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Posts Tagged ‘Will McGinness’

Venables Bell & Partners Veers Off-Script for Audi

Here’s another clever entry in the “meta/self-aware” category via Venables Bell & Partners for client Audi.

The first spot is particularly appropriate considering the fact that it will run during tonight’s Emmy Awards:

The second spot offers a brief extension of that intro after the jump.

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Venables Bell and Reebok Serve Up a Side of Bacon for the 2014 CrossFit Games

BACON

If you thought bacon was merely the provenance of artisanal hipsters and long past the food du jour, the fellows at Venables Bell & Partners, USA found a new way for client Reebok to reach pig heaven.

Since we tend to eat our bacon more for fun and less for sport, we were intrigued to learn that bacon is also a key snack for those on the Paleo Diet, which counts hardcore members of the  CrossFit community as disciples. We all know how great bacon tastes, but did you know CrossFit types post bacon-inspired selfies and memes touting its salty goodness as they put themselves through punishing workouts?

In honor of the impending CrossFit Games, Reebok thought it would be a fun idea to serve up some “Reebok Bacon” to the cult of CrossFit and the fans that cheer them on in the stands.

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Venables Bell & Partners Go ‘West of Expected’ for Skyy Vodka

Venables Bell & Partners have an off-center campaign for Skyy Vodka, introducing the new tagline “West of Expected” for the California brand.

The new campaign sees improv actor Paul Welsh play a spokesman for the brand, lecturing in some kind of planetarium setting and using cosmic terminology as an analogy for drinking/bar culture. In the 30-second “Tipping” for example, Welsh explains that tipping (in this case giving a mouse in a maze a piece of cheese, for some reason) brings order to chaos, forming a connection with the bartender and getting you good service all night. In the similarly-toned “Attraction” a wing lemon (used to exemplify a wing man) bring together opposites: apples and oranges. It’s a strange approach, for sure, but then Skyy Vodka is an unusual brand — a California company with mostly Old World competition. The “West of Expected” tagline fits Skyy perfectly, and leaves room for a wealth of different approaches going forward.

“In the industry as a whole, and especially vodka, everyone is trying to out-cool themselves and appeal to people’s ego and vanity,” VB&P Executive Creative Director Will McGinness told Adweek. “We wanted to push off the industry norms and the Russian or Eastern European vodka companies and do our own thing and celebrate this different kind of vodka.”

Stick around for “Attraction”and 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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VB&P, Audi Chase the White Whale in ‘Ahab Redux’

In 2012, a creative director fell into Herman Melville’s 720-page trap and reimagined Ahab as a tow truck driver, madly chasing his white whale, an Audi Quattro. “Sometimes, I actually think it’s mocking me,” Ahab says in a gruff voice, anxiously twisting his thermos as he waits in the arctic tundra.

Said creative director then got distracted by Cetology, but has now resurfaced to produce “Ahab Redux,” in which, obviously, our automotive whale has yet to meet his driver. Ahab has retired on an island “most folks would call paradise,” but he can’t escape his all-wheel drive demon. “There isn’t a road on earth that can stop it.”

Thankfully this ad is a departure from the old winding-mountain-road glamour reel, and I appreciate the attempt at literary allusion. We’re all familiar with Moby Dick, whether we became obsessed like Ahab or SparkNoted its entirety. “Ahab Redux” is a bit of a cop-out due to its repetition, but the general idea probably gives Audi’s target affluent audience a twinge of self-satisfaction: “Oh, I know that story!”

Credits and original Ahab after the jump Read more

Audi, Iron Man Try to Make Commuting Sexier Than It Really Is

This 30-second spot, produced by Venables Bell & Partners, attempts to show the audience how billionaire superheroes commute to work. The average worker takes the bus, the train, maybe drives an average car. Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 supercar. Of course, he could also just commute in his Iron Man suit, which would make the R8 seem irrelevant, but that wouldn’t be very good Audi product placement.

You’ve seen this type of spiel before: “It’s never a bad day at work when your commute looks like this.” I’ve never been a fan of this pitch to consumers. After enough time, a car becomes a car. And if your job still sucks, if you have that pontificating boss, or you work till 9 p.m., going home in an R8 won’t stop you from hating a job (but it might help you attract women). And with a minimum MSRP of $114,000 on last year’s model, you’ll most likely hate your bank account afterward, too. But at least it looks cool, right? Credits after the jump.

