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    Hey, was that Jude Law in CHI & Partners' new "The Life RX" campaign for Lexus Europe?

    Indeed it was, though if you blink you might just miss him: The Hollywood A-lister appears only at the opening and close of this minute-long commercial.

    Well, that parking attendant sure had all sorts of wild, wondrous adventures tooling around the Italian Riviera in Jude's luxury Lexus RX SUV! That's what happens when you "borrow" a superstar's car for a few hours. And the actor, last spotted pitching Johnnie Walker, didn't even lay down the law afterward. Jude's a cool dude. (Note to self: Avoid valet parking.)

    The connection between driving the vehicle and living the high life works pretty well, and the likable ad—shot in splashy style by Smuggler's Adam Berg—never goes too far over the top. Glossy fantasy feels like a smart direction for the nameplate.

    Law, who's set to appear in more Lexus spots, grins a lot but never says a word. Here, he proves the old saw about there being "no small parts," adding considerable charm and gravitas to the breezy scenario in little more than a cameo. 

    If you'd like to try other lifestyles of the rich and famous on for size, there's also Guy Ritchie's classic soccer ad for Nike, which birthed the first-person POV genre in modern advertising (though porn arguably had first dibs). 

    Client: Lexus
    Head of Brand, Communications: Spiros Fotinos
    Senior Brand Manager: Christopher Taylor
    Creative Agency: CHI&Partners
    Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Burley
    Creative Director: Rob Webster, Alexei Berwitz
    Copywriter: James Crosby
    Art Director: William Cottam
    Agency Planner: Rebecca Munds
    Agency Account: Tilly Cooper, Gary Simmons
    Agency Producer: Roz Prentice, Bebe Kiffin
    Media Agency: ZenithOptimedia
    Media Planner: James Wrigley, Nisha
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Adam Berg
    Production Co. Producer: Gustav Geldenhuys
    Post-production Company: Moving Picture Company
    Audio Post-production: 750 mph
    Digital Design Company: Amaze
    PR Agency: Freuds

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    Police brutality is a hot-button issue in our nation right now. But despite the current advertising climate of social good projects, most brands have been silent on the subject. T.I.'s clothing label Akoo has broken that silence with its 11x Human fall collection and an introductory video that asks questions about social justice while promoting the fashion.

    Diametrically opposed to traditional collection videos, which often go for nothing more than a mood, and sometimes seem to intentionally court confusion with nonsensical imagery, this is an introduction with a point of view.

    "The campaign pushes a sense of social consciousness and responsibility around issues of racial violence, urging a sense of shared humanity as a way of counteracting increased brutality," says director John Merizalde.

    Passionately narrated by Michael "Killer Mike" Render, a hip hop artist and activist from Atlanta, it's clear that this video is more than a fashion campaign. It's a call for us all to step up and see each other not as cop and perp, not as black and white, but as human.

    I want to be clear that this is not a piece that brands all police as racist. It portrays both black and white cops, and black and white suspects. We see a black cop connecting with his young son and a white cop also connecting with his son. We see one black son of Atlanta robbing another black son of Atlanta, leading to the police chase. And through it all, we see a tableau of Atlanta from the city's famous strip clubs to the iconic windows of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Baptist church.

    "Our goal was to be reflective of the violence that we inflict on our own community and not just limit the focus on external factors such as poverty, poor education and the actions of the police," says Sabai Burnett, vp of Marketing at Akoo. "This film is the crescendo of our artistic viewpoint—heavily graphic and unapologetic. 'If not us, who? If not now, when?' "

    While such a bold statement is unusual for a fashion brand, it's perfectly in line with T.I.'s politics. The hip-hop artist (real name: Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) recently urged people to take action about inequality, claiming social media posts will not solve the problems we're experiencing as a nation. So it should come as a shock to no one that T.I. would shoot a statement film like this in his hometown, narrated by Killer Mike—another friend from his hometown—shot by an Atlanta director and using locals from the riders of ATL Bike Life to the dancers at the Blue Flame Lounge.

    What's more shocking is how few brands are willing to offer a point of view on the topic. It doesn't matter what community you live in. I, too, am a daughter of Atlanta. Though it's not my hometown, it is the town where I'm raising my children. And that which affects one of us affects all of us, because we are all human.

