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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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  • 01/24/13--04:31: Portrait: MKG
  • Specs
    Who From left, Dave Brown, director of digital strategy; Maneesh Goyal, founder, CEO; and Lauren Austin, creative director
    What Events marketing agency
    Where New York offices
    One sure way to make your brand look cool is to hire Instagrammers to promote your activities. MKG is one of the agencies at the forefront of the practice, using photographers to amplify Delta’s and Evian’s sponsorships of a New York Rangers playoff game at Madison Square Garden and the U.S. Open, respectively. Don’t be surprised if MKG starts to do the same for Chase, which just hired the 50-person shop to handle strategy, design and construction of more than a dozen of the bank’s corporate suites at sports and entertainment venues, starting with MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. 



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    Kaley Cuoco is going from the Big Bang to the Big Game as Toyota's newest advertising star.

    The 27-year-old actress from the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory is seen walking around town granting magical wishes in this teaser for Toyota's 60-second Super Bowl spot, set to air during the first quarter of the Feb. 3 broadcast.

    The teaser and the finished spot were created by Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles.

    The spot that airs on the game will include a photo of a consumer as part of a contest Toyota has been running. The automaker has been inviting people to send in photos of themselves through Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #wishgranted, and will include one of the photos in the spot.

    Cuoco's Super Bowl job comes just weeks after she made another notable advertising appearance—playing William Shatner's daughter in the latest Priceline spot. 


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  • 01/24/13--05:55: Ad of the Day: Call of Duty
  • I hope The Replacer sticks around for a while.

    The titular character in 72andSunny's trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Revolution is portrayed by veteran actor Peter Stormare, who riffs on his tough-guy persona to great effect as a dude in a dark suit who literally substitutes for guys so they can enjoy more game time.

    We see him in a delivery room ("Don't worry about your husband. I'm your husband. Just get that baby out"); getting flustered as he tries to assemble furniture ("There are supposed to be four wheels and I've only got two!"); and cleaning the monkey house at the zoo ("Now you're gonna pick up my…" BLEEP!). There's even a nod to his memorable role in Fargo, as he feeds a birdhouse into a wood-chipper.

    In describing the actual update to the iconic Activision franchise, he delivers one of the best commercial lines in recent memory: "For the first time ever, you get to play a freakin' zombie. If that's the kind of business you're into."

    The script's solid, but Stormare's performance makes it soar. (He totally upstages the snippets of shoot-em-up game footage.) With his menacing grin and impossibly-intense-yet-goofy line deliveries, he's always on edge, seemingly seconds away from committing acts of extreme violence—just like gamers in real life. (Just kidding ... I think.)

    The franchise should introduce a game where spokescharacters battle it out: Ad Ops: The Replacer vs. The Negotiator and Mayhem. I'd play as Shatner every time.

    CREDITS
    
Client: Activision Publishing

    CEO: Eric Hirshberg
    
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer: Tim Ellis

    SVP, Consumer Marketing: Todd Harvey
    Sr. Director, Consumer Marketing: Susan Hallock
    
Consumer Marketing Manager: Mike Pelletier
    Associate Consumer Marketing Manager: David Cushman
 

    Agency: 72andSunny

    Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Executive Creative Director: Frank Hahn
    
Creative Director, Writer: Josh Fell

    Creative Director, Designer: Rey Andrade

    Lead Writer: Zach Hilder

    Writer: Matt Spicer
    Designer: Will Lindberg
    Designer: Nicky Veltman
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald

    Senior Film Producer: Dan Ruth
    Jr. Film Producer: Peter Williams

    Director of Business Affairs: Christine Claussen
    Business Affairs Manager: Jennifer Jahinian
    Jr. Business Affairs Manager: Maura McNulty
    Group Brand Director: Mike Parseghian
    Brand Director: Luke Lamson

    Brand Manager: John Moloney
    Brand Coordinator: Erica Goitia

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Executive Producer: Dan Duffy, Kevin Byrne
    Line Producer: Nate Young
    Director of Photography: Tim Ives

    Editorial: Arcade Editorial
    Editor: Christjan Jordan
    Assitant Editor: Andy Trecki
    Producer: Ali Reed
    Executive producer: Nicole Visram

