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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Britain's ad watchdog dropped its mighty ban hammer on a Mountain Dew spot this week, following complaints that the digital video was unsuitable for young people. The ad, which ran in gaming apps and social networks, shows someone snowboarding down an escalator and on train tracks, eventually injuring himself as the text “Don’t Dew this at home” appears onscreen, followed by a group of extreme-sports bros high-fiving and spraying soda on each other. The ad has actually been on YouTube for years, originally posted in 2009. But now that it has surfaced again, four complainants have made the case that the ad sends a bad and physically dangerous message to children, and the Advertising Standards Authority sided with them. Parent brand PepsiCo defended the BBDO-created spot, saying it did not feature minors and was not targeted at them. Obviously, the ASA disagreed and ruled that it should not run again in its current form. I guess stopping kids from hurting themselves is good, but seriously, that stupid pun in the tagline gets a pass? I don't understand this world.


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    Andy Richter can make any situation funny. Or so I thought until I watched "Scared of Bees," a Funny or Die clip that both promotes and spoofs Honey Nut Cheerios' summer "Tour Across America," in which brand spokesbee Buzz hands out samples to fans across our sugar-addicted land. In the video, a film crew arrives at Richter's door and attempts to reward him with a free year's supply of cereal, but when the comedian spies Buzz doing a jig on the lawn, he goes ballistic: "What's wrong with you? Are you trying to kill me! I'm allergic to bees!" Upon being assured that Buzz isn't a bee, but a person, Richter explodes at the announcer: "You mean you made some kind of sick bee-human hybrid? No wonder it's so huge. Who are you to play God, TV man?" There's a chase though his house and around the yard, Richter twice squirts bug spray in the announcer's face, and it all ends with Conan's sidekick donning bee-keeper garb. Richter tries his best, and I enjoyed his patented smarmy/whiny line deliveries. But he's miscast in such tame fare, which culminates in a non-payoff when a freaky twist or outrageous sting in the tail seems sorely required.

     

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    Old Navy's 1990s TV flashback advertising continues, moving on from the stars of Blossom to the dreamboat king of Beverly Hills, 90210. This time,Jason Priestly's been cast as an elementary school teacher alongside former castmate Gabrielle Carteris. The spot features some classic Crispin Porter + Bogusky quirk, such as the random robotics in Priestly's classroom and the bizarrely complex brass instrument being played by the young girl who seems to have a Cassandra-esque curse that keeps anyone from listening to her. So which '90s celeb will be dragged from the vault next? Claire Danes? Noah Wyle? The entire cast of Twin Peaks


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    Ever wonder what kind of junk food Michael Phelps reaches for when he gets the munchies? Probably not Twinkies. That's because Hostess much prefers athletes who suck at sports, according to a batch of faux-Olympic ads from Bernstein-Rein. The spots present cheap stock footage of out-of-shape everyday athletes pole vaulting, diving and doing gymnastics—in each case, very badly—to the accompaniment of a terrifically tacky/pompous synthesizer score. They're reaching for the kind of "gold" that real folks can savor: Twinkies. These clips are sweeter and more satisfying than most of the half-baked, bombastic ads that official Olympic sponsors and others have trotted out in recent weeks. Thanks, Hostess, for reminding us that no matter how slow and fat we get, you'll always be there with golden cake and creamy filling to make us slower and fatter! Come on, Nike jogger, you know you want one! Two more spots after the jump.




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    The historic Mars landing by the NASA rover Curiosity on Sunday has been nicely commemorated by Oreo as part of the cookie brand's "Daily Twist" series of on-the-fly portraits of daily news items. The image shows space-rover tracks carved into a presumably scrumptious surface of red Oreo creme filling (which the fine print points out is "currently unavailable"). The Daily Twist project, by Draftfcb in New York, began June 25 with the notorious gay-pride image and celebrates the brand's 100th anniversary by reflecting the most important news each day for 100 days through the lens of an Oreo. Scroll through all of the images here.


