Drones Try to Assemble a Layer Cake in This Nutty Norwegian Phone Ad

Finally someone has found a good use for drones: Making a cake.

A team of little flying robots assembles a three-tier confection by airlifting genoise, splashing icing, firing candies out of a makeshift cannon and even lighting a sparkler with a blow torch—all in a new ad for Norwegian telecoms company Telia.

read more

DDB Chicago, State Farm Show the Pros and Cons of a Locker Room ‘Pep Talk’

After retaining creative duties at the start of the year following an unofficial creative review, DDB Chicago launched a brand refresh for State Farm in June which saw the agency retire the longtime “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” tagline in favor of “Here to help life go right” and an emphasis on how State Farm can help its customers navigate life’s ups and downs.

With football season here, the agency teamed up with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews III for a new, pigskin-friendly take on the same concept. 

At the beginning of the spot, Matthews give a fiery locker room pep talk which inspires the team, presumably to victory. In the next scene, Rodgers repeats lines from the speech, “Nobody comes into this house without paying the price,” while stalking a fly with a golf club. Things go considerably less well in the latter scenario, but a State Farm representative arrives to help out.

While we remain unconvinced that “Here to help life go right” has the staying power of “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” the new spot shows the flexibility and potential inherent in the approach.

The juxtaposition of the same words applied to different scenarios, yielding disastrous results when wrongfully applied, makes for some nice comedic framing that helps demonstrate the benefits of combining home and auto coverage with State Farm.

Matthews asking “Well, did you get it?” with a mouth full of sandwich is a nice touch.

Advertising Agency: DDB Chicago
Creative Directors/Art Directors/Copywriters: Brian Boord, Chad Broude
Group Creative Director: Mel Routhier
Producer: Scott Kemper

DDB Syndney Launches ŠKODA Effort ‘For Those Who Buy the Car, Not the Ad’

DDB Sydney launched a new broadcast campaign for the ŠKODA Octavia, touting the vehicle as ‘For Those Who Buy the Car, Not the Ad.”

A series of ads center around the theme of car ad clichés. Chances are viewers of all kinds will be familiar with these tropes, from orchestral soundtrack to “that look” every male driver seems to give when cornering a turn, to standing and pointing at a scenic overlook with the car in the background to suspiciously well-behaved children in the back seat.

“Life is a journey,” begins the stereotypical voiceover in one 60-second spot, continuing “It doesn’t matter where you’re going.” Then the voiceover is interrupted by an actress in the passenger seat turning to the camera and saying, “You’re not seriously buying all this are you?”

She points out that she just met the actor playing her husband that morning and that the “real parents” of the “unnaturally well-behaved” children in the backseat must be proud. Near the end of the spot she gets to the point of the effort, saying, “But strip all of this away and what are you really paying for? A car. Wouldn’t you prefer yours to come with everything but the clichés?”

Other spots in the campaign mostly follow a similar formula. In one ad the director is shown giving some rather morbid advice to child actors while touting the vehicle’s safety. Another shows the same couple from the first spot at a scenic location while the actress contrasts the need for car ads to appear sexy with the utility of some of the car’s features.

While the sarcastic, meta approach to advertising is becoming widespread enough to risk becoming a cliché itself, it’s not yet all that ubiquitous in the automotive category. The types of clichés the spot mocks are also rampant enough that any viewers will be very familiar with them and able to spot them in other ads after seeing DDB Sydney’s effort. That should make “For Those Who Buy the Car, Not the Ad” memorable, especially for those lulled into the false sense of sameness at the beginning of the spots.

“It’s not anti-category,” DDB Group Australia managing partner Amanda Wheeler explained to LBB. “It’s anti-cliché.”

“I thought: ‘This is brilliant! Why has no-one thought of it before?’ Initially we wanted to do a more conventional ad which points outs the merits of the car, but another way of doing it was found and it’s one we couldn’t resist,” added ŠKODA Australia managing director Michael Irmer. “I think now that this will make you think of ŠKODA every time you see one of those car brands that uses the clichés.”

