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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Canadian ad agency Lowe Roche and its Toronto car client Pfaff Auto, last seen orchestrating a sneaky/cool direct mail piece for Porsche, are back with another buzzy project. This time, it's a virtual race for a real Audi A4. Contestants can sign up for the race at PfaffTweetRace.com. The first 10 contestants to add 2,500 new Twitter followers will each win a key. One of those keys will unlock the door to the 2013 Audi—the winner gets a year's free lease on the car and a tuning package worth $5,000, courtesy of Pfaff Auto. The 10 key holders will be invited to a gala event at Pfaff Auto, where the winner of the new car will be revealed. "We wanted to engage true car enthusiasts with a contest that was fun and challenging, with a premium prize, in keeping with both our target and the dealership itself," says Sean Ohlenkamp, digital creative director at Lowe Roche. "The simplicity of Twitter as a social media channel appealed to us. We knew we could make the platform work in an interesting way, and increase Pfaff's digital presence at the same time." If you're interested, you'd better hurry. The race began this morning at 8 a.m. EST. But don't worry—the current leader appears to have added just two new followers. (Oh, and it's open only to Ontario residents 25 and over.) Posters and credits after the jump.


    Client: Pfaff Auto, Toronto
    Campaign: Pfaff Tweet Race
    Agency: Lowe Roche, Toronto
    Creative Directors: Dave Douglass, Pete Breton
    Digital Creative Director: Sean Ohlenkamp
    Art Director: J.P. Gravina
    Copywriter: Simon Craig
    Producer: Kevin Quan
    Account Director: Dave Carey
    Account Coordinator: Leo Maia
    Technical Lead: Tyler Beggs
    Developers: Stephen Hobson, Matthew Gates, Michael McLeod

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    Fashion's not my thing. I own two pairs of pants, both tan corduroys. And I'm hopeless when it comes to Spot the Difference games. As a kid, I'd squint at the image on the left, then the one on the right, perspiration stinging my eyes as I searched for minor variations. I'd always miss some ridiculous detail, like one cow having no udders, or all the people in one picture having two heads. Anyhoo, Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama have joined forces for a new fashion collection, and they're promoting it in window displays and a pop-up store at London's Selfridges with a variation on Spot the Difference. Blogger Bip Ling stars in two 60-second clips draped in Kusama's polka-dot Vuitton fashions while prancing around an artsy set, as bad poetry (also by Kusama) plays on the soundtrack. It's a sendup of the pretentious world of style, I guess. If you can spot five discrepancies between the clips, submit them to @LouisVuitton_UK (with the hashtag #LVKusama) by Sept. 7. to win a copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Kusama. Because who wouldn't want one of those, right? After two visits from IT and an assist from AdFreak's summer intern, I managed to get both videos playing in different windows at the same time. Lemme see … Left, right, left, right … Sorry, I tried. To me, they look identical, each as cloying and insufferably tiresome as the other. Second clip, and campaign credits, after the jump.

    Production Company: White Lodge
    Concept, Director: Ehsan Bhatti
    Executive Producer: Stephen Whelan
    Producer: Louise Gagen
    Production Design: Mikey Hollywood
    Styling: Bay Garnett
    Hair, Makeup: Katy Nixon
    Model: Bip Ling

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  • 08/28/12--11:36: Ad of the Day: Geico
  • The lyrics to Eddie Money's 1977 song "Two Tickets to Paradise" sound a lot like a promo for a Club Med sweepstakes. But it's car-insurance brand Geico that dug up the croon-rocker to star in a new spot, part of a cheeky campaign from The Martin Agency meant to illustrate just how gleeful its rates will make you.

    The premise: Money would be happiest running a travel agency, where he could, you know, constantly give out tickets to paradise. You could be even happier than that, thanks to the extra money you'll save by switching to Geico car insurance. The reality: Money nails the washed-up bit perhaps too well, with a crazy-eyed, hoarse-voiced performance that stage-whispers buried sadness as much as it screams joy. Strip away the hey-remember-that-guy joke, and it's just a clever one-liner. Money's character in the ad doesn't really want to be a travel agent. He wants you to sit down and shut up while he sings about taking you (or maybe just his hair) on a romantic island getaway.

