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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    All Usain Bolt-endorsed companies are exercising their vicarious bragging rights in the wake of the Jamaican sprinter's extraordinary triple repeat in London—winning gold again in the 100 and 200 meters and the 4x100-meter relay. We saw Gatorade's deathly new spot yesterday, Now, it's Puma's turn—with simple billboards and posters from Droga5 showing the world's fastest man draped in the Jamaican flag and the line, "And then Jamaica conquered England." The colonial reference is nice, although really it was the U.S. that Jamaica defeated in all three of those races. Credits below.

    Client: Puma
    Agency: Droga5
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Executive Creative Directors: Nik Studzinski, Ted Royer
    Creative Director: Tim Gordon
    Senior Art Director: Petter Hernmarck
    Senior Copywriter: Erik Hogfeldt
    Art Director: Kevin Weir
    Photographer: Scott Pommier
    Producer: Cliff Lewis

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  • 08/17/12--09:27: Ad of the Day: Allianz
  • Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the drunkest of them all?

    Ogilvy Brazil is more determined than ever to stop you from driving drunk. The agency is actually something of an expert in this area. Its numerous on-site bar stunts in recent years have included everything from giving out wildly inflated bar tabs (in which the staggering financial costs of a drunk-driving accident are factored into the bill) to accosting people with the Drunk Valet, a sloshy reminder that no one—not a valet, and not you—should drive your car drunk.

    This latest bar stunt, on behalf of insurance company Allianz—is interesting, too. The agency installed a special, magical mirror next to the bathrooms that presented a delayed reflection to the person looking into it. This mimicked the effect alcohol has on a person's reflexes after only a few drinks—as copy on the digital device explained after each person interacted with it. Presumably the images were extra delayed for people who were already drunk when they looked into the mirror—perhaps provoking, if not a crisis of conscience, at least a good bout of nausea, which could possibly preclude a stomach pumping later in the evening.

    Who knows how effective this was in preventing drunk driving. At the very least, the thing undeniably looks like fun to play around with. And with these kinds of messages, engagement is half the battle. Cheers to Ogilvy for another fun trip to the pub.

    Client: Allianz Insurance
    Agency: OgilvyOne, São Paulo, Brazil
    Chief Creative Officer: Anselmo Ramos
    Executive Creative Director: Marcos Ribeiro
    Creative Directors: Marcos Ribeiro, Alexandre Ravagnani
    Art Directors: Fernando Passos, Rafael Gatuzzo
    Copywriters: Flavio Tamashiro, Erich Moreira
    Accounts: Felipe Obara, Andrea Tornovsky, Denise Caruso
    Media: Luciana Serra, Larissa Dias
    Planners: Luis Stateri, Marian Travassos, Cleber Almeida
    Producers: Cecília Taioli, Adriana Jorge
    Production Company: Santa Transmedia
    Film Director: Gustavo Rodrigues
    Sound Design: Sound Design

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  • 08/19/12--21:00: The Adweek Talent 100
  • “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work,” said the French artist Émile Zola. In our annual Talent 100, we spotlight the best work of illustrators, designers, art directors and other creatives as determined by visitors of Adweek.com’s Talent Gallery and our own editors and creative team. Representing such diverse forums as ad campaigns, photography and the Google homepage, this was the work deemed most imaginative, most individual and, in some cases, simply too outrageously creative to ignore. Meet the Talent 100.

    View "Design Stars: The Talent Top 10"

    View the entire Adweek Talent 100

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    To get women in the driver’s seat in the 1950s, General Motors hired the “Damsels of Design,” an all-female team of auto designers who created female-friendly models like the Chevy Impala Martinique and the Pontiac Parisienne. This week the automaker kicks off a more modern approach to generate interest in its 2013 Chevy Malibu, by way of a side trip through women’s closets.

    GM has forged a unique multiplatform alliance with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, the daily deals brand LivingSocial and media giant Time Warner.

    “It’s an opportunity for us to put a stake in the ground and commit to the growing women’s segment,” said Mary Kubitskey, an advertising manager at Chevrolet.