Agency: DDB Sydney
Chief Creative Officer: Toby Talbot/Ben Welsh
Copywriter: Sam Pascoe
Art Director: Jason Woelfl
Managing Partner: Amanda Wheeler
Creative Partner: Steve Jackson, Ant Melder, Michael Barnfield

Production Company/Post Production: Finch
Producer: Sarah Cook
Director: Jae Morrison
Editorial and Online: Tim Mauger

Music Agency: Nylon Studios
Sound Design: Stuart Welch

Media Agency: Mediacom

Props No More, Ikea's Catalog Models Have Become Delusional Fame Seekers

The humans sprinkled throughout the Ikea catalog traditionally have been pure background material, a supporting cast to the furniture and other brand goods for sale. But no longer!

In this spot from DDB Brussels, they speak out, during the photo shoot for the new catalog, about their hopes and dreams, display their impressive thespian chops, and most of all, are thrilled to be poised on the cusp of what will surely be worldwide fame on the A-list level.

read more

DDB Chicago Goes Right Again with State Farm’s New Tagline

After retaining lead duties on the account for a brand revival in January following an unofficial creative review, DDB Chicago launched a campaign for State Farm earlier this month introducing the new tagline “Here to help life go right.”

After putting “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”–which was a staple for the brand for over 40 years–into semi-retirement, the agency has launched a pair of follow-up spots reiterating the message.

Both ads play up the similarities in very positive and negative situations, showing how the brand can help you prepare for both the best and worst of outcomes. “Furniture,” for example, shows two women fawning over a blue suede couch one of them just purchased. “This piece is so you,” one of them says, smiling, to a response of “I know, right? I saw it and I was just like, ‘I have to have it,’” delivered while holding up the State Farm rewards credit card.

The scene is contrasted with a pair of robbers having a remarkably similar conversation while stealing the very same couch.

The spot uses the comparison to promote both the rewards card and renters insurance, an illustration of how the brand is “Here to help life go right” in multiple ways.

A definite improvement on the “boy daydreams about the future of an insurance company in a utopian future” premise of the anthem ad launching the campaign, the spot manages to illustrate the tagline more convincingly. While the repetition in dialogue works towards that end, it does become a bit grating upon repeated viewings.

“Jacked Up” relies on that most enduring of advertising cliches: parents gifting a new driver with an expensive new car. Still, it does hammer home the tagline with an illustration of the aforementioned rewards card and insurance, contrasting the new driver’s elation with the exasperation of a man whose tires get jacked (hence the punning title).

DDB Turned Lonely Island's 'I Just Had Sex' Into a Song About Endangered Species

Yeah, they hit that. Want to hear the deets?

Some swaggering cartoon pandas sing a slightly more animalistic version of Lonely Island’s viral blockbuster “I Just Had Sex” in a new campaign about endangered wildlife. Those bears aren’t looking for back slaps just because they got lucky, though. They’re propagating the species. So it’s OK if they tell the world about their adventures in shagging, even if they admit their partner ate bamboo the whole time. (Doesn’t matter, had sex!)

read more

adam&eve DDB Asks ‘Why the Hell Not?’ for Foster’s

Art Director's Portfolio in a Bottle Gets Him Off Desert Island and Into an Agency Job

To stand out in the piles of applications DDB Istanbul received when it was looking for an art director, Canhür Aktuglu sent out an SOS and presented his portfolio as a message in a bottle. They hired him, so obviously they like the Police as much as he does.

“After that my life changed and it was guaranteed no more boring!” he writes on Behance.

The idea was a clever one, and well executed. The cover letter was sealed inside an empty glass bottle, while his résumé and portfolio were stored on a USB stick in the bottle’s cork.

DDB Istanbul had better make good use of Aktuglu while he’s there. On Behance, he also mentions that he wants to see kangaroos and go surfing—and might look into approaching DDB Sydney next. He could even use the same bottle.

Via Design Taxi.

