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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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  • 04/08/13--13:19: Cee Lo Green Sips on Sake
  • Cee Lo Green and sake? The combination seems a like bit of a stretch for the eccentric Georgia native, but is it really? The singer-songwriter, Voice coach, and member of both hip-hop group Goodie Mob and soul duo Gnarls Barkley, has always had a flair for the atypical. So it somehow seems right that he would team up with Ty Ku, a premium sake and spirits company, which has launched the first national sake spot titled “Share On.” Adweek spoke with the Green before he took the stage for “Cee Lo Green is Loberace,” his Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood.

    How did you team up with Ty Ku?
    Ty Ku was a joint effort between my management company, Primary Wave Music, and myself. I wanted to be associated with a brand that was original, unique and uncharted territory. Ty Ku sake was presented to me in that way, it was very attractive and interesting and it made complete and total sense. The pitch and the way it was presented to me on paper was very profound. Also just meeting the guys, they were very compassionate and empowered. I wanted to align myself with that type of attitude and that type of aspiration.

    What do you think about celebrities teaming up with big brands?
    I can dig it, you know, but you can’t buy good taste. Business is more often impersonal than not. That said, you don't have to drink Bud Light exclusively to partner with them in a joint venture in which they use your name and likeness to promote their brand.

    How involved are you in the creative?
    A few of the ideas on the editing room floor are [things] management and I agreed on. We all throw things up, maybe they don't stick, maybe they do, but we respect each other’s taste and talent. Compromising is also a talent too, knowing when to and where to.

    Where did you get that hat?
    That big ol' hat I'm wearing, I found that in Atlanta, Georgia in a nice little boutique store and thought it was cool. I was looking for an opportunity to wear it (laughs). It’s really cool and freaky-deaky.

    What's your favorite sake?
    Coconut. We have Ty Ku that we make with the mean green liquor with the [illuminated] bottle. You mix that with a little Patron and you have yourself a little festive evening.

    What are some of your media habits?
    Honestly, I generally don't watch a lot of TV, but one channel I can turn on and leave on is Adult Swim.

    Are you coming back to the Voice for Season 5?
    I'm definitely on board to come back for Season 5. Who knows, people may fall in love with the new cast and say, "We don't even want Cee Lo back, stay where the f*** you are" (laughs)." But I’m definitely coming back.

    Is there anything else you're working on?
    Yeah, I’m working on another solo album tentatively entitled "Girl Power," which is cool. And I’m working on another Goodie Mob album that I’m almost done with entitled "Age Against the Machine."

    Is there a Gnarls Barkley album coming out or is that on hold for a while?
    I told Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) I wouldn't do another Gnarls Barkley album until he cuts his hair (laughs).




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    IDEA: Subaru owners knew it almost before the company did. It was always about love. "If you ask a Subaru owner what they think of their car, more times than not they'll tell you they love it," said Alan Bethke, director of marketing communications for Subaru of America. "It was always in front of us, but never utilized in the marketing." That changed five years ago, when Carmichael Lynch launched work with that simple theme: "Love." In the years since, the ads have told poignant stories across the four thematic pillars—longevity, safety, versatility and adventure—that resonate with the target, defined as doers deeply engaged with life, others and the world. The automaker is particularly adept at father-daughter tales—like "Baby Driver," the Emmy-nominated spot from 2010, and now "Cut the Cord," about a girl's first day of school. The results are impressive. The Japanese company has doubled U.S. sales in five years, and in March had its best U.S. sales month ever. "It's a testament to the great work happening all around the company," said Subaru spokesman Michael McHale, "but notably, I think, in marketing."

    COPYWRITING: The writers try to find slice-of-life stories that humanize what those four themes mean to everyday people. Often, the ads are about life stages—in "Cut the Cord," a dad puts his daughter on the school bus for the first time, then drives alongside it to make sure she's OK. "That's a trying moment for anyone," said Carmichael executive creative director Randy Hughes. "He buys the safest car money can buy. And then he has to put his daughter in someone else's hands." The dialogue is minimal—small talk, mostly improvised. (Having the scripts be loose allows more truthful moments to emerge, the agency believes.) "I'm overprotective. That's why I got a Subaru," the dad says in a voiceover. "Love. It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru." The word "Love" appears—the letters stable at first, then cartwheeling joyfully around. It's followed by the Subaru logo and global brand statement, developed in Japan: "Confidence in motion."

    FILMING/ART DIRECTION: Vince Squibb shot the spot in a day in Long Beach, Calif. He had a meticulous eye for detail, particularly with costuming. "Wardrobing that little girl and playing up her classic look—she has a timeless quality about her that's pretty charming—that was a really good move," said Hughes. The whole campaign has a brightness and warmth, rooted in realism. "These stories make you feel good in some way," said Hughes. "Sometimes they make you want to cry, but in a good way."

    TALENT: The girl has a remarkable presence. "She was so measured. It was amazing," said Hughes. "We're saying, 'Just look a little scared,' and she had a way of doing it that was very natural. We didn't get 100 takes like this one. The little crinkle of her face was just right, and a shock wave goes through the set, and you know you got it." The dad exudes pain and love. "He's a professional," said Hughes. "He's got a suit on, he's got a nice Legacy, he's going to work. But this is an important moment, and he goes with it. And your heart goes out to him as he reacts to her."

