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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    0 0

    Nike's "Short a Guy" ad from Wieden + Kennedy is a real pick-me-up.

    In it, we meet the luckiest, most athletically inclined kid on the planet. While out skateboarding, he meets some of the biggest stars in sports, who suddenly realize they're "short a guy" for their pick-up games and invite the kid to play. He steps up to the plate with Mike Trout and Garrett Richards, spikes it with Misty May-Treanor, kicks up a fuss with Mia Hamm, dunks with Anthony Davis and huddles with Andrew Luck. (No doubt Trout and Luck reminisced about teaming up a few weeks back in this amusing BodyArmor ad.)

    Lacrosse-playing brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson are in there, too. Because lacrosse is the next soccer, poised to break through and achieve cultural relevance. No, it's not.

    Anyway, it's an exhilarating 90 seconds, set to the frenetic beat of "Surfin' Bird"—paging Peter Griffin!—and surely one of the more memorable sports ads of the year. It went wide Monday night during Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby on ESPN, and has nearly 300,000 views in its first day on YouTube.

    "The 'Short A Guy' film and the #TakeonTJ campaign will drive people to our Gear Up hub on Nike.com, where they will find the best of Nike waiting to help them gear up for greatness this summer," says David Schriber, Nike's vp of marketing for North America.

    #TakeonTJ is a social and digital push in which "TJ" represents the opponent you've always wanted to beat, but never could. Now, Nike aims to inspire you to train and, ultimately, take "TJ" down a few pegs. The Gear Up e-commerce hub also features advisers who give coaching and equipment tips.

    "Short a Guy," directed with fantastic energy by Stacy Wall via Imperial Woodpecker, and seamlessly edited by Rick Orrick, uses Nike's endorsers to great effect. And its multi-sports theme follows a Nike tradition that stretches back at least to the "Bo Knows" era.

    Some commenters have suggested casting a girl in the lead would've been an enlightened touch. Fair enough, but as it is, the spot speaks quite eloquently to the universality of sports and the desire of kids (of both sexes and all ages) to take the field with their heroes.

    The commercial presents the dream, while the broader Gear Up initiative provides some guidance—and, of course, sells apparel and equipment—designed to make better performance a reality.

    Client: Nike
    Project: North America Gear Up/ "Short a Guy"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown
    Copywriter: Derek Szynal
    Art Director: Jason Campbell
    Producer: Ross Plummer
    Executive Agency Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
    Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Brandon Thornton, Reid Schilperoort
    Media/Comms Planning: Daniel Sheniak, Reme DeBisschop, Brian Goldstein, Emily Graham
    Account Team: Karrelle Dixon, Jordan Muse, Corey Woodson, Shinya Kamata
    Business Affairs: Dusty Slowik
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Joe Staples

    Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
    Director: Stacy Wall
    Executive Producer: Doug Helbert
    Line Producer: Matt Wersinger
    Director of Photography: Jon Lynch

    Editorial Company: Work, LA
    Editor: Rich Orrick
    Assistant Editor: Clay Doggett
    Post Executive Producer: Marlo Baird

    VFX Company: Joint Editorial, Portland
    VFX Supervisor: Alex Thiesen
    Flame Artist: Katrina Salicrup
    VFX Producer: Rebekah Korebel

    Music+Sound Company: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Song: Surfin' Bird, The Trashmen
    Producer: Whitney Fromholtz

    Mix Company: Lime Studios, LA
    Mixer: Loren Silber
    Producer: Susie Boyajan

    0 0

    It's easy to give kids healthy, farm-fresh snacks like pizza, taquitos and fish sticks. Just grab them straight from the vine at Nick Offerman's pizza farm.

    The actor gives you a tour of the agricultural marvel in this amusing video from Funny or Die. Those sloppy joes, in particular, look earthy and crunchy—literally so.

    The whole thing, of course, is a parody. It's aimed at getting the public to pressure Congress to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which set strong nutrition standards for schools and after decades of meals loaded with sugar, fat and salt.

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    Coming up with fun ad ideas for a show like Dating Naked isn't exactly Pluto-level rocket science. You think of fun things naked people can do besides dating, and you film them doing it. Then you blur their privates and watch the YouTube count rise.

    Last year, VH1 got Los Angeles agency Mistress to make a Dating Naked ad with people dancing naked. Now, agency and client have followed that up with an ad showing people jumping naked. The twist: It was filmed in super slow motion at 1,000 frames per second.

    Check out the spot below, which the agency describes as "a graphic visualization of the insight that it is all about our true selves, finding true love—without all the bullshit."

    Client: VH1
    Agency: Mistress
    Production Company: Bastard
    Director: Bob Hope
    Editorial: Bastard
    Editors: Kyle Stebbins and Ian Kalmbaugh
    VFX: Kyle Stebbins
    Sound Design: Lime Studios
    Engineer: Sam Casas
    Partner/CD: Damien
    Art Director: Rachel Guest
    Copywriter: Celine Faledam
    Producer: Kay Lynn Dutcher
    Brand Director: Tor Edwards
    Brand Manager: Kylie Wu
    Project Manager: Alex Clewell 

    0 0

    On Tuesday morning, NASA showed the world that it's finally gotten around to visiting our solar system's favorite not-a-planet-anymore, Pluto. On Instagram, the once-blurry dot in space was featured in glorious high-res for all humankind to behold.

    And brands, of course, wanted in.

    Some inevitably made interstellar puns and ridiculous associations to their products, mostly phoning it in from far across the universe. Because really, no one is entirely sure how important Pluto is, since its demotion to dwarf planet.

    Disney, which owns the rights to both Pluto the dog and Star Wars, didn't tweet anything (though Disney Channel's PR department did). UPDATE: Disney did post a late tweet—see below. And many of the usual real-time Twitter suspects, like DiGiorno, Oreo and Charmin, have been silent so far as well. (The latter has more of a thing for Uranus.)

