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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Sure, regular exercise can help you look and feel younger. Sometimes, even much younger. But this is ridiculous.

    Adidas' Reebok division expands its "Be More Human" platform today with a minute-long film called "25,915 Days." That title refers to the average number of days in a human life, and the spot, by Venables Bell & Partners, follows one woman's progress in reverse—from her participation in the Reebok-sponsored Spartan Race as a plucky senior to, well, the day she was born.

    In between, we see her at various stages of her life, jogging on a trail, running in various races and even streaking across a college campus.

    "We really liked the idea of telling this story through one person, in this case a heroine, because it clearly demonstrates how being more human isn't about a stage in life, one sporting event, or one moment. It's a lifelong commitment to bettering oneself," Yan Martin, Reebok's vp of global brand communications, tells Adweek. "Singling out and reflecting one person's lifelong passion and commitment really drives that message home."



    The film's opening sequences star 60-year-old Debbie Suzuki. The Manitoba native, a mother of five and grandmother of three, began running in high school and has more recently participated in a Grand Canadian Death Race and an Iron Man competition.

    "As a brand we always want to make sure we're being authentic with who we cast, featuring real athletes who are living our brand point of view," says VB&P creative director Tom Sharpf. "In this spot, we needed to not only find multiple runners throughout various life stages, but who could also believably be the same person. For the other life stages, we cast females that were believable younger versions of Debbie—sharing certain characteristics, like eye color, hair color and running style"

    Of course, the reverse-time trick has graced plenty of ads, notably this Earth Hour spot from March. In "25,915 Days," the effect—well handled by Epoch Films director Michael Lawrence—feels novel yet familiar, adding a layer of appeal while subtly suggesting that Reebok will be there as your athletic footwear and gear partner for life (which, Yan says, was very much the point).

    As for the numbers that appear during the video—which actually count forward to "25,915," indicating how many days the heroine has left at each moment, instead of how many she's already lived—"by being precise with the average number of days, we've made the message more tangible and real for people," Yan says. "It immediately causes people to question, 'What day am I at? And am I making the most of what days I have left?' "

    Indeed, at the end of the film's online version, viewers are invited to click over to the campaign's website and calculate how many days they have left—based on the 25,915 average—to "honor their bodies." (Visitors can also share personal stories and accomplishments by using the #HonorYourDays hashtag and posting photos to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.)

    While this particular life-expectancy calculator is nowhere near as unnerving as, say, QuitBit, it does seem a bit much. Still, the approach is in keeping with the campaign's tough-fitness theme. And who knows, it might win out for Reebok in the long run.

    "Your time here is limited," Yan says. "So, time to get physical, get running, honor the body you've been given, and make the most of the days you do have left."

    CREDITS

    —TV/Broadcast
    Client: Reebok
    Agency:  Venables Bell & Partners
    Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
    Creative Director: Tom Scharpf
    Associate Creative Director: Crockett Jeffers
    Art Director: Aisha Hakim
    Copywriter: Jimmy Burton
    Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson 
    Senior Brand Strategist: Jake Bayham
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Executive Producer: Joyce Chen 
    Assistant Producer: Julia Oetker-Kast
    Production Company: Epoch Films
    Director: Michael Lawrence
    Director of Photography: Mathieu Plainfosse
    Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan
    Producer: Anura Idupuganti
    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editorial Producer: Dina Ciccotello
    Editor: David Brodie
    Assistant Editor: Patrick Tuck
    Sound Design: Therapy Studios
    Sound Designers: Eddie Kim
    Music: Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats, 'I Never Get Old'
    Mix: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Loren Silber
    V/FX: a52
    Executive V/FX Producer: Patrick Nugent
    V/FX Producer: Adam Reeb
    Lead Flame Artist: Andy Barrios
    Group Brand Director: Michael Chase
    Brand Director: Nicole Spinelli
    Brand Supervisor: Julia Connelly
    Senior Brand Manager: Adam Caron
    Brand Manager: Susannah Wherry
    Project Manager: Katrina Strich 
    Director Of Business Affairs: Susan Conklin
    Business Affairs/Talent Manager: Sametta Gbilia

    —Integrated
    Group Communication Strategy Director: Gavin Jones
    Senior Digital Producer: Sarah Betts
    Director Of Digital Strategy & Analytics: Jeff Burger
    Director Of Experience Design: Jeff Teicher


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    Sometimes, longer is better. But Pepsi is going super short with its new emoji-themed commercials, creating a slew of 100 five-second spots that will air on TV and in search-triggered digital media this summer. 

    Agencies Motive and Quietman developed the creative, while Quietman produced all the spots. They show brief, charming, cartoon vignettes of Pepsi bottles doing summery things like skydiving, sunbathing, eating ice cream and more.

    The visual style is similar to the short spots Pepsi ran for its emoji bottles in Canada last summer. The hashtag, #sayitwithpepsi, also carries over from that earlier work. 

    Adweek has three of the new spots exclusively here: 



    And here are more that were unveiled earlier this week:



    Linda Lagos, brand marketing and digital director at Pepsi, tells Adweek that the soda brand has learned a lot about digital media—particularly when it comes to the value of snackable content—and is applying those learnings not just to digital but to traditional media. This explains why the five-second spots are headed to TV, where such short ads are a rarity. 

    "The stuff that works best is the stuff that's unskippable, that's very quick-hit entertainment," Lagos said. "This campaign is a perfect example of us taking something that's been happening in digital for a while and applying it to more mainstream media with our TV partnerships."

    Getting the TV networks on board with the unusual spot length was a challenge, Lagos admitted, but Turner Broadcasting, Viacom and others are on board with it. The spots will run on both network and cable TV, Lagos added.

    The online buy is interesting, too, as search terms will trigger specific spots in preroll.

    "We have a really broad catalog where we are actually hand-selecting, if you will, the messages to serve to people based on what they're already interested in," Lagos said. "We worked with Google to identify the top search terms for the summer, and we have creative that will be very relevant for those search terms." 

    Thus, popular terms like "fireworks" and "tanning" will bring up ads with those themes.

    "We have a really cute execution where the bottles are getting some sun and it's really hot, and the sound design turns to a timer going off, and the bottles turn red with this little lobster emoji," said Lagos. "We tried to tell very simple stories, celebrate the product and make it beautiful and refreshing. We have the emojis elevate the stories in a way that we haven't been able to before."

    Pepsi has also struck a deal with a store in New York's Chelsea neighborhood called Story, which is hosting four weeks of Pepsi-themed emoji events. "From a DIY style studio to temporary tattoo parlor and design-driven events, the next four weeks aim at inspiring you to play with your words, food, even your clothes. Put on a happy face and let's get emojional," Story said in a post on its website.

    As for the broader focus on emojis—which will appear on Pepsi cans and bottles this summer—Lagos said the ubiquitous symbols are particularly apt for the Pepsi brand.

    "Emojis are definitely here to stay. They're global. My dad, who lives in Honduras, sends me emojis every day, which is hilarious," she said. "What we love about them, which is so in tune with what Pepsi is about, is that they are a really great form of self-expression. And at Pepsi, we've celebrated all forms of self-expression." 


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    Playing on the double-sticked nature of the product, Twix in the Nordics pulled a modern—and more discomfiting—version of Doublemint's "Double Your Pleasure."

