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Amazon Spends While Other Retailers Retreat

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:00:00 -0400

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Amazon has been eating retail competitors' lunch for a while. Now it's after their breakfast, dinner and weekly groceries too with its planned $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. But the quest for dominance goes beyond food. The e-commerce giant, already the largest retail advertiser in the U.S., is cranking up its spending even more as it strives to harness all of consumerism and to lead in new categories such as grocery and fashion.

And that's saying something. Amazon's U.S. ad spending increase alone last year, $602 million, nearly equaled Sears Holdings' entire U.S. ad budget.

The reason: Though doing very well, so far Amazon has captured "a lot of people interested in purchasing digitally the low-hanging fruit," said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. "But the next chunk of growth inevitably comes from the group that sits behind that. Those are the people that Amazon has got to persuade."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Razor Marketers Are Facing the Hair-Raising Truth Behind Beards

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:00:00 -0400

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Procter & Gamble is encountering some problems at its Gillette subsidiary because so many men are letting their whiskers blossom into beards.

P&G reported in the last quarter that its male grooming business was the only division to post lower organic sales. Part of the problem was the inroads made by Dollar Shave Club-type rivals, but at least in that arena, men are still shaving, although paying a lot less for their razors.

The way I see it, P&G can take action against the non-shaving trend on one of two fronts. Either Gillette can embrace the enemy of its razor blades and lean into the trend with beard-soothing products of its own, or it can draw a line in the metaphorical sand and ban beards in ads for all its products. (A third, less appetizing, alternative would be to mock beards by showing men picking cooties and other distractions like bird nests out of their hairy growth.)

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Why Retail Flagship Stores Are Running Aground

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:01:00 -0400

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Credit: Hyesu Lee

It's no secret that retailers are spending less on advertising -- the statistics point to plunges in print, TV and online. But what you won't find on the charts is a form of retail advertising that's not just declining but dying: the iconic flagship store.

Impressive, sprawling flagships in high-profile locations have long served as status symbols for retailers, more important for their brand-wide promotional value than the profits they may or may not have generated on the premises. A tourist's visit to the Macy's on 34th Street in Manhattan was something to go home and tell friends about.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




ESPN's '30 for 30 Podcasts' Starts with a Look at the $30M Dan and Dave Disaster

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:30:00 -0400

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Advertising and high-profile sports regularly crash into one another at the intersection of Hype and Mammon, a garishly lit crossing where manufactured desire is only sated by obsessive consumption. And so it is fitting that the launch of ESPN's latest media venture will focus on both of these combustive elements.

On Tuesday, ESPN Audio will raise the curtain on "30 for 30 Podcasts," a series of one-hour sports/pop culture mashups designed to function as an extension of the network's acclaimed linear TV doc series. The first installment, "The Trials of Dan and Dave," zeroes in on the rivalry between would-be Olympians Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson, who in 1992 became all but ubiquitous thanks to a relentless ad campaign from Chiat/Day and Reebok.

At the heart of the inaugural "30 for 30" episode is the $30 million advertising offensive that blew up in the client's face after O'Brien failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team and a shot at taking the gold in Barcelona. After kicking off in front of the 79.6 million fans who tuned in for CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XXVI -- in a bid to build up interest over the course of the broadcast, Chiat/Day ponied up some $1.7 million to run four 15-second spots that aired at generous intervals -- the Reebok campaign went off the rails four months later, when O'Brien's failure to clear the pole vault scuttled the "Dan and Dave" narrative.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Nike, Sprite, Nissan and More

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:15:00 -0400

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Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time over the weekend. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, a stirring Nike ad celebrates Eliud Kipchoge, who ran the fastest marathon in history on May 6. Vince Staples stars in a rather meta Sprite ad plugging the brand's "6 Cold Lyrics by 6 Hot Rappers" limited-edition cans (Creativity's Alexandra Jardine has the backstory on the campaign here). And Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton revs his engine for an intense Bose ad that shows off the SoundTouch 300 wireless soundbar.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'The Platform is Not Here to Judge': Sadoun Opens Up (A Little) About Marcel

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:40:00 -0400

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Publicis Groupe employees and onlookers took to Twitter Monday to ask Chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun questions about the holding company's just-announced plans to build an AI platform. But save for a rough napkin sketch, details on Marcel -- the platform's name -- are still slim.

In his responses to questions some of which came from accounts indicating they were current Publicis employees Sadoun defended the company's explosive decision to pull out of awards for a year to shift spend to building the tool, which will be used to help Publicis quickly assemble teams across the group and help those teams virtually work together. Sadoun said the software would allow teams around the world and across Publicis to begin "working together like never before."

