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    Something strange happened with Stephen Curry this season—well, stranger than his usual otherworldly feats. The real-life Stephen Curry started playing so ridiculously well that he began to outpace the NBA 2K16 Stephen Curry—which came as a surprise to game maker 2K Sports.

    Now, on the occasion of the Golden State Warriors guard being voted the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, Under Armour and 2K Sports are teaming up for a fun stunt that involves helping NBA 2K16 Curry get a little better, so he can match the real thing. 

    Starting at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, NBA 2K16 players will be able to download a roster update that will make video-game Curry an even better shooter—his rating will be maxed out at 99 for 30 hours, in a reference to his jersey number. The 99 rating is the best ever for any player in the game.

    To promote the stunt, Under Armour and agency Droga5 created the fun ad below, in which video-game Curry is shocked at what real-life Curry can do on the court.

    Droga5 tells AdFreak that the agency wanted to beyond an MVP celebration and instead create an experience that fans could enjoy.

    "Stephen Curry's impact on the game of basketball is immeasurable," said Kip Fulks, chief marketing officer at Under Armour. "His game, coupled with his will to dominate, is unlike anything we've ever seen in the NBA. Stephen's cultural reach off the court is equally transcendent. At Under Armour we are thrilled and humbled to be alongside Stephen on this journey, and look forward to his continued perseverance in making himself a better athlete every single day."

    Client: Under Armour
    Campaign: The New Level
    Launch Date: May 10

    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
    Senior Copywriter: Ben Bliss
    Senior Art Director: Evan Schultz
    Designer: Toga Cox
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: David Cardinali
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Isabella Lebovitz
    Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
    Head of Print Services: Rob Lugo
    Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
    Senior Print Producer: Alyssa Dolman
    Retouching Studio Manager: Michelle Leedy
    Retoucher: Peter Gibson, John Ciambriello
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman:
    Sam Matthews: Strategy Director
    Newman Granger: Junior Strategist:
    Senior Communications Strategist: Hillary Heath
    Group Account Director: : Julian Cheevers
    Account Director: : Bola Adekoya
    Associate Account Manager: Scott Bubis
    Senior Project Manager: Courtney Kosup
    Project Manager: Connor Hall 

    Client: Under Armour
    CEO and Founder: Kevin Plank
    Chief Marketing Officer: Kip Fulks
    SVP, Global Brand Management: Adrienne Lofton
    VP, Global Consumer Engagement: Jim Mollica
    Director, Global Marketing Operations—Process
    & integration: Teresa Oles
    Director, Global Basketball: Tai Foster

    Editorial: D5 Studios
    Editor: Estan Esparza:
    Studio Coordinator: CJ Trahan

    Post Production: The Mill
    Senior Producer: Nick Strange Thye
    2D Lead: Nathan Cane

    Colorist: Michael Rossiter
    Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
    Color Assistant: Evan Bauer

    Music: Elias
    It's Been Some Time: Composers: Nate Morgan and
    Jonathan Scott Manness

    Sound: Heard City
    Sound Engineer: Jeremy Siegel

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    The Golden State Warriors have got game in the branding world, too.

    The NBA champions recently hired San Francisco agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to whip up some cool branding work for the 2016 playoffs—centered around a hand-painted "Strength in Numbers" logo and a flexible visual system that uses tally marks to play around with all sorts of data involving the team and its fans.

    GS&P, which is perfect for this kind of work—given its well-known design chops, and its years of working for the NBA itself—took the team's existing slogan, "Strength in Numbers," and built a new logo for it. The "M" in "Numbers" is signified by a tally mark for the number 5—a reference to the Warriors seeking their fifth NBA title this spring.

    The logo is appearing on everything from T-shirts to billboards, and the tally marks are being used in ads to celebrate lots of different Warriors numbers—like their record 73 regular-season wins this year, Stephen Curry's 402 three-pointers, the 120-decibel noise level in Oracle Arena (the loudest in the NBA) and more. 

    The campaign also includes interactive social-media elements, as well as commercials, including the two below—one celebrating Curry's second straight MVP award, and another about the 73 wins.

    GS&P creatives Kurt Mills and Kyle Lamb came up with the initial logo idea.

    "It started purely as a logo design exploration. But we wanted to give it a little bit more meaning, and a little bit more legs," GS&P creative director David Suarez tells Adweek. "It turned into this visual system with the tally marks that are in the logo. It was this custom, hand-done thing we did here in-house. We took the tally marks and turned it into a little campaign, from just a logo design."

    "There are all these numbers, from the fans to the staff to the players," adds creative director Danny Gonzalez. "Everyone is tallying up these stats, so to speak, and this is kind of a way of unifying everybody." 

    The tally mark symbol nicely and subtly ties back into the existing Warriors logo, too. The crossing mark in the symbol is a bit curved, which is reminiscent of the Bay Bridge in the Warriors logo.

    "It's fun to do a logo that's not 100 percent computer generated," says Suarez. "We went to an art store, got some paint and did it in-house—with some help from the computer, but mostly it was hand-done. We wanted it to feel not too clean. We wanted something people would actually buy and wear on their clothes. A lot of teams out there have stuff that feels a little schwag-y. We wanted to get away from that, and do something that was a little more ownable and authentic to the team and the attitude and the community."

    Over at this website, Warriors fans can also generate their own "Strength in Numbers" images by uploading pics and adding tally marks to them. 

    "People have embraced it pretty quickly, which is awesome," Gonzalez says of the campaign. "With some of these community-facing things, you're not always sure how people are going to react right away, but both the team and the fans have loved it."

    It's also fun, of course, for the GS&P creatives to be working on something that is so high-profile and beloved in the community. 

    "They're on TV a lot here, so if it was an ugly logo, we'd be staring at it all the time," Gonzalez says. Adds Suarez: "Of all the ads I've done over the years—global spots and whatnot—I think I've gotten the most comments from my father-in-law about this one."

