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KBS+ Takes Bissell to the Subway in Gross Spot

KBS+, Toronto have a new campaign for Bissell that gets a little gross. In the spot, promoting the Bissell Symphony, which vacuums and cleans hardwood simulateneously, Bissell Canada Senior Brand Manager Ravi Dalchand sets out to prove that he’s behind the product one hundred percent.

So he uses the Symphony to clean a subway floor and then takes things a giant step forward in the gross department and eats some saucy pasta right off the spot he cleaned, seemingly to the disgust of fellow subway passengers.

“Instead of just showing how it works at home, we felt the stronger message was to show how well it could clean, even in an extremely tough, dirty, messy situation,” Bissell Vice President General Manager Craig Emmerson told The Huffington Post.

As that publication points out, however, this was not a normal Toronto subway stop. The stop used was the Bay Lower Station, which TTC CEO Andy Byford said had been “closed off to the public six months after opening in 1966 due to passenger confusion and consistent delays.” It’s now mainly used as a set for movies and television. So while eating off of subway tile is still pretty gross, it’s not as disgusting as it originally appears. And those onlookers are almost definitely actors. But KBS+, Toronto and Bissell assume (probably correctly) that most people won’t reach that conclusion, and, staged or not, the gimmick is pretty memorable. Read more

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North American President Leaving Havas for Indie BDD

joy schwartsThis morning AdAge ran a story confirming the eminent departure of Joy Schwartz, who most recently held the position of president of performance marketing, Havas Worldwide Chicago.

According to our tipsters, this came as news to those who work(ed) for her.

Schwartz, who spent more than twelve years with Havas, will run the just-announced Chicago office of BDD or Barrie D’Rozario DiLorenzo (formerly Barrie D’Rozario Murphy), starting next week. As the piece notes, the Minneapolis-based agency has expanded its executive team in recent months, hiring president and partner Kevin DiLorenzo from OLSON and opening a San Francisco office while preparing to set up shop in New York as well.

Our tips specifically claim that staffers received no announcement regarding Schartz’s departure — and that they learned of the news first thing this morning via the AdAge piece itself.

Contacts did not respond to AdAge or this blog, but other sources (who apparently know more than those who contacted us) told the magazine that the agency has begun searching for Schwartz’s replacement. She assumed the role of president in May after serving as co-president since 2009.

Updates as we receive them.

Translation Goes Back to School for Champs Sports

Translation has a new back-to-school campaign for Champ Sports, entitled “Game Loves An Audience.”

That phrase appears on screen, leading in to the brand’s “We Know Game” tagline following short vignettes in several 30-second spots. For the most part, Translation keeps things pretty simple. “Practice,” for example, is a montage of players training for the upcoming season at football practice, ending with the coach riling the team up with a chant. “Joy Ride” and “First Period” (which we’ve included after the jump) are similarly straightforward (and self-explanatory) eschewing any dialogue for a focus on Champs Sports’ products. You have to wonder if maybe they could have benefited from a little more substance, though. Read more

BBDO Wants to Get You in the Kitchen for Uncle Ben’s

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has a new UK campaign for Uncle Ben’s, called “Ben’s Beginners,” based on the insight that one in four parents never cook with their children.

In a two minute spot — entitled “Where’s The Kitchen” — a supposed real estate agent shows families a house without a kitchen. Invariably, the families notice and complain, to which he replies that people aren’t really cooking anymore and kitchen-less houses are the wave of the future. It’s a bit of an odd way to illustrate how people are cooking less, but lets the brand avoid seeming overly preachy. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO probably could have made the point in less time however, as the two-minute format really stretches the premise thin.

Another part of the campaign will see Uncle Ben’s launching a YouTube cooking channel. Designed to encourage parents to cook with their children, the show is hosted by DJ BBQ shows kids how to cook simple meals using Uncle Ben’s products. It’s a nice extension of the campaign, and could foster some real brand loyalty in kids who learn to cook with the program. Additional videos will feature actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner teaching basic cooking skills. Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir

-This new Life Alert ad is pretty disturbing (video above). link

-The cast of Toy Story reunited (again) for a new Sky Broadband television spot by WCRS. link

-Guitar Center has awarded the Los Angeles office of Starcom media duties, following a review. link

