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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Your grandmother is probably already on Facebook. But in case she's not, she might enjoy GramGram, an amusing concept from some BYU advertising students who went rogue in a social media advocacy class. 

    "We tried to imagine social media in a reversed skeuomorphism form and had tons of fun with it," says one of the students, Brad Hill.

    As illustrated in this video, the concept is amusing—and certainly gives Grandma a thrill:



    "Most of the class decided to pick more serious issues like depression, immigration and Islamophobia, but we were feeling a bit cheeky and wanted to do a fun campaign for something important but not super serious," Hill says. "Our 'cause' ended up advocating millennials to reach out to their grandparents and take time to carry some offline communication."

    Hill was inspired by an article he'd read a few years ago about how everyone loves receiving hand-written mail. "I thought that it is no different than receiving messages on social media," he says. "We combined the two and created 'Project GramGram.' It is the perfect blend with my background with digital/social media and my printmaking skills."

    Initially, the team looked into some mailing companies and APIs to help process the social media, thinking they'd actually bring GramGram properly to life. But that proved a bit daunting.

    "I even spent a week or so trying to find disappearing ink that would vanish over a few days so we could do Snapchats in the mail," says Hill. "Eventually we just opted on creating something quality for our portfolios and that could tell a great story."

    Hill plays the printmaker in the spot. Another member of the team, Stew Tribe, plays the main character, and his actual grandma plays the grandma. The video was shot in various locations around Provo, Utah.

    So, could GramGram really exist? "I don't think Project GramGram would be a great lasting product, but a short-term, 'limited-edition' run might be fun to do," says Hill. "My team and I have considered running a Kickstarter and seeing how far we could go to making it real, but to be honest, everybody is on Facebook. My grandma isn't quite on Snapchat or Peach, so that might be worth looking into." 


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    BBDO Moscow takes the "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign for Snickers into meta territory with these three print ads, in which the Snickers bar isn't itself—it's packaging to look like Mars, Bounty and Twix bars.

    The concept is a little off, seemingly implying that Snickers itself is hungry for a Snickers—though it's not too far removed from the brand's recent real-world packaging stunt, in which hunger symptoms replace the brand name on the wrapper.

    Mars, Bounty and Twix were probably fine with this. They're all Mars Inc. brands, after all. 



    Via Ads of the World.

    CREDITS
    Client: Mars/Snickers
    Agency: BBDO, Moscow, Russia
    Creative Director: Alexey Starodubov
    Art Director: Dmitry Vtulkin
    Copywriter: Dmitry Semenov


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    Take a bowel, Ilana Becker!

    The actress and comedian tells Adweek that portraying "Irritabelle," the personification of a stomach ache with diarrhea, in campy ads for IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Diarrhea) medication Viberzi, has been a dream come true. 

    "I wanted this job from the moment I laid eyes on the copy," she says. Originally hired to provide voiceovers when the work was in its animatic/storyboard phase, "I remember thinking how much fun it would be to be able to bring Irritabelle to life." 

    Fashioned by Arnold Worldwide for pharma giant Allergan, the campaign broke nationwide last week, starring Becker as a kooky colon who makes life difficult for her owner. Clad in a jumpsuit decorated with a goofy digestive-tract illustration, her hair and lips painted atomic red, Becker makes a distinct impression in "Home," the 60-second launch spot: 



    "By creating a manifestation of IBS-D symptoms using a real person, we were able to show the changing dynamics of their relationship [to the condition] more effectively and meaningfully," says Arnold executive creative director Gary Scheiner. "Many patients wait years before seeing a doctor about their symptoms, so we wanted this work to be highly relatable and effective in engaging patients, and to motivate them to take action." 

    Contrast this live-action approach with ads for Salix Pharmaceuticals' Xifaxan, which ran a spot featuring animated pink intestines during the Super Bowl in February. 

    "We intentionally parodied some of the category conventions like walking on the beach or riding bikes," says Scheiner. "Done with Irritabelle, those activities become fresh and memorable."

    Fittingly, Becker went with her gut to achieve the right comic tone. 

    "There's definitely an aspect of my personality there, just with the volume turned up," she says. "Irritabelle doesn't intend to be irritating, or even remotely hurtful—so I wanted to be sure the character came from an honest yet playful place. Also, as someone who has struggled with stomach issues myself, I wanted to be clear on how frustrating the condition can be and not make fun of it in any way." 

    Since IBS-D most often strikes women, "we set out to cast a female for the role," says Scheiner. Becker's distinctive delivery—both affable and annoying, like a friend who's outstayed her welcome—enhanced Arnold's early presentation. Once the campaign got the greenlight, the agency invited the actress, best known for her appearances on MTV's Girl Code, to try out for the lead role.

    "She actually auditioned via Skype from her bathroom," Scheiner says. "While we saw hundreds of talented people, she was the unanimous choice." 

    Becker says she's "particularly proud of the long-form content on the web." That work includes a three-minute film in which Irritabelle explains IBS-D in detail, along with a cardboard cutout of herself and other wacky props: 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Another film depicts an intervention by the friends and family of an IBS-D sufferer, with Irritabelle refusing to admit there's a problem ("I can stop any time I want," she says):

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    In both long- and short-form spots, Tool of North America director Sean Ehringer achieves a self-aware, sitcom atmosphere that serves the scripts well. This make frank and funny discussions of IBS-D, a highly personal and private condition, seem completely natural. 

    And Becker's performance is winning her fans in unexpected places. 

    "My favorite reaction so far was a message from someone I don't know, who works in a classified military 'war room' with those giant TVs that show things they're tracking, along with world news," she says. "The commercial came on, and they all stopped and belly-laughed. I hope I don't get him in trouble, but to be the reason someone takes a moment to laugh is kind of the best thing ever."

