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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    There are things that would seem to transcend the need for advertising: sunshine, friendship, happiness … cheese. Because cheese is the best, right? If you don't enjoy cheese, there's probably something wrong with you. (And don't use that "lactose intolerant" excuse—you'd be eating cheese if you could.) But it turns out certain places want you to eat only their cheese (or ice cream, yogurt, milk, etc.), and they're willing to shell out for the win.

    The latest installment in the so-called "dairy wars" comes from California, which has brought back its famous talking cows from Deutsch LA for a new campaign pushing the Real California Milk and Real California Cheese brands. Titled "Friends," the first new 30-second spot—directed by Fred Savage of Wonder Years fame—uses a loquacious cow to implore consumers to make California milk and cheese a part of their family.

    It starts with a teen girl, who is busy eating her after-school snack of cheese and chocolate milk, and her mom, who is busy cutting up even more cheese—my god, these people love their lactose. When Mrs. Cheese asks about her daughter's rotating cast of love interests, the family's resident California cow (who must be worked to death, considering the amount of dairy this household consumes) spits out a tale of John and Jamie and "biffs" and boys and "supe-shady" goings-on. The tagline: "Make us part of your family."

    Although it doesn't make much of a point about why California dairy products are better than all others, it's a pretty cute spot—because, you know, everyone loves a talking animal (the talking California cows have been around for more than a decade), and tween girls are annoying. Most important, it will really, really make you want cheese, if you're at all human. Your move, Wisconsin.

    Client: California Milk Advisory Board
    Vice President, Advertising: Michael Freeman

    Agency: Deutsch LA
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Hunter
    Group Creative Director: Karen Costello
    Creative Director: Jeff Bossin
    Creative Director: Scott Hidinger
    Senior Copywriter: Melissa Langston-Wood
    Senior Art Director: Sara Oakley
    Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
    Director of Broadcast Production: Victoria Guenier
    Senior Producer: Dave Stephenson

    Production Company: Uber Content
    Director: Fred Savage
    Partners, Executive Producers: Phyllis Koenig, Preston Lee
    Executive Producer: Steve Wi
    Producer: Mark Hall

    Editorial Company: Cutters
    Editor: Adam Parker
    Assistant Editor: Kristin Gerhart
    Producer: Sasha Grubor

    Post: Company 3
    Colorist: Mike Pethel

    Visual Effects: Method
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Gil Baron
    Executive Producers: Robert Owens, Stephanie Gilgar
    Producer: Pip Malone
    Coordinator: Anastasia Von Rahl
    2-D Supervisor, Nuke Artist: Chris Bankoff
    Lead Flame Artist: Noah Caddis
    Flame Artist: Matt Welch
    Nuke Artist: Carlos Morales
    Paint Artist: Pam Gonzales
    3-D Lead: Calin Casian
    Model: Scott Brust
    Rigging: Marc Berrouet
    Animation: Joon Lee, Aaron Schultz, James Parris
    Lighting: Calin Casian, James Kirk
    Texture: Josh Frontino, Frida Sahono-Jozwik
    Tracking: Fabio Zapata, Lauren Van Houten, Tom Stanton, Luis Rodriguez, Juan Colon, Alex Tirasongkran
    Roto: Kenneth Lui

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

    Additional Deutsch Credits:

    Account Management Credits:
    CEO: Mike Sheldon
    Integrated Account Director: Adam Thomason
    Integrated Account Executive: Jamie Friedman

    Media Credits:
    Schoenfeld & Partners

    Account Planners:
    Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish

    Traffic, Business Affairs:
    Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey
    Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
    Broadcast Traffic Manager: Cybil Weigel

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  • 08/09/12--18:42: First Mover: Trevor O'Brien

  • Specs
    Age 33
    New gig Evp, executive creative technology director, Deutsch LA
    Old gig Vp, creative technology director, McKinney

    What does your job entail, exactly?
    I oversee a team of animators, motion designers, 3-D artists, front-end developers, back-end developers, quality-assurance engineers. Part of my role is trying to create an environment where technology is part of everything we do.

