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Grey London Unveils ‘The Swell’ for Volvo

Grey London has launched its first global campaign for Volvo since winning creative duties last December, which takes a different approach to automobile advertising.

In the 60-second “The Swell,” the first shot is from the passenger side perspective. As the camera zooms out (while panning around the car) we see that the door is open and the car is parked at a deserted beach. “To feel, to really feel, is a rare thing these days,” intones the voiceover as we see the car’s driver (presumably) riding a surfboard and taking in the surroundings. As the camera submerges into the water, we see the tagline, “Seek feeling.”

The unusual spot breaks today on Volvo’s YouTube account and website, and will broadcast in Germany, Australia, France, Turkey and Belgium at the end of this year, and the UK in 2015.

“The last thing the world needs is another overly-retouched car, hooning down a mountain road to a soft rock soundtrack,” Hollie Newton, Grey London’s global creative director told Campaign. “There’s a defiant, slightly renegade Swedish spirit to Volvo that simply doesn’t fit with the bland world of car advertising. And thank God for that.”

Arnold Worldwide, Ad Council Launch ‘Grads of Life’ PSA

Arnold Worldwide and the Ad Council teamed up with Year Up, the Employment Pathways Project, ConPRmetidos, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, New Options Project, and Opportunity Nation for a PSA campaign entitled “Grads of Life.”

The campaign promotes alternative hiring processes and attempts to “raise awareness and change employer’s perceptions of opportunity youth” to fill the 4 million vacant positions companies in the U.S. are trying to fill. In a spot called “Pathways to Employment,” running in both 30 and 60-second versions, an employer sits down with a candidate for an interview. She touts her problem solving skills and strong work ethic, and, while he mentions her lack of a college degree, he ultimately decides she’s exactly what he’s looking for. Then, she disappears into thin air, symbolizing that because of the way in which they look for candidates, most employers never meet these type of prospective employees.

The campaign launch was backed by Hilary Clinton at the tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, where she said, “The Grads of Life PSA campaign is the first effort to drive employer demand for the millions of low-income young adults that are a huge source of untapped talent in our country and through employers can now access the first-ever online platform for the information, tools, and resources they need to take action today.”

72andSunny Want You to Join the ‘Mile High Club’ with Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.

72andSunny has a suggestive new ad for Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s to promote the chain’s new Mile High Bacon Thickburger.

The Paris Hilton-free spot, entitled “Propositioning,” begins with Israeli model and actress Bar Paly asking her boyfriend if he wants to join the “mile high club.” When he replies, “Not right now, babe,” she turns to the guy across the aisle, who happily accepts. Then proceeds to hand him a Mile High Bacon Thickburger and they both chow down, accompanied by a voiceover effectively saying “see what we did there?”

The brand has such a history of demanding overtly-sexual advertising that it would be silly to expect them to “grow up” overnight. Still, given the controversial 2012 Kate Upton spot, “Propositioning” feels relatively tame. Read more

mono Introduces Honeywell’s Lyric Thermostat

mono teamed up with New York-based Hornet Studios to introduce Honeywell’s new Lyric thermostat with a new animated campaign.

In a 30-second spot, mono introduces the new smart thermostat’s geo-fencing capabilities, showing how the Lyric can use the location of your phone to determine when you’re away and go into power saving mode, and then sense when you’re coming home and return your home to your preferred temperature. To accomplish this, the animated spot presents the scenario of a man whose layover “turns into a stayover” as he’s forced to book a hotel room. This provides viewers with a good example of when Lyric’s smart features might come in handy. A 15-second spot (also animated) takes a similar approach, telling the story of a family who decide to go camping.

In addition to the broadcast spots, the campaign also includes digital, social, print and OOH properties. Like the broadcast spot, these components align “with moments when Lyric’s technology will be most useful, encouraging people to rethink the possibilities of a smart, money-saving thermostat that offers people the versatility to live their lives spontaneously.” Read more

Baldwin& Brings Burt’s Bees to TV

Durham-based agency Baldwin&, Burt’s Bees’ agency of record, is bringing the brand to television for the first time in its 30-year history with a new campaign promoting its line of flavored lip balms.

