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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Stance socks has a starring role in a Super Bowl commercial this year, and the brand didn't have to shell out $5 million for the privilege, either.

    The ultra hip sock company—whose celebrity fans include Jay Z (who rapped about them) and Rihanna (who has a Stance line and helped design its ads last fall)—popped up in Kia's Christopher Walken ad. Yes, that's a colorful Stance sock on Walken's hand—the embodiment of passion in a dreary world, according to the ad.

    Not a bad cameo, at all. And perhaps not a surprising choice of a partner on Kia's part, considering the two brands share some history. Kia and Stance, after all, are the NBA's official auto and sock sponsors, respectively.



    "Our brands have a mutual respect for each other and are both local to Orange County," a Stance rep told Adweek last week. "We love that both Kia and Stance are involved with the NBA, Kia as the official automotive partner and Stance as the official sock of the NBA for the 2015-16 season."

    And how did the Super Bowl pact come about? 

    "The creative concept of the Super Bowl ad and campaign called for a sock, and Kia thought of us as a natural fit," the Stance rep says. "The timing couldn't have been more perfect for both companies."

    The company declined to say whether the Kia appearance was a paid placement. But it's certainly trying to leverage the cameo to the fullest. The sock in the ad is a new one, created for the campaign. It's called "Pizzazz," and it's being featured today on the Stance homepage, and sold in extremely limited quantities—only 25 will be sold with a special box.

    Stance also provided its influencers with the sock and encouraged them to showcase how they "add pizzazz"—content Stance will showcase in its social media channels. The brand will also allow fans to customize the sock through its Canvas platform in the near future.

    Stance recently added Willow Smith as its latest guest designer and brand ambassador. Check out the video announcing that partnership below. 



    • 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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    Snickers wasn't done for the night when its "Marilyn" spot aired on the Super Bowl broadcast. The brand also prepped a little 15-second follow-up spot from BBDO New York, which just aired moments ago during a commercial break on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

    It's a coda of sorts that shows Eugene Levy—who plays the stagehand operating the fan that makes Marilyn Monroe's dress flap in the wind—is still on set when he shouldn't be.



    A number of brands have taken to rolling out additional content online that's related to a TV spot—Geico among them with its "Momversations" campaign. But extending a Super Bowl ad with an additional TV buy later the same night is a first for the Mars brand. 

    "You wouldn't have Hollywood history without the fan guy," Levy said in a statement. "It was an honor to portray one of Tinsel Town's forgotten heroes. Marilyn Monroe might've been looking down at him, but every guy in America was looking up to that stage hand."


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    The California Avocado Commission had one of cooler Twitter stunts going during Super Bowl 50—all connected to the food advertisers on the game.

    Every time a food or beverage ad aired, California Avocados posted a video on Twitter showing how it might pair with avocados—everything from Budweiser to Snickers. MullenLowe's Los Angeles office worked with chef and food stylist Cassandre Bailleau to make fun, fast-paced, great-looking recipe videos that show the pairings.

    And the weirder, the better.

    There were nine videos in all. In a first for MullenLowe LA, they were all filmed, edited and produced on location at Yeti, the office's in-house production company.

    "It's way more fun being a challenger," MullenLowe L.A. executive creative director Margaret Keene told Adweek. "We all know brands will be doing social campaigns on Sunday. Smart, scrappy brands find ways to piggyback on big-brand hashtags and conversations, but honestly, we just wanted to come up with something fun that people could actually make and talk about during the game."

    The chef and stylist, Ballieau, works with the TasteMade network and happens to be the fiancée of the director and editor on the project, Adrian Ursu.

    "Our big epiphany was swapping out butter for creamy California Avocados," Keene says. "Then the recipes really came together. It became a crazy, impromptu cooking show. We kept challenging her with ingredients like Skittles, Budweiser, and Pepsi, and she magically made the recipes delicious."

    Were the results actually edible? Says Keene: "Everyone just wanted to eat the food. We had to slap a lot of hands away so we could finish filming." 

    See more the other videos below. 


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    Everyone loves movies—and it's safe to say that Oscars viewers could use a quick refresher on the history of the Academy Awards, which have always been a magnet for both glamour and controversy.

    This year, telecom giant Comcast wants to remind movie buffs that they can call up all 88 years of Oscars history via a simple voice request with the help of its Siri-like remote.

    This isn't a new product—it's a feature of the XFINITY X1 platform, and the client is looking to reintroduce an audience of millions to its charms with the help of creative agency of record Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and a joint sponsorship with the Academy and ABC.

    "It's all about unleashing ease and accessibility for consumers to get the movies they love," said Todd Arata, vp of brand marketing at Comcast. "The Oscars are the premiere event celebrating the movies, and it's the perfect opportunity for us to partner with the Academy and ABC to bring it all to life."

    In the past, Comcast has teamed up with Taylor Swift and the Minions to promote the service, but this time, the company and GS&P drew from more than eight decades of classic movie moments. Arata said, "[GS&P] has been our lead agency for 10-plus years, and they're always looking for new ways to showcase the experience," as in last year's award-winning "Emily's Oz" campaign.

    "We look to create a couch-to-carpet experience," Arata said of a campaign that stretches from an E! preshow red carpet partnership and full-page print ads in People and Entertainment Weekly to 500 sponsored "house parties" complete with "end-to-end party kits."

    "We hear consumers say, 'I never knew I always wanted this,'" Arata told Adweek. Comcast and Goodby hope to hear more people say that in the year ahead.

    Comcast's 2016 brand campaign launched during Super Bowl 50 with regional ads created by GS&P, and its TV spots will also run during the Grammys and March Madness.

            

            An image of the interface as provided by Comcast. 

            

     Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created print ads to run in Entertainment Weekly and People magazines. 


