This Director Just Schooled Us on 360 Video With an Immersive Short Story for Facebook

Director Alex Smith has created his first-ever 360 video, as part of an ongoing series called “Picture This,” a project started by Facebook in partnership with Semi-Permanent, an Australia-based global creative and design thinking platform. And it’s one of the most instructive uses of the technology we’ve seen. 

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Heineken Just Made an HR Campaign That's as Cool as Any Consumer Ads It's Done

Oh, the places you’ll go!

In 2013, Heineken scored a bronze Lion at Cannes with “The Candidate,” an internship contest that generated a whopping 1,734 global entries. 

Now, the brand is back to recruiting with “Go Places,” led by a musical Dr. Seuss-ish video inviting talent to respond to 12 questions, which must be answered in three to five seconds. Based on the Enneagram model, the results give you a personal profile, which must be sent along with your résumé when applying for your Heineken dream gig on LinkedIn. 

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Miller Lite Is Surprising Fans With Unexpected Activations Across the U.S. This Summer

Summer is better with perks. To take advantage of that, Miller Lite is spending these sun-soaked months offering “kick backs”—a fun series of unexpected rewards—to people across the country. Who says service is dead? 

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Hitman's Latest Campaign Set Garys (Busey and Cole) in Competition … to Get Assassinated

For Square/Enix’s Hitman, a video game where players must assassinate given targets without getting caught, Omelet LA spent the first half of the year building a campaign that kills (literally! … well, digitally, anyway). And it used that campaign to build actual gaming content. 

In March, for the game’s release, Hitman built pre-rolls that let you murder the ad. The spot, titled “The Wolfshark,” featured the aforementioned (“TV’s King of Corruption!”) and featured a “Kill this ad in…” button where “Skip ad” normally is. 

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Fruit of the Loom Opened a Fake Lingerie Store to Prove How Fancy Its Panties Really Are

Früt is the hottest new lingerie boutique in town. There’s only one catch—all the underwear it sells is from Fruit of the Loom.

In “Welcome to Früt,” a campaign by agency Ketchum, the packaged clothing marketer treats shoppers to a new twist on the old bait-and-switch: Opening a chic pop-up store that supposedly sells expensive designer pieces (which are actually just the same old panties you can buy in a bag).

A pair of case study videos claims consumers were lured in by airy fabrics and vibrant patterns, only to discover a dirty secret—they were falling in love with lowbrow underwear.

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Guys Bribe Their Girlfriends to Watch Soccer Alone in Heineken Ad With an Awesome Twist

What if you had the perfect excuse to watch the UEFA Champions League Final at an epic Heineken party … without your girlfriend?

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McCann Came Up With a Haircut That Fights Cancer in This Remarkable Campaign

About one in six Romanian women get cancer each year. Understandably, depression can run high among those who lose their hair during treatment. As one survivor puts it in the video below, “All of a sudden, you’re not you. You have a label: cancer.” 

For most Romanians, wigs are prohibitively expensive, and there are no government subsidies to help. So, cancer charity Funda?ia Rena?terea and McCann Bucharest developed a novel campaign to convince women to cut their hair and donate it for wig production.

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This Sneaker Brand Got People Running by Offering Lovely Dinners Paid for in Miles

Most people don’t like running. That’s OK. We can’t all be masochists, pining to destroy our knees before their time. But to incentivize would-be runners, sneaker brand Kalenji found a motivating carrot on a stick—a lush dinner, paid for in miles.

Organized by Paris agency Rosapark, the #EatYourRun campaign promoted a new collection of Eliorun shoes by sending spankin’ new pairs to journalists (including me) and inviting us to hit the dirt. A few weeks later, on May 24, they organized a dinner at the Bistro Paul Bert—known for its epic gastronomy—at which we could exchange our clocked miles (well, kilometers, since this is France) for ultra-fancy food.

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These 'Commitment Rings' Stop You From Watching Netflix Unless Your Partner Is Around

Sick of your significant other skipping ahead and watching your favorite streaming shows without you? Lock them into a faithful TV-viewing relationship with a high-tech pair of series commitment rings, thanks to U.K. ice cream brand Cornetto. 

The marketer, which tends to advertise around themes of teen love, created special rings that connect to streaming apps, and use near field communications to block access to TV shows you both watch unless your partner is nearby—thus putting an end to sneaking around with services like Netflix while feigning fidelity. 

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Google Built an Escape Room, and Is Making People Use a Bunch of Its Apps to Get Out

Google France has built an escape room to seamlessly unite online and offline worlds.

Created by We Are Social, Première Pièce will open at an undisclosed location in the heart of Paris. The campaign builds on the escape room trend, in which you and a bunch of friends pay to get locked in a room for an hour or two, left to solve puzzles and work in collaboration to find a way out. Last month, the Toronto Film Festival built an escape room that lives on Instagram. (Google’s is a physical room, but uses virtual tools as a central conceit.) 

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This Agency Built an Online Library of Orgasms to Teach Us What Pleasure Really Sounds Like

Here’s a weird secret: I’m pretty sure the orgasm sounds I make with partners have been influenced by porn.

Now you know more about me than my doctor does.

