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Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Locke’

Barton F. Graf 9000, Psyop Charm with ‘Clash of Clans’ Anthem Ad

Gerry Graf’s Barton F. Graf 9000 NY has worked with production company Psyop, fresh off their game-developing debut with the Susan Sarandon-narrated Nightmare: Malaria, to develop this charming spot for the Supercell-developed strategy game Clash of Clans.

The one-minute anthem ad places the viewer in the middle of the action, on the same level as the melee taking place. To bring the game to life in the spot, Psyop “embraced the bright, stylized and saturated look of the game,” explained Psyop Director Fletcher Moules. “We wanted to fully conceptualize what the world would look like if we were running alongside the horde of barbarians, what would it feel like to be covered in their saliva.”

The impressively animated ad really does a good job transporting the viewer into the world of Clash of the Clans, thankfully without any saliva. One noteworthy moment occurs when two giants chuckle as they are hit with cannonballs. It was one of Psyop’s favorite segments to animate, as well. “It added the heart and the warmth that was only achieved when we removed ourselves a little from the ruckus to enjoy it from their perspective,” said Moules.

It would appear that Supercell’s audience is enthusiastic about Clash of Clans as well. The video was released on December 23rd, and garnered 14 million views in its first week. Credits after the jump. Read more

Lorraine Bracco Brings Her Signature Rasp to Deutsch’s Holiday Netflix Spot

Lorraine Bracco (she of The Sopranos and Goodfellas fame, of course) lends her familiar voice to Deutsch LA’s new holiday spot for Netflix, and predictably, makes the ad work.

In the spot, “Tree Topper,” Bracco voices the part of the smiling porcelain tree topper that has been part of the McDermott family for 34 years. Through the tree topper we see the wild antics of the McDermott boys, as well as Christmas cooking failures and Uncle Luther’s fake snow. Despite the occasional difficulties living with the McDermott family, Bracco’s tree topper enjoys when the family curls up to enjoy watching something on Netflix.

It’s not the most original of concepts, but Bracco makes it work. Her voice is not only recognizable, but dramatic and expressive. This helps make the idea of a sentient tree topper seem less ridiculous, and even imbues the character with emotion and personality. It helps make the spot not seem overly sentimental, and her delivery of the spots’ final line really brings out just the right amount of curmudgeon from Bracco’s character. While celebrity voice acting is so often an afterthought used as an easy cash-in, Deutsch LA hits the mark by casting Bracco for “Tree Topper.” Hopefully other agencies are taking notes. Credits after the jump. Read more

Draftfcb LA Continues Full-Court Press for Nabi

Just two weeks ago, we were covering the first wave of Nabi spots from Draftfcb, a pair of 30-second ads that favorably compared kid-friendly Nabi tablets to Kindle devices a la Microsoft vs. Apple. Our Erik Oster found them to be informational and appealing. However, these two new spots, “Fear Not Question” and “Swagger,” drop the comparison technique for an unconvincing plea for Nabi to be a lifestyle brand.

“Fear No Question” presents the Nabi brand as classroom-friendly, going right after a parent’s sense of idealistic learning, so in turn, that parent will go right for his/her wallet. It’s a boring and safe play that may have worked out if Draftfcb hadn’t already launched the Kindle attacks that are much more memorable.

“Swagger” goes straight after the kids. Promoting Nabi headphones – think Beats for kids – the spot shows a little kid walking down a school hallway in slow-motion as he gives headnods to his friends and long stares to the girl he probably has a crush on. This is more Fubu than Fuhu. This is also just a bad commercial, corny and overdone, even for a children’s market. The tagline of “Everyone Needs a Theme Song” actually has a nice ring to it, but the visual execution is too silly. The clip almost plays like a mocking comedy skit of itself.

At 30 seconds, both ads are easy to watch and easy to forget. ”Swagger” and credits after the jump.

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‘Call of Duty’ Goes Domestic in UK Spot ‘Faboom’

Another day, another commercial from the Call of Duty: Ghosts marketing blitzkrieg. “Faboom,” a 40-second spot for UK audiences comes from 72andSunny and shows regular folk reenacting their favorite moments from the game at work, out to dinner, even in the doctor’s office during a proctology exam – well played, 72.

