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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

older | 1 | .... | 66 | 67 | (Page 68) | 69 | 70 | .... | 400 | newer

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    Vans has released an ambitious new documentary project titled "Living Off the Wall" with a gorgeous scrolling website and so much great content that no one in their right mind has time to watch it all.

    But of course, I watched it all for you. Check out the documentary on the East Los Angeles punk scene for some of the best-cut stuff. The documentarian Angela Boatwright has a special way of capturing wayward teen anger that capitalizes on every eye roll and seamlessly blends with the alternative perspective of the Vans brand.

    While the Vans viewpoint is present with content about skateboards, tattoos, motorbikes and punk and gypsy lifestyles, the shoes are conspicuously silent. No one talks about his or her shoes. There are no shoe glory shots where you just stare at a pair of Vans. Just digestible mini-docs about the brand's consumers and their lifestyles, perfect for those with drug-altered attention spans. It's brilliant.

    Vans fans who want to join in can become documentarians themselves. All of the content they submit is available at Vans Off the Wall TV network and app. The whole thing just reeks of authenticity.

    -


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    The upsides and drawbacks of common work spaces have been debated in the agency world for decades. But no one can deny the cool factor of The Barbarian Group's newly designed offices—and the amazing, undulating "superdesk" that snakes through it.

    Benjamin Palmer and Sophie Kelly introduce the new space in the video below. Understandably, they talk mostly about the desk. A marvel of design—created with help from architect Clive Wilkinson—it features gorgeous lines, archways and cubbies, and is topped with a single unbroken surface created by a continuous pour of resin.

    The thing is unreal, and of course the perfect metaphor for a place that wants to broadcast a collaborative spirit. TBG proudly calls it "a desk that we could all share, literally—4,400 square feet of undulating, unbroken awesomeness to keep people and ideas flowing."

    Check out the video below. And try not to feel too bad about your own pathetic workspace.


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    Last month, Sony rolled out a sweeping celebration of its own contributions to technology and the arts. Now, it's diving deep on the same subject, taking viewers on a tour of Northlandz, a giant model railroad museum in New Jersey, as miniatures photographer Matt Albanese uses a Sony QX100 camera to capture images of the tiny scenery.

    Northlandz's creator, Bruce Zaccagnino, co-stars in the documentary-style ad, offering such bits of humble-bragging genius as: "Thousands of people will come out, and they'll say this is a wonder of the world. … I don't think it's a wonder of the world. It's not the Taj Mahal." Fact is, the landscape is quite impressive. The photos that come out of Albanese's work are plenty cool, too, and a nice testament to the potential of the camera.

    But the four-minute documentary, created with Wieden + Kennedy, makes the whole thing feel pretty forced and awkward. "For this project I chose a camera that will get me into tight spaces and gives me unique vantage points," says Albanese. That may be the selling point, but the footage and the photographs make the point well well enough without the contrived sales pitch. A little less throat-clearing and philosophizing might serve the spot well, too—but at the end, Zaccagnino's extra talent makes for a perfectly oddball kicker.

    The campaign includes a website, www.Separate--Together.com, that goes beyond the film and features an interactive companion piece with three panoramas you can rotate and zoom into.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Sony
    Project: Be Moved - Separate Together

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Mike Giepert, Dan Hon
    Copywriter: Charlie Gschwend
    Art Director: Devin Gillespie
    Information Architect: Jason Sack
    Creative Technologist: Billy McDermott
    Head of Interactive Production: Pierre Wendling
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
    Content Producer: Katie Reardon
    Account Team: Trish Adams, Diana Gonzalez, Nick Larkin
    Associate Director of Technology: Ryan Bowers
    QA: Robb Hand, Rachel Mason
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman

    —Web Film Partners
    Production Company: m ss ng p eces
    Director: Josh Nussbaum
    Executive Producers: Ari Kuschnir, Kate Oppenheim
    Head of Production: Dave Saltzman
    Line Producer: Veronica Balta
    Director of Photography: Alex Khudokon

    Editorial Company: m ss ng p eces
    Editor: Adam McClelland
    Post Producer: Amy Crowdis

    Colorists: Nat Jencks, Adam Mcclelland

    Composer, Original Score: Matt Abeysekera
    Sound Design & Mix: Eli Cohn

    —Interactive Experience Partners
    Development Partner Company: BOSSA
    Executive Creative Director: Hans Weiss
    Creative Technologist: Jeramy Morrill
    Lead Developers: Jeramy Morrill, Josh Gross, Matt Greene
    Creative Director: Andrezza Valentin
    Art Director: Sarah Skapik
    Producer: Nic Santana


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    In retrospect, it seems obvious. To get cats to pay attention to your direct mail, just soak the damn fliers in catnip—and watch the kitties lose their minds when the mail arrives.