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    [UPDATE: This is a fake ad, not created by Durex, entered into a Fauxlympics contest.] Usain Bolt's 9.63-second victory in the 100-meter dash at the London Olympics on Sunday cemented his status as the world's fastest man, as he became the second Olympian (after Carl Lewis) to win consecutive gold medals in track and field's signature event. But as Durex has cheekily pointed out, not every man wants to be the fastest in the world. The wink-wink, nudge-nudge billboard is decorated with colorful condoms styled like the Olympic rings. The understated headline reads: "Usain—not every man wants to be the fastest in the world." Durex, of course, is the official condom supplier of the Olympics. This year, organizers ordered a record 150,000 condoms for the Olympic village, getting Durex even more press and ensuring another Olympic season of record-breaking ribaldry.


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  • 08/06/12--11:27: Ad of the Day: Levi's
  • Are you a young worker stuck in a dead-end job (or lacking one entirely) in an impossible job market in a horrible economy? Don't worry. Throw on a pair of Levi's, and you'll be ready to rule the world.

    That's the underlying, not-quite-credible message of Wieden + Kennedy's latest work in its now 3-year-old "Go Forth" campaign for Levi's—as captured in the aggressively poetic, oozingly optimistic 60-second launch spot below. The ad, directed by Lance Acord, pushes the brand's fall/winter 2012 global collection, which Levi's says has "a refined and tailored look made for those who get dressed each morning with purpose." This isn't just about looking good; it's about doing good. The brand says the new creative direction sprang from "worldwide research that shows the youth of today believe it is up to them to make a positive difference in the world."

    That sense of idealism is crystallized in the spot mostly through an echoing female voiceover, which recites street poetry (credited to the young W+K writer Erin Swanson) that attempts to connect the surface fashions of clothing to a deeper desire for progress in the world—both personal and global. "This is a pair of Levi's/buttons and rivets and pockets and cuffs/and the thread that holds it together," the voice begins. (The spot is called "Thread.") "When the road gets rough and the sky gets jumpy and the stars start falling on top of your head and the waves start breaking against your legs/It's the thread in your seams that's tied to your dreams/It's the sole in your feet that keeps the beat."

    We see hip young urban types dressing for work, and getting ready to change the world in the process—jumpy skies and falling stars of a continuing global economic meltdown notwithstanding. As to be expected from a W+K production, the craft here is strong—particularly the visuals, which are nice little set pieces. But the writing is overwrought—a manifesto that feels more than a little pretentious when set against a glorified catalog in motion. The first "Go Forth" work, back in 2009, mostly got away with its poetic vibe (a recording of Walt Whitman, no less) by being more vague and mystical in its imagery. But try to move actual product, and grand statements about desire and motivation and the future of humanity will start to feel hollow.

    "You're gonna be great, you're gonna be great, you're gonna be great," the voiceover insists, and it's like the spot is talking to itself rather than its subjects. Being idealistic and being stylish are two different things, usually at odds, and not easily merged without feeling phony. This spot fails to find the thread that might join them.



    CREDITS
    Client: Levi Strauss & Co.
    Spot: "Thread"

    AGENCY
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Tyler Whisnand, Eric Baldwin, Don Shelford
    Copywriter: Erin Swanson
    Art Directors: Jimm Lasser, Monica Nelson
    Producers: Sarah Shapiro, Kirsten Acheson
    Account Team: Andrew Schafer, Jessie Young
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
    Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
    Business Affairs: Cindy Lewellen
    Strategic Planner: Andy Lindblade

    PRODUCTION
    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Lance Acord
    Executive Producers: Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Mary Ann Marino
    Line Producer: Caroline Kousidinis
    Director of Photography: Lance Acord

    EDITORIAL
    Editorial Company: Joint
    Editor: Tommy Harden
    Post Producer: Lisa Ashe
    Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner
    Assistant Editor: Eric Hill

