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    Climate change isn't your problem—it's your children's problem. At least, it will be if the world's current crop of adults fail to act. 

    A new campaign from the government of Ontario, brought to you by Grey Canada, makes that very argument with help from pop environmentalist David Suzuki. In the first ad, Suzuki lectures an auditorium full of kids on the failure of grownups to sufficiently address global warming: 

    In the second ad, a handful of the children offer their own descriptions of the crisis, and propose solutions—complete with hand-drawn diagrams:

    Overall, it's meant to drive awareness of, and participation in, the province's sweeping new five-year plan to address climate change, which will spend billions on initiatives that include better incentivizing electric cars, improving mass transit and home heating systems, and reducing commercial emissions, as well as a cap-and-trade system (part of a marketplace with Quebec and California).

    There's little doubt that the campaign's substance and spirit are on point. Appealing to adult concern for the next generation is one of the better ways to frame the global warming issue, making it more personal than some abstract future catastrophe ... and linking it to the biological impulse for self-preservation. 

    But its method might not be the most endearing strategy. Terrifying kids with a doomsday message—however accurate—with the explicit goal of scaring their parents, feels more like bullying than persuasion. And failing to transparently present new information about global warming, or potential solutions, might be a missed opportunity to actually educate adults on their options.

    While the second ad does propose concrete, practical fixes, it is so mixed up with kids being cute and fantastical that it fails to be particularly convincing. Childish indignation as a cultural trope is more likely to produce grownup amusement than grownup compliance. In short, it's too easy for skeptics to dismiss, and anyone who finds the message resonant is likely already part of the proverbial choir, convinced of the looming danger. 

    In contrast, the campaign's website offers a slew of specific options for fighting climate change: Buying local groceries to reduce shipping emissions, walking or cycling instead of driving, and weatherproofing homes to cut down on energy consumption, for example.

    Those are all useful suggestions, which, presented to adults by kids—as if the grownups were the children—might actually seem less condescending. Plus, after decades of failure to take responsibility, it would be plenty accurate, and shameful.


    Agency: Grey Canada
    Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons
    Creative Director: Joel Arbez
    Art Director: Oliver Brooks
    Writer: Mike Richardson
    Account Service: Paul Curtin, Kelly Ko, Lindsay Proudfoot
    Producers: Sam Benson, Dena Thompson
    Print Producer: Elizabeth Macaulay
    Digital Producer: Jaan Yew Woon

    Production Company: Spy Films
    Director: Tamir Moscovici

    Editorial: Saints Editorial
    Editor - Let Them Figure it Out - Danica Pardo
    Editor - Kids Talk Climate Change - Melanie Hider
    Post Production: Alter Ego
    Audio: Eggplant

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    Here's a fun little promo for the Miami Ad School's Toronto location, showing a portfolio critique that seems like good news at first for our young hero being interviewed—but soon the truth becomes more painfully obvious.

    The spot was done by John St., which excels at this kind of industry skewering.

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    If you're based in London and want a free bike, a new company called Buzzbike—whose name explains its entire business model—can make that happen for you. 

    In partnership with Cooper (creator of the Mini Cooper), which is providing the actual bicycles, Buzzbike offers Londoners not only a free bike but a Hiplok DC lock, lights, insurance and servicing—all for a £100 deposit (about $145). In exchange, users must commit to biking to work a minimum of 12 days a month and park their bikes on the street. 

    Why the weird requirements? The bikes are branded by whoever wants to be seen streetside, adding a democratic twang to the city bike model—Nike recently created its own city bikes for Portland, Ore., and Citi, of course, sponsors the New York program. The difference here, of course, is that no single brand has to carry the slack for the people's transport. 

    If you're wondering how Buzzbike would even know how often you bike to work, that's part of the exchange, too: On top of visibility for your toils, brands also get access to data from Buzzbike's app, which riders are obliged to use. 

    "I was amazed by the number of bikes on the road and thought that if we could do marketing and advertising on bikes—but do it with a bit of integrity, do it the Apple way, if you like—then bikes could be an interesting creative platform," Buzzbike co-founder and CEO Tom Hares tells Creative Review. (He is notably also the former managing director of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Apple's ad agency.) 

    Let's hit pause on the creative bit; we're not done talking about user constraints yet. In addition to biking frequently, parking in public and using the Buzzbike app, the company also prefers that bikes be visible in groups to draw more attention, so the places where you live and work will also be judged for potential brand traffic, or qualitative impressions, if you prefer. You're basically a human ad platform. 

    "The way we sign people up is largely on their home postcode and their work postcode, most importantly their work. Then we get a sense of where they're going to be parking the bike—because they have to park on the street—and that allows us to cluster those campaigns so the bikes are going to be seen," not to mention localize the campaigns by brand preference, Hares explains. 

    "But ideally over time we can be as inclusive as possible, and get as many out there as possible, as we sign up with more brand partners." 

    London actually already has its own bikeshare, the so-called "Boris bikes" created by Transport for London and currently sponsored by Santander. But Hares calls Buzzbike the "polar opposite" of that program, which he says is aimed more at casual bike users. 

    "We're very much for people who actually cycle every day, and the big difference is there's no stand for these bikes, they become part of your life, you get to keep them 24/7," says Hares. 

    Buzzbike plans to kick off this fall with about 100 bikes, backed by payment platform Braintree. Another 1,000 bikes will be deployed next spring, and the brand is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to support that phase. 

    Prior to kickoff, check the Buzzbikes out at an installation just outside the Design Museum in London (photo via Vianney Le Caer, courtesy of Creative Review): 

    The bikes there currently feature snazzy designs and illustrations by artists and studios, including Jean Jullien (whose Peace for Paris sketch famously went viral after the attacks in November), Eley Kishimoto, Universal Everything and Smithtown. Images appear below this post, in order of the artists mentioned. 

    Once marketing departments get to them, though, you probably shouldn't expect the bikes to be this sexy. Consider the look of almost every other bikeshare program out there, the exception in this case being that lots of brands will be able to get their claws in. We can already imagine the visual din, and it's giving us brainfreeze. 

    In the end, Buzzbike's initial success may depend on how much you actually trust Hares, who also reassures users about the bikes' look and feel: "We wouldn't work with [just] anyone," he says (though their current efforts to crowdfund may suggest otherwise. Papa needs a cash infusion, and such restraints can generally lower one's initially lofty standards). 

    "It's about a premium brand wanting to do something innovative and interesting ... I didn't leave working with Apple to create a company that did ads on bikes," Hares insists. "We're making something that we want to have genuine creative integrity." 