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    We've all been commenting on the commercials of Super Bowl 50 for days—before, during and after the game. But leave it to the talent from one of the commercials to deliver some of the best reviews of all the other commercials from Sunday night's telecast.

    T.J. Miller and the Shock Top orange wedge traded insults in a fun 30-second spot last night, but the concept, not surprisingly, works better in extended versions. The :60 was fun, but even funnier is the five-minute video below, in which Miller and the wedge watch other high-profile commercials from the game—and skewer them relentlessly. 

    Watch the video for some hilarious takes on Budweiser, Mountain Dew Kickstart's #puppymonkeybaby, Hyundai's "Ryanville" ("TJVille" just isn't quite as nice of a place) and even their own Shock Top ad. This really is long-form bonus Super Bowl content at its best. Great job by Anomaly Toronto. 


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    I'm nine thousand foot up, preparing to land on open ocean."

    That's the kick-off from an epic new ad series launching today from Airbnb's latest "Love this? Live there" campaign—the perfect post-Super Bowl Sunday surprise.

    The spots benefit from two separate partnerships. This first one begins with Bear Grylls of Man vs. Wild dangling from an airplane before letting go and careening toward an island surrounded by turquoise water. No, it's not selling sky-dives, but the experience may well come part and parcel when you book a stay on a private island of your choice for $100 off. (Who says Richard Branson gets to have all the fun?)

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The other spot, the fruit of a cross-promotion with Disney's The Jungle Book film, speaks exclusively through a CGI-rich live-action reimagining of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale of Mowgli, who cavorts wildly with his jungle buddies—before Airbnb punts you $100 off all treehouses! Because if you've never dreamed of living in a treehouse, even as an adult, you don't get to be our friend. 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "The diversity of homes on the Airbnb platform is unrivaled," Airbnb's CMO Jonathan Mildenhall tells Adweek. "In this campaign, we put the spotlight on some of the more unusual accommodations like treehouses, islands, ski chalets and beachside homes that travelers really love."

    He adds: "Our partnership with Disney captivates the deep connection between both brands. This flagship film marks the perfect beginning of an exciting partnership. There is no better way to live the epic adventure in The Jungle Book than a magical treehouse experience on Airbnb. This film leans directly into this creative insight."

    Both ads, conceived by TBWA\Chiat\Day, come in :15 and :30 variants and go live today. Over the course of the next few months, they'll be accompanied by seasonal content about people living out various passions—be they surfing, skiing or just lying back beachside. Expect to see them internationally in theatres and across digital supports. 

    What's cool about this collection, which builds on the back of recent non-corporate stories like the Netflix and Chill apartment or even that post-snowstorm igloo number that Airbnb wasn't so crazy about, is that it puts the "Dream it, live it" narrative back into Airbnb's hands. If the brand unlocks the popular imagination, it isn't just because it provides a "local" alternative to hotels; it's also because time has blessed it with an accumulation of exceptional rental experiences that actually empower users to inhabit spaces once consigned to fantasy (and brought to you by Disney—"Swiss Family Robinson," anybody?)—or limited to people like Sting.

    Think of it as the Uberization of adventure ... and non-stop envy fodder for your insatiable Instagram account. Where will you go—what could you live—next?

    CREDITS
    Client: Airbnb
    Chief Marketing Officer: Jonathan Mildenhall
    Global Marketing Director: Brian Irving
    Head Of Advertising: Peter Giorgi
    Global Marketing Communications Manager: Marion Link
    Global Head Of Production: Rachel Holbrook
    Agency Production Lead: Holly Butler
    Media Manager: Rachael Haley
    Social Media Manager: Jasmine Atherton

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
    Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
    Executive Creative Director: Brent Anderson
    Creative Director: Kevin Butler
    Sr Art Director: Jason Nitti
    Sr Art Director: Pierce Thiot
    Sr Art Director: Uni Lee
    Sr Copy Writer: Kathleen Swanson
    Sr Copy Writer: Elrid Carvalho
    Jr Art Director: Rafael Goncalves
    Jr Copywriter: Sarah Johnston
    Director Of Production: Brian O'Rourke
    Executive Producer: Annie Uzdavinis
    Executive Digital Producer: Kat Urban
    Sr Digital Producer: Monica Miranda
    Digital Producer: Keeley Tarter
    Producer: Cristina Martinez
    International President: James Vincent
    Managing Director: Kelly Lee
    Brand Director: Jenn Wong
    Brand Director: Landon Nguyen
    Brand Manager: Teddy Notari
    Brand Manager: Matt Theisen
    Associate Brand Manager: Morrison Conway
    Associate Brand Manager: Kelli McDonald
    Group Planning Director: Neil Barrie
    Planning Director: Kyle Luhr
    Planning Director: Jennifer Costello
    Junior Planner: Farid Mozafari
    Director Of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
    Senior Business Affairs: Maryam Ohebsion
    Traffic: Jarim Lynn

    Production: Pulse
    Executive Producer: Kira Carstensen
    Production Coordinator: Rose Krane

    Editorial: Venice Beach Editorial
    Editor: Don Andrews
    Assistant Editor: Charis Tobias
    Executive Producer: Cristy Torres
    Editor: Dave Garcia
    Graphics: Chris Czeck
    Graphics: Solomon Petchenik
    Postproducer: Elisabeth Fried
    Production Coordinator: Adrian Womack

    Telecine/Film Transfer: The Mill
    Colorist: Adam Scott

    Sound Studio: Lime
    Sound Engineer: Loren Silber, Joel Waters, Matt Miller

    Audio Mix: Play

    On-Line Editorial: Jamm Visual
    Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
    Producer: Ashley Greyson
    VFX: Jake Montgomery


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    Poor St. Louis. Every year they sit there on Sunday Bowl Sunday quietly trying to enjoy their constipation and irritable bowel ads, only to be subjected to something truly bleak—PSAs about how heroin can utterly destroy your life.

