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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but that doesn't mean refraining from making breast puns until next fall. Up in Canada, the Nesters Market grocery chain is giving its melons a makeover this week to remind women to check themselves for breast cancer.

    Every cantaloupe, honeydew, and mini-watermelon has a "Have you checked yours?" sticker this week (the stunt runs last Sunday to this Saturday) that includes the URL dontforgettocheck.ca, which has breast cancer information and prevention tips.

    The stunt was organized by ad agency Rethink for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's "Don't Forget to Check Week." All 11 Nesters Market locations across British Columbia and Alberta are involved.

    The campaign reminds people that regular self-checking can save lives, especially in younger women who don't undergo regular mammograms. Some 18 percent of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women under 50.

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    There are still a solid six weeks left in 2015, but this ad is a strong contender for the most uplifting, then perplexing, commercial of the year.

    It features an older couple who talk openly about the challenges and blessings they've experienced in raising their granddaughter, whose father—their son—is incarcerated. "We want to be the grandparents, knowing we have to be the parents," they say.

    It's a touching story, built on a relatable theme—that the great gift of being a grandparent is getting all the joy of spending time with a child, but with, in most cases, minimal responsibility. It feels like a Honey Maid-esque take on modern families. And it wouldn't be crazy to mistake it for the perfect retirement-planning ad. (Not only should you be prepared to support yourself, but do you have enough of a cushion for a cuddly curveball?)

    But no. This isn't that kind of ad at all.

    This—spoiler alert—is a commercial for toilet paper, part of Deutsch's "Be soft. Be strong" campaign for Angel Soft. And these brave, stoic grandparents are likened to the bathroom product itself. See, they are soft but also strong.

    Now, yes, we can agree toilet paper is pretty amazing stuff. We should be grateful for it, and—fair enough—for loving grandparents, too. And if Angel Soft's Facebook page is any indication, the ad resonates with many of the latter. The post featuring the video is approaching 2,000 Likes, and has dozens of grateful comments from grandparents who are raising their own grandchildren. So, Angel Soft is apparently, and perhaps smartly, cornering that market and people sympathetic to it.

    But it's also hard not to see the two-minute spot as the result of the branded-content craze getting pushed past a point of no return—with tear-jerking docudramas being rolled out for any and all brands, no matter how strained the metaphor.

    And here, the metaphor only worsens the longer you think about it: If the grandparents represent the brand's nurturing cleaning product, what does that make the little girl? Don't think on it too hard—just thank God for Angel Soft.

    The ending might leave you wondering if the whole things is a parody. It's not. But maybe it's a brilliant piece of subterfuge by the creatives. If so, it deserves a different kind of kudos—for most artfully undercutting the client.

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    Back in April, Fruit of the Loom and Crispin Porter + Bogusky made fake transparent plastic pants. Now, the brand and agency have upped their fake-clothes game to create a very special line of high-end attire.

    Upon closer inspection, though, you'll see that it's not so high-end. These are actually fleece sweat suits printed to look like fancy duds.

    The so-called Professionals Collection includes three looks—the Country Clubber, the Trail Blazer and the Business Time. The bad news, though: You can't buy them. (At least not yet.) The brand only made 50 of each outfit—to gauge if consumers are interested.

    Fruit of the Loom will post the images on social media, asking people where they would wear the them. Ads will also run on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.

    "The end goal is to bring the look of success to sweats, without sacrificing comfort," the brand said.

    "This is a chance for guys to show up making the type of fashion statement they love the most—the type that makes all of their friends laugh. And strangers. Strangers will also laugh. Then they'll ask where you got that sweat suit," said Brett Dixon, associate creative director at CP+B.

    Check out the three short clips below explaining each outfit below.

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    The Force is strong with this one.

    HP ties in with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in these fun, impressive commercials from BBDO New York and 180LA that introduce the technology company's "Keep Reinventing" platform.

    In the BBDO spot below, a teenage dude assembles his very own version of R2-D2 in the garage from parts he collects in the junkyard. With an assist from his HP laptop, he sends the droid across town on a mission of the heart.

    Oh, sure, that brainy punk can make a fully functioning, mobile, movie-ticket-vending R2. Let's see him build his own C-3PO, with the English accent. Then I'll be impressed.

    In a second ad from BBDO, a family goes all Jedi as they create a very special flipbook. HP's "Instant Ink" printer function comes in handy.

    Mega Star Wars nerds with absolutely no lives might recognize Garrick Hagon, who plays the grandfather in the spot, from his immortal portrayal of Biggs Darklighter (aka Red Three) from the original Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977.

    The ad below, called "Sound Wars," represents a toe-tapping, Sumo-wrestler-slapping change of pace. In it, 180LA puts several new spins on the film series' famous main musical themes to tout the musical functions of HP laptops.

