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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Chrissy Teigen, whom you may remember from her Sports Illustrated and Maxim appearances, was surprised by a Skittles waterfall during a recent photo shoot that was actually an ad stunt by Olson. It's generally a faux pas to dump candy all over someone without telling them first, but Chrissy took it in stride. She may have even welcomed it as a break from what was essentially the same retro pin-up photo shoot (with the same retro one-piece) that every other twentysomething girl in the country has been doing recently. "Surprise the Rainbow" is still a potentially dangerous piece of advice, though.

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    Stealing cardboard cutouts of the David Hasselhoff from Cumberland Farms is all fun and games until someone gets seriously hurt.

    It began innocuously enough last summer, when some 550 cutouts of the Hoff were stolen from the convenience store's locations in New England and Florida. At the time, a brand strategist for the chain brushed off the thefts, saying the company didn't encourage it but was nonetheless "flattered by the attention." The chain will be less flattered by an incident on Tuesday, however, in which a Cumberland Farms clerk in Shelton, Conn., was critically injured trying to prevent the theft of a Hoff cutout from the latest campaign.

    According to a statement from the local police:"The initial investigation revealed that a black SUV pulled into the lot of Cumberland Farms. The victim later observed a white male get out of the vehicle and cut two 'David Hasseloff' [sic] advertisement signs off of a light pole. The male then put the signs in the back of the vehicle. The victim approached the vehicle in an attempt to get the signs back. The vehicle then sped away and the victim was dragged and then he spun around and flipped backwards landing on his head."

    The victim, who has not been identified, is listed in critical condition at an area hospital. Meanwhile, a 19-year-old who is suspected to have been the driver has come forward and is cooperating with police.

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    Barry Sanders has always been good at the vanishing act. He did it most famously in 1999 by retiring from the NFL at age 30, when he was just 1,457 yards short of the league rushing record. He does it again, comically, in this new Pepsi MAX ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles and director Matt Dilmore. In the ad, Sanders, getting a shave at a barber shop, is about to reveal the real reason he retired—but suddenly he goes up in a puff of smoke, and reappears in the living room of some gamer who has "unlocked" him while playing Madden NFL 25, thanks to a code on a Pepsi MAX cap.

    Sanders' involvement with Madden NFL 25 goes beyond the new ad. Though he's been retired for almost 15 years, the 45-year-old was recently voted by fans to be the cover athlete of the game's latest edition. "Being on the cover of Madden introduces you to so many new fans that never saw you play," he said recently. "It's been a thrill for me, and I just never saw it coming."

    Credits below.

    Client: Pepsi MAX
    Spot: "Disappearing Sanders"

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    President: Carisa Bianchi
    Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Zach Hilder
    Creative Director, Art Director: William Esparza
    Copywriters: Anne Sanguinetti, Kathleen Sweeny
    Art Directors: Kristina Krkljus, Jenn Tranbarger
    Group Account Director: Grace Kao
    Management Supervisor: James Aardahl
    Account Executives: Erik Wade, Rohit Bal
    Planning Director: Neil Barrie
    Planner: Drew Phillips
    Executive Producer, Producer: Anh-Thu Le
    Associate Producer: Stephanie Dziczek
    Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
    Senior Business Affairs Manager: Laura Drabkin
    Talent Payment Manager: Maryam Ohebsion
    Broadcast Traffic Coordinator: Eugene Gandia

    Production Company: Epoch Films
    Director: Matt Dilmore
    Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan
    Head of Production: Megan Murphee
    Line Producer: Geoff Clough

    Editing: Cut + Run
    Editor: Graham Turner
    Assistant Editor: Russell August Anderson
    Executive Producer: Michelle Eskin
    Senior Producer: Christie Price

    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Flame Artist: Trent Shumway
    Executive Producer: Kati Haberstock
    Producer: Mary Nockles

    Telecine: MPC
    Colorist: Ricky Gausis

    Mix: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Loren Silber

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    Dozens of women are featured in the captivating, Regina Spektor-driven opening credits for Netflix's Orange Is the New Black—but none of them are in the show itself. As Fast Company's Co.Design blog reports, showrunner Jenji Kohan wanted the title sequence to suggest that the show—about women incarcerated in a minimum security prison—would tell many stories, not just that of the main character, Piper. So, Venice, Calif., design company Thomas Cobb Group settled on a solution—it photographed real women who had been in prison in close-ups that would shield their identities while also feeling immediate and intimate.

