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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    A graphic sexual health campaign aims to combat rising STD rates in Omaha, Neb., by grossing out young people with giant flesh-and-pus letters that deliver off-putting puns.

    Billboards and bus posters around the city, as well as digital ads, feature twisted plays on sentimental clichés, with lines like "Him and Herpes" and "Ignorance is blisters."

    The Women's Fund of Omaha's Adolescent Health Project created the visually striking ads, with all-volunteer ad agency Serve Marketing, to encourage viewers to capitalize on free testing, and ultimately lower infection rates. (Serve was also behind these fake storefront businesses in Omaha with STD-type names.)

    But, especially with flourishes like toupees and tattoos, the humor-meets-horror approach may also risk coming across as ridiculous—if not just too terrifying to get through—to the target audience. In any case, they make Unilever's hideous-germs-on-holiday ads look gorgeous by comparison.

    Agency: Serve Marketing
    Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller
    CD/Art Director: Matt Hermann
    Art Director: Carsyn McKenzie
    Copywriters: Bruce Dierbeck + Evan Stremke
    Illustrator: Shawn Holpher
    Retoucher: Anthony Giacomino
    Account Executive: Heidi Sterricker

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    Ever hear of Kalles Kaviar? It's cod roe, and you eat it out of a toothpaste tube.

    Cringe away, but Kalles is a beloved Swedish product. They put it over eggs and eat it on toast. It's basically Sweden's Marmite. To drive sales, parent company Orkla tapped Forsman & Bodenfors to produce a self-deprecating campaign. For the last year, Kalles has been traveling the world, seeking to initiate others—unsuccessfully, to put it mildly—in the Swedish taste of home.

    The first ad takes place in Los Angeles and sets the tone. An earnest sampler with a pillowy-soft, Swedish-accented voice, perched in the one shadow on a well-lit boardwalk, shyly stops random strangers to offer them seasoned Kalles on slices of bread. People are eager to give it a go. It's an open-minded crowd. But the reactions come fast and hard.

    "This is not food," one victim exclaims with a certainty usually reserved for proclamations of love or long-awaited deaths. After taking a reaming all day, our unlucky sampler reclines on the beach at sundown to enjoy his slices of the motherland in peace.

    Our favorite is probably "Kalles in Tokyo." The Japanese, they're so polite! They leap in for the kill, and you can literally see their faces transform in horror as their mouths close. In a key moment, the sampler asks a still-chewing (and evidently disgusted) woman, "Do you like it?" She covers her mouth, nods politely, and backs away—slowly, like you would if you suddenly found yourself face to face with a bear.

    The self-deprecating work plays on the cottage food-challenge trend. Kalles itself has starred in many. Two years ago, Maker Studios' Morfar ate a whole tube over the course of nearly 10 minutes, and after a few unsettling dry-heaves, he cuts the video off—ostensibly to vomit in private. In another stunt, vlogger Big Steve from England tried getting locals to let him squeeze a hefty portion of Kalles in their mouths. The video is called "EATING THE WORST FOOD IN THE WORLD! (KALLES CAVIAR)".

    The genius of the campaign lies how it magnifies those chimes of universal disgust to bolster Swedish pride. (The ads are airing in Sweden, where there's no need to win people over to the stuff.) Look at the beatific faces of those samplers when they're finally done for the day. Hours of rejection can't shake their love for the salty pink goo, because in the end, it's a little squirt from home. (This kind of nationalism, evoked by acquired tastes, has made for good ads before—notably's Pizza Hut Australia's punking of backpackers with a Vegemite-crust pizza. Plus, there's inherent value in saying your product isn't for everyone—as Laphroaig scotch has realized lately.)

    We've all got a Kalles, right? The Aussies have Vegemite. The Brits have Marmite. And Americans have peanut butter. Sweet, sweet peanut butter. You won't know how much you love it—and how singular and alienating that love is—until you're living elsewhere. Say, France. And when we spread our respectively weird creams over a bland carb, wherever we are in the world, they bring us back to a place we understand intuitively.

    A few other Kalles ads appear below. In the most recent variant (at the very bottom), Kalles visits New York, and the first person to approach the kiosk is a black dude with hipster glasses and a Yankees cap. This time the response is surprisingly different. On the other side of the world, the brand finally finds its people.

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    A year ahead of its centennial, footwear brand Keds is launching a global brand platform and fall 2015 ad campaign around female empowerment, and has gotten one of the world's great trailblazing women, Taylor Swift, to headline it.

    Print ads from kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners show the pop star, 25, posing against artistic backdrops with headlines like "All dressed up with everywhere to go" and "There's no such thing as an average girl." The tagline: "Ladies first since 1916."

    Click the ads to enlarge.

