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DDB’s Rodgers Townsend Agency Livens Up the Office for The Hartford

DDB’s Rodgers Townsend agency, St. Louis, pumps some life into the office (via jams) for The Hartford, in the latest iteration of its “Play On” campaign.

The agency collaborated with The Hartford, which provides insurance to small companies, for the interactive YouTube video. Viewers choose a genre of music, and then the office breaks into a spontaneous dance party, before promptly returning back to work. It’s well worth a view for a quick chuckle. We recommend “Retro Tech” and “Renaissance,” although you can’t really go wrong.

“We wanted to connect people to the message, when the unforeseen happens, The Hartford helps businesses prevail,” Steve Jones, assistant VP-marketing, small commercial at The Hartford, explained to AdAge. “This time, we wanted to do something fun and engaging that’s right for social channels and online.”

FCB Chicago Helps Grandma ‘Shop Like A Boss’ for Kmart

FCB Chicago keeps things weird for Kmart in their latest spot for the brand, “Shop Like A Boss,” although it’s nowhere near as strange as the brand’s Christmas campaign.

The spot opens on a grandma-type, billed as “Shop Your Way Member Julia Ruiz,” sitting at her computer. After clicking a button, she throws on her hoodie, shades and bling as the soundtrack shifts from serene birds chirping to a hip-hop beat. Soon she’s joined by the two other members of her entourage, and the rest of the spot (the full-length version runs around 95 seconds) is basically a music video. Ruiz and her crew roll up to Kmart, dance around, and pick up her order.

It’s a pretty simple idea, but it’s not without its moments. In the full-length version some of the humor lies just in how the idea is drawn out to such great length, and also how well this Ruiz character plays the part. The spot is meant to promote Kmart’s “shop online, pay in-store” feature, which is touted by a voiceover at the spot’s conclusion. While some viewers may not draw the connection from “Shop Like A Boss” to the service, the spot is at least (quite) memorable and ties the idea to the brand.

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Van Damme Sculpts Ice Bar for VCCP, Coors Light

Jean-Claude Van Damme is back for Coors Light, sculpting an ice bar in the Rocky Mountains with his bare hands in a new UK spot from VCCP.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s “Epic Split” for Volvo, Van Damme is now synonymous with advertising gold, and the VCCP spot capitalizes on his image in a way reminiscent of that ad. The 60-second “Ice Bar” has just about everything you’d expect given Van Damme’s involvement: Van Damme’s signature mullet/ponytail, cheesy 80s synths, ice block breaking (with bare hands, of course) and a tongue-in-cheek sense of intentionally over-the-top humor. It all makes for a pretty fun spot, which makes you wonder why this isn’t running stateside as well. Read more

McCann & MRM Taps Craig Robinson for Verizon

McCann & MRM enlist the aid of actor/comedian Craig Robinson (who also stars in a campaign for Dodge Dart) in the latest spot for Verizon FiOS.

The spot is a mock infomercial, featuring Robinson crooning hits about Verizon’s service, touting the amount of recordable time provided. In one song, “I Save Every Show About Hoarders,” he admits that he records, and never deletes, shows about hoarders, currently up to 167 episodes. Other hits include “Damn, Fishing Gets All Dangerous,” “Sports Highlights on the Toilet” and “Zombie Movies in Bed.” It’s a funny approach, and Robinson is endearing as always. The only problem with a fake bad infomercial is that it will never be as funny as a real bad infomercial. But then the spot’s real competition is other ads from cable providers and it wins, hands down. There’s also a 15 second edit of the spot, but a lot is lost in the process. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

The Brooklyn Brothers Brings Back Jason Sudeikis for NBC Sports

Jason Sudeikis reprises his role as coach Ted Lasso in The Brooklyn Brothers’ spot for NBC Sports’ coverage of the English Premier League, which starts August 16th.

