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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Languid tales of southern Americana always make me feel hot and itchy. So, right from the start, I might not be the best audience for BBH London's 60-second "Bus" spot for KFC's slow-cooked, pulled-chicken menu.

    An older guy reminisces about how his brother, as a young dude years ago, would take long bus rides with a beautiful girl until he summoned up the courage to talk to her.

    "For months he rode that bus until the time was right," the voiceover says. "But the funny thing is, that girl lived way past our house. So every night he had to walk five miles home. To get something special takes time, I guess."

    The flashbacks look like they take place just outside Mayberry, USA. The girl resembles Angelina Jolie. And if KFC was looking to equate women with chicken sandwiches, it can cross that off its bucket list.

    BBH has been attempting more soulful advertising for KFC for some time. This new spot was directed by Benito Montorio, who also filmed BBH's truly wonderful "Emergency Chairs" ad for KFC back in 2011.

    Now, somebody turn up that fan. Lawdy, it's hot today.

     

    CREDITS
    Client: KFC
    Agency: BBH, London
    Director: Benito Montorio


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    Are you ready for some baseball?

    ESPN has Major League Baseball's Opening Day covered today with a new "This Is SportsCenter" spot starring the reigning National League MVP, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    The commercial, running online and on ESPN properties, shows a breakfast meeting for the SportsCenter anchors going awry when McCutchen and a band of Pirate mascots (Pittsburgh's Pirate Parrot, East Carolina's Pee Dee, Seton Hall's Pirate and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Captain Fear) break in and loot the breakfast spread.

    The ad, by Wieden + Kennedy in New York, breaks this afternoon during ESPN's broadcast of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Chicago Cubs.


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    Despite the fact that women drop a cool $300 billion on auto repair each year (and buy 65 percent of all new cars), the automotive business is still pretty much a boys’ club—except, lately, for Pep Boys.

    The 90-year-old auto parts and service chain recently commenced the “Road Ahead,” a rebranding initiative aimed at making stores more accessible and service-oriented. Thus far 70 of Pep Boys’ 800 locations have been fitted with smart waiting areas boasting leather chairs and free WiFi, a merchandise mix that includes more lifestyle accessories, and a renewed emphasis on service: greeting customers with a handshake (as the chain’s founders did in the old days) and patiently explaining each repair before it shows up on the bill.

    Though these measures are not targeted toward women exclusively, CMO Ron Stoupa said that the growing influence of female customers in the auto category was a motivator.

    Historically, “this industry didn’t cater to the female side because they weren’t seen as do-it-yourselfers—they didn’t like having their hands dirty,” he said. “What we see now is that, because gender roles have changed, women are taking the responsibility [of having the car fixed],” Stoupa said, “and they have different—and higher expectations.”

    Like, say, honesty. Stoupa vividly recalls how one focus-group member described repair shops as “a valley of liars and thieves.” He conceded: “This is a tough industry to gain trust in.”


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    IDEA: Makeup ads have a hard time being authentically inspiring, complicated as they are by issues of vanity and manufactured beauty.

    But Dermablend Professional is different. The brand's corrective cosmetics are used by people with mild to severe skin conditions, and so its advertising can be unconflicted—even empowering. This isn't about vanity; it's about freeing oneself from ridicule and living a normal life.

    New ads from Agence Tuxedo underscore this in a remarkable way. In emotional testimonials, two women, one semi-famous and one unknown, make a simple but in some ways audacious claim—that Dermablend's concealing products don't allow them to hide; they allow them to reveal who they truly are. This is counterintuitive but utterly heartfelt and believable.

    These women "fight through the shock that their skin condition creates—people look at them and stop at their skin," said Tuxedo creative director Ludwig Ciupka. "Covering themselves allows people to see through their imperfections and see who they are inside."

    COPYWRITING: In the ads, Cassandra Bankson and Cheri Lindsay look directly at the camera, from a black background, and remove their concealing makeup as they talk frankly about their skin conditions.

    Bankson, who has battled severe acne, is a YouTube star for her makeup tutorials (one has 22 million views). Lindsay, who has vitiligo, which causes depigmentation of the skin, also has YouTube videos. Both talk movingly about the challenges they've faced. (Bankson heartbreakingly recalls a bully telling her that her dying grandfather was lucky he'd never have to see her face again.)

    But they come to the same conclusion. As Bankson says: "I used to use makeup to cover up and to hide who I was. Now I use it to express myself and show the world who I truly am."

    Ciupka says nothing was scripted; he just had the women talk freely. "[We were] almost in tears at moments," he said. He set aside 45 minutes for each shoot, but each woman nailed it within five minutes.

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Ciupka filmed at Tuxedo's Montreal studios. It's so visually simple for two reasons. First, Dermablend wanted the same look as its previous viral video, starring the ultra-tattooed Rick Genest (aka, "Zombie Boy"), which got 15 million views; and second, the brand is asking people to make their own videos in the same style, which is easier to do with black backdrops.

    There are two camera angles—straight on and profile. Ciupka used a Steadicam for the latter shots. "I had briefed my Steadicam operator to focus on emotional details, like nervous hands and such," said Ciupka. "That brings dynamism to a very simple/static action, which you need when you create two-minute videos for Web viewers, who are far more demanding than TV zappers."

    TALENT: Both women come off as honest, confident, secure—and above all, courageous. "Cassandra, being a popular YouTube blogger, didn't need me to make her feel secure, but Cheri did," said Ciupka. "I made sure she felt comfortable and empowered."

