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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Who are the faces of Meals on Wheels? 

    For its first national integrated campaign, created by Anomaly and supported by the Ad Council, Meals on Wheels is seeking volunteers to serve the elderly population in the U.S. The commitment isn't big, and they're not asking for money. What they want is your lunch hour. 

    "America, Let's Do Lunch" puts a warm and upbeat spotlight on the people who benefit from Meals on Wheels. You'll meet a retired school psychologist with a contagious laugh, a woman who surrounds herself with flowers, a couple who've knitted their wedding photo onto a pillowcase, and more. 

    The anchoring ad, which kicks off the campaign and introduces the characters, concludes, "One in six seniors face the threat of hunger, and millions more live in isolation. So drop off a hot meal and say a quick hello." 

    The U.S. senior population is expected to double by 2050. And while they're staying healthier longer, and living longer too, these ads deftly demonstrate that life's packed with curveballs you don't expect—like strokes or broken hips. (We often forget that, at some point, we all become less able to varying degrees.) 

    Perhaps most stunning is the isolation in which many of Meals on Wheels clients live. They are depicted as happy, independent adults who live full lives—but much of that happiness is tied to the safety, comfort and inclusion they feel. The program isn't just about delivering balanced meals; it's about coming to the door, chatting awhile, and reminding your recipients that they're part of a greater whole. 

    As one client so nicely put it, "Having someone check on me assures me that I'm not forgotten." What you're being asked for isn't just an hour of your time; it's company and a fruitful exchange. 

    "We want, and need, people to volunteer, not because they feel guilted into doing it but because they see it as a truly rewarding opportunity to spend a little time with some amazing people," says Anomaly CEO and founding partner Carl Johnson. "Frankly, the exact same reason we took on the assignment." 

    The campaign launches today on TV, radio, print, out-of-home and digital. We Are Social is organizing an influencer push that includes stars like Baddie Winkle ("who's huge on Snapchat," the Ad Council says), YouTube creator Meghan Camarena, Padma Lakshmi, Bill Walton, Richard Gere and Fred Savage. Photo agency VII Photo will take portraits of Meals on Wheels seniors across the country, and Upworthy will highlight senior stories. You can also expect to see mobile ad experiences on Pandora. 

    Check out the 30-second portrait ads below. It's only a small glimpse of the stories and lessons we could glean from spending more time with people who've already seen the cycle of civilization do one or two full revolutions.

    And if you're down to donate some lunchtime, visit America, Let's Do Lunch.

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    CP+B goes with an elaborate anti-pitch in its work for Fruit of the Loom's new Micro-Mesh Breathable Boxer Briefs, which are intended to keep guys a little cooler below the waist.

    The campaign features the ridiculous and desperate co-owners of Josh and Donny's Supercool Superstore for Men, which was apparently the go-to place for men's pelvic cooling products before Fruit of the Loom came along. In a series of fake ads, and on a garishly moronic website, Josh and Donny reveal that they're going out of business—because their stupid products are no longer selling.

    The spots are running as online pre-roll and social video, while the website has a working (800) number and online chat feature.

    "All of those businesses selling ineffective and ill-conceived cooling products are going to take a hit. Especially when the ineffective and ill-conceived cooling products are especially ineffective and ill-conceived," CP+B's creatives tell AdFreak. 

    "However, one of those businesses, 'Josh and Donny's Supercool Superstore for Men,' is not going down without a fight, as evidenced by their recent Supercool Superstore television commercials. With a total budget of $83.50, their nephew even had enough to build a website that includes 'live chat' and a toll free number if you have complaints."

    There's a strong Tim and Eric vibe here, and for good reason.

    The director, Jonathan Krisel of Caviar, was discovered by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim after he created the Brooklyn cable access series HyperDimensional Fortress. Krisel went on to work on the AdultSwim series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as director and co-executive producer.

    Anti-pitches from fake incompetent rivals are becoming a thing lately, as we saw in May with Ming's fishing-themed "Frank and Marty" campaign for Smith sunglasses.

    Client: Fruit of the Loom
    Campaign: "Josh and Donny's Supercool Superstore for Men"
    Agency: CP+B
    Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Ralph Watson
    Vice President, Creative Director: Allen Richardson
    Creative Director: D'Arcy O'Neill
    Senior Art Director: Donny Brunner
    Senior Copywriters: Josh Shelton, Ryan Contillo
    Vice President, Executive Integrated Video Production: Ramon Nuñez
    Junior Video Producer: Amber Peña
    Production Company: Caviar
    Director: Jonathan Krisel
    Editor: Carlos Lowenstein
    Editing House: The Whitehouse Post, Chicago
    Visual Effects, Retouching Company: Artjail, New York
    Mix Company: Lime Studios, Los Angeles
    Audio Engineer: Matt Miller
    Music: KBV Records
    Group Strategy Director: David Burg
    Strategist: Fabiana Brown
    Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Danielle Whalen
    Vice President, Account Director: Kristi Kirkeide Boutiette
    Content Supervisor: Tara Delaney
    Content Manager: Tracy Sarli
    Vice President, Executive Interactive Producer: Dan Corken
    Junior Interactive Producer: Jordan Griffith
    Website Development: Hook Studios
    Voicemail Recording: Coupe Studios
    Associate Media Director: Craig McDowell
    Media Supervisor: Liz Rogers
    Social Media Supervisor: Jillian Hart
    Social Media Community Manager: Katie Souther
    Business Affairs Manager: Daphne Papadopulos
    Senior Project Manager: Alex Blumfelder
    Project Manager: Courtney Pollard

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    Stats might be a big deal in baseball, but four-time all-star Bryce Harper wants young players to know there's something more important—their feet.

