RPA and Honda Fall in Love for the Summer

RPA launched a new, music-fueled campaign for Honda, promoting the Honda Summer Clearance Event.

In “Red,” a man falls in love with a 2016 Accord LX Sedan (which is not red, surprisingly) to the tune of Beyoncé‘s “Crazy in Love,” as performed by a doo-wop style vocal group. When asked if he likes it by a sales representative he tries to play it casual, but has a terrible poker face. Also, the dashboard caress is a tad creepy. 

The rest of the spots in the campaign all follow the same basic approach, albeit with different music and car models. Other love songs turned vehicular infatuation songs are “Head Over Heels” in “Float” and “Take My Breath Away” in “Angels.” Kelly Clarkson gets some love in spot “Dress” as well. We’re not sure the dramatic and cheesy approach does a lot to sell the cars in question but the spots are at least different enough to stand out from the summer clearance sale pack.

“Ultimately, our goal is to break through the car sales-event clutter and remind people that summer is the best time to get a great deal on a Honda,” Honda assistant vice president of marketing Susie Rossick told Adweek.

People Fall in Love With Hondas, to the Music of Angels, in These Clearance Sale Ads

Ah, car dealerships. They’re such wondrous places, awash in glitter and vibrating to the ebullient rhythm of dancing feet and upbeat songs of love.

Well, that’s true for the showrooms in these new Honda Clearance Sale spots from RPA, at any rate. The campaign, which broke Monday, features covers of well-known pop tunes in what the automaker describes as an effort “to capture the moment people become smitten with a new Honda.”

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RPA Parodies Daytime Soaps for La-Z-Boy

RPA Offers ‘Rentless Future’ for Apartments.com

RPA Stages Weezer Singalong for Honda Pilot

RPA launched a campaign for the new 2016 Honda Pilot with two new broadcast spots which position the vehicle as “Ready for Anything.”

The 30-second “The Incredible Pilot Elite” presents “a demonstration in adaptability” with a mix of practical and CGI effects demonstrating the vehicle’s features. A second, 60-second spot directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), shows a family on a road trip. One of the children starts singing the opening lines to the classic Weezer song “Buddy Holly” and soon the rest of the family joins in for a full singalong, passing by another family who laughs at them right after they get to the line “I don’t care what they say about us anyway.” It’s an unlikely scenario, to say the least, briefly showing off the vehicles spaciousness while undoubtedly getting the song stuck in viewers heads.

Broadcast spots will be slotted for cable, late night and early morning, and will run on CBS NFL, ESPN NCAA Football and ABC/ESPN NBA in the fall. They will also run on online channels including YouTube and Yahoo and through digital partnerships with Amazon, IMDB, TripAdvisor, Pinterest and Xbox. The campaign also includes a print component, which will run in publications including MotorTrend, Road & Track and Autoweek.

RPA Celebrates ‘The Power of Dreams’ for Honda

RPA created a campaign for Honda highlighting the brand’s promotion of Little League Baseball, NHL, IndyCar, Honda Classics and music performance series Honda Stage. The campaign focuses on five children, tracing back the steps from professional success to childhood dreams of stardom. “Slapshot” and “Finish Line,” the first two spots in the series, focus on the dreams of a young hockey player and IndyCar car racer.

Both spots make use of intriguing device, focusing on a single action, but using continuous camera action to give the illusion of time passing from one moment of the subject’s career to the next. To accomplish this, “a combination of high-speed motion control dollies and camera array systems were used to create a sense of depth and angle change within each near-frozen moment.” In all the rig made use of “over 75 cameras in order to move further through space in less time than any dolly physically could.” The result is the impression of slowly reversing time to capture the moment a child first dreamed of future greatness. It’s an interesting effect, even if the message and overall approach of the ads is a bit on the tired side.


Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
Creative Director/Art: Nik Piscitello
ACD/Copy: Jeff St Jean
Sr. Art Director: Suzie Yeranoysan
Copywriter: Ramiro Ramirez
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Sr. Producer: Eva Ellis

VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme
EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
Sr. VP, Group Account Director, Honda Regional Marketing: Fern McCaffrey
Account Supervisor: Alison Bickel
Account Executive: Donny Menjivar
Account Assistant: Corinne Loder

Production Company: Laundry
Live Action
Production Company: Laundry Design
Directed by: Anthony Liu, PJ Richardson
Director of Photography: Christopher Mably
Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
Producer: Nadav Streett
Pitch Producer: Dan Masciarelli
Executive Line Producer: Jan Wieringa
Production Supervisor: Tim Nolan

Post Production and Visual Effects
Production Company: Laundry Design
Creative Director: Anthony Liu
Creative Director: PJ Richardson
Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
Post Producer: Nadav Streett
VFX Supervisor: Elad Offer
Editor: Justin Freedman
Assistant Editor: Erik Anderson
Post Coordinators: Kirsten Collabolletta, Cody Shelley
Matte Painter: Dark Hoffman
3D Animation: Mike Koh, Steve Sprinkles, Brad J Hayes, Yas Koyama
Particle Effects: Yang Liu
Compositors: Robert Hubbard, Lior Weiss, Claudia Yi Leon, Raphael Mosley, Nicole Choi, Eran Barnea, Peter Beak, Tahira Ali

