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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Earlier this year, Organic Valley launched a brilliantly idiotic campaign to save bros from synthetic protein. Now, the dairy marketer wants you to know the work isn't done.

    A new video from Alex Bogusky-backed agency Humanaut introduces an anonymous bro-themed hotline, where would-be good samaritans can try to help without risking juvenile retaliation (recounted in the ad as 60 Minutes style confessionals).

    The hotline promotes an online component that asks users to name the Twitter handle of a bro in need of saving, and select up to seven of his bro qualities, like whether he has a tribal tattoo. Each quality comes with its own special video appeal.

    Overall, the new work's best part might be the spokeswoman's crazy eyes—clocking in at a higher degree of intensity than in February's more deadpan launch spot. The basic concept here is, at its heart, the exact same joke as the original, just stretched further, at moments to the point of feeling thin.

    But it does benefit from new gems, like suggesting that if bros weren't propping up the market for gold chains, the value of precious metals (and ultimately the world economy) might collapse. Other excellent little touches include an edit halfway through the clip on tanning, when the spokeswoman suddenly turns orange, or the video on puerile innuendo, when she addresses the viewer as "a real Edgar Allen Bro."

    And anyway, the whole thing wouldn't really capture the essence of bro if it didn't harp on the same gag over and over again.

    Client: Organic Valley
    Product: Organic Fuel
    Campaign: The Brononymous Hotline

    Agency: Humanaut
    Creative Advisor: Alex Bogusky
    Creative Director: David Littlejohn
    Strategy: Andrew Clark
    Account Director: Elizabeth Cates
    Copywriter: Andrew Ure / David Littlejohn
    Art Director: Matt Denyer / Daniel Edelman
    Senior Designer: Stephanie Gelabert
    Creative Intern: Sam Hazelfeldt

    Production Company: Fancy Rhino, Chattanooga, Tenn.
    Director: Daniel Jacobs
    Producer: Katie Nelson / Ivannah Flores
    Director Of Photography: Phil Dillon
    Photographer: Jaime Smialek / John Goodridge / Cooper Winterson
    Editor: Colin Loughlin / Tyler Beasley
    Colorist: Andrew Aldridge
    Production Designer: Chad Harris
    Music Company: Skypunch Studios, Chattanooga, Tenn.
    Composer: Carl Cadwell
    Media Partner: Redwood, Inc.

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    Summer may be coming to an end, but here's a fun way to keep reliving the good times—high-quality GIFs of your photos from the season, courtesy of Booking.com.

    The Priceline-owned online travel agency is inviting consumers to submit pics of their summer adventures, then turning its favorites into animated GIFs. For eight days between today and September 3, Booking.com will release a new batch of winners. And if the launch samples are any indication, the results will be pretty great.

    Highlights so far include ice-cream thievery, cocktail snorkeling, and a zany rainbow. Check out them out below—the original photos are on the left, and their GIF versions on the right. 

    Overall, the contest is an extension of the company's "Wing Everything" push, celebrating spontaneous vacation. Would-be participants can compete by hash-tagging a pic #WingItYeah on Twitter or Instagram, or submitting via the Booking.com Facebook page. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam has hired four digital artists to create the GIFS: James Kerr, Cari vander Yacht, Chris Timmons, and Justin Gammon

    As for Booking.com's criteria for selecting which photos to GIF, the marketer says its looking for "jealousy-inducing" shots of things like "infinity pools" and "epic views." In other words, it wants to reward you for doing what you were doing on social media anyways: bragging. 

    See more GIFs, and the campaign credits, below.



    Chief Marketing Officer: Pepijn Rijvers
    Head of Brand: Manuel Douchez
    Brand Communications Director: Andrew Smith
    Brand Specialist: Robert Schreuders
    Social Media Product Owner: Julian Poole
    Media Planning Director: Anoeska van Leeuwen
    Media Manager: Kelly Lee
    Media Specialist: Marie Lootvoet


    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
    Creative Directors: Genevieve Hoey, Sean Condon
    Art Directors: Jeffrey Lam, Kia Heinnen
    Copywriter: Jake Barnes
    Director of Interactive Production: Kelsie Van Deman

    Interactive Producer: Matthew Ravenhall
    Strategic Planner: Emma Wiseman
    Communications Planner: Josh Chang
    Group Account Director: Jordi Pont, Marcos Da Gama
    Account Director: Aitziber Izurrategui
    Account Manager: Caroline-Melody Meyer
    Head of Design: Joe Burrin
    Designer: Thomas Payne
    Project Manager: Stacey Prudden
    Business Affairs: Kacey Kelley


    Cari van der Yacht
    Chris Timmons
    Justin Gammon
    James Kerr


    AKQA London

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    Does your baby need a stroller that comes with 4-by-4 suspension, a sandbox, a holographic projector and a bubble machine?

    In our tech-crazed society, where everyone grows up to be an astronaut or coder, such a contraption—dubbed the "Latot" in ads from The Martin Agency—seems like a quasi-reasonable proposition. (WeeBabe would sell out of them in 15 minutes.) Alas, it isn't real. It's the central gimmick in an amusing parody campaign for an entirely different type of consumer service, one that has nothing to do with babies.

