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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    OK. Imagine you're Kyrie Irving, and you've got to indulge your obsession with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 by playing the new DLC pack, Awakening, that dropped on Tuesday. Who can you call to step into your shoes and take it strong to the hoop while you're far away, immersed in Activision awesomeness, blasting zombies until your face melts? 

    True fans know the answer.

    You call the "The Replacer," aka tough-guy actor Peter Stormare, the iconic commercial character who stands in for folks so they can play Black Ops 3 to their heart's content. This week, AKQA and 72andSunny launched a fun extension of the latest "Replacer" campaign, with Stormare covering for celebrity influencers in their Instagram feeds. 

    Check out his dope dribbling for Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving below:

    Mad skills.. That really could be Kyrie Irving! Except for the fact that Stormare is a 62-year-old bearded white guy rocking a suit, of course. 

    Next, His Gruffness—who already strutted down a high-fashion runway for a scene in the last "Replacer" ad—strikes a baby-bump pose, giving model Chrissy Teigen (who really is pregnant) time off for gameplay: 


    Already kicking up a storm! @CallOfDuty #BO3Awakening #TheReplacer #BabyBump #CravingPickles #sp

    A photo posted by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

    Check out more pics on Coco and Jen Selter's pages.

    "There isn't really a formula on who The Replacer replaces," Tim Wolfe, creative director at 72andSunny, tells us. "It starts with a list of celebs who are fans and players of Call of Duty that the teams start concepting against. It's Call of Duty, so it's a long list. The funniest ideas rise to the top, and we go from there. As we start zeroing in on the possibilities, we all come together to cast a wide net so it feels like The Replacer might just show up anywhere."

    Wolfe adds: "If we could, we'd have him show up in as many places as possible. Each one breathes more life into one of Call of Duty's most unpredictable and most loved characters. And honestly, they're really fun to come up with."

    Wolfe there are currently no plans to take over other social platforms, "but you never know where he might show up in the future."

    Tim Ellis, CMO of Activision, says influencers are the fastest growing part of Activision's marketing program. "With this campaign, we take an ironic twist as we literally replace our influencers to give them time to play the new Black Ops 3 content," he says. 

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    Sometimes it's hard to get the recipe just right.

    Case in point: 72andSunny's first work for Coors Light (since adding the brand last September), which tries to widen the product's appeal with an aspirational approach that's a bit unexpected for the category. 

    Since this is Coors, born and bred in the Rockies, mountains naturally come into play. In the minute-long spot below, we're told these mountains come in all shapes and sizes. "What would we be ... without our mountains," the voiceover begins. "Without the things that stand in our way. That push us further. That frighten us. That inspire us." 

    Intense monochrome images flit past—a guy riding a bull, a woman running a tough obstacle course. As in The Wizard of Oz, color returns to the film as we pan to the Coors beer plant. "We are the Coors Family of Golden, Colorado," the narrator says. "And our mountain is brewing the world's most refreshing beer."

    Elina Vives, Coors' senior director of marketing, says the work strives to capture "a universal insight that transcends gender, age and ethnicity, which is especially important as we strive to have our marketing better reflect the culturally diverse world in which our consumers live."

    The challenge, per 72andSunny partner and executive creative director Jason Norcross, was to craft "a story that looks at challenges as opportunities and celebrates the personal, metaphorical mountains we all have to climb. By doing that, we are not only getting at what makes Coors Light special, but making it stand for an idea even bigger than the category. And that's something we can build on for years to come." 

    Fair enough. "Whatever Your Mountain" provides a solid starting point. Still, this early in the campaign, it's a less-than-heady brew. 

    For one thing, the connection between hard-won physical achievement and making great beer doesn't go down as smoothly as it should. Yes, they're both laudable accomplishments—but in the spot, they don't quite mesh. Ultimately, the message boils down to pretty standard stuff for beer commercials: tossing back a cold one after a job well done (or in this case, a mud race well run). 

    Plus, the tagline, "Climb On," sounds a bit awkward, almost a throwback to bro-tastic beer tropes. Here, however, it's probably meant to be inclusive: Hey, everybody, guys and gals, climb on! Ride the bull … or beer bong … or whatever. (Not that any brand would ever dream of riding the BULL. Perish the thought!) 

    Ah well, it's rare to peak right at the outset when trying something new.

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    Just in time for the Super Bowl, Instagram is now offering 60-second ads. The social platform's video promos had previously been limited to 15- and 30-second clips.

    The Facebook-owned platform began rolling out the new option today, with T-Mobile and Warner Bros. among the first to utilize the format. The wireless carrier is using it to showcase an extended version of its 30-second Super Bowl spot, which will air during the Big Game on Sunday. The spot, featuring Drake, was created by Publicis Seattle.

    Here's the longer version of T-Mobile's video ad on Instagram:


    We're in the #BigGame with @ChampagnePapi. #YouGotCarriered

    A video posted by tmobile (@tmobile) on


    Warner Bros. is testing a 60-second trailer for its new film, How to Be Single. A few undisclosed consumer-goods brands also tested the new ad unit, which will be rolled out more widely in the U.S. in the coming weeks, according to an Instagram rep.

