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The great thing about video games is you can do all kinds of cool, crazy, dangerous and impossible things without actually having to do them.

Instead, you just sit on your couch with your buddy pretending that NBA star Kevin Durant is on your basketball team, or that you're a capable rock climber and base jumper, or you are racing an all-terrain-vehicle past some kind of very angry elephant, or you are on some distant desert planet having a Star Wars style laser fight with a bunch of robots.

So continues PlayStation's "Greatness Awaits" campaign, which has previously shown a man in a purple suit waxing philosophical before diving into a battle royal; other men trying to kill each other with medieval weapons while singing Lou Reed's "Perfect Day"; and an oil painter recreating "Washington Crossing the Delaware" with a relatively famous gamer and in-game heroes as the characters.



Sony created the new ad, "Friendly Competition," with the help of creative crowd-sourcing company MOFILM (also behind such charming commercials as Chevy's low-budget Oscar flick). Hollywood producer Jon Landau, whose credits include Titanic and Avatar, executive produced the new spot, which certainly delivers plenty of epic special effects (created with L.A.-and-Vancouver-based Zoic Studios).

And that's important. Without the flashy explosions, you might realize you won't actually find yourself riding a land speeder a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and that really would ruin all the fun.

CREDITS
Client: PlayStation
Agency: MOFILM
Executive Producer: Jon Landau
Executive Agency Producer: Kristen Roland
Executive Creative Director: Tim Roper
CEO: Jeffrey Merrihue
Senior Account Director: Gabriela Merrihue
Account Director: Carter Hahn
VFX Company: Zoic Studios
VFX CCO: Chris Jones
Head of Broadcast Production: Ian Unterreiner
Executive Producer: Matt Thunell
VFX Producer: Nate Occhipinti
Editor: Dmitri Gueer
Production Company: Don't Panic Productions
Producer: Melissa Panzer
Director: Jonathan Barenboim
Writer: Michael Zunic
Audio House: Eleven Studios
Sound Design: Henry Boy
Color: Dave Hussey @ CO3
Media Buying Agency: Carat







Patrón is down to final meetings this week in its search for a new lead agency, having culled its list of contenders to Mullen as well as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, according to sources.

The winner will replace incumbent Cramer-Krasselt, which did not defend. Media spending on the assignment, which also includes sister brands Pyrat rum and Ultimat vodka, totaled nearly $42 million last year, according to Kantar Media.

The finalists, which emerged from a broader field of about a half-dozen, declined to comment, referring questions to the marketer, who could not immediately be reached. Select Resources International in Santa Monica is managing the search.

In August, when the review began, Lee Applbaum, global chief marketing officer for the company, said in a statement: "We're looking for a highly strategic and creative agency partner. Our selected partner will possess a track record of success in marketing luxury brands."

Applbaum joined Patrón as CMO last November after serving in the same position at Target for eight months and Radio Shack before that.

Beyond creative ads, the new agency will plan and buy media for TV and outdoor ads. Not in play are print buying, digital creative responsibilities and public relations efforts, which remain at 3 Plus Media, Razorfish and M Booth, respectively. A decision is expected early next month.







Next time you're at a party and some bro is doing a kegstand on a diving board over an empty swimming pool, you might consider letting the situation play out.

Ad agency Duval Guillaume and Belgian non-profit Reborn to Be Alive take an amusingly fresh approach to organ donation in a new campaign-with photos and videos of people doing seriously dumb and dangerous things, followed by the line: "Eight of his organs can be donated. Luckily for us, his brain is not one of them."

Take a look at the ads below, see these Darwin Award contenders in action.

Via Design Taxi.









You probably have a few friends so opinionated about the sourcing and quality of their food, part of you wants to test whether they'd really know the difference between crap and cuisine.

You love those friends, but you also think they're being snobs, and you'd just love to troll them hard.

Well now you don't have to, because two guys named Sacha and Cedrique did it for you. As you can see in the video below, they're on a mission to prank organic food experts in the Netherlands. They pack their bags full of a mix of McDonald's food and real organic food and present it to these connoisseurs of the finer things in life.

Check out this hilarious culinary experiment and skip to about the 2-minute mark if you want to see the real golden nuggets.

Via Gizmodo.







One of the best things about Between Two Ferns is how the guests have to plug their projects in the least comfortable way possible-indeed, while getting showered with insults.

