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Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall cut his teeth on the Windy City ad scene and has written for a variety of publications including Mashable, The Onion A.V. Club, Prefix Mag, Tiny Mix Tapes, Gozamos, Emmie Music Magazine, and more. His day job currently consists of running digital and social media marketing strategy in Chicago.

Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph Ring in the Holidays with CP+B, Best Buy

Winning the prestigious annual designation of being the first brand to launch a national broadcast campaign for the holiday is Best Buy. Teaming with AOR CP+B, the duo have decided that the best way to delude people into putting a Microsoft Surface on their wish lists with the help of four celebrities reading parodies of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” whilst mugging for the camera. If you were watching the World Series on Sunday, these may already look a bit familiar.

Up to bat first are Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, former co-stars on NBC’s troubled sitcom Up All Night or, to the vast majority of Americans who never heard about that show, “that guy from Arrested Development” and “that girl from Bridesmaids and SNL.” Both consistent show-stealers no matter what project they’re working on, neither phones in their performances for these spots, even though the scripts may be a bit lacking.

The issue with both of these comedic talents is that they completely make these spots. Now, this isn’t a bad thing. But whenever the camera breaks from them to focus on the spot’s holiday shopping subject, I lose total interest in these ads. In other words: Any time they’re not on camera, I’m completely tuning out until they come back. This may just be my experience, as I’m a big fan of both actors, but we’ll see if upcoming spots in the campaign starring LL Cool J and Jason Schwartzman suffer from the same issue. Still, cheers to Best Buy for getting Arnett and Rudolph on board.

Blake Griffin, Jack McBrayer Don Superhero Tights for Kia

With a new NBA season comes new spots for Kia from David&Goliath starring L.A. Clippers superstar Blake Griffin. This season, though, Blake, aka “The Endorser” as he’s known in other campaigns, is joined by a small sidekick, Jack McBrayer, who is best known for playing the bizarre but sweet NBC page on 30 Rock.

While this spot, “Trailer,” adorably portrays Griffin and McBrayer as a noble superhero team saving citizens from purchasing non-Kia vehicles, it lacks what has made Grffin’s spots for Kia so memorable over the years: Blake’s inherent weirdness. Not once does Blake open his mouth to tell the camera something strange while giving his off-putting stare. Neither does McBrayer, whose unhinged 30 Rock performance allowed him to frequently stand out amidst a large cast filled with other unhinged individuals.

I certainly hope that “Trailer” is aptly named, released only to build excitement for forthcoming “feature presentations.” If we never get to see two superpowers of weird actually interact with each other, then all may be lost. The next spot, “Zipline” is slated to come out early next month. Credits after the jump.

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Houston Texans Will Turn into Giant Robot, Destroy You (Just Kidding! They’re Terrible!)

From production company The Famous Group comes the above pre-kickoff 3D opener meant to pump up the Houston Texans crowd and help them momentarily forget that they’re currently on a five-game losing streak. Bear in mind that they’re only seven games in right now. Yep.

Despite what the Transformers-esque Megabull would have you think, the Seattle Seahawks actually defeated the Texans during this Sept. 29th game by a score of 23-20. In case you missed it, Texans QB Matt Schaub called an audible late in the 4th quarter that demanded his offense lift him onto their shoulders to create a massive stack of football players somewhat resembling Megabull. The Seahawks defense countered by turning into a large bird of prey with the help of billionaire owner Paul Allen‘s record-breaking 50-yard wide hang glider.

As the Megabull tried in vain to jump-punch the Megahawk, the Megahawk swooped in circles around the Reliant Stadium rafters. After Megabull succumbed to fatigue, Megahawk snatched the football from the right horn of Megabull (also Schaub’s right arm), took it to the end zone, and ate it. As football fans know, this is the robot equivalent of a game-winning field goal, securing victory of the Seahawks. As Megahawk flew home to regurgitate pieces of the football for its young to feed on, the Houston crowed turned their ire  Matt Schaub, and the “Fuck Megabull” chant was heard far and wide throughout Texas that day. ‘Twas truly a harrowing moment for the game of football.

On top of this elaborate tale from the gridiron, The Famous Group would like to note that this video was created in cooperation with New Zealand animation shop, Flux Animation, and that this video was specially made for the debut of Reliant Stadium’s new 14,549 sq. foot Mitsubishi Diamond Vision screen, the world’s largest in-stadium HD video screen.