    "A new generation of women has been leading an exciting cultural shift redefining the conversation about equality and female empowerment," Keds president Chris Lindner said in a statement.

    "Keds was originally created in 1916 to provide ladies with accessible, fashionable footwear to allow them to be who they wanted to be, and go where they wanted to go. 'Ladies First' is a celebration of amazing women like Taylor Swift who are blazing new trails every day. From CEOing to BFFing, these ladies are doing it all."

    The campaign features other female talent, both on and off camera. In addition to a few other models, the ads employed notable female artists to make the backdrops—including illustrator Priscilla White, surface artist and pattern designer Kendra Dandy, and street artist Paige Smith.

    Keds said the combination of poppy, street-style photos and empowering headlines is meant to deliver a "one-two punch of fashion and emotion" and capture "what it means to be a lady in 2015."

    The media plan combines retail, social, print and digital (publishers include Nylon, Paper, Interview, Refinery29 and WhoWhatWear) with wild postings, bus wraps and subway media "in many of NYC's most artistic neighborhoods."

    Client: Keds
    Agency: kbs+
    Co-Chief Creative Officers: Jonathan Mackler, Dan Kelleher
    Group Creative Directors: Julie Liu, Michele Kunken
    Creative Directors: Angela Denise, Debra Maltzman
    Associate Creative Directors: Nicole Lucey, Samantha Arcade
    Art Director: Jen Donatelli
    Copywriter: Aaron Rodriguez
    Co-President, Co-Chief Strategy Officer: Jonah Bloom
    Strategy Director: Holly Williams
    Associate Brand Strategist: Abigail Laster
    Content, Social Strategist: Jaimie Vaillancourt
    Head of Production: Jenny Read
    Senior Producer: Allyson Doody
    Group Account Director: Ritu Sharma
    Account Director: Christopher Ghent
    Integrated Project Manager: Adrienne Hudspeth

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    See Jane fret. And struggle. And begin to lose focus and confidence. As she rises through the professional ranks, she loses touch with her childlike creative side and becomes stuck in a workaday rut.

    That's the setup for 180LA's and director Lance Acord's lovely 60-second film "Jane," which ushers in a new campaign called "Go Make Things" for the Sprout by HP all-in-one desktop platform. (This is also the first major creative initiative since former Visa executive Antonio Lucio joined HP's Personal Systems Group in May as chief marketing and communications officer.)

    Early scenes show our heroine as an imaginative youngster. She draws designs on dolls' faces, plays outside while wearing a fanciful butterfly headdress and dons an active volcano costume for science class. As time goes by, however—through college and beyond—her spirit gets worn down by the white-collar grind, and she grows listless and uninspired.

    Jane's spark is reignited when her young daughter draws on a doll's face—and the two begin various projects on Sprout, such as creating a butterfly headband using the system's 3-D scanning capabilities.

    The writing is strong. The vintage scenes are convincing. And the soundtrack, a cover of Supertramp's "The Logical Song," is an inspired choice. It fits the scenario to a T, with its lyrics contrasting the "clinical, intellectual, cynical" grown-up world with a simpler time when "it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle … beautiful, magical." The words are even more poignant here, as they are sung, in direct and affecting fashion, by a children's choir from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. (Check out the behind-the-scenes clip below for more on that.)

    Overall, the ad does a fine job of conveying Jane's youthful elation and adult frustration without laying it on too thick. There's a lot going on in the relatively short spot, but the pacing is perfect, and the strong visual storytelling builds to a satisfying conclusion.

    For an overstressed creative audience—grinding out PowerPoint presentations when they yearn to create artistic masterpieces (or at least better corporate materials)—the scenario is extremely relatable. Plus, the product isn't oversold. We're shown a few things it can do, watch it improve an important aspect of one person's life, and we're out. Awesome!

    Most important, we do believe that Sprout by HP helps Jane see things in a new light, and can perhaps do the same for us.

    Client: HP and Intel
    Campaign: Spout by HP
    Length :30, :60
    Spot: "Jane"

    Client Credits: HP
    Chief Marketing Officer: Antonio Lucio
    Vice President, PPS Worldwide Marketing, Consumer PC : Vikrant Batra
    Worldwide Communications Director: Matt Cowling
    Worldwide Marketing, Creative Sprout: John Randazzo
    Product Marketing Manager, Immersive Computing: Stephen Miller

    Client Credits: Intel
    Chief Marketing Officer: Steve Fund
    Vice President, Global Creative Director: Teresa Herd
    Marketing Director: Cassio Tiete
    Senior Marketing Manager: Elizabeth Lin

