The Nike Mag Self-Lacing Sneakers Are Finally Here, but They're Only Making 89 Pairs

The Nike Mag self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II are finally a reality—27 years after the movie, five years after Nike built a Mag prototype, and seven months after it announced a different self-lacing shoe altogether.

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2 New Movie Trailers From This Week Show How Hollywood Is Evolving the Format

There’s been a movement in two directions over the past few years in how movie trailers are edited and assembled.

They’ve adapted to new media platforms and audience tastes to more effectively and efficiently sell movies to audiences, making sure to present a product that has maximum appeal, showing a movie that is absolutely worth … whatever the call to action is. That might be dropping $10 and three hours at the theater, it might be the cost of a VOD rental, it might be the decision to maintain or begin a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription.

Two bits of movie marketing from earlier this week show a couple of ways in which trailers are changing to get people’s attention.

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What Movie Marketers Could Do With iOS 10's Cool New iMessage Stickers

Earlier this week, Apple finally made iOS 10 available for everyone to download. A big part of the launch was a lot of new features for the iMessage app. But what really got people’s attention (because the internet is less about functionality than about kitschy features) was that you can now add stickers to your iMessage conversations. 

Stickers, in case you’re not 15 years old, are little graphics you can append to pictures you’re sending to friends via iMessage. They’re similar to the stickers you can now add to pictures on Twitter and in Snapchat filters, and are part of the trend of media personalization on social networks and messaging apps, meant to let people find new and interesting ways to express themselves by customizing their photos. 

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This Billboard, for Oliver Stone's Snowden, Has Been Spying on People in Toronto

Here’s a pretty great out-of-home execution for Oliver Stone’s upcoming film Snowden, about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—a billboard that’s been spying on pedestrians in Toronto and streaming footage of their movements on the street.

Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, of course, raised troubling questions about mass surveillance. And the billboard—timed to the Toronto International Film Festival, where Stone’s movie premiered—itself embodies those very issues.

DentsuBos and Elevation Pictures set up surveillance cameras with motion tracking technology around Dundas Square. The cameras tracked pedestrians’ movements and livestreamed them onto a giant video board.

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This Fun, Fan-Made Star Wars Ad Introduces a Bunch of Toys From Rogue One

So, it’s no Chewbacca Mom—what is?—but the first fan-generated ad has landed for the megamillion-dollar toy line around Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most anticipated films of the year.

It’s a fairly epic video, done in stop-motion animation, that includes a sneak peek at a whole toy box of products from Lego, Funko, Hasbro and others. (Bobbleheads, construction toys and other swag had been under wraps until now—it all goes on sale this fall).

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IBM's Watson Made This Trailer for a Horror Movie, a First for an AI

Don’t panic. They’re not coming for our jobs anytime soon. But a computer has just created the first movie trailer designed with artificial intelligence.

Twentieth Century Fox asked the scientists at IBM to use the computing power of Watson, one of the most advanced AIs in the world, to create a trailer for its new horror movie about a terrifying AI named Morgan.

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Watch the Voiceover Recording for an Ice Cream Ad Go Horrendously, Comically Wrong

Comic short films about the absurdity of the ad business have a proud history going back to Tim Hamilton’s brilliant Truth in Advertising. Here’s the latest one—director Tim Mason’s No Other Way to Say It, about an amusingly bleak voiceover recording session for an ice-cream commercial.

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Animals Try Extreme Sports in GoPro's Fun Ad Tied to The Secret Life of Pets

You probably know your pug’s idea of a good time is snatching a hot dog from some hapless man. You might not know the lengths to which your pug is willing to go to get there.

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Kenan Thompson Returns as Miles Mouvay for Fandango, and Welcomes a Special Guest

It makes perfect sense that Miles Mouvay, the world’s most dedicated film fan, met his bestie in a theater lobby in 1993 while they were both waiting to see Jurassic Park and special-ordering nacho cheese popcorn.

And it becomes a meta moment when the BFF turns out to be Kel Mitchell, since Miles Mouvay, IRL, is Kenan Thompson.

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This Disney Agency Took Us Inside Its Live 'Mad Hatter' Poster With Johnny Depp

Last week we showed you a pretty cool livestreamed movie poster at Disneyland, featuring Johnny Depp interacting with fans in real time as the Mad Hatter from the upcoming Disney film Through the Looking Glass.

The execution was done by Denizen Company, whose co-founders, Joel Jensen and Joseph Matsushima, gave us some insight into how it was done.

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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.

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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.

There's Now a Trailer for the Deadpool Trailer, and It's Delightfully Meta

Breaking the fourth wall doesn’t happen all that often in movies—especially not in today’s overly earnest and gritty superhero movies.

That’s what makes Deadpool special. He’s fast-talking, brash, in-your-face and constantly going meta with references to his own role in a fictional universe, which makes him the perfect pitchman for his own trailer. 