    Patchwork Group in Denmark helped prep the campaign, which will run in all Nordic nations. In the video, unsuspecting café patrons sit down at a table and immediately start to notice something slightly off. 

    They are surrounded by various sets of twins. 

    In the best of times, this is probably pretty odd, but at worst you might just think you've wandered into a twin café (weirder things exist, after all). The twinsiness is emphasized, however, to a maddening degree: Each pair is wearing the same clothes and doing the exact same thing. Behind the counter are two matching baristas. At the bar, two twin girls take a selfie at exactly the same time. Elsewhere, two blond men in suits sip from their coffee and flip newspaper pages in tandem. And at the window, two phones ring—and their owners say "Hello?" simultaneously.

    Some victims laugh gamely; others look visibly uncomfortable. One guy follows every movement with his eyes, a growing suspicion of foul play dawning on his face. 



    Matched with playful tango music, it's at once funny and Shining-level creepy, which is as good a reason as any to use this GIF that's been hanging out in our files for a while:



    The video, directed by Sigurd Bæk and produced by Moland Film Company, is labeled "Coffee with a Twix," lending itself easily to future Punk'd-style efforts by replacing one word with a new scenario.

    "Twix already has a strong position in the market, and we would like to ensure this for the coming years," says Laura Rajala from Mars Chocolate, Twix's parent company. "Patchwork's plan for 2016 will add a ton of humor and relevance to Twix, and I am looking forward to seeing how the target group reacts." 

    We like a good situational gag, but the schadenfreude that stems from watching everybody's faces wears off fast, especially once you realize the ad is missing the bit people usually expect after some hidden-camera action: A satisfying reveal—and, because we're ad people, a coherent product tie-in, which may have been as simple as bringing befuddled patrons a Twix with their check.

    Instead, we get a lingering shot of a guy's WTF face, followed by the Twix logo and a cup of coffee with a kooky smile. As that cup splits in two, the tagline appears: "Twice as good."

    We can't help thinking it would have been double the pleasure with a payoff, though.


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    Canada's climate includes harsh terrain and gnarly winters—which is why its athletes are so hardcore, says a new ad for the nation's Olympics team.

    The Canadian Olympic Committee and agency Cossette created the campaign, titled "Ice in Our Veins," for this year's Summer Games in Brazil. The :60 centerpiece commercial immediately draws a distinction between the frozen landscape onscreen, and Rio de Janeiro, the famous beach town where the 2016 competition will be held in August. 

    In the spot, a dozen Canadian Olympic hopefuls represent a range of sports, making intense faces while training on icy tundra. They run among caribou and Arctic wolves. They hurl javelins across ominous gray skies. They dive off glaciers into frigid saltwater. Meanwhile, magical flames lick the bottom of the frame, and dramatic copy rattles off the competitive benefits of a sub-zero environment.

    "The cold steels our resolve. The wind thickens our skin ... so that, in the heat of the fight, all we feel is the fire in our hearts, and the ice in our veins," the voiceover intones.



    The work builds on Proximity Canada's more pensive effort for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, which also featured striking landscapes with lone athletes trekking through snow. In that one, a narrator read 19th century Canadian poetry about the country's beautiful—if uninviting—terrain.

    Cossette filmed the 2016 campaign, Team Canada's largest yet, with production house Skin and Bones and 12 athletes over two days on a remote Georgian Bay beach in Ontario. They cut from more than 40 hours of footage, but don't worry too much about frostbite: Depending on when they were there—and how many wintry effects were added in postproduction—the shoot may well have been warm and pleasant. 

    In fact, part of the campaign's charm is the cheeky way it plays on general conceptions—or misconceptions—about Canada being perpetually cold, when much of its population actually lives in areas that are pleasantly mild in the summer (Iqaluit, the capitol of grocery-gouged Northern province Nunavet, sees an average high of 54°F in July).

    But as any storyteller knows, it's important never to let the facts get in the way of chest-thumping bravado—especially heading into a worldwide competition for fame and glory.

    Below are print variations for "Ice in Our Veins," featuring each of the athletes from the ad.



    CREDITS
    Client: Canadian Olympic Committee
    Agency: Cossette, Canada
    Chief Creative Officers: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno
    Director: Mark Zibert
    Production House: Skin and Bones
    Editing House: Saints Editorial
    Media Agency: OMD
    Communications Agency of Record: North Strategic


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    "It makes great cocktail napkins, bookmarks, facial tissues. But you know what's best to do with it!" Yes, Durham, N.C., agency McKinney knows where its home state's controversial House Bill 2 belongs—in the toilet.

    The Charlotte City Council passed a nondiscrimination ordinance in February that included a rule allowing transgender people to use public restrooms assigned to the gender with which they identify. Furious opposition groups supported by Gov. Pat McCrory then ran ads arguing that the ordinance would make it easier for male sexual predators to get closer to victims by posing as women. 

    The state legislature later called a special session to pass "HB2," which requires all North Carolina residents to use the public restrooms associated with their birth gender. The move has enraged civil liberties groups nationwide, and North Carolina has been the focus of plenty of backlash over HB2. 

    McKinney proposes a solution to the HB2 problem: Flush it. And they mean this quite literally, as you'll see in the video below.



    As noted in the clip, PayPal cited the bill in announcing that it would abandon plans to open a facility in Charlotte. And the NBA also raised doubts about hosting its 2017 All-Star Game in the city's Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Hornets.

    Last month, McKinney chairman and CEO Brad Brinegar became one of more than 100 chief executives across the country to sign an open letter asking McCrory to repeal the new law. That group most prominently included Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Brian Chesky of Airbnb. The letter called HB2 "bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business." Brinegar also recently appeared on CNN to speak out against a bill he called "regressive" and "reactionary."

    McKinney was inspired to create the project by advocacy groups Equality NC and Human Rights Campaign, which launched "Turn Out NC" encouraging residents to petition their legislators regarding the bill's repeal. (The agency does have a connection to the latter organization; its longtime COO, Joni Madison, became COO and chief of staff at Human Rights Campaign last month.) 

    In a statement, McKinney told AdFreak that it worked on this project "because we value equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights ... and we don't care which [bathroom] you feel most comfortable using." 

    "We tried to create something that could stand as a visual for what many North Carolinians think about the bill," added group creative director Will Chambliss. "We hope people read it and then, well, you know the rest." 

    Gov. McCrory has so far resisted calls to revisit HB2, but the bill continues to serve as a considerable headache for the former Charlotte mayor and city councilman. Public opinion polls now show his oppontent, Democratic attorney general Roy Cooper, with a small lead six months before November's gubernatorial election. 

    McKinney mailed AdFreak a roll of the toilet paper so we might join in the efforts to "flush this bill down the toilet of history." We'll let you know how that goes.


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    We're not in "Like a Girl" territory anymore. 

    As one Adweek editor thoughtfully put it this week, "Female strength is the new female empowerment." And while Always' charming campaign may have begun that conversation, far more powerful elaborations on that message have appeared since, each improving on its predecessor in nuance, style and complexity. (Come on. Are you really going to say you weren't blown away by Lemonade?)

