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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Yesterday we looked at the 17 best print campaigns of the past year, as judged by the Press Lions judges at last week's Cannes Lions festival. We continue our Cannes recaps today with the best video spots of the year.

    Below, check out all the commercials that won Grand Prix and gold Lion awards in the Film Lions and Film Craft Lions categories.

    The Film Lions honor traditional TV and cinema advertising, along with film content produced for online airing and other screens. The Film Craft Lions specifically recognize the quality and aesthetic of the filmmaking process.

    • Volvo Trucks - "The Epic Split"
    Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Production Company: Folke, Stockholm, Sweden
    Grand Prix in Film, Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • Harvey Nichols - "Sorry, I Spent It on Myself"
    Agency: adam&eveDDB, London
    Production Company: Outsider London
    Grand Prix in Film

    • Lurpak - "Adventure Awaits"
    Agency: Blink Productions, London / Wieden + Kennedy, London
    Production Company: Blink Productions, London
    3 Gold Lions in Film Craft

    • New Zealand Transport Agency - "Blazed"
    Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington - New Zealand
    Production Company: Finch Sydney
    2 Gold Lions in Film Craft

    • Sony Music - "Bob Dylan / Like a Rolling Stone"
    Agency: Interlude, New York
    Production Company: Walter Pictures, New York / Pulse Films, London
    2 Gold Lions in Film Craft

    • Unilever / Marmite - "Rescue"
    Agency: adam&eveDDB, London
    Production Company: Outsider, London
    Gold Lion in Film

    • New Zealand Transport Agency - "Mistakes"
    Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington - New Zealand
    Production Company: Finch Sydney
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Southern Comfort - "Karate"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks, Los Angeles
    Gold Lion in Film (Campaign)
    The other spot honored in the campaign was "Shampoo."

    • Coca-Cola Life - "Parents"
    Agency: Santo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Production Company: Blue, Buenos Aires
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Old Spice - "Momsong"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles
    Gold Lion in Film (Campaign)
    The other spots honored in the campaign were "Tree" and "Bowl."

    • Nike - "Possibilities"
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
    Production Company: MZJ, Los Angeles / Rock Paper Scissors, Los Angeles / A52 Los Angeles
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Sony PlayStation - "Perfect Day"
    Agency: BBH, New York
    Production Company: MJZ, New York
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Du - "Too Complicated"
    Agency: Leo Burnett, Dubai
    Production Company: Deja Vu, Dubai
    Gold Lion in Film (Campaign)
    The other spot honored in the campaign was "Too Depressing."

    • Wren - "First Kiss"
    Agency: Durable Goods, Los Angeles
    Production Company: Durable Goods, Los Angeles
    Gold Lion in Film

    • 350 Action - "Climate Name Change"
    Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000, New York
    Production Company: Furlined, Los Angeles / Big Sky Edit, New York / APM Music, New York
    Gold Lion in Film

    • WaterIsLife - "Bucket List"
    Agency: DDB, New York
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Honda Motor Co. - "Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989"
    Agency: Dentsu, Tokyo
    Production Company: Dentsu Creative X, Tokyo
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Consejo Publicitario Argentino / International Day of People With Disabilities - "The 1000 Miles of Luca"
    Agency: TBWA\Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Production Company: Primo, Buenos Aires
    Gold Lion in Film

    • Honda - "Illusions"
    Agency: mcgarrybowen, London
    Production Company: Gorgeous, London / The Mill, London
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • Procter & Gamble - "Pick Them Back Up"
    Agency: Park Pictures, New York / Wieden + Kennedy, Portland
    Production Company: Park Pictures, New York
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • Anheuser-Busch / Bud Light - "Ian / Up for Whatever"
    Agency: BBDO New York
    Production Company: Helo, Los Angeles
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • Dick's Sporting Goods - "Focus and Explode"
    Agency: Anomaly, New York
    Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker, New York
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • EITB / Radio Euskadi - "Better With Music / Obama"
    Agency: Dimension San Sebastian, Spain
    Production Company: Debolex, San Sebastian / Irusoin, San Sebastian
    Gold Lion in Film Craft (Campaign)
    The other spot honored in the campaign was "Better With Music / Mourinho."