    VISUAL EFFECTS
    Company: A52
    Executive Producer: Jennifer Sofio Hall
    Producer: Matt Olmon
    Artists: Andy Raphael Barrios, Scott Johnson, Bruno Parenti, Christel Hazard, Matt Sousa, Dan Ellis

    SOUND DESIGN
    Sound Designer: Tommy Harden
    Voiceover Artist: Renee Faia

    MIX
    Company: Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Jeff Payne
    Producer: Caroline O’Sullivan

    Media Agency: OMD Global
    Global Group Account Director: Marcus Strijdveen
    Group Director of Strategy: Carrie Davis
    Supervisor: Jacqueline Thames
    OMD U.S.
    Group Director of Strategy: Carrie Davis
    Supervisor: Jacqueline Thames
    Digital Director: Matthew Ross
    Senior Digital Strategist: Donica Shye


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    Louis Vuitton's Core Values campaign isn't just about classy celebrity photos. Well, OK, it kind of is. But the fashion brand knocks it out of the park with its latest effort in the campaign—a tribute to Muhammad Ali by Ogilvy France, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Niels Shoe Meulman. Bey's charming recitations of Ali's classic interviews mesh well with graphic designer Meulman splashing ink all over a boxing ring for what turns out to be really sharp calligraphy. It's a great visual metaphor for how a handsome, quick-witted poet like Ali stood out in the gritty, messy sport of professional boxing. The campaign also includes a print ad in which Ali, 70, poses with one of his grandsons, seen wearing boxing gloves. When you recall how pretty Ali always said he was, he's not so out of place in a Louis Vuitton ad. Second spot after the jump.


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  • 08/07/12--06:29: The Spot: Saving Breakfast
  • IDEA: Bored by breakfast? The Crunchy Nut is here to save you. Dreamed up by Leo Burnett for Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal, the zealous masked faux superhero—outfitted in skin-tight yellow and red latex, with matching cape, belt and boots—appears out of nowhere in a plume of smoke, swings on ropes, and hands out bowls of goodness to citizens afflicted by poor-tasting villains like bran, whole grain and granola. "It's flakes and honey and some peanuts. We don't make any health claims on it at all," said Burnett creative director Mike Doyle. "We thought, what if we created a character who was not so much a shill for the brand but an ambassador or enthusiast who just loved Crunchy Nut and made it his life's mission to bring fun back to breakfast?" The Crunchy Nut does just that in a 30-second spot that launches a whole intricate and appetizing campaign on- and offline.

    COPYWRITING/SOUND: The character was inspired by the old superhero shows of the 1960s and '70s like Batman and Spider-Man. "They didn't take themselves too seriously, even though the mission was serious," said Doyle. "That's where some of the humor comes from. Adam West [as Batman] plays it straight, even though everyone knows it's kind of silly. Or look at Bill Murray from Ghostbusters—these are characters on a mission who brought drama to it based on their seriousness and dedication." The 30-second launch spot is almost like the opening credits to the campaign. It shows the Crunchy Nut saving one guy from a bowl of oatmeal—and features a jingle whose lyrics explain the character and his mission, much like the old Spider-Man jingle did. The tagline is, "It's super delicious."



    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Mike Maguire shot the launch spot over a few days on back lots in Los Angeles. The costume was crucial—it had to be a believable superhero outfit, but with comic touches. "When we started it was a little goofier and sillier. We toned it down," said Doyle. "But he still has a spoon on his nose and a honey stick and a bottle of milk in his belt." The spot's color palette is bright and sunny—morning-like. Maguire brought in Bill Pope as director of photography, who was DP on The Matrix and several Spider-Man films. "He gave it that level of finish and cinematic quality that we thought was important," said Doyle. "If it came off as too silly and kitschy and too commercial-like, it would just be goofy. There'd be no sense of commitment to the genre."

