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Posts Tagged ‘Ian MacKenzie’

ESPN, W+K Enlist NFL Stars for Their Fantasy League

ESPN and the NFL have reminded us several times over the past week that the football season is about to begin with help from Wieden + Kennedy New York.

In the latest pigskin-flavored spot to promote SportsCenter, the network plays on familiar fantasy football tropes, twisting the narrative 180 degrees with a bit of help from Victor Cruz of the Giants, Jimmy Graham of the Saints and a few other league employees:

After learning that the U.S. military doesn’t really use “Call of Duty” to train soldiers, we’re a little skeptical when it comes to football stars participating in fantasy leagues.

But the image is too amusing to discard, so we’ll stick with it.

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W+K NY, Metallica Rock out ‘This is SportsCenter’


W+K New York have a new “This is SportsCenter” spot for ESPN featuring Metallica.

The agency has some fun with the idea that with Mariano Rivera now retired, Metallica doesn’t have a lot to do around the ESPN offices. Metallica looks for other athletes in need of entrance music, with less than satisfactory results, as well as other things to do around the office. Hosts Jay Harris, Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott also appear in the spot, which debuts today in anticipation of tonight’s Gillette Home Run Derby. The spot neglects to mention that Metallica still provide entrance/walk-up music for players including Rays reliever Grant Balfour, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, but then that would kind of ruin the premise. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K NY Unveils New, High-Tech SportsCenter Set

W+K New York unveils the new high-tech SportsCenter set, complete with a few bugs, in the latest in their long-running “This Is SportsCenter” series.

SportsCenter is set to debut their new studio on June 22nd, and the new spot takes place on the set of the 194,000 square foot Digital Center 2. In the 30-second spot, entitled “Universal Remote,” anchor Kevin Negandhi shows off the studio’s capabilities to fellow host Hannah Storm using a universal remote. The button on the remote that’s supposed to control the desk appears to be faulty, however, with Washington Nationals’ mascot Theodore Roosevelt, along with anchors Jay Crawford and Jay Harris, taking full advantage of the unintended and comical consequences. It’s a fun introduction to the new studio that manages to show off some of its new capabilities without taking itself seriously. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

U.S. Midfielder Bradley Takes Center Stage in Latest SportsCenter Spot

With the FIFA World Cup set to kick off next week, the ESPN marketing onslaught continues, this time starring U.S, National Team midfielder Michael Bradley, who co-stars alongside the WWL’s anchor Bram Weinstein in the latest SportsCenter spot from W+K New York. In the :30 clip above, Bradley’s accompanied by a little sidekick as he makes his rounds throughout the Bristol campus of ESPN, which holds the English-language rights for the World Cup, which takes place place as you might know in Brazil.

This latest effort marks the 400th-plus “This is SportsCenter” spot from the network, which also marks its eighth World Cup broadcast. It’s a more subdued than previous ads, though the tinge of dry humor remains intact, and yes, this one’s for the kids (after all, the little ones accompany each player in the pitch). O Positive director David Shane once again returns to the fold, following up his Bubba Watson-starring SportsCenter spot from two months ago with a well-timed piece that has chanting USA ahead of the world’s biggest stage.

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Delta’s ’80′s In-Flight Safety Video’ Crams as Much Decade’s Worth of Nostalgia Into 5 Minutes

We’re not sure who’s behind it, but “Delta’s 80′s In-Flight Safety Video” manages to turn the normally insufferable flight safety video into something totally rad (Update:  It is W+K NY, credits after jump).

The 5:22 video should send a welcome wave of nostalgia over children of the 80s (I don’t really qualify, although I did have a Teddy Ruxpin). It manages to cram as many 80s references as possible into the video, while simultaneously tackling the basics of flight safety. From mullets to Alf to vintage electronics, the cultural touchstones are piled on so fast you might not catch them all. It’s definitely the most entertaining flight safety video we’ve ever seen, and a clever way to get people to watch something they’d normally ignore. Bonus points for enlisting Jerry Casale from Devo.

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Snickers Plays What-If in Two New Commercials

To promote Snickers Bites, BBDO New York went retro. Bites give hungry customers a bag full of tiny pieces of Snickers bars, a pretty big switch for the consistent candymaker. But what if Snickers had thought of the idea decades ago?

There are two spots, “Intercom” and “Leisure Suit,” that attempt to answer the question, showing goofy scenarios dated to the 70s about follies that prevented Snickers employees from making Bites many years ago. “Intercom” is clearly the better of the two, as a forgetful man with some vague decision-making responsibilities at the company tries to tell his secretary to remind him to create Bites. Unfortunately, there’s static, which the secretary blames on the Soviet Union. “Leisure Suit” is little more than 30 seconds of lazy guys in afros pretending to be stoned. There’s no reason for the laziness, and the jokes are dumb. However, the premise does lend itself to future self-contained episodes, so BBDO can always take a mulligan and create some better spots in the future. ”Leisure Suit” and credits after the jump.

