Ad of the Day: Dodge
It's the rare commercial that you wish went on longer. But such is the case with this 30-second Dodge Charger spot advertising the Chrysler brand's tie-in with the groundbreaking TV show/video game Defiance.
The Syfy show is a futuristic drama set in 2046 in a city called Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, Mo. Seven unique alien races have arrived on Earth, a development that has thrown humans for a bit of a loop. But not Dodge. As you see in the ad, from Wieden + Kennedy, which begins in the present day and continues to 2046, the Dodge Charger is so tough and versatile that it manages to survive the apocalypse, the invasion and lots of frantic driving by alien-pecked humans. "Only the defiant survive," says the copy at the end.
The show's hero, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler), drives a couple of Dodge Chargers, which have been modified a bit to fit the futuristic story line. The cars were directly integrated into the story in this past Monday's episode, the sixth of the first season, becoming major characters. And while there's an element of goofiness in having modern-day vehicles drive through Armageddon and live to tell the tale, there's a gritty, cool factor here too—achieved largely by the nice juxtaposition of the dark, hectic visuals and the soulful, stylish song "Freedom" by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton (which you may recognize from Django Unchained). Ads for video games often pair violence and beauty in this way especially well—here, the fictional premise lets an automaker do the same.
And no wonder it feels like a video-game spot. Defiance is also a massively multiplayer online video game. The show and the game feature interconnected worlds and story lines—the show impacts the game, and the game influences the show. And while the show features the Charger, the game incorporates the Dodge Challenger into the mix.
Dodge and W+K have glimpsed the future before. Maybe we could use the Dart's time machine to go back and make this Charger spot a :60?
Clients: Dodge, Syfy
Project: Dodge Charger | Defiance
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Aaron Allen / Michael Tabtabai / Kevin Jones
Copywriter: Smith Henderson
Art Director: Susan Land
Executive Producer: Corey Bartha
Account Team: Thomas Harvey / Lani Reichenbach / Ramon Cruz
Project Manager: Tamar Berk
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Agency Producer: Jennie Lindstrom / Kirsten Acheson
Business Affairs Director: Amber Lavender
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
Executive Producer: Emme Wilcockson
Line Producer: James Blom
Director of Photography: Robert Elswit
Editorial Company: Rock, Paper Scissors
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Post Producer: Alexandra Zickerick
Post Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
VFX Company: Method
VFX Supervisor: Ben Walsh
Executive Producer: Stephanie Gilgar
Head of 2D/Flame Artist: Patrick Ferguson
Producer: Jason Cohon
Coordinator: Nicole Saccardi
Nuke Artists: Alex Gitler / Grady Campbell
Matte Painting: Roger Kupelian / Rich Mahon / Zach Christian
FX Artist: Travis Harkleroad
Tracking: Apirak Kamjan / Rachan Chirattanakornkul
Roto: Kenneth Liu / Scott Crafford
Music+Sound Company: Stimmung
Sound Designer: Gus Koven
Producer: Ceinwyn Clark
Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Producer: Jessica Locke
Fast, Furious Wikileaks Mashed
Your holiday weekend movies in Trailer Mash 05 24 13
JCPenney One of 10 Brands Predicted to Die in Next Year
As new brands are brought to life in the evolution of various verticals, others will inevitably give up the ghost. While obsolesence related to industrial shifts is the No. 1 killer of outdated concepts or companies, other factors may guide the executioner's hand, including failure to innovate, cash flow issues and heavy competition.
Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 important brands sold in America that it predicts will disappear within a year's time. This year’s list reflects the brutally competitive nature of certain industries.
Among those potentially headed into obscurity are two magazines—Martha Stewart Living and Road & Track. While some magazines weathered the multi-year decline, these two suffered sharp drops in advertising revenue over the past five years. Magazines also carry the heavy legacy costs of printing, paper and distribution—a problem not shared by their online-only competitors.
In the realm of consumer electronics, the Barnes & Noble Nook may be done for, as the e-reader business is shrinking and the Nook competes with better-selling products made by Apple and Amazon. Also in line for final goodbyes is the Olympus digital camera, as camera sales continue to be eroded by smartphones with cutting-edge built-in cameras.
