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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Nervous about the rising tide of refugees crossing borders en masse? You're not alone. To help put things in perspective, the Association for the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees in Tunisia (ADIRT) has a surprising solution. 

    "#LikeAnimals," a two-minute ad created by Memac Ogilvy Label, takes a documentary-style approach to humanity that puts mass migration in a more familiar context.

    "In the wide world of Kingdom Animalia live two different types of creatures," begins the narrator. "The one we call sedentary are the ones that are permanenty attached to a land. On the other hand, there's what we call the migratory animals." 

    Stay with the guy. His self-conscious interpretation of the role won't win him any Discovery Channel contracts, but he's arriving at a point.

    Migratory animals, for instance, include the African olive pigeon, millions of which travel to the other side of the globe every year, when seasonal conditions become less amenable.

    Our narrator is somewhat more dramatic on this point: "We can ask ourselves, why do they migrate? Why don't they just stay in their homeland? The answer is simple: SURVIVAL."

    In addition to the blunt-force trauma you just endured from that iron pipe of a metaphor, the olive pigeons serve to illustrate another point: When they migrate, they are temporarily welcomed into their host countries, which ensure the birds are both well treated and protected.

    You can probably guess what's coming next: The spot transitions to human refugees, described as a species that uses the same migratory routes as the pigeons (do they...?) but "is characterized by erect posture and by libido locomotion." 

    Our melodramatic buddy continues, "Unfortunately, when they arrive to what they imagine is a more hospitable land, they are sometimes not well received by their sedentary counterparts."

    Images illustrating the aforementioned cool reception follow, and are hard to look at. View the full video below:

    "Every year more than 10,000 human beings die trying to escape war, famine and diseases," the ad concludes. "Even though they are human beings, don't beat them. Please treat them like animals." 

    The objective of this work, which you've likely gathered, is to change the way host citizens perceive, and ultimately receive, refugee groups. It's a smart play: You alone can probably think of a few instances in which animals appear to be better treated, and more consciously protected, than fellow Homo sapiens. (Cue the PETA ad playlist.) 

    And while the concept is great, issues with the execution are hard to ignore, the most obvious of which is the earnestly studious monotone of the narrator. ("Kingdom Animalia?!")

    But that's the least of our problems. 

    Comparing refugees in a state of flight to a bird's seasonal migratory pattern is a crazy oversimplification, akin to comparing David Foster Wallace's rambling, unbridled, unstructured and vaguely traumatic novel Infinite Jest to Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitter's Club, a series whose sum total probably matches the former's word count but is otherwise predictable down to the chapter numbers, character arcs and release dates (one a month, more or less, until I was strong enough to let the BSC's invisible hands go). 

    At best it fails to work because that's something people already suspect, but at worst it fails because it doesn't clarify confusion about what separates a refugee—someone forced to leave her country because she risks, or has experienced, persecution—from a migrant, or a person whose decision to leave home is conscious and, in some ways, a privilege. 

    A migrant can plan her journey at leisure, say good-bye, study the language, secure a job and go home to visit when she gets homesick. I, for example, am a migrant. These guys—the "Storm a razor-wire fence into Europe or die trying" guys—are refugees.

    It would be easy to offer Memac Ogilvy a pass in this regard; sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to get your outsized metaphor to work. But even they seem confused about the difference: Separating all living things into "migratory animals" and "sedentaries" doesn't make a lot of sense either, even if it's true among many animal species.

    This manages to both reduce fleeing populations to instinctive nomads, following the whims of their genetic heritage, while suggesting everyone else is territory-bound by disposition. And this huge disservice to both subject and audience nullifies the point they're working so hard—"Kingdom Animalia" hard!—to make: that we could be kinder, and more open, toward other humans, especially those with a need so desperately expressed.

    Indeed, we could treat them like species whose existence and value we simply don't question. We could treat them like animals.

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    Sexytime gets weird, and then weirder, in Y&R New York's amusing new commercial for MTV's Staying Alive Foundation, featuring actors dressed up as common sexting emoji pairs suddenly getting joined by giant condoms.

    Banana and donut, eggplant and peach, pointer finger and OK sign—these emoji partners all embark on amorous trysts, but apparently (like the teens the spot is aimed at) they aren't using protection. That changes when wrapped condoms join the fun.

    The tagline is: "Make foreplay a threesome. Add a condom."

    The campaign, timed to World AIDS Day on Tuesday, includes a condom emoji keyboard built by Snaps, available at safesext.mtv.com. (Yes, Durex has been campaigning to create a condom emoji, but hasn't scored so far, so this is the next best thing for sexts.)

    The spot was directed by Oscar-winning film editor Angus Wall. The emoji costumes were made by Casey Storm, costume designer for Where the Wild Things Are. We're told the actors playing the emojis were mostly dancers, and that the woman playing the donut was a circus performer who had to stay contorted in oblique crunches during filming.

    Client: MTV/Staying Alive Foundation
    SVP, Social Responsibility, Viacom International Media Networks and Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation: Georgia Arnold
    VP, Creative Director, Social Responsibility, Viacom International Media Networks: Julie Allen

    Agency: Y&R New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Leslie Sims
    Vice President, Group Creative Director: Nathalie Brown
    Associate Creative Director: Kate Lummus
    Executive Director of Integrated Production, Producer: Greg Lotus
    Digital Producer: Catherine Patterson
    Head of Design: Hamish Mcarthur
    Chief Strategy Officer: Dick deLange
    Strategy Director: Mary Mazza
    Strategists: Alison Geraghty, Ethan Scott
    Account Management: Ruchi Ruparel, Tre Jordan