    Agency: 180LA
    Chief Creative Officer: William Gelner
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Zac Ryder
    Creative Director, Art Director: Adam Groves
    Head of Production: Natasha Wellesley
    Executive Producer: Erin Goodsell
    President, Global Chief Executive Officer: Mike Allen
    Account Director: Mike Slatkin
    Account Managers: Danielle Tisser, Nicole Stokman
    Chief Strategy Officer: Mike Harris
    Head of Strategy: Jason Knight
    Planning Director: Anne Heuer
    Planner: Andrew Zakim
    Business Affairs: Loretta Zolliecoffer

    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director, Director of Photography: Lance Acord
    Head of Production: Anne Bobroff
    Executive Producer, Producer: Caroline Kousidonis
    Production Designer: Jason Hamilton
    Casting Company Director: Dan Bell
    Shoot Locations: USC, Menlo Club, Leo Carrillo State Beach, Hawley House, Los Angeles

    Editing Company: Exile
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
    Producers: Lauren Pullano, Tobie Louie

    Completion, Special Effects: Mill
    Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
    Producer: Kiana Bicoy
    Colorist: Adam Scott
    2-D Lead Artist: Steve Cokonis

    Recording Studio: Eleven
    Sound Mixer: Jeff Payne
    Assistant Mixer: A.J. Murillo
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead
    Producer: Dawn Redmann

    Music Company: Agoraphone
    Producer: Dawn Sutter Madell
    Song: "The Logical Song"
    Writers: Roger Hodgson, Richard Davies

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    Airbnb's existential-crisis ad with the waddling baby didn't lend itself to being taken all that seriously in the first place. Now, a parody is helping it along the path to full ridicule.

    A grown man replaces the infant in this clip from digital shop Portal A, which turns the moral musings of the original voiceover into a biting satire of its sales-pitch subtext—and drives home why maybe you shouldn't blindly trust the vacation company's assessment of human nature. No, he's not technically wearing diapers, but he probably should be.

    Portal A, makers of Pitch Perfect 2's crowd-sourced fan montage and YouTube's Rewind videos from the past couple of years, shot the new video two days after Airbnb launched its global campaign.

    In fact, the shop has been building a channel dedicated to ad parody—other bits so far include a more down-to-earth version of Carnival Cruise's JFK Super Bowl spot, and if you're a sucker for punishment, that older, NSFW play on Dove's Real Beauty Sketches.

    Here's the original Airbnb spot:

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    To stand out in the piles of applications DDB Istanbul received when it was looking for an art director, Canhür Aktuglu sent out an SOS and presented his portfolio as a message in a bottle. They hired him, so obviously they like the Police as much as he does.

    "After that my life changed and it was guaranteed no more boring!" he writes on Behance.

    The idea was a clever one, and well executed. The cover letter was sealed inside an empty glass bottle, while his résumé and portfolio were stored on a USB stick in the bottle's cork.

    DDB Istanbul had better make good use of Aktuglu while he's there. On Behance, he also mentions that he wants to see kangaroos and go surfing—and might look into approaching DDB Sydney next. He could even use the same bottle.

    Via Design Taxi.

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    If you like neat visual tricks, here's a set particularly worth checking out.

    "Combophotos" is a project featuring clever pairs of pictures spliced into single images, playing with scale—and often food—in delightful ways. It's the brainchild of Stephen McMennamy, a BBDO Atlanta creative director behind work like AT&T's riffing kids campaign and new Milana Vayntrub work.

    It's worth spinning through one of his pages—there's an Instagram and a Squarespace, but the Tumblr's linear layout is probably most enjoyable, allowing for more focus on each image.

    Some of the compositions are just visually curious and charming—like a turtle with a vintage bike helmet for a shell, or an albatross with a plane's tail. Others are witty, like a boxing glove/tomato (imagine how that story ends), or laugh out loud funny—like an apricot that stands in for a man's ass (by no means a new joke, but exceptionally executed, and perhaps a bonus for industry insiders, shot in Cannes … which is apparently not like Las Vegas).

    There's even a little borderline social commentary, like a cigarette topped smoke stack (though the caption demurs "not trying to stir up any trouble. Just combining some photos").

    They're all the more notable for the fact that McMennamy actually shoots them, rather than using stock—and that the cuts are obvious (Some of the commentary over at Reddit captures why that's nice.)

    In fact, the only real, small complaint might be that, at least among certain small populations, the "Combophotos" name itself might evoke panic at the thought of an ad campaign for pepperoni pizza pretzel snacks.

    And if you're wondering whether someone has already productized donut headphones, the answer is, of course, yes.

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    Danny Trejo raises the bar for personal injury lawyer ads with this memorable outing on behalf of California firm Bergener Mirejovsky.

    The 30-second, black-and-white spot is fun but also pretty low-key, eschewing the insane antics that, to some extent, have come to define the category. (We find you guilty as charged, Jamie Casino!)

