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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    An Indian clothing company is out with an ad that news reports are billing as the socially conservative country's first to feature a lesbian couple.

    Anouk and Ogilvy & Mather Bangalore created the spot, in which the couple get ready to meet—and, the ad suggests, come out to—the parents of one of the women. Three and a half minutes long, the spot aims for a casual tone, showing the women in their apartment, putting on makeup and chatting about clothing, hairstyles and their relationship.

    While LGBT themes in ads are increasingly common and overt in the U.S, homosexuality is illegal in India. Two years ago, the country's Supreme Court reinstated the ban after a lower court had ruled it unconstitutional.

    The tagline, "Bold is beautiful," risks conflating putting on a bright-colored dress with being open about one's sexuality in a highly hostile environment. But the brand deserves credit for aligning itself with a progressive message—the ad seems to be mainly garnering support on YouTube (where it has more than 1.6 million views), even if the spirit of it is lost on the obligatory bigots yelling in all caps in the comments section of articles.

    Yogurt brand Chobani, meanwhile, is out with its own lesbian-themed ad that's much more explicit—and ridiculous—because why not play to base instincts, too?

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    Move over Siri, here comes Ahh-nold.

    For the next three weeks, drivers who use the navigation device Waze can get directions from the voice of the Terminator. They won't be able to find their way to Mars—after all, this is a cross-promotion for the upcoming Terminator Genisys, not for 1990's Total Recall—but they will be able to navigate cities, suburbs and the country to the robotic monotones of Arnold Schwarzenegger's most memorable character. Here's a taste:

    In addition to offering directions, the Terminator will helpfully warn drivers if the villainous T-1000 robot assassin is up ahead. Once the new movie opens, red-eyed Endoskulls will appear on screen to mark nearby theaters. And beyond all that functionality is a platform for Schwarzenegger to fulfill his most common request from fans.

    "Every single day on social media fans ask me to record my movie lines," the actor and former California governor said, in a statement. "So, now I get to bring this classic role and my charming Austrian accent into their cars."

    MEC in Los Angeles negotiated the promotion on behalf of its client, Paramount. Office managing partner Jeff Killingsworth said he was thrilled to "generate excitement around such a legacy franchise."

    Terminator Genisys, a production of Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions, will open on July 1, and Waze's Terminator voice feature runs through July 5.

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    Cormac McCarthy gave us Blood Meridian. Jay Reatard gave us Blood Visions. And now BBDO Russia has given us the equally badass "Blood Portraits" to promote mosquito repellent Glorix.

    The name, as it turns out, is literal. It refers to a sponsored exhibition of micro-portraits painted with blood spatters from actual smushed mosquitoes. I hope these painters were wearing gloves. If I had to change gloves multiple times a day when I was stacking produce at Whole Foods, they should probably have to wear those Devo radiation suits for touching random blood that was inside filthy mosquitos.

    Aside from the obvious connection between using mosquito repellent and wanting the little bastards dead, the exhibition itself—which doubled as the launch party for the Glorix marketing campaign—emphasized that Glorix saves your blood by not letting the bugs at it. That led to a call for blood donations.

    Trying to make all these connections with one specific visual element is tough, but the portraits put a face, small though it may be, on what can be abstract and distant concepts. And apparently the campaign worked, because BBDO Russia is throwing another blood donation event later this summer.

    Is it too late to ask them to make T-shirts of those portraits? I want them to make T-shirts of those portraits.

    Client: Glorix
    Agency: BBDO Russia Group

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    I asked Havas Worldwide Chicago to #GimmeAnIntern for this post.

    They sent me three.

    Along with honing their skills in various agency departments, the 14 lucky folks in Havas's 10-week summer internship program are being "loaned out" to local businesses, cultural institutions, sports teams and celebrities—anyone, actually, who makes a strong enough case on social media using the #GimmeAnIntern hashtag or via email. The interns are sharing their adventures in real-time video via the agency's Periscope account and elsewhere on social media.

    Coffee and danish runs for the ECDs just won't cut it anymore, I guess. (That said, the Havas 14 are also required to spend time sitting on display in the agency's street-level lobby, in full view of the public. So the time-honored tradition of humiliating interns by giving them stupid stuff to do isn't dead yet.)