    What, no ukelele? I won't have those tunes stuck in my head all day or anything.

    Both BBDO and 180 use the film franchise's icons and imagery to great effect. And the ability of the Star Wars universe to evolve with each new episode makes a fine fit for HP's message of reinvention.

    "In the Star Wars universe, anyone who has passion, ingenuity and technology has the force to reinvent," says Antonio Lucio, CMO at HP. "In our world, this same truth applies."

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    It's a pretty established rule of museum marketing that your advertising should show off, you know, what's inside the museum—particularly if you've got some famous artwork in there. But Grey London rejects that entirely in a bold new campaign that gets rid of the art and instead tries to tell the fascinating stories behind it.

    The campaign launches by focusing on three works in particular: "Triptych, August 1972" by Francis Bacon; "Ophelia" by Sir John Everett Millais (which is Tate Britain's most popular painting); and "Portrait of Elizabeth I."

    Nils Leonard, chairman and chief creative officer of Grey London, did the art directing and typography himself. The ads were written—in a fractured, intimate style—by Pete Gatley, Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith-Bech. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the artworks themselves.)

    The point is to get people to reappraise artworks they thought they knew, and have them visit Tate Britain to see them in a different light.

    Click the ads to enlarge:

    "Working with Tate Britain's curators, we unlocked the stories in art to drive footfall to the gallery and encourage people to discover more stories for themselves," says Dom Goldman, executive creative director at Grey London. "We hope this will mean much of the British art is reappraised and talked about once again in culture as it was when it originated."

    "Our ambition in working with Grey London is to offer a broader audience new 'ways in' to the art we present at Tate Britain by creating cultural relevance," adds Rob Baker, Tate's chief marketing officer. "This first campaign is a taste of the new approach we'll be taking to unlock the power of art through our communications."

    The ads will run as posters on the London Underground, in print and on the Tate Britain website. Postcards of the ads will be be available for free at the gallery itself.

    Here are vertical versions of the ads:

    And here are the artworks to which the ads refer:

    Triptych, August 1972


    Portrait of Elizabeth I


    Project name: Tate Britain, BP Collection, 500 Years of Stories
    Client: Rob Baker, Chief Marketing Officer, Tate
    Abi Laughton, Marketing Manager, Tate Britain
    Agency: Grey London
    Art director: Nils Leonard
    Creative directors: Nils Leonard & Dom Goldman
    Copywriters: Pete Gatley, Jonas Roth, Rasmus Smith Bech
    Creative: Yassa Khan
    Creative producers: Gemma Hose & Martin McGinn
    Planner: Ruth Chadwick
    Account Team: Henry Debenham, Sophie Posgate, Emma Stockton
    Media agency: AKA
    Media planner: Zoe Brown & Sam Thomas
    Post-production: Hogarth
    Exposure: Press, tube card panels and 16 sheets on London Underground

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    It's hard to listen to A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" without feeling some hint of superiority. The song is arguably good, a perfect entry in the time period's myriad synth-pop hits. But because of the band's lead singer and his particularly styled coif, the band became an easy punch line, emblematic of the over-the-top 1980s culture.

    That may have been the thinking behind using the five-minute song as the soundtrack for the beautifully done mashup below of commercials from that time. 

    Instead of being an easy joke, the song helps elevate the mashup from that of an Internet treasure trove to, as one commenter notes, a time machine showcasing the power of commercials. It's easy to deride advertising for everything it represents with regard to consumerism and capitalism while forgetting the art behind each message.

    Here, the variety of spots—from Kellogg's to L'Oréal to Duracell—conveys not only the variety of narratives and mediums at which agencies and brands excel, but also how easily these campaigns can represent the culture and climate of the time period. And of course, to examine '80s culture is to look at greed, excess and the casual materialism of the time. 

    In any case, it's delightful to see old-school taglines, like this one for Vaseline (the "Wonder Jelly"): "Let it work wonders for you." 

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    No self-respecting British advertiser wants to be left behind at this time of year, since the run-up to Christmas has become known as the U.K.'s version of the Super Bowl for commercials. And Warburtons, a purveyor of baked goods, might have just surged ahead by enlisting the Muppets for a holiday musical extravaganza.

    Agency WCRS London doesn't go the heart-tugging route that so many competitor ads have taken, instead letting the Muppets do what they do best—unleash some joy. There's Kermit, Fozzy, Gonzo, Beaker and the rest of the stable making merry, changing the iconic theme song to fit a new Warburton product—a giant crumpet—and tossing around references to Brit TV hit Coronation Street.

    Miss Piggy puts the moves on the brand's top honcho, Jonathan Warburton, and Animal declares that he's "mad" for the new, oversized toasted cake. Statler and Waldorf get the last word, knocking their fellow Muppets' performance and saying they liked the Sylvester Stallone action-flick ad from April better. (That ad, "The Deliverer," was pretty stellar).

