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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.”

Thursday Odds and Ends

-SilencerCo introduces their new shotgun silencer with “Johnny Dronehunter: Defender of Privacy” (video above). link

-Beth Viner named CEO of brand consultancy Interbrand’s New York and San Francisco operations. link

-An artist and stage designer set up “a staggering installation” of ceramic flowers around the Tower of London to celebrate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in WWI. It’s pretty impressive. link

-Microsoft loses email privacy case. link

-Miami Ad School/ESPM pays homage to retro gaming for Tic Tac. link

-Brands jump on the Sharknado 2 bandwagon. link

-Twitter acquires password-sharing startup Mitro. link

-Wyatt Nueman‘s “I Feel Sorry For Your Children” photography exhibit opens tonight at Safari Gallery. link

Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney Brings Out the ‘Bad in Dad’ for Toyota

Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney has a new campaign for Toyota, entitled “Bad in Dad,” featuring one dad’s “bad” antics, attributed to his new Camry RZ.

Set to George Thorogood‘s ubiquitous “Bad to the Bone,” the dad is pictured using his leaf blower to blow leaves onto the neighbors yard (kind of funny), spraying his wife with a hose (cute) and embarrassing his son with the locked door trick as he picks him up from soccer practice (just plain cruel). The narrator at the end of the 45-second spot asserts that the new Camry will “bring out the bad in dad,” making the positioning of the vehicle as the motivator behind dad’s behavior explicit. While he may occasionally step over the line, the dad’s antics are mostly presented as the kind of things most of us think about doing, don’t, and then wish we had, which fits with the vehicle’s presentation as a sort of liberator. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

TBWA/Chiat Day Taps Bret Michaels in ‘Tough Love’ for Nissan

TBWA/Chiat Day tapped reality star/former Poison singer/sole proprietor of bandana manufacturers in 2014 Bret Michaels in their latest campaign for Nissan, entitled “Tough Love.”

The centerpiece of the new campaign, which celebrates the toughness of Nissan’s line of commercial vans, is a music video of Michaels covering “Endless Love,” the schmaltzy 1981 hit written by Lionel Richie. Just what you always wanted. The video alludes to a series of six product demonstrations at Nissan’s Arizona Testing Center while Michaels belts the tune into a golden microphone. Videos of the product demonstrations, featuring Michaels, are also available, and viewers who survive the full length of the music video are prompted to choose one of them to view. As it turns out, they’re a lot easier to stomach than the music video, and not just because they’re shorter. Credits and two product demonstration videos after the jump. Read more

GSD&M Talks Protection for Radio Shack

GSD&M has a new back-to-school campaign for Radio Shack that makes good use of awkward humor to promote the brand’s protection plans.

In “The Talk” for example, a dad tells his son it’s time they had “the talk.” His son, horrified, listens as his father emphasizes the need to use protection. “I know you just want to get out and show it off, but you can’t just go swinging it around all willy-nilly trying to impress the girls.” He continues, “This glass is fragile. We’re covered though…” as the son looks greatly relieved. The spot’s use of innuendo in an awkward, easy to relate to situation makes it funny and memorable.

In the similarly suggestive “Laundry,” the tables are turned, and it’s the father who is made to feel awkward. We’ve included that spot, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Droga5 Inspires for Under Armour

Droga5 takes Under Armour in a different direction with a new campaign called “I Will What I Want” aimed at women, starring Misty Copeland, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.

The spot opens with a young girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet academy over a sparse piano track as we see Copeland, poised on her taut ankles in a practice room. “…You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust,” reads the girl. “You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.” At this point, the soundtrack is set in motion and Copeland springs to life, twirling and gliding across the stage decked out in Under Armour. It is not until the conclusion of the 60-second spot that Copeland’s identity is revealed, her ultimate triumph over adversity implied.

Copeland, who is only the third African American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, told The New York Times “she never received a rejection letter that so starkly enumerated the reasons she was ill suited to be a ballet dancer,” but that “it accurately encapsulated the resistance she had faced throughout her career,” told from the time she was an adolescent that she had “the wrong body type” for ballet.

