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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Nicole Kidman stars in a new film, but you won't have to go to theaters to see it. The Academy Award-winning actress plays a version of herself in a five-minute short for Etihad Airways, titled "Reimagine." The film is a 360-degree, fully immersive virtual reality story that takes viewers along for the ride.

    Etihad is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and the purpose of its film is to immerse viewers in a fully experiential journey following Kidman through one of its new Airbus A380s flying non-stop between New York and Abu Dhabi. The airline collaborated with The Barbarian Group, a subsidiary of Cheil Worldwide, and the creative digital production company MediaMonks to produce the film. Husband and wife directing duo Anthony Atanasio and Valerie Martinez shot it using pioneering filming techniques to ensure a seamless production with no "warping" or "stitches."

    See the film in YouTube 360 here:



    "We were impressed by the way in which both organizations, along with MediaMonks, turned our vision into a reality," Shane O'Hare, svp of Marketing for Etihad, tells Adweek. "This campaign helps us to bring that narrative to a global audience, putting the viewer at the heart of our award-winning A380 experience. This VR film also sets a new benchmark in marketing, technology and innovation."

    O'Hare says the inspiration came from a desire to give potential customers an immersive experience of what it's like to travel aboard Etihad's award-winning A380 aircraft.

    "Some things need to be experienced, not explained," he says. "You don't explain the taste of a meal at a high-end restaurant or the feel of good linen in a five-star hotel bedroom. In the same way, our incredible A380 product cannot adequately be described by words alone, or by traditional film, or even by 3-D film alone. It has to be experienced. Virtual reality allowed us to make that experience real for viewers."

    "360 VR is in a state of rapid evolution and growth right now, which presented us with a great opportunity to be first movers in high-quality, live-action VR," adds Adam Lau, creative director at The Barbarian Group. "Because Etihad is a brand that prides itself on product experience, 360 VR was a great fit for bringing this magical experience of being on board one of their planes to a broader audience."

    Lau said the short film is part of a comprehensive campaign to promote the piece via social and digital display, with custom Google Cardboard headsets being distributed at conferences and other events.



    The film brings to life the aircraft's unique passenger experience and hospitality by presenting the viewer with various sensory interactions on board the virtual 12-hour flight. Scenes are designed to stimulate the senses of light, sound, motion and conversation. The viewer is introduced to a number of characters besides Kidman, including a film director, an opera singer and even an Emirati guest with a falcon in first class. (Yes, Etihad allows falcons, part of UAE's culture, on its aircraft.)

    Shots of a butler in The Residence, a luxurious private three-room cabin, an in-flight chef in first class, a food and beverage manager in business class and even a in-flight nanny are all part of the storyline.

    The camera slowly moves along the cabin's luxurious interiors throughout the aircraft's two decks, before concluding with a focus on Kidman enjoying a relaxing moment in The Residence.

    The airline underwent a complete upgrade in 2014 with the launch of its A380 fleet. The following year, Kidman starred in an Etihad ad campaign. The heralded actress continues to serve as the airline's brand ambassador.

    Produced over six months, "Reimagine" was shot in Abu Dhabi, incorporating state-of-the-art VR technology. An actual Etihad A380 was used for three days and fully customized for filming. Overhead lockers, seats and other sections of the aircraft's interior were removed to allow for the installation of Red Dragon cameras. Hundreds of lights were installed to ensure smooth and uninterrupted shots by the roving cameras.



    The film can be viewed on a dedicated website, vr.etihad.com, and will be followed by an updated version in stereoscopic sound today (June 17). Viewers can download the Oculus VR app on the airline's dedicated website and view the film using a virtual reality headset, such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.

    "Reimagine" also can be seen on YouTube (see embed above).

    Etihad's O'Hare complimented the film's famous star, who juggles a busy acting career with family. "Given the success of our previous global advertising campaign work with her, she was the obvious choice for this project," he says. "She is an outstanding actor and was as keen as us to explore this opportunity to leverage an exciting new medium."

    Following a global rollout in April with a teaser trailer (also in virtual reality and 360), the full "Reimagine" film was launched on May 27.

    Etihad operates 48 flights weekly between Abu Dhabi and seven North American markets, including six destinations within the U.S. and one within Canada: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, D.C. It is the only commercial carrier to operate direct, nonstop service between Abu Dhabi and the U.S.

    "The most immediate opportunity we see within the U.S. is to further build out our current U.S. markets by adding additional frequencies," says O'Hare. "While we have no plans to add new destinations within the U.S., as we are happy with our current footprint, we are always looking at opportunities that make financial sense to further grow our network connectivity." 


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    CANNES, France—It's been a relatively sleepy Sunday here at the Cannes Lions festival, with most delegates just arriving or still on their way into town. But naturally there wasn't an empty seat in the Forum auditorium in the Palais this afternoon—thanks to the topic, "Sex: The Final Frontier," and its star panelist, Cindy Gallop.

    And of course, the ex-advertising executive and pioneering founder of the social sex site Make Love Not Porn—where people upload their own videos of real sex, not pornorgraphy—had plenty to say about the state of intimacy: her own, the world's and the (anemic and mostly dishonest) version peddled by brands in their advertising.

    The talk, hosted by Flamingo and also featuring filmmaker Mobeen Azhar, began with a discussion of generational attitudes toward sex, and whether circumstances inform them—such as the effect the pill had on boomers, or AIDS had on Generation X, or how Tinder is affecting millennials.

    Gallop, though, said one thing binds all generations.

    "I'm 56, I'm a boomer, and I date twentysomething men—so I'm cross-generational," the onetime BBH leader started out. "But based on eight years of working on Make Love Not Porn, and examining all this data—conversations, comments, emails—it doesn't matter what age we are, we are all rampantly insecure about sex. We are not open and honest about it as a society. We don't talk about it sufficiently. And so we all worry dreadfully. We all want to be good in bed, but we've got no idea what that even means."

    Thus, her mission with Make Love Not Porn is to normalize sex for a culture that in many ways is terrified of it. And her 30-year ad career has made her keenly aware of how brands can help that process along.

