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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    A new kind of creative energy powers Arnold Worldwide's latest ads for SolarCity.

    For the time being, the agency has pulled the plug on its bizarre campaign starring bird-faced Egyptian sun god Ra in favor of a visually lovely, more mature approach to promoting alternative energy. 

    Three half-minute spots use distinctive, appealing stop-motion to explain "How Power Gets to You"—that is, "traditional" power, portrayed as less appealing than solar. Rapid-fire voiceovers and busy animation accentuate the convoluted, often redundant processes associated with coal, gas and oil. But in the end, the pace slows, with panels installed on rooftops warmed by the sun. This, we're told, is a simpler, more direct and—naturally—better means of powering our daily lives.

    "We're selling solar, so we liked the idea of telling the story using natural materials," Sean McBride, Arnold executive creative director, tells Adweek. "And we're also telling the story of a fossil fuel process that's very complicated—so, to us, using intricate detail made sense. We looked at a bunch of animation styles before landing on cut-paper stop motion."

    In the clip below, note the bright, whimsical quality of the dragonfly and its prehistoric world, which is contrasted with the constantly coughing coal miners who toil in their grim preparation plant:

    "The coal mine explosion scene took about nine hours to shoot, even though it only lasts a few seconds," says McBride. "The characters and scenes were designed digitally before being carefully made, by hand, by dozens of artists. There are a few things we added in CG—stars, some soot—but the vast majority of what you see is made of paper."

    Next comes a tutorial on natural gas. Highlights include starry spirals of plankton and algae, and one nasty-looking drill boring through rock past fossil remains:

    Lastly, we take a night ride with assorted cars and tanker trucks on a busy highway, and visit an oil refinery, where a chef de cuisine helps out in a high-tech lab:

    For the first few seconds, the ads seem to favor fossil fuels, but that's exactly the effect the agency had in mind. "I personally like the idea that a viewer might start out assuming these films are about one thing, only to think something very different 30 seconds later," says McBride. "We've all grown up thinking fossil fuels are the most normal thing in the world. But when you look at these processes with fresh eyes, you see that fossil fuels are anything but normal."

    The campaign attempts to reframe the energy debate, avoiding familiar themes such as "clean vs. dirty" and "cost vs. savings." Yet saving money and reducing pollution seem like awfully strong selling points, and one wonders if this work—for all its artistry—packs enough wattage to make lightbulbs snap on above viewer's heads. 

    "The folks who were or are going to be swayed by warnings about global warming have, frankly, already switched to solar," says McBride. "This is about finding a new way to get people to reconsider a familiar issue; finding a new way in."


    Directors: Becho Lo Bianco, Mariano Bergara
    CD: Antonio Balseiro

    Agency: Arnold Worldwide
    Jim Elliott, Global Chief Creative Officer
    Sean McBride, EVP Exec Creative Director
    Pete Valle, Sr. Copywriter
    Sam Mullins, Assoc. Creative Director (Art)

    Phoebe Cole, Broadcast Producer
    Hillary O'Rourke, Assistant Producer
    Lisa Mercier, VP Sr. Broadcast Business Affairs Manager
    Kate Swanson, Broadcast Business Affairs Manager

    Elliott Seaborn, Managing Director
    Vallerie Bettini, SVP Marketing Director

    Production Company: 1stAveMachine
    EP/Partner: Sam Penfield
    EP: Melinda Nugent
    HOP: Melissa Mamane
    Associate Producer: Christina Jang
    Line Producer: Enrique Salcedo
    Sr. Post Producer: Malu Rodriguez

    Production Partner: Tronco
    EP: Lautaro Brunatti
    EP: Paula Moura
    CanCan EP: Anuk Torre Obeid
    Line Producer: Rocio Furmento
    CanCan Production Coordinator: Daniela Iwaniuk
    Art Director: Francisco Rossi
    DOP: Juan Maglione
    Post EP: Julieta Fernandez
    Post Line Producer: Mechi Serrano
    Post Coordinator: Florencia Bardas
    Post Coordinator Assistant: Luciano Blanco
    VFX Supervisor: Sergio Pickelny
    3D Leads: Martin Lapettina & Alejandro Turano
    AP: Amelie LeBlanc

    Record & Mix: Soundtrack Boston
    Producer: Hillary Rider
    Audio Engineer: Mike Secher

    Music: Egg Music
    EP: Eric Fawcett
    CD: John Hermanson

    Client: SolarCity
    Lyndon Rive, CEO
    Peter Rive, CTO
    Hayes Barnard, CRO
    Jonathan Beamer, CMO
    Chris Scott, VP Performance Marketing 

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    Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo has had an interesting art piece hanging in its lobby since opening in 2008. It started out as a completely white canvas, and over the years the agency encouraged visitors to draw and paint on it.

    In the seven years since then, the piece grew into a beautiful work of communal art, as everyone from "celebrities to a future prime minister to hall of fame ad legends and new clients" added their own artistic touches, the agency says.

    In fact, the only employee who hadn't touched it was founder and chief creative officer Zak Mroueh. Until now. And Mroueh's contribution was pretty shocking: He recently painted the whole damn thing white again.

    The artwork isn't completely lost. The agency filmed most of the additions to the painting over those seven years, and has now taken the footage and made a cool stop-motion video. Check it out here:

    The point, as you can see, was to embrace a new blank canvas on the occasion of the agency's 7th birthday. That couldn't have been easy to do. But as Mroueh tells AdFreak, while change is hard, it's also necessarily for creative businesses to thrive.

    There's "so much history for me personally in that painting," he says. "It was tough for me to paint over all that history since Zulu's inception, including my kids' contribution. But we always tell clients to do things that make them feel uncomfortable."

    The film itself is now projected on the canvas in the lobby. Thus, one work of art has given way to another.

    "With so many exciting changes happening at Zulu, it felt like the right time for us to start a new chapter," Mroueh says. "The best part is that you can see the history of the last seven years every time you walk through the doors in the video. It's a reminder of where we've been but also where we're going."

    Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo    
    Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
    Art Director: Zak Mroueh
    Writer:  Zak Mroueh
    Agency Producer: Ola Stodulska
    Account: Laura Robinson
    Typography: Sherry Dubeau, Omar Morson
    Production House: zulubot
    Director: Zak Mroueh
    Video Post Facility / Editing Company: zulubot
    Editor: Mike Headford, Jay Baker, Richard Thirumaran, Adams Brandejs

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    "Dinosaur sex, dinosaur sex/You make me feel like a Tyrannosaurus Rex." Forgotten U.K. post-punk band Family Fodder sang those lines way back in 1981, and now they've come to full and terrifying CGI life thanks to Japanese condom brand Okamoto. 

    Get ready for some Jurassic porking as two T-Rexes go at it, dino-style. The startled female Rex's reaction tells us this giant lizard did not use prehistoric prophylactics. 

    According to Tokyo news site Kai-You, the brand polled 400 men and women only to discover that most had never seen a condom ad before. To appeal to young audiences, Okamoto enlisted CGI artist Kota Morie—who animated the dinosaurs in programs produced by Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK—to bring the "copulation of dinosaur" to life.

