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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    If you could magically come face-to-face with your husband or wife 30 years hence, would that convince you to save for retirement?

    There's no denying the emotional power of "The Beautiful After," an unusual campaign by McCann's FP7/DXB for Emirates NBD. The bank, a leader in the Middle East, hopes to encourage young adults to start building that nest egg.

    In the ad, a group of typical young white-collar types receive calls from their spouses, who promise something "really special" for them at a mysterious location. Upon arrival, the unsuspecting husbands and wives are led through a kind of "time tunnel"—a long, white corridor filled with photographs of milestones in their relationship, including wedding photos or the day their child was born.

    Then, as they step through a door at the end of the corridor, they come face-to-face with their spouses, who—with help from the makeup and wig department—have been transformed into idealized versions of their retirement-age selves.

    There is much eye-dabbing as the couples embrace and, together, gaze at yet more pictures on the wall, which this time depict events from their "future lives."

    While sweet, there is also something creepy about the white corridors filled with the benchmarks of life, a trope that can be easily used to suggest a near-death experience, with a door at the end leading to the hereafter (a bit further down than retirement, if you're lucky).

    "The corridor was intentionally built as an immersive, intimate experience signifying a journey from one stage in life to the next," an agency representative explains. Regardless of interpretation, however, the imagery underscores the transient and uncertain nature of existence, and the need to plan ahead. 

    An accompanying social media program, #RetirementVows, encourages couples to make commitments akin to their wedding vows, complete with rings in at least one case—except for retirement this time.

    "I have to plan for that day," one husband says. "And I wish to be as happy as we look in the picture." 

    "We got people to imagine and visualize their future life with their spouse, as if it was right in front of them, getting them to take a glimpse into their future and make a commitment to it," says the FP7/DXB rep. "We didn't want this to be a film with actors and actresses, as it would lack the genuineness in terms of the emotions, the reactions, the surprise and the eventual impact."

    The film does a fine job of combining the surprise setup with the premature aging routine (The corridor schtick calls to mind Pamper's milestone moment for new Japanese moms, and the curtain-clad reveal is vaguely reminiscent of Dove's Real Beauty Sketches). Viewers in the target demo should easily relate to the intensity of feeling, and it's no great stretch to imagine them giving their financial futures at least some consideration (Even if the approach is not as instantly relatable as, say, UBS's fun campaign reminding you how old you are already). 

    During the Emirates NPD production, "there were quite a few surprising and funny incidents," the rep says. "One that really stuck with us was where the husband and wife had previously fought in the day, and both showed up in a bad mood. But when the husband saw his wife aged at the end, the tension dissolved immediately and the emotions were overwhelming. It was a beautiful moment and one of them told us that they realized that time was too short to spend being angry at each other."

     


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    CarAdvice prides itself on its highly detailed car reviews. And in a new series of ads, its headquarters is portrayed as a mix of Consumer Reports and Aperture Science, where cars—and journalists—undergo bizarre, obsessive tests to determine overall roadworthiness. 

    The "Advisors" campaign, created by The Monkeys, marks the Australian automotive publisher's first foray into mass market advertising, and it's a welcome entrance. 

    In "Headlights," for example, the Advisors test the headlights of multiple cars by flashing them at a man dressed like a kangaroo (apparently, the Aussie equivalent of a deer). 

    Another puts the Australian version of J. Roddy Walston to work testing a convertible's wind deflectors. 

    And in a third, a woman in glasses tests mirrors by adjusting them to reveal men with clipboards perched in strategic areas around the car.

    These ads do a great job piling on surreal details about CarAdvice's fictional work environment while reinforcing the message: That it catches every detail about a new car, for the benefit of consumers.

    It's all about weird stuff happening behind ordinary doors. Works every time.

    CREDITS

    Client: CarAdvice
    Managing Director & CEO: Andrew Beecher
    Product and Marketing Director: Scott Davison 
    Marketing Assistant: Kathryn Marshall

    Agency: The Monkeys
    Executive Creative Director: Scott Nowell 
    Head of TV Production: Thea Carone 
    Agency Producer: Melissa Petryszyn
    Senior Art Director / Copywriter: Scott Dettrick
    Senior Copywriter: Brandon Mugar
    Managing Director: Matt Michael
    Content Director: Emma Ashworth
    Content Manager: Siena Shuttler 
    Executive Planning Director: Fabio Buresti
    Planning Director: Michael Hogg

    Production Company: Goodoil
    Director: Fiona McGee
    Goodoil Producer: Claire Richards

    Post Production: The Editors
    Editor: Stu Morely

    Sound: Songzu
     

     


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    If you've recently worked on a creative project with multiple people, you know how fragmented the virtual conversation can get with email threads, Google Docs, Dropbox uploads and downloads, IM pings and text messages. And more and more software developers aim to untangle the webs we weave during such back-and-forth machinations.

    For instance, Hightail today announced a project-collaboration system called Spaces, which lets marketers and artists work together from various locations while organizing assets and communications for the digital channels listed above (email, Google Docs, etc.). Whether creators are making a TV commercial, a feature film or something simpler like a poster, they can employ Spaces to establish a feedback loop that's designed to make everyone more productive. 

    "People go in and leave comments like, 'This title is a little long,' or 'Is this the right font?' or, 'This is the wrong logo,'" said Hightail CEO Ranjith Kumaran. "You can create teams. You can have a couple of folks from the PR team and others from the creative department. So when things are added or deadlines are changed, everyone gets notified."

    The email component might catch the eye of a few folks, as the software strips out email threads while organizing text-based and image-based information into a project gallery that all team members can access. In other words, no more constantly searching through inboxes and arduously trying to understand the current state of a work-group conversation. 