    Under Armour is out with a new campaign from Droga5 titled "It Comes from Below," promoting the brand's shoes. It launches this week with an ad for the Washington Nationals' new namesake Harper One cleats (which, naturally, the Nats' right fielder will be wearing at Tuesday night's All-Star Game).

    In the commercial, Harper stands at the plate in an empty field, practicing his swing. The voiceover (by Harper's high school coach, Sam Thomas) rattles off his impressive accomplishments by the numbers—precocious gains as a teenager, impressive averages, a unanimous MVP selection—all while his bat cracks against the ball again and again, punctuating each data point.

    The score crescendos, his practice intensifies along with his internal monologue, the pressure might even seem to be getting to him, except for one simple fact—it's that thwacking sound that he loves more than any quantifiable accomplishment, and he has his stance (now clad in flashy new black-and-gold Under Armour money makers) to thank for it.

    The intense discipline and solitude of the superstar athlete is anything but a new tack for sports marketing. A similar dynamic helped drive Under Armour and Droga5's Michael Phelps ad to a Film Craft Grand Prix at Cannes last month. But that basic trope is executed pointedly here.

    The frenetic pace, the doubt and the repetition give way to a sense of quiet born of a pure love for playing the game at the highest level—even if the numbers-soup metaphor does get pushed to the verge of comical, with stadium seat and section numbers entering Harper's mental fray.

    Future installations in the campaign, coming this fall, will feature Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. And the basic premise of the campaign—that greatness starts with solid footwork—is hard to argue with, even if it's a little grounded for an advertisement.


    Client: Under Armour
    Campaign: It Comes From Below
    Title: Numbers

    Agency: Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Group Creative Director: Felix Richter
    Group Creative Director: Alexander Nowak
    Copywriter: Bryan Wolff
    Art Director: Daniel Sumarna
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
    Executive Producer: David Cardinali
    Associate Producer: Troy Smith
    Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
    Head of Strategy: Harry Roman
    Strategy Director: Sam Matthews
    Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
    Communications Strategy Director: Hillary Heath
    Communications Strategist: Kathryn Ruocco
    Strategist: Newman Granger
    Senior Data Strategist: Anthony Khaykin
    Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
    Account Director: Bola Adekoya
    Account Supervisor: Lucy Santilli
    Senior Project Manager: Courtney Kosup
    Project Manager: Connor Hall

    Client: Brand/company name
    CEO and Founder: Kevin Plank
    Chief Marketing Officer : Kip Fulks
    SVP, Global Brand Management: Adrienne Lofton
    SVP, Global Communications: Diane Pelkey
    VP, Global Creative: Brian Boring
    VP, Global Consumer Engagement: Jim Mollica
    Senior Category Director: Jim Bel Bruno
    Director, Global Marketing Operations, Process & Integration : Teresa Oles

    Production Companies: Somesuch + Anonymous
    Director : Aoife McArdle
    Found Partner, Somesuch: Sally Campbell
    Found Partner, Somesuch: Tim Nash
    Managing Director, Anonymous: Eric Stern
    Executive Producer, Anonymous: SueEllen Clair
    Producer: Laurie Boccaccio
    DOP: Steve Annis
    Production Manager : Yianni Papadopoulos

    Editorial: Final Cut
    Editor:: Dan Sherwen
    Cutting Assitant (NY):: Geoff Hastings
    Assistant Editor (UK):: Leila Gaabi
    Executive Producer:: Sarah Roebuck
    Head Of Production:: Jen Sienkwicz
    Producer (UK): Frankie Elster
    Producer (NY):: Jamie Nagler

    Post Production: BlackSmith
    Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
    Producer: Megan Sweet
    VFX Supervisor : Iwan Zwarts

    Music / Sound Design: Siren / Factory
    Partner and Company Director: Sean Atherton

    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

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    It's International E-Cup Day for Men over at PrimaDonna lingerie, and the men are getting to know what it's like to haul around an extra 6.6 pounds on their chest.

    PrimaDonna specializes in luxury lingerie at larger cup sizes, from C to J (yes, it goes all the way up to J). Having E-cup-size breasts is something even I, as a woman with a solid B, can't say I fully understand the implications of. But this video of PrimaDonna's daylong empathy exercise gives me a pretty good idea.

    Tit for tat is always great to watch, particularly when it involves tits, and there are a lot of great moments of humor and startling reality mixed into this video. The boobs get heavy after a while, leaving painful shoulder marks and causing one wearer to rest them on a table—something I've seen large-breasted women actually do.

    PrimaDonna tells AdFreak that its CEO, Ignace Van Doorselaere, the main narrator in the spot, came up with the idea himself after getting a lot of questions about how he could possibly understand what his consumers go through. PrimaDonna had its own seamstresses make the specialized harnesses. All creative was handled in-house.

    While the video is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the issues women with large breasts face daily are very real, and Van Doorselaere sounds passionate about alleviating their pain.

    "Dozens of studies confirm the physical discomfort a woman endures if she is wearing a badly fitting bra, especially with a bigger cup size (D+)," he says in a press release. "Back and neck problems because of bad posture, as well as headaches due to straps that are too tight; stomach or bowel problems can even occur. They should not suffer."

    He goes on to talk about how the company is innovating for the best fit and comfort, and now, thanks to International E-Cup Day for Men, all his employees "get it."

    With nearly 1 million views on Facebook, it's clear that when it comes to advertising, Van Doorselaere also "gets it."

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    Roaches may be hideous, but even they can be turned into beautiful works of art—so long as they're dead.

    A new campaign from bug spray Raid features a series of three billboards made entirely from the carcasses of cockroaches—roughly 20,000 for each poster.

