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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    For this year's Cannes Film Festival, BBDO created four limited-edition beer-can designs for Stella Artois. But instead of promoting the brand's values in a traditional way—flashier takes on the logo and the like—the series of cans tell a comic book-style story that takes place on the legendary Croisette. 

    "Story is what Stella Artois stands for," says Denis Keleberdenko, creative group head at BBDO Kiev in Ukraine. "And traditionally Stella Artois supports the Cannes Film Festival, so we show a story that happens in Cannes, in four parts, for each can. There's accidents, unexpected twists, a chase, drama, a beautiful woman, a kiss at the end and even a helicopter! It's almost a film on cans, actually." 



    The case study provides Film Festival ambiance and explains the cans in more detail. Each story is told in French, and is filled with clues that will encourage deep, beer-lit examination of their containers. 



    The cans also feature URLs for various Ukrainian websites, which plunge you deeper into the story's universe and provide a kind of bizarre access to the mysterious machinations of the glamorous rich. (Use your Google Translate option to see the sites in English.) 

    One of the sites, VIPsecurity.com.ua, gives you the option to hire strongmen whose knowledge set can include "English," "French" or "abuse" (decidedly a language all its own). 

    Each site drives people to the Stella Artois Ukraine website, where you could win Film Festival tickets (already claimed, sorry) and, after a painstaking submission process, watch a video. 

    We never got that far, because that form was horrid. But we did find the video, which you can check out below, assuming you read Ukrainian better than we do. 



    Lastly, here's a full go-around of the packshots:

    CREDITS
    Client: Stella Artois
    Agency: BBDO Ukraine Kiev
    Creative Director ­ Anze Jereb
    Head of design studio ­ Martynas Birskys
    Creative Group Head ­ Denis Keleberdenko
    Art Director ­ Mike Petrusiak
    Copywriter ­ Julia Kolesnik
    Designer ­ Mariya Teterina
    Illustrator ­ Olga Bandura


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    Remember all those classic PSA posters showing fish, birds and other wildlife caught in the deadly clutches of bags, bottles and the deadly plastic rings that hold your beer and soda cans together? Research by Greenpeace found that 80 percent of sea turtles and 70 percent of seabirds are still ingesting plastic today. 

    Very little about beer packaging is environmentally friendly, but many brewers find six-packs to be a more efficient way of storing their product, despite the continuing danger to sea life. 

    New York agency We Believers and its client Saltwater Brewery came up with a solution—edible six-pack rings made of grains left over from the brewing process itself.

    "Together with Saltwater Brewery, a small craft beer brand in Florida whose primary target are surfers, fishermen and people who love the sea, we decided to tackle the issue head on and make a statement for the whole beer industry to follow," says agency co-founder and chief strategist Marco Vega. 

    Adds chief creative officer Gustavo Lauria: "For brands to be successful today, it is no longer about being the best in the world—but rather, being the best for the world and taking a real stance."

    This is true, although the video is quite honest about the feasibility of scaling such a project. SaltWater had to either raise prices or lose money on the revamped product. 

    As the campaign indicates, a shift toward more sustainable packaging could take hold if the major beer brands began putting it into practice. One hopes they might be inspired by efforts like this, though we aren't terribly optimistic, given recent trends in mergers and declining profits for the world's sudsiest conglomerates. 

    Luckily, the beer itself tastes just as good with edible rings.


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    The ballerinas at the Royal Danish Theatre are not messing around.

    Tutu-clad dancers wield AK-47s in a new ad for the theater, celebrating the many hands and hard work that go into putting on a season's worth of live shows.

    Scene designers drip paint, wardrobe artists labor over sewing machines, musicians practice their instruments backstage, singers warm up their voices, and actors get into character in the gorgeously shot, busy-bee montage promoting the arts institution, which presents ballet and opera.

    But the shots of daintily posed ladies holding and cocking assault rifles are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the video's most striking.



    Whether the guns are purely a metaphor for the power of their craft, or more literal props in a rehearsal, is not immediately clear. Either way, it's an effective and efficient way to capture the intensity of their preparations.

    And while the travails of the artist are generally a tired trope, the clip, created by agency Wichmann/Schmidt, is visually rich and surprising in little ways—zany costumes, engaging sets, enigmatic snippets of performances—while staying light enough so it hangs together.

    Probably best not to be the dancer that misses her cue, though, and draws the ire of her colleagues—even more so in this troupe than usual. 

    CREDITS
    Client: Royal Danish Theatre
    Agency: Wichmann/Schmidt
    Production Company: New Land
    Director: Casper Balslev


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    "Borders. Has anything good ever come of them?" asks a voiceover in the spot below, as gray-scale images of walls, fences and "No Trespassing" signs speed past.

    "Separation? Limits? I've seen as many as mankind has been able to create. Invisible borders. Human ones. Between men and women. Between the thin and the fat. Between those who make decisions and those who abide by them."

    At first, it feels like a social-issues PSA, with moody footage of traffic jams, military parades, riots and even a grade-school bathroom "swirly" tossed in for good measure. Actually, it's a commercial for a leading brand in Mexico, whose identity isn't revealed until the final seconds of the riveting minute-long ad:



    While brands have leveraged the cultural zeitgeist in ads before, this Ogilvy spot for Aeromexico seems especially pointed in taking a stand against the arbitrary lines that keep people apart.

    To their credit, the creative team doesn't go halfway. The copy even touches on issues of intolerance toward others' religions or sexual orientation, decrying the fact that we wall ourselves off from others—or worse, engage in abuse and discrimination—simply because "someone didn't want anything to do with someone next door."

    And this is an airline ad, folks!

    Of course, Donald Trump's threat to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico should he win the White House adds a degree of urgency.

