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- 04/29/13--09:10: _Ad of the Day: John...
- 04/29/13--10:34: _Think Different? Ap...
- 04/29/13--12:00: _Microsoft to Apple ...
- 04/29/13--12:38: _Weather Channel Aim...
- 04/29/13--19:08: _Vodafone Goes Time ...
- 04/29/13--19:08: _The Terrifying Slow...
- 04/30/13--06:21: _Creepy German Ad Sh...
- 04/30/13--06:54: _Microsoft Ad Turns ...
- 04/30/13--07:32: _Paris Agency Introd...
- 04/30/13--09:50: _Ad of the Day: H&M
- 04/30/13--11:11: _Ogilvy Creates Saud...
- 04/30/13--11:34: _The Most Awkward Ad...
- 04/30/13--11:45: _Budweiser's 'Buddy ...
- 04/30/13--12:59: _Man Killed and Stuf...
- 04/30/13--13:36: _JetBlue Aims High W...
- 05/01/13--06:05: _Latest Parody of Og...
- 05/01/13--06:57: _Ad of the Day: IBM
- 05/01/13--10:01: _JCPenney's Brutally...
- 05/01/13--10:35: _Domino's New Site L...
- 05/02/13--05:10: _Reminder: Do Not Sh...
- 04/29/13--09:10: Ad of the Day: Johnson & Johnson
- 04/29/13--12:00: Microsoft to Apple and Samsung Fans: Stop Fighting, You Utter Morons
- 04/29/13--19:08: Vodafone Goes Time Traveling in Its Raw Tribute to Everlasting Love
- 04/29/13--19:08: The Terrifying Slowdown for New Creative Business
- 04/30/13--09:50: Ad of the Day: H&M
- 04/30/13--11:34: The Most Awkward Ad Ever for a Local Transmission Repair Shop
- 04/30/13--13:36: JetBlue Aims High With Online Tribute to NBA's Jason Collins
- 05/01/13--06:05: Latest Parody of Ogilvy's Dove Campaign Is Sketchy and NSFW
- 05/01/13--06:57: Ad of the Day: IBM
- 05/01/13--10:01: JCPenney's Brutally Honest New Ad: 'It's No Secret' That You Hate Us
- 05/02/13--05:10: Reminder: Do Not Show a Man Having Sex With a Pig on Your Billboard
Johnson & Johnson's new corporate image work, from the Playa del Rey, Calif., office of TBWA\Chiat\Day, in some ways harkens back to its last major corporate push, the "Having a baby changes everything" campaign.
Both efforts eschew color for black and white and capture small, loving moments within families. But while "Having a baby" focused solely on babies and their parents, the new campaign, tagged "For all you love," branches out to include older children and grandparents. Still, the feel-good family glow remains.
J&J brands play a supporting role—for example, with a mother putting a Band-Aid on her son's knee in the initial TV ad. In the same spot, a bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo can be seen in the background of a scene of a dad holding his baby in a shower.
The music in the launch ad also is a departure from the last campaign. Instead of a few supporting notes of acoustic guitar, as Lowe used in the "Having a baby" ads, TBWA\C\D—in its first work for J&J—has inserted a child-sung version of the Guns & Roses song "Sweet Child o' Mine." It's not an obvious choice, but an effective one.
With the new effort, which also includes print and online ads and is backed by more than $20 million in media spending, J&J seeks to turn the page on several years of recalls, lawsuits and management turnover. CEO Alex Gorsky unveiled the launch ad at the company's annual shareholder meeting last week. Hours later, vp of global corporate affairs Michael Sneed signaled a desire to re-establish the company's core principals.
"The last several years, we have had business challenges, and it's important for people to understand that we're taking measurable strides to overcome those challenges," Sneed told Adweek. "We're also really intent on making sure that people understand the values of Johnson & Johnson and why we do things."
"It's not to say that we're perfect. We've never set ourselves up to be perfect," Sneed added. "But we want people to know that even when we make mistakes, we own up to those mistakes and that those mistakes don't change the character and the values that people have come to know about Johnson & Johnson."
