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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    The luxury vodka brand Absolut Elyx is bringing the most important ingredient in vodka (water) to those who need it most through a new campaign with nonprofit Water for People.

    For every bottle of vodka sold, Absolut Elyx will provide a week's supply of water to people in need, with the goal of providing safe water to 100,000 people in the next five years.

    For the launch, Absolut and Naked Communications subsidiary Naked Luxury—a new agency heading up the campaign—recruited a start-studded cast for a three-minute video directed by and starring Portlandia creator Fred Armisen.

    The spot, produced by Natasha Lyonne (aka, Nicky from Orange is the New Black), features Armisen casting a number of celebrities—Miles Teller, Tracee Ellis Ross, Taylor Kitsch, Chloe Sevigny, Alia Shawkat, Paul Scheer, comedian George Wallace and musician Aimee Mann—all vying for the role of campaign spokesperson.

    The result is a humorous skit that's very Armisen-esque, and gets the point across in a way that's effective and cheap. (Money that Absolut saved from skipping a large production will be donated to Water for People.)

    "They wanted to address the issue," said Paul Sevigny, co-managing director of Naked Luxury. "Not guilting people into it. These folks need water, they need sustainable water, and the interesting thing about the Absolut Elyx and Water for People partnership is it's really the first of its kind."

    "What we found through our experience though working in this space is what people are missing now is honestly authentic, collaborative pieces," said Anthony Bianco, Naked Luxury's other co-managing director. "Work that is truly collaborative between the talent and the brand. It's not the typical 'Brand pays influencers to say something.' "

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    Move over, Coca-Cola. A different beverage is staking a claim to happiness. And this one's 80 proof!

    Anomaly has updated Johnnie Walker's iconic "Keep Walking" campaign with a new attitude and a tweaked tagline: "Joy Will Take You Further. Keep Walking." This is the New York agency's first effort for the Diageo-owned Scotch whisky brand since taking over as lead agency from 15-year incumbent BBH last December. As such, comparisons, though perhaps unfair, are unavoidable.

    BBH was much-lauded for its innovative output, which famously included "The Man Who Walked Around the World," Robert Carlyle's five-minute-plus narration of Johnnie Walker's history while strolling through the Scottish Highlands. Shot in one take, the beguiling, strangely hypnotic spot ranks as one of the great ads of the past decade.

    A half-decade later, around the time BBH lost the brand, the agency went the single-take route once more, crafting "The Next Step," an almost expressionistic tale of a man who walks through an entire new year.

    Anomaly builds on that foundation, asserting that steps taken with happiness in one's heart make the journey lighter—and ultimately more rewarding. A 90-second anthem spot establishes the campaign's theme with sage advice from Jude Law (who worked with Anomaly on a one-off short film for Johnnie Walker Blue Label last summer): "Blood, sweat and tears will get you there. But joy will take you further."

    Law's gravel-voiced intensity carries appropriate gravitas, and the quick-cut cavalcade of images that follows is exhilarating, illustrating how achievers double-down on joy for maximum results. Supermodel Montserrat Oliver, rock band OK Go, artists Haas&Hahn, racing champion Jenson Button and actor Zhao Wei, among others, make appearances.

    The celebs aren't famous enough to distract or make the proceedings feel gratuitous, and they also star in 20-second branded clips that focus on their various achievements. (Haas&Hahn, as is their wont, appear to be painting an entire town. Oliver, for some reason, blasts off in a jetpack.)

    So, how do Anomaly's ads match up against efforts from BBH? The latter's work was more fluid and artful, and it excelled at capturing the 200-year tradition of Johnnie Walker in unexpectedly insightful ways. Conversely, Anomaly's campaign, a multimedia affair launching in 50 countries, bristles with fresh energy and gains immediacy with its nods to popular culture.

    My main complaint is that "joy" is an all-too-easy fallback position, in and of itself derivative of countless campaigns for products of every kind. Also, the selection of Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Por Moi" as the soundtrack makes the spots feel a hair too familiar and dulls some of the impact.

    That said, using joy as the underpinning for personal journeys, or as a gauge for one's own progress and fulfillment, is an uplifting concept that could take the brand's advertising just about anywhere. It's a new direction, far from the pedestrian.

    The 20-second clips appear below.

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    "The doll comes with pads? That's so weird."

    That's the opinion of the dad in the ad below, who likely echoes the view many parents will have when they hear that Lammily, the first fashion doll made with realistic proportions, is about to become the first doll ever to come with pads and a period party pamphlet.

    "When I've talked with moms about it, they either love it or they think it's incredibly weird," Nickolay Lamm, inventor of the doll, told AdFreak this week. "But once they learn more about it and see the actual product, they think it makes a lot of sense."

