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Coca-Cola is said to be looking for a new global campaign, having asked 10 roster agencies to pitch ideas that would resonate worldwide.

That's no easy task. Honing in on a universally meaningful and globally engaging message that transcends cultural and political boundaries while, at the same time, striking a personal chord with consumers is a conundrum of sorts. And, according to analysts, it might not even help buoy the brand.

That Coke is looking to revamp its marketing now makes sense. The company installed a new chief marketing officer earlier this year and, given the lackluster response to its Super Bowl spot as well as the demise of its campaign to combat hate online, its "Open Happiness" campaign may have run its course.

"Coke has a massive scale to reach into every community and therefore has an opportunity and responsibility to use and leverage that scale positively," said Sebastian Buck, co-founder and strategic lead at Enso Collaborative in Santa Monica, Calif.

As Coke develops its next big global campaign, it has an opportunity to define-or redefine-the brand. If it continues the happiness theme, analysts said the soda maker should tap into what makes customers happy.

But it's never been harder for brands to be compelling, credible and authentic than it is today, said Jason Schlossberg, CCO of Kwittken. Since the Internet and social media make it easy to fact-check brands' messaging, "consumers' bullshit meters are extremely sensitive and fine-tuned."

And it seems the brand is counting on marketing to boost revenue significantly; Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent told the Wall Street Journal that new marketing is key to his plan to sell more soda. But growth could be a challenge considering soda consumption has declined for the last decade.

"The elephant in the room is, do they actually have a product problem?" said Thomas Ordahl, chief strategy officer for Landor. "People's tastes are changing, their views on health and sugar are changing.... This is a macro trend that's happening. A lot of the big, huge global food brands are challenged. It's definitely a shifting reality, and that's a product thing as much as a marketing thing."

So how should Coke address this reality if its plan is simply to sell more soda?

One possibility, according to Buck, would be for Coke to position the brand's messaging around not "over-consuming" its products. By engaging consumers in an authentic discussion about the realities of consuming too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup, Buck said Coke may regain trust and have a stronger brand.

Schlossberg, agreed. "It's easy for Coca-Cola to be compelling, to lean into the issues of importance to its consumers, but if those issues are in any way contrary to, or disconnected from the brand, then consumers will reject the campaign," he said. "To completely ignore the issue of obesity-or the scarcity of water, for that matter-is simply tone deaf."

Groupon knows social, as you can see with its latest Facebook post of a Banana Bunker: a container for a single banana, which you can absolutely purchase on the Groupon site.

Fans are going wild with the clever commentary about the product. And Groupon is responding to every single comment, as innocently as a brand can while discussing what could easily be mistaken for a sex toy. Instead of a Banana Bunker. Because it's definitely a Banana Bunker.

If you were hoping to buy one, it's currently sold out. But keep hope alive, reader.

Can we be even more like Mike?

Gatorade's 50th anniversary celebration continues with three spots from TBWA\Chiat\Day, each reimagining the iconic Michael Jordan-inspired "Be Like Mike" jingle we've been humming for nearly a quarter century.

An impressively remastered version of the original Bayer Bess Vanderwarker ad from 1992 was unveiled last month during the NBA's All-Star weekend. Visuals from that spot appear in these three new commercials, but each has its own unique appeal.

"Groove Like Mike," my favorite, feels like the '70s, with retro-cool animations and a righteously funky take on the song. "Move Like Mike" finds gym rats, inspired by footage of No. 23 playing on monitors around the place, working out and scrimmaging to subtly insistent beats. (Maybe the NBA will adopt that backboard video screen to blast ads during games.) "Dream Like Mike" shows a kid playing driveway hoops against MJ, a bold mix of "Be Like Mike" driving him to new heights.

The clips are fun, multilayered and reward multiple plays. Animal Music did a fine job with the remixes, giving all three versions a fresh sound while staying true to the spirit of the original. There's just one problem. Now, that damn song will be stuck in my head for at least another 23 years!

Client: Gatorade
Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
Creative Director: Renato Fernandez
Art Director: Pierce Thiot
Copywriter: Scott Cleveland
Producer: Garrison Askew
Music Production Company: Animal Music

Hopefully your South by Southwest hangover has eased, and you're ready for a final run-through of the social numbers from the festival.

Tracx provides just that in the infographic below, exclusive to Adweek, which takes a look at lots of social metrics-the social channels of choice for attendees, when and where they posted the most, as well as which events and brands got the most buzz.

As Tracx points out, the music events still dominate the social chatter, and Instagram was the preferred social network of choice for sharing SXSW experiences-underscoring just how much the festival remains an audio-visual extravaganza.

