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    Amy Schumer may be the world's worst babysitter, but she will take her nephew and niece back-to-school shopping at Old Navy.

    A new 60-second ad marks the star's debut for the clothing chain as its spokescomic. In it, she demonstrates her total ineptitude at looking after children, like feeding her charges by slopping milk into a box of cereal, and handing them each a fork.

    Luckily, she knows enough to call some cool kid and get his advice on where to take them to buy clothes. Unluckily, she sweeps them out of the house without finding them shoes to wear—and knows too little to avoid making a total fool out of herself.

    That is to say, Schumer manages to convey the kind of obnoxious but amusing cluelessness that's become a hallmark of celebrity characters in agency Chandelier's work for Old Navy.

    Other endorsers like Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have arguably delivered stronger performances in some of their spots, but Schumer showcases her own variety of awkward try-hard style, and in her first at-bat for the brand, she certainly fits its mold.

    It's not clear though, whether she'd even make the kids table with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen at the Old Navy holiday party.

    If the new commercial's scarily well-preened mall clique—which includes tween celebrities like Thomas Barbusca and Skai Jackson—has any say in the matter, they might grudgingly allow her a seat. But only if she promised not to use any slang.

    Client: Old Navy
    Agency: Chandelier Creative
    Creative Director: Lena Kuffner
    Creative Director: Richard Christiansen
    Executive Producer: Sara Fisher
    Account Director: Eileen Eastburn
    Producer: Gulshan Jaffery
    Production Coordinator: Camilla Rothenberg

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Executive Producers: Mino Jarjoura, Dan Duffy
    Line Producer: Dave Bernstein
    Director of Photography:  Dion Beebe

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Christjan Jordan
    Executive Producer: Helena Lee
    Telecine: Color Collective
    Colorist: Alex Bickel
    Executive Producer: Claudia Guevara
    Audio Post: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Mike Marinelli
    Finishing:  MPC NY
    Executive Producer: Camila De Biaggi
    Finishing Producer:  Brendan Kahn

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    You know how sometimes people fish on Twitter in hopes that a brand will give them free stuff? For the last few months, Kanye West's been doing that with Ikea. And Ikea Australia finally gave him an answer—one so packed with lulz you could use it as a throw pillow. 

    In March, Yeezy tweeted the following:

    A month later, he followed up with some weird sketches for a bed—you know, to show the Powers That Be that he's got interior design skills. We're sure Karl Lagerfeld is champing at the bit for these bad boys: 

    It's possible that wasn't heavy-handed enough. So, in a recent interview with BBC Radio 1, Kanye clarified his intentions. "I have to work with Ikea—make furniture for interior design, for architecture," he said, insisting students would love him to conceive "a minimalist apartment inside of a college dorm." 

    If that still wasn't clear enough, he called the brand out directly, manifesting the voices of his millions of fans: "Yo Ikea, allow Kanye to create, allow him to make this thing because you know what, I want a bed that he makes, I want a chair that he makes!" 

    We kind of expected Ikea to go about its business, ignoring him into infinity. But it turns out Ikea Australia is a lot less long-suffering than its Swedish mothership. On Tuesday, the day after the radio interview, it gave Kanye a shout-out with a promising message:

    The resulting "Yeezy" bedframe includes attachments for an endless number of other bedframes. If you don't recognize it, look more closely at "Famous," Kanye's last music video, which features the star lying in the middle of an improbably long bed, filled with all kinds of famous folks made of wax (including Taylor Swift, who's still upset about that whole "I made that bitch famous" line, by the way).

    That video is, like, 10 minutes long, though, so we'll just cut to the right scene:

    Ugh, Trump buttocks.

    The inevitable result of this awesomeness is that, while the Kanye/Taylor feud may never have a clear winner, the internet's meme powerhouse is pretty clearly siding with Ikea—with droves of people pitching in to contribute to an IKEANYE collabo. Below are a few choice faves.

    Because you can't have a collection without a logo. 

    For those who love Kanye as much as Kanye loves himself:

    Kanye Hest (Swedish for horse!):

    This is just plain mean.

    As good a throne as any.

    Who can resist fishsticks? 

    And because we need to let Taylor finish...

    Ikea: 1
    Kanye: 0
    Internet: 945436454546575685435

    All images, missing credits and links hail from Bored Panda.

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    Figliulo & Partners doubles your pleasure through elegant use of split-screen technique in the agency's first major push for Carnival's ultra-luxury Seabourn Cruise Line.

    Targeting affluent millennials, a playful, visually arresting anthem spot titled "Extraordinary Worlds" presents a series of complementary images on opposite sides of the screen. One panel shows on-board amenities, while the other displays highlights from exotic cruising destinations such as New Zealand and Iceland. Throughout the minute-long commercial, the frames work together to create an optical feast of color, flow and composition.

    For example, hot massage stones along a sunbather's spine are juxtaposed with boulders kissed by the rolling surf—creating tricolor bands of pale blue sky, dark rock and tawny skin/sand.

    "People don't think in black-and-white terms," agency CEO Mark Figliulo tells AdFreak. "They're considering where to go and where to stay at the same time. That's why we show this unique experience in those terms—the exquisite detail of the on-ship and on-shore experiences."

    Another sequence shows cascading champagne poured into a delicate flute next to a majestic slow-motion forest waterfall, the liquid in each shot shimmering and sparkling like jewels. And in a particularly perky pairing, penguins frolic on the left while travelers share a toast at the right—the mellow beige/white hues of each frame in perfect sync.

    In typical travel ads, footage of massage stones on someone's naked back or rocks on a beach, no matter how well composed, might seem hopelessly clichéd. Here, however, the artful combinations are appealing. Uncluttered by narration or even onscreen copy (until the very end), and well-served by a lilting soundtrack, the ad weaves an evocative oceanic spell. (Though lacking the split screens, the brand's new website, from F&P and digital shop Hungry, features tasteful, at times moody photography and intuitive navigation.)

    While not exactly innovative, the campaign's stylish approach seems perfectly attuned to its luxe subject matter, and comes as a welcome change from the overly ambitious and noisy creative excursions some cruise lines have booked in recent years.

    Client: Seabourn
    Title: "Extraordinary Worlds"
    Agency: Figliulo & Partners
    Chief Executive Officer: Mark Figliulo
    Head of Production: Robert Valdes
    Sr. Art Director: Jay Wee
    Copywriter: Chris Baker
    Sr. Producer: Carly Chappell
    Producer: Jill Landaker
    Client Partner: Dena Graham
    Photographer: Dana Neibert
    Digital Partner: Hungry
    Editors: Sarah Stuve, Bill Saunders
    Post-Production House: The Mill
    2D lead: Kieran Hanrahan
    Producer: Devan Maura Saber
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
    Color Production Coordinator: Evan Bauer
    Audio: Mr Bronx Audio Post
    Producer: Claudia Gaspar
    Mixer: Eric Hoffman

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    What's more American than mom and apple pie? Or, as Bob Dylan asked in Jeep's Super Bowl spot, "What's more American than America?"