    More images below. 


    Client: Golden State Warriors
    Work: "Strength in Numbers, 2016 Playoffs"   
    Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

    CEO: Rick Welts
    Chief Marketing Officer: Chip Bowers
    VP of Marketing and Digital: Kenny Lauer
    VP of Public Relations: Raymond Ridder
    Senior Marketing Director: Amanda Chin
    Team Marketing Director: Caleb Homeres
    Project Specialist: Fernan Joco

    Co-Chairman: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein
    Executive Creative Director: Margaret Johnson
    Creative Directors: David Suarez and Danny Gonzalez
    Creatives: Kyle Lamb, Andrew Livingston, Kurt Mills, Charles Lee, Louis Xinran Li
    Content Creative: Quinn Gravier
    Design Director: Chris Peel

    Director of Broadcast Production: Tod Puckett
    Senior Print Producer and Art Buyer: Noah Dasho
    Printer Producer and Art Buyer: Joni Wittrup
    Director of Experiential, Music Supervisor: Todd Porter

    Postproduction: E Level Films
    Director of E Level: PJ Koll
    Post Producer: Alison Plansky, Luke Dillon
    Motion Graphics Creative Director: Mike Landry
    Motion Graphics Artists: Ratha Nou, Karim Fawzy, Alex Cummings, Jason Jobe, Chad Ford, Anthony Enos
    Senior Audio Engineer: Dave Baker
    Audio Engineer: Nicholas DeMatteo

    Account Services
    Account Director: Jason Bedecarre
    Account Manager: Molly Navalinski
    Assistant Account Manager: Angela Trinh 

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    Today we were scrolling around our socnets when we saw something odd: Titled "Prize-winning piece of advertising from The Economist," the article weaving its way through our feed reflected a billboard that looked like a supplication not to vote for Donald Trump, smack in the middle of New York City, from one of the most well-regarded business magazines in the world. 

    On its face, this wouldn't be surprising: The dawning realization that Trump would carry the Republican nomination for president only sharpens when you consider how ambitiously weird, or just scary, his ideas are, especially in a debt economy. He recently claimed the U.S. can never default because it prints money, part of an overall "debt strategy" in which he mostly insisted debt is dangerous but he knows his way around it. (Decide the truth of that for yourself.)

    Last year, The Economist also issued a warning on its cover about the rise of right-wing populism, an illustration of Trump's characteristic scowl leading equally sour shots of France's Marine Le Pen and Hungary's Viktor Orban. 

    So, we all know The Economist isn't keen on Trump for POTUS. But jumping into the fray with a billboard, in an active bid to affect the American vote, seems like a marked softening of the stiff upper lip for which the publication—and its mother country—is known. 

    Here's the actual story behind the ad.

    Let's break the illusion now: It's not from The Economist. It comes from London agency AML, a quick and inspired Photoshop job by Stephen O'Neill for an internal creative award (which he won). And like ghost ads often do, the concept escaped: An agency staffer in Singapore got hold of it, and shared it with followers.

    In the weekend that followed, it quickly spread from Asia to the U.S., making it the most widely shared story on The Poke and enjoying 36,000 shares on Facebook alone.

    Still, what made it fly so far?

    Something looks off about it; better ghosts have been squashed before even making it past their agency doors. The typeface is different from The Economist's custom type family—making it look different from past ads—and it doesn't even have a logo. Highlighting a plea in a candidate's name seems less witty than it does folksy, and anybody can Photoshop an idea onto a billboard. The improbability of The Economist actually having run it is only slightly tempered by the fact that, days later, it ran a cover story on why a Donald Trump presidency would be bad news.

    "It's a simple idea that sums up a complicated political issue," says AML, "which is what we do at AML—it's good the world (mostly) agrees. Even The Economist was heard to chuckle." 

    Nothing surprising there, either. It's never been a secret that lots of people are freaked out about how far Trump has come. Making fun of him has become standard operating procedure, and there's even an anti-Trump Cards Against Humanity expansion pack.

    Maybe the real reason this ad flew so far, so fast, is that it reflects a tangible concern shared not just internationally but by Americans. The notion that The Economist might run it legitimizes that concern: It makes a lot of well-read people feel sane. 

    The thing is, it isn't clear whether that's enough to stop the train. As we draw nearer to the end of this year, it grows harder to believe that we'll score a Trump equivalent of Tina Fey to smack an aggressive pro-Trump voting public into awareness. 

    A lot's changed in eight years. We're more jaded now; we take it for granted that politics and entertainment hold hands. A different faction of America is angrier than Obama's voting public was then, and it doesn't matter what Trump himself does; one public's growing alarm is another's fuel.

    What'll decide this election is money—lots of money—and votes, not just from disillusioned Republicans but from a Democratic party that remains fractured between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. 

    Because in a political climate as strange as the one we've cultivated, a powerful ghost ad is simply that—the ghost of a kind of culture-savvy influence peddling that used to work, but just won't cut it this time. Or at least, not against this particular opponent, who appears to know the ropes better than most.

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    British cereal brand Alpen sends up sunny start-your-day-right clichés in two fun 30-second ads by BBH London—because a good breakfast cereal can't guarantee you'll have a good day ... but at least you'll enjoy the meal. 

    The first spot, "Cricket," features a man winding up for a big cricket game. Pitching an imaginary ball, he cranks up a chipper tune on the kitchen radio—the Monkees' "Daydream Believer"—and pours himself a bowl of sugarless Alpen.

    He reads the paper while eating, then kisses his wife goodbye before heading out to the pitch ... where his aspirations to glory are ignominiously dashed, as captured on YouTube. 

    The fun thing about the campaign is that the YouTube fails are real.

    "The development of the campaign began with finding genuine YouTube fails and then imagining the great start to the day that they had before these events unfolded," BBH says. "Careful casting and wardrobe were used to get actors looking as close to the real people in the YouTube clips as possible." 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The second spot, "Kite," features a mother smiling as she climbs out of a downy bed on a beautiful morning. The birds are singing, and "Daydream Believer" reprises in the background. She ties her hair, then joins her young daughter and husband at the table for a bowl of granola. 