On the brand front, Meerkat obviously scored well. But it's fun to see Tinder up high in the mix-not thanks to the brand's presence at the festival but because of a certain nonhuman interloper on the dating app itself.

Click the infographic to enlarge.

Color can communicate a lot of information, but not as clearly as if it were an actual language. So OPI made it into one.

A sassy, gorgeous new campaign from the nail polish company, created with TBWA's DAN\Paris, turns various shades of the brand's product into an abstract, droplet-shaped alphabet that fans can use to chat on a special mobile app.

In the launch video, a talking red dot-corresponding to the letter A-introduces itself. "My mom thinks I'm very classy, but I can also be pretty naughty," it says.

The idea of anthropomorphic nail lacquer might seem a little silly at first blush, but it's oddly hypnotizing, and a great fit for the linguistic concept. And once the clip demonstrates fully formed words and phrases, the power of the idea really hits: Packaged cosmetics-generally aesthetic, but also relatively mundane-start to look like something more akin to modern art.

Sure, at moments the copy is a little sappy-inviting viewers to "cry in color." But it recovers quickly, encouraging users to "swear in color," too. (Based on the first and third letters, debuted earlier, it's pretty easy to guess which four-letter word is on the screen-kind of like playing a really easy version of Hangman with paint instead of blanks).

The clever tone extends to outdoor and print ads featuring the rainbow code, with lines like "400 colors 10 fingers life is so unfair" and "Last night a color saved my life." The campaign swag, meanwhile, includes all kinds of neat little gems, like a "Don't trust anyone with a chipped mani" (T-shirt); an "I'm almost single" tote; a "Ryan is a good kisser" mug (presumably Gosling?); and an "I do my best to look busy" laptop case (all meaning, unlocked, apparently, by phone).

The centerpiece app, meanwhile, isn't as much work to use as it might initially seem. It translates the color language-type your message in on a standard keyboard (French AZERTY edition in the demo video)-and swipe the screen to decode an incoming sequence. (That might actually make the concept a little less cool, but does significantly lower the barrier to entry, even if it's easy to imagine some lacquer-crazed, chat-happy teenage girls being willing to go to the trouble to actually memorize the alphabet.)

Overall, it's similar in spirit to branded emoticons, but a little more esoteric-probably a good thing, given other marketers are scrambling to beat that fad to death in record time. And OPI's idea is solidly grounded in the product. Given that cosmetics are effectively a form of self-expression already, this just makes it more literal.

"We are a new language for everyone, because color is the universal language," says A, the talking drop of nail polish. That might be stretching it a bit far, given the same colors can have different connotations in different cultures, but the spirit is close enough.

If OPI is really aiming to become synonymous with hue, it's got some pretty stiff competition in Pantone. Then again, Pantone's system is even more complicated.

Lots more images, plus credits, below.

Client: OPI
Agency: DAN\Paris
Client Managers: Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Ruthi Stirling, Marleine Pacilio, Katie Barth
Agency Managers: Julie Hardy, Philippe Simonet, Hugues Cholez, Franck Botbol
Creative Directors: Franck Botbol, Hugues Cholez, Nathalie Huni
Conception/Copywriter: Glen Troadec
Artistic Directors: Nicolas Cremmydas, Nicolas Barres
Movie Producer: Christophe Courty
Photography: Baptiste Massé/Mécanique Générale
Producers: Justine Myard-Guidi, Mathieu Gauchée
Chief Technology Officer: Ivan Zindovic
Lead Developer: Sidney Bourgallé
Social Media Planning: Lydia Faraj
Music Production: Benoît Dunaigre\Else

In case you had any lingering doubt that SoulCycle has exploded from trendy fitness hobby to full-on national craze, look no further than the cycling satires popping up on Comedy Central and Netflix.

Nearly a decade old, but exploding in popularity over recent years, SoulCycle has built a brand around the culture of its classroom. With a combination of dim lighting, loud dance music and energetic coaching, the fitness chain has revamped traditional spin classes. Its vocal participants have also gotten a reputation for being a bit cult-like in their exuberance.

Naturally, the SoulCycle obsession is starting to get lampooned in popular programming, most notably on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (as SpiritCycle) but also on Comedy Central's Broad City (as Soulstice).

So how is SoulCycle handling being the butt of a few national jokes? Pretty well, it turns out.

"Parodies help to elevate brand awareness and simply make us laugh," said Gabby Etrog Cohen, vp of public relations and brand strategy at SoulCycle. "We are huge fans of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broad City."

Opened in 2006, SoulCycle's cultural relevance has grown as rapidly as the brand, moving from one studio in New York's Upper West Side to 36 locations nationwide.

