Organic Valley Is Back to 'Save the Bros' Again, and This Time You Can Help Brononymously

Earlier this year, Organic Valley launched a brilliantly idiotic campaign to save bros from synthetic protein. Now, the dairy marketer wants you to know the work isn’t done.

A new video from Alex Bogusky-backed agency Humanaut introduces an anonymous bro-themed hotline, where would-be good samaritans can try to help without risking juvenile retaliation (recounted in the ad as 60 Minutes style confessionals).

The hotline promotes an online component that asks users to name the Twitter handle of a bro in need of saving, and select up to seven of his bro qualities, like whether he has a tribal tattoo. Each quality comes with its own special video appeal.

Overall, the new work’s best part might be the spokeswoman’s crazy eyes—clocking in at a higher degree of intensity than in February’s more deadpan launch spot. The basic concept here is, at its heart, the exact same joke as the original, just stretched further, at moments to the point of feeling thin.

But it does benefit from new gems, like suggesting that if bros weren’t propping up the market for gold chains, the value of precious metals (and ultimately the world economy) might collapse. Other excellent little touches include an edit halfway through the clip on tanning, when the spokeswoman suddenly turns orange, or the video on puerile innuendo, when she addresses the viewer as “a real Edgar Allen Bro.”

And anyway, the whole thing wouldn’t really capture the essence of bro if it didn’t harp on the same gag over and over again.

Client: Organic Valley
Product: Organic Fuel
Campaign: The Brononymous Hotline

Agency: Humanaut
Creative Advisor: Alex Bogusky
Creative Director: David Littlejohn
Strategy: Andrew Clark
Account Director: Elizabeth Cates
Copywriter: Andrew Ure / David Littlejohn
Art Director: Matt Denyer / Daniel Edelman
Senior Designer: Stephanie Gelabert
Creative Intern: Sam Hazelfeldt

Production Company: Fancy Rhino, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Director: Daniel Jacobs
Producer: Katie Nelson / Ivannah Flores
Director Of Photography: Phil Dillon
Photographer: Jaime Smialek / John Goodridge / Cooper Winterson
Editor: Colin Loughlin / Tyler Beasley
Colorist: Andrew Aldridge
Production Designer: Chad Harris
Music Company: Skypunch Studios, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Composer: Carl Cadwell
Media Partner: Redwood, Inc.

Bob Dylan Went Electric. And You Should Too, With a Plug-In Hybrid, Says Audi

A new hybrid-electric Audi is just like that time Bob Dylan shocked audiences by playing an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival, says Audi.

This new video from the automaker, a sponsor of the 2015 festival, interviews a mix of historical figures, like documentarian Murray Lerner, and modern musicians, like Courtney Barnett, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists—artists who were part of the lineup at Newport this summer, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of famous Dylan’s 1965 show.

So, what exactly are the differences between a Fender Stratocaster and an Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, you might ask? It doesn’t matter, because when you’re driving around in your sweet $40,000 car, you’ll feel like a pioneer and a rebel cranking out creamy licks on your finely tuned instrument.

It also may be worth noting that while it’s widely believed audiences booed Dylan’s decision to go electric, that account is also disputed—other theories include that crowds were upset by bad sound quality, or the shortness of his set. But that’s nowhere near as good a story.

To be fair, the clip does include some charming rumination on music and its evolution. But the implicit message—”Don’t hate progress. Buy an Audi”—isn’t the most compelling song. Especially when other car marketers are making the case that fuel-efficient alternates can literally run on cow crap.

Client: Audi
Spot: “Plugging In”
Executive Producer: Joseph Assad
Director: Phil Pinto
Narration: ?Holly Laessig
Agency: PMK•BNC/Vowel
Production Company: One Thousand Percent
Producer: Tyler Byrne, Kristopher Rey-Talley & Rebecca Assing
Director of Photography: Sam Wootton
2nd Unit Director: Antonio Santos
Associate Producer: Victoria Lada
Editorial: One Thousand Percent
Editor: David Yoonha Park & Ryan Dickie
Post Producer: Kristopher Rey-Talley
VFX Company: Motion Atelier
Nuke Artist: Paulo Dias
Titles/Graphics: Wax Magazine
Animation: Konrad & Paul
Sound Designer: Colin Alexander
Mixer: Greg Tobler

Clothing Crackles With the Meaning of Life in These Excellent European Fabric Softener Ads

Kudos to Procter & Gamble brand Lenor (known in the U.S. as Downy) for managing to eroticize fabric softener in surprisingly poetic fashion.

Each of these four long-form ads from Grey Dusseldorf delivers a cheeky ode to a different type of garment—skirts, trousers, shirts and scarves.

The first may be the wittiest, but overall they feature some of the richest copy in recent years, full of little twists and turns perfectly juxtaposed with a wildly varied montage that splices contemporary footage with older live clips, stills and cartoons spanning the better part of a century—not to mention a few much older works of art. (Modern highlights include a nod to the No Pants Subway Ride, and a sideswipe at Americans for misusing the word “pants” altogether.)