    This powerful new film from U.K. department store Selfridges, created in-house to promote its new Body Studio—as well as the fascinating variety of underpants from the shoot—hinges on the notion that contemporary women's underwear is made with the male gaze in mind. (To wit: Victoria's Secret's big secret? It was founded by a dude.)

    And in a step toward releasing women from the nonstop bullshit party they submit to from gendered birth onward, that's something we can change right now, beginning with the brands pushing the panties.

    The four-minute video, directed by Kathryn Ferguson and choreographed by the Royal Ballet's Wayne McGregor, features a diverse cast of ladies—creative collaborator, business partner/muse Michele Lamy of Rick Owens; founder Sharmadean Reid of Wah Nails; model and body activist Naomi Shimada; trans activist and Nail Transphobia founder Charlie Craggs; and Ruqsana Begum, a British Thai Boxing champion and designer of sports hijabs. 

    But before we get to their voices, the video kicks off—controversially enough—with a handy mansplain: 

    "Men dream of women. Men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at. Women constantly meet glances, reminding them of how they look, or how they should look. Behind every glance is a judgment. Sometimes the glance they meet is their own."

    It's still a pretty strong statement, not unlike Malcolm X's short but resonant soundbyte in Lemonade: The voice is that of John Berger, taken from his 1972 documentary Ways of Seeing. His work is a precursor to the study of gendered looking relations.

    So the stage is set. Let's move onto the good stuff. The first female voice we hear is that of athlete and sporty hijab designer Begum, who states, "I feel powerful like a Ferrari—fast, furious and strong." Throughout the video, she's seen sparring, her movements a celebration of both grace and force. 

    The next voice is trans activist Craggs: "I don't dress to please other people; I don't dress to please men. I dress to please myself." 

    But the inspiration for the video's name, "Incredible Machines," comes from Shimada, who was a "straight model" before gaining weight at 22 and moving into the plus-size market. "I think we should treat our bodies kindly," she says. "They are actually incredible machines that can do so many amazing things very well, and I think we take that for granted." 

    With mysticism, balletic elegance and strength, the film weaves in and out of our stars' narratives as they reflect on their bodies, childbirth, identity, size, age and ideas about beauty. 



    There's a lot to unpack. Craggs talks about transgender identity. Reid muses on pregnancy and the black female body (of note: her delightfully piquant "This body's created life. What have you done today?"). Shimada laments on sizeism. Begum touches on sports and the significance of the hijab in the Olympics. And Lamy talks about age. But the identities of the women are just as laden as the things they say, or how they look. 

    Lamy, for example, is the oldest woman in the shoot and appears here with black-tipped fingers, ethereal, light and dark at once. Her husband, Owens, is known for his controversial Fashion Week shows, which have included full-frontal male nudity and human backpacks.

    "There is not a body and a soul; it is one person," Lamy says. "It's something you owe to yourself and to the world to make it as mobile, and what you think is the way of being beautiful." 

    Scenes are broken up with a recitation of words, which are so significant they transcend explanation and so charged they feel like mantras. In one such pause, each woman states a body part in succession: "Face. Abs. Eyes. Legs. My mouth." 

    Their smiles, their visible pride, are all the context we need: These are the parts that make them feel good, a welcome contrast to how women often bond by trotting out the body parts they like least.

    One of the most stunning aspects of the film is its way of following women from the back, which creates a sense of intimacy, but also privacy; featured in any other angle (often meeting eyes directly with the camera), it feels like it is on their terms, not a response to the thirsty gaze of an invisible voyeur. 

    And, since they must, they discuss underwear. 

    "For two decades, I spent my life wearing the wrong gender's underwear, and I was so uncomfortable," says Craggs. "I've fought my battle and I've won—and I'm wearing my glory."

    We'll leave it to you to discover the rest. You can also learn more about the new Body Studio, a 37,000-square-foot space devoted to house lingerie, hosiery, loungewear and sportswear.

    CREDITS

    Director: Kathryn Ferguson
    Choreography: Wayne Mcgregor
    Producer: Shabana Mansuri
    Writer: Phoebe Frangoul
    Creative Direction Assistant: Kirsten Wilson
    First Assistant Director: Cordelia Hardy
    Runners: Katerina Zaharieva, Quentin Hubert
    Featured Extra: Chanelle Sadie Paul

    Art Director: Clementine Keith-Roach
    Art Assistants: Mary Clohisey, Wendy Keith-Roach, Caroline Byrne
    Stylist: Nicky Yates at One Represents
    Stylist Assistant: Papillion Sheard
    Selfridges Stylist: Joe Mills
    Makeup Artist: Daniel Sallstrom
    Mua Assistant: Thuy Le
    Hair Stylist: Karin Bigler at Jed Root
    Hair Assistant: Hannah Joy Bull
    Nails: Tinu Bello at One Represents

    Director of Photography: Sara Deane
    Focus Puller: Alice Hobden
    Second Assistant, Camera: Kat Spencer
    Digital Imaging Technician: Ashley Hicks
    Steadicam: Max Rijavec
    Sound Recordist: Nina Rice

    Gaffer: Simon Mills
    Sparks: Matt Moffat, Steven Cortie
    Spark Trainee: Chris Broomfield

    Editor: Carly Baker
    Intro Dialogue Editor: Filipa Corvacho
    Colorist: Dan Moran at Coffee&TV
    Music, Sound Design: Peter Duffy at CLM
    Storyboard Artist: Duncan McGonigle
    Graphics: Lily Dunlop

    Special thanks: Anna Cleaver, Sarah McCullough, Becki Dyer, Hayley Donovan, George Walker, Lorraine Smith, Kayleigh Dyke, The Townhall Hotel, Martina Paciarella, Olivia McEwan, Kingsway Music


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    Allergy season is here, which means it's time for a fun song about snot and sucky genes!

    Set to Justin Bieber's hit "Sorry," pop-song parody artists Laughing Moms—aka Alisha Found Eden—croon about wheezing, antihistamines and hives, while apologizing to their kids for passing along the miserable immune response. 

    It's the duo's latest collaboration with women's lifestyle site SheKnows, a partnership which has in the past turned David Guetta's "Hey Mama" into a song about constantly driving children around. Laughing Moms' oeuvre also features such gems as "I Just Can't Clean This Place," inspired by Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass." 



    The new work is shamelessly awkward and gross, prominently featuring piles of used tissues. But it ultimately manages to be endearing, probably because it so wholly embraces the sad but true state of affairs. 

    It also doesn't hurt that Bieber is the perfect artist to mock with a song about sniffling—assuming it's not tooon the nose.


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    "You want lasagna for dinner?/Ricotta's a winner/I'm thinking' bout a little pasta with some sauce in the center."

    Speed rapper Mac Lethal busts out those lines and a whole lot more in this hidden-camera stunt from ad agency SuperHeroes touting the extended battery life of Asus' Zenfone Max Android handset. (It lasts 38 days on a single charge, they claim!)

    Here's the set-up: Mac's in a supermarket picking out items for dinner and chatting away on his cell, which, he loudly announced to everyone around him, is just about to run out of power. As a speed rapper, he naturally starts rhyming rapid-fire, and at very high volume, rushing to finish the conversation before the phone goes dead.



