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Posts Tagged ‘Sue Troyan’

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

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Heat, Hungry Man Unleash ‘Shadow’ for EA’s ‘Titanfall’

Heat and their production partner Hungry Man have released a new spot for Xbox One crown jewel exclusive and E3 critical darling Titanfall, which just had its North American release yesterday.

The new, 60 second spot (there’s also a 30 second version), entitled “Shadow,” imagines what it would be like to constantly be shadowed by a 25-foot Titan that obeys your every command. Following in the recent trend of inserting gamers into the real world, the spot attempts “to capture the ear-to-ear grinning invincibility you feel when you first climb into your very own Titan and start dominating the world.” “Shadow” follows a man with a shit-eating grin walking through a city trailed by his own personal Titan. Everything is just peachy until he runs into another Titan owner, at which time, as you might expect, shit goes down.

The spot manages to capture the overall “Life is Better with a Titan” theme of the campaign, while also demonstrating Titanfall‘s unique features, like verticality. What really makes the spot work, though, is the perfect transition to gameplay footage during the final 15 seconds. While there’s nothing revolutionary about Heat’s approach here, they find a balance between live action and gameplay footage that a lot of similarly minded ads miss. And they certainly succeed at making the game look like a lot of fun. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

VB&P Crafts Inspiring ‘Look Inside’ for Intel

For the follow-up to the popular “Look Inside. Jack Andraka” video which garnered over 2 million views on YouTube, VB&P decided to tell the inspiring story of Erik Weihenmayer.

Erik is a mountain climber who has climbed the seven tallest summits on earth, one of only 118 people in history to accomplish this feat. That would be impressive enough, but Weihenmayer is the only person to do so while blind. Weihenmayer was born with retinoschisis and was fully blind by the age of 13. Three years later, at a recreational program for the visually impaired, he was introduced to rock climbing, and it changed his life forever. “I wanted my life to be an adventure, I didn’t want to be shoved to the sidelines and forgotten and just sit in a dark room listening to life go by,” Weihenmayer said. “Rock climbing for me was sort of a symbol that I could get to the summit of whatever I wanted to do, but I had to do it differently.”

In 2001, Weihenmayer became the first blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, and by 2008 he’d accomplished the amazing feat of scaling the seven tallest peaks in the world. “In an ironic way, that thing like blindness or that barrier you face, if you attack it the right way, it can become a catalyst to moving yourself to a new place that you may not have gone to in any other way,” Erik said.

Erik’s story can be viewed online, in the above film directed by Christopher Hewitt of Knucklehead. Intel has also launched a social media program, where if Erik’s video is shared 2,900 times they will donate $30,000 to No Barriers USA, an organization offering “transformative experiences that allow people to embrace a ‘no barriers mindset’ and discover the potential that lies within themselves and the world.” After viewing Erik’s “Look Inside” video above, you can head here for the full story. Stick around for credits and “Look Inside. Jack Andraka” after the jump.

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Let Us ‘Join Together’ for W+K’s Celebration of Sony Artistry, Engineering

If you were watching the Golden Globes last night, you may have caught the debut of W+K Portland’s “Join Together” spot for Sony, which will run for the next six weeks.

The new work (perfectly set to The Who’s “Join Together”) celebrates Sony’s longtime practice of joining a “steadfast passion for artistry and commitment to engineering” in a matter of 90 seconds. Directed by Imperial Woodpecker Stacy Wall , the spot also comes equipped with its fair share of star power, whether it be director/Knicks mascot Spike Lee (filming with Sony’s 4K CineAlta camera), Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhane Wallis (now starring in Sony Pictures flick, Annie), actor Grizz Chapman of 30 Rock and Columbia Music artist, DJ Cassidy. In the process, the spot highlights a wide range of Sony’s most iconic products and innovations.

The broadcast effort is supported by the “Be Moved” brand experience site, and four product-focused online videos: “Inventing Furniture,” “Eyeballs,” “Skeptics” and “Floor Plan.” These online videos highlight some amazing new technology from Sony with a dash of light humor. Check out “Skeptics” below, and stay tuned for “Eyeballs” and “Floor Plan,” along with credits, after the jump.

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Activision, 72andSunny Bring the House Down with ‘Epic Night Out’

“Epic Night Out,” the splashy new 90-second Call of Duty: Ghosts spot from 72andSunny for Activision, is indeed epic, and easily riffs on the four-guys-who-have-fun-in-danger motif made popular by The Hangover. There are a few celebrity cameos, a crumbling Las Vegas set, and classic music, Sinatra’s “Live Until I Die.” Very epic. But no baby, though. Instead, the four heroes and their dog travel from desert wasteland, to cityscape, to outer space, and then to a frozen tundra. With the music and quick editing, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.