Another industry with two brands on the list is automobiles: Mitsubishi and Volvo are reportedly set to follow Suzuki to the big junkyard in the sky.
The full list of brands predicted to fail this year: JCPenney, Nook, Olympus, Martha Stewart Living magazine, LivingSocial, Volvo, the WNBA, Leap Wireless, Mitsubishi Motors and Road & Track magazine.
Last year, 24/7 Wall Street correctly predicted Suzuki, MetroPCS and Current TV would be out. American Airlines, another predicted failure, is part of a new company through its combination with U.S. Airways, though the American Airlines name lives on. Talbots, which also made that list, was acquired by a private equity firm, and also as expected, Research In Motion is no longer a brand. Predictions regarding Avon, the Oakland Raiders and Salon, however, were incorrect.
Microsoft Humiliates Siri in Biting Parody of Apple's iPad Ads
Microsoft says a mouthful in this ad from Crispin Porter + Bogusky. And—surprise!—those words are spoken by Siri, Apple's voice assistant, from an iPad sitting next to a Windows 8 tablet. As the latter wordlessly flips through various features, Siri apologies for being unable to run those programs and perform the same functions. "I'm sorry, I don't update like that," she says. "I'm sorry, I can only do one thing at a time." I half expected a tax app to pop up on the tablet's screen and be greeted by an awkward silence from Siri. Maybe in the sequel. This is Microsoft's second spot in a week to deftly parody a rival's ad style (in this case, Apple's stylish minimalism), following its skewering of Google's Chrome browser. The tablet ad, which references the iPad mini's "Piano" spot from last October, is approaching 2 million views on YouTube in just a couple of days. There are some chatty personal assistants, like Indigo, available for Windows devices. But for my taste, the ultimate Microsoft PA voice would speak in measured, calm-yet-crazy cadences, providing sadly poignant commentary as the OS crashes into a sea of blue when its mind begins to go.
NSA Media Creates Alliance With Wishabi
Newspaper circulation may continue to drop, but one aspect remains a big draw to consumers: ad circulars. NSA Media, the country's largest buyer of newsprint and print circulars, is integrating that print clout with digital through a new e-circular alliance with Wishabi, a Toronto tech company founded by former Microsoft engineers.
NSA, a unit of Orion Holdings, has clients who collectively spend well over $1 billion annually on media. NSA Media president Steve Mueller says Wishabi's technology has reinvented the e-circular user experience.
“If you go back two to three years, the industry used digital flat files, PDFs, not overly sexy but at the time pioneering,” Mueller explains. “Since then people have changed the way they consume digital. Those flat PDF files are not the way people sit in their living room, with a coffee on a Sunday morning, and search. They want a quick, fast, flow just the way they would look through a newspaper [circular]. ”
With Wishabi technology, consumers can scroll and browse through the circular as they would in print. Wishabi provides real-time personalized content based on consumer profiles, geography, behavior and interests. Retailers can utilize back-end analytics that provide insights into that consumer behavior. Wishabi’s distribution network includes MSN, Tribune Co., Boston Globe and CBS, enabling the company to deliver circulars to over 200 million U.S. consumers. The new alliance extends the reach of NSA clients across multiple digital touchpoints.
NSA’s core competency is data and geo/demo analytics focused on local media. While print will still be a strong component at the IPG Mediabrands division, the Wishabi alliance extends NSA offerings digitally through a national platform.
Embattled P&G CEO Out, Replaced by Predecessor
Taking a page from the JCPenney playbook, Procter & Gamble is turning to its former CEO to help save a consumer products giant beset by agitated investors and an R&D pipeline that has fizzled in recent years, according to Businessweek.
A.G. Lafley is returning to run the world's largest household products maker, replacing Bob McDonald in the midst of a major restructuring. Lafley is taking on the roles of chairman, president and CEO, effective immediately, while McDonald is set to retire on June 30 after 33 years at P&G, Reuters reported.
The Economist's Schumpeter column wrote that McDonald never seemed entirely comfortable in the leading role he accepted in 2009 at the firm where he had worked for three decades, especially as growth slowed and an activist hedge-fund run by Bill Ackman started to lobby for management change.