    (You may recall the North American wing of Okamoto released a very different sort of light-hearted, soft-focus campaign over the summer by Cleveland agency Marcus Thomas.)

    For the record, paleontologists know very little about dinosaurs' genitalia or their sexual habits. But here's a link to the full Okamoto project if you want to know more with a little help from Google Translate. 

    Our proposed tagline: "With Okamoto, you can last until the Cretaceous Period," unlike our scaly, overeager friend in the spot above. 

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    The climate in which kids are growing up is changing dramatically, but schools remain some of the toughest environments to endure when you're marked as different. Thankfully, there's more support now than ever from adults and community members with authority. 

    New posters have gone up in Toronto District School Board schools, which include 76,000 middle school and high school students. Launched by LGBTQ advocacy group Toronto Pflag, the posters depict a rainbow that spells out the LGBTQ acronym: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Straight, Queer and 2-Spirited. 

    When students use the flash on their camera phones to take a picture of the poster, the words are suddenly accompanied by nouns that illustrate LGBTQ folks are people they know, respect and love:

    "We wanted to send a positive message to students that we are all more than just our gender identity and sexual orientation," says Toronto Pflag president Anne Creighton. "Our mission is to get students talking about these things, so the novel and shareable nature of this poster was a perfect fit for our message."

    The poster was designed by J. Walter Thompson Canada, which developed a special printing technique especially for the campaign.

    "By taking a traditional medium like print and adding an interactive component that's triggered by students' phones, our message has a greater likelihood of being shared," says executive creative director Ryan Spelliscy. "School hallways are a busy place, so trying to compete with everything else on the walls is a challenge." 

    (They aren't the first ads to make use of camera flashes, however. Wunderman made some interesting posters last year for doctors offices and day care centers—if you flashed a picture of those ads, the resulting image showed what a child's eye looks like with the eye cancer retinoblastoma, and thus taught parents how to recognize the symptoms.) 

    In the case of the JWT campaign, it's hard for young people to go on ostracizing a group if it's being validated by the wider community. The work also brings to mind a recent effort by one mother to both celebrate her young son's coming-out, and protest the defeat of anti-gender discrimination legislation in Texas.

    And while we can applaud these efforts today, the hope is that in the next handful of years they won't even be necessary—though sadly, that'll probably only happen when kids have something else to make fun of, like peers who haven't been genetically modified. 

    Check out more photos below. 

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    None of the cars in VML's new campaign for NAPA Auto Parts is your father's Oldsmobile. You will, however, find Granny's clunky Toyota among them.

    Three, um, shall we say "lovingly used" vehicles appear in a series of minute-long "Old Car Commercials" breaking today across YouTube, Facebook and other digital channels. NAPA scoured actual onlineclassifiedads to find the cars, which really are for sale by their owners. Clearly, these ol' timers have seen better days. Much better days. But with a little care—well, lots of care, actually, along with NAPA parts and knowhow, of course—they can still be highway stars.

    Sharp writing pokes fun at new-car commercial clichés. First up is "Grandma's Car," a 1997 Toyota Avalon, which can be yours for $1,200. "Have you dreamed of a life of anonymity?" asks the voiceover. "Virtually disappearing into a landscape of beige? Then this hand-me-down special is for you. Described in a word, that word would be … car."

    "Grandma's car had two working headlights at the beginning of the shoot," VML executive creative director Aaron Evanson tells Adweek. "But as soon as the camera started to roll, one of the headlights went out. Then as soon as we wrapped, the headlight came back on again."

    Next up, also priced at $1,200, is a 1993 Isuzu pickup—aka, "The Tiny Beater." (Sounds kind of dirty. And the small truck does look soiled and tattered, truth be told.) "Behold, the last of a dying breed," our narrators intones. "Though some might scowl at the minor blemishes, to us they signify durability. And the ability to carry small-to-medium-size payloads. … All. Day. Long."

    "The chair from the truck isn't technically for sale, but we're open to offers," Evanson says. "It's currently sitting at my desk."

    Bringing up the rear, for $1,500, we have a "The Power Commuter," a once-proud Chevy Cavalier. "In 2002," we're told, "it was an economy car. But like a fine Detroit wine, this vehicle has aged to ... budgetary perfection." (And there's probably a fine Detroit whine blaring from that engine!)

    "All three spots were shot in what amounted to a glorious, gasoline-and-coffee-fueled 17-hour shoot," says Evanson says. "A bald eagle flew overhead when we started shooting that morning. That's how we knew it was going to be a good day—no joke. America wanted us to make these spots."

    Throughout, inspired silliness drives home the brand message: NAPA can help older cars run longer and stronger.

    Of course, the parody approach isn't exactly innovative, but these spots are extremely well done. There's not a lemon in the bunch. As for the cars themselves, well, that's a another story.

    Client: NAPA Auto Parts
    Senior Vice President of Marketing: Gaylord Spencer
    Agency: VML
    Executive Creative Director:  Aaron Evanson
    Group Creative Director: James Holden
    Creative Director: Derek Anderson
    Writer: Derek Anderson
    Art Director: Matt McNary
    Art Director: Andrew Crane
    Senior Brand Planner: Jeremy Franklin
    Senior Channel Manager (Social): Chelsie McCullough
    Group Director, Client Engagement: Susan Clements
    Supervisor, Client Engagement: Laura Picicci
    Producer: Megan Thompson
    Business Affairs: Julie Kolton
    Director: Reid Bangert
    Production Company: North Pass Media
    Audio: Evolution Audio
    Editor: Matt Blume
    Colorist: Taylre Jones
    Senior Producer: Melissa Willis 
    Media Agency: Spark

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    Imagine peppy 19th and early 20th century ads for over-the-counter drug products containing cocaine and heroin, rewritten with today's medical knowledge. DrugAbuse.com, a resource for addiction treatment, did just that, updating 10 vintage ads for casual use of narcotics to include less blind enthusiasm and more science.

    See the full gallery here.

    There are ads for cocaine drops, and cocaine tablets, and cocaine wine. Or maybe you'd prefer some "glyco-heroin" (peddled by an earlier iteration of GlaxoSmithKline), or some benzedrine sulfate—aka, speed. Most terrifying is probably Stickney & Poor's Paregoric, a potent mixture of alcohol and opium designed to quiet fussy babies. Dosage recommendations are five drops for a 5-day-old, eight for a 2-week-old, and 25 for a 5-year-old. (Adults can cut loose and have a full teaspoon.)

    Other historical highlights include an early poster for Coca-Cola, signed by the soda's inventor, John Pemberton. Back in the late 1800s, the drink still included cocaine. The ad bills the product as "a cure for all nervous affections—sick headache, neuralgia, hysteria, melancholia, etc," while also assuring readers that "the peculiar flavor of Coca-Cola delights every palate." (Of course, Coke still cures nervous affections, as seen in the "Under Pressure" spot from the new "Taste the Feeling" campaign.)