    Other brands did boldly go there, however. Check out a sampling of their voyages below.


    0 0

    Airbnb really wants you to know the world is a wonderful place full of nice people. So, please get out of your own house, stay in someone else's for a while, and see how great it can be.

    The vacation-rentals-by-owner business is out with a new global campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day. In the 60-second centerpiece, directed by Lance Acord (of Volkswagen's "The Force" and Nike's "Jogger"), a baby does a perfect bowlegged baby walk toward a windowed door, as a voiceover questions the nature of mankind, and encourages viewers to go learn firsthand.

    A generous reading might find the juxtaposition of image and copy incredibly arch and subtly genius, prompting viewers to admit we're all just a bunch of overgrown infants wobbling through life. A simpler, perhaps more accurate take finds it wildly pretentious—existential bordering on absurd, without ever turning the corner into comedy.

    In fact, the company intends it to be provocative, a sort of antidote to news about "unkindness"—aka, all the horrible things people do to each other everywhere. That's an ambitious play that at its heart seems more like a growth strategy translated into pablum than a genuine, credible sentiment about humanity. Renting a home to a stranger isn't an act of kindness—it's a mutually beneficial transaction. And as much as Airbnb might want to gloss over the fact, it's an inherently risky one.

    And it's understandable if you find lines like "Sleep in their beds, so you may know their dreams" to be a bit creepy, as the brand cuts the script down into tweet-sized bits.

    This isn't to say the brand strategy is off. Leaning into optimism makes total sense for a business that does facilitate sharing, however mercenary. And the ad does deserves credit for hinting at the kind of childlike wonder that can come from travel (as more directly demonstrated in Wieden + Kennedy's Cannes Lion-winning spot for S7 Airlines).

    The "Belong anywhere" tagline is also solid positioning for Airbnb's homey business model, offering a broader take on the spirit of acceptance that anchored its beautiful ad about LGBT couples last month. (This new campaign, by the way, will also include employee engagement, social media and billboards in "provocative locations that may either highlight the kindness of man, or call it into question." So, we'll have to see what that's all about.)

    In the most narrow and literal interpretation, the new spot also seems to be appealing to people who travel with babies, which adds a whole additional set of safety considerations when booking.

    Even if you're not in that niche, the whole thing is infinitely more fun to watch on mute, with "Uptown Funk" playing in the background.

    Client: Airbnb

    Creative Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
    Media Agency: Starcom

    Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
    Creative Director: Brent Anderson
    Creatives: Scott Brown, Becky Ginos
    Writer: Sue Anderson
    Design Director: Mark Sloan
    Designers: Robbie Reynolds, Kevin Reid
    Senior Project Manager: Michael Roitman

    Group Planning Director: Neil Barrie
    Planner: Kyle Bullerjahn
    Strategy Intern: Farid Mozafari

    Production Directors: Brian O'Rourke, Peter Bassett
    Digital Producer: Kristin McCarron
    Executive Print Producers: Scott Henry, Dena Moore
    Broadcast Producer: Stephanie Dziczek
    Business Affairs Manager: Maryam Ohebsion
    Studio Manager: Brian Dougherty
    Senior Producers: David Hoogenakker, Tim Newfang
    Art Producer: Karishma Singh
    Senior Editor: Greg Young
    Senior Post Producer: Cristy Torres

    President, International Clients: James Vincent 
    Managing Director: Kelly Lee
    Brand Director: Jenn Wong
    Brand Manager: Matt Theisen
    Associate Brand Managers: Aubrey Larson, Morrie Conway
    Account Assistant: Kelli McDonald

    Film Production Partners
    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Executive Producer: Mary Ann Marino

    Editing Company: The Whitehouse
    Editor: Rick Lawley

    0 0

    Shoplifters get their comeuppance in adam&eveDDB's latest work for Harvey Nichols, which promotes the chain's Rewards App with the tagline, "Love freebies? Get them legally."

    The 90-second spot uses "100% genuine actual real honest footage" from security cameras in the retailer's flagship Knightsbridge, London, store, agency executive creative director Ben Tollett tells AdFreak. "We got to sit in the Harvey Nichols CCTV control suite with all the store detectives, toggling the cameras around," he says. "It did feel pretty cool."

    The perps are particularly brazen, pinching clothes, jewelry, perfume and more, often with patrons and staff standing close by. (The department store shouldn't be surprised by such behavior. Its best-known campaign urges folks to drop by and selfishly pick up stuff for themselves—though payment was strongly suggested.)

    For the new commercial, the crooks' faces are obscured by emoji-like "robber" animations, complete with black masks and, in one case, a knitted ski-cap with slits for the eyes and mouth. Created by the Layzell Brothers at Blink, these effects give the spot an oddly memorable creepy/cheeky vibe.

    Ultimately, it doesn't end well for the baddies. "Don't bother shoplifting in Harvey Nichols," warns Tollett. "The only free thing you'll get is a day trip to the local police station."

    True enough. Knocking over a Reserva store in the dead of night is a better bet.

    0 0

    Nature Valley Canada shouts "You kids, get off my lawn!" in a curmudgeonly new ad from Cossette that contrasts the childhood memories of three generations of families.

    The brand yearns for the good old days of fishin', fort buildin', and granola eatin' in the great outdoors. And it argues that newfangled tablets and video games are just ruinin' childhoods left and right, leaving parents with tears and fears for the future.

    So, are they just engaging in intergenerational hate mongering here, or do they have a legit point? It probably depends on the generation you're from, and whether you feel like you actually fit the technology stereotypes of that generation.

    Boomers who've learned to stop worrying and love their tablets will feel just as criticized as millennials or Gen Z members who go hiking every weekend. And stuck in between are the poor parents in this video, shamed in front of Grandpa and Grandma for failing to provide a robust childhood of wilderness adventures for their technology-addicted kids.

