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  • 01/11/13--08:02: Ad of the Day: Axe
  • On the list of sexy male professions, fireman is a perennial top pick. Just ask any male stripper (or the audience at Magic Mike). But according to Axe, the maker of pungent body sprays favored by junior-high boys, there's one hot-dude job that beats all the rest: astronaut.

    This hierarchy is deftly illustrated in Axe's latest spot from BBH London and  Biscuit Filmworks director Tim Godsall, in which a handsome fireman braves a burning building to save the pretty girl trapped within. He removes his fireman's coat, wraps it around the damsel in distress (this initially appears to be a segue into a striptease routine, but alas, it's just an act of kindness) and carries her out of the building. At this point the woman appears suitably love-struck—until, that is, a fully suited astronaut approaches out of nowhere. The damsel immediately abandons her rescuer to go flirt with the man in the big white onesie, because, as Axe informs us, "Nothing beats an astronaut. Ever."

    So, what's an astronaut doing in an Axe commercial? Oh, just recruiting some people for the Axe Apollo Space Academy. The company this week launched a contest to gather 22 people for a trip to space—"as in, actual space," the brand says, in case you were confused. Axe even managed to get Buzz Aldrin, the legendary astronaut (and probably one of the few you can actually name), to announce the campaign. (A second spot, "Lifeguard," will launch soon and also be tagged with the invitation to space.)

    Go to this website to apply for the Axe Apollo program between now and Feb. 3 (when Axe will air its first Super Bowl commercial). And hope to god that in space, no one can smell your Axe.

    Client: Axe
    Agency: BBH, London

    Client Credits
    Tomas Marcenaro - Global Brand Director
    Jim Brennan  - Global Brand Manager
    Michael Coden - Global Assistant Brand Manager

    BBH Creative Team: Wesley Hawes and Gary McCreadie, Diego Oliveira and Caio Giannella
    BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
    BBH Producer: Ruben Mercadal
    BBH Assistant Producer: George Ancock
    BBH Head of Strategy: Jonathan Bottomley
    BBH Strategic Business Lead: Ngaio Pardon
    BBH Strategy Director: Tim Jones
    BBH Team Director: Tom Murphy
    BBH Team Manager: Jennifer Omran

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Tim Godsall
    Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
    Producer: Rick Jarjoura
    DoP: Jess Hall
    Post Production: Framestore
    Sound Design: Phaze UK / Raja Sehgal @ Grand Central Studios, London
    Sound Mixing / Arrangement : Raja Sehgal @ Grand Central Studios, London
    Music: Human (Los Angeles / New York)

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    Ad agency Try/Apt put together a series of spots for the Norwegian Seafood Council that show modern dancers frolicking around as pieces of fish in an attempt to make sushi more appealing. That's one way, I guess. The masked dancers in the "Maki" ad suggest, at least visually, a touch of the Innsmouth Curse, which isn't something I'd put in an ad that's ultimately about food. But I still like the idea here. Weird conceptual ads are a welcome breather from the endless wacky-office-culture crap we get in the States. Two more spots after the jump.

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    Here in Alabama, our unshakable dominance over college football has become practically ridiculous. And while the clip below is supposed to be a farce, there's a certain amount of believability to it. The University of Alabama's Paul W. Bryant Museum created the video, "So Many Trophies, So Little Space," last year to celebrate the state's long legacy of pigskin prowess. But it's is even more true to life this week, as the Crimson Tide celebrate their third national football championship in the four years—a streak broken only by in-state rival Auburn's 2010 title. That said, the best part of the spot refers to a different sport: basketball. In a cameo at the end, Alabama student Jack Blankenship shows off "The Face" that quickly made him a fan favorite and opponents' pet peeve at last season's games.

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    A broadcast known mostly for beer and soda is getting something different this year: a tall glass of milk.

    The Milk Processor Education Program, aka MilkPEP, is preparing its first Super Bowl commercial for the Feb. 3 telecast on CBS, The New York Times reports.

    The 30-second spot, from Deutsch in New York, will star Dwayne Johnson, aka, The Rock. Directed by Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights fame, the ad will reportedly show the lengths to which a father will go to make sure his kids have milk for their cereal in the morning. The production company behind the spot is Pony Show Entertainment.

    Thematically, that sounds reminiscent of the recent MilkPEP spot with Salma Hayak in which the actress arrives home from a fancy night out to find she has no milk for the morning—so, she sets out on a wild goose chase to find some.

