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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Pizza Hut embraces absurd wordplay in a new campaign from Ogilvy & Mather London—and it's not a bad deal. 

    A series of 10-second spots and a 30-second wrap-up (below) pitch viewers on the fast-food chain's "Big Deal" promotion by sizing it up against a series of scenarios that might seem impressive, but actually pale in comparison. 

    An invisible woman in a bathrobe and towel head-wrap, a magnetic man covered in spoons, and a charred woman (who's been struck by lightning) all open their doors to register surprise at the incredible value of Pizza Hut's delivery.

    The most clever—and the funniest by far—features a puppet who's ditched his ventriloquist. "And I thought going solo was a big deal!" he quips.

    While puns are usually ill-advised for advertising, these work well enough—probably because they're so short, and manage to make something of the little time they have, even with a hard sell baked in under the cheesy jokes. "Such a big deal, nothing else seems like a big deal," proclaims the voiceover. 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    This is Ogilvy London's second campaign for Pizza Hut, following last year's similarly ridiculous "Classic Crust" ad, where a man tricks his friend's girlfriend into sharing her pizza by wearing the world's worst disguise. 

    It goes without saying that the ads are still pretty dumb, but that's the point. The over-the-top, incredulous tone for a deal-themed selling point does feel a little like some of Barton F. Graf's work for Little Caesars, though. 

    Regardless, as long as Pizza Hut U.K. isn't peddling branded hoodies with idiotic phrases like "Pizza Is Bae" plastered across them, it's coming out ahead.

    Pizza Hut Delivery: "Big Deal"
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, London
    Brand: Pizza Hut Delivery
    Client: Adrienne Berkes, Chief Marketing Officer, Yum!
    Copywriter: Will Marsden
    Art Director: Jordan Down
    Chief Creative Officer: Gerry Human
    Creative Partner: Sam Cartmell
    Planner: Matt Box
    Planning Partner: Gen Kobayashi
    Business Partner: Laurence Sassoon
    Account Director: Jawad Ashraf 
    Director: Michael Clowater
    Production Company: Smuggler Films
    Producer: Adam Smith
    Agency Producer: Thea Slevin
    Post Production: The Mill
    Media Agency: Starcom
    Exposure: TV, Radio, Online

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    About two years ago, Arby's decided it was ready to try something new. The fast food chain was too far below the radar in a highly competitive field that often requires bold branding.

    Just three months into his role as Arby's CMO, Rob Lynch brought in Minneapolis-based Fallon Worldwide as the brand's agency of record to reposition the brand. At the time, Arby's "Slicing up Freshness" campaign, envisioned by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, had fallen flat, so Fallon was tasked with making Arby's the meat destination in its fast food category.

    "Right away we needed partners who were proud of the brand and who wanted to be part of the brand," Lynch says. "So we went through a holistic review. We looked at about 15 agencies initially and we whittled it down and we found them. And one of the reasons that we chose them to be our partners was because we felt the authenticity of their love for the brand. We felt like they were going to be our partners in building something special."

    Sure enough, it's proven to be a productive partnership, resulting in a string of ads and socially savvy marketing moves that have helped elevate the brand.

    It started in earnest in June 2014, when Fallon and Arby's released six new ads spotlighting the fast food company's meat offerings:

    Voiced by imposing actor Ving Rhames, the ads definitely stuck out, but it wasn't until an odd contractual obligation arose that Arby's new ad model would truly shine.

    When the chain dropped the ball on an agreement with Pepsi to run two ads a year, they released a meta-humorous mea culpa that soon went viral:

    Ironically, one of Arby's most popular spots wasn't touting its food at all. In fact, it was a salute and send-off to the chain's most notable foe, Jon Stewart. The move showed Arby's was willing to laugh at itself—and became one of the most-buzzed moments of Stewart's final episode.

    Arby's most recent ad campaign, aptly called "Ads That Never Aired," waxes poetic about new sandwiches that are not yet available, like the smokehouse turkey sandwich and a new line of gyros. 

    Alongside the product shots, you're also served some musings on death, arson and "mighty breasts." They're all worth checking out:

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    "Our worlds, online and offline, are completely merged. Digital is now more real than reality." That's the not-very-fresh insight behind Diesel's new global ad campaign for its spring/summer 2016 collection, according to the brand's artistic director, Nicola Formichetti. And the result is work that lackadaisically checks off boxes on a list of young people's digital obsessions, all of which advertising has appropriated relentlessly in recent years—selfies, emojis, texting, "liking" and more.

    The print, online and out-of-home campaign, created by Spring Studios in New York, stars Joe Jonas; actress, singer and designer Kiko Mizuhara; and models Sara Cummings, Sang Woo Kim, Trevor Signorino and Stav Strashko (the androgynous model who starred in a Japanese ad for Toyota a while back).

    You can check out some of the print work here. Click the images to enlarge.