    For the partnership, Mizrahi conceived a clothing line, Malibu Style, that was inspired by the new Malibu model and that will be sold exclusively on LivingSocial.

    Mizrahi told Adweek that the new Malibu has elegant features and unusual colors that inspired his own designs.

    “My career has been thrust in the direction of demystifying style for women,” he said. “One of the things I was inspired by was a blue light that emanates from the dashboard. It’s just sexy.”

    His clothing line, targeted to women aged 25 to 45, will also be promoted by way of 50 videos, created by Time Inc. studios, to be streamed across Time Warner-owned websites, as well as Facebook, over the next three months.

    In the videos, Mizrahi will be seen tooling around Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York in a Chevy Malibu, meeting up with fashion-savvy “muses” and dishing out advice on dressing and accessorizing. And, of course, he’ll also be chatting plenty about the Malibu.

    For LivingSocial to hawk clothing, and especially cars, might seem peculiar given that the deal site’s offerings skew toward leg waxing and yoga lessons. Details of the deal lie in the demographics. Sixty-four percent of LivingSocial’s 60 million subscribers are women, while 36 percent earn more than $100,000 per year.

    “These are women with disposable income,” said Mitch Spolan, vp, national sales at LivingSocial. “Malibu Style is a perfect match for [LivingSocial’s new e-commerce arm] Shop.”

    Brokered by agency Carat, the Malibu Style clothing line will, like the new Malibu model, be promoted through assorted Time Warner media channels.

    In the coming weeks, Mizrahi will plug the Malibu during three appearances on the syndicated celebrity-news show Extra. Video and display ads will appear on the sites of Time Inc.’s People, StyleWatch, InStyle and Real Simple, while monthly promotions will run in print editions of the magazines this fall.

    A call-to-action in one ad will promote ChevyMalibuStyle.com, which directs users to a dedicated Facebook page.

    “We really focus on [leveraging] fashion as a thread of conversation around the Chevy Malibu,” said Kristen O’Hara, CMO of Time Warner Global Media Group.

    Facebook’s role is understandable seeing as an estimated 64 percent of its users are female. But in keeping with former GM CEO Joel Ewanick’s well-publicized pledge to forego Facebook, no direct paid ads are scheduled for the Chevy Malibu.

    Still, Kubitskey left some wiggle room for changing course. “I cannot say that it’s not possible,” she said of running Facebook ads. “But as of now, there’s nothing planned. It’s an evolving situation.”

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    Tony Scott, who committed suicide on Sunday at age 68, directed hundreds of ads—many of them award winners—through RSA Films, his and brother Ridley's commercial production company. Here's his final spot, via BBDO for Diet Mountain Dew, released earlier this month. It features Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban trying to tempt a diehard Diet Dew fan with untold riches if he'll just give him the last bottle at a convenience store. Features a classic Scott image of a speedboat ripping through the water. RIP, Tony. See a bunch more of his ads, including some classics, over at the RSA website. Credits after the jump.

    Client: Diet Mountain Dew
    Agency: BBDO
    Producer: Chris Lenz
    Copywriter: Christopher Cannon
    Art Director: Eduardo Petersen

    Production Company: RSA Films
    Director: Tony Scott
    Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth

    Editorial: Skip Film
    Editor: Skip Chaison

    Visual Effects, Postproduction: Smoke & Mirrors
    Chief Creative Officer: Sean Broughton
    Flame Artists: Brian Benson, Sam Caine
    Junior Flame Artist: Ross Vincent
    Flame Assistant: Dan Bowhers
    Head of Production: Amy Selwocki

