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Mobile

Leo Burnett Crafts Well-Produced Head-Scratcher for Samung’s Galaxy Note 3

Leo Burnett’s “Design Your Life” campaign for the new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear, which the agency hopes to present as “vehicles of inspiration,” kicks off with the 2:51 length “Sweet Dreams.”

“Sweet Dreams” tells the story of a young woman who wants to save her grandfather’s failing toy shop. The ad follows the woman around as she utilizes six of the phone’s distinct features, all leading to a puppet performance that presumably will help revive the shop (somehow). While “Sweet Dreams,” directed by music video veteran Paul Hunter, sets the bar very high in terms of production, direction and cinematography — Samsung and Leo Burnett go as far as to call it a “digital short film” (a bit self-congratulatory if you ask me) — the writing and overall concept are a bit of a head-scratcher. Why isn’t anyone going to the toy store, it looks awesome? Is the puppet show really going to help? The store is closed at the time of performance and the stage seems to be blocking any view of the store itself.

If you can put aside the strange and poorly realized premise, the stylization works well, and Leo Burnett does a good job of showing the phone’s features in action. Plus, what’s not to love about dancing puppets? (Although the “puppets” in question were actually real dancers converted to CGI, rather than actual marionettes.) Whether or not it works as a story (or “digital short film”), “Sweet Dreams” does a good job of showcasing Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear. A promising start to the campaign, hopefully next time Leo Burnett can pull off a better realized concept to fulfill the potential of their impressive production.  Read more

Parents Get Feisty in New Microsoft Advert from CP+B, Roman Coppola

In CP+B’s new Roman Coppola-directed spot for Microsoft, sweet children sing in asparagus suits while their parents frantically capture every moment using their iPhones and Androids. A brawl ensues, with parents fighting for the perfect panorama, jostling one another to avoid phone photobombing, and climbing into the ceiling pipes for the ideal aerial shot. Of course, the couple with a Nokia Lumia 1020 sits calmly in the back with their superior cameraphone, knowing they got a great photo of their daughter dressed as a carrot.

This spot is in line with Microsoft’s last video, “The Wedding,” where the same scene occurs, but at a church. Both ads end, “Don’t fight. Switch.” Considering photo sharing has become one of the most important parts of owning a phone, it’s not a bad idea. Ad-wise, this spot is a great portrait of modern day life. If only an unintelligible child vegetable chorus could always soundtrack petty adult hysteria.

Credits after the jump.

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Zoosk, C+K Unleash ‘Heart Friend’ for Love Advice

In early June, San Fran-based Camp + King took over as the first AOR for the mobile dating site Zoosk. Seven weeks later, we herald the return of Heart Friend, the chatty heart-shaped mascot who is now doling out dating advice for inquiring users. Zoosk asked its users to post questions on Facebook, and then the Zoosk team selected the best posts for our little buddy, Heart Friend.

Each week, Heart Friend will answer one question by video for the site’s YouTube channel. This week: what to wear on a first date. Heart Friend does some rambling about men being bulls and then goes into an awkward aside about a red dress. Heart Friend has a man’s voice, but then shows up wearing a dress, which is supposed to make you laugh, I think? Cupid must already be under contract elsewhere. Credits after the jump.

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Johnny Two Shoes, W+K Concoct Chewing-Controlled Game for Stride Gum

In a cute take on motion controlled games, Stride Gum invites you to enter the world of Gumulon, where you’re represented by a “rebellious miner” named Ace. Ace, a strange green helmet-wearing thing, can only control the “intergalactic action” and ultimately vanquish the prehistoric cave beast if you concentrate on chewing while staring at your iPhone. When your jaw finally collapses after the strain of coercing Ace around the mine, the monster will eat Ace/you after seasoning you and taking a photo for posterity.

Watching the gameplay video makes this activity look like the dweebiest way to spend your day. I hope I never see someone sweating as they chew emphatically on the subway. This game should be played at home, if at all. Thankfully, Gumulon also comes in a touch version, should your mandibles tire of mining.

I will, however, give Stride’s effort points for novelty and its do-good nature. If we collectively achieve better breath through gamification, I can’t complain.

Boost Mobile Brings Out the Zombies

Any agency can always reach deep down into it’s bag of tropes and tricks and pull out a zombie idea for just about every brand. Some people are bound to like watching the undead jaunt around in some apocalyptic retelling of the universe regardless of whether the take is funny, serious, or cool. For Australian-based shop The Monkeys and Boost Mobile Australia, that cool take on zombies in the centerpoint of their latest campaign: “Stay Living.” Sleek action, plenty of gore, and some moody music are all you need for the phone carrier juices to start flowing.

