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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    I never thought I'd hear Tegan and Sara in an Oreo commercial, but I also never thought Tegan and Sara would make bouncy dance pop, so everything's up in the air at this point.

    The Canadian duo provided a pretty awesome version of the "Wonderfilled" jingle for this "Dare to Wonder" ad from The Martin Agency (it first aired during the Grammys) promoting a series of limited-release Oreo flavors including berry, peanut butter, lemon and mint. Honestly, all those sound really gross, but the jingle is right in line with Tegan and Sara's lyrical sensibilities, and of course they didn't even write them—the ad agency did.

    Living in a world where Tegan and Sara play a song they didn't write for the purpose of selling junk food feels a bit strange, but they've said they don't make albums to keep their old fans, so perhaps that same principle has been applied here.


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    Specs
    Who Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO; Jenna Woodul, evp and chief community officer
    What Social marketing agency
    Where San Jose, Calif.

    Though it’s been around since 1996, LiveWorld has adroitly adapted to an ecosystem completely transformed by Facebook and Twitter. Mammoths such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, Pfizer and Louis Vuitton now trust LiveWorld to manage their social media. The company operates 4,600 content properties for 300 clients and ramped up revenue by more than 18 percent in 2013. “We bring a human touch scaled by technology,” said Peter Friedman, CEO of LiveWorld. His firm tackles competitors head-on with a revolutionary, evolving practice known as “Twitter conquesting,” where retailers quickly tweet an offer to consumers when they complain about a rival. Indeed, LiveWorld gives new meaning to “social Darwinism.”


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    You're walking along the streets of New York City, earbuds firmly in place, texting furiously and doing your best to ignore the press of humanity as it swarms around you … when the monster-movie version of the very horror you're seeking to avoid erupts out of a street grate. It would be enough to make you drop your skinny latte on your skinny jeans.

    Score another victory for prankvertising and AMC. For a moment there, I had forgotten about The Walking Dead, which shambles onward, entering its fifth season even as the zombie apocalypse genre is starting to feel like a rotten cliché. The stunt itself, orchestrated by ad agency Relevent, is simple and effective, but there's a surprisingly real and sweet moment when the zombies restrain themselves from scaring the bejesus out of a little girl who wanders up to the grate in curiosity.

    Of course, they don't have any reticence about scaring their own cast. Norman Reedus was recently pranked by costar Andrew Lincoln and one-limbed Vine star Nick Santonastasso. They set him up with a fake interview in Tokyo and then sprung the undead on him.

    Between those two incidents, and the even more aggressive "Devil Baby Attack" prank for the horror movie Devil's Due, it seems ambushing people in NYC with horrifying half-humans is the strategy of the season. If that's what it takes to breathe life into the zombie genre, then prank on.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: AMC
    Agency: Relevent
    Executive Creative Director: Ian Cleary
    Executive Producer: Tony Berger
    Creative Director: Jody Feldman
    Producer: Bari Henderson
    Account Manager: Claire Annas


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    Using children in politically tinged advertising is often problematic. Some would say it's tantamount to propaganda. Still, the kids who sang "America the Beautiful" in other languages for Coca-Cola's Super Bowl ad are so charmingly innocent in these behind-the-scenes videos—and so optimistic about how the ad will be received—that it makes the whole ruckus seem extra ridiculous.

    Of course, Coke isn't as innocent. It knew the ad, by Wieden + Kennedy, would be controversial. Even these clips from the recording sessions hint at that—why else would they ask the girls how people might react to the ad? And yet it's irresistible when Naomi, the girl who sings in Spanish, says: "They might feel joyful. They might feel like, 'Wow, America has all these different things.' And they might feel, like, really proud of their country, I hope. Cause I know I am pretty proud."

    Coke released its own statement about the ad this week, saying in part: "For centuries America has opened its arms to people of many countries who have helped to build this great nation. 'It's Beautiful' provides a snapshot of the real lives of Americans representing diverse ethnicities, religions, races and families, all found in the United States. … We believe 'It's Beautiful' is a great example of the magic that makes our country so special, and a powerful message that spreads optimism, promotes inclusion and celebrates humanity—values that are core to Coca-Cola."

    The ad's director, John Hillcoat of Skunk, has also spoken out this week. "We all know there are those kind of bigots out there, but I had no idea how deeply embedded it was. It seems that the divide in America has never been greater," he said in a statement.

