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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Ever bitten into a sandwich only to meet with freezerburn, an unsatisfyingly thin piece of bacon or an unwelcome vegetable? We've all been there. It's one of our most trying and persistent #FirstWorldProblems. 

    But Wendy's has a solution: The Baconator, which promises no frozen beef, no microwaved bacon and no vegetables whatsoever. And instead of food-porning us into submission, it's conveying these messages with a trio of bizarre short stories, in which anthropomorphized foodstuffs try penetrating the Baconator in modern contexts. 

    Let's start with "Frozen Beef Need Not Apply." In this spot, a clearly frozen Australian beef patty tries interviewing for a Baconator job. It adds something to our disgust that he sweats (or defrosts?) all through it, but the final test of unfrozenness will send chills up the spine of anyone who's ever been given a corporate pee cup. 

    In "Microwaves Are a Dealbreaker," a cute, upwardly mobile fresh meat patty is trying to find "a meaningful connection with the right applewood smoked bacon." Our juicy heroine meets a slice on the dating site "Meatswipe" (sadly not a thing—we checked so you wouldn't have to) who claims he's less thick than in his pictures because of filters. It all goes downhill from there ... but in his defense, we do consider microwaves a type of oven. 

    The third spot, "No Veggies Allowed," is a little bit stranger, because veggies are usually a token indication of how fresh a sandwich is. But we guess there are some meals where they're just not welcome, like when you really want to focus on the unadulterated sensation of hot cheese melting over bacon and beef, which is totally fair enough. 

    Anyway, in this one, three geeky veggies try getting into Club Baconator, using fake IDs. Needless to say, the bouncer is not impressed. 

    The ads were created by VML, which swiped lead creative agency status out from under Publicis' nose back in March. At the time, Wendy's chief concept and marketing officer Kurt Kane said VML "has proven it can tell the Wendy's story in a modern and compelling way that drives winning business results." And indeed, it's done a lot to help the burger chain flex its beefy muscles in digital. 

    Last year, to promote the Strawberry Fields Chicken Sandwich, it released a charming series of cinematic pins on Pinterest. Right after that, it held a livestream chat with YouTube duo Rhett & Link. Wendy's has also spent some time developing its chops on Snapchat, whose users these ads happen to feel destined for. 

    Client: Wendy's
    Advertising Agency: VML, Kansas, USA
    Chief Creative Officer: Debbi Vandeven
    Executive Creative Director: Chris Corley
    Group Creative Director: Pat Piper
    Creative Director: Daniel Lobaton
    Associate Creative Director: Ethan Tedlock
    Senior Copywriter: David Brandorff
    Associate Art Director: McKailey Carson
    Associate Copywriter: Ant Tull
    Senior Producer: Michael Kinney
    Associate Producer: Shae Mermis
    Group Director: Jason Bass
    Director, Client Engagement: Kelly Gartenmayer
    Supervisor, Client Engagement: Nicole Debrick
    Business Affairs Manager: Julie Kolton
    Campaign Manager: Patty Jones
    Production Company: Moo Studios
    Director: Shaun Sewter
    Producer: David Lyons
    Line Producer: Monica Monique
    Producer : Bennett Conrad
    Editorial: Liquid 9
    Editor : Ryan Lewis
    Editor: Katie Wade
    Production Coordinator: Kate Zadoo

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    There's this book we read as kids called The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. Whangdoodles change colors like mood rings, and grow a new pair of bedroom slippers on their hind legs every year. They used to live on our planet, but when power and greed took precedence over imagination, the very last one disappeared to create an imaginary universe, where he could rule and other imaginary subjects could be free. 

    We're telling you about this because Wongderland, the imaginary place in the commercial below, reminds us a lot of it. Created by Wunderman Phantasia to promote a toy store, also called Wongderland, being opened by client Wong Supermarkets, the animated short tells a familiar story—that of a boy and his toy car, and how his imagination fuels the existence of a mythic creature in another world. 

    It's also about how we're systematically taught to squash our imaginations in favor of baser concerns. The boy grows up and has a daughter, who likes to send her pink pony diving into the bathwater. Dad quickly corrects her by grabbing her hand, like he's saving her from a Requiem-style spiral into drugs: Ponies walk on land, not in water (we love how he takes issue with this, and not with the fact that it's pink). And though she obeys, the resentment—such a grownup emotion!—is clear on her face. 

    Meanwhile, over in Wongderland, a swimming pony and its equivalent Whangdoodle Wongderlander disappear. Luckily, Wongderland has a king, who gets a dimension-breaking idea. 

    It all ends happily enough. Wongderland reinstitutes two residents, the king is pleased, and father and daughter are united under the auspices of imagination. The film ends with the words, "We never stop being kids when we keep imagining." 

    The Wongderland film appeared nationwide in movie theatres in Peru, which makes sense: Not only is it long, but it also has an old-school Pixar quality to it. What it's missing in its five minutes are deeper stakes, which perhaps would help parents better remember its lesson (and brand) at the end of whatever movie follows it. 

    A storyline like this would have been plenty fine when we were kids, but films like Up and Inside Out have given modern children—and their guardians—a sense of nuance. Villains aren't born, and outcomes aren't linear; they're fed by many tributaries before producing a dad who grabs a kid's hand like he's the goddamn Flash. 

    It's never really clear why the boy at the start grows up to be the kind of guy who cares whether his daughter knows ponies walk on land (or the sides of bathtubs), apart from a cursory pan of photos that show him marrying and getting an office job. And while you do make negotiations with your inner life as an adult, those things in themselves aren't really reasons to let your inner child go to root. 

    Most people spend a lot of time thinking about their childhoods, what they wanted then, and how it compares to their lives now. (While that isn't fuel for Wongderland, it's fuel for lots of therapists.) 

    But it's still a charming, inoffensive piece of work. Maybe it will even sell toys—more of which appear in Wongderland at the end, like the promise of so many more stories: Pigs flying, rocket ships blasting off, candy helicopters and wooden castles. It's nice, in any case, to think a place like that exists. 

    Client: Wong Supermarket
    Agency: Wunderman Phantasia, Peru
    Chief Creative Director: Jose Aburto
    Head of Art: Augusto Landauro
    Creative Director: Jorge 'Koky' Borrero
    Senior Creative: Sebastian Sanchez-Botta
    Copywriters: Alvaro Camino, Bruno Calmet
    Account Director: Arminda Vasquez
    Account Supervisor: Erica Melgar
    Account Executive: Fiorella Gomez, Claudia Drago
    Production Supervisor: Luis Grieve, Sebastian Castro
    3-D Modeling Supervisor: Ricardo Villar
    Producer: Plan B
    Music: Sordo Audio Studios
    Script: Sebastian Sanchez-Botta, Alvaro Camino, Bruno Calmet

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    For all you Pokemon Go players out there, there's a bunch of new Pokemon wandering the busy streets. But they're not ones you'll want to catch. 

