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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    In a beautiful display of step-by-step precision, Honda's latest TV ad for its new HR-V focuses on walking—not driving.

    The new 60-second spot, "Stepping," created by mcgarrybowen London for Honda Europe, stars 60 precision walkers—think marching band without instruments—toppling out of the small SUV, onto the floor of London's Wembley Arena and into a detailed routine around the vehicle.

    Paul Jordan, executive creative director at mcgarrybowen—whose Honda spots are often highly designedmind-benders—said the HR-V is aimed at a slightly younger demographic. The idea here was to artistically reflect the concept of "warm engineering"—engineering focused on humanity more than mere mechanics.

    "Our idea was to have lots of people walking around in a very beautifully choreographed way with real precision, and then to have that kind of choreography of the people in the car was our dramatization of this car being able to fit perfectly into people's lives," Jordan said.

    Jordan said the team practiced for six weeks, but that Japanese precision walkers—a team art popular in Asia—can sometimes spend a year preparing for a performance. Several short humorous spots featuring the precisions walkers will be released in the next few days.

    "We wanted to kind of convey the sense of how, when things are perfectly designed, how they can make you feel," he said. "And so this entertaining spot was an articulation for that feeling for us, of things fitting together beautifully."

    Client: Honda Europe
    Agency: mcgarrybowen, London
    ECD: Angus Macadam and Paul Jordan
    Creative Team: Robin Temple Tom Woodington
    Planner: Ellie Beecroft
    Agency Producer: Abbi Tarrant
    Business Director: Alice Tendler
    Film Production: Somesuch
    Director: Kim Gehrig
    Executive Producer: Tim Nash
    Producer: Lee Groombridge
    Editor: Tom Lindsay @ Trim
    Post Production: MPC
    Producer: Julie Evans
    Supervisor: Bevis Jones
    Colorist: Mark Gethin
    Audio Production: Factory & Soundtree
    Music: "Incredible" by M-Beat feat General Levy

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    If you're a woman with an eye for design, Big Lots will apparently have you at a loss for words. But thankfully, there's AutoTune.

    In the chain's latest ad from agency OKRP, pairs of women—or "besties," as the press release puts it—register repetitive awe at living space layouts and home accessories, using shorthand exclamations that are easily understood among friends but are meaningless out of context. Interior designer and HGTV personality Meg Caswell anchors the spot, which puts phrases like "I can't," "Get out" and "Loving this" in a loop that might drive a reasonable person insane.

    Toward the end, the sequence gets a Gregory Brothers-inspired AutoTune treatment. The gimmick comes as no surprise from the brand and agency that brought you Doggies vs. Babies, pet focus groups, and mom dance squads—with varying degrees of success.

    In this case, whether it's annoying or endearing probably depends on your personal taste. And while it's certainly a class above most ads for discount furniture, it'd be hard pressed to beat the gold standard for recent work in the category: American Signature's ridiculous set pieces from Translation and director Harold Einstein.

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    Would you buy a used car from this man?

    Meet Chris Murphy, aka Dan Mayson, a voiceover artist and radio announcer from Fredericksburg, Va., whose zany, brutally honest YouTube video, designed to sell a broken-down 1995 Ford F150, is getting lots of well-deserved attention this week.

    "My wife wanted me to get rid of the truck," Murphy tells AdFreak. "So instead of just putting a bunch of pictures on Craigslist, I figured I'd be 'me' in front of the camera. The whole thing kind of wrote itself. Credit also goes to my son Paul for help with the camera. Smart kid!"

    Murphy's sales pitch is friendly, sincere... and totally off the wall. He points out the vehicle's many deficiencies—300,000 miles on the odometer, brakes that need "a little more MacGyvering," and a dead battery—with such gleeful gusto that they sound like reasons to actually buy the old junker.

    "I have a quirky humor that seems to resonate with some people," he says. "I've been doing work like this in audio for years. This was my first attempt in video. It is a fun ad that pokes fun at car dealers."

    In the spot's best bit, the asking price—"Nine-ninety-nine-ninety-nine!"—reverberates in hypnotic fashion, a slap at late-night cable-TV hucksters, as the camera zooms in on Murphy's teeth for a loopy tribute to, of all things, Citizen Kane. "I knew I wanted to get the [pricing] message closer and closer," Murphy says. "Then I remembered that opening scene. I could not resist."

    The clip might not approach the viral heights of that homemade Volvo spot from Sweden, nor is it quite as epic as Nate Walsh's Craigslist ad hawking his 1999 Toyota Camry.

