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Matt McCarron

TIFF: It’s Not Just an Image

As the official bank sponsor of TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), RBC has released three commercials promoting the partnership and festival. The “See Something Original” campaign was developed by BBDO Toronto and Holiday Films director Scott Corbett.

The TV spots launched yesterday and will continue airing until the end of the festival on September 19th. We posted the one up top and the other two after the jump. Apart from television, the “See Something Original” theme will found online, cinema trailers (naturally), and program guides, newspapers, etc. You get the idea. The commercials are worth checking out and the POS has an ironic twist: although promoting originality, their signage is anything but. (Check it out after the jump.)

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Here’s iStockphoto at Its Finest

Toronto-based agency Reason Partners just came out with four shorts promoting The Weather Network. Directed by Steve Gordon, the spots feature the same voice over but differently (beautiful) imagery and a different end tag.

For all four or five of our readers in western Canada, you may have already noticed the spots on air. Soon we’ll all be able upload an end video clip or still, and the app will seamlessly edit the shot into the video and change the voice over so we can share it with friends. I, for one, cannot wait for this completely original app.

On a different note, here at AgencySpy we understand that getting studio time to record new voice overs can be expensive. So we decided to help Reason Partners save on copy expenses and wrote a script for their next spot. Don’t say we never gave back.

To wit:
“If it wasn’t for the hippie out in Vancouver making a living off video submissions on iStock, we wouldn’t have this lake scene. If it wasn’t iMovie, we never would have been able to steal this shot of the desert from Planet Earth. And if it wasn’t for our ability to exploit poor travel photographers and all the nerds in our digital department, we wouldn’t have been able to put together this campaign that our account team looks forward to sending to their relatives in hopes of boosting the participant numbers.”

Check out the other spots after the jump.

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Another Reason Kids Should Stay Inside and Not Get Fresh Air, Exercise

The youth can skip music class. They’re already living room rock stars. Gym class is for suckers when you can get all the exercise you need marching in place four feet away from the TV. Go outside to make friends? Why? They’re hanging out with their best friend, HaloKiller, in the other room. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never actually met. And now parents don’t have to worry about finding a carpool for pee-wee hockey.

EA Sports has come out with the latest evolution of sports with “Gretzky’s Last Slapshot.” The spot above features Wayne Gretzky showcasing the new Wii-based game. Developed by San Fran-based Heat, the commercial features The Great One destroying a house till his house keeper hands him the new Wii controller.

Our favorite part about the campaign is that social media will drive NHL Slapshot followers and friends to eBay where you’ll be able to buy vases, lamps and bowls smashed by Gretzky himself. Upon purchasing an item, you’ll receive* a personal note from The Great One reading, “Thanks for your money sucker!”

*I made this up.

Check out the credits after the jump.

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For the Love of God, Can You Please Just Try Domino’s New Pizza?!

Domino’s is continuing its “honesty is the best policy” approach with the latest spot in the brand’s “Show Me Your Pizza” campaign.

Crispin’s new commercial shows Domino’s CEO, Patrick Doyle, displaying a user-submitted picture of a pizza stuck to the roof of the pizza box. Doyle then proclaims that Dominos is “better than this.” The purpose of the spot is to announce that the pizza chain is extending is $5.99 pizza deal because they want to see more pictures of their customers’ pizzas.

Now we appreciate the honesty, Doyle, but the picture in this spot has nothing to do with the look and taste of your new pizza, as the rest of the campaign preaches. Rather, you may want to talk to the 17 year-old who’s running stop signs in his 2001 Saturn while texting his friends about the case of Milwaukee’s Best his older brother just bought him that’s sitting on top of the pizza box he’s about to deliver. (Btw…if you need my cousin’s number, I’ll happily send it along.)

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Dear Xerox, Y&R Making You Look Bad

We think it’s safe to say that Mad Men‘s been pretty great for the advertising industry. It’s enhanced the allure while giving husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and parents a mild understanding of the daily trials, that it’s not just you that gets caught up. Your significant other subconsciously realizes that Don Draper would constantly check his Blackberry, too.

But then, Xerox and Y&R step in and post a video that will be slept through at their own national brand meeting and give support to the idea that creatives just try to be creative for creative-sake and simply like to hear themselves talk, or read themselves write. In this painfully long video above, Xerox CMO Christa Carone, VP Barbara Basney and Y&R’s associate creative director Corey Rakowsky discuss the new ad campaign. The campaign sounds pretty interesting–Xerox will be leveraging other brands’ icons like Mr. Clean and Target’s “Bullseye” to show how Xerox helps these companies. But don’t say we didn’t warn you that it’s boring. The campaign launches Tuesday and will include TV spots, print, Out of Home and an extensive digital platform.

For now, you may as well go ahead and watch the video. Yeah, it’s five minutes, but are you really working on your last summer Friday?

