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Wieden & Kennedy

Kobe Bryant, Lionel Richie (!?) Star in New Nike/Foot Locker Spot from W+K

W+K’s trademark nonsensical humor is on full display in their latest, the new spot “Made by Kobe” promoting Kobe Bryant‘s Kobe 9 Collection for Nike, which launched on March 6th.

The spot imagines what it would be like if Kobe Bryant designed a piano: “It will turn piano boys into piano men. It will make Lionel Richie‘s tears cry tears.” Lionel Richie actually appears in the spot, tear slowly rolling down his cheek while he plays the piano, adding to the humorous tone. After talking up the hypothetical Kobe Piano, which looks pretty badass, the narrator introduces the “Made by Kobe*” Kobe 9 Collection. Although the product reveal comes 50 seconds into the 75 second spot, the sidelined Lakers star can be seen wearing his new line throughout the commercial.

The spot is exactly what we’ve come to expect from W+K, calling to mind some of their well-known past hits, like their famous work for Old Spice. The formula may be starting to show signs of age, but W+K still has a big leg up on the countless competitors attempting to imitate this kind of work. “Made by Kobe” will run until March 27th. Now if they’d only release that piano for real. Stick around for credits after the jump.

*Kobe is the name of a 12-year-old Chinese boy who works around the clock to handcraft the Kobe 9 Collection for 2 cents an hour. Read more

W+K Portland Explores ‘The 7 Wonders of Oregon’

W+K Portland has a new campaign for the Oregon Tourism Commison, extolling the virtues of their home state with a video called “The 7 Wonders of Oregon.”

The :60 anthem spot features all 7 “wonders of Oregon,” attempting to “inspire active travelers looking for authentic experiences” with Oregon’s natural landmarks. While Oregon’s natural beauty speaks for itself, the production of the spot was no small task. It was “carried out by a crew of 15 people shooting for 14 days straight and driving more than 3,000 miles across Oregon, often camping along the way.” All of the individuals involved were “Oregonians with a genuine passion for the wonders they are representing” and the spot is clearly a labor of love.

“This is some of the strongest work for Travel Oregon in our 25-year history of working together,” W+K chairman co-namesake Dan Wieden says, adding, “What I really like about the creative, aside from how beautiful Oregon looks, is it gives people a checklist of things to see and do.”

In addition to the anthem spot, the integrated campaign includes digital, social, search, public relations and consumer engagement elements. The latter includes “an influencer tour, targeted media outreach, a program to surprise and delight visitors, and a Facebook sweepstakes to drive visibility and fan acquisition.” In the social realm, visitors are invited to share their Oregon photos with the hashtag #traveloregon, with top picks on Travel Oregon content channels “to inspire others long after the paid media portion of the campaign concludes.” In a nice touch, the digital campaign includes not only trip inspiration, but also trip planning tools and resources such as itineraries, links to purchase plane tickets and special travel deals on TravelOregon.com. If I wasn’t already dying to get to the Pacific Northwest, this campaign would do a pretty good job convincing me that Oregon is a great travel destination. Stick around for credits after the jump and go here for more :30 efforts for the campaign. Read more

W+K Launches New Facebook Campaign, On Couch Skis

Well, W+K has certainly moved on from the “Everything is like Facebook” approach they used in 2012 to launch their relationship with the social media giant. The agency’s newest campaign demonstrates how Facebook can facilitate events like a couch ski race.

The “Couch Skis” spot (featured above) shows a group of youngsters getting the word out about their winter “couch race” via Facebook. A large group of friends cheer as the two couches speed down the snowy hill, followed by the tagline, “Whatever the event you always have a team.” The new approach makes a lot more sense than the one W+K employed early on, and they certainly make couch racing look like fun.

Another spot in W+K’s new campaign shows how Facebook can help you find the right tango instructor, working backwards chronologically from a successful lesson to a friend’s suggestion of the instructor on Facebook. A third spot shows a series of wedding photo and poses the question, “Why have one photographer when you can have a hundred?”

