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    "Maybe it's a new chapter in my life."

    That's how Amit (aka, "Mook"), a 44-year-old dude who's had a thick beard for 14 years, describes the experience of shaving it off in "My New Face," a remarkbaly three-minute online film by Israeli agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi for Super-Pharm's private label line of Life M6 razorblades.

    Since the M6 competes with better-funded brands such as Gillette, "traditional messaging promoting efficiency due to number of blades" would likely have proven "majorly ineffective," says BBR's Eva Hasson. "That's why we decided to follow a different approach."

    The idea for the film originated with an agency staffer who recalled that as a child, he did not immediately recognize his father after he shaved off his trademark beard. Much to the agency's surprise, the client proved eager to give the offbeat idea a try.

    "We were offering to shoot a documentary, which is not your regular advertising format where things are scripted," Hasson says. "This format is a lot riskier, and we warned our client that we may ultimately go through all the motions and end up with nothing. Truth be told, we actually shot three documentaries—only one worked out. This was a gutsy decision by the client, who rolled with us, and so far, the movie has garnered over 430,000 views in under a week."

    Agency creatives were also surprised to learn "the volume and sheer power of the emotional attachment men have developed toward their beards," says Hasson. "Some of the topics uncovered were the fact people like to hide behind their beard. It gives them a sense of security. It is an exteriorization of their virility. They believe it is a source of authority."

    Indeed, in the video, Amit admits that he "can't remember being so nervous," and frets about "loss of virility, loss of intimidation power." Once the six-bladed cartridge has done its work, Amit looks at least 10 years younger and—in my estimation, at any rate—more friendly and approachable than he had before.

    The reactions of his family are priceless. And in the end, the special people in Amit's life heartily approve of the change, and our hero embraces his "new self," reveling in the nearly forgotten tactile sensations he can once again enjoy. It's almost as if he's cut through a barrier he didn't know existed. "It's amazing," he says.

    "It's about the simple pleasures that come from being clean shaven," says Hasson. "Little things like the ability to feel a gentle breeze and the sunshine on your face, to kiss without tickling, to look younger."

    Few consumers will undergo such an intense sensation of renewal by using M6 blades. Still, the film does a fine job of boosting the brand by transforming a basic consumer good into an almost mystical agent of change.

    Client: Super-Pharm
    Brand: Life Private Label Brand
    Product: M6 Razorblades
    Agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Tel Aviv
    CEO: Yossi Lubaton
    Executive Creative Director: Nadav Pressman
    Creative Director: Idan Levy
    Art Director: Michal Gonen
    Copywriter: Yair Zisser
    Digital Creative Director: Maayan Dar
    VP Production: Dorit Gvili
    Producer: Odelia Nachmias Freifeld
    VP Client Services: Shani Vengosh Shaul
    Supervisor: Noa Sharf
    Account Executive: Stav Hershkovitz
    VP Strategic Planning: Shai Nissenboim
    Strategic Planner: Roni Arisson
    Planning Information Specialist: Eva Hasson
    Traffic: Ronit Doanis, Yael Kaufman
    Production Company: T GO Tom Sofer
    Director: Oded Binun
    Postproduction: Broadcast

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    If you were looking forward to drooling over whatever hot, near-naked model would grace Carl's Jr.'s notoriously lascivious advertising next, you're in for a disappointment.

    In a new 30-second commercial, the crass burger chain plays on its reputation for portraying women as pieces of meat who love to eat smaller pieces of meat in the most ridiculously carnal way possible. But here, it turns out the sweaty, glistening curves belong to something way less titillating.

    Titled "Natural Beauties," the concept is essentially a rehash of one of the older jokes in the book, if cleverly tailored to poke fun—in a nonetheless leering, winking sort of way—at the brand's history of scantily clad talent including Charlotte McKinney, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

    In the end, it's all just part of Carl's Jr. attempt to make its products seem less terrible for your health—i.e., natural. Everyone knows that's a nonsense classification to begin with, and seems particularly half-hearted here—which is fitting, because each time you eat one of the brand's hot-dog-and-potato-chips-on-a-burger burgers, half your heart is probably liable to just give up.

    Client: Carl's Jr.
    Chief Executive Officer: Andy Puzder
    Chief Marketing Officer: Brad Haley
    SVP, Product Marketing: Bruce Frazer
    Director of Advertising: Brandon LaChance
    VP, Field Marketing, Media & Merchandising: Steve Lemley
    Director, Product Marketing & Merchandising: Christie Cooney
    Product Marketing Manager: Allison Pocino

    72andSunny Team
    Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Group Creative Director: Justin Hooper
    Group Creative Director: Mick DiMaria
    Creative Director: Tim Wettstein
    Creative Director: Mark Maziarz
    Sr. Designer: Marcus Wesson
    Group Strategy Director: Matt Johnson
    Strategy Director: Kasia Molenda
    Strategist: Eddie Moraga
    Group Brand Director: Alexis Coller
    Sr. Brand Manager: Scott Vogelsong
    Brand Coordinator: Anthony Fernandez
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Executive Film Producer: Molly McFarland
    Jr. Film Producer: Kira Linton
    Film Production Coordinator: Taylor Stockwell
    Business Affairs Director: Amy Jacobsen
    Business Affairs Manager: Jennifer Jahinian
    Business Affairs Coordinator: Ryan Alls

