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In Austin, Texas, they don't miss a beat—or a tweet—thanks to a giant outdoor metronome created by classical music station KMFA-FM and ad agency Archer Malmo.
Built for $14,000 ahead of KMFA's 50th anniversary next year, the 6-foot-high by 10-foot-wide aluminum and plexiglass installation sits downtown at the corner of Fifth and Neches Streets. Connected to a system that filters tweets based on geolocation data, the device measures "the tempo of Austin." The more the city tweets, the faster the metronome ticks.
The metronome is also viewable online.
"We want people to give KMFA a try—it's not a stereotypical, stodgy classical music station," agency executive creative director Matt Rand tells AdFreak. "That audience happens to be younger and use Twitter more, so basing our 'heartbeat of the city' off Twitter volume is a fitting way to connect with them."
Actually, leveraging Twitter in this way seems kind of 2011 in marketing terms. But remember, this is a classical station, where they routinely play music that was popular hundreds of years ago. So, for this crew, counting tweets is pretty up-to-date! (Just kidding. Tell Tchaikovsky the news!)
Decorated with cartoon imagery by designer Kong Wee Pang, the metronome exudes a retro-Southwestern vibe. It's almost like an outsized illustration from a children's book.
"People definitely stop and stare," says Rand. "Once passersby know it's powered by Twitter and that it's real-time, there's an a-ha moment that's fun to watch as people tweet away. It's also on the grounds of a city museum, so people are really treating it like an art piece."
He adds: "It's in a very visible spot downtown, right next door to a fire station, so that probably helps keep it protected [from vandals and thieves]. That, and praying."
The average pulse of Austin, by the way, is 90 beats per minute, though the pace soared to 120 bmp over Columbus Day weekend, owing largely to buzz around the second presidential debate. When Clinton and Trump square off again on Wednesday, who knows? That metronome could hit thrash-punk time and explode into oblivion.
Client - KMFA-FM
Agency - Archer Malmo
Senior CW - Dan Crumrine
Senior AD - Cat Albritton
Illustrator - Kong Wee Pang
ECD - Matt Rand
Developers - Abhilash Shamsunder & Nick Welp
Production studio - Flatfork Studio
Has watching too much anime on your phone left you with painful hand cramps? Then you're in luck, because Japanese anime network Animax made a hands-free, crotch-harness smartphone holder that looks like a huge swan growing out of your private parts.
Now you can watch all the anime you want!
This useless solution to the actual problem of watching too much anime on your phone is an example of the Japanese art of Chindogu—a fanciful invention that causes more problems than it solves. In this case, according to the video below, it lets you look awesome in coffee shops, maid cafes, the gym and even at work. But be warned, it can get stuck in elevator doors, though it also appears to draw the attention of swan-harness-loving hotties.
Of course, if you don't want a giant swan gracefully erupting from your genitals, they have Samurai, Cobra, Geisha and Tengu phone holders. A Tengu is a supernatural creature from the Shinto religion with a long, long nose (which is supposed to represent a bird beak, not a penis, get your mind out of the gutter).
If you want to get technical, the device is not actually for sale—it's just a viral promotional video for the fact that the anime network is available streaming on your phone. Which is too bad, really, because it would be the ideal holiday gift for the Pokemon Go lover in your life.
Joss Whedon has directed a few more ads in for his pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC called Save the Day since this star-studded effort back in September.
In one, released on Oct. 6, a British man still upset over the whole #Brexit thing asks the U.S. to do England a favor and vote for Trump so America will once again be the bigger moron. And in a new spot unveiled this week, Keegan-Michael Key delivers a Welcome to Night Vale style weather report full of civil unrest and nuclear bombs.
Having previously gone lowbrow by promising that you'll get to see Mark Ruffalo's peepee if you vote, the Brexit spot attempts to appeal to America's highbrow concerns, pleading rather tongue-in-cheek for us to vote for Trump to make England look better by comparison.
Anyone with a reasonable education, or who just enjoys reading news sites from other nations, has seen how we're embarrassing ourselves on the international scene during this election cycle—perhaps even more impressively than England did by voting to leave the European Union.
Will this sort of thing appeal to the undecided, unregistered or plain lazy? Well, it would depend on their level of education. For some reason dating back a couple of hundred years, the highly educated in America have cared very deeply about the opinion of the Europeans, particularly the British. We put their TV shows on our public broadcasting as if it will do us some good. Survey after survey says we consider European accents to sound smarter than our homegrown English dialect. Even our fantasy TV shows take place in magical realms where everybody speaks British English.
But if suggesting the Brits are laughing at us doesn't work, Whedon's other spot, "Weather," makes it clear that the Canadians are laughing too. Keegan-Michael Key does a spot-on weatherman impersonation while explaining on the big map how Trump's wall will fail, Wall Street will get sucked into a giant spinning vortex of doom, and the twin heat wave of rising global temperatures and hatred will be cooled off by a nuclear winter in the first 100 days of a Trump presidency. His predictions cause his morning show cohost, who voted for Jill Stein, to cry bitter tears of remorse into her coffee.
Above and beyond the "Weather" spot, all of Save The Day's dire predictions make Whedon's Romney zombie apocalypse worries of the last presidential election seem charmingly tame. I can imagine him hunched over his keyboard, rage-typing script after script using his writing superpowers in an effort to take down the opposing side in the most hilarious and viral way possible.
One thing's for sure. If I were Trump, I'd rather have Whedon at my back than on the attack.
In September, Hillary Clinton released a devastating attack ad on Donald Trump, in which young girls are seen looking at themselves in the mirror while Trump's offensive remarks about women—in particular, their looks—are heard in the background.
The ad, titled "Mirrors," has gotten more than 5 million views on YouTube, and has been hailed by many as one of Clinton's strongest ads of the year.
Barack Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, told Slate last month: "I do think that Clinton will look back, particularly in suburban areas where they will be able to really drive good margins with women, that the ads helped. That ad where they show Trump's words and children listening? That stuff works!"
Now, Kathy Griffin has springboarded off the famous spot with a great parody of it. It's not subtle, but it is hilarious. Check it out below. Note: It features lots of NSFW language.