    No matter. Murphy's got a style and charm all his own. Of course, he never expected so much attention. "It is a little surprising," he said. "I first learned of the interest when I received a call from the Washington Post. I thought the fellow was interested in my truck. Nope, wanted to run a story on it. I wasn't expecting that."

    Speaking of, any offers for the truck? "Nothing yet," Murphy says, unfazed. For now, he's just happy the ad is making people smile.

    His voiceover reel boasts lots of humorous impressions, including a first-rate Alfred Hitchcock, a Jim Backus that sounds kind of like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons, and a Peter Lorre-esque "Creepy Bad Guy" (the perfect choice, perhaps, for the next time he plays a used-car salesman in an ad).

    "I guess my style of humor really has touched a nerve," Murphy says. "It has inspired me to think a little more about a movie I want to do—low-budget, with a pile of fun stuff in it. Hopefully it will be shot with something a little better than a Nexus 7."

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    This isn't the kind of makeup tutorial you see every day.

    In this compelling video by Ogilvy & Mather, a young vlogger named Reshma neatly walks viewers through the process of applying red lipstick while ensuring your lips stay moisturized and neatly outlined. But there's a catch, which is clear early on—though unexplained at first—from Reshma's appearance.

    Check out the video here:

    Watching Reshma calmly and bravely outline the steps of everyday beautification makes for a disturbing contrast. But that's what makes the video—a PSA for Make Love Not Scars—so powerful. At the end, like any responsible beauty vlogger, she informs viewers, "You'll find red lipstick easily in the market"—just like concentrated acid, she adds.

    "That's the reason why every day a girl becomes a victim of an acid attack," she says, before asking users to sign a petition to forbid the sale of acid, reinforced by the hashtag #EndAcidSale.

    This message alone is sufficient to justify the video's provocation of the user; the ease with which the average Indian man can procure acid isn't common knowledge.

    There is also an eyeliner tutorial, which you can see here:

    According to Konbini, in India it's possible to buy a liter of acid for about 100 rupees (about $1.50). According to the petition that Reshma asks viewers to sign, the country has 1,000 reported acid attack cases per year, of which 90 percent of victims are women.

    The petition includes a letter to the prime minister of India stressing the importance of regulating the availability of acid instead of simply passing tougher laws against attackers.

    In 2012, following an acid attack on a young girl named Nirbhaya, who was raped multiple times and killed in a bus, the government passed a law that condemned acid attackers to 10 years in prison or even the death penalty. But in the two years that followed, attacks increased 250 percent in the country—which is why the petition focuses on forbidding the open sale of acid and classifying it as a controlled poison. 

    The petition currently counts about 65,000 signatures, a significant rise from just 2,000 two days ago, underscoring the impact of the lipstick video (which has been viewed on YouTube more than 400,000 times).

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    Nike Korea's new "Just do it" campaign kicks off with "Play Loud," a 90-second short film by Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo. Like past Nike works, it promotes team sports as a way to dodge conformity and express individuality while still wearing matching uniforms.

    The spot stars Korean soccer legend Lee Young-Pyo, who appears in an ironic role as a joyless adult telling young athletes in training that they won't make it: "This won't change anything" and "Just do what everyone else does" are themes that resonate, especially for those trying to excel in a culture often defined by strict conformity to social norms.

    In the end, the ad encourages athletes to ignore those negative refrains and keep working because that's the only way to win. Underlining that, Lee's voice grows silent and his face shines in quiet pride as his victims gradually overcome their initial frustrations ... and the sound of his own voice.

    There's irony in being told to buck authority by a global corporation whose brand defines conformity to many, so videos like this create their own distance even when they mean well. W+K and director AG Rojas did a nice job with it, though, and Lee Young-Pyo was well-cast.

    In addition to this video, Nike Korea is soliciting stories of perseverance from kids via KakaoTalk and sharing them on Nike.com, and they'll be sponsoring sports events as well.

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    Bank of America and Christopher Guest would like to remind you ad people that there is, in fact, such a thing as a bad idea. And the argument, which doesn't need much help to start with, gets an assist from none other than Billy Idol in a new campaign from Hill Holliday.

    Five spots feature three Bank of America execs in a conference room, brainstorming ways to promote the company's "preferred rewards" for consumers. It's precisely the kind of idiocy that gets funnier as it goes along, reaching a high point as the marketing drones debate the wisdom of handing out free shrimp to customers.