    And it does. Lammily is supposed to be a normal 19-year-old girl. And what's more normal than getting a period? Besides, Lammily already comes with a pack of realistic marks that include freckles, acne and cellulite.

    But we all know there's a cultural taboo around periods specifically. "The whole goal is just to try to start a conversation about it and make it seem less taboo," says Lamm.

    How, you ask? With the time-honored genre of white people rapping, an advertising phenomenon that we've coveredextensivelyovertheyears.

    Comedian Matthew Kyle wrote the script, and Tony Yacenda directed, cast and cut the spot, in which two well-meaning parents attempt to teach their daughter about puberty with a fun, hip rap and a jug of cranberry juice. Their older daughter then suggests the doll might be a better way to go about it.

    After all, there are dolls that wet themselves and dolls that come with toothbrushes. There are even toys that give birth to babies. A doll who gets her period shouldn't be that weird. Even Lamm's mom, who found it weird at first, liked the idea more and more as they talked about it, and she actually ended up designing the period pack herself.

    The one problem with the ad is that, in focusing on how shameful, embarrassing and awkward it is to talk about periods, it runs the risk of reinforcing the taboo instead of breaking it down. There's not as much pride here like in the HelloFlo ads. On the other hand, it does lampoon the awkwardness, and the daughter undercuts the parents' hangups.

    Also, the product is a step in the right direction. Lamm doesn't think one ad, or one doll, will change the world, but he does have high hopes.

    "Maybe it'll help us get to a point where people are just as comfortable buying toothbrushes as they are buying menstrual pads," he says.

    Still, he knows a lot of people aren't there yet. Casting took a while, in fact, because many parents weren't ready to have the talk with their young daughters yet. As Lamm puts it, "We were fortunate to find someone who was cool with it."

    Knowing how taboo the topic is, Lamm says he doesn't have a clue how the ad will be received, but he's passionate about helping young people have a healthy, normal body image. Why? Because Lamm himself suffered body-image issues in high school, starving himself and exercising to exhaustion to get six-pack abs.

    "At the end of the day, you have to actually care about something for people to care about what you do," he says. "We care about this issue and about anything that has to do with body image."

    Which is great for those of us who want a healthier doll alternative, or who just don't want to subject our children to the taboo subject of suburban white rap.

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    As Vince Vaughn once taught us, stock photos can sometimes make for some unexpectedly fun marketing. Droga5 amusingly takes that to heart in this spot, running on Facebook, for belVita breakfast biscuits. In its undercutting of traditional marketing tropes, the work is quite Newcastle-esque—also, of course, a Droga client.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

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    Ever feel like you belonged to the world of Charlie Brown and Lucy?

    Leading up to Fox Family's The Peanuts Movie, nostalgic fans can visit Peanutize Me!, which lets you transform yourself into a modern-day Peanuts character.

    The app lets you create your own avatar with trademark Peanuts characteristics, like squiggly mouths, big hair and weird tights. The video above features cameos from a few Peanuts favorites, including Schroeder (still bent over his tiny piano), Snoopy and Lucy, still perched behind her psychiatry kiosk and shouting know-it-all platitudes like, "If you really want to impress people, you need to show them you're a winner!"

    We missed you, Lucy. You'd have been a killer in advertising.

    Avatars can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, or downloaded as profile pictures or background images.

    In the event that you're wondering how Charles M. Schulz would have rendered me in three extra-round dimensions (I know you're not; this is mainly self-gratification), here I am with Woodstock and the original Snoop-Dogg:

    The logo at bottom is for the French title of the film, Snoopy Le Film, because Charlie couldn't even win at being the biggest star of his own comic strip. (I live in Paris.)

    It's fun for old-school faithfuls and a new generation just discovering the characters, who distilled how weirdly adult, serious, comedic and tragic a kid's interior life can be.

    Long live Peanuts!

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    Another day, another James Bond movie, another dapper chase scene of a Heineken commercial—but with a new kind of hero.

    Daniel Craig bookends this new 90-second, high-octane ad—from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and MJZ director Tom Kuntz—promoting both the beer brand and the Nov. 6 release of Spectre, the next film in the 007 franchise.

    The commercial's format harks back to the 2012 Skyfall tie-in, when a case of mistaken identity found a Heineken "Man of the World"—basically your everyday Bond—deftly evading villains who thought they were pursuing Craig.

    This time, the innocent who's unwittingly swept into the action is an equally dextrous woman, who seems perfectly at home getting dragged along behind Bond's speedboat on water skis, carrying a tray of lagers and using her feminine wiles to run the evil-doers into rocks. She also tries the old hat-throwing trick, in a cheeky nod to Goldfinger's Oddjob (or perhaps an even more subtle reference to Austin Power's ineffectual shoe-chucker).

