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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Downing’

Adams&Partners Launches First-Ever thinkThin Campaign

Newly-launched Venice,California-based agency Adams&Partners have debuted the first-ever campaign for thinkThin, which positions the “nutritionally balanced high protein bars” as something you don’t have to feel guilty about — unlike some other things.

The 30-second “Runner” takes this idea in a somewhat uncomfortable direction, with a group of women lecherously staring at a nearby guy on a morning run. When he passes them, he recognizes one of the women, saying, “Oh, hey Mrs. Adams. Hey, say ‘hi’ to Brian for me.” A voiceover follows, saying, “There are lots of things to feel guilty about. thinkThin isn’t one of them.” A second spot, “Text”also tackles mom guilt issues, but chooses a less uncomfortable target than staring at your son’s friend’s ass, which perhaps takes the approach a bit too far.

“We all have things that we feel guilty about,” explained Chris Adams, executive creative director at Adams&Partners. “This campaign is about laughing at the little things that make us feel guilty every day, while making the more serious point that eating thinkThin bars is something you should never have to feel guilty about.”

We’ve included “Text,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

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McKinney Sticks it to iPad, Kindle for Samsung Galaxy Pro

McKinney just launched a new campaign for Samsung’s Galaxy Pro series called “It Can Do That.” If that sounds a lot like Apple’s “There’s An App For That” 2009 campaign for the iPhone 3G, Samsung would probably welcome the comparison. Their 60-second television spot takes on Samsung’s competitors in a very direct way.

The first spot in the campaign — also called “It Can Do That” — showcases the Galaxy Pro’s multi-functional capabilities, while disgruntled users of the iPad and Kindle ask “It can do that?” They also take on a Microsoft Surface user, making fun of the fact that his “tablet” has a keyboard, battery dock and mouse. The spot concludes with the tagline, “The Next Big Thing Is Here.” While the approach borders on being a little smarmy and self-satisfied, it certainly does make the competition look bad by pointing out situations where Samsung’s product can do things that their competitors just can’t. You just have to wonder, and this always seems to be the problem with this kind of approach, if they could have pulled this off without making Samsung users seem kind of mean about it. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

DDB Canada’s Netflix ‘Pep Talk’ Falls Flat

While Netflix is absolutely everywhere in the US, the streaming service has had some trouble catching on in Canada, where “research showed that Canadians struggled to see the value in the service.” So how do you get Canadians to like something? Hockey, definitely hockey.

So, DDB Canada Vancouver whipped up (and it does feel whipped up) a locker room spot for the new Canadian brand campaign entitled “Pep Talk,” in which a coach tells his players to “remember that scene from that movie on Netflix” where “the coach…gave that speech…well that, gentleman, is what I am saying!” rather than provide a speech of his own. The whole thing is reminiscent of a Simpsons joke from the 1992 episode “Homer at the Bat” in which Mr. Burns tells his softball team, “So I want you to remember some inspiring words that someone else might have told you over the course of your lives, and go out there and win!” But, you know, a lot less funny.

The idea was to show “how stories you can find on Netflix stay with you anywhere, anytime.” It would have helped to create an ad that stuck with you, instead of one this forgettable. Credits after the jump. Read more

David&Goliath Crafts New ‘Beautifully Simple’ Campaign for VIZIO

LA-based agency David&Goliath has crafted a new campaign promoting VIZIO’s M-Series Smart TV and VIZIO Sound Bar, complete with the new tagline, “Beautifully Simple.”

The TV campaign contains three new spots: “So Easy,” “My Station” and “Tiny Dancer.” Each of these was directed by Michael Downing, with cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi (who has worked on Silver Linings Playbook and Babel). Together, the spots form a kind of narrative, beginning with “So Easy” (featured above). This spot, and the campaign as a whole, play on the fact that children often understand new technology better than their parents. In “So Easy” a young girl helps her dad through problems with his laptop and smartphone. The father then jumps at the opportunity to help his daughter pick a program on VIZIO’s M-Series Smart TV. A cute idea, that is unfortunately followed by the theme-line ”So easy, even an adult can figure it out.” This wouldn’t be a problem, if it wasn’t for the fact that Geico ruined the lines “So easy, even a…” for everyone, forever.

The next spot, “My Station,” is probably my favorite of the bunch, featuring the dad discovering his daughter’s Pandora station. “Tiny Dancer” concludes the series by upping the cute factor, as well as the father’s competence with the M-Series Smart TV. David&Goliath’s approach of creating a series of ads meant to be viewed in a certain order is interesting, and they pull it off by making each of them able to stand alone as well. I just wish they’d get rid of that theme-line.

Clearly targeted at dads, the campaign will run through the college football season on ESPN’s networks and Hulu into early 2014. Stay tuned for the final two spots, as well as credits, after the jump.  Read more

Samsung Galaxy S4: Great for Confused, Tired Young Dads

Sure, 72andSunny and Samsung have had some fun comparing the latter’s smartphones to Apple’s in recent years, but in the last several months, it seems like the brand’s finally getting over their complex and showcasing the product line on its own. First, they highlighted the Galaxy S4 with a graduation-centered campaign. Now, they’re showcasing new features for Father’s Day with “hip dads in action.”