    Customers who fail to comply with Buzzbike's rigorous biking standards will forfeit their deposit—though Hares says they'll adjust targets if someone is sick or the weather turns for the worst, which sounds like a lot of individual management, a natural enemy to scale. 

    Still, you're probably best advised to stick to the Borises unless you're already a hardcore biker, in which case you probably already have your own bike. In fact, the only real benefit we can see to doing this is scoring a free bike whose eventual theft you won't care that much about.

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    With sexual transmitted diseade rates ascendant in Alberta, Canafa, how can a provincial health department reach young people who clearly aren't practicing safe sex? 

    The answer, it turns out, is an ad campaign by the Trigger agency that combines disquieting frankness with cringe-inducing, Tom Wolfe-esque use of modern sex slang. 

    If slogans like "Go balls deep without losing sleep" and "Protect your junk and your trunk" don't appeal to you, you're probably not the campaign's target demographic of twenty-somethings, especially men, among whom gonorrhea and syphilis rates are soaring. The ads are meant to be short, snappy and rude enough to grab attention online, where the anonymous hook-ups responsible for this uptick in STIs are arranged. 

    Being honest here, most of these slogans sound like someone's middle school principal trying to relate to students, with "Keep your vajayjay yay-yay" as the definite low point. 

    But a few are so audacious that they're funny. We certainly never expected to hear a government agency say "Chase bears with no scares" in our lifetimes. And Trigger's tone and implementation may well be more effective than the hectoring and scaremongering normally reserved for this topic. 

    The campaign has gotten good feedback so far, but talk is cheap. The real test of its effectiveness will be if STI rates decline. 

    Agency: Trigger
    Creative Director: Johnny Talisman
    Copywriter: Lance Risseeuw
    Art Directors: Taegan Rubert / Vanessa Chaplin
    Account Director: Celeste Herbert
    Production: Julie Bousfield / Natalie Faulkner

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    No animals were harmed in the making of this ad. Well, maybe the polar bear ate a fish, but that's about it. 

    Ron Foth Advertising stages an epic rap battle between carnivores and herbivores for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Thankfully, the animals don't bust any rhymes or moves—but dozens of zoo staffers do, in a throwdown that gets pretty intense. 

    It's feedin' time at the Columbus Zoo/I said meat or veggies, whatcha gonna chew?
    Carnivores are cute, you can't resist 'em/Top of the food chain, digestive system.
    Herbivores, that's who's leadin'/'Cause you don't wanna mess with a seven-ton vegan.

    Those lines reference big-cat cubs and elephants, respectively. 

    The zoo folks don't look so street in their light-blue shirts and khaki pants, though donning shaggy animal costumes ups the freak-ay quotient considerably: 

    "A group of us were visiting the zoo looking for inspiration for this year's campaign," agency creative director David Henthorne tells AdFreak. "One of our kids asked a sweet old volunteer what the alligator eats. She went into a fantastic answer about the alligator being a carnivore, and what that meant, and the difference between carnivores and herbivores. Her answer had this amazing flow. Almost like a rapper. That got us thinking about old-school hip-hop rap battles."

    Jack Hanna, the zoo's director emeritus and a familiar face from his many talk-show appearances—often with animals in tow—shows up toward the end for some frenetic breakdancing. Omnivores rock!

    "We brought in an Emmy-winning choreographer to teach these zookeepers how to groove," Henthorne says. "They spent days rehearsing various routines, all incorporating bushels of veggies and protein." 

    The team wisely plays it straight with the animals, simply filming the beasts in their zoo environments, or cradling smaller creatures in their arms, rather than using cheesy CGI to have the critters join in choruses or move hooves to the beat. (Though that cheetah looks like it would rather hang out with other cool cats at the supermarket.)

    "The bigger the animals, the easier they were to film," Henthorne says. Elephants and giraffes generally stayed in place for the cameras, while smaller inhabitants tended to scurry away and ruin the shots. The penguins—they were the real divas. [And] who knew sleepy koalas could move so fast?" 

    Along with the music video, the campaign includes TV and radio spots, digital elements and outdoor ads that show carnivores eyeing hamburgers on nearby billboards.

    Client: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
    Agency: Ron Foth Advertising, Columbus
    Creative Directors: Ron Foth, Jr., David Henthorne
    Copywriters: Ron Foth, Jr., David Henthorne, Megan Small
    Art Directors: Gene Roy, Mike Wilson, Nikki Murray
    Director: Ron Foth, Jr.
    Producers: Martin Nowak, Lisa Bauer
    Editor: Martin Nowak
    Audio: Doug Edwards
    Music: Walker Hayes, Nashville

    0 0

    Keira Knightley might seem dainty, but she has no problem dropping an F-bomb when the occasion calls for it—like when chastising the young British citizens who plan to skip the country's upcoming referendum on European Union membership.

    The A-list actress is just one celebrity to star in a new campaign, "Don't Fuck My Future," aimed at motivating British youth to step up and make their voices heard at the polls on June 23.

    In her 30-second ad, she demonstrates how easy it is to practice the perfect award-show face—offering an impressive display of rapid-fire mood morphing—before pointing out that it also takes about five seconds to mark an "X" on whether the U.K. should stay in the E.U., emphasizing (in the campaign's trademark foul-mouthed verbiage) that anyone who fails to do so is a fool.

    Actress and social entrepreneur Lily Cole makes a similar point in a second ad, as does rapper Big Narstie in a third. Agency adam&eveDDB created the campaign, citing a recent poll that showed only 50 percent of people under age 35 plan to vote in the referendum.

    "I was concerned to see how low the voter turnout levels are anticipated to be among young people, who will arguably be most affected by this decision," Cole said in a statement. "I've also been frustrated by the divisive and negative nature of much of the campaigning. ... So we wanted to do a neutral and positive campaign to encourage people to get involved, and make their opinions known."

    Director Anton Corbijn shot Knightley and Cole, with other ads divided among other directors. Additional shorter spots launched today, with clips featuring fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, actress Annabelle Wallis and drummer Josh Devine. More videos will roll out over the coming weeks.

    The provocative, overtly profane approach might seem melodramatic, bringing to mind P. Diddy's infamous "Vote or Die" campaign. But the stakes are legitimately high, and the message accurate. In this light, it reads as a simple directive—that voters should exercise their democratic rights.

    And while the celebrities maintain a deliberately neutral tone about which way young people ought to vote, younger voter turnout statistically nets as support for remaining in the E.U.—56 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds favor staying, while 39 percent oppose it, numbers that flip for voters 65 and older, according to the most recent poll from the Guardian and research firm ICM.

