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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Let's get refined, sugar!

    PepsiCo introduces Mtn Dew Black Label, a dark-berry beverage (with herbal bitters, no less), in a campaign from VaynerMedia that revolves around several "Gentlemen of the Jacket" who class up their respective acts. 

    Professional skateboarder Theo Beasley gets things rolling in the centerpiece video below, appearing with two other millennial dudes—a mixologist and a gamer (both portrayed by actors). While enjoying some product, all three don magical jackets that make everything around them seem a bit more … sophisticated. 



    The gamer steals it with that James Brown jacket move. Now that's some class action!

    The creative team strove to tell "a broader, connected story," even though the leads are never on screen at the same time, Sadira Furlow, Mountain Dew's marketing director, tells AdFreak. "The transitions from scene to scene consisted of one long continuous take to ensure each of the three environments were tied together seamlessly. The set was built to adhere to this flow," she says. 

    Fifteen-second versions of the gamer and skateboard portions of the ad will run as hyper-targeted pre-rolls, while the full-length clip is being promoted across Mountain Dew's social platforms.

    "One of the funniest things to film was the skateboard with the can on it," Furlow says. "Believe it or not, it is incredibly difficult to get a can to sit on a mini-throne on a skateboard and move up and down a ramped surface at full speed. We even had a skateboard/can handler responsible for pulling it along." 

    It's a great-looking ad. And as with most Mountain Dew campaigns, it's well attuned to its youthful bro-centric audience.

    Still, there's some disconnect here. Why employ a jacket at all? The idea is never really explained or explored. Also, why would rebel types like skateboarders and gamers care about acting all sophisticated anyway? 

    Ah well, any concept is bound to seem sha-aaa-ky when you're slammin' back sixes of uber-caffeinated soda. (And don't forget those herbal bitters!)

    CREDITS
    Client: Mountain Dew
    Agency: VaynerMedia
    Chief Creative Officer: Steve Babcock
    Vice President, Group Creative Director: David Rosenberg
    Creative Director: Anthony Coleman
    Associate Creative Director: Anthony Pournaras
    Art Directors: Cindy Choi, Heather Han
    Senior Copywriters: Joshua Rosenblat, Nick Maciag
    Designers: Raymond Croft, Christian Powell
    Senior Vice President, Account Strategy: Dennis Ossipov-Grodsky
    Group Director: Roger Ramirez
    Account Director: Sara Giles
    Account Manager: Neelam Rana
    Vice President, Delivery and Production: Aaron Behr
    Associate Director, Delivery and Production: Kristen Fleming
    Project Managers: Dominic Hackley, Meredith Feir

    Production Company: Vayner Productions
    Creative Director: Jason Beauregard
    Director of Photography: Erik Dettle
    Post Production Supervisor: Andrew Hart
    Post Production Coordinator: Glo Gambino
    Editor: Sean Henderson
    Animators: Alexander Smith, Sydney Daugherty
    Producer: John Hollingsworth

    Mix Company: Nutmeg
    Music by "The Emergence" TE Music Group 


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    BRUSSELS, Belgium—A month before attending to much more tragic business here in the Belgian capital, Didier Reynders arrived as a guest of honor at a luxurious and playful 90th birthday party that Godiva, the renowned Brussels chocolatier, was throwing for itself at the city's beautiful art deco Albert Hall.

    The presence of the country's foreign affairs minister spoke volumes about the respect and affection Godiva engenders locally. Indeed, Reynders lavished praise on the brand in a speech at dinner, pronouncing it a global success of which all Belgians could be proud.

    He also joked, briefly and good naturedly, about how to pronounce the Godiva name.

    Is it "Go-DIE-vah," as it would be pronounced by an English speaker? (Lady Godiva, after whom the brand is named and who adorns its logo, does hail from Anglo-Saxon mythology.) Or is it "Go-DEE-vah," as Belgians would typically pronounce such a word?

    Didier Reynders inspects Oli-B's new artwork for Godiva.

    It seems trivial, but in some ways it's a loaded question.

    It reveals a bit about the split nature of this famous and now decidedly international brand, and the parallel (sometimes conflicting) values, strengths and opportunities it will be juggling in the decade leading up to its centennial—opportunities it must reconcile in order to grow share in an ever-more competitive global chocolate market.

    The seemingly opposing forces buffeting the brand are everywhere.

    This is a European brand that treasures its local Belgian history yet is looking to North America and Asia for growth. It's a brand that wants to be premium yet accessible—and whose products are both hand-crafted and mass-produced. It's a brand that historically has emphasized gifting but whose recent innovations are in self-treating. And it's brand whose products are rightly celebrated, but whose packaging—the iconic gold box—might be its single most valuable asset. 

    In this 90th anniversary year, there's one more relevant tension, too: This is a brand that understandably wants to look back and celebrate its rich history, yet must also be razor-focused on evolving for the modern age.

    'Chocolate Is a Dream'
    Adweek was in Brussels for the 90th anniversary party, and related events. There, we asked Michelle Chin, head of marketing and product development for Godiva North America, about that latter balancing act in particular—the pull between past and present.

    By way of reply, she quoted Pierre Draps Jr., who ran Godiva for decades until his death in 2012—and whose father, Pierre Sr., started the whole enterprise when he began making praline (the kind of chocolate candy, invented in Belgium, that features a shell with a softer filling) at his confectioner's workshop in Brussels in 1926.

    Pierre Draps Jr.

    "He said, 'Chocolate is a dream.' And that's an inspirational quote for us," Chin says. "It allows to say: We recognize where we've come from, and we recognize the values this brand stands for. But it is a dream. And a dream is always continuous, and so we're always looking at where we go from here."

    If chocolate is a dream, the 90th anniversary party was a perfect embodiment of it—at times surreal and dreamlike, with flashes of flavor at every turn. Billed as a experiential event, it took place in three distinct spaces inside Albert Hall—the Heritage Room, the Multi-Sensory Room and the Innovation Room—a kind of past, present and future of Godiva that showcased the company's legacy, culinary artistry and innovation.

    The Heritage Room featured historical artifacts (including some of Pierre Draps Sr.'s original handwritten recipes); live chocolate-making demonstrations by Godiva's five chefs; and a large "Aroma Organ" that celebrated the flavor notes of Godiva ingredients as if they were actually music.

    The Multi-Sensory Room at Albert Hall

    The Multi-Sensory Room contained giant Godiva gift boxes and chocolate pods, inside which guests were served pieces of Godiva chocolate. But each of the fanciful installations was designed to enhance senses beyond taste—like sight, smell and touch—to somehow enhance the flavor of the chocolate.

    Finally, the Innovation Room was all about the future of the brand. The theme—from the decor to the food—was "Rose & Raspberry," a flavor created especially for Godiva's 90th anniversary. (Christophe Hardiquest, the Michelin-starred chef at Brussels restaurant Bon-Bon, designed a special dinner for the occasion.)

    The 90th Anniversary Collection
    While the Albert Hall event was an exclusive gathering, far from everyday consumers, it marked the formal introduction of 90th anniversary products and packaging that will dominate Godiva's communications through 2016.

    Most notably, the brand is introducing a 90th anniversary version of its iconic Gold Collection. It features nine chocolates—one from almost every decade in Godiva's history, including a new piece. The collection hits North American stores this Monday, April 4.

    The 90th anniversary Gold Collection

    The pieces in the new collection include the Lady Noir, based on one of Pierre Draps' earliest recipes; the Signature Lait, a coffee ganache decorated with a feather that was created for the movie Gone with the Wind in 1939; the Ecusson, a liquid caramel encased in milk chocolate and decorated with a lion, which marked Godiva's appointment to the Royal Court of Belgium in 1968; and the brand-new Egérie Noir, a raspberry ganache balanced with essence of rose petals and encased in dark Belgian chocolate.

    "Our Gold Collection is our icon," says Chin. "You can imagine over the course of 90 years we've been changing the assortment a lot. This is about going back into history and celebrating, for each decade, which [piece] was the most symbolic, which was the favorite, which one was the most symbolic representation of that decade."

    It's a product push that's heavy on history. But Godiva balances it out with special packaging that skews younger. The bright, colorful, confetti-like imagery was designed by Oli-B, a Belgian artist who, not coincidentally, is a millennial—the market that Godiva, whose core consumer skews a bit older, really needs to court.

    Godiva's culinary artistry on display

    "We searched for a Belgian artist who had a good marriage between being able to celebrate our heritage but also look into the future," Chin says. "Oli-B is a contemporary artist, and quite creative in his look and feel, and the energy he brings in his artwork—we thought it was a great combination. The confetti feel is very festive but also very relevant. And when you have it as a juxtaposition against our gold box, it should tell the consumer that a new Godiva is on the horizon for the next 90 years."