    Visual Effects/Online: Method
    Lead Smoke Artist: Jason Frank
    Producer: Stephanie Allis
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens

    Motion Graphics: Logan
    Executive Producer: Matthew Marquis
    Head of Production: Scott Siegal
    Producer: JR Tuason
    Art Director: Kenneth Robbin
    Designers: Kenneth Robbin, Neil Tsai
    2D Animators: Neil Tsai, Morgan James

    Sound Design: 740 Sound Design & Mix
    Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
    Sound Designers: Rommel Molina, Nicholas Interlandi

    Mix: Lime Audio post
    Mixer: Rohan Young
    Assistant Engineer: Jeff Malen
    Producer: Jessica Locke

    Music: Human


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    Starbucks is rebounding from recent image problems in the U.K. (something about tax payments, I think) with this ad for its Monday coffee special. The spot, from AMV BBDO, suggests Monday is actually a pretty good day, all things considered, because lots of important things happened on a Monday—the first moon walk, the first public elevator ride, the debut of movies in the U.K., and thousands of births, just for starters. "We limited our palette to things you'd find at a Starbucks shop," says Brand New School, which produced the spot. "Napkins, wooden stirrers, straws, corrugated sleeves and … oh yes, cups. Talls, Grandes, Ventis and don't forget those little cappuccino jim jams. Our cups ranneth over with fun as we shot it all in our new in-house stage."

    The first production of Macbeth opened on a Monday as well, though it was plagued by tragic accidents—enough to spawn generations of goofy theater superstitions—so it's good they struck that one from the list. But that aside, Starbucks is right. Monday isn't so bad. Unless you're Garfield. Or Brenda Spencer.


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    Volkswagen turns some notorious frowns—those seen by millions on YouTube—upside down in Volkswagen's just-released teaser for its Super Bowl commercial.

    The eHarmony cat lady, politician Phil Davison and minor-league baseball manager Phil Wellman are among the notoriously miserable YouTube stars who suddenly get happy in the teaser from Deutsch/LA.

    The video shows brief footage of each character's original meltdown, then shifts to a sunny field, where reggae legend Jimmy Cliff welcomes them all by singing a song of happiness.

    "Volkswagen and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff join together to infuse much-needed positivity and good vibes into a world that's become awash with freak-outs, meltdowns, and temper tantrums over just about anything. It's time to get happy," the YouTube description says.

    The 60-second Super Bowl spot will air during the second quarter of the Feb. 3 broadcast.

    The teaser was posted this morning to YouTube and VW.com, where visitors can also download the exclusive song.

    VW and Deutsch have made a big splash on the Super Bowl in recent years. Their 2011 "The Force" spot is the most-watched Super Bowl ad ever, with 55 million views on YouTube. And its "Bark Side" teaser from last year, with 18 million views of its own, outperformed most of the game's actual spots online.


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    Children of the '90s, do you remember all the awesome things from your youth? Was Internet Explorer one of them? No? That's OK. It was there amid the slap bracelets and the hippos that were so hungry they were hungry, hungry. Microsoft wants you to remember that time with delight and nostalgia, and cringe a little, too—a cringe that says, "My god, did I really waste my youth playing pogs?" Yes. Yes, you did. Unless you weren't even cool enough for pogs, like me. Either way, you grew up and grew past all that. And Internet Explorer would like you to know that it did, too. It was the geeky kid in class. You know, the one who was embroiled in a giant anti-trust case. But now it makes a billion dollars and it wants you to give it another chance. So, check out the all-grown-up IE in Windows 8. Man, I miss when trolls were nothing more than fluffy-haired dolls.


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    TNT had a gargantuan success with its "Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square" video, posted to YouTube last April. The clip—which showed a Belgian village square erupting in intricately choreographed chaos (in the style of TV dramas) when bystanders pushed a red button—went on to become the second most-shared ad of all time, trailing only Volkswagen's "The Force." Now, with TNT launching in Holland, the network has launched a sequel: "A Dramatic Surprise on an Ice-Cold Day."

    It's basically the same idea as the original, with a few wrinkles. This time, the victims are abducted from the square and taken to a mysterious location near a dingy parking garage, where all sorts of drama unfolds involving prisoners, riot police and at least one Elvis impersonator. The abduction part makes it seem likely that the victims here are actors, too, although the clip on the whole is entertaining enough. It's hard to see it replicating the original's view counts, but you never know. People are suckers for this stuff.

