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Posts Tagged ‘Mackenzie Cutler’

ESPN, W+K Enlist NFL Stars for Their Fantasy League

ESPN and the NFL have reminded us several times over the past week that the football season is about to begin with help from Wieden + Kennedy New York.

In the latest pigskin-flavored spot to promote SportsCenter, the network plays on familiar fantasy football tropes, twisting the narrative 180 degrees with a bit of help from Victor Cruz of the Giants, Jimmy Graham of the Saints and a few other league employees:

After learning that the U.S. military doesn’t really use “Call of Duty” to train soldiers, we’re a little skeptical when it comes to football stars participating in fantasy leagues.

But the image is too amusing to discard, so we’ll stick with it.

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The Martin Agency Brings Back Jordan for Hanes

Michael Jordan is back (this time, thankfully, sans Hitler mustache) for Hanes in a new spot by The Martin Agency.

The 30-second spot is Jordan’s first appearance in a Hanes television commercial since 2010, and also marks his 25th year as Hanes spokesperson. In the spot, entitled, “Golf Test,” Jordan mocks his partner’s truly awful golf game. “Golf Test” promotes Hanes’ X-Temp t-shirts and briefs, which “speeds evaporation to help keep you cool and dry,” preventing such conditions as swamp ass, marsh balls, raw taint and pit stains. The spot handles the “bad golf” approach well enough, although by now it’s become a routine schtick in ads and feels a bit tired. Still, all anyone will talk about is the return of Jordan, and it’s good to see him back.

The campaign also features a digital video series created by agency 360i that features Vine-sensation Logan Paul traveling around the country attempting dares (supposedly) proposed by fans. We’ve included the teaser for that initiative, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Bryce Harper Gets Emotional in W+K NY’s Latest ‘This is SportsCenter’ Spot

W+K New York tapped young Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper for their latest “This is SportsCenter” spot for ESPN, choosing to go an unexpected route with the outfielder.

In the 30-second spot, Harper sits in an office watching Field of Dreams with SportsCenter host Hannah Storm. During the movie’s concluding scene, both Harper and Storm get emotional. When Harper leaves to call his dad, he passes hosts John Anderson and Bram Weinstein in the hallway, who remark on Harper’s intimidating eye black — although by now viewers know better. It follows in the successful “This is SportsCenter” formula of toying with a star athlete’s perceived persona, and while it doesn’t add anything new to the approach it feels like a welcome addition, especially with the All-Star Game right around the corner. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K’s New ‘This is Sportscenter’ Ad Showcases Big Game Mascot Rivalry

More from W+K, as W+K New York have unveiled their latest “This is Sportscenter” offering.

The 30 second spot, “Long Week,” celebrates Super Bowl XLVIII with a fun look at the rivalry between Denver Broncos’ mascot Miles and Seattle Seahawks’ mascot Blitz. Set in an elevator on ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus, the spot stars SportsCenter hosts Jay Crawford and Steve Levy, who witness a tense, awkward exchange between the rival mascots. Credit has to go to director Jim Jenkins and the guys playing the mascots for perfect comedic timing. At the end of the spot, Everett and Levy reveal that the two mascots have been engaging in such behavior all week. Hopefully Miles and Blitz don’t kill each other before the big game.

The timely “Long Week” is designed to promote ESPN’s weeklong coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, which began yesterday with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicking off 115 hours of TV and radio programming from New York City. ESPN’s programming originates from their Herald Square and Times Square Studios all week, up until Superbowl Sunday. Keep an eye out for “Long Week” during that coverage. Credits after the jump. Read more

Snickers Plays What-If in Two New Commercials

To promote Snickers Bites, BBDO New York went retro. Bites give hungry customers a bag full of tiny pieces of Snickers bars, a pretty big switch for the consistent candymaker. But what if Snickers had thought of the idea decades ago?

