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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Four months after it began, the legal battle between GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys appears to be winding down, as the band has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the toy maker over the unauthorized use of the song "Girls" in a commercial—in exchange for an apology and a donation to charity.

    The apology, posted on the GoldieBlox website, reads:

    We sincerely apologize for any negative impact our actions may have had on the Beastie Boys. We never intended to cast the band in a negative light and we regret putting them in a position to defend themselves when they had done nothing wrong.

    As engineers and builders of intellectual property, we understand an artist's desire to have his or her work treated with respect. We should have reached out to the band before using their music in the video.

    We know this is only one of the many mistakes we're bound to make as we grow our business. The great thing about mistakes is how much you can learn from them. As trying as this experience was, we have learned a valuable lesson. From now on, we will secure the proper rights and permissions in advance of any promotions, and we advise any other young company to do the same.

    So, the company is claiming its actions were simply based on inexperience—which seems like a stretch considering how quickly GoldieBlox got the lawyers involved originally, but at least the apology is out there. The undisclosed revenue donation will go to a charity selected by the Beastie Boys that supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls—which the GoldieBlox products also promote.

    The fight began after GoldieBlox featured a reworked version of the song in an empowering girl-power ad that went viral online in November. GoldieBlox preemptively filed a lawsuit hoping that the song would be ruled a fair-use parody. The Beastie Boys then countersued.

    A little bit lost in all the legal wrangling, though in some ways the point of the whole mess, is one simple truth—which is that music really can make or break an ad. The GoldieBlox commercial, "Princess Machine," soared with the "Girls" soundtrack, but became a shadow of itself with a different song.


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    Getting old isn't the worst thing in the world.

    In our youth-obsessed culture, that's actually a provocative statement, and it's one that's made in quite moving fashion by ad agency Karmarama in this commercial for Age U.K., a British advocacy group for older people.

    The ad, titled "Love Later Life," features a poem by English beat poet Roger McGough that was commissioned for the spot and is expertly read by 91-year-old Sir Christopher Lee. It's the one inescapable element of the human condition that connects us all—nothing can stop us from growing older. But the ad's simple visuals of people aging from childhood to age 102 let the message truly shine—that age, in some ways, really is a state of mind.

    If you want to know more about what it's like to be old, the older people at the end of the ad have given interesting testimonials about the challenges of aging. (Sadly, despite the one line in the poem, none of the stories involve taking up Zumba.) Despite troubles with illness and money, and the encroaching icy hand of death, they all claim that growing old is far better than the alternative, and actually has certain joys and advantages.

    Lee said the poem was basically about him and he was "speaking about myself," according to Karmarama creative director Sam Walker. In the same interview, Walker also claims Lee had never done an ad before. Which might be true, I guess, other than all those ads for his movies, and the amazing ads for his own heavy metal album, A Heavy Metal Christmas Too.

    Let's just say it's his first ad hawking something other than himself. I guess you're never too old to try something new.

    CREDITS
    Client: Age U.K.
    Agency: Karmarama
    Executive Creative Directors: Sam Walker, Joe de Souza
    Copywriters: Joe De Souza, Jeremy Willy
    Art Directors: Sam Walker, Wayne Hanson
    TV Producer: Emma Johnston
    Edit Company: Speade
    Editor: Sam Sneade
    Post Production House: The Mill
    Colorist: Seamus O'Kane
    2-D Supervisor: Zoe Hayes
    Production Company: Partizan
    Director: Nadav Kander
    DOP: Tim Sidell
    Producer: Ella Sanderson


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    As we saw in our December roundup, there's no shortage of sexist ads—the vast majority of which are degrading to women rather than men. But what if the tables were turned?

    BuzzFeed's new video, "If Women's Roles in Ads Were Played by Men," swaps the genders in three commercials—for GoDaddy, Hardee's/Carl's Jr. and Doritos. (Only the first two were approvedads, however. The Doritos ad was a fan-made entry into the 2011 Crash the Super Bowl contest, and didn't advance to the finals—though it has gotten more than 2 million views on the director's YouTube channel.)

