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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    WPP Group, like most rival holding companies, is perfectly willing to acquire a big digital player like AKQA. But with Possible, WPP’s roll up of smaller digital shops, the parent is taking a different Lego-like approach, building a global network brick by brick.

    Two years in, no one is ready to declare victory. But Possible, under CEO Shane Atchison, has taken small but significant steps in its bid to compete head-to-head with bigger, more established players like Publicis Groupe’s DigitasLBi.

    Today, Possible employs 1,200 staffers in 26 offices; they came from eight different shops, including Schematic, Bridge Worldwide and Zaaz. Atchison, the former CEO of Zaaz, also has installed new leadership—including a Digitas alum and some familiar Zaaz hands—at several key offices. Additionally, the shop recently added assignments from Revlon, Starwood’s Baccarat hotel and Gorilla Glue to a core base of accounts that includes Smuckers, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. (Possible also contributed to Grey’s winning pitch for P&G’s Gillette.)

    “We are already competing with the likes of a Digitas or R/GA,” said Atchison. “I’m not finding that more scale is the priority. It’s more capability.”

    Accordingly, Possible has added practices focused on marketing sciences, LinkedIn and content marketing, and across all its work, the company places a Zaaz-style focus on numbers-based insights.

    “We’re hiring analysts and creative directors who care about research and vice versa. We want researchers and marketing scientists and data jocks that love creative,” Atchison said.

    Possible’s emphasis on audience measurement and targeting puts it in line to compete with DigitasLBi, whose roots are in direct marketing and customer relationship management. Still, with 5,700 staffers in 40 offices, DigitasLBi is not only bigger but also more well-known, with longtime accounts such as American Express and General Motors. As such, Possible still feels like it’s punching above its weight.

    With some exceptions, WPP, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group tend to let the digital shops that they acquire or build stand on their own, unattached to traditional agencies. In contrast, Omnicom Group generally pairs digital brands with the likes of TBWA and BBDO, even while those shops develop their digital skills. Omnicom also isn’t fond of big digital acquisitions. And while Omnicom’s approach differs, its digital chief remains bullish on the strategy. “We’re the fastest growing holding company by a significant margin, and a huge portion of our business is digital,” said Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital. “So, what am I doing wrong?”

    Despite Atchison’s progress in ship building—and praise from even rivals—Possible doesn’t yet strike fear in the hearts of its competition. As an executive at a Publicis Groupe shop put it, “When we compete against [AKQA], we worry.” And Possible? “Not yet.”


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    I'm not sure which is more disturbing—the hirsute images that adorn the Beardvertising site from Kentucky ad agency Cornett-IMS, or creative Whit Hiler's use of the work "mancessory" to describe such facial hair. You might recall Hiler from past wacky ventures such as conquering Reddit with fake fliers (including a meetup to recreate scenes from Human Centipede—"Guys only") and crafting a tourism campaign that was presumably too "kick-ass" for the Bluegrass State. Here's his latest pitch: "Do you wanna get paid for having an epic beard? Of course you do. Join the world's first Beardvertising network. Get paid. It's simple—turn your beard into a business. Just like Duck Dynasty. Hang a BeardBoard (Patent Pending) in your beard. Sit back and get paid up to $5 per day." So far, A&W Restaurants and Eagle One Automotive have slapped their messages on Beardvertising mini-billboard clips. Maybe Schick, Gillette, Old Spice and DollarShaveClub.com should join in to cut through the clutter and carve out some unique ad space.