The company has plans to have more than 50 locations globally by 2016. With nearly 50,000 riders weekly and competitors like Flywheel and Power Cycle cropping up, it's no wonder the shows' jokes resonate.

"The only reason I watched [Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt] was because a friend told me about an episode called 'Spirit Cycle,'" said Stephanie Smith, an avid SoulCycle rider and account executive at Edelman. "I thought it was humorous in that it is somewhat similar to SoulCycle."

For its SoulCycle episode (actually called "Kimmy Rides a Bike"), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt tapped comedian Nick Kroll to play a ponytailed instructor, Tristafé, commanding Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski's characters to find their bliss.

Viewers gradually start to see that Tristafé is using the same controlling tricks-like making participants compete for his favor-as the doomsday preacher who kept Schmidt locked in a bunker for 15 years.

SoulCycle fans admit some of Kimmy Schmidt's gags were bitingly accurate.

"Probably what I thought was most realistic, but also funny, was in SoulCycle when you start you are supposed to sit in the back row," Smith said. "There's this whole elitist thing about getting to the front row and leading the pack, and so in that episode, Kimmy is in the back and she tries to get to the front and that's true in SoulCycle classes."

As for Broad City, one of the show's long-running jokes is that Abbi, the more responsible of the show's two main characters, works as a cleaner at a gym, Soulstice, that seems to be based on SoulCycle. Abbi aspires to be a trainer but time and time again is left to clean up the various disgusting messes that the gym's patrons leave.

The SoulCycle PR chief says the brand has yet to do any large-scale ad campaigns and that its presence (even when parodied) on shows like these can help elevate its brand awareness.

SoulCycle hasn't always sat on the sidelines when it starts to get lighthearted national attention, though. When New Girl's Max Greenfield made the faux exercise video below in character as Schmidt, SoulCycle asked him to teach two real classes for charity.

"We're always looking for ways to surprise and delight our riders," said Etrog Cohen. "We would totally consider doing something with Nick Kroll or the girls from Broad City [Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer]. We're open to integrating pop culture into the experience."

Remember when you were in middle school and you would doodle the logo of your favorite band on your Trapper Keeper? The Led Zeppelin logo, or Tupac's face, or the Grateful Dead bears? You'd feel like a badass when you came even remotely close to the original.

In that same spirit, here's a series of time-lapse Instagram videos from Sebastian "Seb" Lester-an English designer and calligrapher who's got some prettty impressive clients under his belt.

Watch below as Seb magically re-creates the logos and marks of iconic brands like Google, Adidas, Star Wars and Converse with pen and ink and a steady hand. Lester says of his passion for language and lettering: "I find the Latin alphabet to be one of mankind's most beautiful and profound creations."

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Via Design Taxi.

Safety is a huge part of the Volvo brand. And now, the automaker, with help from Grey London, is extending the concept beyond its own drivers-to cyclists with whom they share the road-and beyond advertising, into product development.

Client and agency have collaborated with Swedish startup Albedo100 to produce LifePaint, a reflective safety spray designed to increase the visibility and safety of cyclists and others on the road at night. Invisible in the daytime, the spray glows brightly in the glare of headlights at night.

Here's the launch video for it:

It's not really paint. The transparent spray washes off and will not affect the color or surface of materials. It can be applied to almost any fabric-clothes, shoes, strollers, children's backpacks, even dog leads and collars-and last about a week after application.

Beginning today, 2000 cans of LifePaint will be given away at six London and Kent-based bike shops. If successful, the project will expand nationally and perhaps internationally.

"Our job isn't just to advertise our clients," said Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of Grey London. "It's to help them make a positive impact on culture. With the creation of LifePaint, we've turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?"

Grey also used LifePaint to create "invisible" black posters that only reveal their message in the flash of a smartphone.

"This is the sort of work we want to be making," says Grey London creative director Hollie Newton. "Properly integrated innovation. Design a valuable, remarkable product for a brand, and then launch it with the same level of craft."

Client: Volvo
Creative Agency: Grey London
Chief Creative Officer: Nils Leonard
Creative Director: Hollie Newton
Creative Team: Jonas Roth, Rasmus Smith Bech
Account Team: Cristyn Bevan, Sophie Critchley, Alex Nixon
Planning: Wiktor Skoog
Head of Film: Glenn Paton
Integrated Producer: Francesca Mair
Assistant Producer: Talia Shear
Designer, Typographer: Chris Chapman
Creative Producers: Helen Llewelyn, Glen McLeod
LifePaint Collaborators: Albedo100
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Andrew Telling
Director of Photography: Jeremy Valender
Executive Producer: Louise Gagen
Producer: Adam Smith
Editor: Matt Newman at GreyWorks
Colorist: Julien Biard at Finish
Postproduction: Gramercy Park Studios
VFX Supervisor/Lead flame: Mark Beardall
2D Artists: Jamie Russell, Steve Miller, Kalle Kohlström
Post Producer: Annika Gustavsson
Sound Design: Munzie Thind at Grand Central Studios
Music Composition: Adam Halogen via Wake The Tow
Microsite: Paul Cackett, Piers Cleveland-Copeman, Johan Runge-Goransson @ clear.as

It's a classic scenario: a new marketing leader joins a company and, boom, within a few months launches a review.

