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- It's written by fictional Daily Planet journalist Ron Troupe.
- "You sound like someone running for political office" is a wink to Lex Luthor becoming president in the comic series.
- "Because he was cowardly and superstitious" comes from Detective Comics Vol. 1 when, in his first-ever appearance, Batman said, "Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts."
- "Not unless they have access to vast amounts of untold riches" is an obvious Bruce Wayne reference.
- Kord Industries is owned by Blue Beetle.
- Stagg is run by supervillain Simon Stagg.
- Queen Industries is exiting military contracts because owner Green Arrow is now a good guy, à la Tony Stark.
- Wayne Enterprises making a prototype plane and exoskeleton suit, with no proof of concept, foreshadows Batman's suit, worn in the movies.
- The exoskeleton, and idea of Batman being obsolete, references The Dark Knight Returns, by which the movie is largely inspired.
- A subtle Superman reference: "able to level tall buildings in a single bout" instead of "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."
- ARGUS is the secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, who created the Suicide Squad.
- "Let's just say I ran into a Wall" also refers to Waller (whose nickname is The Wall).
- "He used to say that offense wins games. But he's dead and I say you're only as good as your defense" refers to Lex Luthor's father, whom Luthor murdered.
- 12/30/15--09:00: DirecTV Ridicules Cable Users as 'Settlers' in Frontier-Themed Ads
- 01/05/16--06:00: 10 Hilarious Posts From Advertising's Funniest Instagrammer
- 01/05/16--09:26: Unicorns Are a Bold New Power Source in This Epic British Utility Ad
In "Bring Your Game," a five-minute Nike film that debuted during NBA telecasts on Christmas Day, a bunch of kids can't decide on their favorite player. So, like all kids facing this dilemma, they jet around the country to hang out with some of Nike's biggest basketball endorsers in a series of amusing vignettes by Wieden + Kennedy.
It's exactly like real life!
First up, they knock on Kevin Durant's door. "Hey, KD," one young fan begins, "there's a lot of great players right now, and that makes it kind of hard for us to pick a favorite. So we're gonna live with you a while to help us decide."
"That's a little weird," he replies, "but come on in. Close the door behind you."
Instead of a living room, they find themselves in a brick-walled gym. (Hey, it's KD's house. That's how he rolls.) True to form, Durant ferociously dunks on one of them, though the youngster receives a "Sorry-About-That Bag" as a consolation prize (with a cheeky KD poster inside).
More quirky meet-and-greet scenarios follow, with our heroic note-takers encountering Paul George, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Elena Delle Donne (with cute cameos from Serena Williams and Future.)
Some highlights include a 3 a.m. workout session with Bryant as a hoodied sensei-mentor ("Eight hours of training is nothing compared to a second of losing"), George's hot tub book club and fishing sessions (on a yacht), and several unwelcome helpings of King James' secret weapon: spirulina cake. A nod to Irving's math-tastic "Unexpected Move" commercial even factors into the equation.
The antics are anchored in the athletes' real-life playing styles, preparation routines and off-court interests. Bryant, for example, does like to meditate and takes a philosophical approach to the game. George is an avid fisherman. And James famously adjusted his diet to get into better shape.
And KD? Well, he dunks on your ass.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the brisk-paced, immensely likable spot is a big hit on YouTube, approaching 4 million views in three days. It does a fine job of making Nike's superstars more relatable by presenting aspects of their personalities that both inform and transcend statistical achievement and on-court heroics.
"Basketball is undergoing a renaissance, a return to distinct personalities and vibrant style that mixes skill with originality," Nike explains. "Each member of Nike Basketball's family of athletes embraces this singular creative and competitive spirit, pushing the game to new places and proving that, when it comes to game-time dominance, there is no prescription."
Though spirulina cake helps, apparently.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Here's another entry for the security-cam ad file: In what could perhaps pass for a case study on the power of storytelling, a Las Vegas taco restaurant turned footage of a real late-night burglary into a commercial about a couple of guys who just needed a snack.
Frijoles & Frecas Grilled Tacos added snarky captions to three minutes of film in which thieves toss rocks at glass doors, tear cash registers out of the wall and scramble around the restaurant.
"Poor guy just wants a taco," opens the copy, setting the video's dry, mocking tone. It concludes, "We take full responsibility for what our tacos cause people to do," this last punctuated by food porn and a single teardrop. "They are pretty amazing."
The ineptitude on display is part of what makes this a hit: YouTube commenters seem both thrilled that the criminals are too stupid to realize there's no cash in the drawers, and suddenly very interested in getting tacos of their own.
Still, the work is long and not entirely original; it could have made the same impact in a fraction of the time, as demonstrated by this 15-second ad for Kent's deli from 2013 (though that would-be thief was even more bungling).
But with over 3 million YouTube views in a little over 10 days, Frijoles & Frecas can still claim it made a viral ad for a minimal investment—making this a pretty efficient strategy for a small business.
Amid the chorus of derision aimed at Australia's "Stoner Sloth" anti-marijuana ads, one group still wholeheartedly believes in the campaign—the agency behind it, Saatchi & Saatchi.
"The videos have truly gone viral," a Saatchi rep tells the Sydney Morning Herald, adding: "The unexpected global media attention is now providing a platform for parents and teenagers all over the world to have 'the conversation' about cannabis in an engaging way."
The rep also implied that adults who are mocking the campaign probably just don't get it.
