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Sid Lee

Sid Lee Showcases ADC Winners in Interactive Exhibit

-39The ADC (formerly known as The Art Directors Club), is launching a “one-of-a-kind traveling art exhibit that puts the design ahead of the content.” The exhibit showcases the winners of ADC’s 93rd Annual Awards in an interactive installation executed by a creative team at global ad agency Sid Lee.

The three-piece exhibit is steam punk themed and “makes you work for a sneak peek of the winning work” with simple machines, constructed by Sid Lee, that require user-interaction to bring the work to life. These machines include the following:

  • Bring the beat: Motion and Interactive: Visitors play a harpsichord-inspired instrument to trigger the Motion and Interactive winning work, which is projected onto a facing wall with each note
  • Honey, I shrunk the art: The Design, Photography and Illustration winning work was shrunk down to miniature sizes, and viewers look into a structure (part pinhole camera, part carousel, part light box and part microscope) that magnifies individual pieces
  • Take a ride on the wild side: The Advertising winners take a little more effort, encouraging viewers to hop a recumbent bicycle-structure and pedal enough energy to project the winning advertising work onto a facing screen

To learn more about Sid Lee’s exhibit for ADC and the winners of the 93rd annual ADC Awards, check out ADC’s Instagram page.

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Sid Lee Stokes Northern Pride for Raptors

Just in time for the playoffs, Sid Lee has launched a new spot for the Toronto Raptors which the Starks could totally get behind (there’s even a wolf). The new spot stokes fans’ anticipation of the upcoming games and northern pride with the tagline, “#WeTheNorth.”

The 60-second, Stark-approved spot starts with the line “We the north: In many ways we’re in a league of our own; one step removed; just beyond the boundaries…” and uses the Raptors’ distance from other NBA teams as a point of pride, a rallying call. “If that makes us outsiders, we’re in,” concludes the voiceover before a “Let’s go Raptors” chant emerges from the background. “#WeTheNorth,” which just launched yesterday, is part of a larger rebranding effort for the Raptors. If fans weren’t already excited for the Raptors’ bid in the NBA playoffs (starting tomorrow, against the Nets), the well-produced spot, which mixes game footage with stylized shots of a snowy Canada, should do its part to psyche them up. Credits after the jump.  Read more

We Hear: Sid Lee’s Perkul Heading to O’Neill?

sidleelogo1Word from a few folks on the Spy line is that Doug Perkul, who’s spent the last three-and-a-half years at Sid Lee and the last two as managing partner at its Amsterdam office, is leaving for a client-side gig at O’Neill. No confirmation from the Sid Lee camp on this as of yet, but we did get some vague responses from those in the know that the agency’s relationship with the surf/lifestyle brand dates back to last October when Sid Lee developed some ideas for O’Neill at the latter’s request. From what we’ve been told, the ideas were well-received and a bond was formed between agency and client there after, though no word yet if an official partnership was formed.  But yes, that’s pretty much all she wrote thus far. Whatever the case, it appears all is amicable and we should find out more about Perkul’s potential new gig at O’Neill (we’re hearing CMO) in the next couple of weeks.

Prior to Sid Lee, Perkul founded and served as managing director of his own NYC-based creative boutique agency, Schatzi, and also had a stint as a digital producer/account lead at R/GA. We’ll keep you posted when the fog lifts from this tale, but if you know more in the meantime, give us a shout.

Sid Lee Toronto Welcomes Jermain Defoe’s Move to Toronto FC

Toronto FC has partnered with Sid Lee Toronto for a campaign highlighting their signing of star English striker Jermain Defoe (formerly of English Premier League’s Totenham Hotspur).

Working under the assumption that “soccer isn’t seen as big news in North America until it has become ‘footie news’ across the pond,” Sid Lee crafted a spot documenting the perceived shocked reaction to the news in England. “Our idea for the campaign came pretty early on – let’s elevate the magnitude of Jermain Defoe swapping Tottenham for TFC by having a bit of fun with how people might react to the news in Great Britain,” explains Jeffery DaSilva, creative director at Sid Lee.