Such is the case at MetLife, where new Global Chief Marketing Officer Esther Lee is searching for a new lead agency, two months after arriving. The assignment encompasses making ads and planning media buys and represents some $5 million in revenue. And in this case, the incumbent won't have to defy the typically poor odds of retaining an account, as Crispin Porter + Bogusky is not defending.

In other news this week, Ameriprise finally selected a new lead shop, five weeks after final pitches.

It was a varied week in commercials, from propaganda to punch lines. Check out our picks for the week's best spots, and vote for your favorite.

Here's everything you need to know about the last 24 hours in advertising, in case you blinked.

Buzzing on Adweek:

Periscope agency soaks up some Twitter glory
Twitter launched its video-streaming app, Periscope, today, and ad agency Periscope is happily reaping the benefits on Twitter. (Adweek)

NBA ads transport players back to college for March Madness
In a new set of ads from the NBA celebrating March Madness, eight players are transported back to their college teams and transformed with some creative illustrations. (Adweek)

17 initial thoughts on Periscope
Here are 17 initial reactions to the Periscope app from a handful of tech writers. (Adweek)

Periscope versus Meerkat
Meerkat was a huge hit at South by Southwest, but now it has Periscope to compete with. A few marketers weighed in on the differences between the two apps. (Adweek)

Kraft, Heinz merger will likely lead to agency cuts
Kraft and Heinz announced a mega merger earlier this week. Consolidation and cuts will likely take place, but probably not for a few months. (Adweek)

Art director redesign homeless signs
A Chicago art director launched The Urban Type Experiment project, which takes signs made by homeless people and redesigns them with some beautiful typography. (Adweek)

Around the Web:

Mad Men actors discuss who should get a spin-off
See what the cast of Mad Men said when asked which character they felt should get his or her own spin-off show now that the series is coming to a close. (Mashable)

Calorie counts coming to European beer cans
Beer brands in Europe, and possibly the U.S., will soon become more health conscious by placing calorie counts on beer cans. (The Wall Street Journal)

Twitter will surpass Yahoo in digital display market
By 2017, Twitter and Facebook will have a 33 percent stake in the digital display ad market, while Twitter will surpass Yahoo in digital ad display revenue. (eMarketer)

Pepsi overtakes Diet Coke
Diet Coke is no longer the No. 2 soda in the U.S. Coca-Cola is still the top seller, but Pepsi has taken on the second seed, dropping Diet Coke down to the third spot. (Nasdaq)

Apple and Beats building a rival for Spotify
Teams from Apple and Beats are working together to build a subscription music streaming service that would rival Spotify. (The New York Times)

Uber says its working on being safer
Uber just released a new set of plans to make the ride service safer for users, including an updated code of conduct for drivers. (Fortune)

Industry Shake-Ups:

Marshall's launches a review
Marshall's is looking for a new lead creative agency, launching a digital and creative review. (Agency Spy)

DDB hires new chief production officer
DDB New York tapped Madison Wharton, formerly at The Barbarian Group, as its new chief production officer. (Campaign)

Scott Cullather, global managing partner of branding agency inVNT, founded the firm during the 2008 recession. Today, inVNT supports brand messaging for a diverse client list including PepsiCo, ESPN, Subway, Nissan Infiniti, Miele, Grant Thornton and Honeywell, and has designed and produced brand experiences in over 50 countries on six continents.

As a judge for Adweek's Project Isaac Awards celebrating invention across media, advertising and technology, Cullather sat down with Adweek and shared his thoughts on creativity, branding and Shakespeare.

Enter Adweek's Project Isaac Awards-accepting entries now

Adweek: How do you distinguish between creativity and invention?

Scott Cullather: To me, there is a huge distinction between creativity and invention. Creativity is the secret sauce that leads to invention. Without creativity, there is no invention.

AW: What inventive solutions do you think your business/industry needs?

SC: We're in the business of creating experiences that connect brands and organizations with their clients or consumers. Whether that experience is in the form of a live event or a digital campaign, our industry needs a way to create personalized campaigns that are one-to-one yet scalable to an entire target audience.

