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Posts Tagged ‘Lizzie Schwartz’

OKRP Holds Pet Focus Group for Big Lots

Chicago-based agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has a new campaign for Big Lots, promoting its pet food and merchandise offerings with a focus group for pets.

Instead of writing a scripted ad, the agency got a group of pets together for “Pet Focus Group,” a digital video series. The videos feature moderators treating the group of pets like a focus group, with actors asking questions about Big Lots products and interacting with dogs, cats, and other pets. O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul chose to cast improvisational actors to interact with the pets, under the assumption that the animals would create funny situations on their own.

“We realized that instead of scripting this, it would be so much more fun to let pets be pets, and get really good improvisers to react in real time to whatever those animals are doing,” explains Sue Gillan, creative director at OKRP. And because you have these human facilitators in the room with the pets, they get to do the heavy lifting around uncovering the quality of the products without the event feeling commercialized. The result feels like a genuine discovery of the products.”

Stick around for “Cats Only” and “Pets with Style.” Read more

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Grey Asks ‘Why Are Women Always Apologizing?’ for Pantene

Last year, Pantene made waves with their “Labels” ad from BBDO Guerrero in Manila, which explored how men and women are labeled differently for the same behavior. “Labels” gained over 46 million views and plenty of attention outside its home country of the Philippines. Now, Grey has issued a new campaign that acts as something of a spiritual successor for the brand, which continues to explore gender norms. This time, Grey asks, “Why are women always apologizing?” which appears onscreen during the spots’ opening moments to prepare viewers for what’s to come.

Viewers are presented with women apologizing in a variety of scenarios, starting with a woman at work diminishing her own argument by asking, “Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?” Another woman apologizes when a man sits down next to her and encroaches on her space; a mother apologizes for handing off her baby to the father when he returns home from work; a woman says “Sorry, you go first” when a man interrupts her. Following these scenarios a new message appears on screen: “Don’t be sorry. Be strong and shine.” The ad then doubles back on the women from the initial scenarios, who are now presented as assertive and unapologetic. Unfortunately, the message is compromised when several of the women say “Sorry not sorry,” which is still sort of an apology. Maybe Grey just wanted to jump on the bandwagon of the popular hashtag (and Naya Rivera song) or prove that Pantene is hip to Internet culture, but it seriously undermines the impact of “Not Sorry.”

As Adweek reports, Pantene is supporting the campaign with the Shine Strong Fund, “which seeks to educate and enable women to overcome bias and societal expectations as well as celebrate strong women.” The Shine Strong Fund will collaborate with the American Association of University Women, to underwrite monetary grants and help women in college gain access to influential leaders. It’s a nice initiative, and a good way for Pantene to really get behind their recent campaigns. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Evolve Asks Gun Owners Not to Be Dumbasses

Today, Saatchi & Saatchi New York is launching the first ever campaign for the gun responsibility organization Evolve, encouraging people to take personal responsibility for gun safety and generally not be dumbasses.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s pro-bono campaign features a short, satirical video called “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses.” The 1:40 video portrays Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures debating the language of the second amendment. Jefferson thinks the amendment runs a little long, and after much debate, convinces the rest of the council to remove the “as long as they aren’t being dumbasses about it” part from the amendment. While the founding fathers are debating the matter, viewers are treated to a humorous montage of gun owners engaging in questionable practices, before Jefferson concludes it’s common sense that you shouldn’t act that way with a gun. The video ends with the founding fathers playing pinata with a gun, followed by the tagline, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be dumbass” and a message prompting viewers to go to takeonthecode.com and sign the code of gun responsibility.

Evolve co-founder Rebecca Bond hopes that “Humor can be a gateway to taking away the defensiveness that is the legacy of these discussions.” Joe Bond, also an Evovle co-founder, added, “We want the ‘Dumbass’ concept to catch on in popular culture the way ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ did for safe driving.”

Since it’s rare to find people discussing guns without getting hysterical about it, Saatchi & Saatchi’s employment of dumb humor is somewhat refreshing. But will it really chip away at the defensiveness that gun rights activists feel when discussing anything related to guns? Or are they more likely to take offense at the video depicting gun owners, and even founding fathers, as dumbasses? Unfortunately, I doubt the video will convince many viewers to “take on the code,” because even though Evolve professes to be a “third voice” in the gun debate without political affiliation, gun rights activists will still likely view the video’s satire as an attack on them. Meanwhile, the video will appeal to plenty of gun reform proponents — people who don’t need any convincing on the importance of gun safety, and mostly don’t own guns (and therefore have no need to take Evolve’s pledge). That’s too bad, because Evolve’s responsibility code is really just common sense and something any gun owner should be able to get behind — which makes this feel like a missed opportunity. Credits after the jump.

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Grey New York, Downy Tell a T-Shirt Love Story

We all have an extra soft, hol(e)y shirt that fits perfectly, whether it’s an oversized sleepshirt once worn by a parent, an old boyfriend’s flannel, or an embarrassing Greenday tour T. In their new spot, Downy celebrates the journey of one such garment: it’s a treasured piece of memorabilia for our protagonist, a witness during a heated make-out sesh, a comfort for his pregnant wife, and finally a dress on his young daughter. It lasts through all these phases of his life, because “Downy helps protect the clothes you love.”

It’s a sweet spot, backed by a cover of Alphaville’s Forever Young. Hopefully they make this a series, telling the stories of the dirt-stained jersey you now wear to the beach with the fam, or the tattered sweatshirt that’s now one square in a grandchild’s quilt. It’s hard to go wrong with an idyllic tale of growing up, especially when the story evokes the soothing smell of laundry soap.