    The Muppets, who are once again TV stars in the U.S., aren't strangers to the spokescreature role. They've shown up in Toyota ads during the Super Bowl, Lipton and Subway spots, and hybrid Audi/Emmy Awards promos. And there's an ongoing Chevy Volt integration in its current weekly ABC series.

    But the Warburtons work is especially true to form, no doubt carefully monitored by Disney, and fairly irresistible. Check it out, and try to figure out the coffee mug Easter egg.

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    You've seen this kind of torture scene before. A man sits bound to a chair, preparing to feel unimaginable pain after crossing a line with his tough-guy boss. He seems to have leaked some sensitive information—or even informed on the guy. Whatever his particular transgressions, he's about to see what it's like to be shoved into a pit of rats while doused in honey.

    That's the setup of this new Netflix ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles. And it's one of those spots that's better to enjoy spoiler-free, before someone, like a dirty rat, tells you the ending. Check it out here first:

    The mini-film is nicely done—cinematic (befitting a service that streams movies and top-quality TV shows), amusingly silly and based off an insight which, at first blush, might not seem like a positive one for Netflix. The spot essentially urges people not to talk about Netflix shows—or at least, not until they've asked the person which season and episode (the "S.E.") they're on.

    That's a bit of a peculiar request. You'd think Netflix would sidestep focusing on the noncommunal aspect of its watching experience. Instead, it embraces it. And it does so because it's rich creative territory—there's conflict and drama (on a small scale) in trying not to have your favorite show spoiled if you're not totally caught up. This spot takes that notion to a comical extreme, with just the right amount of goofiness—turning what could be seen as a product liability into something entertainingly relatable.

    There's also the interactive bit at the end, which is also seamless and pretty smart. Netflix, after all, is about empowering its users to make their own scheduling decisions. Thus, having them decide the outcome of an ad is a small but notable extension of the brand, too.

    Client: Netflix

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
    Fabio Costa: Executive Creative Director
    Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, Dave Horton: Creative Directors
    Peter Bassett: Director of Production
    Stephanie Dziczek: Senior Producer
    Kristin McCarron: Digital Producer
    Peter Ravailhe: Managing Director
    Tyra Hillsten: Brand Leader
    Sarah Lamberson: Brand Director
    Steve Smith: Associate Brand Manager
    Rohit Thawani: Director of Digital and Social Strategy
    Gary Klugman: Planning Director
    Emilie Arrive: Senior Digital Strategist
    Lauren Maddox: Digital Strategist
    Mimi Hirsch: Senior Business Affairs Manager 
    Anders Svensson: Design Director
    Robbie Reynolds: Designer
    John Byrne: Tech Manager
    Armen Kesablyan: Tech Lead
    Lester Dizon, Alen Shen: User Experience Designers
    Lester Broas: Quality Assurance Lead
    Walter Velasquez: Quality Assurance Analyst

    Production Company: Furlined
    William Speck, Josh Gordon: Directors
    Diane McArter: President
    Robert Herman: Managing Director
    David Thorne: Senior Executive Producer
    Aris McGarry: Producer

    Editorial: Cut + Run
    Steve Gandolfi: Editor
    Russell Anderson: Assistant Editor
    Carr Schilling: Executive Producer
    Remy Foxx: Producer

    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Dez (Derek) Macleod Veilleux: Executive Producer
    Ben West: Creative Director, Visual Effects Supervisor
    J.D. Yepes: 2-D Lead
    Mike Bain: 3-D Lead
    Scott Boyajan: Commercials Producer

    Telecine: Company 3
    Dave Hussey: Senior Colorist

    Sound Design: Stimmung
    Gus Koven: Sound Design
    Kristina Iwankiw: Producer
    Ceinwyn Clark: Executive Producer

    Mix: Eleven
    Jeff Payne: Mixer
    AJ Murillo: Assistant Mixer
    Dawn Redmann: Producer
    Suzanne Hollingshead: Executive Producer

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    If anyone can help make "ShottaSoCo" a word people actually say at bars, it's Danny McBride. Or rather, a flying version of Danny McBride who repeats the word endlessly, over a pulsating beat, while circling the globe—birdlike in a custom-made wing-tux—in Wieden + Kennedy's amusingly ludicrous new music video for Southern Comfort.

    The video, which combines real-life McBride with the Taiwanese animation that the brand has been into lately, was directed by Jody Hill—who of course previously teamed up with McBride on HBO's Eastbound & Down. And it turns out McBride is an authentic brand ambassador. "I'm a huge fan of Southern Comfort! It's been my go-to for years," the actor says in a statement.