    Just watch the response this hot topic has generated as all three generations ironically fight it out in the comments section of the YouTube video. (Pro-tip for old people: Shouting down a sassy 14-year-old in the comments section of a brand page with ad hominem attacks does not make you a nature crusader.)

    The tagline is, "Rediscover the joys of nature." So, how is Nature Valley Canada helping people do that? Well, they've got a website that tells you where the National Parks are, gives 10 suggestions for what to do in nature, and lets you donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. In other words: nothing, really.

    Of course, it's possible that changing the trajectory of the entire technological revolution is beyond the abilities of a granola company's Canadian marketing division. Which begs the question: Is it enough for a brand to stand for something, if it doesn't actually do anything?

    It would probably have been easier for the brand to champion nature and donate a ton of money to National Parks cleanup without pissing on technology at the same time. But it wouldn't have generated nearly as many angry old people shouting, "Back in my day!"

    And that truly would have been a tragedy.

    0 0

    Unilever ice cream brand Cornetto is continuing its habit of telling cute long-form love stories, but now it's trying to tell one from both sides at the same time.

    The video below offers interweaving perspectives of a nascent teenage romance that's on the verge of realization—delineating between internal monologue and external dialogue by tricking out the audio (it's a binaural recording, captured by two microphones to create a 3-D sensation—headphones are recommended) and encouraging viewers to switch between the first-person views of the female and male leads, to see through their eyes.

    It's an intriguing approach that's a little tricky to follow at times—switching back and forth gets a little tedious. (It's also not nearly as seamless as what Wieden + Kennedy did with Honda's "The Other Side.") It might be smoother to have the camera just switch back and forth between perspectives on its own—effectively what it did, to some degree, in the brand's Turkish hit from a couple years back.

    And the wind-up could probably be a little shorter. Ultimately, it's high-school prom drama, which is inherently pretty boring to everyone except the high-schoolers experiencing it. (The librarian's side-eye during all the handwringing pretty much sums up the right way to feel about it—and ultimately, it turns out she's a narrator of sorts.)

    Then again, since high-schoolers are Cornetto's target, the outsized significance may be perfect. And even you olds might find yourselves invested in the story—if these dumb kids could just get it together, they'd realize they're more on the same page than they think. By the time the guy works up the courage to ask out his best friend—who's interested in him, too—it's actually quite satisfying, complete with him delivering a feel-good, gawky, geeky dance, and her serving him looks that kaleidoscope among perplexed, thrilled, embarrassed, dubious and thrilled again.

    In other words, given it's just an elaborate ploy to sell frozen treats, it's a pretty sweet thing.

    Client: Cornetto
    Agency: MOFILM and A Taste of Space
    Creative Director: Lorie Jo Trainer Buckingham
    Creative Team: James Copeman, Lorie Jo Trainor Buckingham Ben and max ringham
    Customer Relations Team: Rebecca Sykes
    Strategic Planning: Rebecca Sykes and Lorie Jo trainor Buckingham
    Agency Productor: Rebecca Sykes and Rosalind Wynn
    Production Company: ATOS

    0 0

    When it comes to promoting the return of its nude dating competition series, Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps, VH1 has found that less—much less—is more.

    The network is following up this week's jumping-naked-in-slow-motion ad with another opportunity to see naked people in all their (slightly obscured) glory. On Friday, the network will unveil an interactive Dating Naked billboard at the bustling corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Los Angeles.

    The sign will initially feature a fully clothed image of this season's two suitors, Chris Aldrich and Kerri Cipriani. But throughout the day, brand ambassadors will encourage passersby to "strip" down the poster, peeling away a series of tabs to reveal a naked image of the duo underneath. They'll also be encouraged to take photos of the billboard as the day goes on and post them on social media.

    Each tab will also include the chance to win naked-themed prizes, including health, beauty and body products, as well as a getaway to Terra Cotta Inn, the clothing-optional Palms Springs, Calif., resort.

    "Over the course of a day, you can peel off tabs and reveal them in their truest self," said Caralene Robinson, evp, marketing, VH1. Once the ad has been fully "stripped," it will reveal a new photo in which "Chris and Kerri will be nude, and you'll have little color blocks on their bits." VH1 expects it will take a day to peel off all the layers. The billboard will then remain "uncovered" for two weeks.

    Dating Naked, which returns for Season 2 on July 22, is set on a romantic tropical island, with Aldrich and Cipriani looking for love with a new group of singles arriving each week, wearing only their birthday suits. During the show's first season, "we found that we get the most impact from our viral ideas, our stunts. Last year we did a nude video, the rogue choreography in the mall. That got over 2 million views. We did naked pedicabs, and we found that the activation that seems to work best for us is when consumers can actually engage," said Robinson.

    So this year, in addition to that second video, her team settled on the billboard idea, hiring Awestruck agency for the activation. They chose L.A.'s Hollywood and Highland because "it's an extremely high-traffic area," said Robinson, "and it's also a place where I believe we can get a lot of social media value." The network has additionally partnered with the Nüdifier app, which will allow users to create pixilated naked photos of people.

    VH1 also benefits from the promotion of another nude-themed show, Discovery's Naked and Afraid XL, which returned on July 12. "It's worked to our advantage," Robinson said. A third clothing-optional series, TLC's Buying Naked, aired last year but didn't return this summer. "If you're a consumer of these shows, there's a lot of back and forth between them, so we don't see them as competition. We think we stand on our own, but we all help each other out in a way."

    0 0

    Maytag doesn't just make washing machines in the U.S. It makes people.

    Lots and lots of very zen Maytag Men, to be precise. A new ad from agency DigitasLBi shows the appliance brand's famous mascot—that is, the 2014 macho reincarnate edition—taking form, assembly-line style.

