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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Two new campaigns from Coca-Cola feature cans and bottles printed in braille, so blind people can read them.

    In Mexico, ad agency Anónimo realized the hugely popular "Shake a Coke" names-on-cans campaign couldn't be enjoyed by the blind. So, the agency worked with the soda company to make braille versions.

    And in Argentina, Coke and agency Geometry Global printed braille bottles for members of Los Murciélagos (The Bats), a blind soccer team that's made headlines internationally in recent years. Those bottles were also personalized with the players' names.

    Via Adeevee and Coca-Cola.

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    In Australia, "ice" is anything but cool.

    Ice addiction—that is, a taste for crystal meth—has become a terrifying scourge Down Under, prompting the federal government to launch a six-week, $9 million ($7 million U.S.) PSA blitz that contains several shocking sequences.

    Upsetting scenes in the 45-second spot below, which has been edited into shorter commercials, include a scraggy-looking dude violently robbing his mom, a young woman peeling open her skin because she believes bugs are crawling inside, and an addict's startling, psychotic attack on hospital staffers.

    The message: "Ice destroys lives. Don't let it destroy yours."

    Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash says a graphic campaign is required because "nobody sets out to become addicted, and many users think addiction won't happen to them. It can and does, and these ads aim to show the realities of ice addiction."

    She has a point, and the approach in and of itself is provocative, memorable and obviously well intentioned. That said, I can't help feeling we've seen this kind of stuff before, and I wonder how impactful it will be. (The mom and bug scenes, though strong stuff, might have packed more punch pre-Breaking Bad. That emergency-room freakout, however, feels startlingly fresh and really crashes through the clutter to lodge inside your head.)

    Australian Anti-Ice Campaign founder Andrea Simmons gives the work a mixed review on her organization's Facebook page."Its a good start, however it will take more than a couple hundred ads" to effectively deliver the message, she says. Simmons argues that since the spots are airing on late-night TV, they'll probably get lost in the shuffle, concluding, "We can't use a band aide fix with this epidemic."

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    Wieden + Kennedy specializes in oddball characters whose very uncoolness—their out-of-time styles and behaviors—is what makes them cool. The agency perfected this approach for Southern Comfort with the beach guy and then the karate guy. And now, it's created something similar for a very different kind of beverage—Cravendale milk.

    W+K London has done plenty of quirky ads for its British dairy client—most notably, 2011's "Cats With Thumbs" campaign. Now, a new 30-second spot introduces us to the Milk Drinker, a mysterious mustachioed character who's never without his cool tall glass of milk.

    The ad, shot by Riff Raff directors Canada, broke Saturday during Britain's Got Talent.

    The goal is to communicate the premium quality of Cravendale milk and encourage milk drinkers to choose Cravendale as their milk of choice. But the agency admits the character is a departure for the category.

    "It's unusual to see a grown man drink milk, so that's why we created The Milk Drinker—a man who's not afraid to make a statement, especially if that statement comes in the form of a long, cold glass of Cravendale," says W+K copywriter Thom Whitaker.

    The Milk Drinker is a described in the ad as a "modern-day enigma" and a "connoisseur of the cow." He's also a bit reminiscent of the Dude from The Big Lebowski, another guy known to carry around glasses of white refreshment—though the Dude's preferred drink had more of a kick, of course.

    The campaign also includes a giveaway of special milk glasses.

    Client: Arla Cravendale
    Brand Managers: Vicky Smith, Claire Mackintosh
    Project: The Milk Drinker's Milk
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
    Creative Directors: Larry Seftel, David Day
    Copywriter: Thom Whitaker
    Art Director: Danielle Noel
    Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson / Iain Tait
    Agency Executive Producer: Danielle Stewart
    Group Account Director: Katherine Napier
    Account Director: Lucy Crook
    Account Manager: Alex Allcott
    Head of Planning: Beth Bentley
    Planner: Tom Lloyd
    TV Producer: Emily Rudge / Helen Whiteley
    Production Company: Canada London / Riff Raff
    Director: Canada
    Executive Producer: Oscar Romagosa, Matthew Fone
    Line Producer: Cathy Hood
    Director of Photography: Arnaud Potier
    Editorial Company: Trim
    Editor: Dominic Leung
    Post Producer: Jemma Daniel, Harriet Cawley
    VFX Company: MPC
    VFX Producer: Anandi Peiris
    Mix Company: 750mph
    Mixer: Sam Ashwell
    Music Company: Woodwork Music
    Composer: Philip Kay