    You seem to have the skill set—a blend of creative thinking and technological chops—that’s in demand these days. What’s the creative part of what you do, and what’s the technology part?
    We view technology as part of the creative group, so sometimes I’m working with creative teams. And it’s really important to make sure I’m keeping up with all these new technologies. I’ll sit in with tech reviews and look at where we are in a project and try and help solve problems when we run into them. It’s a perfect blend of what I grew up doing, which is coding, and what I wish I could do, which was be an artist or be a musician, and trying to bring all that together.

    What’s an average day like?
    A lot of my day is spent in meetings. I work a little in the evenings, too. There’s a phrase I love, which is “nighttime coder.” When you get to a certain point in your career and you still want [to code] and you’re passionate about it, you find time in your own time to do it. I’m a bit of nighttime coder right now.

    What type of digital talent are you trying to bring on board?
    People with the ability to design and create experiences that work across a range of mobile devices and the Web and tablets is where we’re focusing our energy right now. I primarily look for people that are T-shaped, that have a specialized skill but are broad across a range of other disciplines.

    What are your favorite tech devices?
    Whenever I travel, I have an “Apple sandwich” or an “Apple cake,” which is basically my MacBook Pro, my iPad and my iPhone. I have an HTC as well, and I have a ton of apps that I use on there. More than the devices themselves, the apps that come with them and what they enable you to do are amazing. One that I use right now is Uber [the car-service app]. The one I use most is probably Spotify. I have that running on the background somewhere on one of my devices all day long.

    What are you listening to?
    We Were Promised Jetpacks. They’re a Scottish indie rock band. It’s tagged really well in Pandora. I’ll go to Pandora if I want random stuff, but Grooveshark is one of those services where I love how easy it is to put in a band and get all their records. You basically watch a 10-second video before you get to listen to your music. I like the idea of watching something, then getting a bucket of time that I know is going to be just constant music.

    Anything other tech trends you’re particularly psyched about?
    The future planning or future check-in world. So if I were coming up to New York tomorrow night, I could check into my favorite pub, and then my friends could see where I’m going to be tomorrow night. There’s a bunch of different things you can imagine around that. You can invite your friends to come join you, and then people could sign up. I could say I’m looking for dinner and get offers from restaurants.

    So what is your favorite pub in New York?
    The famous one I always go to—P.J. Clarke’s. I love going to that place and having a pint of Guinness.

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    Rebekah Hay, the founder of New Zealand's Hakanoa Ginger Beer, seems none too pleased with the global negative publicity generated by an ad campaign concocted by M&C Saatchi that jokingly offers to swap your ginger-haired kid for a six-pack of the ginger product. It all began when adman Dave King's 8-year-old son was teased and bullied at school because of his red hair. King's in advertising, so his instinctive reaction was to devise a nonsensical campaign that, while perhaps intended as an "ironic" bit of reverse psychology, was interpreted by a substantial portion of the population as mean-spiritedly offensive. A print ad reads, "Let's be honest, no one really wants a ginger. So if you've got one, bring it in ad we'll swap it for something you really want, a delicious six pack of Hakanoa Ginger Beer." (I wonder how King's kid feels now when Mom and Dad bring him along to the grocery store. Happy and secure, I'll bet.) Hay has tearfully apologized in the wake of an outcry so intense that she asked the police for assistance. Now, if Marmite made the same offer, there'd be zero complaints. Folks with ginger kids would line up for miles for the chance to take home a few cartons of the much-beloved yet currently scarce yeasty spread. Via Copyranter.

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    Agent Provocateur got Penélope Cruz's sister Mónica to shoot this saucy video, from Black Label Productions and director Tim Pope, promoting its 2012 fall/winter collection. The spot is being compared to The Portrait of Dorian Gray by just about everyone who's seen it. But I dunno, I thought it was more like that 30 Rock episode about the HD camera. And while I liked their choice of the Iggy Pop song for the striptease ("Dirt" is one of my favorites), that part of the ad fell kinda flat for me. Nothing against Mónica Cruz—she's a beautiful woman. But the lingerie sequence was trying so hard to be sexy that it just…wasn't.