    Michael Trim photographed nine women in New York, while Thomas Cobb photographed 52 women in Los Angeles. TCG executive producer Gary Bryman explains: "Thomas directed each woman to visualize in their mind three emotive thoughts: Think of a peaceful place, think of a person who makes you laugh, and think of something that you want to forget. He apologized ahead of time for the last question but found it was incredibly effective in evoking a wide range of unfortunate memories. … Thomas found this really interesting sweet spot of cropped compositions that would not necessarily reveal who the person was, but at the same time provide a portal into their soul through their eyes."

    Piper Kerman, who wrote the memoir on which the show is based, is the blue-eyed woman who blinks at the 1:02 mark. Check out the rest of the story at Co.Design.

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    Kids, try this at home! Run a marathon! Punch a professional MMA fighter! Humiliate the local street-basketball star! Ride an electric bull in the back of a moving pickup truck! Tell them Nike told you to do so!

    For the 25th anniversary of its "Just do it" slogan (memo: you're old), the sportswear company and ad agency Wieden + Kennedy are trying something new, or rather, old: "Just do it" for very broad values of "it." This is a good spot, with the dueling narrators, seamless transitions and some impressive sets—rarely has a 90-second commercial looked so freakishly expensive.

    The dance party, the marathon, the blacktop, the table-tennis room and the football game all have a surprisingly large number of extras involved, and then there's the use of actual sports stars to put the cherry on the whole thing. It's a massive undertaking by W+K, and director Nicolai Fuglsig manages to keep the whole thing fluid not merely by having the lead actors dress the same way from fantasy to fantasy, but by editing the shots together so that they switch over in the middle of a pan. It's impressive.

    Bradley Cooper is adequately wry with his voiceover. And good choice of music, too: "Future Starts Slow" off Blood Pressures by The Kills.

    Overall, it's a good, anthemic lead spot for the campaign, with branding that drives the viewer back to the slogan without slapping him or her in the face with it for a minute and a half. And it successfully suggests you can move beyond what you thought were your physical limits, even if you have but a fraction of the talent of a Piqué, Williams or James. (Also, look for the cameo by Chris Pine.) Moving beyond the TV spot, viewers can also explore their own "Possibilities" through activations including Nike+ Running and NikeFuel challenges.

    One quibble: The rhino-riding shot is supposed to be cool, but it just makes me sad.

    Client: Nike
    Spot: "Possibilities"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
    Agency Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
    Copywriter: Edward Harrison
    Art Director: Sezay Altinok
    Agency Producer: Anna Smith
    Agency Associate Producer: Kirsten Acheson
    Account Supervisor: Vanessa Miller
    Account Director: Karrelle Dixon
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman
    Business Affairs Manager: Amber Lavender

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Producer: Suza Horvat
    Director of Photography: Greig Fraser
    First Assistant Directorts: Cliff Lanning, John Lowe, Todd Thompson
    Production Designers: Jeremy Hindle, Peter Andrus
    Wardrobe Stylists: Keith Wager, Charlotte Chadwick
    Location Manager: Dave Doumeng
    Production Supervisor: Evan Wilson
    Sports Coordinators: Mike Fisher, Darren Tyson White
    Spain Production Company: Widescope Productions
    Service Executive Producer: Iñaki Villarias
    Service Line Producer: Karim El Masri

    Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Angus Wall
    Post Producer: Toby Louie
    Post Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
    Assistant Editor: Austyn Daines

    Visual Effects Company: A52
    Visual Effects Executive Producers: Megan Meloth, Jennifer Sofio Hall
    Visual Effects Producer: Scott Boyajan
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Andy McKenna
    Computer Graphics Supervisor: Kirk Shintani
    Massive Pipeline Technical Director: Chris Janney
    Color, Lighting Lead: Ian Ruhfass
    Flame Artists: Andy Barrios, Hugh Seville, Paul Heagney, Steve Wolff, Cameron Coombs, David Parker
    Computer Graphics Artists: Adam Carter, Caleb Hecht, Tom Connors, Tim Donlevy, Vivian Su, Joe Chiechi, Wendy Pham, Cody Woodard, Joe Panliagua, Michael Lori, Adam Newman, Andrew Romatz, Shelby Strong