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    Just when you thought you ran out of ways to mess with Sasquatch, someone comes along with lipstick and press-on nails. And as you'd guess, Sasquatch does not care for his glam makeover. In the ongoing saga for Jack Link's beef jerky, the hirsute man-beast gets punked yet again—three times, in fact, in new TV spots from longtime agency Carmichael Lynch. He's just come out of hibernation, so his backstory goes, and roams too close to civilization, where he's an easy target for public humiliation. He gets "beautified," doused with slop and hosed. Who could resist? Retaliation, which has become a hallmark and creative flourish of these ads, ensues. Those folks will never learn. More spots and credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Jack Link's
    Agency: Carmichael Lynch
    Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
    Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Brad Harrison
    Senior Copywriters: Tim Blevins and William Bloomfield
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Grundhoefer
    Senior Content Producer: Freddie Richards
    Content Producer: Tara Mulholland
    Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs
    Director of Account Management: Andrew Dauska
    Account Director: Holly Wheeler  
    Account Manager: Sofya Guterman
    Account Leader: Andrew Pautz
    Senior Project Manager: Elizabeth Charron                                            

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Rocky Morton
    Senior Executive Producer: Scott Howard
    Producer: Donald Taylor         
    Director of Photography: Mattias Rudh

    Editing House: HutchCo Technologies
    Editor: Jim Hutchins
    Asst. Editor: Joaquin Machado
    Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins

    Post Production/Special Effects: Rabbit Content
    Creative Director: Nick Losq
    Executive Producer: Joby Barnhart
    Producer: Lloyd Dsouza
    Music House: Black Iris

    Sound Design: Francois Blaignan and Joel Waters

    Audio Mix: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Joel Waters
    Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

    Client: Playboy
    Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris
    Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Hervé
    Copywriter: Alexis Benoit
    Art Director: Paul Kreitmann
    Production company: Les Télécréateurs
    Director: The Perlorian Brothers
    Account Director: Xavier Mendiola
    Planner: Fabien Leroux
    Sound: THE
    Client Team Director: Jurgen Scharfenstein
    Agency Producer: Emilie TALPAERT
    Agency Producer: Sophie Megrous
    Account team: Julie Garguillo
    Account team: Timothee Desruelles


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    Are the guys from Lonely Island trying to say that marriage and kids are shortcuts to the grave? They sure don't seem too happy to be "grown-ass"  men, maybe because they're starving for sex, wiping baby bums and visiting their own funeral plots in "Diaper Money," posted below. The video, released as part of YouTube's Comedy Week, also promotes the trio's latest musical effort, The Wack Album, due June 11. Look for more promos in the coming weeks.

    Video is NSFW (language).


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  • 05/21/13--10:46: Ad of the Day: Nike
  • The consensus around these parts over the years has been that Roger Federer is a singularly awkward brand spokesman. But that's not entirely fair.

    All you have to do to make a successful Federer spot is make it as pleasantly goofy as he is, limit his speaking lines to approximately zero, and find a costar who won't overshadow him.

    You can tick off all three boxes with this new spot from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., for the Nike Free sneaker. The ad shows the 31-year-old, 17-time Grand Slam singles winner locked in one of the more brutal showdowns of his storied career—as he tries to swat a pesky fly in his lovely, spacious Swiss home.

    The shoe is apparently uniquely flexible, and so is the commercial, directed by Furlined's Adam Hashemi. Its 45 seconds give it room to breathe, allowing both the faux-suspense and the comedy to build (the shot from outside the home, with Federer poking the broom at the ceiling, is a particularly strong one). It also gives the sneakers some decent airtime as well.

    The problem is not that Federer isn't charming—he is. It's that most commercials call for him for actually attempt acting, which is a disaster waiting to happen. Instead, this spot plays to his strengths—giving him a few hero shots, an uncomplicated plot he can tackle lightheartedly, and a chance to show off his athleticism. In those things, he remains undiminished, even in the twilight of his career.

    The ad is part of a larger campaign that also included the earlier spots "Cat Flap" featuring Gabby Douglass and "Toy Claw" featuring Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix. See those ads below as well.