    Coast Public Relations:
    Founder and CEO: Jeanne Beach Hoffa
    Group Director: Melissa Penn
    Director: Kate Franklin

    Production Company: Strange & Wonderful
    Director: Will Hyde
    Executive Producer: Celeste Hyde
    Producer: John Gomez

    Editorial: 72andSunny Studio
    Editor: Doron Dor
    Executive Producer: Jenn Locke
    Producer: Becca Purice

    Online Finishing: Brickyard VFX
    VFX Producer: Diana Young
    VFX Artists: Patrick Poulatian & Mandy Sorenson
    CG Artist: David Blumenfeld

    Telecine: Beach House
    Colorist: Mike Pethel
    Producer: Denise Brown

    Audio: On Music and Sound
    Mixer: Chris Winston

    Sound Design: On Music and Sound
    Sound Designer: Chris Winston

    Track name: "Beastie"
    Written and Performed by: The Blancos
    Used courtesy of GODIY Music

    0 0

    Adam&eveDDB and Glue Society director Gary Freedman made this British spot for Australia's Foster's beer about, of all things, a male rugby cheerleader. The ad is part of a growing trend of faux-documentary ads about people with quirky jobs, though it's also a throwback to '80s- and '90s-style beer ads. (The beer commercial may be the last safe-ish haven for gender jokes like this.)

    The male cheerleader here isn't all that weird, even though he looks like Jack Black's trash-eating hobo cousin, but he has to put up with ridicule from his parents and unceasing awkwardness at work as the only dude on a cheerleading team full of women. His uniform chafes, too. Still, he has found success on his own terms, and is functional enough to drink in a bar with other normal humans. The "He's one of us" tone is essential to ads like these.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The most noteworthy thing here, aside from the cheerleader's Zoolander-esque uniform, is Foster's new slogan, "Why the hell not?", which seems a trifle fatalistic for a consumer product. They might as well snipe from Hot Shots and go with "Foster's: No one lives forever."

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    DirecTV killed its long-running Rob Lowe campaign in April after more than six months of spots in which the actor introduced pathetic versions of himself—the kind of guy who has cable instead of DirecTV. But now, the campaign is back, with NFL stars stepping into Lowe's shoes but with the setup otherwise basically intact.

    In one new spot, we get Eli Manning versus Bad Comedian Eli Manning. In another, it's Tony Romo against Arts & Craftsy Tony Romo. But while Lowe has been replaced, Tom Kuntz has returned as the director.

    The Rob Lowe campaign was discontinued following a ruling by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus that some of the claims in the ads (including those about customer satisfaction and quality) were not defensible. These new spots won't have that problem, as they focus on NFL Sunday Ticket, which DirecTV has exclusively. (You'll notice Manning and Romo's dissing of cable is exceedingly broad, too.)

    Manning is his typical mix of awkward and charming in his ad, while Romo mostly offers an amusing permagrin. They didn't skimp on the makeup in either spot, which carries a lot of the comedy as well. (Try to ignore the fact that both of these guys will generally be busy on Sundays, and not really in the market for NFL Sunday Ticket.)

    Somewhere, Extremely Jealous Rob Lowe is wishing he were still doing this campaign.

    Check out a pair of behind-the-scenes videos below.

    Client: DirecTV, NFL Sunday Ticket
    Agency: Grey, New York

    —Spot: "Bad Comedian"
    Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Group Creative Directors: Steve Fogel, Doug Fallon
    Copywriter: Steve McElligott
    Art Director: Jerome Marucci
    Account Team: Chris Ross, Beth Culley, John Baker, Danielle Weiner, Jake Wanamaker
    Agency Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich
    Agency Producer: Lindsay Myers
    Production Company: Paramount Studios
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    Producer: Emily Skinner
    Director of Photography: Jo Willems
    Editor: Gavin Cutler, Mackenzie Cutler
    Assistant Editor: Pamela Petruski
    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Producer: Christa Cox
    Principal Talent: Eli Manning

    —Spot: "Arts & Craftsy"
    Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Group Creative Directors: Steve Fogel, Doug Fallon
    Copywriter: Kim Nguyen
    Art Director: Marques Gartrell
    Account Team: Chris Ross, Beth Culley, John Baker, Danielle Weiner, Jake Wanamaker
    Agency Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich
    Agency Producer: Lindsay Myers
    Production Company: Paramount Studios
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    Producer: Emily Skinner
    Director of Photography: Jo Willems
    Editor: Gavin Cutler, Mackenzie Cutler
    Assistant Editor: Pamela Petruski
    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Producer: Christa Cox
    Principal Talent: Tony Romo

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    Anyone who's ever played a war-themed video game like Call of Duty has effectively imagined what it might be like to be a soldier. But it's far less common for people to imagine themselves as children victimized by military conflict.

    A potent new PSA from nonprofit humanitarian group War Child U.K. invites viewers to do just that by adapting the camera angle of first-person shooter computer and console games, and making the protagonist a girl named Nima who gets caught in the crossfire.

    It goes almost without saying that the storyline is heartbreaking—all the more so because the scenarios are based on testimony from real children caught up in actual conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. The stylized approach is gripping in its own right, driving home the point that people aren't thinking seriously or often enough about protecting children—or, to put it differently, spending enough money on the issue.

