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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Specs
    Who Drew Ungvarsky, owner and creative director
    What Digital agency
    Where Norfolk, Va.

    Ten years ago, a computer science major named Drew Ungvarsky who loved designing and developing started Grow in the spare bedroom of his Norfolk, Va., home. “Frankly, I never had any intention to create a company,” said Ungvarsky, Grow’s owner and creative director, “let alone to have the company be what it is today.” The digital agency now boasts a full-time staff of 30, working with such clients as BFGoodrich, Google and Rdio. Grow collaborated with Google’s Art, Copy & Code project’s Burberry Kisses, which won a digital Grand Clio Image award. The shop also collaborated with Google and Deutsch LA on VW’s “SmileDrive” campaign. Ungvarsky’s ambitions remain simple. So what comes next? “Continue looking for partners that want to do [digital] work that is industry defining.”


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    Samsung Mobile's epic sci-fi soccer battle, which has been playing out in big-budget videos since last November, has finally reached its conclusion.

    "The Match Part 2," released this week as a coda to the World Cup around which the campaign was focused, completes the series pitting global superstars against Predator-style alien baddies. The six-minute animated film was crafted by agencies R/GA and Cheil Worldwide with production company Psyop.

    The new clip already has 4 million YouTube views in its first two days online. "The Match Part 1" bowed in early June and has 12 million views so far. At its conclusion, the offworlders—fearsome foes with gravity-defying moves—led 3-1.

    Now the human team featuring Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Götze among others (not-so-subtly branded The Galaxy 11) must dig deep and mount a comeback. Naturally, the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.

    So, does soccer save the world? If you don't want the ending spoiled, watch the video below before reading more.

    C'mon, was the outcome every really in doubt? The destruction of humanity would be way too much of a downer for the eight-month campaign, which included all manner of social and interactive outreach. Besides, if Earth were reduced to cosmic ash, Samsung's market would pretty much disappear. (Martians prefer Apple. It's a fact.)

    Samsung does, however, bend it like Beckham with a sneaky final twist that I didn't see coming. (No, the twist doesn't actually involve the English Football great.)

    Overall, the preamble videos, which dealt with the formation of The Galaxy 11 team, and the two-part "Match" finale rank as dazzling, if slightly predictable, branded entertainment. The campaign was impeccably produced and genuinely engaging, a clever and successful reshuffling of big-screen action/fantasy tropes.

    Sure, the client's technology is on display, but its presence never disrupts the storyline. In fact, during the final confrontation, the products get kind of lost amid all the action. I was expecting, even hoping, that Samsung functionality would save the day, but that's not the way the soccer ball ultimately bounces.

    Bottom line: No humans are disintegrated or devoured, not even Landon Donovan, who gets to play in a high-stakes game after all.

    Here are a few of the earlier installments, in case you missed some of the action:


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    Nike doesn't want Brazil to linger on its loss in the World Cup. Instead, the brand's new ad aimed is aimed at pumping up the passionate nation of sports fans for their next global event: the 2016 Olympics.

    "Tomorrow Starts Now" is a beautiful tribute to the outstanding athleticism of a country whose chances at glory were abruptly and embarrassingly snuffed out by a 1-7 World Cup loss to Germany.

    But instead of trying to tend the wounds of Brazil's futebol fan base, Nike is instead looking ahead to the many events where the country is expected to do well when the world returns to Rio de Janeiro's for the next Summer Games.

    The spot from Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo is a solid minute packed with diverse talent like track athlete Ana Claudia Lemos, beach volleyball siblings Clara and Carol Salgado, basketball players Leandrinho and Anderson Varejão, and Yane Marquez, a bronze medalist in the modern pentathlon at the London Olympics.

    As usual, Nike is on top of its game, finding those perfect moments that celebrate the unparalleled power of the world's best athletes. It's also a moving reminder that the soul of sport lies not in winning, but in the passion it takes to keep going after a defeat. You can make it, Brazil. You can get past this.


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    Legendary anchorman Bill Kurtis is a man's man. Just ask Ron Burgundy ... or the Illinois Office of Tourism.

