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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Under Armour couldn't sit idly by on Tuesday when Misty Copeland was named the first African American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre's 75-year history—not after the famous TV spot that helped burnish both dancer and brand.

    The sports apparel brand organized a social congratulations campaign, beginning with this simple tweet:

    Thousands of tweets later—including love notes from UA NFL star Eddie Lacy and Zappos—and the brand had an SUV full of flowers to deliver to Copeland, who was clearly thrilled by the gift.

    More pics below.

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    Coca-Cola has toyed with its packaging once again, this time to join the global movement for equality and tolerance—by removing its own label off its products to promote a world without labels and prejudices.

    Dubai-based agency FP7/DXB, part of McCann Worldgroup, created special cans for the month of Ramadan that feature only the iconic Coca-Cola ribbon and the message, "Labels are for cans, not for people."

    The cans coincide with Coke's global campaign themed "Let's take an extra second," which invites people around the world to take time to get to know people and banish their stereotypes and preconceptions.

    "In the Middle East, a region with over 200 nationalities and a larger number of labels dividing people, these Coca-Cola cans send a powerful and timeless message that a world without labels is a world without differences," says the agency. "And that we are all basically just the same—human."

    Conceptually, the effort is a bit peculiar, as it seems to equate branding with intolerance. But any approved hacking of Coke's familiar design scheme will get plenty of attention, and it's hard to begrudge a cause like this one.

    Client: Coca-Cola
    Agency: FP7/DXB

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    Back in April, Nike Women launched its popular "Better for It" motivational campaign in the U.S. Now, the sportswear giant is expanding the tagline in Russia.

    A half-dozen new spots from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam feature the same playful attitude and general message—that the benefits of exercise outweigh the challenge—but take a slightly different tone, as you might expect from ads that feature professional athletes instead of the average exercisers represented in the U.S. work.

    The camera work, from director Carlos Serrao, is a little more dramatic in its attention to detail, with scenes like yogi Olga Markes holding a particularly brutal pose while dripping sweat and boxer Kate Izotova getting punched in the face while sparring (a moment featured, naturally, in slow motion).

    The copy, meanwhile, comes across as less overtly vulnerable than in the U.S. ads, where women explicitly tolerated their own misery (largely manifest as insecurity) for the promise of self-improvement in the end. Instead, the Russian athletes seem to be a bit more defiant in their vanity—embracing pain in pursuit of perfection or glory.

    "What are you doing here?" says Izotova's voiceover. "You could have stayed at home, been someone's trophy…. Screw that. I'll earn my own trophy."

    In other words, the ads hew more closely to traditional endorser-driven sports marketing (even if they're not celebrities with wide global name recognition)—a strategy that speaks more of a "Be like this" inspirational strategy than a "We know it's hard but we're with you" motivational one.

    In addition to the pro athlete ads, Nike also turned Instagram posts of real girls working out into street posters around Moscow. Indeed, the campaign's title is "Real Girls of Moscow," and it aims to capture the spirit of what Nike describes as a growing sports movement in Russia, featuring women who are "free-thinking and free-spirited," and "are more comfortable in sneakers than heels, preferring exercise to fad diets."

    Whether drawing that kind of line—or calling a bunch of accomplished women, at least four of whom are in their 20s and 30s, "girls"—is a smart or deliberately provocative move isn't clear. But it is at least understandable, given the brand sells selling running shoes that also tend to double as fashion statements—and not stilettos.

    Regardless, Nike is also touting a 25,000-person turnout for a 10-day sporting event at Gorky Park in Moscow. And the new campaign features top athletes in a broad range of disciplines (ballet, choreography, long-jumping, skateboarding and sprinting) showing up variously on giant outdoor murals, and in nifty GIFs for online distribution—probably because if you really want to do that sweet kickflip, you're going to have to get used to doing it over and over again, stuck on infinite loop, for the rest of time.

    Client: Nike

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
    Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
    Creative Director: David Smith, Alvaro Sotomayor, Craig Williams
    Art Director: Ignasi Tudela
    Copywriter: Zoe Hawkins
    Head of Content : Joe Togneri
    Planner: Danny Feeney, Michelle Arrazcaeta
    Communications Planner: Josh Chang
    Group Account Director: Kirk Johnsen
    Account Director: Kathryn Addo
    Senior Account Manager: Jorge Fesser
    Broadcast production / Head of Art Buying : Maud Klarenbeek
    Art buying / broadcast production: Javier Perroud
    Head of Studio: Jackie Barbour
    Retoucher: Dario Fusnecher
    Project Manager: Janna Harrington
    Business Affairs: Michael Graves

    Production Company: Terrie Tanaka Management
    Director/Photographer: Carlos Serrao
    Director of Photography: Monica May
    Producer: Amy Lynne
    Executive Producer: Terrie Tanaka
    Vogue Shoot Make-up: Mark Williamson at artist-management using Mac
    Vogue Shoot hair: Hanjee at Jed Root for Hanjee Hair Gallery

