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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Grey New York juxtaposes the pre-game rituals of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski with those of a Hispanic neighborhood schoolboy in this understated 60-second launch spot for the NFL's 2015 season.

    The message—that football is, at heart, a kid's game, and that the NFL is the epitome of every pee-wee leaguer's dream—comes through loud and clear. It's a heartfelt, intuitive positioning, delivered in compelling fashion with help from one of the league's most likable stars (who also happens to be on the reigning championship squad).

    Still, timing is everything, and some viewers will surely greet this approach with cynicism.



    As the league attempts to emerge from the shadow of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, fresh scandals—like Aldon Smith's arrest—seem to pop up on a weekly basis. The debate over Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's "Deflategate" suspension rages on. And of course, concussion fears—highlighted again during the bittersweet induction of the late Junior Seau into the Hall of Fame—are impacting not just the NFL but youth football everywhere.

    That gives even a straightforward spot like this, based around anodyne themes of family and generational traditions, extra baggage. Suddenly, the innocence and youthful aspirations of the sandlot aren't quite so carefree.

    "Football is family," proclaims the ad's tagline. Some might suggest it's a dysfunctional one.

    CREDITS
    Client: NFL
    Agency: Grey, New York


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    If you're lucky enough to live into your golden years, you've earned the right to act as ridiculous as you want.

    This campaign for Ethel + Frank, a new online store for vintage handbags, charmingly plays on the theme of old lady swag—aka, the raunchy, shameless stylings of women 65 and above. Three videos present slow-motion, tongue-in-cheek portraits of ladies decked out in full kitsch, making eyes at the camera while showing off their most outrageous dance moves.

    The overall production is distinctly reminiscent of camp masters Tim and Eric's Super Bowl commercial for Loctite via Fallon. But it's a good fit for Ethel + Frank's niche positioning, which itself is timely given the zeitgeist's general fascination with nonagenarian icon Iris Apfel and her ilk.



    "When it comes to fashion, old ladies are the shit," reads the "About" copy on the Ethel + Frank website, which is dripping with bravado. "They ignore magazines and trends because more than anyone, they know style has little to do with the outfit you wear."

    The clips are all funny in their own ways, though "Nanee" might the richest thanks to the understated brilliance of its star, who wields a banana like a pistol in a modern nod to Mae West (with Groupon overtones) and enjoys a sort of Scarface-Carmen-Miranda moment.

    Kelly Diaz, a copywriter who's worked at agencies including Mother New York, launched Ethel+Frank just last week, and created the ads with director Michael Immerman. Diaz said she "wanted to launch a chick brand with some attitude and a sense of humor after working on one too many 'vanilla' female-targeted campaigns."

    Extra points for also not being obnoxiously posh.


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    As if the hipster havens of Brooklyn and Austin weren't already funky—and beery—enough, Leinenkugel's has transformed vacation properties in each location into Northwoods, Wis.-style "Leinie Lodges," and made the units available for rent on Airbnb.

    The promotion is designed to help the Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based brand (owned by SABMiller) gain extra visibility in those markets, where it has been testing its brews of late.

    "We wanted to create a space where people can relax and enjoy beer," founder Dick Leinenkugel told Austin Fusion. The two-bedroom Brooklyn property (above) can accommodate six guests, includes a roomy roof deck and rents for $449 a night. Down in East Austin (below), you'll pay $375 for three bedrooms with space for eight.

    The rentals are available through the end of August.



    Airbnb has become renowned for offbeat promotions, both for itself and in tandem with other brands. Stunts range from hosting a sleepover in an Australian Ikea store to tricking out an Alpine ski lift as a mountaintop crash pad.

    The "Leinie Lodges" provide more down-to-earth accommodations. Renters get thoroughly modern, upscale digs—with lots of Leinenkugel's-branded extras. These include bean-bag toss games, bar signage, canoe paddles, Adirondack chairs and plenty of crimson throw-pillows embroidered with the brewer's name. At each location, the fridges come packed with Leinenkugel's brews such as Summer Shandy, Grapefruit Shandy and Canoe Paddler.

    So, you'll basically be living inside a huge ad, stocked with toys and free beer. You'll be living the American Dream. Cheers!


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    The process of logo design is pretty intriguing, particularly when a designer takes you step by step through the development of a mark. The video below is a great example, as Kath Tudball of design firm Johnson Banks explains the creation of a gourmet ice cream startup called Mr. Cooper.