    Esurance and agency Leo Burnett imagined some new Pokemon characters for its "Don't Catch and Drive" campaign, reminding motorists not to play the distracting smartphone game between the wheel.

    You can walk and catch, or drive and not catch, but driving and catching together can lead to disastrous results—like running into the unfortunately not-very-rare Fenderbendix. 

    Esurance took a 3-D model of the Fenderbendix to a busy Chicago street and caused a bit of a dramatic scene by staging a car accident involving a hot dog stand—or so it would seem. The Fenderbendix, a weird green being with long arms, was also present, painted as the cause of the accident.

    Take a look at the stunt here:

    And below, see the other fake Pokemon characters from the campaign: 

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    "Boats run on diesel and coffee."

    That pearl of wisdom comes courtesy of Glen Miller, a tugboat captain who stars in "The Harbor That Never Sleeps," one of several new 360-degree videos from Dunkin' Donuts.

    The brand's "Always Running" film series begins rolling out this week across Discovery's online platforms in a deal fashioned by Hill Holliday media agency Trilia. Produced by Discovery's creative team, with agency input, the content focuses on average folks whose busy lives are powered, at least partly, by coffee.

    Despite that perky premise, the campaign's first two installments are a decidedly mellow brew, with muted, moody imagery and subtle storytelling being the flavors of the day.

    In the clip below, Miller takes us on a tour of New York Harbor, the towers of Manhattan rising through the morning mist as the tug's prow parts the waves:

    "The Discovery audience aligns nicely with the naturally curious and adventure-seeking segment of our broader target demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds," Nick Dunham, Dunkin's director of media, tells AdFreak. "With the emergence of virtual reality, we have been testing this technology as a means of conveying product and brand messaging through immersive storytelling. Knowing that Discovery has already done a terrific job at producing content using VR, we felt that this would be a great canvas to engage their audience."

    In a second video, cell-tower worker Sean Gilhooley climbs high above the Florida Keys to share the heady view from his "office" in the sky. (Watch that spot, which is not yet public on YouTube, over on Discovery's site.)

    Dunkin' wisely limits its presence to a trickle, more or less. Gilhooley takes a sip as he arrives on the job, there's a cup in Miller's wheelhouse, and the brand's logo flashes on screen to illuminate some fast facts. Still, over the course of the ads, which run about two minutes apiece, the branding never feels intrusive.

    The stark visuals enhance the 360-viewing experience. You really get a feel for Miller's eerie a.m. harbor routine, the cityscape a distant gray jewel dividing sea and sky. Likewise, the rugged dirt roads and scrubby terrain leading to Gilhooley's tower, where a single concrete-block structure stands guard, lend his vignette an air of poignant isolation. As he ascends the steel rungs on his mission to facilitate connection among the masses, the desolate expanse of land and water below seem to stretch into infinity.

    "We wanted to transport the viewer into the daily lives of these individuals to give a first-person perspective and feeling for what they do every day," Dunham says.

    It's easy to empathize with these men and appreciate what moves them most deeply about their chosen professions. In that context, the washed-out land- and seascapes seem apropos. Scenes crammed with bright vistas and excess motion would have been gaudy distractions. (Dunkin' launched a far more caffeinated flight of fancy a few months back with its "Wingsuit" spot from Digitas LBi.)

    "We also wanted stay true to our brand, which is grounded in positive energy, by selecting and featuring individuals who love and are very passionate about what they do," says Dunham. "These characters have some pretty amazing views they experience every day, so we wanted to be able to showcase what that looks like using VR."

    Indeed, the Dunkin' brand seems just right for a tugboat captain and cell-tower technician. No frou-frou designer lattes for these hard-workin' Joes!

    In both clips, the gritty approach is refreshingly real, evoking the texture and aroma of the meaningful moments we savor during our daily grind.

    Client: Dunkin' Donuts

    Production: Discovery Communications

    Trilia Media:
    Cynthia Glasbrenner – Group Media Director
    Jeff Zannella – VP AMD
    Lindsey Hagopian – Associate Media Director
    Jacqueline Klein – Associate Media Director
    Cam Nekoroski – Senior Media Planner
    Kyle Vascovitz – Assistant Media Planner
    Carlo Pugliano – Media Buyer Supervisor
    Allison Scharf – AMD Media Buyer

    Hill Holliday Account and Creative:
    Mike Rubenstein – Integrated Producer
    Luke Higgins – Account Director
    Chris Damico – Creative Director
    Brittany Passafaro – Account Supervisor

    Dunkin' Donuts:
    Nick Dunham – Director of Media
    Mike Lucas – Media Manager
    Kimberly Vollono – Ad Manager

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    Sonos wants to solve all your modern audio woes, especially when it comes to listening to music at home.

    The wireless speaker brand is out with a new ad campaign from 72andSunny built around the myriad pitfalls of listening to tunes in the digital age, when songs may be plentiful but, the brand says, headache-free sound systems are not.

    Fifteen-second spots showcase common frustrations like trying to play a banger—say, Skepta's "Shutdown"—on your laptop, but not being to squeeze out enough volume. Or maybe you're trying to put a date in the mood with some romantic music streamed from your phone to a Bluetooth speaker, and getting interrupted by a call from your mom. (Though in that case, your mom might actually be saving you, and your partner, and Sonos, from the incredibly explicit next line of Spank's "Lay You Down.")

    Ten such commercials run the gamut from impossible assembly of a complex home stereo to poor compression on your home entertainment system—meaning when you turn up the volume to hear the dialogue on the movie you're watching, the surprise explosion in the next scene is guaranteed to wake your infant and ruin the tiny little island of relaxation you thought you'd carved out in your evening.

    See the spots here: 

    "You're better than this," Sonos promises in the wake of each disaster, a phrase that's the campaign's title and not an altogether unconvincing proposition. A 60-second compilation of the shorter clips—including one starring Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones, borrowed from the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man—makes the same general point.

    A longer, duller video reveals more of the thinking behind the strategy (while also showcasing the brand's voice control option), though further explanation isn't really necessary. Any music fan has experienced a version of at least one of the problems Sonos is targeting. Whether it can really solve them doesn't matter—that it says it can is enough to pique interest.

    On some level, that says more about how spoiled the current audience is than anything else. Effortless, instantaneous, unhindered satisfaction isn't just what consumers expect these days, says Sonos—it's what's they deserve. Imagine the horrors of having to pull a 78 out of its sleeve and align the stylus—or, gasp, go see musicians play live—to hear a song. But that's besides the point. Reality being what it is, why not pursue the easiest effective technical solution?

    Still, it'd be nice if Sonos would come in and design your entire house, too.