    Editing Company: Whitehouse Post
    Editor: Sam Gunn

    Audio Post: Wave Amsterdam
    Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicholls-Lee

    Music: Glintshake / MassiveMusic
    Katya Izotova: Glintshake
    Olga Markes: Glintshake
    Adelina Sotnikova: MassiveMusic
    Diana Vishneva: MassiveMusic
    Darya Klishina: MassiveMusic

    Postproduction: Glassworks
    Flame: Morten Vinther
    Telecine: Scott Harris
    Producer: Jane Bakx

    Media Buy: Mindshare Russia

    Digital Production + Social Activation: Instinct BBDO Moscow

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    Everyone knows babies make hilarious faces when they poop. For that matter, so do most adults. Whether or not knowing this universal truth entices you to watch a medley of babies' faces as they poop is a gamble that Saatchi & Saatchi London decided to take. Its "Pooface" video for Pampers baby wipes is literally 75 seconds of what I just described.

    Oh, and it was filmed in slow motion (400fps!) and set to Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra," which we all recognize from every other film project that either aspires to or mocks maturity. It's also "Nature Boy" Ric Flair's theme music. I honestly can't decide which of these is the less dignified use of that song.

    In any case, the spot won a bronze Lion in Film at Cannes, and a silver and a bronze in Film Craft, so clearly Cannes judges are into this kind of potty humor. Not bad for a glorified YouTube Vine compilation with better production values. (The concept has also been floating around for years, mostly in scam ads.)

    Also, is it me or does the baby at 0:44 look like a young Nathan Lane?

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    If you needed further evidence that the bacon craze has completely imploded, Taco Bell is making fun of the universal obsession with the stuff to pitch a new product … of which bacon is an integral part.

    "Bacon you can't eat is bacon you don't need," says the tagline in a new campaign, from Deutsch LA, that hopes to reclaim the cured meat as an edible, not everything but.

    The centerpiece 30-second TV and cinema spot, "Bacon Mall," imagines an almost Lynchian nightmare of a shopping center where all the products are bacon themed. A slew of 15-second social spots mock specific, ridiculous pork meat wares—charmingly efficient in their presentation.

    One, for bacon cologne, comes across as a nice sendup of all fragrance ads. Another, for bacon headphones, reads as a subtle dig at Beats (popular for their look, but widely panned for their fidelity). A third, for Bacon One Hightops, plays on sneaker head culture.

    Overall, it's a fun conceit, with a different, more subtle dystopian flavor compared to Taco Bell's insane portrayal of Ronald McDonald as an Stalinist dictator. (The totalitarian clown is also probably to blame for pulling the strings in a world where opportunists pervert bacon from its true purpose.)

    But is the joke a bit late? Gender-neutral Bacon fragrance has been around since 2011. A bacon-themed racing chair doesn't seem significantly sillier than a regular racing chair. And there's surely a niche market for a bacon USB drive. (Taco Bell's looks better than the ones that seem to exist already.)

    The truth is, you don't really need to make bacon into another random consumer product to broaden its applications. Oscar Mayer proved that any sane person will happily trade goods and services for actual bacon, one of the most valuable commodities on earth. And it's also an appropriate gift for any occasion. Just ask Ron Swanson.

    Client: Taco Bell

    —Spot: "Bacon Mall"
    Air Date: Cinema: 7/3/15
    Broadcast TV: 7/6/15
    Digital: 7/6/15

    Client Credits:
    Chief Marketing Officer: Chris Brandt
    Vice President, Brand Creative Director: Tracee Larocca
    Director of Advertising: Aron North
    Brand Experience: Alexandra Bunn
    Food Consultant: Carolyn Avelino

    Agency: Deutsch LA

    Creative Credits:
    Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
    Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig
    Group Creative Directors: Guto Araki, Tom Pettus
    Creative Directors: Andy Pearson, Ken Slater
    Associate Creative Director: Jeremiah Wassom
    Senior Copywriter: Chris Pouy
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Executive Integrated Producer: Paul Roy
    Integrated Producer: Jamie Gartner
    Assistant Integrated Producer: Evan Aronson
    Music Director: Dave Rocco

    Account Management Credits:
    Group Account Director: Walter Smith
    Account Director: Sandy Song
    Account Supervisor: Monica Tobin
    Account Executive: Sasha Rawji

    Account Planning:
    Chief Strategic Officer: Colin Drummond
    Group Planning Director: Lindsey Allison
    Senior Account Planner Kelly Mertesdorf

    Business Affairs, Traffic:
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Business Affairs Manager: Nestor Gandia
    Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
    Senior Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Freeark

    Chief Executive Officer, North America: Mike Sheldon
    President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

    Live Action Production Company: Reset
    Director: Vesa Manninen
    Managing Director: Dave Morrison
    Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
    Producer: Jennifer Ingalls
    Line Producer: Ahnee Boyce

    Editing Company: Therapy Studios
    Editor: Doobie White
    Assistant Editor: Amy Bostrom
    Executive Producer: Joe DiSanto
    Head of Production: Allegra Bartlett