    Music: "Future Starts Slow" by The Kills
    Sound Design: Barking Owl

    Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Mixers: Rohan Young, Loren Silber
    Producer: Jessica Locke
    Voiceover: Bradley Cooper

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    Microsoft's new back-to-school ad for Windows 8 tablets—here, the Lenovo Yoga in particular—is being touted, at least by CNET, as another huge diss against the iPad. It is, of course, but it's not as harsh as all that. The Yoga's ability to multitask is mostly compared to less impressive classroom behaviors, like fumbling around for a pen as the professor reads aloud from Keats's "The Second Coming," which he wouldn't do in real life. Sure, a lot of the ill-prepared students are using iPads, but the tone is more "The Yoga is great" than "Apple products are crap." Which is good, because it's hard for me to take a product named Yoga (that isn't actually yoga) seriously. How much more white and middle class could that name be? Will we be seeing ads for the Lenovo Mumford & Sons next fall?

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    Who Front, l.-r.: partners Rebecca Matovic, Kate Rothen; chief creative officer and partner Bobby Hershfield. Rear, l.-r.: founding partners Rob Shepardson, Lenny Stern, Mark Kaminsky; partner and president Bradley Kay
    What Marketing and communications agency
    Where New York offices

    SS+K’s founders first made a name for themselves as political consultants in the ‘80s, working on campaigns like Walter Mondale’s presidential bid. They’ve since applied political tactics to marketing brands such as Kraft’s MiO, Allstate and Pfizer, while keeping a hand in politics, via youth vote campaigns for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. SS+K‘s president, Bradley Kay, and chief creative officer, Bobby Hershfield, are ad veterans of Draftfcb and Mother, respectively. There’s also a touch of Hollywood in the 20-year-old firm, as talent giant Creative Arts Agency holds a minority stake. 

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    The city of Toronto is offering prizes as part of its "What the Fact?" campaign promoting local museums and historic sites to young people. Unfortunately, those prizes are passes to the museums and sites in question, which should squash any interest among the target audience. Kidding, of course. But my snarky intro illustrates a very real problem facing the client: How do you market museums to a fickle audience that basically lives online?

    Its answer is a campaign in 100 area bus shelters and online, headlined by the slogan "WTF?" in bold letters. The ads show historic artworks, soldiers' uniforms and other exhibits, and invite people to go to Facebook and guess what each item might be. Correct guesses get you free passes, which will be awarded once the campaign ends on Sept. 10, when the artifacts' identities will also be revealed.

    "We wanted to find a way we could reach out to the general public and ideally a younger audience," museum services program designer Ilena Aldini-Messina tells the Toronto Star."We find that social media is a great way to reach out to that audience."

    Kudos for embracing interactivity, and for the quasi-questionable "WTF?" headline, which has predictably ruffled some feathers in the Great White North and generated free publicity for the cause. According to Inside Toronto, the campaign has already been shared or commented on 1,200 times—though I'm not convinced that will translate into more young people patronizing local museums and historic sites in the long run. The youthful target audience probably plans to sell the tickets to get cash for beer and earbuds.

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    Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore stars as a well-endowed yoga hunk in this decidedly unique Benefit Cosmetics spot for They're Real! mascara. The ad opens to hunky dude ogling, which is oh so trendy right now. But it wastes no time focusing right on their man candy, as all the ladies around them become visibly excited. Then the men reach into their pants and pull out … a handful of mascara tubes to toss to the women—delivering the message that their bulges might be fake but your lashes could be nice. Or perhaps the message is the tagline: "Laughter is the best cosmetic."

    The agency, Portal A, also roped in actor Simon Rex (aka Dirt Nasty) and Vine-famous comedian Brittany Furlan to round out the cameos. Benefit is doing exactly the right kind of things to draw attention to its tiny, feisty brand, but the spot doesn't go quite far enough to be funny or outrageous. Vinny, in particular, comes off as inexplicably suave as he winks in tree pose. Maybe they should have just let Brittany make five six-second Vines and call it a day. Her Vines aboutthespot are hilars.