    The packaging choices aren't peripheral, either. They're central to the brand, and the category. Ornate boxes have been part of Belgian chocolate tradition for a century. (The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate in Brussels—which Adweek toured with Pierre Draps' daughter Peggy, who runs the place—is full of them.)

    Godiva's traditional gold box is an icon all its own, as Adweek noted in this story last year. And the brand frequently collaborates on packaging for special collections with artists eager to make their mark on such high-profile, consumer-facing canvases.

    Oli-B's designs will be used beyond the packaging, too. They will appear in stores and online this year. "It's an opportunity for us to really skin the site," Chin says of the web component.

    Also, the raspberry-rose flavor from the collection's new chocolate piece will be infused into other Godiva offerings—including self-treat lines this summer (including Godiva's soft-serve ice cream and Trufflelata shakes) and a fall launch of truffles in the same vein. Oli-B's confetti design will be used around those products, too.

    'The Story We Want to Share'
    The 90th anniversary celebrations in February extended beyond the night at Albert Hall. Godiva also invited the media and other guests to tour its chocolate factory in Brussels, with cameras rolling.

    That footage, along with images from the Albert Hall event, will be used throughout the year in social and digital advertising, which Godiva has emphasized in recent years. (The holidays and Valentine's Day are key seasons for the brand. Pereira & O'Dell did Godiva's 2015 holiday campaign, which included in-store displays at Godiva retail shops, Macy's and Barnes & Noble, as well as digital advertising, content and influencer partnerships.)

    Godiva's chefs

    The company's five chefs (from left: Philippe Daue, Yannick Chevolleau, Isle Wilmots, Jean Apostolou and Thierry Muret)‚ were a major focus of both the 90th anniversary party and the factory tour, and are expected to be featured prominently in the marketing materials this year.

    "We feel digital is really a great opportunity for us," Chin says of the company's media mix. "Consumers love getting the stories behind the brand. From the perspective of the 90th, it's a great opportunity for us to capture the activities from the week—from the chef inspiration to the original family inspiration to the values of Lady Godiva to how Oli-B as a modern artist fits the values Godiva stands for—that's the story we want to share."

    She adds: "Whether you're interested in the history of the brand, or the inspiration of the shops, or you just purely want to enjoy the last 90 years worth of Godiva chocolates, it's a great opportunity to experience it all."

    Chin says she'll be looking at metrics like traffic to Godiva.com, time on site and shareability of the content in social to gauge the success of the 2016 marketing. Plus, of course, there is the crucial business metric of driving sales.

    Bringing In a Younger Consumer
    Godiva's legacy isn't in question. But its future consumer is. And Chin says the brand is focused on getting younger and securing the loyalty of the next generation.

    "Our current consumer is a female in her mid-40s who tends to be bicoastal, loves premium chocolate and loves Godiva," Chin says. "We think there's an opportunity for us to bring a younger consumer in. We're looking at the older end of millennials, 30-35. They're really familiar with the brand. We have very high awareness in North America. And now it's really about offering products that fit her lifestyle."

    That means not just gifting but self-treat products, too.

    "We have to enter her life through our products," Chin says. "She's busy, she's on the go. So when she wants to treat herself, she can enjoy a soft-serve or a Trufflelata, which is a shake blended with truffles. We also have dipped strawberries, which are a perennial favorite of ours. It's a great way to indulge with a bit of a health skew to it."

    Along with the products, there is the broader brand mission—which is more ephemeral.

    "For us, what's most important is pushing the emotional connection that consumers have with the brand," says Chin. "Godiva means a lot of different things to people, but it really comes down to one thing—sparking joy and delight in consumers. That's really what we stand for at the end of the day. … The chocolate is always there. It's important for us to make sure we're giving the consumer a 'wow' throughout the whole experience."

    The brand clearly hopes the 90th anniversary will be a big "wow" moment. In many ways, it's a chance to reconcile the brand's bifurcated nature—to lean on its historical strengths as a way of bringing more people in and charting a course for the future.

    If all goes well, the Godiva name will continue for another 90 years, no matter how you pronounce it. 


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    It turns out there are advantages to being an alligator, like dodging the check when eating out with friends because your arms are just too short to reach it. 

    That's the premise of the latest gag in Geico's charmingly ridiculous "It's What You Do" campaign. In the 30-second ad, a talking reptile in human clothing does a poor job of pretending to want to pick up the tab—and inevitably failing—after going for Chinese with some coworkers. (They seem used to it.)

    It's far from Geico's first bout with a talking animal. The menagerie includes Caleb the camel and Maxwell the pig, not to mention the gecko himself.

    And while this new addition doesn't have the same catchphrase potential of his camel colleague, or the infuriatingly unforgettable squeal of his pig counterpart, it really is kind of brilliant, because it's true to nature: Alligators are absurd in their proportions ... and of course they'd be shifty mooks with a weakness for crispy duck. 



    Other spots in "It's What You Do" include a mom who always calls her son at the worst possible time to vent about his dad; the band Europe singing "Final Countdown" to a microwave; and a pair of golf announcers whispering, even as a player gets devoured by a kraken—no more directly related to car insurance than alligators or geckos, but great for underlining Geico's value in entertaining and memorable ways. 

    Maybe, in the alligator's next appearance, he can pump iron with the Geico bros ... assuming his puny little arms can handle that. 

    CREDITS
    Client: Geico

    Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
    Director, Marketing Media Advertising: Bill Brower
    Sr. Mgr., Broadcast, Outdoor, Print & Sports Marketing: Melissa Halicy
    Marketing Supervisor: Mike Grant
    Marketing Buyer: Tom Perlozzo:
    Marketing Buyer: Brighid Griffin
    Marketing Coordinator: Julia Nass

    Agency: The Martin Agency
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    Group Creative Director:  : Wade Alger
    Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    Creative Director: Sean Riley
    Senior Copywriter: Ken Marcus:
    Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Heather Tanton
    Junior Broadcast Producer: Sara Montgomery
    Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
    Account Supervisor: Josh Lybarger
    Account Executive:  : Allison Hensley
    Account Coordinator: Allie Waller
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
    Financial Account Supervisor: Monica Cox
    Senior Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Senior Project Manager: Karen McEwen

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Managing Partner/Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
    Executive Producer/Head of Sales: Dan Duffy
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Executive Producer: Nancy Hacohen
    Producer: Dave Bernstein
    Production Supervisor: Shelly Silverman

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Christjan Jordan
    Assistant Editor: Pieter Viljoen
    Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
    Producer: Helena Lee

    Telecine: Moving Picture Company
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis

    Animation/VFX: Moving Picture Company
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
    Production Coordinator:  : Valentina Cokonis
    Line Producer: Goutham Hampankatta
    Flame Lead: Mark Holden
    Nuke Artist: Janice Tso
    Nuke Artist: Jim Spratling
    VFX Supervisor/Head of 3D: Jason Schugardt
    Lead Lighter: Tim Kafka
    Render/Look Dev: Jessica Groom
    DMP: Partha Modal
    3D Supervisor: Nishanth Shrinivasa

    Original Music and Sound Design: Q Department

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
    Engineer/Mixer: Jeff McManus


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    In a short film for Vs. Magazine, actress/model Clémence Poésy, clad in G-Star jeans and shirt, sits, stalks and sashays around her London hotel room, practicing these lines from a script: "Do I remember you? Of course I do. Do you remember me?"

    Directed by Olivia Frølich, "Do You Remember Me" was produced as part of Vs.'s 10th anniversary celebration, and to help promote its new digital platform, vsmag.com.

    The film's simple setup, line repetition and Poésy's considerable charm make the experience, well, memorable to say the least. Its playful, mildly angsty exploration of our celebrity-and-fashion-driven culture jibes with Vs.'s previous content efforts. These include films in which Kirsten Dunst posed for selfies with social-media-obsessed fans, and newly-dumped Dave Franco "deconstructed" his car.

    "A fashion short film is a tricky format," Jakob F.S., Vs. editor-in-chief and creative director, who helped to develop the film, tells Adweek. "On one hand, we are luckily past the days where we photographers/directors could get away with adding slo-mo effects and a catchy tune to behind-the-scenes footage and call it a 'film.' On the other hand, the two- to three-minute format isn't suited for longer narratives with more than a few lines of dialogue. For me and for Vs., our approach is creating a mini-narrative with a somewhat humorous twist or surprise element, as well as showing a different side to a well-known actress or celebrity."

