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Campaigns

Cramer Krasselt Gets Scary for Knott’s Berry Farm

Cramer Krasselt launched a campaign promoting Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm event with a series of short horror videos for broadcast and online.

Created in collaboration with production company Vitamin Pictures, the gritty videos are populated by creepy clowns, demented dentists and hungry zombies, giving viewers an idea of what to expect at Knott’s Scary Farm. In “Clown,” for example, the camera follows a woman as she makes her way through a creepy abandoned room with children’s toys and balloons strewn across the floor. As she turns a corner, a demonic looking clown pops out to greet her. The spot ends with the tagline, “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here.”

“It was great to be hired to make these little horror films for Knott’s,” Vitamin Creative Director Danny DelPurgatorio says. “There were severed heads, body parts, blood and gooey stuff all over the place. It was a dream come true.” Read more

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Community Management

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McGarryBowen Presents ‘The Fall with James Franco’ for Droid Turbo

McGarryBowen New York is launching a new broadcast spot for the Droid Turbo entitled “The Fall with James Franco.”

In the spot, James Franco is on a rooftop balcony attempting to help a lady friend retrieve a red scarf when he slips and falls. Most of the ad actually takes place with Franco in midair, in slow-motion, as he uses the phone to tell his friend to meet him downstairs and find a safe landing. He safely lands in a dumpster and then charges his phone in a restaurant, as the spot plugs the Droid Turbo’s ability to charge in fifteen minutes. It’s a pretty ridiculous way to get to this plug, so much so that it might actually detract from the message — even if it makes for a somewhat memorable spot. Read more

Red Circle Reminds Us That There’s No Honor in Racism

Do you watch football? Are you aware of the controversy surrounding a certain Washington-based team? Do you remember the last PSA urging the team to change its mascot?

This week, conversation sprang up around a new spot launched by Minneapolis agency Red Circle. As My Fox Twin Cities tells us, the agency primarily works with clients in the hospitality industry (yes, that means casinos). It’s also owned by Chad Germann, who is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

Here’s the ad his shop released seven days ago:

Remember, the Redskins play the Vikings on Sunday.

Germann’s corresponding statement:

“I was tired of people avoiding what I think is the real issue. There is no word in the American lexicon that is more hurtful to the Native American. We’re left with this ugly word. People don’t talk about how ugly it is. We need to talk about it.”

And people are talking about it. We don’t know that this ad will convince Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name, but it did remind us that YouTube comments are far worse than AgencySpy comments.

W+K Creates Interactive Video for Honda Civic Type R

W+K London created an interactive video ad for Honda’s new sportier Civic Type R which allows viewers to toggle between two stories.

Using the “R” key, viewers can switch back and forth between two story lines featuring the same main character. Seemingly an everyday dad, one story features the man picking his daughters up from school. But switch to the parallel story using the “R” key and you’ll see that by night he uses his Civic Type R for a more exciting type of mission. We’ve included a (very) short trailer above, but you really need to head to Honda’s YouTube page for the full experience. It’s a clever idea, echoing the experience of drivers toggling on the vehicle’s “Racing Mode,” and W+K and director Daniel Wolfe execute it pretty brilliantly.

We wanted people to feel Honda’s other side as well as see it, W+K London wrote in a blog post yesterday, “so we dreamt up a technique that brings together both narratives through a simple interaction.”

Commonwealth McCann, Chevy Know You Want a Truck


Commonwealth McCann has debuted a new campaign for the Chevy Colorado entitled “You Know You Want a Truck.”

In the “Focus Groups” spot above, they polled groups including “guys with bears,” “single women,” “rich housewives,” children and the elderly. The results? Truck guys are 85% more handsome, 76% more resourceful and 100 percent more likely to have an awesome pet. Other spots include the creation of “Truck Guy” deodorant and a “Trucked Out” dating profile. Each spot presents itself in a documentary style (and claims to use “real people, not actors”) but also features a playful tone that shows the brand isn’t taking things too seriously.

“The films are centered around the idea that there is an inner truck guy in everyone,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “The game-changing Chevrolet Colorado will enable people to unleash their inner truckness.” Read more

72andSunny Wants You to ‘Discover Your Power’ with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Earlier this month, Ant Farm released a gameplay trailer for the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now, with less than a week until the game’s release, 72andSunny have unveiled their live action trailer, starring Taylor Kitsch, entitled “Discover Your Power.”