    Andreas Neophytou, creative director at Spring Studios, describes the campaign as "a knowing commentary on culture and celebrity in the post-digital generation. Sometimes the truth can seem too obvious to be true, and the absurdity of our behavior online reflects that. This season we're completely transparent about celebrity endorsement, surfing porn, dating online and self-obsession."

    That approach is meant to be fresh and titillating, but instead comes off as obvious and tired. Dramatizing online behavior has almost become an advertising cliché, and selfies and emojis were the most oversaturated ad themes of 2015. (Diesel also brags that it created its own emojis for this—Formichetti calls emojis "the new Esperanto, a universal language which is understood by millions"—but the brand is hardly ahead of the curve there, either.)

    Some of the campaign elements echo other brands' ads, even those from fashion advertisers—like this Calvin Klein campaign from last year, which was all about dating via digital. Other elements seem lifted wholesale from memes and GIFs. (The "Still Looking" video below directly echoes a famous Tinder-themed GIF, for example.) 

    Diesel has also made a point of emphasizing that it's buying space on Pornhub and Grindr for the ads, but that, too, feels like an PR-led pseudo-provocation.

    "As the culturally relevant denim brand, it's important for Diesel to converse with audiences in a way that is both intimate and honest," says Richard Welch, global head of strategy at Spring Studios. "Partnering with Grindr and Pornhub allows Diesel to connect without taboo where—on occasion—a great number of people spend their time in the digital age."

    The videos (see below) likewise feel wilted. They dramatize the act of following, liking, texting and more—with lines like "I am what I want" (on a video of a woman compulsively e-shopping) and "You look just like your profile picture." But without many striking visuals, or much of a sense of humor, they feel perfunctory. 

    Trying to speak to one's target in their own language makes perfect sense. But focusing on social-media-propelled dynamics of self-obsession—in borderline cheesy vignettes—saps the coolness right out of these models, reducing them to the level of the utterly ordinary. 

    "I hate it and love it," Formichetti says of social media in a new interview. He'll be lucky if people feel even that conflicted about this campaign.

    Brand: Diesel

    Agency: Spring Studios, New York
    Photographer (Advertising): Santiago & Mauricio
    Director of Photography (Advertising): Matthew Schroeder
    Diesel Artistic Director: Nicola Formichetti
    Stylist: Davey Sutton
    Hair: Peter Gray
    Makeup: Maki Ryoke
    Photographer (Social): Jordan Hemingway
    Director of Photography (Social): Bill Stepanoski

    Production: Spring Studios, New York
    Postproduction: Modern Post, New York; Spring Studios, London

    Celebrity Talent*
    Joe Jonas
    Kiko Mizuhara
    DNCE (Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, JinJoo Lee, Cole Whittle)

    Model Talent
    Sang Woo Kim c/o Select Model Management
    Sara Cummings c/o Soul Artist Management
    Aki von Glasgow c/o Wilhelmina Models
    Trevor Signorino c/o Request Models
    Ilana Koslov c/o Next Management
    Grace Mahary c/o IMG
    Stav Strashko c/o Established
    Tommy the Cat

    Agency Credits
    Creative Director: Andreas Neophytou
    Copy Lead: Tessa Mauclere
    Art Director: Serena Wise
    Global Head of Strategy: Richard Welch
    Strategy Lead: James Denman
    Account Director: Donald Stewart
    Project Director: Michelle Jones
    Senior Producer: Matthew Rodriguez

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    Coca-Cola on Tuesday unveiled a big new global creative campaign with the tagline "Taste the Feeling," which replaces the 7-year-old "Open Happiness" theme. And with it comes a sugary-sweet flood of new advertising, including six 60-second spots posted to YouTube and a ton of print work.

    You can check out all the new creative below. Notably, one of the spots is set to a cover of the David Bowie/Queen song "Under Pressure," which is a coincidental tribute to Bowie, who died last week at age 69. That spot, by Ogilvy & Mather in New York, addresses the strain that teens feel—and which Coke can help release.

    In a statement, Coke said "Taste the Feeling" puts the focus back on the product, while "Open Happiness" was much more about aspirations and what the brand stands for. The new campaign, chief marketing officer Marcos de Quinto said, combines the functional and the emotional by telling universal stories with the product at the center of them.

    "We've found over time that the more we position Coca-Cola as an icon, the smaller we become," de Quinto said. "The bigness of Coca-Cola resides in the fact that it's a simple pleasure—so the humbler we are, the bigger we are. We want to help remind people why they love the product as much as they love the brand."

    Check out six of the commercials here:

    Four agencies—Mercado-McCann, Santo, Sra. Rushmore and Oglivy—produced an initial batch of 10 TV commercials, digital, print, out-of-home and shopper materials, Coke said. Six other agencies, including longtime Coke roster shop Wieden + Kennedy, will also work on the campaign going forward.

    Below is a collection of some of the new print and out-of-home ads. They were shot by fashion photographers Guy Aroch and Nacho Ricci and use a "Norman Rockwell meets Instagram" visual style to capture authentic, unscripted moments in a contemporary way, says Rodolfo Echeverria, Coke's vp of global creative, connections and digital. 

