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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

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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

Periscope Introduces ‘Ralphpunzel’ for Great Clips

Independent Minneapolis-based agency Periscope launched a new spot for Great Clips, entitled “Ralphpunzel.”

Ralphpunzel, is (shocker!) a man who has grown his hair out for twenty years, to a length of seventeen feet. In the spot, he decides to finally get a haircut and is able to book ahead on Great Clips’ website. Along the way he runs into some acquaintances who are quite surprised to see Ralphpunzel doing away with his locks, and he provides them with an explanation.

Aimed at millenial males, the spot will run during the most watched college football bowl games and during the College Football Playoff semi-final and championship games. Read more

Blue Hive Goes Further for Ford

Here’s one we missed from a few weeks back. Agency Blue Hive created a new online spot for Ford promoting the new Ford EcoSport and its keyless entry feature, entitled “Go Further.”

In the spot, a tanned beach dude, wearing a very small bathing suit walks along the beach to the tune of The Chordettes’ version of “Lollipop,” which fits the scene well. As he garners stares from onlookers, it becomes clear he’s heading back to his car. But how is he going to open it? Where could he possibly have put his keys? While the onlookers in the ad and viewers alike wonder this, he approaches the car, it beeps, and he gets in and drive away, followed by the suggestive message, “Where you put your keys is up to you.” The message is pretty clear: instead of rummaging around in a sandy bag for your keys after a day at the beach, you can just tuck your key fob in your crotch at the beginning of the day and forget about it. Thanks, Ford!
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BBH Takes ‘The Next Step’ for Johnnie Walker

While everyone is still looking back at the year in retrospect, BBH looks ahead to 2015 in “The Next Step” for Johnnie Walker.

The 60-second spot is notable for its unusual visual style, accomplished by filming in one continuous take on a moving set that took around three weeks to complete. Once filming started, it took approximately 50 takes and three days to get everything right. “It really didn’t start to come together until the final takes,” BBH Copywriter Mikio Bradley told Adweek.

The spot opens on an actor at a holiday party as the lights go out. As the actor — who happens to be named Oliver Walker — begins walking, the voiceover begins: “The first step of a new year, we’ll all take one, but where will a step take you? How high could you climb, and how far?” As the voiceover continues philosophizing, the actor continues walking through his vision 0f 2015, until he eventually finds himself back at the party where he started. “The new year begins with the next step,” concludes the voiceover, how far will it take you?” As fireworks explode overhead, the text “Here’s to 2015″ appears onscreen, followed by the “Keep Walking” tagline. In the online version, which made its debut on December 4th, this is then followed by the question, “How Will You #Keepwalking in 2015?” The broadcast version is set to run from December 22nd through early January.

While this is clearly an attempt at social engagement, BBH may as well be asking the question of Johnnie Walker. The Diageo whiskey brand is currently in the middle of a global review, with BBH defending the account, which has been with the agency since 1999. BBH vowed to “vigorously defend” in the review, and this ambitious effort certainly makes a good case for the agency as they hope to celebrate retaining the account in 2015. Read more

SapientNitro Flies Beyond for Grey Goose

SapientNitro, social agency of record and digital agency for Grey Goose, has launched a holiday campaign for the premium vodka brand as an extension of its “Fly Beyond” global campaign.

The campaign is centered around two broadcast spots, running 15 seconds and 30 seconds, supported by digital, print and social initiatives. In the 30-second spot (featured above), the agency positions the brand as a “gift for those who fly beyond.” The spot opens on a city party where someone fills several glasses with ice and opens up a bottle of Grey Goose. “We all know someone this year, who has done something special,” intones the voiceover as the bottle is opened and poured. For those who haven’t done anything special, we’re guessing Smirnoff or Absolut will do the trick, and apparently that fickle 007 has changed his preference to Belvedere.

“Grey Goose has long been a brand that people have shared with friends and celebrated with those most special in their lives,” said Grey Goose VP Category Director. “This year we bring that sentiment to life through the new Fly Beyond platform which encourages people to recognize those they hold dear…” Read more

W+K NY Celebrates Arrival of College Football Playoffs for ESPN

W+K New York has been hyping the new College Football Playoff for ESPN since July. Now, with the inaugural edition of the contest impending, W+K New York is launching the conclusion to its “Who’s In?” campaign — which launched back in August with “Different Ways In” — with two new spots promoting the College Football Playoff on ESPN: “New Year’s Spread” and “Playoff Ride.”