    Her first critique of advertising's view of sex? Almost all of it is through the male lens. "Our industry has not even begun to see the power of depicting sex through the female creative lens," she said. Most brands pretend sex doesn't even exist, and thus deny themselves a point of universal relatability with consumers, she added.

    "Brands and products are spectacularly failing to acknowledge this universal area of human experience," Gallop said. "People have sex in cars. The automobile industry spectacularly fails to ever acknowledge that, or to allow that to influence product design. The mattress industry is failing to acknowledge that people have sex in bed! They're not allowing that to influence product design either. The kitchen industry is failing to acknowledge that people have sex on kitchen counters. Honestly, I could go on and on. Our universal experience of sex applies to many, many not obviously sexual products and brands."

    As Gallop sees it, advertisers are just reinforcing the taboo.

    "We have a duty to consumers," she said. "We help our consumers when we normalize and de-embarrass this area of massive insecurity. The advertising industry has a duty to actually understand, analyze, acknowledge—and design, and market to, and communicate around—sex for all consumers globally."

    Of course, it's not quite that easy, as Gallop herself acknowledged.

    "The brands that have done this will occasionally get a real backlash for having dared to go anywhere near the topic of sex," she admitted. "When Gerry Graf's agency, Barton F. Graf 9000, did a wonderful campaign for Ragù several years ago in the U.S., they had one execution that showed a kid coming home from school, walking into the bedroom and seeing his parents having sex—you never see them, you just see his face. I thought that was brilliant, but they experienced some real backlash."



    Brands need to be brave, though, she added, and not overly worry about the reaction—because normalizing sex won't just help consumers get over their hangups, it will also be good in the end for advertisers' business.

    "The biggest obstacle we face in building Make Love Not Porn is the social dynamic I call 'Fear of what other people will think,' " Gallop said. "We react to all of this in the way we think we should, because we're worried what other people think about it. Get over that. Fear of what other people will think is the single most paralyzing dynamic in business and in life. You'll never own your future if you care what other people think. Encourage clients and brands to not worry about that. We do consumers a huge service when we normalize this whole area, and they will respond—and you will see that response in the business."

    Almost every soliloquy from Gallop was met with rapturous applause from the audience. By the end, she had even connected with one audience member from an agency in Asia that works on Durex—which Gallop said has so far been a little wary of partnering with her.

    She also had a few requests of the audience:

    First: "The next client brief you work on, the next conversation you have with a client, let's talk about the consumer's sex life. Let's talk about their attitudes toward sex. Let's talk about their behaviors. Introduce it as a completely normal fact of life, literally, to every brand you work on. When we do that, we can come across profound areas of insight."

    Second: "I want to see sex discussed much more at Cannes. I want to see the #realworldsex hashtag trending. Please tweet the fucking shit out of it. And talk about sex to everyone you meet for the rest of the week, because it's about time our industry started doing that."

    Third, and most provocatively: "We would love all of your out there to be our new Make Love Not Porn stars. We want to publish a 'Make Cannes Love Not Porn' edition. So, please film the sex you're having at Cannes, and it will transform you and your sex lives!"

    Hey, it's happened before.

    Gallop will have a lot more to say on the topic on Tuesday, when she hosts a session here in Cannes on Tuesday called "How to Change the World Through Advertising."


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    Pennzoil—if it's good enough to keep an engine cool while tearing through the desert in a souped-up Jeep Wrangler, it's probably good enough for commuting to work in your late-model sedan.

    The motor oil company is out with a new ad in its "Joyride" series from J. Walter Thompson Atlanta and Lemonade Films. A masked man in military garb airlifts into a desolate landscape in Baja California. He pulls open a trap door, hidden underneath the sand, to a secret testing facility. He climbs into a yellow SUV and takes off on a rampage through the dunes and over rock piles in the beating sun. The engine screams, and the speedometer quickly maxes out. Still, the car doesn't overheat.



    The three-minute commercial follows a similarly high-octane spot from March featuring a Ferrari, Pennzoil's first Joyride ad, though not its first tire-screeching video with drifting pro and Hollywood stuntman Rhys Millen, who's also driving in the Baja ad.

    Vancouver-based Lemonade is also the outfit behind such auto marketing as BMW's buzzy aircraft carrier drifting ad from 2014, and the 2015 Pennzoil ad that saw Millen, in a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, spinning circles on an giant airborne platform carried by two helicopters (fun visual stunts, even if CGI surely played a large role in both).

    For anyone who likes watching gorgeous videos of impressive driving feats, and doesn't mind the clichéd revving noises, the new ad is likely to be a treat. A behind-the-scenes video explains why the demonstration is relevant, precisely because the environmental conditions—and driving style—are so much more strenuous on the car's mechanics, compared to more average uses.



    For anyone who can't be bothered, Pennzoil's execs still hope you consider it the next time you're due for an oil change—though Quaker State, also owned by Shell, would probably be OK with them, too.

    CREDITS
    Client: Pennzoil
    "Joyride" Baja Credits List

    Agency: J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
    Executive Creative Director: Jeremy Jones
    Group Creative Director: Dustin Tamilio
    Associate Creative Directors: Derek Kirkman, Troy Leyenaar, Daniel Prado
    Account Director: Erin McGivney
    Producer: Daryll Merchant

    Production Company: Lemonade Films
    Director: Ozan Biron
    Producer: Trevor Cawood
    Executive Producer: Ted Herman
    Production Supervisor: Philip Fyfe
    DP: Macgregor

    Editorial: Cycle Media
    Editor: Matthew Griffiths

    Visual Effects: The Embassy
    VFX Supervisor: David Casey

    Sound by Source Sound Inc. L.A
    Sound Supervisor & Mixer: Charles Deenen
    Sound Recordists: John Fasal, Travis Pratert, Charles Deenen
    Sound Designer: Csaba Wagner
    Sound Editor: Braden Parkes

    Original Music: Generdyn Music
    Composer: Joshua Crispin

    Colorist: Dave Hussey, Company 3

    Service Company: Tonic Films (Mexico City)
    Exec Producer: Susie Neill
    Producer: Victor Albarran


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    The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached the playoffs 20 times in their 46-year history. But on Sunday night, they finally reached the promised land—winning the NBA title on their third trip to the Finals. Cavaliers fans could be forgiven for not quite believing that the day had come. 