Telecine: The Mill
INDY CAR/”Finish Line”
Colorist: Gregory Reese
Colorist: Adam Scott

Music: Massive Music
INDY CAR/”Finish Line”
Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Nate Morgan
SFX: Peter Lauridsen

Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Patrick McArthur
SFX: Peter Lauridsen

Honda Stage/”Drums”
Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Tim Adams/Nate Morgan

Mix: Lime Studios
Engineer: Dave Wagg
Producer: Susie Boyajan

RPA Reshapes Your Face in New Honda Campaign

Honda’s new HR-V came about thanks to an extended trial-and-error process, and RPA emphasizes that fact in its new campaign.

The work, which so far consists of two TV spots, plays on the idea that the new models are a mishmash of ideas that come as close as possible to “[getting] everything just right.”

Here’s “Give and Take,” which illustrates its titular concept via a Photoshop-esque remodeling of actors’ faces:

We do like the leading lady’s Madonna-worthy gap there at the end to remind us that nothing’s perfect…not even an economy SUV.

The next ad, “Great Thinking Inside,” dispenses with the faces metaphor and gives us an illustration of the many models that eventually merged to form the HR-V:

The release tells us that the campaign was created to appeal to Honda fans’ sense of nostalgia by demonstrating the process via the power of CG illustrated in “Russian-nested-doll fashion” to create the newest, shiniest version of the car you’ve known and loved, etc. It’s like Transformers without the fun.

The campaign’s print ads also play off the change theme, using a classic Mad magazine-style fold-in to demonstrate the new models’ “versatility.”

Honda HRVprint1280x

In addition to the work posted here, Honda will also “[sponsor] the brand new Amazon 3D printing store,” “[collaborate] with Thrillist on a Culinary Road Trip event,” work on “the National Geographic Wanderlust Instagram contest” and, most importantly, run “a personalized interactive post on Buzzfeed.”


Title: “Great Thinking Inside” :60 and “Give and Take” :50
First air: June 8, 2015
Client: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, CD Copywriter: Ken Pappandurous
VP, CD Art Director: Chuck Blackwell
Sr. Copywriter: Paul Fung
Sr. Art Director: Marcella Coad
Copywriter (for “Great Thinking Inside”): Audrey Attal
Copywriter (for “Great Thinking Inside”): Forrest Boleyn
Copywriter (for “Give and Take”): Adam Gothelf
Art Director (for “Give and Take”): Michael Enriquez
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Producer: Matthew Magsaysay

VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme
SVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Account Director, National/Corporate Advertising: Jeff Moohr
VP, Management Supervisor: Cathy O’Gorman
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Supervisor: Patty Mira

Production Company: Nexus Productions
Director: Smith + Foulkes
EP: Tracey Cooper
EP (for “Give and Take”): Jeremy Smith
Line Producer (for “Give and Take”): Max Fink
Production Manager (for “Great Thinking Inside”): Fernanda Garcia Lopez

Post Production (for “Great Thinking Inside”): Time Based Arts
Animators: Chris Wood and Sam Osbourne
Flame Artists: Mike Skrgatic, James Allen and Sheldon Gardner
3D Artists: Ben Cantor, Mike Battcock, Kristoffer Andersson, Poul Resen Steenstrup, Eva Kuehlmann and Simon Goodchild
Additional Grade: Simone Grattarola

Post Production (for “Give and Take”): MPC
VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame: Benoit Mannequin
Flame: Vincent Blin
CG Lead/Lighting: Dameon O’Boyle
CG Lighter: Tim Kafta
CG artist: Clement Renaudin
Offline Editor: Billy Sacdalan
EP: Jo Arghiris
Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
Producer: Jake Fenkse

Vehicle Scanning & Modeling: ACME Digital Content
Kevin Malling, Brandon Acree, Tyson Hill and John Wang

Music Supervision (for “Great Thinking Inside”): Squeak E Clean Productions, Inc.
Music Composer (for “Give and Take”): Squeak E Clean Productions, Inc.

Licensed Music Track (for “Great Thinking Inside”): “Gonna Build A Mountain”
Composers: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Performed by: Sammy Davis Jr.
Label: Rhino Entertainment Company, A Warner Music Group Company

Sound Design: Factory
Sound Designer: Anthony Moore

Music For “Great Thinking Inside” :15’s: ANTFOOD
Mix & Sound Design: Lime Studios
Engineer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant: Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

RPA's ECD Is Releasing His New Book on Instagram, a Page a Day for 160 Days

Jason Sperling’s new book, Look At Me When I’m Talking To You, gives brands new rules for fostering loyalty with consumers in an attention-scarce world. And the RPA executive creative director leads by example with a unique media plan for its release.

Beginning June 25, Sperling will publish the book on Instagram—one illustrated page a day for 160 days at @lookatmebook. As a sneak peek, there are already some excepts posted. The idea is to reach people where they already consume media, rather than force them into a different pattern of behavior—a key point of the book as well.