-Design studio Intridea advertised directly to Ogilvy with a billboard across the street from the agency. link

-Here are some creative agency side projects. link

-Apple’s Beats acquisition causes R/GA to open conflict shop in Los Angeles. link

-Grey London ECD Nils Leonard, and William Fowler, creative director at Headspace and Creative Review columnist discuss whether advertising can really do good. link

-WPP transitions to audience buying model. link

-R/GA Stockholm launches Volvo Next Generation Digital Experience. link

Jack Link’s Takes Sasquatch to College

How do we know that Jack Link’s wants to connect with the college crowd? The Big Ten Conference theme behind the brand’s latest campaign “The Wildest Room on Campus” gave us a big hint.

Some context before we dive back in: Carmichael Lynch, the agency behind the Sasquatch concept, retains creative AOR duties for Jack Link’s. Yet CL is not responsible for this campaign, and the brand’s last ads starred real animals.

Still…like that famed DDB bunny, this creature keeps going thanks to the work of production company Über Content.

Read more

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-W+K New York and Heineken challenged passers-by to silence a crowd in Union Square from an umpire’s chair as part of the brand’s U.S. Open sponsorship (video above). link

-Digital agency Big Spaceship announced a range of promotions, all effective immediately: Rob Thorsen is moving from head of client services to managing director; Mark Pollard from vice president, brand strategy to executive vice president, strategy;  Chris Fahey from vice president, product and user experience to senior vice president, product and user experience; Victor Piñiero from lead content director to the newly created role of vice president, social; and Tony Clement from strategy director, analytics to vice president, analytics.

-Criteo announced the appointment of Mollie Spilman as chief revenue officer. link

-Pinterest pitches site metrics to marketers. link

-Twitter may be adding a “buy” button later this year. link

-World Health Organization calls for stricter regulations on e-cigarette advertising. link

W+K Portland, Craig Robinson Return for Dodge Dart

W+K Portland launched the “Don’t Touch My Dart” campaign earlier this month, pairing comedians Craig Robinson and Jake Johnson. Well, it’s a few weeks later and the duo are back for several follow-up spots the agency has released for the campaign, along with a new interactive digital experience.

In the 30-second “Craig,” Johnson tries to get Robinon’s attention by repeatedly saying his name while he cleans and admires his Dart. Robinson spends the whole time ignoring him, leading into the “Don’t Touch My Dart” tagline (along with accompanying music, composed and performed by Robinson) and a prompt for viewers to “See what happens when you touch my dart.” Clicking on the link leads to an interactive digital initiative where you can move your cursor to “touch” Craig’s dart and see what happens. Try it for yourself here, and stick around after the jump for a couple for “Voice Touching” and “Birdhouse.” Read more

BBDO Makes Short Shorts for Mountain Dew

In the latest BBDO-helmed project for client Mountain Dew, the agency has created something even our own sharpest critics must call unique: an animated/live-action mini-series.

Make that a “mini mini-series” — it amounts to two minutes of material in the form of eight different shorts starring the Dew’s as-yet-unnamed “superhero” mascot.

The series focuses less on the client’s product than on the aforementioned cartoon doing cartoonish things:

While the spots debuted on Sunday night’s Video Music Awards, they received a healthy promo push targeting the brand’s Twitter followers and its nearly 9 million Facebook fans (along with their friends).

Most of the spots focus on unconventional methods of transportation…

Read more

One Trick Pony Unites Branson, Goldsmith for Virgin Hotels

One Trick Pony got together Virgin billionaire Richard Branson and Jonathan Goldsmith — the actor perhaps most well-known for playing “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in the ongoing Dos Equis campaign — to promote the launch of Virgin Hotels, starting with a single location in Chicago.

In the spot, Branson recites some supposed rumors about the hotel — “The beds are so springy, they had to lift the ceilings 16 inches,” for example — while Goldsmith acts them out. Goldsmith’s involvement leaves no doubt from where One Trick Pony took its inspiration, and Branson’s acting can be a bit stiff, but the 55-second spot is not without its charm. Where the campaign really shines, though, is its social component, which invites consumers to tweet their own rumors about the hotel from the Virgin Hotels site. Users who submit some of the best tweets will be entered for a chance to win a two-night stay at the first Virgin Hotels location, where it’s rumored that Richard Branson tucks everyone in at night. Read more

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