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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Marketers will keep close watch on Apple’s Sept. 9 event when it is set to introduce the iPhone 6, the next evolution of its phone that dominates the U.S. and is central to mobile advertising.

    The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is expected to make wide-ranging and far-reaching changes to its flagship product, which has been updated annually since launching in 2007. Leaked images and multiple reports show there could be two iPhone 6 models—4.7 inches and 5.5 inches—that are larger than the previous version. This change—with vivid viewing—would come just as mobile ad leaders like Facebook and Twitter are selling more rich media, video and in-feed promos.

    “Folks gravitate to the larger screen, and some think ‘banner ad,’ but that’s outdated thinking,” said Gian LaVecchia, managing partner at MEC. “We’re seeing programming delivered through mobile feeds. And there’s going to be a new richness to the canvas.”

    Facebook wouldn’t discuss its strategy for larger iPhone screens, but what’s clear is that it’ll offer a different experience when compared to other platforms like Android. Just last week, Facebook launched Hyperlapse, an Instagram companion app that uses Apple technology.

    Indeed, any changes to the iPhone will affect more than 40 percent of smartphone users in the U.S., per comScore. From screen adjustment to policy changes around location tracking, there could be profound impacts on how marketers attack mobile going forward. And the latest operating system is reportedly more powerful, giving increased flexibility to developers. For instance, new services will allow users to monitor health signs, which marketing experts said could push pharmaceutical brands to engage more on mobile.

    And that may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consumer utilities. Reports indicate the iPhone 6 may have innovative abilities to sync up with wearable devices.

    What’s more, Alan Simkowski, vp of mobile solutions at GMR, remarked that the in-store marketing technology called iBeacon—an area that Apple dominates—is just starting to take off.

    The iPhone 6 could help perfect the iBeacon, he said, by limiting the amount of battery it drains when it uses Bluetooth to communicate with shoppers’ phones.

    “We know pilot programs are taking place, and there’s a lot of activity testing going on with brands and the iBeacon,” Simkowski explained. To his point, marketers for Faberge, Tribeca Film Festival and the Orlando Magic have recently trialed iBeacon campaigns.

    And Apple’s latest iOS 8 software, always released before the company delivers a new device, will likely emphasize how notifications appear via its phone. Notifications are a key part of the iBeacon experience because it is what alerts consumers to offers and promotions when they walk the aisles.

    One rumor is that the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone will light up when notifications arrive, which would represent a small-but-nostalgic change—a glowing logo is a classic look in past Apple products.

    “With enhanced notifications, it’s even better for brands and retailers,” Simkowski said. “On the brand side, there are opportunities to engage people based on their location if they opt in. Then it’s clear sailing.”

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    While this agency’s logo pays homage to the bee colony it tends atop its roof terrace—which happens to be some of the finest real estate in Paris, boasting a 360-degree view—the insect imagery also gives a nod to the creative chaos inside the shop that has brought such sweet results. “We like the idea of a hive with its hustle and bustle,” explains Stéphane Xiberras, president and executive creative director. “When you watch bees work, you have the impression it’s pure mayhem, but there’s a logic to it. With us, it’s exactly the same thing.” Launched 20 years ago as an offshoot of Euro RSCG, now Havas, BETC’s work became the stuff of global fascination. In 2009, Evian’s “Roller Babies” became the most downloaded commercial in the world. Last year, “The Bear,” a spot for Canal+, received more awards than any other commercial, while Evian’s “Baby & Me” was the year’s most viewed online campaign. After expanding to London and São Paulo, BETC now has the states in its sights, with plans to open a New York outpost next year.

    Stéphane Xiberras, president, photographed on the banks of the Seine by Emmanuel Fradin.

    Forsman & Bodenfors
    In 1986, four guys started an ad agency in this Swedish industrial port, an unlikely location seeing as the country’s ad industry is centered in Stockholm. Since then, F&B has not only become Scandinavia’s best-known agency but has also developed a global reputation after winning 85 Cannes Lions, including its recent sweep for Volvo Trucks’ “Epic Split” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. F&B was also named Independent Agency of the Year at this year’s festival. “Our initial objective was to challenge the establishment and try to compete with the best agencies in Stockholm,” says F&B’s CEO Erik Sollenberg. “That underdog mentality has been an important ingredient in our success. We’re still David against Goliath, since we now identify ourselves as a small independent agency from close to the North Pole that competes with the best agencies in the world.” In that battle, F&B, which has a second office in Stockholm, counts 120 staffers—a relatively modest head count considering its profile and awards, but also one that enables it to send as many creatives as possible to Cannes every year, not only senior management.

    Erik Sollenberg, CEO, and Anna Qvennerstedt, creative chairman, photographed in the archipelago of Gothenburg by Morten Koldby.

    Founded in 2010 by four former executives at large agency networks, this Singapore shop set out to create a smaller, more nimble, free-flowing business model that has since expanded to Shanghai, Tokyo and Jakarta. “We wanted to remove departmentalization by media and put the focus firmly back on storytelling and sparking lively conversation,” says CEO and founding partner Nick Marrett. “This fosters a new breed of creative mind, one that is media-agnostic and thinks across all channels, even invents new ones.” Despite its entrepreneurial underpinnings, Arcade shares the global ambitions of its Asian clients, creating work that travels not just through the region but also around the globe. For Apple, Arcade delivered the single largest retail day in the brand’s history with a Chinese New Year pitch in China. It also launched Unilever’s Clear shampoo in North America; created the first Android concept store in the world in Indonesia, which has become the blueprint for a global retail rollout; and introduced beauty brand Motions in South Africa. It all caught the attention of Publicis Worldwide, which acquired a stake in August. 

