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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Grylewicz’

W+K Launches First Campaign for TurboTax

W+K again? Yes, and now it concerns W+K Portland’s “It’s Amazing What You’re Capable Of” campaign for TurboTax with the launch ad, “The Year of You.”

The spot marks the first creative work W+K have completed in partnership with TurboTax since nabbing AOR duties back in July. As you might expect from the title, the :90 “The Year of You” reminisces about all the things that “you” have accomplished in 2013, paying homage especially to new parents, newlyweds and new home owners. This leads in to the suggestion that since you’ve done all these things, you’re the best person to do your taxes. The types of accomplishments applauded in the ad correlate with the simple questions that TurboTax uses, such as “Did you get married?” and the ad does a good job making TurboTax’s system look very easy. The voiceover during the ad (which sounds a lot like John C. Reilly) is lighthearted and endearing, making the whole thing unexpectedly likeable for an advertisement for a tax service, which should help assuage some of the inevitable tax season anxiety it triggers.

“The Year of You” launched yesterday and will run until April 15th. During that time, W+K will gradually roll out other initiatives in the “It’s Amazing What You’re Capable Of” campaign. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Nike, W+K Portland Unveil Star-Studded ‘Winning in a Winter Wonderland’ Spot


W+K Portland tapped some of the world’s greatest athletes for their new holiday spot touting the advantages of Nike Hyperwarm Performance Baselayer, directed by Rupert Sanders. ”Winning in a Winter Wonderland” features the talents of Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, skier Julia Mancuso, snowboarder Scotty Lago, soccer stars Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, and former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who now appears to be headed to Seattle. Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer also makes a brief cameo appearance.

While undeniably cheesy (hey, it’s the holidays) the spot does an admirable job at promoting the Nike Hyperwarm Performance Baselayer. People are prone to listen to endorsements from star athletes, and W+K got a wide, varied group together for the spot. They emphasize that the Nike Hyperwarm Performance Baselayer makes playing in cold, harsh conditions seem almost enjoyable by keeping you warm without restricting movement, perfectly matching the song selection. “Winning in a Winter Wonderland,” of course, changes the words of the holiday classic, which gets a bit cringe-worthy in spots but mostly comes across as cheesy holiday fun. The words are sung by the star athletes in the spot, mostly while in action, and they seem to have a lot of fun with it — which makes it hard to hate.

The campaign features both a one minute and thirty second version of the spot, as well as a digital takeover and social media elements.”Winning in a Winter Wonderland” premiered during college football’s Big Ten NCAA Championship game and will run throughout the holiday season. Credits after the jump.  Read more

Dodge Durango Partners with Ron Burgundy, Because Everyone Loves Ron Burgundy

Dodge and Paramount have joined forces in a co-branded campaign from W+K launching the new 2014 Dodge Durango featuring Ron Burgundy (of Anchorman and the upcoming Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but you already knew that).

The campaign, which spans television, print, digital and social media, debuted October 5th online and on television. Be prepared to see it everywhere.

“With the personal involvement of Will Ferrell, our writer / director Adam McKay, the comedy team at Funny or Die, and the Dodge creative team at Wieden+Kennedy, we were able to create a truly epic partnership,” says CMO of Paramount Picture Josh Greenstein in a statement. But are the spots actually funny? Some of them — they really very widely in quality. Each of the spots takes advantage of the 70s aesthetic in the Anchorman films, taking place in a colorful, very 70s auto showroom. The first spot, “Horsepower” is a bit of a letdown. It resurrects the tired “comparing horse power to an actual horse” theme commonly used in spots for powerful vehicles.

The staring contest with the horse at the end is almost worth a chuckle though. “Glove Compartment” is a lot better: it features Ron Burgundy toting the Durango’s glove compartment, which can hold “two turkey sandwiches or seventy packs of gum.” Another spot finds Burgundy struggling with a script that touts the Durango’s “m.p.g.” performance. The highlight is definitely “Ballroom Dancers,” featured above, which has a comically angry showdown between Burgundy and dancers that he thinks may “live in the rafters.” A lot of this is stuff that only Ferrell could get away with delivering, and only about half of the time is the writing worthy of his talent, but when it works it works. Plus, it will whet people’s appetites for the Anchorman sequel, which is kind of the point.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues debuts in theaters December 20th. Credits and additional video after the jump.  Read more

Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson Goes Undercover at ESPN

On the field, Calvin Johnson earns his “Megatron” nickname by dominating defenses with a robotic efficiency. He’s bigger, faster, stronger, and at times, it looks like a Transformer is playing against humans. However, off the field, and more specifically, in the ESPN offices, Johnson uses his transforming powers to trick a different kind of opponent (for anyone who cares and watches too much ESPN, it’s Kevin Negandhi).

The latest “This is Sportscenter” ad is par for the course: short, funny, and off-beat. The work comes once again from W+K New York (which has been handling SportsCenter work for nearly two decades), an agency that has no problem taking sports material and making it accessible to audiences. And for Megatron, he may want to think about outsourcing his Transformer duties over to Diddy, or Johnson, or whatever Nike wants to call him.

Credits after the jump.

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NFL Season: Another Reason for Old Spice to Do Old Spice Things

There’s a very fine line between stupid funny and annoying, a line that Old Spice is willing to tightrope for miles and miles. Their “Unnecessary Freshness” campaign, created by W+K Portland, will hit screens starting Thursday night for the season opener. As you might expect, there will be plenty of shenanigans that don’t make sense. But, at least that’s the point.