The new ads have been shared by Facebook on YouTube, and, of course, on Facebook — where, Mashable reports the social network has disseminated the videos in users’ News Feeds using Promoted Posts. There are currently no plans to air the new spots on TV according to the site. Stick around for “Tango” and “Photographer” after the jump. Read more

W+K Planning Vet Burg Splits for New Portland-Based Gig

daveburgAfter spending nearly the last five years at W+K, where he most recently served as strategic planning director on P&G corporate, Dave Burg has left the agency’s HQ to join up with fellow Portland operation, Roundhouse. Burg has now assumed the role of head of planning at Roundhouse, a creative agency that works with clients including Microsoft (on Xbox, primarily), Red Bull and Adidas.

During his time at W+K, meanwhile, Burg not only led strategy on P&G projects (“Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign, for example) but worked on Dodge and Target and served as planning director on Coca-Cola including past Super Bowl efforts like the polar bear work during the last Giants-Patriots battle. Prior to W+K, Burg spent four years at Leo Burnett Chicago as a senior brand strategist, leading day-to-day duties on the McDonald’s national account. No word yet on if there are plans to replace him at W+K, but we’re checking. Update: W+K is “reallocating resources internally” following Burg’s departure.

W+K Launches the Only Interactive Site Where Hair Plays Huey Lewis Songs

W+K Portland has unveiled “The Power of Hair” for Old Spice, the “newest, never-been-done-before interactive digital experience.”

The new site is an extension of W+K’s “For Hair That Gets Results” campaign promoting Old Spice’s new haircare and styling products, featuring the same anthropomorphic hair, and comes on the heels of the “Boardwalk” and “Meeting” spots Old Spice debuted late last month. Visitors to “The Power of Hair are greeted by a testimonial video with a young man extolling the virtues of Old Spice’s hair products. Predictably, this includes attention from the ladies and respect around the office. Less predictably, this includes Huey Lewis songs. “When you’ve got great hair like this, you’d be surprised by how many Huey Lewis songs it can play on the piano,” the now bald man says.

Visitors to the site are then asked to pick a Huey Lewis song, and the hair (which by now has slithered off of the guy’s head) will play them on piano, occasionally adding in some percussion. You can pick from among 29 of Lewis’ greatest hits, including “The Power of Love,” “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock n’ Roll,” “Bad is Bad” and “Doing It All for My Baby.” It’s a pretty absurd idea (and yeah, we’re pretty sure no one has done this before), but then this is the kind of silliness we’ve come to expect from W+K’s work for Old Spice and a fitting extension of the “For Hair That Gets Results” campaign, complete with a perfect title. Give “The Power of Hair” a try above or at the site, and stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K Portland Unveils ‘Join Together’ Follow-Up Called, Yes, ‘Separate Together’

Last month, W+K Portland launched the “Be Moved” brand campaign for Sony with the broadcast spot “Join Together.” Yesterday, W+K revealed the follow-up, the four minute (and change) documentary, “Separate Together.”

“Separate Together” brings together Bruce Zaccagnino, the creator of Northlandz, the world’s largest model railroad located in Flemington, New Jersey, and Matt Albanese, a photographer who specializes in miniatures. The documentary takes place within Northlandz’s “52,000 square foot exhibit space featuring dozens of tiny towns, three-story papier-mâché mountains and hundreds of toy trains snaking through a warren of tunnels, past tiny windmills and over bridges made from thousands of toothpicks.” Albanese captures Northlandz in a unique way, utilizing the Sony QX100′s ability to fit into tight spaces to capture unique shots that wouldn’t have been possible with other cameras. It’s a great way to show off the QX100′s unique capabilities in fun, charming way.

The documentary is accompanied by an experience site which lets you explore Northlands from the unique vantage points available with the QX100, letting viewers zoom in on different areas and take their own shots, which they can then share on social media. It’s a great extension, and a fun way to explore the charm of Norhtlandz without having to make the schlep to Jersey. Stick around for credits and “Join Together” after the jump. Read more

Heineken Responds to ‘The Odyssey’ Authenticity Doubters

Following the release of W+K Amsterdam’s “The Odyssey” last week, Heineken has released a tongue-in-cheek response to the comment section skeptics who questioned the spot’s authenticity.