    (L. to r.) Mark Taylor, Gary Tranter and Matt Cullen, ecds/co-founders; and Nick Marrett, CEO/co-founder, photographed at the Marina Bay Sands by Darren Soh.

    Fred & Farid 

    Grégoire Chalopin (l.) and Feng Huang, creative directors,
    photographed near the agency’s offices by Chad Ingraham.

    Founded in Paris, this agency is now considered one of the hottest shops in mainland China, capturing the possibilities and lightning speed of business there. The digital agency, located in an old opium warehouse on the Bund, communicates 24/7/365 with Parisian staffers through a wall of giant screens, with details on all projects shared among all employees across the six-hour time difference. “Beijing decided that despite the size of the country, China would be on one time zone,” notes co-founder Fred Raillard. “That creates a mass phenomenon that is incredible. Movements on social media are incomparable to any other. Hot topics engage everyone in China at the same time.” Three years ago, Raillard went to China with a creative director colleague from Paris, Feng Haung, who wanted to return to his native Shanghai. Raillard planned to stay long enough to open a small office. But four days later, all that changed when he decided to relocate permanently. “I fell in love,” he says. “China is five years ahead of the Western world regarding digital and social media, so it influences our digital practice in the West. It makes us reinvent our approach to business.”

    Ogilvy & Mather, India
    India always had a special place in David Ogilvy’s imagination. In fact, his agency was the first multinational to enter the country, with origins going back 86 years. Now working with both local and global clients like Vodafone, Unilever and IBM, Ogilvy, based in Mumbai, is not only the country’s largest agency but also its most award-winning, having been recognized with the highest honors of the Advertising Club of India for the last 16 years, in addition to accolades picked up at Cannes, the Effies and The One Show. But Piyush Pandey, executive chairman, creative director, stresses that diversity of creative expression trumps industry acclaim. “Our philosophy is to create communication that first delights people on the streets of India. If that work happens to delight international award juries, it’s a bonus,” says Pandey, noting that most staffers in the agency speak three languages: English, Hindi and one of the country’s 22 other official languages. “We try to create an environment where creativity is welcomed from across functions and disciplines,” he adds. Case in point: Last year’s Google ad “Reunion,” centered around the partition of India, which triggered a strong response in India and Pakistan and went viral even before its TV debut.

    (L. to r.) Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao, national creative directors; Piyush Pandey, executive chairman/creative director, South Asia; Madhukar Sabnavis, vice chairman/country head, planning; and Kunal Jeswani, chief digital officer, photographed at the Gateway of India by Vishal Kullarwar.

    São Paulo
    São Paulo shop Africa was one of the big local ad players behind this year’s World Cup in Brazil, creating the games’ official logo and producing work for clients like Itaú Bank, Brahma beer, Budweiser and Vivo telecom. But while the 12-year-old agency enjoys a high profile in Brazil and has on several occasions been selected as one of the country’s most admired companies by national media, it doesn’t have the global reputation it might have earned by now. One reason is Africa’s early avoidance of awards shows. When it bent that rule in 2007 and finally entered work in Cannes’ Cyber competition, it became the second most-awarded agency in the category. The Grupo ABC shop also has an office in Rio de Janeiro, specializing in content and entertainment, as well as an outpost in New York, where it works on behalf of Brazilian brands that aspire to go global. Founded by former executives of Omnicom’s DM9DDB, the shop maintains a strong point of view about its business model. “We like to say we are kind of the Relais & Châteaux of advertising—we handle fewer clients, with exclusive offices and dedicated teams,” says CEO Marcio Santoro. “My partners and I are deeply involved in each client’s business, with direct participation throughout the process.” 

    Sergio Gordilho (l.), co-president/CCO, and Marcio Santoro, co-president/CEO, photographed on the roof of the agency’s offices by Jonne Roriz.

    (L. to r.) Adrian Mills, managing director; Pat Baron, ecd; and
    Ben Lilley, chairman/CEO, photographed on Hosier Lane by
    Lynton Crabb.

    The first signs of a turnaround at McCann came not by way of its towering New York headquarters but from this Australian bayside outpost. In 2012, McCann Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways to Die,” a rail-safety campaign, quickly went viral, generating in its first two weeks more than 700 media impressions and $50 million worth of free global mentions, all for an animated public service effort that cost a fraction of a standard TV ad to produce. The previously under-the-radar office became, in 2013, the industry’s most-awarded agency, taking home a record five Cannes Lions Grand Prix and bringing some much-needed attention to a global network undergoing its own reinvention. The office’s success follows the acquisition of indie shop Smart three years ago, which added some of the country’s best talent to the McCann ranks. “The creative focus since 2011 has been on solving clients’ problems first and creating work that not only makes brands famous but has a lasting impact on pop culture around the world,” says Pat Baron, ecd.

    Adam & Eve DDB
    Though in business for just two years, the merged shop won Agency of the Year honors at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity thanks to work like Harvey Nichols’ “Sorry, I Spent It on Myself” holiday campaign, which swept this June’s Lions. After Omnicom’s acquisition of hot indie Adam & Eve, management took over DDB London, reviving the network office. A crop of new business quickly followed, including Virgin Atlantic’s global creative, Sony’s consumer electronics in Europe, and the global launch of Haig Club, a new Scotch from Diageo and David Beckham. The agency also earned attention for work like “End Marmite Neglect” for the savory spread and John Lewis’ “The Hare & The Bear.” “The key to bringing together two successful creative cultures was to be unambiguous about what success looked like, leveraging the creative energy and hunger of a startup through the power of a major network agency,” says James Murphy, CEO of Adam & Eve DDB. “Two years ago, we wouldn’t have dared to expect the results to be so positive so quickly.”