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    Here's one commercial that sort of got away from its creators. And that's a shame, because the animated catfish in this Bundaberg Red spot by Leo Burnett, Sydney, Australia, is a nice catch. The creature is pleasingly cute/ugly, and anthropomorphized just enough to be endearingly memorable but still realistic. Likewise, its polluted underwater home—littered with discarded shoes, toilet seats, tin cans, plungers and such—is well realized. We're told that with 18 times more taste buds than humans—located all over its body, in fact—the catfish is the butt of "Mother Nature's cruelest joke," doomed forever to savor the detritus of civilization with its fins and face, while we get to enjoy the smooth flavor of the Diageo rum brand. Now, if they'd just reeled in the pitch right about there, we'd have a fun, understated, quirky commercial. Alas, the spot sinks under its own weight as the fish morphs into a swimming tongue and the narrator is revealed to be the crazy, bearded, top-hatted coot from Bundaberg's previous spots. Up on the riverbank, the guy sits in a leather easy chair, clutching a fishing pole, between a pair of tables that hold a lamp and a telephone—there's a cuckoo clock on the tree behind him. These stabs at "wacky" surrealism, or whatever they're supposed to be, reek like yesterday's haul left out in the sun. That's what happens when you get hooked by the lure of overkill.

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  • 08/20/12--10:37: Ad of the Day: Guinness
  • Arthur's Day isn't quite as historic as St. Patrick's Day. The latter has been celebrated for centuries, while the former was invented in 2009 by Guinness as a fabricated holiday honoring its founder, Arthur Guinness. So, perhaps it makes sense that advertising for Arthur's Day still has a ways to go.

    Saatchi & Saatchi in London has just released the 90-second global Guinness commercial below, encouraging people to "Paint the town black" on Arthur's Day, which is Sept. 27 this year. It opens with people doing just that. They slather thick black paint on everything in sight—buildings, roads, cars, pianos, bed sheets, horses, even themselves. Pretty soon, everything is a black oily mess. In fact, it looks like actual oil—and without knowing the advertiser, you might wonder if it's shaping up as some kind of environmental message. (If Greenpeace doesn't work with Saatchi London, they should.)

    Not that beer ads need to be appetizing in the same way food ads do. But as tempting as it must have been to want to shade the "Paint the town" idiom in Guinness's signature color, advertising one tasty black liquid with sloshing images of a toxic one doesn't quite work.

    Some of the visuals are impressive—in particular, the almost war-torn look of the motley parade of people passing the now-blackened houses on their way to a party in the town square. But it says something about the thin-ness of the idea that so many of the shots here feel gratuitous—music-video-like in their resistance to advancing the story line in any way. (The spot would be better as a :60.)

    Guinness's 2012 St. Patrick's Day spot by AMV BBDO, with the sheepdog trained to herd Guinness drinkers lest they get sidetracked on their way to the pub, was a bit of comic genius. No one gets sidetracked in this Arthur's Day spot. Even against the surreal backdrop, their camaraderie is single-minded and more than a little predictable.

    Like the holiday itself, it just feels a little too manufactured.

    Client: Guinness
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
    Executive Creative Directors: Kate Stanners, Paul Silburn
    Copywriter: Gavin Torrance
    Art Director: Danny Hunt
    Planner: Charlie Finnigan
    Producer: Rebecca Williams
    Production Company: Somesuch & Co.
    Director: Daniel Wolfe
    Editing Company: Trim
    Editor: Dominic Leung
    Producer: Dougal Meese
    Post Production: Framestore CFC
    Audio Post Production: Wave

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    It looks like Jay Cutler has learned a thing or two from baby mama Kristin Cavallari when it comes to fashion. And that would be: Don't argue with women about it. In this amusing new spot from Grey, New York, the Chicago Bears quarterback delicately adjudicates a dispute between a woman and her roommates, who seem to have absconded with (or, from their point of view, are "borrowing") her official Bears apparel—part of the NFL's collection of women's clothing, which it's pushing quite heavily this year. It might have been more fun to have Condoleezza Rice serve as judge and jury here (hell, executioner, too, if she felt so inclined), but Cutler acquits himself decently. The spot's structure—in which the three parties are all seen in completely separate environments, even though they can talk to each other—is a nice little device that distinguishes it visually from all the other pre-season NFL spots. It's the same structure Grey used, to amusing effect, in another recent spot starring Eli Manning and DeMarcus Ware. See that spot, and credits for both, after the jump.