DDB NY Adds a Pair of Senior Creatives

#MakeAChildCry Ads Remind Shocked Commuters That Sometimes Pain Means Love

For the past two weeks, metro and subway riders throughout Western Europe looked up from their phones to find enormous close-up posters of toddlers whose expressions can only be described with words the Bible used for newbies to hell: There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. These images are explained with little more than a hashtag: #MakeAChildCry.

Created by DDB Paris for Doctors of the World, the campaign aims to raise funds for pediatric medical supplies for developing countries. Over 4 million kids a year die of diseases that could be avoided. The creative stems from a simple truth that many parents cringe to consider: Sometimes inducing your child to tears is proof of love.

In phase two, follow-up ads will pull away from the children’s faces to reveal more context (like a needle closing in), coupled with the words: “Make a child cry. Save his/her life.”

We’re on board with the idea that proper parenting is not about tiptoeing around pain or fear; sometimes it’s about facing it head-on for a long-term benefit that children can’t immediately understand.

The teaser phase, which has lasted two weeks so far, is uncondescending and simple: To understand what it’s all about, surprised commuters must remember the hashtag and look it up. It’s like a call to research before raging—an idea that’s especially compelling in the context of the anti-vaxxers movement (which has now crossed the Atlantic! Good job, celebrities!).

Whatever side of that conversation you’re on, this subject is so sensitive that many people will scream out of their necks without considering, or researching, what those other, crazy parents are trying to say. (It turns out many anti-vaxxers are middle-class professionals who don’t consider themselves anti-science. They think vaccinations should be researched more closely before being fast-tracked into the mainstream—which is a fair point, especially if you scaled it beyond pediatric medicine to, say, TSA body-scans. I’ll also seize the moment to say I’m pro-vaccination, was thrilled to never have rubella or polio, and practically peed myself with glee when I heard chicken pox was finally avoidable.

You can find the #MakeAChildCry campaign in Germany, Argentina, Canada, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K.. It’s supported by TV, print and outdoor.


Anyone else seen this vaccinatio campaign in the metro ? Kinda funny #makeachildcry #imevil

A photo posted by Roxanne Varza (@rvarza) on Jul 7, 2015 at 2:50am PDT


Client: Doctors of the World
Account Directors: Luc Evrard, Alexandre Jalbert, Justine Roche
Agency: DDB Paris
Executive Creative Director: Alexander Kalchev
Creatives: Gautier Fage, Sébastien Henras, Julien Bon, Benoit Oulhen
TV Producer & Achat d’Art: Marine Rolland
Sound: Studio 5
Digital Producer: Alice Kraft
Account Management: Matthieu de Lesseux, Marine Hakim, Sophie Colus
PR: Anne-Marie Gibert
Director – Photograph: Achim Lippoth
Production: Magali Films

DDB Paris Makes Children Cry for Doctors of the World

DDB Paris launched a campaign for NGO Doctors of the World calling on viewers to “Make A Child Cry.”

That may sound pretty awful, but the tagline refers to the fact that children often cry during routine medical procedures needed to stay healthy, like vaccinations and blood tests. Since, according to text near the conclusion of the 30-second broadcast spot “One child dies every 7 seconds due to lack of medical care,” pediatricians everywhere are actually doing a world of good by setting off the waterworks. The spot opens on shots of several children crying, followed by the message “Make a child cry.” It’s an approach designed to shock viewers into paying attention, since a more straightforward call for help would be easier to ignore. Shortly after the text, the camera pans out to reveal the source of the children’s tears: medical professionals administering vaccinations and other procedures that can be painful for kids.

The ad, which made its online debut earlier in the week, will run on broadcast in France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K. It is supported by print and social components, the latter based around the #MakeAChildCry hashtag. We’ve included an example of the print campaign below.



Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris, France
Executive Creative Director : Alexander Kalchev
Creatives: Gautier Fage, Sébastien Henras, Julien Bon, Benoit Oulhen
TV Producer & Achat d’Art: Marine Rolland
Sound: Studio 5
Digital Producer: Alice Kraft
Account Management: Matthieu de Lesseux, Marine Hakim, Sophie Colus
PR: Anne-Marie Gibert
Director / Photographer: Achim Lippoth
Production company: Magali Films

Lawyer Officially Files $20M Sexual Harassment Suit Against DDB, Omnicom

Earlier this month, we posted on a pending lawsuit involving a DDB employee based in New York and allegations made against the agency, its holding company and three of its executives.