    While Hightail offers cloud storage, Kumaran's real targets are ad agencies, videographers, post-production houses and other creative entities. "The storage component is important," he explained. "But we actually don't care if we are the storage guys behind the creative process—we want to own the actual creative process."

    Hightail, based in Campbell, Calif., was called YouSendit for nine years before rebranding in 2013. Spaces builds on the company's file-sharing service, which has attracted 50 million registered users in 193 countries that send videos and audio clips that are too large for regular email. Dating back to its YouSendit days, it's raised more than $97 million in funding from investors Emergence Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Adam Street Partners and Cambrian Ventures. 

    But competition for creatives' market share is afoot. For instance, IdeaPaint—which typically offers physical tool kits that let people turn almost any smooth surface into a dry-erase surface for illustrations and writing—recently released a free mobile app called Bounce that includes similar utilities. Boston-based IdeaPaint worked with fellow Beantown company, the ad agency Hill Holliday, on the app. 

    It is meant to quell problem-solving and cross-functional concerns that teams often have, said Jamie Scheu, vp and director of experience design at Hill Holliday. "Once they've captured their ideas in Bounce, it lets everyone work off the same playbook and return to snapshots of their work at moments in time for realignment," he said.

    Jen Reddy, CMO of IdeaPaint, said her company and its agency worked with hundreds of IdeaPaint clients to find out what they wanted in the app. "We kept it in beta for over a month to make sure we were delivering the collaboration features they wanted," she said.

    Because there's "no shortage" of collaboration tools in the growing space, Reddy said, "building an app was a risky move for us. We sell an analog collaboration product to some of the most admired companies in the world."

    Indeed, it's not the easiest business-to-business marketplace to enter. Late last year, Slack was valued at $1.1 billion after getting a $120 million round of funding and is clearly an entrenched powerhouse in the collaboration scene.

    Additionally, just earlier this week, Dropbox unveiled an integrated ad campaign with the guidance of agency 72andSunny, repositioning the brand from that of "cloud-storage provider" to "collaborative sandbox." The move resembles HighTail's aims with Spaces.

    "As they continue to grow and evolve, we see using this platform of 'creative freedom' to full effect with the goal of activating it in really special and meaningful ways," said John Boiler, CEO and founder of 72andSunny.


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    Yesterday, Google France launched the second edition of "Les Heures Magiques" ("The Magic Hours"), created with 72andSunny Amsterdam. For 31 nights, the interactive, mobile-first campaign will invite Parisians—and tourists—to rediscover the City of Light with a variety of after-sunset activities.

    Activities include a lit-up bike ride through Paris' darkened streets, insect-based cooking (cleverly dubbed "Crunchy Crickets"!), an underwater music show, and a neon safari, where you can tour the retro neon signs that color Paris' bars and clubs. (Check out short videos promoting each event below). 

    The campaign is a charming way to experience the vibrant, creative dynamism of Paris, which is often written off as a dying museum city. It's also one in a number of recent efforts to reinvigorate interest in city activities; others include last month's no-car day, initiated by Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Airbnb's Halloween sleepover sweepstakes in the Catacombs, dubbed by some as the Empire of Death.

    To access the program, visit the Magic Hours website via mobile, where you'll find different activities nested within Google Maps. The mobile positioning is practical for both non-locals and townies; France has among the highest smartphone penetrations in Europe, with 81 percent of people from 18-24 carrying one, and 26 percent of 60-69-year-olds as of last year. Parisians will also see a lot of social coverage, courtesy of WeAreSocial.

    Partners include the City of Paris, and various lifestyle publications like Paris Zig Zag, Society and Fricote. Locals can share their favorite activites via the #HeuresMagiques hashtag for a chance to be featured on the site.

    To learn more, check out the Magic Hours case study from its last installment.

    CREDITS

    Google France

    Raphael Goumain - Google France, Head of B2C Marketing
    Jean-Philippe Bécane - Google France, Product Marketing Manager
    Chloe Broughton - Google France, Product Marketing Manager
    Martin Bruniquel - Google France, Product Marketing Manager Intern

    Google EMEA

    Kristell Schuber - Google South-West Europe, Marketing Director
    Graham Bednash - EMEA Google, Director of Consumer Marketing,
    Ramya Raghavan - Head of Brand and Reputation Marketing, EMEA
    Dave Armstrong - Director Brand Studio EMEA
    Andre Le Masurier - Group Creative Director, Brand Studio

    Creative Agency: 72andSunny Amsterdam

    Carlo Cavallone & Stuart Harkness - Executive Creative Director
    Richard Harrington - Director of Design
    Gregg Clampffer - Creative Director
    Nastassja Bonnabel & Chermine Assadian - Writer
    David Troquier- Designer
    Matteo Gallinelli - Jr Designer
    Stephanie Feeney - Director of Strategy
    Alexandra Matine - Senior Strategist
    Tom Griffin - Group Brand Director
    Stephane Fevrier - Brand Manager
    Philippine Putman Cramer  - Brand Coordinator
    Stephanie Oakley - Director of Production
    Sanne Drogtrop - Executive Producer
    Tobin Nageotte & Matt Marty - Senior Interactive Producer
    Gabor Szalatnyai - Creative Technologist
    Claudia Casagrande - Adaptations
    Niels Hagels - Business Affairs Manager
    Lotte van Dongen - Interactive Production Coordinator

    Digital Production Studio: Unit9

    Peter Altamirano - Tech Lead
    Michał Kleszcz, Alexander Crush & Michał Przyszczypkowski - Frontend Developers
    Krzysiek Kokoszka & Kamil Cholewiński - Backend Developers
    Mario Epsley - Motion Designer
    Quentin Gauvrit - UX Designer
    Rebecca Hudson & Emma Willis - Producers
    Vianney Comot - Project Manager
    Dominic Berzins - Head of QA
    Mark Hinge - QA Lead
    Eve Action - QA Senior Tester
    Andrew Heraty & Testology - QA Testers

    Production Agency: SO Films

    Franck Annese - Producer
    Agathe de Coularé de la Fontaine - Executive Producer
    Adeline Sclafert - Director of Production
    Lorette Delva - Location Manager
    Sophie Lévy - Director
    Renaud Bouchez & Marc Cortès - Photographer
    Sophie Lévy & Julian Nodolwsky - Editors

    MUSIC -  Stainless Sound & Music


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    Fittingly, Linda Boff, General Electric's newly minted CMO, opened Thursday's Association of National Advertisers Master's Conference in Orlando by emphasizing the multinational conglomerate's storied history of being first, with experimentation and invention making up the digital industrial company's DNA.

