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Michael Musco

Coco Boards the Apple Parody Train

Conan O’Brien had a little fun with the never-ending Apple salivation on his TBS show last night with this clip, which  features the stereotypical Apple executives set against a white background who are telling us how great and extraordinary their products are.

The white background with a person or people speaking in front of it is practically a brand identity all in itself regardless of what spoof is being portrayed. It doesn’t matter what it is; the people see white, they see Apple and as Coco points out, “You’ll Buy It No Matter What We Say.”

Greg Bell Signs with Epoch

Venables Bell & Partners co-founder/co-CD and 20-year ad vet Greg Bell is realizing his second career as he’s signed on to the directorial roster of NY/LA/London-based prodco, Epoch Films. Bell left VB&P, which he launched with Paul Venables in 2001, nearly two years ago after a snowboarding accident made him rethink things and “realize life was too short to be in meetings all day.”

During his time at VB&P, Bell helped compile a list of clients including HBO, Audi, Intel, Napster, Barclays, and C0ca-Cola. Regarding his new gig, he says in a statement, “It was an easy choice. Epoch is a world class company with just about the nicest people in the business. I’m truly lucky to get a spot on their roster.” Epoch Films’ managing partner Jerry Solomon adds that despite Bell’s lack of experience in directing, “We signed Greg because he has twenty years of pedigree creative work under his belt.”

Roman Coppola Takes First Stab at Hotel Commercials

Embassy Suites Hotels have been laying dormant when it comes to TV adverts for nearly four years now, but that will change come March 6 thanks to its AOR, BBDO Atlanta, and commercial/music video director Roman Coppola. The teaser above is part of the hotel chain’s $15 million multi-platform brand awareness initiative that will include the usual TV, print, OOH and online components.

The campaign stars a Kevin Spacey lookalike dubbed Mr. More who gloats about how much more you receive while saying at the hotel, from spacious, two-room suites and complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast to free beverages, snacks and so on. As mentioned, the TV spots mark the hotel commercial debut for Coppola, who’s helmed music vids for Green Day, Fatboy Slim and Daft Punk and has also served as second unit director for dad Francis and sister Sofia.  According to a statement from John Lee, Embassy Suites, Hilton Worldwide VP of brand marketing, “Roman’s quietly off-kilter sensibility and innate understanding of the brand’s personality was a great match for us.”

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Mullen, Psyop Somehow Make Yogurt Look Visceral, Sexy

Mullen has debuted its first creative effort for its new client, Greek yogurt brand FAGE, and suffice to say, this isn’t your average Dannon, Yoplait or Activia spot. The campaign has been dubbed “Plain Extraordinary” featuring a lyrical rhyme that tells the story of how “Plain became so much more than more than plain” or something to that effect which is mouthed from someone who may or may not be Willem Dafoe (if so, the man has found a second career).

Mullen Mark Wenneker says in a statement, “If our advertising is half as good as the yogurt, I will be pleased.” We’ll let you be the judge of that, but in addition to the broadcast component, there’s a website re-design included along with a Facebook page and Twitter stream. View full credits after the jump.

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Mono Unveils Online Creative Swap Meet

Did you know that Blu Dot built its business on bartering? Way back when, its logo was designed in exchange for a custom tree house. Yup, a custom tree house.

Inspired by this tale of their longtime client, the folks at Minneapolis-based mono created The Blu Dot Swap Meet, an online community auction where creatives who love modern design but are unable to afford modern furniture can bid on any item from the site in exchange for their own works of art, Whether it’s a creation, talent, collection, taxidermy or a popsicle stick fort, if Blu Dot likes, the furniture is yours.

In the piece above, Ron Jeremy doppelganger/indie dance-rock artist Har Mar Superstar will hopefully give you a better understanding of how the whole barter system works. Happy Bidding.

