smaller brands by attaching them to marquee advertising.

    That may or may not work, but the creative approach in the anthem spot stems from a familiar problem for any soda marketer: It can't pitch the product on the grounds that you actually need it, so it has to manufacture your desire as well. This is how you should be living, the ad says, in an overbearing, if still somewhat convincing, attempt to lift millennial spirits by pandering to vain conceptions of empowerment.

    The extended version:



    CREDITS
    Client: Coca-Cola
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam
    Chief Creative Officer: Ogilvy Darre van Dijk
    Sr. Copywriter Ogilvy: Jesse Ridder
    Sr. Art Director Ogilvy: Jurriaan van Bokhoven
    Agency Producer Ogilvy: Pirke Bergsma
    Client Services Director Ogilvy: Annelouk Kriele
    Account Director Ogilvy: Frouke Vlietstra
    Director Caviar: Arnaud Uyttenhove
    Executive Producer Caviar: Eva van Riet
    Producer Caviar: Lynn Bernaerts
    Producer Caviar: Neil Cray
    DOP: Dimitri Karakatsanis
    Editor the Whitehouse: Martin leRoy
    Editor Gentlemen's Club: Will Judge
    Editor Kapsalon: Brian Ent
    Colourist Glassworks: Scott Harris
    Colourist Glassworks: Matt Hare
    Flame Glassworks: Kyle Obley
    Nuke Glassworks: Jos Wabeke
    Executive Producer Glassworks: Jane Bakx
    Producer Glassworks: Christian Downes
    Sound engineer Wave: Randall McDonald
    Music Ogilvy: Darius Dante
    VO: Haris Trnjanin (HT)
    Client Coca-Cola: Guido Rosales


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    A tiny cocktail bar in Barcelona has won best of show at The Dieline Awards 2015, honoring the world's best packaging, for its gin bottles showing swimmers cavorting in the stuff.

    Barcelona design studio Dorian made the bottles for Bar Pesca Salada, an old fish shop converted into a maritime-themed gin-and-tonic bar. Each bottle features a man appearing to swim in the gin—and it becomes a visual game as the bottle empties.

    Dorian also screen-printed the images on the bottles, rather than using a transparent label.



    See the rest of the Dieline winners here.


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    Here's a nifty invention for people brave enough to eat McDonald's—the new "BagTray" from DDB Budapest.

    It is, as it sounds, a bag that's also a tray. Just tear off a tab at the bottom of the brown paper bag, pull off the top and watch the whole thing turn into a cardboard tray that will reduce the odds of spilling your oversized soda all over the back seat of your car, or your laptop, or the lawn where you're having a picnic (though surely the ants would love that).

    Hopefully, you also won't have to worry about the grease from your fries soaking through a flimsier vessel and dumping its golden payload on the floor, ruining your day and staining your property (though odds are there's enough oil packed in there to eat through foamcore).



    The product name is more or less perfect, clear and direct but also just the right amount of silly. It helps that the graphics in the demo video are charmingly twee, in a corporate sort of way—even if the willfully quirky ukelele-and-whistling-and-handclaps soundtrack wants so badly for you to be happy that it might make you claw your ears off instead.

    Regardless, whether you're a mom feeding her kids while shuttling them around (though she's still pretty blasé about tilting the whole thing) or a cool kid just hanging out with your friends on your skateboard (are teenagers really that polite these days?) or a busy business executive cramming in lunch at your desk (that guy totally looks like he works at the ad agency), it's clear the BagTray is the bag/tray for you.

    Whether the tool actually works is probably a different question. And it's also not clear whether you can use one without going to Hungary, which sort of undermines the whole convenience factor.