    After breakfast, the family heads out for a trip to the park. "Can mommy fly the kite?" she asks as they leave the house. That turns out to be a particularly apt question—the camera cuts to YouTube footage of her less-than-entirely-successful efforts.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "It all started so well," concludes the tagline for both spots. It's the perfect sort of non-apology, tantamount to a shrugging "At least we did our part." That's refreshing; the slapstick endings are welcome twists on dull and obnoxiously upbeat category tropes. 

    It's the clips of cricket guy and kite mom that will be relived by cackling friends and families for years to come—even if nobody remembers what they had for breakfast that morning. 


    Client: Alpen
    Campaign: It All Started So Well
    Global Marketing Director: Sally Abbott

    Agency: BBH
    BBH Writer: Martha Riley
    BBH Creative Director: Carl Broadhurst
    BBH Strategy Director: Rowenna Prest
    BBH Business Lead: Sian Cook
    BBH Account Executive: Nathan Coffey
    BBH Account Director: James Rice
    BBH Producers: Ally Mee & Ronae Rayson

    Production Company: Nice Shirt Films
    Director: Liz Murphy
    Producer: Luke Goodrum
    DoP: Justin Brown

    Postproduction: Jon Hollis @ Raised By Wolves

    Editor/Editing House: Mark Burnett @ Whitehouse Post

    Sound: Sam Ashwell @ 750mph

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    Instagram unveiled a new logo Wednesday, and it may well go down as one of the biggest design fails of the year.

    The brand's famous skeuomorphic icon, a virtual representation of a physical camera, was beloved almost universally, and is one of the most instantly recognizable logos in tech. For some reason, Instagram felt it was dated. It was "beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better," Ian Spalter, head of design at Instagram, writes in a Medium post (which also goes into its new, broader visual identity).

    The ellipsis in that sentence is telling. It seems to indicate a confusion of purpose. If only the ellipsis had turned into a real pause—and they'd put on hold this instinct to ditch the key symbol of the brand's personality.

    As often happens with logo redesigns, Instagram goes into great detail about the creative decisions that went into this one. The brand says it started off trying to "modernize" the original mark. That produced a "brighter, flatter option" that wasn't working. So, they began an effort to work the rainbow and camera lens into a different mark entirely—hoping to produce "a more modern app icon that strikes a balance between recognition and versatility."

    "The question then became, how far do we go?" the brand says. "If you abstract too much, the glyph doesn't feel tied to the history and soul of Instagram. If you make it too literal, it's hard to justify changing from what we currently have. After a lot of refinement, we landed on a glyph that still suggests a camera, but also sets the groundwork for years to come."

    In the end, they reworked the camera glyph into an almost completely abstract image, and took the rainbow and used it as the basis for a colorful gradient background.

    Unfortunately, while it may render better in some environments, it's a very forgettable image that will get lost on people's phones amid the thousands of other similarly uninspired designs of most tech apps. It's a bit baffling how this is considered an improvement—indeed, why they felt there was a need to "modernize" at all.

    Can we change it back? 

    Check out one more brand videos about the change below. 

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    This billboard, which went up this week next to the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, is provocative in the extreme—blatantly urging drivers to text and drive as a way of drumming up business for the advertiser, Wathan Funeral Home.

    But there's a method to the madness.

    It's actually a PSA from the Montreal office of agency John St., in partnership with out-of-home company Cieslok Media. No, Wathan Funeral Home isn't real. But it does have a website, where angry motorists who've Googled the place are confronted with this message:

    If you're here, you've probably seen our "Text and Drive" billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you'd be right.

    It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we're not a funeral home.

    We're just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That's right. More. And while most people wouldn't even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That's more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers' lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.

    Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.

    Cieslok Media says the ad is designed to get people thinking about the real consequences of texting and driving. "With an out-of-home inventory situated in high traffic, high-impact locations, it made sense to leverage our digital sign on the Gardiner to amplify this message for the general public good," says Cieslok president and CEO Jörg Cieslok.

    "People see and hear the words 'Don't text and drive' almost every day, but the number of people doing it keeps going up and up," says Mylene Savoie, managing director of John St. Montreal. "So we wanted to think of a different way of saying it that would make people think about the real consequences. Which is where 'Text and drive' came from."

    The only downside to this concept, really, is that reading small print on billboards can be a little distracting, too.

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    Millennials will be young forever, so they don't have to think about stuff like retirement or pension plans.

    Just in case that logic proves wrong, the government of Ontario, Canada, teamed up with ad agency Bensimon Byrne—of absurd beer slogans fame—for a series of online spots designed to get 18- to 35-year-olds thinking about their golden years.

    Breaking this week, the videos, each more than two minutes long, promote a new offering called the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. Each sets up a "generational exchange of wisdom" that pairs a retiree with a millennial. The twenty-somethings—all high-profile influencers in Canada—learn what retirement is about, and the seniors get a crash course in popular culture. 

    In the clip below, YouTube music star Andrew Huang hangs out with ex-cop Livingstone. They chat a bit about saving for retirement and cook up a sizzling dance track, using sounds from a skillet and other kitchen utensils: 

    "This was the best way to reach millennials because it's a complicated subject with many nuances," Joseph Bonnici, executive creative director at Bensimon Byrne, tells AdFreak. "Imagine asking a young person to worry about something 40 years down the road? That's not something a :30 pre-roll can accomplish. We wanted to create compelling content that would give young people some true insight into what retirement was actually like." 

    In this next spot, retiree Maureen schools Typical Gamer on teatime etiquette, while scoring tips on trash talk and Far Cry Primal: 

    Guess that scruffy Canadian dude learned that retirement's no game, eh?

