Fox Sports Had Quite a Surprise for the U.S. Women's Soccer Team on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day surprises were aplenty this weekend, including a big one for the U.S. women’s World Cup soccer team.

Due to their demanding schedules, it’s been years since many of the players have seen their moms on Mother’s Day. In a very sweet video uploaded to Facebook and YouTube by Fox Sports, the team sat down for a pre-game dinner, and their coach introduced special surprise guests—their moms.

The mother-daughter reunions are lovely to watch. Maybe even more remarkable is seeing the a second surprise happen—check out the video to see what it was.

“Abby’s been on this team for 14 years. For 14 years, I have not had you around for a Mother’s Day,” says Abby Wambach’s mom, Judy. The video cuts to the two of them standing side by side on the field.

The video closes with a request to “Cheer on our women this summer.” (Fox will be broadcasting the tournament across its networks, including 16 matches live on the flagship broadcast station.)

The team won the game 3-0 with their moms watching. Wambach scored career goals 179 and 180, and turned around after her second goal to point at her mom.

Heartwarming and inspiring all around.

Inspiring Nike Golf Ad Shows How Rory McIlroy Grew Up Idolizing Tiger Woods

In “Ripple,” the latest Nike Golf ad, we witness the journey of a way-back-when Rory McIlroy, following the career of his idol, Tiger Woods.

The young boy watches Woods play, puts his posters up in his room, and experiences his own victories and losses as he plays the game himself. The film culminates with a scene of current-day superstar McIlroy teeing off after Woods at the start of a round.

Created by Wieden + Kennedy, the spot is lovely and inspirational. It’s also not the first time McIlroy and Woods have appeared in a Nike Golf ad together. This follows the funny and very popular “No Cup Is Safe” spot from 2013, although with a completely different tone.

After signing McIlroy, 25, to a five-year contract in 2013, it’s clear Nike wants to position him as the heir to Woods, 39. And McIlroy is showing signs of living up to that hype—he’s won four majors now, though of course it’s a long way from Woods’ 14.

“It’s been an incredible journey for me, going from massive fan to competitor,” McIlroy said in a statement. “To think that not too long ago I was that little boy watching him on TV to where I am now. It’s been a cool journey and I’m very lucky I get to compete with and against him, because he inspired me as a kid and he inspires me now. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen.”

Client: Nike Golf

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Chris Groom / Stuart Brown
Copywriter: Brock Kirby
Art Director: Derrick Ho
Producer: Jeff Selis
Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade / Brandon Thornton
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Dobson / Jocelyn Reist
Account Team: Alyssa Ramsey / Rob Archibald / Heather Morba / Ramiro Del-Cid
Business Affaires: Dusty Slowik
Project Management: Nancy Rea
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Steve Rogers
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Line Producer: Vincent Landay
Director of Photography: Nicolas Karakatsanis

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Peter Wiedensmith
Post Producer: Leslie Carthy
Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

VFX Company: The Mill
VFX Supervisor: Tim Davies
Flame Artist:
VFX Producer: Will Lemmon

Composer: Ludovico Einaudi
Song (if applicable): Nuvole Bianche

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Director: Chris Groom / Stuart Brown
Copywriter: Brock Kirby
Art Director: Derrick Ho
Producer: Jeff Selis
Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade / Brandon Thornton
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Dobson / Jocelyn Reist
Account Team: Alyssa Ramsey / Rob Archibald / Heather Morba / Ramiro Del-Cid
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Digital Designer: Rob Mumford
Exec Interactive Producer: Patrick Marzullo
Content Producer : Byron Oshiro
Broadcast: Jeff Selis
Art Buying: Amy Berriochoa
Photographer: Luke Delong

'Shit Girls Say' Returns for One More Episode, and It's a Hair Commercial

Those of you who’ve been pining for another episode of Shit Girls Say are in luck: Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey’s amusing web series, based on the popular Twitter account, just did a spot for haircare brand Aussie—in the same style as their unbranded videos.

Sheppard directed the ad and is also the star, donning a wig and narrating common hair woes. (We’re told mcgarrybowen was the agency.)

“I can’t it wet!” he complains. “This looks stupid.” “Does this look dumb?”

Aussie recently conducted a #hairprobs survey, which found:

• Women run late an average of one day per week due to hair drama.
• One third of moms (35 percent) say their hair requires more time than their kids in the morning.
• 40 percent of women under 40 cried at least once over their hair in the past six months.
• Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of women under age 40 think that while having sex, a partner ruining their hair would be worse than a partner who can’t perform.
• Seven percent of women admit to avoiding getting intimate altogether to preserve their hairstyle.
• Women spend 20 minutes per day on their hair, translating to a full work week each year.

