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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    "We're not born with pride. We take pride. Pride in celebrating who we were born to be."

    That's the message of Target's #TakePride campaign for Pride Month, shared across the retailer's social channels this week, and led by an 80-second spot that mixes animation, live action and documentary footage to create a message about awareness and equality.

    "We're not born knowing where our life will lead, the obstacles we'll face, the joy we'll find," the voiceover says. "We're not born knowing that these milestones are also stepping stones in helping us find our footing in what we stand for, and who we'll stand by."

    The spot speaks to an evolving understanding of one's true self and respect for one's place in the world. And it does so in forthright fashion, noting that "heartbreaks" and adversity shape human experience and character. Its imagery acknowledges the long, complex, often rough road to enlightenment, mixing shots of San Francisco's 1978 Gay Freedom Day parade with contemporary footage of two dads and their new baby.



    So, the ad's about a journey of discovery—for those in the LGBT community and, ultimately, for all of us.

    In a way, that theme reflects Target's—and in a broader sense, society's—history with such issues. (Though it has positively portrayed LGBT people in ads for several years, some had questioned Target's stance on progressive issues before its very public move last September in support of gay marriage.)

    In a blog post on Monday, Laysha Ward, Target's social responsibility officer, unequivocally stated the chain's position: "Target proudly stands with the LGBT community, both as a team member and team player through all that we do—from our volunteer efforts to our long-standing partnerships with groups like Family Equality Council and Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, to the very products we carry in our stores and online."

    A gallery of rainbow- and "Love Is Love"-themed T-shirts, bow-ties, shorts, flip-flops and assorted paraphernalia follows.

    Target is, after all, a for-profit venture seeking to sell stuff to as many consumer segments as possible. Yet its LGBT pitch is in step with the times, and in some ways transcendent, rather than opportunistic or cynical.

    Just a decade ago, many mainstream marketers would have shunned such an appeal, fearing a backlash and boycotts from the right. Now, these pitches are becoming commonplace, part of the increasingly rich and inclusive lingua franca of modern life.

    That's a shift we can all be proud of.


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    The best marketing embodies the message it's trying to impart. And in the case of French organic food retailer Biocoop, that means trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible in all of its activities—even producing its ad campaigns.

    The brand challenged Fred & Farid to produce ads in a way that had the least impact on the planet. And the Paris agency responded by rethinking almost every element of the production process.

    Check out the case study below to see how they minimized the carbon footprint—by shooting photos with a pinhole camera, writing the taglines right on the prints in vegetable paint, recording music in only one take, designing the website almost entirely in ASCII text (totally only 3MB of data) and more.



    In the end, the production used up 5.9 tons of carbon dioxide—which sounds like a lot, but is three times less than would have been produced through more traditional means.

    They probably shouldn't have produced the case study at all—a purely self-interested piece of communication if ever there was one. But you know, when you do some good for the planet, it's hard not to pat yourself on the back.

    CREDITS
    Client: Biocoop
    Campaign: The Most Eco-Friendly Campaign Ever
    Agency: Fred & Farid Paris
    Chief Creative Officers: Fred & Farid
    Executive Creative Directors: Benjamin Marchal & Olivier Lefebvre
    Copywriter: Noé Sato
    Art Director: François Claux
    Assistant Art Director: Alexandre Jegou
    Digital Art Director: Rémy Gendre
    Head of Social: Matthieu Bouilhot
    Brand supervisor: Patrick Marguerie, Maéva Selami
    Account supervisor: Emmanuel Ferry
    Account manager: Joy Arfi
    TV Producer & Art Buyer: Adélaide Samani
    Print Producer: Julia Durey, Olivier Lepaire
    Digital Producer: Domitille Doat, Jim Tran, Benjamin Bouzerau-Levy
    Director: KILLDEATH
    DOP: Zach Spiger
    Photographer: David Ledoux
    Typographer: Aleksi Cavaillez
    Photo developer: Paul Feton
    Media Strategist: Julien Leveque, Lauren Godet
    Music: Capitaine Plouf
    Production company: Continental Productions


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    Apple is promoting its highly anticipated streaming music service, and it's doing it characteristically grandiose style.

    The tech company is out with three new ads to accompany Monday's rollout of the product (available to users at the end of June). And the commercials heavily feature the brand's familiar obsessions with globe-spanning innovation.

    There's the anthem ad, set to Pharell's "Freedom," which basically reminds you that no matter who you are, how you're feeling, what you're doing or where you're doing it, music will make it better. Are you withdrawing from a chaotic school bus into your Beats (now by Apple) headphones? Are you dancing at a party? Crying alone in a hallway? Riding on a boat on a river somewhere? Doing motorcycle tricks? Hanging off a helicopter? In Apple's world of foregone conclusions, where it's already the dominant force in streaming, the brand says "You're welcome." (In fact, the ad is similar in spirit to—if perhaps slightly broader in reach than—the iPhone ad from last year that featured all of mankind participating in a cover of the Pixies' "Gigantic").



    There's also a "History of Sound" ad, set to "There's No Light" by Wildbirds & Peacedrums, that stakes a similarly sweeping claim on Apple's place in the context of all recorded music—from radio and vinyl to jukeboxes to 8-tracks to the company's rightful status as pioneer, with the iPod, as well as its more niche role as an influential music production tool, and its ambitious—yet unproven—argument that Apple Music is the next big thing.

    In the montage, there's even a nod to ripping music and burning CDs—a message that's somewhere between Apple patting itself on the back for coming up with a digital sales model that actually worked, for a time, and serving up a not-so-subtle reminder to the music industry that it still needs help.



    The third video, voiced by Nine Inch Nails frontman-cum-Beats/Apple-spokesman Trent Reznor and DJ Julie Adenuga, explains the new service's features, which include on-demand streaming (like Spotify), a special 24/7 Internet radio station featuring tastemaker DJs (including Adenuga), and a social network aimed at connecting artists with fans. Reznor, in a somewhat wooden performance (screaming suits him better), delivers a set of now-familiar diagnoses about the current landscape—the abundance of music, its devaluation as an art form and the importance of directly connecting artists and fans.



    Everyone and their mother is already spilling a ton of ink over how inventive the product might be (at first blush, not particularly) and whether it will succeed (given Apple's crushing resources in terms of cash and reach, the odds seem decent in its favor, regardless of competitors' head-starts in the streaming space). And there's also always the question of the degree to which the high-brow explanations, and exaltations to music as a craft, are just lip service—part of the sales pitch.

    It's not particularly encouraging, for example, that the second ad itself doesn't include a credit for the artist whose work is key to setting the tone—something Beats by Dre's notoriously powerful ads, for which Jimmy Iovine famously picked the music, tended to do. (The first video is absent a credit, too, though Pharrell does get a shout-out in the voiceover.)