    "We specifically chose these three young stars because they had a natural curiosity about the subject matter," says Bonnici. "Once the shoot actually began, we allowed the relationships to develop organically. They were told very basic information about one another, and we only told them they were there to exchange some wisdoms and experiences from one another's lives."

    Finally, Brent, a host on Toronto's Indie 88 radio, puts a classical spin on the D.J. trade for Kathy, who teaches him how to dance the Charleston:

    "There were absolutely no rehearsals, and they met on set as the cameras were rolling," Bonnici says. "We basically kept them rolling for the next 12 hours as they chatted and learned. It was incredible to watch their bonds blossom throughout the day and see the young stars take the retirees under their wing and vice versa." 

    Indeed, the intergenerational sweetness is fun and even moving, while the retirement discussions are brief and not too preachy. Millennials will probably appreciate the whole "sharing ideas" concept, which keeps the spots from feeling like lectures they can just tune out. (The young snots!)

    Of course, after shooting some 36 hours of footage, a lot of material wound up on the cutting-room floor. 

    "There was a great scene where Brent from Indie 88 crank-called Kathy's granddaughter," Bonnici recalls. "Brent told her Kathy had been arrested for shoplifting classical music records. The granddaughter was absolutely speechless."

    Campaign Title: Wisdom Exchange
    Client: Government of Ontario
    Product: ORPP

    Agency: Bensimon Byrne
    Creative Director: Joseph Bonnici / Dan Strasser
    Associate Creative Director: Lorne Covant
    Art Director: Debbie Chan
    Writer: Matt Doran
    Agency Producer: Meghan Cheesbrough
    Group Account Director: Jill Engelman
    Business Lead: Charlotte Osbourne
    Project Manager: Ashley Belfast

    Production House: Untitled Films
    Director: Andrew Norton
    Director of Photography: Jesse Louttit
    Executive Producer: Peter Davis
    Line Producer: Tony Phibbs

    Post Production Offline: School Editing
    Producer: Emily Torontow
    Editor: Matthew Kett

    Post Production Online: Smith
    Producer: Patty Bradley
    Editor: Justin Lee

    Transfer: Smith
    Colorist: Andrew Ross

    Audio House: Pirate
    Producer: Maggie Blouin-Pearl
    Director: Vanya Drakul
    Engineer: Jared Kuemper

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    The Smart Fortwo Cabriolet is the only convertible in its class that has a roof that truly opens completely. And so, its drivers should be "open," too—at least according to this fun, awkward brand stunt from BBDO Berlin.

    The automaker subjected drivers to the "most open test drive," in which they were hooked up to a lie detector and asked personal questions, as a loved one sat shotgun. The questions get increasingly uncomfortable—mostly in the sex department, as it turns out—as the whole thing soon devolves into nervous laughter.

    "The person who answers the questions really honestly and openly during the test drive travels with an 'open roof'—and is ultimately the winner," the agency says. "This is not only a fun promotion that reflects the core idea of the campaign. It also makes people want to try out this open-style driving in the new Smart Fortwo Cabrio themselves."

    Client: Smart

    Agency: BBDO Berlin
    CCO: Wolfgang Schneider
    Creative Managing Director: Jan Harbeck, Ton Hollander
    ECD: Michael Schachtner
    Creative Director: David Missing, Fedja Kehl
    Art Director: Shelley Lui
    Copywriter: Julian Stoelting. Kyra Nenz
    Account Team: Sonja Ruschke (Account Manager), Lindsay Jönsson (Account Director), Jan Hendrik Oelckers (Group Account Director)
    Agency Producer: Stefan Bader, Silke Rochow
    Chief Production Officer: Steffen Gentis (BBDO Group Germany)

    Film Production: Markenfilm Crossing
    Producer: Oliver Hack (Managing Director), Alexander Husche (Producer)
    Post-Production: ARRI Mitte
    Producer: Julia Dobler
    Music/Sound Design: Nordmeister
    Composer: Malte Hagemeister & Kristian Nord
    Audio Production: Studio Funk
    Sound Engineer: Julian Maßmann
    Producer: Nicole Leibner, Uta Wittchen
    Director: Kai Sehr
    DOP: Björn Knechtel
    Script: Kyra Nenz, Julian Stoelting
    Editor: Sven Duncker
    Visual Effects: Martin Poggenclaas, the makery
    Setting: Orange Films

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    Imagine a plush rooster with a frog's foot where its comb should be.

    Such a creature now exists, thanks to a new campaign in Japan. To raise awareness of a shortage of child organ donors, Dentsu employee Akira Suzuki and a colleague created "Second Life Toys," which hopes to resurrect worn-out stuffed animals by combining them with parts from other fuzzy beasts. 

    The demo round of the project, developed with the Japanese organ transplant group Green Ribbon Campaign, relied on the participation of plush toy artists from around the world, and led to the creation of characters like an elephant with a squirrel's tail for its trunk, a bear with monkey arms, a whale with a dragon's wings and tail, and a goat with bear leg—and many more. 

    Future participants can either donate toys or ask for parts to restore their own bedtime friends. The campaign then asks anyone who gets a plush transplant to write a thank-you letter to the donor—completing the reciprocal circle and helping to illustrate the potential benefits of a more significant medical gift. 

    Overall, it's a clever way to spark discussion about the issue. The mashup animals on display in the promo video are, naturally, adorable—and generally speaking, even cooler than the originals. Whether the metaphor seems too cute or far removed from the real necessity to sufficiently spur action is another question. 

    Each year, only some 300 people in Japan currently get transplants, out of the 14,000 who need them. That low rate is due in part to cultural hurdles demanding bodies be cremated intact, but also to historically strict legal limitations that, while recently loosened, have hindered organ transplantation.

    Any effort that drives toward a better understanding of the practice—and a larger donor pool—is an extremely worthwhile cause, made all the more so given that just one more life saved is all it really takes to make a huge difference. 