    Post Facility: MPC
    Producer: Summer McCloskey
    Senior Colorist: Mark Gethin
    Visual Effects: Therapy Studios
    Executive Producer: Joe DiSanto
    Lead Flame Artist: Wren Waters

    Licensed, Composed Music Credits:
    Track: "Mad World"
    Covered by: Halsey
    Writer: Roland Orzabal

    Audio Post Company: Therapy Studios
    Executive Producer: Joe DiSanto
    Mixer: Jeff Fuller
    Sound Design: Eddie Kim

    Shoot Location: Santiago, Chile

    —Bacon Club Chalupa Social Videos
    Watch :15
    Controller :15
    Yoga :15
    Guitar :15
    Headphones :15
    Bacologne :15
    USB :15
    Gaming Chair :15
    Sneakers :15
    Purse :15
    Air Date: 7/6/15

    Client Credits:
    Chief Marketing Officer: Chris Brandt
    Vice President, Brand Creative Officer: Tracee Laroocca
    Director of Advertising: Aron North
    Associate Manager, Brand Experience: Alexandra Bunn

    Agency: Deutsch LA

    Creative Credits:
    Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig
    Group Creative Directors: Tom Pettus, Guto Araki
    Creative Directors: Andy Pearson, Ken Slater
    Art Director: Cheston Kwan
    Copywriter: Josh Hill
    Executive Producer: Paul Roy
    Producer: Damon Vinyard
    Associate Producer: Josh Goldsmith

    Account Management Credits:
    Group Account Director: Walter Smith
    Account Director: Sandy Song
    Account Supervisor: Monica Tobin
    Account Executive: Kaitlin Tabor

    Account Planning:
    Chief Strategy Officer: Colin Drummond
    Group Planning Director: Lindsey Allison
    Senior Account Planner: Kelly Mertesdorf
    Senior Digital Strategist: Amelia Hall
    Business Affairs, Traffic:
    Director, Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Business Affairs Manager: Nestor Gandia

    Chief Executive Officer, North America: Mike Sheldon
    President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

    Live-Action Production: Brand New School, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Director: Brumby Boylston
    Executive Producer: Paul Abatemarco
    Head of Production: Julie Shevach
    Line Producer: Brian Armstrong

    Editing Company: Brand New School
    Editor: Marc D'Andre
    Assistant Editor: Austin Lewis

    Postproduction, Visual Effects: Brand New School, Santa Monica
    Executive Producer: Paul Abatemarco
    Senior Producer: Alex More
    Senior Colorist: Loren White
    Lead Flame Artist: Kevin MacDonald
    Animators, Compositors: Adam Smith, Ben Bullock, Joseph Moon
    Designers: Karen To, Yoon Lee

    Licensed, Composed Music Credits:
    Music for Headphones, Bacologne, USB, Gaming Chair, Sneakers: Elias Music Library
    Executive Producer: Vicki Ordeshook
    Head of Production: Katie Overcash
    Executive Producer: Matt Locher, Asche & Spencer

    Audio Post Company: Lime
    Mixer: Matt Miller
    Assistant Mixer: Mark Nieto

    Shoot Location: Los Angeles

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    Infiniti recreates the "flirting on the highway" scene from National Lampoon's Vacation with one of that 1983 film's original stars (not Chevy Chase, unfortunately) in this Crispin Porter + Bogusky ad tied to the Vacation remake coming later this month.

    Here, Ethan Embry (who played Rusty in Vegas Vacation back in '97) replaces Chase in the Clark Griswold role, rolling down the road with his family en route to Walley World for some R&R. Instead of a crappy station wagon, however, they're ensconced in a comfy, high-tech Infiniti QX60 SUV.

    Embry is soon distracted by an attractive blonde woman in a sleek convertible, and some intensely silly flirting ensues. (Sorry, Ethan, but nothing tops Chevy's self-consciously goofy grin. Nothing. Ever.)

    In the movie, Christie Brinkley played the blonde. Will she show up here? Perhaps in an ironic punch line that makes me feel ungodly old?

    Um, maybe. Cute enough ad, though.

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    Last summer, Procter & Gamble's Always scored a big hit with its stereotype-crushing "Like a Girl" ad, which then got a slot on the Super Bowl. Now, the feminine products brand is back with another powerful commercial aimed at building the confidence of women.

    The new Leo Burnett ad, "Unstoppable," is directed, like its predecessor, by documentarian Lauren Greenfield. And it features a diverse group of girls and young women talking about the limitations they've experienced as a result of social norms.

    It's particularly heartbreaking when one kid suggest she doesn't feel like she can be a hero—because in all the stories, it's always the boys doing the rescuing. But eventually she and the other interviewees start kicking and standing on literal cardboard boxes symbolizing the limits they hope to conquer.

    That sequence borders on melodramatic, and risks feeling a bit like a kind of hokey corporate trust-building exercise. But it also effectively punches up an incredibly important message. And the consensus among commenters so far seems to be that it resonates.