    In the U.K., Guinness is running a 60-second, black-and-white spot for its "Made of More" campaign on the social media platform. The ad honors Jon Hammond, the American record producer who fought segregation by putting both black and white jazz musicians on his radio show. Hammond played a role in helping a number of music greats find the spotlight, including Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin.

    Here's the spot:



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    Coca-Cola and Marvel are joining forces for a superheroic commercial in Super Bowl 50, the soda brand has confirmed to Adweek.

    Adweek received a package Wednesday containing co-branded mini-cans of Coke, featuring illustrations of Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Ant-Man, Captain America and Falcon. A teaser note read, "02.07.16. The Big Game is just the beginning. Follow @CocaCola to watch the story unfold."

    The Super Bowl commercial will be a 60-second spot and will air during the second quarter of Sunday's CBS telecast. 

    No details about the creative were available. 

    • 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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    Everyone's favorite big-spending automotive floor-mat manufacturer, WeatherTech, is back for its third straight Super Bowl—and will run the 30-second spot below in the first half of the game, after throwing down a challenge to two different directors.

    The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company and its agency, Pinnacle Advertising, approached Sean Thonson of Supply & Demand and Paul Dektor of The Joinery and asked them for treatments of an idea that extended WeatherTech's vision and philosophy. The company liked both treatments so much that it not only produced both spots—it had each director shoot versions of both spots, resulting in four spots total.

    "All four spots were worthy of making it on the air, and we will use them throughout the year, but one caught the interest of our groups as they connected with the message and feel of the 'Resources' spot," David MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech, said in a statement.

    "We see our employees as our single most valuable resource," MacNeil said. "The facilities and investment in modern machinery is to highlight the skill, commitment and talent of our associates to design, engineer and manufacture the best automotive accessories in the world right here in America. I think the 'Resources' spot tells that story."

    The "Resources" spot focuses on the value of producing automotive accessories locally and the impact that has on its employees. As in past spots, this one features all real WeatherTech employees and highlights the company's advanced manufacturing facilities.

    MacNeil said the relatively small company's hefty investment in the Super Bowl has been paying off.

    "We have witnessed a measured increase in WeatherTech brand recognition that has contributed to increased phone and Internet traffic helping us to another year of double-digit sales growth," he said. "Buying time on the Super Bowl broadcast remains a very substantial investment for our 1,100-employee company. The demographic cross-section fits our marketing strategy, and reaching over 112 million viewers who are just as interested in the commercial content of the broadcast as they are in the outcome of the game helps to make the investment justifiable."

    WeatherTech has used a patriotic theme in all three of its Super Bowl ads. Its first one, "Can't Do That" in 2014, looked at the challenges of making products and creating manufacturing jobs in America. The "America at Work" spot in last year's game celebrated the company's U.S. manufacturing base and its marketing and shipping of "Made in America" auto accessories around the globe. 

    • 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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    Machine Zone's war-themed mobile game Mobile Strike will get a commercial on Super Bowl 50, the ad's star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, confirmed Wednesday.

    Schwarzenegger, who is making his third straight appearance in Super Bowl ads, appeared on the Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials special on CBS last night, and introduced the teaser below.

    The teaser and the ad itself were created by twofifteenmccann and directed by Henry Hobson of Furlined.

    "If you can't play in [the Super Bowl], at least be part of the commercials. It's a great honor to be part of this," said the actor and former California governor, who appeared in a trailer for Terminator Genisys during last year's game and in a Bud Light spot the year before.

    The teaser shows Schwarzenegger playing the game on a phone and a tablet as he walks through his everyday life, which is suddenly transformed into a battlefield. At one point he uses the tablet as a gun. Schwarzenegger has been the face of the game since its launch last fall. 

    "It's an exciting game," he said Wednesday of Mobile Strike. "It's really like the commercial shows, with the game coming alive. … You're in the middle of all this unbelievable action."

    No details about the Super Bowl spot itself were available. Twofifteenmccann has posted a 30-second spot that is similar to the teaser on its website. Machine Zone aired a spot in last year's Super Bowl starring Kate Upton for Game of War: Fire Age.

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    The Toyota Prius has been called many things, but never a "badass." Until now.

    The automaker is bringing the Prius to the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years, beginning with the amusing 90-second teaser spot below, which comically positions the upgraded hybrid as a road-conquering dragster for the 9-to-5 set.

    The spot's eminently milquetoast protagonist is bland in every way, until he gets behind the wheel of his Prius, which brightens up his dull existence with a dose of power and attitude. He squeals through his neighborhood, singing the car's praises—to looks of surprise, horror and, eventually, admiration from onlookers. 

    The car, says the song's refrain, is "heck on wheels." The hashtag is #GoPriusGo.

    The teaser was made by Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles—with helps from Park Pictures directing duo Terri Timely and music shop Butter Music + Sound—and advertises the hybrid leader's upgraded performance, fresh suite of safety technology features and sleek new styling, according to the automaker. 