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    Eastbound & Down is a funny show. So, you'd think its co-creator, Jody Hill, might have done a better job directing this new Hooters commercial from ad agency Fitzgerald+CO. Instead, we get a spot that's both crude and unfunny. It's based on a loutish lifeguard who's disgusted by the wrinkly old people he has to watch in the water, and whose inner dialogue is spoken by angel and devil owl puppets over his shoulder (the owl being the Hooters mascot). "I just threw up in my beak," is the best line the devil owl can muster. "How we approached these [ads] was kind of like we do on Eastbound & Down," Hill says in the behind-the-scenes video. "You start with the script. That's kind of your blueprint for the structure. And then you add on a joke or two, and pretty soon you just start improv-ing off that. That's where you get those kind of magic moments that you can't really write." Perhaps those magic moments were confined to future spots—one of which will apparently star former NFL coach Jon Gruden. Of course, it's possible Hill did a remarkable job here—juvenile and obnoxious being this brand's core attributes after all. Credits after the jump.

    Client: Hooters
    Title: "Lifeguard"
    Agency: Fitzgerald+CO
    Agency Producer/HOP: Christine Sigety
    Creative Director: Evan Levy
    CCO: Noel Cottrell
    SR. AD: Patrick Campbell
    Account Director: Allison Sherrill
    Production Company: Caviar
    Executive Producer: Michael Sagol, Jasper Thomlinson
    Producer: Luke Ricci
    Director: Jody Hill
    DOP: Mark Williams
    Production Designer: Lauryn Leclere
    Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
    Executive Producer: Damian Stevens
    Editor: Geoff Hounsell
    Producer: Denise Hutton

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  • 08/10/12--10:00: Ad of the Day: Intel
  • Intel's Museum of Me, created last year by ad agency Projector in Tokyo, presupposed that your online life is so artfully lived that it belongs in a museum—a virtual one, with images and posts from your Facebook page lining the walls like precious paintings. The campaign bowled over the Cannes judges this summer (golds in Cyber, Film and Branded Content, along with a silver in Direct) but always seemed a little weighed a bit down by its self-seriousness. Facebook trades in unwittingly narcissism, yes, but a museum for your posts? Most of them wouldn't belong on a refrigerator.

    Projector has now returned with a sequel to the Museum of Me, and it's one that lightens things up by turning to a more appropriate medium: the Broadway musical. Me the Musical does a lot of what the Museum of Me did—collects some basic info and images from your Facebook and crunches them into a video for you. But this time, it's a Coke Happiness Factory-like production, with little animated dudes marching through your Timeline, picking out bits and pieces of your history and highlighting them next to milestones from the culture at large. The finished product is more in line with what you'd expect from a Facebook data cruncher: a parade of nothingness—cartoony, easily digested, eminently disposable.

    Me the Musical also attempts to tie in the Intel brand by highlighting the impact technology has made in people's lives and looking ahead to what Intel says is a new era in computing. But really, that's museum talk. Sit back with glorious goofiness of Me the Musical, watch the video, then send it to your mom.

    Client: Intel
    Agency: Projector, Tokyo
    Production Company: Nexus
    ECD: Chris O'Reilly
    Director: Smith & Foulkes
    CG Supervisor: Michael Greenwood
    Art Director: Colin Bigelow
    3D Artist: Jay Harwood
    3D Artist: Dara Cazemea
    Compositor: Rachel Rardin
    Technical Director: Pete Addington
    Animator: Alex Griggs
    Animator: Stuart Doig
    Animator: Eoin Coughlan
    Animator: Steven Brown
    Animator: Conor Ryan
    Producer: Tracey Cooper
    PM.: Claire Thompson

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    Sometimes an idea is so simple and perfect, you wonder how no one thought of it before. Today's case in point—the bad-breath flipbook. JWT Hong Kong created a bunch of them for Listerine, shows an attractive woman who appears to be speaking as you flip the pages. But before long, the smell of onions comes wafting toward you. At the end of the piece was a coupon for Listerine. The brand saw a staggering 66 percent redemption rate, according to the case-study video below. My suggestion for a follow-up: Go to summer festivals and give out free fans that smell like gorgonzola cheese.