    A new campaign from JWT Chicago features Kurtis, a veteran Chicago journalist best known today for hosting cable crime shows like Investigative Reports, Cold Case Files and American Justice. This time we see a new side of Kurtis, pitching his home state as an ideal destination for "mancations"—getaways that focus on stock car driving, gambling and—wait, wait... don't tell me—golf.

    These trips are cast as reciprocation for womanly leisure activities like book clubs, because, the argument goes, if a guy suffers in the name of love through a sentimental novel, he should be rewarded.

    Kurtis oozes charisma, and the message is certainly more down to earth than the zany miniature replica of Abraham Lincoln the state has been using to appeal to potential visitors. The world didn't really need another advertising portmanteau, but the real risk for the brand is that Kurtis's outsized personality eclipses a concept that, at its core, doesn't add much new to the resurgent trend of testosterone-drenched advertising

    Then again, if a person in a bear suit playing a bugle comes standard with vacations to Illinois, sign me up.

    CREDITS:

    Advertising Agency: JWT, Chicago
    Executive Creative Director: Dan Bruce
    Creative Director/AD: Terra Hambly
    Copywriter: Mike Beamer
    Group Managing Director: Erin Clark
    Account Director: Sarah Brick
    Account Executive: Kyle Piazza

    Production and Postproduction:
    Director: Dan Bruce
    Production Company: One
    Executive Producer: Lisa Masseur
    Senior Producer: Sarah Slevin
    Line Producer: Alison Ginsburg
    Director of Photography: Kyle Bainter
    Editorial: Optimus
    Producer: Tracy Spera
    Editor: Craig Lewandowski
    Assistant Editor: Ben Winter
    Audio/Sound Design: Marina Bacci
    Logo Animation: Tyler Nelson
    Explosion animation: BlinkFarm


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    Young Latino consumers: They're hip! They're mobile! They lead active, on-the-go lifestyles!

    They're also, you know, pretty much like anybody else—though that's something marketers rarely want to hear when they're paying small fortunes for demographic "experts" to demystify the millennials who live at an every-growing cultural crossroads in America.

    Honda pokes some fun at the marketing world's Hispanic fixation in its newest ads from the Santa Monica-based Orci agency for the Fit. Wild-haired comedian Felipe Esparza serves as a tour guide of sorts into the world of young Latinos, only to find that they're mostly just focused on running errands and getting to work.

    "Are we going to a party?" he asks a couple from the back seat. 

    "We're...just going to the movies," the young woman replies.

    He's also shocked to learn that instead of packing their trunk with trendy fixies, they're just grabbing groceries. "Groceries? Rebels!" 

    Agency president Andrew Orcí says the spots, shot in Spanish and English, began with the idea that brands often try to fit Hispanic consumers into specific patterns and niches, when in fact it's a group that's pretty much impossible to lump into a few convenient categories.

    "Latino millennials are much more than what we make of them. They are a versatile bunch. They ping-pong between cultures, languages, interests and behaviors. That's why it’s funny when you hear others trying to fit them into their box of clichés," Orcí says.

    "Felipe Esparza, as our 'Latino expert,' is the perfect voice to make fun of this situation. Why? Because not even a Latino can define a Latino. They simply defy all expectations."

     


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    Most ad agencies that work with alcohol brands have a general loathing for the myriad guidelines that shackle them from showing much of anything, including someone drinking a beer. 

    But in its new work for Heineken Light, Wieden + Kennedy New York decided to just make that the whole point of the ads, an approach that would probably come off entirely flat if the agency hadn't also tapped a spokesman as charismatic as Neil Patrick Harris.

    In the brand's new :60, the Emmy- and Tony-winning actor spends most of the spot debating with the director about why he can't drink a beer in a beer commercial. The repartee builds from there, with Harris floating increasingly implausible solutions such as pouring a Heineken into an empty Heineken Light bottle and then drinking it. (I'm not sure I follow his logic, but I admire it.)

    While it's not really explained in the ad, there's no law keeping Harris—or anyone else—from drinking a beer on camera.