    It happened again Sunday, as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse—based in the St. Louis area—made its second straight regional Super Bowl buy to address the dangers of the drug with some quite upsetting creative.

    The spot, from agency Schupp Consulting, stars local actress Tori Giessing as a high-school cheerleader who spirals into heroin addiction, losing her family, her friends and her self-respect along the way. Kudos to the creative team for including a dog in the plot, too—normally a harbinger of joy in a Super Bowl ad, but here quite the opposite. 



    The NCADA says on its YouTube page that its second anti-heroin PSA—following last year's "That's How" spot—"aims to ignite and elevate the conversation about the realities and catastrophic consequences of opioid and heroin use in our community. Join the conversation on Instagram with #heroin."

    Mark Schupp, the creative director on the campaign, tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that last year's ad was "a crazy success. … We had more than a half a million views last year on YouTube and the amount of comments we received was overwhelming."

    The new spot's view count is already over 150,000—so St. Louisians can probably expect these ads to stay in future years. 


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    Budweiser took its "Give a Damn" fight against drunk driving to Imgur on Monday with a fun promoted post in which it posted "apology cakes" for designated drivers—adorned with messages from badly behaved Super Bowl partiers.

    The message of the millennial-targeted effort: Send a tasty cake as a thank you to the designated driver who took you home safely after the Super Bowl.

    "We think it's super important to 'localize' advertising for the audience, not just the platform," Steve Patrizi, vp of marketing at Imgur, tells Adweek. "The Internet is like a collection of countries, each with their own cultural norms. Just like you wouldn't take your U.S. marketing message and use it in Asia without considering the cultural differences, you shouldn't do that online either. Budweiser is an excellent example of a brand that is succeeding at localizing for the audience, and it has made a positive impact in how they're perceived and received by Imgur's millennials."



    VaynerMedia and Imgur's in-house creative team created the campaign together. One of the cakes even included a reference to Sarah Schaaf, Imgur's director of community often described as the "queen of Imgur."

    Imgur says its users are predominately men 18-34. The image sharing community has over 150 million monthly active users. Citing comScore, Imgur says it is the No. 1 destination for millennial men on the Internet—over Facebook, Twitter and Twitch. The average view time of a promoted posts there is 25 seconds—close to a 30-second TV spot.

    Budweiser's "Give a Damn" campaign included the Helen Mirren ad on the Super Bowl.

    See the full Imgur promoted post below. 


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    Taco Bell and Deutsch made some fun regional media buys during the Super Bowl, recruiting local advertisers in five markets to create normal-looking ads for their own businesses—that suddenly became a pitch for the Quesalupa, which Taco Bell introduced with its own national ad on the game.

    The advertisers were Fort Worth lawyer Bryan Wilson, Minneapolis comedian Fancy Ray, Cleveland furniture store owner Marc Brown, Virginia Beach car dealership mascot Mack Mack, and Mr. Appliance of Eugene, Oregon.

    Check out the spots here: 



    The national spot was all about how the Quesalupa is going to be huge. The local spots, then, were about how everyone really is talking about it—even the familiar faces from your local ads. (Wilson, aka the "Texas Law Hawk," also appeared in the national spot.) 

    "It's these people who run their own little fun TV ads or radio ads, and they're sort of so bad they're good," Taco Bell chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg told Mashable."Everyone knows them—they're part of your local market culture and lore."

    Deutsch executive creative director Brett Craig added: "This thing's so big it's even infiltrating a local market spot in Oregon and taking over other people's commercials." 


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    To promote Benetton's Carnival Capsule Collection, dubbed "a celebration of color in all its shades," 180 Amsterdam came up with an idea that gives the company's cause-facing manifesto a modern twist.

    The Carnival collection is marketed as a "celebration of color" that unites geometric patterns of different shades in various items of knitwear. And Benetton itself has always used its advertising as a platform for bigger messages that extend beyond fashion. Marrying these two ideas, "Face of the City" features a different model for different global cities.

    Except the models don't really exist. Instead, each is an algorithmic average of all the ethnicities in her cosmopolitan melting pot.



    London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Milan and Berlin are represented in the composites, the fruit of statistical demographic analysis from different population sources to reflect the proportion of the city's ethnic groups. The brand then chose physical ambassadors of these communities to feed its algorithmic beast. 

    The resulting faces feel curiously uniform and familiar, but they express diversity in small but visible nuances. For example, the concentrated presence of Filipinos and Egyptians give the Milanese model qualities that differ dramatically from New York's, where half of the population is black or Latino; in contrast, only 5 percent of Paris' foreign residents come from Africa. 

    "All together, the six faces are stunning portraits coming from a world in which the melting pot, so revered in thirty years of Benetton's images, has finally become the norm," the brand says. "Surely a software may have helped to reveal it, but there's little space for doubt: That world is finally here, and diversity is even more beautiful than we imagined it to be."

    Benetton has an illustrious history of using advertising to promote provocative political messages, which makes the work feel less gimmicky and lends it a certain topical authority. In 2011, it released a campaign featured conflicting politicians kissing, but that was Benetton's version of child's play. In 1991, its infamous "Pieta" showcased a man dying of AIDS. And in 1992, its billboard of a kissing nun and priest raised a furor among Roman Catholics. Some years later, it used its own magazine, COLORS, to run a beautifully photographed story on death row inmates.

    Many such works were shot by photographer Oliviero Toscani, who in 2007 stoked fashion's flames with an image of Isabelle Caro, a 25-year-old anorexic French woman, for billboards in Milan, to make a point about fashion's role in encouraging eating disorders. Caro died three years later.

    "Face of the City" strikes more of a feel-good note without shedding any of Benetton's politics, which isn't a bad thing: Making people feeling good about a changing world is better than the gloomy alternative. See more of the collection in the ad below, which features actual models who nonetheless bear a conscious—and refreshing—diversity. 