    The in-game spot, also by Saatchi L.A., will be a 90-second spot during the two-minute warning of the second quarter. That commercial is expected to be new creative and not a retooled version of this teaser. It will feature a Twitter tie-in, where viewers who use the #GoPriusGo hashtag will have a chance to have their tweet featured in a "live commercial" airing in one of Toyota's post-game spots.

    This is Toyota's fifth consecutive year advertising on the Super Bowl.

    See the full lyrics of the "Heck on Wheels" spot below.

    Toyota Prius "Heck on Wheels"
    Well, my name is Todd, and I've got a job workin' for the man from 9 to 5.
    But when I'm on the road, feelin' bad and bold, it's the only time I feel alive.
    They can't believe what their eyes have seen. Never thought a Prius could feel so badass.
    It's hybrid mayhem on the road, and goes a bunch of friggin' miles on so little gas! It's heck on wheels! I just don't give a dang.
    Heck on wheels!
    Sorry, baby! It corners like a boomerang!
    When Johnny Law is comin' after you, but he's not after you, so you let him through, cause Johnny Law just pass you right on by!
    Yeah, this mutha-truckin' ride is keepin' it safe, so now I don't spill my chai!
    Heck on wheels!
    Come on! Yeah!
    Talkin' 'bout heck on wheels!
    Heck on wheeeeeeeeeels!
    Go Prius Go!

    • 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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    Best lip-syncing ever?

    This fun, innovative spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day, touting the Feb. 15 Grammy Awards telecast on CBS, takes the practice in an unexpected direction. 

    The work features a catchy mashup of tracks from all five Album of the Year nominees: Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. While the artists themselves don't appear, their album covers, T-shirts and promotional posters do. And when a dude gets off a bus and saunters down the street, the artwork comes to life all around him as the artists sing along to their own music.

    "We wanted to do something to get people excited for the Grammys, featuring multiple artists, that had a bigger conceptual idea than the usual list of celebrities, but didn't have the time or money to get them all together for a shoot," agency creative director Jason Karley tells Adweek.

    "That difficulty led us to the idea of a mashup of all five nominees," he says. "We were inspired by a cool music video that we found using this effect of the lips moving"—Roy Kafri's "Mayokero" from 2014—"so we contacted that video director, Vania Heymann, and got him." 

    The spot is a bit goofy—in a good way—and strangely hypnotic. One big plus: It's not overdone. (If, say, Kendrick Lamar started dancing on his album cover, that would've been too much.) The treatment remains subtle; only the lips move, so it might take a moment for viewers to realize the artists are mouthing off at all. 

    Plus, putting an average guy—actor Micah Dijon—at the center of the action keeps things grounded. This isn't complete insanity, just a mildly skewed version of reality.

    "He's the anchor that guides us through the spot, and gives the camera motivation," Karley says. "It's much more compelling then just cutting around and seeing various posters and things singing to us. But he is on his way to the Grammys—there's a ticket in his pocket—so that's the justification for everything coming to life around him."

    Client: Grammy Awards

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA
    Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
    Creative Director: Jason Karley
Creative Director: Micky Coyne
    Sr. Art Director: Tiffany Lam
    Sr. Copywriter: Angie Ogburn
    Managing Director: Stan Fiorito
    Account Director: Pamela Lloyd
    Account Executive: Ashley Pratt
    Account Executive: Caroline Hanley
    Director of Production: Brian O'Rourke
    Executive Producer: Anh-Thu Lee
    Producer: Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher
    Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
    Executive Business Manager: Lisa Lipman
    Business Affairs Manager: Mimi Hirsch
    Group Planning Director: Neil Barrie
    Planner: Audrey Tyau

    Production Company: Pretty Bird
    Director: Vania Heyman
    Director of Photography: Hunter Robert Baker
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hargrove
    Head of Production: Tracy Hauser
    Producer: Natan Schottenfels

    Editorial & Animation:
    Editor: Vania Heyman

    Online, VFX and Color: Brewster Parsons
    VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame Artist: Louis Mackall
    Flame Artist: Graziella Gandolfi

    Tracking: Jarrod Avalos

    VFX Producer: Jami Schakel
    VFX Coordinator: Amanda Macke
    Executive Producer: Darcy Parsons
    Executive Producer: Jason Cohon

    Mix: Beacon Street Studios
    Lead Mixer & Sound Designer: Rommel Molina
    Executive Producer: Erin Reilly
    Assistant Mixer: Aaron Cornacchio

    Music: Squeak E Clean
    Remix By: Justin Hori for Squeak E Clean Productions
    Creative Direction: Justin Hori
    Executive Producer: Carol Dunn
    Senior Producer: Amy Crilly

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    How does a deal site score promo points on Valentine's Day? By making a totally outsized offer on a Kiss Cam-caliber romantic spectacle ... that you can enjoy without leaving home. 

    For $30,000, and with help from ImpactAV and Kinetic Worldwide, the company's Valentine's Day Proposal Package gives you the chance to propose with a stadium-quality 12-by-16-foot LED screen, plus animated graphics from Kinetic. The best part? You don't have to whip out the rock on a baseball field to use that screen. It will be delivered straight to you, stranger witnesses optional. 