    Via Unruly Media.

    The original:


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    After a rough couple of millennia, Scotland has figured out how to make itself look good to the rest of the world: Just put a couple of Shetland ponies in lovely cardigan sweaters. The folks at VisitScotland got two such ponies, named Fivla and Vitamin, wrapped them in Shetland knitter Doreen Brown's finest extra-large jumpers, and had them photographed by Rob McDougall. The results, you'll agree, are indescribably good.

    "Posing in their winter woollies, the ponies were marking the Year of Natural Scotland by sporting some rather plush knitwear that wouldn't seem out of place in any trendy city hangout," the site explains. "It's safe to say both Fivla and Vitamin didn't seem to mind all the attention their custom-made attire brought them."

    Next time, kilts. More images below. Via Laughing Squid.


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    Go Daddy on Friday posted one of its two Super Bowl ads online—a 30-second spot, due to run at the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, urging people to register a .CO domain before someone else snatches it up and gets rich doing so.

    The spot, titled "YourBigIdea.CO," created by Deutsch in New York, shows people all over the world putting off registering a special .CO domain name, thinking they're the only ones with the big idea. In the end, the man who does register it is seen partying on his own luxurious private plane.

    Longtime Go Daddy girl Danica Patrick—who will have made a record 12 appearances in Super Bowl ads, all for Go Daddy, by the end of the Feb. 3 broadcast—makes a cameo here as the pilot.

    Supermodel Bar Refaeli will co-star with Patrick in Go Daddy's other Super Bowl spot, which has yet to be unveiled.

    Mike Maguire of Biscuit Filmworks directed both ads. This is Go Daddy's ninth straight appearance in the big game.


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    The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is going with death by giant tentacle as the theme of a pair of 3-D billboards that went up recently in Chicago. On each ad, the brand's namesake mythical beast appears to have slithered one of its slimy octo-parts into an apartment and helped itself to a tasty consumer. (Turnabout is fair play.) One ad gobbles up a man; the other, a woman. "Taking after the actual mythical beast of the sea, the brand strikes at will and spares no one," says the agency, New York-based Dead As We Know It. Executive creative director Mikal Reich adds: "The Kraken Rum is dark and fun, like its fans. The ads have to be that, as well. We plan to continue the advertising attacks in all mediums. Surprise is our best weapon against the powers which spend a captain's ransom." The agency says the campaign "may or may not roll out to other cities. (Keep your eyes out.)"

    See some Kraken videos from Dead As We Know It below.


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    A flustered father answers his son's pressing question "Where do babies come from?" with a Super Bowl-worthy blockbuster of a tall tale—set on a distant planet called Babylandia—in Kia's upcoming 60-second Super Bowl commercial.

    The spot, titled "Space Babies," created by ad agency David&Goliath, will show baby boys, girls, dogs, pandas and other infants making their way to Earth to join their new families after being born. Kia calls it "a journey nine months in the making."

    After hearing his father's epic explanation, the curious son begins to offer a different theory, which he heard from a friend—but the father, who's driving the 2014 Kia Sorento CUV, cuts him off by prompting the vehicle's voice-activated jukebox feature.

    The latest execution in the Sorento's "It has an answer for everything" campaign, the ad will air during the fourth quarter of the Feb. 3 broadcast. It was directed by Jake Scott, son of Ridley Scott and nephew of the late Tony Scott.

    An extended version will hit YouTube and cinemas before the game. It will run on more than 33,000 screens nationwide beginning next Friday, Feb. 1, as part of ScreenVision and National CineMedia's FirstLook.

    This is Kia's fourth straight appearance on the Super Bowl. "Every day is an adventure in parenting, and 'Space Babies' is an entertaining look at life's challenges and the many ways the Sorento's long list of technologies and amenities can make getting through the day just a little bit easier," said Michael Sprague, evp of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America.

    See Kia's two previous Super Bowl spots below.

    Kia's 2012 Super Bowl ad:

    Kia's 2011 Super Bowl ad:


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    The New York office of Draftfcb has named new chief creative officer: Javier Campopiano, who most recently was regional creative director of Draftfcb Latin America.