The campaign is built around one 30-second and two 15-second ads utilizing whimsical animation to illustrate the variety of flavored lip balms from the brand. In the the 30-second spot, bees drop a tube of the brand’s original mint-flavored lip balm and a mint parachute opens. We then see grapefruit butterflies representing Burt’s pink grapefruit variety, chased by a honeycomb net on top a tube of honey-flavor. The scene unfolds to represent all of the brand’s flavored varieties, followed by the new “Uncap flavor” tagline.

“Lip balm is becoming something more like a gum product that brightens up consumers’ day,” Tad Kittredge, associate director of marketing at Burt’s Bees, explained to The New York Times. So while lip balm has traditionally been marketed to treat conditions like chapped lips,”…recently you’re starting to see a lot more of what I would call personality-driven and lifestyle-focused advertising, and we’re focused on the flavors as a way to reinforce the fun aspect of the brand,” Kittredge said.

In addition to the brand’s first television spots, which break Monday, the campaign also includes a print component, which uses similar imagery to promote the brand’s variety of flavors in full-page print ads. Read more

McCann Paris Launches ‘Bra Cam’ for Nestlé Fitness

McCann Paris has a provocative new take on the breast cancer awareness PSA, launching the world’s first (according to them) “Bra Cam,” to remind women to check for breast cancer.

At the beginning of the spot, a woman fastens a hidden camera to her bra before heading out for the day in a somewhat revealing (but still plenty safe for work) outfit. The ad then brings up a counter recording each time her breasts are “checked out” over the course of the day. It’s an attention grabbing way to deliver a pretty clear message: Everyone else is checking out your breasts, so check them out yourself and self-examine regularly for breast cancer. The campaign comes complete with a social initiative asking women to post a #CheckYourSelfie, checking themselves out and inviting friends to do the same in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness and get more women to self examine regularly. Read more

Agency Founder Selina Petosa Talks Gender Imbalance and the Future of Digital

The ad industry rarely finds common ground on much of anything, but two particularly contentious topics do seem to have long shelf lives: gender imbalance and the “digital vs. analog” divide.

We spoke to Selina Petosa, founder and chief creative strategist of Seattle-based digital agency Rational Interaction, to get her take on these subjects.

First, here’s some work Rational created for client Microsoft in 2012 (other major clients include Sony, Amazon, AT&T, Expedia and Cisco).

Q&A below.

Read more

Publicis Seeks to ‘Stop the Violence’ for Nokia

Publicis, Italy has a new spot for Nokia which seeks to “Stop the Violence” of cut selfies.

The clever spot shows a series of badly cut selfies, followed by the message, “Every day thousands of people are victims of cut selfies. Stop the violence.” This is followed by the tagline, “Share life uncut,” which has some unfortunate (and unintentional) implications. That it becomes kind of hard to watch the procession of badly shot selfies only serves to underscore the spot’s message. That said, the pacing and editing seem pretty spot-on. Read more

Carmichael Lynch Gets ‘Distracted’ for Subaru

Carmichael Lynch has another new spot for Subaru, following the release of a campaign promoting the Subaru Outback just last week.

This time around, Carmichael Lynch has crafted a spot for the Subaru Legacy. In the 30-second ad, a teenage boy is distracted by girl-minded daydreams when the Legacy’s obstacle-detection technology comes to the rescue. While his daydreams are squeaky clean compared to what actual teenage boys fantasize about, it’s still a relatively realistic scenario which makes a lot of sense as an approach for a family car, whose customers are likely to have to lend to their adolescent kid at some point. So while there’s not enough truth here for a full laugh, there’s more than enough to effectively make a point about the Legacy’s safety. Read more

TechCrunch Unimpressed by West Agency’s Homepage

SF West

Today we learned that TechCrunch blogger Kyle Russell doubles as an advertising critic. More specifically, he criticizes the websites of ad agencies.

There’s a reason he was interested in this one: it’s West, the San Francisco shop founded by former Apple marketing chief Allison Johnson with a bit of capital from Twitter originator Jack Dorsey.

About a year ago, we posted on West in response to tipsters’ claims that all the real ad people hired to staff the agency were leaving. West’s web presence doesn’t help clarify that matter, because it provides absolutely no information about the organization itself.

Still, Russell lingered on the page long enough to call it “a new champion in the endless battle to have the most pretentious startup website.”

Read more