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    Wait, I missed International Friendship Day? I guess if I had any friends, I would've known. In most countries it's the first Sunday in August. It's July 20 in Argentina (where it's known simply as Día del Amigo), and this year it inspired a novel campaign from women's fashion retailer Todomoda, ad agency +Castro and advertising students at Escuela Superior de Creativos Publicitarios—allowing friends to literally share tweets. An app allowed one friend to start a 140-character tweet and a second friend to finish it—it then appeared in both feeds. There were also games testing friends' knowledge of each other, with Todomoda discounts as prizes. Per +Castro, the campaign was seen by almost 600,000 Twitter users in two weeks, and 4,000 girls and young women took part. That's impressive, though the whole concept—detailed in the happy-happy shop-shop case study below—makes me wonder if "friendship," by and large, has degenerated to the point where it's nothing more than a promotional peg. Help me find the best deals on the coolest stuff … and let's share a tweet, connect on Facebook and split an order of branded nachos at the mall while we max out our credit cards. In today's world, that's what friends are for.

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    The Norfolk Southern railroad is looking to score real political points with a new ad campaign, timed to the national conventions, centered on a magical world of make-believe.

    A new spot from Maryland's RP3 Agency and the digital masterminds at The Mill (which also directed) aims to position Norfolk Southern—and freight rail in general—as a continuing force for economic growth for America. The commercial opens with a young boy playing trains in his bedroom. After the boy goes to bed, the train's flickers once again to life, and the whole bedroom becomes like a scene from Toy Story. Dolls and stuffed animals emerge from their hiding places, and a whole city is formed—with skyscrapers, factories, highways and a port. "Wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. Norfolk Southern. One line, infinite possibilities," the voiceover says, as the camera pulls back to show the whole bustling scene—as the boy wakes up and stares in wonder.

    Norfolk Southern wants to bring this message of relevance directly to politicians and voters during the national political conventions. The spot breaks today and will air on broadcast and cable until the end of November. Norfolk Southern will also have a strong presence at both the Republican National Convention (Aug. 27 and 29) and the Democratic National Convention (Sept. 4 and 5), including sponsorship of CNN's election coverage.

    The spot is a visual delight—par for the course for The Mill. "Children and adults have strong emotional connections to trains. Using CGI allowed us to convey the imagination and wonder so many of us as adults still have for trains from our childhood play," says RP3 cd Jim Lansbury. "Both in fantasy and in reality, railroads are a source of awe."

    "One of the neat things about 'City of Possibilities' is its optimistic tone," adds Frank Brown, assistant vp for corporate communications at Norfolk Southern. "We aren't fancy, but the transportation services we provide are critical to industry at home and American competitiveness globally. We help our customers and communities grow, and that's a continuing success story."

    Client: Norfolk Southern
    Agency: RP3 Agency, Bethesda, Md.
    Creative Director/Copywriter: Jim Lansbury
    Associate Creative Director: Chris Sheldon
    Producer: Donna Schoch-Spana
    Audio Engineer: Steve Rosen/Sonic Union
    Original Music and Sound Design: Human

    Production Company/Effects: The Mill
    Directors: Angus Kneale & Ben Smith
    Executive Producer: Ian Bearce
    Nic Barnes (Live Action)
    Boo Wong (VFX/Post Production)
    Ryan McKenna (Editor)
    Alex Trierweiler (Assistant Editor)
    Director of Photography: Bill Pope
    Chris Bernier (Project Lead Artist)
    Jeff Lopez (Animation Lead)
    Tom Bardwell (Lighting Lead)
    Joji Tsuruga (FX Lead)
    Zang Chen
    Alex Cheparev
    Maxime Cousseau
    Sam Crees
    Sean Curran
    Justin Diamond
    Stanley Ilin
    Nicholas Johnnides
    Christina Ku
    Justin Kurtz
    Jeffrey Lee
    Paul Liaw
    Iván Luque Cuellár
    Laurent Makowski
    Justin Maynard
    Ross Scroble
    Navdeep Singh
    Hassan Taimur
    Olivier Varteressian
    Sauce Vilas
    James Williams
    John Wilson
    Zhenting Zhou
    Kyle Cody (2D Lead Artist)
    Erin Nash
    Shoot Supervisors:
    Naotaka Minami
    Corey Brown

