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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    When Kevin Spacey appears on screen these days, you expect him to speak to camera in a South Carolina drawl, assess his chances at screwing over a rival, and perhaps even (spoiler alert) kill a person or two.

    He does none of those things in E*Trade's new campaign from Ogilvy & Mather, but does aim for an air of mystery in his role as a "talent scout" who can tell by looking at someone whether he or she is "Type E*"—the company's term for sophisticated, savvy, self-directed investors.



    This Spacey spot is the first in what will be a series, Ogilvy tells us.

    An earlier spot that launched the campaign was titled "Epic Musical" and featured everyday people singing and dancing because they are Type E*. The new campaign follows the demise of the E*Trade baby, the star of Grey's longtime campaign, who was put out to pasture after six years of never growing up.

    "If you think about it, our target has grown to become more sophisticated, so the baby needed to grow up as well," said Russell Messner, global managing director at Ogilvy. "That being said, we did not want to alienate the smart wit and irreverence that are inextricably linked to the E*Trade brand. We believe Kevin Spacey, our 'Type E* Talent Scout,' is a great embodiment of this new phase in the brand's history."


    CREDITS
    Client: E*Trade
    Spot: "Talent Scout"
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York
    Executive Creative Director: Steve Howard
    Group Creative Director: Chris Van Oosterhout
    Chief Creative Officer: Alfonso Marian
    Copywriters: Gage Clegg, Ian Going, Chad Johnson, Allison Lackey
    Art Directors: Lauren Van Aswegen, Kevin Riley, Becca Morton
    Executive Producer: Maureen Phillips
    Global Managing Director: Russ Messner
    Executive Group Director: Adam Puchalsky
    Account Director: Melissa Bartolini Kearney
    Head Planner: Margaret Rimsky
    Senior Planner: Ned Sonnenschein
    Director: Stacy Wall
    Senior Content Producer: Karen Rossiter
    Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
    Editing: Chris Franklin, BigSky Edit
    Music: Tonal Sound
    Color Correction: Chris Ryan, Nice Shoes
    Mix: Tom Jucarone, Sound Lounge

     


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    Pwnmeal Extreme Gaming Oatmeal goes way beyond steel cut. This hot, lumpy cereal is EXTREME!!!

    Alas, the caffeinated glop won't be coming to breakfast aisles anytime soon. The "official porridge of e-sports," launched at last weekend's Pax East conference in Boston, is a satire of gamer marketing and culture cooked up by Digital Kitchen and the jokers at Cards Against Humanity, the party game for horrible people.

    "The concept may sound ridiculous, but it's not far off from the realities at these conventions," the agency says. "Gamers are hit with marketing for everything from caffeinated gum to beef jerky."

    From the faux brand's website:"It's a PWN or BE PWN'd world out there. Only a n00b would skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day. When you visit cyberspace to play your favorite shoot 'em ups or massively multiplayer online video games, ensure decisive victory."

    Flavors include Strawberries and Carnage ("Prepped to fuel your next kill streak with a massive payload of phytonutrients") and No Scope Headshot Blueberry ("Line it up and pull the trigger with a sweet, warm BFG—the B is for blueberry").

    The video shows buff guys and gals "dramatically" tearing open product packets, tossing around flakes and rubbing oatmeal on their ripped bodies. They roar, and goopy goodness gushes from their mealy mouths. I prefer to start my grueling day like a real hard-core gamer—by dragging my saggy ass out of bed, pounding a few Hershey's Kisses and cursing my wasted life.


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    After seven years overlooking Baltimore's Penn Station, the Smyth Jewelers billboard showing National Bohemian beer mascot Mr. Boh proposing to the Utz girl has to move.

    Turns out the dorks who own the billboard itself want to switch it over to a digital video display in May, so Smyth is trying to find a new home for its now-classic ad, which was put together by Owings Mills, Md., agency MGH.

    "Natty Boh and the Little Utz girl are Baltimore's version of the royal couple," Smyth president Tom Smyth tells the Baltimore Sun,"which is why it's imperative that their next home pay homage to the sense of pride they instill in our city."

    I don't know that I'd go that far. Clearly John Waters and Divine are as close as we here in Baltimore are ever getting to royalty, but he's right that the city has a fondness for that image that won't extend to a video board. That kind of gaudy, touristy crap should be restricted to the Inner Harbor.

    Luckily, the smaller version of the Boh-Utz ad in North Baltimore doesn't seem to be going anywhere.