    Set at the company's factory in Marion, Ohio, the ad also features real Maytag employees, and a giant American flag. It's like a hyper-patriotic sci-fi comedy, where the clones are all the same affable guy who wants to fix your stuff (but sorry, it's so well built it never breaks).

    Actually, the Maytag guy stands in for the products themselves here—he's no longer just the guy who wants to repair them—which is a little dissonant at first, though the final visual clears everything up.

    It's pretty silly, but in an appropriately vanilla kind of way. "What's inside matters," proclaims the tagline. And apparently, what's inside is a fake human—which doesn't seem like the most efficient or comfortable way to wash clothes in 2015.

    It does explain why the dude is so chiseled, though.

    0 0

    72andSunny catches a new wave with Samsung in this short film created with the World Surf League, which Samsung Mobile sponsors.

    A sequel of sorts to last year's Cannes Gold Lion-winning "Every Day Is Day One," the new clip, part of a new campaign themed "We Are Greater Than I" (there's also a gripping cycling spot) focuses on the intense interconnectedness of the surfing community. "No individualism, no ego, no celebration of one hero," the WSL says on its site in a brief description of the 90-second spot, stressing that all surfers, regardless of their age, sex, race or skill level, are "intrinsically co-dependent, and tied together for better—and for worse."

    The ad's imagery, captured by Stink director Eliot Rausch, stirringly sustains this theme as it creates a cycle-of-life effect. We open with a moody shot of dark, swelling waves that seemingly give "birth" to a solitary rider. Later, a solemn circle of surfers, their hands joined, float waist-deep in the ocean, bidding farewell to a fallen comrade.

    Surfing, we come to understand, is more than a sport. It's an almost religious calling shared by a group of people who simply wouldn't live any other way. This special passion connects enthusiasts who hit icy waters for early-morning, pre-work rides to elite pros like Gabriel Maedina, Sally Fitzgibbons and others who compete around the world.

    The voiceover contains a litany of "thank you's" to friends, sponsors, groupies, haters—everyone and everything that could push surfers to the max. Invoking "pain," "paradise," "heaven" and "hell" might seem like a bit much. Still, the self-conscious hyperbole suits an adventurous, driven, highly spiritual culture greater than the sum of its parts.

    While the ad has generated considerable praise, and topped 5 million YouTube views in its first week, some hardcore surfers have complained. They accuse Samsung of co-opting their "pure" sport, and question the emphasis of group over individual.

    Samsung's patronage can only help surfing grow, pushing it further into the mainstream and attracting new fans and devotees (which might be the problem for those who feel the waves are already too crowded). As for the group vs. individual argument, perhaps the ad should be viewed as celebrating the way in which each person brings a unique style and spirit to the community. They strengthen the whole, and draw strength from each other.

    This bond is as deep as the sea. Even the solitary surfer doesn't ride the waves alone.

    0 0

    If you ever wanted to see a musical set in a McDonald's, your ship has come in.

    McDonald's lead Hispanic agency, Alma in Miami, on Thursday night will roll out "A Little Lovin'," a three-minute bachata musical starring the 20-year-old Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace. At the beginning, she is seen sitting in McDonald's with a case of writer's block, but a McDonald's employee (played by Daniel "Cloud" Campos, who also was the director and choreographer) soon inspires her to find "A Little Lovin' " all around.

    As musicals do, it gets wildly and ridiculously energetic from there. The spot will premiere during Thursday's broadcast of Premios Juventud on Univision.

    Sony Music Entertainment repurposed Grace's "Solita Me Voy" song for the spot. "About a year ago, Leslie was warming up for an interview and reminiscing about her happy childhood and going to McDonald's with her dad, which was down the street from her mom's salon," said Luis Miguel Messianu, president and chief creative officer at Alma DDB. "She didn't know she was being recorded, but my friend from Sony shared the sound bite with me and we've been working on an idea for her to partner with McDonald's ever since."

    Leslie Grace: As Herself
    Danny: Daniel Cloud
    Dad: Cris Judd
    Daughter: Tatiana McQuay

    Film Crew
    Director: Daniel Cloud
    Executive Producer: Danielle Hinde
    Producer: Courtney Davies
    Production Supervisor: Rose Krane
    Assistant Production Supervisor: Josh Reed

    McDonald's Marketing Team
    Vice President, Brand, Marketing Content: Joel Yashinksy
    Director of Hispanic Consumer Marketing: Patricia Diaz
    Manager of U.S. Social Engagement: Jenina Nunez

    Alma Agency
    President, Chief Creative Officer: Luis Miguel Messianu
    Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Alvar Sunol
    Creative Director: Iu La Lueta
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Beatriz Torres-Marin
    Senior Art Director: Luis Aguilera
    Art Director: Andres Schiling
    Director of Production: Adrian Castagna
    Producer: Diana De La Parra
    Account Director: Karen Udler
    Account Supervisor: Cristina Lage
    Senior Strategic Planner: Tamara Sotelo

    Sony Music Entertainment U.S. Latin
    Senior Director, Business Development: Melissa Exposito
    Business Development Analyst: Isabelle Duran
    Manager: Jose Behar
    Management: Lorena Fusilier, Larissa Leal
    Road Manager: Francisco Martinez

    0 0

    A year after TBWA\Media Arts Lab walked away with the 2014 Emmy Award for Best Commercial (for the Apple spot "Misunderstood"), TBWA\Chiat\Day has placed two spots among the 2015 nominees for the award.

    The Los Angeles agency's "Made In NY" ad for Gatorade and "With Dad" spot for Nissan are among the six nominees this year. The Gatorade spot is undeniably magnificent, having already won the Grand Clio Sports Award as well as a gold Lion in Cannes. We were less enamored of the Nissan spot—in fact, it was among Adweek's least favorite ads of the Super Bowl.

