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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Apple didn't use celebrities in its early iPhone advertising, preferring product demos that showed what the device could actually do. That's all changed in recent years, of course—as Apple learned to love a little star power, beginning with Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel in 2012.

    Now, the latest iPhone 6 spot from TBWA\Media Arts Lab stars a beloved nonhuman celeb: Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, who chats with Siri—and uses the phone's timer and plays music, hands free—as he waits, agonizingly, for some cookies to bake. 

    The use of Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle" is a nice touch here, and certainly among the more throwback tracks that music-obsessed Apple has ever used. 

    Cookie is among the more appealing endorsers Apple has used, too, and the minute-long run time lets things drag out amusingly (though not for our treat-addicted star). Also, if Siri can easily understand Cookie Monster's gravelly voice, she'll have no trouble with yours.

    Client: Apple
    Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

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    The very language used to describe historical Nazi concentration camps in German-occupied Poland is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a touchy subject. A few years back, even President Obama landed himself in hot water for misspeaking on the subject.

    But according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, journalists are among the worst offenders when it comes to using incorrect terms like "Polish death camp" and "Polish concentration camp" to describe Holocaust sites run by Nazis on Polish soil during World War II.

    To help writers and editors avoid such phrases—which might suggest official Polish complicity in the mass murder of Jews—the museum and agency FCB Warsaw created software that flags such errors in popular programs like Microsoft Office, TextEdit, Keynote, Outlook and Safari.

    Titled "Remember," the app is currently designed to find errors in 16 languages, with plans to further expand its scope.

    It's a powerful, simple and, most importantly, constructive way to address the issue among a demographic—members of the media—whose word choice, good or bad, will echo to a wider audience. And while the distinction might seem trivial to some, it's a critical one.

    In reality, Germans killed some two out of three non-Jewish Poles during the occupation (depending on different estimates), including priests, intellectuals and political activists, part of a systematic effort to decimate what Nazi leaders saw as an inferior race. 

    Polish resistance fighters, meanwhile, worked to save members of the country's Jewish population, and killed other Poles who helped German occupiers target Jews. 

    Thus, it's easy to see why the country's modern leaders might take it personally when U.S. dignitaries suggest Poland collaborated with the Nazis. Unfortunately, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum doesn't currently have an app that helps catch less precise forms of ignorance.


    Client: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
    Museum Director: Dr Piotr M. A. Cywiński

    Creative Agency: FCB Warsaw
    Senior Art Director:  Wojciech Szpor
    Senior Copywriter: Czesio Plawgo
    Creative Director: Gosia Drozdowska 
    Creative Director: Agnieszka Klimczak
    Client service: Agnieszka Heidrich

    Media Agency: Mint Media
    App Developer: Mint Media
    App Developer: Macoscope

    0 0

    Car mechanic/restorer and Honda specialist Tim Mings has a special place in his heart (and possibly his beard) for the N600, which was Honda's introduction to the U.S. car market back in the 1960s. Turns out that one of the random N600s he bought and kept in storage for years is the vaunted Serial One, better known as the very first Honda N600. 

    Thanks to that serendipitous good fortune, Mings now gets to restore the historic vehicle, and Honda agency RPA is turning his work into an online documentary that honors the brand's American history.

    The work will be available on the company's various social media outlets, and will follow the restoration of the classic vehicle. Hopefully we'll get to see Mings pet his cute cat some more, too.

    While seeing weekly installments about the progress of Mings' restoration will interest plenty of gearheads, we're more curious how the first-ever N600 found its way into the shop of the one guy who was born to repair it. The amount of separate coincidences involved to make that possible is staggering ... like the car version of Homeward Bound.

    Client: Honda
    Agency: RPA
    EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    SVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    VP, Creative Director, Social Media: J Barbush
    Sr. Art Director: Evan Boswell
    Art Director: Craig Nelson
    Copywriter: David Bassine
    SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
    VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
    VP, Director of Digital Production: Dave Brezinski
    Executive Digital Producer: Linda Kim
    Sr. Digital Producer: Annie Hough

    0 0

    Twitter launched 10 years ago today with this 24-character Jack Dorsey tweet, but quickly became known for its 140-character message limit.

    And while it has flirted with the idea of expanding that limit, it is sticking with the limit for now—and indeed, it uses that limit to the maximum in a "Happy Birthday" message to itself in a new video thanking users for a decade of growth.

    The social site embedded the spot within a tweet, of course—which is only natural for a company that aggressively trying to boost its video services. But the 140-character birthday message actually appears only in the video—not as its own tweet.

    The tweet itself announces Twitter's intention to celebrate the birthday time zone by time zone, like New Year's Eve, as March 21 progresses.

    The video itself is pretty standard fare, crafted very much like typical year-end videos made annually by the likes of Google, YouTube, Facebook and, yes, Twitter—except, of course, it covers 10 years instead of one. But the message is familiar: It thanks Twitter users for connecting on the site every day, for a decade, about the things they care about—from the personal to the political.

    And it frames all the events, of course, with the Twitter conversation around them.

    "As March 21 begins around the world, each of our global offices will kick off the day by showing our appreciation and gratitude—starting in Sydney and following the sun to headquarters in San Francisco. We are excited to celebrate with all of you," Twitter says in an accompanying blog post.

    "Throughout the years, you've made Twitter what it is today and you're shaping what it will be in the future. Thank you for making history, driving change, lifting each other up and laughing together every day."

    And it looks like we'll be getting more videos throughout the day celebrating individual users, like this one about @KatyPerry.

    The birthday tweet in the video, meanwhile, might seem like it's 142 characters. But in fact, the heart and Twitter symbols at the very end are automatically generated by the #LoveTwitter hashtag if you post through Twitter's official channels and not a third party. 