    Earlier spots in the series do a better job of hitting the right tenor. A bodybuilder wears an unimpeachable grin (and not much else) while directing traffic—a funny and insightful visual gag—and old-timey comedian Gallagher gets credibly giddy while doing his trademark watermelon-smashing thing at a farmer's market. A fourth spot goes a more fantastical route, with an amusing but not quite laugh-out-loud scene imagining Christopher Columbus's cackling reaction to modern nautical technology.

    That, along with the other spots, honors Geico's longtime and hard-to-contest position that people like saving money—and quirky, chuckle-worthy ads.

    Client: Geico
    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

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    Terry Crews, the somewhat lesser known but infinitely louder and more muscle-y Old Spice guy, is back with a raucous new project for the men's care brand—Old Spice Muscle Music. In the Vimeo video below, Terry's muscles are all hooked up to musical devices—snare drums, bass drums, tom-toms, tambourines, guitar, bike horn, woodblock, even a "flame sax" set of three saxophones. When he flexes each muscle, an instrument plays—flex them all furiously, and you get a symphony of muscle-y sound. The video is just one piece—when it finishes, you can use your keyboard to play, and even record, some special Muscle Music of your own. The campaign is a collaboration between Old Spice, Wieden + Kennedy, director Tom Kuntz of MJZ, editing house Mackenzie Cutler, effects specialists The Mill and Vimeo. Credits after the jump.

    Old Spice
    Project: Old Spice Muscle Music

    Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Jason Bagley, Craig Allen
    Interactive Creative Director: Matt O’Rourke
    Copywriter: Andy Laugenour
    Art Director: Max Stinson
    Director of Interactive Production: Pierre Wendling
    Senior Interactive Producer: Mike Davidson
    Account Supervisor: Jordan Muse
    Director of Broadcast Production: Ben Grylewicz
    Audio Engineer: Charlie Keating
    User Experience Designer: Jake Doran
    Creative Tech Lead: Billy McDermott
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
    Media Team: Kelly Muller, Kerry Antos, Lisa Feldman

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    Line Producer: Suza Horvat
    Executive Producer: Scott Howard
    Director of Photography: Chris Soos
    Production Designer: Andrew Reznik

    Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler
    Editor: Erik Laroi
    Assistant Editor: Brendan Hogan
    Producer: Tatiana Vasquez

    Visual Effects Company: The Mill
    Visual Effects Supervisors: Phil Crowe, Nick Tayler
    Flame Artists: Tara Demarco, Chris Knight, Sarah Eim, Gareth Parr, Billy Higgins, Glynn Tebbutt
    Visual Effects Producer: Ari Davis
    2-D Lead: Nick Tayler

    Composer, Sound Design: Daedelus

    Media Partner: Vimeo
    Vice President, Creative Director: Blake Whitman
    Production Lead: Abby Morgan
    Development Lead: Ryan Hefner
    Development Partner: Wildlife

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    After the fake Mentos commercial we enjoyed yesterday, it's time for the real thing—a new print campaign by The Martin Agency for Mentos Pure Fresh gum. Four new ads have been produced for specific magazines, with their content mirroring that of the publications—with Mentos inserting itself into the otherwise unsavory situations and making the product pitch. "Look, we have gum!" the ads cry. (They "spotlight the juxtaposition between the innocent quirkiness of Mentos and the not-so-innocent content of the ads," the agency tells us.) The ad above will run in Maxim. Three more ads are posted after the jump. "Wardrobe Malfunction" and "Pants" will run in InTouch, People and Us Weekly, while "Streaker" will appear in ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated. Credits also posted after the jump.


    Client: Mentos
    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
    Executive Creative Director: Joe Alexander
    Creative Director, Copywriter: Mike Lear
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Dustin Artz
    Senior Art Producer: Cindy Hicks
    Executive Print Producer:  Jenny Schoenherr
    Senior Strategic Planner: Kevin Rothermel
    Senior Account Executive: Stephanie Shaw
    Account Executive: Beau Brown
    Photographer: Todd Wright
    Talent: modelogic [Wilhelmina]
    Creative Imaging: Alice Blue

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  • 08/29/12--10:44: Ad of the Day: Google
  • "The playground is open," says Google, and the Nexus 7 is just the toy for kids who want to spend the day outside, presumably sitting by the spiderweb-encrusted jungle gyms and monkey bars, staring unblinkingly at their hi-res, 1280-by-800-pixel, Corning-glass screens.

