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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Count Emmy Award voters among the slew of people nationwide who've been charmed and captivated by The Ad Council's famous, viral "Love Has No Labels" diversity and inclusion PSA campaign, created by R/GA and production company Mindride. 

    As Adweek predicted when the nominees were announced, the spot, filmed on Valentine's Day in 2015, won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It's the first such win by a PSA in Emmy history. 

    The ad features an X-ray screen with human skeletons seen dancing, hugging and kissing. Eventually the humans themselves walk in front of the screen. Each reveal shows a loving couple who represent different religions, races, disabilities and so on, demonstrating that "love has no labels."

    The video beat four brand spots to take the coveted prize—Gatorade's "Dear Peyton" by TBWA\Chiat\Day; Snickers' "Marilyn" by BBDO; Honda's "Paper" by RPA; and and Google's "Year In Search 2015" by 72andSunny.

    "We are thrilled to be recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with this award and want to thank our extraordinary brand and media partners who have helped make the campaign such a success," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "We are so grateful to everyone who has watched and shared the PSA, and taken our message of love and inclusion to heart."

    "It's satisfying when the work that you believe in so passionately is watched and shared by so many people," added Nick Law, vice chairman and global chief creative officer of R/GA. "But our greatest hope is that this commercial contributes to a more thoughtful and accepting America."

    The campaign has been supported by brand partners including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Google, PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, State Farm, Wells Fargo and others, and by an advisory board of nonprofit partners, including The Perception Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

    The spot has been viewed over 160 million times, making it the second most viewed social and community activism video of all time, according to the Ad Council. 

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    McDonald's is celebrating its "all-time favorites" with a campaign that tells us just how much everybody loves Chicken McNuggets and strawberry milkshakes—without saying it outright.

    Each print ad, from Leo Burnett London, features a dead-simple shot of a classic McDonald's food item, just above a search bar with a couple of letters typed in. What you're meant to notice is that the first autocomplete result is always the product's name ... because people are way more interested in French fries than French kissing! 

    The campaign plays on the idea that a search engine's autocomplete feature will feed you what people are most often looking for. Thus, we're tacitly told that strawberry milkshakes are more often sought than star signs, and Big Macs more than the Big Bang. 

    It's a deceptively simple idea that collapses the longer you think about it. People run searches for stuff like the Big Bang and star signs because there's something they want to know, not just because they like them. Why would you search for a food so common that it's likely available within walking distance to you right now? Probably because you're looking up ingredients—an entirely different subject, and probably not one of McDonald's favorites. 

    The autocomplete tactic has also been used before, most notably in 2013, when Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai created the powerful "Auto-Complete Truth" campaign for UN Women. In that instance, a search engine, superimposed over women's mouths, completed charged clauses like "women cannot," "women shouldn't" or "women should." It resonated in part because it was inspired by actual results. 

    Since that campaign came out, Google suspiciously refuses to finish phrases like that, at least for us—which is a tribute to the impact "Auto-Complete Truth" had. 

    But it will complete a couple of letters for you, like "st" or "qu," though it's more likely to spit up what you as an individual are most likely to search for, making it less easy to peer into the zeitgeist. In our case, the letters "st," which so conveniently bring up "strawberry milkshake" in the McDonald's ad, yield "stranger things nostalgia" (a recommendation we're pretty happy with, and that we actually did look up a couple of weeks ago). 

    This either means the results are made up for the brand's convenience, which damages the core message—that McD's is so beloved, it basically owns autocorrect—or that someone at Leo Burnett is so into Big Macs that they've spent time running searches for it. (Which is likely; it's a client, after all.)

    In any case, nice try. Maybe nobody will actually whip their phones out and check for truth.

    See other variants below.

    Client: McDonald's
    Agency: Leo Burnett London
    Creative Director: Matt Lee & Pete Heyes
    Art Director: Darren Keff & Philip Meyler
    Copywriter: Darren Keff & Philip Meyler
    Board Account Director: Simon Hewitt
    Senior Account Manager: Emily Reed
    Account Manager: Vicki Sinclair
    Agency Producer: Sarah Ioannou
    Photographer: Malou Burger
    Producer: Hazel Corstens
    Typographer: Stathi Kougianos 

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    Lots of young sports fans imagine themselves playing in the big leagues. Now, sports gear brand Wilson is promising to help them feel closer to the pros with a new Bluetooth connected football, and accompanying app, that can measure stats and offer strategies—making backyard games feel more like stadium epics.

    Four teenage boys get the full melodramatic announcer treatment in a new ad, battling it out as they pretend to be the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers in a local take on the real-life rivalry. It's a charming bit of make believe that also demonstrates the product in action—a kid wearing a Russell Wilson jersey keeps a smartphone strapped to his wrist, using it to look up play diagrams and keep score.

    Los Angeles agency Phenomenon created the 90-second commercial as part of a new "The Stadium Is Everywhere" campaign for the brand. Wilson, the Seahawks quarterback—who shares the brand's name, for better or worse—will himself appear in the campaign, which will continue to roll out through the fall and the first quarter of 2017.

    Aimed at 11- to 17-year-old "backyard athletes"—aka, suburban teenage boys—it will include digital and social assets.

    It's not Wilson the marketer's first rodeo with "smart" sports gear. The company has had a connected basketball and app on the market for about a year. It lets users measure aspects of their game, like shot accuracy, and includes training options. The Wilson X football similarly tracks data like "velocity, distance, spiral efficiency, spin rate, and whether a pass was caught or dropped," according to the brand's website. The app offers five different modes for displaying the info on game-style data boards.

    As for the first ad's faux-gladiator strategy—sure, it's a little corny. Then again, so is the hype for pro games. That is, after all, part of the fun. 

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    Anyone who watched an NFL game on Sunday saw a short teaser commercial about 100 times where Cheetos spokescat Chester Cheetah and Burger King mascot the King were seen sitting together at a BK restaurant, all exciting about … something.