    Production Company: Elastic
    Director: Angus Wall
    Executive Producer: Jennifer Sofio Hall
    Producer, Live Action: Kelly Christensen
    Designers: Lyn Cho, Erika Bird, Jon Foresman
    Art Director: Leanne Dare
    Costume Designer: Casey Storm

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Austyn Daines
    Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
    Producer, Postproduction: Helena Lee

    Music: Travis+Maude
    Executive Producer: Kala Sherman
    Creative Director, Composer: David Wittman

    Emoji Keyboard Developer: Snaps
    Founder: Vivian Rosenthal
    Chief Executive Officer: Christian Brucculeri
    Chief Innovation Officer: Dan Kaufman
    Head of Product: Austin Bone
    Director of Client Services: Chris Brown

    Executive Producer: Biagio Goetzke
    Designer: Alex Sheyn

    Photographer: Olivia Bee

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    Stumped for a fun way to say happy holidays? Try playing "Jingle Bells" with any of your private parts, and you're all but guaranteed to get a reaction. 

    Kmart famously did it with "Jingle Balls" two years ago. Now, Zulu Alpha Kilo has moved on to butts. For its 2015 holiday video, the Canadian ad agency brought in world-renowned Spanish percussionist and YouTube star Jorge Perez to perform a cheeky—very cheeky—rendition of "Jingle Bells." 

    The cover is an original arrangement from Perez's Madrid-based jazz-fusion band PATAX. And he sure does hit the "skins" with skill and precision. (As the ending makes clear, at least two of the butts are supposed to be male—although that might not appease anyone who's inclined to find the piece sexist and in poor taste.) 

    You'll remember Zulu Alpha Kilo from its viral "Say No to Spec" video last month. But as the agency told us in an email this morning: "We say yes to butts." 

    As part of the campaign, the agency has also made a donation to Colon Cancer Canada.

    UPDATE: In response to complaints that the video is sexist or misogynistic, Zulu Alpha Kilo gave the following statement to Adweek:

    "Zulu has always been committed to supporting charitable causes and making contributions important to our team. In order to stay true to who we are as a company, we often do this in a cheeky and memorable way. The intent of this year's holiday video is to show our support to Colon Cancer Canada. We assure you we are 'equal bum opportunists.' The video features both male and female models."

    Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
    Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
    Art Director: Jamie Mageau
    Writer: Kaidy Wong
    Agency Producer: Tara Handley
    Account Team: Maya Adler
    Director: Zak Mroueh
    Cameraman: Albert Huh
    Production House: zulubot
    Editing: zulubot, Jay Baker
    Print Producer: Kari Macknight Dearborn
    Studio Artist: Greg Heptinstall
    Design Director: Omar Morson
    Graphic Designer: Ryan Booth
    Colourist, Transfer: Marc Bachli / Pixel Underground
    Sound Design: Cylinder Sound
    Audio Director: Brad Nelson
    Engineer: Brandon Unis
    Sound Recordists: Chris Waugh, Joshua Mancuso
    Music Produced by: PATAX
    Song Arrangement: Jorge Perez
    Percussionist: Jorge Perez
    Vocals: Alana Sinkey

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    Toys "R" Us is making a heartwarming addition to the Christmas ad file.

    The new commercial, from BBDO Atlanta, opens with sweet footage of a father and his young son preparing for the holidays—making a gingerbread house, prepping for the school play, visiting Santa at the mall, and so forth. 

    But before long, you might start to wonder: Is someone missing?

    By the time the answer rolls around, it feels poignant, if a touch predictable: The mother is military, and was stationed away from home.

    The returning-hero payoff has been done elsewhere, and particularly well lately, which makes it more familiar here. Guinness's "Empty Chair," by BBDO New York, perfectly captured the suspense-and-surprise element of the genre for the Fourth of July last year. This summer, Duracell powered a soldier's message to his young daughter, conveyed through a stuffed teddy bear with a built-in recorder. It was a poor substitute for the man himself, but it also set up his homecoming in the ad.

    Toys "R" Us's work is a hybrid of the two—the palpable absence of a loved one in service to her country, and a meager material present as a screenwriting springboard for the real gift. 

    Regardless, the brand gets extra credit for playing on the audience's expectations. Viewers are so used to seeing nuclear families in Christmas ads that it's implicitly jarring to watch holiday rituals play out with only two. And the inversion of gender roles helps the element of surprise: That it's a servicewoman returning, and a father tending to his son while they wait, is refreshing and deserving of praise. 

    Still, we can't help but wonder: When will we know that using the uniform in the service of commerce has fallen into poor taste—especially when the products being peddled are likely made outside the U.S.? (About 75 percent of the world's toys are manufactured in China.)

    Client: Toys "R" Us
    Agency: BBDO Atlanta
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, Atlanta: Wil Boudreau
    Creative Director: Rhea Hanges
    Creative Director: Brett Baker
    Associate Creative Director: Bryan Lee
    Associate Creative Director: Chris Miller
    Executive Producer: Alberto Enriquez
    Account Director: Danielle Willett
    Account Executive: Hannah Aaronson
    Group Planning Director: Emily Viola
    Senior Planner: Nina Hensarling
    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Fredrik Bond
    Director of Photography: Roman Vasyanov
    Music Producer: Wool & Tusk

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    Pop music's newest supergroup features hoop icons Shaquille O'Neal and Stephen Curry, sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, Vine star King Bach … and you. 

    To showcase Guitar Hero Live's GHTV feature, Activision and AKQA crowdsourced a music video of fans lip syncing Ed Sheeran's "Sing," tossing in clips of the aforementioned stars. Non-stars submitted videos via mobile app musical.ly using the #GuitarHeroTVStar contest hashtag. According to Activision, more than 100,000 clips were collectively viewed more than 100 million times in 10 days. (So many zeroes, it must be true!)