Brad Pitt is the latest victim, sitting down with Zach Galifianakis to discuss acting, handsomeness, his wife and his ex-wife (well, the character she played on Friends). But he does manage to get the job done-plugging both his new movie and his Make It Right charitable organization.

He gets away mostly unscathed, too.







Publicis Groupe had another weak earnings period in the third quarter, as chief Maurice Lévy alluded to the company's failed $35 billion merger with Omnicom and admitted "management was too focused on other plans and not enough on the short-term performance and growth."

Organic growth was up just 1 percent in the quarter while revenue increased slightly more than 4 percent to $2.21 billion. The company also blamed poor organic growth on the contracting global economy-particularly in some emerging markets-as well as weak performance in Europe and a "temporary" setback at digital shop Razorfish, which was impacted by stuggles at clients Motorola and BlackBerry.

"Organic growth has slightly picked up compared to the second quarter of 2014 but does not match our expectations," Lévy said, in a statement. In releasing second-quarter results in July, the Paris-based holding company said organic growth was flat and Lévy cautioned 2014 would "be a difficult year."

By contrast, erstwhile merger partner Omnicom Group, which reported its results on Tuesday, said organic growth climbed more than 6 percent in Q3. Interpublic Group achieved that level of quarterly organic growth as well.

Regionally, Publicis Groupe showed no organic growth in Europe and the regions known as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and MISSAT (Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey). Organic revenue climbed a little more than 1 percent in North America, where the company said results were hit by spending cutbacks by several large unidentified advertisers and "most of all, underperformance at Razorfish."

Organic growth in the quarter rose 2.1 percent in high-growth economies, which now account for 23 percent of Publicis Groupe's revenue but that amount is down slightly from the year-earlier period due in part to some economic slowdown in China and Brazil.

On a more positive note, Lévy cited the retention of Samsung's global creative and media business by Leo Burnett and Starcom, respectively.

"There are much positive news that testify to the vitality of the group and are very encouraging. Starting with digital, which now accounts for 42 percent of our revenue and is growing by more than 9 percent, as well as the great victory of the Samsung competition," Lévy said.

For the first nine months, Publicis Groupe reported organic revenue growth of 1.5 percent on revenue of $6.5 billion, a 1.6 percent increase from the year-earlier period. Lévy said end-of-the-year results won't differ much from the first nine months, but added: "We are at the end of this cycle and very confident in the future. Very important decisions have been made including management teams and organization."

In September, Publicis Groupe unveiled a corporate reorganization that extended Lévy's reign as CEO and named Robert Senior to succeed Kevin Roberts as global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, which Roberts has led since 1997.







Few design projects seem to require as much deep thinking as a corporate logo (some would say overthinking-remember Twitter's tortured explanation for its new logo back in 2012)?

One of the most basic decisions for any logo, though, is color. And if you think color choice isn't really that important, well-someday you're going to be beaten up by a psychologist.

The infographic below explains a bit more about logos and their color-as well as the cost, value and evolution over time of some well-known corporate marks.







Over the past 18 months, T-Mobile has rolled out seven different campaigns under its Uncarrier messaging that aggressively targets competitors by debunking the wireless industry in hopes of gaining market share.

The wireless carrier claims that it has added 22.5 million subscribers in the past year and a half, making it the fastest-growing network out of the "big four" (Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon). Still, T-Mobile remains the smallest carrier and went through a failed merger with AT&T earlier this year.

But with charismatic CEO John Legere, a big focus on word-of-mouth marketing and a series of over-the-top events, T-Mobile plans to run with Uncarrier as long as possible. Adweek recently sat down with CMO Mike Sievert to talk about how Uncarrier has evolved, what's next and why millennials are key to the campaign's traction.

What's the strategy behind Uncarrier?
We started with Uncarrier 1 and this concept called Simple Choice. The reason we call it that [is because] it's all about bringing real transparency and simplicity to the industry. Our view was [that] Simple Choice was a complete redefinition of how pricing is done in the industry, and it's here forever.

We're seven major moves into this-each one of these is a structural change that tears down some rule in the industry, some restriction or some pain point that pisses customers off.

These aren't promotions-these are structural solutions to pain points. People hate contracts [and] contracts are wrong, so we'll stop contract freedom when every single American is free from their wireless contract and it's a dead concept. It really says something about the brand that we're willing to take risks, make changes and always do them based on what customers say they really want.