One creative from Saatchi Budapest asked if in the future he'd be able to work with Digitas NYC on a brief. "That's the idea," Sadoun responded.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Megyn Kelly's 'Sunday Night' Woes Won't Impact Advertising in Morning Show

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:36:43 -0400

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Megyn Kelly's struggles in primetime aren't necessarily dampening advertiser demand for her upcoming 9 a.m. morning show.

While NBC Universal may not be getting the 30% price increases in the 9 a.m. hour that it sought early in upfront negotiations, the lackluster start to her Sunday evening news magazine hasn't been a factor in what advertisers are willing to spend, several media buyers said.

"I don't see or anticipate an impact as the viewership and storytelling differs greatly [in] these respective day parts," one media buyer said, speaking on the condition of anonymity amid upfront negotiations for the coming TV season.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'Best Use of Tree' And 8 Other Categories Cannes Lions Should Add

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:10:54 -0400

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Credit: Illustration by Tam Nguyen/Ad Age

Following the Publicis Marcel uproar, it seems now, more than ever, Cannes organizers should seriously consider the longstanding industry recommendation to cut down on its categories. But this is an industry where folks are rewarded for zigging where others zag. We asked festivalgoers which categories Cannes should add. Here are the best answers, often cloaked in anonymitiy.

"Best Party, because that's all anyone cares about." -- Group M Exec

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Hispanic Agencies Bring Home a Record 20 Lions, Including 10 For Alma

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:47:38 -0400

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Hispanic agencies won a record 20 prizes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and half of them went to Miami-based Omnicom shop Alma for work for Netflix to promote the second season of "Narcos," the series about drug lord Pablo Escobar.

During the show's filming, a separate Alma crew shot footage in which the lead actors taught their most used Spanish expressions, starting with Pablo's Escobar's favorite, "Coma mierda." That led to the digital campaign "Spanish Lessons," which won seven Lions, including two golds in PR and Creative Data, three silvers in PR, Promo & Activation, and Media, and two bronzes in Cyber and Creative Data.

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Continue reading at AdAge.com




Vimeo Scraps Plans to Create Netflix-Like Service

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:40:55 -0400

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Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp is abandoning plans to create an on-demand video service that would have competed for eyeballs with Netflix, Hulu and HBO.

The service intended to entice Vimeo's more than 200 million viewers to pay for exclusive content. Vimeo will instead focus on a suite of tools for filmmakers.

Vimeo "has decided not to proceed in offering a subscription based original program service scheduled to begin in '18," a spokesperson at the video service said in an emailed statement Monday.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Fox Sports Cuts Web Writing Staff to Invest More in Web Video

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:19:20 -0400

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21st Century Fox Inc.'s sports department is overhauling its online operations, eliminating the writing staff to invest in more-lucrative video production.

Fox Sports will eliminate about 20 writing and editing positions in Los Angeles and replace them with a similar number of jobs in video production, editing and promotion. Executives told staff in meetings Monday after outlining the new strategy in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. Affected employees will be encouraged to apply for the new posts.

The owner of Fox News and the Fox broadcast network has decided that paying writers to cover sporting events, pen columns or grade teams' NBA draft moves is best left to ESPN and other news-focused sports sites. Fox is opting to divert those resources into producing online video that complements on-air shows, can be packaged into advertising sales across the web and TV, and has the potential to go viral on social media.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'Bachelor in Paradise' Becomes a Harder Sell for Advertisers

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:00:00 -0400

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"Bachelor In Paradise" may be returning to ABC this summer with its annual drunken hookups and in-the-sand shenanigans, but there are at least some advertisers that won't be part of the reality dating series following the recent investigation into alleged misconduct on-set.

At least several advertisers that intended to air commercials in "Bachelor in Paradise" this season will not appear, according to several people familiar with the situation.

"We decided not to advertise in it this summer after all the controversy," a spokeswoman for an advertiser in the show last season said via email. "We've done it in the past but feel that it doesn't meet our filters as a family-friendly brand at current state." She spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the company's relationship with ABC.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




China Marketing Trend: Ads That Take Forever To Get to the Point

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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In China, a country of 695 million mobile internet users, some creative new forms of smartphone-friendly branded content have emerged. Consider a McDonald's post that spread this month among users of WeChat, the ubiquitous Chinese mobile app. The post looks nothing like a fast-food ad, and people had to read for about four minutes before finding out it had anything to do with McDonald's.