    CREDITS

    Client: Allergan
    Executive Vice President, President of Branded Pharma: Bill Meury
    Vice President, Marketing Gastroenterology: Chuck Sabino
    Executive Director: Jorge Martinez
    Product Director: Marc Pieroni
    Multichannel, Consume Marketing: Itiel Katz

    Agency: Arnold Worldwide
    Global Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott
    Executive Creative Director: Gary Scheiner
    Associate Creative Directors: Kyle Jutkiewicz, Brittany King
    Art Director: Mike Pilato
    Junior Art Director: Pat Gamble
    Copywriter: DeMane Davis
    Junior Copywriters: Brian Nowakowski, Sarah Cookson
    Senior Art Director: Michele Mason
    Senior Planner: Amy Liebesman
    Broadcast Producers: Pete Scudese, Lisa Kaplan
    Project Managers: Ross Field, Danielle Maccone, Kristin Marsden-Milligan
    Business Affairs: Lynne Rouffa

    Agency: H4B
    Marketing: Steve Nothel, Lisa Durels, Nicole Navon
    Planner: Kristin Witty

    Production Company: Tool of North America
    Executive Producer: Robert Helphand
    Line Producer: Jeff Tanner
    Director: Sean Ehringer
    Cinematographer: Don Davis

    Editing Company: NO6 (TV spots)
    Editor: Justin Quagliata
    Producer: Malia Rose

    Editing Company: Studio 6 (online videos)
    Editor Erik Emond
    Producer: Colin Tarpey
     
    Music Company: Duotone
    Track Title: "Belle's Theme"
    Composer: Jordan Lieb

    Sound Mix: Sound Lounge
    Sound Mixer: Tom Jucarons


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    The saccharine Apple Watch dreamworld lives on.

    To show how the high-tech timepiece can make each day more perfect, the marketer just released eight new 15-second ads. Celebrities star in four of them, with Chloë Sevigny returning for her second appearance in the series. Alice Cooper, Nick Jonas and Jon Batiste join her this time, each demonstrating the upside of having a miniature supercomputer on your wrist. 

    Fitness is a recurring theme, taking up half of the spots. The best might be Cooper's, a quirky slice of life in which he swings futilely at golf balls (he's a golf enthusiast in real life)—but in the end settles for burning some calories, as measured by his watch.



    If you're more like Nick Jonas, you might find yourself running around and panting while perpetually trying to catch up with your older brother Joe. Thankfully, you now have data to quantify that state of being constantly behind, which started the minute you were born. 



    Two spots feature less famous actors working out. In one, a woman runs up an endless white staircase, racing against her friend in a visual setting that risks coming across as an uncomfortably apt, if melodramatic, metaphor for life. 



    In another, a woman presses through a grueling rowing workout, with some positive reinforcement from the robot attached to her arm. 



    The other ads extend that playful tone to a broader set of scenarios. Sevigny loses her phone in a scattered pile of fashionable clothes (exactly where she left off in her last Apple Watch ad, down to the same dress she's wearing). Luckily, the watch enables her to trigger a beep from the missing device. 



    Meanwhile, Batiste fields text messages from Quincy Jones, telling him to dress down for an event. He obliges—by switching to a pink rubber watch band (and keeping the suit). 



    If you're more of the smug superior type, you might enjoy the zen experienced by a woman who hoists her umbrella up at just the right moment, smiling while the clueless, ill-prepared suckers around her scatter in the rain. 



    Lastly, a more socially adept woman uses her watch to coordinate a surprise party for her friend, switching the lights off in her purple living room with a tap of her wrist. 



    Like the earlier ads in the campaign—which featured celebrities like Leon Bridges and RZA—these are deft, beautiful little pieces of persuasion. Apple masterfully blends utility and fashion; more so with this product than most, it illustrates how it can make your life easier (and prettier). 

    What's worrisome is that the ads' atomized, almost isolationist aesthetic, which felt disconcerting at first, now seems totally normal—even appealing. What is the endgame, if not a sleek minimalist lifestyle wrapped in the soft glow of a frictionless existence? 

    The answer: Do what you want with who you want, when you want, and avoid the rest. 


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    En route to annihilating humanity, would robots take time out for a bathroom break? Apparently they would, if this amusing slice of high-tech potty humor from DDB Chicago, touting Kohler's Veil Intelligent Toilet, can be believed. 

    At a futuristic housewarming party, humans and bots mingle ... until the bots make like C3-Pee-O and head for the loo (for some urgent downloads, no doubt). The machines snap selfies with the cybernetic crapper, basking in the glow of its cobalt-blue LED nightlight. 

    "The spot taps into the human truth that when at a party, people tend to congregate in the kitchen," Jean Batthany, executive creative director at DDB, tells AdFreak. "In this case, all guests robotic are drawn to the bathroom—where the real action is. There's also a layer of 'robot truth' in the shared social anxiety of trying to fit in and the relief in finding a kindred high-tech spirit."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The spot was directed in slick cinematic style by MJZ's Dante Ariola, Most of the automatons were represented by foam cutouts during the shoot for blocking, and brought to life in postproduction by effects house Jamm Visual. The humanoid couple was portrayed by flesh-and-blood actors, and the CG team matched their movements with bot-body imagery later on. (Wait until the the robot union hears about this!) 

    "We are talking to the new sophisticate," Batthany says. "They are early adopters of technology and use design as a mode of self-expression. In a world where Siri and other lifelike technology is becoming more integrated into our daily lives, these bots help us tell a story of the very near future with a toilet as the star." 

    In case you were wondering, Veil's functionality includes full or light flush settings, self-cleaning and automatic deodorizing systems, a heated seat with adjustable temperatures, and hands-free opening and closing of the seat and cover. 