    Still, at its heart, it's consistent with Heineken's core advertising theme for the past five years—ridiculously slick dudes having a blast and charming beautiful women all over the world—as well as its target (guys who fancy themselves such).

    This is W+K Amsterdam's last effort for Heineken, and it will be a fitting end to the gangbusters approach if the brand changes strategic course as it shifts to its new agency Publicis. At this point, the lines between Bond and Heineken's own character seem deliberately blurred to the point of being indistinguishable.

    But it's still good fun.

    Client: Heineken
    Senior Marketing Director Global Heineken Brand: Gianluca Di Tondo
    Global Heineken Communications Director: Sandrine Huijgen
    Heineken Communications Manager: Jules Macken
    Global Sponsorships Director: Hans Erik Tuijt

    Spot: "The Chase"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam

    Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
    Creative Director: Faustin Claverie, Thierry Albert
    Art Director: Faustin Claverie
    Copywriter: Thierry Albert
    Head of Broadcast Production: Joe Togneri
    Broadcast Producer: Jaime Tan
    Assistant Producer: Stijn Wikkerink
    Planner: Nick Docherty
    Group Account Director: Jordi Pont
    Account Director: Jonah Dolan
    Account Manager: Elianne Vermeulen
    Project Manager: Stacey Prudden
    Business Affairs: Michael Graves

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    Director of Photography: Benoit Debie
    Production Designer: Robin Brown
    Producer: Chris McBride
    Executive Producer: Debbie Turner

    Editing Company: White House Post
    Editor: Russell Icke
    Edit Assistant: Stephen Dunne

    Audio Post: 750MPH
    Sound Designer/Mixer: Sam Ashwell

    Artist/Title: "The Hell Raisers" by Syd Dale
    Label: KPM
    Publisher: EMI Music Publishing Benelux
    Additional Musicians: Pandit Dinesh – Percussion; Andy Mellon - Trumpet

    Postproduction: MPC London
    VFX Supervisor Dan Sanders
    2D Team David Filipe, Toya Dreschler, Ed Taylor
    3D Lead Amir Bazazi
    3D Team Fabio Santoro, Adam Leary, Arttu Koskela, Rune Mansson,
    Telecine Mark Gethin
    Producer Paul Branch

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    The older you get, the more pressing is your need to prepare for retirement. And lord, you're getting old in a hurry.

    That's the sad-but-funny truth behind this comical UBS campaign from Publicis Switzerland. Subtle and nicely shot, with some pleasantly understated acting, the five spots are relatable in a pathetic sort of way.

    They should age well, which is more than we can say for you.

    UBS (Client), Publicis Switzerland (Agency), Thomas Wildberger (Chief Creative Officer), Peter Brönnimann (Creative Director), Andreas Hornung, Urs Schrepfer, Thomas Schöb (Copywriting), Christoph Trittibach, Bruce Roberts (Art Direction), Cem van der Schaar (Agency Producer), Wim Roelfs, Tiago Dias, Massimo Giannotta (Digital), Pascal Schaub, Christian Brütsch, Beat Huber (Account Management).

    Pumpkin (Production Company), Kasper Wedendahl (Director), Tommy Wildner (DOP), Simon Borch (Editor), Adrian Aurelius (Sound), Sonja Brand, Claudia Brand (Producer).

    UBS Switzerland (Client), Dr. Daniel Fischer (Head Marketing), Daniela Ciotto (Head Creative Concepts & Campaigns), Markus Egloff, Manuela Rüegg (Creative Concepts & Campaigns), Daniel Hünebeck (Head Client Dialogue Management), Mirela Jusic (Client Dialogue Management).

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    This week's honors for most ambitious model making go to Airbnb and TBWA\Singapore for a truly insane contraption—a massive, handmade, 3-D zoetrope—built to film a simple anecdote about seeing more of cities like Paris with help from one's local Airbnb host.

    The device is wild—measuring 3.8 meters in diameter, 11.9 meters in circumference and 1.5 meters in height, it was made from 11,256 parts, including 1,476 figurines, to create the illusion of seamless motion. Each environment shows a local Parisian hideaway—a flea market, a carousel, a jazz club and a café. The carousel was the most complicated—36 of them were used to make one layer, with 111 parts making up each section.

    In some ways, the machine is more impressive looking than the footage in the finished ad, but of course there's a behind-the-scenes video to show off the device in all its glory.

    "Traveling on Airbnb unlocks magical moments—our hosts and their homes create a sense of real belonging for travelers and this feeling is amplified when they discover the city through the eyes of their hosts," says Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall. "This film is showing, in true Airbnb fashion, how the ordinary world can become an altogether different, more magical world."

