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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Steely-eyed, crossbow-wielding Daryl Dixon never loses his cool in a zombie attack, but the actor who plays him, Norman Reedus? He might just jump out of his skin if set upon by the undead. The Walking Dead star got an unexpected visit from a superfan, transformed into a brain-eating monster by the show's special effects guru Greg Nicotero, during a promo tour for the mega-hit AMC TV series. He reacted in a very un-Daryl-like way.

    See the video below, which joyfully (for us) and embarrassingly (for Reedus) replays his jump/yelp in slow motion. Walking Dead fan Nick Santonastasso, 17, has pulled this prank before on unsuspecting grocery shoppers, who defended themselves with bulk paper towels and party supplies. Reedus had only his endearing personality to shield him.

    AMC, meanwhile, has just released the newest trailer for the Feb. 9 return of the zombiepocalypse drama. (See that below as well.) The prison is lost, the survivors are scattered and on the move, and everybody, it seems, is losing it. Reedus can relate.

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    Next time you're caught driving in a winter storm, Nissan Canada wants you to be grateful you're only dealing with the natural elements and not a supernatural mob of malicious snowmen who are hell bent on destroying everything around them.

    Unless you're driving a Nissan Rogue, in which case be happy knowing that if the evil snowmen do magically appear, you can use your all-wheel drive to plow through them like you're playing a less twisted version of Carmageddon, and save all the poor rubes driving other makes and models by letting them pile into the back of your roomy interior.

    The creatures in this new spot, from TBWA Toronto, may happily remind Calvin and Hobbes fans of The Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons. More generally, it's a neat, fresh way for Nissan to dramatize the product's suitability for harsh weather conditions—full of entertaining moments like the angry snowmen beating the crap out of a snow blower with snow shovels, and the perfectly creepy head cock one offers right before getting pancaked.

    Now all we want to know is where we can get one to keep as a pet.

    Credits below.

    Client: Nissan Canada
    Agency: TBWA, Toronto
    Executive Creative Director: Allen Oke
    Creative Director: Rodger Eyre
    Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Susie Lee
    Writer: Jonah Flynn
    Head of Broadcast: Nadya Macneil
    Production House: Sons and Daughters
    Director: Mark Zibert
    DP: Chris Soos
    Executive Producer: Liane Thomas
    Line Producer: Neil Bartley
    Editing: Poster Boy
    Executive Producer: Michelle Rich
    Editor: Mark Paiva
    Assistant: Johnny Okkerse
    Transfer: Alter Ego
    Colourist : Wade Odlum
    Effects: Legacy Effects, LA
    Effects Technicians: Shane Mahan/Mark Killingsworth
    Post Production: The Mill, New York
    Producer: Jeremy Moore
    Compositing Lead/VFX Supervisor: Kyle Cody
    CG Lead: Jeff Dates
    VFX Supervisor: Andreas Berner
    Executive Producer: Melanie Wickham
    Audio House: Eggplant, Toronto
    Head of Production: Nicola Treadgold
    Director: Adam Damelin
    Engineer: Nathan Handy

    Client: Nissan Canada
    Agency: TBWA, Toronto
    Executive Creative Director: Allen Oke
    Creative Director: Rodger Eyre
    Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Susie Lee
    Writer: Jonah Flynn
    Head of Broadcast: Nadya Macneil
    Production House: Sons and Daughters
    Director: Mark Zibert
    DP: Chris Soos
    Executive Producer: Liane Thomas
    Line Producer: Neil Bartley
    Editing: Poster Boy
    Executive Producer: Michelle Rich
    Editor: Mark Paiva
    Assistant: Johnny Okkerse
    Transfer: Alter Ego
    Colourist : Wade Odlum
    Effects: Legacy Effects, LA
    Effects Technicians: Shane Mahan/Mark Killingsworth
    Post Production: The Mill, New York
    Producer: Jeremy Moore
    Compositing Lead/VFX Supervisor: Kyle Cody
    CG Lead: Jeff Dates
    VFX Supervisor: Andreas Berner
    Executive Producer: Melanie Wickham
    Audio House: Eggplant, Toronto
    Head of Production: Nicola Treadgold
    Director: Adam Damelin
    Engineer: Nathan Handy

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    Here's a feel-good moment from Swiffer. A new ad for the brand stars an interracial family, which deserves some credit, if lamentably, in light of the idiotic controversy around last year's Cheerios ad. But also, Zack Rukavina, the husband and father in the documentary-style spot, also lost an arm to cancer—a fact that is central to the ad's narrative about how the brand makes cleaning easier, and which seems to be earning the P&G-owned brand extra points.