    SOUND: The song is "Keep Me in Mind," by Tashaki Miyaki. The lyrics fit perfectly, if obliquely. ("I want to be the one that's on your mind/I want to be the one that's by your side.") "We look for tonality that is part of the emotion we're trying to bring forward," Hughes said, "and then lyrics that help the story get a little bit richer."

    MEDIA: National broadcast and cable, spot TV buys in key markets, and online.

    THE SPOT:

    CREDITS
    Client: Subaru
    Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis
    Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
    Exec Creative Director: Randy Hughes
    Copywriter: Conn Newton
    Art Director: Michael Rogers
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Grundhoefer
    Executive Senior Producer: Brynn Hausmann
    Business Manager: Vicki Oachs
    Account Service Team: Andy Gorski, Kristen Stengel
    Production Company: Gorgeous
    Director: Vince Squibb
    Executive Producers: Paul Rothwell, Jeff Baron
    Line Producer: Rupert Smythe
    Director of Photography: Alwin Kuchler
    Editing House: The Whitehouse
    Editor: Russell Icke
    Assistant Editors: Stephen Dunne, Shane Reid
    Online Artist: Steve Medin, Volt
    Telecine: Sean Coleman, Company 3
    Audio Mix: Carl White, BWN
    Sound Design: Carl White, BWN
    Song: "Keep Me in Mind," Tashaki Miyaki
    Music Company: Mixtape Music Ltd (London)
    Music Supervisor: Jonathan Hecht
    On-camera talent: Marcus Nelson (dad), Daisy Wetherholt (daughter), Jianna Wiliams (daughter' friend), Casey Adams (dad driver double)
    Voiceover Talent: Justin Beere (announcer), Marcus Nelson (dad VO), Lauren Whitcher, aka Paige Stark (singer)


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    Few brands have mastered the marketing non sequitur quite as well as Old Spice, which just rolled out two new, fascinatingly bizarre ads for its Fiji Bar Soap. Parodying similar spots from the 1980s, the ads quickly take a surrealist turn. In the 15-second version, the singing narrator struggles to keep up with the ad's transition from shower to basketball-watermelon to soap. The 30-second execution follows a handsome doctor being stalked by his shower, even during surgery. A third spot will debut this summer. As always, Wieden + Kennedy manages to barrel past the line of absurdity while still somehow managing to keep the product front and center. Weirdness weirdness weirdness … buy soap.


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    First, Wieden + Kennedy physicist and copywriter David Neevel broke the laws of God and man by using weird science to separate Oreo cookies from their creamy filling. Now, he's changed his tune, literally, by designing a convoluted contraption that turns a guitar—in his case, a bitchin' Flying V—into a computer keyboard. As he strums and plucks, the notes are translated into signals that the PC reads as keystrokes, and words appear on screen. Some commenters take Dave to task for going about things the hard way. Opines Chris Shaw in the comments section of the YouTube video: "Wouldn't it have been easier to write a few lines of code that would convert MIDI notes to keystrokes? Then you wouldn't need the arduino and all the external hardware just a MIDI interface." Gosh, Chris, wouldn't it have been easier to STFU? Well, at least you know what Arduino is, which is more than I can say for myself. (I'm guessing it's the pick. It's the pick, right?)


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    Michael Bolton follows up his Optimum campaign with a cameo in the Starburst ad below, part of a new campaign from DDB Chicago that offers theories on why the candy is so "Unexplainably juicy." In "Orchard," it's because Bolton serenades trees whose fruit then becomes extra luscious, obviously. Another spot says it has something to do with Keyboard Cat and dragon tears. The spots were directed by Andy McLeod of Rattling Stick. More executions and credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Starburst
    Agency: DDB Chicago
    Chief Creative Officer: Ewan Paterson
    Creative Director: Chuck Rachford
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Alex Zamiar
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Jonathan Richman
    Executive Producer: Will St. Clair
    Producer: Matt Green
    Senior Account Director: Kate Christiansen
    Production Company: Rattling Stick
    Director: Andy McLeod


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    Holiday Inn Express may not have stayed smart, but it is trying to get smart again.

    The brand is reviving its popular, long-running "Stay Smart" message with two new spots from Ogilvy & Mather, which won the business last year. The original campaign, which featured commercials ending in the line "But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night," ran for 11 years, starting in 1998, and was originally created by Fallon.

    The new ads follow the familiar formula, in which average people find themselves magically endowed with remarkable talents thanks to a great night of budget-hotel sleep (yeah, right). One spot features a talented acupuncturist who turns out to be a well-rested and oddly presumptuous delivery man, and his patient, who is surprisingly (or perhaps appropriately) relaxed about the whole thing. (Still, there has to be a lawsuit in there.) The other spot features a genius mathematician who solves an impossible (and, in reality, non-existent) problem—even though he's actually just a visiting parent. Even worse, his daughter is a dance major. Because, ha ha, come on, why can't your progeny study something real?