    In other words, the new work mostly tells us what we already know—Apple wants to own the future of the music business, and its execs know it's the big kid on the playground—so it's swaggering out with all the bravado and slickness you'd expect from the company.

    But no matter how the land grab nets out in the end, it's safe to say the play is more about the benjamins than anything else.


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    Grey London does a top-flight job of capturing the intensely personal nature of running and growing a business in "Lift," a 90-second film for HSBC.

    The eventful 40-year odyssey of one executive—founder of a firm called Cadours Industries—plays out almost entirely in an elevator (actually, several elevators, because his company moves over time, always occupying a higher floor in whatever building it calls home).

    Needless to say, his journey to the top is anything but smooth. The firm's ups and downs from its 1974 inception to present-day global expansion include business deals, office politics and personal dramas—all deftly conveyed by the postures, attitudes and physical interactions of the folks inside the lift.

    There's no dialogue or narration, and so situations are largely inferred. At one point, the presence of Asian execs suggests a key international meeting is about to take place. At another, our hero has clearly suffered a setback, as he's sitting sadly alone in the elevator, which has stalled between floors.



    It's a novel, effective style of storytelling that lets the audience fill in the blanks and promotes repeat viewings. (As Mad Men proved, you can get more drama out of elevator scenes than you might think.) The passage of time is especially well-realized owing to great costumes, hairstyles and makeup. Adam Spivey's fluid editing—absolutely crucial for convincingly covering so many years in such a brief span—ranks among the best you'll see in a commercial this year.

    Though business is the focus, "at its core, it is a human story and very much centered around a main character," says Glue Society director Gary Freedman, who does an admirable job of cramming multiple, decades-spanning storylines into one memorable ride. "Telling such an expansive story within the confines of a lift was a very interesting challenge," he says, "but that restriction allowed us to really develop creative, often unexpected ideas."

    Nick Rowland, creative director at Grey London, fielded some questions from Adweek. He says the spot, and the agency's broader "It's Never Just Business" campaign for HSBC, signals "a shift away from the pinstripes, percentage points and money that this category operates in. It's about people. People selling to people. Relationships." This film, he says, "is a metaphor. It's a journey. A company, and a person moving upwards. Sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth—but the journey always continues." (In a nasty bit of irony, however—and perhaps bad timing, given the ad's theme—HSBC just announced a sweeping round of layoffs.)

    Rowland believes the confined space of the lift enhanced the drama:
    "There were many conversations internally and externally, both with client and directors, about whether we should break out of the lift. But that's where the magic lies. Containing our story in such a small space puts all the viewers' focus on the cast and the narrative. It makes it tougher, but makes the story stronger."

    He says HSBC was on board at the ground floor:
    "They loved the fact that it was a human story. That it could be warm, and touching and exciting. They loved that it could show the side of business that everyone from the business world could relate to."

    Of course, the shoot was complex:
    "We shot for just under a week—but as you can imagine there were huge challenges. The preproduction was incredible. The level of detail required to make wardrobe and makeup work, to really make our journey through time coherent and engaging. And then ultimately the challenge of shooting in such a small space. The lift almost became a miniature stage in which the drama was acted out on. It puts so much pressure on the level of performance, so the cast had to be great. And then the edit, making sure we showed the passage of time but allowing enough room for performance. It amazes me how such a simple idea can have so many layers of complexity."

    There was a potentially bad snafu:
    "We'd prepped and practiced the lead actor's makeup again and again, really trying to make it authentic and right. But on the last shoot day, when he was the most "aged," he had an allergic reaction to some of the makeup. That was at about 5 a.m. But he was amazing. It was a bit tense waiting for the side effects to calm down, but he just carried on and nailed it again and again."

    Ultimately, the lead's performance is amazing, especially since he had no dialog to work with:
    "His name is Stephane Coulon. We cast him in Paris. We did a lot of casting sessions to try and find our guy. The intensity of his performance was incredible, and watching him work with Gary was a real joy. He should be entered for a best actor at BAFTA. It's not often you get to experience such a powerful performance in the commercial world."

    See some behind-the-scenes photos, plus credits, below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Sarah Threadgould, Head of Marketing Communications and Campaign Strategy, Global Commercial Bank, HSBC
    Project: "Lift"
    Creative Agency: Grey, London
    Creative Director: Nick Rowland
    Copywriters: Jamie Starbuck, Theo Bayani
    Art Director: Miguel Gonzales
    Account Team: Barbara Waite, Alex Clarke
    Agency Producer: Harriette Larder
    Planner: Matthew Gladstone
    Media Agency: Mindshare
    Media Planner: Edward Fall
    Production Company: Independent Films
    Director: Gary Freedman, The Glue Society
    Executive Producer: Jani Guest
    Producer: Jason Kemp
    Director of Photography: Stephane Fontaine
    Editor: Adam Spivey
    Postproduction: Tom Johnson, The Mill
    Soundtrack Composer: Yann Tiersen
    Audio Postproduction: Sam Robson, 750mph


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    Last year, Virgin Media in the U.K. introduced an ad character who's literally a night owl, staying up late to binge-watch show after show on Netflix. Now, that owl—who goes by the name Ally McNab—is one step closer to her anti-heroes on Orange Is the New Black.

    A new campaign from BBH London, pushing Netflix streaming on Virgin, actually sends Ally to Litchfield Penitentiary, where she becomes the latest orange-clad newbie inmate. And the show's famous characters even filmed scenes with their freaky new cellmate. (Not surprisingly, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren takes a shine to her new feathered friend—either because they have a similar stare, or because Crazy Eyes befriends everyone.)



    The spot actually combines new and existing footage. It's an interesting bit of film, considering all the players involved.

    "It's a piece of content involving an entertainment property, a subscription streaming service and a broadband provider," says Jeremy Ettinghausen, innovation director at BBH and BBH Labs. "It stars characters from a TV show interacting with characters from an advertising campaign, in an advertising campaign for a TV show, a broadband provider and a subscription entertainment service. Is this a new content type? We don't know. Is it interesting? We think so, maybe simply because we can't put it in a box."

    The campaign is running online, on social media, in retail, and on video on demand. The third season of Orange Is the New Black hits Netflix on Friday.

    CREDITS
    Client: Virgin Media
    Head of Brand Advertising, Sponsorship: Ellie Tory
    Partnership Marketing Lead: Rob Cannon
    Agency: BBH, London
    Creative Team: Dan Morris, Charlene Chandrasekaran
    Creative Directors: Tom Drew, Uche Ezugwu
    Strategist: Elle Graham-Dixon
    Account Team: Phil Lloyd
    Production Company: Black Sheep Studios
    Editing House: Black Sheep Studios
    Postproduction: OutpostVFX
    Sound: Factory


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    Here's a fun and inventive before-and-after test from L'Oréal and McCann Mexico.

