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SportsCenter Experiences Technical Difficulties in W+K’s Latest, Starring James Harden

Houston Rockets star James Harden takes center stage in W+K’s latest “This is SportsCenter” installation, entitled “Satellite,” which also features SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett, Kenny Mayne and Stan Verrett.

In the 30-second spot, which will run for six weeks, Harden fields a call from a mission control center as Everett and Verrett call with a technical problem on the set of SportsCenter. From here things take an unexpected turn, with a cameo by Houston Astros mascot Orbit. Without giving too much away, we can say that as far as “This is SportsCenter” spots go, this one is certainly on the stranger end. Harden, who also appeared in this memorable spot for Foot Locker a few months back, plays his part well, but we think this one will leave some people scratching their heads. Read more

BBDO Wins American Family Insurance

BBDO added to a recent series of client wins this morning by adding American Family Insurance to its roster (BBDO’s New York office won CVS/Caremark back in March just a few days after its San Francisco wing scored Wells Fargo).

BBDO New York will be the creative agency of record for AFI, which is one of the company’s largest providers of property casualty/auto insurance (among other services).

Ogilvy won the account back in 2010, and the company did not announce a review this time around. Here’s the Ogilvy & Mather Chicago spot that aired during the Super Bowl in January:

AFI has had a good year to date; the company reported a 5 percent earnings increase right around the time its executives were (probably) deciding whether to field creative pitches. In the release, the VP of marketing writes:

“We believe BBDO NY will play a significant role in helping us to continue to change the mindset of consumers about insurance.”

…so we’re interested in seeing where the agency takes its newest client.

Poo-Pourri Drops a Load of Poo Puns in ‘Even Santa Poops’

Poo-Pourri made waves last year with the viral “Girls Don’t Poop” video introducing its toilet deodorizer with pun-filled toilet humor that went on to garner over 30 million views on YouTube. While the follow-up, “Second Hand Stink,” didn’t draw quite as much attention, the brand’s latest, “Even Santa Poops” has the potential to attract attention to the brand once more with the holiday season right around the corner.

Written and directed by Pete Marquis and Jamie McClelland, who worked on HelloFlo’s “Camp Gyno” and “First Moon Party,” in collaboration with copywriter Joel Ackerman, who was behind the original “Girls Don’t Poop” spot for Poo-Pourri, “Even Santa Poops” should prove a success. The setup is new: Santa is delivering gifts when all the cookies and milk catch up with him and he has to retreat to the toilet for relief. His stench wakes three British sisters, who attempt to blackmail him for extra gifts and inform him of the Poo-Pourri which he should be using to mask his odor. Otherwise the formula is familiar: plenty of poo puns and a quick introduction of the product as a solution. Mostly the puns are pretty clever and while some may object to the premise, others will be all too happy to gleefully share this with friends and the timing of the release works to promote Poo-Pourri as a holiday (gag) gift while people are shopping for the season.

Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios Has a New CEO

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Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios has announced the appointment of Dan Connolly as CEO, MediaPost reports. He fills a role left vacant by the departure of Tom Adamski, now CEO of Razorfish Global, for Rosetta in April of 2013.

Connolly, who over the past sixteen months has risen from partner, to president and now CEO, will be responsible for overseeing all business units across the agency’s U.S. and European locations and will also act as a member of the Brand Leadership team for Level Studios’ parent network, Razorfish Global. He will operate primarily out of San Luis Obispo, California but will travel between Level’s offices and clients as part of his expanded role, with an emphasis on the Bay Area and New York. Connoly told MediaPost his objectives in the new role are to complete building “Level’s executive leadership team, align talent across existing and new offices, and to work closely with the newly formed Razorfish Global and Brand leadership teams.” Read more

Thursday Morning Stir

-Carmichael Lynch bangs the “Backyard Gong” for SteaknShake (video above).

-Twitter gives “Buy” button its first holiday promotion.

-MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation and Durex teamed up with celebrities, including Enrique Iglesias and David Hasselhoff, for the social campaign “Someone Like Me, ” promoting “safe sex and better sex education across social media.”

-Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure stars in Spanish-language commercial premiering during the Latin Grammys.

-Havas Worldwide New York announced the appointment of Sami Viitamäki as executive director of digital.

-Hometown London brings back Chad Strider in new ad for the Ground Miles app.