    The United States government doesn't actually limit alcohol marketing at all, or as the FCC notes,"Congress has not enacted any law prohibiting broadcast advertising of any kind of alcoholic beverage, and the FCC does not have a rule or policy regulating such advertisements."

    The brewing industry's Beer Institute has its own voluntary guidelines, and they're generally OK with showing beer drinking, too: "Although beer advertising and marketing materials may show beer being consumed (where permitted by media standards), advertising and marketing materials should not depict situations where beer is being consumed rapidly, excessively, involuntarily, as part of a drinking game, or as a result of a dare."

    However, several broadcast networks continue to stick to a long-expired portion of the Television Code that prohibited showing alcohol being consumed. (Thus the ad's reference to "network execs in a room somewhere.")

    Also, Canada has a bevy of beverage restrictions, including a rule against showing "scenes in which any such product is consumed, or that give the impression, visually or in sound, that it is being or has been consumed." As you can imagine, other countries have their own rules, too, making a beer ad with global reach a truly hamstrung affair.

    So in short, yeah, it's complicated. And it's not too likely to change anytime soon. 

    In fact, we can probably expect a similar gag to come around every few decades. Check out this '80s classic from Paul Hogan and Foster's:

    Anyway, back to Neil Patrick Harris. He also appears in a :15 along similar lines. Check it out, along with the credits, below:

    CREDITS:
    Client: Heineken U.S.
    Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
    Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, David Kolbusz
    Creative Directors: Eric Steele, Erik Norin
    Copywriters: Nathaniel Lawlor, Maddison Bradley, Danny Gonzalez, Mike Vitiello
    Art Directors: Croix Gagnon, Jon Robbins, Zack Menna, David Suarez, Cory Everett
    Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
    Producer: Orlee Tatarka, Jen Vladimirsky
    Assistant Producer: Kristen Johnson
    Strategist: Kelly Lynn Wright
    Account Team: Patrick Cahill, Jacqueline Ventura, Syndey Lopes
    Business Affairs: Amber Lavender
    Project Manager: Sunjoo Ryou

    Production Company: Arts & Sciences
    Directors: Tom Scharpling, Matt Aselton
    Executive Producers: Mal Ward, Marc Marrie
    LineProducer: Alex Waite
    Director of Photography: Peter Donahue

    Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
    Editors: Geoff Hounsell (Out of Frame :15, Party :48), Will Hasell (Director :60)
    Assistant Editor: James Bird
    Post Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
    Producer: Fanny Cruz
    Visual Effects Company: Arcade Edit
    Visual Effects Lead Flame: John Starace
    Producer: Fanny Cruz

    Telecine Company: Company 3
    Colorist: Tim Masick

    Mix Company: Heard City
    Mixer: Evan Mangiamele

    Song: STYE337_29_Time_For_Swinging
    Music Company: Beyond Music


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    Oh, the 1980s. Such quaint times. The tank tops. The big hair. The now-unsettling sense of enthusiasm. Even though the '80s revival was so 2000s, Carlton Draught is still dusting off a real ad from that decade and airing it again to celebrate the brewer's 150th anniversary.

    The vintage commercial doesn't have the overblown magnetism of Australian competitor Hahn SuperDry's mondo-'80s recipe spoof from 2012, or the goldmine of throwback references packed into Delta's '80s-themed flight safety video from January. But it does have authenticity. That is to say, its bad decisions were genuine. So, when the corny jingle rises full of glory, and barflies laugh and cast suggestive glances at each other, the wholeheartedness of it all makes for great rubbernecking.

    High-five to Carlton Draught, whose recent advertising has been non-ironically celebrated, for poking fun at its cheesy past. The throwback party also includes bringing back 1970s-era can designs for a limited run. Now all it needs to do is fast-track the '90s nostalgia.


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    Entertainingly overblown homemade ads for used cars are now part of a burgeoning tradition. But an Australian adman, backed by his agency, is throwing his hat into the ring to good effect.