    —Title: Roommates

    Client: NFL

    Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
Executive Creative Director: Eric Segal

    Art Director: Zack Menna
Copywriter: Rich Singer
Producer: Jonathan Klein

    Production Company: O Positive

    Director: Jim Jenkins

    Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
Producer: Marc Grill

    Production Supervisor: Jason Reda
DP: Ramsey Nickell

    Production Designer: Jason Edmonds

    Editorial Company: No. 6

    Editor: Jason Macdonald
Executive Producer: Toni Lipari

    Producer: Evan Meeker

    Smoke Artist: Ed Skupeen

Post Production Audio: Heard City

    Mixer: Phil Loeb
Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

    —Title: Only Son

    Client: NFL
Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren

    Executive Creative Director: Eric Segal

    Art Director: Zack Menna

    Copywriter: Rich Singer

    Production Company: O Positive

    Director: Jim Jenkins
Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella

    Producer: Marc Grill

    Production Supervisor: Jason Reda
DP: Ramsey Nickell

    Production Designer: Jason Edmonds

    Editorial Company: No. 6

    Editor: Jason Macdonald

    Executive Producer: Toni Lipari

    Producer: Evan Meeker

    Smoke Artist: Ed Skupeen

    Post Production Audio: Heard City

    Mixer: Phil Loeb

    Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

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  • 08/21/12--03:19: The Spot: Sitting Pretty
  • IDEA: British furniture maker DFS has traditionally used its massive ad budget—some $130 million a year—mostly to annoy people. Its obnoxious, price-led, hard-sell messaging bludgeoned viewers into submission. "They had gained a reputation for being shouty," admitted Nick Hastings, co-founder and creative director of London ad agency Krow, which took over the account last November. Now, Krow and DFS are trying something new: advertising that is actually—gasp!—likeable. A new 90-second brand film, set to an emotional song by a Scottish indie artist, tells the touching tale of a young boy who suffers through a typically tough day—finding respite only at the end of it, on a big, comfy DFS sofa. The approach isn't rocket science. "By aiming to become a brand that is well-liked as well as well-known," said Hastings, "DFS hopes to achieve more sustainable and even greater success among a broader range of people."

    COPYWRITING: The boy's story is familiar and poignant. School, classmates, girls, dogs, the world at large—everything is against him. Even his brother, the other main character, is mostly ambivalent about him—until the end, when he grudgingly gives him a piggyback ride home. "The little schoolboy's tough day is emblematic of the tough day all of us have now and again," said Hastings. "Because he's little, he's an underdog. People will feel for him and side with him." There's no dialogue until a voiceover at the end by the Scottish actor Dougray Scott. "After a tough day, get the sit-down you deserve," he says. "All our sofas are handmade to order, with a free, 10-year guarantee." The logo and tagline appear on screen and are spoken as well: "DFS. Making every day more comfortable."

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Director Owen Harris filmed the spot over three days near Orpington, a town southeast of London. "We weren't going for a nostalgic look, although the story itself is likely to make the viewer feel nostalgic," said Hastings. The props and costumes were simple—they just had to feel real and natural. Harris quickly understood the vibe the agency wanted. "It needed to be beautifully crafted, with no gimmickry," said Hastings. "He added some gorgeous touches—you'll notice that going to school the kids move left to right, and when returning they move right to left. He also added nice touches to the story line, especially the idea of the big brother giving the little one a piggyback."

    TALENT: The young boy has a face that wears pathos well. "I knew we had the right chap when my teenage daughters both said how sweet he was when they happened to see him on my laptop," Hastings said. Likewise, the older brother delivers a nicely understated performance.

    SOUND: The song, Paolo Nutini's "Growing Up Beside You," adds to the emotion of the spot perhaps more than any other element. "We obviously did a rigorous music search, but the Paolo track stood out a mile," said Hastings. "The words are somehow bang-on, his voice is heartfelt, and crucially, the track is exactly the right pace for the film. It's very emotional." As indie tracks often do, this one gives the ad much greater reach, particularly among young people.

