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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    For a quarter of a century, Adweek’s Brand Genius Awards have recognized the sharpest marketing minds in the business—but we need your help in finding them. Do you know a fearless marketer with an unquenchable drive, the coolest ideas—and the results to prove that they work? Then please, introduce us.

    Nominating is easy. Using the fields below, tell us why your Brand Genius meets the four criteria below (all nominees must have a corporate title with a brand, big or small—no consultants, please). Please be as specific as you can.

    In the past year to 18 months, the successful nominee has:

    • Played a key leadership role in developing or growing a brand—including introducing a new product, revamping an exisiting one, or leading a turnaround/comeback effort.

    • Conceived or led the development of a truly innovative marketing campaign or otherwise guided the overall marketing of a brand in a new direction. Risk-taking and unconventional thinking a plus.

    • Deployed the full arsenal of marketing tactics—including traditional, digital, social, guerrilla, etc.—to maximum effect.

    • Proven the value of his/her marketing vision by producing measurable results in terms of fiscals and customer counts.

    The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 23.


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    IDEA: The most entertaining campaign airing now with an NBA endorser doesn't star LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. It's Chris Paul's State Farm campaign—or more accurately, Chris and Cliff Paul's campaign.

    The "Born to Assist" ads, by Translation in New York, are based on a delightful idea, wonderfully executed—that the Los Angeles Clippers star was separated at birth from a twin brother he never knew. Chris, of course, became a three-time NBA assists leader. But Cliff is masterful at assisting, too—as a State Farm agent.

    It's a simple, almost perfect metaphor: that State Farm agents have assisting in their blood. And Paul, 28, a gifted actor, has quietly made it soar while playing himself and Cliff (in a mustache, glasses and ever-present argyle sweater).

    The latest spot extends the family, as Paul's real-life son Chris Jr. plays both himself and Cliff Jr. "It continues to convey State Farm's commitment to service from one generation to the next, and to provide the best value in the business," said Tim Van Hoof, State Farm's assistant vp of marketing.

    COPYWRITING: The new spot opens with Chris and Cliff using whiteboards to teach their sons the basics of assisting.

    "Twins Cliff and Chris Paul made it their pursuit to pass selflessness on to the next generation. And their children proved to be true prodigies," says the male voiceover. (With almost no dialogue, the VO tells the story in all the spots.) The ad goes on to show Lil' Chris excelling on the court, and Lil' Cliff doing so off it—by insuring his friends' new tree house "from his own State Farm branch" (of the tree).

    In the final scene, the Pauls, riding down an escalator, are shocked to see Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and what appears to be his own State Farm twin riding up the other side. The VO concludes: "A lil' assist goes a long way. No matter who it comes from."

    The writing is playful and faux mythic—a tone that's only becoming more assured over time. "At a certain point the voice leads, and I just follow," said Translation associate creative director James Cohen.

    ART DIRECTION/FILMING: "Visually, we want the world to strike the balance between reality and fable," Cohen said. "We like to play on the identical twin story by composing shots and sets that evoke their symmetry. We try to keep it subtle and make it pop here and there."

    The shots with Cliff and Chris are filmed twice and combined in post—"a logistical puzzle," Cohen admitted.

    Cliff loves his argyle, but "we don't think of him as a nerd," Cohen added. "He's an insurance agent with swagger."

    TALENT: The creatives chose Paul after seeing him on a talk show. "His charm is effortless," said Cohen. "He makes Cliff come to life and can turn the character on and off at whim."

    Chris Jr. was a pro, too. "Lil' Chris only takes direction from his daddy. What a prima donna," Cohen joked. "His mom Jada is helpful too … bribing him with ice cream to get the job done."

    Cool and calm, Curry was a great foil for Paul's cartoony look on the escalator. "Plus, he's had a ridiculous season, so we're happy about that too," Cohen added.

    SOUND: The music is a stock track that has a "whimsical, storytelling quality," Cohen said. With no dialogue, sound design helps "punctuate the storytelling with sounds and flourishes," he added.

    MEDIA: The campaign goes well beyond TV. Cliff has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram. Gamers can play NBA 2K14 as Cliff. And fans can buy Jordan CP3 iD shoes inspired by the twins that come in argyle and are "worn to assist."