    Indeed, it's almost easy to forget the brand is ultimately hawking product.

    Always is also partnering with TED, the nonprofit devoted to disseminating ideas, to develop and spread confidence-inspiring content through TED-Ed, an educational platform specializing in lessons worth sharing.

    Client: Always, Procter & Gamble
    Agency: Leo Burnett

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    Next up in our Kids Behaving Inappropriately series, BBDO Berlin got a bunch of children to yell extremely dirty words to make a point about Smart cars, and how they can lead to a more calm, lighthearted temperament.

    My favorite is the little guy in the suit. Angry, angry young man.

    Smart cars look a lot like artisanal jelly beans, but that is by design—Mercedes-Benz design, as it turns out. The video goes on to show off the car's maneuverability and convenient parking size, although the street was oddly free of traffic hazards in what was supposed to be a stressful urban environment.

    Where was the random car sitting in the middle of the lane with his hazards on? The pedestrians running into traffic without looking? The 1,000-person family all using the crosswalk one at a time? C'mon guys, give those kids something to really swear about!

    Actually, don't. That's more their parents' job, anyway.

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    Jane swing through jungle on vine. Where Tarzan?

    Jane Lynch, so awesome as the cheerleading coach on Glee, wrote and stars in a new series of ads for Vita Coco coconut water. "Stupidly simple" is the tagline, and that pretty much describes her shenanigans in the campaign.

    Along with vining on a cheesy rain forest set, Lynch tries to sneak coconuts through airport security (she really milks it), disrupts a marathon (guess why the runners stumble) and takes the stand at a trial (how she escapes the death penalty for perpetrating such silliness, I'll never know). In the best bit, she struggles to fit a coconut in her car's clearly inadequate cup holder. (C'mon, just one more try should do it …)

    Oh, and some Hawaiian-shirted dude named Eduardo keeps handing Lynch sippy-boxes of Vita Coco. At one point, he brandishes a machete, and in the cup holder spot, pops up in the backseat of her car. (Run, Jane, run!)

    Cannes won't be calling, but Lynch's self-aware, deadpan approach is spot-on, and the ads are, perhaps, just different enough to break through.

    The only thing missing is a coconut slushie to the face. Add that to your playbook for next time, coach!

    Client: Vita Coco
    Production Company: VICE
    Director: Johnny Milord
    Postproduction: Heresy
    Editor: Justin Fong
    Executive Producer, Postproduction: Maureen Dowd

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    Like any good marketer, Pornhub is getting into product innovation with a new app-powered, virtual-reality sex toy that the video streaming site says will "provide the ultimate experience in interactive cyber passion."

    It's called the TwerkingButt™. Created with adult novelty manufacturer Topco Sales, it features "multiple twerking patterns, customizable rhythms, massage speeds, sensual vibrations and simulated body heat, which can all be custom controlled with the included remote or via your smartphone/tablet (Android or iOS)," Pornhub says.

    It includes virtual reality goggles and 3-D content, and the app controls everything from motion to music. (You can sync the device's movements to your playlist, for example.) It also has patented "CyberSkin" technology, which warms to a body temperature of 98.6 degrees, while "providing ideal levels of friction, elasticity and softness that's as near to the human sexual experience as possible," says the brand.

    If that sounds scientific, the commercial for the thing is much more (sorry) tongue-in-cheek, featuring the kind of lighthearted, absurdist comedy for which the world's most mainstream porn brand has become known.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "We can barely contain our excitement for the new TwerkingButt," says Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub. "I think we can honestly say that the release of our new product will mark a new benchmark in the convergence of emerging technology and immersive pleasure to deliver one of the most lifelike sexual simulation experiences on the market today."

    It will put a dent in your wallet, though. When it hits retail shelves in August, it will cost $699 for the regular version and $999 for the deluxe. (This week only, however, they're discounted at $499 and $799, respectively. So get on that!)

    Oh, and it has kind of a cute logo:

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    The bond between two teenage boys, one of whom is gay, is sensitively explored in the latest installment of Pereira & O'Dell's "Crossroads" campaign for Coca-Cola in Latin America.

    Launched this spring, the "Crossroads" advertising challenges young people to choose kindness and compassion over cruelty, and asks them to consider what real friends would do in potentially difficult situations.

    In "The Text," a seven-minute film directed by LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black (an Oscar winner for his script for the 2008 film Milk), we meet Rafael and Diego, two school pals who engage in lots of macho banter about sports and girls. As teenagers often do, they trade casual put-downs and goof around almost nonstop, whether in the classroom, at soccer practice or playing videogames. They're clearly longtime best friends, and the young actors give relaxed, winning performances that convey the depth of their relationship.