    • Ubisoft - "Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Defy"
    Agency: MPC, London / Sid Lee, Paris
    Production Company: Stink, London
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • Chipotle Mexican Grill - "The Scarecrow"
    Agency: Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles
    Production Company: Moonbot Studios, Shreveport, La.
    Gold Lion in Film Craft

    • HBO Go - "Your Choice"
    Agency: O Positive Films, New York / SS+K, New York
    Production Company: O Positive Films, New York
    Gold Lion in Film (Campaign)
    See the other spots honored from this campaign here.

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    Ads are most beautiful when they speak to us in a language we understand—when they tap into our subconscious and make us feel like they empathize, like they are one of us. When this symbiotic, osmotic communication stream resonates with us in an enveloping, visceral way, we have no choice but to surrender. 

    I had this experience with a set of beef jerky commercials today.

    Perhaps you will, too, if you've ever been hungry to the point of irrational thought—hungry to the point that you want to bite the head off of the person next to you, war-paint your face with Cheetos-stained fingers and dance a jig on their grave. When hungry makes the transition to hangry, everyone should stay the hell away.

    Check out these pretty perfect spots from Jack Link's and ad agency Carmichael Lynch, and see if you identify with these poor hanger-affected souls.

    I don't know about you, but you won't like me when my spirit animal is hangry.

    Via Ads of the World.

    Client: Jack Link's
    Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis
    Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
    Executive Creative Director, Copywriter: Marty Senn
    Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Brad Harrison
    Head of Production: Joe Grundhoefer
    Executive Producer: Freddie Richards
    Account Director: Jesse Simon
    Account Supervisor: Sofya Vannelli
    Director: Harold Einstein
    Production Company: Dummy

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    IDEA: It's been a while since Bo and Luke Duke raced around Hazzard County three decades ago in their 1969 Dodge Charger stock car, evading Boss Hogg and Rosco P. Coltrane.

    The boys aren't so different, but they could use a new vehicle. And AutoTrader obliges in a campaign from Doner that shows the early-'80s TV characters, played by Tom Wopat and John Schneider, using the brand's mobile app to find the perfect car for 2014.

    This old-meets-new vibe was a good way to mine nostalgia while introducing new features. "We were looking for something that would stay true to our history of producing very high-energy, engaging commercials, but would also inject personality and emotion," said John Kovac, svp of marketing for AutoTrader parent Cox Automotive.

    "Few shows embody the emotional connection between a vehicle and its owners like the Dukes, and the characters have a clear need AutoTrader can solve."

    COPYWRITING: Getting Wopat and Schneider on board was key. "They are Bo and Luke. I think they were as excited as we all were to bring this epic idea to life," said Rob Strasberg, Doner's co-CEO and chief creative officer.

    There are three linked spots, with the first two ending in cliffhangers. Those arcs guided the writing. "The Dukes of Hazzard always had cliffhangers," said Strasberg. "We wanted each spot to stand on its own and the action around the Dukes to draw the viewer in, but AutoTrader.com is the heart of the story."

    The first spot opens with the boys fleeing a couple of police cars in the countryside. "YEEHAAAAA!! We still got it, cousin! We still got it!" Bo shouts at Duke, who's riding shotgun. "Yeah, I'm not sure about our old friend, here, though," Duke replies, patting the dashboard.

    The wild chase continues through the three ads, with Luke using AutoTrader all the while to research vehicles. They eventually crash into an auto dealer and leave with a new car.

    FILMING/ART DIRECTION: Director Janusz Kaminski (a two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan) filmed for six days in nine locations in southeastern Louisiana— close to where they shot the show early on.

    The car jumps were the most challenging shots, and also the most fun. "Nothing was computer generated, so the preparation was painstaking," said Strasberg. "Jumping cars is fun, but wrecking cars is crazy fun. To see the Duke boys flying through the air in person and to watch the police cars wrecking was wild."

    At one point there's a nod to Daisy Duke—a billboard for "Daisy's Denim Depot." "We thought it would add a smile to find it and imagine she went into retail," Strasberg said.