    The spot below for an old and battered two-door-hatchback—a 1999 Holden Barina worth maybe $2,000 at best—is mostly a sight gag playing on the slick tropes often used in commercials for new cars. David Johns, the owner, features prominently, complete with smug grin, suit (but no tie) and aviators. There is ample fake flame effect. There is dubstep.

    While the ad has generated some intriguing offers for the car, like large volumes of unicorn tears, it's mostly an exceptional sales pitch for Digital Chimney, where Johns works, and which helped fund production of the spot.

    Other creatives, like the "Buy My Volvo" maestro, have arguably done better (if much, much crazier) sales pitches for their unwanted rides. But the "Buy My Barina" YouTube video has generated more than 1 million views since July 13. Not bad mileage for a beater.


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    Join Kimpton Hotels' Karma rewards program and they'll fawn all over you. No, seriously, they’ll send a half-man, half-goat to surprise you in unexpected ways.

    Not that the goat is actually going to do things TO you, but he's thinking really hard about how he can personalize your room. From spelling your dog's name out in tasty doggy treats that make him scream in delight, to placing cardboard cutouts of half-naked men in your room just when you’re arguing with your husband over the phone.

    Well, that last one may not be real. Apparently, the actual rewards you get are more like the typical spa cards and free nights, but where the program is radically different is that it gives guests points for interacting with the hotel socially (although they won’t say how many points). But Tweeting and Facebooking about your Kimpton experience, traveling with your pet, and attending the complimentary cocktail hour will raise your karma.

    That's a long way from the last time we wrote about Kimpton Hotels when they were bragging about the fact that every room comes with a sentient yoga mat.

    According to Creative Director Kai Hasson, "Karma feels like magic, so what if something magical was behind it? That's what led us to the idea of going behind-the-scenes with a mythical satyr character." He can't fool me; it was all a bad pun. Goat man is a faun. Kimpton fawns all over you. But hey, you can't go wrong with a screaming Boston terrier named Zeus.

    CREDITS:
    Client: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
    Agency: Portal A
    Director: Sean Becker
    Director of Photography: Chris Darnell
    Producer: David Johnson
    Executive Producers: Zach Blume, Kai Hasson, Nate Houghteling
    Editor: Sari Tracht


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    "Since they first appeared on our shores early in this decade, these charming, versatile and intelligent figures have captured our hearts," an eloquent David Attenborough-esque voice narrates as Emoji Among Us: The Documentary begins. 

    Except it's not really a documentary. The two-minute clip is the latest ingenious self-promo piece from stock video company Dissolve, whose amusing anti-advertising masterpiece, "This Is a Generic Brand Video," you probably remember from earlier this year.

    Like that previous effort, Emoji Among Us was also made completely from stock footage available on Dissolve's site. To keep you interested this time, they've inserted little emoji everywhere and pretended it's a film about them. Spotting the emoji becomes a little game. Dissolve says there are 68 in the piece. How many can you find?

    Dissolve.com/showreels has other fun self-promo videos, including a trailer for a fake movie called Cutezilla and another piece simply titled Awesome New Clips.

    Via Summer Anne Burton.


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    Like the everyday athletes it profiles, Dick's Sporting Goods remains a bit of an unsung hero in the sports marketing world. But that continues to change, thanks to its consistently strong advertising from Anomaly.

    The company prefers unknown athletes to superstars, and the purity of real sports moments to the phony glitz and glamour of hero worship. This was memorably communicated in simple yet pulsating ads like "Every Pitch,""Every Snap" and "Focus and Explode." (The former was one of Adweek's 10 best commercials of 2013; the latter just won a gold Lion in Film Craft at Cannes last month.)

    In its latest spot, Dick's takes a hoary old sports cliché—that a lifetime of work prepares you for brief yet crucial on-the-field moments—and breathes new life into it, thanks to some nice parallel framing and editing that stitch together three different stories (from football, soccer and basketball) into a coherent whole.

    We're only a week removed from one of the most dramatic examples of seizing the moment in professional sports. As parents stock up on sports gear this fall, this ad will remind them that their kids can be heroes, too—ready to seize the moment when opportunity knocks.



