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Campaign launch

HBO Drops Beats and Rhymes into Game of Thrones Promos

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The sigil of House (Big) Boi

HBO wants more hip-hop heads and reggaeton lovers to watch Game of Thrones this season—and The Wall Street Journal is ON IT.

This Friday the network will drop a free mixtape featuring top rhymers ranging from Wale to Daddy Yankee, who riff on Seven Kingdoms themes in order to raise awareness of the show among more “multicultural” audiences (their word).

Unfortunately, Drake sat this one out; he was too busy firing his PR firm.

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New Jersey Unamused by Dove’s ‘Armpit of America’ Billboards

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A few days ago, Dove unveiled plans to post billboards in The Garden State that would declare, “Dear New Jersey, when people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”

The company was hoping to send the message that an armpit is actually quite a lovely thing, and assumed the majority of its audience would understand and appreciate the joke. Matthew McCarthy, the senior marketing director of deodorants at Unilever, told The New York Times last week, “I don’t expect that there will be a lot of people who misunderstand, but to the degree that they do, we’ll be open about what we’re really trying to say…The message that we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing, and that we stand for caring for the armpit.”

Talk about misreading your audience — Unilever may want to invest in a new crystal ball.

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The Muppets and Lipton Team Up to Make Life ‘More Tea’ (More Harmonious)

I always knew Kermit and I were soulmates.

If I attempt to start my day without my cup of tea, the whole world (and everyone and everything in it) seems utterly intolerable. But with a mug of that calming, revitalizing elixr in hand, all things are possible. And if the below cross-promotion for Lipton and the upcoming “Muppets Most Wanted” movie is any indication, Mr. The-Frog feels the same way.

The spot from London agency adam&eveDDB shows Kermit navigating a hectic, noisy, zany and muppet-filled New York City with harmonious ease, all because he knows that the secret to a balanced, calm, and happy life lies within oneself (and a steaming mug of Lipton tea).

I have to admit that the accompanying hashtag #BeMoreTea doesn’t quite make sense to me; I think the campaign is trying to make the word “tea” work as a synonym for “calm” or “harmonious,” but it just doesn’t quite seem to get there, and so the hashtag feels like it’s missing a word and should read something like #BeMoreLikeTea or #HaveMoreTea or something. That said, I get what it’s aiming for, and the whole thing is just too sweet and too much fun to knock too harshly.

Plus, it seems the age-old question of how Kermit could possibly tolerate the abrasive, self-absorbed, shrill Miss Piggy has finally been answered: his blood must be pure Lipton tea.

Putting Down Your Smartphone for Ten Minutes Can Help Get Clean Water to a Child in Need

2009_03_tap_projectSome creative campaigns have been popping up around the idea of breaking our all-encompassing smartphone habit; brands from Coca-Cola to Ikea have touted the importance of being present in our non-virtual lives. Now, UNICEF is giving us a tangible reason to step away from our phones for a few minutes (in case reconnecting with loved ones, nature, and the real world in general weren’t compelling enough prospects).

As part of its annual “Tap Project” effort to bring clean drinking water to those most in need, UNICEF, in partnership with Droga5 and MediaVest, has launched a new campaign via its website UnicefTapProject.org. When you visit the site on your mobile phone, you’ll be able to follow a few simple instructions on how to proceed. Once you begin, for every minute that you don’t touch your phone, the project’s sponsors will fund clean water for needy kids worldwide. Just ten minutes of inactivity is enough to provide one day’s worth of water. Read more

WATCH: Direct Mail Coated in Catnip = Cracked-Out Cats (and Hard-to-Ignore Campaign)

Finally, an agency has figured out how to get old-fashioned direct (snail) mail noticed–coat the flyer in drugs, of course!

Okay, it’s not actually as bad as it sounds; Vancouver agency Rethink lived up to its name by rethinking how to get cat owners to pay attention to a flyer advertising kitty litter (by coating it with catnip). While such “junk mail” might usually be tossed into the recycling bin without a second thought, it’s rather difficult to ignore or throw away a piece of paper that your cat has latched itself onto with purring, drooling, trembling gusto.

While we likely won’t be seeing a human equivalent anytime soon (as the feds would probably frown upon flyers coated in ecstasy), we must say this is one creative campaign that’s hard to ignore.