    "In order to create campaigns that drive cultural conversations, you have to be immersed in culture," says Celia Jones, Havas group brand director. "That means not only being exposed to the thinking and creativity within the walls of the agency, but also giving interns an opportunity to gain hands-on experience out in the world."

    I always thought folks went into advertising to escape the real world to a fantasy-land of brand worship where everyone eventually wins an award. Luckily, these plucky wannabes aren't tainted by such cynicism. Yet.

    Christina Muth, one of the interns, who graduated from Mount St. Joseph University with a business degree, enjoyed her first out-of-agency experience—working at a food blog. She says she leaned a lot about how media sponsorships work.

    "I can't wait to do it again," she says, "especially if it involves food for a second time. But next time, I'd like to assist in the eating."

    Another intern, Chicago Portfolio School student Jeff Polaschek, was assigned a test-riding task at Divvy Bikes. Of the Havas program, he says, "They are just trying to keep us out of the agency because we are too good." (If you guessed he's a copywriter—bingo! He's also branded himself as the "oldest intern ever" on Twitter.)

    Carina Sherman, who graduated with a B.A. in communications and English from Andrews University, hopes her first real-world posting involves music. "I don't want to brag, but I make the best playlists," she says. "Making music playlists for local businesses, road trips and even dinner parties is something I feel I'd have a real knack for."

    As an English major, she will need some other work skills to fall back on.

    All kidding aside, #GimmeAnIntern sounds like an engaging way for the participants to learn about advertising and lots of others stuff, too. Plus, as Muth notes, "it also broadcasts to the world what Havas has to offer."

    Indeed, #GimmeAnIntern serves as a fun self-promotion. Havas says the social-media-based competition to select the 14 interns was so popular, it boosted the agency's Instagram following by 12 percent. Now, in addition to media coverage, Havas is getting the word out via Popular Plays, offering hour-long intern assistance to Chicago Instagrammers with more than 50,000 followers. (The shop has done some innovative, high-profile intern stuff before, including last year's Winternship initiative.)

    So, what do the #GimmeAnIntern recruits plan for their professional futures?

    "In the short time I have been here, I have realized that I would love to work as a digital strategist for great American brands," says Sherman.

    "I have this little dream of building something from the ground up—whether that's a product, an event, or even an app," Muth says. "I would love to be behind something that I could call my own and something that others can also share. Being in an environment of thinkers and creators only helps me to grow, and I feel very fortunate to be here. Maybe one day, my big idea will hit me, but until then, I am in love with being around individuals that inspire me to be better than who I was yesterday."

    And Polaschek? "I would love to be a creative director at an agency like Havas," he says, "but more than likely I will die from indentured servitude here first."

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    Toyota is celebrating Father's Day with a sweet ad about a dad and his daughter's relationship through the years—told from both perspectives.

    The three-and-a-half minute montage first tells the story from the father's point of view, starting when his girl is just a newborn. As she grows up, he graduates from a small hatchback to a minivan, and he eventually slaps a "Baby on board" sticker on her own car (for his grandkid).

    The real fun, though, comes in the second half of the commercial, which follows the same story but told from the daughter's perspective, throwing in even more cute tidbits—like the moment, as a teen, when she tosses the giant pink mittens she's outgrown but Dad is still foisting upon her.

    Father-daughter car stories are nothing new—Subaru famously excels at them. General throwbacks to growing up while riding around in a particular make are familiar, too, as are series on an automaker's evolving models.

    But Toyota's approach here blends a number of popular themes into a powerful sequence that, save for some not-entirely-convincing aging, is well-produced. The split story is also an effective hook—once you've seen the father's side, curiosity about the daughter's take on the same events helps carry it through to the end.

    Eventually, the ad does deliver its own hard sales pitch—a Toyota collision alarm system saves all three generations from rear-ending the car in front of them. The subtitled English translation of the tagline—"Love works invisible. Toyota works love"—doesn't really do it justice. The rough spirit of the Japanese is something closer to "Love invisibly watches over you. We use the same eye in our cars."

    That's not a bad way to tie the whole piece together, even if it's safe to say that when all is said and done, Toyota loves your money more than it loves you.

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    Tylenol is continuing its celebration of diverse families with a new commercial from J. Walter Thompson in New York featuring same-sex and interracial couples.