    At the same time, the secondary implication that video games trivialize warfare and inure players to its real human costs is also a hackneyed and generally ineffective argument that ends up becoming a bit of a red herring here.

    Plus, the creators seem at moments to have gotten a little too carried away with the concept, like when Nima gets shot within an inch of her life then finds a magical first aid kit which she administers to herself before continuing on her mission. It's a sequence that strains a powerful metaphor into exactly the fantastical terrain it's criticizing, and risks making the issue seem less immediate. On the other hand, the ending doesn't leave any doubt.

    If the spot does drive you to action, War Child is working to raise awareness around the issue leading into the World Humanitarian Summit.

    Client: War Child U.K.
    Agency: TOAD
    Creative Directors: Guy Davidson, Daniel Clarke, Heydon Prowse
    Production Company: Mother's Best Child
    Director: Daniel Lucchesi
    Co-Director: Heydon Prowse
    Editor: Elliot Windsor
    Producers: Heydon Prowse, Guy Davidson
    Postproduction Coordinator: John Thompson
    Special Effects Producer: Andy Ryder
    Colorist: Jack McGinity, Time Based Arts
    Postproduction: H&M Ogilvy One
    Audio: Liam Conwell
    Music: Jamie Perera

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    Pulco, a French drink brand owned by Orangina Schweppes, is a default summer drink. (Because when else would you have a cool citrus-lemon beverage?) And amid an epic heat wave recently, it capitalized on that positioning with #LaParesseADuBon. Roughly translated to "Laziness can be good," it encouraged people to relax and go slow—because what else is there to do when you see mirages while crossing the street?

    Earlier this month, with help from agency Fred & Farid, it illustrated that premise by taking seven days to finish posting a single-line Facebook status update. The post unfolded word by word, and eventually read, "It's too hot to work."

    And while it's too late to watch it as it happened, you can see the painfully slow progression when you click on the post's "Edited" button:

    While it didn't capture much attention outside the ad industry (which fawns over itself in France just as much as it does in the U.S.), this is a nice example of how creative can manipulate the mechanics of social platforms to produce something unique and playful—and which, in this case, loyally manifests the brand's message.

    It's also a tribute to Pulco that it let an incomplete sentence stand for a week without freaking out. It doesn't look like Pulco spends much, media buy-wise, but the post scored at least twice as many likes as any number of its painstaking but minimalist image posts. It won't win Lions or anything, but it's evidence that while engagement might be low, the brand is willing to experiment and be a bit scrappy.

    Seven days is apparently also a record for the longest amount of time it's taken anyone, ever, to produce a single Facebook post (at least according to the agency and brand). Other examples of brands that have broken social media records, however contrived, can be found on RecordSetter.com's Social Media World Records subsite.

    0 0

    Tricking someone into eating something disgusting—tarantulas, worms, insects in general—is nothing new. Some game shows have whole segments based around that look of horror that comes over someone's face when they realize what they've just swallowed.

    Usually it's only fun for the audience. But in this new video from ShareAbility, pet food company Freshpet found a way to make it somewhat enjoyable for the victims, too—or at least, not as gross as it sounds.

    The presentation helps. The secret dog food here is presented like a foodie's dream—fancy-looking grub in small portions. But it's when the tasters are told what it is that the magic really kicks in. (Plus, the little kids are charming.)

    0 0

    You expect big-budget, slam-bang drama from Hollywood action movies. But doing simple banking chores like depositing checks shouldn't make you feel like you're trapped in an out-of-control Michael Bay production.

    Ad agency Tierney develops that fun storyline in a trio of spots, using familiar cinematic tropes to illustrate how TD Bank provides a better experience for its customers.

    "Floodnado" posits a violent deluge of Biblical proportions, but that's no problem, because TD lets you easily make deposits online from your dry, comfy home. Why crash through shop windows and climb over rush-hour traffic to get to the bank, like the hero of "Closed in 60 Seconds," when TD stays open longer? And if you're planning a vacation with a spendy friendy, relax—TD's mobile tracking will help keep you on budget, as it does for the lesbian couple in "Cash Me If You Can." (Wells Fargo also used a same-sex scenario in its first ads from BBDO this spring.)

    Benji Weinstein, via Tool of North America, directed the 30-second TD commercials, part of the ongoing "Bank Human" campaign. He keeps the pace brisk and the mood light, while the on-screen antics never overwhelm the brand message.

    In a clever twist skewering Tinseltown's facile casting requirements, the average folks in the spots morph into younger, stronger, hipper versions of themselves for the action scenes. These transformations are noticeable, but subtle enough that some viewers might hit replay to confirm what they've just seen. (No harm in that, eh, TD Bank?)

    Related campaign elements—which in most cases also spoof Hollywood, TV and social-media clichés (from zombies to kung fu and dubbed cats)—include pre-roll videos on Hulu, as well as Web banners, BuzzFeed lists and quizzes. In addition, digital billboards in select cities will display personalized responses to viewers' tweets.

    Using multiple platforms underscores "our commitment to delivering leading omni-channel solutions without sacrificing the personal experiences" that keep customers satisfied, says TD CMO Vinoo Vijay. Moreover, he says, the bank strives to tell stories "that address fundamental human truths, recognizing that since our customers' problems are big to them, they are big to us, too."