Credits after the jump.

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Jared Hess Brings More Dry Humor to Hefty

Maybe I’m jaded because it’s both raining and hot in New York this morning, but Hefty’s Foam Plates commercial didn’t inspire me to even think of giggling. Okay fine, maybe I smiled when Gary the Knight laughs like a maniac at Amar, the stained centaur at the renaissance fair. But all in all, this ad seems disjointed and flat.

Those who loved Napoleon Dynamite should get a kick out of it, though, since the spot was directed by Jared Hess, the man behind that movie’s dry humor and who previously gave us “Rager” and other adverts for Hefty. If you’re stoked on hearing the word “quesadilla” mispronounced and watching two lovebirds hit a tetherball back and forth, you might also like Hefty’s sad centaur and his elfish admirer. But if you found Napoleon Dynamite slow and boring, prepare to feel completely disenchanted by this renaissance fair.

Update: We’ve been told by those in the know that the ad is more a dig at the Society for Creative Anachronism than the Renaissance Fair community.

Credits after the jump.

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CP+B Brings Chef Expertise, Fast Food Together for Applebee’s

Applebee’s is separating themselves from the “good ole American” aesthetic. With their new “See You Tomorrow” campaign created by CP+B, they’re emphasizing fresh food, exciting ingredients, and unexpected taste combinations. That means 1,900 restaurants across America are about to become more interesting.

The first two TV spots directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) launch today and feature passionate chefs who fawn over ripe tomatoes and refreshingly acidic lemons. The ad narrator cuts them off before they take their speeches too far, switching to a typical fast food ad. It’s the restaurant equivalent of a high speed car chase—food falls onto pans in quick succession, sizzles on a grill, and then finally comes together on a steaming plate. The two halves of these spots come together to mark Applebee’s transition. They’re putting more consideration into quality ingredients, but they’re still serving affordable fast food.

This campaign also includes online, radio, outdoor ads and in-store elements, highlighting the “fresh flavors of summer.”

Credits and second spot after the jump.

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Wes Anderson Brings His ‘World’ to Sony

…And while we’re on the topic of McCann, we’ll refrain from using the word “quirky” this time around as we’ve learned our lesson after the last Wes Anderson/spot-related post. So, we’ll just tell you that the feature-film director is once again dabbling in commercials, this time for a new Sony Xperia campaign brought to you by, yes, McCann Worldgroup.

Here, an eight-year-old named Jake Ryan offers his take on the inner workings of the brand’s smartphone, which from his perspective, operates at the whims of a leader and his three tiny robots. The whimsical (wait, can we say that?) ditty channels the spirit of Willy Wonka and takes us inside the mind of a young lad, as we’ve been told the script is based verbatim on his thoughts. Kids informing major brand campaigns is all the rage these days, isn’t it? At least we give credit to the parties involved for tapping Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi to handle the music portion.

The above TV spot, which will debut this weekend, is complemented by a print campaign that’s already launched in European markets but will soon roll out globally. Credits and print asset after the jump.

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Wes Anderson Brings the Quirk Factor to the Hyundai Azera

Did you know that it’s already been five years since Wes Anderson‘s last live-action feature, The Darjeeling Limited? Before Anderson’s new movie, Moonrise Kingdom, hits theaters in May, the cinematic master of quirkiness is taking a turn behind the camera for the new Hyundai Azera. Excluding a starring role in American Express’ “My Life, My Card” campaign four years ago, this marks Anderson’s first time doing commercial directing since shooting six spots for AT&T’s “Your Seamless World” campaign in 2007.

Collaborating with Innocean Worldwide and Moxie Pictures, Anderson’s first of two spots for Hyundai, “Modern Life,” finds a suburban mother hiding in her Azera in order to momentarily escape from her quirky family and their quirky household. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the mother’s actions would count as either spousal abuse or child neglect should her husband discover her deceptive, evasive tactics.

The second spot, “Talk to My Car,” finds a slightly happier family traveling through a number of Anderson-esque retro environments with the help of a morphing Azera. If anything, it makes you wonder whether or not the director would be open to helming a remake of Inspector Gadget anytime soon with Adrien Brody in the title role, Jason Schwartzman as Penny (by default), Owen Wilson as Brain the Dog and Bill Murray as Dr. Claw. If you can cast this hypothetical movie better, please do so in the comments. Credits after the jump.

Update: We would like to note that the Moxie camp takes issue with AgencySpy’s use of the term “quirk” in describing Mr. Anderson’s work. Rather, they would like us to use the term “His World” when describing Mr. Anderson’s quirky quirkiness.

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Some Nerds Rap About Snapple

The 80′s sure were a fun time for rap music. No one had to worry about hardcore gangstas bustin’ caps in our respective asses, and gold chains, Adidas shoes sans laces and a ghetto blasters on shoulders were national symbols of musical innovation and style.

Moxie Pictures director Tim Skousen undoubtedly remembers those times, and in his “Extraordinary Music Video” for Snapple and agency Deutsch, LA, he gives an obvious tip of the black fedora to the genre’s innovators, Run D.M.C. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen nerds rapping getting passed off as a viable marketing strategy. But, Snapple’s always been one to take some silly ideas and bring them to a strange level of absurdity.

Before you think, “Whatever, this is stupid,” realize that since this video landed on YouTube last week, its racked up nearly 400,000 views. With a silly enough song, enough bright colors and enough over-sized products, viral happens, even in parody. It knows its stupid, and that makes it just stupid enough to work. Credits after the jump…

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