AW: If you could have a dinner conversation with any inventor, living or dead, who would it be and why?

SC: It would be William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has had the single greatest impact of anyone on the way we communicate. He invented over 1,700 words that are still used in the English language today, and his 38 plays are being read, watched, performed and repurposed by millions some 400 years later. That's a sustainable global impact on media and communications.

Do you have a project that's revolutionizing media, marketing and advertising? Enter Adweek's Project Isaac Awards. Accepting entries now.

America's homeless face myriad challenges, from mental illness to problems with addiction and substance abuse to amateur typography. The last of those is something that a Chicago art director is trying to address through a project called The Urban Type Experiment.

"As an art director it's my job to grab people's attention with great design every day. So I set out to see if great design could have an impact on people in the most ignored platform," the site says.

Basically, the art director makes the acquaintance of a new homeless person every week, re-letters his or her signage, then checks back to see if the efforts helped at all. The site is pretty honest about how helpful the work has or hasn't been, which makes it seem less like a roundabout self-promotion tactic and more like genuine outreach.

See more of the work below. Via Design Taxi.

Here's an easy way to make sure the product is the hero. Make everything else around it really, really tiny-and leave the product at regular size.

It works great in this campaign for Frooti, one of India's oldest and most beloved mango juice brands.New York agency Sagmeister & Walsh designed a whole new visual language for the brand around this idea of a miniature world-which it then brought to life in a stop-motion commercial with help from Aaron Duffy's agency SpecialGuest, 1stAveMachine director Marc Reisbig and animation house Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

See the spot here:

As Duffy says, the colorful spot really is an "absurdly ear- and eye-catching little film." The spot features a miniature version of Bollywood superstar and longtime Frooti spokesman Shah Rukh Khan, who then appears in person at the end to deliver the pitch.

"The goal was to introduce the new packaging in a fresh, bold, and playful way," Sagmeister & Walsh says of the rebranding. "We introduced four bold colors to the brand which complement the yellow of Indian mango and add a sense of playfulness across the imagery."

See a bunch more imagery below.

Client: Frooti

Creative Agency: Sagmeister & Walsh
Executive Creative Directors, Partners: Jessica Walsh, Stefan Sagmeister

Creative Agency: SpecialGuest
Co-Founder, Executive Creative Director: Aaron Duffy
Business Director: Ashley McGee
Creative Director, Copywriter: Jonathan Emmerling
Creative Development: Edward Choi, Chloe Corner

Production Company: 1stAveMachine
Director: Marc Reisbig
Executive Producer, Partner: Sam Penfield
Executive Producers: Melinda Nugent, Garrett Braren
Producer: Leanne Amos
Head of Production: Lisanne McDonald
Associate Producer: Christina Jang
Visual Effects Director: John Loughlin
Editor: Jonathan Vitagliano
Compositor: Chris Russo
Colorist: Seth Ricart/Ricart and Co.
Music Composer, Supervisor: Amit Trivedi

Animation, Postproduction, Online: Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
Executive Producers: John Harvatine IV, Eric Towner, Matt Senreich, Seth Green
Supervising Producer: Janet Dimon
Producer: David Brooks
Line Producer: Barb Cimity
Production Manager: Mario De Jesus
Director of Photography: Helder Sun
Animation Director: Harry Chaskin
Animator: Matt Manning
Animator: Alfonso Estrada
Director of Character Fabrication: Tennessee Norton
Character Fabricator: Tommy Keiser
Editor: Jenny McKibben
Visual Effects Lead: Jack Hamilton

What happens when your agency ends up having the same name as a hot new app launched by a social media giant? Well, if you're Minneapolis-based Periscope, you sit back, relax and watch a lot of accidental buzz roll in.

Twitter just launched Periscope, its competitor to livestreaming app Meerkat. As is often the case, the new app's name was already in use by another company, in this case a creative agency that even owned the Twitter ID @Periscope.

The agency has been on Twitter since April 2009. That meant that the livestreaming startup, eventually acquired by Twitter, was relegated to using @PeriscopeCo.

Agency Periscope's brand manager, Bridget Jewell, said that Twitter never approached the shop about buying (or simply taking) the handle from them.

The result has been no small amount of confusion, with many on Twitter confusing the agency's handle for the app's official account:

The whole situation seems to be working in the agency's favor.

"It's been every social media person's dream," Jewell said. "Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, but with tons of Twitter notifications."

The agency's social media team is clearly having a bit of fun with it all, using the misled tweeters as leverage to gain a bit of publicity, gain followers for its own Periscope account and even answer people's questions about the app.

The agency has even changed its Twitter bio to help out poor, lost Twitter souls. The bio now reads: "A fiercely independent creative company driven by a single mission: do things people love. Not @PeriscopeCo."