    The jokes aren't gut-laugh funny, but the ads are solid enough to fit, and fulfill the brand's desire to cash back in on a classic campaign (a rare enough beast in its own right). Whether they have the same offbeatcharm as some of the spots from the original run is a different question. But they're definitely a step up from the generic individualism that comprised some the brand's advertising in the interim.

    Now, it just has to keep getting smarter.

    CREDITS
    Client: Holiday Inn Express
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
    Directors: The Perlorian Brothers


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    Carl's Jr.'s notorious Memphis BBQ Burger commercial, which features two half-dressed women fighting over pulled pork on a cheeseburger—aka, "barbecue's best pair"—recently arrived in New Zealand. It was promptly banned there, however, for running afoul of two of the country's advertising rules—prohibiting the use of sex appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner, and the use of sex to sell an unrelated product. (Are there any Carl's Jr. ads that New Zealand doesn't ban?) In response to this particular censure, Carl's Jr. decided to describe the TV spot in a radio ad—which, left to the listener's imagination, is perhaps as suggestive as the TV spot. (Special Group did the radio work; 72andSunny did the TV.) It's not a bad use of radio, which is sometimes said to be the most visual medium. Of course, the radio spots will probably be banned soon, too. Via The Ethical Adman.


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    Activision needed some high-impact firepower to tout its downloadable Black Ops 2: Uprising content, which is set for release next week on Xbox 360. Two riotous "replacers" answered the Call of Duty. Veteran movie tough guy Peter Stormare reprises his role as a nattily attired, ludicrously intense dude who substitutes for average Joes in their daily lives so they'll have more time to play the massively popular game. Stormare, just as insanely on edge as he was in his January debut, is joined by equally well-dressed, righteously kick-ass sidekick J.B. Smoove, aka actor-comedian Jerry Brooks.

    The pitchmen wring every drop of humor from absurd "replacement" situations in this new three-minute clip from 72andSunny. They're both tightly wound, yet handle pressure differently. Stormare speaks softly and with great deliberation; it seems like his face might crack open from the tension building up inside. His barely repressed murderousness bubbles up as he tells a slow-choosing customer to "Pick a Sammmich" when he and Smoove substitute for counter help at an oddly named fast-food joint. (Note how he threateningly brandishes a knife, just as McDonald's crew members do in real life if you don't order fast enough.)

    Smoove, conversely, lets it all hang out, and his loud, rapid-fire bursts of dialogue ricochet through the pair's adventures. Replacing an attorney, he delivers his closing argument: "Is my client guilty? Probably. Who cares?" When Stormare chides him from the defense table ("You're doing it wrong"), Smoove explodes, "I'm doin' it the way I'm gonna do it, OKAY? Let me do this, OKAY? … I'm in my zone right now! Did he do it? I DON'T KNOW!" He's also great as a happy-happy hyperactive fill-in TV weatherman, emoting to the max as he warns, "There's a 45 percent chance of swamp ass today, New Orleans. Be careful out there!"

    Sure, it's basically just a sendup of the familiar buddy-cop/action-flick formula—there's even a "Bad Cop, Bad Cop" bit where both actors smash every prop in an interrogation room. But these two elevate the material, which is superior to start with, to a stratospheric level. They share a rare chemistry, the kind attained by John Hodgman and Justin Long in Apple's iconic "Get a Mac" campaign,or James Garner and Mariette Hartley in Polaroid commercials of yore—for those of a certain age who, like myself, have to bump up the point size to read these advertising reviews. Stormare, Smoove—what are you waiting for? Guys, for the love of God, replace me!


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    Are you addicted to the Big Mac, or can you stop anytime you want? Whatever your emotional issues with the burger, McDonald's is distancing itself from the mental-health parody ad above, which appeared on Boston's mass transit this month. (The 800 number on the ad is a McDonald's corporate line.) In a statement to Time magazine, Nicole DiNoia, a McDonald's rep for the Boston area, says the ad was "not approved by McDonald's" and that "we asked that it be taken down immediately." She adds: "We have an approval process in place with our marketing and advertising agencies to ensure that all advertising content is consistent with our brand values. Regrettably, in this incident, that process was not followed. We sincerely apologize for this error." Sounds like maybe a local agency rolled out the work without proper approval? We left a message with DiNoia—hopefully she can clarify. The ad was part of a series—another showed two corporate drones high-fiving just thinking about a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Mental health is a particularly touchy subject for marketers, as last year's 7-Eleven fiasco reminded us. Photo via.


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    This lovely "Portraits" spot for Instagram really does wonders with the fuzzy yellow filter that just screams late '70s/early '80s, and the casting and direction bring you into this family's world even as the costumes change with the … hmm?

    What's that? This is an ad for Bank of America?

    Huh.

    Financial services is a tough category, but this really excellent generational short film is kind of a triumph of copywriting over brand identity. "We know we're not the center of your life," the narrator apologetically tells us at the end of the minute-long spot by Hill Holliday. And yeah, we know that, too.

    What we don't know is what the narrator means when he says, "There was a connection that started it all and made the future the wonderful thing it turned out to be." Was there? Are we talking about the beautiful photo album of this lovely family that is clearly growing by leaps and bounds with each passing second? I think we must be.