Client: Johnson & Johnson
Campaign: "For All You Love"
Global Creative President: Rob Schwartz
Group Creative Directors: Becca Morton, Michael Yagi
Art Director: Carolina Labi
Copywriters: Michael Yagi, Gage Clegg
Group Account Director: Grace Kao
International Account Director: Brenda Castro
Management Supervisor: Andrew DeBenedictis
Account Executive: Kali Cushing
Assistant Account Executive: Alexina Shaber
Account Group Assistant: Erin Moore
Planning Director: Neil Barrie
Jr. Planner: Drew Phillips
Executive Producer (Broadcast): Elaine Hinton
Sr. Art Producer: Heather Michaels
Project Manager: Holly Prine, Jenni Warsaw
Print Producer: Kim Callahan
Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Jill Durand
Talent Payment Manager: Vanessa Aniles
Director of Broadcast Traffic: Nadzyah Guillermo
Broadcast Traffic Coordinator: Caelayn Edwards
Production Company -- Supply & Demand Integrated
Director: Jeffery Plansker
Executive Producer: Kira Carstensen
Line Producer: Julia Roberson
DP: Neil Shapiro
Production Designer: Carl Swanberg
South African Production Service: Can Can Films
Executive Producer: Di Britz
Editorial: Venice Beach Editorial
Executive Producer: Hunter Conner
Sr. Post Producer: Cristy Torres
Associate Post-Producer - Orlee Klempner
Sr. Editor: Dan Bootzin
Editor: Nick Gartner
Post EFX: The Moving Picture Company
Executive Producer: Asher Edward
Head of Production: Jenny Bright
Effects Artist: Mark Holden
Telecine: Company 3
Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Music: Sweet Child o' Mine – Guns N' Roses
Arranger: Rachel Santesso
Artist: Capital Children's Choir
Music Edit: Elias Music
Music Editor: Dave Gold
Producer: Kiki Martinez
Sound Studio: Play Studios
Mixer: John Bolen
Executive Producer: Lauren Cascio
Photographer: Tyler Gourley
Photographer's Producer: Steven Currie
Sometimes Apple's demo spots for the iPhone are charming; other times they can feel cold. The recent ones, with the rapid-fire word jumbles and cheerleader-style chants, had an odd, rah-rah vibe to them, which came across as sterile (a danger within Apple's already minimalist environment of purely imagined space). Coincidentally or not, TBWA\Media Arts Lab goes all warm and fuzzy in its latest iPhone spot, "Photos Every Day," which leaves the stark white background behind and reenters the real world. With a quiet piano playing, the 60-second ad shows scene after scene of people using their iPhones to take photos—of their friends, of their family, of nature, of themselves. The spot subtly demonstrates some product features (cropping, zooming, taking panoramic shots) but mostly shows people, and lives being lived. Likewise, the voiceover at the end is broader than usual: "Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera." Apple doesn't often use this line of argument—that you should do something because everyone's doing it. (Through most of its history Apple said the opposite—that you should do something because no one's doing it.) But that's Apple now—no need to think different if the best product happens to be the market leader. And the evocative tone of the latest spot is striking a chord. It's the first Apple ad in a while to top 1 million views on YouTube. Credits below.
Spot: "Photos Every Day"
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Chief Creative Officer: Duncan Milner
Executive Creative Director: Eric Grunbaum
Group Creative Director: Chuck Monn
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Antoine Choussat
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: David Young
Art Director: Anthony Williams
Executive Producer: Eric Voegele
Agency Producers: Perrin Rausch, Rob Saxon, Chris Shaw, Trang Huynh
Production Company: Epoch Films
Editorial Company: Nomad Editing
Editors: Jared Coller, Mike Benecke
Postproduction Company: The Mill
Lead Flame Artist: Edward Black
Colorist: Adam Scott
If smartphone advertising has a recurring theme, it's that the users of rival products are idiotic obsessives. Samsung made that point with its campaign poking fun at Apple fanboys. Now, Microsoft is making a similar point about both Apple and Samsung fans. The spot below for Windows Phone, from Crispin Porter + Bogusky and director Roman Coppola, takes place at a wedding, where half the crowd has iPhones and half has Galaxies. The bickering starts immediately, and soon escalates into a nasty brawl. A couple of attractive caterers, meanwhile, don't see what all the fuss is about. Can't we all just get along, and agree to buy Windows Phones? Of course, Microsoft would kill, or at least maim, for the kind of smartphone brand loyalty that the other two companies have. For now, the thinking seems to be, If you can't beat them, at least beat them up. And by the way—yes, unfortunately, Apple body tattoos do exist.