    That's the theme memorably illustrated in this new Nike spot from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. "Worth the Wait" shows fans from around city—as well as the team's top players, including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith—celebrating their long-awaited triumph. 



    The theme isn't new—it brings to mind BBH's great spot about Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory in 2013, which ended a drought of 77 years for British male singles champions there. But it feels like the perfect tribute to Cleveland—the team and its fans. 

    And of course, if things had gone south on Sunday, it never would have aired at all. 

    CREDITS
    Client: Nike
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.


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    German production company Bubbles Film won a Bronze Lion in 2013 for its Volkswagen spot "Pedro," directed by The Real McCoys through ad agency DDB Tribal Berlin.

    But now, that Lion is gone—melted down to extract the copper, which has been infused into ink that the company is using to tattoo Cannes Lions delegates on the Croisette this week.



    The company's Award Ink Studio will be open Wednesday to Friday in front of the Carlton Hotel. "In Cannes, the Lions are the most valuable and sought after items," says Bubbles Film Berlin CEO Barbara Kranz. "Everyone wants to go home with one, but only a few get the chance to do so. We've got one, so we thought, why not share it with the world?"

    The tattoos will be done in the shape of a Lion, naturally. Check out the "Pedro" spot below. 


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    CANNES, France—"You know what sex sells?" Madonna Badger asked a capacity crowd at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today. "Sex. It actually hurts our brands."

    The Badger & Winters chief creative officer has become one of the industry's leading advocates for ending the practice of objectifying women in ads via her #WomenNotObjects campaign. On the first full day of the 2016 festival, she introduced the newest short film in that campaign, this time illustrating the effects that sexualized ads can have on a crucial but often negated consumer group: children.

    During her presentation, "Sex, Lies and Advertising" (which is also the title of a classic Gloria Steinem article), Badger introduced the third chapter in the series, titled "What Our Kids See." She told the capacity crowd that she and her agency partners gathered the young boys and girls in the video below and "showed them ads easily seen by anyone," adding, "[We got] the permission of their mothers, which we don't have everyday."

    The results are both compelling and disturbing.

    Badger said that she sees this latest chapter in her widely circulated #WomenNotObjects campaign as a natural extension of a project designed to honor the memory of her three young daughters who died in a 2011 fire that destroyed her Long Island home and also killed both of her parents.

    As she did in previous interviews with The Wall Street Journal and others, Badger pleaded guilty to committing the very practice she's looking to end. "I've been objectifying women for a long time," she said. "This is not about blame or shame or any of that stuff."

    She then elaborated on the theory that such campaigns ultimately damage the businesses they advertise. A survey of 2,700 consumers aged 18 to 74 conducted by Badger & Winters with the help of The Girls Lounge founder Shelley Zalis found that ads deemed to objectify women are "disastrous to brand reputation and extremely damaging to purchase intent." She said, "People don't want to buy whatever we are trying to sell."

    "For every boy to learn that every girl is his equal … this is the future I'm fighting for," Badger said while citing London mayor Sadiq Khan's recent pledge to ban"body-shaming ads" from the London subway system.

    "There's lots of talk of gender equality," Badger added, "but stopping objectivization has no gender, just as great strategy, respect and dignity have no gender."

    Badger told the crowd that many within the industry have called her goals impossible to achieve because the "sex sells" cliche still rules the world of marketing. But Badger said, "Real change happens when people come together and take a stand," concluding her presentation by stating that her life is now about three things: "My girls and their legacy, my amazing husband Bill ... and advertising and its power to do good—especially to do no harm."


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    CANNES, France—Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg took home the Grand Prix in the Radio Lions contest at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight for a KFC campaign that humorously reassured men that they are still manly even if they occasionally do unmanly things.

    The campaign advertised the chain's "Man Meal." Listen to the three spots here: 



    Jury president Tom Eymundson, CEO and director at Pirate Group, said the jury considered three campaigns for the Grand Prix. The other two were a Dove campaign from Ogilvy London and the "Football Memories" spot for football magazine Libero by Lola MullenLowe in Madrid. After much debate, they settled on KFC.

    "It's very strong," said jury president Tom Eymundson, CEO and director at Pirate Group, Canada." That's the beauty of radio. It's naked. You can't hide behind anything. You have to touch somebody out of the gate and hold them there and make them want to come back for more. These three spots, we believe, do that."

    He added: "They're for a major brand, which is nice to see, not a small boutique shop that gets away with some of the braver ideas. So, I applaud both the agency and the client for having the balls to actually step up and point out the struggles that men have determining if they're still men while doing some not-so-manly things."

    U.S. agencies won six Lions in total, and five of them went to Alma DDB Miami—for Walmart/Play-Doh (two silvers), Clorox (silver for "Big Bang," bronze for "Gravity") and Tobacco Free Florida (bronze campaign). Havas Worldwide New York won silver for the Dos Equis spot "Adios Amigo."

    Listen to all those spots here: 


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    In the second year of the Glass Lion award, Indian agency Mindshare Mumbai scored the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight for creating India's first transgender pop band, the 6 Pack Band, in partnership with tea brand Brooke Bond Red Label.

    The Glass Lion, which started last year at Cannes, awards creative work that helps to shift culture and addresses and impacts gender inequality. This years Grand Prix winner found a way to tackle gender inequality in India, where there are roughly 1.9 million transgender people, also referred to as the "Hijra" community, according to The Guardian.

