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    App-choo! Boutique OTC pharma company Help Remedies and production house Tool of North America present a tongue-in-cheek Facebook app called "Help, I have the flu" that lets users figure out which of their friends infected them with the bug—or are most likely to do so. Analyzing keywords, posting patterns and such, the app pulled up three results for me, giving a single reason why each of my Facebook friends was selected. The top person apparently used the word "doctor" in a post, while another has a penchant for "multiple late-night posts." The third, coincidentally the editor of this very blog, made the list because he mentioned "party" in a recent update. So … there was a party and I wasn't invited? That makes me sick ... sick in my heart. Check out some of Help Remedies' previous inventive, borderline subversive promotional efforts. Now that's some sick creative.

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    In case you haven't been paying attention, books now need video trailers. And they're getting to be extensive affairs, like this excellent one for Warren Ellis's new novel, Gun Machine. Ellis made his name as a comic-book writer, so it makes sense that this trailer is animated by renowned comic illustrator Ben Templesmith, who has worked with Ellis before on a great little series called Fell. If that isn't enough nerd cred, an excerpt from the book is read in voiceover by professional geek and actor Wil Wheaton. Why do a trailer when the book—from an established writer with an established audience—is already being adapted for television? I suppose because it's the thing to do now. And even Warren Ellis, who most of time sounds like he'd like to beat the media and marketing establishment about the head and shoulders with his cane, isn't immune to fashion. Via Boing Boing.

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  • 01/07/13--08:03: Ad of the Day: Coca-Cola
  • Meet the Coca-Cola polar bears—or the latest version of them. They're your not-quite-average suburban bear family, wandering across the tundra.

    This is the brand's new six-minute film about the bears, from agency CAA Marketing, director John Stevenson and producer Ridley Scott. Dad is gruff. An important bear. He's got a voice like James Earl Jones. Mom is affable. She makes sure the kids have healthy egos. And that Dad keeps in touch with his softer side. Girl just wants to have fun, meaning dancing and swimming like Esther Williams with puffins. Dad doesn't want her hanging out with puffins because they are a bad influence. Boy just wants to have fun, too, meaning goofing off and getting an adrenaline rush, and embarrassing Dad in front of the entire uptight bear community. The uptight bear community includes catty grown women bears, and catty tween girl bears. Deep down, though, Dad is cool. He loves the kids, and knows how to do a mean cannonball, and tell all the uptight bears to shove off.

    The Coca-Cola bears won't be winning any Oscars. The video relies too heavily on familiar devices. One YouTube commenter aptly calls it "Lion King & Happy Feet. Not like it's a bad thing… " In other words, it's hackneyed, but it's recognizable. This is lowest-common-denominator character development for a set of iconic mascots. It's visually nifty enough, if not at all groundbreaking.

    It's an honest attempt at branded content—there aren't any Coke bottles written into the script. Next time, maybe there should be. Show us Jack, the kid bear, chugging a bottle before he bounces off the walls. He's clearly on a sugar high anyways.

    Client: Coca-Cola
    Agency: CAA Marketing
    Production Company: Scott Free
    Director: John Stevenson
    Producers: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Costigan
    Animation: Animal Logic
    Full credits at the end of the video

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    DirecTV and ad agency Grey in New York put out some of the funniest ads of 2012. They kick off 2013 in amusing fashion, too, with this spot for the satellite company's Genie whole-home DVR. Tom Kuntz sticks around to direct the new ad, which posits that cable is more annoying than almost anything you can imagine—including getting sneezed into your gaping mouth by a dentist, or getting bitten by a giant turtle. Genie, meanwhile, personified by a hot girl in a skimpy dress, is more awesome than almost anything—including dirt-biking half-naked with a different hot girl who uses badass crossbow-rifles to shoot flaming arrows into the sky that explode into roaring tiger fireball heads. Apparently DirecTV will not underpromise on its services in 2013. Credits below.