    "He wrote the rap in collaboration with our creative team," Rob Zuurbier, partner and managing director of SuperHeroes New York, tells AdFreak. "We were actually changing the script up until the moment he performed, so he had to do some power memorization right before we shot."

    Filming in a supermarket in Rotterdam (SuperHeroes is based in Holland), Mac and the Fat Fred production crew, led by director Teddy Cherim, worked hard to get things just right.

    "Doing a shoot like this, there's a lot of pressure on one person to perform," Zuurbier says. "But even more than that was the challenge to make sure there were people nearby to overhear him. There were more than a few times where Mac nailed it, but the footage didn't work because the people were just too focused in their own world of talking on the phone, or squeezing avocados."

    Frankly, by the time he gets to "What about a salad, you want a salad?/Caesar, Iceberg, Romaine/I can make the whole thing," most of the customers were probably wishing the battery would just die already so they could shop in peace.

    Regardless, the approach really resonates online, and the minute-long clip is closing in on 15 million views across all platforms in just over a week. "We've seen countless comments where people point out they hate advertising, but have destroyed their repeat button watching this film," Zuurbier says.

    Moving somewhat more slowly in terms of views is this similarly caffeinated clip set in a neighborhood cafe:



    Of course, SuperHeroes made its name with invasively viral elevator and men's room stunts for LG monitors that helped spark the prankvertising craze.

    "Every brand and kid with a YouTube account are doing pranks—it can make it harder to strike gold," says Zuurbier. "We see this [Asus video] as less of a prank and more of a real-life demonstration that uses real people instead of actors."

    As for Mac, if the supermarket and coffee runs don't work out, he can always order a quick pizza  (hope it arrives on time):



    Mac maintains his momentum for the making-of clip: 



    CREDITS
    Concept: SuperHeroes New York
    Executive creative director: Rogier Vijverberg
    Art directors: Ola Syse, Arthur Manduapessy
    Copy writers: Elliot Stewart-Franzen, Dimitri Hekimian
    Graphic designers: Krister Lima, Sofie Nilsson
    Client services: Django Weisz Blanchetta, Rob Zuurbier
    Agency producer: Severien Jansen
    Director: Teddy Cherim
    D.O.P: Boas van Milligen Bielke
    Behind the scenes D.O.P: Ralph Sarmo
    Production Company: Fat Fred
    Editors: Madja Amin, Martin Aggerholm
    Music composer: Ricky Cherim
    Grading: Erik Verhulst
    Sound design: Wave studios
    Responsible at ASUS: Archit Mardia, Erik Hermanson


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    With less than 100 days to go before the Rio Olympics, Lacoste builds on its "Life is a beautiful sport" campaign with a chic new video called "Support with Style." 

    Created by BETC and its music subsidiary BETC Pop, "Support with Style" follows a troupe of "beautiful supporters" through Paris, whose landscape has been transformed into an eerily empty (and clean!) playground for Rio 2016 stadium seats. 

    The clip reinforces Lacoste's relationship with the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF), for whom it will outfit all French Olympic teams. The partnership was born in 2013, and will conclude this year (barring an extension of the contract). 

    It's also a modern echo to Lacoste's own history: The brand was founded in 1933 by tennis player and inventor René Lacoste, himself a 1924 Olympic medalist. 



    "We wanted to put the supporters at the forefront in the most elegant way," says art director Pascal Moncapjuzan of BETC. "The video is serious if yet a little twisted—it's our way of bringing the French touch to the Olympic Games!"

    The movement, pace and rhythm represent support for French teams—albeit in a manner more artistic and constrained than the naturally occurring shouts, cheers ... and jeers. In apt patriotic style, the clip was directed and choreographed by Parisian artist duo I Could Never Be a Dancer, with music from French electro group The Shoes. 

    "The directors, who are, above all, great choreographers, directed each movement and counted off every step by microphone," Moncapjuzan describes.

    Too bad they won't be in Rio to traffic-manage the crowd in real life. Even if it lacks the unconstrained, hysterical glee of a crowd, this pretty, poppy and polite manifestation of zeal is arguably more agreeable than the vuvuzela, whose unmistakable tooting in the hundreds during the 2012 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was likened to "a swarm of angry bees." (No hate, though. We still use ours, if only to distress the neighbors.)

    CREDITS

    Client: Lacoste
    Client Management: Amandine Morel, Sophie Bernard
    Agency: BETC & BETC Pop
    Agency Management: Marina Zuber, Maud Ferrandon, Angelique
    Chaulin, Isabelle Tardieu, Brune Faillot
    Creation Director: Antoine Choque
    Music Creation Director: Christophe Caurret
    Creative Supervisor
    Art Director: Pascal Montcapjuzan
    Ad Assistant: Ulysse Tanguy
    Copywriter: Valentine Gilbert, Romain Pergeaux
    Traffic: Kemi Zinsou
    TV Producer: Laure Denizot
    Production Company: Psycho
    Sound Production: Gum
    Director: I Could Never Be A Dancer
    First Broadcast: 28 April 2016
    Media Plan: Digital From 28/04
    Available Formats: 90 Sec, 30 Sec, 15 Sec
    French And Worldwide For Each Format


     

     


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    It's a simple insight, in retrospect. Tourism is usually thought of as "seeing the sights." But what if visiting a particular region offers such a rich experience, for all your senses, that seeing it with your eyes is a relatively small part of the picture? 

    That's the simple and pretty wonderful premise behind "Blind Love," the centerpiece video of a new campaign by agency lg2 for Tourisme Québec. 

    The long-form spot, which rolled out a few weeks ago, features an American named Danny Kean, who has been blind since birth, exploring Québec for the first time—flying in a helicopter, riding river rapids, kayaking alongside whales, zip-lining over Montmorency Falls and exploring the province's francophone cities.

    Check out the spot here:



    The ad has racked up 4 million views on Facebook and 2 million more on YouTube. And no wonder. It's three-and-a-half minutes of pure joy—a great mix of expertly shot action sequences and surprisingly emotional quieter moments. Lots of tourism campaigns have beauty shots. Not many have this rich of a narrative, or this smart of a creative hook. 

    If you can have this much fun without even seeing the place, it must be special.

    The campaign launched this spring in the U.S., France and Canada, and includes digital, social media and content marketing, as well as an experiential website that lets you relive "blind love" through memorable moments of Kean's trip.

    "Today we have to win over a tourist who is already well traveled," says Marc Fortin, partner, creative director at lg2. "Tourist destinations around the world try to outdo each other to be the most unique and desirable vacation destination. We had to find a truly original way to showcase Québec in all its beauty. I believe we achieved that."

    "This ambitious concept presents Québec from a rare viewpoint," adds Sylvain Talbot, promotional campaign coordinator at Tourisme Québec. "It's the first time that we deployed an offensive simultaneously in several markets with this kind of reach and impact. The level of enthusiasm from our partners was also unprecedented."

