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FCB Chicago Shares Some Strange Ideas for Verisign

FCB Chicago has a new campaign for Internet domain-name company Verisign that takes things in strange and often creepy directions.

In “Fish on a Bus” (featured above), by far the creepiest of the bunch, a man is sitting on a bus notices a creepy-looking costumed fish character in the back. The next time he looks up, the fish is closer and when he moves his seat, the fish moves right near him. When the man gets off the bus he initially thinks he’s in the clear but soon the fish appears out of nowhere and punches him in the face, followed by the line, “You never know when an idea will hit you.” It is then that the fish character is reveled as a mascot for the man’s indoor fish pond company, as he successfully selects a domain name.

Other spots in the ad follow the anthropomorphized idea approach, with a flirtatious bee, aggressive cabbage, and dancing cake offering different takes on the moment an idea strikes. Stick around after the jump to see some of the strange results for yourself. Read more

Grey NY Documents ‘The Rise of See Forever’

Grey New York teamed up with Whitehouse Post and Carbon VFX to document the rise of One World Trade Center and promote One World Observatory, set to open in the spring of 2015 in “The Rise of See Forever: One World Observatory.”

In the 50 second video (featured above) the visual history of One World Trade’s rise is pieced together from hundreds of crowdsourced Instagram images. Reminiscent of a flipbook, the images flit across the screen, documenting the eight year construction of the structure in under a minute and ending with a 360 degree view of the building as it morphs into the One World Observatory logo and the line “See Forever.”

“The Whitehouse Post team and I have watched One World Trade being built from our office since we moved in six years ago,” said Executive Producer Lauren Hertzberg in a press release. “It has been an absolute honor for all of us to work on this project with Grey.” Read more

Cramer Krasselt Gets Scary for Knott’s Berry Farm

Cramer Krasselt launched a campaign promoting Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm event with a series of short horror videos for broadcast and online.

Created in collaboration with production company Vitamin Pictures, the gritty videos are populated by creepy clowns, demented dentists and hungry zombies, giving viewers an idea of what to expect at Knott’s Scary Farm. In “Clown,” for example, the camera follows a woman as she makes her way through a creepy abandoned room with children’s toys and balloons strewn across the floor. As she turns a corner, a demonic looking clown pops out to greet her. The spot ends with the tagline, “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here.”

“It was great to be hired to make these little horror films for Knott’s,” Vitamin Creative Director Danny DelPurgatorio says. “There were severed heads, body parts, blood and gooey stuff all over the place. It was a dream come true.” Read more

Droga5 Shares ‘Treats No Tricks’ for Chobani

Instead of trying to scare you this Halloween, Droga5 decided to go a different route for Chobani.

“We made a scary video,” reads the text at the video’s opening, set to ominous music, “this is not it.” The remaining 30-seconds are, instead, devoted to dogs in funny costumes eating Chobani. It’s cute stuff, to be sure, but we’re not sure how dogs eating Chobani are supposed to make people want to eat Chobani. But then the point is probably more to raise awareness for the brand with a video Chobani and Droga5 hope people will share on social media. The video will be pushed out on the brand’s social channels throughout the weekend, supported by social media posts and a Chobani sampling (presumably for humans, not dogs) at the Chobani café in SoHo. Read more

W+K Creates Interactive Video for Honda Civic Type R

W+K London created an interactive video ad for Honda’s new sportier Civic Type R which allows viewers to toggle between two stories.

Using the “R” key, viewers can switch back and forth between two story lines featuring the same main character. Seemingly an everyday dad, one story features the man picking his daughters up from school. But switch to the parallel story using the “R” key and you’ll see that by night he uses his Civic Type R for a more exciting type of mission. We’ve included a (very) short trailer above, but you really need to head to Honda’s YouTube page for the full experience. It’s a clever idea, echoing the experience of drivers toggling on the vehicle’s “Racing Mode,” and W+K and director Daniel Wolfe execute it pretty brilliantly.

We wanted people to feel Honda’s other side as well as see it, W+K London wrote in a blog post yesterday, “so we dreamt up a technique that brings together both narratives through a simple interaction.”

W+K Brings LeBron, Cleveland ‘Together’ for Nike

W+K has a new ad for Nike, promoting the launch of its new LEBRON 12 sneaker today with a celebration of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland directed by the Malloy Brothers.

Yes, that’s right: another LeBron James ad about the star’s return to Cleveland. This follows on the heels of Translation’s spot for Sprite (which we wrote about yesterday) and R/GA’s “Re-Established 2014″ for Beats, which deal with the exact same subject, as well as the recent Kia spot from David&Goliath, also starring James. Nike’s new spot will run tonight during the Cavs first home game, when it’s theoretically possible that ads featuring James will run back-to-back-to-back.