    Damien Van Der Cruyssen (Colorist)
    Tim Haldeen (Lead Artist)
    Tom Losinski
    Gap Sangpattharamatee
    Jae Kim
    Bryan Louie
    Jane Ro
    Morgan Schweitzer

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    Here's an outsized marketing mascot who's never stumped when it comes to providing sports, concert and theater tickets. StubHub's talking, animatronic oak tree, which debuted back in the spring, returns this week in "Late Night," a new 30-second spot by San Francisco agency Duncan/Channon. The 25-foot-tall spokes-tree reminds me of a giant, anthropomorphized Chia Pet—now there's a nightmare image—crossed with the trippy topiary that traipsed through H.R. Pufnstuf. Agency executive creative director Parker Channon tells AdFreak that the hippy-era Sid and Marty Krofft show "was absolutely one of our references," noting, "We didn't want CG. We wanted a creation that walked that thin line between cute and creepy like only a real-world puppet can." Personally, I find the Ticket Oak both cool and annoying. My mood shifted from mulch-and-water-bearing love to grab-an-ax-and-start-chopping hate several times as I watched the tree interact with his dimwitted sidekick Ben, who can't understand why his turnip plant won't also sprout a canopy of tickets. (All sins will be forgiven if the Ticket Oak beats up Dow's freaky bush man.) Predictably, the Ticket Oak has a strong presence on social media, and a version of the tree also makes live appearances, operated by a quartet of professional puppeteers. Says Channon: "The concept was made to 'branch out,' and we already have several things in the works and others already shot. Although we're not ready to give out our secrets just yet—other than, wait till Halloween." Branch out, huh? Look, I'm rooting for Ticket Oak to grow, but let's prune the wordplay before it saps all the campaign's energy. Two previous spots after the jump.

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  • 08/14/12--10:35: Ad of the Day: Axe
  • The correct mode of transit to a Caribbean island goes something like this: You are standing, chest forward and chin up, on a speedboat. It is part of a triangular formation of speedboats making a beeline through azure waters toward said island. The speedboat's captains are distinguished men wearing neat beards, rich ascots and sharp linen suits. These men are singing, in chorus, a song that does not need words, to announce your approach. The speedboats are filled with essentials to ensure a perfectly decadent island vacation. Those essentials include a live band, tuxedo-clad bartenders shaking martinis in rhythm, and masseuses with folding tables and body oil at the ready.

    These are some of the supplies in "Supplies," a nicely epic new ad from BBH London (and director Tim Godsall) for deodorant Axe Anarchy. The particularly fun bit: The brand actually does have an island, and is running a Facebook sweepstakes to send seven British fans—and a guest for each—to a lush holiday in the Caribbean. The concept is strong: The agency smartly focuses on the anticipation of the journey, rather than the blur of the party itself, and the execution is mostly on point, and on brand. The model types in bikinis presumably could represent contest winners themselves, or their plus-ones. Either way, they check off a box on Axe's list of must-have visuals. And despite the brand's general shift to a position that includes products and messaging aimed at women, the sexy-pillow-fighting girls tip its hand. It's still focused mainly on resonating with hormone-addled young men.

    Some of the details are a little lackluster on follow-through. Ninjas are a cliché symbol for a type of "awesomeness" that feels too out-of-place—a hamfisted way for Axe to signal that it gets the random humor of kids these days (a little like a distant, middle-aged cousin tossing around lingo to impress a mortified teenage relation). Disco balls: also kind of obvious and not particularly compelling. The pizza-delivery guys, on the other hand, are a clever, counterintuitive tidbit. Pretty much anyone could admit to wanting them on call during a tropical getaway.