    That something wasn't made clear, although the King did put a handful of Chicken Fries on the table, hinting at the possibility of a forthcoming Cheetos Chicken Fries menu item, to go along with the Burger King Mac n' Cheetos introduced over the summer.

    And indeed, the hint was so obvious that it's turned out to be true. Check out the spot below, which will air during tonight's Monday Night Football telecast.

    For some reason, Chester and the King are still being mealy-mouthed about the product announcement. But the 15-second spot confirms the new limited-time Cheetos Chicken Fries snack.

    This spot is the first-ever TV spot produced by digital shop Code and Theory. 


    Client: Burger King
    Head of Marketing: Ricardo Azevedo
    Head of Media, Advertising and Communications: Adam Gagliardo
    Media: Diego Suarez
    Integrated Marketing: Dylan Stopper
    Advertising: Cristina Hoffmann
    Advertising: Ada Yeung

    Agency: Code and Theory
    Partner: Steve Baer
    Partner, Director of Client Services: Dotty Giordano
    Group Creative Director: Brad Dixon
    Associate Creative Director: Mike Latshaw
    Senior Copywriter: Conor Champley
    Senior Art Director: Jeremy Stein
    Art Director: Daniel Nosonowitz
    Visual Designer: Chris Szeto
    Jr Visual Designer: Riley Walker
    Associate Strategy Director: Kelly Meyers
    Community Manager: Hallie Martin
    Group Account Director: Jill Bernstein
    Executive Producer/Content: Jeremy Fox
    Content Producer: Blake Jones 
    Senior Producer: Remya Rajagopalan

    Production Company: Colonel Blimp
    Director: Fred Rowson
    Edit House: Cosmo Street
    Animation: We Fly Coach
    Sound: Heard City

    Partner Production Agency: David
    Head of Global Production - Veronica Beach
    Associate Producer - Marina Rodrigues
    Group Account Director - Michelle Cobas
    Account Supervisor - Diandra Garcia

    0 0

    Michel Gondry famously directed four classic music videos for the White Stripes:

    "Fell in Love With a Girl"
    "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"
    "The Hardest Button to Button"
    "The Denial Twist"

    Now, much to Jack White's surprise, Gondry has added one more.

    White's record company explains:

    Third Man Records is pleased to share the genius surprise gift they received from their friend Michel Gondry. On his own and without anyone's knowledge, the legendary filmmaker shot a video for "City Lights," which he sent them the other night. The video is Gondry's fifth visual collaboration with The White Stripes. "City Lights" was written for The White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan" but then forgotten until White revisited the 2005 album for Third Man's Record Store Day 2015 vinyl reissue and finished the recording in 2016. The track is the first new, worldwide commercially released song by The White Stripes since 2008.

    Check out the video here:

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    Use Apple's Health app, and you'll have an easier time improving your health and wellness. That's Apple's pitch in its marvelously simple new spots, which use stop motion and animation to show the benefits of being good to your body. 

    Instead of showcasing users feeling satisfied after using the app—or really, any functionality of the app at all—the spots take a broader view, arguing that focusing on your health can and will improve your life. 

    "Staying healthy, it can feel complicated," the narrator intones. "The truth is, making changes in four key areas can make a difference. Just move a little more, eat a little better, sleep tighter and take a moment to calm your mind." 

    The pacifying voiceover works to take life changes that can feel overwhelming and simplify them into small goals that you'll be able to track easily if you use the app. The vivid visual cues zip along, making the overall message more impactful.

    It's a smart strategy—combining a tranquil, almost dream-like narration with seemingly Wes Anderson-inspired graphics—to sedate viewers into believing that using the app will make them feel just as comforted as the ads do. 

    "Check in, see how you're doing, and track your progress over time," says a lovely British woman. "When you know your health better you know yourself better. Simple, really." 

    As lovely as the ads are, it's easy to see how someone could read the approach as condescending. Is taking care of your health really as simple as the narrator insists? No. But it's still nice to hear how retooling the way you think about it—and, of course, using the app—can enhance your life. 

    0 0

    Geico has tapped Ice T as the latest cameo in its ongoing "It's Not Surprising" campaign. And while that may be a surprising follow-up to guys like Marco Polo, he breathes comical new life into the ongoing shtick. 

    The rapper takes a break from his packed film and TV career to appear as The Martin Agency's latest punch line. The first ad has a pretty basic setup: Neighborhood regulars, passing by a lemonade stand, lean toward the kids and conspiratorially ask, "Is that iced tea?" "Nope, it's lemonade," they reply, with growing frustration. 

    You're smart; you can see where this is going. 

    The second piece of content, "The Art of the Squeeze," makes way better use of the man who brought us "I'm Your Pusher," all while mocking a tome of a similar name that's probably way less useful. Watch as Ice T uses lemonade to explain his nuanced and diverse negotiating arts, in steps as simple as making the drink itself. 

    "It's said when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Then what do you do—drink it? Please. I say, you take that lemonade and you sell it to a thirsty fool at top dollar," he says. "Now pay attention and imma show you how to negotiate like a G, or like me, Ice T. This is priceless."

    In Step 1, "Establish Dominance," he explains why it's key to keep eye contact, a trick that works even better with sunglasses. "This forces the customer to stare at themselves, and who's not gonna buy lemonade from themselves? It also helps you look cool—unless you're me, in which case, I always look cool." 

    Ice T conveys a big-brother quality, and the time we spend with him is a solid payoff after the first ad, which feels like a tease in comparison. (Also, it's clear that lots of agencies have taken his advice on haggling.) 

    The content comes with its own subsite and hashtag, #lemonadenoticet, which Ice T himself is gleefully punting on the socnets: 

    That tweet isn't much, but coupled with all this tangy goodness, it's still more satisfying than the sponsored social missives from people who actually seem to be making a living that way. And if you want more, there's behind-the-scenes content, too, which manages to be just as shades-wearingly cool as the ads themselves. 