"The videos we created were designed as part of a preventative campaign specifically for teens; the audience is not for adults or long-term cannabis users," the rep says. "Two different creative approaches were pre-tested by independent researchers among the teenage target audience, which verified the potential efficacy for this campaign."
Meanwhile, media agency UM, which handled media buying, strategy and social media, is interpreting the "strong viewership and engagement" as a success.
"While it's early days, our research shows the majority of negative comments are not from our target audience, which is teenagers," a UM rep says.
Saatchi also revealed that $500,000 was spent on the campaign, and said it generated "significant return on investment and involvement" for the New South Wales government.
Metalheads worldwide are quoting Nietszche in the wake of Motörhead singer/bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister's death on Monday, but some may not have noticed he was in a Kronenbourg 1664 ad back in 2010.
1664, a beer brand owned by Heineken, got Motörhead to record an acoustic blues version of "Ace of Spades" for its "Slow the Pace" ad campaign from BBH London, advancing the idea that 1664's complex flavor needs to be savored.
True to form, Lemmy's explanation for why Motörhead went commercial was an honest one. "We got paid a lot of money by a beer company," he told Q magazine. "They asked us to do it and I said yes. How much? None of your business."
That churlish attitude guided Lemmy's extraordinary career and disproportionately long life. In an industry that ages people in dog years, he made it to 70. More than anyone else in the music industry, he lived on the end of a lightning bolt, playing by his own rules and following his own instincts until the end.
May he rest in peace. He's earned it.
You might not have known this, but Subway practically invented fresh food.
BBDO has unveiled its first campaign for the sandwich chain. The post-Jared Fogle approach features a wholesome, return-to-roots message to help mark Subway's 50th anniversary.
We flash back to 1965 in this debut ad, when founders Fred Deluca—played by his son Jonathan—and Peter Buck opened their first restaurant together. Their focus: Freshness, bucking a zeitgeist of TV dinners and gimmicky restaurant themes to pioneer a now-fashionable aversion to overprocessed foods.
The ad, whose sight gags include a man laughing (then scowling) after a cowboy does lasso tricks over his burger-chain booth, is more entertaining than BBDO's first tactical Subway work around National Sandwich Day. And it thankfully doesn't feature Tony Hale tormenting hungry, overworked office drones.
"We were fresh before it was fresh to be fresh," says the voiceover, shamelessly employing the kind of smug circular statement that will cause viewers' eyes to roll back in their heads. By cramming 50 years of pseudo-history and vague language into 30 seconds of marketing, it unavoidably stinks of reductive, nostalgic rah rah nonsense. Bubbling under the surface is the sense that Subway is pointing and laughing at the early competition—apparently Sonic and Roy Rogers—to distract from its own recent skeletons.
Rose-colored narrative aside, it's a visually rich spot and a reasonable if predictable strategy: The brand is pining for a more innocent time before its image was tainted by spokesman Fogle's incarceration for crimes related to sex with minors and child pornography. Honesty, simplicity and good old American family values are what Subway is really about, the ad suggests—without quite saying it outright.
That's not an original message, or even a gripping one. But it's an understandable and important point to get across. All the baloney about freshness is also a way to stay on brand after heavy investment in messaging for its previous tagline, "Eat Fresh"—whether or not that particular claim is true, or the man who represented it is awful.
When life gets unbearable, you need an escape claws.
If you're thinking such silly wordplay heralds a campaign with ursine imagery, you're right. In "Bears," a delightful minute-long TV spot touting Center Parcs' holiday villages in the U.K., the titular beasts stand in for a typical family of four. They shamble through dreary days at home and in the office, disconnected from one another and thoroughly beaten down by the drudgery of urban existence.
"The brief was to tell a story about how Center Parcs creates family togetherness," Andy Fowler, executive creative director at ad agency Brothers and Sisters, tells AdFreak. "Bears felt like the right choice because they're a little bigger than humans, so they fit awkwardly into our world, and somehow we imagine them having very close families."
A team of 25 animators put in more than 10,000 hours over four months to create the realistic and affecting CGI visuals, which depict the bears driving cars, riding crowded subway trains and shuffling through workplace cubicles. Once the family escapes for a holiday at Center Parc, they begin to unwind, interact ... and even chase a few butterflies.
"When you see these huge brown bears trying to live a modern city life, it breaks your heart," says Fowler. "It really shows you how crazy our lives have become. Then, when they go back to nature, back to their natural selves, it has double the emotional impact." (Sky Atlantic's giant polar bear seems stressed by London, too. Maybe he should join them.)
Initially, Brothers and Sisters filmed actors skilled at mimicking animal movements as "reference points" for the motion, scale and emotional responses of the CGI bears. "Seeing a bunch of human actors running through a meadow, pretending to be bears, makes for an unusual sight," Fowler admits.
Still, the resulting commercial, directed by Ben Liam-Jones via Mustard Films, has most viewers roaring with approval: "It seems to be making lots of people cry on Twitter," says Fowler.
The spot will run through March, targeting families who might have previously been skeptical about giving Center Parcs a try. Of course, barreling off to one of the client's bucolic destinations won't solve every domestic problem or existential crisis. But it probably beats a trip to the maul.
Client: Center Parcs
Agency: Brothers and Sisters
Creatives - Ollie Wolf, Indy Selvarajah, Malcolm Duffy
Executive Creative Director - Andy Fowler
Director - Ben Liam-Jones
Production Company - Mustard Films
Visual Effects - Electric Theatre Collective
Sound - Grand Central
This is a terrible bike to ride.
