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Crispin Porter & Bogusky

CP+B and James Harden Call on Master Groomer ‘The Beard Guru’

In this new, extended clip created by CP+B to promote NBA2k15 (set to be released in October), Rockets guard James Harden has a problem. Not, it’s not his defense: it’s his beard, which is too intense for the game’s new “face scanning technology.”

In order to address the matter, he turns to the appropriately Germanic “Beard Guru”:

As people with beards, we love this spot. Anthony Davis’ cameo really makes it, and we’d like to test that scanning technology ourselves.

Unfortunately, the Guru is not real. Germans’ ability to grow and preen amazing facial hair, however, is almost too real.

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Public Relations

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ECD Gaboriau No Longer with CP+B Los Angeles

Jason GThis afternoon we learned that VP/ECD Jason Gaboriau is no longer with Crispin’s Los Angeles office.

He joined CP+B in 2011 when the agency hired him, along with co-ECD and in-house vet Tiffany Rolfe, to re-establish its L.A. location.

Gaboriau, who helped found New York’s Amalgamated, made the move to L.A. after former DDB CCO Eric Silver took majority ownership of the previous agency in late 2010. Rolfe later left CP+B to join CO: Collective, where she still serves as partner and chief content officer. Several months afterward, CP+B lured Sue Anderson away from TBWA\Chiat\Day, where she had served as GCD on the Absolut account; she currently holds the ECD title at CP+B L.A.

At Amalgamated, Gaboriau worked on creative for Coca-Cola, Svedka and Ben & Jerry’s, among other clients. Recent CP+B credits include A1 and an extended 2012 campaign for Old Navy that played heavily on 90′s nostalgia.

We have no information on the details of Gaboriau’s departure, though a tipster tells us that he was involved in recent pitches to win business from Turbo Tax, the L.A. Clippers (which went with RPA after a very quick review) and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

CP+B Gets MetLife Customers to Share ‘Who I Live For’

In celebration of National Life Insurance Month (yes, this is a thing), CP+B created a campaign for MetLife asking customers who they live for.

They then shared the results in a series of two online videos, called “Who I Live For” in an attempt to show the positive, human side of life insurance. The videos, as you might expect, attempt to pull on the heartstrings as people share photos of their children, grandchildren and significant others. Mixed in with the more predictable answers are a couple who share their love for their bulldog, Huey. Both spots end by inviting viewers to share who they live for with the hashtag #WhoILiveFor, as a social extension of the campaign.  “Who I Live For”  puts a premium on spontaneity, with seemingly unscripted responses from those interviewed and in the longer of the spots (featured above), one respondent offering up a seemingly improvised song as a soundtrack. Read more

CP+B Warns Parents on Behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of America

This CP+B PSA for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which received a New York Times writeup today, is a little frightening.

It’s far cry from the generally upbeat messages this group has shared in the past. If anything, it reminds us of the famous “It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?” line (which was not a paid ad but was created by an on-air promoter).

The copy goes on to clarify:

“…they’re out on their own, out with nowhere to go, out with nothing to do, out all afternoon when anything can happen.”

Now we’re scared–and we always knew not to play on the train tracks or accept gifts from strangers.

CP+B CD Sue Anderson told Andrew Adam Newman that it’s all about fundraising, because parents will be more likely to give when they sense that the kids’ safety depends on their donations.

Effective! For the music snobs in our audience, we’d also like to note the excellent use of “Fratres” by our greatest living composer, Arvo Pärt. Yes, we hate superlatives too, but it’s true.

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CP+B Channels Rushmore in Best Buy Back-to-School Ad

The inspiration for CP+B’s new back-to-school ad is pretty clear: the 1998 film Rushmore by Wes Anderson (who is no stranger to advertising), which happens to be my personal favorite from the director.

Like Jason Schwartzman‘s Max Fischer character in that film, the protagonist of the 30-second “Part Time Everythingers” tackles just about every extracurricular activity imaginable, from a school play to fencing (both clear nods to Rushmore). The comparison is made even more obvious by the use of The Creation’s classic 1967 song “Making Time,” also used in the opening credits of the film (as well as its trailer).

When asked by AdFreak if the spot was a literal homage to Rushmore, a BestBuy rep seemingly side-stepped the question, saying, “Any time you’re compared to an Academy Award-nominated director, that’s a good thing. And to be honest, better to channel Wes Anderson than Wes Craven.”

While it may lack originality, the choice of homage makes perfect sense in context and, more importantly, makes for a very watchable spot. Stick around for a more complete look at Max Fischer’s extracurricular activities (set, of course, to “Making Time”) after the jump. Read more

CP+B Names New VP/Director of Invention

CPB Logo

Today CP+B named longtime staffer David Corns to the newly created role of VP/director product & brand invention.

Corns, who spent eight years in account management roles at the agency, will work under Neil Riddell, EVP/executive director, product innovation as part of the larger Product Innovation group.