    BuzzFeed recreates each ad and plays them side by side with the originals. The GoDaddy spot reverses the Bar Rafaeli/Jesse Heiman setup and features a good-looking guy having to make out with a nerdy girl. Instead of Nina Agdal oiling up her cleavage for Hardee's/Carl's Jr., we see an average-looking guy … oiling up his cleavage for Hardee's/Carl's Jr. And in the Doritos ad, it's the guy, not his girlfriend, who's naked in bed and covered in Doritos. (Maybe this version would have been a finalist after all.)

    "Seeing men like this is ridiculous, so why isn't it with women?" the video says at the end. They picked three cringeworthy ads to replicate, but the question certainly holds merit. Sex and humor are effective for a lot of campaigns, but it'd be nice if that could be achieved without, you know, gratuitous crotch shots.


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    Sometimes a little stupid is just right.

    Chips Ahoy delivers with a series of spots from The Martin Agency featuring an animated cookie prone to minor, entertaining mischief. The 30- and 15-second shorts get all the key details right—the pauses, and the simple but absurd expressions.

    It's a good play for the kids who'll clamor after the product. The moms who do the grocery shopping may not be so thrilled that the brand is egging on their little angels.

    Then again, who could stay mad at a face like that?


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    There's an ad blog called Creative Criminals, but here's the real thing—federal prison inmates who are trying their hand at copywriting and art directing thanks to a program called Concepting With Convicts, launched by two interns at DigitasLBi in San Francisco.

    Ben Pfutzenreuter and Pat Davis used prison pen-pal websites to contact the inmates and get them involved in the program. The inmates provide either the copywriting or the art direction on each ad. "We realized that if we could contact convicts themselves, maybe we could also show them that their creative talents can translate into a real career on the outside," Davis tells PSFK.

    On the website, Pfutzenreuter and Davis say of the initiative: "We hope it proves two things: that creativity can be a career, and that good ideas can come from anywhere."

    Check out the whole project at con-cepting.com.


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    Out of nowhere, we're suddenly seeing some pretty incredible ads for guide dogs.

    Back in January, we had the Norwegian Association of the Blind's amusing PSA with the menagerie of non-dog guide animals. Now, we swing in the other direction completely with this intense ad for Holland's Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation. We won't spoil it, but this remarkable ad will leave you with even more appreciation for dogs and the skills they bring in communicating with humans.

    The spot is by ad agency Selmore Amsterdam and Caviar director Rogier Hesp.


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    In this new spot for paint brand Dulux, BBH London paints a charming, vibrant fantasy where colors, rather than alcohol, are outlawed during America's Prohibition days.

    Everyone's feeling as glum and washed out as their drab surroundings as our heroine mopes around, oblivious to a potential suitor. The bit where a cop on the beat crushes a golden flower beneath his boot as a little girl looks on is a cute, tongue-in-cheek touch.

    Directors Christian & Patrick of Park Pictures don't rely on black-and-white photography, which can, in some instances, look nostalgic and inviting. Rather, the film's palette is gray and faded, its colors barely perceptible, an effective technique that adds a splash of realism and enhances the downbeat vibe.

    Suddenly, bullets fly, cans and barrels are punctured and smashed—and some lucky folks start seeing the world in different hues. (Maybe they just needed a few shots of bathtub gin.)

    "The spillage was all done on a pre-prepared canvas so that we didn't get any on the roads," BBH creative Martha Riley tells AdFreak. "The production designer created a massive sort of jigsaw of the canvas which was laid on top of the road and the edges were taken out in post. We were very lucky with the weather that day as there were looming rainclouds but we managed to shoot the scene before the daily downpour."