    0 0

    It's been more than 20 years, but ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" is still going strong.

    In Wieden + Kennedy New York's latest work for the classic campaign, pro golfer Jordan Spieth brings his caddie, Michael Greller, to the network's cafeteria for advice—not on which club to use but on whether a fork or spoon is better for eating a bowl of mac and cheese. 

    It's a fun little gag, and yet another solid extension of the campaign's broader premise of peeling back the curtain on the (sometimes weird and obsessive) personalities of star athletes and newscasters inside the SportsCenter offices.

    Director David Shane, a comedy heavy-hitter and campaign regular, deftly captures the key, absurd moment of indecision. The well-written spot takes that joke one step further with a little twist ending, as anchor Stan Verrett spies on the exchange between Spieth and Greller, and takes guidance for his own lunch. (Verrett, historically, is in need of some help.)

    So the work scores extra points for the meta crack on sports commentary as a genre: Sometimes, the ad seems to say, it may well be like listening to someone deliver a blow-by-blow on how to chow down on a microwaveable meal.


    Client: ESPN
    Spot: "Utensils"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman
    Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Erwin Federizo
    Copywriters: Alex Ledford, Charles Hodges
    Art Directors: NJ Placentra, Gary Van Dzura
    Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf
    Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
    Account Team: Mike Welch, Matt Angrisani, Liz Lindberg
    Project Manager: Kristin Daly
    Business Affairs Manager: Tana Prosper
    Head of Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski
    Traffic:  Sonia Bisono, Andy Hume

    Production Company: O Positive
    Director: David Shane
    Director of Photography: Dave Morabito
    Executive Producer: Marc Grill
    Producer: Ken Licata

    Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
    Editor: Nick Divers
    Assistant Editor: Zoe Newman
    Post Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

    VFX/Finishing: Schmigital
    Flame Artist: Jimmy Hayhow
    Flame Assistant: Joseph Miller

    Mix: Mackenzie Cutler
    Mixer: Sam Shaffer

    Color Grade: Company 3
    Colorist: Tim Massick

    0 0

    Every day, it seems, our modes of transportation become more like high-tech companions, geared to enhance our comfort and safety while providing vital real-time information.

    The latest example comes from Italy, where Samsung partnered with Leo Burnett, motocross star Edo Mossi and local YouTube influencer Cane Secco to develop a "Smart Windshield" prototype for motorcycles.

    Fitted on a Yamaha Tricity 125 scooter in the video below, the screen accesses smartphone information through a connected app, displaying voice calls, social messages, emails and such, while riders keep their hands on the grips and their eyes (mostly) on the road. 

    When messages flash on screen, you can choose to pull over and engage, or the system can send an automatic "I'm driving" reply. Set below the bike's actual windscreen, the Smart Windshield also shows GPS navigation data.

    In Italy, smartphone use contributes to 25 percent of accidents among young motorists, Burnett says, so the Smart Windscreen was designed to appeal to tech-savvy millennials seeking enhanced safety. 

    Samsung and Burnett have driven down this road before. Notable efforts have included a life-saving truck-screen system in Argentina (winner of numerous prizes, including Adweek's 2015 Project Isaac Gravity Award for innovation), and 2014's "Smart Bike" concept for Italy.

    In a broader sense, such concepts point toward a (very near) future where passengers and vehicles are always in sync as they share the ride. The counterargument to this particular innovation is that it's probably safest not to check emails or texts at all, in any form, while driving—though that's probably wishful thinking these says.

    Hey, if self-driving scooters someday allow us to browse the Internet, snack or even snooze while we zip down the highway, well, maybe humanity is better off if the machines win the battle for global supremacy after all. 

    Client: Samsung
    Agency: Leo Burnett Italy
    Executive Creative Directors: Francesco Bozza, Alessandro Antonini
    Creative Director: Christopher Jones
    Associative Creative Director/copywriter: Giovanni Salvaggio
    Associative Creative Director /art: Andrea Marzagalli
    Creative team: Giuseppe Pavone, Luca Ghilino, Nicoletta Zanterino, Marco Viganò, Alice Crippa
    Brand leader: Bruno Borsetto
    Account supervisor: Carlotta Piccaluga
    Account manager: Federica Giacomotti
    Senior project manager: Andrea Castiglioni
    Social media & content manager: Raffaella Ramondetti
    Global Strategic Planner: Enrico Buongrazio
    Producer: Maria Luisa Crisponi
    Director: Davide Agosta

    0 0

    Nothing brightens a dreary workday quite like branded optimism from a random nonprofit. Commuters in Chicago who haven't had their spirits crushed will get to see this firsthand, as the Joy Team's pro-happiness billboard comes to the Windy City for the first time. 

    "Smile Across America" is a multi-city campaign to ring in the UN's International Day of Happiness by posting phrases like "Something wonderful is about to happen" and "Say YES" on billboards, digital screens in corporate buildings, and so on.

    The Joy Team, based in Washington state, believes that doing this lifts commuters' moods ... though of course, people who are already pissed off usually don't appreciate reminders of how happy they should be. 

    Then again, we're nihilistic East Coasters, so of course we think that.

    The Joy Team has anticipated—and already shrugged off—this response, telling the Chicago Tribune that it's "putting [the ads] up for people who will enjoy them and will see them and smile and have a better day." It also said it likes working with billboards because, unlike most other advertising, they can't be turned off, skipped or fast-forwarded, which speaks to an Orwellian sort of happiness that we're not sure we want. 

    So, it seems the campaign didn't work on us. Does it work on you? Check out more images from the campaign below, and let us know. 

    0 0

    People say print advertising is dying, but pretty regularly we see tourism campaigns that show its continuing power—not surprisingly, as tourism ads always hold that promise of delivering breathtaking visuals and poetic copy.