    Despite its optimism, Coke recognizes that divide, too. Tellingly, YouTube comments are disabled on all the videos featuring the girls—to protect them. Comments are enabled on the main ad, though, and are at 12,500 and counting. Wade into that debate at your own risk.


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    Intel's "Look Inside" film series about inspiring people scales new heights in this 90-second spot about Erik Weihenmayer, who's beaten long odds to climb the world's seven tallest peaks.

    There's a potent reveal—which we won't spoil—around the minute mark, where we learn about Weihenmayer's physical condition and what he's had to overcome to reach those summits. It's an emotional jolt that powers his narration. "One of the shortfalls I think many people have is that they allow all these distractions and fears and doubts to get into their head and sabotage them," Weihenmayer says. Later, when he asks, "Is there a way to make that difficult thing a catalyst to moving onto something different rather than just allowing it to crush you?" his sincerity resonates like an echo down a canyon wall.

    Ad agency Venables Bell & Partners and director Christopher Hewitt of Knucklehead get the tone just right, presenting Weihenmayer as a super achiever but not a superhero. His humanity and humility stay firmly in focus. The story is told in reverse, starting at the top of the mountain and working backward, a winning approach that Intel and VB&P used in their earlier viral hit about teenage cancer researcher Jack Andraka.

    Both films succeed as uplifting pieces of branded content, with the Intel connection wisely undersold. Here, the end line—"There's only one way to discover what you're made of: Look Inside"—seems tailor made for Weihenmayer, as that's precisely what he's had to do, never losing sight of his goals and aspirations.

    Intel will donate $30,000 to No Barriers USA, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, if Weihenmayer's video is shared 2,900 times on Twitter. (That number is a reference to the 29,000-foot elevation of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth.)

    CREDITS
    Client: Intel
    Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
    Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness
    Creative Director: Tom Scharpf
    Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd
    Art Director: Stephen Lum
    Copywriter: Liz Cartwright
    Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
    Agency Executive Producer: Emily Moore
    Agency Producer: Melissa Nagy
    Production Company: Knucklehead
    Director: Chris Hewitt
    Executive Producer, Managing Director: Matthew Brown
    Line Producer: David Bishop
    Director of Photography: Chris Sabogal
    Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
    Senior Producer: Kristin Branstetter
    Editor: Sam Gunn
    Assistant Editor: Zach Vandlik
    Mix, Sound Design: Joel Waters @ Lime
    Music: Elias Arts
    Executive Producer: Ann Haugen
    Composers: Jonathan Elias, Sarah Trevino
    Telecine: Company 3
    Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
    Visual Effects: The Mill
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
    Visual Effects Producer: Jordan Sharon
    2-D Lead Artist: James Allen
    2-D Artists: Nick Tayler, Steve Gibbons, Scott Johnson
    End Animation: Brand New School
    Executive Producer: Devin Brook
    Producer: Amy Russo


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    Progressive spokeswoman Flo sat out the Super Bowl—"We're not trying to make the noise even noisier," the company's CMO, Jeff Charney, said late last week—but she's all over the whole Facebook Look Back thing.

    Below, check out Flo's "Look Back" video, which is apparently a parody, unless Facebook approved the unicorn image at the end instead of the Like sign. In fact, Flo's whole video is about unicorns, which she's been associated with ever since a 2010 ad, when she exclaimed that homeowners and auto insurance, bundled together, is like "unicorns and glitter."

    There's also a Unicorns & Glitter tab on her Facebook page, where you can get more intimately acquainted with all things Flo.


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    All this talk about the TV commercials on the Super Bowl, but who could forget about the radio commercials? Well, almost everyone. But not WestwoodOne, which aired the game on Sunday and just released a list of the five best radio ads of the night.

    The big winner was Motel 6, which placed the top spot—an amusing ad from The Richards Group called "Autocorrect," narrated by Tom Bodett, the chain's spokesman for going on 30 years. The ads that placed second, third and fourth—for Tilted Kilt restaurants, Subway and Exergen—are honestly pretty wretched. Coming in at No. 5 is Taco Bell, whose ad will elicit some chuckles as well.

    Check out the Motel 6 and Taco Bell ads below.


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    Despite not actually airing a commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Esurance had an extraordinarily successful night, thanks to its #EsuranceSave30 sweepstakes on Twitter.