    Campopiano, who starts Feb. 4, will partner with Debra Coughlin, global CMO at the Interpublic Group shop, who becomes interim managing director while the agency continues to search for an exec to fill the post.

    Coughlin assumes that role from Dana Maiman, the CEO and president of Draftfcb Healthcare, who has held the dual role as president of the New York shop since 2010. Maiman will now focus on efforts to grow that business globally.

    Campopiano, who was named executive creative director of Draftfcb Argentina in 2010, oversaw the country’s most-awarded agency at Cannes in 2012, the agency said. (He was named regional creative director for Draftfcb in 2011.) Campopiano is known for his work on brands like Oreo, Citric, Banco Macro, +vision, Club Social, JVC, ZonaJobs, KY Gel, Compumundo and Piero.

    He fills a position left open since early 2012, when Darren Moran and the agency parted ways after 14 months. Before Draftfcb, Moran was a global creative director at Young & Rubicam, New York, where he spent 13 years. Moran joined Draftfcb in October 2010, filling a vacancy left after Michael Simmons, on the job for 14 months, was shifted out of it.

    Coughlin, an architect of MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign when she was svp, global branding at the card issuer, later served as CMO of Citigroup’s Citi Card unit. She is filling in on a role that was last formally held by Sandy Kolkey, who left Draftfcb after six months in the job in late 2010.

    Maiman is known for growing Draftfcb Healthcare’s portfolio of clients, which now includes Abbvie, Amgen, Boehringer/Ingelhein, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Genentech/Roche, Lilly, Medtronic, Merck and Novartis.

    Draftfcb, which acquired Hudson Global, a Tarrytown, N.Y.-based pharmaceutical company in September, is now forming an alliance with the Argon Network, a group of 22 healthcare agencies in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Maiman is also looking for additional M&A opportunities outside the U.S.
     


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  • 01/25/13--12:17: Ad of the Day: Samsung
  • If you've got a job, there's a decent chance you're dealing with a dual-device situation—you know, a work phone given to you by the office (probably one that's useless for anything beyond taking calls and writing emails, otherwise known as a BlackBerry) and a personal phone you bought yourself (which has a touchscreen, a music library and a ton of apps, unless you're stuck in 2003).

    Usually, the work phones have superior safety features, so your precious company emails won't end up in the wrong hands. (God forbid someone finds out who's in charge of ordering the cake for the IT guy's birthday.) Also, it's just how things are done.

    But according to Samsung, it doesn't have to be that way.

    In this new spot from 72andSunny, Samsung shows how its smartphones, using SAFE technology (short for Samsung For Enterprise), are secure enough to use at work, but won't force you to sacrifice fancy features.

    The setting is an app developer's office—how 2013—where tech dudes in hoodies and glasses are working on a big new game, Unicorn Apocalypse. They've just been told they can start using any phone they want for work. So, of course, all the cool, young employees immediately switch to Samsung Galaxy devices that let them simultaneously watch basketball games and design zombie unicorn graphics and wirelessly share files and (probably) cat memes. Meanwhile, the sad, elderly people in the office (i.e., anyone over 35) insist on holding onto their BlackBerries because of lame excuses like "This is business" and "I have a system" and … blah, blah, blah, my ADD meds are wearing off and I have to go send a Snapchat, old man!

    Although Samsung makes a point of poking fun at the seriousness with which certain tech-y types view their debatably useless work, the message of the spot is clear: If you want to be smart and forward thinking and modern, get your employees some shiny new Samsung phones.

    If you want to be old and lame, by all means make them use a BlackBerry.