While many of Trump's foes are tiptoeing around his more appalling statements, Griffin comes out and says what a lot of people are thinking but can't say publicly. In an election season that's been so brutal, this kind of comic relief is always welcome.
Check out the original "Mirrors" ad below.
A boy suffering from kidney failure isn't weak. He's a gladiator about to step into the ring for battle.
So says a gorgeous, jaw-dropping new campaign from SickKids Hospital—or as it's more formally known, The Hospital for Sick Children—in Toronto.
In the centerpiece anthem, titled "SickKids VS: Undeniable," ailing children, alongside their families, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, all gird for battle—as medieval soldiers, pro wrestlers taking baseball bats to dialysis machines, and comic book superheroes.
It's a gripping two-minute argument from agency Cossette—more than anything, for the power of imagination as a vehicle for hope, and metaphor as a medical tool. Anyone who has struggled through a serious illness, or watched someone else do it, knows that defiance isn't to be undervalued. This takes that basic insight to new heights, with enough of a playful tone to match and address its core subjects.
More than 50 SickKids patient families agreed to participate in the film, and 100 staff members from the hospital also lent a hand, on or off camera.
To be clear, the fight imagery—interspersed with medical animations, neon motion graphics naming diagnoses, and dramatic footage of life-or-death moments during care for context—is impressive in its own right. But it's the soundtrack, "Undeniable" by Donnie Daydream featuring Richie Sosa, that pushes the spot into extraordinary territory.
A bone-crushing rap, driven by a steadily pounding kick drum, perpetually crescendoing synth bass, militaristic snare patterns, and haunting, echoing crashes and yelps, it's no surprise that the song (or versions of it) have already found a home in other high-profile ads from Finlandia Vodka and Adidas.
None used it as effectively, though, as Cossette does here. That's thanks partly to the intrinsically sympathetic subject matter. But it's also because the war-themed concept, the Olympic-style execution and the blood-raising music combine to create an experience far greater than the sum of their parts. Even during moments that might risk seeming cheesy, the spot will take an emotionally engaged viewer on a rapid-fire trip—through uplifting highs, and endearing quips, and gut-wrenching lows, then back again—ending, appropriately, with a kid channeling a tiger's roar.
The only problem may be, in fact, that the message comes across too clearly, and could be mistaken for overpromising in a field—medicine—that can, at its best, only delay the inevitable, and in some cases not by nearly enough. It's worth emphasizing, for that reason, that the campaign's ultimate purpose is to fundraise for the hospital, including research into new treatments. In other words, it's not just speaking to specific kids' battles, but the broader goal—to win them all.
To that end, three more TV spots under the "SickKids Vs." umbrella will roll out through the end of December, with support across print, digital, out-of-home, and cinema. OMD handled media planning and buying. More print work and full credits are below.
Client: The Hospital for Sick Children
Chief Creative Officer(s): Carlos Moreno, Peter Ignazi
Creative Director/CW: Craig McIntosh
Creative Director/AD: Jaimes Zentil
Agency Producer: Dena Thompson
Account Supervisor(s): Olivia Figliomeni, Daniel Dolan Account Director: Hanh Vo
VP, Brand Director(s): Michelle Perez, Steve Groh Chief Strategy Officer: Jason Chaney
Production House: Skin & Bones
Director: Mark Zibert
DOP: Jackson Parrel
Executive Producer: Dan Ford Line Producer: Joan Bell
Editing House: Skin & Bones
Editor: Marka Rankovic Transfer/Online Facility: The Vanity
Flame Artist: Sean Cochrane Colorist: Andrew Exworth
Animation: The Mill NYC
Animation: a52 Audio House: SNDWRX Music Creative Director: Didier Tovel
Song: Undeniable - by Donnie Daydream Feat: Richie Sosa
Clients VP, Brand Strategy and Communications: Lori Davison
Director, Integrated Brand Marketing: Kate Torrance
Director, Digital Projects: Mark Jordan
Manager, Patient Ambassador Program: Lisa Charendoff
Marketing Manager: Tina Tieu Marketing Manager: Harleen Bhogal
Coordinator, Public Relations: Madeline Salerno
Uber is doing huge business in Mexico City, to the point where they feel comfortable using drones to taunt people who aren't using their service yet.
A recent ad stunt for UberPOOL saw the company fly drones over gridlocked traffic. The drones carried signs saying things like "Driving by yourself?" and "This is why you can never see the volcanoes." That last one only makes sense if you know how polluted Mexico City is.
The point is to guilt the reader into carpooling with the UberPOOL. (That won't get you anywhere faster, of course. In fact, you might wait just a little longer for your ride.)
I'd hesitate to call Uber's global expansion strategy "world domination," but it's not too far from that. After all, their valuation is based on the promise that they will be the premiere ridesharing app on Earth, and they just gave up on China for now, so they're courting Latin America—where they've already had some success in Mexico and Brazil—with gusto.
None of that really justifies heckling people with drones, but it's irksome in the same way that an unlicensed cab company hailing itself as some kind of revolutionary act is irksome, so it's totally on-brand for Uber.
Viewers tuning in for coverage of the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday night will see both sides working together for the greater good, blazing new trails toward a brighter tomorrow.
Alas, we're not talking about the candidates for our nation's highest office. They'll surely snipe and grouse—and in the case of the GOP's nominee, loom and leer—as usual. Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand, however, will seek to bridge the gap by launching new election-themed ads on CNN's pre-debate show and MSNBC's pre- and post-debate coverage. (The debate itself is commercial free. How un-American!)
Developed by mcgarrybowen, a quartet of 15-second spots continue the distinctive split-screen visual style Jeep used in the first patriotic installment of this campaign. That ad ran during coverage of the previous two presidential debates, and will encore tonight in a spiffy 30-second edit.
As for the new content, Jeep's soft-sell message of social harmony and unification works hard to cut across party lines. Owners of the off-road Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and luxury Grand Cherokee Summit models consistently find common ground in various vehicle features, such as the Parallel Park Assist system, which is the focus of the ad below:
"We wanted to bring to life the two 'souls' of the brand—the freedom upon which the brand has been rooted since 1941, and the adventurous American spirit that propels the brand forward today," says Fiat Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois, who was recently named Adweek's 2016 automotive Brand Genius for his efforts on Jeep. "The split-screen concept as a means to underscore that duality was one that intrigued us from the start, but we couldn't do split screen without purpose. The launch of the two new Jeep Grand Cherokee models was the perfect opportunity."
