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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Recently, we wrote about Jeffery DaSilva of the Sid Lee Collective and how he created an off-label Trump Against Humanity expansion that got yuuuge. Well, now Cards Against Humanity has gone and released its own official Trump expansion, but only to the first 10,000 people who claimed it, and it's already sold out.

    We got in touch with Max Temkin, one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity, to ask him about this latest stunt and learned that it actually had nothing to do with the Sid Lee expansion. In fact, it's less of an expansion that a preparation kit to help America survive a potential Trump presidency.

    The Donald Trump Bug-Out Bag contains an expansion deck of Trump-themed CAH cards along with currency from several nations, emergency food rations, a flint and steel firestarter, a golden locket with a photo of President Obama in it, and a handy gas mask—all packed inside a durable duffle bag.



    According to Max, "We went all-out on this survival kit because we are legitimately terrified of Donald Trump and we didn't want to make a bunch of lame jokes about his hair or whatever. We just want to prepare as many people as possible for the collapse of society that will ensue when he seizes power."

    How dedicated to saving our nation is Cards Against Humanity? Dedicated enough to equip 10,000 Americans with all that stuff for the impossibly low price of $25 a bag. "Our plan was originally to get Mexico to pay for the bag," Max says, "but we ended up making a tremendous deal wherein we lose money on each one we sell."



    Like all CAH promotions, this one sold out quickly. The 10,000 bags were claimed in about an hour. But now that you know the contents, you can create your own emergency bag at home for the moment Trump puts his actual name in gold letters outside the White House.

    See the Bug-Out Bag contents below. Click to enlarge:


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    Android—known for naming each version of its OS after various alphabetically ordered treats like eclair, gingerbread and marshmallow—is ready to launch a new version for the letter "N." And for the first time, the team is asking for help.

    The Google-developed platform is letting anyone with a sweet tooth and some branding savvy submit ideas. It even made a microsite devoted to the goal of coming up with delicious title.

    The name search, announced during last week's annual Google I/O developer conference, could be a great chance for a creative pro or agency to get in good with one of the tech world's biggest brands.

    Apparently Google can index the world's information, develop artificial intelligence and map the globe, but coming up with a food that starts with the letter N is beyond its abilities. At least, that's the point it seems to be making in these satirical videos about why the tech giant isn't hiring a branding consultant: 


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    Specs
    Who (L. to r.) Head of production Isaac Swiderski; chief strategy officer Darcie Lamond; CEO and founder Matt Bijarchi; and operations vp Jesse Davis
    What Branding agency
    Where Los Angeles

    Last week, Los Angeles-based branding agency Blend helped launch software company Carmine, having developed its name, logo, website, creative—and even the software itself. It is an example of how Blend differs from the typical agency of its kind, according to CFO and CSO Darcie Lamond. "It's a very sophisticated piece of software that we developed—there was pretty hard-core engineering going into that," Lamond explained. "We developed a whole user interface and user experience so they could launch the business in the U.S." Since interfaces serve as storefronts for digital brands, the expertise Blend brings to clients like the Ford Modeling Agency, Portal Instruments and Newell Rubbermaid happens to be in high demand. Said CEO and founder Matt Bijarchi: "We focus on creating meaningful consumer experiences that are fully integrated across all media, whether it's mobile, social or web, that fuel engagement and drive business results."


    This story first appeared in the May 23, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
    Click here to subscribe.


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    The Bachelorette is a show with notoriously pretzel-like gender dynamics.

    On the one hand, the ABC dating program puts a woman in total control of the traditionally patriarchal dating structure—and undercuts the notion that promiscuity in men is admirable while in women it is shameful. (These feminist undertones, while perhaps accidental, do seem to take some of the guilt out of this guilty pleasure for some women.) On the other hand, each season is explicitly orchestrated to culminate with one of the culture's most conventional and one-sided relationship rituals. 

    That backdrop, it turns out, was an inspired one for the first showing of Wieden + Kennedy's latest commercial for Secret deodorant. The spot aired during The Bachelorette's season premiere last night—and also had plenty to say, in strong and stylish fashion, about gender dynamics today: 



    This is the second round of W+K work for the Procter & Gamble brand to deal with so-called "stress sweat," which P&G says is biologically different than physically induced sweat. The first spots, back in April, dealt with one culturally weighty topic—the wage gap—as well as a more personal one—saying "I love you" over text message.

    This new spot, "The Question," is the best one yet. 

    Like the previous "Raise" spot, it was directed by Aoife McArdle. It's a sly mix of comedy and tension, with great casting and subtle acting that really lets the scenario build nicely. When the reveal happens—even if you see it coming—it feels believable, and like a breakthrough, because of the obvious stress of the situation. Which by the way makes for a fine connection to the brand, even if inverting gender roles to sell product can still feel icky, however pure the motive.

    Now, the more important question: Does the guy say yes?