    The cosmetics company invited 100 women to a movie. Before the screening, they had their makeup done by L'Oréal beauty experts, who applied waterproof mascara. As part of the prep, the women also had their photo taken.

    Then they were taken into the theater for the movie—and it certainly was an emotional one. Before long, the women were sobbing, as a story of "impossible love" played out. By the end, their makeup should have been a disaster—indeed, the women had their photo taken a second time after the screening to see how it held up.



    It's a nice stunt, and a believable one (even if details like the 162 minutes of tears are exaggerated). And in some ways it's perfect that they don't mention the name of the film. This was surely a simple rights issue, but it gives the video a small extra dose of humor.

    CREDITS
    Client: L'Oréal
    Agency: McCann México
    Creative VP: Javi Carro
    Creative Account Group Director: Joanna López
    Associate Creative Director: Roberto Martínez
    Senior Copywriter: Adria Jáuregui
    Art Director: Myriam Barrios
    Account Director: Audrey Amselli
    Production Company: Unidad 59
    Director: David "Leche" Ruiz
    Production director: Juan González
    Production: Rafael López


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    Men who drink Heineken are still going on wild romps through the world's most colorful cities, but now one is leading a gaggle of clueless tourists as well.

    In this new ad from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, a dapper young man hijacks a tour guide's authority and takes his charges to see the better, deeper secrets of Paris. Those include, naturally, a masquerade hidden in crypts beneath the city, with guests wearing plague doctor masks.

    It's a familiar formula for the brewer: A gregarious charmer, who could easily be the Most Interesting Man in the World in his prime, dances his way through a retro-hip wonderland, slugging Heinekens along the way. The twist here is perhaps that the hero is a little more gracious—less concerned with his his own appetite for chasing thrills and beautiful women (or, in that one instance, for finding his pet goat) and instead more eager to show the guests of his city a good time, as a sort of random act of benevolence.



    The best moment, though, is probably the silliest—when the tour group is waylaid by a gang of mimes. Probably because after a parade of slick feel-good partying, nothing is more refreshing than a bunch of creepy overblown clowns making fools of themselves.

    CREDITS
    Client: Heineken
    Global Brand Director: Gianluca di Tondo
    Global Communications Director: Anuraag Trikha
    Global Communications Manager: Diana Agudelo Hernandez

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
    Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy
    Creative Director: Thierry Albert & Faustin Claverie
    Art Director: Kia Heinnen
    Copywriter: Zoe Hawkins
    Head of Broadcast Production: Joe Togneri
    Broadcast Producer: Elissa Singstock
    Planner: Nick Docherty
    Group Account Director: Jordi Pont
    Account Manager: Amber Martin
    Project Manager: Stacey Prudden
    Business Affairs: Emilie Douque

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Dante Ariola
    Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd
    Producer: Natalie Hill
    Executive Producer: Debbie Turner

    Editing Company: Peep Show Post
    Editor: Andrea MacArthur

    Audio Post: Grand Central Recording Studios
    Sound Designer/Mixer: Raja Sehgal

    Music: Schmooze
    Artist / Title: Feu Chatterton/ J'aime regarder les filles
    Music Company: Schmooze

    Postproduction: Method Studios New York / Co.3
    Flame: Tom McCullough
    3D: Rick Walia
    Telecine: Stefan Sonnenfeld (Co.3)
    Producer: Matthew Engel (Method NY) / Rhubie Jovanov (Co.3)


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    Here's the moment when spec advertising finally digests its own tail.

    The Open Collaboration (aka, OpenCo), a South African agency majority owned by TBWA, whipped up what it apparently considers a masterpiece of social-cause messaging—a print ad showing side-by-side photos of Hitler and Mandela in prison. Hitler served nine months, the copy explains, while Mandela served 27 years.

    "People do not always get the justice they deserve," says the copy below. "We're doing everything we can to change that."

    Here's the proposed ad. Click to enlarge:



    As you can see, there is a blank space where the logo should go. That's because it's a spec ad, done without client approval—indeed, without a specific client in mind here. But OpenCo hoped some group devoted to righting unnamed injustices in the world would, after initially fainting at the ad's brilliance, slap its logo on there.

    That didn't happen. So OpenCo, feeling offended, decided to do something even more solipsistic than regular spec work. It went and made another ad about the first ad, describing it in detail—to call attention to this fresh injustice, and hopefully get the spec ad in front of someone "brave enough to run it."

    Here's that ad. Click to enlarge:



    There's so much that's odd about this, even if you accept that it's not just a cynical PR play (though the whole "This is not a print ad" thing does seem aimed at ad people).

    First of all, the creative is provocative—it would be offensive to many—and might not align at all with any organization's marketing needs. Not many people, after all, are all that fond of using Hitler in their ads.

    Also, its internal logic is thorny at best. Hitler killed himself in disgrace, his dream destroyed, while Mandela was lionized. Focusing on the prison terms is a simplistic take on whether justice was served in either case. (Mandela's family, by the way, would surely balk at seeing his image paired with Hitler's under any circumstances—particularly when the message is how he got a raw deal compared to the Nazi leader.)

    The bigger issue, though, is the arrogance. This is spec work. Getting indignant when no one buys it makes you look like a fool. And in this case, it's worse than that. OpenCo isn't just complaining about intransigent would-be clients rejecting its work. It's flat-out calling them cowards. That's a pretty rich point of view for an ad agency to take of nonprofits doing real social work.

    Let's assume this stunt was well meaning. (We emailed OpenCo a while back, but haven't heard back yet.) Maybe next time, if they really want to fight injustice in the world, they can start by not publicly shaming organizations that do so every day.


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    In this amusing 90-second spot for Rolling Stone, men and women of all sorts dress up like Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs. They don wire-rim specs, black turtlenecks and blue jeans as they question aspects of their lives, large and small, ranging from health regimens and toupees to technology's impact on the future.

    The patently absurd sight of a geeky Steve army marching down the street is like an image plucked from Bill Gates' darkest dreams. (Heck, it's enough to give anyone nightmares!)

    Produced in English and Spanish by The Community, the ad targets young adults in Argentina, encouraging them to "Question Everything" and find ways of improving their situations. It closes by showing a 2011 Rolling Stone cover: "The Steve Jobs Nobody Knew."



    The visuals here are pretty memorable, but the concept feels like a stretch, and doesn't tie back to the magazine as well as it should. (The Community's recent Corona spot, with winter narrating mournful letters to summer, is equally offbeat but more on brand.)

    Mostly, "The Steves" reinforces Jobs' standing as an icon of the highest magnitude. Ironically, that's a distinction Rolling Stone itself once enjoyed, and the magazine's effort to piggyback on the tech pioneer's lasting relevance speaks volumes about our changing cultural landscape.