    But the race is close, with a growing edge for a so-called "Brexit," or British exit. Thus, individual participation really does matter. Which side of the argument is right is a much knottier issue—the referendum's policy implications are sweeping, impacting everything from consumer protections to national security, the economy and other myriad aspects of U.K. governance and life. 

    The campaign's biggest flaw is that while it may only take five seconds to mark the ballot, it takes a lot longer to educate oneself on how to vote, and why.

    Client/Agency: adam&eveDDB
    Project name: Five Seconds
    Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest
    Executive Creative Directors: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim
    Creative Director/s: Tim Vance, Paul knott
    Copywriter: Jo Cresswell
    Art Director: Sian Coole
    Agency Producer: Matt Craigie, Lucinda Kerr
    Business Director: Charlotte Cook
    Account Director: Caroline Grayson

    —Keira Knighley/Lily Cole
    Director: Anton Corbijn
    Production company: Black Label
    Executive Producer: Dom Freeman
    Cinematographer + D.O.P: Martin Ruhe
    Editing Company: Cut & Run
    Editor: James Rose
    Audio: Phil Bolland @Factory
    Grading: Paul Harrison @ Finish
    Online: James Ireland @ cain&abel

    —Annabelle Wallis/Jessie Ware
    Production company: RSA
    Executive Producer: Damiano Vukotic
    Director: Sophie Edelstein
    Cinematographer: Katia Rio
    Edit & Postproduction: James Ireland @ cain&abel
    Audio: Phil Bolland @ Factory Studio
    Telecine: Paul Harrison @ Finish

    —Big Narstie
    Production company: cain&abel
    Cinematoographer: Daniel Morgan
    Edi & postproduction: James Ireland @ cain&abel
    Audio: Phil Bolland @ Factory Studio
    Tele Cine: Paul Harrison @ Finish

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    Scenes of fan violence have been quite brutal during Euro 2016, which kicked off in France last week. But McDonald's is doing its part to broadcast a message of peace and unity with out-of-home ads that bring nations together, quite literally. 

    The ads, from BETC Paris, show fans holding scarves that support two countries at the same time—with the country names merging in a Snickers-like bit of wordplay. Sweden and Italy become Swetaly; England and Slovakia become Englakia; and so on.

    The campaign, photographed by Kim Reenberg, is intended to promote "tolerance, diversity and generosity," according to the fast-food chain. 

    The ongoing tagline is, "Come as you are." Despite the ugly scenes outside some matches, there is a lot of truth in the campaign—and camaraderie among opposing fans—even if the country names are imaginary. 

    Client: McDonald's
    Client Management: Xavier Royaux, Nathalie Legarlantezec, Sophie Giry
    Agency: BETC
    Agency Management: Henri Tripard, Julien Grimaldi, Juliette Aguglion
    Executive Creative Director: Rémi Babinet
    Creative Director: Olivier Apers
    Art Director: Cyril Arandel
    Copywriter: Adrian Skenderovic
    Traffic: Stéphanie Renoir-Mousli
    Photographer: Kim Reenberg
    Art Buyer: Victoria Vingtdeux
    Producer: Chantal Bertina, Arno Poulain
    Production Company: Rita

    0 0

    Coors Light may have its double-vented wide-mouth cans and its two-stage activation bottles, but it doesn't have a monopoly on beer technology. Another Molson Coors brand, Cobra, is out with a notable invention—not with its own packaging, but with a special glass it claims is revolutionary.

    London agency Karmarama helped design the glass, with help from hydrodynamics and fluid mechanics specialists and professors at universities including Birmingham University and Imperial College. The futuristic chalice is now in production for release this summer.

    The agency says the glass "has a unique channel in the interior facia allowing the liquid to flow smoothly around the glass to the base, creating a whirlpool effect, releasing flavor and aroma and creating the perfect head, all in order to bring to life the beer's 'Impossibly smooth' positioning."

    Check it out in action here:

    It sounds like bullshit, and maybe it is. But that's the genius of these sorts of "innovations." They're fun, buzzy, not easily disproven—and fit within the larger ambience of beer marketing, where almost everything borders on a lie anyway, and no one even cares. 

    The glassware will get an integrated campaign across digital outdoor, press, digital, VOD and social media. The tone of the work won't do much to convince people of the seriousness of the glass's claims—headlines like "The biggest innovation in pouring since gravity" and "Built by thirsty boffins" sound like April Fools' gags themselves. 

    But more power to them—they're going all in on this.

    "It's been great to work with Karmarama on such an exciting innovation," says Alison Pickering, brand director portfolio at Molson Coors. "The glassware we think is industry-defining will help create reappraisal of Cobra, adding visual drama at the bar, and ensuring the best possible pint. This is turn should help with our crucial distribution push to list Cobra in the on-trade as we expand into more bars."

    "We're proud that this innovation is helping Cobra 'crack the on-trade,' " adds Dickie Connell, creative director at Karmarama. "It's a great opportunity to have further fun with our 'Live Smooth' creative platform and demonstrate its breadth."


    Creative Director: Dickie Connell
    Head of Creative Production: Danny Baylis
    Senior Planner: Matthew Waksman
    Professor of Hydrodynamics at Imperial College London: Professor Chris Swan

    Creative Director: Dickie Connell
    Copywriter: Luke Ramm
    Head of Creative Production: Danny Baylis
    Senior Planner: Matthew Waksman
    VOD Production Company: Kream
    Producer: Debbie Impett
    DoP: Phil Ashley
    Print/Outdoor Photographer: Andy Rudak

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    Everyone has a blind spot while they're driving, when vehicles are in between your field of vision and what the mirrors show. These Hyundai ads from Ukrainian agency Tabasco cleverly address this by demonstrating a different kind of blind spot—the one on your retina.

    Check out the three ads below to see this nifty trick. Close your right eye, and look at the image in the mirror. Then move closer to the screen. At a certain point, the image on the left should disappear.

    So, how does it work? The spot where your optic nerve connects to your retina is your optic disc. There are no photoreceptor cells on the disc, so when an image hits it, you can't see it.

    This is Tabasco's first work for Hyundai Motor Ukraine. The agency tells us it will be responsible for tactical tasks, strategy development, video, print and digital ads.

    Client: Hyundai
    Agency: Tabasco, Ukraine
    Creative Director: Alexander Smirnov
    Head of Creative Group: Oleg Zavgorodniy
    Art Directors: Alexander Badia, Svetlana Gorovenko
    Account Director: Tatiana Ilienko

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    Most fast-food chains have drive-throughs. Not many offer fly-throughs. 