    CREDITS

    Client: Procter & Gamble/Secret
    Project: Secret Stress-Tested for Women

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Justine Armour / Caio Lazzuri
    Art Director: Johan Arlig
    Copywriter: Justine Armour
    Producer: Jessica Staples
    Strategic Planning: Angela Jones
    Media/Comms Planning: Stephanie Ehui
    Account Team: Dana Borenstein / Alexina Shaber

    Production Company: Somesuch/Anonymous Content
    Director: Aoife McArdle
    Executive Producer: SueEllen Clair / Eric Stern
    Executive Producer Somesuch: Sally Campbell / Tim Nash
    Producer: Christopher Gallagher
    Director of Photography: Alexis Zabe

    Editorial Company: Final Cut
    Editor: Paul Zucker
    Assistant Editor: Betty Jo Moore [Editor on 'Three Dots']
    Exec Post Producer: Eric McCasline
    Head of Production: Suzy Ramirez
    Producer: Sarita White

    VFX Company: MPC Los Angeles
    Exec Producer: Elexis Stern
    Shoot Supervisor: Ben Persons
    Colourist: Mark Gethin
    VFX Lead: Susanne Scharping
    VFX: Sandra Ross / Vincent Blin / Warren Paleos
    Designer: Kathleen Kirkman

    Music Company: Marmoset
    Composers: 'Proposal' by Will Canzoneri / 'Raise' by Jeffrey Brodsky / 'Three Dots' by Kerry Smith
    Producer: Tim Shrout
    Sound Design Company: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Exec Producer: Kelly Bayett

    Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Sam Casas


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    Imagine if there were an easy way for people who can't read and write to share their life experiences with the world. HP and agency AlmapBBDO took a crack at coming up with one, focusing on some of the 13 million illiterate individuals in Brazil, as part of a touching new campaign called "Magic Words."

    First, AlmapBBDO sourced 30 such people from around the country, including rural areas and big cities like São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. Then, it used Google Speech's voice-recognition software to transcribe their stories, and publish them in a paperback book, created using an HP printer. A documentary followed the effort, and retold it in documentary format.

    Meanwhile, the brand also created a special photo-booth version of the gimmick—allowing people to take snapshots of themselves, and turn them into postcards to loved ones, containing messages dictated to and printed by the machine.



    At its heart, it's a beautiful idea—simple technology, applied in a meaningful way. The case study video, which features characters rapping about winged snakes and courage and home remedies, is effective at evoking warm-and-fuzzy feelings around the brand.

    And it's particularly laudable for providing a platform to a population that by and large is excluded from public view, and hard pressed to advocate for itself, while also bearing an outsize proportion of society's ills—a point illustrated by the most depressing alphabet song ever, which publisher Pearson's Project Literacy initiative released earlier this spring.



    But the fact that the core product HP is using to hawk its wares—Google Speech—was actually created by a newer shinier Silicon Valley giant is also telling of the times. Printing a book or a postcard risks seeming anachronistic in an age where it might ostensibly be easier, if not as quaint, to record a mini-film and beam it out to a single recipient, or to the wider internet.

    To be fair, smartphone penetration in Brazil is only at about 41 percent, according to 2015 Pew Research Center estimates, even if it's climbing steadily each year, according to Statista. And in some ways that's besides the point. Even when video-grams replace the written word all the world over, there will still be something nice and intimate about picking up a dead-tree book, or receiving a postcard from a faraway friend—assuming there are still postal services around to deliver them (and trees, for that matter).

    CREDITS
    Credits Magic Words
    Company: HP Inc.
    Title: Magic Words
    Product: Ink Advantage Ultra
    Agency: Almap BBDO
    Partner/Chief Creative Officer: Luiz Sanches
    Executive Creative Director: Bruno Prosperi
    Creative Director: Marcelo Nogueira, Pernil, Benjamin Yung Jr, Andre Gola,
    Digital Creative Director: Luciana Haguiara
    Head of Art: Pedro Burneiko
    Art Director: Pedro Burneiko, Luciano Lincoln, Renato Jun Okida, Nando Sperb,
    Tiago Padilia
    Copywriter: Luciana Haguiara, Daniel Oksenberg
    Creative Technologist: Renato Jun Okida
    UX: Caroline Kayatt
    Agency TVC production: Vera Jacinto, Diego Villas Boas, Fernando Yamanaka
    Technology Director: Eduardo Bruschi
    Project Manager: Mayra Otsuka
    Content Director: Chris Melo
    Photographers: Gabriel Bianchini, José Cabaço, Ale Charro e Samuel Costa
    Film Production: Bando Studio
    Director: Leandro HBL
    Executive Producer: Marcela Sutter
    Photography Director: Vagner Jabour
    Editing: Guilherme Tensol / Lucas Rangel
    Finalization: Rudá Cordaro
    Audio Production House: Satélite
    Technology Production House: The Goodfellas
    Account Services: Filipe Bartholomeu, Juliana Janot Vilhena Nascimento, Thamy
    Alegria Ortiz e Stéffano Coelho
    Digital Integration Director: Kauê Lara Cury
    Public Relations: Tiara Vaz, Anna Pires (In Press)
    Media: Carla Durighetto, Fernanda Maia e Paula Kosugi
    Approval: Nara Marques, Eduardo Portillo e Shuchi Sarkar


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    Two weeks after the Canal Street #postitwars began with a single word, "HI," one of the main agencies involved—Havas Worldwide—has shut things down in style. With a giant image of a mic drop.

    It took the agency about four hours on Monday night to complete the image you see above. It was finally wrapped up at about 11:30 p.m.

    Check out its creation in the time-lapse video here from the 7th floor:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "#CanalNotes Post-It War has been truly amazing!" Havas Village New York president Laura Maness tells AdFreak. "What started as a simple greeting exchange has blossomed into a global phenomenon. It has not only brought together our employees across the Havas Village to create a gallery of art, but it has been a channel to showcase our collaborative spirit and unmatched creativity. We all take pride in the energy and imagination fueling it."

