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Brands

Grey, NY Launches Global Effort for Marriott

Grey, New York teamed up with production company Supply&Demand and director David Holm in its new global campaign for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, shot in Instanbul, Turkey.

Supply&Demand sent Holm to Instanbul early, to allow a week of scouting prior to awarding the job and Holm’s scouting session ended up providing much of the inspiration for the 60-second spot.

“David’s earlier work ended up becoming our style guide for the shoot,” acknowledged Creative Director Denise O’Bleness. “His images, ideas and research went as far as Marriott’s global print campaign that also uses his beautifully composed shots…”

The spot is well-shot and composed, with the beauty of Instanbul providing most of the appeal. “Let’s go somewhere brilliant” says a text overlay shortly after the opening shots of the city. “Travel is a journey” reads another message over the spot’s generic soundtrack, leading into the “Travel brilliantly” tagline.
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72andSunny Kicks Off ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown

Following the launch of the NFL season last week, as well as ESPN’s new NFL studio, 72andSunny has launched a new campaign for the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown, entitled “Count on Countdown.”

The campaign launched with a 30-second broadcast spot starring Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. In the spot, McCoy prepares for a Sunday game by following Countdown from his hotel, en route to the stadium and in the locker room. “Every Sunday, I count on Countdown,” McCoy says at the spot’s conclusion. Future spots in the campaign will shift the focus to fans around the country, such as Quin Kilgore’s Tattoo League of Omaha, Nebraska, which gained notoriety in a Countdown feature last season. Read more

McCann Launches ‘Together, All the Way’ for Cigna

Back in June, Cigna named McCann Erickson as its agency of record, following an extended review which also included finalists Grey and DDB. Now McCann has a new global campaign for Cigna, entitled “Together, All the Way.”

The campaign aims to introduce Cigna as a global health network in over 30 countries, with “one million doctors and health facilities, and 85 million customer relationships around the world.” In the debut spot, appearing in both 60-second and 30-second iterations, McCann presents Cigna as not just health insurance but “a partner who’s with you all the way.” The spot lists all the ways people try to stay well, such as exercising, looking both ways before crossing the street and choosing “the salad, occasionally” before stating that staying well is hard to do alone, and that you need a partner like Cigna, ending with the new tagline “Together, all the way.”

The broadcast spots are supported by digital and print executions. Additionally, ads will launch in China in October and India in November, followed by digital and social components extending the campaign into 2015. Read more

M:United Mocks Siri, Apple for HTC One

Happy Monday! Since today is unofficially Apple Week, here’s yet another brand trying to co-opt a bit of that company’s publicity.

M: United has a new campaign for the HTC One in which the agency once again takes on Apple.

Following on the heels of its August campaign promoting the Surface Pro 3 comes a spot in which the agency takes aim at Apple’s Siri, or “Robot Scarlett Johansson.”

The spot opens with Siri looking into a mirror and repeating that classic line “I feel pretty, oh so pretty” before engaging in a conversation with HTC One’s Cortana. Obviously, the conversation is intended to make Siri look silly by comparison, both via Cortana’s less computerized-sounding voice and the HTC One’s fancy features (including not one but two speakers).

This spot works better than most in its surprisingly large family, but how many more Apple-bashing ads can viewers stomach? Read more

Nail, Stonyfield Want You to ‘Cheat on Greek’

Nail Communications has launched an innuendo-laden campaign for Stonyfield Organic’s Petite Creme yogurt.

In the pre-roll video (featured above), entitled “Confessions,” a group of women talk about Greek yogurt, albeit in somewhat suggestive terms. It opens with a woman laughing and saying, “I don’t know, a couple times a week, I guess,” before whispering “I don’t really enjoy it.” “It’s just too much in the morning,” adds another woman. The spot concludes by asking, “Not satisfied with Greek yogurt,” followed by the “Cheat on Greek” tagline and a shot of Stonyfield Organic’s alternative.

A “Choose Your Own Adventure” style series of YouTube videos also deals in suggestiveness. The first video in the series asks “So you want to cheat on Greek?” Answer “yes” and you’ll get a coupon, “no” and you’re redirected to a video asking “Are you sure?” Here the series makes a grammatical error, as answering “Yes” to “Are you sure?” lands you the coupon, while “No” leads to a series of videos of “hunks” who attempt to seduce you. (And the suggestiveness gets a little gross, with one guy offering “pure pleasure and ten grams of protein.”) All the videos can be found on the campaign’s microsite. We expect a protest from the American Family Association for Stonyfield’s “promotion of adultery” within 72 hours.
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AMV BBDO Attempts to Define ‘Black’ for Guinness Africa

AMV BBDO, London has a new spot for Guiness Africa entitled “Made of Black” that gets a little awkward.