    Staring fiercely into the camera, but with tongue strictly in cheek, Trejo extolls his toughness in no uncertain terms. "When the boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks under his bed—for me," says the craggy-faced, tough-guy actor, whose credits include Machete, the Spy Kids films, Breaking Bad and a Snickers Super Bowl commercial."Have you ever wondered who Waldo's hiding from? Me!"

    In his summation, however, the imposing pitchman concedes, "If I get into an accident, I'm calling the boss—James Bergener. If you've been hurt, don't back down." (Trejo also appears in a Spanish-language ad for the firm.)

    Some amusing fine print pops up around the 25-second mark, noting that "Dannny Trejo isn't an attorney or a client. He's a paid badass. If you need to take down a drug cartel on screen, hire Danny. But if you need to take down an insurance company in real life, hire Bergener Mirejovsky, attorneys licensed in California."

    Here is the Spanish-language version:

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    JetBlue and Coca-Cola liked the looks of each other enough to try a stunt together in Penn Station recently, where they teamed up to bend the general rule of NYC transit hubs that you don't accept gifts from strangers.

    Rokkan worked on the project with production company North of New York and director Tucker Bliss. It involved rigging up a vending machine to spit out two Cokes—and then prompting the recipient to share one with a passerby. New Yorkers' famous distrust of each other surely made for some interesting cutting-room-floor footage, but they did get at least two minutes of usable stuff—where the sharing was actually appreciated by the passerby.

    And for those brave enough to do the doling out (to "share a Coke with humanity," in a combining of company taglines), there was an even more special surprise awaiting them from JetBlue employees hiding nearby.

    Check out the whole stunt below.

    Client: JetBlue Airways
    Client: Coca-Cola North America
    Agency: Rokkan
    Production Company: North of New York
    Director: Tucker Bliss

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    The popular knock against the lottery is that you can play it, but you're an idiot if you do, because nobody ever wins. But a new campaign for the New York Lottery is about a different kind of problem—someone who actually won, but who's yet to claim the $7 million prize, and almost a year later, is about to run out of time.

    McCann New York has posted street fliers in Canarsie, the Brooklyn neighborhood that's home to Milky Way Deli, where the winning ticket in a Cash4Life game last summer was bought. A sketch of the ticket and the headline "Have You Seen Me?" adorns one flier. A stick figure smiles dumbly on a second with the headline "Is This You?" The subtext of both is: Are you the fool who's about to let seven figures slip through your fingers?

    In other words, the whole thing is devious and hilarious because it's playful and it also reinforces the perception that people actually win—and invites everyone who sees it to imagine how much smarter they would be if they did.

    Of course, it doesn't really seem like the New York Lottery's heart is really in the mission of finding the lucky lost soul. The winner, whoever he or she is, bought the ticket last July 24 (and needs to come forward by the same date this year, or the money goes back into the pool). But the lottery only started its canvassing campaign yesterday (July 22)—and the super high production values of its posters pretty much say it all.

    Maybe the whole thing is a grand hoax—and the organization has the real winner stashed away somewhere, to roll out at the last minute—or there's no winner at all. Then again, none of that really matters in the end, because whatever $4 million lump sum pittance would be left after taxes still isn't enough to live in New York anyway.

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    This ad by Leo Burnett Melbourne for the Honda CR-V Series II is certainly a horse of a different color.

    That color is pink, the hue of a young girl's favorite horsy toy. When its head snaps off, the kid is heartbroken, and Dad does the only logical thing. He loads the kids into the family's Honda CR-V and heads to the fanciful Ranch of the Rainbow, home to real live horses of every conceivable hue. There's even turquoise hay in the barn!

    Naturally, a magnificent pink steed is available, and our pint-sized heroine hath charms to tame the spirited beast. So, all ends well -- until the final twist, that is, which could lead to the family's, well, extinction (though probably not).

    "The idea came from the insight that having children is its own adventure, and sometimes you have to go on a bit of a wild goose chase to appease the imagination of a young child," says Leo Burnett executive creative director Jason Williams.

    Nicely directed by Goodoil Film's Hamish Rothwell, the ad includes a voiceover advising viewers to "Go with it," and the quirky spot is the first element in an integrated effort that includes cinema, outdoor and interactive elements.

    It's a smart lead-off for the campaign and a colorful tale that really stands out from the herd.