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    Movie night with friends reaches epic heights in Grey Goose's latest chapter of the "Fly Beyond" campaign from BBDO. 

    In a bit of an odd premise, the vodka brand's "La Pursuit" spot features a pack of friends who pile into a couple of cars and set off on a dirt road, looking for awesome. Why the sight of a goose in flight would trigger an inspired chase is a mystery, but it's as good a signpost for a bored group as any, and at least they're not hitting cats in a bag or something. 

    This goose, though, knows where it's at.

    Our feathered friend guides the group to an enormous—and nicely stocked—dirigible, complete with its own swarthy driver. On their wandering quest to nowhere in particular, they scoop film up at an old cinema, jam in an abandoned (yet curiously well-varnished) lighthouse, grab some ice in snowy climes for their cocktails, and enjoy a French film projected onto a cloud. 

    Watch it all unfold below: 

    " 'Fly Beyond' is a timeless platform," says David Lubars, chief creative officer of BBDO Worldwide. "Our job was to make it relevant for what's happening today. In the end, you want people looking at every part of the campaign thinking, 'I want to be part of that.' "

    Previous iterations of "Fly Beyond" explored Grey Goose's ambitious origins, and portrayed Grey Goose as the ideal take to celebrate with friends. And while the classic fantastic voyage is just another common spirits trope, "La Pursuit" is an imaginative spin over the old "road trip over whiskey" scene ... and it definitely beats another night of Netflix and chill. 

    The experience depicted here really does feel extraordinary; it's not just a wank-fest of rich people pursuing expensive things, and a playful score keeps the action light on its feet. When was the last time you rode a dirigible? Or even thought about one? 

    The elevation of the rather underappreciated goose into a creature worthy of myth is another nice touch in the hands of director Steve Ayson and Robert Elswit, Oscar-nominated director of photography. "The Goose itself becomes the ultimate luxury icon, imbuing it with more meaning and turning it into a symbol that, when seen, sparks curiosity and desire," the brand says. (Aw, look—they even capitalize it. Bet that's in the Guidelines.) 

    The :60 debuted on NBC's Blindspot, and will also run during the NBA playoffs and other primetime windows, including the finale of Quantico, Saturday Night Live and the Billboard Music Awards. The TV variant will be accompanied by print and out-of-home executions that feature Le Grand Fizz, Grey Goose's signature cocktail for the summer. Digital and social elements will enable people to share their own extraordinary adventures. 

    As icing on the cake, Grey Goose is also offering its own, real-life whimsical pursuit: This summer, it's launching a 20-city pop-up store experience called Boulangerie Bleue, which promises to take people to the French Riviera via a secret entrance in a traditional bakery. (We're not sure if that'll be via dirigible, but we'd go on the off-chance.) 

    The Boulangerie Bleue program took place in Cannes and Paris last year, where wanderers could order drinks at the world's tiniest dry martini bar, or jam to French band The Shoes under a canopy of paper cranes (or geese). If you're stateside and East Coastal, you're in luck: The Boulangerie's first stop this year will be New York.

    Client: Grey Goose
    Agency: BBDO
    Director: Steve Ayson
    DOP: Robert Elswit

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    People throw around the term "food porn" a lot on Instagram, but a chain of sushi restaurants in Colorado is posting real food porn shots—sushi dishes delivering clichéd lines right out of porn movies.

    Check out the posts below. They'll be hitting Hapa Restaurant Group's Instagram page starting this week. Fun work by agency TDA_Boulder.


    Client: Hapa Restaurant Group
    Art Director: Mia Nogueira
    Writer: Brian Mulligan
    Creative Director: Jonathan Schoenberg
    Photographer: Chad Arnold Photography and Design. Denver, CO.
    Assistant Account Exec.: Martha Powers
    Director Client Services: Christi Tucay

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    Is he sponge worthy?

    Bart Brewer, the COO and pitchman for Oklahoma City's Floor Trader stores, riffs on Seinfeld's "timeless art of seduction" bit in a throwback Thursday billboard from Insight Creative Group.

    On the show, George Costanza stripped down to his shorts and socks, striking provocative poses for some snapshots designed to "impress" a clerk at the photo store. (This was pre-smartphone 1996, when humans still lived in caves and got film developed at the mall.)

    Fast forward 20 years, and Brewer recreates Costanza's pose, sporting a blue Floor Trader polo shirt and khakis, with carpet samples nearby, plus the headline, "The Timeless Art of Savings."

    Alas, the shirt's not puffy, but the image is certainly memorable, and Brewer was a good sport to participate.

    "Bart is used to ICG pitching him a lot of crazy ideas, and he usually is up for the challenge," says agency partner Rusty Duncan. "He's been in adult onesies, green-screen suits, on a bicycle, acting as a drill sergeant, and confusing trick-or-treaters with flooring samples instead of candy."

    Hmm, this agency sounds abusive. Maybe it's time to put the account in review?

    Anyway, the billboard stunt is getting plenty of attention on social media and in the mainstream press, yada yada.

    "We couldn't be more pleased with the reaction. People are talking about it, so they're talking about Floor Trader," says Duncan. "Bart's willingness to be bold has paid off, creating a fun campaign that's going viral."

    Just goes to show, Sign-feldian humor never gets old.

    Now, let's all sing the Floor Trader song:

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    Livestreaming is all the rage for brands, and Disney has unleashed one of the best live stunts yet, getting Johnny Depp to interact with fans as the Mad Hatter on a livestreamed billboard at Disneyland.

    The shenanigans start off subtly enough, with the actor, being filmed in a remote location, doing little more than blinking mischievously. But soon he's fully interacting with the fans—whom he can see in real time by watching footage from a hidden camera.

    "Ouch!" he cries when one woman leans against the board. He tells one little girl, "You have a wonderful cranium," and then has all the gawkers hop up and down.

    It's a nicely multi-brand effort from Disney—taking place in the Anaheim, Calif., park and promoting the Disney film Through the Looking Glass, which is a sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland. The movie opens at the end of this month. 