    In a somewhat risky move, the identity of the actual client is kept hidden until viewers visit LatotStroller.com (the YouTube channel's name is a giveaway, though). Even on the landing page, it takes a few seconds before the "Stroll Into Greatness" line and tyke testimonial—"I'm no genius. I'm a baby. But this thing is genius"—make way for the reveal.

    Ultimately, visitors are counseled not to be "oversold" but to focus on "everything you need and nothing you don't" as they make their buying decision—on wireless service, as it turns out. I credit Martin for sustaining the metaphor in fun fashion across diverse channels. It's certainly succeeded at creating desire, though not so much for the actual product (which, if I understand correctly, doesn't come with a sandbox or bubble machine).

    The Latot, however, looks like a blast. I want one, and I don't even have kids. I'll squeeze into it somehow and tool around town. Maybe they'll even make one at some point. Hey, there is precedent for that.

    Client: Total Wireless
    Creative: The Martin Agency
    Social: Weber Shandwick
    Landing Page: PJA

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    You remember Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, the South African couple who quit their agency jobs this year to travel the world and document the experience. It sounded like a dream, and the lovely Instagram photos have made it look like one.

    But halfway through their year-long odyssey (they're currently in Athens, having traveled 25,000 kilometers so far), they've posted a reality check on their blog—a post titled "Why We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets"—in which they share "the uglier side of our trip." It turns out that following one's dream—while working odd jobs in exchange for room and board—involves a lot of dirty work, and more than a few tears.

    "The budget is really tight, and we are definitely forced to use creativity (and small pep talks) to solve most of our problems (and the mild crying fits)," Cartell writes. "Don't let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. So far, I think we've tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we've polished.

    "You see, to come from the luxuries we left behind in Johannesburg … we are now on the opposite end of the scale. We're toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers and rock shovelers."

    They're also not perfect physical specimens despite all the hard work.

    "I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest," Cartell writes. "We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously).

    "Although we knew it wouldn't be easy, we are certainly learning fast that this isn't for faint hearts, and we need to learn to react and adapt to everything that's thrown our way. Mentally, it's also a constant yo-yo between 'I have all this time—let me use it productively, let me get fit and do everything I've ever wanted to do,' vs. 'I have all this time—let me relax and enjoy it.' That, together with occasional bouts of boredom, demotivation and homesickness, makes this one hell of a ride."

    Those who criticized Cartell and Dirnberger at the outset will enjoy a certain amount of schadenfreude here. But Cartell also says there's a significant upside to their story:

    "Even though we probably have more greys than when we started, dirt under our nails despite long showers, and cheap snack food as a main form of nutrition, this crazy lifestyle allows us to enjoy the freedom of exploring rich Swedish forests, never-ending Nordic fjords, Italian cobbled alleyways, and cosmopolitan cities. We have time to brainstorm our own ideas, and push our own creative experiments. It's like heaven for us.

    "Sure, wood needs to be stacked, and garbage needs to be taken out (it's our version of a shit sandwich, as Mark Manson put it), but once that's done, we're free to explore, wander and be one with our meandering thoughts. You work under your own schedule, using (a lot of) spare time to jog around mirrored lakes, craft inspired creations and breathe the Arctic air. There's nothing quite like swapping million rand advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life and the importance of living each day as if it were your last."

    Check out the full blog post for more.

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    Even if your smoking habit doesn't kill you, it can still make you miserable.

    A new PSA from the Brazilian state of Paraña illustrates that point quite effectively with this long-form story of a middle-aged man whose generally happy life is marred by an illness that waited 14 years after he quit smoking to strike.

    In a dulcet voiceover, João Cândido introduces introduces himself as a grandfather, professor and president of his Rotary Club. Then, in a reality-style portion of the clip, he plays a vendor at a newsstand, selling cigarettes to customers, with a twist.

    In short, it builds on common scare tactics and tropes in a way that's ultimately relatable. Cândido blames his habit in part on the influence of pop-culture icons like James Bond, an argument that's so familiar it borders on trite, but that unfortunately also has the benefit of being true. (There's also a cute nod to Tarzan, for the positive-examples column.)

    And while the post-game reactions of some of his customers don't seem entirely genuine, even that discrepancy conveys the bizarre psychology of addiction, wherein people repeat self-destructive behaviors despite knowing the risks.

    In other words, it's always good to have another visceral reminder—rather than, say, a cringe-worthy or laughable one—of the perils of smoking.

    Client: Paraná Health Department
    Title: When Smoking Does Not Kill
    Agency: OpusMúltipla
    Creative Director: Renato Cavalher
    Copywriters: César Noda and Eduardo Lubiazi
    Art Director: Luis Bacellar
    Agency Producer: Edson Perin
    Planner: Tiago Stachon
    Account Directors: Daniela Capeletti and Christiane Brum
    Digital Media: Analú Milek dos Santos and Rodrigo Goedicke
    Social Media: Abner David Tumeo
    Press Office: Daniela Weber Licht
    Client's Approval: Fabiola Maziero Sant'Anna
    Director: Eduardo Lubiazi
    Director of Photography: Yuri Maranhão
    Assistant Photography: Eduardo Azevedo
    Editor/Color Correct: João Machado
    Production Manager: Carolina Cherobim
    Video Production: The Youth
    Soundtrack: Gramy

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    People are on social media so much these days that the actual act of posting about one's life has itself become a big part of life. Recognizing this, Facebook recently found a way to tell stories about its users by dramatizing the act of posting—in an artful series of autoplaying ads that are both heightened yet completely relatable.