    The spot, "A Different Paris," will have a global audience online but was created specifically for Airbnb's Asian markets, where brand awareness is lower.

    Client – Airbnb
    Head of Marketing APAC – Matthias Schuecking
    Agency – TBWA\Singapore
    Creative Director – Gary Steele
    Senior Copywriter – Elrid Carvalho
    Senior Art Director – Uni Lee
    Group Account Director – Mandy Wong
    Account Director – Joyce Wong
    Agency Producer – Haydn Evans / Six Toes
    Airbnb Producer – Allison Gay
    Production Company – Photoplay Films / Six Toes
    Director – Norman Yeend
    Live Action Director – Scott Otto-Anderson
    Executive Producer – Oliver Lawrance & Haydn Evans
    Producer – Emma Thompson
    Director of Photography – Jonathan Rossiter
    Production Designer – Annie Beauchamp
    Model Makers – Simon Ingerson / Yippeekiyay
    Post Production – Cutting Edge
    Post Producer – James Rose
    Editor – Simon Njoo
    Media Agency – Starcom

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    Women's clothing brand The Limited has launched its fall 2015 line, and women business execs are the faces of it. With help from agency YARD, The Limited picked over 60 diverse women who are leaders in their fields—business, education, government, tech and beyond.

    The campaign includes an anthem video titled "What Does Leading Look Like?" as well as individual spots on the same topic starring motivational speaker and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein, angel investing bootcamp for women founder Natalia Oberti Noguera and women and girls advocate Tiffany Dufu.

    Gabrielle Bernstein:

    Natalia Oberti Noguera:

    Tiffany Dufu:

    YARD co-founder and chief strategic office Ruth Bernstein tells AdFreak:

    The Limited's "New Look of Leadership" grew out of the strategic and creative work YARD did for the brand around last year's collaboration with ABC's Scandal, which tapped into the confidence, power and complexity of the hit show's lead character, Olivia Pope. Female consumers responded overwhelmingly to the Scandal collection and ad campaign not just because they love Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, but also she represents the new generation of power women.

    Through that partnership, The Limited aligned with this set and began to establish itself as the brand for sophisticated professionals seeking affordable and accessible, yet stylish ways to look fabulous. As we enter an election year in which two women are campaigning for president of the United States, there is a ripe opportunity to continue to redefine the look of female leadership. For The Limited, modern leadership isn't just about being the "boss," it recognizes women who lead from any seat.

    It was important to feature real women in this campaign across a range of roles and occupations in order to capture that brand belief. Already we've seen an incredible response to the brand's use of real female leaders. It's an exciting moment for women in culture, and The Limited is playing a valuable role in that moment.

    While the rise of female-empowered ads has been exciting to see, it comes with its criticisms. For example, many critics would argue that Dove's ads still coerce women to buy beauty products. The Limited's spots are a nice step away from the conversation around beauty and image and more about women in leadership. The images are beautiful, and the videos are solid (featuring leaders in The Limited clothing). My one criticism is that the long spot is a little too long, with some phrases that are a little too trite.

    One soundbite that stuck out the most: "Women need to be two things. Fearless and shameless."

    I wouldn't mind more of that messaging for women everywhere.

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    For Yoplait, Wieden + Kennedy has moved on from Phoebe Neidhardt to Dominic Purcell, getting the actor to subvert his tough-guy image ... and become "A Man of Yogurt."

    In two new ads (four more are on the way), Purcell extolls the texture and flavor of Yoplait's Greek yogurt. When we think of ideal yogurt pitchmen, the guy who played Dracula in Blade: Trinity and Lincoln Burrows in Prison Break isn't the most intuitive choice, but that's the point. After seeing a billion yogurt ads with grinning middle-aged women having a giggle about digestion, some variety is welcome to the category.

    The humor in these spots relies on hearing Purcell—who looks like he fights people in bars for money—say words like "tum-tum" and joke about his naturally menacing face (without looking like he's joking). It is funny, but a little unsettling, too.

    We can't be the only ones who want to get the locks changed when he describes Yoplait Whips as "a little fluffy cloud in my mouth."

    "Where the most fun came in was when you took what makes Yoplait Greek 100 so unique—its great taste, its unique flavors and its light and fluffy texture when it's whipped—and applied those softer, gentler attributes to our tough guy," Karl Lieberman, creative director at W+K, says on the Yoplait blog."Suddenly, this man of pure intensity gained a lighter, softer side that made the whole thing pretty funny and interesting in our minds. We talked about various potential 'tough guys' for the campaign, but Dominic was inevitable."

    Credits below.

