Pharrell Anoints a New Generation (and Definition) of Superstars in Adidas Video

Johannes Leonardo’s new “Superstar” campaign for Adidas, which features Pharrell and is centered around the Supershell collection he designed, claims to both democratize the idea of superstardom and make it less ambiguous.

Well, you can’t accuse them of aiming their sights too low, that’s for sure.

The first video in the campaign questioned the idea that fame is necessary for superstardom, and the more recent video, “Audience of One,” makes good on that premise by introducing a bunch of people no one has ever heard of as Pharrell-approved superstars.

They include American musician Pusha T, actor/director Grigoriy Dobrygin, Japanese designer Yoon, Chinese designers VJ Mian, and Mexican illustrator Smithe, all of whom state that they create purely for self-expression, with no desire for fame or glory. (Given that they’re all appearing in an ad for a global shoe brand featuring a major celebrity, they don’t seem too allergic to the idea of fame, though.)

One neat aspect of this campaign is the “pay it forward” component, wherein the five people I just named will shine a light on other creative people, forever marking them as cool via the hashtag #OriginalSuperstar. Who knows, perhaps future elements of this campaign might even focus on shoes in any significant way.

Johannes Leonardo, Adidas and Pharrell Take on Haters

Pharrell Got an Architect, Photographer and 2 Artists to Design Adidas' New Sneakers

Bringing in artists to design limited-edition shoes is a no-brainer. But an architect and a photographer? That makes things a bit more interesting.

Pharrell Williams, who was named to Adweek’s Creative 100 this week in part because of his fashion design savvy, just announced a new extension of his Superstar line of Adidas shoes. It’s called Supershell, and features designs from four disparate creators:

  • Architect Zaha Hadid, an internationally recognized designer once selected by Time as one of the most influential people in the world. Her work includes China’s Guangzhou Opera House, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. 
  • Japanese contemporary artist Mr., who brings an anime-inspired style to a wide range of artistic mediums and is, says Williams, “a master of depicting innocence.”
  • Photographer Cass Bird, who shoots fashion for a variety of major publications and has directed several branded videos for J.Crew, Wrangler and others.
  • New York contemporary artist Todd James, whose career began with graffiti and grew into frequent gallery exhibitions and high-profile collaborations.

The shoes aren’t available for sale yet, but there’s a placeholder page on Adidas’ site, and you can get a sneak peek in the photos and videos below.

Johannes Leonardo Celebrates ‘#OriginalSuperstar’ for Adidas

Johannes Leonardo explores the meaning of the term “superstar” and celebrates Adidas’ original Superstar shoe from 1969, while trotting out a slew of celebrities, in a new 90-second spot entitled “#OriginalSuperstar.”

Those celebrities aren’t just current and former athletes; NBA player Damian Lillard makes an appearance, along with David Beckham, but so do Pharrell Williams and Rita Ora. It’s a sign of the brand moving away from an athletic-wear image and hyping up its fashion cache. “If you think a superstar is standing on stage, filling up stadiums, and selling out concert halls,” Ora begins at the opening of the spot, and the rest of the 90 seconds follows the same basic formula. Each celebrity begins their own “If you think a superstar…” statement before passing it on to the next, until Pharrell finally concludes, “…then I am not a superstar.”

Over the course of the 90 seconds the repetitive, onanistic approach becomes a little grating. The self-congratulatory statements hint at the question “What is a superstar?” but, ultimately, the ad doesn’t say anything of substance on the (rather facile) subject. This would be a bit more excusable in a quick 30-second spot, but ninety seconds of celebrities musing about nothing in particular begs the question, “Where have we seen that before?”

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The BBC Rolls Out a Galaxy of Stars (and a Tiger) in This Lavish Cover of 'God Only Knows'

Does Brian Wilson know who Lorde is? Or why there’s a tiger on his piano?

This lavish video boasts an array of stars performing Wilson’s 1966 Beach Boys classic “God Only Knows” to help launch BBC Music, described by the company as “an ambitious wave of new programs, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives.”

Karmarama created the clip, which features luminaries representing various generations and styles. The Impossible Orchestra, as it’s called, features Wilson, Lorde, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Jake Bugg, Emeli Sandé, Chris Martin and many more. Kylie Minogue floats in a soap bubble. Baaba Maal rides by in a balloon. Alison Balsom sits perched in a gilded cage.