    To illustrate how quickly customers can pre-order and pick up their balanced breakfasts with a new app, Dunkin' Donuts enlisted the help of wingsuit base jumper Ellen Brennan, who grabs a suspended paper bag of donuts midway through her descent from 8,346 feet ... at 120 miles per hour. 

    And yet gliding at speeds that most doughy, nebbishy humans would find synonymous with certain death wasn't impressive enough. She also threaded herself through a tiny needle at the same time, in a stunt the marketer says is the first time anyone has successfully grabbed an object during a wingsuit flight. 

    To be fair, Brennan had a little help. Velcro on the arms of her synthetic flying squirrel suit grabbed onto the special bag, sparing her the trouble of having to coordinate her thumbs (or distract her from her more important mission of staying airborne). But that's hardly the kind of cheat anyone is going to hold against her.

    A 360° video shot by one of Brennan's airborne cameramen offers a different perspective on the gorgeous scenery, the Aiguille de Varan in Chamonix, France: 

    The behind-the-scenes video is an especially fun trip, mostly because it reveals just how hard it was to pull the stunt off. The effort is all the more impressive for the fact that Brennan came so close to hitting the target but failed multiple many times, honing in again and again on a tiny window, rather than just nailing it once. 

    In contrast, the 60-second commercial, created along with the rest of the campaign by DigitasLBi, almost makes it seem too easy. 

    As hyperbolic marketing goes, this is on the more entertaining and memorable end of the spectrum (if not as heart-stopping as Felix Baumgartner's base jump from outer space for Red Bull in 2012). It does, though, set the bar awfully high for other Dunkin' customers, especially in terms of style points, as well as for the kind of service the brand's locations will provide to passersby.

    Then again, more prosaic consumers will probably have an easier time enjoying their coffee and donuts, as they continue on their respective trajectories, than Brennan did as she hurtled toward the ground. 


    Client: Dunkin' Donuts
    Chief Digital Officer: Scott Hudler
    VP, Digital Marketing & Innovation Marketing: Sherrill Kaplan
    Senior Director, Advertising & Customer Exp.: Linda SanGiacomo
    Senior Manager, Advertising: Christopher Beijar
    Advertising Manager: Courtney Clayton
    Director of Digital & Innovation Marketing: Paul Murray
    Interactive Marketing Manager: Eileen Cawley

    Agency: DigitasLBi, Boston

    Chief Creative Officer:  Ronald Ng
    Executive Creative Director: Doug Schiff
    SVP Creative: Jamie Ferreira
    Group Creative Director/Art Director: Mark Chamberlain
    Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Marc Gottesman
    Associate Creative Director: Mike Egan
    Art Director: Brian Noyes
    Copywriter: Jason Kaplan
    Designer: Jimmy Alleman
    VP, Exec. Producer:  Ben Raynes

    SVP, Account Director:  Julie Blanche
    Account Manager:  Shayna Lederman

    Lindsay Sutton, Caitlin Hurley

    Business Affairs
    Executive Director, Business Affairs & Talent: Dan Simonetti
    Associate Dir, Business Affairs: Sarra Angelou

    Integrated Production:
    Kendra Schindler, Andre Ferla, Shayna Lederman

    Production Company:
    Seven Twenty

    Guido Perrini
    Mark Chamberlain

    Adrien Nisan
    Lauri Aapro
    Toby Bradley

    Post Production:
    DigitasLBi, Boston
    VP, Editor: Toar Winter
    Editor/Motion Graphics:  Annie Lefley

    Accomplice, Boston
    Editor:  Kevin Moore

    Mr. Bronx, New York
    Soundtrack Boston

    Ellen Brennan
    Laurent Frat

    0 0

    Lori, an abused wife and mom in Michigan, spent two years squirreling away money—hiding bills in a tampon box—until she had the means to escape her violent partner. 

    Her story is the basis of a new campaign, #FreeToWalk, from the Allstate Foundation and ad agency Leo Burnett, with a stark and chilling video as its centerpiece. 

    The short film, called "America's Largest Prison Break," paints an everyday suburban home as a jail where the victim of domestic violence can't "just leave" because her abuser controls the purse strings. The victim is seen pacing around a cell, with the abuser's insults and threats used as a taunting voiceover. 

    TRIGGER WARNING: domestic abuse.

    Focusing on the reality of dollars-and-cents dependence makes the film slightly different from other domestic abuse PSAs, with stats to back up the approach. Data from the nonprofit says that in 99 percent of domestic violence cases, victims also experience financial abuse, which includes ruined credit and lost jobs. 

    Financial abuse is the No. 1 reason why victims stay in or return to abusive relationships, according to the foundation's Purple Purse initiative. "Financial abuse is an invisible weapon that's just as effective as a lock and key in controlling victims," Vicky Dinges, svp of corporate responsibility at Allstate Insurance, said in a statement.

    In the dozen or so years that the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has existed, it's helped over 800,000 domestic violence survivors with financial education, job training and other tools to help rebuild their lives. Kerry Washington, star of ABC's Scandal, just re-signed for her third year as ambassador for the program, which aims to raise awareness and funds for emergency shelters and other domestic violence programs around the country. 

    Client: Allstate Foundation
    Agency: MSLGROUP/Leo Burnett
    Campaign: Purple Purse
    Name of Ad: America's Largest Prison Break
    CCO: Britt Nolan
    Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman
    Creative Director: John Kistner, Scott Smith, Mikal Pittman
    Art Director: Denison Kusano, Lindsay Stevens
    Copywriter: Jeremy Adams, Melanie Sawyer
    Group Executive Producer: Veronica Puc
    Producer: Leah Karabenick
    Production Company: Greenhouse
    Director: Mikal Pittman
    DP: Paul Cameron
    Line Producer: Jonathan Becker
    Editorial: Greenhouse
    Editor: Greg Somerlot
    Color: Filmworkers
    Colorist: Jeff Altman
    VFX: Ang Puglise
    Music: Human
    Recording Studio: Another Country
    Account: Varsha Kaura, Sheila Berlman, Kelly Chuipek, Josh Crost
    PR: Amy Cheronis, Lynsey Elve, Lily Merritt

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    The White House doesn't publicize changes to its brand identity. But something fishy has been going on with its logo over the past decade, according to a design agency that worked on refresh ideas for the famous mark several years ago.