    SOUND: The earlier Genest video used a Zoo Brazil track called "There Is Hope." Ciupka went back to Zoo Brazil for the new spots and licensed an upcoming, unreleased track called "Heart's a Legend."

    "It felt right for the follow-up, for a more emotional campaign, while still giving it an edge," he said.

    MEDIA: The videos, aimed at women 15-45 with minor to severe skin imperfections, are running on YouTube and the Dermablend site.

    Genest stars in a new video, too, but of course, his skin condition was self-imposed. Emotionally, Bankson and Lindsay's ads are the focus.

    THE SPOTS:

    CREDITS
    Client: Dermablend Professional
    General Manager, U.S., Dermablend & Vichy: Sonya Sheth
    Agency: Agence Tuxedo, Montreal
    Art Director/Director: Ludwig we had planned 45 minutes per girls to allow them to talk and they took 5 minutes each and we were amazed at how much 'real' content we got from them.
    Director of Client Services: Nancy Gendron
    Manager, Client Services: Roxanne Champagne
    Video Editing: Jean-Michel Simard
    Production Company: Agence Tuxedo
    Music: Zoo Brazil, "Heart's a Legend" (Blackhole Recordings)
    Talent: Cassandra Bankson, Cheri Lindsay, Rick Genest (aka Rico or Zombie Boy)


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    YouTube is going all out for April Fools' Day today, revealing which outlandish trends will go viral for the remainder of the year—based on the premise that YouTube itself masterminds the site's biggest viral videos, trends and memes, like Gangnam Style, the Harlem Shake and Rebecca Black's "Friday."

    "Here at YouTube HQ, we write, shoot, and upload all of the world's most popular viral videos. Here's a sneak peek at what you'll be watching in 2014," the site says.

    The trends include:

    • Clocking: The new planking! Hold your arms in the shape of the time in a public place. The longer you tick the cooler it is.

    • Glub Glub Water Dance: An originally produced and choreographed song and dance, the Glub Glub Water Dance involves pouring water on yourself while flapping your arms and spitting out the water.

    • Kissing Dad: Catch your dad's reaction on camera after you give him a smooch on the cheek or head. Celebrate kissing your dad once you're done!

    YouTube is also inviting people to submit their viral trend ideas. It will pick three of them and create videos in real time for those trends from the YouTube Space LA.

    Actually, Clocking probably will go viral after this.

    See all the videos below.


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    Happy April Fools' Day!

    This year, all the usual brand suspects are joined by a host of tech companies and startups in trying to throw you for a loop—a near impossibility these days. And in an odd move, American Eagle Outfitters pranked us an entire week early.

    Stay tuned. We'll be updating this list throughout the day.

     
    UPDATE
    (2:59 p.m. ET): Here are a bunch more. Scroll down to see the earlier ones.
     
    • Bonobos
    The apparel company created TechStyle—wearable tech-clothing that connects you socially to a psychopathic artificial intelligence.

     
    • Denny's
    In a surprising, press-getting twist, the restaurant opted out of April Fools' Day altogether.

     
    • WestJet
    The airline is converting to "metric time" to be even more Canadian.

     
    • RedBox
    The DVD rental company created Mood Match, which lets you auto-match your movie selection to your mood. Dissapointed that it's fake? Get 50 cents off today with the code Aprilfools.

     
    • Saatchi & Saatchi Thailand
    Ad agency creates an app to help clients fire their agency.

     
    • Samsung and HTC
    Bothbrands have made fake wearable tech gloves. HTC won this battle.

     
    • American Well
    The telehealth firm has introduced Puppy Connect, which lets you connect to puppies to improve your health. Aww, puppies.

     
    • CERN
    The Large Hadron Collider is switching to exclusively using Comic Sans font and is adding a Justin Bieber selfie to its logo.

     
    • Vegemite
    The Australian food paste has created its first energy drink. iDrink 2.0 comes in one flavor: Vegemite:

     
    • Google Chrome
    The browser wants to translate everything to Emoiji. Turn it on for your browser, and it will work only for today.

     
    • Google Chromecast
    The streaming device announces a new era of entertainment populated entirely by squirrels.

     
    • Twitter
    The Twitter helmet will allow you to tweet with a simple pecking head motion. What, we don't even get an illustration of this?

     
    • Toshiba
    In our third wearable tech glove prank of the day, Toshiba introduces DiGiT.

     
    • Tumblr
    Tumblr has launched Tumblr pro, a new service that puts top hats on everything. Be sure to watch the amazing, inspiring video.

     
    • Microsoft
    Clippy, the helpful paperclip, has returned to his reign of terror on Office.com.

     
    • Captain Morgan
    Hopefully this Taco Rum is fake, although Chrissy Teigen says she's not opposed.

     

    The original list is below:
     
    • Google

    Linked off the Google homepage this morning is the Auto Awesome Photobombs app for Google+, which lets you insert David Hasselhoff into any photo.


     
    • American Eagle Outfitters
    Charging out of the gates last week, American Eagle announced American Beagle Outfitters, a new clothing line for dogs, complete with a dogumentary.

     
    • Cheetos
    Spokescheetah Chester released his new fragrance, Cheeteau. They took it a step further by actually making a few bottles of the stuff, and sent one to AdFreak. It reeks, and not in a good way. In New York City today? Try it yourself on Madison Avenue between 59th and 61st Streets.

