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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    I've long suspected that driving people around a track so fast and with such ferocity that it makes them scared and nauseous would be a good way to stop them from accomplishing tasks that require concentration and/or fine motor skills. Deutsch LA proves me right in these "Fast vs. Fast" videos, which pit Volkswagen's GTI, Golf R and Jetta GLI models against a quartet of YouTube stars known for doing stuff extremely quickly. In each spot, a speedster gets buckled in for an intense, gut-churning one-lap ride with pro driver Eric Norris. (He's Chuck's son, though I'm sure his family connections have nothing to do with his getting to drive fast cars and play the "celeb" role in commercials instead of being, oh I don't know, a blogger.) Each passenger fails to perform his or her specialty before the lap is completed. The world's fastest female speed talker (her folks must be proud) gets too shaken up to recite the entire Gettysburg Address. Guitarist John Taylor attempts to play "Flight of the Bumblebee," but, according to VW, "he got so sick after the first few takes around the raceway that we had to re-order the shots to give him a break." Bottom line: You may wish the airbags were barf bags, but these VWs are still way cooler than the Chevy Volt. More spots after the jump.

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    Jack Daniel's loves Independence Day. Last July, the whiskey brand built a campaign around letterpress printing, employing Yee-Haw Industries to create a bunch of patriotic posters and chronicled the process in a wonderful two-and-a-half minute documentary. Now, it's back with an encore. Working with Arnold in Boston, the brand has parnered with independent artists in Berkeley, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Brooklyn, N.Y., to create five handmade posters about independence. The agency explains: "The artists chosen represent a commitment to tradition and craft, just like Jack Daniel's. The posters they created were fashioned in a variety of traditional methods, including hand-painted on the side of a truck door, sewn and embroidered into a flag, carved from the charred wood of an actual Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel, and screen printed." Three videos documenting the process will be shown in bars across the U.S., along with the displayed original artwork from each film. See all the posters and videos after the jump.

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  • 07/03/12--11:34: Ad of the Day: Applebee's
  • Applebee's serves only the freshest, and the finest, at great prices. It promises. And it won't bore you to death with snobby details about the ingredients.

    Yesterday, the casual-dining restaurant launched "See You Tomorrow," its first campaign from new agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The tagline positions Applebee's as the champion of a sort of anti-foodie backlash, pitching fare that purports to be tasty, and simple, but still somewhat classy—for example, new summer dishes like Lemon Shrimp Fettucine and Florentine House Sirloin. The spots rest on a pretty well-worn advertising trope—straight talk—and star a commercial announcer who cuts off windbag chefs as they launch into dissertations on the provenance of their produce. But they're also significantly less cheesy than the brand's previous ads—and nicely seasoned with chuckle-worthy moments. "Carl, you're doing it again," the says the voiceover, interrupting a stunned gourmet's riff on tomato pigment just as your eyes are starting to glaze over. "You're talking about tomatoes like they're your children." Hey! We know people who do that! Good ribbing. Funny. Not too mean.

    Sure, the brand is trying to have its cake and eat it, too: It wants to cast itself as being in tune with the growing interest in fresh, quality fare but also distance itself from the pretentiousness of the food zealots. It also may be on point for a target audience that wants to feel like it's eating upscale, at a steal, but don't want to obsess over the details. The tagline is, "See you tomorrow," which is meant to promise fresh experiences for even the most regular of regulars.

    It's classic food porn with a faux-haute twist—a dinner bell for the happily apathetic.