How has the messaging evolved over the seven different campaigns?
What people see when they see our advertising is...a brand that stands for a celebration of change in a wireless industry that desperately needs change. It's upbeat, it's celebratory [and] it stands for changing wireless for the better.

Each [campaign] brings a different move out-right now we're advertising Wi-Fi Unleashed, the idea that every T-Mobile phone comes with Wi-Fi calling and texting.

What it all adds up to is each piece of advertising tells you about one of our Uncarrier moves, and hopefully you get that move and it motivates you. But if not-if you only squint at it and recall the different messages that have come over time-what you should learn is that T-Mobile is a company that stands for changing wireless for the better.

But you're also the lowest-spending carrier out of the four major players, right?
We're a distant No. 4 in advertising spend, and No. 1 in growth. The reason why our advertising is so effective is because we've got early adopters, digital-forward enthusiasts [and] millennials going for us because of everything else we're doing with digital, social and bloggers.

When somebody looks at our advertising, they go, "Huh. That's interesting. I wonder if it's true." They go ask an early adopter-someone who is super tech-forward and reads all the blogs. The people who you're likely to ask when you see a TV commercial tell you it's true, so you go buy it.

What's the turnover like in creating campaigns?
[We're] two moves ahead, for sure. Some of these things, like Wi-Fi Unleashed-the one we launched in September-is real technology we had to develop. We got the team started on that one over a year ago, [or about] 15 months ago.

We're just looking at things that will excite and motivate people and listening to what they're looking for.

What else is coming up with Uncarrier?
It's going to be a combination of things that make it how you pay for, and how you get charged for, wireless. That's been a lot of our moves-things like not paying for music. We've got a lot more of that to do.

But we've started moving into this second area, which is changing how you use wireless-not just how you buy it. Both themes we're going to carry forward in the Uncarrier story.

What qualities do you look for in a T-Mobile employee?
We're a shockingly small group for what we do. Even though we're a distant No. 4 in wireless, we're a big marketer-wireless companies spend a lot on marketing.

People have to be willing to work hard because this is a business that doesn't close overnight. Every few weeks, we've got a new launch, but if you're working at T-Mobile, you're getting years of experience in one year.

What's working for T-Mobile right now in digital marketing?
One of the things that's critically important with the online community is authenticity. People will root for you if they understand that you're not bullshitting them. When we talk about changes that we want to bring about for the customer, it's not a bunch of corporate rhetoric.

So, being true to our brand, putting actions behind our words and being available through email. John Legere has more Twitter followers than T-Mobile, and it's a two-way dialogue. Those things go a long ways because people see that the company is backed by real people who are passionate about making change.

Is Uncarrier going to be T-Mobile's marketing strategy for the long haul?
We might tweak it eventually, but right now, we're just trying to clip off things that drive people nuts about this industry. And we've still got a long list-this industry still blows.







In the past, water filter brand Brita has targeted plastic bottles as public enemy No. 1, but now it has its sights on a new foe: Soda.

A new spot created by DDB California uses towering piles of sugar cubes to show the impact of drinking one sugary soda a day (which would be pretty a moderate intake for some families). In the ad, we see a stack of cubes illustrating a single day of cola, followed by a skyscraper modeled from a year's sugar, ending on a cityscape built from the 221,314 sugar cubes a soda fan could consume "over an average adult lifetime."

It's a striking visual, one taken even further by the brand's #ChooseWater campaign in an exhibit this week at New York's Chelsea Market, where roughly 1 million sugar cubes (weighing 7,000 pounds) were shaped into an even larger skyline to reflect the amount consumed by a family of four over their lifetimes:

The sculpture features 28 buildings, varying in height from 2 to 7 feet. That's one tall drink of terrifying.







In case you missed it, Wheaties made a commemorative box with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on it. For the General Mills cereal, known as the "breakfast of champions," a one-shot box with Albright is part of an effort to redefine what kind of champions the brand will be touting.

"A champion is no longer solely the megastar athlete; it is also any person who looks inside and challenges their personal best," the brand says on its website. "And that's the ethos of the current incarnation of Wheaties: celebrating the awe-inspiring superstars."

While Wheaties has had a long history of success with sports stars-the brand first struck gold with Lou Gehrig in the 1930s-it's exciting to see it shake things up. Albright may be a very different kind of star, but maybe she's the kind that could get Americans excited about cereal again.



