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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Oh, the places you'll go!

    In 2013, Heineken scored a bronze Lion at Cannes with "The Candidate," an internship contest that generated a whopping 1,734 global entries. 

    Now, the brand is back to recruiting with "Go Places," led by a musical Dr. Seuss-ish video inviting talent to respond to 12 questions, which must be answered in three to five seconds. Based on the Enneagram model, the results give you a personal profile, which must be sent along with your résumé when applying for your Heineken dream gig on LinkedIn. 

    The video features a passel of actual Heineken employees, giving it a playful, personal touch (if that's something you can say about a brand, which we guess is something you can, since our jobs revolve around giving brands a personality in the first place): 



    The "Go Places" site, created over one and a half years by Wefilm, Cloudfactory and Superhero Cheesecake (which managed the tech and interactivity), makes the interview process feel thorough, quick and surprisingly fun—if sometimes reductive. (We're told one guy used two mouses to give multiple answers at once ... and scored really well.)

    Play with the site here.

    "Heineken revolves around the personality of their employees, and they want these personalities to thrive. That's the main message that had to come across in a way that stands out from all other HR campaigns," explains Wefilm director Lennart Verstegen.

    "This has to be the first time HR has released a really cool campaign, reflecting values in a way only Heineken can: Ever witty and smart." 



    The "interview" is also packed with nifty localizations—a tribute to Heineken's attention to detail. This affects everything from the Interviewer's clock, which shows your local time, to the beers and food he flashes before you at rapier-speed. 

    "You see empanadas when watching in Mexico, and a noodle soup when viewing in Vietnam. The same thing occurs when presented a local beer—you see one that is actually local in your market: Amstel beer in the Netherlands (a Heineken company beer!) and Star Beer in Nigeria (also a Heineken beer)," says Verstegen. 

    "This way we can make the process highly relevant to different cultures, without it really sticking out like some crazy trick. It's something I think is highly classy and intelligent." 

    Once you've got your results (we're Initiators!), you're driven to Heineken's LinkedIn page, where you can sift through job openings and find one you like best. This process is choppier than the interview; the application websites vary, and are just about as fun as any you've ever been on—that is to say, dry as dirt after a brushfire. 

    But the story behind "Go Places" is rich and nuanced, informed by the real adventures of Heineken employees. 

    "They wanted it to be a manifesto internally, for new employees and for new breweries, so they would feel what Heineken Company was about," says Cloudfactory creative Jessica Kersten. The work, she adds, was fueled by two major insights: serendipity, and protecting the idea's soul in execution (a weirdly apt word in this context). 



    "The first day we started to work on the big idea, we stumbled upon an article in a Dutch magazine lying in our studio about Freddy Heineken," Kersten goes on. "The subject was how Freddy recruited his top talents. He had an interesting final interview that is quite different from what we know in the corporate world today. He used to invite the candidate and his wife—not too many female candidates at that time!—for dinner." 

    As the candidate seated himself, Freddy would get a staged call from the HR department, requesting critical documentation. As Freddy's chauffeur drove the candidate away, Freddy would grill his wife to find out who this guy truly was. 

    "Freddy knew that even though someone had all the right skills and experience, the personality mattered as much," says Kersten. "He wanted managers that could handle difficult situations in different countries around the world. It would be romanticizing the creative process to say that 'Go Places' was born that day, but we kept that inspiring story at the center of our idea."

    "It was like Freddy's ghost gave us the key!" Cloudfactory creative Sandrine Huijgen exclaims.

    Huijgen adds: "We spent a lot of time interviewing employees. As during Freddy's time, employees are being sent around the world in difficult missions and need their personality as much as their skills to be successful." 

    Some of the stories sound like the stuff of spy fiction.



    "A few of the employees we cast in the film have a seriously crazy career behind them," says Huijgen. "Dolf van den Brink was a longtime commercial director in Congo, and faced life-threatening situations during his tenure—he literally saved people by hiding them in the brewery during riots, and hid under his car ... to avoid being shot at. Talking to him at a party is like having a beer with Indiana Jones!" 

    As far as Verstegen is concerned, "Go Places is game-changing, delivering a punchy message in a dry, corporate environment. We took Heineken's wish to come with something that exceeds all expectations within that very serious 'corporate world,' and it is hopefully regarded as a place where people can be better off than before." 



    "If you take the Interview, you feel the Heineken Company is unlike any other," Kersten adds. "When you go through the questions and feel the humor, the energy and vibrancy of the employees, you want to join them! Finally, an interview is in reality a moment when a company and a potential employee evaluate if they are going to be a match. 

    "This is exactly what our interview is doing," she concludes. "After you're done, you will either think, I love this company or This is not for me. Heineken will use the results to talk about your personality in a real Interview, and assess it to fit the company culture." 



    The campaign just went live on LinkedIn and Facebook.

    CREDITS

    Client: The Heineken Company (Chris van Steenbergen, Gianluca Di Tondo, Soren Hagh, Dario Gargiulo, Alfonso Aunon Garcia, Nikki van Deijzen, Kelsey Sibley, Stephanie Peels)
    Heineken casting director: Saskia den Hollander
    Agency: Cloudfactory
    Creatives: Sandrine Huijgen, Jessica Kersten, Olivier Teepe (digital creatief), Lennart Verstegen (Wefilm)
    Managing Partner: Sandeep Chawla
    Account director: Lennard Franken
    Agency producer: Stefany Rietkerk, Lars Fabery de Jonge, Jeanette Luttik
    Traffic manager: Saffron Pape
    Production: Wefilm
    Director: Lennart Verstegen
    Producer: Bo Polak
    Executive producer: Tobias Wilbrink, Bas Welling
    Offline editor: Nick Rozenberg
    Post production: The Compound
    Fotograaf: Jan-Willem Kaltenbach
    Styling: Alette Kraan
    Set Design: Florian Legters
    DOP: Rutger Storm
    Music: Paraphrase
    Sound: Sauvage Sound
    Interactive design: Superhero Cheesecake
    Cast: Thanks to all Heineken employees who participated


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    Stroll through the busy streets of New York City (or any city, for that matter) and chances are you'll hear and see street performers playing beautiful melodies. If you're like most busy New Yorkers, though, you'll have your headphones in, head down, paying little to no attention to your surroundings.