    The company snagged the first ad slot after the game, and vowed to give away the difference in price—it went for $1.5 million less than an in-game slot—to one lucky viewer who tweeted the hashtag #EsuranceSave30 within 36 hours after the ad aired.

    John Krasinski, the brand's spokesman, helped to announce the winner Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. You can see that video below. But also check out the social stats from the campaign, provided by Esurance agency Leo Burnett:

    • 5.4 million uses of the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag 
    • More than 200,000 entries within the first minute of the Esurance commercial airing
    • 1.4 million hashtag uses in the first hour and 4.5 million in the first 24 hours
    • 2.6 billion social impressions on Twitter
    • 332,000 views of the Esurance commercial on YouTube
    • 261,000 new followers on the official Esurance Twitter account—an increase of nearly 3,000 percent
    • A 12x spike in visits to the Esurance website in the first hours of the sweepstakes

    Safe to say it was a successful stunt. Cue the copycats.


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    Judging from FTD's Valentine's Day ads, maybe love does mean having to say you're sorry after all.

    Four 60-second spots by Epsilon Chicago, designed to illustrate that "FTD says it best" for next week's holiday, put couples on a shiny red sofa that's more hot seat than love seat. They bicker about how the guys botched V-Day last year by giving the gals inappropriate gifts (or none at all), when a bouquet or basket from FTD would've worked wonders.

    In the best of the bunch, feathers fly. "I got her a parrot," brags our would-be Romeo. "He got me a freaking parrot," his lady-love moans. The guy says, "Oh my gosh, it is so cool … it's majestic … it's regal." She replies, "It's dirty … it stinks … it bites."

    These ads don't bite—they're amusing and well acted—but they do feel dated. The rhythm and style recall late-'90s/early-'00s sitcoms, with bird-brained guys and whiny women over-obsessing about their relationship woes. And why do we get youngish white hetero couples each time?

    Surely, in 2014, Cupid's raised his aim.


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    Once again, a snack-food brand learns why it should carefully stage-manage any attempts to crowdsource flavor ideas on the Internet.

    The latest round of Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" campaign, which launched last month, has predictably brought out the trolls, who've suggested, among other things, flavor ideas like Disappointed Parents, Orange Juice 'N Toothpaste and Sinus Infection.

    You might recall Mountain Dew going through something similar when their "Dub the Dew" campaign was hijacked by nerds who filled the online ballot with Gushin' Granny and Fapple, among other uncouth suggestions.

    Say what you want about the immaturity of the Lay's trolls, but at least they aren't bringing out the Hitler jokes. Not yet, anyway.

    And of course, Lay's is surely eating it up.


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    RAM did it with Paul Harvey. Apple did it with Walt Whitman (by way of Robin Williams). Visa did it with Amelia Earhart. Now, it's BMW's turn to use the poetic words of a long-ago visionary to sell a modern product.

    The automaker is using a recording of Arthur C. Clarke to celebrate the promise of the future, as realized today by the new BMW i series of electric cars.

    "Trying to predict the future is a discouraging and hazardous occupation," Clark says in the audio recording from 1964 which serves as the voiceover for BMW i's 60-second launch spot, "Hello Future." The ad, by Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, will break Friday night during NBC's coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Russia.

    Clark goes on: "If by some miracle a prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so absurd that people everyone would laugh him to scorn. The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So, if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I will have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen."

    Stylized, futuristic images of cityscapes, drenched in blue tones, pass one after another before the spot shifts to showing one of the i vehicles, which preens by opening its scissor doors like wings—and is then seen speeding along a darkened tunnel.

    Two other 30-second spots, for the i8 plug-in hybrid and the i3 all-electric city car, have a bit more of a narrative. The i8 spot, "Sightings," shows people trying to describe something they've never seen before (of course, it's the i8), while the i3 spot, "SHHH," features a boy who takes his dad's i3 for a joyride with a girl (played by Olivia Crocicchia of Rescue Me) but gets caught in the end thanks to his dad's BMW i Remote App.

    "It is a rare and exciting opportunity to launch a new brand and for BMW i, one that requires a world stage," said Trudy Hardy, vp of marketing for BMW of North America. "We look forward to making a bold statement about the future of sustainable mobility."

    BMW is going all out for the Olympics. It will also be running digital shorts for the BMW i on NBCOlympics.com, and airing spots for the all-new X5 SUV and its first-ever BMW 2 Series. The automaker also completely redesigned the two-man bobsled that will be used by Team USA this month.