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    Medieval armored knights riding ancient Egyptian sphinxes might be the perfect visual metaphor for New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. And that is among the highlights from this fun project by one London animator, who transformed the Big Apple—and some of its most famous landmarks—into clever GIFs.

    James Curran visited NYC for a month last year, and made a mini-loop commemorating each day. Now strung together in a new video, they make for a rich little journal of his experiences here. Titled NYC Gifathon, the vignettes feature playful takes on a range of classic rituals, like eating pizza in Little Italy, or visiting the Empire State Building, with a special nod to King Kong.

    The video opens with a smirking critique of traffic on Marathon Day. But Curran's perspectives on the city's museums are among his best—he chases a donut down the Guggenheim's spiral ramp, and walks, Picasso-faced, through splattered paint at MoMA.

    The way in which he portrays the city's subways, and then parks, is surprisingly entertaining as well (if perhaps a bit hyperbolic). Even the more mundane days display endearing wit, like a perfect sequence of a guy pumping dumbbells made of hamburgers and taking a bite on each rep (evocative of Popeye).

    Only a couple of the GIFs devolve into more niche or opaque territory, as when Curran spends time at Casey Neistat's social video startup Beme, or mashes up into a single clip his visits to both a space shuttle on the museum ship USS Intrepid and to the Central Park Zoo to feed the penguins.

    A clip of the Statue of Liberty waving a French flag, meanwhile, offers a more somber tribute to the Paris attacks on Nov. 13.

    Curran first rolled out the GIFs on Tumblr under the umbrella NYC Gifathon, one each day, while in town. (Motionographer has more detail on his process.) They work nicely in sequence. Curran mainly featured an army of caricatures of himself, which helps adds continuity and personality to the whole.

    They could even work as a neat little tourism ad, though they do include a little snark (the New York Knicks getting schooled by the Miami Heat) and gloom (falling through puddles on the Brooklyn Bridge). Alas, they're still way too cheery to represent what it's like to actually to live here. Nobody has time for a spa day. 

    Check out the individual GIFs below.

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    This was the last piece of work Droga5 Australia brought to life before shutting house. And however you might feel about the agency, it's a tribute to what it could have been, and to the idea that well-harnessed crowdsourcing can bear quite edible fruit. 

    Maybe don't eat that flower, though. 

    For the launch of Tiger White in Malaysia, Tiger Beer partnered with the star-crossed agency and production house The Sweet Shop to produce the first-ever film to be conceptualized and produced using beer coasters, with their boozy sketchers serving as the film's crew. 

    In October and November, thousands of coasters were distributed across popular Malaysian bars, where would-be directors or stylists could scribble ideas while sloshed. Entries also appeared on TigerCoasterFilm.com, where you could follow the project's birth from scrawl to shooting.

    And it wasn't just ideas that were crowdsourced; the entire film crew was, too. Winning ideators were assigned roles including director, scripwriters, actors, stylists, assistants and runners for the final production, taking cues from Baltasar Kormákur, best known for directing Everest.

    "I've had to scale mountains and even swim in the North Atlantic Ocean for my other movies, but this is my first time to recruit people to make a film from beer coasters," Kormákur says.

    The result, "Coaster," is a 14-minute thriller with enough gripping tropes to give Dan Brown tremors of jealousy: the old gangster made good, a sacrificial lamb, suspicious bodyguards and a charming, rags-to-riches talent bent toward one goal—revenge. The use of white in the film is often symbolic, notably appearing on a dead chick and a dress (no immediate relation). But the real "tiger white" in this story is a flower, hiding its venom behind a diminutive, fragile exterior. 

    And, of course, there's the chef. Watch it below. 

    There's nothing original in the story—it's work by committee, after all—but the watch goes down easy, is beautifully produced and comparable to pretty good Netflix fodder.

    The film debuted in December in Kuala Lumpur, a month after Tiger White's launch in the country. Use of Tiger White in the final production is sparing: It appears in the kitchen, as handy proppage in a flashback and, naturally, in a painstakingly poured glass drunk by Gangster Dad on his birthday. And as far as Tiger Beer is concerned, it was a satisfying manifestation of the brand message. 

    "We are delighted to unveil what is possibly the most revolutionary platform ever used to produce a film," says Tiger Beer global brand director Mie-Leng Wong. "We drafted regular bar hoppers and transformed them overnight into filmmakers, with white beer coasters serving as mini-screenplays, storyboards and entry forms." 

    The chosen director, Cho We Jun, was a banker when he submitted his application, and has since quit his day job. "Not long ago I was working in a bank, following a path I didn't want to take," he says, adding that he'd made a few films before, but not at this scale. "We come from all walks of life—bankers, engineers, flight attendants—but we all stepped out of our comfort zones and produced something that we are all extremely proud of." 