    Client: Yoplait

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman / Eric Baldwin
    Copywriter: Shaine Edwards
    Art Director: Matt Carroll
    Producer: Ben Grylewicz
    Strategic Planning: Angela Jones / Carly Presho-Dunne
    Media, Communications Planning: Zenith Optimedia; W+K Media
    Account Team: Ken Smith / Kelly Quinn
    Business Affairs: Anna Beth Nagel
    Project Management: Carolyn Domme
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fiztloff
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Mark Romanek
    Executive Producer: Eric Stern
    Line Producer: Paul Ure
    Director of Photography: Robert Hardy

    Editing Company: Joint Editorial
    Editor: Steve Sprinkel
    Post Producer: Lauren Pullano
    Executive Post Producer: Leslie Carthy

    Visual Effects, Titles, Graphics: Joint Editorial
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Alex Thiesen
    Flame Artist: Pilon Lectez

    Music, Sound Company: Extreme Music
    Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn

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    Yelp isn't just for restaurant recommendations. It can help you find reviews on everything from auto shops to hair salons to "extreme golf" driving ranges, the app and website says in this amusing commercial—its first to air on TV nationally.

    San Francisco agency Reid Sheehan Latimer+Crew created the campaign for the crosstown client. It stars Ben Sinclair, who plays a Brooklyn pot dealer on the HBO comedy series High Maintenance. The tone of the spot—which has been cut into 30- and 15-second executions—is comically absurd, as Sinclair helps (Yelps?) characters stuck in oddball situations with quick, reliable escape routes via app recommendations.

    The spots have been on YouTube for a while but just broke on TV last week. The tagline is, "We know just the place."

    The RSL+Crew work comes as Yelp is expanding into new markets and increasing its mobile focus. "RSL effectively encapsulated Yelp's unique brand qualities for our first national TV campaign. We're excited to see the impact it has on our business," says Brian Osborn, vp of consumer marketing at Yelp.

    Below, check out an extended "NSFW" version (it's actually SFW) of the deer-in-headlights gag, as well as the :30s and :15s.

    Client: Yelp, Inc.
    Campaign: "We Know Just the Place"
    Execution: The Long Version
    Agency: Reid Sheehan Latimer+Crew
    Chief Creative Officer: John Reid
    Creative Director: Scott Drey
    Art Director: Scott Drey
    Executive Producer: Ben Latimer
    Production Company: Hungry Man, LA
    Director: Dave Laden
    Line Producer: Caleb Dewart
    Director Of Photography:Stoeps Langensteiner:
    Editorial Company: Beast SF
    Editor: Connor McDonald
    Editorial EP: Jon Ettinger
    Assistant Editor: Brandy Troxler
    Music Company & City: Beacon Street

    Additional Credits:
    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Tyler Roth
    VFX/Finishing/Motion Graphics: Beast & Allied Motion Packing
    VFX/Finishing Artist: Greg Gilmore, Eric Pascua, Dave Burghardt
    Motion Graphics: Joe Macken, Spencer Seibert & Ben Kopman
    Mix: One Union, Joaby Deal
    Sound Design: Henry Boy

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    Properly automating the electrical system at your workplace sounds boring. But in fact, it could save the entire world from a catastrophic asteroid collision.

    That is the premise of one new ad from Schneider Electric, which sells energy management and automation products and services in Europe. In the two-minute spot, an electrical engineer underestimates his role in setting a hospital's backup generator so it switches on when the city's power blacks out. The patient on the table also has an important (read: absurd) role to play in the future of the planet.

    A second spot features a similarly humble facilities manager, whose timely correction of an office building's cooling system in England has an unlikely impact on a father and his daughter in what appears to be rural Peru—and brings a special kind of pan-flute music to audiences elsewhere (its title might remind you of a certain 1998 hip hop hit by Pras, Mya, and Ol' Dirty Bastard, though).

    BETC Digital created the campaign, "The Butterfly Effect," which plays on the chaos-theory concept (at least as it is popularly misinterpreted). 

    The approach inevitably evokes DirecTV's long-running if-then campaign about the adverse outcomes of having cable. It also rests on the same basic premise as Con Edison's weakly articulated tagline "Everything Matters"—though carried to fantastical extremes that actually make it pretty entertaining.

    The unlikely heroes in each ad find their sense of self-worth in the end, coming to terms with the crucial role they play in assuring the well-being of others (and in one case, the planet) ... and being instrumental in bringing us the latest YouTube hit. In reality, however, it's safe to say their existential cries will fall on the deaf, uncaring ears of an infinitely expanding universe.

    That llama, though.

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    One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and 90 percent of breast cancer can be fully cured if it's caught early enough. With this in mind, and for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, coffee brand Carte Noire joined forces with BETC and the Pink Ribbon Foundation to produce a super-cheeky ad encouraging women to get screened regularly.