    CREDITS
    Client: Rolling Stone
    Agency: The Community
    Chief Creative Officers: Joaquin Molla, Jose Molla
    Executive Creative Officers: Ramiro Raposo, Fernando Sosa
    Art Director: Fernando Zagales
    Copywriter: Juan Mesz
    Group Account Director: Sebastian Diaz
    Account Executive: Lucas Saez
    Audiovisual Producer: Matias Castro
    Responsible for the Client: Branowski Bárbara, Paula Rottenbücher
    Production Company: Barry Company
    Director: Mariana Youssef
    Director of Photography: Adolpho Veloso
    First Assistant Director: Elton Takii
    Art Director: Guilherme Marini
    Production Director: Tadeu Piantino
    Wardrobe: Heloisa Cobra
    Account Manager: Juliana Martellotta
    Executive Producer: Krysse Mello
    Editors: Alexandre Boechat, Rodolpho Ponzio
    Postproduction: Fulano Filmes
    Postproduction Coordinator: Karina Vallesi
    Postproduction Supervisor: Ale Cois
    Assistant Postproduction Supervisor: Sabrina Comar
    Sound: Animal
    Music Production: André Caccia Bava


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    Toyota goes all in for Father's Day, unveiling a pair of Web films from Saatchi & Saatchi—each nearly three-minutes long—and erecting an "I (Heart) Dad" monument next week on Southern California's Santa Monica Beach Pier.

    One of the films, "Father's Day Reunion," follows twentysomething Phil Eastman, whose parents divorced when he was 8, and who last spent Father's Day with his dad 15 years ago. Toyota chose Eastman from hundreds of on-the-street interviews it conducted last month in Los Angeles, and sent him on a surprise visit to see his father, a latter-day cowboy type who lives in dusty Hyattville, Wyoming (population: 75).

    During the film, the perspective shifts between Eastman and his dad, as both share their feelings about their relationship. "I didn't have a lot of time to spend with him growing up," Eastman says. "My dad always reached out, but I sort of pulled away." As an adult, Eastman is "still kind of wondering … who he is in my life."

    His dad, an environmentally conscious dude who lives on an expansive ranch-style property, says, "We've always been close, but there were times when we had some big gaps."

    These days, "every time I see my dad," Eastman says, "it feels like I'm coming back home." Getting together helps both men shed baggage so they can enjoy each other's company in the here and now.



    Though heartfelt, such pronouncements are far from tear-jerkers. Throughout, we get the impression that these guys are simply sharing their feelings in honest, unfettered fashion. The lack of overt drama adds depth and meaning to their interactions.

    Director Ivan Cash's low-key, naturalistic style is especially effective. Often, he focuses on seemingly insignificant details, like a horseshoe or a steer's head hanging on a wall, or Eastman's quiet contemplation as he packs for his trip. This keeps the film firmly grounded, and gives it a universality other forays into similar territory sometimes lack. (Hallmark's recent Mother's Day campaign comes to mind. Though powerful in its way, it feels far more manipulative than Toyota's more casual, cinema verité approach.)

    Cash also directed the street interviews from which Eastman was chosen. That footage forms the basis of the second film, "Father's Day Redo." As in "Reunion," the straightforwardness of the presentation keeps things from getting overly sentimental. Random folks answer questions about Father's Day, with most conceding they're not sure when the holiday rolls around or admitting they didn't get their dads a present last year. (The campaign turns on the insight that Americans spend $7.4 billion less on Father's Day gifts than they spend on Mother's Day. One guy, at least in his twenties, says he painted a smiley face on a rock last year to honor his dad.)

    The subjects reveal what their dads mean to them. One young woman says her father sacrificed for the family by working long hours at "crappy jobs," while another notes that her dad calls her at the same time every day. The everyday nature of the comments make them all the more poignant; over-the-top revelations wouldn't work nearly as well. Ultimately, the interviewees phone their dads to express their thanks, but somehow, these impromptu "I love yous" avoid sounding mawkish or overblown.



    For the most part, Toyota takes a backseat in both films, allowing viewers to infer the brand's role as a mode of transportation that helps make important journeys possible.

    Extending the Father's Day theme into the physical world, Toyota commissioned DJ Neff to design a 15-foot-tall wooden "I (Heart) Dad" monument, which will be unveiled next Tuesday on Santa Monica Pier, where it will remain through June 22. (Thanks to Instaprint technology, visitors will be able to instantly print their Instagram photos at the site by adding the campaign's #OneBoldChoice hashtag.)

    The monument and films echo the automaker's memorable "My Bold Dad" Super Bowl commercial for Camry, which showed a father driving his daughter to the airport as she begins her hitch in the U.S. Army.

    "We were excited to hear that we really got Americans to think about their dads during this year's Super Bowl," says Toyota group vp of marketing Jack Hollis. "What better way to continue that connection than by starting a timely, new conversation on Father's Day."

    CREDITS
    Client: Toyota
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles
    CCO: Jason Schragger
    CD: Erich Funke
    Copywriter: Nick Cade
    ACD/Art Director: John Kritch
    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Lalita Koehler
    Director of Content Production: Sara Seibert
    Senior Content Producer: Pamela Parsons
    Production Coordinator: Anthony Circo
    Group Account Director: Erica Baker
    Account Director: Carla Tanchum
    Management Supervisor: Chris Crockett
    Account Executive: Tracey Horwitz
    Director of Public Relations  Nick Ammazzalorso
    Product Information Specialist: Paul Watson
    Strategic Planning Director: Evan Ferrari
    Management Supervisor Social Media: Hansoul Kim
    Engagement Manager, Social Media: Allie Burrow
    Executive Communications Director: Gwen Conley
    Media Director: Janet Waters
    Associate Communications Director:  Breanne Carpenter
    Senior Project Manager: Jill Savage
    Account Director, Social Media: Bryan DeSena
    Business Affairs Director:  Keli Christy
    Senior Business Affairs Manager:  Kate Bestic

    Client:   
    Group Vice President - Marketing Jack Hollis
    Vehicle Marketing & Communications National Manager -Sedan Ann Masse
    Vehicle Marketing & Communications Manager - Camry Angie White
    Vehicle Marketing & Communications Planner - Camry Jessica Geremia
    Social Media Strategy & Operations Director Monica Peterson
    Social Media Strategy & Operations Manager Florence Drakton
    Social Media Marketing Planner Brian Carroll

    Production Company: Cash Studios
    Executive Producer: Melissa Abe
    President Of Production Company: Ivan Cash
    Line Producer: Asori Soto
    Director: Ivan Cash
    DP: Daniel Addelson
    Editing Company: Cosmo Street
    Executive Producer: Yvette Sears
    Producer: Marie Mangahas
    Editor: Bill Chessman
    Assistant Editor: Zoe Mougin
    Telecine: CO3, Stefan Sonnenfeld

    Finishing: Brickyard
    Finishing Artist: Patrick Poulatian
    Finishing Producer: Diana Young

    Music: Asche & Spencer

    Sound Design
    Mix: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Loren Silber

    Monument Credits
    CCO: Jason Schragger
    CD: Erich Funke
    Copywriter: Nick Cade
    ACD/Art Director: John Kritch
    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Lalita Koehler
    Director of Content Production: Sara Seibert
    Senior Content Producer: Pamela Parsons
    Senior Art Producer: Dogan Dattilo
    Production Coordinator: Anthony Circo


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    Finlandia is gunning hard for the title of most inspirational vodka commercial ever.

