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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Most brands have expressed eternal love for emojis in recent years, as they try to talk the talk of young people today. Not so fast, says Always' "Like a Girl" campaign, which points out in a new ad that the images of women in the standard Unicode emoji set are woefully stereotypical.

    As this piece in Mic recently pointed out, female emojis are severely limited. Beyond the neutral female emoji, there's a princess, a bride, a pair of twins, a dancer in a red dress and a series of "information desk" characters. Male emoji characters, meanwhile, include Santa Claus, a policeman, a guardsman, a detective, a construction worker and an angel.

    There are two gender-ambiguous athletes with long hair—playing basketball and surfing. But most of the emoji athletes are male, including a horseback rider, a bowler, a runner, a golfer and a swimmer. 

    For the new "Like a Girl" spot, Leo Burnett interviewed girls and asked them how they feel about the emoji set today. Check out their responses here:

    "Society has a tendency to send subtle messages that can limit girls to stereotypes," says documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker of Pulse Films, who directed the spot. "As someone who has studied sociolinguistics, I know the kind of impact even seemingly innocuous language choices can have on girls."

    Walker adds: "It was so interesting to hear these girls talk about emojis and realize how the options available to them are subtly reinforcing the societal stereotypes and limitations they face every day. I've been a fan of the #LikeAGirl campaign from the beginning, and I'm excited to join Always in empowering girls to be confident and stay confident by helping rally for change in societal limitations, like those illustrated in emojis."

    Always isn't the first brand to criticize emojis. Last year, Dove noticed that there's a "one size fits all" hair type for female emojis—"straight and sleek, the traditional beauty ideal." The Unilever brand ended up releasing its own Dove Love Your Curls Emoji Keyboard, developed in partnership with Snaps, which featured curly-haired emojis.

    Emoji images are particularly important, Always says, because they are used so much by young, impressionable people.

    "We know that girls, especially during puberty, try to fit in and are therefore easily influenced by society. In fact, we found that 7 out of 10 girls even felt that society limits them, by projecting what they should or should not do, or be," says Michele Baeten, associate brand director and lead Always "Like a Girl" leader at Procter & Gamble. "The girls in emojis only wear pink, are princesses or dancing bunnies, do their nails and their hair, and that's about it. No other activities, no sports, no jobs … the realization is shocking."

    At the end of the spot, the brand asks: "What girl emoji do you want? Tell us with #LikeAGirl." Also check out the Always infographic below, outlining the problem. 

    Client: P&G Always           
    Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
    Campaign: Always #LikeAGirl - Emojis
    Executive Creative Director: Nancy Hannon     
    Creative Director: Natalie Taylor, Isabela Ferreira
    Art Director: Jin Yoo, Amanda Mearsheimer
    Copywriter: Garrett Vernon
    Executive Account Director: Annette Sally
    Account Director: Katie Nikolaus
    Account Supervisor: Sarah Kaminsky
    Assistant Account Executive: Susanne Sward
    Executive Producer: Tony Wallace  
    Producer: Adine Becker, Andrea Friedrich
    Production Company: Pulse Films
    Director: Lucy Walker
    Editorial: Beast
    Editor: Angelo Valencia 
    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Tyler Roth
    Finish: Method Studios
    Finish Artist: Ryan Wood
    Postproduction Producer: Lauren Roth 

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    Food fight!

    Tillamook, the 107-year-old farmer-owned dairy co-operative, cuts Big Food down to size in a series of goofy yet pointed videos from 72andSunny. A continuation of last year's "Dairy Done Right" campaign, the new ads cast Tillamook products as wholesome, tasty "real food" alternatives to mass-produced fare.

    In "Goodbye Big Food, Hello Real Food," the minute-long TV and online film below, directed by Believe Media's Floria Sigismondi, processed treats most of us would consider delicious appear patently—in some cases, explosively—unappetizing:

    Gee whiz, that cheesy stuff looks grody, right? And I can't recall chocolate bunnies ever looking so … apocalyptic.

    "We wanted to spark a conversation bigger than just dairy by taking on the flawed industrialized food system," Kelly Schoeffel, co-head of strategy at 72andSunny, tells AdFreak. "The goal is to provoke people to question the food they eat and the system behind it—and compel them to choose real, honest food made by real people."

    A bunch of 15-second web clips, hashtagged #ForRealFood, directed by Tony Ung of 72andSunny's in-house production unit, went live during Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. First, we learn that some snackers find processed popcorn positively unbearable:

    "We had a blast thinking of scenarios to destroy Big Food and offer real-food solutions in ways that would resonate with Oscar-watching audiences," says Schoeffel. "It allowed us to get creative with the content. Also, people in bear suits are always a good time."

    In the next spot, an artificially flavored ice-cream sandwich falls flat—literally:

    Say, this corporate cheeseburger isn't so sharp! (That must not be 100 percent real cheese!)

    In the ad below, a slushie made with red dye gets iced out:

    Finally, we get some especially gnarly feedback about "nasty nachos":

    Agency and client don't view the campaign as an all-out attack, Schoeffel says. "It's more of a break-up with Big Food, bringing an end to a bad albeit nostalgic relationship," she says. "These packaged goods were sold to us as 'food,' and the whole world is starting to see that definition differently."

    Might folks might find the ads too preachy? "Nah," says Schoeffel. "How our food is made, and by whom, is no longer a niche topic but rather an escalating conversation in culture. Tillamook is just one voice in that conversation, offering an honest point of view that invites people to independently make up their minds."


    —Film Credits

    Client: Tillamook
    Chief Executive Officer: Patrick Critiser
    VP of Marketing: John Russell
    Marketing Manager: Gillian Kennedy
    Advertising Coordinator: Ashley Riggs

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Founder and CEO: John Boiler
    Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Partner and Chief Strategy Officer: Matt Jarvis
    Group Creative Director: Barton Corley
    Group Creative Director: Gui Borchert
    Creative Director: Jason Ambrose
    Lead Designer: Will Lindberg
    Lead Writer: Dylan Berg
    Designer: Jessica Lasher
    Writer: Sebastian Lyman
    Co-Head of Strategy: Kelly Schoeffel
    Strategist: Anneliese Rapp
    Social Strategist: Tricia Teschke
    Data Strategist: Laura Colvin
    Group Brand Director: Yen Lovgren-Ho
    Group Brand Director: Josh Jefferis
    Brand Director: Ryan Griffin
    Brand Manager: Laura Hoffman
    Brand Coordinator: Andrew Wood
    Executive Producer of Film: Danielle Tarris
    Senior Film Producer: Nick Miller
    Production Coordinator: Kristin Batalucci
    Business Affairs Manager: Cecilia Harvey
    Business Affairs Coordinator: Michelle Fink