– “Look at Me When I’m Talking to You” examines the obstacles that collectively threaten our industry’s future and offers up new rules for getting attention in an attention scarce world, inspiring care amidst consumer apathy, and fostering loyalty from an increasingly discerning and departing audience. It offers proven strategies for connecting with today’s fickle, fleeing, over-stimulated audience. It has 20% more humor than most marketing books, and 100% more pictures. ———- It’s getting harder for books to break through, as well. So in the spirit of disrupting prescribed models and in the hopes of being my best example, Look At Me When I’m Talking to You is going to be the first-ever book released on Instagram. Yes, INSTAGRAM. The home of selfiers and humblebraggarts will now become a home of authors, too. It will unspool page-by-page for the next several months, with a bite-sized portion every day. And because it’s being released on social media, it will be a “collaborative” book, combining my thoughts, your comments and consumer perspectives. ———- Look At Me When I’m Talking to You will launch on June 25th. Read it daily by following @lookatmebook.

A video posted by by Jason Sperling (@lookatmebook) on May 25, 2015 at 10:54pm PDT

Sperling joined RPA in 2010 from Media Arts Lab, where he creatively led Apple’s worldwide “Get a Mac” campaign. He has also worked on brands including Honda, Pixar, ESPN and Suzuki. We spoke with him about the book, the Instagram idea and more.

What inspired you to write a book in the first place, and how long have you been working on it?
I hate that I’m in a career where most people avoid and detest the bulk of what we create. I want to be proud of what I do and what I make, and of my industry as a whole. So I guess this book is manifestation of that frustration, with some practical tools to help people make things that transcend the usual, expected fare.

The inspiration for the book’s idea comes from being immersed in this “mess of opportunity” every day, as well as from watching the way the industry change so drastically since I first got into advertising. It comes from the day-to-day trials and frustrations of trying to create content and social objects that people will willingly engage with. And it comes from the constant strategizing of how to stand out, stand apart and increase our chances of success.

In 2014, I was scheduled to do a presentation at the Creative Conference in Mexico City. It was canceled, but I was left with a presentation I didn’t want to see go to waste. So I stole moments over the next year writing it, sometimes in the passenger seat on a family road trip or in the bleachers during a kid’s baseball game (don’t judge me). And as you might expect, I would read through it every so often, think it was complete shit, put it down and then pick it back up a few weeks later and keep going.

So many marketing books are dismal. Why is this one different?
I feel the same way! They’re usually so “Well, duh, of course” and filled with lots of catchphrases that are basically the same thing we’ve heard a dozen times before. Or they’re filled with philosophy or generalizations that make for a great read but there’s nothing to glean.

I hope what makes this book better is the awareness of what makes most marketing books so bad. I wanted this to be fun to read, and be more conversational, but still be insightful. And why can’t there be a marketing book with pictures?!

It was also important to me that this be written with a creative bent, but for the subject matter to be broader than just a creative person’s perspective of the business. I wanted to take into account all sides of the industry—media and technology included—to fully explain the forces re-shaping our industry.

Lastly, I wanted this to be a marketing book that practices what it preaches. It’s easy to launch philosophy salvos on blogs and in regular books, talking about what works and what doesn’t. But when has a book actually demonstrated the things it was suggesting?


– Some things about me: ———- I’m an habitual over-sharer. ———- I wet my bed until the age of 11. ———- My go-to karaoke song is “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. ———- I love brilliant ideas, brave work and being the underdog. ———- When I was a student at UCLA, I called about a job listing for marketing and selling condoms. It turns out it was for a different employer and they happened to be looking for a creative intern. The rest is history. ———- I was fortunate to spend years working on a brand like Apple, and then doubly fortunate to help bring Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” television and digital campaign to life (FYI, there are 230 more Mac vs PC ads that never made it to air.) It was declared Campaign of the Decade by Adweek and Top 10 of the Century by AdAge. ———- Currently, I serve as Executive Creative Director at RPA Advertising, working primarily on Honda North America. In the few years I’ve been here I’ve recreated my favorite movie, Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, for the Super Bowl, developed a massive digital campaign to help save the American drive-in movie theater, and worked on too many social media campaigns to mention. Fortunately, Forbes took notice of them in December 2014 and said, “Honda has become one of the most prolific and effective social media practitioners in the auto industry.” ———– I call Los Angeles home. I have a beautiful wife, three amazing kids and two mutts. ———- Thank you RPA Advertising for supporting the launch, and Bill Westbrook and Marsha Rybin for the necessary kick in the pants. And of course thanks to Nik Piscitello for the brilliant illustrations. ———- Twitter: jasonsperling_

A video posted by by Jason Sperling (@lookatmebook) on May 25, 2015 at 10:49pm PDT

What are the big themes of the book?

It talks about how consumer disenchantment has turned into disengagement, and suggests ways to build brand attraction in an age of brand aversion. It factors in the democratization of creativity, the proliferation of media channels, social media and mobile technology, and suggests ways for creating attention in an attention-scarce world and care in the midst of consumer apathy. And I share a story about selling my dad’s dirty magazines door-to-door. That’s not so much a theme of the book as it is a theme of my life.