    Rafael, however, has been keeping a secret. It's no spoiler to reveal he's gay, as the first half of the film makes several nods in that direction, setting up the "crossroads moment" when Diego—hanging out with a bunch of their friends after school—discovers a revealing text on Rafael's phone. The actors handle the finale with much aplomb, staying true to the inclusive "Crossroads" theme and their characters. In the end, Diego and Rafael have shared a defining experience, a moment of true growth and understanding, and both are wiser, and perhaps even closer, for it.

    As my colleague Tim Nudd noted in his appraisal of the two previous "Crossroads" films (also directed by Black), the product integration and use of a fist bump (part of the campaign's visual palette that extends to Coke's white-on-red ribbon design) feel "a little shoehorned" into the content. Actually, the fist bump works pretty well here, but sending Rafael to the fridge for some Cokes to set up the story's denoument could be viewed as a tad self-serving.

    That said, one could argue that by placing itself at the precise moment of truth, Coke strengthens its connection to the cause, and affirms that its commitment is very much the real thing.

    Black deserves credit for his work on all three "Crossroads" films. His easygoing, understated indie-film style is perfectly attuned to the subject matter. The message never overpowers the storytelling, but evolves naturally from each tale.

    " 'The Text' was perhaps the most personal for me to direct," Black says. "As an artist, I feel I have a responsibility to share the stories of who LGBT people truly are, in order to dispel any atmosphere of fear that might prevent LGBT people from sharing their lives openly."

    Client: Coca-Cola Latin America
    IMC Director LATAM: Marta Fontcuberta
    IMC Director: Ismael Pascual
    Content Excellence Director: Diego Bracamontes
    Coca–Cola IMC Senior Manager: Eduardo Ruiz
    Coca–Cola IMC Manager: Layla del Razo
    Coca–Cola IMC Junior Manager: Adriana Sahagun
    Coca-Cola Trademark Brand Director: José Luis Basauri
    Coca-Cola Brand Director: Unai Alvarez
    Coca-Cola Brand Manager: Valeria Lopez

    Coca-Cola Design Team
    Global Design Director: Rapha Abreu
    Vice President, Design: James Sommerville
    Senior Global Design Director: Tom Farrel
    Global Design Project Manager: Craig Stroud
    Global Designers: Chrsitine Lee, Megan Libby
    Senior Design Manager: Aidee Rodriguez

    Agency: Pereira & O'Dell
    Chief Creative Officer: P.J. Pereira
    Executive Creative Director: Jaime Robinson
    Creative Directors: Rob Lambrechts, Rafael Rizuto
    Senior Art Director: Luke Acret
    Senior Copywriter: Omid Amid
    Senior Designer: Moses Kelany
    Chief Strategy Officer: Ana Cortat
    Strategist: Sara Lezama
    Vice President, Production: Jeff Ferro

    Senior Film Producer: Victoria Whitlow
    Co-Director, Client Services: Henry Arlander
    Account Director: Mona Gonzalez
    Account Executive: Rose Valderrama
    Trailer, Interactive Editor: Collin Kriner
    Senior Production Designer: Aaron Rodriguez

    Vice President, Distribution: Josh Brandau
    Project Manager: Lauren Parker
    Agency Marketing, Public Relations: Molly Parsley

    Business Affairs Director: Russ Nadler

    Production Company: Bully Pictures
    Director/writer: Dustin Lance Black
    Director of Photography: Carlos Verón
    Executive Producer: Jason Forest
    Producer: Gunner Clancey

    Visual Effects: Laundry!
    Editing: Umlaut Films
    Editor: Alex Rodríguez
    Poster Designer: Erik Buckham
    Illustrator, Retoucher: Adhemas Batista

    Theme Music: One Direction, "Clouds"

    Music Supervisor: Aminé Ramer
    Original Score Composer: Grayson Sanders, Music Dealers

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    Here's a fun stunt. To promote tourism, the rural Swiss region of Graubünden got an affable gray-bearded man to yell in real time from a digital screen to passersby in Zurich's main train station—trying to lure them with sweet yodeling and a free ticket to an impromptu vacation in a pastoral mountain town.

    The take-it-now-or-leave-it twist is basically a local version of Heineken's Departure Roullette campaign from a couple years back, which offered travelers already at JFK Airport a vacation to a unknown exotic location if they agreed to drop their existing plans.

    Still, the Swiss video is a clever enough use of media, with the live dynamic playing on the expectation that the billboard will be comparatively static (in other words, it's also another take on the intelligent vending machine). Plus, the invitation for an afternoon snack is pretty tempting, and the pitchman gets points for enthusiasm—he even goes so far as to offer to speak with one prospect's boss, and actually dials another's school to inform them the kid will be missing a day.

    Then again, at the moment he actually starts greeting and shaking hands with guests, it suddenly looks an awful lot like the whole thing is green-screened. The trip from Zurich to Vrin is about 2 hours and 45 minutes by rail, according to Google Maps. So, it's pretty suspicious that there's no footage of the actual magical train that whisked people there—or their super-fun adventures along the way (assuming Swiss trains feature dining cars and high-speed WiFi).