    Client: Applebee's
    Campaign Title: C4 Fresh Flavors of Summer
    Executions: Lemon Shrimp Fettuccine, Florentine House Sirloin
    Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colo.
    Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly
    VPs, Executive Creative Directors: Steve Babcock, Mark Taylor
    VP, Creative Director: Allen Richardson
    Creative Directors: Dave Swartz, Scott MacGregor
    Associate Creative Directors: Rich Ford, Brandt Lewis
    Senior Art Director: David Gonsalves
    Integrated Head of Video: Chad Hopenwasser
    Senior Integrated Producer: Aaron Kovan
    Integrated Producer: Annie Turlay
    Food Shoot Production Company: MJZ
    Food Shoot Director: Irv Blitz
    Executive Producer: Franny Freiberger
    Production Supervisor: Sabrina Mossberg
    Live-Action Production Company: Moxie Pictures
    Live-Action Director: Jared Hess
    Executive Producers: Robert Fernandez, Lizzie Schwartz
    Head of Production, Producer: Roger Zorovich
    Line Producer: Laura Heflin
    Director of Photography: Dariusz Wolskio
    Postproduction: Plus Productions
    VP, Executive Producer: Idalia Deshon
    Integrated Producer: Andrea Krichevsky
    Editor: Logan Hefflefinger
    Assistant Editors: Chancler Haynes, Chadwick Schultz
    VFX Artist: Adam Nix
    Finishing Company: Method Studios
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens
    Music Company: JSM
    Executive Integrated Music Producer: Bill Meadows
    Composers, Arrangers: Joel Simon, Jordan Lieb
    Sound Design, Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Sound Designer: Sam Casas
    Assistant Sound Designer: Matthew Miller
    Animation Company: Buck
    Visual Effects Company: Method Studios
    Visual Effects Editor: Claus Hansen
    Assistant Visual Effects Editor: Krysten Richardson
    Visual Effects Producer: Colin Clarry
    EVP, Group Account Director: Danielle Whalen
    VP, Account Director: Scott Sibley
    Content Management Supervisor: Ted Morse
    Content Supervisor: Greg Paige
    Content Manager: Derek Effinger
    Assistant Content Manager: Alex Kirk
    Business Affairs: Lisa Gillies
    Talent Consultant: Michelle Thompson
    Cognitive Anthropologists: Andrew Teagle, Kaylin Goldstein, Amelia Hall
    Traffic Manager: Megan O'Rourke

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    Go Daddy continues to have its sexy models and move beyond them, too, in a pair of new spots set to air during the Olympics—joining a third which we wrote about earlier. The new creative, from Deutsch, is well written and skillfully executed. But the whole concept, as we said before, feels a little half-baked. Second spot after the jump.

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  • 07/26/12--12:40: Ad of the Day: Adidas
  • Here's a fact: David Beckham makes kids cry.

    That might be a bit misleading. You see, the world-famous soccer player (or footballer, depending on where you hail from) doesn't intentionally go around terrorizing children. As far as we know, he doesn't go around terrorizing anyone. What he does do is show up unexpectedly at retail stores and surprise unsuspecting customers. At least, that's what he did for Olympic sponsor Adidas, which sent Beckham to pop in on British sports fans in a photo booth, and filmed the whole thing. And that's where the tears (of joy) began.

    Among the reactions people had to a visit from Beckham were gasps of awe, unbelieving smiles, and a strong need for a hug. One young fan was just so happy and excited and overwhelmed to find himself in the company of Beckham that he started crying.

    Even if you're not a sports fan, let alone a "teamGB" fan—the spot touts Adidas's support of Great Britain's athletes during the London Games—you've had that feeling of being so shocked and overcome that you can't control yourself. It's a rather heartwarming thing to be reminded, ahead of the 2012 Games, just how important athletes are in the lives of a great many people.

    On second thought, maybe that kid was just stoked to meet Posh Spice's husband.

    Client: Adidas
    Agency: In-house

    Note: While Adidas in the U.K. developed the Beckham spot in-house, ad agency Sid Lee has crafted a whole Olympic campaign for Adidas under the theme "Take the stage." Check out a couple of those spots below.

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    Usually, when someone sneaks up to a rich guy's house and drives off with a Porsche, it's a reason to call the police. This time, it might be a reason to call an auto dealership. In a clever spin on direct mail for Toronto's Pfaff Automotive, Canadian agency Lowe Roche photographed one of the dealership's Porsches in the driveways of affluent homes, then used each image to create an ad left at the home where it was shot. The headline: "It's closer than you think." The result, according to the agency's case study video below, was a 32 percent response rate to a site where recipients could schedule a test drive. Direct mail is typically about hitting as many people as possible for as low a cost as possible, but this creative idea shows that for luxury brands, a smaller effort can sometimes go a long way. Credits after the jump.