    Production Company: Believe Media
    Director: Floria Sigismondi
    Director Of Photography: Jeanne Vienne, Joe Zizzo
    Executive Producers: Ben Leiser, Liz Silver, Luke Thornton
    Head Of Production: Vitaly Koshman
    Producer: Oualid Mouaness

    Editorial Co: Lost Planet Editorial
    Editor: Jay Rabinowitz/Chris Kursel
    Assistant Editor:Jason Hinkley/Carmen Hu
    EP: Gary Ward
    Producer:Tim Kirkpatrick

    VFX/Finishing: The Mission
    VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame: Joey Brattesani
    Flame Artists: Michael Vagliente, Colleen Smith, David Sarbell, Trent Shumway, Patrick Ferguson
    Graphic Design: Laura Panella
    VFX Producer: Ryan Meredith
    VFX Coordinator: Kristina Thoegersen
    Chief Engineer: Brian Cuscino
    Head of Sales/EP: Ellen Turner
    Managing Director: Michael Pardee

    Sound Design: 740 Sound
    Lead Sound Designer: Chris Pinkston
    Assistant: Scott Pinkston
    Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
    Mixer: Stephen Dickson
    Sound Design Producer: Jeff Martin
    EP of Mix: Dawn Redmann

    Final Mix: Formosa
    Mixer : John Bolen
    Assistant: Jeff King
    Executive Producer: Lauren Cascio

    Music by Marmoset
    Track title: "Gammagoat"
    Composed by Graham Barton
    Produced by Rob Dennler and Katy Davidson

    —Social Film Credits

    Client: Tillamook
    Chief Executive Officer: Patrick Critiser
    VP of Marketing: John Russell
    Marketing Manager: Gillian Kennedy
    Advertising Coordinator: Ashley Riggs
    Digital Marketing Supervisor: Laura Schatz

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Founder and CEO: John Boiler
    Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Partner and Chief Strategy Officer: Matt Jarvis
    Group Creative Director: Barton Corley
    Group Creative Director: Gui Borchert
    Creative Director: Jason Ambrose
    Designer: Jessica Lasher
    Designer: Laura Beck
    Writer: Hilary Smith
    Co-Head of Strategy: Kelly Schoeffel
    Strategist: Anneliese Rapp
    Social Strategist: Tricia Teschke
    Data Strategist: Laura Colvin
    Group Brand Director: Yen Lovgren-Ho
    Brand Director: Ryan Griffin
    Brand Manager: Laura Hoffman
    Brand Coordinator: Matt Brooks
    Executive Producer: Danielle Tarris
    Senior Film Producer: Jason Heller
    Business Affairs Manager: Cecilia Harvey
    Business Affairs Coordinator: Michelle Fink

    Hecho En 72 Credits:
    Director/DP: Tony Ung
    Producer: Jonny Edwards
    Production Manager: Michael Bergin
    Food Stylist: Joe Lazo
    Production Designer: Martina Buckley

    Editor: Aaron Leichter
    Assistant Editor: Thomas MacVicar
    Producer: Lynne Mannino
    Producer-Audio: Whitney Fromholtz
    Audio Engineer: Brian Naas

    VFX: Jogger Studios
    Shauna Prescott: Senior Flame Artist
    James Howell: Producer

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    Volkswagen has been having trouble with cars lately, so it's moved on to dogs.

    Or so it would appear from this latest prank video from the automaker's Dutch division and ad agency Achtung! You see, VW makes an app called My Volkswagen, which lets you control elements of your vehicle remotely. How cool would it be, VW thought, if they could make something similar for your dog?

    "Just like the My Volkswagen app, the Connected Dog is designed to make the owner's life easier," the agency says. "The owner no longer needs to be present to walk the dog. After he remotely unlocks the doggy door, he is able to track the dog through both GPS and a live cam, while the application enables the ability to provide the dog with location-specific voice commands and rewards for spotless behavior (or "being a good boy")."

    See the Connected Dog in action here:

    Achtung! made a similarly goofy video last year, in which it showed a self-driving VW baby stroller. Both videos are a little strange, in that it's never made entirely clear that they're joking. The new video is particularly perplexing, as VW says it recruited (aka, wasted the time of) noted Dutch dog whisperer Martin Gaus for the project.

    Maybe save this stuff for April 1, guys. 

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    A well-received video made the rounds last fall that addressed the issue of sexual consent through a metaphor of drinking tea. Based on copy written by blogger Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess, it was lauded for its clear take on a thorny issue.

    But was it not clear enough? Do metaphors just cloud the issue? And does talking around a topic, and not actually talking about it, reinforce its taboo, thus undermining the message?

    Project Consent, a nonprofit, volunteer-based campaign to combat rape culture, prefers a more straightforward approach. And it's gotten one from Toronto agency Juniper Park\TBWA—via a series of videos in which animated genitals and other body parts simply act out consent scenarios.

    It's certainly a bit more shocking than the "Tea and Consent" video.

    "If you look at other campaigns around consent, they tend to speak in analogies," Terry Drummond, chief creative officer at Juniper Park\TBWA, tells Strategy magazine. "It's always saying it's like this other thing. But no, it's not about those other things. It's about sexual consent, and these are the most relevant characters in that conversation, so why aren't we saying and showing what it is?"

    "It's simple and addresses consent without dancing around the topic," adds Project Consent founder Sara Li. "It makes it easier to talk about, like it should be, for students or teachers or parents. It should be approachable and direct and easy to see what is and isn't appropriate."

    Some might says the ads themselves aren't appropriate—that they're too graphic, even as animations. But at least so far, they remain up on YouTube and Facebook and haven't been flagged for removal.

    If the creative approach is simple, so is the underlying message, Drummond says.

    "[Consent is] always made to be such a complicated conversation, with gray areas and he-said, she-said situations," he says. "We really felt that we should wipe the slate clean and think about it simply and say it simply. It's cut and dry, yes or no, but you don't always feel that when you look at some of the messages around it." 

    Print work below. 

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    Terrified of heights? Try tricking yourself into thinking you're on the roof of a skyscraper, using virtual reality technology—and maybe, with practice, you'll be better equipped to deal with the real thing. 

    Samsung ran just that test recently, turning people into guinea pigs to demonstrate the potential of its VR headgear. Agency Cheil Worldwide brought the "Be Fearless" message to life with 27 participants from countries like Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

    They underwent four weeks of VR training to combat their fears—of heights (acrophobia) or of public speaking (glossophobia)—before facing real-life applications of their new skills, like speaking in front of a packed lecture hall. 