    TALENT: Wopat and Schneider picked up where they left off. "I don't think they've ever stopped being Bo and Luke," said Strasberg. "They have a chemistry that can only come from working together for a decade and being friends for three. That said, Janusz kept the set fun, the actors loose, and whatever he needed they gave him."

    SOUND: It was a complicated sound job, but "the key was the 'YEEHAAAAA! If we didn't get that right, everything else wouldn't have mattered," said Strasberg.

    Waylon Jennings sang the original theme song; here it's his son Shooter singing. "Shooter was very excited about the project, but not as excited as we were to have him and the family tie," Strasberg said.

    MEDIA: Network, cable and satellite TV, plus digital, radio and mobile billboards. AutoTrader is also buying its first cinema ads for this. "We think it's a perfect fit because the story is almost like its own mini-movie," said Kovac.


    Client: AutoTader
    Agency: Doner
    Director: Janusz Kaminski
    Rob Strasberg, Co-CEO, Chief Creative Officer
    Brad Emmett, EVP, Executive Creative Director
    Mark Cooke, VP, Creative Director
    Bryan Hutson, VP, Creative Director
    Rich Toltzman, Creative Director
    Tim Sharp, Creative Director
    Alex Page, Integrated Producer
    Bruce Haynes, SVP, Media Strategy and Activation
    Alicia Lingenfelter, VP, Associate Media Director
    Rebecca Mires, Associate Media Director
    Pete Marlow, Supervisor, Media Planning

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    If you thought it was impossible for The Martin Agency's "Wonderfilled" campaign for Oreo to get even more twee, think again.

    The brand that's given us cutesy jingles from artists like Owl City and Kacey Musgraves (and more recently, Tegan and Sara) is now taking a page from none other than Dr. Seuss to promote its extra-adorable Oreo Minis.

    The new long-form spot—running online and debuting in theaters on Friday—tells the story (in rhyme, of course) of Mel's Mini Mini Mart, a teeny tiny store that's "by far the most mini mini of any mini before." (Are you dying of twee yet?) The store is widely ignored by passers-by due to its size and generally nondescript nature (and something about a cat, because squeeee!). But then one day, a family with good hair genes stops by for reasons unknown and discovers the "secret" of the Mini Mini Mart: It only sells Oreo Minis!

    What is an Oreo Mini, you ask, presumably because you haven't seen them in the 20-plus years they've been on the market? "They're like big Oreos that decided to shrink," says Faux Dr. Seuss. Yes, it seems Oreos are actually sentient beings. Think about that next time you shove a bunch of Oreos in your mouth. You're killing cognizant creatures.

    But back to the spot. The family finds that the store is selling loose, creatively displayed, possibly stale Oreo Minis. The dad, who turns out to be a reporter (of course), alerts the press about the mini mart, and after an unnecessarily lengthy piece in the New York Times Sunday Styles section (probably), there's a line of cars queuing up outside, filled with spectacle-wearing Wes Anderson fans from Brooklyn and Portland waiting to get a taste of this Oreo miracle.

    Six months later, a mini mini mini mart selling bite-sized cronuts will open in the next town over, and Mel's will be effectively forgotten.

    Oreo is also breaking a new animated spot on TV in partnership with electro-funk duo Chromeo, who put their own spin on the Wonderfilled song. The spot "aims to inspire anyone who's ever felt small to dream big," says the agency.

    Client: Mondelez/Oreo
    Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

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    Newcastle Brown Ale had a big hit with its "If We Made It" ambush campaign around the Super Bowl. Now, the British brewer has done something similar for July 4.

    The new campaign, from Droga5, is called "If We Won," and it imagines what America would be like if Britain had won the Revolutionary War. It also continues the tradition, begun last year, of celebrating July 3 as Independence Eve—so the Brits can sneak in with their bangers and mash ahead of Independence Day on July 4.

    It's all a bunch of bollocks, of course—or rather, no bollocks.

    Stephen Merchant kicks things off with the amusing video below. Elizabeth Hurley and Zachary Quinto will join the campaign with their own videos in the coming days. There will be 16 pieces of filmed content in all, "to help Newcastle celebrate the land that nearly became 'Great Britain 2,' " the brewer says.