    CREDITS
    Client: Nike

    —Spot: "Running Free/Fly Swatter"

    Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
    Copywriter: Jeff Salomonsson
    Art Director: Sara Philips
    Producer: Chris Capretto
    Executive Agency Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
    Account Team: Catherine Wolpe, Vanessa Miller
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, Joe Staples

    PRODUCTION
    Production Company: Furlined
    Director: Adam Hashemi
    President: Diane McArter
    Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins
    Line Producer: Ben Mann
    Director of Photography: Toby Irwin

    EDITORIAL
    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Assistant Editor: Nate Gross
    Post Producer: Toby Louie
    Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

    VFX
    VFX Company: The Mill
    Lead 3D Artist: Michael Panov
    Lead 2D Artist: Daniel Thuresson
    Smoke Artist: Scott Johnson
    Exeutive Producer: Sue Troyan
    VFX Producer: Christina Thompson

    COLOR
    Color Company: Company 3
    Colorist: Sofie Borup

    MUSIC + SOUND DESIGN
    Music+Sound Company: Trinitite Inc
    Written by: Mozart
    Sound Designer: Brian Emrich
    Song: Requiem in D Minor perf by Leipziger, Schreier, Dresden
     
    AUDIO
    Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Rohan Young
    Assistant Mixer: Jeff Malen
    Producer: Jessica Locke

    —Spots: "Cat Flap," "Toy Claw"

    Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
    Copywriters: Jeff Salomonsson (Cat Flap, Toy Claw), Dylan Lee (Toy Claw only)
    Art Director: Sara Phillips
    Senior Producer: Jennie Lindstrom
    Associate Producer: Kirsten Acheson
    Account Team: Catherine Wolpe, Vanessa Miller
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman
    Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt

    PRODUCTION
    Production Company: Furlined
    Director: Adam Hashemi
    President: Diane McArter
    Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins
    Line Producer: Pete Vitale (Toy Claw, Cat Flap)
    Director of Photography: Toby Irwin

    EDITORIAL
    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Kirk Baxter
    Asst. Editor: Nate Gross
    Post Producer: Toby Louie
    Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

    COLOR/TELECINE
    Company: CO3
    Colorist: Sofie Borup

    VFX
    VFX Company: The Mill
    Creative Director: Phil Crowe
    Lead Flame: Sarah Elm
    2D VFX Artists: Remedy Huynh / Patrick Munoz / Drew Huntley / Elad Offer
    VFX Producer: Christina Thompson
    VFX Production Coordinator: Samantha Axelrod

    MUSIC
    Music Company: Search Party (Toy Claw only)
    Composer: Jesse Novak
    Music Producer: Sara Matarazzo

    SOUND DESIGN
    Sound Design Company: Trinitite Inc (Toy Claw + Cat Flap)
    Sound Designer: Brian Emrich (Toy Claw + Cat Flap)

    MIX
    Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Rohan Young
    Asst. Mixer: Jeff Malen
    Producer: Jessica Locke


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    This new ad for Samsung televisions is precipitating foul rumblings across the cyberverse for depicting men as gassy, unkempt, couch-bound louts. Sounds like truth in advertising to me. Especially the flatulence. The spot touts the Evolution Kit, which turns any Samsung television into a smart TV. A young wife saddled with a sorry spouse decides he needs a similar upgrade, and plugs the kits into his back. Suddenly the dude's cooking, cleaning and styling her hair with a vacuum. (Don't try that last one at home! But if you do, let me know how it works out.) The complaints generally follow this example from Reddit: "I find this advert quite sexist. The idea of an 'evolved man' is basically making him the stereotype of a woman. This isn't evolution rather than devolution. If this advert had the women being attached to some machine to make her better equipped to clean/cook/look after children/make her loving to her spouse/partner, there would be an outcry from feminists about equality." Sure, Samsung squeezed out some questionable material. But the clip is nearing 10 million YouTube views in just a week, and generating gobs of attention for the product, so I'd hardly call it a total stinker. Agency: To be determined; CHI & Partners, global agency for Samsung TVs, says it wasn't them.