    Mind you, it is a really lovely advertisement. The actors are all perfect, and director Ivan Zacharias has framed every shot so that it seems to be taking place just after the family makes the needed adjustment to deal with "the second British Invasion," for example (love the cute punk girl doing her excessive makeup), or the long-haired son's "brief brush with the law."

    "We know we're not the center of your life, but we'll do our best to help you connect to what is," the voiceover says at the end, followed by the briefest flash of an on-screen tagline ("Life's better when we're connected") and the client's logo.

    BofA does such an impressive job getting out of its own way in "Portraits" that it could almost be an ad for anything. But it's backed up by more spots—two released so far, with many more on the way—in different styles and with more direct product messaging.

    They'll be hoping you connect with them as well.

    CREDITS
    Client: Bank of America
    Agency: Hill Holliday, Boston
    Spot: "Portraits"

    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen
    Executive Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Spencer Deadrick, David Gardiner
    Senior Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Kevin Daley, David Banta

    Art Director: Kevin Daley
    Copywriters: David Banta, Lance Jensen

    Executive Vice President, Director, Creative Production: Bryan Sweeney
    Senior Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Scott Hainline
    Broadcast Production Assistant: David Shaw

    Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Leslee Kiley
    Executive Vice President, Account Director: Nancy Lehrer
    Vice President, Account Director: Andrew Still
    Management Supervisors: Kim Almazan, Jaime Zozula
    Account Supervisor: Kate Norris
    Account Executive: Megan Wiggin
    Assistant Account Executive: Raquel Ross
    Project Manager: Jillian Malenfant

    Senior Vice President, Group Planning Director: Linda Lewi
    Director, Broadcast Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing
    Director, Business Affairs: Sharon McDonald

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Ivan Zacharias
    Producer: Nick Landon
    Line Producer: Pete Slowey

    Music: Original Snow Palms

    —Spot: "Dumont Green"

    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen
    Executive Vice President, Group Creative Director: Spencer Deadrick
    Senior Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Neal Hughlett, Sue DeSilva

    Copywriter: Neal Hughlett
    Art Director: Sue DeSilva

    Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Karen Kenney
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Patrick Driscoll

    Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Leslee Kiley
    Executive Vice President, Account Director: Nancy Lehrer
    Senior Vice President, Account Director: Jeff Nowak
    Vice President, Account Director: Andrew Still
    Management Supervisors: Kim Almazan, Vanessa Tebesceff
    Account Executive: Angela Castellucci
    Assistant Account Executive: Lisa Gapinske
    Senior Project Manager, Amanda Sullivan

    Senior Vice President, Group Planning Director: Linda Lewi
    Vice President, Planning Director: Ross Cidlowski
    Planner: Allie Pirolli

    Director, Broadcast Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing
    Director, Business Affairs: Sharon McDonald

    Production Company: Red Thread

    Editorial Company: Lost Planet

    Color Correct: Nice Shoes
    Colorist: Lez Rudge

    Conform: Brickyard

    Music: Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band

    —Spot: "San Diego Biofuel"

    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Lance Jensen
    Executive Vice President, Group Creative Director: Spencer Deadrick
    Senior Vice Presidents, Group Creative Directors: Neal Hughlett, Sue DeSilva

    Copywriter: Neal Hughlett
    Art Director: Sue DeSilva

    Vice President, Executive Broadcast Producer: Karen Kenney
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Patrick Driscoll

    Executive Vice President, Managing Director: Leslee Kiley
    Executive Vice President, Account Director: Nancy Lehrer
    Senior Vice President, Account Director: Jeff Nowak
    Vice President, Account Director: Andrew Still
    Management Supervisors: Kim Almazan, Vanessa Tebesceff
    Account Supervisor: Kate Norris
    Account Executive: Angela Castellucci
    Assistant Account Executive: Lisa Gapinske
    Senior Project Manager, Amanda Sullivan

    Production Company: Red Thread

    Editorial Company: Hill Holliday Bubble
    Editor: Dan Cabral

    Color Correct: Nice Shoes
    Colorist: Lez Rudge

    Conform: Brickyard

    Music: Feeling Alright by Joe Cocker

    Senior Vice President, Group Planning Director: Linda Lewi
    Vice President, Planning Director: Ross Cidlowski
    Planner: Allie Pirolli

    Director, Broadcast Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing
    Director, Business Affairs: Sharon McDonald


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    Leon Sandcastle isn't real, but that doesn't mean he's not going places. In fact, the imaginary Hall of Fame cornerback, played by Deion Sanders in Grey New York's amusing Super Bowl spot for the NFL Network, just signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour. There's even real photos from the fake signing. (Although of course, you hardly have to be a real person to have real marketing value.)

    "A talent like Leon doesn't come around very often," says Matt Mirchin, senior vice president of global brand and sports marketing at Under Armour. "Leon is the type of athlete we can't pass up because he plays the game with the experience of someone twice his age, and his trademark Afro and moustache look great on a graphic T-shirt."

    "There is a ton of buzz on Sandcastle," adds NFL Network's Mike Mayock.

    What does Sandcastle himself say? "I, for one, know my partnership with Under Armour is a match as good as peanut butter and jelly. The only company in the entire world who could keep up with Leon on and off the field is Under Armour. We're both ready for the Prime-Time, baby."

