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Archives: September 2013

Monday Odds and Ends

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-International commercial production company Hungry Man has welcomed Daniel Warwick to their roster for commercial representation in the US, UK and Brazilian markets with the  exception of Germany, where he is represented by Big Fish.

-Rock Paper Scissors has added editor Mikkel EG to its New York staff. link

-Grey North America has sent Holly McGavock, director of planning at Grey Group Hispanic marketing unit Wing,  has been selected to participate in The International Exchange (TIE). For the month of November, McGavock will spend a month in Zambia, Africa working with the Barefoot Theatre Company as a CMO delegate.

-Bicoastal/Munich-based Aéro Film has added directorss Sue Worthy and Dan Gifford for U.S. commercial representation.

-Razorfish alum Rob Palmer has joined Doner as EVP, executive creative director and will be based out of the MDC-owned agency’s Los Angeles office.

-New York-based prodco Cause & [Effect] has added Jenn Dewey as EP of its commercial division.

-Drake helps out his hometown b-ball team Toronto Raptors as part of the latter’s rebrand.

-Director Peter Thwaites and producer Anna Hashmi (above) announce their new small and creatively driven production company, ‘The Corner Shop’. link

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Acclaimed Documentary Director of ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ Turns Out Weird Spot for Papa Murphy’s

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.

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Teaching Twins to Drive a Manual May Drive Father Insane in ‘Stick Shift’ for Subaru

Carmichael Lynch’s latest spot for Subaru spotlights a family with two Subarus: a new one and an old one, currently being used to teach a pair of twins to drive.

“Stick Shift” plays up the humorous frustration of teaching teenagers (in this case two at once) to drive manual in lieu of their usual, more sentimental approach. Narration by the mother, who thinks, “We got the new Subaru because nothing could break our old one,” also implies that the father might, at any time, be driven insane by the difficulty of this task. But the guy actually seems to be doing a good job of keeping his cool, even reassuring his twins that they’re doing a great job. (They aren’t.)

It’s really only a very slight departure from Subaru’s usual approach, but it’s a noticeable and welcome one. Subaru ads: Now with 15% less Saccharin. Credits after the jump.

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What is Going On At Momentum?

momentumww-001Hmm, we’re awaiting word on the matter but we’re hearing that Momentum is going through an, um, Momentum shift? Where the hell are they? Well let’s let this memo clear a few things up.

“As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, so must our organizational strategy and structure.  With this in mind, I am excited to share the news that we are repositioning the Live Event Production and Integrated Production teams into a single Production team.  Together they will specialize in creating total brand experiences in all physical and digital spaces.  While these teams already work closely together, this shift to a single department will enhance our ability to deliver a product that brings forward the level of innovation and quality our clients demand.  This shift is accompanied by the following leadership changes in North America:Peter Office is a leader who has made a significant contribution to Momentum over the past six years.  Outside of his work as head of our live events practice, Peter has served on our executive board, led our Chicago agency and recently our global Talent Team.  For many years before joining Momentum, Peter successfully led a company of his own and he has made the decision to reestablish his business with Momentum as his first client.  He will continue to consult for us and maintain an office in Chicago for the foreseeable future.

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TBWA/NEBOKO Combines Video with 3D Animation in ‘de Optimist’ for Delta Lloyd

TBWA/NEBOKO put together a technically ambitious spot for Dutch company Delta Lloyd.

For the spot, supporting the simple concept of a boy negotiating the dangers of the ocean on a small boat — “a metaphor for someone’s financial life, in which insurance company Delta Lloyd helps to respond alert to changes” — TBWA/NEBOKO seamlessly combined video with 3D computer images to create a convincing world. (It’s the Life of Pi of advertising guys!)

Shot in eight days in Almere, Heiloo and Texel by director Lieven van Baelen, with 3D animation added post-production, TBWA/NEBOKP clearly threw everything they had into this one. They even hired Olympic sailor Pieter-Jan Postma to give private lessons to the actor playing the boy in the spot. How’s that for attention to detail?