    Two videos document the experiments, branded under the broader Samsung tagline "Launching People." In one that might be a bit too on-the-nose, users are literally flung off the roof of a building (attached to ziplines, to be fair). 

    Additional clips focus more on the individual subjects: 

    Salminaz, a fashion designer, learns to speak in front of an audience so she can pitch them her business.

    Muhammad, an aspiring pilot, takes on a crippling fear of heights. 

    Aleksandra, a fashion executive who's also afraid of heights, gets more comfortable with her 25th-floor office. 

    Fynn, who loves to travel, feels less limited by his acrophobia.

    In other words, none of the problems are life-threatening, but based on the testimonials, the trick does appear to improve lives and outlooks. 

    Samsung backs up its research—conducted using its own smartwatches to measure heart rates—with stats from the VR lab at the Yonsei University Gangnam Severance Hospital in South Korea. In a study of 82 participants, doctors achieved a 90 percent success rate in reducing anxiety among those with fears of heights and public speaking. 

    Over two weeks in the Samsung program, 87.5 percent of acrophobic subjects saw an average anxiety reduction of 23.6 percent, per tests that accounted for eye movement and self-assessment (along with heart rate). Subjects suffering from glossophobia saw an 18.7 percent reduction in anxiety levels. Those gains aren't insignificant, but they might also help explain why some participants in the zipline stunt still look like they're not feeling as good about the whole thing as Samsung might like.

    Overall, the gimmick builds on the brand's last attempt to prove it's a friend to millennials.

    "This generation does not define themselves by what they have, but by what they do," says Wain Choi, chief creative officer at Cheil Worldwide, in a statement accompanying the new campaign's launch. "They are experience seekers who want to discover new and amazing things, live experiences they never thought possible. Through Samsung Gear VR, anyone can reach their full potential. We all have what it takes inside us, but sometimes we can use a little help."

    This type of rah-rah plug for experiences over materialism is an increasingly familiar theme in advertising these days. (Travelocity launched a campaign encouraging young people to "find themselves" just last week.) In another Samsung ad for the Oscars, William H. Macy—less a spring chicken than one that's been through the meat grinder a few times too many—used the same VR technology in a more obvious way, to realize a personal fantasy. 

    As for whether the "Be Fearless" message connects with audiences, at least one reply to the public-speaking clip suggests it does, though perhaps not the way Samsung hopes: "That's great," says a YouTube commenter, "but can we use it in a Google Cardboard? :)"

    Advertiser: Samsung Electronics
    Agency: Cheil Worldwide
    Chief Creative Officer: Wain Choi
    Creative Director: Stuart Mills, Guido Boehm, Omar Al Jabi
    Associate Creative Director: Jax Jung
    Art Director: Joohee Lee, Jinwoo Ryu, Ksenia Sapunova
    Copywriter: Hayden Yu-Hyun Lee, Annika D'Ambrogio, Aleksandr Gumarov
    Account Director: Eric Kang, Jongbin Lee
    Account Executive: Najeong Kim, Bo Kim, Hee Jeong Yoo, Nitin Baweja, Anneta Rastopchina, Alexandra Park
    Production Co.: Oyster, Markenfilm, Vice, Sugar Rush, Metranom, Rapid VR, Skonec

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    A college recruitment ad that made waves last year for including a scene of a couple making out in a library has been named the best university commercial of the year. 

    Kira Academic, a tech company that helps admissions departments interview applicants by video, honored the University of Moncton's commercial out of some 100 ads, following a process that included voting from the company's network and the public. 

    The 30-second spot focuses on French—spoken at the school, which is located in Canada's bilingual New Brunswick—being a defining characteristic and point of pride. "It's the language of progress, business—and of other affairs," the narrator says, playing on "langue," the French word for "language" as well as "tongue." 

    But the single steamy shot—slipped between scenes of partying, lab work, studying and sports—became a point of controversy, with the head of the school's own professors' association condemning the video as pathetic, and coverage at outlets including CBC, Gawker and Huffington Post.

    Kira explains in depth why the selection won: It plays well to its audience (hormone-addled teenagers), and applications spiked 22 percent following the campaign. While it's tempting to lament that the University of Melbourne's more high-minded (if tedious) bit of choreography didn't rise to the top of the pile, there's also better rubbernecking potential in the Moncton choice.

    That is to say, it takes a special kind of Puritan to insist that any college is too serious for kissing. And it's fun to see stuffy, self-serious academics lose their minds over the depiction of a known reality (and selling point): Undergraduate studies are an opportunity for both educational and social development (and a chance to have fun before stumbling into the grimmer realities of working life).

    The brouhaha was—and remains—all the better for the fact that a little necking is probably one of the more innocent things that's happened in the stacks of any respectable college. Kudos to Kira for finding a way to milk the story for its own purposes. 

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    It's hard to make "high art" like the opera feel relevant to a younger, more fast-moving and mobile audience. But that hasn't stopped the Opera of Paris from trying. 

    Last year it launched 3e Scène ("Third Stage"), an online destination dedicated to artistic experimentation and packed with original content by known creators. Its latest creation for that platform is "Figaro," directed by none other than Bret Easton Ellis—still probably best known for giving us American Psycho.

    Set to music from "The Barber of Seville," actor Philip Rhys plays a painstakingly dressed and pomaded opera singer, who comes to the studio to audition or rehearse ... only to find he's lost his voice. The devastated singer coughs, mortified, and is excused. As he runs out, he dejectedly pops a cigarette in his mouth and kicks off an epic, sleepless night.

    There's drinking, piles of glamorous friends, naughty nods to threesomes in a bathtub, an attempted car heist and a near-miss gunfight. Disheveled, blood-stained, tousled and nonchalant, Rhys swaggers back into the studio at sun-up and absolutely kills it (with help from the vocal talents of a real opera singer, Piotr Kumon)—before attacking one of the surveyors with a rabid kiss.

    "I was very flattered to be approached by the Paris Opera, and surprised that they gave me so much freedom," Ellis said in a statement. "I wanted to do something slightly humorous and to play with the film medium against an opera track. I don't think it's very dissimilar thematically from what I'm usually attracted to—there's a bit of decadence at play here, but the film doesn't take itself too seriously. There was an energy on the set that was infectious and funny, and hopefully you can get that from watching Figaro."

    It's probably too easy to compare "Figaro" to American Psycho. But the desperation and emotional instability that laced Patrick Bateman's excesses can be vividly felt here, too. In another director's hands, it could easily have been a gratuitous Gossip Girl party scene about the wasteful play of the bored rich (a category into which the opera often falls).