    TALENT: James Moye, a New York stage actor currently seen in Dogfight at Second Stage Theater, plays the Crunchy Nut. "He's almost Adam West-like," said Doyle. "There's a seriousness, but there's a smile to him. He's a likable guy. Even his physique is likeable. This isn't a health cereal. It's not going to make you muscular. James is a fit guy, and a good physical performer, but he's not Lou Ferrigno." The other actor in the launch spot brought "an innocence and an enthusiasm," Doyle added. "His face just lit up the screen."



    MEDIA: The spot, also running in cinemas, is just the beginning. The Crunchy Nut appeared in a sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and a whole story line is now rolling out on Facebook, along with Webisodes showing him on different missions. More TV spots are coming, and the character is also popping up at live events. "It's entertainment; that's the main thing," said Burnett global creative director Graham Woodall. "It gets people involved with the brand in a not-very-shill-like way. We see a big future in the stars for the Crunchy Nut."

    THE SPOT:




    CREDITS:
    Client: Kellogg's Crunchy Nut
    Campaign: "The Crunchy Nut"
    Spot: "Super Hero"
    Agency: Leo Burnett
    Global Creative Director - Graham Woodall
    Creative Director - Mike Doyle
    VP, Strategy Director - Adrian Fogel
    Executive Producer - Tony Wallace
    Senior Producer - Juan Woodbury
    Producer - Jason Passanti
    SVP, Account Director - Varsha Kaura
    VP, Account Director - Jason Kim
    Acct. Supervisor - Nickay Penado
    Acct. Executive - Taylor Stat
    Business Manager - Courtney Novotny
    Senior Business Manager - Miffie Gardner
    Talent Manager - Kara Finley

    TV Production Company - Biscuit Filmworks
    Director - Mike Maguire
    Production Company Executive Producer - Colleen O'Donnell
    Director of Photography - Bill Pope
    Line Producer - Jay Veal

    Post Production Company - Utopic
    Editor - Jan Maitland
    Assistant Editor - Daniel Fogarty
    Editorial EP - Heather Mitchell
    Colorist - Mike Matusek  - Nolo
    Music Composer - Greg Allan
    Music Company - Sonixphere
    Sound Design / Mix - John Binder
    Audio Company - Another Country

    PR - Krispr Communications


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    Nike continues to hog the advertising spotlight around this year's Olympics despite not being an actual Olympic sponsor. In addition to the brand's stellar "Find Your Greatness" spots, Wieden + Kennedy has also produced an epic new Jordan Brand spot that shows how today's talented youth can inspire tomorrow's great rivalry. Directed (oddly enough) by the Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., best known for remaking The Thing in 2011, "This Is Where It Starts" follows two young basketball phenoms as they excel through college and become star players in the 2032 Olympics (apparently being played in Cairo, Egypt). Along the way, sharp-eyed fans can catch a few Easter eggs, like the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats winning the NBA championship in 2031. Considering they finished this past season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history, I'd say 2031 is a safe bet for their comeback year.


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    Little Baby's Ice Cream, a small chain in Philadelphia, made a couple of weird ads recently. But they're not as scary as some people are suggesting, unless you're frightened of hipsterish forced wackiness. The concept of Malcolm, the chain's official spokesthing, who supposedly grew out of a failed batch of Duck Sauce Vanilla ice cream, is cool in theory. But the initial surreality of watching Malcolm eat himself gets annoying after about 30 seconds or so. It's not unlike the initial excitement of seeing Neil Gaiman, followed by the disappointment when Amanda Palmer shows up, too. Second spot after the jump.


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    This Ragú spot from ad agency Barton F. Graf 9000 sends a kid into his parents' bedroom, where he presumably sees them having sex. A meal slathered with Ragú pasta sauce is then positioned as comfort food after such a shock. (Thankfully, we never learn how Mom and Dad were positioned.) The spot for the Unilever brand broke during the Olympics and is surging on YouTube, heading toward half a million views with copious commentary, pro and con, and endless "saucy" references to "al dente," "Prego/preggo" and "sausage and meatballs." (At least he didn't stumble across his parents alfresco—in the backyard pool, perhaps—then he'd really be traumatized.) The tagline is: "A long day of childhood calls for America's favorite pasta sauce." I'd have thought a heaping dish of double chocolate swirl would be more comforting, but after watching those Little Baby's Ice Cream ads, I think we'd better stick with the marinara. Check out a second, spit-themed 30-second spot after the jump, along with a couple of :15s.