    Vs. sought to subvert Poésy's mystique as an "enigmatic and slightly reserved French actress," F.S. says, giving the audience "a peek into the private life of the actress, where she is seemingly caught off guard—even if we never know if this is real or not. But it could be. And that adds a meta-fictional element to the story and shows us that Clémence possesses a self-aware irony that is rare for an actress like her. And very fun to watch."

    Like earlier entries in the Vs. series, the film seems to say something insightful without really saying much at all. This approach allows viewers to overlay the images with their ideas and draw their own unique conclusions. It also provides a creative depth and dimension sorely lacking from most branded content.

    "The concept," F.S. says, "was to first make the viewer believe that he or she was watching a scene from a feature film, then contrast this with a very down-to-earth reality, showing an intimate side of someone we normally only see on the big screen, on a red carpet or in a fashion campaign."

    The upscale but homey environs of The Milestone Hotel in London provided the ideal mise en scène, helping the filmmakers bypass clichés of the style category and present their subject in a naturalistic scenario that F.S. says is "quite anti-fashion, and feels more like a short film." 


    0 0

    It's that time again: April Fools' Day, when brands get rewarded for being deceptive, impractical and stupid. And hopefully, funny.

    We're collecting our usual huge list of brand hoaxes. Email me or Tim with any we missed.

     
    —Latest additions:

     
    Bloomingdale's

    Launched its very first edible fragrance based on its classic frozen yogurt: Forty Carrots, the fragrance. The ad ran in The New York Times.

     
    Burger King France

    The new menu item—single fries. Tasty, though an environmental disaster.

     
    Hamburger Helper

    Dropped a surprisingly good rap album about food. "Hamburger helper/ Eat it all and then we dip/ On the stove so long I burn my lip."

     
    Hulu

    Launched a dating site, HuluDATR,"a revolutionary new way to help soulmates find one another." The free app allows Hulu subscribers to opt in to a new experience "where love and television go hand-in-hand."

     
    National Geographic

    No more nude animals pics for this brand.

     
    PlayStation

    Made its game Dark Souls III into an '80s movie on VHS.

     
    ThirdLove/DogVacay

    Shop a wide variety of dog bras, including the 24/7™ Lace Throw-The-Ball-conette Bra, the Plunge Pawfect Bra and the Front-Closure Pawsh-Up Bra.

     
    Turkey Hill

    "Do you shake your iced tea? Many people do. That's why the Turkey Hill Research & Development team has spent countless hours developing a brand new device called the Tea Shaker. No more sore wrists and no more runaway bottles of tea!"

     
     
    —First batch, posted 10:50 a.m. ET:

     
    Google/YouTube

    Every year, Google does enough pranks that it earns its own special section.

    Google Cardboard
    Created Google Cardboard Plastic, the first headset for Actual Reality.

     
    YouTube
    Unveiled #Snoopavision, allowing you to watch any YouTube video in 360 with Snoop Dogg.

     
    Gmail
    Introduced "Send + Mic Drop." As Google explained it, it you click the new "Send + Mic Drop" button, "everyone will get your message, but that's the last you'll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won't see it." Unfortunately, Gmail has nixed the button early, apparently because too many unsuspecting users accidentally sent unintended images of a Minion dropping a mic to people they didn't want to mute.

     
    Gmail Inbox
    Created a fake Smart Reply feature, which chooses the right emoji for your reply automatically. Apparently, the right emoji is a poop emoji.

     
    Android Developer
    Has taken Guardian into the Galaxy. Get it? It's a pun on Guardians of the Galaxy?

     
    Google Express
    Is now delivering your stuff with actual parachutes. Because drones are SO last year.

     
    Google Japan
    Announced Furikku, a flickable keyboard.

     
    Google Amp
    Created a very large mobile page accelerator—roughly 24,901 miles in circumference.

     
    Google Photos
    Is offering a Google Emoji search option. Yep, search photos by typing in an emoji.

     
    Google Maps
    Has reskinned its pegman as a disco dancer. Click "Visit Funky Town in the Google Maps App" at the top of Google Maps and select your phone. You can then open your Google Maps app, choose "Explore Nearby" and then press "Funky Town" to see the Disco Pegman's cool dance.

     
    YouTube Red
    If you really like pranks, YouTube Red's Prank Academy is launching today—wherein two popular YouTube prankster channels teamed up with Los Angeles Angels players Mike Trout, Jered Weaver, Kole Calhoun and CJ Cron to pull off an epic prank on teammate Garrett Richards. The prank includes the complete and utter demolishment of a marriage proposal in front of an entire restaurant of onlookers.

     
    Adobe

    Created a fake Lightroom tutorial on how to turn any photo into an Ansel Adams photo using the Ansel Adams feature.

     
    Alamo Rental Cars

    Is adding "woodies," wood-paneled station wagons from decades ago, back into its rental lineup so you can relive the National Lampoon's Vacation of your youth with your kids. Great video.

     
    Analog Watch Co.

    Created the first lunar watch made of actual moon rock. It's actually pretty cool-looking in a Flintstones way.

     
    Angel City Brewery

    Created Ramen Lager, infused with rich porkchop broth. Eww.

     
    Backblaze

    Invented Catblaze, reliable storage for your cat-related files.

     
    BlackJet

    The Toronto ad agency is offering marijuana as a new employee perk.

     
    BMW

    Took this year's fool in the cute-baby direction with BMW XDrive Baby Boots, which dynamically react to any change in terrain. Made with FCB Inferno and The Mill.

     
    CanvasPop

    Its Plus One matches your uploaded photos with your one true love.

     
    Car Keys UK

    Reviewed an Infinite MPG car—it's from Fisher-Price.

     
    Cheesecake Factory

    Created a Nacho Cheesecake. Barf.

     
    Cheetah Mobile

    Invented a necklace called Vocal Tuner x Piano Tiles, which syncs with your phone to correct and train your voice. They also made a ridiculous seven-minute-plus video.

     
    Chegg

    Is offering adorable puppy tutors. Less stress, more snuggles.

     
    Cramer

    Created an Augmented Reality program called Speak EZ-AR that helps speakers feel more at ease in front of an audience, by dressing up the audience in their underwear, or as snacks, or as fat stacks of cash.

     
    DLink

    Created a mouthy AI called The Ultra Wifi SmartAsk (DAT-A55).

     
    Duluth Trading

    Solved plumber's crack with the new Longtail Bodysuit. A shirt and undies all-in-onesie.

     
    Ely, Minnesota

    The prankiest town in America, which does April Fools' pranks every year, has invented the electric canoe paddle.

     
    English Blinds

    Created the Roman Blind skirt. One pull adjusts your hemline, Roman style.

     
    Esurance

    Is selling election insurance if you decide to leave the country due to the presidential election.

     
    Expedia.ca

    Created a new airline for redheads only called Ginge-air.

     
    GForm

    Created a line of extreme gear for babies.

     
    Glad

    The wrap brand created the Press'n SEAL performance-enhancing wetsuit.

     
    Groupon

    The company is letting you pay a stranger, including a mystery '80s sitcom star, to read to your cat.

     
    HHGreg

    Made an 8-bit Nintendo game that lets you Super Build Your Kitchen.

     
    HonestBrew

    Invented the beer bib. Which we actually need.

     
    Hooters

    Bought a private island to build a Hooters Beach Resort. While the announcement is fake, you can enter to win a real island vacation.

     
    Houzz

    Created HouzzSmartz—furniture, pillows and house accessories with a smart AI included. Shame they can't keep their language settings straight.

     
    HubSpot

    Is letting you bring any kind of pet to work with its new Productive Employee Things program. Great video on this one.

     
    IFixIt

    The Smother Bag will smother your hoverboards when they catch on fire.

     
    Jeep Germany

    Made awesome looking adventure tires out of actual rock.

     
    Jetsetter

    Made an adorable Itty Bitty Kitty Hotel.

     
    Kars4Kids

    Is now giving you an actual kid if you give them a car.

     
    Leisure Travel Vans

    Created the first Autonomous Driving RV.

     
    Lexus

    Introduced a new performance feature called V-LCRO, which secures a tighter connection between car and driver. Made with Team One.

     
    Lyft

    Lyft wants to help you fool your friends. Its new prank mode lets you create on-demand pranks. The first one was played on the NBA's Festus Ezeli, who was pranked into thinking he was cut from the Golden State Warriors.

     
    Malouf

    The mattress maker created the Flower Bed, the world's first biodegradable mattress infused with seeds.

     
    Mattel

    Announced a deal with Juneau, Alaska, to change the city's name to UNO, Alaska.

     
    Moshi

    Created SpatiaFlight, a speaker that flies after you wherever you go.

     
    Nike

    Released a chicken and waffles inspired shoe dubbed the SB Dunk High Waffle.