As for the political bent, he adds, "the presidential campaign allowed us to add one more dimension, or another layer."
In the next ad, we learn about Quada-Lift Air Suspension, a progressive feature that even conservative drivers can love:
According to Francois, the debates give Jeep "one of the biggest stages after the Super Bowl this year, but with a very different level of cost." Ads running during debate coverage are selling at a fraction of the Big Game's nearly $5 million price tag for a 30-second spot. (Jeep created two notable commercials for Super Bowl 50 last February, "4x4ever" and "Portraits." The latter won the Super Clio for best ad in the game, and was Adweek's pick too.) And while the Super Bowl delivered an audience of about 112 million, the three debates combined will handily beat that figure. (In fact, the first two Clinton-Trump meetings already lured 145 million viewers combined.)
Next, let's check out Lane-Departure Warning and Blind-Spot Monitoring, which sound like they'd come in handy during debate prep:
And finally, it's plain to see that Selec-Terrain technology helps candidates of all stripes navigate those inevitable bumps in the road:
Given the consternation in some circles over Cat Stevens' conversion to Islam, the hippie-dippy song choice for the campaign has raised some eyebrows, but Francois prefers to focus on the message rather than the messenger.
" 'When You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out' was intended as anthem to respect and peace when it was written in 1971," he says. "The song's message still holds true today."
Remember, regardless of our differences, we're all Americans, so it really doesn't matter if you're on the left or right. (Unless, of course, you're actually driving at the time.)
For some, the political thrust may seem like a stretch, but it's timely, and makes sense given Jeep's heritage as a can-do American brand. (Yes, it's manufactured by an Italian automaker nowadays, but you can't have everything, capisce?)
And by the way, Jeep should feel free to bring back "presidents" Martin Sheen and Bill Pullman in its ads any time. Grazie!
Client: FCA U.S. – Jeep brand
CEO: Sergio Marchionne
Chief Marketing Officer, FCA - Global: Olivier Francois
Director of FCA U.S. Brand Advertising: Marissa Hunter
Head of Jeep Advertising: Kim House
Jeep Advertising Manager: Nicole Pesale
Agency: mcgarrybowen New York
Chief Creative Officer: Matthew Bull
Executive Creative Director: James Cheung
Executive Creative Director: Cliff Skeetie
Copywriters: Annie Egan, Kent Koren, Peter Min, Jesse Custodio
Art Directors: Luke Partridge, Chris Park
Executive Producer: Dan Fried
Managing Director, Integrated Production & Design: Dante Piacenza
Managing Director of Music Production: Jerry Krenach
Music Producer: Stephen Stallings
Music Licensing Supervisor: Jonathan Hecht
Director of Talent Services: Sue Ayson
Business Manager: Barbara Silverstein
Group Managing Director: Lindsey Schmidt
Account Director: Lauren Bronchtein
Account Supervisor: Brittney McDonald
Account Executive: Christina Harman
Production Company: Superprime Films
Managing Director: Rebecca Skinner
Managing Director: Michelle Ross
Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
Director: Sam Bayer
Editorial Company: Whitehouse Editorial
Editor: Josh Bodnar
Assistant Editor: Alejandro Villagran
Producer: Nick Crane
VFX Company: Framestore
Executive Producer: Dez (Derek) Macleod Veilleux
Senior Producer: Maura Hurley
VFX Supervisor: Kathy Siegel
VFX Supervisor/Lead Compositor: Raul Ortega
Matte Painting: Quimet Delgado
Compositing Team: Jamie Scott, Greg Cutler, Chihcheng Peng, Jose Arauz, Elaina Brillantes
Virgin America's First Class Shoe isn't just some plain old sneaker.
Hand crafted in Milan, Italy, this snazzy high-top was assembled to reflect the amenities of Virgin's first-class cabins. White leather. Wifi. Mood lighting. Video display. USB phone charger. Stainless-steel airline-style belt buckle. It's all there! (Too bad the shoes can't buckle themselves.)
"We really wanted to give people the chance to experience what it's like to fly Virgin's first class cabin with both feet still on the ground," says Mike McKay, chief creative officer at ad agency Eleven. "We spent almost eight months with Virgin America designing and executing the First Class Shoe. First, we looked at what was currently going on with wearable technology, and there didn't seem to be a shoe that could deliver this level of technology."
Here's a video explaining this promotional flight of fancy:
"The biggest challenge was finding components that were small enough to be built into the shoe," says McKay. "The cell phone charger, the video monitor and the wifi hotspot all had to be very small and lightweight enough for the shoe to be wearable and comfortable."
Because if you pay almost $100,000 to buy the world's only pair—yes, they made only one—you'd wear 'em on your morning run, right? Or maybe to soccer practice?
The shoe is being auctioned off on eBay. The current bid is $98,600. There have been 112 bids so far, and the auction ends on Sunday. Proceeds benefit Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that distributes shoes and clothing to those in need.
Hey, maybe it's time for original Virgin pilot and uber-moneybags Richard Branson to step up with a bid and launch this cause marketing/earned-media play into the stratosphere!
Now, let's bring this post in for a landing with a GIF that shows the First Class Shoe playing Virgin's loopy passenger-safety video. (Party on, flying nun!)
Virgin America First Class Shoe
Agency: Eleven, Inc.
Chief Creative Officer: Mike McKay
Creative Director: Ricard Valero, Chad Leitz
Design and Manufacturing: Rob Heppler, Searchndesign (Italy)
Sr. Copywriter: Jon Korn
Sr. Art Director: Jeremy Diessner
Social Copywriter: Julie Blakley
Social Art Director: Jacob Hellstrom
Producer: Calvin Wan
Project Management: Monique Verrier
Creative Technologist: Anderson Oliveira
Editor: Chris Caceres
Activation Strategy Director: Fiona Su
Social Media Strategist: Jessica Gast
Account Management: Lily Byrne, Lizzie Imboden
McCann New York is taking a satirically Swiftian approach with its latest PSA for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Titled "Keep America Safe," the ad highlights toddler gun violence by advocating that we start jailing kids so they don't accidentally shoot us in our own homes—citing the results of a study by the Associated Press and USA Today that bears all sorts of grim tidings about children's access to guns and the consequences thereof.