    Instead, "Figaro" does a handy job of conveying the comedic aspects of "The Barber of Seville" while illustrating the dramatic highs and lows that make opera so gripping. Entertainment has changed, but people haven't all that much, and it's worth taking advantage of the fact that opera—with its high-stakes emotional journeys about the triumph of passion (usually with consequences)—is now accessible to so many kinds of people, which hasn't always been the case. 

    For many, the death of classical art is just a natural evolution. But before we let it go, it's worth considering the cultural role it plays, even when we don't always recognize it.

    Last year, with help from agency Artplan, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra created an app that interacted with the TV broadcast of Popeye—it's still on!—to show kids how symphonies contribute to the action ... which yielded a 60 percent rise in kids' attendance. (Of course, Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle also represents—and deals with in its plot—the death-rattle-muffling attempts to keep classical musical alive for a new generation.) 

    And if kids can see the cool in chamber music, you can watch "The Barber of Seville."

    Client: Paris Opera
    Production Company: The Devil You Know
    Founders: Don Block & Simon Wallon
    Film Title: Figaro
    Release: Release on Third Stage (Troisieme Scene) for the Paris Opera
    Director: Bret Easton Ellis

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    Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews have had a stranglehold on the title of Old Spice guy in recent years, even battling each other for it. But now, you should really meet Colin Hoell.

    He's not appearing in big-budget videos for the Procter & Gamble brand. He's not even a commercial actor. He's a mobile product designer at Imgur. But he just volunteered to be the face of Old Spice's new gallery-style ad on Imgur, in which he models the "do's, don'ts and please don'ts" of hair care.

    Imgur came up with the concept and presented it to Old Spice, which has run gallery-style GIFs on the image-sharing site before, including a campaign with Crews last year. Old Spice liked the new concept and approved it.

    "Imgur users love to give one another advice—practical, or not—so Imgur's creative team found a genius, hilarious way to bring Old Spice into the advice-giving conversation on Imgur," a rep there tells AdFreak.

    Old Spice even let Imgur cast the ads, which is where Hoell comes in. "He gladly stepped up when the team decided we would use Imgur models in the ad," the Imgur rep says. "He has really nice locks." 

    Imgur users seem to agree. Many have pegged him as a Ryan Reynolds look-alike, a notion Hoell himself (perhaps jokingly) doesn't dispute. "This guy's a low-budget Ryan Reynolds," one commenter wrote in the comments. To which Hoell (whose Imgur handle is montypython004) replied: "Ryan Reynolds is a low-budget me is what I think you meant."

    Check out the full post to see all three of Hoell's impressive hair-modeling GIFs, along with an image of a very glamourous cat. 

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    When Droga5 sold a 49 percent stake to Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor in the summer of 2013, there was plenty of speculation about how each side might leverage the other—how WME could use Droga's marketing prowess, and how Droga might employ WME's roster of entertainers.

    Since then, they've collaborated many times on a number of projects, from the marketing of Kendrick Lamar's music to a unique campaign for The Martian—starring WME client Matt Damon—that prominently featured Droga5 client Under Armour. 

    Naturally, Droga5 also found brand-new clients through its WME connections. 

    Beyond campaign synergies, though, there has been the question of whether and how Droga5 might bring its formidable marketing skills to bear on particular celebrities' personal brands. And as it happens, the agency has began doing just that—for about two years now—for WME client Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

    Droga5 helped the actor and former professional wrestler strike an endorsement deal with Under Armour. But that's the kind of straightforward development you'd expect. It was actually part of a broader, more interesting journey that Droga had embarked on with Johnson—one that led to the launch this week of Project Rock, a new motivational lifestyle brand, fronted by Johnson and meant to embody everything he stands for, that will be both aspirational and product focused.

    Project Rock launches with a single product—heavy-duty Project Rock bags manufactured by, yes, Under Armour. A backpack sells for $99.99; a duffle bag is going for $124.99. Johnson announced the bags, and the larger Project Rock initiative, with a video in his social channels on Thursday.

    "We are all a project, every single one of us," he says in the video. "We all have hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations. And I have officially made it my project to help as many of you as possible get after your goals. This is Project Rock."

    The Under Armour bags are just the beginning. Project Rock is expected to eventually sell a range of products all linked by a general theme of motivation and self-improvement—traits that Droga5 determined were at the core of the Johnson brand after studying him for months, the same way it would research any consumer product. 

    "We applied the exact same strategic rigor to Dwayne that's usually reserved for our traditional brands," Matt Gardner, Droga5's director of brand influence, tells Adweek. "We started with dozens of interviews with members of his team, managers, agents, his writer, publicists, friends. And then we actually did a series of focus groups, polls, social media monitoring—stuff like that. We got really down and dirty. We went to Craigslist. We went to SurveyMonkey. We went to fans and nonfans, all to get at the core driver of what makes a Dwayne Johnson fan."

    Those who don't know Johnson well might see a guy who is, first and foremost, physically strong and imposing. (He was, after all, a national championship winner on the 1991 Miami Hurricanes football team.) But physical prowess, as much as it's part of Johnson's image, isn't really the core of his appeal, Gardner said.

    "He's super strong physically, and that's a big thing," Gardner said. "But what we discovered was there is this underutilized or latent truth about him that drives fans close to him—that he's an emotional motivator. He has this determination, motivation and really pure hard work that people love. We realized that to be a true DJ fan and have a real connection with him, there's this emotional core." 

    His longtime fans already knew this, of course. To develop new business opportunities, Johnson had to find a new audience. And it just so happened that this natural ability to be a great motivator fit nicely with Millennials—whom Gardner said are aspirational but often have a hard time following through on things. 

    "We looked into all this data that shows that when it comes to helping, when it comes to working, when it comes to doing good for the planet and for the environment, Millennials value these things, but they really don't act on them very much," Gardner said. "They would rather post an inspirational meme than actually act on those goals." 

    Thus, Johnson could perhaps help them act on their principles, not just value them.

    "The opportunity was to position DJ as a motivator, and we really got to this brand purpose, which is giving that young target audience the strength to walk the walk," Gardner said. "What was amazing was … here was a person, not a brand. And we gave him a brand purpose. We'd never done that for a human being before." 

    This whole process started back in 2014. By early the following year, the Project Rock idea was well into development, though it would be delayed several times as Johnson focused on Hollywood projects like his hit film San Andreas (which hit theaters last May) and HBO show Ballers (which premiered last June). 

    Johnson was shooting and unavailable for an interview for this story. But in late 2015, he sat on a panel with WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell at Fast Company's Innovation Festival, during which he credited Droga5 for its insights into his personal brand. 