     
    • YouTube
    The video site announces the absurd viral trends for the rest of the year.

     
    • Reddit
    "Headdit" lets you navigate Reddit with your head. Includes special cat mode.

     
    • Airbnb
    Now you can rent out other people's office desks.

     
    • Sony
    Tired of plugging your gadgets into wall sockets? Sony has invented Sony Power Food, which can power both you and your devices. Weird.

     
    • BetaBrand
    Introducing Adult Adult Undergarments. They'll make her pants as wet as yours.

     
    • Publicis Seattle
    The agency has created Brand Drops, the world's first branded aromatic rain. They turn a rainy day into the ultimate out-of-home, multisensory brand experience.

     
    • Qless
    This startup has created Line Ringer, an app that scans for the cell-phone numbers of the people ahead of you in line and calls them with fake emergencies that force them to sacrifice their place. I wish it was real.

     
    • Fresh Direct
    The food-delivery company is offering eagle-caught salmon sustainably harvested in the wilds of upstate New York.

     
    • Google Maps
    Compete to become the world's best Pokémon master and win a job at Google Maps. OK, the job doesn't exist, but you can download the app and find the missing Pokémon.

     
    • Gmail
    Google's mail app has created "sharable selfie" themes for your Gmail inbox—or as they're calling them, Shelfies. And … they're claiming they invented the term "selfie." Again, it's not fully a joke, as you can now set your Gmail box to show other people's Shelfies.

     
    • Orbotix
    Speaking of selfies, Orbotix, maker of the Sphero ball toy, has invented a tiny hovering drone called the selfie bot, so you can take selfies every second of the day.

     
    • Google Japan
    Check out the Magic Hand, a joystick that replaces your hand with a robotic hand. Just another example of Chindogu.

     
    • Nest
    The home automation company teams with Virgin America to create Total Temperature Control for every seat on Virgin, introduced by Tony Fadell and Sir Richard Branson.

     
    • Virgin Active
    The Smarty Pants are underwear with a built-in meter to count your every glute lex and ensure your rump is in tip-top twerking shape.

     
    • Waze
    How do I love thee? Count the ways with new WazeDates. Because honking only takes you so far.

     
    • National Geographic Channel
    The channel will be running some of its classic programs with new audio courtesy of RiffTrax. This will probably seem more prank-like if you're flipping through and have no clue why the honeybadger is mouthing off again.

     
    • The Pirate Bay
    A special device will embrace your entire mind and upload Pirate Bay's content directly into your brain.

     
    • Ely, Minnesota
    The April Fools'-loving city is launching The Ely Channel, featuring great TLC-inspired shows like Sauna Wars, The Real Housewives of St. Louis County and Iron Range Chef.

     
    • BMW
    Introducing the Ultimate Sleeping Machine. BMW is old hat at this, so hats off for another super cute prank.

     
    • Dominos U.K.
    The world's first edible pizza box. Also, ewww.

     
    • Samsung Mobile U.K.
    How to bring free wifi to all of London. With Fli-Fy, powered by the city's pigeons.

     
    • Caribou Coffee
    Check out Caribou Clear, the world's first clear coffee.

     
    • Tropicana
    It's a day for lots of fake new food flavors and varieties. Like Tropicana's All Pulp.

     
    • BirchBox
    An app update auto-identifies the makeup someone is wearing.

     
    • Chegg
    The academic company has created Chegg U., with groundbreaking courses in Advanced Flip Cup,Microwavable Culinary Arts and Mastering the Selfie.

     
    • Think Geek
    The nerd site tests a gamut of new products on April Fools' Day each year. Among this year's creations: the NERF Nuke, the Keurig Mr. Beard Instant Beard Machine, the Flux Capacitor Car Charger, the USS Enterprise Flying Disk, the DarkMange LED Spellcasting Staff, a laser-guided necktie and the Das Can-in-Stein.

     
    • JetBlue
    In an anti-prank, JetBlue is again giving free fares to people whose birthdays are April 1.

     
    • CafePress
    The site has launcged CafePredict. In conjunction with the NSA, they'll ship you items before you order them.

     
    • Rekya Vodka
    A lava-rock drinking-water filter.

     
    • Chili's
    The restaurant chain has put everything you love about Chili's in an ice cream. Try Nacho Queso Crunch, Baby Back Chunk and Buffalo Brownie Sundae. Because there's a pregnant lady somewhere.

     
    • Life at Google
    Try out Google Resume Auto-Awesome (actually not that awesome).

     
    • Rosetta Stone
    The language software company now lets you Learn to Speak Klingon. It's another product some people would actually buy. Plus, they got Worf himself, Michael Dorn, to star in the video.

     
    • Spaghetti O's
    Now they're Spaghetti Squares.


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    It's a World Cup year, which means only one thing for soccer's major international stars. They're about to feel an almost unbearable amount of hellish pressure.

    Nike—which isn't a World Cup sponsor but always creates plenty of marketing around the tournament, just without naming it as such—has often focused on the psychic stresses of soccer superstardom. Its famous 2010 World Cup campaign, "Write the Future," was at least as much about the terrors of failing on the sport's biggest stage as it was about winning it all.

    Now, Wieden + Kennedy has launched its first World Cup 2014 spot for Nike. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, it carries a variation on the same pressure-cooker theme. This time the message is: "Risk everything."