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    Here's a pretty cool project from Mullen for a client we won't immediately reveal, lest we spoil the surprise. (Scroll down to the bottom of credits, or watch the video to find out.)

    The Boston agency posted this job listing online for a "director of operations" position at a company called Rehtom Inc. The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:

    • Standing up almost all the time
    • Constantly exerting yourself
    • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
    • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
    • No vacations
    • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and other holidays
    • No time to sleep
    • Salary = $0

    The job ad got 2.7 million impressions from paid ad placements. Only 24 people inquired. They interviewed via webcam, and their real-time reactions were captured on video.

    Check out what happened below. It's worth watching to the end.



    CREDITS
    Project: World's Toughest Job

    Agency: Mullen, Boston
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
    Executive Creative Directors: Tim Vaccarino, Dave Weist
    Creative Director: Jon Ruby
    Associate Creative Director, Copy: Andrea Mileskiewicz
    Associate Creative Director, Art: Blake Winfree
    Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
    Head of Broadcast: Zeke Bowman

    Producer: Vera Everson
    Account Director: Jessica Zdenek
    Account Supervisor: Laila Lynch
    Director of Digital Strategy: Eric Williamson
    Senior Brand Strategist: Ryan Houts

    Production Company: Caviar
    Director: Amir Farhang
    Executive Producer: Valeria Maldini
    Producer: Jason Manz
    Director of Photography: Brian Rigney Hubbard

    Editing, Visual Effects: PS260
    Editor: J.J. Lask
    Assistant Editor: Colin Edelman
    Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson
    Lead Visual Effects Artist: Patrick Lavin
    Assistant Artist: Matt Posey
    Audio Post: Soundtrack
    Sound Design, Mixer: Mike Secher
    Music: Human
    Casting: House Casting
    Casting Agent: Shawn Alston

    Client: American Greetings
    Executive Director, Marketing: Alex Ho


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    Illustration: Miguel Montaner

    Did you ever know that you’re not my hero? There. It had to be said (or sung). Consider this amusing yet pertinent disconnect in the spirit of helping brands with positioning. One of the biggest mistakes brands make in storytelling is to play the role of the hero. Today we must make consumers the hero while we get better at being their mentor.

    Why the shift? What’s making the brand-as-hero approach less effective? Consumers. They’ve become more sophisticated, resourceful and now have higher expectations. Any intent to control them may be received as arrogance and is unlikely to pass through their acceptance filters. But when your goal becomes participation, rather than control, the hero is more likely to let you into his world and his story. You can start by focusing on efforts that rotate your brand from being push-driven and brand-centric (brand as hero) to being experience-based and consumer-engaging (brand as mentor).

    How? Well, let’s look to the great Wizard of Oz for an illustration of “hero” and “mentor.” Who is the hero? Dorothy. Who is the mentor? Glenda. She helped Dorothy get to Oz. Brands need to become the good-witch Glenda and offer real value to the consumer.

    This Glenda/Dorothy concept is the basis of our Storyscaping approach that is designed to connect brands with consumers in this always-on, digitally enabled world.

    Consumers befriend mentors that serve to help them achieve a goal, satisfy a desire or meet a need. Making your customer the hero of your brand’s narrative landscape empowers them. Brands that serve the needs of consumers naturally become part of their stories—and who better to tell your brand story than a hero?

    Look to Toms Shoes as a good working example of the “consumer as hero/brand as mentor” philosophy. Toms was born from a purpose—to provide children in need with shoes and improve their health and well-being. Toms’ “One for One” model promises that for every pair of shoes purchased, a pair will be given to a disadvantaged child. Toms mentors its customers by providing a streamlined way to support a greater purpose, and everybody wins.

    When brands act as mentors, they create bridges between people and their needs. Whenever possible, those bridges need to be tangible. In the past, storytelling served as the bridge, but today, stories, even great stories, aren’t enough. Remember, the goal is participation, so brands must create experiences beyond the narrative where heroes become immersed and involved. That’s the differentiator between a story told and a story lived.

    There are a few simple, yet powerful steps to becoming a Glenda. First, dissolve any unnecessary separation between your organization and brand. The consumer sees you as the brand, and when you think and act from that place, your efforts will project more cohesively and authentically.

    The language you use should change. When the goal is to mentor, involve and participate, the old terminology of “targeting an audience” sets up the wrong premise from the start. These are the folks who create much of your content, hold powerful influence and actually control their own interaction within your experience space. So it will be helpful to find a more accurate and empowering reference than one-directional terms like “target” or “user.”

