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Ella Riley-Adams

When not Agency Spying, Ella writes for The Content Strategist and runs The Daily Croissant, a publication for students in Paris. To talk over coffee or whiskey sours, email ellarileyadams@gmail.com or tweet @ellarileyadams

Team Detroit Makes a Longboarding Vid for Ford, with Devinsupertramp

Don’t click on this spot unless you want to fall into a Friday K-hole of Devinsupertramp’s extreme sport videos. I have already spent many minutes grimacing at the human bungee slingshot and cringing at “World’s Most Insane Rope Swing Ever!!!” Terrifying.

His collaboration with Ford is no less nail-biting. A Ford Focus ST drives down a winding Utah road while longboarders from Devin’s crew hurtle ahead. They’re graceful and insane, because if they’re going as fast as it seems, they’d rip their skin to nothing and then get promptly run over by a Ford Focus if they fell.

Fears aside, this is a lovely end-of-summer spot, soundtracked by skater song “Carry On,” by Scott & Brendo. It’s the first of Ford and Team Detroit’s #OneTankAdventure campaign, with three more Devin-directed adventures to come.

And okay, it’s Friday. Go ahead, spend some time with tricycle drifters, too.

Lowe Campbell Ewald for SXSW 2014: ‘We’re Moving to Detroit and So Should You’

After a change in leadership and rebrand earlier this summer, Lowe Campbell Ewald is putting their weight behind the bankrupt city they call home: Detroit. Creative Director Iain Lanivich says, “Does it bother us that Detroit went bankrupt? Not really. What matters is that it’s rich in creativity, innovation, and inspiration. So come join us…in defining the future of Detroit.” Next year, Campbell will move 600+ employees to Detroit, though it’s unclear where they’ll be moving from and what other incentives are involved (hopefully a free full body puffer coat for the Michigan winter, at least).

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Parents Get Feisty in New Microsoft Advert from CP+B, Roman Coppola

In CP+B’s new Roman Coppola-directed spot for Microsoft, sweet children sing in asparagus suits while their parents frantically capture every moment using their iPhones and Androids. A brawl ensues, with parents fighting for the perfect panorama, jostling one another to avoid phone photobombing, and climbing into the ceiling pipes for the ideal aerial shot. Of course, the couple with a Nokia Lumia 1020 sits calmly in the back with their superior cameraphone, knowing they got a great photo of their daughter dressed as a carrot.

This spot is in line with Microsoft’s last video, “The Wedding,” where the same scene occurs, but at a church. Both ads end, “Don’t fight. Switch.” Considering photo sharing has become one of the most important parts of owning a phone, it’s not a bad idea. Ad-wise, this spot is a great portrait of modern day life. If only an unintelligible child vegetable chorus could always soundtrack petty adult hysteria.

Credits after the jump.

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Taco Bell Recruits YouTubers to Promote New ‘Fiery’ Flavor

For the pre-launch and launch phases of the new Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos (DLT), DigitasLBi created an ambitious digital and social campaign involving young YouTube influencers. Taco Bell gave chosen creators early access to the new flavor and, 13 days later, incorporated the resulting videos in the official flavor launch. Of those video creators, the top 20 were chosen to compete in a second challenge: in 24 hours, they had to complete the entire filmmaking process, culminating in a promo centered on “taking a bite of the new DLT.”

It’s an interesting idea: harness the audiences of independent YouTube stars, gaining social media cred and creative content in the process. In practice, it’s less impressive. Watching the creator content, I had flashbacks to high school health class, when we had to make video PSAs about safe sex. Every Taco Bell “spot” has the same contrived, amateurish feel.The Alexa Losey Flip Book was cute, and “Selena Stalker” was fun mostly due to the actor’s hoodie and his little eating sounds. Otherwise, color me bored. Even reading this campaign’s press release left me overwhelmed and uninterested – if Digitas wants to build excitement around a fiery flavor, they should at least tell Taco Bell’s audience where to look. They could have hired three ambitious YouTubers, given them a bigger budget, and created actual worthwhile entertainment instead of clogging the space with cobbled-together content.

Code and Theory, Kenny Mayne, Snapple Work to Preserve the High Five

The latest episode in Snapple’s Re-enFACTments series features ESPN old-schooler and sports history buff Kenny Mayne, addressing Snapple Real Fact #376: “The ‘high five’ was introduced by a professional baseball player in 1977.” Since then, Mayne believes high fives have gotten shakier, and he sets out to teach some lucky souls proper high-five etiquette.

If you need confirmation that high-fives are a modern-day challenge, you need only spend a minute on Buzzfeed with the sport of basketball, where many high-fives have been lost on the court.

We all know to watch the elbow to ensure a solid hand collision, but according to Mayne, a good high-five should also be “uncalled for.” Personally I disagree, since I appreciate any cue that helps me avoid high-five humiliation, and yelling “HIGH FIIIIVE!” can only add to an enthusiastic situation. But presumably, to be a member of Mayne’s National High-Five Preservation Society, you have to abide by his rules.