    The 60-second spot below shows Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil's Neymar and England's Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense pressure to perform well. In each case, the player is seen grappling with the idea of not measuring up. Who else but Ronaldo can carry Portugal? Can Rooney finally score a World Cup goal for England? Is Neymar worthy of Brazil's fabled No. 10 shirt?

    A pair of Beats by Dre headphones would probably help each of these guys get in the zone. But since that's out of the question, they have to march to the beat of Ronaldo's footsteps—until, at the end of the spot, they can jog toward the field.

    "The expectations—from a nation's hopes to the historic power of a shirt—are massive, but these are players who thrive on that responsibility," says Davide Grasso, Nike's chief marketing officer. "These players play on the edge because they know great moments usually spring from attempts to try something out of the ordinary. Think about Zlatan's overhead kick last year, or Rooney's goal last weekend. Those moments do not occur without fearless risk-taking."

    Unlike "Write the Future," which was extremely witty in parts, this first "Risk Everything" ad is exceedingly somber—right down to the "Risk Everything" logo, which is a skull with the swoosh carved into its forehead and a flaming die and soccer ball on either side.

    Luck, skill, hope, death. Let's just hope these three guys make it out alive.

    CREDITS
    Client: Nike
    Project: "Risk Everything"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
    Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte / Ryan O'Rourke
    Interactive Director: Dan Viens
    Copywriter: Rick Herrera / Jeff Salomonsson
    Art Director: Stuart Brown / Johan Arlig / Sezay Altinok
    Producer: Andy Murillo
    Executive Agency Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
    Account Team: Karrelle Dixon / Alyssa Ramsey / Ricardo Hieber
    Business Affairs: Karen Crossley
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman / Joe Staples

    Production Company: Reset (representing Academy)
    Director: Jonathan Glazer
    Executive Producer: Simon Cooper / Jeff McDougall
    Line Producer: Simon Cooper
    Director of Photography: Barry Ackroyd /  Alex Barber

    Editorial Company: The Quarry and Rock Paper Scissors
    Editors: Paul Watts / Mark Whelan
    Post Producer: Shada Shariatzadeh
    Post Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

    VFX Company: The Mission
    VFX Supervisor: Rob Trent
    Flame Artist: Jan Cilliers
    VFX Producer: Diana Cheng

    Music+Sound Company: Original music by Squeak E Clean
    Composer: Original music by Squeak E Clean; Justin Hori, Creative Director
    Sound Designer: Johnnie Burn / Stephen Dewey
    Producer: Carol Dunn for music

    Mix Company: Barking Owl
    Mixer: Brock Babcock
    Producer: Whitney Fromholtz


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    Energy BBDO's new ad for King's Hawaiian bread rolls is sucky, though not in a bad way. The rolls are so light and fluffy, you see, you don't even have to reach for one with your hands—you just breathe in with a quick sucking motion, and presto!

    It's a memorable first spot for the bakery brand from Energy BBDO, which won the account in December and is now working to double brand awareness and significantly grow brand penetration following the client's opening of state-of-the art bakeries in Southern California and Georgia.

    The ad closes with the line, "People go pupule for King's Hawaiian." Pupule is Hawaiian for crazy. Just don't try the sucking thing at a real dinner table. People will really think you're pupule.

     


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    From the folks who brought you "Mandible," perhaps the most twisted film-festival promo in history, comes a sequel that's also messed up—if less visually gruesome.

    RPA and Tool's new spot for the 15th anniversary of the Newport Beach Film Festival (taking place April 24 to May 1) tells the memorably off-kilter tale of a father who tells his daughter an extremely disturbing betime story.

    The two-minute-plus clip takes place entirely in her bedroom, and David Theune excels in his role—with his animated, increasingly intense storytelling, rather than movie clips, carrying the day.

    He begins predictably enough—"One upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a magical castle far far away"—but quickly changes gears. Weaving together plot points from indie classics Her, Memento and Pulp Fiction—and they mesh pretty seamlessly—his narrative peaks with an enthusiastic riff on the wood-chipper scene from Fargo. (The reason for his obsession is revealed in the final frames.)

    The girl's out like a light. Probably fainted. Sweet dreams!


    0 0

    Subaru is going for the lowest common denominator of dudes with this new grindhouse-style trailer for a movie that hopefully will never really exist.

    The title, The Ride of Her Life, is only slightly more clever than a Beavis and Butt-head joke—which might actually make it less funny, according to the inverse stupid-to-laughter ratio that rules the testosterone-addled-teen genre of comedy.

    Starring skater Bucky Lasek as "the mysterious drifter," the ad redeems itself with some one-liners that are so exaggeratedly dumb, they're good enough to render the whole thing convincing as a parody—instead of just painfully bad in the same manner it means to mock. Regardless, model-hyphenate Kayslee Colins, playing "the girl," shows enough skin to hold the attention of the flick's target audience—making it a win for the brand.

    The trailer, created by Carmichael Lynch, is a million miles from the agency's mostly sentimental "Love" campaign for the automaker, although true to form, it does have a rich father-daughter story at its core. It's just a negative one this time.