    CREDITS
    Client: Samsung

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Executive Officer, Partner: John Boiler
    Executive Creative Director: Jason Norcross
    Creative Directors, Writers: Matt Heath, Barton Corley
    Lead Writer: Patrick Maravilla
    Lead Designer: Brandt Lewis
    Senior Designer: Allison Hayes
    Junior Writer: Jack Jenson
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Senior Film Producers: Angelo Mazzamuto, Erin Goodsell, Nicole Haase
    Group Brand Director: James Townsend
    Brand Manager: Andy Silva
    Brand Coordinator: Nadia Economides

    Production Company: Epoch Films
    Director: Michael Downing
    Executive Producers: Jerry Solomon, John Duffin
    Producer: Eric Sedorovitz

    Editing: Arcade Editorial
    Editors: Paul Martinez, Greg Scruton, Will Hasell
    Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Producer: Amburr Farls
    Assistant Editors: Andrew Legget, Mike Campbell

    Visual Effects, Animation: Mission Studios
    Creative Director: Rob Trent
    Executive Producer: Michael Pardee
    Visual Effects Producers: Ryan Meredith, Stacy Kessler Aungst
    Lead Compositor: Miles Essmiller
    Compositors: Joey Brattesani, Katrina Salicrup, Michael Vagliente, Colleen Smith
    Designer: Aaron Benoit
    Rotoscope: Chris Cortese

    Telecine: The Mill
    Colorist: Adam Scott

    Music: South Music
    Head of Production: Dan Pritkin
    Creative Director: Jon Darling
    Composer, Arranger: Robin Holden

    Sound Design: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Executive Producer, Creative Director: Kelly Bayett

    Mix House: Play Studios
    Mixer: John Bolen
    Executive Producer: Lauren Cascio
    Assistants: Ryan Sturup, Hermann Thumann


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    Are you a typical white corporate American office drone with a case of the Mondays? It would help a whole lot if you were Jamaican—or at least talked like one.

    That's the comical premise behind Volkswagen's 2013 Super Bowl commercial from Deutsch in Los Angeles, which the automaker has released a full week before the game—an even longer lead time than its past two, highly praised Super Bowl spots.

    "Dave," a worker from Minnesota with a curious Jamaican accent, manages to get his glum, (mostly) white co-workers on board with his sunny disposition, instilled by his bright-red VW Beetle—paying off the "Get Happy" line and the theme of Jamaican happiness introduced by reggae legend Jimmy Cliff in the teaser, released last week.

    The 60-second Super Bowl spot was directed by Tom Kuntz, whose long ad résumé includes the first Isaiah Mustafa ad for Old Spice, as well as last year's DirecTV campaign. The VW commercial will air during the second quarter of the Feb. 3 broadcast.

    VW is pushing the theme through the #GetHappy hashtag and invites viewers to download Cliff's exclusive "Get Happy" track at VW.com.


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    Babies are always big at the Super Bowl. This year, Budweiser might have the cutest one.

    A new baby Clydesdale, born Jan. 16, will star in the Anheuser-Busch brand's traditional 60-second Clydesdales spot on this Sunday's game. To build anticipation, Bud last night sent out its first-ever tweet, asking fans to name the foal using the hashtag #Clydesdales.

    "This newest member of the Budweiser Clydesdale family was seven days old on the day this part of the Super Bowl commercial was filmed," said Jeff Knapper, general manager of Clydesdale operations. "A star was truly born on Jan. 16."

    In addition to the 150-pound baby, two other young Clydesdales will appear in the spot—an 8-month-old and a 2-year-old—along with a full hitch of eight adult horses.

    The ad, titled "Brotherhood," created by Anomaly in New York, was partially shot at the 300-acre Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Mo., the breeding facility for Budweiser's Clydesdales.

    More than 30 Clydesdales are expected to be born there this year. This commercial will "take the Clydesdales advertising into new territory by providing a new level of access to their early years," the brewer said.

    Bud waited to join Twitter until it introduced age verification last summer, allowing the beer to restrict its tweets to people 21 and older.

    Along with the Clydesdales :60, Anomaly also produced two 30-second ads for Budweiser Black Crown, a new beer.

    Rounding out A-B's Super Bowl lineup this year will be two 60-second ads from Translation for Bud Light and one 30-second ad from Mother for Beck's Sapphire, also a new brew.


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    Century 21 agents are more helpful than doctors, at least when you're having a housing emergency.

    The real-estate company on Monday unveiled its 30-second commercial, titled "Wedding," that will air on this Sunday's Super Bowl—part of a new campaign centered around the comical theme "Is there a Century 21 agent in the house?"

    In the "Wedding" spot, the groom passes out at the altar when the bride's parents remind him that he and his wife are going to be living with them. The stunned bride turns and asks the congregation, "Is there a Century 21 agent in the house?"