    The narrative defines happiness in broad strokes, which seems entirely appropriate for a paint commercial. Ultimately, the film does a fine job of blending color and mood, and its message isn't easily brushed aside.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Dulux
    Agency: BBH London
    Creative Team: Martha Riley & Richard Glendenning
    Creative Director: Nick Allsop
    Team Manager:  Hannah Madden
    Team Director: Tracey McIntosh
    Strategy Director: Tom Roach
    Strategic Business Lead: Ann-Marie Costelloe
    Producer: Georgina Kent/Ruben Mercadal 
    Assistant Producer: Phil Cross/David Lynch
    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Christian & Patrick
    Executive Producer: Stephen Brierley
    Producer: Richard Fenton
    DoP: Benoit Delhomme
    Post Production: Electric Theatre Collective
    Producer: Matt Williams
    Shoot Supervisor: Yourick Van Impe
    Lead Flame Artist: Giles Cheetham
    Flame: Andrew Stewart, Yourick Van Impe
    Nuke: James Belch
    Lead 3D Artists: Remi Dessange, Gerard Dunleavy
    3D: Dan Marum , Laury Guintrand
    Matte Painting, Gerard Dunleavy, Dave Gibbons
    Grading: Aubrey Woodiwiss
    Editor/Editing House: Andrea Macarthur / Lizzie Graham @ Peepshow Post
    Sound: Raja Sehgal @ Grand Central Sound Studios


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    Walmart has been called many things in recent years. Inspirational has not often been one of them.

    But the retailer's recent pledge to buy $250 billion in products made in America over the next 10 years has given it license to move into more high-minded, patriotic advertising—as seen in the Saatchi & Saatchi spot on the Olympics celebrating American manufacturing.

    Now, the company takes that patriotic stance and gives it a serious emotional wallop in this remarkable new Web film from Saatchi, focusing on the story of Patrick—a true hero of an American factory worker.

    Patrick was born with various disabilities but found the inner drive never to give up. Despite setbacks, he persevered and chased his dream of simply being a worker. "When I wanted to work, I got a job," he says in the voiceover. "It's a struggle every day. I still get up because work makes me feel like I'm reaching my goals. I'm part of a team."

    The spot ends with some clever wordplay. "My whole life, people have been telling me I have a learning disability," Patrick says. "I guess they're right ... because I never learned how to give up."

    That line echoes another Saatchi New York spot about a man overcoming challenges—the famous Duracell ad with Derrick Coleman. ("They didn't call my name, told me it was over," Coleman says in that spot. "But I've been deaf since I was 3, so I didn't listen.")

    Asked about the similarities, Saatchi declined to comment. The spots are different enough, in any case, that it's hardly a ripoff. And if an agency is going to be inspired by something, let it be its own amazing work.

    In light of Walmart's image problems in recent years, this manufacturing campaign seems to be striking a chord, even among some detractors. As one YouTube commenter reluctantly writes: "Seriously though, I dislike Walmart, but this was inspirational."

    CREDITS
    Client: Walmart
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
    Production Company: Anonymous Content
    Director: Phillip Montgomery
    Editing Company: Kyle Edit
    Editor: William Zitser


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    Treating Coca-Cola like it's high-end wine is ridiculous—the stuff of parody. And yet the world's most popular sugar-water brand has graciously partnered with luxury glassware maker Riedel for your smirking bemusement.

    The product of their collaboration, a $20 glass that the brands claim is specially designed to favor Coke's flavor profile, may in fact make your $1 soda seem to taste better.

    Or, for free, you can enjoy the surreal experience of hearing Riedel CEO Georg Riedel talk about Coke as if it were just like a rare wine for which his company also produces special crystal. "This glass starts with the introduction of the aromas, beautiful lemon, citrus, lime character, malt characteristics, the mouth feel, the effervescence," he tells Fast Company."The glass orchestrates the sweetness on the palate."

    In theory, the campaign is a clever nod to the lore that says Coke is better in its classic glass bottles. Over on Coke's website, in the brand's interview with itself, Riedel also spins a yarn harkening back to his youth, when he rationed a 12-pack of the soda as a rare treat in the midst of post-WWII scarcity. That is a nice story. It is no longer the 1950s. Coca-Cola does not want you to ration soda. It wants you to buy more. Lots more.

    In reality, Coca-Cola isn't snobbish or even fancy. Coca-Cola is populist. It's accessible. Pretending otherwise comes across as a bizarre form of self-mockery. Unless the whole exercise is a form of trollish performance art—in which case, Coca-Cola has already won. 

    Also, wine is probably better for you.


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    Wieden + Kennedy's first campaign for Gap is set to launch in September, following the retailer's hiring of the agency this week.