    Client: Sonos
    Chief Marketing Officer: Joy Howard
    VP Global Brand, Creative Director: Dmitri Siegel
    Director, Global Brand Design: Andrew Clark
    Director, Global Campaign & Marketing: Lorrin Pascoe
    Specialist, Campaign Marketing: Christen Fallon

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
    Group Creative Director: John Boiler
    Group Creative Director: Gui Borchert
    Creative Director: Jeremy Wirth
    Lead Designer: Sean Matthews
    Lead Writer: Lauren Ferreira
    Designer: Jonay Urbina
    Chief Production Officer: Tom Dunlap
    Senior Film Producer: Nick Gaul
    Group Strategy Director: John Graham
    Senior Strategist: Anneliese Rapp
    Group Brand Director: Yen Lovgren-Ho
    Brand Director: Ryan Griffin
    Sr. Brand Manager: Jessica Brewer
    Brand Coordinator: Molly Mohr
    Art Producer: Melissa Harris
    Business Affairs Director: Jana Nauman

    Production: HECHO EN 72
    Sr. Producer: Jonny Edwards
    Line Producer: Brian Armstrong
    Director: Gui
    Director of Photography: Max Gutierrez
    Print Credits:
    Vendor: HECHO EN 72
    Studio Designer: Frank Lucero
    Retoucher: Franz Steiner
    Producer: Jacqueline Kynoch
    Executive Producer: Cindy Bohm

    Post Production: HECHO EN 72
    Editor: Thomas MacVicar
    Assistant Editor: Ted Stanley
    Post Producers:  Becca
    Purice & Ryan Curtis
    Colorist: Michael Gossen
    Motion Graphics Producer: Caroline Anguiano
    Lead Animator/Designer: Jae Yoo
    Animator: Joseph Moon
    Audio Producer: Whitney Fromholtz
    Mixer: Brian Naas

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    Brooklyn-based Vice Media has named Tom Punch chief commercial and creative officer, putting him in charge of commercial content and operations for Vice's growing fleet of media offerings, including the TV network Viceland, in partnership with A&E.

    "Tom has been a huge addition since joining Vice," said Vice co-president Andrew Creighton. He embodies the young, creative entrepreneurial spirit that makes Vice the company it is. This elevation to running the commercial operation is a testament to both Tom's ability to create award-winning work that resonates with our audience, and Vice's commitment to putting innovation and creativity first for the benefit of our clients and our audience."

    Punch, who joined Vice in 2012, led content partnerships with clients including Unilever, Samsung, YouTube and Google as the company's global executive creative director and oversaw the building of a production studio to serve brands and partners.

    For AB InBev, Punch directed an effort that included the creation of a global dance music program, the launch of a nightclub in Brazil, a variety show in Mexico and music videos in China and the U.S.

    "The last few years at Vice have been an insane experience as we've grown exponentially," said Punch. "It's now a pivotal moment for our millennial audience as they become the largest generation, poised to reshape the world around them, and Vice has this unique opportunity to create content that reaches them on every screen, in every corner of the globe, influencing every aspect of their lives. It's momentous when you think about it—I'm privileged to have this opportunity." 

    Before joining Vice, Punch worked in film, events and TV, and held advertising roles at WPP and Mother.

    0 0

    In a bit of Doctor Who-esque regeneration, Dos Equis on Wednesday introduced its new Most Interesting Man in the World—to replace Jonathan Goldsmith, who retired from the role earlier this year. And this MIM isn't just a new face. He heralds a new approach to the ads, in what the brewer calls a "contemporary twist to the legendary character." 

    He's actor Augustin Legrand. And in the first hint that this isn't your worldly grandfather's Dos Equis campaign, Legrand is actually a French actor, and he delivers his first line as the MIM in Spanish.

    Check out the launch spot, from Havas New York, here:

    The Spanish setting and dialogue of the opening spot aren't merely incidental. Hispanic consumers are a much bigger part of the beer-drinking market than they were when MIM launched nine years ago. And of course, Dos Equis is a Heineken-owned brand with a Mexican name and heritage.

    As for Legrand's version of the character, the brand says he'll be doing less reminiscing about past glories, which was the amusing Goldsmith style, and more hands-on adventure seeking in a kind of James Bond style.

    "The new Most Interesting Man is a man of our times, and in this first glimpse, he shares hints of being a resourceful, rough and tumble guy, who remains a jack-of-all-trades hero that one would expect from the man bearing this infamous title," the brand says in a statement. "Viewers get a quick preview of his latest adventures and new friends including his love of sports, as he emerges from a well, ball in hand, to save a game of soccer."

    The brand also describes Legrand's characters as "timelessly masculine" and "edgier and more daring." (It helps that Legrand is just 41, while Goldsmith is now 77.)

    On the other hand, as different as Legrand's character will be, visually he looks quite a lot like Goldsmith, and the same voiceover actor introduces him. There's also a nice meta feel to this first spot, with the bartender asking Legrand literally if he's as interesting as his predecessor. Dos Equis is no doubt, deep down, wondering the same thing. 

    "The meaning of 'interesting' has evolved over the past decade, and this campaign features a new character and look and feel that opens the door to a world of interesting possibilities for today's Dos Equis drinker," Andrew Katz, vp of marketing for Dos Equis, said in a statement. "With the reboot of the campaign, we're celebrating the good times The Most Interesting Man has with friends wherever he travels, while highlighting our refreshing cerveza. In the coming weeks, fans will have the opportunity to get to know the new character in a uniquely interactive way."

    The old campaign style isn't completely going away. The brand will return to the classic vignette style in its next commercial, breaking Oct. 19 and synced to Dos Equis' College Football Playoff sponsorship.

    But the October launch will also show the modernization of the campaign, as it will include social integrations on Snapchat, including a national lens available for College Football Game Day on Oct. 22.

    Client: Dos Equis
    Title: "Cantina"

    Agency: Havas Worldwide New York
    Chief Creative Officer of the Americas: Toygar Bazarkaya
    Chief Creative Officer of North America: Jason Peterson
    Group Executive Creative Director, Managing Director: Jason Musante
    Executive Creative Director: Jim Hord
    Group Creative Directors: Keith Scott, Paul Johnson
    Creative Directors: Jonas Wittenmark, Tobias Carlson, Paul Fix
    Associate Creative Directors: Matthew Hock, David Fredette

    Global Chief Executive Officer: Andrew Benett
    Global Chief Revenue Officer, Global Chief Marketing Officer: Matt Weiss
    New York President: Laura Maness
    Group Account Director: Chris Budden
    Account Directors: Jamie Sundheim, Michelle Garrard
    Account Supervisors: Wendy Hu, Jenny Maughan

    Chief Strategy Officer, North America: Tim Maleeny
    Brand and Digital Strategy Director: Maggie Gross
    Senior Strategists: Stacey Kawahata, Cassie Taylor