    That's what Vancouver agency Rethink did recently for a cat litter client. As seen in the video below, the engagement with the marketing is undeniable—and pretty cute to watch also.

    Owners have been targeted through their pets' olfactory senses before, of course, though in somewhat grosser ways—like the old Animal Planet ads that smelled like urine, placed at the foot of lampposts in the U.K.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Bulk Cat Litter Warehouse
    Agency: Rethink Canada, Vancouver
    Creative Directors: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
    Art Director: Leia Rogers
    Copywriter: Bob Simpson
    Designer: Lisa Nakamura
    Account Manager: Marie Lunny
    Print Producer: Cary Emley / Sue Wilkinson
    Printer: Metropolitan Fine Printers
    Editor: Chris Nielsen
    Cats: Mona, Bella, Ommie, Jojo, Paul, Linus, Malo, Taika,
    Riley, Gracie, Prince Ruv, Bagheera, and Pebble


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    Go Ninja Go!

    Who says Vanilla Ice never had any street cred? Everyone, I guess. And when it comes to hip-hop, they're right. But … who cares? The rapper (term used loosely) is prop-ah as hell in this self-deprecating Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercial from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, skewering his goofy persona and, against all odds, stretching his 15 minutes of fame into a fourth decade.

    Ice rocks the mic like a vandal, or something, lookin' fly in a green baseball cap and apron as he stocks shelves in a grocery store to help introduce Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-shaped Mac & Cheese. He sings "Ninja Rap," the brilliantly asinine tune he performed in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze in 1991. Naturally, a mom shopping the aisle starts busting furious moves. Check out her son's befuddled/horrified stare around the 10-second mark. That look could wax a chump like a candle! Ultimately, Ice puts it all in perspective, with a knowing grin and his trademark line: "Word to your mother!"

    As great as it is, the behind-the-scenes video is even more of a tongue-in-cheek riot. "I've always had a love for the Turtles," Ice explains, "and when I did Secret of the Ooze, it was the highlight of my life—ever!" He lunges forward, like a snapping turtle, for emphasis. "I'll never top it, no matter what I do."

    Showing off a Turtles leg tattoo, he adds, "When I first heard Mac & Cheese was creating Ninja Turtles shapes, I was like, genius! This is the frickin' most awesome thing ever!"

    Yo, you're awesome, Ice. Word to mothers everywhere!


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    BuzzFeed's attempt at an inspiring, empowering video for women falls short, and the target audience is having no problem letting BuzzFeed know it.

    "Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Models" opens with four women lamenting that they'd never look like models in a magazine spread. Each woman then participates in a professional photo shoot—hair, makeup, styling and all—and then a Photoshop expert retouches the images to make them look like typical magazine cover models.

    We watch the women's reactions as they see the photos for the first time. And … all of them dislike the retouched photos of themselves.

    In light of the wildly popular Dove campaign and the praise Aerie received for promising not to retouch its photos of models, why aren't more people loving this video? Maybe it seems too contrived, and the creators seem too intent on pushing a message to the viewers. The women looked lovely during the photo shoots, and their reactions just don't seem very honest. And while the Photoshop jobs were definitely extreme, the message here is that it's vain for women to even want to look attractive.

    "Once someone else has done your makeup, and someone else has done your hair, and someone's directed the way your body looks, and then taken away your imperfections … then there's not much left of who you really are," says one of the four women.

    In that one line, women are reduced simply to the way they look.

    While some think it's inspirational, others are balking. "Denigrating women for wanting to enhance, improve and better themselves is no better than denigrating women for being fat and ugly," one viewer wrote on Facebook.

    If Victoria's Secret's ultra-Photoshopped catalogs are one extreme, and BuzzFeed's "You're vain if you enjoy a blowout" video is the other, maybe most women are looking for a happy medium—at the very least, something that doesn't seem disingenuous.


