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Infiniti Courts Seven Agencies in Global Account Pitch

Infiniti

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet (or has already met) with seven agencies before selecting finalists to pitch for its global creative account, Adweek reports.

The meetings took place this week, and leave Infiniti “on track to complete its search by August,” according to Adweek. Infiniti’s initial request for proposal reported that the brand spends approximately $450 million annually. Among the agencies in the running are Publicis, FCB, Havas Worldwide (pitching with sister shop Arnold), Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to Adweek‘s sources. Interestingly, also pitching is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, partnering with incumbent Omnicom agency TBWA. After the initial meetings, Infiniti will narrow the field to three or four agencies, a cut that “could come as soon as next week.” Infiniti’s RFP noted that “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” and identified the U.S., China and Hong Kong as priority markets.

Toyota Taps Droga5 to Hype Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

droga5Earlier this week, Toyota announced the consumer release of a new Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle in Japan, the U.S. and Europe slated for 2015. Now, AdAge reports, Toyota has chosen New York agency Droga5 for the car’s pre-launch campaign.

The move marks the first auto marketer on Droga5′s roster. Although Saatchi & Saatchi LA is Toyota’s agency of record, the company looked to other agencies for new ideas for the breakthrough vehicle. “We approached Droga5 to give us some ideas, and they came back with something that blew us out of the water, said Kimberley Gardiner, director-digital marketing strategy for Toyota Motor Sales USA. “It ended up being a full campaign pre-launch proposal.”

“The opportunity was very much in our wheelhouse,” Droga5 Creative Chairman David Droga said. “If you get a call from Toyota asking, ‘Do you want to help launch the new generation of vehicles?,’ that’s about as juicy an opportunity as you can get, so we took that very seriously, and here we are. It’s very validating to have a chance to work with a brand like this.”

Gardiner didn’t reveal any details about the campaign, but, according to AdAge,”pre-launch will begin in the coming months, rolling out initially in the U.S. in digital and non-traditional media” and will last from 12-18 months.

McCann NY Takes Unique Approach to Gun Safety PSA

You might not associate a sex toy battle with gun safety, but McCann New York ties the two together in a new 30-second video entitled “Playthings” that (finally) takes a different approach to the familiar gun safety PSA, created for gun responsibility organization Evolve.

In the spot, a woman goes to pick up her son at a friend’s house and finds him locked in heated sex toy battle with his friend. The friend’s mother, of course, looks horrified, and just when you thought things couldn’t get any more awkward one of the kids turns on the vibration feature. Around this time the voiceover intones the message, “If they find it, they’ll play with it. So always lock up your guns.”

The humorous approach is a welcome departure from the typical gun safety PSAs — which we see a lot of. “Playthings” is a lot more memorable than those efforts, and a lot harder to ignore, which makes it more likely to effectively communicate its message and even reach people who might just tune out the more serious, stern warnings of other gun safety PSAs. Of course, some of those people will just find the suggestive humor packed on “liberal propaganda” that much more offensive. But then McCann and Evolve didn’t really have any hope of reaching them anyway. While this isn’t the first time Evolve has employed humor in its PSAs — Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s February effort “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses” took a similarly lighthearted approach — it is definitely the most effective. “Playthings” has already generated a fair share of buzz, approaching one million views since being released Wednesday and eliciting mentions in myriad media outlets. Credits after the jump. Read more

Modus Operandi Launches New Campaign, Website for Belvedere

Digital agency Modus Operandi has completed their first initiative for client Belvedere vodka, including both a new campaign and completely redesigned website.

The new website hosts the campaign brand videos, conceived by Modus Operandi and directed by Christopher Ferguson via sister company ModOp Films. Belvedere’s new site and brand videos implore viewers to “#knowthedifference” between terms like “dirty,” “wet,”and “dry,” as in the above “Luxury Vodka State of Mind,” which is set at an upscale pool party. Another video features Belvedere’s Claire Smith, “the First Lady of Vodka” celebrating the vodka martini, which we’ve featured after the jump (along with credits for the brand videos).

““The goal of the website redesign was to modernize Belvedere’’s digital presence as more of a luxury lifestyle brand,”” says Modus Operandi Creative Director Jay Gundzik. “”We use creative social campaigns to activate and drive their consumers to the global Belvedere site. Once there, they can get a feel for the brand through a series of creative branded videos and short documentary-style films. Consumers can also find new cocktail recipes and take a deeper dive into Belvedere’s culture and character.””

Read more

W+K NY Rolls Out Pair of Social Campaigns for Heineken

Wieden+Kennedy New York has rolled out two timely social campaigns for Heineken: “#BrazilianNoShow” and “Like for Love.”

“#BrazilianNoShow,” as you might have guessed, is a World Cup-related campaign. W+K New York and Heineken are “challenging CMOs, bosses, and people across America to give their employees time off to watch a game, with their new challenge #BrazilianNoShow!” The idea followed Team USA’s unexpected win against Ghana in their opening game, but is as relevant as ever following the team’s advancement past the group stage. Since game times coincide with the work day here in the U.S., Heineken CMO Nuno Teles appears (video above) to implore American workers and bosses to play hooky and support their team — after all, this opportunity only comes along once every four years.

“Like for Love” sees Heineken supporting Gay Pride Month by “encouraging consumers to ‘spread love’ through the ubiquitous double tap on Instagram, using six photos of real couples to create an interactive virtual Pride flag right in users’ feeds.” The real couple photos all have a single color background, but create an interactive, virtual Pride flag users’ feeds after they are liked. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Kentucky for Kentucky Introduces ‘KFC Bone Gold Necklaces’

In what is surely one of the strangest campaigns you’ll see this week, creative Whit Hiler of Kentucky-based Cornett (you may know him from independent org Kentucky for Kentucky’s “Beardvertising” and “Kentucky Kicks Ass”) paired with other local artisans to introduce “Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces.”