    (L. to r.) James Murphy, CEO; David Golding, chief strategy officer; Ben Tollett and Emer Stamp, ecds; and Ben Priest, founding partner/ ecd, photographed on Waterloo Bridge by Jude Edginton.

    Grape/Hungry Boys

    (L. to r.) Vladimir Garev, creative director, Grape; Vladilen
    Sitnikov, CEO, Hungry Boys; Alexei Nikolaev, head of
    production, Hungry Boys; Andrey Anischenko, CEO, Grape,
    photographed outside St. Basil’s Cathedral by Stanislav

    One of the first digital agencies in Russia, launched in 2002, Grape has over the last three years been ranked as one of the country’s top interactive shops. It has made its name working on behalf of clients like Unilever, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez, all marketers looking for long-term agency relationships and the kind of full-service digital creative, planning and media offerings provided as part of WPP’s global interactive unit Possible. Two years ago, Hungry Boys was formed as a Grape creative boutique collaborating with Grape while also generating its own work. Drawing marketers seeking riskier, experimental work, Hungry Boys has already gotten attention for its campaigns for L’Oréal, Yum Brands and Heineken. “We both deliver a similar set of services and back up every idea with real-world insights to create work that makes a difference and a measurable impact,” says Grape CEO Andrey Anischenko. “Each of us has grown its own unique culture and both provide high value creative services, but each has a separate creative point of view that appeals to different clients.”

    (L. to r.) Tony Njuguna, creative head, Scanad; Sandeep
    Madan, managing director, Scanad; and Bharat Thakrar, CEO,
    Scangroup, photographed on the roof of the agency’s offices
    by Barbara Minishi.

    WPP unit Scangroup is Africa’s largest marketing services group and an industry powerhouse on the continent, ringing up more than $45 million in revenue last year. (In 2006, it became the first marketing communications company to be listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.) Through international partnerships, Scangroup has become a pioneer in African digital, mobile and Internet marketing. “This offers immense growth opportunities in Africa with the key benefits of creating and increasing diverse job opportunities that capture the imagination of the African youth, who are increasingly being looked upon to be the main drivers of the continent’s economies,” says CEO Bharat Thakrar. While the shop counts WPP brands in its operating portfolio, Scanad is its agency flagship, doing business across six sub-Saharan countries for clients including Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever and Kenya Airways. Scanad has been named Agency of the Year by the Marketing Society of Kenya over the last two years and has been recognized for mobile work for clients such as Diageo and Vodafone.

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    In its advertising, GE usually sticks to one of two themes. There are the "cool technology stunt" ads ("Drop Science,""#SpringBreakIt") and the "human face of technology" ads ("Childlike Imagination,""Kumiko's First Ultrasound"). In both cases, you're left feeling pretty good about the world and/or impressed with the stuff GE is coming up with.

    This is not quite the case with BBDO New York's latest GE spot, "Ideas Are Scary." While it ostensibly has a happy ending, there's a good chance that it will leave you mildly unsettled, if not deeply disturbed, by humanity's callousness.

    You've been warned.

    The ad, directed by Noam Murro, begins in a hospital, where a bizarre creature (apparently the embodiment of a "scary idea") has just been born. It's pretty creepy looking, and the doctors look suitably concerned.

    By the next scene, the "idea" has grown up into a bigger, more unattractive and even more pitiful creature, dejectedly wandering the streets of a big city. He gets angry looks and objects thrown at him, is kicked out of businesses and sleeps in a box in a dirty alley—because "ideas are the natural born enemy of the way things are," per the narrator.

    Finally, just when you feel like you're about to drown in sadness, the creature happens to walk past a GE office, where he's taken in by a kindhearted employee and embraced by the rest of GE's scary-idea-loving staff. And then he really gets a chance to shine.

    "Under the proper care, [ideas] become something beautiful," the narrator concludes.

    So … I guess we're supposed to feel uplifted now? And not be bothered by the really depressing first part of the ad? You know, the part that portrayed the world as an evil place full of terrible people who hate things that are different and were totally horrible to this poor, sad creature?

    Because in the end it turns out that GE employees, unlike the rest of humankind, are nice? Yeah, good luck with that.

    Client: GE
    Spot: "Ideas"

    Agency: BBDO New York
    Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
    Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
    Copywriter: Greg Hahn
    Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette
    Supervising Art Director: Ralph Watson
    Supervising Art Director: Matt Vescovo
    Executive Producer: Diane Hill
    Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz
    Worldwide Senior Account Director: Brandon Fowler
    Senior Account Director: Peter McCallum
    Account Manager: Gabriela Benitez

    Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
    Director: Noam Murro
    Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt
    Line Producer: Jay Veal

    Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Stewart Reeves
    Assistant Editor: Luke McIntosh
    Producer: Melanie Gagliano

    Puppets: Legacy EFX
    Chief of Design: Alan Scott

    Visual Effects: Method Studios
    Producer: Pip Malone

    Music/Sound Design: Emoto
    Composer: Steve Hampton

    Mix House: Heard City
    Mixer: Keith Reynaud

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    Guinness's provocatively themed "Made of Black" campaign links the color of its beer to the vibrant spirit of young Africans.