    We leave you with Ice T's recap of the purpose of a director: "I always tell people acting's pretty easy because you have a guy called a director, and his job is to tell you what to fucking do, so you just do what he tells you to do." 


    Client: Geico
    Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
    Director, Marketing Media Advertising: Bill Brower
    Sr. Mgr.,Brand Team/Media Advertising/Sports Marketing: Melissa Halicy
    Brand Team Senior Supervisor: Mike Grant
    Brand Team Planner: Brighid Griffin
    Brand Team Planner: Tom Perlozzo
    Brand Team Coordinator: Julia Nass
    Brand Team Coordinator: Tim Ware:

    Topic: Geico Savings TV – It's Not Surprising Campaign
    First Run Date: September 8, 2016
    Medium(s): Broadcast/Internet
    Ad Name(s): "Ice T", "Ice T CTA", "Ice T :15", "Art of the Squeeze"

    Agency: The Martin Agency
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    Group Creative Director: Wade Alger
    Creative Director: Sean Riley
    Senior Copywriter II: Ken Marcus:
    Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
    Broadcast Producer: Brian Camp
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney
    Junior Broadcast Producer: Sara Montgomery
    Account Director: Ben Creasey
    Account Supervisor: Allison Hensley
    Account Executive: Jon Glomb
    Account Coordinator: Allie Waller
    Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
    Financial Account Supervisor: Monica Cox
    Senior Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
    Project Manager: Karen McEwen

    Production Company: RadicalMedia
    Director: Steve Miller
    Executive Producer: Gregg Carlesimo
    Head of Production: Frank Dituri
    Producer: Jonathan Dino

    Editorial Company (Broadcast): MackCut
    Editor: Ian MacKenzie
    Assistant Editor: Drew Neuhart
    Assistant Editor: Mike Leuis
    Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
    Producer: Sabina-Elease Utley
    Sound Design: Sam Shaffer

    Telecine (Broadcast): The Mill
    Colorist: Fergus McCall

    Editorial Company (Social): Running With Scissors:
    Editor: Drew Neuhart:
    Head of Production: Brian Creech
    Post Producer: Katherine Leatherwood:

    Telecine (Social): Running With Scissors
    Colorist: Drew Neuhart

    Finishing/VFX: RWS
    Head of Production: Brian Creech
    Flame Artist: Chris Hagen
    Flame Assistant: Paul Widerholt
    Post Producer: Katherine Leatherwood

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
    Senior Sound Designer: Jeff McManus
    Executive Producer, Owner: Kristin O'Connor
    General Manager/Scheduler: Clinton Spell II

    Stock Music (Social): Lulatone

    0 0

    Don't lose business because you're still using tedious pen-and-paper legal instruments, says a new ad from Adobe.

    In the minute-long spot, sports announcers and fans go crazy amid news that a fictional basketball star, Anton Miller, is going to sign a "billion-dollar" deal with a make-believe basketball team, the Cincinnati Sabres (not to be confused with a real American Hockey League team, the Cincinnati Swords).

    But as the celebrity player sits in a roundtable conference room with executives from the franchise, and his own entourage, it becomes clear things aren't going that well. The paperwork barely inches its way around the table, as an obnoxious lawyer points out to stakeholders the dozen or so places each will have to sign.

    Eventually—spoiler alert—Miller receives a message from a competing team, San Jose, inviting him to sign another offer, right there on his smartphone, with a single flick of his finger, all thanks to to Adobe's quick-and-easy e-signature technology. He obliges, and exits the room, free to get on with his life.

    Overall, the commercial, by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, makes for a fun bit of hyperbole that, while ridiculous in the specifics, clearly makes its point: Don't alienate customers by wasting their time. It joins previous ads demonstrating the potential costs of a careless approach to business, like the dark comedy bit "Snake Bite," in which poor mobile design has severe consequences for a pair of hikers.

    For now, the new ad is just running online, but will air on TNT during this fall's launch of the 2016 NBA season—part of a clever strategy that hopes to leverage buzz around real-world athlete signings, like Oklahoma City Thunder alum Kevin Durant's first game playing for the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 25, where six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol will also be debuting for the San Antonio Spurs.

    In another online component of the campaign, Adobe is taking over the website of business magazine Fast Company on Monday and Tuesday, temporarily changing its name to Slow Company for visitors, with a gag cover design that includes fake teasers like "Messenger Pigeons: Are they right for your business?"

    Then again, who knows. With the right technology, they could be.


    Client: Adobe
    Chief Marketing Officer: Ann Lewnes
    VP, Experience Marketing Group: Alex Amado
    Executive Creative Director: Steve Gustafson
    Sr. Creative Director for Video: Dan Cowles
    Director of Advertising and Production: Joel Giullian

    Title of Creative Work: "Billion Dollar Player"
    Live Date: 9/12/16

    Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
    Co-Chairmen: Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby
    Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
    Creative Director: Will Elliott
    Creative Director: Patrick Knowlton
    Creative Director: Roger Baran
    Creative Director: Sam Luchini
    Art Director: Jasper Yu
    Art Director: Stefan Copiz
    Copywriter: Alex Maleski
    Director of Content Production: Tod Puckett
    Senior Producer: Benton Roman
    Production Coordinator: Rachel Newman
    Managing Partner: Brian McPherson
    Account Director: Theo Abel
    Account Manager: Chelsea Bruzzone
    Assistant Account Manager: Zack Piánko
    Director of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
    Brand Strategist: Etienne Ma
    Brand Strategist: Andrew Mak
    Director of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
    Communication Strategy Deputy Director: Dong Kim
    Senior Communication Strategist: Caitlin Neelon
    Communication Strategist: Natalie Williamson
    Junior Communication Strategist: Chloe Bosmeny
    Business Affairs Manager: Heidi Killeen
    Director of Music: Todd Porter

    Reset (Production)
    Director: Adam Hashemi
    Managing Director: Dave Morrison
    Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
    Bidding Producer: Jenn Ingalls
    Head of Production: JP Columbo
    Producer: Michelle Currinder

    Rock Paper Scissors (Editor)
    Producer: Charlyn Derrick
    Editor: Olivier Bugge Coutte

    Barking Owl (Music)
    Sound Designer - Michael Anastasi
    Mixer - Patrick Navarre
    Music - Barking Owl
    Creative Director - Kelly Bayett

    The Mill (Post FX)
    Senior Producer: Will Unterreiner
    2D Lead: Tara Demarco

    0 0

    It isn't often in advertising that we get a happy ending that isn't totally fictional and "brought to you by." But here one is, in all its furry glory!

