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Posts Tagged ‘Amburr Farls’

RPA, Tool Share Terrible Parenting for Newport Beach Film Festival

RPA teamed up with production company tool for a new campaign celebrating Newport Beach Film Festival’s 15th anniversary entitled “15 Years Under the Influence.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is a short film called “Bedtime Story.” In the two and a half minute video, directed by Tom Routson, a daughter asks her father to read her a story before bed. The father begins a story about “a beautiful princess who lived in a magical castle far, far away,” but soon finds himself bored with the story and strays from the narrative, deciding that the princess is not actually a princess but a “beautiful operating system” (referencing Spike Jonze’s Her). From there his story bounces all over the place, referencing memorable moments in independent film from the last 20 years or so, with a rather gory ending. Somehow, through all this his daughter manages to fall asleep, making the display of truly awful parenting seem almost sweet. In addition to its home online, the film will screen during this year’s festival in Newport Beach, which will take place from April 24th-May 1st. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

CP+B, Xbox One Take Different Approach with ‘Lost’

Last October/November, CP+B helped launch Xbox One with a series of TV spots designed to show off how with the next-gen system “games and entertainment are no longer separated.” Well, following a series of Playstation 4 ads that positioned that system as the one “For the Players,” CP+B and Xbox One return serve with a new television spot reminding viewers that, oh yeah, “first and foremost, Xbox One is a gaming console.”

The new effort, entitled “Lost,” focuses on the realism of Xbox One’s graphics, imagining them as so realistic that a young man playing Ryse: Son of Rome actually believes he’s sustaining injuries. That, or the dude is just tripping balls, in which case he should probably play something a little less intense. The spot concludes with the somehow familiar sounding tagline, “If it was any more real, it would be real.”

As mentioned, “Lost” does feel like a direct response to the PS4 ads that position it as the system for gamers, which makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. The Redmond, WA giant may have overestimated the appeal of the whole “gaming and entertainment in one” selling point, and now it seems they can’t let Sony claim the “For the Players” crown without a fight. It will be interesting to see how the advertising battles for the two systems play out as both fight to win the next-gen console war. With the systems selling at a pretty close rate, it doesn’t look like things will let up any time soon. and perhaps that’s a good thing. Credits after the jump. Read more

New CP+B Spots for Xbox One Tackle Retirement, Relationship Issues


With the Xbox One’s November 22nd launch date looming ever nearer, CP+B’s marketing blitz for Microsoft’s next-gen system continues with two new spots. Coming on the heels of the “Invitation” spot released late last month, the two new short spots highlight the system’s diverse capabilities while otherwise taking different approaches.

The first spot, “Retirement Home,” features recently retired NFL linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. Urlacher asks Lewis if he’s having any trouble adjusting to retirement as both watch football and play Madden 25 at the same time. Lewis claims not to be having any adjustment issues, but his actions say otherwise. It’s a funny little spot that will appeal to the (sizable) segment of the Xbox crowd who have always wished they could play Madden while watching the NFL.

The second spot, “His and Hers” addresses the apparent sexism of the “Invitation” spot (in which the only female featured uses the system only to watch movies, not play games). It highlights the voice recognition system by showing a woman command the Xbox One using her voice after arriving home to find her boyfriend watching soccer. She tells the system “Xbox go to Dead Rising 3″ and begins to play. Then she starts similarly commanding her boyfriend in a similar matter, telling him to get her a beer. It’s a bit over the top, but a welcome reversal of the gender stereotypes displayed in CP+B’s “Invitation” spot.

Credits and “His & Hers” after the jump.  Read more

Microsoft, CP+B Send Xbox One ‘Invitation’

I may be something of a Sony loyalist, but I’ve got to admit CP+B’s new spot “Invitation” makes the Xbox One shine. Even some of Sony’s biggest fanboys might concede it looks a lot better than the recent PS4 spot.