    Client: DirecTV
    Spot: "Motorcycle"
    Agency: Grey, New York
    President, Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Executive Creative Director: Dan Kelleher
    Vice President, Associate Creative Director: Heather English
    Art Director: Matthew Nall
    Copywriter: Robert Cuff
    Agency Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich
    Agency Vice President, Producer: David Cardinali
    Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    President: David Zander
    Senior Executive Producer: Scott Howard
    Producer: Emily Skinner
    Production Supervisor: Daniel Gonzalez
    Director of Photography: Toby Irwin
    1st Assistant Director: Thomas Smith
    2nd Assistant Director: Robert Kay
    Commercial Coordinator: Midori Takata
    Editor: Gavin Cutler, Mackenzie Cutler
    Assistant Editor: Ryan Steele, Mackenzie Cutler
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld, Mackenzie Cutler
    Sound Design: Sam Shaffer, Mackenzie Cutler
    Visual Effects: Method, New York
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Stuart Robinson
    Visual Effects Supervisors: Doug Luka, Jay Hawkins
    Visual Effects Producer: Christa Cox
    Compositors: Dan Giraldo, David Piombino
    Animation: Christina Sidoti
    FX Artists: Dan Letarte, Andreu Lucio, Pol Chanthasartratsamee

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    Two dogs, one bear, one blind man, two kids, five men in women's clothing, one blow to the crotch, one screaming goat. Those are the key figures for this year's Crash the Super Bowl, presented by Doritos. The contest, which challenges ordinary people to make Super Bowl ads, has selected its five finalists, which are now up for a vote on Facebook. The top vote getter, along with a second spot selected by Doritos, will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. The creators are eligible to to win cash if their spot ranks among the top three finishers on the USA Today Ad Meter. (The prizes are: $1 million for first place, $600,000 for second place and $400,000 for third place.) Also, the creator of the spot that ends up higher on the Ad Meter, whether in the top three or not, gets to work with Michael Bay on the next Transformers movie. Frankly, none of this year's entries are that exciting. The goat one is probably the funniest, though it doesn't really make any sense at all.

    Here are the ads, in alphabetical order, with pros and cons of each:

    1. "Express Checkout"
      Pros: Blind man, blow to the crotch
      Cons: Too many characters

    2. "Fashionista Daddy"
      Pros: Cute kid, cross-dressing men
      Cons: Weak punch line

    3. "Fetch"
      Pros: Cute dog, angry bear
      Cons: Weak punch line, and what's with the magazine?

    4. "Goat 4 Sale"
      Pros: Goat
      Cons: Nonsensical plot

    5. "Road Chip"
      Pros: Cute kid, defenestrated dog
      Cons: Telegraphed punch line

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  • 01/08/13--03:07: The Spot: Blake Got GameFly
  • IDEA: Blake Griffin is a spectacular athlete. Oddly enough, he's also a pretty good actor. "Some friends of mine directed a Kia spot he did," said Tim Ketchersid, a director at Gifted Youth, Funny or Die's commercialproduction company. "He had a paragraph of dialogue, walking backwards, one shot, and he did it perfectly every time. I've never worked with an actor that could do that." So Ketchersid was thrilled to direct the Los Angeles Clippers star in new ads for GameFly, the video-game rental service. GameFly is the dominant player in the space, so Gifted Youth—working directly with the client, with no agency involved—was able to create broadly comic spots (two :30s and two :60s) without a hard sell. Seen in a gray suit in a wood-paneled office, Griffin hosts mock educational videos on "How to Be Amazing," introducing examples of activities that are and aren't just that. At the end of each spot, Griffin himself gets more amazing by slowly taking off in a nitrogen-propelled jetpack.

    COPYWRITING: The creatives would have only a few hours with Griffin, so they had to find a way to reuse some of his dialogue across multiple spots. "The idea was that he could host this sort of faux Saturday-afternoon Disney special," said Ketchersid. Each ad opens with Griffin sitting regally on the edge of his desk. "Oh, hello," he says. "Do you want to be amazing? I hope so. Here's some tips to get you started." The ads then cut to vignettes showing gamers—two young men in one pair of ads, one teenage boy in another pair—upgrading their everyday activities to be more amazing. Don't ride with your buddy on a moped; tear down the road in a car with flame decals! Don't be an ordinary falconer; soar on the back of a giant eagle! "To GameFly's credit, pretty much any weird idea we threw at them, they were willing to go with us on," said Ketchersid. The final vignette in each ad shows something quite unamazing—paying too much for game rentals at a video store. Griffin then explains how to get a "first-class ticket to amazing" through GameFly.com.