The spot comes a week after Eminem premiered his “Survival” music video that also acts as a Call of Duty promo. “Faboom” doesn’t have any white rappers – however, most of the people in the commercial happen to be white – but despite the lack of celebrity punch, the energy and occasional humor gives this ad a universal feel that should work whether televised or shown online. The clip evokes a bit of the Dave Chappelle skit about a real-life version of Grand Theft Auto. Clearly, the sentiment has aged well, and appealing to the human connection to video games, rather than just showing out-of-context graphics for 30 seconds, seems to be the new go-to technique for gaming ads. Call of Duty: Ghosts comes out September 5. Credits after the jump.

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Draftfcb LA Pushes Nabi in First Campaign as AOR for Fuhu

Draftcb has unveiled two new spots for the Nabi, its first campaign for Fuhu since becoming their agency of record in September.

Fuhu has done incredibly well for themselves with the Nabi, a soft-edged tablet designed for children, even being named “the fastest growing company in America” by Inc. There’s certainly no change in strategy from Draftcb for these two new spots. “Good Morning” and “Glow in the Dark” tout the Nabi’s kid-friendly features via comparison with the Kindle, which comes out looking sorely lacking in the kid-friendly department.

If you are going to buy your kids a tablet, I suppose it should be one that’s made for them, right? These spots do a good job extolling the Nabi as the perfect option for children. In “Good Morning” (featured above) that means talking about the Nabi’s “time controls” — in this case, a good morning song to wake up to. The Nabi does its thing before asking a silent Kindle what its good morning song is.

“Glow in the Dark,” meanwhile, highlights Nabi’s glow in the dark feature. No surprise there. Also not a surprise: the Kindle does not glow in the dark. Score: Nabi 2, Kindle 0. Plus, the Nabi just looks like something a kid would want to play with. So make that Nabi 3, Kindle 0.

We see plenty of these “direct comparison to our biggest competitor” ads with tech gadgets, but few seem to take the wind out of the competition the way these ads sucker punch the Kindle. At least for the Nabi’s target audience. If I were shopping around for a tablet for a child, this campaign would have me convinced that the Nabi is the way to go. Thankfully, I won’t find myself in that situation any time soon. Credits and “Glow in the Dark” after the jump.  Read more

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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Jell-O, CP+B Give Young Boy an Unfortunate Comb Over

Men with comb overs look hapless. Little boys with comb overs look creepy. To see the difference, please watch the latest Jell-O television spot, appropriately titled “Comb Over.”

In the forty-five-second ad built by CP+B, a balding father whose depressing life resembles a deflated balloon schools his son on the importance of the little things, like a cup of Jell-O pudding. In turn, we see some surreal daydream where the son, still about six years old, goes through a day in the father’s life, only now he has a giant cone head and a comb over. If you ever wanted to know what the male offspring of Lord Voldemort and Francis Dolarhyde (Manhunter version, not Red Dragon) would look like, here you go. Is that not the definition of creepy, a little boy who somehow resembles two fictional psychopaths all because of a comb over? Still, the commercial’s surrealist twist manages to make it stand out in an otherwise standard concept. It’s almost sweet, if not for the whole hapless/depressing/pitying reaction that comes along with comb overs.

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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Lesson Never Learned: Jack Link’s Once Again Sullies Up to Sasquatch

It’s been almost a year since we last covered Jack Link’s and their Sasquatch antihero, but everyone’s favorite ugly creature is back to sell some beef jerky and beat up anyone who messes with him (it). Minneapolis-based agency Carmichael Lynch has produced three new spots for the campaign, all of which were once again directed by Rocky Morton.

In the above commercial – “All Dolled Up” – three fools try to get their kicks by putting makeup on Sasquatch. He responds by flipping their car and possibly killing them, because, well,  Sasquatch doesn’t wear lipstick. The ads tap into the creature’s vaguely redneck brand appeal with foggy rural settings and the fact that the product is beef jerky. If I learned anything here, it’s to avoid Jack Link’s beef jerky, because eating it will lead to serious personal injury and an upset Sasquatch. Two more clips and the credits after the jump.

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