    In early May, we wrote about Glimpse Collective's Kickstarter quest to replace all the ads in a London Underground station with images of cats. By the end of that month, U.K. animal rescue center Battersea joined forces with them, offering its cats up as models, in hopes that nice Londoners would experience love at first sight. 

    Despite that endorsement, things weren't looking good. In the last few days of their campaign, Glimpse—which created the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service, or #CatsNotAds—had raised $17,487, just over half of its objective (£23,000, or nearly $30,500). The company appealed to agency heads to provide rescue funds, and we closed our minds and hearts, awaiting the inevitable snuffing-out of a beautiful dream. 

    But this week we discovered God exists, and loves us. On Monday morning, commuters passing through London's Clapham Common Tube station were accosted by feline friends. 

    Look how killer the station entrance is. The gateways have been dubbed "catflaps" for the occasion. It's like crossing into Narnia, but not through a wardrobe: 

    Cats from the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Cats Protection, line the walls and follow you up and down the escalator. The result must have been baffling to commuters, judging by the looks on some of their faces. 

    A total of 68 ads were replaced in all.

    "We tried to imagine a world where public spaces made you feel good. We hope people will enjoy being in the station and maybe think a bit differently about the world around them," says Glimpse founder and #CatsNotAds leader James Turner. "Instead of asking you to buy something, we're asking you to think about what's really valuable in your life. It might not be cats, but it's probably something you can't find in the shops."

    Asked how they were able to close the gap to their target fundraising amount, Turner tells AdFreak, "We raised the money through some great press attention, lots of hard work and hundreds of generous backers." In the end, "we didn't work with any agencies to reach it." 

    One poster features cats sent in by members of the public. Each person pledged £100 (about $132) to ensure immortality for their own moody domestic gods. One even flew in from Virginia to see the final result.

    "We're thrilled that Battersea cats are among the stars of these posters," says Battersea's head of catteries, Lindsey Quinlan. "We care for over 3,000 rescue cats a year, so hopefully this campaign will encourage lots more people to visit our centers and consider rehoming our fantastic felines."

    "Research shows cats are good for the health and happiness of people of all ages, whether it's providing fun, love or companionship," adds development manager Guy Chadwick of Cats Protection. "Cats are also independent and can fit into a range of lifestyles, so we hope anyone who sees the posters will adopt one of our thousands of unwanted cats."

    The posters will be up for the next two weeks, with placement that includes ticket gateways, 54 escalator panels and 14 large posters that guide people to the main platform. 

    Meanwhile, the #CatsNotAds team is already planning its next "takeover." Entries can be submitted at CatsNotAds.org. The current frontrunner? Dogs, naturally. But we'll be tossing our request into the ring, too: An unending deluge of Tiny Hamster.

    See more images below.

    0 0

    Everybody's trying to get in with an esports team ... even Geico. 

    In an unexpected web series released in August, Geico-sponsored Team SoloMid (TSM) have moved into a new neighborhood. Convinced that the pro players are actually hackers, a nosy next-door neighbor named Russell drops in to investigate. (A dolly stacked with Geico swag also makes an appearance, but that's pretty much the brand's only imposition in episode one.)

    Russell is a total creeper, and you get to know him better as the series progresses (so far there are two episodes). He becomes a fixture in the house, appearing even in separate ads where TSM stars.

    Oh yeah, that's another thing. Geico's always been a prolific content creator, and this is no different. The first two episodes came out on the same day, and the brand concurrently released a startling array of 25-second ads that play on the storyline while promoting everything Geico sells. These include...

    Emergency roadside service and other features of Geico's mobile app:

    Renter's insurance, which is easier to set up than Russell trying to open a jar:

    And, of course, car insurance, for which TSM's Svenskeren dutifully repeats the classic line, "Remember, 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance." 

    There's more where that came from, and Russell slowly gets to be just as annoying to us as he must be for the team. 

    The content is meant for esports fans—a demographic that's 70 percent male and 55 percent 21- to 35-year-olds. Production-wise, it feels like stuff your average streamer would produce. Geico's also sponsoring more personal stories that TSM posts on its own channels:

    But because Geico's a broad consumer brand, its active involvement comes with the hope that it can demystify the space for mainstream consumers and gun-shy brands. Esports has a reputation for being insular, misogynistic and utterly incapable of suffering fools. As with any young community, it's a reputation built by the few and the vocal, not the majority. (To wit: Women are rising fast in the space, though they remain less visible than banner male players.)

    Geico's quirkly series helps disarm some misgivings and common stereotypes (though it's packed with literally nothing but dudes). In fact, it feels a little bit like Silicon Valley, but with gamers and fewer bongs. 

    TSM seem normal and unassuming. They're not all as young as people assume a typical gamer is. They're kind of funny. We also get a sense of how pro teams function: Most live together for whole seasons, making it easier to train almost nonstop. 

    Meanwhile, Russell serves as a surrogate audience, a guy discovering a whole new profession for the first time. His fawning over their expensive gear reinforces the sense that pro gaming is a serious endeavor, not just something a kid in a basement does while Mom carries down the Wonderbread sandwiches. 

    In July, MeUndies released a dating-profile-style video with The Immortals, which we felt would help kick the floodgates open for non-endemic brands producing more content for esports fans, who will fuel the industry with $493 million this year, marking a boggling 51.7 percent rate of year-over-year growth. 

