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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.”

Don’t Panic Celebrates Real Life Superheroes for Save the Children

Agency Don’t Panic collaborated with production company Unit 9 to explore sightings of superheroes in remote locations in India, Kenya and Mexico in a new PSA for Save the Children.

“She flies with the clouds and she gives water,” says one girl. “He came and destroyed the mosquitoes,” says a small boy. “She came and now we have a new baby sister,” another child adds. “Every child deserves a superhero,” reads text at the end of the ad, when it is finally revealed that the “superheros” in question are, in fact, Save the Children workers. It’s a touching message, as the PSA displays just how important a role Save the Children plays in the lives of children in need, who see their efforts not just as extraordinary but even magical.

The PSA is part of Save the Children’s “Race for Survival” campaign, timed to coincide with the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It follows in the footsteps of previous collaborations between Don’t Panic and Unit 9 for Save the Children, including “Most Shocking Second a Day” and “Reverse.” The two companies also collaborated for the memorable “Everything Is Not Awesome” effort for Greenpeace, which led to the end of Lego’s partnership with Shell.

David Beckham Stars in New Haig Club Whisky Ad by adam&eveDDB

David Beckham is certainly no stranger to advertising, but as far as we’re aware this is the first time the former soccer superstar has appeared in an ad for booze.

Beckham stars in the new spot from adam&eveDDB for Haig Club Whisky, which was directed by Guy Ritchie. The ad sees Beckham partying it up at a remote estate in the Scottish highland — the kind of swanky real estate its fair to assume he and wife Victoria Beckham actually own — after meeting up with a group of friends. Beckham doesn’t speak in the ad (there’s no dialogue, actually) but he’s still the focus of attention, with Ritchie mostly keeping the camera focused on the star in the well-shot ad.

Update: A helpful commenter pointed to a tweet by adam&eveDDB claiming credit for the spot.

Grey London Names Nils Leonard Chairman


Grey London announced yesterday that Chief Creative Officer Nils Leonard is being promoted to the role of chairman. Leonard will continue on in his previous role while also being tasked with driving innovation across the company.

Leonard first joined Grey London back in 2007, becoming an executive creative director and then chief creative officer at the agency. Prior to Grey London, Leonard served as head of art/creative director at United and senior designer/art director at Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO. Prior to that he spent five years as head of art/design at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. Among his best-known work at Grey London is Vodafone’s “Kiss” and McVities recent campaign featuring kittens and puppies, which Time magazine called “the cutest thing ever put on television.” Read more

Friday Morning Stir

-Adidas Originals released this video documenting four collectors (including Ian Brown of Stone Roses fame) making a pilgrimage to a small vintage shop in Argentina (video above).

-Liberty Global awards European media planning and buying account to Omnicom Media Group.

-How publishers are getting programmatic wrong.

-BBDO Chief Creative Officer Greh Hahn shares some advertising lessons from Robert Plant.

-Twitter is partnering with Sound Cloud and iTunes to allow users to stream audio from their timeline.

-Drunk J. Crew explores the (imagined) drunkenness of J. Crew models.

-Seven advertising trends that show where the industry is headed.

-Sydney-based Arnold Furnace agency and Jack Daniel’s opened the first crowd-sourced bar with “The Bar That Jack Built.”

Thursday Odds and Ends

-Whitehouse Post cut this video introducing six second graders to New York restaurant Daniel for The New York Times Magazine‘s fall food issue (video above).

-The “ECDs with folded arms” tumblr is everything you need in your life right now.

-Karlen Williams Graybill Advertising Founder Roland “Rolly” Karlen passed away at the age of 88.

-Miami-based M8 announced the additions of Sergio Barrientos (formerly SVP and managing creative director at Havas Media) as chief strategy officer and Joaquin Lira (formerly digital creative director at Lopez Negrete) as chief creative officer.

-Baltimore agency MGH has added Ray & Scarff Appliance & Kitchen Specialists, Next Day Floors and Alex Cooper Auctioneers, Inc. to its client roster.

-Boston-based AMP Agency partnered with Uber in a brand promotion for Icelandair.

-Royal Carribean becomes the first sponsor for complimentary Wi-Fi service on the New York subway system.

-Nine Boston agencies teamed up with the 4A’s for Boston Future 4, “a startup competition wherein one winning company receives a free, personalized marketing campaign and creative.”

-Nissan CMO explains how digital is changing car advertising.

Mekanism Gets Fired Up for Jim Beam’s Kentucky Fire

Mekanism has a new digital campaign for Jim Beam’s cinnamon-infused Kentucky Fire, entitled “#FiredUp.”

