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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Smith’

W+K, Maxwell House Shoot for Good, Not Great

In a world with Starbucks at every corner and small, fancy artisinal coffee shops sprouting up everywhere, it would be counterproductive for an instant coffee brand to try to compete. So W+K starts a different conversation for Maxwell House, asking, “Whatever happened to good?”

The new “Say Good Morning to a Good Day” campaign features a series of broadcast and web spots centering around an affable, middle-aged everyman (everydad?) who laments that with all the attention on phrases like “Awesome,” “Amazing,” and “That’s epic, bro!” people have forgotten about “good.” In the 30-second spot, he goes on to explain that good is “Swinging to get on base” or “choosing not to overshoot the moon, but instead to land right on it.” This all makes “good” seem pretty appealing, with the spot ending with the resurrected “Good to the Last Drop” tagline.

While some may question the choice of admitting your product isn’t “amazing,” the strategy makes sense for Maxwell House, whose coffee is, at best, “good enough,” and whose best bet is to convince the older generation that all the fuss over fancy coffee just isn’t worth it. W+K pull off the execution really well, making the “good” approach about as persuasive as it can be. Credits after the jump. Read more

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W+K Portland Explores ‘The 7 Wonders of Oregon’

W+K Portland has a new campaign for the Oregon Tourism Commison, extolling the virtues of their home state with a video called “The 7 Wonders of Oregon.”

The :60 anthem spot features all 7 “wonders of Oregon,” attempting to “inspire active travelers looking for authentic experiences” with Oregon’s natural landmarks. While Oregon’s natural beauty speaks for itself, the production of the spot was no small task. It was “carried out by a crew of 15 people shooting for 14 days straight and driving more than 3,000 miles across Oregon, often camping along the way.” All of the individuals involved were “Oregonians with a genuine passion for the wonders they are representing” and the spot is clearly a labor of love.

“This is some of the strongest work for Travel Oregon in our 25-year history of working together,” W+K chairman co-namesake Dan Wieden says, adding, “What I really like about the creative, aside from how beautiful Oregon looks, is it gives people a checklist of things to see and do.”

In addition to the anthem spot, the integrated campaign includes digital, social, search, public relations and consumer engagement elements. The latter includes “an influencer tour, targeted media outreach, a program to surprise and delight visitors, and a Facebook sweepstakes to drive visibility and fan acquisition.” In the social realm, visitors are invited to share their Oregon photos with the hashtag #traveloregon, with top picks on Travel Oregon content channels “to inspire others long after the paid media portion of the campaign concludes.” In a nice touch, the digital campaign includes not only trip inspiration, but also trip planning tools and resources such as itineraries, links to purchase plane tickets and special travel deals on TravelOregon.com. If I wasn’t already dying to get to the Pacific Northwest, this campaign would do a pretty good job convincing me that Oregon is a great travel destination. Stick around for credits after the jump and go here for more :30 efforts for the campaign. Read more

W+K, Oreo Relationship Concludes with ‘Super Important Test’

In case you were wondering, the domain name www.superimportanttest.com is no longer available, thanks to W+K and Oreo, who bring us, yes, a “Super Important Test,” which as we imagine was the intention is hardly a test. You have two options (cookie or cream) and you’re correct either way. Get it?

Super Important Test” marks not only the conclusion of W+K’s Oreo’s “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign that began with the buzzed-about “Whisper Fight” spot from the Super Bowl and the subsequent “Separator Machine” clips, but the relationship between W+K and the Mondelez brand itself. As you may know, Draftfcb and now the Martin Agency work primarily on the Oreo account.

Anyhow, W+K curated quite a bit of content for the website–more than 30 different videos may play after you click cookie or creme–but this type of limited platform really begs the question: What’s the point? How does this sort of advertising advance the OREO brand in any meaningful way? I’m asking a serious question, not just trying to be glib, so if there is an answer, please post a comment.

Virality for the sake of virality is turning into a common approach for most creatives, and a website full of 30 unrelated internet videos that may or may not be funny seems like a great way to waste an advertising budget. Oreo was never going to choose cookie over cream or vice versa, but it didn’t have to choose. This is a case of a clever idea that simply ran out of ingredients.

Stills and credits after the jump.