    Under the banner #AuNomDesSeins ("In the name of breasts"), the ad features a slew of famous (and nearly topless) French personalities, including underwear designer Chantal Thomass, singer Micky Green, and musician Yelle (who appears in the first shot and also sings the background music).

    Each poses with objects that represent their "favorite" nicknames for their own boobs.

    The ad could have come off as labored with metaphors—or worse, nearly surreal in its randomness, like the agency's last piece for Air France. But thankfully, it feels light, tightly produced, pertinent and playful. 

    In an exclusive AdFreak interview, creative team Manoelle Van-dee-Vaeren, David Aronson, Fanny Molins and Pierre Caurret wrote: "When we started working on the project, we knew we didn't want to take a negative or scare-tactics approach to the subject. Unlike lung cancer, you can't do anything to affect your chances of getting breast cancer or not, so why make people feel guilty about something they can't control?"

    Instead, they focused on encouraging regular screenings with a "somewhat uplifting and feminine approach."

    "To call breasts different things is something everyone does, so the idea is universal. Since the campaign is for France, we chose to focus on known French nicknames," the creatives added.

    In the case of the client, which is all about punting sinfully dark coffee beans to discerning ladies, "Carte Noire and the association were very open to the idea but worried about us doing something that would be a bit vulgar and sexual. On paper, the idea could be seen that way," they acknowledged.

    "That is, of course, not what we wanted, and during the process of developing the scenes and the music, they realized that it wouldn't be like that at all."

    We would never have doubted it, given the way the agency approached Air France's latest online safety video. The ad is very much in keeping with their trademark style: provocative, chic and recognizably French. In other words, far from vulgar, though it never strays too far from its neighborhood. (Which is, all things considered, a plus. We weren't watching Blue Is the Warmest Color for the set design!)

    Client: Carte Noire
    Client Management: Mathilde Reymondier, Elisabète Vidal, Xavier Seyrig
    Agency: BETC
    Agency Management: Anne-Isabelle Cerles, Vincent Reynaud Lacroze, Amandine Platet
    Creative Director: Manoëlle Van-Der-Vaeren
    Art Director: Pierre Cauret
    Copywriters: Fanny Molins, David Aronson
    TV Producer: Caroline Bouillet
    Production House: Control
    Sound Production: Schmooz
    Directors: MAL
    Media Plan: Online

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    Based on the insight that people enjoy scratching the necks of beer bottles (who knew?), BBDO created a bottle for Beck's Germany that lets drinkers scratch whole designs into the packaging.

    The aluminum-based limited-edition wrapper comes off under your fingernails like a lottery scratch ticket, giving you creative leeway to scratch-doodle while chatting with friends—or to demonstrate to non-creatives what a compulsive artist you are.

    "We wanted to find a way to make Beck's more appealing again to a younger and frequently outgoing audience," the agency says."It's a party phenomenon: People like to scratch shapes into the characteristic aluminum neck of Beck's bottles. Based on this insight, we developed an interactive and playful packaging that turned the whole bottle into an aluminum canvas."

    The effect is even cooler when backlit.

    Client: Beck's
    Agency: BBDO Berlin
    Creative Managing Director/s: Jan Harbeck
    CCO: Wolfgang Schneider
    Creative Director: Daniel Schweinzer, Lukas Liske, Ricardo Wolff
    Art Director: Nicolas Moles
    Copywriter: Lukas Liske, Charlotte Gärtner
    Kundenberatung: Lindsay Jönsson
    Agency Producer: Michael Pflanz, Markus Kuhn
    Photographer: Michail Paderin, Christian H. Hasselbusch
    Illustration: Jessica Witt, Marianne Nicolas, Simon Stehle, Lena Dirscherl
    Music: Zac Bronski
    Motion Design: Marius Menzel
    Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
    Client: Beck's
    Location: Berlin
    Packaging Contents: Beer bottle
    Packaging Materials: Aluminium, glass

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    To demonstrate its commitment to improving healthcare throughout Sri Lanka, Asiri Hospital Group and Leo Burnett created the first-ever bus ticket made of soap.

    Crowded buses are notorious hotbeds for spreading disease. And many illnesses, from colds to flus to hepatitis, can be stopped in their tracks when you wash your hands regularly. But soap isn't the kind of commodity you'll find often in public spaces: Most Sri Lankan public toilets, for example, don't have any.

    Thus the Soap Bus Ticket was born. The agency created paper fused with soap and filled ticket rolls with it, eliminating two problems: the hygiene and safety issue, and the wastefulness of the temporary bus ticket given to passengers when they board.

