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Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Celebrates ‘Irrepressible Spirit’ of Rugby for Guinness

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has launched a new campaign for Guinness celebrating the “Irrepressible Spirit” of some lesser-known rugby greats for Guinness, just in time for the sport’s end of year Autumn Internationals.

The campaign is composed of four spots celebrating Jonny Wilkinson, Shane Williams, Bill McLaren and the Munster rugby team of 1978, which debuted yesterday in the UK and Ireland. Each ad focuses on “the inspirational character and integrity that is central to the sport,” Stephen O’Kelly, marketing director, Guinness (Western Europe) at Diageo, said in a statement.

In the spot above, for example, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO tells the inspiring story of Bill McLaren who was diagnosed with tuberculosis and told he would never play rugby again. Rather than accepting defeat, McLaren found his way back into the game as an announcer and became the “voice of rugby.” It’s an emotional approach that should appeal to diehard rugby fans and casual viewers alike, which should be a winning combination for Guinness. Read more

Stopp Tells Viewers Adidas Outdoor Is ‘Open All Winter’

Stopp, “an integrated production company that combines creativity, technology and VFX disciplines to create innovative work with emotional connections” has launched a new broadcast and digital campaign for Adidas Outdoor promising the brand is “Open All Winter.”

For the campaign, Stopp partnered with extreme sports stars Hayley Ashburn (slackliner), Jean-Baptiste Chandelier (paraglider) and Junhee Han (ice climber) to show off Adidas’ range of Climaheat products boasting an insulation design that keeps the wearer warm in extreme winter conditions. The spot opens on a seemingly abandoned town as a sign reading “Closed for winter” swings in the breeze. A group of determined runners bust through, undeterred. Then the spot focuses on ice climber Junhee Han as he takes on a steep slope, followed by the other featured extreme athletes showing off their skills, before ending with the “Open All Winter” tagline.

In addition to the broadcast spot, which also runs online, the campaign is supported by digital elements and a competition running over the course of twelve weeks, inviting participants to share winter pics on Instagram and Twitter. A new winner will be picked every week, with an athlete jury selecting one grand prize winner to receive a winter road trip across Canada with four friends.

jimwalkerseattle and Kevin Durant Drink Sparkling Ice

Kevin Durant stars in a new digital and outdoor campaign for Talking Rain’s sparkling water brand Sparkling Ice from agency jimwalkerseattle.

In the 60-second online spot, Durant is shown arriving in Seattle, shooting hoops, drinking Sparkling Ice and posing for the camera. Representatives for Durant approached the brand inquiring about an official partnership back in April after the Oklahoma City Thunder star started drinking the beverage and the campaign marks the first creative work to come out of the deal. Digital ads will run on ESPN.com and Bleacher Report, and billboards will be placed in markets with a meaningful Durant connection: Oklahoma City, of course; as well his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland; and Austin, Texas, where he attended college. One place you definitely won’t see billboards is Seattle, a location where Durant’s presence may not help the brand, since the Supersonics franchise moved to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder — much to the chagrin of Seattle fans.

“It would be better if he didn’t have the Seattle connection,” Jim Andrews, a vice president at the sponsorship consultancy IEG, told AdAge. “But the positives outweigh the negatives, if we get any.”

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.

BarrettSF Gets Librarian Steve Nash for DailyMVP

BarrettSF enlisted the aid of Steve Nash to promote TopLine Game Lab’s DailyMVP fantasy game, which differentiates itself from other fantasy sports leagues by offering short-format games that last from a day to a week.

In the ad, Nash dons spectacles and a wig, appearing as an everyday librarian who can feel like an MVP thanks to the fantasy app. “I love being a librarian,” Nash says at the start of the spot, “but some days can be a little quiet.” He goes on to demonstrate the app and how it adds some excitement to his daily routine (while getting shushed). The spot ends with the tagline, “Have an MVP day,” emphasizing the short format. It was released to coincide with the start of the NBA season. A future spot starring Tom Brady will roll out near the end of the NFL season, when many players in traditional fantasy leagues have already been eliminated. 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.

