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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.

Claire Danes’ So-Called Life, Career Get Destroyed When She Doesn’t Drive an Audi

Current Homeland star (formerly known as Angela Chase from My So-Called Life, which we’ll get to in a minute) Claire Danes stars in this new short film for Audi by agency Mediacom. Wait, hold up, let’s be real. It’s an ad, not a short film. It’s an ad for Audi’s gas mileage capabilities. This goes way beyond simple product integration. It’s just a long ad, okay? Stop pretending it’s anything else.

Anyway, Claire Danes stars in a nearly four-minute long ad for Audi that shows the Emmy-winning actress show up late to this year’s ceremony when she goes to jail for some reason. Why does she go to jail? I don’t know, I’ve watched this multiple times and can’t seem to find a crime that she’s committed. Cops, I guess, right guys?

Claire Bears (the nickname for Claire Danes fans that I just made up now) will enjoy this long ad for the reference that comes at the end. “I dated that girl in high school” says a patron at the bar in reference to hearing Claire Danes’ name mentioned on the television. “Jordan?” asks Danes. You see, her character dated Jared Leto‘s character Jordan Catalano on My So Called Life. That is why this is funny. That’s why we’re here today, everyone, watching a four-minute Audi ad. Hey, remember when Jim Beam made ads starring Willem Dafoe? I liked those. The Emmys happen on Sunday. There’s some football on tonight.

Mekanism Made an Ad for Advertising Week. Hooray Advertising!

Advertising Week X, the tenth annual week for people in the advertising industry to celebrate advertising by talking about, awarding, and giving tips about advertising is only a week away. What more appropriate way to celebrate advertising than with an advertisement for celebrating advertising? Yay, advertising!

The above advertisement comes from SF-based advertising agency Mekanism, which doesn’t seem to be an official partner or sponsor of  Advertising Week so we’re assuming this advertisment was made just for love of the game. (The game is advertising, by the way.) While the ad does a good job of advertising all of the hipster/yuppie advertising people you’ll meet at Advertising Week, it doesn’t advertise one of the week’s biggest events: The Battle of the Ad Bands, in which advertising industry folks with trace amounts of musical acuity compete to be the best at simultaneously being in advertising and being in a band. I mean, CMJ is in town next week, but as an member of the advertising community, your attendance at the Battle of the Ad Bands should be mandatory if it isn’t already.

Advertising! Woo! Credits after the jump.

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Aaron Rodgers, Terrible Acting in Tow, Returns for State Farm

A new NFL brings new DDB Chicago State Farm ads featuring Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, and his bastardized touchdown dance, the “Discount Double-Check.”

Now, even though the Packers are my favorite team and Rodgers is my favorite player, it’s clear that he has gotten no better at acting over the past off-season. I would hope, and assume, that this is due to his hours spent in practice. Supporting Rodgers in this spot (by taking the focus momentarily off of him) are SNL “Superfans” Robert Smigel (part of the original sketch) and George Wendt (who joined later and was also on Cheers so yeah). Apparently, the highest-paid NFL player doesn’t fly first class and is forced to hang out with Bears fans in coach.

Oh, and the “Discount Double-Check” becomes the “Discount Daaa-ble Check” because fuck you, Packers fans. State Farm giveth, and State Farm taketh away. But, they’re trying to make it up to you with a social extension, in which you submit yourself to public Facebook embarrassment based on bets over fantasy football. It’s called Fantasy Football Double Down because we all needed a reminder about KFC’s gross sandwich of the same name. Credits after the jump.

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GE Goes ‘Back to the Future’ for New Ad That Will Spawn Dozens of Similar Headlines

It seems like there’s an awful lot of Back to the Future nostalgia invading the Internet these days, with posts about the series on sites like Reddit leading to listicles about the trilogy on nostalgia-aggregators like Buzzfeed which then go viral on Facebook and eventually find themselves on large emails your mom sends to her friends and CC’s you on for some reason. And, what with it being 2013 and all,  where advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly informed by memes, we get GE and BBDO NY using the “1.21 gigawatts” thing to sell you technology or something. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads to perdition; we just fly there through space and time.