    Titled "How We Family," the ad is part of a broader effort to to challenge conventional—that is to say, conservative—definitions of family. Tylenol launched the campaign last fall by repurposing the classic holiday dinner scene in Norman Rockwell's painting "Freedom from Want," to profile contemporary families, including a lesbian couple who work closely with one woman's ex-husband to raise the children from both relationships.

    Sure, the tagline is a little clunky. And the cultural tides on LGBT issues have been shifting for a while now (a majority of Americans expect the Supreme Court to allow same sex marriage in the court's imminent decision, and support it; brands have been increasingly open in embracing the LGBT community). So it's a question of degrees as to how much Tylenol is pioneering, and how much it's capitalizing.

    But that also almost doesn't matter. In a marketplace where some consumers still lose their minds over a Cheerios commercial with an interracial couple, and where the heads of reactionaries similarly explode over Tylenol's decision to feature a same-sex couple in an ad, the brand deserves credit for using its ad dollars to spread a message that's in exactly the right spirit … even with a desire to profit (and a considerable opportunity to do so) at the heart of it.

    And while the topic might seem a bit far afield from the brand's core business, it's actually pretty appropriate for a product that makes pain go away.

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    It's been a while since we've seen a really brutally depressing road-safety PSA. But Ireland obliges—with help from master craftsman director Martin Stirling—in the spot below, which warns against behavior you might not even have considered dangerous.

    The issue, it turns out, is turning around to look at your child in the backseat of your car. I don't recall any PSA focused on this particular issue, but according to Ireland's Road Safety Authority, it's a real hazard.

    "Driving with a child in your car can be a staggering 12 times more distracting than when driving with a mobile phone," the RSA says, adding that "the most vulnerable person in your car can present the biggest danger."

    This is remarkably illustrated in the new spot, by ad agency Irish International.

    It begins decades after an accident, as the camera spins around a woman who's clearly—and unsettlingly—lost in thought. Each subsequent scene goes back in time, focusing on the same woman as she gets younger, as the camera keeps spinning around her and she appears to turn her head with it.

    The final scene horrifyingly explains what has happened to this woman, and the camerawork is revealed to embody the very innocuous movements that led to the tragedy.

    Stirling does a great job here, which isn't surprising—after all, this is the guy who directed last year's incredible "Most Shocking Second a Day Video" for Save the Children, about the crisis in Syria. But beyond the technical skill at play, the concept is also brilliant. The spinning camera not only references the behavior to be avoided, it also generates claustrophobia—a sense of the mind reeling—which may well approximate the feeling of endless guilt across a lifetime.

    The spot is a minor masterpiece. And whether or not you realized that looking back at your kid in the car was a potentially fatal mistake, chances are you'll think twice about doing so in future.

    Client: Road Safety Authority, Ireland
    Agency: Irish International
    Director: Martin Stirling

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    Attention, germaphobes. Here are your worst nightmares realized.

    Unilver cleaning brand Domestos is out with three new print and poster ads in the U.K. that vividly imagine microorganisms as gross cartoons on vacations—swimming, snapping selfies, sipping cocktails on the beach (yes, that's duck face).

    The "Holiday's over" tagline is a little long on bravado, but the illustrations—created by Bangkok CGI studio Illusion, via agency British agency DLKW Lowe—might be the most gorgeously disgusting visuals ever (even if Harvey Keitel's credits apparently include voicing one of their millions of impressively hideous dead ancestors).

    Now enjoy your righteous sense of horror, and go and wash your hands.

    Full ads below. Click to enlarge.

    Client Name: Domestos
    Agency: DLKW Lowe
    Campaign: "Holiday's Over"
    Executive Creative Directors: Richard Denney, Dave Henderson
    Global Creative Director: Tony Hardcastle
    Creative Team: Katrina Encanto, Edgar Galang 
    Planner: Richard Kelly
    Account Team: James Pool, Ross Marshall
    Agency Producers: Gary Wallis
    Media Agency: Initiative 
    Design Company: Illusion
    Illustrators: Surachai Puthikuangkura, Supachai U-Rairat
    Producers: Somsak Pairew, Kitidej Rattanasuvansri

    0 0

    The well of inspiration apparently never runs dry for Denver Water's long-running "Use Only What You Need" campaign. And while Sukle Advertising's lauded conservation initiative often features eye-catching public installations, this year's installment is brimming with artistry.

