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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.”

Havas Strikes ‘Match’ for Cracker Barrel’s Campfire Meals

Havas Worldwide has a new spot for Cracker Barrel, promoting the chain’s limited-time Campfire Meals.

The 15-second ad, entitled “Match,” features a campfire set handcrafted from paper, wood and canvas. A toy owl perches on a stump, followed by a human hand lighting a match and lights a campfire illuminating a screen displaying Cracker Barrel’s Campfire Meals. Aside from the digitally inserted footage and CG embers on the fire, everything was “manually-operated, custom-built or hand-crafted” and shot in a single take. While it can come across as a bit hokey (which actually kind of makes sense for the brand), and the voiceover copy leaves something to be desired, the diorama set has a certain charm to it. It may have even been more effective with diorama stand-ins for Cracker Barrel’s Campfire Meals instead of the digital footage used. Read more

BBDO NY Asks ‘What Would Happen’ for GE

BBDO New York and production company MJZ have followed up their “Childlike Imagination” Winter Olympics ad with another spot for GE extolling innovation, which began airing yesterday.

This time around they highlight GE’s focus on technological advancement with a 30-second ad shot in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The spot attempts to answer “What Would Happen” if “energy could come from anywhere,” or if “power could go anywhere,” eventually arriving at the answer “anything.” It’s an intriguing follow-up to the successful approach of “Childlike Imagination,” with excellent pacing and eye-catching, imaginative imagery. Hopefully, BBDO New York stays with this direction going forward. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Erwin Penland Adds Pair of Creatives

Craig Melchiano

Full-service marketing communications agency Erwin Penland has announced the addition of two new creatives. Craig Melchiano arrives in the role of executive vice president/executive creative director and Bee Reynolds will take on the role of associate creative director. Both are newly-created positions at the agency. Melchiano and Reynolds, who happen to be married, both arrive at Erwin Penland from Goodby Silverstein & Partners and will relocate to the agency’s Greenville, South Carolina headquarters, reporting to Chief Creative Officer Con Williamson in New York.

As executive vice president/executive creative director, Melchiano will oversee the Greenville creative team on all accounts, including Denny’s, Microsoft and Verizon. He arrives at the agency with a 15-year advertising background at agencies including Wieden+Kennedy, and TBWA Chiat Day prior to his stint at Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Read more

Mike Rigby Joins R/GA NY as ECD

Mike Rigby

R/GA New York has announced the arrival of Mike Rigby as executive creative director, brand. In the role, Rigby will “lead innovative and commercially relevant brand thinking and design across R/GA offices and capabilities in addition to advising clients on how they can effectively express, manage and grow their brands” while partnering with the R/GA business transformation team. He will report to  Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law.

Rigby arrives at R/GA from Interbrand Australia, where his most recent position was executive creative director. Since arriving at the company in 2010, Rigby helped grow the office from ten to over seventy employees. Since his arrival, Interbrand Australia has taken home awards such as the Campaign Asia-Pacific Specialist Agency of the Year Award and a Cannes Design Lion. Rigby began his career at UK design consultancy The Chase, and has also worked at top British design agencies Pentagram London and True North. In 2012, he was elected as the president of The Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) New South Wales and transformed the organization, “helping to usher in a complete organizational restructuring, rebranding and repositioning program that has attracted a younger member base.” Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Chambord says you should drink it “#BecasueNoReason” (video above).