    CREDITS
    Client: Tourisme Québec (Sylvain Talbot, Elizabeth Manadili, Martin Hudon)
    Agency: lg2
    Creative Direction: Marc Fortin, Marilou Aubin, Katherine Melançon, Jennifer Varvaresso
    Film, Copywriting and Artistic Direction: Philippe Comeau
    Campaign and Interactive Experience: Alexandre Jourdain, Jean-François Perreault, Philippe Comeau, Marie Eve Gosemick
    Strategic Planning: Sabrina Côté
    User Experience: Nicolas Baldovini, Geneviève Monette
    Client Services: Julie Dubé, Audrey Lefebvre, Nicolas Girault, Julia Lemyre-Cossette
    Production (Agency): Johanne Pelland, Julie Lorazo, Valérie Lapointe
    Director: Matt Charland
    Production: 1one, Jean-René Parenteau
    Director of Production: Simon Lebrun
    Editing: Philippe Comeau, Étienne Bergeron, Matt Charland, Olivier Guimette
    Postproduction: 1one
    Postproduction Coordinator: Nancy McDonald
    Sound Studio, Engineer: 1one, Pierre-Olivier Rioux
    Music: Apollo, Mathieu Lafontaine
    Web Production: lg2fabrique
    Media: Touché!, Sophie Labarre, Paul Rousseau


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    Livestreaming brand stunts are getting more and more popular—one of our recent favorites being the Waitrose campaign from the U.K. that showed live feeds from the grocery chain's farms. Here's a more gimmicky one from Portugal that tries to combine livestreaming with GIFs—or rather, a live-action imitation of GIFs.

    It works like this: From 8 a.m. local time Friday to 8 a.m. local time Saturday, Somersby Cider is doing a livestream of a character named Lord Somersby sitting in front of a camera and making the same movements over and over—creating repetitive, GIF-like footage. The movements involve, naturally, showing off the product and drinking it. 

    Here's a real GIF we just made from the live-action "GIF": 



    As we type this, the guy is more than eight hours into the stunt. Thankfully, he's getting some breaks here and there to chat with guests. Viewers who are watching the stream on this Somersby site can vote for which guest should appear next. (The lineup includes eskimos, polar bears, penguins, a "real yeti," dancers and even a few Portuguese celebrities.)

    Here's footage of the livestream as it's happening right now:



    Ad agency Nossa in Lisbon dreamed up the idea. It's fun enough, and the guest aspect makes it less stultifyingly boring than it would have been (even if it lacks the purity of doing a proper 24-hour live GIF, though that would have been brutal).

    It's also, of course, an endurance test for this poor actor, who is hopefully sipping apple juice and not actual alcoholic cider here. (If it is booze, the livestream will get pretty interesting later today, we imagine.) Regular bathroom breaks would be good, too. 


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    Yeah, they hit that. Want to hear the deets?

    Some swaggering cartoon pandas sing a slightly more animalistic version of Lonely Island's viral blockbuster "I Just Had Sex" in a new campaign about endangered wildlife. Those bears aren't looking for back slaps just because they got lucky, though. They're propagating the species. So it's OK if they tell the world about their adventures in shagging, even if they admit their partner ate bamboo the whole time. (Doesn't matter, had sex!)



    The animated short comes from the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival and its new agency, DDB New York, and introduces an e-commerce website that sells related merchandise. Time to brush up on that Kama Zootra? The newly christened brand, endangered.love, can help. Proceeds from the clothing, books, accessories and art sales will go to protect pandas, sloths, rhinos, gorillas and other creatures.

    Look for print ads in Vice and the New York subway, with wildlife in various stages of bumping fuzzies under the tagline, "The only thing going extinct is the missionary position." 

    Check out the print work below. Click to enlarge.


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    First dates can be awkward, but this night-out scenario, created by agency DLV BBDO Milan for a charity in Portugal, might just leave you in tears.

    In a darkened restaurant, with a folksy version of "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" playing softly, a woman tells her male dinner companion all about her life. "My house is just two blocks away," she says casually. "I live there with my two cats, and Bat, the dog." 

    She continues, "He's called that because he's all black with pointy ears … Oh, and I'm a good dancer. When I was younger, I used to spend all my time dancing in my room on tiptoes. Shall we dance?"

    Watch the minute-long clip below before reading further:



    "We think this is a campaign addressed to everyone, because everyone has a father, or a colleague, or an uncle, and this story speaks to the relationship they have with them," and how such connections can be changed by Alzeheimer's, BBDO creative director Pasquale Frezza tells AdFreak.

    Indeed, the father-daughter reveal packs a punch—especially when you consider this scenario plays out all the time, with the woman repeatedly having to remind her dad about the details of her life. Freeza says he and his creative partner Luca Iannucci were "intensely" affected while developing the concept for Alzheimer Portugal. They hope viewers will be similarly moved.

    Naturally, the twist's impact is diminished with repeat viewings, but that doesn't worry Frezza. "We hope that people will donate, and share the video, on the first view," he says.
      
    CREDITS
    Agency: DLV BBDO Milan
    Creative Directors: Pasquale Frezza, Luca Iannucci
    Executive Creative Directors: Stefania Siani, Federico Pepe
    Director: Alessio Fava
    Dop: Alessandro Dominici
    Producers: Andrea Vavassori, Martina Kirkham
    Production: Riot
    Client: Tatiana Nunes, Alzheimer Portugal
    Director assistant: Carlo Febbraro
    Set design: Amos Caparrotta
    Stylist: Rosanna Bevilacqua
    Styling: Luisa Beccaria, La prealpina, Almacen
    Actors: Giancarlo Previati - Sophie Spreadbury
    Location: Anticamera Location
    Post production: Riot
    Editing: Massimo Magnetti
    Sound design & re-recording mixer: Matteo Milani
    Color grading and online: Andrea Vavassori
    Music: Massimo Giordani, Antonella Zappietro - Edizioni Curci
    "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" performed by Bettes (Written by John Fogerty)


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    Virtual reality still has a lot to prove. And today it takes a big step toward demonstrating its potential everyday usefulness with a cool Samsung campaign that simulates one of the most intimate family traditions—the parent-child bedtime story.

    With help from BBH London, Samsung Electronics has launched a live VR storytelling app called Bedtime VR Stories, which is designed to have a parent and child read together inside a VR world when they can't be physically together. They each wear VR headsets and can talk to each other—and see a version of each other—inside the world as they read together. (The app uses a combination of VR and Voice over Internet Protocol—or VoIP—technology."

    Bedtime VR Stories launches with a single tale, titled "The Most Wonderful Place to Be." Parent and child sit on a magical bed during the five-minute experience and visit three places—the Arctic, where they meet Jen the Penguin; a prehistoric world featuring Dan the Dinosaur; and outer space, where Robot Jo treats them to a musical finale.

    Check out the 360-degree walkthrough here: 



    It's a very cute experience, as long as you don't mind bonding with a floating purple ball instead of your actual parent. But snark aside, my kids would actually love this—and of course, the creative will only get better over time. 

    There will also surely be critics who dismiss any kind of virtual parenting as second-rate, though for parents who are on business trips—and not just working late at the expense of their families—Bedtime VR Stories will beat the typical chaotic Skype session any day. 

    The prototype technology is being tested with select families in the U.K. It's part of a larger global Samsung initiative called Launching People, which the company describes as an effort "designed to help consumers unleash their potential and create meaningful change through the use of Samsung technology."

    Check out the campaign overview video here: 



    BBH says the creative idea came from the insight that one-third of parents can't be with their children at bedtime to read them a story. "Building on Samsung's expertise in VR, we were able to create Bedtime VR Stories, which allows parents and children to share a story, even when they're apart, so it's no longer 'once upon a time' but rather 'happily ever after,' " the agency said.

