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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.”

W+K Amsterdam Launches ‘Feel The Game’ for FIFA 15

W+K Amsterdam launches a new campaign for FIFA 15 today, entitled “Feel The Game.”

In a 2:15 broadcast spot, W+K Amsterdam immerses fans into the on-pitch action as they experience what players in the game do. When it begins to rain, players are suddenly drenched in their apartments, when heavily tackled, they feel the hurt. It’s not exactly a new approach in gaming advertising, but it’s pulled off well. The agency also got Lionel Messi to join in on the action, both on the field and wielding a controller. The campaign airs globally beginning today, across broadcast and digital channels, with the full-length spot also broadcasting in the U.S. during the Manchester United match this Sunday.

“Fast-paced, raw, and explosive, modern football is a spectacle beyond belief. And FIFA 15 puts you right in the  middle of it. We wanted our film to do the same thing, to put you right in the thick of the
action, said David Smith, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s creative director. “With the help of Mark Zibert, and the awesome studio at EA SPORTS, we believe we have created a football film that can live up to the best sport action sequences ever filmed.” Read more

AKQA, Budweiser Let You Send Buds Beer Over Facebook

Budweiser teamed up with AKQA for a new social campaign allowing Facebook users to send beers to their buddies via the social media outlet. While right now the service is exclusive to those living in Chicago and Denver, it will soon roll out nationally.

The campaign debuted with a pilot on Facebook, in feeds for adults 21 and older in Chicago and Denver. Facebook users in those locations (and soon the rest of the country) will be prompted to share  a Budweiser with a friend when wishing them a happy birthday or celebrating other occasions. If they choose to share a Budweiser, the friend will be sent an online voucher, to be redeemed at a local bar or restaurant (with a valid ID). The service functions without any type of external download, as users are simply “taken to a customized mobile or desktop experience to send or claim a beer.”

“Beer is the original social network,” said Lucas Herscovici, Anheuser-Busch vice president of consumer connections. “This new campaign focuses not on a gift certificate or credit, but on bringing people together to celebrate life’s most anticipated moments. Whether you’re toasting your birthday, a job promotion, an engagement, or simply the end of a long work week, we want to encourage everyone to bridge the physical and digital worlds by allowing you to send your friend a beer over Facebook.”

Friday Morning Stir

-Save The Children stresses importance of child literacy with “Ten Minutes a Day Could Change Everything” (video above). link

-Facebook now asks users why they hide ads, cracks down on ads they hate. link

-Havas Worldwide Japan names David Morgan as executive creative director. link

-Metro dedicated its entire Monday issue to supporting the Paddy Power/Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign. link

-How “Fem-powerment” campaigns reflect a new reality for women. link

-Stolichnaya claims to be “The Vodka” in new campaign. link

-BBH celebrates the weekend for The Guardian, The Observer. link

-Some iTunes users are upset about automatically downloading the free U2 album. link

Thursday Odds and Ends


-Apple and TBWA/Media Arts Lab offer an extended look at the Apple Watch (video above).

-eBay brings back in-app mobile ads. link

-Some of the best and worst 9/11 tweets from brands today. link

-Wongdoody announces rebrand with new website. link

-The Mill in New York announced the addition of Tom Bussell as creative director. link

-Facebook is testing a feature allowing you to schedule the deletion of your posts. link

-11.5 percent of awards are now won by female creative directors, up from four percent in 2004. link

Sid Lee Announces New Creative Leadership

Tom and Jeffrey

Sid Lee has announced the promotions of Tom Koukodimos and Jeffrey DaSilva to the positions of executive creative directors, jointly taking creative leadership of the agency’s Toronto office. Koukodimos and DaSilva have served as creative directors at Sid Lee since arriving in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Executive Creative Director Dave Roberts is leaving Sid Lee Toronto after four years, in order to return to Sid Lee Montreal for a new global assignment.

Tom and Jeffrey were behind such recent work as the “We the North” campaign for the Toronto Raptors and “It’s a Bloody Big Deal” for Toronto FC. In their new positions, the pair will oversee creative leadership on all Toronto accounts, including Coca Cola Canada, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, Post Media, Google Canada, Marks, Sport Chek, PC Financial and TJX Canada.