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    Today in Horrible Things that Defy Imagining, Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok teamed up with PETA to give leather shoppers the fright of their lives. 

    In "Behind the Leather," we're introduced to a pop-up store called The Leather Work. Situated in a well-trafficked Bangkok shopping mall, it is convincingly outfitted with purses, shoes, jackets and accessories made of alligator, snakeskin and other exotic hides. 

    So far, so good. But remember: This is PETA. The moment shoppers start examining the products a smidge more closely, it all starts going nightmarishly wrong. 

    One handbag, when opened, is crammed with internal organs, still fixed to the skin. A still-beating heart pulsates as women drop the bag and leap backward. In the same vein, we thought the jacket-opening scene was the absolute worst of the scares, but Ogilvy pulled out all the stops: Gloves and shoes look innocent enough ... until you try them on, and find your hands and feet swathed in blood.

    The reactions are about as disgusted as you'd expect, which is probably pretty satisfying for everyone involved. The ad ends with a message: "For the exotic skins industry, cruelty is a daily business." People are then driven to PETAAsia.com/skins to learn more and help out.

    For PETA, whose modus operandi is generally about pushing people away while defiantly grabbing a chicken wing, we were surprised by how effective "Behind the Leather" actually is. The extremeness we expect is there, but the reasoning is sound and carried out with genuine conviction. It also got us thinking about our own hides, and what it must feel like to be skinned alive and discarded, left in pain for hours so the results can be worn for a pricetag. 

    We're pretty sure the people who encountered The Leather Work won't be likely to spring for snakeskin handbags again anytime soon—or at the very least, they'll have something nice and traumatic to remember next time they reach for one.

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    From smart motorcycle windshields to surfboards that keep you connected, Samsung's gotten damn good at applying abstract technical features to the real world.

    "Sister," though, is lower-key and closer to home. Made by Leo Burnett to promote the low-light capabilities of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge mobile handsets, the ad opens on a familiar (and for us, still quite palpable) scenario: One little girl who can't get to sleep, because she's terrified of the dark.

    Her older sister tucks her back in, to no avail, so she gets creative—and in a reflex that's probably more common than we're willing to admit, reaches for a phone to save the day. 

    No, she doesn't turn the flashlight on. But while the ending isn't exactly M. Night Shyamalan-level surprising, it's still worth appreciating on your own: 

    What we like about this simple piece is that the solution is probable, and no time is wasted cutting to the chase. The storytelling happens in the action and music, which makes it easy to understand and provides universal scope. And what better way to get comfortable with the dark than proof that the sinister is just the playfully banal, under cover of shadow? Plus, admit it! That closing line—"The smartphone camera that's not afraid of the dark"—is cute.

    More important than all that, the Samsung's Galaxy S7 really is capable of taking photos in light that low, thanks to its dual-lens technology. The agency boasts that the photos you see here are completely authentic, with no post-production for enhancement. Given all the crap photos we take in perfectly normal light, that may just be the difference that pushes lots of people off the Apple wagon.

    A more nagging question is, why does a kid who's scared of nighttime monsters keep a scary devil bathrobe on a coat rack? That's basically just asking for some creepy Babadook action.

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    Hotels.com's amusing jackass of an ad character, Captain Obvious, is leaping across the pond, as the brand is introducing him to the U.K. market for the first time. And to mark the occasion, he's come up with another fun hack of online ads.

    In a new spot, Captain Obvious explains that he travels a lot, and has picked up a lot of languages. He demonstrates this by bantering with Japanese and Russian tourists—but then is stumped when a couple of Geordie lasses talk to him. "I love the Danish," he remarks.

    The launch spot will run on TV, but the online version—which will be posted to All 4, Channel 4's online platform—has a "Skip ad" button, but it's unlike any you've seen before. We can't embed the skippable version of the ad, but you can check it out here.

    Pretty funny stuff, even if the payoff probably isn't quite as satisfying for users as actually skipping the ad.

    Captain Obvious is pretty adept at hacking online advertising formats. His exploits in the past have included making some in-feed Facebook ads that made fun use of silent autoplay.

    "Captain Obvious has become a household name in North America and we're excited to introduce this now iconic character to the U.K.," says Aude Ducharme, senior marketing manager EMEA at Hotels.com. "He is fresh, fun and engaging and represents the brand perfectly, making travel straightforward and highlighting the obvious choice. We can't wait for the U.K. to meet him."

    Client: Hotels.com
    Agency: CP+B London
    ECD: Dave Buonaguidi
    Creatives: David Carr & Martins Millers/ Graham Storey & Phil Cockrell
    Producer: Chris Chapman
    Head of Client Services: Charles Faircloth;  Account Director: Tania Delamotte
    Director: Michael Clowater
    Producer: Jason Scanlon
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Editor: Saam Hodivala
    Edit House: Work

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    When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady needs a break from bickering with the NFL, he goes to the gaudiest hotel on planet Earth to sleep on a specialty mattress that will never deflate.

    At least, that's the scenario laid out in this spot for Simmons Bedding, whose "Dream in Black" campaign focuses on the Beautyrest Black model. KBS is handling the campaign, and has a slew of TV and digital ads planned, with Brady as the centerpiece.

    The ad itself is just ridiculous enough to be fun, and the image of Brady sleeping on a bare mattress in an empty hotel room is poetic in its own way.

    Asked why they picked Brady, KBS executive creative director Jon Goldberg said "consumers would trust Tom Brady's discerning standards for luxury." Simmons' vp of Marketing Jeff Willard did him one better, claiming that Brady is "someone who is committed to the ultimate in quality, performance and style."

    These might be the nicest things anyone outside New England has ever said about him.