    Also, whether you call them consumers, guests, customers or anything else, please always keep in mind that they are people—the very people who are defining, creating and building their story through the acquisition and application of your products and services. Ideally, they are (or will become) the people who interact and transact with your brand in meaningful and immersive ways, the people who carry your brand as part of their story.

    Finally, consumers are likely to favor brands that share values they care about, so establish a meaningful purpose and share it often to encourage cooperation, participation and even more sharing. Are people more likely to express and share stories they are part of and feel good being part of? In our experience, the answer is a resounding yes.

    Never let Dorothy surrender.

    Gaston Legorburu (@gastonleg) is worldwide chief creative officer, SapientNitro.


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    IDEA: TV commercials frozen in time, with a camera moving through and surveying the scene, have an undeniable charm and style. Even the horror of Philips' ultra-violent "Carousel" spot was rendered beautiful that way.

    Now, we have an ad from Italy that's much smaller and quieter but in some ways no less magical—a journey in a single take through the stillness of a family living room, where some sort of accident has apparently taken place. By the end, though, we realize the overturned car and splayed-out child are victims of a benevolent force—the soporific powers of Sognid'oro chamomile tea.

    Not surprisingly, the idea didn't come from a TV script at all. "It was for a print campaign, which will run very soon," said Emanuele Viora, creative director at DLV BBDO. "But we thought that with the right director, we could have a perfect little film on our hands."

    COPYWRITING: The camera turns a corner, revealing an overturned houseplant with tiny tire tracks in the earth. Following the trail, we see a little blue robot squirming on its back, then more overturned toys. In the living room, we find the cause of the chaos—a child's car flipped over and smoking with one lonely wheel spinning, and the boy and his teddy bear thrown to the ground.

    But as the camera moves past, the story changes. The smoke is revealed to be steam coming from a humidifier, and the boy isn't hurt but simply asleep. The camera moves to a table, where a cup of chamomile tea has been poured, next to a package of Sognid'oro.

    "Don't drink and drive," says the on-screen copy.

    It seems the boy has been given some tea before bed, and as planned, it's knocked him out.

    The script was less about what the ad would say, Viora said, and more about how it would feel. "It's more like a fairy tale than a track along a series of objects," he said.



    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Igor Borghi shot 15 takes and got three good ones. The camera move doesn't reference any shot from TV or the movies, but is simply meant to be "warm, soft and embracing," said Viora.

    "We had to make clear in just a few seconds that the child is sleeping blissfully and that there is no discomfort of any kind. The frame in which we finally see his face was the key to the whole film: It's here that the viewer switches his view of the scene from 'accident' to 'cuddling.'"

    The 45-second shot was filmed on an Alexa camera mounted on a Steadicam.

    TALENT: The agency held a casting session for 3- and 4-year-olds who were used to cameras being present. "The child had to communicate tenderness, but at the same time would look like a bit of a scamp even while sleeping," said Viora.

    They had the kids pretend to sleep, but for the shoot they wanted the real thing. "The child was used to taking his afternoon nap," Viora said. "So having him lie still in the shot was not that difficult—he was actually sleeping. In fact, the very soft snoring on the soundtrack was recorded on the set with an iPhone."

    SOUND: The soundtrack, "Music Box Waltz" by Leo Chadburn, was "something that said 'lullaby' but would also create an enchanting atmosphere from the very start," said Viora.

    MEDIA: Not a big spender, Sognid'oro is running the spot on the Discovery Italia network and online.

    The agency was concerned at first that this take on "Don't drink and drive" might be seen as flippant, but Viora said, "We haven't received any comment that hasn't been entirely complimentary."

    THE SPOT:

    CREDITS
    Client: Sognid'oro
    Agency: DLV BBDO, Milan, Italy
    Executive Creative Director: Stefania Siani, Federico Pepe
    Creative Director: Andrea Jaccarino, Emanuele Viora
    Art Directors: Andrea Jaccarino, Federico Pepe
    Copywriter: Emanuele Viora
    Account: Ilaria Castiglioni
    Production Company: Filmgood
    Director: Igor Borghi
    DOP: Gigi Martinucci
    Executive Producer: Emanuela Cavazzini
    Producer: Stefano Renolfi
    Postproduction: Anteprima Video
    Music: "Music Box Waltz" by Leo Chadburn, EMI Music Publishing


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    If DirecTV is trying to position its Wireless Genie Mini device as a high-tech toy for doofy bros who view women as puppets—mission accomplished!