    Naturally, it turns out Idol's participation in two other ads is also born of a stupid idea: Asking him to sing the word "more," the staple lyric of his 1983 hit "Rebel Yell," even more times, to honor the volume of Bank of America's rewards. (The 59-year-old British rocker, though, is perhaps not as quite as thick as Guest and his imbecilic Spinal Tap bandmates.)

    The campaign—four of the seven spots, including both Idol executions, will run on TV—is the latest addition to a growing pool of ads that mock the process of making ads, often with the help of celebrity endorsers. (Director Randy Krallman has excelled in the genre, shooting Ewen McGregor for BT, and more famously, Anna Kendrick for Newcastle.) That device, as with most navel-gazing, risks getting old quickly. But Guest—who also recently revived the spirit of his classic film Best in Show in a spate of ads for PetSmart—brings his own offbeat, deadpan flavor to the mission.

    In fact, it manages to stay charmingly subversive. If these are the people running the show at Bank of America, it almost calls into question whether the brand—or anyone—should be bothering with marketing at all. See, it doesn't even make sense that Idol would balk at repeating the word "more" only 25 times. In the original song, he does it at least twice that.

    Then again, he does, presumably, breathe in between.

    Client: Bank of America
    Agency: Hill Holiday, Boston
    Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen
    Group Creative Director: Spencer Deadrick/Will Uronis
    Associate Creative Director: Matt Rockett
    Copywriter: Mark Nardi
    Art Director: Matt Rockett
    Agency Executive Producer: Brian Gonsar
    Agency Assistant Producer: Patrick Carney
    Account Team: Leslee Kiley, Nancy Lehrer, Jeff Nowak, Kim Almazan, Andrew Still, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Brooke Patkin
    Project Manager: Alison Baker
    Planner: Linda Lewi
    Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing
    Production Company: GO, Hollywood, Calif.
    Executive Producer: Gary Rose, Adam Bloom, Catherine Finkensteadt
    Director: Christopher Guest
    Managing Director: Gary Rose
    Cinematographer: Anthony Hardwick
    Line Producer: Mark Hyatt
    Editorial: Jump LA
    Editor: Patrick Griffin
    Post Producer: Caroline O'Sullivan
    Executive Post Producer: Betsy Beale
    Licensed Music: Artist/Title: Billy Idol "Rebel Yell"
    Post Production: Brickyard VFX
    Executive Post Producer: Ellen Schmitt
    Type Design/Animation: Blind, Inc
    TypeDesign/Animation Head of Production: Amy Knerl
    Telecine: Tom Poole at Company3
    Audio Mixer: Mike Secher/Brian Heidebrecht at Soundtrack Boston
    Voiceover: Will Arnett

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    Over the last 10 years, Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" contest became a staple of Super Bowl advertising, offering anyone with an idea and a camera a chance at the big leagues by making their own 30-second spot. But the PepsiCo brand is putting the contest to bed with what it is calling its "most audacious" version of the contest yet. 

    For the 2016 Super Bowl, contestants have the chance to win $1 million and the opportunity to work with Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Man of Steel, whose latest film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will be released next March. The winner will work with Snyder as well as Warner Brothers and DC Comics on an undisclosed future project.

    Zach Snyder Photo: Getty Images

    "We're giving consumers one last shot to make their mark and see their homemade ads air during the Super Bowl broadcast," Jeff Klein, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay, said in a statement. "This is truly last call for all of those who not only want a shot at $1 million—but want a chance to jump-start their career in Hollywood."

    The winning ad will air during CBS' Super Bowl 50 telecast on Feb. 7, 2016. Doritos will accept submissions until Nov. 15. Ads will be judged by a qualified panel of judges, including Frito-Lay executives. Three finalists will be announced in January.

    "Crash the Super Bowl" started in 2006 and has received more than 32,000 submissions since then. In that time, Doritos has awarded some $7 million in prize money. In 2013, Doritos expanded the contest, accepting global submissions.  

    "We've had a tremendous run with the program," said Klein. "The Doritos brand sparked a marketing industry in terms of crowdsourcing. 'Crash the Super Bowl' has played a major role in legitimizing consumer content."

    The rules of the contest have changed over the years, but the grand prize in recent years has been $1 million. For many years, that cash prize was only bestowed to Doritos ads that won USA Today's Ad Meter, which gauged consumer reaction to Super Bowl spots.