A narrow, 152-inch illustration unfurled as people scrolled down on their mobile phones. (View it here). Reminiscent of a graphic novel, it was a tale about explorers landing on a fiery volcanic planet, and it blended in educational scientific content about volcanoes. After all that scrolling came the reveal: The red hot "planet" was actually a gigantic McDonald's chicken wing. Commenters mostly enjoyed the bizarre branded twist.

Super long-form social content, with an out-of-nowhere reveal of a brand name at the end, has become commonplace in China. Typically the posts are created by online influencers -- artists, writers -- and posted on their own pages. Sometimes the stories have no clear link to the brand, and in China that doesn't matter, says Frederic Raillard, co-founder of Fred & Farid: "The only concern is, you need to deliver a story that is highly entertaining."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




What My Fight With a Chase Bank Employee Says About the Coming Robot Apocalypse

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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Someday, when I look back at 2017, I suspect one of the defining moments for me will be that time a human service worker aggressively tried to steer me, a human customer, away from interacting with his fellow human service worker in favor of a robot.

That moment happened to me a few weeks back at a Chase bank branch in downtown Manhattan, where I live. I went in to deposit a check, saw that both of Chase's fancy new in-branch ATMs were being used, then noticed that only one person was in line for the human tellers -- so I queued up.

And then it happened: the confrontation. A Chase bank employee approached me and interrupted my line-waiting (and iPhone news-reading). I guess he saw that I had a check in my hand because he said, "If you're making a deposit, you can use one of the new ATMs over there."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Is This NYMag Cover Story Prescient or Wishful Thinking?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:30:00 -0400

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Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, June 26:

Did you miss this media scan last week during its hiatus? Were you in the south of France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity? Or, like me, were you not in the south of France but still sort of doing Cannes? Well, welcome back! Or not! Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Uh oh. "CNN is imposing strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia after the network deleted a story and then issued a retraction late Friday, according to an internal email obtained by BuzzFeed News," per a report by BuzzFeed's Jon Passantino. "The email went out at 11:21 a.m. on Saturday from Rich Barbieri, the CNNMoney executive editor, saying 'No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas],' a CNN vice president."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The Ethics of Using AI in Advertising

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:00:00 -0400

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As an industry, advertising has long been obsessed with understanding human behavior. The ability of artificial intelligence (AI) systems to transform vast amounts of complex, ambiguous information into insight is driving personal analysis into market behavior. There are nearly 2 billion Facebook users globally. About 200 billion tweets are shared on Twitter every year. Google processes 40,000+ searches every second. We can now assess the entirety of an individual's social activity: every word, every picture, every emoji.

Add to that location-based data from mobile phones, transactional data from credit cards and adjacent data sets like news and weather. When machine learning and advanced algorithms are applied to these oceans of digital information, we can intimately understand the motivations of almost every consumer.

These are undeniably powerful tools, and no one can blame the advertising industry for rapidly adopting them.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Your Customers Are Cheating On You: Marketing Orthodoxy Under Fire

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

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Continue reading at AdAge.com




There's a New Most-Advertised Brand (and Nine More Facts From the 200 Leading National Advertisers Report)

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

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Continue reading at AdAge.com




New Office Depot Push Aims to Take Care of Business: Battling Amazon and Staples

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

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Office supply chains are going to the marketing mattresses. One month after Staples began repositioning itself in a new ad campaign, Office Depot is bringing out its own new brand campaign and messaging. After attempts for a $6.3 billion merger between the two office supply chains failed last year, each brand is doing its best to compete against the fast-growing Amazon.

"Marketing is key," said Matt Sargent, senior VP-retail at consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates. "The one advantage Staples or Office Depot has over Amazon is they're focused on a narrow set of categories and that means something to their users."

In Boca Raton-based Office Depot's new push, the company will emphasize how it can help its customers, both businesses and consumers, accomplish their work tasks. "Taking care of business is not for the faint of heart. Still, you take care of it," a voiceover says in a 30-second TV spot. "But who takes care of you?" The video shows busy moms juggling careers, and construction and office workers toiling at their jobs as they turn to Office Depot Office Max for supplies. The song, "Taking care of business," which the brand first tapped for its marketing in the late 80s but has not used in at least five years, returns as Office Depot's theme.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Oui, Yoplait Needs Help, So it Looks to France for Inspiration

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

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General Mills calls yogurt a growth business. The problem is, it hasn't been growing.