    GHTV, the game's online video mode, lets folks capture footage from concerts and music clips, and even transform homemade content into playable experiences. It's received mixed reviews since Guitar Hero Live's launch in October. Still, the promo is a lot of fun, expertly edited by Alan Chimenti (who worked on Katy Perry's "Roar") with a lively multi-screen effect that keeps viewers engaged.

    Black-capped Curry fares best among the celebs, coming off as a cross between a grunge rocker and one of the Backstreet Boys. As for Shaq, well, his performance is nothing but air (guitar).

    Oh, we kid. Sweet sync, Shaq! (Do you still need the paycheck?)

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    Order a pizza, get a flash mob. And a brass band, drum solo and pyrotechnics display.

    Pizza Hut, on a relentless tear to promote its limited-time holiday-themed Triple Treat Box, busted out the good cheer on some unsuspecting folks in Orem, Utah, recently. When residents answered the door for their double-pizza-breadsticks-and-giant-cookie combo, the deliverer serenaded them with an operatic version of Silent Night.

    The caroling continued as the crowd on the front lawn grew and grew. Handbells! Horse and carriage! Two full choirs! The hungry families were so delighted—their faces, captured on film surreptitiously, are the very definition of merry and bright—they don't even seem to care that dinner's getting cold.

    The video comes from Los Angeles-based Shareability, and it's part of the ongoing Pizza Hut campaign to hype the novelty $20 product that launched last month with a TV spot starring pop legend Michael Bolton, leggy dancers in Santa suits and USC quarterback Matt Leinart.

    Never mind the logic, just give in to the revelry.

    0 0

    The sound and the fury of December is always deafening: holiday songs on repeat, nothing on TV but saccharine Santa flicks, hand-wringing news reports lamenting the war on Christmas being tirelessly waged by Walmart greeters or Starbucks cups.

    So, imagine the frustration for those whose birthdays fall in the middle of this cultural horror show. If these poor souls aren't completely forgotten, they can expect a half-hearted Facebook message at best. There usually aren't gifts—they're promised extra under the tree, but of course, that's never the case. There are no parties, either. No one's in town.

    For 29-year-old Daniel Aguinaga—an old college pal of mine who happens to be a copywriter at The Martin Agency's New York office—recovering from having his Dec. 26 birthday overlooked year after year is his hero's journey. While at DDB California, Aguinaga's frustration reached fever pitch, and he, along with his then-creative partner and current DDB California art director Andre Cabral, decided to do something about it.

    A line of 10 birthday cards was soon born. They're marketed to those with irreverent senses of humor and unfortunate birthdays.

    "At first, most of the ideas we had were taking it too seriously," said Aguinaga, "and then we just thought to use the misery to our advantage and just be self-deprecating as a way of bringing attention to those with forgotten birthdays."

    Irreverence isn't an understatement: One card features a monochromatic drawing of the Nativity on the front above the declaration, "You share the same birthday as the savior of humanity." Inside copy reads: "Too bad your mom isn't a virgin. Merry Birthmas!"

    But it's all in good fun. "I think it's in the true spirit of friendship that friends like to poke fun at each other over inconveniences," said Aguinaga. "So I think the cards are for anyone who's looking to share a laugh over the holidays while also being able to let [their friend] know they haven't been forgotten."

    The duo launched the line on Dec. 1, and all the cards are available on Etsy for $4 each.

    For those with inconvenient birthdays at other times of the year? You haven't been forgotten either. "We're looking at how this first batch goes," said Cabral, "but if it takes off, I think we'd look forward to create other cards for other inconvenient birthdays." 

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    Are you a tiny sentient sprout-person who is hated by everyone, even at Christmas, when people are supposed to be nicer to other people (and vegetables)? Never fear. The stars of British TV shows have room for you at their table.

    That's the strange, not very relatable but still somewhat cute premise of RKCR/Y&R's big new Christmas ad for BBC One. Directed by Smith & Foulkes—best known perhaps for their Honda ads through Wieden + Kennedy London—the BBC spot is narrated by current Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi, and follows the plight of an unloved sprout as he navigates a mostly hostile winter wonderland.

    Sprout Boy meets a baker, a toy maker and a woodcutter along the way, but they all reject him outright. Luckily, he stumbles upon a dinner being hosted by BBC One stars, who welcome him.

    The animated BBC One cast includes Doctor Who, Dot Cotton, Graham Norton, Sherlock and Watson, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, Will.i.am, Mary Berry and Luther. The tagline is: "For Christmas together: BBC One."

    "BBC One truly is the home of Christmas, with more families watching it together than any other channel. Our endearing little Sprout Boy celebrates this sense of togetherness," says Alison Hoad, vice chairman of RKCR/Y&R.

    Smith & Foulkes added: "The BBC One team asked us to tell a story that encapsulates the spirit and excitement of a contemporary British Christmas. The resulting campaign is probably as close as you can get to a visual representation of this."

    Hopefully the BBC folks don't like the sproutlet enough to eat him.