    "GE does chase the shiny object, as you only get one chance to be out front," said Boff. "GE loves to be first, being unexpected, knowing who we are and embracing creativity. Spoils first go to the early adopters."

    The 123-year-old company's firsts have included everything from inventing light bulbs and LED bulbs to jet engines and MRIs. That spirit of creativity and investigation has extended to the company's digital efforts on Vine, Instagram, and just last week MikMak, an e-commerce app that runs shoppable infomerical-like ads.

    Being first, however, will only get brands so far. They have to have great storytelling, Boff stressed. "It's not enough to be first. The creative has to be great," she said. "If we are not committed to creating the best possible work, ad blocking, viewability—none of it matters."

    Boff pointed to a number of GE projects that aims to bring science to light, including the company's Periodic Table of Emojis in conjunction with a Snapchat campaign, as well as GE's sponsorship of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon's recurring "Fallonventions" sketch. GE also installed a 12-foot super smoker at South by Southwest, which tracked smoke velocity and the brainwaves of festivalgoers chowing down on brisket.

    GE has focused its attention in recent months on storytelling. The company took inspiration from its 1950s TV and radio broadcast, General Electric Theater hosted by Robald Reagan, and recently launched its Podcast Theater.

    Boff also touched on GE's partnership with Imagine Entertainment for an investigative series called Breakthrough, which will run on the National Geographic Channel. Launching Nov. 1, the six-part series will focus on the exploration of robotics, longevity and the brain. 


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    You may want to grab a coffee with this guy, but you also might have to think twice before bringing him anywhere. 

    That's because Nestlé Coffee-mate's new spokesperson, Joel Hubbard, is a gingerbread man. And he tends to say or do the wrong things at the wrong time—or maybe just attract the wrong kind of attention.

    Two fifteen-second TV spots from 360i introduce Joel, who'll also star in four online videos—two with YouTube celebrity iJustine launching in early November—as well as Hispanic TV commercials.

    The overall push, Coffee-mate's biggest holiday campaign to date, frames Joel as a just-hired marketing employee of the brand. In the first of the new ads, he sits in on his first meeting... and cracks an uncomfortable joke.

    In the second, he's at a dinner party where, in the campaign's best moment so far, he turns out to be a touch too tantalizing for another guest.

    It isn't his fault, really. But he manages make things even weirder by falling head-over-heels for an inanimate object. (Maybe he had one too many cups of joe with his meal, but come on, man, keep it together.)

    Naturally, he brings to mind other edible cartoon characters, perhaps most strongly Mel, the neurotic granola bar mascot Droga5 created for Kraft's now-discontinued MilkBites in 2012. Though he's perhaps more akin to a millennial version of Shrek's Gingy.

    And maybe he's just struggling to find his footing in a world where he's considered a sweet holiday edible. As Coffee-mate marketing manager Kevin Holmes puts it, "What's so great about Joel is that he's so relatable—we've all been the new guy, trying to find balance between work and life in a new city, which is why we're putting his life online for consumers to follow through the holidays."

    The character will appear across Coffee-mate's social media profiles. One fun Tumblr post features him getting dressed for the day, which requires four tubes of icing that he has to apply on his own (if your morning routine required that kind of detail work, you might be a little high-strung too):

     

     

    The campaign's goal is to raise awareness of the brand's seasonal flavors. Gingerbread and Eggnog are both new (and it's presumably a lot harder to personify eggnog). The TV spots—plus two more videos from the same shoot—were filmed live-action, with a 10-inch prop standing in for Joel; he was animated into the spots using CGI in postproduction.

    "It was great watching the on-screen talent interact with the 'Stunt Joel' on set while our VO talent was sitting just off-camera," says Pierre Lipton, 360i's chief creative officer. "Working with babies and dogs has nothing on working with gingerbread men. They're much more predictable, and, arguably, nearly as cute."

    That last bit, though, is clearly up for debate.

    CREDITS

    Client: Nestlé Coffee-mate

    Agency: 360i 
    CCO: Pierre Lipton
    GCD: Michael Nuzzo
    CD: Michael Condrick
    Director, Broadcast Production: Sharon Harte
    Senior Producer: Steve Amato
    Account Director: Meredith Meyer
    Associate Account Director: Diane Myers
    Senior Integrated Producer: Ashley Way
    V.P/Director, Strategy: Brad Alperin
    Senior Strategist: Meryl Swiatek

    Production Company: Knucklehead        
    Director:  Rob Leggatt
    Executive Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Line Producer : Mona Nigro
    Director of Photography:  Joost Van Gelder
    Director of Food Photography: Joe Maxwell
    Food Stylist : Esther Nieuwenhuis

    Editorial Company : Cosmo Street Editorial
    Executive Producer : Maura Woodward
    Producer: Danielle Gordek
    Editors:  Lawrence  Young   and Tiffany Burchard

    Animation House – Click3X
    EP: Camille Geier
    Producer: Jody Peters
    Animator: Anthony Filipakis
    Flame Artist: Andrew Granelli


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    To encourage Americans to actually go on vacation every once in awhile—and ideally stay at a Westin-owned hotel—the hospitality chain has partnered with McSweeney's, via BBH New York ,to create the Westin OOO Generator.