    The one thing Havas has over the competition? "The Havas New York Village has the whole facade," Maness explains. "We have the ability to create a giant installation takeover unlike our neighbors."



    The mic drop, of course, speaks for itself. "We are dropping the mic on the conversation," Maness says. "What made Canal Notes special was that it was completely analog—it brought us back to simple communications even in today's overly digital world. Given that, we wanted to bring it back to where it started—with a simple Post-it message and design."

    Does she envision #CanalNotes round two? "Never say never," Maness says. "It's been a lot of fun, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. The future of #CanalNotes at the Havas Village has yet to be determined. We'll see what our neighbors can pull off." 

    More pics below. 


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    Google France has built an escape room to seamlessly unite online and offline worlds.

    Created by We Are Social, Première Pièce will open at an undisclosed location in the heart of Paris. The campaign builds on the escape room trend, in which you and a bunch of friends pay to get locked in a room for an hour or two, left to solve puzzles and work in collaboration to find a way out. Last month, the Toronto Film Festival built an escape room that lives on Instagram. (Google's is a physical room, but uses virtual tools as a central conceit.) 

    More importantly, it's a clever pretext to get users to whip out a bunch of Google apps they already use, as well as ones they don't. In 40 minutes, you must solve puzzles with help from apps like Search, Maps, Translate, Photos, Arts & Culture and Cardboard, all of which are integrated into the gameplay.

    A few examples from Google: 

    • Google Translate: On the wall of the room, there are posters with mysterious messages written in foreign languages (Norwegian, Danish, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). Those messages are clues players have to translate thanks to the Google Translate app installed on their smartphone. 



    • Google Cardboard: At the end of the game, players have to find three symbols to unlock a laptop. Those symbols are hidden in a 360° landscape players have to explore thanks to Google Cardboard.

    • Google Search: Players have to unlock a four-figure padlock to find an item hidden in a safe. They will have to find the release date of two movies (Star Wars and Back to the Future) using a hero feature of Google Search, then add them to discover the right number that open the safe (1977 + 1985 = 3962). 

    • Google Cultural Institute: Google CI is the philanthropic part of Google dedicated to promoting art and culture via technology. Its main feature is called Gigapixel and allows people to dive into ultra HD artworks. In the room, players have to find a clue hidden on the hat of a woman in the background by literally diving into the painting thanks to a Kinect system connected to a TV screen.

    • Google Hangout: Clues are given to player by Julie (the fictional owner of the place) via Google Hangout messages.

    The stunt also unites all the themes that Google France valorizes—digital art, music and using mobile technology to do more stuff in their own locales. 



    "This campaign shows off these applications and products to their full potential, while tapping into one of the biggest trends right now," says We Are Social managing director Sandrine Plasseraud. "Première Pièce brings people together both online and offline; it mirrors Google France's creative vision and is the perfect campaign to kick off a long-term strategy of experimentation and innovation over the next year." 

    In Première Pièce, visitors must help save a crew of digital artists locked in a workshop, so they can present their painstaking work at an art centre in Paris. By working together, participants must unlock an object that completes their masterpiece.



    Reservations to take part in the escape room are already full. But on Wednesday, five YouTube stars will be livestreamed inside the experience. The interactive event will enable people to issue their own challenges via Twitter, and even change aspects of the room (like turning the lights off, or sending the players pizza) ... kind of like Hunger Games, but hopefully with less blood.


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    Snickers has dreamed up one of the cooler online/offline advertising-meets-point-of-sale hybrid campaigns of the year, introducing a "Hungerithm" that gauges the mood of the Internet and adjusts the price of its candy bars in 7-Eleven stores accordingly, in real time. 

    The angrier the Internet, the cheaper the candy—to make everyone a bit happier. 

    It seems like a pretty robust and responsive system, too. Created by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, the Hungerithm—rolling out first in Australia—is built on a 3,000-word lexicon and analyzes around 14,000 social posts a day. It even understands slang and sarcasm, the brand claims.

    The in-store Snickers price at 7-Elevens nationwide is updated more than 140 times a day. And it can drop as low as 82 percent off. ("For example," the brand says, "if Donald Trump receives Republican Party endorsement, the price of a Snickers could plummet to 50 cents.")

    Check out the case study below, which explains a bit more about how to lock in a price at any time using your smartphone. 



    The campaign is another inspired addition to the brand's "You're Not You When You're Hungry" positioning. And considering how enraged the Internet, and the world, have been getting lately, a campaign that promises to ease anger is particularly timely now. 



    Indeed, Snickers is already hinting at taking the Hungerithm beyond Australia (where the campaign, which includes video, digital, outdoor, PR and social, runs through June 27). 

    "We're hoping this shows consumers that Snickers is on their side during trying times, and we plan to satisfy even more hungry consumers by rolling the Hungerithm out globally in 2017," says Renee Lewington, Snickers marketing manager at Mars Australia. 



    "Considering how quickly the Internet can swing from a place of sharing and enlightenment to one of incredible vitriol, we felt this was the perfect way to bring the, 'You're Not You When You're Hungry' platform to life," adds Clemenger BBDO Melbourne executive creative director Ant Keogh. "A data-led idea that changes the price of a global FMCG brand is an amazing opportunity. To launch it at scale through 7-Eleven is something else again."



