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McCann Compares Internet to Escalators for Verizon

McCann, New York has a new campaign for Verizon FiOS, touting the brand’s “Speed Match” — matching download and upload speeds.

To do so, McCann set up an experiment slowing down an up escalator. When riders finally reached the top, a spokeswoman asks, “Shouldn’t up be as fast as down?” and then continues to make the point that the same should true of Internet connection speeds. It’s a pretty obvious visualization of the feature, and may help those who have trouble understanding tech issues appreciate FiOS’ “Speed Match” (even if they still don’t quite understand what they’re talking about). Read more

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KBS+ Takes Bissell to the Subway in Gross Spot

KBS+, Toronto have a new campaign for Bissell that gets a little gross. In the spot, promoting the Bissell Symphony, which vacuums and cleans hardwood simulateneously, Bissell Canada Senior Brand Manager Ravi Dalchand sets out to prove that he’s behind the product one hundred percent.

So he uses the Symphony to clean a subway floor and then takes things a giant step forward in the gross department and eats some saucy pasta right off the spot he cleaned, seemingly to the disgust of fellow subway passengers.

“Instead of just showing how it works at home, we felt the stronger message was to show how well it could clean, even in an extremely tough, dirty, messy situation,” Bissell Vice President General Manager Craig Emmerson told The Huffington Post.

As that publication points out, however, this was not a normal Toronto subway stop. The stop used was the Bay Lower Station, which TTC CEO Andy Byford said had been “closed off to the public six months after opening in 1966 due to passenger confusion and consistent delays.” It’s now mainly used as a set for movies and television. So while eating off of subway tile is still pretty gross, it’s not as disgusting as it originally appears. And those onlookers are almost definitely actors. But KBS+, Toronto and Bissell assume (probably correctly) that most people won’t reach that conclusion, and, staged or not, the gimmick is pretty memorable. Read more

Translation Goes Back to School for Champs Sports

Translation has a new back-to-school campaign for Champ Sports, entitled “Game Loves An Audience.”

That phrase appears on screen, leading in to the brand’s “We Know Game” tagline following short vignettes in several 30-second spots. For the most part, Translation keeps things pretty simple. “Practice,” for example, is a montage of players training for the upcoming season at football practice, ending with the coach riling the team up with a chant. “Joy Ride” and “First Period” (which we’ve included after the jump) are similarly straightforward (and self-explanatory) eschewing any dialogue for a focus on Champs Sports’ products. You have to wonder if maybe they could have benefited from a little more substance, though. Read more

BBDO Wants to Get You in the Kitchen for Uncle Ben’s

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has a new UK campaign for Uncle Ben’s, called “Ben’s Beginners,” based on the insight that one in four parents never cook with their children.

In a two minute spot — entitled “Where’s The Kitchen” — a supposed real estate agent shows families a house without a kitchen. Invariably, the families notice and complain, to which he replies that people aren’t really cooking anymore and kitchen-less houses are the wave of the future. It’s a bit of an odd way to illustrate how people are cooking less, but lets the brand avoid seeming overly preachy. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO probably could have made the point in less time however, as the two-minute format really stretches the premise thin.

Another part of the campaign will see Uncle Ben’s launching a YouTube cooking channel. Designed to encourage parents to cook with their children, the show is hosted by DJ BBQ shows kids how to cook simple meals using Uncle Ben’s products. It’s a nice extension of the campaign, and could foster some real brand loyalty in kids who learn to cook with the program. Additional videos will feature actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner teaching basic cooking skills. Read more

W+K Portland, Craig Robinson Return for Dodge Dart

W+K Portland launched the “Don’t Touch My Dart” campaign earlier this month, pairing comedians Craig Robinson and Jake Johnson. Well, it’s a few weeks later and the duo are back for several follow-up spots the agency has released for the campaign, along with a new interactive digital experience.

In the 30-second “Craig,” Johnson tries to get Robinon’s attention by repeatedly saying his name while he cleans and admires his Dart. Robinson spends the whole time ignoring him, leading into the “Don’t Touch My Dart” tagline (along with accompanying music, composed and performed by Robinson) and a prompt for viewers to “See what happens when you touch my dart.” Clicking on the link leads to an interactive digital initiative where you can move your cursor to “touch” Craig’s dart and see what happens. Try it for yourself here, and stick around after the jump for a couple for “Voice Touching” and “Birdhouse.” Read more

One Trick Pony Unites Branson, Goldsmith for Virgin Hotels

One Trick Pony got together Virgin billionaire Richard Branson and Jonathan Goldsmith — the actor perhaps most well-known for playing “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in the ongoing Dos Equis campaign — to promote the launch of Virgin Hotels, starting with a single location in Chicago.