Directed by Hungry Man’s Bryan Buckley, the commercial vet who recently helmed the R&B-inflected DirecTV spot starring the Manning bros (and who earned an Emmy nod for Grey Poupon’s “The Chase,” also from CP+B),  “Invitation” features users invited into the world of several different games, and one movie. The spot opens with a giant robot warrior crashing a business meeting and making a “come here” gesture to a man giving a presentation. Then we see soccer player Steven Gerrard inviting a fan down from the stands. Spock invites a girl along for some sci-fi adventures. A sports car parks itself in front of some dude’s car and opens its door for him. (This is the automotive equivalent of “come here” apparently.) A zombie attempts to cajole a student in a library to join him, loses an arm, and then tells him to come along with the other arm.

Emphasizing the immersive nature of the next-gen platform, the spot announces, “This is an invitation to a new generation: where your games and entertainment are no longer separated, but together, in one.” Showing Xbox One users utilizing the system’s voice activation to launch games like TitanfallDead Rising 3, and the movie Star Trek: Enter Darkness gives fans an idea of what they can expect on launch day. The spot also shows users making use of the motion sensitive Kinect. You know, the camera that might be spying on you.

Mixing live action with just the right amount of actual gameplay, “Invitation” is slickly produced and should have Xbox fanboys chomping at the bit for the console’s Nov. 22 release date. My biggest problem with the spot is that the one woman featured uses the Xbox One not for gaming, but to watch a movie. Aside from this perpetuation of the gaming industry’s prevailing sexism (which most people won’t even notice), it’s a really solid ad. The whole “invitation” approach works to emphasize both the immersive nature of the system and the all-in-one entertainment value it offers. The $499 starting price, however, is less inviting. Credits after the jump.  Read more

Boost Mobile, 180LA Say ‘You Earned It’

After their amusing spot featuring a basketball player juggling a couple of extra balls, Boost Mobile and 180LA are back together once again, this time emphasizing the savings Boost customers can get. In three short videos, we see various stealing scenarios: a man on the subway gets pickpocketed, a city guy leaps over fences to evade a mugger, a woman has her purse snatched on the sidewalk. But by the end of each ad, the victim has money handed back to them, showing that “Boost Mobile puts cash back in your pocket, literally.”

It’s a good concept, and the little song that shifts each scene into celebration coupled with the actors’ yay-I’m-richer-than-I-thought smiles makes these spots sweet. I only wish they could have cast at least one white thief. Sure, they’re all good guys in the end, but these spots still reinforce tired racial stereotypes. We can do better.

Credits and the rest of the videos after the jump.

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Monday Odds and Ends


-After spending the last five years at Venables Bell & Partners, where he most recently served as chief operation officer, John Minty has assumed the same title at DDB California (which includes the L.A. and San Francisco offices).

-Mike Sheehan chats with The Boston Globe about stepping down as CEO at Hill Holliday and handing over the reins to longtime colleague, Karen Kaplan. link

-Former Cohn & Wolfe EVP/managing director/senior digital strategist Brad B. McCormick has joined Dallas-based indie agency Moroch as chief digital officer.

-Leo Burnett/Merkley + Partners alum Melinda Smart has joined McCann Detroit in the newly created role of  EVP/integrated client services director.

-Cali-based agency Zambezi has launched a digital “pants petition” for Ashworth Golf that stars a handful of the latter’s brand ambassadors (above).

-Editorial/VFX/design studio Cut+Run added Amburr Farls as a senior producer in its Los Angeles office.

-Project: Worldwide agency George P. Johnson as appointed former Jack Morton Worldwide VP Jude Braunstein as executive director, client services, based out of the New York office.

-Salt Lake City-based Struck has been named corporate digital creative agency for homebuilding brand, Lennar Corporation.

