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Proud Whopper and Obama's Between Two Ferns Among 2015's Grand Clio Winners


David, Crispin Porter + Boguksy and Funny or Die all won Grand Clios at the 2015 Clio Awards on Wednesday, for their work on behalf of Burger King, Domino's and the Affordable Care Act—at a ceremony kept lively by emcee Alec Baldwin's comedy and musical performances including Salt-N-Pepa.

"This is horseshit's heyday," Baldwin said of modern advertising in his opening remarks, adding: "It's only a matter of time before marketers begin sending us branded dick pics."

Salt-N-Pepa brought the house down with their performance of "Push It" (made newly popular by a recent Geico commercial). And X Ambassadors—whose song "Jungle" in Beats by Dre's ad "The Game Before the Game" was deemed the best use of music by Clio Music on the night—also played their song "Renegades" on stage.

Melissa Etheridge was on hand as well, as a guest of Clio Music, and sang a snippet of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz"—a nod to a famous early brand mention in rock 'n' roll.

A total of 13 Grand Clios were handed out. See all the winners below.

—Audio Grand Clio
SoundLab Container
Streaming/Downloadable Content
F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, São Paulo

—Branded Entertainment Grand Clio
Affordable Care Act
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama
Film - Scripted
Funny or Die, Los Angeles

—Digital Grand Clio
Clever Buoy
M&C Saatchi, Sydney

—Direct Grand Clio
Burger King
Proud Whopper
David, Miami

—Engagement/Experiential Grand Clio
ZDK Gesellschaft Demokratische Kultur gGmbH
Nazis against Nazis- Germany's Most Involuntary Charity Walk
Grabarz & Partner/GGH Lowe, Hamburg

—Innovative Grand Clio
ZDK Gesellschaft Demokratische Kultur gGmbH
Nazis against Nazis- Germany's Most Involuntary Charity Walk
Grabarz & Partner/GGH Lowe, Hamburg

—Integrated Campaign Grand Clio
"Between Us"
Integrated Campaign
Y&R Team Red Istanbul

—Out of Home Grand Clio
World Gallery (C)
TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Los Angeles

—Print Grand Clio
28 Too Many
It Happens Here (C)
Ogilvy & Mather, London

—Public Relations Grand Clio
Clever Buoy
Corporate Image
Fuel Communications, Sydney

—Social Media Grand Clio
Emoji Ordering
CP+B, Boulder

—CLIO Music - Partnerships/Collaborations Grand Clio
Spotify / Uber
Your Ride. Your Music.
Spotify / Uber
Stockholm / San Francisco

—CLIO Music - Use of Music Grand Clio
Beats By Dr. Dre
"The Game Before the Game"
5 mins or more
R/GA, New York

Watch Zappos Cleverly Punk Google by Ambushing Its Cupcake Truck


Google recently promoted its new photo app by setting up a food truck in Austin that gave away free cupcakes. That was cool. Then a giant cardboard Zappos box set up shop across the street. And things got a lot more interesting.

Yes, the Zappos box asked people to insert the cupcakes they'd gotten from the Google truck, and then dispensed something better. And these free gifts weren't crappy ones either. People got watches and gift cards out of that thing. The video cheekily concludes with, "Thanks for the cupcakes, giant tech company."

Cool idea from Mullen Lowe, and brassy for a company with such a twee brand identity.

Google was pretty chill about Zappos' claim-jumping—one member of the team even ran up to take part—but are we the only ones a little disappointed? Even if it was staged, a bit of Sharks/Jets public acrimony would have been way more fun. 

Brand: Zappos
Project: #paywithacupcake
Zappos Awareness Marketing/PR: Catherine (Cat) Cook
Agency: Mullen Lowe
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist
Creative Director:  Jon Ruby
Associate Creative Director: Lisa Mathisen
Associate Creative Director: Nick Mathisen
Sr. Art Director: Ryan Montgomery
Sr. Copywriter: Tim Bildsten
Content Producer: Eric Skvirsky
Senior Content Producer: Aubrey Hayden
Assistant Editor: Libby Ryerson
Animator: Eric Ko
Group Account Director: Kelly Burke
Account Director: Megan Oxland
Account Supervisor: Alexandra Martin
Account Executive: Meaghan Quinn

Carl's Jr. Says This Provocative 'Border Ball' Ad Is About Sexy Women, Not Immigration


Carl's Jr. likes being provocative, but not in the realm of politics.

That's the message from parent company CKE Restaurants, which has gone on the record to deny claims that its latest ad with scantily clad women, "Border Ball," plays off the current national debate over immigration.

The spot, from 72andSunny, broke Sept. 28. It features Texan model Elle Evans (previously seen also being scantily clad in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video) and Mexico City cover model Alejandra Guilmant. The ad sells the new Tex Mex Thickburger, which is apparently equal parts Tex and Mex. So, the commercial shows two women's beach volleyball teams—one from Texas, one from Mexico—trying to settle things with a game on the border.