    "Our teams have spent considerable time in production across Asia, working on Tiger Beer," added David Nobay, then creative chairman of Droga5 Australia. "One thing really came through to us: Just how much creativity is alive and kicking on the streets, from Ho Chi Min to Hong Kong and Singapore. From fashion to technology, the region feels even more on fire right now. We were keen to put all that urgency and spontaneity to work across a single creative platform and we're really pleased how quickly Malaysia grabbed the baton."

    While a few lucky bar hoppers drink to that, we'll pour one out for an agency that saved all its potency for the very end. 

    Client: Heineken Asia Pacific/Tiger Beer
    Product: Tiger White
    Agency: Droga5, Sydney
    Creative Chairman: David Nobay
    Creative Director: Andy Fergusson
    Copywriter: Gavin Chimes
    Art Director: Leslie Sharpe    
    Senior Business Director: Richard Sweetman
    Head of Content: Holly Alexander                                    

    Production Company: The Sweet Shop
    Director: Cho We Jun           
    Executive Producers: Wilf Sweetland, Daniel Ho
    Director of Photography: Tan Teck Zee               
    Art Director: Lee Tze Loong
    Editor: Pan c/o VHQ Post
    Postproduction: VHQ Malaysia
    Sound Design, Remix: Add Audio Malaysia 

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    Sharing sucks, at least when it comes to vacation homes, HomeAway says in a new ad—narrated by Nick Offerman—that squarely takes aim at Airbnb and the downsides of renting a room in someone else's home instead of a whole house on HomeAway.

    Saatchi & Saatchi London created the spot, which goes all-in on the gross-out humor by showing various unpleasant side effects of mingling with strangers while on vacation. Weird, hairy men are a particular source of distress in the ad: One clips his toenails in public, another air-guitars by the pool, and a third—sporting a Speedo and a rug-like back—embraces fellow imbibers in a hotel bar.

    And then there's the bar of soap that another vacationer encounters, covered with curly hairs of surely horrifying provenance, which cause our heroine to actually start retching.

    Check out the spot in all its grody glory here:

    The ad doesn't mention Airbnb explicitly. But the point is clearly to distinguish HomeAway listings, which tend to be managed properties and second homes rented for longer periods of time, from Airbnb's shorter-term rentals, many of which are rooms in larger homes.

    There is only about a 10-15 percent overlap between HomeAway's and Airbnb's listings, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Offerman—an often-hairy man himself, ironically enough—was a solid choice for the voiceover, as he brings a world-weary disdain to the proceedings. And if the spot leaves you feeling like all vacation homes are probably a bit gross (not just those on Airbnb), that's a risk HomeAway is willing to take to try to slow Airbnb's incursion into its own space.

    Client: HomeAway
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi London

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    Oreo is the latest brand to take a stab at making the world a better place, as it launches a global campaign urging people to "Open Up" to new people and experiences—a message of diversity and tolerance delivered first in a 30-second spot with vocal by Adam Lambert.

    That spot, called "Rolling Wonder," broke Monday. The campaign, which includes digital content, point-of-sale and global prizing, will roll out to more than 50 countries worldwide during the first half of 2016, Oreo tells AdFreak.

    The idea of "Open Up with Oreo," created by The Martin Agency, is to urge people to open their hearts to those who are different and discover the similarities. The campaign is part of the larger global "Wonderfilled" platform that launched in 2013. (It's also slyly product focused, as many people "open up" their Oreos before eating them.)

    The work follows last year's "Play With Oreo" campaign, and retains similar themes about being childlike. "Open Up with Oreo" is based off the idea that children are naturally open, and only as we get older do we close ourselves off.

    Also on Monday, the brand introduced the Oreo Wonder Vault, a fancifully imagined place where new Oreo flavors are dreamed up and stored. Two U.S. flavors of Oreo are being released this month: returning flavor Red Velvet, and new flavor Cinnamon Bun. A third limited-edition flavor is expected shortly that Oreo promises will be "unlike anything we've done before." 

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    DJ/fashionista Mimi Xu and her daughter Maily Beyrens (collectively known as XuBox) star in a series of self-consciously quirky videos promoting fashion brand Björn Borg's SS16 Limited Edition Sport Couture collection.

    The pair don "retro-space-inspired" gear and crank up Xu's minimalist club beats for this satisfying, somewhat surreal 90-second centerpiece spot:

    Their goal was "to combine sports and fashion in an eccentric everyday training video," producer Nils Ljunggren tells AdFreak. A bunch of 15-second edits ratchet up that eccentricity with snippets of animation and soundtracks that range from eerily abstract to pleasantly poppy—with a military march thrown in for good measure.

    "Mind Games" bristles with creepy audio dissonance and stare-down intensity:

    "High Heels," as the title surely suggests, is about keeping one's balance in a "sport parka":

    "Dry" features aquatic sounds and some creative hanging around:

    There's no actual cycle in "Bike," but that doesn't stop Mimi and Maily from peddling:

    "Zig Zag" shows us how to avoid climbing gym ropes:

    In "Hug," the ladies get into caressing themselves (perhaps celebrating a job well done):

    And when you've finish your workout, please don't forget to turn off the lights:

    Strange, for gym rats, these two never seem to work up a sweat. Overall, the clips make for fun, quick viewing. Though for some, they might induce traumatic flashbacks to middle-school P.E. class. (Those infernal ropes—they burn! Our palms and psyches are scarred for life!)