    Last year it came from Nebraska. And now, we have four wonderful new print ads for Wyoming, made by an agency 1,000 miles to the east—BVK in Milwaukee. The work has just the right balance of beautiful landscape shots and copy that manages to be lighthearted without taking away any of the grandeur.

    Check out the ads here. Click to enlarge.

    There is also a TV component to the campaign (which you can see below), along with other assets. AdFreak spoke to BVK group creative director Brian Ganther about the work.

    The print ads are eye-catching. What were you were going for there?
    Our vision was to make an incredibly vast and rugged landscape feel personal and emotional. Achieving "epic intimacy" became our mantra. Wyoming has less than six people per square mile. What's it like to be one of those people, and have all that wilderness to yourself? We're trying to create a deeper connection between this endless land and the individuals who explore it.

    Can you tell me about the balance between the visuals and the copy?
    Reaching the right balance took a lot of experimentation, as is always the case in producing good work. When your product is Yellowstone, the Tetons, the authentic Western culture of Wyoming, the visual statement needs to be epic. And the personal, philosophical statements delivered in the headlines need to pay it off. Not an easy task.

    What did you want to achieve with the video portion of the campaign?
    Our approach was to avoid the Western cliché at all costs and bring a more modern, authentic vibe to the campaign. In the TV spots, that meant storytelling that was visually beautiful, but also thoughtful and challenging. In the longer-form videos, we thought it was important to feature stories about real people whose very identities are tied to the Wyoming landscape. We were also very interested in covering some of the lesser-known cultural aspects of the state, like music. We approached the content more like journalists than ad people.

    Tell me how you arrived at "That's WY" for a tagline?
    Beyond the obvious play on words, the beauty of "That's WY" is that it's based on an audience insight. Research told us our target market was curious, intellectual, theoretical and interested in understanding things on a deeper level, even an existential level. Asking why is built into their DNA. "That's WY" is more than a tagline. It's a creative platform that informs everything we do. So much of the tourism advertising that's out there feels so similar, so having a brand platform that is obviously ownable goes a long way to differentiating Wyoming from other states.

    Where is all of this work going to be running?
    National TV and print coverage, plus out-of-home, digital, social and radio. Key markets are Seattle, Kansas City, Portland, Ore., Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City.

    Do you think print work is on the decline, and can tourism work help keep it alive, with its need to show beautiful landscapes?
    The numbers probably say it's flat or declining, but from a creative standpoint every visual medium is important. Print may be particularly friendly to beautiful landscapes, but the best ideas should be able to exist in any medium.

    Is it hard for a Milwaukee agency to do tourism ads for a state so far away?
    Not at all. I actually think being an outsider leads to stronger work. It forces you to experience the state in an unjaded way, and have the same curiosity and sense of adventure as a first-time visitor. We're not trying to convince people who live in Wyoming to come to Wyoming. We're trying to get people from outside the state to experience it. And being one of those people helps.

    Client: Wyoming Office Of Tourism
    Agency: BVK, Milwaukee
    Campaign: "That's Wy"
    Contributions: Brian Ganther (Group Creative Director), Victoria Simmons (VP, Group Director, Travel & Tourism), Bridget Wirth (Senior Account Executive), Matt Herrmann (Creative Director/Art Director), Katelyn Tierney (Art Director), Mike Holicek (Copy), Pete Weninger (Associate Media Director), Darlene Stimac (Senior Producer), Jessica Farrell (Producer)

    0 0

    Who Founding partner Casey Conway
    What Experiential agency
    Where Los Angeles and Seattle

    If you've been to Sundance or South by Southwest this year, you may have come across Say OK's work. The 2-year-old experiential agency, which has offices in Los Angeles and Seattle, creates fully immersive experiences for brands like Microsoft, Converse and Google. "We pride ourselves on getting those people who think they know better, who can see right through the traditional side [of advertising], and hit them in a cool, unique way," said founding partner Casey Conway. For example, the 12-person shop launched Google's music streaming platform, Google Play Music, at last summer's Wanderlust yoga and music festival with an immersive experience that featured, of course, yoga, music and meditation. "It's not about a brand just being the logo [in an immersive experience]; it's about giving the consumer an awesome experience from a brand," said Conway.


    Photo: Michael Mendoza

    Photo: Michael Mendoza

    Photo: Michael Mendoza

    This story first appeared in the March 21 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

    0 0

    Yesterday we looked at some grand tourism ads for Wyoming. Today, let's take a peek at a tourism campaign that's more humble, at least on the surface—Wieden + Kennedy Portland's new ads for its home state of Oregon.

    States spend a ton of money trying to find the perfect line that sums up their identity and everything they have to offer. Which is why W+K's new slogan for Oregon is refreshingly simple and to the point: "We like it here. You might too."

    Of course, it's a more sophisticated line than it seems. It sells the state's grandeur by pretending it's the opposite—more homey than grand. A raft of 15-second spots play up this gap with wry voiceovers in which many of the state's impressive attractions—Crater Lake, Willamette Valley, Alvord Desert—are presented in "Yeah, they're OK, I guess" fashion.

    The viewer will feel smart for being in on the joke, and will likely be more open to this kind of quirky pitch than your typically overwrought tourism messaging. 

    "Oregon is an inspiring, beautiful and geographically diverse part of the country, and we want more people to explore and enjoy it," said Eric Baldwin, creative director at W+K. "Oregonians are humble, though, so we thought it would be fun to undersell the magnificence. That's how we arrived at 'We like it here. You might too.' "

    The spots will air in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Boise, Idaho, and Vancouver, B.C. Check out more spots below, along with the print and out-of-home work. 


