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  • 03/14/13--07:00: Ad of the Day: Carlsberg
  • Lately it seems like every day is April 1 in advertising, based on how many campaigns are pranking ordinary people.

    Cue Carlsberg's latest stunt, which rouses unsuspecting people from their beds (or wherever) between 1 and 5 a.m. with panicked calls from their friends, who claim they just lost $400 playing poker and must come up with the cash immediately—or else. "Come down now or I'm gone," one says ominously. When the friends arrive with the money at what appears to be a seedy building in Chinatown, they must pass by bouncers, bare-chested brawlers and other unsavory sights to reach the game on the third floor, where curtains part, game-show style, once the gag is revealed. Ultimately, Carlsbergs are raised in praise of "standing up for a friend."

    Belgium's Duval Guillaume Modem dealt this particular hand. The same agency created Carlsberg's burly-bikers-in-a-movie-theater viral and TNT's uber-popular and over-the-top "Push to add drama" stunts. The poker prank, while elaborate and invasive, actually seems a tad tame by the genre's current standards. It's nowhere near as shocking as last week's faux elevator strangling for the movie thriller Dead Man Down, or as intricately upsetting as Nivea's airport ambush in February, which strove to convince people that they were wanted by the law.

    Still, the public's appetite for such fare seems far from sated, as the poker play has passed a quarter-million YouTube views in two days. My favorite bit takes place in an elevator, where an old guy offers the prank victims some sketchy-looking meat on a skewer. (UPDATE: The brewer informs us those are actually grasshoppers!) In this genre, weird stuff always happens in elevators.

    If you're trapped in prankvertising, take the stairs.

    Client: Carlsberg
    Agency: Duval Guillaume Modem, Antwerp, Belgium
    Creative Directors: Geoffrey Hantson, Katrien Bottez
    Art Director: Koenraad Lefever
    Copywriter: Dries De Wilde
    Account Director: Elke Janssens
    Account Manager: Bart Verschueren
    Agency Producer: Marc Van Buggenhout
    Digital Strategic Director: Kris Hoet
    Conversation Manager: Maarten Van Herck
    Production Company: Monodot
    Director: Cecilia Verheyden
    Executive Producer: Tatiana Pierre
    Producers: Bo De Group, Charlotte Cotman
    DOP : Pieter van Alphen
    Post-Production Manager: Frauke Dierickx
    Editor: Joris Vanden Berk
    Sound studio: Sonicville
    Post-Production company: Grid Brussels

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    Doritos go boom on the big screen! Never mind what they do when they land in your belly. As part of an all-out commercial assault for its newest hybrid taco, Taco Bell has created the first 3-D fast-food ad for movie audiences. Launched last week by agency Draftfcb, the spot's three-dimensional wizardry shows a single Cool Ranch Dorito exploding and morphing into a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. From your seat in the multiplex, you'll feel like you can reach out and grab one of those fatty shards of salt and maltodextrin. And when you leave, you'll be a short skip—somewhere within a five-mile radius—of a local Taco Bell, according to research from the ad seller, NCM Media Networks. It's little surprise that Taco Bell chose the 40-foot screen as a media buy: There are 700 million moviegoers a year at NCM venues like Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and AMC theaters, and one out of three already hit Taco Bell at least once a month. That's a whole lot of hungry 18-year-olds who are unconcerned about their cholesterol levels. Last year's debut of Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos was the most successful product launch in the chain's history. The sequel was inevitable—or as the ad calls it, the world's most obvious idea. Folks have already been miffed that they couldn't get their hands on a Cool Ranch taco quickly enough, taking to social media to bitch about it. To which Taco Bell says: Keep calm and "Live Más."

