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Mother

Method Man, Sour Patch Kids Roll Deep

You know what’s a real thug-ass candy? Sour Patch Kids, that’s what. Know how I know? Because Method Man, the 40-year-old rapper and actor of Wu-Tang Clan and How High fame, made a music video co-starring Sour Patch Kids running around his crib and messing around in his recording studio. If you don’t think teens and young adults can connect with this sort of product/celebrity placement on an emotional level, well, you just don’t get it.

From Mother NY comes the greatest Method Man-related collaboration since he teamed up with Mary J. Blige for the 1995 hit, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By.” This new track from Meth, “World Gone Sour (The Lost Kids),” will also be featured in a new Sour Patch Kids video game. However there’s no word as of now as to whether or not it will be featured on Method Man’s new album, The Crystal Meth, expected to be released this year after a string of delays.

To be perfectly honest, I’m amazed that Mother NY got a rap legend like Method Man to be the new spokesperson for this Kraft Foods candy brand, and I applaud Method Man for doing something more child-friendly as his focus is shifting from being a hardened representative of East Coast rap to being a family man. But, as has happened with names like Ice Cube, the target audience for this campaign doesn’t remember 36 Chambers or the impact that album had on the pop music landscape.

So, it’s kind of bittersweet that today’s youth might only think of Method Man as “that Sour Patch Kids guy,” as they probably already think of Ice Cube as “that TBS sitcom guy” or Dr. Dre as “that Dr. Pepper guy.” Admittedly, I saw Ray Charles play live before he passed away, and though I had heard of his impact on music (which was obviously much more significant than any of the aforementioned rappers) and in some way understood it, it was hard not to think of him as “that guy from the Pepsi commercials.” But, at the end of the day, maybe that’s alright. At least a new generation of consumers will know the stars of yesteryear in some way. Credits after the jump.

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Mother NY and Kyocera Introduce ‘The Echo Temple’

On Sept. 10, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest took over Columbia, Maryland’s historic outdoor concert venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Over 50,000 music fans showed up to the free festival, where Virgin Mobile offered a diverse and relevant lineup of artists (including TV on the Radio, Deadmau5 and the Black Keys among others) and a “dance forest” (because why the hell not).

The free admission guaranteed that many were able to reserve their allowance for gas, face paint and drugs instead of a high ticket price, and it was in this mysterious “dance forest” that Mother NY and Kyocera built “The Echo Temple” for face-painted drugged-up youths seeking a weird toy to play with. Relying on cameras and motion-censors, Kyocera supplied interested “musicians” with fans that allowed them to control sound with their entire bodies. As the above video proves, there was dancing, revelry, DJs and a giant cat/lizard monster with an available lap for sitting.

What was the point of “The Echo Temple” (other than its use as a branding opportunity that targeted young hip concert-goers)? The video doesn’t make quite argue that there’s a clear purpose behind it, or that mobile phone manufacturer Kyocera will make a foray into the hot “dance forest accessories” industry anytime soon. But, “The Echo Temple” does allow a crowd become an audible factor in the dance party experience. And, if you’ve ever found yourself in a dance forest surrounded by your best friends you met at a drum circle 20 minutes prior to wandering out into the woods, it’s all about making that connection, you know?

Aloe Blacc, Mother NY Go Downtown with Tanqueray

Aloe Blacc‘s soulful R&B/hip-hop hybrid landed him an early bit fame when his track “I Need a Dollar” was featured as the theme song for HBO’s series How to Make it in America. And, with Tanqueray sponsoring the vocalist’s new music video for, “Tonight Downtown,” Blacc might finally break through to a mainstream audience, or at least those who like to drink their gin in smokey bars.

After winning Tanqueray from W+K back in December, Mother NY has done little for the brand in the vein of full-scale campaigns. But with a four-minute music video, an interactive version that lets users download “Tonight Downtown” and submit their own remixes, as well as a stylish new print campaign featuring actors Michael Pitt and Idris Elba and model/Jack White’s ex-wife Karen Elson (after the jump), it would seem that the agency has spent the last nine months ramping up a re-introduction to the Diageo brand using the slogan, “Tonight We Tanqueray.”

It’s a far cry from W+K’s “Resist Simple” campaign from two years ago, but will start-studded launch events be enough to make Tanqueray the gin of choice for young professionals ready for a night on the town?

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Mitchum Keeps Bad Parents Cool

What do you do if your product lacks an eye-catching design and has an old man’s name? Make up for it with nifty visuals and pretty young people in your television spots.

Mother NY’s and production company Brand New School’s “Love Thy Pits” campaign for Mitchum deodorant has, among other things, set clogs on fire and caused some to cry “ripoff” due to some similarities to recent Old Spice work. But, as this installment is one of a several new spots using the same fast-talking narration and colorful, well art-directed video graphics, Mitchum’s parent company Revlon’s attempts at attracting a younger market share must be paying off.

So, young millennial soccer mom, don’t sweat accidentally kidnapping a neighbor’s kid. Credits after the jump.

