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The Martin Agency Asks Salt-N-Pepa to Spice Up Geico

The Martin Agency makes sacreligious use of Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic 90s hit “Push It” — as well as the group itself — in its latest spot for Geico.

The 30-second ad opens on a man trying to pull open a door that says “Push” on it. Soon Salt-N-Pepa show up behind him and break into “Push It” and the man walks in. Next we see the pair in an elevator (with Spinderella in the background), a Lamaze class, and at a football practice while performing the song. “If you’re salt and pepper, you tell people to push it. It’s what you do,” says a voiceover, in the campaign’s familiar formula. “If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to Geico. It’s what you do.” The Martin Agency then manages to slip in a quick gag after the tagline.

The campaign, whose tagline feels like a response to Esurance’s “Insurance for the modern world” (with that company directly taking on Geico’s “15 percent or more “selling point in its advertising), seems like its running out of steam as its joke runs a bit thin, so bringing in an act nostalgic viewers will be pleased to see make sense. And Salt-N-Pepa’s presence certainly makes the ad more memorable, even if it can’t quite save the tired premise.  Read more

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Ogilvy Rings in the Holidays with Kevin Ross for Glade

Ogilvy & Mather worked with singer Kevin Ross on a holiday spot for Glade entitled “Feel Anticipation.”

For the spot, Ross wrote a song supposedly expressing how holiday scent Sparkling Spruce made him feel. Ross can be seen performing the song in an outdoor stage, surrounded by plenty of Glade candles ending with the “#FeelGlade” hashtag. While the “song inspired by a fragrance” premise can be a bit hard to swallow, it should appeal to fans of the emerging Motown singer, and maybe even net him — and the brand — a few new fans along the way. In addition to the 30-second broadcast spot, Glade also released a full-length music video for the song (featured after the jump), which is also available to download on iTunes.

It’s part of a larger rebranding campaign from Ogilvy for the brand, which is seeking to reposition itself as not just selling scents but the feelings they evoke. In another recent effort, Glade set up a pop-up shop, which they called the Glade Boutique, in New York’s meatpacking district. According to Adweek, the Glade Boutique saw “concierge” guide visitors through a “scent and emotion journey” in the Feelings Lounge, with scents such as Blooming Peony and Red Honeysuckle Nectar. The brand also teamed up with Cirque de Soleil for an October event in Madison Square Park. Read more

Argonaut Launches ‘It’s All Fit’ for Fitbit

San Francisco-based agency Argonaut is launching the first-ever campaign for health and fitness-tracker brand Fitbit with a 60-second anthem ad entitled “It’s All Fit.”

The spot, which as directed by Daniel and Katine Mercadante, positions the Fitibit line as perfect for tracking your health during all kinds of physical activities, from weightlifting to ping-pong to hockey and skateboarding. It leans heavily on the soundtrack, a catchy tune sung by The Donnas lead singer Brett Anderson to drive the action, functioning almost as a Fitbit music video.

“It’s All Fit” breaks today and is supported by a print campaign The timing of the brand’s push into above-the-line marketing is not incidental. With steady growth since its launch in 2007, Fitbit has come to dominate its category with a 70 percent market share, and is rolling out three new products:  the Charge, the Charge HR and the Surge, described as the first-ever “fitness super watch.”

R/GA Gets Cam Newton to Scream for Beats

R/GA enlisted Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in its latest ad for fashion headphones brand Beats, entitled “Straight to the Gym.”

Newton, of course, is no stranger to advertising, having recently appeared in spots for Gatorade and Under Armour (which he can be seen wearing here).

The basic approach of the “Straight to the Gym” is nothing new. “Give up, that’s what they want you to do. Stop, that’s what they want you to do,” says Newton in a voiceover that plays as he puts on a pair of wireless Beats and begins an intense workout. The 60-second spot leans heavily on its soundtrack: Kendrick Lamar‘s guest verse on Jay Rock‘s “Pay For It.” In the ad’s most interesting moment, Newton lets out an agonized scream mid-pullup, driving home the message of the song, and the spot. The ad very much follows in the footsteps of R/GA’s recent ads for the brand showing athletes working out, such as the recent spot celebrating LeBron James’ homecoming, and this ad starring Serena Williams. Maybe it’s time to change up the formula?

Weird Al Stars in GSD&M’s Holiday Effort for Radio Shack

In an attempt to boost holiday sales, GSD&M enlisted the services of one Weird Al Yankovic on behalf of the struggling Radio Shack.

The resurgent Yankovic, of course, just had the first number one album of his career with his fourteenth full-length, Mandatory Fun. Radioshack CMO Jennifer Warren cited Yankovic’s resurgent popularity and “cross generational appeal” in explaining the decision to enlist the King of Parody, telling MediaPost, “He’s had a resurgence, including a No. 1 album, and an appearance on the Grammies, as well as a recent tour of the talk shows.”

And, indeed, Yankovic has appeal from everyone from those introduced to the parodist in the eighties, to those of us who bought Bad Hair Day on compact dist in elementary school, to the kids just being introduced to him today through the music videos he released to promote the new album. But does GSD&M make it work?

Kind of. Yankovic’s quirky, nerdy charm is certainly on display in the ad, and Radio Shack could benefit from the association, but the spot stops short of fulfilling its comedic potential. When a customer asks if Radio Shack carries HeliQuads, Shack employee Yankovic bursts into song about how it is the perfect place for holidays toys for, boys, girls, and your cousin Bob who is 43 and lives at home. GSD&M worked from a script, collaborating with Yankovic from there, according to GSD&M President Marianne Malina. Given Yankovic’s distinct personality (which is what you got him for), it may have made more sense to just let him come up with his own ideas.