    Client: BBC
    Agency: RKCR/Y&R
    Executive Creative Director: Mark Roalfe
    Creative Director: Marc Hatfield
    Head of Planning: Emily James
    Business Director: David Pomfret
    Account Director: Fabia Palliser
    Account Manager: Ilona Lunny
    Agency Producer: Edel Erickson
    Animation Production Company: Nexus
    Directors: Smith & Foulkes
    ECD: Chris O'Reilly
    Producer: Tracey Cooper
    Production Manager: Fernanda Garcia Lopez         
    CG Supervisor: Ben Blundell
    Storyboard: Gabriel Schucan, Richard Fitzgerald
    Character Designer: Max Kostenko, Gillian Reid, Ben Godfrey, Daniel Burgess
    Matte Painters: Adam Willis, Callum Strachan, Marco Caradonna, Daniel Burgess, Adam Leary
    Modeling: RedKnuckles, James Hardingham, Matthew Clark, Sophie Loubiere, Juan Carlos Gracia
    Texture Artists: Benjamin Lebourgeois, Arkin Esref
    Animation: Dominic Griffiths, Roland Edwards, Aziz Kocanaogullari, Benjamin Tron, Edward Sherwood, Jean-Guillaume Culot
    Rigging Technical Director: Pete Addington
    Rigging: Dan Lane, Anthony Vincent
    Lighting & Rendering: Darren Rolmanis, Andy Spence, Kevin Russell, Dorianne Filbeuil,  
    VFX: Pierre Clenet, Tobin Brett
    Compositing: Ken Hau, Elliott Kajdan, Alexander Swann, Leslie Belot     
    Editor: David Slade
    Post Production / Grade: Simone Grattarola @ Time Based Arts
    Sound Design: Anthony Moore & Tom Joyce @ Factory
    Sound Design Producer: Raluca Anastasiu @ Factory
    Music Composer: Alex Baranowski C/O Siren
    Executive Music Producer: Sean Atherton @ Siren
    Music Producer: Sian Rogers @ Siren
    Musicians: London Symphony Orchestra
    @ Abbey Road Studios

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    With one notable exception, this year's holiday ads have been uniformly sweet and uplifting. But that can get tedious. So now, have a look at Biscuit Filmworks director Ayse Altinok's twisted take on the season—the worst holiday dinner ever, and how you might escape it.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Brock Kirby - Creative
    Sezay Altinok - Creative
    Time Semple - Creative

    Biscuit Filmworks - Production Company
    Ayse Altinok - Director
    Bernadette Spear - Producer
    Bryce Fortner - Cinematographer
    Louis-Philippe Charette - Editor

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    Some decisions aren't hard to make. Saving the world is one of them.

    The Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, partnered with Mustache Agency to produce the World's Easiest Decision, a website meant to drive signatures to pressure leaders into taking climate negotiations in Paris seriously this week. 

    It doesn't look like your typical petition-hawking website. Developed by Tool of North America, it's easy on the eyes, filled with cute animations, tongue-in-cheek and to the point.

    "Dear people of the world," it begins, "The world's biggest decision is coming up in December in Paris. That's a lot of pressure." You click on "Let's do this!" to advance, where a "scientific chart" asks you a super-simple question: 

    If yes, well hell, good news for you: All you have to do to push things in the right direction is sign a petition. 

    The site succeeds because it's free of political trappings and reduces issues down to one basic question (however existential): Do you like being alive? If yes, you have a vested interest in ensuring the planet continues to sustain life. 

    A slew of accompanying videos, each 24 seconds long—a wink to the Climate Reality Project's "24 Hours of Reality" (and our collective ADHD)—appeal to that vested interest from different angles. Like the website, they drive the point home with wit, inclusion and an irresistible pop-culture sensibility.

    The first playlist, "The World's Easiest Decision," revolves around the classic old parlour game "Would Your Rather?" A diversity of contestants are placed between two TV screens and asked to choose between two scenarios: "Would you rather swim with fish in a colorful coral reef ... or stare at a dead and bleached coral wasteland?" 

    Huh. Let's think about that one for a minute.

    Next up, get a load of "Kids Explain It," which fans of Reddit's "Explain Like I'm Five" will relish. Whatever your standing in this battle, there's a kid ready to walk you through the basic sense of climate change: Even if you're a coked-up, Boiler Room-loving, bottom-line-oriented suit, a tiny girl at the start of this playlist has your number. 

    "Carbon to save, jobs to create ... and so much f*cking money!" she shouts, before throwing bills into the air and going bananas. 

    For people who recognize the severity of our climate situation and feel justifiably helpless, there's "Good News News," a smart antidote to whatever's bumming you out on the 6 o'clock newsdesk. Get a 24-second skinny on the first-ever electric car highway in Australia, or Akon Lighting Africa, a project funded by the artist to bring education, jobs and electricity to African residents. Great for the feels, and such delightfully weird imagery!

    Lastly, and for the more material among us, there's "For the Love Of...," which is kinda like Pablo Neruda's Ode to Common Things, but with a climate-related twist.

    Can you imagine a world without guacamole ... or sweaters? What did sweaters ever do but love you, jerks? 

    In short, life is full of complicated decisions. Here are just a few: The best long-term strategy for your career. How to balance work and play. Whether to start a family. How to raise children who aren't horrible humans who hate you and steal all your music. Which projects—and people—to commit your life to. And whether it will really benefit you to join Snapchat, stick it out through the learning curve, and make it to the other side, where a nirvana of non-stop ephemeral play awaits.

    These dilemmas are legitimate and mind-consuming. You'll probably spend most of your life trying to feel your way toward the right answer, hoping to finish like Buffy (who, by the end of her show, succeeds in scaling local slayer success by unleashing an army of supergirl vampire-killers on the world), and not like Angel (who, despite his dithering and painstaking good intentions, ends up sending all of Los Angeles to hell—literally). 

    But some aren't difficult at all. Choosing a future that doesn't look like Mad Max is one of them. What's great about this campaign is that it talks to us in a way that's sly, smart and kind, all in the hope that by relating to us, we'll be driven to urgency. What's sad is that we require this kind of cajoling in the first place. 

    There are good reasons for our sluggish action; maybe the biggest is the seeming impotence of our anger in the face of our leaders, who basically laughed Gore out of the room in 2006 (nearly 10 years ago!) when he launched An Inconvenient Truth. According to Wired, they'll likely contribute to the emission of 300,000 tons of CO2 just for the COP21.

    Let's hope it's worth it. Worse comes to worst, we can mobilize around the topic of guacamole extinction ... or at the very least, do some of the things on this list.