    Perhaps that's a tad harsh or too literal. Still, there's something unnerving about these new ads from Grey New York, directed by Bryan Buckley, featuring a life-size blonde marionette. In one ad, she struggles with her wires while pouring lemonade for a pair of DirecTV-lovin' dudes. In a second spot, our heroine dangles from the bedroom ceiling in a sexy negligee, concerned her human beau is more attracted to DirecTV.

    Self-conscious oddness is the obvious goal, and the campaign certainly works on that level. Even so, there's a touch of mean-spiritedness that doesn't sit right. The puppet is the most appealing part of these commercials, and it's easy to sympathize with her plight. This, in turn, kind of keeps me from feeling good about the Wireless Genie itself, which lets multiple TVs share HD-DVR programming over WiFi (so first-worlders won't trip over unsightly wires and fall flat on their Google Glass).

    Cut those cords and free yourself, my wooden sister! Today, there are so many ways for a marionette to be fulfilled—like rapping for JCPenney or blogging for Target. Don't let some half-wit string you along!

     

    CREDITS
    Client: DirecTV
    Campaign: "Marionettes"
    Agency: Grey, New York
    Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Executive Creative Director: Dan Kelleher
    Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Doug Fallon, Steven Fogel
    Art Director: Marques Gartrell
    Copywriter: Kim Nguyen
    Agency Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich
    Agency Producer: Lindsay Myers
    Agency Music Producer: Zachary Pollakoff
    Account: Chris Ross, Beth Culley, Anna Pogosova, Aaron Schwartz, Meredith Savatsky
    Production Company: Hungry Man
    Director: Bryan Buckley
    Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
    Producer: Rachel Curl
    Production Supervisor: Colette Findley
    Director of Photography: Scott Henriksen
    Editor: Tom Scherma, Cosmo Street
    Assistant Editor: Dave Otte, Cosmo Street
    Editorial Executive Producer: Maura Woodward. Cosmo Street
    Editorial Producer: Heather Richardson, Cosmo Street
    Visual Effects: The Mill
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Sue Troyan, The Mill
    Visual Effects Producer: Anastasia Von Rahl, The Mill
    Casting Director, Los Angeles: Kathy Knowles, Kathy Knowles Casting
    Casting Director, New York: Fay Shumsey, Fay Erin Casting
    Audio Mixer: Tom Jucarone, Sound Lounge


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    Miller High Life would like you to meet Rich, the least interesting man in the world.

    The champagne of beers, absent on national TV since 2012, is returning to the airwaves Monday with a new campaign from Leo Burnett, themed "I Am Rich." The concept, on its face, is that you don't need lots of money, or fancy drinks, to be happy.

    More subtly, it's also a dog-whistle shot at Dos Equis: You don't need to be an international man of mystery to have a rewarding life.

    Instead of the aspirational charm of a high-flying, larger-than-life jet-setter, there's grainy footage of dive-bar billiards, shot on 35mm film, which somehow comes off as both artsy and mundane.

    The core, populist idea is a nice one and makes you really want to like the ads. The opening of "Central Park," one of two spots, shows promise. It's endearing that the dude likes to think of the scraggly tree outside his window as a Fifth Avenue penthouse view. And what sane person doesn't consider his or her gregarious dog to be a butler?

    Unfortunately, Rich is pretty obnoxious, thanks to purple prose masquerading as cleverness. "My helipad is being resurfaced, so tonight we travel by more humble means," says Rich. "At my country club, we play parlor games with members of the royal family."

    Walking to the local dive, drinking Miller High Life, and shooting pool with the owners seems like fun. So does hanging out with Rich's dog. But listening to Rich while he's spewing anxious nonsense about how awesome his life is? Not so much.

    In fact, Rich doesn't really seem that happy at all. Or maybe, the voiceover is just a little too real. The kind of deadpan inside jokes that might fly in a casual conversation among friends don't quite work as persuasive ad copy for the masses, especially when the grit and sincerity of the footage end up working against the try-hard irony of the voiceover.

    The ad ends up feeling like it's mocking the demographic it's trying to court. At least Rich can rest assured that he isn't making any beer execs richer by spending what little money he has on High Life.


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    Best ice-cream bar ever conceived? That would be the Klondike Kandy Bar, born an indeterminate number of months after an illicit tryst between a regular Klondike Bar and a tall, striking, chocolatey candy-bar nurse—according to a male shopper's adult-movie-addled brain in this sweet spot from The VIA Agency.

