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Agencies

The Martin Agency Revisits ‘Camels’ for Geico

According to Adweek, The Martin Agency’s “Hump Day” ad for Geico was the brand’s most viral ever, so it’s no surprise that the agency (who have been known to recycle its ideas for the brand) riffs on the spot’s popularity in its latest ad, entitled “Camels.”

The painfully self-referential spot is set in a zoo, where a group of camels are relentlessly barraged with shouts of “What day is it?” and “Hump day!” from visitors. One of the camels remarks glumly that it isn’t even Wednesday, followed by the voiceover announcing, “If you’re a camel, you put up with this all the time. It’s what you do. If you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, it’s what you do.”

While the “Hump Day” character was ubiquitous enough to make the ad’s reference obvious, imagining that throes of people loved a previous campaign enough to harass camels over it comes across as more than a tad self-congatulatory. And like a lot of Geico schticks, the joke has long since worn itself out, making trotting it out once again here (new self-referential spin and all) feel tired. Read more

i.d.e.a. Promotes Higher Education for National University

San Diego-based i.d.e.a. has launched a new campaign promoting non-profit National University, centered around a series of broadcast spots which debut tomorrow.

One of these spot, “Sports” (featured above), delves into the neuropsychology of sports fandom, offering a new view on an everyday activity. Another live action spot, “Spiders,” meanwhile, examines the origns of arachnophobia. Each of these ads, along with graphic spots, ends with the line, “Think you don’t have time to learn something new? You just did,”before promoting viewers to continue educating themselves at nu.edu. The campaign aims to promote National University as a way to earn a degree around a busy schedule, as classes are offered both on-site and online. In addition to the broadcast spots (which we have a couple more of after the jump), the campaign also includes print, outdoor, and digital elements. Read more

BBH NY Visits ‘Hotel’ for Axe

Unilever’s Axe brand has been moving away from the sex-fueled image that first gave it notoriety and eventually turned into self-parody as the brand aims to attract a slightly older demographic than the hormonal adolescents those ads courted, and BBH New York’s latest effort for the brand’s White Label line, “Hotel” (featured above) continues that trend. The ad will make its broadcast debut on January 1st, during the College Football Playoffs.

“Hotel” follows a well-dressed man and those impressed by him, with voiceover providing their internal monologues as they guess just what it is the man does. These range from a woman who assumes he’s a movie to star, to a young boy who believes he’s  super-spy, to an elderly gentleman who thinks he’s a comedian. Things go over-the-top when a dog offer the interpretation that “No, he won Best in Show.” At the end of the ad, the man’s true profession is revealed.

The strategy, clearly, is to promote Axe not simply for sex appeal but instead as a sign of distinction and a confidence-booster, as exemplified by the tagline, “How you feel says it all.”

“If you’ve ever been in a restaurant in L.A. and someone with confidence walks in the door, the whole restaurant turns and looks at that guy,” Ari Weiss, executive creative director of BBH, New York, told AdAge. “There’s always this assumption that he must be famous.”

David&Goliath Present ‘Showdown’ with Blake Griffin for Kia

After teaming up with LeBron James back in October, David&Goliath returned to working with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin in its latest effort for Kia, entitled “Showdown.”

The spot features Griffin cast in a Western, but instead of riding a horse he improvises and rides in on a Kia Optima instead. Initially reluctant to the change, Griffin eventually convinces his director to go with the decision. All the while Griffin plays on the kind of goofy persona he’s displayed in the past, such as David&Goliath’s September effort for VIZIO. While fans of Griffin’s humor will find plenty to like, whether this translates to casual viewers will depend largely on how much they can get behind the ad’s premise.  The best moment of the 60-second spot doesn’t come until the very end, with a throwaway line that throws extra light onto the ridiculousness of an NBA star in the American frontier. Read more

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 2: Ugly Sweaters, Murals, Drones and More

It seems like we just finished the first round of our 2014 agency holiday card review, doesn’t it?

In this latest edition of the holiday roundup, we start with DigitasLBi, which played on an evergreen theme by asking users, “Which ugly holiday sweater are you?

digitas sweater

We were the “Free Dickie,” though we do find ourselves to be pretty damn predictable. The page is worth a visit for the questions, but the disapproving looks from someone’s “knitting expert” grandma are even better. Most importantly, Digitas donates to Goodwill every time someone completes the quiz.

After the jump, Austin’s GSD&M team up with an indie legend.

Read more

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 1: Charity, Inclusiveness and More

You know what time it is: time to raid your cheap liquor stash, clear off your desk, and say goodbye to the agency office for a few days. It’s also time to review the many, many, many agency holiday cards in our inboxes!

Here’s the first in our series of roundups; the inaugural post stars Digitas Health, Y&R, JWT, mcgarrybowen and Cole & Weber.

-For its holiday effort, “Group HUG 2014″ (video above), Digitas Health is calling on viewers to “turn ordinary mouse clicks into cash donations” for charities. Simply head on over to Digitas Health’s Facebook page, nominate a charity, like the charities you think should win by linking and sharing and watch as the days unfold as there’s a new round of charities every week.