The clips for this campaign are somewhat graphic, making them stand out when compared to typical American commercials. Zombies getting shot in the head with arrows or completely disrespected with huge katanas to the skull holds some edgy appeal that you won’t find in our commercials with little kids who want “Puppy Brothers.” If anything, these Boost Mobile ads are a fun watch as you think about moving to Australia to start your own zombie apocalypse narrative.

It Looks Like Someone’s Fulfilling Our Dreams at Cannes

 

Since we’re once again staying put here in the States during all the Cannes Lions revelry, we’re happy to see that a few folks have taken it upon themselves to bring to fruition what we were always destined to do one day at the Festival via an effort called “Busted at Cannes.”

We did a little digging, and yes, we’ve been told that this is a side project concocted by a couple of EVB staffers including the San Francisco-based agency’s VP, director of technology & innovation, Aaron McGuire, whose name is actually plastered all over the Busted site. Check out the demo video below that just launched to get more of the gist. And no, that Donny Deutsch pic will never get old. Update: The Deutsch image has been removed, so we have the above shot of folks like Colleen DeCourcy and Brian Morrissey instead.

Op-Ed: Idea Before Experience – The .Com Era Repeats Itself

Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten, group director of planning at Huge, has returned with her monthly column for this here site, this time discussing among other things, the mobile web, couponing, digital performance and how a certain well-known retail chain is playing into it all. Why say any more, let her take it away.

I was recently reminiscing about the early days of .com: an era where big ideas came first and the business model came later, if at all. We can look back now at what were essentially large scale experiments in digital: Kozmo.com, brought down by its free shipping on any order; Pets.com, the founding fathers of cute overload but otherwise useless for pet owners; and WebVan, whose razor thin margins couldn’t support their vision resulting in 2000 people out of work.  We didn’t really know what we were getting into and, at the time, few people were thinking about things like the user journey, the consumer experience, or basic usability for that matter.

Fast forward to 2013 and we’ve made strides in technology but we continue to make the same mistakes. Perhaps not with the same pageantry as with Webvan or Pets.com, but every day agencies produce work where good user experiences and viable business results take a back seat to a big idea, or at least something that will generate a cycle of good press. As digital has become more sophisticated and extended to multiple platforms, so have our audiences and their expectations.  The gap between great idea and another failure is getting smaller and smaller.

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Asics, 180 Amsterdam Slow to Finish Line with Exercise App

With the new “MY ASICS” training app, runners can log workout times, post motivational content to Facebook, and create a comprehensive exercise diary. There are digital timelines and unlockable articles, videos, pictures, and all this is great for athletes who are in need of a capable app. However, in 2013, this type of technology isn’t new. Although the design may be slicker than similar apps, “MY ASICS” could struggle to have an impact in a field where RunKeeper and MapMyRun have already been go-to social exercise platforms for the past few years.

The app is the latest addition to the “Journey of Improvement” campaign, and if it catches on, you’ll be able to scroll through your newsfeed and ridicule all the people sharing their running times and making you hate yourself for watching The Big Bang Theory instead of improving your cardiovascular health. Maybe, just maybe, it will force you to go for a jog and buy ASICS sneakers. Then, you can continue the cycle by downloading the app and posting your own workouts to Facebook. Then someone else can secretly despise you and start jogging. People helping people, it’s a beautiful thing.

SS+K Bows ‘SX6S’ at SXSWi

In case you missed it here in Austin this weekend, you may have caught SS+K’s unveiling of its new Vine search tool, dubbed “SX6S,” which lets you plug into all #sxsw tagged Vines from Twitter during the festivities and for specific #sxsw related vines via hashtag. Yes, barbecque lovers need not waste time with other silly apps when this one will fill you in. If you have a minute, watch the teaser above and look for the New York-based SS+K’s full highlight reel after the event closes.

Citydoping New York: For Tourists Who Don’t Want to be Tourists

SS+K alum Joe Sayaman (remember him?) and Peter Cortez, the creators of Citydoping NYC, a new tour guide app, want to help “visitors feel like a local” when they come to New York for a few days. The app was built for advertisers who want to fill in the spaces between conferences and meetings with a trip to a cool restaurant or bar that is presumably off the beaten path. New York has many beaten paths, but the content comes from Manhattaners and Brooklynites who must know low-key venues that are awesome and hidden, because, well, they’re from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The app seems useful for out-of-towners who want to be towners for a couple of days. And we can empathize with people who want to avoid 90-minute waits at overpriced eateries and/or hate walking behind those people taking pictures and clogging up the sidewalks. However, there is a faulty logic to Citydoping worth pointing out: the goal is to direct tourists to unknown gems in NYC, but if enough people buy the app (for $2.99), then those spots will become just as crowded as the original attractions the creators were avoiding in the first place. Just something to think about.

The promotional video above has the slick production of an Apple commercial, but no Jeff Daniels. Even so, you should watch it and/or just go straight to the App Store.

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