    The shop will handle global creative responsibilities—a role previously held by Ogilvy & Mather until Gap parted ways with the agency in late 2012. Gap had been working with Peterson Milla Hooks on a project basis.

    "Wieden + Kennedy was a natural choice as an agency partner as we share the same vision for Gap’s evolution as a global brand," said Seth Farbman, Gap Global CMO. "We look forward to our collaboration beginning with our fall 2014 marketing campaign.” 

    Global media spending figures were not available, but in the U.S. alone, Gap spent $58 million in 2012 and $37 million in the first nine months of 2013, according to Kantar Media.

    The New York office of Wieden will lead the business. As Gap's needs develop, Wieden will pull in other offices around the world. 


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    Beginning today, and every Friday, we're going to be slipping on our crampons, grabbing our pickaxe and carabiners and descending into the foreboding caves of Deep YouTube in search of the world's weirdest commercials.

    Below, check out this week's collection—seven solid-gold ads that will make you laugh, cry, run for cover, or all of the above.

     
    • Eat gum, ride enormous magical kitty to work! Country: Japan.

     
    • The political situation in Eastern Europe is often complicated, but here it's clearly bananas. Country: Hungary.

     
    • Asking for chips is a problem for some people. Enter the scary-ass talking tiger spirit animal. Country: U.K.

     
    El anuncio de el Rancho De Jack es muy estraño. Country: U.S.

     
    • Fantasizing about American girls rolling around in coffee will be a problem for your relationship. Country: Georgia.

     
    • Need to wake up? These terrifying giant chickens will do the trick. Country: Australia.

     
    • These coat racks were Neil deGrasse Tyson's first choice for his spaceship in Cosmos. Country: The Netherlands.


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    Sony wants to let you know it’s the little things that make a huge difference. In its ad for the Xperia Z2, it showcases how paying close attention to minutiae can make you stand out in the dance world.

    The commercial also doubles as a great way to show off the smartphone's underwater capabilities. No, this is not some waterproof iPhone hoax.

    Plus, there’s nothing better that a little "wakey wakey, eggs and bakey." While you’ll still have to scramble your own eggs, Oscar Meyer has promising new technology that will pump out fresh fried bacon scent when your cellphone alarm goes off. Interested parties can apply for the beta test.

    Check out the top brands this week:

    NOTE: Adweek’s VideoWatch Chart, powered by VidIQ, reveals the Top 10 Branded Web Videos on YouTube every week. The chart tracks more than just pure views, as VidIQ incorporates sharing data from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other data sources in an effort to measure true engagement. Every video is also ranked with VidIQ’s proprietary Score which helps judge the likelihood of a video being promoted in YouTube Related Videos, Search and Recommended Videos.


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    After six years of infancy, the E*Trade baby is finally moving on with his life.

    This week, the online brokerage began airiring what is said to be the last ad featuring the longtime spokeschild, a Super Bowl staple since 2008. As a bit of an admission that the campaign has started to get stale, the spot shows the baby being subjected to a new sidekick. In true 2014 Internet style, it's a zany cat.

    The campaign's end was somewhat inevitable, given that the agency behind it, Grey, resigned the E*Trade account in 2013. Just a month later, the account was handed to fellow WPP Group agency Ogilvy & Mather.


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    You don't expect strong storytelling or cinematic filmmaking from tire companies. But that's what Leo Burnett has been delivering for Firestone in an ad campaign that continues with this gorgeous spot about the thrill of young love—and the unforeseen obstacles that might get in its way.

    The spot, set to debut Friday night on CMT's Crossroads, was directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures (who also, of course, directed Volkswagen's "The Force" and Nike's "Jogger," among many other ad hits)—and he lets the mystery build nicely by cutting between scenes of two couples, whose relationship at first is murky. The ad also makes great use of the genius songwriter Daniel Johnston, whose track "True Love Will Find You in the End" gives the commercial just the right off-kilter tone—a perfect accompaniment to the young couple and their impulsive, romantic decision.

    The brand's "Drive a Firestone" campaign, which launched in 2012, aims to  capture the role that well-maintained cars have in people's lives. This ad, in particular, highlights the durability and dependability of Firestone tires.