    0 0

    "A" is for advertising. "V" is for … viral video?

    Blackalicious' frenetic 1999 tongue-twister "Alphabet Aerobics" gets a sporty update in this animated music video from Bleacher Report.

    The two-minute clip, "Sports Alphabet," was created by ad agency barrettSF and production house Gentleman Scholar. Debuting today online, and during tonight's NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat on TNT, the work marks the Turner Sports site's first major push into brand advertising. 

    As in the iconic original, Gift of Gab's rapping gains intensity and speed as he burns through lyrics tied to letters of the alphabet. The original's dizzying cascade of cultural references and nonsense rhymes, however, have been replaced by sports-themed lyrics, with fabulously fun, vivacious visuals driving the message home. 

    For example, the first verse, "Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs/Air above all and any actors that's average," features alley cats playing basketball. The second, "Big barbarian basically beasting/Biters get blown up being brave, beatings," shows a helmeted behemoth mercilessly trampling his gridiron opponents, even tossing one into orbit. (We can safely assume the NFL approved neither the sentiment nor the imagery.)

    "The Bleacher Report brand is getting bigger and louder, so we needed a spot that was big and loud," Bennett Spector, the site's creative marketing adviser, tells AdFreak. "Hopefully the spot feels authentic to the new wave of sports consumption." 

    Indeed, the pop-culture tie-in and nod to '90s/'00s nostalgia feels like a winning play.

    "As the social voice of sports, our focus is on content that triggers social action," Spector says. "We knew from Daniel Radcliffe's viral performance of 'Alphabet Aerobics' on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that this spot would have the potential to explode."

    Fallon's clip from a year ago garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube alone. Can Bleacher Report's brand-slam remix hope to scale such heights? 

    "We want the viewer to be genuinely entertained," Spector says. "People should want to watch this commercial over and over, not fast-forward. If the viewer walks away wanting more, then we've done our job." 

    Credits—and lyrics!—below. 

    LYRICS: "Sports Alphabet"

    Now it's time for our wrap up.
    Let's give it everything we've got.
    Ready? Begin.

    Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs
    Air above all and any actors that's average

    Big barbarian basically beasting
    Biters get blown up being brave, beatings

    Casually, I chef cash cheddar, fools get
    casualties and caught off guard with chin music

    Dirty when I drop dimes damaging the dang earth
    Devastate the defense detonate danger

    Entertainer entertaining everyone and every mass
    Enemies is envious ain't even peep the elbow pass

    Fire en fuego flick of the wrist foes in
    Fear of the fury left flattened and frozen

    Gloves off for the glass jaw by the goons
    G.O.A.T of all G.O.A.T.S gone giddy gettin' through

    Human joystick, heating up, heat check BLAM
    Hit 'em hard, hella hyped, hero going H.A.M.

    I'm isolated on islands it's over, it's over
    Ice in your veins getting colder

    Juke jock jerk to those who aren't worthy
    Jamming through my journey in a jet black jersey

    King Kong of K.O.s kid kiss the ring
    Knuckle up now with the knuckle buck king

    Lemme live a long life leading with my laces out
    Right now losers look up cause it's lights out

    My moves marvelous, money shot, massive
    Main event, moon-shot, MVP, master

    Nails in the coffin knots in their knees, triumph
    Nutmeg through their knees nothing but nylon

    Opposition oft on the ropes in the octagon
    One-two, punched out, lights going off and on

    Pillow picked passes of prolific poetry
    Power plays, pickpocketing petty phonies

    Quest for the cup, it's quantum y'all, quote me
    Quiet all quitters feeling qualms when we're quarreling

    Raw ringside riots relish and remain
    Rallying, rough rated rhymes make it rain

    Swishin' on simple soft suckers spitting swag
    Slice dice shimmy nothing-but-net, splash.

    Turnt up, taking out timid minds. Twister.
    Leave 'em turnt out, they are truck stick victims

    Unstoppable ups, stay uninvolved
    Unanimous, universal, year of the underdog

    Vicious and vital, victories calling
    Volley y'all out victorious velocity

    Bob and weave well, wide receiving words woven
    Moonwalk when I whip, get the world open

    X-celling, X-treme, X-tra X-plosive
    X-hilarating X-out competition so quick

    Yolo pass rhymes, y'all young bucks fall
    Yoga stretch rhymes yelling yiggy yes y'alls

    Zero zero zero on the clock, game's over
    zoomin to the zenith, zero out, in my zone, ZONING!!!

    Ha, ha, ha, ha. Good. Can you say it faster?

    Title: "Sports Alphabet"
    Client: Bleacher Report
    Creative Credits: Bleacher Report "Sports Alphabet"
    Agency: barrettSF
    Agency Location: San Francisco, CA
    Executive Creative Directors: Pete Harvey & Jamie Barrett
    Associate Creative Director: Brad Kayal
    Senior Copywriter: Jake Reilly
    Art Director: Byron Wages
    Senior Producer: Nicole Van Dawark
    Producer: Patrick Wilkinson
    Associate Producer: Charlotte Dugoni
    Managing Director: Patrick Kelly
    Account Director: Molly Warner
    Production Company: Gentleman Scholar
    Directors: William Campbell & Will Johnson
    Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
    Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
    Associate Creative Director: John-Patrick Rooney
    Art Director: Jordan Lyle
    CG Supervisor: Tim Hayward
    Producer: Nikki Maniolas
    Associate Producer: Nicole Smarsh
    Design: Trevor Conrad, Chris Finn, Sarah Beth Hulver, Jordan Lyle, Macauley Johnson, John-Patrick Rooney, Calla Donofrio, Hana Eunjin Yean
    2D Animation: Chris Finn, Sarah Beth Hulver, Jordan Lyle, Macauley Johnson, John-Patrick Rooney, Shawn Kim
    Cel Animation: Tristan Balos, Taik Lee, Stephanie Simpson, Harry Teitelman
    Character Animation: Blake Beynon, James Lane
    Music: Blackalicious
    Sound Design: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
    Producer: KC Dossett
    Audio Mix: One Union Recording
    Engineer: Matt Zipkin
    Executive Producer: Lauren Mask

    0 0

    Refusing to drive to pick up your wife at the train station because you've been drinking might get you in trouble. But that's better than being dead, says a new U.K. PSA that puts some engaging spin on a familiar auto-safety message.