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    AlmapBBDO celebrates Getty Images' 20th birthday with this fun campaign that looks at how four famous people—Scarlett Johansson, Prince William, Serena Williams and Bill Clinton—have changed in appearance, using Getty photos of them over those 20 years.

    There are 111 photos of each of them, but that's actually just a tiny fraction of what's available on Getty. For example, the agency had to comb through 32,246 photos of Clinton to choose the ones for his ad. Once chosen, the photos were arranged chronologically, showing the transformations in each of the four figures.

    "The idea of depicting the passage of those 20 years through the images of globally relevant celebrities gave us the opportunity to not only observe the changes they underwent, but also provided a creative glimpse at what was going on in the world during that time, with the certainty that we were present during all the important moments across these two decades," says Renata Simões, marketing and content manager at Getty Images in Brazil.

    See the ads below. Click to enlarge.

    Client: Getty Images
    Project: 20 Years
    Agency: AlmapBBDO
    Chief Creative Officer: Luiz Sanches
    Executive Creative Director: Bruno Prosperi
    Creative Director: André Gola, Benjamin Yung Jr., Marcelo Nogueira, Pernil
    Art Director:  Andre Sallowicz
    Copywriter: Daniel Oksenberg
    Photographer: archive Getty Images
    Art Buyer: Teresa Setti, Ana Cecília Costa
    Client Services: Cristina Chacon, Daniela P. Gasperini
    Media: Flavio De Pauw, Patrícia Moreton
    Advertiser's Supervisor: Renata Simões, Susan Smith Ellis, Carmen Cano

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    German DIY home-improvement brand Hornbach adds to its long list of advertising successes with this fun twist spot from Heimat Berlin.

    A man storms out of his house in a fit of rage. He's so preoccupied, he hasn't even bothered to put on pants. He checks the trash cans, and finds them empty, throwing a tantrum while his baffled wife—presumably to blame for accidentally chucking a precious item—looks on.

    Still in his boxers, the guy frantically hitches a ride on a garbage truck, then a trash barge, and then he treks through the landfill to dig up his lost treasure (somehow, he's able to find out exactly where it is buried). What could inspire such passion and effort?

    Cheekily titled "Spring Collection," the spot does a nice job of slow building drama around what's essentially a lone sight gag—a man in his underpants—by escalating it with each more-ridiculous scene. The copy, meanwhile, justifies the epic sequence by punching up the the fact that the guy's pants are unique to him—"designed" (read: destroyed) by his labor.

    It's a fun sideways take on the familiar dig at expensive, pre-distressed brand-name jeans, and by the same token, a relatable celebration of that pair you can't quite let go, even though its seen more than a few too many days of wear. More pointedly, it's a pretty effective way to show that, by the time you get done with your home improvement projects, your pants are going to look like they've been to the dump and back—a testament to your hard work.

    In the end, the camera cuts back to the front yard, where the hero, wearing his beloved pants, is still wielding a shovel. That leaves it a little unclear whether the whole quest was just a metaphor for the man's DIY project itself—tearing up the grass in pursuit of the perfectly wrecked pair of jeans—or just for how far he'd be willing to go to get his already tattered pants back, because he's too proud to keep going without them.

    It doesn't really matter. Either way, the wife's getting the bad end of the deal, what with the crazy husband and the giant hole in the lawn.

    Agency: Heimat Berlin.

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    DDB has uploaded what it claims is the first fake erotic video on Pornhub. The video starts off porny and then morphs into a (still NSFW) PSA for the Alcázar Gynecology Institute, showing men how to perform a breast exam on their wives or girlfriends.