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    If you've got killer programming chops and a closet full of ill-advised sartorial selections, Betabrand might be the workplace for you.

    HP took some heat this week for reportedly telling enterprise developers to comply with the company's "smart casual" dress code. In a comical response, crowdsourced retailer Betabrand (whose founder was recently named to Adweek's Creative 100 for stellar branded content) promoted its own job openings by highlighting the extremes to which it's willing to let employees dress.

    So, if you have an interest in wearing nipple tassels and undersized kitten shirts, or just want to work somewhere that finds dress codes laughable, check out the jobs at Betabrand.

    0 0

    "I need your clothes. Your boots. And your motorcycle."

    Arnold Schwarzenegger really needs some new material. A quarter century after walking naked into a seedy bar and uttering that famous line in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Arnie's still sizing up biker-dive patrons with his robo-vision and ordering folks to strip down and surrender their modes of transportation.

    Here, the action-movie icon reenacts that memorable scene in a fun spot for game maker 2K promoting its upcoming WWE 2K16 title, in which Schwarzenegger's Terminator is a playable character for fans who pre-order.

    "It's a nerd's dream: a painstaking re-creation of a classic film with a relevant twist to the cast," says Pete Harvey, creative director at barrettSF, which made the spot. "Our hope is that people pull up this scene with the original to compare what stayed absolutely consistent and what subtly changed."

    The most obvious change is the supporting cast, with real-life WWE stars such as Eva Marie, Daniel Bryan and Finn Bálor playing barflies and waitstaff. (Dean Ambrose is so going to wish he'd used an ashtray to put out that cigar.) There is no sign of Hulk Hogan—and I have a feeling he won't be baaack anytime soon.

    Also, in the cinematic original, Schwarzenegger was a sculpted god whose body epitomized muscly manhood, even if he was all transistors underneath. Today, though still in good shape, Arnie looks more like an aging, confused ex-governor of California, searching in vain for a bill he can veto.

    Client: 2K
    Campaign: "Biker Bar," "Raise Some Hell"

    Agency: barrettSF
    Creative Director: Pete Harvey
    Senior Art Director: Brad Kayal
    Senior Copywriter: Brad Phifer
    Integrated Producer: Nicole Van Dawark
    Assistant Producer: Heather Bernard
    Managing Director: Patrick Kelly
    Account Director: Brittni Hutchins
    Account Manager: Jillian Gamboa

    Production Company: Acne
    Director, Director of Photography: Anders Jedenfors
    Executive Producer: Rania Hattar
    Chief Executive Officer, Executive Producer: Line Postmyr
    Line Producer: Taylor Pinson
    Production Designer: Joshua Strickland

    Editing Company: The Vault
    Editor: Kevin Bagley
    Assistant Editor: Dustin Leary

    Recording Studio: One Union Recording
    Engineers: Eben Carr, Matthew Zipkin
    Executive Producer: Lauren Mask

    Sound Designer: Joel Raabe

    Animation Company: Oddfellows
    Creative Director: Chris Kelly
    Animators: Cosmo Ray, Stan Cameron
    Executive Producer: T.J. Kearney
    Producer: Erica Kelly

    Color Correction: Apache
    Colorist: Shane Reed
    Executive Producer: LaRue Anderson
    Producer: Caitlin Forrest

    Finshing: Everson Digital
    Smoke Artist: Mark Everson

    0 0

    Most condom ads are all about sensual pleasure, but what if the product is just too good at delivering that? That's the theme of three 15-second spots for Okamoto condoms from Cleveland agency Marcus Thomas. The ads suggest a remedy for the problem, and it brings some levity to an often overwrought category. Via AgencySpy.

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    In 1990, a group of disabled people pulled themselves up the steps at the U.S. Capitol building to advocate for the Americans With Disabilites Act, protesting delays in an event that became known as the Capitol Crawl.

    Now, a new outdoor ad campaign from Google and 72andSunny marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark legislation by featuring painted portraits of key figures in the disability rights movement on the steps of major cultural buildings in Washington, D.C.

    Posted from July 24-27, the billboards featured a range of notable activists—like Claudia Gordon, the first deaf female African-American attorney in U.S. history, and Ed Roberts, a leader in the drive for the ADA as well as the movement more broadly—at buildings like Gallaudet University and the National Portrait Gallery, respectively. They also celebrated legislators like former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

    A quote accompanied each portrait. "This vital legislation will open the door to full participation by people with disabilities in our neighborhoods, workplaces, our economy, and our American Dream," reads Harkin's, posted on steps in the Newseum.

    The steps leading up to the Carnegie Library also feature a quote—sans portrait—from President George H.W. Bush, who signed the ADA into law.

    72andSunny hired artist Darren Booth to illustrate the campaign. An accompanying website features more in-depth tellings of each figure's role in the movement, including, in most cases, video interviews with the subjects themselves. It also ties more directly back into the brand's products, with a Google Map offering a "tour" of the locations that hosted the portraits.