    "What they did, which they do so well, is they did an incredible deep dive of research into me as a brand, as an enterprise," he said. "It's almost like a deep dive, and then going 50,000 feet into the air. Just doing this global research: 'Here's where you're strong, here's where you're weak, here's where you need to get better, here's a future, here's where we sit right now, in every single territory around the world.' Take the movie business out of it, by the way. 'This is how you're looked at. How do you want to approach this?' " 

    Johnson's agents at WME, Jason Hodes and Brad Slater, tell Adweek that Droga5's branding proposal made sense because Johnson's motivational side is real and authentic, not a pose.

    "I think he is one of the few, if only people who is uniquely situated to do something like this, because of the way he lives his life and the way he inspires people," Hodes says. "He is a true motivator, and he can rally people and get them to a place. If you've followed him on social media, you get some of that. So this is right on brand for him, and he'll do it in a meaningful way."

    "I've represented him a long time now," adds Slater. "And there are many mornings where I'll wake up to a motivational text from him. Literally I'll wake up, I'll look at my phone, and the text will say, 'Go have an unbelievable Friday, my man. Finish the week strong!' That's who he is. And so I know that as Droga found out more about him, that's such a big part of this. And that's why we feel like this is going to be a totally authentic thing."

    Under Armour bags might not seem intrinsically aspirational, although future Project Rock products could be more explicitly motivational and playful in their form and function. 

    Project Rock certainly lends credence to the idea that a person can be marketed like a brand. But are there limits to that? Both Droga5 and WME acknowledged that Johnson is fairly unique, and perhaps better suited than most celebrities to an exercise like this. But they wouldn't rule out similar projects for other WME stars in future.

    Gardner, though, admits there are some differences in marketing people versus products.

    "I think you have to be more careful with products," he says. "I think that people, as long as you stay true and authentic to who they are and what they really love, you can't really go wrong. With products, there's a lot on the line. You have to make sure you're not overselling, that you're not promising something you can't deliver, that you're not being disingenuous. With people, as long as you bring out what they love and what's true about them and what they're passionate about, it can be very compelling." 

    Client: Dwayne Johnson
    Title: "Project Rock"

    Agency: Droga5
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Executive Creative Director: Neil Heymann
    Senior Copywriter: Chris Colliton
    Senior Art Director: Kevin Weir
    Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
    Director of User Experience: Daniel Perlin
    Associate Design Director: Devin Croda
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
    Executive Interactive Producer: Justin Durazzo
    Interactive Producer: Alex Smith
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Stephanie Hill
    Business Affairs Associate Director: Matthew Friday
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Brand Strategy: Chet Gulland
    Director of Brand Influence: Matt Gardner
    Global Chief Executive Officer: Sarah Thompson
    Global Alliance Director: Nick Phelps
    Associate Alliance Manager: Ethan Lewis
    Account Manager: Josh Freeland
    Senior Project Manager: Anika Chowdhury 
    Director of Technology: Andy Prondak
    Technical Lead: Joachim Do
    Quality Assurance Lead: Alexis Gepty

    Editorial: D5 Studios

    Music and Sound Design: Comma & Particle
    Producer: Lauren Pecorella
    Additional Sound: Jingle Punks

    Website Production: We Are Wild

    Client: Dwayne Johnson

    The Garcia Companies
    Founder: Dany Garcia

    Seven Bucks Productions
    Senior Vice President: Brian Gewirtz
    Vice President: Hiram Garcia

    WME | IMG
    Vice President, Business Development, Global Partnership Group: Elia Infascelli
    Partners: Brad Slater, Jason Hodes

    Under Armour
    Director, Sports and Entertainment: Jeremy Brodey

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    How do you deliver pizza without hurting the environment? This chain in London got runners to do it.

    Sodo, a U.K. pizzeria that specializes in locally and ethically sourced ingredients, has avoided delivery altogether because it requires using cars, which pollute the environment. 

    But as part of a low-cost marketing gimmick, TBWA London and a local running club worked with the brand to bring customers their orders. Live Periscope streams helped users follow their food in real-time as runners dashed to their destinations. Recipients could also message them with shortcuts.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Proceeds from the one-day campaign went to a local running charity called Run Dem Crew. The stunt was such a success that the brand sold out of pizzas in three hours, and has decided to bring it back as a monthly event. 

    It's a fun idea, even if it's not immediately clear why—apart from the schadenfreude-tinged novelty of watching people race to bring you junk food—the approach is better than the more tried-and-true method of green delivery: the bicycle.

    Plus, if Sodo were really concerned about the health of its customers, it would make them run to get their own pizzas.

    Client: Sodo
    Agency: TBWA London

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    A few years ago here in Paris, people were hard-pressed to find a food delivery service. This changed with the launch of Allo Resto, which enabled Parisians to score delivery from lots of different kinds of restaurants—as long as they were reasonably close to home and you didn't mind waiting, like, two hours. 

    Those grievances were annoying, but it didn't really matter because Allo Resto was alone in the market. Today, though, it faces tons of competition from faster, more efficient brands, including Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Foodora—which can deliver food from higher-scale restaurants, further away, in an average of 30 minutes. 

    So, to build some brand equity back up, Allo Resto tapped agency La Chose to launch an ad campaign that highlights its diversity of food options and the perks of eating at home. The concept is simple: Each ad focuses on a table in the middle of a crowded restaurant, where a group of people—or just one person—is behaving a little too comfortably in a public setting. 

    The most recent one, "The American Resto," features a group of friends playing some variation of a strip card game. The gag is super-visual and fast-paced, with little touches—like clothes strewn about the restaurant—that drive it home:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    You've probably observed that nakedness seems to be a theme in French ads, though we will point out that there are lots of great ads where people wear clothes. But it is true that nakedness as comic relief is more common here than in the U.S. Just sayin': We noticed you noticing. 

    Previous variants of the Allo Resto campaign are untranslated, but easy to get at a glance and feature people who are (more or less) fully dressed.

    In "The Italian Resto," launched two months ago, two parents and their kids chase each other around a table while playing a raucous game of "cowboys and Indians," another trope you don't see much in the American market ... at least not anymore:

    And in "The Japanese Resto," launched in December, a girl in a towel and face mask lounges over her rolls while chatting obnoxiously on the phone with a friend:

    Each ends with the same tagline: "Allo Resto: Restaurant food, home comforts." So, go do you without bothering anyone, and order at home where you can play strip poker, or whatever it is you like, without weirding anybody out. (But if you really want your food before the game's over, maybe try Deliveroo or Foodora. It's a problem!)