    One possible answer is the National Football League.

    Professional pigskin may be the United States' most popular sport by a mile (or at least 100 yards), but it has never made a paid appearance in the Olympic games ... until now.

    The NFL debuted its first Olympics ad in the opening days of this year's games with "One Team," created by Grey New York. The work was developed in collaboration with the NFL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and some very dedicated groundskeepers.

    The campaign reinforces the workmanlike appeal of the NFL while simultaneously casting its 32 teams as proxy representatives for the the entire country during a summer when Americans from coast to coast have united to watch our athletes compete in Rio. As the tagline reads, "Football Is Family," no matter how big that family might be.

    This ad's real star may be St. Vincent's reimagining of the Star Spangled Banner, which updates Jimi Hendrix's classic 1969 Woodstock rendition with the help of some overdubs and at least one very active whammy bar.

    "One Team," which debuted on Saturday, will run in 30- and 15-second versions across NBC's properties (Bravo, CNBC, The Golf Channel, USA) until the games end on Aug. 21.


    Advertiser: NFL
    Spot Title: "One Team"
    First Air Date: August 6, 2016
    Creative Agency:  Grey New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Andreas Dahlqvist
    Executive Creative Directors: Leo Savage and Jeff Stamp
    Group Creative Director: Joe Mongognia
    Creative Director/Copywriter: Evan Benedetto
    Creative Director/Art Director: Mike Cicale
    Svp, Account Director: Alan Perlman
    Senior Account Executive: Lucy Hallowell
    Production: NFL Films
    Directors: Rob Gehring, Bob Angelo, Shannon Furman, Brian Rosenfeld and Samantha Kordelski
    Line Producer: Liz Leafey
    Production Coordinator: Jeff Stupak
    Camera: Andre Labous, Kevin Simkins, Dave Sharples, Steve Skinner
    Executive Production: Townhouse
    Executive Producer: Alison Horn
    VP, Producer: Bruce McDonald
    Assistant Producer: Alex Litke
    VP, Music Producer: Zach Pollakoff
    Editorial: Final Cut
    Editors: Ashley Kreamer and Chris Rizzo
    Original Rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" performed by St. Vincent

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    "A working class hero is something to be," John Lennon sang in 1970—and that sentiment rings every bit as true more than 45 years later.

    Coney Island is a long way from North Carolina, but mcgarrybowen's new campaign promoting minor league baseball's Brooklyn Cyclones is a real-life Bull Durham story made even more striking by the fact that it debuts in the middle of the world's biggest and most expensive athletic spectacle in Rio de Janeiro.

    The nameless player described by this ad won't win a gold medal or a World Series ring this year. You won't see him on a Wheaties box, and he won't star in any CGI-assisted sportswear ads. Although the ad features an actor, it's a message that will resonate with any minor league player or the fans who come out to see their understated athleticism.

    "I wanted to tap into this poetic story of the minor league baseball player," says mcgarrybowen creative Danny Wantz, who led this campaign. "We always hear stories of players with $100 million contracts, but afterward you often see a decline in their productivity. If I want to see good baseball on a Sunday afternoon, I believe the Cyclones are better than the Yankees; these guys are fighting for their lives in the trenches and sleeping in hotel rooms. It's a fight to get to the top and have your name on the back of a pro team's jersey."

    Mcgarrybowen has been working with the Cyclones on a pro-bono basis for more than two years, and this work is the team's most creatively forward-thinking campaign to date.

    The agency ultimately cast an actor rather than a player for the lead role due to scheduling challenges, but he serves as a stand-in for every hardscrabble minor leaguer across the country.

    "People think it's this amazing life," Wantz says, "but it's a tough grind and baseball is a hard sport to break into. They have more hope, passion and fight in them than I have personally seen anywhere else."

    Wantz tells Adweek that the Brooklyn team is "all about pushing the envelope." And while this spot, titled "Made Men," makes for a stark contrast with many of this year's big-budget Olympics ads, Wantz took his inspiration in part from a recent Droga5 Under Armour spot that painted Michael Phelps in a more intimate light.

    "I look to do sports ads whenever I get the chance," he says. "The drama, the cinematography and the way the camera moves are a beautiful dance that comes together to make a statement about something I'm already passionate about."

    The ad was originally intended to be a one-off project, but agency and client are currently discussing potential expansions on the theme. "When we originally pitched this idea, I was worried that it went too far," Wantz says, "but [the Cyclones] loved it."


    Client: Brooklyn Cyclones
    Agency: mcgarrybowen New York
    Campaign: Amazin' Starts Here
    Spot: "Made Men"

    Writer: Danny Wantz
    Director: Danny Wantz
    Director of Photography: Danny Wantz, Mark Sanders
    Editor: Danny Wantz, Mark Sanders
    Lead Actor: Jonathan Zakus
    Music: "Dark Day" by Junhak Lee
    VO Talent: Kent Koren

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    Brad Paisley and Rachel Platten are on your side, performing expanded versions of Nationwide's iconic jingle in the insurance company's new spots from Ogilvy & Mather.

    Launched during NBC's Olympics coverage, the work presents "Songs for All Your Sides," striving to tell "the whole story of what Nationwide is and how we can support our members through their life stages," says client CMO Terrance Williams.

    Both Paisley and Platten contribute to the lyrics in their respective spots, touching on issues like banking services and retirement plans. First up, country star Paisley works the frets, waxing poetic about man caves and RVs (which, let's face it, wouldn't seem out of place in most country songs):

    In the "Behind the Songs" clip below, Paisley notes, "We're born knowing the Nationwide jingle as a species," which probably isn't far from wrong:

    The familiar "Nationwide is on your side" line—introduced over a half-century ago, with a seven-note musical theme composed by jingle king Steve Karmen—translates well to the C&W milieu, and Paisley projects enough self aware, aw-shucks earnestness to pull it off.

    Pop chanteuse Platten also scores, with her contribution playing off the campaign's "Sides" positioning:

    Then she has some fun in the making-of clip, playfully struggling to devise rhymes for "side":

    "With a fresh take on the jingle, our new marketing campaign tells the story of who we are today and the breadth of solutions we offer," Williams says.