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    The Puma Dance Dictionary, created by Grey London to push the brand's new Sync fragrances (yes, Puma makes fragrances), allows users to select words and phrases which are then translated into dance moves by freestyle performers. These "moving" messages can be shared via social media or emailed to friends. You start with various templates and then shift a few words in and out to create sentences. The pre-set "I love women with heart," for example, can be changed to "I love women with popcorn." Or "I love guys with muscles." Or even "I love women with nuts," if you're into that. Manipulating other templates yields sentiments like "Money makes me want to get naked," "Hey bro, your face is crazy" and "Will you stroke my girlfriend?" This can be amusing, but not very, as the vocabulary is too limited. I understand the dancers could interpret only so many words, and Puma naturally wants to avoid potential hate speech or outright vulgarity. But the enterprise seems hamstrung by a lack of true interaction. The dancing on display is self-consciously goofy: "Women" is signified by hip wiggles and boob gestures, and "nuts" is communicated by pointing to one's head with accompanying eye rolls. Plus, the brand message is ill defined. Maybe Puma should've sat this one out.


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    Here is Geico's latest commercial from The Martin Agency. Uploaded on hump day, it's all about hump day. And it stars a certain mammal that hails from the Middle East and Africa. You can see where this is going. Part of the insurance company's ongoing "Happier Than" campaign. Silliness at its best. Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Geico

    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
    Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
    Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett
    Creative Director: Wade Alger
    Creative Director/Art Director: Sean Riley
    Senior Copywriter: Ken Marcus
    Agency Executive Broadcast Producer: Molly Souter
    Agency Producer: Samantha Tucker
    Agency Junior Producer: Emily Taylor
    Strategic Planner: Melissa Cabral
    Group Account Director: Chris Mumford
    Account Director: Liz Toms
    Account Supervisor Parker Collins
    Account Coordinator: Carter Crenshaw
    Project Manager: Susan Karns

    Group Talent Director: Suzanne Wieringo
    Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz

    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Wayne McClammy
    Director of Photography: Tim Ives
    Executive Producer/ Managing Partner: Kevin Byrne
    Producer: Nate Young
    Production Supervisor: Steve Ruggieri

    Editorial Company: Makenzie Cutler
    Editor: Ian MacKenzie
    Editor: Dave Koza
    Assistant Editor: Carmen Hu
    Editorial Producer: Evan Meeker
    Director of Operations: Biz Lunskey

    VFX: The Mill
    Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
    Producer: Colin Blaney
    Shoot Supervisor: Tony Robins
    2D Lead Artist: Randy McEntee
    2D Artists: Tony Robins, Paul Downes, Jamin Clutcher
    Art Support: Rob Meade
    3D Lead Artist: Kevin Ives
    3D Artists: Billy Dangyoon Jang, Olivier Varteressian, Laurent Giaume, Justin Diamond, Sean Dooley, Joshua Merck, Hassan Taimur, Wyatt Savarese, Samuel Crees, Ross Scroble

    Audio Post Company/Sound Design: Rainmaker Studios
    Engineer: Jeff McManus
    Music: "Happier Than" theme song by Adam Schlesinger

    Principal Actors in spot: Musical Duo in all spots:
    "Ronny" - Alex Harvey
    "Jimmy" - Timothy Cole

    "Hump Day"
    "Mike" - Michael Clark
    "Julie" - Lindsay Stoddart
    "Leslie" - Leslie Tsina
    "Camel VO" - Chris Sulivan
    Voiceover talent: Andrew Anthony – Announcer VO


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    Illinois and Wisconsin are currently overrun with pregnant teenage boys, thanks to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Man, that's fun to say. The CDPH's Office of Adolescent and School Health has rolled out a new teen-pregnancy prevention campaign that features pictures of pregnant teenage boys, and the accompanying text reads "Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are." The intended impact is twofold. Along with the initial shock of seeing a pregnant boy, the ads hope to communicate that pregnancy prevention isn't just the girl's responsibility. They're risky images to run with, but I'm glad that the CDPH didn't try to make a joke out of it. If Junior taught us anything, it's that male pregnancy is no laughing matter. More images below.