    Below is the video for the collection itself.


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    The new Air Jordan XXX sneakers on Russell Westbrook's feet might actually be spaceships, a new commercial suggests—so everyone should probably get out of his way. 

    The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard stars in the ad for Nike's subsidiary Jordan Brand, along with a young hype man who delivers a searing introduction as Westbrook walks, in slow motion, onto the court. 

    Titled "Make Space," the minute-plus ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York, is aimed squarely at basketball fans and packed with game slang praising Westbrook's skill at getting buckets (points), boards (rebounds) and dimes (assists). It even coins a few of its own honorifics, dubbing the NBA player "WestWolf," "The Human TurboButton" and "The New Big Bang." 



    The writing is heavy with brio, and the kid's delivery is spectacular. His best line by far declares that Westbrook "ain't had a triple-double since—let me check my watch real quick—yesterday." It's a nod to the player's habit of scoring double-digit stats in three categories, and has the advantage of not being terribly far from the truth.

    W+K describes the character as a personification of Westbrook's inner monologue while pumping himself up for a game—"brash, confident and a little unhinged," according to the agency. The miniature imaginary Westbrook puts it a little differently as the ad nears its end, saying of the regular-sized real Westbrook, "He's about to take off." Then the man himself finally speaks ... to offer viewers "a window seat." 

    The tagline flashes across the screen—"The Next Frontier of Flight"—while jet engines squeal. After the screen fades to black, a giant shoe powers through outer space. Maybe it's a subtle hint that Westbrook will play a part in a certain upcoming sequel to a Looney Tunes movie about interstellar basketball, starring the Jordan brand's namesake.

    Either way, nobody can knock Westbrook—or the marketer—for being too humble.

    CREDITS

    Client: Jordan Brand

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman & Colleen DeCourcy
    Creative Directors: Caleb Jensen & Jimm Lasser
    Creatives: Blair Warren & Pepe Hernandez
    Senior Producer: Orlee Tatarka
    Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
    Account Team: Jordan Muse, Jonathan Chu, Liz Lindberg

    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Mark Romanek
    Executive Producer: Eric Stern
    Director of Photography: Rob Hardy

    Editorial Company: Spotwelders
    Editor: Robert Duffy
    Assistant Editor: Sophie Kornberg
    Post Producer: Amanda Slamin
    Post Executive Producer

    VFX Company: Method Studios
    Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
    Senior Producer: Julia Newland
    Lead Flame Artist/Creative Director: Randie Swanberg

    Music & Sound Design
    Song: Blockbuster Night Part 1
    Artist: Run The Jewels
    Sound Designer: Brian Emrich
    Music Supervisor: Maxwell Gosling/Little Ears & Andrew Kahn/GEMS

    Mix Company: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Steve Rosen


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    Are you judging potential Valentines based on their … baskets? If so, British supermarket chain Tesco has the perfect campaign for you.

    BBH Live put out a call for a range of single folks—not actors—and asked what they'd put in their shopping baskets for a Friday night at home if they had £20 (about $30) to spend.

    Thirty-two people initially participated, divided into four groups for the purposes of the social experiment: younger, older, gay men and gay women. Based solely on the contents of their baskets, psychotherapist Rachel Morris paired 16 couples—four within each group—for potential dates. (Hey, it beats picking partners based on equal measures of desperation, alcohol and swiping right, which is how these things are done most of the time.)

    Meetups in the entertaining clip, which is approaching 10 million Facebook views in less than a week, were shot in Tesco's Hemel Hempstead store—with no pre-meets, scripting or retakes. So the participants' reactions in the aisles, we're told, are 100 percent authentic, as are their interactions in the dinner date scenes: 



    "It was all based around two insights," BBH's Kate Murphy tells Adweek. "One: that what's in your shopping basket says a lot about you as a person. And two: that you are more likely to find love in a supermarket than a nightclub. We then just worked out a process of how we could test that."

    Ultimately, the agency sent four couples on dates. Murphy says two got on well, while two others did not. That's a pretty respectable matchmaking percentage. One couple actually plans to meet in Nepal in a few weeks. 

    What's the big takeaway for viewers? According to Murphy, "We want them to feel that Tesco has been brave and gone against the grain by talking about singles, rather than pushing out the same old couples messaging." 

    That seems totally on brand. Dating can be scary sometimes, and so can shopping at Tesco.

    CREDITS
    Client: Tesco
    Agency: BBH Live
    BBH Live Creative: Kate Murphy
    BBH Live Creative Director: Mara Vidal
    BBH Deputy Executive Creative Director: Caroline Pay
    BBH Live Strategist: Becky Dailey
    BBH Live Account Director: Valdemar Domingos
    Head of BBH Live: Ben Shaw
    BBH Producer: Laura Graham
    BBH Assistant Producer: Mary Lou Newnham
    Production Company: Black Sheep Studios
    Director: David Stoddart @ Dark Energy Films
    Executive Producer: Anthony Austin
    Producer: Phil Barnes
    DoP: Denis Madden
    Post Production: Unit
    Editor/Editing House: Black Sheep Studios
    Sound: Unit


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    Jeep's "Portraits" ad, which aired at halftime of Super Bowl 50 and ended up being our favorite spot of the game, wasn't just riveting in its content. It was radical in its format. On a night when 111.9 million viewers were watching the telecast on horizontal screens, "Portraits" was a vertical video—using less than half of the available screen space.

    Why?

    Sean Reynolds, global executive creative director at iris, whose New York office created the 60-second spot, tells Adweek that the content just called for that approach—and it happened to look great on mobile. 

    "The close crop was important to really focus the viewer on the eyes and the stories they tell," Reynolds says. "We always had the idea that because it's a portrait ad, it would look great on a mobile device. So we spent a lot of time talking and testing with YouTube to make sure it played full-screen on a portrait device."