    Three ads won the $1 million by doing just that—2009's "Free Doritos!", 2011's "Pug Attack" and 2012's "Man's Best Friend." A second spot from 2012, "Sling Baby," also won $1 million by winning a separate online vote.

    See all four of those spots below.

    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.

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    If you missed today's Apple event, get caught up with these eight promo videos showing off the sleek and shiny new toys.

    Most notably, there's the 60-second spot below for the iPhone 6s, outlining how the world's most popular device has changed (only one thing, as it turns out, though it's significant) and featuring a cameo from Bill Hader and possibly a voiceover from Lake Bell (though that's unconfirmed so far).

    Below, check out other videos, ranging from 46 seconds to almost four minutes in length, for the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, iPad Pro and Apple TV.

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    Getty Images just handed out its inaugural Getty Images Instagram Grants, awarding three photographers $10,000 each for their incredible work documenting stories from underrepresented communities around the world using Instagram.

    The recipients are:

    1) Ismail Ferdous - @afterranaplaza

    Photo of Ismail Ferdous by Tashfia Afrin

    A Bangladeshi documentary photographer using Instagram to cover social humanitarian issues, Ferdous receives a grant for his project titled After Rana Plaza, which centers around the surviving relatives of those killed in the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory.

    2) Adriana Zehbrauskas - @adrianazehbrauskas

    Photo of Adriana Zehbrauskas by Dario Lopez-­Mills

    A Brazilian‐born photographer currently residing in Mexico City, Zehbrauskas has been awarded for her Instagram portfolio of work which covers topics such as climate change and the documentation of the everyday lives of Latin Americans. Adriana intends to use the grant to fund her project "Next of Kin: Family Matters," shooting portraits of the families of 43 missing students who went missing from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers School last year. Adriana is also a contributor to the Instagram collective @everydayclimatechange.

    3) Dmitry Markov - @dcim.ru

    Photo of Dmitry Markov by Dmitry Markov

    Markov resides in Pskov, Russia, and volunteers for multiple children's charities. By sharing his work on Instagram, Dmitry hopes to spotlight the plight of orphaned children and encourage society to "look at the problems of such children in a humane way."

    The three winners were chosen from more than 1,200 entries from 109 countries. The judges included David Guttenfelder, National Geographic photography fellow; Kira Pollack, director of photography and visual enterprise for Time; documentary photographers Maggie Steber, Malin Fezehai and Ramin Talaie, who is co-­founder of @EverydayIran.

    "Every day people come to Instagram to be transported, to be inspired, and to learn something new about the world around them," said Amanda Kelso, director of community at Instagram. "Ismail, Adriana and Dmitry are master visual storytellers whose work on Instagram shines a powerful spotlight on causes in need of champions."

    "Getty Images believes in the power of imagery as a catalyst for social change," said Elodie Mailliet Storm, Getty Images' senior director of content partnerships. "Our three recipients could not better exemplify the original aim of this grant: to document and share stories of underrepresented communities that otherwise rarely come into focus. We are honored to award these grants and hope they will encourage talent to continue to tell important stories through new platforms."

    Each recipient receives a grant of $10,000 and mentorship from one of Getty Images' photojournalists, including John Moore, Chris McGrath and Andrew Burton. The recipients' work will also be exhibited at the Photoville event in New York City, which opens today and runs through to Sept. 20.

    The judges have also chosen to recognize the work of five other photographers: Tasneem Asultan (@tasneemalsultan) of Dubai, UAE; Kevin Cook (@kevincookphoto) of Philadelphia; Igor Pisuk (@igorpisuk) of Stockholm, Sweden; Cassandra Giraldo (@afterschoolproject) of New York; and Ako Salemi (@f64s125) of Tehran, Iran. They will receive a personal mentorship from a member of the Getty Instagram Grant judging panel.

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    Fat-shaming and period-shaming in a single commercial? J. Walter Thompson Melbourne has managed it, with predictably bad results, in this spot for Unicharm's SOFY BeFresh Pads. The ad is titled "Ugh Moments"—and it inspires just that reaction.

    First, let's talk about the fat-shaming. In the opening moments of the spot, we see a woman receive a calendar notification indicating that her period is about to start. Drama of dramas, she has chosen—poorly—to wear white shorts.

    Then the ad really rolls into the good stuff: A clearly disgruntled doppelganger, who is several sizes larger than our protagonist (because it's her fat, angry, period-self!), grabs her handbag and derides her for failing to adequately plan for Period Day, given that it comes at the same time each month.