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    Taking "a trip to Belize" doesn't sound fun, at least the way the phrase was used on Breaking Bad last Sunday. But the small Central American country took the reference in stride and is out to prove that a visit to Belize isn't, in fact, a one-way trip to oblivion—by offering free vacations to Vince Gilligan and eight members of the AMC show's cast.

    "Many of us are big fans of the show and can't wait to see what happens over the last six episodes," the tourism board (with help from ad agency Olson) wrote in its invitation. "While we hope that some of our favorite characters don't get 'sent on a trip to Belize' in the show, we do hope you will take us up on the following offer—we'd like to send all of you on an ACTUAL trip to our country after the season is over."

    As Olson explained to us in an email, this is certainly a better response to the unflattering mention than just freaking out about it.

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    There isn't a public event that Apple and Samsung users can't spoil by fighting with each other, according to Crispin Porter + Bogusky's hyperbolic but still amusing campaign for the Windows Phone—which continues with the spot below, again directed by Roman Coppola and set to air Sunday during MTV's Video Music Awards.

    Coppola directed the earlier spot, "The Wedding," which was a big success (more than 6 million YouTube views), and he brought back many of the same actors for "The Recital." In the new spot, Apple and Samsung users again jockey for position to get the best photos, and are soon ridiculing, head-butting and otherwise trying to take each other down. (On the plus side, at least they seem interested in the school play and aren't just falling asleep.) The spot pushes the Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41 megapixels and reinvented zoom, which apparently helps you get better pictures and also just be a nicer person.

    There's less snappy dialogue this time, though it's a fun moment at the end when the woman who's literally spouting Apple's recent advertising copy gets thumped to the floor.

    Credits below.

    Client: Microsoft
    Spot: "The Recital"
    Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
    Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly
    Executive Creative Director: Dan Donovan
    Creative Directors: Dave Swartz, Dave Steinke
    Associate Creative Directors: Paul Sincoff, Kyle Jones
    Art Director: Jeff Hunter
    Copywriter: Aaron Cathey
    Integrated Head of Video: Chad Hopenwasser
    Executive Integrated Producer: Sloan Schroeder
    Senior Integrated Producer: Laura Keseric
    Production Company: Directors Bureau, Los Angeles
    Director: Roman Coppola
    Executive Producers (Production Company): Lisa Margulis, Elizabeth Minzes
    Producer (Production Company): Francie Moore
    Director of Photography: Chris Soos
    Postproduction: NO6LA, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Visual Effects: Method, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Executive Producer, Design: Robert Owens
    Producer: Ananda Reavis
    Editor: Jason McDonald
    Music Company: JSM Music
    Junior Music Producer: Chip Herter
    Arrangers: Joel Simon, Doug Katsaros
    Sound Design Company: Henry Boy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Sound Designer: Matthew Hedge

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    In the U.S., Heinz Baked Beans are generally known as a retro food item and/or Mad Men plot device. But in the U.K., where they're sold as "Heinz Beanz," they're still a popular pantry staple and childhood favorite (preferably served on a piece of toast).

    The brand trades on that reputation as a beloved kids' meal in this endearing new TV spot, "Little Brother," from AMV BBDO and Blink director Benito Montorio. The ad is narrated by a boy named Tom, who has a hard time dealing with his mischievous younger brother, Charlie. (Not that Charlie.) As illustrated by a series of playful vignettes, Charlie's many shortcomings include playing hide-and-seek, bike riding and goalkeeping. (Apparently he couldn't catch a cold, let alone a soccer ball.) But despite all that, Tom considers the exasperating Charlie his very best friend—a love which he demonstrates by sharing his Heinz beans with him in hopes of "growing him up a bit."

    The "brotherly love" idea could have gotten a bit treacly, but the spot avoids any overt sentimentality by lending a deadpan seriousness to Tom's role as weary mentor, and by framing the entire spot from the brothers' perspective rather than that of a doting parent. Still, that doesn't mean the end result isn't completely charming; it's pretty hard not to crack a smile at Tom and Charlie's story, whether your childhood memories involved Heinz Beanz on toast or Heinz ketchup on a burger.