    It's a fun idea, brought to life quite nicely. In particular, the visual look is pleasantly unique, blending real-world footage and animation. "A ton of ads use animated characters. So we made the decision to shoot as much as we could in camera," says Greg Smith, chief creative officer at VIA. "The awkwardness of putting 'real' characters on 'real' sets and then animating their eyes, arms and legs made it different and it helped us stay true to the lo-fi vibe we wanted to portray."

    Turns out the Klondike-candy relationship extends beyond the '70s candy-porn set, too. Klondike is partnering with CollegeHumor to produce a comedy series about the couple. That should be interesting—particularly the inevitable reality-show squabbles over why she's the one who's way more phallic looking.


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    On the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's sobering scenario announcing National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Honda and agency RPA bring us the latest campaign in the effort to curb texting and driving. 

    This spot (and accompanying print ad, below) pull the viewer into a text conversation happening on a mobile device, presumably on a road somewhere in America. 

    The dialogue is an authentic glimpse into the life of a young adult, replete with the usual shorthand and emojis common in casual banter. Without spoiling exactly what happens next, the ad succeeds in creating a unique message that is graphically smart, simple and powerful. 

    CREDITS
    Client: Honda

    Agency: RPA
    Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
    Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
    Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
    Vice President, Creative Social Media Director: J. Barbush
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Damian Fraticelli
    Art Directors: Michael Enriquez, Craig Nelson
    Copywriters: Adam Gothelf, Kevin Tenglin
    Social Media Copywriter: Laura Kelley
    Producer: Joshua Herbstman

    Program Manager: Elizabeth Goldstein
    Project Manager: Andrew Serrato
    Technology Manager: Bradley Stone
    Associate User Experience Architect: Sabrina Lee

    Production Company: Laundry!
    Creative Director: Anthony Liu
    Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
    Producer: Kirsten Collabolletta
    Design: Janice Ahn, Yongmin Park
    Animation: Yongmin Park


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    In an age where you can find a Starbucks on every block and a trendy café frequented by coffee snobs who wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks on every other block, the task of making old-school home-brewed coffee appear even remotely cool would seem nearly impossible. And that, presumably, is why Maxwell House isn't even trying.

    The 122-year-old, Kraft-owned brand is undergoing a major overhaul in its marketing strategy. But instead of attempting to remake itself into some sort of hip Starbucks alternative—"Hey millennials, these coffee grounds are turnt up!"—Maxwell House borrowed from its own classic "Good to the last drop" slogan to come up with a core message that its product is, well, good.

    Seem a bit underwhelming? That's the point, according to the middle-aged everyman protagonist in a trio of TV spots. You see, he tells us, we've gotten so caught up in superlatives—"Awesome," "Amazing," "That's epic, bro"—that we've forgotten the merits of just being good.

    "Good is setting a personal best before going for a world record," the Maxwell House man explains. "Good is swinging to get on base before swinging for a home run." And in case the viewer interprets this to mean that Maxwell House coffee maybe isn't so good, the man takes a sip of his steaming cup of joe at the end and begins to proclaim it to be "Great!" before stopping himself and reverting to the more on-message "Good."

    A social media element includes a new Twitter handle, @AGoodCoffee, which spouts forth gems of wisdom such as "The good thing about Mondays is that if they didn't exist we'd all hate Tuesdays." But judging by the TV spots, the target audience here isn't the youth of America. It's their dads (and moms, presumably, although we have yet to see a woman make an appearance in the campaign).

    So kudos to Maxwell House for accepting that instant coffee isn't going to be the next Skrillex, and instead settling for "good." We appreciate your honesty.

    CREDITS
    Client: Maxwell House
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
    Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin / Karl Lieberman
    Copywriter: Matt Mulvey
    Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
    Producer: Shelley Eisner
    Account Team: Ken Smith / Ryan Peterson
    Business Affaires: Cindy Lewellen
    Project Management: Shannon Hutchinson
    Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman / Mark Fitzloff
    Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

    Production Company: MJZ
    Director: Steve Ayson
    Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
    Line Producer: Martha Davis
    Director of Photography: Alwin Kuchler

    Editorial Company: Joint
    Editor: Tommy Harden
    Post Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer
    Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

    VFX Company: The Mill
    VFX Supervisor: Tim Davies/Phil Crowe
    Flame Artist: Billy Higgins/John Price
    VFX Producer: Dan Roberts/Sue Troyan
    Titles/Graphics: WK Studio & The Mill

    Music+Sound Company: Tonefarmer/740 Sound
    Composer: Ray Loewy/Jimmy Harned//  mnemonic – Dan Sammartano/Joe Spallina
    Sound Designer: Rommel Molina/Scott Ganary
    Producer: Liz Higgins – Tonefarmer/ Jeff Martin – 740 Sound

    Mix Company: Eleven
    Mixer: Jeff Payne

     


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    A Samsung SD smartphone memory card morphs into a cute, miniature robot action hero in this engaging 45-second clip from Cheil Worldwide in Seoul and Museum Film. The ad, running exclusively online at present, targets smartphone users in the U.K., North America, Europe and Japan.