If you think most of these stats are hard to believe, I’m with you. Who are these people?

Stats aside, the video itself is fun—relatable and entertaining. It ends with Aussie encouraging women to #DitchtheDrama and their complex hair routines (with a shampoo plus conditioner combo product and a dry shampoo) in exchange for “fully living life.”

Which also means not crying over your hair or thinking about it during sex, probably.

Here's Harvey Nichols' Follow-Up to One of the World's Most-Awarded Ad Campaigns

Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols practically swept the 2014 Cannes Lions with its last holiday campaign, which won a staggering four Grand Prix. Now the brand has returned with its highly anticipated follow-up.

Last year’s effort, “Sorry, I Spent It on Myself,” celebrated Christmas as a time to focus on the most important person in your life—yourself—while giving your loved ones some absolute rubbish gifts like gravel or office supplies. The campaign definitely had its critics, including the audience at the Cannes awards show, where it was the only ad booed by attendees.

So in the year since, has the retailer, like Ebenezer Scrooge before it, learned the true lessons of Christmas?

The new spot “Could I Be Any Clearer?”, again from agency Adam&eveDDB, features a doting niece signing a Christmas card for her dear Auntie Val, a woman who obviously loves her but unfortunately misses the mark when it comes to gift giving. (The camera pans to a puppy throw pillow, an iron and a djembe.)

She delivers the card to Auntie Val, who is thrilled by the visit and the gesture. But, of course, there’s more to it than that.

If for some reason you can’t watch the clip above and don’t mind some spoilers, here’s how it goes down: She opens the envelope to discover a Harvey Nichols greeting card, letting her know in no uncertain terms what her niece wants for Christmas (Charlotte Olympia silver Octavia sandals with a 6-inch heel, size 4 1/2—or 5, if that’s all they’ve got).

As with last year’s “Sorry, I Spent It on Myself” cheap gift collection, the brand’s self-centered holiday cards are real and available in store or customizable online. You can browse the site to find an item you want, design your card, and share it.

It’s the absolutely perfect way of letting your loved ones know just how horrible you are. But chances are, they probably already know.

LG Asked for 'Mom Confessions,' and Moms Delivered

LG launched its #MomConfessions campaign earlier this year with a series of cynically amusing TV spots, and since then, real moms have started to get in on the confessional action.

While the appliance brand and agency Hill Holliday seeded the campaign with their own Tumblr posts (“I go running to relieve stress. Just kidding, I drink margaritas.”), there are plenty made from the keyboards of your next door neighbor or PTA president and submitted to

Some of them are funny, some are actually from dads, and some are quite brilliant (“My child thinks the ice cream truck is a music truck. We dance as it goes by.”). Of course, some left me making a face like I just had a bite of day old yogurt, know what I mean?

Here are a few of the better ones, slowly transitioning to the rather sad:

Eight O'Clock Coffee Is Bringing to Life the Central Perk Coffee Shop From Friends

Rejoice, Friends enthusiasts! Your dream of sipping coffee at the iconic Central Perk will soon become a reality.

It’s been 20 years since Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Rachel first graced our TV screens, and the love for the gang remains strong, if all of the people on my Facebook feed are to be trusted. To celebrate two decades of shouting “Pivot!” every time a friend announces he’s moving, Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O’Clock Coffee are partnering to create a Central Perk pop-up in Manhattan.

It’ll be short-lived—the shop, created with help from agency Source Marketing, will open Sept. 17 at the corner of Lafayette and Broome Streets, and close Oct. 18—but fans can hang out on the weird orange couch, listen to a rendition of Smelly Cat, see some special guests (Gunther will be there) and maybe, I don’t know, try to figure out how Rachel afforded to live in a sprawling Manhattan apartment on a barista’s salary.

It’s a brilliant partnership for Eight O’Clock, which will also be adding a special Central Perk blend to its coffee line next month, if you want to K-Cup your way to a Friends-in-your-travel-mug experience.

Fanny Glitterwinkle and Harmony Freebush Give World's Worst Vagina Advice in Tampon Ads

Feminine hygiene brand Carefree has released some videos from DDB Sydney promoting its new website, and they’re absolutely 100 percent not your typical feminine hygiene ads.