Innocuous enough, if gratuitous in the classic Carl's Jr. style, right?

Except another of the models in the spot raised eyebrows with this statement to FOX411:"I don't think it goes too far. I think it's really sexy, and I think it's playing up on what's going on politically right now with immigration. I think it was a bold move for Carl's Jr."

Whoa there, Carl's Jr. replied.

A CKE rep quickly told Fox: "Our new ad for the Tex Mex Bacon Thickburger is not a political statement. It is simply a fast-food ad, and, like all of our ads, the premise helps to paint a picture about the food. If a connection was made between the ad and politics—it was certainly not our intent."

The rep added that the ad was simply in keeping with the chain's years-old marketing strategy of using nearly naked models and celebrities to sell sandwiches.

It's a bit of an ignominious development for an ad that 72andSunny seemed to be quite proud of. As the agency told us last week, the new spot was inspired by actual volleyball games that are played across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brand: CKE
Project: Tex Mex Bacon Thickburger - "Borderball"
Overview: When Tex meets Mex, it's a win win.

Client: CKE
Chief Executive Officer: Andy Puzder
Chief Marketing Officer: Brad Haley
Senior Vice President, Product Marketing: Bruce Frazer
Vice President, Field Marketing, Media, Merchandising: Steve Lemley
Director of Advertising: Brandon LaChance
Director of Product Marketing, Merchandising: Christie Cooney
Product Marketing Manager: Allison Pocino
Public Relations Specialist: Claire Eastburn
Public Relations Team: Coast PR
President: Jeanne Hoffa
Director: Kate Franklin

Agency: 72andSunny
Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
Group Creative Directors: Justin Hooper, Mick DiMaria
Creative Director, Designer: Tim Wettstein
Creative Director, Writer: Mark Maziarz
Senior Designer: Gabo Curielcha
Senior Writer: Chad Goodnoe
Group Strategy Director: Matt Johnson
Strategy Director: Kasia Molenda
Strategist: Eddie Moraga
Group Brand Director: Alexis Coller
Senior Brand Manager: Michal David
Brand Manager: Ali Arnold
Brand Coordinator: Kristyn Kazanjian
Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
Executive Film Producer: Molly McFarland
Senior Film Producer: Juliet Diamond
Film Production Coordinator: Taylor Stockwell
Director of Business Affairs: Michelle Mckinney
Business Affairs Director: Amy Jacobsen
Business Affairs Manager: Jennifer Jahinian
Business Affairs Coordinator: Taylor Henriquez
Director of Communications: Jeff Sweat
Communications Managers: Ginny Adams, Nicole Ryan
Production Company: Wondros
Director: Chris Applebaum
Chief Creative Officer: Anne-Marie Mackay
Executive Producer: Timory King
Head of Production: Doron Kauper
Producer: John Hardin

Editing: Jump LA
Editor: Fred Fouquet
Executive Producer: Betsy Beale

Visual Effects: JAMM Visual
Telecine: Beach House
Colorist: Mike Pethel
Executive Producer: Denise Brown

Audio, Sound Design: On Music and Sound
Mixer, Sound Designer: Chris Winston
Music Company: Extreme Music

2 Horrible Cable Companies Merge in DirecTV's Sequel to a Campaign From Years Ago


Grey New York goes back to the future for DirecTV, revisiting a concept the satellite broadcaster introduced seven years ago in commercials from Deutsch.

Those original spots, directed by Christopher Guest, took place in a conference room and focused on the antics of some smug, inept and less-than-customer-centric executives at Cable Corp., a bland, soulless cable conglomerate. The last ad in the series aired in 2012.

This new iteration, directed by Hungry Man's Bryan Buckley, retains the wry humor and some of the actors from the earlier campaign. In fact, it's packed with familiar faces: John Michael Higgins, Jeffrey Tambor, Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard.

The first two spots posit a merger scenario. It's a questionable deal, we're told, because Cable Corp.'s partner, CableWorld, stinks—literally. "I used to work there. I had to breathe through my mouth the whole time," Higgins says at one point.

As always, he and Coolidge give solid comic performances, and Willard's a hoot as CableWorld's boss, who got "too messed up last night" to bring any new ideas to the table. As for Tambor, well, his resemblance to Rudy Giuliani is kind of disturbing. (Recent DirecTV ad star Rob Lowe would fit right in with this bunch.)

The storyline feels a tad meta, perhaps awkwardly so, given DirecTV's recent acquisition by AT&T. Still, the ads are clearly poking fun at big cable hookups, like Charter's deal with Time Warner, and succeed well enough in that regard.

The old gang can still bring the funny. Alas, comparison with the previous work is inevitable. And ultimately, the reboot reminds me of satellite reception on a windy day—it's just not as crisp and bright as it used to be.