    Director of Social Marketing: Larry Lac
    Social Strategist: Rachel Korenstein
    Social Coordinator: Katie Campo

    Global Chief Content Officer: Vin Farrell
    Heads of Content, North America: Dave Evans, Sylvain Tron
    Executive Producer: Jill Meschino
    Junior Producers: Lauren O'Driscoll, Alex Zubak
    Director of Broadcast Business Affairs: Cathy Pitegoff
    Senior Broadcast Business Manager: Deborah Steeg
    Senior Talent Specialist: Yvette Aponte

    Production Company: Traktor
    Director: Traktor
    Director of Photography: Hoyte Van Hoytema
    Executive Producer: Rani Melendez

    Production Company: Rattling Stick
    Executive Producer: Joe Biggins
    Head of Production: Richard McIntosh
    Controller: Christine Berentsen
    Staff Coordinator: Hayley Wyett

    Editing Company: Final Cut
    Editor: Rick Russell
    Executive Producer: Stephanie Apt

    Visual Effects: The Mill
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Angus Kneale
    Executive Producer: Verity Graham
    Visual Effects Shoot Supervisor: Tara Demarco
    Senior Flame Artist: Michael Smith

    Sound Design: Yessian
    Sound Designer: Weston Fonger
    Executive Producer: Marlene Bartos

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole
    Producer: Clare Movshon

    Audio: Sound Lounge
    Sound Engineer: Tom Jucarone

    Music: Beacon Street Music
    Composers: Beacon Street Studios
    Executive Producer: Adrea Lavezzoli

    0 0

    Honda's "Cog," made by Wieden + Kennedy in 2003, is one of the most famous car ads of all time. The remarkable Rube Goldberg-style spot featured a chain reaction of car parts that culminated in a finished Honda Accord. It took more than four months of prep time and 70 takes for the final shoot.

    "How often do viewers get a glimpse of a car in anything less than the most flattering light, let alone disassembled with parts strewn around? It's a testament to a brave client and agency," Adweek's Eleftheria Parpis wrote at the time.

    The spot remains iconic. A couple of years ago, W+K's Neil Christie even received a letter from a 10-year-old girl who seemed to have fallen in love with the ad. "It was astonishing how you did all of it," she wrote. "How do you make it so smooth? It must have taken you months to get it right."

    Now, Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers—and ad agency ds+p—have made the first official sequel to "Cog." Check it out below. Everything goes great. Until it doesn't.

    Honda tells AdFreak that the action was all caught in camera. But "in spite of the short length of the Rube Goldberg machine and the fact that it was intended to fail, it still took over 175 attempts to capture the action all in one continuous take."

    Client: Honda Canada/Ontario Honda Dealers Association
    Honda Central Zone Manager: Ray Chong
    Honda Field Engineering Specialist: Michael Menard

    Agency: ds+p
    ds+p Founding Partner: Doug Robinson
    Creative Director: Brian Murray
    Art Directors: Matthew Camara, Ryan Dzur
    Copywriters: Brian Murray, Sam Cote
    Agency Producer: Sean Paul Brady
    Account Team: Adam White, Jorge Velis, Sean Paul Brady

    Production: The Video Store
    Director: Ante Kovac
    Executive Producers: Ian Webb, Harland Weiss, Donovan Boden
    Director of Photography: Kris Bonnell
    Production Designer: Jay Pooley

    Editor: Alain Elliott, Married to Giants
    Producer: Amanda Cuda, Married to Giants
    Color: Eric Whipp, Alter Ego
    Visual Effects: Kaelem Cahill, Wingman
    Executive Producer: Samantha Simpson, Wingman

    Sound Design, Mix: Didier Tovel, SNDWRx Audio Postproduction
    Assistant: Mark James 

    0 0

    Lee Jeans are back, and they're full of action.

    After fading from pop consciousness in recent years, the denim label has launched a major rebranding campaign from GSD&M, themed "Move Your Lee," featuring a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the archetypical "Lee Man" and "Lee Woman" getting into all kinds of hijinks, thanks to their pants.

    In the centerpiece :30, the male lead dominates the spotlight, bursting through the roof in his office's conference room to arrive at a morning meeting via parachute crash landing, with coffees for the whole team, just in time to up the budget for ceiling tiles and then blow off work to go play. The sequence continues in that ridiculous fashion. He VR couch skis blindfolded before walking out to destroy a piñata with a single high kick.

    "Lees aren't just jeans to him," intones the voiceover. "They're freedom pants."

    The hero naturally works at a standing desk, on a treadmill, before literally falling into bed with his wife, the "Lee Woman," who also sleeps vertically.

    Her character gets more play in a collection of set piece videos, where she does yoga poses on the wing of an airborne plane, works a jackhammer to dig a hole for the gazebo she's building, and paddles a swan boat while sipping a cocktail.

    It's not all flattering, though. In one self-deprecating clip, the Lee Woman wants to play doctor, but her medical advice and bedside manner fall a little short when she tells an ice skater, with his leg hanging at an absurdly unnatural angle, that he's "probably going to need an X-ray." She also bangs on a drum kit, terribly, in a library, because apparently she doesn't care, and is kind of an asshole.

    For his part, her husband can play the accordion, which he presumably picked up on a visit to a Renaissance style lobby. He also knows the correct way to start an uncooperative lawn mower is to kick it. But he's not unfailingly competent, either.

    The "Lee Man" can't quite dunk that basketball, and a handful of further clips offer more insight into some of his activities in the main spot. In one, he absurdly knees another piñata with all his force, declaring it "por los niños." In another, he flaps his wings while, again, VR couch-skiing, this time at a beach house.

    In the funniest ad of the series, he parachutes through a green-screen sky, musing on the phrase "vertical integration"—which tells viewers something about how he ends up where he does at the beginning of the TV ad (and perhaps, how the copywriter got there, too).

    Last but not least, there's even a little cameo from Buddy Lee, the classic doll that Lee Jeans used as a promotional tool in the first half of the 20th century, but that millennials will recognize as the "Man of Action" mascot who anchored the brand's "Can't Bust Em" ads from Fallon in the late '90s and early '00s.

    In a bit of homage, the modern "Lee Woman" maniacally twirls Buddy Lee in a field of green—because apparently only he can cause her to stray from her "Lee Man." Or, maybe, he is the original Lee Man.

    Overall, the campaign makes for an entertaining strategy. It benefits from not taking itself too seriously, offering the audience the promise of confidence, and success, and a middle-of-the-road kind of rebel attitude—while essentially ribbing and winking at the consumers it's courting.

    The selling point is well-enough woven into the fabric of the message. As the tagline suggests, Lee wants to emphasize motion, including fits for both sexes that offer stretch and comfort in active lifestyles. (Jeans sales, including Lee and VF Corporation sibling Wrangler, are starting to rebound after struggling in recent years due to the popularity of so-called "athleisure" clothing.)