    "It's not easy to sell a British beer during a supremely American holiday, so we're imagining how great America could have been—and how much beer we could have sold—if the Brits had won the Revolutionary War," says Quinn Kilbury, brand director for Newcastle Brown Ale, who spoke to Adweek earlier this month about the brand's Facebook advertising.

    "In the late 1700s, colonial Americans risked life and limb to fight for their freedom. Today, we're running the very real risk of people totally not getting the joke here, and we think that's pretty patriotic."

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    It's a lot harder for a father to have fun, whatever he's doing, while his three young kids are clinging to his body at the same time.

    This parenting-humor ad, aptly titled "Daddy," won a silver Lion in the Film category at Cannes last week for French automaker Citroën and Havas agency Les Gaulois.

    Photographing birds, taking tango lessons and playing soccer are just a few of the hobbies that lose some of their charm for a man encumbered by his offspring. Because it's a car commercial, driving is the one thing he stills find enjoyable, with his brats somehow docile in the backseat—or at least physically off his person for a moment. (In reality, everyone knows those kids are still kicking and screaming for the whole ride.)

    The ad—one of the most pro-father spots we've seen in a while—presents the same sight gag over and over again, but it stays funny because it's more or less true in spirit, a nice visual metaphor for the exhaustion that comes with hauling kids through their early years.

    In fact, the character here must be the same guy as the dad from this Coca-Cola Life ad from Argentina (which won gold in Cannes) … just a few more years down the line.

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    Is there anything dogs love more than a good dog butt?

    BarkBox, a monthly gift subscription service for dogs, has been experimenting with advertising directly to man's best friend. And its latest attempt to get inside the canine cranium is nothing more than 30 seconds of staring directly at a dog's butt. The company even went so far as to have an actual dog-butt casting call to find the perfect doggy derriere.

    The view from behind should look familiar to dog owners who are used to having dog butts shoving into their face on a daily basis. And from the completely unscientific testing that I tried, dogs seem very happy to look at another dog's butt on a screen.

    Of course, it's gotta be kind of a tease to look at that sweet, sweet dog butt and not get a single sniff.

    Client: BarkBox
    Agency: Graham Douglas & Kenny Kim
    Creative Director: Henrik Werdelin
    Art Director, Copywriter: Rob Schutz

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    The storytelling is exceptionally strong in "The Perfect Daughter," a Promart Homecenter spot by Fahrenheit DDB in Lima, Peru, that won a silver Lion in Film last week at Cannes.

    Directed by Ricardo Chadwick, the commercial employs a quiet, understated approach that tugs at viewers' emotions, but never seems mawkish or contrived. The problem this particular dad faces feels very real, as does his solution, achieved through a trip to Promart for supplies.

    The tagline, "Your family is perfect. Your home should be too," strikes just the right tone. It's inclusive and thoughtful, and fits the spot's theme without coming on too strong.

    There's no dialogue; indeed, words aren't needed to communicate the brand proposition or the deeper, heartfelt message. Those two elements could easily have been at odds if less deftly handled, but they mesh to perfection in this story of a dad's desire to bring some light into his daughter's world.

    Client: Promart Homecenter
    Agency: Fahrenheit DDB, Lima, Peru
    Creative Director / Copywriter: Ricardo Chadwick
    Agency Producer: Valeshka Granda
    Production House: Rebeca
    Director: Ricardo Chadwick
    DOP: Miguel Valencia
    Art Director: Ximena Castañeda
    Editor: Miqui de la Barra
    Audio: Audiopost

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    We've reached peak hipster. And we've also reached peak anti-hipster. But South Africa's Garagista Beer Co. is barging ahead anyway with a campaign that positions the brand as absolutely not the right choice for the coolest people on earth.

    Watch below as a bunch of unkempt cool white people battle each other with records, typewriters and bicycles for a taste of the brewery's limited-edition batch of suds. And also check out the onslaught of anti-hipster print ads the brand has put together.

    Over at the brand's Facebook page (because having an actual Web page is so January 2014), it's clear that Garagista is pretty normcore about the whole thing. "In a world where some people care more about the craft beer image than the actual beer," it says, "we care about one thing—damn good beer." 