    A new two-and-half-minute ad, "1,000 years of less ordinary wisdom," features offbeat heroes like a drag wrestler and reindeer racer offering tips on how to make it in the world, like "Be nobody's bitch but your own" and "You're only as fast as your reindeer." In other words, a lot of the advice is, in spirit, not really that different from standard motivational fare, even if it comes from unusual sources and their unconventional contexts (though fashion icon Iris Apfel is not exactly out of the spotlight these days).

    As for the title, the 1,000 years refers to the sum of the ages of the people in the commercial. A number of them are long in the tooth, which is cool, because listening to one's elders is generally a good thing—they're often less boring and clueless than young people. But the spot also makes sure to feature more sprightly accomplished types, too, like a prima ballerina and volcanic scientist (because it can't really exclude representing the money demo, too).



    Created by Wieden + Kennedy London, the spot relies heavily on a driving (mostly) instrumental version of the song "Undeniable," by Donnie Daydream featuring Richie Sosa. That strings together the disparate footage from director Siri Bunford (though it might be worth mentioning that Adidas also just used the record as a soundtrack for its own sports-themed montage-qua-anthem).

    Game of Thrones fans might enjoy that, as Fast Company notes, the strong man—Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson—is also a actor on the show. (He's the latest in a string to play "The Mountain" Gregor Clegane, largely absent this season but for the occasional twitch from under a blanket on a laboratory table, the pseudo-zombie experiment of some sinister wizard. P.S.: If that's where drinking Finlandia leads, no thanks.)

    In all seriousness, though, the concept is pretty moving—a nice snapshot of various walks of life, with some clever and charming moments. Overall, it might even be convincing, except what drinking vodka really makes people want to do is drink more vodka and then pass out hard and sleep in the next day—not a great way to tear through that bucket list.

    CREDITS
    Client: Finlandia
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
    Creative directors: Scott Dungate, Graeme Douglas
    Copywriter: Paddy Treacy
    Art director: Mark Shanley
    Executive creative directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
    Executive producer: Danielle Stewart
    Group account director: Paulo Salomao
    Account director: Matt Owen
    Account manager: Sophie Lake
    Head of planning: Beth Bentley
    Planning director: Martin Beverley
    TV producer: Michelle Brough
    Production company: Knucklehead
    Director: Siri Bunford
    Executive producer: Matthew Brown
    Director of photography: Ben Smithard
    Editorial companies: Lucky Cat, Whitehouse Post
    Editors: Xavier Perkins, Lucky Cat; Adam Marshall, Whitehouse Post
    Post producer: Anandi Peiris
    VFX company: MPC
    VFX supervisor: Bill McNamara
    Flame artist: Bill McNamara
    VFX producer: Anandi Peiris
    Grade: MPC
    Colorist: Matthieu Toullet
    Titles/graphics: Ryan Teixeira
    Music/sound company: Factory
    Sound designers: Anthony Moore, Phil Bollard
    Song: Undeniable, Richie Sosa
    Interactive producer: Dom Felton
    Director of relations: Marta Bobic
    PR manager: Charlotte Corbett


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    New ads for Panera Bread lean into the food-as-lifestyle trend—and in that sense, play in the space of Chipotle and, to a lesser extent, Chobani.

    While Panera's ads, which break today, can't match the rich production quality of the CAA Marketing's online films for Chipotle, the message is just as clear—people are literally sick of eating food loaded with man-made ingredients. So, they're chosing to eat better, even if it costs more, based on the promise that they'll feel better and be happy.

    Panera's campaign, tagged "Food as it should be," marks the first big push from the chain's new lead agency, Anomaly, hired late last year. At the time, the company said it was impressed by the shop's past work for Dick's Sporting Goods, among other clients. And the new ads are similar to the Dick's work in that they capture small moments and feel more realistic than aspirational.

    The 60-second version of the anthem spot, "Should Be," for example, includes images of happy eaters that were shot around columns and through a window:



    In addition, the camera moves as if it's handheld, and the lighting includes shadows, creating a more naturalistic feel, as in "Celebration." Still, I'm not sure a Caesar salad featuring kale would spark this kind of reaction among most teenage girls.



    Beyond the TV spots, there are outdoor, radio and online ads, including a meaty helping of social media marketing. Clearly, Panera, which typically spends about $90 million in media annually, is going for summer saturation here, with fun stuff like people struggling to pronounce bad ingredients (which Funny or Die has already skewered) and even CEO Ron Shaich talking earnestly about what his company stands for in this two-minute video:


     

    "We're not trying to be someone's mother, telling them what they should or shouldn't do. We have no desire to do that," said Chris Hollander, Panera's head of marketing. "We simply want to say, 'Look, this is what we believe. ... If you share our values and share that philosophy, then yeah, come on in. We have some great options for you.'"

    In addition, there's "The No No List" of artificial colors, flavors, sugars and preservatives that you won't find in Panera food. And below, check out a letter from Shaich that ran Sunday in major newspapers. In all, the campaign captures the spirit of the brand, without preaching or bad-mouthing the competition. Some things are better left unsaid.



    CREDITS

    Client: Panera Bread
    Campaign: "Food As It Should Be"
    Agency: Anomaly, New York
    Executive Creative Director: Eric Segal
    Art Director: Rebecca Johnson-Pond
    Copywriter: Simon Philion
    Creative Directors: Andrew Curry, Keiji Ando
    Head of Production: Andrew Loevenguth
    Senior Producer: Katherine Cheng
    Music Supervisor: Jonathan Wellbelove
    Account Director: Keiko Kurokawa
    Project Manager: Milisava Tertovich
    Production Company: Workhouse Projects
    Director: Ben Quinn
    Director of Photography: Jeremy Rouse
    Executive Producer: Roger Zorovich
    Line Producer: Salli Zilles
    Editing House: Cut & Run, New York
    Editor: Akiko Iwakawa
    Executive Producer: Rana Martin
    Producer: Ellese Jobin
    Colorist: Fergus McCall/The Mill NY
    Audio Mix: Tommy Jucarone, Rob DiFondi at Sound Lounge


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    There's nothing more infectious than good old fashioned enthusiasm from a presidential candidate. And what better way to project that political fervor than by adding an exclamation point to your campaign logo?