    The logo uses negative space to great effect, and also has a nice drippy quality that fits the brand well. But the mark you see above was the end point of a very involved process, which Tudball shows in great detail.

    The video is longish, but worth it. Via Creative Bloq.


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    Volkswagen Netherlands aired a TV spot in April in which VW owners had great expectations for their other possessions—including one mother who couldn't understand why baby strollers don't have automatic braking.

    The automaker posted the ad on Facebook, and the most-liked comment came from a fan who suggested that VW actually build just such a futuristic stroller.

    And so, VW did.



    Check out the video above, in which a joke from a commercial (by ad agency Achtung!) becomes a prototype in just a few short weeks. It includes a cameo from the Facebook fan himself, and also shows some humorous footage of the stroller in action.

    Sorry, moms, it seems lazy dads will be the biggest market for this new vehicle.


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    What are we all but a bunch of emoji with arms and legs and a hankering for McDonald's?

    An insane new French ad for fast-food chain shows a city full of people going about their daily lives—driving around with friends, getting a shave at the barber, break dancing in the streets. But instead of human heads, they all have giant, 3-D, cartoon faces.

    The soundtrack—a bubbly electro pop cover of the Buggles' 1978 classic "Video Killed the Radio Star"—almost makes the ad feel like a music video. But the song, a rendition apparently created specifically for the ad, when coupled with the visual concept, which feels fresh in and of itself, seems to imply a critique of technology that's more contemporary than the one baked into the lyrical hook, and a bit out of place for a major fast-food marketer.



    McDonald's and agency BETC Paris have explicitly created a world where digital communication reduces facial expression—a wildly subtle and complex phenomenon—to a series of shiny yellow orbs representing monolithic and equally monochromatic feelings. That's a pretty excellent premise for a video, but the brand presents it here without any of the real anxiety about change that defines the text of the original synth pop song—or the deadpan theatricality with which the Buggles promoted and performed it; or, say, the more explicitly ironic bitterness and dissatisfaction of the 1996 alt-rock cover by the Presidents of the United States of America.

    Instead, McD's presents everyone being a stiff caricature of their own ids as a good thing. And that only really makes sense if you're a faceless corporation that deals in cardboard platitudes like Happy Meals peddled by a brightly colored clown mascot, and other overly processed hamburgers that can save the doomed love lives of awkward young adults.

    It probably doesn't help the brand's case that the tagline, "Venez comme vous êtes," which translates to "Come as you are," inadvertently bastardizes the spirit of another classic song about the tension between individuality, conformity and perception. (To be fair, that tagline has been around for years—and McDonald's France has used it to, among other things, promote gay rights.)

    Within the emoji ad's own construct, it includes clever little tidbits—some of them perhaps more deliberate than others, like the kid who turns from angel to devil, as opposed to the weatherman with the smarmy, oafish look on his face. The spot also deserves credit for doing a distinctly better job of getting its message across than some other emoji-driven attempts at marketing. (In fact, it's way simpler and more accessible—if less delightful—than some of the brands that decided to try to invent their own emoticons.)

    It's also worth noting that BETC Paris is experienced in creating absurd viral sensations, having graced the world with Evian's classic roller-dancing babies, and the agency appears to be swinging for the fences again here. But the idea, for all its potential, suffers as a result of its attempt to be broadly appealing to what's seen as the perpetual sunshine ethos of millennials. In that, it turns into a nauseatingly saccharine panacea—without near enough sarcasm or skepticism about what it's actually saying.

    In fact, the insistence on framing a fundamentally disturbing set of images as lighthearted and upbeat can't keep the dark subtext and implicit social critique at bay. So, the whole thing ends up seeming unintentionally dystopian, like the Kia hamsters tossed into a meat grinder with a deadmau5 helmet and Katy Perry fever dream, with the resulting slime squeezed out into a bunch of circular, cookie-cutter nuggets, baked golden and plopped onto a bunch of necks.

    Ultimately, it mostly adds credence to Taco Bell's case that Ronald McDonald is actually a Stalinist looking to control all aspects of your life—only he's way more insidious than you thought, mostly interested in brainwashing us into grinning idiots by defining happiness in terms of Big Macs and faces made of pixels.