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Ketchersid shot the ads in two days at Red Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. The visual look is comically retro. "It's very midcentury," said Ketchersid. "Like those old Disney specials, it's sort of formal, it's overly staged, it's overly lit." For the vignettes, he used old backdrops from Hollywood movies. The painting behind the boy handling the eagle appeared in On Golden Pond. "We wanted all the stunts to be practical," Ketchersid added. "Obviously there's some visual effects in this thing. But we wanted it to feel organic and from a bygone era." Griffin's jetpack scene was shot without special effects—he was wire-rigged into the ceiling and raised upward as nitrogen blasted out beneath him.

    TALENT: Griffin was on board, but Ketchersid had to cast the other actors. They all have a quirky look, but not too much so. "In my experience, there's always this process of trying to get the agency or client to go toward talent instead of look," he said. "I wanted guys who were a little goofier looking and could carry the comedic load. They wanted someone who was just better looking, a better face for the campaign. You try to find that middle road, and I think we did."

    SOUND: Ketchersid wanted original music but used stock tracks because of time and budget constraints. Both the music and sound effects are oldtimey, in keeping with the retro theme.

    MEDIA: Young-adult cable networks and online.


    Client: GameFly
    Campaign: "Be Amazing"
    Production Company: Gifted Youth, LA
    Director: Tim Ketchersid
    DP: Christian Sprenger
    Creative Director: Ryan McNeely
    Executive Producer: Dal Wolf
    Executive Producer: Josh Martin
    Producer: Gina Kwon
    Visual Effects & Design: Visual Creatures, LA
    Artist/Partner: Ryan McNeely
    Artist/Partner: John Cranston
    Flame Artist: Gizmo Rivera
    Compositor: Dustin Bowser
    Producer: Anne Cuizon
    Editorial & Post: Therapy Studios, LA
    Editor: Kristin McCasey
    Assistant Editor: Jake Shaver
    Sound Designer: Kristin McCasey
    Online: Omar Inguanzo
    Mix: Lihi Orbach
    EP/Partner: Joe DiSanto
    Music Company: APM Music

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    Ten locations around Gothenburg, Sweden, where the city's homeless might sleep are presented as "hotel rooms" in this campaign by ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors. Folks can "book" the sites, which are dilapidated, dangerous and/or exposed to the elements, for $10 a night. The funds support the efforts of local street newspaper, Faktum, which works to help the socially vulnerable and disenfranchised. "Feel the city's pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass," begins the description of a claustrophobic concrete slab-shelf near a busy roadway. "This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer's Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike." Also available: grassy mounds in various parks; a rotting paper mill where the wheels no longer turn; and a dusty, beer-splashed space beneath the bleachers of a sports stadium. The places are shown with all the "amenities," such as sleeping bags, filthy mattresses and carts laden with scavenged detritus from around town. At first, I found it odd that no homeless people appear in the work. Of course, normal hotel advertising rarely shows guests, so in that respect, having the "rooms" empty suits the theme. It also reinforces the desolate and unsettling nature of these places, and gives the understated images extra resonance and meaning. The lack of occupants makes it easier for us to put ourselves in the picture, and to imagine what the night might be like if we checked into such forbidding accommodations in real life. More images, a case-study video and credits after the jump.

    Client: Faktum, Åse Henell
    Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
    Account Manager: Åsa Pedersen
    Art Directors: Staffan Lamm, Staffan Forsman
    Copywriter: Martin Ringqvist
    Web Producer: Stefan Thomson
    Designer: Christoffer Persson
    Production Company: Thomson Interactive Media
    Photographer: Håkan Ludwigson

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    Anheuser-Busch InBev has revealed its first plans for Super Bowl XLVII, reserving one 30-second slot to introduce Budweiser Black Crown, a crowdsourced golden amber lager that hits store shelves Jan. 21, two weeks before the Feb. 3 game.