    On Sunday, John Ellis Bush, known colloquially by a snappier acronym, did just that in unveiling his 2016 logo. It sure is enthusiastic, capped off by an actual exclamation point:
     

     
    Many critics quickly pointed out that the logo is missing his surname, though given how politically charged the Bush name is, perhaps that's not surprising. (Hillary didn't even find it necessary to spell out her first name in her logo.) And anyway, Jeb has been using essentially the same logo—with the exclamation point—for 20 years:
     

     
    Of course, everyone has an opinion about campaign logos, and the Internet had plenty of fun with this one as well. Here are some of the best reactions from the past day:
     












     
    I couldn't help but join in the fun, too.
     





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    Adult children raised by single mothers wish their moms a happy Father's Day in this intriguing, unconventional take on the holiday by Deutsch L.A. for Georgia Pacific's Angel Soft bathroom tissue.

    The two-and-a-half-minute video presents various men and women who speak directly into the camera, thanking their moms for being both mothers and fathers in their lives. "She did it all, as though she was two people," one subject says. The others echo this sentiment, explaining how their moms combined softness and strength, tying back to the brand's new tagline, "Be soft, be strong," which is introduced here.

    Quite a few of these folks get choked up, but that's de rigueur for the "gratitude advertising" category, and the tears are balanced by some lighter moments. (One guy recalls his mom teaching him to defend himself on the playground: "She was like, 'When you punch, you put your knuckle out and you just go for it.' I don't even know if that's a thing.")



    Sure, this is another attempt to yank viewers' heartstrings, but the novel concept and no-frills presentation really carry the day. The subjects simply tell their stories, and there are no "dramatic appearances" by the moms, or clichéd hug sessions, so the spot feels less contrived than others in the genre. Another plus: The ad honors moms and dads by implicitly acknowledging the importance of the latter.

    All that said, the work, from my perspective, has a basic conceptual flaw. While well-meaning, it could be be construed as trading in gender stereotypes. Some might find the suggestion of one parent typically being "soft" and the other "strong" kind of regressive. (Gee, I wonder which is supposed to be which?)

    Don't men and women—raising kids alone or together, or childless, for that matter—usually combine both traits to varying degrees?

    CREDITS
    Client: Angel Soft
    Chief Marketing Officer: Douwe Bergsma
    Senior Vice President & General Manager, Bath Tissue: Vivek Joshi
    Senior Marketing Director, Brand Center: Shari Neumann
    Senior Brand Director: Joe Stempien
    Senior Brand Manager: Todd Wingfield
    Brand Manager: Melissa Blunte

    Agency: Deutsch L.A.

    Creative Credits:
    Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
    Executive Creative Director:: Karen Costello
    Executive Creative Director: Juan Oubina
    Associate Creative Director: Melissa Langston-Wood
    Associate Creative Director:: Jorge Ortega:
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Executive Integrated Producer: Rachel Seitel
    Integrated Producer: Win Bates
    Associate Integrated Producer: Justin Polk
    Music Director: Dave Rocco

    Account Management Credits:
    Group Account Director:: Erik Petersen
    Group Account Director:: Montse Barrena
    Account Director:: Megan Prince:
    Account Director:: Lauren Pollare
    Account Executive:: Melanie Faessler
    Assistant Account Executive : Bianca Brittain

    Account Planning:
    Chief Strategic Officer: Colin Drummond
    Executive Planning Director:: Jeffrey Blish
    Group Planning Director:: Thas Naseemuddeen
    Account Planner:: Eva Cantor
    Digital Strategist : Janet Shih

    Business Affairs/Traffic:
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs:: Abilino Guillermo:
    Senior Business Affairs Manager:: Terry Miglin:
    Director or Broadcast Traffic:: Carie Bonillo
    Broadcast Traffic Coordinator:: Anna Brito

    Executives:
    CEO, North America:: Mike Sheldon
    President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

    Production Company: Steelhead
    Director: Eric Kaufman
    Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
    Producer: Matt Johnson
    Line Producer: Melissa Verdugo

    Editorial Company: Steelhead
    Editor: Morgan Griswold
    Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
    Producer: Simone Gurren

    Post Facility: Company 3
    Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
    Senior Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

    Post/VFX: Steelhead
    Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
    Broadcast Motion Design Director: Jason Porter

    Music by: Elias Arts
    Track Title: Father's Day
    ECD: Vincenzo LoRusso
    CD: Michael Goldstein
    EP: Vicki Ordeshook
    Head of Production: Katie Overcash

    Audio Post Company: Steelhead
    Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
    Mixer: Chase Butters


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    It's been a full century since Coca-Cola approved the Root Glass Company's contour bottle design that would become the soft drink brand's trademark. So, to pat themselves on the back, Coke is teaming up with Italian fashion house Trussardi for a limited-edition collection of stylish aluminum cans and glass bottles.

    I hadn't heard of Trussardi before this, mostly because I don't have $927 to throw at a leather jacket. But they're a pretty big deal as far as high-end fashion goes, and have Lady Gaga and Katie Holmes wearing their clothes and designer bags and stuff.

    The Trussardi cans will officially be introduced to the world at Expo Milan 2015. Maybe soda bottles aren't the best case to show off haute couture aesthetics, though, because these designs aren't any more impressive than the specialty street art/graffiti-inspired stuff Coke has put out in the past.

    Maybe if they'd used their Hawaiian shirt pants as inspiration, I'd be more impressed.

    Via Design Taxi.


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    The hirsute, rotund free spirit from Southern Comfort's famous "Beach" ad in 2012 may have been harboring a dirty secret—his famous tan might have been at least partly self-inflicted—judging by the brand's new spot, which goes to great lengths (and widths) to celebrate artificial bronzing.

    The latest spot in the "Whatever's Comfortable" campaign, from Wieden + Kennedy New York, shows three blokes in hairnets—and what frankly look like diapers—lacquering their pasty exterior Britishness in a golden hue. This is because the weather in Britain is terrible, and they can't achieve a more natural summer glow by natural means.

    Not that they'd want to. This spray-tanning business is borderline orgasmic, judging by their quivering reaction to the spray gun's feathery touch. Comfortable is putting it mildly.



    Tanning oneself is only part of the story, though. Viewers are also encouraged to "tan" their lemonade this summer by spiking it with Southern Comfort & Lime.

    "Following the popularity of our previous ads, we've leveraged that momentum into a new chapter, one that not only heroes our 'Whatever's Comfortable' attitude but also the drink itself," says client marketing manager Gwen Ridsdale. "Southern Comfort lemonade and fresh lime, the brand's recommended serve, is integral to the story in a unique way, which adds a whole new dimension to the campaign by encouraging consumers to 'tan your lemonade' this summer.

    The spot breaks today online and will appear in cinemas and video on demand through the summer in the U.K.