    For those who make a living playing music on the street, it can be discouraging to see people walk by, day after day, unaware of the hard work they've put in.

    JetBlue, with creative agency Rokkan, figured out a way to recognize a few of these buskers, and offer them a life-changing opportunity in the process, with this "Let Music Move You" stunt. 

    Watch the stunt first, spoiler free: 



    In partnership with VH1 Save The Music and students from P.S. 48 in the Bronx, the airline presented three musicians with a year of free airfare. Kids from P.S. 48 approached each of the street performers and presented them with their vouchers, which of course was all captured on film.

    The stunt is similar to work JetBlue has done in the past, from offering flyers free trips for enduring crying babies on a long flight to encouraging New Yorkers to steal bus-shelter ads for a reward including round-trip flight vouchers. This particular stunt gives the viewer a warm, fuzzy feeling after seeing the emotional responses each deserving performer has upon receiving a year of free travel.   

    The hope now is that these three performers will spend the next year traveling across the country and inspiring people, young and old, with their amazing musical abilities. 

    CREDITS
    JetBlue: "Let Music Move You"
    Client: JetBlue Airways
    Agency: Rokkan

    JetBlue
    Vice President, Marketing: Jamie Perry
    Brand, Advertising Director: Elizabeth Windram,
    Corporate Social Responsibility Director: Icema Gibbs
    Regional Marketing, Consumer Promotions Manager: Tara Carson
    Corporate Social Responsibility Manager: Irma Arizmendi
    Corporate Communications Managers: Morgan Johnston, Tamara Young, Danielle Sandars
    Advertising Manager: Phillip Ma
    Consumer Promotions Analyst: Jaclyn Costantino
    Brand Analyst: Chan Tran

    VH1
    Press and Talent Relations Manager: Trell Thomas
    Corporate Sponsorships, Special Events Director: Jennifer Dunn

    Creative – Rokkan/Hone Production
    Chief Creative Officer (Rokkan): Brian Carley
    Chief Delivery Officer (Rokkan): Joe Tao
    Creative Directors (Rokkan): Anthony DiPaula, Jeffrey Samson
    Associate Copywriter (Rokkan): Katie Lee
    Associate Art Director (Rokkan): Alexander Junquera
    Account Supervisor (Rokkan): Jenna Clapp
    Producer (Rokkan): Michael Wallace
    Executive Producer (Hone Production): Greg Tharp
    Senior Producer (Hone Production): Tina Lam

    Production
    Electric Arts Films
    Producer: Dave Stekert
    Director: Jonathan Yi

    Editorial
    Fluid
    Editor: Peter Sabatino,
    Senior Producer: Valerie Iorio

    Talent
    Superfly Productions
    Programming Director: Josh Roth
    Client Services Director: Jen Ondrejicka
    Client Services Manager: Alyssa Hrabik
    Programming Coordinator: Emily Roehl
    Interns: Amanda Charlow, Adrienne Taylor

    Mediahub
    Vice President, Associate Media Director: Rachel Allen
    Media Supervisor: Shoshana Levine

    PR/Social
    MullenLowe
    Senior Vice President, PR Account Director: Jaclyn Ruelle
    Account Supervisors: Becky Brand, Brittany Topham

    Sunshine Sachs
    Account Manager, Chad Davis
    Senior Account Executive, Claire Tonneson
    Junior Account Executive, Kaila Frisone


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    Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller has some big cleats to fill as the latest Old Spice guy, following popular pitchmen Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews as the star of Wieden + Kennedy's high-profile ads for the P&G brand.

    In a pair of spots tagged "Unforsweatable," touting Old Spice's Hardest Working Collection of deodorants and body washes, Miller quickly establishes his game plan. Less self-consciously suave than Mustafa, and way less manic than Crews (who came off like a crazed human cartoon character in some of his Old Spice appearances), Miller exudes a highly relatable vibe, and his confident charm really shines through.

    "The Road," online now and running Sunday during the Broncos-Colts telecast, shows him taking the "less traveled" route through the Mojave Desert, wielding a jackhammer and pavement pounder like a pro.



    Dude appears to be having a grand old time, even if he doesn't bust out the moves like he did for Madden 17.

    "Be Harder," also currently online, though it won't break on TV until mid-season, finds Miller keeping cool as he overcomes a series of absurd in-game challenges such as a limbo contest and egg-spoon race—all with his arm stuck inside a hornets' nest, naturally.



    Director Steve Rogers, who helmed Nike's epic sports-themed "Snow Day" commercial, also from W+K, adopts a sitcom-y style that's fast-paced but less jerky and jokey than some Old Spice ads. This approach puts the spotlight squarely on Miller, allowing his considerable charisma to carry the day despite the busy (and buzzy) goings-on.

    For the race against the schoolgirls in "Be Harder," Miller's egg was glued to his spoon, while the kids had to balance theirs for real. Tough luck, ladies! (Away from football, Miller raises chickens. Wonder if he brought his own egg to the shoot?)