The complaint stems from the alleged behavior of the plaintiff’s supervisor, DDB Chief Digital Officer Joe Cianciotto. When our post went live, we knew little about the details of the suit beyond the fact that it was filed by a creative director who accused Cianciotto of sexual harassment.

After the story ran, we heard from the plaintiff’s lawyer, one Susan Chana Lask, Esq., who labeled agency statements about the suit “inaccurate” and offered her own narrative.

Lask cited our story in sharing details of the federal suit–officially filed today in the Southern District of New York–via her LinkedIn account. Lask makes this statement in her post:

“[The plaintiff] originally filed anonymously to protect his privacy but today revealed his name after threats from Omnicom and DDB to terminate him and sue him for libel.”

He is Matthew Christiansen, creative director on the State Farm account. Among the allegations that he and his lawyer made public via this document:

  • After Christiansen was hired, Cianciotto “immediately commenced a harassment campaign against him by repeatedly accusing Matthew of having AIDs just because he was gay…”
  • “To mock the LGBT community, Joe drew pictures of gay male employees fornicating and of Matthew naked with his penis erect commenting on Gay Equality.”
  • “Joe drew and circulated sexually explicit pictures of Matthew in the office and posted on Facebook.”
  • “Complaint certifications say that a woman’s sexual harassment complaint against Joe is at the EEOC.”
  • “The complaint alleges that employees complained to management Peter Hempel. He defended Joe and would threaten them.”

The statement, which effectively serves as a press release, includes this quote from Christiansen:

“When he accused me of AIDs, I was paralyzed with fear that people would shun me. I feared that he had access to my medical records because I am HIV positive, a private matter. DDB never apologized for the harassment and asked me to leave instead.”

It also includes links to images of the drawings mentioned.

We have reached out to DDB for a statement on this latest development in the case and will update the post if/when we receive one.

DDB NY Celebrate ‘A Boy and His Dog Duck’ for IAMS

DDB New York launched a new spot for Mars Petcare brand IAMS, telling the story of “A Boy and His Dog Duck.”

The spot shows a boy growing up alongside his dog, Duck, who gained the name when he couldn’t pronounce “Duke” as a toddler. Viewers see a montage of shared moments with the dog, from when it was just a puppy to intruding on a prom date, to needing encouragement to jump in the seat of the car as an elderly dog, before learning the origin story of the name. It’s an emotional approach, designed to show the supposed benefits of feeding dogs IAMS throughout different stages of life. In other words, it relies on a tried and true formula for the category rather than attempting to innovate. And we’re not sure what it says about us exactly, but we can’t hear the name “Duck” without thinking of this guy.

DDB Paris Enlists ‘Man Who Died the Most’ to Reach Potential Organ Donors

ddbparisCall it DDB Paris’s version of “Dumb Ways to Die…” if you will, but the agency is getting both serious and a bit ridiculous to bring awareness to the young folks out there about the importance of organ donations.

The DDB Paris team recently teamed up with Wanda director Steve Rogers to introduce to a character named “Robert Cronejager,” an actor who’s unfortunately typecast over the course of his career as “The Man Who Died the Most.” In movies.

Here’s the ad, which touches on the organ donation issue as an afterthought of sorts:

Who needs The Most Interesting Man in the World when you’ve got a guy like Cronejager who ends up dying whether playing a warrior, a mobster or a cowboy?

While paying homage to celluloid fatalities both classic and modern (nice take on American Beauty), DDB Paris’s digital campaign for France’s Biomedicine Agency aims to reach the 16-25 demo with the intention being to inject some humor to help foster and ease conversations between young adults and their families about being an organ donor.

The boatload of pop culture references may go over some viewers’ heads, but at least the minds behind the campaign bring some levity to what could be an uncomfortable topic.