    The story starts in 2009, when New York-based digital design agency Hello Monday was invited to submit ideas for a redesign of the White House logo. The agency, which had only recently opened its doors, quickly dove into the history of the logo—and of the iconic north face of the White House more broadly, which the logo depicts.

    You probably recognize the north face mostly from the back of the $20 bill (which used to show the south face, until the bill was redesigned in 1998):

    Ronald Reagan was the first president to use the north face as an emblem; a famous version of it remains a fixture on the rear wall of the White House press room, as you can see in this photo (credit: C.W Fitzpatrick, U.S. Department of Defense).

    The north face has also become the White House's de facto illustrated logo, both on the whitehouse.gov website and on printed reports it issues.

    But when Hello Monday got to work on the brand, and looked at the logo as it appeared in 2009, it noticed something funny: One of the arches on the physical building had mysteriously become a pyramid in the logo, as you can see below. 

    —2009 White House logo (click to enlarge):

    "We were surprised to discover something had gone wrong—or maybe it was a secret Freemasons cypher—call Nicolas Cage!" the agency writes in a lengthy, amusing blog post."We'll do our best not to go all 'illuminati' on you, but the real architectural element is an arch—now look at the logo again… Yes, it's a pyramid." 

    The error seems to date back to at least 2003. However, there is another version of the logo where the arch is correct—but which has other inconsistencies in the alignment and number of back columns, according to Hello Monday.

    How did the pyramid mistake happen? Since the White House doesn't publish anything about its logo, it's hard to know. "Everything is happening under the radar," agency president Andreas Anderskou tells AdFreak. 

    Here's where it gets even stranger, though.

    During its 2009 presentation, Hello Monday presented two versions of a logo refresh. You can check them out below. In the first, the pyramid has been corrected to an arch. The other version is streamlined and doesn't include arches or pyramids. 

    —Hello Monday 2009 proposed logo, detailed version (click to enlarge):

    —Hello Monday 2009 proposed logo, streamlined version (click to enlarge):

    "We decided to clean it up and create two versions: a more streamlined version that kept the important details minus the triangle over the window, and a simplified version for digital use. We also optimized the kerning and tracking of the logotype," the agency says.

    Unfortunately, the White House decided not to move forward with the project, and so the proposed logos went unused. "Obviously we were very bummed. And also a bit surprised to see that they kept the erroneous logo up for the next seven years," the agency says.

    But then this happened.

    Sometime in the past year or two (it's hard to know exactly when), a new version of the logo was quietly put into circulation. Check it out below, and see it on the website here.

    —2016 White House logo (click to enlarge):

    The pyramid has been fixed and is back to an arch! But—oh no!—this new version has introduced a major new error of its own. The alternating arches and pyramids over the windows on the right side are now wrong! It should be pyramid-arch-pyramid-arch, a mirror image of the left side, as it is on the building itself (and as it was, correctly, on the 2009 logo). But now it's arch-pyramid-arch-pyramid. D'oh. 

    Fixing this would be easy, as Hello Monday shows you in this Photoshop GIF. (UPDATE: A reader points out that flipping that section horizontally actually doesn't fit the problem, as it makes the shadowing incorrect.) 

    Here's where Hello Monday's juicy conspiracy theory comes in. If you scroll back up and look at Hello Monday's proposed logos from 2009, they were the images that introduced the arch-pyramid-arch-pyramid mistake in the first place. 

    So, it begs a few questions: Did the White House use Hello Monday's treatments in early drafts of this new logo, thus creating the error from work it had rejected years before? Why are there different versions of the logo? And why does the logo of the most powerful government office in the world have glaring mistakes in its brand identity at all? 

    AdFreak reached out to the White House several weeks ago seeking comment; so far there has been none. (Yes, they have some more important stuff going on.) But Anderskou finds the whole thing intriguing. 

    "Long story short," he says, "it's fascinating that 1) an institution like the White House has a visual identity that's full of errors; 2) no one knows about the identity; and 3) the error we did might be part of the current logo."

    Of course, on that latter point, we had to ask Anderskou: Did Hello Monday put those errors into its proposed designs on purpose, as a way to "watermark," and thus protect, its pitch work?

    "No, we didn't make them on purpose," Anderskou insists. "It was just a fast turnaround, and we were a younger company back then with less quality control."

    As AdFreak waits for a response from the White House, so does Anderskou. He recently wrote a letter to President Obama about the logo (see below), offering to fix it. "It's a bit of mystery, but an exciting one!" Anderskou wrote. (We'll see if the president agrees.) 

    And if Obama doesn't respond, Hello Monday has a message for the next commander in chief: "Mr. or Mrs. Future President: If you want to make a change, the logo for your new house would be a great place to start." 

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    When my son was about 5, and was asked what he thought I did for work, he replied: "Pushing letters." That was pretty painfully accurate—and describes so many modern middle-class jobs, where working with your hands is a thing of the past. 

    Jung von Matt/Limmat taps into the nostalgia for good, honest work in these amusing ads for OBI, Switzerland's biggest do-it-yourself store. 

    The print and poster ads use actual job descriptions found in online listings to shed light on the absurdity of many modern careers, and urge the reader to start using his or her hands again—at least away from the office. 

    Check out the ads here:

    "Clearly, what these people do for a living is highly complex, theoretical—and in a way absurd," the agency says. "In a time of consulting and incomprehensible job descriptions, it's evident: We should all use our hands again."

    Client: OBI Switzerland
    Erwin Maienfisch, Director Marketing, Sales and Expansion
    Vildan Gürsoy, Supervisor Creative & Media
    Agency: Jung von Matt/Limmat
    Alexander Jaggy, Executive Creative Director
    Pablo Schencke, Creative Director
    David Hanselmann, Art Director
    Johannes Raggio, Copywriter
    Simone Jehle and Fiona Gottwald, Consultants

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    Considering so many are hosted by ad agencies, it's a bit surprising that most Cannes Lions seminars aren't promoted with proper ads. But Grey is doing it up right with this promo for next Wednesday's Grey Music Seminar in the Palais, where Grey London chairman and chief creative officer Nils Leonard will interview rock legend Iggy Pop. 

    Following the deaths of Prince and David Bowie—and, three years ago, Lou Reed, just a few months after he chatted with Grey's Tim Mellors on the Cannes main stage—this promo is intended as "a salute to the most alive man I know," Leonard says. 

    It's fitting, then, that it features the 69-year-old godfather of punk reciting the Dylan Thomas poem "Do not go gentle into that good night." Check it out here:

    Pretty bracing stuff. And timely, says Leonard.