Shocker: Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s Seduce You with Bourbon, Burgers, and a Babe

Both fast-food eateries are running “Mrs. Robinson,” a 30-second homage to The Graduate with Heidi Klum doing her best Anne Bancroft. The spot, created once again by 72andSunny (last work for the CKE chain here), promotes the Jim Beam Bourbon Burger. Odds are that Klum doesn’t regularly eat the fine cuisine she endorses, but we won’t hold it against you if you replay the part where she sucks up barbecue sauce from her finger.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have actually turned down the overt sexuality in their ads–remember last year’s Kate Upton commercial? I’ve eaten their burgers once or twice in my life, and I can assure you, they are not aphrodisiacs unless you’re a local gastroenterologist who needs more business. Credits after the jump.

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Miller Lite Adds Celebrities to Your Crew

Three guys walk into a bar with The Hangover‘s Ken Jeong. That’s all you need, because Jeong will take care of the rest with his ridiculous facial expressions. No punchlines necessary. Give him a pig and a cabana, and he’ll deliver the goods. Even though Miller Lite makes terrible beer, their new campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi, which also features Roots/Late Night with Jimmy Fallon drummer Questlove and UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, provides a blueprint for integrating celebrities into advertisements. It’s easy and boring to let John Krasinski do voice-over work for a Coke commercial, but with a little thought and some strong writing, you can get Ken Jeong into a cowboy costume.

Liddell may be irrelevant to the public at this point in his career, but Jeong and Questlove are recognizable and likable. Most guys would love to have either celebrity in their crew, even if it meant using the word “crew” and having to drink Miller Lite. And in some twisted way, that will probably sell more Miller Lite. But now that celebs want to hang out with regular guys, can we get James Harden to trade his friend D for Ken Jeong, setting up possibly the greatest commercial of all time? Now, that would be Miller Time.

“Questlove” and credits after the jump.

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Samsung Tells a Meandering Tale About Unicorns, Business Things

Hey, look! It’s that dude who was on 30 Rock for a few seasons before they realized his character was totally worthless. This guy. Man, has that dude fallen on hard times or what? Let’s all hope he gets back on his feet before things get worse.

Anyway, the above 90-second spot from 72andSunny takes place in the fictional video game development studio of “Unicorn Apocalypse,” a fake game no doubt inspired by Adult Swim’s online “Robot Unicorn Attacks,” but about zombies because 20-something nerds sure love those. If you think 90-seconds sounds like a long time to watch hipster nerds talk about zombie unicorns and play around with their phones, you’d be right.

I’ve been a little back and forth about Samsung’s recent iPhone-bashing campaign. Perhaps it’s because I think it’s a really great idea, but the execution just misses the mark for some reason. Perhaps that reason, as most blatantly exhibited by the spot above, is because Samsung is targeting pretentious millennials who look down about those with different tastes. It makes sense to label iPhone buyers sheep, but there has to be a more subtle way to do it. Also, here’s a newsflash: pretentious people don’t think they’re pretentious. They just think that they’re right. So, portraying an over the top version of the demo (however accurate), will undoubtedly turn off the very consumer you most want.

As the current top comment on YouTube asks, “Why does Samsung insist on making everyone with their phone act like a 20-something douchebag?” Good question. Credits after the jump.

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Let’s Spend Some Time with LeBron On His First Day Back, Shall We?

72andSunny’s marketing blitz for Samsung continues with this new spot for the Galaxy Note II starring none other than LeBron James (whose other, more charitable ad for Samsung was launched simultaneously). We admit we were intrigued ever since we first caught this 90-second clip at the beginning of the NBA season opener featuring James’s Miami Heat versus their hated rival, the Boston Celtics. Directed by Anonymous Content’s Mark Romanek (the man who’s also behind some of our fave music videos as well as One Hour Photo), the Samsung spot is presented as if we’re following the three-time MVP on his first day back on the job in the NBA (it was actually shot a week before Tuesday’s opener).

From morning family time, complete with cereal, to his trip to the barbershop to the championship ring ceremony at American Airlines arena, we get a gist of what James may have actually gone through on game day (or maybe not). We have to say, though, the Galaxy Note II’s stylus arguably steals the show. Credits after the jump.

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