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Campaigns

BBDO Reads Subtitles, Rearranges the Furniture for AT&T

A spot from BBDO‘s latest campaign for AT&T combines the 70′s sitcoms that our more mature readers all loved with what looks and sounds a lot like a 90′s metal show hosted in…a high school auditorium?

The point, of course, is that the quality of reception on many cellular networks leaves crucial calls all but indecipherable…and that subtitles aren’t just for Bergman movies that you can’t fully appreciate even after the translation.

We feel bad for the fake band in this spot, because we failed to see even one head banging.

More of the “Frank and Charlie” series plus credits after the jump.

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Amy Poehler Returns for Old Navy

Amy Poehler and Chandelier Creative return with a new spot that sees the Parks and Rec star hosting a spelling bee.

“Spell Me This” begins with Poehler delivering the throwaway, “I’m sorry Nathan, there are no numbers in the word ‘important,’ ” and, unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there. The spot, like others in the campaign, ends with Poehler (and in this case the entire auditorium) running to Old Navy for a sale. It’s all pretty frustrating, as the scenario and Poehler’s involvement make for a lot of unfulfilled potential. Stick around after the jump for outtakes, which are at least slightly more entertaining than “Spell Me This” itself. Read more

Deutsch LA Brings Back Ronald McDonalds for Taco Bell


Back in March, Deutsch LA used endorsements from real life Ronald McDonalds to help introduce Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu. Now, the agency has brought back the idea (which was actually recycled, intentionally or not, from an old Jack In The Box campaign), with their latest spot, “Ronalds.”

The 30-second spot features guys named Ronald McDonald sitting around a table and talking about Taco Bell’s breakfast burrito. In what amounts to yet another shot at McDonald’s (which seems to form the crux of Taco Bell’s recent strategy), a moderator asks, “Would you get a burrito from a burger place?” To which one of the Ronalds replies, “You don’t go to a sushi bar and order spaghetti.” That you could easily follow up the question with “Would you get breakfast from a taco place?” makes this seem like a bit of a misstep.

The Ronald McDonalds idea, which seemed stretched thin by the end of the last 30-second spot, now seems even more tired. It feels like it’s time for Deutsch LA to go back to the drawing board and put this idea to rest for good. Credits after the jump. Read more

Saatchi & Saatchi Europe Turns Prague into ‘The Musical City’ for Toyota

If you like watching bad karaoke, you’re going to love Saatchi & Saatchi Europe’s newest spot for the Toyota Yaris Hybrid.

The agency turned Prague into a playlist by replacing street signs with the names of songs (much to the chagrin of local cabbies) and connecting the car’s stereo to the GPS so that the song changed every time the driver changed streets. In this way, drivers could select the song by altering their route. Supposedly the “best performers” were chosen to appear in the television spot, which airs in Poland, UK, Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Spain, but we think you’ll agree “most entertaining” is a more accurate description.

So what does karaoke have to do with the Toyota Yaris Hybrid? Read more

Y&R NY Celebrates ’5 Second Filmmaker’ for Dell

For the latest in the brand’s “Learning Meets Doing,” Y&R New York teamed up with Über Content and director Adam Gunser to create a mockumentary celebrating “5 Second Filmmaker” Marty Goldberg.

Goldberg is the (fictional) king of the the 5-second film, taking home the “Cinco” award year after year and employing “The Goldberg Method” while grooming his assistant and protege. Seemingly targeting the growing popularity of the short-format Vine, the mockumentary mostly seems to be trying too hard and its humor never really hits it mark and struggles to find a cohesive tone. Most of the time, the spot seems to be mocking Goldberg, but elsewhere seems to celebrate his working methods showcasing Dell technology. Also worth noting is that the brevity-mocking video feels long at 2:15. Goldberg could have done it in five seconds. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Publicis Seattle Plays in the Rain for Bumbershoot

Here’s a quick slice of “experiential” for a Friday morning. Publicis Seattle, tasked with promoting local arts and music festival Bumbershoot, got creative in playing on the one thing everyone associates with the city: rain.