    The agency used diverse materials such as colored pencils, Post-it notes, clay, crushed soda cans, Legos, yarn and string to create 10 original piece of art. Each depicts water in various forms, such as drops, splashes, cascades, showers and spray. The work adorns bus shelters around Denver, as well as print and online ads. The headline, "You can't make this stuff," drives home the message that water is a non-renewable resource.

    Most of the results are quite splashy. For example...

    I'd love to see this "fluffy" Lego cloud hovering over my block:

    These pencil-tipped waves make a good point:

    Someone should put a cap on this knitted-yarn faucet:

    Here's a fresh take on string theory:

    This Post-it note poster is good to the last, well, you know:

    "Consumers often see conservation as a sacrifice, something they have to give up, which they often aren't willing to do," says agency founder and creative director Mike Sukle. "We have, instead, used the approach of 'not wasting.' Consumers see waste differently than conservation, so the messaging of 'Use Only What You Need' follows the mind of the consumer that wasting is wrong."

    Water use in Denver recently hit a record low, so it appears the campaign, now in its ninth year, is having an impact. Alas, a local Lego shortage looms large, as Sukle reports using 6,000 of the colorful plastic bricks for the new ads.

    Check out more executions below.

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    If you want to see a contender for the year's most bizarre ad, here's one about a bunch of people stroking a giant sausage on a beach.

    McCann Mexico created the spot for online travel agency Best Day.

    Why, you might ask? Because, spoiler alert, when you're sitting in cramped coach class on an airplane, a mashup of you and your neighbor's newspaper headlines might cause you to confuse a novelty butcher product with a stranded whale. But if you book with BestDay, you'll get a roomier, less weird seat.

    Perhaps to its credit, it's less explicitly phallic than the billboard sausage that a Costa Rican beer brand erected over a highway last month. It's kind of a silly idea, a bit too charmed by its own desire to be clever and provocative, but not entirely without entertainment value.

    In fact, its biggest problem is probably the totally ridiculous notion that anybody reads newspapers anymore.

    Client: BestDay
    Product: Online Agency Travel (OTA)
    Agency: McCann Mexico City
    Chief creative officer: Javi Carro
    Creative director: Breno Cotta
    Copywriter: Breno Cotta / Juan Pablo Balcazar / Eduardo Espinoza
    Art director: Alejandro López
    Production team: Juan González / Rafael López
    Production house: The Maestros
    Director: Gonzalo Oliveró
    Production Team: Enrique Nava
    Sound production: Look As Audio

    0 0

    If you were wondering what the frontman of '80s Canadian rock back Loverboy is up to these days, the answer is second guessing the lyrics to "Working for the Weekend" in an ad for job listings site Indeed.com.

    Mike Reno anchors the commercial—from ad agency Sleek Machine, with 30-, 45- and 60-second cuts—explaining that, thanks to the recruitment company, more people are happy being at the office. (The short version is punchier, but the longer ones have the sharper kicker—that now, the right idea would be "more like everybody's really enjoying their time at work, and when the weekend comes, that's fine too.")

    The band, for its part, is still working (for whatever reason), with a new album out last year, and tour dates scheduled through October.

    It's not clear, though, whether Chippendales is standing by the song as the ideal tie-breaker for ridiculously close auditions.

    Client: Indeed
    Agecy: Sleek Machine, Boston
    Chief Creative Officer: Tim Cawley
    Senior Integrated Producer: Ben Ouellette
    Senior Copywriter: Jeff Mariois
    Senior Art Director: Jessica Ruggieri
    Music: "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy
    Talent: Mike Reno
    Director: Darcy Van Poelgeest
    Production Company: Circle, Vancouver
    Editor: Kat Baker, Element

    0 0

    CANNES, France—Where can you find the world's best creative directors? They're sitting on Cannes Lions juries. So, if you're looking to hire a great new CD, why not approach those juries directly—with award entry that's actually a sneak recruitment ad?

    That's what 180LA has been doing this week.