Just like when you read A Modest Proposal in high school, it's a guarantee that some viewers will think the ad is for real. It's certainly delivered with an impressive poker face. Hopefully, a greater percentage will see that the ad is mocking the sorts of crazy measures the pro-gun lobby will propose before even considering gun control. They may not agree with it, but we just hope they see it.
The Toddlers Kill website mentioned at the end of the ad, it should be noted, is a more obvious plea for gun control.
In his delightful and insightful documentary "Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?" British filmmaker Joe Marcantonio explores the transcendent power of advertising to help brands overcome their limitations and—in the case of DDB's groundbreaking 1960s work for the German automaker—establish an enduring, vibrant image in the hearts and minds of consumers.
"The piece wasn't commissioned by DDB or VW," Marcantonio tells AdFreak, "I just made it for the love."
His father Alfredo served as VW's advertising manager in the 1970s, and in 1982, the elder Marcantonio co-authored an acclaimed book about the history of the brand's marketing (from which his son's project lifts its title).
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, the film mixes archival footage with interviews to present a brisk, bouncy stream of fun and incisive commentary from Alfredo Marcantonio and numerous Mad Men-era luminaries who either contributed to DDB's VW work or were influenced by its style.
"I thought that maybe they'd be polite and spare me a few minutes," Joe Marcantonio says of the filmed chats he conducted with John Hegarty, David Trott and Alan Parker (as well as his father). "But each of them was so passionate about the influence it had on their careers, they spoke for much longer than I thought. I thought initially that the film could be five minutes long, but my first cut was 48 minutes. It was really tricky to get it down to 18 minutes." (Conversations with other ad legends, including Helmut Krone and George Lois, were culled from clips dating back to the 1980s.)
VW's ride into the American zeitgeist got off to a bumpy start, given the nameplate's genesis in the 1930s as a form of affordable, reliable transportation for working-class Germans living under the Third Reich.
"To be completely honest, I was wondering what was going on in [former DDB chief Bill] Bernbach's head, because it really had Nazi connotations to it," Krone—the art director behind the campaign's sleek, trendsetting style—explains in the film. "I didn't think it was something that we should do."
Apart from VW's Nazi ties, some members of DDB's creative team initially believed the compact, oddly shaped, sparely appointed Beetles of the era were simply too alien to succeed in the U.S. market of the early 1960s, where fancy, finned, fully loaded vehicles were all the rage.
"I felt the car was so utterly preposterous," says Krone. "We had to Americanize it as quickly as possible, and maybe get somebody like Dinah Shore to do a singing commercial like she was doing at the time: 'See the USA in Your Chevrolet.' " Such schlocky notions were dismissed in favor of a more "intelligent, don't-underestimate-the-public type of advertising" that became DDB's trademark, Krone says.
Simplicity was key. The car itself offered basic, no-frills functionality. Likewise, its advertising was in most respects bare bones. This was especially true of print efforts, defined for a decade by monochrome executions in newspapers and magazines. These often used self-deprecating headlines—"Lemon" and "Think small" rank among the most renowned—and a shot of a single Beetle (either unadorned or, in some cases, satirically in sync with the surrounding copy).
After putting together the first few ads along these lines, Krone left New York for a brief vacation, "rather depressed" about VW's domestic prospects. But when he returned, "people were talking about it—at parties, everywhere, they were talking about these Volkswagen ads!"
Parker, a former copywriter who later became a Hollywood director, distills the campaign's appeal: "I don't think people realized quite how vulgar advertising had become at that time … and therefore, how amazing a Doyle Dane ad, particularly a Volkswagen ad, looked in a magazine filled with rubbish."
The film traces the campaign's successful transition into television. In one vintage spot, a snow-plow operator drives his trusty Beetle through brutal weather … to get to his plow. Another presents next-door neighbors, each with $3,000 to spend. One buys a brand-new $3,000 car (it looks like a big American model). For the same price, the other purchases a refrigerator, a range, a washer, a record player, two TVs … and a brand-new Volkswagen.
"It is miles better than anything out there at the moment," filmmaker Joe Marcantonio says of these classic campaigns. "Pretty much every car ad you see these days looks the same. The cars are shot at the same angle, same height, all are clean, usually in a nondescript cityscape. The ads are made to be safe, to not offend, to appeal to the masses—but that means that they have no honesty to them."
For honest work to emerge, clients must be willing to take a few risks, the filmmaker says. "The bravery of VW can't be underestimated," he says. "They were daring enough to put their complete faith in Bernbach, and were richly rewarded."
Likewise, Bernbach's DDB reaped its own rewards, riding the success of VW (among other clients) to the pinnacle of the '60s Madison Avenue scene. In a broader sense, the campaign elevated the industry as a whole, demonstrating that agencies could indelibly imprint brands across our shared cultural psyche and build long-lasting trust, goodwill and a sense of coolness and fun.
For VW, the positive vibes resonated for five decades. Though at times diminished, they always seemed to rev back up to speed—until September 2015, that is, when VW's emissions scandal began making headlines. Now, more than a full year later, bad feelings from that episode linger.
Given the fragmented media landscape and jaded nature of today's consumers, it's unclear if advertising, no matter how quirky or inspired, can help put the brand's image on the road to recovery.
The new Ford Edge is so enchanting, it will turn the vicious assassin that an arms dealer hired to kill you into a smitten guardian angel—though the killer with the heart of gold might still steal your ride as payment for his protection.
So says a new eight-minute short film for the automaker from agency GTB, starring actor Mads Mikkelsen as the hitman, and directed by Jake Scott.
Tracking the story of a couple turned state's witness against a weapons smuggler, it follows them into hiding as Mikkelsen's character stalks them, and their bright orange SUV, which apparently they've decided to bring with them to their new Mediterranean village home. (Presumably it was just too good to give up, even if they didn't mind changing their faces with a little casual plastic surgery.)