    CREDITS
    Client: BMW of North America
    Agency: Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal+ Partners (kbs+)

    Spot: "Hello Future"
    President & Co-Chief Creative Officer: Ed Brojerdi
    Co-Chief Creative Officer: Izzy DeBellis
    Executive Creative Director: Paul Renner
    Group Creative Director: Marc Hartzman
    Creative Director: Grant Simpson
    Creative Director: Will Bright
    Group Account Director: Katie Klumper
    Account Director: Socrates Papazoglou
    Account Supervisor: Chris Belmore
    Executive Producer: Robert Beck
    Senior Producer: Melissa Tifrere

    Production
    Stock Partner: Stalkr
    Car Footage: Knut Burgdorf @Hochkant Film GmbH & Co. KG

    Editor/Editorial: Adam Marshall/Whitehouse Post
    Executive Producer: Lauren Hertzberg
    Producer: Melanie Klein
    Assistant Editor: Matt Schaff

    Post EFX: Carbon VFX
    Flame Artist: Kieran Walsh
    Executive Producer: Frank Devlin
    Senior Producer: Paul O’Beirne

    Music Supervisor: Woll & Tusk
    Song/Artist: Original Score by  Found Objects

    Color/Colorist: C03/Rob Sciarratta

    Audio: Heard City
    Mixer: Kieth Reynauld

    Spots: "Sightings" and "SHHH"
    President & Co-Chief Creative Officer: Ed Brojerdi
    Co-Chief Creative Officer: Izzy DeBellis
    Executive Creative Director: Paul Renner
    Group Creative Director: Marc Hartzman
    Associate Creative Director: Liz King
    Associate Creative Director: John Hagerty
    Group Account Director: Katie Klumper
    Account Director: Socrates Papazoglou
    Account Supervisor: Chris Belmore
    Executive Producer: Robert Beck
    Senior Producer: Melissa Tifrere

    Production: Bob Industries
    Director: Dayton/Faris
    Executive Producer: Chuck Ryant and TK Knowles
    Line Producer: Bart Lipton

    Director of Photography: Tim Hudson

    Editorial/Editor: Bikini Edit/Avi Oron
    Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
    Senior Producer: Brad Wood
    Assistant Editor: Gustavo Roman

    Post EFX: The Mill
    Flame Artist: Nathan Kane
    Executive Producer: Melanie Wickham
    Producer: Alex Fitzgerald

    Music Credits
    Music Supervisor (Sightings): Wool & Tusk
    Song/Artist: Vladimirs Blues by Max Richter
    Music Supervisor (Shhh): Dan Wilcox and Wool & Tusk
    Song/Artist: High School Lover by Cayucaus

    Color/Colorist: CO3/Tom Poole

    Audio: Sonic Union
    Mixer: Steve Rosen


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    Marketers are officially obsessed with trying to frighten the world-weary populace of New York City. Following the recent devil baby and zombie stunts, here's footage of the Chobani bear—an animatronic version of the real bear in the Super Bowl commercial—ambushing people in Manhattan, knocking over a hot dog stand and generally hamming it up. These videos are pretty funny, but I'd like to see New Yorkers fight instead of just whipping out their phones to take a picture.


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    Here's a fantastic ad stunt orchestrated by media agency PHD on Britain's ITV. On Sunday night, the TV broadcaster devoted a whole commercial break during an episode of Dancing on Ice to airing remade versions, done entirely in Lego, of four well-known British ads—to promote The Lego Movie.

    See the entire ad break here:

    The first spot was an abbreviated version of the famous 2012 Vinnie Jones CPR ad for the British Heart Foundation. That was followed by 30-second ads, remade practically shot for shot, for Confused.com, BT and Premier Inn. Short promos for The Lego Movie aired in between each of the spots, followed by a proper trailer at the end.

    Check out the four original ads below. Via Creative Review.


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    Here's a fun neighbor-shaming McDonald's billboard from DDB Stockholm.

    Sitting right at the border between Sweden and Norway, the billboard displays comparative pricing for Big Macs in the two nations—egging on Norwegians to take advantage of Sweden's cheaper burgers. In other words, it's the rare fast-food ad that doubles as fodder for exchange-rate geeks.