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  • 08/07/12--08:37: Ad of the Day: Hanes
  • Stupid sight gags never go out of style, particularly when they involve kittens.

    That appears to be the solid thinking behind the new Hanes spot from The Martin Agency (and MJZ director Rocky Morton), in which the softness of the brand's ComfortBlend T-shirts is likened to that of the silky fur of kittens. The comparison, though, is made in the most outlandish way possible—by showing a goofy Chris Elliott type who prefers to actually wear a handful of fluffy kittens instead of a shirt, much to the consternation of his Hanes-pushing friends.

    The spot has suitably moronic buddy banter to match the premise, and overall is amusing enough—and it takes an even more absurd turn when Mr. Kittens suggests asking longtime Hanes spokesman Michael Jordan what he thinks of the kittens shirt. Jordan, looking puffier than ever, suddenly ambles into the scene, offers a perfunctory and dismissive "Dude. Wow," and exits. "But I got it off SkyMall," the crestfallen kittens guy says.

    Wearing cats has become a thing in advertising lately—as previously noted with the cat boots in the spot for Temptations cat treats. They're not just for herding anymore.



    CREDITS
    Client: Hanes
    Spot: "Kittens"

    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
    Executive Creative Director: Joe Alexander
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Nancy Hannon
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Andrew Goldin
    Senior Art Director: Mauricio Mazzariol
    Senior Vice President, Group Planning Director: Fritz Kuhn
    Senior Strategic Planner: Dalynn Kincannon
    Account Supervisor: Carrie Bird
    Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Molly Souter
    Agency Junior Producer: Amy Marek

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Rocky Morton
    Director of Photography: Bill Pope
    Executive Producer: Scott Howard
    Producer: Donald Taylor

    Editorial Company: Beast
    Editor: Jim Ulbrich
    Assistant Editor: Tripp McCarty

    Post Facility: Framestore
    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

    Visual Effects Company: Framestore
    Visual Effects Supervisor: David Hulin
    2-D Lead: Maryanne Butler
    Paint, Roto: Sabrina Tenore, Alex Ling, Jesse Spielman
    Producer: Graham Dunglinson
    Executive Producer: James Razzall

    Audio Post Company: Rainmaker
    Engineers: Jeff McManus, Mike O'Connor
    Mixer: Jeff McManus
    Music: Stock

    Composer/Arranger:
    Sound Design Company: Rainmaker
    Sound Designer: Jeff McManus

    Actors: Michael Jordan, Elisha Yaffe, Charlie Finn, Coronado Romero
    Voiceover: Hubert Point DuJour


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    The American flyweight boxer Marlen Esparza is doing well at the London Olympics, having assured herself of at least a bronze medal. Her biggest challenge leading up to the Games, though, may have been summoning the willpower not to punch her co-star while filming this McDonald's spot from DDB in Chicago. Leaving aside the bigger issue of whether fast-food companies should be sponsoring the Olympics at all, the ad is pretty annoying across the board. Esparza, 23, who also models for CoverGirl, is accosted by a "trainer"—actually a chicken-sandwich-clutching McDonald's customer—who cynically wants her to do well at the Games so she (the customer) can win McDonald's prizes as part of the "Win When USA Wins Gold" promotion. "Chop chop," she tells Esparza after offering tips on her stance and ridiculing the Olympian's general level of effort. A lame joke about Ukranian boxers caps things off. If by some chance you're a fan of this character—who's been given the name Tara Wert, which is the real name of a DDB producer—check out a companion interview piece after the jump.