    Plus, you know the spot can't be trusted because it doesn't show anyone who just gobbled a McDonald's burger and turned into the emoji for "I have a stomach ache and I wish I hadn't eaten that"—which isn't available yet, but is slated for release in 2016.


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    Subtlety is a valuable thing in advertising, as consumers will always feel better about a brand that lets them connect the dots instead of hammering them over the head. But there is such a thing as too subtle, as well.

    Mercedes-Benz rides that line in these ads from BBDO Chile. We stared at them for a few minutes trying to work out the message, and not just because the copy has been translated.

    We spoke to BBDO art director Leonardo Rocha about the ads. But before we give away his explanation, let us know what you think they're about.

    Click to enlarge. Via Adeevee.



    CREDITS
    Client: Mercedes-Benz
    Agency: BBDO, Santiago, Chile
    Executive Creative Director: Jorge Espinoza
    Creative Director: Rodrigo Peralta
    Art Director: Leonardo Rocha
    Copywriter: Felipe Araya
    Photographer: Javiera Eyzaguirre


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    Yahoo is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, it's reviving the iconic billboard that welcomed (or repulsed) San Franciscans driving on Interstate 80's eastbound approach to the Bay Bridge. The original board was taken down only four years ago, so calling it a revival might be a stretch, but whatever. Let them have their fun.

    As you may recall, the original ad looked like a campy roadside motel sign, with a yellow-and-purple color scheme that always seemed a bit too John Waters for that side of the country. It did have a lot of personality, though—check out these great snapshots on Flickr—but that's unfortunately been stripped away from the drab new sign, which is just an oversized version of the current Yahoo logo.

    Here are some photos of the construction:



    The new board will be used primarily to update people on product offerings, local events and other company news worth sharing. I feel like they're missing a lot of opportunities for fun, but that's why they're Yahoo and not Google.


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    If you're Geico, you whip up another comically goofy commercial and make sure everyone sees it by taking over the YouTube masthead before rolling it out to TV. It's what you do.

    While it recently experimented with another shop for some short spots, Geico is continuing its long-running relationship with The Martin Agency, unveiled the latest "It's what you do" spot on YouTube over the weekend before launching it Monday in broadcast.

    The action this time takes place on a golf course, where a giant sea monster emerges from a water hazard to wreak some havoc, which a 9 iron just can't handle. But it's not the sea monster's behavior but that of the announcers that serves as the punch line here.



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

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

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

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

    Telecine: MPC
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis
    Color Producer: Summer McCloskey

    Animation/VFX: MPC
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
    Junior Producer: Nicole Saccardi
    Creative Director: Paul O'Shea
    CG Supervisor: Zach Tucker
    Flame Lead: Benoit Mannequin
    Flame: Blake Huber
    Flame: Ben Persons
    Nuke: Toma Bowen
    FX Lead: Charles Trippe
    FX: Patrick Manning Nha Ca Chau
    Nate Lapinski
    Light Lead: Tim Kafka
    Light: Brendon Echsner
    Texture Lead: Brian Broussard
    Animation Lead: Stew Burris
    Animation: Ian Wilson
    Rigging Lead: George Saavedra
    Asset Supervisor: Aaron Hamman
    Tracking Supervisor: Michael Lori

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


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    If crazy political ads are their own kind of art form, this one is something of a masterpiece.

    Wyatt Scott is an independent candidate for Canadian parliament. And taking his new spot as evidence, his platform consists primarily of riding giant geese and then jumping off to slay dragons with a sword. In other words, he's sure to have the J.R.R. Tolkien fanboy demographic locked up, along with more general appreciators of science fiction and fantasy.

    But even if his policies seem on the well-intentioned and compassionate side, his ridiculous pitch also includes some imagery that could be construed as vaguely offensive. ("Alien" is not the most politically correct term for undocumented immigrants, at least south of the border, though at least Scott gives the extraterrestrial a friendly fist-bump while talking about social programs.)



    Nor is it clear what an image that appears to ancient Mayan temple Chichen Itza, located in Yucatan, Mexico—some 3,800 miles away from Scott's electoral district in British Columbia—has to do with the indigenous people of Canada. (Though it's true you could get there pretty fast on the back of a 747-sized Canadian goose.)

    Regardless, those minor factual details pale in comparison to the greatest threat Canada apparently faces—which is a 1960s, Mars Attacks-style giant killer robot. Luckily, Scott has superpowers beyond being able to grow an instant beard.