    The spot was shot in Los Angeles last month by Samuel Bayer of Serial Pictures, who also directed Chrysler's Emmy-winning "Born of Fire" ad for the 2011 Super Bowl.

    The marketer did not reveal any plot details for the spot, or say which agency produced it. Anomaly is Budweiser's lead creative agency in the U.S.

    The national ad campaign will also include outdoor, digital, radio and print, along with "interactive consumer programs" on Facebook and Twitter. It will also use the Twitter hashtag #tasteis.

    A-B InBev has not revealed its other Super Bowl plans. The brewer typically reserves several minutes of airtime to pushing multiple brands. In 2012, it used agencies Anomaly, mcgarrybowen and Cannonball to promote Bud, Bud Light and Bud Light Platinum.

    Budweiser Black Crown is the culmination of the yearlong "Project 12" initiative, in which the brewer challenged its 12 brewmasters to envision "their own unique version of one of the world's most iconic beers." Six of the 12 recipes were brewed for national sampling. And after 25,000 tastings nationwide, Los Angeles brewmaster Bryan Sullivan's recipe was chosen as the winner.

    "People respond really well to Budweiser Black Crown, which has a little more body and color and a touch more hop character than our flagship Budweiser lager," Sullivan said in a statement. "Budweiser Black Crown is a great beer, and it is a thrill for our whole brewing team to see it launch with a Super Bowl spot."

    "This is the beer that consistently drew the best feedback, and overwhelmingly so," said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser. "We've set our sales-to-retailers date for Jan. 21, so we're fully ready for sales on Super Bowl Sunday."

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  • 01/08/13--10:40: Ad of the Day: Target
  • Target has turned the grocery aisle into a runway.

    The retailer, long known for its design sense, is launching a new campaign for its groceries that parodies fashion advertising—with models in slow-motion vignettes, against stark white backgrounds, showing off Target's "Everyday Collection" of cake mixes, laundry detergents and fresh packaged meats.

    Cake mixes explode in different colors as a model crushes an egg with her hand in one spot. "Dominate that PTA bake sale," the voiceover says. Then, in a Calvin Klein Obsession-like whisper, the voice adds: "The Everyday Collection. By Target."

    In another spot, a model plays matador, whipping around a large white cape as wrapped cuts of beef, chicken and pork appear. "Conquer dinner. One cut of meat at a time," says the voiceover.

    Two other spots push pre-natal vitamins (with a pregnant woman impressively ripping open packages of everything from potato chips to Oreo cookies) and Tide detergent ("We all yearn for something. And that something is the other sock.")

    The campaign, created by Mono in Minneapolis, "creates a foil for what people are used to seeing for grocery advertising," chief marketing officer Jeff Jones tells the Associated Press."It combines the design ethos and fashion creditability that Target has with the idea that it also has great grocery items at a great price."

    The campaign will feature eight spots in all, along with newspaper inserts, three radio ads and digital short films that will run as banner ads online, the AP reports.

    Client: Target
    Agency: Mono, Minneapolis

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    It was probably inevitable that Wonderful Pistachios, a brand known for cartoony commercials with broad comedy and D-list celebrities, would eventually end up on the Super Bowl.

    And indeed, the Paramount Farms nut brand has signed up for Super Bowl XLVII and will air a 30-second spot starring the biggest one-hit wonder of all: South Korean rapper Psy of "Gangnam Style" fame.

    The commercial was filmed on Tuesday in North Hollywood, USA Today reports. It will mark the Super Bowl debut for Wonderful Pistachios, and will be Psy's first commercial acting job in the U.S.

    "He's penetrated the cultural consciousness of the United States," Marc Seguin, vp of marketing for Wonderful Pistachios, tells the paper. "We knew the Super Bowl would require something really special to stand out."

    "The Super Bowl is way too big for me," adds Psy, 35. "I never dreamed of being a singer in America, so I of course never dreamed of being in a Super Bowl ad."

