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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Grylewicz’

Friday Odds and Ends

-W+K Portland, Nike Basketball and Kevin Durant tell us why “Summer Is Serious” (above, credits after the jump).

-Speaking of Nike and basketball, the corporate giant continues its expansion of Converse stores, this time in San Francisco. link

-And finally, guess which brand topped the “Nitrogram 50″ list. link; link

-Google-owned Motorola Mobility has unveiled its new logo. link

-Facebook is beginning to pull ads containing with violent, graphic or sexual content.” link; link

-WPP-owned MediaCom USA has welcomed Starcom alum Jose Bello as managing partner, head of multicultural as well as former Clear Channel exec Khartoon Ohan as its new managing director/chief growth officer. link

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W+K, Oreo Relationship Concludes with ‘Super Important Test’

In case you were wondering, the domain name www.superimportanttest.com is no longer available, thanks to W+K and Oreo, who bring us, yes, a “Super Important Test,” which as we imagine was the intention is hardly a test. You have two options (cookie or cream) and you’re correct either way. Get it?

Super Important Test” marks not only the conclusion of W+K’s Oreo’s “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign that began with the buzzed-about “Whisper Fight” spot from the Super Bowl and the subsequent “Separator Machine” clips, but the relationship between W+K and the Mondelez brand itself. As you may know, Draftfcb and now the Martin Agency work primarily on the Oreo account.

Anyhow, W+K curated quite a bit of content for the website–more than 30 different videos may play after you click cookie or creme–but this type of limited platform really begs the question: What’s the point? How does this sort of advertising advance the OREO brand in any meaningful way? I’m asking a serious question, not just trying to be glib, so if there is an answer, please post a comment.

Virality for the sake of virality is turning into a common approach for most creatives, and a website full of 30 unrelated internet videos that may or may not be funny seems like a great way to waste an advertising budget. Oreo was never going to choose cookie over cream or vice versa, but it didn’t have to choose. This is a case of a clever idea that simply ran out of ingredients.

Stills and credits after the jump.

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W+K Kickstarts Dodge Dart

W+K’s line of Dodge ads appeals to consumers with a distinct voice that separates the brand from most  auto manufacturers hawking new models. By now, we all know the recipe: frenetic cuts, clean white text, VO that tries too hard to be cool, and the loop from “No Church in the Wild.” The commercials run so often,  you almost forget that the song used to belong to Jay, Ye, and Frank Ocean. I doubt any of them drive Dodge Darts.

But for those of us who want to drive Dodge Darts, the latest spot, titled “How to Change Buying Cars Forever,” details a clever crowdfunding pitch meant to make new cars a little more affordable. Interested buyers can design their own Dart online and set a funding goal for family and friends who want to purchase individual parts as gifts. Mom and Dad get the steering wheel, your brother covers the leather seats, etc.

And if you’re getting married, the Dodge Dart Registry throws a nice wrench in the department store marital registry monopoly. Nobody wants a new toaster. Credits after the jump.

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Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Play Nothing But… Hole for Nike

After the Tiger Woods sex scandal broke, it was a bit surprising that Nike stayed loyal to the face of its golf line. But, by offering 23-year-old phenom Rory McIlroy a 10-year $250 million contract, is it possible that Tiger’s days may be waning? At the very least, Nike Golf is no longer dependent on the success of Woods to carry its brand for the next decade.

A new spot from W+K finds Tiger playing the “old guy,” challenging McIlroy to a chip shot contest reminiscent of McDonald’s classic Michaell Jordan/Larry BirdNothing but Net” campaign from the early 90s.  “No Cup is Safe” depicts Tiger as the wily veteran, with Rory as the new, young face of the PGA nipping at Woods’ heels. To be honest, it’s a bit uncomfortable to watch, as I’m sure it was for Tiger to shoot it. The sun may be setting all too soon on Tiger’s career, while Rory’s is just beginning. Perhaps Tiger offered some advice to Rory on set, some advice that no one bothered to give him 14 years ago when he was in the same situation as Rory is now.