    Via TVSpy.


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    Wheaties is wheat cereal. Hefeweizen is wheat beer. Now, General Mills has done the inevitable and created a Wheaties-branded Hefeweizen in partnership with Minneapolis craft brewery Fulton.

    "We were intrigued from the get-go on this idea for many reasons, including that we're both Minneapolis companies, and that the beer and the cereal both started from the same place in terms of raw ingredients and the same city," Fulton president and co-founder Ryan Petz says in this General Mills blog post.

    "We had been sampling a number of Hefeweizens, so we had been discussing with the Wheaties team what we liked," says Petz. "Someone on the team said HefeWheaties, and it kind of sprung out from there."

    Everything from the recipe to the can design was a collaboration, which came about simply because some General Mills employees are friends with some of the folks at Fulton. (Petz even worked at General Mills for a while.)

    At least for now, you'll have to travel to Minnesota to sample the stuff. Beginning Aug. 26, it will be available in the Twin Cities market in four-pack cans of 16-ounce tallboys. It won't be available for shipment or purchase outside Minnesota.

    "We'll see how people react to it," says Petz. "If it's something everybody loves, we'll obviously consider doing it again in a bigger and more widely distributed way in the future."


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    Capital One delivers a big campaign for small business with its "Spark Plug" initiative, shining a spotlight on 125 entrepreneurial companies in a whopping 150 advertisements created by Mullen Lowe.

    The work, which launches today, includes print, out-of-home, digital and video ads. In a novel twist, the campaign's 11 commercials employ fans of 11 small businesses—nominated by the companies themselves—as spokespeople.

    "We simply wanted to capture the excitement and passion that comes from a fan's voice, as opposed to the often calculated, more logical message that might come from an owner," Sue DeSilva, creative director at Mullen Lowe, tells Adweek.

    Director Alex Fendrich employs a bright, breezy style that makes the 30-second testimonials instantly accessible. His sparse, assured visual approach—a few well-placed props against white or gray backdrops, establishing a mood or theme for each spot—stems from his improv background. That style really lets the stories shine.

    In the ad for Capitol Tap, the youth dance ensemble's biggest booster, Yvonne, who appears to be in her 60s, demonstrates fancy footwork atop a platform emblazoned with the company logo. "It's just a wonderful organization," she says. "You walk in, and you tap out."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Twentysomething Morgan praises her sister's Dolci Gelati Truck. "It's a cool truck, and it's a cute truck, and I love showing it to people," she says. Morgan delivers her pitch in an airy studio, with the vehicle in question—along with an ice-cream vendor's cart and chalkboard menu—positioned nearby.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    David Miller, an exuberant middle-aged dude with an impressive waxed mustache, really brings it for Wonder Lee 123, exploring racks of the store's extremely funky bow-ties (created from discarded objects). "The ties are art," he says. "It makes me smile. It makes everybody else smile."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "It was amazing to watch business owners listen to their customers sing their praises," says Keri Gohman, head of the Small Business Bank at Capital One. "It was heartwarming and 100 percent authentic."

    Indeed, with this sort of campaign, authenticity is key, and the ads pass with flying colors. These folks really do seem like the biggest fans of the companies they're representing.

    Were there concerns that featuring fans, and not owners, might be confusing?

    "We were committed to keeping this campaign 'from the voice of the fans,' so to prevent it from being confusing, we spent a lot of time working on the construct of the ads," says DeSilva. "We put in a lot of time to ensure we kept the message as clear as possible."

    Capital One branding is reserved for the closing seconds of each spot. Agency and client strove to celebrate the vibrancy and success of small businesses, while subtly informing entrepreneurs that Spark is available to provide financial solutions, mentorship opportunities and marketing dollars.

    Plus, the ads serve as real-world examples of marketing programs prospective clients might undertake with Spark's assistance. "From our research we know most small-business owners wish they could spend more on marketing, or wish they knew more about marketing, so we really felt like we were responding to a need," DeSilva says.

    Capital One received 400 submissions from businesses in four markets—Washington D.C., New York, New Orleans and Houston—for the chance to receive custom ads with their biggest fans. Along with the videos, Mullen Lowe made custom print, out-of-home and digital ads for many of the 125 companies that were chosen—some 150 ads in all.