    "Eleven Times Human"
    A short film commissioned by Akoo
    Directed By John Merizalde
    Cinematography by Kristian Zuñiga
    Narrated by Michael "Killer Mike" Render
    Executive Producers: Tip "T.I." Harris, Jason Geter, Ralph Reynolds, Sabai Burnett and David Kwon Kim
    Producers: David Kwon Kim and Brandon Smith
    Production Managers: Grey Clawson and Garrett Coyte
    First Assistant Camera: Daniel Guadalupe
    B-Camera Operator: Erin Murray
    Steadicam Operator: Mark Sunderland
    Gaffer: Alex Allgood
    Key Grip: Austin English
    Art Director: Addie Babcock
    Hair & Makeup: Desi Davis
    Wardrobe Stylist: Kellye Barnes
    Production Assistant: Jae Desouza
    Production Assistant: Courtney Wallace
    Editor: Andrew Litten
    Composer: Patrick Canaday
    Additional Music: NEVR and Watermark High
    Sound Design: Matt Dunaway
    Color: David Torcivia
    Special Thanks
    ATL Bike Life
    Blue Flame Lounge
    Cascade Family Skating
    Columbus Ward and the Rick McDevitt Youth Center
    HD Planet Cameras
    Jeremy Miller
    Kirsten Daniel
    Matt Swinsky
    Pro 8mm

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    It's the most wonderful time of the year, except for agency people who've been feeling the annual pressure to come up with something fun for their agency holiday card. How did they do this year? Check out some of the more notable efforts below. 

    We'll be updating this post over the coming days. So, email us your card, and if it's any good, we'll try to include it.

    —Second batch of cards added…

    Britton Marketing & Design Group

    This agency created a parody book of Goodnight Moon, called Goodnight Marketers, and sent it to friends, colleagues, peers and clients. There's also a digital version here.



    Here's our first It's a Wonderful Life spoof of the season. CooperKatz & Company takes a look at what the world would be like if Ralph Katz and Andy Cooper had never started CooperKatz.


    Cossette Vancouver

    Swipe left on centuries of lame-ass tradition, and try Bltzn instead.



    This agency made its Christmas cards by recycling all the discarded, crumpled paper on which the creatives had written their bad ideas.



    LivingSocial interviewed D.C. locals about the best gifts they've ever given or received.



    Nail Communications created the Honest Advent Calendar, featuring little gifts for each day that might come in really handy. The agency gave the calendar to clients and media but also to some Facebook followers who had the best answers to this question: "We hope your holidays are wonderful. But we're not idiots. We know they won't be—at least not all the time. So we've created the world's first honest advent calendar. Want one? Tell us your most ridiculous/sad/heartwarming holiday problem."



    For the 25th anniversary of Home Alone, redpepper recreated one of its favorite scenes—"with a nerdy, tech-y twist. We thought about how we could take Kevin's homemade security system and turn it into an office party anyone in the neighborhood could interact with. So we did just that." Read more at rdppr.it/holidaython.



    Yes, coming up with a great holiday card is stressful. And according to this agency, it can be a real horror show. One of this year's funnier entries.

    —Original post below…


    If Santa was a woman, could she do the job? A social experiment by Anomaly.


    BBDO Toronto

    Stress-relieving coloring books for adults are all the rage, but BBDO Toronto went a step further. The agency created a coloring tablecloth featuring a holiday design. "As a bonus, we included washable markers, allowing the tablecloth to be washed and used again," the agency says. "A new holiday tradition, perhaps?"


    Cossette Chicago

    This agency's holiday video was allegedly "written over a long weekend by a modestly paid group of writers, who holed up at a fishing cabin within spitting distance of the North Pole to fully immerse themselves in the holiday." This is what they came up with.


    DDB Chicago

    "The Drunk History of DDB."


    Havas Chicago

    For its #ilovegrandma campaign, Havas Chicago turned its River North lobby into four separate "grandma's kitchens," each representing a different ethnicity: African American, Asian, Caucasian and Latina. The grandmas are friends and family of Havas, and the kitchens are equipped with ovens supplied by Kenmore, a Havas client. The grandmas will be serving up free cookies made from classic family recipes to the public from the Havas lobby at 36 E. Grand from 11am-3pm, Dec. 15-18, 21-22.


    J. Walter Thompson

    Santa Had Help. This mobile website allows gift givers, receivers or anyone else to meet the elves who made this year's gifts. You scan the barcode on a gift by using the phone's built in camera, and seconds later, one of 150 unique videos plays that corresponds to the specific gift in hand. The videos feature various male and female elves at their workstations in Santa's workshop in the North Pole.



    MKG introduces PRISTINE BALLS! A good call in this snowless December in NYC.



    McKinney introduces JöLLY, he first wearable that tracks happiness. The JöLLY Tracker is a wearable that monitors just how much you smile. And if you're not smiling enough, it gives you an electric shock to the face. Enjoy!



    Insecure Christmas trees get the Dove treatment in this "Real Beauty Sketches" spoof.


    Ogilvy & Mather New York

    Ogilvy is celebrating the season by posing for wonderfully tacky stock holiday photos."The photos feature Ogilvy staff in some of the most clichéd holiday moments we've all had to endure in advertising: from the painful office party to the little girl sitting on Santa's lap," the agency says. The whole series is available for purchase on Getty Images, with proceeds donated to the World Childhood Foundation."


    Plan B

    Donald Trump actually doesn't want to replace Barack Obama. He wants to replace that useless, lazy slob Santa Claus!


    Publicis Groupe

    Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy offers "skippable" holiday greetings in series of fake ads.


    R&R Partners

    Dress up a snowman like R&R employees!