    The goal of the campaign, which launched in June, was simple: To show how Facebook helps you tell your life stories, great and small, and how friends liking and commenting extends and enhances those stories. The creative approach was straightforward, too: Show slow-motion time-lapses of status updates being composed, posted, liked and commented on—revealing stories that are rich, compelling and eye-catching in the News Feed.

    "It's the story behind the post, whether it's people thinking about what they're going to write or who they'll tag—all those elements before what we ultimately see in our feed. We wanted to pay homage to that," said Rebecca Van Dyck, vp of consumer and brand marketing.

    A series of 13 ads has been rolling out, one per week, on Facebook over three months (10 have been released so far). The campaign has proven so popular, it extended to TV this past weekend, with the four spots below airing in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

    You can see all the ads on Facebook's video page.

    While the creative approach came from the Facebook interface, the original concept did, too.

    "The idea was sparked by a conversation around the simple question of 'What's on your mind?' at the top of every News Feed," said Scott Trattner, executive creative director at Facebook's in-house creative agency, The Factory. "The campaign started with a small team: one writer, one art director and an animator. The wider Facebook creative team tossed in notes along the way, but that small crew owned and prototyped three ideas fast. We showed them around Facebook, and then we were off to the races."

    The ads tell a variety of stories with users in all sorts of of situations—alone and in groups, at work and on vacation, trying out a new sport or just falling into bed. A few of the videos have been pegged to specific days or times of year (Father's Day, the Fourth of July, the end of summer). Most have been viewed over 20 million times. Facebook placed the videos on the site as it would any ads from a paying client. These spots tend to reach about 70 percent of users in the U.S. market.

    "We wanted to express the idea that there are these moments before the post actually happens that are often beautiful," said Trattner. "We were trying to artfully recreate the feeling of what happens before the post is actually made."

    Telling stories through dynamic screenshots of people typing things into digital media isn't new. Google has done it for years, notably in the "Parisian Love" Super Bowl spot (which told a love story almost all through screenshots of Google searches) as well as Chrome ads like the famous "Dear Sophie."

    The Facebook campaign comes out of that tradition but finds its own style, largely through the slow-motion video and the reveal, one by one, of other elements of the post, like the status update, profile pic, location, likes, comments and so on. The sequence of those reveals ends up telling the story.

    "We spent a lot of times crafting these," said Trattner. "We see it as a script unfolding. The tool we have to tell stories in this medium are the words in the posts, and certain pieces of the post help the story along. It's a way, within a very limited palette, to storytell."

    Not all the reveals are chronological, either. For example, on some videos, you see the likes before the status update. The videos also take liberties with the interface—in the "Jammies" spot, the woman's profile pic comes to life and shows her grooving along with her family in the video below. All of this helps keep the device from feeling repetitive or predictable.

    The music is eclectic and energizing—often enhancing, and sometimes undercutting, the faux-epic feel that slow-motion video can create. Among the best-used tracks here are DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" (on the waterskiing spot) and Sammy Davis Jr.'s "I've Gotta Be Me" (on the photobombing spot).

    The casting is strong, too. The spots have a real-people vibe—and in fact, they even include some real people.

    "I'm completely seduced by 'I'm a Boss,' " Trattner said when asked which spot is his favorite. "The girl in that was, I think, the production assistant at the production company. She had such a great personality and vibe that we thought she'd be perfect. She embodied that spirit so well that we ended up casting her."

    "Jammies" is Van Dyck's favorite. "I see those kinds of stories in my feed all the time, but it's so much fun to play it out a little more," she said.

    The spots are relatable in another interesting way. While viewers may or may not see themselves in particular characters or situations from individual ads, they will feel instant familiarity simply because of the Facebook interface—a shortcut to engagement that makes the design of these ads particularly smart.

    In any case, the response from users has seemingly been nothing short of ecstatic, with hundreds of thousands of likes and thousands more comments on each spot. Facebook has been replying to as many comments as it can on each post, sometimes hundreds of them—and in so doing, practicing what it preaches when it comes to extending the stories. (Note to other marketers: This has the fortunate extra effect, by the way, of pushing down any negative comments.)

    The ads are playful, fun and well made—another success for a company that struggled with its advertising a few years ago but recently found its footing. Part of the positive reaction to the new work is just down to the craft. But Van Dyck said it's more than that.

    "We're thrilled by the response, and we love reading the comments. People really seem to be enjoying it and sharing their own stories along the way as well," she said.

    "It's the range of the storytelling, the relatability of the casting, the quality of the production. It's different than what people have seen before. It takes something we all take for granted—that little message that says 'What's on your mind?'—and makes it artful. I think that just captures the imagination of people."

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    If you've ever wondered what an Ikea kitchen might look like if it were assembled in a frying pan, you're in luck.