    "We started with a simple question: What could we do to support as many customers as possible, show our thanks, and amplify their stories?" Gohman says. "We kept the complexity on our side, supporting many businesses versus narrowing to a single winner."

    She adds, "Each business and fan had a powerful story and experience. The owner of Wonder Lee summed up the goal of our campaign. When she heard her biggest fan talk about her business, she looked up with tears in her eyes and said, 'He really gets it.' "

    Here are the eight other videos from the campaign:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    CREDITS
    Client: Capital One
    Senior Director, Small Business Brand Strategy: Kristi Hebner
    Business Director, Small Business Bank Marketing: Rohit Saroop
    Senior Business Director, Small Business Bank Marketing: Matt Lattman
    Brand Strategy Consultant, Small Business Brand Strategy : Heather Leonard
    Marketing Project Management, Small Business Banking: Megan Givens

    Agency: Mullen Lowe, Boston
    Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist
    Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
    VP Creative Director: Sue DeSilva
    VP Associate Creative Director: Andy Schneider
    Associate Creative Director: Tony Frusciante
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Ken Kingdon
    SVP, Group Account Director: Rebekah Pagis
    VP, Account Director: Jesse Brandt
    Account Supervisor: Corie McNeil
    Assistant Account Executive: Kate Chartier

    Production Company: Fatking Films
    Director: Alex Fendrich
    Line Producer: Brooke Gaston Herstein

    Editorial: Edit Bar
    Editor: Michael Reuter
    Assistant Editor: Jack LeMay
    Colorist/On-Line Editor: Charlie Coffou
    Executive Producer: Vanessa Macedo

    Audio Post-Production: Soundtrack Boston
    Engineer: Brian Mc Keever


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    Graphic artist Michael Myers (not to be confused with the Wayne's World guy or the killer from Halloween) was hired by Copypop to recreate images from classic ads as retro pixel art, and the finished products are pretty great.

    The images include the Geico gecko, Cadbury's gorilla drummer, and Coke's "Hilltop" singers, and they're all rendered pretty well, with impressive detail given the obvious limitations of 8-bit. Myers' color game is strong, too; all the images really pop against the backgrounds he chose for them.

    As it turns out, he's made a lot of pixel art for various projects (and some just for fun), so he clearly isn't just banging rocks together out there in Iowa. Well, maybe he is. I don't know what his other hobbies are.

    Via Design Taxi.


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    Bic continues to have trouble talking to women.

    The pen maker, which was the object of ridicule a few years ago for its absurd "Bic for Her" pens, failed spectacularly in South Africa this week, posting a tone-deaf ad on social media for national women's day that drew swift criticism—and soon led to an apology.

    The "Look Like a Girl" and "Think Like a Man" lines were both pretty infuriating, and the Internet reacted mercilessly to the brand's misstep. Bic made things worse by trying to defend itself in one half-apology before deleting that (further angering people who'd commented on it) and posting a second apology.

    That one read: "Hi everyone. Let's start out by saying we're incredibly sorry for offending everybody—that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we've gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that."


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    Ad agency interns love to get real-world experience. Sometimes that means actually working for real clients. Other times it means sitting around playing 8-bit video games.

    The interns at Ottawa, Ontario, agency McMillan get to do a bit of the latter—thanks to a game called Interns, which is a bit of goofy 8-bit fun that simulates the intern experience.

    "We didn't want our interns here at McMillan to feel unprepared or unappreciated, so we created an 8-bit video game that featured them as playable characters," the agency tells us.

    The object of the game: Walk around the office collecting 10 ideas for an upcoming client presentation. It's a bit ridiculous, but also amusing enough, and more edifying than getting coffee for everyone. Props, too, for the AdFreak mention.


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    Lots of kids play with barnyard toys, but the reality of factory farms isn't as rosy.

    A new anti-factory-farming campaign takes that probably obvious truth to the extreme, with a series of online mini-games, and an actual block set, featured in a biting—if also smug—product demo parody.

    Animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and agency Nice and Serious created the ad, website and physical toys, which include box-shaped hens, pigs and cows that cram too perfectly together into cages inside a barn. There are even little removable bacon strips.

    The whole thing is basically a more square, interactive version of Chipotle's famous and similarly themed "Back to the Start" campaign, minus Willie Nelson's killer Coldplay cover and Johnny Kelly's stunning animation.