    "Google, how far is Earth to the moon?" the adorable little girl in this new Mullen ad asks her tablet. And despite the scrambled diction of the not yet fully verbal child, a soothing female voice answers her exactly, knowing not merely what she has said but what she means.

    Not to be picky, but this little lady is a sight more active than most of the digital-age kids I've met. We have a nephew who throws books across the room because the pictures don't move. If only all kids were like this little spaceship-ready towhead, with her DIY rocket and her instant access to frequently correct Wikipedia explanations of astrophysics.

    Oh, fine, it's a cute ad. Director Frederic Planchon has done a great job keeping things looking a little home-video-ish but still composing every shot beautifully. And who doesn't like Curious George? (Kids with tablet computers, that's who!) The messy fort and the astronaut helmet and the cauliflower clouds over the Nexus 7 food-house are terrific, although the whole thing looks a little like a science project you know for a fact your neighbor's kid did not put together all by herself. (Neil Armstrong's death inadvertently makes the ad more poignant, that's for sure.)

    Google's advertising for this particular product has been intense—it's given the Nexus 7 a homepage ad today, which happens very rarely, and it's far and away the biggest Google.com placement it's ever given one of its products, with the tablet sticking its attractive head up through a slit "cut" in the page.

    Affordable, low-end tablet computers, of course, are not the endgame, even at a company with as much ready cash as Google. With the possible exception of the iPad, many are sold below cost to consumers (I'm including marketing costs here), with the profit coming from the higher-end models (there's an 8GB Nexus 7—that's the $199 version—and a 16GB version, priced higher) that cost roughly the same amount to make but have more processing power.

    Now, here's Werner Herzog reading a different Curious George book.

    Mullen's previous Nexus 7 spot, from July:

    Client: Google
    Brand: Google Nexus 7
    Spot: "Curious"
    Agency: Mullen (San Francisco) + Google
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
    Group Creative Director: Paul Foulkes
    Associate Creative Director/Art: Jeff DaSilva
    Associate Creative Director/Copy: Jon Ruby
    Copywriter: Jamie Rome
    Art Director: Ryan Montgomery
    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
    Executive Producer: Zeke Bowman
    Associate Producer: Vera Skuratovsky
    Content Creator: Emile Doucette
    Strategy: Tara Inskip, Kay Pancheri, Laila Hannallah, Hannah Hewitt
    Production Company: Anonymous
    Director: Frederic Planchon
    Executive Producer: Eric Stern
    Producer: Paul Ure
    DP: Kasper Tuxen / Martin Ruhe
    Editorial: ps260
    Editor: JJ Lask
    Assistant Editors: Ned Borgman / Matt Posey / Colin Reilly
    Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson
    VFX: Brickyard VFX
    Lead VFX Artist: Geoff McAuliffe
    Executive Producer: Kirsten Andersen
    Music: Squeak E. Clean Productions
    Audio Post: Soundtrack
    Sound Design/Mixer: Mike Secher

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    Australian brewer Carlton Draught's long history of stupid-funny advertising continues this week with "Beer Chase," its latest faux-epic spot from Clemenger BBDO. The new :90 is a cops-and-robbers tale that cuts pretty quickly to the chase—although, amusingly, it's one that takes place entirely on foot. (Because what are you going to do, drink and drive?) It's basically the boozer's version of Saturn's famous old "Sheet Metal" spot, backed by an appropriately cheesy '80s anthem. "We used some poetic license with the locations so they would match your expectations of a classic car chase," said Ant Keogh, Clemenger ecd. Carlton Draught's previous hits include a notoriously big ad from 2005 and the slow-motion masterpiece from 2010. Credits after the jump.