    All this is leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, to be broadcast on the NFL Network on April 25. Sandcastle is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick at the draft, according to NFL insiders who should not be believed. But in all seriousness, Sarah M. Swanson, vice president of marketing for NFL Network, says: "Leon's deal with Under Armour is the latest extension of the positive buzz and viral nature of this ad campaign … it's been a tremendous vehicle across all platforms for our partners to engage with the millions of NFL fans following the Combine and Draft on NFL Network."

    Video detail

     


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    Over in Australia, Kit Kat decided to commemorate its limited-edition white-chocolate Kit Kats by taking the last 50 and getting illustrator Mike Watt to melt them down and create 50 original illustrations from them. After crushing and melting the things, he painted the resulting goo on canvas and used a knife to scrape away the sections he didn't want, leaving behind a white-chocolate relief. They're really quite beautiful. Kit Kats never look that good crushed and melted in the bottom of my purse. The illustrator characterizes the project as preserving a piece of the brand's history. I dunno if I'd go that far. Eventually that brittle layer of chocolate on each canvas is going to break apart. View all the posters in this Facebook gallery.


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    It’s one of branding’s eternal truisms that when you find an idea that works, you stick with it. It’s why fatherly CEO Dave Thomas appeared in over 800 TV spots for Wendy’s, why Aflac has stuck with the duck since 1999 and why Go Daddy has held tight to Danica Patrick’s bumper for 11 Super Bowl spots now. There’s a corollary to this rule, too. Once one brand discards a great idea, there’s nothing stopping a similar brand from taking it up. Case in point: the Marlboro Man and what looks like his kid brother in the ads here. But be it a tobacco smoke from the ‘50s or one of the many electronic alternatives on the market now, cigarette brands love associating themselves with the All-American bruiser.

    “Cigarettes were always about being a rebel,” observes Gwenaëlle Gobé, creative director of marketing think tank Emotional Branding and a filmmaker who recently explored gender representations on American billboards in her film This Space Available. “The imagery connects because it’s an ideal,” Gobé said. “Who doesn’t want to be some version of the tough guy? This is what everybody demands men to be.”

    This rugged but successful marriage between tough guys and cigs goes back to 1954 when Philip Morris introduced Marlboro as its first brand to feature a filter. Fearful that the foam tip would make the brand seem soft and feminine, the company hired legendary adman Leo Burnett, who understood that making Marlboro a real man’s smoke meant showing real men. While most people recall the Marlboro Man as a cowboy, he was actually a variety of characters for the first few years: mechanics, hunters and, like our hairy-chested friend here, a coach (ex-Navy at that, judging from the tattoo on his right hand). The hitch worked. By 1972, Marlboro was the best-selling cigarette brand on the planet.

    Of course, all the muscles in the world weren’t enough to fight off the attorneys general in most every state in America. The $206 billion Master Settlement of 1999 sent the Marlboro Man riding off into the sunset. But good ideas are tough to kill—as this 2013 ad for Blu e-cigarettes demonstrates. “My intuition is that Blu purposely went to the Marlboro Man to give this ad the same look,” Gobé said. Even if the brand didn’t do that literally, the similarities are striking. Chances are you wouldn’t pick a fight with either of these dudes.

    It’s anyone’s guess if the tough-guy image will work as well for Blu as it did for Marlboro. Blu is a battery-driven vapor generator that comes in flavors including Cherry Crush and Vivid Vanilla—facts that are a little tough to reconcile with the Brando-esque aura of our denim-clad stag here. Still, there’s no denying the logic of the presentation. “If you walked up to anyone who’s lived long enough, they can immediately conjure the Marlboro Man’s image and describe it to you,” Gobé said. “That icon is endless.”


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    Isaiah Mustafa seems perfectly content simply being the Man Your Man Could Smell Like—or drink beer like, or do another manly activity like. And who can blame him? This new two-minute spot for an Israeli brewer lets Isaiah be Isaiah, giving him amusingly elaborate lines to deliver, even if they're a poor man's version of Wieden copy. Isaiah has done this kind of thing before, and he'll do it again. Which brand will give him a real challenge and cast him as a pathetic weakling, or a doofus dad?


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  • 04/11/13--12:38: Ad of the Day: Diet Coke
  • Taylor Swift's beverage preferences, like everything else in her life, have been well documented. There was that time she and Jake Gyllenhaal strolled through Brooklyn while drinking "specialty maple lattes." On her taste in alcohol, she once explained, "If it doesn't taste like candy or sparkles, I usually don't drink it." And when asked by Bon Appétit what was in her fridge, she said, "Diet Coke. Because it understands me." (Unlike Harry Styles! Ugh.)

    T-Swift also happens to be an official "brand ambassador" for Diet Coke, and this week she released her first spot for the sugar-free cola. The ad, from Droga5 and MJZ director Fredrik Bond, recreates the artistic process of writing "22," a song from her latest album, which apparently involved a lot of journal entries, a lot of red lipstick and a lot of Diet Coke. Because Tay-Tay's message is always super-relatable, we also get to see bunch of other cool, young, Coke-drinking people singing along. (Sample lyrics: "It seems like a perfect night/To dress up like hipsters." That is not a joke.)