Social Media Profile (as of 10/22/14)
Facebook Likes: 196,957
Twitter Followers: 8,551
Instagram Followers: 739

The brand has been using its social channels to revamp the Wheaties image to fit in with millennials, using hashtags like #tbt and #grandpaswag to generate more interest. Nothing has been as successful as Albright's tweet, though.

Recent Advertising



While a little bizarre, the spot above certainly grabs your attention. Is the Wheaties flake supposed to be buff? Why are the legs so skinny then?

Fast Facts

  • The cereal was created by accident by a health clinician at Washburn Crosby Company (predecessor to General Mills) in 1921. He liked the taste of his cooked wheat gruel and let the company know.
  • Wheaties helped kickstart Ronald Reagan's career. He'd been an Iowa sportscaster, and through a nationwide Wheaties poll, he was voted as the favorite announcer. He'd won a free trip from Wheaties to California and while out there took a Warner Brothers' screen test.
  • Michael Jordan has appeared on the Wheaties box a record 18 times.






Facebook swaps out its usual grandiose advertising with this cute TV spot from Wieden + Kennedy that captures some of the intimate emotions behind social media.

In the past, Facebook's ads have been criticized for not focusing on the intimate, human moments that social media can spur. Its Facebook Home ads last year were big, cartoony and surreal, and 2012's "Chairs" was even more over the top.

But the new spot, titled "Say Love You Better," takes Facebook in a different direction. Life-size speech bubbles pop up over two lovebirds as they send short messages back and forth to each other via Facebook Messenger. It's also a clever take on mobile messaging, which often only mentions texting features in ads. The idea is to show that Facebook Messenger can share much more than text-it includes audio, video and stickers.



The 30-second spot feels like a mix of Oreo's "Wonderfilled" and some of Google's better TV work-and indeed, the director here, Aaron Duffy of 1stAveMachine, has done lots of Google ads, including its famous 2010 Super Bowl spot "Parisian Love."

The ad is running in Los Angeles and Chicago, and the campaign will be expanded to include out-of-home elements in November-a first for Facebook. Billboards in Chicago and L.A.'s airports and freeways will play up creative showing the different features of Facebook Messenger. Ads will also wrap Chicago's "L" trains and bus shelters.

Whether the campaign will drive app downloads is unclear, but it's a tactic other digital companies are latching on to. Earlier this week, Foursquare launched its first brand campaign also aimed at driving app downloads using out-of-home and digital ads.

The media push comes at a key time for Facebook, as the number of mobile messaging apps continues to grow. A report from Forrester Research earlier this year outlined the top 10 messaging apps, with Facebook Messenger claiming only 200 million users, compared to 500 million for WhatsApp (also owned by Facebook).

CREDITS
Client: Facebook
Head of Consumer and Brand Marketing: Rebecca Van Dyck
Executive Creative Director: Scott Trattner
Director of Marketing Communications: Jennifer Henry
Brand Strategy: Sheila Thompson
Brand Marketing Manager: Brandon McGraw
Product Marketing Manager: Jessica Lee
Product Designer: Mac Tyler

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Creative Directors: Stuart Harkness, Max Stinson
Design Director: Guy Featherstone
Copywriter: Matt Skibiak, David Povill
Art Director: Zack Madrigal, Ollie Watson
Producer: Julia Lafferty, Kirsten Acheson
Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor, Lizzie Hanner
Media/Comms Planning: John Rowan, Stephanie Ehui
Account Team: John Rowe, Dave Hubbard, Anya Wachtel
Business Affairs: Cynthia Valenti, Cindy Lewellen
Project Management: Christina Kim
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: 1st Avenue Machine
Director: Aaron Duffy
Partner/EP: Sam Penfield
Executive Producer: Melinda Nuget
Post Producer: Malú Rodríguez
Animation Director/Art Director: Martin Allais
Cell Animators: Lizzi Akana, Masayoshi Nakamura, Barbara Benas
3-D Animator: Tyler Hurd
3-D Modelers: Garret Norlin, Eric Xu, Jerry Chow
Storyboards: Chris Butzer
Editors: Nate Buchik, Jonathan Vitagliano, Chelsey Blackmon
Compositors: Eric Concepcion, Beryl Chen, Tiffany Chung
VFX Superviser: John Loughlin
Color Grading: Ricart & Co
Choreographer: Keith Young
Line Producer: Nanette Williams
DP: Will Rexer
VFX Supervisor On Set: Keith Young

Sound Design Company: Henryboy
Sound Designer: Bill Chesley
Producer: Kate Gibson
Mix Company: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Chris Afzal
Mix Producer: Mike Gullo

Song: "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley as performed by twenty one pilots

Photographer: Jason Nocito







Marty McFly and Tony Hawk both drove demand for hoverboards-but alas, supply has been nonexistent, as both of them had to rely on camera trickery and special effects.