RPA Ushers in New Era for Los Angeles Clippers

In early September, the Los Angeles Clippers named Santa-Monica based RPA as its lead creative agency following a review launched in August. Now, at the start of the NBA season RPA has debuted a new campaign for the team entitled “Be Relentless.”

“Be Relentless” alludes to the off-the-court troubles faced by the Clippers in the form of Donald Sterling‘s racist comments which led to the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. RPA’s new campaign casts the new season in a positive light, as the beginning of a new era for the team, which reached the conference semifinals last year. The campaign centers around a broadcast spot, created in collaboration with Panay Films and released in both 30 and 60-second versions, also called “Be Relentless.” Filmed in majestic black and white, the ad begins by asking, “You think you know who we are?” before announcing, “This is a new game, a new era.” The spot goes on, “We have walked through fire and come out on the other side,” alluding quite obviously to the Sterling controversy while putting a positive spin on the new season as a new beginning for the team.

The 60-second version of the ad debuted nationally last night, during both opening night double headers and will air nationally again during the Clippers’ home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow night. Both 30 and 60-second versions of the spot will also air locally in the Los Angeles market during prime-time shows, live sports programming, as well as in Los Angeles and Orange County movie theaters. The campaign is supported by print elements in the LA Times and ESPN Magazine and out-of-home media in the L.A. skyline and along major freeways.

“Our goal is to make the Clippers the most loved sports entertainment brand—period,” said RPA SVP and Group Account Director Kirt Danner.

David&Goliath, LeBron Tout Kia as ‘Fit for a King’

David&Goliath teamed up with NBA superstar LeBron James in its latest effort for Kia, which recently extended its contract as “official automotive partner of the NBA.”

In the spot, James emerges from the Kia’s new K900 luxury sedan at some type of glitzy red carpet event. The star struck valet stumbles over his words as LeBron tosses him the keys and says “Keep it close,” followed by the taglne “Fit for a King.” Entitled “Valet,” the ad is perfectly timed, breaking today on the opening day of the NBA season. It arrives as James rides a wave of publicity for his much-discusses return to Cleveland, which was celebrated in a recent Beats campaign. At any rate, the spot aims for a stylish simplicity, letting the ride — and LeBron’s endorsement of it — mostly speak for itself. Read more

SpecialGuest Enlists Alex Honnold to Climb ‘Heaven’ for Squarespace

Agency SpecialGuest enlisted professional climber Alex Honnold to take on a route in Yosemite known as “Heaven,” in free solo fashion, meaning no rope or protective gear for an ad promoting Squarespace 7.

While Honnold is one of the world’s preeminent solo climbers, “Heaven” is no walk in the park, even for him. Before the ad was shot he’d only taken it on once without gear, and describes it as “the most severe route you’ll ever climb.” Since it also affords the best views in Yosemite, Honnold was happy to take on the challenge. A 30-second version of the spot debuted during the World Series last night, but we’ve included the full length version above.

The spot is part of a larger campaign promoting the launch of Squarespace 7 and Alex also helped inspire “Shift,” one of twelve new design templates in the latest version of Squarespace. As you may remember, he’s also not a stranger to advertising, having scaled the GS&P building this June for Stride Health. Read more

BBH London Brings Together Rivals for KFC

BBH London has released a new spot for KFC in the UK entitled “Fans.”

In the 90-second spot, two brothers support rival footie clubs — Stirling Albion FC and Dunfermline FC — and each attends a match with one of their parents. Both diehard fans are quite serious about the match but only one team comes out on top. But in heartwarming yet predictable fashion, KFC brings the family back together, and soon the boys are bonding over the new Colonel’s Brownie Bucket. While it may not exactly be breaking new ground, it’s a cute spot and well-executed enough to not seem over-the-top. Read more

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