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McCann Compares Internet to Escalators for Verizon

McCann, New York has a new campaign for Verizon FiOS, touting the brand’s “Speed Match” — matching download and upload speeds.

To do so, McCann set up an experiment slowing down an up escalator. When riders finally reached the top, a spokeswoman asks, “Shouldn’t up be as fast as down?” and then continues to make the point that the same should true of Internet connection speeds. It’s a pretty obvious visualization of the feature, and may help those who have trouble understanding tech issues appreciate FiOS’ “Speed Match” (even if they still don’t quite understand what they’re talking about). Read more

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BBDO Wants to Get You in the Kitchen for Uncle Ben’s

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has a new UK campaign for Uncle Ben’s, called “Ben’s Beginners,” based on the insight that one in four parents never cook with their children.

In a two minute spot — entitled “Where’s The Kitchen” — a supposed real estate agent shows families a house without a kitchen. Invariably, the families notice and complain, to which he replies that people aren’t really cooking anymore and kitchen-less houses are the wave of the future. It’s a bit of an odd way to illustrate how people are cooking less, but lets the brand avoid seeming overly preachy. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO probably could have made the point in less time however, as the two-minute format really stretches the premise thin.

Another part of the campaign will see Uncle Ben’s launching a YouTube cooking channel. Designed to encourage parents to cook with their children, the show is hosted by DJ BBQ shows kids how to cook simple meals using Uncle Ben’s products. It’s a nice extension of the campaign, and could foster some real brand loyalty in kids who learn to cook with the program. Additional videos will feature actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner teaching basic cooking skills. Read more

W+K Portland, Craig Robinson Return for Dodge Dart

W+K Portland launched the “Don’t Touch My Dart” campaign earlier this month, pairing comedians Craig Robinson and Jake Johnson. Well, it’s a few weeks later and the duo are back for several follow-up spots the agency has released for the campaign, along with a new interactive digital experience.

In the 30-second “Craig,” Johnson tries to get Robinon’s attention by repeatedly saying his name while he cleans and admires his Dart. Robinson spends the whole time ignoring him, leading into the “Don’t Touch My Dart” tagline (along with accompanying music, composed and performed by Robinson) and a prompt for viewers to “See what happens when you touch my dart.” Clicking on the link leads to an interactive digital initiative where you can move your cursor to “touch” Craig’s dart and see what happens. Try it for yourself here, and stick around after the jump for a couple for “Voice Touching” and “Birdhouse.” Read more

One Trick Pony Unites Branson, Goldsmith for Virgin Hotels

One Trick Pony got together Virgin billionaire Richard Branson and Jonathan Goldsmith — the actor perhaps most well-known for playing “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in the ongoing Dos Equis campaign — to promote the launch of Virgin Hotels, starting with a single location in Chicago.

In the spot, Branson recites some supposed rumors about the hotel — “The beds are so springy, they had to lift the ceilings 16 inches,” for example — while Goldsmith acts them out. Goldsmith’s involvement leaves no doubt from where One Trick Pony took its inspiration, and Branson’s acting can be a bit stiff, but the 55-second spot is not without its charm. Where the campaign really shines, though, is its social component, which invites consumers to tweet their own rumors about the hotel from the Virgin Hotels site. Users who submit some of the best tweets will be entered for a chance to win a two-night stay at the first Virgin Hotels location, where it’s rumored that Richard Branson tucks everyone in at night. Read more

Forsman & Bodenfors Conducts ‘Time Travel Experiment’ for IKEA

In one of the more bizarre spots you’ll see today, Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors enlists the aid of hypnotist Justin Tranz in a “Time Travel Experiment” for IKEA.

Tranz supposedly hypnotizes a couple, who are then told they are in the future as they meet their bratty daughter, upset with their birthday gift. From here, things get worse and worse for the couple as they are transported farther and farther into the future. The hypnosis is pretty unconvincing, as are the actors playing the couples’ future family members, as the ad drags on past the three minute mark. Meant to showcase IKEA’s new bedroom and bathroom catalog, it’s hard to believe many will sit through this long enough to notice the decor. While Forsman & Bodenfors may have had a huge success last year with Volvo’s “Epic Split,” chalk this one up as a huge miss.

Axe Collaborates with Tongal in ‘Kiss for Peace’


Axe collaborated with advertising crowdsourcing community Tongal for “Kiss for Peace,” a digital extension of the brand’s “Peace” campaign that launched early this year with a Super Bowl spot. While that spot was created by Axe’ agency of record BBH, the agency apparently had no involvement with the “Kiss for Peace” digital campaign.