    Geico launched its Geico Gaming Twitter channel in January. This marks the company's first-ever foray into gaming. And esports, rapidly tipping from niche to mainstream, is its arena of choice. By June, it was sponsoring TSM and a One Nation of Gamers Hearthstone tournament.

    Sponsoring an esports team is an easy entry for brands who want to cash in on a trend they don't quite understand. But unlike Coke and Red Bull, which have been in the space for years but aren't producing much creative storytelling, Geico has hit the ground running.

    There'll be more where this comes from. Can somebody just show us where the women are? Kayane, the world-renowned Queen of Street Fighter, is prime picking.

    0 0

    Hyundai drivers are weird, weird people who do weird, weird things because of football, according to Innocean USA's amusing new ads for the NFL sponsor.

    In "Choices," a Pittsburgh Steelers fan has to clean up baby mess in his Hyundai Santa Fe. But what if he misses a crucial play while deciding whether or not to wipe up the vomit with his Terrible Towel? Thanks to his car's 8-inch Touch Screen with Sirius XM recording feature, he won't miss anything. As for the vomit, well, you can see for yourself.

    OK, so maybe the cause-and-effect isn't super clear in this ad, and as a Ravens fan I'm required to hate it, but I see what they were going for. Still, if that towel's actually been to a Steelers game, it's had grosser stuff smeared on it there than anything a child could produce.

    The second spot, "Fishing Trip," poses another dilemma. A Miami Dolphins fan might miss the game because he has to take his in-laws out for the afternoon. Of course, a silly, 1980s-sitcom problem requires an equally boneheaded solution, and our hero obliges (with help from his Elantra's Proximity Key Entry with Push Button Start) just so he can sit at home and watch the Dolphins lose for 17 weeks straight.

    Is it a mistake to connect the Hyundai with two instances of terrible judgment? Probably. But since they're shackled to professional football, they're used to it by now.

    Client: Hyundai
    Chief Marketing Officer: Dean Evans
    Director, Brand Marketing Communications: Paul Imhoff
    Senior Group Manager, Brand Marketing & Advertising: Monique Kumpis
    Agency: Innocean USA
    CCO: Eric Springer
    Group Creative Director: Barney Goldberg
    Associate Creative Director, Art:  Jose Eslinger
    Associate Creative Director, Copy: Carissa Levine
    VP, Group Account Director: Marisstella Marinkovic
    Account Director: Bryan DiBiagio
    Account Supervisor: Jene Crandall
    Account Executive: Alison O'Neill
    Director of Product Information: Brian Bittker
    Product Information Specialist: Lawrence Chow
    Senior VP, Planning and Research: Frank Striefler
    VP, Planning Director: Kathleen Kindle
    VP, Media Planning: Ben Gogley
    Media Director: James Zayti
    VP, Director of Integrated Production: Victoria Guenier
    EP/ Content Production: Nicolette Spencer
    Content Producer: Melissa Moore
    Business Affairs Director: Ann Davis
    Assoc. Business Affairs Director: Lisa Nichols
    Broadcast Traffic Supervisor: Theresa Artaserse
    Broadcast Traffic Manager: Valerie Neibel
    Project Management Supervisor: Darin Schnitzer
    Production Company:  O-Positive
    Director: David Shane
    DP: Ottar Gunnerson
    Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
    Producer: Ken Licita
    Product Manager: Sameet Patadia

    0 0

    A lot of agency-client splits are unpleasant or downright acrimonious. But ad agency Rinck's breakup with Gorton's Seafood has been quite amicable—so amicable, in fact, that Rinck just unveiled a thank-you music video to Gorton's, inspired by Johnny Cash and filmed in an 1850s textile mill in Maine.

    Rinck handled Gorton's website, social media, PR, promotions and digital media for more than nine years. That relationship is now ending, as Gorton's is consolidating agencies. But Rinck is OK with that, as you can see in the video, where the agency does a rendition of "We'll Meet Again," a 1939 Vera Lynn song that Cash covered in 2002. 

    The idea came from Rinck president fan Laura Davis, an avid Johnny Cash who does one of the two spoken-word solos in the middle of the video.

    "We wanted to honor a relationship and collaboration that we had for nearly a decade, and the friendships that came along with it, with not just the client, but agency partners, vendors and others," says Davis. "I wanted to use the opportunity to set an example on how to end a business relationship well and leave the door wide open."

    It's easy to be cynical or poke fun at stunts like this, but Davis' sentiment is an admirable one in an industry that often feels pretty heartless. 

    "The fact of the matter is that over the last nine years we've learned a lot together and I know there will be great things in the future for both of us," adds Davis.

    Nearly all of Rinck's 38 staffers were on hand, and clad in dark sunglasses, for filming at the Bates Mill in Lewiston, Maine (a factory which, trivia alert, was the top supplier of blankets to the Union Army during the Civil War).

    Neal Jandreau, Rinck's director of digital content and strategy (and a professional musician who plays in the acoustic duo Stealing North) handled lead vocals and guitar. Kristy Phinney, director of dynamic integration, did the other spoken-word solo. Public relations director Katie Greenlaw led a female a cappella verse. Rinck CEO Peter Rinck played violin and production artist Melissa Simmons played ukulele, accompanying Jandreau.

    Local production studio and filmmaker Ramsey Tripp of Trade-mark R Productions shot and edited the video. Tom McPherson provided behind-the-scenes documentation of still photography.

    In a release, Rinck—which has offices in Auburn, Maine, and Annapolis, Maryland—said it has a history of working with clients well beyond the current average agency-client relationship of three years, adding that the 16-year-old shop still does business with its very first client.

    "We are very fortunate to have amazing, lasting relationships with our partners and vendors. Ramsey Tripp and Tom McPherson didn't hesitate to jump on board to document what was clearly a cathartic experience for the agency," says Davis.