Even when the prose does get a bit purple, it stays oddly delightful. That’s in large part because, despite reveling in its own wordplay, it hews pretty closely to a truth-telling tone—not in a myopic, product-peddling kind of way but in a broader, clever and observational sense. 

“So let’s not skirt around the subject,” explains the voiceover in a quirky Icelandic accent that doesn’t hurt the work’s charm any, either. “You turn heads, drop jaws and make grown men speechless. You help us in our search for Mr. Right, but locate so many Mr. Wrongs.”

In other words, it doesn’t always take the most progressive tack, but the whole thing is credible and entertaining enough to make you feel like Lenor doesn’t just want to reach into your pocket and pull out the cash (along with whatever blue lint it can find).

Rather, it wants to share the secrets to a life well lived. Because what is doing laundry about, if not the meaning of existence?

Kevin Durant Goes Nuts for a Street Baller's Dunk in Ad for Nike and Foot Locker

Kevin Durant may be a basketball star, but he knows how to cheer for the little people, too.

In this new co-branded ad for Nike and Foot Locker, the Oklahoma City Thunder player gets so excited while sitting courtside at a street game that he throws his legs—and his namesake KD 8 Nikes—into the air.

It’s just one part of an epic crowd reaction when a player—wearing the same Joker-esque purple and green shoes—lands a reverse dunk. Other highlights from the stands include a super slow-mo “Oh no!” face, a sax solo and even a kid blasting off with a jetpack (which doesn’t really seem like the safest idea given the crowd below, but anyways).

In fact, the only spectator who doesn’t lose his mind is Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves—the NBA’s 2015 slam dunk champion—who barely bothers to look up from studying a copy of a book titled The Funk on Dunk (which sadly doesn’t appear to be a real title … or at least, not one that’s currently in print).

Though to be totally honest, the move itself doesn’t come close to Blake Griffin’s latest for Jordan—or even Marvin the Martian’s.

Clients: Nike & Foot Locker

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown
Copywriter: Sheena Brady
Art Director: Mike Warzin
Producer: Kevin Diller
Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
Strategic Planning: Brandon Thornton
Media/Comms Planning: Charles Lee, John Furnari
Account Team: Jordan Muse, Katie Gurgainus, Chase Haviland, Luke Purdy
Business Affaires: Alicia Willett
Project Management: Emily Norman
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fizloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Steve Ayson
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer: Mark Hall
Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd

Editorial Company: Exile Editorial
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Post Producer: Toby Louie
Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

VFX Company: Saint
Flame Artist: Robert Trent
VFX Producer: Helen Park

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Director: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown
Copywriter: Sheena Brady
Art Director: Mike Warzin
Producer: Kevin Diller
Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
Strategic Planning: Brandon Thornton
Media/Comms Planning: Charles Lee, John Furnari
Account Team: Jordan Muse, Katie Gurgainus, Chase Haviland, Luke Purdy
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Digital Designer: Justin Morris
Exec Interactive Producer: Ben Oh
Content Producer : Keith Rice
Art Buying: Amy Berriochoa

Everyone Is an Emoji in This Bizarre and Terrifying French McDonald's Ad

What are we all but a bunch of emoji with arms and legs and a hankering for McDonald’s?

An insane new French ad for fast-food chain shows a city full of people going about their daily lives—driving around with friends, getting a shave at the barber, break dancing in the streets. But instead of human heads, they all have giant, 3-D, cartoon faces.

The soundtrack—a bubbly electro pop cover of the Buggles’ 1978 classic “Video Killed the Radio Star”—almost makes the ad feel like a music video. But the song, a rendition apparently created specifically for the ad, when coupled with the visual concept, which feels fresh in and of itself, seems to imply a critique of technology that’s more contemporary than the one baked into the lyrical hook, and a bit out of place for a major fast-food marketer.

McDonald’s and agency BETC Paris have explicitly created a world where digital communication reduces facial expression—a wildly subtle and complex phenomenon—to a series of shiny yellow orbs representing monolithic and equally monochromatic feelings. That’s a pretty excellent premise for a video, but the brand presents it here without any of the real anxiety about change that defines the text of the original synth pop song—or the deadpan theatricality with which the Buggles promoted and performed it; or, say, the more explicitly ironic bitterness and dissatisfaction of the 1996 alt-rock cover by the Presidents of the United States of America.

Instead, McD’s presents everyone being a stiff caricature of their own ids as a good thing. And that only really makes sense if you’re a faceless corporation that deals in cardboard platitudes like Happy Meals peddled by a brightly colored clown mascot, and other overly processed hamburgers that can save the doomed love lives of awkward young adults.

It probably doesn’t help the brand’s case that the tagline, “Venez comme vous êtes,” which translates to “Come as you are,” inadvertently bastardizes the spirit of another classic song about the tension between individuality, conformity and perception. (To be fair, that tagline has been around for years—and McDonald’s France has used it to, among other things, promote gay rights.)