    Client: Heinz
    Chief Marketing Officer: Giles Jepson
    Marketing Controller: Katie Bleach
    Spot: "Little Brother"
    Agency: AMV BBDO, London
    Copywriter: Rich McGrann
    Art Director: Andy Clough
    Agency Planners: Lucy Howard, Hannah Banfield
    Agency Account Team: Sam LeCoeur, Nick Andrew, Katie Gray
    Television Producers: Paul Goodwin, Hannah Bhattachejee
    Media Agency: Vizuem
    Production Company: Blink
    Director: Benito Montorio
    Postproduction Company: MPC

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    Reddit has declared that the Samsung promotional video below features "possibly the world's worst actors," a description that might not be literally true but is close enough. In the ad, for Samsung's 840 EVO solid-state hard drive, three animatronic stereotypes—baffled housewife, studious Asian gamer and corporate ladder-climber—robotically recite a script about how amazing the product is. The result is something that can't really be described in writing, so watch it for yourself below. The original was pulled from YouTube after it became a laughingstock on Reddit, but mirrored versions continue to circulate so that the world can appreciate this impressive feat of faux sincerity.

    UPDATE: Here's a note from the Reddit thread, apparently from the "corporate" actor in the spot:

    "Hi. So I'm an actor/model living in Seoul, and im playing the 'businessman' in this promo. now, admittedly its not my best work lol, but most people arent aware of just how many factors go into making it this bad. Allow me to elaborate. They force us to speak slowly since this will be dubbed over in Korean, and even when it isnt, most people viewing it will be Korean. They ask us to exaggerate since many Korean people feel thats how we 'naturally' act (most people here are not very expressive). Ive worked many jobs where I tried to act naturally only to be told by the director to act more 'bright' (ie exaggerate). its how the director and client (in this case, Samsung), WANT us to act. the script is brutal. written by non-native english speakers, and sometimes the PD or director wont even take our suggestions to change some parts so they sound like something a normal native english speaker would say. its a promotional video, not a tv commercial, meaning it will be shown at conventions and expos and in-house. most of the people watching it are korean and thats why they make us do all of the above. edit: almost forgot, shooting took place from 730am - 3am the next day, and by the time they shot the scenes with the girl, she was literally falling asleep in her chair, hence the stoned expression and tone :)"

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    Kia's hamster commercials are that rarest of advertising species: a campaign that by all objective measures you should hate, but which you can't help but love.

    The formulaic setups—fruit doesn't hang much lower than dancing animals—are redeemed by the supremely gleeful (and skillful) execution, and the attention to detail. The ads, by David&Goliath, are so well produced—and they go so all in—that you can't help tapping your foot to the music, even as you try to stifle the smile that so annoyingly seems to be spreading on your face.

    In the end, you might as well just sit back and enjoy it.

    Kia certainly is. The campaign has picked up Effie awards and Nielsen's "Automotive Ad of the Year" honor and racked up tens of millions of YouTube views. There's a good reason this is the fifth spot in the series.

    And it might be the best yet—despite once again being almost completely clichéd. It promotes the all-new 2014 Soul, which has been significantly redesigned. And so the hamsters themselves get a makeover. You learned to love them because of their baggy clothes and endearingly chubby dances—à la Weird Al's "Fat" video—but here they work hard to develop a new image, and end up fitting into much more stylish attire.

    Normally, an ad like this would use the Rocky theme, or maybe "Eye of the Tiger." But this one is set to Lady Gaga's new single "Applause," and it will have a well-timed TV premiere connected to the song—a 60-second version will debut on Sunday's Video Music Awards following Gaga’s first-ever live performance of it. Perhaps she'll even show up in a hamster suit. (The spot will also reach cinemas. The 90-second web version is below.)

    "The hamsters always have their paws on the pulse of pop culture," says Colin Jeffery, D&G's executive creative director, who directed the latest spot. (Even the PR around these ads is required to be cheesy.) "With the help of Lady Gaga, some current fashion trends and our friends at MPC VFX, we introduce a sleeker, sexier and more sophisticated Soul. The hamsters don't look too shabby themselves."

