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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hunter’

Friday Morning Stir

-Parents talk about back-to-school for Canadian Tire (video above). link

-Y&R, VML create talking water fountain for Drink Up initiative. link

-Former content strategy leader at J. Walter Thompson and Hill Holliday, director of branded content at Condé Nast becomes Travel + Leisure‘s new editor. link

-The Samsung Note ad featuring designer Mark Hunter accused of sexism has been removed from YouTube. link

-Avoid these seven sins of social media marketing. link

-Abercrombie & Fitch is dropping the logo from its clothing. link

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And Now, a First Kiss That Smells Like Doritos from Taco Bell

We all remember our awkward first kiss stories, full of nervousness and rapid heartbeats. Based on “First Kiss,” the new 30-second ad in the Taco Bell Live Mas campaign that came through the tips line, we can now add sticky fingers and spicy breath to the list of uncomfortable descriptors.

Mixing Doritos Locos Tacos and kisses may not seem like the best idea, but this spot might strike the right cord for those who value some teenage sentimentality and John Hughes movies. Associating Taco Bell with cuteness is a tough trick to pull off, you know, with the greasy smells and penchant for attracting drunk college guys as a significant customer base, but Deutsch LA and director Zach Math found a way to pull it off. Taco Bell seems to have tapped the right nerve with Doritos Locos Tacos: the product helped create 15,000 new jobs. Maybe the company can use the profits to provide complimentary mouthwash with any purchase, so young lovers who want to make out in Taco Bell parking lots can have pleasant memories.

Credits after the jump.

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We Hear: Hunter Out at Deutsch LA?

Multiple reliable sources have been telling us over the last few hours that Mark Hunter, who assumed the chief creative officer post at Deutsch LA at the end of 2010, has been let go from the agency. We’ve inquired a couple of times for official word, have yet to hear back, but sources say this move happened as of this morning, is “100% legit” and was made at Deutsch’s request.

Hunter, who essentially replaced Eric Hirshberg after the latter quit Deutsch L.A. to join Activision, headed to the former after spending time as ECD at TBWA/London. During his career, the senior creative also worked at the likes W+K Amsterdam on Nike as well as Euro RSCG. While at Deutsch, as one would imagine, Hunter has overseen all notable creative for past and present clients including VW and PlayStation (we believe you know quite a few, lest we run it down). We’ll update, of course, if and when we hear more.

VW Teaches Your Son How to Throw a Baseball

It’s coming up on two years since VW and Deutsch LA’s beloved “The Force” aka “Little Darth” spot captured the hearts of America during Super Bowl XLV. While most agree that “Little Darth” was worthy of the acclaim and awards bestowed upon it, the VW/Duetsch duo has had a difficult time following it up. Last year’s “The Dog Strikes Back” fell well short of its predecessor, and perhaps this is due to an erroneous insight into what the public loved about “Little Darth.”

Yes, the Star Wars tie-in to “Little Darth” was great, but it wasn’t the reason the spot became one of the web’s biggest hits. “The Dog Strikes Back” also had a pretty blatant nod to Star Wars as well, but the spirit of “Little Darth” was lost, and the spot became more of a sequel than a standalone ad. The real reason the public loved “Little Darth” so much was because it was just so damn adorable, and judging by the above new spot for the VW Passat, this insight is now crystal clear.

What we have here is a great (and simple) slice-o-life spot, with an absolutely perfectly timed punchline that will make you giggle and then give a long “awwww.” It’s a bit surprising that VW didn’t hold the spot until this year’s Super Bowl, but I’m quite excited for what Deutsch has planned next. Credits after the jump.

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Dr. Pepper, Deutsch LA Continue Advocating Individuality, Now with Slice of Life Approach

Alas, there are no “T-shirt uniforms” to hammer home the message of individuality in this latest Dr. Pepper campaign from Deutsch LA, which is now eschewing grandiose productions and blockbuster cross-promotions to instead focus on real people, real stories. The above spot, dubbed “One in a Billion” (title track courtesy of the Vinyl Hearts), should give you the basic gist of how the agency’s ongoing “Always One of a Kind” campaign for the soda brand is evolving.

The heartwarming, human interest angle is one that’s been tread on aplenty, but it’s a somewhat interesting detour considering that at the end of the day, all agency and client are doing are selling soda. Will it take this year? Who knows, but in the meantime, check out out two specific stories, one focusing on a model-turned-boxer and the other a mother of five/roller derby queen along with credits after the jump.

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PlayStation Vita Brings ‘Assassin’s Creed’ to Life on the Subway

From Deutsch LA comes the above spot for PlayStation Vita, Sony’s latest portable gaming console that, at the lofty price tag of $250, is selling slower than Dreamcast, Sega’s final console before it dropped out of the console-making business completely.

Yes, PlayStation’s pricing model has gotten itself in some financial trouble over the last few years. While PlayStation built up its reputation for having the best video game titles and competitive technology since the release of its first console in 1995, the company got a little greedy with the release of PS3 and PlayStation Vita. Both of these systems are what most gaming experts would agree are the most technologically capable in their respective console categories, but six years after its release, Sony is still refusing to drop the price on the PS3 under $250. Meanwhile, in spite of the Vita’s sluggish sales since it debuted on the international market earlier this year, Sony is still not dropping its price tag. For you to truly understand the above spot for the Assassin’s Creed 3 bundle pack for Vita, you need to understand the position that Deutsch is in.