    The other four nominees: Snickers' "Brady Bunch" by BBDO New York; Adobe's "Dream On" by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners; Always' "Like a Girl" by Leo Burnett (possibly the front-runner); and Budweiser's "Lost Dog" by Anomaly.

    Notably absent from the list is Wieden + Kennedy, which had a stranglehold on the Emmys until recently. W+K had Nike spots nominated each of the past two years ("Jogger" and "Possibilities"). Before that, it won four Emmys in a row—for Procter & Gamble's "Best Job" (2012), Chrysler's "Born of Fire" (2011), Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" (2010) and Coca-Cola's "Heist" (2009). The last time W+K didn't place a spot among Emmy nominees was 2006.

    See all the 2015 nominees below.

    Snickers "Brady Bunch"

    BBDO New York
    Production Company: O Positive

    Adobe "Dream On"

    Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
    Production Company: eLevel Films/Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

    Always "Like a Girl"

    Leo Burnett, Toronto, Chicago and London
    Production Company: Chelsea Pictures

    Budweiser "Lost Dog"

    Anomaly, New York
    Production Company: RSA Films

    Gatorade "Made In NY"

    TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    Production Company: Smuggler

    Nissan "With Dad"

    TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    Production Company: Park Pictures

    0 0

    Is Geico's "It's What You Do" campaign on life support? Not yet, but it's been hospitalized with a severe case of the non-sequiturs.

    I'm not a huge fan of the insurance company's "It's What You Do" ads from The Martin Agency—there's just not that much tension in the idea that getting Geico insurance is a given, and the other givens in the spots often feel too random.

    This one, at least, provokes a chuckle with the appearance by a certain Hasbro game. Great pacing and direction, and the mini punch line is funny enough. The ad has almost 2.5 million YouTube views, though the vast majority of those came from its prime placement in the YouTube masthead last Saturday.

    As for the campaign as whole, well, the patient is certainly on the table…

    Client: Geico
    Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
    Director, Marketing: Bill Brower
    Senior Manager, Marketing: Melissa Halicy
    Marketing Supervisor: Mike Grant
    Marketing Buyer: Tom Perlozzo
    Marketing Buyer: Brighid Griffin
    Marketing Buyer: Katherine Kalec
    Marketing Specialist: Julia Nass

    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    Group Creative Director: Wade Alger
    Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    Creative Director: Sean Riley
    Senior Copywriter: Ken Marcus
    Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Heather Tanton
    Junior Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney
    Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
    Account Executive: Allison Hensley
    Account Supervisor: Josh Lybarger
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
    Financial Account Supervisor: Monica Cox
    Senior Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Senior Project Manager: Jason Ray

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Managing Partner/Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
    Executive Producer/Head of Sales: Dan Duffy
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Executive Producer: Nancy Hacohen
    Producer: Dave Bernstein
    Production Supervisor: Shelly Silverman

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Christjan Jordan
    Assistant Editor: Pieter Viljoen
    Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
    Producer: Jared Thomas

    Telecine: MPC
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis

    Animation/VFX: MPC
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
    Junior Producer: Nicole Saccardi
    Creative Director: Paul O'Shea
    CG Supervisor: Zach Tucker
    Flame Lead: Blake Huber
    Nuke Artist: James Steller
    Flame Artist: Ben Persons

    Music Company: HUM
    Executive Creative Director: Jeff Koz
    Sound Designer: Dan Hart
    Music/Composer: Haim Mazar
    Creative Director: Scott Glenn
    Executive Producer: Debbi Landon
    Producer: Caroline O'Sullivan

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
    Engineer/Mixer: Jeff McManus

    0 0

    Thought provoking, exceptionally well executed and controversial, MTV's satirical "White Squad" is one of the best social-issues campaigns in recent memory.

    Part of the cable network's broader "Look Different" anti-prejudice initiative, "White Squad," which broke on Wednesday, has already generated lots of attention in social and traditional media. It posits a Geek Squad-style team of chalk-hued, corporate-consultant types eager to assist people of color with stuff like hailing cabs, renting apartments and courtroom appearances.

    "Is your skin color holding you back?" asks an eager, earnest, bespectacled white guy at the start of a 90-second commercial for the nonexistent service. "I'd like to tell you about a new solution to racial inequality: White Squad—professional white advantage services." The group's "carefully selected white representatives," we're told, will serve as "your stand-ins for life's racially unbalanced situations."

    Scenes of grinning, non-threatening, fair-skinned Squad members "standing in" for non-whites are offset by a series of disturbing real-world stats: Whites have 20 percent more housing options, a 67 percent lower incarceration rate and receive 40 percent more private college scholarships.

    This stuff is good, from the pitch-perfect line deliveries (never goofy or over the top) and open floor plan of the Squad's very vanilla office, right down to their ubiquitous black-on-white happy-face lapel pins.

    The web experience offers plenty of tongue-in-cheek "informational" layers to explore. Under "Our Team," for example, we meet the pinstriped-suited "Middle-Aged White Male … Everything about his appearance says 'Credit Worthy,' and he'll ensure maximum advantage during any interactions with banking institutions. He's often given a better deal than he requests!"

    Clicking the "Schedule appointment" button reveals the truth: The White Squad was created "to illustrate how white privilege works and how it impacts people's lives." There are many such conduits on the site, as well as on the 1-855-WHT-SQAD "help line," pointing users to MTV's "Look Different" hub for more information and resources. The MTV documentary White People, made by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, and airing on July 22, also gets a plug.

    "We had to find a way to reach audiences that don't usually want to talk about these issues, or are ignorant of them entirely," says Jamie Carreiro, creative director at Party in New York, which developed the campaign. "Without attacking people, White Squad highlights the errors in a broken system with an edgy, MTV style."