Within the emoji ad’s own construct, it includes clever little tidbits—some of them perhaps more deliberate than others, like the kid who turns from angel to devil, as opposed to the weatherman with the smarmy, oafish look on his face. The spot also deserves credit for doing a distinctly better job of getting its message across than some other emoji-driven attempts at marketing. (In fact, it’s way simpler and more accessible—if less delightful—than some of the brands that decided to try to invent their own emoticons.)

It’s also worth noting that BETC Paris is experienced in creating absurd viral sensations, having graced the world with Evian’s classic roller-dancing babies, and the agency appears to be swinging for the fences again here. But the idea, for all its potential, suffers as a result of its attempt to be broadly appealing to what’s seen as the perpetual sunshine ethos of millennials. In that, it turns into a nauseatingly saccharine panacea—without near enough sarcasm or skepticism about what it’s actually saying.

In fact, the insistence on framing a fundamentally disturbing set of images as lighthearted and upbeat can’t keep the dark subtext and implicit social critique at bay. So, the whole thing ends up seeming unintentionally dystopian, like the Kia hamsters tossed into a meat grinder with a deadmau5 helmet and Katy Perry fever dream, with the resulting slime squeezed out into a bunch of circular, cookie-cutter nuggets, baked golden and plopped onto a bunch of necks.

Ultimately, it mostly adds credence to Taco Bell’s case that Ronald McDonald is actually a Stalinist looking to control all aspects of your life—only he’s way more insidious than you thought, mostly interested in brainwashing us into grinning idiots by defining happiness in terms of Big Macs and faces made of pixels.

Plus, you know the spot can’t be trusted because it doesn’t show anyone who just gobbled a McDonald’s burger and turned into the emoji for “I have a stomach ache and I wish I hadn’t eaten that”—which isn’t available yet, but is slated for release in 2016.

Could You Climb a Slippery Plane Wing to Complete This Mission Impossible Obstacle Course?

If you wish you could be like Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt, here’s a fun bit of stunt marketing for you.

To promote Rogue Nation, the fifth movie in the franchise, agency Grandesign set up a spy-thriller- inspired obstacle course for passersby in Hollywood over July 4th weekend.

The accompanying case study video shows Simon Pegg, who plays IMF agent Benji Dunn in the Mission Impossible movies, serving as the emcee for a set of reality-TV-style challenges. A dozen or so contestants end up chasing down a specific briefcase in a plaza full of businessmen; swimming through a winding tank to unlock an underwater box; climbing soaking wet up a slippery, wobbly, and inclined plane wing (or falling into the foam pit beside it); and ultimately rappelling from a third story walkway.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.


Who, you might ask, are all these upbeat athletic people, with approachable good looks and a vaguely representative demographic spread, who are happy to drop whatever they’re doing to go gallivanting through some movie marketing campaign?

Grandesign insists, for its part, that the participants were real and random. But it’s almost impossible to ever believe these elaborately produced events are not staged—or at least heavily manipulated—in all aspects from concept to set design to casting, and so forth.

Regardless, the contestants with the best times did get a trip to the red carpet premiere in Vienna, Austria as proven by an on-site photo-op with Tom Cruise—which also happens to reveal the true criterion for participating: be pretty, so long as you’re not prettier than he is.

New York Lottery Posts Fliers in Last-Ditch Search for Winner of Unclaimed $7 Million

The popular knock against the lottery is that you can play it, but you’re an idiot if you do, cause nobody ever wins. But a new campaign for the New York Lottery is about a different kind of problem—someone who actually won, but who’s yet to claim the $7 million prize, and almost a year later, is about to run out of time.

McCann New York has posted street fliers in Canarsie, the Brooklyn neighborhood that’s home to Milky Way Deli, where the winning ticket in a Cash4Life game last summer was bought. A sketch of the ticket and the headline “Have You Seen Me?” adorns one flier. A stick figure smiles dumbly on a second with the headline “Is This You?” The subtext of both is: Are you the fool who’s about to let seven figures slip through your fingers?

In other words, the whole thing is devious and hilarious because it’s playful and it also reinforces the perception that people actually win—and invites everyone who sees it to imagine how much smarter they would be if they did.

Of course, it doesn’t really seem like the New York Lottery’s heart is really in the mission of finding the lucky lost soul. The winner, whoever he or she is, bought the ticket last July 24 (and needs to come forward by the same date this year, or the money goes back into the pool). But the lottery only started its canvassing campaign yesterday (July 22)—and the super high production values of its posters pretty much say it all.

Maybe the whole thing is a grand hoax—and the organization has the really winner stashed away somewhere, to roll out at the last minute—or there’s no winner at all. Then again, none of that really matters in the end, because whatever $4 million lump sum pittance would be left after taxes still isn’t enough to live in New York anyway.