Three new spots starring Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker might make you shake your head, laugh, or both (there’s also a fourth spot featuring New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, possibly a pity commercial since Welker darted for Denver). However, since each ad is less than 20 seconds, it’s easy to stomach the goofy jokes and images of lizards eating Welker’s legs. If commenters take to the site to rip W+K, Welker, football, me, AgencySpy itself, or a number of other things that exist, and therefore, should be ridiculed incessantly, they can hopefully agree that the running time is a plus. And, if you believe that a majority of people in America are stupid and these spots are stupid funny, then maybe W+K is onto something brilliant. Maybe.

Credits and some more unnecessary freshness after the jump.

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Nike Taps LeBron, Piqué, Bradley Cooper’s Voice for ‘Just Do It’ 25th Anniversary

At this point, Nike and AOR W+K are just showing off. Their latest spot, “Possibilities,” is a fat, splashy kick-off to the 25th anniversary of its ubiquitous slogan, “Just Do It.” These type of Nike ads have always had a mythical quality, compared to other sports brands – like certain BBDO Foot Locker commercials – that are solid and funny. Nike is serious. W+K Portland is serious. Nike, Inc. is set to earn $25 billion in revenue this year, meaning we must be serious, too, when it comes to our purchases.

Being serious does not preclude Nike from a certain playfulness if you look hard enough. For “Possibilities,” the lightness comes from some Bradley Cooper voiceover that makes the viewer want to just do it, even though said viewer knows he/she can’t do it as well as professional athletes. That’s where stars like footballer Gerard Piqué and basketballer LeBron James come in, cameos that are almost taking the money out of your wallet before you know it.

For LeBron, the unofficial king of the summer, Nike has been creatively pumping out his spots for a few years now. This one may be a joint venture, but he subtly dominates the end with some clever winking done in the form of a fake dunk content. LeBron has never entered the NBA dunk contest. Maybe this is a hint for 2014? Or maybe it’s just smart marketing? Plenty of possibilities to choose from.

Credits after the jump.

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Nike, Foot Locker, W+K Introduce Kevin ‘Kevin’ Durant

Hot Sauce. Skip to My Lou. Main Event. Kevin. The park league nickname has always been a valued tradition in the realm of streetball, meaningful monikers passed down from the basketball gods that can become legend, a la Dr. J or Pee Wee Kirkland. Kevin Durant, for all of his NBA greatness, has yet to merge his skills with an equally skillful nickname. Yes, there’s KD and the Durantula (and perhaps the best one via Jalen Rose, who resurrected the name Iceberg Slim), but it just doesn’t feel right yet.

For the latest Nike effort from W+K Portland, which was created in partnership with Foot Locker, the agency decided to take Durant’s lack of nicknameness and build an ad around it. The sixty-second spot, which features comedian Hannibal Buress as MC, is the coming-out party for Kevin “Kevin” Durant. Buress runs through pre-game introductions and calls out intricate nicknames for random guys like Don Juan Have a Picnic by the Pond, but when he gets to Durant, the crowd goes silent. Kevin Kevin: It’s funny because it’s true. Credits after the jump.

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Friday Odds and Ends

-W+K Portland, Nike Basketball and Kevin Durant tell us why “Summer Is Serious” (above, credits after the jump).

-Speaking of Nike and basketball, the corporate giant continues its expansion of Converse stores, this time in San Francisco. link

-And finally, guess which brand topped the “Nitrogram 50″ list. link; link

-Google-owned Motorola Mobility has unveiled its new logo. link

-Facebook is beginning to pull ads containing with violent, graphic or sexual content.” link; link

-WPP-owned MediaCom USA has welcomed Starcom alum Jose Bello as managing partner, head of multicultural as well as former Clear Channel exec Khartoon Ohan as its new managing director/chief growth officer. link

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W+K, Oreo Relationship Concludes with ‘Super Important Test’

In case you were wondering, the domain name www.superimportanttest.com is no longer available, thanks to W+K and Oreo, who bring us, yes, a “Super Important Test,” which as we imagine was the intention is hardly a test. You have two options (cookie or cream) and you’re correct either way. Get it?

Super Important Test” marks not only the conclusion of W+K’s Oreo’s “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign that began with the buzzed-about “Whisper Fight” spot from the Super Bowl and the subsequent “Separator Machine” clips, but the relationship between W+K and the Mondelez brand itself. As you may know, Draftfcb and now the Martin Agency work primarily on the Oreo account.

Anyhow, W+K curated quite a bit of content for the website–more than 30 different videos may play after you click cookie or creme–but this type of limited platform really begs the question: What’s the point? How does this sort of advertising advance the OREO brand in any meaningful way? I’m asking a serious question, not just trying to be glib, so if there is an answer, please post a comment.

Virality for the sake of virality is turning into a common approach for most creatives, and a website full of 30 unrelated internet videos that may or may not be funny seems like a great way to waste an advertising budget. Oreo was never going to choose cookie over cream or vice versa, but it didn’t have to choose. This is a case of a clever idea that simply ran out of ingredients.

Stills and credits after the jump.

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W+K Kickstarts Dodge Dart

W+K’s line of Dodge ads appeals to consumers with a distinct voice that separates the brand from most  auto manufacturers hawking new models. By now, we all know the recipe: frenetic cuts, clean white text, VO that tries too hard to be cool, and the loop from “No Church in the Wild.” The commercials run so often,  you almost forget that the song used to belong to Jay, Ye, and Frank Ocean. I doubt any of them drive Dodge Darts.

But for those of us who want to drive Dodge Darts, the latest spot, titled “How to Change Buying Cars Forever,” details a clever crowdfunding pitch meant to make new cars a little more affordable. Interested buyers can design their own Dart online and set a funding goal for family and friends who want to purchase individual parts as gifts. Mom and Dad get the steering wheel, your brother covers the leather seats, etc.

And if you’re getting married, the Dodge Dart Registry throws a nice wrench in the department store marital registry monopoly. Nobody wants a new toaster. Credits after the jump.

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