    Client: Carlton Draught
    Spot: "Beer Chase"
    Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia
    Creative Chairman: James McGrath
    Executive Creative Director: Ant Keogh
    Copywriter: Richard Williams
    Art Director: Anthony Phillips
    Executive Producer: Sonia von Bibra
    Production Company: The Sweet Shop
    Director: Steve Ayson
    Production Company Executive Producer: Wilf Sweetland
    Production Company Producer: Cindy Kavanagh
    Cinematographer: Greig Fraser
    Production Designer: Robbie Freed
    Offline Editor: Jack Hutchings, The Butchery
    Final Grade: Edel Rafferty, Method
    Online Editor: Nicholas Ponzoni, Fin Design & Effects
    Sound Design, Music Arrangers: Byron Scullin, Cornel Wilczek
    Music Supervision: Karl Richter, Level Two Music
    Music Track: Thunder in Your Heart
    Planning Director: Michael Derepas
    Planner: Sam Mackisack
    Managing Partner: Paul McMillan
    Account Director: Nick Cohen
    Account Manager: Brendan Taylor

    Carlton Draught
    Chief Marketing Officer: Andy Gibson
    General Manager of Marketing: Andrew Meldrum
    Senior Brand Manager: Alastair McCausland
    Assistant Brand Managers: Kirt Daunt, Laura King

    Media Agency: Mediacom
    Group Director, Client Communications Planning: Shaun Briggs
    Director, Client Communication Planning: Brett Elliot
    Client Communication Planner: Michael Bradley


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    New Zealand, also known as "the Canada of Australia," is famous for a few specific things: sheep, Sauvignon Blanc and as of the last decade, The Lord of the Rings. This year, the first installment of yet another Tolkien book-turned-film, The Hobbit, hits theaters, and New Zealand isn't letting the opportunity to eke out a bit more Middle Earth-inspired tourism go to waste.

    Despite its title, "100% Middle-earth," the campaign doesn't just appeal to the ComicCon crowd. In fact, it's not especially Tolkien-esque at all, save for a brief tour of New Zealand's famous Hobbit holes. Rather, the new 60-second spot—from Whybin\TBWA and Curious director Darryl Ward, and narrated by Sir Ian Holm himself (aka, Bilbo Baggins)—attempts to highlight the country's most "magical" aspects. These include the "four-legged creatures that swim," "wizards that turn water into wine" and "metal hawks that soar." Sounds much more enticing than "horses," "vintners" and "helicopters," doesn't it? (The spot is also running in an extended version online that clocks in at more than two minutes.)

    So, even if you're more into fine wines and sandy beaches than Gollum and Gandalf, you'll probably find something to enjoy in New Zealand. And if you're one of those die-hard fans who can't wait to see Bilbo hit the big screen this December, go ahead and imagine that those mountain statues are really "protected by gods."

    Client: Tourism New Zealand
    Agency: Whybin\TBWA, Sydney and Auckland
    Executive Creative Director: Andy Blood
    Executive Creative Directors: Matty Burton, Dave Bowman (TBWA, Sydney)
    Creative Director: Craig Farndale
    Digital Creative Director: Ross Howard
    Copywriters: Ryan Price, Lucy Morgan, Andy Blood, Tammy Keegan
    Art Directors: Cece Chu, Craig Brooks, Andy Blood
    Designer: Chris Lewis
    Head of Strategy: Hristos Varouhas (TBWA, Sydney)
    Senior Planner: Julie McIver
    Agency Producer: Jackie Clark
    Group Head: Natasja Barclay
    Account Director: Mandy Eckford
    Senior Account Manager: Julia McKee
    Account Executive: Lynlee Smith

    TBWA\Digital Arts Network for newzealand.com website:
    Creative Director: Mark Zeman
    Account Director: Stephanie Creasy
    Project Manager: Louise Leitch
    Senior Designer: Jonathan Mead
    Production Specialists: Andrew Zen, Nigel McHardy
    Developers: Sam Kwan, Patrick Li