Mikkelsen, playing the titular "Le Fantôme" or "The Ghost," is ultimately so charmed by the car that he refuses the bounty, and even protects the couple from the second murderer sent to replace them—swapping their Edge for an old two-seat motorcycle and a couple of plane tickets to Peru.
In other words, the film straddles the line between the somber and the absurd—though how intentionally isn't, at first, entirely clear. The stakes are high—life and death. The hero is blocky. His motivation is goofy—a point that seems most deliberate when he pauses his hunt to nuzzle the car. The Ford seems woefully out of place, a point the story halfway strives to acknowledge but doesn't quite defuse. Its modern profile sticks out like a sore thumb against the lush, classic, dilapidated backdrop that the production so beautifully shapes.
Ultimately, it doesn't feel believable. This isn't a luxury automobile, and it's not obvious whether Ford is asking people to laugh at the car without quite giving reason to do so, or to applaud the car as a down-to-earth antidote to the hackneyed, dazzling underworld tropes the film goes to great lengths to polish.
Ultimately, it's most likely the latter. A fair reading would find the whole film a delightfully arch send-up of gangster narratives, and a celebration of modesty and morality. Regardless, the visuals are wonderful, and Mikkelsen's performance is eminently watchable—enough in its own right to keep the audience hooked, and guessing.
In fact, the only real crime may be the color of the car.
Chief Creative Officer: Julian Watt
Executive Creative Director: Bryn Attewell
Creative Director: Peter Hvid Producer: Romila Sanassy Group Business Director: Sarah Rosser
Account Director: Sian Patrick Senior Account Manager: Luke Johnson
Account Executive: Mathilde Pors Planning Partner: Stephen Wallace
President: Paul Confrey Client Services Director: Fabio Ruffet
Director, Integrated Planning: Melanie Elliot
Prod Company: RSA Films
Director: Jake Scott Exec Producer: Cindy Burnay Editor: Joe Guest at Final Cut
Director of Photography: Mark Patten
Production Designer: Joseph Bennett
Photographer: Nigel Harniman
Le Fantôme: Mads Mikkelsen
The Widow: Barbara Steele
Hero Couple: Karin Perathoner and James Brown
The Kingpin: Jon Campling Interpol Agent: Zarko Radic
Vice President, Marketing, Ford of Europe: Matthew Van Dyke
Marketing Communications Director, Ford of Europe: Anthony Ireson
Brand Content Manager, Ford of Europe: Lyn West SUV Brand Content Manager, Ford of Europe: Chris Rushton
Nothing sells fast food like cranky old people reminiscing and/or bickering with each other.
That's what GSD&M is hoping, because their three new spots for Steak 'n Shake depend on it. The three ads star Percy and Walter, whose recollections of 1934 (the year Steak 'n Shake was founded) are dim at best. All three spots were directed by Joachim Back, who won an Oscar for his short film The New Tenants back in 2010.
In "You Can't Trust Machines," Walter goes on a measured rant about powdered milkshakes and veers dangerously close to bringing up the onion on his belt before the ad cuts to the official Steak 'n Shake pitch.
"Steak 'n Shake 'n Shave n' Shoeshine 'n Suit" makes fun of exaggerated stories about how cheap everything was when our grandparents were young, as Percy explains what $4 got him back in the '30s. (The visual of the unbalanced sign falling down is great.) His anecdote totally ignores the brutal reality of segregation at that point in history, but that's a heavy topic for a fast-food ad, so I get it.
"Breakfast" is another winner, as Percy—who is really driving the comedy team by this point—explains his role in coining the term "homestyle breakfast."
Now that they've got my attention, the polite thing for Steak 'n Shake to do would be to open a Maryland location that isn't in BWI airport or Glen Burnie.
Client: Steak 'n Shake
Campaign: Done Right Since 1934
"Smiling Contest" – "Shoeshine" – "You Can't Trust Machines" – "Breakfast"
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Directors: Kris Wixom/Wlisa Wixom
Art Director: Erin Stevens
Creative Director: Brett Baker
Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
Executive Producer: Bill Wine/Marianne Newton
Account Service: Mark Durein, Lauren Paver
Marketplace Planning: John D'Acerino, Nick Howard
Business Affairs Manager: Jillian English
Project Manager: Maria Roepke
Production Company for Video
Prod Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Joachim Back
Editor: Cartel/Andy McGraw
Food Stylist: Alyssa Sarfity
Production Company for Food
Prod Company: MacGuffin Films
Director: Kevan Bean
Stylist: Nir Adar
Sound Design: Doug Darnell/Robot Repair
Loctite really put a lot of itself into these new commercials.
In fact, the company's adhesive and insulation products were used to build the long, continuous sets that give the 30-second spots their unique visual identity.
In the first ad below, we learn how Loctite helps contractors and DIYers solve "gap problems." You'll marvel (or not) as the pitchman glides past stylized brick and tile wall mockups treated with Loctite foam. That guy's quite the expert on gaps, and he may even seem a bit familiar:
Yas! It's Chris Reese—aka, "Gaps"—who shook his fanny pack for all it was worth in the brand's lauded 2015 Super Bowl commercial. (VH1 crowned it "the greatest" Big Game ad of the year, and the spot placed third among Adweek's favorites.)
This time around, "our Loctite clients briefed us to rethink the traditional demo ad," says Jason Bottenus, creative director at Fallon, which developed the campaign. "We knew we wanted to continue the brand voice we established with our Super Bowl ad. The challenge was to make a demo people would actually watch and believe."
Hey, who could have more credibility on bonding stuff into "one sexy continuous thing" than a bro with a unibrow? Check out the hairy hijinks below:
Now, in the first ad, Reese's toothy divide is the real gaping deal. In the second spot, actor Jeffrey Lewis required makeup to adequately fabulize his forehead.
The technical issues involved in filming presented quite a challenge. "Both the actors and the camera moved on a dolly simultaneously," Bottenus says, "so it took an extreme amount of coordination and a lot of takes to give the illusion of a single-take spot."