    The website spits out quirky Out-of-Office (or OOO) responses, written with help from McSweeney's humorists. When the generator completes your OOO message, it also produces an abridged, video-based version for you to share on social media.

    McSweeney's passive-aggressive, satirical tone takes center stage; the content is some of the funniest stuff they've produced in awhile. And it's perfect for an ad campaign directed at white-collar professionals who likely don't get to have anywhere near as much fun writing these as they'd like—and barely read the bland vanilla ones they get.

    Here's the video the generator spat out for me, with the message below.

    Thanks for reaching out. I'm unable to tackle your message right now, because I've discovered I'm really good at parasailing and I've got to make up for lost time. It's a weird discovery to make at this age, but whatever — there's no Olympic event for this sport anyway! It's made me wonder what other vacation-specific activities I'm good at: windsurfing? Classical surfing? Water-propulsion- based jetpack flying? Only one way to find out. I'll be exploring my athletic potential from 10/15 until 10/19. Please contact [redacted]@[redacted].com while I'm away.

    Be Well,
    Dave K.


    Special note: [redacted]@[redacted].com was an alternate contact added by yours truly and is not the product of McSweeney's more subtle creativity.


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    Imagine you're mid-car-crash, face firmly planted against against an airbag, and you get a brief window into the afterlife. Will you be going to heaven, or somewhere a tad hotter?

    Either way, two Turkish print ads for Audi suggest the automaker's safety technology will keep you from reaching eternity before your time (and presumably before you've had a chance to atone… or maybe just live a little).

    The ads, created by DDB's Tribal Worldwide office in Istanbul, first ran in Turkey in April of this year, then translated to English for international awards submissions (making the shortlist at the Clios, an Adweek sister company). The images are ever-so-slightly reminiscent of the Samsonite ad from JWT Shanghai that won the Cannes Grand Prix for the press category in 2011. But mostly, they're a fresh (read: zany) way to sell airbags.

    Atheists may be disappointed, though, to find there's no appropriate option for them. Then again, an endless black void with an airbag in the center would probably make for pretty boring—and vague—artwork.

    (Via Ads of the World)


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    If you read some recent tweets from Australian barbecue chain Chicken Treat, you might conclude that a strange bird is running its feed.

    And you'd be right. Literally.

    The franchise put a keyboard inside a henhouse and let a freaky fowl named Betty just have it. For more than a week, she's been using the hunt and peck method to broadcast on behalf of the brand, as part of an ad campaign that's generated ample publicity.

    Betty's antics remind me of Burger King's Gloria, a hen who toured BK locations this spring to decide which restaurants would serve Chicken Fries. Betty, however, doesn't have the power to determine who gets to eat her own kind.

    Sometimes, Betty goes on at length:

    Here, she's more concise:

    Mmm, saucy:

    OK, Betty gets a bit off brand, but her output is no worse than most of the dumbcluck stuff companies put on social media. And she'll have ample opportunity to improve, as she is "manning" the account until she produces a five-letter word in English and makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the first official tweeting chicken.

    I thought Donald Trump had already earned that distinction. Must be the feathered hair.


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    Brands are getting major Star Wars fever ahead of the December release of The Force Awakens. But none has gone for sheer volume quite like Kraft, which breaks a new ad Monday featuring what the marketer says is the largest Star Wars memorabilia collection ever seen in a TV commercial.

    The spot, from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is a nice way to illustrate what's being sold here: Special boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (with Star Wars-shaped pasta) that feature character portraits of Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2 and C-3PO. The boxes are being positioned as collectibles themselves—an assertion that's slightly more credible since individual boxes show only half a face, meaning you need at least two boxes to make a full face.

    Check out a product shot here:



    For the commercial, then, Kraft and CP+B gathered somewhat more rare Star Wars collectibles. To do so, they went to a good source—Rancho Obi-Wan, the California nonprofit that has the Guinness-Record-certified largest private Star Wars collection in the world. Rancho Obi-Wan provided more than 750 pieces of memorabilia for the shoot.

    The plot of the ad is cute enough. It features a dad who ostensibly owns the collection showing off the "toys" to his son, who can't understand why he can't play with them.



    There's also a second, shorter spot with a different punchline:



    Beyond the commercials, there is also an interactive online experience at KraftStarWarsRoom.com, where visitors can click on items of memorabilia from the Star Wars room and get their backstories.

    "We're bringing to life the nostalgia that many young parents feel about Star Wars and Kraft, and creating new and exciting ways to experience them together as a family," says Scott Glenn, brand manager for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. "The Kraft Star Wars Room gives fans a new way to feed their inner Jedi with exclusive access to limited-edition collectibles housed in one amazing shrine."

    Also check out some print work below.



    TV CREDITS
    Client: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
    Campaign Title: Star Wars Shapes
    Execution Title: Can't Play
    Agency: CP+B
    Launch Date: 10/19/15
    Chief Creative Officer: Ralph Watson
    Executive Creative Director: Adam Chasnow
    Art Director: Ryan Dowling
    Writer: Chris Potts
    Director Of Video Production:  Kate Hildebrant
    Integrated Producer: Annie Turlay
    Production Company & City: Hungry Man, Los Angeles
    Director: Hank Perlman
    Director Of Photography: Eric Steelberg
    Line Producer (Production Co): Caleb Dewart
    Executive Producer (Production Co): Dan Duffy / Kevin Byrne
    Editorial Company & City: The Now Corporation, New York
    Editor: Owen Plotkin
    Assistant Editor: Jessica Farmer
    Editorial Executive Producer: Nancy Finn
    Post Production Company & City: Method Studios, New York
    Lead Compositor: Steve Morris
    Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
    Post Producer: Brad Wood
    Graphics / Animation Company & City: BUCK, New York
    Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
    Senior Producer: Nick Ferzich
    Mix Company & City: Lime Studios, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Audio Engineer: Mark Meyhaus
    Music Company & City: JSM Music, New York
    Executive Music Producer: Joel Simon
    Telecine Company & City: CO3, Los Angelos
    Senior Producer: Rochelle Brown
    Colorist: Tim Masick
    Vp Group Account Director: Steve Sanders
    Account Directors: Kevin Sypal, Anne Catherine Feeney
    Content Supervisor: Neylu Longoria, Kelly Olech
    Content Manager: Ashley Huehnerfuss
    Group Director, Planning: Kaylin Goldstein
    Business Affairs: Daphne Papadopulos, Katherine Graham-Smith
    Traffic Manager: Tito Texidor