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    We've seen this marketing stunt countless times: Big brand dips into its deep pockets to give some hardworking, deserving, photogenic youngsters a new playground or a concert or a trip to Toys R Us. But this well-worn tactic can still wield some power.

    This time, it's Gatorade, with a cameo from Dwyane Wade, giving an extreme makeover to a high school basketball team's locker room in New Orleans. The Riverdale Rebels, it seems, haven't had a very good run in the past few decades. Now, though, the scrappy, close-knit team (mantras: "I got your back!" and "Family!") are heading to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Gatorade, in what looks to be the final two quarters of a recent Rebels win, replaced busted metal lockers and bare-bones facilities with NBA-quality digs.

    The effort, dubbed "We Are All-Stars," from ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles, broke Monday, timed to the NBA's All-Star weekend. The reaction from the teenage ballers to their new locker room and a visit from D-Wade? It's as sweet as a fruit punch-flavored sports drink. Go ahead and enjoy it.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Gatorade
    Senior Director, Communications: Molly Carter
    Director, Branded Entertainment: Jill Kinney
    Manager, Branded Entertainment: Nancy Laroche
    Senior Manager, Communications: Noah Gold
    Director, Sports Marketing: Jeff Chieng
    Assistant Manager, Global Sports Marketing: Eduardo Gomez
    Senior Manager, Digital Marketing: Abhishek Jadon
    Assistant Manager, Digital Marketing: Nicki Granadier

    Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
    Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
    Executive Creative Director: Brent Anderson
    Creative Directors: Renato Fernandez, Gustavo Sarkis
    Associate Creative Director Guto Araki
    Art Director: Tiffany Lam
    Associate Creative Director: Doug Menezes
    Copywriter: Scott Reedy
    Executive Producer: Sarah Patterson
    Producer: Alicia Portner
    Executive Project Manager: Karen Thomas
    Account Supervisor: Kyle Webster
    Account Executive: Ralph Lee
    Group Planning Director: Scott MacMaster
    Planning Director: Martin Ramos
    Managing Director: Peter Ravailhe
    Group Account Director: Blake Crosbie
    Account Manager: Marc Johns
    Executive Business Affairs Manager: Lisa Lipman
    Broadcast Traffic: Jerry Neill

    Production Company: Bandito Brothers
    Director: Jacob Rosenberg
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hargrove
    Producer: Cassidy Lunnen
    Art Director: John Gathright
    Director of Photography: Laura Merians

    Editing: Venice Beach Editorial
    Editor: Greg Young
    Assistant Editors: Micah Chase, Cutler Gray
    Executive Producder: Hunter Conner
    Music: Asche & Spencer

    Other Partners:

    FleishmanHillard
    Vice President: Courtney Quaye
    Managing Supervisor: Ashley Ginascol

    OMD/OS
    Associate Director, Optimum Sports: Natalie Behrman
    Supervisor, Optimum Sports: Seth Frankenthal
    Digital Supervisor, OMD: Alexis Acker
    Strategist: Michael Fee

    VML
    Account Director: Stephanie DeCelles
    Account Supervisor: Erin Zehner
    Senior Account Manager: Lauren Cochran
    Senior Channel Manager: Kristin Gritt
    Channel Manager: Katrina Steffensen


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    If 2014's battle cry for women is "Love who you are" (see all the "real women" campaigns out there), then weight-loss brands need to tread lightly in their marketing. Weight Watchers has done that in a body-positive way with its new spot from McCann New York featuring Jessica Simpson.

    The opening lines are a hit. "This body made two amazing little human beings. I love this body and what it's capable of, no matter what size," she says.

    Simpson looks stunning (in an LBD, of course), healthy and happy as she goes on to say: "My life, like my body, is a work in progress." Diet plans, of course, aren't really about loving who you are. Still, big ups to Weight Watchers for creating an ad that's relatable and inspiring without putting anyone down or making any claims about how women should or shouldn't look.


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    When you use Old Spice hair products, your hair is capable of anything.

    First, it leaps off your head—that's a given. Then, as we've seen, it either hits on women at work or skillfully operates claw machines on the boardwalk to retrieve lost children.