There are two spots, “Intercom” and “Leisure Suit,” that attempt to answer the question, showing goofy scenarios dated to the 70s about follies that prevented Snickers employees from making Bites many years ago. “Intercom” is clearly the better of the two, as a forgetful man with some vague decision-making responsibilities at the company tries to tell his secretary to remind him to create Bites. Unfortunately, there’s static, which the secretary blames on the Soviet Union. “Leisure Suit” is little more than 30 seconds of lazy guys in afros pretending to be stoned. There’s no reason for the laziness, and the jokes are dumb. However, the premise does lend itself to future self-contained episodes, so BBDO can always take a mulligan and create some better spots in the future. ”Leisure Suit” and 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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Stephen Curry Bests James Harden with Soulful Diss Track for Foot Locker

Here’s an update on the James Harden/Stephen Curry commercial-pretending-to-be-a-music-video we covered last week: while Harden may have uncorked his vocal cords first, Curry is back with an unsavory r&b diss track that has more blues than rhythm. Foot Locker and BBDO New York seem to be having some fun with this one, right down to the purposefully low-budget video effects. I’m not sure whose voice is worse, but both of them are really, really bad singers, and that makes this campaign all the better. A little tea with honey for next time, guys? Anyway, grab some earplugs and listen up.

Credits after the jump.

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James Harden Can Act for Foot Locker, But He Definitely Can’t Sing

Not only should you fear James Harden‘s beard, but now you should fear his voice, too. There’s a long history of athletes who want to be rappers/singers, and that history stars and ends with this awesomely terrible Deion Sanders single from 1994. Luckily, Harden’s leap into the music industry is all in good fun on behalf of Foot Locker. BBDO New York has been pumping out quality NBA-related spots for the brand in the past, and “Harden Soul” is no different. It’s crisp, funny, and capable of appreciating the offbeat moment of humor.

Basketball fans may also recognize sharpshooter Stephen Curry as the voice of reason, begging Harden to give up the strain on his vocal cords. But, as Harden says, “I just had the best year of my career, I gotta keep things fresh.” For those interested in things that are kept extra fresh, Foot Locker also released a full version of “Harden Soul” on Youtube (you can listen after the jump). Watch out for the lyrical genius of lines like, “I wear my shirt open/so you see my chest…I keep my stock open/so you can invest.” Almost worthy of a Grammy.

Credits after the jump.

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Blake Griffin Might Be a Product-Endorsing Robot

BBDO New York and Foot Locker know that Clippers forward/dunker Blake Griffin is a commercial machine – Subway, Kia, Jordan Brand to rattle off a few quickly. So for their latest joint venture, “The Endorser,” the creatives decided to physically hook up Griffin to a machine called The Endorser as if he were programmed to place products. For some Lob City support, Clippers point guard/whiner Chris Paul steps in as a foil to turn off the machine and show us the difference between Real Blake and Robot Blake.

The spot is another smart and self-aware sports bit that takes advantage of an athlete’s public persona through subversion. Griffin is usually stone-faced or arrogantly posturing on the court after huge dunks, but he’s built up a quiet niche as a funnyman on television. Just see this Grantland piece from March that discusses why Blake’s comedy is more complex than you might think. The only issue with Blake is overexposure, like, when his sponsorship brands debut separate commercials within the same week. His Jordan “Blake and Drain” spot, which alludes to MJ and Spike Lee ads from twenty years ago, is even better than the Footlocker commercial. And for that reason, “The Endorser” might get lost in the ever-expanding Blake Griffin commercial merry-go-round. Credits after the jump.

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DirecTV Chronicles the Consequences of Cable

From the minds behind the AgencySpy Hall and Oates tribute, Grey NY, come three new spots for DirecTV.

Fans of miniature fauna might be initially disappointed by a lack of tiny giraffes, but viewers will no doubt gain invaluable knowledge after watching any of these three ads. So, frustration with cable could eventually lead to being beaten by three less-than-reputable characters and left to die in a roadside ditch? Well, if you lose an eye after a racquetball takes a bad bounce, the rest certainly seems plausible. Lesson learned.

If you’ve ever seen a baby looking as though he or she is about to attend a Judas Priest concert, you know that something has probably gone awry in that poor child’s family. No grandparent wants to see their grandchild in a dog collar, do they? Hey, if this spot doesn’t convince people to switch to satellite, at least it can make some parents second-guess their child’s manner of dress. Credits, and a warning about taking in stray animals, follow after the jump.

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