    The Economist's Big Mac Index has for decades used McD's staple burger as an international benchmark for measuring relative prices around the world. Norway's Big Mac was, in fact, recently declared the most expensive anywhere (and not for the first time). That's due to the country's oil-rich, inclusive economy, where generally high wages (even for burger flippers) help drive up prices. (Some observers, meanwhile, are claiming all the extra money is making the country's workforce too lazy.)

    DDB points out that Norwegians are already crossing the border for bargains in droves. So really, the agency is just reminding them to stop for a more affordable heart-stopper.

    How much will they save? In Norway, a Big Mac costs the equivalent of about $14.41, says the billboard. In Sweden, it's only about $9.08. Of course, that's still way too much for a Big Mac—especially if they're made in any way like the brand's Chicken McNuggets.


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    Thanks to sugar, savings or both, Big Lots—and its suddenly endless supply of reduced-price Hostess products—just makes moms want to dance.

    Big Lots recently struck a deal to become the "Official Hostess Thrift Outlet," replacing Hostess Thrift Stores, which were closed when Hostess Brands went into bankruptcy in 2012. Beginning today, you'll be able to get Twinkies, CupCakes, Zingers, Fruit Pies and other Hostess snack cakes at Big Lots for up to 40 percent off.

    To celebrate, the closeout retailer has released two quirky new ads from new Chicago agency O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP).

    The first shows moms in colorful exercise gear doing a little synchronized shopping for Hostess goodies at a Big Lots store, as a goofy but catchy dance track plays. The second features some young people in a car performing an a cappella ode to Hostess products. The hashtag for the campaign is #thriftisback.

    This is just the beginning of a whole new marketing approach for Big Lots, says chief customer officer Andrew Stein, who orchestrated Kmart's recent move into more provocative marketing while he was CMO there.

    "Big Lots is at a transformational point, and we are looking for our advertising to enable us to react quickly to market-driven products that we bring to our customers at a moment's notice," Stein said in a statement. "We saw that opportunity when we became the official Thrift Outlet for Hostess. OKRP delivered and executed with a humorous campaign that will connect with our customers. This is the first of many such initiatives to follow."

    The two videos "are emblematic of the kind of quick-to-market, impact-driven and unexpected work that we are doing for clients who need to turn around campaigns yesterday," said Tom O'Keefe, CEO of OKRP (which is minority owned by Interpublic Group). "With retail, your idea has to work in real time. That model works for marketers across industries. We structured our agency to fill this growing need for efficiently produced, creatively driven work that drives results quickly."

    CREDITS
    Client: Big Lots
    Chief Customer Officer: Andrew Stein
    Broadcast Manager, Producer: Thomas Clark
    Marketing Manager: Katherine Reda

    Agency: O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul
    Creative Director: Matt Reinhard
    Director Creative Services: Sue Gillan
    Writers: Cooper Johnson, Vinny DeGaetano, Aaron Fronk
    Executive Producer: Scott Mitchell
    Senior Account Executive: Christina Chonody

    Production: AdDigital
    Director: Jeff Jenkins
    Executive Producers: Tom Mooney, Dan Klein

    Editorial: Whiskey & Bananas Studio
    Editor: Jeff Jenkins

    Music: Beacon Street
    Composers: John Nau, Andrew Feltenstein
    Producer: Caitlin Rocklen


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    Classical paintings replace advertisements on Paris billboards in "OMG, Who Stole My Ads?"—a series of provocative photographs by French artist Etienne Lavie.

    The project recalls last summer's "Art Everywhere" program in England, led by Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed, which saw reproductions of 57 popular works replace ads on 22,000 out-of-home ad sites, including billboards, bus shelters, tube stations and office buildings. Lavie's initiative operates on a smaller scale, and since it lacks establishment support, can perhaps be more readily parsed as an artistic statement rather than a corporate project that just happens to involve paintings and ads.



    Lavie's strikingly composed pictures achieve some amazing juxtapositions—the flowing lines and muted tones of the artwork contrasted against harsh urban geometry and vehicles in blurred motion. The images inspire all sorts of interpretations. On the one hand, they suggest the city and commerce are transient, in a state of flux, while the paintings (and by extension, the deeper concerns of the human spirit) are immutable. Conversely, one could argue that the city continues to live and evolve along with its ever-changing ads for Evian and Peugeot, while the artworks are anachronisms that leave no lasting impression, except perhaps in the images created by the artist.



