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Posts Tagged ‘Ian Reichenthal’

ESPN, W+K Go Back to Roots in Latest ‘This Is SportsCenter’ Installment

After taking a different direction with their last SportsCenter spot, W+K New York and ESPN have gone back to what has made the “This Is SportsCenter” series so popular, employing humorous situations in the network’s Bristol HQ.

The spot, “Double Double,” stars Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love as the guy responsible for pushing the coffee cart that keeps the SportsCenter crew caffeinated (UCLA mascot Joe Bruin can also be seen in the spot). This is an important job, because, as anchor Scott Van Pelt says, the SportsCenter crew relies “pretty heavily on the coffee cart” to keep going throughout the day. Love’s specialty is making “the best double-double,” which is two double espressos. Host Stan Verrett swears by Kevin’s double-doubles. In fact, he’s a little too fond of them. He requests another double-double from Love while he still has his two espressos in-hand, but Kevin says “I think maybe you should slow down.” Verrett continues to hound Love for more espresso as the spot goes on, with Kevin responsibly telling him he should just get through his show. At some point Love must have given in, and the results on Stan Verrett‘s show are pretty funny, as well as startling to co-host Neil Everett.

It’s a return to form for W+K, who play to their strengths with “Double Double.” The strategy seen here has worked for the “This Is Sportscenter” series in the past, and “Double Double” is the best SportsCenter spot in recent memory, with a good setup and comedic payoff thanks to Love and Verrett’s delivery. Let’s hope agency and brand continue sticking with what works in the future. Credits after the jump. Read more

W+K, Heineken’s ‘Departure Roulette’ Ends in Wasted Sandwich (Among Other Things)

W+K and Heineken’s initial “social experiment” (sorry guys, no, this is a marketing campaign) “Departure Roulette” set about to send travelers at JFK Airport on a free trip to a new destination — one that they didn’t know of in advance.

Operating under the assumption that “Heineken consumers are especially open to adventure and the unknown” (and pissy-tasting beer), Heineken and W+K chose to follow-up by finding enthusiastic fans of the initial campaign in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and bring the Departure Roulette board to them with “Departure Roulette En Route.” These were fans who tweeted that they would love to be given the opportunity to play Departure Roulette, so it was a fair assumption that they would accept the challenge.

Surprised but delighted to be given the opportunity to press the red button and set off for destinations unknown, most seemed excited at their travel prospects. One dude didn’t know where Reykjavik is, which is kind of lame, since I would club baby seals to be given the opportunity to travel to Iceland. Someone else appears to not have been home. (They must be kicking themselves for that one.) Another guy seemed less than elated to be going to Romania, with a reaction something along the lines of “Romania? Okay, I guess I’m going to Romania.” I guess he would have preferred Disney World or something. Maybe that “open to adventure and the unknown” assumption wasn’t so accurate.

This is a really interesting campaign from W+K. The original premise was a cool idea, and the follow-up engaging fans who claimed they’d love to participate makes a lot of sense; and taking things outside of the airport really raises the bar on the spontaneity factor. Wasting a perfectly good chicken parm, though? Not so cool. Credits after the jump.

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New W+K NY ‘DaDaDa’ Spot Combines New with Familiar for ‘SportsCenter’

ESPN’s latest W+K New York-created spot for SportsCenter is a bit of a departure from their usual advertising style. In the 1:01 spot, ESPN spotlights their trade mark “da da da” (you’ll know it when you hear it) spoken by a wide range of athletes (such as Maria Sharapova, Bubba Watson, RG III, Clayton Kershaw and Patrick Kane) in different situations.

Not centered around a comic premise, “DaDaDa DaDaDa” lets the highlights from many different sports, including ones you don’t care about (lacrosse, anyone?), do the talking for a majority of the spot — perhaps not a bad strategy (except for the lacrosse), considering that is why most people tune in to SportsCenter.

“Da Da Da” is also a departure in that it’s the first ESPN commercial in ten years to be shown on other networks, such as during NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Presumably a response to SportsCenter’s declining audience — and perhaps a reaction to new competitor Fox Sports 1 — the spot attempts to bring in new viewers by running on DirectTV, Adult Swim, Spike and Comedy Central. Whether or not the expensive spot can help SportsCenter fight the declining viewership brought on by the increased ease of finding sports highlights online remains to be seen. But lacrosse players everywhere are cheering. Credits after the jump.

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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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W+K NY, SoCo Do Barbershop Karate

It takes a comfortable man to perform karate in a barber’s robe and tinfoil, not to mention skintight jeans and snakeskin boots. Meet the face of Southern Comfort, a moustachioed man we’ve met once before in “Shampoo,” one of the previous spots in W+K’s SoCo “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign.

Then, he was meditating amidst soft suds, opening his eyes only to check out the woman across the barbershop. Now, he’s showing off for all the ladies.

Director Tim Godsall and the W+K creative team wrote the spot after seeing our protagonist’s casting tape for “Shampoo,” in which he did karate – he’s actually skilled in the martial art, and owns a few dojos. Given the nature of the campaign, they wanted to play to his natural skills. It was a good choice, because this is the best spot yet. While “Beach” and “Shampoo” play to the relaxed side of comfort, “Karate” has more personality and ease. Especially when backed by “I’m a Fool to Care,” by Les Paul and Mary Ford, this barbershop guy paints a poignant picture, and will probably ascend to be your new role model.