    It's been a big month for pop stars and cola, with Beyoncé releasing her big new Pepsi ad just last week. But while it's hard to imagine Mrs. Jay-Z drinking anything but Dom Pérignon and the blood of her rivals, let alone a can of (non-diet!) Pepsi, it's actually pretty easy to picture Taylor sitting around the house and writing about ex-boyfriends in her diary while drinking cute little bottles of Diet Coke.

    How else could she possibly have the energy for so many adorable photo-ops?

    CREDITS
    Client Diet Coke
    Campaign Stay Extraordinary
    Title Music That Moves

    Agency Droga5 NY
    Creative Chairman David Droga
    Executive Creative Directors Ted Royer / Nik Studzinki
    Copywriter Sophie Isherwood
    Art Director Andrew Wilcox
    Head of Integrated Production Sally-Ann Dale
    Agency Producer Sam Kilbreth
    Head of Brand Strategy Ted Florea
    Brand Strategist Matt Springate
    Group Account Director Steven Panariello
    Account Manager Nadia Malik

    Client Diet Coke
    Head of Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola North America, Pio Schunker
    Group Director, Integrated Marketing Content, Coca-Cola North America, Adam Hunt
    Group Brand Director, Diet Coke/Coke Zero Rafael Acevedo
    Director of Multimedia Production, Sarah Zehnle Traverso
    Integrated Marketing Content, Coca-Cola North America
    Senior Integrated Marketing Content Manager, Coca-Cola North America, Andy Deutsch

    Production Company MJZ
    Director Fredrik Bond
    DOP Roman Vasyanov
    Executive Producer Kate Leahy
    Producer Line Postmyr

    Editorial Marshall Street Editors
    Editor Tim Thornton-Allan
    Assistant Editor Phil Hignett
    Producer S.J. O’Mara

    Additional Editorial Union Editorial NY
    Editor Sloane Klevin
    Assistant Editor Andrew Doga
    Executive Producer Caryn Maclean
    Producer Susan Motamed

    Post Production The Mill NY
    Head of Production Sean Costelloe
    Producer Sallyann Houghton
    Flame Susanne Scharping
    Color Grade Damien Van Der Cruyssen

    Music Taylor Swift
    Song 22 (from the album Red)
    Writers Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback

    Sound Sonic Union
    Mixer Rob McIver
    Studio Manager Justine Cortale


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    Juvenile humor reigns supreme in this new Kmart commercial from Draftfcb, featuring store workers encouraged stunned shoppers to not be shy and just go ahead and "ship your pants." The shoppers take full advantage, too. Other folks later in the spot even ship their drawers and their nighties, and one old dude even gleefully ships the bed. (The point is, Kmart is offering free shipping of anything from Kmart.com if people can't find it at the physical store.) I'm not sure I'd sign off on a commercial that's basically 30 seconds of people punning about shit, but it's sure worth a chuckle. Props, too, for going all out and including the #shipmypants hashtag. Hat tip to @arrrzzz.

    CREDITS
    Client: Kmart
    VP, Marketing Planning: Andrew Stein
    VP, Creative: Mark Andeer
    VP, Chief Digital Marketing Officer: Bill Kiss

    Agency: Draftfcb
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    EVP Executive Creative Director: Jon Flannery
    SVP Creative Director: Howie Ronay
    VP Creative Director, Copywriter: Sean Burns
    Agency Producer: Chris Bing

    Production Company: Bob Industries
    Executive Producers: TK Knowles, John O'Grady, Chuck Ryant
    Producer: Brian Etting
    Director: Zach Math


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    The Transport Accident Commission of Victoria in Australia hits the road once again to promote safe driving. TAC has taken many different, well, tacks in its previous efforts—ranging from goofy humor to wretched depression and all-out shockvertising.

    "Roadtrip Forever," created by media firm SCA, constitutes a change of direction in form, though not function, as safety education remains the goal, with teens and young adults the target. There are traditional elements, including TV and radio, but its centerpiece is an immersive, highly personalized Facebook experience that lets you log in and pick one of your FB friends to take on a three-minute virtual road trip. Well-crafted cinematic video storytelling is skillfully intercut with bogus status updates and chats involving your various friends. Men experience one trip; women another. Since TAC is the advertiser, it's not giving anything away to say that both journeys end in vehicular tragedy.

    "The core idea is to make sure it has an impact, and that at the end of it the user goes, 'Whoa!' " SCA creative director Angus Stevens says in a behind-the-scenes clip. If the campaign alters the way they drive and inspires young people to share the Facebook experience with peers, all the better, he says.

    I'm not sure any TCA effort could have as much impact, literally or figuratively, as the "Swap" commercial from a few years back. But "Roadtrip Forever" does pack a punch, albeit in an eerie, thoughtful, almost melancholy way, rather than through sudden shocks or blood and guts. (Sure, it's manipulative, but most PSA efforts of this type are, and the personalized Facebook approach gives "Roadtrip Forever" a more "realistic" immediacy that others lack.)

    The first-view "Whoa!" factor does depend, to some extent, on surprise. Still, taking the trip a second time, even when you know what's coming, doesn't significantly dampen the effect. This particular drive delivers on multiple viewings and actually gains emotional resonance as details and nuances begin to register more deeply.

