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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Knazan’

john st. Launches ‘Surrogaid’ for War Child Canada

“What if you could help mother children in war-affected areas? What if you could virtually reach out and literally provide them the warmth of a mother’s hug?” These questions are the genesis of john st.’s new campaign for War Child, which attempts to dupe viewers into believing they can provide virtual motherhood services at the click of a button. The message they recieve — either tat the end of the campaign video (above) or after attempting to provide these services at the campaign website (where the interactive web experience was designed by Jam 3) — is “You can’t donate motherhood. But you can donate money.”

Arriving (obviously) just in time for Mother’s Day, the campaign attempts to raise money and awareness for War Child Canada, a charity helping children in war torn areas, while motherhood is on people’s minds. The campaign includes broadcast, online, radio, and out-of-home components.

“We wanted to make it seem plausible that you could donate the act of motherhood online”, explains Stephen Jurisic, ECD of john st. advertising. “But of course you can’t. Only real mothers in these war-affected countries can provide their children with that.”

James Topham of War Child Canada adds, “We thought this was a fresh way to remind people just how important mothers are to the healthy development of children – particularly in the context of war. And that the best way to support them is still the easiest – by donating money.” Credits after the jump. Read more

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Apollo Studios Faces Blue Christmas without Piano

It will be a blue, piano-less Christmas in Toronto. We’re not sure how you lose a piano exactly, but the folks over at music/sound house Apollo Studios (which was founded in Montreal and also has space in LA) are facing sad times after misplacing theirs.

The above 5:05 mockumentary documents the studio’s beloved, lost piano and the sadness spread in its absence. It opens on Dave Douglass of Anomaly opining that there will be no emotive piano for their spot about “a kitten teaching a puppy to walk again after an accident falling down the stairs chasing a toilet paper roll.” You just can’t get the same kind of emotive, heartfelt track with woodwinds, he complains. Harry Knazan of Apollo can barely hold back the tears reminiscing of the piano’s use in tracks that were “so slow, so sensitive.” Tom Hutch opines that you “can’t replace a piano, just like that, it’s not a machine.”

So the Apollo team gets a forensic team in to look for any clues that can help lead to the piano’s whereabouts or a potential suspect, while other members of the team walk the city putting up fliers for the missing instrument. The team tries a slew of other instruments: harp, horns — but, as Jennifer Cursio puts it, “You can’t replace the piano with anything. Can you picture Elton John with a fucking marimba? It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work.” The video references “The Marketer’s Anthem,” which we covered last week, and culminates with a smashed ukulele. Who doesn’t love watching a ukulele get smashed?

Apollo’s mockumentary is a nice, lighthearted piece of self-deprecating  humor. It does such a great job taking on the advertising industry’s overuse of piano, we almost wouldn’t be surprised if fewer tracks used the instrument in the coming year — almost. More importantly, it succeeds at being funny. And during one of the most stressful times of the year we could all use a few laughs, right? Good luck finding your piano, Apollo. Godspeed.

If you have any clues to the whereabouts of the piano in question, please let the folks at Apollo know immediately. We’re not sure how much longer they can hold out without it.

Toronto-Based Open Presents ‘The Marketer’s Anthem’

How about some Friday morning inspiration?

Operating under the assumption that marketers aren’t self-congratulatory enough already, Toronto-based creative shop Open created “The Marketers’ Anthem” for this year’s Marketer of the Year issue of Strategy. Luckily, Open had a sense of humor about the video.

Dedicated to “Consumer Whisperers, Mother Targeters and Brand Guardians” everywhere,  the video is a well-produced and humorous homage to the men and women who “moved us to vote, follow, share, pin, tweet, re-tweet and like.” Open pokes fun at trends like adding “-vertising” to everything, and using acronyms like ROI for return on investment and KPI “instead of what KPI stands for.” (It’s key performance indicator, guys.) The good-natured humor and sarcasm are balanced out by an earnest call to action, and it’s this balance that makes the 1:30 video work. Because on the one hand, it’s impressive that digital marketers have invented a cookie that we can be friends with, but on the other hand, “Oh god, we’re friends with a cookie.” Credits after the jump.   Read more

Zulu Alpha Kilo Explores Daddy Issues for Coke Zero’s Latest ‘Moment Zero’

For their latest campaign for Coke Zero,  Zulu Alpha Kilo, along with social media agency Dare, found real hockey stories online using social media and retold them with Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos. The newly released second film in the series, “The Trade,” tells Shawn Warford‘s story of being traded from the team his father coached.

At the beginning of the spot, Stamkos (as Warford) enters his father’s office and is told he is being traded. “You can’t trade me, I’m your son” he replies, followed by an annoying and completely unnecessary voiceover intrusion proclaiming “That’s going to be an awkward car ride home.” Between the terrible acting and gratuitous VO, this is where, if I wasn’t paid to write about it, I would stop watching this ad. To be fair, it does pick up a little bit from here, thanks largely to Bob the zamboni driver.

Bob explains why Kevin Wheeler gives the team exactly what they’re looking for and is the perfect trade. He goes on to enthusiastically extoll the virtues of the team’s new addition at length. A fed up Stamkos asks for the new jersey, which is when the spot slows down to tell us this is his “Moment Zero.” In the first game with his new team, he goes on to score five goals, each dedicated to exacting revenge for a different moment his father pissed him off.  ”It’s a moment he wouldn’t trade for anything,” says the annoying narrator in what is supposed to be the payoff. At least they (eventually) used Stamkos for what he’s good at (scoring goals) after what felt like an eternity of Stamkos struggling through what he’s terrible at (acting). I understand and appreciate the social engagement the “real hockey stories” angle brings to the table, but next time let’s have a higher ratio of hockey to stories. Or get a hockey player that can act, if such a person exists. Credits and the first installment of the “Moment Zero” campaign after the jump. Read more