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Campaigns

David Fincher Spots Expand on New W+K Gap Campaign

The hottest story in the ad world today concerns the newly-released TV components of a campaign that had a few scratching their heads last week: W+K’s “Dress Normal” for new client Gap.

These ads, directed by David Fincher, add a bit of narrative heft to a campaign previously consisting of celebrities in everyday poses. The first one, “Golf”, elaborates on the “it’s OK if your clothes are a little boring” theme with a bit of spontaneously unconventional romance:

Three more and credits below.

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Doner’s Latest Effort for Fiat Turns from Cute to Threatening

Doner’s latest spot promoting the Fiat starts out cute and sweet before taking a menacing turn.

The 54-second animated effort, entitled “Helpful Critters,” opens on a group of woodland critters talking up the Fiat 500′s gas mileage in a casual, conversational tone. “Do you get such crappy gas mileage, they know your name at the gas station? a bunny rabbit asks in a squeaky voice. “Why you hatin’ on the earth? With the Fiat 500, just think of the money you’d save,” adds a squirrel.

Things take a sinister turn around the midway point with the rabbit saying, “We think you should get a Fiat, if you know what’s good for you,” as her face suddenly changes from a smile to an evil glare. The critters then suggest that they know several members of the bear community and you could go missing (presumably murdered) if you don’t buy a Fiat.

It’s both reminiscent of Italian mafia stereotypes and the classic South Park episode “Woodland Critter Christmas” for its cuteness-turned-evil tone. Needless to say, threatening to murder potential customers is an odd approach for a car commercial.

W+K and ESPN Give College Football Fans a Moment in the Spotlight

W+K New York isn’t the only agency that’s been focused on football recently — and for good reason.

Not only is the NFL about to start things up again, but this year’s college football season will be the first in history to discard the traditional Bowl Championship Series for a true four-team seeded playoff.

The first spot in W+K’s new campaign to promote client ESPN’s college coverage casts fandom as a universal experience…something everyone has “in common”:

A second :15 spot, which also debuts today, highlights some possible shakeups in the world of collegiate pigskin: will the new format allow an underdog to win the day?

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McCann Compares Internet to Escalators for Verizon

McCann, New York has a new campaign for Verizon FiOS, touting the brand’s “Speed Match” — matching download and upload speeds.

To do so, McCann set up an experiment slowing down an up escalator. When riders finally reached the top, a spokeswoman asks, “Shouldn’t up be as fast as down?” and then continues to make the point that the same should true of Internet connection speeds. It’s a pretty obvious visualization of the feature, and may help those who have trouble understanding tech issues appreciate FiOS’ “Speed Match” (even if they still don’t quite understand what they’re talking about). Read more

KBS+ Takes Bissell to the Subway in Gross Spot

KBS+, Toronto have a new campaign for Bissell that gets a little gross. In the spot, promoting the Bissell Symphony, which vacuums and cleans hardwood simulateneously, Bissell Canada Senior Brand Manager Ravi Dalchand sets out to prove that he’s behind the product one hundred percent.

So he uses the Symphony to clean a subway floor and then takes things a giant step forward in the gross department and eats some saucy pasta right off the spot he cleaned, seemingly to the disgust of fellow subway passengers.

“Instead of just showing how it works at home, we felt the stronger message was to show how well it could clean, even in an extremely tough, dirty, messy situation,” Bissell Vice President General Manager Craig Emmerson told The Huffington Post.

As that publication points out, however, this was not a normal Toronto subway stop. The stop used was the Bay Lower Station, which TTC CEO Andy Byford said had been “closed off to the public six months after opening in 1966 due to passenger confusion and consistent delays.” It’s now mainly used as a set for movies and television. So while eating off of subway tile is still pretty gross, it’s not as disgusting as it originally appears. And those onlookers are almost definitely actors. But KBS+, Toronto and Bissell assume (probably correctly) that most people won’t reach that conclusion, and, staged or not, the gimmick is pretty memorable. Read more

Translation Goes Back to School for Champs Sports

Translation has a new back-to-school campaign for Champ Sports, entitled “Game Loves An Audience.”

That phrase appears on screen, leading in to the brand’s “We Know Game” tagline following short vignettes in several 30-second spots. For the most part, Translation keeps things pretty simple. “Practice,” for example, is a montage of players training for the upcoming season at football practice, ending with the coach riling the team up with a chant. “Joy Ride” and “First Period” (which we’ve included after the jump) are similarly straightforward (and self-explanatory) eschewing any dialogue for a focus on Champs Sports’ products. You have to wonder if maybe they could have benefited from a little more substance, though. Read more

BBDO Wants to Get You in the Kitchen for Uncle Ben’s

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has a new UK campaign for Uncle Ben’s, called “Ben’s Beginners,” based on the insight that one in four parents never cook with their children.

In a two minute spot — entitled “Where’s The Kitchen” — a supposed real estate agent shows families a house without a kitchen. Invariably, the families notice and complain, to which he replies that people aren’t really cooking anymore and kitchen-less houses are the wave of the future. It’s a bit of an odd way to illustrate how people are cooking less, but lets the brand avoid seeming overly preachy. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO probably could have made the point in less time however, as the two-minute format really stretches the premise thin.

Another part of the campaign will see Uncle Ben’s launching a YouTube cooking channel. Designed to encourage parents to cook with their children, the show is hosted by DJ BBQ shows kids how to cook simple meals using Uncle Ben’s products. It’s a nice extension of the campaign, and could foster some real brand loyalty in kids who learn to cook with the program. Additional videos will feature actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner teaching basic cooking skills. Read more

Jack Link’s Takes Sasquatch to College

How do we know that Jack Link’s wants to connect with the college crowd? The Big Ten Conference theme behind the brand’s latest campaign “The Wildest Room on Campus” gave us a big hint.

Some context before we dive back in: the brand’s last ads starred real animals, but this mythical creature keeps going just like that famed DDB bunny in new work by AOR Carmichael Lynch and production company Über Content.

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W+K Portland, Craig Robinson Return for Dodge Dart

W+K Portland launched the “Don’t Touch My Dart” campaign earlier this month, pairing comedians Craig Robinson and Jake Johnson. Well, it’s a few weeks later and the duo are back for several follow-up spots the agency has released for the campaign, along with a new interactive digital experience.

In the 30-second “Craig,” Johnson tries to get Robinon’s attention by repeatedly saying his name while he cleans and admires his Dart. Robinson spends the whole time ignoring him, leading into the “Don’t Touch My Dart” tagline (along with accompanying music, composed and performed by Robinson) and a prompt for viewers to “See what happens when you touch my dart.” Clicking on the link leads to an interactive digital initiative where you can move your cursor to “touch” Craig’s dart and see what happens. Try it for yourself here, and stick around after the jump for a couple for “Voice Touching” and “Birdhouse.” Read more

BBDO Makes Short Shorts for Mountain Dew

In the latest BBDO-helmed project for client Mountain Dew, the agency has created something even our own sharpest critics must call unique: an animated/live-action mini-series.

Make that a “mini mini-series” — it amounts to two minutes of material in the form of eight different shorts starring the Dew’s as-yet-unnamed “superhero” mascot.

The series focuses less on the client’s product than on the aforementioned cartoon doing cartoonish things:

While the spots debuted on Sunday night’s Video Music Awards, they received a healthy promo push targeting the brand’s Twitter followers and its nearly 9 million Facebook fans (along with their friends).

Most of the spots focus on unconventional methods of transportation…

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