    CREDITS
    Client: McDonald's
    Agency: DDB Budapest
    Chief Creative Officer: Péter Tordai
    Head of Art/Art director: Guilherme Somensato
    Copywriter: Vera Länger, Giovanni Pintaude
    Illustrator: Adrián Bajusz
    Product Designer: Márk Dávid, András Bálint
    Animation: Réka Horányi, Anita Kolop
    Business Director: Judit Majosi
    Account/Producer: Rozália Szigeti
    Promo film: Somnium Studio


    0 0

    Mother's Day has become one big cryfest for advertisers—a time to see how choked up they can make viewers. That kind of sentimentality is fine, when communicated well, but there's definitely weep fatigue setting in. Which is why this Samsung ad, "#TextsFromMom," is a such a breath of fresh air.

    The R/GA spot looks at how your mom probably uses text messaging—or rather, misuses it. The whole thing is pretty funny, and nicely pokes fun without getting too mean. And it sticks the landing by reminding you that you shouldn't be texting with Mom at all this Sunday.



    You'll also notice that some of the moms' phone numbers are visible in the spot. If you dial them, you get to hear what they have to say in their voicemail messages.

    You can also show off your mom's funniest texts using hashtag #TextsFromMom for a chance to win a Galaxy S 6 edge.


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    Mini Cooper is out with an awesomely ruthless new ad, set in Singapore, that shows the automaker tricking people into test driving its product—by teaming up with a towing service and giving loaners to stranded motorists.

    The consumer testimonials are dubious (as they tend to be in stunt videos like this). But real or fake, the ad makes quick work of indirectly digging at competitors, simply by showing Mini providing real utility in an inevitably frustrating situation.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.



    There's also the implication of superior reliability—note the prominent Mercedes-Benz logo in one sad shot of a car lying dead on the side of the road. If that doesn't drive home the point—that when other brands fail you, Mini won't—the ad's kicker does, with an excellent bit of snark. (Wishing the other cars a "speedy recovery" is tantamount to hustling them along to the junkyard.)

    Still as fun as Mini would like you to think its cars are to drive, comparing them to go-karts might not be the best way to reinforce a message of dependability. But it's nice to see a brand swoop in like a vulture to scoop up a rival's business when it's at its most vulnerable.

    Now, it needs to start showing up at poorly marked no-parking zones, too.

    Agency: Kinetic Singapore.


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    BBDO New York continues its run of great work for Snickers with this irresistible out-of-home campaign, in which the candy brand found goofy mistakes all around New York City—and put stickers next to them that read, "You make mistakes when you're hungry."

    The fails are curious and amusing in their own right, of course, which is what makes this idea work so well. Adding a little snarky sticker caps them off perfectly. It helps that Snickers has had affection for people's mistakes for a long, long time.

    The agency tells us the creatives scouted for mistakes throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn over the past few weeks and selected the most absurd ones for the campaign. For instance, the flipped tiles in the subway were found on at a 4-train stop. The door sign (Enter, Do Not Enter) was found in the entrance of a building in Williamsburg. The "7st floor" sign was in a commercial building in Midtown.

    The campaign extended to social media, as the brand encouraged fans to share any #hungrymistakes they found or had made themselves.

    UPDATE: Some readers have suggested that, as clever as this campaign is, it could be illegal. Animal New York contacted the MTA on Thursday, and a spokesperson there said: "Creative campaign, but it's vandalism."

    BBDO told AdFreak that the stickers were only up long enough to photograph and were then removed. The agency says: "These were easy-to-peel-off stickers that were only up for a short period of time in order to capture the images included with real people in front of real mistakes. The branded stickers were taken down shortly after."

    More images plus credits below. Click to enlarge:



    CREDITS
    Client: Snickers

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Gianfranco Arena
    Executive Creative Director: Peter Kain
    Senior Art Director: Bianca Guimarães
    Senior Art Director: Florian Marquardt
    Senior Art Director: Fernando Mattei
    Senior Copywriter: Rodrigo Linhares
    Photographer: Billy Siegrist

    Managing Director: Kirsten Flanik
    Global Account Director: Susannah Keller
    Account Director: Joshua Steinman
    Account Manager: Dylan Green
    Group Planning Director: Crystal Rix
    Senior Planner: Alaina Crystal


    0 0

    Lena Dunham directed this new four-minute fashion film for Rachel Antonoff, in which Zoe Kazan stars as Audrey, a young woman with dreams of the presidency.