    In fact, it doesn't even seem like the brand and agency Jung Von Matt (which did a high-profile Facebook stunt for the Graubünden area in 2011) even bothered to try to make it particularly convincing. For logistical reasons alone, it's probable that they hired actors to play commuters, and shot the rest in a studio somewhere.

    No matter, though, the major point holds. "Get away from the city and head to a relaxed mountain village," reads the tagline. "[Or maybe just a computerized facsimile of one]."

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    In an effort to make online dating even more fickle and ultimately pointless, people with an Apple Watch soon won't even have to swipe left or right on Tinder anymore. Their hearts will do it for them.

    Austin, Texas, agency T3 has created an app for the Apple Watch that offers hands-free Tinder use by detecting the user's heartbeat and using that to select or deny potential matches. If it works out, the shop plans to develop a whole matchmaking system based on this concept.

    While removing rational judgment from dating isn't always a bad idea, I feel like an average person's heart rate fluctuates way too often, for way too many reasons and often too slowly for something like this to be effective. And what if I had a pacemaker? Or a heart murmur? Or one of those coal-fired difference engine hearts like Dick Cheney?

    For all the brain's flaws, I'd rather rely on its cognitive functionality than a muscle in my chest that races whenever I see oncoming traffic (anxiety) or A-frame ladders (fear) or someone eating a delicious-looking sandwich (lust).

    Via Design Taxi.

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    This Ikea ad is as much fun as a kitchen full of monkeys.

    In fact, it is a kitchen full of monkeys. Plus some tropical birds, snakes, a deer and an elephant, too.

    Part of the Swedish furniture company's "Wonderful Everyday" campaign from Mother London, the 90-second video, filmed at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica, features lots of real monkeys set loose in an Ikea Metod kitchen, which has been set up in the middle of a rainforest. (Alas, there's no sign of Jane Lynch swinging through on a vine.)

    Does harried mayhem ensue? Damn straight! You don't put monkeys in an ad for any other reason. They scamper and explore, trying out all the fixtures and climbing into every cabinet and drawer. At one point, a fridge full of bananas bursts open, much to the cast's delight.

    "We know there's fun to be had for all the family in the kitchen, and we hope these cheeky monkeys will help people experience that for themselves," says Peter Wright, marketing manager for Ikea in the U.K. and Ireland (which is fond of animals stunts like these, having thrown 100 cats into a commercial a few years back).

    Ultimately, a shattered coffee cup brings the jungle shenanigans to a halt. Monkeys have failed at java prep in ads before, notably in this Costa coffeehouses spot from a few years back. I guess they haven't evolved much since then.

    You'd think things would go more smoothly for Ikea, though, with all those capuchins on hand. See what I did there? I'm the cheeky monkey!

    Check out the behind-the-scenes clip below, which clearly aims to disarms critics who frown upon the use of monkeys in ads—by playing up Ikea's involvement in the rescue center.

    Client: Ikea
    Agency: Mother London
    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Juan Cabral
    VFX: MPC
    VFX Producer: Julie Evans
    VFX Shoot Supervisor: Bill Macnamara
    CG Supervisor: Fabian Frank
    VFX Lead: Alex Lovejoy

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    So, the folks over at Printsome, a U.K. T-shirt printing service, were getting hammered one evening (by their own admission, "beers weren't lacking") and somehow the discussion turned to how Facebook would taste if it were a beer.

    I think most people would say the flavor would change every few months at the whim of its advertising partners, but Printsome took things one step further and made a whole beer identity for Facebook. They did the same for Nike, Apple, the Arsenal football club and themselves, deciding flavor, label design, alcohol content and desired audience for each.

    The label designs are pretty standard for projects like this, but the writeups are fun. They decided Nike beer would be low-cal and full of taurine, which sounds exactly like something Nike would do, and that Apple's iBeer would be an organic cider/beer monstrosity of some kind. I would have made it an iPA, but then again, I'm a pun-loving colonial savage.

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    For teens, acne is no laughing matter. But Droga5 figured it was worth shaking up a category that's traditionally brimming with confidence but very little comedy.

    The New York agency's first commercial for the brand breaks today, and leans into the concept of reassurance rather than confidence. And instead of showing beaming, blemish-free models telling viewers they'll be popular, the 30-second spot simply and humorously suggests there's light at the end of the tunnel for those afflicted by adolescent problems—whether it's acne, or your mom barging in on you endlessly.

    Check out the spot here:

    "Someone once said laughter is the best medicine. While we're pretty sure they weren't talking about acne commercials, we figured it was as good an excuse as any to try to make a humorous one," Droga5 group creative director Tim Gordon tells Adweek.

    "What teens really need is some reassurance and a laugh. Reassurance that acne isn't going to last. Reassurance they'll grow out of it. Reassurance they won't need acne cream forever. Reassurance that one day they'll be able to laugh at the volcanic zit they got just before prom."

    The new tagline and brand platform is "Let's Be Clear," which doubles as a description of the product benefit and a promise of honesty in a category full of "models smiling way too happily at splashing water on their face," Gordon adds.