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    One of the better Playboy ads of recent years was last year's "Elevator" spot from DDB Paris and directors The Perlorian Brothers. Here are two more ads done in the same style. The earlier spot sold shower gel for men; these are for Playboy's VIP fragrances for men and women. Playboy is at its best when it's not taking itself too seriously. That's (mostly) true here, plus there's the added bonus of a nice structure that keeps things lively. Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Playboy Fragrances
    Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris
    Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Hervé
    Copywriter: Alexis Benoit
    Art Director: Paul Kreitmann
    Production company: Les Télécréateurs
    Director: The Perlorian Brothers
    Account Director: Xavier Mendiola
    Planner: Fabien Leroux
    Sound: THE
    Client Team Director: Jurgen Scharfenstein
    Agency Producer: Emilie TALPAERT
    Agency Producer: Sophie Megrous
    Account team: Julie Garguillo
    Account team: Timothee Desruelles


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    Droga5 and publisher Hachette Australia recently bestowed upon Qantas frequent fliers an anachronistic little gift that will come in handy aboard Qantas flights when approved electronic devices must be completely turned off.

    The agency's Sydney office packaged together a 10-book box set of previously published paperbacks "specifically edited to last just as long as each of Qantas's key routes." It's a fun idea, and Droga is playing the nostalgia factor to the hilt. "In this world of Kindles and iPads, it seems that the last bastion of the humble paperback novel is actually at 40,000 feet," says David Nobay, creative chairman of Droga5 Sydney. "You only need to look at the bulging shelves at any airport bookstore. Maybe it's the fact that everything seems so far removed from the real world up there."

    All 10 books are by Australian authors: James Castrission, Tony Cavanaugh, Sean Fewster, Kimberley Freeman, Lian Hearn, William McInnes, Peter FitzSimons, Jack Marx, Rob Mundle and Roland Perry. The collection spans adventure, crime, women's fiction, literary, history and romance. The books are meant to correspond to the lengths of 10 popular Qantas flights (Sydney to Dubai, Melbourne to London, Perth to Singapore, etc.), with meals and other breaks factored in. Designer Paul Belford created a unique cover for each book.

    "One of the greatest challenges in publishing is to remind people of the pleasure that reading brings, and that even though the online world is growing, there is still a romance in the printed page," says Fiona Hazard, publishing director of Hachette Australia. "At Hachette, we are always looking for new ways to bring stories and voices to life, so when Droga5 approached us to discuss this idea we jumped straight in. It's been great fun working with them to get this project off the ground."


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  • 05/22/13--10:53: Ad of the Day: DirecTV
  • Dude, watch the road!

    You know how in old movies the moving road will be rear-projected on a canvas over the hero's shoulder, and he'll just be blithely chatting away to whoever's in the passenger seat? This is like that times a thousand.

    Granted, on a third viewing I realized that the guy was supposed to be in the backseat, but a) how often do adult men find themselves in the backseat of a sedan? and b) the establishing shot through the windshield threw me off. That said, the sci-fi/war-movie/fantasy stuff our hero sees through the window is all beautifully designed and shot, especially the dragon and the flying saucer hovering over the car.

    DirecTV has really decided to go all-out with its advertising lately, and it's been doing an excellent job with it. The "Parecidos" ad from last year is one of the funniest/weirdest spots I can remember watching, and while the concept is a little less spot-on here, the execution and production design are very good indeed.

    A question: Where are they driving? I mean, I feel like if you can get from the 1940s to the future on one highway, somebody should at least make a note of where the road is, so that selected scientists and humanitarians can hang out with the inventors of the spaceship and maybe do a few tests on that dragon. Also: Best road-trip vacation ever.

    This spot, from Grey, New York, and MJZ director Rupert Sanders, is a departure from the humor that another MJZ director, Tom Kuntz, brought to other recent DirecTV ads—the one with Charlie Sheen, etc. With new strides in technology like DLNA rolling out across the tech world, it may actually be time for the company to point up specific features to make it clear that it really does provide an interesting and useful service.

    While this may be less memorable than the company's variations on the Law of Unintended Consequences, it's also a much more effective description of the product's advantages.