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    It says something about banner ads that the best ones—with a few exceptions, like this and this—are the ones that are laughably, shareably bad. You've seen them. And now Old Spice is parodying them. Or rather, its new marketing chief, Mr. Wolfdog, is parodying them. He posted the five banners below to his Tumblr today, with the same note on each: "I have achieved another mountain of a business achievement. I have made effective banner ads." Wolfdog may be a shameless, talentless moron, but he's not wrong—and in that sense, he may be the most hilariously prototypical CMO ever. Since introducing himself to the world on Monday, Wolfdog—the marketing brains behind the Old Spice Wild Collection "smell products" (influenced maybe a little by Wieden + Kennedy)—has been busy all over the Internet. He's posted more YouTube videos; made a Pinterest page, Vine videos and an album of inspirational business music; hosted Google+ Hangouts with his Twitter followers; posted a toll-free number (866-695-2407) to help those who need to look busy at work; played Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Xbox Live; made animated GIFs; and whipped up websites like worldsbiggestchart.com. In short, he's done everything (and much more) that a marketing director should do in social media—while inherently poking fun at how hollow and rote and mindless it all is. Which of course is what makes it actually amusing and worthwhile. Such self-referential anti-advertising could feel overly cynical, but here it rises above—as usual for this agency and client—by the quality of the writing.

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    Just watch this astounding Tide commercial from Saatchi & Saatchi in New York. It came out in January, so quietly that we didn't even notice it. And that's the beauty of it. See the dad? He's an ordinary dad. I'll let that sink in. He's not a buffoon, the butt of a joke, a clueless child who needs his wife to take care of him. He's not afraid of washing his daughter's clothes, or even a guy who has to supplement his masculinity by doing pull-ups and crunches after he handles a princess dress, like Tide's overcompensating dad-mom from 2011. He's just a guy with a daughter—who also bucks gender roles, by the way, by managing to be a messy tomboy even while she's wearing a princess dress. Judging by the YouTube comments, parents are loving it. Tide deserves a standing ovation for this bold statement in the movement to take back fatherhood.

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  • 03/15/13--11:31: Ad of the Day: Valspar
  • Choosing a paint color is a pretty big commitment. If you paint a room in a color you hate, you'll either have to paint the whole thing over again, shell out for someone else to repaint it, or resign yourself to living with a horrific shade of mustard yellow that looked so much better on the paint chip.

    Valspar is trying to take some of the anxiety out of the color-commitment process with its new "Love Your Color Guarantee," which allows anyone who doesn't love their Valspar paint to get another color gratis. (Unfortunately, the guarantee doesn't include a crew of painters.)

    To prove how painless the process is, Draftfcb created this spot starring a pair of talking chameleons—Jon and Val, in case you were wondering—who are struggling to choose their own paint color for their living room. (You didn't know that chameleons live in houses? Duh.) Because Jon and Val are chameleons, they can easily shift to match any of the colors on the vibrant Valspar paint chips they're considering—unlike their living room, Jon points out, which will be stuck with whatever color they decide on. But Val knows about the "Love Your Color" guarantee, which means that if she decides to go with a hideous shade of purple, she can change her mind later. Problem solved!

    There's just one more nagging issue: How the hell do two chameleons paint a living room?

    Client: Valspar
    Vice President, Director of Marketing: John Anton
    Director of Brand Marketing: Paula Shikany

    Agency: Draftfcb, Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    Group Creative Director: Gigi Carroll
    Creative Director, Writer: Drew Donatelle
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Myra Mazzei
    Group Management Director: Scot Havrilla
    Account Management Director: Rebeca Bechily

    Production Company: The Mill
    Directors: Ben Smith, Yann Mabille
    Executive Producer: Ian Bearce
    Producer: R. Stephan Mohammed

    Editing Company: The Mill
    Editor: Jonathan Rippon

    Postproduction, Visual Effects Company: The Mill
    Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
    Visual Effects Producers: Zu Alkadiri, Heath Raymond, Dee Allen
    2-D Lead Artist: Tomas Wall
    3-D Lead Artist: Christian Nielsen
    2-D Artist: Erin Nash
    3-D Artists: Joshua Merck, Laurent Makowski, Laurent Giaume, Timothy Kim, Alex Allain, Zang Chen, Justin Diamond, Hassan Taimur, Paul Liaw, John Wilson, Jeffrey Lee, Han Hu, Christina Ku
    Motion Graphics: Tetsuro Mise
    Colorist: Damien Van Der Cruyssen