    Production Company: Curious
    Director: Darryl Ward
    Film Company Producer: Andy Mauger
    Film Company Executive Producer: Matt Noonan
    Directors of Photography: Lachlan Milne, Darryl Ward
    Editor: Tim Mauger
    Music Composer, Producer: Dave Whitehead, White Noise Ltd.
    Music Engineer, Producer: Mike Gibson, Munki Studios
    Audio Post: Digital Post & Factory Studios
    Audio Engineer: Clive Broughton
    Re-Recording Mixer, Cinema Versions: Mike Hedges, Park Road Post
    Colorist: Pete Richie, Toybox
    Online: Nigel Mortimer, Curious

    Still Photography: Fraser Clements, Match Photography

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    The attack of the 40-foot hamsters has worked really well for Kia, with the automaker now regularly picking the big screen as the place to debut new ads for the Soul "urban passenger vehicle." This weekend, moviegoers at AMC, Regal and other major multiplexes will get the first peek, before TV viewers do, as Kia's affable rodents time-travel to an 18th century opera house and proceed to get busy. They rock the audience of white-wigged Amadeus extras with some remixed electronica and a dance show. The music in this ongoing campaign, via David&Goliath, is nearly as important and memorable as the pudgy anthropomorphic stars. In this case, it's an Axwell remix of "In My Mind" that sets up an epic hamster stage dive and gets the aristocracy's rumps shaking. (Weren't those guys into the minuet?) Anyway, it's furry good fun. Credits below.

    Client: Kia Soul
    Spot: "Bringing Down the House"

    Agency: David & Goliath
    Chief Creative Officer: David Angelo
    Executive Creative Director: Colin Jeffery
    Senior Copywriter: Greg Buri
    Senior Art Director: Basil Cowieson
    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
    Director of Strategic Planning: David Measer
    Strategic Planner: Steven Garcia

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Carl Erik Rinsch
    Director of Photography: John Mathieson
    Executive Producer: Kate Leahy
    Producer: Margo Mars
    Choreographer: Natricia Bernard
    Production Design: Petr Kunc
    Costume Design: Rebecca Hale
    Hair, Wig, Makeup Design: Kirstin Chalmers

    Editorial: Cut+Run
    Editor: Steve Gandolfi
    Managing Director: Michelle Burke
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
    Producer: Christie Price

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

    Postproduction: Method
    Executive Producer: Stephanie Gilgar
    Producer: Mike Wigart
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Andy Boyd
    Visual Effects Coordinator: Marisa Bursteen
    Compositing Supervisor, Flame Lead: Patrick Ferguson
    Lighting Lead: Brian Burke
    Tracking Supervisor: Fabio Zapata
    Matchmove Supervisor: Lauren Rogers
    Animation: Chris Perkowitz, Matt Hackett, Will Kistler

    Music, Sound Design: Musikvergnuegen
    Audio Mix: Lime
    Mixer: Loren Silber
    Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

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    Using a T-shirt to access the Internet sounds pretty far out to me. C'mon, that's as unlikely as being able to (what's the cool word all the kids use?) surf the Web on a cellular phone or some sort of portable tablet-like device. But the prototype of an Internet-enabled, 100 percent cotton T-shirt does exist, complete with a 1024-pixel LED screen, a headphone jack to share songs from iTunes and a tiny digital camera. London fashion house CuteCircuit, which specializes in futuristic (what's that hip word I'm hearing everywhere?) threads, handled the shirt design as part of the "Leave an Impression" campaign for Ballantine's whisky. In clips produced by Work Club, tshirtOS is touted as the logical digital extension of the classic tee, which is itself described as "the original canvas for personal expression." (That's so true! I've worn only "Keep on Truckin" shirts since '79.) The launch video has almost 500,000 YouTube views in a month, but the follow-up, called "T-Shirt of the Future," with more than 1.3 million views, is the real gem. It follows the sublimely silly, somewhat surreal adventures of two dweebs who take tshirtOS out for a night on the town. It plays like a retro-cyber mashup of Weird Science, Max Headroom and The Young Ones, '80s references I'm sure are instantly familiar to all. (Anthony Michael Hall deserved an Oscar. He was robbed!) Will such a fantastical shirt ever be mass produced? If it is, I'll take an XXL—which isn't my size but my bandwidth preference.

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    This week, a tablet computer became a child's playground, Eddie Money went from rock 'n' roll to bittersweet, and Jack Bauer executed some moves in the kitchen (presumably after saving the president).

