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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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  • 04/02/13--05:37: Ad of the Day: Got Milk?
  • Sweet dreams are made of … milk?

    According to two new spots in the long-running "Got milk?" campaign, you'll soar a lot longer in those "Look at me, I can fly!" dreams and loll in the embrace of a smokin' hot water nymph if you just drink milk before bed.

    Short of a rubber mallet over the head, it's a tall order to help the 40 percent of Americans who suffer from sleeplessness get a good night's rest. But these new commercials for the California Milk Processor Board, from San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, suggest that the tryptophan in milk makes it a good nighttime choice.

    Since every new batch of ads tout milk for a different "occasion" or benefit—most infamously as a cure for PMS—insomnia apparently was next in line. The new spots, directed by Jeff Goodby, aim to show what happens if you skip that glass of white. Dreamus interruptus!

    A couple of Spanish-language spots, here and here, from L.A.'s Grupo Gallegos get even more surreal, but with much happier endings.

    The Goodby campaign includes a few somnambulistic offshoots like a sleep hotline—(855) Milk-zzz—where "the world's most boring man" will read pi until you pass out or hang up, and digital bus-shelter ads of people yawning.

    It remains to be seen if the message, "What, you don't like interrupted dreams? There might just be a drink for that," works better for the marketer than, "For people who've never heard of Ambien."

    Client: California Milk Processor Board/"Got Milk?"
    Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
    Director: Jeff Goodby

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    You remember Sully. He was the odd talking sheep in last year's brilliant "Stan" commercial for Corona Light, from director Mike Mills and ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Well, it appears Sully's brief taste of fame went to his woolly head—because now he's bleated his way into a starring role in this year's Corona Light campaign. Four new :15s directed by Larry Charles (Seinfeld, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm) went live online Monday, and will reach broadcast on April 15. The theme is, "Ditch the herd," and in the first spot, Sully does just that—rising up from the pack, suddenly bipedal, and giving his buddies a quick "Adios!" as he scoots away. In three other spots, Sully learns the fine arts of sports watching, hunting and guitar playing, only one of which really goes well. The ads are amusingly absurd, more lowbrow than last year's artfully designed work but still fun. Sully, of course, is also on Twitter.

    "After the sheep garnered considerable attention on YouTube, we thought it would be funny, to spin the sheep out, and follow him as he started to do things differently. Thus this symbol of sameness became the face of change," says Goodby creative director Adam Reeves. Adds Jim Sabia, CMO at Crown Imports: "We have found that Corona Light's target consumer—the 21- to 29-year-old college-educated beer drinker—is craving to switch things up with a light beer that's different from the same old same old. The sheep's ability to serve as a spokesperson for what Corona Light stands for really got us excited about this campaign."

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    Perrier is the sexiest sparkling water you'll ever taste, says Perrier. It's so sexy, you'll find yourself transported to a secret party at an underground nightclub in Paris. There, you may participate in all of the activities commonly associated with drinking sexy sparkling water—namely, you may dance to the latest hip indie band, or play high-stakes poker with a bunch of cheating mean mugs in a back room, or witness a game of checkers in which the pieces are replaced with macarons (not macaroons). You may also accept a woman's invitation to cut off her dress with a pair of scissors, or peep in on a private lap dance being given to a man who can't see, or watch another woman tear off her dowdy skirt suit for the steamy bartender, because of course everybody is getting naked, because, duh, Perrier makes people get crazy. Nonsense aside, you really can do all of this. Or at least, your eyes can. Because Perrier and Ogilvy have graced you with Perrier Secret Place, a rabbit hole of an online choose-your-own-adventure game. In it, you'll bounce around the different viewpoints of attendees at the "party," as you go on a treasure hunt for the "golden woman" and "secret bottle." Find them, and you'll be entered to win some not-virtual and swank and off-the-chain party, somewhere like St. Tropez, or Rio during Carnival, or Miami Art Basel, or Ibiza. Why bother? Because presumably everybody there will be getting hammered on Perrier, and taking off their clothes, too. More clips and credits below.