You talk about new rules for attraction in the world of advertising and branding. What are some of those rules, and who’s doing it well?
One of the rules is to “Serpentine, serpentine” (borrowing from a scene in the comedy film The In-Laws). I think we’re in a world now where people expect marketing to be predictable, pushy and manipulative. They’re looking to shoot it down the moment they’re exposed to it. They want to hate it. They want to avoid it. To get around this gauntlet of cynicism and the reflexive need to turn us off, we need to always be moving in unexpected ways—through the content we create, the canvases we use in unintended ways, or with the context in which our work is seen.

I think the Honda Type R experience was a great example of serpentining consumer expectations: an unexpected twist on a familiar consumer experience, and simple yet impactful interactivity that allowed people to toggle between two really engaging, overlapping story lines.

There are also rules for what not to do in the book. One rule is, “No quickies.” The possibility of hitting the content lottery and creating something that goes viral is a powerful aphrodisiac. But in today’s fragmented media world, where every little bit of brand equity counts, we need to build deeper connections, establish brand loyalty and maintain continuity of message across everything we create. It’s not an anti-awesome-work idea, it’s just saying the work needs to be smarter and more strategic than ever. In the case of Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial, it made for a funny spot, but it did nothing to position Kmart away from its competitors or engender brand loyalty with consumers. Sales were going down before it came out, and continued to go down after.

You’re releasing the book page by page on Instagram. Where did that fanciful idea come from, and do you realize you won’t make a lot of money that way?
I never assumed a niche marketing book would earn me a Scrooge McDuck money pool. It was more of an itch I needed to scratch. And it was more important to me that people read it than it was to write it and have it sit on sub-page 17 of an e-book store.

The Instagram idea was a reactionary thing. I gave the book to several people to read, and after several weeks, no one, not one person, had started to read it. Could be I have crappy friends, but I actually think it was the big, imposing stack of papers filled with heady thoughts that impeded them. That led to the “a-ha” insight/connection that these days people are ingesting content in small, mobile-sized chunks. So, why can’t a book be built that way? And since a good portion of the book is dedicated to breaking through and connecting with people in unexpected ways, it would be great for the book itself to exemplify the thinking.

How has your particular career path informed the way you see the challenges facing brands today?
Not sure my particular career path informed my viewpoints. Everyone in advertising faces the same thing, no matter where they’ve been. It’s diabolically tough today with technology and consumer mind-sets being what they are, and the media and content explosion is making it harder for brands to get seen and break through. And then knowing that the increasing rate of innovation will cause even more flux … it makes the head spin. But it makes the wheels spin, too. And it demands smarter, more unexpected solutions. If you happen to marry a smart agency with an extremely savvy client (I like to think I found that match), then you’re in good shape.

Will your next book be published on Snapchat?

Book: Look at Me When I’m Talking to You
Author: Jason Sperling
Illustrator: Nik Piscitello
Animation: Cameron Sperling
Sr. Editor: Wendy Sandoval
Pre-launch: begins 6/1/2014
Book launch: 6/25/2015

Tempur-Pedic Knows Exactly What Every Sleep-Deprived Mom Wants for Mother's Day

Hallmark’s “Put Your Heart to Paper” campaign featured interviews with people who didn’t know their moms were watching. Now, Tempur-Pedic has hit it big with the opposite—interviews with moms who didn’t know their kids were watching, and didn’t know they were about to get a very nice surprise.

It’s not tied together as simply or as obviously as Hallmark’s campaign, but this spot does a reasonable job of pointing out how little moms get to sleep, and showing some very happy moms lolling around on the product.

RPA made the ad, which tries to tell moms, “You’re important. Sleep like it.” And it’s actually based on some pretty interesting research. In a Tempur-Pedic survey of 1,000 moms, 87 percent of them said they’re kept up at night by family concerns, finances, jobs and wondering if little Timmy is going to need braces.

In case you were wondering what Mom really wants for Mother’s Day, 40 percent of moms said waking up from a good night’s sleep and spending a whole day with their families, while another 30 percent said they’d prefer to sleep late and enjoy breakfast in bed.

So, if your mom is having sleepless nights, consider getting her a bed for Mother’s Day. It might not be the coolest or most affordable option, but it’s still way better than a vacuum.