    Footage of a man named Brendan, banished to the spare bedroom (being used for storage), bookends the minute-long spot from Think! Road Safety, part of the British Department of Transport.

    In short, it's the story of a marital spat about Brendan declining to rescue Sandra, his wife, from the rain, after he's had two glasses of wine. The narration offers a fairly straightforward journey through the scenario, with the most effective moment coming when Brendan and Sandra flop back like rag dolls the couch, victims of a hypothetical crash as he stops to consider the risk.

    For a choice Britishism, and some decent humor, it's also worth paying close attention to the "proper cross" sequence, as she storms home drenched.

    It might seem oddly conservative to cast the wife as the damsel-in-distress-becomes-irrational-villain, and a little far-fetched that Sandra would push Brendan to come get her if he was under the influence. But men are in fact far more likely to drive drunk (accounting for about 80 percent of instances in the U.S.) and are clearly the primary target here.

    And regardless, the ad's arguments, if viewed broadly as just one possible significant-other scenario, are clear and innocuous enough. Sandra—or anyone who thinks like her—should really reassess her or his priorities. Brendan—or anyone put in a similar position—should stand his or her ground, whatever the conjugal consequences.

    The spot's final stat—that a second drink can double the risk of a fatal crash—meanwhile, um, really drives the point home. 

    0 0

    It's one thing to say your truck is tough, but it's another to hand the wheel over to a 4-year-old and let her crash it through buildings and ravines.

    That's how Volvo Trucks and agency Forsman & Bodenfors have revived their "Live Test Series," the first round of which famously ended with Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Epic Split."

    This time, the brand and agency have rigged a remote-controlled version of the Volvo FMX, billed as "the toughest truck we ever built," and handed the driving over to young Sophie.

    What follows is pretty much what you'd expect (or hope for): a joyous rampage outside the lines of an obstacle course that includes marshlands, deep ditches and a concrete building. Sophie is clearly having the time of her life, though the best bit is perhaps what happens when she gets distracted by a nearby camera drone.

    Check it out for yourself:

    0 0

    Eleanor Friedberger, best known as one-half of The Fiery Furnaces (with brother Matthew Friedberger), has made her first commercial—and it's quite a harmonious production in which she plays the holiday classic "Auld Lang Syne" on 1,000 glasses of Segura Viudas cava (aka, sparkling wine).

    Creative agency Naked came up with the idea, with chief creative officer Izzy DeBellis driving the creative vision. But Friedberger seems happy to be on board, even flashing a smile at the end of the charming spot. The audio was recorded live as she played the glasses, so no tricks here, and it sounds rich indeed.

    "When I approached Eleanor to work with Segura Viudas on the project, she was excited about the initiative and where the video was headed creatively," says Naked managing partner Paul Sevigny. "As the shoot was coming together, she was able to work in her own artistic style which made it a unique collaborative process and why the spot works so well."

    Client: Segura Viudas Cava USA
    Brand Manager: Josep Ferrer

    Agency: Naked
    Chief Creative Officer: Izzy DeBellis
    Art Director: Matthew Gould-Lucht
    Copywriter: Jerry Abejo
    Executive Producer: Kurt Peloquin
    Managing Partners: Anthony Bianco & Paul Sevigny
    Account Manager: Gabriella Dickens

    Directed by GOOD LOOK
    Produced by GOOD LOOK

    Music and Mix: Big Foote Music
    Music Arrangement: Darren Solomon
    Audio Post Mix: Steve Depalo
    Executive Producer: Paul Seymour

    0 0

    At one time or another, we'd all like to fancy ourselves as rebels. But how rebellious are we, really?

    Twenty-five years ago, Canon launched the EOS Rebel SLR camera with the help of Andre Agassi, who was then a 19-year-old spokesperson for youthful abandon and the long, wild hair that went along with it. The camera still aims to "level the playing field" by placing professional tools in the hands of passionate photographers. But for its silver anniversary, Canon looks to shine the spotlight on a very different kind of rebel: ordinary people who aspire to something a little greater.

    For the first round of its new "Rebel With a Cause" campaign, Canon's longtime creative agency Grey joined forces with tightrope walker and frequent Guinness World Record-breaker Nik Wallenda, who traveled all the way to Sarasota, Florida to find some unlikely rebels and record their bucket list adventures with the help of the EOS Rebel SLR.

    Before you ask: yes. Catherine and Chan did all their own stunts.

    Grey creative director Stu Mair told Adweek that the agency came up with the idea without a brief and that the shoot was "not staged at all. That was part of the fun of this campaign."

    "It was about finding people who never got the chance to fulfill a dream," said Mair. "It happens to the best of us." Wallenda suggested that the team look for candidates in Sarasota because he is a native son and a local legend in the area.

    How does the campaign relate to the product? "In a world where Apple releases billboards and TV spots shot on an iPhone, we have to regain that territory and remind consumers what [the Canon Rebel] is capable of. Every shot was made with the Rebel...in terms of quality, it still delivers 25 years later," explained Mair.

    The full campaign will be a series of six such spots, and its next chapter will document Swizz Beats' search for the next star of the art world. Mair said that the hip-hop producer is "passionate about focusing on the next great unknown artist, discovering them and giving them the world as a stage." And he's not too particular when it comes to style and/or medium.