    —Video Credits

    Client: Travel Oregon

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin/Karl Lieberman
    Copywriter: Shaine Edwards
    Art Director: Matthew Carroll
    Producer: Felicia Glover

    Production Company: Hatch
    Director: Trevor Fife
    Executive Producer: Adam Bagger
    Line Producer: Chad Parker
    Director of Photography: Trevor Fife

    Editorial Company: Hatch
    Post Executive Producer: Adam Bagger

    Visual Effects Producer, Supervisor: Rebecca Borsman
    Flame Artist: MPC
    Titles, Graphics: WK Studio

    Music, Sound Company: Walker
    Composer: Chris Funk
    EP: Sara Matarazzo
    Producer: Abbey Hickman

    Mix Company: Lime
    Mixer: Rohan Young

    —Print and Out-of-Home Credits

    Client: Travel Oregon
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin/Karl Lieberman
    Copywriter: Shaine Edwards
    Art Director: Matthew Carroll
    Producers: Kristin Holder, Hope Reynolds

    Photographer: Clayton Cotterell
    Retouchers: Lilly Archer, Greg Radich

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    Imagine a young girl stuck in a hospital for months—or years—finally getting to live out her fantasy of roaming with wild horses on an Argentine plain. One girl did, in a manner of speaking, thanks to "Dream Adventures," a new campaign from online travel agency Expedia. 

    With help from a 360-degree camera, interactive live-streaming and a specially built screening room, the company is helping cancer-stricken kids at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital get a taste of the far-flung outdoor activities their treatment prevents them from experiencing in person.

    Created with agency 180LA, the program is captured in the new ad above, where children take virtual trips to the jungle to play with monkeys, to the ocean to swim with fish, or to the desert to dig for fossils. 

    It's beautiful and heartrending—perfectly summed up when one young patient, unable to contain his excitement, starts guessing what kind of dinosaur bones an archaeologist is brushing off. "That's a raptor, I think," he says. 

    It doesn't hurt, either, that the technology transformed the four walls of St Jude's screening room—as well as its floor and ceiling—into an impressive visual presentation. But the real-time aspect of the stunt—with Expedia employees on the other end of the cameras, in locations like Miami and Playa del Carmen—lets the kids engage with the experience, and helps set it apart from similar tactics.

    The approach combines a number of themes used in recent ads from other marketers. To support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wieden + Kennedy used virtual reality headsets and 360-degree cameras to help MS sufferers reconnect with athletic passions, like surfing and dancing. In Peru, LAN airlines and McCann Lima flew poor children from remote regions to Peru's capital so they could experience air travel while playing out fantasies—like singing among the clouds—along the way.

    In fact, featuring kids—and the fruits of their imaginations—seems an increasingly popular tactic for travel marketers seeking to bring magic back to travel. 

    In other words, Expedia manages to evoke empathy for young victims of debilitating diseases while using the wonder of today's technology to ameliorate their plight, emphasize the joy that comes from seeing the world in all its natural glory, and convey the hope that comes from witnessing unbridled enthusiasm of youth, even in the face of unimaginable hurdles. It's simple, clear and direct.

    There are far worse ways to spend a marketing budget than making a sick kid's day a little better—even if it is still meant to drive Expedia's bottom line.


    Client: Expedia
    Project: "Dream Adventures"

    Agency: 180LA
    William Gelner – Chief Creative Officer
    Eduardo Marques – Executive Creative Director
    Rafael Rizuto – Executive Creative Director
    Pierre Janneau - Creative Director
    Dan Kroeger - Creative Director
    Will Gorman - Copywriter
    Chelsea Cumings - Art Director
    Natasha Wellesley - Head of Production
    David Emery – Executive Producer
    Dom Anzano - Senior Producer
    Mish Fabok - Digital Producer
    Brooke Stites - Brand Director
    Jessica DeLillo - Brand Manager
    Jens Bracht - Brand Manager
    Amy Sharma - Business Affairs Manager
    Loretta Zolliecoffer - Head of Business Affairs
    Anne Heuer - Planning Director
    Becca Taylor - Planner
    Dave Groseclose - Editor/2nd Unit Camera

    Production Company - Ways & Means
    Executive Producers -  Jett Steiger, Lana Kim
    Producer - Cedric Troadec
    Director - Zachary Heinzerling
    Editorial Company - Cut & Run
    Executive Producer - Carr Schilling
    Producer - Remy Foxx
    Editor - Lucas Eskin
    Editorial Company (Behind The Scenes & Short Films) - Melvin
    Head of Production  - Natasha Wellesley
    Post Manager - Brian Scharwath
    Editor - Dave Groseclose
    Telecine - The Mill
    Executive Producer - Thatcher Peterson
    Colorist  - Adam Scott
    Online - Jogger
    Executive Producer - Rich Rama
    Flame Artist - David Parker
    Producer - James Howell
    Music (Main Score) - Human Worldwide
    Jonathan Sandford

    Additional Music

    Andy Park
    Asche & Spencer
    Sound Mix - Eleven Sound
    Mixer - Scott Burns

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

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    Prudential Singapore is inviting people to reconnect in an emotional new spot.

    "Our relationships are becoming more and more disconnected," reads the opening on-screen copy. "Can simply looking at someone for 4 minutes improve your relationship?" 

    The work is reminiscent of Dr. Arthur Aron's experiment, where two people fell in love after he instructed them to ask each other a series of questions while staring into each other's eyes for up to four minutes. 

    The people Prudential Singapore choose for this social experiment vary in their relationships: husband and wife, parent and child, siblings. We started watching stoically and skeptically—as one is apt to be when so many brands' premises seem to be, "Let's do a social experiment so it'll go viral!"

    But halfway in, we sobbed our way through a small pile of tissues.

    The relatives interact and react, and it feels special and endearing. It's certainly a gentle way for a life insurance/investment brand to positively connect with consumers when the message can often be a bit of a downer (it's life insurance, after all). 