WATCH: Organic Food Takes on Meaningless ‘All Natural’ Labels in Snarky Ad

pic_two-250x250We’ve covered many-a-story about the controversy surrounding food labeling and the meaninglessness of the “All Natural” claim. Everyone from grassroots organizations and political groups to concerned parents and food bloggers have taken various stands to educate the public on what’s really in their food. Now, the latest group to tackle the weighty subject is organic business.

In a thoroughly amusing The Office-style mockumentary starring Josh Childs, organic food growers slam the falsity of the “All Natural” label and its sinister sibling “100% Natural,” and take a pretty good swipe at the ad industry while they’re at it. Read more

Caribou Coffee Builds Five-Story-High Pinterest Board in Mall of America

Caribou Coffee Builds Five-Story-High Pinterest Board in Mall of America - PRNewser“Pinsperation.” It’s a thing. And brands are taking notice.

Pinterest has become a creative, direct way for brands to engage and inspire their fans and customers–a well-managed pin board can introduce new products, promote ideas, and reach new audiences. But one brand has taken the opportunity a step further by recognizing that inspiration is a two-way street; if a brand can inspire people through Pinterest, then it can also open itself up to be inspired.

Caribou Coffee, along with ad agency Colle+McVoy, has created a five-story-tall “Living Pinterest board,” and has parked it in the middle of the country’s largest shopping center, The Mall of America. The board features two large screens, which display photos from fans on Instagram and Twitter that are tagged with the hashtag #CaribouInspires. The coffee company has used the images and ideas from its customers as inspiration to create its new coffee, Real Inspiration Blend.

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‘Unapologetic’ Barbie to Appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Embargoed_Barbie_2014_Actual_SI_Spread_Image_2.11.14In a world in which ad campaigns are making headlines for saying “no” to Photoshop and some brands are committing to embracing broader, more realistic standards of beauty, others make no apologies in the face of many years of criticism for promoting unattainable, unrealistic ideals. So, we guess it’s about time two of those brands team up and defiantly, proudly, (bravely!) refuse to change. Or apologize. Together.

Aw, solidarity. How sweet.

A new campaign for Barbie will find the doll posing for her very own spread in the upcoming 50th installment of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, along with the tagline “Unapologetic.” The magazine will also be bringing back other Swimsuit “legends” to celebrate its 50th issue.

Now check out what a Mattel spokeswoman said about the campaign:

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U2 to Unveil New Song During Super Bowl Spot, Offer Free Downloads to Benefit (RED)

a812d18636ceff861a80c8920a9dedc6Come Super Bowl Sunday, you may be buying many things–beer, chips, a box of ever-elusive Velveeta, or even David Beckham’s underwear–but U2 and AIDS charity (RED) are hoping you’ll also choose Sunday as the day to download the band’s new song, “Invisible” (for free!).

During a commercial break in the big game, the song will premiere in an edited version of its music video, after which, “Invisible” will be available for free download on iTunes for a 24-hour-period. Every time the song is downloaded during those 24 hours, Bank of America will make a $1 donation to (RED)–up to a total of $2 million. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The promotion is the launch of a new partnership between the banking giant and (RED), which, since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of engaging businesses in the fight against AIDS, has teamed up with big-name brands like Apple, Starbucks and The Gap to raise more than $240 million for the Global Fund. Read more

Agency Asks Aspiring Creatives for 10-Second Pitches via Snapchat: The Job Interview for the Twitter Generation?

The Snapchat PitchKids these days. All they do is take selfies and share ridiculous, self-made videos on Snapchat. How will they ever amount to anything?

Why, by sharing ridiculous self-made videos on Snapchat, of course!

DDB Oslo is inviting students from around the globe to share their creative genius (and penchant for brevity) with the agency’s “Snapchat Pitch” campaign. “Great ideas can be explained in a sentence,” says the contest’s website, which urges aspiring creatives to squeeze an epic idea into a ten-second masterpiece.

DDB Oslo’s creative department will then watch every single ten-second pitch (weed out the inevitable porn, pranks and pet videos), and select a grand prize winner, who will be flown to Oslo for an interview.

No need for an impressive portfolio and a multi-year struggle to become the next Peggy Olson! All you need is a rockin’ idea, a smartphone, and ten awesomeness-packed seconds (if that sounded like a gross pickup line, it wasn’t our intention). Read more

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