    Turns out, of course, that there is—and he quickly brings up some listings and finds a starter home for the newlyweds. The tagline is: "Smarter. Bolder. Faster."

    The ad, created by Red Tettemer + Partners in Philadelphia, is scheduled to air in the first commercial pod of the second half.

    Three similarly themed spots, also from Red Tettemer, will air a total of eight times during the Super Bowl pre-game broadcast. The plots of those ads are based around having a baby, sending a child to college, and winning the lottery.

    Century 21 is also sponsoring a full one-hour pre-game show and a video segment to be aired on game day titled "Home Town Heroes."

    "Our agents are at the heart of our business, and their customers rely on them during critical times in their lives," said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer of Century 21. "These commercials celebrate our agents' dedication to customer service in a fun, creative way and will keep the Century 21 agent top-of-mind with consumers in advance of the spring home buying and selling season."

    Century 21 made its Super Bowl debut last year, when it introduced the "Smarter. Bolder. Faster" positioning.


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    Not surprisingly, Axe's first-ever Super Bowl commercial features a woman in a skimpy bikini jogging rather bouncily along a beach. Also not surprisingly, she's running toward a geeky dude who plays in a romantic league several divisions below hers.

    The twist? The geeky dude is an astronaut.

    That's so much cooler than a mere lifeguard, even when said lifeguard just saved your life by pummeling a shark into submission with his bare hands.

    The 30-second spot, created by BBH London, is due to air in the third quarter of this Sunday's Super Bowl. It pitches Axe's new Apollo line of products—thus, the astronaut theme.

    But Apollo is more than just a product line. The Unilever brand has launched the Axe Apollo Space Academy, offering 22 non-John-Glenn types a chance to go to space through a contest on the website.

    The campaign launched several weeks back with the help of none other than legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. A similar spot to "Lifeguard," called "Fireman," was also released earlier in January. In that one, a woman chose an astronaut over a firefighter even though she's just been spectacularly rescued from a burning building.

    While the Super Bowl cut is a :30, BBH also created a 60-second version of "Lifeguard." See that spot below, along with the Buzz Aldrin video.


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    Drivers of the Hyundai Sonata Turbo get stuck behind the strangest vehicles on the road. Luckily, they also have the power to get past them.

    The Korean automaker on Monday unveiled "Stuck," one of two 30-second commercials it will air on this Sunday's Super Bowl. The comic spot shows the variety of unsightly and flat-out dangerous cars, trucks and butts you might find yourself trailing on the road.

    "Why turbo? Trust us. It's just better to be in front," Jeff Bridges says in the voiceover at the end.

    Created by Innocean USA, "Stuck" will air during the second quarter of the game.

    A second spot, "Team," will run in the first quarter. It shows a boy whose Santa Fe-driving mom helps him round up friends to counter some ruffians who challenged him to a game of football. That ad is expected to hit Hyundai's YouTube page sometime this week.

    Along with those two :30s, Hyundai will air a 60-second spot and two other 30-second spots in the half-hour leading up to the kickoff. The :60, titled "Epic Play Date," features an original song and cameo from The Flaming Lips.

    This is Hyundai's sixth straight Super Bowl. The automaker spoke to Adweek about its Super Bowl strategy here. And Steve Shannon, vp of marketing for Hyundai Motor America, sat for an Adweek Fast Chat here.


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  • 01/29/13--06:18: The Spot: Nike's Speed Demon
  • IDEA: Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's second-best soccer player after Lionel Messi, is a beautiful, terrible force. A large part of his talent is his overwhelming speed—a threat dramatized in Wieden + Kennedy's powerful, artful new Nike spot as a violent wind ripping through opponents, referees and anything else in his way. Dark, abstract and hyperbolic, the ad shows, in a long slow-motion pan left to right, the chaos he leaves behind on the field—thanks in part to Nike's Mercurial Vapor soccer shoes.

    It's quite a change from last year's Mercurial spot, starring Ronaldo and tennis star Rafael Nadal, which was lighthearted, almost goofy. And that was the point. "We were given the freedom to find a brand-new tone and idea," said Ryan O'Rourke, one of two global creative directors on Nike at W+K. Added copywriter Andrew Miller: "We focused in on studying the effects of speed. … What we loved about this [idea] was how simple and effortless it was. It was a great way to communicate the benefit of the boot in a way we haven't seen before."