Client: Microsoft Windows Phone
Spot: "The Wedding"
Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly
Executive Creative Director: Dan Donovan
Creative Directors: Dave Swartz, Dave Steinke, Bill Roden
Art Director: Robbin Ingvarsson
Copywriter: Waldemar Wegelin
Executive Integrated Producer: Aaron Kovan
Senior Integrated Producer: Laura Keseric
Junior Integrated Producer: Mike Borell
Production Company: Directors Bureau, Hollywood, Calif.
Director: Roman Coppola
Executive Producers (Production Company): Lisa Margulis, Elizabeth Minzes
Producer (Production Company): Mary Livingston
Postproduction: Method, Santa Monica, Calif.
Editorial Company: NO6LA, Santa Monica, Calif.
Executive Producer, Design: Crissy DeSimone
Producer: Leslie Tabor
Editor: Kevin Zimmerman
Junior Music Producer: Chip Herter
Group Account Director: Devin Reiter
Content Management Supervisor: Lynn Harris
Content Supervisor: Kelly Olech
Content Managers: Casey Wilen, Andrea Cadloni
Business Affairs: Katherine Graham Smith
Group Planning Director: Jason De Turris
Junior Cognitive Anthropologist: Tiffany Ahern
Intern abuse is always good fun. The Weather Channel is celebrating the beginning of Tornado Week today by putting its interns in a room and blowing powerful winds at them, with the force of the breeze increasing for every public mention of #TornadoWeek on Twitter. They're broadcasting the whole thing live on YouTube (see below—although for the full experience, click the link above). There have been about around 6,000 mentions so far, and the winds are in the mid-90 mph range. If the tweet count hits 1 million, the channel is vowing to pummel the interns with a "full blown EF-5 tornado." That would mean wind speeds of more than 200 mph. They'd better have a lot of desk fans on hand.
IDEA: "Good things should last forever." The core idea dramatized in Grey London's new Vodafone ad couldn't be simpler. The spot has a relatively mundane offer to make—unlimited talk and text through Vodafone Red. But it gets there in grand, cinematic style by imagining something else you'd like to be unlimited—a kiss with the love of your life. "We asked ourselves, 'What things in the world do you wish could keep going?'" said Grey executive creative director Nils Leonard. "We noodled around with ideas about roller coasters and stuff. But we said, you know what? It's got to be something emotional. And we landed on a kiss. If you could have a kiss forever with the person you love, that would be amazing." The 90-second spot, directed by Frédéric Planchon, follows the same couple kissing through time, from childhood through old age, as their love endures—a tribute to the everlasting in a world (and a category) filled with endings.
COPYWRITING: Leonard wrote the spot with planning chief Leo Rayman. There's no dialogue, so the scripting process became a collaboration with Planchon about how to evoke raw emotion from scene to scene. Five sets of actors play the couple. "The teenagers are nervous," Leonard said. "The couple in their 20s are just raunchy. And then it gets slightly more forgiving and meaningful as the kids happen. And then it gets tender, because life throws some shit at you. And then it comes full circle [with the elderly couple]."
The narrative is sometimes ambiguous. In one scene, the woman briefly has a tear in her eye. "No life ever is just a rock 'n' roll kiss from 16 to 80," said Leonard. The spot wraps with the on-screen text "Good things should last forever," followed by the product offer, the line "Vodafone Red. A good thing," and then the logo and tagline, "Power to you."
ART DIRECTION/FILMING: The spot is cinematic but intimate and not overly constructed, with the handheld camera getting in close to the actors, almost chasing them through the film. "The way most people would have done it is some rotation thing that keeps going round," said Leonard. "But we wanted it to feel properly observed. There's a lot of door frames, in and outs, and you feel the proximity of their movement." Leonard didn't want any of the clichés—having it be "overlit or lens flare-y. We didn't want any rooftops." He was influenced visually by French art photography and European cinema, particularly the 2006 German film The Lives of Others.