    Zack is also cast as an active participant in the cleaning, unlike Morty Kauffman, the husband in the geriatric Swiffer-endorsing couple from last year, who only does the laundry and leaves the rest to his wife, Lee. In fact, Rukavina even cracks wise about how much better he is at cleaning than his wife, Afi.

    The ad, by Publicis Kaplan Thaler, pulls so many progressive levers at once that it risks feeling contrived or opportunistic, but ultimately ends up coming across as real enough to actually warrant a rare bit of respite from cynicism. Enjoy.

    Via Jezebel.

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    Some folks are finding Barton F. Graf 9000's latest advertising excursion for travel site Kayak.com a less than uplifting experience.

    In the 30-second spot, a middle-aged man commandeers his elderly mother's stairlift for a ride as he pecks away at his laptop, searching for a good hotel. He explains that he can't waste a second doing anything else, including walking up the stairs. Meanwhile, his mother grasps the bannister, gasping for air, as Sonny Boy glides past, bragging about the great deal he's just found.

    "Forcing an elderly woman to struggle up stairs while her son uses her electric stairlift. Do you think this is funny? It's not. It's mean and juvenile," says one viewer on the company's Facebook page. A YouTuber on the opposite side of the argument writes, "For those that are offended: lighten up. It's funny precisely because it is insensitive." (In an odd twist, some commenters have actually praised the spot for raising stairlift awareness.)

    Stirring controversy never gets old for Kayak, whose 2012 brain surgery commercial was banned in the U.K. over perceived insensitivity toward brain surgery patients. Clearly, ads like "Stairlift" and "Brain Surgeon" are designed to be somewhat over the top and elevate Kayak's buzz. Are they mean-spirited or offensive? That's a gray area.

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    What if Patrick Bateman were a hipster? It would look a lot like this brilliant remake of two American Psycho scenes, updated for our decade of obsessive beard cultivation and vintage clothing perfection.

    The nearly six-minute film, complete with hipsters committing murder set to classical music and comparing their pants like they're comparing their cocks, is actually an ad for Denham the Jeanmaker—whose stores are also now serving coffee. Denham is a small, boutique fashion brand focused on mixing denim with "workwear tradition." It's safe to say they're a brand created for the denim enthusiast, the sort of person who is as interested in the creation process behind their pants as they are in wearing them. In fact, their cheapest jeans currently retail for 130 euros, which may be more than I have spent on all the jeans I have purchased in my lifetime.

    Created by Flickering Wall, the parody (aptly titled "Denham Psycho") was created to coincide with the opening of a Denham pop-up store in Berlin, has gone viral by hitting the twin zeitgeist of hipster humor and murderers who love civet coffee. Witness the terrifying brilliance, and fear for vapid, soulless hipsters everywhere.

    Client: Denham the Jeanmaker
    Agency: Flickering Wall
    Directed by Hugo Keijzer
    Produced by Remco den Hartog
    Cinematography by Robbie van Brussel
    Edited by Nils Rensen
    Written by Ben Clark
    Graphics by Ali Kirby
    Costume by Denham

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    When you think of Kansas City, you don't think death-defying, super-fast waterslides. Actually, I'm not sure what you think when you think of Kansas City. But pretty soon you'll think Verrückt, a gigantic waterslide opening soon at the Schlitterbahn water park.

    The Herculean teaser below for the larger-than-life, 17-story coming attraction has the works—the dirt battle field in which the slide was constructed, arial camera shots, dramatic title cards. But what really drives this virtual tour is the sensational score. It almost makes you feel like you're nervously peering over the edge and your best friend sneaks up behind you and gives you a good scare.

    Verrückt—translated from the German, meaning "insane"—opens Memorial Day weekend and is billed as the world's tallest waterslide. It's taller than the Niagara Falls! And indeed, its 17 stories make a mockery of the previous record holder, the Brazilian waterslide Insano—see a naming pattern here?—and its measly 14 stories. (Insano definitely has the better email marketing, however.)

    Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry says Verrückt riders will reach speeds faster than 65 mph. So, you and three friends—it's a four-person ride—can finally embark on the journey of a lifetime. Which will probably last 30 seconds. But hey, if you count the waiting in line and the terrifying climb up all those stairs. You might actually consider it a journey.

    Also check out a parody movie poster for the ride, posted below.