    And at least it features the full-size WRX instead of a miniature one.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Subaru of America

    Agency: Carmichael Lynch
    Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
    Executive Creative Director: Randy Hughes
    Writer, Creative Director: Ryan Peck
    Art Director, Creative Director: Scott O’Leary
    Head of Production: Joe Grundhoefer
    Senior Content Producer: Jon Mielke
    Producer: Jennifer David
    Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs
    Product Information Manager: Rob Ar
    Account Service Team: David Eiben, Krista Kelly, Eva Anderson, Greta Hughes
    Senior Project Manager: Lisa Brody

    Production Company: DoubleURXXX Productions
    XXXecutive Executives: Scott O'Leary, Ryan Peck
    XXXecutive Producer: Jon Mielke
    XXXecutive Technology Executive: Rich McGeheren
    XXXecutive Design Executive: Andrew Wetzel
    XXXecutive Responsible Adult: Lisa Brody
    Special XXXecutive in Charge of General XXXellence: Bucky Lasek

    Production Company: Cavira
    Director: Ruben Fleischer
    Executive Producer: Jasper Thomlinson
    Line Producer: Luke Ricci
    Director of Photography: Matthew Libatique

    Editing House: Mark Woollen
    Editorial Producer: Jeremy Greene
    Editors: Daniel Lee, Zach Pentoney

    Visual Effects House: Volt
    Online Artist: Pete Olson

    Telecine: CO3
    Colorist: Sean Coleman

    Audio: BWN
    Sound Design, Mix: Carl White

    Music: Singing Serpent

    Talent: Bucky Lasek, Michael Wiles, Kayslee Collins, Eddy Rice Jr., Jenette Goldstein


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    World Cup fever is heating up fast. Soon you'll need one of the globe's two major soda brands to help you cool down.

    Following the release of Nike's new soccer ad on Tuesday, Coca-Cola and Pepsi both unveiled their own tributes to futbol on Wednesday morning, ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil.

    Coca-Cola (which, unlike Pepsi, is an official sponsor of the tournament) says its marketing program around the 2014 World Cup is the largest in its history. Themed "The World's Cup," it celebrates soccer as a force for social good.

    The two-minute launch spot, by Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo, tells the story of soccer teams in Otsuchi, Japan, Eastern Europe, the Amazon and Ramallah, Palestine—four places where the sport had helped people overcome tension and hardship.

    That ad is supported by a ton of other content, including documentary-style short films (themed "Where Will Happiness Strike Next," the subjects range from a blind team in Brazil to a group of grannies in South Africa); an original musical anthem; a "Happiness Flag" photomosaic that will feature fan faces and messages; a FIFA World Cup Trophy tour; and a uniquely Brazilian visual identity for the whole campaign.

    "Just as Brasil is everyone's country and Coca-Cola is everyone's drink, the FIFA World Cup is everyone's cup," Joseph Tripodi, executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial officer for Coca-Cola, said in a statement. "Through 'The World's Cup,' Coca-Cola wants to celebrate real people playing football, demonstrating how the game is a force for a more inclusive and connected world."

    Meanwhile, Pepsi released its own two-minute spot on Wednesday with a completely different approach—featuring celebrity players and musicians in a lighthearted story set on the streets of Rio.

    The ad, by 180LA,  follows YouTube musician Stony, who wanders the city playing music, and just happens to run into six of the world’s best soccer players—Leo Messi of Argentina; Robin van Persie of the Netherlands; Jack Wilshere of England; David Luiz of Brazil; Sergio Agüero of Argentina and Sergio Ramos of Spain.

    At the end, we get musical royalty as well, as Janelle Monáe appears and performs an exclusive new take of David Bowie's "Heroes." (You can download her version on iTunes starting today.)

    There's also an interactive version of the Pepsi spot featuring U.S. star Clint Dempsey, with various moment that fans can unlock.

    "We were inspired by the power and unity that sports and music bring to the world. Our content plan to capture this spirit celebrates the creative passion of footballers with music and how both of these awesome forces inspire us to 'Live for Now,' " Kristin Patrick, Pepsi's global chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

    "This year, we are giving fans a totally unique and immersive experience of their own—a personalized journey that combines iconic music, our stellar roster of football talent and the ability to create your own 'Now'—uniting Pepsi fans around the world in a celebration of sport, music, art and everyday moments."

    Coke vs. Pepsi: grand and rootsy vs. playful and celeb-filled.

    What's your poison?

    CREDITS
    Client: The Coca-Cola Company
    Spot: "One World, One Game (Brasil – Everyone’s Invited)"

    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo
    Executive Creative Directors: Guillermo Vega / Icaro Doria
    Copywriter: Kako Méndez
    Art Director: Eddy Guimarães
    Producer: Kerli Teo
    Executive Agency Producer: Ben Grylewicz
    Account Team: Spence Kramer / Flavia Cortes
    Business Affairs: Dusty Slowik
    Global Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Colleen DeCourcy

    Production Company: Stink Ltd
    Director Lead: Ivan Zacharias
    Others: Kosai Sekine / Josh Cole / Nacho Gayan / Norman Bates
    Executive Producer: Daniel Bergmann / Mungo Maclagan
    Producer: Nick Landon / Ai Yamamoto / Toni Moreno / Robert Bray
    Line Producer: Swantje Rummel / Sophie Hubble / Kristin Rathje
    Production Assistant: Trond Olsen
    Director of Photography: Adam Kimmel / Senzo Ueno / Sebastian Blenkov / Luke Jakobs / Rik Zang

    Editorial Company: Joint
    Editor: Tommy Harden / Nicholas Davis
    Editor Assistant: JB Jacobs
    Post Producer: Yamaris Leon
    Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