    Agency EnergyBBDO hired artist Jonathan Kenyon of design studio Vault49 to create the ads. His team meticulously placed various sizes of bug corpses onto the canvasses, shaping images like a Grim Reaper riding a fighter jet, meant to convey Raid's fast killing power.

    The results are, visually speaking, fairly metal, even if the medium makes them strong contenders for the most disgusting ads of 2016.

    It's actually not the first time this sort of thing has been done. Last year, insect repellent Glorix and BBDO Russia turned the blood from splattered mosquitos into paint, making miniature portraits to get viewers to donate their own blood for a good cause.

    Still, that was decidedly less gross than this. On the other hand, it lacked the pure poetry of Raid's tagline, which in its own right deserves credit for being among the most clear, if not brilliant, of all time—"Kills Bugs Dead." 

    Client: Raid
    Agency: EnergyBBDO

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    Some of the top creatives in the ad business have been weighing in on this year's loony presidential election—and predictably, they haven't been lining up with Trump.

    Droga5 has been doing advertising for Hillary. And now, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein—the co-founders of Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco—have made their own ad for this campaign season, wondering aloud whether Donald Trump is qualified to be president—over slow-motion footage of Trump infamously using a water bottle to mock Marco Rubio back in February.

    The YouTube video description reads: "Words have meaning. Actions have consequences. Donald Trump has, again and again, provided entertaining moments of amusing name calling and shocking jingoism. But does that mean he should be our president?" 

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    It's been seven months since the fight in which she lost her bantamweight title. But now Ronda Rousey is back in the spotlight—this time for Reebok—and it looks like she's got something to say.

    The UFC champion appears with flowing hair and a sparkly low-cut dress, standing in the middle of a film set. "Here's the thing about being perfect," Rousey begins as she sashays dramatically off-set. "Perfect never gets truly tested." 

    As she builds on this manifesto, she begins to remove the trappings of glamour—beginning with her fake eyelashes (ouch!), then coolly brushing hair extensions out with her fingers. 

    "Perfect never gets to silence its critics," Rousey goes on. "Perfect never gets a shot at redemption."

    "So, yeah," she concludes. "I'm fine not being perfect." Then she steps back into the figurative ring, closing the ad with a series of punches.

    Rousey's November 2015 match, where she defended and ultimately lost her UFC World Bantamweight Championship title to Holly Holm, was promoted with a powerful ad that followed their journeys from childhood to challengers. It marked the seventh consecutive time she had defended her position, and she hasn't fought since. Holm ultimately lost the belt to Miesha Tate in March, and Amanda Nunes has won it since. 

    While "#PerfectNever," by agency Venables Bell & Partners, is generally being read as a precursor to Rousey's comeback (probably by year's end or in early 2017), it also packs a message for the self-image of women. The opening scene recalls the end of Dove's "Evolution," in which a normal-looking model is transformed—first via makeup, then digitally—into the perfect woman for an ad.

    In the case of this (much shorter) piece, Rousey evolves in the reverse, with a no less impactful ending: She begins as a marketing ideal, then contemptuously sheds it as she walks, finishing sweat-drenched and ponytailed, muscular, hard-jawed ... and totally in her element. She doesn't just shake off an embarrassing and surprising loss; she also shakes off conventions of what a woman should look like, and feel, and how we're asked to behave. Perfection is, after all, a game we're meant to lose by design. 

    The tagline for the campaign is, aptly, "Be more human."

    Client: Reebok
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

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    The Republican National Convention is coming up, and it's already causing social patter: While some notable names have opted not to attend—including the two former Presidents Bush and ex-hopefuls like McCain and Romney—others are planning on crashing the party. 

    On the night Donald Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination, a coalition of equal rights groups will run a commercial critiquing laws that limit which public restrooms transgender people can use. It will air on Fox News—surprise!—during Trump's speech. 

    The ad features a transgender woman named Alaina Kupec (aptly from North Carolina, which in March became the first state to implement a bathroom law). She's depicted in what's likely a typical scene for many transgender folks living in states that think a lot about your genitals. It opens with her heading to a restaurant, chatting with friends, as a voiceover explains her reasons for transitioning.

    "It can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender, especially if you've never met a transgender person," the narration says, as she gets up to use the restroom under the watchful gaze of a shifty employee with a pen over his ear. 

    Watch what happens next.

    Kupec visibly mouths "I can't go in there" to the man, who insists she use the men's room—which, when briefly opened, reveals two leering ne'er-do-wells clearly bent on acts of psychological terror. Then two women appear to chide the employee and take her safely to the women's room.

    "It's already illegal to enter a restroom to harm someone, and anyone who does that can and should be arrested. Updating the law to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination won't change that, but it would help to ensure people like me aren't mistreated when we need to do something as basic as using the restroom," Kupec says. 

    The ad—produced by the Movement Advancement Project, the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund and the Equality Ohio Education Fund—has the studied, scripted feeling of a public service message for schools, or a workplace sexual harrassment video. But it does get the point across: Executive director Ineke Mushovic of the Movement Advancement Project observes that the scenario Kupec faces is legal in 32 states. 

    "We are concerned that this is happening without most people really understanding who transgender people are," Mushovic says."Most people have never met someone who's transgender, so their heads are filled with all sorts of stereotypes." 

    When North Carolina passed its controversial law in March, the Obama Administration sued, warning other states that they would lose federal funding for passing similar laws. The White House historically also began providing gender-neutral restrooms in areas like the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

    The ad industry has also taken a vocal position on the ruling: McKinney printed North Carolina's law on toilet paper, and Absolut Vodka released an ad where a cisgender man runs into an old friend who's transitioned ... and gets to know her all over again.