    "2016 will be the year we lost heroes. But I worry that people are starting to wait for the next cultural figurehead to mourn, and it's bullshit. Like the world's worst meme," Leonard says. "Incredible living artists and icons continue to challenge and define our culture, and Iggy is their viking king. Iggy has shrugged off what age is supposed to mean, convention, and expectation. He's grown old disgracefully and successfully. He is a real-life beautiful and vicious inspiration."

    He adds: "Heroes walk among us still. We have a lot to learn from the man Josh Homme called 'the last of the one and onlys.' Social, commercial pressures and the visibility of what we make in the creative industries has made us safe. Iggy, and the challenge and danger he brings, reminds us of the true power of creativity to move things on. That when things start to get boring, the only way out is to innovate, to create and to never stop diving in."

    See the poster for the seminar below. 

    "The Grey 10th Annual Music Seminar: Do Not Go Gentle" will held at 3 p.m. Cannes time in the Lumiere Theatre inside the Palais des Festivals. Previous Grey Music Seminar guests have included Tony Bennett, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith and Yoko Ono. 

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    The U.S. presidency is fine and all, but would Donald J. Trump stop there? Surely he would realize there's a whole yuuuge world out there waiting to be dominated.

    This fake Japanese-style ad, created by video editing wiz Mike Diva, imagines just such a scenario—as a young Japanese woman learns of Trump's victory in the race for world president, and embarks on a twisted, bubbly, brightly colored, utopian/distopian fantasy where Trump rules the planet.

    What could we expect from a Trump world presidency? According to this video, the military buildup would be swift and merciless, with a tanks and missiles everywhere. Which is a bit odd, since if you're the world's president, you shouldn't have an enemy. But Trump apparently just wants to blow shit up, as seen in the explosive final frames of the video.

    Trump may be an easy target for Diva, but he's not an atypical one. The candidate is, after all, only so far removed from a satanic Furby.

    0 0

    If the biggest extracurricular activity your agency has had time for lately is the yearly holiday card, prepare to have the bar hoisted higher than your T-rex arms can reach.

    Los Angeles creative agency Omelet has released its first full-length documentary, a project that took three years to complete. The hook of "License to Operate" feels like a buddy-movie plot: It follows former gang leaders committed to improving their communities—partitioned into de facto war zones by subsets of gangs, sprung from the original Bloods and Crips—working with law enforcement when necessary. 

    Along the way, we meet characters like founder Aquil Basheer of the LTO Movement and the Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI, which trains and certifies interventionists and other professionals), former Athens Park Blood Kenneth Jones, and Reynaldo "Whiz" Reaser, a former Raymond Crip. 

    "We kept cameras rolling for nearly four more months, capturing over 150 hours of footage, and spent close to a year putting the puzzle together into the film we have today," Mike Wallen, the film's producer—and Omelet's chief content officer—tells AdFreak.

    The film kicks off with the story of one man's descent into gang violence around 1992. That year, 1,900 homicides were recorded in Los Angeles, a record figure for the county.

    The city needed sustainable action, not just brute force and badges.

    "Individuals realized the need to secure public safety, and most realized it would take a unified effort," Basheer—who's served in gang intervention for over 40 years—tells us. "Our expertise needed to be on board to make the process effective." 

    It merits asking how ex-gangbangers and interventionists saw the merits of working—however intermittently—with the LAPD, characterized as intolerant, racist and militant. It was only in 1991 that four officers were charged with the beating of Rodney King, a subject the film broaches in footage that feels more brutal than its allusions to civilian-on-civilian violence. 

    "The LAPD had significant problems with many communities that they served in the past," Basheer agrees. This image pushed it to try becoming more "community vested" and integrated.

    "We don't work for the LAPD, we are not the LAPD's snitches, and we do not pass intel to the LAPD," says Basheer. "We have a respected coexistence that is based on public safety and keeping our communities safe. This came through years of watching each other work in the community, and gang credibility from that community." 

    He continues, "We identified some outstanding officers who were truly community vested. Some in leadership tried to empower change within their ranks. Others faulted the process. We work with those that are constructive and valuable assets to the community we serve."

    For police forces, there's a logic to working with former gang members, who not only have street cred but understand the unspoken divides that delineate neighborhoods.

    "The boundaries are clearly marked," Wallen explains. "Collaboration between representatives of these neighborhoods was critical. What's unique about this network of ex-gang members is that while they each represent their respective neighborhoods, the alliances they've created allow them to work together across the entire city of L.A." 

    What's more, "interventionists can respond to issues in the community in a way that law enforcement simply can't," says Wallen. "The biggest turning point was developing processes and protocol for how interventionists do their job so law enforcement would find their efforts useful, credible and reliable. Interventionists have helped immeasurably, and gang-related homicides are at a 20-year low." 

    The documentary's end highlights both the fragility of this relationship and the commonalities that bind it: A police officer and an ex-gang member appear at a cemetery, tenderly washing the tombstones of the children they've respectively lost while reflecting on the work yet to be done.

    Elsewhere, violence is constantly alluded to, its evidence seen in communities where buildings still bear the marks of bullets from AK-47s. Women are interviewed, talking frankly about the situation in their streets. Men cry and lift up pantlegs, revealing scars. But most touching are the youth themselves—sometimes vibrant, lively and funny, other times hopeful but wary.

    Asked to join a community event, one backs out when told it will involve rival gangs working together. His mentor is sad, but expresses no surprise—working with rivals makes him a target.

    "Each has their own needs and challenges that has to be dealt with. There are common denominators, but there has to be individual assessment and evaluation," says Basheer. "This is a sacrificing process that requires time, energy and wherewithal." 

    In another moment, a high schooler named Jazmine gets her first job. She's excited and pensive—a typical teenage girl, with a particularly traumatic background: As a baby, her mother tried selling her and her twin sister for drugs. Jazmine herself isn't yet out of the dark; it's only later that we learn she's going back and forth in court for beating a woman with a post from a bunk bed.

    This dissonance isn't surprising. According to Efta Sharon of the Center of Juvenile Justice, kids who grow up in urban and impoverished neighborhoods often experience high levels of PTSD, equivalent to children who've grown up in what we more formally consider war zones.

    But most compelling about the film is that it never feels exploitative, urgent or treacly.

    "The people in LTO are normal individuals who are faced with severe challenges of violence, economic degradation, personal trauma and lack of anchors to create the necessary foundation for normality," Basheer says. 

    "You cannot attempt to deal with their needs from your normal. You have to understand the dynamics of their circumstances, provide satisfactory options for them to change their direction. Once they are redirected, create equitable systems that stabilize that change process." 