    Evan SIlver and Howard Grandison directed the spot via production house Reform School.

    Public reaction to "White Squad" has run the gamut. Many praise its cheeky approach while others blast MTV for creating a humorous springboard around such serious, divisive issues. Some have leveled charges of reverse racism (for picking on white people, I guess), and a few folks found the campaign so convincing, they wondered—fleetingly, one hopes—if the service was real.

    As the site says, "White privilege is real. White Squad is fiction." Even so, it speaks uncomfortable truths in a highly entertaining fashion, sparking discussion and, hopefully, moving users to give some thought to matters many of us would just as soon ignore. The creative is never crass or condescending. Rather, it respects the intelligence of its audience, rewarding users' curiosity (and willingness to open their minds).

    If "White Squad" cuts too close to the bone or provokes discomfort, that surely means it's having the desired effect.

    Client: MTV
    Agency: Party New York
    Executive Creative Director: Masa Kawamura
    Creative Director and Copywriter: Jamie Carreiro
    Technical Director: Qanta Shimizu
    Design Director and Programmer: Eiji Muroichi
    Executive Producer: Jamie Nami Kim
    Project Manager: Suzette Lee

    Production Company: Reform School
    Directors: Howard Grandison & Evan Silver
    Executive Producer: Josh Greenberg
    Line Producer: Aaron Rosenbloom
    Director of Photography: Clint Byrne
    Art Director: Nicole Heffron
    Sound: Rob Corso
    Editorial Company: Nomad Editing Co.
    Editor: Tyler Peck
    Assistant Editor: James Lee
    Executive Producer: Tommy Murov
    Post Producer: Weston Ver Steeg


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    Below is Adweek's full Creative 100 list for 2015. Note: There are 114 individuals total, as 14 pairs of people were recognized as one entry each.

    Affonso, Jermaine— Clickhole
    Alexander, Joe— The Martin Agency
    Allen, Rama— The Mill
    Beck, Jamie— Ann Street Studio
    Beebe, David— Marriott
    Beresford-Hill, Chris— BBDO
    Bisher, Mat— McCann
    Brady, Kevin— Droga5
    Breazeal, Cynthia— Jibo
    Brier, Noah— Percolate
    Buckhorn, Dean— Carmichael Lynch
    Burg, Kevin— Ann Street Studio
    Caputo, Gerard— BBH
    Carmack, John— Oculus VR
    Cervera, Tina— VaynerMedia
    Chernov, Joe— HubSpot
    Ciffone, Nick— TBWA\Chiat\Day
    Cignoli, Meagan— Viner
    Coates, Ta-Nehisi— Writer, editor
    Coronges, Nick— R/GA
    Correa, Milton— Ogilvy & Mather
    Cowart, Jeremy— Photographer, educator
    Craigwell, Katrina— GE
    Dahlquist, Andreas— Grey
    Dantonio, Johnny— Anomaly
    Doar, Brett— Machine maker
    Dolphin, Sam— Barton F. Graf 9000
    Draplin, Aaron— Draplin Design Co.
    Druckmann, Neil— Naughty Dog
    Duffy, Aaron— SpecialGuest
    Dye, Alan— Apple
    Edwards, Kinney— Tribal Worldwide
    Einstein, Harold— Dummy
    Estrada, Dave— TBWA\Chiat\Day
    Eswein, Liz— Instagrammer
    Favat, Pete— Deutsch
    Fiechter, Alex— Local Motors
    Fitzloff, Mark— Wieden + Kennedy
    Gadsby, Amber— Domino's
    Goodman, Jae— CAA Marketing
    Gordon-Levitt, Joseph— Actor, director, entrepreneur
    Graf, Gerry— Barton F. Graf 9000
    Green, John— YouTuber
    Green, Hank— YouTuber
    Greenfield, Lauren— Chelsea Pictures
    Greer, Tara— Deutsch LA
    Hagos, Michael— Barton F. Graf 9000
    Hahn, Greg— BBDO
    Heidecker, Tim— Prettybird
    Helbig, Grace— YouTube
    Heymann, Neil— Droga5
    Holkins, Jerry— Penny Arcade
    Howarth, Richard— Apple
    Jacubovich, Einav— Publicis
    Johnson, Margaret— Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
    Kaling, Mindy— Actor, writer, showrunner
    Kallman, Eric— Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
    King, Zach— Viner
    Kirkman, Robert— Writer, TV producer
    Koenig, Sarah— Journalist/podcaster
    Krahl, Jones— Ogilvy & Mather
    Krahulik, Mike— Penny Arcade
    Krallman, Randy— Smuggler
    Kreher, Jason— Wieden + Kennedy
    Krivicka, Michael— Thinkmodo
    Lanpher, Lindsey— SS+K
    Leibovitz, Annie— Photographer
    Lindahl, Paul— Colossal Media
    Lindland, Chris— Betabrand
    Lucey, Dan— BBDO
    Marquis, Pete— Freelancer creative
    Mazzei, Myra— FCB
    McCelland, Jamie— Freelancer creative
    McClammy, Wayne— Hungry Man
    McConaughey, Matthew— Actor
    McGinness, Will— Venables Bell & Partners
    McPherson, Erin— Maker Studios
    Mileskiewicz, Andrea— Mullen Lowe
    Milk, Chris— Multimedia artist
    Moehnke, Jonathan— Fallon
    Monáe, Janelle— Singer, producer, record executive
    Munroe, Randall— Cartoonist
    Neistat, Casey— Social filmmaker
    Nilsson, Andreas— Biscuit Filmworks
    Padin, Aaron— JWT
    Patterson, Catherine— McCann
    Percelay, James— Thinkmodo
    Pereira, P.J.— Pereira & O'Dell
    Perlorian Brothers, The— MJZ
    Pilieva, Tatia— Pulse Films
    Platco, Mike— Snapchatter
    Rhimes, Shonda— Writer, director, showrunner
    Riddell, Neil— Crispin Porter + Boguksy
    Rimsnider, Ryan— Taco Bell
    Rosenthal, Melissa— BuzzFeed
    Schumer, Amy— Actor, writer, comedian
    Scileppi, Maria— 72andSunny
    Senese, Jude— Hill Holliday
    Shane, David— O Positive
    Sims, Leslie— Y&R
    Smith, Chris— The Richards Group
    Smith, Peter Moore— Saatchi & Saatchi
    Sperling, Jason— RPA
    Stevens, Michael— YouTuber
    Supertramp, Devin— Stunt filmmaker
    Teller, Astro— Google X
    Tidman, Wil— GoPro
    Traktor— Rattling Stick
    Tyson, Neil deGrasse— Astrophysicist, author, TV host
    Van Leeuwen, Matt— Interbrand
    Wareheim, Eric— Prettybird
    Williams, Neel— The Martin Agency
    Williams, Pharrell— Singer, producer, fashion designer, TV host