Jewell said she's just thankful that the newer Periscope didn't sell some horribly offensive goods or services that would cause people to align their agency with something negative. (It happens more often than you might think.)

"But how ironic that the two industries align," Jewell said. "Our clients could be using this app in the future."

Advertisers are in love with short branded documentary films these days that are built around some sort of surprise for one of the main characters. The idea, in fact, has become clichéd-meaning a lot rests on the execution of the idea.

This new Knorr film, "Flavor of Home," from DLKW Lowe is a good example.

The idea is fairly run-of-the-mill. The Unilever food flavoring brand gets a British mother to travel to the Arctic and surprise her daughter-who's moved there to be a guide on a dog-sledding farm-with a home-cooked meal.

But the concept is really nicely executed, from finding this particularly down-to-earth mother and daughter to shooting the gorgeous landscape of Finland. Tears flow early and often, but somehow it manages not to feel mawkish-mostly because it just feels real. This is mostly thanks to director Nanette Burstein of Hungry Man, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for her boxing documentary On the Ropes.

OK, the film is also underpinned by a decent insight, which is that flavors alone can trigger emotions. In a Knorr study, 82 percent of respondents said that the taste of some foods reminds them of childhood, while 77 percent said food is always a part of life's most meaningful moments.

But most important, they don't make a meal of it-and that's the best balance of all.

Client: Knorr/Unilever
Agency: DLKW Lowe
Global Creative Director: Richard Dennison
Creative Team: Rob Bovington, Stephen Webley
Agency: Lowe & Partners
Planner: Rebecca Morgan
Account Team: Richard Ellis, Monika Tomala
Agency Producer: Trudy Waldron
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Nanette Burstein
Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
Producer: Jack Beardsley
Editing House: Marshall Street Editing
Editor: Gary Forrester
Postproduction: Absolute
Audio Postproduction: 750 MPH
PR Agency: Edelman
Global Media Agency: PHD
Media Agency: Mindshare

The NBA is putting a whole new spin on throwback jerseys.

The professional basketball league has launched its first campaign around NCAA March Madness by employing a neat visual trick-showing NBA stars with overlaid animations of the college uniforms from their NCAA days.

Stephen Curry, James Harden, Al Horford, Kyle Lowry, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook all star in 15-second ads from Translation, voiced by the indomitable Dick Vitale.

It's not just the clothes that change. Westbrook, presently of the Oklahoma City Thunder and formerly of the UCLA Bruins, transforms into a bear wearing a pair of the player's infamous red glasses. Even the YouTube video descriptions are packed with Vitale slang, Easter eggs for the hardcore zealots.

Running under the tagline "The dance never ends," it's a nice simple concept, illustrating that some of the college stars that viewers are cheering on now will be in the NBA soon enough-and that it's OK to enjoy both leagues.

The spots don't show the pros giving up wads of cash as they return to the NCAA, though.

Brand/Client: NBA
Campaign Title: "March Madness"
Spot Title: "2015 March Madness Animated, Baby!"
First Air Date: 3/23/15

Agency: Translation
Chief Executive Officer: Steve Stoute
Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
Chief Strategy Officer: John Greene
Executive Creative Director: Betsy Decker
Senior Creatives: Matthew McFerrin, Armando Samuels, Matt Comer
Head of Brand Strategy: Tim Flood
Strategists: Lindsey Neeld, Geoff McHenry
Director of Broadcast Production: Miriam Franklin
Executive Producer: Carole McCarty
Associate Producer: Philinese Kirkwood
Business Affairs Manager: Brian Enright
Senior Vice President, Group Account Director: Tim Van Hoof
Account Executive: Chris Martin
Senior Project Manager: Matt DeSimone

Production Companies: Blacklist, Golden Wolf
Executive Producer: Andrew Linsk
Producer: Patrick Gantert
Creative Director: Ingi Erlingsson
Producer: Ant Baena
Production Assistant: Corina Priestley
Roto / Prep: Krishnan Balakrishnan, Nikita Alagan, Aravindan.C, Thirupathi Raja, Stephan, Arun.N, Murthy.N, Satish.R
Design: Stefan Falconer, Pedro Vergani
Animation: Stefan Falconer, Tim Whiting, Pablo Lozano, Mattias Breitholtz, Romain Loubersanes, Steffano Ottaviano, Harj Bains, Samuel Bell, Duncan Gist

Postproduction Company: WAX, New York
Editor: Joe Dillingham
Assistant Editor: Nate Kim
Managing Partner: Toni Lipari
Senior Producer: Evan Meeker
Conform: WAX

Color Grade (NBA footage): CO3, New York
Colorist: Tom Poole
Producer: Rochelle Brown
Assistant Colorist: Kath Raisch

Color Grade (Animation): WAX
Colorist: Steve Picano

Audio Post: Sonic Union
Engineers (Mix): David Papa, Fernando Ascani
Studio Director: Justine Cortale
Mix Assistant: Ben Conlon

Voiceovers: Dick Vitale, Todd Cummings

Music, Sound Design: Future Perfect Music
Composer: Victor Margo
Executive Producers: Maxwell Gosling, John Connolly

Did Jaguar's high-wire stunt above the River Thames in London make a big splash? You'll have to watch and find out.