TALENT: The sets of actors do look alike, but that wasn't the primary goal. "We cared more about the chemistry," Leonard said. "People will forgive casting in light of genuine emotion." The spot doesn't shy away from showing the old couple being physically affectionate—they cling to each other passionately. "No one ever shows anyone over 50 being intimate. They always imply it," said Leonard. "The shock to me is that a lot of people have found it really positive. A lot of the social response has been, 'It's about time people showed that you don't switch off, that life doesn't stop.'"
SOUND: Leonard thought the spot needed a rock track. He put Arctic Monkeys and Cure songs behind it. But then Planchon came back with "Walk," by Ludovico Einaudi, which felt almost like a film score. "It has a theme, almost like a metronomic effect. A piano riff appears every time there's a change, and it builds," Leonard said. "It was just perfect. It took it up a notch where a track, rather than a score, couldn't take it."
MEDIA: The spot is airing on TV in a handful of European markets, but is getting global exposure thanks to a version posted to Grey London's YouTube account.
Spot: "The Kiss"
Global Brand Director: Barbara Haase
Head of Brand Operations: Mel Hopkins
Agency: Grey, London
Executive Creative Director: Nils Leonard
Creative Director: Jonathan Marlow
Head of Planning: Leo Rayman
Media Agency: OMD
Production Company: Academy
Director: Frédéric Planchon
Editing Company: The Assembly Rooms
Editor: Sam Rice-Edwards
Soundtrack: "Walk" by Ludovico Einaudi
Visual Effects: MPC
VFX Producer: Paul Branch
VFX Supervisor: Kamen Markov
Grade: Jean Clement Soret
Audio Post-Production: Factory
The quiet is deafening. Where are the creative new-business opportunities out there?
While media reviews continue apace, significant creative-only reviews have been relatively scarce this year in what agency leaders and search consultants call an unusually slow period. Also, the size of the creative prizes, with a few exceptions, has been smaller.
Marketing spending is one of the first to be cut in a downturn, and in the U.S., it’s a battle for share and taking business away from competitors. That explains the large amount of review activity around media buying, a huge line item in marketers’ budgets that’s subject to the increasing clout of procurement and constant digital change.
It’s a different story for creative reviews, however, where the first quarter is traditionally busy, given that marketers have new budgets approved and typically want to have an agency in place before the summer kicks in. If an advertiser is reliant on holiday sales and it was a bad fourth quarter, it’s often time to pass the buck.
“If it’s a calendar-year client, you’re now in the second quarter, so you’ll want to have an agency by the end of the summer and have the fall to work on a campaign that will debut in January,” said one search consultant.
Since January, four media reviews representing more than $1.6 billion in spending have begun (Danone, Nationwide, Walgreens and Bacardi). Media also is part of three other creative and media reviews launched in the same time period (H.H. Gregg, Staples and Sony PlayStation), and collectively those marketers spend about $250 million annually. In contrast, spending behind the handful of creative-only searches that began in the past four months totaled $940 million, and when you back out JCPenney, that total drops to $500 million.
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive explanation for the scarcity of creative-only reviews, but David Beals, president of the R3:JLB consultancy in Chicago, offered that the long downward economic stretch has forced marketers to look at their agency relationships. “My suspicion is that a lot of marketers have already taken a hard analysis of that, and we’re in a lull,” he said.
Other consultants find themselves doing more relationship management work. “We can often help work through pain points in order to retain and strengthen their existing agency relationships,” said Ken Robinson of Ark Advisors in New York. “We’re not just matchmakers. We’re also marriage counselors.”
The good news from Robinson? His firm has a two-month lead time for searches, and the pace of creative searches may pick up again in the summer.
Agency executives see other trends at play. One suggested that marketers are more inclined to shift business without reviews, especially considering the relatively short lifespan of a CMO these days and the time it takes to conduct a search. Also, some marketers may just be more discreet, contacting fewer shops about their opportunities and reducing the possibility of leaks, said another agency exec.