McDonald was thought to be in jeopardy of losing his job last summer after a string of reductions to profit forecasts frustrated analysts and investors, and Ackman barreled onto the scene, unveiling a $1.8 billion stake in the company, Forbes reported.
The move, Reuters said, comes as some investors have pushed for faster improvements from the maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors. P&G unveiled a $10 billion restructuring program in February 2012. Since then, it has cut thousands of jobs and taken other steps to speed up its operations, improve its success with new products and better its performance in fast-growing emerging markets and larger, developed markets such as the United States.
"Bob retired, the board called me and I felt like duty called. I'm back to help maintain the business momentum and keep this productivity program going," Lafley told Reuters.
There was no single reason for McDonald's retirement, Lafley said. "I think it's a number of personal reasons."
Justin Bieber Is Sad About a Lot of Things, but Probably Not the Teen Employment Rate
Today in weird, leechy Justin Bieber news, we have this new billboard that just went up in Los Angeles speculating on the cause of the young pop star's dramatic descent into sadness, as seen in pretty much everything he does these days. The ad, from a group called the Employment Policies Institute, offers the least likely of explanations for the Biebs' malaise—suggesting it has something to do with the employment status of his millennial-age fans, as it relates to the level of the minimum wage. The irony, of course, is that the billboard will make Bieber even more sad, should he happen to spy it on his express elevator to hell.
Atlanta's Most Infamous Stripper Pimps Charity Advertising Contest
The Creative Circus, Atlanta's advertising school, has hired the most famous, perhaps infamous, stripper in town to pimp its do-goody-goody advertising contest known as A+, where all the winners receive a pimp cup. They're trying to make Atlanta a "more livable city" one stripper promotion at a time. Blondie is Atlanta legend. I heard about her before I even moved here. She strips at the Clermont Lounge, officially known as the place strippers go to die. Her great trick is crushing cans with her boobs. But she's not all flash and bling. She's a sensitive soul who is also well known for writing poems. (It is considered an honor to receive one.) Watching the promos, created with ad agency Iris, where Blondie is dressed like a ridiculous caricature of a southern belle, posed in front of a plantation and giving advice about how you have to dig deep down to your nasty self and bring it out like The Exorcist, one can only blink and repost. There simply are no words. More videos below.
Adweek's Top 10 Commercials of the Week: May 17-24
How J.Lo Is Becoming A Wireless Brand
Jennifer Lopez’s partnership with Verizon Wireless to launch a new mobile brand targeting Latinos is a no-brainer when you consider the surging growth rates of those consumers in the U.S. and their high ownership of smartphones. But positioning the popular singer and actress with the brand was not as simple as it might seem.
In January Verizon enlisted marketing strategist Jeetendr Sehdev, who specializes in celebrity brand partnerships, to position the new Lopez brand, Viva Móvil, in which she is an investor and creative director. His first task, after conducting quantitative and qualitative research, was to identify how her celebrity and the brand aligned in consumer opinion before Viva Móvil was launched.
Interestingly, Sehdev found that Lopez’s success was interpreted differently, according to the degree of acculturation among Hispanic consumers. More assimilated Latinos admired her for her business acumen, those less-acculturated liked her for her rags-to-riches, ‘Jenny From The Block’ persona. An added benefit for Verizon in teaming up with Lopez is her crossover appeal to a more general audience.
“That’s hard to do, especially within Hollywood and mainstream media because you often get stereotyped and she’s been able to break free of that while still resonating with a Hispanic audience,” says Sehdev. “The way we positioned this is that this is more than a Verizon brand; Viva Móvil is a new brand built on upon Jennifer Lopez’s brand equity and identity, with Verizon in partnership. We are creating a celebratory brand shopping experience that like Zumba has an appeal as an across-the-board experience whether you’re Hispanic or not.”
Sehdev, who is the author of the upcoming book Superstar: The Art & Science of Celebrity Branding, oversaw a team that also came up with a retail strategy suited to the target demographic. Viva Móvil, which is opening its first retail store in New York on June 15, will employ bilingual employees and also have children’s play areas since Latinos like to shop together as families.
Lopez is the majority owner in Viva Móvil, which launched at the CTIA wireless industry trade show in Las Vegas this week.