    CREDITS
    Client: Old Spice
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland
    Creative Directors: Matt Sorrell, Ashley Davis Marshall
    Copywriters: Ryan Niland ("The Road"), Andy Laugenour ("Be Harder")
    Art Directors: Chen Liang ("The Road"), Derrick Ho ("Be Harder")
    Producer: Melanie Fedunok
    BA: Nestor Gandia
    Account Executives: Dave Ellerbee, Georgie Gooley, Madison Savary

    Production Co.: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Steve Rodgers
    Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
    Executive Producer: Holly Vega
    Head of Production: Rachel Glaub
    Head of Production: Mercedes Allen-Sarria
    UPM: Jay Veal
    Production Supervisor: Jennifer Berry
    Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth
    Production Designer: Bruce Mccluskey

    Editorial Co.: Mack Cut
    Editor: Gavin Cutler
    Asst. Editor: Brendan Hogan
    Post Executive Producer: Gina Pagano

    VFX & Design: The Mill
    Head of Production: Dan Roberts 
    Producer: Kris Drenzek
    Production Coordinator: Samantha Hernandez
    Creative Director: Tim Davies


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    Among Hollywood's few remaining household names, Tom Cruise is famous for acting like a robot, Tom Hanks for doubling as everyone's next-door neighbor, and Nic Cage for freaking the hell out. But can any living human truly reproduce the former Nicolas Coppola's unearthly wail or his uncanny ability to convince viewers that things are not quite right beneath what's left of his hair?

    Cage's famously horrifying voice has yet to replace the Wilhelm Scream as the industry's go-to shriek. But a few German creatives recently teamed up to make a site that not-so-scientifically gauges one's ability to match his volume and intensity.

    The Nic Cage Rage Page asks, "When push comes to shove, when shit hits the fan, could you do it? Could you Rage Like Cage?"

    It's a simple process: Load the page, enable your microphone, and scream like you just learned Donald Trump might actually win this thing.

    Creative David Simons (at center in the pic below) came up with the project with help from copywriter Javed Jasani (left), art director Evgeniya Marukhina (right) and developer Igor Terekhov (not pictured).



    "I was sitting at my desk one day, and I realized I've always wanted to be able to scream like Nic Cage," Simons tells AdFreak. "Javed said I couldn't do it. Evgeniya said the only way to find out was to measure it. And so the Nic Cage Rage Page was born. With the help of Igor, the development took about two months. We officially launched Monday. We've been really happy that it's gotten the response that it has." 

    Most participants score a 5 or 6, and Simons claims "some of our louder ragers have gotten up to 8." But no one has yet been able to truly compete with Cage. "If by any chance you know Nic Cage, we'd love to see what score he'd get," Simons says. 

    Sadly, we do not know the star of Moonstruck and Peggy Sue Got Married. And we were only able to achieve a yelp score of 5 out of Cage. But that was still loud enough to startle our comfortably napping dog, who has obviously never watched Ghost Rider, Face/Off or Con Air with the volume all the way up. 

    Don't try this at work unless you want to make your colleagues profoundly uncomfortable. In the meantime, here is an unofficial compilation of Mr. Cage "losing his shit" that includes blatant abuse of the F-word. 


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    Ad agency Preacher shoved live ferrets down actors' shirts for the latest Tommy John commercial. It did so to illustrate the indignities men often suffer owing to ill-fitting undershirts, and position the client's products as the solution.

    Way to go, actors! You struggled through all those drama classes and years of waiting tables ... for this. Behold the squirmy action, as the men's tops bunch up, stretch out and come untucked in various situations:



    "Our first idea started with cats," Preacher creative chief Rob Baird tells AdFreak. "That lasted one presentation. Once we got serious about pursuing this idea, the combination of logistics of size and concern about cat lovers' response to putting them under dress shirts made us move to other options. Ferrets were on a shortlist of players, including hamsters and snakes. But once we found out they love to burrow and then Googled ferrets for a visual refresher—seeing their aggressive little faces—they seemed perfect."

    "Perfect." That's one word for it.

    Running at 60 seconds online, with shorter TV edits, "Undershirt Undoing" follows "The Big Adjustment," Tommy John's popular spot from last year that gets its kicks below the waistline. No ferrets were used in the making of that commercial. (Or so they say.)



    "Obviously, following the success of 'The Big Adjustment' was a tough challenge," says client chief marketer Josh Dean. "Undershirts are a low-engagement category, so we needed to do something that stood out creatively, but also educated men on the product itself and show what differentiates Tommy John from everything else in the market. Ferrets always help!"

    Do they? Do they really?

    In the making-of video, they're hella creepy. Those "aggressive little faces" poke out of shirts like fuzzy Aliens emerging from the depths of the actors' digestive tracks.



    "Usually, once the ferrets were tucked inside the shirts for several fast-action takes, they wanted to sleep," says Baird. "Our animal handlers had plenty of treats tucked throughout our actors' shirts to keep them moving and causing annoyance for our guys. The smart ones usually ate their treats and found the quickest exit—usually through a neck or button opening in the shirt. We have to give our actors a lot of credit for playing it so well and staying calm—the discomfort was real. Fortunately, we had no bites."

    Lingering nightmares, we imagine, are another matter entirely.