    One especially intriguing aspect of the photo series is whether Lavie actually replaced the billboards or created his images (solely or mainly) by digital means. It's not totally clear. Such debate makes the work more meta and esoteric. It playfully questions "reality," and makes media coverage of the project part of the artistic experience. (For most of us, the images are viewable exclusively online, so maybe their digital dissemination is the true raison d'être, the ultimate reality.)



    In the end, Lavie achieves a stirring effect on the canvas of viewers' imaginations and sensibilities. And if my analysis sounds like over-thought "blah blah blah," well, judging from Lavie's website, I don't think the artist will mind.

    More images below. Hat tip: @luckthelady.










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    IDEA: Want to appeal to young, attractive people who like watching other young, attractive people do insane stunts? Devin Graham is your man.

    The 30-year-old filmmaker, aka "devinsupertramp" on YouTube, has almost 2 million subscribers to his channel, which is stuffed with jaw-dropping stunt videos like "World's Largest Rope Swing" (22 million views) and "Human Slingshot Slip and Slide" (13 million views). Graham started out making unbranded videos, but marketers—including Mountain Dew and Ford—have come knocking, looking to tap into his millennial audience.

    The latest, released on Monday, is for Bear Naked granola, which teamed up with Graham for a stunt on Mammoth Mountain in California—"human bowling," with people rolling down a hill inside a clear plastic Zorb ball (it's called "Zorbing") into some giant red bowling pins while munching on granola.

    "We'd seen one Zorbing video on snow, but never anything with bowling," said Graham. "We figured, let's make it larger than life and see what happens."

    COPYWRITING: Graham doesn't work with a script or storyboards. "It's more documentary filmmaking," he said. "We create an awesome experience, we capture it, and then we make a story out of it."

    The new video begins with on-screen text: "Bear Naked presents Human Bowling." After the pins are blown up and a tractor preps the hill, the action begins—young people in the Zorb ball careening down the hill and into the pins. They're also seen eating granola, laughing and dancing.

    The party continues into the night. A product shot and hashtag (#OneUpIt) appear on screen at the end, along with the tagline, "Live Bear Naked," and a copy line, "This winter adventure was fueled by Bear Naked."

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Bear Naked handled much of the production, even bringing in someone from Zorb to check the course. "We wanted to make sure it was super safe, because there's always an element of danger," said Graham.

    He and four friends shot with Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 1D C cameras. (A remote-controlled helicopter got the overhead shots.) The product integration isn't subtle, but Graham said it rings true—people bring granola to the slopes all the time. "If it feels like a straight-up commercial, no one shares it," he said. "If it feels like a fun video that people can relate to, it gets shared."

    He's also learned not to make the videos too extreme. "You create a cool experience that's larger than life but that people can still believe, 'Hey, I could go out to the mountain and set up something like that with my friends.' That's what people share."

    TALENT: Graham invited fans to the shoot via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. "It wasn't actors or people that were faking having fun. It was people legitimately having fun," he said.

    His directions are generally simple. "It's kind of like impromptu acting, where I'll say, 'All right, I want everyone to run over here and throw snowballs at the Zorb!'"

    SOUND: The soundtrack is a driving dance tune by Con Bro Chill. "We always try to have happy, positive, uplifting songs that are family-friendly and can hit every audience out there," said Graham. The musical artists in his videos generally license the tracks in exchange for the revenue from iTunes sales.

    MEDIA: Most brands want Graham to host the videos on his YouTube channel because of his huge audience. Doing so also allows him to present those projects as his own. "It's a win-win for both parties," he said.

    THE SPOT:

    CREDITS
    Client: Bear Naked
    Director: Devin Graham
    PR agency: Krispr Communications
    Production Services Company: Recommended Media
    Executive Producer/Partner: Jeff Rohrer
    Executive Producer/Managing Director: Michael Haldane


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    I just did a search for "working woman" on a popular stock photography site, and got photos of women in pantsuits wielding brick-sized cellphones, photos of women pouting sexily while adjusting their glasses, and not much else. Stock photography is easily accessible and way cheaper than hiring a photographer to produce images for a brochure or an ad or a website, but it is rife with stereotypes.

    Getty Images and Sheryl Sandberg's LeanIn.org have partnered to produce a collection of images that represent women and families in more empowering ways. Sure, you've got the woman in the pantsuit, but there's also a tattooed mom holding her baby and typing on her laptop. There's a woman mountain climber, a dad holding his daughter in a baby carrier, and—get ready to clutch your pearls, stock photography users—a woman wearing jeans in the office.

