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Sports

AMP Agency, John Hancock Create Digital Boston Marathon Mosaic

We Run TogetherAs you may have gathered, the Boston Marathon is a pretty big deal to natives of the city. So, with the marathon on the horizon, AMP Agency created the #WeRunTogether digital mozaic for John Hancock, who have sponsored the Boston Marathon since 1985.

Designed to bring together the Boston Marathon running community in anticipation of the event on April 21st, the digital mozaic invites marathon enthusiasts to share their reasons for participating in the form of photos, videos and/or text. All of the submitted content is then aggregated into the mozaic visualization. AMP hopes that by “creating a shared space for conversations around the race, John Hancock was able to show its commitment and support for the Boston Marathon, drive national awareness of their sponsorship and promote their non-profit fundraising partnership with CrowdRise.”

AMP also worked with John Hancock to create a suite of eCards featuring the “We Run Together” theme, housed over at www.OpenMe.com/bostonmarathon.

Obviously, the mozaic takes on added significance in the wake of last year’s tragedy, a sign of the marathon community coming together to move forward in the wake of such an event. “It has been an emotional year for this city,” said Gary Colen, CEO at AMP Agency. “Our hope in this effort was to celebrate the perseverance of this city, whether you are running or not.”

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

W+K Amsterdam Debuts ‘There’s Power in Every Game’ for Powerade

W+K Amsterdam have a launched a new, global World Cup 2014 campaign for Powerade, “the official sports drink of FIFA.”In addition to television, the campaign also includes print/out of home, digital, and online documentary films (more on that later).

“There’s Power in Every Game” centers around Andrés Iniesta, the Spanish star who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup. He takes center stage in the 60-second spot (featured above), which also features five amateur athletes from around the world. Each of these athletes has “overcome challenges in their lives and in the process have lifted their teammates, rallied supporters and inspired communities through their dedication and achievements in the sport” — which exemplifies the campaign’s #PowerThrough message.

Each of these amateur athletes will be featured in their own documentary, starting with the inspirational story of Nicolai “Nico” Calabria. Debuted at the Kicking + Screaming Football Festival in New York last week and being released as a television spot in addition to its online release, the two minute film tells Nico’s story growing up with one leg and defying expectations to succeed as an athlete. Incorporating an impressively-edited mix of home video footage and live action film, it’s a powerful telling of Nico’s story, and well worth a watch.

“Nico’s story is one of unwavering determination,” said Brynn Bardacke, global group creative director for Powerade. “He truly embodies what we mean when we say there’s power in every player and power in every game.”

Stick around for “Nico & Powerade,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

ESPN Stoke World Cup Excitement, National Pride with ‘I Believe’

ESPN has  just unveiled their latest FIFA World Cup 2014 spot, raising excitement for the event with just about 2 months left until it kicks off in Brazil on June 12th.

Entitled “I Believe,” the 60-second spot attempts to pump up Americans for the event, which has gained popularity nationally in recent years. Shots of Team USA in action and crowd footage are accompanied by a chant of “I believe that we can win.” Given the odds against the American squad, “I believe that we can make it past group stage” seems a bit more realistic.

Update: We’re told that, despite their normal involvement with ESPN, W+K did not have anything to do with the above spot.

W+K NY Navigates SportsCenter Office with Bubba Watson

In anticipation of the impending Master’s Tournament, W+K New York has launched two new spots in their long-running “This Is SportsCenter” series, starring 2012 Master’s champion Bubba Watson.

In the first spot, Watson, whose “miracle” shot to get out of a difficult lie helped him win the Master’s, finds himself in another tricky situation in ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut office, with the Stanford Cardinal mascot blocking their way. Watson and caddy Ted Scott try to decide how to proceed, when SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi shows them the way without really thinking about it. The spot delivers the kind of fun goofiness we’ve come to expect from the “This Is SportsCenter” series and shouldn’t disappoint, especially for fans of Watson.

The 15-second “Pencils” is a little more straightforward, but no less fun, with Watson’s incessant sharpening of scorecard pencils posing a distraction for anchor Jay Harris. First and second round play of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club will be televised on ESPN from 3-7:30 on Thursday and Friday, April 10-11. Stick around to view “Pencils” and credits after the jump. Read more

Maxus Partnerships, Factory Media Target Extreme Sports Fans for Jeep

Maxus Partnerships has teamed up with Factory Media and their creative agency Prime & Fire for “Original Freedom,” a new campaign targeting extreme sports fans for Jeep Wrangler.

The campaign launches today with a road trip and mountain biking video (featured above), hosted on Factory Media’s digital action sports network MPORA. In addition to mountain biking, the campaign will also focus on snowboarding and surfing, “utilising major sporting athletes from these fields, including seasoned mountain bikers James Hughes and James McKnight.” Two more video edits will be released over the course of the campaign, which runs until the end of the year, via MPORA’s specialist sports brand social platforms. The campaign also includes three competitions to be hosted on the Jeep Wrangler website, giving visitors the chance to win snowboarding, surfing, and mountain biking equipment.

“Our target audience is made up of young adventure-seekers who are looking for a vehicle that can tackle tough terrain,” explained Damien Dally, head of brand at Jeep Wrangler, Fiat Group. “Maxus Partnerships offered a different, integrated solution for communicating the freedom of adventure message of the Wrangler. The agency has also added value by helping the brand move into territories which create great content that communicates to a younger audience and which can be pulled through-the-line.”

 

W+K Portland Looks Way Back for Nike Golf

As the golf world awaits the start of the Masters, W+K Portland takes a look back at golf history for their new Nike Golf spot — way back.