Client: Tempur Sealy
Title: Moms: You’re Important

Agency: RPA
EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
SVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Creative Director: Alicia Dotter Marder
Jr. Art Director: Dennis Haynes
Jr. Copywriter: Megan Leinfelder
VP, Director – Content: Mark Tripp
VP, Director of Digital Production: Dave Brezinski
Sr. Digital Producer: Ana Ponce
Digital Production Coordinator: Kristin Varraveto

EVP, Management Account Director: Tom Kirk
VP, Account Director: Rebecca Mendelson
Account Supervisor: Amanda de la Madriz
Supervisor, Digital Content Strategy: Joanna Kennedy

Production Co: Bö’s House of Visual Arts
Director: Mark Tripp
DP: Stephen Carmona
Producer: Tracy Chaplin
Production Designer: Kristen Vallow

Editorial: Butcher Post
Editors: Teddy Gersten/Nick Pezzillo
Assistant Editor: Amy Rosner
Executive Producer: Rob Van
Post Producer: Alexa Atkin
Lead Flame Artist: Moody Glasgow
Telecine Company: The Mill
Artist: Adam Scott
Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson

Audio Post Company: Lime
Audio Post Mixer: Dave Wagg

Casting: Cornwell Casting
Casting Directors: Jason Cornwell, Damon Collazo, Sandra Petko
Casting Producer: Tina Eisner

RPA Rolls Out Promo for Selfie-Inspired Honda HR-V

Considering the day, we’ll take this latest spot from Santa Monica-based RPA for Honda with a heavy grain of salt, because if it smells like an April Fools’ joke and looks like an Aprils Fools’ joke…

In the new campaign, RPA introduces us to a young lady named Ashley H who, like the rest of her narcissistic peers, is a self-proclaimed selfie queen. Now, she’s found a perfect vehicle to indulge her ego in the Honda HR-V SLF — or “Selfie”– model, which comes equipped with 10 cameras so drivers and passengers alike can more fully engage in their own self-absorption.

In a statement (yes, there actually is one), Honda HR-V brand manager Gaz? Enjinia says:

“Honda is embracing the selfie phenomenon and the creative, artistic sensibilities of millennials with this versatile, youthful trim model. Cameras were already part of the all-new HR-V, used for LaneWatch and the rearview camera, so we found a way to incorporate more of them, based on the role of selfies in culture today. The selfie-camera option safely operates only when the vehicle is in park; when the vehicle is in drive, the cameras go back to their intended use.”

The, ahem, multiple selfie cameras join a host of real HR-V features including 7-inch touchscreen with Pandora, Bluetooth and satellite-linked navigation, blah blah.

Don’t worry, folks, April first will be over in mere hours. But if you already need a palate cleanser, John Oliver has just the thing.

Intuit Brews a Special Beer for Accountants Only Called CPA IPA

Tax season is hell for accountants. But in Rhode Island this year, it’s been a little less brutal than usual, thanks to this fun promotion by Intuit.

Intuit makes software called QuickBooks Online Accountant, which helps accountants manage and support clients in one place. To promote it, the company partnered with a local brewery to make a special beer for accountants only—CPA IPA. It then bought ads in the Rhode Island press touting happy hours across the state, where accountants enjoyed some free beer to de-stress. (Intuit chose Rhode Island because it’s a smaller market and because craft beer is big in the Northeast.)

Of course, only one ad agency could possibly make a CPA IPA. Yes, it was done by RPA.

More images and a video below.

Client: Intuit
Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, GCDs: Nathan Crow, Adam Lowrey
ACDs: Joao Medeiros, Alex Goulart
Designer: Lauren Geschke
Sr. Art Director: Jessie Echon
Photographer: Mark Tripp
Art Buyer: Jessica Fedynyshyn
Producer: Annie Boyle

RPA Hails Undiscovered Artists with Colorful Skeet Shooting

To celebrate its sixth year of collaboration with the Newport Beach Film Festival, Santa Monica-based agency RPA has unveiled this promo for the event, which takes place April 23-30. The theme, as you can see, is “Know New Art,” and the goal of the parties involved is to shine a light on unheralded artists and provide a major platform for them to showcase their talents.

Featuring a lollipop-sucking, gun-toting punk rocker and her weary-yet-willing assistant, RPA’s :90 second clip, directed by identical twin duo the Friese Brothers, uses skeet shooting as a metaphor for bringing non-traditional imagery to life. In this case, a drab, black and white world springs to life with colorful ammo, slow-motion footage, and the dulcet sounds of Portland-based singer-songwriter Ezza Rose.

RPA’s latest Newport Beach entry is a far cry from some of the harsher and quirkier festival promos we’ve seen from them in the past, but it’s nice to see that each year brings with it a completely different theme.

Regarding their “Skeet Art” video, the Friese Brothers say:

“We found ourselves at a shooting range in the desert for a friend’s wedding and began to talk about our strange small-town childhood experience with guns, art and punk rock music. Seemingly unrelated things, we had this idea to re-imagine them inspired by the Festival’s theme of ‘Know New Art’ and meld these elements into a short narrative-what kind of art would a skeet-shooting, punk rock, fine artist make. This was our first time working with RPA, which was a fantastic experience. They gave us all the freedom in the world and brought so many creative ideas to the table. We developed storyboards early on, so the whole production team and crew really saw the vision from the beginning. It was great to all be on the same page.”