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VB&P May Need Honkaholics Anonymous

What the beep? is right. Venables Bell & Partners is teaming with gasoline company 76 to stop honkaholism, a vicious nonexistent affliction that doesn’t actually affect many people. If you happen to live in New York City, you may hear the occasional overzealous honker, but building an ad campaign around the concept of overhonking seems overzealous in and of itself. Not to mention the humor rooted in the idea of a gasoline company trying to stop noise pollution, which is like a drug dealer trying to encourage people to take Tylenol.

The campaign comes fully stocked with website, billboards, the above 30-second spot, and even a touring “Stop Honkaholism Bus.” If you’re compelled to dig deeper, you can receive a free Honk Suppressor for your dashboard, which means instead of hitting your car horn, you pound a fist into the suppressor instead. Kind of like a Nicotine patch for your vehicle. It is free, so VB&P and 76 should get points for that. Credits after the jump.

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Audi’s Super Bowl Spot: Let’s Get Some Ass at Prom!

Audi and VB+P are traditionally all about appealing to consumers’ inner-adolescent with their Super Bowl ads. Remember when vampires were a big deal? Audi remembered, so they put vampires in their Super Bowl spot last year. However, as the Twilight film series has ended, Audi and VB+P are telling a bit more of a timeless story with this year’s installment, “Prom (Worth It).”

We open on a classic American pastime, a young lad about to go to prom who, judging by his lack of date, is a loser. His dad, in a surprising move, allows him to take his sleek Audi A6 to the big dance. This isn’t the only unrealistic part of the spot, as the boy ends up making out with his crush and getting a shiner from her boyfriend. It’s not exactly the kind of bold move I support, especially as the boy doesn’t seem to ask permission from his female victim. But, according to Audi, who cares? He took what he wanted, and was rewarded. There’s nothing more American than that.

The campaign, which uses the #BraveryWins hashtag, doesn’t seem to be targeting suburban high-schoolers like the protagonist in “Prom,” and instead aims at fathers who are fearful that their spawn may never get any action. In any case, it’s cute enough to be a crowd-pleaser, but I hesitate to think that this will be one of the Super Bowl’s most talked-about ads. Credits after the jump.

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Google, Audi Join Forces for a Pleasant Ride Through San Francisco

Worlds collide in the latest spot from Venables Bell & Partners, as Google and Audi share in the stage in “Enhancing Navigation.” How significant is this pairing? Well, I want you to question that as you listen to this classic Powerman 5000 song from 1999. God, what a ridiculous song.

Anyway, the above spot follows an Audi A4-driving couple through a freeze-framed Google Street View rendering of San Francisco. As we watch the couple traverse a familiar blue line and arrive at various red checkpoints, it’s funny to think of how much Apple Maps made Americans pledge their undying allegiance to Google Maps. Perhaps it’s this rekindled fandom for Google (and the jangly soft indie folk track) that gives this spot a warm, almost nostalgic ambiance.

Finally, we see the couple arrive at (SPOILER) a sunny beach where we realize they’re using Google Maps (which pulls from Google Earth and Google Street View) to navigate to their own wedding. As an Easter egg, you may notice that the couple’s four pits stops along the way were to pick up something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Yes, the thought of something that cloying is a bit gag-inducing, but somehow VB&P keeps this spot fun-cute as opposed to annoying-cute. Credits follow after the jump.

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Artist Formerly Known as DavidonDemand Heads to VB&P

And so, the agency travels of David Perez, the guy once known as #DavidonDemand, continue as the man has landed yet another creative recruiting gig, this time at San Francisco’s Venables Bell & Partners. A month ago, folks familiar with Leo Burnett Chicago, where he first made his splash as a Twitter slave during Cannes 2010, were telling us that Perez was working on a freelance project for its L.A. office. Now, he’s back in full-time mode at VB&P, serving as creative recruiter and heading back up to the Bay Area, a familiar territory seeing as he most recently held a similar position at AKQA SF for a solid six months.

During his time at AKQA, Perez also oversaw the creative internship program “FORGE,” as well as a small team of recruiters and coordinators in both San Francisco and Portland.  VB&P ECD Will McGinness sings the new hire’s praises in a statement, “We’re thrilled to have David at VB&P in this new role. His sustained track record of recruiting great talent and personality will add a lot to VB&P’s culture.”

 

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