    When Audrey is dressed down by a neighbor to whom she had hope to explain her platform, Dunham enlists a bit of magical realism and lets Audrey's imagination take the reins, as we see what her version of the presidency might be. Oh, and since this is an ad, after all, Audrey dons Rachel Antonoff's new collection & Other Stories.



    While the spot is a bit '90s girl power, leaning on a lighthearted, easy-going tone, as Jezebel notes, it is rather fun and charming.  And Dunham herself used promoting her film as another opportunity to make her opinions about 2016's candidates clear. 


    0 0

    Canadian mobile carrier Koodo doesn't needlessly complicate things in this new campaign from Toronto agency Camp Jefferson.

    Portraying itself as a company that's fair and honest, and makes lots of people happy, Koodo is using the line "Choosy Happy." And the ads simply try to capture the idea of happiness in ways that are giddy, cute, surreal and fun.

    The brand worked with a slew of illustrators, animators, designers, artists and directors to create bit-size images of happiness, from an animated loop of a robot slipping on a banana peel to images of smiling popsicles and dogs that turn into bunnies.

    The insight was that customer frustration in the telco industry has been rising in Canada across the board, but Koodo's customers remain happy—with high customer satisfaction numbers and a low number of complaints.

    Check out some of the campaign materials below. It's like the happy side of the Internet threw a party that lasted for a week.




    CREDITS
    Client: Koodo Mobile
    VP, Marketing Communications: Dan Quick
    Director, Marketing Communications: Lise Doucet
    Manager, Marketing Communications: Dragana Simao
    Manager Quebec, Marketing Communications: Jennifer Robertson
    Agency: Camp Jefferson
    Executive Creative Director: Paul Little
    Associate Creative Director: Julie Nikolic, Chris Obergfell
    Copywriter: Paul Little, Rich Cooper, Michelle Colistro, Stefan Wegner
    Art Director: Julie Nikolic, Andrew Passas, Chris Obergfell, Caroline Friesen
    Designer: Andrew Passas, Mo Bofill
    Tech Lead: Thomas Schemmer
    Director of Integrated Production, Producer: Jen Mete
    Print Production Manager: Marietta Sterman
    Integrated Production Coordinator: Lily Tran
    SVP, Managing Partner: Peter Bolt
    VP, Director of Planning: Andre Louis
    VP, Director of Social and Innovation: Ian Barr
    Social Content Strategist: Chris Campaner
    VP, Director of Client Services: Edith Rosa
    Account Supervisors: Lisa Taylor, Suyi Hua, Melanie Abbott
    Account Coordinator: Sabrina Zavarise
    French Agency: K72
    Copywriter: Marc-Andre Savard
    Art Director: Sebastien Boulanger
    VP, Strategy: Michelle-Alex Lessard
    Account Director: Rosalie Laflamme
    Account Coordinator: Genevieve Turmel
    Production Houses: Mike Perry Studios w/Suneeva, 1stAvenueMachine & MOM
    Directors: Mike Perry, Karim Zariffa, Julien Vallée, Eve Duhamel
    Executive Producers: Geoff Cornish, Sam Penfield, Richard Ostiguy
    Artist Representative: Laura Beckwith
    Head of Production: Lisanne McDonald
    Line Producer: Annya Williams, Guillaume Vallée
    Directors of Photography: Anna Wolf, Simon-Pierre Gingras
    Photographer: Scottie Cameron
    Set Designer: J Bell
    Art Director: Louise Schabas
    Animation Director: Mike Perry
    Assistant Animation Director: Jim Stoten
    Lead Animators: Isam Prado, Maya Eldelman
    Animator: Lizzi Akana
    Editorial House: 1stAvenueMachine
    Editor: Marc-Antoine Croteau
    Transfer: Ricart & Co.
    Colourist: Seth Ricart
    Online: 1stAvenueMachine
    Online Artist: John Loughlin
    Audio / Music House: Apollo Studios
    Creative Director + Music Producer: Daenen Bramberger
    Audio Engineer: Spencer Hall
    Executive Producer: Tom Hutch
    Development: Ransom Profit
    Lead Developer: Heung Lee
    Developer: Tony Valderrama