    The lovely and emotional piece, created by FCB, ends with the copy, "Your relationships are precious. Protect them," before moving onto a slightly awkward invitation to reconnect with relatives via the #RelationshipReconnect hashtag. 

    While the YouTube count is respectable (550,000 views as of writing), the video has been scraped and shared millions of times across Facebook. It's a hit all around from Prudential Singapore and a creative, thoughtful example of social experimentation done right. 

    0 0

    "Is it easier to take a life, or to save one?"

    That's the question posed by ad agency Grey for the Polish Red Cross in "Life after Death," a poignant, polarizing campaign in which convicted murderers take first aid classes while serving time behind bars. 

    Anchored by the riveting three-minute clip below, the work seeks to snap Polish citizens out of their complacency. (Some 40 percent say they would rather wait for trained professionals than attempt potentially life-saving techniques on a person in distress.) At the same time, the campaign explores deeper themes, engaging the public on their perceptions of convicted murderers who rejoin society.

    "You watch a story about felons, people who committed atrocious acts. But now, thanks to first aid courses, they have an ability to do something good and a will to redeem themselves," Jakub Korolczuk, executive creative director at Grey Poland, tells AdFreak.

    Hopefully, he adds, viewers will start asking hard questions, such as, "What about me, supposedly a good person, who yet can't save someone's life? Who is good here?" 

    "The idea came from our close relationships with the Pedagogium Foundation, which does a lot of groundbreaking rehabilitation programs, such as Freedom Tattoos," says Korolczuk. "They experimented with first aid courses for kids in juvenile detentions. We decided to take it a step further and to dramatize the notion that everyone can, and should, try to save lives." 

    Despite the controversial nature of the campaign, the Polish Red Cross "loved the idea from the beginning," Korolczuk goes on. "They were already conducting some courses in low-security prisons, although not for murderers, and were used to [operating under] harsh conditions."

    Predictably, filming in two Warsaw penitentiaries presented some challenges.

    "We needed to build trust with the convicts, which was very hard, and all the recorded dialogue happened in the last hour of the four-day shoot," Korolczuk says. "As much as we wanted to include more detailed stories, we were bound by law to keep them secret." 

    What's more, given Poland's strict gun-control laws, most murders were committed with axes, knives or bare hands. "Most of the crimes were very crude," Korolczuk says, so specifics were left out.

    One of the convicts who took part is a contract killer for the Polish mafia, for example. The subject "wanted to take part in the course, but didn't allow for filming his face. There was a moment when the camera operator came closer to him because of how intensely he was performing CPR on a [dummy]. The guy, without raising his head or stopping the CPR, asked 'You remember who you shouldn't film?' You can see only his silhouette in the film." 

    It's easy to slam the project as an example of left-leaning audience manipulation, and to criticize Grey and the Red Cross for foisting their political sentiments and notions of redemption on the public under the guise of a PSA. 

    "The campaign is very polarizing," Korolczuk admits, "especially in Poland, where the government and general public are for stricter prison rules and for terminating social rehabilitation programs." 

    That said, the emotionally extreme, politicized nature of "Life after Death" does nothing to detract from the campaign's impact. Rather, this aspect heightens its overall effect. Watching the inmates, men and women of various ages, lay their hands—once used for killing—on CPR dummies as they learn to save lives, is an immensely moving and unsettling experience. Such images should stick with folks for some time. 

    The prisoners' statements, such as "I would like to save someone. Now, I would save them no matter what," and "If I could someday save someone's life, it would be the most wonderful thing I could ever do," may understandably sound self-serving. But given the circumstances, they carry extra weight and layers of special significance. 

    This transcendence helps the work fulfill its most basic mission—communicating that the Red Cross offers training in life-saving techniques—by planting profound questions in people's minds: For example, "Should I learn to save lives?" or "If I don't master CPR, and someone dies who I might have saved, does that make me a kind of murderer?" Perhaps it will even lead Poles to examine their beliefs on a range of vital issues. 

    Love it or hate it, the campaign has the power to make viewers mull the awesome gravity and mysterious machinations of life and death—and challenges them to choose which role they might one day play. 


    Agency: Grey Group Poland
    Executive Creative Director: Jakub Korolczuk
    Deputy Creative Director: Rafał Ryś
    Senior Copywriter: Jan Cieślar
    Account Manager: Agata Pamięta
    PR: Joanna Bednarek, Iga Toczyska

    Pedagogium / Special thanks: Filip Konopczyński

    Production: ShootMe Production
    Producer: Michał Majewski
    Head of production: Wiktoria Michalkiewicz
    Director: Marcin Filipowicz
    DOP: Maciek Ryter
    Music: HV/Noon 

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    Audi hits the New York Auto Show this week with the message that its A4 has surpassed the BMW 328i in many areas, like horsepower, acceleration and technologies including lane assist and CarPlay. And it's taking some shots at BMW with a sly technology hack as well.

    Audi has set up a bunch of free wifi networks—wifi is typically hard to find at auto shows, and usually password-protected—and given them names that double as ads for the A4 (and in fact, as attack ads on the 328i as well).

    The image above shows an example of what the networks will look like.

    John Matejczyk, founder and creative director of agency Muh-tay-zik | Hof-fer, which orchestrated the stunt, says the network names will be changing as the show goes on. There will be at least 10 networks on at a time. 

    "The team who came up with it—Adam Ledbury and Guy Lemberg—were working off a brief that was all about intelligence. So they asked themselves what it would look like to have a modern version of challenger advertising where a superior product takes on the old standard," Matejczyk tells AdFreak.

    "And marketing being what it is these days, why not offer a really helpful service in the process?"