    The online games are basically farming-themed skins on classics like Whac-a-Mole (in this case, Whack-a-Sick-Chicken-with-Antibiotics, which will become less effective for humans the more they're used in food). Other gripes include that cramped quarters make animals more prone to sickness, that rainforests are being torn down to make room to grow their feed, and that factory farming methods may result in meat that's less nutritious (though given what people are willing to stuff in their faces, less delicious might be a more convincing argument).

    It also casts labels like "100 percent natural" as misleading—a case that another group has made in more compelling fashion. In fact, CIWF runs into a familiar problem for animal advocacy organizations in that it feels like it's preaching to the choir, even if its goal is to accrue signatures on a petition. 

    And sadly, the toys themselves don't appear to be actually available for purchase—which puts them at a distinct disadvantage to popular competitors like the John Deere Farm Set.


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    Forsman & Bodenfors has found a clever way to insert a safety feature into GPS satellite navigation: Have the app switch to a child's voice near schools, day-care centers and other areas where children are likely to be present.

    The video below explains the "Slow Down GPS" app, which F&B—the Swedish agency best known for its "Epic Split" ad with Jean-Claude Van Damme—created for If Insurance. "We think of it as a subtle audio sign that says, 'Children at play,' " the agency explains.



    Nearly a year in the making, the child-voice navigation feature is available in Sweden, Finland and Norway so far. The first version of the app comes loaded with the GPS locations for all schools and day-care centers in the Nordic region. A crowdsourcing section on the If website asks the public to add more locations.

    The app is available now for free download in the App Store and on Google Play.


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    My heartstrings are getting awfully sore, Amazon U.K.!

    Last month, it was the "Nursery" ad with that bespectacled, mop-topped kid struggling to fit in on his first day of school. I wept for a week. Who wouldn't?

    I'd just gotten back on solid foods and … bam! … your new Amazon Prime spot, "Best Friends," sends us all into spasms of blubbering, branded histrionics—by featuring a puppy with a bum leg!



    It can't romp and play in the park like the other mutts, chasing balls and chomping squirrels, or whatever. So, its owner (who wouldn't look out of place in One Direction) whips out his phone, taps the Amazon app, and orders the perfect product to help Fido carry on stronger than ever before.

    My keyboard is slick with tears.

    Please, Amazon Prime, no more. I mean, what's next? Babies? Cats? Baby cats? Baby cats in tiny Superman capes, hobbling around on crutches? I couldn't take it. I'd need a box of Kleenex and the rest of the afternoon clear to Skype with my shrink.

    CREDITS
    Client: Amazon
    Agency: Joint London
    Creative director: Damon Collins
    Creatives: Algy Sharman, Al Brown
    Director: Kevin Thomas


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    We have "Ignition."

    That's the title of Wieden + Kennedy London's new pan-European campaign for Honda, which uses spaceflight as a visual metaphor for bold innovation.

    Actually, the metaphors are mightily mixed in the campaign's launch film, which packs plenty of imagery and action into its 90-second run time, referencing Honda's heritage across consumer automobiles, Formula 1 racing, aviation, robotics and more.

    "We wanted something that encapsulated a feeling of daring and human endeavor," W+K creative director Scott Dungate tells Adweek. "Space travel is perhaps the biggest expression of this, so we thought creating a story that revolved around the anticipation of a rocket launch felt like an entertaining way to dramatize the 'challenging spirit' that runs through Honda and its products."



    Asimo the robot makes an appearance, as does McLaren-Honda driver Jenson Button. At one point, the voice of the late Formula 1 icon Ayrton Senna is heard. There's a spacey convoy of Honda vehicles—motorcycles, an HR-V, the highly anticipated Civic Type R and a jet plane—moving in moody slow motion at dawn, as if taxiing down some futuristic tarmac, preparing to blast off into the distant sunrise.

    "We shot on an abandoned bridge in Kiev, [Ukraine]" says Dungate. "It was an epic shoot location, and aside from a little [visual-effects] clean-up on the bridge surface, what you see in the film is what existed, right down to the sun rising pretty much dead in the center of the runway."

    The family inside the HR-V wears custom-made astronaut/racing-crew gear, and the soundtrack features some of the classical selections from the audio disc launched into deep space on the Voyager 1 space probe. No Chuck Berry, though.

    "Dare to do the things others only dream of," is the tagline.