    Now, though, it reveals its most impressive talent to date—playing all the best-loved Huey Lewis and the News songs on the keyboard. In the interactive video below, also embedded at ThatsThePowerofHair.com, you can request any of 29 Huey Lewis songs, and a mop of hair will play them soulfully for you, supported by props like a disco ball and Hula girl.

    "The Power of Love," "The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll," "I Want a New Drug," "Bad Is Bad," "Doing It All for My Baby"? Hear all those and 24 more great hits right now.

    The digital experience, on desktop and mobile, is being embedded online in custom banners, news sites and Old Spice's social channels. Agency: Wieden + Kennedy.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Old Spice
    Project: "That's the Power of Hair"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Creative Directors: Craig Allen, Jason Bagley, Matt O'Rourke
    Copywriter: Jason Kreher
    Art Director: Max Stinson
    Executive Interactive Producer: Mike Davidson
    Director of Broadcast Production: Ben Grylewicz
    Director of Interactive Production: Pierre Wendling
    Technology Lead: Ryan Bowers
    Account Team: Georgina Gooley, Liam Doherty, Nick Pirtle, Michael Dalton, Jessica Monsey
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, Joe Staples

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Tom Kuntz
    Executive Producer: Scott Howard
    Producer: Emily Skinner

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Carlos Arias
    Asst. Editor: Christopher Mitchell
    Producer: Lisa Barnable

    VFX Company: Framestore, New York
    Creative Director: Mike Woods
    Producer: Christine Cattano
    Head of Commercial Development: Ming-Pong Liu
    Lead Developers: Sebastian Buys and Nien Liu
    Lead Compositor: Mindy Dubin

    Music Company: Stimmung
    Executive Producer: Ceinwyn Clark
    Post Engineer: Rory Doggett
    Composer: Greg Chun


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    Brands with real-world appeal have been faux-criticizing social media for years—often in social media—by suggesting that you get off the damn phone already and take stock of your actual surroundings and the actual people in it.

    Coca-Cola is the latest to do so with the amusing video below, advertising a (presumably fake) product called the Social Media Guard, which is basically a giant, human-sized, Coke-red dog collar. This gizmo will possibly stop you from checking your phone every eight seconds, though actually it seems like you could still take a selfie if you wanted to. (You can also, not coincidentally, still drink a Coke.)

    "Did you know that the world spends 4 million years online every month?" the soda giant asks. "If you're watching this video on your mobile phone, it's time to put it down. Look around you, there is probably someone special you can share a real moment with. Enjoy it with an ice-cold Coke :)"

    The Social Media Guard, the brand adds, "takes the 'social' out of media and puts it back into your life."

    The video is pretty goofy for Coke, which usually prefers more feel-good stunts that don't liken its target market to animals that can't stop licking their stitches. But there's some honestly there, at least. Just don't share this with your friends. Coke wouldn't want that.

    Via Reddit.


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    We're deep into the third month of the 2014 Winter Olympics—that's how long they've been going on, right?—and the games' gazillion sponsors are still rolling out TV spots in hopes that at least some viewers are still glued to their screens.

    One of the prevalent themes this year has been kids getting inspired by Olympic athletes, often with heartwarming results. (The other major trend: AMERICA.) To promote its Galaxy line, Samsung, "the official smartphone partner of the U.S. Olympic Team," jumps on the kid bandwagon with its own Sochi spot, "And … Go!"

    The ad, from 72andSunny, follows a number of different storylines, most of which focus on how the Galaxy helps children play out their own Olympic dreams at home. For instance, some would-be bobsledders pretend they're racing down a mountain thanks to a sledding game on their Galaxy. But rather than just stick to a single idea, "And … Go!" also makes an attempt to appeal to those tricky millennials by throwing in a few scenes of tech-savvy office workers chattering about figure skating and Twitter followers. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't quite work.

    "And … Go!" feels like two different spots, one of which is your typical, family-friendly fare (while not exactly brilliant, they at least work together as a coherent unit), while the other is a misguided attempt at being edgy (what seems to be an attempt at modern, witty dialogue comes off as a poor imitation of a Girls episode).

    Inserted among those nice clips of cute kids, the adults' banter is just annoying. It's a shame the grownups had to ruin things.