    Many of the hundreds of TV commercials aired each day are just blips on the radar, having little impact on the psyche of the American consumer, who is 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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  • 08/31/12--08:12: Ad of the Day: Sony Xperia
  • We've written before about how technology marketers like to use conspicuously analog props in their advertising, to give the virtual experiences they're selling more of a tangible reality. Google is the best example of this. But Sony has been doing this quite nicely, as well—most notably in last spring's global stop-motion Xperia spot directed by Wes Anderson.

    Now, McCann Worldgroup is back with another tactile, homemade effort for the Xperia tablet. The 60-second spot, called "Frames," is breaking now in global markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Shot all in one take by Partizan director Augustus Punch, it features a long camera pullback through what's clearly a warehouse, back through three giant tablet frames that function as stages for the action. The three frames represent the different experiences that the Xperia offers—surfing the Internet, playing games and watching videos. Actors perform little scenes in each one: A guy takes a photo of a dancer and posts it on Facebook; ninjas play a fruit-slashing game (Fruit Ninja is an actual game, it turns out); and most notably, a '60s astronaut saves a woman from a B-movie monster, as a glowing spaceship descends.

    The spot certainly maintains the playful vibe of the Anderson ad, and if it's a bit less on the magical side, it likewise doesn't just relate but embodies the notion of technology meeting imagination. The downside of these kinds of spots is that the viewer first has to figure out what's going on, and then how the metaphor relates to the product. This two-step process is more work than a simple product demo would be—see Apple's early iPhone and iPad work for tech advertising that's heavily skewed toward the latter. But there's a richness in the homemade approach that holds up on repeat viewings, and there's something to be said for somewhat more theatrical ad treatments in the tech space.

    The tagline casts the Xperia as "a place for your imagination to play." It's a product that lets the agency play, too.

    Client: Sony Xperia
    Spot: "Frames"

    Agency: McCann Worldgroup
    Co-Chief Creative Officers: Tom Murphy, Sean Bryan
    Vice President, Group Creative Director: Mat Bisher
    Vice President, Senior Art Director: Vi Luong 
    Associate Creative Director: Colin Ilsley
    Senior Broadcast Producer: Minnie Tran
    Vice President, Senior Art Producer: Wendy Leahy
    Business Manager: Ken Krausgill
    Vice President, Business Partner: Lauren LaValle
    Account Supervisor: Michael Tsang

    Production Company: Partizan
    Director: Augustus Punch
    Editing: Fluid
    Visual Effects: Framestore
    Senior Vice President, Executive Music Producer: Peter Gannon
    Music: Kishi Bashi
    Sound Design: Joseph Fraioli
    Sound Mix: David Wolfe
    Editor: John Piccolo
    Visual Effects Artist: Tom Leckie

    Photographer: Hugh Kretschmer
    Retouching: Gloss Postproduction

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    Dodge might not actually be able to travel a thousand years into the future to harness the best technology for its cars, as it pretends to do in this new Dart spot from Wieden + Kennedy. But it is able to achieve something that's somewhat magical in its own right—making a 30-second commercial feel like a :60. A handful of ad campaigns every year find a fresh structure that helps the message really stand out—DirecTV is one this year, and this Dart campaign is another. You would think the rapid-fire visuals and hurried voiceover might be off-putting in a TV landscape that's already busy enough. But the whole thing is witty and playful enough to be consistently entertaining. Plus, it's good to see, in the brief glimpse we are given into the future, that Chuck Norris wasn't right about his thousand years of darkness. (Of course, that could mean Romney wins, which you may or may not find comforting.) See the previous :90, plus full credits for the new spot, after the jump.