It’s hard to see this spot as anything other than a “passing of the old guard,” which is probably what Nike asked for. It’s cute, but full of sadness and hope at the same time. Perhaps I’m making this a bigger deal than it actually is, but, as a fan of both athletes, it’s hard to imagine a world where these guys can coexist at the top of the professional golf ladder. Credits after the jump.

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As We All Figured, Only Dikembe Mutombo Can Save the World

W+K’s ongoing work for Old Spice demanded one hell of a refresh and the agency thankfully obliges with this rather promising effort for the P&G brand, which stars beloved former NBA center, Dikembe Mutombo. Though long since retired, the man who could talk so much shit with just a wag of his finger is still very much involved in humanitarian causes, so who better to help avert the imminent apocalypse promised by the Mayan calendar than old #55.

Yes, this is the basis of a real-time, online 8-bit gaming experience from W+K for Old Spice dubbed “4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World,” which will have our hero embark on weekly globe-trotting missions based on current event and help prolong our lives on this planet. So far, from visiting the game play site alone, we gather that this week, Mutombo must stop Gangnam Style and encourage people to vote–might be a little late on that one–but hell, we’re 100 percent behind this mission. Along the way, we’ve met a Cosby sweater-adorning, intelligent talking bear and other odd characters all while trying to figure how the hell get out of level 1. We must say, though, that regardless of how odd and chaotic this whole campaign is, we’re quite enamored with it thus far and will take it over some of the recent Greg Jennings work any day. Give it a shot here. Credits after the jump.

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W+K, Dodge Reveal a Couple More Dart ‘How-to’s’

Four months since the debut “How to Change Cars Forever,” WK’s Portland’s first spot for the Dodge Dart, it’s clear the campaign is now kicking it into high-gear with phase two.

When we first posted the debut spot back in July, there was quite a discussion going on in our comments section. It’s become par for the course here: We post new work from W+K, and the comments explode with people saying it’s not as good as Wieden’s past work or, if someone likes it, it’s because her or she must some sort of W+K fanboy. It’s a testament to W+K’s amazing portfolio they’ve built throughout the years. We expect this agency to blow our mind with every campaign, and we’re quick to complain when it doesn’t.

While this Dodge Dart maybe didn’t completely turn my world upside down with the first spot, it’s definitely grown on me. Despite the fact that it seems to run during every commercial break of an NFL telecast, when I hear the familiar bassline of Kanye West/Jay-Z‘s “No Church in the Wild,” I find myself always completely absorbed in the spot, guessing what aspect of the Dodge Dart will be presented next.

These two new spots, “Interior” and “Unsafe,” take the same formula and condense it into 30-second slices of sensory overload. Perhaps its reflective of the over-caffeniated environment of the W+K Portland office? In any case, the rapid-fire narrative of the Dart’s features really does make the car look like it is far more technologically advanced than any of its competitors. If you’re wondering how to make TV spots dazzle and sell simultaneously, well, it’s just this easy. Credits after the jump.

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Terry Crews Plays Music with His Muscles, Encourages Viewers to Do the Same for Old Spice

Yes, one of the stars of The Expendables 2 (now playing in theaters everywhere) is back, flexing his impressively musical muscles for Old Spice and W+K.

In what we’re being told is what’s a “first-of-its-kind embeddable interactive experience,” Muscle Music allows viewers to record their very own percussion-laden jam session after they stream and impressive demo performed by Mr. Terry Crews. But, for those of us who learn better from following directions than button-mashing, Old Spice has provided us with this handy keyboard map:

Sure, it’s just sort of silly and gets a little boring after about a minute of messing around, but realize that this is as much of an ad for W+K, prodco MJZ, VFX company The Mill and Vimeo itself as much as it is for Old Spice. From a purely technological standpoint, this could be a big step forward in integrating audience interaction into streaming video. Your move, YouTube.

Credits after the jump.