    Ray Agency

    Ever try to catch a turkey? It's not as easy as it looks.



    Rethink presents The Ornament That Saved Christmas. This festive DIY combines a candy cane, old headphones and a genius hack of a smartphone's headphone jack to make it fun to unplug this holiday season with an accompanying site of animated ornaments.



    SapientNitro came up with "SpeakEmoji," the world's first voice-to-emoji translator. "SpeakEmoji translates grown-up speak into cool emoji messages to help adults engage with their festive little "digital natives." If kids won't come to Christmas, maybe we can take Christmas to the kids."



    Dogs and cats recreate holiday movies in this video from SheKnows. Choice spoofs include A Pugmas Story, Love Catually and Frozen Dogs.


    Sid Lee

    Sid Lee gives you The Christmatizer. The agency created a Chrome plugin that automatically replaces pre-roll ads with various Sid Lee holiday videos, which you can check out below.



    Check out the agency's Merry Auction, where they're selling off "bespoke human-crafted gifts from everyone in the office." Proceeds go to charity.


    Team One

    Team One created a 360-degree video that will really mellow you out during this stressful season. "Headphones suggested. Parka optional."


    The VIA Agency

    VIA filmed a lovely, emotional spot for Preble Street, a homelessness charity in Portland, Maine. It's running on TV and in cinemas.


    Vladimir Jones

    Check out this agency's Mule Log, yet another Yule Log spoof in a year that's seen several of them from marketers, too.


    Will Creative

    Will sent a mysterious survey to clients asking them to identify their holiday vice (cookies, wine, eggnog, etc.). But instead of sending them their vice as a gift, the Will employees spared them the temptation by consuming it for them in 130 personalized videos.



    This Boston agency produced a three-part satire of the agency life themed to the classic story of The Grinch.


    Wunderman NY

    Greed vs. Good 2015. In partnership with EdgeDNA, Wunderman Chicago and Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, Wunderman NY created a socially controlled freezer, where the temperature rose and fell based on the use of two hashtags: #MeltfortheMoney and #FreezeforGood. Inside the freezer was a snowman stuffed with $4,500 cash. That money would either be donated to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue or won by one of the greedy #MeltfortheMoney tweeters. (Spoiler: The #FreezeforGood tweeters won.)

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    One Direction is going on hiatus beginning in March, and they apparently can't wait.

    Because this is Super-Bowl-blackout-level news, just waiting in the wings for an Oreo to own it, KitKat seized the day: Working with J. Walter Thompson, it posted a tweet that uses the 1D news to build on its longtime "Have a break" slogan: 

    It's an opportunist's wet dream: With help from a retweet by 1D's Liam, the post generated over 60,000 retweets and 80,000 likes in less than 24 hours, not to mention a bevvy of replies from mourning fans, many of whom are begging the brand (and the band, because why not?) to put the customized packages from the tweet into production:

    No word on whether Nestlé plans to pull a flagrant Coca-Cola and turn this low-hanging fruit into reality, but one thing's for sure: They hit fans where it hurt, and unlocked a super-social market that's hankering to tide their break from One Direction over with some snap-off chocolate therapy. (Somebody definitely needs to send a pack to Noel Gallagher.)

    In other recent efforts to penetrate the zeitgeist, KitKat tried petitioning the Unicode Consortium to create a snapping Kit-Kat emoji. Unlike Taco Bell (but just like Durex), it has so far failed—which is great news from those of us who could use a break from brand creep. 

    Client: KitKat
    Agency: Team Iconic at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide
    Global Creative Director: Marcus Woolcott
    Creative Director: Barry Christie
    Global Business Director: Stephanos Kilmathianos
    Social Media Executive: James Treen
    Designer: Melissa Wong
    Senior Account Manager: Kat O'Donnell
    Planning Director: Orlando Hooper-Greenhill, Joao Caputi

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    Honda said Friday that it will air a 60-second spot for its Ridgeline pickup truck during Super Bowl 50 in February, returning to the big game after a year away.

    The ad, created by ad agency RPA, will air during the third quarter. No details about the creative approach were available.

    The 2017 Honda Ridgeline will have its world debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

    "The big game is the largest and most coveted stage to show the world that Honda is back in a big way with an all-new Ridgeline truck," Jeff Conrad, svp and general manager of the Honda Automobile Division, said in a statement. "Super Bowl 50 is the right time and the right venue to communicate Honda's continued leadership in light trucks. The multiplatform approach will enable Ridgeline to come out of the gate strong in 2016."

    The spot will be Honda's first on the Super Bowl since 2014's "Hugfest," promoting Honda safety. Among the brand's other well-known Super Bowl ads is the Ferris Bueller commercial, which aired on the 2012 game. 

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    Netflix may have revolutionized how we watch TV, but it's not stopping there.

    Working again with Pittsburgh-based agency Deeplocal, the streaming company just released another do-it-yourself invention. This time, it's a pair of socks that detect when you've fallen asleep and pause your program so you don't miss out. 

