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Pereira & O’Dell Tells Story of the ‘World’s First Climate Change Refugees’ for Skype

Pereira & O’Dell continues to produce intriguing work for Skype, with their latest, “Turning the tide” marking a shift in approach.

Last year, the agency focused on the emotion of the personal connections it helped foster, through its “Stay Together” campaign and its highlight, “The Born Friends Family Portrait.” With “Turning the tide,” Pereira & O’Dell focuses instead on how the service helps a pair of journalists tell the story of Kiribati, the island nation that is in danger of being wiped off the map by 2040, thanks to rising oceans caused by climate change. Indeed, the people of Kiribati are already becoming the “world’s first climate change refugees” as the rising ocean levels have contaminated their food and water.

The “modern mobile news team” of Anna Therese Day and Gianluca Panella are telling the island’s story, and utilize Skype as an important. “…Skype is second nature to us,” Anna says, “Being able to instantly share information, images, files…it means you can get to the heart of the story quickly.”While this inserts Skype into the conversation, it doesn’t do a whole lot to differentiate the brand from its competitors. Still, Pereira & O’Dell crafted an affecting spot, allowing Skype to tell an important story that many viewers might be unfamiliar with (although the story has been covered by a few major news outlets, including CNN). The agency seems to have made a choice to value storytelling and allying Skype with an important cause over overt branding. How effective you view the spot as will largely depend on which of these factors you place the most value on. Read more

FCB Inferno Stokes ‘Curiosity’ for BMW UK

FCB Inferno has just launched its first campaign for BMW UK with a 60-second spot promoting the hybrid i8, entitled “Curiosity.”

The spot is based off an idea “first presented in June 2013, when FCB Inferno pitched to win the BMW UK creative account,” according to The Drum. “Curiosity” shows an early human in the year 4000 BC as he becomes curious about a herd of horses. “Interesting thing curiosity: we can learn from it, we can die from it,” intones the voiceover. Although the man is frightened, he manages to mount one of the horses, taking an important step forward for civilization as the voiceover sums up the situation: “…sometimes it can lead us to places we never imagined we would reach.” The ad then pans to the BMW i8, introducing the vehicle as an important innovation for the company. A bit hyperbolic perhaps, but this isn’t a brand known for its modesty.

“In essence, driving a BMW is about exhilaration. The emotion behind the ultimate driving machine is very primal in some respects. The first man ever to have the breakthrough idea of riding a wild horse seemed a fitting parallel for the breakthrough idea that is the i8,” Al Young, FCB chief creative officer, explained to The Drum.

The ad is slated to premiere during the final ad break of the X Factor, and will then be broken up into smaller segments to air on broadcast and online.

BBDO NY Looks at ‘Monsters Under the Bed’ for Sandy Hook Promise

With the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting coming up this Sunday, BBDO New York crafted a PSA campaign for Sandy Hook Promise, an gun violence prevention organization formed in the wake of that tragedy.

In the three-minute video “Monsters Under the Bed,” an interviewer has children draw pictures of monsters and then interviews parents asking them what they do to protect their children from these imaginary creatures, with parents offering up a range of responses. Then the interviewer changes the conversation, asking, “How do you protect them from gun violence?” Most of the parents just sit silently with a pained expression, and not one is able to offer a satisfying answer. BBDO New York drives the message home when text appears onscreen reading, “Last year, zero kids were killed by monsters under the bed. Let’s protect our kids from the real threats…so they can continue being afraid of the imaginary ones.”

The video ends by directing viewers to SandyHookPromise.org, where the organization offers parents, students and teachers tools and programs to prevent future gun violence, including mental wellness, social development and gun safety approaches.”Monsters Under the Bed” is being promoted on social channels including Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter.

Additionally, BBDO New York worked with director Tarik Karam and executive producer Stephen Daldry to create a short documentary film called What They Left Behind. The documentary tells the story of three children who lost their lives to gun-related violence: “from a 17–year-old girl who committed suicide with her father’s gun; to an argument among young teenage boys in Iowa that  ended in bloodshed; to the Barden family who lost their 7-year-old son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.”

“In the two years since I lost my son, I have been speaking with communities across the country to better understand the causes of gun violence,” said Nicole Hockley, communications director for Sandy Hook Promise and mother of six-year-old Sandy Hook victim Dylan. “What we have learned is that, as a nation, we can help to prevent tens of thousands of gun deaths, by first learning the warning signs of violent behavior and focusing on community-based programs to help and heal those most at risk.”