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    Isaiah Mustafa, who recently returned to the Old Spice world in a British campaign, is now fronting a new online initiative for the P&G brand's new body spray. The campaign is built around nine bogus websites that advertise fake, faux-manly products and services—like black leather sheets, spray-tan parties, push-up muscle shirts and more—and Mustafa's comical disdain for all of them, and anyone who would be sucked in by them.

    You can send the sites to friends as a prank (via Twitter, Facebook or email), and when they try to click around, a warning buzzer sounds and Mustafa appears to deliver a good scolding—an "Internetervention"—in his trademark style. A different video plays on each site, and there are all sorts of sight gags and other funny bits.

    Check out the nine sites and accompanying videos below.

    Credits at the bottom of the post. Via The Denver Egotist.


    Client: Old Spice
    Project Name: "Internetervention"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Craig Allen, Jason Bagley
    Interactive Creative Director: Matt O'Rourke
    Copywriter: Andy Laugenour
    Art Directors: Matt Sorrell, Matt Moore, Croix Gagnon
    Executive Interactive Producer: Mike Davidson
    Interactive Producer: Ben Sellon
    Account Team: Liam Doherty, Yaya Zhang, Michael Dalton, Jessica Monsey
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman | Joe Staples
    Director of Broadcast Production: Ben Grylewicz
    Director of Digital Production: Pierre Wendling
    Group Media Director: Kelly Muller
    Associate Media Director: Kerry Antos
    Media: Lisa Feldhusen, AJ Blumenthal
    Technology Lead: Ryan Bowers
    Business Affairs Lead: Cindy Lewellen
    Print Producer: Heather Smith Harvey
    Group Strategy Director: Britton Taylor
    Brand Strategy Director: Anibal Casso
    Digital Strategy Lead: Michael Holz
    Social Strategist: Danny Schotthoefer
    Director of Interactive Strategy: Zach Gallagher

    Digital Production Company: Stinkdigital, New York

    Production Company: Skunk
    Director: Craig Allen

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Geoff Hounsell
    Assistant Editors: Sean Lagrange, Dean Miyahira
    Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Producer: Leslie Carthy

    VFX: Timber
    Creative Directors: Kevin Lau, Jonah Hall
    Producer: Shelby Wong
    Lead Flame Artists: Chris Homel, Matt Lydecker, Jan Cilliers
    Assistant Flame Artists: Eli Beck-Gifford, Austin Hickman-Fain

    Sound Design and Mix: Barking Owl
    Executive Producer: Kelly Bayett
    Engineer: Brock Babcock

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    Cadbury has invented a trench coat that basically dances when you eat the brand's chocolate. Because eating Cadbury chocolate brings euphoria so intense that it makes even your clothes dance, or something. Or mostly because Cadbury wanted to try to grab people's attention with an oddity it hopes will help it sell more candy bars.

    A pair of the so-called "Joy Jackets," created by digital shop Hirsch & Mann for Cadbury PR agency Golin Harris, also play music and puts on a light show. Yes, each jacket's moves are choreographed to its tune. The hem shimmies itself up. The shoulder flaps fan open. The Cadbury-purple collar pops out like peacock feathers before a confetti gun goes off. The cameras built into the jacket reportedly trigger the sequence if you're eating one of two Cadbury candy bars (though a pair of brand integrations featuring a British YouTube duo shows parts of the jacket's tech "responding" to other types of fun, like puppies).

    It's a cool and endearing bit of technology, if perhaps seeming like a little more trouble than it's worth. As branded, wearable computers go, Ballantine's Internet-enabled T-shirt looked like a much better time.

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    IDEA: The Internet of Things—or as Cisco calls it, "the Internet of everything"—is quickly advancing, as seen in the array of magically interconnected devices at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. (Teddy bear that checks your kid's vitals as she sleeps? Check.) But how to dramatize that in a TV spot?

    The ad itself should be magical and interconnected, Cisco reasoned, and offer a glimpse of a near future that, in fact, is almost the present day. "It's here, it's now, it's happening," said Jon Randazzo, creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. "It's not sci-fi anymore. It's upon us."

    The company's new 60-second spot delightfully surveys this new landscape through the story of a near-future family man and his ordinary day—a simple today-meets-tomorrow tale that, like the brave new world it depicts, comes full circle.

    COPYWRITING: A girl at home pours milk for her cat, setting in motion a chain of events that a male voiceover describes in single, nursery rhyme-like sentence (in the style of "This Is the House That Jack Built") that lasts for the whole ad.