    About the only thing it doesn't do is sing "Bicycle Built for Two" (yet). But if the thing ever asks, "Just what do you think you are doing, Dave?"—it's time to get off the pot.

    CREDITS
    Client: Kohler

    Agency: DDB Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: John Maxham
    Executive Creative Director: Jean Batthany
    Group Creative Director: Nathan Monteith
    Creative Director (Art): Kurt Riemersma
    Creative Director (Copy): Matt Ben Zeev
    Chief Production Officer: Diane Jackson
    Executive Producer: Debora den Iseger
    Executive Art Producer: Suzanne Koller
    Senior Print Producer: Carla Nieto
    Senior Business Director: Jenn Nolden
    Account Executive: Kate Karens
    Account Manager: Kirby Summers
    Production Manager: Scott Terry

    Production Company: MJZ
    President: David Zander
    Senior Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins
    Director: Dante Ariola
    Line Producer: Natalie Hill
    DP: Phillipe Le Sourd
    Production Designer: Christopher Glass

    Editorial: No6TV
    Editor: Amanda Perry
    Assistant editor: Danny Fogarty
    Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

    VFX: Jamm Visual
    VFX Supervisor/Lead CG Lighter: Andy Boyd
    VFX Supervisor/Lead Compositor: Jake Montgomery
    Lead CG FX Artist: Zachary DiMaria
    Flame Artist: Pat Munoz
    Flame Artist: David Hernandez
    Nuke Artist: Kenneth Brown
    CG Artist: Nha Ca Chau
    CG Artist: Huisoo Lee
    CG Modeling: Aaron Hamman
    CG Modeling: Joel Durham
    Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
    Producer: Ashley Greyson

    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
    Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov

    Music House: PullPullPull
    Composer: Mitch Davis
    Executive Producer: Scott Brittingham

    Audio Post: The Studio, Chicago
    Sound engineer(s): Nicholas Papaleo

    Sound assistant: Bobby Lord

    Audio Post Producer: Stacey Simcik

    Print Post production: Gianini
    CGI Artist: Tim McMahon
    CGI Artist: Sebastian Szyszka
    CGI Artist: Jeffrey Gilles
    Director: Scott Giannini
    Executive Producer: Kevin O'Connell

    Photography:
    Photographer: Michael Huijbregtse (Kohler Co.)
    Retoucher: Tom Waterloo (The studio, DDB Chicago) 


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    Normally you smoke weed and then have an uncontrollable urge to eat pizza. But mobile app Push for Pizza suggests you do it the other way around—and has the perfect invention to make it happen.

    The app recently collaborated with the Nikolas Gregory design studio to create a very special pizza box, one section of which peels away and folds into a smokeable pipe. The cardboard forms the sides of the pipe, and the little plastic piece that keeps the box top from crushing the pizza becomes the bowl—though it isn't plastic here but temperature-resistant white ceramic.

    "It is common to crave food when one gets high. It is also typical practice to order a quick pizza to satisfy this craving. We are aware of these trends and decided to combine these two interests in a actual product," says Push For Pizza co-founder Cyrus Summerlin.



    "The pizza is in hand before the munchies set in, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience without the interminable delay of its delivery or the pain of gnawing hunger," he adds. "And the pipe comes at no additional cost. Its materials are 100 percent recyclable."

    Is it durable? "The pipe should last a long time," Summerlin says, who says the pipe has been fully tested. "Unless you are very careless with the flame, it will not burn."

    At this point, only the prototype has been made, though Push for Pizza says it might do a limited run depending on how well it is received. If it does move into mass production, it will likely use a a temperature-resistant vegetable-based recyclable plastic instead of the ceramic. 


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    Y&R New Zealand's celebrated McWhopper campaign took home the highest honor, the Grandy, at the 52nd annual International Andy Awards on Tuesday night. And Y&R staffers from around the globe celebrated in a fun (if not very healthy) way—by making their own handmade McWhoppers, as seen in the cute video below.

    It's rare and refreshing to see this kind of network camaraderie, particularly around awards, where offices far from the winning one might not ordinarily feel much of a connection.



    For the McWhopper stunt, which happened last August, Burger King reached out to McDonald's and suggested they partner up and actually make a McWhopper for Peace Day. McDonald's politely declined, which meant it was never officially made—outside of the rudimentary efforts of amateurs (including, at the time, AdFreak's own official fast-food tester David Griner).

    Y&R had a brilliant showing at the Andys. In addition to the Grandy for McWhopper, the network won the Richard T. O'Reilly Award for Outstanding Public Service for its "Melanoma Likes Me" work, created by GPY&R Brisbane in Australia.

    "We are simply ecstatic," Tony Granger, global chief creative officer of Y&R, said in a statement. "We are so proud of winning the two top awards. Both ideas are terrific proof that brave clients get the work they deserve." 

    Via AgencySpy.


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    Ikea's image is built on being approachable, well-designed and unbearably twee, all of which certainly apply to the chainless bicycle it is now producing. 

    The Swedish home-goods brand made a bike before, but it was an electric model that wasn't widely available. This new bike, known as the Sladda, uses a cogged drive belt instead of a chain, and promises to be light and low-maintenance.

    It also has a "clip-on" design for baskets and tow carts—an image we just cannot take seriously, though we are trying. It just feels like one of those things that's going to look dorky and try-hard until modern life becomes totally unsustainable and we all have to live with it. 

    What's more frustrating is that a company that boasts about affordable products wants to sell sustainability to the public for $800 per bike. That's still cheaper than a car, and it won a Red Dot and all, but that price tag sticks in our craw. 

    See the full bike below. Click to enlarge.

     

     

     


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    Here's a great bit of packaging design work from Jones Knowles Ritchie—pizza delivery boxes for Domino's that recreate the brand's logo across two boxes.