No mysterious blue liquid being poured onto a maxi pad. No woman in white walking along the beach looking unreasonably elated for someone who’s supposedly on day two of her period. Instead, the spots feature three different hosts—Harmony Freebush, Fanny Glitterwinkle and Stefan Van Der Blöed—who monologue emphatically about different aspects of vaginal care.

One is devoted entirely to vagina names. The hosts and their monologues are all ridiculous (that’s the point) and end with the on-screen text: “Really? For a more real take on [vaginas, periods, tampons, fill-in-the-blank], visit”

The videos range from funny to ridiculous to “watching a sex scene with your parents in the room” cringey. Stefan Van Der Blöed and his turtleneck get my vote for best videos, but you’ll have to watch them all and decide for yourself which is best.

Stare at This Ford Print Ad for 30 Seconds, and It Will Suddenly Make Sense

BBR Saatchi & Saatchi created this print ad for Ford Israel that also happens to be an optical illusion. It promotes the Ford Explorer’s Park Assist feature in a way similar to those email forwards from your aunt that ask you to stare at an image until you see the face of Jesus or the outline of Elvis.

“Stare at the black dot for 30 seconds. Move your eyes to the empty parking space. See how easy it is to park,” says the copy.

Thirty seconds may be a long time to look at an ad, and my eyes kept ramming the SUV into the parked cars. But it’s still a fun way to highlight a feature without using jargon that just feels like a lot of empty words (“aerodynamic space material for precision control!”).

What do you think? Are you into it?

Via Digital Synopsis.

This 8-Minute Ice Cream Ad, With a Lesbian Love Story and Lily Allen, Is the Sweetest Ever

You might want to grab a snack and get comfortable, because Cornetto's newest ad is an eight-minute short film that is totally worth the watch. As with its other long-form ads, the ice cream brand takes a back seat to a bigger story. In this case, it's a love story.

Between the storyline, the style and Lily Allen's narration and cameo, it feels a bit like a softer and sweeter Judd Apatow movie, and I kept waiting for a Zooey Deschanel appearance. Directed by Lloyd Lee Choi for the U.K. market, the spot is clever and cute and funny, and as an avid fan of the Internet, I particularly enjoyed the part when the story's heroine meets brief fame and gets turned into a meme.

I don't want to give the whole thing away—you'll want to watch it for yourself.

Oh right, it also sells ice cream. Some may argue the product being an afterthought makes for bad advertising, but I think there's something to be said for its entertainment value and the consumer connection. Cornetto has done this before with a romantic three-minute video that's been viewed over 30 million times, and also with a cheesy-but-cute-but-confusing spot last month.

It's also just one spot in Cornetto's "Cupidity" series in the U.K. Others include a film about finding love on a road trip; one where a girl declares, "Everything is ugly beautiful"; and a remake of last month's aforementioned confusing video, minus the techno music. It's heavy on the hipster (Instagram photos, flowers in the hair, I'm sure there's a Pabst Blue Ribbon in there somewhere), but totally cute and appealing to what is likely Cornetto's target—millennials and TwoKays (born after 2000), which is apparently what we're calling the generation after millennials.

For the next video in the "Cupidity" series, I'm hopeful for a story about an underdog competing in a rap battle in Brooklyn.

Other spots from the "Cupidity" campaign:

The Women in This Tequila Commercial Only Have Time for One Kind of Bro

This new ad for Mezcal El Silencio tequila by agency Pablo Escargot starts off the same way many beer/liquor ads do—i.e., like from a clip of Ocean's Eleven, with bunch of guys in suits walking in slow motion to a steady rock/techno beat and a deep raspy voiceover.

It celebrates men being men, and the viewer quickly realizes it's satire. (The Post-it notes on the forehead are a nice touch.) When it comes to the requisite seduction scene, though, things totally fall apart and an unlikely hero emerges.

There's plenty of goofy overacting here, and the celebration of the strong, silent type isn't exactly revolutionary, either. But it's still a funny jab at all of the fist-pumping bro-mercials we've seen lately.

Via Co.Create.

St. John Ambulance Hits the Pool for Its Latest Shocking First-Aid PSA

St. John Ambulance, the first-aid teaching and awareness organization, has put together some incredible, horrifying PSAs through the years.

We've covered many of BBH London's ads for the group. Last year, the agency won a silver Film Lion at Cannes for "Helpless," a two-minute film based around the statistic that first aid could prevent 140,000 deaths a year—the same number who die from cancer. BBH followed that up with the heartbreaking "Save the Boy" spot last fall.