    CREDITS
    Client: Tommy John
    Chief Executive Officer: Tom Patterson
    Chief Marketing Officer: Josh Dean
    Senior Art Director: Fawad Khan
    Producer: Allison Wicke
    Director of Social Media: Monica Fineis

    Agency: Preacher
    Chief Creative Officer: Rob Baird
    Copywriter: Mark Svartz
    Executive Producer: Stacey Higgins
    Agency Producer: Katie Stoller
    Assistant Agency Producer: Zach Tavel
    Brand Director: Amanda VanAntwerp
    Chief Executive Officer: Krystle Loyland
    Chief Strategy Officer: Seth Gaffney
    Senior Strategist: Carson Mobley
    Business Affairs: Miiko Martin

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Executive Producers: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Jacqui Wilkinson
    Director: Neil Harris
    Head of Production: Andrew Colon
    Line Producer: Claire Jones
    Director of Photography: Tat Radcliffe
    Production Services (Lithuania): Nordic Productions
    Services Producer: Greta Kleine

    Edit House: Cartel
    Executive Producer: Lauren Bleiweiss
    Head of Production: Meagan Carroll
    Producer: Dale Nicholls
    Editor: Andy McGraw 
    Assistant Editors: Matt Berardi, Micah Chase

    Music: Black Iris
    Track: Misery
    Composer: Trey Pollard
    Executive Creative Director: Justin Bailey
    Creative Director: Rich Stine
    Executive Producer: Jon Spencer
    Senior Producer: Amanda Patterson

    Mix: Lime
    Sound Engineer: Rohan Young
    Assistant Sound Engineer: Ben Tomastik

    Finish House: Cartel
    Senior Flame Artist: Wes Waldron
    Color: Ntropic
    Colorist: Marshall Plante


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    Have you ever heard what people say about Latinos? They're intense, passionate and "macho"—a quality that's often seen as protective.

    Obviously, these are stereotypes. Another side of the "Latin man" is that he can be sensitive and expressive. But embracing "machismo" for its good qualities, without examining the bad stuff, can have unpleasant cultural side effects—like controlling behavior, which can lead to femicide, not to mention relatively unpunished rape. 

    (Hey. Sounds familiar.)

    To show its support ahead of an Aug. 13 protest in Peru, Grupo el Comercio-owned newspaper Peru 21, one of the most popular papers in the country, tossed its cover pages into the ring. With help from McCann Lima, the paper converted its front and back pages into signs that protesters could grab off newsstands, flip open and carry in the streets. 

    Each featured a pink background with phrases like "Violence is not love," "To be silent is to be an accomplice," and "Nobody has the right to touch you." The slogans come from actual physical and sexual violence victims, which number 32 percent of Peruvian women. 

    Activations included social media and PR. 



    The protest was a big deal for Peru—it was the first major rally for women's rights. But it's also one more ripple in a movement, "#NiUnaMenos" or "Not One Less," that's gained traction in Latin America over the past year. At its heart, it's a movement against machismo. Marches have spread from Argentina to Mexico, where six women are killed daily.

    Of the 25 countries with the highest femicide rates, over half come from Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of the killings go unsolved. In Peru, where 16 women on average are apparently raped every day, the Aug. 13 march numbered about 100,000 people in multiple cities, shouting slogans like, "You touch one of us, you touch us all."

    "Peru 21 is a newspaper that aims to give Peruvians a voice in social matters, taking an important role in positive social changes. By embracing this idea, they became an active tool for protesters to be heard even louder," says Mauricio Fernandez Maldonado, general creative director at McCann Lima.

    The agency is building a serious social-change-making track record. In March, it showcased the work it's done with South American airline LAN, promoting a program where disadvantaged kids can take free trips to Lima, the country's capital. Over five years, 350 of the poorest kids got to experience air travel for the first time. 

    A month before that, it shared its efforts for home goods company Sodimac Homecenter, creating a billboard that promotes "resting shelters" for tired long-distance drivers. The shelters included garages outfitted like bedrooms, with wifi, sleep masks and 24-hour security.

    The work for Peru 21 is smart, the perfect expression of a medium recognizing its role as a message. But McCann Lima should also be credited for demonstrating the impact an agency, and its clients, can have over a community and a country. 

    CREDITS

    Client: Grupo El Comercio
    Product: PERÚ21
    Motivo: "Un diario. Una pancarta."
    Agency: McCann WorldGroup Lima
    General Creative Director: Mauricio Fernandez Maldonado / Christian Caldwell
    General Creative: Omar Polo / Giovanni Macco
    Accounts director: Mirjana Slavkovic
    Account Executive: Maria Gracia Vasquez
    Production Director Agency: Alonso Palomino
    Agency Producer: Pimi Ravizza
    Casa realizadora: Locomotor
    Productor Ejecutivo: Carlos Cía Almeida
    Directores: Sebastian Vereau / Ariel Ormeño (DOS)
    Animaciónes: Raúl Diaz
    Audio: Kazoo

    Perú21
    Director: Juan José Garrido
    Editor: Diego Salazar
    Hearings Editors: Esther Vargas
    Brand Manager: Grethel Morales
    Brand coordinator: Marcia Oviedo
    Marketing Asistant : Claudia Chávez
    Editorial Producer: Christian Saurré
    Graphic Editor: Luis Hidalgo
    Editora de Actualidad: Mariella Sausa
    Editors: Lorena Obregón y Pablo Vilcachagua
    Community managers: Natalia León y Esteban Monzón
    Design: Jose Carlos Malásquez y Shirley Cjahua


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    To get people to delete their (probably long-forgotten) inactive Twitter accounts, some students from Rotterdam-based Willem de Kooning Academy created a ridiculously catchy @twittersong, with lyrics created by combining—and calling out!—handles that have been dead since March 2016. 

    "Hey you, the one who's still in their eggshell," a folksy voice sings, "Yeah you, the one who didn't say farewell. You didn't have anything to say, no tweets were coming your way. So you decided not to stay ... but why did you never fly away?"

    That's some clever word engineering!



    Creators include Mick Jongeling, former junior art director at JWT in Amsterdam.

    A 2014 Twopcharts study found Twitter had almost 430 million inactive users, which at the time totaled nearly half of its 974 million registered users. Some 44 percent of those 430 million had never tweeted at all. Many might just have been abandoned, but lots of currently inactive accounts are likely also spambots and squatted names.