Ad of the Day: Packages Roam the Streets Looking for Their Owners in Cute Postal Ad


Here's some cute, simple fun from Jung von Matt/Limmat for Swiss Post—an outdoor stunt in Lucerne, Switzerland, in which 30 modified packages were seen roaming the streets, looking for their intended recipients.

The technology couldn't have been simpler: The packages were propelled by remote-controlled cars, operated by 30 professional remote-controlled-car drivers (yes, apparently there is such a thing).

The point? If you miss a package being delivered, you don't have to collect it at the nearest post office. You can go online (or to the Swiss Post app via a QR code on the delivery slip) and determine where and when to get your parcel.

In other words, it will come to you.

In the film, the packages contained gifts. And the recipients' reactions were captured live and unrehearsed, the agency says.

Client: Swiss Post
Head of Communication: Ruth Mathias
Head of Marketing and Online Communications: Martin Gonzenbach
Online Manager Marketing and Communications: Monika Dellenbach

Agency: Jung von Matt/Limmat
Executive Creative Director: Alexander Jaggy
Creative Director: Pablo Schencke
Copywriter: Alain Eicher
Consulting: Marco Dettling, Roman Meister, Roman Mösli
Art Buying: Deborah Herzig

External partners
Director: Simon Nagel
Props: Valentin Altorfer
Music: White Horse Music

Why Coca-Cola Hired This Man to Laugh Really, Really Hard on a Crowded Subway Train


It's usually not a good sign when someone starts laughing maniacally on the subway. But riders in Belgium seem to take it pretty well in this new Coca-Cola ad.

The agency, Gonzales in Brussels—working off the insight that "happiness starts with a smile"—wanted to make people laugh in an environment where they rarely do. So, they hired a guy to get things started. See how it went below.

Campbell's Cleverly Used Star Wars in Gay-Themed Ad, but the Comments Are on the Dark Side


Campbell Soup Company's newest ad, featuring its Star Wars inspired soup, is centered around a popular line from the movie, although maybe not in the way that you'd think. The 30-second ad features a father feeding his son, and quoting Darth Vader's "I am your father." But then there's a clever twist that makes the spot unique.

Watch it here. Spoilers below.

The spot, by BBDO New York, is part of a new campaign themed "Made for Real, Real Life." And it aims to celebrate the changing face of the American family in much the same way Droga5's Honey Maid work has done.

"We wanted to show actual families, which means families of different configurations, cultures, races and life choices," said Yin Woon Rani, vice president of marketing activation, in a statement. "The American family is changing faster than at any time in recent history and it is now a true mosaic of shapes and sizes, all bonded through love, and love of good food."

The tagline is a little puzzling to me. "Real, real life"? It feels a little like "Real women aren't a size 0"—the popular phrase that is supposed to empower women but ends up denigrating smaller women. But the campaign's intent is to hold a mirror up to "real life" and capture the diversity of today's families.

The response has been mostly positive, with loud outliers, of course—including some who seem extra agitated that by linking Star Wars to a gay theme, Campbell's is somehow ruining their childhood memories.

Somewhat surprisingly, Campbell's did not turn off the YouTube comments for this one. And if you need to a clue as to how some commenters are handling the appearance of a gay couple and their adopted multiracial son in the year 2015, just remember that we live in a time when Donald Trump is considered a viable candidate for president.

Belize Offers a Free, Relaxing Vacation to Next Stressed-Out NFL Kicker to Miss


NFL kickers seem to be stressed out this season, as there's been a rash of missed kicks, including 18 this past week alone. But now, the country of Belize is here to help—offering a free bye-week trip to Belize to the next kicker who misses a field goal or extra point attempt.

The offer, dreamed up by Belize's PR/social agency Olson Engage, is made in this video starring Belize national soccer defender Ian Gaynair, who'll give free kicking lessons to the lucky "winner." (Because missing kicks isn't embarrassing enough.)

The Colts' Adam Vinatieri (seen above, missing a kick in the AFC Championship Game last January) and the Texans' Nick Novak, who play Thursday night, are first in line for the chance to get rewarded for sucking.

Olson Engage has done a bunch of fun stunts for Belize, including making the most of an unflattering mention on Breaking Bad as well as recording "Don't Stop Believin' " parody "Don't Stop Beliezin' " to thanking Journey's keyboardist for visiting.

Victoria's Secret Ignored the Anger Over This Photo, So a Facebook Fan Fixed It (NSFW)


Is Victoria's Secret now trolling its Facebook fans with intentional Photoshop fails?

Some seem to think so, after the lingerie brand posted a photo of a model who has clearly suffered the digital removal of a butt cheek. Eyebrows were particularly raised in this situation after VS captioned the photo: "Truly. Madly. Cheeky."