    WEBSITE CREDITS
    Client: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
    Execution Title: Star Wars Room
    Agency: CP+B
    Chief Creative Officer: Ralph Watson
    Executive Creative Director: Adam Chasnow
    Creative Director: D'Arcy O'Neill
    Art Director: Ryan Dowling
    Copywriter: Chris Potts
    Executive Producer, Interactive: Stafford Bosak
    Interactive Technical Director: Harold Jones
    Associate Technical Director: Benjamin Sterling
    Digital Development Company & City: Hook, Los Angeles
    Quality Assurance Partner: Hook QA, Los Angeles
    Digital Metrics: Ryan Cain
    Photographer: Ryan Dowling
    Music Company & City: JSM Music, New York
    Collection Curator: Rancho Obi Wan, Petaluma, Calif.
    Group Content Management Director: Steve Sanders
    Content Management Director: Anne Catherine Feeney
    Content Supervisor: Kelly Olech
    Content Manager: Ashley Huehnerfuss
    Business Affairs: Katherine Graham Smith, Daphne Papadopulos
    Traffic Manager: Tito Texidor


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    Hulu tries to balance its fun, quirky brand persona with a ton of actual product mentions in this big new brand spot from twofifteenmccann, which broke Sunday night as a :60 on TV and is running online as an :81.

    Tom Kuntz of MJZ directed the commercial, and it certainly emulates the style that he helped make famous in his Old Spice work—that of the fast-talking pitchman who uses witty one-liners to guide the viewer through a comically surreal, prop-laden world. (The spokesman's hallway roaming here is particularly reminiscent of early Dollar Shave Club.)



    Adding to that already hectic style, this spot throws in a few celebrity cameos, too: Mindy Kaling, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Taraji P. Henson. The result is quite energetic, and fairly informative about Hulu's offerings—but just not as entertaining as it wants to be.

    The pitchman isn't charming enough, or maybe the gags aren't amusing enough. Either way, the spot feels like it's trying too hard to be freewheeling and fun, and instead comes off as calculated and staged.

    The new consumer brand campaign emphasizes that Hulu is all about redefining TV and that consumers deserve an experience in which TV loves you back. The new tagline is: "Come TV with us."

    But for inspired Hulu lunacy, we'll take Alec Baldwin's alien spot any day.

    CREDITS
    Client: Hulu

    Agency: twofifteenmccann
    Chief Creative Officer: Scott Duchon
    Art Director/ACD: Sharon Chow-Kaye
    Copywriter: Mat Bunnell
    Director of Integrated Production: Alex Spahr  
    Senior Producer: Brandon Romer
    Producer: Sarah Sweeney
    Business Affairs: Mary Beth Barney
    Account team: Charlie Byron, Julie Sinclair, Bhumieka Patel
    Strategy team: Gabrielle Tenaglia, Paige Robertson

    Production Company:  MJZ
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    DP: Hoyte Van Hoytema
    Line Producer:  Stephanie Bruni
    Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

    Editorial: Final Cut
    Editor: Rick Russell
    Editor: Crispin Struthers
    Assistant Editor: EmaLee Arroyo
    Head of Production: Suzy Ramirez
    Executive Producer:  Eric McCasline

    VFX: The Mill
    Sr. Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
    Deputy Head of Production: Dan Roberts
    VFX Supervisor and Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe
    Production Coordinator: Jackson Rogers
    Lead 2D: Andy Dill
    2D Artists: Jale Parsons, Gareth Parr, Tara Demarco John Price, Rob Winfield, Lisa Ryan, Daniel Lang, Jason Bergman.
    Matte Painter: Michael Aceves

    Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
    Company: Company 3

    Music: Human
    Sound Mixing: Lime Studios


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    Mullen Lowe positions Royal Caribbean as something of an anti-cruise line in its first campaign for the brand since adding the assignment in May.

    Vivid colors and good vibes permeate sun-splashed, quick-cut clips, which use phrases like "You are not a tourist" and "This is not a cruise" to hone Royal Caribbean's message for millennials and others seeking immersive, adventurous getaways. In fact, "seeking" is the salient theme, and "Come seek" is the new positioning.



    The ads focus on the overall experience of exploring exotic destinations beyond the ship itself. Indeed, shipboard activities are largely de-emphasized (one overhead pan makes a ship vessel look like a high-rise beachfront hotel) in favor of shots from various ports of call. That's probably a wise move, given the raft of food poisoning and more tragic disasters involving cruise ships in recent years.

    " 'Come seek' is designed to attract the next generation of cruisers," Royal Caribbean CMO Jim Berra tells AdFreak. "For them, trying new things, taking the road less traveled and sharing their experiences via social media is core to how they enjoy life. We all recognize the generational shift that is occurring, and we have a great opportunity to become their vacation brand of choice."