Multiple sclerosis is an exceptionally weird and annoying affliction. It's the most common autoimmune disorder to hit the central nervous system, resulting in all kinds of wonkiness: Take all the tiny icks that result when you've sat too long on your foot, had an off-season allergy attack, walked too long up a hill or haven't eaten in a while. Combine them, magnify them by 10, and try living that way.
You may feel tired, randomly numb or dizzy. You'll feel pain or have trouble thinking, managing emotions or even walking properly. There's also insatiable itching just under the surface of your skin, tremors, and hearing and vision loss. The symptoms can happen in spasms over the course of your life, or just get progressively worse.
It's notoriously also difficult to diagnose—and worse still, to take seriously. The ad points out, "With a disease like MS, it's hidden. People just don't get it."
For all intents and purposes, the bike shown below looks fine, much like your typical MS sufferer. Created by Carol Cooke, a cycling Paralympian, with a team of bike-building experts and people with MS, it's a near-perfect way to show people what it's like to live in an afflicted body, short of having the disease: What you can't see from a distance will drive you crazy once you've mounted it.
"Its gears are unpredictable, its frame off-balanced, and its brakes numb to press," the ad's narrator continues. "This bike has multiple sclerosis."
A great bike is an extension of your body, as intuitively responsive to the left-aiming twitch of your shoulder as it is to a hard squeeze on the brake. This one is saddled with maddening inconveniences: a numbing BMX riding saddle, dull brakes, missing teeth in the gears, thin handlebar tape with hidden ball bearings, crooked wheels, and a deliberately misaligned frame.
Users should feel a certain "dizziness of shifting, a real kind of unease tied in with designing an off-balance bike," says bike builder James Macleod.
"You have to constantly be fighting the bike to stay straight," highlighting how much harder an MS sufferer has to work to accomplish everyday tasks, adds fellow bike builder Thom Pravda.
"After some distance, the rider will start using muscles that wouldn't be natural," Macleod says.
The work also points to something we intuitively know, but don't think much about, partly because we don't have to, but also because it's just so creepy: Our bodies are machines, mostly fluid and delightfully responsive without us having to consider the mechanisms that underpin every whimsical movement. But they can also be subject to terrifying malfunction, the likes of which will make you appreciate the small graces you're afforded when everything works fine ... like the ability to manage your bladder, or even walk straight.
"Multiple sclerosis" refers to scars in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. It typically hits people between ages 20 and 50, and is more common in women than in men. In 2013, 20,000 people died of it. Nobody knows what causes it, and there isn't a known cure.
For more sensations of MS by osmosis, check out this comical description of the symptoms written by a sufferer. And if you feel sufficiently moved (hopefully without tingles or numbness), support the MS Melbourne Cycle, which is celebrating its 10th year and has so far raised just shy of AUS$20,000.
GoPro's Year in Review video for 2015, comprised of footage shot entirely on its Hero4 camera, features a little bit of everything: snowboarding, skateboarding, skydiving, rugby, people jumping in unison at music festivals, a kitten being brought back to life, cute children, food and an old lady watering plants.
The video angles and overall picture clarity are impressive. Much of the content smacks of the Xtreme Sportz youth marketing we grew up with, but the editing is the real star here. The transitions are seamless throughout, and the visuals pair nicely with the music—DATA's "Blood Theme," in case anyone wondered—which sometimes lends the sensation we're watching a music video.
Despite all that, this is only the second-best GoPro video we've ever seen. The best one by far involved a cat unimpressed with snow.
Comic books are about world-building. The marketing for film adaptations of comics follows the same format: It cultivates an ever-expanding universe, one even populated with fictional advertising for key players.
But now that Hollywood is making more and more comic-book sequels, every movie's universe is increasingly related and intertwined. This is a big deal. As Wired put it in its last issue, "The shared universe represents something rare in Hollywood: a new idea."
As a result, the fictional corporate worlds that accompany them—and their commercial interests—have also grown larger and more inclusive.
Case in point: a recent advertising "editorial" in which Wired interviewed Lex Luthor, the evil tech-corporation overlord we all deserve. Occupying two pages in its December edition, the interview—a creative punt for Warner Bros. Entertainment's upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie—comes complete with graphs about the influence of Lexcorp, a snazzy photoshoot and more dork bait than you can stuff into a chum bucket.
These are just the ones I caught as a Batman fan, but there's surely plenty I missed:
The depiction of Lex, played by Jesse Eisenberg, adds an extra dollop of criminal insanity to what could easily be an elaboration of Eisenberg's portrayal in The Social Network of our (actual) beloved tech overlord, Mark Zuckerberg. So this ad play makes sense—a fictional interview in a magazine known for interviewing tech moguls who loftily plan to change the world—even if it's hardly an original idea (consider the Peter Weyland TED Talk for Ridley Scott's Prometheus.)
But Lexcorp won't stop at Wired. It's also launched a nice little website, a Twitter handle and its own YouTube channel complete with an announcement about the imminent release of Lex/OS:
No doubt this is just the first volley in a marketing blitz so enormous and deeply intertwined with the fandom that it will make the 2008 fictional electoral campaign "I Believe in Harvey Dent" look like a dwarf planet before Galactus.
Wait—sorry, wrong universe.
Samsung is looking to cozy up with the youths by proving it gets what it means to be a millennial ... and that it's cool with it.
A new commercial from R/GA for the Galaxy A series of phones opens on a man sitting in—what else?—a drone-powered flying machine. "Everyone wonders why we do what we do," says the voiceover in the classic stereotype of a bored, self-absorbed Gen Y sneer.