Yodeling Country Man Charms Stressed City Dwellers on Live Ad in Swiss Tourism Stunt

Here’s a fun stunt. To promote tourism, the rural Swiss region of Graubünden got an affable grey-bearded man to yell in real-time from a digital screen to passersby in Zurich’s main train station—trying to lure them with sweet yodeling and a free ticket to an impromptu vacation in a pastoral mountain town.

The take-it-now-or-leave-it twist is basically a local version of Heineken’s Departure Roullette campaign from a couple years back, which offered travelers already at the JFK airport a vacation to a unknown exotic location if they agreed to drop their existing plans.

Still, the Swiss video is a clever enough use of media, with the live dynamic playing on the expectation that the billboard will be comparatively static (in other words, it’s also another take on the intelligent vending machine). Plus, the invitation for an afternoon snack is pretty tempting, and the pitchman gets points for enthusiasm—he even goes so far as to offer to speak with one prospect’s boss, and actually dials another’s school to inform them the kid will be missing a day.

Then again, at the moment he actually starts greeting and shaking hands with guests, it suddenly looks an awful lot like the whole thing is green-screened. The trip from Zurich to Vrin is about 2 hours and 45 minutes by rail, according to Google Maps. So, it’s pretty suspicious that there’s no footage of the actual magical train that whisked people there—or their super fun adventures along the way (assuming Swiss train rides feature dining cars and high-speed wifi).

In fact, it doesn’t even seem like the brand and agency Jung Von Matt (which did a high-profile Facebook stunt for the Graubünden area back in 2011) even bothered to try to make it particularly convincing. For logistical reasons alone, it’s probable that they hired actors to play commuters, and shot the rest in a studio somewhere.

No matter, though, the major point holds. “Get away from the city and head to a relaxed mountain village,” reads the tagline. “[Or maybe just a computerized facsimile of one].”

Nike Celebrates the 'Real Girls of Moscow' With Empowering Ads, Murals and GIFs

Back in April, Nike Women launched its popular “Better for It” motivational campaign in the U.S. Now, the sportswear giant is expanding the tagline in Russia.

A half-dozen new spots from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam feature the same playful attitude and general message—that the benefits of exercise outweigh the challenge—but take a slightly different tone, as you might expect from ads that feature professional athletes instead of the average exercisers represented in the U.S. work.

The camera work, from director Carlos Serrao, is a little more dramatic in its attention to detail, with scenes like yogi Olga Markes holding a particularly brutal pose while dripping sweat and boxer Kate Izotova getting punched in the face while sparring (a moment featured, naturally, in slow motion).

The copy, meanwhile, comes across as less overtly vulnerable than in the U.S. ads, where women explicitly tolerated their own misery (largely manifest as insecurity) for the promise of self-improvement in the end. Instead, the Russian athletes seem to be a bit more defiant in their vanity—embracing pain in pursuit of perfection or glory.

“What are you doing here?” says Izotova’s voiceover. “You could have stayed at home, been someone’s trophy…. Screw that. I’ll earn my own trophy.”

In other words, the ads hew more closely to traditional endorser-driven sports marketing (even if they’re not celebrities with wide global name recognition)—a strategy that speaks more of a “Be like this” inspirational strategy than a “We know it’s hard but we’re with you” motivational one.

In addition to the pro athlete ads, Nike also turned Instagram posts of real girls working out into street posters around Moscow. Indeed, the campaign’s title is “Real Girls of Moscow,” and it aims to capture the spirit of what Nike describes as a growing sports movement in Russia, featuring women who are “free-thinking and free-spirited,” and “are more comfortable in sneakers than heels, preferring exercise to fad diets.”

Whether drawing that kind of line—or calling a bunch of accomplished women, at least four of whom are in their 20s and 30s, “girls”—is a smart or deliberately provocative move isn’t clear. But it is at least understandable, given the brand sells selling running shoes that also tend to double as fashion statements—and not stilettos.

Regardless, Nike is also touting a 25,000-person turnout for a 10-day sporting event at Gorky Park in Moscow. And the new campaign features top athletes in a broad range of disciplines (ballet, choreography, long-jumping, skateboarding and sprinting) showing up variously on giant outdoor murals, and in nifty GIFs for online distribution—probably because if you really want to do that sweet kickflip, you’re going to have to get used to doing it over and over again, stuck on infinite loop, for the rest of time.

Client: Nike

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Creative Director: David Smith, Alvaro Sotomayor, Craig Williams
Art Director: Ignasi Tudela
Copywriter: Zoe Hawkins
Head of Content : Joe Togneri
Planner: Danny Feeney, Michelle Arrazcaeta
Communications Planner: Josh Chang
Group Account Director: Kirk Johnsen
Account Director: Kathryn Addo
Senior Account Manager: Jorge Fesser
Broadcast production / Head of Art Buying : Maud Klarenbeek
Art buying / broadcast production: Javier Perroud
Head of Studio: Jackie Barbour
Retoucher: Dario Fusnecher
Project Manager: Janna Harrington
Business Affairs: Michael Graves

