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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Nike wasn't the only brand that was prepared for a Chicago Cubs victory in the World Series last night—with a special commercial ready to go right after the final out.

    Budweiser also rose to the occasion with a great tribute, re-airing a classic commercial from the 1980s featuring legendary Cubs announcer Harry Caray, one of the most beloved characters in the history of the beleaguered franchise.

    It's such a fun, simple spot that stands up today despite its goofiness, because it captures Caray's infectious charm so well.

    And by airing an old spot—from back when the Cubs' next title, as it turns out, was still three decades in the future—the brand not only honored Caray but helped put the team's long drought without a championship in perspective. 

    Separately, the A-B Inbev brand also created the two-minute video below, which uses old audio of Caray that's been stitched together to make it sound like he's announcing the end of last night's game.

    "Harry, they did it," the video description reads. "The impossible is possible. Hear the legend call one last game. Cubs, #ThisBudsForYou." 

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    It seems Wieden + Kennedy was pretty busy in the lead-up to the World Series.

    The agency's Portland, Ore., office created this lovely Cubs tribute on behalf of Nike that aired on Fox right after the final out on Game 7. And now here is a new SportsCenter ad from W+K New York that ran on ESPN (and was posted to Twitter) shortly after the game ended as well.

    It's classic "This Is SportsCenter" advertising—wordless and hilarious, with just the right twist at the end that elevates it to something charmingly clever, a tribute with a wink. 

    As with the Nike ad, you have to wonder what the other version looked like—the one that would have aired had the Indians won the Series. But there's something about erasing a triple-digit number off that whiteboard that just feels right.

    Client: ESPN

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Executive Creative Director: Karl Lieberman
    Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Erwin Federizo
    Creative: Will Binder
    Producer: Alexey Novikov
    Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
    Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf
    Account Team: Mike Welch, Matt Angrisani
    Project Management: Kristin Daly

    Production Company: O Positive
    Director: David Shane
    Executive Producer: Marc Grill
    Producer: Ken Licata Jr.
    Director of Photography: Dave Morabito

    Editorial Company: Mackcut
    Editor: Nick Divers
    Assistant Editor: Zachary Antell
    Post Producer: Sabina-Elease Utley

    VFX Company: Schmigital
    Lead Flame Artist: Jim Hayhow
    Assist: Joseph Miller

    Mix Company: Mackcut
    Sound Designer & Mixer: Sam Shaffer

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    Charles Faircloth doesn't give a crap about the world. He's busy indulging in all the obscenely frivolous pursuits of any ultra-rich wine maker. But he's fine if you want to help make the world a better place. 

    Ad agency Erich & Kallman is out with a new spot for OneHope wines, a brand that gives a portion of all its sales to charitable causes. (It's donated more than $2 million in all, providing clinical trials for cancer patients, homes for shelter animals, meals for children, life-saving vaccines and more.) And to promote this most generous company, it found the least generous spokesman of all.

    Faircloth, the insufferable owner of fictional Faircloth Wines, gives an amusing spiel about all his spoiled-rich-boy interests—before finally, reluctantly, getting to the pitch at hand: 

    The spot was directed by Aaron Stoller of Biscuit Filmworks. Agency creative director Eric Kallman tells Adweek that the team was originally thinking that the Faircloth character should be played by a middle-aged or older actor. 

    "But we decided to cast a wide net and see what we were able to find," Kallman says. "It turns out the talent we discovered made the idea not only funnier and less expected, but the idea hit harder. A spoiled rich kid is even more easy to hate then a rich old man."

    As you can see, the first half of the video was shot in a single take. "But the script was even longer than what you see in the final video," Kallman says. "We ended up cutting it down in the edit to what we think makes for the most entertaining video possible."

    Kallman credits the team at OneHope for embracing the somewhat risky concept.

    "They were eager to make the campaign as breakthrough and sharable as possible," he says. "It was especially cool that OneHope was up for having fun with the stereotype of a rich winery owner, considering the great work they do is through partnerships with a number of the most successful wineries in the world."

    OneHope also made a Faithcloth page on its website with some amusing wines for sale.

    Client: OneHope
    Agency: Erich & Kallman
    Creative Director: Eric Kallman
    Managing Director: Steve Erich
    Head of Accounts: Kate Higgins
    Producer: Jill Garrison
    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Aaron Stoller
    Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
    Executive Producer: Holly Vega
    Producer: Peter Owen
    Head of Production: Rachel Glaub
    Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
    Editorial Company: Arcade
    Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo
    Producer: Gavin Carroll
    Graphics: Central Office
    Designer: Max Erdenberger
    Original Music and and Mix: Barking Owl
    Creative Director/EP: Kelly Bayett
    Composer: Houston Fry
    Mixer: Patrick Navarre
    Color: Company 3
    Colorist: Sofie Borup

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    Apple's latest iPhone rollout wasn't a game changer. Samsung's was a disaster. That leaves room for another phone maker to swoop in and claim its device is the future of mobile. And that's exactly what Moto is looking to do with its first television commercial since 2011. 

    The new work, from Ogilvy & Mather, plays off the lack of enthusiasm and innovation in the mobile phone market this year. The 60-second spot uses a bold color palate to get the viewer to see Moto as the solution to that drudgery. 

    "During a time where our competitors have only been introducing incremental changes to the mobile industry, the Moto Z family and Moto Mods are the first real change the industry has seen in years," Jan Huckfeldt, Motorola's CMO, said in a statement.

    He added: "The goal of the 'Hello Moto' campaign is to elevate Moto brand awareness by reminding consumers of the nostalgic 'Hello Moto' sound of the Razr and drive more pervasive change in how consumers think about—and demand—mobile innovation." 

    While the hyperbole is a bit much—yeah, rose gold isn't an idea, but it's real pretty—the effort is fun and cute and reminds viewers that there are other options.

