Horseless Headsman (Snickers)

Nice mix of evergreen branding and relevant seasonality.

The Revolution Is Love

The first explanation that successfully told me what Occupy Wall Street is all about — love, not money.

The King, Dethroned

This is probably the last CP+B-made Burger King spot you’ll ever see, now that the restaurant chain named McGarryBowen as its new agency of record. Back in March, Adweek featured Crispin’s 15 best campaigns for Burger King, an article which mentioned despite their creativity, CP+B’s ads weren’t delivering the sales BK wanted. That really sucks, as I thoroughly enjoyed the King and all his exploits. Let’s see what McGarryBowen can do.

Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room with a Phantom Flex

Rockstars, eat your hearts out. Tom Guilmette turns trashing a hotel room into a work of art.

An oldie but a damn goodie

In doing some research for a friend of mine, I revisited to figure out how they embedded a real-time GPS-tracking Google Map.

While there, I couldn’t help but watch the recap video of the project. It documents how exactly one year ago this month, two guys rode two Brammo electric motorcycles from Detroit, Michigan to Washington, D.C. Their mission was to deliver one of the bikes to President Obama to show him that the brand had a solution to our country’s transportation crisis.

So they made the trek, but not by themselves. They created a site that allowed anyone to follow the pair’s journey via their video uploads and blog posts from the road. And to get people involved, they included a live Twitter feed of encouragers, opportunities to donate your electrical outlet or a couch for the night, and the call to action to contact the White House to show your support.

I remember fondly watching their trip unfold, tuning in once a week or so to see how far they’d made it, hoping that somehow, someway they would get to hand the key to a Brammo over to Obama. See, they didn’t even have a meeting scheduled with him when they set out. Just a big idea, a notion that people would spread it, and a few hearts full of hope.

Sadly, they never accomplished that mission. They did, however, manage to get the founder of Brammo bikes invited to an energy summit at the White House hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. They also got the brand tons of press, media and word-of-mouth buzz. And they achieved the grander purpose of reminding us that any time there’s a crisis, there’s an American in his garage somewhere tinkering out a solution.

I went to the site to figure out a little problem. But while I was there, I was reminded of the solution to a much bigger one.

Float on

Last month, a father and son duo strapped a video camera to a weather balloon and launched it into the upper stratosphere to capture its ascent and descent in some breathtaking HD footage.

Watch it zoom to 3,000 feet, turning the two into ants within just 2 minutes of release. Enjoy its airplane view above a sea of clouds at 30,000 feet. Hold onto your lunch as it somersaults over itself at 60,000 feet due to 100mph winds. Then, take it all in at 90,000 feet as the camera rocks back and forth on the earth’s bright white horizon against the blackness of space.

At almost 19 miles high, the balloon reaches its burst capacity, and the whole thing comes parachuting down to Earth at 150 miles per hour. It lands 30 miles north of the launch site in a tree 50 feet in the air. Freakin’ thing just didn’t wanna come down.

I wouldn’t either.

Shockingly unshocking

We all know what can happen to us if we don’t wear a seatbelt. Commercials are good at showing us in graphic, slow-motion detail how our bodies will flail, our bones will break, and our lives will end. Trouble is, they tend to focus on the gory and unemotional visuals to which we’ve become desensitized over time.

The strength in the above spot for Sussex Safer Roads Partnership is that takes the argument for seatbelts in a new, more relevant and insightful direction. How? By bringing the driving force behind seatbelt safety—the notion of family—to the forefront. After all, the root reason most of us wear (or should wear) a seatbelt isn’t to protect ourselves; it’s to protect our loved ones from having to live without us.

Perfectly aligned with this familial angle is the style in which the ad is shot. It wouldn’t be very family-friendly to show the blood and gore that others have tried to use to jar the viewer. Instead, this one keeps it simple and clean and human. This approach makes it appropriate for all ages, which in turn spurs families to talk about seatbelt safety and encourage one another to practice it.

My favorite part is the hands interlocking to “buckle” Dad in for the jolt. It reminds me of the parent who, when coming to an abrupt stop, instinctively reaches his/her arm across the chest of the child in the passenger seat. That’s beautiful art imitating life.

As you can see here, sometimes the less shock value you show, the more valuable the message. Mucho kudos to writer/director Daniel Cox.

Via: AdFreak

Less is more moving

Powerful little spot here by ad agency N=5 in Amsterdam. One visual, one sound effect, one headline, one call to action.

In keeping things simple, I’ll stop writing now and let you watch.

Via: Adverblog

"On to the Next One" directed by Sam Brown

Sometimes the coolest visual effects are the simplest ones. For example, my favorite part of this music video for Jay-Z’s next single is the black cables undulating across a white background—so simple yet so mesmerizing. The entire video is full of simple effects like this that still create a beautiful masterpiece: wind blowing, paint dripping, smoke billowing, black on white, white on black, still shots, singular motions.

The song itself is simply about how Jay-Z claims to have left the competition in the dust, and with this video, director Sam Brown achieves the same amongst rap videos in particular and many music videos in general. As Rolling Stone said, it’s “high-concept video art.” I’m not sure what all the symbols are, but reducing them to singular, simple visuals sure grabs my eye.

Absolutely stunning, unforgettable work here by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy for Levi’s Go Forth campaign. The imagery stark and lively, the voice aged and heroic, the drum strikes perfectly punctuating, and the obligatory product shots so seamlessly integrated you almost miss them. But the real scene stealer is the poetry, an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" (The other version uses what is widely believed to be an original wax recording of the man himself reading “America.”)

This ad perfectly sums up how I feel about the future as a young person in America. It’s up to us, kids, to be the pioneers. “Have you your pistols? Have you your sharp-edged axes?”

There is work to be done. Bring it on; let’s do this thing.