Now, here's a new spot—for St. John Ambulance in Australia. Created by The Brand Agency in Perth, it's equally heart-wrenching and difficult to watch. And effective, at least in my case. After watching this, I found myself searching the Internet for local first aid courses.

Warning: The video below may be upsetting.

Sexist Ads Get Recast, With the Men Degraded Instead of the Women

As we saw in our December roundup, there's no shortage of sexist ads—the vast majority of which are degrading to women rather than men. But what if the tables were turned?

BuzzFeed's new video, "If Women's Roles in Ads Were Played by Men," swaps the genders in three commercials—for GoDaddy, Hardee's/Carl's Jr. and Doritos. (Only the first two were approved ads, however. The Doritos ad was a fan-made entry into the 2011 Crash the Super Bowl contest, and didn't advance to the finals—though it has gotten more than 2 million views on the director's YouTube channel.)

BuzzFeed recreates each ad and plays them side by side with the originals. The GoDaddy spot reverses the Bar Rafaeli/Jesse Heiman setup and features a good-looking guy having to make out with a nerdy girl. Instead of Nina Agdal oiling up her cleavage for Hardee's/Carl's Jr., we see an average-looking guy … oiling up his cleavage for Hardee's/Carl's Jr. And in the Doritos ad, it's the guy, not his girlfriend, who's naked in bed and covered in Doritos. (Maybe this version would have been a finalist after all.)

"Seeing men like this is ridiculous, so why isn't it with women?" the video says at the end. They picked three cringeworthy ads to replicate, but the question certainly holds merit. Sex and humor are effective for a lot of campaigns, but it'd be nice if that could be achieved without, you know, gratuitous crotch shots.


Mila Kunis Puts Her Love of Bourbon to Work as the New Face of Jim Beam

The new face of Jim Beam, the iconic bourbon brand, might not be quite what you expect. While a rough-around-the-edges cowboy or country rock star might seem to fit the bill—Jim Beam has used Kid Rock at times in the past—its newest spokesperson is the petite and beautiful Mila Kunis.

The 30-year-old actress, who says she is a big fan of bourbon in general, is featured in two new 30-second Beam ads, as well as five other videos ranging in length from 15 seconds to more than three minutes.

The first commercial features a series of quasi-historical events (the transition to the '60s is a little visually jarring), and in the second, Kunis is seen branding her own barrel of bourbon. She narrates, and smolders, in both. "Make history" is the tagline of the new global campaign.

The supporting videos are pretty fun. Save for "Mila Kunis & Hibernation," which feels a little bit too much like a production of a scene in Indiana Jones, the other shorts are funny and quirky and a little less serious than the two main spots. And if you find yourself feeling the need to whisper "Shut up, Meg," it's because Kunis—no stranger to voiceover work—has been the voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy for the past 14 years.

Nice move on Jim Beam's part in an attempt to appeal to millennials. The campaign is by FutureWorks, a new entity comprised of three regional Beam creative agencies—StrawberryFrog in New York, The Works in Sydney, Australia, and Jung von Matt, Hamburg, Germany.


Leave It to Ben & Jerry’s to Write the Best Tweet About Colorado’s New Marijuana Law

On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana to anyone 21 or older. Sales have become so successful that stores are unable to keep up with the demand. Ben & Jerry's acknowledged that with a tweet on Thursday.

It was retweeted close to 10,000 times, and we're surprised more brands haven't addressed Colorado's newfound freedom. It seems like an appropriate time for Kate Upton and Snoop Dogg's weird Hot Pockets' commercial—full of references to marijuana "I bake everywhere!"—to get some extra play in the Centennial State, or for Taco Bell to revive its "Late Night Munchies" jingle.

And Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns—we're waiting, you guys.

Via Mashable.


The 7 Most Inspiring Ad Campaigns for Women in 2013

It's been a great year for women-empowering ads. Brands tackled everything from gender stereotypes (Pantene) to sexism (UN Women) to cultural repression (Tanishq), encouraged women to be kinder to themselves (Dove), got girls to celebrate their own strength (GoldieBlox, Mercy Academy), and even made a this-is-for-real ad about periods (HelloFlo).

Below, we've collected the seven most popular campaigns of the year. Popular doesn't necessarily mean universally loved; none of the work was received without some backlash or criticism. You can vote for your favorite with a tweet. Not seeing your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: The runaway winner is Mercy Academy. Congratulations!