    "At Samsung, we're committed to driving innovation to create technology that will make a difference to the way people live their lives," adds Conor Pierce, vp of IT and mobile at Samsung U.K. & Ireland. "With Bedtime VR Stories, we're hoping that this prototype will show an important new exciting genre of virtual experience—and something that will define the use of virtual reality over the coming years. We've harnessed the power of VR to reunite parents and children for a unique storytelling experience, giving us a glimpse of what the traditional story time may look like in the very near future."

    CREDITS
    Client: Samsung
    Manager, Samsung Global Marketing: Dan Canham

    Agency: BBH London
    Creative Team: Martin-Jon Adolfsson and Oksana Valentelis
    Creative Director: Joakim Borgstrom
    Strategy Director: Damien Le Castrec
    Strategist: Tom Patterson
    Chief Strategy Officer: Jason Gonsalves
    Chief Production Officer: Davud Karbassioun
    Business Lead: Julian Broadhead, Polly McMorrow
    Global Business Development Director: Tim Harvey
    Account Manager: Lara Worthington and Katharine Gritten
    Copywriter: Nick Kidney
    Print Producer: Simon Taylor
    Additional Contributors: Amrita Das, Richard Cable,Jeremy Ettinghausen,Vix Jagger, Chris Meachin, Alex Matthews, Sarah Cooper, Patrick Dedman, Kate Frewin-Clarke, Matt Bertocchi, Katie Callaghan

    Unit 9 Credits
    VR Creative Director: Henry Cowling
    Art Director: Fred Aven
    Teach Lead: Laurentiu Fenes
    Lead Unity developer: Xavier Arias
    Unity Developers: Kevin Borrell, David Diaz, Luke Haugh, Mark Vatsel, Riess Phillips Henry Illustration / Environments & Character Design: Christian-Slane
    3D Artists: Sophie Langohr, Steve Campbell
    Storyboard Artist: Sophie Conchonnet
    Technical Artist: Josep Moix
    UX Designer: Camille Theveniau
    Designer: Mariusz Kucharczyk
    Sound Design: Chris Green, Sound Design
    Head of QA: Dominic Berzins
    QA Lead: Eve Acton, QA Lead
    QA Senior Tester: Tom Watson, Ayesha Evans
    QA Tester: Andrew Heraty
    Executive Producer: Richard Rowe
    Senior Producer: Emma Williamson

    Film Credits
    BBH Producer (Digital): Samuel Bowden
    BBH Producer (Film): David Lynch
    BBH Assistant Producer: Sarah Cooper
    Production Company: Black Sheep Studios
    Editor/Editing House: Black Sheep Studios

    Print Credits
    BBH Producer: Simon Taylor, Katie Callaghan


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    Apple's new Mother's Day video might be a week early, but there really isn't a bad time to tell your mom you love her, right? Right. Also, the way Apple sees it, there isn't a bad time to show off the clarity of the iPhone's camera, either.



    Every piece of footage in this video, which features moms and their kids from all over the world, was taken with an iPhone. It's a hook that Apple has used before, of course—notably in its World Gallery outdoor campaign, which featured photos taken only on iPhone. 

    The photos, to be fair, reek of professional setups (or unbelievable luck, in the case of the outdoor shots), but the videos are really cute. Plus, there's something about seeing a mom give her baby a kitchen-sink bath that will always be endearing. 


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    It's been almost three years since the infamous racist backlash to the Cheerios commercial with the interracial family, and brands are still getting heat when they broadcast images of diversity. But these days, the brands always seem ready for the haters—and as often as not, they use their vitriol against them.

    Case in point: the Old Navy tweet below, which was posted Friday and drew the typical small chorus of racist trolls inveighing against miscegenation. The haters were most vocal on Twitter, of course, where anonymity is easier than on Facebook, where the reaction was more uniformly positive. 

    In cases like this, the net effect of the Twitter hate is pretty positive, too, though. First of all, it provokes a counter-backlash from the brand's supporters. (In this case, ordinary people started posting photos of their own interracial families with the hashtag #lovewins.) This brings more and more attention to the image.

    Also, of course, each "controversy" like this allows the brand in question to explicitly confirm its commitment to diversity, rather than just embodying it in the marketing.

    Indeed, when we contacted Old Navy on Monday morning, the retailer was very quick with a response. "We are a brand with a proud history of championing diversity and inclusion. At Old Navy, everyone is welcome," spokeswoman Debbie Felix tells us.

    Sorry, haters, but it almost seems like you're part of the media plan now. 


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    Imagine if Lego-style blocks were turned into a Braille alphabet that could help visually impaired children learn to read. For a group of kids in Brazil, such toys are a reality. The two-minute video below promotes "Braille Bricks," a new project from the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and agency Lew'Lara\TBWA. 

    First, the clip tells the story of Anny, a young girl with the eye condition nystagmus, as her mother recounts a teacher's inability to help her with a Braille typewriter.

    It positions the educational blocks as an antidote to that sort of problem—they become a form of play that can also include sighted children, thereby better integrating those with visual impairments, and expanding their support networks. 



    The bricks prove to be a clever combination of the Braille alphabet's six-dot configuration, and a classic children's toy—so much so, it's hard to believe nobody's done it before. 

    A limited run of the toys is currently available to about 300 children, but Dorina Nowill's marketing team released the designs under a Creative Commons license, hoping manufacturers would pick them up and bring them to a wider audience. 

    To that end, the group also created a website inviting viewers to create their own Braille messages in the style of the blocks, and is trying to drum up consumer support with the hashtag #BrailleBricksforAll. 

    Setting aside the obvious human benefits, it also seems like a good publicity opportunity for Lego, which is historically deft at that sort of thing—and has recently created more inclusive toys, albeit in a slightly different fashion. More pics below. 



    CREDITS
    Agency: Lew'Lara\TBWA
    Client:  Dorina Nowill Foundation for The Blind
    Product: Braille Bricks Project
    Title: Braille Bricks
    CCO: Felipe Luchi e Manir Fadel
    CEO: Márcio Oliveira
    Creatives: Leandro Pinheiro e Ulisses Razaboni
    Online Creatives: Leandro Pinheiro, Ulisses Razaboni, Felipe Pimentel e Cainã Meneses
    Account Team: Ricardo Barros e Fernanda Mariano
    Planning Team: Renata d'Avila e Anderson Sales
    Media Team: Luiz Ritton, Eduardo Shinohara, Suellen Kiss, Amanda Moura e Danielle Farhat
    Social Media: Nancy Sestini
    Art buyer: Ale Sarilho, Sabino, Caio Lobo e Natasha Latronico
    Piece Producer: Claudio Rocha
    Photographer: Rodrigo Ribeiro
    Project Manager: Monalisa Paduin
    Agency TV Producer Luzia Oliveira, Marcella Pappiani e Angela Felicio
    Agency Production: Marcos Pedra e Alexandro Coelho
    Film Production Company: Landia
    Film Director: Nixon Freire
    Executive Producer: Carolina Dantas e Sebastian Hall
    Producer Director: Fabiano Ramos
    Director Of Photograpy: Nixon Freire
    Art Director: Dartagnan Zavalla
    Editor Diego Merulla
    Finisher: Henrique Gomes
    Post-Production: Rafael Fernandes
    Sound Production: MugShot
    Digital Production: BASE
    Client: Eliana Cunha, Daniela Coutelle, Priscila Saraiva


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    Activision could have announced its brand-new Call of Duty game, Infinite Warfare, through any number of paid media outlets and reached millions of people. But why do that when you already own an entire fictional world where you can do real marketing to millions of people who are already avid gamers? 