    If there's a flaw, it's the basic concept of letting users choose their road-trip companions. Plugging in a beloved friend yields a sad, moving journey. Choosing a "friend" you don't know so well, or picking someone you don't really like—and we all have plenty of those among our FB connections—cushions the impact considerably.

    Via Adverve.


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    Mr. T guest-stars as a living pun in this Crispin Porter + Boguksy ad for Old Navy Best Tees, which are more stylish and durable than their previous ones. That's not a huge accomplishment, but whatever, it's their ad. (T also appeared in a two-minute Old Navy infomercial last year with Anna Faris.) I enjoyed the quiet irony of putting Mr. T on a plane, when B.A. Baracus was scared to death of them, but it's a little hard for the audience to accept that he can just kick the bathroom door down in a post-9/11 world. No T-shirt in the world can get you out of that kind of trouble.

    CREDITS
    Client: Old Navy
    Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
    Partner/Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly
    Executive Creative Director: Jason Gaboriau
    Creative Director: Robin Fitzgerald
    Creative Director: Cameron Harris
    Associate Creative Directors: Alexandra Sann, Mike Kohlbecker
    Sr. Copywriter: Dafna Garber
    Copywriter: Chelsea O'Brien
    Art Director: Mary Dauterman
    Director of Video Production: Chad Hopenwasser
    Executive Integrated Producer (Music): Bill Meadows
    Executive Integrated Producer: Deb Drumm
    Junior Integrated Producer: Jackie Maloney
    Executive Business Affairs Manager: Amy Jacobsen
    Business Affairs Manager: Michelle McKinney
    Production Company & City: Smuggler, Hollywood, CA
    Director: Randy Krallman
    Assistant Directors: Jey Wada, Erin Stern
    Executive Producers/Partners: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody
    Executive Producer/COO: Lisa Rich
    Executive Producers: Allison Kunzman, Laura Thoel
    Head of Production: Andrew Colón
    Producer: Paula Cohen
    Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
    Editorial Company & City: Cut + Run, Santa Monica, CA
    Head of Production/Senior Producer: Christie Price
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
    Editor: Frank Effron
    Assistant Editors: Heather Bartholomae, Brooke Rupe
    Visual Effects Company & City: Method Studios, Santa Monica, CA
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens
    Producer: Colin Clarry
    Set Supervisor: Rob Hodgson
    VFX Supervisors: Jason Schugardt, Michael Sean Foley
    Lead Composer: Kelly Bumbarger
    Graphics & Animation Company & City: Buck, Los Angeles, CA
    Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
    Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
    Sr. Producer: Nick Terzich
    Associate Producer: Ashley Hsieh
    Art Director: Jenny Ko
    Designer: Sean Dekkers
    Animator: TJ Socho
    Music Company & City: Search Party, Portland, OR
    Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo
    Producer: Chris Funk
    Composer: Terence Bernardo
    Sound Design & City: Machine Head, Santa Monica, CA
    Sound Designer: Stephen Dewey
    Producer: Patty Chow Dewey
    Telecine & City: Company 3, Santa Monica, CA
    President/Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
    Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
    Partner/Managing Director: Steve Erich
    EGroup Account Director: Danielle Whalen
    Account Director: Kate Higgins
    Content Management Supervisor: Laura Likos
    Content Supervisors: Jessica Francis, Kendra Schaaf
    Content Manager: Alex Kirk, Michelle Forbush
    Group Director, Planning: Lindsey Allison
    Cognitive Anthropologists: Jennifer Hruska, Tiffany Ahern


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  • 04/12/13--10:21: Ad of the Day: Dos Equis
  • "He gave his father The Talk."

    Dos Equis tries different things with The Most Interesting Man in World, but the campaign's strength lies, and will always lie, in those inspired one-liners—the ones your wife's uncle is always parroting because he knows you work in advertising, and aren't those just the most hilarious commercials you've ever seen in your life?!

    "In a past life, he was himself."

    "If opportunity knocks and he's not home, opportunity waits."

    These two new spots have some great lines—worthy additions to the Most Interesting canon. And while Havas Worldwide has been branching out with the character—it had that answering machine gimmick, and most recently announced it would be celebrating Cinco de Mayo beginning on Dos de Mayo—the original TV-spot formula remains the purest distillation of the character.

    He's the same old guy in these ads, only more so. He plays handball. He deciphers hieroglyphics. He goes to India. Even when he's modernizing, it's with a smirk. In one of the new ads, he's gone mobile—with one of those early giant 1980s brick-like cellphones. In the end, the guy is just too cool to be cool.

    Like the man himself, this campaign always does best by staying the same.