    The Super Bowl spot will be a crazier affair, however. Photos taken this week on the Long Beach, Calif., set of the commercial show a lion, muscle men, stilt walkers and clowns.

    MilkPEP is best known for its milk-mustache campaign. It licenses the "Got milk?" tagline from the California Milk Processor Board, which runs its own separate marketing campaigns.

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    The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a new album, Mosquito, coming out April 16, and it's already getting tons of attention—partly for its insane album cover. South Korean filmmaker and animator Beomsik Shimbe Shim did the design, and it's certainly eye-catching—with the eponymous mosquito proving to be more than your average pest. The naked child under attack, meanwhile, seems to have been feeding from a jar of "YYYs." Interpretations, anyone? Via Pitchfork.

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  • 01/14/13--11:27: Ad of the Day: Hertz
  • The season's most amazing new winter accessory has turned out—for better or worse—to be a deviously clever ad campaign in disguise.

    The video below pitches SkiBrogues, a fascinating new ski boot with an ingenious retractable ski. No more lugging around those bulky skis—they quickly and delightfully fold up into the boot itself, James Bond style. And what a boot it is. Made of the finest Italian leather, it "looks really stylish in a bar, après-ski," our low-key British pitchman tells us. The YouTube description confirms these SkiBrogues are "stylish and functional both on and off-piste."

    The video points to a website, SkiBrogues.com, where you can ostensibly purchase a pair of these outlandishly awesome boots. (They're not cheap, either. A pair will set you back anywhere from $600 to $1,600.)

    But wait. Actually, it looks like they're all sold out. Yep, they're out of stock across the board. And oh look, what is that in the sidebar? A banner advertising ski packages from rental-car company Hertz.

    Fake-product advertising can be irritating, but this campaign, from London agency Corke Wallis, gets everything right. The video is extremely well produced and believable—the retraction demo, in particular, is hypnotizing. And the banner on the website is just so unassuming that you have to smile. Being fooled never felt so good.

    Now, can someone work on a real prototype for this, please?

    Client: Hertz
    Agency: Corke Wallis, London

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    If you enjoyed the first four Target grocery ads that pretended to be fashion spots, here are four more—selling diapers, lightbulbs, oatmeal and fruit snacks. They broke Sunday night during the Golden Globes. Love the stylish yet self-deprecating nature of this whole campaign. Great music on all the spots, too.

    See the previously released spots below:

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  • 01/15/13--03:02: The Spot: Beside Themselves
  • IDEA: If you could speak to your past or future self—literally—what would you say? How would you feel if your future self had made changes you'd only dreamed of making? Or your past self was still trapped and miserable, unable—until now—to move forward? Weight-loss company Medifast wades into these deep waters in its new campaign, taking "before" and "after" images of its customers—the oldest trick in the diet-marketing book—and putting them in motion, to poignant effect. For three new ads, it filmed three people before starting a diet and again eight months later. Thanks to some nifty editing, it then got the heavier and slimmer versions of each person to appear to talk to each other in real time about reaching their cherished goal. In a category full of celebrities and appeals to vanity, Medifast saw a chance to dig deeper. "Whenever I meet people who've done the program, invariably they start crying. But I had never seen an emotional approach," said Michael Decker, vp of brand marketing and creative services. "That was my challenge to the agency: Find an emotional hook for this category."

    : The agency, Solve, came up with the concept, found the right customers—Tina Shelley, Kimberley Vandlen and Joseph Garcia—and let them speak for themselves. The spots are largely unscripted. Solve's creatives and director Jorn Haagen worked mostly to get the talent in the right headspace to engage with themselves in an authentic, emotional way. "It feels good to see you. It makes me want it. I've wanted it so bad," the "before" version of Vandlen says in her spot while weeping openly. "This is all you," her future self replies, choking up as well. "It was difficult to watch. They really bared their souls," said Solve CEO John Colasanti. The interactions were pieced together in editing, mostly to match emotions rather than dialogue. (The "after" customers were shown only minimal footage from the earlier shoots, and of course there was none to show the "before" customers.) The dialogue is reflective rather than celebratory. There are a few small physical flourishes—Vandlen hands herself a tissue at one point, and Garcia high-fives himself—but the action is mostly unadorned. The tagline is "Become yourself."