Dr. Who, your jacket is ready. In this odd spot for 66°North outerwear from German agency Grabarz & Partner, some commuter dude shivering at a remote Icelandic bus stop encounters one of the clothing maker's jackets—which stands upright in the snow, as if someone's wearing it. Yet, the jacket's empty. Or is it? The dude peers inside the hood … and apparently, there's a toasty refuge deep within, with room for people to enjoy hot toddies in front of a roaring fireplace. (Talk about going "all-in" with a metaphor! Actually, I'm reminded of both a Whovian-style alien menace—"Those jacket creatures will kill us all, Doctor!"—and a Tardis. If the jacket were the latter, though, there'd be no need to take public transportation.) The final shot, which is kind of eerie, shows the coat standing alone against the wintry expanse, flames flickering within its faceless, fur-lined cowl. Hey, better put out that fire—no smoking on the bus!
Microsoft stuffed a functional WiFi router into a limited number of the most recent issue of Forbes, perhaps inspired by Entertainment Weekly's use of tiny LCD screens in one of its print issues last year. Microsoft's ad, which is for Office 365, is a T-Mobile wireless router that provides 15 days of free WiFi with a two- to three-hour battery charge. Wasteful? Sure. Needlessly expensive and complicated? Totally. But it's also the coolest thing Microsoft has done in a while. Same goes for Forbes—well, along with giving NAH's newest album a thumbs-up. Via PSFK.
What if being bad could do some good? That's the question asked by Come4.org, which describes itself as "the first user-generated, nonprofit pornography site devoted to funding charitable and ethically driven projects." The site is being unveiled with help from the Paris office of TBWA agency Being, which crafted an explicit 90-second short film, "The Lover," introducing Come4's first charitable initiative—helping to fund the Asta Philpot Foundation, which is committed to raising public awareness about the sexual rights of disabled people. (Philpot, an American living in Britain, advocates the right to an active sexual life for people with disabilities, even if it means paying for sex.) Check out the NSFW Web film below, followed by more from Come4.org about its philosophy and goals.
This film is NSFW due to nudity.
"Sex" is the top word searched on the Internet. With nearly billions of yearly revenues, the sex industry is one of the greatest markets online. Unfortunately, it is also one of the less ethical and transparent ones. Many people consuming free adult contents think that the only risk they may run into is that of being discovered by others. This idea, however, is plainly wrong, for the current model of consuming online sexual contents has many other negative implications.
The prevailing model is finalized to business, and thus it systematically aims at subjugating our sexual imagination to marketing standards. As a result, instead of reflecting the natural plurality of human sexuality, much of today's online sexual contents foster a one-dimensional perspective which is often fake, violent, macho-centered, and in many cases barely legal. We believe that we, as a self-aware community, can do better than this, and that time has come to rethink critically the relationship of online pornography and society.
With Come4 we aim to ignite a new sexual revolution, one that has at its core people instead of money, respect for diversity instead of uniformity, and solidarity instead of selfishness. Our goal is to devolve at least 1 percent of the total revenue of the online sex industry to support ethical causes aimed at defending and promoting sexual rights. Provided no one is harmed and that everything is legal, is there any reason why these revenues cannot be used for better ends?
Spot: "The Lover"
Agency: Being, Paris
Creative Directors: Alasdhair MacGregor, Thierry Buriez
Art Director: Julien Chiapolini
Copywriter: Riccardo Fregoso
Head of TV: Maxime Boiron
Director: Jeppe Ronde
Executive Producer: Jean Ozannat
Production Company: Henry de Czar, Bacon
A fashion ad featuring Beyoncé as Beyoncé writhing around in a bikini on a tropical beach? Obvious, maybe. Genius, nonetheless.
This is H&M's perfectly simple new ad, starring Ms. Carter, as her stage name goes, in the Bahamas, performing an excerpt of the song "Standing on the Sun," from her forthcoming album. It might be early to call it a formula, but the branded music video is becoming a familiar tack for the singer—who teased another of her forthcoming songs in a Pepsi ad earlier this month. That commercial also focused more or less on Beyoncé doing Beyoncé: singing, dancing, being fierce, and powerful, and incredibly attractive, very much commanding the spotlight.
A fashion brand is a more natural fit, though—for the artist and the format both. It eliminates any need for forced, awkward shots of the singer drinking the product or spewing pseudo-philosophical pabulum packaged as brand positioning. All she needs to do is wear the clothes, and do what she does best—belt out a catchy tune, strike dramatic poses, make eyes at the camera, and look generally, rivetingly fantastic.