    A super cutesy new ad from BBH Asia Pacific features the furniture chain's Metod line of modular kitchen fixtures, getting whipped together as if they were ingredients on a cooking show. The ultimate meal? A miniature version of your next cooking station.

    The whole concept is an elaborate visual metaphor built around a single pun. "Ikea's Metod system is about having fun creating your brand new kitchen," says Gaston Soto, a senior art director at the agency. "So we cooked one up just to show you how."

    An overwrought approach like this is usually a mistake, but the design is shiny, clever and at moments adorable enough that it actually flies. Red cabinets are steaks. Lightbulbs are eggs. By the time the pollyanna hostess tosses in a handful of screws as seasoning, you'll be probably be considering a trip to the hospital. But once she starts washing her "hands," you might just submit to the tyranny of her charm.

    There's even a plug for the catalog, or as she likes to call it, "the Ikea cookbook." (Or as literary critic Hellmuth Karasek and an Ikea spokesman likes to call it, in so many words, a sleep aid.)

    All of which is to say, as tortured as the spot is, it's also fairly striking. Even if it's not the first miniature kitchen on the scene. And just so long as nobody actually has to eat it.

    Client: Ikea (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand)
    Agency: BBH Asia Pacific
    Executive Creative Director: Scott McClelland
    Creative Directors: Tinus Strydom, Maurice Wee
    Senior Art Director: Gaston Soto
    Senior Copywriter: Omar Sotomayor
    Business Director: Bibiana Lee
    Account Managers: Jade Cheng, Cheryl Cheong
    Project Director: Lesley Chelvan
    Head of Planning: James Sowden
    Senior Planner: Rebecca Ash
    Social Media Strategist: Josie Khng
    Executive Producer: Daphne Ng
    Producer: Samantha Dalton
    Production House: 4 Humans
    Director: Javier Laurenco
    Director of Photography: Juan Maglione
    Producer: Mechi Serrano
    Music: Noroeste Música

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    Transformation is the overriding theme of "Born On 9/11," Grey New York's integrated campaign for the nonprofit 9/11 Day organization—featuring PSAs that ask Americans to do at least one good deed next Friday to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    In effect, we're challenged to transform our thinking, to erase sad, hateful thoughts and to use 9/11 as a springboard for putting hope into action. That may sound simplistic or trite, but the ads hit all the right notes.

    Various teens who share 9/11/01 as their birthday appear in the ads, and Hillary O'Neill makes a fine choice as the principal spokeskid. She seems so poised, genuine and self-aware that even the good-deed memory string tied around her finger—which, under other circumstances, might feel a bit forced—works well in context as a visual cue for the campaign. Plus, Bodega Studios director Adam Reid employs a relaxed, understated documentary style that keeps the proceedings from getting sappy.

    "When we interviewed these children born on 9/11, we quickly found out that none of them wished their birthdays were different," says Andreas Dahlqvist, Grey New York's chief creative officer. "In fact, they feel strongly that they represent what's good in the world."

    That vibe really resonates, and gives the campaign its quiet power. While watching the spots, it's possible to put cynicism aside and believe that simple good deeds—which users can share via the #911Day hashtag—might just add up and make the world a better place.

    Client: 9/11 Day Organization
    Spot: Born On 9/11

    Agency: Grey New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Andreas Dahlqvist
    Executive Creative Director: Linda Mummiani, Caitlin Ewing
    Art Director: Carla Johnson
    Associate Creative Director: Kim Healy
    Project Manager: Liz Vaughan

    Agency Producer: Judi Nierman
    Production Company (Location): Bodega Studios
    Prod. Co. Executive Producer: Clint Goldman
    Director: Adam Reid
    Director Of Photography: Adam Reid

    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Parker Whipple
    Producer: Mike Tockman
    Exec. Producer: Eve Kornblum

    Music Producer: Ben Dorenfeld
    Audio Engineer TV: Matt Baker
    Audio Engineer + Sound Design Radio: Blast- Joe O'connell

    Principal Talent: Hillary O'Neill

    Account Team:
    Partner: Jason Kahner
    SVP/Account Director: Tara Cosentino
    Account Executive: Jillian Kettler

    Strategy Director: Peri Shaplow
    Director/Social Media: Laura Chavoen
    Social Strategist: Olga Zakharenko

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    If you happened to be zoning out to the Evine Live home-shopping channel on cable TV at 11:04 a.m. ET this morning, you saw a strange sight. Yes, that was Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch doing a five-minute segment with Evine's Allison Waggoner—in which the pair chatted about the glory of Skittles, and tried to sell you 36 packs for $14.86.

    Check out the full segment below.

    Their banter is pretty amusing—and in fact, talking about Skittles is a favorite pastime for the usually reticent Lynch, who is known to be the candy's biggest superfan. Kudos to Evine, too, for green-lighting what ended up being a light self-parody of the format (and for taking liberties with the "Live" part—the Marshawn bit was actually taped earlier).

    If you missed the segment, you can still take advantage of the deal online.

    Skittles' longtime PR shop, Olson Engage, dreamed up the idea to mark the candy's second season as an official sponsor of the NFL.