Interestingly, the ad will debut in cinemas, where viewers can use the Shazam app to download a longer version. The ad is part of GSD&M’s larger “Gift Smart” campaign as the agency continues to attempt to start conversations around the sinking Radio Shack brand. Recent efforts include the suggestive back-to-school campaign, which ruffled a few conservative feathers with its innuendo.

“Everything we’ve done together…is about getting buzz, and getting back into the conversation,” Warren told MediaPost. Read more

Ant Farm Teams Up With Childish Gambino for Far Cry 4

DDB-owned agency Ant Farm teamed up with rapper Childish Gambino for a new Far Cry 4 gameplay trailer set to the Gambino track “Crawl.”

In a lead-in to the gameplay footage, Gambino discusses his choice of “Crawl” for the trailer while hanging out with friends playing the game. The Ubisoft logo then appears onscreen, and a variety of in-game action plays out to the track for the remainder of the ad. It does a good job of mixing a variation of game footage — from what appear to be cut scenes to actual gameplay — to keep things from getting monotonous, and the footage does seem carefully tailored and edited to fit the song.

“Our goal for this trailer was to emphasize the perfect pairing of the song and game, and give fans a memorable musical and visual experience that is authentic to both artistic groups” said Ant Farm  VP/Creative Director Scott Cookson. “The chance to merge cutting-edge gameplay footage with a unique musical talent was an exciting and welcomed opportunity to produce a unique and stylized film that is both memorable and compelling to the brand.”
Read more

Droga5 Swarms Taylor Swift with Kittens for Diet Coke

Earlier this month, Droga5 released the spot “Car Wash” as part of its “Get A Taste” campaign for Diet Coke. Now the agency is rolling out a new 30-second ad starring Taylor Swift and a whole lot of kittens.

In the spot, entitled “Kittens,” Swift is playing with a kitten when she takes a sip of Diet Coke and all of a sudden there are two kittens. She takes another sip and there’s an entire table full of kittens, and before the end of the spot the entire room is filled as the singer/songwriter is engulfed in a swarm of feline cuteness. “What if life tasted as good as Diet Coke?” says text at the end of the ad, before Swift works in a quick plug for her new album. Since everyone with a soul likes kittens, this one is sure to be a hit. Add in Swift’s star power, and a preview of a new track featured exclusively in the ad until the release of her new album on October 27th, and this is all but guaranteed millions of views.

The ad was launched online today and will make its broadcast debut this Friday. As part of the campaign, Diet Coke is also giving fans a chance to win “concert tickets and a flyaway trip for two to an upcoming performance through iHeartRadio.com, RyanSeacrest.com and other sites.” The brand is also sponsoring Swift’s co-host appearance on “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” on October 30th, the first time a celebrity co-hosts the entire program as well as the first time it is presented by a single brand. Read more

Sonos Visualizes Music in New Campaign

72andSunny has unveiled a new campaign for Sonos’ wireless hi-fi system which playfully imagines what different genres of music would appear as visually.

Taking the notion that Sonos can transform your home literally, the spots each match musical genres with a distinct visual style. So, for example, in the ad set to “Nous Etions Deux” by La Femme, a home is taken over by pop art, starting with spots covering random appliances. In other spots the folk-pop of Sylvan Esso is rendered in claymation, the electronica of Mount Kimbie melts the walls and the croon of Isaac Hayes is paired to (what else?) liquid gold.

Music for the spots was curated by KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley prior to the shoot, informing the pacing, mood and feeling for filming. This approach seems to have payed off, as the music and visuals, created using a combination of practical and CG effects, combine seamlessly, as the sounds seem to transform the space. The homes pictured, “designed to represent people around the world in all kinds of living spaces” are also perfectly matched to the music and chosen form of visualization. Shot over the course of five days in Argentina, everything comes together for a series of ads that imaginatively illustrate the benefits of Sonos’ product and are a lot of fun to watch. Read more

Skipintro Celebrates Relaunch of the Rijksmuseum

Dutch agency Skipintro celebrates the relaunch of the famed Rijksmuseum in a new campaign that puts Dutch music center stage.

The campaign includes a 30-second broadcast version, and 60 and 90-second online versions, of an ad showcasing the Rijksmuseum as a place to appreciate all forms of Dutch culture. Instead of tacking on music at the end of the production process, director Mattias Schut brought creative production outfit The Ambassadors on board at the start of the process to compose a piece of music that was then performed by a group of Dutch musicians in the museum’s main public walkway as visitors appreciate the art of the Rijksmuseum and the music simultaneously.

“From a musical point of view, being involved from the start of the creative process enables you to lift the production in a way that would be impossible to create in such fine detail without having a close relationship with the director,” said Sebastiaan Roestenburg, founder and sound designer/composer, The Ambassadors. “It was vital to start by researching the required feel of the music, so that we could create something that would truly work as the starting point of the whole production.” Read more

Starworks Group Rocks the Vote with Lil Jon in ‘Turn Out for What’

Starworks Group enlisted the aid of Lil Jon, Whoopi Goldberg, Lena Dunham, Fred Armisen and a host of other celebrities for a Rock the Vote spot set to a reworking of Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” as “Turn Out for What.”

The spot opens with Lil Jon informing Goldberg that he’s turning out for the midterm elections. At the polling center he meets a big fan and runs into Lena Dunham, who won’t reveal Girls spoilers to the rapper, much to his dismay. Around the video’s midpoint, celebrities start mentioning the causes they are turning out to vote for over “Turn Out for What.” (Surprise: Lil Jon is turning out for marijuana legalization.) Say what you will about the ad’s over-the-top approach, but it’s certainly received its share of attention, racking up almost 600,00 YouTube views since being posted earlier in the week. Read more

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