    Here are all the paintings and their locations:

    Claudia Gordon at Gallaudet University

    Tom Harkin at the Newseum

    Patrick Kennedy at Woodrow Wilson Plaza

    Justin Dart Jr. at Woodrow Wilson Plaza

    Tia Nelis at the National Museum of American History

    Kathy Martinez at the National Museum of American History

    Ed Roberts at the National Portrait Gallery

    Judy Heumann at the National Portrait Gallery

    Tatyana McFadden at the National Portrait Gallery

    Client: Google
    Agency: 72andSunny
    Artwork: Darren Booth

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    The killing of majestic animals is big news this week. And now, the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has unveiled a brutal PSA protesting the slaughter of whales by demonstrating how they die at the hands of humans—as acted out by a human.

    The spot is skillfully horrific, as Australian character actor David Field mimics getting shot, convulsing, choking and coughing up blood. The PSA aims to draw attention, in particular, to the method of using an explosive harpoon to shoot the mammals, which causes massive internal injuries, and to the time it takes for them to die, which can be up to an hour.

    "The cruelty inflicted on whales is shocking, and while most people abhor whaling, I think many don't realize just how brutally these sea mammals are butchered," Field said in a statement. "As a supporter of Sea Shepherd, I want to bring this barbaric practice to the attention of as many people as possible in the hope that we can get it stopped."

    As with many animal-rights PSAs, this one aims to evoke empathy by inviting people to imagine how they'd feel in the animal's situation. This spot goes further by imagining the outcry if whaling were to happen to humans on a large scale. That's a rhetorical device, yet it undermines the message a bit because it's so easy to refute—it's not happening to humans, after all. Yet that kind of hyperbole isn't surprising following such violent imagery. (The excessive nature of the campaign also extends to the hashtag, #UltimateDeathScene.)

    "Those who care about marine wildlife really feel something deeply when they see whaling taking place. We sought to harness this feeling to generate the maximum impact," said Paul Swann, creative partner at Sydney agency The Works, which created the campaign. "The idea of a human experiencing what a whale does, combined with a graphic execution, will come to life across video, social, radio and print."

    Client: Sea Shepherd
    Agency: The Works
    Creative Partner: Paul Swann
    Creative Leads: Adam Bodfish, Leo Barbosa
    Digital Strategy Director: Damien Hughes
    Planner: Leo Hennessy
    Head of Digital Production: Dave Flanagan
    Content Production Manager: Tristan Drummond
    Senior Digital Designer: Kim Sanders
    Social Media Strategist: Vanessa Hartley
    Social Community Manager: Anna Lai
    Project Management: Catriona Heaphy, Gillian Snowball, Juliette Hynes

    Director: Tony Prescott
    Director of Production: Robert Morton
    Postproduction: Method Studios
    Sound: Nylon Studios

    0 0

    If you had the option to use sunshine, wind or fossil fuels to charge your cellphone, which would you choose?

    Droga5's first work for its newest client, energy company NRG, shows air travelers getting just that choice while waiting in a terminal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of them seem to favor the greener options (one sourpuss can't be be bothered).

    And while hidden-camera approaches always raise questions of staging and selective editing, it doesn't really matter here—mostly the spot is a smart and simple way of prompting viewers to ask questions they might not in their day-to-day: Where does their power come from, and is there a better source?

    Check out the spot below, and the accompanying website here.

    In other words, NRG is aiming to increase demand for alternative energy, and apparently betting the future of its business on it. The company, which at present still relies on fossil fuels, says it aims to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050. For broad context, the U.S. is aiming to cut carbon emissions by about 25 percent overall by 2025, and China is promising to start reducing its emissions after 2030, per the deal that the world's two top-emitting countries struck last November (though it's not at all clear that's sufficient to save the world from famine and flood).

    Also for context, a study of 2011 data by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, released in 2013, found NRG to be the U.S. company with the 12th largest share of the country's carbon emissions—Genon, which NRG finished acquiring in late 2012 for $1.7 billion, ranked 24th separately at the time of the study.

    Regardless, the feel-good sun-rising montage that weaves through the new commercial has distinct overtones of Droga5's notable sunrise work for Prudential from 2011, with an electrical twist. Though it is a bit surprising that NRG and Droga5 didn't offer a bank of outlets literally powered by cow crap.

    Client: NRG
    Campaign: "Power Behind the Plug"
    Launch Date: 7/29/15

    Agency: Droga5
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer
    Executive Creative Director: Neil Heymann
    Creative Directors: Rick Dodds, Steve Howell
    Copywriter: German Rivera Hudders
    Art Director: J.J. Kraft
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Matt Nowak
    Head of Integrated Business Affairs: Dianne Richter
    Senior Integrated Production Business Manager: Matt Friday
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland
    Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman
    Strategy Director: Dan Wilkos
    Senior Communications Strategist: Elsa Stahura
    Communications Strategist: Parks Middleton
    Social Strategy Director: Tom Hyde
    Senior Social Strategist: Calvin Stowell
    Group Account Director: Matt Ahumada
    Account Director: Kristoffer Aldorsson
    Account Manager: Michelle Villarreal
    Project Manager: Connor Hall
    Designer: April Pascua

    Production Company: Stink
    Director: Kosai Sekine   
    Directors of Photography: Dimitri Karakatsanis, Michael Svitak
    Executive Producer: James Cunningham
    Producer: Scott Pourroy

    Editing Company: Lost Planet
    Editor: Charlie Johnston
    Executive Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
    Producer: Taylor Colbert

    Postproduction: The Mill
    Executive Producer, Head of Production: Sean Costelleo
    Producer: Mandy Harris
    Colorist: Michael Rossiter
    Visual Effects Supervisor Jade Kim
    2-D Lead Artist: David Forcada
    2-D Artist: Heather Kennedy

    Music: A Place Called New York
    Company: Hiroko Sebu

    Sound: Jodi Levine
    Company: Heard City

    Sound Design: Tim Barnes

    0 0

    It's good to walk a mile in your client's shoes. But is it even better to walk 125 miles?