    CREDITS
    Client: Samsung
    Spot: "Winter Olympics Fever"
    Chief Marketing Officer: Todd Pendleton
    Senior Manager: Trevor Lambert
    Production Consultant: Peter Friedman
    Product Manager: Catherine Schneider
    Strategy Marketing Manager: Joseph Fraler

    Agency: 72andSunny
    Chief Executive Officer, Partner: John Boiler
    Executive Creative Directors, Partners: Jason Norcross, Bryan Rowles
    Creative Director: Jason Ambrose
    Writer: Jean Morrow
    Designer: Geno Burmester
    Managing Director: James Townsend
    Group Brand Director: Judson Whigham
    Senior Brand Manager: Mandy Hein
    Brand Coordinators: Rochelle Farnum, Caetlyn Caldwell
    Head of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
    Executive Producer: Nicole Haase
    Film Producer: Esther Perls
    Film Coordinator: Jamie Glass
    Director of Business Affairs: Christine Claussen
    Business Affairs Managers: La Tanya Ware, Audra Brown
    Business Affairs Coordinator: Lexie Papilion

    Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Chris Smith
    Partners: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody
    Chief Operating Officer: Lisa Rich
    Bidding Producer: Shannon Jones
    Head of Production: Andrew Colon
    Producer: Youree Henley
    Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
    Production Manager: Rodney Anderson

    Editorial: Arcade Edit
    Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
    Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
    Post Producer: Kirsten Thon-Webb
    Editors: Paul Martinez, Will Hasell
    Assistants: Carmen Hu, Ben Foushee

    Postproduction: Mission
    Managing Director: Michael Pardee
    Creative Director: Rob Trent
    Chief Engineer: William Laverty
    Lead Flame Artist: Joey Brattesani
    Flame Artists: Michael Vaglienty, Chris Moore, Katrina Salicrup, Rob Winfield, Trent Shumway, Colleen Smith
    Head of Computer Graphics: Piotr Karwas
    Roto: Chris Cortese
    Animation, Lighting: Rick Grandy
    Graphics: Doug Chang
    Bidding Producer: Marlo Baird-Kinsey
    Visual Effects Producer: Ryan Meredith
    Visual Effects Coordinator: Kristina Thoegersen

    Telecene: The Mill
    Executive Producer: LaRue Anderson
    Colorist: Gregory Reese
    Online Effects: The Mission VFX
    Artist: Joey Brattesani
    Managing Director: Michael Pardee

    Audio Mix: Lime Studios
    Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
    Mixer: Loren Silber
    Assistant Mixer: Patrick Navarre

    Music: Elias
    Executive Creative Director: Brent Nicole
    Creative Director: Dave Gold
    Composer: Mike Semple
    Executive Producer: Ann Haugen
    Producer: Katie Overcash


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    Funny how Alex Bogusky is still seeing opportunities where brands and agencies are missing them. Case in point: A recent tweet to Liberty Mutual urging the insurance company—whose Winter Olympics ads are all about overcoming setbacks—to make a commercial about Heidi Kloser, the U.S. skier who was badly injured the day before the Sochi Games began.

    USA Today has the story."It was pretty much a no-brainer," says Bogusky, a fellow Coloradan and a big fan of Kloser's. He sent a direct message to Liberty Mutual, which got its agency, Havas Worldwide, working on a commercial. They filmed Kloser, 21, at home in Vail, Colo., where she had returned for surgery and rehab on her knee. Her parents appear, too, and recall Heidi's poignant question to them after the injury. (You probably remember Kloser walking with the help of crutches during the Opening Ceremony.) The ad, which you can see below, will air Wednesday night during NBC's Olympic coverage.

    "At Liberty Mutual, we believe that with every setback, there's a chance to come back. And rise," says the voiceover for the company's anthem spot (also posted below), which has been running throughout the Games.

    That fits Kloser perfectly, as she is already looking to 2018—although, as she admits to USA Today, "I'd rather star in a commercial because I won a gold medal."