    "These commercials reveal unassuming slices of rural Americana, placing people who love their well-traveled cars in relatable situations," says Burnett executive creative director Charley Wickman, adding that the agency wanted to capture the "rawness of humanity" through evocative storytelling.

    The brand will run the full 90-second spot—no cutdowns—throughout its TV flight. It will also air on The Voice on April 14, on Nashville on April 30, on AMC Presents: An All-Star Tribute to the Troops on May 20 and on the CMT Music Awards on June 7.

     

    CREDITS
    Client: Firestone
    Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago
    Campaign: "Drive a Firestone"
    Ad: "Pick Up"
    Chief Creative Officer: Susan Credle
    Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman
    Creative Directors: Britt Nolan, Mikal Pittman
    Art Director: Mike Costello
    Music Director: Chris Clark
    Copywriter: Pete Lefebvre
    Executive Producer: Juan Woodbury
    Production Company: Park Pictures
    Director: Lance Acord
    Editing Company: Whitehouse Post
    Editor: Russell Icke
    Editorial Assistants: Caleb Hepler, Brandon Porter
    Producers: Joanna Manning, Laurie Adrianopoli
    Executive Producers: Joni Williamson, Dan Bryant
    Finishing Company: Carbon VFX
    Partner, Executive Producer: Frank Devlin
    Creative Director: Chris Noellert
    Senior Flame Artist, Online Editor: Pete Mayor
    After Effects: Wes Kandel
    Computer Graphics Artist: Matthew Stevens
    Associate Producer: Nick Vassil
    Flame Assistant: Jim Gomez
    Sound Company: Another Country
    Sound Engineer: John Binder
    Sound Producer: Joanna Woods


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    As we march deeper into the wild and woolly media landscape of 2014, it has become clear that there are three issues the majority of Adweek’s readers are trying mightily to better understand. The new media trinity of data management, native advertising and Web video has evolved into verticals dominating strategy discussions and bouts of sleeplessness, with questions and pain points ranging from the elemental (What are they?) to the almost philosophical (What is the right talent to invest in, and where are they?).

    Data is particularly thorny and complicated, and we’ve themed this issue with analysis to help put at least some of it into perspective. Longtime Adweek contributor David Gianatasio’s cover story dives into the scary world of consumer data theft and how big brands like Target—victim to a particularly nasty case of cyber sculduggery—can protect themselves while easing customer concerns. Also worth noting are the cover and supporting illustrations by graphic artist Noma Bar, which subtly capture the tension of the data conversation.

    Conversely, data as a creative force is explored in this week’s Voice column by BlueKai CEO Omar Tawakol, who posits that second-party data partnerships can yield a huge upside for those brands willing to do some symbiotic sharing.

    Native, too, has caused an immense amount of handwringing. But why? We are at a clear inflection point where audiences, armed with choice and technology, have become ad-blind. Spots, pages and banners? Blurring into invisible. Still, most media outlets exist as businesses, going concerns supported by this challenged traditional ad model. If responsibly executed native helps lift the scales off audiences’ eyes and keeps writers, editors and designers off the unemployment line, I say bring it on. Adweek is lucky to have running its burgeoning Brandshare native program our digital content strategist Kolby Yarnell, who has real editorial chops, institutional contacts and savvy—all crucial to a successful native play.

    Finally, we come to video where real creative energy and hope collide with marketplace reality. As audiences go on viewing benders with the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards, it’s clear that highly produced series can cut through the clutter and find meaningful numbers of viewers. But the vast majority of video produced for the Web—much of it really wonderful for either its production values or guerilla-infused originality—struggles to find anything even approaching virility.

    The fast-approaching Digital Content NewFronts—of which Adweek, in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, is the official media partner for the second year running—have made real gains lifting the profile of the medium and its programming partners among advertisers and the media-buying community. But while exciting, these still remain early days.

    This year, Adweek will once again publish an entire issue and a dedicated hub on Adweek.com devoted to the Web video industry, timed to the start of NewFronts week on April 28. And to celebrate the programming, production and talent featured daily on our VideoWatch blog, this year we are launching the Watch Awards, for which we are currently accepting submissions (including those from students) across 43 award categories at adweekwatchawards.com. Winners for single video and video series in each category will be announced in May in Adweek and at Adweek.com.