    Client: Serta, Simmons Bedding Company

    Agency: KBS

    Executive Vice President of Marketing: Jeff Willard
    Vice President Marketing Communications: Michelle Montgomery
    Creative Director Marketing: Matthew Schachte

    Executive Creative Director: Paul Renner
    Executive Creative Director: Jon Goldberg
    Senior Art Director: Nigel Gross
    Senior Copywriter: Ben Cascella
    Head of Production: Jenny Read
    Executive Producer: Cori Boudin
    Executive Director Of Content Affairs: Robin Oksenhendler
    Executive Content Business Affairs Manager: Andrea Fagan
    President of Business Leadership: Katie Klumper
    Group Account Director: Douglas Christian
    Account Supervisor: Charles Wright
    Executive Director, Brand Strategy: Sam Chotiner

    Production Company
    Production Company Name: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Noam Murro
    Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
    Executive Producer: Rick Jarjoura
    Line Producer: Jay Veal
    Director of Photography (DOP): Simon Duggan

    Editorial Company Name: Union Editorial
    Editor: James Haygood
    Senior Cutting Asst: Joseph Garst
    Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean
    Producer: Lauren Hafner Addison

    Finishing Company Name: UNION + MPC
    Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean (Union) Justin Brukman (MPC)
    Flame Artist: Jason Ortenberg
    VFX:  Sue Jang- Matte Painter, Leslie Chung, Hieu Phan, Jeff Billon- Compositors

    Music / Sound Design
    Music Company: The Rumor Mill
    Composer/ Artist/ Title: Original Music
    Executive Producer / Producer: Mike Boris
    Sound Design: Steve Rosen

    Audio Mix
    Company Name: Sonic Union
    Audio Mixer: Steve Rosen

    Company Name: Nice Shoes
    Colorist: Lez Rudge

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    Burt's Bees keeps it real—very real—in a pair of web videos by ad shop Baldwin&.

    The campaign, "Love Your Nature," touts a new line of all-natural by moisturizing lipsticks, focusing on two extraordinary young women who overcame serious challenges and learned to accept themselves and make the most of the lives.

    First, we meet Diandra Forrest, whose albinism initially made her an outcast.

    "Growing up in the Bronx, I was the lightest thing on the block. I stood out. I just wasn't black enough," she says at the start of the film. "I didn't really have friends. I didn't feel secure at all." When she finally embraced being "different," she found success as a fashion model—and with this campaign, role model status may follow.

    "As a beauty brand founded by a bearded beekeeper, Burt's Bees has always done things a little differently, and this campaign is one way to encourage a spirit of authenticity and expand the definition of beauty," agency account supervisor Katharine Belloir tells Adweek. "The target audience is women 18-34. This is the age where women are coming into their own as adults, a time when an example of self-acceptance can inspire and resonate on a personal level."

    Next comes the story of singer and musician Mandy Harvey.

    "In life, you have a lot of barriers, and you have two choices," she says. "You can allow yourself to stay stuck and do nothing, or you can find a way around and experience life." Harvey refuses to let her songs or spirit be silenced, even when her hearing starts to fail.

    "We went into it with an idea of the story we wanted to tell, the visuals that we thought would best support that and a plan to capture the voiceovers of the women telling us their stories in a natural way," says Belloir. "But we really had to roll with what happened once we were there. Some of the best scenes were not planned. We did not plan to use footage of Mandy singing her own song 'Try' until we were on location shooting."

    Some might say the work overreaches, or feels overly familiar, and accuse Burt's of being just another brand leveraging female empowerment to move product. But the stories are exceptionally well told in a restrained, understated style by directors Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, making them feel less contrived and more uplifting than, say, Dove's recent forays into "Real Beauty." Watching Diandra and Mandy take charge of their own destinies and refuse to be pigeonholed makes Burt's message especially stirring.

    Also, the brand stays very much in the background, which is entirely appropriate. After all, Burt's role in these (and all) women's lives is to provide a boost now and then, but ultimately it's up to each individual to let her inner beauty shine through.

    "We are surrounded by images of who we are supposed to be, and constantly told we are not enough," Harvey tells Adweek. "My hope is that someone is encouraged by these ads to find beauty in who they are just the way they are and feel excited to celebrate their uniqueness."

    Client: Burt's Bees

    Agency: Baldwin&
    CDs: David Baldwin, Bob Ranew
    ACD/AD: Kellyn McGarity
    CW: Britton Upchurch
    Agency Producer: Lisa Effress

    Production Co.: RDI, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Directors: Anna & Ewan
    D.P.: Ewan McGregor
    Exec Producer: Marjie Abrahams

    Post: Union Editorial, New York
    Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean
    Producer: Lauren Hafner Addison
    Editors: Marco  Perez ("Mandy"), Andrew Doga ("Diandra")
    Assistant Editor: George Dodsworth
    Telecine Artist: Stephen Picano
    Flame Artists: Brian Kubovcik, Jason Ortenberg

    Music/Sound Design: JSM, New York
    CCO: Joel Simon
    Producer: Jeff Fiorello

    VO Recording: Coupe Studios, Boulder, Colo.
    Engineers: Kip Kuepper, Ed Kaufman
    Producers: Eric Singer, Aaron Lasko

    Sound Mix: Sonic Union, New York
    Engineer: Rob McIver

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    Presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump makes headlines for pretty much everything he does or says, from arriving at an airport on his branded jet to claiming that Trump Steaks is still in business. But his comment last month that "the only thing [Hillary Clinton's] got going is the woman's card" inspired more attention than most. 

    The Clinton campaign responded days later by offering an "Official Woman Card" for sale on its website. But a group of advertising art directors and designers from around the world went a bit further: They are creating an entire deck of "Woman Cards" in order to "turn negatives into positives by calling out damaging gender stereotypes." 

    Maddy Kramer spearheaded the project. The senior art director at VML Kansas City has always been passionate about gender equality, and Trump's comments inspired her and other creatives. She tells Adweek, "We knew we had to respond and be fun about it."

    "The first idea," Kramer says, "was, How do we make this? We really liked the idea of making all the cards queens, because we believe that every person who contributes to society and makes things better for other people is a queen." 