    "The Rinck DNA is 'You're going to love what happens next.' It's immensely gratifying that even when the news is not what we would wish, we could come together and create something that we do, in fact, love. We hope that our friends at Gorton's also loved what happened next and we sincerely wish them all the best in the future."

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    As we've mentioned before, very few companies explore the topic of divorce, or its ramifications for families, in their advertising. It's just too depressing, the thinking goes, even if it's also, of course, relatable to so many millions of people worldwide.

    A few brands have taken the risk—Honey Maid, of course, and also Ford, which rolled out this beautiful and sad short film earlier this year.

    Now, it's Ikea's turn. Check out the spot here.

    Created by Stockholm agency Åkestam Holst and directed by Martin Werner at Bacon, the spot tackles the issue of divorce for good reason. Rather than present glossy facsimiles of life, scrubbed to perfection, the furniture retailer wants its target consumers to feel like it really understands their lives—and not just the sunny parts.

    "Where life happens" is the tagline on this spot, and eight more coming this fall.

    " 'Where life happens' dramatizes various aspects of Ikea's genuine presence in peoples' everyday life," the agency says. "Through this constant interaction, Ikea continuously learns about how people live and what they need. Their lifestyle sparks the inspiration to develop products and solutions that fit with everyday life in an even better way."

    Ikea is "right there where life happens, whatever happens—and is not afraid to show it like it is," the agency adds. "Living in two homes with divorced parents is a reality for many children in Sweden. Ikea can ease this situation and perhaps also ease some bad conscience among single parents and help acknowledge the children."

    As for the ad's unusual (for today) 4:3 aspect ratio, an agency rep tells us it was an idea the creatives had together with Werner—they wanted to get "closer to reality," and they thought using 4:3 would bring them there. 

    Client: Ikea Sweden
    Marketing Project Leader: Carin Jacobsson
    Advertising Director: Maria Granath
    Marketing Director: Patrik Nygren Bonnier

    Agency: Åkestam Holst, Stockholm, Sweden
    Art Director: Jesper Holst/Michal Sitkiewicz
    Copywriter: Mark Ardelius/Rickard Beskow
    Creative Director: Magnus Jakobsson
    Graphic Design: Sara Bellafesta
    Account Director: Kjell Mansson
    Planner: Jerker Winther
    Agency Producer: Leila Widgren
    Account Manager: Agneta Oppenheim

    Production Company: Bacon
    Director: Martin Werner, Bacon
    Executive Producer: Ylva Axel, Bacon
    Producer: Joel Rostmark
    DOP: Mattias Rudh
    Set design: Catharina Nyqvist Ehrnroot
    Costume design: Johanna Borggren
    Post Production: BaconX

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    Ask a tattooist and a master of gold-leaf design to collaborate on a work of art themed "Zero Compromise," and what do you get? A gaudy gilded shrine to the late, great Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister of seminal metal band Motörhead, of course!

    Robert Klem creates tats—and he's pretty hot with stained glass, too. Ken Davis sets the gold standard when it comes to ornate lettering. They're the first unlikely artistic duo challenged to "create something awesome together" by Adobe for its "Collabograms" campaign (a combo of collaboration and Instagram, the social focus here) touting the company's Photoshop product.

    "This series is about Photoshop supporting creativity and highlighting the incredible results that can come from unexpected pairings and collaboration," Lex van den Berghe, principle product manager of digital imaging at Adobe, tells Adweek. "The audience is what we like to call the New Creatives—artists who don't limit themselves to one medium, but pull from multiple influences and materials to express themselves."

    Klem and Davis certainly deliver on that score, crafting a weird and wonderful 10-foot-tall tribute to rock god Lemmy. (They chose the subject based on the "Zero Compromise" concept and their mutual love for the man's creativity and jovially profane style of joie de vivre.) The work features an impressive image of Lemmy rendered in stained glass (like a saint), votive candles, LED lights, Motörhead song references, shelves to leave offerings (pints seem appropriate)—plus a skull and dagger, naturally.

    You can check out its creation in this five-minute video:

    "It's beautiful, but it's also metal as hell," van den Berghe says. "Lemmy's no-holds-barred approach to life resonated with both Ken and Klem, and they felt compelled to honor that spirit."

    Heck, if Lemmy were still among us, he'd knock back a brew and scowl in approval. (And then stumble into the thing and pass out, most likely. Ah, Lemmy!)

    Overt branding in the push, developed with Edelman, is extremely minimal—just the title card and closing Photoshop logo—and that really puts the spotlight on the artists and their work. "Every time I walk away from a collaborative experience, it definitely enriches me," Davis says at one point, pretty much summing up the enterprise.

    "This campaign was meant to shine on Instagram as a longer-form visual storytelling platform and a place where the Photoshop community is increasingly turning to for inspiration," says van den Berghe, by way of explaining the "Collabograms" tag and strong presence on that platform."Our expanding new creative user is using Instagram as a way to infuse inspiration and networking into their everyday life."

    At least two more "Collabogram" videos featuring varied artists and subject matter will roll out in the coming months. In November, an illustrator and a culinary artist will present a piece based on the theme "Mermaids Taking Selfies." (Maybe they can work Lemmy into that one, too.) January's esoteric topic is "Scorpion/Duality," with an embroiderer and an iron worker set to collaborate.

    The physical nature of the collaborations is a bit at odds with digital tools like Photoshop as the brand sponsoring them. But van den Berghe says: "We loved the opportunity to deviate from the digital realm for a change and celebrate the idea that at the end of the day, all creative expression is beautiful and valid—whether it comes from a soldering iron, a gilding brush or a Photoshop brush."

    He praised Klem and Davis for producing something neither would have been able to make on their own. "They ended up working so well together, and their art meshed together so perfectly, that it winds up not seeming strange at all. Which is exactly what we hoped for."

    Turns out the video shoot went less smoothly.