    The future of Paul's relationship with State Farm has been complicated, however, by the racist rants from Clippers owner Donald Sterling. While there is no indication that State Farm doesn't want to work with Paul, the company is "pausing" its sponsorship of the Clippers franchise itself following the scandal.

    Also, Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation, told ESPN that State Farm will no longer work with the team—and hopes a widespread boycott would force Sterling to sell the Clippers.



    Client: State Farm
    Spot: "Future of the Assist"

    Agency: Translation     
    Founder, Chief Executive Officer: Steve Stoute
    Group Creative Directors: Chris Valencius, Jonathan Graham
    Creative Director: Emily Sander
    Art Directors: Devin Sharkey, Danielle Thornton
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: James Cohen
    Director of Content Production: Miriam Franklin
    Director of Business Management: Debra Horvath
    Senior Vice President, Group Account Director: Ben Gladstone
    Account Director: Susanna Swartley
    Account Supervisor: Sara Daino
    Account Executive: Verena Zannantoni
    Assistant Account Executive: Stacia Andrews
    Producer: Melissa Nagy

    Production: Bob Industries
    Directors: Dayton/Faris
    Executive Producers: T.K. Knowles, John O'Grady, Chuck Ryant
    Unit Production Manager: Bart Lipton
    Production Supervisor: Jackie Hamilton

    Editing: Bikini Edit
    Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
    Producer: Brad Wood
    Editor: Avi Oron
    Assistant Editor: Gustavo Roman

    Postproduction: Brickyard VFX
    Executive Producer: Jeff Blodgett
    Producer: Linda Jackson
    Lead Visual Effects Artist: Mandy Sorenson
    On-Set Visual Effects Supervisor: Kathy Siegel

    Media: OMD

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    Beethoven died 187 years ago next month. So, why were apparently new obituaries for the composer only recently published?

    TBWA\Guate counted on that clever bit of shock value as part of its bid to save Guatemala's only classical music radio station, Radio Faro Cultural, which is at risk of being closed—presumably because nobody under 50 listens to classical music anymore, no matter what country they're in, because they're all too busy listening to Pharrell or Katy Perry.

    According to the agency's case study below, the campaign caught the attention of Guatemala's ministry of culture, which swooped in to bail out the station, because government preservation is probably the only thing that can save a waning genre's presence in a waning medium.

    While equating the brand with Beethoven could come across as pretentious, the metaphor reads as surprisingly unstrained. But it's hard to imagine the choice going over well with some of the more staunch proponents of Bach and Mozart.

    Credits below.

    Client: Radio Faro Cultural
    Agency: TBWA\Guate, Guatemala
    Chief Executive Officer: Raúl Herrera
    General Creative Director: Martín Sica
    Creative Directors: Luis Guzmán, Francisco Pérez
    Art Directors: Levin Méndez, Javier Contreras
    Producer: Mateo Gómez
    Planning Director: Flora Hasbun

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    Poise, the adult diaper brand, is poised to attack the lady bladder control market with a double entendre-laced spot about pee spotting.

    Though the product is supposed to be super discreet, the spot certainly is not. Two moms sitting down for some kind of school event have a conversation about Sam. Sam knows how to treat a woman. He might be small, but he can last for hours and he's in her pants RIGHT NOW. Surprise! It turns out Sam is short for the Super Absorbent Material in Poise liners.

    Ogilvy & Mather New York put together this strange appeal in response to what is, honestly, a hard product to sell. I mean, when laughing or sneezing makes you pee your pants, it's not really something you want to chat about over coffee with your girls.

    But is the right appeal suggesting there's a man named Sam with a small dick who can help you out? I can see why they'd go for humor. Make the audience pee in their pants a little and they'll realize how badly they need the product. But this spot is more creepy and weird than funny. At least it's drawing attention to the product while completely avoiding the unsavory reality of the condition. I mean, if the only option is to get all TMI about something, I guess I'd rather have an uncomfortable sex chat than a heart to heart about pissing myself.

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    Jose Cuervo literally bottles up its history in this campaign from McCann New York.