    The design shop explains:

    Over the years, Domino's packaging had been overloaded with generic messaging that had little impact on consumers, and the brand mark had become relegated to a small endorsement on pack. Our task was to make Domino's the definitive article once more by redesigning its delivery boxes in the U.K.

    We wanted to celebrate Domino's distinctive and unique brand character by making it bold, simple and charismatic. We started by removing all the generic category communication from the boxes, focusing only on what Domino's owned: its once iconic red and blue domino logo.

    Knowing that 96 percent of all Domino's pizzas are sold in pairs, we decided to make the brand's logo pivotal to the design with one red box, one blue box. The result was bold, brave and simple packaging design. An open invitation for sharing and play.

    Now, they just need to Velcro the sides and put all different numbers on the top—and you could play a giant game of Domino's out on the lawn.

    Via The Dieline.


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    To demonstrate the photographic precision and power of its Xperia Z5 smartphone camera, Sony Mobile has created an Instagram image that you can actually zoom in on.

    Obviously, Instagram doesn't offer a zoom feature—to the frustration of many a lurking Instagrammer. But French agency Rosbeef made do with what was available.

    When you click on this first image—a Where's Waldo-caliber clusterfuck of weird things happening around an otherwise innocuous Parisian Haussmann building—a tag appears. When you click on the tag, you're driven to another account, where the first image has been broken down into a cluster of separate photos. (The copy explains the concept, and also gives you the chance to win two tickets to the Champions League semi-finals.) 

    The first click gets you here, and this is where you can start making interesting choices:



    You can zoom up to five times (hence the Z5) before you're sent back to square one. For research purposes, we clicked on the T-Rex, which ultimately led us to a tiny penguin in a window, chillin' alongside a diminutive King Kong: 



    But don't take out word for it; play with it on your own.

    There are a few strategic plusses to this approach: It's an imaginative use of social mechanics and totally native to the platform. Over 100 Instagram accounts were created to give this bad-boy life. And when you start digging into the nitty-gritty details, you end up spending a lot of time with the ad itself, which nicely expresses the tactile sensation of a 5x zoom (though it's confusing to see figures like X3, X4 and X5, which appear as you progress, when the product is actually called Z5).

    As for that whole Champions League thing: From April 4 to 18, users can poke around for a secret code hidden within the experience. As mentioned, if you win, you score two tickets to the semifinals, for which Sony Mobile is an official partner.

    The video below shows the campaign in action. 



    CREDITS

    Advertiser: Sony Mobile France
    Alexandra De Chazeaux, Head Of Brand Marketing
    Agency: Rosbeef!
    Agency Managers: Victoria Schnell, Antoine David, Frans Mccabe
    Head Of Creatives: Frans Mccabe
    Head Of Strategy: Antoine David
    Art Supervisor: Melody Hary
    Da: Paul Viollet
    Digital & Social Media: Xavier Delelis-Fanien, Michael Gayet, Marc Minart, Eva Charpentier, Pierre-Edouard Vidal, Pauline Pecorini
    Media Agency: Mediacom


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    Brand Twitter fails are few and far between these days, which is either good or bad, depending on your schadenfreude levels. But here's a bizarre and baffling one from Australia, where KFC somehow thought it would be a good idea to pixelate what's clearly meant to look like a sexual image to sell "Hot & Spicy" chicken.

    The tweet, from KFC Australia, lasted only about an hour before being deleted, and the chicken chain quickly issued an apology. Check out the image below, as shared by one snarky Twitter user:

    "This was a genuine tweet to launch KFC's new Hot & Spicy chicken products next week. It was not intended to offend and we've removed the image," the chain said in a statement sent to media outlets.

    The brand also apologized on Twitter with this note: 


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    By and large, road safety ads are not a sunny category. Still, this new seatbelt PSA from South Africa manages to be impressively and powerfully dark. 

    Created by the government of the country's Western Cape province, with help from Y&R, it stars a young couple who make eyes with each other at a party, and spend the rest of the night trying (and failing) to find a place to neck without being interrupted. 

    By the time they pile into a car with their friends—and the young man opts not to buckle up—it's beyond clear that this particular romance will be short-lived. But even if viewers see disaster coming, "The First Kiss" delivers on a scale that's nothing short of surprising. 



    The exceptional use of "One More Night" by Michael J. Langley makes the whole thing feel almost like a music video. All the parts are in the right places—even when they're a little off-kilter. The ethereal piano sounds, the sweet and vulnerable vocals, still raw despite being heavily processed, and the lyrical content, nearly perfect for the concept, all combine to simultaneously invite emotional investment in the characters while reinforcing the perception that trouble is brewing. 

    That tension builds, even as the percussion and strings orchestrate an oddly counterintuitive sense of hopefulness, continuing right through the bass drop ... and even past the moment when everything begins to go horribly wrong. 

    In other words, the song makes it easy to find yourself rooting for the couple, then praying that someone is going to make it out of the crash in one piece—despite the fact that, in the back of your mind, a not-so-quiet voice is reminding you that the kid is a total dumbass for not strapping himself in.

    Sadly, the hero's apparent desire to look carefree has horrific consequences (even if that is a hackneyed trope). His flailing, ping-ponging body succeeds in killing him and everyone else in the car—including his newfound love interest. And while this might feel tiresome and moralizing to teens and twenty-somethings, the outcome nonetheless brings a devastating, often overlooked message into sharp relief. 

    Passengers who neglect to wear seat belts aren't just putting themselves at risk. They endanger the people they care about. Underscoring this point is the brisk, matter-of-fact way in which the cop on the scene describes who's to blame for the body count. 

    The ad comes close to collapsing under the weight of its own sense of poetry, notably at the titular moment when the couple's lips finally meet—as he hurtles through space, surrounded by broken glass, full force into her face. But the audio's sudden cut from soulful crooning to wet, bone-crunching thuds is so viscerally gruesome that the clip's flirtations with melodrama quickly dissipate into nausea and sadness. 