    As always, we’re ready to listen, watch and learn.


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    Mother London has cooked up Chipotle's first British campaign with print ads and posters that explain how to pronounce the burrito chain's name. "Chi-Pole-Tay," "Chi-Pottle" and "Shi-Pot-Lay" are wrong. (Now they tell me. All those wasted years.) "Chi-Poat-Lay" is correct. Thanks, Chipotle!

    "Delicious however you say it" is the tagline. Hey, thanks again! Cue "Farmed and Dangerous." Crank up Willie Nelson. Now, Brits can rest assured they've got the name right and savor that addictive, gut-grinding Chi-Poat-Lay bliss as the sun sinks yet lower on their once-mighty empire.


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    A miniature bulldozer, a tiny log loader and a little yellow submarine. Those are some of the fantastical machines that a London visual-effects house believes get the city's streets clean.

    Created by the computer graphics team at Rushes—a company that's done work for brands like Mercedes-Benz, Red Stripe and McDonald's—the video manages to be both cute and captivating. But it would probably be better if watched while listening to Magical Mystery Tour … and tripping on whatever psychedelic the artists were when they conceived it.

    Via Devour.


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    If you like to cook, eat or look at pretty things, enjoy this gorgeously hypnotic bit of food porn from French coffee brand Carte Noir.

    Created by Proximity BBDO and two directors from Le Potager, the visual craft is on par with Wieden + Kennedy's bar-setting 2012 paean to vegetables for British butter brand Lurpak. Someone more savvy to kitchens than I will have to parse exactly what's happening when, but basically it's about baking delicious little pastries filled with coffee-flavored cream to eat with your coffee ("Chou" also means cabbage in French, but don't be confused).

    The ambitious among you can find out how to make them, in French, over at the Carte Noire website, along with the following message. "Discover Rose by Carte Noire, greedy video reserved for women. Exclusively for men, this recipe is to enjoy with friends. But you resist the urge to share these adorable cabbage with your lover?" OK, maybe Google Translate didn't nail the details, but you get the idea. "Download the recipe without waiting!" is pretty clear, though.

    Overenthusiastic copywriting is always better in languages you don't actually speak, because you don't mind that ads are talking to you like a 3-year-old.



    CREDITS
    Client: Carte Noire
    Agency: Proximity BBDO, Paris
    Directors: M. Roulier et P. Lhomme
    Production Company: Le Potager
    Food dDesigner: Emmanuel Turiot
    Style Designer: Sylvie Bagros
    Editing: Bruno Herlin
    Music Supervisor, Composer: Aymeric Lepage
    Sound Design: The Hot Line


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    Banksy's "Balloon Girl" provides a fitting image for the children whose lives have been ravaged by Syria's civil war, which just entered its third year.

    The British street artist drew some criticism in October for the "awkward politics" of his satirical video about the conflict. His balloon imagery in this new "With Syria" awareness campaign, however, based on his stencil from 2002, has met with considerable praise, and rightly so.

    We've seen several stirring calls to aid Syria's children recently. They include a PSA in which physicist Stephen Hawking gives voice to their plight, and a video that imagines if the horrors took place in London. (Both are from Save the Children.)

    "With Syria" is no less powerful, and its duality is striking, encompassing both hope and regret. The hopeful message of kids lifted above violence and strife toward a better future (represented with soul and simplicity in the "With Syria" video) has received the most attention.

    The regretful message is subtler. A child clutching for a balloon suggests a childhood lost. Forever. That fate has befallen far too many Syrian kids already. More will suffer if we don't rise to the challenge and bring about meaningful change.

    The animated spot was written and created by Sunshine, and directed and produced by RSA Films. Idris Elba does the voiceover. Elbow contributed exclusive music.