    Check out all the Creative 100 honorees by category:

    30 Copywriters, Art Directors and Creative Directors
    10 Chief Creative Officers
    10 Digital Innovators
    10 Branded Content Creators
    10 Viral Content Creators
    10 Commercial Directors
    10 Visual Artists
    10 Celebrities and Influencers

    You can also browse the full list alphabetically or follow the entire Creative 100 on Twitter.

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    The new Oreo Thins get a formal introduction today with a "Wonderfilled" spot from The Martin Agency that suggests the thinner cookies are a thing of wonder even if they're not quite as filled as their forebears.

    Dutch production house MediaMonks Films (and directors Rogier Schalken and Magnus Hierta) did the animation for the :30, which has a pleasantly faux-epic vibe thanks to its soundtrack's mashup of Strauss' 119-year-old "Thus Spake Zarathustra" with the 2-year-old Martin-written "Wonderfilled" song.

    The spot certainly leans into the product's thinness, portraying it as almost paperlike in a cute, short series of animations. In announcing the product two weeks ago, Oreo said it was "following 'thin' cues in technology" and putting "a sleek and modern spin on a classic."

    The ad shows off this inspiration, too. When the cookie turns sideways to form the "i" in the word THINS, it's like any number of tech ads where the gadget spins sideways to show off a slender frame.

    The cookies hit store shelves last week in Original, Golden and Mint flavors—a permanent addition to the Oreo line. In addition to the TV spot, the marketing campaign will also include lots of social activity, including an upcoming video that shows how the more sophisticated Oreo Thins gives the "forgotten" pinky finger a new reason to be, and a series of new etiquette rules around how to "properly" enjoy the Oreo Thins.

    And if you're not into being this sophisticated, or you're flat-out angry about the creme reduction, you always have Double Stuf to fall back on.

    Client: Oreo / Mondelēz International Inc.
    Topic: Oreo Thins
    First Run Date: July 20, 2015
    Mediums: TV and internet
    Ad Name: "Thinner"
    VP/Brand Equity & Communications, Center of Excellence, Global Marketing: Jill Baskin
    Senior Director, US OREO and Chips Ahoy!: Janda Lukin
    Senior Brand Manager: Patricia González
    Senior Associate Branch Manager: Elise Burditt

    Agency: The Martin Agency
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    SVP/Executive Creative Director: Jorge Calleja
    VP/Creative Director: Magnus Hierta
    VP/Creative Director: David Muhlenfeld
    EVP/ Managing Director Production and Development: Steve Humble
    Senior Producer: Adrienne Daniel
    Junior Producer: Rachel Acors
    VP/Group Account Director: Britta Dougherty
    Account Supervisor: Molly Holmes
    Account Coordinator: James Saulsky
    VP/Planning Director: John Gibson
    Strategic Planner: Gigi Jordan
    Group Project Management Supervisor: Giao Roever
    Senior Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Group Talent & Music Director: Juanita Mcinteer

    MediaMonks Films (Animation, Shoot & Post)
    Director: Rogier Schalken and Magnus Hierta
    Founder & COO, Executive Producer: Wesley Ter Haar
    Partner & Project Director: Quinten Beek
    Executive Producer: Nell Jordan
    Film Producer: Robert Bray
    Head of Post Production: Okke Voerman
    Post Producer: Gerben Molenaar
    Production Manager: Lennart Deen
    Previs Editor: Juan Berens

    Colorist: Adrian Seery
    Assistant Technical Director: Daniel Silverman
    Executive Producer AMS: Edwin Elkington
    Executive Producer NY: Adina Birnbaum
    Producer NY: Adrienne McNeary

    Running With Scissors (Finishing)
    Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Head of Production: Brian Creech
    Flame Artist: Chris Hagen
    Assistant Editor: Paul Weiderholt

    Music and Mix Credits:
    Music House: Duotone
    Engineer: Andrew Green
    Composer: Richard Strauss remixed by Jordan Lieb for Duotone Audio Group
    Producer: Greg Tiefenbrun and Giovanni Lobato
    Executive Producer: David Leinheardt

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    These days, if you can't understand emojis, life is not worth living. But there is hope, thanks to an "Emoji Literacy" campaign from Domino's and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

    As you might recall, CP+B won the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes (honoring the most breakthrough idea of the year) for designing an emoji ordering system for Domino's, which lets folks place orders on Twitter and via text message simply by typing a pizza emoji.

    Now, in something of a follow-up, client and agency have created 52 flashcards designed to help the uninitiated "speak" emoji. The cards—a tongue-in-cheek promo which really should boost your emoji prowess—are available for free starting today at emojiliteracy.com.

    There's even a faux PSA explaining the initiative.