    The effort, which includes a TV spot and smartphone app, centers on intricate dioramas from animation studio Laika House. Finely detailed models capturing key Cuervo moments are placed inside tequila bottles.

    We're treated to the volcanic eruption that led to the growth of agave used in making tequila; the battle that precipitated Mexican independence (France lost, no surprise there); the brand keeping Americans hammered during Prohibition; the birth of the margarita; and a beach volleyball tournament, included because Cuervo is a pro-series sponsor.

    These miniatures are lovingly crafted and provide a novel respite from the usual high-tech commercial effects. Note the facial expressions—Jose looks forceful and assured—and the rich textures of the sea and soil.

    When users of the brand's mobile app hover their phones over a bottle of Cuervo Tradicional, a 3-D diorama of the bar where Cuervo helped invent the margarita appears. And after a few shots, who knows what else you'll start seeing?

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    You may remember Asta Philpot. Born with a physical disability called arthrogryposis, he became something of a folk hero in England (with help from a 2007 BBC documentary) by advocating for the sexual rights of people with disabilities—even if it means paying for sex.

    Philpot appeared in an ad last year for Come4.org, a porn site devoted to charity, which sponsors the Asta Philpot Foundation. Now, the foundation itself—whose broader goal is to spread a message of positivity, happiness and empowerment to people with and without disabilities—has come out with its own two-minute spot. And it's quite the defiant little musical, as an extremely diverse cast of characters urge viewers to look beyond their appearances—or (as they sing throughout) "kiss my ass."

    The Paris agency Being, which made the Come4.org spot, did this one, too. "All the protagonists of the film were volunteers eager to spread Asta Philpot's message of diversity, positivity and empowerment. They were cast for their differences, which they were willing to affirm proudly," the agency tells Adweek.

    The original score was composed by Ben Von Looy of the Flemish band Das Pop, with lyrics by Being. It sounds like a typical cool, Rat Pack crooner singing, but in the end it's revealed to be Philpot himself—another reminder not to make assumptions about appearances.

    Is it preaching to the choir? Probably. Still, there are worse things in the world than celebrations of tolerance, even if the haters turn a deaf ear.

    Credits and full lyrics for the film are below.

    Client: Asta Philpot Foundation
    Spot: "Beyond Appearances - Diversity Song"
    Agency: Being, Paris
    Chief Creative Officer: Alasdhair Macgregor Hastie
    Creative Director: Thierry Buriez
    Art Director: Rémy Fournigault
    Copywriter, Lyricist: Joris Vigouroux
    Director: Pierre Edelmann
    Assistant Camera: Clément Menu
    Assistant Film Director: Nicolas Guy
    Production: TBWA\Else
    Head of TV Production: Maxime Boiron
    TV Producer: Emilie Prudhomme
    Producers: Jennifer Bauche, Cathy Pericone
    Head of Music and Sound: Olivier Lefebvre
    Sound Producer: Benoit Dunaigre
    Original Score: "Kiss My Ass" by Bent Van Looy

    If you think I'm different because of my skin,
    that I'm only good for the bin,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    If you think I can't party because of my age,
    that that is an odd marriage,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    If you think I'm as boring as my ties,
    that I can't do grand things because of my size,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    If you think I'm a bad guy given my looks,
    and that a blonde girl can't read books,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    So you say that I can't be the best CEO,
    I cannot be hot with these kilos,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    And if you think that all I can do is booze,
    I can't be a great ma with tattoos,
    oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

    And if you think you can't love somebody in a weird body,
    you can KISS MY ASS.

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    I don't care how cool you think your job is, because you will never be as awesome as the person at GE who gets to push the button that smashes the crap out of things with 100,000 pounds of pressure.

    This series of videos from VaynerMedia, part of a new "#SpringBreakIt" campaign, feature ordinary objects like baseballs, rubber duckys, sea shells and pencils getting crushed and wind-blasted. The footage is downright fascinating and all done in the name of science. 

    As the brand's Tumblr (with perfect little gifs) states: "On April 23rd we opened our laboratory doors to show the world how we test our advanced materials. When we know how materials melt, shatter and bend, we can make machines that don't."

    Below are the two-minute teaser and individual videos showing things simply getting destroyed beyond all recognition. There are lots more in this playlist on GE's YouTube channel.