Since the technically difficult process is, arguably, the most interesting thing about “de Optimist,” it stands to reason that “Making of de Optimist” is well worth a look. Check it out, with credits, after the jump.

And feel free to give me Dutch lessons in the comment section. There’s some voice-over at the end of “de Optimist,” but I have no idea what they’re saying.

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Lexus Disrupts Its Design for Fashion Week

Lowe Campbell Ewald Makes Some Cuts

loweceWe can’t confirm numbers or names–though we’re hearing some creative higher-ups and staff in L.A. were affected–but we’ve received confirmation that the agency now known as Lowe Campbell Ewald has made some cuts (we were told last Thursday and nearly 10 staffers were affected in L.A.). Here’s a quick statement from recently installed LCE CEO Jim Palmer: “Our industry is one of constant change, and we must routinely review where we are now and what we must do to stay competitive down the road. We are realigning our resources to best serve the current and future needs of our clients. Saying goodbye to our dedicated teammates is hard on all of us and without question the most difficult part of this business.” We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.

Heineken, W+K Amsterdam Drop the Ball with ‘Best of Heineken Dropped’

For the past four months Heineken and W+K Amsterdam have been giving men (because apparently if women drink Heineken, they really don’t give a shit) the opportunity to test their resourcefulness and wits in a reality-style web series by dropping them, blindfolded, in select locations.

To conclude this self-described “brand experiment” Heineken and W+K have put together the “Best of Heineken Dropped.” Unfortunately, the presentation wasn’t so well thought through.

I understand the need to want to narrate the adventures in “Best of Heineken Dropped,” but they really could have found a better way to do it than the annoying song telling the stories of the “Dropped” participants. The song is by one of “Dropped” participants, Murray, an Irishman from the Phillipines double drop, although that’s not mentioned in “Best of Heineken Dropped.” It’s basically just a repetitive verse with lyrics (including lots of cringe-worthy rhyming) changed for each “Dropped” participant’s story. The song is so uninteresting and obnoxious that it makes you want to zone it out, defeating the purpose of it narrating the “Dropped” men’s stories, and taking away from the occasionally interesting footage. By not mentioning the connection to the “Dropped” series they lose out on any gain from using Murray’s music (Do they really assume we’ve seen every “Dropped” episode?), so what’s the point? Simple voice-over narration explaining where each participant went and what they did would be much more effective, and not make me want to kill Heineken.

Team Detroit SVP Issues Emerging Technology Challenge

detroitlogo1Well, this filtered in to a friend’s LinkedIn and it comes from Team Detroit SVP/group director, emerging technology, Brian Bos. The exec is issuing a challenge of sorts and it goes a little something like this, verbatim: “I’m issuing the first ever Team Detroit – Emerging Technology Challenge to all interested companies. We’re seeking the most interesting media, technology and marketing ideas. The criteria is simple – 1) it’s truly ‘emerging’ and uncharted territory for brands 2) you’ve struggled to bring the idea forward, as ROI is not proven 3) You’ve thought “no brand would do this” but deep down inside, you know it could be ‘the next big thing’. I will personally carve out time on my calendar for every interesting idea, so please connect with me via Linkedin and I’ll follow up with you.” Are you game, companies? We’ll keep you posted if we hear more but here’s Bos’s LinkedIn in the meantime.

Monday Morning Stir

-Cheil U.K. has appointed Jon Buckley, ex-digital director at Mesh Marketing, as its first head of social.

-In honor of the retirement of the sandman himself, Mariano Rivera, here’s his latest commercial for Acura. The VO, by the way, is provided by Bobby Baccala, aka Sopranos  alum, Steve Schirripa.

-One Show Interactive has extended its Q2 deadline to Oct. 14. link

-Kate Robertson has been appointed as global co-president of Havas Worldwide, sharing the seat with Andrew Benett. link

-McCann talks affluence in its latest Truth Central study. link

 

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