    The trick isn't new—wifi network names have been used as ads going back to at least 2008 (when a chain of coffee shops in Holland did this amusing stunt). But it's still a fun way to make life easier for people, including a lot of influencers. 

    And yes, the A4 offers in-car wifi (though to be fair, so does the 328i). 

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    It's a tension many modern parents feel daily when it comes to their children's playtime: how to balance screenless, imaginative, physical play with the irresistible draw and addictive sensory thrill of screen time. 

    Fisher-Price, though, believes the two will soon merge. 

    The Mattel brand, which caters mostly to infants and toddlers, has released a concept video—created with innovation design consultancy Continuum—showing what children's toys might look like a decade from now. 

    In short, the physical and digital will merge to create delightful environmental experiences that leverage technology while retaining the core physicality of imaginative play. 

    As Fisher-Price puts it, the "future products and experiences [are] rooted in solutions, play, learning, and development. The resulting video depicts a technology-layered day-to-day family experience that showcases a preserved human connection." 

    The video, titled "The Future of Parenting," is, as its name implies, aimed at future parents—in other words, millennials and Generation Z. Those generations are digitally native, yet wary of prioritizing tech experiences over physical ones. Thus, they should be drawn to these kinds of baby products, which use virtual tech like holograms but also physical elements like smart fabrics to find a balance between the two worlds. 

    "Our research process led us to the conclusion that the future is not screen-based. When anything can be a display, tech will dissolve into the environment," Mark Zeller, head of design at Fisher-Price, tells Fast Company.

    "Thinking beyond the limitations of a screen means we'll be able to create toys and everyday objects that will have the power to catalyze parent-child interactions, contextualize learning moments, and spark open-ended play." 

    This is a natural conclusion for a non-screen company to reach, of course, but it's also not an uncommon one. Everything from Microsoft's HoloLens to the famous video game scene from Spike Jonze's movie Her imagines just such a blending of physical and virtual, largely through holograms (as in the Fisher-Price video). 

    Zeller said Fisher-Price used futurecasting to look 10 years ahead, but some of the innovations could be commercially available sooner. "We have started prototyping actual tech-enabled products that will inspire multi-year innovation in our line that may be available to parents as soon as 2017," he says.

    Fisher-Price and Continuum also released a white paper offering further explanation of the futuristic concepts and the insights behind them. Check that out at FutureofParenting.com.

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    If waiting for the next installment of Black Mirror is too taxing for you, fill your soul's vacuum with the latest installments of Dell's campaign "Future Ready."

    Created by Young & Rubicam New York, in partnership with Framestore—responsible for a lot of the cool stuff you see in movies—the episodic campaign follows one family's effort to secure a heart transplant for their young daughter. 

    Unlike in Black Mirror, though, the technology you see is more benign and empowering than existentially misery inducing. 

    The work builds on "Beat Again," which appeared last year and followed the family to the hospital. Cool probable technology included a haptic magazine, vital statistics that scroll across the daughter's arm, and responsive holograms that enable the doctor to monitor her heart from all angles during surgery. 

    This time, two episodes tell stories around that critical moment, giving Dell the chance to show off how technology can improve our lives outside the emergency room, too.

    "Night Before" is about the doctor, whom we see interacting with his son online as his plane descends on the city. Most of the rest of the video focuses on the comforts of his hotel stay, which is so intuitive that even we feel more relaxed just by watching—a nice situation to be in when you've got life-changing surgery to conduct. 

    Dr. Ajay's data "arrives before he does," enabling the front desk to welcome him by name and provide a real-time view of his room options. He orders a sushi dinner from a holographic lazy Susan, checks the weather on the back of his hand, and gets live updates on a heart match without even having to put his chopsticks down. 

    Future folks live pretty. Facebook can't even remember where we went to college.

    "First Day Back" follows the little girl's journey back to school after her successful transplant (good thing Dr. Ajay was well rested!). Technology helps her gauge the distance of her school bus and check her vital stats (again on her arm, via a slim metal bracelet that's infinitely more elegant than a Jawbone, Fitbit or Apple Watch).

    We also get nifty shots of how it'll make school feel less like an episode of Prison Break. As she walks by a classroom, a teacher with the full attention of adoring students launches a rocketship into the ether. "That's so cool!" one kid says, and the beaming educator laps it up.

    When the girl enters her own classroom, a "Welcome back!" message swathed in balloons shoots up on the wall directly facing her, and her peers and teacher surround her with open arms. (Clearly education is better funded tomorrow than it is today.) 

    "We embarked on the journey over a year ago to tell the story of a young girl who was awaiting a heart transplant, and that story resonated with so many people," Dell head of global brand Liz Matthews says in a behind-the-scenes video (below). 

    "We took a step back and said, How do we continue that story and build even more around not only her and her family, but the doctor who actually performs the transplant, the teachers, educators and her friends who are there for her when she goes back to school?" 

    The videos follow a very tight script: Smarter use of data, the value of the cloud, and the power of Dell's network are emphasized in that order as each story spins out, guiding viewers to a final question: "Is your business future ready?" 

    It's probably best not to dwell on this question if you're still defining your Twitter tone of voice or trying to wrangle something coherent out of Snapchat. But the optimism of the work is infectious and heartening: We focus a lot on the difficulty of change, and on which of our jobs robots will destroy on their inevitable path to enslaving mankind. 

    "Future Ready" is not so much a message as a calming reminder: With every disruptive advancement of technology, the value of what makes us human has actually risen, and the disruptions awaiting us will be no different. 

    Technology is only partly defined by the efficiencies it affords us (though this gets a disproportionate amount of attention). What gives it a soul, and a place in our lives, is in the small graces it enables us to pass on: Less stress, more connectivity, and the ability to prioritize what matters to us. 