The 90-second spot, directed by Peter Berg, offers a slight tweak on the usual live action gaming trailer, putting the viewer in the first-person perspective as they accompany Kitsch through a series of intense battles with enemies that display how the futuristic setting changes the nature of the game. It’s a welcome change of pace, and makes a lot of sense for a first-person shooter, although it can be a little bit of a dizzying experience. Read more

W+K Brings LeBron, Cleveland ‘Together’ for Nike

W+K has a new ad for Nike, promoting the launch of its new LEBRON 12 sneaker today with a celebration of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland directed by the Malloy Brothers.

Yes, that’s right: another LeBron James ad about the star’s return to Cleveland. This follows on the heels of Translation’s spot for Sprite (which we wrote about yesterday) and R/GA’s “Re-Established 2014″ for Beats, which deal with the exact same subject, as well as the recent Kia spot from David&Goliath, also starring James. Nike’s new spot will run tonight during the Cavs first home game, when it’s theoretically possible that ads featuring James will run back-to-back-to-back.

So there’s a bit of an oversaturation issue with this message, to put it mildly. But how does W+K’s version compare to the others we’ve seen? It might actually be the most melodramatic of the bunch. It opens on James giving a pep talk to his team about giving their all for the city of Cleveland. Soon the entire city is in a huddle, chanting, “Forward! Together!” It’s well-shot, in black and white, but the message comes across as a bit over-the-top, all the more so given the story’s overexposure. The spot will continue to run through November 17th. Read more

HeyHuman, Brownlee Brothers ‘Go The Distance’ for Sony Xperia Z3

London-based agency enlisted trathletes the Brownlee Brothers for an endurance test displaying the battery life of the Sony Xperia Z3, which supposedly can last two days on a single charge.

The skeptical brothers are set on a series of quests involving running, biking and swimming. They periodically check in on the battery life of their phones as the trials continue, and at the end of day one the phone still has 50 percent life in it. The agency and Sony are releasing the series in two parts, so while part one has gone live, you’ll have to wait until next week to see how things ultimately pan out. But we have a hunch the battery makes it through the second day, because it would make Sony look pretty bad otherwise.

BarrettSF Gets Librarian Steve Nash for DailyMVP

BarrettSF enlisted the aid of Steve Nash to promote TopLine Game Lab’s DailyMVP fantasy game, which differentiates itself from other fantasy sports leagues by offering short-format games that last from a day to a week.

In the ad, Nash dons spectacles and a wig, appearing as an everyday librarian who can feel like an MVP thanks to the fantasy app. “I love being a librarian,” Nash says at the start of the spot, “but some days can be a little quiet.” He goes on to demonstrate the app and how it adds some excitement to his daily routine (while getting shushed). The spot ends with the tagline, “Have an MVP day,” emphasizing the short format. It was released to coincide with the start of the NBA season. A future spot starring Tom Brady will roll out near the end of the NFL season, when many players in traditional fantasy leagues have already been eliminated. Read more

W+K, Sofia Coppola Craft Holiday Efforts for Gap

Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) is the latest marquee Hollywood director enlisted for Wieden+Kennedy’s “Dress Normal” campaign for Gap, following David Fincher‘s efforts in August and taking the reigns of four holiday  spots — a pair each for broadcast and online.

The ads spin the “Dress Normal” tagline by showing some abnormal (and often cringe-inducing) family holiday moments. But then what’s more normal than pondering the family you’ll never understand? Each spot ends with the message “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” preceding the tagline. It’s an interesting approach, positioning Gap as a gift for those family members you have no idea what to give to, but it sits well with the “Dress Normal” tagline and Coppola and company do a good job of making it work in most of the ads.

In perhaps the most successful of the spots, “Gauntlet” a girl returns home to her large, boisterous, and often odd family. Perfectly set to the Johnny Cash song “I Got Stripes,” she makes her way through the house greeting her relatives with an awkward expression on her face that says a lot about the effort she’s putting in to deal with these people. It feels like a telling glance into the lives of a particular family, which is the approach taken throughout these efforts and, along with some great song selections, what makes them charming. The other broadcast spot, “Mistletoe,” documents a particularly cringe-worthy moment under the mistletoe at a holiday party. It’s almost hard to watch, but then that makes it fit the “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” all the more.

In addition to the two online ads — “Crooner” and “Pinball” — the campaign is supported by print and OOH elements, as well as digital banner ads launching on Gap’s social media channels and GapGiftGuide.com on November 3rd. Read more

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