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    Specs
    Who From left, Jim Copacino, co-founder and ecd; Betti Fujikado, co-founder and director of account management; Tim O’Mara, director of engagement strategy; Brandy O’Briant, managing director; and Mike Hayward, creative director
    What Full-service ad agency
    Where Seattle

    Celebrating its hometown like few agencies do, Copacino + Fujikado boasts seven clients with Seattle in their name, from the Seattle Aquarium to the Seattle Times to the Seattle Mariners, for whom it does celebrated comical ads. The 38-person shop doesn’t handle the NFL champion Seahawks, but used the team’s Super Bowl appearance to extend Visit Seattle’s “2 Days in Seattle” tourism ads to New York for the first time. The agency prides itself on consistency, claiming 64 straight profitable quarters since its founding in 1998. “We’re more of a Cal Ripken than a Reggie Jackson,” said co-founder and ecd Jim Copacino. But the indie displays some attitude. It put up a billboard last year congratulating Omnicom and Publicis on their merger—by showing a dinosaur and a gorilla shaking hands. 


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    Samsung is keeping up with its favorite advertising pasttime: beating up on Apple.

    A new spot from 72andSunny takes aim at the iPad air, poking fun at the grandiose Apple commercial, voiced by Bryan Cranston, that played hide the skinny tablet behind a pencil. In Samsung's cheekier version, the pencil isn't starting poems or finishing symphonies. It's cheating at golf, and getting stuck in ceilings. And hiding behind the iPad air is an "even thinner" Galaxy tablet, with all kinds of extra whiz-bang features.

    Given that Apple pretty much invented—and still leads—the category, it's a bit of an odd choice for Samsung to literally position its product in its rival's shadow. (As pretentious as Apple's tone can be, the brand does have some bragging rights as far as shaping culture goes.) Then again, Samsung's strategy seemed to work pretty well in the smartphone space, and the brand is gaining on Apple in tablet share—it's hard to argue with success, even if Samsung is starting to sound more smug itself.

    A second new Samsung spot offers a side-by-side comparison of LeBron James on an iPhone and a Galaxy smartphone. That ad does a better job of staying out of its own way and getting to its point (simply put, that the Galaxy is way better). Still, it's hard to see a stylus pen without thinking of a Palm Pilot … and nothing says 2014 like Palm Pilot.


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    If you saw a boy without a coat shivering alone at a bus stop, would you ask if he needed help? Would you lend him your gloves, scarf or jacket?

    Commuters do just that for 11-year-old Johannes in this hidden-camera video from SOS Children's Villages Norway, which is seeking to raise awareness and funds to help Syrian children in need. "The goal was to touch upon the fear of becoming numb to crises that don't affect you directly," SOS rep Synne Rønning tells AdFreak.

    In the film, shot over several hours on two freezing days in Oslo, the young actor tells adults that his jacket was stolen during a school trip to the city. "We were touched by the many people that got involved, and risked getting cold so Johannes could stay warm," says Rønning, adding that only three of the 25 or so people who shared the bus stop with him didn't try to help.

    Indeed, it's moving to see commuters give him their coats and mufflers, especially when it leaves them in short sleeves on a winter day. "We were quite surprised as to what extent people would try to help the boy in trouble," says Rønning. "The campaign has worked as an eye opener—people who watch the campaign ask themselves: What would I do?"

    The video, produced by Släger Kommunikasjon and Pure Content, doesn't explicitly address one significant issue—that you're more likely to help someone right in front of you than someone far away whose pain is more abstract. But it does memorably imply that really shouldn't matter.

    Plus, it exudes genuine warmth, and that's something sorely missing from most over-the-top hidden-camera ad stunts.


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    IDEA: Here's one little girl who's going to lose her mind on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. The 6-year-old narrator of GE's striking new 60-second ad weaves fantastical stories of otherworldly inventions her mother is working on. But it turns out it's all true—underwater fans, talking airplanes, miniature hospitals—because her mother works at GE.

    "One page from the brief really stood out," said BBDO art director Eric Goldstein. "It was a quote from [GE CEO] Jeff Immelt that said, 'We want to tell the world about the magic and wonder of what we do.' That conjured up thoughts of a childlike imagination."

    The spot covers the breadth of GE's work—in aviation, healthcare, energy, etc.—with a lightness of touch that adds humanism to its recent messaging about its "Brilliant Machines."

    "This spot reclaims imagination," said Linda Boff, GE's executive director of global brand marketing. "Showing where the softer side—imagination, software, the mind—meets the harder stuff—the technology, the engines, the innovation—is, for us, a great marriage."