    Traditional ads targeting women aren't working, DDB says. And the agency points out that the potential reach of this approach is impressive—given Pornhub's sizable audience and the fact that 94.73 percent of men watch porn online, according to research. (What portion of those don't mind being tricked into watching something else is another matter.)

    And of course, there's the further problem that this campaign blatantly sexualizes breast cancer, which is an approach many cancer activists despise.

    Check out the case study below, which is NSFW. What do you think of the strategy here?

    Via Adeevee.

    Client: Alcázar Gynecology Institute
    Agency: DDB, La Paz, Bolivia
    Co-founder & CCO: Henry Medina
    Co-founder & CEO: Emanuelle Medina
    Head of Art: Christian Morales
    Copywriter: Henry Medina
    Producer Company: Rebeca
    Director: Miqy de la Barra
    Executive Producer: Alejandro Noriega
    Music & Sound Company: Vinylo Sound
    Music & Sound Designer: Ricardo Núñez

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    The "Jake From State Farm" phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, as the insurance company and DDB Chicago just remade the famous 2011 ad with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin's Coneheads characters from Saturday Night Live.

    State Farm has a deal with Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video Entertainment and its SNL properties—and the company previously cooked up spots with Rob Schneider's Richmeister and Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon's Hans and Franz characters.

    In the new ad, Aykroyd and Curtin dust off their 1970s aliens (who were also the eponymous stars of a 1993 movie) to re-enact the husband and wife's bickering over a middle-of-the-night call to State Farm—all in the Coneheads' trademark extraterrestrial-speak.

    A second Coneheads spot is expected to break in June.

    The "Jake From State Farm" ad, which is technically called "State of Unrest," was a surprise hit for the brand, becoming a pop-culture success—beloved by many, loathed by some. Parodies of the spot abound on Vine, in particular. And State Farm has capitalized by, among other things, creating a Jake Twitter account and recently remaking the ad completely in emojis.

    Check out a behind-the-scenes video for the Coneheads campaign below.

    Client: State Farm

    Agency: DDB Chicago                                              
    John Maxham: Chief Creative Officer
    Barry Burdiak: Group Creative Director
    John Hayes: Group Creative Director
    Bart Culberson: Creative Director
    Chris Bruney: Art Director
    Nick Novich: Copywriter
    Andres Chacon: Art Director
    Sean Peecook: Copywriter
    Andrew Bloom: Creative Director (Online Videos)
    Nathan Monteith: Creative Director (Online Videos)
    Di Jackson: Director of Integrated Production
    Scott Kemper: Executive Producer
    Ryan Hentsch: Production Business Manager

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Hank Perlman: Director
    Kevin Byrne: Executive Producer
    Thomas O'Malley: Line Producer

    Edit: Cutters
    Grant Gustafson: Editor
    Aaron Kiser: Editor (Online Videos)
    Patrick Casey: Producer
    Edit: No. 6
    Jason MacDonald: Editor (Jake)
    Corina Dennison: Executive Producer

    Finish: Filmworkers Club
    Derek de Board: Executive Producer
    Casey Swircz: Producer
    Rob Churchill: VFX Supervisor

    Behind the Scenes: Impact Entertainment
    Deb Llanos, Executive Producer
    Patrick Yonally, Creative Director

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    In the pantheon of mythical creatures, one character has been curiously lost to history, though not to herstory—the Period Fairy, who visits girls when they get their first period.

    HelloFlo tells the Period Fairy's story in this short mockumentary featuring a girl who investigates the mythology, and gets the Tooth Fairy, Cupid, Santa Claus and more to explain their colleague's mysterious exit from the scene.

    The video was a collaboration between HelloFlo founder and CEO Naama Bloom and writer Sara Saedi, who also wrote HelloFlo's "Postpartum: The Musical," which broke in February. (A different team of writer/directors, Pete Marquis and Jamie McCelland, worked on HelloFlo's earlier "Camp Gyno" and "First Moon Party" virals.)

    "I really wanted to play with the idea of a female superhero who helped girls with their first period, and [Saedi] had the idea to create the mystery around the Period Fairy," Bloom tells AdFreak. "To me, this spot is very different from the others because it's not one punch line after another. It's funny but also very sweet and more endearing than the others."