The project notes that “many great inventions have come out of Kentucky” — such as bourbon, the bowie knife, and, of course, fried chicken. So now, the Kentucky-based integrated agency has “ taken one great Kentucky invention and turned it into a completely new Kentucky invention.” “Like Willy Wonka’s ’Everlasting Gobstopper,’” they’ve “ figured about a way to make it possible to savor a single piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken forever.” That would be by dipping the bones in 14 kt gold and turning them into necklaces. Hiler teamed up with Kentucky jewelry designer Meg C to create a line of “Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces.” Just what you always wanted! They’re releasing a limited run of 20 “Gold Kentucky Fried Chicken Wang Bone Necklaces” on Friday, June 27th (that would be tomorrow) at 10:00 AM. Click here to learn more.

Note: the project did not directly involve Cornett or KFC, but the brand was impressed:

Teddy Roosevelt Likeness Aims to Remain in Brazil, Rally US Soccer Fans

teddygoals1

With the US-Germany World Cup showdown getting underway in a matter of minutes, we figure it’s rather timely to mention the man above, who’s going by the name of “Teddy Goalsevelt” but is actually one Mike D’Amico, an ACD at Chicago-based, WPP-owned agency, Cavalry. Those who watched the US-Portugal stunner on Sunday may have seen D’Amico hamming it up as his Teddy Roosevelt character and rallying U.S. soccer fans on the telly (he even joined in on a pic with Super Bowl XLVIII MVP/Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith earlier in the week according to Deadspin commenters). Now, the very optimistic D’Amico, who’s also president of the Chicago chapter of US soccer fanatics the American Outlaws, wants to continue in his efforts as the USMNT’s unofficial mascot down in Brazil should team USA (fingers crossed) make it to the knockout round.

How? Well, with the aid of his cohorts at Cavalry (who count clients including Coors Light), Mr. D’Amico has launched a GoFundMe site asking for fan help to keep him and his character in Brazil through the tournament…or as far as the US goes, we imagine. We’ll see what transpires in the next couple of hours, but thus far, D’Amico and company have raised nearly $2K in less than 24 hours and will match the first $2,500 donated. You can check out the Facebook page here for more info and go to the GoFundMe site to donate here. Now, who’s ready to join in on the by-now-familiar “I believe that we will win!” chant?

Also: here’s a supportive tweet from Listerine (and digital AOR MRY):

Full Contact Examines ‘Moving Day’ for Cumberland Farms

Boston-based agency Full Contact has a new television spot promoting convenience/gasoline staple Cumberland Farm’s Farmhouse Blend iced coffee.

The spot marks a departure for the brand, who in recent years have relied on David Hasselhoff in their iced coffee campaigns, such as last summer’s “Thirsty for Love.” Full Contact takes a simpler, more product-driven approach with “Moving Day,” while still employing humor. “Moving Day” sees a woman give her partner and his buddies Cumberland Farm’s Farmhouse Blend iced coffee to fuel them as they move into a new place. She soon regrets the decision, though, as the guys are so unwilling to put down their iced coffees that they break a series of valuables.

Cumberland Farms Senior Manager of Brand Strategy David Heilbronner said the ad “speaks to the quality and value of Cumberland Farms’ Farmhouse Blend iced coffee, and the spot focuses more on the product itself than our past iced coffee commercials. Our agency, Full Contact did a great job inserting iced coffee imagery into a chaotic and humorous scenario…”

While the ad does highlight the actual product in a way the campaigns featuring The Hoff didn’t, it’s far less memorable than “Thirsty For Love,” and it’s very unlikely that it will draw the same kind of attention to the brand. On the other hand, the ad was clearly made on a tighter budget than previous campaigns and it’s unclear if all the attention surrounding The Hoff actually led to increased sales. Stick around for credits after the jump.  Read more

Grey London Documents ’100 Years of Hair’ for Gillette

Grey London has a new spot for Gillette documenting the last one hundred years in male grooming.

The video, entitled “100 Years of Hair,” features the new “Gillette BODY, the brand’s first razor built for the terrain of the male body.” It takes the viewer on a journey through the myriad (and often regrettable) styles of decades past, such as the “Pepe Le Pew” mustache, handle bar. clean-shaved greaser, unkempt sixties, and the soul patch. At the spot’s conclusion the man  breaks out the Gillette BODY to shave his chest, displaying Gillette’s latest change to male grooming (which is sure to catch on with competitive swimmers everywhere). Stay with us after the credits for a behind-the-scenes video. Read more

BBH London (Over)Inflates Things for Virgin Media

To promote Virgin Media’s “comprehensive new bundle of technology services” BBH London teamed up with creative company th2ng (pronounced “thing two”) for a visceral visual demonstration of just how big the bundle package is.

They created a series of five online spots, “Conceived, devised, and delivered on an extremely tight deadline” that show the inflation of a series of everyday items to the breaking point. While the end results of continuously inflating the items — which include  a pair of dishwashing gloves, a standard suitcase, a hot water bottle, and a six-foot tall dinosaur — is predictable, it makes for suspenseful viewing since you don’t know when the explosive moment will occur. Directors Dan Lumb and Crinan Campbell (known collectively as “The Queen”) say that, despite the time constraints, this was still “the project of their dreams.”

Following the launch of the first video in the series on June 16th, viewers had the opportunity to vote online for what they would like to see explode next. You can watch the original video above, and stick around for more explosions and credits after the jump. Read more

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