     
    Olly Gibbs

    Released the first poster for the next Star Wars movie, Rogue One. It appears to star Jar Jar Binks.

     
    OnePlus

    Invented GetSandStoned, a sandpaper-y gripping system for everything from soap to iPhones.

     
    OpenTable

    Created lickable phone photos, so you can taste your meal before ordering.

     
    Plated

    The deliverer of chef-designed diners has created PlateDate.

     
    Polar Seltzer

    Released a limited edition flavor for April Fools' Day called Unicorn Kisses. The flavor is real in the sense that you can actually buy it, if you can manage to pry one of the 5,000 available bottles out of the hands of people who are filling their car trunks with it.

     
    Pornhub

    Is now Corbhub.

     
    Progressive Insurance

    Progressive wants to help you fool other people. With its April Fools' Insurance, you can create your own fake news story to fool your friends over at nameyourprank.com. Just in case you forgot to think of a good prank.

     
    Prysm

    Created Spray and Display, an LCD display in a spray can. The cool video makes you wish it was real.

     
    Quilted Northern

    Introduced Quilted Northern Rustic Weave, the first hand-crafted, hand-perforated toilet paper in small batch, Cedar Loom and virgin birch. Done with Droga5.

     
    Razer

    The gaming company created a Razer toaster, which appears to be a real toaster, along with a five-minute, amusingly ranty video about it.

     
    Realtor.com

    Is featuring pretend pet properties for cats, dogs, hamsters and even lizards.

     
    RedBox

    Now hiring Kiosk Ambassadors. You know, employees who personally dish out movies like they work at Blockbuster or something.

     
    RugDoctor.

    Has become PugDoctor. Rent a pug and live #puglife. Made with The Loomis Agency.

     
    SleepPhones

    Created PetPhonez, headphones for your pets to sleep in.

     
    Sony Pictures

    Excited about the new Ghostbuster's movie? Sony has created an actual Ghost Catching Proton Pack.

     
    StarKist

    Is chucking Charlie the Tuna, its spokestuna since 1961, and replacing him with Brad the Sawfish.

     
    T-Mobile

    #BingeOnUp is a headset that let's you binge-watch without having to hold your phone in your hand LIKE AN IDIOT.

     
    Tesla Motors

    Announced the Model W, a watch that appears to be a tiny clock tower glued to your wrist. Winner of most phallic watch ever.

     
    ThinkGeek

    Every April Fools' Day, ThinkGeek dreams up ridiculous products, creates amusing videos about them, and makes a significant portion of them a reality if you show enough interest. So let them know if you want:
    -A vertical landing Diet Coke and Mentos robot
    -A Star Trek white noise sleep machine
    -A useless light switch
    -A flavor of the day calendar
    -A Rick and Morty Plumbus
    -A VR Sensory Immersion Generator
    -An Austin Powers shark with a frickin' laser pointer
    -An Attack on Titan Colossal Titan Lawn Ornament
    -Magic the Gathering travel edition
    -BaRPG, a drinking RPG game

     
    Todaytix

    Created a service called Dial-a-Drama, which lets you call and get the play-by-play of any show you're late arriving to. Calling the line lets you listen to a fake Dial-a-Drama call and get a promotional code.

     
    Tough Mudder

    Created a retro-'80s infomercial for a dangerous set of Tough Mudder Toys.

     
    Trend Report

    Immerses you in the world of Lolology with this interactive website.

     
    Trulia

    Released new maps to help homeowners avoid hipsters.

     
    U by Kotex

    Introducing the world's biggest menstrual cup.

     
    Unleashed by Petco

    The chain, which fools it up every year and always offers a coupon, has created two new presidential feeding bowls: the Presidential Puppy Podium for a Puppy in Chief and the Presidential Kitty Podium for America's catstituents.

     
    Vift

    The online video gift platform will deliver an "ugly truth" video gift on your behalf, which, if it doesn't go over well, you can claim is an April Fools' joke. No, really. Free for existing users, but anyone can pay for it.

     
    Vimeo

    Made an old school 'zine, Zimeo, for angsty video lovers.

     
    Virgin America

    Punked AirBnB's vagina logo with the breast new logo ever. (Or is it balls?)

     
    WaterAid

    The charity is repurposing its ManPon awareness campaign as an April Fools' joke to raise awareness for the lack of sanitation women face around the world. This is actually great because what seemed in horrible taste a few months ago looks great on April Fools' Day.

     
    Waterpik

    Created a shower belt to restrain you from the powerful force of its power pulse showerheads.

     
    Wayback Burgers

    How about a Cheez Whiz milkshake?

     
    Wonder Workshop

    Released WonderPaw, the first app that teaches dogs how to code.

     
    YETI

    The cooler maker talked former NFL quarterback and ambassador Jordan Shipley into revealing the secret to his athletic success: elk's milk, or melk. The YETI melk gift pack is available starting April 2 online for a limited time for $401.16. Watch this ridiculously high quality video all about … elk whispering.

     
    ZipCar

    Selfie driving matches you with the best car based on your selfie.

     
    ZipRecruiter

    Identified an underserved population with nearly limitless potential and created Jobs for Babies. Watch to see a baby in a janitor costume riding a Roomba.

     
    Zoosk

    The dating site will be matching people based on their love of burritos with Burrit-OH!

     
    Zumba

    Tired of Zumba dancing alone? Buy a Zumba Roomba and clean while you shake your bum-bum. Win an actual custom built #ZumbaRoomba and help the brand explain to those who've never heard of the fitness dance craze that Zumba is not a robotic vacuum cleaner. 


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    The Lapiz agency's "Doppelgänger Tourists" campaign shames workaholics Mike and Ann into taking vacations ... by introducing them to their dopplegängers, who have been living it up in Mexico.

    Oh, yeah: The campaign is promoting vacations. In Mexico. 

    After establishing that both sets of Mikes and Anns find themselves attractive, the dopplegängers show the originals footage from their Mexico vacations, heavy on swimming and Mayan ruins, and effectively poke their FOMO glands with sharpened sticks.

    Once the original Mike and Ann feel bad enough about their life choices, their duplicates sweeten the pot, prompting many emotions.



    The concept of this ad could have been super creepy (and still kind of is), but the tone and color palette they used is really disarming. One has to wonder what else those dopplegängers have been up to, though, and whether or not they filmed it. And are they really dopplegängers at this point, or have they moved on to parallel/mirror universe selves?

    See, this is why we stopped reading comic books. This is all way too confusing.

    CREDITS
    Client: Mexico Tourism Board
    Agency: Lapiz
    Campaign: Live It To Believe It
    Name of ad: Doppelgänger Tourists
    Creative Director: Lizette Morazzani
    Creative Director: Carlos "Ia" Murad
    Associate Creative Director: Flavio Pina
    Creative: Fabio Seidl
    Creative Resources: Julie Ptasinski
    Account Director: Ernesto Adduci
    Account Supervisor: Pablo Sabouret
    Senior Account Executive: Maria Bonet
    Executive Producer: Aldo Gagliardi
    Producer: Bobby Gruenberg
    Producer: Juale Chavez
    Planning Director: Felipe Cabrera
    Planner: Isabella Villalobos
    Production Company: Farm League
    Director: Britton Caillouette
    VFX/SPX: Filmworkers
    Editorial: Beast
    Editor: Dean Gonzalez
    Music Company: Future Perfect


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    Comedians Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti are planning their wedding, and it's not going well. Luckily, they're using Booking.com, so it's easy to make changes. 

    The duo—engaged in real life—star in new ads for the accommodations website, fictionalizing their struggle to find accommodations for their special day. Created by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., and directed by Randy Krallman, the campaign launches Sunday, with two spots airing during the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the American Country Music Awards. 

    In "Destination Wedding," Peele (of Key and Peele) and Peretti (of Brooklyn Nine Nine) consider tying the knot in a yurt, only to find themselves discouraged by a unwelcome guest who has a talent for puffing its chest aggressively. 



    In the second commercial, "Beach Booty," the pair scramble to get in shape for their bathing suits—until the bride-to-be gives up on whatever form of aerobic torture they're attempting, and the voiceover suggests a free change to an Alaskan resort instead.



    Six more ads are slated to launch throughout the spring and summer, following the couple's celebrity friends as they try getting to the wedding in the first place. 

    It's a fun and simple approach—it's entertaining enough to be memorable, but also distinguishes itself from the millennial wanderlust themes currently dominating marketing from other travel advertisers, like Hotwire and Travelocity.

    Expedia, for its part, has been building VR experiences to help sick children realize their dreams; Hotels.com, a more direct competitor, is running a moron across the country in hopes of making him president; while Airbnb is inviting people to sleep in shark tanks.