    Watching this stuff getting smashed will have fewer consequences than getting plastered yourself on your lunch hour, trust me.

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    I never thought Lego would officially recognize how sharp its products are, but this ad for the Star Wars playset series does exactly that—with help from the dark side of the Force.

    Little Vaders, of course, have a history of advertising success, though here the Sith Lord is somewhat less charming as he ruins a father's clandestine midnight snack run.

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    Who Steph Sebbag (l.), president, and Andy Robbins, evp, motion pictures and interactive
    What Full-service creative agency
    Where Los Angeles

    When you’re thisclose to Hollywood, you tend to think a lot about how to maintain a consistent artistic voice that can be heard above the roar of the crowd. Steph Sebbag, president of entertainment-oriented creative agency BPG, elaborated: “We’re always trying to find the voice of a television show or movie, and then find its place in the market.” The Los Angeles-based shop has worked to create standout ads for big-ticket projects from History’s Vikings to MGM’s recent RoboCop movie remake. BPG also has an altruistic side: It recently built a campaign for PETA around shocking images of syringes, knives, chains … all made out of animal emoji.

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    Peru is in the middle of a construction boom that generates a lot of unhealthy pollution. Peruvian engineering university UTEC and its ad agency, FCB Mayo, decided to create an air-purifying billboard designed to mitigate the environmental damage the school causes as it builds a new campus.

    The billboard has the added advantage of promoting the new campus, boosted by the claim that the school will help students learn how to do things like create billboards that filter about 100,000 cubic meters of clean air a day, reaching as far as five blocks away and equivalent to what some 1,200 trees would do.

    The environmentally friendly campaign is part of a tried-and-true strategy for UTEC and FCB Mayo. Last year they famously created a billboard that helped address a rainfall shortage in Lima by converting atmospheric humidity into clean drinking water. (That work earned numerous accolades, including Adweek's Isaac Gravity Award and a gold Lion in Outdoor at Cannes.)

    The new one is a welcome follow-up, possibly even more powerful—though perhaps less so—as it addresses a problem the school helped create. In fact, the thing that may be most wrong with it is that it makes every other billboard in the world look bad by comparison.

    Credits below.

    Client: UTEC
    Managing Directors: Carlos Heeren, Jessica Rúas
    Marketing Supervisor: Denise Dianderas

    Agency: FCB Mayo
    Chief Creative Officer: Humberto Polar
    Creative Director: Juan Donalisio
    Copywriters: Rafael García, Renato Farfán
    Art Director: Keni Mezarina
    Account Director: Valeria Malone Lo Presti
    Production Team: Geoffrey Yahya, Juan Pablo Ezeta, Rodrigo Tovar

    Media: BPN/Media Connection
    General Manager: Gloria Herrera
    Media Planners: Rafael Gutiérrez, Jessica Arizmendi

    Plan B (Case Study Video)
    Design Director: Kurt Gastulo
    Editor: Alex Ocaña

    La Sonora
    Audio Producers: Alonso Del Carpio, Willy Wong

    All Awards (Case consultant)
    Senior Consultant: Juan Christmann

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    In December, a powerful Pantene Philippines ad went viral, with each scene depicting a gender double standard. The goal was to address labels in the workplace, and the campaign has been running strong ever since.

    In the Philippines, where patriarchy is still certainly the norm, Pantene is using social media to continue to challenge the status quo. The Facebook page hardly looks like most brand pages. There's less product display than you'd expect from a personal care brand, and there are plenty of photos addressing roles and gender bias, all with the hashtag #whipit.

    Some display surprising statistics about women in the workplace and society—many of them suggesting women are accepting of the inequality—with a simple piece of copy underneath: "Together we can overcome bias."

    Pantene is also posting photos directly related to the December spot about labels. Each photo shows a negative word often aimed at women—some in English, some in Tagalog, varying from "whiny" to "weak" to "attention whore"—with a caption ending in "Don't let labels hold you back."

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    This gorgeously realized two-minute Greenpeace film posits a near future where honeybees, currently threatened by colony collapse, are replaced by robotic simulacra that pollinate fields and keep our ecosystem in balance.