    HelloFlo has a knack for finding great young actresses, and the girl here—discovered by Wulf Casting—is fantastic. "She reminded us of Rachel Maddow, and we thought that was a perfect archetype for our feminist-in-training, Lilian Dyer," says Bloom.

    The hashtag is #MakeItVagical, a word that pops up early in the video and gets an animated treatment on-screen. (It's also reminiscent of the "First Moon Party" ad, in which a "vagician" made an appearance.)

    "Once we added the animation in the beginning on the word vagical, we thought it would be funny to keep playing with it," Bloom says. "Since the idea is that the Period Fairy and the HelloFlo Period Starter Kit are both there to make the first period experience positive, it just seemed right to carry it forward. It wasn't a hashtag at first, it was a tagline. One early viewer saw the video and tagline and then sent me an email in which she'd turned it into a hashtag. Once I saw it, it made perfect sense."

    HelloFlo has become the poster child for small brands doing big viral video content. But Bloom says there's no great mystery to its success. "When I think about creating video content," she says, "the most important element for HelloFlo is that we have strong female characters who are both relatable and culturally aware."

    Client: HelloFlo
    Production Company: Senza Pictures
    Writer: Sara Saedi
    Producer: Brandi Savitt
    Casting: Wulf Casting
    Music: Found Objects
    Director of Photography: Mark Schwartzbard
    Editor: David Fishel
    Art Director: Ally Nesmith
    Costume Designer: Deirdra Govan
    Sound Mixer: Wil Masisak
    Production Coordinator: Julia Brady
    Hair, Makeup: Rebecca Levine
    Script Supervisor: Elizabeth Stern
    Gaffer: G.T. Womack
    Key Grip: Ben Hunt
    Swing/Driver: Joe Chiofalo
    Set Costumer/Tailor: Olivia Fuks
    Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Theis
    Camera Assistant: Noelle Kandigian
    Boom Operator: Matt King
    Assistant Art Director: Nelson Mestril
    Production Assistant: Jordan Floyd

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    Ad agency The Bull-White House's "Cancer Sutra" campaign was a provocative idea in search of a sponsor—until Stupid Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young adults with cancer, signed on.

    Central to the effort, which coyly suggests you can spot signs of cancer while having sex, is a series of colorful posters, designed by Brooklyn artist John Solimine, showing couples in the act. Sales of the posters will raise money for Stupid Cancer, and Bull-White House hopes to turn some of them into wild postings. There's also an e-book, website and video.

    Agency founder Matthew Bull discovered Solomine on Behance.net and was drawn in particular to "Strongman Love," an illustration of a man with his arm wrapped around a woman that Solimine made about four years ago. That visual style defined the new campaign. (There are lots more images here.)

    As Bull explained, "Curvaceousness, hard angles, a playful approach to negative space—all of these were critical in differentiating the Cancer Sutra from any other Kama Sutra we'd seen before."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    AdFreak asked Solimine about the making of the posters.

    When did you first get the call for this?
    It was late last year when I got a call from Bull-White House. It was funny because upfront, from the call, I had no idea what the project was.

    What was the initial brief?
    They started off with the statistic that a huge amount of people who find out they have cancer actually discover it before, during or after sex. ... When you tell people about it and use that as an intro, people are like, "Wait a second." Just the words cancer and sex in the same sentence—probably you've never heard that before, you know?

    Why did you want to do this?
    The scope of it, the size of it. They said, "We're going to need between 20 and 40 illustrations" at the beginning of the whole thing. And just the subject matter I thought was great. When it was pitched to me, I was like, "Wow, I've never heard that idea before." So, I found it unique. And I've had family members who were stricken with cancer.

    What inspired the look and feel of your posters?
    An old poster that I had done for Fab, that website fab.com. ... They would partner with various artists and have that artist come up with half-dozen or so unique pieces that were just for the Fab sale. And then you could sell anything else you wanted of your previous work on there. But one of the posters I created for my Fab sale ("Strongman Love")—Bull-White House had seen that on my website and they kind of pulled that out stylistically and said, "We really like what you're doing with this one."