The release tells us that CP+B has been “innovating products and creating new brands in-house for a number of years” in addition to its more traditional ad agency services. Some more details:

“The department collaborates with venture capitalists, operators and strategic partners to create products, brands and companies from scratch, bringing them to market with the agency owning a substantial share of the total business.”

Corns will help the group expand on those services by hiring industrial designers and other staff members and taking on new projects.

Two of the coincidentally alcoholic products Corn has worked on are Angel’s Envy bourbon and Papa’s Pilar rum. Another example of innovation in practice: Kraft Mac and Cheese for the grill.

Prior to joining CP+B, Corn held account management roles at Wieden+Kennedy and TBWA’s London offices as well as Carmichael Lynch.

Infiniti Courts Seven Agencies in Global Account Pitch

Infiniti

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet (or has already met) with seven agencies before selecting finalists to pitch for its global creative account, Adweek reports.

The meetings took place this week, and leave Infiniti “on track to complete its search by August,” according to Adweek. Infiniti’s initial request for proposal reported that the brand spends approximately $450 million annually. Among the agencies in the running are Publicis, FCB, Havas Worldwide (pitching with sister shop Arnold), Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to Adweek‘s sources. Interestingly, also pitching is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, partnering with incumbent Omnicom agency TBWA. After the initial meetings, Infiniti will narrow the field to three or four agencies, a cut that “could come as soon as next week.” Infiniti’s RFP noted that “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” and identified the U.S., China and Hong Kong as priority markets.

CP+B Taps Kevin Hart for Vitamin Water

CP+B tapped Kevin Hart for a new Vitamin Water spot entitled “Make It Big” that, unfortunately, isn’t very funny.

The 60 second spot features Hart examining the alternatives he could have taken in his career path: keeping his day job as a shoe salesman, making friends in all the right places, being someone he isn’t. His message is that success takes hard work and hustle, which requires hydration, so that’s how Vitamin Water factors into all this. Perhaps because this line of reasoning is a bit of a stretch, Hart can be seen taking a sip of Vitamin Water at various points in the spot, such as at a bad performance in front of a tough crowd, or servicing a particularly unreceptive customer as a shoe salesman, and the spot ends with the “Hydrate the Hustle” tagline. All of these scenarios fail to live up to their comedic potential, though, making this one seem like a pretty big missed opportunity. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

CP+B Names Jay Gelardi Digital ECD

-41CP+B announced today the hiring of Jay Gelardi as digital executive creative director.

Prior to joining CP+B, Gelardi was digital creative director at Sydney-based agency The Monkeys. During his time there he helped lead the agency to six “Agency of the Year” titles from awards shows and Australian advertising publications. Before The Monkeys Jay spent eight years at Agency Republic, London. He has worked with brand including IKEA, Intel, Mercedes, PlayStation, Samsung, Smirnoff and The BBC. Additionally, in 2008, Jay set up Republic Film, “a production company specializing in interactive film and animation,” and in 2011 he co-founded “a Twitter-based charitable venture that translated people’s foul-mouthed tweets into donations to good causes” called Charity Swearbox.

“The Digital ECD is a critical role at CP+B,” said Ivan Perez-Armendariz, executive vice president/chief digital officer, CP+B.  “We’re at our best when it’s filled with someone that has made the choice to live and breathe digital 100% of the time. Jay is someone who really understands that the book of advertising conventions is being rewritten almost on a daily basis. We are thrilled that he is here to help us continue to rewrite that book.”

CP+B’s recent digital work includes a partnership with NBC launching the overall digital experience for NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” as well as the digital transformation of Domino’s.

CP+B Changes A.1.’s Relationship Status with Steak

As we mentioned in Stir yesterday morning, Kraft has decided to drop the “steak” from A.1.’s title, now calling it A.1. Original Sauce. Now we have an online spot from CP+B to go along with the name change, explaining the nature of A.1.’s evolving relationship with steak.

In CP+B’s “New Friend Requests,” the Boulder-based agency imagines A.1. rethinking its commitment to steak via Facebook. We see posts of the two together, one of which contains the line “It’s just you and me forever.” But then A.1. gets new friend requests, first from pork, then from myriad other foods. This leads to the sauce changing its relationship status with steak to “It’s complicated,” citing a need to “see other foods.” Initially steak doesn’t take too kindly to this, but eventually steak and A.1. reconcile, with the spot ending with the tagline, “For almost everything. Almost.” The idea is about equal parts clever and goofy, but CP+B mostly make it work, although the spot could have benefited from a shortened run time (it clocks in at 2 minutes). Both the name change and the “For almost everything. Almost.” campaign stem from insights into diehard A1 users, who use the sauce on everything from chicken, pork, and fish to vegetables.

The “For almost everything. Almost.” campaign will also include TV spots, which debut Monday, the first from the brand in five years, in addition to digital, social, radio, out of home and in-store activations. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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