    Client: Motorola
    Jan Huckfeldt, Vice President of Marketing & CMO
    Quinn O'Brien, Vice President, Worldwide Brand-Lenovo
    Jo Moore, Worldwide Executive Brand Director
    Philip Marchington, Executive Creative Director, Worldwide Marketing

    Agency: Ogilvy NY
    Ryan Blank, Executive Creative Director
    Mike Hahn, Executive Creative Director
    Kevin Reilly, Senior Art Director
    Ian Going, Senior Copywriter

    Sandeep Vasudevan, Managing Director, Worldwide
    Corinne Lowry, Managing Director
    Laura Kanfer, Executive Group Director
    Emily Maier, Management Supervisor
    Melanie Greenblatt, Account Executive
    Sydney Sadler, Assistant Account Executive

    Ashley Wood, Global Consulting Partner
    Kenan Ali, Planning Director

    Eric Soloway, Executive Producer

    Karl Westman, Director of Music
    Sean Tuccillo, Music Production Coordinator

    Production Company: Raucous
    Ben Callner, Director
    Steve Wi, Executive Producer
    Phyllis Koenig, Executive Producer
    Anne Vega, Head of Production
    Adam Callner, Line Producer

    Production Facility: 24/7

    Gordon Mackinnon, Executive Producer
    Sol Jonas, Producer
    Chio del Olmo, Production Manager

    Editorial Company: Ogilvy/H&O Productions NY
    Maxim Bohichik, Editor

    Moto Z + Moto Mods Influencer Program:
    PR Agency: Weber Shandwick
    Content Studio + Production Company: Portal A
    Creative Director: Kai Hasson
    Producer: Elyse Preiss
    Editor: Arturo Morales

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    Chicago Cubs sponsors are celebrating the team's first World Series win in 108 years with various spots and stunts. For its part, Benjamin Moore is encouraging a little sanctioned graffiti—painting W's around town (a reference to the W flag that's flown at Wrigley after each Cubs win, and the associated #FlyTheW hashtag) and giving fans a way to do it, too.

    Working with The Martin Agency, Moore put up a ton of wild postings with painted W's all around Chicago early Thursday, following the Cubs' historic Game 7 victory in Cleveland. It's also planning a major stunt for the victory parade—making 20,000 16-by-20-inch #PaintTheW stencils that it will hand out, so fans can paint their own.

    If you choose to participate, Benjamin Moore would prefer, of course, that you use the official Chicago Cubs colors from its Benjamin Moore Sports Colors Collection. They include Fly the W Blue SC-63, Fly the W White SC-64, Cubbies Blue SC-60, Marquee Red SC-61 and Wrigley Field Green SC-62. 

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    For some folks, it's just not Christmas without Julekake. 

    But, what if Grandma's special recipe for this sweet and savory seasonal bread from Norway has gotten lost in the mists of time, and your best efforts to replicate that particular flavor, texture and aroma don't quite rise to the occasion? 

    In the nearly four-minute film below, Kristian Rex finds himself in this very predicament. Well into middle age, he fondly recalls the yuletide treat, but hasn't been able to savor a slice of proper Julekake—the kind his grandma used to make—since he was a boy. 

    Luckily, his daughter Faye, spice maker McCormick & Co., and ad agency R/GA make the scene. They arrange for a visit from New York chef Daniel Holzman, who rattles the pots and pans in a heroic attempt to delight Kristian's tastebuds with a Sandinavian blast from the past. 

    Will they send Kristian's palate on a sentimental journey of epic proportions? Check out the clip for the solution to this kitchen conundrum:

    Cardamom, of course! That's what the mixture needed. It seems so obvious now.

    Because this is a feel-good holiday campaign, a happy resolution was never really in doubt. (And it seems Kristian could've just experimented with recipes until he found one to his taste, instead of waiting 40 years for a celebrity chef to show up and figure it out, but whatever.)

    "We were inspired by a bit of science," R/GA executive strategy director Jaime Klein Daley tells AdFreak. "It's a fact that smell is the main sense that directly links emotion and memory. That's why certain aromas can evoke a memory of decades past, and why our food rituals at holiday time are so important to us."

    Like most good longish-form branded content, there's no overt sales hook. And spices are essential to the narrative, so the whole setup makes sense for McCormick.

    "Many people have their own lost family recipe, so despite our primary audience being millennials, we felt many generations would connect with the idea of a lost recipe, from Gen-Z'ers to baby boomers," says R/GA associate creative director Troy Leyenaar. (Indeed, McCormick is inviting customers to share their own such experiences via social.)

    As for the film, Holzman's role is crucial, Leyenaar says, "since we needed someone who'd be able to use flavor and aromas to trigger peoples memories, like a sketch artist."

    Just before the three-minute mark, Kristian unfurls a recollection of playing in the snow at his grandmother's house, then coming in for some freshly baked Julekake. He closes his eyes and inhales deeply, as if breathing in the warm, reassuring scent of that long-ago time and place.

    This particular show of emotion really passes the smell test. The overall mood gets a bit sugary, but never boils over into a treacly mess.

    "Although you don't see it in the film, the lost Julekake recipe took a few attempts to actually get right," Leyenaar says. "There were tension points throughout the day as to whether we'd be able to rediscover the holiday bread. Yet, whether we got it exactly 100 percent perfect or not, we were able to help make his memories real thanks to the right spices, even if just for a short while."