    Character Designers: Tim Haldeen, Bryce Wymer

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    "Just because I fart at parties now and then, it doesn't make me a farter." That's how I plan to begin my memoirs, and it's also a key line in the Ontario Ministry of Health's "Quit the Denial" campaign from BBDO Toronto, directed by the Perlorian Brothers. We meet a gassy lass who lets fly when partying with friends, dancing or chatting up guys. She asks one dude coquettishly, "Do you want to go outside for a fart?" (Where's this noxious angel been all my life?) She is, of course, in denial, just like people who claim to be "social smokers" and insist they're not addicts. (A companion spot features "social nibblers" who mooch food from other people's plates. But there's no farting in that one, so who cares?) It's a splendidly sophomoric approach and definitely diverting, though I wonder if it's ultimately too light and insubstantial, lacking substance—like, oh I don't know, a passing wind, perhaps? Besides, if there were no more smokers, who's going to add some spark to these farty parties by lighting a match?

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    First, Amazon treated gay marriage like it was no big whoop in its latest Kindle ad. And now this. Microsoft has juxtaposed becoming a professional stuntman with getting gay married in its latest Outlook.com ad from Deutsch in New York. Much like the Kindle spot, the lesbian wedding here is treated as nothing out of the ordinary. That's right, a truck explodes (you'll remember the stunt driver from the launch ad for this campaign), and then some lesbians get married, and it's no big deal—as the happy Outlook.com user congratulates her newly married friend, pressing her hands together with an expression of sheer delight. Truly, when juggernaut advertisers decide that endorsing gay marriage won't hurt their bottom line, there's been a sea change in society.

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    Cookie or creme? Perhaps not surprisingly, Oreo says it's both. Following the "Whisper Fight" Super Bowl spot, the #cookiethis/#cremethis Instagram campaign, the Oreo Separator videos and the "Life Raft" TV spot, Wieden + Kennedy today wraps up its "Cookie vs. Creme" campaign with SuperImportantTest.com, an amusing grab bag of a website which makes it clear that there's no wrong answer to the question of which part of an Oreo is better. Submitting a vote on the site takes you to one of more than 30 silly videos—from 2-D horse animations to robotic cats and everything in between. Directors, production companies and YouTube personalities from "six different time zones" (!?) created the clips, the agency says. After each one, you can go back and cycle through the others. All in all, the campaign was a pleasant confection—six weeks of inspired silliness which proved that even with kind of a dumb premise, Oreo can still have plenty of fun. Credits below.

    Client: Oreo
    Project: Super Important Test

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Jason Bagley, Craig Allen
    Digital Director: Matt O'Rourke
    Copywriter, Digital Creative: Jarrod Higgins
    Art Director: Ruth Bellotti
    Account Team: Scott Sullivan, Jessie Young, Ken Smith
    Broadcast Producer: Katie Reardon
    Broadcast Production Director: Ben Grylewicz
    Interactive Producer: Robbie Veltman
    Executive Interactive Producer: Lori DeBortoli
    Information Architect: Jake Doran
    Digital Designer: Paul Levy
    Creative Technologists: Ryan Bowers, Billy McDermott
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman

    Video Creators
    Carl Burgess
    Cat Solen
    Tony Foster
    Fatal Farm
    Jimmy Marble
    Max Erdenberger
    Power House
    Agile BrandTelligence
    Visual Arts and internal W+K resources, including W+K Motion Department and Don't Act Big Productions

    Development Partner
    Hook LLC

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  • 03/18/13--11:59: Ad of the Day: Orangina
  • Four out of five doctors agree that advertisers loves statistics, because consumers tend to believe them, even when they're meaningless. Now, Orangina's latest campaign from Fred & Farid presents the most ludicrous ad stats yet. And they bring excellent news to the long-running campaign's creepy anthropomorphic animals.

    Two spots, "Cannon Ball" and "Pigeon," present exceedingly peculiar scenarios. In the former, a human cannon ball is shot clear through a circus tent and across miles of hilly terrain. Eventually, he crashes into an office building, where he takes out a bullying boss—leaving the man's Orangina-animal underlings speechless. A statistic then appears on screen: "Orangina drinkers attacked by the human cannon ball: 0%." It might not be a product benefit you'll use very often, but at least you know it's there when you need it.