The minute-long spot then launches into a montage of young people snapping food pics, texting with emoji, posting selfies, watching clips of screaming beavers and unboxing new products ... all while the voiceover muses on the desperation of Others (cough: marketers) to understand these enigmatic creatures.
For what it is, it's actually reasonably well put-together. Tension builds through layers of existential questions before settling on one last big "You know why?"
The big reveal: "Because it's what we do."
Maybe that kind of smug kiss-off is something millennials can identify with, a secret handshake that seems to say, "Ha ha, gotcha, who cares?" Or maybe it's just lazy.
There are probably answers to all the whys, for anyone who cares enough to pursue them: An animal exhibiting human behavior is funny because it's surprising and relatable. A feat of engineering or athleticism is captivating because it's extraordinary. People take photos of mundane activities because they want to document moments they know they might one day forget, and share them with others who care (and maybe some who don't).
Ultimately, everyone is looking for windows into experiences they don't have, and to find common ground based on ones they do. These dynamics are not new, or unique to millennials; they've just been amplified by technology. Now everyone has a supercomputer in their pocket (a state of affairs for which Apple deserves more credit than Samsung does).
That's all without citing the broader impetus for the obsessive nervous laughter that defines a generation. A 60-second commercial isn't really long enough to say "Because, after being inundated with absurd quantities of conflicting information, we are so riddled with anxiety about the insignificance of our lives that we constantly seek ways to carve out meaning, purpose and connection—or, at the very least, distract ourselves from what increasingly appears to be humanity's mad dash towards catastrophe. Sometimes it's best to project an illusion of joy, strength and adventure on Facebook, and sometimes you just want to curl up in a ball and watch stupid YouTube videos with a friend."
But maybe the marketer could have just said "Because it's fun." Something—anything—besides snubbing the chance to take a position in favor of a shrug, ultimately punishing anyone who actually bothered to offer them all of a minute's precious attention.
Absent a real payoff, the whole thing feels like a drawn-out version of "How do you do fellow kids?" Worse still, Samsung apparently didn't get the last millennial-related memo: Ads are way more entertaining when you make fun of them.
Product: A Series
Director Sonia Chang
Senior Manager Yeji Kim
Manager Bokyung Chang
Assisant Manager Woongki Kim
Associate Yoonkyung Choi
RGA: TV (International)
Executive Creative Director: Jay Zasa
Creative Director: Martin Insua
Creative Director: Ezequiel Soules
Director Film Production: Kat Friis
Film Producer: Michael Glennon
Executive Producer: Lisa Greenleaf
SVP Managing Director: Robin Forbes
Account Director: Elizabeth Bourke
Group Planning Lead: Dennis Claus
Planner: Allie Walker
Director Business Affairs: Stephen Bernstein
Manager Business Affairs: Mister Brumfield
Production Company – Tool
Director – John X Carey
Cinematographer - Matthias Koenigswieser
Line Producer – Leslie Owen
Post Production – Cut + Run
Editor – Gary Knight
Audio Post – Mister Bronx
Engineer – David Wolfe
DirecTV: the final frontier?
A bunch of "Settlers"—a modern suburban family dressed like the cast of Little House on the Prairie—settle for cable rather than DirecTV in Grey's latest ads for the satellite service.
In "Neighbors," Sonny Boy asks Pops why they have to put up with cable's lower customer satisfaction while the folks next door enjoy DirecTV. Dad tells the scamp to go churn some butter and make his own clothes:
"Satisfaction" shows the family's TV setup—a '70s-era (1970s, not 1870s) set with a wonky-looking cable box. Dad equates cable with life's simpler pleasures … like faceless dolls, cabbages and foot stomping:
The work's time-tripping humor connects, though the tech-phobic Settlers seem more like Amish folks than pioneers. (Asked about that, a DirecTV rep tells AdFreak: "These ads take place in an alternate reality and aren't meant to be taken literally.")
Still, ultimately these one-joke spots feel like placeholders while the client searches for a worthy, longterm successor to its "Versus" campaign with Rob Lowe.
Its recent cable merger-themed spots (starring Jeffrey Tambor and Fred Willard, with Grey reviving an old concept from Deutsch) and ads with various football stars (Petite Randy Moss, Eli Manning) flew right by. And we expect "The Settlers" to quickly fade into history.
And not soon enough. Perhaps DirecTV should settle on one concept and allow it to evolve over time.
You remember Tadas Vidmantas. He's the director who made that insane spec ad for Lithuanian mineral-water brand Vytautas back in 2012. (The brand loved it so much, it hired Vidmantas to do ads in a similar lunatic style.)
We haven't heard much from Vidmantas since then. But it turns out he made one of the craziest ads of the 2015 holiday season—the spot below for Tinggly, makers of "the world's best experiences in one gift box."
Why should you get a Tinggly box for a loved one? Because there are so many other gifts out there that are completely terrible. Allow this spokeswoman to explain, in one of the most randomly comical commercial songs ever.
The spot, which has been running on the client's Facebook and YouTube pages, was produced by Vidmantas's creative production house, Sleepthinker did it. Check out more of Sleepthinker's work on its website.
John Cleese has brought back his iconic Basil Fawlty character for the first time on screen since Fawlty Towers ended in 1979—in a British commercial for optical retail chain Specsavers.
Cleese helped to write the script, which references this famous Fawlty Towers scene (though don't click if you'd prefer the joke not be spoiled).