    How do they work? Allow Netflix to explain: 

    We've based our sleep detection system on a popular method called actigraphy. An accelerometer detects when you've stopped moving for a prolonged period of time and triggers a signal to your TV that pauses Netflix. When it detects that you've dozed off, an LED light in the cuff of the sock flashes red, warning that the pause signal is about to be sent to your TV. Any motion will stop it from firing.

    The accelerometer is very sensitive to little movements, so it's good at detecting when you're just sitting still, raptly watching Netflix, and when you've actually fallen asleep. 

    The socks are the perfect solution to a problem no one really talks about. And it would be great not to experience the shame that comes when Netflix asks, "Are you still watching?"

    Putting the socks together involves a bit of knitting and electronics assembly. Step-by-step instructions are posted at makeit.netflix.com. Of course, Netflix cheekily suggests that "if knitting isn't your thing, you can always enlist the help of a knitting-savvy friend"—which you shouldn't have much trouble finding, given that yarn is ad land's new catnip—and that "to build the sensor, you'll need an understanding of electronics and microcontroller programming, and be comfortable around a soldering iron." 

    More pics below. 

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    Is there a way to make the bile-spewing Donald Trump a little more, well, palatable? Turn him into a dessert item, perhaps.

    Los Angeles-based Pitch Agency isn't actually trying to win anyone over politically, but it did include Trump in its recap of 2015's standout moments and personalities, rendered as carefully crafted riddles atop gourmet sugar cookies. 

    See all of the cookies here.

    The ad mavens, who work on Burger King, Pepsi, Pinkberry and other clients, drew from significant people, places and events this year to come up with 20 snapshots for these oversized treats, which they started distributing early this month. And many of them come with a little bite.

    For example, along with the Tin Man, Dorothy and the Scarecrow, one confection features a character dubbed the Cowardly Dentist (a reference to the profession of Cecil the Lion's killer). Another cookie is trussed up like a cinema marquee for American Sniper, featuring news anchor Brian Williams.

    Pitch Agency also included a few mashups, like Sesame Street's Cookie Monster blinged out as Cookie Lyon from Empire, and Caitlyn Jenner on a Wheaties box; as well as twists on notable deaths—Paul Walker's solo-car sendoff from Fast and the Furious 7, and the "Live long and prosper" emoji for Leonard Nimoy.

    The agency calls them "the edible equivalent of playing cards" and a way to test your cultural literacy, with some being more arcane than others (to wit: a FIFA World Cup trophy with a "sold" sign on it).

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    Finally, a stuntman gets the lead role.

    Meet Jacob Tomuri, the star of this minute-long spot for travel-search site Cheapflights, the brand's first work from agency Forever Beta. Actually, you've seen him before—in movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He's got a gig in the upcoming The Revenant, too.

    Still, you might not recognize his face.

    As a seasoned stunt performer, he stands in for big-name actors like Tom Hardy, who kick back in their trailers with brie and groupies (we presume) while Tomuri risks life and limb performing in high-voltage scenes.

    In "Flying Stuntman," however, Tomuri takes his turn in the spotlight. He even narrates in a gravely New Zealand accent befitting his macho profession.

    "For my job," he begins, "I fly everywhere."

    And then he does just that—leaping, tumbling and fighting his way through a series of cheeky, adrenalized action-film-style sequences with the explosions and the shattering glass and the diving off skyscrapers. All footage was created specifically for the commercial, and Tomuri helped devise the stunts.

    "The shoot went brilliantly, and took place in Kiev, Ukraine," Matt Saunby, executive creative director at Forever Beta, tells Adweek. "It's actually a great country to film in, with lots of unique locations like the amazing boat yard, where our stuntman jumps to grab the hook. It was fascinating to see the stunt coordinator and Jacob practicing all the different scenes."

    The spot is a fun ride, though the noisy setup seems like a bit of a stretch for the brand. Still, director Tom McCarthy of Stink keeps things moving at an appropriately frantic pace, and the approach is certainly compelling for the category.

    "Traveling the world," Tomuri says at the ad's conclusion, "I make the movie stars look good. Unlike those guys, I make my own way there, searching smart for the best flights. With millions to choose from, my journey always starts with just one word."

    That word, of course, is "Cheapflights," which, come to think of it, is actually two words mashed together.

    Considering how Tomuri "flies" in the commercial, just taking a plane—any plane, at any price—probably comes as a relief.

    Client: Cheapflights
    Agency: Forever Beta
    Director: Keith McCarthy
    Production Company: Stink

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    There's a long and not-very-proud tradition of anti-drug advertising that gets ridiculed for missing the mark with young audiences. Australia's New South Wales government just added a classic new entry to that hall of shame with #StonerSloth, a campaign designed to shame teens who get high—but who are finding the ads hilariously delightful instead.

    In three short videos, marijuana has turned teens into giant sloths—and the metaphor is made literal, as the kids are actually depicted as giant hairy beasts with long, curved claws. Socially, they're utterly useless. All they can do is moan, since they're so high. And they can't take tests at school, make small talk at parties, or—most comically, if unintentionally so—even pass the salt at dinner.