    Both artists convey immense likability while not taking things too seriously—smart, given the backlash Nationwide suffered when it got deadly serious with its Super Bowl commercial in 2015. (And unlike Peyton Manning, Paisley and Platten manage to sing on key, though word has it that neither can throw a 40-yard pass.)

    Nationwide is the second big brand to revamp a classic jingle this summer, following this fresh take on a certain chrome-domed clean freak's familiar theme song.

    While both campaigns play on nostalgia, they also tap into the persistent power of annoyingly catchy tunes to bore deep inside the brain, bidding a whole new generation to sing along.


    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

    Executive Creative Directors: Dustin Duke & Jon Wagner

    Group Creative Directors: Edu Herran & Steve Lundberg

    Executive Producer: Melanie Baublis
    Managing Group Account Director: Jeff Traverso
    Executive Group Account Director: Kari Steele

    Big Sky Editorial

    Editor: Chris Franklin

    Executive Producer: Cheryl Panek

    Radical Media

    Directors: Josh & Xander
    Executive Producer: Gregg Carlesimo

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    At the Olympics, golfer Bubba Watson will be walking the course like everyone else. But don't be surprised if someone asks him about his insane jetpack golf cart.

    That's because the colorful 37-year-old Floridian has been promoting just such an airborne vehicle in his latest viral video for Oakley sunglasses.

    The spot, which has almost 1 million views on YouTube, doubles as an Olympics promo for Oakley. A number of competitors in Rio will be wearing the brand's Prizm shades, which are customized by sport to help athletes see their playing fields more clearly.

    "Bubba's Jetpack" will probably remind you of "Bubba's Hover," the hovercraft golf cart that Watson was seen tooling around in three years ago. That's because the hovercraft was also an Oakley creation—made and marketed with help from New York viral marketing agency Thinkmodo, which also made "Bubba's Jetpack" as a sequel. 

    Thinkmodo prides itself on never using CGI. And indeed, agency co-founder James Percelay tells Adweek that the jetpack video, and the jetpack itself, are 100 percent real.

    "It actually works. It's incredible," he says. "They're going to be in production at the end of the year, or the beginning of 2017, for police, fire and military. They're waiting on FAA approval so you and I can commute five minutes in the air to work and land on a rooftop."

    Percelay says Thinkmodo had been monitoring a small New Zealand company for years called Martin Aircraft that's been working on jetpack technology. "We were very supportive of them, and did a little deal where if we came up with an idea for some kind of promotional deal, that we'd have first dibs at it," he says. "We stuck with them, and sure enough, the jetpack, years later, got off the ground."

    And he means that quite literally.

    "This is the real deal," Percelay says. "It can go up to 3,000 feet high. It goes about 45 miles an hour. It can stay aloft for 30 minutes, or go about 19 or 20 miles. It's computer controlled, and super stable—you can actually take your hands off the controls and it will lock in position. It's wild."

    Watson, of course, is the perfect spokesman for such a thing. After all, it makes total sense that one of the world's most nontraditional golfers would also have the coolest golf cart around. (Though actually, you'll notice in the video that while Watson is seen strapping the jetpack on, he doesn't appear to actually fly it—that job is left to a pilot.)

    A golf spot is particularly timely, too, given that the sport is returning to the Olympics this year after an absence of 112 years. 

    Thinkmodo's hovercraft and jetpack projects are both, in a way, just jokes—nobody would actually use these things on a golf course (aside from promotional or fundraising stunts). And yet, they're also intended to position Oakley as a company that's a real technological innovator. Thus, the spots do double duty—as comedy, and as actual brand building.

    "The idea really is that Oakley is a tech company, and we've applied amazing technology to some pretty ridiculous applications, just to make a point," Percelay says.

    That said, the Indiana company that made the hovercraft got orders from golf courses for them. And Martin will probably get orders for the golf cart jetpacks, too.

    "The hovercraft ended up on the cover of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog," Percelay says. "So, who am I to say this is just a prototype? The odds of someone actually ordering this for a golf course is actually pretty high." 

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    Earlier this week, an updated take on a famous anti-drug PSA posed the classic question: "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"

    Nope. But what about your Ikea furniture on drugs?

    Hunter Fine and Alex Taylor are two veteran copywriters who met several years ago while working at BBDO New York and continue to collaborate on the occasional side project. Last year, they were discussing the shared frustrations of building Ikea furniture when a friend noted that the experience would be particularly difficult for someone under the influence of certain intoxicants.

    Using the power of the pun, they then developed the idea for "Hikea," a video series in which they recruited several willing strangers to go on camera, take substantial doses of psychedelic drugs, and attempt to construct new desks and drawers without injuring themselves in the process.

    We think it's fair to say that they experienced varying degrees of success. In the first episode, things went predictably awry for Giancarlo and Nicole once the LSD kicked in.

    Like so many potentially ill-advised projects, this one involved an awkward Craiglist ad.

    "We thought, 'How do we get people to participate?' What kind of person would do this?" Taylor tells AdFreak. "So we put an ad on Craigslist a year ago, and it turned out that a lot people wanted to do it. We had to sift through the applicants and determine who wasn't dangerous."

    The pair then shot the first two "webisodes" in the homes of the drugged-up volunteer subjects with the help of some agency colleagues, who handled film and production duties.

    "When our partners found out about the idea behind the series, everybody was happy to participate," Taylor said.

    Fine added: "We wanted to make it look professional, so we put the crew together, shot one video, did initial edits and eventually shot another one. Most of the past year was spent editing and making it right."

    In the second video, a man named Keith had even less luck building his Ikea desk after consuming one eighth of an ounce of psilocybin mushrooms. "Keith had been on the Daily Show smoking pot on camera," Fine said, "So we thought, at least he isn't going to freak out and jump out of a window."

    He didn't quite build the world's most stable desk, either—but all's well that ends well.

    The clip contains several quotable lines, and we're still not sure what "a grease fire in my thought box" could possibly mean.

    So why did these two creatives take time out of their very busy schedules to complete this project, again?

    "We get a lot of pleasure out of our advertising work, but we like to do other things to get attention, entertain people, etc.," Taylor said.

    The process of assembling Ikea purchases is a nearly universal experience for young people living in urban areas, so it felt like the right fit.

    "Building Ikea furniture may be the only chance most of us get to take the tools out of the closet and actually build something," Taylor said. "We're not carpenters or builders, so it can go a lot of different ways. But it's something we all know; many people have built their desks after drinking a few beers or smoking a joint, and this is just the next step."

    Before speaking to AdFreak, the pair sent the videos to a series of viral content sites and posted them on Reddit. The response has been so positive that they plan to continue shooting more clips ... within reason.