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    Australian brewer Coopers and ad agency kwp! Advertising recently commissioned Chicago street artist and illustrator Pose to create a "Life After Dark" billboard that's visible only at night. The artwork on the billboard, promoting Coopers Dark Ale, was done with luminous UV paint, so it looks blank during the day. At night, it features a striking illustration of what happens when a bunch of comic-book characters get drunk on a merry-go-round. That's what it looks like to me, anyway. Whatever it is, I like it. I wonder if this idea came before or after the the Seattle Aquarium's UV billboard. Check out some videos documenting the "Life After Dark" process after the jump. Via The Inspiration Room.






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    Ad agency Amalgamated and Ultimat Vodka got guys in business suits to pose as window washers in Chicago and New York and had them ride up and down high-rise office towers holding signs that read "Have a drink on us" and "Cheers to less work and more play"—inviting the white-collar drones slaving away in their cubes out for some branded partying. A video of the stunt has gotten nearly 2 million YouTube views in two weeks. Comments on the video have been disabled, perhaps wisely, as some might be tempted to complain that Ultimat's idea of work-life balance seems to consist of daily toil, three fingers of vodka ... and little else. The clip is themed "Stop working. Start drinking." At AdFreak, we prefer to drown our sorrows (we're journalists, so we're very sad) right at our keyboards. I might hijack a window-washing car myself, just for the fun of it. I've already had a few, so look out below! Via PSFK.


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    Which '90s celebs will Old Navy drag from the vault next, you ask? Well, it looks like they're sticking with the old Beverly Hills, 90210 cast for now. Crispin Porter + Bogusky follows up last week's spot starring Jason Priestley and Gabrielle Carteris with this new execution featuring, yes, Jennie Garth and Luke Perry. Garth here plays a teacher who introduces the chain's Famous Jeans back-to-school special. Perry, meanwhile, still has his motorcycle and is still hanging around high school long past an appropriate age. Shannen Doherty would be a great get for the next spot, though something tells me it would be Ian Ziering. Credits after the jump.

    CREDITS
    CLIENT: Old Navy
    CAMPAIGN: Funnovations Inc. BTS 2012
    EXECUTION: Why Choose?
    AGENCY: CP+B
    WORLDWIDE CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Rob Reilly
    EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): Jason Gaboriau
    CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): Robin Fitzgerald, Cameron Harris
    ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR/WRITER: Alexandra Sann
    ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR/ART DIRECTOR: Mike Kohlbecker
    SENIOR COPYWRITER: Jamie Toal
    SENIOR COPYWRITER HISPANIC: Jorge Ortega
    SENIOR ART DIRECTOR: Tushar Date
    VP/HEAD OF VIDEO PRODUCTION: Chad Hopenwasser
    EXECUTIVE INTEGRATED PRODUCER: Deb Drumm
    SR. INTEGRATED PRODUCER(s): Katie Porter
    JR. INTEGRATED PRODUCER(s): Jackie Maloney
    PRODUCTION COMPANY & CITY: Hungry Man, Los Angeles
    DIRECTOR(s): Taika Waititi
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (PRODUCTION CO): Kevin Byrne
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (PRODUCTION CO): Cindy Becker
    PRODUCER (PRODUCTION CO): Bridgitte Pugh
    POST PRODUCTION & CITY: The Mill, Los Angeles
    POST PRODUCER: Rachael Trillo
    PROJECT VFX SUPERVISOR: Tara DeMarco
    LEAD VFX ARTIST: Tara DeMarco
    SET SUPERVISOR: Tara DeMarco
    EDITORIAL COMPANY & CITY: Cut & Run, Santa Monica
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Carr Schilling
    EDITOR: Frank Effron
    ASSISTANT EDITOR: Russell Anderson
    MUSIC COMPANY & CITY: Q Department, New York
    PRODUCER: Zack Rice
    COMPOSER(s): Q Department, New York
    EXECUTIVE INTEGRATED MUSIC PRODUCER (AGENCY): Bill Meadows
    SOUND DESIGN & MIX COMPANY: Lime Studios
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jessica Locke
    SOUND DESIGNER AND ENGINEER: Rohan Young
    VP/GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Danielle Whalen
    ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Kate Higgins
    CONTENT MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR: Mellissa Krumm
    CONTENT SUPERVISOR: Georgette Young
    CONTENT MANAGER: Tommy Cottam, Jennifer Hanson
    EXECUTIVE BUSINESS AFFAIRS MANAGER: Amy Jacobsen
    COGNITIVE ANTHROPOLOGIST(s): Lindsey Allison, Jennifer Hruska