    "I didn't know what to say," laments one befuddled middle-aged dad. "I just replied BRB and hoped they don't text back." A teary-eyed mom fears that if she can't communicate with emojis, somebody might "take my kids away from me."

    So, smarten up and master emojis! (Sure, you could spend your time learning an actual language, like French or Spanish or Mandarin, but really, what for?)

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    AT&T's "It Can Wait" texting-and-driving campaign from BBDO New York has included many notable executions, including the painful Werner Herzog documentary from 2013. And the latest spot is no exception, featuring quietly gripping storytelling from Anonymous Content director Frederic Planchon that suddenly explodes with horror.

    The almost four-minute film is remarkable. (It's supported by three 30-second spots, one of which will run on TV.) Slow-motion cinematography, shot at 1,000 frames per second, captures the brutal consequences of taking your eyes off the road to glance at your smartphone, even briefly. The footage then plays in reverse, ending on the cause of the terrible crash.

    That cause, notably, isn't that the driver was texting. The "It Can Wait" campaign has always focused on texting, but it's is now evolving based on new research that revealed the prevalence of drivers engaging in other smartphone activities, like social media, web surfing, video chatting and more.

    The campaign is evolving in other ways, too. AT&T, working with Reel FX, has developed an app called the It Can Wait Driving Simulation that uses virtual reality to give an immersive view of what it is like to text, post or video chat while driving. The VR simulator is freely available for iOS and Android and works with Google Cardboard.

    A souped-up version of the simulator—running through the Samsung Gear VR headset, with premium sound from Bose QuietComfort 25 acoustic noise canceling headphones—will soon go on tour, visiting schools, fairs and partner companies in 100 U.S. cities.

    Client: AT&T
    Title: Close To Home

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald
    Senior Creative Director: LP Tremblay
    Senior Creative Director: Erik Fahrenkopf
    CD/Art Director: Grant Mason
    CD/Copywriter: Kevin Mulroy

    Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
    Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
    Executive Producer: Dan Blaney
    Music Producer: Melissa Chester
    Senior Integrated Business Manager: Cristina Blanco

    Managing Director: Mark Cadman
    Senior Account Director: Brian Nienhaus
    Account Director: Gati Curtis
    Account Manager: Johnny Wardell
    Account Executive: Sigourney Hudson-Clemons

    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Frederic Planchon
    Executive Producer: Eric Stern
    Producer: Paul Ure
    Director of Photography: Jody Lee Lipes

    Editorial: WORK Editorial
    Editor: Rich Orrick
    Assistant Editors: Adam Witten and Trevor Myers
    Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
    Producer: Sari Resnick

    Visual Effects: The Mill
    EP/Head of Production: Sean Costelloe
    Line Producer: Nirad 'Bugs' Russell
    VFX Supervisor : Gavin Wellsman
    2D Leads: Gavin Wellsman; Krissy Nordella
    2D Compositor: Michael Smith; Chris Sonia, Keith Sullivan
    2D Assists: Heather Kennedy; Sungeun Moon, Yoon-sun Bae, Marco Giampaolo
    3D: Yili Orana , Corey Langelotti
    Pre Vis Artist: Jeffrey Lee
    Editor: Charlotte Carr
    Designer: Clemens den Exter

    Color:  The Mill
    Colorist: Aline Sinquin

    Music House: Grooveworx
    Executive Producer: Dain Blair
    Sound Design: Brian Emrich
    Original music composed by Rob Simonsen

    Sound: Sonic Union
    Sound Mixer: Steve Rosen

    Motions Graphics and Titles: Polyester

    —It Can Wait VR App
    Reel FX Team:
    Gary Banks
    Keith McCabe
    Dale Carmen
    Dan Ferguson
    Leigh Mergehenn
    Ethan Compton
    Kacie Bangle
    Rachel Bradley
    Justin Skerpan
    Molli Leggitt
    Barrett Lewis
    Chas Naylor
    Patton Tunstall
    Lyn Caudle
    Jared Brower
    Dylan Rogers
    Steve Johnson

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    To sell tickets to its first-time event, the Transylvania-based Untold Music Festival is working the Dracula angle. In partnership with Romania's National Blood Transfusion Institute, it has launched "Pay with Blood," a campaign that lets you buy a day pass with plasma.

    "We were talking about how to incorporate Dracula into our festival, and after seeing the numbers and how behind Romania was in blood donations, we had this idea," Untold PR manager Stefana Giurgiu told the Guardian.

    About 1.7 percent of the Romanian population are active blood donors, lower than anywhere else in the EU. (Vampire mythology probably doesn't help.) And to justify its existence, the Untold Festival needs hundreds of thousands of attendees to fill both its paid and free venues.

    Assuming you've got time to spare and blood to give, Untold takes place from July 30 to Aug. 2 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Through this Friday, people who give blood at centers in Bucharest and Cluj will get one-day tickets; those who register to give blood online will get 30 percent off.

    By noon on the campaign's first day, 45 people—many first-time donors—registered and gave blood. That doesn't sound like a lot, but Giurgiu adds, "My phone hasn't stopped ringing since we announced the campaign." (Hopefully those are donors, not rubbernecking journalists.)

    While the Transylvania connection gives Untold's campaign special credence, this isn't the first time blood has been used to draw eyes elsewhere. In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Saw movie franchise launched "Give 'Til It Hurts," a Halloween blood drive that ran for six consecutive years, yielding nearly 119,452 pints of blood in all. Creative featured the nurses from the films.

    In 2006, Lionsgate produced 1,000 limited-edition posters for Saw III splattered with the blood of Tobin Bell, the actor who plays Jigsaw, for the benefit of the American Red Cross.

    Dracula, wherever he is now, is slow-clapping—unless he's seen the creative above, because that probably just confused him. Do vampires have blood to give? Actually, hold that thought.


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