    0 0

    If traditional food delivery is too slow or boring for you, Uber would like to deliver you fancy meals in minutes instead.

    The car-service app is in the process of expanding UberEats, its food courier service, to new markets. Last week, it added New York and Chicago to existing markets Barcelona (launched in February) and Los Angeles (launched in December). And this new ad from Strike Anywhere aims to promote the offering with some respectable food porn, putting it in good company with (if not quite rivaling) the greats in the category.



    Slow-cooked brisket— teeped in the drama of a 4 a.m. start—looks like a delicious coronary in the making, beautifully prepped and plated. In short, it's not a bad way to implicitly differentiate UberEat's dishes, which are part of a limited menu that rotates daily (New York's inaugural options included sandwiches from steakhouse American Cut and local Cambodian chain Num Pang, as well as a salad from Sweetgreen).

    But the spot's basic subtext boils down to, "Compare this to the greasy mess you might get after waiting for 30 minutes when ordering take out from your local diner or Chinese joint."

    Uber is clearly aiming for privileged foodies who'll happily pay a little more for better grub. But that doesn't quite keep the whole thing from seeming like an extravagance, even if the prices—between $9 and $15 for lunch or dinner, plus a $3-4 flat fee, depending on the city—aren't that different from what you might pay if you ordered from a restaurant directly and tipped the delivery guy. So Uber is probably right to figure plenty of people will go for it—at the very least, when they can charge it to an expense account.

    And if the logistics of the 10-minutes-or-less guarantee seem a little dubious, it's apparently because rather than being made to order, the drivers are carrying around the meals in bulk during their shifts, dropping them at different locations—which is perhaps why the service, first launched in L.A. as UberFresh, now bears a conspicuously less specific name.

    CREDITS
    Client: Uber
    Product: UberEats
    Production Company: Strike Anywhere
    Producer: Adrienne Hall
    Director: Mimi Cave
    Director of Photography: Donovan Sell
    Editor: Noe Chavez
    Colorist: Ayumi Ashley
    Sound Design & Mix: Joaby Deal


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    0 0

    Who needs a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch?

    Big Lots stages a "Battle for Ultimate Cuteness" between dogs and babies to promote the retailer's American Kennel Club Select products for dogs and B*loved line of baby goods.

    Episodes of the not-so-epic war for supremacy pit kids against pups in competitions ranging from an election-style debate ("Goo-goo," "Arf"—both make good points) to a chess match with ridiculously outsized pieces (I thought the pooch was going for a Ruy Lopez, but it just wanted to gnaw on the queen). In most cases, the tykes were teamed with their own family pets to ensure harmony on the set.



    OKRP created the campaign for maximum sharing across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and consumers can use the hastags #TeamDoggies or #TeamBabies to indicate which side they favor. (Unless they have lives, of course.)

    Originally, Big Lots planned two separate campaigns backing each product line, but the agency decided to double down. "We have less than three seconds to get customers' attention on social platforms and thought we'd play to the most popular Internet content," says OKRP's Tom O'Keefe. "Nothing seems to activate social sharing and comments like funny and cute, and there's no subject that can deliver that better than doggies and babies."

    I can think of one species that might disagree.


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    Thai mobile company TrueMove, which you'll remember from the world-famous "Giving" spot in 2013, is back with another gem—a stirring, cinematic spot in which the daughter of a charity worker visits a Thai woman who helped her father when he was a prisoner of war in World War II.