    RoboCard's adventures, directed by J.M. Lee, illustrate product attributes. He soars with a jetpack (demonstrating speed), repels thumbtacks and paperclips (the card is impervious to magnets) and makes a splash by riding a tropical fish rodeo style (it's waterproof). The details are great fun. Note how his metal feet sprout tiny flippers for his fish-tank dive. The cat's miffed reaction as the bot bursts above the water's surface is a neat touch, too.

    I also like how his antics take place in a typical home/office setting, infusing the everyday world with some high-tech panache—which, after all, is part of the product's appeal.

    Best of all, MemBot is much too adorable to join a robo-rebellion and subjugate mankind ... I think. Still, I wouldn't cross the little guy. He's got a long memory. (Up to 64GB!)


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    This is what it sounds like when you drink too much, then get behind the wheel. Surprise: It does not have a happy ending.

    A new PSA by ad agency La Chose for French road safety organization Association Victimes et Citoyens uses a simple yet effective single shot of a vinyl record player to offer a fresh version of a familiar and important point.

    Perhaps counterintuitively, the absence of any violent footage actually increases the power of the message. The literal realization of the casual "same old song" metaphor (translated from "la méme chanson" in French) risks coming off as a little off kilter or even off color, since there isn't actually a song, and the subject matter is so serious.

    But the whole concept hinges on the idiom, and the ad does too good a job of illustrating the point to nitpick much. The skips in the audio easily build suspense, to the point where, sadly, anyone with half a brain will know where the storyline is going—but has to hear it out to be sure.

    La Chose also made 300 12-inch vinyl records featuring the ad's soundtrack and sent them to journalists. That should be a hit at parties.

    Via The Denver Egotist.


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    It's easy to forget that for every flashy, handpainted wall advertisement you see in a city, there are a handful of people who endure discomfort (and risk death) to put it there.

    Online tabloid Vocativ made this mini-documentary about these painters, who call themselves "wall dogs," and it's a refreshingly straightforward and unglamorized piece of work. The painters mostly talk about how they prepare for a job where they spend most of the day hanging from a chain, at the mercy of the elements and unable to step back and get better perspective of their work until it's complete.

    But there's no bitterness or false bravado in any of them. In fact, they all seem pretty happy with what they do, which isn't something a lot of us can say about our jobs. Watch this as an antidote to the other cynical garbage you read online in a given day.


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    St. John Ambulance, the first-aid teaching and awareness organization, has put together some incredible, horrifying PSAs through the years.

    We've covered many of BBH London's ads for the group. Last year, the agency won a silver Film Lion at Cannes for "Helpless," a two-minute film based around the statistic that first aid could prevent 140,000 deaths a year—the same number who die from cancer. BBH followed that up with the heartbreaking "Save the Boy" spot last fall.

    Now, here's a new spot—for St. John Ambulance in Australia. Created by The Brand Agency in Perth, it's equally heart-wrenching and difficult to watch. And effective, at least in my case. After watching this, I found myself searching the Internet for local first aid courses.

    Warning: The video below may be upsetting.


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    For decades, athletes saw emotional vulnerability as something to be shunned, a personal shortcoming that must be internalized and kept out of the limelight at all costs. Competitors seemed to hatch into life as fully formed adults—stoic, hardened and almost inhuman in their single-minded fortitude.

    Today, all that is changing. Audiences are coming to value the personal depth and struggles of athletes, beginning with their formative experiences as children. And amid this increasingly crowded field of emotional origin stories (kicked off, of course, by Duracell's amazing Derrick Coleman ad), few can compete with Powerade's new two-minute spot, "Nico's Story."

    Nico Calabria, born with one leg, is not a professional athlete. But his story and accomplishments sparked Coca-Cola's sports drink brand to feature him as part of its 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.

    In the ad, by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, we watch home videos as Nico grows from a toddler to a confident child and finally into his teen years, when his talent for soccer becomes truly remarkable.