    "Come on, nobody smiles that big washing their face, and we are also pretty sure acne face wash won't turn you into the next rock star," Gordon says. "So 'Let's Be Clear' about some stuff. Clearasil is an acne brand—we can't make you popular, but we can help clear up your acne because we don't want you to use us forever. In our new campaign, we have fun with this reassuring message to resonate with teens just like an older sibling would. Except instead of an actual older sibling, we have a weird yet relatable talking bottle in our TV spot. Other than that, totally the same."

    The campaign will feature a mix of broadcast, digital, PR, social, point-of-sale and influencer marketing. The latter will include Grace Helbig as well as Rhett & Link through their daily morning talk show Good Mythical Morning.

    Client: Clearasil/Reckitt Benckiser
    Brand Director: Deb Ebile
    Brand Manager: Elyse Goldweitz
    Campaign: Let's Be Clear
    Spot: "Interruption"
    Agency: Droga5 New York
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer :Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
    Senior Copywriter: Ryan Raab
    Senior Art Director: Dan Kenneally
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Executive Producer: Adam Perloff
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Strategy Director: Will Davie
    Senior Strategist: Danielle Travers
    Senior Data Strategist: Lily Ng
    Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
    Communications Strategist: Bryn Little
    Social Strategy Director: Tom Hyde
    Senior Social Strategist: Calvin Stowell
    Social Manager: Maureen O'Brien
    Group Account Director: Olivia Legere
    Account Director: Megan Gokey
    Account Manager: Ashton Atlas
    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Aaron Stoller
    DOP: Bryan Newman
    Executive Producer: Holly Vega
    Producer: Mala Vasan
    Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
    Editor: Erik Laroi
    Assistant Editor: Brendan Hogan
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Postproduction: The Mission
    Executive Producer: Mike Pardee
    Producer: Ryan Meredith
    Sound Design: The Ski Team
    Sound Sound: Lounge
    Mixer: Chris Afzal

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    Attention, Aldi's shoppers: Do not be alarmed. The big man with a megaphone is harmless. We think.

    Comedian and TV host Ben Bailey trades in his cash cab for a grocery cart and goofs around with Aldi customers in this web video series created by Weber Shandwick for the discount supermarket chain.

    The company plans to launch 45 stores in Southern California next year, and the campaign will "help introduce Aldi's unique and quirky ways to new markets and neighborhoods," says Weber executive creative director Jim Paul.

    Under normal circumstances, those quirks don't include Bailey, armed here with an amplifier and whirling police light, accosting shoppers with questions (mostly, he asks what they like about the store). Still, it's all in good fun. The dude's down-to-earth, regular-guy persona feels right for a chain that charges folks to use its carts and makes them bag their own groceries in order to keep prices down.

    Bailey, the former host of Discovery Channel's Cash Cab, shot the hidden-camera spots in April at a Chicago-area store. "People were quick to call out their favorite products and how much money they save each month," he says. Indeed, the customers seem to be having a great time. For them, it was a change of pace from the dairy-case doldrums, no doubt. And, as advertising, the approach offers something a bit unexpected for the category (unexpected, though not supergeil).

    A special shout-out goes to an elderly shopper named Herb, who basically steals the show with his high spirits, good-natured kibitzing and quips like, "Ben Bailey?! Never heard of you."

    Herb will have you rolling in the aisles.

    Client: Aldi
    Director of Public Relations: Liz Ruggles
    Marketing Manager: Erika Lempa

    Agency: Weber Shandwick
    Executive Creative Director: Jim Paul
    SVP, Creative Director: Jeff Immel
    VP, Creative Director: Dan Jividen
    Copywriter: Mikinzie Stuart
    VP, Executive Integrated Producer: Kim Mohan
    Producer: Karen Carter
    EVP: Allison Madell
    SVP: Katy Pankau
    SVP, Digital: Jonathan Sullivan
    VP: Eniko Bolivar
    VP: Emily Fisher
    VP, Consumer Media Relations: Ernestine Sclafani
    Director, Senior Media Specialist: Jennifer Parsons
    Director, Digital: Nick Wille
    Group Manager, Paid Media & Content Distribution: Allie Smith
    Group Manager, Media Specialist: Alan Keane
    Account Supervisor: Kristen Thompson
    Account Supervisor: Caitlyn Andre
    Account Supervisor: Carolina Madrid

    Production Company: Accomplice Media
    Director: Tom Feiler
    Executive Producer: Mel Gragido
    Editor: Christina Stumpf
    Post Production Company: Quriosity Productions
    Sound Design & Mix: Joe Flood, Floodgate Studios

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    Beautiful design is at the heart of the Squarespace brand, and so its ads must have a high aesthetic value as well. For this latest round, the website maker again calls on ad agency SpecialGuest, which this time showed up with a Phantom Flex4K camera and a plan to really slow things down.

    The result is three new spots, directed by 1stAveMachine's Tim Brown, that capture objects from real customers' businesses in super slow motion—as they ultimately resolve as beautiful still images on Squarespace pages.