    In case you wondered why anybody would care about a bunch of dead eggs, the song explains that, too: "Did you know that you hold up space? And know how much electricity it takes to keep your profile here online? So please recycle for a better world offline." 

    (It's not much written down, but it sounds way better in the video.) 

    So there you have it. Delete your old or languishing Twitter accounts. While you're at it, maybe poke around for your dead MySpace, Yahoo, AsianAvenue, Friendster and Foursquare accounts, too. In addition to healing the world, now's a good time to ensure the internet hasn't kept any awkward iterations of your existence before Instagram filters and hashtags like #blessed existed to make us all look better than we actually feel. 


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    If you fancy hanging out in the sizzling-hot middle of nowhere, with an endless expanse of sand all around and the occasional scorpion scuttling by for distraction, Audi's got the promotion for you.

    As part of its Emmy Awards sponsorship, the auto brand and Airbnb will offer fans the chance to book three-day getaways at the luxury Rondolino Residence in Death Valley, Nevada. The place is so isolated, it has no actual address—just coordinates on a map.

    Guests get to drive a 2017 Audi R8 during their stay, which also includes chauffeur service from the airport, meals prepared by a personal chef and, according to press materials, "evening entertainment/activities." (Scorpion races, perhaps?)

    To tout the promo, Venables Bell & Partners created the fun spot below—it almost feels like a Supwer Bowl ad—which is running online and will also air during ABC's Emmys telecast on Sunday.

    Subtly titled "Desolation," the clip was shot in and around the Rondolino house, and it traffics in dry humor—very dry humor, given the desert locale, with Dad getting a tad absent-minded beneath the relentless rays of the sun:



    A java run in that heat? Maybe they were planning to make ice coffee. (Pretty cool, though, how that old-timey phonograph clack-clacks along with the soundtrack.) 

    "We came across the Death Valley home on Airbnb," Loren Angelo, Audi of America's vp of marketing, tells AdFreak. "We immediately knew this would be the place for this car to call home, away from traffic lights, speed limits, congestion that might slow you down."

    The target audience, he says, consists of "anyone with a sense of adventure. Since we air during the Emmys, we hope the campaign resonates with the wide audience that tunes in. But more specifically, we know that Gen X and millennials will respond most to the campaign, as those audiences are more likely to book a travel experience like this."

    And if the folks who book the place start freaking out from all that arid desolation, the R8's ability to top 200 mph should get them back to civilization in no time.

    More pics of the Rondolino house below. 



    CREDITS
    Client: Audi of America
    Spot: "Desolation"
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
    Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
    Creative Directors: Justin Moore, Erich Pfeifer
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Matt Miller
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Matt Keats
    Senior Art Director: Kyle Jones
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Senior Producer: Matt Flaker
    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Craig Gillespie
    Director of Photography: Phillip Lesourd
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Producer: Martha Davis
    Editing Company: Final Cut Editorial
    Head of Production/Final Cut: Suzy Ramirez
    Editor: Crispin Struthers
    Music Company: Human
    Composer: James Lei Bow
    Creative Director: Craig Deleon
    Executive Producer: Jonathan Sanford
    Sound Design and Mix: 740 Sound
    Mixer: Chris Pinkston
    Sound Designers: Chris Pinkston, A. Josh Reinhardt, Rob Marshall
    Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
    Producer: Jeff Martin
    Associate Producer of Mix: Geena Richard
    VFX/Finish: Framestore
    Colorist: Beau Leon
    VFX Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
    VFX Senior Producer: James Alexander
    VFX Creative Director: Alex Thomas
    Head of Brand Management: David Corns
    Brand Directors: Chris Bergen, Ally Humpherys
    Assistant Brand Manager: Bri Jones
    Project Manager: Talya Fisher, Leah Murphy


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    When Apple introduced its wireless AirPod earphones at its media event last week, there was immediate suspicion that these cute little gizmos might pose a particular problem for consumers. Conan O'Brien latches on to that criticism in very amusing style with the parody ad below—spoofing Apple's famous iPod "Silhouettes" ads from the early 2000s. LOL in particular at the dog at the end. Well played. 


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    Travel has become more accessible for Londoners, thanks to easyJet, whose latest "Why Not?" campaign by VCCP has a pretty basic premise: It's the story of the many adventures awaiting a woman whose flight is about to take off. 

    Strange little details give the ad unexpected vivacity. It opens with a molting man made of flowers running across the runway like Alice's White Rabbit. He's late, he's late! Suddenly our heroine is yanked right out of the plane and into the hangar, where tropes of a European vacation—open-air markets, street artists—are given the Gulliver's Travels treatment, transforming the exotic into the surreal. 

    In one scene, the protagonist even appears relaxing on a beach, surrounded by a spray of tiny humans. 



    The ad ends where the real adventure begins—in the seat of the plane, where we're told easyJet offers 300,000 seats to Europe for £29.99 each. That's around $40, less than what some people pay for underwear. 

    "Dinner in Barcelona? Why not? Trumpet festival in Budapest? Why not? Six hours in Amsterdam? Seriously, why not?" VCCP probes.

    The ad was shot by Canada. The pan-European brand campaign will include print, out-of-home and digital out-of-home, where travelers will be prettily choreographed by the Wade Brothers. EasyJet will also run an immersive element in the heart of London, where it will "bring a European city" to the locals. A social competition will give people the chance to win their own adventure.

    "Why Not?" may be unusual, but it's a return to basics for easyJet. In May, it tried encouraging people to discover more of the continent by promoting Sneakairs—sneakers that vibrate to subtly guide travelers to their destinations, so they don't have to stare down at Google Maps while exploring.