Agency: RPA
EVP/CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP/GCD: Pat Mendelson
VP, CD/AD: Scott McDonald
ACD/CW: Andrea Drever
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP/Executive Producer: Selena Pizarro
Assistant Producer: Grace Wang

Music Track: “Ophelia”
Written & Performed by Ezza Rose
Courtesy of Angry Mob Music

Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Directors: Freise Brothers
DP: Christian Evans
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Head of Production: Mercedes Allen Sarria
Producer: Thaddeus Herrick

Editorial Company: Cut + Run
Editor: Lucas Eskin
Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
Head of Production: Amburr Farls

VFX: Jogger
Creative Director: David Parker

Color Services: Company 3
Senior Colorist: Siggy Ferstl
Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
Senior Color Producer: Matt Moran

Title Design & Animation: Laundry!
Creative Director: PJ Richardson
Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
Producer: Kirsten Collabolletta

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Dave Wagg
Assistant: Adam Primack
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Key Art Print Photography: Karel Polt and Asher Hung

RPA Debuts Apartments.com ‘Launch’ with Jeff Goldblum

RPA launched a new (reportedly $100 million) campaign for Apartments.com Sunday with the “Launch” spot (60-second online version featured above) starring Jeff Goldblum as “Silicon Valley maverick” Brad Bellflower.

Goldblum’s character lampoons Silicon Valley tech stereotypes, as he throws out buzzwords like “connected,” “synergisitic,” and “thought-leading.” He also finds time to describe how Apartments.com (or, as he calls it, the “apartminternet”) can help you find the right apartment. Goldblum’s involvement will no doubt gain the brand some attention, and he brings as much as he can to the role, though the dry humor fails to convincingly land any satisfactory punchlines.

The ad debuted during The Walking Dead and launches an “expansive, year-long national, regional, local and hyper-local media buy…designed to reach 95 percent of target audience 18 to 49 years old.” More ads will roll out over the course of the campaign, with placements during “high-profile premieres and season finales,” including The BachelorDancing with the StarsEmpireSurvivor, and MLB and NBA games (including the NBA playoffs). The campaign will also be supported by widespread OOH, digital and social components.

“Apartments.com is determined to communicate with every renter in the country,” said Joe Baratelli, CCO at RPA, in a statement. “Jeff Goldblum perfectly portrays Brad, an over-exaggerated tech powerhouse, to capture attention for Apartments.com—the best apartment site on the market—while establishing the website as a trusted resource that will ensure people find the place they’ll love.”


Agency: RPA
EVP/Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
SVP/GCD: Pat Mendelson
CD/AD: Hobart Birmingham
CD/CW: Perrin Anderson
ACD/AD: Kirk Williams
ACD/CW: Eric Haugen
SVP/Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP/Executive Producer: Selena Pizarro
Producer: Joshua Herbstman
Agency Assistant Producer: Grace Wang

Production: Anonymous Content
Director: Tim Godsall
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
Executive Producers: Eric Stern & Rick Jarjoura
Executive Producer/Production: SueEllen Clair
Line Producer: Brady Vant Hull
Production Supervisor: Timothy Kreis

Editorial: Cut+Run
Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
Head of Production: Amburr Farls
Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Assistant Editor: Sean Fazende

Finishing: Jogger Studios
Creative Director: David Parker

VFX: Framestore
Sr. Executive Producer: James Razzall
Producer: Andrew McLintock
Design Director: Sharon Lock
CG Artist: Mike Bain
2D Supervisor / 2D lead – Michael Ralla

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
Sound Engineer: Dave Wagg

Transfer: Company 3
Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
Producer: Alexis Guajardo
Colorist: Sean Coleman

Music Company: Barking Owl
Head of Production: Whitney Fromholtz
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett

Talent: Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum Is a Loony Futurist in RPA's New Ads for Apartments.com

Jeff Goldblum, who’s enjoying something of a renaissance as a pitchman, has scored another gig in a peculiar role as a futurist for Apartments.com—helping to introduce the company’s advanced, perhaps even futuristic new apartment-listings website.

In the campaign from RPA, Goldblum plays Brad Bellflower, an eccentric Silicon Valley maverick who’s pretty damn impressed by everything on the new Apartments.com, which includes “custom search filters, videos, and most of all, heart.”

The launch spot, which broke Sunday on The Walking Dead, shows Bellflower in a black void, surrounded by flashing white shapes, as he mutters futuristically about “game changers,” of which the new Apartments.com is clearly one.

It’s both parody and not-parody, which at first makes it hard to understand what to believe, though by the end of the :60 it’s clear Bellflower loves Apartments.com, and you should too, though maybe not quite as cosmically.

“Change your apartment. Change the world” is the tagline.

“Like any good Silicon Valley maverick, Brad’s vision for his apartment-listing website is nothing less than to change the world. But hyperbole and parody aside, finding a great place to live or moving to a new area really does change your world,” says Andrew C. Florance, founder and CEO of CoStar Group,parent company of Apartments.com.

Check out some out-of-home work from campaign below, plus credits. The company plans to spend $100 million on advertising, media, b-to-b marketing and search in the campaign.