    For his part, Trump's been as vague about the North Carolina law as about anything else, though he ultimately claims to support it. He has, however, made an exception for Caitlyn Jenner, whom he says can use whatever restroom she likes at his properties. (Jenner openly supports the candidate.)

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    Snow fell last Friday in Minneapolis, even though the temperature was over 70 degrees.

    Of course, it was all just part of an ad campaign.

    Caribou Coffee engineered the freaky flakes at around 8:25 p.m. at the Basilica Block Party music festival, which draws about 25,000 fans and this year featured bands such as X Ambassadors and Death Cab for Cutie. Street Factory Media and Legend PR worked the snow machines to promote the new Caribou Coolers blended iced coffee beverages.

    At first, we imagine, the spectators were all like … WTF! Snow! In July! That's cra-cra!

    Lest they lose their cool, perhaps fearing Mr. Freeze was holding humanity hostage with a climate-control device (or that they'd need Poke snowballs to catch 'em all given the unexpected change in the weather), Caribou passed around samples and graciously played this clip on the Jumbotron:

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

    After that, folks were all like … WTF! Iced coffee in July! That's cra-cra!

    Anyway, it was a fun stunt that generated lots of attention for the Caribou brand, though hardly the first time white powder—ahem—got blown around at a rock concert.

    (Just say no, people!)

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    Ikea rolls into an awfully strange space with its latest campaign.

    As you may notice, there's no furniture in this artsy ad for the Swedish furniture store, but there is an attractive glass orb that clack-clack-clacks across the parquet floor of an empty, sun-splashed, high-ceilinged apartment—so that's something.

    Oh, the apartment doesn't stay empty for long, but you might not want to sign a lease after checking out the surreal action:

    Whoa, what's with that melting monolith thingy? Paging HAL 9000! And how about that tornado smashing through the floor? Get the super up here stat!

    Created by Copenhagen agency Nikextension in partnership with Barkas and Kuhl & Solvstrom, the esoteric minute-long film teases client's upcoming collaboration with Hay, the Danish furniture design company.

    Its weird aura has generated plenty of press, and Nikextension creative director Nikolaj Fremming reports worldwide views across all platforms approaching 100,000 after three weeks online. (This also marks the latest in a long line of diverse, often innovative marketing ideas from Ikea. Its many gems include a photo app that lets users take only one picture ever, a furnished apartment tipped sideways to serve as a rock-climbing wall, and a cinematic spot focused on the beauty of everyday life.)

    Fremming, who also directed the spot, says that building buzz and creating a mood were paramount: "We would like [the viewer] to wonder what is really going on here. It should feel like Ikea but in a different way. The abstractness combined with an unmistakably Nordic vibe should leave the viewer with a feeling of wonder and anticipation of the upcoming Ypperlig Collection."

    Overall, the goal was to "create a mood that was mysterious yet bright and optimistic," he says, and the team's approach was informed by some very specific instructions:

    "We couldn't show any products—since they are not yet ready. Furthermore, our solution had to somehow balance the two brand identities. After talking to designers from both brands, we learned that what they had in common was a true fascination for the raw materials."

    Thus, the glass orb, plastic monolith, wooden twister and ghostly cotton rug represent materials used to create the Ikea-Hay 2017 collection.

    As for actually renting that airy unit (preferably after a visit from an exorcist)—it's not gonna happen. "Everything is built and created in 3-D," Fremming says. "It was partly a budget and time issue, as it can be cheaper and faster. Plus, doing it in 3-D allows for total flexibility, which is handy when you're having to deal with two clients—and our own vanity—at the same time."

    Client: Ikea
    Agency: Nikextension
    Creative Direction: Nikolaj Fremming/Nikextension
    Concept: Barkas, Morten Kuhl & Nikextension
    Art Directors: Morten Kuhl & Mike Wittrup (The Barkas)
    Design & Animation: Morten Kuhl of Kuhl & Solvstrom
    Sound Design: Malthe Madsen & Kasper Littauer

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    The U.K.'s Channel 4 pulls out all the stops, as well as a a few prosthetic limbs, for this joyous, awesomely over-the-top three-minute musical film celebrating the broadcaster's upcoming coverage of the Paralympic Games in Rio.

    Propelled by a swingin' cover of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "Yes I Can," the spot, impressively staged by the in-house 4Creative team and Blink director Dougal Wilson, features not just athletes but disabled people of all kinds. They're competing in sports, playing in bands, working at various jobs, raising kids, ballroom dancing, flying planes—and more.

    Because, of course, they can. And they do. Every single day.

    More than 140 disabled folks appear in the ad, dubbed "We're the Superhumans," which serves as a sequel to Channel 4's lauded Paralympics spot for the 2012 London Games—a spot that won the Grand Prix for Film Craft at Cannes.

    That earlier effort oozed intensity and grit, focusing on the origin stories of Paralympic athletes and the challenges they had to overcome. This latest film, though no less affecting, has an entirely different feel.

    Channel 4 CMO Dan Brooke describes the tone as "an unbridled celebration of ability, by both elite Paralympians and everyday people. In 2012, we saw athletes like never before, but now we see that Down syndrome graduates and wheelchair users in the workplace are just as superhuman as blind sprinters and amputee weightlifters."

    Casting was "essential to this piece of work," adds Alice Tonge, creative director at 4Creative. "We did a massive search to find people all over the world who have turned 'No, I can't' into 'Yes, I can.' "

    The message is considerably broader in scope and more sweeping than the 2012 spot, and the nonstop positive vibes—driven by imaginative set pieces and inspired editing—are incredibly infectious.

