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Erik Oster

Erik Oster is a freelance writer and editor from Connecticut. He’s previously written for The New York Egotist, Podium Ventures, and The Faster Times. He still pines for a second season of “Freaks and Geeks.”

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-Saatchi X and SocialSpeaks (part of influencer marketing company SheSpeaks) created the above video for Gillette.

-RPA Executive Creative Director Jason Sperling spices up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. link

-Florida propaganda campaign against legalizing medical cannabis claims marijuana could be the new date rape drug. link

-How to save a social media fail. link

-T3 announced today the appointment of Dillon Nugent as director of client services.

-On the Internet’s advertising addiction. link

-Cambridge-based print and design firm Ambit Creative Group announced the hiring of agency veteran Paul Hornschemeier as creative director.

Havas Crafts Rhyming, Animated Spot for Terminix

Havas created a new campaign for pesticide brand Terminix, centered around a rhyming, animated broadcast spot called “Death to Mosquitoes,” promoting the brand’s Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait.

The 90-second spot opens on an idyllic backyard, complete with swimming pool. “It’s sometimes simple to forget, but you are all full of blood,” begins the voiceover, “He may not attract all the girls, but to mosquitoes he’s a stud.” From there the spot’s Seussian rhyming and simple animation tell the story of a summer ruined by mosquitoes and the Terminix Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait that saves it. Both the spots style and approach are a bit of a throwback to a bygone era, but “Death to Mosquitoes” works, managing to be memorable in a category where it’s hard to make an impression (even in mosquito-filled August). Read more

The VIA Agency Clicks Clean with Reggie Watts for Greenpeace

The VIA Agency tapped comedian/musician Reggie Watts for a new Greenpeace campaign, called “#ClickClean,” promoting a green energy-powered Internet.

As you might expect from Watts’ involvement, things get pretty strange. In “Animals,” Watts sings about various family members clicking dirty as a seeming mantra while meditating in the jungle (!?), before going on to explain that before the Internet is powered by green energy, we’re all clicking dirty. Other spots in the campaign deal directly with possible green energy sources, such as solar, hydro, and wind power. These ads see Watts in the desert messing around with his looping machine, drifting on a giant lily pad, and yodeling in the vicinity of a windmill. It’s a different approach for Greenpeace, to say the least, and one thing you can say about the campaign is that it certainly is memorable.

“Some of the Internet’s biggest and most innovative companies, like Apple, Facebook and Google, are powering with modern, renewable energy. The #ClickClean movement expects the rest of the companies behind our online world, like Amazon and Twitter, to join them,” explains Greenpeace Senior Energy Campaigner Dave Pomerantz. “Reggie Watts is an Internet sensation for his comedy and music, so we’re proud to have him join the call to power the platforms on which his work is shared every day with renewable energy.”

Stick around for “Wind” and “Water” after the jump. Read more

SMFB Shows ‘Where Good Days Start’ for IKEA

Norwegian agency SMFB is launching a new integrated campaign for IKEA’s latest collection, which, for the first time, centers around an interactive video rather than a traditional television commercial (although there’s one of those, too).

The interactive video, entitled “Where Good Days Start,” is a collaboration between SMFB and production company Media Monks. It follows the story of a young Scandinavian family as they go through their morning routine. Viewers can interact with the story and unlock “hidden” content, allowing them to explore how each family member gets ready for the day. You can check out the trailer above, and head here for the full experience (English speaking readers may want to turn on the subtitles in the upper right hand corner).

“The idea was to surprise viewers throughout the film,” said Jeroen van der Meer, MediaMonks interactive director, who collaborated with film director Tom Rijpert on the project. “With a score of extra content, you can diverge from the main storyline at any point during the film to learn more about the featured family members and products in short, interactive scenes.”

Stick around for the 60-second television spot, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

McCann & MRM Taps Craig Robinson for Verizon

McCann & MRM enlist the aid of actor/comedian Craig Robinson (who also stars in a campaign for Dodge Dart) in the latest spot for Verizon FiOS.