    COPYWRITING: The scriptwriting involved choosing characters and scenes that would be fun and visually engaging. "We wanted the execution to build," said Miller. "So we started mysteriously with just one defender, barely affected. We see him sitting after a slide tackle, looking confused. Then we ramp up from there." Players, photographers, a fan wig, confetti from the stands, fences, flags, riot police—they all go flying. Finally, we see Ronaldo, a vapor trail in his wake, beating three last defenders and hammering a shot home before turning and surveying the devastation.

    "Everything was scripted out to happen in chronological order," said Alberto Ponte, W+K's other global cd on Nike. "If he starts a play in the midfield, what would he encounter on the way, and how do we line the situations up, starting on the simpler ones and ending on the more spectacular ones visually?"

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Director Mark Zibert wanted the ad to look like a diorama, almost like it's in miniature. Thus, the viewer sees a cross-section of earth in the foreground, and the visual field is flat, with a dark, smoky background that makes the action pop. "We wanted to isolate the specific strip of the field where this epic run took place," said art director Naoki Ga. "We cut it out of the pitch and put it on display. We liked thinking of it as some kind of museum exhibit where you could just go and watch this one epic Ronaldo strike over and over."

    Zibert filmed at a studio in Madrid on a platform inclined 45 degrees, with the camera tilted, so the stunt men could roll down it and look like they were pulled by Ronaldo's speed.

    TALENT: "Ronaldo was super focused," said Ponte. "We took him through his parts of the action, and we started shooting quickly. This one wasn't a complicated one for him, since we just asked him to do what he is amazing at—playing football."

    The stuntmen took a beating. "The guy hitting the riot police, he bounced on a trampoline while being blown by a wind machine while holding on to a flag, over and over again," Ponte said. "The guys were so great. That made some really difficult scenes easy to make."

    SOUND: The soundtrack is an original piece scored to picture by music house Barking Owl. It "allowed us to build slow and mysterious and then erupt out of nowhere into playful energy at the end," said O'Rourke. The sound effects are distorted to almost seem like they're underwater, which matches the slow motion.

    MEDIA: The spot is running on Nike properties online.

    THE SPOT:

    CREDITS
    Client: Nike
    Project: Vapor Trail
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo and Portland, Ore.
    Nike Global Creative Directors: Ryan O'Rourke, Alberto Ponte
    Copywriter: Andrew Miller
    Art Director: Naoki Ga
    Producer: Andy Murillo
    Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
    Account Team: Karrelle Dixon, Alyssa Ramsey, Ricardo Hieber
    Executive Creative Directors, Portland: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
    Executive Creative Director, Tokyo: Caleb Jensen
    Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
    Director: Mark Zibert
    Executive Producer: Charlie Cocuzza
    Line Producer: Andrew Travelstead
    Editorial Company: Joint
    Editor: Kyle Valenta
    Post Producer: Shelli Jury
    VFX Company: The Mission
    VFX Supervisor: Michael Pardee
    Flame Artists: Miles Esmiller, Michael Vaglienty, Katrina Salicrup
    VFX Producer: Diana Cheng
    Music+Sound Company: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
    Producer: Kelly Bayett
    Mix Company: Barking Owl
    Mixer: Brock Babcock


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    See Spot run. And bark, growl, yelp and whine. This Volkswagen Golf commercial by Tribal DDB Amsterdam stars a perky pooch that makes all kinds of car sounds while out for a walk with its owner. At the 25-second mark, as the pooch squeals and backs up toward the woman, I thought the little devil was going to befoul her shoes. He doesn't. Too bad. "You don't need to drive a Volkswagen to be impressed," the ad says. I don't, and I'm not. Look, the terrier's cute, but ultimately its snarling and yapping gets tiresome. Time for a trip to obedience school. Or maybe its owner can trade in the noisy beast for a nice, quiet hamster. Still, the Dutch ad is more pleasing than "Get Happy," the automaker's upcoming Jamaican-flavored Super Bowl spot, which some wags have dismissed as a real, well, you know—woof woof, mon.


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