    Indeed, it does. If you cue up the YouTube version on a smartphone and maximize to fill the screen, it plays beautifully in the vertical format—likewise on Facebook.

    The standard horizontal aspect ratio these days is 16-by-9. This video is approximately 7.7-by-9 (it takes up about 48 percent of the horizontal screen). "It's not a standard aspect ratio," Reynolds says. "It's one that we came up with based on the best crop of images we were using and the fact that it had to look great on a mobile device."

    The approach was unusual, but that was part of the point.

    "We had a great client that shared in our desire to be brave and do something a little unexpected with the ad," Reynolds says. "For us it was never about whether we used the whole screen or not, it was about creating the most impactful piece that we could."

    Thanks to subtle visual touches throughout the spot, the photos are never entirely static. The camera zooms almost imperceptible in and out, and there are even a few cinemagraphs—static photos enhanced with a small portion that is moving. These touches add texture, says Reynolds.

    "There is a slight camera move on every image. It just really helped with the visual storytelling, and although subtle, I believe it helped with the craft of the final edit," he says. The cinemagraphs, he adds, were "something we always intended to do. The trick was not to overdo it, so as not to detract from the images themselves, but to add some additional texture. They also act as little visual 'easter eggs' that make people want to go back and watch it again."

    Asked which of the stunning photos are personal favorites, Reynolds says there are too many to count.

    "I think they all help tell the unbelievable, authentic story of Jeep over its course of 75 years," he says. "The fact that they are all different, imperfect and not over-stylized, was very important. Obviously the focus is on the power and beauty of people's eyes and the stories behind them. I also love the visual play of the story and images—the girl peeking through her fingers when we say fear. The dog and rear of the Jeep when we say wandered and roamed. And I personally have a soft spot for the smiley face on the Jeep headlight."



    The poetic voiceover copy also makes the spot evocative. "The original write was almost 90 seconds, so there were several versions we went through when shortening it down to 60," says Reynolds. "The important thing was to always demonstrate and maintain the breadth of Jeep stories, no matter the iteration."

    The craft is impressive indeed, in its simplicity and quiet daring. But Reynolds says the true power of the piece resides in the authenticity of its subjects.

    "The most compelling and beautiful thing we found was the sheer emotion and power behind people's real Jeep stories," he says. "When we spoke to George Speaker's daughter Alice about her dad, and the pride that they had in him and his Jeep portrait, it brought a tear to all of our eyes. That's when we knew this was going to be a really powerful, participative idea." 


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    Forget candy and flowers. Canadian Doritos fans have a much quirkier way to show their love—with a bouquet of ketchup-flavored Doritos roses. 

    The bouquets, the brainchild of BBDO Toronto, are geared toward women as a Valentine's Day gift for men. Delivery was available in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but customers outside the delivery zone can visit DoritosKetchupRoses.ca and "get crafty for love" by following instructions to make their own non-edible versions of the bouquet. (Ketchup Doritos are not available stateside, so U.S.-based Doritos lovers will have to make do with more banal nacho cheese, cool ranch or spicy sweet chili varieties.) 

    The effort was promoted with a silly '70s-themed video, a nod to Ketchup Doritos' retro packaging. "We know our male millennial target doesn't typically get much on Valentine's Day, so we used something he already loves, Doritos Ketchup, and built on that to create Doritos ketchup roses," said Derek Blais, associate creative director at BBDO in Toronto. "It's flashy and fun, with tongue firmly in cheek." 

    The "roses" sold out within hours of Tuesday's launch, but Canadian Doritos aficionados shouldn't fret, as the company plans to replenish the supply before Valentine's Day. "All I can say is stay tuned to the website," Blais says.

    Only in Canada.


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    Online bullying leaves real scars, argues a compelling short video from one young victim.

    Luke Culhane, a 13-year-old from Ireland, produced, edited and stars in the two-and-a-half minute film. In it, he receives verbal insults on platforms like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Snapchat. After each one, he is afflicted with a new physical injury—a bloody nose, black eye and a broken arm—that appears as if by some kind of sick magic. 

    It's a simple, effective way to illustrate the point, which he also spells out with written messages (and creative approaches to typography). A monologue at the end of the homemade PSA drives the message home, with Culhane quoting stats on the pervasiveness of the problem and offering suggestions for how to cope. 



    Created to spur discussion around Safer Internet Day (Feb. 9), the ad is set to a Whitney Woerz cover of "Renegades" by X Ambassadors.

    It's an admirable way to turn a destructive personal experience into a positive and productive social one. And those who like Culhane's story should also check out the recent efforts by a girl who used Facebook to beat her bullies back, too; online campaigning, powered by personal stories, has proven a popular approach to cultivating empowerment.


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    There are two persistent clichés about Pinterest—that its users are mostly women, and that it's a less fruitful social platform for creativity than networks like Twitter and Facebook. 

    "I definitely disagree," says Will Hall, executive creative director at New York agency Rain—and he has the boards to prove it. A list of free Craigslist mattresses, pictures of classic and/or creepy ventriloquists and hyper-literate takes on black magic and 50 Shades of Grey provide only a small sampling of the crazy, pin-worthy boards that Hall builds on Pinterest. 

    "If my boards were on Tumblr, people would think they're funny but unremarkable," Hall tells AdFreak. "But because Pinterest skews toward wedding cakes and life hacks, it provided an odd context." 

    See a sampling of a few of his boards here: 

     
    Sexy Chewbaccas

     
    Rad Bros

     
    Dinosaur Erotica

     
    Laser Portraits

     
    Hall started using Pinterest as a way to "bomb" his sister with surreal and unexpected bursts of content. "My sister starts every weekend with it," he says, "and I was able to spam her feed with things like 'artisanal prison shanks.' Lots of people use social media to get famous, but I only care that I can connect with one person using a platform that she loves."