    Because what self-respecting digital native proposes on a baseball field anymore? 

    "Imagine the surprised delight on your significant other's face when the crew elevates the giant screen, complete with images that highlight your love," the post reads. "Professional-grade animated graphics from Kinetic Worldwide seal the deal, gathering crowds of awed well-wishers, misty-eyed co-workers, and confused birds." 

    "Groupon considered how to blow out Valentine's Day with something spectacular," says Kinetic Worldwide's head of innovation, Mike Gamaroff. "The idea of bringing a Super Bowl jumbotron right to your door came to mind, and Kinetic drew on our experience of creating impressive outdoor spectacles by offering the big screen answer." 

    The full perks of the deal:

    • The jumboscreen, delivered to your door
    • Animated graphics
    • The option to customize your proposal with selfies, pictures, takeout menus or just some nice copywriting

    The deal is available in the lower 48 states and must be redeemed before Feb. 15. Act fast: You've got until Friday night at midnight to cash in on at-home jumbotron romance. Don't forget the hot dogs; this isn't amateur hour. 

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    One devious genius has created a robot to string telemarketers along—and the results are comedy gold.

    Fed up with unwanted calls, telecom professional Roger Anderson programmed software—which he cheekily named the Jolly Roger Telephone Co.—to converse with the callers in the most infuriating way possible. 

    "Oh jeez, hang on, there's a bee on my arm," says the bot, several minutes into a recording with one confused man who's trying to drum up business for a design company. "You keep talking, say that part again." 

    It's an incredibly convincing facsimile of a person who is either high, an adept troll, or simply not that bright. One pseudo-innocent caught in the crossfire profanely berates the sophisticated answering machine.

    The software—which has gotten smarter over time—manages to run nuisance marketers in circles a few times before they realize something isn't right, but it's still not evident that they aren't taking to a real person. 

    Gizmodo points out that it's hard to feel bad for the pranked callers, who work for companies that deliberately circumvent the FCC's do-not-call lists, and in some cases are reported scams. On the other hand, punishing the grunts for having terrible jobs isn't the most charming position—one gent, who says he's an ex-navy man suffering from PTSD, might score sympathy points, assuming he's telling the truth. (But as a tribute to his rigor, he's also eager to add that the company will be sure to call back the next day.)

    Anderson, for his part, isn't keeping the invention to himself: Anyone can conference the robot into their own calls for a slightly more personalized sense of justice. Though he'll soon have to change the robot's voice and script if he wants it to keep working, as word is sure to travel fast, considering its prime victims are on the phone all day. 

    Just kidding. They're probably too busy annoying everyone else to talk to each other.

    Hear more of the calls below: 

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    Oliver Haupt is the primary creative force behind The Unknown Artist studio, but it's only his eyes in the logo above—the rest of the face is a mix of other team members involved in the creative process. 

    Haupt says the logo features "the nose of an account man, the ears of a creative director, the hair of a producer, the mouth of a client, the shoulders of an art director, the eyebrows of a product manager's husband," along with his own eyes.

    The point? The creative process—even for a photographer like Haupt, whose artistry is most central to the finished product—has become very democratic, and the logo reflects that.

    "The old model of the god director/photographer who is doing his art has come to an end," Haupt tells AdFreak. "It has all changed in a few years, and that is the fascinating about marketing, art, communication … suddenly we all move a lot more together, though we are spread all around the planet. We create more than ever. And we create together."

    While the logo above is the official one for now, Haupt has created other logos (see below) using other faces. "The team is always changing," he says. "I have six of these faces, and they all are unknown artists … together." 

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    In this ad, British Airways gives us a simple, beautiful story about falling in love with India.

    England and India have always had a complicated relationship, but British Airways just sent a love letter to India on Britain's behalf. It's the simple, true story of flight attendant Helena Flynn, whose generous nature led to a connection with an even more generous Indian grandmother.

    The beautiful recounting comes courtesy of SapientNitro and Indian director Neeraj Ghaywan, whose debut film Masaan won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival last year. The ad is full of small moments of human kindness—from helping an old woman put on her socks to inviting a stewardess in a strange land into your home and heart. 

    Some methods, like finding a good story and giving it to a good director, always yield results. Certainly, this approach inspires more emotional consumer responses than talking about vegetarian options or the fact that you fly non-stop to Hyderabad (although they cleverly worked both in, too!).

    We look forward to future lovely—and love-fueled—spots from British Airways.

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    San Francisco used legendary football coach Bill Walsh's famous West Coast offense to help win its bid to host this year's Super Bowl, according to a new video featuring ad giant Rich Silverstein.

    The eight-minute interview, produced by Shocase, a social network for marketing professionals, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the contributions of Goodby Silverstein & Partners—Silverstein's namesake agency—in pitching the Bay Area for the big game.

    Embedded in the clip is an older promo, which the San Francisco bid team played back in 2013 for the NFL owners who decide where the Super Bowl is held.