    CREDITS

    Client: Mars Chocolate Australia
    Marketing Director: Matthew Graham
    Brand Manager: Renee Lewington
    Assistant Brand Manager: Heidi Keller
    National Sales Manager – Retail: Shaun Thomas

    Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
    Executive Creative Director: Ant Keogh

    Creative Directors: Evan Roberts and Stephen de Wolf
    Digital Creative Director: Ben Keenan
    Art Director: Jackson Harper
    Copywriters: Shannon Crowe and Jim Robbins
    Regional Director: Jennifer Chin
    Group Account Director: Bryce Coombe
    Senior Account Manager: Sam Ayre
    PR Director: Nichola Patterson
    Planning Director: Michael Derepas
    Senior Planner: Matt Pearce
    Executive Producer: Sonia von Bibra
    Head of Interactive Production: Christian Russell
    Community Manager: Will Barber
    Senior Digital Producers: Nathan VanderByl and Ben Crowe
    Digital Producer: Allan Ngo
    Senior Digital Designer: Adam Hengstberger

    Senior Developer: Andrew McLagan
    Senior Full Stack Developer: Sylvain Simao
    Frontend & Backend Development: Omar Mashaal (CHE Proximity)
    Backend Development: Andrey Sidorov and Alex Best (CHE Proximity)
    Technical Director: Bob Watts (CHE Proximity)
    Project Delivery Lead: Adam Burnell (CHE Proximity)


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    Undoubtedly eager to take a break from stuffing ground-up meat into sausage casings all day long, employees at Johnsonville try their hand at creating commercials in a new campaign from Droga5 tagged, appropriately enough, "Made the Johnsonville Way."

    "Over the past three months, we interviewed almost 100 Johnsonville members, the people making the sausage, and had them pitch ideas," Scott Bell, agency group creative director, tells Adweek. "Then we narrowed it down to three and put the full production budget behind them."

    The spot below sets up the premise, complete with an employee brainstorming session that yields—what else?—a sizzling "sausage meets car chase" concept:



    Next, we see Brett's crazy highway hijinks brought to life, complete with semi trucks, bikers, grannies on scooters and an explosive cookout climax:



    "I think we get a little jaded to the point that flying out to L.A. to do a shoot can just feel like a job," says Bell. "But the members brought a whole different energy to the set. As soon as Brett saw the motorcycles flying through the air and landing in front of a huge car chase he yelled out, 'This is exactly how I envisioned it!' It was good to know he approved."

    In the next ad, Jeff, who's been with the company for two decades, goes the anthropomorphic animals route, starring in a trippy woodland tale:



    Whoa, what are they smoking those sausages with? (And who needs a bear with Jeff on the scene. We love ya, big guy!)

    "Each commercial is reflective of the member who came up with it, and so they were very different from one another," says Bell. "It was like jumping through movie genres. We really wanted to treat these ideas with the same respect we would give any script we shoot, so we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get them right."

    The third spot, a horror movie spoof, drops next month. That work is previewed in the campaign trailer below, along with other hot ideas that could hit the grill as the campaign evolves:



    That airborne sausage truck has Cannes Gold Lion written all over it! (Wait, we watched it again—it actually just says "Johnsonville." Sorry.)

    Now, coming from agency pros, such silly concepts would have seemed clichéd, playing out like your standard forced wackiness from Madison Avenue. Coming from amateurs, however, the spots seem downright endearing. (Though when you think about it, the Johnsonville folks were clearly "inspired" by standard media tropes like chase scenes and talking animals, anyway.)

    Of course, Droga5 has become well known for crafting commercial "parodies" that serve as actual ads for real clients, and amusing campaigns that self-consciously use marketing itself as a plot point. The Johnsonville push feels especially meta, with the employees actually presenting their own ads in each video. (So, we get an ad-within-an-ad kind of vibe.)

    That could have been a tad confusing, but Arts & Sciences directors Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany cook up an appetizing atmosphere, so the central conceit isn't too tough to swallow.

    "The campaign works for Johnsonville because it's earnest and it's true and it's tightly linked to the DNA of their company," which prides itself on being one big brat-lovin' family, says Droga5 group strategy director Aaron Wiggan.

    Moreover, Wiggan believes consumers will continue to enjoy self-referential advertising that skewers itself, "especially if you have some fun and give them something honest."



    CREDITS

    Client: Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
    Campaign: "Made the Johnsonville Way"
    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Scott Bell
    Senior Copywriter: Chris Colliton
    Senior Art Director: Kevin Weir
    Junior Copywriter: Gabe Sherman
    Junior Art Director: Gage Young
    Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
    Design Director: Rich Greco
    Designer: April Pascua
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Scott Chinn
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Adam Perloff
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Group Strategy Director: Aaron Wiggan
    Senior Strategist: Marc Iserlis
    Data Strategy Director: Lily Ng
    Group Communications Strategy Director: Brian Nguyen
    Communications Strategist: Kevin Wilkerson
    Group Account Director: Julia Albu
    Account Director: Dave Murphy
    Account Supervisor: Kate Tyler Monroe
    Associate Account Manager: Rebecca Warren
    Project Manager: Rayna Lucier
    Client: Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
    Vice President, Marketing: Ryan Pociask
    Group Marketing Director, General Manager: Jim Mueller
    Integrated Marketing Director: Jamie Schmelzer
    Senior Brand Manager: Ron Schroder
    Senior Brand Manager: Kimberly Keller
    Associate Brand Manager: Steve Bembinista
    Marketing Associate: Catherine Swick
    Production Company: Arts & Sciences
    Director: Adam & Dave
    DOP: Toby Irwin
    Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
    Producer: Pat Harris
    Editorial: MackCut
    Editor: Ryan Steele
    Assistant Editor: Maria Lee
    Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
    Post Production: MPC
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Producer: Nicole Saccardi
    Lead Artist (Flame): Andy Bate
    2D Artists: Steven Miller, Mahendra Natha Reddy
    3D Artists: Masahito Yoshioka, Ted Abeyta
    Colorist: Mark Gethin
    Color Assistant: Kris Smale
    Executive Producer/Color: Meghan Lang
    Producer/Color: Rebecca Boorsma
    Production Coordinator: Valentina Cokonis
    Assistant Line Producer: Neela Kumuda Parankusham
    Sound: MackCut
    Mixer: Sam Shaffer