    Client: Pfaff Porsche
    Agency: Lowe Roche, Toronto
    Creative Directors: Dave Douglass, Pete Breton
    Art Director: JP Gravina
    Copywriter: Simon Craig
    Print Producer: Beth Mackinnon
    Account Team: Dave Carey
    Video Production: Motion Pantry
    Director / Cameraman / Editor: Dean Vargas

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    Saatchi & Saatchi in New York takes a drive on the creepy side in a regional campaign for Toyota that debuts during coverage of the London Olympics under the theme, "Good Move."
         A 90-second spot for the Corolla opens in an early-a.m. office parking lot with a clean-cut but edgy young dude sitting in his Corolla (the only car in the place), fiddling around with a thermos and cup of coffee. A salt-and-pepper-haired executive type pulls in, and the younger man offers him the brew. "I always have a cup for whoever gets here first," the dude says. "You got here first," the exec points out. "Yes," the young dude says, "but I don't work here yet." The scenario has a socially awkward vibe, amplified by coffee boy's heartfelt but overheated explanation: "When I was in the service, my dad, he sent me this book, and it was written by the guy who started this company … and every word in the book, I mean … I wanted to be that guy. And when I got back, I thought the best way to learn would be to work here." It turns out that the older exec is—can you guess?—the guy who started the company and wrote that book. "Yes, I know that," the dude says. "Your picture's on the dust jacket." The exec reveals that he drove a Corolla in his younger days, and he accepts the cup of joe, which is probably a mistake, since it's practically an invitation to his tightly wound admirer to follow him inside and at the very least irritate all the workers to death with his intense line deliveries.

         The basic premise is passable, if manipulative (making the guy a vet feels forced), but the execution is out of whack, because well-adjusted folks don't speak and act this way. It's played too earnestly for parody. Yet it's hard to take it at face value, even though Saatchi insists it's a "serious" commercial. The closing voiceover informs us that the "Toyota Corolla is just the car to get you from A to B, if A is an intern and B is the CEO." So, shelling out for a new car is the secret to climbing the corporate ladder? In President Romney's America, that just might be true.
         A second new Saatchi spot touts the Camry, serving up a so-so slice of self-consciously "wacky" humor. An average young-adult white-collar type bumps into his ex-girlfriend, who hyperactively informs him, among other things, that "the government is following me. All the governments. All of them. Do you hear that? Do you smell that? Do you like cheese? I once woke up with a green pea in my mouth. I once slept in an eagle's nest. I once ate only coffee beans for two weeks." The guy climbs into a Camry with his wife and two kids, noting that he "dodged a bullet" by breaking up with his zany old flame. I dunno. Seems like he dumped a real firecracker of fun and excitement, primed to pop when you least expect it. All he's got now is a predictable life with a mundane family and a boring car. Credits below.

    Client: Toyota
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
    Executive Creative Director: Neal Foard
    Creative Directors: Frank Fusco, Rick Rosenberg, Brian Riemer
    Agency Producer: David Gerard
    Director: Marcus McCollum
    Production Company: Hello!

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  • 07/27/12--06:45: Ad of the Day: GE
  • There's a sweet spot in Olympic advertising where the strength of the human body and endurance of the human spirit are both illustrated memorably, and equally. This new work for GE, a worldwide Olympic partner, from BBDO in New York largely achieves that balance—and will place among the more accomplished feel-good spots of the London Games.

    Three new spots continue the "GE Works" platform introduced earlier this year. The first is an anthemic spot, fast-paced and thrilling, focused on how GE's advanced imaging technology reveals so much about how the body works mechanically—allowing humans to pursue something much more otherworldly. "There's so much we know about the human body," says the voiceover from a GE employee. "But we're still amazed by the human spirit."

    The other two spots are documentary style. One is about the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in East London, where GE technology helps doctors care for premature babies. The other introduces a high-school athlete named Darius who was diagnosed early (using GE technology) with a rare life-threatening heart defect. He faced the prospect of never playing sports again, but with careful monitoring, he can still play play baseball.

    The creative approach is hardly revolutionary, but the spots are solidly produced—and merge the physical and the emotional in an expert way, fitting seamlessly with the content they sponsor. Look for all three spots this weekend during NBC's Olympic telecast.