    This is how to make an ad that plays on love, joy, anger, shame and sorrow all at the same time, while also delivering a clear takeaway. Less-polished takes on this execution have already appeared (shown below), and were themselves strong enough to lift seat belt use in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Y&R says the success of those ads inspired the new version, according to socially conscious ad blog Osocio. 



    A second, less serious piece of advice is also hidden in the PSA: If you hang out with the kinds of people who won't give you an extra five minutes to make out with the cutie you just met before giving you a ride, you should probably find some new friends. 

    You'll still have to buckle up, though. 

    CREDITS

    Client: Safely Home, Western Cape Department of Transport
    Agency: Y&R
    Agency Producer: Justin Fraser
    ECD: Graham Lang
    Creative Director: Nkanyezi Masango
    Creative Director: Gareth Cohen

    Production Company: Egg Films
    Director: Jason Fialkov
    Director of Photography: Willie Nel
    Producer: Martina Schieder
    Executive Producer: Kerry Hosford
    Art Director: William Boyes

    Postproduction: Upstairs Ludus
    Editing: Upstairs Ludus
    Editor: Shaun Broude


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    If you're looking for iconic brand ambassadors for your adventure-themed liquor campaign, you could do a lot worse than the Piccards, the father and son who accomplished incredible—and incredibly parallel—exploring feats in the middle of the last century.

    In 1931, Auguste Piccard became the first man to reach the stratosphere, touching the edge of space in a pressurized capsule and balloon. Thirty years later, his son Jacques—in a remarkably complementary expedition in which he honored his father yet did precisely the opposite—became the first man to reach the deepest part of Earth's ocean floor.

    For Droga5, they were the perfect subject for Hennessy's ongoing "Wild Rabbit" campaign, which has featured great, daring, record-breaking characters from history since 2012.

    And so the agency crafted the gorgeous 90-second spot below, telling the father and son's stories as one—in a clever bit of grand yet personal storytelling.



    Creative directors Alexander Nowak and Felix Richter have worked on "Wild Rabbit" ads from the beginning. Here, they've managed to craft the campaign's most breathtaking visuals yet. In particular, the transition between the two stories is transfixing in the way it disorients the viewer—what at first seems to be Auguste breaking through some barrier in space turns out to be Jacques beginning his plunge into the oceanic depths. 

    The spot was directed by Daniel Wolfe. He brought in photography specialist Chris Parks, who has produced mind-bending visual effects for movies like Tree of Life and Gravity. The effect is a remarkable cinematic look worthy of the spot's inspiring subject matter.

    The :90 uses on-screen text at the end to explain what you've just seen. That's followed by a product shot and the line "What's Your Wild Rabbit?" (The Wild Rabbit, in the context of the campaign, represents any deeply held passion that the cognac brand's target consumer is chasing.) The spot wraps with the tagline, "Never stop. Never settle. Since 1765."

    A :60 and a :30, meanwhile, feature voiceover narration by Nas, who says he felt a personal connection to the material.

    "The part of the Piccard story that resonated strongly with me is the generational bond," he said in a statement. "My father traveled the world driven by his music and passion. That relentless chase and will to achieve that's at the heart of Hennessy's campaign has also helped shape my musical path. It's in my blood."



    "For the past five years, Droga5 has strived to help the Hennessy brand continue to chase its own Wild Rabbit," said the agency's global chief strategy officer, Jonny Bauer. "In the spirit of The Piccards, the brand refuses to be satisfied and continues to reach for new heights."

    Giles Woodyer, senior vice president of Hennessy U.S., added: "The Piccards boast a rich family history of pioneering spirit, a narrative that parallels our own storied legacy and the constant pursuit to create the perfect cognac, year after year. It's this spirit of chasing one's Wild Rabbit that really resonates with people, and we're excited to continue the campaign's momentum by sharing the inspiring journey of these extraordinary men."

    CREDITS
    Client: Hennessy V.S
    Campaign: Wild Rabbit
    Title: The Piccards
    Launch Date: 4/16/16

    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Creative Director: Alexander Nowak
    Creative Director: Felix Richter
    Copywriter: Phil Hadad
    Art Director: Marybeth Ledesma:
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: David Cardinali
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Sam Marx
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Strategy Director: Elaine Purcell
    Senior Strategist: Danielle Travers
    Senior Strategist: Zack Cohn
    Senior Communications Strategist: Delphine McKinley
    Executive Group Director:: Steven Panariello
    Account Director: Patrick Rowley
    Account Supervisor:: Kendra Schaaf
    Account Manager: Andrew DeMatos
    Associate Account Manager: Rebecca Warren
    Project Manager: Dean Farella

    Client: Moet Hennessy
    CMO & EVP of Brands, USA: Rodney Williams
    SVP, Hennessy, USA: Giles Woodyer
    SVP, Strategic Marketing, USA: William Paretti
    Brand Director: , USA: Allison Varone
    International Marketing &: Thomas Moradpour
    Communications Director:
    Brand Director: Amanda Hawk

    Production Company: Anonymous | Somesuch
    Director: Daniel Wolfe
    Anonymous, Managing Director, Exec Producer: Eric Stern
    Anonymous, Executive Producer: SueEllen Claire
    Anonymous, Head of Production: Kerry Haynie
    Somesuch, Founding Partner: Tim Nash
    Somesuch, Founding Partner: Sally Campbell
    Director of Photography: Tom Townend
    Somesuch, Producer: Lee Groombridge

    Special Photography: Chris Parks

    Editorial: Cosmo Street | Trim
    Editor: Tom Lindsay:
    Assistant Editor: Julie Walsh
    Assistant Editor: Magda Plugowska
    Assistant Editor: Elise Butt
    Cosmo Street, Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
    Cosmo Street, Producer: Anne Lai