    "We don't want to repeat ourselves," Taylor said. "There are only so many drugs that people would be willing to do."

    Regarding the filming and editing process, Fine said: "Really good spur-of-the-moment things happened. We tried to find the best moments."

    One might say they succeeded—if by "best" you mean that unique combination of embarrassing and hilarious. In fact, this series may be the most effective anti-drug PSA we've seen all year, at least for those planning to do anything productive.

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    Team USA once again had a great night in Rio, staying on top in the medal count (now 32). Here are the most important stories for marketers to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics:

    Medal Count: Team USA Still Leads in Both Golds and Overall
    On Wednesday, Kristin Armstrong won the gold in the women's cycling time trial, and Daryl Homer earned a silver medal in fencing. Also, the United States' Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon brought in a silver medal for the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard event. But the United States' success didn't end there. (SB Nation)

    Here's the leaderboard as it stood going into Thursday:
    United States: 32
    China: 23
    Japan: 18
    Russia: 15
    Great Britain: 12

    Carmelo Anthony Becomes Leading Basketball Olympic Scorer in U.S. History
    During the first quarter of the United States' game Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony became the country's all-time leading scorer, with 276 points. He ended the game with 31 points, making his total 293. (NBC Olympics)

    Katie Ledecky Adds Third Gold as U.S. Wins 4x200 Freestyle Relay
    Americans beat Australia by just 0.90 seconds Wednesday in the 4x200-meter freestyle, giving Katie Ledecky another gold medal—her third at the Rio Olympics. The U.S. was trailing during the first three legs of the race, but then Ledecky entered the pool. (ESPN)

    Why Do Olympic Pools Keep Turning Green?
    The Olympic water polo pool has joined the diving pool in turning green, and Rio officials don't seem to have a clear answer for why. Possible explanations include an algae bloom, a sudden change in alkalinity or a lack of proper water treatment chemicals. (CNN)

    This Company Is Creating Branded Highlight Videos for Canada's Olympic Coverage
    Canadian sports retailer Sport Check is using real-time footage of the Rio games for its 90-second spots in its #WhatItTakes campaign. The spots, which highlight Canadian Olympics accomplishments, appear first on social feeds and then on television, and the first spot saw 2 million views across social media. (Adweek)

    In Defense of Yulia Efimova
    Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote a compelling piece in defense of demonized Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who drew snide looks and comments this week from U.S. swimming star Lilly King. "The facts of Efimova's case aren't nearly so clear cut despite the self-righteous Cold War shunning of her," Jenkins writes. "It's worth looking a little more closely at the human face of Efimova and maybe even standing in her place for a minute." (Washington Post)

    Rio's Biggest Moments Around the Pool Help Attract Swimming's Future Stars
    The U.S. swim team has seen amazing success in Rio from athletes like Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Lilly King. According to USA Swimming CMO Matt Farrell, moments like this make his job a lot easier to stoke membership on swim teams. (Adweek)

    Chance the Rapper Pens Nike's New Anthem to Unite USA's Basketball Teams
    Chance the Rapper stars in Nike's latest ad "United Together," created by Wieden + Kennedy New York. He also wrote the lyrics for "We the People," the song inspired by The Star-Spangled Banner, featured in the ad, which aims to bring together U.S. basketball teams. (Adweek)

    Comcast Has Combined Its Linear and Digital Olympic Feeds to Make Watching the Games Easier
    NBCUniversal is providing 6,755 hours of linear and digital Rio Olympic programming, but subscribers to Comcast's Xfinity cable service who have upgraded to X1 cable boxes will be able to sort through the content a bit easier than others. Subscribers have access to NBC Olympics' linear and digital feeds in a Rio Olympics hub through the X1 cable box. (Adweek)

    Bubba Watson's Jetpack: The Story Behind Oakley's Latest Insane Golfing Vehicle
    Bubba Watson is featured with an insane jetpack golf cart in his latest viral video for Oakley sunglasses. The spot, which has almost 1 million views on YouTube, is also an Olympics promo for Oakley. (Adweek)

    Nationwide's Jingle Gets a Modern Tune-Up in Ogilvy's Olympic Spots
    Brad Paisley and Rachel Platten are "on your side"—the pair performed expanded versions of Nationwide's jingle in the insurance company's new spots from Ogilvy & Mather. The spots tell "the whole story of what Nationwide is and how we can support our members through their life stages," says client CMO Terrance Williams. (Adweek)

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    A new ad from a consumer activist group is taking aim at Pepsi's sourcing practices by spoofing one of the soft drink company's most famous commercials—Cindy Crawford's roadside gas station spot from the 1992 Super Bowl.

    In the parody, created by nonprofit SumOfUs, a svelte brunette pulls up to a small town fueling station . Two young boys playing catch in a nearby yard stop and gape as she struts—in a tight white tanktop and cutoff shorts—to the vending machine, grabs a Crystal Pepsi and proceeds to chug it.

    The similarities to the original end there, as the scene takes a fast downward spiral into disturbing territory. 

    Instead of fresh, clear Crystal Pepsi, a viscous yellow-brown substance oozes out of the upturned bottle and onto the Crawford stand-in's face. Unfazed, she lets the sludge run down her body, face contorted in grotesque ecstasy, while her admirers gag in horror.

    Here's the original Cindy Crawford Pepsi ad, so you can compare and contrast:

    The parody ad went live ahead of last Monday's limited re-release of Crystal Pepsi, a caffeine-free, translucent beverage that was en vogue in the early '90s—assuming it ever really was. Crystal Pepsi existed for just a year, but has since built a nostalgic cult following. (In an attempt to stoke the flames of our memories, its relaunch campaign will include "The Crystal Pepsi Trail," an online game inspired by "The Oregon Trail.")

    The ingredient at fault here is palm oil, which plays a role in a wide range of consumer products, from foods to cosmetics. More at issue are the beverage company's palm oil suppliers, which SumOfUs claims destroy rain forests to make way for farms, exploiting workers in Indonesia—a major low-wage producer with inadequate safety regulations—and facilitating the extinction of animals like orangutans, tigers and elephants.

    It's a familiar set of complaints, and not PepsiCo's first time facing such critiques. Last year, SumOfUs launched a similar parody ad mocking Doritos, which also uses palm oil. The brand—also owned by PepsiCo—dismissed the gag as fiction, insisting it is "absolutely committed to 100 percent sustainable palm oil in 2015 and to zero deforestation in our activities and sourcing."