    Psy will wear a pistachio-green suit in the ad, and in keeping with other ads in the series, will show a special way to crack open pistachios. The ad will reportedly feature a version of "Gangnam Style" with different lyrics.

    Psy's Gangnam Style music video has more than 1 billion views on YouTube.

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    Barton F. Graf 9000's commercials for Little Caesars have gotten so superbly, satisfyingly stupid, I can actually feel my brain cells bubble and melt like gooey mozzarella as I watch the goofy vignettes flicker across the screen.

    In "Woods," a pair of campers say they've heard a deranged clown lurks nearby—and that Little Caesars has $5 Hot-N-Ready pizzas. "You heard right!" barks the clown as he skitters by, carrying a pizza box and literally tooting his own horn. Funny? Kind of. Stupid? D'oh yeah! Honk! Honk!

    In "Office," the idiocy builds in stages (just like it does in every workplace). First, a white-collar drone tells some conference-room suits about the five-buck pizzas, and the suits are all, "Yeah! Woo-hoo!" It's mildly stupid. Then he turns to some Japanese execs and tells them the same thing, in Japanese, and the execs are all, "Yeah! Woo-hoo!"—in Japanese. That's stupider. Then the guy walks up to some office machines and in a silly robo-voice informs them of the pizza deal, and the machines are all, "Yeah! Woo-hoo!"—in non-verbal, techno fashion. Laptops spark, connections crackle, and sheets of paper fly like confetti from the printer and fax.

    Boo-yah! That's Kentucky-kicks-ass stupid!

    It's also a smart way of providing quick entertainment and building goodwill for the brand. Both spots were directed by Harold Einstein.

    Client: Little Caesars
    Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000, New York
    Director: Harold Einstein
    Production Company: Station Film
    Executive Producer: Eric Liney
    Editing: MacKenzie Cutler
    Editor: Dave Anderson
    Assistant Editor: Michael Rizzo
    Exective Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Audio: Heard City
    Audio Engineer: Philip Loeb
    Music: Egg Music
    Telecine Company: Company 3
    Color: Tim Masik
    Finishing: Smigital
    Smoke Artist: Jimmy Hayhow

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    Chevrolet is ending its "Chevy Runs Deep" marketing theme after a little more than two years and unveiling a new one, "Find New Roads," which the General Motors brand says reflects its global aspirations—internal and external—and will work better as a single theme for its advertising worldwide.

    "The theme has meaning in mature markets like the U.S. as well as emerging markets like Russia and India, where the potential for continued growth is the greatest," said Alan Batey, vp of U.S. sales, service and global marketing.

    "Find New Roads" will also serve as an internal rallying cry as Chevy aligns its engineering, design and retail operations behind a single vision and communications platform. The core of that vision, the brand says, is Chevrolet's legacy of innovation and commitment to doing the right thing for consumers.

    "We have sold Chevrolets around the world for almost a century, but this is the first time we have aligned behind one global vision," said Mary Barra, svp of global product development. "As we develop new products, our designers and engineers will be empowered to find smarter solutions to address customer needs and make their lives better."

    Chevy's ad agencies remain Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in the U.S. and McCann Erickson overseas.

    The "Chevy Runs Deep" line launched during the 2010 World Series and attempted to leverage Chevrolet's history as a beloved American brand. Several spots from the campaign are posted below.

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    Whatever propaganda McDonald's Canada is spewing about the origins of the chain's food, McDonald's U.K. knows the real truth—it's cooked up on another planet and hurled Earthward, where humans embrace it with otherworldly fervor. At least, that's the story line in this wonderfully illustrated spot from Leo Burnett in London (and Blink directing duo Major Briggs) for new Chicken McBites, in which a McBite asteroid lands on Earth and is feted by the townspeople of a lucky burg.

    Blink explains: "The spot tells the deliciously dramatic story of a crispy bite of chicken that crash-lands in a blue ballpoint world and becomes the next big thing, much to the delight of its citizens. … Major Briggs have taken the average person's napkin doodle up a few notches, adding a dash of whimsy and a mighty plot to make an intricately drawn universe that is brimming with clever details."