    "You're worse on weed," claims the tagline.

    The campaign is so cartoony and weird that teens, rather than learning any lessons from it, are embracing it as one big joke. There are already parody videos, endless Twitter jokes—and even a "Pass the salt" sloth T-shirt for sale.

    The New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet is standing by the campaign, at least for now. "The 'Stoner Sloth' public awareness campaign has been designed to encourage positive behaviors in young people before bad habits start, and motivate discontinued use of cannabis before they become dependent," a rep said in a statement. "The campaign is designed to appeal to, and be 'shareable' among, teenagers, who are some of the most vulnerable to cannabis use. We know that younger audiences respond more to campaigns highlighting the short-term consequences of their actions."

    Well, it certainly is shareable, which is more than you can say for many such campaigns. Of course, that came at the price of becoming a laughingstock. Indeed, even Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre has disowned the work.

    Check out the best of the Twitter reaction below, including a couple of tweets from New South Wales premier Mike Baird. 

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    Nostalgic 1990s aesthetics guide this SNL parody ad for hoverboards, which are more like those dorky Segway/unicycle hybrids you see tech guys riding sometimes instead of Marty McFly-style boards. Which is just as well, because they randomly catch fire and explode, and sometimes accelerate to 80 mph with no warning.

    In real life, hoverboards use lithium-ion batteries that occasionally malfunction, and the SNL ad takes specific aim at the underlying reason why, before insinuating that hoverboards are made by Korean gangsters.

    As usual, SNL overwrites the skit, but the details help out a lot. The costumes are great—I want that "Whee!" shirt more than I'm comfortable with—and the graphics do a good job reinforcing the ad's tone. The one guy yelling "Noice!" while his grandfather burns in the living room is a pretty funny visual.

    It's clear they were going for a Happy Fun Ball vibe, and while they didn't get there, this is still better than 85 percent of what they've done since then.

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    Where's an ad blocker when you really need one?

    That's what 100 influencers invited to a private screening of Spectre, at the Cinebarre Theater in Louisville, Colorado, were thinking last month. Their enjoyment of the latest James Bond epic was interrupted not once, not twice, but 003 times as the action built to an explosive climax.

    It was all a hidden-camera prank engineered by Project: WorldWide agency School to promote TiVo's 500GB Bolt DVR system. Consumers won't stand for interruptions at the movies, the client maintains, so they shouldn't put up with them at home, either.

    "Getting interrupted right at the climax is brutal," Joe Corr, chief creative officer at School, tells Adweek. "But you might think it's just a technical problem. So we came back two minutes later and then 10 minutes later with the same three ads, and they went ballistic."

    A fiendish plot worthy of Blofeld himself. Predictably, tensions ran high. Luckily, the moviegoers weren't licensed to kill.

    "The first interruption captured a lot of confusion," Corr says. "People weren't sure what was going on and were annoyed. But when we went back in with interruptions two and three, people started to lose it. It was chaos. Wine bottles and popcorn containers were in the air."

    Once folks began popping out of their seats, School brought up the house lights and let the audience in on the gag.

    "We wanted to make sure we diffused that moment of anger and frustration," Corr says. "While everyone was inside the theater, we staged the lobby area with demo stations, photo booths, an open bar with themed drinks, and a station where every attendee got a new TiVo Bolt tied up in a silk bow."

    Naturally, a sequel is in the works. "We're talking about more pranks we can do that would show how interruptions ruin different experiences," Corr says.

    Just don't pull this stunt during Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or we'll seen the dark side of human nature exploding in the aisles.

    Client: TiVo

    Agency: School
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Corr
    Executive Creative Director: Ryan Craig
    Creative Director: Andrew Goldin
    Art Director: Kiley Del Valle
    Copywriter: Ryan Craig, Max Lenderman, Andrew Goldin
    Executive Producer: Angela Barnard
    Agency Producer: Gigi Douglas
    Account Executive: Sherena Elharmell
    Designer: Hailey Badovinac

    Production Company: Buck Ross
    Director: Ryan Ross
    Director of Photography: Jeffrey Garland
    Producer: Alex VanNortwick
    Assistant Director: Tom Farnsworth
    Editor: Lam T. Nguyen
    Post Producer: Ryan Ross
    Color: Buck Ross
    Colorist:  Lam T. Nguyen

    Sound Design: Coupe Studios
    Producer: Eric Singer
    Audio Mix: Alex Hawley

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    When you book your vacation through Thomas Cook, it'll be so good that you'll be dancing like a madman. That, at least, is the premise of a new ad by Albion London for the U.K. travel agency.

    The commercial opens on a quiet hotel pool, before a young hero makes his very loud entrance. Wearing only his swim trunks and a strapped-on shark fin, he grooves his way around the water, pausing only to see if the lifeguard is going to scold him. (After a friendly, totally irresponsible smile, he resumes.)