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: All three spots were filmed in a pair of one-day shoots—separated by the eight months—at the same house in Los Angeles. For the second shoot, the scenes had to be recreated precisely as they looked earlier, down to how much water was in the drinking glasses. "The house wasn't just sitting there in mothballs waiting to be reshot," said Colasanti. (Indeed, a family lived there in the intervening months.) The home was chosen for its "comfortable and unassuming" feel and modest décor, Colasanti said. "We needed a setting that was as real as the people," he said. Costuming and makeup weren't overly prescribed. The agency resisted employing superficial cosmetic changes to make the "before" person look awful and the "after" person beautiful. The "before" people weren't made to wear anything ill-fitting, for example—in fact, they wore their own clothes. At both shoots they wore their hair as they normally would.

    SOUND: Subtle music underscores the spots. "It plays a similar role as the setting would," said Colasanti. "It's ambiance, but it isn't overpowering. It adds this almost ethereal quality to it." Sound design is minimal.

    MEDIA: National broadcast and cable, supported by print and social. Year-to-date sales are up tenfold, according to the agency.


    Client: Medifast
    EVP, Chief Marketing Officer: Brian Kagen
    VP, Brand Marketing and Creative Services: Michael D. Decker
    Director, Social Media: Brian Gleason
    Agency: Solve, Minneapolis
    Creative Director/Art Director: Hans Hansen
    Creative Director/Writer: Eric Sorensen
    Producer: Judy Brink
    Account Director: Andrew Pautz
    Director: Jorn Haagen
    Production Company: Assembly Films
    Editorial: Channel Z Editorial
    Editor: Jim Stanger
    Music/Sound: Echo Boys
    Post Production/EFX: Volt Studios

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    Las Vegas is a cesspool. Clorox is bleach. It's a match made in heaven. Last week during CES, DDB West began touting the brand's efficacy at cleaning up bodily fluids in a series of clever if fratty fill-in-the-blank taxi-top ads and billboards around Sin City. (Sample: "I ______ed all over my hotel room.") Because digital tie-ins are now obligatory, the billboards are interactive at bleachitaway.com/vegas, where Clorox's rabid fans, known for their partying, can submit their own unsavory phrases, then get a picture of an outdoor placement with their mad libs plugged in (and then share it with their friends). Because what happens there, stays there … until you plaster it across your Facebook page, where all the Clorox in the world won't get it out. Read all the variations below.

    "I ______ed all over my hotel room."
    "I woke up in my own ______."
    "I ______ed myself last night."
    "I just ______ed my pants."
    "Is that _____ on my skirt?"
    "Some girl just ______ed all over my _____."

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    After pulling an ad that likened laptop neglect to animal abuse (and made cruel sport of them both), Samsung Home Appliances is trying to atone with this Viral Factory spot for EcoBubble washing machines, in which a bear parades around in his boxers like he's Rodney Dangerfield or something. The ad is clearly pandering, but at least it's well-made pandering, even if the bear forgets to use detergent when he washes his pelt. But I'd rather think about that than how long it's been since he washed those boxers. Via CNET.

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    Southern Comfort's Speedo-wearing, Southern Comfort-drinking beach bum, who we had always assumed was underemployed, actually has quite the important and extensive job—giving weather reports to people in every city everywhere. Head over to ComfortableWeatherGuy.com to see the tan, rotund, exceedingly comfortable man standing against a backdrop of whatever weather is happening in your area—rain, snow, fog, wind, sun. (He is, of course, partial to the latter, but remains comfortable wherever he is—even in the current -4°F weather of Irkutsk, Russia.) The site is also accessible via mobile and tablet, says the agency, Wieden + Kennedy in New York. There are some 80 videos in all, many of them quietly hilarious. Yes, some show the man in his native habitat of the beach. But the site lets you check the weather in all sorts of locations, to see how the man deals with different environments. The character originally appeared in this famous spot from last August. That ad was so quirky, visually unique and fully realized, it's almost a shame to see the character elsewhere. But you can't begrudge the agency or client for wanting to get more mileage out of him. The tagline remains, "Whatever's comfortable."

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  • 01/15/13--13:51: Ad of the Day: Coca-Cola
  • Skinny, happy people drink soda too, says Coca-Cola.

    The beverage giant is diving face-first into the fray about sugary drinks and health, releasing the two-minute commercial below, patting itself on the back for helping to solve the problem while simultaneously trying to shift some of the blame to other, unnamed foods and, perhaps most oddly, to consumers themselves.

    The spot, created by agencies Brighthouse and Citizen2, is notable in part for what it doesn't emphasize—two-liter bottles, Big Gulps and people struggling with obesity. Yet it still manages to be particularly—and shamelessly—insidious for the string of sugary products it parades across the screen while trying to make the case that it's focused on serving up products that are better for consumers. It's kind of like someone smiling at you and telling you, "Why, it would be a shame if you stabbed yourself with this knife, but if you really want it, we'll sell it to you."