Why I’m feeding you creepy personal facts: Based on the conviction that 70 percent of Spanish people believe the heaving, animal, almost painful cries depicted in pornography are what an actual woman’s orgasm sounds like, premium sex toy brand Bijoux Indiscrets has created an orgasm library, with help from agency Proximity Madrid. 

It’s a library! Of orgasms!

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TBWA Made a Provocative Floating Tribute to Syrian Refugees Who Died at Sea

Last month, more than 200 gravestones appeared in the Mediterranean Sea, about 200 meters off the Aegean coast of Turkey. Made of waterproof styrofoam that resembled marble, and anchored with weights, each stone bore the name of a Syrian refugee who died in the water while trying to reach Europe. 

Created by TBWAIstanbul for humanitarian aid group Support of Life, the “Sea Cemetery” bobbed on the waves like a cluster of buoys, eerie monuments to human tragedy. 

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Need a Creative Director? You Can 3-D Print This One

It’s not enough for Johnnie Ingram to leave his footprint on the ad business.

The new creative director at Team One in Los Angeles had himself rendered in 3-D so his friends and former colleagues “can have a little piece of Johnnie wherever they may go,” according to the agency’s tongue-in-cheek announcement of his arrival on the West Coast. 

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Love Cards Against Humanity and Hating on Donald Trump? Have We Got the Game for You

The Sid Lee Collective, an agency incubator for Sid Lee’s non-commercial creative projects, took a few choice Donald Trump quotes and transformed them into an unofficial Cards Against Humanity expansion pack—Trump Against Humanity: A Party Game About a Horrible Person.

Seriously. You couldn’t make this shit up, and neither did they. 

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Samsung Is Helping Preemie Babies by Making Incubators Feel More Like the Womb

Samsung is back to pull at your heartstrings again, this time with a campaign about premature babies.

Infants born too early face a greater risk of language and attention disorders later in life. The tech conglomerate created a new way to mitigate that danger—by helping mothers communicate with infants stuck in neonatal intensive care, as if they were still in the womb. 

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This Agency's Brilliant 'Braille Bricks' Help Blind Children Learn to Read Through Play

Imagine if Lego-style blocks were turned into a Braille alphabet that could help visually impaired children learn to read. For a group of kids in Brazil, such toys are a reality. The two-minute video below promotes “Braille Bricks,” a new project from the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and agency Lew’LaraTBWA. 

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3M Makes Retargeted Banner Ads Less Annoying by Turning Them Into Post-it Notes

Retargeted banner ads are the sledgehammer of the web, bashing you again and again with the same random product you looked at once, whether you like it or not.

But 3M figured it could use the retargeted banner’s weakness as a strength. If the same banner comes up again and again, the company figured, why not make it a Post-it note where you could jot down info that might be useful later—when the ad pops up again?

Proximity Russia did just that in a recent campaign. Check out the case study below. It seems like ad-blocking software, but it’s not. 3M simply used retargeting technology and gave it an interactive spin.

The agency collaborated with several banner networks to get the Post-its on top websites in Russia. Clicking on the banners led you to a Post-it page, where you could create more stickers, edit or delete them all.

Client: 3M
Marketing Supervisor: Sergey Smolentsev
Marketing Coordinator: Yulia Smirnova
Agency: Proximity Russia
Creative Director: Andrew Kontra
Senior Copywriters: Polina Zabrodskaya, Anna Migaleva
Senior Art Director: Fernando Muto
Business Development Director: Mikhail Vdovin
Digital Director: Alexander Makarovsky
Senior Account Manager: Polina Zvereva
Digital Production House: INDEE Interactive
Producer: Alexey Zinchenko
UI designer: Egor Bernikov
Coders: Arina Vernidub, Andrey Zakurdaev, Oleg Nikanorov

Tinder Users at SXSW Are Falling for This Woman, but She's Not What She Appears

Here’s a promotion at SXSW that’s equal parts brilliant and, for some, heartbreaking.

Tinder users on Saturday were encountering an attractive 25-year-old woman named Ava on the dating app. A friend of ours made a match with her, and soon they were have a conversation over text message.

But when he opened up Ava’s Instagram, it became clear something was amiss. There was one photo and one video, both promoting Ex Machina, a sci-fi film that just happened to be premiering Saturday night here in Austin. The link in her bio went to the film’s website. And it turns out the woman in the photos is Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who plays an artificial intelligence in the movie.

It’s sneaky and undeniably brilliant. Only in retrospect do you realize that Ava’s questions come from wanting to know what it’s like to be human.

Our friend, though—whose texts above, we can attest, were totally heartfelt—was left feeling perhaps a little too human afterward. It “toyed with my emotions so hard,” he says.

Facebook Gets Even Friendlier With Striking Outdoor Ads and Mosaic of Digital Content

A few weeks ago, we posted Facebook’s great new commercials about friendship, directed by Mike Mills. But there’s a lot more where that came from—in various other media.

The “Friends” campaign also includes Facebook and Instagram ads, outdoor billboards, print ads and off-Facebook digital advertising to connect with people at different points in their day, both on and off the social network itself.