    VCCP, for its part, has always been a bit out of this world. Earlier this year, in a First Utility spot, it positioned unicorns as a bold new power source.


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    Jason Kander, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Roy Blunt for his U.S. Senate seat in Missouri. And Kander will be getting plenty of attention for his cause thanks to this remarkable new campaign ad he just released in response to Blunt attacking him on the issue of guns.

    Kander, 35, is Missouri's secretary of state. He also happens to be an Afghanistan war veteran. And his literally hands-on message about guns leaves quite the impression. Indeed, this is the kind of spot that can swing a race. 


    Despite the regular mass shootings in the U.S., background-check legislation has not made much headway in Congress, even though the majority of Americans support it. Many Second Amendment advocates say background checks would limit a constitutionally guaranteed right, while those in favor of them say they would keep weapons out of the wrong hands. 


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    Here's a pretty great out-of-home execution for Oliver Stone's upcoming film Snowden, about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—a billboard that's been spying on pedestrians in Toronto and streaming footage of their movements on the street.

    Snowden's revelations about the NSA, of course, raised troubling questions about mass surveillance. And the billboard—timed to the Toronto International Film Festival, where Stone's movie premiered—itself embodies those very issues.

    DentsuBos and Elevation Pictures set up surveillance cameras with motion tracking technology around Dundas Square. The cameras tracked pedestrians' movements and livestreamed them onto a giant video board.

    "It was very interesting seeing people's reactions," said Jon Frier, creative director at Dentsubos. "Some felt violated, some terrified, and some even praised it as the creepiest thing ever. Funnily, almost all looked around to see if there were other cameras spying on them. Which in itself is very telling."

    DentsuBos worked with Cieslock Media on the billboard, which will be up through Sunday. 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.


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    We started the week with cats, and we're ending it that way, too.

    There's no better time than a Friday afternoon to check out this ad for Japan-based international delivery company Yamato Transport starring a series of black cats dancing, DJing and posing seductively while riffing on a simple piano ditty played by millions of children around the world.

    The cats in this spot are fairly impressive. To start things off, our furry protagonist finally achieves what distant cousin Tom never could over hundreds of episodes—entering the mouse hole and experiencing the overdressed wonders within. 

    Yeah, things just get stranger from there.



    We do have some (limited) context for this exercise in brightly colored debauchery, which seems to illustrate the dream lives of feline bachelors. 

    The creative concept was inspired by "The Flea Waltz" or "Der Flohwalzer," a simple piano piece by an unknown composer that's a close relative of "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul" in terms of being the first one that many young piano players learn.

    In Japan, it's known colloquially as "Neko Funjata" or "I Stepped on the Cat." But as our pseudo-rapping narrator informs us, it's really a bit more than that:

    Yo yo yo, you know in many foreign countries
    The song 'I stepped on a Cat' isn't a song about cats at all
    Instead it can be the Dog Waltz, the Tick March
    The donkey, the duck or the monkey. There're so many variations. 

    You learn new things every day. But what does any of this have to do with delivery services? Yamato's logo depicting a black cat carrying her kitten implies the company will care for your valuable items as though they were family members. And the trio who appear around the 2:49 mark seem to be delivering a series of boxes containing—surprise!—black cats.

    But trying to make sense of this ad is a losing battle, so let's just follow the lyrics: "Alright, everybody let's say it together now! Meow!" 

    You got that?


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    Earlier this week, Apple finally made iOS 10 available for everyone to download. A big part of the launch was a lot of new features for the iMessage app. But what really got people's attention (because the internet is less about functionality than about kitschy features) was that you can now add stickers to your iMessage conversations. 

    Stickers, in case you're not 15 years old, are little graphics you can append to pictures you're sending to friends via iMessage. They're similar to the stickers you can now add to pictures on Twitter and in Snapchat filters, and are part of the trend of media personalization on social networks and messaging apps, meant to let people find new and interesting ways to express themselves by customizing their photos. 

    (An aside: This is in no way new behavior. Anyone who had a Trapper Keeper back in the day and decked it out with Metallica stickers, or Captain America decals, or other elements of self-expression, knows what I'm talking about. For that matter, so does anyone who put a "Packers Suck" bumper sticker on the back of their 1992 Chevy Cavalier. Not that I know anything about any of those examples.)

    Some of the first companies to offer these iMessage stickers are, of course, movie and entertainment studios. Disney, in particular, jumped in big time with packs for Star Wars and Finding Dory, among others. And Madman Films is offering a pack featuring characters from its recent indie hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is so random and awesome it's kind of hard to deal with.



    Those are all movies that have come and gone from theaters, though, with the exception of Star Wars, which will have new movies coming out each year until the sun goes nova on us. What's missing is anything new and urgent—basically, anything that's part of a new or upcoming movie's current marketing cycle. 

    It's easy to envision how stickers could fit into a movie marketing campaign because it's basically the same way Snapchat filters do now. Just looking at the next couple of weeks worth of releases, there are a number of movies that could successfully execute stickers. 

    The Magnificent Seven could offer cartoonish versions of the characters, along with some of their dry witticisms. Storks is kind of a no-brainer, with lots of potential to play up the humor of the movie with little figures. Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children could offer stickers for each peculiar child that would be a great fit for allowing people to express themselves through this format.

    The trick with this is that sticker packs cost money, while Snapchat filters and Twitter stickers are free to the user. So, the studio or company producing them has to make them attractive enough to warrant $1.99 from the audience, who are basically being asked to pay for the privilege of helping to market the movie. That's a big ask.

    It will be interesting to see if any studios jump on this not just to offer evergreen material but something more fresh and current. The potential is there to activate an audience that's increasingly comfortable using media add-ons to express themselves as part of their social personality, and do so in the service of a movie that's just about to hit theaters. 