In the brief preview of a preview below, Deadpool lampoons classic trailer copy (“In a world…”) while taking jabs at the studio behind the film (20th Century Fox), its odd depiction of his character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and star Ryan Reynolds’ not-so-award-winning acting career.

Check it out below:

This Charming Behind-the-Scenes Look at the New Star Wars Is Sure to Make You Smile

“Everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed.” With this perfect summary, Mark Hamill introduces the new short film going behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For longtime fans who’ve remained skeptical of the upcoming sequel, the clip will likely do exactly what it was intended to do: reinvigorate their passion and childlike enthusiasm for the series. The video debuted Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, where some attendees were likely hoping for a new trailer but instead were treated to something even more fulfilling.

Most of the focus is on the film’s practical effects and meticulously constructed set pieces, with which J.J. Abrams brings a tactile realism to the film in a way that George Lucas’ 1990s prequels were noticeably lacking.

After checking out the clip, you’re sure to wish you could run out and watch the movie tomorrow, but you’ll also probably wish you could have been there on set to be part of something that was clearly special for everyone involved.

This Horror-Movie Stunt Vandalizes Other Ads, Giving the Models Bloody Eyes

Chicago Portfolio School student Paul Feldmann doesn’t have a huge marketing budget for his short film Something’s Coming to Get Us, so he made up for it the best way he knew how—by defacing other people’s hard work.

Well, sort of. Feldmann designed special gory-looking stickers that he placed on various outdoor ads (subway and bus stop posters, billboards, etc.) to suggest that their subjects’ eyes had been ripped out. Upon closer inspection, the stickers have the movie’s website URL printed on them.

Much of the time, this kind of targeted vandalism is done on principle by people who don’t agree with an ad campaign’s overarching tone or imagery. Seeing it done for promotional reasons is weird, but it’s also clever, and I can’t begrudge a guy taking back some lame Revlon poster in the service of art. If I have to see that much dead-eyed stock photography anyway, some of it might as well be literal.

More examples below.

Brooklyn Film Festival's New Ads Couldn't Be More Scornful of Hollywood

Will the Brooklyn Film Festival ever go Hollywood? Fuggedaboutit!

Four short, simple animations by TBWAChiatDay deliver the message that the borough and its festival of independent films, which runs from May 29 through June 7, are “3,000 miles from Hollywood”—in mind-set as well as distance.

The cartoon vignettes run between 15 and 25 seconds, comically contrasting celluloid styles from each location. For example, on the soundstages of Los Angeles, intricately choreographed fight scenes are performed by highly skilled stunt professionals suspended like marionettes on wires. In Brooklyn, you just get a knuckle sandwich. Similarly, we learn that Left Coast love triangles are overplayed soap operas, while in Brooklyn, everybody gets a piece of the action.

Animator/illustrator Seokmin Hong’s no-frills approach effectively positions Brooklyn as gritty and unpretentious in counterpoint to the razzle-dazzle opulence of Hollywood. “Other film festivals ultimately become ‘Hollywood,’ ” says Matt Ian, executive creative director at TBWA. “This campaign highlights the fact that Brooklyn—its culture, its people, its art, its attitude—remains as far away from Hollywood as you can get.”

Hmm, the L train hipster does bear a striking resemblance to a Spielbergian space alien. But that’s true of pretty much everyone in Williamsburg these days.

TBWA takes the differentiation concept a step further than BBDO’s recent Tribeca Film Festival ads with Jason Sudeikis, in which tourists on the street gave the Hollywood star “directions.” In Brooklyn, of course, plenty of folks would be happy to tell you where to go!

Client: Brooklyn Film Festival
Agency: TBWAChiatDay, New York
Executive Creative Director: Matt Ian
Creative Director: Deniz Marlali
ACD/Writer: Steve Skibba
Animation/Illustration: Seokmin Hong
Print Design: Sarah Romanoff
Executive Producer: Chad Hopenwasser
Sound Design: Roman Zeitlin
Director of Digital and Content Strategy: Aki Spicer
Account Director: Ed Rogers
Strategy: Damasia Merbilhaa
Social Media Team: Ryan Jin, Kiyotaka Sumiyoshi
Original Music by Elias
Composer: Eric Ronick

Crazy Youngsters Break Out in a Worldwide Dance Party for Pitch Perfect 2

Never underestimate the promotional power of feel-good fan service.

More than 100 fans were featured out of a whopping 1,500 total submissions for this Pitch Perfect 2 promo. Together they created a worldwide dance party as the premiere for Ester Dean’s song “Crazy Youngsters,” an original song that appears in the movie.