    The larger girl is meant to represent bloating. But it's hard not to cringe when everything bad starts happening to this walking and talking allegory—a living symbol of fat-shaming. By the end, our original heroine, saved by SOFY BeFresh, literally leaves her counterpart in the dust: Behind her car as she cheerfully drives away.

    The ad also plays on other stereotypes, like the one that depicts women as monstrously unstable, irritable and emotional on their periods—a portrayal that has led to backlash against numerous brands. Naturally, there are still those who insist this characterization is funny and true—people who don't mind perpetuating the too-easy narrative of women as crazy bitches who require a wide perimeter during their monthly lady-times.

    But we have to remember the context in which this ad appears: Women around the world are still fighting to combat a stigma that keeps young menstruating girls out of school and mired in shame. And locally, during the Republican debate, Donald Trump recently suggested that Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked him tough questions only because she was menstruating. The ugly combination of all this makes it a lot harder to LOL at an ad that, on top of everything, is aimed at women.

    In an emailed statement to the Sydney Morning Herald, Unicharm said it "unreservedly apologizes to anyone who is offended." Meanwhile, the ad remains up on YouTube.

    If it really wanted to express regret, the brand could have gone a step further, like pledging to fight period stigma or improve sanitation in places where it hurts young girls. Or it could alter the spot to provide a more balanced portrayal of menstruating women, starring the second actress, who, despite the stereotype-laden script, did a strong job depicting what remains a personal hindrance for active women.

    Because let's be real: Some ladies—like me—do have it bad. I mean, I get vomit-inducing cramps. But plenty of my sisters sail through period time with nary a symptom. And even on mild days, a super-special pad or tampon doesn't really alleviate much suffering. Otherwise, for avoiding that nasty sat-on-a-jam-donut sensation, these pads have you covered.

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    Jet.com's advertising is so unabashedly, self-consciously silly, it's enough to make your head explode.

    First there was R/GA's "mind-blowing" spot introducing the members-only shopping site to the public at large. Now, we're assailed by dozens of goofy web clips from SS+K.

    Director Tom Scharpling, who produced the USA Network crime-comedy Monk, worked with comedy writer Steve Young and an improv troupe on Wednesday to film brief real-time ads based on the shopping-cart contents of Jet.com customers who agreed to participate. From nearly 400 submissions, the team selected about 50 they thought had comic potential. The resulting videos rolled out as soon as they were done, and are being promoted with paid support across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Instagram.

    "R/GA's work effectively delivers on the promise that there's a new and better type of shopping experience out there," SS+K president Bradley Kay tells Adweek. "Our work picks up on that theme, puts the consumer at the center of the story, and aims to humanize the entire shopping experience."

    Fair enough, though given the quick turnaround for the content—minutes, in some cases—and the random nature of customer purchases, it's no surprise that the results are a pretty mixed (shopping) bag.

    A barbershop quartet appears in several of the clips, including the one below, where they harmonize about some dude's bike-related buys.

    In the next video, a cart laden with body wash, paper napkins and cheddar cheese inspires … turtle humor, naturally.

    Here, a fast-talkin' pig gets animated about a coffee maker. (Cut out the caffeine, Squealy!)

    Below, we have perhaps the best yodeling celebration of consumer electronics ever.

    This one is about kitty litter and scary masks, or something.

    Don't like any of those? Well, there are about 45 more videos to choose from.

    SS+K creative chief Bobby Hershfield describes the day-long orgy of video production as a whirlwind of fun and chaos. "We had an entire system in place: How the orders came in, were categorized and numbered, and how we would put a writer on it, develop it, shoot it, edit it, and then push it out there," he says. "And yet, a printer would crash or a paper jam would occur. Like, the last thing we would think of would be the thing that stressed us out the most."

    Client: Jet.com
    Project: "Jet Spree"
    Chief Customer Officer: Liza Landsman
    VP of Marketing: Sumaiya Balbale
    VP Creative, Christina Antonopoulos

    Agency: SS+K
    Partner, President: Brad Kay
    Partner, Chief Creative Officer: Bobby Hershfield
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Armando Flores
    Associate Creative Director: Kat Lam
    Senior Copywriter: Madeline DiGangi
    Senior Vice President, Director of Production: John Swartz
    Executive Producer: Christopher McLallen
    Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy: Kevin Skobac
    Digital Strategist: Claudia Cukrov
    Senior Account Executive: Keri Cook
    Account Executive: Cammie Reilly
    Copywriter (JetSpree): Steven Young
    Copywriter (JetSpree): Lindsey Lanpher
    Copywriter (JetSpree): Francesca Chabrier
    Copywriter (JetSpree): Step Schultz

    Production Company: Arts & Sciences
    Director: Tom Scharpling
    Executive Producer: Christa Skotland
    Producer: Rob Hatch-Miller

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo

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    Fewer than 1 percent of high school girls plan to study computer science in college. Hoping to change that, Google's Made with Code initiative recently encouraged girls to design a "little black dress" for the digital age. 