    Client: Allo Resto
    General Director: Gilles Raison
    Marketing Director: Karine Bruère
    Brand Lead: Thomas De Vaux

    Agency: La Chose
    Creative Director: Pascal Grégoire
    Copywriter: Antoine Defaye
    Artistic Directors: Joris Tripier-Mondancin, Hugo Morius
    TV Production Lead: Nicolas Buisset
    Art Purchasing Leads: Laure Bouvet, Melissa Joffroy, Amélie Crinon
    Strategic Planner: François Peretti
    Account Directors: Florence Couvidat, Camille Piget, Thibault Salaun
    PR, Communications Director: Barka Zérouali

    Production House: Iconoclast
    Director: Adrien Armanet
    Photographer: Sacha Goldberger

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    Sometimes, the problem is right under your nose.

    That's certainly the case in this wacky, well-done anti-pollution PSA from WildAid China and McCann Shanghai. The 90-second spot is set in a smog-shrouded, dystopian future China (as opposed to the smog-shrouded, dystopian present-day China), where the population has adapted to the noxious climate in a logical if aesthetically bizarre fashion.

    Nose hair has grown to epic proportions in order to filter out the toxins. And everyone, including infants in strollers and stray dogs, sport flowing nostril-locks that wave in the wind, sometimes extending a foot or more in front of their faces.

    Society has adjusted to this alteration exceptionally well. Salons cater to nose-hair styling, while TV and billboard ads tout a conditioner providing "shiny flutter" thanks to "soft and bright Hazilization technology."

    In the best bit, when a young woman rejects the gift of a nose-trimmer from her boyfriend, she uses her snaky nasal strands to push the package back across a table.

    Ultimately, because all dystopias need a rebellious Winston Smith-type, the guy takes the device and hacks away at his own bushy beak. "Rather than blindly submit, I'll experience breathing, because it reminds me that the sky was once THIS blue," he says, admiring photographs of bygone cerulean skies.

    The moral of the story: "Change air pollution before it changes you." (In case viewers are a bit fuzzy on the concept.)

    Gwantsi Productions director Chris Xu does a fine job mixing future shock with schlock to create a fun, freaky film that delivers its serious message without seeming preachy.

    This marks the first push for WildAid's GOblue program, which is designed to empower Chinese citizens to make low-carbon transportation choices to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Underpinning the project are estimates that between 500,000 and 1.5 million Chinese die prematurely each year from air pollution, while lung-cancer rates have soared by 465 percent in the past 30 years.

    Such numbers are absent from the PSA, which is probably a wise move, as their inclusion would've felt like overkill. The spot is running on social networks and TV, along with outdoor, taxi and subway screens.

    And if the whole outlandish-nose-hair/anti-pollution concept seems a tad familiar, that's because WildAid drew inspiration from the shaggy schnozes in the 2012 spot below by BBDO Guerrero for Clean Air Asia. 

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    Concerned that not enough people in China feel comfortable discussing sexuality, condom brand Durex worked with social marketing agency S-Lab to create an online sex museum that broaches the topic in the trippiest way possible. 

    (Didn't Durex already make emoji to deal with this problem?)

    The museum, accessible through a QR code, is a fully explorable virtual space where full-color artwork, provided by 12 artists solicited for the project, hangs on black-and-white walls. Clicking on individual pieces of art provides a closer look and info about them.

    Check out the promotional video:

    Below is artwork by Chanon Treenet that also acts as a promotion for Durex's Aloe Vera Pleasure Gel. "The acceptability of Chinese consumers for lube product is relatively low," Treenet says, and this piece shows that lube "is a lovely thing to color up the whole process of your sex life."

    Despite being almost inaccessibly abstract, some of the stuff is pretty racy, which might explain how the museum got 1 million views the day it launched. 

    How it will actually facilitate frank and/or useful discussions about sexuality is another matter entirely. Art is good at forcing people to acknowledge issues, and reframing them in interesting ways, but the execution here makes this a branding exercise first and foremost. 

    The Internet hasn't proven to be the best place to cultivate genuine sex talk anyway, as evidenced by pretty much everything posted on it from 1996 to right now. Instead, maybe you can visit one of the many sex museums that exist in real life. (Try not to overdo it on the interactive exhibits, though.)

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    Working in an ad agency is just like working in any office: There's going to be a bit of what Dr. Freud would have called "unresolved libido." When copywriters, art directors and their teams work so closely together for hours on end, a bit of office romance is all but inevitable, as staffers share the excitements and frustrations of modern advertising. 

    Belgrade-based copywriter and creative strategist Marko Novakovic has a solution: Why don't all the agency people around town just collectively relieve the natural stress that comes with such demanding jobs?

    "Last week I launched AgencySexQuest.com and distributed boxes full of condoms to the 30 most eminent agencies in Belgrade," Novakovic tells AdFreak. "The new trend in the Balkan region is 'ad conferences'—people going to some remote locations to party, have sex and maybe to attend some boring lectures. So I wanted to have a little fun, give people a bunch of condoms and also encourage them to have sex with colleagues. :)" 

    The site includes a map of the surrounding area, which includes offices of major agencies like Grey, Leo Burnett, Havas and Saatchi & Saatchi.

    This site is an extension of Novakovic's Instagram project "Klijent je uvek u pravu" or "The client is always right," a platform for agency people to complain about clients. He says he created the new site, which is more of a joke than a workable tool, primarily to amuse fellow advertising professionals.

    "The Instagram account is very popular among ad people in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. Since our advertising scene is quite small, almost every account manager, copywriter or art director is following me, so from time to time I create some funny projects," he says.

    Still, the response has been quite positive, Novakovic says.

    "I got emails from seven different agency directors thanking me for the gift," he says. "This will probably sound cocky and stupid, but I also got something like 300 friend requests on Facebook [after the site went live]. It has had around 1,100 unique visits, so if we take into account that there are around 1,500 people working in the ad industry in Belgrade, then almost everybody saw it."

    There's no word on how much sex has been had as a result of this project, but we share Novakovic's hope that everyone involved is using proper protection.

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    It's become common for brands of all kinds to show support for the LGBT community. And while efforts from Wells Fargo, Honey Maid and others have garnered headlines—particularly during Pride Month in June—few have gone as all-in for the cause as Australia's ANZ Bank.

    To celebrate 10 years of sponsoring Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ANZ transformed its retail office in Oxford Street into a "GAYNZ branch," complete with marble floors, baroque statuary and hand-painted murals on LGBT themes. 

    "It's Liberace meets Louis XIV," ANZ says in promotional materials, resulting in a banking experience "fit for a queen … or king." 

    The metamorphosis includes GAYNZ business cards for executives, GAYNZ branding across many of the bank's media channels, and a rainbow-flag emoji developed with Twitter to accompany the #GAYNZ hashtag on social media.

    Whybin\TBWA Melbourne developed the campaign, which amplifies earlier efforts to align the bank with gay pride, including an initiative with colorful GAYTMs that won the Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes. (Those machines are back for the GAYNZ push in Oxford Street, though the winged hamster fresco and "gay Dutch penguins" sculptures are new.) 