    He adds, "While some gang members cause severe issues, they only represent about 10 percent of the overall community. Usually, families, community stakeholders and others have to take on the burden and navigate the negativity caused by this 10 percent—normal individuals facing astronomical challenges." 

    The LTO movement has since spread to other cities in the country, including Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, San Diego, Atlanta, Texas, Baltimore, Newark, New York, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

    "We have been extremely effective in creating a linked collaborative of hardcore peacekeepers, mental health, law," says Basheer. "Our main challenge as we grow is getting the proper support from municipalities, private industries and philanthropists, in regards to resources and monetary might."

    Which leads us to why Omelet did this in the first place.

    "We were asked to produce a short film for a fundraising gala for A Better L.A., which helps provide resources to these men and women," explains Wallen. "Immediately we recognized the importance of what they were doing, and felt compelled to turn this into a longer narrative. Our goal was to build awareness for what they were doing, and while a fundraising piece is great for that purpose, a film could bring the message to a much larger audience." 

    Agencies, according to Basheer, "have a societal role in assisting our cause. This is not an individual choice but should be a mandated responsibility for the betterment of society and the numerous dysfunctional communities we all represent." 

    Whether the problem your community faces is gang violence or something else, "It is going to take a multi-disciplinary collaborative to truly solve the issues that our communities are faced with," he says.

    But he's also put thought into avoiding the exploitation or hijacking that can come with working alongside the commercially interested. 

    "There is always that risk when you have collaborations and partnerships involved. We navigate that by ensuring all the programs under the LTO Movement and PCITI have been system-driven," Basheer says. "We create the systematic infrastructure based on the needs of the communities"—meaning there's little room for "individual manipulation, grandstanding or personal glorification. We are a cause-driven movement and the cause drives the process."

    More concerning than commercial interest and participation is one of the results of LTO's success: gentrification. A safer Los Angeles is now a hot spot for agency folks and other white-collar professionals.

    "Gentrification seriously impacts our efforts," Basheer admits. "In many cities, gentrification has been used as a tool to repopulate desolate areas in a given geographical zone." In other words, it isn't always a bad process, and permits community revitalization. The real problem is re-gentrification, which doesn't take existing communities into account and pushes them outward—creating an unstable vacuum that gangs can fill. 

    "Challenges that were being dealt with before community displacement are allowed to take root in environmental enclaves that did not have these issues prior," says Basheer. "Time and again, those of us on the ground have to restart the entire process with new challenges because of the placement of individuals into new communities. 

    "When municipalities re-gentrify, they have to include the community's voice and the solution for how to include the [existing] population in the rebirth of the community," says Basheer. "They cannot put out false promises"—like insisting that people can come back once the process is complete, knowing there won't be room, or that they'll have been priced out. 

    All this points to a fundamental call to action. License to Operate "shows how important it is for agencies to support influential causes and movements—even if there aren't any brands behind them," stresses Devin Desjarlais, communications director at Omelet.

    "All we can do is hope that people will see this film, hear their story, believe in what they're doing, and try to help any way they can," says Wallen. "Hopefully License to Operate shows the creative community at large that taking great risks and chasing what you believe can yield great things."

    Watch the documentary via iTunes, where you can download it for $9.99. For agencies who want to learn more, Basheer recommends reading his book, Peace in the Hood, which provides a broader view of his field of work. "Anyone interested in further education of Holistic Violence Intervention and Prevention should acquire it," he says.

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    It turns out Sasquatch, the mythical ape-like creature who's sparked imaginations through the years after sightings in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, is really just a hirsute web developer who lives a quiet life in suburban Seattle. 

    That's one takeaway from this unusual campaign by ad agency PRR, designed to lure prospective home buyers (mostly millennials) to Shoreline, Wash., a bucolic community of 53,000 on Puget Sound, nine miles from the Emerald City's downtown district. 

    "We were looking for a way to tell the best-kept-secret story," Dan Eernissee, Shoreline's economic development program manager, tells Adweek. "PRR presented the idea of using the ambassador, Squatch, a friendly Sasquatch, who is on a personal mission" to educate viewers about himself and Shoreline, which he calls home. 

    The trailer drives viewers to the campaign's website, ending on the line "You Don't Know Squatch." But the centerpiece of content is a five-minute mockumentary revealing the secrets of Sasquatch, who turns out to be a furry, friendly, misunderstood soul—a hairy hipster grooving on Shoreline's laid-back lifestyle. He's an absolute beast on the basketball court, though. Check out the furball's flagrant foul below:

    Agency production coordinator Robert Reyes plays Squatch with minimal makeup—a fake beard and hairy hands, plus a slightly protruding forehead. At times, he looks a bit like Jesus crossed with a Klingon, or else a very tall member of the Allman Brothers Band. Still, his appearance is way more relatable than the over-the-top brutishness of, say, Jack Link's featured creature.

    "After looking over a few casting options, we realized Robert fit the part of a modern Sasquatch to a T," says Eernissee. "He is 6-foot-3 and already had the long hair, and gave us the opportunity to break away from a Sasquatch suit." 

    Reyes isn't letting the star turn go to his head. "No one has recognized me yet" outside the agency, he says. "It's just a fun running joke in the office." 

    Frankly, the clip could use a brisker pace; at times it plays like a meandering segment of Portlandia (moved three hours north). Still, it is getting Shoreline's big foot in the door: Supported by Facebook and Twitter ads as well as transit placements, the video has tallied more than 25,000 views in its first month online, with the website scoring nearly 5,000 unique visits.


    Director: Dave Radford, PRR Video Creative Director
    Executive Producer: Dan Eernissee, City of Shoreline Economic Development Program Manager
    Executive Producer: Jennifer Rash, PRR Senior Account Manager
    Producer: Dylan Tyne, PRR Account Executive
    Director of Photography: Brad Curran
    Editor: Brad Curran
    Camera Assistant: Tim Haddock
    Audio Engineer: Jon Anderson
    Hair & Makeup: Shawn Shelton,
    Denise Walz, PRR Co-President
    Katherine Schomer, PRR Senior Research Associate  

    0 0

    Comedians Bobby Lee and Jane Lynch won't be making it to the wedding of their colleagues Jordan Peele and Chelsea Perretti ... because they'll be too busy making love and eating sushi off each other on their own holiday getaway. 

    So go two new ads in Booking.com's campaign around Peele and Perretti's nuptials. Two months ago, the duo—engaged in real life—launched the Wieden + Kennedy Portland-created push in an ad series about their planning difficulties, and the ease with which the online travel agency helps them make necessary changes. 