It's not too surprising that Cleese would allow the character to be used for a commercial. The 76-year-old Monty Python alum has done plenty of ads in recent years, and even did a "Faulty Showers" spot via McCann for AA's Home Emergency Response service in England.
What is a bit more surprisingly is how glowingly he praises the Specsavers in-house copywriters in the behind-the-scenes video below. Cleese explains:
A lot of people have sent me Fawlty Towers scripts, or Basil scripts, and they were always absolutely awful. But these people had an idea, and I have to say—I've met them, they're all very nice—and within 20 minutes we'd written the script. Because it was kind of obvious, and I looked at them and I thought, I think that will work. I think it's genuinely funny. Because it's funny, it's OK. But I can't tell you how many times I'd said no, because most people trying to write it didn't know how to write it. They started with Basil being angry. And Basil, if you watch the show, becomes angry during the course of the show. He doesn't start angry. It's quite a slow process.
Cleese goes on to theorize that much of the humor in the spot is really about the specific tree branch he used. And he also remarks on the relatability of Basil in general, saying: "There's a bit of Basil in most people, if they're sufficiently stressed."
Creative agency: Specsavers Creative
Creative director: Graham Daldry
Creative team: Graham Daldry, Simon Bougourd, Neil Brush, John Cleese
Agency producer: Sam Lock
Production company: Blink
Director: Tim Bullock
Director of photography: Stephen Keith-Roach
Production company producer: Ewen Brown
Post production: MPC
Editor: Mark Burnett, Whitehouse Post
A new clothing ad is making waves in India with a modern depiction of negotiations for an arranged marriage.
The two-minute commercial by Brandmovers for fashion brand Biba opens on a young woman dressing up to meet a suitor's family at her parents' home. Her father rushes her along as she expresses discomfort over the idea of committing to a man she barely knows. Fast-forward to the scene downstairs: After a meal, the suitor's parents express interest in moving forward with the match.
Then comes the twist.
The young woman's father asks that his family visit the suitor's home as well, explaining to his perplexed mother that the man's culinary skills are a factor in the decision. Ultimately, the suitor himself proposes a thoughtful solution, to the delight of the young woman and her family.
By modern U.S. standards, the notion of arranged marriage is discomfiting. But the video, titled "Change the Convention," aims to challenge India's traditions, and is drawing a largely enthusiastic response there. On Facebook it has over 7.3 million views and more than 200,000 Likes.
The most popular comment, with more than 1,300 up-votes, reads: "God give parents this courage to speak up for their daughters ... This video is [meant] more for the elder generation who still takes decisions [i]n their daughter's life."
As the headline on BuzzFeed India's coverage puts it, "This Tiny Update To Arranged Marriage Customs Is A Huge Step Toward Gender Equality." Writes the piece's author: "The message is clear: Updating our customs toward equality is cool, necessary, and beautiful."
Unsurprisingly, many viewers also missed the point, griping about the plight of men.
"I agree with this and [am] totally in favour of men cooking food," says one Facebook commenter with less than 200 thumbs-up. "But why [do] we want to change only one side. Why [do] girl[s'] parents look for a boy who has lakhs or crores of salary package or a well settled business. Let the girls be bread winner of the family and guys are happy to cook all meals. Why put all the financial burden on a poor guy."
A third comment offers an explanation to such naysayers, and features more than 700 likes. "[It's] not literally about cooking … It's about not being focused on what a girl can give to marriage but also what a man can give… A girl['s] parents feel at times well most of time that they are obliged to say yes to everything that a man [and] his family demands. So it's just a concept to say that it's high time things need to change! Beautiful concept!! Good work."
No matter where you fall on this, it's safe to say the suitor's response illustrates a good rule for men dating in any culture: Don't be an inflexible, inconsiderate ass.
Sun protection has become a game at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.
Cancer Institute NSW, JCDecaux, UM and Soap Creative teamed up to build mechanical-claw-game-style SPF50+ sunscreen dispensers to motivate beachgoers into taking skin cancer a bit more seriously.
The larger "Pretty Shady" campaign is meant to raise awareness of skin cancer and its causes and risk factors. It also includes bus shelter wraps around Sydney to keep commuters out of the harsh sun.
The shelter wraps are a nice courtesy, and the "lucky grab" sunscreen dispensers are a great idea that should be adopted as a public service, like water fountains or restrooms. It wouldn't hurt to adopt this practice in the U.S., either, given the 70-degree Christmas many of us just had.
J. Walter Thompson in New York had film crews ready and waiting at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens on New Year's Eve to capture the hospital's first birth of the year—for a TV spot it rolled out just hours later for Northwell Health.
Check out the spot below, which introduces viewers to Austin Joseph, a boy born just 36 seconds after midnight on New Year's Day. The tender moments between mother and child were "captured in real time, inserted into the TV ad and broadcast within hours of the birth," the healthcare marketer said in a statement.
Austin isn't the only new arrival here. The spot also announces the rebranding of the former North Shore-LIJ Health System as Northwell Health—that's how the concept was born.
"The birth of a new healthcare system dedicated to a new standard in care deserves more than just another hospital campaign. It's not just advertising; it's news," said Eric Weisberg, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson New York.
"Across all media channels, 'Look North' challenges people to discover the unique breakthroughs in care happening throughout Northwell Health, and it would not have been possible without the unprecedented collaboration, partnership and vision of the Northwell teams."
It's not a totally new idea, of course. Fisher-Price made that impressive "Wishes for Baby" spot a year ago, showing New Year's newborns in 10 hospitals in seven countries. But it's still a sweet idea, and an apt one for this evolving brand.