    The result debuted as part of Project Runway judge Zac Posen's spring 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week. Coded by LED dress technologist Maddy Maxey, it incorporated animations designed by a group of girls from around the world.

    Using Block.ly, a basic programming language, girls could change the look of their dress by moving shapes, colors, patterns and other variables.

    Agencies Swift, 72andSunny and Nexus supported the LED dress initiative, including the social media, website and Block.ly coding app. Offline executions include Made with Code digital trucks, which enable people to learn basic programming while designing their own LED dresses. The trucks appeared in Times Square on Wednesday and at the Harlem Children's Zone on Thursday; mobile coding stations will also be available Friday and Saturday during the Re:Make summit and festival.

    Maddy Maxey is a "coding mentor" at Made with Code, whose goal is to teach girls to code using challenges that capture their imagination. Whatever reservations people may have about using fashion to bait young girls into more erudite pursuits, it bears mentioning that this is a complex industry in its own right, and that the "little black dress" is only the most recent of a string of diverse projects, including a dancing yeti, music mixer, beat-maker and the ability to code your face into a kaleidoscope.

    "If you like Made with Code projects, try JavaScript or something else that's similar," encourages Maxey, who believes coding knowledge is critical to the future of fashion. "Keep diving in. Don't stop yet."

    Other fashion endeavors she envisions include clothing that responds to body temperature, outfits that change color ... or simply cashmere sweaters that are machine washable.

    Below is a video of the dress reveal, featuring interviews with Posen, Maxey and some of the girls who came out to watch their work come to life.

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    Over in the magical land of Japan, the tourism board of Hiroshima prefecture has created street view for cats. That's right—a site that offers a cat's-eye look at the city of Onomichi and its restaurants and shops.

    Japan, like the rest of the Internet, loves its cats. Not only are they lucky, but there are shines devoted to them, cat cafés where you can enjoy petting them, and an entire island reserved for them.

    In fact, most shops in Japan have a Maneki-neko—a welcoming cat statue—at the door to beckon visitors inside, so it's not surprising that a lot of them have actual cats as well. And when you find out that Onomichi is also known for its excessive volume of cats and has a whole museum devoted to Maneki-neko dolls, it becomes clear why the tourism board would seek to capitalize on the welcoming power of its feline friends.

    When you encounter a cat in the street-view application, you can see a little bio about it. Then you can walk your paw-shaped cursor down the street while listening to street noises collected from the city and augmented with delighted purrs and meows. There are three paths to follow right now, but more are coming in October.

    Looking at things from six inches off the ground is certainly a refreshing perspective. And Lala, your cat guide, will help you appreciate it as the official "Manager of Backstreet Tourism." Truly, they couldn't have picked a more perfect campaign.

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    It turns out negative movie reviews can be turned into positive ones, with just a little ingenious design.

    Guardian film critic Benjamin Lee didn't like the new Tom Hardy movie Legend very much, giving it two stars. But this week he saw an official poster for Legend that prominently featured a reference to his review—in a way that cleverly made it look like four stars.

    Lee was impressed, calling the stunt "incredible" when he tweeted out the image. He then elaborated on his feelings about the stunt in a whole follow-up story.

    "There's something maddeningly brilliant about this promotional sleight of hand," he writes. "Technically, there's nothing dishonest about the use of my rating. I gave it two stars and there are just two stars on display. I've been trolled and I'm totally alright with it. … I might still dislike Legend but I like its marketing team. If only they could have written the script."

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    As expected, Under Armour added Tom Brady to its new "Rule Yourself" campaign on Thursday, and the timing couldn't have been better—as the Droga5 spot premiered during the NFL's season opener between Brady's (eventually victorious) New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Brady's refrain of "Every single day" is particularly apt following the lifting of his suspension. "No matter what," he adds at the end. And of course, Brady is a prime example of the marketer's message—having risen from sixth-round draft pick to four-time Super Bowl champion.

    Spot and credits below.