    The media strategy, devised by Mullen Lowe affiliate Mediahub, places five-second video edits in single commercial pods, broken up by spots from other brands, with full 30-second Royal Caribbean commercials running later in the same programs. A Periscope activation, streaming live from a cruise, and animated billboards in major U.S. markets are also in the mix. 

    "The 'seeker' mindset cuts across demographics, but the largest concentration is in the maturing millennial segment," says Berra. "Their perception is that you can't have unique and unexpected experiences while cruising. We're tackling that misperception head on. The campaign is all about giving them a preview of what they can look forward to humbly bragging about when they sail with us."

    Overall, "Come seek" succeeds fairly well at achieving that goal. The percussive pacing, while not exactly new, is effective, and there's a refreshing lack of the usual cruise-ship hype: We're spared swingin' moonlight parties on the Lido Deck, and shown actual streets, bays, wildlife and citizens of the Caribbean.

    Oh, wait. "This is not the Caribbean," we're told. "This is the Royal Caribbean."

    That's either awkward or distinctive, depending on your point of view.

    Ultimately, all cruise-line advertising is about enticing folks to take long trips on big boats. It's not easy charting a new course for that.


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    Brands are generally getting less error prone on Twitter, as evidenced by the longer period of time between epic fails. But IHOP on Sunday obliged with a doozy—a tweet about pancakes that doubled as an insult to flat-chested women.

    The tweet stayed up for a few hours until an Internet frenzy forced IHOP to rethink it, and then delete it. Soon enough, there was the requisite apology.

    Also, of course, there was the backlash to the backlash, typical in such cases, with some people defending the tweet as good old-fashioned comedy and not dumb misogyny—forgetting that, whatever anyone's personal taste in humor, it's just bad business for a pancake chain to joke about women's breasts.


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    Here's a new one: An anti-sexism ad has been pulled for being, well, sexist.

    French TV station France 3 pulled its latest campaign after widespread criticism. The offending ad shows a home in a state of disarray—an oven smokes, children's toys are scattered, an unattended iron catches aflame, a dog is left whimpering—while ominous expect-sad-little-girl-ghost-here music plays.

    It closes on a shot of a woman's closet, with one pair of shoes clearly missing, as upbeat music plays and the answer to the question that's presumably your mind (i.e., "Where the hell are all the women?!") appears: "They are on France 3."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The video, which was shared on Twitter, is accompanied by the following (translated) caption, which only makes it worse: "More different, more modern, more feminine! France 3 affirms its values through this new campaign honoring its female presenters!"

    Both video and the tweet are flanked by the lead copy for the work: "Most of our TV hosts are hostesses."

    This is a strange attempt to showboat its number of women broadcasters and laud gender equality in the workplace, but ends up missing the mark altogether—by suggesting the woman's place is actually in the home. Even France's women's rights minister weighed in with criticism:

    The tweet reads, "The 'womens' campaign by @france3tv doesn't seem to me like a good way to valorize egalitarian professionals among TV presentors, dear @DelphineErnotte." Burn.

    Ernotte, the president of France Télévisions, which owns France 3, is, curiously, also a woman. (Maybe her husband complains a lot about the scorched ironing?) And the irony wasn't lost elsewhere on Twitter, either.


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    It was the shark attack caught on a live surfing broadcast, and then seen around the world. But Mick Fanning's family is condemning a comical new KFC ad that revisits the Australian's recent brush with death—saying it's no laughing matter.

    The spot was made for the South African market, where Fanning was competing when he was attacked in July. Luckily, he survived with no major injuries, but his mental trauma was apparent in the days following.

    Now, KFC South Africa tries to have some fun with the whole incident in a ludicrous spot that re-enacts the attack—though with a ridiculously comical outcome designed to appeal to young viewers.



    But Fanning's mother, Elizabeth Osborne, told Fairfax Media this week that the ad was shameful and that the World Surf League could take legal action against KFC.

    "I think it is very disrespectful," she said. "They've put a look-alike in the video. It really brings back a lot of trauma for everybody who has been attacked by a shark. Some families have had fatalities, and some people are still absolutely scarred without limbs. It's disrespectful to them, and Mick is not at all happy with that."

    Check out video of the Fanning attack below.


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    There's already plenty of nostalgia around the upcoming Star Wars movie, and PlayStation only adds to that vibe with this holiday spot from BBH New York for a game called Star Wars Battlefront, launching Nov. 17 on the PS4.

    Are you a grown man stuck in a dead-end job in an airless skyscraper, dreaming of when you actually enjoyed life? Like back when you were a kid and you were having epic Lightsaber battles with your best friend, dressing up as Darth Vader and Yoda for Halloween, and racing Star Wars bikes around the neighborhood?

    Spoiler alert: You can't go back there. However, you can buy Star Wars Battlefront and metaphorically shatter your stasis, leap on to an X-wing fighter and head to Hoth, where snowy freedom awaits (along with "greatness," as the brand's continuing tagline puts it).



    PlayStation blogged about the spot, saying the brand "wanted to celebrate the launch of Star Wars Battlefront in the biggest way we could—with a love letter to one of the most enduring and inspiring fictional universes in human history."

    The campaign includes one :30 and one :60 for TV and online.

    And the campaign goes well beyond the spot into custom consoles: A limited-edition, Darth Vader-inspired PS4 system—with an image of Darth Vader and a repeated Star Wars logo across the top of the console—will be available as part of two Star Wars bundles available Nov. 17.