Suspended about 60 feet above the murky depths at Canary Wharf, Jim Dowdall, a veteran Hollywood stunt coordinator, attempted to drive the new Jag XF sedan roughly 787 feet across a pair of tiny carbon-fiber cables, each about the width of a human thumb.

The car was fitted with specially grooved wheels and a safety "keel" on its undercarriage for Tuesday's crossing, which was, naturally, broadcast live online. According to Jaguar, the stunt was designed to promote the car's lighter, mainly aluminum frame. It aimed to set a record for the world's longest high-wire drive.

So, did the Volvo Trucks-style stunt make a big splash in terms of generating excitement for the British automaker?

The answer there is a resounding … sort of. I guess. The escapade certainly generated more media attention than your typical new-car launch. Still, the 15-minute YouTube chronicle has tallied just over 70,000 views on Jaguar's main YouTube page-and 16,000 more on Jaguar USA. Those stats aren't exactly meager, but still underwhelming.

The enterprise is intriguing in a WTF? sort of way, but there's an odd, unappealing coldness here, and the dreary urban backdrop and lack of spectators are a big part of the problem. It's as if Dowdall performed his high-wire act for the silent steel towers of London's financial district. Images of the white Jag suspended above the gray water are almost poetic in a bleak, Ballardian way. They convey a sad sense of loneliness and modernity, testimonies to the triumph of the car, skyscraper and all-seeing media eye.

Speaking of the media, video host Gabby Logan works hard to generate a sense of excitement, but her rah-rah "reporting" comes off sounding insincere. Everything feels a tad forced, unfocused and under-explained. Beyond publicity, what's the point, exactly? Even Dowdall seems nonplussed and almost dismissive of the event.

"I've been very lucky to be able to drive cars in some very silly situations," says the veteran driver, who has performed stunts in Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones films. "That's probably one of the silliest."

Here's everything you need to know about the last 24 hours in advertising, in case you blinked.

Buzzing on Adweek:

Kraft to merge with Heinz
Kraft Foods and Heinz announced they'll come together and form The Kraft Heinz Company, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital. (Adweek)

Cuban cigar brand thrives despite embargo
Even with at 52-year trade embargo, the Cuban cigar brand H. Upmann Petits has stood the test of time and has sparked intrigue among U.S. consumers over the years. (Adweek)

OK Go's optical illusion-filled ad
Band OK Go starred in its first-ever ad for the Chinese furniture company Red Star Macalline, and it's filled with plenty of optical illusions and some singing and dancing, too. (Adweek)

PNC creates a dreamy wedding
A new spot from PNC shows a father walking his daughter down the aisle in an elaborate dream wedding filled with ballerinas and teddy bears. (Adweek)

Alcohol advertising has increased, but consumption stays same
A new study from The University of Texas at Austin found that while alcohol advertisements have increased by 400 percent over 40 years, consumption has remained relatively stable. (Adweek)

Carl's Jr. launches hottest burger in fast food
Carl's Jr., Hardee's and 72andSunny capitalized on the spicy food craze and released the Thickburger El Diablo today. It's marketed as the hottest burger in fast food. (Adweek)

5 takeaways from the Facebook Developer Conference
Here are five things marketers and brands can learn from the Facebook Developer regarding the future of Facebook, including an updated messaging app. (Adweek)

Agencies should team up with these tech players
T3's chief technology officer Ben Gaddis named five tech players, not including Google, that he thinks advertisers should consider partnering with this year. (Adweek)

Around the Web:

Netflix and Hulu face challenges from new streaming sites
Streaming sites such as Netflix were once simply challenging traditional television, but now with the big increase in streaming products from HBO and Apple, Netflix and Hulu have more competition. (The New York Times)

Adidas CEO turns to another back-up plan
Herbert Hainer, Adidas Group CEO, said he just needs two more years to implement his third back-up plan to salvage the brand. (Business of Fashion)

ESPN pushes cross-device strategy
Research from the ESPN Lab shows that when TV ads are matched with digital campaigns, it helps boost awareness and can increase viewers' intent to buy. (The Wall Street Journal)