Set in the London boroughs where Defoe has been front page news since the beginning of his career, the 30-second spot manages to depict shocked Londoners’ reactions in a clever and funny way (to say anything more would give too much away).  The “It’s a Bloody Big Deal” tagline acts as the perfect ending to the spot, emphasizing the importance of the deal and the connection to how the news is perceived in England.

The integrated campaign launched earlier this week with :10 and :15 second teaser spots appearing in high rotation on major sports networks; the full 30 second spot (featured above) debuts today. In addition to television ads, the campaign includes “a variety of print, online, and OOH executions that will blanket the city for the next five weeks.” Each of the campaign elements feature “a specially commissioned illustration” of Defoe outfitted in his new Toronto FC uniform.

Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Sid Lee Capitalizes on Human Spite to Promote At-Home Hair Removal Product

New York agency Sid Lee created a series of thematically unified spots to promote Syneron Beauty Inc.’s mē “smooth” hair removal system, the “first and only professional at-home system that uses patented elos light technology and is FDA-cleared and clinically proven safe and effective on all skin tones.” The campaign, entitled “It’s for ME, not for her” launched with three spots this week, with two more forthcoming in November.

The spots all end with the line “You deserve the mē, but you might know someone who doesn’t,” before directing viewers to the mē website. Each spot precedes this with a woman explaining how they will tell everyone they know about the mē, except for one person who they really hate.

In the above video, “One Upper,” it’s the dreaded copycat who makes the spot’s protagonist attempt to one up her adversary in order to stay one step ahead and preserve her identity. Not a terrible premise, but the execution falls completely flat. This and the other spots’ attempts at humor all come across as awkward and cringe-worthy — and not in a funny Stephen Merchant kind of way. The other two spots feature a criminally bad blind date setup and a woman who always brings a large crowd along uninvited to intimate gatherings. Again, either of these premises could have been funny if well-executed but just come across as awkward and annoying.

We also see very little of the product being used — just a few seconds at the beginning and end really — with most of the time spent on cringe-inducing attempts at humor. If the product (which retails at $395!) is really as great as they say it is, shouldn’t they spend a little more time extolling its virtues? Especially if they’re going to ask women to drop $395, maybe Sid Lee and Syneron should use something other than spite to sell the product. Maybe explain what the hell “elos light technology” is (I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t know) and why it’s such a step up from the competition.

The spots were an attempt to cut “through the lingerie and bikini clad cosmetic noise of the category and [speak] to our audience as a friend, not a corporation,” explains Sid Lee New York CD Brandon Drew Jordan Pierce. Unfortunately, the spots come across as that one friend who means well but who you avoid because they won’t stop making terrible jokes and you hate the pressure of feeling like you have to force-laugh to avoid making them feel bad.

Perhaps the one redeeming quality of the campaign is the invitation to viewers of the mē website to submit via Facebook, email, or Twitter an explanation of someone who doesn’t deserve to find out about the mē. Although it would work better if the ads held up on their own, this could be a fun way for viewers to vent about a specific problem person in their life. It will also undoubtedly yield better stories than those featured in the current mē spots. Maybe Sid Lee can mine these stories for their next installment in the campaign. Stick around for the spot “Strangers” after the jump. Read more

Dewar’s Scotch Opts for Muscular Pacifist with Violent Tendencies as Newest Spokesman

From Sid Lee NY comes this spot for Dewar’s Whiskey, featuring a hulk of a man who greatly resembles U.K. murderer and mass criminal Charles Bronson, even sporting Bronson’s trademark mustache. Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that director Isaiah Seret seems to borrow a lot of filming technique for this ad from the 2008 biopic Bronson, which starred actor Tom Hardy as the deranged but lovable psychopath.