    In the video, he takes a rather circuitous route to meeting a lady friend at the bar, cruising at 35,000 feet as he barks "ShottaSoCo" at the empty void below—eventually drawing the attention of President Obama, whose security team has apparently spotted McBride on the radar. But rather than being a security threat, Danny is apparently just excuse for everyone, including the commander in chief, to party.

    The whole thing is part of Southern Comfort's ongoing efforts to burn the word "ShottaSoCo" into your brain. The brand hopes it will become a commonly used shorthand way of ordering a "shot of Southern Comfort" at bars. And this new song, recorded by the Detroit Grand Pubahs, should help in that regard.

    "The idea was to spread a word: 'ShottaSoCo.' Make that word catchy and hopefully get it stuck in your head. It was designed to be a multi-use phrase, including a great song that people actually might get some enjoyment out of," says Jimm Lasser, creative director at W+K New York. "Music is an awesome way to do messaging. It is something that can move with people, rather than the type of engagement that requires you to go to a screen."

    "Danny McBride is truly the perfect ambassador for us," adds Lisa Hunter, brand director for Southern Comfort. "He genuinely loves Southern Comfort, and his personality perfectly aligns with our everyday mantra, 'Whatever's Comfortable.' We know there's no one better to pioneer the ShottaSoCo movement."

    The single is available on Spotify,Vevo and in bars, starting today.

    See more short clips featuring McBride below.

    Client: Southern Comfort

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: David Kolbusz and Jaime Robinson
    Creative Directors: Jimm Lasser and Caleb Jensen
    Copywriter: Luke Sacherman
    Art Director: Rick Jacques
    Associate Producer: Lisa Delonay
    Senior Producer: Alison Hill
    Account Team: Brandon Pracht, Toby Hussey, Katie Hoak & Kerry O'Connell
    Project Manager: Cory Chonko
    Digital Strategist: Tom Gibby
    Head of Production: Nick Setounski
    Photographer: Rick Jacques
    Art Producer: Ali Berk
    Business Affairs: Justine Lowe, Sara Jagielski

    Production Company:  Caviar
    Director: Jody Hill
    Executive Producer: Michael Sagol and Kim Dellara
    Line Producer: Luke Thomlinson-Clark
    Director of Photography: Kenneth Seng

    Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Geoff Hounsell
    Post Producer: Fanny Cruz
    Post Executive Producer: Sila Soyer and Nicole Visram
    Editorial Assistant: Samuel Barden

    Animation Company: Next Media Animation
    Producers: Eric Chang and Jessica Wu

    VFX Company: Timber
    Managing Partner/EP: Damian Stevens
    CDs / Partners: Jonah Hall and Kevin Lau
    Executive Producer: Chris Webb
    VFX Lead Flame: Brian Shneider
    Digital Effects Supervisors: Nick Hiegel
    Nuke Compositor: Rachel Dunn, Daniel Raschko, Joe Zaki, Robert Williams, Eddie Martinez & Aaron Singer
    AE Artist: Michael Loney
    Flame Assist:  Jason Giamarra, Brandon Harden & Jeff Schulman
    Producer:  Lauren Loftus & Tita Poe

    Mix Company: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Steve Rosen
    Sound Designer: Steve Rosen

    Song: "SHOTTASoCo"
    Artist: Detroit Grand Pubahs

    Title Design
    Partner Company: Joint
    Senior Producer: Michelle Carman
    Designer: Dustin Bailey

    BTS Editorial Co.
    Partner Company: Joint
    Senior Producer: Michelle Carman
    Assistant Editor: Stephen Nelson
    Assistant Editor: JB Jacobs
    Motion Graphics Director : Yui Uchida


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    In this spot for Ford Asia Pacific, a happy-go-lucky protagonist talks openly about an affliction he's lived with all his life: his small—but mighty—arms.

    The mockumentary-style piece, directed by Andy Kelemen under the purview of creative director Shrey Khetarpal, follows him from childhood on up as he busts holes in the wall with his toy car, crushes glass carafes over dates, and breaks down doors just by touching them. "It's always been about my arms, my incredibly strong arms," he sighs. "I just didn't know it back then."

    Things turn around for our friendly hero when he helps catch a purse-snatcher: He finds a wife, starts a family and becomes a model citizen. Our last impression is of him holding up a compact Ford SUV—small but mighty, like his arms.

    Ford leaves nothing open to interpretation, ending the ad with a blunt push for its turbocharged, direct injection EcoBoost gas engines: "Great power. Saves fuel. Fewer emissions."

    Claims like that are tougher to swallow since the Volkswagen drama, which not only cast the regulatory spotlight on VW but on European cars in general. Across the board, its industry suffers from (or enjoys, depending on your point of view) limited car industry regulation. It isn't yet clear how this affects American contenders, who could certainly use a win against their EU counterparts.