    COPYWRITING: The spot opens with the girl on a boat, gazing at a giant moon. In voiceover, she says: "My mom? She makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. My mom makes airplane engines that can talk. My mom makes hospitals you can hold in your hand. My mom can print amazing things right from her computer. My mom makes trains that are friends with trees."

    Each sentence is its own eye-catching scene—churning deep-sea fans; a flock of planes with feathered wings; a tiny hospital in the girl's palm; a screaming jet engine hovering in the desert; ecstatic tree people chasing a locomotive.

    In the final scene, the girl, in her bedroom, says to the camera: "My mom works at GE." That line pulls the viewer out of the fantasy and into the real world—much as actual GE products, like the handheld Vscan ultrasound device, balance the metaphorical imagery with reality.

    The long-running tagline, "Imagination at work," appears on screen, followed by the GE logo.

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: The creatives had their own ideas for visual metaphors but asked MJZ director Dante Ariola for his. Some of his ideas (like the tree scene) were similar to theirs; others (like the bird-planes) were radically different.

    Ariola shot the ad over five days at four sites in Southern California. The goal was not to make it too cute or too dark. The visual references include films like Mad Max and Big Fish, but each scene has its own unique visual language.

    TALENT: The agency considered scores of girls, but wanted someone who wasn't overly sweet. "This girl is obviously adorable, but at the same time she's realistic. She's not a Central Casting type," said BBDO ecd Michael Aimette. A girl of 6 or 7 was the perfect age, too. "I have 4-year-old twins, and I think they would give even more abstract versions of the lines," said Aimette. "Older kids would have a different interpretation, too."

    SOUND: Barking Owl scored the perfect original track early on, without even seeing the visuals. "There's a sense of moodiness, a positive moodiness, a dreamlike wonder but not cute or fairy tale-ish," Aimette said. "It just feels like you're in a slightly altered universe." Sound design punctuates the details, particularly the whirring jet engine.

    MEDIA: TV and online. GE is also sponsoring blog posts on Medium and on Feb. 11 (Edison's birthday) kicked off a 22 Days of Invention celebration.

    THE SPOT:

    CREDITS
    Client: GE
    Spot: "Childlike Imagination"

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
    Senior Creative Director: Eric Cosper
    Senior Creative Director: Michael Aimette
    Group Executive Producer: Anthony Nelson
    Creative Director/Copywriter: Nick Sonderup
    Creative Director/Art Director: Eric Goldstein
    Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz
    Worldwide Senior Account Director: Emma Armstrong
    Senior Account Director: Peter McCallum
    Account Manager: Sam White

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Dante Ariola
    Director of Photography: Benoit Delhomme

    Music House: Barking Owl

    Edit House: Whitehouse
    Editor: Rick Lawley

    Visual Effects House: Method Studios

    Audio Mix: Heard City
    Mixer: Phillip Loeb


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    Old Navy had a long and largely fruitful relationship with Crispin Porter + Bogusky. But the retailer seems reinvigorated creatively since splitting from CP+B last summer.

    Part of the problem was that the CP+B work was so fully realized—and in such a particular style—that it became limiting. The ads, from the SuperModelquins to the Funnovations, were always recognizable and well crafted, but they became a bit suffocating.

    Lately, though, freed from those constraints, Old Navy has done some irresistible commercials. First, Melissa McCarthy hilariously hammed her way through a game-show parody for Black Friday—in an ad by Chandelier in New York and director Roman Coppola.

    Now, the same agency and director have teamed up for a spring 2014 spot starring another comic, Debra Wilson, who plays a TSA agent bowled over by a passenger's $19 Old Navy jeans.

    Wilson, an original MADtv cast member, is hilarious in the role. And Coppola again displays a deft touch for comedy—and for madcap scenes of pandemonium. As the passengers absurdly flee for the exits in this ad, falling over each other in the process, it recalls one of Coppola's other recent outings—the Windows Phone ad with the melee between Apple and Samsung users at a wedding.

    It's helpful for any clothing retailer to have a range of styles, in its clothes and its advertising. And Chandelier is certainly giving Old Navy new looks.

    The spot will also run as a :30. A Spanish-language version will star actress Dascha Polanco, aka Daya from Orange Is the New Black.

