Another month, another clever This is Sportscenter spot from W+K New York. “Keeping Up with Fashion” shows Sportscenter anchors dealing with the residual effects of a new uniform reveal, considering the new uniforms are skin-tight catsuits that come in sizes meant for babies. The uniform farce is actually a spoof of the recent redesign trend in football, whether it be for college, the NFL, or the Pro Bowl. Nike keeps shrinking the unis that aren’t made for everyone (cough, offensive linemen). In a way, ESPN, which is a huge brand itself, is actually mocking the increased branding that comes from Nike, Under Armour, etc. Glass houses and all that, but this spot actually has layers to unpack in addition to the requisite punchlines. I’ve always said that ESPN anchors could act, as they do here, but the topic and writing in this ad digs deeper than we’re used to when it comes to ESPN. A lot to think about in 30 seconds.
Jordan TeicherJordan Teicher lives in New York City and writes for The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Tablet Magazine. He likes basketball, David Foster Wallace, and tomatoes, in that order. Email email@example.com or tweet @JordanTeicher.
Fruit of the Loom and CP+B teamed up to make sure our private parts were covered in luck. Seriously. Lucky underwear. How, you ask? Well, a few guys traveled around America, rubbing new underwear with good luck in places like the Hoover Dam in Boulder City and the Seven Star Cavern Chinatown Wishing Well in Los Angeles. The project is not scientific, but if you care about luck, the original run called for 1,000 men’s underwear and 1,000 women’s underwear. The above video shows a brief behind-the-scenes look at the hokum methods used to make the underwear lucky.
As of publication, 1718 of the 2000 pairs of lucky underwear are still available for an affordable $10 each.
The narrator of the video mentions infusing “legitimate luck” into the fabric, which is stupidly ambitious, since there’s nothing legitimate about luck. That’s the point. But there’s something charming about the earnest dedication and effort Fruit of the Loom put into the project. Plus, the underwear is inexpensive and soft, so if you don’t care for superstition, there’s always functionality to fall back on. Credits after the jump.
Lowe Roche respects the data. In a video for Strategy Agency of the Year Awards, the Toronto-based company provided some education on the habits of the ad employee demographic. Not just tidbits about dieting and working, but the juicy stuff: you know, alcohol and porn. As someone who works with data just about every day (for sports, not survey research) I definitely appreciate a math-based approach to an industry full of projects that often rely on intuition and copycat trends. Product-research data can always be manipulated or ignored or conducted incorrectly. Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” and he was right. But demographic data is usually helpful and meaningful.
Here are a few lighthearted and self-deprecating mathematical takeaways from the clip, according to PMB Advertising Vertical Analysis 2013:
- Ad people drink nine times as much bourbon as the average Canadian.
- Ad people watch 1.7 times the amount of pornography as the average Canadian.
- And ad people are 1.6 times as likely to mute the sound in TV commercials as the average Canadian.
At least we can all agree that television commercials are typically bad. Buy some Jefferson’s Reserve. Drink up. Credits after the jump.
From NYC-based All Out, this two-minute short film shows what it would look life if a gay Olympic medalist were able to celebrate with her partner in Sochi. Of course, it’s not that simple in Russia, where public displays of homosexuality are banned by the government, and systemic discrimination has prevented gay people from simply feeling like people in their own country. All Out is hoping to change that, at least legally, before the Sochi Games start in February 2014. The organization is asking that people share the video with #LoveAlwaysWins on social media. The goal, as the video shows, is to close the gap between what should be allowed and what is allowed. I wouldn’t bet on it, considering that the Olympics has always struggled to balance the messy mix of politics, human rights, and competition, but at least someone is trying. Credits after the jump.
The onion alert is in full effect. Skype has been promoting their global capabilities with a “Stay Together” campaign produced by Pereira & O’Dell, and the fourth video in the series, “The Born Friends Family Portrait,” is a smart showcase of the program’s utility. Two girls, Sarah from Indiana and Paige from Auckland, were both born without fully developed left arms and formed a long distance friendship over the years. Sarah and Paige are now teenagers, and as you can see in the accompanying clip, finally met in-person. It’s touching and respectfully filmed.
The three prior videos cover similar stories – a father talking to his family still in Africa, a zookeeper in America keeping tabs on an animal family in Australia, and a two young cousins (common theme) closing the gap between Brazil and America. We should probably expect more tearjerkers from Skype, because these are the kind of tales that sell themselves. No misdirection or exploitation, just a documentary setup that has the right kind of appeal. Credits after the jump.
Goodstache may very well be the first ever drinking game for charity, although there isn’t a ton of peer-reviewed research on the topic. The rules of the game are easy: donate to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, print out a mustache certificate of your liking (i.e. Burt Reynolds, Ron Swanson, Salvador Dali), place that mustache anywhere on your television screen, and whenever the mustache lines up with a person’s face, take a drink. If you watch a Mad Men marathon, it sounds like a great way to connect with the characters and destroy your liver, all for a good cause.
The idea comes from SF creatives Nate Gagnon, and Stephen Hadinger, freelance copywriter and AKQA creative technologist, respectively, and the website uses a sleek design that would make the Most Interesting Man in the World proud. You can just donate to the cause without drinking, which is still recommended, or you can also just play the game to drink without donating, not recommended. Either way, check out the site and have a Happy Movember.