    Client: Honda

    Agency: Leo Burnett Melbourne
    ECD: Jason Williams
    Creatives: Joe Hill, Garret Fitzgerald
    Senior Agency Producer: Cinnamon Darvall
    Group Account Director: Chris Ivanov
    Senior Account Director: Jaime Morgan
    Director of Integrated Strategy: Ilona Janashvili

    Production: Goodoil Films
    Director: Hamish Rothwell
    Executive Producer: Sam Long
    DOP: Crighton Bone
    Production Designer: Guy Treadgold
    Casting: Catch Casting NZ, Mullinar's Sydney
    Editor: Peter Sciberras Method Studios
    VFX & Supervisor: Colin Renshaw (ALT VFX)
    Sound Engineer: Sam Hopgood - SoundLounge
    Sound Producer: Lizzie Haussegger – SoundLounge

    Client: Honda Australia 
    Brand Comms Manager: Melissa Altarelli
    Brand Comms Specialist: Sarah Tolliday
    Brand Comms Coordinator: Megan McDermott

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    Heat-sick Dutchmen rejoice! McDonald's in the Netherlands teamed up with outdoor ad company JCDecaux to create a billboard with heat-sensitive paneling that contained 100 free McFlurry cups. When it gets too hot outside, the panel opens, and people can take a cup to redeem for a free McFlurry.

    Not sure how this even qualifies as a billboard, really. If anything, it's more like a vending machine. I do love the hubris of McDonald's challenging the sun, though (as implied in the video for this thing).

    Unfortunately, the temperature has to be 101.48°F for it to open, which seems unfairly high for this kind of promotion, unless Dutch summers are more brutal than I've been told. I live in Maryland, where even the low 90s feels like death thanks to the crushing humidity.

    If it ever got hot enough down here to trigger a free McFlurry, I wouldn't be able to accept it because I would be a puddle of sweat and curse words by then.

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    Converse gives its product line a fresh kick today, as the Nike brand unveils a new version of its iconic rubber-toed, canvas Chuck Taylor sneaker.

    Dubbed the Chuck Taylor All Star II, the line extension marks an effort by Converse to update the shoe for contemporary consumers, while retaining the basic attributes that have made Chucks exceedingly popular, particularly with artists, musicians, designers and other members of the creative crowd.

    "The Chuck is nearly 100 years old, and for the most part, it's basically the same sneaker that it's always been," Geoff Cottrill, Converse's vp and general manager of brand and segments, tells Adweek. "We've been spending a lot of time in the last two, three, four years with consumers, asking them, What do they need from us, what do they want?"

    Specifically, Converse queried fans what features would get them to wear Chucks "24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," says Cottrill.

    Not surprisingly, improved comfort was a key request, and the Chuck II aims to please via Nike's Lunarlon foam cushioning and extra arch support, as well as a non-slip tongue and perforated micro-suede liner, which lets the shoe "breathe" during extended periods of wear.

    "I don't think about it as a rebirth or a restating," says Cottrill. "I look on it as a step forward. Brand and product have to evolve over time with consumer needs in the marketplace. … This isn't a radical change at all."

    Indeed, the men's, women's and kid's iterations of the Chuck II are instantly familiar.
    The new sneaker is, perhaps, more streamlined, but the telltale All-Star patch, high foxing and monochrome matte eyelets remain.

    "It is a perfect time to introduce this new shoe," says Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst at the NPD Group. "We have seen major advances in lightweight and comfortable materials in the last few years. The original Chuck Taylor is stiff and heavy. This new shoe will improve both weight and comfort."

    Andy Annunziata, vp of retail solutions and analysis at SportsOneSource, agrees. "From a fashion perspective, it's a fabulous idea," he says. "It's a hot category. 'Lifestyle-Fashion-Athletic' is trending well right now."

    Chuck II: Ready for More

    Last week, Converse teased the Chuck II, creating enigmatic clips that showcased the "II" in unexpected ways. In one spot from Mr Div, the Roman numerals form a dizzying retro-Dr.-Who-style undulating tunnel. In another from Joe Hamilton, the "II" was rendered in bold illustrated form against a rugged landscape in which the only movement came from ragged clouds covering the sun and the surging water of a lonely stream.

    An Anomaly campaign tagged "Ready for More" will support the Chuck II when the shoes go on sale worldwide next week. The work will use all media channels "short of TV," says Cottrill.

    It will run in conjunction with Anomaly's "Made by You" campaign for the classic Chuck line. Launched in March, that initiative mixes images of regular folks wearing their Converse sneakers with portraits of Chuck-clad celebrities such as actress Joanna DeLane, musician King Tuff and artist Ron English. Immersive 360-degree images were achieved via Google's Cardboard virtual-reality platform.

    Naturally, the Chuck II ads will be designed to appeal to Converse's core creative audience. "I'd go so far as to say that the creative world is responsible for who we are today as a brand," notes Cottrill, though Converse also plans to cast a wide net. "The Chuck is one of those brands that spans multiple generations and all kinds of demographics. So, this isn't the kind of product we're going to target against one particular demographic."