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    Fashion futurists, rejoice! Google and Levi's first smart garment has arrived, and it's a jean jacket that connects to your smartphone.

    The tech giant's Project Jacquard, focused on developing touch-sensitive fabrics, has been publicly working with the storied denim brand for a year now. The concept video for their launch product, Levi's Commuter x Jacquard, slated for beta this fall and to hit shelves more widely in 2017, promises variations on largely familiar functions.

    Thanks in part to the conductive thread woven into the jacket's cuff, a cyclist can tap his or her wrist to cue an estimated time of arrival from a mobile device to an earpiece—with eyes fixed on the road the whole time. A swipe will change songs on the rider's playlist, Fast Company reports. Two taps will accept an incoming call, three taps will dismiss it—a sequence that might make for some awkward moments, if the technology is at all imperfect, or an operator gets distracted before landing the third hit.



    As with most science-fiction sales pitches, the reality is a little more complicated than magical cloth that does one's bidding. The jacket's setup includes a rubber cuff that communicates with the wearer's smartphone (Android only—sorry, Apple fans). It needs to be charged periodically, though purportedly can go for two days without one.

    Meanwhile, a behind-the-scenes video on the production process, complete with an awkward fist bump, hints at the idea that something momentous is happening, without being precisely revealing as to how.



    But the trucker jacket isn't an endgame so much as a step along the way, at least in the eyes of Project Jacquard's technical lead, Ivan Poupyrov. For him, explains The Verge, the endgame is an approach that excludes phones altogether, in favor of wearable clothing that talks straight to the cloud.

    A profile in Wired from last spring offers more insight into how that might look: perhaps T-shirts or running shoes that track athletic activities, or bow-ties that, once knotted, call your Uber—because presumably that's the moment you're about ready to walk out the door. And ultimately, the goal is to integrate Jacquard's special thread into any item of clothing—suits, scarves, even bras, writes Fast Company.

    Or for boring traditionalists—or anyone who isn't as psyched about a fantasy world wherein Google's ever-expanding reach on data includes literally clinging to every inch of consumers skin—there's always cotton. 


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    Can discordant screaming sell ice cream?

    Snickers sure hopes so, because that's the angle it's going with this new spot for Snickers ice cream bars. Playing on the "I scream, you scream" rhyme, the ad shows a mom and son, a crab, a tattooed bodybuilder, his tattoo and the boardwalk caricature of a married couple all screaming at one of those ice cream trolleys you see around the beach.



    "What the hell is this? This is so surreal," says YouTube user SaltyStuff, which sums this ad up pretty well. It also covers all its bases with the audience, whether they like the product or (for some reason) loathe it.

    CREDITS
    Client: Snickers
    Title: "Scream"

    Creative Agency: BBDO New York
    David Lubars: Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide
    Greg Hahn: Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York
    Gianfranco Arena: Executive Creative Director
    Peter Kain: Executive Creative Director
    Eli Terry: Creative Director
    Jessica Coulter: Creative Director
    Amy Wertheimer: Group Executive Producer
    Tara Leinwohl: Executive Producer
    Kirsten Flanik: Managing Director
    Susannah Keller: Global Account Director
    Joshua Steinman: Account Director
    Tani Corbacho: Account Manager
    Annemarie Norris: Group Planning Director
    Alaina Crystal: Senior Planner

    Production Company: Gifted Youth
    Fatal Farm: Director
    Charles Papert: Director of Photography
    Dal Wolf: EP / Managing Director
    Anthony Ficalora: EP of Production / HOP
    Alistair Walford: Staff Producer
    Alana Mitnick: Producer

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Helena Lee: Executive Producer
    Leah Carnahan: Post Producer
    Christjan Jordan: Editor
    Pieter Viljoen: Assistant Editor

    Post-Production Effects: MPC
    Camila De Biaggi: Executive Producer
    Alan Bibby: Creative Director
    Ed Chapman: VFX Supervisor
    Seif Boutella; Technical Director
    Dorian Douglass: Producer
    Marcus Wood: Head of 2D
    John Shafto: Flame Artist

    Mix Studio: Lime Studios
    Joel Waters: Engineer
    Susie Boyajan: Producer


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    Time was, McDonald's put toys in their Happy Meals to promote movies. Now they just dye their burgers, we guess. McDonald's China is making chicken and pork sandwiches with special red and green buns in advance of the Angry Birds Movie, and they're hardly a welcoming sight.

    Why, McDonalds? It's already weird that a movie about birds is being promoted with a chicken sandwich, but there's no way anyone would look at the "Naughty Green" burger (which frankly looks moldy) or "Angry Red" burger and want to eat either one.



    If they're just trying to provoke internet chatter, fine, but the general response has been a mix of "That looks disgusting" and "I'm really glad they didn't try that here." So, that didn't go well for them, either.