    Le Balene will soon find out. The Italian agency is wooing an unnamed mobile accessories client with a unique stunt: Pitch them by walking from the agency's home in Milan to the client's office in Reggio Emilia—a distance of some 200 kilometers, or about 125 miles.

    Creatives Davide Canepa and Francesco Guerrera, accompanied by their fearless leader, CEO/account director Marco Andolfato, set out last Friday. If all goes well, they'll arrive this Friday, in time for their 10 a.m. meeting. The walk has taken them through country roads and forests, and across rivers. They're recording, tweeting and blogging—and even servicing other clients—along the way, using only mobile phones and tablets.

    The campaign is tagged #mobileworkers. You can follow their adventures on their blog (that is, if you read Italian; otherwise, hit up Google Translate and enjoy the pictures). Check out our Q&A with Andolfato below, along with a special video shout-out to Adweek readers.

    AdFreak: Describe #mobileworkers.
    Marco Andolfato: We want to demonstrate that technology is an enabler of whatever you want to do. Every worker is a mobile one these days, and every worker can use technology to work better. As advertising people, to work better we need to take more time to think, and technology is helping us to savor slowness, and to think faster.

    So, we decided to walk the 200 kilometers from our office to the client's, working on the presentation while on the journey.

    Can you tell us about the client and the brief?
    The client deals with accessories for mobile devices. Usually people are much more interested in devices than in accessories. But accessories allow you to make the best use of the technology; they are your enablers. Much more so if you are a worker.

    Along the road we're using rechargers, selfie sticks, headphones, all kind of cables, iPhone covers. Without them we couldn't have worked on the road. And our beautiful ideas wouldn't have reached the client.

    How will you use #mobileworkers to pitch?
    We are preparing a movie—shooting during the days and editing it during the evenings. This should exemplify the idea, but just in case, we're preparing 4/5 strategic slides. Of course, we're planning to enter the meeting room with backpacks and boots.

    How far have you gotten? How long will it take you to finish?
    We started Friday from our office and walked 137.8 kilometers so far [as of July 28]. The presentation is Friday at 10 a.m., hopefully!

    Does the client know you are walking?
    Yes. Also because if we are not there next Friday…

    How did you prepare for this trip?
    You mean physically? I ran a marathon in Copenhagen two months ago. Davide is 27, and Francesco's real fuel is creativity.

    Has anything interesting, notable or cool happened during your walk so far?
    Every evening Davide has to choose among too many things before writing the travelogue. We are following the "Via Francigena," the route followed 1,000 years ago from the archbishop Sigeric to get back to Canterbury from Rome. So people are very nice with us "creative pilgrims." We crossed the river Po with a small boat on the same point as Sigeric did, and the boatman had his own special opinion about "slowness."

    In a small town, we were hosted by the mayor in the local ex-Benedictine monastery—and he dined with us in the evening, calling a local journalist to have the news on the newspaper. And we've got a new client, as I'll explain later.

    How did you develop the idea for this project?
    Probably while thinking on something else, as with all the best ideas.

    Are you managing any other client business while on the road?
    Of course we are. We're getting phone calls, receiving and correcting storyboards, writing scripts, discussing contracts, even planning our next offices. The first morning we received a phone call from a possible client: "I'm in a mess, I need an idea for a TV ad by Monday morning but it's already Friday. Can you help me?"

    I said, "You are lucky! A copywriter, art director and account director are here for you, walking and thinking the whole weekend. By Monday you'll have your idea." He got 3, in fact.

    What comes after #mobileworkers?

    What if the client says no?
    We won't take no for an answer. Daily temperatures are always higher than 30°C [about 86°F]. He can't do this to us!

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

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    Wieden + Kennedy has hacked the tagging function on Instagram to create an amusingly absurd "Choose your own adventure" social game for Old Spice, filled with robots, retro monsters and meta jokes.

    The story opens with the post above. Clicking on it reveals tags that function as the navigation, leading to a maze of newly created Instagram accounts where the story continues. Clicking on the Old Spice body wash in the first scene reveals the first of many comical dead ends, from which you have to backtrack and continue.

    The game is pretty much one big joke, undermining itself at every turn and parodying the genre rather than presenting a real "adventure." The ending, in particular, is intentionally anticlimactic, centered on an inside joke about the ad budget for the project—very much in keeping with the brand's self-aware ethos.

    Give it a spin, or click here to choose a different AdFreak adventure.

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    Geico is out with its first commercials that aren't from The Martin Agency in a good long while, but they do continue the brand's tradition of absurd, offbeat humor.

    Four 15-second spots, created by Atlanta shop IQ, are, in all fairness, up against impossibly tough competition from Martin's deep reel for the brand—all the more so on the heels of the brilliant, Grand Prix-winning "Unskippable" preroll campaign.