    OMG, these robot bees will kill us all! That's more or less the response this video, from animation studio Woodblock and director Polynoid, is designed to evoke, even though it merrily buzzes along without a single bee attack. In fact, the imagery and narration are sunny and reassuring. Yet they court disaster at every turn.

    We're told that robo-bees can be cheaply mass produced, boast sophisticated triangulation technology, never tire, and best of all, "nothing can harm them." Of course, the bots "are programmed not to harm us." Sure, they can "release insecticide to kill predators." But that's just for self-defense. No need to worry that these super-bees would make deadly efficient ariel drones. Why swarm in panic? What could possible go wrong?

    Shots of kids frolicking in the grass with the micro-monstrosities are especially unnerving, and the spot's true message is communicated at the very end: "Should we create a new world or save our own?"

    Obviously, Greenpeace is saying we should take steps to ensure the survival of real honeybees or face uncertain, even frightening consequences. The group's recent "Greenbees" clip used broader humor to make the same point.

    The new spot is slyly provocative and engaging. Still, it won't be easy getting through to society's apathetic hive-mind, which mostly wishes activists would just buzz off.

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    In a kind of low-fi version of Jay-Z's celebrated Decoded outdoor campaign, Coldplay has been promoting its new album, Ghost Stories, with a worldwide scavenger hunt—hiding lyric sheets in Chris Martin's handwriting inside ghost stories in libraries around the world.

    Clues were given out on Twitter. The lyrics were hidden in nine different countries, one for each song on the new record. Eight of the sheets have been found—in Mexico, Singapore, Finland, Spain, England, New Zealand, Ireland and the U.S.

    Coldplay.com has details of each discovery.

    @ynikyonc found the U.S. lyric sheet inside a copy of Jeff Belanger's Who's Haunting the White House at the New York Public Library.

    The final clue was posted today, hinting at South Africa.

    One of the hidden envelopes also contained a "Golden Ticket," good for a trip for two to London to see Coldplay perform at the Royal Albert Hall on July 1.

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    On Thursday, Complex and a few other outlets found a SoundCloud file, with no context attached, of somebody who sounded an awful lot like Kevin Spacey delivering a bad-guy-sounding monologue about democracy—and not really being into that particular form of government so much. Complex originally hypothesized it was a viral campaign for House of Cards.

    Variety's Marc Graser ran a spectral analysis on the sound file (wow, Marc) and found a picture of a soldier holding a gun, and made the leap that it was from a new Call of Duty ad.

    Late Thursday night, Activision put the full trailer—by 72andSunny and Ant Farm—up on its website for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest game in the franchise. And sure enough, there's the digitized K-Space, telling the world he's sick of the Electoral College. (Really, though, this is like HoC Season 4, right? We're on our way there.)

    There's also the video below, produced by Activision and Vice, which holds its NewFront presentation on Friday, about the world of Blackwater/Xe Services-style mercenary organizations (euphemism of the day: private military contractors—please note that "private" can modify both "military" and "contractors," depending on how you choose to understand the phrase), much like the one Spacey heads in the new CoD. It's a news report ... except it's also an ad!

    It's worth noting that this wasn't entirely how the CoD reveal was supposed to go down, though it is pretty close. With a few images and some hints here and there, Activision had prepared a countdown clock for Sunday, when the trailer was supposed to go live.

    But tease enough reporters, and they start reporting: Gaming site Destructoid acquired a leaked copy of the trailer and posted it Thursday night, either blowing the lid off the reveal or moving it up slightly and creating a lot of buzz around a promotional video, depending on how you look at it.

    Anyway, the whole thing is kind of brilliant: We bring to you highly sensitive information that is also a series of neato advertisements for a popular video game.

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    If World Cup fever is getting to you, well, you're not alone.

    This new 30-second spot from Wieden + Kennedy in New York, shot mostly in New York, shows American soccer fans talking obsessively about their team—and not just the American team, but their national teams of their ancestral homelands. The tagline is: "Every 4 years the conversation starts again."

    The ad uses real U.S.-based soccer fans, including a German butcher, an Italian barber and a cabbie from the Ivory Coast. These guys are passionate.