    "When we were getting all of Klem's interviews, we set up the recording gear in his shop and just as we began interviewing him while he worked on the stained glass piece of Lemmy, the air filled with the loud banging and booming of Taiko drumming," van den Berghe says. "There was an international music festival half a block away, and a full-day schedule of amplified music on deck. We recorded the interview in short, rapid-fire bursts between songs and sets. Lemmy would've loved that this project was nearly derailed by amplified music—the Taiko drums and didgeridoos, though, maybe not so much."

    Client: Adobe Systems
    Principal Product Manager, Photoshop: Lex van den Berghe
    Agency: Edelman
    Creative Director: Tony Johnson
    Producer: Kirsten Golden
    Production Company: Where the Buffalo Roam

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    If you've ever hankered for a T-shirt collection featuring classic, awful stock photos—like Happy senior couple piggybacking at the beach, or Firm handshake between business associates—then you're in luck. Try some Adobe Stock Apparel on for size.

    The creative and marketing services company recently asked Swedish ad agency Abby Priest for a campaign about Adobe Stock, which features more modern and less cheesy stock imagery. Abby Priest's idea was to emphasize how far the new images are from the old—by creating "a limited-edition clothing line giving a salute to the most infamous stock images creatives love to hate."

    Check out some of the T-shirt and sweatshirt designs here:

    Abby Priest creative director Oskar Hellqvist talks about the apparel in this Q&A on the Adobe site. "We wanted to pay tribute to what has been before, and then take one last glimpse backwards, before we leave it all behind and move into the new age," he says.

    He adds: "Some stock images have earned their place in the history books—classic motifs that have been overused and established as hilarious clichés, known, loved and/or hated by all. … Turning them into a limited-edition clothing line is our way to salute them and an attempt to create something disruptive and unconventional in the genre. The creative community already shares the knowledge and power/humor that is embedded in these images. Hopefully it's something that they will enjoy and wear."

    More images below. 

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    Tom Jones' 1971 hit "She's a Lady" was a braggadocio anthem to all the men who'd found the right kind of woman—the kind who has "style and grace," but, and this is important, "always knows her place." 

    Of course, the Paul Anka-penned song wasn't really about a woman—the titular lady could be anyone—but about a man. That man, in 1971, as second-wave feminism was spreading, had managed to find a lady who would rather go to dinner with him than join NOW. 

    In any case, that's exactly why H&M's use of the song—a new version from duo Lion Babe—in this new ad is so wonderful. H&M has created a feminist anthem soundtracked by a classically misogynist song, for a spot meant to redefine how you think women should look, act and think, where they stand in society, etc. 

    The ad shows various women—including actress Lauren Hutton, model Adwoa Aboah, trans actress Hari Nef, Design Army's chief creative officer (one of Adweek's Creative 100 this year) Pum Lefebure and Lion Babe's Jillian Hervey—doing whatever they want, dressing however they want, existing as human beings instead of idealized ladies.

    The narrative of the spot, and the use of the song, further cement how the word lady, much to the chagrin of older feminists, has been reclaimed by modern feminism. 

    Showing women as they are shouldn't be a feminist notion (this was also recently explored by cartoonist Sally Nixon). But at a time when the goverment is still trying to police womens' bodies, or where people go to the bathroom, seeing a brand like H&M take a stand—as it's been doing lately—and make it as fun as they have, is great. 

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    Kids get bored in the backseat. But instead of suffering through an often fight-inducing game of "Slug Bug," or anesthetizing them with a tablet movie, what if you could teach them how to make you a better driver? 

    We can tell you're into that. 

    That's the improbable, possibly even sadistic idea behind "Mr. Bear Driver," a road safety game by Publicis Romania, created alongside the Automobile Club of Romania and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), for the 2015-16 "Junior Copilot" program.

    Available for free on Google Play and the App Store, the animated jaunt teaches kids about traffic rules. When played in a moving vehicle, the game—which is equipped with GPS—directly responds to the speed of the actual car the player is riding in. Mr. Bear Driver tells kids when their parents are exceeding the speed limit, incentivizing them to ask them to slow down. 

    It's unclear whether the game accounts for that loose "10 miles over is still safe" guideline. For schadenfreude's sake, let's assume no. 

    If the driver doesn't comply, the child loses points. In extreme circumstances, the game will even end, resulting in a tantrum risk so severe that you probably don't want to go there. 

    Pre-iPad, the elementary schools we attended did try teaching us about road safety, with perhaps similarly maddening results. We were told it was "bad to drink and drive," without any specificity on what drinks they meant. The result was that I spent endless road trips crying out every time my dad lifted a Coke to his mouth. 

    My parents still remember this, and not fondly. On the cheery up, they no longer dare to drink anything behind the wheel. 

    Most parents are probably pretty mindful of the risks they take when on the road with tiny humans, but they can't be vigilant all the time ... as AT&T so masterfully taught us recently. It's a neat idea to gameify the notion of making kids participants in the act of keeping them safe, with extra points for increasing their awareness of what's happening offscreen. 

    So, if Mr. Bear Driver lasts longer than a season, we'd really like a software update that includes massive point losses for what our progenitors call "Hollywood stops." We'd play that game with them right now.

    More images appear below.

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    Be careful: If you buy a designer dress and a leather biker jacket at British discount chain T.K. Maxx, you'll soon find yourself regularly practicing ballet on a motorcycle—just to match your beloved outfit.

    It's the absurd, entertaining conceit at the heart of a new ad for the retailer (known as T.J. Maxx in the U.S.) created by Wieden + Kennedy London. A young woman daintily balances on the tail of her heavy black bike while popping a wheelie and spinning circles in slow motion. All the while, an elderly woman named Doris plays an art deco organ that sounds an awful lot like a piano—a service that, according to the protagonist, is quite expensive.

    The campaign's tagline, aptly, is "ridiculous possibilities."

    That message, especially when combined with the headline "Big labels, small prices," effectively amounts to a new twist on the old marketing saw—"You'll never believe the deals you'll find." But it still works well enough as a broad frame for specific insanities.