Last year, Lasso went over the pond to coach London’s Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Now, he’s readjusting to life back in the states. Lasso engages in some early drinking, has an afternoon tea, drives on the wrong side of the road, and turns his apartment into “Teeny Tiny England”. In the process, he meets Tim Howard and lands himself another coaching gig. While Sudeikis’ character is pretty funny and the spot has some amusing moments, it also feels drags a bit at over six minutes in length. Maybe save this one for afternoon tea.

BBDO NY Taps NBA Greats for Foot Locker

BBDO New York taps Houston Rockets star James Harden and retired NBA greats Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen for a funny new spot entitled “Short Memory,” which promises to be the first in a series.

When Harden asks Barkley for advice on starting the new season fresh, Barkley explains that all the greats have short memories. Harden asks if that means Barkley forgot about it if he had a bad game, to which Barkley replies that he never had a bad game. Harden persists with a series of questions, until Barkley cuts him off, seeing that he doesn’t get it, and turns to Scottie Pippen for help. Pippen perfectly encapsulates Barkley’s point, declaring himself the greatest Chicago Bull ever — which would be true with a parenthetical “(available for selection in NBA Jam).”

It’s a clever spot, making good use of Barkley’s comedic potential, even if Harden comes across a bit stiff in comparison. Pippen’s tongue-in-cheek boast alone gives “Short Memory” viral potential, which the spot already seems to be fulfilling. It has racked up almost 600,000 views since being posted yesterday. Stick around for credits 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

DDB Examines Downside to Self-Driving Cars for Centraal Beheer Achmea

DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam tackles the issue of self-driving cars in their latest spot for Dutch insurance company Centraal Beheer Achmea.

The spot at first appears to be a promo for the self-driving car, but while the voiceover extolls the virtues of the technological innovations it leads to all kinds of disastrous accidents as people are distracted by the site of seeing a car with no driver. DDB’s spot crams a lot of slapstick into its 60 seconds, leading into the brand’s “Just Call Us” tagline.

Apparently the spot was correct in its assumption that a self-driving car would function as a large distraction to other drivers and passers-by. “The self-driving car is a hot topic at the moment and we saw it as a great opportunity for Centraal Beheer Achmea’s car insurance,” said Pol Hoenderboom, creative director at DDB & Tribal Worldwide. “Our own ‘self-driving car,’ by the way, did not survive the shoot unscathed. A local driver was so distracted by the situation that he drove straight into our ‘TV ad hero’ car parked on the location.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

TBWA Hunt Lascaris Encourages Youth Travel for Student Flights

TBWA Hunt Lascaris has a new campaign for Student Flights promoting youth travel with the message, “Travel Before it’s Not Fun Anymore.”

The campaign features two funny spots showing grandparents out of their element in more youth-friendly travel destinations: Bangkok and Amsterdam. In “Grandpa,” featured above, an elderly man somehow finds himself at a Thai strip club. He incredulously (and suggestively) holds a ping pong ball, while uncomfortably sizing up his surroundings. The spot manages to do a lot with a little, finding humor in its suggestive content and the perfect expression on the man’s face.

Perhaps even more effective is “Grandma,”  which manages the same accomplishment. It shows a grandmother in an Amsterdam coffee house, who is very clearly stoned out of her mind (which has probably worked wonders for her rheumatoid arthritis). The situation makes for a really funny 30-second spot, despite a complete lack of dialogue and little going on aside from the grandmother. Stick around for “Grandma” and credits after the jump. Read more

The Vault Taps Dante Exum for Foot Locker

The Vault tapped NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum for a humorous new Foot Locker campaign.

The series of 15 second spots, entitled “Everything Changes After the Draft” highlight how things don’t change after the draft. Although Exum seems to perceive himself as a celebrity, it’s evident no one else does. The approach works best on the above “Paparazzi,” in which Exum informs friends that he doesn’t want to head to Foot Locker because “paparazzi might be there,” eliciting uncontrollable laughter from his two buddies. Other spots in the campaign take a similar approach, seeing Exum practicing his autograph, interacting with a dorky neighbor, combing through “fan mail” and making a dinner reservation. We’ve included “Reservation” and “Fan Mail,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

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