    Thomas Cook credits the soundtrack, which is integral to the ad's success, to one Tam Cooper. The general idea, from the kid's performance to his aesthetic, knacks pretty strongly of Napoleon Dynamite, which is a bit tired.

    But the setting, and his age, keep it fresh enough, while the simplicity and focus of the idea is charming enough to make a nice change of pace from the usual travel fare—even if, at a minute long, it could still stand to be a little shorter.

    The tagline, "Be Bold," falls flat—it's too broad to offer any clear attachment to the brand or its services. But the general takeaway is clear enough. On the one hand, the ad is playing specifically to families—namely, mothers who want their kids to have fun on vacation. More broadly, it appeals to everyone's inner child. That's wise, because everyone wishes they could cut loose, but Mom knows she's going to end up chasing around Junior around the deck the entire time, anyway.

    If this were a Danish travel campaign, though, that'd be just one of many moments she'd be cursing her own mother, for funding that last trip some 10 years ago. 

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    We've written a lot about cinemagraphs, those mostly still photos that are animated by a small amount of video, producing an image that in some ways is more captivating that either photo or video alone. Now, cinemagraph software company Flixel has produced what it says is the first cinemagraph TV commercial—a Pizza Hut spot that's been airing on truTV's Billy on the Street, featuring comedian Billy Eichner.

    The ad shows a couple taking a selfie in Times Square. But while they are still (except for the dude's weirdly undulating dollar bill), everything else is moving around them—at super fast pace. The Pizza Hut branding shows up to the left and right of the couple—in a digital billboards that featuring scrolling text and a static logo that comes and goes.

    It's definitely eye-catching, even hypnotic, though way busier than typical cinemagraphs. 

    The spot has been playing on truTV for 10 seconds during Billy on the Street as a lead-in to a full Pizza Hut commercial.

    The ad was created using a combination of Flixel apps including Persecond for Mac, Cinemagraph Pro for Mac and traditional animation software. Check out the behind-the-scenes footage below. 

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    In The Martin Agency's latest "It's What You Do" ad for Geico, a James Bond-style super-spy takes an unexpected phone call that severely cramps his style just as the bad guys and helicopters close in.

    Check out the spot here to find out who's on the other end of the line:

    Whoa, the squirrels are back in the attic, and Dad won't call an exterminator!? That's just one of the scintillating topics to savor when you hear from Mama, with love. She calls at the worst times. That's what she does.

    "My mom is guilty of this," Martin senior copywriter Ken Marcus tells Adweek. "She's always calling at the worst time. I guess if you're a retiree, you forget things like work hours."

    Note the squirrels racing through the yard behind Mom as she makes the call. Nice touch from Hungry Man director Wayne McClammy. But why focus on moms in the first place?

    "Moms call a lot," says agency creative director Sean Riley. "I think most people would see some truth there. The hard part is finding the funny twist to the story. We just thought it was fun to contrast a mundane phone call with the seriousness of a spy scene."

    It's a tried and true trope, essentially a cliché, but actress Cindy Drummond really shines. So much so, in fact, that Martin extended the bit beyond the 30-second "Spy" commercial with shorter "Momversations" showcasing her delightful deadpan delivery and penchant for amusing ad-libs on topics like tattoos, hashtags and beaver-like rodents called nutrias.

    "She's a better writer than I am," says Marcus. "She kept giving us so much fun material. It would have been a shame to leave that all behind on a hard drive somewhere."

    "We had to do a lot of extra takes on the line, 'Your father was attacked by a big angry beaver,' " says Riley. "Cindy cracked up every time."

    Client: Geico
    Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
    Director, Marketing: Bill Brower
    Senior Manager, Marketing: Melissa Halicy
    Marketing Supervisor: Mike Grant
    Marketing Buyer: Tom Perlozzo
    Marketing Buyer: Brighid Griffin
    Marketing Buyer: Katherine Kalec
    Marketing Specialist: Julia Nass

    Agency: The Martin Agency
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    Group Creative Director: Wade Alger
    Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    Creative Director: Sean Riley
    Senior Copywriter: Ken Marcus
    Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Heather Tanton
    Junior Broadcast Producer: Sara Montgomery
    Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
    Account Executive: Jon Glomb
    Account Executive: Allison Hensley
    Account Coordinator: Allie Waller
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
    Financial Account Supervisor: Monica Cox
    Senior Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Project Manager: Karen McEwen

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Managing Partner/Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
    Executive Producer/Head of Sales: Dan Duffy
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Executive Producer: Nancy Hacohen
    Producer: Dave Bernstein
    Production Supervisor: Shelly Silverman

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Christjan Jordan
    Assistant Editor: Pieter Viljoen
    Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
    Producer: Helena Lee

    Telecine: Moving Picture Company
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis

    Animation/VFX: Moving Picture Company
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
    Production Coordinator: Valentina Cokonis
    Line Producer: Goutham Hampankatta
    Flame Lead: Mark Holden
    Nuke Artist: Janice Tso
    Nuke Artist: Jim Spratling
    VFX Supervisor/Head of 3D: Jason Schugardt
    Lead Lighter: Tim Kafka
    Render/Look Dev: Jessica Groom
    DMP: Partha Modal
    3D Supervisor: Nishanth Shrinivasa

    Original Music and Sound Design: Q Department

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
    Engineer/Mixer: Jeff McManus

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    Visual synecdoche rules in Droga5's new Android spot, in which fingers dressed up as caricatures stand in for consumers.