    "This is the cat that drank the milk," he begins, "and let in the dog that jumped on the woman who brewed the coffee that woke the man who was late for work and drove the car that found the parking spot that alerted the door that opened the control room that secured the data that directed the turbines that powered the sprinklers that watered the grass that fed the cow that made the milk that went to the store that reminded the man to buy the milk that was poured by the girl who loved the cat that drank the milk."

    Each phrase is its own scene, featuring meow-activated cat flaps, driverless cars and instantly responsive farm-to-fridge supply chains. "One way to show really simply that everything is connected is to tell a story that loops back to itself," said GSP creative director Justin Moore. "You find that kind of narrative structure in children's books. The task for us was to apply it differently—make it less of a fairy tale and more of a relevant, interesting story."

    The narrator closes with: "The Internet of everything is changing everything. Cisco. Tomorrow starts here."

    FILMING/ART DIRECTION: Christopher Riggert shot the spot over five days in New Zealand, where he could achieve a global feel that wasn't too North American or European. All the gadgets featured are on the market or just around the corner (even the self-driving car). The visual look is "futuristic, but with a simple, graphic, warm palette," said Randazzo. "As gray and modern as that home is, it's still human and warm and approachable."

    The theme of connection extends to the camerawork and editing. "Whether it was a dolly move or a push or [the father] floating with the camera itself, it had to feel seamlessly connected to the next shot," he said. "The voiceover, film work, cadence and editing all combine to tell this circular story, without getting tricky."

    TALENT: The main actor, from Sydney, had a dramatic and comedic background. He needed to be "a guy you would like very, very quickly," said Moore. "When you're telling a high-tech story, you need some humanity and fallibility mixed in." The narrator's deep voice lent a gravitas that balanced the spot's childlike conceit.

    SOUND: The score has a playful, lightly bouncy vibe—and is circular as well, returning at the end to where it began. Sound design was crucial, too, to give the sense that all the devices are talking to each other. "We didn't want to be too literal, but we wanted to hear that conversation going on," said Randazzo.

    MEDIA: CNN, Bloomberg and NBA TV throughout January, and online.


    Client: Cisco
    Spot: "Circle Story"

    Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
    Partner: Rich Silverstein
    Creative Director: Jon Randazzo and Justin Moore
    Associate Creative Director: Bee Reynolds and Shane Fleming
    Executive Producer: Hilary Coate
    Group Account Director: John Coyne
    Account Director: Tanin Blumberg
    Account Manager: Kateri McLucas
    Assistant Account Manager: Chelsea Bruzzone
    Project Integration Director: Liz Clark
    Brand and Communication Strategy
    Group Brand Strategy Director: Kelli Robertson
    Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Judy Ybarra

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Christopher Riggert
    Director of Photography: Jeremy Rouse
    Executive Producer: Holly Vega
    Line Producer: Michael Hilliard
    Editing House: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Stewart Reeves
    Assistant Editor: Luke Mclntosh
    Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
    Head of Production: Angela Dorian
    Producer: Alexandra Zickerick

    Visual Effects: A52
    Executive Producer: Jennifer Sofio Hall, Megan Meloth
    Producer: Scott Boyajan
    Lead Flame: Jesse Monsour
    Flame Artists: Mark Alan Loso, Enid Dalkoff, Christel Hazard, Cam Coombs, Steve Wolff
    CG Supervisor: Max Ulichney
    CG Artists: Max Ulichney, Gregg Domain, Caleb Hecht, Joe Chiechi, Tim Donlevy
    Graphic Design: Lisha Tan, Henry DeLeon, Leanne Dare, Lynn Cho, Jon Forsman,
    Graphic Animation: Alan Chen, Sean Garfinkel, Steven Do
    Roto: Tiffany German

    Music House: Quickstrings
    Composer: Jonathan Dreyfus

    Sound Designer: Barking Owl
    Audio Mix: Lime Studios
    Mixer: Rohan Young
    Assistant: Jeff Malen

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    GoDaddy, which this fall promised no more sleazy Super Bowl commercials, still shows plenty of skin in its first ad for this year's game—but it's mostly male, and it's absurdly pumped up.

    The Web-hosting company on Wednesday rolled out one of its two 30-second spots for Super Bowl XLVIII, titled "Bodybuilder." Unlike most of its Super Bowl work since 2005, which was marked by provocation and sexual innuendo, this year's spots are meant to be different in two respects: They focus on what GoDaddy does to help small businesses succeed online; and they show women as smart, successful small-business owners rather than scantily clad sex objects.