It’s ironic that Regal, in an effort to get people interested in going to movie theaters, would ask popular Vine actors to star in a branded miniseries called Date Night Fails that is premiering on the Internet. There’s more mess beyond the irony, since Regal turned to Vine, which has, itself, plateaued in terms of popularity, much like the movie theaters. So, even though this campaign is harmless, it’s also kind of sad.
Created by LA-based digital agency Something Massive, Date Night Fails stars Jason Nash as Vince, a clueless buffoon who has occasional funny moments stemming from his loud, overbearing, and sometimes annoying personality. That Look at Me approach to humor can get old very quickly, as it does here, even though there are only five two-minute episodes. Vine does have a turtle named Quentin Taraturtle for whatever that’s worth. Other well-known Viners such as KC James and Arielle Vandenberg appear in some of the clips, which all have to do with convincing you that going to the movies is better than watching movies at home. Intuitively, that makes sense, even if the reasons, themselves don’t. Like in “Loading,” repeated streaming problems interrupt Vince and a date from watching a movie on his TV, even though those kind of buffering issues don’t exist long-term and can be fixed easily. Or in “Making Concessions,” where homemade and store-bought snacks are supposed to make you want to go to a theater and buy $10 popcorn, even though the dynamic actually works in reverse.
See, harmless and kind of sad. There’s probably a way to execute this miniseries more effectively, maybe with shorts about not being able to see new titles on Netflix, dealing with frequent commercials on cable, and encountering loneliness at home versus enjoying the theater experience with a crowd of people who laugh, gasp, etc. But that’s not what Date Night Fails is, and any person who stops to think for two seconds will see right through these straw men.
“Epic Night Out,” the splashy new 90-second Call of Duty: Ghosts spot from 72andSunny for Activision, is indeed epic, and easily riffs on the four-guys-who-have-fun-in-danger motif made popular by The Hangover. There are a few celebrity cameos, a crumbling Las Vegas set, and classic music, Sinatra’s “Live Until I Die.” Very epic. But no baby, though. Instead, the four heroes and their dog travel from desert wasteland, to cityscape, to outer space, and then to a frozen tundra. With the music and quick editing, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
I’m all for first-person shooters, and I don’t think they are ruining kids. If this spot were for the U.S. Armed Forces, that would be different. But, it’s worth pointing out that guns, explosions, apocalyptic Vegas, Frank Sinatra, and Megan Fox is way past the boiling point of glorying violence for a TV spot. That’s sensory overload for all of the juiced up gamer-guys who are going to sit in the basements and pretend not to pee in empty soda bottles. It’s also brilliant misdirection. And if not for the Grand Theft Auto V ads, this would be the best video game spot I’ve ever seen. Credits after the jump.
After all of the recent Derrick Rose Basketball is Everything TV play, let’s not forget that Adidas’ slim basketball holdings do include the mercurial superstar-child, Dwight Howard. TBWA\Singapore and Dwight teamed for a new international spot way east of America, where 180LA handles domestic duty. The Phillipines is thoroughly obsessed with basketball, and Howard’s Houston Rockets recently traveled to Manila for some preseason play and NBA global brand-building. Adidas wisely used the setting for some brand-building of their own. And as a result, here is the one-and-a-half minute intro video for Signature Shots.
Instead of receiving handwritten autographs from Dwight, fans were able to play him one-on-one as a machine captured their movement on the court and translated that into a unique signature that could be printed onto merchandise. I’m all for the riff on standard sit-and-sign celebrity sessions, even if some of the signatures look like seismograph scribbles, but this spot just feels underwhelming. The clip starts off with some promising B-roll footage of Manila and it’s young hoopsters.
However, all of the vibrant colors and sounds of the city are soon replaced by action shots of machines printing the movement signatures and Dwight playing one-on-one. Rather than wash out all of the sensory details with some techno track, Adidas and TBWA would’ve been wiser to let Manila create its own soundtrack. Watching a printer spit out signed memorabilia is just time wasted. There was a missed opportunity here to create a commercial worthy of Manila’s love for basketball. There will be more opportunities in the future, but Adidas will have to wait. Credits after the jump.
You know that feeling you get when watching something that is supposed to be funny: now there’s pressure on the creators to make you laugh, and since you’re aware of it, you’re harder to impress. FiberOne’s ongoing Snack Drama campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi NY, has that prerequisite element, and it still manages to flow with humor that’ll make you laugh, or at least smile.
(Before I proceed, I’d just like to acknowledge the future commenters preparing their disparaging remarks aimed at FiberOne, Saatchi NY, me, AgencySpy, humanity, anyone who has every liked anything. We get it. You don’t think it’s funny. Or you think the campaign is a derivative of 42 other campaigns that were already created. Or you work in advertising but secretly hate your career and suffer from pathological self-loathing. You can disagree, but please do it with some respect. Okay, go ahead now.)
Anyway, “The Truth About Dieting” is funny. It’s a one-minute satire of diets ranging from the hypnotherapy diet to the juice cleanse. If you’ve seen earlier Snack Drama spots, which we covered ten days ago, you will recognize some of the actresses who are whining, screaming, or just going bat-crazy because of their ridiculous diets. There’s surprisingly no product placement, and if you don’t pay close attention, you may not even recognize that it’s an ad at all. So for people who like subtle branding and not-so-subtle humor, this video is for you. A simple yet effective concept that should play well on television.