    Canon marketing specialist Melisa Yoo said the campaign aims to convey that "this is an every person camera that anyone creative can use."

    "It's about capturing not just special occasions but everyday moments" like piloting a jet or driving a race car, she said. The company wants to reach young users "where they live," which means that it will run on all of Canon's social media accounts as each successive chapter rolls out.

    As for Chan, Mair tells Adweek that he flew like the veteran pilot he is despite losing his lunch at one point during the shoot. "He was a professional. He pulled out the bag, let it go and got back to flying. There was a pilot in the back seat, but he was doing all those flips."

    Let's hope future chapters of the campaign are just as inspiring...in a rebellious sort of way.

    0 0

    It takes a lot to stand out among the glut of Christmas ads in Britain, where brands jockey like nowhere else to have a hit commercial. KitKat and J. Walter Thompson's strategy this season is to cut through the clutter by uncluttering completely.

    The Nestlé candy brand is breaking a 30-second spot on TV this weekend that features nothing but a completely blank screen—not even a logo at the end—and a voiceover that asks whether "just absolutely nothing" isn't "nice for a change."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    It's witty and even sort of brave, though also, of course, a bit disingenuous. The ad isn't "absolutely nothing." It's a meta exercise designed to command as much attention, if not more, than traditional spots. And the voiceover—smug, self-satisfied, more than a little judgmental, even humbug-ish—might be more irritating to some than watching a beautifully made, if less authentic ad.

    Still, it does fit the long-running brand promise, "Have a break. Have a KitKat," pretty perfectly. And that makes it more palatable as a stunt.

    Also notable is the amusing agency quote in the press release. Russell Ramsey, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson London, said: "………………………………………………………………………………………………………"

    Client: KitKay
    Business Unit Head, Biscuits: Haseeb Rahman
    Creative Agency: J. Walter Thompson, London
    Executive Creative Director: Russell Ramsey
    Creatives: Ryan Lawson, Andy Smith
    TV Producer: Laurence Barber
    Global Director in Charge: James Whitehead
    Business Director: Gillian Milner
    Senior Account Director: Paola Natellis
    Account Manager: Charlotte Humphries
    Director: Connor Pearce
    Editor: J. Walter Thompson
    Sound: Hogarth

    0 0

    Zappos has always taken its "Delivering happiness" mantra seriously, at least where customers are concerned. To express it this holiday, and alongside agency Mullen Lowe, it pulled a stunt that's almost sure to guarantee social newsfeed love: Thirty employees visited Hanover, a small New Hampshire town, in the dead of night to drop big boxes of gifts on the doorsteps of every house.

    Hanover, recognized by Zappos as "fiercely loyal" to the brand compared to other communities its size, is considered one of New Hampshire's wealthiest communities, and was once dubbed the best place to live in the state by a site called Road Snacks (not to mention one of America's prettiest towns). It's also got a really high college student population, being home to a little-known institution called Dartmouth.

    Now it's got free presents, to boot. Talk about Whoville—this is one town you can tell St. Nick to skip.

    About 1,900 boxes were dropped, each filled with an assortment of products for the whole family—headphones, backpacks and other warm-weather gear, perfect for Hanover residents facing a Northeast winter. 

    At dawn, the video claims, the Zappos crew vanished into the blue—making it unclear who recorded this footage (a grateful Mrs. Claus?), or even why they branded the transport-and-getaway truck with the hashtag #ZapposLovesHanover, which ostensibly few would have been able to see at the time it was in movement (late at night, then early morning). 

    But hey, these questions are just window dressing. We all know this was all done for Interactions! The message, wethinks, is clear: Zappos delivers happiness. So if you'd like the company to pull a Hanover in your town, maybe it's time to bring the local chiefs together and orchestrate a long-term strategy to systematically replace all your shoes. 

    You can call it Operation: Grinch Hanover.

    Client: Zappos
    Agency: Mullen Lowe

    0 0

    Pornhub is the latest advertiser to feature a sad old man in its Christmas commercial—an oddly common theme this year. But instead of getting a telescope or faking his own death, what bring a smile to this old geezer's face is—spoiler alert—free pornography.

    The spot, by Madrid agency Officer & Gentleman, pushes the provocative comedy as far as it can by making it a family scenario. Grandpa is sitting around glumly on the couch, wasting time with his loved ones when he could be watching strangers getting it on. Luckily, one of his family members recognizes his melancholy, and has the perfect solution.

    "This Christmas, give the most touching gift," says the merrily juvenile tagline.

    With Pornhub Premium (available to all gift givers at pornhubpremium.com/gift), Grandpa will enjoy ad-free content, faster playback and streaming in "crisp 1080p resolution." The base price of a Pornhub Premium gift card is $9.99 for a one month membership.

    Advertiser: Pornhub
    Client: Corey Price
    Product: Pornhub Premium
    Campaign: "The Most Touching Gift"

    Agency: Officer & Gentleman, Madrid
    Chief Creative Officer: Javi Iñiguez de Onzoño
    Chief Creative Gentleman: Alex Katz
    Client Service Director: Harry Francis

    Production Company: The Monday Project Co.
    Director: Uri Segarra
    Executive Producer: Alex Rayo
    Director of Photography: Albert Pasqual

    0 0

    You might call him the Southern Santa. 

    In four new holiday videos from KFC, Colonel Sanders spends most of his screen time stuck in a home's chimney ... while trying to deliver presents. 

    The Wieden + Kennedy spots continue comedian Norm McDonald's run of quirky ads as KFC's founder. That role has seen him host "Fryerside Chats" in pseudo-homage to FDR, do a bad impression of a college student and ride a giant chicken on a merry-go-round.