    Client: Perrier
    Title: Perrier Secret Place
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Paris
    Chief Creative Officer: Chris Garbutt
    Creative Directors: Frederic Levron, Thierry Chiumino
    Copywriters: Baptiste Clinet, Nicolas Lautier, Florian Bodet
    Art Directors: Baptiste Clinet, Nicolas Lautier, Florian Bodet, Chris Rowson,
    Global Business Leader:  Constance Capy Baudeau
    Account Supervisor: Stanislas Vert
    Film Producers: Hugo Diaz, Diane de Bretteville
    Digital Producers: Cyril Duval, Sandra Petrus
    Production Company: Fighting Fish, Olivier Dormerc, Cyril Couve de Murvil, Adrien Moisson, Benjamin Przelspolewski
    Sound Design: Le Comptoir du Son, Franck Marchal, Alexandre Poirier
    Film Director: Laurent King
    Story Development: Olivier Domerc
    Story Editor: Benjamin Bloch
    Production Manager: Caroline Petruccelli
    Production Designer: Arnaud Roth
    Director of Photography: Frédéric Martial Wetter
    Line Producer: Vincent Rivier
    Location Manager: Timothée Talandier
    Main Title Music: Toys
    Head of Marketing, Category: Muriel Koch
    Sparkling Brand Director: Fabienne Bravard
    International Brand Manager: Armelle Roulland
    Social Media, PR Strategy: Buzzman
    Chief Executive Officer: Georges Mohammed-Chérif
    Head of Social Media, PR: Hubert Munyazikwiye
    Social Media Manager: Nicolas David

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    JetBlue and its ad agency, Mullen, celebrated April Fools' Day with a payout instead of a prank. For the "April's No Fool" promotion, the airline actually offered to refund the entire fare (as a JetBlue credit) of anyone named April who happened to fly JetBlue on April 1. The carrier quoted its very own April—director of media relations April Dinwoodie—in the announcement. "April 1 isn't always fun and games for everyone," she said. "For many of us, it represents an annual tradition of mockery. We're thrilled to take a moment and do something for those customers that might not look forward to starting their month with a day of teasing." Poor Dinwoodie's life of teasing wasn't for naught, as it delivered a fun insight that drove this neat little promotion, causing excitement for Aprils all over Facebook. And yes, they really, actually, truly did give the money back.

    Check out 42 other branded April Fools' efforts here.

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    Bonkers candy. Betamax. McRib sandwiches. Madonna. Michael Jackson. Reaganomics. Mountains of cocaine. … Man, the '80s rocked. Or sucked, depending on your point of view. Thanks to Mullen's ExploreThe80s.com, folks of a certain age can relive that glittery, gluttonous era in all its gaudy glory. (And Generations Y and Z can experience those years for the first time. Damn their youthful swagger and '90s nostalgia!) The highly interactive HTML5 site promotes National Geographic Channel's upcoming series The '80s: the Decade that Made Us by serving up all sorts of little factoids about those years. There's little depth, yet the experience is addictive and kind of overwhelming … just like the '80s! The retro-futuristic, arcade-style audio and visuals are especially evocative, recalling a simpler, yet amazingly complex and malleable time when the entire world looked and sounded like Tron.

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  • 04/03/13--03:39: How Rolex Runs on Autopilot
  • If there’s a branding equivalent of reaching nirvana, Rolex has done it. The 108-year-old brand is so famous, so coveted, it’s virtually synonymous with the luxury watch category, if not success itself.

    Hyperbole? Permit us this: Rolex’s Oyster model—introduced in 1926 as the world’s first waterproof watch—has graced the wrists of everyone from Winston Churchill to Che Guevara to Eminem. Ian Fleming put a Rolex Submariner on the wrist of a character named James Bond, and an early Submariner 5510 fetched $98,500 at a Christie’s auction a few years back. Fashion trends come and go, but Rolex’s clean, utilitarian designs have outlasted all. Rolex’s precision movements can’t print money—or maybe they do. The brand is now worth more than $6.5 billion.