    Client: Dodge
    Spot: "How To Make the Most Hi-Tech Car"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Aaron Allen / Joe Staples / Michael Tabtabai
    Copywriter: Matt Rivitz / Justine Armour /Jared Elms
    Art Director: Tyler Magnussen / Devin Gillespie
    Executive Producer: Corey Bartha
    Production Assistant: Kirsten Acheson
    Account Team: Thomas Harvey / Lani Reichenbach / Corey Woodson
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman
    Agency Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Christopher Riggert
    Executive Producer: Holly Vega
    Line Producer: Youree Henley
    Director of Photography: Greig Fraser

    Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
    Editor: Kyle Valenta
    Post Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer / Jennifer Giannettoni
    Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

    VFX Company: Method Studios
    VFX Supervisor: Ben Walsh
    Flame Artist: Claus Hansen / Cary Welton / Thomas Downs
    VFX Producer: Ananda Reavis
    Executive Producer: Robert Owens

    Music+Sound Company: Stimmung
    Sound Designer: Gus Koven
    Song (if applicable): “No Church in the Wild” by Jay-Z/Kanye West
    Producer: Ceinwyn Clark

    Mix Company: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
    Producer: Jessica Locke

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    Tom Brady and UGG were always a perfect match, if only because people always muttered the brand name, inadvertently, when they heard he was endorsing it. Still, the pairing doesn't seem as weird as it once did, in the wake of the passable 60-second spot from last year, which was interestingly shot. Now, M&C Saatchi in Los Angeles is back with a new 60-second Brady commercial. In it, the New England Patriots quarterback makes playing football look like nothing—literally so, as he throws an invisible ball around with a kid in an airport. This is one of those ads where you're not really sure what's going on. Is it supposed to be the kid's daydream? If so, that could be made clearer. It's timely, though, given the recent rise of Invisible Obama. (Plus, Brady has been winning a lot of imaginary Super Bowl rings lately.) The agency tells us the kid was a huge Brady fan, but didn't know his idol would be in the ad, so that's cool. After the jump, check out the accompanying print ad, a behind-the-scenes video from the TV set, and a time-lapse video of a giant Brady wall going up at 34th Street and 8th Avenue in New York.

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    Following a pretty disastrous campaign starring Ashton Kutcher, which was sunk by complaints of racism, Popchips is back with one of the more inoffensive endorsers around: Katy Perry. In four new print ads, she makes a fake-boobs joke, pretends to be a vampire, and generally hams it up in the most bubblegummy way possible. The campaign is by Zambezi in Los Angeles, which apparently dodged responsibility for the Kutcher spots. Three more ads, plus credits, after the jump.


    Client: Popchips
    Agency: Zambezi, Los Angeles
    Founder, Executive Creative Director: Brian Ford
    Creative Director: Kevin Buth
    Associate Creative Director: Madeleine Grandbois
    Photographer: Arthur Belebeau
    Chief Executive Officer, Popchips: Keith Belling
    Senior Vice President, Marketing, Popchips: Brian Pope

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    Taylor Swift and Kanye West, whose fracas at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards remains one of the most pathetic incidents in TV history, are reuniting at the 2012 VMAs, which take place tonight—at least in the promotional department. Swift and West are two of five acts anchoring the network's 30-second promos for the show. Postproduction studio Click 3X, led by creative director Mark Szumski, worked with MTV on the spots. "MTV asked the artists to collaborate on the promos specifically in the selection of the imagery," says Szumski. "Once the artists narrowed down what they liked, it was up to Click 3X to then create original content for the holographic mandalas around their heads." Swift and West may not get a chance to reprise their animosity tonight, however—as the rumor is that West has pulled out to be with his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, at some perfume promotion in New York.

    Three more spots, and credits, below.

    Client: MTV
    Director: Micah Perta
    Senior Design Director: Thomas Berger
    Copywriter: Paul Wig
    Producer: Kris Walter

    Postproduction: Click 3X
    Executive Producer: Rob Meyers
    Creative Director: Mark Szumski
    Senior Art Director: Miguel Hernandez
    Editor: Jeremy Baumann
    Senior Animator: Kuni Chang
    Animators: Matt St. Ledger, Adam Yost
    Flame Assistant: Liz Berdt

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    The Grim Reaper is always a solid standby in advertising, and now he gets auto-pomorphized in this new Prestone campaign from The Richards Group in Dallas. In the new spot, the Reaper is an imposing black tow truck, biding his time in his rat-infested hovel for the next stalled engine or ice-covered windshield. Prestone products, the ad says, help drivers cheat the death of their cars by keeping them running in top condition. "The Reaper is humorous, fun work that shines a light on Prestone as the hero of the auto industry," says Chuck Schiller, brand creative at Richards. "It's incredibly relatable to today's consumers and the real threats they face on the road. We're excited to help solidify Prestone's reputation as the leading antifreeze/coolant."