    Spot: "Measure"
    Agency: BBDO, New York
    Client: GE
    Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars
    Senior Creative Director, Art Director: Eric Cosper
    Senior Creative Director: Michael Aimette
    Director of Content: Regina Ebel
    Producer: George Sholley
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Tim Roan
    Creative Director, Art Director: Kevin Jordan
    Music Producer: Rani Vaz
    Production Company: Skunk
    Director: John Hillcoat
    Director of Photography: Benoit Delhomme
    Music House: Human
    Edit House: Rock, Paper, Scissors
    Editor: Adam Pertofsky
    Visual Effects: The Mill, VFX
    Audio Mix: Michael Marinelli, Sonic Union

    Spot: "Homerton"
    Agency: BBDO, New York
    Client: GE
    Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars
    Senior Creative Director, Art Director: Eric Cosper
    Senior Creative Director, Copywriter: Michael Aimette
    Director of Content: Regina Ebel
    Producer: George Sholley
    Music Producer: Rani Vaz
    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Brett Morgen
    Director of Photography: Ottar Gunderson
    Edit House: Crew Cuts
    Editor: David Cornman
    Audio Mix: Michael Marinelli, Sonic Union
    Colorist: Chris Ryan, Nice Shoes

    Spot: "Darius"
    Agency: BBDO, New York
    Client: GE
    Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars
    Senior Creative Director, Art Director: Eric Cosper
    Senior Creative Director, Copywriter: Michael Aimette
    Director of Content: Regina Ebel
    Producer: George Sholley
    Music Producer: Rani Vaz
    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Brett Morgen
    Director of Photography: Ottar Gunderson
    Edit House: Crew Cuts
    Editor: Matt Shapiro
    Audio Mix: Michael Marinelli, Sonic Union
    Colorist: Chris Ryan, Nice Shoes

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    If you've been watching the Olympics, chances are good that you've also been watching the new ads for Apple. The first spot debuted during Friday's Opening Ceremonies, and much like the event itself, reviews have been mixed. The ads by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which you can see below and after the jump, star stand-up comedian Josh Rabinowitz as an Apple Store Genius who's apparently always on the clock. He solves domestic crises on a plane, helps an expectant father get his priorities straight and deflates a bizarrely out-of-touch discount shopper. The situations are silly, but that's not to say they're actually funny. "They're strangely cocky yet obnoxiously campy," notes an AppleInsider.com forum member, one of hundreds who have weighed in on the spots. Quality debates aside, the new tone is clearly a jarring shift away from mellow product demonstrations of recent years and a return to the "Get a Mac" era, when Apple was portrayed as a smirking know-it-all while all others (including customers now) are slow-witted Luddites. 

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    Humans. We sure suck, always doing stupid, destructive stuff. Like walking into glass doors, squirting ketchup all over our dinner companions and dropping air conditioners from tall buildings through the roofs of vehicles parked below. That's just a small sample of the miscues that ruin cars, homes and property in Hill Holliday's latest effort for Liberty Mutual Insurance. TV spots broke this weekend during coverage of the London Olympic Games, along with digital ads and a Facebook app. Using the umbrella theme "Humans," the campaign is designed to emphasize "our empathy towards policyholders in times when they need us," according to Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance CMO Jim MacPhee. The well-choreographed mishaps are memorably amusing but never cartoonish and always within the realm of possibility. That should help folks relate to the broader message. Actor Paul Giamatti's voiceover is a highlight. He never oversells, but adopts an effortlessly relaxed and reassuring tone that almost—almostmade me forget for an instant that insurance companies are greedy corporate monsters. But hey, they're only human. Check out the 60-second anthem spot below and a 30-second execution after the jump. 

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    Nationwide Insurance’s new ad features a call to action you don’t see very often: Danica Patrick’s cellphone number. In the spot, fellow racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. is seen holding up a sign that says “Danica’s Cell: 480-388-0988” and then giving her a “call me” gesture. She’s actually been married seven years, but fanboys can dream. (And Dale’s obviously not big on the institution, anyway.) Yes, yes, of course the number’s fake. But like a lot of curious viewers out there, I decided to give it a call. Danica’s supposed voicemail mentions the ad and reminds you to visit the insurer’s JoinTheNation.com site. But she also invites callers to leave a message, hinting that you might even shape one of the future ads: “If you’d rather leave me a message with your thoughts on how I could get Dale back, that’d be great. If I like your idea, I might just personally return your call.”