"Look North" is Northwell's first brand campaign in five years and the biggest marketing push in the 25-year history of the 21-hospital health system. The "Happy Birthday" ad will air on New York area broadcast stations including WABC, WNBC, WCBS and WPIX, with a print version running this week in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other publications.
You might think Instagram is all about photography. Not so, says David Kolbusz.
"Instagram is a writer's medium," the creative director declares at the top of his feed. And he makes a good case for that with his posts—a hodgepodge of everyday shots brought to life with hilariously twisted, ranty, profanity-laced captions.
Kolbusz frequently tees off on society's ills, harboring a particular distaste for idiotic technological "advancements." (Recent recurring targets include selfie sticks and hoverboards.) But some of the best posts are almost like short stories, as Kolbusz invents a whole ludicrous backstory to the image presented.
Check out a handful of our favorite posts below.
Kolbusz—a decorated creative who moved to Droga5 London recently as chief creative officer after stints at Wieden + Kennedy and BBH London (where he made the best ad of 2012 and appeared, in a pig's mask, on Adweek's cover)—declined to comment for this story.
But follow him on Instagram, and let his insane, inspired copy do the talking.
Another year has drawn to a close and - like gazing into a latrine with morbid fascination at the filthy shit you've just done - it's time to take stock. The good news is the mistakes you've made will slide comfortably out of focus tonight as you imbibe a month's worth of toxins into your bloodstream under the guise of ringing in le nouvelle année. Me, I've always spent the night sober, getting my high from le frisson de l'aventure. Par example - 1967. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sidney Poitier and I took a plane to British Mauritius to ring in the new year. I'd just opened my first store on le Rive Gauche and Sidney was the toast of Hollywood! We landed not knowing a single soul, but did that stop us from making friends? Did it fuck. We hastily assembled a cast of locals to help us reenact a scene from his latest picture - 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' - in the Port Louis town square. Sid played his part from the film - a young black doctor brought home to meet his fiancee's racist white parents. I naturally assumed the role of his bride to be. Then we paid two tramps to play the Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy roles, hurling vicious invective at us (in the way only tramps can), disapproving of our mixed race union for two hours until the clock struck minuit. By quarter past the hour we'd received a standing ovation that kept the audience of the East African colony clapping their chapped hands together until their fingers bled. Point being, live every night like it's your last because most people die in their sleep. Happy 2016, you absolute sons of bitches. You have all my love. Signed, New Years Yves.
Not since the selfie stick has a modern day "innovation" made me pray for a nuclear Iran to wipe us all off the face of the fucking earth like the Hoverboard. If this is the kind of shit we keep churning out...if this is progress...civilisation needs to end now because we reached our peak with biodegradable packaging and online porn. I mean look at this cunt with his too-large suit and blue canvas "kick-the-shit-out-of-me-at-recess" briefcase. Does he think he's going to wheel up to his 10am sales meeting and everyone's jaws are going to hit the fucking floor and they'll be like "we'll take all the boring, shitty annuities you're selling because your chosen method of transportation inspires confidence within us that you have the ability to know the future"? Like fuck. And here's the other thing. I don't know what shit-for-brains decided to call it a Hoverboard, but guess what - it has wheels. It doesn't even look like it's hovering unless you're watching it drive past at top speed and you have glaucoma.
#ThrowbackThursday to that time I did a demo with a virtual reality headset and for a brief, fleeting moment I assumed the role of a wanted man on the run, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. And I laughed it off and was all like, "That was kind of fun I guess" but then hours later I awoke from my sleep at 4:33am, bathed in an icy layer of sweat, having suffered through what felt like somebody else's nightmare with the unshakeable feeling that I had killed a man. And I'm under a bridge and everything is cold and dark and I'm wandering the streets with a bloodied knife in my hand and I don't know whose blood it is and I am asking anyone who'll listen if they've seen my son and HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY SON and where did this suitcase full of money come from and I'm offering the money to a homeless woman I've never met before and there is a shrieking Lernaean Hydra in each of her eyes and I'm begging her to kill me PLEASE KILL ME so I can just wake up but how will I know if I'll return to the life to which I'm accustomed or if everything will just be over and I'll cease to exist and fuck this Oculus Rift shit I don't care how much it improves my brand experience.
What kind of dipshit conquistador drops his wineskin in the middle of the road and doesn't take notice? After a long, hard day of colonizing and establishing trade routes, this prick's going to reach for a drink of water and find himself with nary a drop to wet his lips. I'll tell you what – for a second I even felt bad for the guy! Maybe he lost a mule to heatstroke on the canyon trail. Or perhaps he was distracted by an all-consuming bout of diphtheria. But then I was like, "You think Cortes would've lost his rations mid-Aztec overthrow? Would Ponce De Leon have been left dry-mouthed and wanting in his quest for the Fountain of Youth? The fuck he would. Why, even a Basque shepherd tending to his flock's peregrination would've managed to hold on to his water bag. No, my friends...this is fucking amateur hour. And that pendejo deserves what he gets.
Awwwwwww shit. Check out someone else's Lamborghini, motherfucker. Any dickhead can take a photo of themselves standing in front of another man's luxury vehicle but you gotta get pretty fucking lucky to snap that shit while the driver's still in the front seat. He was all like, "What are you doing?" and I was like "Takin' a photo of myself in front of a car I'll never have the money to buy, bitch!" but the "bitch" part I said only in my head. And he was like "Well don't." And called me an asshole. Which is a difficult thing to hear when you're working through some self esteem issues.