    Several sneaker brands have been retooling lately. Both Adidas and its Reebok unit launched major campaigns this year, touting their gear as the perfect fit for average folks dedicated to competing and keeping fit. And Keds this week introduced a Taylor Swift-driven brand platform with a female empowerment theme.

    Converse's move runs deeper, as it doesn't just refine the brand message but also extends the company's flagship sneaker. Cottrill says he isn't concerned about diluting the brand and winding up with a New Coke situation, because the Chuck II "takes the core elements of the classic Chuck Taylor and just enhances them."

    And of course, the classic model is here to stay. "Not all consumers want a new Chuck. Some people think it's the most comfortable sneaker in the world. We don't plan to take that away," Cottrill says.

    Converse has seen an upswing in recent years, boosting revenue 6 percent (14 percent on a constant currency basis) to $435 million in revenue for its fourth quarter ended May 31. For the full fiscal year, revenue rose 18 percent (21 percent in constant currencies) to $2 billion. (Verifiable sales figures for Chucks are hard to come by, but Annunziata says the brand currently ranks among the top five in U.S. athletic footwear market share, according to point-of-sales data compiled by SportScanInfo.)

    "We have a tremendous amount of positive momentum in the marketplace right now," says Cottrill. "At the same time, there are some consumer opportunities and consumer needs. We plan to meet those needs."

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    You might think of Olive Garden as a conventional family restaurant, a little on the vanilla side, that sits somewhere near the Best Buy in suburbs across the country. You'd be wrong. It's a dope establishment straight outta Compton. And just so you know, Holmes, the breadsticks are killer.

    The Olive Garden ad account is in review, after 30 years at Grey, so the pranksters at Jingle Punks are making a play. To grab some attention, and potentially a piece of business, the music and marketing studio created a spec ad that gives Olive Garden an "O.G." makeover. Or rather, it brings out the gangsta that was already there. Expect bling, bandanas and pit bulls aplenty in this video.

    The tactic has worked for Jingle Punks before—the firm landed a multi-year deal with Yahoo after coming up with a music video on the fly when Marissa Mayer complained about the tunes on the company's "hold" mode. The studio also works with NBC's hit The Voice, and did an orchestral remake of the classic Meow Mix ditty that racked up 20 million views on social media.

    In the current case, the targeted brand is near and dear to their hearts, according to Jingle Punks co-founder and president Jared Gutstadt, who highly recommends the fried calamari. "Whenever our company closes a big deal, we go down to the local Olive Garden, and I realized that only real gangsters call it the O.G." 


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    Everyone knows cable companies can be total bullies, but pointing it out can still make for some pretty funny ads.

    SlingTV, the small-bundle Internet TV offering from Dish, is out with its first national ad campaign—from agency Camp + King and Prettybird directors Tim & Eric—casting "Old TV" as a bunch of mean-spirited kids extorting adults with playground tactics like wet willies.

    There's even a bratty service rep character that—given the slew of horror stories about, say, Comcast—doesn't really have to stretch the truth to evoke a striking sense of tragicomedy. She has a smug, hovering Bill Lumbergh wannabe of a supervisor—also pretty credible, and in a sense, a kind of nice, sympathetic nod to a certain class of worker bee. Maybe she's not really awful; she's just playing along to keep her job.

    The 60-second centerpiece is the most effective, though the 30-second spinoffs include some eyebrow-raising moments, like when a cable bully tries to "milk" money out of a defiant prospect (the deviants among you can probably guess how).

    There's also a question of whether the casting flirts with a sort of body shaming, reinforcing stereotypes by front-loading larger body types for the bullies. But it makes sure to feature skinny jerks, too.

    Regardless, while SlingTV doesn't require contracts, it does require a broadband connection, in case you were worried you wouldn't get to deal with a telecom company at all.

    Client: SlingTV

    Agency: Camp + King
    Chief Creative Office, Partner: Roger Camp
    Chief Executive Officer, Partner: Jamie King
    Creative Director, Art Director: Rikesh Lal
    Creative Directors, Copywriters: Jesse Dillow, Paul Sincoff
    Art Director: Chris Nash
    Director of Content Production: David Verhoef
    Producer: D.P. Odishoo
    Brand Director: Dana Rabb
    Brand Manager: Nicole Nowak
    Director of Strategy: Shannon Williams
    Brand Strategist: Jose Higuera

    Production: Prettybird
    Director: Tim & Eric
    Executive Producer: Ali Brown

    Postproduction, Editing: No6
    Editor: Kyle Brown
    Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone
    Producer: Kendra Desai

    Postproduction, Finishing: Misfit
    Online Artist: Steven McEuen
    Executive Producer: Jim Vaughan
    Assistant: Stu Barnes

    Music Composition: South
    Mix: One Union Recording
    Engineers: Joaby Deal, Andy Greenberg

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    The Wienermobile is one of the world's most revered vehicles, seemingly capable of anything, except for one pretty major flaw: It doesn't actually deliver hot dogs.