Instead, Axe worked with Tongal community members, selecting four videos from four different directors for the campaign. The best of these, “The Cycle” (featured above) shows a kiss breaking a cycle of violence. It’s a simple, yet unexpectedly emotional ad from a brand not long ago associated with sexual gratuity. Other spots in the campaign include “Guerilla Kisses,” in which strangers are asked to share a “kiss for peace” (hmm, that one sounds kind of familiar…), “Clash and Connect” and “Simple Harmony.” The videos, currently running on the brand’s YouTube page, are designed to raise awareness for Peace One Day on September 21st. We’ve included a couple more of these after the jump. Read more

Doner, Ogilvy & Mather Target Small Businesses for The UPS Store

The UPS Store agency of record, Doner, Detroit, and UPS agency of record, Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, teamed up on a new integrated campaign promoting The UPS Store to small business owners.

Ogilvy & Mather created the television spot for the campaign, entitled “Mailbox Confessions,” while Doner handled the rest of the work. “Mailbox Confessions” will launch September 15th and includes television, online, print and radio components. The campaign’s launch next month will arrive with the brand’s image in trouble following recent revelations of data breaches at 51 of its stores. The broadcast spot, also entitled “Mailbox Confessions,” will run during prime-time programming on ABC, “Thursday Night Football” on CBS, “Notre Dame Football” on NBC, as well as cable programs.

In the 30-second spot, a group of small business owners talk up The UPS Store’s importance to their businesses in confessions to a UPS Store franchise owner, while the camera frames them behind their mailboxes. “I confess, I don’t know what I’d do without you,” says one of the business owners at the conclusion of the spot.” The approach comes across as a bit monotonous, as viewers are presented with basically the same image (business owner behind a mailbox) for the entire 30 seconds, which makes for a pretty unmemorable ad that’s easy to tune out — but The UPS Store is hoping that authenticity will make up for the lack of memorability. Read more

The VIA Agency Clicks Clean with Reggie Watts for Greenpeace

The VIA Agency tapped comedian/musician Reggie Watts for a new Greenpeace campaign, called “#ClickClean,” promoting a green energy-powered Internet.

As you might expect from Watts’ involvement, things get pretty strange. In “Animals,” Watts sings about various family members clicking dirty as a seeming mantra while meditating in the jungle (!?), before going on to explain that before the Internet is powered by green energy, we’re all clicking dirty. Other spots in the campaign deal directly with possible green energy sources, such as solar, hydro, and wind power. These ads see Watts in the desert messing around with his looping machine, drifting on a giant lily pad, and yodeling in the vicinity of a windmill. It’s a different approach for Greenpeace, to say the least, and one thing you can say about the campaign is that it certainly is memorable.

“Some of the Internet’s biggest and most innovative companies, like Apple, Facebook and Google, are powering with modern, renewable energy. The #ClickClean movement expects the rest of the companies behind our online world, like Amazon and Twitter, to join them,” explains Greenpeace Senior Energy Campaigner Dave Pomerantz. “Reggie Watts is an Internet sensation for his comedy and music, so we’re proud to have him join the call to power the platforms on which his work is shared every day with renewable energy.”

Stick around for “Wind” and “Water” after the jump. Read more

SMFB Shows ‘Where Good Days Start’ for IKEA

Norwegian agency SMFB is launching a new integrated campaign for IKEA’s latest collection, which, for the first time, centers around an interactive video rather than a traditional television commercial (although there’s one of those, too).

The interactive video, entitled “Where Good Days Start,” is a collaboration between SMFB and production company Media Monks. It follows the story of a young Scandinavian family as they go through their morning routine. Viewers can interact with the story and unlock “hidden” content, allowing them to explore how each family member gets ready for the day. You can check out the trailer above, and head here for the full experience (English speaking readers may want to turn on the subtitles in the upper right hand corner).

“The idea was to surprise viewers throughout the film,” said Jeroen van der Meer, MediaMonks interactive director, who collaborated with film director Tom Rijpert on the project. “With a score of extra content, you can diverge from the main storyline at any point during the film to learn more about the featured family members and products in short, interactive scenes.”

Stick around for the 60-second television spot, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

W+K Promotes Sony’s Waterproof Phone with Underwater Apps

W+K worked with Sony and development partners Motim and SoftFacade to create a series of apps promoting the Xperia Z1S’ waterproof technology.

Several of the apps, including “Goldie” (featured above), “Plantimal,” “Photo Lab,” and “Sink Sunk,” are designed to be used underwater. As you might have imagined, “Goldie” is an on-screen goldfish. When submerged in water, the fish swims around contentedly, but if you remove your phone from the water he flops around, gasping for breath. It’s a clever little diversion, which can demonstrate the phones’ capabilities for a few minutes, although Sony recommends users don’t submerge their Xperia Z1S for more than a half hour. “Plantimal” offers up a cross between an underwater plant and animal, which is happier with larger amounts of water. “Sink Sunk” is perhaps the most reusable of the apps, offering up a submarine game you can play in your sink or kiddie pool (as demonstrated in the video), while “Photo Lab” lets you develop photos underwater.

There are also a pair of apps, “Little Umbrella” and “Rainy-oke” designed for use with precipitation. Stick around for “Sink Sunk” and “Rainy-oke,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

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