    In that context, and on its own terms, IQ's new work—which rails on inane corporate cost-cutting measures—clocks in as solid. The scenarios are something pretty much anyone can get on board with hating. The sight gags in the pie-chart and shared-office spots pack a little more punch than the verbal email spots. (How the latter could save a company money is unclear, even among all these comically inefficient ideas.)

    The office humor in general might seem like a bit of a logical gap for a company that's best known for selling personal auto insurance (it does offer business policies through partner companies). But the theme is grounded in a certain strategic approach.

    "We're just coming out of a recession where companies big and small tried to save money in a million small ways, often to the chagrin of their employees," Clark Moss, IQ's executive creative director, said in a statement. There's also something of a precedent—namely, Martin's famous "Hump Day" camel spot, also set in an office.

    IQ CEO Tony Quin told Adweek there was no formal pitch for the assignment.

    "I think they were just seeing what's out there and they gave us a chance," he said. "It's not every day a big brand gives a small agency a shot and I'm of course delighted at the performance of my team. While we are known for our digital work going back to when we won the Cyber Grand Prix [in 2006] for work for VW, we actually started out in television and still do a fair amount of video in our evolved role as a full service shop."

    Quin added, "I don't believe there is any dissatisfaction at all [at Geico] with the Martin Agency." Still, he said, "we couldn't be happier to have the opportunity to swing a bat at one of the great commercial franchises."

    Client: Geico
    Agency: IQ Agency, Atlanta
    Executive Creative Director: Clark Moss
    Art Director: Tricia Gillentine
    Copywriter: Sarah Giarratana
    Director: Ben Callner
    Producer: Khia Banks
    Additional Production Credits: Pogo Pictures, Nine Mile Circle

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    From HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom and writer Sara Saedi (who penned HelloFlo spots "Postpartum: The Musical" and "The Period Fairy") comes another quirky, humorous look into the anonymous world of ladyparts problems.

    Despite the fact that one in three women will suffer from bladder leakage in their lifetime, it's one of those embarrassing subjects—like periods—that few people and even fewer advertisements like to talk about. By taking a humorous approach to a humiliating issue and allowing the target to laugh at the ad, and at themselves, the HelloFlo creative team has become a sort of pioneer in unmentionable lady's health issues.

    In this spot, for a product called the PeriCoach, we're thrust into a meeting of Leakers Anonymous—a support group for ladies with bladder issues. Together, they admit their incontinence troubles, and then, out of the leaky darkness, their savior appears, replete with British accent and capable of laughing without peeing herself. She has been to the land of continence and returned with a PeriCoach, which, she explains in an immortal line, is "like a Fitbit for you vag."

    That's right, if you're crappy at Kegels (the pelvic floor exercises you're supposed to do to tone your vag and get rid of incontinence), the PeriCoach will tell you what you're doing wrong. It'll also connect to your smartphone and give you reminders about when to train your vagina. About the only thing it won't do is vibrate.

    Of course, if the PeriCoach and its smartphone reminders aren't motivating enough, you can go back and watch this video and forward to 0:54, where the mother of twins lifts her skirt to show off her padded granny panties. I'll admit that the entire time I wrote this, I was Kegeling in sheer terror.

    Production Company: Senza Pictures
    Written by Sara Saedi
    Produced by Brandi Savitt
    Casting by Wulf Casting
    Music by Flavor Lab
    Creative Advisor, Naama Bloom

    Beth: Susan Pasquantonio
    Jane: Camile Theobald
    Samantha: Leah Curney
    Emily: Dana Gartland
    Leaker #1: Daphne Bowers
    Leaker #2: Oiaohong Zhu
    Leaker #3: Polly Kreisman
    Leaker #4: Rose Cordova

    Director of Photography: Kip Bogdahn
    Editor: David Fishel
    Art Director & Costumes: Ally Nesmith
    Sound Mixer: Wil Masisak

    First Assistant Director: Lenny Payan
    Production Coordinator: Julia Brady
    Hair & Makeup: Kristen Alimena
    Assistant Hair & Makeup: Lauren Citera
    Script Supervisor: Zaïri Malcolm

    Gaffer: GT Womack
    Key Grip: Ben Hunt
    Dolly Grip: Jim Tripp

    Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Theis
    Assistant Camera: Nate Slevin
    Boom Operator: Matt King
    Assistant Art Director: Nelson Mestril
    Production Assistants: Jordan Floyd, Eric Cruz

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    Converse's Chuck Taylor II All-Stars debut with a bang, literally, in the Nike brand's "Ready for More" campaign touting its highly anticipated line extension.

    Ad agency Anomaly and visual-effects firm Framestore produced an explosive spot that shows a Chuck II high-top flying apart in super-slow-motion, impressively revealing the comfort technology within. As bits of rubber and canvas drift in all directions, the camera lingers on the padded sockliner, non-slip tongue and perforated suede lining, with each component identified for viewers.

    Ultimately, the sneaker comes back together like new, which probably wouldn't happen if you blew one up for real. (Still, I'd be glad to give it a try.)

    It's a cool, memorable way to expose the soul (along with the sole) of the reboot. I prefer its destructive simplicity to the bombast of a 30-second online spot that offers throbbing guitar riffs and cascading imagery of city skateboarders, motorcyclists, painters and rock bands, all wearing Chuck IIs. Reminds me of Dr. Martens' anti-establishment appeals, with fast beats and flashy editing standing in for substance.