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    Barton F. Graf 9000's "Do Not Call" campaign for Little Caesars, which you can see in a video summary below, boldly tests the limits of quirkiness and customer curiosity. A radio spot begins the reverse-psychology scavenger hunt with this warning: "We'd like to take this opportunity to educate you about calling Little Caesars—Don't do it. You see, at Little Caesars, we have hot and ready pizzas available all day, every day. … Not only is it faster to just swing by Little Caesars and pick up a hot and ready pizza, if you call 1-800-Try-Little-C, bad things will happen to you." A call predictably yields chastisements for calling, along with multiple warnings to avoid visiting ForbiddenPizzaWebsite.com or "you will definitely regret it." Once there, ignoring instructions not to type in your address results in the final bit of bad news: your house is now haunted by ghosts. It's a disappointing payoff given the big buildup. Yes, each slice of marketing cleverly contributes to the integrated pie. Still, I can't help thinking that this kind of chain-reaction creative is adored by ad types but largely ignored by the pizza-scarfing public. Some folks will hang in for the entire winding ride, but chances are good that the result could prove less satisfying than a $5 pizza.

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    BBH interns in Singapore are trying to fight back against antisocial smartphone dependency and the alienation of digital culture. Their weapon? A Social Rehab Toolkit, which includes note cards to handwrite your Tweets, Facebook “Like” stickers, Draw Something sketch pads and even "Instaglasses" that let you view the world through a tinted retro filter. It's telling that BBH has to leverage digital gathering spots (namely fashion and lifestyle blogs) to tell people not to be so digitally dependent, but some people honestly do need reminding that social media addiction is making it easier to talk to the masses but a whole lot harder to talk to one person. Perhaps the best part of the promotion was its real-life culmination, a July 28 party at a popular Singapore bar where attendees "unlocked" a discount of 10 percent off their bill for every hour of the event they were willing to surrender their phones. How many hours (or minutes) could you go?

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    Here's one of the more compelling YouTube montage ads we've seen. Target and Deutsch LA string together clips of college applicants' reactions to the news they’ve been accepted. It's a simple concept illustrated well with powerful, heart-warming moments. As the copy pretty well sums up: "Every kid deserves this moment. Great schools can get them here." The collegiate focus works well for Target, and not just because the retailer is known for its abundant stock of school supplies and dorm decor. Target has also committed to doubling its $500 million in donatons to K-12 educational causes over the coming years, in part by awarding gift cards to local schools through a Facebook voting competition.  As an aside, the commercial, which first aired during the Olympics, shares its basic idea—and at least one of its shots—with a recent online ad for the University of California system. The similarities are just a coincidence, per a Deutsch spokesperson, who said the agency had wrapped its commercial by the time UC's launched. Regardless, Target packages the message a lot more tightly. Credits after the jump

    Client: Target
    Agency: Deutsch LA
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
    Group Creative Director: Karen Costello
    Creative Director: Scott Hidinger
    Creative Director: Jeff Bossin
    Senior Art Director: Sara Oakley
    Senior Copywriter: Melissa Langston-Wood
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Director of Broadcast Production: Victoria Guenier
    Senior Producer: Eva Ellis
    Associate Producer: Jamie Gartner
    Editing: Arcade Editorial
    Editor: Kim Bica
    Assistant Editor(s): Pete D’Andrea
    Producer: Amburr Farls
    Post-Production: Method
    Lead Flame Artist:  Claus Hansen
    Flame Assistant: Krysten Richardson
    Junior Flame Artist: Cary Welton
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens
    Producer: Ananda Reavis
    Mixer:  Mark Meyuhas
    Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller

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    Usually when I want to watch the goofy antics of a middle-aged guy with weird fake facial hair wearing an ugly three-piece suit, I take a look in the mirror. David & Goliath saves me the trouble with a trio of 30-second spots touting NFL Thursday Night Football and the NFL.com Fantasy Football competition. This spokesdude is equal parts quirky and annoying, and to ratchet up the quirkiness factor even more, he's shown in settings not normally associated with football: a wheat field, a downtown rooftop and a bucolic mountain clearing (with sheep). To his credit, he works the self-consciously wacky material hard, modulating his voice in oddball ways, gesturing with a blue foam novelty hand and kicking a cheerleader's pom-pom for a field goal as he struggles to inject humor into the proceedings and convince viewers that these NFL offerings are "serious fun." Check out two more spots after the jump.