    On the other hand, if the goal was to set our expectations for how bad the movie's probably going to be, mission accomplished.


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    There are imitations, and then there are copies. Unfortunately, Visit South Bend's new tourism and convention advertising is the latter—a pretty blatant knockoff of a well-received 2015 campaign by Visit Salt Lake, from the overall theme down to the very typography.

    Salt Lake's campaign was themed "There's nothing to do in Salt Lake." South Bend's is themed "There's nothing to do in South Bend." The idea was basically identical—to address a negative perception head on. And the campaign videos, as you can see below, are remarkably similar in style.

    Understandably, Visit Salt Lake and its agency, Love Communications, were pretty peeved when they saw the work out of Indiana. Love sent out a press release Wednesday with the headline, "If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, South Bend CVB's carbon copy of Visit Salt Lake's campaign is flat-out adulation."

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    Love creative director Chip Haskell also contacted Adweek on Wednesday about the South Bend campaign, and shared a long, sarcastic letter he had sent to South Bend's agency, Explore Media.

    "All I can say is 'Wow.' As in, 'Wow!' " Haskell wrote. "The color palette, the fonts, the headlines, the copy, the photos—they're all so cool and really work together! Now I hate to use the word 'brilliant' unless I'm writing copy for a dentist who's selling some sort of whitening gel for people's teeth, so I won't use that word. Instead, I'll use the word 'unbelievable'—as in, it's really unbelievable how fresh and awesome your campaign is." 

    Later in the letter, Haskell added: "What's important here is that Love and Explore Media have finally found one another and we didn't even have to use eHarmony or Tinder or that seedy section of Craigslist. Nope, we found each other naturally. And as far as I can tell, we're like marketing, video-producing soulmates of some sort.

    "Instead of wasting our efforts thinking up ideas independent of one another, we could maybe just use one another's ideas. … Of course, some people might have a real problem with this—even going so far as call it unethical or plagiaristic (if that's even a word)—but I choose to think of it as just being more efficient." 

    Adweek contacted Explore Media, which said it was merely a production company and had executed the client's creative idea exactly as asked. So, Adweek reached Visit South Bend's executive director, Rob DeCleene, who owned up to having been influenced by the Salt Lake work. He even said he had set out basically to copy it.

    "I saw the video on Facebook last August and was blown away at just how fantastic it was," DeCleene said. "We face a very similar perception issue in South Bend, and we just thought, 'What a brilliant, proactive way that Salt Lake took it on. Should we do something similar?' And so we did pursue something similar." 

    DeCleene said the difference is that "There's nothing to do in South Bend" isn't meant to be a full-blown campaign, but rather just a "one-off" promotion. 

    "We did quote-unquote debut it last week. But we have no intention of doing anything with it, if you will," DeCleene said. "It's literally a one-off, isolated promotion. If anything, it's truly meant to give props to Salt Lake, because for a city that size, 1,500 miles away from us, we just thought, 'Wow, that's killer.' "

    DeCleene did acknowledge, though, that copying another tourism board's work is a funny way to give props. And he apologized for the whole controversy.

    "It was not in any way intended to create this stir," he said. "I'm very, very sorry that they're taking offense to it, because I would give them all the props in the world. I would certainly like to clear up anything negative. We've removed [the video] from anywhere we were displaying it prominently."

    As of Thursday morning, theresnothingtodoinsouthbend.com was still live, and was still hosting the video. UPDATE: The video has now been removed from YouTube, and that URL now points to VisitSouthBend.com.


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    Tragically, the youngsters in this yearbook will never graduate from high school. In fact, they'll never grow up at all to reach their potential, or experience the fullness of life. And that's because each one was a victim of gun violence. 

    Now they're the focus of "Sign Their Yearbook," a sad, sobering initiative by Stockholm, Sweden, agency Volt on behalf of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence: 



    "As an American citizen—I was born in Sweden but have dual citizenship—this is an issue that I feel strongly about," agency creative director Daniel Vaccino tells AdFreak. "The gun culture in the U.S. is obviously a complex issue, but we wanted to take a stand for what we believe needs to be done."

    The online "yearbook," which went live on Wednesday, also serves as a petition; those signing signal their support for universal criminal background checks for people attempting to purchase firearms. (In 38 states, it is legal to buy guns without submitting to such scrutiny.) After 30 days, the petition—in the form of a handsomely printed physical yearbook—will be submitted to the U.S. Senate, where measures to tighten gun laws have previously failed. 



    "In essence, it's a traditional petition, packaged with a personal and emotional twist," Vaccine says. "We believe that the contextual relevance of using a yearbook strikes a personal note that might open people's minds and hearts." 

    Collecting the pictures and stories of kids killed by guns at Sandy Hook and elsewhere proved "a heartbreaking process in itself," says Vaccino, all the more so because, for each child shown, the team developed the content in collaboration with the victims' families and relatives. 



    Eschewing the brutal, bloody imagery that often drives gun-control campaigns, "Sign Their Yearbook" makes its point with great effect by putting a familiar rite of passage in an unexpected context. While not as transcendent as, say, Grey's award-winning "Gun Store," it's hugely relatable and benefits from a simple and clear call to action. 


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    Sick of your significant other skipping ahead and watching your favorite streaming shows without you? Lock them into a faithful TV-viewing relationship with a high-tech pair of series commitment rings, thanks to U.K. ice cream brand Cornetto. 