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  • 08/08/12--10:22: Ad of the Day: Velodrome
  • Any Chemical Brothers video is going to have some stiff competition in the talent department, since Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze are among the gifted folks who've created videos for the electronica group (Gondry's "Star Guitar," in which the various beats are kept by objects flying past a train window, is particularly good). But London creative agency Crystal CG's three-minute "Velodrome" spot—created to promote the indoor-cycling venue at this summer's Olympic Games—keeps the standard quite high, with its oddball Tron-on-even-more-acid design aesthetic and visuals that look like they could be painted by lasers on the ceiling of a warehouse full of raving teenagers.

    Given the popularity of electronica in Britain (the Chems themselves are from Manchester), it's appropriate for the London Games. The video has been played in the Velodrome itself before every cycling session, reminding participants that while achievements of the human form are a thing of beauty and a joy forever, nothing will ever quite match the cold, mechanical logic of robot bikers on robot bikes riding on a robot track to robot music.

    The colors here are interesting, as is the idea that the entire stadium is pulsing with excitement as the bikedroids round the corner. And I know I've seen the slo-mo spark effect that comes off the wheels before, but it's never looked quite this good, so kudos to Crystal for that one. Still: robot music.

    The song is loads of fun, as is most stuff by the Chemical Brothers. And the video appears to answer a question posed by the duo's single "Electrobank," which has its own, more prosaically Olympian video by Jonze (yes, that's Sofia Coppola as the gymnast). Which is, of course: Who is this doing this synthetic type of alpha-beta psychedelic funkin'?

    Why, it's the Chemical Brothers. Human achievement is for the birds.



    CREDITS
    Client: London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
    Agency: Crystal CG, London
    Music: The Chemical Brothers


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    Specs
    Who Alex Kakoyiannis, founder
    What Food lifestyle agency
    Where Terroni restaurant, Los Angeles

    Is the gastronomic craze hot enough to warrant a shop focused on foodies? Alex Kakoyiannis thinks so. Part consulting firm, part production house, part chef talent agency, Kakoyiannis’ The Culinary Agency has created online spots and brokered placement on Top Chef for bakery brand La Brea; shot a video for Neopolitan pizzeria 800 Degrees; and advised tech company Evernote on its food app. Meanwhile, Kakoyiannis, a former video-game marketer, wants to help up-and-comers build their own brands: The agency reps names like Steve Samson and Zach Pollack of Sotto, recently lauded by Esquire.




    Click here to view more content from the Food Issue


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    This is a few weeks old, but worth a mention—the fun introductory spot for Google Fiber by ad agency Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco. Google Fiber is the experimental broadband network that Google is building using fiber optics—Kansas City, Mo., is the guinea pig for the first piece of it. The launch spot continues Google's now-familiar habit of using handmade, analog models as metaphors for digital processes. In this case, Internet traffic is depicted as actual traffic, with little cars caught in traffic jams during the dial-up era, accelerating somewhat with broadband, and then finally exploding in a frenzy of speed on Hot Wheels-like tracks with Google Fiber—set to an infectious instrumental version of "Just What I Needed" by the Cars. VB&P teamed with production company 1stAveMachine on the ad—the same pair that produced the well-known gyroscope spot for Google Maps. Check out some more videos for Google Fiber—which is supposedly 100 times faster than what most Americans have today—after the jump.








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