Note: The photo is mildly NSFW.

VS's Facebook fans were having none of it.

"I don't think you can call it 'cheeky" if she only has 1 cheek," said one of the most upvoted comments. "Truly. Madly. Deformed," said another. A third was more effusive: "Horrible horrible photoshopping. Completely unnecessary, Victoria's Secret. Wishing you would learn from Aerie. Yes another reason I (along with MANY others) will never shop from you guys...Times are changing; it's time you guys caught up. #NotBuyingIt."

The photo was posted way back on Sept. 25, though criticism of it has gained momentum in recent days. It's tempting to think VS just hasn't noticed the complaints—but that's not the case. The brand has responded to one comment in the thread, and it was posted earlier this week (a product complaint, as it turns out).

With VS obviously not inclined to take the photo down, or even address it, the burden has shifted to Facebook users, one of which took the time to actually fix the photo (see above)—giving the model a full set of butt cheeks once again. That's called battling Photoshop with Photoshop.

Check out more from the Facebook thread below. Via Design Taxi.

Your Life Should Be This Dreamy, Say 6 Beautiful New Ads for the Apple Watch


Get an Apple Watch, and replace the ice cream cone your daughter just dropped without even having to free your hands.

In the first of six new beautifully designed Apple Watch ads, a mother deftly prevents a small mishap from devolving into a full blown tantrum: With a few quick wrist taps, a new treat magically replaces the old one as if the spill never happened.

Everything extraneous is cut out—the bustle of whatever else is happening around them, the clean-up of the mess, the vendor making a cone, even the act of handing the girl a new ice cream. All that is replaced by a soothing pink haze and tight editing that makes the feat seem effortless—the overtaxed, under-slept parent's ultimate fantasy.

In other words, Apple Watch owners can bask in the warm, pop-music-infused glow of efficiency. You barely have to lift a finger to make your smartphone do your bidding. At 15 seconds each, the ads in this series convey their message with minimal distraction, cutting right to the point: Apple Watch creates a virtual plane that projects the brand's characteristic design qualities—sleek, minimalist, highly functional—onto users' messy lives, resulting in bubbles free of clutter, hassle or even external stimuli. 

A second ad shows a couple on a date, dancing alone in a soft blue landscape. The woman, actress Lake Bell (who also voiced Apple's recent anthemic :60 for the iPhone 6s), stops to check a message on her wrist—a shot of their sleeping child, from the babysitter—then intensifies her movements, gleefully pulling her partner off-screen by his tie.

In the third spot, a fashionista on a Vespa zips through a washed-out sunset to music from the Nouvelle Vague, stopping briefly to ask Siri for directions to Piazza Navona. (The crowded, bustling city of Rome is nowhere in sight; Apple's digital assistant is apparently exceptional at navigating from alternate dimensions.)

Two other spots focus on cardio and personal training. Get some positive reinforcement on your stationary bike, or check your heart rate while shadow-boxing into glory. Your gym has never been this empty.

The sixth and final spot is the simplest and sweetest ad of all: Why text when you can sing? That's what a teenage boy does here, to tell some lucky girl he can't wait to see her. It's straightforward and unimpeachable.

Despite the neat editing, these pieces have subtle baggage. They feel like upgraded versions of Apple's classic iPod shadow-dancing ads—general enough that you can project yourself into the dreamscapes, using less cartoonish, more credible little slices of life (it's not the first time Apple has relied on old visual cues to tell a new story).

But the spare backdrops are also self-conscious and distracting, even disconcerting. They almost seem to celebrate tech narcissism, raising the question of what we lose when we abandon our messy realities for ease, order and privilege. Where is the vendor making ice cream, or the traffic that Vespa-riding globetrotter should be checking for?

It isn't Apple's responsibility to remind us life is messy; we know that, and manage it as best we can. But it's also strange to watch it dive so wholeheartedly into solipsism amidst growing anxiety about how devices impact our social interactions, especially among children (who are tightly managed in the first ad, and entirely off-screen in the second).

A world without strangers or excess stimuli is appealing, but Apple's promise about its latest offering reduces existence to self-centered micro-transactions and measurements.

Al Gore's Stirring New Climate Change Ad Calls on World Leaders to Be Accountable


Al Gore's Climate Reality Project tries lighting a fire under world leaders in this two-minute film directed by Hungry Man's Richard Bullock.

Shot in 13 countries, the video features environmental activists and average folks of all sorts, as well as Gore, Edward Norton and Sir Richard Branson. Each person stands or sits center-frame, reciting lines from the script while looking directly into the camera.

"I decided to try and create moving stills so that each frame was as beautiful and impactful as possible," Bullock tells AdFreak. "I chose people and places which are experiencing climate change right now or involved in positive changes. This meant we visited deserts, coral reefs, high mountain glaciers and deforested areas."