Made up of 15-second spots, Mekanism employs tongue-in-cheek humor to help introduce the new product with advice on how to enjoy it. In “The Slow Burn” for example, step one for “How to get #FiredUp” is to prepare your palette. Step two is to “take it slow,” as the spot shows a group of friends bringing a shot of Kentucky Fire to their mouths in slow motion. “The Kentucky Standard” makes things even simpler ( Step One: Order a round of Kentucky Fire; Step Two: Drink it), while “The Kentucky Tycoon” takes generosity to the next level. The ads will run on Jim Beam’s social channels, and “various online, mobile, social and experiential channels such as ESPNAOL, KargoViacom, and NBCUniversal” through early November. Read more

Ant Farm Teams Up With Childish Gambino for Far Cry 4

DDB-owned agency Ant Farm teamed up with rapper Childish Gambino for a new Far Cry 4 gameplay trailer set to the Gambino track “Crawl.”

In a lead-in to the gameplay footage, Gambino discusses his choice of “Crawl” for the trailer while hanging out with friends playing the game. The Ubisoft logo then appears onscreen, and a variety of in-game action plays out to the track for the remainder of the ad. It does a good job of mixing a variation of game footage — from what appear to be cut scenes to actual gameplay — to keep things from getting monotonous, and the footage does seem carefully tailored and edited to fit the song.

“Our goal for this trailer was to emphasize the perfect pairing of the song and game, and give fans a memorable musical and visual experience that is authentic to both artistic groups” said Ant Farm  VP/Creative Director Scott Cookson. “The chance to merge cutting-edge gameplay footage with a unique musical talent was an exciting and welcomed opportunity to produce a unique and stylized film that is both memorable and compelling to the brand.”
Read more

The Richards Group Gives Fiat the Blue Pill

So how did Fiat make the new 500X? According to this spot from The Richard Group the answer is a certain blue pill.

The ad opens on a woman making amorous advances on an elderly gentlemen. He tells her he will be back in a minute, rushes to the bathroom, gets out a bottle of erectile dysfunction pills (presumably) and goes to take the very last one. But he misses his mouth and the pill falls out the window, slowly, and improbably, making its way into the gas tank of a nearby Fiat, which transforms the car into the new Fiat 500X.

And that has to be one of the most ridiculous premises for an ad to come across our desks in some time. The spot is beautifully shot, — in Pitigliano, Tuscany, according to Adweek, — but it doesn’t do a whole lot to sell the Fiat 500X, amorous glances of women following its transformation aside. Plus, if the Fiat 500X is the result of a Fiat on a certain impotence-treating drug, what does that say about the rest of Fiat’s vehicles?

Boobtastic Sarafan Advertising Mobile Billboard Causes 500 Accidents in One Day


Sarafan Advertising recently created a mobile billboard promoting the visibility of mobile billboards that was perhaps a little too effective at getting, and keeping, drivers’ attention, AdRants reports.

The ad featured a topless woman cupping her hands around her breasts with a green band covering the nipple area and displaying the message, “They attract.” Too true. The billboard, appearing on the side of some 30 trucks around Moscow, caused 500 accidents in one day. It got bad enough that police were actually dispatched to round up the trucks and prevent further accidents.

Drivers involved demanded recompense from the advertising agency, employing the “I couldn’t pay attention to driving because boobs” strategy. Strangely enough, Sarafan Advertising is complying.

“We are planning to bring a new advertising format onto the market, encouraging companies to place their ads on the sides of trucks, as we thought this would be a good alternative to putting them on the sides of public transport. We wanted to draw attention to this new format with this campaign,” said a Sarafan spokesperson. “In all cases of accidents, the car owners will receive compensation costs from us that aren’t covered by their insurance.”

DDB, Doremus Tout Benefits of Glass for O-I

Doremus and DDB Colombia have released a new campaign for O-I, the largest manufacturer of glass packaging in the world, touting the benefits of glass over cans and plastic.

While a campaign for glass bottles may sound like a pretty boring proposition, the agencies do a good job at keeping things entertaining. In the above spot, probably the best of the bunch, a group of friends get glass envy when they realize the shortcomings of clunking beer cans together. In other spots a man stranded on an island has poor luck sending a distress signal with a plastic bottle and a guy’s cardboard box of whiskey ruins his chances with a lady. While the spots vary in effectiveness and entertainment value they largely do a good job at showing the benefits of glass over other options in inventive ways. The ads broke online earlier this month and will extend to television in Colombia and Peru later this week. Read more