    The plot of the new spot is simple: Bodybuilders race through a city, eventually converging on a spray-tan business—whose female proprietor uses GoDaddy to help her "Get found. Get business," as the on-screen copy says. Raising a spray-tan pump as she surveys the crowd outside, the woman utters the tagline: "It's go time."

    The spot also stars longtime GoDaddy spokeswoman Danica Patrick, who plays one of the bodybuilders, thanks to a muscle suit created by Legacy Effects. (Images of a pumped-up Patrick first leaked from the shoot back in December.) This is the racecar driver's 13th GoDaddy Super Bowl ad—she's done more Super Bowl spots than any other celebrity.

    The spot, set to air during the second half of the Feb. 2 game, was created by Deutsch in New York and directed by Bryan Buckley. GoDaddy will have a :30 in the first half as well.

    Credits below.

    Client: GoDaddy
    Spot: "Bodybuilders"

    Agency: Deutsch New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
    Executive Creative Director: Matt McKay
    Associate Creative Director Rich Kolopeaua, Art Direction
    Associate Creative Director: James Cowie, Copywriting
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
    Senior Producer: Crissy Cicco

    Client, Client Contact:
    Vice President – Brand Marketing: Will Sliger

    Production Company: Hungryman
    Director: Bryan Buckley
    Director of Photography: Scott Henrickson
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Producer: Brady Vant Hull

    Editorial Company: Bikini Editorial
    Editor: Avi Oron
    Assistant Editor: Gus Roman
    Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
    Senior Producer: Brad Wood

    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

    Visual Effects Company: Framestore
    Head of Production: Satoko Iinuma
    Senior Producer: Sarah Hiddlestone
    Lead Compositor: Raul Ortego
    Compositor: Corrina Wilson
    Compositor: Sang Joon
    Compositor: Hieu Phan
    Compositor: Mayuko Saito

    Prosthetic Muscle Suit: Legacy Effects

    Music/Licensed Music Tracks: JSM
    Creative Director(s): Joel Simon, Ross Hopman

    Audio Post Company: Sonic Union
    Engineer: Steven Rosen

    Shoot Location: Long Beach, CA

    Additional Deutsch Credits:
    Chief Executive Officer: Val DiFebo, Deutsch NY
    Group Account Director: Jayme Maultasch
    Group Account Director: Tyler Helms
    Account Executive: Matthew Cahn
    Assistant Account Executive: Elissa Mendez-Renk
    Chief Strategic Officer: Brent Vartan
    Group Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Maria Taris
    Senior Manager of Business Affairs: Jaymie Lipman
    Integrated Business Affairs Manager: Joanna Soliszko

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    Honda wants you to know something: This world is not actually as horrible and soul-crushing a place as it appears.

    In a lengthy online anthem titled "Today Is Pretty Great," which launches a new Gen Y-focused campaign for the redesigned Civic Coupe and Si Coupe, the automaker and agency RPA partnered with modern bluesmen Vintage Trouble to create a spot highlighting all the good things happening in a world also beset by conflict and climate change.

    The examples of reasons to hope, however, are a bit of a mixed bag. The spot leans heavily on pop culture and Internet fads, likely in hopes of keeping the message from seeming overly serious. But in the end, selfies, beards, cosplay and screaming goats seem pretty underwhelming compared to some of the spot's more serious optimism boosters, like artificial blood, genetic therapy and metamaterials (which could enable everything from invisibility to next-generation wireless communication).

    "This new Civic campaign connects with a new generation of buyers by prompting them to focus on the positive and consider what they love about today," said Honda's svp of auto operations, Mike Accavitti. "The Civic campaign also introduces a crew of fun pop cultural references that will pique Gen Y's attention across media they frequent."

    To help create a message tailored to millennials, Honda partnered with popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time and Internet meme Nyan Cat, along with some lesser-known content creators like singer-songwriter Laura Maust. (Despite being shown in the clip as a viral sensation who's racked up a million views, Maust actually has less than 20,000 views on her most popular YouTube performance at the moment. Of course, being in a major ad like this might help turn her portrayal into reality.)

    The full campaign, "One More Thing to Love About Today," includes a 30-second TV spot, digital takeovers of popular sites and print ads.

    Perhaps most interesting, Honda is partnering with Spotify to create a "digital scrapbook" that lets you connect your social-media posts from across the years to the specific music you were listening to when you first posted each update.