    If it seems random that the activist group—which also targets companies like Apple, Delta and Zara for various other issues—would choose an almost 25-year-old commercial as the foil for its message, it's worth noting that Pepsi recently revived the Crawford ad, with a twist for millennials—recasting humans as emoji on giant ambulatory bottles:

    As off-putting and contrived as the final result of the new parody is, it effectively draws a line between some of Pepsi's more iconic branding, and a visceral sense of disgust about the product—substantive or not. Whether it's more unpleasant than watching James Corden stuff himself into Crawford's classic outfit is a different question altogether.

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    Taiyo Kikaku's TOKYO division made a video for Nissin Chikin ramen that appropriates a dizzying array of Japanese ad tropes.

    "SamuraiDroneCatIdolSuperhumanRubeGoldbergViewerWarningTooExplosiveHighSchoolGirl"—a breathless title that references all the stuff it plays with—is a kinetic, visually impressive piece of business that includes contemporary ad trends like drones, parkour sequences and complex Rube Goldbergian visual stunts.

    It also parodies Shiseido's "High School Girl," a viral spot for NTT Plala, and Marukome's "Definition of Japanese Kawaii" (itself a visually rich ad for soup).

    The satirical tone is broad enough that people will enjoy it, even if they don't catch all the references. It also seems to wink at what Westerners recognize as major elements of Japanese culture—sumo wrestling, Samurai, smartly dressed schoolgirls and a martial arts aesthetic.

    They aren't one-off gags, either; as ridiculous as it may seem, the content builds to a central point, which is that fads are fleeting, but institutions aren't. (Nissin Chikin, obviously, is the institution in question.)

    After seeing this, we got to thinking about what the Western version would look like. It would probably be a faux documentary with lots of lazy absurdist humor ... and at least one shot of people jumping up and down at an outdoor music festival.

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    In today's hyperpartisan political environment, Planned Parenthood has long been associated with a single word: abortion.

    Yet the nonprofit organization, which began in Brooklyn in 1921 under the American Birth Control League moniker, claims that more than 2.5 million women (and men) visit its offices around the country every year. And the vast majority are not seeking to end pregancies, even as opponents continue to challenge the longstanding claim that only 3 percent of the group's services involve terminating a pregnancy.

    Political spats and statistics aside, no party can claim Planned Parenthood does not satisfy patients' varied healthcare needs, which range from breast exams to tests for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. The organization also calls itself "the nation's largest provider of sex education."

    A new ad by the Seattle agency Wexley School for Girls for the org's Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (GNHI) branch reminds viewers of those other services while playing on the assumption that anything involving the name Planned Parenthood will eventually turn into a heated all-or-nothing debate over birth control.

    Given that 2016 is a presidential election year, the topic will inevitably come up even though Republican nominee Donald J. Trump seems more interested in discussing other things like, say, the size of his ... rallies.

    In making the ad, Wexley School for Girls looked to subvert the standard narrative regarding Planned Parenthood.

    "Planned Parenthood is an organization we care passionately about so we jumped at the chance to work with them. In truth, everyone on this project did," says executive creative director Cal McAllister. "We all wanted to come to their defense after Planned Parenthood being so maliciously attacked. I'm constantly impressed by their focus on staying the course and winning the right way."

    Sandy Rhyneer, the GNHI division's vp of marketing and communications, says, "People tend to have preconceived notions about Planned Parenthood—we felt comfortable tasking Wexley with this assignment, highlighting health care services most may not be aware we offer, while also playing to our strengths." She adds, "The TV spot Wexley developed mirrors the quality and care Planned Parenthood provides, and we couldn't be happier with the result."

    The ad will almost certainly not end the frequently contentious debates surrounding the Planned Parenthood organization. But it does provide a somewhat restrained pushback against those who would reduce the organization to a single word.


    Client: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands
    Agency: Wexley School for Girls

    Executive Creative Directors: Cal McAllister, Ian Cohen
    Copywriter: Cal McAllister
    Designer: Miguel Wylengco
    Director of Planning and Strategy: Christine Wise
    Associate Producer: Tara Cooke
    Associate Planner: Chelsea Webber
    Account Manager: Nick Minnott
    Project Manager: Krystal Coyne
    Production Company: Production for the People
    Director: Carolyn Chen
    Executive Producer:  Pam Tarr
    Sales Rep: Deirdre Rymer
    Line Producer: Jessica Wise
    Editorial Company: Lost Planet
    Editor: Federico Brusilovsky
    Audio Company: Eleven Sound, LLC
    Sound Designer/Mixer:  Ben Freer
    Voice Over:  Missi Pyle/UTA
    Shopper: Erin Coleman
    Barista: Chelsea Bellas
    Hired driver: Alex Benjamin
    Pre-school teacher: Michele Acosta

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    Team USA continues to have more 2016 medals (84) than any other country at the Summer Olympics in Rio, and the country quickly broke its one-day gold drought. Here's what marketers need to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics:

    Two Golds for Team USA on Tuesday
    U.S. Olympic athletes didn't win any gold medals on Monday, but that changed on Tuesday, when Christian Taylor took the gold for the triple jump and gymnastics phenom Simone Biles earned her fourth gold medal, this time for the women's floor exercise. (SB Nation)

    Here's the medal leaderboard as it stood going into Wednesday, according to NBC Olympics:

    United States: 84
    China: 51
    Great Britain: 50
    Russia: 38
    France: 29

    Kerri Walsh Jennings Denied Gold After 3 Consecutive Olympic Wins
    Three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, along with her partner April Ross, was defeated by Brazil in Olympic beach volleyball on Tuesday, sending the duo to a third-place matchup today. "We could squash that team, and I say that with all the respect in the world," Walsh Jennings said. "But they outplayed us in every way." (Fox Sports)

    True Sportsmanship on Display in Women's 5,000-Meter Race
    U.S. runner Abbey D'Agostino won kudos around the world for her humanity and sportsmanship when she tumbled on the track over New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin, who had fallen in front of D'Agostino. The American, though injured, turned around to help Hamblin to her feet. Then D'Agostino completed the race despite her injury. "I've never met this girl before, and isn't that just so amazing?" Hamblin said. "Such an amazing moment regardless of the race and the result on the board, that's a moment that you'll never, ever forget for the rest of your life." (Runner's World)

    Omar McLeod Wins Jamaica's First 110-Meter Hurdles Gold
    Omar McLeod of Jamaica earned the country's first Olympic gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles on Tuesday. Dimitri Bascou of France won the bronze, the first time France has won a medal in the event since 1996. (NBC)

    Jenny Simpson Wins U.S. Its First Olympic Medal in History of Women's 1,500-Meter Race
    Tuesday Jenny Simpson of Team USA won the bronze in the women's 1500-meter race. This is the first time the U.S. is bringing home a medal in this Olympic event. (The Huffington Post)