    The overall idea to rewrite the posters, meanwhile, is brilliant, even if the executions are uneven. One stronger example, for a cocaine toothache remedy, makes up for its lack of pithiness with an excellent use of an exclamation point—"Instantaneous Ingestion of Strong Central Nervous System Stimulant That Slowly Rewires Your Brains Reward System!"

    Another standout offers a more informed perspective on Dr. Miles Nervine's liquid tonic, in which the active ingredient was bromide, a highly toxic compound made from saltwater. "Try Literally Any Other Method of Relaxation… If you have never used Dr. Miles Nervine, don't start now. If you have, dump your supply and find other ways to cope with life that aren't neurologically damaging."

    Some of them miss their opportunity to drive home the emotional aspect of their message, opting instead for the kinds of dense rational arguments more likely to roll off a perpetually distracted audience. Take Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup, another opiate marketed to mothers to calm their children. The updated version recasts it as "The mother's dangerous friend for depressing the respiratory systems of teething children." That may be technically accurate, but it's perhaps not effective as pointing out another, more pointed truth—"for killing teething children."

    Then again, the goal is probably more to inform (and entertain) than to incite panic. And the site's most sobering argument comes in the postscript to its project—pointing out that even today, the line between pharmaceutical use and casual or recreational drug abuse is not as clear cut as it might seem at first glance.

    "Despite some of the legitimate medicinal applications that many of these drugs had, none of them—with their potential for addiction and increasingly harmful health effects—should have been promoted casually to unsuspecting consumers," write the authors. "The marketing of a pharmaceutical heroin product for children, for one, seems shocking, but highlights an industry naive to the long-term consequences of these substances and their potential for abuse."

    They add: "At this point in time, we should know better. Still, some of the same mistakes are being made. Prescriptions continue to be written for medicines—many in the same classes of drugs as the ones examined here—with seemingly overlooked regard for the potential downsides of taking them. Being a prescription drug doesn't necessarily imply safety. The phenomena of tolerance, painful withdrawal syndromes, chemical dependency, the development of compulsive drug seeking and drug using behavior all are part of a growing number of substance use disorder diagnoses—and, all are issues that we, as a nation, are impacted with with as we struggle to control a growing prescription drug abuse problem."

    Or, to put it another way, every era has to reconcile with the nexus where its preferred flavor of narcotic behavior meets the human propensity for mercenary opportunism. Just look at the 1970s.

    0 0

    The Y shines a spotlight on America's forgotten communities, and how important the nonprofit's youth development work can be to their social fabric, in its first-ever national ad campaign, breaking today from Droga5. 

    Two new 60-second spots have a cinematic feel yet are grounded in their approach as they explore the landscapes and characters of such communities, featuring actual residents—no actors—to achieve an authentic depiction. 

    The spots, "Places" and "Idle Hands," tackle separate issues.

    "Places" looks at underserved neighborhoods in America and how the the Y (which adopted its nickname, short for YMCA, as an official moniker during a 2010 rebrand) is there on the ground every day, offering safe spaces, mentorship, healthy meals, education and more.

    "Idle Hands," meanwhile, offers snapshots of the young people in these neighborhoods, and how the Y helps them channel their energies into something safe and constructive instead of falling into bad habits.

    The ads end with a new tagline, "For a better us," and a call for donations at the YMCA.net/Give. Check out both ads here: 

    Donna M. Bembenek, vp of marketing communications for the Y, tells Adweek that the commercials might be considered gritty and not be what most people would expect from the Y, but that's by design.

    "These are real issues, fears and conditions Americans face, which the Y works to mitigate on a daily basis," she says. "We hope that these ads create a national conversation that helps to educate the public and changes perceptions of the Y. We want the public to see the Y in a new way: a leading charity addressing pressing social issues in communities nationwide—a charity worthy of donations and support. This is who we've been for more than 160 years, and our new campaign is designed to help more people understand that."

    "It was important to make the work real and not so sanitized," adds Droga5 executive creative director Kevin Brady. "This approach not only shows the true problems as they are but also cuts through the clutter on television and helps people feel the importance of these issues. You don't tend to give money when everything is perfect, you give it when there is a true, urgent need, and the Y is addressing those needs every day of the week."

    Droga5 and Park Pictures director Seb Edwards shot the "Places" commercial entirely in West Baltimore and the "Idle Hands" spot mostly in Dundalk, Md., a suburb of Baltimore.

    "A large part of the creative concept behind these spots is to recognize that mainstream media often does not focus on the positive aspects of communities similar to those shown in the ads," Brady says. "Both spots feature real people who live in and around the respective communities. Nobody is an actor. Most of the casting was done off the street—meeting people, getting to know them, meeting their friends, etc. 

    "We did hours of interviews during the shoot to get a sense of how people felt about where they live, what they wished was better, and what they thought the solutions could be. It was important for us to maintain a high level of authenticity when portraying the communities in the spots. We didn't want to recreate these needs; we wanted to document them in a poetic way."

    The opening of the "Places" spot is particularly evocative, as an aerial shot combines with a voiceover to communicate that some neighborhoods are all but invisible to the outside world—when in fact, as the spot later shows, they are vibrant and full of potential. 

    "When we start with a shot from above, the audience hears the voiceover speak from the point of view of a resident from that community, saying, 'I'm here, can you see me? Because sometimes it feels like I'm invisible, that this whole place is invisible,' " says Brady.

    "This on-the-ground narrative reminds the viewer that many similar communities are only known from afar and from the outside, like footage captured from a news helicopter. But the voiceover messaging goes on to remind the viewer that the people who live in these communities may be forgotten or misunderstood from the outside, but such communities are really full of optimism and potential, which is what the Y looks to strengthen and nurture every day."

    Edwards had enormous passion for the project, Brady adds.

    "He understood the issues and had a relentless desire to really get deep into these stories," Brady says. "He spent an incredible amount of time in West Baltimore and really got to know the kids and their issues and their community. And from a filmic standpoint, he really connected with the work and helped us tell the stories in a new and fresh way."

    The tagline, "For a better us," is both functional and aspirational, Bembenek says.

    "We really wanted a line that mostly communicated this higher calling of the Y—the part of the Y that really works to help address real problems in our country," she says. "But the additional utility of the line is that it also addresses each aspect of what the Y does. 'For a better us' can refer to a better community, a better country or even a better us on a more personal or healthy level. It was really multifaceted, positive and hopeful."