    CREDITS
    Client: DirecTV
    Spot: "Road Trip"

    Agency: Grey, New York
    President, Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Executive Creative Directors: Todd Tilford, Perry Fair
    Senior Vice President, Creative Director, Art Director: Denise O'Bleness
    Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich
    Associate Producer: Lindsay Myers
    Vice Presidents, Account Directors: Tamar Arslanian, Beth Culley

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Rupert Sanders
    Director of Phortography: Greig Fraser
    Producer: Laurie Boccaccio

    Editorial Company: Work, Spotwelders
    Editor: Neil Smith

    Visual Effects: MPC
    Managing Director: Andrew Bell
    Visual Effects Supervisors: Franck Lambertz, Mike Wynd
    Visual Effects Team: Ben Persons, Brendan Smith, Sharon Marcussen, Brinton Jaecks, Ryan Knowles, Mike Wynd, Ross Denner, Daniel Marsh, Fred Durand, Ian Wilson, Danny Wynne, John Cherniack

    Telecine Company: MPC
    Colorist: Mark Gethin


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    Specs
    Who (l. to r.) Tripp Westbrook, partner, executive creative director; Steve Smith, partner, planning insights; Mark Hall, president, founder; Doug Miller, partner, finance and options
    What Advertising agency
    Where Dallas offices

    Farmers markets have always held snob appeal for urban foodies seeking organic produce. To promote the Dallas Farmers Market, Firehouse puts out a different message: Lower-income shoppers looking for the cheapest option can buy their healthiest ones now that their local farmers market takes public assistance benefits. The campaign also encourages local farmers to participate. Firehouse started in 1997 when Richards Group vet Mark Hall landed assignments from Nokia and Dr Pepper. Hall has since added talent like GSD&M’s Tripp Westbrook, whose father Bill is the former CCO at Fallon.


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    French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is preparing to play against a robot. Surprisingly, it's not Roger Federer, renowned for his robotically stiff commercial acting and machine-like winning ways (including those 17 Grand Slam singles titles). Today at 11 a.m. ET, at a practice session for the French Open, Tsonga will take on an actual automaton, which will try to hit shots past the world's eighth-ranked player based on tweets supplied by fans as part of a promotion for banking giant BNP Paribas (and agency We Are Social).

    Fans visiting the Tweet & Shoot site can log in with Twitter and drag and drop tennis-ball icons to set up virtual shots, which are then encoded as hashtagged tweets which the on-court bionic Borg will decipher—and then spit out a real ball for Tsonga to hit. Users are also encouraged to include messages of encouragement to Jo-Wilfried, who has never won a Grand Slam event. Forty fans chosen by BNP's social communities are guaranteed to have their shots included at Tsonga's session with the robot. The rest will be picked at random from among the tweets. Folks with no lives whatsoever can check out Tweet & Shoot's streaming coverage of the event at the link above. Maybe the bot will blow a fuse, leap over the net and swat Tsonga like a fly.


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    Kmart's "Ship My Pants" ad was a major success, to the tune of 17 million YouTube views and counting. But can Draftfcb turn almost-profanity into a running gag for the retailer? It attempts to do so with this follow-up spot, "Big Gas Savings," which features some big-gas humor indeed. It even features the same family from "Ship My Pants," and once again the kid gets the best line. (In the earlier spot, he blurted out, "I can't wait to ship my pants, Dad." Here, he shouts, "Dad, look at that big gas truck!") It's not quite as funny as the original, perhaps, but it seems destined to get similarly big-gas numbers on YouTube. And if nothing else, the #biggassavings hashtag clinches it. Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Kmart
    Chief Marketing Officer: Andrew Stein
    Vice President, Creative: Mark Andeer

    Agency: Draftfcb
    Chief Creative Officer: Todd Tilford
    Executive Creative Director: Jon Flannery
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Berk Wasserman
    Creative Director: Todd Durston
    Group Executive Producer, Agency Producer: Chris Bing

    Production Company: Bob Industries
    Executive Producers: T.K. Knowles, John O'Grady, Chuck Ryant
    Producer: Brian Etting
    Director: Zach Math


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    This Chevy Volt ad, titled "Silent Anthem," is an extended version of the Volt footage we saw in the "Find New Roads" launch spot in February. Visually, it's interesting, although it's as much an ad for wind farms and iPads and robot dogs as it is for the Volt. The deer/dog moment at the end is pretty barfy, too, but at least this campaign reaches for something beyond the norm. The Volt bookended the launch spot, which made it feel like the focus of it. But the other vehicles in it have been getting their own individual :60s as well. Check out three of those after the jump.