    The ad veteran, who has also worked at MRY, iris, Digitas and other agencies, calls his Pinterest habit "part art project" that aims to achieve the subverse nature of The Onion. "On the surface, their headlines are stupid, but underneath they're really interesting," he says.

    Pinning allows Hall to engage in a form of social commentary, as in the case of "supermodels blinking," which he calls "a comment on Photoshop standards for beauty" that also happens to be hilarious. 

    Are there lessons to be learned from his success for agencies and their clients? "In any creative ideation session, the best and, by extension, the worst ideas will come to mind first because they're familiar," Hall says. "How do we push beyond the obvious territory to ideas which might at first glance seem a little off?" 

    Hall approaches his creative work for clients like Doritos, Adult Swim and Nintendo in the same sort of way. For example, his agency created a series of documentaries for Facebook's 10th anniversary. "We told the story of Humans of New York, which is way more interesting than a video about the progression of Facebook," he says. 

    "A lot of companies talk about being on Pinterest," Hall says, "but [consumers] who live in it smell that a mile away. I use a sensibility of how the platform works to make it remarkable as my sister scrolls through it. It's like a sandbox: It's what you make of it. If your content is boring, that's your fault—not Pinterest's."

    Hall's personal favorite board? Spelling bee eliminations. "I went through the last 10 years of spelling bees and took screenshots of the exact moment when each kid went, 'Oh no,' " he explains. 

    Hall's boards haven't gone unnoticed by those outside his immediate family. He tells AdFreak that he has received (unaccepted) job offers from parties who came upon his pages, adding, "My colleagues constantly rag me about this work. The overwhelming sentiment is that this is actually an interesting use of the platform to laugh at the absurditity of it all."

    That sentiment feeds into Hall's general approach to advertising: The goal, he says, "is not to be right but to be remarkable."

    Collections of Dutch boy bands and awful salon puns can be remarkable, indeed.

    More spapshots of his boards below. 

     
    Mannequin Headshots

     
    The Dark Arts

     
    Dutch Boy Bands

     
    Makeshift Bras


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    We've already seen the Netflix data that says young people use their favorite shows and movies as guide posts for compatibility when looking for a partner. And here's a new Netflix commercial that reinforces the idea that people who like the same shows are (probably) meant for each other.

    And if you don't like the same show? Well, just fake it.



    The spot, directed by Jonathan Entwistle, is nicely set to a reworked version of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Here it's suggested you gorge on 500 hours of Netflix programming if you want to truly impress your would-be date. (This particular woman is into Orange Is the New Black, though, of which much less than 500 hours has been made—so our hero might have to learn some of her other treasured Netflix titles, too.)

    The ad also references plot spoiling, a thorny issue that Netflix has used in its ads before—and is actually turning from a potential liability into something of a strength, or at least a running gag.

    CREDITS
    Client: Netflix
    Director: Jonathan Entwistle


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    The human body is a time machine. Treatments and products developed by the biotech industry keep its parts in good order, extending our stays on the planet and allowing us to lead richer lives.

    That's the pitch from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a trade and lobbying group, in a campaign by White64 themed, "Time Is Precious."

    The minute-long spot below opens with a recording by the late British philosopher and author Alan Watts. "We think of time as a one-way motion, from the past, through the present, and on into the future," he says. "Let us suppose that the past is the result of the present…"



    Images of folks young and old flit past. Kids play on swings, a bride and groom share wedding cake, families enjoy the small pleasures of their daily routines. We also see hospital footage and scenes in a research lab. "Today's breakthroughs," a voiceover says, "are delivering more than stunning outcomes. More than cures. They are giving us hope. They are giving us … time."

    A companion website, TimeIsPrecious.life, strikes a similar tone as it presents case studies, video interviews with various pharma executives and links to articles and resources for more information.

    "Before we can make someone believe something, we have to make them feel it," agency executive creative director Kipp Monroe tells AdFreak. "Obviously, we want people to understand that the American model of private-sector-funded research has resulted in miraculous cures and treatments. But conveying that message in an emotional execution is the best way to do that."

    To that end, the Watts snippet provides an intriguing intro. "Because one place the ad is going to live is YouTube, we were looking for a strong opening that would engage viewers," Monroe says. "So, that got us looking for audio clips to establish the idea of time. We liked the Alan Watts recording because it was so fascinating."

    Of course, the whole topic is a political lightning rod. BIO represents hundreds of pharmaceutical, agribusiness and bio-fuel titans, including Monsanto, Merck and others branded by haters as corporate villains. What's more, the headline-grabbing antics of disgraced former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli—who infamously upped the price of a drug used in HIV treatment from $13.50 to $750 per pill—put a face on the industry that no ad campaign can swiftly remove.

    "There is an ongoing debate in the nation about the future of healthcare," says Monroe. "Until now, one side had been heard—and it was time for the public to understand this is a multi-faceted discussion."

    Maybe so, but the overall "We save lives" approach isn't exactly a breakthrough. In fairness, it's probably the best (only?) tack BIO can take to combat detractors. Still, the video—once Watts pipes down—plays out like fairly typical paid-issues fare slotted between segments of Sunday morning news shows. The info-rich site is more compelling, its depth of data providing some real food for thought and fodder for conversation.

    Yet, despite highlighting the life-saving work done by BIO members, it's just too easy for the other side to portray the industry as a bunch of fat cats gouging vulnerable people in a quest for profits.

    "While people are concerned about the price of new biopharmaceutical medicines, they recognize that the ultimate benefit of those medications is more time with loved ones," says Monroe. "So when we are talking about saving or extending lives, the cost of the medication becomes less relevant."

    Less relevant? Perhaps. As long as folks can actually afford their prescriptions, that is.