    Client: Björn Borg
    Directed by: Nils Ljunggren
    Featuring: Mimi Xu, Maily Beyrens
    Music: Mimi Xu
    Illustrations and animation: Maily Beyrens
    Creative Direction: Naomi Itkes
    Art Direction: Johan Avedal
    Director of photography: Erik Sohlstrom
    Editor: George Cragg

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    Punxsutawney Phil makes his depressing prediction nearly every year: Keep the coats and snow shovels handy because there's likely to be at least six more weeks of winter. Isn't it time some other critter, one with a much sunnier outlook, became the harbinger of spring? 

    Peeps chicks, those airy sugar dumplings, are trying to unseat the oversized rodent as the spokescharacter for the season in a new digital campaign from The Terri & Sandy Solution. Four short election-style videos pit the two against each other to see which one can whip up the most public support. 

    #VotePeeps specializes in propaganda attack ads, noting that the groundhog's accuracy rate is a measly 39 percent and he's forecast an early spring only 17 times in 129 years. Harsh! The counterpoint, via a few groundhog-approved messages, say he's a hard worker with a lot of mouths to feed so he should be allowed to keep his day job. (He can't help it if he's accumulated more than a million hours of hibernation. That's just his nature.)

    Peeps, made by Just Born Quality Confections, rack up most of their sales at Easter, but the brand's marketing stunts in recent years have increasingly tried to co-opt other holidays. A program around Groundhog Day, to extend the spring buying window, was inevitable.

    Look for the digital shorts on social media, the brand's Facebook page and website.

    Client: Peeps
    Agency: The Terri & Sandy Solution
    Executive Creative Directors: Terri Meyer, Sandy Greenberg
    Copywriter: Vincent Garbellano
    Art Director: Mark Forsman
    Editor: Mark Nickelsburg
    Motion Graphics: Craig Donnelly and Eric Linn
    Audio Post: Sonic Union
    Audio Post Producer: Justin Cortale
    Audio Engineer: Brian Goodheart
    Producer: Laura Benjamin
    Integrated Account Director: Drew Schwartz
    Account Supervisor: Dani Blevins

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    Dude, Mountain Dew is back in the game.

    The PepsiCo brand said Tuesday that it will use its first in-game Super Bowl spot since 2000 to push its Mtn Dew Kickstart beverages—the line of low-calorie drinks that launched in 2013 and combine Mountain Dew with fruit juice and a kick of caffeine.

    The brand didn't reveal much about the creative, other than to say it will be "a hilarious TV ad that combines fan-favorite ad elements and is guaranteed to have fans talking." BBDO New York is handling the creative. 

    The in-game spot may be Mountain Dew's first in 16 years, but the brand did run this entertaining 90-second spot from BBDO on last year's Super Bowl pregame show. The theme for that spot, "It All Starts With a Kick," continues today. 

    Here is last year's ad:

    The larger campaign around the new Super Bowl spot will include digital, social and out-of-home advertising, as well as merchandising and experiential activations.

    Also, four new Kickstart flavors will hit store shelves on Jan. 25—Orange Citrus, Fruit Punch, Black Cherry, Limeade, Pineapple Orange Mango and Strawberry Kiwi—joining six previously released flavors.

    PepsiCo describes Mtn Dew Kickstart as one of the successful beverage product launches in the past decade, generating annual retail sales of more than $300 million. 

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    Canadian clothing company Penningtons is the latest among a growing number of brands waving the body-positive banner. Its most recent activewear spot, created by lg2, showcases a bad-ass plus-size woman confidently nailing yoga poses, as on-screen copy makes unfounded—but common—assertions about why such women can't or shouldn't do yoga. 

    "Plus size women have no balance," the copy says, as the yogi sticks her one-legged dancer pose with nary a waver. When "They're too heavy to lift themselves" flashes across screen, our model gracefully elongates into a headstand. 

    The copy pivots to its punch line by using the mother of all these ugly thoughts: "They make everyone around them uncomfortable."

    That's followed by, "Are you uncomfortable? We're not."

    The video is receiving an overwhelmingly positive response on Facebook, with fans lauding Penningtons for including plus-size fashions and shutting down common myths.

    Now that yoga's no longer considered a exclusive sport for the lithe and lean (the rapid rise of @biggalyoga on Instagram is evidence of this), it's not just great motivational messaging—it's a smart branding move, too. 

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    What rhymes with "ambulance"?

    BBH London answers that question and more in a fanciful animated campaign designed to teach parents how to help a baby who's stopped breathing.