    Agency: R/GA New York
    Client: McCormick & Company

    Chief Executive Officer: Lawrence Kurzius
    President North America: Brendan Foley
    Group Vice President & Commercial Leader, U.S. Consumer Products Division: John Bennett
    Vice President Marketing, US Consumer Products Division: Virginia Jordan
    Business Director: James Seidl
    Marketing Manager: Chris Nelson
    Senior Product Manger: Mike Rochford

    EVP, Executive Creative Directors: Taras Wayner, Chloe Gottlieb
    SVP Executive Creative Director: Winston Thomas
    Associate Creative Directorw: Troy Leyenaar, Daniel Prado
    Content Producer: Purvi Sheth
    Management Supervisor: Christina Hemsworth
    Senior Producer: Matt Van Dzura    
    Group Planning Lead: Jaime Klein Daley
    Managing Director: Russell Parrish
    Group Account Director: Craig Goldstein
    Group Director, Production: Catherine Tirpak
    Executive Production Director: Marc Calamia
    Production Coordinator: Jessica Rosen
    Senior Video Editor: John Gramaglia
    Senior Sound Designer: Pete Karam
    Senior Visual Designer: Allison Quick
    Director, Business Affairs: Stephen Bernstein
    Business Affairs Manager: Magdalena Wiater                

    Production: Gravy
    Director: Trent Jaklitsch
    Director of Photography: John Schmidt
    Executive Producer: Brent Stroller
    Producer: Lisa Wieneke-Rich
    Production Supervisor Howard Butler

    Always Analog Heart Music Bed 

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    There's no shortage of nostalgic advertising that pines for the good old days. But were they really good old days? Or were they, in fact, pretty shitty old days that lacked the comforts, conveniences and microwavable burgers of the present?

    Droga5 London darkly and amusingly suggests the latter in its new campaign for Rustlers, the flame-grilled, microwavable burger brand—with a 60-second spot that follows a beleaguered protagonist from childhood to old age who has the crap beat out of him every step of the way.

    Check out the spot here:

    The bleakness and monotony are delivered with a weary wink, culminating in the sad-funny final scene and comically hyperbolic tagline: "What a time to be alive."

    "Initially we had a number of different approaches to film," David Kolbusz, chief creative officer of Droga5 London, tells Adweek. "But we kept returning to one script which was a piss-take of that overly sentimental, well-worn ad construct where you follow a character's journey from adolescence to old age, shot through rose-tinted glasses, and soundtracked to tinkling piano music. We thought it would be funny if you took a character on the same journey through time, but just kicked the shit out of him at every step along the way."

    Somesuch director Steve Rogers helped bring the ad to life.

    "As we dug into it with Steve, it moved pretty far from the original vision and kind of became its own thing. Less pastiche," Kolbusz says. "We fell in love with this repeated, metronomic abuse perpetrated on our hero. It became a lot cuttier than we'd originally intended. More vignettes. And we'd actually shot the ad with the intention of aping the look of the film from each different era. But in the end it felt better to keep all of the past in black and white—like a horrible memory—only introducing color in the glorious present."

    The product is typically consumed by young men but bought by their parents. So, the ads had to appeal to both.

    "We tried to create work that had a bit of spikiness to it and would appeal to our younger audience, but in a way that wouldn't alienate the ones doing the shopping," says Kolbusz. "Poking fun at the hardship our target's parents and grandparents had to endure seemed like a nice way in."

    The spot was shot in Budapest—"a great place to shoot if you're looking for a Venn diagram of depressing meets cinemagraphic," Kolbusz says—and a lot depended on the casting.

    "Even before the prosthetics, you kind of want your main character to look as similar at every life stage as possible," says Kolbusz. "You always forgive the jump from child to adolescent because most people change so much in those formative years. But we got pretty lucky with our young adult and older man. They were temporal doppelgängers. They both had these sad, tired eyes that made every blow they took all the funnier. In the end, you really don't feel the transition between actors."

    The ad's humor "comes from the repetition of abuse, and that's something we were never going to be able to get a sense of until it was all cut together," he adds. "So our evaluative process for whether a scene was working or not came down to us watching our actor being beaten and thinking, 'Yeah, that looks truly horrible.' "

    The outdoor and print work also targets young men and their parents, respectively—with the outdoor much more pithy and the print in long-copy format. Check out that work below.


    Client: Rustlers
    Chief Executive Officer: Simon Walker
    Marketing Development Director: Adrian Lawlor
    Senior Brand Manager: Elaine Rothballer
    Brand Manager: Atiyya Tailor

    Agency: Droga5 London
    Chief Creative Officer: David Kolbusz
    Executive Creative Directors: Rick Dodds, Steve Howell
    Senior Art Director: Charlene Chandrasekaran
    Senior Copywriter: Dan Morris
    Junior Copywriter: Teddy Souter
    Junior Art Director: Frazer Price
    Designer: Chris Chapman
    Account Director: Alex Dousie
    Strategy Director: James Broomfield
    Head of Strategy: Toto Ellis
    Producer: Peter Montgomery

    Production Company: Somesuch
    Director: Steve Rogers
    Managing Director, Owner: Sally Campbell
    Producer: Peter Knowles
    Director of Photography: Tat Radcliffe
    Production Designer: Tünde Caski

    Editing House: The Quarry
    Editor: Jonnie Scarlett

    Postproduction: The Mill

    Sound Facility: String and Tins

    Music Track: "Revolt"
    Artist: Boys Noize

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    The U.S. may be embroiled in one of the—if not the—most miserably vitriolic presidential battles in its history. But Pedigree wants to remind Americans that we can all agree on one thing. Golden retrievers are pretty great.

    The fluffy, affable, goofy standard-bearer of the dog world stars in a new three-minute ad from BBDO New York. In it, a woman dressed in a Hillary Clinton campaign T-shirt shows up at a Donald Trump rally, and then vice versa. Both times, she's toting a pooch she claims she found wandering nearby, using it to make friends of should-be enemies while she pretends to search for its owner.

    Eventually, a second actor shows up to claim the labrador. But in the meantime, the leading mole manages to actually make civil small talk with other human beings, even as they begin to take note of their apparent differences.

    Pedigree's point, naturally, is that Democrats and Republicans have more in common than they think. At least, so long as the topic at hand is trivial, or obvious, and defined in the simplest terms—like "people" or "kids" or "dogs" (because you'd look like a real asshole if you said on camera that you hated any of those things, and at a certain point, vanity will always win).