    AMV BBDO in London, working with BBDO offices in Africa, launched the pan-African push last week with a five-hour takeover of MTV Base. That programming featured the debut of the two-minute spot below starring local artists and performers in a dazzling montage of dance, performance art and surreal set pieces—propelled by the insistent groove of Kanye West's "Black Skinhead."

    "This campaign is a celebration of an attitude that epitomizes individuals who aren't afraid to truly express themselves," says Mark Sandys, the client's global brand director. "With #MadeOfBlack, we will provide a stage for those who are an inspiration to others, as they carve their own path with confidence, flair and boldness."

    "Made of Black" ties in with Guinness's global "Made of More" campaign. That initiative has generated some memorable advertising, including a short film from AMV BBDO about the Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo, better known as the Sapeurs. That campaign won seven Lions this year at Cannes.

    "Made of Black" takes a multimedia approach that includes lots of video, social outreach by Fuse OGD and other stars sharing their personal stories, along with hand-painted print ads by Dan Funderburgh and Steve Caldwell.

    The centerpiece, however, is the stirring launch spot, directed by Sam Brown via Rogue Films. It fuses elements from different time periods, combining tribal beats and imagery with jazz-age choreography and more modern trappings like a wall of video screens and cutting-edge visual effects. The approach suggests a dynamic cultural heritage powering a self-assured drive toward the future.

    Client: Guinness Africa
    Agency: AMV BBDO, London
    Creative Director: Mike Schalit
    Creatives: Mike Sutherland, Antony Nelson
    Production Company: Rogue Films
    Director: Sam Brown
    Postproduction: The Mill
    Editorial: Final Cut
    Editor: Amanda James

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    As the Dude's favorite cocktail, the White Russian was Jeff Bridges's ever-present co-star in The Big Lebowski. And now, Bridges is giving back to Kahlúa with a short film for the brand.

    He's not in character as the Dude, alas, but there's still plenty to like about the gritty yet goofy period piece by Smuggler director Ivan Zacharias, in which white quite literally meets Russian in the middle of the desert—with a whole lot on the line.

    "As a short film entirely inspired by a simple classic cocktail, this story is creative, enigmatic and beautifully shot," the Academy Award winner told People.com.

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    It's no secret that Marshawn Lynch loves Skittles. And now, the brand's real-life No. 1 fan is helping to kick off its official NFL sponsorship by showing how he (probably not in real life) works out with the candies.

    The spot below, from Olson Engage—the first in a series of NFL-related Skittles marketing—claims that Skittles make game day "awesomer."

    Lynch, 28, whom Skittles honored last year with a special-edition "Seattle mix," has known this for years. As his mother told Seahawks.com a couple of years ago: "When Marshawn was 12 or 13, we'd go to his games and I'd always have little candies in my purse," she says.

    "Before the game, I would say, 'Here Marshawn, come and get you power pellets.' I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, 'Eat 'em up, baby. They're going to make you run fast and they're going to make you play good.' "

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    It's kind of obvious why humans are obsessed with food. It's delicious. It makes us feel good. And well, it keeps us alive.

    It seems rather simple to sell food, and it is. But as with any advertising, there's good and then there's great—and great food-porn ads are really, really great. They make you salivate and possibly lick the screen.

    The latest in mouth-watering ads comes to us from Britain's RKCR/Y&R for Marks & Spencer. It's laden with all the drool-inducing techniques characteristic of good food spots—close-ups, slow-motion and time-lapse shots that all blend together to a perfect medley of deliciousness. 

    Take a look below at this treat guaranteed to satisfy your cravings, or amplify them.

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    Microsoft is making a habit out of mocking Siri.

    Apple's personal assistant faces her Windows Phone rival, Cortana, in a new ad from M:United hawking the HTC One M8 smartphone. Cortana also went against the iPhone's voice concierge in a commercial earlier this summer. That spot focused on how Siri was comparatively inept. Now, she is cast as a diva.

    That probably rings true for anyone who's ever wrestled with that functionality on an iOS device. Cortana, though, is at the disadvantage here of having to explain why she's better and what hardware she occupies. Everyone recognizes an iPhone and Siri—the whole concept stands on the competition's shoulders.

    At the same time, Apple bashing is a quick and easy way to get millions of YouTube views, as Samsung proved. So, it's not surprising to see Microsoft try a similar strategy. Plus, it's paying Apple back, in a small way, for all the knocks in the old "Get a Mac" campaign.

    Though it is perhaps telling that this approach frames the battle primarily in terms of miniature faceless robots, instead of humans.

    Credits below.

    Client: Microsoft
    Product: Windows Phones
    Spot: HTC "Mirror/Sitting" M8
    Agency: M:United
    Global Executive Creative Directors: Andy Azula, Con Williamson
    Creative Director: Mike Lear
    Copywriter: Cedric Giese
    Art Director: Ron Villacarillo
    Director of Creative Technology: David Cliff
    TV Producers: Mel Senecal, Emilie Talermo
    Strategy Team: Kevin Nelson, Michelle Kiely, Jeremy Davis, Lauren Curtis
    Account Team: John Dunleavy, Darla Price, Melissa Trought, Reena Factor, Liam Mulcahy
    Video Production: No6
    Music: "You Always Make Me Smile," Kyle Andrews
    "I Feel Pretty," written by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, performed by Stingray Music
    Media Agency: EMT
    Visual Effects: Method

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    Is print really dying? Not according to Ikea, which has good reason to still believe in dead trees. After all, the company prints around 200 million copies of its catalog every year in 27 languages for 38 countries. That's more than twice the number of bibles produced in a given year.

