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DDB Promotes State Farm’s Other Services

DDB Chicago is taking a break from reviving old Saturday Night Live characters to remind viewers that State Farm offers financial services, life and home insurance.

Two weeks ago, DDB Chicago launched the campaign with the sentimental spot “Never” (featured after the jump), depicting a man who says he’ll never get married getting married, having kids, moving to the suburbs and buying a minivan. Now, the agency has unleashed the next ad in the campaign, the similarly-minded “At Last.” The spot continues aiming for the heart, depicting a second marriage between a man and a woman who each have children. “Sometimes at last doesn’t happen at first,” says a voiceover as the couple tie the know. “Your dad just kissed my mom,” says the daughter and hugs her new brother as the voiceover ties the scene to State Farm: “Turning two worlds into one takes love, helping protect that world takes State Farm.” The spot debuted yesterday on ABC.

“It’s important for us to shift the way people think about us instead of just reinforcing what they already think,” Patty Morris, director-marketing and brand content at State Farm, explained to AdAge. “It’s all about the balance.”

The campaign will continue to roll out over the next 6-8 weeks, with at least two additional ads planned. According to AdAge these include a spot about a young man leaving home and a woman retiring early thanks to savvy financial planning. “They show things working out, but not how you planned,” said John Maxham, chief creative officer at DDB. “Theres a great human truth to that. And State Farm is there with you to handle these twists and turns.” Read more

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‘Santa Flies Coach’ in 180 LA’s Holiday Effort for Expedia

180 LA crafted a holiday effort for Expedia entitled “Santa Flies Coach,” where Kris Kringle ditches the sleigh and travels around the world via more conventional means.

Santa visits Honolulu, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris and Dublin en route to his final destination. Everywhere he goes people are, of course, delighted to see the jolly, white-bearded symbol of Christmas, but viewers may be wondering by now why exactly Santa has ditched his sleigh. The spot takes a heartwarming turn with that reveal as Santa arrives at his final destination: “For one week Santa flew around the world, because now the points we earn traveling can be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital” appears onscreen as Santa visits patients at the hospital. It’s a heartwarming message, made all the more so by its unexpectedness in the wake of the cheery beginning of the ad. And the reveal, rather than feeling cheap, offers a satisfactory explanation furthering our understanding of what preceded it. A lot of holiday efforts shoot for this kind of feeling, but few attempt to actually motivate viewers toward specific charitable action, which makes “Santa Flies Coach” all the more admirable. Read more

Grey London Creates Adorable ‘Christmas Choir’ for McVitie’s

Grey London created one of the more off-the-wall Christmas spots you’ll see this year with “Christmas Choir,” promoting McVitie’s Victoria cookies.

In the spot, a family sits around on a sleepy holiday evening when the father decides to open up a box of McVitie’s biscuits. Upon opening the container, a chorus of tiny, adorable animals begins barking, meowing, quacking and otherwise vocalizing to the tune of 80s hit “Only You” by Yaz. The chorus of cuddly critters is, clearly, meant to evoke the happiness evoked by digging in to a box of McVitie’s (in this case punctuating a case of holiday doldrums), but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that around the 44 second mark a tiny narwhal whale emerges from the depths of a punch bowl. For that, Grey London, we thank you. Read more

Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard Decorate for the Holidays with Samsung

Back in September, McKinney created an ad for Samsung starring the almost-too-cute Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard preparing for a night out only to stay in wasting time on their Galaxy Tab S. Now the couple has returned in a holiday effort for Samsung, presumably also from McKinney that sees Dax decorating the house with a little help from a very pregnant Kristen.

In the spot, entitled “Home for the Holidays,” the couple communicates via video as Dax scours the attic for decorations and goes to the store for holiday treats and Dax shows off Samsung’s smart watch when he takes a call from Kristen while setting up lights on the roof. When they finally complete decorating and switch the lights on Kristen says suggestively, “You know what this gets me in the mood for?” — but it’s not what you think. Viewers who enjoyed the cutesy appeal of the couple’s previous Samsung ad will find plenty to like here. Those who found that spot a little cute for its own good will probably want to skip this one.

If you’re wondering how close to real life the couple’s antics in the spot are, the answer is pretty close. According to Todd Pendleton, chief marketing officer at Samsung Telecommunications America, “Kristen and Dax go big for the holidays and their traditions from wearing matching pajamas and sweaters to decorating the house Griswold style are all true to what they do in real life.”

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Leo Burnett Inspires for TD Bank

TD Bank gave 24 of its customers $30,000 to contribute to a community cause of their choosing, with just one stipulation: they had to complete the project in 24 hours.

Created in collaboration with Leo Burnett and Diamond Integrated Marketing, the campaign is captured in the above four-minute video (which fell through the cracks here last week). The video release was perfectly timed for Thanksgiving and easily went viral, having past the 3.5 million views mark on YouTube in under a week. “#MakeTodayMatter” shows surprised TD Bank customers learning they’ve been awarded the money for a cause of their choosing and then getting to work on making a difference in just one day.

The majority of those nominated for the campaign were chosen by TD employees, TD Chief Marketing Officer Dominic Mercuri told Adweek, with a few “chosen based on random live interviews in branches and stores with random customers.” Mercurri added, “We didn’t know if this idea would work. Would people drop everything to bring to life their idea? Turns out—yes, they would.”