    It's hard not to wonder, from a more cynical perspective, if the young white woman leading the charming blonde pup might have been received less warmly at the Trump rallies if she were, say, a young black man instead. (To be fair, it's not only people of color who have been met with violence at the Republican nominee's events stretching back to October 2015—in at least one incident, a black Trump supporter has punched a white protester.)

    Then again, golden retrievers are also so relentlessly desperate for love that it's not much of an experiment. The dog's insistence on being pet constantly would distract all but the most hard-hearted of sociopaths from their mission to rage.

    And while Canada may wish to boost America's spirit in other ways, and Activision is encouraging citizens to flee to outer space, it's safe to say large swaths of the country might at this point welcome a happy-go-lucky dog as it president, if for no other reason than it's not either of the current leading candidates.

    Client:  Mars/Pedigree
    Spot: "Vote for Good"

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer BBDO Worldwide - David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer BBDO New York - Greg Hahn
    Head of Production - Dave Rolfe
    Executive Creative Directors - Greg Ketchum, Tom Godici
    Creative Directors - Banks Noel, Greg Gerstner
    Executive Producer - Regina Iannuzzi
    Senior Account Director – Sally Nathans
    Account Director – Elizabeth Kelberg
    Group Planning Director - Annemarie Norris
    Planning Director - Emily Rydin
    Senior Communications Planner - Sean Stogner
    Production Coordinator - Corie Rosenblatt
    Head of Music - Rani Vaz
    Production CO - BBDO Studios
    Director: Win Bates - Crane
    EP of Crane - Constantine Bjerke
    Audio - Sound Lounge - Glen Landrum
    Editorial / Finishing - The Beauty Shop- editor Adam Leibowitz and Lindsey Nadolski & CO3

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    It's the last days of World War II. Cities are in ruins, and everyone—especially any Nazi hoping to escape retribution—is trying to get to anywhere that's not Europe.

    How will they escape?

    One word: Ratlines.

    Ratlines, according to writer Katie Fetting, are "an Underground Railroad for really bad people." Roads and paths, partially created by do-gooders like the Catholic church and the Red Cross's international arm, were swiftly being used by scared Nazis to flee the chaos they had created.

    Occasionally, they crossed paths with those they were persecuting, similarly trying to escape. And such a run-in would make for one hell of a story.

    It's a story that Fetting is dying to tell. By day, she's a vp and creative director for TeamWorks Media, an integrated marketing agency that works primarily with higher education clients, museums and athletic event accounts. 

    Katie Fetting

    On the side, she's attempting to fund and create her own graphic novel based on ratlines used at the end of World War II. She believes in Ratline graphic novel so much, she even donated $5,000 of her own money into her IndieGogo campaign.

    "Graphic novels are a very inclusive medium for non-contemporary eras and non-traditional heroes," said Fetting. "It's still collaborative, and there's more creative control."

    The plot is, broadly, about how tyrannies are "often the effect of people abdicating personal responsibility for the greater good," according to the IndieGogo page, and how that darkness might be in all of us. It's the combination of two strong people who believe they're each following orders. A mix of spies, loyalty and real history comes to life on the pages.

    Fetting spent the early years of her career in Hollywood as a screenwriter, where, she says, "you often have little to no control over the finished product."

    Perhaps it's that notion, of gaining control back and presenting your clearest vision, that drew Fetting into the marketing world while still getting to play in the world of fiction on the side.

    "The problem with World War II is that it's probably the single most covered historical event, artistically," said Fetting. "I've been obsessed with World War II for as long as I can remember. Something about the potential of humans to do wonderful and terrible things."


    Wanting to tell a unique story about such a well-represented span of history put her on the hunt for a new spin on things, and that process was equally helpful for her day-job.

    "I think of my job as being unwaveringly creative in all work, whether it's based on my personal interests or a client's goals," she said. "By having a steady paycheck, I can be fearless in my personal work. By creating personal work, I can stay inspired and current for my clients."

    Getting to use your creative muscles for your own projects can lead you to thinking beyond the usual range of ideas for clients or your office job. It can also help you focus on issues that you're personally passionate about.

    "From the beginning of my creative career, I've championed female main characters," said Fetting. "There were these fantastic women in World War II, who in many cases proved hardier (and heartier) than the men. People need to know about them."

    Her protagonist is described as "a composite of a bunch of badass female spies from the World War II era including Violette Szabo, Christine Granville and Virginia Hall."

    Trying to convince friends and fans to donate to a campaign for a graphic novel with that storyline has taught Fetting even more about her job., she said

    "It's helpful to test tactics without the pressure of a client contract," she said. "I've learned so much about crowdfunding and social targeting, primarily by making mistakes. I'm more likely to forgive myself for these mistakes than a client might be."

    Since this campaign is crowdfunded and seems to be falling short of its goal, Fetting isn't quite sure if the project, in this iteration, will survive. Her hopes are for her and her collaborator, artist Mark Reihill, to create the book and take it to local comic stores while approaching comic distributors. If that all goes well, she's got a prequel and a sequel in mind, perhaps breaking into the Cold War.

    "If the campaign doesn't raise the money, I'll work with Mark to chip away at it, a page at a time, until I'm 98," said Fetting. "That gives me 59 years to convince Emily Blunt to sign on."

    (Her main character, Hanna, has been described by Fetting as a "hotter Emily Blunt," thereby making Fetting's biggest hope: "Already hot Emily Blunt signs on to play hotter Emily Blunt in the motion picture. Oscars follow. A tryst with Colin Farrell. World peace.")

    No matter what direction her side job takes off in, Fetting will continue to make "spiffy content" for her brands and partners.

    "I'm lucky that I work for a company that values its employees' time," she said, "both inside the 9-to-5 and outside of it."

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    Got $394 million lying around? You should go look at Century 21's latest property listing—a lovely house in Washington, D.C., whose current residents are moving out in January.

    The listing for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has all the details of the historic mansion. It's almost 55,000 square feet, with 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 52 acres of land.

    But alas, even if you have half a billion dollars, it's not actually for sale. This is a MullenLowe stunt for Election Day. You'll notice a "Help Find the Next Tenant" button, which allows you to find your closest polling location.