Though he employs a familiar visual technique, it's effective at unifying the message and driving home the point that climate change affects everyone, regardless of age, race, geographic location or economic standing.

"Dear world leaders, we all know that the climate crisis is here. We can see it all around us," the speakers begin. "We would do something about it. In fact, some of us already are." They describe the steps they're taking, and challenge those in power to follow their lead.

"Actually, we have some demands. We demand that you cooperate with one another. We demand that you send a message to polluters. Stop using fossil fuels. Now is the time, the time for you to act."

The appeal strikes just the right tone, firm but respectful. Owing to their own efforts to improve the climate situation, the speakers can convincingly claim the moral authority to request action from their leaders. "The indigenous people we met had so many smart things to say about management of the planet," says Bullock. "I just wish there were more of them involved in decisions about industry and carbon emissions and not just the men in suits with flags on their cars."

The PSA appears ahead of COP21, the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris next month, and urges viewers to add their voices to the cause by signing a petition on the Climate Reality site. It does well by trying to rally support among those already in step with the CRP's position.

Still, even if a billion people sign a petition, would it matter to world leaders beholden to special interests and intent on following energy policies for reasons of their own?

"Well, I would hope that at least as a leader you might understand that there is an inherent responsibility to your fellow man when accepting your role," says Bullock. "Hopefully the film helps to remind them of that before they hit the room to make the big calls in Paris."

When it comes to effecting meaningful change, despite the best intentions and skillful communications, it also begs wondering if the CRP is really getting any warmer in achieving its goals.

"Will our film make a difference? Maybe not," Bullock says. "But if it's part of a weight or landslide of requests from people that build pressure on world leaders, then I am happy to throw our symbolic straw on the camel's back."

Kids Are Given Toy Cars That Can't Crash in This Amusingly Mean Mercedes-Benz Ad


Mercedes-Benz's new ad doubles as a social experiment for children.

The automaker installed heavy-duty magnets inside toy cars to highlight its Brake Assist System PLUS. The video then shows kids—who are delighted, of course, by crashing toy cars into each other—playing with the magnet cars. Let's just say they're not in love with them.

It's like the opposite of last month's stunt by Canadian agency Rethink for advocacy group Arrive Alive, where they dropped wrecked toy cars into cereal boxes as drunk-driving PSAs.

The Mercedes idea—from ad agency Jung von Matt/Alster in Germany—is a clever way to highlight the luxury car brand's features, but here's hoping the kids were rewarded with a new set of Hot Wheels for their troubles.

These Creatives Knitted Outfits for Street Signs as a Way of Asking for Clothes for the Poor


Wool is cool again, and yarn-bombing is a thing. In a nod to the trend, a group of Brazilian creatives started "Doe Agasalho," or "Donate Warm Clothes," a campaign that reminds people to offer clothing to the poor.

They're outfitting the human silhouettes on traffic signs with crocheted scarves, sweaters and even little pairs of jeans. A sticker reminding people to donate explains the effort when the fully dressed figures attract looks from passersby.

They've hit nine signs already and plan to do 10 more before month's end. Find them on a sign near you in São Paulo, or follow their Instagram, DoeAgasalho.

"Winter is over in Brazil, but those who live in the streets are still cold," said creative Ian Hartz, who works at Wunderman. "Donate warmth." Check out more photos below.

Google Used Clickable Paper in Posters Asking People Which Nonprofits It Should Fund


The nonprofits competing in the second Google Impact Challenge have some pretty innovative ideas for how to make the Bay Area a better place to live. And Google's method of soliciting votes for the contest is pretty cutting edge, too.

72andSunny created "digital paper" posters that people could press to make real-time votes in over 15 neighborhood spots, including restaurants, coffee shops, bus-station shelters and food trucks. The idea was to get as many community votes as possible, and actually getting out into the community accomplishes that much better than only doing an online vote.

"Each voting activation gives a local community a voice in creating a better Bay Area," says 72andSunny group creative director and partner Matt Murphy. "The digital paper posters made voting easy and engaging, and by stationing each in local hubs, we not only maximized exposure, but also stayed true to Google.org's commitment to equal access for everyone."

Lab Partners, a design studio run by San Francisco pair Sarah Labieniec and Ryan Meis, made the icon illustrations for the posters. Online voting is open on a website also designed by 72andSunny. Voting continues through Oct. 20.

The top four vote getters will receive $500,000 in grant funding, while the other six will get $250,000 each. Some 15 more will each receive $100,000. All of the nonprofits will receive support from Google volunteers and co-working space at local Impact Hubs.

The proposed projects include converting a liquor store into a community-based tutoring center; building a residential alternative to prison to break the poverty-to-prison cycle; and providing millions of dollars of 0 percent interest loans to small businesses.

Why Jolly Rancher and Anomaly Are Telling Frustrated Millennials to 'Keep on Sucking!'