Those ideas are on full display in the “#MakeTodayMatter” video, from buying all-new gear for a local youth football team, to making a woman’s home wheelchair accessible (allowing her to leave for the first time in years), to a gala event to boost the self-esteem of foster children. It’s hard to not be at least a little touched with people making their charitable ideas a reality. There are also separate videos for each project, hosted on a campaign website, as well as a social component. As you may remember, Leo Burnett and TD Bank went viral with the similarly charitable, “Automated Thanking Machines” this summer, and TD also collaborated with Philadelphia-based Tierney to commission “Art For Trees,” promoting eco-initiative MillionTreesNYC back in October.

McCann Saves Snowmen for Zurich Insurance

McCann has crafted a new ad for Zurich Insurance looking ahead to spring, which may seem appealing to you, but is certainly less so for the snowmen depicted in the ad, entitled “Save the Snowmen.”

The spot opens on a series of snowmen, melting slowly, and the message, “The first day of spring, somewhere in the Alps.” A dejected child pushes, while another boy replaces one of his snowman’s button eyes. Then a climate-controlled Zurich truck rolls up, filled with other snowmen, and takes them higher into the mountains. From the truck, the snowmen ride a ski lift and trek still further up, pulled by cross country skiers. Eventually they find themselves high up on a mountain peak, safe from the spring thaw.

It all makes for a cute little story, hard as it may be to relate with a negative portrayal of spring as another harsh winter is approaching. But while it’s an entertaining little ad, it’s so far removed from being related to Zurich’s services that many won’t realize what the ad is even for. Unless, of course, they insure snowmen.  Read more

BBH London Launches ‘The Welcome of Home’ for British Airways


BBH London has crafted an ambitious online spot for British Airways entitled “The Welcome of Home.”

The four minute long ad tells the story of a Canadian woman named Chitra visiting her grandmother in India, and bringing along a bit of a surprise. It is an emotional journey, perhaps a bit too saccharine for some, dealing with themes of family, love, culture and the true meaning of home. “No matter how many years I’ve been away, home will always be India,” Chitra says at the spot’s conclusion, before the message, “We know how important home is appears onscreen.” There’s little overt branding in the ad until its conclusion, with BBH London instead tying British Airways to the idea of home and the emotional tone of the ad. It’s well produced and, unlike a lot of long-form ads, doesn’t feel stretched beyond its limits. Still, getting people to sit through a four minute long ad for an airline is an uphill battle, making the attempt perhaps too ambitious for its own good. Read more

adam&eveDDB Crafts Holiday Epic for John Lewis

adam&eveDDB crafted what is sure to be one of the most talked about holiday ads of the year with “Monty The Penguin” for John Lewis.

Of course, this hardly comes a surprise, given the pair’s track record with holiday advertising. But “Monty The Penguin” still manages to stand out. The two-minute ad tells the story of a boy and his best friend, a penguin named Monty. We follow them through scenes of their day-to-day activities, and get an idea of their relationship through a charming montage set to a cover of the John Lennon-penned “Real Love” by Tom Odell. Somewhere along the way it becomes apparent that Monty is missing something, as he wistfully watches couples in the park and in movies. The conflict reaches its adorable conclusion on Christmas morning, coupled by a reveal that is effective even if it doesn’t come as a surprise.

The broadcast spot, which cost around $1.6 million dollars to make, is part of John Lewis’ overall $11 million holiday campaign. It is supported by a children’s book called Monty’s Christmas, an audio app version of the book narrated by Dermot O’Leary, a single release of Tom Odell‘s version of “Real Love,” and an in-store experiential event called Monty’s Den, created in partnership with Samsung and including Monty’s Goggles, an Occulus Rift like technology created using Google Cardboard.

“At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas,” Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, told Adweek. “We hope this uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones.”

72andSunny Channels Lewis Carroll for Target

72andSunny combines Alice in Wonderland with holiday sweetness in the holiday ad “Alice in Marshmallow Land” for Target.

The 60-second spot opens on a young girl following Target’s official mascot Bullseye (a Bull Terrier) down a giant Target logo into “Marshmallow Land.” Once there, the girl, presumably named Alice, eats a mini marshmallow and shrinks to join a group of popular toys at a table as they enjoy hot chocolate. From here, Bullseye and Alice continue on their holiday-themed adventures, set to a cover of the holiday classic “Marshmallow World” by Karen O and mostly removed from any of the malice of Carroll’s classic, of course — the one threatening moment involving a giant robotic dinosaur is easily resolved — until the girl wakes up. It’s a cute and imaginative approach that should appeal to families with small children, while featuring a number of popular holiday items at the giant retailer. Although since it’s debuting so early, it certainly runs the risk of wearing out its welcome by the end of December.

Droga5 Shares ‘Treats No Tricks’ for Chobani

Instead of trying to scare you this Halloween, Droga5 decided to go a different route for Chobani.

“We made a scary video,” reads the text at the video’s opening, set to ominous music, “this is not it.” The remaining 30-seconds are, instead, devoted to dogs in funny costumes eating Chobani. It’s cute stuff, to be sure, but we’re not sure how dogs eating Chobani are supposed to make people want to eat Chobani. But then the point is probably more to raise awareness for the brand with a video Chobani and Droga5 hope people will share on social media. The video will be pushed out on the brand’s social channels throughout the weekend, supported by social media posts and a Chobani sampling (presumably for humans, not dogs) at the Chobani café in SoHo. Read more

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