    CREDITS
    Client: Dick's Sporting Goods
    Agency: Anomaly, New York
    Director: Max Malkin
    Production Company: Prettybird
    Co-Founder / Executive Producer: Kerstin Emhoff
    VP / Executive Producer: Ali Brown
    Head of Production: Tracy Hauser
    Line Producer: Pedro Aragao De Oliveira
    Director of Photography: Peter Simonite
    Production Designer Kells Jesse
    Editor: Peter Johnson


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    Wieden + Kennedy's latest SportsCenter spot, featuring Metallica, has gotten lots of attention, and almost 800,000 YouTube views, since its debut a week ago.

    The veteran band visits ESPN HQ and jokes about having no work since New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who famously used their thrash-anthem "Enter Sandman" as his theme song, retired after last season. (Other players also enter games to that particular track, but since they're not Rivera, who cares?)

    This season, the Yankees desperately need some fresh arms. Can any of these hippies throw a curveball? At one point, guitarist Kirk Hammett shows off some fancy fretwork. He's got supple fingers, put him in the rotation!

    Ah well, if Metallica's sports drought continues, they can always hit the water-park circuit on an '80s metal mega-bill with Krokus, Ratt and Slayer. In that lineup, Metallica would be the closer.

    Check out the spot below, along with newly released bloopers and outtakes from the shoot, including a pretty funny Lars Ulrich line at the very end that didn't make the final cut.


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    There's a lot to love about TBWA\Media Arts Lab's new Apple ad, a delightfully frenetic 30-second set piece—done in a stop-motion-like style—that sees MacBook Airs festooned by stickers reflecting their users' tastes, personalities and purposes.

    "The notebook people love" is the tagline. And it's a message that's communicated giddily (almost like a throwback to Apple's classic iPod work) with shot after shot of icons, cityscapes, planets, digital gadgets, pop-culture characters and more—all cavorting and posing around the Apple logo in the middle of the notebook's lid.

    The references are wide-ranging, including Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, Peanuts, Ice Age, Snow White, Pac-Man, Chi the cat, Batman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, the Tasmanian Devil, Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse. A Beats logo also makes a cameo, of course.

    Love is the key word for Apple around the Air these days, as the company emphasizes the emotional connection users have for the ultra-thin laptop. In the spot, that passion nicely manifests itself through personalization—in the countless ways owners have made their machines uniquely their own with artwork.

    The spot, with music by Hudson Mohawke, moves quickly—blink and you'll miss something. But of course, that will reward repeat viewings. And if you want to slow things down, check out the "Stickers" page on Apple's website, showing some of the decals from the spot.

    The one caveat here is that "Stickers," in its style, is somewhat reminiscent of the "Play Your Heart Out" spot for Google Play, which has logged more than 10 million views on YouTube since early May. That spot, similarly, had characters from games, music and movies interacting with the triangular Google Play logo.

    The Air spot is more tactile, though. And unlike the Google Play ad, it's less about pop culture or entertainment or even the product, and more about the passion of the user. That's always been Apple's strong suit, and it's nice to see a commercial that gets back to it in style.



    CREDITS
    Client: Macbook Air, Apple
    Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab


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    There's something particularly satisfying about a resignation letter that tells an old, boring career path to piss off in the very format of a new, fun one.

    A former corporate lawyer named Catherine does just that in a very public, delightfully illustrated "Departure Memo" explaining her wayward path into the legal field, and why she is leaving her gig at a big firm to pursue her passion for making art.

    It's a new spin on the now-familiar practice of colorful professional sign-offs. (The soon-to-be baker's cake resignation letter was pretty sweet, as were Marina Shifrin's viral quitting dance and that Montana agency employee's F-bomb Facebook post.) But Catherine's missive stands out for how joyfully it throws an extra dose of shade on the frustrations of what she describes as a grueling white-collar job.

    She deserves extra credit for her nuanced perspective on those of her former colleagues who are enthusiastic about law, especially when she makes calling them "cyborgs" sound almost, but not quite, like a compliment. ("The world needs cyborgs!")