Production Company: Terrie Tanaka Management
Director/Photographer: Carlos Serrao
Director of Photography: Monica May
Producer: Amy Lynne
Executive Producer: Terrie Tanaka
Vogue Shoot Make-up: Mark Williamson at artist-management using Mac
Vogue Shoot hair: Hanjee at Jed Root for Hanjee Hair Gallery

Editing Company: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Sam Gunn

Audio Post: Wave Amsterdam
Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicholls-Lee

Music: Glintshake / MassiveMusic
Katya Izotova: Glintshake
Olga Markes: Glintshake
Adelina Sotnikova: MassiveMusic
Diana Vishneva: MassiveMusic
Darya Klishina: MassiveMusic

Postproduction: Glassworks
Flame: Morten Vinther
Telecine: Scott Harris
Producer: Jane Bakx

Media Buy: Mindshare Russia

Digital Production + Social Activation: Instinct BBDO Moscow

Can McDonald's Turn an Awkward Blind Date Into Something That's Actually Fun?

McDonald’s won’t just sate your hunger and comfort you when you’re down. It will actually save your aborted love life.

Or so claims a new U.K. ad from Leo Burnett London. The burger chain plays matchmaker, featuring a couple with basically no chemistry on what appears to be a first date. That is, at least, until the end, after they’ve parted ways unceremoniously and slunk off separately to grab a bite at McDonald’s, where … well, you’ll see.

It’s a nice thought for a brand that trades in tasty greasiness and the illusion of happiness. He’s like a British Bradley Cooper. She’s like a British Alison Brie. The tight scenes—a nonsense art gallery, a botched trip to the bowling lanes—contribute to the credible sense of awkwardness. And coincidences that might serve as ice(berg) breakers (sorry) could easily be mistaken for fate (especially because the relatively small menu seems to improve the odds of alignment).

Unfortunately, the ending really is nothing but a deus ex (big) mac-hina (sorry, again). Given their social skills—or lack thereof—running into each other again would probably, in reality, just make the whole situation even worse.

Are they really going to sit together at that point? How long can they talk about french fries and barbecue sauce, when they clearly have nothing else in common? Plus, even if it goes well, they’re probably just replacing heartache with stomachaches. Then they’ll have to say goodbye all over again—and it’s highly doubtful either is carrying a breath mint.

In all seriousness, though, it’s a sweet story, especially if you like that fake strawberry flavor.

Holiday's Over for Germs in These Awesomely Gross Ads for a Unilever Cleaning Brand

Attention, germaphobes. Here are your worst nightmares realized.

Unilver cleaning brand Domestos is out with three new print and poster ads in the U.K. that vividly imagine microorganisms as gross cartoons on vacations—swimming, snapping selfless, sipping cocktails on the beach (yes, that’s duck face).

The “Holiday’s over” tagline is a little long on bravado, but the illustrations—created by Bangkok CGI studio Illusion, via agency British agency DLKW Lowe—might be the most gorgeously disgusting visuals ever (even if Harvey Keitel’s credits apparently include voicing one of their millions of impressively hideous dead ancestors).

Now enjoy your righteous sense of horror, and go and wash your hands.

Full ads below. Click to enlarge.

Client Name: Domestos
Campaign Name: Holiday’s Over
Agency: DLKW Lowe
ECD: Richard Denney, Dave Henderson
Global Creative Director: Tony Hardcastle
Creative Team: Katrina Encanto,  Edgar Galang 
Planner: Richard Kelly
Account Team: James Pool, Ross Marshall
Agency Producers: Gary Wallis
Media Agency: Initiative 
Design Company: Illusion Co. Ltd  
Illustrators: Surachai Puthikuangkura, Supachai U-Rairat
Producers: Somsak Pairew, Kitidej Rattanasuvansri

India's First Ad With a Lesbian Couple Goes Viral

An Indian clothing company is out with an ad that news reports are billing as the socially conservative country’s first to feature a lesbian couple.

Anouk and Ogilvy & Mather Bangalore created the spot, in which the couple get ready to meet—and, the ad suggests, come out to—the parents of one of the women. Three and a half minutes long, the spot aims for a casual tone, showing the women in their apartment, putting on makeup and chatting about clothing, hairstyles and their relationship.

While LGBT themes in ads are increasingly common and overt in the U.S, homosexuality is illegal in India. Two years ago, the country’s Supreme Court reinstated the ban after a lower court had ruled it unconstitutional.

The tagline, “Bold is beautiful,” risks conflating putting on a bright-colored dress with being open about one’s sexuality in a highly hostile environment. But the brand deserves credit for aligning itself with a progressive message—the ad seems to be mainly garnering support on YouTube (where it has more than 1.6 million views), even if the spirit of it is lost on the obligatory bigots yelling in all caps in the comments section of articles.

Yogurt brand Chobani, meanwhile, is out with its own lesbian-themed ad that’s much more explicit—and ridiculous—because why not play to base instincts, too?

Finlandia Packs 1,000 Years of Offbeat Inspiration Into One Crazy Ad

Finlandia is gunning hard for the title of most inspirational vodka commercial ever.