Well intentioned as it may have been, the spot comes across as a bit tone deaf, homogenizing a continent of diverse cultural groups with the term “black,” because that’s also the color of Guinness. Opening with the question “What is black?,” lines like “Black is an attitude” and “Black got swag” come across as either pandering or condescending. (Several YouTube commenters even go as far as to call the spot racist.) Add to that the poor soundtrack selection of Kanye West (why would you not select an African artist in a spot that supposedly celebrates Africa?) and you’ve got quite the headscratcher. To be fair, the spot’s visuals are quite impressive, but somehow we don’t think that’s what people are going to be talking about. Read more

JWT Tells Snacking ‘Love Story’ for Stouffer’s Mac Cups

JWT launched a campaign for Stouffer’s new Mac Cups, a snack-sized version of the brand’s classic mac and cheese line.

Mac Cups were launched with the revelation that Americans now eat snacks at meal times 40 percent of the time, and are often no longer following the three meals a day pattern. As Tom Moe, the director of marketing at Stouffer’s, told The New York Times:

“This notion of eating five meals a day, where consumers are grazing throughout the day depending on their need, has opened up a complete new territory.”

So, JWT’s 15-second stop-motion animated spot fits with this strategy. Mac Cups are presented as a tempting snack to eat any time, dancing around to Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” and at one point hiding behind the toaster. The interspersed footage of the mac and cheese touting its “real aged cheddar” doesn’t necessarily endear us to the product itself, though.

Los Angeles Clippers Name RPA Lead Agency

STK-NBA-LAC-P2010-01The Los Angeles Clippers have announced the hiring of Santa Monica-based RPA as its new lead agency, tasked with heading strategy, creative, media planning and buying, digital/social marketing and branded entertainment, following a review launched in August.

The review was launched in search of an agency with experience “rebuilding an established, well-known brand” in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal. Boston-based Pile & Co led the review, with a focus on agencies based in the area. New work can be expected soon, as the Clippers “will start the 2014–2015 season with a new creative platform that will be promoted across media channels.”

“The Los Angeles Clippers are poised for greatness. RPA will help the franchise become a first-class sports and entertainment brand,” said Kirt Danner, SVP, group account director at RPA. “The soon-to-launch campaign will help the franchise stand out and seize this unique opportunity to gain a competitive edge and increase its fan base.”

The team spent $433,500 in measured media last year, according to Kantar media, but that number could increase with the demands of the new campaign.

4Creative Destroys Cancer Cells for Stand Up To Cancer

To promote the October 17th Channel 4 and Cancer Research fundraiser Stand Up To Cancer 4Creative reimagined the typical disaster film with a twist: instead of human’s facing extinction, it’s cancer cells.

A project over a year in the making, 4Creative and production company Nexus create a world of cancer cell blobs inhabiting a modern city, created utilizing 2D paintings and 3D models. The overpopulated urban environment is disrupted by a mysterious blue orb and soon inhabitants are spontaneously combusting left and right. At the end of the spot, it the environment is finally revealed as a microscopic world which a scientist is testing new anti-cancer drugs on.

As directors Smith & Foulkes explained to Creative Review, personifying cancer posed some distinct challenges. “We wanted to steer away from the obvious route of showing cells as a bunch of grotesque alien germs, but we were also acutely aware of not making them too human or cute,” the pair said. “We also had to find a way to illustrate the new therapies, drugs and scientific breakthroughs that are fighting cancer. We wanted their arrival to be initially magical and mysterious, so we used a glowing blue orb, an unexplained light descending upon a shadowy world.”

The result is a highly unusual approach to raising cancer awareness. While the spot risks viewers sympathizing with the cancer cells (before they are revealed as such) it does make for a visually striking effort that stokes the imagination and entertains while raising awareness for a good cause. Read more

BBDO NY Tells Story of ‘The Boy Who Beeps’ for GE

BBDO New York tells the story of “The Boy Who Beeps” in a new online spot for GE.

The two-minute ad begins with the boy’s birth, and the beeping sound he makes in place of the usual baby’s wail. It’s soon apparent that the boy can communicate with machines. This starts off small, with him using his voice to change the channel or hit snooze on his alarm clock, but soon he’s using his power for greater purposes. Maybe it’s the great soundtrack by Beck, but the strange story is oddly touching somehow. Coming on the heels of the recent “Ideas,” it seems that BBDO is going in an emotional direction in their online work for GE. Read more

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