    What was it about that poster?
    I don't think they wanted it to be anatomically [correct] or lean too much on that. They wanted it to be playful, have interesting body shapes and not go for Ken and Barbie or Penthouse and Playgirl, that kind of thing, and not have it be too porny in any way.

    It must have been tricky to straddle that line.
    At that first meeting, just to clarify what we were going to be doing, I was like, "So, I'm going to be drawing people actually having sex in various ways, right?" And I think in the beginning everybody thought that yeah, you are, and it's going to get pretty graphic—like there's really no way around it for what we're talking about.

    But then when we actually started doing the illustrations, working on them and being collaborative, we all realized that there was a way that we were going to be able to pull it off without actually showing anything, which I actually think became the trick of it, like, "OK, how can we show pretty graphic descriptions of sex without actually showing anything at all, really?" I think all you really see graphically are like two or three nipples maybe. So, I think the suggestion of it is the strength of it.

    I could see this on T-shirts. Could you?
    Oh, yeah, definitely. I think there are a lot of cool applications. They were jokingly talking about turning the pattern into sheets, pajamas or something like that.

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    The Hamburglar got the Internet's attention last week—the jury is still out on whether he's hot or creepy—but he won't be pitching the Sirloin Burger on TV, at least not this month. That job has been taken by New Girl's Max Greenfield, whose cute—dare we say, adorkable—ads debuted Monday. 

    The actor shot 25 spots in a single day, says McDonald's vp of marketing Joel Yashinsky, telling Burger Business that the campaign is part of the brand's mission to be transparent.

    "That's what really led to our doing 25 different TV commercials," Yashinsky says. "They talk about different attributes and the flavors, about it being sirloin and North American sourced. That's what the overall campaign is designed to get across to the customer. From everything we've seen, we think it will connect with customers." 

    Check out some of the new work, by Leo Burnett, below.

    Client: McDonald's
    Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago
    Campaign: "Sirloin Third Pound Burger Lovin' Reminders"
    Chief Creative Officer: Susan Credle
    Executive Creative Director: John Hansa
    Senior Creative Director: Tony Katalinic
    Creative Directors: Michael Porritt, Frank Oles
    Associate Creative Director: Gloria Dusenberry
    Art Director: Scott Fleming
    Copywriters: Brandon Crockett, Chris Davis, Leigh Kunkel
    Head of Production: Vincent Geraghty
    Executive Producer: Denis Giroux
    Senior Producer: Scott Gould
    Business Manager: Shirley Costa
    Senior Talent Manager: Linda Yuen
    Music Supervisor: Chris Clark
    Managing Account Director: Jennifer Cacioppo
    Account Directors: Josh Raper, Jennifer Klopf
    Account Supervisor: Dave Theibert
    Account Manager: Sue Rickey
    Planning Director: Claudia Steer
    Legal: Carla Michelotti, Laura Cooney
    Clearance: Michelle Overby
    Editing: Cutters Studio
    Postproduction: Flavor Chicago
    Audio: Another Country

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    Mother's Day surprises were aplenty this weekend, including a big one for the U.S. women's World Cup soccer team.

    Due to their demanding schedules, it's been years since many of the players have seen their moms on Mother's Day. In a very sweet video uploaded to Facebook and YouTube by Fox Sports, the team sat down for a pre-game dinner, and their coach introduced special surprise guests—their moms.

    The mother-daughter reunions are lovely to watch. Maybe even more remarkable is seeing a second surprise happen—check out the video to see what it was.

    "Abby's been on this team for 14 years. For 14 years, I have not had you around for a Mother's Day," says Abby Wambach's mom, Judy. The video cuts to the two of them standing side by side on the field.

    The video closes with a request to "Cheer on our women this summer." (Fox will be broadcasting the tournament across its networks, including 16 matches live on the flagship broadcast station.)

    The team won the Ireland game 3-0 with their moms watching. Wambach scored career goals 179 and 180, and turned around after her second goal to point at her mom.

    Heartwarming and inspiring all around.

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    Here's an odd little case study from outdoor ad company JCDecaux and BBDO Belgium.