    The jointly curated Lean In Collection has more than 2,500 visuals "celebrating powerful images of women, girls and the communities who support them," Getty says in a statement. "The collection will serve as a resource for marketers, advertisers and media for use in their campaigns and communications. It arrives in time for Women's History Month and the one-year anniversary of the publication of Sandberg's best-selling book Lean In."

    While stock photography may seem like a nonissue, Sandberg notes, "You can't be what you can't see. In an age where media are all around us, it is critical that images provide examples that both women and men can emulate."

    More photos below. (Credits: Andreas Kuehn; Thomas Barwick; Betsie Van Der Meer; no credit; Cavan Images; Image Source.)


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    You probably didn't know your Acura isn't really a car. It's actually a real live dark horse. In a world full of creepy and brutish mechanical horses.

    It will catapult from the back of the pack to win, and wrench an existential scream from the depths of your soul. Because in this tortured journey down the racetrack of life, feelings can be so real—especially when you are driving an Acura horse. Also, because you are a three-piece-wearing fop, says a new commercial from ad agency Mullen and director Adam Berg.

    It's painfully literal and beautifully produced, an unusual blend of posh emo dystopian leisure car porn. It's got horsepower! Up next, a Shia LeBeouf lookalike rides Acura Seabiscuit to defeat the evil horse Transformers in a game of Polo Tron.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Acura
    Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations, American Honda Motor Co.: Michael Accavitti
    Assistant Vice President, Advertising, Marketing, American Honda Motor Co.: Tom Peyton
    Manager, Acura Advertising, Brand: Gary Robinson
    Spot: "Let the Race Begin"
    Agency: Mullen, Los Angeles
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
    Executive Creative Director: Peter Rosch
    Art Director: Sean Stell
    Copywriter: Amir Farhang
    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
    Director of Broadcast Production: Zeke Bowman
    Senior Producer: Trish Dowley
    Co-Director of Strategy: Kelsey Hodgkin
    Account Service: Jeff Prince, Alison Kaplan
    Product Information Manager: Scott King
    Product Specialist: Curtis Millward
    Associate Director of Business Affairs: Stephen Duncan
    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Adam Berg
    Founding Partners: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody
    Bidding Producer: Shannon Jones
    Line Producer: Karen O’Brien
    Director of Photography: Mattias Montero
    Production Supervisor: Pete Slowey
    Production Designer: Tino Schaedler
    Editorial: Cosmo Street
    Editor: Paul Hardcastle
    Assistant Editor: Hugo Jordan
    Producer: Jaclyn Paris
    Executive Producer: Yvette Cobarrubias-Sears
    Color Correction: MPC
    Colorist: Mark Gethin
    Visual Effects: MPC
    Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
    Producer: Mike Wigart
    Visual Effects Supervisors: Andy Boyd (3-D), Benoit Mannequin (2-D)
    Graphics: Artjail
    Audio Post: Phase UK
    Sound Supervisor, Designer: Matthew Collinge
    Audio Post: Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Scott Burns
    Original Music: Bobby Tahouri
    Track Title: "I Was Set Up!"
    Casting Agency: Sonnenberg Casting
    Casting Agent: Jodi Sonnenberg


    0 0

    Sweden's One Hour Agency is the brainchild of interactive art directors Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen, who, along with a half-dozen other creatives from the Hyper Island program, want just 60 minutes of your time. "You give us one hour. We generate quality ideas," they say.

    At typical client-agency meetings, awkward pauses and efforts to reboot PowerPoint can last longer than an hour, but this startup remains undeterred. "It's not that you deliver a final solution," says Larsen, who believes 60 minutes is plenty of time to "build relationships by showing how you work, who you are and what you can do." OHA's approach seems more genuine than some previous gimmicky models—like "World's Fastest Agency" or "Pay What You Want"—because it doesn't overpromise. "If the meeting works from both sides, then we offer different kinds of packages depending on the brief," says Larsen. The crew is currently working on a project for Swedish Public Radio.

    OHA has a handy pie-chart that breaks down the first hour: 10 minutes each for greetings, evaluation and presentation, and 30 minutes for ideation. That's pretty packed. Demands for bigger logos and "guaranteed viral" videos presumably require buying more time.


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