    Many trans people in India find it difficult to find stable jobs or simply find any acceptance within their community. They often belong to the lowest economic class. Brooke Bond Red Label teamed up with Mindshare Mumbai and Y Films to spotlight transgender people, sparking positive conversations about the community by creating a band unlike any other—one that shatters gender stereotypes. 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "The brand is 113 years old. And for a brand that is that established and is a household product to really take on the issue of transgenders [was amazing]," said jury president Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

    The band's first music video, "Hum Hain Happy," features the pop group covering Pharrell Williams' catchy anthem "Happy" and has racked up almost 2 million YouTube views. The 6 Pack Band has released a number of tracks, available on YouTube, since it formed in January.



    "They approached it from the perspective of 'How do you embrace it? How do you combat gender norms?' " Di Nonno said. "Their approach was incredibly inventive. They actually created a band and used music and some very popular experiential pop-culture entertainment, which was very significant. And they backed it up with some incredible videos, which really engage consumer and speak to our humanity. It hit all the check marks that we could possibly want." 


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    CANNES, France—WPP agency Ingo Stockholm won the Direct Lions Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight for a remarkable tourism campaign that allowed anyone, anywhere in the world, to call a phone number in Sweden and talk directly and immediately to a random Swede.

    The Swedish Number, at +46 771 793 336, connected callers with random Swedes who had signed up to be de facto ambassadors—but who received no training at all, and had been given no instructions about what to say (or not say). The unfiltered nature of the campaign was what gave it its power, of course—a bold, brave move in a world of overly manufactured manicured tourism work. The campaign also marked the 250th anniversary of the abolishment of censorship in Sweden.

    Click the image below to see some data from the campaign: 



    You might recall that Adweek called the number when the campaign launched in April, and had an amusing experience talking to a quite unexpected Swede on the other end of the line.

    Direct jury president Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer of Leo Burnett, told journalists in Cannes this morning that The Swedish Number was the essence of brilliant Direct work.

    "In a world where we text, we tweet, we snap and we have a million options at our fingertips, it's easy to mistake technology for human connection," he said. "At the end of the day, we're people talking to people. And it's really refreshing to see an idea and a campaign that unites 9.5 million brand ambassadors with the world through the most direct form of communication—which is speaking, talking. In this case, a one-to-one phone call. It's direct at its core. It's an incredibly brave idea that generated immediate response. And it's a campaign for tourism that transcends tourism to become a celebration of national pride and a potent, powerful celebration of a country's 250-year commitment to freedom of speech."



    —U.S. Lion winners
    Four U.S. agencies won Gold Lions in Direct this year.

    Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco won two golds for REI's #OptOutside; Leo Burnett Chicago win a gold and two silvers for the Art Institute Of Chicago's "Van Gogh BnB"; Grey New York won a gold and a silver for Pantene Hair Care's #Daddo; and R/GA Hustle Los Angeles won a gold for Beats By Dre "Straight Outta."

    The other U.S. Lion winners in Direct were: FCB Chicago for Contours Strollers' "Baby Stroller Test-Ride" (two silvers and a bronze); McCann New York for Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip To Mars" (two silvers); McCann New York for Tommee Tippee "Advice Wipes" (bronze); The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for Geico "Fast Forward" (bronze); Deutsch New York for Water Is Life's "The Art Heist For Good" (bronze); BBDO New York for Lowe's "In-A-Snap" (bronze); OgilvyOne New York for Nascar's "The Hashtag 500" (bronze); Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco for Doritos "Rainbows" (bronze); BBDO New York for Lowe's "Live Vines"; and MullenLowe Boston for Zappos' "Pay with a Cupcake." 


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    CANNES, France—Y&R New Zealand's cheeky recipe for the "McWhopper"—a sandwich that Burger King proposed to collaborate on with McDonald's, but which didn't actually happen—won the Grand Prix in the Print & Publishing competition at the Cannes Lions Festival here tonight.

    Last August, BK purchased a full-page ad in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, inviting McDonald's to create the cross-brand burger in honor of Peace Day on Sept. 21.

     

    "We know we've had our petty differences," the copy said, "but how about we call a ceasefire on these so called 'burger wars'? … We'd like to propose a one-off collaboration between Burger King and McDonald's to create something special—something that gets the world talking about Peace Day. The McWhopper. All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger."

    BK suggested selling the item for one day only (Sept. 21) in one location, with all proceeds benefiting nonprofit group Peace One Day. The ad concluded with the line, "Let's end the beef, with beef."

    McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, however, chose to maintain corporate hostilities, nixing the notion of such a team-up. (While rejecting the McWhopper, he said the chains should join in some sort of "meaningful global effort" to support peace, but that never materialized either.)

    BK agencies Code & Theory, Alison Brod Public Relations, David, Rock Orange, Turner Duckworth and Horizon contributed to the effort, which captured the public's attention and generated scads of publicity.

    In April, the campaign won the Grandy, the highest honor at the International Andy Awards, and Y&R staffers from around the globe celebrated by creating their own versions of the McWhopper and immortalizing their culinary efforts in a fun video.

    Like another Grand Prix winner tonight—REI's #OptOutside, which scored the top honor in Promo & Activation—"McWhopper" ranked among the campaigns favorited to win Lions at Cannes. Print & Publishing jury president Joji Jacob, group executive creative director at DDB Singapore, said he instructed the judges to look for print work that could pass a few simple tests.

    "We looked for a print ad that would keep me from sneaking a look at my smartphone every five minutes," he said. "Can a print ad engage us long enough to not look at our phones? The other thing was: Could a print ad be as engaging as my social media feeds? Does it tell me more than my Facebook feed, or my Twitter feed? If I put it on the internet, would it take off and become viral?"

    The winner passed both tests with flying colors.

    "It's a very simple piece of print work. But it's print work at its most powerful," Jacob said. "It was a piece of print which set off a whole chain of a marketing ecosystem. It's a print ad which was hijacked by the net, which is awesome. It got spoken about all over the world, and it became a viral sensation in itself."



    Jacob conceded that some other entries were better crafted, and better written. "But a single print ad that could get picked up by TV, that could get picked up by the internet—it was the idea behind it," he said. "And we think this is the future of print. It's not just an isolated piece. It's a piece that creates a conversation, and gets hijacked by the socially dominant media and starts spreading the word around. And it became the lynchpin of a massive campaign."