    But the real upshot is about bravado, and camp, and humor—the kind of qualities that make an ad memorable, even if it's for jeans that the Most Interesting Old Spice Guy in the World would probably wear if he wore jeans, and had a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. 

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    Brands don't newsjack Apple events quite as often as they used to. But Jim Beam is ambushing today's announcements from the tech marketer by introducing an April Fools'-esque gadget called the Jim Beam Apple Watch, which puts a 1.5-ounce shot glass right on your wrist.

    It gets away with the Apple reference because Jim Beam Apple is a real line extension from the whiskey brand. "The watch's streamlined interface opens and closes manually on demand. And while it doesn't tell time, it does save time, eliminating the need for a last-minute shot glass search," the brand says of the gag product.

    Check it out in action here:

    "Critics may ask, 'What good is a watch that can't tell time?' " said Fred Noe, Jim Beam's seventh-generation master distiller. "We actually think we've created a watch that helps you make time. Who doesn't want to make time for friends, family and a refreshing Jim Beam Apple shot or cocktail?"

    The watch is available for pre-order at JimBeamAppleWatch.com for $17.99, which is a whole hell of a lot less than what you'll shell out for the Apple Watch. Jim Beam worked with agency Olson Engage on the campaign.

    0 0

    Heineken and Publicis New York show their can-do spirit in a video that celebrates Miami Marine Stadium.

    The landmark structure on Biscayne Bay hosted world-class powerboat races, concerts and other events for 30 years until sustaining damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Since then, it's been abandoned—and become a draw for graffiti artists, who covered its concrete surfaces with intricate artwork and colorful designs.

    Now, efforts are underway to restore the arena. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado has pledged as much as $4 million to the cause, and an Indiegogo push set up by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as Heineken, has raised more than $100,000 so far. (The brewer's involvement ties into its multifaceted "Cities" campaign.)

    The stadium's copious spray-painted frills, however, will endure, even after its walls and columns are scrubbed clean and the dilapidated seats have been replaced.

    First off, the minute-long clip below presents the artwork, enhanced by efforts from a group of Miami-area graffiti masters who were brought in to meticulously hand-paint the frames used for the eye-popping stop-motion segments:

    "Being able to tell the story visually is key to the success of generating awareness and raising money for the initiative," especially in a crowded social-media landscape with lots of video content competing for eyeballs, Publicis New York creative chief Andy Bird tells AdFreak.

    Production was extremely involved, with five cameras running for five days, "making it more like a 25-day shoot," says agency creative director Jeremy Filgate. "We went through pallets of spray paint, made hundreds of boat wheat-paste stickers and even crashed a drone into the middle of the marina, just to make that epic aerial view possible."

    But wait, there's more.

    Publicis worked hard to ensure that "the graffiti will live on beyond the video," Bird says. "Before production started, we shot the entire stadium using 360 spheres [to preserve the art]. That content has since been integrated into the Google Maps API, so people will be able to do a virtual walk-around in the stadium using the street view interface at Heineken.com."

    That's a good thing, because in the real world, nothing's truly written in concrete (especially graffiti). But on the internet, tagging is forever—right? 

    Client: Heineken
    Campaign Title: The Miami Marine Stadium Project
    Agency: Publicis New York
    Global Chief Creative Officer Publicis Worldwide: Bruno Bertelli
    Chief Creative Officer Publicis New York: Andy Bird
    EVP, Executive Creative Director Publicis New York: Joe Johnson
    VP, Creative Director Publicis New York: Jeremy Filgate Senior Art Director Publicis New York: John-Paul Cannucciari
    Copywriter Publicis New York: Patrick Merritt
    EVP, Chief Production Office Publicis New York: Lisa Bifulco
    Producer Publicis New York: Patrick Haertel, Chris Muldoon
    SVP, Strategy Director Publicis New York: Ian Zelesko
    Senior Strategist Publicis New York: Nicole Sands
    EVP, Group Account Director Publicis New York: Kathryn Harvey Worldwide Account Director Publicis Italy: David Pagnoni
    Account Supervisor Publicis Italy: Jana Uhlarikova
    VP, Group Account Director Publicis New York: Shari Lederman
    VP, Account Director Publicis New York: Mae Cheng
    Production Company: Solab
    Director: Romain Chassaing
    Executive Producer: Nicolas Tiry
    Line Producer: Erwan Collas
    Director of Photography: Josh McKie
    Post-production Company: NightShift
    Editor: Manuel Coutant
    Executive Producer: Mathieu Hue
    Post-Producer: Josselin Dor
    Colorist: Mathieu Caplanne Flame artist: Sebastien Aubert
    Graphic artist: Olivier Stephant

    1. Jose Mertz (featured artist in video)
    2. Baghead (real name Josh Hall, featured artist)
    3. Brian Butler (featured artist)
    4. Nicole Salgar (featured artist)
    5. Abstrk (not featured)
    6. Frankzilla (not featured)
    7. Smash (not featured)

    0 0

    We love ourselves some limited-edition custom packaging. It's the kind of non-news that works almost mindbendingly hard to prove it's worth mentioning, making it a princely marketing exercise. 

    That's what you get in Bud Light's flagrantly titled new ad, "This Is Your Can's Year." Sounds confusing at first, but it's really just that simple: It's time for your can to shine. It promotes Bud Light's latest cans with NFL team logos on them—introduced last month, after a first run last year. The new spot will debut tonight during CBS's Thursday Night Football, for which the brand is presenting sponsor. 

    All the standard ad land levers are pulled—hard. Really, all that's missing is a Clydesdale and a puppy. Created by industry darlings Wieden + Kennedy, it features Bo Jackson (seen playing Tecmo Bowl—nostalgia tug!), Justin Tuck and Tim Couch.

    It's also a whopping 75 seconds long and was directed by Mark Romanek, who, among other things, is responsible for the "Sandcastles" music video in Beyoncé's Lemonade, Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" video, Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and Jay-Z's "99 Problems" (along with a slew of other ads).  

    That's some serious firepower for a Giants-embossed beer can. And the video doesn't disappoint, working with sweat-beading vigor to show how a six-pack of fandom can literally change the game. In a dizzying feat of marketing acrobatics, the ad directly conflates your can with your team: "You root for this can. Your father roots for this can. Your father's father rooted for this can!"

    Hear that? It's the beer with your team on it. Consider what that means, or don't, because Tuck already has: "The game wouldn't be the same for us players without the fans who put their heart and soul into gameday," says the former defensive end. "The Bud Light ad honors each and every one of these fans and their passion for the sport." 