     

     

    CREDITS
    Client: Old Navy

    Agency: Chandelier Creative
    Creative Director: Richard Christiansen
    Associate Creative Director: Lena Kuffner
    Managing Director: Sara Fisher
    Art Director: Michael Scanlon
    Producer: Jill Andresevic

    Production Company: The Director's Bureau
    Director: Roman Coppola
    Executive Producers: Lisa Margulis, Elizabeth Minzes
    Line Producer: Eric Sedorovitz
    DP: Matthew Libatique

    Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Carlos Arias 
    Assistant Editor: Lauren Dellara
    Executive Producer:  Eve Kornblum & Carol Lynn Weaver
    Head of Production: Justin Kumpata & Angela Dorian
    Post Producer: Lisa Barnable & Shada Shariatzadeh

    Telecine: Company 3 LA
    Colorist: Sean Coleman

    Music Supervisor: John Bissell, Mothlight Music
    Mixer: Rohan Young at Lime Studios
    Assistant Mixer: Jeff Malen

    Post Production
    Design Studio: Elastic
    Art Director: Lisha Tan
    Designer(s): Lyn Cho
    Producer:  Michelle Machado
    Executive Producer:  Jennifer Sofio Hall

    VFX Studio: A52
    2D VFX Artist(s):  Dan Ellis, Matt Sousa, Gabe Sanchez
    Producer:  Michelle Machado
    Executive Producer:  Megan Meloth


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    Neil Patrick Harris goes all Miley Cyrus on a bottle of Neuro Sleep in this goofy music video for the brand's "Sleep with Neuro" campaign.

    The video was directed by Jon Jon Augustavo, who also did Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" video, and has NPH in full Barney Stinson mode, silk pajamas and everything. I guess that nightshirt phase he went through didn't last.

    There's a fair amount of corny R&B video tropes to be found here, both in the visuals and Neil's delivery, which is top notch as always. That's the nice thing about him—you never feel like he's phoning it in, no matter what ridiculous or beneath-his-talent thing he's doing.

    NPH's appearance in the video came from a Neuro customer survey that asked people who they would like to have a slumber party with—35 percent of the responses went with Neil. It also didn't hurt that he and Neuro Sleep founder Diana Jenkins are friends.

    Plus, How I Met Your Mother is finally finishing up, so he needs to keep the wolves off his doorstep somehow.


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    It must be nice to be Three.

    The British mobile network has the most fun-loving advertising slogan around: "We all need silly stuff." And Wieden + Kennedy in London makes the most of that promisingly vague positioning. Last year, we had the dancing Shetland pony. Now, it's time for the singing cat.

    The new ad is brilliantly shot by Traktor, and features remarkable performances—not just by the preternaturally talented kitty but by the girl, too, who apparently was born to lip-sync old Starship songs. (W+K London has lots of relevant feline experience, too, of course, having also done the much-loved "Cats With Thumbs" work for Cravendale.)

    The only downside: The related website, where you can upload your photo and "star in your own kitten-rocking, face-morphing music video," doesn't load outside the U.K.

    Credits below. Via Unruly Media.

    CREDITS
    Client: Three
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
    Creative Directors: Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy
    Creatives: Chris Lapham, Aaron McGurk, Luke Tipping
    Production Company: Partizan
    Directors: Traktor
    Postproduction: MPC


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    You yearn for the '60s and the Creative Revolution. You want to go back to the '80s and all those yachts, prostitutes and cocaine. Hell, you'd even settle for the 2000s, before Yahoo plastered its name on the Gutter Bar.

    True, working in advertising isn't like it used to be. But in the videos below, created by VCU BrandCenter students for the AICP Awards, top creatives Gerry Graf, Tiffany Rolfe and Ted Royer reveal that there is a silver lining.

    Could we at least ditch the open plan and go back to offices, though?

    CREDITS
    Client: AICP
    Agency: VCU BrandCenter
    Copywriter: Gabe Sherman
    Art Directors: Steve Gonzalez, Rick Plautz
    Creative Brand Manager: Jeff Tolefson
    Creative Strategist: Araba Wilson

    @radical.media
    Director: Stephen Pearson
    Producer: Thomas O'Malley
    Director of Photography: Vince Vinitti
    Editor: Brett Mason


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