    Activision did just that this weekend, creating a four-day "Hostile Takeover" puzzle for gamers inside Black Ops 3, Activision's massively popular 2015 COD title, that culminated Monday with the reveal trailer for Infinite Warfare. 

    The tactic is similar to what Activision did last year for Black Ops 3, which it promoted with Snapchats hidden inside Black Ops 2. But this campaign, coordinated by AKQA, was blown out on a completely different scale.

    First off, here is the reveal trailer:



    Now, let's backtrack. Here's what happened, chronologically:

    On Friday morning, Black Ops 3 players in the popular Nuketown map noticed a mysterious spaceship hovering overheard in the cinematic that ends the level, promoting feverish speculation from players who'd watched the video hundreds of times and never seen anything out of the ordinary.

    On Saturday morning, the bad guys from Infinite Warfare infiltrated the Black Ops 3 universe, leaving propaganda all over the place. On Sunday morning, the hero from Infinite Warfare, Lt. Reyes, appeared and directed players to what he described as the only secure communications channel left—Facebook Messenger—where players could interact with him and get help finding clues hidden within the game and elsewhere the internet.

    The new COD franchise

    Players who found the codes could unlock the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer at 9 a.m. Monday morning, an hour before it was scheduled to be released widely. (In the end, this didn't exactly go according to plan—but more on that later.) Those players were also promised special content they could carry with them into the new game when it launches this fall.

    Activision CMO Tim Ellis told Adweek last week, leading up to the four-day stunt, that it only made sense to target Black Ops 3 players, particularly after last year's Snapchat stunt in Black Ops 2 helped to make Black Ops 3 the biggest entertainment opening of the year—with more than half a billion dollars in its opening weekend (a bigger opening than any Hollywood movie, including Star Wars).

    "We've seen the greatest player engagement in franchise history [with Black Ops 3], which is an important fact when you consider how we're using that game and that platform to introduce the next game," Ellis said.

    "We wanted to create the widest possible net—to use what turned out to be the biggest game of the year to introduce our new game, Infinite Warfare. We wanted to drive that message from the outset that Infinite Warfare is going to be the next epic entertainment launch of the year."

    The Black Ops 2 Snapchat stunt "just kind of just scratched the surface of what was possible" with in-game launches of a new game, Ellis added. So, he challenged AKQA and the gameplay studios—Treyarch and Infinity Ward, which had to collaborate to bring their two worlds together—to take the concept to a new level.



    For AKQA, it was a fun challenge, all rooted in the simple truth that marketing—if done subtly and entertainingly—conducted inside a Call of Duty game, for real Call of Duty players, is likely to be much more powerful than any advertising effort outside the game could be.

    "No ad or stunt or microsite or commercial is ever going to be better than the greatest game ever," AKQA group creative director Nick Strada told Adweek. "So, what we try to do is create a really awesome Call of Duty experience. We take the game, and the principles of the game, and bring it to life in a way that the marketing vanishes into the game and creates moments that are memorable and shareable and awesome." 

    The agency knew it wanted to expand on what it did with Snapchat in Black Ops 2. "We started to build that muscle. We asked ourselves: How do we double, triple, quadruple down on that?" Strada said.

    Thus was born the idea for a four-day mystery, and the Facebook Messenger integration.

    "It started with something really subtle," Strada said. "If I went into your living room and moved something two feet to the left, you would notice. We went into one map in the game, Nuketown, which is like the Lambeau Field of this game, and put the bad guys' spaceship in there. We just wanted players to say, What the heck is going on here?"

    Importantly, the players could choose whether to investigate further. None of this added adventure—which is basically marketing materials in disguise—was compulsory. 

    With the advent of chatbots, the Facebook Messenger integration seemed like a fun way to coordinate an game- and internet-wide scavenger hunt for alphanumeric codes that would unlock the reveal trailer. 

    "You might have to zoom in with your sniper scope to see one of [the codes]. There might be one on the other side of a wall, that you can only see if you jump to your death. What we didn't want was for somebody to hack this in 30 seconds," said Strada.



    The hunt went well beyond the game, too.

    "It's this multichannel thing," Strada said, "where what you see in the game, and what you see on Twitch and on Snapchat, and what you see buried in the code of our website—actually buried in the source code of CallOfDuty.com—it all comes together in this Messenger experience, where we get to reward our fans with an early view of the game trailer and, later, with content they can take with them into the next game." 

    AKQA partnered with an automated conversation company called PullString on the chatbot. Strada touched on the creative challenges of writing for it.

    "I'm trained as a copywriter," he said. "When you write for most brands, you write a piece of copy. It's linear. You write it, your boss approves it, and it's only going to be experienced one way—the way you wrote it. This was an experience where we had to assume things, and write copy for scenarios that may or may not ever happen. And we had to do it in a way that didn't feel like you're talking to a robot. The fans know they're taking part in an experience. But we can't break that fantasy by having it be junky." 

    Overall, the strategy is both practical and delightful—practical in that it's so targeted (it's like if Disney could put an ad for the next Star Wars inside the current Star Wars—though of course, games can do this and movies can't), and delightful in that it gamifies the very announcement of a new game.

    There was one unfortunate hiccup, though, and it happened very early Monday morning: The reveal trailer was leaked on Hulu, an Activision partner, several hours before the players with the codes were supposed to see it first exclusively. 

    It's not yet clear what exactly happened, but this, of course, is the downside of the powerful interconnectedness that makes an activation like this possible in the first place. When there's a leak, it spreads just as quickly and dismantles the framework you've so carefully set up. 

    Activision took the development in stride and moved up the trailer release.

    Lt. Reyes sent all fans who participated an official message, in character, sharing a link to the official reveal trailer—in a sense, giving them a head start on seeing it, though the leaked copy had spread far and wide by then. Also, all players who solved the puzzle will receive an official Infinite Warfare Playercard unique to the "Hostile Takeover" experience for participating.

    The company declined to comment on the leak specifically, but did tell Adweek in a statement: "This past weekend was all about the community coming together to directly participate, learn about the new game and engage with the character for the first time. And the fan reaction at each step was fantastic."

    A few more images, and credits, below. 