In “New Year’s Spread” (featured above, in its 60-second version) W+K New York displays some truly impressive game day spreads, including a Rose Bowl stadium made out of hors d’oeuvres and a Sugar Bowl cake. The ad ends with the voiceover, “Six classic bowls, two playoff games: all in 36 hours on ESPN. New Year’s will never be the same,” followed by the “Who’s In?” tagline. “Playoff Ride” takes a different approach, focusing instead on the agony of defeat. To visualize this the spot shows two walls closing in on a series of televisions showing college football games. Gradually, the televisions are crushed, representing teams being eliminated, until only four are left. 30-second versions of both ads will be broadcast in anticipation of the College Football Playoff on ESPN, with the 60-second extended versions living online. Stick around after the jump for “Playoff Ride” and “The Making of New Year’s Spread.” Read more

TBWA\MAL Raises the Bar with ‘The Song’ for Apple

Last year, TBWA\Media Arts Lab created one of the most memorable holiday ads with their sentimental “Misunderstood” spot for Apple. Now the agency is back with another holiday effort that’s even more emotional.

In “The Song,” a young woman finds a Voice-O-Graph record — which, as Adweek describes it, “allowed people in the 1940s and ’50s to record their voice directly to vinyl records” – her grandmother made for her grandfather when they couldn’t be together for the holidays. She studies the song, learns to play it for herself and, using her MacBook Air, records her voice over her grandmothers to create “A Duet” and loads it on an iPod as a gift. The emotional climax occurs as she watches from the stairs as her grandmother listens to the song.

As in “Misunderstood,” this new effort shows a young person using Apple’s products to create a heartfelt, original gift. But while “Misunderstood” presented the gift as a reveal meant to be surprise viewers, in “The Song,” the viewer is aware of the protagonist’s intentions from early on, which makes the viewer feel complicit in the action and makes the emotional ending all the more powerful. If TBWA/Media Arts Lab set the bar for emotional holiday ads with last year’s effort, “The Song” clears it easily. Now this one will be hard to top.

FCB Inferno Stokes ‘Curiosity’ for BMW UK

FCB Inferno has just launched its first campaign for BMW UK with a 60-second spot promoting the hybrid i8, entitled “Curiosity.”

The spot is based off an idea “first presented in June 2013, when FCB Inferno pitched to win the BMW UK creative account,” according to The Drum. “Curiosity” shows an early human in the year 4000 BC as he becomes curious about a herd of horses. “Interesting thing curiosity: we can learn from it, we can die from it,” intones the voiceover. Although the man is frightened, he manages to mount one of the horses, taking an important step forward for civilization as the voiceover sums up the situation: “…sometimes it can lead us to places we never imagined we would reach.” The ad then pans to the BMW i8, introducing the vehicle as an important innovation for the company. A bit hyperbolic perhaps, but this isn’t a brand known for its modesty.

“In essence, driving a BMW is about exhilaration. The emotion behind the ultimate driving machine is very primal in some respects. The first man ever to have the breakthrough idea of riding a wild horse seemed a fitting parallel for the breakthrough idea that is the i8,” Al Young, FCB chief creative officer, explained to The Drum.

The ad is slated to premiere during the final ad break of the X Factor, and will then be broken up into smaller segments to air on broadcast and online.

W+K Delhi Celebrates ‘Warrior Princess’ for Forest Essentials


In international campaign news, W+K Delhi collaborated with production company Gang Films Paris for this lavish “Warrior Princess” ad promoting Forest Essentials.

Directed by Carole Denis, the spot has a cinematic feel and scope that makes it truly ambitious. “Warrior Princess” tells the story of “the transformation of a warrior maiden sent to battle,” according to a press release. While not all viewers will pick up on that, the spot is beautifully shot and produced while also incorporating the product well. It depicts a woman bathing and having a Forest Essentials cream rubbed on her forehead before suiting up, sheathing a small sword and riding off with a small group. While it’s hard to say a lot more without knowing much about the product in question, this is certainly one of the most visually stunning ads we’ve seen in awhile. Read more

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