Prior to joining Sid Lee, Tom was a creative director at Cossette, working on McDonald’s. Jeffrey worked on Google at Mullen in Boston before returning to Canada to join Sid Lee in 2013. Read more

Innocean Debuts New Work for NRG

NRG recently announced that the energy company has chosen Innocean as its full-service advertising partner, and the agency debuted its first campaign for the brand in time for the opening of the NFL season.

Its 30-second broadcast spot imagines an old-time football team — complete with leather helmets — preparing to take on the (modern day) Philadelphia Eagles. “Let’s go out there and give ‘em heck,” says the team’s captain, adding “We’re going to go out there and really give them the business.” When the team, emerges from the locker room and sees their competitors, however, they quickly turn and run. “The old game just can’t compete,” says the voiceover, “especially when it comes to energy. Solar power is here.”

It’s not a bad analogy for old forms of energy, many of which have been around since the leather helmet days, in comparison with clean solar energy. The basic concept and approach also seem pretty adaptable to future applications, so more in this same vein from Innocean in the future.

“NRG chose Innocean because they understood that we aren’t bound by convention,” said Brad Fogel, chief operating officer, Innocean USA. “We are young and agile enough to break rules and create a spot-on integrated brand campaign that shows consumers, you actually have a choice in who you want to supply the energy to power up your day-to-day lives. And if you have that choice, why don’t you choose a company that believes in doing the right thing instead of the same thing?”

Read more

Havas Worldwide Introduces ‘The Breath Holder’ in Clever PSA

Havas Worldwide, Helsinki has launched a new PSA entitled “The Breath Holder.”

In it, we see a young kid practicing holding his breath. Each time, he seems to make it a bit longer, and keeps track of his times. At first it may seem like he’s doing this out of boredom, or perhaps to make a go at the record, but his real reason is revealed at the conclusion of the spot. We won’t give anything away, but you can check out the clever 60-second spot for yourself above. Read more

Publicis Seattle Highlights Les Schwab’s Customer Service


Publicis Seattle has released two new ads for family-owned tire chain Les Schwab highlighting the company’s dedication to customer service.

Publicis Seattle created the two television spots based on real-life customer stories. Each ad features the customer reading their letter to Les Schwab, praising the exceptional customer service they received. In “Stranded Nanny,” for example, a woman tells the story of how her car broke down on her way home from work. She knocked on a door asking for help, and the man who answered happened to own a local Les Schwab. He fixed her car, without pay, and she was quickly on her way.

The other spot, “RV Weekend,” takes a similar approach. The spots will air across western US markets including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Montana. Read more

Blast Radius Celebrates Amsterdam for Onitsuka Tiger

Blast Radius continues its “My Town My Tracks” campaign for ASICS’ Onitsuka Tiger, promoting the Harandia MT,  “a sneaker-boot inspired by winter running and crafted for the colder months in an urban environment.”

In the last installment of “My Town My Tracks,” Blast Radius focused on Erik Garbo, a student of Italian and Japanese descent living in Milan. This time, Blast Radius focuses on its own city, Amsterdam, and Tosao, a young entrepreneur of Japanese and Dutch descent. As in previous installments of the campaign, Tosao takes viewers on a tour of his neighborhood — De Jordaan, in the northwest section of the city — while introducing his friends and favorite hangouts.

“Onitsuka Tiger is a brand for all seasons and this is evident in our AW14 models,” said Lisa Hogg, Onitsuka Tiger’s head of brand management. “We present our new collection in Amsterdam, a city of cultural secrets where every street, canal and courtyard has a story. Tosao’s My Town My Tracks through De Jordaan reflects our brand values and belief in individuality and urban culture.”

In addition to the video, the campaign also includes print elements, with stills captured by photographer Fleur Bolt, and social components on Twitter and Instagram. Read more

Thursday Morning Stir

-Will Ferrell plays video games for charities (video above). link

-Airbnb names Starcom its global media agency. link

-Attempts to game Facebook’s algorithm are becoming popular. link

-McDonald’s applied to trademark “McBrunch.” link

-Ben Callis moves from SapientNitro to digital agency Huge London as group creative director. link

-The iPhone6′s larger screen could lead to even more mobile video consumption. link

-Apple has hired Marcela Aguilar, senior global director-marketing communications at Gap, as director-global marketing communications. link

-Facebook debuts view counter for videos. link

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