    It's also, obviously, a clever way to announce her availability—and demonstrate her chops—to a new job market. Commenters at legal industry trade blog Above the Law are already suggesting that site hire her, but something tells us she might not be interested.

    She does preface her story by saying it includes some flat-out exaggerations, though. So, advertising is probably the perfect field for her.

    Via Design Taxi.


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    With millennials eager to travel abroad and a wealth of language-learning options available, Rosetta Stone doesn't want to get lost in translation. So the company teamed with Energy BBDO and content platform Vice.com for a campaign that positions Rosetta's offerings as a way for young adults to connect, share experiences and broaden their understanding.

    Rosetta's iconic yellow product boxes, airport kiosks and direct-response plays of the past are nowhere in sight. Instead, we're served aspirational branding work tagged "Create a smaller world." Narrative storytelling and positive vibes drive both a 60-second commercial and the first of four long-form videos.

    Now, brevity is usually a virtue in adland, but the traditional TV spot falls a tad flat. It's not awful, just sort of generic and too schmaltzy, with quick-cut, feel-good images of people "connecting"—during karaoke, or running to catch trains in the rain—and an overly optimistic voiceover: "If everyone learned just one more language, the world would be a more tolerant place, a happier place."

    That's a lovely sentiment, and perhaps even true, but many consumers buy Rosetta for more practical reasons. Often, they just wish to learn enough of a language to be understood when they ask directions to restaurants, bars, hotels and other locations while traveling.

    KidSuper Watches the World Cup in Berlin With German Ultras, an 11-minute film running on Vice Sports, seems more in tune with this reality. We meet Colm Dillane, a goofy but likable millennial soccer fan from New York who journeys to Berlin to soak up the atmosphere, play in some neighborhood pickup games and watch the recent World Cup contest between Germany and the U.S. on an outdoor Jumbotron. Thanks to Rosetta, he knows some useful phrases—"Germany, protect your balls, I'm coming" is my favorite—and his adventures in a Berlin bar and on the streets among hard-core "soccer hooligans" (mostly just enthusiastic ultra-fans) are genuinely charming.

    That said, three to five minutes would've sufficed, and I wonder how many viewers will hang around until the end. Still, Colm's story should resonate with the target, and it does a great job of illustrating how small linguistic triumphs can have huge meaning when you're far from home.

    Credits for the :60 below.

    CREDITS
    Client: Rosetta Stone
    Spot: "Smaller World"

    Agency: Energy BBDO
    Chief Creative Officer: Mark Taylor
    Creative Director: Jonathan Linder
    Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Natalie Taylor
    Head of Production: Rowley Samuels
    Senior Producer: Elena Robinson
    Production Business Manager: Zoe Grubbe

    Production Company: Pulse Films
    Director: Young Replicant
    Executive Producer: Kira Carstensen

    Production Service Company, Uruguay: Home Productions
    Producer: Andy Scriven
    Director of Photography: Jackson Hunt

    Editing Company: Union Editorial
    Editor: Daniel Luna

    Sound Mix: Stir Post
    Executive Producer: Mindy Verson
    Engineer: Peter Erazmus

    Finishing: MPC


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    The world is really going to have a cow when FXX enacts its insane plan to air every Simpsons episode ever, back to back, beginning Aug. 21. In fact, there may be no cows—indeed, no world—left by the end.

    In the wonderfully dark promo below, we enter on a kitchen sink whose faucet has been left on, filling up the house with several feet of water as slack-jawed couch apes gape at the boob tube. Turns out the whole world has stopped moving, as everyone is glued to their sets and cellphones, watching the marathon that never ends. (Well, it will end after 12 days. But who will survive, and what will be left of them?) The whole thing could be the plot of a Simpson's Halloween special.

    Much of the spot's joy comes from the perfect syncing of Simpsons clips to the "total d'oh-vastation" (FXX's words) we're witnessing—from Mr. Burns saying "Release the hounds!" as feral dogs run through the abandoned streets, to Homer demanding a burrito at an empty food truck in a world where no burritos will be made again. There's no denying those who made this promo are fans of the show.