    Likewise, "Pigeon" features an obnoxious woman arguing on a cell phone who soon gets her come-uppance—in the form of a truly voluminous amount of pigeon shit falling on her head. "Orangina drinkers attacked by the wicked pigeon: 0%," says the reassuring copy.

    The tagline on both spots is: "Stay alive, drink Orangina." Print ads support the TV work.

    Client: Orangina
    Agency: Fred & Farid, Paris and Shanghai
    Creative Directors: Fred & Farid
    Copywriters: Fred & Farid, Gian Carlo Lanfranco, Rolando Cordova
    Art Directors: Rolando Cordova, Gian Carlo Lanfranco
    Brand Supervisors: Hugues Pietrini, Stan de Parcevaux, Florence Burtin
    Agency Supervisors: Mehdi Benali, Hélène Camus, Olivia Courbon
    TV Producer: Karim Naceur
    Post-Producer: Elise Dutartre
    Production Company: The Glue Society
    Director: Gary Freedman

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    Publicis Groupe’s purchase of LBi last September grabbed headlines as one of the year’s biggest agency acquisitions. But as the French holding company now grapples with integrating the digital shop into Digitas, dealing with client conflicts between General Motors and Volvo in the U.S., the jury is still out on whether it’s wiser to buy pricey agencies or go the less sexy route, like Omnicom, and focus on organic growth.

    Publicis bought LBi for a cool $520 million. For the sellers, the timing was right—what they’re doing may not be so special in another five years, as digital becomes a more central discipline at traditional agencies.

    For buyers looking for scale and staring at a thinning crop, LBi was ripe for the picking. Various players looked at LBi (with $300 million in revenue) and took a pass—among them, Omnicom. “Our competitors have gone out and bought billions of dollars worth of interactive companies—talking about how they’re growing so fast, how high their margins are and how that’s going to power their business in the future,” said Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital. “Yet we’re growing fast or faster without taking on the debt and complexity of the acquisitions.”

    With the era of consolidation of large interactive ad companies having come to a close last year, the contrast between the Publicis and Omnicom strategies has become more pronounced.

    Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research, notes that after Publicis’ $1.3 billion purchase of Digitas in 2007, Omnicom’s organic growth, without the benefit of major digital acquisitions, beat Publicis from first-quarter 2010 through third-quarter 2011.

    Meanwhile, Wieser disagrees with the extent to which Publicis allocates digital minutiae to billable hours, a practice not shared by competitors.

    Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, which says one-third of its revenue comes from digital, counters: “We are very careful in reporting digital. If we claim too high a level of digital, people will expect growth in line, so we have to be cautious.”

    Lévy is the architect of Publicis’ expansion from an agency with a primary focus in France to the third-largest global player, something it accomplished through big acquisitions. The CEO admits buying digital assets like LBi is “not cheap.” But even with integration ups and downs, it pays off over time.

    “Strategically, they are indispensable for the future,” he said. “Either you win the future progressively, which takes a lot of years, or you accelerate your position through digital acquisition. You have two advantages with [the latter]: You show your clients you are ready to sell them the future, and you have the contagious effect of digital innovation and technology throughout the [Publicis] group.”

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    IDEA: You always have a good time out on the town with your friends. But if one of them were a celebrity, things might be a little more interesting. Grooving with Questlove, laughing with (or at) Ken Jeong, intimidating people with Chuck Liddell—thanks to their famous buddies, it's never a dull moment for the everyday guys in Miller Lite's new ads from Saatchi & Saatchi. For the agency, the celebrity approach is a way to ramp up the novelty and energy level of its "Miller Time" campaign, having revived that tagline last year after taking the account from Draftfcb. "'Miller Time' is a simple equation. It's guys who are great friends getting together and having a great beer, which happens to be Miller Lite," said executive creative director Keith Scott. "For this next round of work, we were wondering: How can we bump it up to the next level and make it more interesting for guys, and for us, too? So, we changed the dynamic of each group by adding some interesting people to it."