    Mostly, it's a surprisingly ham-fisted answer to the latest attacks on the soda industry from public health crusaders like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Alex Bogusky-aided, polar-bear-amputating Center for Science in the Public Interest, which wasted no time calling Coke's new campaign "just a damage control exercise, and not a meaningful contribution toward addressing obesity."

    Overall, the ad spins the issue so many different ways that it's difficult not to see all of them as thinly veiled attempts at manipulation. And it's easy to imagine the marketing bogeyman holed up in a windowless room, tapping his pen against his forehead as he tries to come up with the most Machiavellian way of making Coke look good on this issue.

    Sure, the numbers about juice and diet sodas in schools seem compelling, and the spot's energy might have been better focused there. Then again, it's not necessarily the best argument, given yesterday's NIH study linking diet soda to depression.

    While the ad's use of a popular "common-sense" Republican catchphrase is a clear shot at painting political opponents as big-government, the subtext for consumers translates roughly to "If you're fat, it's your fault. Drink a diet soda, idiot. Get on the treadmill. We gave you options. Not our problem."

    Or, as the voiceover gleefully chirps, "If you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you'll gain weight!" Thanks for the pointer.

    Client: Coca-Cola
    Agencies: Brighthouse, Citizen2

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    Rory McIlroy made headlines this week by signing an endorsement deal with Nike worth a gazillion bucks (or at least $20 million a year for five years, possibly more). The 23-year-old Northern Irish golfer makes his Nike ad debut alongside Tiger Woods in this Wieden + Kennedy spot, which in its first 24 hours on YouTube amassed a gazillion views. (Actually, about 2.5 million.) Tiger and Rory compete in a fantastic driving-range competition and send balls sailing for miles to land in various cups of all shapes and sizes around town. "Just trying to keep up with the old guy," Rory teases. "Is that your real hair?" Tiger quips. Whatever. Golf sucks. The spot is amusing, reminiscent of McDonald's game of horse between Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. It's more entertaining than the unfathomably popular Turkish Airlines ad with Leo Messi and Kobe Bryant, which has been viewed—and I'm only barely exaggerating—by every human being who's ever lived on the planet. The Nike ad is awkwardly titled "No Cup Is Safe," inspiring snarky comments (quickly purged, but just as soon replaced) about bra sizes, shafts and "No hole being safe" when Tiger's around. I take back what I said before. Golf rocks! Credits below.

    CLIENT: Nike Golf
    PROJECT NAME: "No Cup Is Safe"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Don Shelford (AD), Tyler Whisnand (CW)
    Copywriter: Shaine Edwards
    Art Director: Derrick Ho
    Producer: Felicia Glover
    Account Team: Scott Sullivan, Ken Smith
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, Mark Fitzloff
    Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Executive Producer: Dan Duffy
    Editors: Matt Hilbur, Eric Hill

    Music, Sound Company: Search Party
    Song: Jungle Jump
    Producer: Sara Matarazzo

    Mix Company: Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Jeff Payne
    Producer: Caroline O'Sullivan

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  • 01/16/13--09:13: Ad of the Day: Ikea
  • Yes, all right, fine. This advertisement is adorable.

    Ikea has a pretty good idea what furniture is used for—namely, anything except its stated purpose. Also: finally, a housewares ad that won't have to endure the extravagant scorn of New Yorkers. These people don't have enough room! (See every article every written on how the characters in Friends were in ridiculously huge apartments. You guys, I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but I think it's a television show.)

    Ikea, with this Swedish ad you have instantly endeared yourself to us Americans who also don't have enough room and who live in the New York City metro area and have to take crazy shuttle things to and from Red Hook or Elizabeth, N.J., to get a $50 couch.

    Agency Akestam Holst and director Jesper Ericstam have done a bang-up job of melding the client's brand with the believably messy home of a normal consumer. It probably helps that Ikea sells all the things, ever. (What the spot really needs is a plate of those meatballs sitting in the background.)

    The Rube Goldberg device setup here is almost reminiscent of DirecTV's "When you have cable, and X terrible thing happens" ads, or maybe just children's classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I also want to know where the cat ended up sleeping. I'm going to assume next to the radiator.

    The final shot of the baby all alone in the queen-size bed is priceless, and the dog carrying its favorite pillow around the house is an excellent touch. I assume the ad is set in Sweden—seems cold enough and Scandinavian enough—but I thought there was more room/fewer children there.