    CREDITS

    Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
    "Hostile Takeover" Activation

    Client: Activision
    Project: "Hostile Takeover"

    Activision
    CEO Activision Publishing – Eric Hirshberg
    EVP, Chief Marketing Officer – Tim Ellis
    SVP, Consumer Marketing – Todd Harvey
    Vice President, Global Media – Caroline McNiel
    Global Head of PR and Digital Marketing – Monte Lutz
    Senior Director, Digital Marketing – Justin Manfredi
    Senior Director, Global Media - Simone Deocares-Lengyel
    Senior Manager, Digital Marketing – Richard Elmore
    Vice President of Production – Daniel Suarez
    Sr. Executive Producer for Infinity Ward games – Marcus Iremonger
    Executive Producer for Treyarch games – Kevin Hendrickson
    Executive Producer – Yale Miller
    Senior Producer – Jason Ades
    Producer - Graham Hagmaier

    Treyarch
    Studio Head – Mark Lamia
    Game Director, Multiplayer – Dan Bunting
    Director of Brand Development – Jay Puryear
    Director of Communications & Social Media – John Rafacz
    Producer – Miles Leslie

    Infinity Ward
    Studio Head – Dave Stohl
    Development Director – Luke Vernon
    Studio Art Director – Brian Horton
    Director of Communications - Eric Monacelli

    AKQA
    Group Creative Director - Nick Strada
    Creative Director – Simone Nobili
    Associate Creative Director - E.B. Davis
    Art Director - Nils Westgardh
    Senior Designer - Charles Calixto
    Senior Art Director - Hovin Wang
    Associate Copywriter - Tandeka Lauriciano
    Client Partner - Kristin Goto
    Account Director - Andrew Furth
    Senior Account Executive - Mal Gretz
    Senior Motion Graphics Designer - Arturo Lindbergh
    Motion Graphics Designer - Ryan Jones
    Director of Film and Motion - Dave Shuff
    Senior Project Manager - Joel Wasko
    Associate Director of Technology - Jesse Fulton
    Strategist - Thijs Van de Wouw

    Edelman
    VP, Strategy – Sam Kennedy
    Account Supervisor – Lauren Curtis
    Social Media Strategist – Ben Lewis
    Social Media Strategist – Justin Fitzwater
    Community Manager – Kurt Wendler

    PMK•BNC
    SVP, Brand Marketing and Communications – Michele Wyman
    Senior Director, Talent Relations – Missy Mele
    Director, Brand Marketing and Communications – Mark Van Lommel
    Director, Talent Relations – Jonathan Kichaven
    Senior Account Executive, Talent Relations – Ashley Studer
    Program Manager – Chong Kim
    Account Executive, Brand Marketing and Communications – Renee Felton

    PullString:
    Engineering Lead - James Chalfant
    Writer - Scott Ganz
    Writer - Dan Clegg


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    Lots of brands are getting into wearable tech. But Puma decided to make some "raceable" tech in the form of a little robot pin wheels that follows the lines on racing tracks and pushes runners to hit any pace, and eclipse it.

    J. Walter Thompson worked with Puma on the "BeatBot," which is explained in the video below, featuring a cameo by Usain Bolt. The programmable, self-driving, line-following robot was developed with help from a group of MIT engineering graduates.

    It uses nine infrared sensors to follows the line on a track. The robot's wheel revolutions tell it exactly how fast and far it's traveling. It processes that data in real time, making over 100 maneuvers a second to stay on course and cross the finish line at exactly the right time. It is equipped with bright LED lights so you can see it in your peripheral vision, and it has front and rear GoPro cameras so you can review video footage after the race. 


    "We created the first 'raceable' tech tool, BeatBot, which helps professional runners improve their performance in real-time," said Adam Petrick, Puma's global director for marketing and brand management. "BeatBot is a concentrated technology whose application demonstrates Puma's mission of being 'Forever Faster.' "

    The downside? It's a big one. This thing is so expensive to build that Puma is only making it available to professional runners and teams, which is why none of the marketing materials point to a site where a normal person could actually buy the thing.



    CREDITS
    Client: Puma
    Agency: J. Walter Thompson
    Executive Creative Director: Florent Imbert, Emmanuel Lalleve
    Creative Director: Karl Ackermann
    Senior Art Director: Ben Morejon
    Senior Copywriter: Andrew Curtis
    Chief Creative Officers, New York: Brent Choi, Adam Kerj
    Planning Director: Rik Mistry
    Director of Digital: Jennifer Usdan McBride
    Executive Producer: Jason Curtis
    Senior Producer: Chris Klein
    Assistant Producer: Thomas Mishra
    Project Manager: Kristin Robinson
    Account Team: Greg McConnell – Global Business Director, Chris Burgess – Account Director, Caroline Morse – Account Manager
    Client Team: Adam Petrick – Global Director of Brand & Marketing, Remi Carlioz – Global Creative Director of Brand & Marketing
    Directors of Photography: Black Tape Media - Danny Dwyer, Rock Steady Films - Chris Browne
    Design, Engineering, Product Management: 10XBETA - Marcel Botha, Berk Ilhan, Simon Ellison
    Computer Vision: 10XBETA - Bruno Kruse, Carrie Kengle, Mike Manh
    PID and Control System Consulting: IF Robots - Jesse Gray, Matt Berlin
    Line Following Sensor Array: Moonmilk - Ranjit Bhatnagar, Honeybee Robotics - Yoni Saltzman


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    Specs
    Current gig Executive creative director, Rec Room
    Previous gig Creative director, 72andSunny
    Age 43
    Twitter @hijanlivingston

    Adweek: What's been the biggest difference between working at an agency and working at Rec Room?
    Jan Livingston: Rec Room is a startup. I've been filling a bunch of different roles. Day-to-day what I'm learning is that things move really fast on the entertainment side. Once an idea is pitched and somebody in the room likes the idea, then it's green-lit. Coming from the agency side you spend a lot of time deck building and in meeting after meeting. There's more freedom in the entertainment industry.

    So do you think traditional agencies are struggling to keep up with the pace of change? 
    I do, but we are seeing a lot of other agencies start to make that turn. Sometimes it's not a comfortable turn, because there's so much revenue coming in from the traditional formats that it feels like it's hard to invest time and resources into that. Our ROI is still hard to prove for branded entertainment, but we will pick up the pace.

    Are there any cool projects in the works? 
    We're working on two scripted series with E! They are both brand-sponsored, digital series. One is a scripted comedy that we just shot the pilot for. We also have a fashion-focused documentary series that we are doing for E! We have two Comedy Central digital pilots, too. One of them is a scripted comedy and the other is a variety show. Those are going to be brand sponsored, too.

    Sounds like you're taking on a lot. 
    That's what's made me giddy about the whole process. The need is there. A lot of our projects right now have started with the publishers, with the networks, coming to us knowing that they have brands that want to be involved. They want to start with the entertainment first rather than the brand story, and that's what has been our most collaborative relationship so far.

    What can we expect to see in the branded entertainment space? 
    I think that it's a robust conversation that we are all having. We are still creating pre-roll, we're still making 30-second commercials because they reach a broad audience, but we already know that our audience has moved on without us. They're already watching shows on demand. They know how to move past marketing of communications that they don't want to be a part of. We no longer have that captive audience.

    Is there anything that has surprised you about branded entertainment? 
    If the material is good, talent in Hollywood doesn't care who is paying for it. Whether it's Universal Studios or Target or Airbnb, they don't care as long as the material is good. We have been able to get amazing talent on [projects]. Actors and actresses who are on NBC and Comedy Central, they worked for peanuts to shoot a pilot because they believed in the material and think it's going to be great. It's kind of the opportunity every creative dreams of. As a writer you always want to do something like that.
     


    This story first appeared in the May 2, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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