    That video hinged on casting Silicon Valley as a hot spot for innovation, suggesting, tongue-in-cheek, that the area's history as a center of football innovation shaped its current status as a hotbed of modern industry. (In the early '80s, Walsh refined a strategy of stretching the opposing defense with short horizontal passes while coaching the 49ers, leading the previously struggling team to three Super Bowl wins. The strategy has since spread, through Walsh's protégés, across the country.)

    Later in the interview, Silverstein also discusses a subsequent effort—in the form of a trick "star-studded Super Bowl commercial" that only ran on AM radio during the 2015 game—to rally support for this year's event, by promoting the host committee's philanthropic arm. So far, the group has pledged $12 million to 100 local nonprofits, after raising some $50 million from Bay Area corporations. 

    That hasn't shielded funding around the event from controversy—a recent government report found that San Francisco taxpayers will be picking up some $4.8 million in costs related to festivities leading up to the game. The city is currently projecting a $100 million shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1, and mayor Ed Lee is asking city departments to cut their budgets by 3 percent. Santa Clara, where the game will actually be played, negotiated a deal by which the host committee will pay the city back for expenses related to the game.

    Nonetheless, Shocase's video is an entertaining little bit of inside football. The tech startup's founder and CEO, Ron Young, an alum of companies like Levi's, CVS and Electronic Arts, hosts. He and Silverstein—an early adopter of Shocase—have strong rapport. And overall, it's a clever way to display the spirit of the tech startup, which launched last year and focuses on helping various marketing professionals connect around their work portfolios.

    Because it's still advertising, that might include glossing past some inconvenient details—the precise reality of how San Francisco won hosting honors is, perhaps obviously, more complicated than the video makes it seem. In the runup to the NFL's decision, Florida's legislature declined to pay for renovations to Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, significantly undercutting the bid of that city—the only other finalist for Super Bowl 50. The Sunshine State's decision also hurt Miami's bid, as this year's runner-up, for next year's Super Bowl 51. Houston, not in the final competition for 2016's game, won the 2017 event.

    San Francisco's jockeying for the golden anniversary game began at least as early as 2012, when it negotiated help with a bid as part of its deal to free the 49ers from their lease at Candlestick Park—so they could move to a new stadium at Santa Clara (later sponsored by Levi's, and now, plenty others). Bay Area philanthropist Daniel Lurie, whom Silverstein references, was a key player in shaping the joint effort to bring the game to the region. But arguably, the groundwork stretches even further back to 1999, after San Francisco won, then lost, a bid for the Super Bowl due to a failure to renovate Candlestick Park—and the NFL commissioner at the time promised the Bay Area a Super Bowl within 18 months of getting a new stadium.

    Regardless of knotty mechanics, factual nitpicks and Silicon Valley rah-rah, it's fun to watch Silverstein and Young crack about "rich son of a bitches" NFL owners with "rings" and "money" whom you "can't tell anything." And it's hard to blame them for wanting to take a victory lap—the last time San Francisco hosted a Super Bowl was in 1985.

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    And the Blue Steel delights just keep on coming.

    Following a Fiat appearance, a bespoke perfume ad campaign and a stunning promotional debut for Zoolander No. 2 on Valentino's catwalk, Derek Zoolander—played by Ben Stiller—has again popped up someplace unexpected but awesome. 

    And he's even more plastic than usual.

    For the last three days, @BarbieStyle—the official Barbie Instagram, which often depicts the doll as so ingratiatingly #Blessed that a sardonic short-lived parody of her exploded in popularity—has featured a new playmate: the perpetually duck-faced Zoolander.

    Among other things, he helps Barbie pick out handbags, discover her inner Blue Steel (officially the closest we've ever come to liking Barbie as a person) and challenge Ken to a "walk-off." (We honestly wish this were a real thing; we know enough about bland, WASPy Ken to know he will never refuse, despite his obvious malaise. He may just laugh awkwardly—helplessly—and fake a pee break before escaping to a nearby Starbucks, from whence he will text Barbie to say he's "got a migraine" and to give Derek "all my best.")

    But the lulz don't stop there; Hansel, played by Owen Wilson, and Penelope Cruz's Valentina also make cameos. Our favorite guest star, though, is Kristen Wiig's aging and totally "refurbished" Alexanya, whose doll sports the wacky Masonic breadsticks-of-Panem hairstyle that so effectively crowned her media debut. (Extra credit: Watch Alexanya punt a creepy cosmetic called Youth Milk.)

    We hope, with all our force, that the fun isn't over, because the last time we were this interested in Barbie, we could still fit into a tiny pink Jeep. 

    Some of our favorite posts appear below, but follow their slow sullying of the annoyingly sunny everygirl on the @BarbieStyle Instagram account.

    The moment it all began.

    Beach babes.

    Interpol finally arrives.

    In which Ken looks lost—both in his own clothes and in life. Where is mother?

    Barbie's got some resting bitch face in her! Maybe we have things in common, after all!

    Sweet, selfless Hansel.

    Alexanya and Barbie on an obvious quest to give other plastic onlookers a spontaneous epileptic attack.