    Not shown: the two broken bookshelves and a partially assembled desk with three vital screws missing.

    Client: Ikea
    Agency: Akestam Holst
    Agency Producer: Leila Widgren
    Production Manager: Agneta Oppenheim
    CW: Maja Folgero
    AD: Petra Albrektsson
    CD: Andrea Ullenius
    Prod. Co.: Social Club
    EP: Magnus Theorin
    Director: Jesper Ericstam
    DOP: Jakob Ihre
    Post: Stopp
    Music: Supercircus
    Sound: Stopp
    Offline Editor: Niclas von der Burg

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    For most companies, annual reports are a throwaway bit of year-end drudgery. But online eyewear retailer Warby Parker continues to make it an art form. We loved the site's 2011 annual report, and the 2012 retrospective is even more quirky and charming. It was a big year for the company, which launched several new collections and its first TV ad. By the numbers, the Warby Parker team also wrote 47,425 customer-service tweets, sold 296 monocles and made 2,253 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Hurricane Sandy victims. You can learn lots more about the growing company by browsing the interactive report here. And makes sure you scroll over the photos.

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    Conventional wisdom holds that once a brand finds a message that resonates, it sticks with it. This is why Raid’s been telling us it “kills bugs dead” since 1966 and why Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes has been “GR-R-REAT!” since the ‘50s. For the better part of a generation, Scope mouthwash traveled a familiar road, too. (We’ll get to that in a moment.) But as these ads show, conventional wisdom doesn’t hold forever. Sometimes the smartest thing a brand can do is take its familiar marketing message and toss it out—or, in Scope’s case, kiss it goodbye.

    Before the year 1966, mouthwash meant Listerine, Lambert Pharmaceutical’s wonder antiseptic whose paranoia-inducing advertising about halitosis prompted millions of Americans to gargle with it every day. Unchanged since its introduction in 1879, Listerine was an alcohol-based formulation of eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol. It killed germs like magic. It also made your mouth taste like a chemistry lab. Enter Scope.

    Marketers at Procter & Gamble knew that their formulation killed germs just like Listerine did. But Scope’s secret ingredient wasn’t its cetylpyridinium chloride or domiphen bromide. It was a marketing term—“mediciney”—that hit Listerine where it hurt. In a long and memorable run of ads, Scope asked, why would you want your breath to smell like medicine when it could be “minty fresh” with Scope? The 1977 ad below is textbook. Nothing conveyed the immediacy of breath like those pink lips, and nothing proved Scope’s claim like scratch-and-sniff pads.

    Trouble is, for as durable and effective as Scope’s messaging was—and did take plenty of market share away from Listerine—its argument could never fully shed a certain stomach-turning quality. “The ad is call to action, but it misses the mark,” said Peter Madden, president and CEO of branding agency AgileCat. “It’s very stationary, medicinal. Maybe if they’d used an attractive model, it would have been better, but those boxed-off lips skeeve me out.”

    Perhaps that’s why P&G (and Scope agency Publicis) decided to dump it—and dump all of it, judging from the image opposite, which approaches the brand from a completely different angle. Gone are the clinical trappings of germs, halitosis and medicine breath, the marketing tools that Scope relied on for years. Replacing it all is a lusty kiss on a dance floor—and the underlying message that Scope is no longer an antiseptic, but a social potion that inspires interaction, daring and confidence. “It’s cool and energetic, and the art direction is great,” said Madden, who adds that Scope has taken a page from the Axe playbook by shifting the focus from the performance of the product to the performance of the user: “It’s coming across with all millennial products now: Get out tonight, and who knows? If you’re on your game, you might get lucky.”

    Heck, even if you don’t, at least your breath won’t be mediciney.

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    "Hey, potential customer, you're gonna DIE! Wanna buy a wristwatch?" That's basically the message of this "Days to Live" campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky promoting Diesel's Timeframes line. Answering a bunch of questions at the "Days to Live" website—some jokey (Did you emerge from your mom's womb laughing or crying?), some not (Do you drink? Do you take drugs? Do you drive?)—supposedly yields the number of days you have left to live. My number: 12,508 (a little over 34 years). Phew. I'll last long enough to see Lance Armstrong tell Oprah that he drank human blood to win bicycle races.