So the company is looking to leverage Yoplait's French heritage with hopes of igniting yogurt sales with a product its CEO has said will "bring an entirely new yogurt taste and texture to the U.S. market." Oui by Yoplait is being touted as an artisanal product made and sold in glass pots, and will be sold in U.S. stores by July. Marketing will follow in August.

The debut comes years after General Mills, and the U.S. yogurt sector at large, was a bit blindsided by the popularity of Chobani and other Greek-style yogurts.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The Man Behind Marcel, Publicis Groupe's New AI Platform, Expected the Skeptics

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:01:00 -0400

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Two names were uttered more than others at Cannes last week. One is Arthur Sadoun, the new Publicis Groupe CEO who unexpectedly announced that his agency holding company will skip Cannes en masse next year. The other is Marcel, an AI system whose development Publicis will fund with the savings.

But there's another player in the drama, Chip Register, co-CEO of Publicis.Sapient and the architect of Marcel.

Register is nonplussed by the reaction to the announcement, which has included trolling by rival agencies on Twitter and sneering that Marcel is nothing more than an amped-up Alexa or publicity stunt executed by a newbie CEO trying to improve the bottom line.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




BBDO, Droga5, WPP Take Top Honors on Final Night of the Cannes Lions

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:17:04 -0400


The Saturday night Lions ceremony also saw previously announced Cannes honorees take the stage to collect their awards. Burger King's Chief Marketing Officer Axel Schwan and Head of Brand Marketing Fernando Machado represented for Creative Marketer of the Year.

Droga5 Creative Chairman and Founder David Droga stepped up for this year's Lion of St. Mark, for his significant contributions to the industry, and Richard Curtis, the screenwriter/director who co-founded Red Nose Day, accepted the LionHeart Award for his influential involvement in charitable initiatives.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'An Acceptable Risk': Why Smirnoff's Trump-Trolling Didn't Backfire

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:38:31 -0400

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Smirnoff 's outdoor ads trolling Donald Trump scored an approval rating that would make the president jealous. The billboards -- which began popping up in train stations in New York City earlier this month -- stated that Smirnoff is "made in America but we'd be happy to talk about our Russian ties under oath."

While other brands have taken some heat for going after Trump, Smirnoff got strong support, with an 86% positive to 14% negative rating, according to the brand's research, Diageo executives said in an interview at Cannes. "That's way more positive than the response that we get for some of our LGBT work," said Mark Sandys, who oversees Smirnoff. "I think that says two things: Firstly how important it is to be doing LGBT work, and second that the threat level of the risk that we are taking on the America-Russia campaign is actually an acceptable risk to take."

Smirnoff has been running LGBT-friendly marketing for years. The latest effort is a limited-edition "Love Wins" bottle design. Bottles are wrapped in a rainbow-colored design and real photos of gay couples. Last year the brand hosted a live stream of same-sex weddings at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'Fearless Girl,' 'Boost Your Voice' and 'We're the Superhumans' Win Grand Prix on Cannes Lions' Final Night

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:30:00 -0400

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The final night of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity unveils what traditionally have been the most anticipated honors of the week -- the Grand Prix in Titanium, Integrated and Film.

On Saturday evening, "Fearless Girl" for State Street Global Advisors added the Titanium Grand Prix to its three earlier "Big Lions," while Boost Mobile's "Boost Your Voice" picked up the top prize in the Integrated category for its second Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the Film jury awarded its Grand Prix to Channel 4's "We're the Superhumans."

WHAT IT IS: Created out of McCann New York, "Fearless Girl," a bronze statue of a girl that stands defiantly across from the iconic Wall Street Charging Bull, added the Titanium Grand Prix on Saturday. It previously won the top awards in the PR, Glass and Nontraditional Outdoor categories on Monday.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Uproar Over Publicis Pullout Leaves Cannes Lions Scrambling

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 08:33:00 -0400

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Written with reports from Brian Braiker, Lindsay Stein, Jack Neff, Laurel Wentz and Ann-Christine Diaz.

If Arthur Sadoun's goal was to steal some of the Cannes spotlight from Google, Facebook and the consultancies gunning for Publicis Groupe's business, then the new CEO of the holding company succeeded. His brazen pledge to sit out next year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and pour the savings into an AI-powered professional assistant program called Marcel dominated the conversation at the beachside bars and parties along the French Riviera all week. And Cannes might never be the same again.