Overall, it's a fun way to showcase what most folks would consider a dull product, and Fallon deserves credit for keeping its grip on the campy Super Bowl vibe that proved so appealing.
On set, Bottenus says, a good time was had by all: "Everyone, including our Loctite clients, took a turn getting a photo op while sitting on the chair glued to the wall."
Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Kling
Creative Director: Jason Bottenus
Copywriter: Lucas Tristao
Art Director: Daniel Alves
Director of Film Production: Pat Sidoti
Account Services: Chris Lawrence
Business Affairs: Joanna Jahn
Director: Fatal Farm (Gifted Youth)
Editor: Kyle Brown (Arcade Edit)
Color: Mark Gethin (MPC)
Flame: Mark Holden (MPC)
Mix: Jeff Payne (Eleven)
Sound Design: Tone Farmer
Facebook Live is a big, important product for the world's biggest social network. But up to now, many users still don't really know what Live is, or how to use it. Or they might be intimidated by live broadcasting, and reluctant to try it out.
A new international ad campaign launching Monday in the U.S. (and Sunday night in the U.K.) aims to address those issue—and get more and more of its user base aware of, and willing to try, a Facebook Live broadcast.
The ads, created by Facebook's in-house creative team The Factory, feature videos that were recorded by real Facebook users, all shot using Facebook Live on a phone, to capture the fun and spontaneity of the format.
The campaign will be launched in two stages. The first stage, launching Monday, is about awareness and will feature short vignettes of Facebook Live broadcasts running on TV and on Facebook as 15-second spots. These spots, along with some digital billboard creative, will begin with a 3-2-1 countdown.
"These ads are meant to introduce the campaign. We want people to see these clips and feel inspired to go Live with their friends," Rebecca Van Dyck, vp of consumer and brand marketing, tells Adweek. See some that work below.
Awareness ads, video:
Awareness ads, out-of-home:
Two weeks later, on Monday, Nov. 7, the next phase of the campaign will begin—a tutorial phase that will focus on showing people how to go Live, not just the results of going live.
This phase will be "a little more educational—the ads are a fun guide for how to go Live," says Van Dyck. "It's the same aesthetic, but in many cases very site-specific. For example, we have one on a billboard in Times Square that literally says, 'How to Go Live in Times Square.' "
Tutorial ads, video:
Tutorial ads, out-of-home:
All of the content for the campaign—every video, ever photo—was shot using Facebook Live on a phone. None of the dialogue was scripted. Indeed, The Factory found the footage for the campaign from real people using Facebook Live.
"You have the ability to control your audience settings on Facebook, and anytime anyone goes Live and sets their post to 'public,' it shows up on this really fun Facebook Live Map that anyone can access," says Scott Trattner, vp and executive creative director for brand marketing at Facebook. "[We were] all over that map, finding different moments where people were using the product. From there, we reached out to people and asked if we could use their videos in our campaign."
Thus, the creative is meant to be as authentic as going Live is.
"The lion's share of the 3-2-1 vignettes were created by people using Facebook Live," says Trattner. "It's all real people. There were a few tutorial films where we gave people a prompt, but the entire campaign is unscripted. What's also cool is that the entire campaign was shot on the product [Facebook Live] using iOS and Android phones. We had some minor cleanup here and there, but the overall campaign is authentic—just like Facebook Live."
The work has a pleasantly buoyant feel, thanks in part to the slew of Reactions emojis that flood the screen and float around in each video. (In horizontal videos, the emojis make good use of the black space on either side of the vertical FB Live clip.)
This feel-good vibe, combined with the lighthearted clips themselves, is designed to counteract anxieties Facebook users might have about broadcasting live, which after all can be an intimidating move. Users know exactly what they're posting when they put up legacy Facebook content like status updates and photos, but broadcasting live is a different experience—and can make the user feel much more vulnerable.
"We really looked to the community," says Van Dyck. "People love going live, but when we looked at some of the research, it indicated that people are sometimes intimidated. A lot of people think Live isn't for them. Knowing these barriers, and knowing that we wanted to make it easy, fun and enjoyable to go live with friends, it was important to us that the campaign focused on both awareness and education."
She adds: "It was also helpful that there is so much great live content already out there. So the first part—actually finding the content—was a lot of fun. And from there, we looked at the different places people go live, where they might be inspired, and the different moments people use the product."
In a blog post, Facebook CMO Gary Briggs writes: "Over the past year, we've been amazed by all the ways that people, public figures, and publishers have used live video to share moments with others. Facebook Live brings people together in real time for moments both silly and significant. It's authentic and interactive, and it helps you share your experience in the moment with people you care about."
He adds: "Every day at Facebook we work to make the world more open and connected, and we hope this campaign helps people more easily share their experiences with others."
The race for president has been characterized by negativity, partisan extremism and a "lesser-of-the-two-evils" attitude. As the race to the ballot boxes heats up, things are only getting more insufferable.
So it comes as a refreshing surprise that, out of Texas, one Republican candidate is shooting for re-election as county commissioner with an ad that's neither negative nor offensive (to anyone!). In "Please Re-Elect Gerald," Gerald Daugherty's long-suffering wife, Charlyn Daugherty, appears to beg voters to keep her husband in office—with a delightful amount of side-eye.
Why? Because Gerald has no hobbies. And he's driving everybody bananas with his unsolicited chatter about work.
Daugherty is a moderate Republican running for re-election in Travis County, which includes the city of Austin. He is the only conservative on the county commission, and his biggest issue has been getting State Highway 45 Southwest built, which would connect Hays County's FM 1626 to MoPac in southwest Austin, per KUT.
How do you make that interesting? By making it relatable.
Gerald's a husband and a friend ... and an annoying one, at that. He chats about the prison system while distractedly scrubbing a dish, lobotomizes a buddy over taxes while neglecting his barbecue, and uses steak as a transport metaphor. The ad positions him as an indefatigable nerd who, more than anything else, needs an outlet for his policy wonking.
"We got three light-rail cars," he says into the pregnant silence of his dinner guests. "You can put 60 people on each car. So even if you add two cars, you're talking about maybe 300 people who are affected. There are a million people in this community. I mean, that is .01 to the eighth power. If you round it off, it's zero."