    But is a print catalog too low-fi for the high-tech age? Again, not according to Ikea, which just rolled out this amusing promo for the 2015 catalog, slyly suggesting that print is actually a wondrous technology that equals—nah, exceeds—the power of digital media.

    The well-written campaign, by BBH Asia Pacific, invites you to "experience the power of a book" and rediscover "the original touch interface." Amazing features include "eternal battery life" and pages that "load instantly, with zero lag." As the charmingly goofy on-screen narrator says: "It's not a digital book, or an e-book. It's a bookbook™."

    I'm sure the concept has been done before. But it's done well here. Check it out:

    The gag extends to the press release, in which BBH creative director Tinus Strydom raves: "To be given the opportunity to launch such an innovative content delivery system is a once in a career opportunity."

    Adds regional Ikea marketing manager Yeong Tze Kuen: "Like we say in the campaign, at Ikea we feel that technology that is this life-enhancing should be in the hands of everyone. We invite you to download one from your mailbox. The one you open with a key. Or you can upload yourself to the Ikea store and find one there."

    The campaign will run in Singapore and Malaysia using newspaper, outdoor, radio and cinema ads, and an animated microsite.

    Client: Ikea
    Agency: BBH Asia Pacific
    Creative Directors: Tinus Strydom, Maurice Wee
    Executive Creative Director: Scott McClelland
    Art Director: Germaine Chen
    Head of Planning: James Sowden
    Business Director: Jun Shea
    Project Director: Lesley Chelvan
    Account Manager: Manavi Sharma
    Account Executive: Cheryl Cheong
    Social Strategist: Josie Khng
    TV Producer: Daphne Ng
    Print Producers: Brell Chen, Lesley Chelvan
    Digital Producers: Phil Dabrowski, Chris Salonga
    Director: Carlos Canal
    Production Company: Freeflow Productions
    Photographer: Eric Seow, Nemesis Pictures
    Photography Producer: Jasmine H
    Microsite Developers: Construct Digital

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    Never underestimate the power of packaging and design to influence consumer attitudes—and if you're lucky, move product.

    This lesson is brought to you by Miller Lite, which enjoyed a sales spike after it began shipping its beer in '80s-style cans last year, originally as part of a tie-in with Anchorman 2. A large number of folks apparently prefer their beer wrapped in retro white labels instead of blue, which has been the brand's primary hue for the past dozen years.

    Maybe the throwback cans simply struck a nostalgic chord, or perhaps the shiny labels stand out on retail shelves. Whatever the case, it's had the curious effect of making consumers think the product itself has improved—which it hasn't.

    "A lot of people said, 'I think the beer even tastes better,' " Miller exec Ryan Reis tells Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Unsurprisingly, the brewer has decided to make the white labeling permanent, even extending the color scheme to its bottles and bar taps. Alas, after initially bubbling up, sales of Miller Lite have settled. In fact, they're down 1 percent for the 12 months that ended Aug. 10.

    At this point, the label fad may have run dry.

    Via Consumerist.

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    Want to buy Temptations' newest cat treats and throw them at your cat?

    Better stretch out first, man.

    The Mars Petcare brand just rolled out new Temptations Tumblers—treats that are apparently more perfectly spherical that regular old Temptations treats. ("Now you can roll, toss or bounce delicious treats for your cats," the brand says.)

    And so, in the 60-second spot below, cats "play ball" with them, Nike style, in pretty hilarious fashion. The ad will, of course, get billions of views. But really, how is there not a Tumblers Tumblr?

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    When you secretly plan to bring 1,000 beer drinkers to a quiet mountainside village in Colorado, what could possibly go wrong?

    Well, a fair amount, as it turns out—most of it involving the residents after they find out.

    It's been a big problem for Bud Light over the past week. When we spoke to the brand last month about its cryptic "Whatever USA" campaign, it was tight-lipped—and proudly so—about which town it would be visiting on Sept. 5-7 (with those 1,000 young revelers in tow) for a weekend of filmable carousing.

    "We even have people within the walls here who have no idea [which town it is]," David Daniels, marketing director for Bud Light, told us.

    But that secrecy had its downside. Indeed, most residents in the town itself—Crested Butte, Colo., population 1,487—didn't know, either. And after word leaked out in recent weeks, many of them were exceedingly perturbed. And they jammed a town meeting last week to express their outrage.

    "I do not understand how this got this far down the road in absolute secrecy," former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, a Crested Butte resident, complained at the meeting, reports the Denver Post. Another man spoke in Mickey Mouse ears and a "Dumbest Town Ever" T-shirt, criticizing town officials for allowed their bucolic village to be turned into Disneyland.

    People have been griping online, too. "How is your waste water treatment system going to handle the massive flows from beer drinkers flushing down thousands of extra gallons of kidney-killing pseudo-beer down the sewers?" wrote one colorful Post commenter.

    Oddly, the town didn't vote until last Thursday—just a week and a day before the event—on whether to grant Bud Light the special-use permit it would need to put on the festivities. The brand reportedly had a backup town in place, but was obviously relieved when the Crested Butte Town Council voted unanimously to approve the permit.

    Adweek reached out to Daniels this week, who responded with a statement.

    "With any event, you have to build consensus before you get on the ground. After we made our case to the Crested Butte Town Council, we were thrilled to see it pass by a unanimous vote," he said. "We can't imagine a better setting for a weekend of unexpected, unparalleled fun. We've spent several months planning and preparing for Whatever USA, and have worked closely with the town to ensure we cause the least amount of disruption to the community. When the weekend is over, we plan to return the town to exactly how it was when we arrived."