    In the Christmas campaign's first ad, "Entrance," his inept beneficence finds him trapped in a fireplace with a tray of fried chicken (which, along with his arms, he was somehow able to squeeze past his firmly lodged torso—quite the anatomical feat).

    In another spot, he declares that his predicament—the same one from earlier—won't stop him from delivering his deep-fried treasures. 

    The third commercial, an out-of-key rendition of "12 Days of Christmas" with the lyrics adapted to praise a value meal, doesn't add enough freshness to a tedious song to make it worth the effort—but at least it's mercifully short. 

    The best of the bunch by far is "Gifts," in which a family gathered around the Christmas tree takes the weight off Sanders' shoulders—at least as far as keeping viewers entertained. All the presents, which might have looked like bicycles, dogs or puppies while wrapped, turn out to be KFC meals (surprise!).

    That visual gag is plenty rewarding. But it's especially charming that the ad manages to poke fun at Christmas tropes while delivering a hard sell—forget the elaborate gifts, it suggests, just get some fast food and make everyone happier. That's an absurd premise delivered with enough forced cheer to make the pieces feel like a solid sendup: Dad, for his part, pulls faces that make him resemble a cross between Enzyte's infamous Smiling Bob and a gopher in an ugly Christmas sweater. All the while, the Colonel's feet dangle quietly in the backdrop.

    As for the overall concept, the Santa-Sanders resemblance is close enough to pass muster at first blush—pudgy old white guys with white beards and white hair. But here's a weird-but-true fact: In Japan, the two are practically already synonymous: People there religiously eat KFC on Dec. 25, a tradition the company surely wouldn't mind porting to the U.S.

    Client: KFC

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin / Karl Lieberman
    Copywriter: Jonathan Marshall
    Art Director: Helen Rhodes
    Producer: Hayley Goggin Avila
    Social Strategy: John Dempsey
    Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor / Matt Hisamoto
    Media, Communications Planning: Alex Barwick / Anjali Patel
    Account Team: Jess Monsey / Jesse Johnson / Andrie Wheeler
    Business Affairs: Karen Roche
    Project Management: Erin Keeley
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: Biscuit
    Director: Matt Dillmore
    Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
    Sales Representative: Dana Balkin
    Line Producer: Carr Donald
    Director of Photography: Darko Suvak

    Editing Company: Joint Editorial
    Editor: Steve Sprinkle 
    Assistant Editor: J.B. Jacobs
    Post Producer: Chris Girard
    Executive Post Producer: Leslie Carthy

    Visual Effects Company: Joint
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Alex Thiesen
    Lead Flame Artist: Stephan Lectez
    Visual Effects Producer: Steve Griffith
    Lead Flame Artist: Katrina Salicrup
    2-D Artists: David Jahns / Robert Murdock / Noah Poole

    Mix, Sound Company: Joint
    Mixer, Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn
    Producer: Sarah Fink

    Telecine Company: The Mill
    Color Producers: Dan Kreeger / Dan Butler
    Colorist: David "Luddy" Ludlam

    0 0

    To distill the unpredictability and drama of competitive surfing, the World Surf League has launched its first global campaign, "You Can't Script This," anchored by "Chaos Theory," a 90-second spot from ad agency Mistress. 

    The mix of stock, custom and athlete footage includes surging seas, shifting sands and surfboard shaping—along with moody shots of billowing drapes, flickering video screens and a tornado funnel—accompanied by a breathless voiceover: "Isn't it something that a single breath has the power to spawn an entire storm a thousand miles away? We cannot predict it. We can only bear witness to the wonder." 

    That last bit is so leaden, it nearly sinks the whole enterprise. Yet the use of such hyper-saturated prose makes sense when you consider the level of passion and reverence serious surfers have for the sport. 

    "We're focusing our 2015 media spend where our target audiences consume the sport—digital and social. As we continue to expand our message and recruit new fans into competitive surfing in 2016, we will rely more heavily on traditional channels," WSL chief marketing officer Scott Hargrove tells AdFreak. "The goal is to establish an authentic connection with existing surf fans and then carefully expand our message to new fans beyond surfing's core." 

    To achieve that end, the commercial—breaking today, ahead of this month's Billabong Pipe Masters competition in Hawaii—could have used a tighter focus. For example, 72andSunny's epic ads for Samsung explored the spiritual interconnectedness of the surfing community and put a human face on the sport, while capturing the intensity of training and competing in snarling wind and swirling waves. 

    "Competitive surfing is constantly changing and evolving—from upsets to perfection, a thwarted shark attack to the most hotly contested championship race in years," Hargrove says. "We believe this unpredictability is what makes the sport so compelling and therefore made it the focus of our creative strategy." 

    Fair enough. And while not a total wipeout, it's a shame "Chaos Theory" relies so heavily on clichéd "dramatic" imagery and language. The underlying metaphor rocks, but despite its quest to portray surfing as a constant surprise, the ad feels a tad predictable. 


    Production Company: Eskimo
    Executive Producer: David Martinez
    Director: Dan DiFelice
    Director of Photography: Khalid Mohtaseb
    Producer: James Parker
    Postproduction: Eskimo
    Post Producer: Tamar Sasson
    Editor: Scott Hanson
    Assistant Editor: Scott Crozier
    Designer, Motion Designer: Jerry Liu
    Visual Effects: Blacksmith NY
    Sound Design: Cypher Audio

    Agency: Mistress
    Creative Director, Partner: Scott Harris
    Strategy, Partner: Christian Jacobsen
    Art Director: Megan Nakazawa
    Copywriter: Adam Wagner
    Brand Director: Victoria Edwards
    Brand Manager: Kylie Wu
    Agency Producer: Trevor Paperny
    Project Manager: Alex Clewell


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