    The agency entered the video below into four Cannes competitions: the Direct Lions, Film Lions, Radio Lions and Press Lions. It's a mock case study explaining the kind of personal "results" a creative director can get by joining 180LA. It then includes an email address and phone number for the CDs to get in touch. And if they're not interested, they're urged to "pass this idea to the shortlist and help change the life of another CD."

    It won't actually make any shortlists, of course. The stunt is most certainly not a film, radio or press campaign. You could argue it is a direct campaign, though of course the results are yet to be known—precluding any awards it might win in that category.

    But it is a fun idea, if a bit spammy, and has prompted some juror tweets, as you can see below.

    The Cannes festival might frown upon this kind of jury ambushing, though of course the stunt did cost a couple of thousand dollars in entry fees—which always makes the organizers here happy.

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    CANNES, France—Two well-respected creatives preached the gospel of jumping in, and then letting go, as they described their personal process of making advertising at a Cannes Lions seminar presented by Adobe here Monday morning.

    In her first visit to Cannes, Jessica Walsh, a partner at New York design studio Sagmeister & Walsh, took the main stage at the Palais and quoted Picasso—"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up"—to emphasize the importance of play in the creative process.

    "I'm a person who loves to play in all aspects of my life, but especially within my work," she said. "I try to approach as much of my work as possible as play, rather than seeing it as a job. And when I look back on my body of work, I realize that the more fun and play that went into the ideas and the process of creating them, the better people seemed to respond to the end result."

    Play is a flow state, she said, "where we have this perfect balance of challenge and opportunity within our skill sets. It's really the optimal state of mind to be creative and innovative." Getting into that state of mind can be tricky, though, given all the work stresses and distractions we have. So, she offered five tips for quickly getting into the flow state.

    • Confidence
    "You have to have the confidence to fail, so you can take risks in your work as a creative."

    • Time
    "If your deadline is within an hour or even a week, you're likely to just pull from existing styles or techniques or tricks that have worked for you or someone else in the past, because you have no time to experiment and play and reinvent."

    • Persistence
    "There are actually studies that show the key trait of the most creative thinkers is not talent but purely just having persistence to work through failures, no matter how long it takes to come up with a great idea."

    • Space
    "Even with enough time and persistence, if your email inbox is full and your Twitter feed is buzzing and your mom is calling you, you're not going to be able to play very well within your work. You need plenty of space away from your daily tasks and responsibilities."

    • A sense of humor
    "Humor liberates the brain from rigid thinking, and opens it to spontaneity, exploration and risk taking. I think humor also allows the brain to make really interesting and fresh connections between things, which I think is how most new things are created."

    As much as creatives need freedom, though, they also need constraints, Walsh said. Otherwise, the possibilities for the direction of the work become endless and overwhelming. She then outlined four projects—two agency projects, one personal project by Stefan Sagmeister, and one of her own personal projects—to illustrate how creative play, reined in by constraints, led to a memorable insight and execution.

    Aizone, a Middle East department store. The constraint here, the agency decided, was that the ads had to be in black and white and couldn't feature any of the clothing for sale. A follow-up campaign brought in some color and expanded on the use of inspirational phrases.

    Frooti. This campaign for an Indian mango juice made the packaging the hero by keeping the product at regular size while making everything else miniature.

    The Happy Show. This campaign, installed at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, offered visitors the experience of walking into Stefan Sagmeister's mind as he attempted to increase his happiness via mediation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering drugs.

    40 Days of Dating. This was Walsh's famous 2013 project in which she and a friend, Timothy Goodman, decided to date each other for 40 days, and exhaustively document their experience, in an attempt to excavate their issues and phobias around relationships.

    The four projects were playful indeed, and reinforced Walsh's final point—that you "don't need huge budgets or the perfect clients to make the work you want to be making."

    Next, Gerry Graf took the stage, and the Barton F. Graf 9000 founder and creative chief talked about how to harness data in our age of information overload, and use it to produce breakthrough creative ideas.

    "We have all this information and all this data and research. How do you take that and instead of just regurgitating it back to people, how do you turn it into great insights?" he asked. He then referenced works by two great creative thinkers: Bill Bernbach's famous "The Facts Are Not Enough" speech, and Ray Bradbury's book The Zen of Writing.