    "Diversity, inclusion and respect is an important part of what we do," says Mark Hand, managing director of corporate banking at ANZ. "Over the past few years we have had an incredible response to our GAYTMs, so it was only natural to take things to a new level."

    The campaign reflects gains made by both the LGBT community and corporations in the past decade. In tune with the times, marketers have become increasingly comfortable with diversity, and now pride themselves on outreach and inclusion. It seems appropriate that some should move beyond paid media, slogans and signage, remodeling physical spaces and encouraging staffers to take part in civic activities and celebrations.

    Such marketers gain invaluable credibility and goodwill for literally taking their commitment to the streets. To wit, the ANZ's Oxford branch is located on the Mardi Gras parade route, and 230 bank employees, family and friends participated yesterday.

    More photos below.

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    A new, gay-friendly McDonald's McCafé ad in Taiwan has predictably stirred up opposition from local religious groups, who are demanding a boycott. 

    The ad, by Leo Burnett, shows a boy coming out to his father by writing it on a McCafé cup—and his father seeming to react poorly, at least at first. (Because until Denny's expands to Taiwan, McCafé has to be the place where people have difficult talks.) 

    The Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family is leading the incitement to boycott. "Even if you want to just take a leak at a McDonald's bathroom, you can't help but feel polluted," a rep from the Alliance told local media. (What an odd thing to say to the press.) The rep also accused McDonald's of "openly promoting gay issues" and miseducating children on sexual behavior. 

    You hear that, Mickey D's? Stick to miseducating children on nutrition.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Taiwan's Ministry of Justice found that nearly 60 percent of respondents to a poll approve of same-sex marriage, and Taiwan in general is on the forefront of protection of LGBT rights. In a campaign video late last year, President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said, "In the face of love, everyone is equal. Let everyone have the freedom to love and to pursue their happiness."

    Seven Taiwan cities already accept household registrations of same-sex couples. Taiwan may well be first nation in Asia to legalize gay marriage, if it can successfully overcome opposition from a vocal but influential Christian minority. 

    McDonald's has been on the forefront of gay-friendly marketing in several countries, having aired this somewhat similar French spot in 2010 (though the boy there didn't feel as comfortable clueing his father in). 

    Also worth noting: Since they're drinking coffee, the tagline, "Let there be more warmth in conversations," is something of a pun—which is far more deserving of fundamentalist rage than anything else in this ad. 

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    ABC and sponsor Lexus are hyping the midseason return of Quantico with the network's first virtual reality experience, which takes viewers inside a specially scripted mini-episode of the terrorism drama. 

    Quantico's writers helped agency Team One create the 3:30 video, watchable by anyone on YouTube 360 and via the Littlestar Cinema VR app for users of Samsung smartphones and Samsung VR gear headsets. The YouTube 360 perspective mimics the head-swivel of better-equipped VR viewers: You navigate the screen with your cursor, or click the arrows to turn the camera angle, as you help two series characters find and capture a bad guy (or rather, an FBI agent playing one).

    In the clip, Johanna Braddy and Graham Rogers play FBI trainees Shelby Wyatt and Caleb Haas, who trade the kinds of quips you'd expect from a promo for a broadcast thriller built around young law enforcement recruits in the age of global terror. (The dude agent is irrepressibly horny. The lady agent is horrified she ever dated him.) 

    You, the newbie, get to wander into a club and look for aforementioned "bad guy." Once Shelby gets him outside, there's another twist. 

    How does it all end? The good guys win, naturally.

    The piece prominently features a Lexus LX 570 SUV. ABC and the automaker also promise two easter eggs with additional content for those dedicated enough to find them. And while ABC bills this as the only VR experience the network has scripted thus far, the gimmick is not Lexus's first foray into VR marketing. Other auto marketers have been playing with ways to use the technology as well.

    But it's a nifty enough idea and execution, especially once the scene actually moves inside the bar, where there's more to see. A behind-the-scenes video includes fun technical tidbits about the production—that it had to be done in one take, and that the camera was helmet mounted—once you get past the pap about how great it is to have the viewer "on the scene" with the actors. (Alas, the viewer is still far removed, sitting at home or maybe alone in the office, engaging in a slightly different form of make-believe.) 

    Beyond the novelty, it's not a bad way to blend the respective interests of both ABC and Lexus. "It's a much deeper level of engagement for a sponsor while still remaining organic and true to the storyline," says Jeffrey Weinstock, vp and creative director for integrated marketing at ABC.

    Brian Bolain, corporate marketing communications and product marketing manager at Lexus, adds: "This project allowed us to seamlessly integrate Lexus into Quantico's storyline so fans could explore the new LX virtually while enjoying the show's 360-degree bonus footage."

    As for how it compares to other similar tech-driven experimentation, at least as a desktop experience, it falls short of simpler split-or-toggle-screen ideas, like Converse's Valentines ad and Honda's "The Other Side."

    Worse, for anyone afraid of heights or public speaking, it's probably not the best use of a Samsung VR headset—even if it is more fun. 

    Agency: Team One
    Executive Creative Director: Alastair Green
    Group Creative Director: Jason Stinsmuehlen
    Associate Creative Director: Jon King
    Creative Technologist: Mike Rozycki
    Account Director: Joel Dons
    Account Supervisor: Trina Sethi
    Associate Media Director: Elaine Evangelista
    Media Supervisor: Noopur Chhabra
    Public Relations Account Supervisor: Kat Kirsch
    Senior Producer: Chad Bauer
    Social Media Account Director – Meredith Gruen
    Social Media Account Supervisor – Robin Watkins

    Media Partner: ABC
    VP & Creative Director: Jeffrey Weinstock
    Director, Integrated Marketing: Chris Powers
    ECD, Entertainment Marketing: Charlie Bowyer
    Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing: Meg Smith
    Digital Account Executive: Tara Smith

    Production Company: Unit 9
    Director: Jonathan Pearson
    Executive Producer: Luca De Laurentiis
    UK Production Manger: Kane Phillips
    VR Lead Tech: David Crone
    VR Tech Assistant: Chris Belcher
    Post Production Supervisor: Zlaten Del Castillo

    Production Company: Wee Beastie
    Executive Producer: Monica Hinden
    Executive Producer: Josh Shurtleff
    Line Producer: Monica Monique
    Production Manager: Vlad Doclin

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    Advertising art directors spend a lot of time on stock photo websites. So, what better place to target them with a recruitment campaign?

    Y&R Prague did so recently, putting little "Now Hiring" messages on the watermarks of the images on Dreamstime's stock photo site. These weren't paid ads—rather, Y&R and Dreamstime partnered to display the messages. 