    The concluding message—"Borders. On land they can maintain distances. But in the sky … we show you it's different"—aims high. But it fits in context, as airlines can take us to new places, where we can experience different cultures, beliefs and ideas, hopefully raising our collective consciousness along the way.

    CREDITS
    Client: Aeromexico
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather México
    VP Creative: César Agost Carreño / Iván Carrasco
    Creative Director: Alejandro Gama
    Copy: Alejandro Gama / Carlos Cervantes / Gabriel Ouriques
    Art Directors: Uriel Sánchez / Jocelyn Contreras
    Producer: Juan Pablo Osio
    Account Director: Vannya Martínez
    Responsable Cliente: Anko Van der Werff, Andrés Castañeda, Emanuel Romero
    Production Company: Oxígeno
    Director: Javier Navarro y Alberto Mercado
    Editor: Raul Carmona
    Executive Producer: Olga Duarte
    Producer: Aitana Coca


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    Two Black Pencils, three White Pencils and 61 Yellow Pencils were handed out Thursday night in London at the 54th D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony.

    Winning an ultra-exclusive Black Pencil were U.K. technology startup what3words for "The World Addressed," a campaign to gives every 3-by-3-meter square in the world an address; and Japanese design firm iyamadesign for its spatial design of the "mt expo 2015" on behalf of masking tape brand Kamoi Kakoshi.

    See videos about those campaigns here:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The what3words work will be familiar to those who follow advertising awards, as it won the Innovation Grand Prix at Cannes last year and was named best of discipline in mobile at The One Show last week.

    The iyamadesign work for Kamoi Kakoshi was an exhibition and sale of the brand's popular "mt" tape. The agency decorated an entire venue in tape, including 80,000 rolls hanging from the ceiling and "mt" dotted cars parked next to it.

    Giles Rhys Jones of what3words picks up his Black Pencil

    "We talked a lot about work that we viewed as game changing," said Christian Davies, executive creative director for the Americas at Fitch and foreman of the Spatial and Experiential Design jury. "We talked about the responsibility of sending a message to the design community to say [a Black Pencil winner] will change the way we look at design. We also talked about the iconic work that had won in the past, and how you remember the impact it had.

    "mt expo 2015 was beautiful in its simplicity. I thought it was a piece of work that inspired wonder in the people that experienced it. There was a common theme that was to discuss the backlash against 'digital for digital's sake.' So I voted for something that was beautifully simple."

    Koji Iyama of iyamadesign shows off his agency's Black Pencil.

    Three White Pencils were awarded, honoring creativity for social good. They went to Ogilvy Brazil for Sport Clube do Recife's "Security Moms," which used mothers as security to stem violence at soccer games; seymourpowell for the Fairphone 2, the world's first ethically sourced smartphone; and M&C Saatchi for Optus' shark-detecting "Clever Buoy."

    See those campaigns here:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Meanwhile, Y&R New Zealand was the most awarded agency, winning 10 Pencils, including 6 Yellow Pencils, 1 Graphite Pencil and 1 Wood Pencil for its work on Burger King's McWhopper campaign. Droga5 and AMV BBDO tied to second, and Grey London was third. 

    Members of the seymourpowell pick up their White Pencil for Fairphone 2.

    The U.K. won 217 Pencils, including 14 Yellow Pencils, 1 White Pencil and 1 Black Pencil. The U.S. was second with 143 Pencils overall, of which 12 were Yellow. France came in third, winning 6 Yellow Pencils and 48 Pencils total. 

    Y&R New Zealand won 8 Pencils for Burger King's McWhopperand 10 Pencils overall.

    "We've seen a record number of entries and some truly wonderful work, including stand-out pieces of creative thinking in our new Media and PR categories," said D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay commented. "Equally pleasing is that putting purpose alongside profit and seeking to 'Do well by doing good' is driving increasing numbers of incredibly high quality work for some very big brands. We love it when the commercial agenda and the sustainability agenda begin to intersect." 

    This year's winner of the Next Photographer Award, Hong Kong-Chinese photographer Tam Hoi Ying.

    This year's winner of the Next Director Award, British animation director Daisy Jacobs.


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    What on earth does Clearasil know about teenagers from inside its corporate offices in Parsippany, N.J.? Basically nothing, except how to make anti-acne products for them, the company admits in 10 comical new ads from Droga5—in which the brand's employees are the lame old people pathetically out of touch with youth culture.

    A lot of the humor in the 60-second launch spot below comes from the voiceover, which introduces things like pizza, skateboarding and cars, hoping teen viewers will like them.

    "We work at Clearasil, and we're just trying to tell you that Clearasil Ultra works fast," the friendly but bemused-sounding female voice says. "But we don't know how to do that. Because we don't really know teens. We only know teen acne. So, we're just going to guess what you guys like. A lot of times. So you're into this."

    Check out the launch spot here:



    Droga5 started working for the RB brand last summer, rolling out comic ads under the tagline "Let's be clear." This new work keeps that line, which is now followed by, "We know your acne. We just don't know you."

    Droga5 came to this year's work knowing the only thing that would feel genuine to teens is the truth—and that truth is that Clearasil doesn't know how to act cool around teens at all.

    "The campaign builds from a real-life experience with a meme gone wrong," says Droga5 group creative director Tim Gordon. "Many, many scathing comments from teens later, including a very specific one about being an out-of-touch marketing man in an office tower, we decided, 'They're right. We don't get teens.' And does anyone, really? Nope. Teens are intimidating little humans. No one knows what's going on inside their heads. Instead of pretending, we decided to just be honest and admit that we didn't."

    Indeed, Clearasil posted a fewmemes last year that didn't go over too well.