    CREDITS
    Client: PlayStation
    Senior Vice President, Marketing: Guy Longworth

    Agency: BBH, New York
    Creative Chairman: John Patroulis
    Chief Creative Officer: Ari Weiss
    Creatives: Lucas Bongioanni, Marcos Kotlhar, Philip Sicklinger, Alex Booker
    Chief Strategy Officer: Sarah Watson
    Strategy Director: Kendra Salvatore
    Business Director: Finnian O'Neill
    Account Director: Justin Marciani
    Account Executives: Eric Schwerdtfeger, Johnny Skwirut
    Head of Content Production: Kate Morrison
    Senior Content Producer: Abbie Noon
    Head of Business Affairs: Sean McGee

    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Lance Acord
    Executive Producers: Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Mary Ann Marino
    Line Producers/EPs: Caroline Kousidonis, Justin Pollock
    Director of Photography: Lance Acord
    Head of Production: Anne Bobroff
    Production Designer: Richard Bridgland
    Production Service: Stillking Prague
    Production Supervisor: Lars Flegel

    Editing House: Exile
    Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
    Producer: Toby Louie
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Assistant Editor: Grant Hall

    Sound Design: Brian Emerich
    Sound Mixing: Sonic Union
    Producer: Justine Cortale
    Engineer: Steve Rosen

    Visual Effects House: The Mill
    Executive Producer: Verity Grantham
    Senior Producer: Jeremy Moore
    Producer: Michael Scarcella
    Production Coordinator: Casey Sincic
    Shoot Supervision: Christian Neilsen, Nathan Kane
    2-D Lead Artist: Kyle Cody
    3-D Lead Artists: Ruben Vandebroek, Joji Tsuruga
    Colorist: Ferg McCall


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    To get people excited about Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the horror-movie franchise staged the ultimate haunted-house prank—an open house in the actual home where the first Paranormal Activity was filmed.

    In due course, potential homebuyers were subjected to all the bells and whistles of a proper haunting, including falling paintings, shattering mirrors and static electricity in the microwave.



    It turns out watching people totally lose their shit with minimal provocation is hilarious. (Well, almost minimal. That mirror thing would have freaked us out, too.) It's very much in the spirit of Thinkmodo's Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise, the 2013 guerrilla campaign for the film Carrie, though we'd argue this one seems a little less spontaneous. It also recalls Trulia's haunted open house from 2014.

    Most of the people touring the house are a hair too photogenic for this "prank" to be anything but staged—there's even a moment when two women screaming in front of the broken mirror look like they're suppressing smiles. But at least it's honest about its promotional intentions.

    Lots of other obviously staged videos pretending to be legitimate (we're looking at you, BuzzFeed) aren't as forthcoming, and the artifice just makes us feel cheap.


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    You might think you carve a mean pumpkin, but Jon Neill will kick the orange pulp and seeds out of you any day of the week—particularly in October, when his master carving skills are most in demand.

    And this year, Neill has landed an ad deal, starring in the Snickers spot below from BBDO New York, in which he pretends to be a killer before settling in to his artful day job. The connection to the product feels a bit tacked on here, but it's nice to see Snickers give a guy like Neill the extra exposure.

    Check out more of Neill's insane creations over at his website.

    CREDITS
    Client: Snickers
    Mars Chocolate North America: Client
    Brand Director – Filled Bars Portfolio: Allison Miazga-Bedrick
    Sr. Brand Manager, SNICKERS® Brand: Michael Italia
    Brand Director – Seasonal: Trish Trecartin
    Seasonal Marketing - Sr. Marketing Manager: Angela McSwain

    Creative Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Gianfranco Arena
    Executive Creative Director: Peter Kain
    Executive Creative Director: Tom Markham
    Creative Director: Kim Baskinger
    Senior Copywriter: Rich Douek
    Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
    Group Executive Producer: Amy Wertheimer
    Producer: Annie Dietz
    Managing Director: Kirsten Flanik
    Global Account Director: Susannah Keller
    Account Director: Joshua Steinman
    Account Manager: Tani Corbacho
    Account Executive: Jocelyn Choi
    Group Planning Director: Annemarie Norris
    Senior Planner: Alaina Crystal
    Senior Communications Planner: Sean Stogner

    Carver: Jon Neill

    Production Company: The Kitchen at BBDO
    Director: Lawrence Chen
    Editor: Andrew Reuland

    Production Company: Vanishing Angle
    Field Producer: Matt Miller
    Director of Photography: Frank Barerra
    Camera Assistant/Gaffer: Steve Smith
    Production Sound Mixer: Mike Weinstein

    Coloring: MPC
    Colorist: Adrian Seely

    Mixing: Heard City
    Mixer: Keith Reynaud


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    Under Armour recently showed you hundreds of Stephen Currys in an ad from Droga5. But of course, you only need one Stephen Curry to rewrite the NBA record books. And that's what we get in Droga's latest ad, which kicks off the 2015-16 NBA season by celebrating the Warriors point guard and his cosmic impact on the game of basketball.

    Droga5 wanted an epic vibe, so it got Oscar winner Jamie Foxx to voice poetic copy about how thoroughly Curry's lightning-fast shot has changed the game. (Foxx appears onscreen briefly, too.) When Curry shoots a three-pointer, he releases the ball in as little as 0.4 seconds—the quickest shot ever measured. This is illustrated with exploding fireworks in the darkly evocative visuals from director Henry-Alex Rubin.



    "Stephen is a generational talent, and through hard work and self-belief he's doing things on a basketball court that is impacting how the game is played, coached and seen by fans throughout the world," says Peter Murray, vp of global brand and sports marketing at Under Armour. "This new story, featuring Stephen in the new Curry Two, showcases his dynamic skill set, which is inspiring a new generation of basketball players to challenge the foundation of the game and lead the new era of basketball."

    The spot features Under Armour's "Iron Sharpens Iron" Curry Two, the first colorway of Curry's second signature shoe, which hits UA.com and retailers on Oct. 24. More colorways of the Curry Two will be released throughout the season.