    VFX Company: The Mill, LA
    Flame Artist: Bill Higgins
    VFX Executive Producer: Enca Kaul
    VFX Producer: Adam Reeb / Jesse Looney
    Production Co-ordinator: Jilian Lynes

    Music+Sound Company: Walker: Composer: Nicholas Wright / Mauricio Herszkowicz
    Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo: Producer: Paul Dirksen

    Mix Company: Barking Owl
    Sound Designer: Brock Babcock
    Mixer: Brock Babcock
    Executive Producer: Kelly Bayett
    Producer: Whitney Fromholtz

    ——————————

    Client: Pepsi
    Spot: "Now Is What You Make It"
    Chief Marketing Officer: Kristin Patrick
    Creative Director: Landis Smithers
    VP Advertising: David Foulds
    Sr. Brand Director Global Pepsi: Gary So

    Agency: 180LA
    Partner, Chief Creative Officer: William Gelner
    Managing Partner, Chairman: Chris Mendola
    Creative Director: Dave Horton
    Creative Director: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts
    ACD/ Copywriter: Jason Rappaport
    ACD/ Art Director: Mike Bokman
    Copywriter: Joe Beutel
    Art Director: Jaclyn Kritch
    Head of Production: Natasha Wellesley
    Executive Producer/Producer: Erin Goodsell
    Director of Interactive Production: Christopher Neff     
    Senior Integrated Producer: Andrew Slough
    Integrated Producer: Nili Zadok
    Head of Account Services: Chad Bettor
    Account Director: Sandy Song                                                                                  
    Account Manager: Jessica DeLillo                                                                            
    Business Affairs Director: Loretta Zolliecoffer                    
    Head of Design: Richard Harrington
    Designer: Patrice Liu
    Designer: Dan Pappas
    Studio Design: Kyle Klinger

    Production Company: US - Reset
    Director: Johan Renck
    Managing Director: Dave Morrison
    Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
    Bidding Producer: Jen Beitler
    Head of Production: Amanda Clune
    Staff Coordinator: Heinrich Meyer
    Producer: Annabel Ridley
    Production Supervisor: Lana Greenaway
    Shoot Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
    Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/09/2013

    Production: Brazil
    Production Co.: Zohar Cinema
    Producer: Isabelle Tanugi
    Producer: Carlos Paiva
    Producer: Roberto Bakker
    Production Coordinator: Mariana Cassa
    Shoot Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
    Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/10/2013

    Production: Spain
    Production Co.: Inclusive SCP
    Producer: Lole Ramirez
    Shoot Location: Barcelona, Spain
    Shoot Dates: 1/7/2014

    Production: London
    Production Co.: Academy
    Executive Producer: Lizzie Gower
    Producer: Juliette Harris
    Shoot Location: London, England
    Shoot Dates: 1/16/2014 – 1/18/2014

    Integrated Production:
    Production Co.: Mssng Peces
    Director: Jordan Fish
    Executive Producer: Ari Kuschnir
    Producer: Carla Robertson
    DP: Owen Donovan
    Shoot Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
    Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/10/2013

    Editorial Company: Cut + Run
    Senior Editor: Steve Gandolfi
    Editor: Sam Jones, Julian Tranquille
    Editor Assistant: Laura Dunn, Sean Fazende
    Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
    Senior Producer: Amburr Farls
    Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
    Integrated Editorial Company: m ss ng p eces
    Editor: Adam Besheer
    Motion Graphics: Tal Baltuch

    Lead Online/VFX/Transfer: The Mill
    Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
    Producer: Dan Roberts
    Production Coordinator: David LAwrence
    VFX Supervisor: Andres Eguiguren
    2D Lead Artist: Chris Knight
    3D Lead Artist: David Hempstead
    2D Artists: Chris Knight, Tim Davies, Ben Smith, Daniel Lang, Robert Murdock
    3D Artists: David Hempstead
    Motion Graphics: Chris Burkhalter
    Colorist: Adam Scott
    Colorist: Greg Reese

    Additional VFX: Cut & Run
    CD: David Parker
    Flame Assistant: Jorge Tanaka
    Senior Producer: Liz Lydecker

    Recording Studio: Eleven Sound
    Mixer: Jeff Payne
    Assistant Mixer:  Ben Freer
    Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead

    Music/Sound Design
    Original Music: David Bowie "Heroes"
    Track Sourced by Soundtree Music
    Produced, Arranged and Sound Design by Luis Almau and Peter Raeburn
    Producer: Storr Redman
    Track Negotiated In Part by Chop Shop Music Supervision

    Interactive Video Technology:
    Interlude


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    Thinking of storing your stuff in the cloud? Well, if you aren't sure what the cloud is, Public Storage would like a word. Want to hang on to the perfect scale dollhouse in your backyard? You'd better make sure an equally scale man isn't living in it. Moving back home? You should call ahead. Your dad might be sweatin' to the oldies in your old room.

    These wacky ads from The Phelps Group for Public Storage take relatively normal conundrums and give them a purple nurple.

    Take a look below at these amusing little gems of absurdity.  


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    Barry the Biscuit Boy splashes onto the scene in a slam-dunk spot for British dairy Cravendale, a cautionary tale from Wieden + Kennedy in London and production house Blinkink.