Update: By the way, the Terry Crews has been answering questions following his new Old Spice ad launch on Reddit. Go here for the Q+A.

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Velveeta Reminds You to Eat Like that Guy at the Mall

While most general culture publications are using this week to run back-to-school features, The A.V. Club has been running a series about a much more influential part of the American experience–the mall. Reading it, it’s hard to not think about how my perspective of the local mall has changed over time. In middle school, I looked at the mall almost as an amusement park, a mini-EPCOT Center with different worlds mostly hidden behind showy storefronts. In high school, the mall became a place to kill time between minimum wage jobs, hoping to bump into your crush in the food-court during your 20-minute lunch break. In college, the mall became a place to avoid, a symbol of inflated consumerism and a reminder of how naive your worldview was in high school.

Now, I see the mall as an intimidatingly bizarre monolith, a place I feel horribly uncomfortable in whenever I’m forced to enter one for a quick errand. It’s hard to believe that a place where I spent an inordinate amount of time at 16 now seems so foreign. But, there are those people, who we’ll call “mall people,” that never change despite how much your perspective might. In fact, if I were to identify the polar opposite of myself among mall denizens, it would be the dude who works the remote-control helicopter kiosk. No one, not even the manager of the Gap, is more in his element than that guy. He’s the guy who gets free pretzels from Auntie Anne’s, dates that hot new girl who works at American Eagle, and the guy you hope will invite you to eat lunch at the cool table one day.

Well, W+K Portland is honoring that guy in a new TV campaign for Velveeta, “Eat Like That Guy You Know.” The guy in question here, who Bud Light would name “Mr. RC Helicopter Kiosk Employee,” has in my eyes gone from awesome to lame to actually kind of cool again as I grow up. Hey, he may not be pulling in six-figures, but he has the swagger of someone who pulls in seven.

On Kraft’s Velveeta website, visitors are encouraged to eat like many different archetypes they’re familiar with. Again, it has a “Real Men of Genius” vibe to it, but in classic Velveeta fashion, it’s just a little cheesier. Credits after the jump.

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In W+K’s Latest for Nike+, Every Workout Becomes a Game

Anyone who’s gone running after a hard day knows the power of an active imagination. With every arm pump, you might be punching your boss in the face. With every stride, you’re building yourself into the powerhouse that will soon confront your boyfriend about his lack of follow-through.  Some picture themselves as superheroes, sprinting through the streets to make the ultimate rescue. When we push our bodies, our minds make the physical effort possible–and even fun.

W+K’s latest spots for Nike+ helps bring those mental adventures to life. The star runners of their TV ads are in a real-life video game, leaping up palettes and climbing through windows as they complete their workouts. Nike+ helps runners measure, map, track and share their runs, gamifying the work out process and inspiring everyday runners to reach farther.

My only complaint with both ‘Game on World’ and ‘Run Your City’ is their weak music selection. I get that they’re going for a tinkery game soundtrack, but I would rather they forfeit the game theme in favor of some motivational (and still techno-flavored) Diplo or bouncy pop Walk the Moon.

Credits and ‘Game on World’ video after the jump.

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W+K, Dodge Establish ‘New Rules’ of Carmaking

Anything backed by the opening thumps of Kanye West/Jay-Z‘s “No Church in the Wild” is bound to be epic. W+K’s latest spot for Dodge is no exception.

This 90-second instructional ad makes car creators look like Mad Men, minus the booze. Instead, they’re drinking coffee, kicking out committees that make compromises, and redefining the modern vehicle. The showcased car is the 2013 Dodge Dart, a compact chariot that can be started via smart phone and gets 41 miles to the gallon.

The copywriters did a fantastic job giving this ad’s narrator a mixture of humorous and informational lines, rhythmically recited over Watch the Throne’s music and a collage of video scenarios. The ad introduces Dodge’s tagline, “New Rules” (wait, does Bill Maher have a case?). If car manufacturing is really about to become this fast-paced and fun, we’re willing to follow Dodge’s guidelines.

Credits after the jump.

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