    The U.S. won just one Lion in Print & Publishing. The Community in Miami—a unit of SapientNitro—scored silver for its latest playful ads promoting the public bicycle system in the city of Buenos Aires. Those illustrated efforts delivered the message, "Don't act like a pedestrian when you're on wheels." (That agency-client team won the Grand Prix and two Gold Lions last year in this category, which used to be known as the Press Lions.)


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    Consumer packaged goods aren't usually considered a creative canvas for agencies. But these six campaigns proved otherwise—showing that even staid categories can be fertile ground for fascinating creative ideas, and massive viral hits. 

     
    Old Spice

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
    Year: 2010

    W+K had been revitalizing the P&G brand for a while, but nothing could prepare the world for Isaiah Mustafa in his towel—at once, the ideal man and the ultimate parody of him. With its sharp writing and hyperbolic visuals, this spot defined postmodern masculinity and created a whole, often-imitated style of self-aware advertising.

     
    Dove

    Agency: Ogilvy Brazil
    Year: 2013

    The Unilever brand's "Campaign for Real Beauty," launched in 2004, reached its apotheosis with "Real Beauty Sketches." As part of a brilliant social experiment, a police sketch artist drew women as they described themselves, and as others described them—illustrating, quite literally, women's issues with self-esteem.

     
    Cheerios

    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
    Year: 2013

    This General Mills brand became a somewhat unlikely pioneer for progressive advertising after a quiet, cute spot with a mixed-race family got swamped by racist comments online. The brand seemed taken aback at first, but embraced its sudden role as a leading voice for acceptance by running a follow-up spot on the Super Bowl.

     
    Honey Maid

    Agency: Droga5
    Year: 2014

    Mondelez also took up the cause of inclusive advertising with "This Is Wholesome," a campaign showing the full range of real American families. The launch spot showed gay dads, two mixed-race families (one military) and a single dad—and the lauded campaign has also touched on everything from divorce to disability to immigration.

     
    Axe

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Year: 2016

    For years, this Unilever brand was stubbornly troglodytic in its ads, appealing to young men with bluntly sexist portrayals of women. But lately it's been evolving, and this year rolled out a campaign with an impressive, grownup take on manhood. One guy in high heels, another in a wheelchair—this isn't your older brother's Axe.

     
    Knorr

    Agency: MullenLowe
    Year: 2016

    Tatia Pilieva, who directed the famous "First Kiss" film a few years back, returned with this great branded work for Unilever's soup mixes and condiments brand. It was another social experiment about affection—to see if strangers could fall in love over food. With almost 60 million views, it's one of 2016's most viral ads to date.


    This story first appeared in the June 20, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
    Click here to subscribe.


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    CANNES, France—Apple yanked an app from iTunes just hours before it won a bronze Lion at this week's creative festival. The move came after a tech blogger called out the I SEA app—designed to help users find migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea—for being "fake," and the agency responsible admitted that the product is still in its testing phase and not ready for public distribution.

    The app, which was created by Grey Singapore for the privately funded migrant rescue service Migrant Offshore Aid Station, or MOAT, won media coverage before the festival began. But negative attention began to build after an anonymous tech blogger who uses the Twitter handle @SwiftOnSecurity tweeted, "I intuitively knew this app was fake within 20 seconds of using it."

    I SEA was among the many winners in the Promo and Activation category after being shortlisted for its use of data, mobile technology and "public sector and awareness messages." Grey Singapore described the entry as "a mobile app that, in collaboration with e-Geos Satellite Imaging Company and Migrant Offshore Aid Station, crowdsources the search of the Mediterranean Sea for migrants and refugees who are crossing it in unseaworthy boats."

    The office also made a video case study to promote the work.

    The concept is inspiring, but various tech outlets downloaded and tried to use the app and found that it was not functional. The primary issue concerned a GPS feature which promised to provide real-time screenshots of areas in the Mediterranean Sea where migrant vessels might be located but did not appear to work. Instead, it repeatedly produced the same still image of the open water. Apple later pulled the app from its App Store, and it is not currently searchable or available for download.

    "The I Sea app is real and was designed by Grey for Good in Singapore, our philanthropic communications arm, that has a great reputation working for many worthy causes around the world," a Grey network spokesperson told Adweek. "We said it was in a testing stage, and they have some satellite issues to work out. For some reason, a developer unknown to us has pushed the story that it is fake or a hoax. Grey Group is one of the most creatively awarded global agencies around, and we adhere to the highest ethical standards."

    After the controversy began, a representative for the MOAT organization told U.K. publication The Register, "The Migrant Offshore Aid Network did not develop the app with Grey for Good. ... All we can say on the developers' behalf is that the app probably sounded interesting in concept form but failed miserably in execution. We were asked to support the launch of the app in concept only. So we were included in a press release."

    Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Adweek the app was intended to function as promised, and the parties involved in its creation are still working on an arrangement with the aforementioned satellite-imaging company to produce real-time imagery. 

    Adweek has reached out to the Cannes Lions' PR department to request comment and will update this story if and when the organization responds.


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    CANNES, France—Google Creative Labs London was the height of fashion in the Cannes Lions Product Design competition tonight, winning the Grand Prix for a jean jacket—the Jacquard—that it developed with Levi's. The garment uses a touch-sensitive cuff and conductive thread to connect users to their Android phones.

    By tapping the jacket's wrist, wearers can access information and functions. For example, while riding a bicycle, they can receive estimated arrival times for various destinations via an earpiece, and also choose to accept or dismiss incoming calls and change music playlists. Of course, this arrangement lets riders keep their eyes on the road at all times.

    "The selection that we chose made us dream, as product designers," said jury president Amina Horozic, lead industrial designer at fuseproject. "When we saw it, we could imagine using it as a solution to many of the problems we face today. It could impact almost every category that Cannes Lions Product Design has. It can be sustainable. It can be innovative. It can make a better and safer life. We can interpret it in any sort of way."