    CREDITS
    Client: Biotechnology Innovation Organization
    Agency: White64
    Account Management: Jose Banzon, CMO
    Creative Direction/Copywriting: Kipp Monroe, Chief Creative Officer
    Commercial Direction/Editorial: Lucas Baiano, Vision Films
    Art Direction: Brian Bowman, Creative Director


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    Whether you're cleaning up your current look, trying something new or betraying your ventriloquist dummy, a Great Clips haircut is a step in the right direction. That third point is the subject of the brand's bizarre "Benny & Lenny" ad, directed by The Perlorian Brothers for Minneapolis agency Periscope. 

    The ad follows a ventriloquist dummy through the city streets as he looks for his puppeteer, only to find him at a Great Clips, getting his '80s-era Weird Al afro trimmed down to a more uniform hairstyle. The mood probably should have been that of a lighthearted misunderstanding, but instead it's a surreal and uncomfortable exposure of infidelity. 



    However, since we like things that are sad and weird, we applaud this bold artistic choice. It's not a tone we generally associate with Great Clips, and who knows what it will do for (or to) their brand, but whatever. It feels like a genuine attempt to try something new, and we can always use more of that. 

    Not to mention, Lenny's reaction isn't uncommon upon seeing a Great Clips haircut. 


    0 0

    Happy Inventors Day! To celebrate, GE has launched a series of films that bring good things to life with a bold new attitude. 

    Created by BBDO, the videos send GE engineers on "Unimpossible Missions" designed to highlight the company's problem-solving skills and the breadth of its cutting-edge technology.

    "There's a whole branch of idioms called 'idioms of improbability' that describe things that are impossible or unlikely to occur," Michael Aimette, executive creative director at BBDO, tells Adweek. "We decided to disprove these. We brainstormed many options, and landed on 'Snowball's Chance in Hell' for our hero concept." 

    The clips, running more than two minutes each, cast techies as badass mythbusters with advanced degrees. Stylistically, note the tongue-in-cheek, action-movie music cues and cinematic editing techniques—as well as relaxed, assured narration that informs and entertains. Such elements are well deployed to create a fun and sophisticated viewing experience.

    The signature spot, "Snowball's Chance in Hell," sets the tone for all the installments, touting advancements from GE's aviation, power and healthcare divisions.

    Filmed at a sprawling foundry in Kazakstan—a cool-creepy setting worthy of a Freddie Kruger flick—researchers encase a snowball in a specially designed vessel to see if the slush remains frozen when submerged in temperatures topping 2000 degrees. (The container is made from a super-alloy the company normally uses to build jet engines, which must endure similarly toasty temperatures.)

     
    Whoa, hot stuff! Good thing it didn't misfire.

    "All three experiments had great levels of risk," says Andy Goldberg, GE's chief creative officer. "We tested them all at GE's Global Research Center and made sure they would all work—but there's always a risk of things not working when you're filming live." 

    "Snowball's" fiery imagery and audacious premise makes it especially memorable, but each film delivers the goods in its own way. 

    Next, GE's intrepid brainiacs attempt to catch lightning in a bottle, literally, by placing a supercapacitor inside a glass jug. The company pioneered supercapacitors, which can absorb sudden bursts of energy and are typically used in MRI machines and wind turbines. For the film, GE generates a charge of 2 million volts. At one point, the team magnificently incinerates a glam-rock drummer mannequin, demonstrating the potency of the power involved. (Its mind is thoroughly blown, along with the rest of its body.) 

     
    It's not exactly shocking that these experiments succeed every time, especially since the point of the campaign is to illuminate how GE can help current and potential customers do amazing things. Much like Mission Impossible, the tension and drama don't turn on discovering if the team will triumph, but rather on learning exactly how the company's products make these successes possible.

    The series also serves as a recruitment tool, Goldberg says, that will hopefully put the company "on the radar of future creators, scientists and engineers" who might not consider GE as sexy as the tech giants of Silicon Valley. The brand's amusing "What's the Matter With Owen" campaign, also from BBDO, was a nod in the same direction.

    Which brings us to the series' most surreal and poetic entry: "Like Talking to a Wall," in which a man reads a storybook aloud while facing a section of the Berlin Wall. As he speaks, GE sensors detect minute sound-wave vibrations in the wall and transport his words to speakers on the other side, nearly 200 yards away, allowing a group of youngsters to hear the story.

     
    That one really resonates, owing largely to the symbolism of the Berlin Wall itself. Built as a barrier to the free exchange of cultures and ideas, the wall's remains have morphed into icons of sharing and rebirth. SoundCloud tapped into that vibe in its award-winning "acoustic reconstruction" campaign last year. Here, GE leverages the wall's mystique to demonstrate the marvels human ingenuity make possible. 

    The series is launching under the banner of GE Theater, a broad push by the company to deliver "meaningful content that people actually want to read, listen to, watch and consume," says Goldberg. They will appear on GE's social properties in addition to millennial-focused venues like Great Big Story and Mic.com (at the latter, a global site takeover happens today).

    In addition, the company is leveraging its live platforms—notably, Periscope and Snapchat—to provide behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the scientists that brought the experiments to life. Today at 2 p.m. ET, GE will stream a new "Unimpossible Mission" experiment on its Periscope channel. 

    The GE Theater name harks back to the company's long-running Cold War-era anthology show on CBS. The company has become adept at content generation of late, using various media formats to shed its "old-school" image as a stuffy industrial conglomerate and appeal to the next generation.

    "Every brand has to find out what their audience wants to see and how they like to engage," Goldberg says. In an increasingly digital world, doing so can form an essential and even transcendent element of a company's identity. "When you can show a customer who you are with an enjoyable experience," Goldberg says, "your content becomes more than just marketing."

    With that goal in sight, GE will keep applying its experimental mindset—a company pillar, after all—to get the media mix and message just right.