    For all the amazing moments in the video, one subtle scene stands out above the rest: Asked how old he is, Nico says he's 8—and the look he gives speaks volumes. In the span of a minute, we've watched him learn to make the most of the body he was born with, and his hard-earned confidence comes across clearly, with little more than a raise of his eyebrows.

    Nico went on to climb Mount Kilamonjaro, became a YouTube sensation and landed a spot as the youngest member of the U.S. national amputee soccer team. You can read more about his life in a profile written by Coke to announce the ad.

    While brands will continue to bring us more emotional backstories of athletes from every walk of life (with many ending up more cloying than compelling), if even a small number can generate this kind of sincere impact and inspire future generations, the trend definitely won't be a bad thing.

    CREDITS
    Client: Powerade
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
    Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
    Creative Directors: Alvaro Sotomayor, Rosie Bardales
    Art Director: Mike Bond
    Copywriter: Bernard Hunter
    Head of Broadcast Production: Erik Verheijen
    Broadcast Producers: Tony Stearns, Lars Fabery de Jonge
    Planner: Ben Armistead
    Group Account Director: Kirk Johnson
    Account Director: Courtney Trull
    Account Manager: Alex Allcott
    Art Buyer: Maud Klarenbeek
    Project Manager: Stacey Prudden
    Business Affairs: Emilie Douque
    Production Company: Caviar Los Angeles
    Director: AG Rojas
    Directors of Photography: Frederick Backar, Michael Ragan
    Producer: Geoff McLean
    Executive Producers: Michael Sagol, Jasper Thomlinson
    Editing Company: Whitehouse Post London
    Editor: Russel Icke, Charlie Harvey
    Audio Post: Wave Amsterdam
    Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicolls-Lee
    Audio Post TVC: GCRS London
    Sound Designer TVC: Raja Sehgal
    Music TVC: Schmooz France
    Artist TVC: Sanj SEN – Powerade 2014 Composition
    Music Company TVC: Ultraschmooz
    Postproduction: Glassworks Amsterdam
    Flame: Kyle Obley, Jesper Nybroe, Bob Rojien
    3D: Tim Bolland, Simon Glas, Eva Kuehlmann
    Telecine: Scott Harris
    Producer: Armand Weeresinghe
    Print Production: Photographer: Levon Biss
    Photographers Agent: Seamus O’Cleary @ Bonakdar Cleary
    Production Company: Widescope Productions


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    Specs
    Who Co-founders Brook Jay (l.), CMO, and Sarah Eck-Thompson, COO
    What Experiential marketing agency
    Where Chicago

    Proponents of experiential marketing argue that it’s the original real-time marketing discipline where brands get directly in front of consumers and acquire immediate feedback. Now data may help support that case with efforts like All Terrain’s work for client The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Last year, the agency gave United Airlines travelers on Vegas-bound flights stylish playing cards featuring offers at the venue. Backed by a digital program on United’s website, the initiative provided ROI: The Cosmopolitan enrolled 30,000 new loyalty members, surpassing its 2013 goal within the first eight months. The Chicago-based shop also works for the likes of the Illinois Lottery, Chicago Blackhawks and media agency group Starcom MediaVest Group.


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    Row, row, row your boat … 3,000 miles without stopping!?

    Meet Luke Birch and Jamie Sparks, two British endurance-sports mavens who recently became the youngest pair ever to row across the Atlantic. That's the Atlantic freaking Ocean! Shit, I get tired and cranky paddling an inflatable seahorsie around a swimming pool. They were both 21 when the trip began; Jamie turned 22 on the way.

    "2 Boys in a Boat," a brief documentary from Grey London and Duracell, which sponsored the voyage, vividly captures the harrowing 54-day journey. Most of the footage was recorded with their own cameras. It's a compelling piece of brand content, with the battery maker wisely playing second mate and discretely appearing only via on-board signage and at the end with the tagline, "The power to go further."

    Luke and Jamie finished fifth overall and second in pairs in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which bills itself as the world's toughest rowing competition. The race stretches from San Sebastian de la Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. The guys piloted a 24-footer, the Maple Leaf, which contained a cabin that measured six feet high by three feet wide. They never left the boat and had no support vessel.



    The trip took 1.5 million strokes. I would have had at least one stroke and multiple heart attacks a quarter-mile from port. Luke and Jamie faced 40-foot waves, 40-mph winds, salt sores that look like radiation blisters and shark fins to the left and right. They lost about 25 pounds each from nonstop rowing (despite intense calorie consumption) and never slept for more than 80 minutes at a time. At one point, a Russian container ship almost mowed them down. (Putin's everywhere these days!)