And yet, nostalgia has a way of endearing you to things in a way totally out of your control. Call it manipulation, call it “effective advertising” using one of the oldest tricks in the book. Any way or slice it, it’s hard as even a casual fan of the series not to get a little giddy when you see what are ostensibly Marty McFly’s Nikes pop out of a souped-up Delorean. While Pepperidge Farm dares us to remember a time when people died of dystentary and snakebites like in Oregon TrailBack to the Future‘s original audience has aged to the point where brands see the 1980s as a way to get consumers on board 30-something years later.

In fact, I hope this becomes a whole campaign where GE powers David Bowie‘s castle from LabyrinthE.T.‘s glowing finger, and the computer from Weird Science. And, though it wouldn’t make much sense, maybe Michael J. Fox could narrate those spots too. Maybe in another 30 years, GE will power the ships from Avatar and Robin Thicke can provide us with his own deep-voiced VO. Trust me, it will make sense by then. Credits after the jump.

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Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Concert Hall with a Terrifying Experience

It’s been a decade since the oddly shaped Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in Downtown Los Angeles, and the venue’s resident house band, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is celebrating offering you a chance to see the world through their eyes. That is: To stand in the middle of an orchestra without being able to move anything but your head. It’s like a nightmare where you want to run, but your legs just won’t work for whatever reason.

Created in partnership with Hello Design, a new “360-experience” video puts you right in front of the director and standing in the first row of musicians, stuck without being able to speak as they play menacing music at you without directly acknowledging you. It’s, in a word, enthralling. In three words, it’s creepily enthralling.

The site also encourages you to become a concert master, choosing performances throughout the LA Philharmonic’s season based on some really strange questions. Classical musicians sure know how to party, huh?

Replacing Your Teeth with Skittles a Sure Bet to Receive Hot Makeouts

From DDB Chicago comes the latest spot for Skittles which encourages young girls at go-kart tracks to “French the Rainbow,” thus stealing sugar-coated dentures away from shy boys nationwide.

The last time we saw a non-adult steal a kiss in a nationwide campaign was with “Prom,” Audi’s Superbowl spot from earlier this year which some people called “rape-y” and positioned Audi as “promoters of sexual assault.” Will a similar outcry occur at the defense of the candy-toothed victim in this spot? No, of course not, and feel free to get all outraged about that in the comments if that’s how you feel like spending your Wednesday.

But, before you do, I invite you to consider the true crime in this spot: Taking advantage of the young boy’s obvious dental disability to sell candy. It’s obvious that his family was unable to afford adequate dental care, and the boy must live his whole life frowning so that his sweet secret isn’t revealed. Ridicule at that age from classmates can really mess a kid up. Credits after the jump.

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Nissan Knows You Love Watching Heisman Winners Living Together, Gives You More of That for Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, Nissan is helping college football-obsessed viewers imagine what it would be like if Heisman Trophy Winners all lived in the same house for some reason.

Why would these former star college athletes live in the same house? Is it because traditionally, Heisman Trophy winners go on the middling (or worse) NFL careers that, in the best case scenario, are ignored when ESPN College Gameday offers them a job as a special correspondent? Or is it just because the “imagine the conflicts that would arise if X kind of people were forced to live together” formula still tantalizes us two decades after the  Real World debuted. TV viewers love reality show parodies, after all.

Anyway, starring in the first spot for this year’s run are former Baylor Bear and current Redskins QB Robert Griffin III teaming up with former Oklahoma Sooner and current Rams QB Sam Bradford to portray themselves as two young cool kids who race around in expensive cars and blast hip-hop. Of course, the idea that Bradford is cool in any way, or imagining him routinely participateingin this sort of activity may be the funniest aspect of this commercial. Sorry, Sam, but you’re like the Billy Joel of the NFL—beloved, respected and skilled, but not exactly “cool.”