    The heady mix of puppetry and computer animation milks every drop of self-conscious craziness from the script. Barry, literally a cookie-kid, swims in a creamy lake to illustrate how, if the spot's irritatingly addictive jingle can be believed, "you could lose your head over Cravendale." (In the real world, there's "Barry-flavored" Cravendale milk with bits of biscuit for fans who can't get enough.)

    "Cravendale is the only branded milk in the U.K., and it needs to stand apart from the ubiquity of cheaper own-label milk in the supermarket," W+K creative director Sam Heath tells AdFreak. "So the spots need to cut through on a limited media spend and somehow lodge the thought in people's minds that Cravendale is superior in some way. The more memorably you do that, the more effective the work is."



    The team strived to create "a beautifully detailed, incredibly crafted world that felt charmingly old school and yet quirky and modern at the same time," says Heath. "In the end, the whole thing was brought to life mostly in-camera using a combination of traditional techniques. So all the sets are real models with painted backdrops, and Barry is either puppeteered or animated stop-frame or sometimes a combination of both."

    Unlike Chips Ahoy's recently unpacked ads starring cute and mischievous anthropomorphized treats, Barry's adventure has deliciously creepy overtones, as have past cartoon creations from W+K's Cravendale team. Speaking of which, the brand has apparently given those cats with thumbs the finger and sent them packing—at least for now. No doubt many fans will miss the fiendish felines, who clawed their way through some uber-popular ads.

    Sorry, kitties. That's how the cookie crumbles.

    Credits below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Cravendale
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
    Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth
    Creative Director: Sam Heath
    Creatives: Max Batten, Ben Shaffery
    Producer: Lou Hake
    Production Company: Blinkink
    Directors: Andrew Thomas Huang, Joseph Mann
    Puppetry: Jonny Sabbagh, Will Harper
    Executive Producer: James Stevenson Bretton
    Producer: Benjamin Lole
    Director of Photography: Matt Day


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    You wouldn't think Jesus would be too concerned about his investment portfolio these days, but online trading service Kapitall has tapped Him as a spokesman anyway in a campaign featuring "revolutionary" historic figures.

    In a series of spots that went live today, Jesus cracks jokes about crucifixion while Che Guevara cooks frittatas and Genghis Khan showers himself with coins. Backed by a $1 million media spend, the online ads also include Leonardo da Vinci (with nude lounging boy toy) and Cleopatra (with frond-waving boy toy).

    But clearly it's the depiction of Jesus that's bound to arouse the most consternation. In a second spot, not yet posted, Jesus says he learned about Kapitall when God found the site and yelled "JESUS CHRIST!"

    "Kapitall, and our newly launched advertising campaign, is about being revolutionary," Kapitall CMO Pascal Ehrsam tells AdFreak in an email. "The brand campaign is not meant to be offensive, but to give a nod to some of history's notable icons. Comprising many ethnicities and religions, Kapitall is made up of people from all over the world. We have great respect and admiration for all, even as we strive to entertain."

    The campaign was created by agency Swell, with media planning handled by PM Digital. It will run through the summer on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and Gawker Network, generating an estimated 50 million impressions per month.

    Check out the first Jesus spot below and more from the campaign after the jump.


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    Hiring celebrities to model for fashion ads and then rendering them unrecognizable is all the rage.

    Not long ago, we saw a very ambiguous Jennifer Lawrence pose for Dior. Now, Nicole Kidman stuns in her latest campaign for pricey shoe brand Jimmy Choo. But she could easily be mistaken for somebody who is not Nicole Kidman, what with her looking like a platinum blonde teen model rather the perfectly beautiful natural blonde 46-year-old she was last week.

    The video, meanwhile, is your run-of-the-mill, dripping-with-atmosphere fashion spot.

    Even setting aside the debate over whether and/or to what degree this was Photoshopping, it still seems pretty self-defeating to pay for an A-lister and then hide them. Or maybe it's a brilliantly subtle way to sell the you-could-look-like-this-too fantasy while also trolling the indignant Internet hordes for extra attention.

    Or maybe it really just is shallow.


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    Specs
    Who Co-partners Carol Han (l.) and Alexandra Weiss
    What Digitally focused branding agency
    Where New York

    In 2010, Carol Han and Alexandra Weiss, then working on the still-nascent digital side of fashion (Han at news site StyleCaster and Weiss at Ralph Lauren), were constantly being asked by brands for tips on how to navigate the online space. So that year they launched New York-based CA Creative, which helps brands build online identities, create editorial content and strengthen social media presence. CA boasts a client list that includes apparel companies Robert Rodriguez and Ann Taylor Loft, as well as lifestyle and hospitality brands like Edition Hotels—but it’s also expanded into SEO and paid advertising. “Now, people are very much aware that you definitely have to take part in the conversation, but a lot of them just don’t have the infrastructure or budget to hire in-house teams,” said Han. “That’s where we come in.”


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    Advertising impresario Jane Trahey orchestrated successful campaigns for Olivetti typewriters and Hamilton wristwatches, but it took a bunch of mink ranchers trooping through her door before she created a legend.

    The trade group that came calling in 1968 bore a clunky acronym: GLMA, the Great Lakes Mink Association. An affiliation of 400 fur farmers from the Midwest, GLMA wanted a marketing upgrade for the signature, jet-black mink coats they made.

    Which actually wasn’t so easy. Mink had enjoyed a cultural apogee in the 1950s. But by the dawn of women’s liberation, the pelt was a bit passé. At least, it was until Trahey got a hold of it. First, she toggled GLMA into a proper brand name: Blackglama. Then she whipped up what became one of the most enduring marketing initiatives in history. Except for a hiatus in the late 1990s, this campaign—exemplified by the ads shown here—has run for nearly half a century.