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    A new commercial from TBWA\Chiat\Day for Gatorade features tennis star Serena Williams as a young girl, when a reporter asked her what player she'd most like to emulate as an adult.

    After an emotional montage of highlights from her subsequent career—she's won 21 major titles, putting her in the upper echelon of her sport, and all athletics—the camera cuts back to the answer she gave as a child. In retrospect, it's bold as well as prescient.

    The clip is deftly constructed and features brilliantly animated moments from Williams' on-court career. In one shot, a fan bears a sign reading "Strong is beautiful"—a subtle jab at the body-shaming that has followed her fame, a subject that found fresh fuel in a New York Times article this summer.

    The ad builds on Gatorade's "Win from Within" tagline. Three more clips (shown below) delve deeper into Williams' backstory. In her own words, she talks about the contributions her father made to her career, and how the competitive relationship with her sister Venus helped drive her success.

    Hardcore fans may also appreciate the 21 pieces of artwork Gatorade commissioned to represent each of Williams' past wins at the majors—the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The pieces are available online with individual blurbs and were combined into a mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    Williams is currently competing in the U.S. Open. If she wins the tournament, she will have taken all four majors this year, marking her first calendar-year Grand Slam, the first in the sport since 1988.

    Client: Gatorade
    Chief Marketing Officer: Morgan Flatley
    Senior Director, Consumer Engagement: Kenny Mitchell
    Director of Digital Strategy: Jeff Miller
    Senior Marketing Manager, Digital: Abhishek Jadon
    Assistant Marketing Manager: Emily Morrison
    Senior Director, Sports Marketing: Jeff Kearney
    Sports Marketing Manager: Aminah Charles
    Director of PR Lauren Burns

    TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
    Executive Creative Director: Brent Anderson
    Worldwide Creative Director: Renato Fernandez
    Copywriter: Parker Adame
    Art Director: Matt Paterno
    Director Of Production: Brian O'Rourke
    Senior Producer: Christopher Spencer
    Senior Producer: Jose Escobar
    Producer: Garrison Askew
    Managing Director: Peter Ravailhe
    Director Branded Content: Marc Johns
    Brand Director: Simon Nicholls
    Assistant Brand Manager: Erika Buder
    Group Planning Director: Scott MacMaster
    Global Planning Director: Martin Ramos
    Planning Director: Abigail Weintraub
    Planner: Matt Bataclan
    Junior Planner: Joe Elliott
    Director Of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
    Business Affairs Manager: Laura Drabkin
    Talent Payment Manager: Mirielle Smith
    Talent Payment Manager: Annie Boyle

    Senior Vice President: Courtney Quaye
    Managing Supervisor: Brian Gabriel

    Group Account Director, OMD: Susanna Earnest
    Digital Strategy Supervisor, OMD: Brandon Saranik
    Digital Marketplace Supervisor, OMD: Sadie Olen
    Strategist, OMD: MiRon Leveston
    Associate Media Director, Optimum Sports: Natalie Behrman
    Supervisor, Optimum Sports: Adrienne Voltaggio

    Group Account Director: Stephanie DeCelles
    Sr. Account Manager: Maggie Glenski
    Senior Social Strategist: Kyle Rogers
    Senior Community Manager: Charles Gooch

    Production Company: Mandalay Sports Media
    Director: Ron Yassen
    DP: Pablo Berron
    Executive Producer: John Hirsch

    Editorial: Venice Beach Editorial
    Editor: Garrett Smith
    Editor: Julia Bute
    Executive Producer: Cristy Torres

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

    Audio Mix/SFX: Lime Studios
    Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
    Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
    Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller

    Audio Mix: Barking Owl Sound
    CD/Partner: Kelly Bayett
    Mixer: Rommel Molina
    Assistant Mixer: Patrick Navarre

    Music: Barking Owl Sound
    CD/Partner: Kelly Bayett
    Producer: KC Dossett

    Online/Finishing: MPC
    Executive Producer: Karen Anderson
    Producer: Abisayo Abejare
    VFX Artist: Mark Holden


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    Southern Comfort has become known in the past few years for its quirky, faux-epic TV commercials from Wieden + Kennedy. But the agency and brand launched a new campaign Wednesday that goes in a totally new direction—featuring digital shorts, created in Taiwanese animation, that are designed to worm their way into your newsfeed and teach you a brand-new word to say at the bar.

    That word is "ShottaSoCo," which the liquor brand hopes will become a commonly used, roll-off-the-tongue way of saying "shot of Southern Comfort." W+K partnered with Next Media, the Taiwanese animation company known for its quick turnaround on videos about current events, on the new ads, which feature strange and surreal plots clearly meant will amuse millennials. (W+K turned the scripts over to animators and let them interpret the scenes in their own way.)

    The first five ads don't skimp on the word ShottaSoCo, either. In fact, it's practically the only dialogue we hear. Future spots may respond quickly to breaking current events, putting Southern Comfort in the news mix.

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    Here's a neat use of Instagram by Innocean USA for Hyundai—an easy-to-follow quiz that uses 18 separate Instagram accounts and nearly 400 images to help SUV buyers decide whether the Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport or Tucson is right for them.