    Which is part of the reason why Oscar Mayer and 360i just created a miniature version called the Wiener Rover—a tiny, indestructible beast that will roam the country delivering a "precious cargo of warm, ready-to-eat hot dogs to fans wherever they find it."

    The Wiener Rover is one-seventh the size of the Wienermobile. It's 23 inches tall by 43 inches long—or using the Oscar Mayer measurement system, about four hot dogs by eight hot dogs. It is battery powered, travels up to 20 mph and can hold up to eight hot dogs, plus condiments.

    "We consistently hear that people are hungry for a hot dog after they see the Wienermobile, but we have never been able to offer them the deliciousness they desire," Corey Rudd, senior associate brand manager at Oscar Mayer, said in a statement. "We developed the Wiener Rover to go where no Wienermobile has gone before to surprise and delight our loyal fans at their local parks, beaches, festivals and beyond."

    Watch out, though. As you can see in the video, the Wiener Rover—which made its debut in New York City on Thursday, which was National Hot Dog Day—appears to have a mind of its own. It may, given the opportunity, jump up on your picnic table and just mash right through your carefully arranged picnic place settings.

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    Honey Maid's campaign featuring inclusive depictions of American families moves forward today with a spot showing a disabled aunt and her niece making apple and cheddar melts together on their graham crackers.

    It's a simple, quiet 30-second spot, Cheerios-like both in its simplicity and its unspoken embrace of all types of families. Honey Maid has become one of the most famous brands embracing such diversity in its ads with same-sex couples, mixed-race, blended and immigrant families, and more.

    The aunt in the ad is Stephanie Woodward, a disability rights lawyer and activist who is currently director of advocacy at The Center for Disability Rights. She signed on for the project, Honey Maid says, because she—and many in the disabled community—want real disabled people featured on TV and in the media, not actors playing disabled people.

    Here is the 30-second online version of the spot:

    Woodward was also drawn to the simple realism of the ad in a media landscape where disabled people are often portrayed "in either a pity or a superhero light." (By the way, while there is much debate around the language of disability, Woodward prefers the term disabled person to person with a disability. "I am a proud disabled woman and prefer not to identify with 'people first' language as it separates me from my disability identity," she says.)

    The latest spot coincides with this weekend's 25th anniversary of the signing into law of 1990's Americans with Disabilities Act. Honey Maid says the ad is also one of the first to include audio descriptions on the 15-second TV version—describing what's happening on screen for blind and low-vision audiences—along with standard closed captioning.

    The audio description spots will air on NBC and ABC networks only (NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, ABC). The general spot will air on Nick@Nite, Lifetime, LMN and CBS.

    "The 'This Is Wholesome' campaign launched in March of 2014 and has been committed to featuring a cross-section of the American family," says Gary Osifchin, portfolio lead for biscuits at Mondelēz International. "From a same-sex couple and single dad, to a mixed-race military family, a blended and an immigrant family, the sweet moments between a disabled aunt and her niece are just another example of Honey Maid's commitment to feature real American families and the wholesome connections they share."

    Here is the 15-second TV version:

    Client: Honey Maid / Mondēlez International
    Senior Director, Biscuits North America: Gary Osifchin
    Senior Brand Manager: Mikhail Chapnik
    Senior Associate Brand Manager: Jared Moran
    Campaign: "This is Wholesome"
    Title: Honey Maid: How to Make Apple & Cheddar Melts
    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
    Associate Creative Director: Tara Lawall
    Associate Creative Director: Devon Hong
    Copywriter: German Rivera Hudders
    Art Director: J.J. Kraft
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Goldie Robbens
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Matt Springate
    Senior Communications Strategist: Taylor Hines
    Senior Social Strategist: Kat Popiel
    Social Media Manager: Rob Engelsman
    Data Strategy Director: Katty Lein
    Data Strategist: Annie Corbett
    Group Account Director: Brett Edgar
    Account Director: Amanda Chandler
    Account Manager: Jasmine McDavid
    Associate Account Manager: Amy Rosenberg
    Project Manager: Andra Johnson
    Production Company: Variable
    Director: Jonathan Bregel
    DOP: Stuart Winecoff
    Executive Producer: Tyler Ginter
    Producer: Alex Friedman
    Production Supervisor: Paige DeMarco
    Editorial & Post Production & Audio: D5 Studios
    Music: de Wolfe Music

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    Fans of the U.S. Men's National Team are still reeling from the team's shocking semifinal loss to Jamaica in soccer's Gold Cup. But you can't stay mad at Jamaica for long. And this ad from FCB Garfinkel for the Jamaica Tourist Board, created on the fly to cheer on the team, is simple and fun and reminds you of Jamaica's remarkable achievement—the island nation is the first Caribbean country to reach a Gold Cup final. The match against Mexico will be broadcast tonight on Fox Sports 1 and Univision beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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    Occasionally, M&M's ventures into PG-13 territory, often with amusing results. One of the candy brand's best ads, from 2008, showed Blue licking himself—much to the horror of the woman who walks in on him.