Brilliant Coke Ad Celebrates the Agony and the Ecstasy of Early Parenthood

In a span of 60 seconds, Coke Argentina tells a true-to-life story of the highs and lows of early parenthood in this new spot by Santo Buenos Aires for Coke Life. We see a couple go through all the milestones after bringing home a baby—from sheer exhaustion to toddler mischief to the "Toys R Us has thrown up all over my house" stage. Not a new concept for advertising, but it's done in a beautiful way. No grating screaming kid noises or parents dismissing children as a nuisance—just a lovely, honest look at parenthood to the tune of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody." It ends with a "Surprise! We're doing it all again!" pregnancy announcement—and the parents' reaction is priceless. Funny and heartwarming. Nice job, Coke. Via Co.Create.


Amazing Pantene Ad Defiantly Tackles How Women in the Workplace Are Labeled

Pantene Philippines has launched a powerful campaign pointing out how identical behavior often earns men and women different labels in the workplace.

In this spot by BBDO Guerrero in Manila, a lovely cover of "Mad World" by Tears for Fears plays while each scene displays a double-standard in a working environment. A man is the "boss" while a woman is "bossy." A man is "persuasive" while a woman is "pushy." He's "neat" but she's "vain." He's "smooth" but she's a "show-off." "Don't let labels hold you back. Be strong and shine," says the copy at the end.

There's nary a shampoo bottle in sight, although glossy hair certainly features here. But the video delivers, and the #whipit campaign has inspired discussion on both the YouTube video and Facebook.

• "Too bad they couldn't find a male equivalent of 'bitch.' This is the one I hear the most about strong women in the workplace."
• "Sell product by convincing your target market that you are more invested in contributing to emotionally charged, globally relevant women's image issues than you are in advertising your product."

While it is disappointing that they used only light-skinned models—a long-standing trend in the Philippines—it's a potent spot with an important message criticizing gender stereotypes. Oh, and Sheryl Sandberg is a fan.


DiGiorno Pizza Live-Tweeted The Sound of Music, and It Was Very Tasty

On Thursday night, as millions tuned in to see Carrie Underwood ambitiously take on the role of Maria von Trapp, croon about the hills being alive, and make children's clothing out of drapes in NBC's The Sound of Music Live, DiGiorno Pizza was also watching—and live-tweeted the whole thing. The Nestlé brand's tweets were funny and hilariously pizza-related. Let's have a moment of appreciation for how difficult a task that must have been, considering The Sound of Music heavily features a convent and also the Third Reich. Also, a solid nod of respect to whomever came up with the hashtag #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT.


GoldieBlox Deletes Beastie Boys Song but Not Without a Few Choice Words for the Band

GoldieBlox went from hero to zero in one short week, putting our ad-loving hearts through a roller coaster of emotions. Now, it's belatedly making amends by removing its parody of the Beastie Boys' "Girls" from its mega-popular "Princess Machine" ad—and posting its own "open letter" to the band (and the world) telling its side of the story.

To recap: GoldieBlox last week released an empowering spot using a rewritten version "Girls" as the soundtrack to breaking gender roles in the toy space. (Sample lyrics: "It's time to change/We deserve to see a range/'Cause all our toys look just the same/And we would like to use our brains.") The ad was clever and cool, and everyone loved it—except they failed to ask the Beastie Boys for permission to use the song. The band objected, and GoldieBlox sued to have its soundtrack declared fair use. That precipitated a PR nightmare (especially after the Beasties' posted a frankly damning open letter in response). So now, GoldieBlox has surrendered—deleting the video, posting a new one with a more generic soundtrack and releasing its own lengthy statement about the affair.

"We don't want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans," GoldieBlox founder Debra Sterling writes. She goes on to defend her intentions but says "our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats." Sterling says she had no idea the late Adam Yauch was opposed to using his music in ads (not every "huge fan" of Yauch's knows this, apparently, even one who is looking into doing just that), and adds: "We don't want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends."

It's basically a passive-aggressive non-apology, casting the Beastie Boys as bullies and GoldieBlox as the victim—and also, irritatingly, the bigger person. The company suddenly doesn't want to fight a legal battle, even though it started one. And it wants to be friends, even though it's spent a week trying to be enemies.

Perhaps this bitterness is understandable. The company had a huge hit on its hands—deleting it must be tough to swallow. And the new spot (posted below), without the Beastie Boys song, definitely has less energy—although maybe it just seems that way because most of us are sort of over it.


Why Tesco Mobile’s Hilarious Twitter Feed Is Actually No Joke