AdFreak’s exclusive look at the billboards shows how striking they are—simple and very nicely art directed, with great snapshots of friends framed by the word itself, next to a check mark. A small Facebook icon is the only branding, again showing the brand’s newfound confidence as an advertiser. (It’s an iconic brand by now, and is finally acting like one.)

The digital experience is interesting, too. The site,, including all sorts of clickable content—leading to quirky little videos and photos, all of which are sharable on Facebook with a click.

Facebook will also be on hand at SXSW Interactive this weekend, partnering with Turner Sports to broadcast the Selection Sunday celebration at Turner’s live NCAA March Madness Bracket Lounge. The Facebook Live show will be streamed on the NCAA March Madness Facebook page at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday.

See more of the Facebook billboards below.

NatGeo's Killing Jesus Website Might Be the Greatest Story Ever Scrolled

Mullen has created a digital experience of Biblical proportions to support National Geographic Channel’s Killing Jesus, a three-hour docudrama premiering March 29, which is Palm Sunday. The show is based on the best-selling book of the same name.

An immensely detailed, immersive website tells the story from three different perspectives: Son of God (the view of Christ and his disciples); Son of Man (the view of the Jewish priests of the time); and Threat to Rome (taking in political/economic implications). Each perspective is represented by a different crown: thorns, religious headdress and Roman laurels. This technique provides users with a panoramic perspective of Jesus’s life, allowing them to explore events from every conceivable angle.

“We were looking to tell the story in a way that allowed people to see it from several different vantage points,” says Mullen associate creative director Allison Rude. “Our war room on this project resembled the wall from ‘A Beautiful Mind’ as we pieced together historical fact, religious scripture and custom illustrations.”

French artist Bastien Lecouffe Deharme created the impressive artwork, and his hand-drawn contributions grace the site’s eight self-contained chapters, which span Christ’s story from his birth in a Bethlehem stable through the crucifixion at Calvary. The amount of interactive information and analysis is pretty staggering. Users could lose hours (days?) investigating the various timelines (from three perspectives, no less).

That said, the navigation is intuitive, and all aspects of the presentation (based on my 30-minute spin through the site) seem compelling.

The technical specs are suitable impressive. The site’s scrollable panoramas contain more than 3,000 individual images, animated with 14,000 keyframes, along with 185 sound, music and voiceover tracks. All of this was made using 290,000 lines of code, which Mullen says is four times the size of its two previous NGC sites combined. Those sites supported the cable net’s Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy programs.

But wait, there’s more. Supplemental material includes a Killing Jesus microsite with articles, video clips, photo galleries, deleted scenes and cast Q&As, as well as an NGC blog campaign called “Killing with Kindness,” inspired, we’re told, by Christ’s teachings on love and charity, and promoted on social media with the #KillingWithKindness hashtag.

Like Mullen’s earlier NGC outings—and The Martin Agency’s similar digital work for the JFK Library—this initiative’s vast scale can seem overwhelming at times, especially for a story whose elements are so familiar. Still, the bold, multi-view style—respectful, yet rigorously researched and probing—is fairly innovative, and might give users fresh insight.

Given the weighty nature of the subject matter, Killing Jesus’s all-in approach seems appropriate and isn’t overkill at all.

Brand: National Geographic Channel
Client: Matt Zymet, Executive Director, Digital Media
Client: Ashley Kalena, Digital Media Producer
Agency: Mullen
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist
Associate Creative Director: Allison Rude
Associate Creative Director: Brian Leech
Associate Creative Director: Scott Slagsvol
Copywriter: Eugene Torres
VP, Executive Producer: Tiffany Stevens
Senior Digital Producer: Alyssa Hartigan
Senior Digital Producer: Kim Ryan
Group Account Director: Rebekah Pagis
Account Director: Jessica Zdenek
Assistant Account Executive: Stephanie Costa
Director of Development Operations: Steve Laham
Senior QA Engineer: Ryan Nelsen
SVP, Creative Director/Technologist: Christian Madden
SVP, Director of Interactive: Mathey Ray
Associate Creative Director/Technologist: Joe Palasek
Senior Creative Technologist: Justin Bogan
Creative Technologist: Adam Riggs
Creative Technologist: Stefan Harris
Associate QA Engineer: Amber Archambeault
Senior Production Designer: Terri Navarra
Senior Content Manager: Caroline Roberts
Motion Designer: Jeremiah True
VP, Digital Production Manager: Steve Haroutunian
Senior Creative Technologist: Costa Boudouvas
Senior Experience Designer: Charlene McBride
Senior Experience Designer: Krista Siniscarco
Junior Production Designer: Candice Latham
SVP, Director of Broadcast Production: Zeke Bowman
Animator: Eric Ko
VP, Director of Art Production: Tracy Maidment
Senior Art Producer: Jessica Manning
VP, Senior Video Editor: Jessica Phearsome
Senior Copy Writer: Kelly McAuley
Assistant Editor: Libby Ryerson
Assistant Editor: Nick Brecken
Business Manager: Vanessa Fazio

Artist: Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
Artist Representation: Shannon Associates

Sound Design: Mike Secher

Audio Post
Sound Design/Mixer: Mike Secher