Some things in life unquestionably suck. Middle seats. Traffic jams. Rain delays. And young people, due to their limited means, are forced to put with even more things that suck. Student loans. Roommates. Shaky job prospects.

All of which led Jolly Rancher to the insight for its new campaign aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds. Yes, life can suck, the ads say. But Jolly Rancher candy can make those suckier moments a little less sucky—and at the same time, a little more sucky, given that this is, after all, a candy you suck on.

The gleefully juvenile campaign, created by Anomaly in New York, launched in early August and carries the tagline, "Keep on sucking!" And it's a rallying cry being sounded across social, digital, out-of-home and TV—exhorting millennials to keep on sucking the candy until frustrating moments suck a little less.

For the agency, the parallels between the candy itself and the target market's frustrations were pretty irresistible.

"Just as the candy is hard, life is also hard," says Anomaly creative director Johnny Dantonio. "And the same way you suck on the candy to enjoy that long-lasting flavor, you're going to have to get through some sucky scenarios in life. It was something we all nodded and chuckled at. So, we ran with it."

And so the ads, like the candy, are meant to offer a pleasant little break in a sometimes unpleasant world. "There's a really nice parallel there between what the product does for you and what the campaign does for you," Dantonio says.

Here are two of the TV spots:

And here are two pre-rolls:

To put the "Keep on sucking!" idea in motion, Anomaly took the five vector shapes of fruit found on the Jolly Rancher packaging—blue raspberry, apple, watermelon, cherry and grape—and brought them to life as animated characters, with help from artist Kevin Lyons. Those characters now appear in videos and images across the brand's social channels—often as real-time responses to consumers—as well as in paid ads.

By the middle of last week, the campaign had already produced a ton of executions—some 490 pieces of content in only 65 days. In addition to some TV and preroll spots that were scripted, the agency has been working in real time to identify things that suck and whip up pithy visual responses for social media—using what Dantonio describes as a kind of in-house animation studio that Anomaly has built.

Each morning, strategists at the agency deliver a report to the creatives about what people are complaining about in the world, and where they're complaining about it. From there, the creatives—working with the in-house illustrators and animators—can quickly churn out personalized bits of content.

"If someone is at the Yankees game and says, 'This rain delay sucks,' and tweets that, we have the ability to literally tap our illustrator on the shoulder and say, 'Draw a character sitting at a Yankees game in the rain,' and tweet it back to them, and say, 'Hey, just keep on sucking! Have a long-lasting Jolly Rancher,' " says Dantonio. "It's an interesting, geeky, fun, lighthearted way of saying, 'Yep, that really does suck, but at least there's candy.' "

Social is the "heartbeat" of the campaign, Dantonio says.

"Context and timing play a huge role, because we can be so topical," he says. "We're really blurring the lines between traditional, digital, social, broadcast. We have preroll that could be a TV spot that could be an Instagram post that could be a Vine that goes on Twitter. Anything we're doing, we're just being mindful of, Is it rooted in the insight? Is it a good idea? And where can it live? And what we're finding is, we can apply the thoughts and ideas and executions across multiple mediums."

Here are some Twitter posts:

To get the tone and feel right, the agency looked for inspiration to millennial favorites like fail culture, Adult Swim and Key & Peele. What's emerged in the campaign is a distinctive, relatable voice that the brand is excited about.

"The characters do a good job of letting the brand voice shine through. It gives us a brand persona," says Bill Blubaugh, senior director for the Jolly Rancher brand at Hershey. "If we're going to engage with people, they're going to want to know who we are. Even though [the animation is] two-dimensional, it's still quite breakthrough, I think."

Blubaugh calls the early engagement metrics for the campaign "incredibly encouraging, some of the best we've seen. It's still very early, but we're very optimistic about the way the content is being served up to folks in a very relevant way."

It's also, crucially, an ownable idea—in a category whose advertising creative has improved dramatically over the past decade.

"We really like this idea of sucking," Blubaugh says. "It's our point of difference in the category. Most of our competitors, you chew. Jolly Rancher truly is a candy you suck. And that makes the connection work. 'Hey, these sucky moments, embrace them. Jolly Rancher is there to make them a bit less sucky. Or more sucky.' "

The brand has added some 42,000 Facebook likes in just a few weeks (bringing the total to 1.8 million) and built an Instagram following of over 6,000 out of practically nothing. And the campaign is heading out-of-home, too, with ads at specific colleges around the country—in cities including Boston, Austin, Ann Arbor, State College, Madison, Columbus, Gainesville and Tucson—with both general and highly customized messaging.

"Keep on sucking!" certainly is a provocative line. But the brand committed to it full on, not least because it ties back so directly to the product.