A new two-and-half-minute ad, “1,000 years of less ordinary wisdom,” features offbeat heroes like a drag wrestler and reindeer racer offering tips on how to make it in the world, like “Be nobody’s bitch but your own” and “You’re only as fast as your reindeer.” In other words, a lot of the advice is, in spirit, not really that different from standard motivational fare, even if it comes from unusual sources and their unconventional contexts (though fashion icon Iris Apfel is not exactly out of the spotlight these days).

As for the title, the 1,000 years refers to the sum of the ages of the people in the commercial. A number of them are long in the tooth, which is cool, because listening to one’s elders is generally a good thing—they’re often less boring and clueless than young people. But the spot also makes sure to feature more sprightly accomplished types, too, like a prima ballerina and volcanic scientist (because it can’t really exclude representing the money demo, too).

Created by Wieden + Kennedy London, the spot relies heavily on a driving (mostly) instrumental version of the song “Undeniable,” by Donnie Daydream featuring Richie Sosa. That strings together the disparate footage from director Siri Bunford (though it might be worth mentioning that Adidas also just used the record as a soundtrack for its own sports-themed montage-qua-anthem).

Game of Thrones fans might enjoy that, as Fast Company notes, the strong man—Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson—is also a actor on the show. (He’s the latest in a string to play “The Mountain” Gregor Clegane, largely absent this season but for the occasional twitch from under a blanket on a laboratory table, the pseudo-zombie experiment of some sinister wizard. P.S.: If that’s where drinking Finlandia leads, no thanks.)

In all seriousness, though, the concept is pretty moving—a nice snapshot of various walks of life, with some clever and charming moments. Overall, it might even be convincing, except what drinking vodka really makes people want to do is drink more vodka and then pass out hard and sleep in the next day—not a great way to tear through that bucket list.

Client: Finlandia
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Creative directors: Scott Dungate, Graeme Douglas
Copywriter: Paddy Treacy
Art director: Mark Shanley
Executive creative directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
Executive producer: Danielle Stewart
Group account director: Paulo Salomao
Account director: Matt Owen
Account manager: Sophie Lake
Head of planning: Beth Bentley
Planning director: Martin Beverley
TV producer: Michelle Brough
Production company: Knucklehead
Director: Siri Bunford
Executive producer: Matthew Brown
Director of photography: Ben Smithard
Editorial companies: Lucky Cat, Whitehouse Post
Editors: Xavier Perkins, Lucky Cat; Adam Marshall, Whitehouse Post
Post producer: Anandi Peiris
VFX company: MPC
VFX supervisor: Bill McNamara
Flame artist: Bill McNamara
VFX producer: Anandi Peiris
Grade: MPC
Colorist: Matthieu Toullet
Titles/graphics: Ryan Teixeira
Music/sound company: Factory
Sound designers: Anthony Moore, Phil Bollard
Song: Undeniable, Richie Sosa
Interactive producer: Dom Felton
Director of relations: Marta Bobic
PR manager: Charlotte Corbett

Heineken's New Legend Leads a Romp Through the Parisian Underground

Men who drink Heineken are still going on wild romps through the world’s most colorful cities, but now one is leading a gaggle of clueless tourists as well.

In this new ad from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, a dapper young man hijacks a tour guide’s authority and takes his charges to see the better, deeper secrets of Paris. Those include, naturally, a masquerade hidden in crypts beneath the city, with guests wearing plague doctor masks.

It’s a familiar formula for the brewer: A gregarious charmer, who could easily be the Most Interesting Man in the World in his prime, dances his way through a retro-hip wonderland, slugging Heinekens along the way. The twist here is perhaps that the hero is a little more gracious—less concerned with his his own appetite for chasing thrills and beautiful women (or, in that one instance, for finding his pet goat) and instead more eager to show the guests of his city a good time, as a sort of random act of benevolence.

The best moment, though, is probably the silliest—when the tour group is waylaid by a gang of mimes. Probably because after a parade of slick feel-good partying, nothing is more refreshing than a bunch of creepy overblown clowns making fools of themselves.

Client: Heineken
Global Brand Director: Gianluca di Tondo
Global Communications Director: Anuraag Trikha
Global Communications Manager: Diana Agudelo Hernandez

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy
Creative Director: Thierry Albert & Faustin Claverie
Art Director: Kia Heinnen
Copywriter: Zoe Hawkins
Head of Broadcast Production: Joe Togneri
Broadcast Producer: Elissa Singstock
Planner: Nick Docherty
Group Account Director: Jordi Pont
Account Manager: Amber Martin
Project Manager: Stacey Prudden
Business Affairs: Emilie Douque

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Dante Ariola
Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd
Producer: Natalie Hill
Executive Producer: Debbie Turner

Editing Company: Peep Show Post
Editor: Andrea MacArthur

Audio Post: Grand Central Recording Studios
Sound Designer/Mixer: Raja Sehgal

Music: Schmooze
Artist / Title: Feu Chatterton/ J’aime regarder les filles
Music Company: Schmooze

Postproduction: Method Studios New York / Co.3
Flame: Tom McCullough
3D: Rick Walia
Telecine: Stefan Sonnenfeld (Co.3)
Producer: Matthew Engel (Method NY) / Rhubie Jovanov (Co.3)

This Clever Billboard From Fiat Actually Helps Drivers Parallel Park

How easy would it be to parallel park if you always had a friend to help you—even when you were driving alone?