    It's a fun little gimmick that makes great use of the marketer's familiar web presence. And it continues a run of similar stunts—the most famous of which, perhaps, involved putting Walter White's Albuquerque home for sale on Craigslist on the night of the Breaking Bad finale in 2013. 

    Client: Century 21
    Agency: MullenLowe
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
    Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
    Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist
    Creative Director: Jon Ruby
    Creative Director: Enrique Camacho
    Art Director: Ian Todd
    Copywriter: Bryan Hradek
    Digital Imaging Supervisor: Nick Bleil
    Dir., Dev Operations: Steve Laham
    Sr. Developer: Dan Johnston
    QA :  Eliza Pedersen
    Group Head, Digital Producer: Natalie Bergeron
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Vanessa Fazio
    VP, Director of Art Production: Tracy Maidment
    VP, Account Director: Emily Mahlman
    Account Supervisor: Brittany Zahoruiko
    Senior Account Executive: Sammy Toole
    Senior Account Executive: Meaghan Quinn
    Senior Account Executive: Lauren Zinn
    Project Manager:  Jessica McLeod

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    Here's a fantastic use of in-store media by Ikea to bring the reality of the Syrian crisis home to those enveloped in the comforts of the West—indeed, those right in the middle of shopping for those very comforts.

    Everyone is familiar with the showrooms in your typical Ikea. But one room in Ikea Slependen, the retailer's flagship store in Norway, was quite unexpected. It's a replica of a real Syrian home—25 square meters of cinder block walls and meager furnishings.

    Ikea posters and price tags in the space tell the story of a typical Syrian family's plight, including the lack of food, medicine and clean water. The price tags also serve as donation slips, as the stunt is a fundraising effort with the Red Cross, created by ad agency POL.

    The home is a replica of an actual residence in Damascus, as the video below explains.

    "Having visited Rana and learned how she and her family survive outside Damascus, we wanted to rebuild her home as truthfully as we could," POL art director Snorre Martinsen tells AdFreak. "It would have been easier to just put up wallpaper, but it wouldn't have felt the same. People who had fled war themselves have told us, 'This is how it feels.' 'I remember this.' "

    The installation was live from Oct. 17-31. It was seen by some 40,000 visitors weekly, and the campaign raised some 22 million euros for the Red Cross' efforts in Syria.

    "We already had a lot of footage from within Syria, but no matter how emotional it was, nothing got close to the experience of visiting people in a war zone," says Martinsen. "We realized we could give Norwegians that experience. Placing a Syrian home next to all the Scandinavian homes was obviously a brave move from the warehouse, but it made it clearer than any TV commercial how crucial it is to donate and help." 

    Clients: NRK TV-aksjonen, Ikea Norway and Norwegian Red Cross
    Agency: POL - pol.oslo.no
    Copywriter: Maja Folgerö
    Art Director: Snorre Martinsen
    Designers: Andrea Engum, Christian Lauritzen, Ole Jakob Böe Skattum
    Account Manager: Ina Egelandsdal
    Account Director: Monika Augustsson

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    We know, we know—it's been an exhausting, mind-boggling election season. 

    But did you ever consider how Republicans feel? Sure, the Democrats lost Bernie, but at least there was Hillary. Even if she doesn't inspire roiling meme-able passions, she's qualified for the gig she's running for. 

    On the other side of the field, there's the guy whose face is perhaps best known for giving The Apprentice its dramatic stakes. What's a Republican to do? 

    With this quandary in mind, a few creatives at Wieden + Kennedy decided to help their disillusioned Red buddies out. Say hello to "1-Day Democrat."

    The campaign is a call to arms for Republicans who may opt out of voting: If you want to save democracy (and your party), vote Democrat just for one day. You can forget about it on Nov. 9, and nobody ever has to know. But at least we won't be facing a morning-after that brings us flashbacks of Brexit.

    Detractors may point out this solution won't exactly spark fire in the hearts of garden-variety Republicans. That's fair, but consider—this election year, who's really going to get what they want? 

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    If you're an environmentally conscious freelancer who loves to travel, rejoice! Nissan just crammed a personal office into the back of an electric van.

    There are all the basic necessities—chair, desk, Wi-Fi, charging station for your phone—plus some nifty perks, like a Bluetooth speaker, a mini fridge and an espresso machine that rises mechanically out of the counter like some miracle altar to the gods.

    Design firm Studio Hardie of Lewes, England, created the van, which is a souped-up version of Nissan's E-NV200 model. It also includes a lighting system controlled via app, a glass roof and a folding bicycle hitched to the inside of the back door, so you can break away with a secondary means of transportation. Most bizarre, though, is the wooden platform that slides out of the van's rear floor. Nissan bills it as a "deck" for relaxing. A more likely use seems as a plank for unloading mutinous interns.

    The concept feels in some ways like a more utilitarian, prosaic, real-life version of German hardware store Hornbach's delightful 2010 ad "The Infinite House," about a man who turns a tiny shack into an impossibly warm, continuously unfolding home. In a more current (and again, realistic) comparison, it also calls to mind some of the features—like a mini-bar similarly hidden in a windowsill—that come with an Emirates airline first-class seat, perhaps more accurately described as a flying hotel room, which Casey Neistat deftly captured on camera recently.

    The Nissan van's zero-emissions footprint, though, is a unique—and key—selling point. And before you point to the difficulty of refueling as grounds to dismiss the idea as fanciful, it's important to note that the automaker expects the number of electric vehicle charge points in the U.K. to surpass the number of gas stations in the country by 2020.

    Whether anyone actually wants to spend that much time packed like a sardine into a very fancy tin can is a different question. Then again, it's still nicer than most cubicles, if you don't mind posting up wherever you can find parking.

    More pics below. Via My Modern Met and Design Taxi.

