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Depressed Clown Stars in Grim but Gorgeous Job-Site Commercial Shoot me now

It's been a good day for at least one clown on this earth—Ronald McDonald, who received a fashionable makeover. But it's worth remembering that things aren't so great for all the non-famous clowns out there.

For example: The clown in the ad below could be doing better. It's actually not client work—it's a short film by Cargo Collective director Crobin for the nonexistent British jobs website Jobbuilder.co.uk. (The URL links through to the director's website.) It's a rich minute of gorgeous despair, though not recommended for your coulrophobes out there.

Via Reddit.

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April 24, 2014, 8:58 PM EDT

In Vans Ads, Gavin McInnes Explains How to Do Absolutely Everything Life's toughest situations solved

Ever wonder what your fart strategy should be when trying to hit on someone? Or the best way to fight if you've never been in one? Or how to drink in a bar without annoying the crap out of everyone there? Or perhaps you'd like to know how to survive if you ended up in jail. Or fly the friendly skies without looking and acting like a total asshole?

If any of these situations have been giving you trouble (or even if you think they haven't), Gavin McInnes, creative director at Rooster, baby fighter and the dude who pretty much says whatever he's thinking, has your back—whether you like it or not.

This series of short how-to-video-meets-PSA clips, presented by Vans, aim to equip you for anything life may throw at you. Sprinkled with some sincerely entertaining didactic mansplaining, a healthy bong hit of absurdity and a life coach who might blow a gasket any second, these insane nuggets of wisdom might actually help someone out there. 

Not since Clarissa has anyone attempted to truly explain it all. 

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April 24, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT

Stick Your Fingers in These Holes If You Dare, Says Weird Outdoor Ad for PlayStation This may hurt a bit

The trend toward branded out-of-home machines that actively hate humans might have reached its apex with this stunt by PlayStation, which shocked commuters in Antwerp's Central Station by, uh, literally shocking them.

To promote the PS4 game Infamous: Second Son, a mysterious booth was set up in the lobby. People were goaded to stick their fingers in two holes in the front. Those who did got an electric shock. If they could endure it for five seconds (like that one guy at the end, who is eerily nonchalant about it), they were rewarded with a free copy of the game—whose hero apparently has some kind of electricity superpower.

I wonder if the creatives behind this ad were Mr. Show fans, because the execution here isn't unlike a G-rated version of The Joke: The Musical.

April 24, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

Ronald McDonald Gets a Makeover and Plans All-Out Clown Assault on Social Media Icon tries to stay relevant

It's a big day in the big top of fast food, as McDonald's has given spokesclown Ronald McDonald a makeover.

With new threads designed by theater designer Ann Hould-Ward, Ronnie is now decked out in McNugget-sauce-colored cargo pants, a rugby shirt and a fancy new blazer and bowtie (designated for special occasions). Fear not, though—his perfectly coiffed Bruce-Jenner-meets-the-Bee-Gees hairdo and iconic oversized red clown shoes remain a vital part of this dude's duds. 

"Customers today want to engage with brands in different ways, and Ronald will continue to evolve to be modern and relevant," says Dean Barrett, the chain's global relationship officer.

For the first time, Ron will also take an active role on McDonald's social media channels.

Heralding the possible death of the selfie movement, Ronald said in a statement, "Selfies … here I come! It's a big world and now, wherever I go and whatever I do ... I'm ready to show how fun can make great things happen."

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April 24, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

See Heineken's 15-Second Film Based on a Fan's Tweet About an Evil Abe Lincoln 'Linclone' was even screened at Tribeca

Fifteen seconds is short for an ad, never mind a film. But Heineken and Wieden + Kennedy New York premiered just such a movie at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night—based on a fan's tweet about an evil Abraham Lincoln clone.

"They clone Abe Lincoln's DNA and name the clone president for life...except there's one problem: the clone is evil," Dennis Lazar, aka @awsommovieideas, wrote as his winning submission to the brewer's #15secondpremiere contest, which asked for fans' their wildest movie ideas. Those 115 characters (he had to leave room for the hashtag) were then crafted by a Hollywood film crew into 15 seconds of film—called Linclone.

You can check out the mini-movie below. The credits take way longer than the film itself—luckily there are some outtakes to keep things interesting.



Lazar was flown to New York and given the green carpet treatment by the Tribeca sponsor at the festival. Guests included Robert De Niro himself, who really should have played Lincoln if we're being honest.

Credits and more below.

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April 24, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT

Poo-Pourri Returns to Help Women Suppress the Stench of 'Man-Manure' Follow-up to viral hit 'Girls Don't Poop'

Ladies, are you looking for "the perfect solution to his stinking pollution"? If so, we've got some good news: Poo-Pourri is back with another spritz of its sweet-smelling viral advertising.

The spray, made to be used before (not after) dropping a deuce, tallied a truly impressive 26.5 million views on its "Girls Don't Poop" video back in September. 

This time, the brand's eloquent maven of miasma is focused on the feces of the less-fair sex: "What if there was a natural, more effective way to make sure you never have to smell his man-manure again?"

There are even multiple Poo-Pourri options for the discerning defecator: Trap-a-Crap, Royal Flush, Heavy Doody and Poo-Tonium.

It's not quite as hypnotic as the first video's seemingly ceaseless descriptions of explosive expulsions, but it's still one of the better two-minute ads you're likely to come across. 