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BBDO Brings More Funny to Foot Locker in Star-Studded Spot

BBDO’s solid streak for Foot Locker continues with a new spot promoting the chain’s annual “Week of Greatness” event, “the one time each year when the most premium kicks come out.”

Entitled “All Is Right,” this latest effort is part of the agency’s ongoing “Foot Locker Approved” campaign for the brand and features the talents of Kyrie IrvingMike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman, Brett Favre, Craig Sager, and Craig Sager‘s suits. Directed by Jim Jenkins“All Is Right” opens with Kyrie Irving stating that with Foot Locker’s “Week of Greatness” it “feels like all is right with the world.” Irving then daydreams about what else would happen if all were suddenly right with the world. This daydream sequence features all the aforementioned stars. We see a lot of ads here at AgencySpy that attempt to be funny. Most of them miss; a few elicit a chuckle or two. Few of them are as genuinely funny as the daydream segment in this spot. I won’t give away too much, but the part featuring Mike Tyson (almost always comedic gold) made me laugh out loud. If the whole spot ended there it would still be classic, but the portions featuring Dennis Rodman and Craig Sager are almost as funny. We hope BBDO continues to make laugh-worthy work for Foot Locker in the future. Credits after the jump. Read more

James Harden Can Act for Foot Locker, But He Definitely Can’t Sing

Not only should you fear James Harden‘s beard, but now you should fear his voice, too. There’s a long history of athletes who want to be rappers/singers, and that history stars and ends with this awesomely terrible Deion Sanders single from 1994. Luckily, Harden’s leap into the music industry is all in good fun on behalf of Foot Locker. BBDO New York has been pumping out quality NBA-related spots for the brand in the past, and “Harden Soul” is no different. It’s crisp, funny, and capable of appreciating the offbeat moment of humor.

Basketball fans may also recognize sharpshooter Stephen Curry as the voice of reason, begging Harden to give up the strain on his vocal cords. But, as Harden says, “I just had the best year of my career, I gotta keep things fresh.” For those interested in things that are kept extra fresh, Foot Locker also released a full version of “Harden Soul” on Youtube (you can listen after the jump). Watch out for the lyrical genius of lines like, “I wear my shirt open/so you see my chest…I keep my stock open/so you can invest.” Almost worthy of a Grammy.

Credits after the jump.

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Blake Griffin Might Be a Product-Endorsing Robot

BBDO New York and Foot Locker know that Clippers forward/dunker Blake Griffin is a commercial machine – Subway, Kia, Jordan Brand to rattle off a few quickly. So for their latest joint venture, “The Endorser,” the creatives decided to physically hook up Griffin to a machine called The Endorser as if he were programmed to place products. For some Lob City support, Clippers point guard/whiner Chris Paul steps in as a foil to turn off the machine and show us the difference between Real Blake and Robot Blake.

The spot is another smart and self-aware sports bit that takes advantage of an athlete’s public persona through subversion. Griffin is usually stone-faced or arrogantly posturing on the court after huge dunks, but he’s built up a quiet niche as a funnyman on television. Just see this Grantland piece from March that discusses why Blake’s comedy is more complex than you might think. The only issue with Blake is overexposure, like, when his sponsorship brands debut separate commercials within the same week. His Jordan “Blake and Drain” spot, which alludes to MJ and Spike Lee ads from twenty years ago, is even better than the Footlocker commercial. And for that reason, “The Endorser” might get lost in the ever-expanding Blake Griffin commercial merry-go-round. Credits after the jump.

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Snickers Drops Down the Celebrity Hierarchy with Kenny G

Betty White, Joe Pesci, Robin Williams, and… Kenny G. Aside from picking the most odds-and-sods group of entertainers out there, Snickers and BBDO New York have a knack for choosing celebrities with just enough relevance for the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. The title for best Snickers jokester is a toss-up between White’s roughhousing football player and Pesci’s whiny wingman. The latest spot, “Cards,” won’t top its predecessors, mainly because Kenny G doesn’t speak throughout the whole clip, but you can always lose yourself in his patented melancholy saxophoning.

It’s strange to think that the first ad with White came out over three years ago, but these spots seem to have enough social support to keep on kicking, even as the celebrities get less celebratory. Maybe for the next one, BBDO could get all four celebs in one room at the same time – a group of hungry people who all need to eat Snickers. That way, we could get Pesci to look at Kenny G and unleash a “Who is this fuckin’ guy?” tirade. Everybody wins, even Kenny G, since he’d be in two commercials in the past decade instead of one. Credits after the jump.

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