Stick around for the 35-minute What They Left Behind, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Droga5 Debuts ‘Home is in the Air’ for Air Wick

Droga5 is debuting a new campaign for Air Wick entitled “Home is in the Air,” the agency’s first work for the brand since adding it to its client roster back in May.

In a long-form spot, Droga5 and Air Wick recreate the smells of home — a baseball glove, apple pie and a fireplace  — for an American soldier stationed in Qatar. The video begins with the soldier, Kearen, and his wife, Cortney, explaining the hardships of spending so much time apart (at the time of filming, Kearen has been deployed for 11 months) and introducing the project. Air Wick experts then use an instrument called a solid phase microextraction device to capture, and later recreate, the scents that remind Kearen of being at home with his wife and six children. They then send a package of Air Wick candles imbued with the scents to Kearen, who says, “This, this smells like home.” He adds, emotionally, “It’s something so simple, but it means so much to me.”

Read more

BBDO Unveils ‘Struck By A Rainbow’ Mockumentary for Skittles

BBDO Toronto continues the absurdist tendencies of Skittle’s advertising with one of the brand’s strangest ads in recent memory.

Entitled “Struck By A Rainbow,” the ad is a mockumentary about a man named David who is hit by a rainbow, changing his skin to Skittles. Directed by Conor Byrne, the video, while never laugh out loud funny, convincingly mirrors and parodies the tropes of documentaries about people combating adversity, getting the feel just right. The long running time (“Struck By A Rainbow” clock in at well over three minutes) is used to show most of the implications of David’s condition and show David’s journey from struggle to acceptance. In case you’re wondering, a doctor points out that “From a medical perspective, there’s nothing wrong with David. His skin is just now Skittles.” The spot saves one of its more obvious jokes for the end, as David’s wife leans in to kiss him on the cheek and bites off a Skittle. While over three minutes is a very long time to spend watching an ad, and the premise is stretched a bit thin by the long running time, this should still appeal to fans of the brand’s distinctly oddball humor, and anyone creeped out too much by the idea would stop watching immediately anyway.

“Struck By A Rainbow” debuted on YouTube and the brand’s Facebook page on December 8th, but the campaign also includes a digital buy featuring 30-second teasers to drive additional views. Media support for the spot will continue around four weeks.

Read more

ACE Content Takes Unsuspecting Cab Riders on Adventures for North Face

Anomaly’s content and entertainment division, ACE Content teamed up with production company Decon to produce “See For Yourself Cab” for North Face.

The North Face branded cab drove around New York City picking up unsuspecting passengers and offering them the opportunity to take an adventure, asking them, “Do you want to see for yourself?” Passengers who answered in the affirmative were then driven to such locations as Rockaway Beach, Windham Mountain, The Gunks, and even Canyon Lakes, Utah — 2,138 miles from New York City — for surfing, mountain biking, kayaking and mountain climbing excursions. It’s a pretty fun concept, perfect for the brand, and those involved seemed to genuinely have a blast. The video has gained some attention online, too, with almost 500,000 views on YouTube since being posted a week ago. Read more

Grey Toronto Examines ‘Lockdown’ for Moms Demand Action

In a new PSA, Grey Toronto (with production support from Untitled Films, Saints Editorial, Eggplant Music & TopixVFX) examines a school “Lockdown” drill in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (also known as Moms Demand Action).

The harrowing PSA, of which there is a 60-second broadcast version as well as the 90-second version featured above, depicts the harsh reality of school lockdown drills that have become the norm in many schools following the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting which approaches its two year anniversary on December 14th. It is affecting because it gives viewers the perspective of students and teachers as they go through the drill. As students hide under desks, their teacher reminds them to be silent. Ominous music plays as the camera shows the scared faces of the children, interspersed with audio clips announcing things like “37 school shootings so far in 2014″ and “almost 100 school shootings since Newtown.” When the lockdown is finally revealed as a drill, viewers share in the relief felt by the teacher and her students.

The PSA was revealed today at a press conference on Capitol Hill, along with a report documenting the “at least 95 school shootings” since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Among those in attendance at the press conference were “elected leaders, gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates.”