    The ad, which shows how a brave act of kindness can change a life, is part of a campaign called "The True Meaning of Giving," which is backed by a group of Thailand charities.

    One of the actors in the spot writes in the YouTube comments that it references a POW camp in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, where the Japanese forced prisoners to build a railway bridge over the River Kwai. (That was also the setting for the famous movie.)



    The tie-in to the brand, "Compassion is true communication," is still a bit flimsy—but TrueMove has stuck with the idea of giving for years, and it's presumably working for the firm. In less capable hands, this would be a schmaltzy ode to the white savior, but the direction, acting and overall commitment here are so good that one can't help but be moved.


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    Creative and technology agency MRY celebrated Mother's Day by having its staffers video chat with their moms. And along the way, the moms were asked what they think their kids actually do for a living in advertising.

    To say they're unclear about that is an understatement.

    "Ever ask certain family members to explain what you do, and have their response completely miss the mark? Happens in advertising all the time," the agency says.

    Check it out below. And yeah, it has a sappy ending.


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    President Obama's brilliant and hilarious appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifanakis last year—which doubled as a PSA for Healthcare.gov—earned Funny or Die the top prize at The One Show in New York on Friday night.



    Droga5, meanwhile, took home Agency of the Year, with its Gisele Bündchen campaign for Under Armour winning four Gold Pencils. Omnicom was named Holding Company of the Year, BBDO was Network of the Year and Mars was honored as Client of the Year. 

    Marcel/Paris won the Green Pencil, recognizing the best environmentally conscious advertising of the year, for its "Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables" campaign for Intermarché.

    Check out the chart below to see all the U.S. Gold Pencil winners.

    Click to enlarge:


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    Absolut rolls out new advertising today from Sid Lee including a new short film and TV commercial, a never-before-heard song from Empire of the Sun, and a limited-edition illuminated bottle that lights up when you push a button on the bottom.

    The short film and TV work, directed by Grammy-winning director Melina Matsoukas, collect footage from a series of "Absolut Nights" events hosted last year in New York, Sao Paolo, Berlin and Johannesburg that featured one-of-a-kind artistic collaborations—with Vita Motus, Marianne Krawcyzk, Studio XO and Charles Gadeken.

    The short film:



    The TV spot, launching Monday:



    Those events were all about reinventing aspects of traditional nightlife in keeping with the brand's "Transform Today" credo of rethinking nightlife through a lens of creativity.

    The short film features a new track from electronic music duo Empire of the Sun. And the campaign features an intriguing packaging component—the Absolut Spark bottle, with a light that shines through the bottom and  "gives consumers the ability to shine a new light on their nightlife rituals for up to eight hours."

    The bottle:



    "At Absolut, we believe in a world where there's no such thing as a 'standard' night out," says Joao Rozario, vp of Marketing at Absolut. "By infusing the unexpected into the ordinary, 'Absolut Nights' aims to inspire nightlife lovers to use the night as their canvas to explore what the future of nightlife looks like."

    More work from the campaign below.

    The artistic collaborations:



    CREDITS
    Client: Absolut Vodka, Pernod Ricard USA
    Agency: Sid Lee Amsterdam & Sid Lee New York
    Managing Partner: Eric Alper
    Executive Creative Director: Daniel Chandler & James Yeats-Smith
    Creative Team: Maclean Jackson, Roeben Beddeleem, Eoin Mclaughlin & Thomas Glover
    Group Account Director: Emily Creek
    Account Director: Amy Manganiello
    Production Management Director: Melanie Bruneau and Dave Isaac
    Head of Strategy: Simon Wassef
    Strategy Director: Nicola Davies
    Editor: Thomas Schenk
    Director:  Melina Matsoukas
    Production Team: Jimmy Lee & Sid Lee Entertainment
    Production Partners: Prettybird, Vice, O'mage, StudioNOW
    Public Relations: Weber Shandwick


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