Read more

Team Detroit Celebrates the ‘Most Distracted Time of the Year’ for Ford

Team Detroit is launching a holiday campaign promoting the 2015 Ford Fusion, entitled “It’s the Most Distracted Time of the Year” in a play on a certain popular holiday song (which, of course, is used as the soundtrack for each of the ads).

As you may have guessed, the campaign focuses on a variety of distracted drivers before touting the safety features of the Ford Fusion. In “Miss Multi-Task,” for example, we see a chronic multi-tasker carry a slew of gifts and desserts while talking on the phone. She then gets in her car (while still on the phone), prepared to drive off, oblivious to the cookies she left on the car’s roof. “There are a lot of naughty drivers out there,” says the voiceover as a list of the vehicle’s safety features appear onscreen, “Steer clear of them, with help from the 2015 Ford Fusion.”

“Miss Multi-Task” is the most realistic of the three scenarios presented in the spots, with “Icy Mad Man” and “Frazzled Father” stretching believability a bit with a man who attempts to see out of a completely iced over car by clearing only a very small circle for visibility and a father who completely blocks his view with the family Christmas tree. These over-the-top antics detract from the message, but the real problem with the campaign is how forgettable it is. There are a slew of automakers touting safety features in various ways (see Hyundai’s “Exobaby” for the most ridiculous of these) and Team Detroit doesn’t do much to differentiate the Ford Fusion here. Read more

McCann Spain Presents ‘The Other Letter’ for IKEA

McCann Spain and IKEA get sentimental for the holidays with longform online spot “The Other Letter.”

The ad opens with a provocative question: “Why do we insist on not getting our children the things they really want for Christmas?” Then the video introduces the experiment the agency conducted with ten families, in which they ask children to write a letter to the Three Wise Men (which is a cultural variant on letters to Santa), with predictable results. The twist comes with the follow-up question, asking the children what they want from their parents. Rather than ask for additional toys or material items, the children’s responses tug at the heartstrings. One child asks to spend more time with his parents and “to do more experiments at home,” another wants to be listened to more, one child asks for more meals as a family, another to spend a whole day with his parents. “You always try to substitute. To fill what’s missing with a new toy,” responds one mother, touched by her child’s letter. “They have far too many toys anyway,” says another.

The ad ends with the message, “At Christmas things can get a bit jumbled. There’s nothing like home for getting your head in order,” which finally (tangentially) ties the message to the brand. It also invites audience participation via the hashtag #LaOtraCarta. It’s a bit heavy on the sentimentality, but then this is the holidays. A bigger problem may be that people remember the message, but forget that it has anything to do with IKEA.

There’s also a 60-second broadcast spot delivering a similar message via more traditional means (featured after the jump), but it’s the online effort people will be talking about. Read more

Ogilvy Canada Presents ‘The Warmest Tim Hortons in Canada’

Ogilvy Canada yarnbombs the shit out of a Tim Hortons in this online spot, ostensibly making it “The Warmest Tim Hortons in Canada” in the process. The approach of giving a Tim Hortons location a makeover calls to mind this summer’s “Dark Experiment” spot from JWT Canada, introducing the brand’s new dark roast.

The spot begins by introducing Fort Frances, “One of the coldest places in Canada.” Some children discover a yarnbombed tree and then follow a string to the local Tim Hortons. Inside the location, customers are jazzed to fine yarn around all the furniture and a knitted cap topping the roof. It’s a nice little gesture, which recognizes that Tim Hortons is a place many of their customers go to for a respite from the cold, and visitors to the location seem to really appreciate it. The online video ends with  the message, “On December 13th we brought a little warmth to a small town. And wound up knitting an entire community together.”

The Viral Factory Introduces ‘Exobaby’ for Hyundai

Well here’s a strange one. The Viral Factory created the online spot “Exobaby” for Hyundai, likening Hyundai’s safety features to a baby wearing a robotic exoskeleton.

“They made him a suit to make him more than human, he’s Exobaby,” says the booming, over-the-top voiceover at the beginning of the spot, as the character is introduced. Features of the Exobaby include “advanced high strength steel,” “smart trunk” (for pooping), “blind spot detection,” “lane departure warning system,” “forward collision warning system,” “bath evade,” and “smart parking assist system.” Just in case the Hyundai logo on the suit and car-related features weren’t obvious enough to clue you in, the voiceover concludes by saying, “Oh, let’s be honest: the baby in the suit is you in the new Hyundai. You get it?” If you don’t, you probably should not be behind the wheel.

The idea is ridiculous and is stretched pretty thin by the end of the 90-second spot (somehow it feels longer), but the worst part has to be the “let’s be honest” bit calling attention to the blatantly obvious. There must have been a better way to transition to the footage of the car than saying, “By the way, we were obviously talking about the new Hyundai the whole time.” Since the ad features a baby doing baby stuff (and even manages to work in secondary view bait via a dog), however, it stands a chance of going viral no matter how crazy the premise is. Stick around for behind the scenes footage after the jump. Read more

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