    But even the educated skeptic can appreciate a quirky ad that reaches past garden-variety car porn, though it definitely takes cues from other playbooks: It brings to mind both Skittles' much-weirder "Struck by a Rainbow" mockumentary and a recent spot for Ambuja Cement, featuring India's most famous wrestler, the Great Khali, who has a lot of the same problems Ford's young star does.

    Maybe he can offer him homebuilding tips.

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    After watching the third in a series of amusing ads for Australia's Bonds underwear, starring a pair of anthropomorphized testicles, it's becoming clear that things won't be getting much better for these two. They'll always have to put up with the Brain's poor decision making—in the case of the latest ad, his decision to go cycling, and to rapidly uncross his legs.

    But at least the Brain continues to make one smart decision, even if it's his only one—buying Bonds underwear, which leaves the fellas cozy and snug when they're trying to recover from the slings and arrows of everyday life.

    See the third installment below, plus the two previous ads below that.

    Agency: Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne.

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    Every parent knows the searing pain of stepping on an errant Lego brick in the middle of the night. It might even be how your kids learned their first curse words. Luckily, Lego has heard our cries of pain and has teamed up with French ad agency Brand Station to make Lego-branded padded slippers so your feet will survive that bricking.

    Lego injuries are a plight of our times, unique to our advanced civilization, but the underlying human truth is that it has always really hurt to step on tiny pointy things. In other words, this fulfills a big need in the world.

    But get this: These fools think they're going to make only 1,500 pairs of these, and they'll be available only as a random distribution to those who make a Christmas wish list on the Lego France website. But now that the world has heard about it, they'd better start making a couple thousand (at least), because Lego enthusiasts are going to demand their own.

    In fact, if I don't see these available for purchase at my nearby Legoland Discovery Center within the year, I will be seriously dissapointed. And for those of you who are now going to order your Christmas Legos through Lego France, bon chance!

    0 0

    Here's a fun send-up of live-for-the-moment advertising aimed at millennials.

    72andSunny just picked up the ad account of Seventh Generation, the environmentally minded cleaning, paper and personal care products company. And its first work for the new client is for Bobble, its water bottle brand—the satirical commercial below is packaged as a takedown of the too-carefree approach to drinking water out of single-use plastic bottles.

    The conceit is a touch silly when distilled. The 60-second spot, from 72andSunny New York, consists mainly of twentysomethings bounding around and tossing off empty plastic bottles (all bearing the fictional label "Once") like confetti.

    But the ad so perfectly nails the generically earnest YOLO themes that have plagued advertising (not to mention the broader culture) in recent years, that brilliant sight gags like back seats and swimming pools filled with garbage barely register as out of place—making them all the more entertaining.

    And ultimately, that kind of absurdity is the whole point: A message that could easily come across as self-righteous instead reads as charming common sense. (Then again, it probably helps that the argument itself is intelligent—a luxury not every advertisers has.)

    Seventh Generation, which also sells green household goods ranging from paper products and detergents to diapers and tampons, announced it has hired 72andSunny's New York office as its lead creative agency after a review.

    The Los Angeles shop's East Coast outpost opened last year, working on broader 72andSunny clients like Samsung and Smirnoff. It is slated to launch a broader campaign for Seventh Generation next year.

    Hopefully, that includes more biting attacks on idiocy, and brands that pander to it.

    Client: bobble
    CMO, Seventh Generation: Joey Bergstein
    Marketing Director, Seventh Generation Ventures: Brian Berklich
    Associate Brand Manager, Seventh Generation Ventures: Danielle Passingham

    Spot: 'Once Water'

    Agency: 72andSunny NYC
    Executive Creative Director: Guillermo Vega
    Lead Writer: Matthew Carey
    Lead Designer: Wei Wei Dong
    Senior Designer: Nicole Karalekas
    Senior Writer: Rosswell Saunders
    Jr. Writer: Ben Wiley
    Jr. Designer: Brandon Mai
    Jr. Creative Technologist: Tim Grover
    Jr. Writer: Colin Frawley
    Director of Production: Lora Schulson
    Producer: Jenny Jones
    Managing Director: James Townsend
    Brand Director: Lauren Smith
    Brand Manager: Jonathan Weiss
    Strategist: Carol Chan
    Business Affairs Director: Julie Balster
    Business Affairs Manager: Laura Fraser

    Production Company: Cap Gun Collective
    Director: Mike Warzin
    Executive Producer: Jason Botkin
    Producer: Robert Mooring
    DP: Alex Disenhof

    Editorial: Lost Planet
    Editor: Kim Dubé
    Executive Post Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
    Post Producer: Casey Cayko
    Finishing: Black Hole
    Flame Artist: Tim Farrell
    Graphics: Reginald Butler
    Producer: Tim Vierling
    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole
    Producer: Clare Movshon

    Music Supervision: Music and Strategy
    Executive Producer: Jenn Johnson
    Sound: Sound Lounge
    Mixer: Rob Sayers
    Producer: Mike Gullo

    0 0

    The Moschino Barbie, a collector's edition Barbie doll featuring clothes designed by the  Moschino fashion label, is already sold out. But that didn't stop Moschino and Mattel from making an ad with—prepare to be shocked—a BOY in it! And he's playing with a doll! And he has an unflattering mohawk!

