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The Viral Factory Introduces ‘Exobaby’ for Hyundai

Well here’s a strange one. The Viral Factory created the online spot “Exobaby” for Hyundai, likening Hyundai’s safety features to a baby wearing a robotic exoskeleton.

“They made him a suit to make him more than human, he’s Exobaby,” says the booming, over-the-top voiceover at the beginning of the spot, as the character is introduced. Features of the Exobaby include “advanced high strength steel,” “smart trunk” (for pooping), “blind spot detection,” “lane departure warning system,” “forward collision warning system,” “bath evade,” and “smart parking assist system.” Just in case the Hyundai logo on the suit and car-related features weren’t obvious enough to clue you in, the voiceover concludes by saying, “Oh, let’s be honest: the baby in the suit is you in the new Hyundai. You get it?” If you don’t, you probably should not be behind the wheel.

The idea is ridiculous and is stretched pretty thin by the end of the 90-second spot (somehow it feels longer), but the worst part has to be the “let’s be honest” bit calling attention to the blatantly obvious. There must have been a better way to transition to the footage of the car than saying, “By the way, we were obviously talking about the new Hyundai the whole time.” Since the ad features a baby doing baby stuff (and even manages to work in secondary view bait via a dog), however, it stands a chance of going viral no matter how crazy the premise is. Stick around for behind the scenes footage after the jump. Read more

Friday Morning Stir

-The folks over at BBDO San Francisco created “Yule Loggins” (video above).

-Fashion retailer AllSaints ignores traditional advertising in favor of content creation.

-AdAge examines “10 Things That Won’t Happen in 2015.”

-UNICEF created a fake video game to raise awareness of the crisis in South Sudan.

-Here’s a look at “Some of the very best Christmas inspired campaigns ever to feature at the D&AD Awards.”

-Creative Review picks its favorite ads of the year.

-New Samsung ad shows famous artists taking selfies.

Rauxa Shows Off Dentegra’s Great Teeth

Dental insurance providers are certainly not the most colorful clients on paper. But Rauxa’s goal in this newest campaign for client Dentegra was to create spots that are “absolutely nothing like traditional dental insurance ads.”

The agency tells us that the campaign is getting more attention than your average promotion for such a staid industry; it’s definitely all over the place, but it all falls under the tagline “With Great Teeth, Anything Is Possible.”

Here’s the first spot:

Three more after the jump.

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Thursday Odds and Ends

-Cloudal Partners released this holiday effort for Field Notes (video above).

-Independent marketing consultancy R3 hired Taleah Mona-Lusky as senior consultant based in New York.

-Scream Agency, a full-service advertising, branding, digital and public relations agency located in Denver, announced the rollout of their new logo.

-L’Oréal is shifting U.S. communications planning to MEC.

-The Radio Mercury Awards announced the naming of Jim Elliott, chief creative officer, Y&R NY as chief judge for the 24th annual awards competition, which is now open for submissions.

-Minneapolis agency mono announced 15 new hires, most prominent among them being Group Account Director Alison Clark and Creative Co-Chair Joel Stacy.

-Carat USA announced the addition of Justine Bloome as head of strategy and innovation to lead the agency’s new Catalyst team.

Requiem for Stuart Elliott

Stuart Elliott Mad men

Pic via NYT reporter Stephanie Clifford

This is a guest post by Tom Siebert, agency vet and former Adweek/Mediapost reporter.

Fiends, Gossips, Backstabbers — lend me your eyes. I come to praise Stuart Elliott, not to bury him.

Figured the guy deserved as much on his last day as The New York Times’ ad industry columnist, especially after Agency Spy’s anonymous comment brigade started tossing dirt even before the body was metaphorically laid to rest in the Grey Lady’s backyard graveyard of escalating buyouts, layoffs and nudged retirements.

C’mon folks. Even among this crowd, he deserves better. Apparently the most common complaint about Stuart Elliott is that he never worked a day in the ad business, so he couldn’t really relate. This is, of course, ridiculous — does a writer need to have been a cop or killer to cover a murder? — but also misses the point.