    In Booking.com's case, a wedding is an upbeat, relatable topic (and the existence of the tabloid industry proves celebrity couples have broad appeal). So the basic strategy seems to make sense, even if Booking has previously argued that travel itself is a special occasion: Every accommodation has the potential to change a guest's life forever.

    Regardless, one thing is clear—that owl is the real winner.

    CREDITS
    Client: Booking.com
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Director: Randy Krallman


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    Growing up, we can't remember ever having seen an ad for Radio Flyer. (Turns out there's a reason for that.) But imagine what a modern one would be like, nourished both by nostalgia and Super Bowl beer commercials.

    Think back to what Radio Flyer represented when you were so small it could be anything, then scale up. 

    To fête its first-ever National Little Red Wagon Day, which took place Wednesday, FCB Chicago lifts Radio Flyer back into our stream of consciousness with a cute little spot that manages to embody what those wagons meant to us ... while taking the piss out of grown-up pissing contests. 

    "Radio Flyer Super Race Car" kicks off with two guys in a suburban driveway gawking over a spankin' Dodge Viper, the kind whose positively lickable lollipop-red hood draws radar-wielding cops like a magnetic field. 

    "Cool car," one guys begins. "How fast does it go?"

    "Six hundred miles per hour," replies his buddy with the certainty of somebody who relishes the question. 

    Maybe you twitched a little. Or maybe you didn't, because The Fast and the Furious has given you a warped idea of how cars work. In any case, dude seems impressed.

    "Whoa," he says. "Well, I have a car that goes six thousand miles per hour."

    It's perhaps at this moment that you may notice the car owner—rightfully incredulous—is sipping from a juice box. Watch the rest of the ad below:



    Wednesday marked the 100th anniversary of the iconic Radio Flyer wagon, which sparked the idea for a special day. The video may not represent much right now, but it sets the tone for how FCB imagines the "holiday" unrolling in years to come, rekindling the imagination that a little red toy inspired when it was capable of being everything we wanted at the time, from a car to a spaceship to a yacht. (Do kids want yachts? Sometimes it's hard to distinguish legit childhood memories from stuff Hermès put there.)

    The work was created as a standalone project, but could eventually yield a more formal agency of record relationship (though they aren't there yet, an FCB spokeswoman hastens to emphasize). If this little toe-dip into the public awareness catches on, you can probably expect to see splashier promotions for National Little Red Wagon Day next year.

    In the meantime, maybe give that spaceship a good polish.

    CREDITS
    Client: Radio Flyer
    Agency: FCB, USA
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    Creative Directors: Myra Mazzei, Todd Durston
    Creative Director: Tom Flanigan
    Production Company: Lord + Thomas
    Director: Ben Flaherty
    Executive Producer: Katie Roach
    Production Service Company: We Are Famous
    Executive Producer: Joshua Greenberg
    Post Production: Lord + Thomas
    Senior Producer: Celena Mossell
    Editor: Ilsa Misamore
    Sound: Jason Ryan
    Management Director: Kiska Howell
    Account Executive: Darian Weaver


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    In a new spot for Apple Music, Taylor Swift doesn't have a problem making a fool of herself in the best way possible, while running on a treadmill listening to Drake and Future. And while the results look painful, the viral success is paying off. 

    It should be easy for Swift to shake it off—the 60-second spot, which ran on Instagram and Facebook, was created by Apple's in-house creative team, and has already racked up 3.8 million views on Instagram, along with another 6.3 million on Facebook. 

    The minute format is new for Instagram, which on Tuesday opened up the option for users more than a month after making it available for advertisers. That's one way to fill a blank space.

    While there has been some bad blood between Swift and other streaming music services like Spotify, the pop star is helping make sure Apple will never go out of style. (Remember when you thought she'd take a loss?)

    With a promotion for three months for free, Apple is making it easier to stream music when it's 2 a.m. in your car. Or at least, it wishes you would.

     

    Based on true events. #TAYLORvsTREADMILL @applemusic @champagnepapi @future

    A video posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

     


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    Honey Maid's "This Is Wholesome" campaign enters its third year today at a cultural crossroads.

    On the one hand, the Mondelēz brand's message of diversity and inclusivity is right in step with American culture—following milestones like the national legalization of same-sex marriage. On the other hand, the bitter tone of Election 2016 has revealed the stark divisions, and cultural and racial resentments, clearly still at play in the U.S. 

    Honey Maid's latest "Wholesome" advertising from Droga5, which you can see first on Adweek.com, balances those forces by embracing a new word as a central theme—acceptance. And it goes beyond looking at the changing face of the nuclear family to address broader political themes, with one spot that shows neighbors from different cultures putting aside their fears and becoming friends. 

    That spot, "Neighbors," seems crafted explicitly in response to immigration issues that have made headlines in the presidential race over the past year. "I didn't know anything about her culture. Only what I saw in the news," one neighbor says in voiceover—while looking out through her home's blinds at her new neighbor. 

    See the rest of the spot here:



    Adweek asked Katrina Plummer, equity brand manager for Honey Maid, whether the ad is meant to be taken in part as a commentary on the current political climate.

    "We are watching society change over time, because we think it is important to be reflective of today's world, and to be inclusive of a cross-section of those unique families that make up the American society," Plummer replied. "Honey Maid is acknowledging the changing family dynamic among our consumers and are excited about the opportunity for 'This Is Wholesome' to feature and celebrate real diverse families."

    Three more spots address the idea of acceptance in different ways, including an adoption story, one father accepting his gay son and son-in-law, and another father who comes home from war as a double amputee. In each spot, the family members are seen putting peanut butter and heart-shaped strawberry slices on graham crackers.



    Plummer said the new commercials evolve Honey Maid's message of wholesomeness by focusing more directly on this idea of acceptance.

    The campaign "has always shared the stories of diverse, wholesome American families," she said. "This latest chapter for Honey Maid is going one step further to celebrate their stories of acceptance and show how acceptance can foster love and friendship within families and among neighbors. We tell four different stories of acceptance featuring five families—a traditional Hispanic father who found joy and love in accepting his gay son and son-in-law, a disabled veteran and wife that have come to accept their new post-war reality, a young boy who has accepted his adopted brother, and two neighboring families who have grown to realize they have more similarities than differences."

    In the press release accompanying the campaign, Honey Maid acknowledges the split nature of American culture, which is advancing in some ways but still stuck in patterns of hate.

    "Acceptance isn't always a reality," the brand says. "The negative headlines you read on the Internet often reflect the animosity, bigotry and intolerance that society grapples with today. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly three-quarters of American adults who use the Internet have witnessed online harassment. But what if you could experience it as a place that was more accepting of different ideas, beliefs and lifestyles?"

    To that end, the new campaign also features an interesting online component. Honey Maid is introducing a "Wholesome Button"—a browser app that "allows users to experience the internet through the lens of acceptance and positivity." Clicking on the button changes images and headlines on any web page to "content celebrating love, heartwarming family connections and acceptance."

    For example, this is the wholesome-ized version of today's New York Times homepage:



    "This tool truly allows users to view the Internet through the lens of acceptance and positivity, something that is part of our brand DNA," said Plummer. "By giving people the opportunity to connect with our campaign and share a reimagined world, we hope to bring wholesome families closer together, invite people to think about acceptance in their own lives and even start a dialogue with someone within their own family or community that they have struggled to accept."

    CREDITS
    Client: Mondelēz International; Honey Maid
    Campaign: "This Is Wholesome"
    Title: "Little Brother," "Neighbor," "Husband," "Mis Hijos"

    Agency: Droga5
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
    Creative Directors: Devon Hong, Tara Lawall
    Copywriter: German Rivera Hudders
    Art Director: J.J. Kraft
    Junior Art Director: Andrew Chin
    Junior Copywriter: Sam Bauer
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Jennifer Chen
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Strategy Directors: Katie Coane, Sam Matthews
    Senior Strategist: Milla McPhee
    Senior Communications Strategist: Taylor Hines
    Social Communications Strategist: Whitney Brodribb
    Group Account Director: Kelsey Robertson
    Account Directors: Caitlin Chandler, Amanda Chandler
    Account Manager: Jasmine McDavid
    Associate Account Manager: Amy Rosenberg
    Project Manager: Monique Lavie

    Client: Mondelez International; Honey Maid
    Vice President, Biscuits Equity: Jason Levine
    Equity Brand Manager: Katrina Plummer
    Senior Associate Brand Manager, Media and Content Associate: Emmett Schalle

    Production Company: Public Record
    Director: Galen Summer
    Director of Photography: Zak Mulligan
    Executive Producer: Jeremy Yaches
    Producer: Elizabeth MacKenzie

    Editing: Cosmo Street
    Editor: Mark Potter
    Assistant Editor: Eduardo Wong
    Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
    Producer: Luiza Naritomi

    Postproduction: Switch
    Executive Producer: Diana Dayrit
    Flame Artist: Jon Magel

    Color Grade: RCO
    Colorist: Seth Ricart
    Executive Producer: Marcus Lansdell

    Music: Q Department

    Sound: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Rob McIver

    Wholesome Button: Weber Shandwick
    Executive Creative Director: Jim Paul
    Creative Director: Jeff Immel
    Associate Creative Director: Emma Arnold
    Copywriter: Mikinzie Stuart
    Junior Copywriter: Lucy Butka
    Art Director: Irek Jania
    Creative Technologists: Kevin Kilduff, Kedar Deshpande
    Production Company: Driftlab
    Account Executive, Vice President: Lauren Danis
    Account Vice President: Caroline Lainio
    Account Director: Andrea Clift


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    For years, Dillan Barmache couldn't speak. Then he got an iPad.