    TALENT: Instead of pricey A-listers, the agency wanted celebrities who seemed more like everyday guys, ones the young male viewer could see himself hanging out with. "We looked at a ton of people," said Scott. "One thing we looked at was archetypes for groups of guys. Chuck Liddell is the tough guy. What kind of benefits would that bring to the group? Ken is who he is—the wild-card comedian. What kind of fun would that bring? And then Questlove, honestly, he's just cool." All three turned out to be as accessible as the agency had hoped. "They ate lunch with everybody at the shoots. They weren't hiding away in trailers," said Scott. "That helped set the tone for the other actors, too, as we're trying to redefine 'Miller Time.'"

    COPYWRITING: Scott's writing partner, Paul Johnson, plowed through loads of scripts, jokes and vignettes. Not surprisingly, Jeong has the best one-liners. "I'm that guy from that thing!" he shouts to bouncers as his group waits in line at a club. "You guys want to head to this house party?" Questlove asks his buddies. "It's in Thailand." Liddell, meanwhile, gets his way merely by glancing at potential adversaries. The spots open with the same voiceover—"If you've got your crew and Miller Lite, you've got Miller Time. But what if one of your crew was …" This allows the brand to state its everyman ethos while slightly departing from it as well. Some scenes are rooted in reality. Questlove really does have 75,000 records. Liddell really did play with dolphins at a zoo (though in real life, he was invited to do so by a zookeeper—in the spot, he invites himself).

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Hollywood director Peter Berg filmed the three spots around Los Angeles over five days. In each ad, when the celebrity appears, the scene freezes and his name appears—giving the spots a movie-trailer feel. "It's supposed to come off like you're seeing a trailer of the highlights of a night with these friends," said Scott. "It's not a 30-second spot about one specific thing that happened." Berg was perfect, Scott said, because of his history working with celebs and his visual style. "We didn't want these to feel like comedy spots," he said. "We wanted them to feel like a glimpse into the world of these guys, but in a cinematic way."

    SOUND: Questlove, the drummer and frontman for the Roots, had a say in the music track for his spot—it's "Limo Lights" by Junkie XL. The Liddell spot uses "C'mon Doll" by My Goodness. The song in the Jeong ad is an original track by music house Butter. Because of all the music and dialogue, sound design didn't play a major role.

    MEDIA: National broadcast and cable, and online.


    Client: Miller Lite

    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Conway Williamson
    Executive Creative Director: Keith Scott
    Executive Creative Director: Paul Johnson
    Copywriter: Paul Johnson
    Art Director: Keith Scott
    Executive Producer: Bruce Andreini
    Music Producer: Ryan Fitch

    EVP/Managing Director: John Dunleavy
    Account Director: Connor Bryant

    Production Company: Pony Show
    Director: Peter Berg
    Director of Photography: John Schwartzman
    Executive Producer: Susan Kirson / Jeffrey Frankel
    Line Producer: Fern Martin / Helga Gruber

    Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Paul Martinez and Greg Scruton
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram and Damian Stevens
    Producer: Amburr Farls
    Assistant Editor: Trevor Schulte

    VFX: KILT Studios
    VFX Supervisor Andy Mac
    Flame Artists Andy Mac and Dave Sarbell
    Executive Producer Matthew McManus

    VFX: Light of Day
    Graphics: Justin Barnes
    Lead Smoke: Josh Williams
    Lead Flame: Colin Stackpole
    Flame Artist: Joe Wenkoff
    Producer: Nick Dziekonski

    Music Company: Butter / Licensed
    Colorist: Tim Masick at Company 3
    Audio Mixer: Steve Rosen at Sonic Union

    Motion Graphics: Buck
    ECD: Orion Tait
    Executive Producer: Anne Skopas
    ACD: Ben Langsfeld
    Producer: Kevin Hall
    Editor: Ryan Hensley
    CG Supervisor: Ryan O’Phelan, Kathy Siegel
    Compositors: Thomas Panayiotou, Ryan O’Phelan
    Colorist: Seth Ricart