Interone, ADC Germany Trick People Into Undergoing a Job Interview

Have you ever been checking out ad work and thought “Gosh, I would really love it if I was suddenly whisked away into a Google Hangout with some random people I don’t know”? Well, fear not! ADC Germany and Hamburg-based Interone BBDO haven taken over with, well, ADC Takeover, which is the most guerrilla way to conduct job interviews ever, maybe.

As you can see in the case study above, unsuspecting adc.de browsers of all walks were surprised when an ADC boss and/or Interone ECD suddenly appeared on their screen for what was purportedly a job interview, and they were probably more surprised when the web chats seemed to quickly escalate into a game of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” It even looked like the ADC team got to see some nipples, which is really the best kind of surprise if you think about it. Credits after the jump.

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Dewar’s Scotch Opts for Muscular Pacifist with Violent Tendencies as Newest Spokesman

From Sid Lee NY comes this spot for Dewar’s Whiskey, featuring a hulk of a man who greatly resembles U.K. murderer and mass criminal Charles Bronson, even sporting Bronson’s trademark mustache. Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that director Isaiah Seret seems to borrow a lot of filming technique for this ad from the 2008 biopic Bronson, which starred actor Tom Hardy as the deranged but lovable psychopath.

Of course, it’s hard to advertise your brand of scotch as the choice of crazy violent people, so Sid Lee aims to give their “Drinking Man” character an incongruous tender side. Nothing drives the ladies crazy like a man who routinely pets doves between beating people to death in bare-knuckle boxing matches. While the spot goes very out of its way to portray the character’s tender side, it also discredits his believability. What, the man I’m supposed to admire chases people on bicycles and has a peace tattoo on his chest? It’s this sort of hypocritical hyperbole that made the  peace sign/”Born to kill” helmet-wearing protagonist of Full Metal Jacket a walking punchline.

As the sexy lady at the end argues, it’s “the most interesting blends that make for the strongest character.” So remember, if you want to appeal to your local tavern’s supermodel clientele, say one thing but do the other. Credits after the jump.

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This is the Cutest Football-Related Ad You’ll See All Year

The newly re-branded Philly-based Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (who recently expanded with an L.A. office) are behind this super adorbs spot for The Big Ten Network’s BTN2Go mobile platform. Who knew tiny mascots could be so cute? Who knew that I could squeal like a teenage girl upon seeing mini-Bucky Badger? Oh man, I have a lot of self-reflection to do, huh?

For those wondering how BTN2Go works, here’s a write-up:

This multi-platform mobile extension gives fans the ability to watch the network streamed live from wherever they are. Available on desktops, smartphones and tablets, the app is free for any cable subscriber with BTN in their line-up. More than just a live simulcast of games, the app is customizable to set fan’s team preferences, highlights and stats.

But who cares, right? It’s just too cute. Holy shit, so cute. It’s just inspired Kiran to tell me he wants a pet. Bfljeabf! Credits after the jump.

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Hamburger Helper’s Hand Finds New Employment at Midas

First a message of warning: If you live in an urban area and have a late model SUV, your catalytic converter is at risk. You see, catalytic converters usually contain a small amount of precious metal (gold, platinum) that thieves will steal from your car and sell off. Late model SUVs generally have a catalytic converter that’s easy to remove, especially considering that they sit high enough off the ground for someone to access without too much trouble. Take it from me: You don’t want to walk up to your car one day to see your muffler on the ground. Get that thing welded on at a body shop.

Now to this campaign: The Martin Agency apparently found the Hamburger Helper hand busking on the street corner, and decided to offer it a job as the snarky new golden mascot at Midas. It floats around unaffected by the laws of gravity, insulting consumers about their choices of automotive repair shops.

As you can see, this new mascot is more dick than hand, going so far as to knock on consumers’ doors to tell them they are terrible people and deserve a golden slap print on their face. But, then again, what’s a more effective strategy for selling services than mocking the customers you’re trying to attract?

Acclaimed Documentary Director of ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ Turns Out Weird Spot for Papa Murphy’s

If you’ve already burned through Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Bob’s Burgers, The League, Orange Is The New Black, and basically any other TV series worth watching on Netflix, set phasers to the documentary section for the 2011 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Directed by David Gelb, the movie is a portrait of 85-year-old world-renowned sushi master, Jiro Ono, who’s dedicated (literally) almost every waking moment of his life to perfecting his craft.