     


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    Dad is a hamster, voiced by Andrew Dice Clay. One son, played by new Saturday Night Live cast member Kyle Mooney, is supposed to be at college, except he's home most of the time. Another son is an eccentric drawn to scrapbooking and ventriloquism. The sole daughter speaks only in French. Mom is actually normal (i.e., exceptional by being unexceptional). The family is mostly white, except Grandpa is black. And let's not even get into their motley group of friends.

    Sprint's new ad family (or rather, "framily"), the Frobinsons, created by Figliulo&Partners, are even more diverse and inclusive than your average Honey Maid family. They're a lot more peculiar, though—and no wonder. They're based partly on the multi-species Shitaro family (in which Dad is a dog) from Japan's famously quirky yet beloved ads for Softbank, which acquired Sprint last year.

    Sprint breaks two launch spots (see both below) on Monday night. The new theme will be "Happy Connecting." The question is, will U.S. viewers be as open to such self-conscious weirdness as the Japanese have been?

    "The American family has changed. Our families today are more than our relatives, but also our friends, our neighbors—basically all the people we love," Sprint CMO Jeff Hallock says in a statement. "So we created a product to give the new American family the flexibility and value they need from a wireless plan, brought to life through the Frobinsons. Our campaign acknowledges that we all have families that are unique with interesting personalities. It's a fun, lighthearted look at one group going through life as one big, happy Framily."

    "The Frobinsons are a typical American family. They are a strange mix of individuals that care very deeply about each other and we wanted to create a group of characters that are familiar and very unique at the same time," adds Mark Figliulo, who opened Figliulo&Partners last fall and signed Sprint as his first client after leaving TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York. "We know that people are happiest when they are connected to the people and things they care about most. That's why everything we do ends on a beginning: Happy Connecting."

    The first two spots are basically trailers for what will be an episodic story over the next several months, featuring various celebrity cameos. It's certainly an ambitious approach. And while it seems obvious to say so, a lot will depend on the execution. If the spots are well written, the characters will come to life and the premise will quickly seem endearing; if not, the work could just as quickly be in trouble.

    But the client seems excited about it, and clearly has faith in Figliulo—or should we say, fraith in Frigliulo. It should be an interesting ride.

    CREDITS
    Client: Sprint

    Brand Agency: Figliulo&Partners
    Chief Creative Officer:  Mark Figliulo
    Creative Directors: Jonathan Mackler, Joe Ventura
    Art Director: Craig Duffney
    Copywriter: Jim Lemaitre, Allon Tatarka
    Account Executive(s): Judith Carr-Rodriguez, Dena Graham
    Planning: Caroline Krediet
    Head of Production: Robert Valdes
    Producer(s): Katherine Cheng
    Art Producer: Carly Chappell
    Print Production:  Sarah Whinnem
    Business Affairs: Samantha Norvin

    Digital Agency: DigitasLBi
    Creative Directors: Lewis McVey
    Art Director: Keith Henneman, Christine Monahan
    Copywriter: David Shih, Nate Winter
    Project Manager(s):  Courtney Klein, Matt Hill
    Account Executive(s): Davin Power, Alex Raymond, Caitlin Kelly, Cristin Jordan
    Planning:  Mark Kirby
    Business Affairs:  Dan Simonetti, Wilmien Blake
    Technology:  Tony Bailey, Paul Nagorney, Nathan Dill, Angie Khumdee

    Media Agency: SMG
    Media Spend: TBC
    Media team: Terry Whitney, Tracy Reimers, Debbie Hutchings, Bridget Scanlan, Kandace Barker

    Photographer/Designer: Emily Shur with Giant Artists

    Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
    Director: Stacy Wall
    Director of Photography: John Lynch
    Executive Producer:  Charlie Cocuzza
    Line Producer: Betsy Oliver
    Editing House: The Whitehouse
    Editor: Lisa Gunning
    Producer: Nick Crane

    Publishing:
    Music: Home Sweet Home/Motley Crew
    Composer: Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx 
    Audio Mix: Sound Lounge NY
    Home Sweet Home performed by Tatyana Richaud in "Framily Portraits"
    Home Sweet Home arrangement for "Meet The Frobinons": Lee Wall

    Mixer: Tom Jucarone

    Talents:
    Dad's vo: Andrew Dice Clay
    Chuck: Kyle Mooney


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