    The newly streamlined can designs are inspired by classic football jerseys. Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL, inked local agreements with 28 of the 32 teams, who will each have their own limited-edition packaging. Billboards and other geo-specific out-of-home elements will sport signature phrases fans know, and :15 and :30 versions of the spot will also air throughout football season, on top of team-specific ads in local markets. All creative comes courtesy of W+K. 

    "Just like wearing your favorite player's jersey or team colors is a badge of honor, so is drinking from your Bud Light team can," beams Bud Light senior marketing director Mark Goldman. "Our mission with our new film was to pay tribute to the passion fans feel for their team, and capture the optimism that we all feel as NFL fans at the beginning of the season, when it truly can be your team's year."

    Catch the ad live tonight. And if you're worried you'll forget, don't: To kick the season off, Bud Light will be ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today. You really couldn't miss it if you tried.

    Client: Bud Light
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

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    Flavored condoms generally come in sweet and fruity flavors, like strawberry, grape and banana. Now imagine one that tastes like eggplant.

    Durex is retaliating against the Unicode Consortium, after the tech-standardization overlord in August rejected the marketer's bid for an official condom emoji, by launching a gag campaign about the launch of a savory rubber based on the phallic purple plant—which, in millennials' texts about sex, has become a popular metaphor for dick.

    Few will be upset that the horrifying variety isn't real. But the stunt does include an amusing mockup of eggplant condom packaging, and no shortage of other little highlights. "Eggplants have long been seen as a nutritious food staple, serving as a key ingredient for dishes including Moussaka, Ratatouille and Baba ganoush," cackles the release.

    "Durex knows there is no place for an eggplant when it comes to safe sex," adds the company. "It's just as questionable, in fact, as a decision not to introduce a Safe Sex Emoji to empower young people to talk about sex, safely, in a language they are comfortable with."

    Durex's campaign for a condom emoji began in 2015, when the company launched a social media campaign that it says drew some 750,000 endorsements from consumers in 140 countries. A video from the campaign featured a version—an unrolled, inflated rubber—that some might've considered too risqué.

    But the official submission to the Unicode Consortium, which includes companies like Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, was more modest—a prophylactic still in its square wrapper. That design features in a graphic for Durex's comeback, with dozens of the rejected emojis combined to create an oversized raised-eyebrow emoji, like a poor man's Chuck Close.

    It's a fun, reasonable response, even if there's an element of feigned outrage as sales strategy. Some 84 percent of 16- to 25-year-olds have said they felt more comfortable talking about sex using emojis, according to Durex's research. A study at Durham University in England, meanwhile, found three quarters of participants supported a condom emoji, to facilitate—and lighten—discussion about safe sex.

    "Durham's research found there is a disconnect between the general ease with which young people engage in sexual activity and the difficulty they have in discussing issues around safe sex," said Dr. Mark McCormack, a senior lecturer in sociology at the school, and co-director of its Centre for Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. "Discussion of sex and sexuality is an everyday component of young people's lives, yet young people are given little support in how to discuss safe sex."

    Further highlighting the importance of its general cause, Durex is also in the midst of co-sponsoring a campaign with the International Planned Parenthood Federation to raise awareness of a relatively new sexual health threat—the Zika virus.

    As for the emoji angle, for anyone who still doesn't know what's going on, there is always Domino's emoji literacy flash card set. Whether that includes the symbol at hand isn't clear, though it hopefully does. Eggplants are, at the very least, a decent pizza topping. 

    0 0

    Bo Jackson really, really, really, really loves Tecmo Bowl.

    Earlier today, we wrote about the former NFL star's cameo in a new Bud Light ad, in which he's seen playing the 1980s-era 8-bit football video game. Now, lo and behold, we find out that Jackson, 53, is also starring in a whole Tecmo Bowl-themed campaign for Kia, along with his former gridiron nemesis, Brian Bosworth.

    The theme of the Kia spots, from David&Goliath, is pretty goofy but with an undeniable truth at its core—that anyone (Bo, Brian or you) would have been unstoppable in Tecmo Bowl if you had been allowed to drive a Kia Sorento around the field.

    Check out the two spots here:

    That wise crack at the end of the second spot refers, of course, to this infamous incident from a Raiders-Seahawks game in 1987, which had been hyped as a showdown between the two. Kudos to Bosworth, 51, for being willing to be ridiculed all over again for a buck. 

    "Football fans remember these legendary players, and paired with the ever-lasting popularity of Tecmo Bowl, we believed these were the perfect channels to communicate the power, intelligence and nimble handling of the Sorento," says Colin Jeffery, chief creative officer at David&Goliath. "The play on technology in terms of blending the old video game graphics with the new advancements in the Sorento illustrates just how far Kia has come and how advanced this SUV truly is."

    The spots will break on TV this weekend on NBC's Sunday Night Football, which Kia is sponsoring for a third straight season.

    Client: Kia

    Agency:  David&Goliath, LA
    Founder & Chairman: David Angelo
    President: Brian Dunbar
    Chief Creative Officer: Colin Jeffery
    Creative Director: Rick Utzinger
    Sr. Art Director: Sheldon Melvin
    Sr. Copywriter: Matt Kappler
    Sr. Copywriter: Andy Sciamanna
    Planning Director: Andrew Lynch
    Director of Broadcast Production: Paul Albanese
    Sr. Broadcast Producer:  Katie Lambrecht
    Senior Project Manager: Kemit Ray

    Managing Director: Jeff Moohr
    Group Account Director:  Mike O'Malley
    Account Supervisor: Tara Poosti
    Account Executive: Jack Scott
    Product Information Manager: Mark McNaul

    Director, Business Affairs: Rodney Pizarro
    Business Affairs Manager: Camara Price

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director / DP: Joaquin Baca-Asay
    President: David Zander
    Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins
    Line Producer: Lalou Dammond
    Sales Representative: In-House Reps (Steven Monkarsh / Irma Rodriguez)

    Editorial House: Spinach
    Editor: Nate Gross
    Asst Editor: Zaldy Lopez
    Producer: Jonathan Carpio / Patricia Gushikuma

    VFX / Animation / Online: Method
    Creative Director:  Jon Noorlander
    Lead Flame Artist / On Set Supervisor: Tom Leckie
    Lead Flame Artist: Chihcheng Peng
    CG Supervisor: Ivan Guerrero, Rick Walia
    Compositing Supervisor: David Piombino
    Executive Producers: Stuart Robinson & Stephanie Gilgar
    Senior VFX Producer: Heather Saunders

    Color: Company 3
    Colorist:  Tim Masick

    Music: Beacon Street
    Composers: John Nau, Andrew Feltenstein, Danny Dunlap
    Sound Design & Mix: Beacon Street
    Mixer / Sound Designer: Rommel Molina
    Executive Producer: Adrea Lavezzoli
    Mix Producer: Kate Vadnais
    Associate Producer: Lindsey Lerman

    0 0

    Playing a sport well, and becoming a career athlete, doesn't just mean you've studied a list of plays, stuck to a workout regimen and mastered exactly how something should be done, though that's certainly a part of it.