    This came as a great surprise to the media, which has been praising Mattel as a result for breaking down gender norms in doll advertising. There's just one small problem with that narrative: Mattel didn't lead the creative on this one; Moschino did.

    In fact, Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott led the creative personally. The boy is meant to be a version of his own childhood self. And Moschino and Mattel both told the BBC that the ad is more of a "fauxmercial" than a real commercial.

    "When I dreamt up the concept for the Moschino Barbie fauxmercial, I felt it was natural to have a little boy representing for all the little boys like myself who played with Barbies growing up," Scott says. "Barbie was more than a toy, she was a muse for me."

    "This video parodies iconic Barbie commercials from the 1980's starring a young Jeremy Scott look alike," Mattel adds. "The video celebrates how boys and girls alike play with Barbie—it's all about self-expression, fashion, imagination and storytelling."

    So, interesting spot—but it's being called a parody, and wasn't actually made by Mattel. Perhaps not as groundbreaking as reported. And as for the doll itself, isn't it just Malibu Stacy with a new hat?

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    Art director Matt Moore recently left Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo to take a creative director job at Barton F. Graf 9000 in New York—and he needed to sell his 1968 Ford Ranchero GT 390, which he'd been restoring for several years.

    But he didn't want to post the usual lame Craigslist ad. So, he decided to take a journey through the past and dig up the original print ads for the vehicle, from the 1960s—and then, shall we say, kick the tires a bit and improve the ads for the modern age.

    The old ads were beautiful, Moore decided, but the copy was outdated garbage. So, he focused on rewriting the headlines and the body copy—with pretty hilarious results. (For an art director, Moore has pretty good writing chops.)

    Check out one of his creations here (click to enlarge):

    AdFreak caught up with Moore, who told us the story behind the project:

    Originally I wanted to sell my car but I looked on Craigslist and saw so many boring ads for really unique cars. Then I thought, maybe it would be funny if I could find the original ads for my 1968 Ford to help sell my car.

    When I found them, the style was beautiful. Elegant type, detailed illustration and really nice layouts. But the copy was so boring and sell-y that it kind of ruined the ads for me. So I just began re-writing the ads in the style that I would like to be sold to, while maintaining the structure and linguistic style of the old ads.

    It was pretty fun and easy after that. My hope was that people would see these on Craigslist and think "Hey, these are strange, did they really run print ads like that back in the '60s?"

    One guy emailed me and told me about how his father-in-law used to call him a "sissy" until he purchased and restored his own muscle car. He wasn't interested in buying my car but he told me that he now has earned the respect of his wife's father, and he identified with the sentiment in one of my ads.

    Others have messaged me—in all seriousness—about how those were the good old days, and they don't make cars or print ads like they used to.

    Check out two more of Moore's ads below. Your move, Nate Walsh.

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    If you were alone in a room that started filling with smoke, you'd take the cue and make a hasty exit, right? But if you were in the room with a group of full of strangers, you might react differently to that same immediate danger—depending what others do.

    A new ad recreates a classic social psychology experiment on bystander apathy, the phenomenon that people are less likely to act in a crisis if others present are doing nothing.

    The three-minute video, which you can watch below, suffers from the melodrama common in many reality-style ads. But the payoff makes a direct and powerful point: If the danger is so clear, why aren't you doing more?

    Spoilers below.

    Global warming is an obvious and imminent threat that's already wreaking havoc in some communities. But this ad, from the environmental group Defend Our Future, doesn't really tap into the audience's lizard brain and strike fight-or-flight nerves the same way an approaching inferno would.

    In other words, however clever the approach, it seems more suited to observational musing than lighting a fire under those content to keep living life as if the human race weren't engineering a far less habitable planet, largely by inertia and indifference.

    It's certainly notable enough to spark conversation, and hopefully some action. The organization is challenging would-be-participants to commit to using reusable water bottles (perhaps a Bobble, if you'd like some snark with your purchase), start a bike share or write a letter to a governor.

    Though any one of those things might be asking too much of someone who'd rather breathe through a shirt than leave a room thick with fumes.

    Client: Defend Our Future
    Director: Martin Stirling
    Production Company: Partizan
    Editor: Ben Jordan, Work Edit

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    In anticipation of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, and based on the frightening revelation that 80 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds use emojis for basic communication, Durex is demanding a condom emoji from the Unicode Consortium's Emoji Subcommittee. (Yes, that is actually a thing.) And it needs your help.