    As for the overabundance of the body spray itself … why not? It will wash right off in the water, anyway. 

    Client: Unilever, Axe/Lynx
    Agency: BBH, London
    BBH Creative Team: Wesley Hawes, Gary McCreadie, Dan Bailey and Brad Woolfe
    BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
    BBH Producer: Ryan Chong
    BBH Team Manager: Keral Petal
    BBH Team Director: Jen Omran
    BBH Strategy Director: Tim Jones

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Tim Godsall
    Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
    Producer: Rick Jarjoura
    DoP: Terrence Maritz
    Post Production: The Mill, London
    Editor/Editing House: White House, London
    Sound: Factory Studios
    Music Composition: Nylon Studios, NY

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    McCann Worldgroup, the American ad agency that shockingly won the ad account of the 2012 London Olympics in 2009, notoriously defeating Britain's WPP Group, led by Sir Martin Sorell, bids a fond (and fun) farewell to the Games with this full-page ad in today's Times and Daily Telegraph. McCann handled advertising, promotion, PR and digital communications in what is believed to have been the biggest marketing project in British history. Now, as the headline notes, they've lost a client. The body copy reads: "After four years dedicated to delivering a successful London 2012, our work here is done. It's an exciting moment, because we now have an Olympic-sized gap in our roster. We're hoping to fill it with brands that want to perform faster, higher, stronger. And with clients that don't wear quite so much Lycra."

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    Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the name of Ben & Jerry's new Facebook app "Wanna Spoon?" refers to sharing Greek frozen yogurt rather than engaging in a snuggly, utensil-inspired show of affection. Don't toy with my emotions like that, Amalgamated and Tool of North America! Those two created the app, which matches you up with one of your Facebook friends based on mutual likes and interests for a presumably platonic yogurt "spooning" session. That person receives a wall notice about the match, prompting him or her to click for a coupon. Wow, first we land a dune buggy on Mars, and now this! You don't know who the algorithm will recommend, or why. It could be someone you barely know, a fringe acquaintance or dimly remembered ex-co-worker. Which, when you think about it, probably describes 90 percent of a typical user's FB friends. That's all well and good, but I wanna spoon for real. With total strangers, if necessary. Why not? Now that the Olympics are over, I've got loads of time on my hands.

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    It seems confirmed without a doubt: Humans enjoy being told what to do by vending machines. Last month, we saw Australians literally bowing down before the almighty Fantastic Delites machine. Now, we see Leo Burnett in London created something similar for Kenco Millicano coffee, setting up a talking vending machine in Soho Square that cajoles, badgers and generally annoys passersby into doing physical chores in exchange for free coffee. The video, of course, shows people being intensely amused by "Kenneth," voiced by a comedian somewhere on site. ("Great coffee speaks for itself," says the line at the end.) Kenneth is less sadistic than the silent but insistent Fantastic Delites machine, and so his antics don't have quite the same social-experiment factor. These latest efforts follow Coca-Cola's well-known happiness-dispensing vending machines. It's hard to know which people prefer—machines that flatter them or abuse them. Perhaps a little of both.

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    Comedy Central began broadcasting in Latin America in February, and now it gets an epic introductory commercial from Wieden + Kennedy, São Paulo, and famed Super Bowl director Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man. It celebrates a little-known but apparently hotly contested sporting championship—the Siesta World Cup! These guys are pros, too—they can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and stay asleep, even on donkeyback. "The idea is simple: Make TV viewers laugh and remind them how good it feels to watch Comedy Central shows, which are 100 percent humor," said Guillermo Vega, W+K Sao Paulo's executive creative director. Buckley is more blunt. "I couldn't bring myself to watch a single Olympic event. And hell, I was in London when they were happening," he said. "That's how much shooting 'World Cup Siesta' messed with my mind. I kept saying to myself, What can possibly be more exciting than that?" Full credits after the jump.