The 2:10, presented as “the genuine response of our official PR representative Dymfke van Der Gaal,” replies directly to YouTube commenters who publicly questioned the authenticity of the individual talents in “The Odyssey.” As evidence, Heineken presents the casting calls for the guys in the ad, which are predictably goofy. In addition the PR response video, Heineken has also uploaded the casting calls for each of the talents featured in “The Odyssey.” The PR response fits well with the lighthearted tone of the campaign, and reinforces its core message. As Sandrine Huijgen, Global Communications Director at Heineken puts it, “When we saw the comments about The Odyssey TVC, we wanted to show that there are no boundaries between real and fake, proving that real men have unique skills, and everyone is legendary at something.” Stick around for the original “The Odyssey” spot and credits following the jump. Read more

Broncos Mascot Faces Another Long Week in W+K NY’s ‘Jersey’ Spot

In a timely follow-up to last week’s humorous “Long Week” spot, W+K NY have released “Jersey,” the latest in their “This Is SportsCenter” campaign.

The 17 second “Jersey” features SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott and Broncos mascot Miles. Miles, depressed enough after seeing the Broncos steamrolled in the Super Bowl, prepares for what is presumably his end of the bargain following a losing bet with Seahawks mascot Blitz, and Scott feels for him. For the Denver mascot, it’s going to be another long week. “Jersey” is a fun continuation of the mascot rivalry W+K explored with “Long Week,” although we’re guessing Broncos fans won’t be so amused. Stick around for a second look at “Long Week” after the jump. Read more

W+K’s New ‘This is Sportscenter’ Ad Showcases Big Game Mascot Rivalry

More from W+K, as W+K New York have unveiled their latest “This is Sportscenter” offering.

The 30 second spot, “Long Week,” celebrates Super Bowl XLVIII with a fun look at the rivalry between Denver Broncos’ mascot Miles and Seattle Seahawks’ mascot Blitz. Set in an elevator on ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus, the spot stars SportsCenter hosts Jay Crawford and Steve Levy, who witness a tense, awkward exchange between the rival mascots. Credit has to go to director Jim Jenkins and the guys playing the mascots for perfect comedic timing. At the end of the spot, Everett and Levy reveal that the two mascots have been engaging in such behavior all week. Hopefully Miles and Blitz don’t kill each other before the big game.

The timely “Long Week” is designed to promote ESPN’s weeklong coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, which began yesterday with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicking off 115 hours of TV and radio programming from New York City. ESPN’s programming originates from their Herald Square and Times Square Studios all week, up until Superbowl Sunday. Keep an eye out for “Long Week” during that coverage. Credits after the jump. Read more

W+K, Coca-Cola Pre-Release Big Game Ad, ‘Going All The Way’

W+K Portland and Coca-Cola have pre-released their Super Bowl ad, “Going All The Way.” One of two big game spots for Coca-Cola, “Going All The Way,” was shot in Ashwaubenon, a suburb of Green Bay, Wisconsin, with the exception of the final moments, which were shot at Lambeau Field.

The 60 second spot, directed by Jake Scott and set to House of Pain’s classic “Jump Around,” tells the story of Adrian, a small high school football benchwarmer who finally gets his chance to shine. “Don’t mess this up again, Adrian,” his teammate says when he’s put in the game, telling us all we need to know about Adrian’s past on the playing field. But things break Adrian’s way, and he’s given the opportunity to make the play of a lifetime.

Most of the cast of “Going All The Way” was made up of actual Green Bay-area residents, and Lambeau Field’s groundskeeper of 17 years has a featured role in the spot. “‘Going All The Way’ is a story that celebrates a young man accomplishing his dreams. It’s also a celebration of the amazing town of Ashwaubenon, Wis. coming together and our wonderful partnership with the city of Green Bay,” said Katie Bayne, President, North America Brands, Coca-Cola North America.

The feel-good spot will air during the second half of the Super Bowl, while Coca-Cola’s other big game ad will air during the second quarter. This marks Coca-Cola’s eighth consecutive year advertising during the Super Bowl. To celebrate the launch of “Going All The Way,” Coca-Cola has pledged to donate $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play program when the spot reaches 10,000 shares. So please feel free to share “Going All The Way” with friends, family and colleagues. Stick around for a behind-the-scenes video about the making of “Going All The Way” after the jump. Read more

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