    Credits below.

    Client: Prestone
    Spot: "The Reaper"
    Agency: The Richards Group
    Chief Creative Officer: Stan Richards
    Group Creative Director: Chuck Schiller
    Art Director: Benji Vega
    Copywriter: Andria Kushan
    Agency Producer: Peggy Moore
    Production Company: Recommended Media
    Director: Henry Hobson

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    Regular viewers of ESPN know John Clayton as a brainiac NFL analyst. In fact, he's a disgusting slacker who never left home. It's amazing what you learn from the "This Is SportsCenter" ads. The spot, which is being hailed as perhaps the best commercial ever by YouTube viewers—i.e., disgusting slackers who actually do live at home—was done by Wieden + Kennedy in New York.
         UPDATE: "This spot gives viewers a chance to peek behind the curtain," Clayton says in a statement. "I'm glad we're finally able to end the speculation and focus on what looks to be a fantastic NFL season." The ad will make its TV debut this Monday during ESPN's Monday Night Football double-header season opener.

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  • 09/06/12--12:24: Ad of the Day: Honda
  • Whether it was a rusty old clunker or a shiny new convertible, everyone has a special place in their heart for their first car. (I'm still convinced that Saab is the greatest automaker in existence, bankruptcy be damned.) Now, Honda, not a particularly nostalgia-inducing name in the automobile world, is trying to tap into that "first car" sentiment by taking us back through the brand's history.

    In addition to a Facebook page, Pinterest board and hashtag encouraging people to get wistful about their #FirstHonda, the company has produced the spot below from ad agency RPA, which tells the heartwarming story of one particularly Honda-obsessed man: California resident Tim Mings. His first car was a Honda N600, the first model the company produced for the U.S. market. His love of that funny-looking little vehicle led to a hobby, and eventually a career, restoring old N600s. His crowning achievement as a Honda aficionado came when he located and purchased N600 serial No. 1—the very first Honda imported into the U.S. in 1969.

    Listening to Mings wax poetic about the N600, like other car geeks would about an old Chevy or Ford, somehow makes the brand seem a little less foreign and a little more warm and fuzzy. And while the generic-looking, modern-day Honda line probably won't make anyone say "awww," you can't deny the 1969 N600 was pretty damn cute.

    But who knows. Someday, you might be getting teary-eyed about your 2010 Civic.

    Client: Honda
    Agency: RPA, Santa Monica, Calif.
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    Vice President, Creative Social Media Director: J. Barbush
    Vice President, Associate Creative Director, Art: Luis Ramirez
    Social Media Writer: Jenaca Holmes
    Intern: Randall Head
    Agency Executive Producer: Gary Paticoff
    Agency Senior Producer: Mark Tripp

    Director: Mark Tripp
    Director of Photography: Stephen Carmona

    Editorial: Butcher
    Editor: Teddy Gersten
    Executive Producer: Rob Van
    Color: Zac Dych

    Music: Beacon Street Studios
    Mixer: Paul Hurtubise

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    It can be difficult for brands to know how—and how often—to respond to people on Twitter. Some limit their interactions to pressing customer-service needs. Others reply enthusiastically (if sporadically) to praise, while ignoring criticism. Some don't bother replying at all. Australian brewer Carlton Draught seems to have come up with a pretty sound, if somewhat daunting, position on the matter for its @CarltonDraught account: Respond to absolutely everyone, and try to be as friendly and personal as possible about it. This is a decent strategy that the brand seems to have followed for more than a year. But it's gotten tougher of late, as the @ mentions have been pouring in following the YouTube success of the brand's epic new "Beer Chase" commercial below (which some are calling the best beer ad of the year, if not the decade). Things have slowed down since last week, but in the first few days, the brand responded to literally hundreds of messages per day, almost always personalizing it with some sort of quip, and frequently signing off with an amiable "Cheers." This surely goes over well with its target, but is it worth the effort—particularly as the volume becomes unmanagable? How do your brands handle @ replies?


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