    The jacket is the first step to creating wearables that communicate directly with the cloud (so, ultimately, no phone will be required), Google's Ivan Poupyrev recently told the Verge. "In the future, every [kind of garment can have] our technology woven in, and technologies added," he said. "You can use it for other applications. Business wear, athletic wear ... we're looking very carefully at the enterprise."

    Horozic said at the Cannes press conference: "I feel like it can enable and empower us to make a better world, a safer world and a world that we want to live in. … It's not just fabric. It's the future."

    After a year of development and fine tuning, the jacket is primed for beta this fall, with a wider release planned for 2017.

    —U.S. Product Design winner
    Doppler Labs
    in San Francisco was the lone U.S. Product Design winner, scoring a Lion—the category makes no gold, silver or bronze distinctions—for its Here Active Listening wireless earbuds that connect to a smartphone, allowing users to "customize" their aural experience in the physical world. For example, they can mute the roar of jackhammers beneath their windows, or turn up a particular instrument in the mix at a live concert.

    The only multiple Product Design Lion winner was Serviceplan of Munich, Germany, which won for Dot Inc.'s braille smartwatch and Otztal Tourism's ski pass with a built-in positioning chip that facilitates a rescue in case of an avalanche.


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    CANNES, France—Already a winner at the International Andy Awards and Eurobest, "The Organic Effect," a campaign for Swedish supermarket chain Coop, took home the PR Grand Prix tonight at the Cannes Lions festival here.

    The initiative from Forsman & Bodenfors was designed to strengthen the Coop brand and boost the concept of organic farming. The agency had a typical family of five switch from conventional food to 100 percent organic food for two weeks. At the onset, urine tests showed they had eight different pesticides in their systems. After just a few days, almost all of those chemicals were gone.

    Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL conducted the tests, and Acne Films produced an online video documenting the project.



    "The Organic Effect" scored considerable media attention and garnered a gold trophy at the Andys for social marketing, as well as two bronze statues at Eurobest, one for PR and another for interactive. It also won a gold and a silver in addition to the Grand Prix here at Cannes. 

    "The PR jury will be handing out urine cups to everybody, just to continue the experiment to see how it goes," jury president John Clinton, North American head of creative and content at Edelman, joked at the press conference Tuesday morning announcing the PR winners.

    Despite having what he called "cause fatigue," with so many brands hitching their PR messaging to social issues, Clinton said the Coop work was one of the relatively few cause-related campaigns that made total sense for the client.

    "People have been talking about organic food forever," he said. "I think if you did a poll that asked if you ate organic food, everyone would put their hand up. But in reality, very few people do. What we thought was that this actually got people to pay attention in a surprising and somewhat alarming way, and caused a reaction and a change in business. And we felt that was very meaningful and very worthy of the Grand Prix."

    —U.S. Lion Winners
    All told, U.S. agencies won 13 Lions in the PR competition:

    Leo Burnett Chicago scored a gold and two silvers for "Van Gogh BnB" on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago. (That work scored two golds and a silver in Monday's Promo & Activation competition, as well as a gold and two silvers in Direct.)

    We Believers New York scored the other U.S. gold and a silver for its six-pack rings created for the Saltwater Brewery that are edible to sea creatures.

    Venables Bell + Partners won a silver and Edelman a bronze for REI's #OptOutside. (That campaign also won the Grand Prix and a Gold Lion in Promo & Activation, as well as two golds in Direct.)

    Winning single Silver Lions were: Arnold Worldwide New York for Reese's #AllTreesAreBeautiful; and TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles for Airbnb's "No Borders."

    McCann New York won a pair of Bronze Lions, one for Tommee Tippee's Advice Wipes and another on behalf of Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip to Mars." (The latter has also won two golds and a silver in Promo & Activation, and two silvers in Direct.) Also winning bronze: Zeno Group in Chicago for Netflix, and Ogilvy & Mather New York for the Ad Council's Prediabetes campaign.


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    CANNES, France—In a decision that takes the category well beyond its traditional parameters, the Outdoor Lions jury handed its Grand Prix award to Colenso BBDO here tonight for its ingenious campaign to create a clean-burning, conflict-free biofuel from the yeast left over from the brewing process of client DB Export's beer.

    The campaign, which narrowly missed taking home the Grand Prix in the Promo & Activation category on Monday (it was edged out by REI's #OptOutside), was framed in the advertising with an irresistible appeal to beer lovers: Drink enough beer, and you could save the world.

    "When you speak about outdoor work, your mindset is ready to see a billboard," said jury president Ricardo John, chief creative officer of J. Walter Thompson Brazil. "That's no longer true. Our Grand Prix solves a real business problem for a big brand. This is a Grand Prix that will make the category go even larger."



    John was even blown away on a personal level by the campaign.

    "How can you make people drink more beer? It's easy for me to drink more beer. But how do you give them a relevant excuse that's good marketing to you, but is also good to your whole family, your whole ecosystem, your stakeholders? And how do you use media to do that?" he said. "These guys, this agency, they managed to do this. They managed to claim that if you drink more beer, you'll save the world. That's the highest proposal that I've ever seen in my career in advertising. And it's my favorite one, because I do love beer!"

    —U.S. Outdoor Lion winners
    U.S. agencies won three Gold Lions in Outdoor: TBWA\Chiat\Day New York won a gold, as well as a silver, for its Airbnb "Animals" campaign. (The "Octopus" execution from that campaign also individually won a bronze.) Wing New York won gold for a Jorge Castañeda campaign. And Leo Burnett Chicago won gold for the Art Institute Of Chicago's "Van Gogh BnB."

    Three other U.S. agencies won silver: McCann New York for Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip To Mars"; TBWA\Media Arts Lab for Apple's "Color Bars"; and FCB Chicago for a Boeing campaign.

    Grey New York won three Bronze Lions, two for Canon and one for States United To Prevent Gun Violence. Single bronze winners from the U.S. were: 360i New York for Canon; 180LA Santa Monica for Expedia; FCB Chicago for Contours Strollers; Energy BBDO Chicago for S.C. Johnson; and David Miami for Burger King. 