    A timely spot it is, too. The menacing asteroid Apophis, some 886 feet across, is doing a flyby of Earth today. Apophis won't hit our planet this year, but scientists haven't ruled out a possible civilization-ending impact from it a few decades hence. If only it were made of chicken.

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    Ninety-nine percent of female fashion and body-related advertising hews to the same basic Western expression of ideal feminine beauty—i.e., slim to the point of waifish. Not this MAC cosmetics ad. It stars Serbian-American competitive body builder Jelena Abbou, whose body type is distinctly more sculpted than your average mascara model. "Strike a powerful pose, stand out and redefine the notion of beauty in a color collection too irresistible to ignore," says the copy. Jezebel points out the risks of such an approach: "A man with a six-pack is supposed to be sexy; a woman with a six-pack is supposed to be 'mannish.' That stigma is why it's so shocking to see Abbou in a cosmetics ad: she's styled and photographed in a way that glamorizes her and highlights her beauty and her femininity, but the ad also does not camouflage or attempt to minimize her incredible body." As Tom points out, an impossible fit ideal may be intrinsically no better than an impossibly thin ideal. But at least it's somewhat healthier. Below, check out Abbou's commercial for Fahrenheit, a metabolism supplement for women.

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    Is your dog a total "dog"? So asks this billboard spotted in Los Angeles, purportedly offering canine plastic surgery from one Dr. Steven Armond. It turns out it's a promotion for Kroll Show, an upcoming sketch-comedy show on Comedy Central starring Nick Kroll. Similar ads have been seen on the New York City subway, where they take on a real Dr. Zizmor glow. Via Laughing Squid.

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  • 01/10/13--05:44: Portrait: Cramer-Krasselt

  • Specs
    Who From left:
    Karen Seamen, evp, COO and Chicago GM; Peter Krivkovich, president, CEO; Marshall Ross, evp, CCO; and Wanda McDonald, evp, CFO
    What Integrated marketing and communications agency
    Where Chicago headquarters

    After a year when other big independent shops like Doner, McKinney and AKQA sold to MDC Partners, Cheil and WPP Group, respectively, Cramer-Krasselt remains one of the last top agencies choosing to go it on their own. C-K is best known for its “Find Your Beach” ads for longtime client Corona, which C-K recently evolved to promote the beer as a state of mind (while surviving a Corona ownership change this year). Although C-K is currently defending the business of client Porsche North America, last year the agency added marketers like Panera Bread, Rain-X and El Monterey frozen Mexican foods. 

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    When looking for great travel deals, make sure to wear a small sweater, not some great tent-like monstrosity. That's one lesson learned from this latest Barton F. Graf 9000 spot for Kayak, the latest in a long line of goofy ads in the campaign. Either that or improve your intra-sweater jousting skills. Credits below.

    Client: Kayak
    Chief Marketing Officer: Robert Birge
    Director of Marketing: Emily Scott
    Vice President, Brand Marketing: Stephanie Retcho
    Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000
    Production Company: Station Film
    Director: Harold Einstein
    Executive Producers: Tom Rossano, Eric Liney
    Editing: Mackenzie Cutler
    Editor: Gavin Cutler
    Assistant Editor: Ryan Steele
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Visual Effects: Schmigital
    Audio: Heard City
    Audio Engineer: Philip Loeb
    Color: Co3
    Colorist: Stephan Sonnenfeld

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  • 01/10/13--10:17: Ad of the Day: The Guardian
  • The Guardian wants Britain to know it's taking over the weekend.

    No, literally taking it over, to the point where Brits will soon be forced to refer to their days off as The Guardian and Observer Weekend.™

    In this wonderfully over-the-top new clip below for its weekend publications, The Guardian envisions a world in which it "owns" all weekend activities and conversations. "Never before has a company owned a day, let alone two days together at the end of the week," intones the faux trailer's Hollywood-esque narrator. "How do you 'own a weekend'? You don't. We do."