    MEDIA: The spot broke as a :90 on long-running soap Coronation Street in late July and will air for six weeks as a :60 and a :40—along with a batch of 20-second commercials featuring the boy and the dog that are focused more on price and credit options. Print ads are running in support—some focused on price, others on the brand.


    Agency: Krow Communications, London
    Creative: Nick Hastings / Jon Mitchell
    TV Producer: Emma Rookledge
    Production Co: Outsider
    Director: Owen Harris
    Producer: Tex Travi
    Photography: Stephen Keith-Roach
    Post Production: The Mill
    Editing House: Work Post
    Editor: Bill Smedley

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    Volkswagen's shark-cage Beetle, built by Deutsch and MediaCom for a recent promotional tie-in with the 25th anniversary of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, looks aqua-futuristic in the video below as it rolls along the ocean floor. Even constructed of aluminum bars and tricked out with propellers, the Beetle shape is instantly recognizable. (Suck it, Jetta!) The best part of the clip comes toward the end, when we catch a rearview-mirror glimpse of sharks gnashing their teeth and acting all menacing. Must be looking back at the dealership. Still, I'd hold off on buying one of these until we all live in bubble-domes beneath the sea. A shark-cage Beetle might seem cool, but it's no fun to drive in the rain. More images after the jump. Via Adverblog.

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    For those who were concerned that Axe's "Susan Glenn" spot represented a concerted effort by the brand to renounce its moral turpitude and embrace a measure of sophistication, fear not: This new Axe spot from BBH, New York, reaffirms the brand's worldview by literally reducing a woman to a headless, walking pair of breasts. It's hard to think of an Axe spot that so blatantly claims men see nothing else. The ad tries to get away with this by being cutesy and cartoony, and also, amusingly enough, suggesting that it's actually women who objectify men—as we see the disembodied breasts fall in love with her male counterpart: an unruly tuft of hair, who is also disembodied and walking around forlornly on stubby little legs. By the end, the man and woman finally become whole to the plaintive strains of "True Love Will Find You in the End," by Daniel Johnston. "Hair. It's what girls see first," says the on-screen copy. BBH and Axe have been down this road before. The spot echoes, more than anything, the agency's Pitman work for the client from the early 2000s, featuring the disembodied armpit who gets the girls because he smells so good. In the Axe universe, people aren't greater than the sum of their parts—they are their parts. So, you'd better make them look and smell desirable.

         Below, check out another new spot, also a return to more classic Axe messaging, with a woman who has apparently watched plenty of Olympic action—and uses her shot put and pole-vaulting skills to convene with her nerdy Axe-using dude.

         Not that Axe is completely ditching Susan Glenn. In fact, it's hired New Girl's Max Greenfield to write, direct and star in a series of "Finding Susan Glenn" Web clips. Check out the first four below.

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  • 08/21/12--09:49: Ad of the Day: Samsung
  • James Franco would like you to know that it's great to be James Franco.

    What else is new, you say? Samsung is now paying Franco to play himself, in a new video from Cheil, also directed by Franco, that's supposed to be an ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note tablet but is actually an ad for James Franco.

    "Oh, hi, I'm James Franco," the actor-producer-etc. says at the start of the commercial, all casually—because what is he chopped liver, of course you know who he is—before proceeding to tell you about all the awesome accomplishments of James Franco and taking you on a single-shot tour of the James Franco complex.

    The house is, naturally, filled with beautiful women to whom Franco is the concerned caretaker, and hip skater guys to whom Franco is the thoughtful benefactor, and tweed-less math dweebs to whom Franco is the generous professor. It's all meant to feel tongue-in-cheek, which mostly just makes it seem even more smug. That's probably because Franco is just too good an actor, and really got inside the role of himself playing himself.

    The best moment in the spot, by far, is around the 2:20 mark, when Franco tries to take a bite of the toast he's been making while filming the commercial, but misses his mouth. A few more gags like that might have better signaled that James Franco was actually laughing at James Franco, and made the ad more ha-ha funny, rather than a too-realistic, mellower (cough, Pineapple Express, cough) and more effete version of an Old Spice commercial. (Ladies, James Franco may be dreamy, but he is not the man your man could smell like.)