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    CANNES, France—A Dentsu Tokyo campaign for Panasonic that showed people the ubiquity of electricity in everyday life by charging batteries using 21 unlikely power sources was celebrated with the Design Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight.

    "Because we can't see it, we often take it for granted. What if we could 'see' electricity?" the brand says in the campaign overview. "To answer this question, we charged 21 eneloop batteries in 21 different ways. The batteries are outwardly similar, but each contains a very different kind of electricity. Some are charged with hamster power. Others are charged with the power of romance, youthful enthusiasm or sheer joy. When you know how each one was charged, it changes the way you think about electricity."

    Check out the case study here:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    "This piece is, for all of us, a very special one," said jury president Tristan Macherel, executive creative director at Landor. "It managed to use the power of design to change the perception of a product that has become a commodity, by bringing storytelling in—in every space. It creates a bridge between the digital tools and the analog world. We will have a challenge in the next few years [as designers] going into new technology without forgetting the traditional way we do design. This specific piece managed to combine those things together with so much cleverness and beautiful craft. It ticks all the boxes for what we believe design should be today."

    Macherel added that the jury wanted to make a statement with the Grand Prix choice.

    "It celebrates, first, a big, international brand," he said. "That was important to us, to give a message about how design can be a holistic, media-agnostic force for brands. We wanted to give the Grand Prix to a big brand that has been brave, because we are also awarding the clients and brands, not just the agencies."

    —U.S. Design Lions winners
    The U.S. gold winners were: Listen New York for Microsoft's "Delqa" (which also won two silvers); McCann New York for Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip To Mars" (which also won a silver); Ogilvy & Mather New York for IBM's "Art With Watson"; Intel Santa Clara for "The Lady Gaga + Intel Performance"; Leo Burnett Chicago for the Art Institute of Chicago's "Van Gogh Bnb"; RPA Santa Monica for Honda's "Paper"; and CAA Marketing Los Angeles for Canada Goose's "Out There."

    U.S. agencies winning silver were: Havas Worldwide New York for Legacy Recordings/Sony Music's "Bob Dylan: Studio A Revisited" (two silvers); OgilvyOne New York for The Webby Awards's "Typevoice" (two silvers); Ogilvy & Mather Chicago for SC Johnson's "Museum of Feelings" (which also won a bronze); and Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco for REI's "#OptOutside." 

    Bronze Lions went to: MullenLowe Boston for its own rebranding; FCB Chicago for Boeing's "Boeing Flypaper"; Carmichael Lynch Minneapolis for Subaru's "Who We Are Is What We Leave Behind: The Subaru Environmental Website"; Grey New York for Volvo's "Highway Robbery"; Johannes Leonardo New York for Adidas's "Strikethrough"; BBDO New York for Autism Speaks's "The World of Autism"; and McCann XBC New York for MasterCard's "New Year's Eve."


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    Specs
    Who (L. to r.) The 88 production director Adam Copeland; managing director Connor Bryant; strategy director Sophie Hauptfuhrer; and founder and creative director Harry Bernstein
    What Social media agency
    Where New York

    For brands like Men's Warehouse, Adidas and St-Germain elderflower liqueur, social media agency The 88 may not be the fountain of youth, but it knows where to find it. Initially an Instagram agency, The 88 pivoted over the past year to focus on Snapchat campaigns. But its preternatural social media prowess doesn't come from professional insight. "The experience we have first is always personal," said founder and creative director Harry Bernstein. "It's not like we have case studies and say, 'Here are five Snapchat campaigns that can prove the ROI.'"

    And brands seem to be OK with that. For Men's Warehouse, Bernstein and his team capitalized on viral proposals—think flash mob meets "promposal"—via Gen Z platform du jour Snapchat. By geofencing nearly every high school in America (around 18,000), Men's Warehouse created a filter that was used nearly a million times and viewed an impressive 18 million times.


    This story first appeared in the June 20, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
    Click here to subscribe.


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    Years into its ongoing and successful "Love" campaign, Subaru has been named Kelley Blue Book's 2016 Most Trusted Brand and Best Overall Brand. And to look ahead, it's looking back—at scenes from its most beloved Carmichael Lynch spots, in a warm commemorative message for the people who love it best ... and maybe for some new drivers, too. 

    "Proud to Earn Your Trust" kicks off with a throwback to "Subaru Heaven" (itself already nostalgic and heartfelt) but also features that glorious sunset shot from "Welcoming Party," as well as moments from "Baby Driver,""Honeymoon" and "Back Seat."

    Its storyline explores the times when people especially appreciate having a Subaru—road trips, childhood benchmarks, even accidents. It warmly concludes, "Every Subaru is built to earn your trust ... because we know what you're trusting us with," followed by closing copy that winks to the campaign's theme: "Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru." 

    Here's the :30:



    And the meatier :60 in all its gooey glory:



    "Over the past eight years, we've seen our Love campaign resonate incredibly well with consumers, who often feel a personal, emotional connection to the brand and the stories we've told," says Alan Bethke, svp of marketing at Subaru of America. 

    "With this new spot, Subaru gives a nod to the past while continuing to move forward in earning and maintaining the trust of our owners." 

    If the piece warms cockles and hearts, it's only partly because we can use it to relive the campaign moments that felt particularly powerful to us at the time. That will appeal to existing Subaru drivers, like TV shows that sign off with a nostalgic survey of every big moment you experienced with a beloved character. 

    But it's also a powerful primer on why "Love" works so well. The new-car smell, sexy features and sense of open road are only the tingly surface aspects of buying a fresh set of wheels—what most car advertisers focus on. 

    What Subaru knows, and has so craftily explored over time, is that when a car truly becomes part of your life—a trusty companion when alone, a reliable accomplice when with friends, a safe vessel for your family—it becomes unique, singular and painful to replace.

    That small nuance might just be enough to talk a mulling prospect off a flash-in-the-pan cherry red convertible ... and into a hardier (but heartier!) Forester. 

    Catch the spot from now through September, across cable TV and network late-nights.


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    Frank Ocean. Singer, songwriter, magazine editor, underwear model.