    There's a hitchhiker finger in a Hawaiian shirt, and a subway commuter with a bright red afro, and a masked Mexican wrestling finger—but they all fit right in using Google's mobile operating system, says the ad.

    Titled "Fingerprints"—presumably because everyone has a unique digit—the spot the latest under the brand's "Be together. Not the same" tagline. That's a good thing, or at least, has a better ring to it than "Android. The smartphone platform for people who have fingers."

    Overall, the concept is inevitably not as charming as Android's supercut of different animal species playing together to the sounds of Roger Miller's 1973 tune "Oo-De-Lally"—among Adweek's 10 best ads of 2015. It also can't but evoke Steve Oedekerk's absurd Thumbs! series, despite the perhaps more obvious association with generic finger puppets.

    Regardless, the cute concept survives on neat little twists like the introduction of an extraterrestrial finger, and a werewolf finger, and a finger with a Carmen Miranda fruit hat.

    Those visual gimmicks, strung together this time by a version of Barry Louis Polisar's 1993 children's song "I Need You Like a Donut Needs a Hole," are nice enough. Some YouTube commenters are wondering where the black fingers are—a reasonable question, especially given the ad's emphasis on diversity.

    But, perhaps on the bright side, Google clearly didn't mean anything by the omission. Whether you're a French painter finger or a finger with all gold everything, the marketer only really cares that you're not an Apple finger. 

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    Barton F. Graf 9000 just rolled out a new campaign for the Supercell game Clash of Clans that's got an interesting mix of elements—namely, an unexpected celebrity pairing plus a new focus on real, epic moments from actual Clash of Clans games users have played.

    The "True Tales of Clash Achievery" campaign launched today with a spot called "The Legend of the Last Lava Pup." It's narrated, amusingly enough, by Christoph Waltz as a kind of bedtime story to James Corden, who appears to be Waltz's son in this scenario.

    In the suspenseful tale of a epic game that one user played, a Lava Pup, the lone survivor of the army, saves an entire clan seconds before the clock runs out. The footage switches from Waltz and Corden in a bedroom to battlefield scenes animated by Psyop. Then, at the very end, gameplay footage shows the preceding story as it happened in the game.

    Combining three different perspectives—live action plus cinematic animation plus gameplay animation—is a novel storytelling method for video games. And it's a really nice way of using humor, spectacle and real gamer stories to keep viewers engaged. 

    The film went live on YouTube today. TV and social elements launch Dec. 25, as does a microsite where players can submit their own moments of achievery and view the stories being featured. Out-of-home ads launch Dec. 28 in New York, London and San Francisco.

    Barton F. Graf, which used Liam Neeson in a Super Bowl ad for Clash of Clans back in February, has been mining Clash community pages, forums and even Reddit to find real stories for the campaign, emphasizing the idea that every Clasher has a story.

    Title: "The Legend of the Last Lava Pup"

    Client: Supercell
    Brand: Clash of Clans

    Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000
    Founder/Chief Creative Officer: Gerry Graf
    CEO: Barney Robinson
    Chief Strategy Officer: Laura Janness
    Executive Creative Director: Scott Vitrone
    Art Director: Michael Hagos
    Copywriter: Sam Dolphin
    Producer: Erica Kahr
    Head of Integrated Production: Josh Morse
    Account Director: Kate Faux
    Account Supervisor: Mike Andreozzi
    Director of Business Affairs: Jennifer Pannent
    Senior Strategy Director: Sean Staley
    Junior Brand Strategist: Kirk Luo

    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Tim Godsall
    Executive Producer: Eric Stern
    Line Producer: James Graves

    3D/Animation Production Company: Psyop
    Director: Fletcher Moules
    Animation Lead: Jean-Dominique Fievet
    CG Lead: Stephen DeLalla
    Executive Producer: Amanda Miller
    Producer: Lucy Clark

    Editorial: MackCut
    Editor: Gavin Cutler
    Asst. Editor: Pamela Petruski
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

    Music Production : Butter Music & Sound
    Music CCO: Andrew Sherman
    Music EP: Ian Jeffreys
    Music Producer: Ryan Faucett

    Mix: Lime Studios/Loren Silber

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    For its holiday campaign this year, Dollar Shave Club takes an approach that recalls adam&eveDDB's Harvey Nichols work, rolling out amusing portraits of people who actually wouldn't be too happy to get a gift subscription to the mail-order shaving-products service.

    These include: Grandma, various kids, a biker who probably hasn't shaved in decades, a robot, and perhaps most amusingly, a hairless cat. 