    "This campaign is the most important we have ever undertaken, and isn't just about Rio. It's about revolutionizing public attitudes to disability forever," Brooke says.

    Indeed, the spot transcends its specific marketing mission and envisions a world in which all people can find fulfillment and achieve to the absolute best of their ability. It may well be one of the most inclusive ads ever made, presenting the integration of disabled people into virtually every aspect of daily existence with Glee-style musical abandon.

    Particularly striking are its playful, surreal touches. These include a tap-dance routine with performers ringed by high-steppin', disembodied carbon-fiber legs, and big-band singer Tony Dee trading his fedora for a crash helmet and driving his wheelchair through a window.

    Speaking of Dee, the dude channels his inner Sinatra to provide the smooth vocals on "Yes I Can," performing with a band of disabled musicians. The track will be released by Universal Music to benefit the British Paralympic Association.

    Dee and others who appear in the campaign are profiled in a series of "Superhuman Stories" clips, some which you can watch below. In addition, posters shot by Nadav Kander are rolling out across Britain ahead of the Paralympic Games in September, for which Channel 4 will provide 700 hours of coverage and employ what it calls "the largest ever team of disabled presenters on U.K. television."

    In a broader sense, this isn't just the story of folks without limbs who achieve great things (though that's an awesome story and it deserves to be told). In a broader sense, the entire campaign—along with Channel 4's coverage commitment—shows how far we've come as a society as we continue to cast aside fear, derision and shaming in favor of acceptance, inclusion and song.

    Client: Channel 4
    Agency: 4Creative
    Director: Dougal Wilson, Blink
    Editorial: Final Cut
    Editor: Joe Guest
    Executive Producer: Michelle Corney
    Edit Assistant: Kit Wells

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    All delegates, superdelegates, former college basketball coaches and garden variety political junkies attending next week's Republican National Convention will be greeted by an unusual and unavoidable sight: Sen. Ted Cruz going in for a passionate kiss with presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. 

    A non-profit advocacy group called Planting Peace placed the ad directly outside the entrance to the convention at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena as a "message to the GOP."

    In a post on its homepage, the Topeka, Kan.-based organization writes, "What Donald, Ted and the Republican platform either fail to realize, or realize and just don't seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT family—especially LGBT children—have meaning and impact."

    Trump has largely avoided anti-LGBT rhetoric during his campaign. He famously said Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower and claimed to be a better candidate for this demographic than Hillary Clinton. His rhetorical "Ask the gays" statement later inspired one of the campaign season's more amusing hashtags.

    That said, party representatives have completed the final draft of what Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory T. Angelo called "the most anti-LGBT platform in the party's 162-year history" in a press release this week. The platform called for the repeal of laws legalizing same-sex marriage and endorsed the controversial "conversion therapy" practice, which looks to prevent children from growing up to be gay. 

    Planting Peace's note continues, "When children are dying because of negative messages, it's time to change the message," citing a 100 percent increase in calls to a transgender suicide hotline following the passage of North Carolina's infamous HB2 "Bathroom Bill."

    Will the ad—which is a bit reminiscent of this Benetton campaign—lead to changes in the next GOP party platform? Hard to say. It will certainly get attention for Planting Peace, which ends its statement as such: "Our message to our LGBT family remains consistent: You are loved, valued and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone; you have a community of support behind you, and we will continue to stand with you."

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    The athletes gathering next month in Rio may be dazzling spectacles of human achievement, but getting there took a lot of ugliness.

    A new Olympic ad from Gillette tackles a familiar angle on sports-themed marketing—the grueling road to greatness. But the three-minute spot, "Perfect Isn't Pretty," created by Grey New York, breathes new life into the trope with "Unstoppable," an original song from pop singer and songwriter Sia, featuring a rapped verse from Pusha T of Clipse and percussion from Olodum, the iconic samba-reggae group from Brazil.

    On screen, sports monsters from a range of disciplines— soccer player Neymar Jr. from Brazil; swimmer Ning Zetao from China; cyclist Andy Tennant from the U.K.; and decathlete Ashton Eaton from the U.S.—all push through their brutal training regimens. The basic sacrifices are perhaps predictable, complete with early alarm clocks, frustrated spouses, less time with their kids, exacting coaches and absurd media hype.

    But as the commercial progresses, the obstacles take on surreal proportions, as a snarling wolf chases Easton through the fog, and the goal on the field where Neymar is practicing burns in full blaze. The physical travails get worse as the ad crescendoes, with ice baths, and vomiting, and cartoon spills over the front of handle bars—with the obligatory shots of shaving sprinkled throughout (because, as chores go, everyone can agree, that's one of the worst).

    The spot also features stunning shots of various landscapes, effectively illustrating the point that this marketing, and the Olympics, are truly global affairs, as well as the point that these competitors are practicing every day, wherever they are.

    But the work is most notable for the interplay between the visuals and the music, which are perfectly paced to maximize contrast and emotional punch. Sia wails about being invincible, and powerful, while Ning nearly collapses from exhaustion, and yaks into a toilet, encapsulating the ad's message—the audience doesn't really see all the suffering that goes into getting to the top of the game.

    That message is perhaps a little obvious—implicit in the celebration of star athletes is a recognition that succeeding in sports is hard, and requires an amount of work most people aren't necessarily willing or able to undertake. By the time Pusha T makes his entrance on the soundtrack, the story arc is in its defiant stage, as the Olympians rise, fighting, from the depths of their struggles.