    It's all a bit much, and impossible to fully absorb in one viewing. Still, the central image of the fleet of vehicles is impressive, the overall style compelling, and director Aoife McArdle's reach (for the stars) never exceeds her grasp.

    "Inventive camera techniques allowed us to represent movement and the sensation of being in a rocket within any grounded Honda vehicle," McArdle says. "Taking inspiration from classic science fiction, this film was an exciting opportunity to be playful with visual perspective, gravity and atmosphere."

    Print work below:



    CREDITS
    Client: Honda Motor Europe (HME)
    Project: Ignition
    Lead Clients: Jemma Jones & Jonathan Allee

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
    Creative Director: Scott Dungate
    Senior Creative Director: Kim Papworth
    Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
    Producer: James Laughton
    Group Account Director: Nick Owen
    Account Director: Alex Budenberg
    Account Manager: Olivia Amato-Pace
    Planner: Martin Beverley
    Interactive Producer: Silvan Schreuder
    Creative Producer: Mark D'Abreo
    Design Director: Karen Jane
    Designer: Sanket Avlani

    Production Company: Somesuch
    Director: Aoife McArdle
    Executive Producer: Sally Campbell
    Line Producer: James Waters
    Director of Photography: John Lynch
    Art Dept: David Lee
    Wardrobe: Jane Petrie

    Editorial Company: Final Cut London
    Editor: Dan Sherwen
    Producer: Frankie Elster

    VFX Company: The Mill
    Producer: Gemma Humphries
    VFX Supervisor: Dan Adams (2D) & Jonathan Wood (3D)

    Music+Sound Company: Factory Studios & Siren @ Factory Ltd
    Composer: Walter Mair via Siren
    Sound Designer: Anthony Moore
    Song 1: Peter Pan Orchestra & Chorus - A Trip on a Rocket Ship
    Song 2: Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No.5 in C via Imagem PM
    Song 3: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Queen of the Night Aria from the Magic Flute via Imagem PM

    Print Production:
    Photographer: John Offenbach
    Production Company: Mark George
    Retouchers: Stanleys Post
    CGI Model: The Mill


    0 0

    Kevin Durant may be a basketball star, but he knows how to cheer for the little people, too.

    In this new co-branded ad for Nike and Foot Locker, the Oklahoma City Thunder player gets so excited while sitting courtside at a street game that he throws his legs—and his namesake KD 8 Nikes—into the air.

    It's just one part of an epic crowd reaction when a player—wearing the same Joker-esque purple and green shoes—lands a reverse dunk. Other highlights from the stands include a super slow-mo "Oh no!" face, a sax solo and even a kid blasting off with a jetpack (which doesn't really seem like the safest idea given the crowd below, but anyways).



    In fact, the only spectator who doesn't lose his mind is Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves—the NBA's 2015 slam dunk champion—who barely bothers to look up from studying a copy of a book titled The Funk on Dunk (which sadly doesn't appear to be a real title … or at least, not one that's currently in print).

    Though to be totally honest, the move itself doesn't come close to Blake Griffin's latest for Jordan—or even Marvin the Martian's.

    CREDITS
    Clients: Nike & Foot Locker

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown
    Copywriter: Sheena Brady
    Art Director: Mike Warzin
    Producer: Kevin Diller
    Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
    Strategic Planning: Brandon Thornton
    Media/Comms Planning: Charles Lee, John Furnari
    Account Team: Jordan Muse, Katie Gurgainus, Chase Haviland, Luke Purdy
    Business Affaires: Alicia Willett
    Project Management: Emily Norman
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fizloff
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Steve Ayson
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Line Producer: Mark Hall
    Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd

    Editorial Company: Exile Editorial
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Post Producer: Toby Louie
    Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

    VFX Company: Saint
    Flame Artist: Robert Trent
    VFX Producer: Helen Park

    —Digital/Interactive
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Director: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown
    Copywriter: Sheena Brady
    Art Director: Mike Warzin
    Producer: Kevin Diller
    Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
    Strategic Planning: Brandon Thornton
    Media/Comms Planning: Charles Lee, John Furnari
    Account Team: Jordan Muse, Katie Gurgainus, Chase Haviland, Luke Purdy
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
    Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
    Digital Designer: Justin Morris
    Exec Interactive Producer: Ben Oh
    Content Producer : Keith Rice
    Art Buying: Amy Berriochoa


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