    Cool. Now, can we make all the selfies go away?

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    We've talked a lot about the connection people feel for their respective teams during the World Cup, and the advertising that celebrates it. But this haunting PSA reminds us that it isn't always positive. Check out the spot below, part of Tender Education and Arts' #StandUpWorldCup campaign. Via Jezebel.

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    Is there a better auto advertising copywriter—and by better, I mean more completely, awesomely batshit—than Christoffer Castor?

    You will remember the Swedish art director from his "Buy My Volvo" spot last month, which has surpassed 1.5 million YouTube views and is almost certainly the most insane used-car classified ad ever put to video.

    Castor seems to be emboldened by the clip's success, as he has now released the sequel below. And he's moved on from old clunkers and is advertising a flashier Volvo—the V60 Sportswagon R-Design T6 AWD. Worry not—he hasn't lost his touch for peculiar prose. If anything, the copywriting on this one is even more enjoyably ludicrous.

    And by the way, if you really liked the 1993 245GL from the previous video, you're in luck. He still hasn't sold it. Which actually makes him a terrible adman, but never mind.

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    Merkley + Partners takes the kids' side in its new campaign for gun safety, with boys and girls questioning why adults don't go to greater lengths to hide their firearms.

    In one TV ad, "Please Add This to the List," a string of children note that their parents tell them to always wear seatbelt and bike helmets yet store their guns loosely in a drawer, closet, garage or under a bed. Another TV execution, "Do It for Us," weaves adults into picture, with a mother cradling a baby and a female teacher in a classroom saying that if guns are stored properly, "I won’t have to tell my kids, 'This isn’t a drill.' "

    Documentary filmmaker Henry Corra directed the ads, which were shot in black and white, and actor Richard Thomas provided the voiceover. The campaign, which also includes print, outdoor, radio and online ads, was created for the National Crime Prevention Council (via the Ad Council) and funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The tagline is, "Lock it up."

    Client: National Crime Prevention Council
    Agency: Merkley + Partners

    TV & Radio
    Andy Hirsch: Executive Creative Director, Art Director/Copywriter
    Stacey Lesser: Chief Strategic Officer
    Beth Miller: Account Director
    Taylor Doyle: :: Account Coordinator
    Gary Grossman: Director, Broadcast Production
    Donovan Green: Producer
    Harold Karp: Associate Creative Director, Copywriter (Radio)
    Corra Films: Production Company
    Henry Corra: Director
    Jeremy Amar: Producer
    Jeremy Medoff: Editor
    Brand New School: Animation Graphics
    Seth Phillips: :: Sound Mix, Sound Lounge
    Richard Thomas:: Voiceover Talent

    Andy Hirsch: Executive Creative Director, Art Director/Copywriter
    Grant Delin: Photographer
    Bev Don: Director, Art Production
    Jamie Bakin: Art Producer
    Stephen Brady: Senior Print Producer
    Joe Chanin: Director, Advertising Arts
    Ray Maravilla: Senior Retoucher

    Andy Hirsch: Executive Creative Director
    Yoni Kim: Senior Interactive Art Director
    Jennifer Cimmino: Digital Group Account Director
    Samantha Hess: Digital Account Executive
    Charles Noel: Flash Developer

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    If you've ever wanted to see Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense get slapped around, well, this is your chance.

    Yes, it's three months later and we're still seeing parodies of Wren's "First Kiss," the super-viral ad (and now Cannes gold Lion winner) that showed complete strangers kissing each other. For this one, Max Landis (son of Hollywood legend John Landis) gathered 40 friends and acquaintances and had them slap each other (allegedly for the first time).

    The video already has over 2 million views. Check it out below, and take note of just how different the slaps are: Some are super hard, some are soft, but everyone seems excited about the violence they're allowed to exact on someone else. Yikes!

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    Who (Clockwise from top left) Jennifer Parke, executive creative director; Amir Haque, chief strategist; Lucas Donat, founder, CEO, CCO; Christy Ferguson, group account director
    What Full-service agency
    Where Santa Monica, Calif.