The 60-second spot, directed by Biscuit Filmworks’ Steve Rogers, begins with a player admonishing another for using Nike’s new RZN balls. From there, the spot takes leap after leap back in time, showing how each progression in the history of golf was met with great resistance. This goes all the way back to the game’s formation, leading into the tagline, “Play in the Now.” While not exactly funny, the spot gels perfectly with the tagline and silences any opposition from “traditionalists” to Nike’s RZN ball by making them seem utterly ridiculous. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

BBDO Hypes Opening Day for MLB

A month or so ago, BBDO joined up with Major League Baseball as its creative partner, and the agency has just released their opening day spot.

In case you’re confused, yes, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks did technically open the season this past weekend in Australia, but the official opening day is slated for Monday, March 31. For BBDO’s opening day commercial, they focused on the important historical moments that have occurred on opening day: Clayton Kershaw‘s home run/shutout, Bryce Harper‘s pair of opening day home runs to launch his career, Hank Aaron‘s 714th home run, and, arguably the most important moment in baseball history, when Jackie Robinson first took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. As a baseball nerd, I love this approach, and it’s hard to imagine any fan watching this and not getting at least a little bit excited for baseball season following the long winter.

Hub Strategy Highlights A’s Personalities with ‘Green Collar Baseball’

With the opening series between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks (finally) kicking off the MLB season this Saturday in Australia, Hub Strategy, AOR for the Oakland Athletics, have just launched the fifth incarnation of their award-winning “Green Collar Baseball” marketing campaign for the A’s.

There’s been reason to celebrate in Oakland the past two years, as the A’s have won back-to-back AL West titles. This year, for their integrated campaign featuring “eight television commercials as well as print, outdoor, digital & social advertisements,” Hub Strategy wanted to up the personality factor. There’s certainly no shortage of personality for the A’s, and Hub had a blast working with the players on the new campaign, with Hub CEO/Creative Director DJ O’Neil calling it “by far my favorite work yet.”

The feeling is mutual, as A’s VP of sales/marketing, Jim Leahey, says, “We feel that this year’s TV commercials may be our best ever and we are confident that our fans will enjoy connecting with the fun personalities of our players.”

So far, two of the eight TV spots have been revealed: “Tunnels of Greatness” and “Tarp Therapy.” “Tunnels of Greatness” — featuring Josh Donaldson, Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Sean Doolittle and Derek Norris — is a lot of fun, built around the idea of extending the “Home Run Tunnel” celebration to other, more mundane aspects of the game. “Tarp Therapy,” which references Donaldson’s spectacular tarp catch from last season, isn’t quite as effective. It’s the kind of concept that might look funny on paper, but doesn’t play out so well on tape (although they deserve bonus points for featuring Mike Gallego). Hopefully the rest of Hub Strategy’s “Green Collar Baseball” spots can build on the momentum of “Home Run Tunnel” and give fans one more reason to cheer on the A’s. Here’s the info we have on the remaining six spots:

  • Secrets of the Game: Young players Parker, Gray and Norris turn to veteran Brandon Moss for his secrets to success in the majors.
  • Unicorn 2.0: Doolittle and Parker attempt to take the signature unicorn bullpen 
backpack to another level this year.
  • Generations: Moss learns that for some fans, being on the field for a fireworks show can fulfill a lifelong dream.
  • #winning: Doolittle coaches Bob Melvin, Curt Young and Mike Gallego on social media best practices.
  • Holding Him On: Moss is a talkative guy, and his mouth can be as much of a weapon as his bat.
  • Pre-Internet: Coaches Young and Gallego both reflect on how much has changed since their 1989 World Championship with the A’s.

You can watch “Home Run Tunnel” above, and stick around for “Tarp Therapy,” along with credits, after the jump Read more

Havas Brings the March Madness for DISH Network

Havas Worldwide Chicago has launched a new March Madness campaign for DISH Network featuring a new kangaroo mascot, which also marks Havas’ first campaign for the company since being named lead digital agency last summer.

The kangaroo mascot, voiced by Rebel Wilson, makes her debut in the TV spot “Mobile Basketball.” In the 30-second spot, the kangaroo shows off the DISH Network’s capabilities by watching college basketball at work, only pretending to be engaged in actual work when the boss walks by. While the spot never quite hits the humorous mark it’s aiming for, it’s still world’s ahead of the campaign’s painful digital spot, “Fight Song.” As you might have guessed, the 30 second spot is built around a “fight song” for DISH Network (in the style of college team’s fight songs) extolling the Network’s ability to let you watch March Madness games anywhere. “Fight Song” will run on sites like ESPN.com, where it will most likely be muted after approximately 1.2 seconds. Havas’s campaign also includes social media activations on Facebook and Twitter featuring the new mascot. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Leo Burnett Creates Talking Bench for NCAA

Leo Burnett collaborated with production company Prettybird/director Billy Rainey on the NCAA’s new campaign promoting the importance of education to young athletes, called “2.3 or Take a Knee.”

The campaign introduces the new, stricter NCAA GPA requirements student athletes must meet in order to qualify for Division-I sports, “ensuring their brains are getting the workout they need” (or just driving up the cost of a term paper). To spread the word, and teach high school athletes about the importance of education, LB and Prettybird created a talking bench. 75 high school athletes were caught on eight hidden cameras receiving some tough love lectures from the talking bench, and some of their reactions are pretty funny. That their coaches don’t seem to have been in on the gag only adds to the humor. Whether the prank will translate to the teens taking away a lesson on the importance of academics, however, remains to be seen. See the talking bench in action for yourself in the 2:28 video above, and check out @talkingbench for the Twitter campaign.

 

 

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