    Hopefully they'll put the weight back on before the next ad. This is a campaign that will stay cool by being the opposite.

    Scroll down to see photos from the shoot.

    Client: Kia Soul
    Spot: "Totally Transformed"

    Agency: David&Goliath, Los Angeles
    Chief Creative Officer: David Angelo
    Executive Creative Director: Colin Jeffery
    CD/Copywriter:  Gary DuToit
    CD/Art Director: Eron Broughton
    ACD/Copywriter: Greg Buri
    ACD/Art Director: Basil Cowieson
    ACD/Art Director: Kriss Grove
    Executive Producer, Managing Director: Carol Lombard
    Executive Producer: Paul Albanese
    Managing Partner, Client Services: Brian Dunbar
    Group Account Director: Brook Dore
    Account Director: Justin Manfredi
    Account Supervisor: Nancy Ramirez
    Account Executive: Kammie Dons
    Associate Strategic Planning Director:  Steven Garcia
    Sr. Planner: Armando Potter

    Production Company: @radical.media
    Director: Colin Jeffery
    Executive Producer: Frank Scherma
    Producer: Kathy Rhodes
    Director of Photography: Toby Irwin
    Production Designer: Brock Houghton
    Wardrobe Stylist: Christina Blackaller

    Special EFX: Legacy Effects

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Angus Wall
    Executive Producer: CL Weaver
    Producer: Toby Louie
    Assistant Editor: Austyn Daines

    Post Production: MPC
    VFX Supervisor/ 3-D Lead: Andy Boyd
    Compositing Supervisor: Jake Montgomery
    Animation Lead: Stew Burris
    Animator/Rigger: Ian Wilson
    Animator: Jean-Dominique Fievet
    Lighter: William Schilthuis
    Lighter: Shaun Comly
    Texture: Hayley O'Neil 
    Modeler: Aaron Hamman
    3-D FX: Charles Trippe
    Tracking: Mike Wynd 
    Compositor: Clement 
    Compositor: Jason Heinz
    Compositor: Brendan Smith
    Smoke Artist: Mark Holden
    Telecine: Mark Gethin
    Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
    VFX Producer: Nicole Fina

    Record Label: Interscope Records
    Artist: Lady Gaga

    Sound Design: Hammers Project
    Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers

    Music Editing: Massive Music

    Audio Mix: Margarita Mix
    Mixer: Nathan Dubin

    Magazine Covers Courtesy of:
    Wired / Condé Nast
    Rolling Stone / Wenner Media LLC
    Men's Health / Rodale

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    Here's a nice little Twitter activation from Nike and BBDO Argentina. The marketer had Burrito "The Mule" Martinez, star forward for the Boca Juniors soccer team, wipe out all of his 92,000 Twitter followers and start over from zero with the goal of regaining all the followers he erased. "Today I erased my 92,112 followers with the idea of winning them back by playing every match as if it were my first," he wrote in his first message back. (He's back up to 32,000 followers or so—so people apparently aren't too annoyed at having to re-follow him.) The stunt also ties in thematically with Nike's recent TV spot "Baptism" (below) in which veteran Boca Juniors players shave their heads—a ritual usually reserved only for rookies—to demonstrate their ongoing allegiance to the club.

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    Been wondering what Alex Bogusky is up to? He's just put out this little video in his latest push for social good: the Million Jobs Project. Bogusky stars in and narrates the infographic short (with animation and art direction by Scott McDonald) that implores Americans to spend just 5 percent more on products made in America. Apparently, if we shift our buying habits by just that small amount, we will create 1 million new jobs. There are some nice lines ("They call it outsourcing, which is a fancy word for 'You're fired' "), but at four minutes, it's a bit long. Fortunately, there's a short list of some American manufacturers to buy from over at millionjobsproject.us, which is an easy read. Of course, it's not a new message, but it is well told here. Will it work? The video hasn't taken off yet, but maybe that's because the ask is slightly confusing. Are we supposed to always buy American, buy 5 percent more for American, buy just one thing that's American, or share the video with two friends? The answer is all of those things.