"If you're going to go for this cheeky humor, just go for it. Don't go halfway, because that's a recipe for disaster," Dantonio says. "Also, it gives us this North Star that we're always trying to get back to. When your strategy is 'Keep on sucking,' it's easy to get back to the product very quickly, over and over."

Finally, below are some Instagram posts. Also check out the brand on Facebook.


Stop what you're doing! An app wants to tell you something! #PushNotificationsSuck #JollyRancher #KeepOnSucking

A video posted by Jolly Rancher (@jollyrancher) on


Enjoy bold, long-lasting flavor. #Watermelon #JollyRancher #KeepOnSucking

A photo posted by Jolly Rancher (@jollyrancher) on


It #AintAboutTheMoney, it's about the flavor. #SeasonPremiere #JollyRancher

A photo posted by Jolly Rancher (@jollyrancher) on


Sucks when your tattoo story is pretty obvious. #NationalTattooStoryDay #JollyRancher #KeepOnSucking

A photo posted by Jolly Rancher (@jollyrancher) on


Good news: your team doesn't suck -- yet. #FootballOpeningDay #Kickoff2015 #Football #JollyRancher

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The Headless Horseman, His Pumpkin, Play the Odd Couple in Sweet, Creepy Reese's Spot


Imagine if the iconic Headless Horseman and his flaming pumpkin noggin had a bit of a love-hate relationship. They've been together so long that each knows just how to push the other's buttons.

A new Halloween-themed ad for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups takes a peek at their creepy level of co-dependency. The Headless Horseman tries feeding Pumpkin Head a Reese's treat, and it ends badly, with a snuffed-out fire, and a meaner-than-usual Jack-o'-Lantern face.

The Headless Horseman doesn't take direction well—and it turns out he may not really care if Pumpkin gets his chocolate fix or not.

The cheeky ad launches Monday on Comedy Central. Viacom Velocity, the media parent company's in-house creative division, produced the video after pitching the idea to programming sponsor Reese's as "an Odd Couple meets Monty Python concept," says Beth Trentacoste, vp/creative director. "We wanted to dive into the backstory between these two, and we figured they'd be like an old married couple, constantly bickering and exasperated with each other." And yet, she says, they're the perfect combo, just like the Hershey candy.

The sweet and salty video, shot at the historic Alder Manor in Yonkers using puppeteer and bolstered by CGI, is the team's latest work on behalf of brands like Jack's Links, Mountain Dew and Ice Breakers.

It will air on the cable channel through the month.

Lexus Built a Working Cardboard Version of a Car, and It's Incredible


You can't spell "cardboard" without "car."

In the U.K., Lexus has made an impressive driveable replica of its IS model sedan, using 1,700 pieces of precision-cut cardboard—all to demonstrate the automaker's dedication to craftmanship. 

To be fair, the car also includes a steel-and-aluminum frame and an electric motor. Oh, and "driveable," means "only take it out very slowly, in a highly controlled environment."

The cardboard car is inspired, according to Lexus, by an origami test the company requires of workers on its production line—and is, at its heart, an incredibly complicated paper sculpture. 

The behind-the-scenes video (shown below) delves into more detail about how Lexus and its creative partners—LaserCut Works and Scales and Models—actually made the . 

In short, the team took the same computer-design files that Lexus uses to create the real IS, then applied those specs to carve into a series of cardboard sheets with a laser. Even though the result is clearly a prototype showpiece, it still boasts a full interior and functional doors and headlights. (Presumably, the headlight bulbs aren't cardboard, either.)

The end result is certainly cool. Daniel Ryan, of LaserCut Works, aptly describes the effect as a "crossover between animation and reality. There is a dreamlike quality to seeing a familiar form in an unfamiliar texture. And the project shines a much-deserved spotlight on both his company, and Scales and Models. 

Beyond that, though, it doesn't say much that Lexus' current marketing hasn't already covered under the "Amazing in Motion" tagline. It's not, after all, a hoverboard


Bacardi Turns a House Relocation Into a Rolling Party in Rollicking New Ad


BBDO NY just dropped "The House Party," a new video for Bacardi that was, sadly, was not the glorious return of Kid 'N Play for which we'd hoped.

Rather, the ad depicts a roving hipster gang that turns a house relocation into a raucous wingding, complete with a legit DJ, bathtubs full of liquor (Bacardi, of course), and live chickens flapping around the den.

It's the agency's first work for Bacardi since picking up the brand earlier this year. The idea is that nothing can stop a good house party, not even the myriad logistical issues on display here. From the precarious situation of the house itself, riding the bed of that truck like a thong, to its somehow endless supply of phantom electrical power, the entire concept seems perilously unsafe.

The spot is the hood ornament on a massive promotional campaign and house party tour that starts in Philadelphia on Halloween and rips across America from there. Maybe strap the house down longways this time, guys.


