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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Jurisic’

In john st.’s World, Fear is Key to Great Brand Experiences

WPP-owned, Toronto-based john st. continues in its great annual tradition of taking the piss out of the industry as part of its pitch for Strategy‘s Agency of the Year awards (we covered fellow Toronto agency Lowe Roche’s entry earlier today). In its follow-up to last year’s introduction of a “professional clicking service” called Buyral, john st. gets more aggressive, scaring the bejeezus out of total strangers (well, at least let’s play along) as part of the a new marketing strategy that the agency’s christened “exFEARiential.”

It’s just as absurd/amusing, if not more so, than previous john st. AOY videos including Buyral as well as predecessors, Catvertising and Pink Ponies. It looks like we aren’t the only ones that get a kick out of “exFEARiential” as it picked up Best Agency Video at the Strategy awards, where john st. also took home gold for Agency of the Year and bronze for Digital Agency of the Year. FYI, if you stick around til the end of the clip, you can click on separate videos of the stress tests featured above (or if you’re just unwilling to wait, go here and here). Credits after the jump.

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

john st. Revives ‘Wiserhood’ Campaign, with Covertly Dickish Boyfriend Theme Intact

Back in 2011, john st. unveiled this spot for Corby Distilleries Limited, part of their “Wiserhood” campaign promoting Wiser’s Whisky brand, in which a dickish guy makes a big deal over holding his girlfriend’s purse for a minute. He drops the bag on the ground, potentially damaging the contents within, and uses a plastic bag to pick it up, which he then turns inside out — as if the purse was, in fact, a steaming dog turd. Now john st. has resurrected the somewhat sexist “Wiserhood” campaign with a new spot featuring another boyfriend of the year.

In “Swan Song,” a couple are at the movies when the guy sees a display ad for a new action movie called “Swan Song” that contains the tagline “Death is back for an encore.” When his significant other returns (presumably from the bathroom or something) she asks if he’s picked a movie for them. They look at the movie titles currently showing and the woman says “Hmm…’Swan Song,’ sounds romantic.” The guy enthusiastically agrees, in all likelihood knowing fully well that his significant other is going to utterly hate the movie for the next couple of hours. What a dick.

Here’s my problem with this spot, putting the sexism aside for a moment: Who goes to the movies these days without knowing what they’re going to see? Going to the movies is freaking expensive. Too expensive to go into all willy-nilly “I’ll see whatever” and just walk into a terrible movie. Plus, people tend to know what’s playing from advertising and the Internet. If they don’t know what’s playing, they look it up and pick something out before going to the theater. It’s not 1994. While I understand that this is a short ad, and isn’t all that considered with verisimilitude, this still bothered me. It makes the spot seem like it’s from a different time, which I would guess is not what they were going for. Credits after the jump. Read more

Toronto’s john st. Unveils New Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada and john st. have launched a campaign for the brand new Mitsubishi Mirage.

The spot “Commute” plays the whole music that you thought was extra-diegetic but turns out to be diegetic card while touting the subcompact cars’ features. (We don’t like being toyed with like that, Mitsubishi.) These are good selling points, especially the best-in-class 64 mpg and the $12,498 starting price. “We know that we’re giving Canadian drivers what they value in a subcompact car, great fuel efficiency at an even better price,” explains Peter Renz, Director of National Marketing at Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada.

The whole “you can do what you want with all the money you save” thing and the diegetic music trick are a little tired, but the spot keeps it short and simple. Plus the fuel economy and low price do a fine job selling the car on their own. You’ve got to be envious of that gas mileage. Credits after the jump.

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Toronto’s john st. Uses Simple Analogy to Promote Sustainable Fishing for WWF Canada

Toronto-based, WPP-owned john st. came up with a clever way to spread the message about sustainable fishing for WWF Canada.

In their new 1:16 animated spot they show a tractor with an enormous net engulfing everything in its path as a way of harvesting crops. They then pose the question: “We don’t farm like this. So why do we fish like this?” A bit hyperbolic perhaps, but effective at communicating their message.