    Dollar Shave Club creative director Alec Brownstein tells us that the ads are running across all social media platforms—but you're likeliest to see them on Facebook.

    Check out the photos, and GIFs, below.

    Client: Dollar Shave Club
    Agency: Dollar Shave Club InHouse
    Creative Directors: Alec Brownstein and Matt Knapp
    Copywriter: Alec Brownstein
    Art Director: Matt Knapp
    Agency Producer Matt Sausmer
    Agency Director: Raechelle Hoki
    Project Manager: Christine Melloy
    Photographer: Jeff Minton
    Producer: Christine Kantner
    Production Company: DS Reps

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    Can you connect the dots?

    Ad agency Essencius recently launched a teaser campaign in Denmark touting stevia- and cane-sugar-sweetened Coca-Cola Life, but only about 5 percent of the population could actually see the message.

    That's because the copy was "hidden" in an image that looked liked blobs of greenish-brown bubbles to most viewers. (Technically, they're called reverse Ishihara images.) Color-blind people, however, saw the word "Life" nestled within the design.

    "Our idea is based on the premise of engaging many by targeting the few," explains Essencius managing partner Brian Orland. "Surprising people and getting them curious about the hidden message in the campaign has had a great impact on the engagement rate."

    The images appeared in digital ads, social media, outdoor installations and at department-store sampling sessions. According to the agency, the unorthodox approach generated substantial earned media, reaching more than 17 percent of the Danish population between 10 and 60 years old.

    Though kind of random (why use color blindness as a campaign hook at all?), the gambit does seem in keeping with the general trend toward social inclusiveness in advertising, and recalls brands' obsession a few months back with the color of a certain dress. (It's pink, dammit!)

    That said, marketers should proceed with care. Some folks might construe such campaigns as exploitative or offensive, and take brands to task for trying to leverage the unique qualities or perceptions of specific groups for commercial gain.

    Luckily for Coke in Denmark, no controversy bubbled up.

    Client: Coca-Cola Denmark
    Agency: Essencius

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    AT&T finds itself in a bit of a bind at the holidays. Yes, it's a mobile-first company, but at this time of year, it can be irritating for families when kids spend all day on their phones.

    To address this, the company is pulling all the retail ads for its mobile business off TV and social for Dec. 24 and 25 and airing the spot below exclusively. The spot was created by BBDO, directed by husband and wife duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) and has a nice message about what really matters at the holidays.

    Yes, it's a bit reminiscent of Apple's famous "Misunderstood" spot from a couple of years ago—without quite as powerful a payoff. And of course, any messaging like this isn't purely altruistic. (It's an ad, after all.)

    But it's a worthy message nonetheless (one that a few different marketers have been pushing this season), and it's nice to see AT&T supporting it. 

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    Cards Against Humanity recently bought a Picasso. And it's now asking 150,000 people to vote whether to donate it to a museum or laser-cut it into 150,000 pieces.

    And I'm one of those people.

    Which Picasso? Tete de Faune—a 1962 Linocut print, of which the artist made a series of 50. They haven't said which number print they bought, merely calling it an original (probably because it's more shocking to think of destroying a single original work than one of 50). But they did produce a ransom note in the form of a loving video showing the Picasso already in the laser slicer, awaiting its doom while enjoying classical music.

    And who are the 150,000 people? Those of us who subscribed to CAH's Eight Sensible Gifts for Hanukkah—the brand's third (and purportedly last) annual holiday promotion. (The previous two installments, 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit and 10 Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa, had some amazing prizes. For example, I now own a square foot on an island in Maine. But this is the first social experiment they've attempted.) 

    Voting starts Dec. 26 and runs through Dec. 31. I have my special code ready and waiting, to place my vote. Will it end up as part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, or will I receive a tiny scrap of a real Picasso to display in my home, framed over the top of the print in my best approximation of where in the jigsaw puzzle my piece came from?

    Let me make the art lovers feel better by pointing out that you can't really destroy this artwork. The idea behind it will never be destroyed, and it lives on in countless digital renderings, as well as 49 more prints from the series. 

    What we're really asking is not whether should we destroy this artwork, but in what form should it survive? As one piece? Or as 150,000 tiny pieces that will make it go down in history? If Picasso were alive, I bet he'd be putting it on the chopping block himself, except he'd want to slice it up by hand with an antique sword from the Spanish Civil War.

    If we give it to an art museum, it will most likely put it behind closed doors, locking it down to artificially drive up our desire to see it, perhaps for years. As the BBC recently noted: "The numbers don't lie. At New York's Museum of Modern Art, 24 of 1,221 works by Pablo Picasso in the institution's permanent collection can currently be seen by visitors."

    You can accuse me of disliking art or Picasso, but I think of my vote to slice it up as a vote for liberation and transformation. Sticking it to the industrial art complex, striking a blow for art democracy, and making history at the same time.

    I only wish CAH would tell us the number on the print they bought. I hope it's No. 1. 


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