We see a lot of ads aim to be inspirational, but seldom do they succeed like “I Will What I Want,” which, unlike most spots with similar ambitions, doesn’t come across as forced or hokey. Coming from Under Armour, it’s an unexpected and refreshing new direction. Along with the broadcast spot, the campaign also includes digital and outdoor components, featuring Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer player Kelley O’Hara in addition to Copeland. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

DeVito/Verdi Gets Goofy for Coco’s Bakery

DeVito/Verdi went the goofy route with their new campaign for Coco’s Bakery, featuring two 30-second spots created in conjunction with production company Backyard.

In one of these spots, “Cowboys,” two tough-looking cowboys marvel at an Angus steak, which they agree is “the real deal right there.” The two drop the stereotypical manliness, however, when the waitress arrives with Coco’s signature pie (they’re big fans). Another spot, “Big Baby,” misses its mark and crosses the line to creepy as two guys attempt to take advantage of Coco’s “kids eat free” deal. Stick around for “Big Baby” and credits after the jump. Read more

Thursday Morning Stir

-The Red Brick Road crafted this spot for the Suzuki Swift (video above). link

-Red Bull seeks agency to create social media campaign for its Wings of Life charity. link

-Engine UK will remain independent following buyout by Lake Capital. link

-Five misconceptions clients have about consumers. link

-M&S reveals back to school ads from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. link

-New social media platform pays users for their posts. link

-Guiness goes American with “Discovery Series.” link

-Here are some agency creatives’ memes for Greenpeace’s “Cats Save Tigers” campaign. link

-Why marketing directors are here to stay. link

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-This spot for mobile provider Airtel in India has polarized viewers, some of whom find it offensive (video above). link

-The California Tobacco Control Program has selected San Francisco-based independent agency Duncan/Channon as its advertising Agency of Record following a review. link

-AKQA announced today the opening of its first office in India. link

-Imperial Woodpecker announced that Sam Brown has joined their roster for commercial representation in the U.S. He will still be represented by Rogue Films in the U.K.

-Creative studio Splice has expanded its visual effects department with the addition of VFX artist Patricio Fernandez. link

-The social media metrics brands should care about. link

-Creative editorial company Spot Welders has announced the addition of editor Tom Vogt. link

-Post-production studio Arsenal FX has announced the appointment of Kira Karlstrom as business development executive.

Jude Law Stars in Anomaly’s Lengthy ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’ for Johnnie Walker

In the latest sign that the digital ad lengths are getting out of control, Anomaly tapped Jude Law for a six minute “short film” long ad promoting Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

When Law admires a wealthy friend’s boat, with the friend going on about the ship’s unique aspects and building circumstances, he makes a gentleman’s wager to win the seafaring vessel with a dance. Unsure why he would do this, when he can’t really dance, Law nevertheless prepares a choreographed effort to impress the friend and win the boat. It’s an entertaining enough set up, but the dance scene itself leaves a lot to be desired and drags on far too long. While not without its charm, “The Gentleman’s Wager” really could have been told in half its running time. Stay with us for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K Portland Declares Kevin Durant ‘The Baddest’ for Nike

“I don’t want to talk about who’s the best. I want to talk about who’s the baddest,” says Dick Gregory, while chilling at a basketball court at the beginning of W+K Portland’s new spot for Nike, “The Baddest.”

After listing some historical candidates for “the baddest,” such as Connie Hawkins, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, and David Thompson, the spot goes on to make a case for Kevin Durant as “the baddest” right now, through video footage and a variety of testimonials. The well-edited 60-second spot also spends some time explaining what the title of “the baddest” means, with comparisons including “bad like a good Thanksgiving meal,” “bad like money” and “bad like black coffee.” It all makes for a fun, very watchable spot, regardless of whether or not you agree with Nike and W+K’s  choice for the title of “the baddest.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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