“You may not have heard about all of these shooting incidents on the national news, but when a lockdown is announced over a school intercom – for whatever reason – it strikes fear across the community,” said Shannon Watts, founder of  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We will not allow the constant threat of gun violence at our schools to become the new normal – it’s time our elected leaders take a stand for the safety and future of our children.” Read more

Dick’s Asks Strangers to Play with Its Balls

Anomaly continues to “Spread Love” for Dick’s Sporting Goods, launching its “Holiday Hoops” extension of its “Gifts That Matter” campaign today on “Giving Tuesday.”

The ad follows on the heels of this heart-tugging spot and similarly explores how a basketball hoop can bring people together. This time around, though, Anomaly employs a “social experiment film” documenting people’s reactions when they leave basketball hoops, and a tray of balls with a “Play with me” sign, at various locations around Cleveland, Los Angeles and New York City. Naturally, the hoops caused strangers to bond over pick up games and Anomaly captured their genuine enthusiasm for the spot.

The video, however, is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Dick’s “Spread Love” charitable initiative. Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love teamed up with The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation today to surprise over 200 students at Scranton Elementary School in Cleveland with two new basketball hoops. The brand defines “Holiday Hoops” as a “‘pay it forward’ movement” which will ultimately donate over 100 hoops to organizations (all either schools or non-profits) across the country. Dick’s will select two such organizations every day, and then give them the chance to “pay if forward” to two of their own choosing, announcing the participants on social media with the #HolidayHoops hashtag.

“This holiday season, we wanted to enhance our “Gift That Matters” campaign by exploring the unique power a basketball hoop has to unite people and communities,” said Lauren Hobart, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Dick’s Sporting Goods and president of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation. “We believe that sports really do matter and Dick’s Foundation is thrilled to be able to provide 100 hoops to schools and communities across America.”

EVB, Victors & Spoils Give ‘The Gift of Giving’ for JCPenney

EVB and Victors & Spoils give “The Gift of Giving” in a holiday campaign for JCPenney which asks shoppers to give a gift to a complete stranger.

Filmed last month in JCPenney stores in Illinois and Indiana the video follows as customers are told to find someone in the store to give a gift to. That person then travels with them around the store and together they pick out a gift, with JC Penney picking up the tab. The gifts range from jeans and a jacket to a sofa and even an engagement ring as participants engage in tearful signs of appreciation and hugs. It’s designed to be a heartwarming affirmation that giving is better than receiving; in other words, the polar opposite of Harvey Nichols’ cynical “Could I Be Any Clearer?” spot from adam&eveDDB.

“The idea of having to give something to a complete stranger can be very scary,” JCPenney CMO Debra Berman told Adweek. “And it’s that vulnerability that made this experiment so real and interesting. It brought out emotions in both the giver and the receiver.”

Sainsbury’s Does Complete 180 with New Holiday Spot from Gravity Road

Last month, Sainsbury’s unveiled a high-budget holiday ad created by agency AMV BBDO commemorating the famous “Christmas Truce” of World War I. Unfortunately for the brand, it didn’t find the reception it was looking for, with many in the British public finding the ad distasteful or even hypocritical (Sainsbury’s is planning to knock down a Bristol rugby stadium built in honor of World War I veterans to make way for one of its stores).

So now the brand has completely reversed course with an online holiday ad from Gravity Road entitled “Dads Pull Out Surprise Dubstep Dance for Christmas.” Whereas the “Christmas Truce” spot was clearly labored over with a large production budget, this effort was shot with a handheld camera in an attempt to seem like a homemade video. And while the previous ad was serious and somber, this effort couldn’t be more goofy and lighthearted. As the title implies, the spot sees some dads pull out a surprise dance routine. That the dads do so while wearing jumpers (sweaters as they’re known here in the states) seems an attempt to cash in on this year’s craze for the “ugly sweater.” Their dance is performed to a re-mixed version of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker.

“The piece was always designed as a piece of content that would live on Facebook primarily,” Pete Conolly, creative director at Gravity Road, told Digiday.

Since being uploaded around a week ago, the video has racked up over a million views on Facebook and YouTube, with at least one fan calling for it to be shown on television. The ad is unlikely to generate the same kind of backlash as Sainsbury’s previous effort, as it’s hard to get too offended over Christmas sweaters.

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