    That the lyrics consist largely of motivational clichés is a little disappointing, but not inappropriate to the material—this is broad pop music, for an advertisement around a mass sporting event, so a certain amount of cashing in on the lowest common denominator is to be expected. It is, though, a notable contrast to Under Armour and Droga5's similarly themed Michael Phelps spot, which put a pre-existing song, "The Last Goodbye" by the Kills, to pretty spectacular effect—leveraging a a more personal, specific scenario, namely Phelps's final Olympics, to elevate a broader point, clearly distilled by that ad's only copy: "It's what you do in the dark that puts in you in the light."

    In the Gillette ad's climax, as Easton literally soars through the air mid-jump, the marketer's less mystical rendition kicks in: "The best a man can get isn't always pretty, but [is] always worth the chase." In other words, the razor brand can't do much to help its endorsers win—they're on their own, there. But it will help them look a little better, even when they're doubled over in pain along the way.

    Client: Gillette
    Spot Title: Perfect Isn't Pretty
    First Air Date: 07/13/16
    Agency:  Grey New York
    Chief Creative Officer:
    Andreas Dahlqvist, Chief Creative Officer, Grey NY
    Creative Director:
    Jeff Stamp, Executive Creative Director, Grey NY
    Leonard Savage, Executive Creative Director, Grey NY
    Senior Creative Director:
    Asan Aslam, Senior Creative Director, Grey NY
    Noah Will, Senior Creative Director, Grey NY
    Project Management:
    Hank Romero, Project Director, Grey NY
    Kelsey Longo, Project Manager, Grey NY
    Agency Producer:
    Bennett McCarroll, EVP, Director of Broadcast, Grey NY
    James McPherson, SVP, Head of Integrated Production, Grey NY
    Katy Hill, VP Producer, Grey NY
    Agency Music Producer:
    Zachary Pollakoff, Music Supervisor, Grey NY
    Production Company: Caviar Content, Los Angeles, CA

    Director: Karim Huu Do, Director, Caviar Content
    Director of Photography: Daniel Bouquet, Director of Photography, Caviar Content
    Editor: Cut & Run
    Gary Knight, Editor, Cut & Run
    Stacy Peterson, Editor, Cut & Run
    Post Production: The Mill NY
    Music/Sound Design:
    Phil Loeb, Sound Engineer, Heard City
    Josh Kessler, Executive Producer, Heavy Duty Projects

    Principal Talent:

    Neymar Jr.
    Ashton Eaton
    Ning Zetao
    Andy Tennant

    Sia, Singer, Composer
    Pusha T, Rapper
    Ariel Rechtshaid, Producer
    Olodum, Percussion Accompaniment

    Brian Weston, EVP, Account Director, Grey NY
    Elizabeth Gilchrist, SVP, Account Director, Grey NY
    Irina Gilbertson, VP, Account Director, Grey NY
    Katie Stirn, Account Supervisor, Grey NY
    Suzi Jump, Account Supervisor, Grey NY
    John Nelson, Senior Account Executive, Grey NY
    Wesley Roman, Assistant Account Executive, Grey NY

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    To promote YouTube Music, which launched in the U.S. in November, YouTube is putting the spotlight on its biggest competitive advantage—its diversity. 

    Sure, Spotify has musical diversity. But YouTube is the No. 1 streaming music site in the world, which means it's got an especially diverse user base. And it's those people, and their unique and personal tastes, that the brand is focusing on. 

    Working with Lance Acord, the director behind a slew of hits including the NFL's Super Bowl babies choir, YouTube has released a series of ads that embody the private moments in a day that music transforms into something special, even personally revealing. 

    Meet Jaysn, a funky little aficionado of the Korean hip-hop scene (his track: Eung Freestyle). He's cool enough to score daps from bigger kids, but still young enough to melt under the stare of an older lady on the subway: 

    Next there's Kristen, who's sad on an airplane ... and fueling the fire with some James Blake and Bon Iver (you know you've done it):

    And check out Afsa, who knows every line in Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics—an Olympic sport in itself—and spits it while walking down the school corridor without losing a breath:

    Tina walks out of community service with sweet Walshy Fire in her ears, right into the arms of her waiting family:

    And finally there's Alex, a small-town boy with a secret that only Elliphant's Club Now Skunk can release:

    To varying degrees, each ad is an effort to humanize an Other—a hijabi who loves rap, a parolee who's made a loving family (and not just mistakes), the painstaking creation of a fiercer self (Alex), Asians who can be hardcore, and a girl who uses music not just as a balm but as a way to dive deeper into her own dark feelings (Kristen).

    The strength in this campaign, created by Anomaly New York (which also made YouTube's #ProudtoLove spot), lies in how it invests "marginalized" audiences with a hard pound of relatability, using music. As an ethnic minority, it feels good to see both my skin color and some of my tastes—including black and Asian hip-hop—represented in ways that acknowledge me, and that I recognize.

    "We are proud that YouTube gives everyone a voice and a place to belong. This campaign reflects those values, together with the wonderfully diverse people who come to YouTube every day to find, watch and share music," says YouTube CMO Danielle Tiedt. "We want these spots to shine a light on this diversity and individuality, while also showing how anyone can find something to love on YouTube Music." 

    That's charming and all, but YouTube's got other issues that may not necessarily be solved with a masterful thrumming of heartstrings. 

    Music apps are a commodity. They basically all do the same thing, with variances so minor that it's hard to convince people to try new ones. And while YouTube Music was born with a competitive advantage—the fact that lots of people already use the video service to play music—it's facing a lot of the same industry problems that other music platforms have. 

    Per fresh research from MIDiA, YouTube rights payments to artists totaled $740 million in 2015, up 11 percent from 2014. This sounds like a plus ... until you consider that total views rose by 132 percent—meaning that artists who were paid $0.002 per stream in 2014 got half that the year after.

    This means that as users grew, YouTube opted to pay less: Ad revenue is faltering as streams rise. (Tiedt is keeping mum on the figures behind YouTube Music.) 