    Check out the video below, or try it yourself at @Hyundai_Quiz_Start.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Automakers have been doing a lot of cool things on Instagram lately. Among the more notable efforts were Y&R New York's two fictional, audio-visual adventure stories for Land Rover—@SolitudeInSawtooth and @BrotherhoodOfWonderstone. Both stories included hundreds of tiles to interact with, and 20-30 films per adventure.


    Client: Hyundai
    Agency: Innocean USA
    Executive Creative Director: Greg Braun
    Group Creative Director: Mehta Mehta
    Creative Director: Bob Rayburn
    Associate Creative Director: Brian Chin
    Art Director: Jackie Barkhurst
    Producer: Jimmy Romero
    Digital Strategy Director: Nguyen Duong
    Content Creator: Alex Frankel
    Community Manager: Shareen Hill
    Art Producers: Chrissy Borgatta-Liuzzi, Kristen Miller
    Copywriter: Erica Henderson
    Group Account Director: Rick Schmitz
    Account Director: Cassie Reed
    Senior Account Executive: Nadia Saavedra

    Client: Land Rover
    Agency: Y&R New York
    Global Chief Creative Officer: Tony Granger
    Executive Creative Director: Marc Sobier
    Executive Creative Director: Greg Farley
    Creative Director: Carlos Savage
    Creative Director: Roy Torres
    Executive Producer: Mathieu Shrontz
    Creative Retoucher: Raul Pardo
    Production Company: Film Orange
    Director: Runar Ingi
    Director of Photography: Dimitri Karakatsanis

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    A retweet is nice and all. But as an expression of affection, it's woefully lame.

    Diet Coke understand this, and is taking a grand new approach to retweeting love notes from fans. Instead of just hitting a button on Twitter, it's retweeting the tweets out in the real world—in beautifully designed ads on billboards, custom jewelry, framed artwork, magazine pages and more. The surprise RTs will be tailored to each individual tweet, and will roll out throughout the fall.

    The "Retweets of Love" campaign—by ad agency Droga5, with help from acclaimed designers and illustrators including Erik Marinovich, Marta Cerdà Alimbau and Jeff Rogers—begins this week with a billboard in Times Square, where three tweets from Diet Coke fans in Texas, Oregon and Virginia are being retweeted in front of the masses.

    "We've been connecting with our biggest and most passionate fans through social media for years, but we felt it was time to return that love in way that's as big as our appreciation. A simple retweet just isn't enough for our loyal fans who love the great taste of Diet Coke," said Danielle Henry, group director of integrated marketing content at Coca-Cola North America. "We can't wait for our Diet Coke enthusiasts to see their tweets reimagined into displays of affection that are as unique as they are."

    "Retweets of Love" is an extension of Diet Coke's "Get a Taste" campaign, which launched last fall.

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    Is your relationship tired or unfulfilling? Do you feel ignored, taken for granted, misunderstood? Maybe it's time for a creative fling.

    If you're a creative type looking to stray outside a stale and loveless partnership, Ashley Madison Avenue is here to help. The parody site, which launched Wednesday, mimics its infamous data-breached namesake in design, if not intent.

    See that bearded hipster on the homepage? He's no unfaithful spouse. He's an art director seeking a copywriter on the side. Below are the results you'll find if you're a copywriter looking for some hot AD action of your own:

    The site comes from The Terri & Sandy Solution, with co-founder and co-president Sandy Greenberg encouraging advertising types to write witty profiles and, perhaps, hook up (creatively). The objective: Cultivating professional endeavors, not hanky panky.

    "We're giving license for creative partners to cheat and have fun," Greenberg said. After all, careers are short. Why not have an affair?

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    If you can't find an immediate connection between St. Louis-based cured-meat maker Volpi Foods and Emmy-winning cartoonist Bob Camp, you're not alone. But if a century-old food company wants to make a splash with digital content starring anthropomorphic meat products, why not hire one of the twisted minds behind The Ren & Stimpy Show?

    The result of this unholy alliance, with help from Zero Point Zero Production, is a delightfully subversive series of faux PSAs dubbed "Into the Meat Cave" (shown below).

    In addition to extolling the virtues of cured meat over smoked meat, the short films educate viewers on mold—it's a great preservative!—and the difference between jamon and prosciutto. Somehow, key parties, midlife crises and biker gangs find their way into the conversation. Who says talking about artisanal food has to be precious?

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    Want to purchase a Confederate flag, but worried you'll look like a racist?

    A.J. Hall will sell you one. And you'll be in the clear. Why? Because he's a "real-life black man." And if you buy your Confederate flag from a black man—for $150 a pop, hand-folded, with a signed photo of A.J.—clearly your purchase is about heritage and not hate.


    "If the Confederate flag was a symbol of racism, could you buy one from a black guy? Hell no," Hall exclaims in the ad below, quelling any doubts the casual flag-peruser may have.

    Of course, Hall is aware some people may want to stop him—a black man!—from making an honest living, but he waves them off with a checkmate: "Who's the real racist?"

    So, head over to www.buyconfederateflagsfromablackguy.com and prove once and for all that, for you, it's about heritage. Unless it actually is about hate—in which case, go back to buying your flags from China.