EVB Pays Homage to Devo in Latest ‘Unicorn’ Installment

EVB has unveiled the next phase of its award-winning “Serenading Unicorn” campaign for Juicy Fruit, this time pairing up the playful, mythical puppet with YouTube sensation/50 Cent’s pal Keenan Cahill. In this latest installment, Cahill and the creature sing along to “Whip It” by Devo and let the good times roll. We’ve been told by the EVB camp that this the campaign is “not over yet” and there are “many more surprises to come.’ Whatever the case, it’s a nice, silly way to start the day.

HUGE Creative Reflects on Life on Mars

Not to be outdone by new colleague Jon Jackson, who broke up with L.A. via billboard a few months back, HUGE creative director Andrew Kessler is pushing his own side project of sorts which is a book called Martian Summer, a personal account of his 90 days in mission control with the 130 NASA scientists and engineers of The Phoenix Mars expedition. Kessler was the first outsider granted access to Phoenix’s fortress of solitude for such an event and spent the summer of 2008 watching as robots were sent to the Red Planet to dig up soil, take 3-D pics and much more.

HUGE has gotten behind the project, natch, creating a site and a series of promos in recent weeks to promote Kessler’s chronicle, which contain exclusive footage from NASA (example above) and behind-the-scenes looks into mission control. Watch another clip after the jump. Martian Summer hits shelves on April 15.

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Sid Lee Seeks Fatboy Revamp via 240-Hour Boot Camp

Think you have what it takes to deal with egos as big as yours, 24/7, for ten days all in the name of imagining the future of the Fatboy brand? Well Sid Lee, fresh off of snagging a piece of the Dell biz, is now looking for the “most creative people on the planet” (ages 18-35 only, in fields ranging from architecture to copywriting to graphic design), who will be flown on the shop’s dime to its HQ in Montreal and test themselves amongst their fellow recruits.

The chosen participants will spend May 30-June 9 living and breathing “Commercial Creativity” in a section of Sid Lee’s office which will be transformed into an indoor camp in which the participants will live. The agency warns, “This will be no five-star hotel. Tents only!” The goal: Dream up Fatboy brand experiences that go way beyond product design. At least those chosen will get coaching by the creme de la creme on the Sid Lee team, rub shoulders with industry experts, and be featured in Frame magazine.

If you think you have the goods (and the stamina), get thee to the Facebook  site and apply.

Saatchi LA Appeals to NASCAR Fans with Toyota Sponsafier Challenge

As part of the Daytona 500 festivities, Saatchi LA launched the third round of its challenge dubbed the “Toyota Sponsafier,” where racing fans can design their own NASCAR Sprint Cup car.

To promote the site, Saatchi concocted a campaign featuring fans daydreaming of what it would be like if they had a day to spend with their favorite racer. The spot above entitled “Bromance” features Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., and Darrell Waltrip. Along with this spot comes two additional commercials featuring the likes of Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs and Denny Hamlin to further drive home the daydream concept.

In regards to the website, fans can create as many car designs as they’d like and share their work on social networks to collect as many votes possible before March 20th, when the public will vote on the top 10 designs. From there, a final round of public voting and a panel of judges comprised of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities will select the grand prize winner who will receive a prize pack consisting of Toyota Racing gear (yip yip) aaaand, will receive a visit from his or her favorite Toyota NASCAR driver, thus bringing their fantasies to reality. Check out the other spots after the jump.

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Creatives, What Does Your Desktop Look Like?

Cardinal & Company thought up a neat idea that lets creatives see how their colleagues’ work behind-the-scenes. What started as a playful blog has attracted the likes of designers, writers, illustrators, animators, photographers and more who are getting in on the act. Since each submission links to a portfolio and Twitter account, it’s becoming an unexpected place for creatives to connect from all over the world.

If you’d like to take part, simply go to your desktop and hit ⌘+⇧+3 or command.shift.3 (same thing), and simply upload the image to the website. You can also check out others’ uploads right here. Sohave at it.

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