Another day, another team-up between ESPN and W+K. “Inner Monologue,” the latest 30-second NBA on ESPN RV ad created by W+K New York, answers very important questions about the crew’s sleeping arrangements. Yes, some players and analysts do have to bunk up. Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah has to sleep in the same bed as ESPN kingpin Bill Simmons, even though neither of them are happy with the situation. Noah, who stands 6’11″, probably has a better argument than Simmons, who is listed at an unconvincing 6’2″. Simmons, for all his Boston sports proclivities, is in bed with a Bull. He’s actually sleeping with the enemy. But wait…as with most of the RV spots, there’s a Jeff Van Gundy punchline. And as usual, it’s the best part of the clip. Not only is Van Gundy funny-looking, but if you’ve been following his RV escapades, whether getting stuck on the stunt double vehicle or trading glasses with Russell Westbrook, you know that JVG is also funny. And in a sports media world that is often lacking in self-deprecation and humor, the silly shtick from the NBA on ESPN panel is always nice to see. Credits after the jump.
“If you want to survive, listen up.”
So begins Innocean’s new spot “Speech” for Hyundai (Two undead posts in a day? What the hell, it’s October). The speaker of those lines credits his ability to live off the land and fight for his survival, but an onlooker points to his Hyundai zombie-killing vehicle. Although the spot’s attempt at humor falls mostly flat, it was perfectly timed, debuting last night during the premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The 30 second spot was also show during Talking Dead last night, while “The Walking Dead Chop Shop” — the site that lets users build their own Zombie Survival Machine — launched during San Diego’s Comic-Con in July. Innocean’s television spot will be accompanied by three digital spots in all — “Speech,” “Cooler” and “Difference — airing on Hyundai’s social media channels.
The spot functions not just as a stand-alone advertisement, but as a way to drive viewers to the “The Walking Dead Chop Shop” site, which is a great tie-in. Actually, I’m kind of not sure if the spot is a tie-in for the site, or the site is a tie-in for the spot. I’m going with the former, since the site existed first. At any rate, we covered “The Walking Dead Chop Shop” back in July, but for the link-averse, here’s a short review: you can use any of three Hyundai vehicles as your base-vehicle and then pimp them out with all kinds of accessories, like razor wire, a “horde plow” and (of course) flame throwers and cattle guns. This isn’t exactly my sort of thing, but it should be a lot of fun for the car/weapon happy and zombie-obsessed. Credits after the jump.
Dodge and Paramount have joined forces in a co-branded campaign from W+K launching the new 2014 Dodge Durango featuring Ron Burgundy (of Anchorman and the upcoming Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but you already knew that).
The campaign, which spans television, print, digital and social media, debuted October 5th online and on television. Be prepared to see it everywhere.
“With the personal involvement of Will Ferrell, our writer / director Adam McKay, the comedy team at Funny or Die, and the Dodge creative team at Wieden+Kennedy, we were able to create a truly epic partnership,” says CMO of Paramount Picture Josh Greenstein in a statement. But are the spots actually funny? Some of them — they really very widely in quality. Each of the spots takes advantage of the 70s aesthetic in the Anchorman films, taking place in a colorful, very 70s auto showroom. The first spot, “Horsepower” is a bit of a letdown. It resurrects the tired “comparing horse power to an actual horse” theme commonly used in spots for powerful vehicles.
The staring contest with the horse at the end is almost worth a chuckle though. “Glove Compartment” is a lot better: it features Ron Burgundy toting the Durango’s glove compartment, which can hold “two turkey sandwiches or seventy packs of gum.” Another spot finds Burgundy struggling with a script that touts the Durango’s “m.p.g.” performance. The highlight is definitely “Ballroom Dancers,” featured above, which has a comically angry showdown between Burgundy and dancers that he thinks may “live in the rafters.” A lot of this is stuff that only Ferrell could get away with delivering, and only about half of the time is the writing worthy of his talent, but when it works it works. Plus, it will whet people’s appetites for the Anchorman sequel, which is kind of the point.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues debuts in theaters December 20th. Credits and additional video after the jump. Read more
First a message of warning: If you live in an urban area and have a late model SUV, your catalytic converter is at risk. You see, catalytic converters usually contain a small amount of precious metal (gold, platinum) that thieves will steal from your car and sell off. Late model SUVs generally have a catalytic converter that’s easy to remove, especially considering that they sit high enough off the ground for someone to access without too much trouble. Take it from me: You don’t want to walk up to your car one day to see your muffler on the ground. Get that thing welded on at a body shop.
Now to this campaign: The Martin Agency apparently found the Hamburger Helper hand busking on the street corner, and decided to offer it a job as the snarky new golden mascot at Midas. It floats around unaffected by the laws of gravity, insulting consumers about their choices of automotive repair shops.
As you can see, this new mascot is more dick than hand, going so far as to knock on consumers’ doors to tell them they are terrible people and deserve a golden slap print on their face. But, then again, what’s a more effective strategy for selling services than mocking the customers you’re trying to attract?
Pearl Media’s interactive billboard at Columbus Circle attempts to spook passing subway riders with a large screen ad that responds to their movements.
The gesture-activated, multimedia billboard has been promoting Witches of East End since September 13th. As Pearl Media CEO Josh Cohen puts it, “The video walls are designed to get busy Upper West Side commuters to put down their small screens and spend time with cool content on a really big screen so that they’ll tune in to their medium-sized TV screens when the series premieres on October 6.” Phew. I think Louis C.K. would probably have something to say about that one.
