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Posts Tagged ‘Joey Serlin’

In john st.’s World, Fear is Key to Great Brand Experiences

WPP-owned, Toronto-based john st. continues in its great annual tradition of taking the piss out of the industry as part of its pitch for Strategy‘s Agency of the Year awards (we covered fellow Toronto agency Lowe Roche’s entry earlier today). In its follow-up to last year’s introduction of a “professional clicking service” called Buyral, john st. gets more aggressive, scaring the bejeezus out of total strangers (well, at least let’s play along) as part of the a new marketing strategy that the agency’s christened “exFEARiential.”

It’s just as absurd/amusing, if not more so, than previous john st. AOY videos including Buyral as well as predecessors, Catvertising and Pink Ponies. It looks like we aren’t the only ones that get a kick out of “exFEARiential” as it picked up Best Agency Video at the Strategy awards, where john st. also took home gold for Agency of the Year and bronze for Digital Agency of the Year. FYI, if you stick around til the end of the clip, you can click on separate videos of the stress tests featured above (or if you’re just unwilling to wait, go here and here). Credits after the jump.

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John st. Pom-Poms Earth Hour

We’ve covered past john st. efforts, original campaigns that are usually quirky and honest without forcing the issue. The Toront-based agency’s newest fare, “Earth Hour Cheerspiration,” comes on the heels of a WPP takeover. And even though it’s too early to thumb the corporate acquisition for a change in creativity, ”Cheerspiration,” as you can see in the above video, lacks the off-beat humor we’ve come to expect from john st.

The spot is meant to promote Earth Hour for WWF Canada, when those interested will conserve energy by shutting off all lights for one hour on the night of March 23 (for reference, check out this previous Earth Hour work from TVF and Hot Chip). Associating the unwavering pep of five loud cheerleaders with an important cause seems misguided at best, especially since it’s not easy to understand their hollering and, well, they’re cheerleaders. They’re stereotypically dumb–not saying that’s true–and only likable to jocks and teenage girls who thought Bring It On was a great movie. Not sure what the connection is to Earth Hour–maybe there is no connection? But if that’s the case, then why?

Dare I say it…even couchgating was more entertaining, and that’s been my gold standard of witless advertising. Here’s to hoping for better work next time, john st. Two more “Cheerspiration” spots and credits after the jump.

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Out with the New, In with the Old for National Sweater Day

Turn up those hearing aids…Toronto agency john st. has brought back its Granny-themed National Sweater Day campaign for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Ruth, Florence, Audrey, and a few other lovely ladies from Granny Call Centre 82.0 are back to convince Canadians to wear sweaters and lower the heater on Feb. 7 in an effort to save energy. You should check out the campaign’s site to meet all the grannies and read background info for the cause. You also have the option of nominating your own grandmother if she’s into ugly sweaters and environmental awareness.

The aforementioned john st. which recently amused us with its “Buyral” spoof, tapped into the secret of advertising for this one: Either cute babies or charming grandparents equals success. The only thing missing from the videos is a cutaway to cute babies in ugly sweaters. That would’ve been the equivalent of back-to-back Bingo’s in the nursing home. But the National Sweater Day campaign is still a smart revival for a good cause. Betty White better watch her back. Credits after the jump.

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