    The marketer, which tends to advertise around themes of teen love, created special rings that connect to streaming apps, and use near field communications to block access to TV shows you both watch unless your partner is nearby—thus putting an end to sneaking around with services like Netflix while feigning fidelity. 

    A two-minute video explains the concept, and illustrates the dangers of cheating—reaching its high point when one young woman pretends, in brilliantly unconvincing fashion, that she hasn't seen the episode she's watching with her boyfriend.



    The idea of rings that forcibly prevent viewers from such dalliances is so silly and au courant that it almost doesn't matter that the details of its functionality aren't entirely ironed out.

    Fast Company observes that Cornetto is still negotiating with streaming apps. And ultimately, the obstacle posed by the technology seems of the kind that could easily be circumvented if the cheating party borrows a friend's login, or simply watches elsewhere—though such out-of-the-way efforts would really just make the betrayal all the more unforgivable. 

    Cornetto is promising to distribute the rings online, and it's not clear how many are available. It's also not clear what the range on the tech is, so apartment dwellers who get a pair should remain vigilant—lest it betray to your partner that you're two-timing with the neighbor, by binge-watching or otherwise.


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    That prize banjo scene from the film Deliverance gets a CG-infused makeover in Kia's latest ad, featuring its trademark hamsters, who have basically become the Barbie doll of brand mascots—they do everything, and probably have a better life than you. 

    In agency David&Goliath's latest pop culture-infused campaign, a lone guitar player (Nathaniel Rateliff of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) kicks off the melody to "Dueling Banjos." A cherry red Kia Soul pulls up alongside him, and his tune is joined by a banjo, played by a country-clad hamster with an easy grin. 

    Things look set to go on following the trail laid down by the original source material, where the guitar and banjo player feel each other out and ultimately join in a musical explosion, but that first hamster is quickly followed by another hamster—with an electric guitar. 

    This sparks a different kind of duel, one in which hamsters and humans alike dash over with a variety of instruments—including a sitar, African and Korean drums, and a bagpipe—to join the band.



    In previous ads dating as far back as 2009, Kia's Soulful hamsters have rapped, time traveled and even gotten very, very lucky. But the agency calls this Kia's most ambitious hamster production to date.

    "Soul Jam" required 3,000 hours of computer-generated imagery for the hamsters alone. And ethnomusicologists, including Dr. Steven Loza of UCLA's Herb Albert School of Music's Department of Ethnomusicology, helped inform the cultural authenticity of nearly 30 human musicians, including the instruments, dance and dress. 

    "Music really is the one true universal language. It's something that everybody can understand, something that everybody can feel," says director Colin Jeffery in a behind-the-scenes video, shown below. "The idea here is to bring different musicians, instruments and cultures together to create something unique. We're uniting people through music, and obviously looking to have a little fun."



    "The hamsters have always been plugged in to what is going on in the world around us, and in the 'The World Needs More Soul' campaign, they are back to share their infectious spirit of optimism and celebrate things that bring people together like music and dance," adds Michael Sprague, chief operating officer of Kia Motors America. 

    "With each Soul execution, we strive to bring a fresh musical perspective, and 'Soul Jam' blends a variety of styles and cultures with a highly recognizable piece of music to create something fun and different that stands out from the crowd, just like the Soul." 

    This is all much ado about music, but its nostalgic notes help invest emotions into its exuberant conclusion. The eager flight by humans from the city to the country also reminds us that, for all the advancements the world has made, it's a more natural kind of connectivity that makes us really happy. And because Kia just couldn't help itself, three emoji round out the tagline, which—as far as we can tell—reads "The world needs more peace, love, hamsters and soul."

    That's basically an open invitation for a hamster reproductive joke, but we'll leave that up to you. It's hard to argue with the overall sentiment. 

    The ad is slated to appear in National CineMedia's FirstLook pre-show program, which counts over 34,000 screens nationwide. It will naturally also be supported by social media, digital and out-of-home elements.

    CREDITS
    Client: Kia Motors America
    Agency: David&Goliath


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    Ahead of Father's Day, Young & Rubicam Mexico launches a spot for the Special Olympics that follows an expectant dad in a frenzy of anticipation over an upcoming blessed event—the birth of his son. 

    "When I found out you were coming, it was the happiest day of my life," the voiceover begins. "A boy. A boy that would love football as much as I did. I waited nine long months, and then you were born. And you gave me the most unexpected surprise."

    Watch the clip before reading further:



    So, were you surprised? Dad sure was. 

    Ultimately, of course, it's all about unconditional love. "I wanted so much to teach you about this game," the narration concludes. "But in the end, it was you who ended up teaching me about life. I am your biggest fan." 

    Clearly designed as a tear-jerker by Central Films North director Rodrigo Garcia Saiz, the ad pushes all the right buttons, and there's no denying the sweetness of the sentiment or the powerful emotions at play—even if the setup and twist might be a tad predictable. Also, we'd expect any self-respecting dad to cherish a special-needs son or daughter, regardless of what his expectations were before the child arrived. Wouldn't we?

    Anyway, every person deserves the opportunity to excel at his or her own pace, to the limits of their abilities; striving toward our goals makes us champions. That message never gets old, and it's worth retelling—especially since there are plenty of folks here in 2016 who persist in thinking otherwise.