But now, finally, we're getting a glimpse of the first prototype of a functioning hoverboard. Hendo is the company producing this miracle of engineering, and it's launched a Kickstarter that lets you help bring it to market.

What's cool is you can support it by donating and even buying the development kit and experimenting with "The Whitebox"-a floating box that uses the same technology as the hoverboard. They've also drawn up plans for hoverparks, which are coated with hoverboard-friendly material so you can float around and try to be the first to pioneer a new sport.

Take a look at the pitch video and also check out the fascinating Kickstarter page.







Eric Mower + Associates is coming to the Big Apple.

The Syracuse, N.Y.-based agency is merging with public relations specialist Middleton & Gendron in New York, giving Eric Mower a presence in advertising's largest market.

The merger takes effect on Nov. 1. Middleton & Gendron will operate as M&G/Eric Mower + Associates until the end of 2015, when it will assume the Eric Mower + Associates name.

"There will be more resources for clients, greater opportunities for employees and a wider range of services to attract new and larger regional and national clients," said Eric Mower, chairman and CEO of his namesake agency.

Middleton & Gendron has worked in the hospitality, travel and lifestyle categories on brands such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Savoy Group, Rolex, FAO Schwarz and Singapore Airlines. Co-founders Yvonne Middleton, who is chairman, and Mary Gendron, the president, will continue to lead M&G's New York office as they become partners at Eric Mower.

Before the merger, Eric Mower had offices in Syracuse, Albany, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Charlotte, Buffalo and Rochester. Top accounts include KeyBank, North American Breweries, Paychex and Daimler's Freightliner Trucks. Together, EMA and M&G will employ some 250 staffers and generate annual revenue of more than $37 million.



Esquire recently asked three ad agencies to help with its male mentoring initiative. Today, Barton F. Graf 9000 unveiled its campaign: a political initiative to establish mentorship of children as a legal excusal from jury duty. The idea is that more mentors would mean better guidance for at-risk youth, and eventually, reduced crime rates and the need for fewer jurors in the first place.

The proposed Mentor Act is explained in a print ad in Esquire's October issue. The ad itself could be mailed to state representatives, and it also points to TheMentorAct.org, which features a powerful film-directed by Michael Bonfiglio of Radical Media-asking prisoners who their mentors were. The bill can also be sent to lawmakers directly from the site.



"Ultimately, The Mentor Act aims to use the same court system that convicts people to help children avoid committing crimes and entering the court system in the first place," say Barton F. Graf and Esquire, which are "already beginning talks with state politicians to adopt this bill and hope to move the bill forward on a state-by-state basis."

The other two agencies that got involved in the Esquire project are Makeable and 72andSunny. The former built a campaign around the website webuildmen.org, while the latter made ads with the theme "F*ck off, I'm helping." See three of those ads below.

72andSunny's work for Esquire:







Craigslist might be best for making a couple bucks off that one-wheeled leopard-print bicycle your ex left behind, and it's just that kind of random human curio that makes the classified site the inspiration for-and theme of-this new interactive music video created by 72andSunny's in-house creative school 72U.

Set to the song "Catch a Break" by the group Superhuman Happiness (founded by Stuart Bogie, who's played with the likes of Arcade Fire), the project's website is designed to look like Craigslist, with sparse blue links. When clicked, they lead to various pop-ups-150 in total-emulating the kinds of posts found on the real Craigslist.

The point, according to the agency, is to capture the human experience, and illustrate how "all of your life-heartbreak, happiness and surplus appliances-can be contained in a message board like Craigslist."

That might be a a stretch, but the fake ads at least do a pretty good job of capturing the often-weird spirit of the iconic site (if not the heights of glory and depths of shame found in its finest, most insane postings). The ads range from emo, to desperate, to pseudo-philosophical, to touching, to ridiculous, to name just a few.



Perhaps best (that is to say, most true to Craigslist form) is the legal category-one post, titled "Free Divorce Advice," wonders "Where are all the almost single ladies at?" Another, titled "You pay I counsel," reads, sic, "I just got paralegal very professional master certificate from university. I sue to make you feel so good. Forget about about wife, husband, car, work. Why worry? Relax time. It's gonna be good. You pay in form of gold watch, expensive jewelry, deli meats, credit card, or traveler check. No American Express. NO AMERICAN EXPRESS."