    So, will this campaign be enough to convince millennials that Honda is the ultimate partner for a carefree yet socially aware and technologically literate lifestyle? If not, they can always lean harder into their celebrity endorsements from Jake the Dog, Finn the Human and Princess Bubblegum.

    Client: Honda
    Title: "Today Is Pretty Great - Performance"

    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Barratelli
    Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
    Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Chuck Blackwell, Ken Pappanduros
    Creative Directors: Gage Clegg, Becca Morton
    Vice President, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
    Senior Producer: Jack Epsteen

    Production Company: Rabbit Content
    Director: +jacksonkarinja

    Editing: Lost Planet
    Editors: Hank Corwin (:30s), Federico Brusilovsky (long form)
    Music: HUM
    Artist: Vintage Trouble

    —Print credits

    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    Creative Directors: Gage Clegg, Becca Morton
    Art Director: Michael Enriquez
    Retoucher: Peter Modaffari
    Art Buyers: Ginnie Assenza, Jessica Maxwell
    Production Manager: Renato Quilalang

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    Given the rough few years he's had lately, it's not surprising Arnold Schwarzenegger might want to be someone else for a while. He's making a habit of it, anyway.

    The Governator, who looked hilarious in a Bjorn Borg getup for Bud Light's Super Bowl teaser, dons another disguise in a different video, going undercover as an employee at Gold's Gym in Venice, Calif., to draw attention to his After-School All-Stars program.

    Schwarzenegger famously worked out at the same Gold's Gym in his bodybuilding glory days of the '70s. In the new video, Arnold, aka "Howard," is comically awkward as he strolls around the gym, bothering the patrons, many of whom clearly do a double-take.

    It's pretty funny stuff, and has gotten well over a million views in its first day on YouTube. It seems a little odd that there's no big reveal at the end, à la Jeff Gordon's Pepsi MAX spot, where Schwarzenegger could take off the disguise and delight everybody. Instead, it just ends. On the upside, Gold's might have a new tagline thanks to Arnold's ad-libbing.

    Say it with me, in Arnold-speak: "This is Gold's Gym. It's not a baby gym."

    Hat tip to @arrrzzz.

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    Apple's "Your Verse" commercial, which rolled out 10 days ago, was a pretty nice start to 2014 for the company's marketing. The 90-second spot, advertising the iPad, is great to look at, and has an inspired—if borrowed—message. It's been airing all over and generally getting an enthusiastic response.

    On Wednesday, Apple rolled out two 30-second cutdowns of the spot, titled "Light Verse" and "Sound Verse" (see both below). They carry the same Robin Williams voiceover, just truncated to focus on the Whitman quotes. More interesting, though, is the "Your Verse" page on the Apple website, which goes into greater depth about the people featured in the ad—and how they use the iPad in real life.

    Marine biologist Michael Berumen, mountaineers Emily Harrington and Adrian Ballinger, Bollywood choreographer Feroz Khan, rock band Yao, New York filmmaker Josh Apter, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team—there are sections devoted to each. Berumen gets a lengthy and fascinating profile, in which it's revealed that he and his team developed an "iDive" iPad case that lets you take iPad deep under water. (Well, not you specifically. A footnote clarifies: "iDive housing is currently not available for sale.")

    Apple did a similar thing with its "Life on iPad" campaign in the fall. The difference is, those stories expounded on the characters in an online spot. (The TV spot at the time was "Pencil" with the Bryan Cranston voiceover.) The "Your Verse" content online is connected to a better-known broadcast ad. In all, it's a solid content play backing up more evocative, less info-heavy broadcast work.

    On another note, could we see Apple in the Super Bowl this year? It is the 30th anniversary of "1984," after all, and Lee Clow has been dropping hints.

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    God bless Newcastle Brown Ale. As much as we all enjoy advertising when it's good, so much of it—as Newcastle would say—is bollocks. The British brewer (with help from Droga5) has always excelled at skewering irritatingly transparent marketing tactics, and now it sets its sights on the Big Kahuna itself—the Super Bowl.

    The faux teasers below launch an "If We Made It" campaign, celebrating the Super Bowl commercial the brewer would have made—if it had been able to afford one. The deadpan copy is spot on, and as ambush marketing goes, the whole campaign is hilariously done as it takes down the overblown process of Super Bowl ad rollouts.

    Gird your loins for more content to roll out into the middle of next week.

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    A year after the Red M&M belted out Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)," it's Yellow's turn to take the spotlight during the Super Bowl.

    The Mars candy brand just released a teaser for its 30-second spot, set to air in the first half of the Feb. 2 broadcast. Not much is revealed, aside from some aerobics and an abduction via tranquilizer dart.