A new Fiat billboard created by Leo Burnett Germany invites viewers to imagine just that. The agency hooked up a digital screen with special software and a sensors to measure how far a driver’s rear bumper was from the car behind it, and then projected synchronized images of human helpers guiding the driver’s parking job—just like a passenger might get out and do.

It’s a simple, clever concept, appropriate to promote Fiat’s Parking Assist technology, an alarm system that warns drivers in reverse of objects behind them. The billboard even offers a range of different playful avatars for the computerized assistant—a biker, a child, a wise old-man. And the brand’s marketing team couldn’t resist designing one of them—a woman in a skimpy bunny outfit—to appeal to the leering set.

Unfortunately, that seems like the kind of thing that might make some drivers more likely to hit the car behind them.

Via The Inspiration Room.

Christopher Guest Returns With More Hilarious Best in Show Spoofs for PetSmart

During the Oscars, PetSmart and Christopher Guest launched a pretty excellent campaign themed around Best in Show. Now, they’re back with more.

The new material from GSD&M is particularly reminiscent of Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock as Meg and Hamilton Swan, who, in the movie, love J. Crew (and other clothing catalogs). But the man and woman in this latest ad, “The Avant Guardians,” are more haute, if equally insane, describing themselves, and their dog, as “fashion forward.”

That’s to say, in keeping with the Best in Show tradition, they ridiculously project all kinds of human qualities on their coddled shih tzu, Ford (presumably a nod to Tom Ford). And because it’s Guest-directed, the delivery is awkward in a perfect kind of way, with the actors ping-ponging between nonchalant and over the top, making crazy eyes and stammering out too-enthusiastic punch lines.

It almost makes it easy to forget that it’s a sales pitch. Then again, that’s pretty easy to do when you’re basically just copying a classic … even if by inbreeding.

Client: PetSmart
VP Marketing Communications: Shane McCall
Director, Traditional Creative: Valerie Lederer
Assoc. Creative Manager, Traditional Creative: Tara Niederhaus
Dir., Marketing Strategy and Nat’l Promotions: Debbie Beisswanger
Creative Manager- Store Environment: Chris Windsor
Project Manager, Salon Strategy: Megan Mouser
Titles: “The Avant Guardians” :15/:30; “Nooks and Crannies” 2:18
Agency: GSD&M
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Scott Brewer
Group Creative Director/Writer: Ryan Carroll
Assoc. Creative Director/Art Director: Ross Aboud
Assoc. Creative Director/Writer: Kevin Dunleavy
Art Director: Morgan McDonald
Writer: Scott Chalkley
Agency Producer: Abigail Hinojosa
Associate Agency Producer: Adriane Weist
Business Manager: Lindsay Wakabayashi
SVP/Managing Director: Scott Moore
Account Director: Sabia Sidiqi
Account Supervisor: Ben Creasey
Account Manager: Nadia Elias
Production Company: GO
Director: Christopher Guest
Managing Director: Gary Rose
Executive Producer: Adam Bloom
Executive Producer: Catherine Finkenstaedt
Line Producer: Mark Hyatt
DP: Kristian Kachikis
Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
Editor: Gavin Cutler

This Foot-Care Brand Made the First Magazine You Read With Your Feet

What better way to sell foot-care products than with an entire magazine for and about feet?

Hansaplast, a Beiersdorf-owned band-aid brand, is launching a line of creams, deodorant and antiperspirant called FootExpert. To promote the products, agency Being created Feet Mag, a luxury publication designed with heavy paper that can be easily turned by one’s feet, and large print that you can enjoy from an eye-to-foot distance (for those unable to lift the book close to their faces using only their toes).

The magazine is packed with foot-themed stories about art (by the likes of Renoir, Gauguin, Delacroix and Manet) and fashion, with sassy pictures of women playing cards and blowing kisses with their own feet. There are even foot horoscopes (with advice like putting on rubber boots to prepare for the coming storm).

Check out a copy of the magazine here. (PDF link)

It’s a fun way to draw attention to a decidedly dull subject, certainly more noteworthy than buying ads in a well-established beauty magazine. But it doesn’t seem right to make your feet do all that extra work—even in the name of leisure.


This Clever Volkswagen Ad Is Exactly as Long as the Time You Can Spend With It

If you don’t have time to watch this whole new commercial for Volkswagen Trucks, you can just skip to the end for a quickie version—no matter where you are in the story—and it will still make sense.

Go here to check it out.

