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Let’s Watch Aaron Rodgers Attempt a Chicago Accent in State Farm’s Brand New Spot

Debuting during tonight’s Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers Monday night match-up is the latest in State Farm’s Discount Double-Check campaign from DDB Chicago. And, folks, it is a doozy.

Again, we find Packers QB Aaron Rodgers flanked by the SNL ”Superfans,” George Wendt and Robert Smigel, on a flight that has now lasted two months since these guys first showed up. Rodgers, who you may know is as bad at acting as he is incredible at football (the worst and best, respectively), faces his biggest challenge yet: Portray someone who isn’t Aaron Rodgers looking uncomfortable while trying to deliver scripted lines. The results are, well, watch the clip.

In Rodgers’ defense (and it’s easy for me because he is my favorite player ever), a Chicago accent is hard to replicate. In DDB’s defense, I sympathize with how many takes of Rodgers’ “acting” they had to do before just saying “fuck it” and going with the above spot. And, in everyone’s defense, this campaign has been incredibly successful for State Farm over the years. Don’t like Rodgers’ acting? Think the spot isn’t funny? Well that’s too bad, because the rest of America loves these things. This is advertising, and the will of the consumers wins (haha). Credits after the jump.

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Samuel L. Jackson Wants You to Get a Motherf***in’ Capital One Quicksilver Card

Last night, DDB Chicago launched a new Capital One campaign for the Quicksilver card, mercifully replacing the Jimmy Fallon Cash Card campaign with something that doesn’t make me want to throw things at my television. Not only that, but they replaced Fallon with the biggest badass on the planet. I speak, of course, of Samuel L. motherfuckin’ Jackson.

Gone is the Jimmy Fallon with a whiny baby approach, replaced by the “You’re going to get a Capital One card because Samuel L. Jackson told you to and when Samuel L. Jackson tells you to do something you don’t fuck around” approach. The spot, “You Can’t Beat It” (also the name of a Catholic anti-masturbation campaign) replaces the schticky formula from the Fallon campaign in favor of a relatively straightforward description of a card that has “no rotating categories,” “no quarterly sign-ups,” and “no games” and offers 1.5% cash back “on every purchase, every damn day.” In other words: no bullshit. Since Samuel L. Jackson is basically the spokesman for not putting up with bullshit, he’s the perfect fit for the new approach.

Does this mean Fallon is gone for good? We can only hope. You know what? Jackson should just go ahead and take over for him on Late Night, too. The world would be a better place. Credits after the jump. Read more

DDB, Supercuts Part Ways


We’ve yet to hear back from Supercuts parent company Regis Corporation, but sources familiar with the matter do confirm that DDB Chicago is no longer working with the hair salon chain. DDB essentially adopted the account last fall when it absorbed fellow Chicago shop Element 79, which had worked with Supercuts since 2002. From what we’re hearing, Regis is launching a review for its brand, and DDB is likely not defending. As far as we can tell, the relationship has been relatively stagnant for the last few months as the most recent effort from DDB Chicago for Supercuts was the “Jake Miller” extension of the “Rock the Cut” campaign in April. We’ll follow up with Regis again, and will let you know if we hear more.

DDB NY, Ad Council Debut New PSAs for Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and DDB New York and Ad Council have developed a series of new PSAs to spread awareness about this important issue as part of the “Be More Than A Bystander” campaign. To do so, they also brought in a long list of partners including: MLB Network, NBA, HLN, filmmaker Lee Hirsch (BullyThe Bully Project), Cartoon Network, Facebook, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others.

The “Be More Than A Bystander” campaign calls on people to take action against bullying.  As someone who was bullied pretty incessantly during middle school, this stuff hits pretty close to home. It’s hard not to appreciate the problem of bullying after viewing the spot “Caine,” which highlights the struggles of a Texas middle schooler who is bullied for his perceived sexuality. Caine shares his struggles with physical violence and verbal abuse, saying at one point, “Pretty much a good day for me would be people leaving their hands off of me.” It’s pretty heartbreaking stuff, especially when Caine shares that “nobody’s ever tried to help me.” At the end of the spot, viewers are told, “There are ways your child could be the one that helps. Give your kids the tools to be more than just a bystander.” They are then prompted to visit to give their kids the tools to help those that are bullied. There’s also a shorter version of the “Caine” spot and several other PSAs, including one for the MLB Network. If you’re wondering what to tell your kids to do to stop bullying, the “Be More Than A Bystander” campaign recommends that they “tell a trusted adult such as a family member, teacher or coach; help the person being bullied get away from the situation; be a friend to the person being bullied; set a good example – do not bully others; and don’t give bullying an audience.”

You can visit to learn more about bullying prevention, and check out the MLB Network PSA after the jump. Read more

Your Cuts Clarification Time: DDB, GSD&M Edition

gsdm1Well, there’s a little bit of doomsaying on the Spy line that needs to be broached. For instance, we received several tips about layoffs at DDB New York. What we’ve been told, from sources in the know, is that there were just a handful let go from the office. No word as to why, but while we’re on the Omnicom tip, let us tell you the layoffs that some were referring to at Austin-based GSD&M actually involved “A small reorganization involving two people..” Hope that helps for now.