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    Apple broke a pair of iPhone 7 commercials during the Emmy Awards on Sunday night, advertising the latest incarnation of the device with the line: "Practically magic." The spots push two improvements in particular—the camera's upgraded abilities in low light, and the phone's overall new water resistance.

    The low-light camera benefit got the prime placement—a 60-second spot (from TBWA\Media Arts Lab) which, aptly enough, features some of the best lighting we've seen in a commercial in some time. The plot concerns a skateboarder who goes for a midnight ride, snapping pics along the way of everything from moths around a lightbulb to a deer strolling around a gas station.

    The spot also hints briefly at the phone's water resistance, as our hero takes presumably rather more dubious footage for posterity of some lawn sprinklers that he cruises through early in the ad. 

    The music is "In a Black Out" by Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam, and it's one of those tracks that people will seek out just from the commercial. On that front, the timing couldn't be better, as the album, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, is being released this week. 



    A second spot, a :30 (produced in-house by Apple), focuses squarely on the water resistance, featuring a cyclist at dawn preparing for a soaking ride in the rain. He's confident enough that the iPhone won't wither like a witch in water that he straps it to the front of his bike to gauge his progress.

    The music is "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC.



    The ads are very nicely made, and very traditional in their focus on two of the iPhone 7's foremost features. The "Practically magic" line has a nice little double meaning—suggesting the product improvements might feel almost like magic, and also that they're not just esoteric but will have a practical effect on your use of the device.

    Separately, Apple also released the first big spot for the Apple Watch Series 2. Like the iPhone ads, the :60 below (made in-house by Apple) is expertly crafted, with all sorts of lovely visual set pieces. And it's also practically minded, pushing the device's new built-in GPS and water resistance up to 50 meters. 

    The music on the watch spot is "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone. 


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    There's a certain kind of advertising that you know is vying for a Cannes Lion, the kind of prestige work that will really make you think about the state of humanity—and if you're lucky, the brand behind the spot. 

    Apple Music's new spot, which broke on Sunday night's Emmy Award telecast and pointed to the extended online version version below (brilliant timing, A+ media team), has James Corden pitching ad ideas for Apple Music—goofy and, later, overly ambitious ideas—much to the chagrin of Apple's execs, who'd rather just tell people about the app's functionality. 



    First, let's admit this idea is hardly new. In fact, Samsung did it for the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, with Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen pitching ad ideas to Bob Odenkirk (who played a Samsing exec). 

    But Apple goes beyond the talking heads to have Corden act out some of his pitches (though thankfully, not the one where he's giving birth to Justin Bieber, who's giving birth to Anthony Kiedis, who's giving birth to an iPhone). You're on board with Corden's kooky ideas and curious to see what they'd look like—and then bang, there you have it and it's beautiful. You're also just as skeptical as the Apple Music execs, wondering how he could possibly advertise the product, but it's so pretty and weird that you're willing to go with it. 

    That the spot—made by Translation in collaboration with Corden's production company, Fulwell73—is somehow able to skewer and pay homage to a certain kind of advertising with a light, fun touch makes it all the more endearing. 


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    Here's a little inside-baseball stunt for all your advertising production people out there. Scotts Canada is running a new commercial that shows how Scotts Turf Builder Green Max will make you grass so green, you can even use it as a green screen.

    "After feeding the grass, we successfully tested it as a fully functional green screen. The endless creative possibilities were only limited by our imagination. This living demo did a fantastic job delivering on the brand promise, " says Scotts Canada director of marketing Glenn Martin.



    The stunt was dreamed up by agency Rethink, whose entertaining antics for the Scotts brand also including this intentionally annoying preroll earlier this year.

    The green-screen spot launched on Facebook during the Toronto International Film Festival to target movie production buffs.

    Beyond the spot, there were some live on-lawn demos, too. The agency fed lawns in high-traffic areas like Toronto's Regent Park with Turf Builder Green Max. Once the grass was good and green, they invited passersby to participate in the world's first grass green screen.

    Visitors could select from scenes including Paris, shark-infested waters and outer space, and were then green screened and photographed by professional photographer Stephen MacLeod.



    CREDITS

    Client: Scotts Canada
    Title: Scotts Green Screen

    Agency: Rethink
    Creative Director: Aaron Starkman
    Art Director: Jake Bundock
    Writer: Andrew Chhour
    Broadcast Producer: Catherine Dumas
    Account Director: Marie Lunny
    Content Strategist: Leah Gregg

    Production Company: Suneeva
    Executive Producer: Geoff Cornish
    Directors Rep: Hannah Gill
    Producer: Evan Landry

    Director: Shelly Lewis
    Director of photography: Kris Belchevski

    Editing House: School
    Editor: Mark Morton

    On-line: The Vanity
    On-line Artist: Michael Medeiros

    Transfer: Alter Ego
    Colourist: Patrick Samaniego

    Audio House: RMW/ Vapor
    Executive Producer: Jeff Cohen
    Producer/Composer: Dustin Anstey
    Audio Engineer: Ryan Chalmers


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    Every brand story contains an element of myth.

    In the case of Jack Daniel's, legend has it that the brand's founder, Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, had a mysterious safe that led to his death. 

    One day, after forgetting the combination, he kicked it so hard that he gave himself gangrene. An infection passed from his sore toe to his whole foot, then to his leg, which was amputated. This didn't stop the gangrene from traveling, however, and Daniel ultimately died in 1911, at age 61, of progressive gangrene complications. 

    Since then, the safe has never left his office, which is part of a living museum in Lynchburg, Tenn. In terms of brand lore, this is Jack Daniel's Heart of the Ocean—a weird talisman that's traveled, untouched, through time. Maybe it's even cursed. 