72U's seven-person team created the website with a budget of less than $1,000, and the video will launch in a not-at-all-spammy way with 275 real Craigslist posts in 11 categories in 25 cities. Whether it fits the song, we'll leave to you-the "Haiku" link pops up parts of the lyrics, pieced together after the jump.

And if you don't have the patience to play with the interactive site (coded for Google Chrome), there's a static demo version of the video below, which includes the obligatory strange geek salute: a GIF of a man humping a robot before they both explode under the header "When will humans be able to love machines?"-posted, naturally, in the biotech and science section.

LYRICS:
Landlord's knocking, you know you ain't catching a break today
You've grown tired of the bottle and you wish you could fake today
Your weak heart beats fast and you want to wait today
You replay the past trying to get it straight today
Let the water wash away
So you'll leave right away
If you can't catch a break
Look up all of a sudden they're pulling the bait away
Because they love to collect while they always hate to pay
Osama can't be the only one who prays
Drawing lines between our between our minds and yesterday
We need you right away
If you can take a break
La La La la [etc.]
Don't you run away
You might catch a break
When you're cast away
From your holiday
Keep your heart at bay
You might catch a break
You won't run away
When you catch a break







Heeeeeere's … Ikea's parody of The Shining!

BBH Singapore reimagines the creepy hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic in this spot-on 90-second Halloween ad. Instead of a haunted hotel, however, the little kid peddles around a spooky Ikea store late at night. Nice touches include eerily flickering lamps and ghostly diners in the kitchen display, and the word "REDRUG" above, yes, a red rug. It goes on a tad too long, just like the movie it's based on.

The point of the spoof is that Ikea stays open late (until 11 p.m.) for your shopping pleasure, and it's also part of a social media contest to win gift cards. So, when you chop down your door in an axe-wielding frenzy, you can get a replacement for less at Ikea.



Ikea has done plenty of scary-good promos lately, from hilariously pitching its 2015 catalog as "cutting-edge" technology (also by BBH Singapore) to inviting shoppers to spend a night in one of its stores to challenging them to climb this amazing outdoor apartment/wall.

Assembling its furniture, of course, remains a frightening experience.







We've been gawking at him since he first stepped onto the pitch 22 years ago. Not much has changed since. The footballer turned international star has commanded our attention with his athletic performances as well as his looks. And that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

Since the decline of his career (which would ultimately lead to his retirement) the global star has been working commercialization, full press. Throughout his career Beckham has teamed up with Pepsi, Samsung, Adidas and Burger King. Who can forget those H&M ads? Most recently, the icon has hooked up with his pal Guy Ritchie (who also directed H&M) for the launch of the Haig Club Whisky campaign, a glitzy ad with gorgeous scenery.

In honor of his latest spot we've supercut some of his most memorable ads. Enjoy!

Video edited by Mac Smullen







Halloween is like Christmas for candy brands, and Snickers usually swoops in, batlike, with some fun and spooky advertising (most notably, perhaps, BBDO's truly odd "Grocery Store Lady" spot from 2010).

And this year, it's a Spanish-language Snickers spot that's giving people chills.

Everything about the ad is great-the premise, the visual effects, the guy at the end bellowing about his TV show. A real treat from LatinWorks.







text Ladies' Nights
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:14:43 PDT

David Remnick (l.), editor of The New Yorker, with Sting and Trudie Styler at the annual New Yorker Festival wrap party.







Activist T-shirt maker FCKH8 asked the world a question. What makes you more uncomfortable: the way society fucks women, or a little girl saying the work fuck? And it turns out that for a lot of people, the answer is watching a little girl say fuck.

Even though that's the point, and the complainers say they get that's the point, the hilarious part is they just can't get over it. So, of course, they're already crying about child exploitation. Though, if you watch the video, it's pretty clear that these little girls are not shocked by their own potty mouths. In fact, they seem to be having way too much fun. Kids, after all, love breaking the rules.

Still, can't FCKH8 make its point (and sell its shirts) without cursing? Sure, but would people watch? The statistics are old; little girls saying the F-word is pretty much the only new thing in this video. Besides, it was created by a company called FCKH8, not SCREWH8 or DARNH8. They're so comfortable with the F-word they slapped it right in their name.