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    Elle Fanning whirls and twirls as Roberto Fonseca's insistent, ever-building "Mi Negra Ave Maria" unfurls on the soundtrack. Manhattan's glass and concrete canyons shimmer and shine. Gift boxes fall like snowflakes while precious gems sparkle! sparkle! sparkle!

    Such is Ogilvy & Mather's 2016 holiday commercial for Tiffany & Co., which also serves as a celebratory marker for the iconic luxury retailer's 130th anniversary.

    Though not a yuletide song, the music selection feels suitably seasonal and really propels the spot. The swelling piano runs and poetic lyrics add a mystical sense of urgency not normally associated with ads for the Tiffany brand.

    Called "Make the World Sparkle" (what else?), the clip rocks a more intense vibe than the brand's 2015 holiday ad, with its chiseled dude rushing through the slush to give his best gal a Tiffany's bauble, or 2014's animated extravaganza.

    On balance, this year's montage of sight and sound is pretentious yet persuasive (if you can handle the Tiffany's price tag), offering passage to a fantasy land where conspicuous consumption twinkles like bejeweled trees topped by 14-carat stars.

    Client: Tiffany

    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
    Group Creative Directors: Debra Fried, Philipp Muessigmann

    Directors: Sophie Caretta, Philippe La Sourd
    Wardrobe Stylist: Edward Enninful
    Set Design: Stephen Beckham
    Hair: Akki
    Makeup: Jeanine Lobell
    Talent: Elle Fanning, Sam Rollinson, Mathias Lauridesen, Lev Foreman

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    Every holiday, British department stores compete for whose ad will wring the most tears out of their customers. Given that this is a pretty crowded race, Harvey Nichols shoots for a category in which it's pretty much alone—the appeal of pure, unfettered materialism.

    In this vein, it's taught us how to battle the deathlike rictus of "gift face," and even created a super-cheap line of crappy presents for people who'd rather spend their holiday budgets on themselves.

    This year, Harvey Nichols kicks off winter with a wicked promotion for the Italian goods now available to its customers. Created by adam&eveDDB, "Britalia" appropriates a famous scene from As You Desire Me, a Luigi Pirandello play, in which an Italian couple are having a heated argument.

    The subtitles have been changed, "Downfall"-style, to make it look like they're really unhappy with Harvey Nichols stealing everything worth living for in Italy, from Versace underpants to fancy pasta.

    Thieving rats!

    According to the department store, Italian products are the most sought-after items for holiday gifting, with sales of Italian wines, food, leather goods and accessories rising during this period. In response, Harvey Nichols is launching a new range of Italian merch, starting this month, from both emerging and established brands. 

    It's also preparing a range of Italian hospitality experiences and partnerships, following joint Opinium research that finds U.K. households incorporate Italian products and traditions into their own celebrations. Some 25 percent of British adults consider Panettone, a kind of raisin brioche, a staple Christmas food; 20 percent buy Italian dessert to gift to loved ones; and 52 percent consider Prosecco a good Christmas day companion (as opposed to our own preference for after-holiday whisky, enjoyed alone). 

    As a typically cheeky aside, Harvey Nichols also found that Italians are more likely to argue with family on Christmas (45 percent, versus 41 percent of Brits) and to keep grudges longer, too ... which perhaps inspired the choice of video. 

    "There could be no better time to celebrate Italy," says Shadi Halliwell, creative and marketing director at Harvey Nichols. "All aspects of Italian culture are experiencing a renaissance, and our recent sales data show that Italian products are the gifting items our customers turn to. We're delighted to be celebrating 'Britalia' and expanding our Italian fashion, food, drink and beauty collections to provide our customers with the most stylish edit of luxurious gifts."

    The campaign went live Nov. 3, with print and outdoor executions following on Nov. 9. Below, check out some of the store's "Britalia" window dressings.


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    Johnnie Walker, the whisky brand that famously traversed the world, makes stops in American cities like Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., in its latest campaign from Anomaly, timed to Election Day.

    Themed "Keep Walking America," this particular road trip is powered by a heartfelt spoken-word rendition of "This Land Is Your Land," Woody Guthrie's iconic 1940 celebration of social justice and inclusion.

    Voiceover artist Rommel Molina provides the narration, including some phrases in Spanish, during the 90-second spot below. His lightly accented recitation, plainly stated yet intense and yearning, speaks volumes about the American experience:

    "As we were developing the campaign, we felt strongly that the spoken lyrics of our anthem should be powerfully delivered, distinct and an authentic representation of America's cultural diversity," Stephanie Jacoby, client vp of marketing, tells Adweek. "We are proud that the lyrics are read in both English and Spanish, reflecting the mix of languages spoken daily in our communities." 

    The ad starts off with some lines often excluded from recorded versions of the song: "As I went walking, I saw a sign. And on the sign it said, 'No Trespassing.' But on the other side, it said nothing. That side was made for you and me." 

    Spoken over a moody montage of average folks going about their daily grind—including an ER nurse, a cattle rancher, a ballerina and a military veteran—those words really resonate. 

    "We hope this work is not only an inspiration but a reminder that each and every one of us have an important role within society," says Anomaly New York CEO Karina Wilsher, "and that individual progress can lead to collective progress for the future of our country."

    Shot documentary-style in different U.S. cities over two weeks by Anonymous Content's Chris Sargent, the ad wisely avoid clichéd appeals to Americana. There are no shots of Old Glory or Fourth of July fireworks—just footage of hard-working Americans of various ages and ethnicities doing their jobs and living their lives. (Also, the jaunty atmosphere of Anomaly's initial work for the brand is nowhere in sight.)

    Overall, the new film manages to be more than the sum of its parts, mainly because the earthy, at times gritty visuals and evocative words (Woody Guthrie sure could write copy) mesh exceptionally well.

    Of course, it's election season (hadn't you heard?), so brands of all stripes have been waving the Red, White and Blue. Still, Johnnie Walker believes its approach "significantly distinguishes 'Keep Walking America' from other campaigns and reinforces the brand's role as an icon of progress," Jacoby says.