    While BBH doesn't deliver the kind of gravitas here that earned The Guardian top ad honors last year—Adweek chose "Three Little Pigs" as the best commercial of 2012—this spot is still a great example of how its approach to marketing is keeping the newspaper front and center in the cultural conversation.

    I'm not sure an introduction from an aging Hugh Grant really helps them in that, but hey, at least he worked for free.

    Client: Guardian
Campaign: "Own the Weekend"
    Agency: BBH, London

    Client Credits
Chief Marketing Officer: David Pemsel
Director of Brand and Engagement: Richard Furness
Product Marketing Manager: Charlotte Emmerson


BBH Creative Team: Wesley Hawes, Gary McCreadie
BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
BBH Head of Film: Davud Karbassioun
BBH Producer: Chris Watling
BBH Assistant Producer: Pia Ebrill
BBH Head of Strategy: Jason Gonsalves
BBH Strategic Business Lead: Ngaio Pardon
BBH Strategy Director: Agathe Guerrier
BBH Strategist: Lynsey Atkin
BBH Team Manager: Jonny Price
BBH Team Assistant: Rishi Patel

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Tim Godsall
Executive Producer: Orlando Woods
Producer: Kwok Yau
Director of Photography: Daniel Bronks
    Editor: Bill Smedley
    Edit House: Work
Postproduction: The Mill
Sound Design: Sam Brock, Factory
Sound Mixing, Arrangement: Sam Brock, Sam Robson
Music: Library TBC 

    Media Agency: PHD

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    Shatner's back, bitches! Sure, Priceline killed off his iconic "Negotiator" character in a bus crash a year ago. But we all knew that creative shift had about as much chance of sticking as a bad toupee in the wind. Shats returned last summer in the surfing spot, and now he stars with The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco in this cute new spot from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. Check out his awesome "younger dude" look as he tools up to an isolated monastery in a sports car. That shaggy hair (so long in back), that snappy goatee (so long in front), that leather cap covering any deficiencies up top! Guy's over 80, but he really does look 20 years younger in the most gloriously goofy way imaginable. Shats drops off a young blonde girl and returns two decades later, after she's mastered the art of negotiating travel deals. Turns out she's his daughter. Cuoco, 27, says of the role, "I think there's a lot of overlap in our fans, who will appreciate seeing us together as a father and daughter team. And who wouldn't want to be William Shatner's daughter?" Damn straight! I'm a dude, and I'd jump at the chance. Bill and Kaley have decent chemistry, and I can definitely picture them at family reunions, over-emoting and deep frying turkeys. The commercial begs a question. If Shats is her father, who exactly is her "Moooooooom!?"

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    During the season premiere of IFC’s Portlandia on Jan. 4, viewers may have been taken aback by a Geico ad—dubbed “Piglandia”—that looked a lot like the show while also spoofing one of the comedy program’s classic sketches.

    The 30-second spot features Geico’s Maxwell the Pig mascot and references the show’s two-year-old “Is It Local?” skit that mocked the Pacific Northwest city's farm-to-table restaurant craze. The commercial opened with the signature slanted font that begins every Portlandia skit, taking place at the same Farmer’s Table eatery that appeared in the original episode. (Call it humorous or simply curious, but it's probably worth noting for fans of the show that the restaurant is actually located in Portland, Maine, not Portlandia's home of Portland, Ore.)

    During the Geico spot, Maxwell was nonplussed by Farmer's Table special of the day—pickled garlic pork loin. Appearing with the fictional pig was actress Dana Millican, who played a waitress just like she did in the “Is It Local?” original.

    The ad is running during all 10 episodes of Portlandia, which stars comic Fred Armisen and musician-turned-actress Carrie Brownstein. Horizon Media, The Martin Agency, Geico and IFC collaborated on the project. It’s not the first time the insurance giant has tailored a spot specifically for a cable program, enlisting the Geico Caveman in an ad with History's Hatfields & McCoys characters last year.

    When it comes to “Piglandia,” a Horizon rep said, “the goal was simply to stand out in a cluttered insurance marketplace and create something that people could relate to and find entertaining.”

    Yeah, but is it local?


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