    Crossing the divide from rarified luxe brand to global icon is a rare and fascinating process to study—or in this case, watch. That metamorphosis is on full view in these ads. The copy in the 42-year-old ad at right comes in at 446 words (caption excluded)—a lot of jargon, even for 1971. But according to Edward Faber, founder of New York’s Aaron Faber Gallery and author of American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design, there was a reason Rolex told this Tolkien-length tale of the 162 steps involved in making a watch. It had to. “Prior to the 1960s, Rolexes were only sold in the narrow market of British-flagged territories, so this was the first decade of them establishing a global brand,” Faber said. “They were appealing to the sense of craftsmanship, quality and integrity, giving the whole story line.”

    And did they ever. Wealthy Americans whose tastes hovered above Timex proved to be the perfect audience for Rolex’s message of hand craftsmanship. Not many could afford a $1,250 watch in 1971, but those who did, bought. Faber estimates that Rolex turned out somewhere around a mere 10,000 watches that year, a function of the slowness of hand assembly. Today, the brand produces as many watches every five days, a function of computerized machinery. Rolex has become the largest luxury watch brand on the planet.

    It follows, then, that the marketing department has reached the point where it can pretty much leave things on autopilot—which is clearly what the 2013 ad does. Why fuss with verbiage when you can just run the famous brand name with a pretty picture? As Faber said: “They believe they’ve penetrated what markets they can, so they’re no longer educating the public about the brand.”

    The ad is clever in its simplicity, but Faber doesn’t consider it to be clever marketing. By losing all the copy, Rolex is also missing out on the chance to extol its standards, craftsmanship, 108 years of history—the very things that made it an iconic watch in the first place. “Sure, nobody wants to read text anymore, but they’ve also abandoned the heritage factor,” he said. “It’s ballsy of Rolex to do nothing, and I’m surprised. It seems more important to sell the logo than sell the quality.”

    It is, if nothing else, a sign of the times.

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    New York Presbyterian Hospital and ad agency Munn Rabôt recently made this video celebrating the life of Danion Jones, who was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. NYPH treated him until his death at age 7, and the video isn't an ad so much as a promise to find new and better ways to help kids like Danion. It's hard to use kids in videos like this without looking schmaltzy and insincere. But you're made of stone if you don't get a little misty watching Danion, who got to perform at the Apollo Theater before his death, sing "When You're Smiling."

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  • 04/03/13--09:46: Ad of the Day: Wheat Thins
  • Wheat Thins has a sense of humor.

    Stephen Colbert famously mocked, on the air, the exhaustive memo he had gotten from Nabisco detailing exactly how Wheat Thins should be presented on his Comedy Central show—the centerpiece of a long comedy routine in which he was forced to read an "apology" with a lawyer standing behind him at the end. And Wheat Thins told Adweek they couldn't have been happier with the segment.

    Of course, they make amusing ads, too—including the Family Guy spot.

    Now, the Nabisco brand is really going for broke with a pair of extremely funny spots that wouldn't look out of place on one of the nuttier web comedy sites.

    The suburban husband guarding his cache from Ted next door and a huge, hairy, non-Bigfoot monster ("Honey, I was close! It's a yeti!") is really great. But the traumatized puppet takes the gold.

    "You can't eat Wheat Thins, John," the doctor explains gently. "You're a puppet, and nothing's going to change that."

    I know, dude. I'd go nuts, too.

    Both ads, from Being NY, are well directed and cast to perfection. But the writing is what makes both shine—so, good on whichever copywriter is getting to stretch his or her wings here. Also, that puppet looks really, really sad in the shot that establishes his depressed self in "Puppet." Poor bastard.

    Someday, my friend, the blue fairy will come to help you out. In the meantime, listen to crickets, and for heaven's sake stay away from carnivals and whales.

    Client: Wheat Thins
    Agency: Being NY

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    Weird, but also pretty neat: On Tuesday, Pizza Hut Canada streamed live YouTube video of an illustrator sketching commenter-suggested images on pizza boxes. It's a bit reminiscent of that artist who promised to hand draw every new Twitter follower (before bailing when he realized how many people would click a button in exchange for a free picture of themselves). Pizza Hut is calling its marketing gimmick art. It's hard to imagine anyone rushing to frame the sketches and hang them on the wall. But they do include random bits of genius, like a pizza eating a man, a porcupine in a balloon factory and "Lady 'Za 'Za" wearing a dress made of pizza (instead of, say, one made of meat). There are also less appetizing sketches, like a "big slice of pizza pushing a baby slice of pizza in a stroller made of cheese." Because it wouldn't really be a pizza box—or advertising—if it weren't covered in melted goop. Now, sit back and enjoy seven and a half hours of footage from the event at the videos below. Agency: Grip Limited in Toronto.