    Production Co/Tabletop: MJZ
    Director: Irv Blitz
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Line Producer: Patrick Malloy

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    Floyd Hayes, the former executive creative director of creative agency Cunning, includes a quote from a 2007 AdFreak story in materials touting his new venture, the World's Fastest Agency—although when my colleague David Kiefaber described the guerilla advertising veteran with a penchant for self-promotion as "pregnant with marketing genius," it was with anvil-heavy irony, and perhaps some confusion about which gender is able to conceive. Back then, Hayes was offering to think really hard about a client's products at least once an hour for a week in exchange for $10,000. Now, he's hawking a quick-turnaround service—selling concepts for $999. Send that amount via PayPal, DM your creative brief to @FastestAgency, and he'll issue a 140-character response within 24 hours. "Make the logo bigger" and "Put the CEO in the commercial" easily fit the space and would probably satisfy most clients. But Hayes offers this example, based on a real project he helmed at Cunning in London: "Brief: Gain media and buzz for our park-anywhere small car. Idea: Attach replica cars to landmark city buildings." Hmmm, that sounds like a $997 solution to me. And I don't see anything about a money-back guarantee. The World's Smallest Ad Agency should piggyback on Hayes's publicity by offering next-day ideas for 99 cents. Via PSFK.

    UPDATE: Hayes tells AdFreak that the nonrefundable $999 is actually a plus for clients because "they will be forced to FOCUS on their challenge and get the problem to its essential core. Yes, they could do this without paying but money makes it happen." (The emphasis is his, so you clients better FOCUS!)

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    TBWA\Chiat\Day's first brand image ad for Southwest Airlines since winning the assignment way back in July 2012 feels big, yet also down to earth.

    The bigness—a change of tone for a carrier known for its more playful side—comes in the form of a series of trailing shots of a pilot, a basketball player, a ballerina and a corporate executive, each about to enter his or her given "arena"—be it a court, dance floor or boardroom. But just as you think, "Oh man, here comes another over-the-top paean to an industry rife with problems," the imagery softens to include a surfer, a farmer and baby standing. That's what makes this ad feel relatable.

    Music also lightens up the message, with the sing-song chorus of fun.'s "Some Nights" driving the action.

    Ultimately, the imagery shifts to smiling airline employees—a standard cliché of airline advertising, no doubt—but the voiceover message is less "We're the greatest" and more "We work really, really hard." Also, the employees in the end nod their heads to the side, as if to invite you aboard. Again, this is not an oversell but rather an ethos that weary travelers may appreciate—that is, if they arrive on time and their bags aren't lost.

    The ad, which was directed by BRW USA's Erik Van Wyk and breaks today, is the first of some 10 national and local market spots that will roll out in the next two weeks.

    Client: Southwest Airlines

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Group Creative Director: Gage Glegg
    Creative Director: Scott Brown
    Associate Creative Director: Lauren Smith
    Copywriter: Omeed Boghraty
    Art Directors: Rebecca Ginos, Caroline O'Hare

    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Richard O'Neill
    Producers: Richard O'Neill, Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher
    Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Jill Durand
    Group Planning Director: Rad Tollett
    Planning Director: Amanda Reid
    Account Planner: Whitney Martinez
    Group Account Director: Stan Fiorito
    Account Director: Chris Asahara
    Account Supervisor: Eneida Mejia
    Account Executive: Nicole Stokman
    Account Group Assistant: Kayla Laufer
    Traffic Manager: Nadzyah Guillermo

Production Company: BRW USA
    Director: Erik Van Wyk
    Executive Producers, Partners: Gianfilippo Pedrotti, Michele Nocchi
    Producer: Ari Weiner

    Director of Photography: Sebastian Wintero
    Editorial Company: Venice Beach Editorial
    Executive Producer: Hunter Conner
    Editors: Peter Smith, Don Andrews
    Assistant Editor: Neil Jariwala
    Assistant Post Producer: Orlee Klempner