    I don't want to spoil anything, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the pessimistic Englishman, who feels like a punch line (of course this guy's a downer) as he mentions penalty kicks toward the end of the spot.

    ESPN has also unveiled the first posters from what will be a series of 32—one for each team—designed by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Cristiano Siqueira. Check those out below, too, and get excited for the tournament, which runs from June 12 to July 13.

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    A long time ago in a brand galaxy far, far away...

    May the Fourth be with you. Perhaps news of the cast of the newest installment in the Star Wars saga sitting down for a table read is getting nerds super excited, or maybe it's that there's really no political or religious connotation to this "holiday," but brand participation in Star Wars Day was hard to miss on Sunday. 

    Either way, the force was strong, as many, many brands joined in on Twitter. From ridiculous (awesome) puns to visual metaphors, there were several clever entries as well as a few half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herders. (Of note: Nerf's absence from the list.)

    Impressive, brands. Most impressive. But you're not a Jedi yet.

    • NASA


    • Airheads

    • Nokia USA

    • Nissan USA

    • The Vitamine Shoppe

    • Powers Whiskey

    • Miller Lite

    • Vans

    • Lego

    • Dove Men+Care

    • KFC

    • Pei-Wei

    • Totino's

    • Dr Pepper

    • Pillsbury

    • Subway

    • United

    • Delta

    • Oreo

    • Macy's

    • Cinnabon

    • Sears

    • Whole Foods

    • Toys R Us

    • Dairy Queen

    • Cap'n Crunch

    • Lucky Charms

    • Betty Crocker

    • Carbonite

    • Café Bustelo

    • Coffee-mate

    • Applebee's


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    Get ready for good feelings, as British department store John Lewis is back with another music-driven montage from adam&eveDDB, this time to celebrate the retailer's 150th anniversary.

    The gist of the ad, set to a cover of the Kinks' "This Time Tomorrow" as performed by Gaz Coombes, formerly of Supergrass, is that the store's customers have always kept moving and evolving over the years, and so John Lewis has, too—that it's always been there for you.

    At its heart, it's a souped-up version of "Always a Woman," the store's Billy Joel-borne spot from 2010 that tracked a woman's life from birth to her golden years. The new ad expands the concept and editing style to show lots of different customers, and covers a much longer time span.

    There are plenty of carefree, charming moments like slip-'n'-sliding and Tarzan diving. There are also some darker, more anxious ones like a family racing into a bomb shelter, presumably during World War II. It's an ambitious and ultimately effective sequence, deftly stringing together dozens of scenes into a fairly cohesive if somewhat meandering and ambiguous whole.

    The tagline may come across as a little smarmy—almost a humble brag. "For 150 years you've never stood still. Neither have we." Actually, people have been not standing still for a lot longer than that. What appears to be intended as a lofty message about the pace and continuity of existence ends up seeming a little like a claim that history is defined by John Lewis's role in it.

    Still, the concept is both playful and daring, and the technique is top notch. And the spot—which broke Saturday on Britain’s Got Talent—only adds to John Lewis's legacy as a brand whose advertising is an event, widely anticipated and beloved.

    The final shot, showing a young girl heading off to school, makes its point about the promise of the next generation (i.e., this isn't just a backward-looking ad about the past). And while it might not immediately make people run out and go shopping, as a branding exercise it's skillfully done in getting consumers to believe they share a history with the brand—and perhaps a future as well.

    Client: John Lewis
    Agency: adam&eveDDB, London

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    IDEA: The world that people with autism inhabit isn't just indescribable; in many ways it's unknowable. But one symptom many people on the spectrum experience—sensory sensitivity—can be illustrated, or at least approximated, on film.

    British admen Kit Dayaram and Steve Cope settled on that topic after deciding to collaborate, and produced a powerful spot for the National Autistic Society that shows how sights and sounds can overwhelm someone with sensory abnormalities.

    "Steve's brother works with those on the spectrum, and it became clear there was an interesting brief in telling a story about how someone with autism felt," said Dayaram, creative director at London agency The News. "It made sense for a film, as it's about sound and vision. It also made sense from the client's point of view, as this year is focused on that very subject."