    How Usain Bolt's Victorious Grin Helped the Olympian Race Past Everyone on Social Media
    There were many memorable moments at the Rio games on Monday, and an analysis of the social data showed that Usain Bolt receiving his medal as fastest man in the world was one of the four highlights (402,947 retweets, comments and likes during the medal presentation). (Adweek)

    French Pole Vaulter Apologizes for Comparing Hostile Crowd to Nazi Germany
    Silver medalist Renaud Lavillenie was booed and jeered when he competed with Brazilian vaulter Thiago da Silva, who was in the lead and eventually won gold. While IOC leaders chastised fans online for their behavior, Lavillenie only made his situation worse by comparing his treatment to how black U.S. runner Jesse Owens was treated in Nazi Germany at the 1936 Olympics. On Tuesday, he apologized for the comparison. (USA Today)

    Who Is Tiffany Alvord?
    Next-generation commentator Tiffany Alvord dreamed of becoming an Olympian one day. The singer-songwriter, who has 3 million subscribers on YouTube and said gymnastics was her "first passion before music," is part of a team of millennial influencers that NBC has signed on during the Olympic Games. (Adweek)

    Broadcast Ratings Fell on Monday as Team USA Struggled
    NBC's ratings took a significant hit Monday compared to the previous Monday, and no U.S. Olympians won gold medals that night. 24.3 million prime-time viewers tuned in to the network, and 25.5 million watched when counting TV, digital and mobile. (Adweek)

    Olympian Shaunae Miller's Finish-Line Dive Creates Yet Another Golden Meme
    It didn't take long for memes to start circulating on social media of Bahamanian runner Shaunae Miller after the Olympic athlete literally dove to victory. Memes included everything from legendary Olympic diver Greg Louganis to Slip 'N Slides. (CNET)

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    "Every day we get dressed ... but why?"

    That's the question that opens "Why Do We Get Dressed?" for Uniqlo Lifewear. Created by Droga5 New York, the brand's first-ever global campaign features a man running through a crowded plaza as a narrator with a soft British accent expounds on what clothing means to us.

    "Do you just throw something on because you're late?" she asks. "Do you choose based on your mood, on the weather? The weather can change your mood, just like that..."

    The calm voiceover, spread over the slow-moving image of a man rushing toward something—a woman? A job interview? A cat in a tree?—delicately unwraps the thoughts that slip through our minds as we prepare for the day. What outfits or fabrics do we choose to feel safe, to protect ourselves, to fit in?

    She also sprinkles in tiny facts, all the sweeter when we know them: Warm colou]rs, she tells us, release dopamine. A shirt can change how you feel, can make you happy. Soft textures make you feel secure.

    "Why do you want to fit in? Why do you get dressed?" she goes on.

    Uniqlo's Lifewear is a collection of basics—knits, jeans, tanktops and long-sleeves—made to facilitate everyday life in cultures where people, and even companies, increasingly look the same. Uniqlo itself defines the selection as "innovative high-quality clothing that is universal in design and comfort and made for everyone, everywhere."

    As a tribute to that wide philosophy, the ad's characters are nicely put together, but not ostentatiously dressed. An old woman gazes skyward with her scarf casually thrown over one shoulder. A hooded man slows to watch our protagonist with interest. Even the guy we're following looks like he's just thrown on a shirt and jeans, then slung the most immediately available trenchcoat over it: Its heavy cut is (not unpleasantly) at odds with the lightness of everything else he's wearing.

    The interesting result is that it isn't so much the clothing we notice as the people—their faces, their expressions, the lingering regard of a long-haired man dressed entirely in black. And that's when we remember that, for whatever reasons we choose our clothes, an outfit at its best doesn't necessarily draw attention to itself; it reinforces who we are, illuminating our selves in a crowd full of strangers.

    "Our endless curiosity to explore the meaning of clothing is at the heart of our new campaign," explains John Jay, president of global creative at Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company. "By producing a global brand message from Japan, we are being authentic to our origin and who we are."

    This first global push is conspicuous: The Japanese yen is currently strong, putting pressure on the company, and Uniqlo's business is underperforming in the US. The campaign's purpose is to reinforce Uniqlo's values—a "relentless commitment to quality, functionality and style"—to a distracted Western market while expressing its Japanese roots.

    Our protagonist—and ultimately, the woman he's running toward—is white, but the setting itself is Japanese, as are the majority of the ad's other faces, an inversion on the typical ad ratio in western countries.

    And while its look and feel may ring foreign to some, the questions explored here remain somehow both personal and universal, their relatability woven in almost seamlessly. They may even give us pause when, tomorrow, we run our fingers over the many options sitting patiently on their hangers. 

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    From Piccadilly Circus to Westminster, London landmarks have recently been ambushed with a flier campaign calling for the deportation of illegal ... Pokemon.

    The campaign is the work of creatives who have blanketed the city with a series of posters using the world's hottest mobile game to make a point about the recent Brexit vote and the effects it may have on Great Britain's immigrant population—many of whom stand to lose some of the freedoms afforded to European Union residents.

    "The UK is our gym," notes one flier. "Just because your Pokemon is here doesn't mean it can stay. Illegal Pokemon WILL be deported. To anonymously make a report, visit www.pokemon-go-home.com."

    "We're catching them all," noted another one of the fliers, which quickly generated some online discussion.

    The stunt has earned coverage in publications ranging from British tabloid Evening Standard to tech blog Mashable and the Russian state news service Sputnik. Most observers seemed to get the connection between two of the U.K.'s hottest news items even if they didn't visit the campaign website or sign a petition demanding that the British government ensure that European Union nationals can stay in the country with the same basic rights after the split becomes final.

    British Copywriter David Felton tells AdFreak that he came up with the idea while talking to a Portugese art director who confessed that he is "genuinely worried and concerned about this future post-Brexit."

    "It struck me as being profoundly unfair," Felton said. "I'd also been thinking a lot about Pokemon Go, and so I decided to run a campaign to raise awareness by bringing these two unrelated things together and attempting to hijack that buzz in a novel way."

    Felton said his intentions and those of collaborators Steve Sinyard (a U.K.-based graphic designer) and Evan Brown (a creative director in Los Angeles) are not explicitly political. "Whatever my personal opinion is, the political reality is that if we leave Europe it's going to affect lives, many in far-reaching and detrimental ways. For those attempting to settle down, with jobs and families, being told you may have to leave becomes another psychological burden."