    "You can't even start a conversation with somebody unless you move away from facts and speak in an emotional, creative way," he said, summarizing Bernbach. As for the lessons of Bradbury's book, he added: "When you're going to start on a project, take in as much information—as much data—as you can. Overload your brain with statistics and facts and information. And then, after you've done all that, you can give your subconscious an objective. You can tell your mind what you want to do."

    His own creative insights almost never happen at work during the information gathering process, Graf said.

    "What Bradbury said was, 'Stop for a while. Do all the hard work, get all the data, and then tell your subconscious to start working on something.' In my entire life, when I look back on some of my favorite ideas and campaigns I've ever done, almost all of them came from cramming for a long, long time. I live in New York City, and I love to walk home. And almost all of my best ideas come from walking home. I'll just be walking home, not thinking about anything, and ideas will just pop into my head. There has to be transformation from data, knowledge, information, research and analytics into something creative."

    Graf then offered either a metaphor or an analogy—"I don't know which is which, but I'll give you one of them," he said—in the world of music. There are 12 tones in Western music, he said, from which almost all the music you've ever heard has been created, just by rearranging the pieces.

    "When I look at the world today when I'm creating—and we have more knowledge than ever before about who people are, what they do, what they want, what they like—I think of music and taking pieces of data and sending something back that's art," he said.

    The one case study he showed was for Axe Matte—the Barton F. Graf campaign that analyzed any person's social feeds to determine whether he was trying too hard online (and was thus, in Graf's words, "a douchebag").

    For creatives still intimidated by data, Graf closed with this:

    "This is the best time in my 20-year career to be a creative person. Everyone always used to say, It's the work, the work, the work. And it wasn't. It was the money—this, that and the other thing. Now it's the work, because it has to be the work. No one has to see our stuff. You have to make stuff people want to see. But nowadays we have this information. We have this data. And creative is always better when it's specific. That's what I've found.

    "I embrace this data. I embrace this research. And I make much better work now. But you have to do that Bradbury thing, where you take all the information and you take those 12 tones into your subsconscious, and you can't spit it out fast. You have to spin back art and ideas and insights."

    0 0

    CANNES, France—Advertisers are pretty obsessed with cycling lately, judging by a number of remarkable campaigns that have been entered in the Cannes Lions festival here. (Look for a couple of bike-related ideas to win Lions at Monday night's award show just a few hours from now.)

    Now, McDonald's is climbing aboard with a neat packaging idea aimed at cyclists.

    Tribal Buenos Aires in Argentina came up with the McBike idea, which was implemented first in Denmark, oddly enough, but seems to be spreading quickly around the globe. And while it's a bit weird to take any kind of health-lifestyle advice from McDonald's, it feels less gratuitous when it's tied to service-based outreach like this.

    Now they just need a proper bike at the drive-through.

    Client: McDonald's
    Agency/Idea: Tribal Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Creative VP DDB Group: Hernan Jauregui
    General Creative Director: Walter Ioli
    Account Director: Sebastian Zuddio
    Creative Directors: Leo Orsolini, Juan Calvo
    Account Supervisor: Gonzalo Semperena
    Digital PR Manager: Florencia Lujani
    Social Media Manager: Gabriela Fernandez Sanchez
    Advertising Agency / Execution: DDB, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Client Services Director: Thomas Sonberg
    Art Director: Kasper Dohlmann
    Copywriter: Clara Therese Prior-Knock
    Final Artwork: Dorthe Gerhard
    Account Manager: Katja Thorhauge

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    CANNES, France—Grey London, which has joined the ranks of the elite creative agencies in recent years, won its first Cannes Grand Prix here tonight, topping the Promo & Activations Lions content with its LifePaint campaign for Volvo.

    LifePaint is a transparent reflective spray that can be applied to almost any fabric—clothes, shoes, strollers, children's backpacks, even dog leashes and collars—and lasts about a week after application before washing off.

    Grey collaborated with Swedish startup Albedo100 to produce LifePaint specifically with its Volvo client in mind. The campaign urged cyclists to cover their bikes in LifePaint to increase their visibility. Invisible in the daytime, the spray lights up at night when headlights shine on it.

    "Grey London are on a mission to make a different shape of work, and to make a meaningful mark in culture for the brands we partner with," Nils Leonard, chairman and chief creative officer of Grey London, tells Adweek. "This win means a lot because it's the industry recognizing our efforts to do something different."