    CREDITS
    Client: GE
    Andy Goldberg, Chief Creative Officer
    Lindsay Stein, Associate Global Creative Director
    Gina Vitale, Senior Specialist, Brand Experience and Creative

    Spot: "Snowball's Chance in Hell"          

    Agency: BBDO
    David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide
    Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer, New York
    Michael Aimette, Executive Creative Director
    Gary Du Toit, Creative Director, Copywriter
    Lance Vining, Creative Director, Art Director
    Dave Rolfe, Head of Production
    George Sholley, Executive Producer
    Jack Patrick, Assistant Producer
    Rani Vaz, Executive Vice President, Head of Music Production
    Brandon Fowler, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Senior Director
    Lindsey Cash, Tessa Cosenza, Account Directors
    Elizabeth Jacobs, Assistant Account Executive

    Production Company: Bullitt
    Todd Makurath, Chief Executive Officer
    Luke Ricci, Executive Producer
    Elicia Laport, Head of Production
    Jon Dawes, Producer

    Director: Diego Contreras

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Eve Kornblum, Executive Producer
    Jenny Greenfield, Producer
    Ted Guard, Christopher Mitchell, Editors
    J.K. Carrington, Assistant Editor

    Visual Effects: A52
    Patrick Nugent, Executive Producer
    Kim Christensen, Head of Production
    Catherine Yi, Producer
    Andy Rafael Barrios, Visual Effects Supervisor
    Michael Vaglienty, Urs Furrer, Michael Plescia, Brendan Crockett, Visual Effects Artists
    Ahmet Ahmet, Mara Smalley, Leanne Dare, Art Directors
    Peter Murphy, Animator
    Erika Bird, Designer

    Telecine: Company 3
    Clare Movshon, Producer
    Sofie Friis Borup, Colorist

    Original Music, Sound Design: Barking Owl Sound
    Kelly Bayett, Creative Director
    K.C. Dossett, Producer
    Michael Anastasi, Morgan Johnson, Sound Designers

    Mix, Sonic Union
    Patrick Sullivan, Producer
    Michael Marinelli, Engineer

    —Spot: "Lightning in a Bottle"

    Agency: BBDO
    David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide
    Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer, New York
    Michael Aimette, Executive Creative Director
    Gary Du Toit, Creative Director, Copywriter
    Lance Vining, Creative Director, Art Director
    Lucas Owens, Senior Copywriter
    Sei Rey Ho, Senior Art Director
    Dave Rolfe, Head of Production
    George Sholley, Executive Producer
    Jack Patrick, Assistant Producer
    Rani Vaz, Executive Vice President, Head of Music Production
    Brandon Fowler, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Senior Director
    Lindsey Cash, Tessa Cosenza, Account Directors
    Elizabeth Jacobs, Assistant Account Executive

    Production Company: Bullitt
    Todd Makurath, Chief Executive Officer
    Luke Ricci, Executive Producer
    Elicia Laport, Head of Production
    Jon Dawes, Producer

    Director: Diego Contreras

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Eve Kornblum, Executive Producer
    Jenny Greenfield, Producer
    Ted Guard, Editor
    Christopher Mitchell, Editor
    J.K. Carrington, Assistant Editor

    Visual Effects: A52
    Patrick Nugent, Executive Producer
    Kim Christensen, Head of Production
    Catherine Yi, Producer
    Andy Rafael Barrios, Visual Effects Supervisor
    Michael Vaglienty, Urs Furrer, Michael Plescia, Brendan Crockett, Visual Effects Artists
    Ahmet Ahmet, Mara Smalley, Leanne Dare, Art Directors
    Peter Murphy, Animator
    Erika Bird, Designer

    Telecine: Company 3
    Clare Movshon, Producer
    Sofie Friis Borup, Colorist

    Original Music, Sound Design: Barking Owl Sound
    Kelly Bayett, Creative Director
    K.C. Dossett, Producer
    Michael Anastasi, Morgan Johnson, Sound Designers

    Mix, Sonic Union
    Patrick Sullivan, Producer
    Michael Marinelli, Engineer

    —Spot: "Talking to a Wall"

    Agency: BBDO
    David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide
    Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer, New York
    Michael Aimette, Executive Creative Director
    Gary Du Toit, Creative Director, Copywriter
    Lance Vining, Creative Director, Art Director
    Dave Rolfe, Head of Production
    George Sholley, Executive Producer
    Jack Patrick, Assistant Producer
    Rani Vaz, Executive Vice President, Head of Music Production
    Brandon Fowler, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Senior Director
    Lindsey Cash, Tessa Cosenza, Account Directors
    Elizabeth Jacobs, Assistant Account Executive

    Production Company: Bullitt
    Todd Makurath, Chkief Executive Officer
    Luke Ricci, Executive Producer
    Elicia Laport, Head of Production
    Jon Dawes, Producer

    Director: Diego Contreras

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Eve Kornblum, Executive Producer
    Jenny Greenfield, Producer
    Ted Guard, Chkristopher Mitchell, Editors
    J.K. Carrington, Assistant Editor

    Visual Effects: A52
    Patrick Nugent, Executive Producer
    Kim Christensen, Head of Production
    Catherine Yi, Producer
    Andy Rafael Barrios, Visual Effects Supervisor
    Michael Vaglienty, Urs Furrer, Michael Plescia, Brendan Crockett,  Visual Effects Artist
    Ahmet Ahmet, Mara Smalley, Leanne Dare, Art Directors
    Peter Murphy, Animator
    Erika Bird, Designer

    Telecine: Company 3
    Clare Movshon, Producer
    Sofie Friis Borup, Colorist

    Original Music, Sound Design: Barking Owl Sound
    Kelly Bayett, Creative Director
    K.C. Dossett, Producer
    Michael Anastasi, Morgan Johnson, Sound Designers

    Mix, Sonic Union
    Patrick Sullivan, Producer
    Michael Marinelli, Engineer


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