American Apparel makes another misstep
An internal memo from American Apparel's modeling agency called for normal-looking models, but noted that "Instagram hoes" would not be accepted. (Huffington Post)

Saatchi & Saatchi Canada creates "Gay Sweater"
Saatchi & Saatchi Canada and the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity created a "Gay Sweater," made from the hair of 100 LGBT people, aimed at taking back the term "gay." (Agency Spy)

Martin Sorrell on transparency
Speaking at Advertising Week Europe, Sir Martin Sorrell said the ad industry is not transparent enough when reporting its revenue and sales numbers. (The Drum)

Industry Shake-Ups:

MetLife looks for new lead agency
MetLife announced its looking to reinvent its brand with the help of a new lead creative agency. (Adweek)

The bad news for agencies involved in today's announced merger of Kraft and Heinz is that the combined company will be run by a group known for fiercely cutting costs. The good news? Marketing probably won't be one of the first to go under the knife.

The new Kraft Heinz Company is effectively under the control of the 3G Capital execs who own the Pittsburgh-based ketchup maker. For now, agency execs working on the brands can most likely expect business as usual while the Brazilian private equity firm focuses on larger cuts needed to attain the $1.5 billion in annual savings it promised to investors.

3G, which installed its own exec, Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees, as chief of the new combined entity, is known as a relentless cost cutter whose initial priority is creating lean operating organizations after making an acquisition.

If 3G operates to past experience, observers expect layoffs, plant closings and other large moves before marketing is impacted at Kraft Heinz.

After 3G bought Heinz in 2013 along with Warren Buffett, also an investor in the Kraft Heinz deal, the Brazilians cut more than 7,000 jobs in 20 months, offered buyouts at Heinz headquarters and shut down five plants. Company jets were also grounded, and Heinz banned perks like mini-fridges at corporate offices at the time, according to media reports.

"This will be really interesting for Kraft, which has never been a flat or lean organization," said one agency observer about the changes ahead. "3G will focus on that first and then move on to marketing and advertising costs."

When cuts do first come to marketing, they will likely begin with the consolidation of media agencies, beneficiaries of the companies' largest ad investment. In the case of Kraft, last year that spending amounted to over $540 million in measured media, according to Kantar Media, dwarfing Heinz's spending of $42 million.

Starcom USA handles Kraft's spending in the U.S., while UM works for Heinz domestically and OMG has responsibility for Heinz outside of America. With the combined company's intent to scale Kraft's U.S.-focused business internationally, global resources and efficiencies will likely determine the outcome of that process.

The merger creates a $28 billion CPG giant that will rank as the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world. With headquarters in the companies' respective home bases of Chicago and Pittsburgh, Kraft Heinz is the parent of eight $1 billion-plus brands and five brands ringing up between $500 million and $1 billion annually.

Included in that portfolio are Heinz's namesake condiments, sauces, soups beans and Ore-Ida potatoes. Kraft boasts a larger number of big-name brands like Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters and Velveeta.

When it comes to agencies, Heinz primarily works with Cramer-Krasselt while Kraft has consolidated its creative business at Leo Burnett, McGarryBowen, Taxi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

After Kraft's flat earnings in 2014 and flat market share growth,the company announced in February that CMO Deanie Eisner would leave the company, and the job remains unfilled.

"The two companies appear to be very differently positioned with respect to their agencies," observed Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group. "Heinz has been willing to assign agencies on creative and media which are strong in the U.S. but not strong abroad. Meanwhile, Kraft has gone for more of a global approach. At the same time, they appear to be in some disarray with the removal of their CMO following a reshuffling of the creative relationships late last year.

"So stability would not appear to be in place. However, the scale of the combined business becomes much larger and so perhaps the benefits of centralization and more consolidation on a regional basis might be more likely to occur."

Some observers wonder if 3G will install a central marketing chief of its own choosing to oversee the two companies' marketing execs and get them focused on the bottom line. "From the viewpoint of 3G, they'll likely bring in new fresh blood to look at [overall] marketing, bringing in someone who will be given a very specific deliverable," said one source.

After 3G acquired Burger King in 2010, for instance, the new owners brought in Flavia Faugeres as CMO, cleaned house in the company's marketing department and launched an agency review. (By early 2014, BK had made three changes in creative and media partners since mid-2011. Faugeres would also exit, succeeded by BK exec Axel Schwan.)

3G observers are sure changes are in store at the new Kraft Heinz, but just how those shifts will affect the two companies' current roster of agency shops obviously remains to be seen.

"Uncertainty," said Pivotal's Wieser, "is the only thing I think we can be certain about."