    Client: The Y
    President, Chief Executive Officer: Kevin Washington
    Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy/Advancement Officer: Kate Coleman
    Vice President, Marketing Communications: Donna Bembenek:
    Senior Director External Relations: Ryu Mizuno

    Campaign: "For a Better Us"
    Titles: "Places"
    "Idle Hands"
    Launch Date: 1/25/2015

    Agency: Droga5
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
    Creative Directors: Casey Rand, Karen Land Short
    Copywriter: Lincoln Boehm
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Senior Producer: Jennifer McKenzie
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland
    Strategy Director: Elaine Purcell
    Group Communications Strategy Director: Duncan Owen
    Senior Data Strategist: Eric Raicovich
    Group Account Director: Matt Ahumada
    Account Director: Amanda Chandler
    Account Manager: Sara Fletcher
    Project Manager: Rayna Lucier

    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Seb Edwards
    Executive Producers: Mary Ann Marino, Jackie Kelman Bisbee
    Producer: Martha English

    Editing: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Ted Guard:
    Assistant Editor: JK Carrington
    Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
    Producer: Lisa Barnable

    Postproduction: The Mill
    Producer: Mile Pullan
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    Flame Artist: Kieran Hanrahan:

    Music: Minibal
    Benjamin Balcom

    Sound: Hear City
    Audio Engineer: Keith Reynaud

    0 0

    Diet Dr Pepper's fabulously dressed miniature singing mascot is back for a second round of commercials ... and they're still pretty sweet. 

    Justin Guarini, best known as the runner-up in the first season of American Idol, plays Lil' Sweet in the campaign from Deutsch, which launched with two ads last year. In the previous work, the character (who dresses extravagantly and riffs about his own actions in falsetto) rescued people craving sweets but not calories.

    Now, he's rewarding men who do their chores. 

    The newest spot, "Laundry," launched Sunday during the Broncos-Patriots AFC Championship Game. In it, a woman praises her husband's folding skills when Guarini, decked out in silver lamé with hair and a scarf somewhere on the magenta spectrum, pops out of the dryer to deliver a can of soda and a load of delicates (he's apparently also having an affair with the wife). 

    A second ad, "Playhouse," aired earlier this month and stars a father assembling his daughter's bright pink playhouse. When Guarini pops out of the child-sized door in a cloud of pink smoke, the little girl has exactly the right response (she is possibly the only sane person in the campaign so far). 

    The idea is absurd enough to entertain, and nicely serves the tagline "The Sweet One," though what that actually means is less clear—probably something along the lines of "Better than other diet sodas."

    Despite what seems like a pretty obvious Prince influence, Guarini contends the character is a general glam rocker who is not based on any single figure. Deustch also denies he's based on Prince. (Nobody is confusing him for Ziggy Stardust, though ... and some commenters seem to think it actually is The Purple One.)

    Still, if the approach manages to feel fresh, that's because it's so far over the top that it reads as parody. The brand probably can't count on appearing on one of the pop god's album covers, however.

    There's also a less obvious and more contemporary resemblance. In two of the spots—"Self Employed" from 2015, and the new "Playhouse" ad—Lil' Sweet announces his entrance by singing his name on a two-note melodic sequence that's a dead ringer for the titular vocal hook from Maroon 5's "Sugar," released in January 2015, just before the Diet Dr Pepper campaign's launch in February.

    Coincidence? We think not. But we're assuming Maroon 5 vetoed "Aspartame" because it just didn't have the same ring to it.  

    Client: Dr Pepper Snapple Group/Diet Dr Pepper
    Jim Trebilcock – Chief Marketing Officer
    Jaxie Alt – SVP, Director of Marketing
    Derek Dabrowsk – Director – Dr Pepper
    Scott Smith – Brand Manager – Diet Dr Pepper
    Michael Johnson – Associate Brand Manager, Diet Dr Pepper
    Shaun Nichols – VP, Integrated Content
    Sharon Leath – Director, Integrated Content
    Amanda Breaux – Manager, Integrated Content:

    Agency: Deutsch
    Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
    Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig
    Creative Director: Ryan Lehr
    Creative Director: Erick Mangali
    Senior Art Director: Chris Adams
    Senior Copywriter: Ross Cavin
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Executive Integrated Producer: Megan Meloth
    Senior Integrated Producer: Lauren May:
    Account Management Credits:
    Group Account Director: Adam Graves
    Account Director: Helen Murray
    Account Supervisor: Kyle Webster
    Senior Account Executive: Kate DeMallie
    Account Coordinator: Alex Neiman:

    Account Planning:
    Group Planning Director: Mitch Polatin
    Associate Planning Director: Jessica Friedman
    Account Planner: Sabena Suri: 

    Business Affairs/Traffic:
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Teri Donner:
    Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
    Broadcast Traffic/Talent Payment Coordinator: Terence Dowling:

    CEO, North America: Mike Sheldon
    President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

    Live Action Production Company: Tool of North America
    Director: Benji Weinstein
    Managing Director-Live Action / Executive Producer: Oliver Fuselier
    Executive Producer: Lori Stonebraker
    Line Producer: Jason Manz

    Editorial Company: Cut + Run
    Editor: Frank Effron
    Assistant Editor: Connie Chuang
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
    Head of Production: Amburr Farls
    Producer: Annabelle Dunbar-Whittaker

    Post/VFX: Method
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens
    VFX Producer: Jennie Burnett Fischer
    On Set VFX Supervisor: Vernon WIlbert
    Lead Flame Artist: Noah Caddis
    Lead Flame Artist: Matt Welch
    Flame Artist: Sean Wilson
    Roto/Paint Artists: Stephanie Sweeney
    Crystle Schrecengost
    Pam Gonzales
    Kenneth Lui
    YunMi Ahn

    Color: CO3
    Colorist: Siggy Ferstl
    Senior Color Producer: Matt Moran

    Composed Music, Credits and Track Info: Stock music licensed from Music Beyond

    Sound Design/Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
    Sound Designer/Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
    Assistant: Peter Lapinski
    Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

    Shoot Location: Pasadena and Van Nuys, CA (Nov. 9-13, 2015)

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    U.S. Bank's new campaign from Carmichael Lynch leaves a lot to the imagination.

    For example, in "New House," a young couple tour their dream home ... which hasn't been built yet. Most of the story takes place in an expansive field. At one point, when the woman "hangs up" her jacket, it simply floats, completely unsupported, since there aren't any hooks to hold it—or even walls. Later, when she and her partner check out the second level, they appear to be walking on air: There are no stairs to climb or floors to stand on. 

    Every interaction in the house takes place in their imaginations until the final seconds, when the dwelling materializes around them. "The difference between possible and impossible," the voiceover says, is "a person who believes they can—surrounded and supported by others, by us, who believe it too." 

    The campaign breaks today and introduces the tagline "The Power of Possible."

    A second commercial, "Restaurant," follows two business partners exploring a dusty, dilapidated industrial space, dreaming of what might be one day. An oily covering for battered machinery becomes a tablecloth, conforming to the shape of an invisible table. When one partner pantomimes lighting a candle, a bright flame flickers before her eyes. Later, as she "cooks," fire flares from an imaginary skillet.

    At the end, the place transforms into a hot spot, packed with patrons savoring their meals.

    The work conveys U.S. Bank's willingness "to support people early on, when they're wondering and planning and hoping to do something," Marty Senn, CL's chief creative officer, tells AdFreak. "You're usually there—doing business with a bank—because of something that's very personal and important to you, but a lot of that's missing from work in the category." 

    Naturally, the unusual creative approach presented some challenges.