The video also functions as a fun game of Spot the Social Media Celebrity, pairing YouTube stars alongside cast members, and Vine stars alongside DJs. All told, more than 20 influencers are in the video. See if you can spot DJ Flula, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, the Gregory Brothers, Sami Slimani, Lana McKissack, Carly Cristman, the Wassabi Brothers, Gabrial Valenciano, Will Pecarro, Kyle Hatch, Jamie Pine, MikeJerry and Vine stars Princess Lauren and AmyMarie.

The nearly four-minute music video was created by Portal A. It’s a lot of good, clean fun for a sequel whose inciting incident is flashing Rebel Wilson’s vagina at the president of the United States.

Client: Universal Pictures
Created by Portal A
Director: Kai Hasson
Executive Producers: Zach Blume, Kai Hasson, Nate Houghteling
Producers: Jacob Motz
Associate Producer: Jenny Leaf
Project Manager: Kalli Sandberg
Editor: Arturo Morales

David Hasselhoff Reaches Peak Self-Parody in Promo for Kung Fury

Dinosaurs, fingerless gloves, punks, skateboards, hacking and traveling back in time to try to kill Hitler. It’s everything you ever loved about the ’80s in one film—now including David Hasslehoff.

Kung Fury is a film that was funded on Kickstarter and is due to premiere May 28 on YouTube. The epic trailer for the film is what got the project funded, so they haven’t released a new one. Instead, they’ve just put out a music video with David Hasselhoff who sings the lead track, “True Survivor.”

And it is going to make this film #TakeHoff.

Hasslehoff is resplendent in a mullet, fingerless gloves, Converse high-tops and a custom airbrushed Kung Fury letter jacket as he saunters, shoots, splits and sings his way through the epic scenes of the film.

The synth is strong with this one, and the time is right, as millennials have come to that point in their lives when they have money and are willing to part with it for anything that reminds them of their childhoods.

Even if Harrison Ford and David Hasslehoff happen to look really old now.

Waiting for Pitch Perfect 2? These Girls Singing About Leg Hair Will Tide You Over

There’s still about a month before Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect 2 opens. But don’t worry, aca-awesome fans, here are some fetching young things with bright smiles, legs for days and great voices to enjoy in the meantime.

And like the original sleeper hit from 2012, there’s a dash of camp in this song-and-dance video, which doubles as a promotion for the May 15-debuting sequel and an ad for Schick and Skintimate brands.

The movie’s stars don’t appear—instead, it’s a college a cappella group called Basic Pitches—but actress Brittany Snow will be involved in a larger tie-in campaign that includes product placement in the flick, new product launches, contests and giveaways.

The video comes from JWT New York, Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Rock of Ages) and Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Avatar), with cheesy lyrical twists that turn Icona Pop’s “I don’t care—I love it” into “My leg hair—I shaved it” and the diva theme “Bang, Bang” into an ode to bathroom selfies and personal grooming.

That’s how you rock your legs, ladies.

Client: Energizer Personal Care – Schick Hydro Silk, Schick Intuition and Skintimate
Project Name: Schick & Pitch Perfect 2 present “Ready, Shave, Shine”

Agency: JWT New York
Executive Creative Director: Sarah Barclay
Creative Directors: Matt Zavala, Suyin Sleeman
Copywriters: Erin Copithorne, Kate Carter
Head of Production:  Lisa Setten
Executive Producer: Jason Way
Director of Music: Paul Greco
Music Producer: Matt Nelson
Account Team: Claire Capeci, Ariel Stern, Erik Wagner, Amy Achenbaum, Angela Gonzalez
Client Team: Charles R. King, Camilla Medeiros, Kathleen Shanahan, Mike Sherman, Christine Engelhardt, Stefanie Weintraub, Anne Eddinger

Director: Adam Shankman
Production Company:  Independent Media
Editing House:  PS260 (Editor – JJ Lask)
Colorist: Tim Masick @ Company 3
Music House:  Wojahn Music and Sound Design
Audio Engineer – Tom Jucarone @ Sound Lounge
Media Agency: MEC

Ava the Robot Goes From Tinder to LinkedIn, and Will Now Schedule Meetings for You

Ava, the artificial intelligence from the movie Ex Machina who famously punked Tinder users during South by Southwest, isn’t interested only in dating. She also has a business side, it turns out—and she wants to help schedule your next meetings.

A24 Films, the company behind Ex Machina, has extended Ava’s off-screen antics through a partnership with A.I.-driven personal assistant startup If you’ve seen the Spike Jonze movie Her, you’ll have an inkling of what does. It offers users a personal assistant named Amy—who’s actually an A.I., but who can schedule meetings like she’s a real human.

When you’re emailing with someone and you want to schedule a meeting with them, you just cc:, and she takes it from there. (Scroll down to see how explains the process in more detail.)

Now, Ava is joining Amy as the company’s second A.I. personal assistant. Just copy, and she’ll schedule the meetings for you. She’s even got her own LinkedIn page. Her gig with is temporary, though. It only goes through April 30, at which point she’ll probably start randomly friending people on Facebook.

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.