What I also love is that I think most people who are complaining never got to the end of the video. I say this because there is a 12-year-old boy dressed in a princess costume at the end (making a really good point about how sexism affects men), and not a single YouTube commenter has yet suggested he's going to turn out gay. (UPDATE: The video has actually been removed from YouTube now, but is up on Vimeo.)

Maybe it's a generational thing, but I'm less concerned with the swearing, and more concerned with the loss of innocence that results from telling these 6- to 13-year-olds that between one and five women will be raped in their lifetime and then having them count off and wonder if they're going to be the one. Yes, "fuck" is a sound we've deemed "bad" to say. Rape is a horrific concept that little girls shouldn't ever have to worry about.

And I guess the fact that they will have to worry about it is kind of the problem. Certainly before age 13 these girls will already know about how they're supposed to dress to avoid it, and how they should always walk in groups and not go out too late at night and how to avoid those "rapey" looking alleys and such. You know, the terrifying advice we all give our girls in the hope that it will keep them safe.

Because really, as much as we don't want little girls saying fuck, I think we can all agree that we'd much rather create a world in which no one fucks them.

Video producer Mike Kon (yeah, a guy made this) agrees with me, saying, "Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but … the big statistic that one out of five women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four-letter word, and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance."

Speaking of imbalance, one point of amusement: FCKH8's own press release about the video censored the F-word. C'mon, FCKH8, if the little girls can say it, so can you.







Interpublic Group's net income nearly doubled in the third quarter, as revenue grew by 8 percent.

The holding company ended the quarter with $1.84 billion in revenue and net income of more than $89 million, up from $45 million in the same period last year. On an organic basis, revenue rose more than 6 percent.

Growth for the first nine months of the year was comparable, with revenue climbing nearly 7 percent to $5.33 billion and net income more than doubling to $168 million, from $66 million in the like period of 2013. And as in Q3, organic revenue growth hovered around 6 percent.

IPG CEO Michael Roth attributed the strong results to the competitiveness of the company's agencies. Existing clients in the healthcare, food and beverage and automotive sectors also spent considerably more. Heathcare spending, for example, rose 13 percent in the first nine months, according to Roth.

In addition, the CEO reaffirmed two key financial goals for the year: organic growth of more than 4 percent and an operating margin of at least 10.3 percent. At the end of Q3, IPG's margin was 9.3 percent.

"The performance we are reporting today puts us solidly on track to achieve or exceed our full year targets," Roth said.

Analysts focused primarily on the numbers during an hour-long call this morning, save for some questions about programmatic media buying, content creation and media consolidation. Interestingly, there was no talk of activist investor Elliott Management, which in July became Interpublic's third largest shareholder and called for a sale of the company.

At one point, however, an analyst asked Roth how marketers feel about the prospect of consolidation among holding companies, with Roth saying that marketers generally favor competition.

"There's no question with respect to global clients [that] they like the healthy tension of having at least two global holding companies in there. And frankly, it works," Roth said. "We've had long-lasting relationships with multinational clients that we've been sharing with other holding companies and yeah, it does keep us extra on our toes. And clients like to see that."







In mobile marketing, some ad agencies partner with outside shops as needed while others build the discipline internally from scratch.

The argument for using outsiders is that they're more leading edge and can adapt quicker to changes in technology. Well, one Chicago agency is taking the outsider approach-with a twist.

Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) has taken a 15 percent stake in a mobile marketing startup, Captivate Mobile Engagement Solutions. The outsider, however, will have space within SCC's office in Chi-town to facilitate daily collaboration. More specifically, Captivate chief product officer Stephanie Dressel will sit inside SCC, while CEO John Anthony works mobily out of Princeton, N.J.

The deal has been in the works for a year and stems from SCC's interest in a new app that Anthony and Dressel first developed at mobile messaging firm 4DK, from which they have broken away, according to SCC CEO Tim Condon. In short, the app links businesses with consumers who favor them or the products they sell. And that one-to-one connection opens the door to further exchanges, such as geographically targeted promotional offers that can drive traffic into stores.

"It's great to be able to join up with somebody that has been in the race for a while and understands the territory," Condon said. "They'll be helping us in the consumer side mobile space and we'll help them to market the app."

The app, Condon added, is a "potential game changer" for small retail businesses and "has the ability to scale up to large enterprise organizations." Under the new partnership, Anthony and Dressel will work closely with the half-dozen developers on staff at SCC.