    The spot, from BBDO New York, will promote peanut M&M's.

    "It's about time we remind the world how irresistible M&M's Peanut really is," Seth Klugherz, senior director of M&M's Chocolate Candies, said in a statement. "Each M&M's Peanut is literally 1 in 100—meaning we have to sort through 100 different peanuts, just to find one that's lucky enough to make its way into a bag of M&M's Peanut."

    Client: Mars/M&M's
    Title: "Abduction"

    Agency: BBDO, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars
    Executive Creative Directors: Tim Bayne, Lauren Connolly
    Senior Art Director: Eduardo Petersen
    Art Director: Jamie McCelland
    Copywriter: Roberto Danino
    Senior Producer: Regina Iannuzzi
    Producer: Sofia Doktori

    Senior Account Director: Susannah Keller
    Account Director: Carrie Lipper
    Account Manager: Tani Nelson
    Account Executive: Alyce Regan

    Production Company, Visual Effects: Laika, House
    Executive Producer, President: Lourri Hammack
    Director: Kirk Kelly
    Producers: Zilpha Yost, Julie Ragland
    Editing House: PS260
    Editors: Maury Loeb, Ned Borgman
    Assistant Editors: Matt Posey, Colin Edelman
    Senior Producer: Laura Patterson

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    As celebrity Super Bowl endorsers go, Stephen Colbert is somewhat unique because he's actually funny. He's amusing even in the few seconds of the teaser below for his Wonderful Pistachios ad airing on the Feb. 2 game. (These teasers, as we've learned lately, are not always terribly enjoyable.)

    Just to be safe, though, the brand has also rolled out several minutes of a behind-the-scenes Colbert Q&A, also posted below. He doesn't reveal much about the ad, but does say: "I'm in it three times, and one of me is edible." Judging by the teaser, he may also have a co-star in the finished spot. But just who is that squawking off-camera beast?

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    There have been hints in recent days, even from Lee Clow himself, that Apple would be doing something special around the 30th anniversary of Macintosh, and of the infamous Super Bowl spot that launched it.

    On Friday, the birthday party began, as Apple rolled out a three-minute video and exhaustive online history of the famed personal computer, showing its evolution on human creativity of all kinds, from art and science to education and fashion.

    More cerebral than emotional in its study of a revolution in computing, the video stars all sorts of creators, who tell in their own words how the Mac changed their work and their lives. They include musician Moby, surgeon Maki Sugimoto, designer April Greiman, artist and programmer Daito Manabe, film composer Hans Zimmer, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, fashion designer Iris van Herpen, graphic designer John Maeda, educator Noemi Trainor, photographer Nick Knight and science author Theodore Gray.

    The accompanying timeline at apple.com/30-years is simply incredible, with all sorts of amazing vintage photos, quotes and stories about the machine that changed the world. There's also a section where you're encouraged to share the story of your first Mac.

    There's no explicit mention of "1984." But of course, there's a football game coming up that might allow Apple to say a little something about advertising as well.

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    If there was one big winner at last night's Grammy Awards that was even more surprising than Daft Punk getting Album of the Year, it was Arby's scoring the tweet of the night.

    The sandwich chain's post about Daft Punk collaborator Pharrell Williams' sartorial selection ("Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back?") was a responsive-marketing coup de grâce, with 75,000 retweets and more than 40,000 favorites by Monday morning.

    To be sure, jokes about Pharrell's hat, which looked borrowed from Smokey Bear, had been flying around Twitter for more than an hour before Arby's made its post. But man, what a post.

    Many marketers attempted to tie their brand messaging in with the Grammys, but as you can see in Digiday's roundup, few succeeded. Arby's even merited praise from global brands like Pepsi and Hyundai, which is an odd new level of meta marketing.

    But when it comes to responsive marketing to celebrity antics, the best a brand can hope for is a response from A-lister him- or herself. And that's exactly what Arby's got in the early hours of this morning, when Pharrell asked on Twitter, "Y'all tryna start a roast beef?"

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    The Internet is Times Square pre-Giuliani, says Squarespace's Super Bowl ad—the full version of which went live Monday online, a week and a half after a teaser rolled out.

    The spot, produced in-house, aims for a grand, dark vibe, but after a decently arresting opening image, it falls flat. It's hard to do convincing futuristic dystopias on the cheap, and it's clear Squarespace didn't put enough dollars into the production of this. If you want to see an amazingly rich, dark, circus-like world in advertising, with great directing and voiceover work, go back and watch Hal Riney's old First Union spots. Then come back and watch this. The difference is stark. You have to pay for it, but it pays off.