"All he wants to do is fix things," Charlyn says tightly.
The Daily Dot compares the charming little domestic ad to "Dangerous," an ad Trump released, which depicts Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton as both weak and corrupt in a world about to explode in our faces:
Tiresome, right? Scroll back up and watch Charlyn and Gerald again. You deserve it. And if you happen to be in Precinct 3 this Nov. 8, here's where you can learn more about voting for Gerald. (Or you can vote for his Democratic opponent, David Holmes.)
Fact-checking Donald Trump has been a full-time job for a lot of election observers this year. And Wieden + Kennedy has been doing its part, with a food truck in its hometown of Portland, Ore., that's been serving "Donald Trump's BS"—baloney sandwiches, that is, with wrappers that clarify Trump's remarks on various issues.
The food truck was parked in Pioneer Courthouse Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. "With 18 days to go and our fate in the hands of American voters, a new food truck has arrived in the mecca of food cart culture to serve sandwiches to the people, with a healthy dose of factual information," the agency tells AdFreak. "We've debunked some of Donald Trump's remarks on eight custom designed sandwich wrappers, across five different types of—you guessed it—baloney sandwiches."
The sandwiches were dubbed the Working-Class Hero, the Middle-Class Hero, the America-First Hero, the Border-Security Hero and the Tell-It-Like-It-Is here. The truck came "complete with a chef, concierge to take your order, menus printed on gold-colored paper, and free boloney sandwiches," W+K says.
See the wrappers here. Click to enlarge:
Free lunch is always a reliable PR tactic. And the agency says the truck was meant to be "a lighthearted theatrical expression that is intended to be a metaphor for Donald Trump's candidacy."
A number of high-profile creative shops and executives have weighed in on this year's presidential race, including Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein, who've done a series of anti-Trump ads. And W+K, of course, doesn't shy away from political issues, as we saw in July when the agency replaced its website with a statement about Black Lives Matter.
More Trump BS pics below.
Terry Tate, the fictional office linebacker from Reebok's famous ads a decade ago about proper behavior, is back to weigh in on the 2016 election. And the result is spectacular.
A new clip from Funny or Die features the character, who famously and forcefully disciplined white-collar drones slacking off on the job, doing what he does best—this time, to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Reebok doesn't appear to have any official part in the new video, which opens with the now-notorious 2005 footage of Trump and Billy Bush joking about groping women without their consent, while getting off an Access Hollywood bus. (Lester Speight, who plays Tate, tells AdFreak that he owns the character outright, and licensed him to Reebok briefly. Thus, he didn't need to consult with Reebok at all about the new video.)
As Trump and Bush stand creeping on actress Arianne Zucker, Tate suddenly flies into the shot to deliver his characteristic body slam, to a seamlessly edited-in Trump lookalike who crumples like a rag doll.
It's a deft bit of film craft, using body doubles and camera magic to realize a scene of which many voters, living in a civilized society, probably thought they could only dream.
The fantasy doesn't end there. As the Trump stuntman writhes on the floor, Tate delivers a verbal dressing down, rebutting the candidate's attempts to dismiss his own bragging about sexual assault as harmless locker room talk.
In the video's final moment, Tate even gets to mock Trump's catchphrase from The Apprentice, telling Bush, unceremoniously, "You're fired."
While the violence is sure to rub some (humorless) viewers the wrong way, it's a brilliant bit of fictional commentary about a public figure who has been accused of grabbing or kissing nearly a dozen women without their consent—and who seems generally intent on making a mockery of reason, dignity and the American democratic process.
If only Tate could have moderated the debates, too.
When Fox was marketing X-Men Origins: Wolverine in the lead-up to its 2009 release (which went super well, as you'll remember), we were just a few years removed from the last X-Men team movie. Wolverine, as played by Hugh Jackman, was the breakout star of that series, in keeping with the character's overall popularity in the comics world. So it made sense that if the franchise were going to continue with a series of solo movies, Wolverine would kick things off.
That movie, and 2013's The Wolverine, have been one of the mostly tonally inconsistent series in movies, at least in the modern era. So, with the trailer for Logan hitting the internet last week, it's a good time to look back and see how the feel of the franchise has shifted over the last seven years.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
There were two main trailers—one that focused very much on the creation of Wolverine and his hunt for revenge, and one that sold the movie as a team adventure, an odd choice considering this was supposed to be the character's solo outing.
Both, though, still felt like the X-Men movie, with footage that evoked Wolverine's hunt for identity in those earlier films.
They have that look and feel, the kind of shiny high gloss that was the style of the movies directed by Bryan Singer and (sigh) Brett Ratner. There's humor, there are explosions, there's a backstory that ties directly into the previous movies, and there's the dark brooding that had become Jackman's signature look at the character.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was sold as X-Men 4, essentially, since those movies had stories largely focused on Wolverine anyway.
The Wolverine (2013)
This is much more the kind of solo movie fans were looking for. Both of the trailers present a completely independent and on-his-own Wolverine, a character who is free of much of the past that had been laid out for him.
There are still nods to what had come before, of course. One trailer starts out with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) speaking to him in a dream sequence about how he killed her (as seen in X-Men: The Last Stand, which exists), and there are multiple references in that and the other main trailer to the experiments that turned Logan into the weapon he is.
But the whole look and feel is different, likely due to the influence of director James Mangold, who had a reputation as a stylish and visually interesting filmmaker.
It is such a completely different take on the character, though, it looks like it's from a completely different franchise. The contrast in tone is as if Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins were an extension of the same series of movies as Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin. Which brings us to…
It's too early to judge the tone of the entire campaign based on just the first trailer, but it looks to be more in line with The Wolverine, which isn't surprising considering Mangold is back in the director's chair.
For the first time, there's some consistency in the marketing from one entry to the next, showing a dark, gloomy story, a style that's sold through both the trailer and a series of photos that have come out over the last week. It features Jackman in all his brooding, muscular glory in another story about Wolverine's search for an identity in a world that's always passing him by.
Usually when a brand unveils a TV spot, any related content online is, at best, a marginal value-add. But lately, Geico's online extras have been at least as good—and in many cases, more fun or innovative or just plain weird—than the TV work.