    CREDITS
    Client: Under Armour
    Campaign: Curry Two
    Title "Flash"
    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
    Copywriter: Craig Gerringer
    Art Director: Conner Tobiason
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast: Production Ben Davies
    Broadcast Producer: Rebecca Wilmer
    Integrated Production Business Manager: Librado Sanchez
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland
    Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman
    Junior Strategist: Isaiah Brown
    Senior Communications Strategist: Hillary Heath
    Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
    Account Director: Brian D'Entremont
    Account Manager: Josh Freeland
    Associate Account Manager: Scott Bubis
    Senior Project Manager: Courtney Kosup
    Project Manager: Monique Lavie
    Client: Under Armour
    CEO & Founder: Kevin Plank
    EVP, Global Marketing: Adam Peake
    SVP, Global Brand Strategy: Rick Anguilla
    SVP, Global Brand Creative: Steve Battista
    SVP, Global Brand Marketing: Adrienne Lofton
    SVP, Business Development & Entertainment: Todd Montesano
    VP, Global Brand & Sports Marketing: Peter Murray
    VP, Creative & Design: Brian Boring
    Sr. Director, Strategic Partnerships & Entertainment: Dre Wright
    Creative Director, Story Development: Jed Jecelin
    Director, Brand Basketball: Tai Foster
    Director of Sports, Marketing, Pro Basketball: Kris Stone
    Brand Marketing Director, Campaign Integration: Teresa Oles
    Director Creative Operations: Eric Clemmer
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Henry-Alex Rubin
    DOP: David Devlin
    Partner: Patrick Milling Smith
    Partner: Brian Carmody
    Executive Producer: Lisa Tauscher
    Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero
    Head of Production: Andrew Colón
    Producer: Alex Waite
    Editorial: Stitch Editorial
    Editor: Leo Scott
    Assistant Editor: Weston Cadwell
    Executive Producer: Mila Davis
    Telecine: The Mill
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    Postproduction: Framestore
    Senior Producer: Christa Cox
    Senior Producer: Nicholas Dziekonski
    VFX Supervisor / Lead Flame Artist: Martin Lazaro
    Compositor: Leslie Chung
    Compositor: Hieu Phan
    Music Supervisor, Venn Arts: Jonathan Hecht
    Track: "Giants" by Tamer, Pusher Music
    Sound Duotone: Audio Post
    Executive Producer: Greg Tiefenbrun
    Mixer/Sound Designer: Andy Green


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    Last week, Toyota gave Back to the Future fans a taste of what it looks like to have Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox reunite onscreen. Now, for Back to the Future Day—Oct. 21, 2015—the automaker has released the full five-minute spot.  

    Part of the "Fueled by Everything" campaign from Droga5, the work promotes Toyota's new Mirai, a car that uses a variation of the hydrogen fuel cell technology that the 1989 film predicted. 

    While the teaser focused on Lloyd and Fox riffing about whether the real 2015 has any of the products envisioned in Back to the Future II—something all fans of the film do—the full spot is much more compelling and fun.

    Toyota tapped a scientist—a real-life Doc Brown—to teach Lloyd and Fox how they can turn trash into fuel for their cars. And Droga5 went all out, using Toyota's Tacoma (Marty's truck in the film), the Huey Lewis and the News song "The Power of Love" and more. 

    Check it out below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Toyota Mirai
    Campaign: "Fueled by Everything"
    Spots:
    Fueled by the Future (4:45)
    Clocks Teaser (0:37)
    Diner Teaser (0:43)
    Fueled by the Future PreRoll (0:15)
    FBTF: Behind the Science (1:18)
    Launch Date: Oct. 21, 2015
    Agency: Droga5, New York
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Executive Creative Director: Neil Heymann
    Creative Directors: David Gibson, Nathan Lennon
    Art Directors: Daniël Sumarna, Inna Kofman
    Copywriters: Colin Lord, Bryan Wolff
    Associate Design Director: Devin Croda
    Designers: Indah Shillingford, Natalie Cho
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Scott Chinn
    Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
    Executive Interactive Producer: Justin Durazzo
    Senior Interactive Producer: Maggie Macdonald
    Associate Interactive Producer: Morgan Mendel
    Director of Technology: Andy Prondak
    Senior Technology Lead: Joachim Do
    Senior Developer: Jim Alexander
    Quality Assurance Engineer: Yadira Isaac
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Strategy Director: Tom Haslow
    Strategist: Emily Mulvey
    Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
    Group Communications Strategy Director: Duncan Owen
    Communications Strategist: Parks Middleton
    Head of Data Strategy: Andrew Tully
    Data Strategist: Anthony Khaykin
    Social Media Manager: Whitney Brodribb
    Group Account Director: Steven Panariello
    Account Director: Bola Adekoya
    Account Manager: Belle Bonar
    Associate Account Manager: Leo Wong
    Senior Project Manager: Anika Chowdhury
    Client: Toyota
    National Marketing, Communications Manager, Advanced Technology Vehicles: Doug Coleman
    Vehicle Marketing, Communications Manager, Toyota Marketing Department: Nathan Kokes
    National Marketing, Communications, Toyota Motor Sales: Julia Greenberg
    Production Company: Caviar
    Director: Jeremy Konner
    Director of Photography: Simon Thirlaway
    Executive Producers: Michael Sagol, Jasper Thomlinson
    Producer: Adrianne McCurrach
    Editing: Cut + Run
    Editor: Georgia Dodson
    Assistant Editor: Beau Dickson
    Executive Producer: Rana Martin
    Producer: Evyn Bruce
    Postproduction: MPC, New York
    Post Producer: Sophie Gibson
    Lead Flame Artist: Alex Harding
    Colorist: Adrian Seery
    Music: Back to the Future, Back to the Future II Score: Alan Silvestri
    "Power of Love": Huey Lewis and The News
    Sound: Heard City
    Mixers: Evan Mangiamele, Philip Loeb
    Interactive Production Company: Resn
    Quality Assurance Testing: Enzyme Testing Labs; Hook QA


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