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We Hear: Mello Yello to Ames Scullin O’Haire?

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Earlier today, a source told us that Coca-Cola has selected Atlanta agency Ames Scullin O’Haire as the new creative AOR for its Mello Yello brand, taking over for BFG Communications.

We’ve yet to receive official confirmation of the change, but the agency itself issued the following response:

“At this time Ames Scullin O’Haire Advertising cannot confirm nor deny we will be agency of record for Mello Yello moving forward.”

Coca-Cola’s corporate communications office has not responded to our request for comment, but we expect to see a related press release soon. For context, AdAge reported in August of 2013 that the brand was planning a “comeback” – and a change in AOR would presumably amount to a next step in that effort (the parent company chose BFG as it moved to relaunch the beverage in 2011 via the “My Name Is Mello Yello” campaign).

This is the latest recent rumor of an account leaving BFG following unconfirmed tips over the past several months which held that Snyder’s-Lance and RJR/Camel were also moving on; the latter client is now purportedly with Havas Chicago.

Updates as we receive them.

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Huge Parties It Up for Crate and Barrel

New York agency Huge teamed up with production company STORY and director Laurie Rubin for a pair of holiday broadcast ads promoting Crate and Barrel.

Huge’s creative teamed worked with Rubin, Crate and Barrel product specialists and food stylists to  assemble a holiday tableau for each spot decked out with Crate and Barrel products. Each table setting also is designed to reflect a different personality, showing the range of tastes the brand can cater to. Set to singer Stacey Marcus’ rendition of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” each spot keeps the table settings front and center, uncluttered by narrative or voiceover, ending with the tagline, “Design for the way you celebrate.”

The team created 19 different tabletop settings for the pair of spots, but Rubin says they easily could have created more. “Crate & Barrel has so much great stuff, it was tough to winnow it down,” she said. “We ‘auditioned’ a lot of arrangements to arrive at those that told the best story about the range.” Read more

22squared Uses Singing Sloth to ‘Save the Americans’

If you love sloths, cheesy musical parodies or the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” you may just appreciate 22squared’s spot for the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

The ad features a reworking of the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (popularized by The Tokens in 1961), as sung by a chorus of animals, beginning with a sloth. In the spot, entitled “Save the Americans,” the lyrics are changed to address the overworked and in need of a vacation and tell them to visit Costa Rica. Unfortunately, the song becomes a bit grating over the course of the online spot, which clocks in around two minutes. The campaign began running in the US and Canada last week, and includes broadcast, print and online components. According to Adweek, the Costa Rica Tourism Board spent around $3.3 million on the campaign.

All Ford Wants for Christmas is You in New Spot from Blue Hive Brazil

Blue Hive Brazil put together this holiday spot for Ford, built around the premise of holiday presents receiving people as their gifts.

At this time of year any changes to the holiday ad format are a relief, so Blue Hive’s gift role reversal is a welcome one. The spot opens up on a surreal Christmas village where a teddy bear unwraps a brown package with a blue ribbon to reveal its gift. Occasionally veering from the cute to the creepy, the spot, set to the song “When You Wish Upon a Star,”  eventually arrives at a new Ford driving itself to a new owner. The message, “This Christmas, eevery Ford wishes to have you as a gift appears onscreen, followed by “Merry Christmas” and the “Go Further” tagline. It may seem like an odd way to promote a new vehicle, but the distinct approach helps to distinguish the ad amidst the barrage of forgettable holiday spots for automakers, even while it fails to say much of anything about why exactly you drive off in a Ford this holiday season. Read more

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

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

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