    CREDITS
    Client: Southern Comfort

    Spot: "Spray Tan"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Jaime Robinson & David Kolbusz
    Creative Directors: Jimm Lasser, Caleb Jensen, Mike Giepert
    Copywriters: Laddie Peterson & Rajeev Basu
    Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
    Producer: Cheryl Warbrook
    Strategist: Tom Gibby
    Account Team: Toby Hussey, Katie Hoak, Kerry O'Connell
    Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Justine Lowe

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Andreas Nilsson
    Executive Producer/COO: Shawn Lacy
    Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
    Line Producer: Mirka Taylor / Jay Veal
    Director of Photography: Sebastian Wintero Hansen

    Editorial Company: Arcade NYC
    Editor: Geoff Hounsell
    Post Producer: Cecilia Melton
    Post Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Editorial Assistant: Sam Barden

    VFX Company: The Mill
    VFX Lead Flame: N/A
    VFX Supervisors: N/A
    VFX Compositors: Tomas Wall, Rob Meade
    VFX CG Artists: Andrew Bartholomew
    Producer: Colin Moneymaker

    Telecine Company: CO3
    Colorist: Tim Masick

    Mix Company: Heard City
    Mixer: Phillip Loeb
    Sound Designer: N/A
    Producer: Natasha Alden & Sasha Awn

    Song: All Gold Everything
    Artist: Soulja Boy

     


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    Wouldn't you?" is the salient question posed in Johannes Leonardo's first ad campaign for Sony's PlayStation Vue since the streaming TV service was announced in March (the agency was awarded the job last fall).

    Targeting the 35 million current PS3 and PS4 users, the push is anchored by a lighthearted but high-impact 60-second spot starring some millennial dude in a business suit. He interacts with lots of fun special effects, illustrating a series of questions, such as "If you had a button that could reverse time, you'd use it, wouldn't you?" and "If you had robotic legs that gave you extraordinary strength, you'd use them, wouldn't you?"

    Ultimately, he asks, "If you had a TV experience better than you ever imagined inside your PlayStation, you'd use it—wouldn't you?" as he kicks back to enjoy some PS Vue. "Start Vueing" is the tagline.



    Perfectly paced by MJZ director Fredrik Bond, the showy visuals (dig those crazy legs—and look out for that soccer ball!) should hold viewers' attention all the way through and help drive home the straightforward sales pitch.

    Sony debuted the ad on Monday at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. It also announced that, beginning next month, a la carte programming will be available, allowing users to purchase specific channels such as Showtime, Machinima and Fox Soccer.

    Now, that's a Vue that plenty of users, weary of blowing big bucks on cable tiers, should appreciate.

    CREDITS
    Client: Sony

    Agency: Johannes Leonardo
    Chief Creative Officers: Jan Jacobs / Leo Premutico 
    Executive Creative Directors: Tom Martin / Julian Schreiber    
    Art Director: Verenice Lopez, Jerome Marucci     
    Copywriter: Devin McGillivary, Steven McElligot  
    Head of Production: Cedric Gairard
    Executive Producer: Sevda Cemo
    Producer: Tina Diep
    Associate Producer:  Dustin Grant 
    General Manager: John McCarthy
    Account Director: Marc Gellman
    Account Supervisor: Adam Rubin
    Planning Director: Jennifer Colman
    Associate Strategist: David Ceng 

    Production Company: MJZ      
    Director: Fredrik Bond        
    Executive producer: Kate Leahy
    Line Producer: Alicia Richards
    DOP: Crille Forsberg
    1st Assistant Director: Mark Taylor
    Production Designer: Petr Kunc

    Post Production Company: The Mill, Los Angeles
    Exec Producer: Enca Kaul
    Producer VFX: Will Lemmon
    Producer Color: Antonio Hardy
    Shoot Supervisors: David Lawson, Becky Porter
    Creative Director: David Lawson
    2D Lead Artist: Becky Porter
    3D Lead Artist: David Lawson
    2D Artists: Andy Dill, Daniel Lang, Anthony Petitti, Narbeh Maridossian, Patrick Munoz, Tara DeMarco, Steve Cokonis, Tim Robbins
    3D Artists: Phil Mayer, Majid Esmaeili, Steven Olson, Matt Longwell, Martin Rivera, Mike Di Nocco, Aldrich Torres, Monique Espinoza, Itai Muller
    Matte Painting: Andy Wheater
    Motion Graphics: Justin Demetrician, Greg Park, Andrew Marks
    Colourist: Adam Scott
    Art Department Coordinator: Daniel Midgley

    Production Company in Prague: Unit & Sofa
    Exec Producer: Fady Saleme
    Line Producer: Nikola Mohorita

    Radio Production Company: Sonic Union
    Founder/Engineer: Stephen Rosen
    Executive Producer: Justine Cortale
    Producer: Melissa Tanzer      
    Casting Director: Maria Pappalardo

    Editing House: Union Editorial
    Executive Producer: Caryn MacLean
    Senior Producer: Susan Motamed
    Editor:  Patrick Ryan
    Assistant Editor: Andrew Droga
    Cutting Assistant: Melissa Geczy

    Music House: Q Department
    Composer: Drazen Bosnjak        
    Producer: Zack Rice
    Assistant Producer: Guin Frehling
    Mixer: Steve Rosen


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    MediaCom is lurching, zombie-like, toward the Cannes Lions festival with a real horror show of a session planned for this Sunday. And it's bringing all kinds of monsters of the advertising industry with it.

    To promote its session, "How to Survive a Zombie Attack (And Harness Cultural Trends to Grow Brands)," the media agency has drawn up sketches of 13 archetypal advertising monsters that you probably recognize from your agency life.

    They include The Doll, who only parrots the boss's opinions; Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, who sucks up to senior executives but is a bully when managing down; and the Caretaker, the has-been creative director who's still around for some baffling reason.

    MediaCom will have monsters walk the Croisette on Saturday distributing 500 card packs featuring the 13 cards. Check out all 13 frightening characters below.

    The session itself will feature Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn on The Walking Dead, along with AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan and Walking Dead executive producer Dave Alpert. They'll discuss what made The Walking Dead such a huge hit, and what brands can learn about becoming a cultural phenomenon, too.
     

    The slow, lumbering, mindless hordes that suddenly appear in a company when it reaches "scale" and starts to employ "processes". Initially the bright, intelligent, quick-thinking employers who previously inhabited the company are shocked and traumatized to find themselves working alongside these very different creatures; but the zombies quickly infect all around them, converting them to be one of their mindless, slow moving legion. The company may struggle on, but it will never be the same again.
     

    This monster is an extraordinary combination of two entirely different personalities. Charming, helpful, diligent, ever-attentive Dr Jekyl manages upwards; only this face is shown to the CEO. Dark, vicious, evil, sadistic Mr Hyde manages downwards; this face is only shown to the pathetic underlings who have to do his bidding - and who are dismayed to read in an all-staff email sent by the CEO to mark Jekyl/Hyde's latest promotion that he is "especially valued as a people person and a team player".
     