    The copywriter knew he couldn't make it happen on his own, so he perused @OneMinuteBriefs, a U.K.-based social media project that challenges creatives to come up with ad concepts in one minute or less. In the process he met Sinyard, who "got it straight away and was interested to collaborate on the work together." Felton says, "We also had help from a friend of mine, Evan Brown, an experienced Creative Director based in Los Angeles who oversaw and managed the project."

    Since printing and laminating the posters, he has placed more than 100 in various locations around London. This campaign isn't the first use of the #PokemonGoHome hashtag, but may well be the most creative.

    The petition currently has nearly 5,000 signatures, or approximately half the number required to guarantee a response from the government. Felton, who describes the project's budget as "zero," said the fliers don't have much staying power in real life, though at least they live on online. "I put up posters right outside Parliament," he said, "and 24 hours later they haven't been taken down." 

    He adds that he hopes the project gets more attention, "because however anyone feels about Brexit, I think we can all agree that people are just as important as Pokemon."

    More posters should appear in London throughout the week. British Pokemon Go players, meanwhile, show no signs of slowing down.

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    Team USA women's track stars had an outstanding night Wednesday, sweeping the gold, silver and bronze in in the 100-meter hurdles. Team USA continues to have more 2016 medals (93) than any other country at the Summer Olympics in Rio. Here's what marketers need to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics:

    Team USA's Medal Count Climbs, With Big Boost From Hurdlers
    U.S. women swept the 100-meter hurdles Wednesday, the first time one country won the top three medals in this event. Brianna Rollins won the gold, Nia Ali took the silver, and Kristi Castlin earned the bronze. (SB Nation)

    Here's the medal leaderboard as it stood going into Thursday, according to NBC Olympics:

    United States: 93
    China: 54
    Great Britain: 50
    Russia: 41
    Japan: 33

    Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross Beat Brazil for Bronze
    Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross won the bronze in the women's beach volleyball tournament Wednesday. This win was Walsh Jennings' fourth Olympic medal (though her first time ending without gold), and she is now the oldest female medal winner in beach volleyball history. Germany won the gold. (NBC)

    Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz Stopped at Airport, Ordered to Stay in Brazil
    American swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were stopped by authorities at the airport Wednesday seeking answers about an alleged robbery of the pair and fellow teammate Ryan Lochte. The athletes previously said they were robbed in a taxi Sunday while returning to the athletes village, but Brazilian authorities have cast doubts on the swimmers' depiction of events. (ESPN)

    Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse Charmed the World at the 200-Meter Finish Line
    Jamaican Usain Bolt and Canadian Andre De Grasse enjoyed a laugh as they approached the finish line during the 200-meter semifinal on Wednesday, and their clear admiration for each other instantly became a viral hit. Bolt is heading to the 200-meter men's final after finishing first in the semifinal.  (SB Nation)

    3 Brands Using Facebook in Particularly Effective Ways During the Rio Games
    Adweek zeroes in on three brands using particularly effectively during the Rio games: GE, Skol and Bradesko. The brands are using Facebook Live, Facebook Canvas, Facebook ads, and more. (Adweek)

    NBC Suffers Prime-Time Ratings Woes on Tuesday
    Tuesday night's Rio games had their highs and lows—Simone Biles and Aly Raisman received medals on the final night of the gymnastics competition, and Kerri Walsh Jennings and teammate April Ross of the U.S. women's beach volleyball team suffered defeat from Brazil. 25.6 million total viewers tuned in to NBC during prime time with a 14.3 household rating, the lowest household rating since the first Saturday of the Olympic games. (Adweek)

    When Olympics Hero Simone Biles Met Her Crush, Zac Efron, the Internet Went Kablooey
    Hoda Kotb, of NBC's Today show, heard that Simon Biles has a crush on TV and film star Zac Efron. So Kotb planned a surprise visit from Efron, and that moment created Tuesday's buzziest moment in social (497,832 retweets, comments and likes, according to 4C). (Adweek)

    BMW Mini's Head of U.S. Marketing on Olympics Glory, Election Year Advertising and Trusting Your Agency
    BMW is using Version 2.0 of its "Defy Labels" advertising campaign during the Summer Olympics, having the athletes tell their stories. Online the brand is featuring long-form interviews, using paid social media ads and social media with athletes. (Campaign US)

    Laurie Hernandez's Agent Says Brands Are Lining Up To Work With The Olympian
    Laurie Hernandez won the Olympic silver medal Monday, and, according to her agent, Sheryl Shade, calls have already started coming in to discuss sponsorships. "I probably heard from 10 major Fortune 100 companies as soon as she did it," explained Shade. "They were paying attention." (The Huffington Post)

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    "Nothing livens up a party quite like a big serving of Dick's."

    At least that's the promise of Dick's Pizza, an unfortunately named and even more unfortunately fictional restaurant created by agency Taxi Toronto for internet radio service SiriusXM.

    It almost feels like the brief for this viral play was, "How many penile jokes can you make in one minute?" And the answer is "a great many," because the resulting ad is bulging with innuendo:

    But that was just the tip of this campaign.

    There's more to it than a series of juvenile jokes from a man named Richard Long. In fact, Taxi created the campaign to promote the client's second annual Top Comic, a contest in which would-be Canadian standup stars compete to win $25,000 and a chance to perform at the Top Comic Finale in September.

    "This is what a comedian would do if they opened a pizza shop," Taxi Toronto executive creative director Jeff MacEachern tells AdFreak.

    Last year, the agency promoted the contest with a series of posters, radio ads and installations listing the sort of jobs that comedians should probably avoid in the interest of public safety and general decency. This time, however, "they wanted to extend it, one-up the previous campaign and make a bigger splash," MacEachern says.

    In order to build buzz for the contest, Taxi created the "under construction" pop-up Dick's Pizza installation seen in the ad in an effort to drive traffic to SiriusXM's website and social channels. So Dick's is a real place in downtown Toronto, even though consumers won't be able to order any large, medium or small Dick's there.

    The big question, though, is how the client approved this decidedly saucy campaign.

    "We had a few different ideas in the mix," MacEachern says, "but this one stood out for obvious reasons. [SiriusXM] knew that standup can sometimes come in all shapes and sizes (no pun intended), but that [the work] had to stand out. Our clients were pretty open to doing something that was going to get some laughs and also get people talking and sharing the content."

    MacEachern tells AdFreak that the agency made the most of a limited budget, using stock images and clever editing to create the intentionally "hyperbolic" pizza shop promo. He says, "The content is quite sophomoric and silly in nature, and we wanted to make sure no one would mistake it for a real campaign." The effort also includes out of home posters expanding on last year's "Help a Comedian" theme with nary a Dick's joke in sight.