    Since the plans were so secretive, it's hard to know whether or how Bud Light might have handled the situation differently.

    A promise from the very beginning to donate money to local charities—or improve the community in some other tangible way—could certainly have helped. Of course, then you'd have to tell more people what you're doing, which would ruin the surprise—and the whole premise of the campaign—if it got leaked.

    But of course, it got leaked anyway (though, thankfully for the brand, pretty late in the game). Indeed, one upshot of all the hubbub is that Bud Light has been forced to publicly reveal many of its plans early.

    As the Post reports: "No, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle will not be here. Other celebrities will be. Bono won't play, but some C-list bands will. Blue-painted elephants will not be ambling down Elk. Blue-painted performers could be. The event will be made into a commercial, but won't be shown during Super Bowl."

    Bud Light might have anticipated some of this backlash. But the whole production quite literally turned out to be a tougher sell than the brand imagined—as Crested Butte is charging $500,000 for the permit, up from an originally proposed $250,000.

    For that price, it better be one hell of a party.

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    All the electrical products in your house will start doing Busby Berkeley routines once you sign up with solar power company SunRun.

    Cutwater in San Francisco crafted the stop-motion ad below with help from Australian animator Dropbear (aka Jonathan Chong), the creative force behind the music video for Hudson and Troop's "Against the Grain." It's funny that an environmentally friendly company like SunRun would tap an animator who wasted so many pencils (don't we need pencils?!), but such is life. 

    All of the animation was done by hand, and it took the team roughly a month to complete the 30-second spot.

    Client: SunRun
    Spot: "Solar Motion"
    Agency: Cutwater
    Founder, Executive Creative Director: Chuck McBride
    Creative Director: Luke Partridge
    Executive Producer: Daniel Tuggle
    Producer: Danielle Soper
    Art Director: Gong Liu
    Copywriter: Deidre Lichty
    Group Account Director: Christian Navarro
    Senior Account Manager: Sarah Owens
    Production Company: Hustle Co Director: Jonathan Chong
    Director of Photography: Nick Kova
    Editorial: Dropbear Digital
    Stop-Motion Animator, Editor: Jonathan Chong
    Postproduction Company: Creative Technology
    Flame Artist: Zac Dych
    Colorist: R. Adam Berk
    Postproducer: Melanie Bass
    Audio Record, Mix: M Squared
    Audio Engineer: Mark Pitchford
    Assistant Engineer: Phil Lantz
    Music Supervision: Joey Prather, Blue Scout
    Music Track: Dragon, "Chase the Sun"

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    Gisele Bündchen kicks butt in a new ad breaking today for Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" campaign by Droga5.

    The supermodel and wife of NFL quarterback Tom Brady (a fellow UA athletic endorser) also shows off her kung fu and yoga abilities at iwillwhatiwant.com/gisele, which will stream real-time comments from social media.

    Leanne Fremar, executive creative director for UA's women's brand, gave Adweek a sneak preview of the 60-second film, which rolls out Thursday on YouTube. Look for the raw, real video to go viral—much like the previous one with Misty Copeland, which has been watched nearly 6 million times.

    Forget designer gowns. This is the Brazilian supermodel like you've never seen her before. With her fists wrapped like a boxer, she's athletic, fierce and formidable. She throws powerful roundhouse kicks and punches at a heavy bag. She looks like she's training for the UFC, not Fashion Week.

    As Gisele works up a sweat, we see real-life insults from social media critics questioning why UA would sign her. "Stick to modeling sweetie," reads one. "Protect this blouse," says another." But others are supportive as Gisele tunes out the noise—and keeps punching. "She's a mother and an inspiration," reads one.

    "I appreciate her taking a risk, and allowing us to show her in a different light," said Fremar.

    "We wanted to show a new side of Gisele—the unguarded, raw, real and brave side that shows what it's like living in the public eye," said Droga5 creative director John McKelvey. "To the world, most people have only seen her in a context of beauty and polish. But when we came to Gisele with the idea, she embraced the truth of the concept and its potential to be a positive message. The campaign shows all the contradicting opinions she is constantly exposed to and the focus and determination it takes to tune out the noise and will what she wants."

    Carlos Silva, president of golf lifestyle cable network Back9Network, said signing Bünchen is a smart way for UA to stand out. Much like UA is taking an unconventional approach with model and ballerina endorsers, Back9Network is focusing on golf lifestyles rather than PGA Tour pros.

    "It's very similar to how we're approaching the mass market following the game of golf," Silva said.

    Client: Under Armour
    Campaign: "I Will What I Want"
    Film and Interactive Experience: Gisele | Will Beats Noise
    Launch Date: Sept. 4, 2014

    Agency: Droga5, New York
    Creative Chairman: David Droga
    Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
    Creative Directors: John McKelvey, Hannes Ciatti
    Copywriter: Felix Richter
    Art Director: Alexander Nowak
    Chief Creation Officer: Sally-­Ann Dale
    Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
    Executive Broadcast Producer: Matt Nowak
    Associate Broadcast Producer: Goldie Robbens
    Executive Interactive Producer: Justin Durazzo
    Associate Interactive Producer: Ian Graetzer
    User Experience Director: Daniel Perlin
    Senior User Experience Designer: Lily Cho
    Head of Design: Rich Greco
    Digital Designer: Devin Croda
    Executive Director of Technology: David Justus
    Technology Lead: Joachim Do
    Group Brand Strategy Director: Donny Jensen
    Brand Strategy Director: Zach Foster
    Digital Strategist: Candice Chen
    Communications Strategy Director: Alex Kniess
    Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
    Account Director: Lauren Smith
    Account Manager: Scott Sullivan