    That might sound like hyperbole, and some could accuse the distiller of overreaching. Still, it's worth noting that the Scottish whisky itself was once a stranger to these shores and worked hard to succeed in a new land. It clearly knows a thing or two about mixing sundry tastes into the cocktail of American culture, and this effort effectively stirs up some important ideas worth everyone's consideration.

    "The campaign speaks to all Americans," Jacoby says, "but we think it's especially resonant with the multicultural generation, which is deeply passionate about their viewpoints and their important role contributing to our country's advancement. We hope our campaign ignites meaningful discourse on cultural diversity and how it adds to the rich fabric of America today."

    Brand: Johnnie Walker
    Campaign: "Keep Walking America"
    Client: Diageo North America
    James Thompson, CMO
    Alex Tomlin, SVP Marketing
    Stephanie Jacoby, VP Marketing

    Agency: Anomaly New York
    Production Co.: Anonymous Content
    Director: Chris Sargent
    Executive Producer: Ayelet Weinerman
    Edit: Saints Editorial
    Editor: Ross Birchall
    Mix: Heard City
    Post Production: Method Studios
    VO: Rommel Molina

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    A fake John Lewis ad about a lonely snowman, created by a young student as part of his coursework, is making waves in the U.K.—befuddling viewers and drawing widespread attention ahead of the release of the retailer's real Christmas commercial.

    Earlier this year, 18-year-old Nick Jablonka created a minute-and-a-half-long spot to accompany an essay about the British retailer's popular holiday marketing campaigns. Back in June, he also uploaded it to YouTube. But in the past several days, U.K. news outlets began reporting that the ad had gone viral, with some in the country mistaking it for the official version of John Lewis's annually anticipated tearjerker.

    To be fair, the general tone of Jablonka's ad is in keeping with John Lewis's heart-twanging tradition. A snowman trapped in a snow globe presses his hands against the the glass, fantasizing about a romance with a snow woman, while wistful music drives home his persistent isolation. Eventually, he seems to find comfort in his ability to imagine companionship, even if he's stuck by himself.

    The ad has a lot to recommend it. The simple story, while a little abstract in its payoff, is an engaging enough vehicle for the inviting visuals. The soundtrack, a cover of Genesis's "Follow You, Follow Me" by Vapor featuring Adaline, plays an outsized role in carrying the story (another characteristic of actual John Lewis ads).

    It would also, though, appear to owe a lot to a 2015 Christmas spot from Cineplex, a North American movie theater chain, which relied on the same recording of the same song, and featured an animated story about a little girl and a snowman she builds, and stuffs away in a freezer every year to avoid the melt. Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo created that ad.

    Jablonka says he made his in just two weeks, for a media assignment, and never meant to pass it off as an actual commercial.

    Nonetheless, it's a notable solo effort. London public relations agency W announced this week, following the rapid rise in the ad's profile, that it had offered Jablonka a job, reports the Daily Mail. Some online commenters had called for John Lewis to hire him, and even claimed his spot may prove better than the retailer's own ad.

    That sentiment, though, may reveal more about the public's thirst for the official version—expected to break this Thursday—than anything else. And if recent years are any indication, that's likely to be a high bar to beat. 

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    Adult acne is no fun, but it can be hilarious, especially when tracked around the clock for nine solid days via a head-mounted camera. That's the stunt at the heart of the first major ad campaign for Nerd Skincare, a San Francisco startup founded by biomedical engineer Evelyn Chen.

    But the young CEO isn't the only star of this five-minute video. (She happens to play a great straight man, though, and she infected her own face with bacteria as an on-air product demo.) Actress and comedian Laura Clery takes the role often played by celebrities in zit-cream testimonials and runs with it, showing the dramatic fallout of pimple breakouts.

    Hint: You won't get laid, you won't land that job, and you might kill your boyfriend.

    The campaign comes from Chamber.Media with a big hat-tip to the Harmon Brothers, fellow Utah-based ad mavens who have developed long-form viral videos for brands like Squatty Potty, Chatbooks and FiberFix. Since relocating from Los Angeles to Provo, Chamber.media execs have enlisted the Harmons as guides in this particular form of advertising that mixes infomercial with story-centric entertainment.

    "We've always been focused on shares and sales, and we've taken a lot of cues from the Harmons," Travis Chambers, the company's chief media hacker, tells AdFreak. "For Nerd, this is a direct marketing piece that uses an age-old way of selling, but with a really endearing, approachable spokesperson."

    Chamber.Media is striving for "an SNL standard" in the Nerd Skincare video. That's Chambers, a veteran of CP+B L.A., playing the boyfriend who falls out the window, by the way. Clery, also a well-known Facebook influencer, wrote the script, giving it what Chambers calls "something unexpected." And working with a new brand meant fewer layers of approval. "When you only have a couple of decision makers, you can do something edgy and different, not like a traditional TV spot," he says.

    The video launches today on social media, with paid ads kicking in later, says Chambers, whose company is responsible for a NordicTrack ad ("World's Largest Treadmill Dance") that snagged 4 million views on YouTube alone and propelled more than $5 million in sales.

    For the Nerd Skincare video, mostly shot on sets in Salt Lake City, the team reprogrammed a GoPro so it could record for nine days, while Chen wore the "helmet cam" consistently, even in the shower. Chen "is a scientist, not an actor," but wanted to be part of the pitch, Chambers said.

    She'd also given the directive of "dark humor" for the video, leading to the job interview from hell, the pervy dude playing "bad bacteria," and the pimply game of Whack-A-Mole. There's also some ugly crying and crazed affirmations for what Chambers hopes is a "real and authentic skincare ad like no one's ever seen before."