    Frustrated that client marketing directors weren't showing up to its business presentations, JCDecaux got personal with them—by putting their photos up on single billboards, without their permission, printing only their name and a contact address at JCDecaux.

    Naturally, the CMOs eventually got wind of the ads, and many of them called JCDecaux to ask just what the hell was going on. See how the rest played out in the video below:

    As you can see in the video, at least one of the CMOs seemed a bit irritated by the scheme. We asked BBDO if any others were upset by it.

    "Upset is a big word," says digital strategic planner Jan Van Brakel. "A small minority was maybe a bit less pleased at first, but once we did the follow-up and explained the campaign, no one was upset, and they could all appreciate the campaign. The biggest proof is that JCDecaux was able to convince all of them to plan a meeting for their sales presentation."

    And were there no legal issues with using their likenesses on an ad without permission?

    "Strictly speaking, what we did might have been illegal, or at least we could theoretically be accused of not respecting the [copyright]," Van Brakel admits. "But as it was only one billboard, for a very short time—depending on how long it took before we got a reaction—and the follow-up we did, we didn't feel uncomfortable on the legal aspect at any point."

    He adds, however: "I do believe that this kind of campaign might be harder or riskier to execute in the U.S. than in Belgium."

    Client: JCDecaux
    Advertiser Supervisor: Veerle Colin
    Agency: BBDO Belgium
    Creative Directors: Arnaud Pitz, Sebastien De Valck
    Creative Team: Toon Vanpoucke, Morgane Choppinet
    Account Supervisor: Isabel Peeters
    Account Manager: Marleen Depreter

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    If you work on the creative side of advertising, you'll earn a paycheck for, among other things, crafting ads where sloths and hairdos sing and piano players caress keys with 30 fingers on a half-dozen hands.

    That's the gist of F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi Brazil's humorous spots for the Miami Ad School of São Paulo. Each of three videos shows a "wacky" ad being shot for consumer goods like shampoo (the hair), an energy drink (the sloths) and deodorant (the pianist). Ultimately, the camera pulls back to reveal a sign assuring potential students: "Yes. You will get paid for doing this."

    The print component includes spoofs for toothpaste (don't cry, gigantic extra-sensitive molar!) and calcium-rich milk (rad bones, Super-Skeleton!)

    According to the agency, the campaign illustrates that "advertising can still be fun despite all the surveys, focus groups and animatics," and that "it is still possible to build brands using good ideas, humor and irreverence."

    Wait, focus groups and surveys can be fun. Right?

    The campaign feels like an attempt to recapture the spirit of the industry from the long-gone Mad Men era when creative was king. And do I detect a hint of desperation, a need to prove that agency jobs are still cool in a climate of increased competition from sectors like Silicon Valley—where talent often gets paid more than they would on Madison Avenue?

    Ah well, at least if you make ads, your parents will understand what you do for a living.

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    Are we sure we want the Hamburglar back?

    The cartoon character, who was reincarnated after a 13-year hiatus as a real live human man—whom the Internet simultaneously reviled and love—took over McDonald's Twitter account today. And with the teaser ads out of the way, the character used the platform to ... well, sorry, he keeps getting interrupted again and again by his wife's phone calls.

    Yep, even the Hamburglar gets nagged by his annoying wife about the various things (candles and cake) she wants him to pick up while he's out. 

    It's an easy, albeit regressive joke. But is it really the way you want to reintroduce the nation to a well-known character? This guy's supposed to be a rebel, but this is about as tiresomely traditional as it gets.

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    Among the gajillion emoji campaigns out there right now, here's a clever one.

    Wieden + Kennedy London creatives Jason Scott and Joris Philippart recently had an idea for how to use emojis to help endangered animals. So, the agency approached the WWF with a proposal. The result is the #EndangeredEmoji campaign, which launches just in time for Endangered Species Day this Friday.

    The key insight was that 17 animal emojis that people use every day actually depict endangered species (see the list below). The WWF today tweeted out an image of the 17 animals, and asked people to join the campaign by retweeting the post.