    Post Production: The Mill
    Senior Exec Producer / Head of Production: Sean Costello
    Senior Producer: Nirad 'Bugs' Russell
    Shoot Supervisor: Jasper Kidd
    Shoot Supervisor: Eric Pascarelli
    Creative Director, 2D Lead, Joint Head of Prod.: Gavin Wellsman
    Creative Director, 3D Lead: Jasper Kidd
    2D: Andre Vidal
    2D: Ben Kwok
    2D: Heather Kennedy
    3D Team: Jimmy Gass
    3D Team: Laurent Giaume
    3D Team: Katie Schiffer
    3D Team: Justin Diamond
    3D Team: Eshan Parizi
    3D Team: Joji Tsuruga
    3D Team: Paul Liaw
    3D Team: Greg Gangemi
    3D Team: Edward Hassan
    Matte Painting: Cedric Menard
    Design: Sally Reynolds

    Music Company: Woodwork Music
    Composer: Phil Kay

    Sound Design: Q Department
    CD, Sound Designer: Drazen Bosnjak
    Sound Designer: Jean Baptiste
    Sound Designer: Saint Pol
    Executive Producer: Zack Rice
    Producer: Guin Frehling

    Sound Mixing: Sound Lounge
    Partner, Engineer: Tom Jucarrone
    Engineer: Rob Sayers


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    Every automaker says it uses the best materials. But how do you really know unless you try them? And by try, we mean eat.

    Ford Motor Co. in Israel wanted to demonstrate the quality of the Ford Kuga's glass, steering wheel, seats, etc. So, it got Canadian illusionist Eric Leclerc—who is also apparently omnivore who'll eat anything, edible or not—to consume parts of the Kuga and report back.

    It's all captured in the exceedingly odd video below, in which the sounds of Leclerc chewing on glass might well put your nerves on edge. 



    This is one of those stunts that's so divorced from reality—and so lacking in the very usefulness it claims to be offering—that it's tempting to just dismiss it. But the agency says the real goal here is just to get consumers familiar with the vehicle, which suffers from lack of awareness. And so, a silly stunt like this is probably a fine way to go.

    Ford says Leclerc found the car "absolutely scrumptious," though we guarantee is wasn't as tasty as this famous Skoda Fabia.

    CREDITS
    Client: Ford Motor Co.
    Agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi
    C.E.O: Yossi Lubaton
    Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Lang
    VP-Creative Director: Eran Nir
    Copywriter: Oded Nadir, Idan Levy
    Art-Director: Tal Leshetz- Abugov, Ori Hasson
    VP-Group Account Head: Ben Muskal
    Account Supervisor: Alon Goldman
    Account Executive: Ori Ben-Dror, Chen Halpern, Gil Gershon
    Chief Strategy Officer: Shai Nissenboim
    Strategic Planning: Lora Goichman
    Head Of Production & Content: Dorit Gvili
    Producer: Alon Shmoelof
    Creative Coordinator: Eva Hasson
    Digital Creative Director: Maayan Dar
    Social & Digital Director: Idan Kligerman
    Social Media Editor: Aviv Melamed
    Studio Digital: Tomer Gilat, Yaron Keinan, Michael Shely
    ZenithOptimedia: Limor Dahan, Mor Berman, Chen Drori, Eyal Katzaf, Saar Simis
    Director: Yoram Ever-Hadani
    Production: Mialma
    Client: Delek-Motors LTD
    Marketing Communications Manager: Yogev Weiss
    Head Of Digital Marketing: Matan Arad
    Training Manager: Gal arbel


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    Ever feel like the advertising business is just a bunch of animals driven by a Darwinian code of kill or be killed? Yeah, you're not alone.

    The Variable, an agency in Winston-Salem, N.C., has taken that somewhat depressing insight and turned it into comedy with a new online video series called Adland Adventures. Six videos so far feature scenes from typical nature videos, with David Attenborough-style voiceovers describing the action as though it were happening in an agency.

    The series is described as "a mostly comedic expedition through the wild advertising wilderness." And some of the videos are pretty amusing. Check out all six here:



    "We were ad libbing ridiculous jargon and all-too-familiar ad life scenarios over footage of animals in the wild one afternoon, and it quickly escalated into a joke we had to share," Joe Parrish, partner and chief creative officer at The Variable, tells AdFreak. "The series makes light of the universal truths that exist within advertising—the good, the bad and the ugly—making it an inside joke for ad folks."

    CREDITS
    Agency: The Variable
    Executive Creative Director: Joe Parrish
    Associate Creative Director: David Jones
    Senior Designer: Matt Cook
    Copywriters: Matteson Fields, Gary Bostwick
    Video Editing: Emily Morgan
    Sound Design: Hot Sake
    Sound Mix: Groundcrew Studios
    Voice Talent: James K. Flynn, Matteson Fields
    Director of Account Management: David Mullen
    Account Executive: Brandelynn Perry
    Senior Project Manager: Kate Fenstermacher


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    "No, this isn't a fucking mirage; and yes, it starts at a buck a month."

    You might bristle at such language, but it's business as usual for Dollar Beard Club's mane man, Chris Stoikos. The 27-year-old entrepreneur, who's lobbed F-bombs in ads before, delivers that line from atop a camel in the company's latest wild and wooly ad.

    It's his most elaborate production yet, with action "spanning the globe," from Arctic climes to blazing deserts and sweltering jungles, in trademark low-budget (bro-budget?) beard-in-cheek style. Throughout, our hirsute hero pitches his monthly service, which provides affordable shipments of balms, waxes, oils and other stuff to make hairy men merry. 