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Mitchum Sets Clogs on Fire

Armpits are gross. When they sweat, they get grosser. And, if you’re a hairy dude, armpits can really be, well, the pits. They’re not exactly the kind of place you want a loved one or significant other to spend a lot of time.

This television new spot for Mitchum Advanced Control deodorant is part of Mother’s new campaign for the brand called “Love Thy Pits.” Maybe’s it’s because I have a penchant for listening to annoying pop music, but this spot immediately reminded me of Darwin Deezmusic video for his song, “Radar Detector.” Do not click on that link if you are scared of having a trashy, nonsensical hippie get in your head for the rest of the day. What can we say about “Love Thy Pits?” Well, it looks like Mitchum is targeting young hipster professionals who are more frightened of sweating all over their dress shirts than proving their manliness. Credits after the jump.

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Mother Welcomes First Creative Manager

Leave it to Mother NY to come up with yet another quirky title for a new staffer, this one being “Traffic Controller” which translates into the more commonly known post of creative manager. That’s the role Mary King assumes now that she’s joined the Mother camp as its first ever CM. The gold-toothed agency vet launched her ad career as a project manager 25 years ago at Fallon/McElligott before serving as a creative manager at Chiat\Day NY (where she actually had two stints) and W+K Portland, then spending over four years at Ogilvy as creative talent director.

Apparently King will wear multiple hats at Mother beyond her official title according to creative director Bobby Hershfield, who says, “We are thrilled that Mary is here. Her incredible ability to play therapist, conductor, organizer, creative ally and palm reader is so needed and welcomed.”

Mother Hires New Strategist to Help Build ‘Bigger Brain’

Charlie McKittrick is basically moving down the street as the 10-year Ogilvy vet has now joined up as a strategist with Mother New York. Regarding the reason for moving, McKittrick, who will be partnering with Mother’s Phil Graham in boosting the agency’s strategy unit, offers an interesting statement, saying, “The brief to me was ‘we want Mother to have a bigger brain’ which is pretty daunting given that Mother is producing some of the most creative, interesting and diverse work in the business.  But my passion is for the breadth of what modern ‘strategy’ needs to contribute to advertising in 2011, and where better to apply that than at a place as creatively promiscuous as Mother?”

Before he signed on with Mother in order to apply his form of “modern strategy” and attempt to increase brainpower, McKittrick led the 20-person Marketing Strategy practice at Ogilvy, working on plans for clients such as IBM, Motorola, Yahoo and Six Flags. McKittrick’s most recent global assigments were for Coke Zero, UPS and, um, BP.

Hershfield Promoted to GCD at Mother

There’s a reason why Bobby Hershfield is all smiles judging by his headshot as the four-year Mother employee has been promoted to group creative director at the agency’s New York office. During his tenure at Mother, Hershfield has worked on accounts including J&J, Target, Sweet ‘N Low and Tanqueray. Prior to joining the Mother-ship, the creative spent two years at Ogilvy and worked on IBM and Yahoo and spent nine years at W+K before that. In a statement, his boss, Mother founding partner Paul Malmstrom, says “Bobby has been one of the fine ingredients in the Mother pancake we haven’t talked that much about. From today, we add an additional teaspoon of Hershfield, and smile.” Yeah, we get the “smile” part.

We Hear: Mother Takes Home Tanqueray

We’ve been told by reliable sources that Mother has won the global creative business for Tanqueray. If you remember, we reported back in September that parent company Diageo launched a review of its gin brand. Since late October, we’ve been hearing that the New York/London-based shop beat out incumbent W+K and at least two other agencies in the review. Mother isn’t commenting either way on Tanqueray, which Wieden had handled since 2008. From what our spies tell us, Mother’s already in the process of doing work for the brand.

In The Raw, Mother NY Provide Recipes for Life’s Little Tragedies

Before we get any further, no, I don’t know if sugar “in the raw” is in any way healthier or better than the stuff you sprinkle in your coffee at Starbucks every morning. Really, if I had to guess, I’d assume it’s sort of like natural tobacco cigarettes versus Marlboro Reds. Yeah, it’ll still kill you in large quantities, it probably isn’t ingested as easily, but you buy it because you don’t like the idea of weird, synthetic chemicals being part of your regular diet.

Designing a campaign for a company like In the Raw must be pretty difficult. I mean, what is there to say about sugar and sweetener that hasn’t already been said? What is there to be said about your product that isn’t already in your brand name? Well, Mother found a way to take a new approach with their “It’s Only Natural Campaign,” which according to CDs Bobby Hershfield and Michael Ian Kaye incorporate “human truths and how the product and food in general play a role in daily situations.”

Yeah, it’s an awful lot of copy for one page, but ad placement in women’s fitness, entertainment and lifestyle publications should keep consumers reading, if at least for the fully functioning recipies. If you spouse leaves you, you’re baking something for a loved one, or you’re just trying to save money for one day to see how it feels, sugar and stevia extract “in the raw” will have you covered.

Credits and fuller ads after the jump.

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