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    Roger Bova was one of only three designers at Anomaly when he joined three and a half years ago. And while he grew the agency's design department into something much larger—working on giant brands like Budweiser, for which he helped usher in a new design language—he never lost his taste for smaller shops and building something from the ground up.

    That's partly why, earlier this month, he left Anomaly to join fellow New York shop Barton F. Graf 9000 as its first head of design.

    Bova's admiration for Gerry Graf's agency was extensive—for "the body of work it's put together, Gerry's history, the disruptive angle the work has." He also wanted to be part of a smart, growing agency again. "The [head of design] role hasn't existed in name, but I'm lucky Barton already has a great crew of designers that have been instrumental in its success," he said.

    At Anomaly, Bova's work included print, out-of-home, animation and package design for Carhartt and several Diageo brands. But his efforts on Budweiser may be his most famous. "Roger's work on Budweiser took everything we knew and felt about the brand and made it feel current and awesome," said Graf.

    The Bud projects included the 2013 launch of the bow-tie can."I had been inspired by some of Matthew Craven's patterned drawings, really loved them and was really trying to get weird in that direction," he said. "In the end, the out-of-home had to go simpler, but that exploration inspired the animated commercial that eventually aired."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    He also led explorations into a new Budweiser design language that kept the bow-tie mark but would eventually lead to an evolution in the packaging and brand guidelines. "In the beginning, their ribbed red, white and gold logo was where the buck stopped, but constantly trying new ways of approaching it—knocked out, all vector flat, key-lined—gradually introduced a more malleable suite of marks for the brand that's evident today," he said.

    Graf also pointed to Bova's designs for Goodhew socks, which Graf said "took a little-known company and instantly gave me a feeling for the spirit of the brand."

    Bova is most proud, though, of designing a literary magazine called A Public Space. "It was my first solo job and the greatest test of my chops at that point," he said. "The identity and look-and-feel came easier than the more technical layout of the journal. I hadn't done that before—designing for ease of use—so I didn't burn out someone's eyes with long text body widths, real 'inside-baseball' design. It was tough, and I loved the result in the end."

    For Graf, the time was right to hire a head of design.

    "We have been asked to work on more design-focused projects," he said. "And if we want to call ourselves one of the most creative agencies in the world, we need great design. All the agencies I have admired—Goodby Silverstein, Wieden, Chiat, Crispin, Droga5—all had one thing in common: great design departments."

    Graf added: "Great design is the fastest way to communicate the soul and mission of a brand. It instantly gives the brand a sense of intelligence and creativity. It weaves a thread of communication. With great design, we can communicate what the brand stands for everywhere it comes in contact with people—ads, web design, collateral, packaging, in-store experiences and product development."

    One example, from among many, of Barton's recent design jobs: working with GoDaddy's web designers and UX team to create a simpler, cleaner and smarter experience for GoDaddy users.

    Bova also sees an urgent need for the new role.

    "Barton has great clients, so developing a structured design approach and process is not only paramount for them, but for the agency as a whole," he said. "When you have a system, things run smoother and therefore time and energy are freed up for design exploration, which as we all know, we never have enough of."

    Asked about his personal design philosophy, Bova said: "To me, design has always been about problem solving. From solving my own personal projects—that problem simply being self-expression—or a client's communication problem—announcing a new product—it's all a puzzle. How you approach and solve that puzzle is what defines you as a designer. I feel that frees one to try many answers out and see what works. It gives you freedom to explore different directions and answers."

    He added that the interplay between design and advertising is more exciting than ever.

    "Advertising and design, who leads who at the big dance, that's the classic question," he said. "The answers are so nuanced and particular to a company's structure, client needs and personalities. The biggest shift is really all the old silos folding into the current digital landscape—skewing media so quickly it forces creatives to keep adapting. It's great. I find that fluid world incredibly exciting for everyone—designers and advertisers alike."

    Bova started his new gig on Aug. 3, and it seems to be going well so far.

    "It's been great, and everyone's been warm and enthusiastic," he said. "And being by Madison Square Park, I have solid lunch options."

    See more of Bova's work on his website.

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    Some 79% of important decisions are made around a table. With that small and seemingly innocuous factoid in hand, ad agency Buzzman illustrates how choices made around an Ikea table just might change your life.

    Three ads have been produced so far for Ikea France's "Get back to the table" campaign. Each opens in mysterious, unexplained circumstances, like one where a woman walks around in a nudist colony, bewildered and hiding her genitals behind a handbag.

    Each spot ends with the event that precluded these situations—around the table with friends, blithely saying things like, "Hey, what if we joined a nudist colony?" Seemed like a good idea at the time?

    In another spot, "Gunther the Roommate," a group of guys enthusiastically choose their next roommate, who, they agree, "seems cool" and "has a friendly face." Gunther, it turns out, is vampiric, creepy, nocturnal and German (nothing like friendly fire between friends in the European Union).

    In the third, "Clever Beavers," two parents over dinner casually decide to send their son Bastien to Clever Beavers Summer Camp, where food makes you sick and everyone kind of looks like the meth addicts from Breaking Bad. We sense at this point that the ideas started getting pretty thin.