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    Sauza Tequila had a major hit last year with its "Make It With a Fireman" video, starring Thomas Beaudoin—which reached No. 15 on YouTube's list of the 20 most watched ads of 2012. The Jim Beam brand had a similar campaign planned for 2013, featuring a lifeguard. But then, days before the big reveal, it saw its surprise new spokesman, the hunky Anderson Davis … doing ads for Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing in quite a similar style. Both campaigns show Davis talking suggestively to the camera as he mixes up, respectively, salads and margaritas.

    Lewis Lazare has more details here. Beam says it knew nothing about the Kraft work, which launched Monday. And the liquor maker is now scrambling to make sure its lifeguard ad doesn't get lost in the shuffle—it's launched the spot now instead of the planned April 15. A Beam rep tells Adweek: "Well, they say imitation is the best form of flattery. And apparently one company believes nothing goes better with Sauza margaritas than a zesty salad. I know you're familiar with the videos that Kraft just launched. … The success of our 'Make It' campaign has opened the door for other companies to do the same—even with the same moves and the same actor who plays our lifeguard. You be the judge…"

    The Kraft work has gotten quite a bit of attention, including this Good Morning America segment. And that has put Beam in the odd position of actually drafting off the Kraft success as it introduces the fireman. "How do you like your @Sauza #margaritas? #Zesty, we hope," Sauza tweeted on Wednesday night.

    Having launched its work first, Kraft, not surprisingly, doesn't seem too stressed out about the whole thing, even giving Davis a shout-out. "It's noted in his biography he was working with Sauza, but we didn't know any specifics about the campaign," a Kraft spokeswoman says. "We think Anderson has done a terrific job for us on Kraft Zesty dressing."

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    Oh, how I've longed to get away from it all and live in the woods, wild and free, with some guy in a bear suit as my only companion. The scruffy protagonist of Deutsch L.A.'s new "Mountain Man" spot for Dr Pepper Ten is living that dream in a parody of macho '70s beer commercials that's goofier than all outdoors. Our hero grows out his beard (itchy, most likely); eats bark off trees (not so tasty, one assumes); calls out for a hawk to fetch him an icy-cold can of the "manliest low-calorie soda in the history of mankind" (no eye-pecking—maybe next time); and gets taxied around by Mr. Bear paddling a canoe (all that fur must be hot as hell). Note to self: Order a bear suit. It commands respect, and I could stand to sweat off a few pounds. A few shorter executions plus credits after the jump.

    Client: Dr Pepper Snapple Group
    Brand: Dr Pepper TEN

    Client Contact:
    Chief Marketing Officer: Jim Trebilcock
    Director of Marketing: Leslie Vesper
    Brand Manager: Angela Snellings
    Associate Brand Manager: Erica Hollington
    Director of Creative: Shaun Nichols
    Advertising Manager: Sharon Leath

    Deutsch Creative Credits and Titles:
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
    Group Creative Director: Brett Craig
    Integrated Creative Director: Xavier Teo
    ACD, Art Director: Erick Mangali
    ACD, Copywriter: Ryan Lehr
    Copywriter: Trey Tyler
    Art Director: Jacob Abernathy
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Director of Content Production: Victoria Guenier
    Executive Producer: Lisa K. Johnson
    Producer (Post): Matthew Magsaysay

    Production Company:
    Imperial Woodpecker
    Director: Stacy Wall
    Executive Producer/Managing Partner: Doug Halbert
    Producer: Jeff Shupe
    Director of Photography: Corey Walter
    1st A.D.: Miles Johnstone

    Cut and Run
    Editor:   Frank Efron
    Assistant Editor: Jeff Carter
    Managing Director: Michelle Burke
    Executive Producer:  Carr Schilling
    Senior Producer: Christie Price