    This past-his-prime creative star was shoved sideways and given a caretaker role in a region which had previously been pretty much overlooked by his agency network. As Regional Executive Creative Director he was expected to raise the standard of the creative product. But forensic examination of his hard drive reveals that he spent his entire time writing the same tired old copyline over and over again and trying to sell it to every single client in every single market one after another.
     

    A gelatinous alien life form that grows and grows, engulfing everything and everyone. The first sign that the Blob is targeting you is a harmless-looking "event" in your "diary"—a half-hour catch-up meeting. You're not quite sure what it's about, but you "Accept" anyway. As soon as you do, you receive a stream of new invites, each altering and growing the original event, first into a one-hour meeting, then into a two-hour brainstorming session with working lunch, then an off-site awayday, until finally it grows into a horrendous week-long seminar/conference/ huddle 5,000 miles away that will require a month of pre-planning and prevent you from doing any of your actual job.
     

    What will the Doll say in a meeting? Whatever it was that the boss just said. What does the Doll think our main business priorities are? Whatever the boss just said they were. What does the Doll think of the plan before us? Exactly what the boss thinks of it. Has the Doll ever had an original idea of its own? Only if the boss has.
     

    Sent to run the relatively unimportant "Rest of the World" by his US-based global network, The Colonel was only loosely overseen by the global ExCo. Over time worrying reports emerged that he had been putting the best talent on small, local, exciting challenger brands rather than on the big, risk-averse multi-nationals. The global head of HR was sent out to terminate him. Those who witnessed his terrifying last few days still remember his chilling parting comment: "The pay-off. The pay-off."
     

    This guy has cobbled together small amounts of knowledge about a million different subjects. He can bluff his way through meetings on everything from Long-Tail keywords to Demand Side Platforms. He has opinions on Generations X, Y, Z and O. He even knows what API, RSS, SaaS and SKU stand for. In theory, a creature made up of small amounts of knowledge drawn from myriad different areas should be an ultra-efficient media renaissance man. In reality, the result is a slow, lumbering beast who has no full understanding of anything and has no practical purpose whatsoever.
     

    For the rest of the year, you would hardly notice this guy. He's one of the quieter, more introverted members of the team. But when the sun goes down, the moon rises, and an open bar policy is in operation he comes off the leash and behaves in frighteningly inappropriate ways. An ever-present danger at conferences and festivals – except on the last day when he tends to lie low, moaning horribly to himself.
     

    Her origins are shrouded in mystery. No one is quite sure where she came from or how she reached her current exalted position. But we know how she clings onto power. Feeding off the creativity of others, she sucks lesser mortals dry of all their ideas before heading upstairs to present the best stuff to senior management as all her own work.
     

    You've got a huge meeting tomorrow morning, first thing with your most difficult client. You should be sleeping now, to awake refreshed and ready to be at your best. But instead you toss and turn, waking up screaming; because the nightmare client is stalking your every waking moment, following you home via mobile, tablet and Skype, until finally he enters your very dreams, turning them into horrific run-throughs of the world's most humiliating and terrifying meetings.
     

    This old monster mainly lies dormant , kicked upstairs and named Lifetime President of his company. Every few years, stirred into action by news of a particularly big pitch, Godzilla decides that he should be "hands on" on this one. But the aging, dinosaur-like creature simply stomps all over the good work, scares the client with his outdated views and lays waste to everything and everyone in his way.
     

    Things are going well. The work is good. The team are unified. The client is happy. New business and awards are flowing in. What could possibly go wrong? A door creaks open, and the Hatchet enters the department with her hatchet to make 'efficiencies'. Smiling, she utters her chilling calling card: "no bonuses this year", then - pausing only to remove the good coffee from the kitchen and the free biscuits from the meeting rooms - she begins violently hacking away at staff numbers, salaries, expenses and anything else that moves.
     

    Always impeccably dressed, the Spider Queen emanates cold waves of brittle control from her lair, inspiring fear throughout her organisation. She consolidates her position with the hypnotic hold she has over the middle aged male senior executives in the company who are no match for her predatory, strict charm.

    CREDITS
    Agency: MediaCom
    Art Direction: Sam Learmonth, Global Creative Director
    Copywriters: Sam Learmonth and Mark Edwards
    Illustrator: Jonathan Edwards


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    It turns out Thinkmodo can thrill people, not just scare them.

    The viral marketing agency, best known for its frighteningly good Carrie and Devil's Due prank videos, takes a refreshingly different approach with its latest video. It shows a petite traffic cop in New York City arguing with a cab driver—and then, in an apparent act of savage anger, lifting his vehicle clear off the ground.



    It is, of course, a prank—though plenty of people in the vicinity were gobsmacked by the chain of events. And turns it out the advertiser, car-selling app CarLister.co, is visible throughout the video—on the ad atop the taxi itself.

    Mashable has more on the making of the video.


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    Transgender issues have been front-page news all summer, though brands have clearly had a hard time knowing what their role should be in the conversation. But now Google—one of the world's most powerfully visible corporate LGBT advocates—is out with a new spot for Pride Month that tells the deeply poignant story of a transgender man and the small business that helped him during his transition.

    The first half of the spot below focuses on Jake, who was born female but identified as male from a young age. The second half introduces City Gym in Kansas City, Mo., which has given Jake a place where he can feel comfortable getting to know his changing body and find support for him and his friends. (Another gym's tagline, "No judgments," would be pretty apt at this place.)



    The spot, by Venables Bell & Partners, is wonderfully made. The story is skillfully and evocatively told, and never feels exploitative. The inclusion of YouTube videos in which Jake shows his transition are particularly resonant in describing his journey (and yes, Google's ongoing behind-the-scenes role in it).

    It's also unapologetic about the business tie-in—the spot promotes the Google My Business tools for small businesses—which is a good thing, as it doesn't feign disinterested altruism and presents a tangible case for supporting LGBT-friendly companies.

    Google has done meaningful work in this space for years. Once again, it's leading by example.

    CREDITS
    Client: Google
    Brand: My Business
    Spot: "City Gym"
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
    Chairman: Paul Venables
    Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
    Creative Director: Lee Einhorn
    Art Director: Avery Oldfield
    Copywriter: Adam Wolinsky
    Director Of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Agency Producer: Amy Gatzert
    Production Company: Uber Content
    Director: Eliot Rausch
    Director of Photography: Chayse Irvin
    Executive Producer: Preston Lee
    Producer: Micki Poklar
    Editing Company: Lumberyard
    Editor: Kevin Bagley
    Sound Design: 740 Sound
    Sound Designers: Rommel Molina
    Music: Songs for Film and TV
    Mix: Lime
    V/FX: Lumberyard
    V/FX Producer: Zoe Zaitzeff
    Business Lead: Colleen McGee
    Account Director: Robert Woods
    Account Supervisor: Brenda Pyles
    Account Manager: Ariel Rosen
    Senior Project Manager: Shannon Duncan


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