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adam&eveDDB Introduces ‘Could I Be Any Clearer?’ Christmas Cards for Harvey Nichols

Last year, adam&eveDDB’s “Sorry, I Spent It On Myself” holiday campaign for English department store Harvey Nichols turned heads with its ode to utter selfishness, eventually winning four Grand Prix awards at Cannes.

This year, adam&eveDDB is back with a spiritual successor entitled “Could I Be Any Clearer?” In the spot, a woman talks about her beloved Auntie Val and how, while good-intentioned, she always gives disappointing gifts. So, without any worry at all about Val’s feelings, she gives her a card describing exactly what she wants — Charlotte Olympia silver Octavia sandals from Harvey Nichols — and lets her know that seasons greetings will be “very awkward” if she doesn’t get what she wants. Auntie Val, predictably enough, looks pretty annoyed by the card. Like last year, the campaign extends beyond the broadcast spots, with real life “Could I Be Any Clearer?” cards available to purchase at Harvey Nichols. You can even create your customizable version online.

The ad doesn’t have the same impact as its predecessor, and, because of that ad, its reveal moment is entirely expected. Still, we imagine that Harvey Nichols will sell its share of “Could I Be Any Clearer?” cards — hopefully to those looking for a cheeky gag to play on friends, rather than entitled jerks. Read more

M&C Saatchi Grows Bee Beard for San Diego Zoo

M&C Saatchi has released another ad for the San Diego Zoo as part of its ongoing campaign designed to stoke children’s interest in the zoo’s Tiger Trail exhibit.

In the spot, a boy has magically grown a full beard made entirely of bees. When a girl asks him how he grew it, he flashes back to a visit to the San Diego Zoo where he communed with tigers and apparently absorbed some kind of mysterious power. It builds off of M&C Saatchi’s previous work promoting the exhibit, focusing on the way interacting with wildlife helps stokes kids’ imaginations. It may, however, be a little too dependent on previous ads to understand its intention, as it otherwise can seem disjointed and a little nonsensical. Still, it’s hard to argue with a bee beard, especially one as convincing as this. To bring it to life, M&C Saatchi collaborated with production company Epoch Films and visual effects company Timber, combining footage of real swarming bees with CGI.

““They were really committed to the process from our very first conversations, and delivered impressively on everything we talked about,” director Matthew Swanson told Great-Ads, “…the entire team at Timber made sure there wasn’t a single i undotted or t uncrossed.”” Read more

FCB Continues to Celebrate Bellies for Kmart, Joe Boxer

A couple weeks ago FCB Chicago launched its “Jingle Bellies” holiday spot for Kmart and Joe Boxer, a follow-up to last year’s “Show Your Joe,” which was unofficially dubbed “Jingle Balls” and went on to score over 18 million views on YouTube. With “Jingle Bellies” now just past the one million view mark, the agency has unveiled a follow-up belly performance entitled “Santa Baby.” The twist? This time around it’s pregnant women dancing.

The women shake their posteriors to an upbeat rendition of the song “Santa Baby” (most famously sung by Eartha Kitt) and then turn around, exposing their pregnant bellies. The reveal comes early in the ad, with the pregnant women dancing for the remainder of the spot, in their pajamas, until they stop and one woman extolls the virtues of Kmart and Joe Boxer. So basically more of the same goofy humor FCB has been employing in its holiday efforts for Kmart and Joe Boxer since the original, although a slight departure from the “body parts as instruments” schtick. The ad comes as a bit of a surprise, however, as there was no immediate sequel to last year’s spot. With Sears Holdings’ Kmart account currently in review (Sears is also up for grabs), this could potentially be FCB’s last work for the struggling brand. Kmart, meanwhile, badly needs its holiday marketing efforts to drive sales to make up for a very tough year for the company. Read more

Fallon Helps Arby’s Apologize to Pepsi

When Arby’s received a friendly reminder in October that they had yet to release the second of their promised ads featuring Pepsi they realized they had a problem. The brand and its agency, Fallon, had already wrapped on their creative for the rest of the year.

Rob Lynch, chief marketing officer and brand president of Arby’s, explained to The Wall Street Journal that with the brand focusing on its revamped marketing, centered around the “We have the meats” tagline, the obligations to Pepsi simply got forgotten. Lynch did not look forward to breaking the news to Fallon. “Their ads are kind of like their babies. To go in after we shot them and shoehorn something in is like the worst client move you could ever make,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

But Fallon proved up to the challenge. The Minneapolis-based agency created a new, 30-second ad poking fun at the whole debacle. A tall glass of Pepsi stays on camera for the entire ad as the sonorous Ving Rhames explains the situation: “Arby’s has an agreement to feature their good friend Pepsi in two commercials a year…Well Arby’s messed up and forgot about the second commercial!” In a clever touch, the ad ends by replacing the usual “We have the meats” tagline with “We have Pepsi.” So what did Pepsi think of the approach?

“We applaud Arby’s unconventional approach to marketing and when they came to us with this idea, we thought it would be a fun, creative way to highlight our partnership,” Roberto Rios, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s food service division, told The Wall Street Journal in an emailed statement.

So it seems like everyone is happy with the situation. The spot will run from December 7th-13th in the Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles markets, fulfilling Arby’s end of their agreement with Pepsi to feature the beverage in two advertisements this year. Presumably the creative Fallon had to put on hold for the ad will run in the near future.