    "It was really important to us, and to [MJZ director] Nicolai Fuglsig, that it never felt like a dance or mime," Senn says. Rather, the audience had to believe that "these people were really moving through their ideal spaces—but we, as viewers, just couldn't see it yet."

    To achieve that effect, the scenes were shot in actual house and restaurant sets, giving the actors physical objects for interaction. Later, those objects—doorknobs, stairs, wall-hooks, candles, skillets—were painstakingly removed, and the footage synced up with the outdoor and industrial-space environments.

    This was done because pure pantomime is much tougher than it looks. For example, when actors pretend to reach for doorknobs, "they dip down rather than keeping it on a level plane," says Senn.

    For the client, green-lighting such novel ads "was definitely a leap of faith, but one they wanted and were asking to make," Senn adds. "They were as excited as we were to be looking at scripts that didn't feel like bank scripts." 

    Ultimately, the finished product is quite compelling, and it might just inspire viewers to connect with U.S. Bank and explore some possibilities in their own lives.

    Client: U.S. Bank
    Agency: Carmichael Lynch
    Chief Creative Officer: Marty Senn
    Associate Creative Director: Puja Shah
    Senior Writer: Ryan Falch
    Head of Production: Joe Grundhoefer
    Executive Content Producer: Freddie Richards
    Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs
    Managing Director: Kim Bock
    Account Director: Sarah Larsen
    Account Supervisor: Mackenzie Kauffman
    Senior Project Manager: Shannon Gabrick

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
    President: David Zander
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Producer: Karen O'Brien
    Director of Photography: Hoyte Van Hoytema
    Production Designer: Christopher Glass

    Edit House: Rock Paper Scissors NY
    Editor: Mikkel EG Nielsen
    Assistant Editor: Alex Liu
    Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
    Producer: Lisa Barnable

    VFX House: Method
    Executive Producer: Stephanie Gilgar
    Producer: Julie Osborn
    VFX Supervisor: Olivier Dumont
    CG Supervisor: Pouyan Navid
    Comp Superviser: Brian Delmonico

    Telecine: CO3
    Audio Mix: SisterBoss
    Sound Design: Robot Repair/ SisterBoss

    Music Company: Robot Repair

    Voiceover Talent: Reid Scott (Announcer)

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    Pokémon has become the first brand to unveil a full 2016 Super Bowl commercial, rolling out an extended version of its 20th anniversary spot that will run in a 30-second version on the Feb. 7 telecast.

    Ad agency Omelet in Los Angeles created the ad, which was shot in Rio de Janeiro and explores the idea of training. (The owners of Pokémon video games and trading cards are considered "trainers," preparing Pokémon creatures for battle.) As previously reported, the spot—full of hidden Pokémon references—carries the tagline, "Train On."

    The spot takes its visual cues largely from sports advertising. It has a Nike feel to it—until the final moments, when it becomes clear our young hero is waging much more fantastical kinds of battles. (Bonus points for excellent use of Pikachu in a scene toward the end.)

    "For 20 years, the Pokémon world has inspired fans to train hard and have fun," J.C. Smith, senior director of consumer marketing at The Pokémon Company International, said in a statement. "This ad is reflective of that passion, and I can't think of a bigger stage to share this story than the Super Bowl."

    The 30-second version will run near the beginning of the third quarter of Super Bowl 50.

    Releasing Super Bowl ads early and in extended versions has become a popular strategy in recent years, ever since the 60-second version of Volkswagen's "The Force" went viral in the week leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl. (That ad also aired as a :30 on the game itself.)

    Pokémon has gone a step further by striking a deal with CBS to have its new spot included—along with a behind-the-scenes look at its making—on a Feb. 2 special called Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials. (This ad doesn't deserve that qualifier, which makes its placement there even more of a coup.) 

    The ad is part of a yearlong campaign celebrating 20 years of Pokémon, in which time it has sold some 275 million video games and 21.5 billion TCG cards worldwide, and created an animated series spanning 18 seasons. More information about the anniversary can be found at Pokemon.com/20. 

    • 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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    Breasts and supermarket produce go well together in advertising lately.

    A few month ago, we saw melons in a grocery store made up to look like breasts for a breast cancer awareness campaign. Now, we've got the opposite—produce-style freshness stickers that new moms can attach to their boobs as part of a pro-breastfeeding campaign. 

    BooneOakley in Charlotte, N.C., agency created the campaign, and is handing out the stickers—as well as related wall posters—free of charge to all "baby-friendly" hospitals. (Women and Babies Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., is the first to accept them.) Along with giving info about the health benefits of breastfeeding, the stickers also have a practical purpose—nursing moms can place them on one breast at a time to remind them which breast to feed their baby from next.

    The stickers carry a "100% natural" claim, along with the line, "The best nutrition for your baby is you." They come in three colors, with three different health messages—claiming that breastfeeding reduces a baby's risk of obesity by 24 percent, of SIDS by 36 percent, and of asthma by 26 percent. 

    You can see the posters below, each of which shows one large photo of a woman's breast with a sticker attached. There is no other copy. In casting the ads, the agency looked for non-professional models who were either pregnant or nursing. Anatomically, the goal was to show varied, full and real-looking (not "perfect") breasts. 

    We're obliged to tell you the posters are NSFW, but the agency says they're plenty safe for hospitals. "We're so used to breasts being sexualized. But to a newborn, it's nutrition. You don't censor fruits and vegetables, do you?" copywriter Mary Gross tells us.

    Actually, BooneOakley did censor the campaign twice—during the developmental stages. While creating the work, they had a "breast wall" at the agency covered with about 100 photos. The entire wall had to be taken down twice for client visits. 

    The campaign was an internal project, with no client involved. Gross and her art director partner Kara Noble, neither of whom have kids, were talking with a BooneOakley account woman who is a new mom—and who confided how difficult breastfeeding can be, not so much socially but physically. The campaign is meant to provide encouragement to such moms by outlining the health benefits, to the baby, of persevering. 

    "And," Gross adds, "Kara and I both have breasts."

    Agency: BooneOakley
    Creative Directors: David Oakley, Jim Mountjoy
    Art Director: Kara Noble
    Copywriter: Mary Gross
    Design Director: Eric Roch von Rochsburg
    Photographer: Greg Slater, Atlanta
    Casting Director: Kimberly Fulton

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    As the preferred social platform for griping about #firstworldproblems, Twitter is the next logical destination for DirecTV's "Settlers" campaign, which is all about accepting a less-than-perfect life (where, among other indignities, you have cable instead of DirecTV).

    And indeed, the "Settlers" patriarch from the TV commercials has begun interacting with various celebrities in planned (and paid) bits of banter, wherein the celeb mentions something irritating in his or her life and Jebediah replies with asinine advice.

    Check out some of the interactions below:

    The method of disclosure that these were paid interactions is interesting in each case. Adam DeVine bluntly put a #sponsored hashtag in his initial tweet, which might have confused some of his 700,000 followers who wouldn't have known in what sense it was sponsored (though they didn't seem too perturbed).

    Jamie Foxx and Jason Biggs, meanwhile, quote-tweeted Jebediah with an #ad hashtag in a subsequent interaction.