    According to the client, the work inspires us to "unleash time's potential and urges people to grab hold of the opportunities that time creates." Diesel never gets too specific about how we're supposed to do that. Perhaps by dressing like the hip, brooding, style-ista time-wasters in the campaign's Anthony Dickenson-directed HTML5 video montage from production house Storythings? The overall "Days to Live" theme makes some sense for promoting watches. Even so, tone can be tricky, especially when dealing with emotionally charged issues like mortality, and here it's a big problem, because the light/dark mix never gels. Uplifting ads about making the most of one's time on the planet, without gallows humor, might have worked better. Or Diesel could've played the concept as a total goof and told people they have 10 second to live, so they'd better have some fun right now!

    Instead, we're stranded in an uncomfortable Twilight Zone of seriousness and snark. It's clearly intended as edgy, but seems confusing and odd for odd's sake, when precision and clarity should've been the campaign's watch words.

    Client: Diesel, Fossil
    Project: "Days to Live"
    Agency: Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
    Executive Creative Director: Matt Gooden
    Creative Director: Henrik Delehag
    Art Directors: Martin Jon Adolfsson, Philip Sinclair
    Copywriter: Emma Penz
    Producers: Rob Steiner, Donny Brown
    Planners: Wojtek Szumowski, Ruth Chadwick
    Media Agency: Mindshare
    Director: Anthony Dickenson
    TV Production Company: Pulse
    Digital Production Company: Storythings

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    "The drink's pure. It's your mind that's the problem." That's the tagline employed by British energy drink Pussy in new ads from Beattie McGuinness Bungay. The product is also described as "Cunningly delicious" in the ad below. This is not going anywhere good. Perhaps not surprisingly, Pussy founder Jonnie Shearer says he was inspired originally by Richard Branson's Virgin brand when he came up with the Pussy name almost a decade ago—while languishing in his parents house after graduating from college. "All my friends were working in the City, and I was in my old bedroom, launching a drink called Pussy. They thought I was an idiot." The business has grown, however. A key turning point was when grocery giant Tesco began stocking Pussy (although it censored the name with an asterisk for the first four months). The new campaign is part of Shearer's plan to become "the biggest energy drink brand in the U.K." Maybe, I don't know, a cat video next time?

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    McDonald's agency DDB Chicago ran this newspaper ad in TheWall Street Journal last week honoring Fred L. Turner, who died Jan. 7 at age 80. Turner joined McDonald's in 1956 and was its CEO from 1974 to 1987. He is credited with taking Ray Kroc's company and turning it into what it is today. He was the architect of its "quality, service and cleanliness" model, and the Egg McMuffin and Chicken McNugget were both introduced on his watch.

    Larger image of the text plus credits below.

    Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide
    Silas Reeves, Designer, DDB Chicago
    David Oif, Creative Director, Copywriter, DDB Chicago
    Tim Souers, Creative Director, Art Director, DDB Chicago

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  • 01/17/13--11:14: Ad of the Day: Barclays
  • Considering the scorn with which the banking industry is generally viewed, it makes sense that many banks often use their ads to project a kinder, more human side to the public. By that same token, Britain's Barclays infuses the new campaign for its Family Springboard home mortgages with a trait not often associated with finance: humor.

    The idea behind the Family Springboard mortgage is that parents can put savings toward their children's mortgages and get that money back three years later, with interest. To illustrate how this might come in handy, BBH London created this witty spot called "You vs. Unconditional Love," which tells the story of a father and his (rather demanding) little girl.

    It all begins (says narrator Jim Broadbent) with the arrival of a "tiny little parasitic bundle of joy," also known as a baby girl. Soon enough, she's enamored with dolls, but quickly throws those aside and demands that her father get her a bike. Then she wants a horse, then a car, and eventually a house. (As the narrator reminds us, if you don't give your children what they want, it's because you don't love them enough.) How can Dad help out his daughter without going broke himself? The answer, of course, is to get a Barclays Family Springboard mortgage!

    In the end, the loving father has gotten his money back from the mortgage, apparently with enough interest to buy himself a new convertible. And because what goes around comes around, his daughter now has a little parasite of her own.

    Client: Barclays
    Agency: BBH, London
    BBH Creative Directors: David Kolbusz, Dominic Goldman
    BBH Executive Creative Director: Nick Gill
    BBH Producer: Ruben Mercadal
    BBH Strategic Business Lead: Neil Small
    BBH Strategy Director: Debra Ladd
    BBH Team Director: George Scotland
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Guy Shelmerdine
    Executive Producer: Fergus Brown
    Producer: Gustav Geldenhuys
    Director of Photography: Martin Ruhe
    Postproduction: The Mill
    Sound Design: Factory
    Music: Mutato
    Animation: Passion Pictures


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