Oh yeah, good. Storm off. Like you always fucking do. Because that's a really healthy way to handle anger. Jesus Christ, Brenda. You can throw one of your little hissy fits but at some point we both know you're going to have to turn around and engage with me. Look - no one ever said dating a smoker's pole was going to be easy but I'd like to think we've had some good times together. Maybe even great times. Enough that we owe it to ourselves to find a way through this. What do you want, an apology? Here's the thing - I'm not sorry. It's perfectly reasonable for me to want to hang out with other cigarette butt receptacles once in a while. You call it "love" but your constant and unrelenting affection can be so...oppressive at times. You're lucky I don't have any fine motor skills. If I wasn't entirely reliant on you for transportation I'd give you a taste of your own medicine. You'd turn around one day and I'd be gone. No smoker's pole to push around anymore. You know…I wouldn't have to put up with this horseshit if I was carved out of solid mahogany. Women would be falling all over me if I was an ashtray made of solid mahogany.
Hey fuckface, here's an idea. Instead of dicking around our nation's sidewalks like an overweight tourist with a camera and a passion for sightseeing, why don't you use the hundred billion square degrees of sky that God gave you as a viable transportation option? I get that cranes are ground-dwelling birds, but given the fact that you can technically fly at an altitude of up to five thousand feet, it makes your lazy Sunday stroll seem at best like a callous exercise in sloth and at worst, an insult to human bipeds. It's a bit like Enzo Ferrari taking the bus. We all know what you've got at your disposal and not putting it to good use just makes you look like a bit of a cunt.
#ThrowBackThursday to that time I was at a cocktail party with Maya Angelou and I'm telling her about how much I loved "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" and asking how she feels about changing the very nature of the autobiographical format and I'm waiting for her answer and she's giving me this dead-eyed stare but finally she breaks the silence and says, "It's 'I Know WHEN The Caged Bird Sings', prick." And I instantly start sweating and going back into the recesses of my mind wondering how I could've got the title wrong and after what seems like an eternity she bursts into laughter and says, "Relax, I'm fucking with you". And I start laughing too. Harder and louder than I ever have before - in part out of sheer relief - and both of us laugh for what feels like a solid five minutes. Finally after we catch our breath she says to me, "Why don't we go into one of those bedrooms and you show me what you can do with that tongue of yours." And I'm like, "You're still fucking with me, right?" And she's like, "I'm serious as cancer." So I kind of wring my hands a bit and tell her, "Maya, I'm not really comfortable with..." Then she goes ice cold, looks off into the distance, and says, "You tell anyone about this and not a single fucking soul will believe you." And without making eye contact she spits her gum in my drink and walks away. And I'm like, "Shit! Maya Angelou chews gum?"
It's gotta fucking sting when someone moves into your building with a cooler version of your name. I mean, Kurt's alright I guess but you throw a handful of vowels and consonants onto the back of that shit and it basically makes you impossible to fuck with. Who's going to kick your ass because he's been sitting down and hasn't used his legs for anything in a while? Kurttepeli. Who decides to buy a new car but instead of trading in his old one, takes the opportunity to crash it? Kurttepeli. Who's going to steal your girlfriend even though he forces her to sign a legally-binding contract guaranteeing their relationship will require no ballet, shopping trips, or sharing of feelings? Kurttepeli. Basically, if that guy with that name moves into your building you've got two options: kill yourself or get a court order and change your name to Kurttepelio.
No no no, sweetheart...it's not what you're thinking. I was using the term "hardcore" in a completely different context. As in "driven" or "passionate". You know...like when people say "he worked all night - that guy's hardcore." Or "she was so hardcore she got through elective surgery without anaesthesia." Does that make sense? I don't know - maybe hardcore was a bad choice of word. Maybe I should've used "dedicated". Yes, on second thought "dedicated" is much better. And "Asian"? Well, Asia is a large continent isn't it? It encompasses Southeast Asia too, right? Like Pakistan! Did you know that Pakistan was created in 1947 as an independent nation for Muslims from the regions in the east and west of the Subcontinent where there was a Muslim majority? Fascinating stuff, really. Now, being a new nation and everything, you gotta imagine they're "hungry" to prove themselves, right? Those guys are passionate. Take their call centers, for instance. You've phoned your bank and got a call center based in Pakistan, right? Unbelievably buttoned-down. They run them like machines. They're basically sluts for efficiency. Sluts for making things happen. Which is why I use the term "sluts" as a compliment! So you see - when "Hungry Hardcore Asian Sluts" comes up in my Internet search history, really it's like I typed "Dedicated Pakistani Call Center Employees Who'll Do Anything To Succeed".
Not everyone in the family may have been looking forward to the holiday onslaught, as evidenced by this dark PSA from France.
Publicis Conseil created the ad, which follows an anxious boy through his home as his family makes last-minute preparations for an impending Christmas dinner. Veterans of PSAs in this genre will recognize common tropes: He alternates between walking like a drone and committing random, passive-aggressive acts of subversion—like taking a cluster of fresh-baked cookies in his hands and smashing them to pieces, or pressing the doors closed on a paper advent calendar after watching his sister painstakingly fold each one open.
Warning: Spot contains suggestions of sexual violence.