In the spot, Branson recites some supposed rumors about the hotel — “The beds are so springy, they had to lift the ceilings 16 inches,” for example — while Goldsmith acts them out. Goldsmith’s involvement leaves no doubt from where One Trick Pony took its inspiration, and Branson’s acting can be a bit stiff, but the 55-second spot is not without its charm. Where the campaign really shines, though, is its social component, which invites consumers to tweet their own rumors about the hotel from the Virgin Hotels site. Users who submit some of the best tweets will be entered for a chance to win a two-night stay at the first Virgin Hotels location, where it’s rumored that Richard Branson tucks everyone in at night. Read more

FCB Chicago Helps Grandma ‘Shop Like A Boss’ for Kmart

FCB Chicago keeps things weird for Kmart in their latest spot for the brand, “Shop Like A Boss,” although it’s nowhere near as strange as the brand’s Christmas campaign.

The spot opens on a grandma-type, billed as “Shop Your Way Member Julia Ruiz,” sitting at her computer. After clicking a button, she throws on her hoodie, shades and bling as the soundtrack shifts from serene birds chirping to a hip-hop beat. Soon she’s joined by the two other members of her entourage, and the rest of the spot (the full-length version runs around 95 seconds) is basically a music video. Ruiz and her crew roll up to Kmart, dance around, and pick up her order.

It’s a pretty simple idea, but it’s not without its moments. In the full-length version some of the humor lies just in how the idea is drawn out to such great length, and also how well this Ruiz character plays the part. The spot is meant to promote Kmart’s “shop online, pay in-store” feature, which is touted by a voiceover at the spot’s conclusion. While some viewers may not draw the connection from “Shop Like A Boss” to the service, the spot is at least (quite) memorable and ties the idea to the brand.

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Ogilvy & Mather NY Hypes ‘The Chase’ for NASCAR, ESPN

Ogilvy & Mather New York hypes NASCAR Sprint Cup’s “The Chase” elimination series with a new campaign for NASCAR and ESPN entitled “Battle of Nations.”

The campaign spot, entitled “The Hype,” which will run in 15, 30 and 60-second formats, documents fan and commentator excitement for the new “Chase” format to the Sprint Cup, which pits 16 drivers against each other in a tough elimination playoff format. “The Hype” imagines the drivers — and their respective fans and support teams — as nations preparing to face off in rounds of challenges to determine an ultimate champion. Ogilvy’s campaign will also include radio, print, social, and digital elements — including “Spreading The Word,” an educational video which we’ve included after the jump.

“The campaign celebrates this bold and transformational moment in NASCAR’s history, taking fans along for the ride and accentuating the drama and intensity of the new elimination format as each round unfolds,” said Scott Parker, vice president of marketing at ESPN.

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TV Land Names Mediahub/Mullen Media AOR

mullen-304Mediahub/Mullen was awarded media buying and planning duties for TV Land, following a review that also included Fallon, reports Adweek. TV Land had previously been working with agencies on a project basis.

The assignment marks the agency’s second Viacom media buying and planning client, following being made media buying and planning agency of record for VH1 last November. Critical to the assignment will be supporting VH1′s new original series Younger, written and directed by Sex and the City‘s Darren Star, which debuts in January. Mediahub/Mullen will also work on other new and returning TV Land original series, including the Betty White-starring Hot and Cleveland, the show that marked the channel’s initial shift to original content. Read more

Van Damme Sculpts Ice Bar for VCCP, Coors Light

Jean-Claude Van Damme is back for Coors Light, sculpting an ice bar in the Rocky Mountains with his bare hands in a new UK spot from VCCP.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s “Epic Split” for Volvo, Van Damme is now synonymous with advertising gold, and the VCCP spot capitalizes on his image in a way reminiscent of that ad. The 60-second “Ice Bar” has just about everything you’d expect given Van Damme’s involvement: Van Damme’s signature mullet/ponytail, cheesy 80s synths, ice block breaking (with bare hands, of course) and a tongue-in-cheek sense of intentionally over-the-top humor. It all makes for a pretty fun spot, which makes you wonder why this isn’t running stateside as well. Read more

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