In “Swaddle Master,” a befuddled father learns the tricks of the swaddling trade via Smart Pause YouTube. With “Quick Snooze” (below), meanwhile, the same cardigan-wearing dad watches the game with his little one at the end of the day. As his eyes droop shut, the game pauses. He reopens them and it picks up where he left off.

Though this creative work may not go viral or win awards, showing the practical (and less glamorous) application of the S4’s features will perhaps win the hearts of young parents everywhere. On a special occasion like Father’s Day, maybe hitting your target audience is enough?

Credits after the jump.

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Samsung Bombards Oscars, Complete with Tim Burton-Starring Spot

Now that the fictional game, “Unicorn Apocalypse,” created by 72andSunny in its ongoing campaign to promote Samsung Galaxy has come to fruition, where else to turn but the movie version and a pitch to the one and only Tim Burton. The writer/director takes center stage amongst the sea of geeky, Galaxy-addled developers and comes up with his own standard oddball concepts for where to take “Unicorn” next in this clip called, aptly enough, “Meeting with Tim Burton.”

The 90-second clip was just one of several Samsung ad placements during last nights Oscars broadcast (guess they saved up their Super Bowl budget for this) that told the tale of the evolution of the honestly (and perhaps deliberately) terrible-sounding faux-game. Still, the most recent installments like the one below where the creatives meet the account folks add a decent amount of smirk and snark to balance the scales. Credits after the jump.

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Samsung Tells a Meandering Tale About Unicorns, Business Things

Hey, look! It’s that dude who was on 30 Rock for a few seasons before they realized his character was totally worthless. This guy. Man, has that dude fallen on hard times or what? Let’s all hope he gets back on his feet before things get worse.

Anyway, the above 90-second spot from 72andSunny takes place in the fictional video game development studio of “Unicorn Apocalypse,” a fake game no doubt inspired by Adult Swim’s online “Robot Unicorn Attacks,” but about zombies because 20-something nerds sure love those. If you think 90-seconds sounds like a long time to watch hipster nerds talk about zombie unicorns and play around with their phones, you’d be right.

I’ve been a little back and forth about Samsung’s recent iPhone-bashing campaign. Perhaps it’s because I think it’s a really great idea, but the execution just misses the mark for some reason. Perhaps that reason, as most blatantly exhibited by the spot above, is because Samsung is targeting pretentious millennials who look down about those with different tastes. It makes sense to label iPhone buyers sheep, but there has to be a more subtle way to do it. Also, here’s a newsflash: pretentious people don’t think they’re pretentious. They just think that they’re right. So, portraying an over the top version of the demo (however accurate), will undoubtedly turn off the very consumer you most want.

As the current top comment on YouTube asks, “Why does Samsung insist on making everyone with their phone act like a 20-something douchebag?” Good question. Credits after the jump.

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VB&P, Healthy Choice Say Screw Your Diet

“For years I thought I hated children’s laughter. I had no idea, I was just hungry.” In VB&P’s first work for Healthy Choice since winning the business for the ConAgra brand back in May, one woman recounts her days with hardcore dieting gang the “No-Carb Queens.” They destroy chicken wings and break baguettes in the super market. In a second spot, a man laments his time with a juice fast cult. “Bruce likes solids too,” he reassures himself.

The “online manifesto” video in this series (below) collages together every piece of diet advice you’ve ever been given. Healthy Choice’s point? “Don’t diet. Live healthy.”

Thank you, VB&P, for not going the infomercial route and instead making fun of saccharine, overly dramatic diet ads. I still wish you’d excluded close-ups of (undoubtedly disgusting) microwave-melted parmesan, but can forgive those because of the solid concept and funny writing. Healthy Choice is still a kind of diet, but these videos make it seem like a cool sarcastic best friend food, not the annoying nagging one who invites herself over and drinks all your wine (that’s South Beach).

Credits after the jump.

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Monday Odds and Ends

-OMD Canada alum Derek Bhopalsingh joined MEC Interaction up north as VP, managing partner.

-Siri’s co-founder says ‘see ya!’ to Apple. link

-Carmelo Anthony unveils his new Jordan Melo M8 kicks with the help of W+K NY and MDC-owned experiential shop, Relevant (above).

-Publicis NY has a new CSO. link

-Director Michael Downing signed with Partners Film for Canadian commercial representation. link

-Social media agency Mr. Youth (which, yes, is now located on 225 Park Ave South in NYC) hired former Deep Focus exec Christian Borges as VP of marketing communications.

 

 

Notorious Web Foes Come to Life in Webroot Effort

Nigeria messages, male enhancement spam,, singles in your area links: Three of the most well-known and annoying culprits when it comes to plaguing our inboxes and social networks while potentially spreading viruses. To address these web threats in a somewhat clever way and promote  internet security software brand, Webroot, at the same time, Boulder-based TDA has come up with a series of ads that include the tagline, “Don’t Let Bad Links Happen to You.”

Out of the three, which were all directed by Epoch Films’ Michael Downing, we particularly like the defensive “Nigeria” clip above, though the weepy “Single” spot starring some lovely, emotional ladies takes a close second. Check it out along with credits and the third spot, “Bigger,” after the jump.

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