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    When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. And when there's no more AMC on Dish Network, the dead will walk New York City. Viral marketing agency Thinkmodo recently unleashed a small horde of zombies onto the streets to scare the bejesus out of pedestrians and, in the process, rally support for the Walking Dead network to be returned to Dish. The satellite provider blacked out AMC, IFC and Sundance a month ago when programming fee negotiations went sour. Since we're still months away from the next season of Walking Dead, AMC needed a stunt like this to keep the super-popular show in people's minds. "Zombies don't belong here," Thinkmodo's video concludes. "Put them back on TV."

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  • 08/01/12--05:15: Ad of the Day: ESPN
  • It's often said that being a sports fan is a lifelong commitment. In fact, it's so much more than that.

    ESPN and Wieden + Kennedy in New York take their excellent "It's not crazy, it's sports" campaign into posthumous territory today with an online documentary titled "Team Spirit" (posted below), directed by Errol Morris, that explores one of the most peculiar—OK, craziest—sports topics around: fans who take their favorite teams with them to the grave.

    The eight-minute film, posted to ESPN's YouTube page, looks at the unlikely trend of sports-themed funerals—i.e., burials, wakes and cremations in which the deceased's favorite team plays a starring role. It's bizarre stuff. We get a look at Baltimore Orioles-branded casket. We hear about a Steelers fan's dying wish, fulfilled by an enterprising funeral home, to appear at his wake in a recliner instead of a casket, covered by his favorite Steelers blanket, with a Steelers game playing on TV across the room. (He wanted to look "like he just fell asleep watching the game," we're told.) We see a Nascar fan finally getting to experience the rush of riding around a Nascar track—as ashes inside an urn.

    It's an odd and unsettling topic, to be sure. But in Morris's skillful hands, it becomes (by the end—it takes a while to build) a surprisingly poignant expression of just what sports means to people, how it somehow creates ultimate meaning out of what is seemingly arbitrary. The Oscar winner uses his Interrotron (his disarming camera with a two-way mirror that allows his subjects to look him in the eye and look directly into the camera at the same time) to interview funeral directors, tombstone makers and fans. He extracts, as usual, intimate testimonials which, as they accumulate, manage to make behavior that at first seems freakish and loser-like appear quietly honorable and deeply human.

    Morris, who is heard asking his subjects questions throughout, achieves the perfect tone—bemused yet respectful, lighthearted yet heartfelt. The film is shot and scored beautifully, with artful title cards and graphics and playful music. This mitigates the creepy factor and allows the viewer to embrace these oddball characters without prejudice. Their obsessions, while remaining in the realm of the weird, become charmingly so—quirks of passion of the kind so wonderfully peculiar to human nature.

    It's also just about the perfect expression of the ESPN tagline, "It's not crazy, it's sports," which was paid off well in previous spots but even more so here. (It's about as far as you can go without changing the line to, "It is crazy, it's sports.") The film will be promoted on ESPN's TV properties with 15-, 30- and 60-second "trailers." Asked if ESPN was concerned about the dark subject matter, svp of marketing Carol Kruse told Adweek: "I can see why someone might think the topic is morbid, but we see this as the ultimate expression of fandom for an avid sports fan. As it says in the spot, 'People always say when you're a fan, you are a fan for life … but that might be a little shortsighted.' "

    This film is anything but.