    This kind of invented banter can generally be dicey—it can seem sneakier than a more traditional endorsement. But these three cases seem to have been received in the humor in which they were intended, judging by the handful of consumer engagements with them.

    Grey and BigEyedWish coordinated the Twitter work. And Grey also released a new spot in the campaign today, titled "Privacy," which you can see below. 

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    She's America's original sweetheart. But when she's hungry, Marilyn Monroe takes a turn for the worse. That's according to Snickers' new Super Bowl ad teaser, in which she reprises her iconic "Happy Birthday" serenade—to celebrate the Super Bowl's 50th birthday—but with quite the husky vocal. 

    Check out the teaser here: 

    "Since we're kicking-off the '50' celebration of one of the world's most iconic events, it seemed only fitting to cast Marilyn Monroe, a Hollywood icon with global appeal, to help us celebrate," says Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick. "But this is just a small glimpse of what America should expect from Snickers on Super Bowl Sunday. As always, the ad will feature a funny surprise that we're confident will satisfy fans hungry for a laugh."

    Snickers confirmed the Super Bowl spot continues the brand's "You're Not You When You're Hungry" positioning, which launched with the Betty White spot on the 2010 Super Bowl. The 30-second spot, from BBDO New York, will air in the first quarter of the Feb. 7 telecast.

    Last year's Super Bowl spot from Snickers, starring Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi in a Brady Bunch parody, was a big hit—and was named the second best ad of 2015 by Adweek.

    Monroe originally sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" for President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962—10 days before his 45th birthday. 

    • 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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    Kimmy Schmidt may be unbreakable. But hey, Ellie Kemper, give that retractable roof button a rest already! 

    The actress shifts her quirky-geek persona into high gear for a fun Buick campaign from DigitasLBi that introduces the General Motors nameplate's latest convertible, the Cascada, and also shows off some other models.

    First up is a three-minute film that finds Kemper fantasizing about what it might be like to serve as a spokeswoman for the brand. "I don't even have a deep gravelly voice," she says ... before practicing one that sounds like a cross between laryngitis and a belch: "B-uuu-ick!" 

    Ultimately, she becomes "the face of Buick mothers everywhere and their beautiful Buick families," packing an Enclave SUV with her flame-haired progeny and coining the tagline, "Buick: Eat your pancakes in luxury." 

    "Buick has an exciting new lineup, and the challenge brought to us was how to show it off," Steve Baker, associate creative director at DigitasLBi, tells Adweek. "We wanted to find a natural way to do that and thought a spokesperson was a perfect way to bring someone in and out of the vehicles, while exploring some great features. All we needed was a face." 

    Kemper was "the perfect fit," Baker adds, owing to the "smart, funny" comic chops she displayed as Erin on The Office and, more recently, as the star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. 

    Shorter spots focus on specific vehicle features. Below, Kemper has just too much fun popping the Cascada's top and letting the sunshine in:

    The goal is to "attract a younger audience that may associate the Buick brand to that of the past, not realizing the amazing car right in front of them may actually be a new Buick," says Molly Peck, the brand's director of marketing. 

    Peck hopes millennial viewers warm up to the vehicles in a big way, much as Kemper grooves on the Cascada's heated steering wheel in the ad below: 

    Finally, we learn that the Encore SUV also features a hand-warming wheel, though it's not as hot as Kemper's bespectacled gear-head co-star Gary, aka "You sweet piece of brainiac arm-candy":

    Kemper is in fine comic form throughout the series, and the brand benefits from her energy and charm. That said, could some viewers grow weary of her schtick and tune out the message? 

    "The thing about quirky-dorky is this: It's honest," Baker says. "And with honesty comes trust. That trust gets people nodding along [whether you're] exploring a vehicle and imaging what life could be like with you in it, or even imagining what your future family would look like. When you can relate to a brand in a human way, it helps change your perception. And that was exactly what we were trying to do."

    Client: Buick
    Agency: DigitasLBi
    Chief Creative Officer: Ronald Ng
    EVP, Managing Director: Robert Guay
    EVP, Executive Creative Director: Rob Rizzo
    SVP, Group Creative Director: Patrick McHugh
    VP, Group Creative Director: Mark Chamberlain
    Associate Creative Director: Steven Baker
    Senior Copywriter: Graham Shepherd
    VP, Executive Producer: Ben Raynes
    SVP, Group Account Director: Brian McCallum
    VP, Group Account Director: Yanlin Sun

    Production Company: Community Films
    Director: Seth Gordon

    Editorial Company: Cutters Studio
    Editor: Grant Gustafson

    Mix: Heard City

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    One agency is promising to quit one of advertising's worst habits—objectifying women.

    Manhattan-based Badger & Winters is making its case with a new video, titled "We Are #WomenNotObjects." The two-and-a-half-minute clip features women holding up extreme—but sadly common—examples of sexist ads, while offering dry critiques of what they literally convey.

    "I love giving blow jobs to sandwiches," says one woman, holding up Burger King's egregious hoagie fellatio image.

    But there's plenty of gratuitous skin to go around. Other offending ads include a version of the classic Emanuel Leutze painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware," re-imagined with bikini-clad women peddling a pickup truck. And Tom Ford rightfully earns a couple of scathing critiques, including one for his cologne—perhaps the ad's funniest line. 

    "The key to my heart? A man that smells like a vagina," says that takedown artist.

    After an additional string of porny punting, the ad drives its point home with a plea: "I am your mother, daughter, sister, co-worker, manager, CEO," reads the on-screen copy. "Don't talk to me that way."

    The work breathes new life into a familiar argument by presenting it in a fresh, humorous and clear way, and brings to mind an equally on-point parody of women in yogurt ads from 2013. The agency, which serves beauty and fashion brands like Avon and Vera Wang, is also pledging to avoid using the strategy, and will limit the airbrushing of women in its ads.

    CEO Madonna Badger is no stranger to using sex in advertising: She created Calvin Klein's ads featuring Marky Mark and Kate Moss, both topless, back in the '90s (an experience Moss later said triggered a nervous breakdown).

    Badger isn't letting herself off the hook. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she pleads guilty to her role in objectifying women, but describes the new campaign as an effort to shine a light on the issue—and its adverse effects—in honor of her three daughters, who all died under the age of 10, along with her parents, in a tragic Christmas Day fire in 2011. 

    The campaign's cause is an uphill battle; it's not news that the ad industry exploits sex appeal at the expense of women, but the general attitude is best described as a collective shrug. Some have argued that playing to animal desires just works, so why change course?

    There are other bright spots in the industry, though. Unilever's Dove, for its part, battles narrow conceptions of what constitutes beauty. And P&G's Always has tried liberating definitions of femininity from patriarchal stereotypes. Still, those efforts are aimed at moving product, and can—however unintentionally—risk seeming limiting or exploitative.

    But the industry might slowly be arcing toward improvement. Even Axe, after years of producing sexist advertising, is showing a softer, more nuanced side in its latest work. Then again, it still couldn't resist sneaking in that shot of a naked woman, mid-orgasm.