    It has not, however, run without an important change. “There’s been a massive paradigm shift as regards the category of mink coats,” said psychologist Robert Passikoff, founder of consultancy Brand Keys.

    Shortly before Barbara Stanwyck stomped into this 1970 ad, Trahey mastered the formula of recruiting famous women of the stage and screen to don a fur and vamp it up in front of Richard Avedon’s camera. The resultant ads carried both a piquant question (“What becomes a legend most?”) and an obvious answer: a Blackglama mink.

    Passikoff believes Blackglama’s celebrity-soaked marketing made sense for its time. By casting both aging divas like Bette Davis and Ethel Merman with younger enchantresses like a thirtysomething Brigitte Bardot and a fresh-from-Broadway Barbra Streisand (all of 26), Trahey made the coats at once classic and contemporary. Besides, “back then a woman having a mink coat was a big deal,” Passikoff added. “It said a lot about status in the community, and all the movie stars had them. And that’s what this campaign was. It borrowed equity in its best form.”

    But today, nobody has to borrow anything. Mink had roared back onto the runways, and Blackglama’s name wins instant recognition. “The product can sell itself,” Passikoff said. “You don’t need a celebrity anymore—you just need a beautiful woman.” (And he’s right. Charles DeCaro, the creative director who helms the campaign nowadays, has admitted to avoiding Hollywood stars because “they’ve become ubiquitous.”)

    And so, 44 years after its debut, Trahey’s campaign is still as soft and sleek as ever. Too bad it’s no cheaper. While Carolyn Murphy, the beautiful face in the 2014 ad, might not be a household name, she doesn’t work for cheap. Murphy made $3.6 million on modeling gigs in 2013, enough to buy her all the fur coats she’d want.


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    Evian has a long history of incorporating creepy CGI babies in its ads, and an equally long history of viewers gobbling it up like it's some variety of highly addictive crack cocaine.

    Riffing on the idea that Evian water makes your body feel youthful, the company first introduced us to its synchronized swimming "Water Babies" spot in 1998. (At least there was actual water involved.) About a decade later, Evian reprised the theme in "Roller Babies," a viral sensation (by 2009 standards) starring a bunch of tots skating around to "Rapper's Delight." And last year, Evian gave us "Baby & Me," in which adults breakdanced with baby-fied reflections of themselves in front of a mirror. (With 75 million views to date, it was the most-watched ad on YouTube in 2013. Congratulations, world.)

    Now, less than a year later, the babies are back.

    In a cross-promotion with the soon-to-be-released Amazing Spider-Man 2 (because nothing says Spidey like fancy French bottled water), Evian is re-introducing the "Baby & Me" magic mirror concept. The plot of "The Amazing Baby & Me" is essentially unchanged from the original—dude passes a mirror, sees a reflection of himself as a baby, and dances with said baby to an obnoxious song. Except this time, the "dude" is Spider-Man, and his mini-me is (presumably) is a baby in a Spidey suit. (I mean, we don't actually know what's under the suit. It could be a very small adult. Or an alien. Or a robot.)

    And that's it. No explanation of what this has to do with Evian, apart from the brand's "Live Young" tagline at the end. We don't even get to see Spider-Baby's cute little face. (That's why people like these ads, right? Because babies are cute?)

    Welcome to your most-watched YouTube ad of 2014.

    CREDITS
    Client: Evian
    Agency: BETC Paris
    Director: Tomas Skoging, Acne


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    Nick Kroll really wants to play in the NHL—so badly, he'll steal the Stanley Cup and hold it hostage.

    At least, that's the premise of this long-form ad for NBC Sports' coverage of the hockey league as the playoffs approach. Kroll and his henchmen get up to predictably idiotic but entertaining antics. That includes, naturally, eating out of the trophy—first salad and then fondue. Kudos to them for keeping the meal balanced.

    The ad was created by the Brooklyn Brothers, which is carving out a specialty of pairing comedians with sports leagues—it also turned Jason Sudeikis into a soccer coach for the Premier League on NBC last year. The network also airs NHL games, and reportedly recommended the agency for the hockey work.

    NBC's own talent also makes cameos in the ad, including Jim Cramer—the perfect choice for a spot that shouldn't be taken seriously.


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    Marketers who make ads about inclusive families these days need a battle plan for how to deal with the haters. And it's as much an opportunity as a crisis.

    It began, of course, with Cheerios, which was surely legitimately surprised last year when its ad with the interracial family was flooded with racist comments on YouTube. General Mills' reaction was complicated. First it shut down the YouTube comments, then it slowly embraced what quickly became an outpouring of support—and finally it aired a brilliantly subtle sequel on this year's Super Bowl.

    Advertisers who do this kind of progressive marketing are surprised by the haters no longer. In fact, I'd be willing to bet Honey Maid and Droga5 already had a plan in place for the video below—a response to the haters (and supporters) of its ultra-inclusive "This Is Wholesome" ad—before the first spot (which now has more than 4 million views) even aired.

    Is that a cynical way to approach inclusive messaging—to calculatingly harness the hatred against it to sell more stuff? Perhaps. Still, it's quite amusing to see the haters turned into pawns who can be played for extra exposure.

    Here's the original ad:


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