    Client: Comedy Central
    Spot: "Siesta"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, São Paulo, Brazil
    Executive Creative Directors: Icaro Doria, Guillermo Vega
    Copywriter: Hernan Rebalderia
    Art Director: Santiago Dulce
    Agency Producer: Endy Hedman
    Creative Vice President, Comedy Central: Sean Saylor
    Creative Director, Comedy Central: Hernan Damilano
    Account Supervisor: Paula Obata
    Planner: Tiago Pereira
    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Bryan Buckley
    Director of Photography: Scott Henriksen
    Editor: Carlos Arias
    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Executive Producer: Dan Duffy
    Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Postproduction: The Mill
    Music: Beacon Street Studios
    Sound Design, Arrangement: Charlie Keating
    Locutor (Voiceover): Heard City

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    Talk about reinventing the wheels. Domino's, which has famously been updating the way it makes its pizzas, now wants to do the same for how it delivers them. Working with ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the company is partnering with auto manufacturer Local Motors and its online community of car designers to commission a design for the ultimate pizza-delivery vehicle. Anyone can submit a design at localmotors.com/dominos. There are several design competitions, including exterior, packaging, interior and surfacing. Domino's will shell out more than $50,000 in prizes for the best ideas. Seems like a great project for design enthusiasts. And don't just be a lazy fool and slap a logo on a Toyota Fun-Vii.

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    One of the nice things about perfume ads is that, since you can't smell online video (yet), nobody will mind if you decide that a given scent tickles the nostrils just like tiny, leather-clad people climbing across a statuesque woman's nude, reclining form, perhaps with grace notes of exploding welding goggles and a hint of leather hat.

    This, of course, is exactly what anything Lady Gaga branded is going to smell like, perhaps with a varying number of dog-collar spikes from bottle to bottle, but essentially undifferentiated.

    Ridley Scott produced this clip for Lady Gaga Fame. It was directed by photographer Steven Klein. And while it's a little too early to tell (this is merely a trailer of the full perfume advertisement, you understand), I will certainly be watching the full product, where G.I. Joe-sized bondage fetishists rappel off Gaga's nipples, or reenact the last 10 minutes of North by Northwest on her nose, or something.

    Oddly, the artist this thing recalls is not Scott, exactly, but painter and Alien production designer (and all-around weirdo) H.R. Giger, which is a refreshing change from the various David LaChapelle rip-offs larding the short-form video industry, although (as with the LaChapelle homages) it's been defanged and reformed as mild bondage rather than … whatever the hell Giger was doing.

    Of note: The DP on this clip, and hopefully the full video, is the estimable Jeff Cronenweth, David Fincher's cinematographer of choice since Fight Club (perhaps explaining the similarities between the imagery here and the awesome title sequence for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), and a tremendously gifted one, at that.

    At any rate, it's refreshing to see Gaga fronting the cash for gonzo experimental video projects. Cool stuff has come out of those, as evidenced by Chris Cunningham's amazing/disturbing Aphex Twin videos or Michel Gondry's filmography.

    Client: Lady Gaga Fame
    A Blackdog Films / RSA Production
    Director: Steven Klein
    Hair: Frederic Aspiras
    Makeup: Stephane Marais
    Styling: Brandon Maxwell
    Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth
    Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
    1st Ad: Peter Kohn
    Editor: Skip Chaisson
    Colorist: Dave Hussey
    Digital Production: Digital Domain
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Greg Teegarden
    Visual Effects Producer: Kait Boehm
    Sound Design: Leslie Shatz, Christopher Knight, Wildfire Studios
    Producer: Natalie Hill
    Executive Producers: Coleen Haynes, Jules Daly

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    Despite some brief yet fevered speculation a month ago, Mitt Romney did not choose Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. But that's OK, she got another gig—NFL fashion model. The former U.S. Secretary of State and lifelong Cleveland Browns fan is one of the stars of Grey's new print campaign for the NFL's women's apparel. She appears in her ad wearing a No. 16 Browns jersey, worn on the field by wide receiver Josh Cribbs. The tennis star Serena Williams, a partner in the Miami Dolphins organization, is one of the campaign's other big stars—she wears a funky Dolphins T-shirt in her ad. Check out that ad after the jump, along with a few more images and a full list of the women appearing in the campaign.