    The 16-year-old, who has autism and is non-verbal, stars in a powerful new advertising campaign from Apple, launched in observance of World Autism Acceptance Day on Saturday.

    After spending his whole life struggling to communicate, Barmache learned to express himself with the help of his tablet—typing his thoughts and feelings, then letting the computer speak them for him.

    The approach was so effective that, two years ago, he was able to deliver a graduation speech at his middle school, a moment featured in one of two ads.



    Titled "Dillan's Voice," the two-minute commercial from TBWA\Media Arts Lab focuses on Barmache's experience, in his own words:

    All my life I wanted so badly to connect with people But they couldn't understand because I had no way to communicate.

    I get to experience the world in a very unique way. I could see the wind, hear the flowers. I can see incredible emotions flowing from those I love.

    So many people can't understand that I have a mind. All they can see is a person who is not in control. But now you can hear me. The iPad helps me to see not only my words but to hold onto my thoughts.

    Having a voice has changed everything in my life. No more isolation. I can finally speak with the people that love me. I can say what I think and let them know I love them too.

    It's a beautifully written voiceover, delivered over footage of Barmache living his life—doing pull-ups, going for a run, walking through a hallway at school.

    A second, longer video, titled "Dillan's Path," offers more context on the severity of his disability, featuring interviews with his mother, and with his therapist, who characterizes him as "that kid that those of us in the field would describe as the most challenged."



    It's simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, as they discuss point blank the ways in which they know people misperceive him, and the ways in which—broadly speaking—Apple's technology has facilitated his ability to overcome such obstacles.

    That's a persuasive argument, even if it's one that could seem exploitative. Indeed, the prominence of the product does at moments come across as a touch direct. But so much time is devoted to telling Barmache's story, and advocating acceptance, that the real point is clear—anyone who can't appreciate what he brings to the table is missing out. 


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    Once upon a time, Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam created a fairy-tale campaign for Mondelēz's Milka chocolate brand.

    Set in the idyllic, magical Alpine hamlet of "Lilaberg," the ads consolidate Milka's candy and biscuit categories under the theme "Tenderness is inside."

    A pair of commercials feature impressive visuals and fanciful story lines. The spots almost resemble children's books come to life—or Pixar interpretations of fables for kids. Fanciful details abound, including cats on every rooftop and a purple cow (Lila, the brand mascot, after whom Lilaberg is named).

    In the clip below, set at the town's colorful carnival celebration, "The Strongman" proves he's really just a big softie—tender-hearted, you might say—bonding with a young fan whose confidence needs boosting:



    Finish your candy bar, Junior, and you'll grow up big and strong like Gustavus!

    "We wanted to create a timeless Alpine world, a self-contained microcosm of interesting characters and places," Daniel Schaefer, W+K creative director, tells AdFreak. "We wanted to create a world that feels truthful and relatable to people. Some people have asked us if Lilaberg actually exists. It doesn't. That's exactly the feeling that we wanted to create."

    There's some nice continuity between "The Strongman" and the second ad, "The Biscuit Jar." Here, a young girl who briefly appears in the first commercial takes the starring role:



    Watch out, those whimsical ceramic cake canisters will murder us all! (Unless they're full, in which case they'll probably just take a nap.)

    "The biggest challenge was to find a place that could bring our vision of a timeless sun-drenched Alpine village to life," Schaefer says. "Not an easy feat when you have to shoot in October and the Alps are wet, dark and grim. So, ironically, due to our shoot window, we had to go all around the world to New Zealand to find our typical Alpine scenery."

    Hobby Film director Vesa Manninen does a fine job of bringing Milka's fantasy world to life in the campaign, now breaking in Central and Eastern Europe as the first phase of a global multimedia rollout.

    Overall, the approach is charming and relatable, if perhaps a bit sugary for some viewers.

    The team went out of its way to include Lila, "a so-called Simmental cow, a very special breed from Switzerland, so naturally quite hard to find in New Zealand," Schaefer says. "Fortunately, we were able to find Willow on a remote farm around Christchurch—a bit of a diva but a total superstar."

    And they lived happily ever after!

    CREDITS
    Client: Milka
    Vice President, Marketing Communication and Brand Equity, Global Chocolate Category Team: Phillip Chapman
    Global Milka Equity Director: Karine Chik
    Milka Europe Marketing Director: Celine Berg (chocolate only)
    Milka Europe Equity Manager: Martha Miralles (chocolate only)
    Milka Europe Brand Activation Manager: Charlotte de Laleu (chocolate only)
    Milka Europe Marketing Director: Ira Shandaryvska (biscuits only)
    Milka Europe Treat Biscuits Base and Equity Marketing Lead: Charles-Henri Cassala (biscuits only)
    Milka Europe Chocobakery Base and Equity Manager: Caroline Baume (biscuits only)

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
    Creative Directors: Szymon Rose, Daniel Schaefer
    Art Director: Jordi Luna
    Copywriter: Scott Smith
    Head of Broadcast Production: Joe Togneri
    Executive Producer: Tony Stearns
    Head of Planning: Martin Weigel
    Group Account Director: Clare Pickens
    Account Director: Eleanor Thodey
    Account Managers: Elianne Vermeulen (TV), Yulia Prokhorova (Print)
    Studio Artist: Noa Redero
    Project Manager: Janna Harrington
    Business Affairs: Emilie Douque

    Production Company: Hobby Film
    Director: Vesa Manninen
    Director of Photography: Franz Lustig
    Executive Producer: Tom Rickard
    Producers: Anna Bergström, Frederic Rinnan

    Editing Company: Work Editorial
    Editors: Mark Edinoff, Rachael Spann

    Audio Post: Wave London
    Sound Designer, Mixer: Aaron Reynolds

    Music Artist: Phil Kay
    Music Company: Woodwork Music

    Postproduction: MPC
    Lead 2-D Artists: Bill McNamara, Toya Dreschler
    Lead 3-D Artist: Tim Van Hussen
    Colorist: Jean-Clement Soret
    Producer: Sophie Hogg

    Print Production
    Photographer: Marcus Gaab


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    Sonic is preparing a delightful on-site campaign for Coachella later this month, where it will sell completely square shakes that were designed for Instagram and will be available for purchase (and instant delivery at the music festival) through Instagram.

    The campaign promotes Sonic's Creamery shakes, introduced last month, which feature more premium flavors and ingredients (like bourbon, Madagascar vanilla bean, wildberry and lavender). To promote the premium products, Sonic agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners suggested creating a premium, highly designed Instagram campaign—and rolling out a new product made specifically for, and sold through, the photo platform.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.



    GS&P enlisted chef Christine Flynn—aka, @chefjacqueslamerde on Instagram—to take the Creamery shakes, deconstruct them and put them back together in adorable square shapes. The result—fun, poppy, foodie-style images and videos leading up to a one-day, geotargeted, personalized delivery of the shakes at Coachella on April 16.

    Here's what the shakes look like: 



    "We wanted to be the first brand, and especially the first food brand, to have a product that was designed for Instagram, offer it exclusively for sale on Instragram, and then deliver that product within minutes of your order on Instagram," Sonic's president and chief marketing officer, Todd Smith, tells AdFreak exclusively. "We're using the platform to really drive the quality story [of these shakes] in a different way." 

    "I just thought it was a really neat idea to create a product for the platform," adds GS&P executive creative director Margaret Johnson. "Everything about this product is square—the cup, the straw, even the cherry on top. I thought that was visually super interesting, and it taps into something we all do anyway. We all take pictures of our food and post it. It seemed like a fun extension of pop culture that's already happening." 