    Visual Effects:
    The Mill
    Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
    Producer: Jess Ambrose
    Colour Producer: LaRue Anderson
    Shoot Supervisor: Tara Demarco
    Colorist: Shane Reed
    2D Lead Artists: Tara Demarco
    3D Lead Artists: John Leonti
    2D Artists: Dag Ivarsoy
    3D Artists: Ryan Reeb  / Brian Yu
    Matte Painting: Lyndall Spagnoletti

    Massive Music
    Creative Director: Tim Adams
    Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala
    Composer: Tim Adams
    Producer: Jessica Entner

    Sound Design:
    Massive Music
    Sound Designer: Dean Hovey

    Audio Post:
    Lime Studios
    Mixers: Mark Meyuhas
    Assistant Mixers: Matt Miller
    Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

    Additional Deutsch Credits:
    Chief Executive Officer: Michael Sheldon
    Account Management Credits:
    Group Account Director: David Dreyer
    Account Director: Helen Murray
    Account Supervisor: Andrew Dubois
    Account Executive: Kate DeMallie
    Account Planners:
    Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish
    Group Planning Director: Aileen Russell
    Business Affairs
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey
    Broadcast Traffic Manager: Gus Meija

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  • 04/04/13--09:48: Ad of the Day: Pepsi
  • It's been a big year for Beyoncé. She sang (sort of) at President Obama's second inauguration, performed a colossal Super Bowl halftime show, starred in a 90-minute HBO "documentary" chronicling her fabulous existence, and is currently gearing up to release her fifth studio album. And it's only April.

    Now, as the pop superstar continues on her path to total world domination by 2014, Pepsi is releasing a new spot from 180 LA commemorating Queen Bey's decade as the brand's fiercest spokeswoman.

    In the minute-long video, featuring a preview of Beyoncé's upcoming single, titled "Grown Woman" (always subtle, that one), the singer goes into a dance studio to practice her moves. Upon popping open a cold can of Pepsi (and flashing some sick nail art in the process), Bey looks up to find a reflection of herself from her "Bootylicious" Destiny's Child days staring back—wearing a stretchy, one-shouldered, berry-colored ensemble that most Dancing With the Stars contestants would deem too tacky.

    Other past Beyoncés begin appearing in the mirrors: short-shorted "Crazy in Love" Beyoncé, alter ego Sasha Fierce from the "Single Ladies" video, and a slew of others. Present-era Bey matches their boob shakes and hip thrusts move for move, proving that even at the practically geriatric age of 31, she's still got it.

    The presence of multiple Beyoncés proves to be too much for this mortal world, and the mirrors shatter under the weight of the magnificence within. Having successfully vanquished her rivals through dance—for the only force strong enough to threaten Beyoncé is Beyoncé herself—Queen Bey takes a sip of her life-giving (non-diet!) Pepsi.

    "Embrace your past, but live for now," she advises, and struts off to continue taking over the universe.

    Client: Pepsi
    Spot: "Mirrors"

    Agency: 180 Los Angeles
    Global Chief Executive Officer: Mike Allen
    Managing Partner, Executive Creative Director: William Gelner
    Creative Directors: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, Dave Horton
    Creatives: Aramis Israel, Julia Tsao
    Managing Partner, Executive Producer: Peter Cline
    Senior Producer: Lorraine Kraus
    Managing Partner, Chairman: Chris Mendola
    Account Director: Lauren Lombardo
    Account Manager: Frith Dabkowski
    Director of Business Affairs: Loretta Zolliecoffer

    Production Company: Believe Media
    Director: Jake Nava
    Executive Producers: Liz Silver, Luke Thornton, Gerard Cantor
    Line Producer: Benedict Cooper

    Editing Company: Cut+Run
    Editors: Joel Miller, Sean Stender, Steve Gandolfi, Julia Knight
    Managing Director: Michelle Burke
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling

    The Mill
    Colorists: Adam Scott, Shane Reed
    Executive Producer: LaRue Anderson
    Color Producer: Sarah Laborde