    "Long spots are the way we roll," Stoikos tells AdFreak of the nearly two-minute video. "The stories they tell are the reason we have built such a massive and loyal following in such a short period of time." Indeed, the strategy has helped the brand sign up 70,000 subscribers in less than year.

    In the new ad, Stoikos fuses the off-kilter style of Dollar Shave Club (no relation beyond the name's echo) with his own brand of bushy braggadocio to create a wooly world traversed by ... jet-ski, what else? Along the way, and occasionally shirtless, he goofs around with eskimos, bedouins, a Tarzan look-alike (with two Janes), beardless dudes wearing antlers—and a monkey. (Given Stoikos' impressive eight-inch beard, the wee primate probably thought it was hanging out with the ultimate alpha male.) 

    "We shot six scenes in six full days," Stoikos says. "The most fun part was definitely riding the camel."

    This amusingly overblown (and overgrown) creative approach definitely delivers (and should delight the young-male target demo), though one wonders whether such tactics, and the Beard Club concept itself, might wear smooth over time. 

    But such suggestions make Stoikos' hair stand on end.

    "The question should be: How long until we remove the societal brainwashing—mainly played out in workplace and by significant others—that forces men to shave and effectively causes old-school Vikings to look like prepubescent boys?" he says. "The answer is: In the next year, more men will be rocking beards than not. Mark those words."

    CREDITS
    Client: Dollar Beard Club
    Director: Chris Stoikos
    Producer: Corey Sheppard
    Writers: Chris Stoikos, Tim Merlau


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    According to various surveys, men outnumber women in China by tens of millions more than three decades after the Communist Party instituted its infamous "one-child policy" following the 1976 death of Mao Zedong. 

    That's because, at least in part, parents have tended to want a male child, which created a phenomenon called "gender-selective abortion" in which a would-be mother would terminate her pregnancy as soon as the baby was determined to be female. 

    To protest the ongoing practice (which is technically illegal though still occurs), the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices of Grey Group collaborated on a project called "First Photo Last Photo," which refers to the fact that an unborn girl's ultrasound image which reveals gender can often be her last photo. 

    Some estimates place the total number of pregnancies that have been terminated in this way as high as 100 million. Check out Grey's video of the project here: 

    China outlawed gender-selective abortion in the '80s and even forbids doctors from revealing the gender of pregnant women's embryos, but that law has proven ineffective despite a renewed crackdown in 2015 thanks largely to the spread of ultrasound technology. 

    The agency collaborated with Joy of Life, a nonprofit Chinese Christian anti-abortion organization, to organize a photography exhibit at a gallery in midtown Hong Kong. The exhibit features ultrasound of female embryos along with the message, "Play a part, create awareness: Don't let her first photo be her last." 

    "There are cultures that still favour sons over daughters, but we trust that together with Grey Group Hong Kong, these powerful photos can be a starting point for the birth of change," said Joy of Life chairman Kevin Lai. 

    In addition to the video and exhibit, the campaign includes print ads, out-of-home work including a billboard placed outside one of Hong Kong's largest providers of abortion services, and an interactive gallery hosted on its homepage.



    CREDITS

    Grey Hong Kong & Shanghai
    Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Per Pedersen
    Managing Director & Chief Creative Officer, Grey Hong Kong: Keith Ho
    Managing Director, Grey Shanghai: June Lyloc
    Executive Creative Director: Attlee Ku
    Creative Directors: Eric Hong, Christopher Lee
    Creatives: Jackie Wong, Jeffrey MC Wong, Jeffrey Wong, Ritta Deng, Jesse Lee, Keith Lam, Jonathan Lim
    Account Services: Matt Wong
    Web Developer: Hocti Ho
    Production House: Breathe Pictures Ltd.

    Regional Director, Public Relations & Corporate Communications: Huma Qureshi
    Regional Corporate Communications Executive: Yanrong Pang


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    Hipsters and Orthodox Jews have more in common than one might think, according to a campaign from FCB Toronto promoting that city's upcoming Jewish Film Festival. 

    The aforementioned gala is now a Canadian institution entering its 24th year. But one doesn't need to be kosher to enjoy the collection of short films, documentaries, animated works and full-length movies screened during the competition. 

    Anyone who loves film can attend, just as goyim everywhere can enjoy some distinctly Jewish traditions in their everyday lives. For example, there's the classic office bagel: 



    The beard "trend" may have inspired a thousand think pieces in recent years, but Orthodox communities around the world spearheaded that movemement centuries ago. As the Old Testament Book of Leviticus put it way back when: "You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard." 



    Certain Yiddish phrases have also become such integral parts of our everyday vernacular that we barely recognize their origins. Take "schtick," "chutzpah" or the singular "gesundheit!"



    Of course, not all things in Judaism are necessarily pleasant. There's brit milah, or the "covenant of circumcision," that usually occurs on the eighth day of a male infant's life, thank Yaweh.



    All jokes aside, the goal of this campaign is to expand the audience for this year's festival by encouraging viewers—young people especially—to explore the modern boundaries of Jewish identity and hopefully realize that labeling something as Jewish does not in any way preclude the general public from enjoying its often considerable charms. 

    "Like bagels? You're in," says FCB Toronto chief creative officer Jon Flannery. "Wear a small knit cap that may or may not look like a yarmulke? Good enough. All you really need to be Jewish enough to enjoy the TJFF is to enjoy really great film from around the world." 

    This is the second consecutive year in which FCB's Toronto office has been tasked with promoting the event. The campaign includes print work (see below), radio spots and subway placements in addition to standard online/banner ads.

    Box office sales rose 11 percent last year, thanks in part, to the strength of the agency's work.