Credits after the jump.

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ESPN Analyst John Clayton Appears with Ponytail, Slayer Shirt for ‘SportsCenter’

Though one of the most consistently hilarious campaigns in the history of television advertising, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a “This is SportsCenter” spot really knock it out of the park. That is, until today.

ESPN and W+K NY fulfill the fantasies and daydreams of fans nationwide with this spot, in which mild-mannered, buttoned-up NFL analyst John Clayton finally shows his true colors, or at least the colors that we’ve all been hoping he’s been secretly hiding. Yes, Clayton’s mythical ponytail makes an appearance. Yes, Clayton is secretly the world’s biggest Slayer fan. And yes, he still lives with his mom.

I don’t know what else to say about this, other than bravo ESPN, bravo W+K, and take a bow, John Clayton. Not that we needed any help getting revved up for the NFL season, but damn, who’s ready for some football? 

(h/t Deadspin)

Update: The spot will make its TV debut, aptly enough, on Sept. 10 during ESPN’s Monday Night Football double-header.  Credits after the jump.


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And Finally, Your ADC Advertising/Integrated Juries

We promise to keep this short, but since you were all clamoring for it, we might as well give you the rundown of the Advertising and Integrated juries for the 91st Annual ADC Awards. You have already received notice that Natalie Lam and 72andSunny’s John Boiler were jury chairs for Interactive and Advertising, respectively, but after the jump, you can check out the full jury roster for the latter category as well as Integrated. We’re sure there are some names you might recognize (Ian & Scott–ok, we’ve now been told that the former of the dynamic duo is not able to participate, Faris, etc.)

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ESPN Honors Idiotic Sports Betting

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a great ESPN spot from W+K, hasn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I got a few good chuckles in while watching last year’s “Jumbotron Marriage Proposal.” But, I still yearn for the days when I would hear things like “Yeah, the game was boring, but did you see that new ESPN/SportsCenter spot they aired during the commercial break? It almost made watching that travesty worthwhile.”

“Shake On It” marks a subtle new take on W+K NY’s long-running “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign. In the past, we’ve seen spots showcasing fanatics doing outrageously flamboyant things in the name of sports because they want to. In the above spot, we see these people doing similar stupid feats because they have to. After all, it’s written in the Man Handbook that “If you make a bet and lose, you have to accept the consequences.” If you bet that you’d dance around in a dangerous part of town while wearing a diaper and bonnet if you favorite team lost, then you have to do it. That’s what being a grownup is all about.

And, before you say that these kinds of extreme bets rarely happen, I give you this poor bastard’s thigh tattoo of centaur Tim Tebow as evidence otherwise. Credits after the jump.

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Heineken Indicates When Handlebar Moustaches are Appropriate

“The Handlebar Moustache” is Heineken’s and W+K NY’s sequel to “The Snakeskin Jacket,” and like its predecessor, it takes a look a when certain bold fashion statements are appropriate. Of course, the handlebar moustache has become a hipster facial-hair fixture over the past few years, and Heineken has definitely been appealing to young 20-something urbanites since W+K Amsterdam’s “The Entrance” was released at the beginning of the year. Hell, they were even the official beer sponsor of Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this past weekend, and plenty of Heineken Lite cups were devoured by indie rock snobs who indifferently listened to the offensive hate-rapping of OFWGKTA.

But, as has been the case with all of Heineken’s spots from 2011, we get memorable characters, a playful sense of humor and eye-popping cinematography. While “Snakeskin Jacket” was mostly about where not to wear your odd fashion of choice, “Handlebar Moustache” is about how awesome you could look entering into an early 1900s bare knuckle boxing match (and how a victory could snag you the dream girl). With Pabst Blue Ribbon on the brink of “selling out,” this brand has the foresight to target a market looking for an iconic beer of choice to rally behind, choosing to emphasize style over blue-collar credibility. Thus far, W+K is delivering in a big way. Credits after the jump.

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Y&R New York Welcomes New CCO

Now that the Ian Reichenthal/Scott Vitrone era  is over, Y&R New York has found a new creative leader in Jim Elliott, who will be joining the agency as chief creative officer. Elliott arrives from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where he spent the last five years as GCD on Haagen-Dazs, Hyundai, Denny’s, HP, Netflix and Yahoo and was part of the team that won the agency the Sonic account.

Though Elliott won’t assume his new title until June, once he does, he will (obviously) be responsible for overseeing creative for Y&R clients including Land Rover, Campbell’s, Dell, LG, Dannon, Fisher-Price, the NHL, UNCF, Virgin Atlantic and Xerox. Prior to Goodby, Elliott served as a creative director at Cole & Weber United and had a stint at Mullen as well. Y&R’s global CCO Tony Granger says in a statement that Elliott’s hire is an “evolution” of the agency’s Big Apple branch, adding, “Jim is a fantastic creative leader, who enjoys drawing the best out of his teams.  We’re excited he’s joining ours.”

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