Client: CoStar Group
Spot: “Launch”
First air: 3/1/15

Agency: RPA
Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
Creative Director, Art Director: Hobart Birmingham
Creative Director, Copywriter: Perrin Anderson
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Kirk Williams
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Eric Haugen
Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
Vice President, Executive Producer: Selena Pizarro
Producer: Joshua Herbstman
Agency Assistant Producer: Grace Wang

Production: Anonymous Content
Director: Tim Godsall
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
Executive Producers: Eric Stern, Rick Jarjoura
Executive Producer, Production: SueEllen Clair
Line Producer: Brady Vant Hull
Production Supervisor: Timothy Kreis

Editorial: Cut+Run
Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
Head of Production: Amburr Farls
Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Assistant Editor: Sean Fazende

Finishing: Jogger Studios
Creative Director: David Parker

Visual Effects: Framestore
Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
Producer: Andrew McLintock
Design Director: Sharon Lock
Computer Graphics Artist: Mike Bain
2-D Supervisor, 2-D Lead: Michael Ralla

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
Sound Engineer: Dave Wagg

Transfer: Company 3
Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov
Producer: Alexis Guajardo
Colorist: Sean Coleman

Music Company: Barking Owl
Head of Production: Whitney Fromholtz
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett

Talent: Jeff Goldblum

—Out-of-Home Credits
Agency: RPA
Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
Creative Director, Art: Hobart Birmingham
Creative Director, Copy: Perrin Anderson
Associate Creative Director, Art: Kirk Williams
Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Haugen
Senior Copywriter: David Sullivan (for Living Near Burritos, Duck and Finding an Apartment Faster only)
Senior Art Director: Rob Anton (for Living Near Burritos, Duck and Finding an Apartment Faster only)
Photographer: Michael Muller
Digital Artist: Art Machine

—Digital Credits
Agency: RPA
Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson
Creative Director, Art: Hobart Birmingham
Creative Director, Copy: Perrin Anderson
Associate Creative Director, Art: Kirk Williams
Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Haugen
Junior Art Director: Josh McCrary
Junior Copywriter: Earl Lee
Photographer: Michael Muller
Digital Artist: Art Machine

XO Mints Freshens Up Valentine's Day With Catchy Ballad for Ugly People

Beauty is in the eye of the … um … sorry, I lost my train of thought. While I try to remember how that saying goes, enjoy “The Ugly Couple Song,” a Valentine’s Day music video by RPA for XO Mints.

Unlike Cartier’s pretty posers, who pine for love, XO presents some hairy, less-than-hunky, socially awkward dudes who look like refugees from cover bands and sitcoms. (The guy with the curls resembles “College Ted” from How I Met Your Mother. He’s even got the “spectacles”!) They lip-sync along with the titular ditty, a folky number performed by Run River North, about finding that certain special someone no matter how unattractive you are.

“She’s got a heart that’s bigger than her hair/She might never be a model, but who cares?/She’s one cloud and some wings from being an angel/And who knows, we might make—something beautiful.” (Aww … isn’t that nice? #SomethingBeautiful is also the campaign’s hashtag.)

Frankly, the guys aren’t all that homely, and I expected a wacky payoff, like maybe they’d all marry each other. Instead, the clip stays minty sweet and low-key, gently poking fun at social stereotypes as it invites us to hum along.

Of course, fresh breath as a requirement for romance is also a stereotype. Still, it never hurts, and the brand’s heart is clearly in the right place.

RPA Shares ‘The Ugly Couple Song’ for XO Mints

RPA went the musical route with its “The Ugly Couple Song” Valentine’s Day spot for XO Mints.

As you might have guessed from the title, the song celebrates love among the less attractive. “I was never pretty, not even as a child” begins the first narrator of the generic acoustic folk-pop song, as he goes on to describe being put in the back during school photos (even though he wasn’t tall). The song is then handed off to another singer, who says he’s glad he wasn’t taken, since that would have meant missing “the best date in the world.” While the humor never quite hits its mark (or at least is never a laugh-inducing type of funny), and the song is bland musically, the lyrics are kind of sweet (as that line illustrates), which is the real strength of the online spot.

“We want everyone to share XO Mints with someone they love, or with someone they’d like to, because, if they do, as the song says, maybe they can make ‘something beautiful,” said Dan Loritz, co-founder of XO Mints, in a statement. “And this is what we think the message of the song is about too—you don’t have to be a supermodel to make #SomethingBeautiful. We’re aiming Cupid’s arrow at everyone this Valentine’s Day.”


Agency: RPA

Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli

Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Jason Sperling

Creative Director/Copywriter: Sarah-May Bates

Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff


Production Company: Bö’s House of Visual Arts

Director: Sarah-May Bates

Producer: Mark Tripp

Director of Photography: Ken Lin

AD/Gaffer: Adam Scheil

Production Assistant: Chris Grimshaw


Original song by Joshua Beeman

Music: “The Ugly Couple Song” performed by Run River North

Recorded at HUM Music

Executive Producer: Debbi Landon

Creative Director: Scott Glenn

Audio Engineer: Dan Hart


Graphics: Logan

Post Producer: Kaori Watanabe

Post Producer: Kevin Miller


Lead Design and Animation: Kristyn Solie

Design and Animation: Amy Wang

Animation: Omer Avarkan


Editorial:  Cut+Run

Editor:  Sean Stender

Head of Production:  Amburr Farls

Executive Producer:  Carr Schilling

Managing Director:  Michelle Eskin

VFX:  Jogger Studios

Creative Director:  David Parker


Telecine Company: Company 3

Colorist: Sean Coleman

RPA Rolls Out ‘Happy Honda Days’ Social Extension

RPA has launched a social extension of its “Happy Honda Days” campaign, which launched last month featuring nostalgic toys of yesteryear.