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    Mexican stationery company Scribe won a Bronze Lion in Cannes for its "Scribe Billboard" campaign, in which artist Cecilia Beaven lived inside a blank billboard like a shoemaker's elf for 10 days and added illustrations to it based on tweets from the public. (The finished work can be seen above.) The illustrations have now been turned into a 60-second cartoon by Vetor Zero/Lobo, and the results—featuring characters like a rabbit DJ, a surfing giraffe and a taxi driving Pegasus—wouldn't be out of place on Adult Swim. Really. I could see something like this paired with Adventure Time, no problem. Via The Inspiration Room.

    More about the billboard's creation:

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  • 08/23/13--12:26: Re/Max Hires Leo Burnett
  • Re/Max has selected Leo Burnett as its lead creative agency. Leo Burnett will handle the account out of its Chicago headquarters. 

    The team working on Re/Max will include staffers from Lapiz, the agency's multicultural unit.

    The 40-year-old real estate company, which filed this week for an initial public offering, is based in Denver.

    Re/Max spent $43 million on media in 2012, according to Kantar estimates. The brand's previous marketing work was split between an in-house team and Las Vegas-based R&R Partners.

    The agency's work for the brand is slated to launch in January 2014. The initial campaign includes TV, radio, digital, social, out of home and print.

    “We are very impressed with The Leo Burnett Group’s perspective on the RE/MAX brand and the dynamics of the current housing market,” said Re/Max CEO Margaret Kelly, in a statement. 

    Added Gustavo Razzetti, evp managing director of Lapiz, “As baby boomers become empty nesters and downsize, and emerging groups such as millennials and Latinos aspire to be homeowners, there will be considerable growth potential for RE/MAX.”

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    If you were a car, and you could travel back in time and kill Hitler when he was a boy, would you do it?

    Well, if you were a Volkswagen, the answer would probably be no, since you'd be murdering your own father, and you'd probably cease to exist. A C-Class Mercedes-Benz, however, would suffer no such temporal paradox, and that's the vehicle of young Adolf's destruction in this well-made though extremely odd commercial parody, created as a thesis by some German film students.

    In the 80-second clip, the driverless car avoids various kids in Hitler's picturesque Austrian hometown but mows down young Adolf. The vehicle's Collision Prevention Assist technology, we're told, "detects dangers before they come up." The final image of the school-age never-to-be-Führer lying on the ground, limbs splayed out like a swastika, is memorably intense.

    Mercedes parent Daimler is understandably miffed, and forced the students to add blaring disclaimers that identify the project as a spoof. The controversy has helped the clip go viral, with almost 700,000 YouTube views since Friday. Couching the film as an ad for a real automaker also provides, perhaps unintentionally, extra layers for interpretation by bringing the global corporate/industrial/media complex into the picture.

    The filmmakers—Tobia Haase, Jan Mettler and Lydia Lohse—have said they wanted to explore the morality of technology by asking what would happen if machines had souls. I wonder what the world would've been like had Hitler had one.

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    Devin Graham has always seemed right up Mountain Dew's alley. The director, aka Devin Supertramp, who specializes in building giant outdoor contraptions that fling attractive young people into the air, was even apparently the inspiration for a 2011 Mountain Dew spot—its footage of BMX bikers launching themselves into a lake sure looked a lot like this 2010 Graham production. Now, Mountain Dew has officially teamed up with Graham for a new video and an upcoming tour. The video, below, presents lots of woozy footage of people flying back and forth on a giant catapult—with plenty of Mountain Dew signage and products around. (One guy empties a bottle of the stuff on his face mid-'pult, adding to his own personal horror.) Attractive young people who missed out on this stunt, worry not. Dew and Devin are going on a road trip! As Graham writes on his site:"On September 1st, we're jumping into an RV full of Mountain Dew and all the equipment we need to pull off some seriously amazing stunts. And the best part is, YOU will be planning the locations and the stunts themselves right along with us!" Graham has worked with brands before—on stunts like this neck-breakingly awesome lake-jumping waterslide, co-branded by Vooray.

    Check out the eight-minute behind-the-scenes video below, in which it takes all of 25 seconds for someone to suggest trying "two girls at the same time."


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