    But for the first time ever, it's hitting the road. From now until Saturday, you can see the safe that cost the brand its founder at a pop-up experience called Jack Daniel's Lynchburg General Store, located at 155 5th Ave. in New York City. 



    The store is a celebration of the brand's 150th birthday and will be action-packed with experiences, organized by agency Mirrorball (which kindly also provided all these photos). These include charcoal whisky mellowing demos and tastings, a VR tour of the Lynchburg distillery, and collaborations with local artists, designers and makers. For a price, score "guy-centric" grooming supplies and limited-edition or rare items.

    The General Store will also display historic brand moments, including the Gold Medal that Jack Daniel's won at the 1904 World's Fair, a tribute to Frank Sinatra's love of the whiskey, backstage appearances with various 1960s rock legends, and punk memorabilia from the '70s.



    The safe, meanwhile, will continue its journey long after the pop-up store is shuttered. Barrel maker Kevin Sanders is charged with its safekeeping (ha!), and will be transporting it to Chicago in October and Miami in November. 

    Here's a picture of Sanders—the guy on the right—lugging it around like a champ:



    Sadly, nobody will be permitted to kick it. Like the Mona Lisa, security will be on-site to ensure the half-ton unit's secrets remain its own. If you're dying of curiosity, Sanders will open it at some point during the pop-up. (Spoiler: We asked, and it's empty—but maybe they'll fill it with swag, just for you!)


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    Basketball jerseys might seem like an odd medium for honoring historical figures or making political statements, but maybe the post-Kaepernick sports era is more woke than the one before it. It's certainly made for better designs, if these images of the Memphis Grizzlies team jerseys are any indication.

    The Grizzlies will wear these jerseys in January 2017 to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and the subtle touches in the design inform how well the whole thing came together. Instead of a straightforward image of King, the jersey's aesthetics reference the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated in 1968.

    The piping, for example, looks like the motel's walkway railings, and the teal accents are the same color as the motel's doors. Additionally, the wreath hanging on the motel's facade in remembrance of King's death is included in the jersey design. The Grizzlies talk more about the design here; even the black color and design of the wordmark come from the Lorraine. 

    Even if it was ugly, this jersey would earn points for its sentimental subject matter. But again, the fact that every detail was so carefully considered makes the overall design work. This kind of intentionality is something more teams should consider, really. Referencing specific landmarks and history in the details of a jersey design conveys a certain respect for the community that any good sports team should have anyway.

    It would certainly make the owner's inevitable request for a new, taxpayer-funded stadium easier to stomach, too.

    The jersey will help kick off the National Civil Rights Museum's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination in April 2018. "The MLK50 Pride uniform to be worn for the first time on Jan. 15 during our annual weekend Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration is a means of both furthering our partnership with the National Civil Rights Museum and creating awareness of the museum's vital message of social and economic justice in our city, our nation and the world," said Grizzlies president of business operations Jason Wexler. 

    Via Co.Design.


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    Do you view insurance companies as soulless corporate monoliths powered by greed and shamefully disconnected from the customers they serve?

    Yeah, that's what a lot of us believe. And Sonnet, an online insurer launching today in Canada, aims to dispel such notions by flogging optimism in ads created by Johannes Leonardo.

    Speaking of launches, the spot below presents a mission control/blast-off scenario, with shots of earnest flight controllers and a rather unusual rocket rocket rising from the pad, punctuated by a Michael J. Fox voiceover that begins, "It took us to the stars. Overcame countless obstacles. It wasn't a single bright mind. Or money. Or politics. No. It was something much more powerful."

    Clearly, M.J.'s building to something here. Is it … optimism? Get to the point, McFly! The ad's kind of hokey, but earns a big thumbs up for its memorably trippy imagery:



    Looks like you're in good hand with Sonnet.

    "We wanted to match the audaciousness of what's been going on behind the scenes [at Sonnet] and clearly state our ambition to change insurance for the better," agency creative chief Leo Premutico tells Adweek. "The thumbs-up, the most simple visual expression for optimism there is, felt like the perfect vehicle to do so. We had to be arresting and make sure Canadians understand Sonnet is not your typical insurance company."

    He describes Fox as "a living demonstration of the power of positivity," and indeed, the actor's perseverance in the face of Parkinson's disease has been inspiring. His involvement lends the campaign considerable class and credibility.

    "He's a truly inspiring individual, and just spending time with him in the recording booth is an experience that stays with you," Premutico says. "His talent, humor and presence shine through as strongly as ever, and his unique voice leaves an indelible mark on the advertising."

    Fox's tone—confident and convivial, like a friend chatting into your ear—elevates the next spot, which takes a sunny approach to life's journey, telling its tale from a newborn's point of view:



    "We wanted to remind our audience of how precious that positive frame of mind we are all born with really is," Premutico says, "and inspire them to protect it while they're insuring their things."

    Sonnet lays on the optimism kinda thick, but John Rocco, the company's vp of marketing, believes that strategy should appeal to millennial consumers. "In a category overpowered by pessimism, it's easy for this audience to feel cynical," he says. "The heart of this campaign is not simply to introduce a new insurance company, but to do it in a way that breaks through that cynicism about what's possible, and show that insurance can be fast, fair and clear."

    As for the tagline, "What's the best that can happen?"—a low-stress insurance experience, and timely payouts without hassles, would be just fine.

    If Sonnet doesn't deliver, well, folks can always launch a different finger in protest.

    CREDITS
    Client: Sonnet
    Agency: Johannes Leonardo
    Directors/Production Cos.:
    Gary Freedman, Biscuit ("What's the Best that can Happen?")
    Malcom Venville, Anonymous ("Journey") 


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