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
    Editor: Adam Pertofsky

    Post Effects: MPC
    Lead Smoke Artist: Mark Holden
    Smoke Artist: Rob Ufer
    Nuke: Ben Persons, Elliott Brennan, Jason Heinze
    Producer: Abi Adejare
    Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
    Creative Director: Paul Oshea

    Final Mix: Play Studio
    Mixer: John Bolan
Mix Producer: Lauren Cascio

    Licensed Music for National TV Spots:
    "Some Nights"
    Writers: Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker
    Artist: fun.
    Record Label: Rhino Entertainment/Warner Music Group

    Original Music for Local TV Spots:
    Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala
    Head of Production: Jessica Entner
    Creative Director: Tim Adams
    Composer: Ryan Rehm
    Engineers: Tim Adams, Ryan Rehm

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    Piss off, dancing Shetland pony and Mr. Wolfdog. This is the Year of the Goat in advertising. Tyler, The Creator, the leader of hip-hop collective Odd Future, directs and provides the raspy voice of Felicia the Goat in this 30-second slice of crazed commercial perfection for Mountain Dew. A waitress brings Felicia a bottle of the beverage, which the beast rejects, and hooves start flying as the server screams in terror, "Ooh, you're a nasty goat!" (I usually go hyper and pummel the waitstaff after drinking the stuff.) Felicia ultimately imbibes, trips out, demands more, and the comic attack intensifies. We're told the story will continue, which is great, because this insanity fits the brand's quirky personality. I can't wait for the sequel. Maybe they'll serve Felicia soda in a can and let her chew the scenery in a whole new way. Via Co.Create.

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    The slogan in this new ad for Pepperidge Farm's Milano cookies is "My yummy secret," which is either the title of an article in Ladies Home Journal or a late-night movie on Cinemax. The ad itself, however, is surefooted. It's a good concept executed simply and well: Just before a big dinner party, a husband finds his wife chilling with that most pernicious relaxant, the cookie.

    Most of the burden of proof here is on the actors, and they're both excellent, particularly her. The "Still getting ready!" brush-off is just the right balance of cute and smug, and it's the rare comedy spot that appears to be about a functional marriage, or perhaps merely a marriage between two high-functioning chocoholics. (Also, you'll recognize the husband—the actor Pete Grosz—from a million Sonic commercials. It may be in his contract that he has to be eating something on camera in every spot he does.)

    And that brings me to a more important point raised by this ad: I know it looks funny on TV, but seriously, folks, if you're struggling with chocoholism, please seek help. You don't want to wake up one morning, your face smeared with brown crust, your hair a mess, next to someone with whom you have nothing in common except the bottomless lust for Hershey's Special Dark. Milano cookies look harmless on television, but do you think this couple will have a good time at the dinner party plowed out of their gourds on baked goods?

    I think not.

    Your local chapter of Chocoholics Anonymous can provide an array of helpful literature and a group of people with the same struggles who will help you find the root of your problem.

    Y&R in New York has done an excellent job of illustrating this poor woman's plight. Her compassion for her husband drives them both to binge. Why does she have such a frantic attachment to the fruit of the cocoa bean? Was her mother, too, a chocoholic?

    It's almost too sad to contemplate. But perhaps she, like you, can wean herself and her enabler of a husband on to something less sinister—like gin.

    Client: Pepperidge Farm
    Brand: Milano
    Agency: Y&R, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott
    Executive Creative Director: James Caporimo
    Creative Directors: Eric Glickman, Stephen Hersh
    Art Director: Matilda Kahl
    Copywriter: Viktor Angwald
    Director: David Shane
    Agency Producer: Jennifer Weinberg
    Production Company: O Positive
    Producer: Ken Licata
    Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
    Editing Company: Cosmo Street
    Editor: Aaron Langly
    Account Management: Carol Ventura
    Strategic Planner: Tara Fray
    Brand Managers: Suzanne Goodrich, Rayne Pacek

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    The taxicabs in Denver are a bit hornier than usual, and it's all science's fault. Carmichael Lynch put ornamental mammoth tusks on a fleet of cabs to drum up attention for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's "Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age" exhibit. The cool thing about this idea is that when the exhibit ends, they can keep the tusks and do cab jousts for charity.