    Client: Under Armour
    Senior Vice President, Women’s Executive Creative Director: Leanne Fremar
    Vice President, Women’s Marketing: Heidi Sandreuter
    Women’s Brand Manager: Kameryn Stanhouse
    Guidance Counsel: Meredith Chase

    Broadcast Production Company: Smuggler
    Director: Jaron Albertin
    Director of Photography: Andrij Parekh
    Partners: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody
    Executive Producer: Allison Kunzman
    Producer: Andy Coverdale

    Editing: Work Editorial
    Editor: Ben Jordan
    Assistant Editor: Trevor Myers
    Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
    Producer: Sari Resnick

    Postproduction: The Mill
    Head of Production: Sean Costelloe
    Head of Computer Graphics: Vince Baertsoen
    Producer: Alex Fitzgerald
    Colorist: Fergus McCall
    Flame: Aron Baxter

    Interactive Production Company: Active Theory
    Executive Producer: Nick Mountford
    Technical Director: Michael Anthony
    Creative Technologist, Designer: Andy Thelander
    Interactive Developer: Rachel Smith

    Broadcast: Heard City
    Interactive: Plan8

    Quality Assurance: Hook QA

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    Ad agency Heimat in Berlin has made the cutest teenage goth ad since Kodak film taught my generation that cheerleaders and dudes in fishnet shirts could be friends.

    In this spot for German home improvement brand Hornbach, a gloomy-but-not-sour goth girl is soundly rejected by everyone in her community, who all wear pastels. The direction and camerawork make the contrast more subtle than it sounds. And let's also acknowledge that hers is a totally understandable response to life in that town. If everyone in my neighborhood dressed like extras from an Aaron Spelling sitcom, I'd start listening to Spahn Ranch and moping through gym class, too.

    Fortunately, the girl's dad is much less of a douche than everyone else, and his obvious desire to relate to her comes through in the end. Yes, it's corny and tugs at the small (or large) piece of us that feels misunderstood and adrift. But it also highlights the too-often-overlooked moment when someone realizes his or her parents are also kind of weird.

    For another great goth spot, take a look back at this vulgar yet ultimately sweet ad from Denmark, which was one of 2013's best candy commercials.

    Via Co.Create.

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    You're trudging down a busy sidewalk, minding your own business, when suddenly the sky is torn apart by lightning, cars and lampposts are hurled across the street by the wind, and a tornado starts heading your way.

    If you're guessing it's only an ad—you're right.

    Augmented reality shop Grand Visual created the stunt in Sydney, Australia, to promote a tornado-themed disaster film called Into the Storm.

    A typical movie-poster street display was replaced with a large, high-definition video screen. The monitor initially shows the "poster" getting blown away by rising gusts. This seems to provide a clear view of the street being thoroughly destroyed by insanely violent weather.

    The visuals are impressive, especially the car appearing to slam into the display and smash the screen. And actually, this stunt—by the same team that devised PepsiMAX's apocalyptic bus shelter prank in London—seems more fun and enthralling, and far less unsettling, than some campaigns in the category.

    Sure, some of the passersby look a bit stunned at times. But they're probably just perturbed that we're all living in a world that's morphing into one gigantic ad.

    Via Digital Buzz Blog.

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    Embracing music has become a popular strategy for making potentially dull brands seem cool, and Gillette is leaning hard into the approach with a new spot that turns its razors into part of an elaborate piano-playing machine.

    Son Lux, an artist and producer who recently collaborated with Lorde, performs an original composition on the contraption, which rigs a second keyboard into a pulley system that controls the razors—which in turn press the keys on an actual piano.

    The ad is meant to demonstrate the rotational capacity of Gillette's Flexball technology. That ends up succeeding well enough, which is a good thing, because otherwise it might just look like an awful lot of trouble to make a perfectly functional instrument unnecessarily complicated just to squeeze in the product. Regardless, Gillette, agency Grey and production company 1st Avenue Machine get props for helping to bring viewers a nice song.

    The project also recalls Gillette's symphony of sweaty dudes on gym equipment from last fall (via BBDO), meant to promote the P&G brand's deodorant. GE, meanwhile, has been teaming up with electronic artists to sample the sounds of its heavy machinery, and turn them into very listenable records.

    It's hard to say whether razors, free weights, shipping containers or jet engines make the best tunes, though.

    Client: Gillette
    Agency: Grey
    Spot: "Piano"

    Brand Agency Lead: Debby Reiner
    Senior Vice President, Account Director: Sarah Beaumont
    Vice President, Account Director: Elizabeth Gilchrist
    Account Supervisors: Thomas Ghiden, Katie Stirn
    Account Executive: John Nelson
    Executive Strategy Director: Howard Roberts

    Cinematographer: Zach Mulligan
    Composer: Ryan Lott ("Son Lux")

    Production Company: 1st Avenue Machine

    Agency President, Global Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
    Group Creative Directors: Jeff Stamp, Leo Savage
    Associate Creative Directors: Lance Parrish, Steve Nathans
    Copywriter: Nick Terzip

    Director: Asif Mian, 1st Avenue Machine
    Editor: Akiko Ikawaka, Cut + Run
    Executive Producer: James McPherson
    Mix: Phil Loeb, Heard City
    Music Producer: Zachary Pollakoff
    Film Producer: Katy Fuoco
    Assistant Film Producer: Megan Swan

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    When you think about all the people you need to appease in life, it can get pretty hairy. Your parents, your friends, your significant other, your boss, your co-workers—it's rough.