    Flynn was the perfect partner on the project, Smith says.

    "She is just a hyper creative mind," he says. "She is someone who pokes fun at fine dining by styling and photographing more approachable foods in super sophisticated ways. When we approached her with this idea, she said, 'Oh that's so cool, that's exactly what I do.' "

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.



    On April 16, attendees at Coachella will see Sonic ads on Instagram, featuring the shakes along with a "Shop Now" button. Using a geo-fence overlaid on the festival, the brand will be able to find the people who order and deliver the shakes directly to them. The purchase price? You just have to take a photo of the shake and post it to your own Instagram.

    "Coachella's a cool place for it," says Johnson. "It's full of young people, for one thing. And it's in the middle of the desert, so what better place to order up an ice-cold, yummy shake?"

    Smith said the campaign should help sales of the Creamery shakes, but that's not the primary purpose. As it did with its one-day limited-time offer on Snapchat previously, it's most trying to build its brand among young people by growing its social audience.

    "We're looking at adding Instagram followers and building a community," Smith says. "We want to push our brand into spaces where it hasn't necessarily been before." 

    More images below. 


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    The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a lot of opinions about gender roles in childhood ... and it's channeled them into Gender Baby Food, a parody product based on the design of the Gerber brand.

    Created by Jiayi Wang and Jennifer Garcia, Gender Baby Food comes in a number of different flavors, including Anti-Gay Grape, Submissive Spinach, Rough and Tough Rhubarb, and—our favorite—Perverted Peas. We aren't sure why that one's in there, really; sexual innuendo is hardly a gendered concept. 

    Clicking on each flavor brings up fake ad copy and customer reviews that reveal the food's harmful effects on children, based on the gender they're implied to be for. Submissive Spinach, for example, "will teach her all the right ways to respect a man, from knowing that she has no right to question him, to understanding that a silent mouth is the prettiest one."

    And that's one of the gentler ones...



    Whatever you may think of the tone, Gender Baby Food's delivery is undeniably spot-on. From the graphics to the product and web design, everything is presented effectively, and breadcrumbs lead to a donation page for the ADAA, where the dangers of overemphasizing traditional gender roles to children are explained in greater (and less abstract) detail. 

    The satire is about as subtle as an oncoming bus, but perhaps this approach is the most prudent one. It's not like decades of being timid about the subject have helped anything.


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    In general, there's a trend in advertising toward more straight talk when it comes to treatment of potentially embarrassing conditions. And now, adult incontinence category leader Depend is making a big push into more authentic messaging with short- and long-form content starring real people who've battled bladder leakage.

    The Kimberly-Clark brand has created, for the first time, broadcast spots that feature the personal stories of real men and women. The campaign, created by Organic, introduces the new, improved Depend Fit-Flex Underwear.

    See the broadcast spots here:



    "Our consumers really need to see themselves in the stories we're telling as a brand, rather than coming from a brand point of view and having Depend tell people how to manage their bladder leakage," Jennifer Nobui, Depend senior brand manager, tells Adweek. "Men and women really respond well when they see that others have gone before them, and have been able to live the same lives they were living before bladder leakage. When they see that people just like them can do that, they're inspired to take the same steps."

    Here are the long-form videos:



    Documentarian Cynthia Wade, who won an Oscar for the 2007 short doc Freeheld, directed the new spots. (She also directed this eight-minute brand film for Dove back in 2014.

    "I have spent much of my career telling stories of ordinary people who, despite living authentic and meaningful lives, are often held back by something that is causing them to experience fear or embarrassment," Wade said. "I love ripping away the shame and telling a story where someone can be fully honest with the world. This is an extraordinary moment of courage."

    The campaign also includes print and online ads. In addition, Depend has partnered with motivational speaker and life coach Susie Moore.

    "Confidence is key to living a fulfilling lifestyle, but many men and women with bladder leakage hide away in shame," Moore said in a statement. "I couldn't be more proud to partner with the Depend brand for this program to help people with bladder leakage realize this common issue doesn't have to hold them back and encourage them to, as I like to say, 'live an unconditional, regret-free life' with products like Depend Fit-Flex Underwear."

    The campaign also includes an online influencer content series; product sampling and retail support; and multiyear, multimillion-dollar charitable partnerships with United Way Worldwide and The Simon Foundation for Continence. 

    Check out the print work here: 


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    Rory McIlroy keeps a grueling schedule, but he likes it.

    The pro golfer stars in a new ad for Nike, from Wieden + Kennedy Portland, as he gears up in real life for this weekend's Masters tournament, in hopes of landing a grand slam—winning all four majors—on the 2016 tournament circuit.

    The minute-long commercial is, in essence, an increasingly frenetic montage, as McIlroy trains for his big dream, waking up at 5:30 every morning, chopping vegetables for smoothies, lifting weights, hitting the driving range, running, lifting more weights and doing it all over again the next day.

    It's packed with almost industrial sound design, and the odd snippet of a rattle snake, crescendoing perfectly to the tagline, "Enjoy the chase"—which lands more or less as a twist, given there's not much beforehand to suggest anybody would enjoy such a insane pace.



    That payoff is all the more apt because it's true, capturing the obsessive appetite for repetition and discipline essential to mastering any craft, and also because it fits so squarely into Nike's history of a simplified, rah-rah approach to getting through pain: "Just do it."

    More broadly, the spot—directed by Radical's Derek Cianfrance, no stranger to making cool sports ads—a strong addition to McIlroy's growing collection of Nike spots, part of a shiny five-year endorsement deal signed in 2013. Notably absent is Tiger Woods, who traded trick shots with McIlroy in the brand's hit "No Cup Is Safe" gag ad that year, and again in 2015's more heartfelt "Ripple" spot, about the 26-year-old Northern Irish athlete's rise to play alongside his older American idol.

    Meanwhile, a fun series of 15-second vignettes (see below) expand on the new concept, featuring other pros like Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, Michelle Wie and Patrick Rodgers honing their skills in odd and sometimes hilarious ways—practicing after dark, and in hotel hallways, and by splashing water on themselves in the middle of ponds.

    Because anyone who isn't pressing themselves probably isn't going to succeed. And if it's not for love, then it's probably just torture.

    Then again, there are worse gigs than being a celebrity athlete, even if it is still a job.



    CREDITS

    Client: Nike
    Project: Nike Golf: Enjoy The Chase

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Stuart Brown & Chris Groom
    Copywriter: Jared Elms
    Art Director: Naoki Ga
    Producer: Ross Plumber/Jeff Selis/Katie Sellon

    Production Company: Radical
    Director: Derek Cianfrance
    Executive Producer: Alex Orlovsky
    Director of Photography: Grieg Fraser

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Biff Butler
    Post Producer: Assistant Editor: Alyssa Oh/Daniel Benhamo

    Post Executive Producer: Christopher Noviello.
    Executive Produce: Linda Carlson
    Creative Director: Angus Wall

    VFX Company: VFX Studio:  a52
    VFX Supervisor: VFX Supervisor: Andy McKenna
    Flame Artist: CG Supervisor:  Manny Guizar
    VFX Producer: 2D VFX Artist(s):  Cameron Coombs, Enid Dalkoff
    Titles/Graphics: Finishing: Dan Ellis, Kevin Stokes, Gabe Sanchez
    Head of Production: Kim Christensen
    Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent

    Music + Sound Company: Future Perfect

    Composer: Craig Sutherland, Andy Huckvale
    Producer: Max Gosling

    Mix Company: Sound Mix
    Lime Studios
    Mixer: Zac Fisher
    Mixing Assistant Kevin McAlpine
    Exec Producer: Susie Boyajan


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    Barton F. Graf's signature absurdist humor arrives fully baked in its first campaign for Snyder's of Hanover pretzels.

    Broadcast spots and brief social videos introduce the line "Pretzels, Baby," delivered in mock-serious, smoky tones by actress Laura Wernette.

    Portraying a pretzel-lovin' suburbanite, she looks straight into the camera and musters up an impressive level of tongue-in-cheek intensity, her zeal heightened only by the polka-dot party hat she dons for the "Backyard BBQ" spot below:



    "People have been eating pretzels since 610 A.D. So, at this point, it's safe to say people like pretzels," Barton F. Graf executive creative director Ian Reichenthal tells AdFreak. "A lot of flashy new snacks have come and gone in that time. And people may sometimes reach for them instead of pretzels. But if you're pretzels, you've got nothing to worry about. Pretzels aren't going anywhere. That's where the confidence of 'Pretzels, Baby' comes from."