    The tagline is, "Build It Beautiful."

    The selected Squarespace customers worked with SpecialGuest and the client team to show how the platform allowed them to create state-of-the-art online identities—presented here with what the brand calls "the aesthetic purity of motion."

    "The campaign is a truly collaborative effort, working with these businesses to properly convey the passion and energy behind the Squarespace community," says SpecialGuest creative director Aaron Duffy. "That's part of what makes Squarespace great, both as a creative partner and as a platform: ultimately Squarespace is about more than just building websites. It's also about helping to support and empower its community."

    As the moving images become static ones on the website, a voice says, "Isn't it beautiful when things just come together?"—in which ad watchers will surely hear an echo of the famous Honda "Cog" spot, which used the line, "Isn't it nice when things just work?"

    More spots and credits below.

    Client: Squarespace
    David Lee: Chief Creative Officer
    Ness Higson: Creative Director
    Jenn Grossman: Creative Partnerships
    Donovan Mafnas: Designer
    Luis Gonzalez: Designer
    Michelle Liv: Designer

    Creative Partner: SpecialGuest

    Partner/ECD: Aaron Duffy
    Business Director: Ashley McGee
    Creative Director: Jonathan Emmerling
    Producer: Barry Gilbert
    Sr. Art Director: Morgan Harary
    Jr. Art Director: Eddy Choi
    Creative Development: Chloe Corner

    Production Co: 1stAveMachine

    Partner/Executive Producer: Sam Penfield
    Director: Tim Brown
    Head of Production: Lisanne McDonald
    Visual Effects Supervisor: John Loughlin
    Line Producer: Alec Sash
    Director of Photography: Martin Ahlgren
    Still Photographer: Dylan Griffin
    Production Designer: Clement Price-Thomas
    Editors: Karl Amdal, Jonathan Vitagliano
    Compositors:  Michael Glen, Joseph Pistono, Gerald Mark Soto

    Color Grading: Seth Ricart @Ricart & Co
    Sound Design: Joseph Fraioli
    Music Supervision: Brienne Rose @ NoiseRacket
    Audio Mix: Gramercy Post
    Music Composition: Apothecary: Sofia Hultquist / Greater Goods: M. Colton / Yield: Adam Arcuragi + Jonny Diina

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    In case you were wondering, only an iPhone is an iPhone, says Apple in a head-scratching pair of new ads.

    One spot, "Loved" points out, unsurprisingly, that everyone who has an iPhone is a fan. A second spot. "Hardware & Software," argues that because Apple is responsible for controlling the manufacturing of the device itself, and developing the software that runs on it, it's more reliable than imitators.

    The spots are slick, and zippy, in Apple's usual style. They're well-produced, with a lot to look at—happy people snapping candids, nifty apps at work—in some ways, the bread and butter of the mobile revolution, or at least its promise. Unfortunately, while Apple can claim bragging rights for essentially inventing the smartphone, there's a casual smugness to the approach that seems to parody itself unintentionally—just shy of the kind of thing Microsoft would come up with in an attempt to hawk a knockoff feature.

    Anyone not living under a rock knows what an iPhone is, and that it's "different." But particularly in the first ad, Apple's cool factor—while a significant part of the company's historical success—doesn't work very well as an explicit selling point. Especially not compared to the brand's recent, Grand-Prix-winning print campaign, which blew up to billboard size gorgeous imagery that users shot on their iPhones and did a much better job of creating an instant emotional connection to the product.

    It did so, notably, by showing in a simple and focused way what it could do for buyers—a specific, powerful use demonstrated to the extreme (rather than, say, a contrived, would-be sizzling blitz through the many potential joys of having one).

    The second spot is a little better, with the possibility of spurring consumers who are considering an alternative to dig deeper on the debate around the pros and cons of Apple's closed system and the more open Android. It suffers, though, from the same ridiculous tagline: "If it's not an iPhone it's not an iPhone."

    That may be true. But the ads might still feel like they're for a Windows Phone.

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    Volkswagen wants you to feel like a kid again.

    A new campaign from the automaker and agency Deutsch LA cleverly invites you to create your own virtual test drive of a Golf R—by making car noises into your computer.

    "Unleash Your Rrr" lets you record video of yourself imitating revving engines and squealing breaks—then analyzes the audio to string together clips into a personalized video of the VW model in action, racing down a track or drifting through turns.

    Professional driver Tanner Foust performed the stunts, and also stars in one of two excellent teaser vids—in which he delivers some killer sounds, and perfectly sums up the experience at the end, with a slightly horrified, "Good God." While his facial contortions are nothing to sneeze at, actor Michael Winslow (aka, the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects) blows Foust out of the water with priceless looks and bottomless panache.

    In short, it's an exceptionally fun and simple idea. Head over to rrr.vw.com for some more samples, or to create your own—so long as you're willing to forever and completely grant VW rights to the footage of you puckering up while you say "Vroom."


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