    The condom maker is asking 1 million people to support its cause by using hashtag #CondomEmoji. Per its marketing director, Karen Chisholm: "Emojis of this sort will enable young people to overcome embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex, encourage conversation and raise awareness of the importance of using condoms."

    Durex says one-third of younger people don't see STIs, even serious ones, as a risk worth worrying about. That makes sense because kids are dumb, but it's nonetheless weird that their brazen confidence runs parallel to incredible sheepishness about using actual words to talk about sex, or anything else for that matter.

    Check out more creative collateral—including clever ways to use your potential new condom emoji—below.


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    There are many PSA campaigns out there warning people not to use cellphones while driving, but few are as wonderfully simple as this one—Blue Hive Brazil and Team Detroit's Instagram posts for Ford Motor Co.

    The posts—the most recent one went up on Ford's global Instagram page last weekend—show photos taken from a driver's point of view, with the familiar Instagram heart covering up vulnerable pedestrians on the street. "Go further responsibly. Please don't like and drive."

    The campaign is almost perfect—a great concept that can target the user right at the crucial moment; memorable visuals; a nice use of the medium's imagery; and a strong copy line.

    "We want to jump in the social conversation about the risks of using cellphones while driving," Blue Hive executive creative director Vico Benevides tells Adweek. "The icon of a heart hiding the people in the streets seems to be the perfect image to deliver the message. Simple and powerful."

    More images and credits below.

    Client: Ford Motor Company
    Agency: Blue Hive Brasil / Team Detroit
    Global Creative Director: Toby Barlow
    Executive Creative Director: Vico Benevides
    Creative Directors: Rodrigo Strozenberg, Arnaldo Boico
    Copywriter: Alexandre Giampaoli
    Art Director: Chico Medeiros
    Photographer: Regis Fernandez
    Social Publisher: Lauren Kelley
    Social Strategy: Ryan Belanger
    Publishing Manager: Jennifer Wright

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    To support its new signature, "For Serious Kids," children's clothing company Petit Bateau has launched "The Mini Factory." This marks its first brand film since its charming child sailor ad of 2010, and depicts what can only described as a cross between a child labor factory and the ultimate playroom.

    In the ad, by Paris agency BETC, a dog slips into the doggy door of an abandoned building, filled with colorful machines that remind us of that time OK Go built a Rube Goldberg. Except there's no rhyme or reason to how a single boy—the only person in the building—uses them. At his whim, he gathers yarn and splashes chocolate on shirts. Elsewhere, he shoves a cupcake into his mouth before using it as fuel for a cupcake cannon.

    It isn't always clear whether he's making the clothes or gauging how they'll fare in a food fight, but he is indeed a kid, and he does indeed look serious about his job.

    In an AdFreak interview, creative director Jasmine Loignon and art director Damien Bellon go into more detail about the ad's creation. They're also careful to clarify that the vast majority of Petit Bateau products are still made in France—so this child labor depiction is more fantasy than reality.

    "Since Petit Bateau was founded in Troyes in 1893, the French village where 80 percent of its clothes are still produced, the company has prided itself on the quality of the products," the pair say. "They wanted to communicate this, and we found a way of doing so through the tiny quality controller who is the star of the film."

    The brief was to make an international film that would bring the brand to life, they continue. "In France, Petit Bateau has always been about kid's freedom and creativity, known to make clothes for real kids to play in."

    As for how BETC arrived at the concept, "We looked at the product and thought, Petit Bateau's clothes are made for kids who like serious fun and action, so let's celebrate that!" they exclaim. "We also got inspired by other ads and artists, from the Skoda Cake ad"—which explains all the confectionary delights—"to the work of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely."

    British 1970s series Here Comes the Double Deckers, which is something like The Boxcar Children, also played an inspirational role, as did Herbie Hancock's cult '80s track "Rockit," re-recorded here by Feadz. 

    "We've had a lot of positive returns on the film, from people of all ages," Loignon and Bellon say. "We like to think that's because it celebrates the freedom and magic that is childhood."

    The ad is approaching 3 million YouTube views. "What was really lovely was last week when we shared it with the 600 people working in the Petit Bateau factory in Troyes. It was so rewarding and heart-warming to see their positive reactions," the creatives say.

    "The shoot was intense, as we only had three days and a lot of details to fit into that timing, but we had great fun working with the director Patrick Daughters." 

    Shooting also afforded time for the creatives to explore the factory space and props with childlike curiosity.

    "We basically had seven large tables backstage full of nonsense pieces of toys where we would just go and grab funny bits to customize the machines. We actually felt a bit like kids playing!" they say. "However, an army of ingenious and incredibly hardworking set designers from Prague, led by Pietr Kunc, did most of the setting. And as the shoot was set in a real old factory, we spent our lunch breaks walking around looking at old radiators and rusty cars we found to feed the scenes. That was serious fun."