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    Two-dimensional characters are usually dreaded in advertising, but one very thinly drawn character works perfectly in this sweet new commercial by Arnold for Hershey's.

    The ad tells the story of Scarlett, a girl who longs to spend more time with her father, who is always busy with work. Tired of getting nowhere with him, she has a life-size cardboard version of him made—and he initially becomes her companion.

    But the story doesn't end there.

    The spot is beautifully done, from the casting (both dad and daughter are perfectly quirky) to the brooding cinematography to the music—a version of "Higher Love" that Steve Winwood recorded with his daughter Lilly.

    The spot launches a new strategy for Hershey's to advertise all of its products—chocolate bars, syrup, spreads, etc.—together instead of separately under the "Hello happy. Hello Hershey's" banner. It comes four months after Arnold hired Mathew Jerrett and Tim Flood as executive creative directors in its New York office to work on the account. 

    Stacie Stauffer, senior brand manager at Hershey's, tells AdFreak that the one-brand focus, with a more evocative storytelling style, is the right evolution of Hershey's messaging. 

    "The second you say 'Hershey,' the most amazing thing happens," Stacie Stauffer, senior brand manager at Hershey's, tells AdFreak. "This giant flood of emotions and memories happens—when I made s'mores camping, or stirred up chocolate milk with my mom. That solidified that we should be speaking more as [one] brand, and from a much more emotional place."

    She adds: "It's much more than talking about the deliciousness of the chocolate. It's about inspiring consumers to open their eyes to the happy everyday moments all around them. Particularly in our fast-paced and disconnected world, it's easy to get caught up and forget that those joys are all around you. And the brand serves as a spark." 

    Of this spot in particular, Arnold's Jerrett says: "We wanted to tell a genuine story, and we also wanted a concept that had a misdirect. We didn't want the audience to understand what was going to happen. It's realism, but it's also unrealistic. It wasn't just fantastical or dialing up entertainment without reason. It was motivated by truth, even though it takes a step outside reality." 

    This is the first time Hershey's has done a true anthem spot like this. The spot will be cut into a :30 for television, supported by holistic social, digital, in-stores and PR efforts. 

    Client: Hershey's
    Agency: Arnold Worldwide
    Production Company: The Corner Shop
    Director: Peter Thwaites
    Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
    Director of Photography:  Tom Sigel 

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    Three NFL stars play a new position—coiffeur—and attempt to give their young daughters hairdos in these charming spots by Grey for Procter & Gamble's Pantene. 

    The work extends the shampoo brand's "Strong is beautiful" positioning and emphasizes that "Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women." 

    DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys and Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints appear in separate web videos with their little girls. (Williams gets two such ads, actually.) The 30-second spot below, featuring all three fathers, will air in select regional markets during Sunday's Super Bowl: 

    The campaign echoes Pantene's past women-empowering efforts, like BBDO's workplace-themed Philippines commercial, and a follow-up from Grey that probed why women are always apologizing.

    In this case, kids are the focus because "We know strength and self-esteem start by building confidence in girls at a young age," says P&G vice president of hair care and color Jodi Allen.

    "When we discovered research done by Dr. Linda Nielsen from Wake Forest University revealing that quality time spent with dads is key in raising daughters who are more self-confident, self-reliant and more successful in school and in their careers, we wanted to do something to encourage dads to do with their daughters," Allen says.

    "We didn't want to just say, 'Spend time with your daughter.' Pantene wanted to give them a tangible thing they could do: style their hair. We wanted to give them the tools to do it, with how-to's and tips. So many empowerment campaigns just tell you to be empowered. Pantene wanted to show them." 

    The campaign also brings to mind a viral moment from 2014, when blogger dad Doyin Richards posted a photo of himself doing his daughter's hair during his paternity leave, resulting in surprisingly intense online reactions that ranged from congratulations to stereotypical snipes. At the time, Richards told Yahoo Shine, "The picture stirs emotion for a few reasons ... The media doesn't portray fathers as caregivers. We're seen as bumbling fools trying to figure out parenthood or macho men pushing their kids into the NFL. The other issue is that there's a stereotype that black fathers are deadbeats." 

    It is for all these reasons that these cute clips might strike just the same chords. To be fair, the daughters lack complete confidence in their fathers' hair-styling abilities ... and probably for good reason. "I don't know why they make these barrettes so complicated for guys," laments Williams as he struggles with his kindergartner's twisted pigtails. 

    But a clean chignon isn't the point. "A Dad 'Do comes from the heart," says the Cowboys' Jason Witten in the ad. "There's probably not a whole lot of style." 

    In other words, it's the act of spending time together—and the curiously subversive gesture of depicting tough-looking, football-playing dads in so nurturing a role—that transcends the activity itself (including any painful snarls—ouch!). 

    Though the focus is on the girls, it's worth noting that bonding flows both ways. Each session becomes a highlight reel for dads as well as daughters.