    Well, here's a commercial that sympathizes, and presents a unique solution.

    The downright hare-brained spot comes to us from Japanese shampoo brand Mesocare and agency Dentsu. It plays out like Rodgers and Hammerstein's insane night terror, and will freak you out, too. So, without further hairdo, watch people scream at each other while dangling from hair follicles.

    Via Ads of the World.

    And here's the extended cut (no subtitles), which is worth it for the ending alone:

    Client: Mesocare
    Agency: Dentsu, Tokyo
    Creative Director: Yosuke Hiraishi
    Copywriter: Yuto Ogawa
    Director: Wataru Sato
    Photographer: Onomichi
    Producers: Sumina Sugita, Tomomitsu Nakano, Yuki Awatsu, Naomi Yamamoto

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    Matthew McConaughey takes his time in his first Lincoln ad through Hudson Rouge.

    There are almost more pauses than words of dialogue in the 60-second spot, as the Oscar-winning actor and new brand endorser sits nearly motionless in his MKC on a country road, transfixed by a giant bull who won't let him pass.

    There's plenty of Rust Cohle here, but this is also just pure McConaughey—quietly audacious. That could also describe the approach of the whole spot, in fact, which barely shows the vehicle in action. (Indeed, it's vanquished in the end by a creature clearly more powerful than itself.)

    Two other spots rolled out Thursday—a :60 that's more conventional, with McConaughey driving around and philosophizing on whether you can or can't "go back," and a meta :30 in which he says straight out that he drove Lincolns long before he was paid to do so.

    The spots were directed by feature filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who was last seen crafting this 90-second Grey Goose ad.

    Client: Lincoln Motor Company

    Agency: Hudson Rouge, New York
    EVP, Global CCO: Jon Pearce
    Assoc. Creative Director/AD: Adam Flanagan
    Copywriter: Griffin Creech
    Art Director: John Shirley
    SVP, Head of Integrated Production: Sherri Levy
    Associate Producer: Joyce Lee
    Business Affairs: Ron Kirkman

    EVP, Managing Director: Scott Kavanagh
    Management Supervisor: Tamara Taylor

    Production Company: Skunk
    Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
    Managing Partner/EP: Matt Factor
    Executive Producer: Shelly Townsend
    Director of Photography: Benoit Debie

    Editing House: Rock Paper Scissors
    Editor: Mat Newman
    Assistant Editor: Chris Mitchell
    Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
    Producer: Jenny Greenfield

    Visual Effects Company: The Mill (NY)
    Producer: Alex Fitzgerald
    Shoot Supervisor: Kathy Siegal
    2D Lead Artist: Iwan Zwarts
    2D Artists: Yoon-Sun Bae, Rob Meade, Danny Morris
    Burtis Scott, Krissy Nordella, Anne Trotman

    Telecine Company: Co3
    Colorist: Tom Poole

    Mix Company: Sound Lounge
    Audio Engineer: Tom Jucarone

    Music: Cliff Martinez (Bull, I Just Liked It, Rosewood, Looky There)

    Music: Ring The Alarm (Intro/Austin)

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    The greatest idea for a billboard has been realized: one made entirely of cake.

    Actually, 13,360 cakes. British confectionery brand Mr. Kipling and agency JWT London are the geniuses responsible for this gift to the the world. Because they are benevolent leaders who understand how things should work, they let everyone lucky enough to be near the billboard, at a mall in London, also participate in the eating of the billboard.

    That makes it even more perfect, because a billboard that disappears quickly is the best kind. It's also even more selfless, because making a billboard out of 13,360 cakes is a feat that takes grand vision and steely perseverance—approximately seven hours worth of grueling cake assembly alone, even with the help of a professional food artist like Michelle Wibowo, whose credentials also include making a portrait of Prince William and Prince George out of 16,074 triangle pieces of Toblerone chocolate.

    Other, less-conservative estimates place the total commitment required to build a single giant ad out of many small cakes at three days, plus two months of presumably painstaking design. Also assisting were other fine marketing companies like Outside Line, Carat, and Cirkle. Regardless, it is an infinitely more courageous move than a bus shelter ad that hands out a measly 500 Mr. Kipling cakes.

    Fortunately such Herculean efforts do not go unappreciated by passersby of strong character. "I really like the board because I love cake, and that motto quite fits me," says one woman in a video about the giant cake ad. "Life is better with cake," says the motto, which 72 percent of the U.K. population believes, according to Mr. Kipling's surely bulletproof research, and also according to common sense.

    So, let it be known that for anyone who does make a billboard henceforth, moral imperative dictates it should be made of cakes—perhaps cakes more delicious than Mr. Kipling's cakes, which if they are anything like pre-packaged cakes in America, might not be the best cakes in the world. (These French pastries might be a good place to start.)

    Some exceptions to the rule: A billboard that cleans the air is OK, because humans need breathable oxygen to eat cake; a billboard that condenses humidity into water, because humans might be thirsty after eating all that cake, even though milk would be a better companion; and billboards featuring exceptional art, in case someone needs something nice to look at while eating their cake, though such a student probably isn't focused enough on the task at hand. 

    But before anyone suggests making a billboard out of ice cream or pie, let's just all remember that we are practical folk who only engage in civil debate about reasonable ideas—and also do not give rise to false hope.

    Via The Drum.


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