    Also worth noting: People really don't want depressing messages on the Super Bowl. Here you've got 24 seconds of bleak followed by six seconds of bland. It will bomb on Sunday.

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    Sometimes it's the understated celebrity cameos that do the trick on the Super Bowl.

    Johnny Galecki certainly fits the bill, and has picked a good time to make his commercial acting debut—in one of two charming 30-second Super Bowl ads from Hyundai and ad agency Innocean, both of which were posted online Monday.

    Galecki, 38, known for his work on Roseanne and The Big Bang Theory, stars in a spot called "Nice," directed by Jim Jenkins. An attractive woman pulls up next to him on the road. They're both driving 2014 Hyundai Elantras. "Nice ride," says Galecki with an awkward smile. "Nice try," the woman replies, and heads off. He trails her, eventually catching up, and humorously tries out other lines, with extremely limited success. After another amusing celebrity cameo, the spot ends with a visual that's comically over the top.

    Including Super Bowl worthy spectacles while lightly poking fun of them at the same time is often a winning strategy, and Hyundai pulls it off nicely with "Nice."

    "I've always loved Super Bowl ads—the commercials during the game are always the highlight for me," Galecki said in a statement. "In this Hyundai spot, there's a car chase, there's explosions, and even a car jump—it's exciting, cinematic and filled with humor. I can't wait for everyone to see it!"

    The second spot, "Dad's Sixth Sense," directed by Frank Todaro, is cute, too. It's all about slapstick humor, as a father saves his son from physical harm through the years—although when it comes time to learn how to drive, it's the 2015 Hyundai Genesis that takes care of him the best.

    At one point in the ad, Dad gets whacked with a piñata stick, which is among the more reliable ways to get a laugh. But in fact, many of the scenes here will get a chuckle. (Bonus tie-in: The spot features the song "Count On Me" by halftime-show performer Bruno Mars.)

    And speaking of chuckles, Jeff Bridges even giggles a bit in the voiceover at the end of "Nice." That sums up the vibe of these two spots—simple, laid back, fun loving and cute. They should do well on Sunday.

    Client: Hyundai Motor America
    Title & Length: "Nice" :30
    Product: Hyundai Elantra
    Air Date: Super Bowl 2/2/14

    Agency: Innocean USA
    Executive Creative Director: Greg Braun
    Creative Director: Robert Prins
    Creative Director: Max Godsil
    Art Director: Aisha Hakim
    Copywriter: Matt League
    Director of Integrated Production: Jamil Bardowell
    Sr. Producer: Nicolette Spencer
    Producer: Chris Schaldenbrand

    Production Company: O Positive
    Director: Jim Jenkins
    Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
    Executive Producer/Line Producer: Marc Grill
    DP: Bojan Bazelli

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Paul Martinez & Greg Scruton
    Managing Partner / EP: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Post Producer: Kirsten Thon-Webb
    Assistant: Pete D'Andrea

    Telecine: Company 3 LA
    Producer: Matt Moran
    Colorist: Sean Coleman

    Online & FX: The Mill LA

    Audio: Eleven Sound
    Artist: Scott Burns
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead


    Client: Hyundai Motor America  
    Title & Length: "Dad's Sixth Sense" :30
    Product: Genesis  
    Agency: Innocean USA 
    Executive Creative Director: Greg Braun
    Creative Director: Robert Prins
    Creative Director: Max Godsil
    Copywriter: Josh Cassidy  
    Art Director: Vince Feliciano 
    Director of Integrated Production: Jamil Bardowell
    Senior Producer: Harry Lowell
    Production Company: Moxie Pictures 
    Director: Frank Todaro  
    Executive Producer: Karol Zeno 
    Producer: Laura Heflin
    DP: Eric Schmidt   

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Editor: Geoff Hounsell  
    Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Post Producer: Leslie Carthy
    Assistant: Sean Lagrange 

    Telecine: Company 3 
    Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
    Colorist: Dave Hussey
    Online & FX: Timber
    Jonah Hall: Creative Director
    Chris DeCristo: Lead Flame
    Compositor: Krista Benson
    Flame Assistant: Austin Hickman-Fain
    Head of Production: Michael Theurer
    Producer: Emily Avoujageli

    Mix: Eleven Sound  
    Artist: Scott Burns  
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead
    Assistant: A.J. Murillo



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