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    Lego has unveiled a life-size Star Wars X-Wing fighter jet made entirely of Legos in Times Square. It promotes an upcoming Cartoon Network show called The Yoda Chronicles. You can also see a life-size Lego Chewy, Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO and Boba Fett in the promo for the show. But the X-Wing has the distinction of being the largest Lego structure built to date. At 11 feet tall, 43 feet long, 44 feet wide and almost 46,000 pounds, it's made of 5,335,200 individual Lego bricks. It took 32 people four months just to put it together. And you can climb into the cockpit for a photo. Which means all you Star Wars and Lego fans must make a pilgrimage to this, the largest and most awesome Lego thing ever made, and get a picture of your child sitting in the cockpit shouting "Pew! Pew!" See lots more photos at Gizmodo.


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    Here's a clever little gimmick. Australia's Cascade Brewery recently made a limited-edition batch of beer with special "experimental" hops from a secret garden in Tasmania's Derwent Valley. There was only enough for 5,000 cases, and so the brewer—with help from Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne—made an ad for it that can only be watched 5,000 times. Check it out below. The special embed code (which can take some time to load) includes a ticker that's counting down to zero. "Whether you caught the film in time or not, make sure you don't miss the beer," the brewer says on its website. Come on, people, we can make this thing obsolete within the hour if we put our minds to it. Via The Denver Egotist.

    UPDATE: Video has been having trouble loading—either that or it hit 5,000 and ran.


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  • 05/23/13--12:30: Ad of the Day: VisitEngland
  • Everyone's favorite British Claymation characters are famously fond of taking trips to far-flung places.

    In their first Oscar-nominated short, Wallace (a known Wensleydale enthusiast) and Gromit spend a bank holiday traveling to the moon in search of cheese. Now, the duo are staying quite a bit closer to home in a new tourism ad for the VisitEngland campaign.

    Once again in the "holiday mood," Wallace proposes that he and Gromit take a vacation by shooting themselves to Timbuktu (or perhaps even farther than that) in a rocket—despite Gromit's sensible suggestion that they stay closer to home and follow the suggestions in a U.K. travel magazine. After packing a few essentials (parachute, trusted travel companion, bestselling book Fifty Shades of Greyhound), Wallace jumps into his latest invention … and accidentally launches himself and his dog straight into the roof of their home.

    Wallace finally takes note of Gromit's magazine (always so silly, that Wallace!), and the pair set off in their trusty motorbike to explore all that the U.K. has to offer.

    "I never knew there was so much to do!" Wallace exclaims. And judging from the resulting travel photos—dancing at Stonehenge, hunting the Loch Ness Monster, backpacking in Wales, catching a production of Cats—there really are a surprising number of activities to be found in a country roughly the size of Michigan.

    Presumably, there was also some pretty good cheese.

    CREDITS
    Client: VisitEngland
    Agency: 4VE, London
    Production Company: Aardman Animations
    Director: Merlin Crossingham
    Creative Director/Art Director: Gary Marjoram
    Creative Director/Copywriter: James Maclean
    Agency Producer: Jane Edwards
    Aardman Producer: Helen Argo
    Account Director: Britt Sarony
    Project Manager: Ailsa Wakley


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    The ubiquitous Twitter hashtag #FML (there have been 37,000 #FML-tagged tweets in the past seven days alone) is generally understood to be short for an obscene phrase uttered when things are at their bleakest. But now, Jell-O is here to help. The Kraft Foods brand and agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky are trying to hijack #FML and make it stand for "Fun My Life" (rather than doing something else to your life). Between now and June 14, everyone who tweets the #FML hashtag is entered into a pool, from which a certain number will win "Fun My Life" prize packs "specially created to get their life back on track." You can follow along at jelloFML.com, which also shows how the brand is tweeting at #FML-ers.


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