    Lucas Donat, founder, CEO and CCO of Tiny Rebellion, makes it his mission to effect positive change through business. His agency works exclusively with companies that prove that doing good can be profitable too. In 1999, Donat began working with dating site eHarmony and helped transform it from a startup into a service that accounts for 5 percent of all U.S. marriages. “It launched this notion that we could be an advertising agency that helps visionaries deliver these brands into the world,” said Donat. Today, Tiny Rebellion works with brands like TrueCar, which is working to bring transparency to automotive retail, and Bolthouse Farms, a premium juice company with which the shop created the Food Porn Index, an online tool that tracks real-time mentions of junk food vs. fruits and vegetables in social media.

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    "Simon the Ogre," a two-minute mini-epic commercial from agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay, was popular in the U.K. earlier this year but went largely unnoticed in the U.S. before winning a silver Lion at Cannes last week.

    We won't spoil the plot of the effects-driven film, but Fredrik Bond's direction is solid, as are the editing and performances. Some viewers apparently didn't like what they saw, though, and the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority received at least 80 complaints soon after the ad's debut "for causing offense to people with disfigurements and for trivializing disability."

    I have a different critique. I think it's a memorable spot that makes its point in a novel way, but Simon behaves less like an ogre than a big mopey baby. Dude, suck it up! Slap a smile on that monstrous mug!

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    Surfers! Dude-bros! Rejoice! Swim shorts maker Turq Sport is here to save you from the beach's most evil of villains. Yes, that's right—chafing.

    In this delightfully campy spot, we see how Turq Sport could have protected our hero from several uncomfortable situations. While the innuendoes might be a bit much, it's fun to see a little girl give a grown man the side eye. Check it out below.

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    In a memorable scene from The Sandlot—which you must watch if you were somehow nowhere near VHS tapes and a VCR in the early '90s—baseball players hurl a slew of insults back and forth. One player blurts out the unthinkable. "You play ball like a girl!"

    What does that mean, anyway? In a social experiment led by documentarian Lauren Greenfield, the Procter & Gamble feminine products brand Always asks that question, and declares its mission to redefine the phrase "like a girl" as an expression of strength.

    The video—inspired by a study from Research Now, sponsored by Always, that found more than half of the girls surveyed claimed to experience a drop in confidence at puberty—starts off by asking a variety of people to act out phrases like "Run like a girl" and "Fight like a girl." As you might guess, there's a lot of exaggerated limp arm movements and goofy facial expressions. Then they ask the same question to a group of young girls. I felt a swell of pride—as if I were their parent, maybe—as I watched them dart across the screen with purpose and power.

    There's great discussion ("Why can't 'run like a girl' also mean 'win the race'?"), and I like this shift from social experiments about beauty (how many times am I going to mention the Dove campaign? At least once more) to one about empowerment.

    Agency: Leo Burnett's Chicago, London and Toronto offices.

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    Don't you just love an epic dildo battle? Well, yeah, as long as it's not your kid waving them around the front yard.

    This new ad from McCann New York is all about dildos. But it's not all about dildos. Check it out, and then read my take below (where there are obviously spoilers).

    Watch the spot first. Spoilers below...

    Why this PSA is genius: If we make a sweeping generalization about the sort of conservative people who generally defend their Second Amendment rights, we would suggest they may also be sexually conservative. Showing some boys playing with vibrators might not be all that shocking to a liberal. Heck, it was an Ikea campaign. But to people who don't normally think kids playing with guns is a big deal (trust me, I know these people), seeing kids play with vibrators might be shocking and memorable.

    Why this PSA is necessary: It's National Safety Month. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, two children per week were killed in 2013 in unintentional shootings, and two-thirds of those tragedies were due to unsecured guns children found in a home. That means two-thirds of those tragedies were entirely preventable. Or as Evoleve—the advertiser in the PSA above—puts it, "It's the right to bear arms. Not the right to be a dumbass."

    "Are there any unsecured guns in your home?" is a hard thing to ask another parent before you drop your kid off. But as this ad shows, it's necessary. Since I live in Georgia, the state with the most school shootings since Newtown, where we just passed a sweeping new open carry law that allows more guns in more places, I know I'll be asking it of any parent I leave my child with.