Unlike the campaign for the PSP, PlayStation’s earlier handheld platform that was marketed to casual gamers, Deutsch is aiming to hit the video game fanatics that are willing to shell out $250 in exchange for constant stimulation at all times. Look at it this way, thieves are probably more likely to rob iPhones on the subway these days instead of foreign-looking, clunky devices. Add to that the promise of a violent murder during your morning commute, and perhaps Sony can move some Vitas during the holiday season without lowering the price. Credits after the jump.

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California Milk Showers With a Cow

As a Wisconsin man, the “Happy Cows Come From California” campaign has always irked me. What, California, are you suggesting OUR cows aren’t happy? Sure, they might be a little fatter, a little more lethargic, and may or may not experience what some would deem “alcoholism,” but does that mean they’re sad? NO! At least they aren’t smug little overly vain California cows, with their hybrid cars and over-sized sunglasses.

Well, apparently no one else believed this silly “happiness” claim, as the California Milk Advisory Board seems to have dropped their completely untrue tagline in this new spot from Deutsch LA. Instead, the CMAB cares not about cows’ feelings, but rather focuses on how a cow and its milk function as part of your nuclear family. As we can see, cows enjoy singing off-key renditions of Cher Lloyd’s “Swagger Jagger” under the helm of director Fred “Kevin from The Wonder Years” Savage. Yes, it’s a bit more in-your-face that Deutsch’s introduction to the “Make Up Part of Your Family” campaign. But, if there’s one way to convince your Californian family to drink milk, you might as well do it with shrill noises that your kids will absolutely love. Credits after the jump.

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California Cows Join the Modern Family in Deutsch LA Spot

If you take the time and money to buy organic milk, you have a low-level fondness for cows. You hope they get to eat grass and see sunlight. Those who go to the farmer’s market and ask, “So, are these happy cows?” have a higher allegiance to the gentle beasts.

In their latest campaign, the California Milk Advisory Board wants dairy consumers to take the next step by inviting cows into their homes. “Make us part of your family,” they moo.

But actually they don’t moo. The cows in this campaign are talking California cows, and in the first TV spot, we’re introduced to a teenage gossip cow whose monologue is filled with words like “supes” and “bt-dubs” (meaning super and by the way, respectively). It’s hard to nail teen-talk without seeming contrived and stale, but this cow does a decent job. I’d have to consult my 14-year-old cousin to be sure, but I think this speech matches many middle-school convos. It should, considering the spot is directed by Fred Savage, Wonder Years star and now director and producer for shows like Hannah Montana and Modern Family.

The spot airs this week, accompanied by a making-of video. Though our commentator straddles the line between sensitive dad-type and creative director-stoner, the incredible mechanics he showcases make up for his dazed tone.

Credits and making-of after the jump.

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New Web App Will Make You Shocked, Disgusted by Celebrities’ Net Worth

Here’s a fact that will undoubtedly brighten your Monday morning: Tyler Perry is worth $350 million. Next time you consider your yearly salary, remember that “Madea” is actually a more profitable concept than any of your creative ideas combined. Yeah, congratulations.

From Deutsch LA comes HighRoll.az, a new website/app/online game that challenges your to take the over/under on celebrities’ net worth. It’s also a nice tool for putting your own life into perspective, a device for motivating you to pick up where you left off on that crime-thriller script collecting dust at the bottom of your desk drawer. (But, seriously, please don’t.) Apparently, Deutsch employees Mark Hunter, Winston Binch, and Vic Palumbo came up with HighRoll.az during an LA Kings where the trio spent time guessing how much celebs were worth. Then, an internal team of Hassan Elzein, Marcus Silva, Trevor O’Brien and Luis Aguiluz spent two weeks developing the app to allow the public to play along.

Of note: Tom Cruise, Hollywood’s highest-paid actor of 2012, is worth $250 million. This means Tyler Perry is still worth 40% more than Cruise. So, when weighing your next career move, remember that jumping on couches on national talk shows is not worth as much as dressing in drag. Play the game on your PC here, and try to beat my first round score of 57,500.

Volkswagen, Deutsch Race Cars Against Fast-Talkers, Rubik’s Cubes

To prove the speed of VW cars, Deutsch asks people who know the meaning of “fast” to co-star in their latest TV spots. Four YouTube sensations—a Rubik’s Cube wizard, a beatboxer, a speed reader, and a lightning-finger guitarist—accompany Eric Norris (son of Chuck) around a race track, aiming to complete tasks in their various skill sets before the VW cars complete a lap.

Granted, it’s far easier for a car to get around a track than for a vulnerable human to read the Gettysburg address while in said screeching, speeding car. The race might not have been very fair. But, these spots are still fun, and the quickness of the VWs is nothing to scoff at. Also, can we pause for a second to appreciate “speed cuber” Anthony Brooks, who can solve a Rubik’s cube with one hand (above)?! I can’t even look at a Rubik’s cube, knowing that as soon as I touch it I will be met with total frustration and humiliation.

Deutsch did well by choosing Internet-famous individuals with awesome, unusual talents. Their presence gives us the impression that VW cars aren’t just fast, they’re original and inventive, too.

Credits and more spots from the campaign after the jump.

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