Directed by Gang Production's Laurence Dunmore, the pace is set by a slow-moving holiday croon, which seems to grow slower as the tension rises and takes on the contours of a blooming nightmare. The mounting desperation of the boy, coupled with the contrasting cheer of his family, only makes things worse: The palpable joy in the air lends the impression that he's a moving figurant in an alternate universe.
Then, the doorbell rings. Our boy stands stock-still, facing imminent doom. It doesn't take much to know what he's afraid of, and we don't need a face to sense the waking malice of the monster who could be lurking on the other side of the door.
The ad closes with the following copy: "Not all kids are excited about Christmas day. 75% of sexual violence against children happens in the family."
The work, for the International Association of Victims of Incest (AIVI), went live on Dec. 23 across an array of French networks, supported online by the hashtag #combattrelinceste ("combat incest"). In a season rife with merry, flagrantly commercial holiday spots, the ad's darkness was particularly rare (although at least one other organisation took advantage of recent festivities to raise awareness for spousal abuse).
Incest, being an especially ugly topic in the Annals of Awful Things Humans Do, doesn't get much play in the commercial space—barring Game of Thrones—and it isn't often you see a boy used in this context. Most abuse pieces focus on the plight of women and girls, which makes our young protagonist's silence that much more understandable ... and all the more chilling.
A Honda designer blows his own mind in this visually rich ad for the 2016 Civic.
As our hero brainstorms some concepts, the vehicle suddenly bursts through the back of his head, exiting via thick bank-vault doors, with rays of light signifying the power of inspiration.
This dude's the ultimate gear-head!
An amazing journey follows. With Empire of the Sun's techno-bouncy "Walking on a Dream" as the soundtrack, the car speeds along dazzlingly realized computer-generated landscapes. Sun-splashed waterfalls and rainbow slides spring up in and around the designer's workspace.
Just like your drive to the office every single day, right? So, why did the agency take such an unusual creative approach?
"The spot is a fantastical, surreal representation of the Honda ideation process," RPA executive creative director Jason Sperling tells Adweek. "We wanted to showcase the Civic's beautiful design and performance, but do it through the prism of the brand. The spot is a great marriage of the way Honda thinks and the byproduct of their thinking."
After the client approved the concept and the work began, "we all had to use our imaginations—for a very long time," Sperling says. "For months, all we had to go on was reference material and wireframes. As you might expect, the postproduction process was incredibly intensive on this project. Our amazing partner Roof had to create a world from scratch, all in CGI."
Ultimately, the minute-long spot took five months to finish. On the one hand, it's an impressive animated treat, a novel approach for the category from a nameplate that's become known for taking less-traveled marketing roads. (Its recent three-tiered interactive spot from RPA, focused on increasingly extravagant dates, is also a nod in that direction.)
That said, "The Dreamer" might be a tad busy for its own good. The ad offers an awful lot to process on one or even multiple viewings, and paying attention to the fast-shifting details is kind of a headache (an affliction the print ad below inadvertently illustrates all too well).
Client: American Honda Motor Co.
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
Creative Director/Art: Rahul Panchal
ACD/Art: Marcella Coad
ACD/Copy: Paul Fung
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Sr. Producer: Eva Ellis
Producer: Ryan Radley
VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme
EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Group Account Director: Adam Blankenship
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Supervisor: Patty Mira
Account Supervisor: Eliza Wan
Account Executive: Donny Menjivar
Account Executive: Chloe Seitz
Sr. VP, Group Strategic Planning Director: Christian Cocker
Associate Director, Strategic Planning: Nargis Pirani
Associate Strategic Planning Director: Rich Bina
Sr. Strategic Planner: Elissa Murch
Production Company: Roof Studio
Directors: Guto Terni, Sam Mason and Vinicius Costa
Executive Producer: Crystal Campbell
Producer: Ryan Mack
Director of Photography: Bill Pope
Technical Lead Director: Aaron Baker
Design: Fred Palacio, Eric Pautz, Guto Terni, Vinicius Costa and Sam Mason
Color Correction: Seth Ricart, RCO
Additional Color Correction: Tim Masik, CO3
Track: "Walking on a Dream"
Artist: Empire of the Sun
Music Supervision: Squeak E. Clean Productions, Inc.
Sound Design: Squeak E. Clean Productions, Inc.
Mix: Lime Studios
Engineer: Dave Wagg
Producer: Susie Boyajan
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
ACD: Marcella Coad
ACD: Paul Fung
Photographer: Jen Campbell
Digital Artist: ROOF Studios
Art Buyer: Kay Gautraud
Production Manager: Renato Quilalang
Unicorns. They make streetlights shine whiter, televisions brighter and food cook quicker, says a new ad from VCCP London for a U.K. energy provider.
A herd of the mythical beasts gallops through stormy country into a seaside town, causing power surges in the faux-epic spot from marketer First Utility. "We call it HD electricity," says the voiceover.
Alas, in the end it's not even metaphor—just fantasy. "There's no such thing as HD electricity," continues the pitch, in the least surprising twist of all time. "It all does the same, so why pay more?"
Maybe so, but French media brand Canal+ might say such technology would easily have been feasible ... if one of Noah's helpers hadn't made a priceless oversight.
In other words, unicorns might have been one of 2015's creative advertising trends, but for better or worse, they're not over yet. At least this time they're not pooping rainbow soft-serve to the delight of a would-be Princess Bride extra.
First Utility's selling point is a touch reminiscent of Geico's broad, humor-driven direct savings message. The concept hangs together well enough until the kicker, when the voiceover starts talking nonsense. Unicorns "can't wink," it says.
"The hell they can't!" you say.