It’s a merciful approach that all brands should probably mimic in all commercials, given this is the age of skip-happy Internet viewers. But Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO created the ad specifically to reinforce VW’s claim that its rigs, like the ad, are themselves customizable. In that context, the video slider at the bottom of the website might be the best part—it takes the shape of a truck that just keeps getting longer and longer.

The story itself—spoilers ahead—is about a young truck driver who runs into an ex-girlfriend at a market. Told in a stilted monologue, it’s a bit like a Mad Lib with a single punch line—structured into clauses so you can jump to the last scene at any point, by clicking a button in the lower right hand corner. But the last words are always “My grand-aunt.”

That makes for some odd combinations, like “I satisfied my hunger eating… a taco made by… my grand-aunt.” It also makes for some surprisingly dark outcomes for a big advertiser—like skipping the part about the taco and delving straight into ancestral cannibalism. There’s at least one notable hidden variation—hit the button at certain times, and the grand-aunt is a goateed, shirtless young man, instead of a little old lady.

Overall, it’s an intriguing approach, but maybe a little too eager to be inventive, with a takeaway that seems more about the copywriting team’s ability to write a cascading script than about the product’s benefits. It was nice for them to include an eject lever, but if the idea is to get the message in quickly, and extend the entertainment for those who want it—Geico’s simpler approach takes the cake.

Plus, it has a better dog.


Cold Drinks Turn These Thermal-Ink Coasters Into Pictures of Battered Women

A new Japanese campaign aims to combat domestic violence in the country with inventive coasters that hope to tame excessive drinking, which can contribute to the problem.

Yaocho, a bar chain, and agency Ogilvy & Mather Tokyo created the coasters, each of which features a portrait of a woman’s face printed in thermal ink. When a cold drink rests on the coaster, the portrait changes to include cuts and bruises.

The visuals are—no pun intended—chilling, and it’s a clever use of media, though perhaps a touch too much so for its own good, with mechanics that may undermine the spirit and gravity of the message.

“This drink will turn the woman on this coaster into a beat-up woman—just like you might do to a real woman, if you drink too much,” is essentially the subtext of the ads. “Can you have another round without wanting to hit your significant other?”

But as Lucia Peters points out over at Bustle, while alcohol can be a factor in domestic violence, “placing the blame for domestic violence on alcohol excuses the people who commit the crimes in the first place—which is classic abuser behavior.”

Yaocho deserves credit for openly addressing domestic violence, and trying to raise awareness, theoretically at the expense of its own business. But while a drinking establishment is, on its face, the right place to reach viewers with a message about alcohol and domestic abuse, there’s also a bit of cognitive dissonance in an anti-drinking ad that requires the viewer to be drinking to deliver its full effect.

The tagline, at least in its translated version, isn’t even “Don’t drink too much.” Rather, it is “Don’t let excessive drinking end in domestic violence.” In other words, “It’s OK to spend your money on a bender, so long as you don’t beat your wife or girlfriend afterward.”

And if you are the type of person who gets violent when you drink, you probably shouldn’t be drinking at all. 

More info below. Via Design Taxi.

McDonald's Invented This Clever Takeout Bag That's Also a Tray

Here’s a nifty invention for people brave enough to eat McDonald’s—the new “BagTray” from DDB Budapest.

It is, as it sounds, a bag that’s also a tray. Just tear off a tab at the bottom of the brown paper bag, pull off the top and watch the whole thing turn into a cardboard tray that will reduce the odds of spilling your oversized soda all over the back seat of your car, or your laptop, or the lawn where you’re having a picnic (though surely the ants would love that).

Hopefully, you also won’t have to worry about the grease from your fries soaking through a flimsier vessel and dumping its golden payload on the floor, ruining your day and staining your property (though odds are there’s enough oil packed in there to eat through foamcore).

The product name is more or less perfect, clear and direct but also just the right amount of silly. It helps that the graphics in the demo video are charmingly twee, in a corporate sort of way—even if the willfully quirky ukelele-and-whistling-and-handclaps soundtrack wants so badly for you to be happy that it might make you claw your ears off instead.

Regardless, whether you’re a mom feeding her kids while shuttling them around (though she’s still pretty blasé about tilting the whole thing) or a cool kid just hanging out with your friends on your skateboard (are teenagers really that polite these days?) or a busy business executive cramming in lunch at your desk (that guy totally looks like he works at the ad agency), it’s clear the BagTray is the bag/tray for you.

Whether the tool actually works is probably a different question. And it’s also not clear whether you can use one without going to Hungary, which sort of undermines the whole convenience factor.

Client: McDonald’s
Agency: DDB Budapest
Chief Creative Officer: Péter Tordai
Head of Art/Art director: Guilherme Somensato
Copywriter: Vera Länger, Giovanni Pintaude
Illustrator: Adrián Bajusz
Product Designer: Márk Dávid, András Bálint
Animation: Réka Horányi, Anita Kolop
Business Director: Judit Majosi
Account/Producer: Rozália Szigeti
Promo film: Somnium Studio