    The behind-the-scenes video appears below. No children were harmed—nor was tetanus contracted—in the making of this film.

    Brand: Petit Bateau
    Communication Director: Stéphane Wargnier
    External Relations and Image Director: Sandrine Couturier
    In Charge of Advertising and Visual Creation: Paulienne Luzurier
    Agency: BETC
    Vice-President of BETC: Muriel Fagnoni
    Account Director: Béatrice Verdier
    Account Executive: Marion Gondeau
    Creative Director/Founding President of BETC: Rémi Babinet
    Creative Director: Jasmine Loignon
    Art Director: Damien Bellon
    Copywriter: Gabrielle Attia
    Traffic: Marine Point
    TV Producer/VP BETC, Head of BETC TV Prod and BETC Pop: Fabrice Brovelli
    TV Production Assistant: Marine Monbeig
    Music Creative Director: Christophe Caurret
    "Rockit" rerecorded by Feadz (Bill O Laswell; Michael James Beinhorn; Herbie Hancock)
    Editions: Atal Music Limited admin by Passport Songs Music
    Bridge of Sighs Music : Hancock Music Company
    Production Company: 75
    Sound Production: GUM Green United Music
    Director: Patrick Daughters
    First Broadcast: November 8
    Media Plan: TV (FR); Cinema (FR); Web
    Media Agencies: Arena (digital); Vizeum (TV & cinema)
    Available Formats: 30 sec and 60 sec 

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    FCB Mayo and Peruvian engineering college UTEC—the folks behind award-winning ventures like the "Potable Water Generator," "Purifying Billboard" and "Air Orchard"—are back with what may well be their brightest idea yet.

    This time around, they tout the wonder and everyday relevance of science and engineering by bringing electric light to Nuevo Saposoa, an isolated community in the Peruvian rainforest with no electricity. And they do so by harnessing the photosynthetic properties of plants.

    In the clip below, we learn how the ingenious lighting system converts nutrients from plants into energy that can be stored in conventional batteries, allowing specially designed lamps to function for about two hours a day.

    Behold, a whole new kind of power plant:

    In a chat with AdFreak, Humberto Polar, CEO and chief creative officer of FCB Mayo and regional creative director of FCB Latin America, shed light on how UTEC's plant lamp project came together.

    AdFreak: What was the genesis of the idea?
    Humberto Polar: We discovered that many of the communities in the jungles of Peru that had fallen victim to a recent flood were unable to access electricity. We teamed with the university to, hopefully, discover a way to generate clean energy for the villagers.

    The idea grew from something many schoolchildren around the world learn—how to create energy with a potato. From the same basic principles, the university found a way to create energy using soil. Then they developed a prototype using the specific supplies of that part of the jungle to make it a 100 percent sustainable project.

    The location looks pretty remote.
    It was a real adventure going to Saposoa. You go by plane to a city named Pucallpa, and then it takes a couple of days to get there by boat across the river. There are pirates who frequently assault the boats, so it is no wonder that villagers often don't get the help they need. Once there, it was a fantastic experience, especially for the group of UTEC students who explained the basics of the technology to the community.

    At first, did the villagers doubt that plants could actually power the lamps?
    Of course some people were skeptical. But in the end, the team, including the agency, spent a whole week to make sure the lamps were working and to teach the villagers to fix the problems that may show up. We made 20 lamps that are evenly distributed among the families for communal use. The next step of this campaign is to raise enough funds to take 100 more lamps. We're looking for donors and sponsors to help UTEC provide a solution to this real problem in the Peruvian jungle.

    What's the big takeaway for viewers?
    Of course the film generates empathy for the villagers, but at the end of the day what is more important for us is making sure that the strategy and execution of the creative hits at the very core of the brand. This is not another brand trying to save the world. It's an engineering university that is trying to attract students to build its business and its brand.

    How do you gauge the success of these campaigns?
    Since we started working with UTEC, when they launched the brand four years ago, we have increased the total number of students interested in engineering. They have also made alliances with some of the top engineering schools in the U.S.—MIT, Harvard and Purdue—to offer students a more collaborative platform for ultimate job preparedness. UTEC has become a real option for students looking to study engineering. It is truly remarkable seeing them compete with [those famous] universities.

    What's your view on big corporations, like Coca-Cola, launching tech-focused, socially-driven campaigns?
    Well, I understand that many companies have social responsibility campaigns that show their target that they have a social vision. I have nothing against that. But UTEC is different. The only marketing strategy of UTEC is to show how real-world engineering projects can inspire future students.

    I've heard criticism about social cases that apparently are done just for the sake of festivals [such as the Cannes Lions]. It's not what we do. The marketing team of UTEC works extremely hard and spends a lot of time and money taking ideas from concept to prototype because it's the best way of selling their product.


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