    Oh, and by the way, James Franco uses the Galaxy Note to help him multitask, which he is known for doing much better than everyone else. Or, at least, is known for doing. See, abundance of product shots notwithstanding, James Franco is just too riveting to not overshadow anything. Except for, maybe, you know, James Franco.

    Client: Samsung

    Agency: Cheil USA
    Chief Creative Officer: Lars Bastholm
    Group Creative Director: Adam Wohl
    Producer: Teresa Wakabayashi
    Account Executive: Dongkwan Kim
    Senior Planner: Chris Hong

    Production Company: SXM
    Director: James Franco
    Executive Producer: Thomas Bannister
    Producer: Larry Laboe
    Director of Photography: Bruce Thierry Cheung

    Postproduction: Click 3X
    Postproducer: Jon O'Hara
    Editors: Edward Einhorn, Erin McCaffrey

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    We recently wrote about how quirky automaker Smart USA has clever Facebook ideas that are often too clever to actually work on Facebook. This week is no exception. On Monday, the brand posted a photo of a Smart car parked in Kinsley, Kan., halfway between New York and San Francisco, and asked fans to create a story about the vehicle "one word at a time in the comments below." The result? The illegible ramblings of a 178-headed madman. Fans were partly to blame for not following directions, but the idea is also hampered by Facebook's delayed comment updates, meaning fans often couldn't see the words posted prior to theirs. Still, like any Mad Lib, it created some real gems, such as "Free kangaroo roadtrip, nice and small." At AdFreak, we've done our best to compile this nonsense into a sort of William Borroughs/James Joyce-esque narrative. Check out the whole "confusing story kickin' ovaries" after the jump.

    "Hambach today, while once eco-friendly, I going meander. Lovely was cruising half-way, passing along. I want one happy. Which decisions? Larry Turner happy. Semi! Go South, it's friendlier, efficiently comfortable Toto. Comfortably unique. WFERE? Cheap, awesome — either way it only took one tank of gas, right? LOL TRAILLER!!!!! Failed buggy, go to the store and this bazinga! Free kangaroo roadtrip, nice and small. It's like herding cats. Gas, cool, rolling…New York baby! Once petite, journey Germany. Is future trips out Reno ass? Cool. Now wild little party, midway sassy. WT*B!*! Fun day, Vegas. Revved little green service. Me cute, torn. Just married, wow, fail. The end. Smart Mighty Mouse sweet!!!! Lost distance, petite clownish. OMG! Rockin' little-bit sunflowers. Confusing story kickin' ovaries! Where? Nuts. Decisions? Waffle. On trip, vroom sightseeing gave best such inexcusable travel toy. Bright Chicago, please do coast. Spike! Only me ecanta, cute California. Decisions? Smile. Really? Stupid look on your face when speedy in a state of confusion, halfway into freeway, crusin' a lot until PushMePullYou green gas friendly. Amazing sweet toy, fun middle. It pitstop cool. Explore around dangerous awesome. Ride a bike."

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    "Typical Jeffersonian jungle fever" is how AdFreak reader Kenya Brome sums up Thomas Jefferson's behavior in this New York Lottery spot from DDB. Hard to argue with that. Jefferson will want to move this beach party back to Monticello before long. The spot is pretty amusing—as the various faces of U.S. currency are seen partying with would-be lottery winners. They all seem pretty lecherous, frankly. Ben Franklin, in particular, looks to have recovered quite nicely from his sickly-green appearance in the TurboTax spot from a few years back. Credits for the lottery spot after the jump.