    So far, the public response has been positive. The creative chief says: "Lots of people are going, 'What the heck did I just see? I can't stop watching this.'"

    We definitely know more about Top Comic than we did before watching this ad. More importantly, we just got a hankering for a large, very cheesy pizza. Hold the sausage.


    Agency: Taxi, Toronto, Canada
    Client: Sirius XM
    Executive Creative Director: Jeff MacEachern
    Art Director: Dan Cantelon
    Copywriter: Marc Levesque
    Director: Jono Hunter
    Editor: Brett Erina
    Sound: Eggplant Productions
    VFX: Fort York VFX
    Account Director: Karlee Bedford
    Account Manager: Rachel Riesel
    Producers: Christine Michalejko, Steve Emmens

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    British nonprofit Missing People wants some of the millions of Pokemon Go players traipsing the country to be on the look out for something other than cartoon creatures: actual humans.

    An outdoor campaign from the organization, which helps search for missing persons and provides support to them and their loved ones, repurposes iconography from the popular augmented reality game, which requires users to rove their cities for digital creatures in real-world locations.

    The campaign, launched during a Pokemon Go event in Trafalgar Square, drew a crowd some 4,000 strong. Working with BBH Barn, the Publicis agency's internship program, Missing People created posters featuring the faces and names of those "missing near here," wrapped inside Pokeballs, the imaginary tools used to trap Pokemon.

    The posters appeared in high-traffic locales like London's Waterloo train station, and other areas players frequent. Some were even placed on the ground, to better capture the attention of passersby staring down at their phones.

    It's a clever way for the group to capitalize on the craze while raising awareness for its own cause. What's more, Pokemon Go's wandering players seem like particularly good candidates for keeping an eye out for missing persons—at first blush, anyway.

    Nobody really believes the game's fans are going to put down the object of their amusement in favor of something that matters—but who knows what they'll stumble onto on their way to the next gym? Even one success would make the effort worth it.

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    Team USA reached 100 medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio on Thursday, keeping the nation atop the medal count. Here's what marketers need to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics:

    United States Adds 5 Golds, Hits 100 Total Medals
    On Thursday, the U.S. won seven more medals in Rio, reaching 100 medals in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. This is the 10th time the team will have earned at least 100 total medals in the history of the Summer Olympics. (SB Nation)

    Here's the total medal leaderboard as it stood going into Friday, according to NBC Olympics:

    United States: 100
    China: 58
    Great Britain: 56 
    Russia: 44
    Japan: 36

    As Lochte's Robbery Story Evaporates, Teammates Finally Head Home
    Brazilian police Thursday said U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte's allegations that he and teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint are not true and that they were instead covering up for a drunken brawl with a security guard. On Wednesday, Conger and Bentz were taken off a plane and detained, but now they have been allowed to go home. (USA Today)

    Reports: U.S. Swimmer Jimmy Feigen to Pay $11,000 to Leave Brazil
    U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen, also allegedly involved in the fabricated robbery story, will donate approximately $11,000 to a Brazilian charity today, according to media reports. After making the payment, Feigen will be allowed to leave the country. (USA Today)

    Usain Bolt Cements His Legacy Among the Greats in Sports History
    On Thursday, Jamaican track star Usain Bolt won the gold for the 200-meter sprint, his eighth Olympic gold medal. "The fact I came here and executed what I wanted to is a brilliant feeling," he told BBC Sport. (BBC)

    Bolt Has Strengthened His Social Brand by Bringing Levity to Live Action
    Usain Bolt is known as a showman, making victory poses, and this year he is known for his smiles. This has become his stamp of triumph and has set social media on fire. (Adweek)

    Ashton Eaton Ties Olympic Record With 2nd Decathlon Gold
    U.S. decathlete Ashton Eaton is now one of only three people in Olympic history to win consecutive golds in the grueling, 10-part event. He joins the ranks of track legends Bob Mathias and Daley Thompson. (NBC Olympics)

    Despite Big News and Huge U.S. Wins, NBC's Ratings Continued to Slip Wednesday 
    Wednesday was packed full of highlights in Rio, including Usain Bolt advancing to the men's 200-meter final and the U.S. sweeping the podium in the women's 100-meter hurdles. However, only 20.7 million total viewers tuned into NBC's prime-time broadcast, 14 percent fewer than Tuesday night. (Adweek)

    Who Is Elena Delle Donne?
    Elena Delle Donne is part of the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team. The native of Delaware is part of a team that hasn't lost an Olympic matchup since 1992, though much of the attention on Delle Donne lately has centered on her personal life, with the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year telling Vogue in an Aug. 4 article that she's engaged to friend Amanda Clifton. (Adweek)

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    If you love yourself some Carpool Karaoke, Air New Zealand's hoping you'll be willing to watch celebrities hit new decibel levels in an airplane cockpit.

    The below video is a public pitch aimed straight for late-night talk show host James Corden, who has created viral hit after viral hit with the popular segment, featuring musicians and other stars singing along with him to popular tracks while driving around Los Angeles. Corden notably even convinced Michelle Obama to jam to Beyoncé last month).

    "Mate, we've got a pitch for you," the Air New Zealand video begins. "Picture this: You. Us." 

    The airline promises Corden epic hashtag-worthy views and laughs aplenty in a concept they've catchily dubbed #CockpitKaraoke.

    On the off-chance that Corden's into it, Air New Zealand supplicates him to get in touch: "Tweet. DM. Snapchat. Message in a bottle. (Such a lost art.)"

    The video's less fun than the brand's Middle Earth-themed safety videos, but it does underscore a willingness to transcend its long-running Lord of the Rings schtick in exchange for a more recent pop culture phenomenon. Plus, it's in keeping with the quirky playfulness we've come to associate with them.

    This is also not a bad time to hit Carpool Karaoke up while the property—born as a Late Late Show segment—is still hot: CBS is looking for ways to monetize it, and in June, the show partnered with McDonald's and Coca-Cola for its first-ever Carpool Karaoke integration.

    Following news that Spike is planning its own competitive carpool singing show, just as packed with sparkly stars, CBS has spun Carpool Karaoke into a series of its own, available on Apple Music. 

    We hope Corden and CBS take the offer seriously, if only so we can get answers to a few burning questions: Will Corden fly the plane alongside his singing celebs, as he once drove the streets? Will Gandalf make a musical cameo? Would air traffic control be willing to jump in for the funky chorus bits?

    But if that isn't convincing enough, here's a real reason to greenlight the concept: There's no better way to own the competition than to take the concept from roadside to birdside. How could Spike beat that?


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