    Those joining the campaign agree to donate 10 euros (about 11 cents) every time they use any of the 17 emojis in a future tweet. (You get a monthly statement, essentially.)

    "We're proud to announce the launch of our global social campaign with WWF and Twitter, created with technical partner Cohaesus," the agency says.

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    Elizabeth Banks is everything that ads for online real estate sites are typically not—perky, lighthearted and deadpan funny. And that's precisely why she stars in Pereira & O'Dell's new campaign for Realtor.com.

    Realtor, under new owner News Corp., wants to enliven a category defined by heartstrings and homespun stories, and in the process, stand out and gain share. In its largest campaign to date, the brand is playing up the laughs in ads that break this week. Fred Savage, the actor and former star of The Wonder Years, directed the campaign through Uber Content.

    The tagline: "Real estate in real time."

    Banks, a key supporting actress in films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, brings her A-game, in both performance and volume. During a four-day shoot, she delivered eight TV ads and five Web videos, sticking mostly to the scripts but improvising as well, said Dave Arnold, chief creative officer at Pereira & O'Dell in New York.

    Two ads have rolled out online so far. Banks serves up brand messages with a smile, even while, for example, playfully trumpeting a nerdy guy named Jim, who through Realtor becomes a "phenom of fresh listings."

    In "Constant Change," she manages to find humor in Realtor's app, which you wouldn't expect to be comedy gold.

    Andrew Strickman, head of brand and chief creative for Move, the parent company of Realtor that News Corp. acquired, described Banks as friendly and relatable, adding, "This campaign is really about Elizabeth playing a real-estate-obsessed version of herself." Arnold further described her performance as "having fun with it in a way that doesn't make her a shill."

    And as for his expectations for the campaign, which will run throughout the year, Strickman said: "The strength of your business can be won or lost on the strength of your brand. And that means the quality of how you present your brand creatively, as well as from the position of intellect, is really, really important."

    Based on Web traffic, Realtor is the No. 2 site behind Zillow, which last summer moved to acquire Trulia, another key player in the space. The category has been a hotbed of M&A activity, and now that the brands have settled, marketing should be a key differentiator. Also, under its new ownership, Realtor is expected to increase its media spending.

    Strickman declined to reveal the media budget for the campaign, but sources estimated that it would exceed $30 million this year. That would be roughly twice as much as last year, when Realtor spent more than $16 million, according to Kantar Media.

    Client: Realtor.com
    Title: "Real Estate in Real Time"
    Agency: Pereira & O'Dell, New York
    Executive Creative Director: Dave Arnold
    Associate Creative Directors: Jake Dubs, Alexei Beltrone
    Copywriter: Michelle Lamont
    Art Director: Alex Parodi

    Head of Production, New York: Tennille Teague
    Producer: Montea Robinson

    Managing Director: Cory Berger

    Account Director: Annika Roden

    Account Supervisor: Jessica Williams

    Associate Strategy Director: Mike Lewis
    Strategist: Anna Bedineishvili

    Business Affairs Director: Russ Nadler
 Company: Uber Content
    Director: Fred Savage

    Executive Producer: Preston Lee
    Line Producer: Tom Lowe
    Editing Company: Arcade
    Editors: Jeff Ferruzzo, Dave Anderson, Ali Mao
    Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Producer: Lauren Cancelosi
    Flame Artist: Tristian Wake
    Color Company: Co 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole
    Audio Company: Heard City
    Engineer: Keith Reynaud

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    People in Britain who had settled in for a nice viewing of Prometheus this weekend were distressed, to say the least, when a realistic 30-second spot aired—completely unexplained—that advertised synthetic human housekeepers for sale.

    "Meet Sally. The help you've always wanted," the freakishly soothing voiceover began, as a lovely though dead-eyed cyborg is seen folding sheets, organizing the kitchen and putting the kids to bed. "She is faster, stronger, more capable than ever before."

    The ad then pitched a company called Persona Synthetics, which claims to make androids that are "closer to humans than ever before."

    By Tuesday, there had been 100,000 searches for the brand on Google, and the website was nearing half a million visits. It was all a hoax, of course—a campaign from Channel 4 for Humans, a Black Mirror-esque futuristic drama.