    The women featured in the print ads include:
    • Charlotte Anderson, Dallas Cowboys fan and Cowboys evp of brand management
    • Susie Castillo, New England Patriots fan and Miss USA 2003
    • Gracie Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs fan and daughter of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt
    • Tavia Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs fan and philanthropist, wife of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt
    • Kym Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers fan and professional dancer
    • Suzanne Johnson, New York Jets fan and philanthropist, wife of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson
    • D.J. Kiss, New Orleans Saints fan and prominent D.J.
    • Peta Murgatroyd, Green Bay Packers fan and professional dancer
    • Ary Nuñez, New York Giants fan and Nike Training Club master trainer
    • Marlena Ortiz, New York Giants fan and breast cancer survivor
    • Lakey Peterson, New York Jets fan and Nike professional surfer
    • Marie Purvis, Denver Broncos fan and Nike Training Club master trainer
    • Condoleezza Rice, Cleveland Browns fan, former U.S. Secretary of State and current faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • Summer Sanders, San Francisco 49ers fan and retired Olympic gold medalist in swimming
    • Eva Scrivo, Detroit Lions fan, hair and beauty expert, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty
    • Juliet Simms, Miami Dolphins fan and singer/songwriter
    • Brittanie and Tiffanie Snyder, Washington Redskins fans and daughters of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder
    • Tanya Snyder, Washington Redskins fan, breast cancer survivor, married to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder
    • Melissa Stark, NFL Network host from Baltimore
    • Melania Trump, New York Jets fan, entrepreneur and wife of Donald Trump
    • Serena Williams, Miami Dolphins limited partner and Nike professional tennis player

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    How, exactly, does one learn "slacklining"? The subject's not taught at my local adult-ed program (though microwave cookery sounds appealing). I imagine, at the very least, that you'd have to be able to walk in a straight line without falling flat on your face. So, I'm disqualified right there. Faith Dickey has no such problem. She's a world champion at the ridiculously dangerous "sport" and stars in this clip by Swedish ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors designed to tout the precision control of Volvo FH trucks. Dickey walks across a cord strung between a pair of said vehicles, in high winds, as the trucks speed toward separate tunnels. It's an exceptionally well-done piece of work, and yet I just can't get into it, perhaps because there's really not much suspense or tension in this particular high-wire act. C'mon, we all know she's going to accomplish the stunt safely, or Volvo wouldn't have posted the footage. Plus, it seems like a ludicrously overblown way to demonstrate the steady handling of the trucks (which would surely also depend on the skill of the drivers). The Interverse doesn't seem to share my view. Most write-ups have been glowing, and the clip has garnered nearly 400,000 YouTube views in a couple of days—so maybe I should just lighten up and cut Volvo some slack.

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    David Beckham is bigger than ever, in almost every way, now that Spellbound Media and Zenith Optimedia have unleashed giant silver statues of the footballer around three U.S. cities for H&M. Beckham's shiny crotch is now conveniently at face height, offering tourists plenty of possibilities for imaginative poses. Three statues have gone up outdoors in New York—one in front of the Apple Store at 58th Street and 5th Avenue; one near the Flatiron Building; and one at the South Street Seaport. Los Angeles and San Francisco are also getting a few. The fashion press is squealing with delight at the campaign, particularly the prospect of people "fake-cupping Beckham's balls." For the socially minded, there's an Instagram tie-in. Post a photo of yourself with one of the statues along with the hashtag #hmbeckham, and you could win a $1,000 H&M shopping spree, signed H&M underwear from Beckham himself, or a 12-inch version of the statue. There are also some new print ads, shot by Alasdair McLellan, posted after the jump. As for the artfulness of the figures, the pose is all 21st-century chest-first aggression—none of the contrapposto for which David statues are generally known. The outdoor figures will remain up through Sunday, though three more will preen through the end of the month inside H&M stores. More photos after the jump.


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