    "We found that teens really respect honesty," Gordon says. "These are people who are bombarded by companies declaring, 'We get totally get you!' even when they totally don't. Teens are tired of brands pretending to know them, and we're betting that they'll find it refreshing for a company to come out and say that they don't. While humor felt like the most natural way in, it was important for the humor to be rooted in a real truth. It also didn't hurt that being out of touch with what teens like comes natural to oldies like us."

    While the launch spot tries to guess what teens are into, subsequent ads focus on one guess at a time—like hot tubs, extreme sports and birds being released into the wilderness.

    See some of those ads here:



    The irony, of course, is that by claiming not to know its target market at all, Clearasil proves it actually does know the target pretty well—or at least, how it prefers to be marketed to. 

    The ads parody some marketing-to-teen tactics, but Gordon says it's broader than that.

    "I love the earnestness of the ideas," he says. "We set out with a clear objective not to make fun of teens—only ourselves. Each spot is a genuine attempt to try and relate to teens, but an attempt not done terribly well. It's a voicemail that goes on too long, or your older aunt desperately trying to relate."

    He adds: "We actually tried to stay away from skewering 'marketing tropes' in favor of trying to think about how our moms would try to relate. I'd say 'We know acne, we don't know teens' is less a direct commentary on advertising and more about having fun with every generation's attempt to relate to the one that comes next."



    The campaign is brilliantly counterintuitive, and awkward-comedy gold. And while Gordon admits it took a little coaxing to get the client comfortable with saying it's clueless about its target market, but it was worth it in the end. 

    "It was definitely a little tough at first," says Gordon, "but full credit to them for coming around very quickly. Clearasil's main objective is to be honest and reassuring toward teens, and there is no better way than to admit what you know—teen acne—and what you don't—teenagers. In the end, they had a ton of fun with the idea and were quick to offer up plenty of insights into life in Parsippany."



    CREDITS

    Client: RB/Clearasil
    Campaign: "We know acne, we don't know teens"

    Agency: Droga5 New York
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
    Associate Creative Director: Jen Lu:
    Copywriter: Sarah Lloyd
    Art Director: Mary Dauterman
    Junior Copywriter: Madeleine Trebenski
    Junior Art Director: Brittain McNeel
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Group Integrated Production Manager: Topher Lorette
    Broadcast Producer: Leah Donnenberg
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Jackie Omanoff
    Social Producer: Gabrielle Nicoletti
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Jonny Gadd
    Strategy Director: Danielle Travers:
    Group Communications Strategy Director: Samantha Deevy
    Social Communications Strategist: Maureen O'Brien
    Data Strategy Director: Lily Ng
    Data Strategist: Christina Fieni
    Senior Strategist: Nika Rastakhiz
    Executive Group Directors: Brett Edgar, Angela Kosniewski
    Account Directors: Amanda Chandler, Megan Gokey
    Account Manager: Lucie Kittel
    Project Manager: Rayna Lucier

    Client: RB/Clearasil
    General Manager, U.S.: Chris Tedesco
    Marketing Director: Aurore Trepo
    Brand Managers: Niccolo Francalanci, Elyse Goldweitz
    Associate Brand Manager: Rochelle Samuels

    Production Company: Ways & Means
    Director: Sunbeam (Nick Paley and Dean Fleischer-Camp)
    Director of Photography: James Wall
    Executive Producers: Jett Steiger, Lana Kim
    Producer: Cedric Troadec

    Editors: Sean McGrath, Chuck Willis
    Assistant Editors: Julie Walsh, Misha Kozlov
    Executive Producer: Susan Willis
    Producer: Melissa Nusbaum

    Postproduction: Light of Day
    Executive Producer: Susan Willis
    Producer: Melissa Nusbaum:

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

    Sound: Cutting Room
    Mixer: Walter Bianco


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    Here's a weird secret: I'm pretty sure the orgasm sounds I make with partners have been influenced by porn.

    Now you know more about me than my doctor does.

    Why I'm feeding you creepy personal facts: Based on the conviction that 70 percent of Spanish people believe the heaving, animal, almost painful cries depicted in pornography are what an actual woman's orgasm sounds like, premium sex toy brand Bijoux Indiscrets has created an orgasm library, with help from agency Proximity Madrid. 

    It's a library! Of orgasms!

    Some 23 percent of Spanish women have never, or almost never, succeeded at achieving orgasm during sex. Most feel so much pressure to do so that 52 percent of women sometimes fake it, and 12 percent always fake it. (I'm not telling you where I fall in this pool; I've shared enough secrets today.) 

    This is because our idea of successful sex is distorted by what we see in the media, particularly porn. The Orgasms Library hopes to change this by expressing the diversity—and strange beauty—of real female sounds. 

    The case study here is briefly NSFW at the beginning: 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    The library lets users upload orgasms anonymously; more than 100 women did so in the first week after its launch. There's a nifty incentive: Once the audio is uploaded, the site takes the sound of your most secret pleasure and transforms it into a pretty data visualization, not unlike that one time Slurpee made cups out of its own radio ads—except this somehow manages to feel less masturbatory.

    Once you've made your contribution to posterity, scroll through the beautiful library of existing orgasms, download the sounds, and even grab some print ads, like these frangipani-looking wonders:



    What's cool about this idea is that it's easy to say the world needs more diversity in terms of what the female form looks like. But building on that, we also need to hear diverse ways of intimate expression. We didn't realize this was missing—or that the very sounds we ourselves make for an audience were so consciously manufactured—until we saw (and heard) the results. 

    And it looks like there's a desire for that: The first 100 orgasms were listened to more than 110,000 times. Hashtag #OrgasmosReales was launched on social networks to kick off a continued discussion, and Proximity estimates the earned media yielded exposure to about 10 million people. 