The spot is a mock infomercial, featuring Robinson crooning hits about Verizon’s service, touting the amount of recordable time provided. In one song, “I Save Every Show About Hoarders,” he admits that he records, and never deletes, shows about hoarders, currently up to 167 episodes. Other hits include “Damn, Fishing Gets All Dangerous,” “Sports Highlights on the Toilet” and “Zombie Movies in Bed.” It’s a funny approach, and Robinson is endearing as always. The only problem with a fake bad infomercial is that it will never be as funny as a real bad infomercial. But then the spot’s real competition is other ads from cable providers and it wins, hands down. There’s also a 15 second edit of the spot, but a lot is lost in the process. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K Promotes Sony’s Waterproof Phone with Underwater Apps

W+K worked with Sony and development partners Motim and SoftFacade to create a series of apps promoting the Xperia Z1S’ waterproof technology.

Several of the apps, including “Goldie” (featured above), “Plantimal,” “Photo Lab,” and “Sink Sunk,” are designed to be used underwater. As you might have imagined, “Goldie” is an on-screen goldfish. When submerged in water, the fish swims around contentedly, but if you remove your phone from the water he flops around, gasping for breath. It’s a clever little diversion, which can demonstrate the phones’ capabilities for a few minutes, although Sony recommends users don’t submerge their Xperia Z1S for more than a half hour. “Plantimal” offers up a cross between an underwater plant and animal, which is happier with larger amounts of water. “Sink Sunk” is perhaps the most reusable of the apps, offering up a submarine game you can play in your sink or kiddie pool (as demonstrated in the video), while “Photo Lab” lets you develop photos underwater.

There are also a pair of apps, “Little Umbrella” and “Rainy-oke” designed for use with precipitation. Stick around for “Sink Sunk” and “Rainy-oke,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Pinterest introduces its new messaging feature with long-form ad (video above). link

-Jeff Benjamin challenges Gerry Graf, Bob Jeffrey, Martin Sorrell and Ted Royer to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. link

-MRY copywriter attempts to eat only food found around the agency for a month. link

-The history of e-commerce. link

-Brands jump on the “Ice Bucket Challenge” bandwagon. link

-Mobile traffic surpasses desktop for top U.K. magazine and newspaper publishers. link

-Joinery announced the addition of director Georgi Banks-Davies for US representation. link

-Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore and Malaysia announced the appointment of Shannon Cullum as chief executive officer. link

-News and ads to debut on Snapchat. link

-The media industry responds to the accusation that advertising was the Internet’s “original sin.” link

Tuesday Odds and Ends


-Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reunite in Audi’s Emmy promo, which also features Julia Louis-Dreyfus (video above). link

-General Electric launches Isaac Asimov-inspired digital campaign imagining what technology will look like in 2064. link

-DNA announces the addition of Sanaa Hamri to its directorial roster. link

-Copyranter asks “What in the hell has happened to beer advertising?” link

-Young & Rubicam Group Seattle announced the addition of Jennifer Patterson as chief strategy officer yesterday. link

-Sprint introduces rolls out b-to-b brand Sprint Business with new campaign. link

-Design agency HUSH announces the addition of design director Claudia Chagüi. link

W+K Taps Neymar for Nike

With the world’s biggest soccer star set to lace up his cleats again, W+K tapped Neymar Jr. for a new Nike spot promoting the brand’s Hypervenom Phantom Boot worn by the Brazilian forward.

The 60-second spot, entitled “Mirrors,” likens Neymar’s speed and agility to playing with a field full of mirrors. As he makes his way down the field, opponents are unable to tell which is the real Neymar, and end up sliding into glass. Neymar dances around opponents and easily lands a shot in the back of the net, which is followed by the “Deceptive by Nature” tagline. W+K decided to forgo any voiceover or narrative in favor of showing Neymar in action, and the approach works, as the mirrors, coupled with Neymar’s considerable talent make for a visually interesting and entertaining spot. The soundtrack, “Rivers of Blood” by Wu.

Credits below.

Read more

Julie Levin Joins Publicis N.A. as CMO

3204b6cPublicis North America announced the addition of Julie Levin as chief marketing officer, succeeding Chris Shumaker, who left last year to become North American chief marketing officer at FCB. She will begin the position on September 8th.

Levin arrives from Richmond-based The Martin Agency, where last year she served as chief growth officer and helped win new business including Stoli vodka and Sparkle paper towels. Before The Martin Agency, Levin spent three years as head of business development and global business director at BBH New York. She was also a managing partner and director of business development at Mcgarrybowen, helping to land clients such as Kraft Foods, Pfizer and Verizon Wireless.

“She’s such a personality, so bright and driven with a lot of energy and has such a depth of experience with clients,” Publicis North America CEO Andrew Bruce told Adweek. “She won’t just bring in new clients in but will continue to work with them.”

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