DDB Canada Works Out Ears for Sony

DDB Canada crafted a new campaign for Sony, promoting its Hi-Res Audio collection via two 30-second broadcast spots.

The ads aim for a weird sort of humor, with each showing people working out their ears in preparation of the intense experience they’ll get from Sony’s products. In practice, this ends up looking a bit creepy, as in “Ear Crunches.” The spot opens on a man as he takes off his cowboy hat and, with the aid of some special effects, begins some vigorous ear crunches. “Ear Workout” (featured after the jump) is more or less the same concept, with each spot ending with the tagline “Get Your Ears Ready” before showing the range of products in Sony’s Hi-Res Audio collection. Strange as the approach may be, it’s refreshing to see audio equipment advertised for sounding good rather than as a fashion accessory worn by celebrity athletes. Still, it would have been nice if DDB Canada could have mixed up the formula a bit more between the two ads.
Read more

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

The Martin Agency Asks Salt-N-Pepa to Spice Up Geico

The Martin Agency makes sacreligious use of Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic 90s hit “Push It” — as well as the group itself — in its latest spot for Geico.

The 30-second ad opens on a man trying to pull open a door that says “Push” on it. Soon Salt-N-Pepa show up behind him and break into “Push It” and the man walks in. Next we see the pair in an elevator (with Spinderella in the background), a Lamaze class, and at a football practice while performing the song. “If you’re salt and pepper, you tell people to push it. It’s what you do,” says a voiceover, in the campaign’s familiar formula. “If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to Geico. It’s what you do.” The Martin Agency then manages to slip in a quick gag after the tagline.

The campaign, whose tagline feels like a response to Esurance’s “Insurance for the modern world” (with that company directly taking on Geico’s “15 percent or more “selling point in its advertising), seems like its running out of steam as its joke runs a bit thin, so bringing in an act nostalgic viewers will be pleased to see make sense. And Salt-N-Pepa’s presence certainly makes the ad more memorable, even if it can’t quite save the tired premise.  Read more

W+K Portland Launches First Work for Weight Watchers

W+K Portland has launched a new campaign for Weight Watchers, its first for the brand since winning creative duties back in April.

In a new 60-second spot, W+K drops the celebrity-driven approach taken by previous agency McCann (whose latest work featured Jessica Simpson), instead going for a universal theme of “eating your feelings.” The ad, entitled “If You’re Happy…” is set to an adaption of the popular children’s song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” by Tony Babino. “If you’re happy and you know it, eat a snack,” he sings at the beginning of the spot over shots of people happily enjoying ice cream, burgers and cake. Around 15 seconds in the tune changes to “If you’re sad…” and later on to such feelings as “bored,” “lonely” and “sleepy” before finally ending with “If you’re human and you know it, eat your feelings, eat a snack” and ending with the tagline, “Help with the hard part” before finally showing the Weight Watchers logo.

It’s an interesting tactic, tapping into the insight that people associate eating with all types of emotions rather than relying on a celebrity endorsement, which seems to be the standard for the category. W+K seems to be banking on the empathy and relatability of the message being more persuasive than association with celebrity.

According to The New York Times, the ad will “be introduced broadly on Sunday” with an emphasis on “programming apt to draw multiple members of a household” like “the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday and the season finale of The Voice on NBC on Dec. 15.” The ad will also “appear widely in cinemas,” which Lesya Lysyj, president of Weight Watchers in North America, told The New York Times “…is great because you’re sitting there with your huge thing of popcorn.”

“We’ve never actually said that weight loss is easy, but when you use celebrities and show before-and-after photos, what you’re doing is kind of implying that it is easy,” she added, explaining the move away from celebrity endorsements. Read more

Santa, Not Polar Bears, Stars in Ogilvy’s Holiday Spot for Coca-Cola

Ogilvy teamed up with Coca-Cola Germany for “Make Someone Happy,” the brand’s holiday ad which notably replaces the polar bears of recent years with Santa, also a longtime holiday standby for the brand. According to AdAge, this “marks the first time since 2011 that the brand’s classic Santa character has been the centerpiece of its holiday TV campaign in the U.S.,” although that publication points out that the polar bears will still have “a supporting role for store-level retail executions.”

In the 60-second spot, set to the Jimmy Durante version of the song of the same name, we see Santa drinking a Coke while thumbing through a book called “How to Make Someone Happy.” The ad then focuses on a series of small good deeds performed by people to make others (often strangers) happy, such as a man giving up his umbrella to a passer-by during a snowstorm and a young man giving a stranger waiting for a train a bottle of Coke. At the end of the spot, Santa has a surprise for everyone. “Make Someone Happy’ manages to communicate a holiday-specific sentiment while also functioning as a continuation of Coca-Cola’s general “Open Happiness” campaign.

Andy McMillin, VP of the Coca-Cola trademark for North America, told AdAge that while the polar bears are ” a very important equity for us,” Santa was a better fit with the message to “look beyond the presents and focus on the true spirit of the holidays,” adding that the character “just fits that so well as the ultimate symbol of giving and caring and bringing joy to others.”

“Make Someone Happy” will debut on NBC Thanksgiving day, and will run until the end of December on broadcast and cable channels including NBC, ABC, ABC Family, USA, Lifetime, TBS and Food Network.

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