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Double Rainbow Guy Sells Out to Microsoft

Paul “Bear” Vasquez –aka “Double Rainbow Guy”– now promoting Microsoft’s Windows Live photo editing software. The spot spoofs the wildly popular meme (posted after the jump) by showing that if you want to capture “double rainbow all the way across the sky,” the photo stitchworks best.

Microsoft was unavailable to comment on whether Vasquez participated in a drug test. Or what the rainbow means…

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The Rebranding of SyFy Continues


SyFy has recently released a new animation that will serve as the opener for the channel in Spain and Portugal. For now, the animation will not appear in the US. The Barcelona-based agency, Dvein, handled the direction and animation, while 8 de Agosto handled the production. In the US, Dvein is repped by production company Blacklist.

“Hecho en Syfy” is the title of the short, which, for all you who copied their Spanish homework, means “Made at SyFy.” Regarding the concept of the spot, Dvein told us that they received a very creative-friendly proposal with the only direction being that there should be “a combination of organic forms and fluids [and that] the silhouettes of the characters of the channel had to be intuited.”

“We wanted to get inside of the world of creature features and disaster movies,” our source at Dvein told us. “This is our very first job in which all the process was made by us – from design “on paper”, then modeling, rigging, skinning, animation.”

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Here’s a Shoot You Wish You Attended

There’s always that one shoot or work party that’s always referenced with a knowing smile, raised eyebrows and a shake of the head, aka the you-had-to-be-there look. Well, for McCann NY creative directors Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy and music producer Mike Boris, the music video shoot for Kyle Andrews‘ “You Always Make Me Smile” was just that.

Andrews’ song is the centerpiece of the international “Stay You” campaign for Holiday Inn. In the video, more than 4000 BYU students set an unofficial world record for the world’s largest water balloon fight. More than 120,000 water balloons were flung.

There were two twists to the shoot. First, McCann NY and Holiday Inn formed a record label, StayU Music, to produce, distribute, promote and share revenue from the song. McCann is also partnering with Kyle Andrews on the deal.

Second, because the budget for the music video was “probably less than the food-service budget for a typical music video,” Bryan and Murphy met with the students from the BYU AdLab to hear some of their ideas. The water balloon fight was already scheduled as a summer student activity so they decided to shoot the spot in the middle of it.

Yeah, the song is as poppy as they get, but it would have been fun to aim water balloons at Andrews’ Justin-Beiber-wanna-be face.

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Here’s a Fool-Proof Way to Not Get Any Future Clients


Maybe you hate your job. Maybe you hate your job and you’re overwhelmed because half your team took off this week to take advantage Labor Day. Maybe you hate your job, half your team is out, you need work done but your creative department just got a new toy, and you screwed up your fantasy draft. That’s not too bad of a Monday. Things could be a lot worse. You could work for Eshe or Muckmouth.

Eshe streetwear recently came out with four new posters that are blanking the streets of Auckland, New Zealand, and are now available on t-shirts and skateboards. The Auckland-based agency, Muckmouth, is behind promotion of the “Religion is Garbage” cabbage-patch-esque campaign.

Presumably desperate for PR (even if that comes by way of threats to their office), Muckmouth developed extremely controversial copy to accompany the equally controversial images. To give you a taste, next to “Hole E Christ” is the line “Jesus bounced back from the dead like zombie.”

We almost feel bad noting the creatives behind the project, but since “Eshe and Muckmouth share a love of free-thinking, controversy and pushing boundaries,” here ya go:

Creatives: Nobjockey, Tatsie, Strange G, Dabset
Illustrator: Kennedy Poynter

Check out the other images and copy after the jump.

H/t Ads of the World

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Volkswagen Launches Campaign That Very Few Will Participate In

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DDB and Tribal DDB recently launched a Volkswagen campaign in the UK to showcase the company’s two new MPV models, the Touran and Sharan, and if you enter the contest we’re pretty sure you’ll have good odds of winning.

The program invites families to nominate their “Ultimate Family Hero” by uploading photos of the nominee to the site, which can then be “hero-ized” by adding masks, symbols and sound effects. The personalized comic book covers can then be shared via email or Facebook. With parents outfitted to look like extras in Kiss-Ass, you’re then asked to write why your nominee is truly the Ultimate Family Hero.

Here’s the twist: the three finalists (read: the two willing participants and the cousin of someone at DDB who was begged to enter) will undertake “special,” videotaped missions in the Touran and Sharan that will be posted on the site. The finalists’ videos will go live on October 11th to be voted for by the public (employees at DDB) with the winner receiving a car and £5,000 for the charity or local organization of their choice.

You gotta give it to DDB, they do cover the digital campaign checklist: user submitted images, basic image manipulation, Facebook integration, crowdsourced voting and charity.

“Whether you’re just playing with the Heroiser superhero maker, entering the competition or voting for and supporting your favorite finalist, there’s always something to keep you engaged and entertained,” Simon Richings, CD at DDB UK said in a statement. “Throughout there’s a clear message: Volkswagen has made these ultimate family cars.”

Is that the message? Or is it the following: we think you’re this desperate to be entertained.

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