    "We want everyone who has a young girl in their life, especially dads, to realize that they have the tools to spend time with their daughters doing something that makes her feel beautiful—her hair," Allen says. "And that the style doesn't have to be perfect, because it's really not about the way it looks, it's about the dad telling her she's beautiful, and that he can help empower her to become a stronger person." 

    Any amusing stories from the shoot?

    "DeAngelo is a 'fun dad' and has lots of inside jokes with his girls," Allen says. "His daughter Rhiya was dying to style his hair too, and we let her. She put about a hundred bows and clips in his hair and didn't want to stop!"

    Check out the individual web videos below.


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    It's been a good week for fun out-of-home brand activations in New York City. First, we had the Oreo Wonder Vault on 18th Street. Now, JetBlue is inviting pedestrians on the Lower East Side to check out a big Rube Goldberg machine it just built in a storefront on the corner of Bowery and Kenmare.

    The occasion is the introduction of JetBlue's new direct flights from JFK to Palm Springs. The "Tee Up and Take Off" installation invites passersby to putt a golf ball (golfing being an easier pastime to enjoy in Palm Springs than in NYC proper) from the sidewalk into the storefront—where it travels through a 25-foot Rube Goldberg contraption, with scenes representing NYC through a JetBlue flight and into Palm Springs scenes.

    Check out a video of the machine in action here:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The installation, built by MullenLowe, will be live from 5 p.m. through 10 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. It was meant to go live Friday morning, but got delayed by pretty heavy snow in the city—but that fits right into the message, too. Leave this awful weather behind and get to Palm Springs today!

    More pics below. 

    Client: JetBlue Airways
    Project: "Tee Up and Take Off"

    Agency: MullenLowe

    Managing Partner, Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
    Executive Creative Director, Art: Tim Vaccarino
    Executive Creative Director, Copy: Dave Weist
    Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Amy Ferguson, Julia Neumann, Fabio Brigido
    Senior Art Director: Jay Spahr
    Senior Copywriter: Cody Dummer
    Junior Copywriter: Diego Sarmiento
    Junior Art Director: Andrew Markowitz

    Production Supervisor: Kristine Ring-Janicki
    Senior Art Producer: Jessica Manning
    Art Producer: Kate Moore
    Senior Production Artist: Julia Sforza
    Project Manager: Molly McKeown

    Account Management
    Senior Vice President, Group Account Director: Drayton Martin
    Account Director: Molly Bluhm
    Account Executive: Grace Clemow

    Associate Media Director: Kelly McGowan
    Media Planner: Lauren Meyers
    Digital Media Supervisor: Shoshana Levine

    PR, Social
    Senior Vice President, Account Director, PR: Jaclyn Ruelle
    Senior Account Executive, PR: Brittany Topham

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    Here's a late-breaking Super Bowl ambush campaign from R/GA for Jet.com, which enlisted Pretty Bird directors Tim & Eric to make one of the most super commercials you'll ever see about bowls.

    "Jet.com has so many super bowls we have created an ad for it," the e-tailer says. "We have all the super bowls that you can imagine—big, small, clear, plastic, glass, red, blue—striped! And the more bowls you buy, the more you can save on the stuff that goes in bowls."

    They've even whipping up a bowls page where you can bowl-shop to your heart's content. And check out the mildly uncomfortable spot below.

    Client: Jet.com
    Chief Customer Officer: Liza Landsman
    VP, Marketing: Sumaiya Balbale
    Creative Director: Christina Antonopolous

    Agency: R/GA
    Executive Creative Director: Eric Jannon
    Executive Creative Director: Chris Northam
    Associate Creative Director: Mike Donaghey
    Associate Creative Director: Chris Joakim
    Associate Director, Connections Planning: Michael Goldstein
    Head of Production: Kat Friis
    Executive Film Producer: Diego de la Maza
    Group Account Director: Shawn Zupp
    Account Director: Elizabeth Bourke
    Executive Account Producer: Lisa Greenleaf
    Group Planning Director: Dennis Claus
    Business Affairs Director: Stephen Bernstein
    Business Affairs Manager: Magdalena Wiater

    Production Co.: Prettybird
    Director: Tim & Eric
    Director of Photography: Andrew Wheeler
    Executive Producer: Ali Brown
    Line Producer: Bridgitte Pugh

    Editor: Vic Berger

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    During last night's pre-Super Bowl episode, Saturday Night Live again skewered big-game advertising. Vanessa Bayer reprised her bored-housewife role in a Totino's spoof. But this time, well, it wasn't just a Totino's spoof. 

    Things start off as you'd expect for a parody of a big-game snack ad, with Bayer touting Totino's as the treat that her husband—played by episode host Larry David; last year it was J.K. Simmons—and his hungry pals love. But things don't stay that way for long.

    The two-minute skit delightfully builds on last year's effort, again taking a typical Super Bowl trope and playing with it. But folding in the X-Files revival makes this one too fun to pass up. Plus, Bayer expertly heightens her performance as her mood switches from doting wife to a woman who's scared for her life. 

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    Jeep aired one of the more evocative commercials of Super Bowl 50 during the halftime break—a lovely 60-second spot called "Portraits" that stitched together striking photographs of famous and ordinary people who have a connection to the Fiat Chrysler brand and helped shape its history.

