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Jordan Teicher

Jordan Teicher lives in New York City and writes for The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Tablet Magazine. He likes basketball, David Foster Wallace, and tomatoes, in that order. Email jteich21@gmail.com or tweet @JordanTeicher.

john st. Wants Us to Know that Toronto is ‘More Than Ford’

Making a city self-promo is hard enough without having to compete against a crack-smoking homicidal mayor who has become a big-bellied joke of a scandal around the world. Toronto-based john st.’s “More Than Ford” compilation video of all things pleasant in its hometown attempts to do just that for a Canadian city that has been the unfortunate butt of the news for too long. The project comes from a good place, but the execution is typical, and as a result, uninteresting.

I think there’s a way to do this, to help Toronto separate itself from Rob Ford, but doing so would require a more self-aware, confrontational approach. john st. repeatedly puts out quality work, but this spot feels much too clean for the circumstances. Every city has people doing cool gymnastics in parks and drinking coffee. What makes this interesting and specific to Toronto? Where is the voice? It’s out there, but it doesn’t sound like a benign, glossy magazine cover.

Credits and a brief disclaimer after the drug-free jump.

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Rooster Gets a New Employee Who Does Not Party Rock

Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka may have LMFAO hair-fluff RedFoo, but Rooster NY has the next best thing: a new employee who may or may not be SkyBlu. Can we just take a second to look at how ridiculous the proper nouns are in that sentence? Enough odd syllables in there to give a linguist a migraine. Anyway, Rooster’s in-house video shows the uncomfortable relationship between SkyBlu’s stunt double (actually Art Director Justin Steinburg) and Gavin McInnes as McInnes tries to figure out if his new colleague is a millionaire pop-rapper who likes, among other things, shots, Miami, champagne showers, bad sunglasses, and even worse hair.

Rooster’s previous side projects always reach for the ridiculous laughs, with McInnes regularly playing the office’s clueless father figure when he’s not getting punched in the face. This is no different. Here’s to celebrity look-a-likes and the hope that Mr. Steinburg gets a haircut.

Art Director Creatively Turns Portfolio into Passport

Resumes are boring. Nobody likes to read them, especially not the people who may actually be able to hire you, even – and especially – if you use a cool font. But, making your resume stand out with a creative hook is a smart strategy to get some eyeballs looking at what you’ve done. Miruna Macri, who is an Art Director from Miami Ad School, and not, as you may be thinking, an alliterative character from the Harry Potter series, decided to turn her standard portfolio into a passfolio. It’s one of those ideas that makes you wonder how somebody didn’t think of it already. Instead of having visa stamps, Macri used the space to mark down her work experience. The other details are explained in the brief video above. Best of all, she “lost” 20 copies of the passfolio in offices of New York agencies. Very cool – French Amazon product page guy (Philippe Dubost, aka Phil Dub) has some competition.

‘Creatives Go West’ Makes Its Pitch

In August of 2012, we blurbed about four creative twentysomethings (Digitaria writer/designer Grant Spanier, account planner/former Campbell Mithun Lucky 13 intern Laura Fitzpatrick, former CM copywriter Vince Koci and filmmaker Jake Woodbridgegoing on a brief roadtrip out west “in search of inspiration — risking life, limb and Dysentery in the name of creative enlightenment.” Well, nobody got Dysentery, but more than a year later, the travelers are looking for some Kickstarter funding to help turn their 15-day roadtrip footage into a fully-produced documentary. The total cost: $30,000.

The three-minute-and-twenty-second pitch video offers a sneak peek of the journey and quite a few talking heads. The questions seem to focus on the origin of creativity, mainly about whether the American West is the most creative region in the country. As a Northeasterner, my reflexive response requires me to disagree with that idea completely, but it can’t hurt to ask. In the name of (social) science, right?

And as someone who took a cross-country roadtrip with a video camera myself, I can understand the allure of driving out west. The West Coast may not be more creative than the East Coast, or the Midwest, or wherever you live, but there are different creative approaches and mindsets out there, and exploring whatever those differences may be is an impressive creative endeavor in its own right. I’m interested to see what their finished project turns up.

Call Kevin Love for Some One-on-One in Latest ESPN RV Ad

We catch Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love and NBA commentator Mike Breen in medias res, driving through some nondescript green chunk of Basketballville in the latest NBA on ESPN RV spot from W+K New York.  With Breen’s steady hand at the wheel, Love turns to the passenger side window and notices a large billboard featuring his sultry face and a phone hotline called The Love Dial. They drive a bit farther and pass a second billboard. Love has no idea who’s behind this, so like any great detective, he decides to call the number. Another man picks up – it’s Love’s teammate/on-court soulmate Ricky Rubio, moonlighting as a sex-hotline entrepreneur in a dingy room that also has a video camera set-up to film something. I guess there isn’t much to do in Minnesota.