-Video formats are getting shorter. link

-Microsoft is set to overtake Yahoo in digital ad space. link

-Ritz debuts first UK TV ad in 30 years. link

-Conde Nast is promoting its new online video hub with print ads. link

-Time Warner rebuffed an $80 billion offer from Rupert Murdoch‘s 21st Century Fox. link

-New browser extension decodes marketing jargon. link

Tuesday Odds and Ends


-MeUndies keeps it risque with “365 Days in MeUndies” (video above). link

-Six jingles you can’t forget. link

-Therese Hessler, formerly vice president of media at The Leffler Agency, is launching is launching TMH Agency, a Baltimore-based “advertising, media and public relations agency specializing in branding and creating direct response campaigns for both local and national clients.” link

-Mobile video social network Keek has named Iain Wilson as VP, EU Business Development. link

-New York City-based television ad targeting company Simulmedia has named Mainak Mazumdar as chief science officer. link

-Brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide “is expanding its global business to include new offices in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea, and building a new affiliation with Brazil-based agency, Mark Up.” link

-Anomaly Amsterdam has been appointed as agency of record for Carrera eyewear. link

Grip Limited Designs World’s Most Boring Arcade Game for Taco Bell

Taco Bell fans north of the border have been waiting patiently for Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos to arrive in Canada. So to mark their arrival, Grip Limited designed an arcade game that made them wait a little bit longer.

They created a custom 8-bit “arcade game, called “The Waiting Game,” that “simulated all the excitement and high-octane action of patiently waiting in line.” Players could string together moves like “yawn,” “tap foot,” “check watch” or “chew gum.” The game was placed outside a Taco Bell location in downtown Toronto, and, soon enough, a line formed. To play a game about waiting in line. Since they aren’t complete sadists, Taco Bell rewarded players who made it through “The Waiting Game” by letting them be some of the first people in Canada to try the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, free of charge. You can see the promotion in action in the video above, and play on online version of the game here. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

The Martin Agency Introduces ‘The Hopsons’ for Benjamin Moore

The Martin Agency would like you to “Meet the Hopsons,” a family who live in a giant bouncy house.

The Hopsons fell in love with their neighborhood but, since all the houses have vinyl siding, they assumed they couldn’t paint theirs. Since they love color, this was a problem. The Hopsons came up with an unusual solution and decided to live in a giant bouncy house. And so begin the whacky adventures of “Meet the Hopsons.” At over two minutes the premise, which might have made for a fun 30-second spot, feels stretched far too thin, and it’s not until the last 30 seconds or so that the idea is tied to Benjamin Moore’s Revive paint for vinyl siding. Still, “Meet the Hopsons” is not entirely without some degree of quirky charm. It’s just hard to believe anyone would stick around long enough to see Benjamin Moore’s product presented as the solution. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

goodness Mfg. Mocks ‘Sillycon Valley’ for Toshiba

goodness Mfg. takes on Silicon Valley in a new spot for Toshiba, presenting their Encore 2 as “the one device that quiets the hype.”

In the animated, 30-second “Sillycon Valley,” goodness Mfg. presents a cartoonish tech world gone overboard, complete with coffee drones, 5D printing and “smart scissors.” While disparaging tech to sell a tablet may be a questionable strategy, and “Sillycon Valley” may go a bit too far into the ridiculous at times to seem like an effective satire of Silicon Valley tech hype, the tagline at least wraps things up nicely. Still, it’s hard to imagine “Sillycon Valley” persuading anyone to go buy the Encore 2.

The agency takes a different approach with “Unleash Yourself,” this time showing the Satellite Click laptop’s versatility at a wide range of tasks while highlighting its portability due to its detachable keyboard. It’s a more effective approach than “Sillycon Valley,” selling the product for what it can do, rather than what it doesn’t claim to be. Stick around for “Unleash Yourself,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Tuesday Morning Stir

-Australian digital director creates slick ad to sell his 1999 Holden Barina (video above). link

-More CEOs demand monthly numbers on ad effectiveness. link

-Jack Daniels revamps ready-to-drink packaging in Australia. link

-Ad tech CEO: “Agencies have us work our ass off and take all the credit.” link

-JDate teamed up with Rainn Wilson‘s production company, SoulPancake, on a crowdsourced rebranding effort. link

-Ten brands that will disappear in 2015. link

-Time Warner seeks NBA renewal. link

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