Some behind-the-scenes on these water-activated ads: the agency’s creative team used NeverWet, a “two-part spray paint system” that’s invisible when dry, to stencil these messages on several stretches of city sidewalk for “practically no budget.”

They also inspired us to find our favorite related quote from our favorite fictional Seattle resident:

Niles Crane: “Is that rain?”

Frasier Crane: “No, that’s God crying.”

Credits after the jump.

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Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney Brings Out the ‘Bad in Dad’ for Toyota

Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney has a new campaign for Toyota, entitled “Bad in Dad,” featuring one dad’s “bad” antics, attributed to his new Camry RZ.

Set to George Thorogood‘s ubiquitous “Bad to the Bone,” the dad is pictured using his leaf blower to blow leaves onto the neighbors yard (kind of funny), spraying his wife with a hose (cute) and embarrassing his son with the locked door trick as he picks him up from soccer practice (just plain cruel). The narrator at the end of the 45-second spot asserts that the new Camry will “bring out the bad in dad,” making the positioning of the vehicle as the motivator behind dad’s behavior explicit. While he may occasionally step over the line, the dad’s antics are mostly presented as the kind of things most of us think about doing, don’t, and then wish we had, which fits with the vehicle’s presentation as a sort of liberator. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

TBWA/Chiat Day Taps Bret Michaels in ‘Tough Love’ for Nissan

TBWA/Chiat Day tapped reality star/former Poison singer/sole proprietor of bandana manufacturers in 2014 Bret Michaels in their latest campaign for Nissan, entitled “Tough Love.”

The centerpiece of the new campaign, which celebrates the toughness of Nissan’s line of commercial vans, is a music video of Michaels covering “Endless Love,” the schmaltzy 1981 hit written by Lionel Richie. Just what you always wanted. The video alludes to a series of six product demonstrations at Nissan’s Arizona Testing Center while Michaels belts the tune into a golden microphone. Videos of the product demonstrations, featuring Michaels, are also available, and viewers who survive the full length of the music video are prompted to choose one of them to view. As it turns out, they’re a lot easier to stomach than the music video, and not just because they’re shorter. Credits and two product demonstration videos after the jump. Read more

GSD&M Talks Protection for Radio Shack

GSD&M has a new back-to-school campaign for Radio Shack that makes good use of awkward humor to promote the brand’s protection plans.

In “The Talk” for example, a dad tells his son it’s time they had “the talk.” His son, horrified, listens as his father emphasizes the need to use protection. “I know you just want to get out and show it off, but you can’t just go swinging it around all willy-nilly trying to impress the girls.” He continues, “This glass is fragile. We’re covered though…” as the son looks greatly relieved. The spot’s use of innuendo in an awkward, easy to relate to situation makes it funny and memorable.

In the similarly suggestive “Laundry,” the tables are turned, and it’s the father who is made to feel awkward. We’ve included that spot, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Droga5 Inspires for Under Armour

Droga5 takes Under Armour in a different direction with a new campaign called “I Will What I Want” aimed at women, starring Misty Copeland, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.

The spot opens with a young girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet academy over a sparse piano track as we see Copeland, poised on her taut ankles in a practice room. “…You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust,” reads the girl. “You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.” At this point, the soundtrack is set in motion and Copeland springs to life, twirling and gliding across the stage decked out in Under Armour. It is not until the conclusion of the 60-second spot that Copeland’s identity is revealed, her ultimate triumph over adversity implied.

Copeland, who is only the third African American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, told The New York Times “she never received a rejection letter that so starkly enumerated the reasons she was ill suited to be a ballet dancer,” but that “it accurately encapsulated the resistance she had faced throughout her career,” told from the time she was an adolescent that she had “the wrong body type” for ballet.

We see a lot of ads aim to be inspirational, but seldom do they succeed like “I Will What I Want,” which, unlike most spots with similar ambitions, doesn’t come across as forced or hokey. Coming from Under Armour, it’s an unexpected and refreshing new direction. Along with the broadcast spot, the campaign also includes digital and outdoor components, featuring Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer player Kelley O’Hara in addition to Copeland. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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