    Client: Under Armour
    Spot: Rule Yourself (Tom Brady)

    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Global Chief Executive Officer: Sarah Thompson
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Creative Director: Alexander Nowak; Felix Richter
    Copywriter: Sergio Alonso
    Art Director: Sebastian Piacentini
    Junior Art Director: Max Friedman
    Junior Art Director: Vignesh Seshadri
    Junior Copywriter: Kathryn Kvas
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Broadcast Producer: Bill Berg
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Samuel Marx
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland
    Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman
    Senior Brand Strategist: Candice Chen
    Junior Strategist: Isaiah Brown
    Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
    Sr. Communications Strategist: Hillary Heath
    Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
    Account Director: Brian D'Entremont
    Account Manager: Lucy Santilli
    Associate Account Manager: Scott Bubis
    Project Manager: Monique Lavie, Courtney Kosup

    Client: Under Armour
    CEO and Founder: Kevin Plank
    Exec VP, Global Marketing: Adam Peake
    SVP, Global Brand Creative: Steve Battista
    SVP, Global Brand Strategy: Rick Anguilla
    VP, Global Creative and Design: Brian Boring
    SVP, Global Brand Marketing: Adrienne Lofton
    Sr. Director, Global Brand Marketing : Jasmine Maietta
    Director, Integrated Campaign Planning
    /Global Operations : Teresa Oles
    VP, Media: Steve Sommers
    SVP Global Communications: Diane Pelkey

    Production Company: RESET
    Director/DP: Wally Pfister
    Managing Director: Dave Morrison
    Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall:
    Producer: James Graves

    Editorial: Stitch
    Editor: Leo Scott
    Assistant Editor: Vanessa Yuille
    Executive Producer: Mila Davis
    Head of Production: Meagen Carroll

    Post Production: The Mill
    Sr. Exec Producer / Head of Production: Sean Costelloe
    Senior Producer: Nirad Bugs Russell
    VFX Supervisor / Joint Head of 2D: Gavin Wellsman
    VFX Supervisor / Lead Flame: Nathan Kane
    VFX Supervisor / CG Lead: Wyatt Savarese
    VFX Supervisor: Hitesh Patel
    Lead Flame: Mikey Smith
    Compositor: Emily Bloom
    Compositor: Heather Kennedy
    Compositor: Alex Dreiblatt
    Compositor: Blake Dreury
    CG Massive: Cole T. Clark
    CG Artist: Corey Langelotti
    CG Artist: Eric Lane
    Colorist: Fergus McCall

    Sound Design: Q Department

    Artist: Drazen Bosnjak
    Title: Charge

    Sound Mix: Sonic Union
    Mixer: David Papa
    Executive Producer: Justine Cortale

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    Ikea Singapore continues its run of amusing advertising (which has included everything from the famous Bookbook catalog-as-gadget film to a slew of comical Facebook memes) with a quick-hit ad poking fun at the Apple Pencil, unveiled this week.

    It's perfect, of course, because Ikea's own pencils are such a familiar part of the store experience. There's even a whole Wikipedia entry about them. And indeed, as this new ad suggests, Ikea couldn't care less if you take a pencil or two home with you.

    In fact, earlier this year there was a pencil shortage at the only Ikea store in Korea, but even then, the retailer refused to condemn the swiping of them.

    "We do not care about the pencils," a rep said. "We just put out new pencils if they run out. There are no statistics on the usage of the pencils by country. One thing clear is that we will not restrict the use of the pencils."

    Via Design Taxi.

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    If there's a better way to sell folks on Copper Mountain skiing than dressing actors up as urine—yes, urine!—I'm certainly not aware of it.

    That's just one of four loopy anatomical scenarios that Seattle agency Wexley School for Girls sends careening down the slopes to illustrate, in no uncertain terms, that "Everyone deserves a snow day"—preferably at the Colorado resort.

    Cal McAllister, agency co-founder and creative director, explains: "Everyone else in the ski industry shows someone carving down the mountain on a sunny day. Yawn." So, for this campaign, dubbed "One Two Free!", the Wexley team—many of whom are snow sports enthusiasts—opted for a more visceral approach.

    "When someone is pretty sure they are about to have one of their favorite days of the year, things happen to the body," McAllister says. "We wanted to capture the physiological changes that happen when your body has the thrill of hearing your day just got wide open. Copper doesn't just get that, they live it."