    Safety and PSA campaigns did well across the category, with the ALS Association winning three gold Lions for "The Ice Bucket Challenge" and Grey New York adding two golds for the fake gun store it opened in New York City.

    • U.S. Promo & Activation Winners
    The ALS Association for "The Ice Bucket Challenge" (three golds)
    Grey New York for States to Prevent Gun Violence's "The Gun Shop" (two golds, silver)
    David in Miami for the Proud Whopper (gold, two silvers)
    The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for Geico's "Unskippable" (gold, silver)
    Grey New York for Volvo "Interception" (two silvers)
    TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles for Gatorade's "Sweat It to Get It" (silver, bronze)
    Wieden + Kennedy in New York for Delta "Innovation Class" (silver, bronze)
    We Believers in New York for Volvo's "Hijacking Car Service" (silver)
    Droga5 in New York for Under Armour's "Gisele Bundchen: I Will What I Want" (silver)
    The Branching in Richmond, Va., for its campaign to bring Foo Fighters to Richmond (bronze)
    DDB Chicago for McDonald's "Lovin' the Super Bowl" (bronze)
    BBDO New York for Snickers "Marcia Gets Hungry" (bronze)
    Leo Burnett Chicago for Allstate's "Social Savvy Burglar" (bronze)

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    CANNES, France—U.S. advertising is off to a flying start at this year's Cannes Lions, with The Community, Google and Grey New York each winning a Grand Prix in separate contests here tonight, as prizes were awarded in the festival's first four categories.

    • Press Grand Prix
    The Community (formerly La Comunidad), the Miami agency owned by SapientNitro, rode off with the Press Grand Prix for its fantastically illustrated ads promoting biking in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to the Grand Prix, the campaign also won two gold Lions.

    The surreal, playful ads brought to life the idea of a never-ending chase. The four executions honored tonight showed moths pursuing a light, a dog chasing its tail, a baby going for a breast and a squirrel seeking an acorn. The ads, with a hand-drawn typeface, appeared in magazines and on posters, subway walls and street billboards.

    The client was the Buenos Aires Public Bike System, which started in 2010 with just three bicycle stations and an average of 100 trips per day but has grown to more than 200 stations and 11 million trips per year.

    • Mobile Grand Prix

    Google topped the Mobile category for Google Cardboard, the simple virtual reality platform it developed featuring a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone.

    The pleasantly low-tech do-it-yourself VR starter kit can be bought online starting at just $15, a staggeringly low entry point compared to professional headsets like Oculus, truly. democratizing the space.

    • Direct Grand Prix

    Grey New York earned the top prize in the Direct Lions for its Volvo campaign around the Super Bowl titled "The Greatest Interception Ever."

    Instead of running a Super Bowl ad, Grey did a social campaign for the automaker—urging viewers to tweet #VolvoContest when any car commercial did air during the game and nominate someone to win a new Volvo XC60.

    • Other U.S. Press Winners
    Young & Rubicam New York for Land Rover (two silvers, bronze)
    Conill Saatchi & Saatchi for Crest (bronze)
    FCB Chicago for Copic (bronze)
    BBDO New York for Sneaker Freaker magazine (bronze)
    The Community for Buenos Aires blood donation (bronze)

    • Other U.S. Mobile Winners
    R/GA New York for Equinox (gold, silver, bronze)
    R/GA New York for Hammerhead (gold, silver, bronze)
    FCB Chicago for "The Unforgotten"/Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (gold, silver)
    Grow in Norfolk, Va., for EA Sports Madden Giferator (gold, silver)
    R/GA New York for LISNR (gold)
    The ALS Association for "The Ice Bucket Challenge" (gold)
    R/GA New York for Owlet Baby Care (silver, bronze)
    Eric Mower + Associates in Charlotte, N.C., for Domtar's "Project Learning Curve" (silver)
    Wieden + Kennedy New York for Gap's #SpringIsWeird (silver)
    R/GA New York for Logitech Harmony App (two bronzes)
    BBDO New York for Lowe's #TapThruHowTo Vines (bronze)
    BBDO New York for Foot Locker's "Horse With Harden" (bronze)
    Elastic in Santa Monica, Calif., for HBO Game of Thrones "The Sight" (bronze)
    BBDO New York for the American Red Cross and Bit.ly's "Hope.ly" (bronze)