    But whether or not YouTube is good for the music industry also depends on whom you ask. New artists see it as the best way to break out and find fans. It's more democratic than radio, and enables them to sell tickets, merch and other goods directly. 

    It isn't YouTube's job to fix the music industry, and we'd be hard-pressed to tell you where the solutions are. But it's perhaps to YouTube Music's credit that, while it works the kinks out here, it's using this campaign to leap into another fray altogether—that of who reflects American values, and who doesn't. The ads go live today—the first day of the Republican National Convention.

    "There's no doubt [this] will cause controversy," Tiedt tells Yahoo! Music. "These are exactly the kind of lightning rod identity politics that are going crazy in the world right now. One of the reasons why we're kind of leaning into that a little bit is because at YouTube we have such commitment to this idea that everyone should have the freedom to belong." 

    Is music up to the task of opening the flock back up to the disenfranchised? If it worked for Coca-Cola, maybe it'll work for the United States—and for YouTube Music, too.


    Client: YouTube
    Agency: Anomaly New York
    Production company: Park Pictures
    Director: Lance Acord
    Photographer: Olivia Bee
    Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
    Editors: Jeff Ferruzzo (Kristen, Alex), Brad Waskewich (Afsa, Jaysn), Ali Mao (Tina)
    Editorial Assistant: Dan Gutterman
    Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Producer: Fanny Cruz

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    This is the story of an adventurous little suitcase that heads to Heathrow Airport in London, makes it through security relatively unmolested and falls in step with another cute carryall on the same journey.

    Oh, the romantic possibilities.

    But this ad, the first television campaign in Heathrow's 70-year history, isn't a rom-com setup for inanimate objects. It's meant, instead, to be a look at travel through the eyes of an adorable 5-year-old named Harriett, whose companion, aside from her adults, happens to be a piece of luggage with a wide-eyed owl face. (Don't look now, but Owly is actually on sale at the John Lewis store in Terminal 2).

    That roller bag gets as much exposure as the kid in the 90-second spot from Havas London, but the point's made: Going someplace on an airplane can be magical, if viewed from a child's perspective. Her old-school aviator hat and goggles are just icing on the cake.

    The commercial, dubbed "First Flight" and set to David Bowie's "When I Live My Dream" from his debut 1967 record, just launched on social media and will hit TV in the U.K. on Thursday. A related contest with Qantas, asking people to share their favorite Heathrow memories, will give 70 winners a trip to Australia.

    Surely they'll throw in Owly for the trip.

    Client: Heathrow Airport
    Agency: Havas London
    Executive creative director: Ben Mooge
    Creatives: Barnaby Packham, Daniel Bolton
    Group business director: Caroline Saunders
    Senior account director: Julia Mahoney
    Agency producer: Kiri Carch
    Assistant producer: Femi Ladi
    Production company: Outsider
    Directors: Dom and Nic
    Producer: John Madsen
    Director of Photography: Alex Barber
    Editing: Ed Cheeseman, Final Cut
    Post: The Mill
    Sound: Antony Moore, Factory

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    Cocaine Bear wants you to visit the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall. Lumber on down, y'all!

    Or at the very least, check out the 175-pound stuffed creature (aka, Pablo EscoBear)—which perished 31 years ago after ingesting 40 kilos of cocaine that fell from a plane in a botched smuggling operation—in the goofy TV commercial below.

    A masterpiece (fiasco?) of low-budget, shouty self-awareness, the ad—and the Lexington, Ky., mall itself—sprang from the Southern-fried (and frequently bourbon-soaked) brain of ad exec/entrepreneur Whit Hiler and his associates, probably best known for their "beardvertising" venture and "Kentucky Kicks Ass" tourism ads from a few years back.

    This latest spot stars Hiler and Griffin VanMeter, partners in Kentucky for Kentucky, a cheeky but very real venture dedicated to "engaging and informing the world by promoting Kentucky people, places and products." Its 12,000-square-foot Fun Mall stocks a wide selection of merchandise that both celebrates and sends up the Bluegrass State, such as socks (some show humping horses!), T-shirts (some with George Clooney's face!) and bourbon glasses (some emblazoned with the logo of the "USA Bourbon Drinking Team").

    "The ad was inspired by the old '90s buy-here-pay-here used car lot ads, but a little stranger," Hiler tells AdFreak. "We thought that style would stand out and be very fitting for local television. Plus, it's really fun. It was also easy to shoot and inexpensive to produce."

    Three broadcast outlets drawled "naw" to airing the ad, Hiler says, objecting to the word "ass" and the reference to the maul mall mascot that tragically OD'd. Ultimately, the spot found a home for the next few weeks on WLEX-TV, an NBC affiliate, where it's running during The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.

    "The commercial was kind of an experiment," says Hiler. "We do most of our advertising online and really just wanted to air something ridiculous on television. We wanted to make an ad that was so absurd it would make most of the local television stations uncomfortable—and it did."

    Looking ahead, Hiler is planning a line of products based on Cocaine Bear, which has become a regional tourist attraction in its own right. "Seriously, we've had RV's with families swing by to get their photo taken with Cocaine Bear," he says.

    Stickers, hats, patches and shirts are in the works, along with, "mini-Cocaine Bear teddy bears," says Hiler. "I think those would be great for the kiddos."

    Just don't use them for stashing your blow. The cops are on to that trick.

    Videographer: Ian Friley, Kong Productions 
    Sound: James Friley
    Graphics: Erick Moore
    Creative Directors: Whit Hiler, Griffin VanMeter

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    For its first brick-and-mortar store, located in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, Sonos is showing customers how its products could both sound—and feel—in their homes.