    Client: ESPN
    Project: "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" – "Team Spirit"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Ian Reichenthal, Scott Vitrone
    Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Stuart Jennings
    Art Director: Cyrus Coulter
    Copywriter: Dave Canning
    Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson
    Executive Producer, ESPN: Temma Shoaf
    Senior Producer: Jesse Wann
    Director of Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski
    Business Affairs Manager: Angel Cielo
    Group Account Director: Brandon Pracht
    Account Director: Casey Bernard
    Account Supervisors: Brian D'Entremont, Katie Hoak
    Account Executives: Mark Williams, Alex Scaros
    Production Manager: Julie Knight
    Designer: Darren Philip
    Stop Motion Animation: Jamie Carreiro

    Production: Moxie Pictures
    Director: Errol Morris
    Executive Producer: Robert Fernandez
    Producer: Julie Ahlberg
    Production Supervisor: Dina Piscatelli
    Director of Photography: Robert Chappell

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Grant Surmi
    Assistant Editor: Victoria Lesiw
    Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
    Producer: Melanie Gagliano
    Conform, Retouching: Eddie Reina

    Animation, Art Direction: Elastic
    Art Director, Designer: Jeremy Landman
    Producer: Jamie McBriety
    Animator: Alan Chen

    150 Proof: Retouching
    Retouchers: Chris McLelland, Jesse Corinella

    Sound Mixing: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Steve Rosen

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

    Music Composition (:60, :30, :15, Short Film): Kusiak Music
    Composer: John Kusiak

    Additional Music Track (Short Film): Paper Drum
    Composer: Adam Crystal

    Client: ESPN
    Vice President, Sports Marketing: Aaron Taylor
    Senior Director, Sports Marketing: Jeff Gonyo
    Brand Manager, Brand Development: AJ Mazza
    Coordinator, Brand Development: Anna Rogers

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    By winning his 19th Olympic medal yesterday, Michael Phelps didn't just secure the title of "History's Greatest Olympian." He also earned an honor everyone on Earth has always wished for: A personal message of congratulations in the voice of Morgan Freeman. Visa's quick-turnaround spot, part of TBWA\Chiat\Day's real-time campaign for the global sponsor, aired on NBC after midnight last night. It includes footage from the performance that landed the record-breaking medal, as well as clips of fans cheering from home, collected through a promotion on the brand's Facebook page. Yes, such rapid-response advertising is a bit of marketing gimmickry (one also used four years ago to honor the same guy). But it's also a well-deserved sentiment. So yeah, congratulations, Michael.

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    If Alice Cooper has taught us anything—which is highly debatable, I'll admit—it's that freaky, leather-clad rockers with reputations for raising hell really just want to play golf. So you have to love the spot below, "Band," which is the standout among three well-played FedEx ads by BBDO in New York tied to the FedExCup. Each spot touts the delivery firm's golf club shipping services for die-hard duffers. In this case, the teetotalers are a Kiss/Slipknot/Motorhead mix lounging in a luxury suite as their manager grouses, "How am I supposed to sell you guys as the most dangerous band in the world when you're seen schlepping golf clubs through the airport?" The sharply written scenario is enhanced by the marvelously meek deliveries of the supposedly "dangerous" metalheads, who, despite their fright masks, face tattoos and garish makeup, can't stop espousing their love for the links. After the jump, you can check out the sycophantic shenanigans of "Check-In," in which a trio of corporate travelers violently discard their golf gear in a hotel lobby when they see the boss without his clubs (he'd shipped them via FedEx). And the thirsty foursome in the "Arnold Palmer" installment is more than up to scratch. Nice work, BBDO. Mark Steffenhagens all 'round!


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    When the end days come, you're going to need a few key things to survive: fresh water, durable footwear and, of course, a thematically appropriate skateboard. Ohio-based agency Real Art Design Group has teamed up with Alien Workshop to create 50 "Skate Recolonization Kits" for the impending disasters predicted by ancient Mayans for 2012. Packed inside a branded, apocalypse-proof steel case, each $149.99 kit includes three decks illustrated with different possibilities for mankind's destruction: alien invasion, nuclear fallout and natural disaster. You'll also get a set of instructions called “So You're an Apocalypse Survivor." To build some buzz for this limited edition project, the team has buried five of the kits "around the planet." The first clue to finding one was dropped into the clip below, and it was promptly discovered yesterday. More clues will reportedly be posted to AlienWorkshop.com. Even if you're not interested in scouting out a secret skateboard cache, the promotional video might at least convince you that a zombie skateboard movie is worth making.


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