    She adds: "We made Trump the joker because he is a joke." 

    The Cindy Gallop card

    Kramer created a Google doc listing the names of culturally notable women and invited others to participate. After she reached out to former colleagues and classmates at Miami Art School and Austin's LatinWorks, the group grew to 28 designers and illustrators located everywhere from New York to London to Spain to Kramer's native Argentina.

    "We used social networks," she says, "A lot of people came forward to say, 'Hey, I can make one!' A Spanish blog about women in the ad industry then posted on it, and a few more people wanted to be a part of the project." 

    The list of women featured on the cards also soon began to expand.

    "We started by picking women from all around the world because we are a multicultural group," Kramer says. "We then opened the spreadsheet and decided that every industry should have a representative." 

    The deck eventually came to include names ranging from Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai to Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and the ad industry's own favorite advocate, Cindy Gallop.

    "Everyone used their own style to showcase each illustrator's way of defining the woman in question," Kramer says. "And everyone has their own view politically. I don't know who they are voting for and many don't even live in the States. It's more about what we believe." 

    That said, Hillary Clinton has already made her appearance—and the final deck will include such notable figures as Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates, Queen Elizabeth, Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra and motivational speaker/Marfan Syndrome advocate Lizzie Velásquez. 

    The project addresses a timeless subject made more topical by Trump's outsized presence. "Him being so direct makes people think about it more," Kramer says. "We see it as something we don't just want to talk about; we actually want to do something. There's been a lot of conversation but not a whole lot going on." 

    Kramer and her partners hope to begin selling the deck within the next month or so, launch a fundraising effort and eventually send all revenue to a nonprofit organization like the United Nations' Fund for Gender Equality.

    Will the Trump folks notice, or will they be too busy making anti-Clinton Instagram ads?


    Ilia Isales
    Mauricio Dávila
    Fernando Suárez
    John Dávila Morris
    Marta Vega
    Alfonso Ruiz
    Gabrielle Hoggett
    Ana Calvo
    Adriel López
    Mireia Córcoles
    Percy Bustos
    Chris Thomas
    Nicole Martínez
    Maite Reyes
    Beatriz Espinosa
    José Gabriel Miranda
    Celeste Dalairac
    Natalie Fielding
    Gerardo Guillen
    Jasmine Estrada
    Coby Gerstner
    Stefi Goldstein

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    Venables Bell & Partners took home the coveted Best of Show award at The One Show in New York on Friday night for REI's #OptOutside, a cross-platform campaign in which the outdoor retailer closed on Black Friday and urged employees and customers alike to get outside and enjoy nature on a day best known for rampant consumerism.

    "This is an amazing honor," said Will McGinness, executive creative director at the San Francisco agency. "This wouldn't have been possible without our incredibly brave clients who were willing to take their beliefs as a company and act on them in such a bold way. #OptOutside was an idea that came from the core of who they are as a company and ended up transcending marketing into an actual movement. Which is something you rarely see."

    Spark, Tool of North America, North Kingdom and Edelman also worked on the REI campaign.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Ellie Kemper, star of the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, hosted the 43rd Annual One Show Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday night, which honored the year's best film, interactive, cross-platform, IP, mobile, social, UX/UI and radio work. The One Show also hosted a separate gala on Wednesday night at Gotham Hall, hosted by Michael Ian Black, at which the print and outdoor, design, direct, branded entertainment, responsive environments and PR winners were announced.

    A total of 556 One Show Pencils were awarded across the two shows. Here are the best-in-discipline winners from The One Show's 14 categories:

    • Film: "Shoplifters" for Harvey Nichols by adam&eveDDB/London + Blink/London + Zenith Optimedia/London + The Mill/London

    • Interactive: "Call Brussels" for visit.brussels by Air/Brussels + Lovo Films/Brussels + Globule Bleu/Brussels +White/Brussels

    • Cross-Platform: "#OptOutside" for REI by Venables Bell & Partners/San Francisco + Tool of North America/Santa Monica + North Kingdom/Los Angeles + Edelman/San Francisco

    • Intellectual Property: "Funtastic Hand" for Cirec Foundation by Publicis Colombia/Bogotá + Cirec Foundation/Bogotá

    • Social: "Taco Emoji Engine" for Taco Bell by Deutsch/Los Angeles

    • Mobile: "The world addressed" for what3words by what3words/London

    • UX/UI: "Make Up Genius" for L'Oréal Paris by McCann/Paris + Image Metrics/Las Vegas + My Studio Factory/Paris

    • Radio: "Learning on the way" for ADN by Sancho BBDO/Bogota

    • Print & Outdoor: "Survival Billboard" for Microsoft by McCann/m:united/London

    • Design: "Nameless Paints" for Kokuyo by Dentsu/Tokyo

    • Direct: "The Interactive Form" for Canal+ by BETC + BETC/Digital/Paris

    • Branded Entertainment: "#NOTCOMINGSOON" for Remy Cointreau/Louis XIII by FF/New York + Moonwalk/New York

    • Responsive Environments: "The Last Shot" for Jordan Brand by AKQA/San Francisco + LOS YORK/Los Angeles

    • Public Relations: "Inspiring Spirit" for Scoot by Saatchi & Saatchi/Singapore + Sweeney Vesty/Singapore + Publicis/Singapore

    The Martin Agency was named Agency of the Year, and Geico was named Client of the Year. Together, they also picked up the inaugural Penta Pencil, given to an agency-brand team that has created stellar work for five continuous years. Wieden + Kennedy also won a Penta Pencil for its work with Procter & Gamble's Old Spice.

    BBDO won Network of the Year for the second year in a row, with eight of its offices winning Gold Pencils, including Best in Radio (Sancho BBDO in Bogotá) and the first Gold Pencil win from Russia (BBDO Russia Group).

    WPP was named Creative Holding Company of the Year. 


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