    Apart from the physical challenges, the psychological strain was equally draining. In the clip, Jamie says: "There's nothing to look at apart from dark blue sea, so you're left with absolutely nothing but your thoughts. I remember crawling into the cabin and just breaking down into tears. I had run out of things to think of."

    During their voyage, they raised $500,000 for Breast Cancer Care. Luke's mom was diagnosed in the summer of 2012. She was in Antigua to greet them at the end of the race.

    "Giving up was never an option," Jamie says in the film. "Not on the 12th hour, not on the 20th day, not on the 50th day. There was no way anything under our power was going to lead to us giving up."

    Great going, guys! Next time, try the Pacific. Lazy millennials.

    CREDITS
    Client: Duracell
    AMD WE Delivery & RPP BFO: Javier Hernandez
    Duracell Brand Manager UK & Nordics: Menna Zaghloul
    EMEA External Relations: Kenyatte Nelson
    Assistant Brand Manager: Alexander Radcliffe
    Project: "2 Boys in a Boat "
    Agency: Grey London
    Creative Director: Andy Lockley
    Executive Creative Director: Nils Leonard
    Copywriter: Andy Lockley
    Art Director: Andy Lockley
    Creative Producer: Sam Morton
    Planner: Bhavin Pabari
    Media Agency: SMV
    Media Planner: David Boast
    Production Company: Greyworks
    Editor: Emily Macdonald
    Producer: Emma Hayton, Greyworks
    Postproduction: Greyworks
    Composer: Terry Devine-King 
    Audio Postproduction: Greyworks
    Exposure: Online & PR


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    The Internet really is a boon for pet-food marketers clever enough to capitalize on animal-obsessed Web culture without seeming too mercenary.

    Pedigree New Zealand gets extra brownie points for this video of cute dogs being cute, which attempts to leverage YouTube's revenue-sharing model to raise money for dog charity … as if you needed another reason to watch dachshunds eating hot dogs. (No, it's not cannibalism, though it might count as a sort of professional discourtesy.)

    The concept is all the more impressive in the way it take two things that are usually annoying—seeing ads on other ads, and being asked to share ads—and makes them kind of feel-good (even if, given YouTube's meager ad rates, it's hard to imagine the campaign actually making significant money).

    Regardless, the spot, by Colenso BBDO, is a knockout delight when measured against the high bar for misery-inducing commercials in the pet-adoption genre. Unlike the Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA sob fest that haunts an entire generation of U.S. TV viewers, this one doesn't hinge on making everyone feel awful about themselves.

    Plus, the dogs are awesome to watch. Except for that winking puppy at the end, which clearly needs help for having confused itself with a cat. Only cats are supposed to be creepy.

    Credits below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Pedigree
    Agency: Colenso BBDO, New Zealand
    Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington
    Creative Director: Levi Slavin
    Senior Copywriter: Matt Lawson
    Copywriter: Ben Polkinghorne
    Art Director: Scott Kelly
    Business Director: Helen Fitzsimons
    Senior Social, Digital Strategist: Neville Doyle
    Senior Planner: Tamsin McDonnell
    Production Company: Finch
    Director: Nick Ball
    Executive Producer: Rob Galluzzo
    Producer: Karen Bryson
    Associate Producer: Amy Dymond
    Director of Photography: Crighton Bone
    Production Designer: Sara Mathers
    Animal Wranglers: Animal House
    VFX Supervisors: Andrew Timms, Mat Ellin
    Offline: Method Studios
    Editor: Seth Lockwood
    Visual Effects: Beryl
    Grade: Pete Ritchie
    Flame: Andrew Timms, Mat Ellin
    Sound Design: Franklin Rd
    Composer: Jonathan Dreyfus


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    Elderly people tend to get short shrift in commercials, much as they do most everywhere in life. Kudos to Dodge and The Richards Group, then, for celebrating the automaker's 100th birthday by putting the spotlight on humans born around the same time.

    Not all of them are centenarians, but many of them are. (The rest mostly seem to be sprightly 90-somethings.) And they're here to dispense some hard-won wisdom about what they've learned in a century on this Earth. And they dispense it with humor, style and not a little defiance.

    "You learn a lot in 100 years," says on-screen copy, as a 2015 Challenger screeches out of the frame. "Dodge. Born 1914."


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