    Anyone questioning the boldness of Synder's flavors can grab the nearest "Dictionary" and look it up, following Wernette's example in the next ad:



    "We cast hundreds and hundreds of people" searching for the perfect spokesperson, says Reichenthal. The team ultimately chose Wernette because she embodied "a mom with the swagger of Telly Savalas."

    Savalas was a familiar face in prime time during his iconic '70s run as NYC detective Theo Kojak, whose hardboiled catchphrase "Who loves ya, baby?" entered the cultural lexicon. (Note the retro cop-show music at the close of each Snyder's spot.)

    Actually, Kojak fancied lollipops, not pretzels. But that was 40 years ago, so who cares?

    In "For Your Own Good," our heroine gives a positively smashing performance:



    Dummy Films director Harold Einstein keeps the setups simple, providing a punchy pace that lets Wernette's salty talk—by which we mean her G-rated pitch for pretzels—scale the heights of sublime silliness.

    According to Reichenthal, Wernette worked hard to stay in character between takes, practicing her lines "while sitting in a Chesterfield chair and holding an empty scotch glass."

    Sample a few more snack-size bites below. (They're social responses to Twitterers who say they do or don't like pretzels.) 



    In this last social clip, she goes on about the many different kinds of Snyder's pretzels (for nearly three minutes, baby!)



    CREDITS

    Client: Snyder's-Lance
    Brand: Snyder's of Hanover

    Agency: Barton F. Graf
    Chief Creative Officer: Gerry Graf
    Chief Executive Officer: Barney Robinson
    Chief Strategy Officer: Laura Janness
    Executive Creative Director: Ian Reichenthal
    Art Director: Ross Fletcher
    Copywriter: Mark Bielik
    Head of Design: Roger Bova
    Head of Production: Josh Morse
    Producer: Erica Kahr
    Group Account Director: Elisa Silva
    Account Supervisor: Kate Callander
    Head of Business Affairs: Jennifer Pannent

    Production: Dummy Films
    Director: Harold Einstein
    EP: Eric Liney
    DP: Jonathan Freeman
    Production Designer: Patrick Lumb

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Dave Anderson
    Assistant Editor: Laurel Smoliar
    Executive Producer: SiIa Soyer

    Music: Butter Music & Sound
    Music CCO: Andrew Sherman
    Music EP: Ian Jeffreys
    Music Producer: Ryan Faucett

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tim Masick


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    The branding of cities is obviously nothing new: R&R Partners' "What Happens in Vegas" campaign all but defines the city in the popular imagination, and consultancies have been hired in past years to "brand" locales from Manhattan to Edinburgh to Brooklyn.

    But how can an agency help define a place that, according to its own press release, "won't be fully complete for another 20 years?" That's the challenge faced by Chicago-based agency VSA Partners and Colombian consultancy Novus Civitas. 

    The Caribbean port city of Cartagena has long been a romantic destination of choice for discerning travelers. But its aging infrastructure, limited public services and outdated industry led one Colombian family to envision an entirely new city on the Cartagena coast—Serena del Mar. 

    "Serena del Mar was a dream of a prominent Colombian family involved in real estate development, among other things," Andrea Spiegel, partner and head of client engagement at VSA New York, tells AdFreak. "They've been incubating it for quite a few years and laying down the groundwork among the community, the local government, investors, etc. When they were ready to start talking about it, that's when they put an RFP together." 

    VSA and Novus Civitas produced this video to outline the project last summer:



    The video, however, offers viewers only a general overview of this family's vision for Serena del Mar, or "Serene Ocean." 

    "It's no easy task putting a city on the map, literally," said Nicole Haime, director of international marketing and business development at Novus Civitas. "We called upon the world's leading experts to generate the master plan and then the best communications agencies to package that story in a creative and insightful way." 

    Those experts included architect Moshe Safdie and golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, among many others. They laid the groundwork while VSA and Novus Civitas worked to apply "modern sensibility to the region's authentic culture, color and topography." 



    Spiegel tells AdFreak: "We started immersing ourselves with the key people on the project by visiting Cardena on a four- to five-day trip with all major stakeholders, getting to know the region, touring the property and getting to see exactly what this 'vision' could be." 

    VSA then returned to its Chicago and New York offices to set about defining that vision for would-be consumers. "We started with the brand story, which was the brief for our creative teams," Spiegel said. "Visual/verbal identity came next as we designed a logo and icon system/color palette for each of the project's five pillars—A Prosperous Community, Culturally Vibrant, Healthy and Well, A Steward of the Environment and For Everyone."

    "When you're branding something that doesn't exist, there's only so much that renderings can do," she says. "We did a very comprehensive shoot with local photographer—and while we couldn't actually photograph finished buildings, we could capture moments of natural beauty and the lifestyle that goes along with them. These helped us tell the story when coupled with renderings of what the planned community will be." 



    Much of the work itself, then, was based on impressions of the project at this early stage.

    "The logo itself is a combination of the sea, the mountains and the hills or los morros, a very distinctive geographical feature rendered in a modern way," Spiegel says. "We used a watercolor treatment because that's a well-loved art form in Colombia, and the color palette is both indigenous to the region and modern, or forward-facing." 

    Members of the VSA team then returned to South America to record important events in the life of the project, like the groundbreaking for the space that will become a hospital. Serena del Mar will not be a fully functioning municipality for a couple of decades, but its medical center and public transit station, along with the first satellite campus of Bogotá's Universidad de Los Andes School of Management, will be open by 2018 to attract young entrepreneurs. 

    "It's like a tourist destination," Spiegel says, "but first and foremost it's a place to live, work and prosper."

    Perhaps most important, Serena del Mar's first sales office opened this month to begin promoting its residential properties.


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    We've seen hotel advertising evolve past the typical saccharine copy and cheesy stock photos of smiling guests—for example, the Loews Hotels and Resorts campaign, which uses ordinary people's candid Instagram photos in place of professionally shot pics.

    But one hotel group, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is going a step further. It's ditching photos entirely in its new campaign and running text-only ads that flatter the target market by suggesting they'd never fall for typical tourism marketing anyway.

    The campaign, titled "Unadvertise," features self-congratulatory copy about how SLH's clientele is too intelligent to fall for "advertising trickery" like, you know, showing what the hotels actually look like.

    Check out a bunch of the ads, from McCann Bristol in the U.K., here:



    "It's too easy to pick out an incredible image of a hotel and put a logo on it," says Tim Davis, vp of brand and marketing at SLH. "How does that differentiate one hotel or company from any other? With this campaign we were looking to strike a chord with our independently minded guests, to really show the personal and authentic experience that staying at any one of our independently spirited hotels can offer."

    He adds: "We hope this campaign will get existing and potential guests thinking and leave their minds open to experiences and possibilities. We don't feel the need to patronize our guests to encourage them to patronize our 520 hotels around the world."

    The irony, of course, is that this kind of self-conscious "unadvertising" is its own form of manipulative gimmickry. The target market is clearly meant to fall for this approach just as hard as others would fall for a more typical approach. 

    Whether it's as patronizing as your standard fare probably depends on your tolerance for being unsubtly flattered. Indeed, some might find it more distasteful than just being shown a few nice photos and a headline.

    The ads will run in print and online publications targeting the affluent traveler, including Bloomberg, Departures, the Financial Times, Boisdale Lifestyle and Travel + Leisure. SLH says it's spending $1 million on the 2016 campaign, the most the luxury brand has invested in above-the-line advertising in its 25-year history. 


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    Steve McQueen is primarily known as the Oscar-winning director of such films as Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave, the 2013 winner of Best Picture, which led Time magazine to call him one of the World's 100 most influential people in 2014.

    But he also directs short films, and his new ad for high fashion brand Burberry proves his work can be quite erotic, even if it includes nary a hint of Michael Fassbender au naturel

    This spot may be promoting the Mr. Burberry fragrance, but it all but screams High Art with a capital "A." Get ready for some well-framed heavy petting. 



    The song claims that "The more you love me, the more you hurt me," but that didn't look too painful.

    The behind-the-scenes short doesn't add much to the work beyond reminding us that Mr. Burberry and his paramour are real people rather than unbelievably lifelike bots created by the brand's marketing department. 



    This week, McQueen appropriately explained his working concept to U.K. tabloid Daily Mail: "I wanted to convey the idea of two people who are passionately in love, and go off on a dirty weekend," he said. "It's that moment in a relationship where all you are thinking about is each other, and all you want is to be with each other."

    Check, check and check.

    Burberry CEO Christopher Baily described the ad as follows: "It is traditional yet irreverent, elegant without being pristine. It perfectly encapsulates a mood and an attitude that today's Burberry man will recognize as his own." 

    In other words, it is indeed all about the cologne.


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