    Of course, Converse does have street cred in the creative community. Its footwear has long been popular with artists and musicians. Anomaly's recent "Made by You" push for classic Chucks scored by exploring the unique worlds of such individuals, showcasing both average folks and celebrities. This approach would have been a fine fit for the Chuck II, and hopefully the campaign will eventually step in that direction.

    For now, we're stuck with hipster clichés and a voiceover extolling, "More good stuff. More bad stuff. More your stuff. Whatever it is—more you!"

    Sorry, Chuck, but it's all a tad II much.

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    In case you weren't feeling quite old enough today, the classic Michael Jordan vs. Looney Tunes drama Space Jam will celebrate its 20th anniversary next November.

    But Nike's newest ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York and starring Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, is a fresh—and pointed—reminder of the 1996 film. 

    "The Dunk to End All Dunks" doesn't feature Jordan himself (though the classic Nike Air icon does get a passing nod), or alas, Bill Murray. But it does star one Marvin the Martian, who seems to think that the universe is only big enough for one "Earth-shattering" dunk master.

    While Marvin has his share of space-age toys to help him reach the rim despite his diminutive three-foot frame, Griffin has his own secret weapon. Naturally, it's a brand new pair of Jordan Super.Fly 4 sneakers, which launch this week.

    The original Space Jam was the highest-grossing basketball film in history, having earned more than $90 million domestically in 1996 dollars (sorry, Hoop Dreams). So, the question follows: is a Space Jam 2 in the works? 

    Warner Brothers strongly hinted at a "yes" by filing several new trademarks for the Space Jam brand in June, mere weeks before the studio announced a new "content creation partnership" with Jordan's natural successor, LeBron James. The deal between James' SpringHill Entertainment and the Warner Bros. family includes plans for "TV, film and original digital programming."

    LeBron recently proved that he can act by stealing several scenes in the Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck, and his company has already produced a TV doc series, a digital-only reality title, a "scripted drama on Starz" and an unnamed NBC prime-time game show.

    When asked whether he would star in a potential Space Jam sequel during a Twitter Q&A last month, James teased fans with a "we'll have to wait and see," which could very easily mean "of course I will."

    Nike isn't quite as shy. Along with this new campaign, the footwear giant created a microsite naming Marvin the Martian as a member of its extended family of athletes/spokespeople and tracing his plans to use the power of the Super.Fly 4 to destroy that "troublesome little planet" we call Earth once and for all (complete with his own merchandise). The inaugural ad for the new Air line was also directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame, who might just be the perfect Hollywood lifer to helm a new big-budget basketball flick.

    And what about Blake Griffin? He isn't just Nike's new spokesperson: he's also performed at Hollywood's Laugh Factory and made appearances on nearly every late-night show. At the very least, he should have a supporting role in a franchise that he calls "a big part of my life." Right, Charles Barkley?

    Even if the sequel doesn't come to pass, get ready to see the Space Jam name and logo on everything from "comedy and/or drama features" to "lithographs," "mounted and/or unmounted photographs" and "printed patterns for costumes, pajamas, sweatshirts and T-shirts," according to the trademark filings. And per the Martian himself, we can expect more Blake-and-Marvin ads from W+K to launch before opening night.


    Client: Jordan Brand   
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Jaime Robinson, David Kolbusz   
    Creative Directors: Jimm Lasser, Gary Van Dzura, Mike Giepert   
    Art Director: Jed Heuer   
    Copywriters: Al Merry, Laddie Peterson   
    Producer: Alison Hill   
    Assistant Producers: Kristen Johnson, Lisa Delonay   
    Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski   
    Account Team: Jerico Cabaysa, Jonathan Chu   
    Media Team: Karlo Cordova, Justin Lam, Branden Bouvia   
    Strategic Planner: Stéphane Missier    
    Project Manager: Sunjoo Ryou   
    Business Affairs Team: Sara Jagielski, Sonia Bisono, Carolina Hernandez, Lindsey Timko 
    Production Company: Pacific Rim Films   
    Director: Jon Favreau   
    Executive Producer, UPM: Annie Johnson   

    Editing Company: Arcade Edit   
    Editors: Geoff Hounsell, Will Hassell   
    Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram      

    Visual Effects Company: The Mill, New York   
    Executive Producer: Zu Al-Kadiri
    Producer: Katie Kolombatovich   
    Shoot Supervisors: Westley Sarokin, Ed Boldero   
    Creative Director: Westley Sarokin  

    Animation: Warner Bros Animation   
    Producer, Director: Spike Brandt   
    Line Producer: Monica Mitchell   
    Animators: Spike Brandt, Dale Baer, Dan Haskett, John McClenahan, Jeff Siergey, Neal Sternecky, Bill Waldman, Dean Wellins   
    Music Company: tonefarmer   
    President, Partner, Producer: Tiffany Senft   
    Founder, Composer: Raymond Loewy   
    Composers: Jared Hunter, Sam Skarstad, Raymond Loewy   
    Sound Designer: Jimmy Harned   
    Production Manager: Elizabeth Munoz 

    Mix Company: Sonic Union


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