    They're also good at sound design, as the clip expertly layers in every famous creepy Simpsons laugh, from Krusty to Nelson, over the sounds of chaos. (It ends with one of Homer's trademark little-girl screams.) And visually, it's gloriously bleak, with everything bathed in a sickly green hue, except for the on-screen Simpsons footage, which, in its normal colors, really pops—but also adds to a surreal, haunted feeling.

    Just hearing the clips is bringing it all back. I'm going to have Simpsons PTSD after this thing airs, if I don't already have it. Truly, there is no God.

    After the dust has settled on Sept. 2, FXX will air regularly scheduled Simpsons episodes, including thematic eight-episode mini-marathons every Sunday. After that, you'll be able to get on-demand access to every Simpsons episode at SimpsonsWorld.com and on the FXNow app.

    I guess some people just want to watch the world burn.


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    Looking to stock up on beverages for FXX's 12-day, 25-season Simpsons marathon? Simpsons wine would do the trick—if only it were real.

    Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich did some fun concept packaging for what wine might look like if it were inspired by the famed cartoon series. The bottle colors are pure Homer and Marge, with the geometric shapes inspired by the works of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

    There's more to the concept, though it's hard to pick apart. "Maybe it is wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out yourselves," the designers say.

    Whatever it is, it has to be better than Duff beer.

    More images below. Via PSFK.


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    Selfie aficionado Samsung recently offered free phones to people loony enough to jump into Lake Zurich in Switzerland (which was a balmy 46 degrees) and snap an underwater selfie. Why? To show that the Galaxy S5 can withstand being submerged.

    That's right. The phone works under water. Samsung had a diver in the water who swam over to potential underwater selfie-ers, surprising them with an already wet but still working phone. On the other end of the line, a hidden challenger requested the shot. If they cooperated, a new, dry phone was theirs.

    As someone who has dropped my phone into the toilet and the ocean and been caught more than one torrential downpour umbrella-less, the prospect of having my phone get wet and not have to hope for the best with rice—well, that's certainly appealing.

    I'm not sure I'd jump into a lake for it, though.


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    Breaking Bad fans, this time you'd better call James!

    Those dying for a taste of AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff series, Better Call Saul, got a nice little present this week, as this billboard popped up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The sign is actually a prop being used in the filming of the prequel series, set to debut next year.

    It seems Saul Goodman, in the days before he met meth king Walter White, went by the name of James M. McGill, attorney at law.

    The exclamatory "Better Call Saul!" billboards seen in episodes of Breaking Bad showed Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, pointing at the viewer, Uncle Sam-style, against a hot orange/yellow background. On the deep-blue McGill board, the actor rocks a bad toupee and gangster-style pinstripe suit. (Your honor, I object!)

    Best of all, the phone number on the board, 505-842-5662, actually works.

    Saul Goodman was ethically challenged in the extreme. James McGill, however, seems ethnically challenged, as Odenkirk's recorded message, promising "a lawyer you can trust," is delivered in an Irish accent so self-consciously awful, it makes Lucky the Leprechaun's whiny brogue sound authentic.

    Photo: varago01 on Instagram.


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    Imagine, if you will, "What Does the Fox Say." Now, picture Psy's "Gangnam Style" mating with it. Oh, and now throw in the Cadbury gorilla. Think adver-dance-ment. Got it? Good. Now press play.

    I can only imagine that was Dentsu Aegis's pitch to Toyota before the producing the ad below, which will surely be the oddest 1:46 of your day. Double that, actually, as you'll probably watch it twice.

    The plot is simple: A group of Japanese businessmen are driving through the jungle in their Toyota truck, as Japanese businessmen so often do. But one of them has to pee, so they pull over. We won't spoil the rest, but it's definitely weird and actually pretty awesome. 

    It's part of a rather clever campaign called "Do the Wakudoki," in which consumers are encouraged to submit clips of themselves dancing to win a trip to Tokyo (or also some Beats headphones). If you think you have the moves, Do the Wakudoki all the way to Tokyo. 

    Via Ads of the World.


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