I’m all for first-person shooters, and I don’t think they are ruining kids. If this spot were for the U.S. Armed Forces, that would be different. But, it’s worth pointing out that guns, explosions, apocalyptic Vegas, Frank Sinatra, and Megan Fox is way past the boiling point of glorying violence for a TV spot. That’s sensory overload for all of the juiced up gamer-guys who are going to sit in the basements and pretend not to pee in empty soda bottles. It’s also brilliant misdirection.  And if not for the Grand Theft Auto V ads, this would be the best video game spot I’ve ever seen. Credits after the jump.

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Boost Mobile, 180LA Say ‘You Earned It’

After their amusing spot featuring a basketball player juggling a couple of extra balls, Boost Mobile and 180LA are back together once again, this time emphasizing the savings Boost customers can get. In three short videos, we see various stealing scenarios: a man on the subway gets pickpocketed, a city guy leaps over fences to evade a mugger, a woman has her purse snatched on the sidewalk. But by the end of each ad, the victim has money handed back to them, showing that “Boost Mobile puts cash back in your pocket, literally.”

It’s a good concept, and the little song that shifts each scene into celebration coupled with the actors’ yay-I’m-richer-than-I-thought smiles makes these spots sweet. I only wish they could have cast at least one white thief. Sure, they’re all good guys in the end, but these spots still reinforce tired racial stereotypes. We can do better.

Credits and the rest of the videos after the jump.

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Boost Mobile Sports the Junk Dunk

In light of the “no homo” press conference from Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, this new Boost Mobile basketball spot from 180LA may strike some sensitive nerves. However, the humor is handled with enough subtlety to tiptoe around accusations of offensiveness. There’s also a really well-timed nuts joke that might make you chuckle if you are into such sectors of comedy.

In the commercial, one unlucky defender gets posterized on in a pick-up basketball game, and to make things worse, his face gets an up-close view of the sweaty dunker’s crotch. For those who aren’t basketball aficionados, there was actually a name for such a move – balls on your head – that became popular in the 1990s when young NBA players like Darius Miles would dunk on a guy. After the dunk, the player would run down the court celebrating like this (I’m not making this up). Whether Boost Mobile knows it or not, they are bringing back forgotten basketball treasure. The commercial is probably making some subconscious statement about the intersection of black, gay, and youth cultures, but as a consumer product, it’s really just funny. You see, Tyler, the Creator, it’s possible to make an effective ad without relying on stereotypes. Credits after the jump.

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Audi Shows Us How ‘It Couldn’t Be Done’ Got Done

Audi has been busy lately, pumping out ads for their newest cars in sponsorship deals with Iron Man while simultaneously pitting past and present versions of Spock against each other. The automaker seems to be at it again, now with longtime agency Venables Bell & Partners, for a 60-second spot that traces back to the origin of the company. Retro footage of Audi’s founder, August Horch, and old-school automobiles plays for most of the spot, set to narration of the children’s poem It Couldn’t Be Done, written by Edgar Albert Guest. I guess Dr. Suess was busy.

By design, most of the commercial feels like it belongs to pre-1980, but the dissonance of the kid’s poem and the speeding-car shots strikes a cool chord. While previous car spots may be clever or topical when full of movie stars, this one stands out in a good way. It’s smooth and engaging, presumably, like a ride in a new Audi. Credits and a couple of :15 second spots after the jump.

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‘The Replacer’ Returns, with JB Smoove in Tow, in New ‘Black Ops II’ Clip

Nearly three months after 72andSunny introduced us to “The Replacer”–aka Fargo baddie Peter Stormare–in its campaign for Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Revolution trailer, the agency has brought back the character, now with sidekick JB Smoove in tow, for its Black Ops II – Uprising promo. Jesus, how many entries are in this franchise? Anyhow, the newly formed dynamic duo embarks on several replacing adventures from serving as weatherman to fixing cable, with Stormare being his usual, somewhat menacing self and Smoove giving us the fast-talking delivery that we first came to know and love in Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

We’re not sure what the budget is here, but as the Black Ops franchise expands, so do seem the timeframe and scope of the clips promoting it. But, if you have the patience for it (it is lunchtime on the East Coast, after all), don’t let us stop you from taking in this slightly entertaining, slightly grating clip. Credits after the jump.

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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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