    The finished spot, directed by Cope from Rattling Stick, truly is an assault on the senses, using surreal visuals and chaotic sound design to generate empathy by putting viewers in the mind of someone with the disorder.

    COPYWRITING: "It was important that we made an ad that creatively represented how many people feel, but not an ad that said this is exactly what it's like to have sensory sensitivity," said Dayaram.

    The spot opens with a quiet shot of a kitchen faucet and sounds of kids playing outside. A drop of water falls with a thud, then another and another, setting a rhythm. More noises join in—a dog's bark and cat's meow; the tapping fingers and toes of a mother and daughter on a couch; cartoon animals on TV banging each other with pots; the squeak of a cat flap; police sirens outside.

    At the same time, the scene becomes visually chaotic. The eyes on the mom's coffee mug start to drift; the couch lightly bounces; the patterns on the wallpaper and numbers on a clock rearrange in time with the sounds. As everything reaches a cacophony, another drop falls, and the sounds cut out. We see a boy at a table, staring intently, as the spot cuts to black.

    "Sensory sensitivity. One of the many battles we help those with autism face every day," says on-screen copy, followed by the NAS logo and URL.

    SOUND: Sound design obviously was critical. "Sounds like the dog's bark got more aggressive as the ad went on, alternating with the cat to make it more textured and unsettling near the end," Dayaram said. "We also played with slipping the timing of the beat, making it more jarring." The ending associates a feeling of calm with the NAS.

    FILMING/ART DIRECTION: "The tap was a good place to start, as it set the pace for the beat that runs throughout," said Dayaram. "It's also very torturous, which was one word I used often during the entire process."

    The camera zooms in slowly in several shots, enhancing the claustrophobia. Electric Theatre Collective did the visual effects in post "based on our brief, and did it very well," said Dayaram.

    TALENT: The boy in the spot is on the spectrum and was introduced to the filmmakers through the NAS. The footage of him was shot when he thought they were on break. "He was much more relaxed during this time, and we didn't want to overdirect him or make him feel unsettled by making him perform take after take," Dayaram said.

    The boy moves only his eyes, glancing down after a few seconds. "I wanted him to make a powerful but subtle movement, something that didn't feel directed," said Dayaram. The wardrobe was his own.

    MEDIA: Online and cinema. "We would love some TV spots to be donated if possible," Dayaram said.


    Client: National Autistic Society
    Spot: "Sensory Overload"
    Agency: The News, London
    Creative Director: Kit Dayaram
    Copywriters: Kit Dayaram, Stine Hole Mankovsky, Oli Kellet
    Art Director: Kit Dayaram
    Production Company: Rattling Stick
    Director: Steve Cope
    Producer: Kate Taylor
    Production Manager: Charlie Lodder
    Editing House: Stitch
    Editor: Izzy King
    DOP: Clive Norman
    Location Manager: Toby Haak
    Production Design: Stef Grieve
    Make-Up: Bev Pond-Jones
    Costume: Lydia Kovacs
    Sound: Munzie at Grand Central
    Visual Effects: Electric Theatre Company

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    Taking your kid to the beach means worrying he or she will wander off when you're not looking. Enter sunscreen brand Nivea and FCB São Paolo with a campaign that basically provides you with a LoJack for your child.

    Titled "Sun Band," the combination print-and-mobile execution lets you pop a bracelet out of the magazine ad, wrap it around your child's arm, download an app, sync them and set a perimeter. If your kid wanders outside the safe zone, an alarm sounds, so you can go chasing after him or her. (Presumably, if you lose your phone, too, just whip out your tablet and Find My iPhone to recover your gadget, and then your child.)

    The ad ran in April in select copies of Veja Rio magazine sent to a group of subscribers. The bracelet is supposedly "humidity resistant" and reusable, though one has to wonder how much water it can really withstand.

    Anyways, it's a fun idea that effectively signals the brand's devotion to protecting your offspring. If you're still not satisfied with the mechanics, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and get a harness and a leash—or, you know, just stay close and pay attention to your child.

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.