“Billboard” may not be as funny as a few of the more recent RV spots ESPN uses to promote its NBA coverage, but the clip has some edgy subject matter compared to the usually benign hijinks. The network probably won’t push the envelope any more than this, but this 30-second ad is an interesting sidestep in the NBA on ESPN commercial canon. Credits after the jump.

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W+K New York, ESPN Pull Back the Curtain in ‘The 10 Club’

W+K New York and ESPN are back again with yet another 30-second This is Sportscenter spot. This time, we follow Clippers dunker and terrible free-throw shooter DeAndre Jordan as he enters the illustrious Top 10 Club reserved for individuals who make Sportscenter’s famed nightly Top 10 plays segment.

However, it turns out that the Top 10 Club is not so illustrious considering the windowless room looks more like a  doctor’s moldy waiting room than a hangout for stars and celebrities. ESPN  usually pokes fun in the context of sports news, but here, we get to see self-satire as Sportscenter parodies its own highlight tropes – i.e. the lanky high school kid who hits a full-court buzzer beater and the college mascot who does ridiculous college mascot shenanigans. I say this frequently, but it’s worth repeating, these spots are almost perfect for what they’re trying to accomplish, and they almost make you forget that Sportscenter has actually become a caricature of itself. Credits after the jump.

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TDA_Boulder Excuses Ragged Employees with ‘Happy Hour Virus’

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 1.40.47 AM

This little side project doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose, but TDA_Boulder built one of those trick-your-boss programs called “Happy Hour Virus.” Frustrated employees can choose from one of three templates that make a computer screen look like it has a virus or technical error and then bounce to a bar for some early liquid therapy. Of course, you can get out of the screen by pressing ESC, which is necessary, but also renders the whole idea fairly useless. It’s not as plausible as the March Madness fake spreadsheets that can hide scores and brackets (as long as you work with spreadsheets regularly). Symbolically, the project is meant to stress the respectable work/personal-life balance present at the agency, but other than that, there’s not much to digest here.  It may be Thursday, but this feels like a Friday item. Credits after the jump.

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Zambezi Rolls Out Part II of MJ Uncensored for NBA 2K

On October 1, Zambezi released the first installment of an uncensored interview with Michael Jordan to coincide with the release of NBA 2K14. We’re pleased to cover the release of the second part as MJ, known to be private over the years, opens up a bit about his career, life, and family. When MJ talks about on-court incidents, the viewer can see brief reenactments of his most famous moments using the game’s graphics. The game has been out for awhile, but now that the NBA season is hitting its stride, 2K is looking for another marketing jolt to go with the PS4 and Xbox One releases in the next 10 days.

The best part is when MJ muses on his favorite Jordan shoe of all time, comparing it to choosing a favorite child, but then he goes ahead and rattles off his top-three in the next breath. By the transitive property, MJ could probably rank his offspring, which actually fits perfectly with his competitive and results-based history. Nothing wrong with that, just interesting insights that come from this four-minute candid interview.

Credits after the (basketball-related segue) jump.

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To Fight Animal Cancer, Dogs and Cats Sing, Dance, and Even Rap

Yes, that’s right, a dog raps in the two-minute “We Could Be Heroes” music video meant to raise awareness and money for animal cancer. The video for Pet Trust comes from Toronto-based Red Urban and appears to be a sort of “We Are the World” spin-off with dogs and cats. The opening over-the-should shot of a paw pressing against a keyboard tells you all you need to know. If you love animals, you’ll probably find this cute. If you don’t, you’ll probably find this cringingly corny.

Regardless of your position, I’m sure we all want to find a cure for animal cancer, so this campaign can always block any creative criticisms behind a shield of philanthropy. But even though the animal-personified-as-human motif  lacks substance, it’s hard to navigate this kind of project without resorting to Sarah McLachlan territory. And by comparison, Red Urban took a more positive approach that doesn’t make you want to immediately change the channel or start weeping. Points for that, and credits after the jump.

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Muhtayzik Hoffer Study Reveals Kids Have Self-Control If Promised Annie’s Mac and Cheese Pizza

If you could immediately eat a slice of pizza and a bowl of mac and cheese or wait 10 minutes for an entire mac and cheese pizza, would you have the discipline to hold out? Would you want to hold out? Personally, I’d choose the separate dishes, but the question is the basis for a new experimental video from Muhtayzik Hoffer for the Annie’s “Good and Good” campaign.

The behavioral study is a riff on the Stanford Unviersity Marshmallow experiment from the 1960s and 70s, where kids were offered one small reward immediately versus two rewards after a waiting period. The Annie’s study is actually an inverse of this, two rewards to one, but the sentiment still comes across. The kids are all cute, and a few of them can’t wait any longer to destroy the two comfort foods. Some of the other cute kids wait it out. We aren’t given specific data, but the video is a unique, intellectual advertisement. And for the followup study, Annie’s can always track the elevated cholesterol levels of kids who become obsessed with mac and cheese pizza. Credits after the jump.

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