The importance of sustainable fishing is a growing issue everywhere, with the disastrous effects of overfishing becoming readily apparent. Yet, it’s also something a lot of people are still uninformed about. Showing unsustainable fishing techniques applied to farming — in a very literal (some may say over-simplified) way — gives an easy to understand visual demonstration of the environmental harm caused by reckless fishing practices, one that anyone can understand. The spot ends by giving viewers an alternative to supporting reckless fishing practices: choosing MSC certified sustainable seafood. Credits after the jump.

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john st. Raises Up for Lake Huron with ‘Stop the Drop’

Lake Huron’s water level has been below “crisis level” since 1983. This year, the water dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, which can seriously harm the surrounding areas environmentally and economically. To seek a solution, Georgian Bay non-profit Stop the Drop has teamed with WPP-owned, Toronto-based shop john st. for a campaign meant to raise awareness about the issue. People are encouraged to register on stopthedrop.ca. The goal is to get 20,000 registered users by Labor Day (September 2), so Stop the Drop can take the documented support to put pressure on government officials.

To add to the campaign, john st. produced a short video of an event from late June when 2,000 bottles filled with Stop the Drop messages were placed on the shores of Killbear Provincial Park for visitors to read. The message-in-a-bottle trope is a creative method for the nonprofit to reach out to the public without social media. This is social networking, circa the 18th Century, and these sort of unique grassroots projects could help Stop the Drop achieve its goal as September nears.

Credits after the jump.

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John st. Pom-Poms Earth Hour

We’ve covered past john st. efforts, original campaigns that are usually quirky and honest without forcing the issue. The Toront-based agency’s newest fare, “Earth Hour Cheerspiration,” comes on the heels of a WPP takeover. And even though it’s too early to thumb the corporate acquisition for a change in creativity, ”Cheerspiration,” as you can see in the above video, lacks the off-beat humor we’ve come to expect from john st.

The spot is meant to promote Earth Hour for WWF Canada, when those interested will conserve energy by shutting off all lights for one hour on the night of March 23 (for reference, check out this previous Earth Hour work from TVF and Hot Chip). Associating the unwavering pep of five loud cheerleaders with an important cause seems misguided at best, especially since it’s not easy to understand their hollering and, well, they’re cheerleaders. They’re stereotypically dumb–not saying that’s true–and only likable to jocks and teenage girls who thought Bring It On was a great movie. Not sure what the connection is to Earth Hour–maybe there is no connection? But if that’s the case, then why?

Dare I say it…even couchgating was more entertaining, and that’s been my gold standard of witless advertising. Here’s to hoping for better work next time, john st. Two more “Cheerspiration” spots and credits after the jump.

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Cassies are Cheerfully Irrelevant

Grammys. Oscars. MTV Music Video Awards. Cassies. Some award shows are more popular than others, but at the end of the day, they are all irrelevant except to those who win. Instead of asking nominees to cover up their curves, as was protocol at this year’s Grammys, the best approach is to let it all hang out with some good old fashioned self-deprecation.

Here are three clever promos created by Toronto agency john st., which introduced us to “Buyral” not too long ago, for the 2013 Cassie Awards, which apparently have been billed by the parties involved as the Canadian Effies. If nobody else cares about your commercials, at least you can add a trivial trophy to the banner of the agency website only clients will know about. I’ll leave you to the other two spots and the credits after the jump before the imaginary orchestra cuts me off.

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Out with the New, In with the Old for National Sweater Day

Turn up those hearing aids…Toronto agency john st. has brought back its Granny-themed National Sweater Day campaign for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Ruth, Florence, Audrey, and a few other lovely ladies from Granny Call Centre 82.0 are back to convince Canadians to wear sweaters and lower the heater on Feb. 7 in an effort to save energy. You should check out the campaign’s site to meet all the grannies and read background info for the cause. You also have the option of nominating your own grandmother if she’s into ugly sweaters and environmental awareness.

The aforementioned john st. which recently amused us with its “Buyral” spoof, tapped into the secret of advertising for this one: Either cute babies or charming grandparents equals success. The only thing missing from the videos is a cutaway to cute babies in ugly sweaters. That would’ve been the equivalent of back-to-back Bingo’s in the nursing home. But the National Sweater Day campaign is still a smart revival for a good cause. Betty White better watch her back. Credits after the jump.

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