    The acoustics of a physical space have a huge effect on music being played in it, a fact that, while unsurprising, is often overlooked. With this in mind, the speaker marketer filled its brand new space with special pods meant to mimic residential listening environments, including studies, living rooms and kitchens.

    The booths, shaped like little pitched-roof houses, are soundproofed and acoustically tuned to avoid adversely coloring the frequencies coming out of the speakers. They're also gorgeously decorated, with help from artists like Mark Alan Stamaty, Thibaud Herem, and Mark Chamberlain—giving visitors the sense they're wrapped in glowing cocoons of warm vibes.

    Also gracing the space is an eight-foot portrait of hip-hop icon and Def Jam cofounder Rick Rubin, who produced for the likes of LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys while attending New York University nearby. Arthur Fournier, an archivist of rare 20th century culture, pitched in zines, and one wall features a cassette collection, on loan from Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore—a nod to the heyday of tape-trading culture:

    In other words, Sonos went to great lengths to make the store an inspiring place for hardcore music fans to be (and hear). Pilgrims must to decide for themselves whether it fulfills those goals—though if the company really wanted to see its mission through, it could offer its acoustic treatment and interior design services to everyone who buys its speakers, too.

    More photos of the space appear below.

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    With retirement looming, Red Sox designated hitter/first baseman David Ortiz is preparing for the next stage of his life the only way he knows how: By making terrible puns as he attempts to name potential business ventures.

    Ortiz, who's already founded Big Papi's Kitchen, is the new centerpiece of the new SC@Night campaign from ESPN and 72andSunny. The campaign is built around highlighting the fans, athletes and celebrities who watch late night SportsCenter. In this video spot, Ortiz brainstorms new business names while watching Stan Verrett and Neil Everett reel off zingers, much to the chagrin of Eduardo Rodriguez and David Price.


    Like a lot of athletes, Ortiz isn't a natural actor, but he has pretty good comedic timing, and "Papi gonna be rich" is exactly the kind of dumb thing I would quote endlessly in middle and high school. That, and 72andSunny's awareness of the Internet's masochistic fascination with puns, is what really makes this spot a winner.


    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Creative Officer/Founding Partner: Glenn Cole
    Executive Creative Director/Partner: Jason Norcross
    Creative Director: Jed Cohen
    Sr. Designer: Dave Estrada
    Sr. Writer: Nick Ciffone
    Jr. Writer: Carlyle Garrick
    Jr. Designer: David Jung
    Group Brand Director: James Stephens
    Brand Director: Jessica Francis
    Brand Manager: Rochelle Farnum
    Brand Coordinator: Hector Romero
    Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Sr. Film Producer: Eric Rasco
    Group Strategy Director: Matt Johnson
    Strategy Director: Heather Lewis
    Business Affairs Director: Christina Rust Jr.
    Business Affairs Manager: Noah Winter

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    Früt is the hottest new lingerie boutique in town. There's only one catch—all the underwear it sells is from Fruit of the Loom.

    In "Welcome to Früt," a campaign by agency Ketchum, the packaged clothing marketer treats shoppers to a new twist on the old bait-and-switch: Opening a chic pop-up store that supposedly sells expensive designer pieces (which are actually just the same old panties you can buy in a bag).

    A pair of case study videos claims consumers were lured in by airy fabrics and vibrant patterns, only to discover a dirty secret—they were falling in love with lowbrow underwear.

    The dramatic moment of truth—when Fruit of the Loom's logo spins out of its hiding place behind a false wall in the store—is almost comically awkward.

    The store's willfully pretentious, umlaut-clad name may be the best part of the campaign. But the overall results are too slick to be particularly convincing, as is often the case with such stunts these days.

    But none of that really matters, insofar as the brand gets its point across efficiently—underwear snobs don't know what they're missing, and they're paying more for the "privilege."

    The company's latest marketing for men, meanwhile, focuses more directly on comfort while fully embracing the idiocy of that target—an approach which may or may not equally endear women to the brand.


    Brand: Fruit of the Loom
    Media: DM
    Category: Fashion
    Agency: Ketchum
    Geo: United States
    PR Company: Ketchum, New York, USA
    Account Executive: Colleen Mattingly

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    Back in June, Reid Sheehan Latimer + Crew made this "Yoga" spot for Yelp, positioning the review network as the place people go to find businesses that meet their needs (instead of where assholes and aspiring Internet comedians go to whine about bad service).

    The spot's yoga instructor merited his own Twitter feed, and now the spot's back with a remix, giving you even more of the rotund teacher who has mastered The Weeping Cobra and generally making everyone around him uncomfortable.

    The resulting clip includes footage not seen in the original spot, along with a house drum loop, cartoony overlaid animation, and a splash of Auto-Tune on the bad yoga instructor's vocals.

    The visuals get really weird around 54 seconds in, which we enjoyed. Frankly, it would have helped if it'd gotten there sooner.

    Remixing an ad is a neat idea, though it could be argued this one doesn't go far enough. If they'd structured it like a legit club track, instead of mashing content together and putting a beat under it, this would have better staying power and joined the storied ranks of Hamburger Helper's surprisingly excellent rap album, Watch the Stove.

    Still, Yelp's "downward facing failure" line is gold, though.

    Below, the original ad:


    Reid Sheehan Latimer + Crew
    John Reid / Founder & Creative Lead
    John Sheehan / Founder & Brand Lead
    Ben Latimer / Founder & Production Lead
    Rob Thompson / Creative Director / Copywriter
    Vicente Montelongo / Art Director

    Brian Osborn / VP Consumer Marketing
    Cristina Stanley / Head of Brand Marketing


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