    In addition to being pleasantly fragrant, the tickets produce a nice lather when wet, making them perfect for on-the-go handwashing—overall, a great example of advertising that fulfills the brief, addresses a clear and present need, and replaces a wasteful commodity with an inherently useful one. 

    The Soap Bus Tickets rolled out across a number of major Sri Lankan bus transit lines, and were supported by posters and signboards at major stops, in public toilets, and in Asiri hospitals, to educate passengers.

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    SABMiller positions its Abraxas beer as an "equinoctial brew for the chosen few." It is made just twice a year, and is pitched as the beverage of choice for "restless minds who live to solve enigmas."

    Stay with us, here.

    If Eyes Wide Shut left you with a modern occult-shaped hole in your life, you might dig the mysterious brew's latest print ad, which appeared in an issue of Peruvian magazine Lima.

    Created by Wunderman Phantasia for the launch of Abraxas Ultra Premium beer, the ad looks simple enough: It's a black page that invites users to switch on their smartphone light to access a hidden message.

    Once your light is on, you slide the phone along the back of the page to reveal the image of a bottle of Abraxas, coupled with a poetic missive about how few can discern between the light and the dark, and those who can are part of a select order (...of people who now have the option to buy a more expensive beer. Yay! It's basically an elite college fraternity).

    The vaguely culty, Indiana Jones-ish vibe is on-brand and may hook just the kind of people they're looking for. We also like that the ad motivates engagement with tools the target already has (a smartphone), instead of forcing people to download a QR code reader or bespoke app they'll only use once. 

    Overall, it's cool work that sparks the imagination. Heaven knows I've long sought a less democratic beer targeted specifically to former Myst players such as myself. Finally, someone who gets us!

    Client: Backus SAB Miller
    Brand: Abraxas
    Brand Director: Jose Eyzaguirre
    Brand Manager: Sergio Servan del Valle
    Jr Digital Manager: Jennifer Conley

    Agency: Wunderman Phantasia
    Chief Creative Officer: José Aburto
    Head of Art: Augusto Landauro
    Creative Director: Carlos Altamirano
    Senior Copywriter: Diego Figueroa
    Copywriter: Andrés Aranguren
    Art Director: Narda Grados
    Graphic Designer: Gustavo Zamora
    Account Director: Fernando Arriola
    Account Executive: Fiorella Rojas

    Production Company: Phantasia Studio
    Director: Sebastian Castro
    Edition and Post-Production: Henry de la Cadena
    Production Manager: Nerea Marmolejo
    Sound Design: Emocionica

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    When Snickers announced a contest earlier this year urging random people on the Internet to make an ad for its "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign, many suspected they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.

    But now that we've seen the winning video, sent in by Lexington, Ky., resident Walter Arnett, it's clear they knew exactly what they were doing.

    Arnett's video may have all the production value and pacing of an Asylum film. But unlike those goobers, he's in on the joke, so his video is charming despite (or because of) its flaws. The devils on his shoulders make for a fun meta moment, and could have easily carried the entire ad without the office-drama bookends.

    As far as amateur video advertisements go, it's no "Eagle Man," but it's stronger than a lot of work from legitimate ad agencies recently, so we're cutting Arnett some slack. Plus, he won $50,000 for his effort, and thus surely couldn't care less what we (or you) think. 

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    Los Angeles band YACHT is creating its own kind of "traffic jam" this week by making its new single, "L.A. Plays Itself," available for streaming online—but only when Uber surge pricing is in effect in the city.

    The project, created in collaboration with BBDO New York, uses Uber's open API to create a web experience at playsitself.la. When Uber surge pricing hits at least 1.1x at peak hours of usage, the song, "L.A. Plays Itself," suddenly becomes available. When prices exceed 2x, the site unlocks a new remix. When surge pricing is not in effect, you can't access the music—but can opt to receive surge updates via YACHT's social media channels.

    This video explains the project further:

    The conceptual pop group, fronted by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, is known in part for being quite high tech. This project is a nice tie-in, as the song itself is all about the special visual language of Los Angeles. It also pleasantly turns a negative into a positive by offering a perk at a time when Uber is charging a penalty.

    Client: Downtown Records (YACHT)
    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Tom Markham
    Creative Director: Derek Harms
    Creative Director: Damjan Pita
    Creative Director: Daniel Aykurt
    Creative Technologist: Filip Williander
    Art Director: Martin Staaf
    Motion Designer: Chris D'Andrea
    Engagement Director: Julian Cole
    Account Director: Daniel Charness
    Director of Digital Operations: Clemens Brandt
    Producer: Andrea Segura

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    If you thought Target's haters were bad following the retailer's move to gender-neutral labeling, have a look at all the anti-gay critics swarming Doritos' Facebook page this week after the rollout of its LGBT-pride rainbow chips.