    Next, brand and agency plan to release a documentary that more deeply explores how fiction has influenced our sexual behavior. It's a project worth pursuing, if only because it may draw us closer to discovering what we, as individuals facing an oddly existential sexual crisis, are actually like in bed. 

    CREDITS
    Client: Bijoux Indiscrets
    Agency: Proximity Madrid
    Chief Creative Officer: Eva Santos
    Executive Creative Director: Susana Pérez
    Creative Director: David Despau
    Art Directors: Antonio Jiménez, Cristina Luna
    Copywriter: Fernando Esteban
    Account Supervisor: Patricia Montero
    Account Executive: Amanda Esteban
    Technology Director: Rafael Zafra
    Creative Technology Director: Víctor Madueño
    Head of Social: Diego Alonso
    Community Manager: Ainhoa Labarta
    Production Director: Gemma Selga
    Editors: Teresa Muñoz, Elías Maldonado
    Communications Director: Laura Carrillo
    Head of Strategy: Juan Manuel Ramirez


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    Real Fact #6001: This is one loopy campaign. 

    Deutsch pours on the silly for Snapple in new ads that breathe life into those numbered bits of (dubious) information printed inside the brand's bottle caps.

    Thankfully, this isn't one of those "aspirational" campaigns that feels like a stretch for the product. There's no lofty message or deep dive for insight. There are, however, actors dressed in bee costumes, buzzing into a maternity ward for a very special delivery:



    There's also a dolphin nosing around a perfume counter. Ah, the sweet scent of absurdity!



    "This type of approach works because it's simple and lighthearted," Guto Araki, group creative director at Deutsch, tells AdFreak. "It still surprises people when a commercial can make them laugh. People are tired of brands asking them to do or be something."

    One thing you really don't want to do is dance during the National Anthem in Massachusetts, especially when there's a legal eagle around to make a bust: 



    "We start every spot with the pop of the Snapple cap," Araki says. "From that point on, it's like we are unleashing the genie from the bottle. It's a sneak peak into the character's imagination, which is always a mix of what they're thinking and the reality they know—the way a nurse imagines a bee being born, or how a waitress sees a king of hearts being teased by the other kings."

    Yeah, you gotta hand it to those kings. They're real cards: 



    "The kings stayed in character the whole day—even when we weren't shooting," Araki recalls. "Many of the lines from the spot were improvised by the talent. They came in ready with card jokes—'The deck is stacked,' 'Shuffle on back, it's not a full house without you.' It was pretty entertaining."

    Finally, to illustrate the "fact" that the first spam was sent by telegraph in 1864, the team, led by Hungry Man director Dave Laden, went all out to painstakingly recreate an age where a $20 million windfall meant "Horses for everyone!" 



    "We actually hired a professional to 'age' the set," Araki says. "The person's entire job is to make the set look authentic to the 1800s." 

    Nice work if you can get it.

    The campaign, tagged "Make time for Snapple," really satisfies. The spots are odd enough to capture and hold your attention, and the "fact" reveals are pretty cool payoffs (though the telegraph office is perhaps a tad too busy to take everything in at a single viewing—keep it simple, guys!). 

    "Even the product shots were fun to make," says Araki. "I remember seeing the puppeteer caressing a Snapple bottle with a dolphin fin and thinking how lucky we all are to work in this business."

    The commercials will run through the summer, mainly on cable TV, with additional bizarro video content online from The Richards Group featuring the same characters. Check out a few of those spots below. That dolphin runway walk will haunt your nightmares! Quick, throw it back!

    CREDITS

    Snapple:
    EVP, Chief Commercial Officer: Jim Trebilcock
    SVP, Core 5/Noncarbonated Marketing: Regan Ebert  
    VP, Core Flavors and Snapple: Dave Falk 
    Director, Core Flavors: Brent Chism
    Senior Brand Manager, Snapple:  Kevin Brandvold
    Director, Creative Content Marketing: Nita Sherrard 
       
    Deutsch:
    Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
    Executive Creative Director: Bob Cianfrone   
    Group Creative Director: Guto Araki
    Art Director: Curtis Petraglia
    Copywriter: Andrew Kong  
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Executive Integrated Producer: Megan Meloth   
    Senior Integrated Producer: Ali Issari   
    Music Director: Dave Rocco
    Music Producer: Eryk Rich
    Senior Concept Producer: Sam Barbera

    Group Account Director: Adam Graves   
    Account Director: Christi Johnson
    Account Supervisor: Taylor Reid
    Associate Account Executive: Jonathan King   
    Exectuive Planning Director: Jeffrey Blish
    Group Planning Director: Mitch Polatin
    Associate Planning Director: Jessica Friedman
    Account Planner: Sabena Suri    
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Denise Wright  
    Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
    Broadcast Traffic Manager: Terence Dowling
      
    CEO, North America: Mike Sheldon
    President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

    Live Action Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Dave Laden
    Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
    Executive Producer/Director of Sales: Dan Duffy
    Line Producer: Dave Bernstein
        
    Editorial Company: Cosmo Street
    Editors: Tessa Davis, Lawrence Young
    Assistant Editor: Habib Semaan
    Executive Producer: Yvette Cobarrubias-Sears
    Producer: Gigi May

    Post Facility/Color: MPC LA     
    Executive Producer: Meghan Lang     
    Executive Producer: Rebecca Boorsma    
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis
    Color assist: Dimitri Rajapakse     

    Post/VFX: a52
    VFX Supervisor: Andy McKenna
    Head of CG: Kirk Shintani
    Producer: Stacey Kessler-Aungst
    Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
    Head of Production: Kim Christensen

    Audio Post Company: 740 Sound
    Executive Producer: Geena Richard
    Mixer: Larry Winer


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    Every new parent probably wishes someone would come along and push them around in a stroller for a change. A few lucky moms and dads got to live that fantasy, and give their feet a rest, thanks to an adult-sized test stroller from manufacturer Kolcraft.