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    It's fun—though perhaps not for the brands—when a big celebrity appears in two major ad campaigns in the same week. It's now happened this week with Serena Williams, who appeared the excellent Gatorade ad we wrote about on Wednesday—and who now fronts the long-form Beats By Dre spot below.

    So, whose spot is the real ace? Check out both ads here:

    Beats By Dre, which has found a sweet spot with athletes despite being a music-based brand, has frequently prevailed when going head to head against sports companies in recent years. But this showdown goes to Gatorade, whose minute-long "Unmatched" spot uses its archival footage to such great effect—leading to a wonderful ending that really shows what Serena has always been made of.

    The Beats ad, while it looks fantastic, doesn't pack the same punch. The Apple Watch alarm going off at the beginning sets the tone for what feels, off-puttingly, more like a product pitch than a tribute to greatness. Also, the music video format, which has worked well for Beats in the past when showing celebrity athletes using headphones to block out their critics, works less well here. The ad tries to ratchet up the tension with audio of tennis commentators questioning Serena's ability—but that just doesn't ring true for an athlete who's chasing a rare single-year Grand Slam sweep.

    Gatorade's spot extends that brand's recent advertising winning streak, dating to its famous Derek Jeter spot. On the other side of the net, it's a different story. Unlike Serena, it's Beats that's suddenly showing signs of weakness.

    Client: Beats By Dre
    CMO/Executive Creative Director: Omar Johnson
    Creative Director: Jayanta Jenkins
    Brand Producer: Kathy Angstadt
    Marketing Director: Kevin O'Connor
    Art Director: Jayanta Jenkins

    Production Company: Reset Content
    Director: Andre Stringer
    Line Producer: Deannie O'Neil

    Editorial: Lost Planet
    Editor: Max Koepke

    Colorist: Mark Gethin/MPC
    Sound Mix: Jeff Malin/Lime Studios

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    Now that Google and Verizon have sparked global design debates by redesigning their logos, it makes sense to ask who should be next.

    I mean, other than Yahoo.

    Looking beyond the tech and telecom megacorporations, there's one classic brand logo that nearly every designer—or human with eyes—would like to see reworked: Sherwin-Williams.

    The paint brand's "Cover the Earth" logo infamously shows red paint being poured across our planet's verdant surface and teeming seas, with the titanic droplets defying gravity itself to drip further into the solar system.

    Such an industrial vision for a better (or at least consistently colored) world probably made perfect sense when the logo was created in 1905. But in the era of environmentalism, it's become quite the unusual relic of corporate iconography.

    That said, it certainly isn't hated by all. In fact, the company briefly abandoned the logo in 1974—feeling it did not reflect an "environmentally aware, diversified manufacturer"—only to return in 1982. It's remained the official corporate identity ever since.

    This morning, I asked design legend Milton Glaser, creator of the iconic "I [Heart] NY" logo, what he thought of the Sherwin-Williams mark. He was unapologetic in his praise for it.

    "I love the Sherwin-Williams logo. It is one of the most persistent and memorable surrealist images of our time. The image of paint entirely covering the Earth is as powerful as anything Magritte or Dali ever produced," he said. "Of course, it no longer looks as though it belongs in the design vocabulary of our time, but ultimately that may turn out to be an asset."

    Of course, not everyone shares Glaser's appreciation for the incongruous icon.

    In 2006, a blog called Earth Friendly Gardening asked the brand to change the logo, which the author felt was "perverse, sinister, and, frankly, ridiculous in this day and age."

    In 2011, the Sherwin-Williams logo was "the nearly unanimous choice" by Fast Company readers when asked which corporate logo was overdue for a makeover. Readers called it everything from "pro-pollution" to "absolutely awful."

    So, now that Google and Verizon have primed the world's design community for a fresh set of logos to critique, is it a good time for Sherwin-Williams to get a surprise makeover? 

    The brand's reps haven't responded to my request for comment. But after they read all my loving words, I'm sure they'll show me their appreciation in the same way they show it to our shared home world—by pouring a big can of paint over my head and whispering, "Shhhhhh, cover the hater."  

    UPDATE: I heard back from Sherwin-Williams shortly after this post went live.

    Below are the responses to my questions from Mike Conway, director of corporate communications for the brand.

    Adweek: Would Sherwin-Williams consider a logo redesign? Is one already in the works?
    Conway: The Sherwin-Williams logo, which first appeared in 1893, is one of the most recognized in the world. It is not meant to be taken literally, rather it is a representation of the our desire to protect and beautify surfaces that are important to people.  At this time there are no plans to redesign the logo.

    How do you respond to critics who say the logo feels outdated and conveys an environmentally insensitive tone?
    Sherwin-Williams is committed to making the world a better place to live and for decades we have had a number of sustainability initiatives underway. From products that meet the most stringent environmental regulations to how we run our business, we believe our actions and track record demonstrate the commitment we have for the environment. (S-W has received a national "Green Chemistry" award from the EPA. We created a new green, water based formula around soybeans. S-W has long been recognized for its "green" water-based paints.)

    What are the primary reasons the brand has stuck with this logo for so long?  
    Our logo represents our history and our heritage. For 150 years we have worked to provide the best products and services to our customers around the globe.  We hope that this explanation provides you with a different perspective to consider. 


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