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    Despite some initial skepticism about whether it was the right move, financial services company Social Finance, or SoFi, is now all in on the Super Bowl.

    Part of a larger introductory campaign from creative shop Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer, one 30-second ad will appear during the game, with another running shortly before kickoff. The in-game spot looks to give consumers a taste of what exactly SoFi is and how it is different from traditional banking. 

    The humorous approach seeks to explain the company's unique business model in a lighthearted way. 

    "Not everyone qualifies for our products, so we didn't want to say, 'Hey everyone come in here and get a loan,'" said Joanne Bradford, chief operating officer of SoFi. 

    The 30-second spot, which will run in the first half of the Super Bowl, was shot by director Marc Forster who is known for films like Finding Neverland, Monster's Ball and Quantum of Solace. 

    With this campaign SoFi is looking to boost its brand awareness, though Bradford was initially leery of Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer's suggestion to go to the Super Bowl to do that. 

    "With [my] background in digital, I was like, that's so old school, why would we do that?" said Bradford. "In the end, I went and got proposals from many digital publishers and I went and added them all, and it didn't get you the reach, the excitement or the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the marketplace in a cost-effective way. No amount of homepage takeovers, no amount of native content, no amount of posting would bring you the reach and the impact that a Super Bowl ad would." 

    SoFi will also be running another spot shortly before the Super Bowl, leaning on consumers' distrust of traditional banking following 2008's financial crisis. The ad uses phrases like "Too big to fail," before the Big Game to get consumers curious about the company. 

    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.


    Client: SoFi
    Project: Great Loans for Great People

    Agency: MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER
    Executive Creative Directors: John Matejczyk, Jay Berry
    Associate Creative Directors: Adam Ledbury, Guy Lemberg
    Director of Strategy: Matt Hofherr
    Associate Strategy Director: Rachel Gold
    Designer: Bob Dinetz
    Head of Production: Michelle Spear Nicholson
    Senior Producer: Jona Goodman Suarez
    Producer: Megan Ubovich
    Account Director: Noel McKenzie-Johnson
    Account Supervisor: Veronika Luquin Campbell
    Director of Media: Eric Perko
    Media Strategist: Nadia Last

    Production / Tool
    Director: Marc Forster
    Director of Photography: Nicholas Loir
    Executive Producer: Robert Helphand
    Producer Lindsay Skutch

    Editorial / Arcade
    Editor: Kim Bica
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Post Producer: Adam Becht

    Senior Visual Effects Producer: James Alexander
    Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
    Visual Effects Supervisior: Michael Ralla
    Executive Creative Director: Aron Hjartarson

    Color / Frame Store:
    Senior Colorist: Beau Leon

    Record and Final Mix / Eleven
    Senior Engineer: Jeff Payne

    Music / Squeaky Clean
    Composer: Rob Barbato
    Executive Producer: Carol Dunn
    Music Producer: Chris Shaw

    Client: SoFi
    Project: This Is the Beginning of a Bankless World

    Executive Creative Directors:  John Matejczyk, Jay Berry
    Associate Creative Directors: Adam Ledbury, Guy Lemberg
    Creative Director: Todd Bois
    Designer: Bob Dinetz
    Head of Production: Michelle Spear Nicholson
    Senior Producer: Jona Goodman Suarez
    Producer: Megan Ubovich
    Account Director: Noel McKenzie-Johnson
    Account Supervisor: Veronika Luquin Campbell
    Director of Strategy: Matt Hofherr
    Associate Director of Strategy: Rachel Gold
    Director of Media: Eric Perko
    Media Strategist: Nadia Last

    Production / FURLINED
    Director: Douglas Avery
    Director of Photography: Max Goldman
    Head of Production: Sheila Eisenstein
    Senior Executive Producer: David Thorne
    Executive Producer: David Richards
    Producer Greg Haggart

    Editorial / WHITEHOUSE POST
    Editor: Brandon Porter
    Head of Production: Joanna Manning
    Post Producer: Jennifer Mersis

    Finishing / CARBON LA
    Executive Producer: Matthew McManus

    Color / COMPANY 3
    Senior Colorist: Dave Hussey

    Record and Final Mix / ONE UNION
    Senior Engineers: Eben Carr, Matt Zipkin

    Music / TRAVIS + MAUDE
    Executive Producer: Kala Sherman

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    Trump would date his daughter!

    Trump's son likes hunting!

    Trump says he could shoot a man and still win! 

    We're sick of seeing Trump in our Facebook feeds.

    Thankfully, we aren't alone: Louis Wittig, a copywriter at Grey, is in fact so sick of it that he's decided to launch his own attack campaign in the hope of turning a few Republicans around in one of the places where it counts: New Hampshire. 

    Wittig is raising money on Go Fund Me to run an anti-Trump ad in The Concord Monitor—which has a circulation of about 22,000—two days before the New Hampshire primary. 

    The strategy is also worth some props. Instead of calling Trump names or drawing attention to stupid things he says, Wittig is going for the jugular. "The people who might vote for Trump already know about his irreponsible statements, and that's kind of why they like him: He says things no one else will say, so he must not be a regular, wishy-washy Republican. So, calling him a bigot only plays to his strength as an outsider," Wittig says. 

    "But what will get a conservative voter to think twice is the fact that Trump is aaaanything but conservative: He really likes Democrats, Hillary Clinton and government handouts. So, the ads go after that." 

    Check the delightfully catty creative out below, along with our interview with Wittig. And if you've got five bucks hanging around that Starbucks hasn't siphoned up yet, now you have somewhere to put it—on the Go Fund Me page. (But also check out Wittig's website, People With Five Bucks Against Trump, for the hilarity and passive pinch of jealousy. Because while he was building that, what did you do today?)

    AdFreak: How many times a day do you see Trump in your newsfeed?
    Louis Wittig: It's been getting worse every day. It was about one or two a day a few weeks ago, but now it's like five or six. I've been trying to avoid Facebook as a result. But it seems like the harder I try to ignore Donald Trump, the more I see him.

    What Trump story was the last straw?
    It was the quote a couple days ago, I think, where he said something like, "I could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and I still wouldn't lose supporters." And what bothered me about that is that he was kinda right. Nothing seems to puncture this ever growing, ego-driven inflation of the Trump bubble. I was starting to lose sleep. So I had to do something, however ridiculous.

    Which inanimate object or small animal would make a better president? Please defend your choice.
    Oh wow. So many to choose from. I think a breath mint would definitely make a better president than Donald Trump. I've met five or six breath mints that have more coherent economic plans than Donald Trump.

    What makes Trump so scary to you?
    What's most annoying to me about Trump—I'm not so much scared of him as annoyed—is that he is so transparently manipulative. Everyone knows that he's going to say some completely insane thing to get attention. Everyone knows that's exactly what he's going to do. It's exactly what he's always done. Donald Trump saying ridiculous things is like the sun coming up in the east. And yet, every time, when he does it, we all act like he's done something that he's never done before.