She remains exactly where she belongs: right at the center of attention. The brand gets its moment in the sun, so to speak, and its message is clear enough. Wear these clothes—and you'll look and feel like Beyoncé.
Saudi Arabia, which ranked 131st out of 134 countries for gender parity in a recent report from the World Economic Forum, has unveiled what is believed to be its first major ad campaign condemning violence against women. The first ad, created by Memac Ogilvy in Riyadh for the King Khalid Foundation, shows a woman in a niqab with a black eye. The English version of the copy reads: "Some things can't be covered: Fighting women's abuse together." "The veil does not only hide women's abuse, but it's also a representation of the social veil behind which a lot of societal deficiencies hide," says Fadi Saad, managing director of Memac Ogilvy in Riyadh. "It is one bold first step toward legislation to fight women's abuse in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We believe that the authorities are ready to support such a drive today given the evolution that is taking place in the country." It's another sign that views toward women may be slowly changing in Saudi Arabia. Last summer, Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time. And this January, King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the consultative Shura Council—also a first.
George from Arlen's Transmission might not be the next Chuck Testa, but he certainly gave 100 percent to this new commercial, created by local-ad legends Rhett & Link. Compare and contrast the new spot with Arlen's previous commercial, from 2009. Actually, the music's not that different.
All you've ever wanted is to make it easier for that too-friendly guy you were too polite to while drunk at that party to stalk you the next day. No? Budweiser Brazil has the solution for you, anyway. The Buddy Cup (not a sexual position) comes with a QR code and built-in chip that connects it to your Facebook profile, so every time you toast some rando at a Bud-sponsored event, they gain instant access to your Facebook life. Because the world needs another uselessly hi-tech advertising innovation, and because the bar for being Facebook friends these days needs to be even more like blinking at a stranger passing on the street. Brought to you by Agencia Africa, which was also responsible for Bud's less idiotic Will.i.am magazine ad that doubled as a vinyl record.
Google Business Photos is an interesting service through which companies can pay to add interior shots of their offices to Google Street View. The temptation to abuse the service by posting goofy or shocking photos would seem to be irresistible to creative agencies—and indeed, many of them have apparently been uploading prank images. The most curious so far have come from British agency Ideas by Music, which staged a gruesome shower-stall murder for one photo—and then showed the body stuffed unceremoniously into a toilet stall a few doors down. The same agency also staged a Shining tribute by putting a red tricycle in the middle of a hallway, and a mysterious girl standing nearby. Ideas by Music doesn't mind if you stumble across these disconcerting images—on the contrary, the agency's website isthe Google Street View of its interior. Let's see if some U.S. agencies can step up and have some fun with this. Via The Atlantic.
The outpouring of support has been impressive for NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay male athlete in a major U.S. professional sport. Marketers, though, have been largely silent about Collins since yesterday—except for Nike, of course, whom he already endorses. (In a statement, the company said: "We admire Jason's courage and are proud that he is a Nike athlete. Nike believes in a level playing field where an athlete's sexual orientation is not a consideration.") About an hour ago, though, JetBlue posted an image created by its ad agency, Mullen, showing a rainbow image of the "i-people" from the company's "You Above All" brand campaign—to show support for Collins. "Thanks Jason, today we're all on the same team," reads the caption on the image, which was posted to Twitter and Facebook. Response has been mixed, with many fans and followers lauding the airline for supporting Collins and others wishing it had stayed "neutral." The brand's courage here is but a shadow of the player's courage, but it's brave nonetheless. Have other brands come out in support of Collins? Let us know in the comments.
Frankly, I needed a testicle-themed parody of Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" like I needed a kick in the crotch. Portal A was only too glad to oblige, producing this NSFW effort which becomes the second notable spoof of Grupo Ogilvy Brasil's mega-hit in which an FBI-trained sketch artist drew women as they see themselves, and as others see them. The point: "You're more beautiful than you think." (The Dove spot was released only two weeks ago. Feels like it's been around forever.) The Portal A clip is a one-joke parody … though, anatomically speaking, I guess there are a pair. An "Encino P.D. forensic artist" sketches, well, balls, first based on descriptions from their owners, and next by others who have seen them. The point: "Your balls are more beautiful than you think." The acting's solid, and the testicular descriptions ("It's like a frog that died, that's been in the road for two or three days") are amusing. But I feel deflated—this particular sack seems half empty. When you do balls humor, go big! Let it all hang out! All of the sketches look like fairly accurate representations of the body parts in question. Why not have the ones done from the guys' descriptions look outlandishly awful—draw a frog that's been dead in the road for two days—contrasted with sketches of giant smiley-face emoticons, Fabergé eggs and the package on Michelangelo's David? What we have is far too restrained. Back to the drawing board, guys.