    First-aid awareness organization St. John Ambulance's two-minute film eschews the award-winning kick-to-the-gut style often employed by this client-agency team. Unlike past PSA classics such as "Helpless" and "Save the Boy," the new film, "Nursery Rhymes Inc.," presents no shocking scenes or terrifying twists to drive home its life-saving message.

    Instead, through delightful puppet animation that took four months to produce, we're made privy to the creative struggles of Humpty Dumpty, Incy Wincy Spider, Jack & Jill and the Cat & the Fiddle.

    "Nobody wants to know about baby CPR. It sounds scary and complicated," BBH creative director Ian Heartfield tells AdFreak. "So, the task was to find an idea that cut through all the noise, and entertained people while at the same time educating them. It also had to be something you'd want to share with others. The first thing to try to make something memorable is to make it rhyme, and as we were talking about baby first aid, nursery rhyme characters seemed like a good starting point."

    In the ad, the classic crew works overtime to compose a rhyme to help moms and dads remember CPR basics, but it's rough going:

    "We've been here for 15 hours, I'm starting to lose my rhyming powers," frets Humpty, clearly down in the dumps.

    Jack & Jill, never ones to shrink from a tough uphill climb, egg him on: "But it's baby CPR. We must make it rhyme. So when baby stops breathing, it's remembered in time!"

    After wisely rejecting "samba dance" and "Bambi stance" from their libretto, a musical memorandum takes shape:

    Get to a phone.
    Don't take a chance.
    First you must call an ambulaaaaaance.
    Place your baby on a nice flat surface.
    Tilt their head back, don't be nervous.
    Give five puffs over the mouth and nose.

    Not sure what we mean? Well here's how it goes:
    One puff, two puffs, three puffs and four
    Five is enough, don't puff any more.
    Place two fingers upon the chest,
    and pump 30 times -- no more, no less.
    Puff, puff -- and thirty more pumps,
    Repeat this until the ambulance comes.

    "There were a few production challenges," says Heartfield. "One was dealing with the restrictions of using real, big, clumsy puppets in the confined space of an office meeting room. Another was understanding and accepting there is only so much physical performance you can get from puppets."

    For example, the puppeteer inside the heavy Humpty Dumpty suit frequently became overheated and had to be fanned between takes.

    Also, the team struggled to get "the very best voices for the characters," so that each would be distinctive but not over the top. "We tried every accent under the sun for Jack and Jill before landing on West Country," he says.

    Indeed, Comics Adam Buxton and Tim Key nail the voice performances. From fretful, bossy Humpty to the high-pitched regional exuberance of Jack and Jill, each interpretation is a winner. And Blinkink directors Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling create just the right mood to put parents at ease. Jovial and empowering, the ad convinces us that we can correctly perform CPR on baby if the need arises.

    Overall, the whole approach just feels right. After all, these characters have been delighting kids and parents for hundreds of years. It makes sense in context that Humpty, Incy and the rest would team up to help keep youngsters safe.

    The tone recalls last year's St. John Ambulance-BBH film "The Chokeables," which also used lighthearted animation to deliver serious guidance. With 10 million views across all platforms, that PSA and is credited with saving the lives of 46 children since its launch, according to the client.

    Whether parents will actually be able to recall the pertinent information in "Nursery Rhymes Inc." is, of course, an open question. Though the song is cute, there's a lot to take in. And the procedure itself seems kind of involved.

    "The task with baby CPR was challenging, as it's a more complicated technique than choking," concedes Emma Sheppard, head of brand communications at St. John. That said, "we think we've cracked it," she adds.

    Versions of the spot will air during popular U.K. TV fare for the next three months, supported by copious social-media and digital outreach.

    At the very least, the work might help folks remember, before attempting CPR, to "call an ambulaaaaaance." That alone could save lives and make the campaign well worth the effort.

    Client: St. John Ambulance
    Head of Brand and Communications: Emma Sheppard
    Agency: BBH London
    Creative Team: Fred Rodwell & Andy Parsons
    Creative Director: Ian Heartfield
    Strategy Director: Rowenna Prest
    Strategist: Alana King
    Business Lead: Jon Barnes
    Account Director: Leo Sloley
    Account Executive: Louisa Steele
    Producer: Victoria Keenan
    Production Company: Blinkink
    Director: Becky & Joe
    Song & Lyrics: Baker Terry and Joseph Pelling
    Executive Producer: James Stevenson Bretton
    Producer: Benjamin Lole
    DoP: Ed Tucker
    Post Production: The Mill & Blinkink Studios
    Editor/Editing House: Joseph Pelling & Hugo Donkin/ Blinkink Studios
    Sound: 750mph

    - Media Account -
    JAA Business Director: Nick Smith
    JAA TV Buying Director: Steve Venes
    JAA Account Manager: George Gwilliam
    JAA TV Buying Manager: Dan Denman
    JAA Account Executive: Leo Barron 

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    Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is upon us. And in keeping with the flourish and expense of the event, it would be natural to expect beautiful ads showcasing beautiful people in beautifully abstract ways. 