    A second ad channels a cross between Bravo and 2001: A Space Odyssey, focusing on a crew of astronauts enjoying a spa day in the cosmos, while paying a cheeky sort of homage to the retro sci-fi aesthetic and ponderously graceful camera work of the classic Stanley Kubrick film. (The ship's computer does not, apparently, go on a maniacal killing spree, even if perhaps it would, in this case, be even more justified.)

    A handful of print executions extend the idea further.

    In one, a man who's been shopping at the store suggests you'll find a wool sweater so soft it will make you gleefully want to fill your entire office with sheep.

    In another, you'll want to channel your inner glam decorator and hang a dozen lamps from your ceiling. They go especially well with your perpetually judgy Persian cat.

    In a third, you might also, for some inexplicable reason, want to scale a sandstone building using a string of silk scarves, because they're just that affordable—and apparently rated for climbing.

    In other words, have a blast shopping, but don't try the stunts at home.

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    In April, North Carolina agency McKinney registered its disapproval of House Bill 2, the law requiring all residents to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, by showing the world where it belongs—on a very large role of toilet paper.

    The controversial law has made national headlines as Gov. Pat McCrory defends himself against the Obama administration and LGBT advocacy groups. McKinney's latest effort opposing HB2 is far more ambitious than the last. It involves a fake '90s boy band, a reunion show and a few guys in their 30s who seem just a little behind the times.

    The project centers on a 12-minute film created by McKinney and New York-based production companies XY Content and Storefront Music. It documents the fictional band One More Wish's attempt to fill the void left by all the more famous musicians that canceled shows in North Carolina to protest the law.

    The film is less about criticizing HB2 than portraying the supposed former pop stars as dads, professionals and clueless but hopeful comeback kids.

    "Boycott Band" includes some nostalgia for the days of the Discman and MTV's Total Request Live, but its tone trends toward the melancholy as it tracks a group of men who've had a bit of trouble finding their way in the post-fame world.

    It's a pro bono project created to support the advocacy group Equality NC, which has called on McCrory to repeal the law and apologize to the state's LGBT community.

    The inspiration for the project came from the headlines that resulted when musical acts like Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Maroon 5 started announcing their boycotts.

    "My partner and I were kicking around the idea of a boycott band," said McKinney creative director Will Chambliss. "The idea was to create something that shines a spotlight on the absurd effect the bill has had on North Carolina, so we ran with the concept—create a band that's really horrible in such an endearing way that people would want to see a short film about their comeback."

    Speaking for One More Wish, Chambliss said, "They are doing everybody a favor by filling this entertainment void … by actually playing when no one else will."

    This despite the fact that no one requested a One More Wish reunion in the first place, and for good reason. The band wasn't looking to stir up controversy, though. Chambliss said they simply wanted to "stand on the sidelines and let the politics of it play out." He added, "The end story is: Let's go vote this fall to make sure this doesn't happen again."

    The key reference point for this campaign may be 1984's satirical linchpin This Is Spinal Tap. For example, here is "Hit Me," a "smash hit" that sounds every bit like it could have been released in 1998:

    After developing the idea, the agency connected with XY Content and director Habib Yazdi, who attended the University of North Carolina.

    "We've been hosting some screenings in Brooklyn," Yazdi said, adding, "We found that the film plays well to audiences in a theater-screening setting. Once they are watching the film, they get into the characters, whereas online it might be tougher for them to have the same time span."

    Head of business development Chau Mui told Adweek, "It's not just about repealing [HB2], because many people don't understand what it is. It's becoming a national issue. … Legalized discrimination is not fair and not right."

    The Storefront Music team wrote and performed most of One More Wish's original, supposedly classic tunes. Other elements of the work include a multimedia homepage, a series of ringtones and several more cringeworthy additions to the One More Wish canon.

    McKinney has submitted the work to Sundance and other film festivals in hopes that viewers will be interested and North Carolina will see the error of its ways.


    Agency: McKinney
    Client: Equality NC
    Campaign: Boycott Band

    Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Cude
    Group Creative Director / Art Director: Owen Tingle
    Group Creative Director / Copywriter: Will Chambliss
    Copywriter: David McClay
    Senior Account Planner: Kevin Murray
    Producer: Regina Brizzolara
    Producer: Chau Mui
    Producer: Frank Sun
    Associate Producer: Neil Cox
    Associate Producer: Lauren March
    Production Manager: Sarah Williams
    Production Company: XY Content
    Director: Habib Yazdi
    Director of Photography: Isaac Banks
    Senior Producer, Print Production: Carolyn Petty
    Editor: Nick Adcock
    Assistant Editor: Erin Gurdziel
    Retouchers: Erin Campbell, Chelsie Irby
    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Jaime O'Bradovich
    Color Post Producer: Katie Andrews
    Sound Design: One Thousand Birds, Andrew Tracy
    Audio Post Producer: Laura Dopp
    Music Supervision: Wool & Tusk, Aaron Mercer
    Original Music: Storefront Music
    Executive Music Producers: Adam Elk, John "Scrapper" Sneider
    Music Producer: Alex Fulton
    Composers: Adam Elk, Christian Almiron, Darien Shumna, James Beer

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    A lot of people wanted this billboard about Donald Trump to become a reality in New York City. Instead, we got the one above—a masterpiece of unintentional camp that is running on a digital board in Times Square through Friday.

    The objectively ridiculous, 55-foot animated billboard is sponsored by a pro-Trump super PAC called the Committee to Restore America's Greatness, according to the New York Post. The buy cost $25,000, says Trump adviser Roger Stone.

    The ad is intended to show off Trump's "stamina" and contrast the candidate with opponent Hillary Clinton's recent health issues, according to filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who made the animated video.

    Dr. Robert Shillman of San Diego paid for the board, says the Post. "When I was a kid, Superman was my idol because he stood for truth, justice and the American way, just like Donald Trump," Shillman said in a statement.

    The same ad will appear next week on a board along the I-4 corridor in central Florida. 


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