The extravaganza debuted yesterday during a pan-channel BBC broadcast, and the video’s nearing 800,000 YouTube views already. The song also benefits BBC’s Children in Need charity, is available for download and streaming and was released as a physical CD single in the U.K.

“One of the things that interested me most about this project was the ideas of bringing together so many different styles of music,” says Ethan Johns, who produced the tune. “To make so much diversity work within one piece of music was quite a challenge.”

Naturally, the initiative’s been compared, favorably and otherwise, to other musical megastar team-ups, such as the 1997 Children in Need reboot of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” which was a global smash. (Elton John is only star from that outing to appear in “God Only Knows,” by the way.)

One story in the Guardian brands the new effort as “not quite a perfect day,” noting “There’s something self-aggrandizing about this—but with the amount of music the BBC covers, perhaps it is deserved?” Coverage elsewhere on the site disdainfully notes that “God Only Knows” arrives just as “the corporation’s battle to retain the television license fee [is] getting almost tougher by the week.”

Tough crowd.

BBC Music director Bob Sherman explains the project, and the song choice, thusly: “Everybody gets the significance of ‘God Only Knows.’ And that’s what we’re trying to do with BBC Music. We’re trying to make it feel like it’s an all-encompassing brand for everybody.” That quote comes from the “making-of” clip, in which Queen guitarist Brian May—whose trademark fret runs on “God Only Knows” are a highlight—seems to offer a slightly different take, calling the song “quite enigmatic, really.”

Some view the CGI effects and costumed theatrics as overkill, but I’d say the grand scale fits the message, which is quietly captured in the closing bars of the performance. Wilson sits alone at the piano, sans tiger or bombast, just looking into the camera and singing his brilliant song.

Pharrell Williams – Marilyn Monroe

Voici le nouveau clip de Pharrell Williams après Happy, réalisé par Luis Cervero pour la chanson « Marilyn Monroe » extraite de son dernier album GIRL. Un grand hommage aux femmes de tous milieux, styles, origines et beautés, toutes dansant autour de lui. Une vidéo pleine de couleurs et de joie à voir dans la suite.


Wing Creates Spotify ‘Playlust’ to Promote Condom Use for Lifebeat

PlaylustIn a sign that the agency is expanding beyond their Hispanic roots, Wing has created “Playlust,” a series of commercial-free Spotify playlists promoting safe sex for non-profit AIDS prevention and education program Lifebeat. The program is part of a “Sex with no ads and no HIV” initiative aimed at young adults, which sees Wing handing out information and condoms at music venues in the New York area, along with directing folks over to “Playlust.” It’s a great way to offer a service (taking the commercials out of Spotify) people will value in order to draw attention to your cause.

“A few years ago, you might do a traditional ad campaign about using condoms,” explained Favio Ucedo, chief creative officer at Wing. “But there are too many pitches and messages aimed at Millennials. You have to add value.”

The program grew out of conversations at Wing about employees’ favorite songs for the bedroom. “We knew that people already made mix tapes (for atmosphere),” said copywriter Marc Duran. “In this case, we just did it for them.”

The playlists all have suggestive names, like “Don’t Expect Breakfast,” “My Roomate Isn’t Home” and “In The Morning It’s Going To Be Awkward.” Clearly, “Playlust” comes with a sense of humor. There’s even a one song playlist entitled “Even If You’re A 1 Minute Man.” Mostly these playlist are filled with the kinds of songs you’d expect for a campaign aimed at youngsters, with the likes of Rihanna, Lana Del Rey and Pharrell Williams, to name a few (surprisingly Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” does not make an appearance). I’m not sure what it says about me that the playlists I find most appealing are “Cougar’s Closet,” “Rock Me Tender” and “The Spooning After,” but there you have it. Stick around for a couple playlists after the jump. continued…

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Spider-Man Delivers Package for Universal McCann, USPS

Universal McCann teamed up with Sony Picures, and DNA directors Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man, 500 Days of Summer) and Rich Lee to create “Amazing Delivery,” a new Spider-Man themed spot for USPS designed as a tie-in promoting the May 2nd release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The 30-second spot features Spider-Man slinging himself through New York City to deliver a package for a distressed Hollywood director. “Amazing Delivery” follows Spider-Man’s path through the city leading to the package’s delivery to Stan Lee at the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The cinematic spot’s charming ending really ties everything together, and it’s evident that everyone involved was excited to work with Spider-Man’s creator, a fact corroborated by director Rich Lee, who said, “Everyone wanted Stan Lee to sign their prepro books and get a photo with Spider-Man…it was actually really sweet and fun to see everyone get so excited around those two. You could see the childlike glints in everyone’s eyes. It was awesome.”