    Instead, the luxury auto brand's new spot is refreshingly clever ... and features a puppet.

    The ad stars Michel Gaubert, sound director for most high-profile fashion shows, along with his mini-me puppet/personal assistant, Petit Michel (operated by Victor Yerrid, a Jim Henson puppeteer). It's an endearing and entertaining three-minute story of friendship and shiny cars.

    Following Mercedes' similarly surprising short film for Berlin Fashion Week last year, the whole thing is an unexpected delight. From the synchronized dance moves to the self-deprecating jokes to the witty banter ("He remixed all the remixes of my remixes"), it's got us jonesing for our own Adweek assistant puppets, complete with miniature Ray-Bans and jaunty neck scarves.

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    Advertising creatives are always looking for fresh ways to package their portfolios, and one Swedish art director has turned music streaming service Spotify into the latest vehicle for promoting his career.

    Stockholm-based Christian Söderholm turned his Spotify artist profile into his personal résumé by posting audio versions of his biography and various case studies as albums, with each divided into about a dozen songs. 

    Played through, they become seamless narratives describing past campaigns, with titles offering mini summaries and music playing in the background (including a soothing guitar piece he conveniently wrote and performed himself). 

    The gimmick is a little offbeat, especially given the skillset he's marketing is a visual one, and compared to past efforts from other creatives on better-aligned channels like Instagram.

    But it also works. The descriptions clearly convey Söderholm's credentials, and there's enough novelty to make it noteworthy. If he hadn't done it, someone else would've, sooner or later.

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    A company is advertising "the worst job in town" on Australian job site Seek, and promises that whoever is hired as its new senior producer will work in a "poor location" and spend his or her time "managing a bunch of lazy egotistic creatives and developers."

    The ad, which is real (see it below), was posted by digital recruiter Julien Viard, who was tired of seeing ads upselling jobs that probably suck and decided to try the opposite approach. I can understand that impulse, but there are two flaws with this reasoning. For one thing, scammy job ads are pretty easy to spot if you're not one of those people who spends all their money on Powerball tickets. Second, as annoying as trumped-up, unjustified confidence is, overt self-loathing is downright toxic.

    Despite this, Viard claims to have had pretty good luck with responses to the ad, although he won't be trying this approach a second time.

    "I've always tried to be creative with [the ads], so I'll keep it that way and give a bit more insight into what the jobs are," he told Mashable Australia."Plus making sure we talk to the right people, too."

    That's probably the real reason he isn't repeating it.

    Top photo: Matthew P. Wicks/Getty Images

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    There's no love lost in the cutthroat telecom world, as T-Mobile fights what it openly calls the "duopoly" of AT&T and Verizon. But this week, T-Mobile has raised its trolling game by coming up with an amusing drinking game you can play if you listen in to Verizon's earnings call on Thursday morning.

    "You may have noticed that T-Mobile doesn't like the traditional earnings call. That's why we Un-carrier-ed them with a live stream and a Twitter Q&A," the brand says. "But we're still forced to listen in to the Duopolist's boring calls, so we needed to find a way to keep it interesting. Since sharing is caring, welcome to Verizon Earnings Call: The Drinking Game."

    Check out the rules below. Basically, you drink whenever Verizon says anything jargony, dubious or flat-out untrue. It's signed, "From your drinking buddies at T-Mobile."

    Click the image to enlarge.

    Top photo: Getty Images

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    Selfie projects are a dime a dozen. But Mike Mellia's "A selfie a day keeps the doctor away" series on Instagram rises above the rest with great composition, playful creativity and a sly, knowing commentary on modern self-obsession.

    The fashion photographer, who has shot for clients including Vogue, Harry Winston, Brooks Brothers, Swatch and Christie's, posts regular (if not quite daily) selfies at @mikemellia—both still images and video loops (which are essentially cinemagraphs). All of the captions begin, "That one time…", and faux-pretentiously paint a picture of a languorously perfect life. (Oh, and he also mixes in super-cute pics of his baby daughter.) 

    Check out a bunch of the images below.

    "That one time I was an ad man."

    "That one time I made a bet with a Flemish perfumier."

    "That one time I was out of the office."

    "That one time I taught literature humanities at a small liberal arts college."

    "That one time I ate fluffy marshmallows all afternoon in the Swiss Alps."

    "That one time I had dinner at Ralph Lauren's house."

    "That one time I had spring fever."

    "That one time practice made perfect."

    "That one time Bear Grylls picked me up in a helicopter."

    AdFreak spoke with the New York City native and Columbia University graduate on Wednesday to talk about the craft and guile of the project.

    AdFreak: How did you come up with the idea for this?
    Mike Mellia: I always thought the way some younger people used Instagram was a cliché. It seemed like it was for self-obsessed people taking selfies, so I wanted to have my own ironic account, bombarding my colleagues with a barrage of outrageous selfies, and I was curious to see their responses.