    Client: Nerd Skincare
    Agency: Chamber.Media
    Director, Executive Producer: Travis Chambers
    Creative Directors: Travis Chambers, Stefan van de Graaff
    Producer: Stefan van de Graaff
    Director of Photography: Jared Fadel
    Writer, Lead Actor: Laura Clery
    VFX & Editing: Alan Seawright
    Ad Ops Director: Evan Vilos
    Art Director: Hazel Wong
    Assistant Director: Bob Conder
    Gaffer: Carl Gundestrup
    Set Design: Dillon Ellefson
    FX: Wray Featherstone
    Hair & Make-up: Vanae Morris
    Wardrobe: Tamara Haller
    1st AC: Andy Baker
    Audio Tech: Christian Burton
    Motion Graphics: John Smith

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    Droga5 has quietly created a lot of advertising for Hillary Clinton during Election 2016. The most simple and powerful spot in the bunch, "Role Models," has been effective enough that it's been getting a second airing in the weeks leading up to today's vote—after initially rolling out in July.

    Kevin Brady, executive creative director at Droga5, has been closely involved in the Hillary work. In the video above, he tells us about the inspiration for "Role Models," which was as simple and straightforward as the spot itself.

    Brady also shares his three favorite ads ever, and tells us what—or rather, who—has been inspiring him outside the world of advertising lately. 

    See Clinton's full "Role Models" spot below. 

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

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    Yes, Cap'n Crunch is a kids' cereal. But it has another significant fan base—millennial males, who snack on the stuff at non-breakfast times, including late night, while playing video games, watching TV and doing other millennial-male stuff. 

    To reach this target, the Quaker brand worked with Funny Or Die over the past year to develop a branded entertainment series, whose theme embodies this breakfast staple's time-shifted target—it's about a morning show that takes place in the middle of the night. 

    The six-episode series stars Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec, House of Lies) and Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black) as co-hosts of the fictional program, called The Earliest Show. Various celebrities appear as guests, including Reggie Miller, Reggie Watts, Thomas Middleditch, Jake Johnson, Jane Levy and Pedro Pascal. 

    The first episode debuted Oct. 27. The second breaks this morning. (You can watch it below on Adweek.com exclusively before it rolls out later today.) Four more will air in the coming weeks, along with two collections of outtakes. 

    Chris Bruss, president of digital at Funny Or Die, told Adweek that the process of creating The Earliest Show was unlike any branded content work FOD has produced in the past.

    "The twist here, which really made this a bit of a curveball, is that [Cap'n Crunch] wanted some notable talent in it, but they didn't want to just go and develop an idea and a script and then cast a celebrity in the role," Bruss said. "They wanted us to get the main talent first, and then build the creative in partnership with them. We've never really done that for a brand before. It was much more like how we would make a TV show, frankly." 

    Indeed, much of the vision for the series came from Schwartz. He signed on for the project only after getting the greenlight to have the show focus on a concept he'd been kicking around on his own for a while—a comedy about a TV host who goes through a very public breakup on air.

    "We framed up a core idea with Funny Or Die, but we really wanted the right creative talent to lend their voice to what this could be," said Jessica Spaulding, ready-to-eat cereal marketing director at Cap'n Crunch parent company Quaker. "We wanted to co-develop it and co-create it with them. It wasn't just about partnering with a really strong comedian. It was about somebody who could elevate the concept with their voice. Ben was such a natural, given who he's played in the past and who he naturally speaks to." 

    She added: "Once I spoke to Ben and heard his passion for the idea, it was a slam dunk that we would move forward with it." 

    The show's skits are high-energy and goofy, a kind of morning show on loopy steroids. The Cap'n Crunch integration isn't overwhelming but is prominent. The brand is worked into various show segments, notably including cooking tutorials, and is also featured during fake ad breaks at the halfway point of each episode. Because the show is meant to take place in the middle of the night, the ads are made to look like wacky infomercials.

    "We didn't want it to be heavy handed, but we didn't want it to not appear at all, or to be like we were hiding the brand," Spaulding said of the product cameos. "We wanted to pick our places to have the ads in ways that felt natural to the humor. … Infomercials were a natural fit and a really funny way to continue the humor of the show." 

    Bruss adds: "We wanted the ads to be really funny, really brief, so you don't get taken out of the narrative." 

    Spaulding said she feels the approach has the potential to truly connect with the target in ways that typical brand sponsorships don't. 

    "As we started looking at who talks about our brand, and who really shows that love for our brand, it was these millennial males," she said. "They are a primary consumer of our cereal. And when we looked at how they were consuming it, and how they were talking about the product, it wasn't the typical 'around the breakfast table in the morning.' It was on the go, it was at night, it was while playing video games. It's really a part of their experience. From a media standpoint, we need to be part of that experience versus interrupting it."

    She added: "What we really liked about [The Earliest Show] was that, versus starting with a tactic or a 30-second spot, it allowed us to put a platform at the center of our marketing program, and be a way for the brand to speak and add value to our consumer's life in an innovative and unique way. … We've dabbled in branded sponsorships in the past, but this isn't something we or Funny Or Die have done in the past. I think this is where content will be moving. Our consumers just read 'branded sponsorships' as more noise and interruption. We had to work hard to create an experience they would find value in, and that the brand could be an authentic part of."

    Bruss said Schwartz being so central to the equation is innovative for the space.

    "Hopefully this is going to turn some heads in advertising. It already has in the world of entertainment," he said. "It's almost like he sold a show. He sold a show to Funny Or Die and Cap'n Crunch. No one has ever really done that before. I've had a lot of phone calls from managers and agents and talent saying, 'I've got an idea. Is there something we can all work on together?' That's never been the case before."

    How will Cap'n Crunch gauge the success of the series?

    "We built KPI's into the media plan to ensure that we were investing in the right areas at the right levels, based on the typical measures of viewership and length of viewership," said Spaulding. "We felt that we all wanted skin in the game of this being successful, of reaching those key KPI's of impressions and length of viewership. They are slightly longer pieces of content, so we felt that was really important. And then we have our typical equity metrics as well." 

    Digital agency iCrossing is also involved in the campaign, and while not accountable for the creation of the series, is managing the cross-channel approach. 


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