    Special Effects
    Creative Director: Aron Hjartarson
    2-D, Flame Lead: Alex Thomas
    3-D Lead: Ben West
    Flame: Ben Cronin, Mark Beardall, Savneet Nagi, Jodi Tyne
    Computer Graphics Effects: Dean Grubb, Jon Balcome, Gary Laurie
    Executive Producer: Kati Haberstock
    Producers: Mary Nockles, Bethan Thomas

    Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Jeff Payne

    Beyoncé, "Grown Woman"

    Sound Design
    Sound Designer: Brian Emrich

    Client Credits
    President, Global Beverage Group: Brad Jakeman
    Vice President, Advertising: David Foulds
    Vice President, Consumer Insights: Deb Benovitz
    Senior Vice President, Brand Engagement: Frank Cooper
    Senior Marketing Director, Global Consumer Engagement: Ellen Healy
    Marketing Director: Juliet Armstrong
    Senior Director, Brand Marketing: Gary So

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    Be it never so humble. Facebook is ratcheting up its ubiquitous presence in people's daily lives with its "Home" software for Android devices that more or less turns handsets into Facebook Phones. With Home engaged, the social network becomes the dominant presence on your device, with Facebook messages, updates and big, bright, smiley friend images right upfront, along with the ability to chat while using other apps. A 60-second video from the company's in-house creative department predictably plays the connection card with footage of smiley folks interacting via Facebook Home and lovin' it. The approach is similar to Wieden + Kennedy's mostly maligned commercials for the brand, portraying Facebook as a benign, beneficent presence, minus W+K's metaphorical malarky about chairs and swimming pools. The clip reminds me, somewhat, of the feel-good phone-company ads of yore—Reach out and touch someone, etc.—though Facebook's vanilla flavoring is thicker, and the spot manages to be both grandiose and bland at the same time. Still, the work accomplishes its mission of explaining in simple terms what Home is and why consumers might want to use it. Of course, there's more than UX evolution going on here. Home's economic end game, as Ovum chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson points out, is almost certainly "to track more of a user's behavior on devices and present more opportunities to serve up advertising." And the phone "takeover" aspect is Orwellian; even the spot oozes conformity. Still, millions of consumers won't care. They'll be pleased they can go Home again—and if Facebook has its way, they may never leave.

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    Ad agency Sukle in Denver made this "Need Someone" spot promoting the Wyoming Department of Health's counseling services for people who want to quit smoking—hopefully before they go into full-on Harvey Dent mode like the guy in the ad. His professional side is more flattering, I think. The spot also links to Quitnet, the official website for the WDH's program. Judging by their online forums, that guy's problem is not unique to him. Two more new spots after the jump.

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    Who Creative director, partner Tom Phillips; public relations director Matt Arrowsmith; fashion and lifestyle director Sarah Bronilla; creative services director Carrie Roberts
    What PR and creative agency
    Where New York “showroom”

    Launched in 1993, Exposure now handles public relations, creative and experiential assignments, but it hasn’t abandoned its roots as a fashion communications business. With offices in London, Tokyo and New York, it uses cultural insights to create lifestyle campaigns aimed at young consumers. Clients include Microsoft, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Casio and apparel marketers such as Nike, Dr. Martens and Fred Perry. Exposure features its fashion clients’ products in its own “showroom,” attracting editors, stylists, photographers and bloggers. 

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    Facebook just posted the new ad below, from Wieden + Kennedy, on its own site—it will also air Saturday evening during the Final Four on CBS. The social network has had trouble connecting with consumers through its ads before—the "Chairs" spot was roundly and notoriously mocked. This new spot, for the Facebook Home software, which essentially turns Android phones into Facebook phones, has its own issues. It shows an airplane traveler using Home to flip through photographs, each of which comes to life in front of him—sunbathing friends appear in the overhead compartment; his nephew shows up in the aisle with a face full of cake; the drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley pops out of the flight attendant's service cart. There's a lot going on. (Oddly, the traveler also ignores a request to turn off his phone; apparently he can't miss a single status update.) Directed by MJZ's Fredrik Bond, the spot is big and cartoony—and surreal, too, which seems to have completely flummoxed the commenters on the Facebook page where it's posted. (The level of negative reaction there is quite remarkable.) It's sometimes hard to know why Facebook, whose image problems usually stem from it seeming too big and too invasive, doesn't try to capture small, human moments rather than cosmic or circus-like ones. Maybe next time. Credits below.