    And now, perhaps, novelist.

    While fans lose their minds over whether the mysterious R&B singer's long-anticipated second album might, possibly, just maybe be released in July, he is providing a peek into his relationship with music, boxer briefs—and more subtly, long-form fiction writing—in a new Calvin Klein campaign.

    A minute-long spot, promoting CK's fall clothing line, opens on a '90s-style talk-show set, where Ocean is a guest. It then shifts—with a shot of a shirtless blonde model sandwiched in a burst of static—to a surreal pink pastel room, where Ocean, barefoot in a charcoal suit and white shirt, defies the laws of physics, playing with a ball that moves impossibly and performing a casual, free-standing lean of which Michael Jackson would be proud.



    Ocean's voiceover, meanwhile, riffs on the addictive properties of being a musician: "If you start a habit and you keep it up for four or five weeks, then you stop and feel like you're missing something in your day, that's what music is for me," he says. "It feels like a necessary act."

    The off-kilter visuals evoke bits of Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream, or perhaps David Lynch. Ocean's musings—which also include a lyrical couplet, and reflections on the relationship between narrative and fantasy in his work, while he strokes his stomach, and CK elastic waistband—contribute to the thick atmosphere of the work, deftly revealing just enough to increase the mystique around the artist, and by extension, the brand.

    There's even a suggestion, hidden in the campaign site's code and posted to reddit, that while publishing a magazine and "continuing to perfect" his next album, Ocean has also been working on a novel.

    That hint at a long-form literary work has observers buzzing. Another line in the veiled copy, suggesting Ocean will continue to work on his music for as long as it takes to satisfy his standards before releasing, has them wringing their hands—despite a cheeky image posted to the repeatedly delayed album's own site last week suggesting it could be coming this month (or perhaps in November).

    While he might be masterful at stringing fans along, it seems likely the album is coming soon, one way or another—mostly because his marketing team would probably want to capitalize on the extraordinary visibility that comes with being the centerpiece of a major consumer advertising push like a global Calvin Klein campaign. This feels more like coordinated hype than false promise.

    Regardless, one thing is for sure. A mass fashion label is still way cooler than even the coolest of fast-food burrito chains.

    See a few more images from the campaign below. 


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    Sport in India has a massive image problem, particularly for women." So says Mohamed Rizwan, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy India. 

    This represents an interesting challenge for a client like Nike. "What we set out to do is give it a complete makeover by making it cool, accessible and fun," Rizwan says. "To that end, we commissioned some of the best image makers and musicians, and got together a crew of women that best represent sport in India right now." 

    The result is "Da Da Ding," a powerful video that unites the talents of rapper Gizzle, director François Rousselet and producer Genera8ion (known for working with M.I.A.). 

    The music sets a dramatic pace, while a multitude of women reflect the diversity of India and of sport itself: You can run, dance, box, play tennis; the mere act of exertion makes you a member of this team. 

    Among the ad's stars are national hockey player Rani Rampal, surfer Ishita Malaviya and Indian film actress Deepika Padukone (a former national badminton player)—a trio the agency calls "the ultimate girl sport squad."



    The spot successfully fuses elements of Indian pop culture—its music, rhythm and beats—to Nike's carefully crafted universal spirit: It makes mere movement feel revolutionary. In the same way listening to M.I.A. makes us want to rob banks in a convertible, it inspires a weird desire to do reps, or get into parkour. 

    "Da Da Ding" also doesn't shy away from physicality: Its depictions of the violence inherent in contact sports follow other sports ads that increasingly remind us women aren't made of porcelain; we can throw punches—and even bleed—with the best of them.

    Nike and W+K have deep roots. All of Wieden's offices—eight globally—work on the brand, but this ad marks the Delhi office's debut effort for Nike India since winning the business in 2015. Their exertions don't stop with a slick, high-energy video; modeling the music industry, they also created album artwork and co-wrote the lyrics with Gizzle. 

    Elsewhere, photographer Aman Makkar has been tapped to shoot portraits of everyday athletes, national athletes and Nike NTC trainers; and on Instagram and Dubsmash, "girl sport squad" members will upload inspiring workout videos and stories. 

    According to Nike, "Da Da Ding" recalls sociological evidence that female participation in sports helps self-image, building on a sense of control, competency and strength.

    "Everything I am today, and everything I have achieved, comes from my years of playing sport," says Pakudone, the actress—and former badminton player—in the video.

    "My goals, my commitment, my focus, my dedication, my discipline, my sacrifices, my hard work ... I've learned it all through sport. Sport has also taught me how to handle failure and success. It has taught me how to fight. It has made me unstoppable!" 

    The photo at the top of this post features (l. to r.) Joshna Chinappa, Shweta Hakke, Rani Rampal, Gabriella Demetriades, Ishita Malaviya, Jaie Bhadane, Deepika Padukone, Naina Mansukhani, Swetha Subbiah, Jyoti Ann Burrett and Tanvie Hans.

    Above is Deepika Pakudone, the actress and former national badminton player, whose father is also internationally renowned for the sport.

    And this is Rani Rampal, who at 15 became India's youngest national field hockey player back in 2010.

    CREDITS
    Client: Nike India
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Delhi
    Executive creative directors: Kim Papworth, Susan Hoffman
    Creative Director: Mohamed Rizwan
    Writer: Ankita Tobit
    Art Director: Anyaa Dev
    Account Director: Aparna Battoo
    Account Manager: Jayaram Shankar
    Agency Producer: Deb Drumm
    Director of Emerging Markets: Karrelle Dixon
    Managing Director: Patrick Cahill
    Global Planning Director: Andy Lindblade
    Planner: Michelle Arrazcaeta
    Global Media Planning Director: Danny Sheniak
    Production company : Division
    Director: François Rousselet
    Executive producer: Jules de Chateleux
    Editor: Tom Lindsay, Trim Editing
    DOP: Matias Boucard
    Music: Da Da Ding - Gener8ion, feat. Gizzle (vocals)
    Photographer: Aman Makkar


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