    The marketer and agency FCB Chicago say they designed the outsized baby carriage to show parents how smooth a ride on the brand's Contours Bliss wheels actually is—because the reviews of infants and toddlers tend not to be so articulate.

    "The problem with shopping for baby strollers is that babies can't tell you how they ride or feel, and parents can't fit into them," explains FCB Chicago chief creative officer Todd Tilford. "We solved the problem. Now parents can shop informed."



    The promo video makes it clear that what Kolcraft really wanted was to film a bunch of grown-ups acting like their young offspring—and the gawking reactions of other passersby while yuppies sit giggling and sucking their thumbs in a giant rolling seat.

    It's a delightfully absurd sight, and an equally good, if not entirely better, goal than the purported one of proving how great the brand's products are.

    The real question, though, is when Kolcraft will make the adult strollers widely available for purchase, so parents and lazy people everywhere can truly enjoy them.

    CREDITS
    Client: Kolcraft/Contours

    Agency: FCB Chicago
    Todd Tilford: Chief Creative Officer / Chief Creative Officer
    Max Geraldo: SVP, Executive Creative Director / Creative
    John Bleeden: SVP, Executive Creative Producer / Producer
    Gustavo Dorietto: VP, Creative Director / Art Director
    Sue Salvi:  Writer / writer
    Megan Kellie: Writer / writer
    Tim Mason: Writer
    Todd Durston: Writer
    Kelley Varga: Senior Producer / producer
    Hollie Platte: SVP, Management Director / account

    Robert Stockwell, Cinema Libertad: Director, Editor
    Lauren Walker, Cinema Libertad: Producer
    Ira Amyx, Hero Solutions: Prop Fabricator
    Jay  Neander, Hero Solutions: Prop Fabricator


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    The restaurant business in Brussels has been suffering tremendously since the terrorist attacks of March 22. The bankruptcy rate of eateries in the city has increased by 1500 percent since then, according to ad agency Famous—with a nation of gourmands frequently staying home instead of enjoying dinner out.

    Famous decided to do something about this. So it teamed up with De Tijd and L'Echo, the leading national business newspapers in Belgium, for a social campaign called #DiningforBrussels.



    The campaign called for two simple things from Belgians: 1) Go have dinner in Brussels. Take a picture of your finished plate with your cutlery placed in a peace sign. 2) Share the photo with #DiningForBrussels on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

    People who did so had a chance to win dinner for two in a starred restaurant in Brussels. Great, simple, useful work with lovely visual insight at its core. 


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    Here's a fun if punishing way to get people to think about the ingredients in your beer.

    Heineken, the official beer of the UEFA Champions League, with help from Publicis Italy, put up hundreds of outdoor ads around Milan recently featuring a gargantuan 100-character hashtag (that's the most allowed by Twitter). People were encouraged to share the hashtag in social for a chance to win tickets for the UCL Final.

    So, what does the hashtag say? Roughly it translates to:

    #WaterBarleyHopsAndHorizontal
    FermentationAreTheSecretsOf
    HeinekenSince1873TweetItRight
    ToWinTheUCLFinal

    The campaign, called "The Final Hashtag," is a bit of a cheesy way to force people to tweet your brand message. But as the agency says, it's a decently memorable way for the brand to "quickly talk about its credentials while reinforcing its image as the main sponsor of the UEFA Champions League." 


    CREDITS
    Client: Heineken
    Agency: Publicis Milan, Italy
    Executive Creative Director, Western Europe, CEO: Bruno Bertelli
    Executive Creative Director, Italy: Cristiana Boccassini
    Executive Creative Directors, Milan: Luca Cinquepalmi, Marco Venturelli
    Associate Creative Director: Alessandro Candito
    Art Director: Andrea Raia
    Copywriter: Matteo Gatto
    Strategic Planner: James Moore
    Account Team: Lorenza Montorfano, Maria Elena Gaglianese, Veronica Stellato
    Photographer: Michele Gastl
    Post Production: Studio Ros


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    "The Quaker State brand shares the customer belief that when it comes down to motor oil, you don't need fancy marketing—you just need good quality oil." Brand manager Gita Gidwani's statement may be true ... but in advertising, a little humor never hurts.

    On that note, Quaker State turned to Onion Labs, the satirical media outlet's in-house creative services division. The Labs developed a series of ads poking fun at marketing clichés like barely functional novelty products created to drive short-term sales.

    Meet the Dipstick 6S. It's not just well lubricated, it gives you all the local weather forecasts you need to plan an off-road trip. And it can improve your selfie game by 36 percent (or some other completely arbitrary number).



    Of course, Ads Making Fun of Ads has become its own genre, thanks mostly to Droga5 and one-off campaigns like McCann's Cinnamon Toast Crunch Selfie Spoon, because no one enjoys disparaging the inanity of advertising more than people who work in advertising.

    This effort is less a direct critique of agency work than a take-off on infomercial-style shorts you might see while watching daytime talk shows or late-night USA Network reruns. 

    Still, the point is clear: Quaker State doesn't have to descend to such desperate depths, because it can rely on the quality of its product to drive sales. As The Onion's chief creative officer Rick Haman puts it: "The truth about today's marketing is that most brands will go to ridiculous lengths to get consumers to buy their product."

    On the other hand, a little extra exposure can never hurt—and we all know social media budgets are far more affordable than traditional television campaigns.

    Six videos in this series will roll out through September on various digital platforms.


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    This week started out with a flurry of #canalnotes in the ongoing agency #postitwars. And now, one of the key agencies involved, Horizon Media, is ending the week by taking the battle virtual.