    This timely BBDO New York spot heads right into the bedroom, with a couple who have come to understanding about "sharing" a third party in their marital bed. Only it seems the wife, Liz, has been getting a little on the side, while husband Scott is out of the house.

    The classic Soft Cell track "Tainted Love" closes out the spot.

    "Our latest commercial shows how irresistible M&M's really are in a way that's part comedy, and part soap opera," says vp of marketing Berta de Pablos-Barbier. "We think viewers will have fun with all the twists and turns, and see how it's even more fun to share M&M'S Chocolate Candies versus keeping them all for yourself."

    The spot breaks today on TV and in social media.

    Client: Mars/M&M's
    Title: "Eating in Bed"

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Tim Bayne
    Executive Creative Director: Lauren Connolly
    Sr. Copywriter: Jessica Rello
    Sr. Art Director: Klane Harding

    Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
    Executive Producer: Lisa Petroni
    Producer: Samantha Errico
    Executive Music Producer: Melissa Chester

    Global Account Director: Susannah Keller
    Account Manager: Alyce Regan
    Assistant Account Executive: Kathleen FitzGerald
    Senior Integrated Business Manager: Paul Cisco

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Bennett Miller
    Director of Photography: Jo Willems
    Executive Producer: Patrick Milling Smith
    Executive Producer: Brian Carmody
    Executive Producer: Shannon Jones

    VFX House: House Special
    Animation Director: Kirk Kelly
    Flame Artist: Rex Carter
    Sr. Producer: Zilpha Yost

    Edit House: PS 260
    Editor: Maury Loeb
    Assistant Editor: Colin Edelman
    Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson

    Music Mix House: Heard City
    Audio Engineer: Philip Loeb
    Assistant Audio Mixer: Talia Rodgers
    Audio Producer: Sasha Awn
    Audio EP: Gloria Pitagorsky
    Original Music: Pulse: Jay Lifton
    Music Composer: Chase Deso, Ed Cobb

    Music Licensing: The Marketing Arm

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    It was just one Facebook/Instagram post among many, but Bugaboo's pairing of a running stroller and a bikini-clad fashion model has sparked plenty of laughter and derision from its target market.

    In the photo, 23-year-old Dutch model Ymre Stiekema is seen running with her 2-year-old daughter while wearing what appears to be a black-and-white bikini—you know, the sort of thing moms always go running about the neighborhood in.

    Immediately after it was posted, the photo became a flashpoint, as (mostly) moms began attacking and defending the model, along with the outfit they put her in. The debate is mostly about how women's bodies are portrayed in advertising—and actually, it's the subgenre of the conversation, about unrealistic expectations surrounding post-partum figures where the goal is to look like you've never been pregnant at all.

    Allow me to summarize the arguments against:
    1. This woman's body looks unrealistic. We want realistic depictions of women.
    2. She is also posed/behaving in an unrealistic manner.
    3. How can you expect women to buy your product if they can't relate to the images you're displaying?

    And the arguments for:
    1. You are all just jealous haters.
    2. It is too a realistic depiction for the target marketing of women who are avid runners and can afford an $800 (yes) stroller.

    I just gave birth to my second child a couple of weeks ago, and yeah, I understand the feels—from intense personal pressure to bona-fide self-loathing—you can have when you look at a Prada model running in a bikini behind a stroller. As an advertiser, I could also recognize why you'd hire the most attractive person you could find to hawk your goodies and sex up the pictures to whatever socially acceptable amount you can get away with.

    So, it comes down to deciding which makes your brand happier: a plethora of negative attention, or a smattering of positive. Because people pay a lot less attention when you give them an ordinary, realistic depiction of anything.

    Of course, these sorts of images are so everyday, it can be hard to even muster a frustrated comment. And when you see yet another difficult-to-obtain image, maybe the only thing you can do is laugh. Which is probably why the comments with the most likes are the jokes, including the highest-ranking one: "I prefer running naked with my children."

    Check out more from the Facebook thread below. And yes, it seems Bugaboo only replied to the person who asked about the stroller's suspension system.


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