Starring as the aging veterans are Oklahoma State Cowboy, Barry Sanders, joined by former Michigan Wolverine and current ESPN NCAA football anchor Desmond Howard, who in tandem remind us how far away the late ’80s/early ’90s seem now. Those were the days, huh? Finally, playing the even older guys are the legendary former Texas Longhorn Earl Campbell and Pittsburgh Panther Tony Dorsett, both new to the campaign this year. The campaign, which will feature a traveling Heisman House that will visit college campuses throughout the country, will run through the rest of the NCAA season. Also, Ron Dayne will be in one of these episodes, which I must mention as a Wisconsin Badger fan.

Atlanta Agency ASO Mocks Omnicom/Publicis Merger with Parody Pitch Video

For the last few weeks, all we ever think about during our waking hours is the Omnicom/Publicis merger and how lucky we are to be living in a time where something this momentous happens. Truly, we wake up now with a new sense of purpose and self-worth knowing that two giant holding companies merged to make the biggest holding company.

However, not everyone shares our enthusiasm, chief among them Atlanta-based indie shop Ames Scullin O’Haire. They made the above video to convince us that the merger wasn’t a good thing and doesn’t really benefit anyone beyond the rich people in charge of the agency networks who are now richer. “Bigger isn’t always better” says ASO, who is small and would totally say something like that to besmirch the good name of Publicis-Omnicom Groupe.

Will all of Atlanta’s biggest businesses pull their money from large agencies and invest in ASO after seeing this video? To be honest, yes. Definitely.

Samsung’s Smart TV Will Delight Even the Most Senile of Family Members

The future of TV is evidently here, and a new series of spots from 72andSunny for Samsung portray the typical American family coming to terms with the fact that they will forever be enslaved to the glowing rectangle in their living room, especially considering that it now hooks up to the Internet.

Yes, Samsung’s smart TV comes with a remote that turns the set on when you hold it up to your mouth like a microphone and say “Hi, TV.” Useless? Maybe, until you consider that crippling loneliness that most of us endure. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone sometimes, you know? Even if it is just a TV. A nice, friendly TV who you can tell your problems to and routinely greet.

Samsung is also offering an “Evolution Kit,” which you can stick on the back of your grandfather’s TV. Of course, being a total grandpa, gramps will inevitably turn the conversation into one about his hip. Silly grandpa! Always talking about his fake hip. What a total grandpa move. One more spot, which features the grandpa and the dad watching Star Trek, and credits follow after the jump.

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Jason Sudeikis Confuses American Football with Soccer for NBC Sports

If you live in either Chicago or Boston, you may have watched (or wanted to watch) the Stanley Cup Finals, in which case you realized that you don’t have access to NBC Sports. After some McGyver-ing and hooking you iPad to your TV, you got thousands about thousands of commercials advertising that NBC Sports would be broadcasting every game of England’s prestigious Barclays Premier League. After digesting this fact, you immediately stopped caring because 1.) You’re an American who likes ‘merican sports and 2.) Again, you don’t have access to NBC Sports.

But who better to make you, an American without access to NBC, care about this development than Jason Sudeikis, a former Saturday Night Live cast member who has appeared basically fucking everywhere in the last month? First, dude quits SNL. Then, he starts going on a press tour for his terrible-looking new movie, Meet The Millers, where he stars opposite Jennifer Aniston, who plays a middle-aged stripper. Then, he joined ESPN to count down the top 50 “This Is SportsCenter” ads last week. Then, he made cameo appearance in Drinking Buddies, a new film playing on Apple TV before it hits theaters at the end of the month and stars Sudeikis’ real-life fiance, Olivia Wilde. Then, Kiran shows me this and asks me to write about it, compelling me to start complaining about how Jason Sudeikis is fucking everywhere these days. Then, wouldn’t you know it, he releases a viral video YESTERDAY where he leads a parody version of Mumford & Sons, with Ed Helms, Jason Bateman and Will Forte starring as his bearded indie-folk backing band.

Seriously, it’s absolutely impossible to get rid of this guy. Watch him play a dumb American coach who doesn’t get soccer above in a new campaign from the Brooklyn Brothers (who you may remember from those kick-ass John Krasinski/Alec Baldwin New Era spots), and then don’t talk to me about Jason Sudeikis until you’ve developed some sort of Sudeikis repellant.

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