This spot is definitely weak in comparison to the Snapple re-enFACTment we covered, in which we learned all about the very real sport of ostrich racing. Snapple has set an impressive precedent for itself.

Y&R Enlists Three Artists to Paint Murals in the New Columbus Circle Office

Continuing the inspiring agency art wall trend is Y&R New York, which recently moved from 285 Madison Ave to 3 Columbus Circle. To “celebrate advertising as the intersection of art and commerce,” Y&R brought in three artists, each with a unique aesthetic. Shantell Martin works with black pen, letting it lead the way. She draws sweeping lines and then revisits the work, adding details within. Ever draws faces surrounded by blocks of color, which for Y&R shows the process of ideation. Maya Hayuk takes Ever-style work to the next level, making abstract murals entirely of patchworked colors.

You guys freaked out about Arnold NYC’s recent mural, and I’m curious if this seems any less twee or irrelevant. I think the consideration of an everyday environment and the integration of art is important, and if nothing else, we can consider this a visual celebration as summer draws to a close. Who doesn’t like a party?

W+K NY, SoCo Do Barbershop Karate

It takes a comfortable man to perform karate in a barber’s robe and tinfoil, not to mention skintight jeans and snakeskin boots. Meet the face of Southern Comfort, a moustachioed man we’ve met once before in “Shampoo,” one of the previous spots in W+K’s SoCo “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign.

Then, he was meditating amidst soft suds, opening his eyes only to check out the woman across the barbershop. Now, he’s showing off for all the ladies.

Director Tim Godsall and the W+K creative team wrote the spot after seeing our protagonist’s casting tape for “Shampoo,” in which he did karate – he’s actually skilled in the martial art, and owns a few dojos. Given the nature of the campaign, they wanted to play to his natural skills. It was a good choice, because this is the best spot yet. While “Beach” and “Shampoo” play to the relaxed side of comfort, “Karate” has more personality and ease. Especially when backed by “I’m a Fool to Care,” by Les Paul and Mary Ford, this barbershop guy paints a poignant picture, and will probably ascend to be your new role model.

Credits after the jump.

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StubHub’s Ticket Oak Returns to Give ‘Couples Counseling’

StubHub’s Ticket Oak is back from hiatus with some advice for a bored couple, which for this particular plant means a concert ticket giveaway. “Not everyone has a Ticket Oak, but everyone has StubHub,” the ad from SF-based Duncan/Channon ends. In past, Ticket Oak has presented sports game tickets and orchestra-center tickets for a sold-out show. He’s a generous character, made even more loveable through his social media presence. He carried on a multiple-tweet conversation about kittens with @zachford2 and made lady oak jokes on Facebook.

Ticket Oak also showed up naked in ESPN’s Body Issue, on the side of StubHub food trucks, and will be appearing in pop-up shops for fans to take selfies with the big guy. It’s a sweet campaign for a ticket company, endearing users instead of estranging them. With help from their foliaged friend, StubHub will keep on growing.

Credits after the jump

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ArnoldNYC, CD Nate Guillard Brighten The Office

In past, the ArnoldNYC team has captured Instagrams while bouncing on pogo sticks (#pogogram). Now, creative director Nate Guillard has painted a cartoonish mural on the wall of the agency’s office. Both projects were documented and set to French pop music, making Arnold the coolest, chicest agency on the block. Guillard sketches his bright characters (is that a happy Meatwad?) backed by buzzy band The Blister Boyz, shouting “Be Sexy C’est Francais.”

The inspiration for Guillard’s mural is, “working together is fun,” and considering that an ice cream cone is involved, we don’t doubt it. The end of the making-of vid shows Arnold employees playing ping pong and riding a scooter, further confirming that ArnoldNYC is chill and cool.

It seems only fitting that a creative director should alter his office’s aesthetic, and Guillard has made a cute contribution. Arnold should have a new creative take on the wall every few months, and next time make the soundtrack Yelle. Check out the full-size mural after the jump.

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Activision, 72andSunny Tap CollegeHumor Duo for ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Trailer

In this Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer, Jake and Amir from CollegeHumor give us a preview of the action-packed prestige edition of the game. It includes a paracord strap, a Steelbook, and an HD Tactical Camera. “Naturally, we’re going to do what you do when you have a badass tactical camera strapped to your head,” the boys say. I realize I’m definitely not a video gamer when I have no idea what the next step will be. Parkour? Surveillance?

“We’re going to breach some stuff!!” Jake and Amir proceed to burst through doors, elevator doors, garden gates, and bathroom stalls, entering unexpected scenarios as they go. The best part is when they’re the uninvited guests at a little princess’s tea party. “Hi guys!” she squeaks, and we see them taking a moment to sip out of miniature purple plastic cups. The whole thing is a fun idea, far better than watching a fictional character slaughter everything in his path while the new Eminem single “Survival” plays. If only we all had disposable screen doors and wacky neighbors worthy of tactical camera footage. As it is, mothers should prepare for the onslaught of their teenage boys trying to karate chop the front door.

Check out the credits after the jump

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