In the big picture, the investment rounds out the service offerings at the independent agency, which in recent years has developed capabilities in social media marketing and digital media buying as hunger for online content grows. Top accounts at the 100-person shop include ConAgra Foods, the National Pork Board, Solo cups and the Chicago Cubs. Total revenue is estimated at $16 million.







The basic principle of judo is to use an opponents' strengths against them. Over the past several years, e-retailers have been pitilessly applying judo to brick-and-mortar retailers by encouraging the growth of showrooming, wherein consumers visit stores to see products in person, only to turn around and purchase those products at better prices online from other sellers.

E-commerce rivals aren't going away, of course, and retailers can't bar customers from doing research in their stores. Like it or not, today's savvy consumers are going to scan barcodes, browse alternatives and even order from a rival via smartphone while roaming the aisles. The only solution is for retailers to devise smart programmatic strategies to make in-store purchases more competive to showroomers.

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The graphic below explains how to do just that. It comes from "Smarter Buying, Smarter Selling: Multiscreen Programmatic Campaigns for Retailers," our latest guide aimed at helping retail marketers devise data-driven approaches like those offered by Collective. This is the most cost-effective method of staying in front of today's consumer.

"Smarter Buying, Smarter Selling" provides a comprehensive look at how retailers can leverage data to reach high-value consumers anytime, anywhere and on any device. Check out the full text of the free guide:







text Olson Sells to Consulting Group for $295M
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:59:42 PDT

Olson, one of the industry's largest remaining independent agencies in America, has signed a definitive deal to be acquired by ICF International, a Fairfax, Va., provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients.

ICF International said it will purchase Olson for $295 million in cash from private equity firm KRG Capital Partners and other minority shareholders. The deal is scheduled to close by mid-November, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions. In making the announcement, ICF said Olson had revenue of $126 million in 2013, and for the first seven months of this year, the Minneapolis agency's increased at a "double-digit rate" that is expected to continue for the rest of the year. Over the past two years, Olson has picked up new business from marketers like Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Bissell, Planters, Trulia, Reynolds consumer products and Sharp Electronics.

Within ICF, the 545-person agency will continue to operate as Olson under current management led by CEO John Partilla, who assumed that role in January 2013 after previously serving as COO at Dentsu Network West.

ICF specializes in customer engagement, e-commerce and system-integration, and Olson's focus is on marketing in traditional advertising, digital and emerging marketing services. While Olson's client base is skewed toward retail, consumer products, and travel and tourism, ICF works primarily in aviation, healthcare, energy and government. Olson's business is heavily concentrated in North America; ICF has over 70 worldwide offices.

ICF built its commercial digital operations through recent acquisitions like digital services firm Ironworks; content management and stakeholder engagement specialists CityTech and Mostra, a consulting and technical services provider to governments and commercial clients.







A billboard advertising a line of bulletproof vests for young boys has appeared near the Florida capital in Tallahassee. Chilling, controversial and undeniably eye-catching, the ad is part of the "Vest or Vote" campaign mounted by The Dream Defenders.

The Florida-based social justice organization is rallying residents to vote in Florida's midterm election Nov. 4. According to a report on Jacksonville's CBS 47 Action News, the group hopes to elect candidates who will repeal the state's controversial stand-your-ground law.

According to The BRPR Group, the Miami-based advertising agency behind the campaign, the billboard was modeled after youth clothing ads like those for H&M or Gap. Should curious commuters visit the featured website, it initially appears to be an online retailer selling the child-sized, bulletproof "Dream Vest." Ads for the vest will also appear on Twitter and Facebook.

After waiting a few seconds, or by clicking anywhere on the page, visitors are redirected to a brief but striking public service announcement. The video features a woman bundling up her son in the bulletproof vest the same way many mothers adjust their children's coats and hats. The PSA ends with the audio from several news reports covering the deaths of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, Calif.; Michael Brown in the continuing case of Ferguson, Mo.; and Florida's own Trayvon Martin.



"In November, Florida's voters will be faced with the question first posed by Malcolm X, ‘the ballot or the bullet,'" Ciara Taylor, political director for Dream Defenders, said in a statement. "That dichotomy is what this election is ultimately about."

The "Vest or Vote" campaign highlights that dichotomy in a similar fashion. And according to The BRPR Group, it's intended to spark conversation about young voters' ability to "contest fear and insecurity in communities of color."