    Along with the TV spot, there are print ads, a fake store on Regent Street, social accounts and a mock auction on eBay inviting visitors to bid on a robot (sadly, no one met the £20,000 minimum bid). At the Regent Street store, two screens used Microsoft Kinect technology to show giant robot models reacting to the movements of the people watching.

    It's freaky indeed, and we'll only be seeing more of this kind of stuff going forward. The ads are also beautifully made by in-house agency 4Creative, whose prior work included the stunning "Meet the Superhumans" ad for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

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    Adams Outdoor Advertising took home the Best Billboard Campaign award for its "Big Slushes" ads for Sonic Drive-In at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America's Obie Awards on Tuesday night. The campaign turned billboards in the Charleston, S.C., area into giant slushes complete with 3-D straws. 

    Kenneth Cole Productions and the Seattle Aquarium won the other two major awards.

    Cole won the 2015 Best Street Furniture/Transit/Alternative Campaign award for its "Be the Evolution" campaign in the New York subway, which urged men to perform good deeds throughout the day, like giving up a seat on the train or taking a photo for a tourist. The ads promoted Cole's Mankind Fragrance.

    Seattle agency Copacino+Fujikado was presented with the 2015 Best Multi-Format Campaign award for the Seattle Aquarium's "Amazing Facts" campaign.

    See all three campaigns below.

    Sonic Drive-In / Big Slushes

    Kenneth Cole / Be the Evolution

    Seattle Aquarium / Amazing Facts

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    If you're underwhelmed by the new Hamburglar's antics so far—and are pining for the original criminal himself—you're in luck, thanks to a spec campaign from production company Whiskey Tongue.

    The #OGHamburglar campaign (OG being slang, of course, for original gangster) will feature a series of short films, one of which was just released—showing Ronald McDonald and Grimace picking up OGHamburglar just as he's getting out of jail.

    That's about it so far, but the first spot is quite nice—gritty and disturbing in a Heath-Ledger-Joker sort of way. Fans can use the hashtag #OGHamburglar to help decide where the series goes next. (And please, no plots with nagging wives.)

    "The #OGHamburglar is back in action (straight outta prison) brought to you by a team of rogue creatives who want to bring the beloved character back to life outside of lockdown," the filmmakers say.

    Adds creative director Brett Landry: "We love the Hamburglar and hope that McDonald's will enjoy our interpretation of the original character."

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    A new Japanese campaign aims to combat domestic violence in the country with inventive coasters that hope to tame excessive drinking, which can contribute to the problem.

    Yaocho, a bar chain, and agency Ogilvy & Mather Tokyo created the coasters, each of which features a portrait of a woman's face printed in thermal ink. When a cold drink rests on the coaster, the portrait changes to include cuts and bruises.

    The visuals are—no pun intended—chilling, and it's a clever use of media, though perhaps a touch too much so for its own good, with mechanics that may undermine the spirit and gravity of the message.

    "This drink will turn the woman on this coaster into a beat-up woman—just like you might do to a real woman, if you drink too much," is essentially the subtext of the ads. "Can you have another round without wanting to hit your significant other?"

    But as Lucia Peters points out over at Bustle, while alcohol can be a factor in domestic violence, "placing the blame for domestic violence on alcohol excuses the people who commit the crimes in the first place—which is classic abuser behavior."

    Yaocho deserves credit for openly addressing domestic violence, and trying to raise awareness, theoretically at the expense of its own business. But while a drinking establishment is, on its face, the right place to reach viewers with a message about alcohol and domestic abuse, there's also a bit of cognitive dissonance in an anti-drinking ad that requires the viewer to be drinking to deliver its full effect.

    The tagline, at least in its translated version, isn't even "Don't drink too much." Rather, it is "Don't let excessive drinking end in domestic violence." In other words, "It's OK to spend your money on a bender, so long as you don't beat your wife or girlfriend afterward."

    And if you are the type of person who gets violent when you drink, you probably shouldn't be drinking at all. 

    More info below. Via Design Taxi.


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