    Horizon has created a #canalnotes-themed Snapchat geofilter overlay, which people in the area can add to their snaps between noon and 4 p.m. today. So, when you finish your latest sticky masterpiece, you can share it with a bit of official-looking #canalnotes branding.

    Here's the overlay:

     
    Here's what your snaps will look like:

    And here's the geographical area where the overlay is available:




    Purists may cry foul over this, as much of the charm of #canalnotes, in a digitally obsessed era and business, is that it's so tactile and anti-digital. On the other hand, in any war, you have to be willing to escalate things and try new tactics. (And yeah, agencies in general probably can't resist turning anything grassroots into something more packaged.)

    "The #PostItWars have generated a lot of creativity and friendly one-upsmanship amongst agency staffers in the area and elsewhere," says Maikel O'Hanlon, vp of social media strategy at Horizon Media. "We thought it would be a great final salvo to move our mark beyond our windows and onto the snaps of anyone opening the app in the vicinity." 

    More #canalnotes extensions are expected from other agencies in the coming days.


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    It was advertised like an ordinary real-estate open house, at a residence that looked fine on the outside. But when visitors came for a look inside, they got an eerie surprise—a glimpse at how people can be living in poverty even when they have a roof over their heads.

    The Salvation Army and Grey Canada were behind the "Open House" stunt, which has a robust online presence, where you can tour the house yourself. The home is representative of a family living in poverty, and contains plaques and visual displays highlighting the struggles of the more than 300,000 Canadians who live under the poverty line.

    The campaign includes the long-format video below, which features hidden-camera footage of real people walking through the house.



    "A few days prior to the open house, we put up flyers in the area and in surrounding business storefronts and placed signage throughout the neighborhood," Darlene Remlinger, president of Grey Canada, tells AdFreak. "The house was completely staged using items and goods found at a local Salvation Army depot. Upon entering the home, a 'real estate agent' was on hand to welcome prospective buyers and gave them a short explanation of the campaign. The open house footage was captured with 20 hidden cameras placed in cupboards, and every room of the house."

    The goal was to change the perception of those living in poverty in Canada, Remlinger says.

    "Most Canadians think people in need live on the streets. But this is far from reality," she says. "One in 10 Canadians struggle to make ends meet, even with a roof over their head. Our idea was to open the doors and invite the public into the everyday home and circumstances of a family living in poverty. We wanted to show how poverty can live on your street or in your neighborhood. It's just not always easy to see."



    "Thanks to our generous donors, The Salvation Army assisted over 1.8 million Canadians with food, shelter and other practical assistance last year," says John McAlister, national director of marketing and communications. "We're passionately committed to eradicating poverty and caring for people who are struggling. This initiative will help educate the public about what it means to live in poverty—and what they can do to help."

    All media planning and placement was handled by MediaCom.

    CREDITS
    Campaign Title: Poverty Isn't Always Easy to See
    Client: Salvation Army

    Agency: Grey Canada
    Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons
    Creative Director: Joel Arbez
    Creative Director: James Ansley
    Art Director: Ryan McNeill
    Writer: Sue Kohm
    Account Executive: Kit Kostandoff
    Producer: Erica Metcalfe
    Print Producer: Elizabeth Macaulay
    Mac Artist: Steven Lobel
    Director of Technology and UX: Marc Cattapan
    Developer: Darren Neville
    Digital Producer: Jaan Yew Woon

    Production Company: Skin and Bones Film Company
    Director: Fraser White
    Executive Producer: Liane Thomas
    Line Producer: Jeff Schwartz
    Director of Photography: Mark Peachey

    Editorial: Saints Editorial
    Executive Producer: Michelle Lee
    Editor: Robin Haman

    Post Production: Alter Ego
    Executive Producer: Cheyenne Bloomfield
    Colourist: Tricia Hagoriles
    Online: Steve McGregor

    Music and Sound Design: Grayson Matthews
    Executive Producer: Kelly McCluskey


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    Much of the backlash against the new Instagram logo can be chalked up to the simple fact that it isn't the old logo. The old logo, in fact, was so well loved that it inspired a widely used hashtag, #myinstagramlogo, which—as we wrote about two years ago—was used to tag photos and videos in which users made their own creative versions of the logo.

    #myinstagramlogo would seem to have been put in jeopardy by the redesign, which hasn't been getting a lot of love in many quarters. But in fact, creatives across the photo app have already been hard at work reinterpreting and remixing the new mark for a whole new lovely round of #myinstagramlogo posts.

    And only a small minority of them are jabs about the change itself.

    Check out a gallery of some of the more amazing creations below. Via DesignBoom.

    Photo by runnerkimhall
     

    Photo by jarrett.hendrix
     

    Photo by tashalakoz
     

     

    A video posted by doro ottermann (@doro_bot) on

    Video by doro_bot
     

    Photo by aurelycerise
     

    Photo by drawinglea
     

    Photo by marlene_drawings
     

    Photo by andypray
     

    Photo by self_taught_art
     

     

    A video posted by 2factory (@2factoryparis) on

    Video by 2factoryparis
     

    Photo by rie.soma
     

    Photo by jasonartist
     

    Photo by joselourenco
     

    Photo by esposin and cukingcocinadereyes
     

    Photo by deliciousmartha


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    There's probably a sizable crossover between people who drink Starbucks regularly and people who wear Nikes. But unless they also like ugly shoes, the Nike SB Dunk Low sneaker is going to be a bust. 

    The retro-style shoe has the same mocha and kelly green color scheme as the Starbucks logo, and some swirly, camouflage-looking embellishments for good measure. It was inspired by coffee, according to The Boombox, and Premier, which is selling it, has been using Starbucks cups in its product shots. (This is not an official Nike-Starbucks partnership.) 