At any rate, the billboard features two nine square-foot walls, comprised of nine screens each. An extreme close up of a woman’s green iris appears to follow commuters as they walk by, masses of crows fly out of her pupil as the scene changes to trees slowly being consumed by fire. The more movement from those passing by, the more the scene changes. Music and sound are also integrated into the interactive billboard.
The billboard didn’t seem to actually scare anybody (nor, I think, will Witches of East End), but it did stop some people in their tracks and get them to interact with the billboard. Some of them seemed to be having fun. Whether that will get anyone to actually tune into Lifetime is another story.
If you’ve already burned through Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Bob’s Burgers, The League, Orange Is The New Black, and basically any other TV series worth watching on Netflix, set phasers to the documentary section for the 2011 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Directed by David Gelb, the movie is a portrait of 85-year-old world-renowned sushi master, Jiro Ono, who’s dedicated (literally) almost every waking moment of his life to perfecting his craft.
The film goes to great lengths to show how far Jiro strives to make the most perfect sushi in the world while simultaneously begging the questions, “What if your entire life was dedicated to only one pursuit? How would that affect your personal relationships? How do you then define success, if the concept of ‘success’ is even an ascertainable goal in your mind?” It’s as troubling a portrayal as it is fascinating, causing the viewer a level of introspection that few other films can achieve. It only made sense, then, for Gelb to follow-up his documentary on the world’s best sushi by filming its American equivalent, Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake pizza, for a new campaign from Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener.
It’s clear that Gelb employs some Jiro Dreams of Sushi-style camera work here. However, whereas his documentary focuses on getting to know the people behind the food, his spot has no time to do so. So, we instead get some creepy anonymous hands, kneading pizza dough in slow motion. We get some mom feet, with a mom arm shooting into frame from above to half-hug her child. Finally, we get some assorted family hands, each reaching out of nowhere to grab pizza slices (again, in slow-motion). All of this while creepy piano-plinking plays menacingly in the background.
While watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I was nervous that perhaps someone in Jiro’s immediately family would comment on his coldness, or his chef-before-father mentality. While watching this spot for Papa Murphy’s, I was worried that someone would be murdered. Credits after the jump.
Trolli gummy candy wants to get funky. Apparently, the bright colors and odd shapes weren’t quirky enough, so the candy company called upon Minneapolis-based Periscope for some creative legwork. The result is the new “Weirdly Awesome” campaign, which features a couple of thirty-second spots that are off the reservation. Periscope seems to be tapping into a “Napoleon Dynamite” aesthetic that hasn’t really been relevant in the eight years or so. The only other comparable campaign I’ve covered in the last year is this strange bit of Bugle buffoonery from Canada. Trolli’s campaign is a little more appropriate because of the sour candy product, but I’m not so sure that weird is the new currency of cool.
You can watch the second spot and sort through some credits after the jump.
A new NFL brings new DDB Chicago State Farm ads featuring Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, and his bastardized touchdown dance, the “Discount Double-Check.”
Now, even though the Packers are my favorite team and Rodgers is my favorite player, it’s clear that he has gotten no better at acting over the past off-season. I would hope, and assume, that this is due to his hours spent in practice. Supporting Rodgers in this spot (by taking the focus momentarily off of him) are SNL “Superfans” Robert Smigel (part of the original sketch) and George Wendt (who joined later and was also on Cheers so yeah). Apparently, the highest-paid NFL player doesn’t fly first class and is forced to hang out with Bears fans in coach.
Oh, and the “Discount Double-Check” becomes the “Discount Daaa-ble Check” because fuck you, Packers fans. State Farm giveth, and State Farm taketh away. But, they’re trying to make it up to you with a social extension, in which you submit yourself to public Facebook embarrassment based on bets over fantasy football. It’s called Fantasy Football Double Down because we all needed a reminder about KFC’s gross sandwich of the same name. Credits after the jump.
It seems like there’s an awful lot of Back to the Future nostalgia invading the Internet these days, with posts about the series on sites like Reddit leading to listicles about the trilogy on nostalgia-aggregators like Buzzfeed which then go viral on Facebook and eventually find themselves on large emails your mom sends to her friends and CC’s you on for some reason. And, what with it being 2013 and all, where advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly informed by memes, we get GE and BBDO NY using the “1.21 gigawatts” thing to sell you technology or something. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads to perdition; we just fly there through space and time.
And yet, nostalgia has a way of endearing you to things in a way totally out of your control. Call it manipulation, call it “effective advertising” using one of the oldest tricks in the book. Any way or slice it, it’s hard as even a casual fan of the series not to get a little giddy when you see what are ostensibly Marty McFly’s Nikes pop out of a souped-up Delorean. While Pepperidge Farm dares us to remember a time when people died of dystentary and snakebites like in Oregon Trail, Back to the Future‘s original audience has aged to the point where brands see the 1980s as a way to get consumers on board 30-something years later.
In fact, I hope this becomes a whole campaign where GE powers David Bowie‘s castle from Labyrinth, E.T.‘s glowing finger, and the computer from Weird Science. And, though it wouldn’t make much sense, maybe Michael J. Fox could narrate those spots too. Maybe in another 30 years, GE will power the ships from Avatar and Robin Thicke can provide us with his own deep-voiced VO. Trust me, it will make sense by then. Credits after the jump.