    Please explain your attack strategy, and what other angles you plan to tackle.
    My strategy, such as it is, is just to tell people what Donald Trump has said and done in the past. The craziest thing about Trump running for the Republican nomination is that he's anything, anything but conservative. The man is the epitome of bad advertising: He'll say anything to get your attention, and assumes that his audience is stupid. I think most people know this. And I think if we remind them that The Donald stands for nothing, they'll listen.

    Why would Republicans or conservatives listen?
    People who might vote for Donald Trump aren't stupid. Like all voters, in all parties, they want to vote for someone who sees the world like they do, and who they trust. Donald Trump is neither. I think deep down, potential Trump voters know this. I just want to remind them.

    If he wins, and becomes the 45th president of the United States, what's your next move?
    Probably set a Guinness record for the world's longest continuous sigh.

    Anything I missed? Now's your time to shine. 
    Ah, my time to shine. Usually I mess those up. Uhhh ... I've seen thousands and thousands of posts and tweets and stories, on every social platform, about how awful Donald Trump is. And the angst is real. My thought was, if we all just put our money where our tweets are, we may not trip up Trump, but we'd at least feel better about the world for having done something. 

    Top photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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    If you like assembling Ikea furniture, you'll love coloring in Ikea coloring books.

    Ikea just released an adult coloring book sure to appeal to the fast-growing segment of adults who believe coloring is a great alternative to meditation. It makes a lot of sense, given the do-it-yourself ethos of the brand and the fact that Ikea already sells coloring fabric for kids to color themselves. 

    It's also a smart, simple way to capitalize on a new fad. Fun fact: Adult coloring books were some of Amazon's top sellers over the holiday season. Most include either adult subjects, adult level complexity, or mandalas for meditation, but there's only one that includes Ikea products arranged in pleasing mandala-like patterns. 

    It's perfect for doing with your spouse prior to venturing into the endless, neurosis-inducing maze that is Ikea. Print yours today and be on your way to meditative zen. Or get creative, do some coloring book corruptions, and send in your insane mods to #ColorWithIkea. (Though it seems the vast majority of people using the hashtag are mostly reporting it exists, not actually printing it out and using it.) 

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    Not many actors can boast a career spanning seven decades, but Abe Vigoda—who died Tuesday at age 94—was one of them. And his commercial career was just as long, beginning not long after the advent of TV advertising itself and continuing up through the Super Bowl just a few years ago.

    Check out a few of his notable ad appearances below.

    This first one is a Motorola sketch from the May 16, 1951, episode of the live TV show Four Star Revue. Motorola sponsored the show, and it's fun to see Jimmy Durante step out of character for a meta moment at the beginning. ("Folks," he says, "you and I have been good friends all year, but I've gotta be honest with you. This is a commercial.")

    Vigoda plays the cab driver, amusingly pitching the product when he should be driving.

    Here he is in a 1968 spot for the AMC Rebel hardtop automobile. This was still a few years before The Godfather made him famous.

    In this 1978 Fresca spot, Vigoda plays his character Detective Phil Fish from Barney Miller, which was then in the middle of its eight-season run. His low-key "Wow" is perfect.

    Flash-forward to 2002, when Vigoda appeared in an ad for the Yankees' YES Network, just months old at the time. The spot was made by DDB New York and directed by Hungry Man's Bryan Buckley. The script had called for an "Abe Vigoda-like" character, but the casting folks happened to know Vigoda's agent, and he took the job, Shoot magazine reported at the time.

    "It was weird because I grew up with Barney Miller, and you never imagine in your whole life that you will actually direct Abe Vigoda," Buckley said.

    In 2004, Vigoda starred with a smorgasbord of other celebs—Randy Johnson, Penn & Teller, Rachel Hunter, The Flaming Lips and more—in this Hewlett-Packard ad.

    Vigoda voiced the Grim Reaper in this 2009 Super Bowl commercial by Campbell Mithun for H&R Block—a sly nod to the rumors (accidentally started by People magazine in 1982, and which became something of a running joke) that he had died. 

    His final commercial was his most celebrated, as he co-starred with Betty White in this Snickers spot on the 2010 Super Bowl—launching BBDO New York's "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign, which continues today. 

    In 2012, White told Adweek that she had known Vigoda for years, but hadn't worked with him, before shooting the Snickers ad. "When they tackled him [in the spot], I was worried because it looked like a real hit," she said. "I was just glad that he was only acting." 

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    Looking for a cute little "Boutique Winter Igloo for 2" that you can rent on Airbnb for a few nights of chilly bliss? This one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, sounds awesome:

    "Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays the Snowpocalypse of 2016's most desirable getaway. Hand-crafted, and built using only natural elements—we're offering the experience of a lifetime in this chic dome-style bungalow for you and bae."

    During the weekend snowstorm, Patrick Horton, a freelance art director at Publicis New York, built just such a snowy love cave with his roommates, Justin Seeley and Griff Jones. And they actually listed it on Airbnb, and even got five inquries to stay in it—before, sadly, Airbnb took the listing down (though not before seeing the humor in it).

    "We are happy to see that you guys are staying busy and having fun during Blizpocalype," an Airbnb rep wrote. "Unfortunately, your igloo, while very well constructed, has failed to meet our occupancy standards." The rep also gave Horton a $50 coupon and urged him to "pick a place with running water, electricity, and a roof that doesn't melt." (Well played, Airbnb guy. Give him a raise.)

    AdFreak caught up with Horton, 28—at center in the photo below, flanked by Seeley and Jones—on Wednesday morning. He said the three of them first talked about the idea several months ago.

    "My roommates and I decided we wanted to try to build one if it snowed since we have a private backyard attached to our apartment," he says. "Pretty early on in that conversation we decided that we wanted to try to rent it out on Airbnb. We joked about it for a couple of months but didn't know if we were going to get our chance with snow or not. We definitely had our shot this last weekend with the storm though."

    Horton says it took "three hours Saturday, three hours Sunday, and probably about two cases of Coors Light" to build the igloo.

    "The whole project was supposed to be kind of a satire," he says. "The idea, description and price [$200 a night] were all supposed to poke fun at some of the stereotypical views that others have of people in Brooklyn. I think that some people understood that. But most people didn't. And I think that turned out to be one of the best parts of the story for us."

    Of the five requests to stay in the igloo, one was clearly a joke. ("This guy had tried to reserve the igloo for the entire month of July," Horton says.) And while it's sad that no one actually got to stay in it, "I was able to secure a nice nap in there once we finished it," Horton says. "We had put a whole bunch of blankets and pillows in there. It was surprisingly comfortable."

    Horton says he's been pretty shocked, and kind of thrilled, by the overwhelming media interest. "I am not sure why people suddenly care about igloos so much," he says. "I thought the idea was funny as well, but I never expected this kind of response. I wish every idea that I executed while drinking a couple of beers would be met with this type of hype."

    He adds: "I don't know if I should be excited or depressed about the fact that my largest achievement in life so far has been building an igloo in my backyard. But I really am glad that people enjoyed it." 


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