    It means you've done all that and found creative ways to make the game your own. 

    That's what this high-energy Adidas spot from 72andSunny says, arguing that it is the sports brand for creative athletes—unlike say, Under Armour. Yes, the copy for the new work seems to take a swipe at UA, which has been pitching itself as the brand for athletes serious about training.

    "Yeah, yeah, hard work and dedication. But that's not enough. You look at this cookie-cutter, copy-and-paste BLAH," the narrator says as the frenetic camerawork—which is the real star of the spot—moves from football fields to basketball courts with what seems to be a reference to Under Armour's "Rule Yourself" and its hundreds of copies of Stephen Curry. 

    It's funny, though. For a campaign arguing for creativity, Adidas seems to be cribbing from its two major competitors. The Under Armour references serve as the advertising version of a subtweet, which is fun and arguably works for what the brand is intending. But the freewheeling, opinionated voiceover, whether intentionally or not, feels a lot like what Nike's been doing lately, and that doesn't seem to gel with the ad's core argument. 

    The ad, which will debut during tonight's NFL season opener on NBC—the Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos, in a rematch of Super Bowl 50—is meant to serve as "a rallying cry for athletes everywhere to tap into their imagination and embrace and utilize creativity in sports," according to an Adidas spokeswoman. 

    Of course, it helps to show athletes who exemplify that point. That's why the spot features Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, Paul Pogba of Manchester United, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Moriah Jefferson of the San Antonio Stars, Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets.

    0 0

    The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world with no minimum paid vacation leave, which at least explains the in-office purgatory many people suffer over the summer. The U.K., however, scores No. 7 for average number of paid vacation days (37!), making it a little less clear why one in three Brits would shirk that time to fill out more TSheets. 

    That's "progress" for you, I guess. But it's obviously also bad business for an airline like Virgin Atlantic. So, with a hand from adam&eveDDB, it's launched #GetOutOfOffice.

    The deadpan video is narrated by Judith Chalmers, and created in the same iconic style as "Wish You Were Here...?", a destination-focused TV show for which she was a longtime host. "Now, I've never really thought about coming here," she begins as we pan over a bland, prisonlike office building, "but I can see now why this place is becoming such a popular holiday destination."

    Directed by Blink directors The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide, we endure a slow tour of familiar corporate "perks"—microwaveable meals, sub-par vending machines, instant coffee—while Chalmers gushes with comically restrained British ardor. 

    "Take a siesta, like the locals! When in Rome," she says lustily as the camera eye closes in on some poor guy drowsing on modular office seating. 

    The ad does a nice job of inciting the kind of desperation that makes you want to tear off your necktie and run, reinforcing Virgin Atlantic's recently launched "One Day" campaign, a celebration of fantasy and spontaneity. However you feel about your job, we can probably all agree there's a benefit to clocking out in favor of different experiences, people and thoughts (especially in advertising). 

    Expect to see outdoor, press, digital and social campaigns related to #GetOutOfOffice, whose very title is a play on the out-of-office messages we post when we've thrown our cover sheets into the air and zipped out the door. Virgin Atlantic is concurrently also promoting a limited selection of discounted flights to a variety of destinations. 

    If you hurry, you might still catch the sun setting over a beach.


    Client: Virgin Atlantic
    VP of Marketing: Hamish Rickman
    Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB
    Account Manager: Georgie Carroll
    Copywriter: Simon Pearse
    Art Director: Emmanuel Saint M Leux
    Media Planner: Jessica Treasure
    Planner: Martin Beverley
    Business Director: Sam Lecoeur
    Account Director: Mike Beer
    Media Strategy: PHD
    Post Production House: The Mill
    Directors: The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide
    Production Company: Blink

    0 0

    We spend a lot of time with clients—trying to make them laugh and drink, reassuring them of our endless (sometimes even slavish) capacity to do anything they put their mind to. And however much they like us as people, clients are keenly aware of this dynamic ... this sense that they're holding our balls between their (for now) relaxed hands. 

    It's a relationship designed to make them as comfortable as possible. The result is that sometimes they end up saying some pretty weird stuff. 

    After working with a client over the course of a year-long project, New Zealand agency Strategy Creative produced a notebook to house the quotes that the client rallied off. They're out of context, meaning that members of the team—who received the notebooks as gifts—have probably had to explain them hundreds of times already. (We'd like line-by-line explanations, too. Somebody? Anybody?!) 

    The 55-quote piece of memorabilia is called We Said Some Shit. And even if we don't always know what's going on, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy them. Many echo moments we've been in before. And if you've been project-side, you'll definitely get a laugh.

    They range from blithe TMI:

    To delightful morbidity:

    To the kinds of half-baked metaphors and mangled platitudes you hear in brainstorms that are taking too long: 

    And everything in between.

    They also recall the intimacy that comes with a long-term project, which hopefully is part of what we do all this for. Because it's all about connecting, right? And you know you've succeeded when people get weird. 

    Below are a few more images and some design close-ups.

    0 0

    Ow! Our heartstrings!

    Real kindergarteners and first graders star with their moms in Oscar Mayer's back-to-school campaign from Olson Engage.

    Our story beings with three young mothers prepping their kids for the first day of school. "It can be heart-wrenching," says one mom, while another adds: "It makes me a little sad … That's my baby. The time's going by too fast." There's a tremor in her voice, but she won't really get teary-eyed until after the big reveal.

    Before viewing the clip, you'd better grab a Kleenex. Maybe two. (Three would probably be too many—it's not that intense).

    Awww! The tykes picked outfits for their moms, and packed them lunches made with branded cold cuts! And the secret ingredient was—you guessed it—love!

    "We wanted to turn the typical back-to-school preparations on their head," client brand director Whitney Shaw tells AdFreak. Running in its full 100-second format and 30-second edits on Facebook, Instagram and other digital platforms, the video is designed to emphasize that "moms can look to Oscar Mayer Natural for one less thing to think about during hectic school planning," she says.

    In terms of production logistics, she adds: "We sent mom, and in some cases both parents, out of the house for a few hours while we worked with dad or a babysitter to do all the prep. Some moms were a little hesitant at first, not sure what sort of surprise their kids had in store, but once they saw the hilarious outfits and heartfelt lunch notes, they were completely taken aback and appreciative."

    Predictably, "the kids got creative with their brown-bag lunches for Mom," Shaw says. "One of our favorite sandwiches featured turkey, popcorn, cheese, carrots and mustard."

    Awww! That sounds ... positively vile. Hope the crew had some Kleenex handy so Mom could discretely dispose of that sandwich.