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Periscope Introduces ‘Ralphpunzel’ for Great Clips

Independent Minneapolis-based agency Periscope launched a new spot for Great Clips, entitled “Ralphpunzel.”

Ralphpunzel, is (shocker!) a man who has grown his hair out for twenty years, to a length of seventeen feet. In the spot, he decides to finally get a haircut and is able to book ahead on Great Clips’ website. Along the way he runs into some acquaintances who are quite surprised to see Ralphpunzel doing away with his locks, and he provides them with an explanation.

Aimed at millenial males, the spot will run during the most watched college football bowl games and during the College Football Playoff semi-final and championship games. Read more

McCann Melbourne Decks the Halls with Dumb Ways to Die

McCann Melbourne has rolled out another “Dumb Ways to Die” spot supporting Metro Trains Melbourne for the holidays, following this Halloween effort.

The simple 30-second ad is centered around a re-working of “Deck the Halls,” replacing “fa la la la la” with “dumb dumb dumb dumb.” For the song itself, which is available on iTunes, McCann Melbourne teamed up with Emily Lubitz, Tangerine Kitty’s original vocalist for the “Dumb Ways to Die” song and lead singer of Tinpan Orange, along with  members of the Salvation Army Choir. All proceeds from the download will be donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. In the spot, the song is accompanied by the “Dumb Ways to Die” characters dancing around festively, concluding with Lubitz saying, “Be safe around Christmas, a message from Metro.” Fans of the “Dumb Ways to Die” phenomenon should find plenty to enjoy in the video and may even find they want to download the song to play at holiday parties, with proceeds going to charity designed as an added enticement (although you have to wonder at the choice of charity, given that the Salvation Army has come under scrutiny in recent years for its discrimination against the LGBT community, and in Australia particularly for its handling of sexual abuse claims.) Read more

McCann Takes Its Vitamins

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Following Bayer’s assignment of its newly acquired pharma brands to JWT and BBDO earlier this week, another big OTC name has made an agency shift: McCann will be AOR for the vitamin side of RB, formerly Reckitt Benckiser, moving forward.

The British RB owns quite a few familiar brands (Durex, Clearasil, Scholl, etc.), but its “vitamins, minerals and supplements” unit includes, most prominently, Airborne and products like “MegaRed®, number 1 in the healthy heart segment, Move Free® the number 2 in joint care,” which the company has owned since its 2012 acquisition of Schiff Nutrition.

From the McCann press release:

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Rokkan Plays on Yule Log with ‘Winter Wondersteak’ for LongHorn Steakhouse

Rokkan offers up a meat lovers take on the yule log tradition with “Winter Wondersteak” for Longhorn Steakhouse.

The online ad replaces a warm fireplace with the enticing sizzle of a juicy steak, footage of which runs continuously for just over an hour. In addition to the obvious homage to The Yule Log television program, the effort also calls to mind Arby’s 13 hour live-streaming spot of a brisket being smoked this May. According to the agency, the effort was created to cut through holiday social media clutter in an appeal to a younger audience of “festive carnivores” and the “fireplace challenged.” If watching a steak sizzle for an hour straight is your kind of thing, you’re in luck, as we’ve included the video above. Read more

The VIA Agency Ropes Golden Corral

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Yesterday we wrote that casual dining chain Golden Corral was down to three agencies in its search for a new creative lead. Since then, Adweek reported that the chain has made its decision, choosing Portland, Maine-based independent The VIA Agency over other finalists Merkley + Partners and Mullen Winston Salem. The pitch was run by Hassan and Partners and, according to Kantar Media, the brand spent approximately $55 million on media in 2013.

Prior to the review, Golden Corral had relied on freelancers and in-house production for its advertising, so The VIA Agency will act as its first lead creative agency. Adweek suggested the change in strategy could be due to the chain’s recent soft sales in the overall slumping casual dining category. The VIA Agency, who recently released a new campaign for Three Olives Vodka, has previously worked with restaurant chain Friendly’s, and currently counts Romano’s Macaroni Grill among its clients, which may have helped them land the account. Other prominent clients for the agency include Unilver, Klondike, Perdue and Welch’s.

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