    Those who are weirded out by epic dildo battles might also want to ask if there are unsecured sex toys.

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    The world-traveling Molson beer fridge has finally come home to Canada.

    After spending a few years gallivanting through Europe and traveling deep into Indonesia—unlocking only for people with Canadian passports—the fridge is back on Canadian soil to celebrate Canada Day on July 1.

    And this time, it opens only if you sing the Canadian national anthem with at least a modicum of skill and panache.

    "O Canada" is indeed a rousing ditty, and if you sing it with the right timing (even by kazoo), the fridge will open and reveal what the behind-the-scenes video refers to as "the magic inside." Neither hand gestures nor removing your cap helps, but that doesn't stop these enthusiastic Canadians from giving it their all.

    Noticeably absent is a French rendition of the song, but that's OK because there's enough hilarious karaoke and sad faces over forgotten lyrics to make up for the francophone snub.

    Client: Molson
    Agency: Rethink

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    The much touted diversity in advertising—the notion that advertisers have finally awakened to the growth opportunities grounded in the multihued population explosion taking place in the U.S. today— is at best malarkey and at worst a veiled attempt to feign a level of sophistication about reaching and connecting with a diverse consumer base.

    Illustration: Max Estes  

    It’s great that multiculturalism is showing up more on the industry radar. Yet it continues to be confounding that multicultured opportunities remain underleveraged and underfinanced in targeted and total market platforms.

    Multicultured audiences are the fastest growing population segments, wielding increasing power and influence and will have a combined buying power of $3.8 trillion by 2017. Given they come to the marketplace with their own needs and desires, their own motivations and beliefs impacting what they want, where they shop and which media they consume and how, it’s perplexing that their perspective is still largely omitted.

    That is not to say important elements of multiculturalism are not showing up. Casting more often involves the spectrum of America’s diversity, ensuring no one feels excluded. And tapping into the hottest, most popular tunes/celebrities assures that those who created and drove their popularity will have some level of connection to the messaging as well.

    Casting and music were efficient at doing this back in the day as well (today’s celebrity culture had not yet taken hold). That was where multicultural efforts started in the early ’70s and it quickly became evident that the opportunity could not be fully realized, grounded in efficiency alone. It would be necessary to deepen connections with these new communities, which influenced brand-building behavioral shifts.

    Deeply rooted, nuanced consumer-based knowledge helped evolve these early efficiency play models. Strategically applied, such insights elevated multicultural efforts—ascribing them with a point of view making them relatable, convincing and memorable.

    Fast-forward to now. Casting, music and celebrity decisions in the development of diverse, total market advertising don’t stand alone. These decisions, too, are informed by “insights” providing understanding of mass, representative audiences. Insights at this level are by nature universal—designed to identify intersections of interest, motivations and behaviors across the vast spectrum of diversity in America.

    Universal insights make us feel good as part of a larger collective. But they’re most effective when brought down to a nuanced, actionable level touching individuals and compelling them to do something different with brand offerings. That’s why globally, universal insights are adapted and localized to drive market level relevance, application and impact. In the U.S., this localized adaptation for maximum market impact is not happening enough with growth populations (multiculturals). Nor, are insights originating from these populations— increasingly influential against the broader whole—being fully leveraged.

    If culturally based, localized structure and insight origination were applied to total market efforts and made proportionate to multicultured population growth, distribution and/or volume contributions, brands would quickly surpass the level of targeted sophistication and realize the growth they seek faster. Brands would be “culturalizing” for forward success.

    But in today’s, post-racial, millennial-obsessed world does culture really matter? Absolutely. Not as the definer of one’s identity but as a critical component of what makes “me” uniquely “me.” And, as a route to resonating with and inspiring experiences and consumption shifts with growing audiences, culture is underleveraged.

    To win over important growth communities, culture can no longer just be subtext; it must drive total market models. So are you “culturalizing” for future growth and success with the rapidly expanding and shifting multihued audiences critical to growth in the U.S.?

    Fail to do so at your own risk.

    Esther Franklin (@etwise) is evp, head of Americas experience strategy for Starcom MediaVest Group’s multicultural division.


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