    The ad, by iris New York, uses over 60 curated images from around the world. Most notable, of course, are the celebrities. So, did all the famous faces in the spot really love Jeep?

    Well, mostly.

    Adweek reached out to Jeep and got the backstories of some of the more well-known celebrities in the spot—among them, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, B.B. King and Bobby Jones. And most of them are real and interesting. (A few, though, aren't as compelling—for example, Amelia Earhart, whom Jeep told us simply "shared a spirit of freedom and adventure" with the brand. 

    Check out some of the cooler stories below.

    Steve McQueen

    The star of the iconic '60s movie Bullitt also had a thing for off-road vehicles, including one called the "Universal Jeep." The Jeep, which was built by the old Con-Ferr company, is distinguished by unique features, such as a double set of rear leaf springs, two spare tires and a chrome roll bar. It's thought that it was eventually sold to Sonny Bono, but its current whereabouts are a mystery.

    Marilyn Monroe

    In February 1954, Monroe was on her honeymoon with Joe Dimaggio in Japan. While he stayed in Japan, she added on a trip to Korea to entertain the troops stationed there after the Korean War. Over four days, she performed in 10 shows, taking Jeep vehicles to different locations. She ultimately performed for more than 100,000 soldiers and marines. Later, Marilyn would describe her Korea trip as "the best thing that ever happened to me."

    George Speaker

    Speaker was a Jeep driver during World War II, serving in the Rome-Arno, North Appennies and Po Valley Campaigns delivering dispatches. It was a dangerous assignment, but Speaker was never wounded. He asked for his Jeep to be included in this photo that was sent to his then-fiancee, Louis Tolbert.

    At the end of the war, Speaker ran into German troops who surrendered to his group and his Jeep. Discovering that one of the German soldiers had actually been an American student who had gone home to visit his family and was forced into the war, Speaker invited him to ride back to the camp with him in his Jeep.

    Speaker was discharged in 1945 and passed away in 2008. Louise is still living. They were married for 63 years.

    BB King

    King did a cover of the famous Duke Ellington song "Jeep's Blues."

    Bobby Jones

    During World War II, the famous golfer served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces. His superiors wanted him to play exhibition golf in the U.S., but Jones insisted on serving overseas. In 1943, he was promoted to major and trained as an intelligence officer, serving in England with the 84th Fighter Wing, which was part of the Ninth Air Force. While in England, he made the acquaintance of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Landing in Normandy on June 7, 1944, Jones spent two months with a front line division as a prisoner of war interrogator, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. There are iconic photos of Jones arriving for active duty with the Air Force in a Jeep.

    Jeff Goldblum

    The iconic T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park depicted Jeff Goldblum and team in their Jeep being chased by the angry dinosaur. This scene included Goldblum's memorable "Must go faster" quote.

    The Terminator

    In the epic film of man vs. machine, the last shot of the movie show Sarah Conner driving off into the sunset in her Jeep Renegade CJ-5.


    Client: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – Jeep
    CEO: Sergio Marchionne
    CMO: Olivier Francois
    Director of FCA U.S. Brand Advertising: Marissa Hunter
    Head of Jeep Advertising: Kim House
    Jeep Advertising Manager: Nicole Pesale

    Agency: iris New York
    Global Creative Director: Sean Reynolds
    Associate Creative Director & Art direction: Marcus Liwag
    Executive Creative Director: Lisa Bright
    Copywriter: Winston Noel
    Designers: Nicole Monzon & David Penn
    Head of Planning: Dipti Bramhandkar
    Account Manager: Allison Benoit
    Executive Producer: Guy Quinlan
    Editor: Brian Sandford (The Cutting Room)
    Music: Kristin Dyrud, Jim Cox (Hum Music)
    Production Credits: The Cutting Room, Light of Day New York, Nice Shoes New York, Hum Music LA, Catch&Release

    Editorial: Cutting Room New York
    Brian Sanford: Editor
    Merritt Duff: Editor
    Walter Bianco: Mix
    Melissa Lubin: Executive Producer, Producer
    Susan Willis: Managing Partner, Producer

    Postproduction: Light of Day New York
    Colin Stackpole: Creative Director/Flame
    Dan Bowhers: Flame
    Mike Wharton: 3D
    Matt Esolda: GFX
    Peter DeAndrea: Online
    Jacob Robinson: Assistant

    Telecine: Nice Shoes New York
    Lez Rudge : Colorist
    Color Grading Producer: Ed Rilli
    Color Grading Assistant: Andrew Pandolfino

    Music House: Hum Music Los Angeles
    Track Title: Aerial
    Composer: Kristin Dyrud
    Performed by: Jim Cox
    Creative Director: Scott Glenn
    Executive Producer: Debbi Landon
    ECD: Jeff Koz

    Creative Research, Clearances, & Licensing services provided by Catch&Release

    VO Casting: House Casting New York
    Neil Myer: Executive Director
    Mary Egan-Callaghan: Casting Director
    Rebecca Yarsin: Casting Director


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