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    If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel that has over two stars, you’ve already met him. But heck, even if you’ve only seen it in the movies, we all know what happens when you drop your bags at the front desk. Turn around, and the bellboy is taking your suitcase in hand. Chances are, he’s wearing a red cap, brass buttons and striped trousers (well, hold a moment on the trousers). The getups vary, but the job never has. Bellboys lift the luggage, fetch the messages, deliver the flowers. Whatever thankless, menial thing needs doing, they stand at the ready. It’s not surprising, then, that advertisers have historically given the burdened bellhop yet another job to do: convey the messages of quality and cheerful service for brands.

    The 1928 ad for Fatima cigarettes shown here is a classic example, but there are plenty more where that came from. Between the Great Depression and the 1980s, Hanes Hosiery, Mead papers, U.S. Luggage, Firestone and PM cocktail mixes (to name a few) all used bellboys in their advertising. Pioneering adman Milton Biow plucked New Yorker Hotel bellboy Johnny Roventini to be the brand mascot for Philip Morris in 1933, and the gig lasted for the next 41 years. A pituitary-gland disorder had left the adult Roventini trapped in a pre-pubescent boy’s body, but his angelic B-flat voice (“Call for Philip Morris!”) made him world famous. Finally, it goes without saying that the hotel bellboy has also appeared in hotel ads where he became the physical embodiment of the hospitality promise: always ready, always quick, always happy to break his back for you.

    “The bellboy is really an iconic character because everybody is familiar with him, and advertisers have picked up on that,” observed Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “The bellboy is all about service. He’s a positive character, safe and respectable.”

    No doubt, that’s why the accompanying 2013 ad for the Cosmopolitan hotel has turned so many heads. So far as anyone can tell, this sassy Las Vegas hotel (and its ad agency Fallon, Minneapolis) was first to shatter nearly a century’s worth of marketing tradition by showing a bellhop as: 1) a stud, and 2) a stud wearing nothing below his waist. “The ad is really quite jarring because the last thing you’d expect is for your bellman to show up with no pants on,” Calkins said. “But the hotel is saying, ‘This is how we roll.’ It really makes you think twice about the hotel, and in a way that says something powerful.”

    And that’s precisely what the ad is meant to do. A recent installment of the Cosmopolitan’s “Just the Right Amount of Wrong” campaign launched in 2011, this ad was designed to help a chic new hotel stand out in a city jammed with chic new hotels. “The challenge for any hotel is to differentiate,” Calkins said. “Clearly, the Cosmopolitan is taking a stand as a racy, edgy hotel. Marriott wouldn’t do something like this.”

    Probably not. Then again, let’s remember where we are. This is the city that trademarked “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” And who knows? Maybe it might happen with the bellboy.

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    Who CEO, co-founder Rey Flemings (l.);CTO, co-founder Michael Dungan
    What Image-focused technology company
    Where San Francisco offices

    Digital image company Stipple has Justin Timberlake as a backer—as well as kingmaking VC firm Kleiner Perkins—but it’s also worthy of attention because it can help brands make more money off of their online images. The 15-person company, which has received $9 million in funding since its 2010 launch, gets pegged as an image-tagging platform that appends brand labels or product-shopping buttons to photos, but CEO and co-founder Rey Flemings said “the real invention is how to recognize a photo and what information comes with it,” whether it appears on a marketer’s site or someone’s Tumblr.

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    Revenge billboards are getting to be a trend. Expensive but emotionally satisfying, they're great for anything from declaring spousal inadequacies to calling out cheaters. This one, in Greensboro, N.C., goes the extra mile by spoofing MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign. It reads: "Michael – GPS tracker - $250, Nikon camera with zoom lens - $1600, Catching my LYING HUSBAND and buying this billboard with our investment account - Priceless. Tell Jessica you're moving in! – Jennifer." Chad Tucker of Fox 8 News broke this story. Hopefully, he can track down Jennifer and film the fisticuffs we're all imagining.

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