-People now spend more time looking at their smart phones than the television.

-Econsultancy looks at the “20 most shared ads of 2014.”

Ogilvy Chicago and Nice Shoes Explain Technology for CDW

In a new campaign created for tech service provider CDW by Ogilvy & Mather Chicago and the Nice Shoes division of production and post house Optimus, Charles Barkley and a few other, more colorful characters to try and explain the elusive “cloud” to fictional 20th Century business Gordon & Taylor. The work also doubles as a promo for Lenovo and the newest version of its Microsoft-powered Yoga “convertible.”

The campaign is called “People Who Get It,” and the first such person is a man with a kilt that’s heavier than his Scottish accent:

Three more spots after the jump.

Read more

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-Celebrities call for action in “Waiting” Ebola PSA (video above) for ONE.

-Droga5 announced the promotions of Sarah Thompson and Jonny Bauer to the roles of global CEO and global CSO, respectively.

-Wonka Ice Cream named Smith Brothers as its new digital agency of record.

-Digiday examines The Huffington Post‘s video strategy.

-Cheil UK outdoor campaign for Samsung features giant replicas of Curved UHD TVs.

-BFG Communications announced the addition of Richard Leslie as chief strategy officer.

-Brand experts predict Uber will ride out latest scandals.

-Team One is hosting a consumer insights event in Shanghai, China on Thursday, November 20 to support its current research initiative, the Global Affluent Tribe (GAT) study.

Team One Launches Annual ‘December to Remember’ Push for Lexus

Team One has launched the annual “December to Remember” holiday sales event for Lexus with a new integrated campaign built around three broadcast spots.

In each of the 30-second spots parents present a different explanation for how exactly Santa manages to deliver a luxury sedan. The parents in “Christmas Train” explain how an iconic holiday train made its way to their driveway, where elves helped unload it right to the driveway — complete with Lexus’ signature red bow. In “Magic Box,” the car magically self-assembles from a small box Santa places in the driveway, while in “Teleporter” it is beamed in directly from the North Pole.

The broadcast spots begin airing today on network and cable television, with “Christmas Train” also being translated for Hispanic and Asian-American markets. Additionally, the campaign is supported by print and OOH executions, as well as a digital partnership with The Weather Channel which will “provide targeted December Sales Event ads in real time based on local weather conditions.”

“The holidays are a time of year when people indulge their imaginations and share stories filled with magic and wonder,” said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. “This year’s holiday campaign celebrates the tradition of storytelling and reminds us that children aren’t the only ones who get to have fun this time of year.” Read more

We Hear: Corona Launching Agency Review?

We have very little to go on at the moment, but sources tell us that one or more divisions of the lime-friendly Corona beer business are preparing for an agency review.

Cramer-Krasselt is currently AOR for Corona Extra while GS&P remains the agency of record for Corona Light after winning that brand, along with fellow Crown beers Pacifico and Victoria, in 2011. La Comunidad handles Spanish-language campaigns for Corona Lite and Canada’s Alpha Zulu Kilo has also created work for the company.

Here’s GS&P’s latest featured ad, which appeared in AdAge back in March:

We’ve received no official word on this rumor from any of the relevant parties, but Corona has been open about its attempts to “rebrand” in the interest of capturing a larger share of the domestic market from chief competitor Bud Light; its spending has increased in turn.

Whether the gossip is true or not, future Corona Light/Extra campaigns will almost certainly move even further away from the beach.

KBS Celebrates Ten Years with AdoptUSKids

KBS and AdoptUSKids is celebrating the tenth anniversary of partnership between the organizations with a campaign launching today in collaboration with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council.

The ads promote adoption by showing how flawed parents still have a positive impact on children’s lives. In the 30-second “Treehouse,” for example, a father attempts to build a treehouse without following instructions, which doesn’t end well. In “Skating,” a mother attempts to roller skate with her children even though she doesn’t know how to skate, with predictable results. Both spots are narrated with a song sung by two pretty goofy guys, and promote keeping siblings together implicitly by showing adopted siblings in the ads (although this might be too easy for viewers to overlook). The ads end with the familiar “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent” tagline. Both spots will be unveiled today by JooYeun Chang, associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, at a DC event celebrating the tenth anniversary of the National Adoption Campaign. Read more

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