    CREDITS
    Client: Dos Equis
    Spots: "Handball," "Telecom"

    Agency: Havas Worldwide, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Lee Garfinkel
    Executive Creative Director: Christian Carl
    Creative Directors: Paul Fix, Carlos Fernandez
    Writers: Daniel Berenson, Christian Beckett
    Art Directors: Jon Vall, Rick Cohen, Jonathan Ong
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Guyt
    Executive Producer: Dave Evans
    Associate Producer: Matt Sausmer
    Managing Director: Kersten Rivas
    Group Account Director: Katy Milmoe
    Account Director: Marie Massat
    Account Supervisor: Alexis Beechen
    Account Executive: Sarah Louie
    Planner: Theo Soares

    Production Company: @radical.media
    Director: Steve Miller
    Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt
    Executive Producer: Gregg Carlesimo
    Producer: Barbara Benson

    Editorial Company: Outside Edit + Design
    Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo
    Cutting Assistant: Matt Dolven
    Assistant Editor: Laurel Smoliar
    Visual Effects Supervisor, Flame Artist: Johnny Starace
    Audio Engineer: Eric Thompson
    Music Composer: Brett Fuchs
    Executive Producer: Sila Soyer

    Colorist: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole
    Producer: Katherine Andrews


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    Almost-obscenities are having a good run in ads this month. First, we had Kmart's "Ship My Pants" spot, which has made millions of people laugh like 9-year-olds. Now, it's Philips Norelco's turn—with a campaign themed "I'd FAQ me."

    A pair of spots show hirsute fellows using Philips Norelco's electric razors to do a little manscaping—trimming back the weeds both up there and down there. With each clip and shave, the guys remark on how attractive they're becoming by suggesting what they'd do to themselves if they were an admirer.

    "I'd wink at me," says one guy. "I'd pop a bottle with me. I would share a shawarma with me. … I'd snuggle up with me. I'd invite me up to watch a movie. I'd have a wine with me." At the end, he concludes: "I'd FAQ me," with the middle word, a good sound-alike for the F-bomb, silenced—and his mouth pixellated.

    The spots lead to an impressive website, idFAQme.com, which invites you to scroll down the length of a dude's body, with pointed product benefits listed all the way down.

    Ogilvy & Mather creative director Zach Korman says the campaign isn't so much about being provocative as being honest about how young guys in the target market think about themselves and their looks. "We all have little rituals and stories we play out in our heads," he says. "With more confidence, more possibilities open up in life. Those 'possibilities' just generally end up in the same place more often than not."

    The "FAQ" idea didn't come out of nowhere. "We had an assignment to both showcase a new product launch as well as convince guys that the electric category would be worth considering," says Korman. "So what's the most recognizable fact-delivery convention online? Obviously, that'd be an FAQ—but through the lens of our campaign, of course. Which meant less body copy and more body shots."

    The website is intended to wow a segment that's used to plenty of bells and whistles online. "I don't think anyone would expect a 360-3D-nose-to-tail-shaving-hair-test-drive," says Korman. He adds that he doesn't expect the campaign to stir up any negative controversy. "In television, film and advertising, we're seeing some of the boundaries of tone and language extend a bit further every day," he says. "I don't think we're saying anything that isn't already out there in the ether."

    CREDITS
    Client: Philips Norelco
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York

    Creative:
    Chief Creative Officer: Calle Sjoenell
    Executive Creative Director: Jason Marks
    Creative Directors: Zach Korman, Tom Elia, Craig Mannion
    Art Directors: Lukas Lund, Andreas Hoff
    Copywriter: Mikio Bradley
    Art Director: Brad Warsh
    Senior Information Architect: Annie Wong

    Account:
    Managing Director: Matt Dowshen
    Account Director: Jennifer Natuzzi
    Account Supervisor: Kara Shenton
    Account Executive: Amanda Warren

    Planning:
    Planning Director: Paula Bloodworth

    Production:
    Chief Production Officer: Matt Bonin
    Executive Producer: Melanie Baublis
    Senior Producer: Susan Rafter
    Production Coordinator: Dana Malinick
    Music Producer: Karl Westman
    Integrated Content Production Business Manager: David Halberstadt
    Managing Director, Digital Delivery: Kathleen Gareiss
    Executive Director, Digital Production: Angela Fung
    Associate Director, Technology Management: Jordan Saletan
    Associate Director, Systems Architecture: Todd Harpersberger
    Director, Quality AssuranceRaul Morales

    Analytics:
    Associate Director of Marketing Analytics: Omari Jinaki
    Integrated Communications Planner: Kacy Erdelyi
    Marketing Strategy: Michael Gallo

    Production Company:
    Epoch Films
    Director: Michael Downing
    Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan
    Line Producer: Eric Sedorovitz

    Post Production:
    Cosmo Street Editorial
    Editor: Tom Scherma
    Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
    Producer: Heather Richardson
    Assistant Editor: Zack Winick

    Music:
    JSM Music

    Audio:
    Sonic Union
    Mixer: Steve Rosen

    Telecine:
    Company 3
    Colorist: Tim Masick

    Finishing:
    Switch

    End Tag Animation:
    Ataboy Studios

    Digital Production:
    Stinkdigital
    Executive Producers: Esther Downton, Mark Pytlik
    Director, Art Director: Morgan Harary
    Creative Technologist: P.J. Ahlberg
    Interactive Producer: Sean Manion
    Content Producer: Stine Moisen
    Director of Photography: Lukasz Pruchnik
    Developers: Charlie Clark, Marco Rosella
    Motion Design: Erik Sigblad, Harry Thompson
    Additional Post: Light of Day


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