Agency: DDB Paris
Account Management: Jean-Luc Bravi, Marine Hakim, Melissa Frédéric
Producer: Damien Fournier-Perret
Strategy: Sébastien Genty
Art Director: Nicolas Malcorps, Alexis Benoit
Copywriter: Alexis Benoit
Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Hervé
Planner: Sébastien Genty
Director: Steve Rogers
Production Company: Wanda

DDB Chicago Brings Back Coneheads for State Farm

About a month ago, DDB Chicago released a re-make of State Farm’s 2011 ad “State of Unrest” (more commonly known as “Jake From State Farm”) reimagined with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin reprising their Conehead roles as Beldar and Prymaat. Now, the agency has released the Coneheads followup, entitled “France.”

Behind-the-scenes footage from the last spot hinted at the direction of “France,” which opens on the Coneheads, whose microwave has just broke. Using the magic jingle, they summon a State Farm representative, not realizing that they’re revealing that they are alines, and not, in fact, from France. In an effort to reverse his mistake, they use the jingle once more to transport everyone to France, with the ad ending with tagline, “Save Mass Quantities.” It’s not the most imaginative of scenarios, but Coneheads fans should enjoy seeing Aykroyd and Curtin reprising their roles once again nevertheless. The ad debuted online and during the CBS broadcast of NCIS: Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see if DDB Chicago sticks with the Coneheads for more ads or switches to other retired SNL characters (which State Farm can do thanks to a deal between the company and Lorne Michaels‘ Broadway Video Entertainment).

DDB CD Files $20 Million Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against His Own Agency

Yesterday, MediaPost ran a story about a lawsuit recently filed against the DDB organization and its parent company Omnicom. The post noted that the suit accuses the agency’s Chief Digital Officer Joe Cianciotto of harassing a plaintiff “described only as a gay man with HIV” over an unspecified period of time and claims damages exceeding $20 million.

According to that story, the suit makes various claims against Cianciotto, who was promoted to the CDO position in 2013 after nearly a decade with the agency. In summary, the plaintiff alleges that he was “emotionally and physically paralyzed with fear as a gay man being discriminated by his own supervisor,” and the suit also names DDB New York CEO Chris Brown (who accepted that position nearly a year ago) and DDB Chief Executive Peter Hempel, claiming that they failed to respond to earlier complaints despite the fact that the plaintiff allegedly underwent “severe emotional distress.”

An agency spokesperson has provided us with a response to the suit, noting one major inaccuracy in the original story: while MediaPost calls the plaintiff “a former creative director,” he is in fact still employed by the DDB organization. The suit claims that DDB responded to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission’s “right to sue letter,” which allowed the lawsuit to proceed, by asking the plaintiff to resign, but the individual’s legal representatives now claim that this request came “without any basis regarding [the plaintiff’s] work performance.”

DDB’s response is that this all happened years ago, that the organization investigated the complaints when they were originally made, and that the plaintiff has no cause to sue his employer.

The official statement from a DDB spokesperson:

“The alleged conduct in this complaint occurred years ago and the employee who filed the lawsuit did not previously file a complaint with DDB about any of the actions cited and he remains employed by DDB.  We do not believe the lawsuit has merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.  DDB is committed to providing a comfortable and positive work environment for all of its employees.  All claims of harassment – of any type – are fully investigated and appropriate corrective action is taken if company policies have been violated.”

Updates as they come in.

Staffing Changes at DDB New York

Last year, The New York Lottery launched a creative review after more than 12 years with incumbent AOR DDB. During its time with the client, the agency produced ads utilizing every archetype from New York hipsters and dogwalkers to young-ish men who age a bit too quickly for comfort.

An unnamed source close to the matter seemed insistent on leaking related information to Adweek–and to us. The former first confirmed in July that the pitch was down to three agencies: FCB Garfinkel, McCann and the incumbent. In November sources told us that McCann was the winner–and while the agency wasn’t able to confirm this at the time, it later proved to be true.