    Client: Nivea
    Agency: FCB Brasil, São Paulo
    Executive Creative Directors: Joanna Monteiro, Max Geraldo
    Digital Creative Director: Pedro Gravena
    Creative: Victor Bustani, Raphael Leandro de Oliveira, Andre Bittar
    Digital Production: Geek Group
    Art Buyers: Tina Castro, Daniel Gonçalves
    Photographer: Lucio Cunha
    Image Treatment: Boreal
    Graphic Production: Edgardo Pasotti, Diego Bischoff
    Graphic Design, Development: Companygraf
    Media: Alexandre Ugadin, Tiago Santos, Sergio Brotto, Rachid Antum, Caio Melo
    Project: Lia D’Amico
    Technology: Gerson Lupatini, Caio Mello
    Creative Technologist: Márcio Bueno
    Account: Mauro Silveira, Cristiane Pereira, Tania Muller, Mariana Mozzaquatro, Vitor Borragine
    Planners: Rapha Barreto, Lia Bertoni
    RTV: Viviane Guedes, Ricardo Magozo
    Production Company: Edit 2
    Director: Rodrigo Fleury
    Account Production: Daniela Andreade
    Finishing Production: Priscila Prado
    Animation: Rodrigo Resende, Eduardo Brandão
    Composition: Eduardo Brandão
    Editor: Rodrigo Resende
    Finishing Production: Edit 2
    Audio: Satélite Audio
    Sound Producer: Equipe Satélite
    Audio Account: Fernanda Costa, Marina Castilho
    Client Supervisors: Tatiana Ponce, Patricia Picolo, Beatriz Vale, Lilian Cruz, Ana Borges, Katia Margy, Julia Sabbag

    0 0

    Look out, Flo. There's a new babe in town.

    Actually, make that baby. Progressive Insurance is changing things up with a new campaign from Arnold featuring a wise-cracking man-child character and a new delivery platform—Facebook Premium Video Ads.

    The "Baby Man" campaign features just that—a grown man who acts like a baby. He's carried around his office in a baby carrier, slugs juice from a sippy cup and cracks jokes at his colleagues' expense. All of the ads end with a punching sound as the screen slams to white and a gruff voice announces: "Act your age! Dump your parents' insurance company."

    "Save @ Progressive.com" then appears on screen.

    The humor isn't exactly subtle. One of the 15-second spots opens with the Baby Man farting, then blaming it on a co-worker. Another ends with him spitting up on his mom. It's all part of a strategy of broad, visually arresting comedy that Progressive hopes grabs millennials' attention when the spots autoplay (users must click for sound) on Facebook.

    "This creative is different than anything people have seen from us before, and was designed for the [Facebook] placement," Jonathan Beamer, Progressive's marketing strategy and innovation business leader, tells Adweek.

    "Our goal is to break through the clutter of the newsfeed and to inspire people to evaluate their own insurance choices. Nobody should blindly accept his or her parents' choice—if young adults haven't reevaluated their insurance choices, they are probably not getting the value they deserve."

    Baby Man is a significant new initiative for Progressive, and he also has his own section on the Progressive website. But longtime spokeswoman character Flo isn't going anywhere, the company added.

    Indeed, she might want to join this campaign and whip the Baby Man into shape.

    Client: Progressive Insurance
    Agency: Arnold Worldwide
    Executive Creative Directors: Pete Johnson, Wade Devers
    Group Creative Director: Sean McBride 
    Art Director: Alyssa Wilson Georg
    Copywriter: Joshua Kahn
    Producers: Jaime Guild, Kathy McMann
    Assistant Producer: Lauren Landry
    Business Affairs: Kim Stevens, Lisa Mercier
    Planner: Milla Stolte
    Marketing Producers: Elliott Seaborn, Val Bettini, Caitlin Moran, Kelley Stenberg, Dorothy Johnson
    Social Media: Matt Karolian, Brandon Schug, Cristin Barth
    Production Company: 3rd Street Mining Company
    Production Company Executive Producer: John LaChapelle
    Production Company Line Producer: Barry Heaps
    Director: Ben Hurst, Dave Thomas
    Cinematographer: Munn Powell
    Editorial Company: Editbar
    Editor: Reuter
    Audio Mix: Brian Heidebrecht, Soundtrack Boston
    Color, Conform, Clean Up, Rig Removal: Zero VFX


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