    CREDITS

    Client: Special Olympics  
    Agency: Young & Rubicam Mexico
    Global Executive Creative Director: Tony Granger
    Chief Executive Officer: Hector Fernandez
    Chief Creative Officer: Saul Escobar
    Creative Director/Copywriter: Manuel Guillen
    Creative Director/Copywriter: Mario Vivanco
    Regional Creative Director: Martin Goldberg
    VP Account Director: Britta Dahl
    Agency Producer: Bernardo Salum
    Production Company: Central Films North
    Director: Rodrigo Garcia Saiz
    Executive Producer: Mauricio Francini
    DP: Mateo Londono
    Art Director: Oscar Carnicero
    Post Production: Cluster Studio
    Audio Producer: Benedicte Leclere


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    We'd like to preface this story by saying "Don't try this at home," but we already know somebody—probably in Ukraine—is going to seize the opportunity anyway. Having warned you, we hereby assuage our consciences. 

    Companies like GoPro and Samsung have made a mark on YouTube culture by using powerful demonstrations—from smart surfboards to sledding toddlers—to punt their fare. Now, LG's jumping into the fray with something we can't quite recall seeing before.

    It partnered with 2015 U.S. Extreme Rock Climbing medalist Sierra Blair-Coyle, who, in a video that defies belief, scales a skyscraper Spiderman-style, using suctions powered by two LG Code Zero K94SGN vacuum cleaners mounted on her back: 



    The building is about 460 feet high and situated in Songdo International Business District, a "smart city" about 40 miles southwest of Seoul, South Korea. It took Blair-Coyle about 30 minutes to get to the top, stopping just once to swap out her vacuums.

    While Blair-Coyle is a pro, harnessed by safety ropes, the very logistics of the feat give us vertigo: The suctions have to bear the vacuums' weight in addition to her own, and Slashgear imagines that she probably had to turn each one off whenever she wanted to lift a pad off the glass. You really need a cool head to make this work. 

    LG hopes this will draw attention to the technological innovation happening in banal, everyday tools. The thinking makes sense: A demonstration like this is unexpected in a sector that suffers from an almost painful lack of imagination, and it places LG's Code Zero soundly in the ranks of the extreme demo-purveyors that populate the leisure tech space (we'd like to see Samsung test its fear-fighting VR in a situation like this!).

    The best result a vacuum brand can hope for is a hard answer to the question "But will it catch the butt crumbs trapped in the couch?" By this metric, this work is a resounding success. It doesn't even matter how the Code Zero performs after your last Doritos binge. After seeing how well it holds weight while scaling glass, we'd feel stupid even asking.


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    You thought Havas Worldwide's giant mic drop was the end of the agency #postitwars down on Canal Street. But Getty Images and New York magazine picked up the mic and had the fat lady sing on the (probably not) final installation of #canalnotes.

    As you can see from the photo above, Biolumina and Harrison and Star also called a truce in time for Memorial Day weekend.

    We've been waiting for a welcome charity tie-in for #canalnotes, and this building's occupants are proceeding with one—with Biolumina initiating a fundraising event for VA NY Harbor Healthcare System hospital to be held next week. Thank-you messages to veterans will be written on recycled Post-its and turned into a collage to be hung in the hospital lobby. 

    You can also donate online here.


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    The news is like the ocean. On the surface, everything might seem pretty, but the further down you go, the worse things look. 

    That, at least, is the metaphor behind a new ad from Veja, a popular right-leaning (if not right-wing) Brazilian magazine that featured President Obama as Che Guevara on its cover in 2014. 

    The 40-second spot below, by AlmapBBDO, features tropical fish floating just under the surface of the sea, before the camera plummets to meet less aesthetically pleasing denizens. At 5,000 meters down, a particularly hideous sea creature—the common fangtooth—graces the screen. 

    Copy at the end explains the metaphor. 



    At first blush, it's a powerful, if hyperbolic argument—the spurred hatchetfish seen at 500 meters isn't going to be winning any beauty contests, either. And Veja's point—that its publication is a serious investigative outfit, devoted to uncovering important and sordid truths—comes across clearly enough. 

    In context, though, it may hold less water. The magazine has earned a reputation for distorting facts to serve a conservative agenda, notably in its coverage of the current corruption scandal—recent missteps include accusing a Brazilian senator of having the equivalent of more than $2 million in a Swiss bank account, which turned out not to exist in the first place. 

    In a sense, then, the campaign is fitting, if perhaps ultimately counterproductive for viewers who follow through and research Veja itself. Then again, the merits of what you find under a seemingly placid surface is a matter of perspective; Veja could justifiably be described as sensationalist, fear-mongering, hard-nosed, morally upright, oversimplified, accurate, or some combination thereof. 

    CREDITS

    Advertiser: Editora Abril
    Title: Fishes
    Product: Revista VEJA
    Agency: AlmapBBDO
    General Creative Director: Luiz Sanches
    Executive Creative Director: Bruno Prosperi
    Creative Directors: Pernil, André Gola
    Copywriter: Rodrigo Resende
    Art Director: Renato Butori
    Production: Clan VFX
    Audio Producer: Cabaret
    RTVC: Vera Jacinto, Diego Villas Boas, Fernando Yamanaka
    Client Services: FernandaAntonelli, Ana Clara Grana, Beatriz Almonacid, Beatriz Sztamfater
    Planning: Cintia Gonçalves,Sergio Katz, Denis Camargo, Ana Beatriz Nunes
    Media: Cassiano Oliva,Thabata Hidalgo, Dener Lages
    Approval: Walter Longo, TiagoAfonso, Andrea Abelleira, Keila Arciprete 


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