    Client: New York Lottery
    Spot: "Beach Party"

    Agency: DDB Worldwide
    Chief Creative Officer: Matt Eastwood
    Group Creative Director: Rich Sharp
    Creative Director: Mike Sullivan
    Head of Production: Ed Zazzera
    Executive Producer: Walter Brindak

    Production Company: @radical media
    Director: Dave Meyers
    Executive Producers: Jim Bouvet, Maya Brewster
    Head of Production: Frank Dituri
    Line Producer: Angie Revell

    Editorial Company: Fluid
    Editor: John Piccolo
    Assistant Editor: Dan Ratcliff
    Executive Producer: Laura Relovsky

    Postproduction Company: Fluid
    Flame/Online: Wes Waldron

    Color Grading: Co 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

    Mix: Mr. Bronx
    Mixer: Dave Wolfe

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    If you're at all like me, you've probably wondered what Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would look like in meat-sculpture form. Well, now we know. Jack Link's and ad agency Carmichael Lynch commissioned mosaic artist Jason Mecier to serve up portraits of both men created from 50 bags of beef jerky each. Now, why didn't Fox News think of that? This was a big-tent effort, with Jack's entire line—Sweet & Hot, Original Smokehouse, Turkey Jerky—getting in on the act. The president of the United States is referred to as Barack Obameat, while his Republican challenger is Meat Romney. (Jack Link's lucked out, because Beef Gingrich just doesn't have the same ring to it. Jerk Santorum, however, sounds just about right.) Mecier also created a meat mosaic of the brand's Sasquatch mascot, which is "running" against the other two portraits as part of a $5,000 contest. Vote for your favorite on Jack Link's website or Facebook page … waste your whole life, for all I care. Sorry, I'm in a pissy mood because the best meat puns already have been used by other media. HuffPo went with "Hail to the beef." Damn, that's solid. You know, it's a shame Jack Link's had to work with such a limited palette. These are politicians, so it might've been more apropos if they'd been rendered in pork. Or tongue.

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  • 08/23/12--12:09: Ad of the Day: Toyota
  • Do you enjoy alternate-reality films? Do you enjoy dystopian video games? Do you enjoy the hackneyed one-liners often found in alternate-reality films and dystopian video games? Then you'll love Saatchi & Saatchi's spot for the Toyota GT86 sports car—an ad that manages to distill various clichés from The Matrix and a host of Christopher Nolan films into a CGI-illustrated dissertation on reality.

    The CGI star of the spot, directed by Adam Berg, is a guy stuck in a noir-ish world that's "just pixels, pretense and driver assist" (whatever that means) and is clearly not enjoying himself. So, he swings by an unmarked warehouse, filled with vintage hanging lightbulbs and a very unattractive man eating an enormous burger, where he discovers a Toyota GT86 under a drop cloth. This car, he proclaims, is "real."

    To the tune of Edith Piaf's "Je Ne Regrette Rien" (which, by utter coincidence, was also used as the "kick" music in Inception), the CGI dude goes on a joyride around the city, feeling alive. Unfortunately, he tells us, "feeling" is a capital offense, so he flees the cops and ends up on the city's outskirts, where a digitally created wall signals "the end of the world." Except, of course, it's not. The man drives through the barrier and emerges in lush, green, non-CGI reality.

    Pretty high concept for a car commercial. But will the fantasy make a real difference to the model's bottom line?

    Client: Toyota
    Spot: "The Real Deal"

    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
    Executive Creative Directors: Paul Silburn, Kate Stanners
    Copywriter: Rob Potts
    Art Director: Andy Jex
    Planner: Tom Callard
    Producer: Kate O'Mulloy

    Production Company: Stink
    Director: Adam Berg
    Producer: Ben Croker

    Animation, Visual Effects: Digital Domain
    Chief Creative Officer: Ed Ulbrich
    Executive Producer: Scott Gemmell
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Vernon Wilbert
    Visual Effects Producer: John Kokum
    Visual Effects Coordinator: Cody Shelley
    Computer Graphics Supervisor: Ron Herbst
    Previz Artist: Niles Heckman
    On-Set Integration, Tracking: Michael Lori
    Rotoscope: David Wilson
    Character Animators: Greg Breitzman, Anthony Rizzo, Althea Suarez Gata
    Character Rigger, Digital Artist: Tim Petre
    Digital Artists: Bekah Baik, Casey Benn, Dave Carlson, Greg Gangemi, Robert Kim
    Effects Artist: Ken Jones
    Compositors: Scot Hale, Dave Takayama, Ned Wilson, Niles Heckman, Soyoun Lee, Marcel Martins
    Flame, Compositor: Jeff Heusser

    Postproduction: MPC
    Audio Postproduction: Wave
    Music: Edith Piaf

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    This week, a headless pair of breasts sought to sell scents, we saw a final spot from the late Tony Scott, and The Sun found a way to shine.