    Who better to take them down a notch than Mike Melgaard, the guy who hilariously posed as a Target customer-service rep last month—and has now done the same on the Doritos Facebook page—to make epic, sarcastic replies to critics.

    Here are a few of his gems while posting as Doritos ForHelp:







    We caught up with Melgaard on Wednesday, and he agreed that the Doritos critics have been even more off-putting than the Target critics.

    "I would say the Doritos critics on Facebook have definitely been far more offensive than the critics of Target," he says, "I have seen people saying some pretty hateful things towards the LGBT community. What's even worse is that these people are really offended for no reason whatsoever.

    "Frito-Lay decided to allow anyone a way to voluntarily donate for a cause which aims to help prevent suicide in the LGBT youth. Some of the reactions make it seem as if an army of LGBT people have been unleashed into their private homes. But I mean, this is America and I shouldn't be surprised that there is such a dramatic reaction over rainbow-colored chips."

    This latest round of trolling took Melgaard a collective total of about four hours.

    "I started on last Thursday evening and then finished it up Friday afternoon," he says. "But Facebook didn't shut my profile down until the following Saturday. Honestly, I'm willing to bet I'd still have the profile if it was not reported by some unhappy users."

    See the rest of his replies below.
























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    This new Delta commercial from Wieden + Kennedy in New York spends 45 of its 60 seconds staring at the ground, yet it's the most high-concept airline ad in a while.

    It's also either quite inspiring or a bit dismaying, depending on your level of comfort with airline ads that focus on the actual terrifying physics of giant machines hurtling along at great speeds. It aims for the former, naturally, but leans toward the latter at the outset, as Donald Sutherland intones, in a gravelly voiceover, "What's happening here is not normal."

    That's a bit of a funny line to open an airline commercial, even if Sutherland quickly follows it up with the disclaimer, "It's extraordinary." And the rest of the poetic voiceover—combined with visuals that are hectic and claustrophobic until almost the very end—doesn't exactly lighten the mood.

    Later, in another part of the voiceover, Sutherland takes stock of a Delta jet furiously in motion—"291 people, 350 tons, 186 miles per hour"—and then suggests, bluntly, "There is no stop in us. Or you. Only go." That's meant to be a good thing, though it risks conjuring imagery of not being able to stop—and might have you pining for one of W+K's famously inventive safety videos for the same carrier.

    As a grandiose mini manifesto, though, it works well enough—saluting Delta's indomitable spirit and its passengers' sense of adventure. And if it overreaches here and there—e.g., comparing today's travelers to "the pioneers … in canoes and covered wagons, with wild eyes and big-fevered dreams"—it sure beats focusing on the reality of today's air travel.

    The visual approach is pretty brave, too, and unique—not showing a single airplane—even if it's not totally clear why it took two directors (Smuggler's Adam Berg and Joost Van Gelder) to shoot it. The first half of the spot almost evokes space travel, as the close-up of the runway lines flying by gives a sense of lifting. The final shot is lovely, too, bringing a calmness to what's been a bit of a bumpy ride.

    The sound is notable, as well—a deep roar that pulsates more and more quickly as the plane gathers speed, making the spot even more intense (which is plenty engaging, though for the reasons mentioned above, doesn't always feel entirely pleasant).

    This work is part of the "Keep Climbing" campaign but takes a slightly new direction to show how Delta enables the pursuit of opportunity, connecting flyers to great experiences, adventures and opportunities in the world.

    Just, you know, buckle your seatbelt first, and be willing to help in case of an emergency.

    Client: Delta Air Lines
    Spot: "Take Off: Why We Go"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Jaime Robinson and David Kolbusz
    Creative Directors: Eric Helin, Erik Norin, Sean McLaughlin and John Parker
    Creatives: Eric Dennis, Molly Jamison
    Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
    Broadcast Producer: Cheryl Warbrook, Nick Setounski, Kristen Johnson
    Brand Strategist: Sam Matthews
    Account Team: Liz Taylor, Meghan Mullen, Lauren Smith
    Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Keri Rommel, Sonia Bisono, Andy Hume

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Adam Berg, Joost Van Gelder
    Director/DP: Joost Van Gelder
    Partner: Patrick Milling Smith
    Partner: Brian Carmody
    Executive Producer: Shannon Jones
    Head of Production: Andrew Colón
    Producer: Leslie Vaughn

    Editorial Company: Cosmo Street
    Editor: Mark Potter
    Producer: Maura Woodward

    VFX Company: MPC
    VFX Lead Flame: Marcus Wood
    Senior Producer: Armand Weeresinghe

    Sound Studio: Sonic Union
    Sound mixer: Steve Rosen


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