    Client: Facebook
    Project: Facebook Home
    Spot: "Airplane"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Stuart Harkness / Chris Groom / Dan Hon
    Copywriter: Dan Kroeger
    Art Director: Johan Arlig
    Producer: Endy Hedman
    Account Team: John Rowe / Leah Bone / Anya Esmaili
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman / Joe Staples
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Fredrik Bond
    Executive Producer: Kate Leahy
    Line Producer: Line Postmyr
    Director of Photography: Roman Vas’yanov

    Editorial Company: Joint
    Editor: Tommy Harden
    Post Producer: Yamaris Leon
    Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

    VFX Company: The Mill
    Shoot Supervisor/Project Leads: Chris Knight (2D), Dave Lawson (3D)
    Producer: Christina Thompson
    Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
    3D Artists
    Lead: David Lawson
    Matte Painting: Tom Price
    Modelling: Milton Ramirez / Blake Sullivan / Timothy Hanson
    Texturers: Edwin Fong
    Tracking:  Martin Rivera
    Rigging and Animation: Jacob Bergman
    Animation: Blake Guest
    2D Artists: Nick Tayler, Narbeh Mardirossian, Peter Cvijanovic, Trent Shumway
    Titles/Graphics: W+ K Motion / Albert Yih

    Music+Sound Company: Walker
    Composer: Jumbo
    Sound Designer: Barking Owl / Michael Anastasi
    Producer: Sara Matarazzo

    Mix Company: Eleven
    Mixer: Jeff Payne
    Producer: Caroline O’Sullivan

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    Who David Mamet
    Age 65
    New gig Commercial director, Aéro Film
    Other gigs Playwright, screenwriter, film director, essayist

    You've signed with Aéro Film to direct ads again. Why now?
    Well, I like to work. And also, when I was very young, there was this woman. I thought she was a homeless woman. Turns out she was like a witch or an angel. And she prophesied that I would have a nice wife and many kids. But then one day, Aéro Film would come to me and, just like Mr. Bonasera in The Godfather, demand a service in return—which is to shoot a whole bunch of commercials.

    Wow, it's all coming true.
    So far, so good.

    So, Aéro Film approached you?
    They have an office next door [to me in Los Angeles]. After a couple of years, I said, "What do you do?" And they said, "We make commercials. What do you do?" I said, "I'm a writer." So, we said, let's do something together.

    You directed a Ford ad in 2007. Have you done others?
    I just did the one. But when I was a kid, about a million years ago in Chicago, I was actually a photo model. And I came very close—I was the [runner-up] to be on the cover of the Kellogg's Sugar Smacks box. This was 1964 or so. I was a gymnast, and I was coaching some kid. And I had to eat these freaking Sugar Smacks all day long. It's been 50 years and I still haven't gotten that weight off.

    It didn't sour you on the ad business, though.
    No, not at all.

    Did you enjoy doing the Ford spot?
    I had a great time. When I was a kid, I always enjoyed reading ad reminiscences—notably, of course, George Lois and Jerry Della Femina and David Ogilvy. Those are great books, and they're very, very provocative, especially to someone who's a dramatist. I don't think I'm stretching it too far to say that's basically what a good ad is: It's something that's going to break the concentration of the viewer, as [Edward] Bernays said.

    You've always been a fan of salesmen.
    Oh, sure. You know, Sir John Keegan just died. He was the great military historian of Britain. In one of his books he wrote, notably, "It was not my fate to be a warrior." And so, it was not my fate to be a salesman. But I worked with a lot of salesmen in my life, and I was always stunned by their ability to state the proposition such that someone else was going to do that which he had no idea of doing.

    In a way, this is your chance to be a salesman.
    Yeah. Absolutely so.