    CREDITS
    Client: Toronto Jewish Film Festival
    Agency: FCB Toronto
    Chief Creative Officer: Jon Flannery
    Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Jeff Hilts, Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
    Art Director: Rob Dean
    Copywriters: Dave Delibato, David Hayes
    Art Director: Sasha Ortega
    Copywriter: Zachary Richman
    Account Team: Sunil Sekhar, Violet Karbalaei
    Agency Producer: Tony De Sousa
    Print Producers: Victor Carvalho, Bruce Ellis, Tony De Sousa
    Planner: Heather Segal
    Production Company: Someplace Nice
    Executive Producer: Chilo Fletcher
    Line Producer: Gill Gardner
    Director: Pete Henderson
    Director of Photography: Sean McBride
    Editing House: Panic & Bob
    Executive Produce: Carolyn Atyeo
    Editor: Andy Ames
    Assistant Editor: Chris Deo
    Transfer, Online Facility: Call Me Smith
    Colorist: Bill Ferwerda
    Music House: RMW Music  
    Executive Producer: Jeff Cohen
    Music Track Director: Ted Rosnick
    Engineer: Ryan Chalmers
    Photography Executive Producer: Caitlin Jeffery
    Photographer: David Delnea
    Producer Westside: Jill Heintzman
    Media Company: Initiative


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    Want to see where Waitrose gets it food from? Just go on YouTube and watch live footage of its partner farms—for an entire week. That's the interesting premise of adam&eveDDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD's unique new campaign for the U.K. grocery store chain. 

    The livestreaming started on Thursday and will continue for a full seven days. You can have a live look right now in the video below—although if it's after dark in England, you'll have to wait until sunrise. (They are taking overnight breaks, when you can't see anything anyway.) 



    The strategy is simple: Shoppers want proof of quality food, so why not use modern technology to give them a live look at it? Waitrose does have a good sourcing story to tell, too, having recently become the only supermarket able to guarantee that all the cows that provide its milk and cream have access to grazing. 

    A stream from the Waitrose Leckford Farm includes three camera angles—of beehives, rapeseed and panoramic views of the countryside. Other streams are coming from one of Waitrose's dairy farms near Newbury and one of its free-range hen farms near Marlborough. At the dairy farm, one of the cameras is a GoPro strapped to a cow, giving instant proof of just how free to graze the animals are.

    The footage is being recorded, and some of it is being instantly turned into TV commercials that are airing the same day—which Waitrose says is the first time a U.K. food retailer has streamed same-day content in its broadcast advertising.

    Here's a TV spot that was cut from today's footage:



    Digital, out-of-home and print ads also tie into the concept.

    Live footage of the farm is airing on digital boards at major train stations. The print work uses photos taken at real Waitrose farms within 24 hours of publication. And a digital banner will livestream footage into a YouTube masthead takeover this coming Monday. 

    Creatively, the livestreams are incredibly boring—but that's the whole point. You don't want too much going on at the farm that's growing your food anyway. And spending a few minutes with the stream is actually remarkably peaceful, and in a sense reassuring. 

    In all, the whole idea is clever, delightful and relevant. 

    It's so simple and straightforward that even the canned quotes are pleasantly unadorned. "The quality sourcing of Waitrose food speaks for itself," Tammy Einav, managing director at adam&eveDDB, says in a statement. "We wanted to let it do just that."

    CREDITS
    Project Title: "Spring"
    Client: Waitrose
    Senior Marketing Managr: Joanne Massey
    Marketing Manager: Libby Langridge
    Agency: adam&eveDDB
    Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest
    Executive Creative Directors: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim
    Copywriter: Miles Carter
    Art Director: Sophie Knox
    Agency Producer: Panos Louca
    Agency Print Producer: Nicola Applegate
    Agency Assistant Producer: Sion Prys
    Planner: Dom Boyd
    Managing Partner: Tammy Einav
    Business Director: Victoria Day
    Account Director: Joanne Murray
    Account Manager: Abi Robinson
    Account Executive: Alice Child
    Media Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD
    Executive Director, Joint Head of Retail: Katherine Charalambous
    Business Director: Kirpal Bharaj
    Senior Planning Executive: Anneka Dew
    Production Company: Stink
    Print Retoucher: Stanleys
    Print Topographer: Dan Forde
    Executive Producer: Jon Chads
    Producer: Simon Eakhurst
    Director: Wilkins & Maguire
    Cinematographers, Directors of Photography: Peter Alibone (TOPS/farm footage), Martin Hill (TAILS/food footage)
    Editing Company: The Quarry
    Editor: Peter Lambert
    Postproduction: Unit
    Post Producer Magda Krimitsou
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Rob Ellis
    Colorist: Scott Harris
    Audio Post Production: Unit


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    One of the funniest ad campaigns of 2015—Australia's "The Boys" campaign for Bonds underwear, starring a pair of chatty testicles—returns in a big way for 2016 with a seven-story-high weather billboard in downtown Melbourne in which the lads react in real time to cold, warmth and wind.

    The agency, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, explains:

    When it's cold, the boys shrink towards the top of the billboard, and when the weather heats up they descend and hang freely. The boys get swung about whenever the wind blows, too.

    The board is now up at Melbourne's iconic Bourke Street Mall. Check in out in action:



    It's a fun and—OK, yes—ballsy board that combines playful creative with nifty high tech.

    "While we pioneered a technology more than two years ago to serve up advertising based on average temperatures, this campaign takes it to a whole new level using live RSS feeds," says oOh! media CEO Brendon Cook says. "Through our ability to innovate and Clemenger BBDO's excellent creative, the campaign will drive much greater consumer engagement than previously possible."

    "There's a lot your boys have to go through and that includes changing climates during the day," adds Clemenger BBDO Melbourne creative director Ant Phillips. "So we designed a billboard that not only displayed the weather, but also showed men how their 'boys' would be affected."

    Oh, and there's also some new TV spots, which you can check out here: 


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