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Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Play Nothing But… Hole for Nike

After the Tiger Woods sex scandal broke, it was a bit surprising that Nike stayed loyal to the face of its golf line. But, by offering 23-year-old phenom Rory McIlroy a 10-year $250 million contract, is it possible that Tiger’s days may be waning? At the very least, Nike Golf is no longer dependent on the success of Woods to carry its brand for the next decade.

A new spot from W+K finds Tiger playing the “old guy,” challenging McIlroy to a chip shot contest reminiscent of McDonald’s classic Michaell Jordan/Larry BirdNothing but Net” campaign from the early 90s.  “No Cup is Safe” depicts Tiger as the wily veteran, with Rory as the new, young face of the PGA nipping at Woods’ heels. To be honest, it’s a bit uncomfortable to watch, as I’m sure it was for Tiger to shoot it. The sun may be setting all too soon on Tiger’s career, while Rory’s is just beginning. Perhaps Tiger offered some advice to Rory on set, some advice that no one bothered to give him 14 years ago when he was in the same situation as Rory is now.

It’s hard to see this spot as anything other than a “passing of the old guard,” which is probably what Nike asked for. It’s cute, but full of sadness and hope at the same time. Perhaps I’m making this a bigger deal than it actually is, but, as a fan of both athletes, it’s hard to imagine a world where these guys can coexist at the top of the professional golf ladder. Credits after the jump.

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Velveeta Reminds You to Eat Like that Guy at the Mall

While most general culture publications are using this week to run back-to-school features, The A.V. Club has been running a series about a much more influential part of the American experience–the mall. Reading it, it’s hard to not think about how my perspective of the local mall has changed over time. In middle school, I looked at the mall almost as an amusement park, a mini-EPCOT Center with different worlds mostly hidden behind showy storefronts. In high school, the mall became a place to kill time between minimum wage jobs, hoping to bump into your crush in the food-court during your 20-minute lunch break. In college, the mall became a place to avoid, a symbol of inflated consumerism and a reminder of how naive your worldview was in high school.

Now, I see the mall as an intimidatingly bizarre monolith, a place I feel horribly uncomfortable in whenever I’m forced to enter one for a quick errand. It’s hard to believe that a place where I spent an inordinate amount of time at 16 now seems so foreign. But, there are those people, who we’ll call “mall people,” that never change despite how much your perspective might. In fact, if I were to identify the polar opposite of myself among mall denizens, it would be the dude who works the remote-control helicopter kiosk. No one, not even the manager of the Gap, is more in his element than that guy. He’s the guy who gets free pretzels from Auntie Anne’s, dates that hot new girl who works at American Eagle, and the guy you hope will invite you to eat lunch at the cool table one day.

Well, W+K Portland is honoring that guy in a new TV campaign for Velveeta, “Eat Like That Guy You Know.” The guy in question here, who Bud Light would name “Mr. RC Helicopter Kiosk Employee,” has in my eyes gone from awesome to lame to actually kind of cool again as I grow up. Hey, he may not be pulling in six-figures, but he has the swagger of someone who pulls in seven.

On Kraft’s Velveeta website, visitors are encouraged to eat like many different archetypes they’re familiar with. Again, it has a “Real Men of Genius” vibe to it, but in classic Velveeta fashion, it’s just a little cheesier. Credits after the jump.

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Nike Unleashes a Horse on a Golf Course

The Nike 20XI: It’s a horse of a golf ball. Contrary to what this latest spot from W+K may look like, the ball is not actually black. So, if you’re a golfer (I’m not) and wondering what makes this ball so special, read the Golf.com review here and make up your own mind as to whether or not it’s blowing open the doors on golfing technology. As every golf accessory has claimed to do this since the game was invented, I’m guessing it’s not going to make much of a difference.

Now to this ad. Directed by Ellen Kuras, it definitely looks really cool. But, with Nike Golf’s biggest superstar still not quite back to form (despite an impressive showing at the Masters), instead of seeing a Tiger, we’re seeing a horse…a horse that runs around and destroys a golf course. That’s really all there is to it. The horse and the 20XI are one in the same, you see. They will destroy everything in their path. And, as we see in a spot called “Aftermath,” this doomsday device rolls just wide of the hole, leaving divots in its wake. Credits and “Aftermath” after the jump.

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