    I think there are elements of unbridled megalomania mixed with the everyday doldrums, which is reminiscent of many other Instagram accounts I've seen. I have a great time doing it, and it's also a way to keep challenging myself creatively.

    Ironically, the composition and the styling in these ridiculous selfies often strongly influence my commercial advertising works, but of course done in a much more commercial way.

    I like the looping videos in particular. How do you decide on the settings for those, and how difficult is it to make it a seamless loop?
    Some of them are done in the studio against a neutral grey or earth-toned backdrop, and have kind of a painterly feeling, while the others are filmed on location or outdoors.

    I think the painterly ones are humorous because they make reference to art history, which really is the beginning of all fashion photography. The ones filmed on location and outdoors are interesting to me because, since this is a personal project, I like to see if the project can travel around the world with me as I go.

    There is an added element of the surreal mixed with the familiar that makes them so subtle and weird to me. They are video composites, which is somewhat of a daunting task, but with video becoming more in-demand in all areas of advertising, I wanted to keep challenging myself to keep pushing the technology as far as possible, while still sticking to my specific visual and photographic style.

    When you watch major Hollywood production blockbuster movies, what they are able to do technology-wise is expanding exponentially every month!

    What are you trying to "say," if anything, with the series?
    I'm hoping that people can have fun with it and see that I'm laughing at myself a little bit and at where we have come as a society. At the same time, the project is such a specific format, that it's a creative game to keep pushing the series within those self-imposed boundaries.

    Maybe a subtle message beneath the surface is that on social media, you can present yourself as anyone regardless of the reality, and in fact individuals are now using social media to "brand" themselves in the same way that large corporations do. I think this series takes this selfie and self-branding exercise to an extreme, while simultaneously trying to combine influences from fashion photography, art history, advertising and pop culture into something beautiful and enjoyable.

    Plus, selfies and emojis are really all we need anymore to communicate, right?

    Check out some of Mellia's still images below: 

    "That one time I played backgammon in an old warehouse in Mongolia."

    "That one time I beat up Clint Eastwood."

    "That one time I laughed at my own joke."

    "That one time my daughter was born - Aria Adelaide Lanteri Mellia."

    "That one time my daughter met her grandfather."

    "That one time my Rolls-Royce got stuck in the snow."

    "That one time I had a bad hair day."

    "That one time the sea was angry that day my friends."

    "That one time I sang at the opera."

    "That one time I asked the workers of the world to unite."

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    Listen to someone speak the Scottish dialect, and you'll quickly understand why poetry is part of that country's national heritage. In fact, every Jan. 25, Scotland celebrates Burns Night in honor of Romantic poet Robert Burns. 

    To mark the occasion this year, Laphroaig asked another Scottish poet—and poetry slam world champion—Elvis McGonagall to give his opinion on Laphroaig.

    The "Opinions Welcome" campaign from agency White Label has been going on for three years now, encouraging people to express how they really think the distinctive whisky tastes (either good or bad). For his part, McGonagall certainly seems to like the liquid. 

    His "Ode to Laphroaig" pays homage to Burns' classic "Address to a Haggis," and it makes a great deal of sense to reference that particular poem: Both Haggis and Laphroaig are acquired tastes, alternately lauded and vilified.

    "Some Sassenachs find fault" in the stone-lashed, sea spray and smoky salt taste of Laphroaig, McGonagall admits. But he compares it to "Isle rain on heather," and suggests you crack open a bottle—if you're not weak of heart or knee. 

    After the taunt, he waxes poetic, calling Laphroaig "the nectar that the angels choose, ambrosia, immortal muse" ... and, of course, "bottled poetry." All of it is said in the context of a roaring fire behind a classic bottle, and an amber-hued dram of the world's most divisive whisky. 

    It's probably the nicest thing anyone's ever said to a glass of Laphroaig. And it's certainly the most positive iteration of the "Opinions Welcome" campaign so far. 

    (Full disclosure: Laphroaig is my favorite whisky!) 

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    It's been 16 years since Pets.com's sock puppet graced us with a starring role in a Super Bowl commercial. That didn't work out so well. But maybe it's time for another sock puppet, as modeled by Christopher Walken in the photo above, released Thursday by Kia to hype its upcoming Super Bowl spot. 

    Kia didn't reveal much about the 60-second commercial, from David & Goliath, which will run in the third quarter of the Feb. 7 telecast and push the 2016 Optima midsize sedan. But it did send Adweek this statement along with the two photos:

    "Christopher Walken—and a very colorful sock—will add pizzazz to Kia Motors' 60-second Super Bowl commercial for the all-new 2016 Optima midsize sedan. Scheduled to run in the third quarter, the new ad will continue to spotlight the next-generation Optima as the vibrant alternative for those determined not to blend in."

    This is Kia Motors' seventh straight year in the big game. Last year's ad starred Pierce Brosnan and was one of Adweek's five favorite spots on the game. Check out another photo below of Walken, who has also voiced a couple of other Kia spots this month. 

    • For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.


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