    Many of the hundreds of TV commercials aired each day are just blips on the radar, having little impact on American consumers constantly bombarded by advertising messages.

    These aren't those commercials. 

    Adweek and AdFreak have brought together the most innovative and well-executed spots of the week, commercials that will make you laugh, smile, cry, think—and maybe buy. 

    Video Gallery: Top 10 Commercials of the Week

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    Kiefer Sutherland gives a fun performance, reviving his Jack Bauer persona from 24, as he bakes cupcakes in this 90-second spot punctuated by car chases, explosions, the actor's trademark intense gravelly line delivery and … butter-cream frosting. Mother in London created the cinema and online effort, which touts Acer's Aspire 35 Ultrabook and, according to the client, marks the first in a series showing celebrities using the super-slim laptop to indulge their hidden passions. (Get Aaron Paul, bitches!) Though tasty, this initial serving with Kiefer—a brand-friendly actor last seen pining for a lost love in Axe's "Susan Glenn" spot—seems a tad undercooked in terms of brand ID. Agency and client might want to add a pinch more product info for subsequent batches.

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    Here's the frontrunner for 2012's most inane election-themed ad brought to you by a brand that has nothing to do with politics. If Democrats and Republicans would just share a bag of tortilla chips, then everybody would get along. Nothing makes us hungrier for an actual concept than a half-baked pun slathered in canned cheese.

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  • 08/27/12--10:30: Ad of the Day: Virgin Mobile
  • Want to upgrade to a snazzy new Virgin Mobile phone? First, you'll have to creatively dispose of your old one.

    This enjoyable new spot from Mother in New York shows scene after scene of people "accidentally" dropping, crushing, submerging, nuking, forgetting and otherwise getting rid of their old phones—though these are "happy accidents" (which is the title of the spot), orchestrated with a smirk by their perpetrators. The gag should get old after a while, but the pacing, as well as the setting and casting of each scene, keeps it hilarious fresh for the whole 60 seconds. The actors' faux horror never fails to amuse—whether it's the frizzy-haired dude who microwaves his phone instead of a burrito, the biohazard guy who drops his into a vat of toxic goo (which has a pink tentacle flapping ominously inside it), or the DIY home improver who nail-guns his to the ceiling. The disclaimers humorously keep pace with the action, too, beginning with the simple "Do not attempt" before moving on to "Please do not attempt," "Seriously, do not attempt," "We're not kidding. Do not attempt," "Don't attempt this either" and "Do not attempt any of this stuff."

    Should you attempt to switch carriers, though? Well, it takes more than losing/destroying your existing phone to get out of your contract. If you are willing to pay the fee to break the contact, then your old phone will indeed be happily disposable. Otherwise, you might want to wait a few months until you're in the clear.

    A recent eBay ad worked off a similar conceit as this one. But Virgin won't be sweating that. Fact is, this spot—presumably like the phones it promotes—is better anyway.

    Client: Virgin Mobile
    Agency: Mother, New York
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Guy Shelmerdine
    Director of Photography: Joost Van Gelder
    Chief Operating Officer: Lisa Rich
    Executive Producers: Brian Carmody, Allison Kunzman, Laura Thoel
    Producer: Drew Santarsiero
    Postproduction: Final Cut Editorial
    Editor: Matt Murphy
    Assistant Editor: Jacob Kuehl
    Executive Producer: Saima Awan
    Senior Producer: Suzy Ramirez
    Smoke Artist: Ernie Camacho
    Colorist: Stephan Sparkle
    Production Designer: Tom Hartman


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