Webb and Lee, who have collaborated in the past, based the spot on the idea that, like Spider-Man, USPS is “speedy, efficient, and there when you need it the most,” drawing on this link to expand upon the creative brief and bring the spot to life. “One of the interesting things about both Spidey and the USPS is that they are both iconic, public servants,” said Rich Lee. “They’re for the people, helping them in their own way. So there is a nice synergy there.”

Stay tuned for credits after the jump. continued…

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We Are From LA Helms ‘World’s First 24-Hour Music Video’ for Pharrell


Here’s something to amplify the TGIF feeling: We Are From LA, a directing collective from production company Iconoclast, has launched the “world’s first 24 hour long music video” for Pharrell Williams‘s new song, “Happy.”


The song itself is simple, fun and catchy. We Are From LA’s interactive video allows users to switch between various dancers in different locations, at different times of the day and night. It’s a pretty cool concept, although it would be nice if switching between dancers was a little more fluid and seamless. The dancers in the video range from unknown actors to the very famous (Steve Carrell, Magic Johnson, Gavin DeGraw, Tyler the Creator, etc.) to Pharrell himself. Because of the nature of recording so much footage, they keep things pretty simple, which actually fits the mood of the song perfectly. Head on over to 24hoursofhappy and spend a few minutes checking it out (though we don’t recommend watching for 24 hours).

Between this and the new video for Bob Dylan‘s classic “Like A Rolling Stone,” it seems the age of fine-tuned interactive music video has arrived. Credits after the jump. continued…

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Pharrell – 24 hours of Happy

Le duo de réalisateurs français WeAreFromLA a réalisé pour le morceau « Happy » de Pharrell Williams un clip étalé sur 24 heures, réunissant sur le site 24 hours of Happy 360 plans séquences filmés à Los Angeles. Une version de 4 minutes dévoilant quelques guests, à l’image d’Odd Future ou encore de Jamie Foxx.

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O primeiro videoclipe 24 horas do mundo

A música “Happy” de Pharrell Williams acaba de ganhar um videoclipe interativo com 24 horas de imagem e som. Sim, vinte e fucking quatro horas de vídeo (pós-edição – imaginem quanto tempo tem de material bruto).

Auto-intitulado como “o primeiro videoclipe 24 horas do mundo”, o videoclipe mostra Pharrell e outros “populares” dançando e passeando felizes pela cidade ao som da nova música que vai se repetindo e repetindo e repetindo sem parar. A idéia é de que quando acesse o site, você assista o clipe em “tempo real”.

Não consigo imaginar um sujeito sequer que vá assistir as 24 horas sem pausa pra um café, por mais fã que seja. Isso sim seria digno de Guinness Book 🙂

Assista o quanto puder aqui.


A criação é da We Are From L.A. com produção da Iconoclast Interactive.



Brainstorm9Post originalmente publicado no Brainstorm #9
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Could the New Myspace Really Be Cool? We’re Almost Convinced

I’m sitting in Salt Lake City Airport, shocked at the number of people wearing flip flops, and I want nothing more than to be in Myspace’s fun room of young, beautiful artists grabbing at one another amidst fluorescent confetti. Their instruments and skateboards may be breakable but they are not. They smash faces and tangle limbs and fall on the floor, but this video gives us the sense that these fiery singers, models, DJs, and rappers will never flame out.

After Justin Timberlake’s reboot, can the same be said for Myspace (capital S begone)? We weren’t sure the social network could drag itself away from obsolescence, but this spot seems to be doing just that, and with a bang. If Myspace is a room filled with the likes of DIIV, Iggy Azalea, Pharrell Williams, Sky Ferreira and Schoolboy Q, then it is anything but irrelevant. If you don’t know those names, you better learn them. And check out the new Myspace while you’re at it; it seems to be the cool thing to do.

Credits and MySpace announce note after the jump.


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Daft Punk – Get Lucky

Voici enfin le titre officiel du groupe français Daft Punk, le très attendu « Get Lucky » à l’occasion de leur retour en studio. Une collaboration et des featurings avec Pharrell Williams et Nile Rodgers pour ce 1er extrait de leur album « Random Access Memories » (20 mai 2013). A découvrir en images et en écoute dans la suite.

Titre officiel « Daft Punk – Get Lucky » disponible en HD ci-dessous :