Of course, it’s hard to advertise your brand of scotch as the choice of crazy violent people, so Sid Lee aims to give their “Drinking Man” character an incongruous tender side. Nothing drives the ladies crazy like a man who routinely pets doves between beating people to death in bare-knuckle boxing matches. While the spot goes very out of its way to portray the character’s tender side, it also discredits his believability. What, the man I’m supposed to admire chases people on bicycles and has a peace tattoo on his chest? It’s this sort of hypocritical hyperbole that made the  peace sign/”Born to kill” helmet-wearing protagonist of Full Metal Jacket a walking punchline.

As the sexy lady at the end argues, it’s “the most interesting blends that make for the strongest character.” So remember, if you want to appeal to your local tavern’s supermodel clientele, say one thing but do the other. Credits after the jump.

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Painting Gets Its Final Stroke

Thanks to hundreds of gamers contributing to the Assassin’s Creed IV interactive painting promo, the finished artwork is now on digital display, two months before it will be shown in Le Musee de la Marine in Paris. To recap, fans of the franchise had the opportunity to take webcam pictures of their faces, and after an online vote, the winning pictures were transposed onto bodies in the painting. The campaign was spearheaded by Sid Lee Paris. And although the artistic nature of the project may not help with the game’s publicity all that much, it is cool that certain fans will be partially on display in a renowned museum. Assassin’s Creed IV for PS3 will come out on October 29, with versions for other systems to be released throughout November.

Run DMC, DJ A-Trak Spin Off New Launch for Adidas

Adidas and Sid Lee are framing the new “Unite All Originals” as Run DMC vs. DJ A-Trak, but the versus bit comes on too strong. The campaign is much more affable than combative, think of it as a buddy cop combo where there are three buddies instead of two and the buddies like to wear black felt hats.

Run DMC’s famed history with Adidas dates back to the 1980s, and they’ve been lending their benign street cred to the three stripes ever since. A-Trak may not be comparable as a household name, but he’s a worthy spokesman for the next generation, as you can see in some coverage from early March. For this new campaign, the two acts are combining for a fan-controlled music video that will be dictated user voice commands. A true embodiment of “My Adidas.”

Credits after the jump.

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Sid Lee Adds Some Sting to Bumblebees for Dewar’s

Earlier this week, we covered some Sid Lee Paris video game business. Today, we’re moving back across the Atlantic, as Sid Lee New York debuts a 3-Bee (yup, they punned 3-D) printing project for Dewar’s Highlander Honey whiskey. The technology allows for  80,000 bees to mimic their natural environment in a factory setting and create hives in custom shapes, like a Dewar’s whiskey bottle. The Ebeling Group, which produced the accompanying video, had to do their work in full beekeeper suits. That is how you commit to a project.

The 60-second video offers viewers an artsy glimpse into the totality of the 3-Bee project. The edgy tone comes from muted lighting and  background music that might as well be a leftover composition from Radiohead member Jonny Greenwood‘s There Will Be Blood soundtrack. I’m not sure that this strategy would make me want to purchase a drinkable product, but the creativity involved more than makes up for it with originality. Credits after the jump.

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Gets Face Time in Historical Painting

Ubisoft is still a few months away from the release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the sixth installment in its blockbuster video game franchise, but some recent teamwork with Sid Lee Paris will offer fans and future some customers some strangely artistic publicity. “Defy History,” an interactive art project that will be displayed in Le Musée de la Marine, will let users transpose facial webcam pictures onto a selection of characters that are part of a large historical painting. Before the painting is finished, people will be able to vote on the best faces, with the winners being included in the final product.

It’s hard to say why Ubisoft wanted to jump into this creative work, since the painting project is only tangentially related to Assassin’s Creed IV. Sometimes, companies and agencies overthink, especially for a game about an assassin pirate. If interested, you can find out more details about the picture posting here.

I miss the good ole days of Ezio. Credits after the jump.

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