Now, The Martin Agency has unveiled another fun TV-spot-plus-online-extras campaign, this time featuring some garbage-scavenging raccoons.In the TV spot, one raccoon is seen eating from a garbage can and remarking how awful it is, and then trying to get his buddy to try it (because "it's what you do").
The spot is amusing, as far as it goes. But Martin expands the concept online with a comical series of videos called Raccookin', in which the raccoons (or rather, lifeless raccoon arms) whip up some gnarly dishes in a series of disgusting cooking demonstrations, using ingredients found in their trash travels.
It's disposable content, sure, but it's done well (the hands constantly fumbling, prop-like, with the ingredients is a nice touch) and adds a layer of fun that nicely parodies the cooking-tutorial content that's everywhere these days.
See the Raccookin' spots below.
Under Armour doesn't seem to mind when its star athletes fall just short of a championship. It makes for a better story when the next chance comes around.
UA and its agency, Droga5, have crafted a few of these redemption stories already—the famous one with London 2012 underachiever Michael Phelps ahead of Rio 2016, and Super Bowl runner-up Cam Newton's recent spot ahead of the Panthers' 2016-17 season.
Now, it's time for UA's biggest star, Stephen Curry, to avenge his loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in June, a devastating finale to an otherwise dream season for Curry and the Golden State Warriors. (Curry set a record for 3-pointers and was the league's unanimous MVP, while the Warriors set their own record by finishing 73-9.)
Curry, 28, tweeted out the new video, made by Droga5 and MJZ director Harmony Korine, about an hour ago. It's a dark, gritty, neon-hued spot that acknowledges, among Curry's notable 2015-16 successes, the one big failure—and aims to make it right.
Or as the spot puts it: "Make that old."
There's nothing too revolutionary going on here. Fans—who are actually local youth basketball players—are seen gathering to celebrate Curry's achievements, then exhort him to do even better. Curry broods, then enters a glowing-pink practice court and gets to work. (He's seen wearing an elevation training mask, which simulates the limited oxygen intake at high elevations—a nod to UA's focus on the pain of prep, rather than the glory of results.)
The spot has a bit of a surreal vibe—not the supernatural overtones of the Newton spot, but rather a groovy '70s feel that's helped along nicely by the soundtrack, which is the 1971 version of Louis Armstrong's "Nobody Knows" as performed by Pastor T.L. Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir.
"I will," says the onscreen text at the end.
Then we get a short coda showing the new product that's actually being advertised underneath the spot's larger redemption song—the Curry 3, available at retailers Oct. 27 and featuring UA's newest technology, called Threadborne, a fabric derived from the thread composition of a parachute. (The Dub Nation colorway, which is the one featured in the spot, will be available on UA.com and the UA Shop App on Oct. 25.)
"The last year has been an incredible roller coaster of emotions, and this campaign completely captures those highs and lows," Curry said in a statement. "This year, it's all about recalibrating to understand there's still so much left to do and achieve on the court and with Under Armour. This film, and the work we've done on the Curry 3, jumpstarts that mindset—knowing that the next chapter in our story will be written only by perseverance and the will to succeed."
UA remains the ultimate challenger brand to market leader Nike. And casting the game's best player as a challenger brand, too, is a neat and useful trick—the valuable silver lining to that brutal loss back in June.
Client: Under Armour
Campaign: Curry 3
Title: Make That Old
Launch Date: October 24, 2016
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
Senior Art Director: Laurie Howell / Toby Treyer-Evans
Senior Copywriter: Laurie Howell / Toby Treyer-Evans
Junior Art Director (social): David Spradlin
Copywriter (social): Evan Barkoff
Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
Senior Designer: Toga Cox
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer: David Cardinali
Senior Broadcast Producer: Jennifer Chen
Senior Social Producer: Chris Parke
Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman
Music Supervisor: Ryan Barkan
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy: Harry Roman
Group Strategy Director: Will Davie
Strategy Director: Sam Matthews
Strategist: Newman Granger:
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Communications Strategy Director: Hilary Heath
Communications Strategist: Kathryn Ruocco
Data Strategist: Kaveri Gautam
Executive Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
Group Account Director: Shane Chastang
Account Supervisor: Jordan Cappadocia
Associate Account Manager: Andrew Mullen
Senior Project Manager: Bill Wilson
Project Manager: Connor Hall
Head of Integrated Production Business Affairs: Dianne Richter
Senior Integrated Prod. Business Affairs Manager: Librado Sanchez
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Alesa Blanchard-Nelson
Client: Under Armour
Chief Executive Officer & Founder : Kevin Plank
Chief Marketing Officer : Andrew Donkin
Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management: Adrienne Lofton
Senior Vice President, Global Communications : Diane Pelkey
Vice President, Global Creative : Brian Boring
Vice President, Global Consumer Engagement : Jim Mollica
Senior Director, Integrated Brand Communications : Jack Daley
Senior Director, Global Brand Management, Basketball : Julian Duncan
Senior Director, Global Sports Marketing, Basketball : Kris Stone
Director, Campaign Integration : Teresa Oles
Manager, Campaign Integration : Bené Eaton
Manager, Campaign Integration : Kristen Ensor
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Harmony Korine
DOP: Arnaud Potier
President: David Zander
Executive Producer: Kate Leahy
Producer: Laurie Boccaccio
Editor: Leo Scott
Assistant Editor: Vanessa Yuille
Managing Partner: Marc Altshuler
Executive Producer: Lauren Bleiweiss
Producer: Cristina Matracia
Post Production: Blacksmith
Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
Producer: Megan Sweet
VFX Supervisor, Lead 2D: Daniel Morris
2D Compositor: Rich Lyons
2D Compositor: Liz Lyons
2D Compositor: Iwan Zwartz
Colorist: Tom Poole
Short Form Color Producer: Clare Movshon
Written by Thomas Lee Barrett
Performed by T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir
Courtesy of Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, LLC
Under exclusive license from The Numero Group
Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: Steve Rosen
Producer: Patrick Sullivan
Sound Design: Q Department
Executive Producer: Zack Rice
Producer: Guin Frehling