Client: Bacardi
Head of Creative Excellence: Zara Mirza
Senior Executive Producer: Peter Friedman

Agency: BBDO NY
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Danilo Boer
Senior Creative Director: Matthew Brink
Senior Creative Director: Adam Livesey
Copywriter: Danilo Boer
Copywriter: Roberto Danino
Art Director: Danilo Boer
Art Director: Danny Adrian
Group Planning Director: Gordon Mclean
Head of Communications Planning: Julian Cole
Communications Planner: Cody Levine
Senior Acct Director: Justin Zerrenner
Acct Manager: Josh Goodman
Acct Executive: Lindsay Vellines
Acct Executive: Alexa Rice

Director of Integrated Production: Dave Rolfe
Global Executive Producer: Angelo Ferrugia
Executive Music Producer- Rani Vaz
Marketing Arm (Music Negotiation) - Brad Sheehan
Business Affairs: Shelly Bloch
Head of Art & Design: Danilo Boer

Director: Megaforce
Executive Producer - Charles-Marie Anthonioz
Senior Line Producer -Bridgitee Pugh
Director of Photography: Alexis Zabe

The Mill- NY
Visual effects supervisor / 2D lead:  Ilia Mokhtareizadeh
Visual effects  supervisor / 3D lead:  Olivier Varteressian
Visual effects  producer:Eliana Carranza-Pitcher
2D artists: Blake Druery, Dae Yoon Kang, Ben Kwok and Sam Caine
3D artists:Laurent Giaume, Tim Kim, Ivan Joy, Claire Chang
Colorist: Fergus McCall

WORK Editorial NY

Editor: Neil Smith
Executive Producer: Jane Dilworth
Senior Producer: Sari Resnick
Cutting Assistant: Adam Witten

Barking Owl- Sound Design

Creative Director - Kelly Bayett
Sound Designer - Rommel Molina
Associate Producer - Ashley Benton

Music: Jack Wood - "Born to Wander"

Here's How Telemundo Plans to Help Brands Market to Millennials


Telemundo boasts one of the strongest reaches across social media, with roughly 60 million fans and followers. It now wants to share its expertise with brands.

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises' Digital and Emerging Business is launching a new social-native strategy unit called Co-Lab to help its partners and brands better reach millennial audiences. 

"It's going to create branded content for advertisers, but organically," Borja Perez, svp, digital and social media, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, told Adweek. Perez noted the key to reaching what Telemundo calls "Generation M"—millennial, multicultural, mobile—is to have content that's native to the social platform. "The only way you can engage and grow audiences on social media platforms is providing them with content that is made and customized to those audiences on those platforms," Borja said.

With Co-Lab, brands will be able to leverage talent from NBCU's Hispanic properties, many of which have large social followings, to create different types of content from visual animations to short-form clips and fully immersive video series. Ayan Valle, who has been promoted to vp, digital and social partnerships, will lead the new unit.

"Branded content today, because of that obsession with reaching millennials and Generation Z, it has to happen in a very organic manner on social media platforms," Perez said. "We have been seeing examples on other properties such as BuzzFeed and Mashable. They are constantly talking to that millennial audience that everybody is looking for. They are able to create branded experiences that help partners reach that very elusive and evasive target."

Perez said that while those two English-language outlets are getting it right, Telemundo has been in the game for years.

"We've been delivering native video via Facebook and Twitter for the last four years," he said. "We were native before native."

Kids Try Out 'Most Realistic' VR Game, Only to Discover It's Actually the Forest


In the latest installment of the Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service's "Discover the Forest" campaign, the Barbarian Group puts fake VR headsets on a bunch of eight and nine year-olds and promises them they can test "the most realistic video game in development."

With the headsets on, the children are led into a wooded area to discover "The Forest," a game in "HD" and "Surround Sound." Upon removing the headsets they realize the forest itself is the game, more vital and alive than a billion shimmering pixels could provide.

In the end, a voiceover says, "Maybe imagination isn't lost after all. Maybe it's just been playing hide-and-seek in a forest nearby." Viewers are directed to learn more at DiscoverTheForest.org.

Social outreach includes Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Twitter and YouTube, and encourages families to visit nearby forest areas with the hashtag #Naturehoods.

"We tricked a bunch of kids into putting down their video games by telling them that they'd be testing an even better video game," says agency creative director Jill Applebaum. "When we finally revealed that the forest itself was the game, they weren't the least bit disappointed."

It's a great idea for folks of all ages to disengage from technology and enjoy the vibrant beauty of the natural world. Still, there is something troubling about the deception. Yes, the trickery was benign, and driven by good intentions. Even so, this was probably the first personal and direct interaction these kids had with advertising. And they were lied to.  What seeds are we sowing here?

What's more, as we saw in that freaky Umpqua Bank commercial, one day the forest will burst up through the sidewalks, engulfing our cities. What will become of us then?!