The new extension consists of three new videos featuring Skeletor and He-Man, Jem and G.I. Joe, and Gumby and Pokey. The extension was launched yesterday with Skeletor taking over Honda’s Twitter account. Each duo sings a new version of a classic Christmas song (except for Gumby and Pokey, because they don’t know any Christmas songs) and calls on viewers to vote for their rendition. Honda will donate a total of $100,000 to three charities – Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the Little League Urban Initiative and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation — with $50,000 going to the charity associated with the winning video and the other two receiving $25,000 each.

In the most amusing of the three videos, Skeletor sings of his newfound bromance with He-Man to a rendition of “Jingle Bells,” which has been rechristened “Jingle Bros.” According to Skeletor, the duo are now Facebook friends and even got matching tattoos, although it ends with a not-so-surprising twist. In the other videos, G.I. Joe wins over Gem with some Kung Fu moves, and Gumby and Pokey interact with random items. You can watch them on Honda’s YouTube page and vote for your favorite (or just for the associated charity you’d most like to receive money). We’ve included “Jingle Bros” above and the other two videos after the jump. (more…)

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RPA Stokes Nostalgia for ‘Happy Honda Days’

RPA looks to the gifts that you loved receiving as a kid in its “Happy Honda Days” campaign, celebrating such cultural touchstone of yesteryear as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Stretch Armstrong, Strawberry Shortcake and Gumby.

The ads all follow in a similar formula, with each character asking viewers if they remember how excited they were to receive them as a gift, before saying that they can get that same feeling by purchasing a Honda CRV, Civic or Accord. In the 30-second “Skeletor” spot above, for example, the He-Man villain reminds viewers of the exultation they felt when they got him as a holiday gift, before touting the CRV’s rear-view mirror, used to detect danger (in this case, He-Man). Children of the eighties and/or fans of these characters should appreciate the dose of nostalgia present in these ads as they tout the vehicles’ features, and RPA went ahead and applied the formula to half a dozen different characters so viewers don’t grow tired of the same ad.

“Every season consumers are inundated with holiday ads. Our goal is to break through the clutter by tapping into people’s memories of their favorite childhood toys and helping them relive that feeling of getting something they loved for the holidays by getting a great deal on a new Honda at the Happy Honda Days Sales Event,” explained Susie Rossick, senior manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The broadcast spot will be supported by print ads in People, Sports Illustrated, and local newspapers in top markets, as well ad network radio ads.


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RPA Ushers in New Era for Los Angeles Clippers

In early September, the Los Angeles Clippers named Santa-Monica based RPA as its lead creative agency following a review launched in August. Now, at the start of the NBA season RPA has debuted a new campaign for the team entitled “Be Relentless.”

“Be Relentless” alludes to the off-the-court troubles faced by the Clippers in the form of Donald Sterling‘s racist comments which led to the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. RPA’s new campaign casts the new season in a positive light, as the beginning of a new era for the team, which reached the conference semifinals last year. The campaign centers around a broadcast spot, created in collaboration with Panay Films and released in both 30 and 60-second versions, also called “Be Relentless.” Filmed in majestic black and white, the ad begins by asking, “You think you know who we are?” before announcing, “This is a new game, a new era.” The spot goes on, “We have walked through fire and come out on the other side,” alluding quite obviously to the Sterling controversy while putting a positive spin on the new season as a new beginning for the team.

The 60-second version of the ad debuted nationally last night, during both opening night double headers and will air nationally again during the Clippers’ home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow night. Both 30 and 60-second versions of the spot will also air locally in the Los Angeles market during prime-time shows, live sports programming, as well as in Los Angeles and Orange County movie theaters. The campaign is supported by print elements in the LA Times and ESPN Magazine and out-of-home media in the L.A. skyline and along major freeways.

“Our goal is to make the Clippers the most loved sports entertainment brand—period,” said RPA SVP and Group Account Director Kirt Danner.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Fred Savage, Hired to Do Honda Voiceovers, Wants to Practice by Narrating Your Home Videos

Fred Savage will soon be the new voice of Honda. But he’s not exactly a voiceover specialist (that’s Daniel Stern you’re thinking of, Wonder Years fans). So, Honda agency RPA came up with a fun way to help him practice—by having Fred narrate your home videos first.

Anything you’ve got, feel free to throw at him. Babies, animals, vacations, weddings. Whatever you have documented on film, Fred wants to describe in his presumably dulcet tones. Just tweet your video with the hashtag #HondaPromo to get on the actor’s radar.

But are his tones dulcet? RPA says, actually, that Honda is hiring Savage because his voice stands out and doesn’t feel like a traditional car spokesperson. So, we’ll just have to see how that goes. It’s a more reasonable option, anyway, that the plea from someone on Twitter to “bring back Burgess Meredith.”