    Telling a dramatic story in 30 seconds seems a lot different than doing so in a film or play or TV show.
    Well, it is and it isn't. [Sergei] Eisenstein and Bernays came up with their theories about the same time. They said that what you have to do is make the audience break their thought patterns such that they get the ideas—so that you aren't telling them something, they're telling themselves something. If you don't do that, you can't change their actions. A good example of that was that [Chevy] ad from the [2012] Super Bowl where the trucks survive the nuclear holocaust, and one guy comes out and says to the other guys, "Have a Twinkie." It's unforgettable, you know? He unites everybody by saying that. We all know this folk myth, and you've gotta laugh.

    Do you see advertising as art in any way?
    I don't know. I mean, your question is: Is it possible to have art in pursuit of a mercantile end? And if it's not, then I don't know what the hell television is, because we've had 60 years of a medicine show.

    Does it change the way you work, knowing that an ad wants a non-artistic response from the viewer?
    Well, your question, put differently, is, Am I a big fat whore? And the answer is, I'll be damned if I know.

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    Westin Hotels thinks that what really inspires a globe-trotting executive is not the CEO of an even bigger company or even a cool trendsetter. Rather, it is, say, an overwhelmed hospital nurse who treats the victims of a natural disaster.

    That’s why more than 200 New York nurses who cared for those displaced by Hurricane Sandy are getting two free nights at a Westin location as part of the chain’s promotion of its new weekend services.

    The $7.5 million multimedia campaign, which breaks April 8, seeks to convince Westin’s core audience of hard-charging business travelers to book rooms on the weekend—and spend time recharging. One way to win over those Type A’s is to celebrate average people who work even harder, like nurses, teachers and volunteer firefighters, said Bob Jacobs, Westin’s vp of brand management.

    “These dedicated working people are seen as inspirational and deserving figures by the executives and professionals who are loyal to our brand,” he said. “A free weekend stay reinforces our campaign message that everyone deserves a chance to relax and rejuvenate.”

    While Starwood-owned Westin, which operates 193 hotels and resorts worldwide, and other hotel brands offer incremental room discounts to teachers and nurses, this is Westin’s first such giveaway. Free rooms and other gifts will also be given to selected teachers at high-risk schools as well as volunteer firefighters.

    The giveaways will be widely publicized, along with information about Westin’s “Make Monday Better” weekend program, which includes late checkout and extended breakfast hours.

    The campaign from BBH New York includes print and digital ads and on-site promotions. Taglines include “A day in the pool will help you swim with the sharks” and “A weekend at the U.S. Open means Monday has met its match.”

    Allen Adamson, managing director at brand consultancy Landor, said, “The giveaway is a simple, smart way for Westin to be a good citizen by rewarding unsung heroes. It may also take advantage of an underutilized asset: empty rooms.” (Westin, like other chains that cater to the business traveler, tends to be busier during the work week than on weekends.)

    Westin has marketed itself as a leisure destination before, but this is the first time it has focused exclusively on weekends.

    “Our research shows consumers are craving more leisure time but taking less vacation, so we are trying to offer weekend breaks that are seamless and stress free,” said Brian Povinelli, Westin’s global brand leader.

    Other weekend-only features at Westin include casual staff uniforms, more lively lighting and music, and information about local weekend activities.

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    March was a good month for newcomers to YouTube and Adweek's monthly Ads Leaderboard. At the same time, it was a good month to feel inadequate in any position but No. 1.

    That's because a certain soft-drink maker teamed up with a certain racecar driver to obliterate Leaderboard records last month—earning in just a couple of weeks some 33 million views, or about 13 million more than 2012's top-performing spot did for the entire year. Hats off to a one-of-a-kind phenomenon.

    Elsewhere on the Leaderboard last month, Samsung continued its hot streak, placing two videos on the list—neither one a traditional spot. Chevrolet also returned with a spot previewed in the earlier "Find New Roads" anthem clip.

    Otherwise, there are a load of fresh faces this time around, including the first Leaderboard appearance by a nonprofit, coming in at No. 9.

    The view counts are as of April 5. To be eligible for the YouTube Ads Leaderboard, videos must be marked as ads on YouTube (i.e., they get some paid views) but must also earn significant organic views. See all 10 spots at the link below.

    Video Gallery: YouTube's 10 Most Watched Ads in March


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