    • Other U.S. Direct Winners
    FCB Chicago for Kmart and Joe Boxer's "Joe Boxer Inactivity Tracker" (gold)
    The ALS Association for "The Ice Bucket Challenge" (gold)
    Grey New York for Volvo's "Interception" (gold)
    R/GA New York for The Ad Council's "Love Has No Labels" (gold, two silvers)
    David in Miami for the Proud Whopper (two silvers, bronze)
    Grey New York for States to Prevent Gun Violence's "The Gun Shop" (silver)
    The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for Geico's "Unskippable" (two bronzes)
    BBDO New York for Foot Locker's "Horse With Harden" (bronze)
    Leo Burnett Chicago for Allstate's "Social Savvy Burglar" (bronze)

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    In case your meeting calendar at Cannes isn't already jam-packed enough, one company created a mobile site modeled on Tinder to help foster casual (business) encounters on the Riviera.

    "Cannes We Meet," from video distribution platform Virool, connects to your LinkedIn account, and then lets you swipe left or right on other attendees profiles. If two people match yes, the site will connect them so they can arrange a face-to-face.

    "We know that clients meet agencies, agencies win business, startups win funding and products find buyers [at Cannes]," said CEO Alex Debelov. "Now we're helping bridge that gap and propel our industry forward."

    Or you could just roll down to the Gutter Bar at 2 a.m. and see if you get lucky.

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    There are scores of breast-cancer awareness campaigns each year, but this one from Colenso BBDO in New Zealand combines clever product development with a wonderful print ad to memorably break through, and even change behavior in a way few ad campaigns can.

    Most women don't use a skin cream on their breasts, but if they did, they would be much more likely to detect lumps while applying it. (About 50 percent of breast cancers are detected outside mammogram screening.) So, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation partnered with natural beauty products brand Skinfood to launch just that—Breast Cream, an entirely new moisturizer.

    In introducing the product, the campaign created an extra physical step in women's beauty routines that has the potential to save thousands of lives. And then, the agency went the extra step and created a clever print ad, positioning Breast Cream as the first skin cream that gives you wrinkles—because, of course, using it might well allow you to live a much longer life.

    The print ad won a gold Lion in Cannes on Monday night. Check it out, along with the case study for the larger campaign, below.

    Client: New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation
    Agency: Colenso BBDO
    Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington
    Creative Director: Levi Slavin
    Senior Art Director: Kristal Knight
    Senior Copywriter: Rachael Macklin
    Copywriter: Hannah Habgood
    Business Director: Hannah Watson
    Production Partner: Skinfood

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    We may be nearing peak emoji, as Chevrolet has become the latest brand to play around with the familiar icons—writing a press release almost entirely in emojis to announce something (who knows what?) about the Chevy Cruze.

    The automaker explains: "Words alone can't describe the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, so to celebrate its upcoming reveal, the media advisory is being issued in emoji, the small emotionally expressive digital images and icons in electronic communication."

    Chevy is challenging people to decode it. You can see the whole thing below. Or you can wait until 2 p.m. EDT today, when it will be decoded for you. The hashtag—because emojis sometimes just aren't enough—is #ChevyGoesEmoji.

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    CANNES, France—Nicolás Pimentel, co-founder and innovation director of +Castro, pretended to be surprised (or maybe really was surprised) that the small-movie-theater-sized Audi A hall in the Palais here was packed for his late-day session Tuesday titled #WorstCannesLionsTalkEver.

    But of course, people filled the room. And Pimentel didn't stop with the title when it came to strange goings-on.

    He opened by dancing to the Backstreet Boys and closed by having everyone in the room karaoke to "La Bamba." In between, he welcomed famed creatives Linus Karlsson and Gerry Graf—who showed up in 18th century sailor captain garb—and proceeded to interview them entirely in Spanish.

    The point, possibly, was about being your most creative when you're the most curious. (It was a bit lost in translation.) But Pimentel brought plenty of energy and nicely set the stage for Tuesday's happy hour. Yes, it was so bad, it was good.

    Check out a couple of video clips from the event below.



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