    There's no word yet on whether the approach worked. But Y&R jokingly warned the creative directors at fellow agencies not to ask their art directors for too many stock photos right now—if they don't want them "typing an email to a rival agency real soon!" 

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    Current gig President, MAC Presents
    Twitter @MarcieAllen
    Age 42

    Adweek: You've been in the music marketing industry for more than 20 years. What's new?
    Marcie Allen: Probably looking at all the new technology, from virtual reality to RFID (radio frequency identification) bracelets, which broke onto the scene a few years ago. Now more than ever content is king and brands are looking to get content, share content, so you're looking at all the social media platforms from Periscope to Snapchat, really playing a bigger role than ever and brands are activating partnerships with the different artists and bands.

    Is virtual reality really the wave of the future?
    Virtual reality is just now starting. You had Oculus Rift launch at Sundance a couple of weeks ago and you're going to see Samsung Gear do more and more deals with artists where they're wanting to shoot an artist's videos similar to kind of what Target [did] with Gwen Stefani during the Grammys. The music video aired live for three minutes, and there was exclusive content that appeared on Periscope and Snapchat later on. That's the pillar of the type of deals that we're going to see more.

    But are artists interested in long-term relationships with brands?
    Of course they are! Artists just want to get the big check for doing a corporate event, and unless you're doing CES or SXSW or Sundance or the Grammys or Super Bowl, it's hard to find those big checks anymore. I think brands are realizing the power of having a relationship with an artist that extends past what in our world we call a "one and done." Last year, [we did a deal] with Imagine Dragons and Southwest Airlines when their album Smoke + Mirrors was dropping. Southwest said to us, "You know, we're really only interested in this if we can integrate into everything that Imagine Dragons is doing around this album launch." It's about coming in and taking over all of the messaging and making sure that there's a sense of connection between the brand and the artist.

    With all of the technological advances, are there things you have to be thinking about that maybe you didn't a year ago?
    Absolutely. Moving forward into 2017 and Q3 and Q4 of 2016 all of our brand clients are saying to us, "What new technology can we use at our activation?" I can't really give examples because that's a trend that has just now started. Like I said, Oculus just launched a couple of weeks ago at Sundance. But it's something like right now we're having a conversation with a huge artist about shooting their next music video in virtual reality. Those are the kinds of programs I think you're going to see more of.

    Is there anything in particular that we should be on the lookout for at SXSW?
    SXSW is a challenge for brands. [The] Interactive [week of SXSW] is much more powerful. There's a lot of brands that get lost at SXSW because of the sheer number and now when you look at how much it costs just to get involved if you aren't going to go guerrilla. You have to do something really powerful to break through the clutter.

    This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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    Quick, name an inventor … a female inventor. Not so easy, is it?

    In the 100-second film below, part of Microsoft's "Make What's Next" campaign timed to International Women's Day today, girls ages 7 to 15 struggle to come up with examples.

    "In school, it was always a male inventor. I just realized that," one girl said.

    Edison, Franklin, Leonardo Da Vinci and other brilliant men are rightly revered. Still, as the film points out, "not everything is man made."

    "There are a lot of amazing things that have been made, and continue to be made, by women," Susan Young, group creative director at McCann Worldgroup's m:united, which made the work, tells Adweek. "And if you study STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math], you can make anything. We want girls to know that they can make anything."

    Indeed, there are plenty of women inventors, historical and contemporary, for youngsters to admire. The film lists quite a few, and shorter videos zero in on some of them. These include Yvonne Brill, who aimed high to develop rocket and jet propulsion systems:

    Next, there's Ada Lovelace, who devised the first computer program—in 1843!

    And here's sharp-minded Tabith Babbitt, who invented the circular saw:

    "Oh my god, that's so much," says one girl in the film as she learns about the women's STEM achievements. "I didn't even know that stuff."

    That's the point of the campaign, which is a follow-up to last year's "Girls Do Science" push. The new effort includes broadcast, online video and social media across 35 countries.

    The approach pointedly illustrates that women and girls are sorely underrepresented in the educational sciences and high-tech workforce. In fact, according to recent estimates, only about 10 percent of executives at Silicon Valley's top 150 tech companies are women.

    To help narrow the gap, Microsoft will make programs and resources available at MakeWhatsNext.com. At South by Southwest this month, the company is launching an interactive activation to connect girls with tech influencers. A patent program for girls is also on tap.

    Ultimately, however, it all begins with planting a dream, and role models can be a vital part of that process. They supply invaluable inspiration, providing girls with glimpses of what they can accomplish—the kinds of people they might one day become.

    One of the youngsters in the film says it best: "To know that there were women before me gives me motivation that I can invent something and make maybe a change in the world. That would be really cool."

    Client: Microsoft
    Agency: m:united
    Co-Chief Creative Officers: Sean Bryan, Thomas Murphy
    Group Creative Directors: Susan Young, Daniela Vojta
    Copywriter: Sarah Menacho
    Senior Art Director: Trinh Pham
    Designer: Kelly Kim
    Head of Integrated Production: Aaron Kovan
    Senior Producer: Meg McCarthy
    Producer: Rebecca Magner
    Digital Credits
    SVP, Group Creative Director: Roberto Santellana
    UX Director: Daniel Schultze
    Designer: Jaeeun Chung
    UX Specialist: Flora Kwong
    Interactive Producer: Sean Flannigan

    President m:united: John Dunleavy
    Managing Director: Kevin Nelson
    Account:  Tina Galley, Jason Kolinsky, Rosemary Calderone, Courtney LeBlanc, Sarah Livingston
    Global Strategy Director: Michelle Kiely
    Strategy: Todd Sussman, Eldad Heilweil, Priyanka Nigam, Courtney Bernstein, Ryan Duffy
    Project Management: Stella Warkman, Kristen Lillis, Vinny Tran
    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Nanette Burstein
    Executive Producer: Nancy Hacohen
    Producer: Julianne Maloney

    Union Editorial
    Editor: Sloane Klevin
    EP: Caryn Maclean
    Producer: Lauren Hafner Addison
    ​Flame: Kirk ​Balden
    ​Graphics Producer: Yoko Lytle
    Graphics Creative Director: Chris ​Bialkowski
    ​Graphics Artist: Eric ​Dalimarta

    Mix: Cory Melious @ Heard City​
    Transfer: Jaime O'Bradovich @ Company 3​

    Music: JSM Music
    Chief Creative Officer/Composer: Joel Simon
    Executive Producer: Jeff Fiorello
    Producer: Norm Felker
    Asche & Spencer

     Interested in invention?
    Check out Adweek's Project Isaac Awards here.


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