Cox Splits from P&O’D to Head Up Strategy at DDB Cali

justincox1We’ll keep this short for now as details are forthcoming, but sources familiar with the matter confirm that DDB California president Mike Harris has recruited a new head of strategy in Justin CoxThe new hire arrives from Pereira & O’Dell, where he spent approximately three years and last served as strategy director on accounts including Intel (“The Beauty Inside,” for example), Skype and Corona. During his career, Cox, who remains in the Bay Area, has also worked on the planning side at the likes of Razorfish on Levi’s, Sony and Microsoft and Publicis & Hal Riney on accounts ranging from Walmart to Beam. We’ll fill in the blanks including start date, etc. once we hear more.

It Appears Wells Fargo is Looking for an Agency Refresh


Could a  nearly 20-year relationship between DDB and Wells Fargo be coming to an end? Not sure yet, but late last Friday, we first heard that the San Francisco-based financial institution was putting its lead agency account into review. After some follow-up this morning, we received this brief comment from a spokesperson for the brand that basically confirms it: “We are very proud of our advertising. As we continue to evolve our brand to align with our growing business and broader marketing and brand strategies, it is the right time to explore agency options.”

DDB California, appropriately enough, handed ad duties over the years for Wells Fargo, which of course also acquired Wachovia back in 2008. DDB still currently serves as lead ad agency for the brand but we’re checking to see if they’ll defend the account. We’ll keep you posted if and when we hear more.


Naked Mannequins Abound in ‘Cotton or Nothing Protest’ from DDB NY

Clothing manufacturers have increasingly been replacing cotton with inferior and uncomfortable fabrics. Cotton Incorporated has a problem with that. (I think they might have a personal stake in this one.) They set up a protest during fashion week, in which mannequins lost their clothing in protest to the “mystery fabrics” they were dressed in. During the installment, which ran from September 6th-8th, each person that joined the movement had their picture taken at the front of the protest.

For DDB New York’s “Cotton or Nothing Protest” film, they used these photos, along with stop-motion animation of the mannequins, live action and time lapse photography. As a fan of stop-motion animation, I’m glad to see it get some love in the ad world. And using images of people at the front lines of the protest with the mannequins gives you a good idea of the scope of the installation. The film should continue to get the word out, leading more people to join the movement at Visitors to the site can even upload their images to join the protest virtually. More than 1,000 people have joined so far, and the #CottonOrNothing hashtag is making a big impression on Twitter, having been used by over 650, 000 users.

A word of advice though: Don’t just run around the mall undressing mannequins, you will get kicked out of Old Navy. Trust me. Check out the case study video after the jump.

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Aaron Rodgers, Terrible Acting in Tow, Returns for State Farm

A new NFL brings new DDB Chicago State Farm ads featuring Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, and his bastardized touchdown dance, the “Discount Double-Check.”

Now, even though the Packers are my favorite team and Rodgers is my favorite player, it’s clear that he has gotten no better at acting over the past off-season. I would hope, and assume, that this is due to his hours spent in practice. Supporting Rodgers in this spot (by taking the focus momentarily off of him) are SNL “Superfans” Robert Smigel (part of the original sketch) and George Wendt (who joined later and was also on Cheers so yeah). Apparently, the highest-paid NFL player doesn’t fly first class and is forced to hang out with Bears fans in coach.

Oh, and the “Discount Double-Check” becomes the “Discount Daaa-ble Check” because fuck you, Packers fans. State Farm giveth, and State Farm taketh away. But, they’re trying to make it up to you with a social extension, in which you submit yourself to public Facebook embarrassment based on bets over fantasy football. It’s called Fantasy Football Double Down because we all needed a reminder about KFC’s gross sandwich of the same name. Credits after the jump.

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Replacing Your Teeth with Skittles a Sure Bet to Receive Hot Makeouts

From DDB Chicago comes the latest spot for Skittles which encourages young girls at go-kart tracks to “French the Rainbow,” thus stealing sugar-coated dentures away from shy boys nationwide.

The last time we saw a non-adult steal a kiss in a nationwide campaign was with “Prom,” Audi’s Superbowl spot from earlier this year which some people called “rape-y” and positioned Audi as “promoters of sexual assault.” Will a similar outcry occur at the defense of the candy-toothed victim in this spot? No, of course not, and feel free to get all outraged about that in the comments if that’s how you feel like spending your Wednesday.

But, before you do, I invite you to consider the true crime in this spot: Taking advantage of the young boy’s obvious dental disability to sell candy. It’s obvious that his family was unable to afford adequate dental care, and the boy must live his whole life frowning so that his sweet secret isn’t revealed. Ridicule at that age from classmates can really mess a kid up. Credits after the jump.

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