    Those small graces are our responsibility—and if Dell is effective at showing off its data, cloud and network ambitions here, it's because it conveys its faith in our ability to rise to that standard, both in leisure and where it counts most: The same technology that makes Dr. Ajay's holographic sushi menu possible also proves critical to the success of a child's heart transplant, and both contibute to our sense that the world depicted here is, indeed, a better one.

    Check out the behind-the-scenes video below:


    Client: Dell
    Karen Quintos – Chief Marketing Officer at Dell
    Elizabeth Matthews – Executive Director Corporate Brand
    Juan Carlos Gama – Marketing Director Corporate Brand

    Creative Agency: Y&R
    Leslie Sims – Chief Creative Officer, Y&R
    Christian Carl – Global Executive Creative Director, Y&R

    Bobby Jacques – Senior Content Producer

    Joe Rivas - EVP, Global Client Leader, Strategic Planning
    Jenna Rounds – Strategy Director, Planning

    Account / Project Management
    Diana Melton – Director of Marketing, Y&R
    George Rainaldi – Assistant Account Executive, Y&R
    Andrea Rey – Senior Project Manager, VML

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero
    Director: Henry Alex Rubin
    DP: Janusz Kaminski
    Production Designer: KK Barrett

    Editorial Company: Cutters NY
    Editor: Steve Bell
    Color: Lez Rudge – Nice Shoes
    Mix: Tom Jucarone – Sound Lounge

    EFX: Framestore NY
    Exec Producer: Dez Macleod-Veilleux
    Creative Director: Gigi Ng and Akira Thompson
    VFX and Compositing Supervisor: Gigi Ng
    Design Supervisor: Akira Thompson

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    We've come a long way from "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline."

    The spunky, fancy-free spots featuring naturally gorgeous women punting "flawless skin" and "poreless perfection" have been standard L'Oréal branding since we were kids and our (too pink) lipsticks were fake. But they hardly highlight the nuances and frustrations of using makeup, which we only discover as adults, when our bathroom drawers are full of items we tried once and will never use again. 

    It's worse still when you're a person of color. While Caucasians are pretty well-served, a less-pink lady is probably limited to three choices for foundation (when lucky): Honey (or Desert, depending on whether you consider yourself terrifically sweet or horrifically dry), Olive, and maybe something called Mocha. 

    This problem seems trivial, but it isn't in a culture that judges women severely based on their looks. Sometimes your only options are to find something that doesn't match—in which case you're "wooden" or a "geisha"—or wear nothing, making you look oily or tired. 

    Your feelings about yourself change when you can put your best face forward, and when you can't. 

    In a new positioning, L'Oréal USA addresses this challenge scientifically: "The Spectrum" is a new mini-documentary that follows chemist Balanda Atis as she works on creating foundations for every skin tone imaginable. 

    "Cosmetics have struggled with trying to find the best shades for women of color for as long as makeup has existed," Atis begins, flanked by piano music and serene images of faces under vivid shades of purple, grey and blue. 

    Atis looked at over 20,000 data points to understand the colors that make up skin. "We didn't realize there were so many different skin tones that existed!" she exclaims. 

    The video also goes into some detail about L'Oréal's Women of Color lab. Created in 2014, it's taken skin tone measurements from 57 countries of origin, resulting in a spectrum of foundations that can serve more or less anybody—though the work is far from over. As Atis observes, "With each baby, a new skin tone is born, and with that we know our work is never done." 

    The video, created by agency Rain, launched on L'Oréal's social channels in early March and emphasizes its new focus on what it's calling the "beautiful pursuit," or a "celebration of the strides toward improvement rather than only the end goal" (money...?).

    While views are modest on YouTube—nearly 12,500 as of this count—it's gotten nearly four times that on Facebook, with close to 50,000 views. Comments reflect the extremes you can expect, from the standard-issue "Bravo" to "L'Oréal tapping into that black dollar a little more." 

    In months to come, L'Oréal will build on the campaign with more snapshots of employees and the challenges they face day-to-day. Even if you're not into beauty science, it's interesting to see how the company, often characterized as so vast as to be faceless, works from the inside.

    In a way, it's a glimpse inside the Chocolate Factory without having to deal with any Oompa Loompas (who perhaps demonstrated so little respect for life because their only foundation option was Radioactive Orange). 


    Agency - Rain
    Client - L'Oréal USA
    Executive Producer - Nick Godfrey, Brian Edelman
    Executive Creative Director - Will Hall
    VP, Head of Strategy - Bill Chamness
    VP, Head of Production - Timothy Whitney
    ACD / Art Director - Andy Sheffield
    Copywriter - Charlotte Davis
    Agency Producer - Nathan Breton
    Agency Digital Producer - Tim Xumsai
    Account Manager - Jaclyn Schillinger
    Engagement Strategist - Elissa Dailey
    Production Company - Cebu Osani
    Director - Rain
    Producer - Artesia Balthrop
    Editor - Jonah Einstein
    Assistant - Matt Jeon

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    This morning, on the way to work, the employees of a few major United Kingdom-based ad agencies came across a message meant just for them.

    Just in time for International Day of Action Against Advertising on Friday, artist network Brandalism's gone guerrilla again: It's erected posters in bus shelters just outside Ogilvy, JWT, AMV BBDO and TBWA Manchester, with the images referencing ad classics.

    "Work for TBWA?" one reads. "You're shaping desire. You've got power and a moral responsibility. We'd love to talk to you." The ads drive people to Switch Sides, a Brandalism subsite.

    "We speak with people who work in corporate advertising all the time," the site says. "Many are close friends, and express regular existential doubts about the work they do. Huge industries of artistic labour, and multi-million pound budgets—all in the pursuit of... what? Another leather sofa? The latest airline deal to Rome? Your creativity could mean so much more."