So there’s a bit of an oversaturation issue with this message, to put it mildly. But how does W+K’s version compare to the others we’ve seen? It might actually be the most melodramatic of the bunch. It opens on James giving a pep talk to his team about giving their all for the city of Cleveland. Soon the entire city is in a huddle, chanting, “Forward! Together!” It’s well-shot, in black and white, but the message comes across as a bit over-the-top, all the more so given the story’s overexposure. The spot will continue to run through November 17th. Read more

HeyHuman, Brownlee Brothers ‘Go The Distance’ for Sony Xperia Z3

London-based agency enlisted trathletes the Brownlee Brothers for an endurance test displaying the battery life of the Sony Xperia Z3, which supposedly can last two days on a single charge.

The skeptical brothers are set on a series of quests involving running, biking and swimming. They periodically check in on the battery life of their phones as the trials continue, and at the end of day one the phone still has 50 percent life in it. The agency and Sony are releasing the series in two parts, so while part one has gone live, you’ll have to wait until next week to see how things ultimately pan out. But we have a hunch the battery makes it through the second day, because it would make Sony look pretty bad otherwise.

W+K, Sofia Coppola Craft Holiday Efforts for Gap

Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) is the latest marquee Hollywood director enlisted for Wieden+Kennedy’s “Dress Normal” campaign for Gap, following David Fincher‘s efforts in August and taking the reigns of four holiday  spots — a pair each for broadcast and online.

The ads spin the “Dress Normal” tagline by showing some abnormal (and often cringe-inducing) family holiday moments. But then what’s more normal than pondering the family you’ll never understand? Each spot ends with the message “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” preceding the tagline. It’s an interesting approach, positioning Gap as a gift for those family members you have no idea what to give to, but it sits well with the “Dress Normal” tagline and Coppola and company do a good job of making it work in most of the ads.

In perhaps the most successful of the spots, “Gauntlet” a girl returns home to her large, boisterous, and often odd family. Perfectly set to the Johnny Cash song “I Got Stripes,” she makes her way through the house greeting her relatives with an awkward expression on her face that says a lot about the effort she’s putting in to deal with these people. It feels like a telling glance into the lives of a particular family, which is the approach taken throughout these efforts and, along with some great song selections, what makes them charming. The other broadcast spot, “Mistletoe,” documents a particularly cringe-worthy moment under the mistletoe at a holiday party. It’s almost hard to watch, but then that makes it fit the “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” all the more.

In addition to the two online ads — “Crooner” and “Pinball” — the campaign is supported by print and OOH elements, as well as digital banner ads launching on Gap’s social media channels and GapGiftGuide.com on November 3rd. Read more

PKT Tests ‘The Effects of Halloween Candy’ on Kids for Crest

Publicis Kaplan Thaler has released a new campaign for Crest testing “The Effects of Halloween Candy” on children.

The test is performed by a deadpan moderator who basically lets a group of children in Halloween costumes (the highlight being the little girl dressed as a piñata) binge on candy and records the results. And the results are? “It seems when presented with candy kids exhibit a pathological fixation bordering on psychosis,” according to the moderator. Oh, also, “Piñata has anger issues,” and one little boy threw up in the toilet. Whether you find this cute or annoying (or both) will depend largely on your tolerance for loud children. But then, this is targeted squarely at parents, with the payoff tagline being “Thanks to Crest their teeth are covered” following the message “Halloween candy may have an effect on your kids but not on their teeth.” Now where can we get a piñata costume? Read more

Translation Presents ‘LeBron James’ First Home Game’ for Sprite

Translation recently debuted a new spot for Sprite documenting LeBron James return to his home town of Akron, Ohio.

Entitled “LeBron James’ First Home Game” the spot follows James as a driver takes him through Akron and to Patterson Park, where Sprite has restored two basketball courts. This footage is interpersed with Akron residents discussing how epic James’ first home game for the Cavaliers will be. James arrives at Patterson Park where a throng of excited fans follows him as he sits and watches a pick up game. “They say home is where your heart is. Well my heart is here, it’s always been,” James says. “This is my first game,” he adds, before telling the guys on the court, “I’ve got next.” (Good luck with that, guys.)

It’s an emotional approach, if somewhat muted from coming on the heels of R/GA’s ad for Beats carrying much the same message. Still, aside from the awful Imagine Dragons song used to soundtrack the spot, it’s well put-together and those not already feeling overly-saturated by ads starring James (he also appears in this recent Kia spot) should find it enjoyable enough, especially Cavs fans. A 30-second version of the spot will run during the Cavs first home game later this month, and Sprite has also issued “commemorative 12-ounce cans featuring James’ likeness that are available in Ohio stores,” according to Creativity.

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