The film goes to great lengths to show how far Jiro strives to make the most perfect sushi in the world while simultaneously begging the questions, “What if your entire life was dedicated to only one pursuit? How would that affect your personal relationships? How do you then define success, if the concept of ‘success’ is even an ascertainable goal in your mind?” It’s as troubling a portrayal as it is fascinating, causing the viewer a level of introspection that few other films can achieve. It only made sense, then, for Gelb to follow-up his documentary on the world’s best sushi by filming its American equivalent, Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake pizza, for a new campaign from Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener.

It’s clear that Gelb employs some Jiro Dreams of Sushi-style camera work here. However, whereas his documentary focuses on getting to know the people behind the food, his spot has no time to do so. So, we instead get some creepy anonymous hands, kneading pizza dough in slow motion. We get some mom feet, with a mom arm shooting into frame from above to half-hug her child. Finally, we get some assorted family hands, each reaching out of nowhere to grab pizza slices (again, in slow-motion). All of this while creepy piano-plinking plays menacingly in the background.

While watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I was nervous that perhaps someone in Jiro’s immediately family would comment on his coldness, or his chef-before-father mentality. While watching this spot for Papa Murphy’s, I was worried that someone would be murdered. Credits after the jump.

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Here’s a Social Media Campaign for Fruitwater Starring Murder Suspect Christina Applegate

Glaceau has a new product, fruitwater, that is most likely 0-calorie sparkling fruit-flavored water. I can’t tell from this spot, but that’s my guess. Sounds like just the thing a rich  woman would use to cut her vodka, doesn’t it? It’s great that there’s definitely a customer base for this new product.

To push fruitwater onto said rich women is one of their own, Christina Applegate, best known for playing Kelly Bundy on Married… with Children and jumping ship before her NBC show, Up All Night, was canceled. According to Wikipedia, her mom also used to have a thing with Stephen Stills, so that’s something.

In order to grow fruitwater’s 4,000 or so Twitter followers to a substantial enough number to convince some brand reps that their social media is “working,” consumers are being encouraged to confess crimes and say mean things via the #sparklingtruth hashtag for a campaign from L.A.-based agency Zambezi. If your truth is good enough, fruitwater will give you a personal assistant for a week. But, of course, the only way you could know that is if you start following the account or, like me, you were sent a press release describing the contest. You gotta work for information on the incentive, you know? Credits after the jump.

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Greg DiNoto Out, Kerry Keenan In as Deutsch CCO

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We’ve been getting tips all morning and now have confirmation that Deutsch partner/CCO Greg DiNoto is no longer with the agency. Taking over his position is Kerry Keenan, whom Deutsch is hiring away from her own agency, Half Irish, which she co-founded earlier this year after leaving the global ECD role at Y&R. Here’s a note from Deutsch on the switch:

Deutsch New York CEO Val DiFebo announced today that Kerry Keenan has been hired as CCO/Partner. “Kerry is a live wire: she is a source of inspiration, sharp and passionate about this business and has an adventurist spirit. We believe Kerry will be a strong addition to the team,” noted DiFebo. Here’s more of the note:

Keenan has built a reputation for creating innovative work that crosses and combines all mediums and connects with consumers. During her career she has specialized in creating and producing high profile branded content, including: producing Y’all vs Us: Head to Head, a docu-drama series distributed nationally by Fox Sports Net for Cellular South, staging a major mock protest for client Ikea that went viral, creating an invisible pop up store for Airwalk, and developing a series of shorts for MTV2 called Maturity is Overrated.  Her work on numerous blue chip businesses have earned quite a bit of attention and hardware including:  Gold Cannes Lions, D&AD Pencils, Gold Andy¹s, Gold One Show Pencils, Webby’s, AICP Best of Show and others.

“I have always admired Deutsch’s distinct and entrepreneurial culture. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Val who has been able to do what few others have keep all agency offerings under one roof, allowing one team to solve problems together and generate the best ideas together,” said Keenan. “The partners are a group of smart, fun, and super passionate people who genuinely like each other and will roll up their sleeves and push each other to make the work great. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

“Kerry has a fresh, collaborative grass roots approach to unearthing big, high profile creative ideas,” said DiFebo. “A highly regarded and respected creative, Kerry has what it takes to create a groundswell of growth and brand building work for our clients.”

Keenan takes over the CCO position from Greg DiNoto. “Greg has been a great contributor in both tours of duty at Deutsch and we fully support and wish
him great success in his next chapter,” said DiFebo. Keenan will join the agency on September 30th.

No word yet on where DiNoto’s heading, but we’ll let you know when we find out.

 

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