    In addition to showing more photos from the execution, the manifesto continues:

    Right now, the world faces multiple social and environmental crisis. Our rent is unaffordable, wealth inequality is growing, thousands are drowning in the Mediterranean sea and the climate is destabilising at a faster and faster rate. We cannot consume our way out of these problems.

    We need your skills and your passion. Not to sell us more Snickers bars or BP's latest sponsorship deal... but to change the world. We need more art directors, copywriters, strategic planners, graphic designers, 3D artists, developers and project managers. We need all of you. We have a battle to fight. But this not a battle against desire. We want more from life, not less.

    This Friday 25 March 2016 is an international day against advertising—called by our friends in France.  It's a perfect day to consider what you do for a living and your role in the world. You might think, "It's easy for your to say, but I need to earn a living." And you're right, it's easy for us to write these words. Conversion, as all advertisers know, is not a simple process. We have mortgages to pay, children to support, parents to satisfy and status to uphold. We know these pressures. Many of us have worked in the industry.  But we escaped the shackles of commercial marketing and fled to the worlds of community activism, environmental sustainability, refugee solidarity and artistic-political praxis. Although just a first step, confronting our responsibilities has allowed us to prioritise our personal beliefs over our corporate, career-driven selves. The sense of relief was astonishing.

    If you'd like to continue the conversation, then please get in touch with the email address at the bottom of this page.  We promise to protect your anonymity.  Where and how we take things from here, we're not quite sure.  

    But we'll be waiting.

    "The advertising industry has a profound impact on our values and what we consider important in life," said Brandalism's Robert Marcuse. "The skills of thousands of creative people are needed not to sell us more stuff, but to overcome the multiple social crisis of our times such as climate change, social inequality and child poverty. We want to start a conversation with those working in advertising about how we move beyond consumption and economic growth."

    The organization also says that many of the ads were posted by former ad folk. On joining Brandalism, former creative Cynthia Philips adds, "I just didn't want to have to tell my grandchildren that I just stood at the sidelines when so many serious issues were going on around me."

    The International Day Against Advertising is a call to arms to "free up the planet from ads," and expects participation from at least 20 cities in six countries, particularly in Europe, South America, and the US. These can include covering up, defacing or replacing ad panels, graffiti, or social media campaigns, among other things. (The website calls for action "individually, collectively, with direct and non-violent actions, by raising awareness about the ads which frustrate us.")

    The first celebration of the day was last year during the World Social Forum in Tunisia. This year, French association Résistance à l'Agression Publicitaire is taking up the call to arms. The date commemorates a French court decision in 2013 that deemed a group of anti-ad activists as not guilty of "degredation" after they spray painted billboards in 2009.

    They were acquitted in the name of freedom of speech and "reason of necessity" against ad oppression.

    Late last year, Brandalism's team slathered the city of Paris with 600 fake ads ahead of the COP21, highlighting the environmental hypocrisy of brands vaunting their active involvement.

    More creative variants appear below.


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    Duelling billboards are a time-honored advertising tradition, going back to Newcastle/Stella Artois and Audi/BMW. Now, Netflix introduces a novel twist on the genre—billboards on which characters from a show battle each other.

    DDB Vancouver created the new installation in Toronto's Dundas Square for Season 2 of Netflix's original series Daredevil. Three billboards feature the three main characters—Daredevil, Punisher and Elektra.

    Pedestrians are encouraged to "join the fight" by using #Daredevil, #Punisher or #Elektra to support one of the characters. Every 48 hours, the character with the most hashtag mentions inflicts actual physical damage on the other boards, including bullet holes, slashes, bruises and 3-D weapons.

    "Daredevil is extremely popular in Canada, and the fighting billboard series is a fun way to introduce new characters and get fans involved in anticipation for the show," says Dean Lee, executive creative director at DDB Vancouver.

    Client: Netflix
    Agency: DDB Canada Vancouver
    Chief Creative Officer: Cosmo Campbell
    Executive Creative Director: Dean Lee
    Associate Creative Director: Daryl Gardiner
    Copywriter: Daryl Gardiner / Jon Mandell
    Art Director: John Larigakis
    Business Director: Roger Nairn
    Strategist: Rob Newell, Jacqueline Lee
    Agency Producer: Matthew Sy
    Retoucher: Pierre Bourjo
    Character Artwork: Ignition Creative
    OOH Production: Clear Channel Canada
    Media Agency: MEC Global

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    On the heels of Cookie Monster's baked appearance in an iPhone ad, Apple has found its two new celebrity ad stars—Alison Brie, of Community and Mad Men fame, and Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. 

    The new 60-second spot, by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, broke Thursday night and features an amusing little skit of a plot. Brie and Coster-Waldau are rehearsing in a trailer on a Hollywood set for a kissing scene—evidently as part of some long-ago war story with a soldier and a nurse. 

    But it's not going that well. 

    Brie, who doesn't feel that they're projecting any passion, consults the TV, where Coster-Waldau is seen kissing Juliette Binoche in the 2013 film 1,000 Times Good Night—with what looks like much more success. Thanks to Apple TV, Brie asks Siri to rewind the movie by a few seconds, to see if she's missing anything important. 

    Not satisfied, Brie then tries to search for Game of Thrones on Apple TV, but Coster-Waldau has a better (or actually, much worse) idea. He asks Siri to open Apple Music and find songs by Jeremih, to which he grooves, embarrassingly, to try to get Alison in the mood. 

    Comic celebrity spots aren't traditionally an Apple strength (not counting the "Mac vs. PC" campaign, which was character- and not primarily celeb-based). But this ad, and the Cookie Monster one, show the brand's willingness to be a little looser and goofier, and the results are promising.

    So, when does Lil Wayne ditch Samsung and do his own Apple commercial? 

    Client: Apple (Apple TV)
    Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab


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