    Now, in a 40-second spot, Lee and Lynch appear in a hotel room, respectively wearing a towel and a bathrobe. Lynch laments they'll miss the wedding, but Lee insists they can still change plans at the last minute—thanks to Booking.com's easy cancellation policy. 

    That proactive attitude gets Lynch worked up, triggering a hot-and-heavy make-out session that suggests nobody will be going anywhere anytime soon.

    A second, 15-second spot, meanwhile, features Lynch enjoying a feast of raw fish off Lee, who is naked with the exception of a Speedo—playing on the Japanese practice of eating sushi off the bodies of nude women, and, to a lesser degree, men. Unlike more traditional settings, Lee, the human table, gets to participate in the meal, though he manages to be thoroughly—and appropriately—gross while doing it.

    Their antics follow those of two other comedians—Peele's longtime co-host Keegan-Michael Key, and Rebel Wilson—who last month made similarly absurd contributions to the campaign in joint commercials about a road trip to the wedding. 

    Some viewers may love Lee and Lynch's additions; others may find them lurid and off-putting, but one thing is for sure: It's hard to look away, if only because it's like watching a bad accident. 


    Client: Booking.com

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Director: Micah Walker
    Copywriter: Nick Morrissey / Mike Egan
    Art Director: Jon Kubik / Meaghan Oikawa
    Producer: Hayley Goggin Avila
    Art Producer: Andrea Bakacs
    Account Service: Regina Keough / Tristan Harvin / Mimi Kim / Thomas Harvey
    Comms Supervisor: Destinee Scott
    Strategic Planning: Eugee Krasnopolsky / Nicole Brandell
    Business Affairs: Karen Roche
    Interactive Producer: Blake Carrillo
    Studio Design: Dana Beaty / Grey Jay
    Studio Manager: Sally Garrido-Spencer
    Retouchers: Kyle Pero / Saskia Thomson
    Motion Designer: Adam Sirkin
    Motion Producer: Sarah Gamazo / Tori Herbst

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Randy Krallman
    Executive Producer: Patrick Milling Smith / Brian Carmody / Shannon Jones / Andrew Colon
    Line Producer: Ian Blaine
    Director of Photography: Darko Suvac
    Production Designer: Jason Schuster

    Editorial Company: Cartel
    Editor: Andy McGraw
    Assistant Editor: Eddie Mikasa
    Post Producer: Meagen Carroll
    Post Executive Producer: Lauren Bleiweiss

    Photographer: Emily Shur
    Line Producer: Tricia Sherman
    Production Company: Bauerfeind Productions

    VFX Company: Joint
    On Set Supervision: Brad Hayes
    Lead Flame: MB Emigh
    2D Artists: Leif Peterson  / Noah Poole
    VFX Producer: Gail von Dedenroth
    VFX Coordinator: Nathanael Horton
    VFX Executive Producer: Alex Thiesen

    Mix Company: Lime
    Mixer / Sound Design: Sam Casas
    Producer: Susie Boyajan

    Telecine Company: The Mill
    Color Producer: Diane Valera
    Colorist: Adam Scott

    0 0

    Most readers probably won't know that Cisco is responsible for all of human evolution, past, present and future. But the argument almost seems convincing when delivered by Ewan McGregor.

    The actor stars in a new 60-second commercial from Goodby Silverstein and Partners, recapping the past few billion years of life on Planet Earth, focusing on the achievements of homo sapiens. "Congratulations, fellow human beings," he says in the spot's opening salvo. "We made it. We sprouted limbs. We crawled out of the slime. I'm really proud of us."

    "We built pyramids, invented the mochachino, we created a network that became the internet," he continues, capturing all the relevant points of history. "And then? Boom! We're downloading medicine, growing lettuce in space," he says, before nearly falling out the end of the particle accelerator he's been strutting through while he raps.

    Other notable advancements to cross McGregor's path include a 3D-printed human ear, a robot that looks—but doesn't quite act—like a dog, and the use of technology to bring clean drinking water, and phone-bought goats, to parts of the world where such things are valuable commodities.

    It's a slick, zippily written piece of marketing from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, ending with an upbeat McGregor declaring the proverbial glass half full—as Cisco promises a world where anything is possible, thanks, naturally, to the secure IT connections the company will provide. 

    McGregor's delivery is plenty entertaining, if quite a bit more earnest than his work for BT last year. Dante Ariola directs, to good effect. And the message is clear, and true enough in spirit—Cisco did contribute significantly to the growth of the internet, at least, and for the more privileged segments of the world's population, now is a better time than ever—even if the overall picture the marketer paints is perhaps a bit over-eager, or just too rosy.

    There are always plenty of awful developments around the globe to go with the swell ones. But that's for the news to cover—not the advertisers.

    Client: Cisco
    Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
    Director: Dante Ariola

    0 0

    Finnish probiotics brand Gefilus is so good at building up healthy bacteria in your gut—thereby strengthening your immune system—that you could lick a pay phone in Moscow and not get sick.

    That's the rough premise of a 22-minute (!) ad from dairy conglomerate Valio.

    To illustrate the effectiveness of its product, the marketer hired travel television host Ian Wright, known for his willingness to eat just about anything, to bounce around the globe with a germ-measuring meter. 

    Along the way, he slides his tongue across the filthiest surfaces he can find while maintaining a steady Gefilus diet to boost his body's internal defenses.

    It's a strong contender for the grossest ad of 2016, with Wright taking on some truly rancid challenges. To his credit, he draws the line at the handle of a public bathroom stall in Moscow, though it's not really clear that would be worse than some of the other surfaces he's willing to taste.

    Horror-gaping aside, it actually manages to be surprisingly entertaining, and perhaps even informative. The documentary-style ad, charmingly if goofily titled "The Lick-Hikers Guide to Inner Strength" and created by Hasan and Partners Helsinki, features interviews with doctors and academics, and cute little animations on Valio's vision of the science of probiotics.

    Licking dirty things is pretty rare—though not unheard of—as an advertising theme, and no wonder. Still, Wright's humor about the dubious sanity of the undertaking makes him endearing, even as he samples filthy river water in Helsinki, or the flush button in a train bathroom.

    Ultimately, the highest concentration of germs he finds is in his home kitchen sink—though as the credits roll, he measures a certain part of his own person that, perhaps unsurprisingly, is not far behind.

    Whether Gefilus can really turn your gut into an iron fortress is another question; it goes almost without saying that Wright's tests aren't exactly a convincing experiment. But one thing is for sure: Don't try this at home. Not that you'd want to.


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