    They're like a companion piece for the equally baffling Nike Krispy Kreme and waffle-inspired sneakers, but there's otherwise no pressing reason for this pairing. It falls in line with a recent trend of apparel brands making junk-food-themed stuff, which in and of itself is kind of embarrassing.


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    You know how exasperating it feels to call a company and get stuck in an automated voice program instead of being connected to a human being? Soon, you'll be able to experience that same level of irritation at malls across this great land, when Pepper the humanoid robot glides up beside you for a little digital customer service.

    Kidding, of course. Hopefully.

    Developed by SoftBank and Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper is "not here to replace humans or even vacuum the floor," according to the two-minute video below, from agency Midnight Oil. "Pepper is here to make people happy, help them grow and enhance their lives."



    So, Pepper likes to play air guitar, give high-fives and won't clean up the store after closing. You might as well hire human help. (At least, as a robot, it won't leave the floor at peak hours for bathroom breaks. Then again, if this Kohler ad is accurate, who knows?)

    "Pepper gives retailers an opportunity to free up personnel by letting Pepper assist with basic customer-service tasks," Eric Abromson, executive creative director at Midnight Oil, tells AdFreak.

    The agency has made a series of online spots targeting developers who might want to create applications for the bot ahead of its U.S. launch later this year.

    "Pepper can be a great first impression to customers by greeting them, answering basic questions and providing information," Abromson says. Plus, the bot "has sensors that detect facial expressions which it translates and understands as emotions. This gives Pepper the ability to serve as a companion and friend."

    It also implies that when you start scowling because you want Pepper to go away, it'll understand. Awesome!



    Frankly, we're thinking Honda's Asimo could pound Pepper's smiley face into scrap and snap off its arms like twigs. But this isn't about robot gladiatorial combat, as much as we wish it were. 

    Actually, Abromson assures us Pepper is a gentle soul (we use the term loosely), without any violent impulses coursing through its electronic brain. "Pepper is here to help and just wants to be friends with humans," he says. "He would never want to see a robo-pocalypse." 

    Since its introduction in 2014, the 4-foot-hight bot has been on the job in SoftBank mobile stores, Nescafé shops and Mizuho Bank in Japan, as well as in some Japanese households. 

    And it hasn't subjugated a single human. Yet. 


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    It makes perfect sense that Miles Mouvay, the world's most dedicated film fan, met his bestie in a theater lobby in 1993 while they were both waiting to see Jurassic Park and special-ordering nacho cheese popcorn.

    And it becomes a meta moment when the BFF turns out to be Kel Mitchell, since Miles Mouvay, IRL, is Kenan Thompson.

    Fandango, which introduced the Mouvay character late last year, launches another round of marketing for the summer blockbuster season that tosses in a dash of '90s nostalgia—Good Burger reunion!—and adds a new dimension to the Miles mythology. (His backstory involves being born in a theater and toted home in an extra-large popcorn bucket).

    "He's given our brand a real personality," Adam Rockmore, Fandango's head of marketing and communications, says of the character Miles and the actor Thompson, who stars on SNL. "We wanted to do some stunt casting, expand his world and keep it fresh."

    In the new campaign, Miles gets a dog named Bark Vader, dressed in a mini orange smoking jacket and paisley ascot, and ventures out of his memorabilia-laden fan cave.

    He even travels through time to a fictional medieval village, though the townsfolk don't prove to be too receptive to Fandango's digital entertainment hub. "Sorcery!" cries an old hag at Mouvay's demo of some online trailers and ticketing options.



    The first four ads, from Los Angeles-based Stun Creative, kick off this week. They will continue, with additional creative pieces, for several months on national broadcast and cable, mobile, in-theater, social media and outdoor, including billboards in high-traffic areas of Los Angeles and New York.

    The digital campaign features 10-second spots custom-created for Snapchat and an expanded Miles Mouvay social media footprint.

    It's one of the most extensive marketing campaigns in Fandango's 15-year history, Rockmore says, and introduces the new FandangoNOW on-demand streaming service with a character that has "done a lot to drive our brand awareness and affinity."

    Not unlike Flo or The Most Interesting Man in the World, Miles Mouvay is the company's official brand ambassador and will continue to be the face of the flagship service and new products as Comcast-owned Fandango broadens its offerings. (Recently acquired Rotten Tomatoes will appear in the campaign later this summer, Rockmore says.)

    Consumers from Gen Z to millennials, still captivated by all things '90s, seem to have an especially soft spot for Thompson and Mitchell.

    The comedians, stars of the '90s Nickelodeon hits All That and Kenan & Kel, appeared in September on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in a version of their beloved Good Burger restaurant bit. On YouTube alone, that sketch snagged more than 10 million views.



    For the Fandango ad, Stun Creative executives "took some liberties" with how the two funnymen met but showcased a truism at the relationship's core.

    "They told us they shared not just their work at Nickelodeon but a real love affair with movies and movie trivia," says Brad Roth, Stun's co-president. "That's always been part of their dynamic, so we just had fun showing their visceral connection."

    The campaign, hyping both Fandango and upcoming flicks like The Secret Life of Pets, Suicide Squad, Finding Dory and Star Trek Beyond, puts Mouvay in Q&A mode with the spot "So Glad You Asked," meant to mirror the recurring skits Thompson did on Nickelodeon and continues to do on SNL.

    "It's a nod to the milieu that viewers know him from," Roth says. "And it's a vehicle that we can insert any of the new Fandango business into."

    Another mainstay? Mouvay's nerd-cool spectacles and his dapper duds—because, as Rockmore says, "he's always ready to go a premiere." 


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    Zappos wants you to think outside the box. Beginning with the box itself.