    Client: Oscar Mayer
    Head of Marketing: Gregory Guidotti
    Brand Director: Whitney Shaw
    Brand Manager: Jeremy Truxal

    Lead Agency: Olson Engage
    Executive Creative Director: Josh Lohrius
    Creative Director: Molly Cournoyer
    Vice President: Emily McMahon
    Account Director: Katie Cosgrove

    Production Agency Optimus:
    Director: Mark & Amanda
    Editor: Mike Berg
    Producer:Patrick Fischer

    Media Agency: Starcom

    0 0

    Ever want to fling something at your creative director? Now you can, and it'll look like a compliment!

    This year, Ogilvy & Mather London is hosting Cream, a global showcase of fresh creative talent. In a campaign called "#InYourFace," it incorporates actual cream pies into the mix.

    Cream's 2016 private viewing will happen at Ogilvy London's offices next Thursday (Sept. 15), when 20 creative teams will get on stage to hit a roomful of (invite-only) senior creative directors—not with pies, but with "all their talent and creativity." 

    Hey, dry cleaning bills add up. But to get us all in smarmy spirit ahead of the event, Ogilvy worked with Rankin to create a series of GIFs that make you feel like you're flinging cream pies at a medley of British-based CDs—including Caroline Pay, Mick Mahoney, Nils Leonard, Nicky Bullard, Stu Outhwaite and Chaka Sobhani.

    Below, Pay and Outwaite gets theirs:

    In addition to giving you an outlet for expressing your pent-up rage, the videos are meant to inspire young talent to pursue industry gigs.

    "It matters that we encourage the next generation of creative talent to be brave—that we, as the CCOs, ECDs and CDs, create the working environment for them to be able to smack the world in the face with their creative brilliance," says CCO Mahoney of Ogilvy London. "Encourage them to be in our faces daily with their awesomeness. Hopefully, the launch of the new Cream format will inspire all of us to do just that." 

    Thanks, Mick. We feel inspired, all right:

    "Unearthing raw talent continues to be a challenge that the industry faces, so Cream is a fantastic way of connecting undiscovered talent from around the world, with ECDs who can give them their first break," adds Katriona Fraser, managing partner and creative talent head at The Talent Business, which operates Cream. "We can't wait to see our brilliant winners take to the stage."

    We've often observed that advertising must be among the most self-congratulating industries in existence. Probably because of this, we also have a history of being self-deprecating about it. In 2013, the Kiev International Advertising Festival even created special rooms where award runners-up could physically abuse the winning work. 

    Cream is a good example of both our weird relationship to back-patting, and our incestuous way of trying to solve our own creative drought. It's a cattle call for young talent, chosen by established talent, that also masquerades as a way to attract even more up-and-coming talent. 

    In a way, getting senior CDs to bless newbies isn't so different from getting top ad execs to donate sperm and eggs, to "ensure" a country's creative future. 

    This dynamic reflects how married we are to our own establishment; it isn't often the industry ventures past its own borders to harvest new minds en masse, relying instead on outliers to draw close and conform. So in addition to the abuses (real or imagined) that we may endure from a lurking creative director, there is also something satisfying about being able to pie the crap out of one in the context of this song-and-dance. Even if—as so often happens—the song-and-dance itself has found a way to make the act look industry-positive.

    But let's focus on the satisfaction of the throw. Below, see Nils Leonard, Nicky Bullard and Chaka Sobhani score some face candy.


    Title/Project: #INYOURFACE
    Brand: The Talent Business / Cream
    Client: The Talent Business
    Partner: Nikki Hall
    Managing Partner: Katriona Fraser
    Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather London
    CCO: Mick Mahoney
    Deputy ECD: Sam Cartmell
    Art Director: Alexa Craner
    Copywriter: Maddie Taylor
    Digital Production Director: Sasha Dunn
    Designer: Room
    Head of Production: Grant Mason
    Managing Partner: Jane Douglas
    Website Build: H&O Digital
    Exposure: Online (website, social)

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    The World Surf League catches a whole new wave with "Beach Breaks," a series of comedy shorts from agency Zambezi and director Peter Miller.

    Unlike past WSL efforts that focused on the inherent drama and chaos of surfing, the new work casts the league's athletes, announcers and executives in skits designed to appeal to both long-time fans and those just discovering the sport.

    "The WSL felt like they were succeeding in showing the best competitive surfing in the world, but were missing out on some of the offbeat characters and unique fun that is at surfing's core," Zambezi senior art director Chris Rutkowski tells AdFreak.

    In seven 30-second clips running on WSL broadcasts and the league's social platforms, the league "stayed true to the laid-back image of surfers with honest, sometimes self-deprecating humor to make the surfing world as inviting as possible," Rutkowski says.

    First up, reigning WSL world champion Adriano de Souza gets carried away with his success, literally, even into the men's room stall:

    Next, the cerulean expanse of sky and ocean inspires an impromptu game of "I Spy" for Nat Young and Kolohe Andino:

    Where's a shark when you need one, right? Just kidding. (No we're not.)

    The most ambitious installment takes us back to the hirsute '70s for a discussion about making Hawaii part of the U.S.:

    Hawaii actually joined the union in 1959, but whatever. These are surfers, not historians! By the way, those are all WSL execs, including vp of communications Dave Prodan, who, Rutkowski says, "ate pie the entire time he was in character. Between takes, during takes, the guy just kept eating pie."

    Speaking of healthy appetites, surfer Sebastian Zietz attacks a plate of Twinkies in this ad:

    Hopefully he remembered to wait an hour before going back into the water.

    "It's a series with the potential to grow over time," says Rutkowski, "introducing more of the athletes and locations that make this sport so unique."

    Ah well, if the campaign doesn't work out, those wacky surfers can always go back to the drawing board.

    Client: World Surf League 

    Agency: Zambezi
    Founder, Chief Executive Officer: Chris Raih
    Executive Creative Director: Josh DiMarcantonio 
    Senior Art Director: Chris Rutkowski
    Senior Copywriter: Jack Collier
    Junior Art Director: Sean Jackson
    Head of Content: Alex Cohn
    Producer: Nat Bricker
    Managing Director:  Pete Brown
    Account Supervisor: Noelle Belling      
    Group Strategy Director: Ryan Richards
    Contributing Writer: Kim Crossman

    Production Company: RadicalMedia
    Director: Peter Darley Miller
    Director of Photography: Tim Hudson
    President: Frank Scherma
    Head of Production: Cathy Dunn
    Producer: Steve Fredriksz

    Editorial: Blink Studios
    Editor: Jon Grinberg, Ling Ly
    Assistant Editor: Sasha Perry

    Audio: Blink Studios
    Sound Design/ Mixer: Mark Scearce

    Color Correction: Big Block
    Colorist: James Boger 
    Head of Production: Kay Rough
    Producer: Tiffany Dickerson

    Music Supervision: Allison Thiel, WSL


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