Staffing changes stemming from the end of that relationship hit DDB’s New York office this week more than six months after the client concluded its review. Sources call it a planned restructuring–and while we don’t have any specific names, we’re told that the move affected at least one producer as well as several individuals within the agency’s Manhattan-based creative department.

In case you missed it (you didn’t), DDB New York most recently made news by expanding its creative team with the hires of CCO Icaro Doria of W+K São Paulo and GCD/content director Hannah Fishman of PR giant Edelman.

McCann has yet to publicly release its first campaign for the new client.

DDB Canada Launches ‘Unforgettable’ for Volkswagen

DDB Canada launched its first campaign for Volkswagen Canada, after picking up the account from Red Urban last September, entitled “Unforgettable.”

The campaign highlights the Volkswagen driving experience as “Unforgettable” with two spots, “Prom” and “Driving Test.” In “Prom,” the agency highlights the amount of control in the Tiguan SUV by showing a protective father able to stop his daughter’s date from leaning in for a kiss by stepping on the gas. “Driving Test” focuses on the Jetta, with a test instructor so impressed by the car’s features he doesn’t notice how bad the student is driving. The broadcast ads are currently running with slightly different intended audiences; “Prom” is supported by an NHL Playoff sponsorship, while “Driving Test” is running on specialty networks.

“Our research showed while many people know the [Volkswagen] name, they don’t have a great understanding of each of the models and what they have to offer,” Rob Sturch, creative director at DDB Canada, explained to Marketing. “Part of our task was to re-familiarize people with the Volkswagen experience. That snowballed into conversations about all the ways VW has been unforgettable – in their product and as part of culture. It was a perfect match for the brand.”

DDB Argentina Launches PSA About Dogs and Organ Transplants

DDB Argentina launched an emotional organ donation PSA for one of Argentina’s top organ donor organizations entitled “The Man & The Dog.”

The 90-second spot follows the story of an elderly man and his dog, establishing their bond in the opening part of the ad before the man suddenly collapses and is taken away by an ambulance. Our canine companion follows the ambulance to the hospital where he waits outside in vain for his master. Instead, he bonds with a woman who hospital staff rolls out on a wheelchair — the implication being that she survived thanks to the man donating his organs. While some may miss the connection, astute viewers will pick up on it and the PSA does an excellent job of drawing you in and keeping your attention as the dog waits in anticipation. In case it’s not obvious by now, you may want to keep the tissues handy for this one as the onion alert is definitely in effect. Whether or not the emotional approach ultimately convinces viewers to become organ donors, this is certainly one of the most memorable PSAs for organ donation we’ve ever seen.

Agency: DDB Argentina
Executive Creative Director: Beto Cocito
Creative VP: Hernan Jauregui
Production Company: Central Films North
Director: Rodrigo Garcia Saiz
Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Matthew Wood
Assistant Editor: Caleb Hepler
Executive Producer: Kristin Branstetter
Producer: Caitlin Morris

DDB NY Celebrates Canine Longevity for Eukanuba

DDB New York celebrates canine longevity for Eukanuba with a new campaign documenting a long life study done with a band of Labradors.

While Labradors typically live to the age of 12, several of the dogs in the study lived past 16. In the full-length, online version of the ad, viewers are introduced to these dogs: “relentless fetcher” Iowa, “water-lover” Utah, Georgia, Bunny and Clown. Eukanuba claims each of the dogs is “living an exceptionally long life and still full of vitality” and that certainly seems to be the case. The implication, of course, is that the dogs owe their longevity and good health (at least in part) to their diet of Eukanuba. A 30-second versions of the spot will run on broadcast, while supporting online spots go more in depth into the lives of the dogs highlighted and “What The Experts Say” about the study. Updated packaging and a redesigned website round out the integrated campaign.


Agency: DDB New York
Chief Creative Officer: Icaro Doria
ECD: Janet Guillet
Creative Director/AD: John McGill
Creative Director/CW: Luke Carmody
Head of Broadcast Production: Ed Zazzera
Producer: Tiffany Campbell
Director: Iain Mackenzie
Prod. Comp: Paydirt Pictures
Editor: Fluid
Music: Stock