    On June 1, the online retailer will begin shipping some shoes in a very cool new box (designed in-house) that features a collection of template designs printed on the inside—encouraging the recipients to fold, cut and otherwise reuse the box into item like a smartphone holder, a children's shoe sizer, a geometric planter and a 3-D llama.

    "Customers will not only be able to reuse their boxes in a range of unique ways but will also be inspired to channel their creativity and to literally think outside the box," the brand says.

    It's part of a larger campaign called #ImNotABox, which features the video below, from creative collective Variable, in which a schoolboy help a homeless man through a very personal cardboard construction project. A cut-down version of the ad will air nationally on cable networks.




    #ImNotABox is intended to go beyond a funky box and into more aspirational territory.

    "The Zappos box is our way of being there for our customers, wherever they are in life, as we provide them with the things they need and love. Every box has a unique story and purpose," says Kelly Smith of Zappos THINK, an in-house experiential campaign team at Zappos.com. "Not only do we want customers to know we genuinely care about their needs, but we also hope to inspire people to become the best version of themselves and to see the world with a new perspective. We want people in the end to say, 'I'm not a box.' "

    For more, visit imnotabox.com.

    CREDITS
    Client: Zappos

    Creative Director: Kelly Smith
    Creative Director: Tia Zuniga
    Art Director: Derrin Hawkins

    Production Company/Creative Collective: Variable
    Director/Editor: Lloyd Lee Choi
    Director of Photography: Jonathan Bregel
    Creative Art Director: Caitlin Van Horn
    Executive Producer: Tyler Ginter
    Head of Production: Alex Friedman
    Supervising Producer: Paige Demarco
    Producer: Jon Simonetta
    Production Supervisor: Danny Hillman
    Production Designer: Joseph Sciacca
    Prop Master: Curtis Oliveria
    1st AC: Jared Knecht
    2nd AC: Rocco Campanelli
    DIT: Jeff Levine
    Gaffer: Brad Burke
    Key Grip: Mark Boucher
    Wardrobe/Make Up Stylist: Sofija Mesicek
    Sound Mixer: Turner Curran

    Post Production Company: Variable
    Editor: Joe Kell
    Post Production Producers: Paige Demarco & Lareysa Smith
    Colorist: Jeff Levine
    Sound Mix/Sound Design: Defacto Sound
    Score: "That Home" by The Cinematic Orchestra


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    Ever wish 30 Rock were still on the air?

    When members of Tina Fey's unofficial fan club last encountered Jenna Maroney and Kenneth Parcel in the series finale, the former had finally taken "The Rural Juror" to Broadway while the latter achieved his rightful place as an ageless executive perched atop the NBC hierarchy like its signature peacock. 

    Now the two—played by Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer—have returned in a new Verizon campaign from Wieden + Kennedy. In "Backdoor Brag," the almost-stars of one of Netflix's most popular streaming choices illustrate how much difference an allegedly superior service can make for those in the midst of an epic binge. 



    So when Tracy Jordan himself once said, "My incompetence knows no bounds," he could have been speaking of Verizon's rivals. 

    For part-time fans who missed it, the spot above was a direct reference to the Season 2 episode "Cooter," in which Kenneth must write a personal essay to apply to work as a page at the 2008 Summer OIympics in Beijing. (It even inspired an Urban Dictionary entry for "backdoor bragging.")

    In the next—and sadly, last—ad in the series, Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander) and his signature hat(s) join in on the fun as the team (sort of) gets back together to illustrate what streaming might be like with any provider other than Verizon.



    W+K and director Wayne McClammy managed to get much of the show's original crew back together to rebuild the sets and very briefly recapture the magic that can only come from well-scripted television. 

    Conspicuously absent from these spots are Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy. This isn't too surprising, given that Tina Fey has a plate full of film work beyond The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Alec Baldwin has been busy acting as go-to brand advocate for Amazon and Kiehl's. 

    But we're still holding out hope for a reunion. It could be a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style mockumentary of the making of the comeback special. It could even be a "He Needs a Kidney" musical fundraiser or a less disastrous Rockefeller Center Salute to Fireworks!

    Think about it, NBC. In the meantime, we will continue chasing our lifelong goal of living every week like it's Shark Week.

    Credits

    Client: Verizon

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Executive Creative Director: Joe Staples
    Creative Directors: Aaron Allen, Jason Kreher, Joe Staples
    Copywriter: Alex Romans
    Art Director: Robbie Rane
    Producer: Endy Hedman, Monica Ranes
    Account Team: Diana Gonzalez, Marcelina Ward
    Business Affairs: Laura Caldwell

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura, Dan Duffy, Nancy Hacohen
    Line Producer: Dave Bernstein
    Director of Photography: Matt Clark

    Editorial Company: Exile
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Post Producer: Toby Louie
    Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

    VFX Company: The Mill (LA)
    Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan, Bidding Producer; Leighton Greer
    Senior VFX: Producer Kait Boehm
    Shoot Supervisor: Chris Knight, Robert Sethi
    Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe, Creative Director; Chris Knight
    2D Lead Artist: Chris Knight
    3D Lead Artist: Rasha Shalaby
    2D Artists: Tim Bird, Peter Sidoriak, Scott Wilson, Alex Candlish, Jale Parrsons
    3D Artists: Anthony Thomas, Michael Lori, Jason Jansky, Samantha Pedregon, Jie Zhou, Danny Yoon, Steve Olson
    Matte Painting: Rasha Shalaby
    Colourist: Adam Scott, Color Producer; Diane Valera, Color Exec Producer: Thatcher Peterson
    VFX Coordinator: Chris Lewis

    Music: 30 Rock theme song
    Composer: Jeff Richmond
    Sound Design Company: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Producer: Kelly Bayett

    Mix Company: Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Jeff Payne


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