IBM and Ogilvy make a big impact with the smallest of building blocks in their latest video, billed as "the world's smallest movie"—a rudimentary stop-motion animation made by IBM scientists using a special microscope they invented to move atoms around on a surface.
The movie, titled "A Boy and His Atom," consists of nearly 250 frames of stop-motion action and tells the simple story of a boy named Atom who dances and plays with an atom. By drawing viewers in with the film (a technological marvel that will no doubt be passed around far and wide), IBM then uses an engrossing behind-the-scenes clip to tell its larger story—about how the company has worked at the nanoscale for decades to explore the limits of data storage, among other things with real-world applications.
Andreas Heinrich, a principle investigator at IBM Research, is the most eloquent voice of the project. "Capturing, positioning and shaping atoms to create an original motion picture on the atomic level is a precise science and entirely novel," he says. "At IBM, researchers don't just read about science, we do it. This movie is a fun way to share the atomic-scale world and show everyday people the challenges and fun science can create."
The consequences of IBM's research at the atomic level are also put into useful context—using, fittingly enough, the movies as a gauge. Today's electronic devices need roughly 1 million atoms to store a single bit of data. But IBM researchers have shown that only 12 atoms are actually needed to store one bit. The implications for data storage are astonishing—it means that one day, every movie ever made could be stored in a device the size of a fingernail.
While IBM works on that, it hopes this movie accomplishes a simpler goal: getting kids to love science. As Heinrich says: "If I can do this by making a movie, and I can get a thousand kids to join science rather than go into law school, I'd be super happy."
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York
JCPenney is looking to bounce back from an absolutely wretched 2012, when it shed customers at an astonishing rate. But first, it wants to say sorry. In this admirably honest new commercial—the first work from JCPenney's new lead creative agency, Young & Rubicam in New York—the retailer admits that it's troubles are "no secret," but that it's committed to winning you back.
The voiceover says: "It's no secret. Recently, JCPenney changed. Some changes you liked, and some you didn't. But what matters with mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing: to listen to you. To hear what you need to make your life more beautiful. Come back to JCPenney. We heard you. Now, we'd love to see you." The spot ends with the full JCPenney name, and the lines "Come back to see us" and "We're listening on Facebook."
One viewer responded on YouTube by writing: "Thank you for admitting your mistake! My friends, family, and I will be shopping here again!" See how easy that was!
Life just got more stressful for the workers at a Domino's Pizza restaurant in Salt Lake City. That's because that particular location is the guinea pig for the chain's new Domino's Live experiment, dreamed up by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency has installed five cameras at the store to show workers making the pizzas in real time—kneading the dough, adding the toppings, popping the pies in and out of the oven. All through the month of May, anyone who orders a pizza online from any Domino's nationwide will be directed to DominosLive.com, where they will see … well, people making someone else's pizza, not yours (unless you happen to live near that location). The single-store pilot program went live today at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. local time), and so far we can see … hmmm, yep, there's some pizza being made. The footage is almost comically boring, but I suppose that's what you get with "transparency"—an inside look at a pretty tedious process in action. CP+B should have used hidden cameras instead. Then we might be in for more of a treat.
Of all the images to take from British TV series Black Mirror, the one that made a billboard for Australian TV network Studio was of a man doing the underpants Charleston with a pig. Cable provider Foxtel issued an apology in response to the immediate blowback, and it's as spineless as the offending image was tasteless and bewildering. "[The billboard] was intended to provoke," it said in a statement, "but it is clearly in appalling taste and demonstrates a lapse of judgment by Studio, and a failure in the approvals process at Foxtel." Well, no kidding. Why even move forward with an idea like that when you know you'll just have to apologize and take it right down? Part of me wants to see what would have happened if they'd stood their ground.