Organizers are pondering fundamental changes to a festival that critics say has lost its way as sprawling ros-washed parties on the beach and yachts often overshadow serious panels occurring inside the Palais. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell even floated the idea of moving the festival to New York or Paris, suggesting it has become too much of a trade show. "You will get a broader distribution. It won't be such a narrow group," he said in an interview. "Talking to some clients this morning, they reduced their participation from the past year."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Miller Lite, Serta, PGA Tour and More

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:45:00 -0400

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Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, Miller Lite continues its product-focused approach, as first reported in Lowdown: The Story Behind Miller Lite's New Tagline, with a spot that showcases a can of the beer as it's cracked open and served up at a sports game. Serta gives those who are stressed, overworked and soldiering through life the hope of a peaceful place "where deadlines and duties disappear" -- a mattress fitted with its iComfort Sleep System. And the PGA Tour promotes the upcoming Presidents Cup, which will be held for the first time under "the watchful eye of Lady Liberty," at Liberty National golf course with views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Burnett's Van Gogh's Bedrooms Nabs Creative Effectiveness Prize

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:30:00 -0400

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Just days after Publicis Groupe declared a moratoruim on awards including Cannes next year, one of its agencies -- Leo Burnett Chicago -- claimed a Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness for its Van Gogh's Bedrooms exhibit for the Art Institute of Chicago. The buzzworthy effort gave people the chance to rent a reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's bedroom for a night, driving huge visitor gains.

WHAT IT IS: Art lovers could use Airbnb to rent a reconstructed 3D replica of the bedroom of the artist. Jury president Jonathan Mildenhall praised the effort for using creativity to introduce a broader and younger demographic to the Art Institute.

WHY IT WON: The Creative Effectiveness Lion recognizes campaigns that "demonstrate hard results over the long term." The Van Gogh campaign lured 133,000 visitors in incremental attendance, driving $2 million in incremental revenue, Mildenhall said.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Ogilvy South Africa Takes Radio Grand Prix for KFC Campaign

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:30:00 -0400

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Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg won the Radio Grand Prix for a campaign that plugged KFC's Double Down sandwich. The agency took the top prize for the second consecutive year after winning in 2016 for KFC work.

WHAT IT IS: Radio ads plugged the limited-time offer by using voices to portray small moments of sadness, like when you ask people to cheer but no one returns the favor. Then the ads state that the "saddest thing of all" is when the Double Down goes off market.

WHY IT WON: Jury president Mario D'Andrea, president-chief creative at Dentsu in Brazil, praised the agency for turning out a creative campaign from a run-of-the mill brief for a promotional item.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Music Videos for Bjork and The Blaze Take the Craft Grand Prix in Film and Digital

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:30:00 -0400

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WHAT THEY ARE: A music video for the track "Territory," from French directing and music-making duo The Blaze, earned the Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, while another music promotional effort, Bjork's virtual reality experience "Notget VR," earned the Digital Craft Grand Prix.

The Blaze, aka cousins Jonathan and Guillaume Alric, crafted a powerful tale around an Algerian man's homecoming to promote the "Territory" track from their debut LP. The video, which earned attention at the festival yesterday as part of Saatchi's annual New Directors Showcase, is a striking interplay of emotion and power: the hero envelops a male family member in crushing embrace, he throws punches at a gym (in sync with the track's drumbeat), he dances lithely as if in a trance, surrounded by crew of other men and chases after little children like a playful bull. While the various scenes don't convey a clear-cut story, woven together they make for a compelling tale that demands multiple viewings.

London visual effects company Analog and W&N Studio, home of the project's directors Warren Du Preez and Nick Thorton Jones, created the Bjork "Notget VR" experience (see non-VR rendering above) promoting a track of the same name off her "Vulnicura" album, which has already previously spawned other virtual reality efforts including one for "Stonemilker." The Grand Prix-winner depicts Bjork's digital avatar, adorned in a second skin of dancing lights and skipping about in an ethereal world -- the depth of which, Digital Craft Jury President Henry Cowling said, needs to be experienced in virtual reality.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The UN Believes Ads Can Turn the Tide in Long-Losing War for Gender Equality

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:19:40 -0400

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In a world of doubters, someone still believes in the power of advertising: The United Nations.

The UN Women organization came to Cannes this week to convene a sort of Security Council of the ad industry, including many of its biggest-spending marketers, three of the biggest agency holding companies, digital duopolists Facebook and Google, Alibaba, and more. The idea is that advertising can do what more than two decades of UN proclamations, local laws and good intentions haven't -- spur real progress on gender issues.

"No country in the world has achieved gender equality, even though we have big initiatives and laws passed," said Phumzile Miambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women in an interview. "Changing laws didn't do much to change cultural norms. Advertising has skill in behavior change."

Continue reading at AdAge.com