    In this spot, a mustachioed guy representing the heart—though he looks more like a pro wrestler who hasn't won a match in years—gets awfully pumped up about a day at the resort:

    In this one, a neuron that resembles an alien reject from Lost in Space (or possibly one of Katy Perry's dancers) strikes just the right chord:

    And, channeling 2001: A Space Odyssey, here's the perfect pupil for a skiing lesson:

    With the bizarre sets and performers in wacky customs, McAllister says the shoot was a veritable avalanche of fun. "Sometimes you found yourself standing on an eye that is trying to blink, or saying, 'Yo, like a pee drop would ever say that,' " he says,.

    That definitely makes for a surreal answer to the question, "What did you do today?"

    Client: Copper Mountain Resort

    Agency: Wexley School for Girls, Seattle
    Executive Creative Director: Cal McAllister
    Director of Production: Gabe Hajiani
    Project Management Supervisor: Dee Dee Jones
    Writer: Matt Kappler
    Art Director: Lindell Serrin
    Associate Producer: Tara Cooke
    Account Director: Jordan Karr
    Account Managers: Josh Brewer, Nick Minnott

    Production Company: Dos Rios
    Director: Mark Mirabile
    Executive Producer: Paul Breslin
    Director of Photography: Ryan Purcell
    Gaffer: Vince Climek
    Key Grip: Michael LePard
    Swing: Issac Lane
    Art Director: Oscar Lofgren
    Art Assistant: Beth Batson
    Costume Designer: Ron Leamon
    Wardrobe Assistant: Jerrard Parr
    Visual Effects Director: Trent Woolford
    Audio Mixer: Matt Sheldon
    Production Assistants: Anne Marie Zerba, Mike Wells, Bryce Patridge

    Editing Company: Dos Rios
    Editor: Trent Woolford

    Audio Company: Bad Animals
    Sound Designer, Mixer: Dave Howe

    Talent: Chip Wood, Max Harris, Jesse LaTourette, Jonathan Shue, Joanna Becher, David Hogan, Ernie Hall, Daniel Deal, Lucy Pearce, Casey Vrla

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    If you're the type of person who wants to feel spiritually at one with the act of commuting by train, then British ticketing company Trainline would like you to try its app.

    In this new ad from Anomaly London and Rattling Stick director Ringan Ledwidge, a man finds his zen while weaving through the crowds at a busy station, perfectly content in knowing from which platform his train departs, that he got a deal on the fare, and that he has a tasty snack stowed away for later in the ride.

    Aptly titled "I am train," the arc is perfectly silly—reminiscent of Anchorman's "I love lamp" in its affinity for inanimate objects—but with a deliberately overwrought monologue crescendoing toward the ending.

    Spoiler: The final twist—the man's euphoria, unleashed—is the real treat, half because the tone stands in such stark contrast to what's come before it, and half because all the other people around him on the platform do their best to act like nothing's out of the ordinary, which is exactly what would happen.

    And while it's not entirely convincing that the app will turn your smartphone into Thor's hammer, it's probably true that it feels better to know where you're going, and pay less for the trip, than to wander around the station with a blank look on your face.

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    Keen celebrity followers probably already know that Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is a notorious red-carpet photobomber.

    But did you have any idea how extensive her list of victims is? It includes Taylor Swift, Liam Hemsworth and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a few. And she isn't alone; Benedict Cumberbatch and Dustin Hoffman like a good photobomb, too.

    People magazine could've told you that, along with the name of Prince George's royal dog (Lupo) and the key to Julia Roberts' beauty routine (sleep!). The Time Inc. publication uses its current ad campaign from The Terri & Sandy Solution to remind its 75 million weekly readers—and the rest of the world—that "The details make the story," according to the tagline.

    Expect to see it across TV, print, digital and social media, and anywhere Hollywood stars mess up someone else's camera-ready moment.

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    Moleskine, the makers of those sleek black journals that every aspiring poet in America seems to own, is doing its part to revel in Coca-Cola's centennial glory with limited-edition notebooks created as part of the soda giant's "Mash-Up" project.

    A talented roster of visual artists designed the covers to reflect Coke's unique bottle design. And the work is pretty clever: Tom Farrell's "Sipping" notebook has an elastic band that doubles as a drinking straw, and David Schwen's design—only 5,000 were made—was inspired by photos of paint dripping from actual Coke bottles.

    It begs asking, how many celebrations of Coca-Cola's bottle design are there going to be? Sure, a 100th anniversary is a big deal, but it feels like the world finds a reason to fête the iconic beverage every six months. Maybe Nike will do contoured running shoes next.


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