April 24, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

VH1's 'I Will Survive' Anti-Bullying Ad Is Great Fun, but Does It Send a Good Message? Revenge of the nerds

Gloria Gaynor's disco classic "I Will Survive" gets remade as an anti-bullying anthem in this VH1 spot by Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi in Argentina, showing tormented boys and girls singing out their plans for sweet revenge in adulthood.

Expertly staged by music-video veteran Agustin Alberdi and boasting a great cast, the ad feels kind of like a musical number from Glee in its heyday. It opens with a kid enduring the indignity of a dual swirly/pantsing: "First I was afraid, I was petrified/They flushed my head several times, exposing my behind." Other tortured middle-schoolers soon pick up the thread. One looks ahead to the day when, "Oh my power, I will abuse/I'll be the CEO, you'll be the one who shines my shoes." Another promises, "I'm gonna call you night and day/And on weekends I'll send texts/Ask you for all kinds of things, making sure you never rest."

On one level, the video is a marvel of wish-fulfillment that anyone who's ever been picked on or put down during lunch period or study hall can instantly relate to. Believing you can turn the tables feels great, and the spot hits all the right notes in that regard.



Still, the tone and message ultimately fall flat. The revenge motif, though lighthearted, seems to perpetuate the cycle of bullying, with today's victims becoming tomorrow's oppressors. Yes, it's handled with a deft touch and good humor—and the jerks in the boy's bathroom using that kid's head as a toilet scrubber certainly have it coming.

Even so, breaking the cycle and discouraging the behavior should be the goal, shouldn't it? There's really none of that here. (Contrast VH1's approach with Everynone's short film on bullying from a few years back, which really captured the complexity of the issue.)

Also, ultimately, these bullies are free to go about their brutish business. Vague threats of corporate comeuppance 20 years hence seem pretty lame when victims ripe for pantsing are available in the here and now. Meanwhile, the terrorized kids tunefully suffer and bide their time, fated to wait decades for "revenge" which, let's face it, may never come.

Bullies grow up to be bosses sometimes, and nerds aren't always management material, no matter how earnestly kids in PSAs sing to the contrary.

Credits below.

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April 24, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT

Would You Recognize a Loved One Dressed Like the Homeless? These People Didn't Hidden-camera stunt aims to 'make them visible'

Most city dwellers tend to avoid eye contact with the homeless, a fact that made one advocacy group wonder: Would you recognize your own relatives if they were living on the street?

New York City Rescue Mission partnered with agency Silver + Partner for a hidden-camera stunt that filmed people as they walked past loved ones dressed to look homeless. Later, the passersby were shown video footage of themselves walking past their relatives without a second glance. 

As you'd probably expect, no one recognized their family members. One woman even walked right past her mom, uncle and aunt.

The stunt doesn't lead to any emotional breakdowns or similar histrionics, which is somewhat refreshing at a time when "gotcha" videos focus so hard on over-the-top reactions and immediate life-changing self-reflection. But the unwitting participants clearly feel ashamed of their oversight. 

Director Jun Diaz from production house Smuggler tells Fast Company that one person who was filmed asked not to be included in the final video "because they couldn’t handle the fact that they walked by their family."

On a related website, MakeThemVisible.com, the rescue mission further humanizes the needy by sharing photographs of real homeless New Yorkers, smiling while sharing their personal passions and hobbies.

April 23, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

JetBlue's Pigeon Reflects on Human Foibles in Web Series From Funny or Die City birds, they're just like us

Humans generally consider themselves to be better than pigeons in all ways, significant or not. But are we, really?

JetBlue's "Air on the Side of Humanity" campaign from Mullen, which launched last fall in Boston and is now rolling out to New York and Florida markets, suggests we're actually quite pigeon-like ourselves—at least, those of us who don't fly JetBlue are.

Indeed, much like the humble pigeon, who flies in crowded spaces, gets crumbs for snacks and is generally ignored and/or despised, we tend to be unappreciated when we take to the skies aboard other airlines.

Along with the TV work, JetBlue has been running a new Web series from Funny or Die that extends this notion of pigeon-on-human empathy. Called "Shoo's Bird's Eye View," the series stars a pigeon named Shoo who watches humans go about their business—and wryly remarks on how odd people can be.

The idea is that, through his comical observations, we might come to see the errors of our ways—like flying those airlines that don't have JetBlue in their name.



"The idea of bringing these two brands together, JetBlue and Funny or Die, was really appealing from the start," says Tim Vaccarino, executive creative director at Mullen. "Both have great sensibilities and a unique perspective on things. A way of getting right at the truth in a smart humorous way."

He added: "The use of the pigeon POV was a conscious one. It allowed us a unique perspective on humans and all their quirks. It let us show things we humans do every day but may overlook or ignore. Through Shoo's simple yet comical observations, the hope is people will wake up and change bad behavior. Such as the behavior of accepting a substandard level of customer service when we travel, for example. Just a thought."

The "Air on the Side of Human Campaign" has also included custom homepage takeovers, branded Spotify playlists, an interactive mobile rich media game and lifelike Pigeon Props riding atop taxi cabs.

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April 23, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT

Honeybees Get Fed Up With Humans and Launch 'Greenbees' Protest Movement Ad features Greenpeace's tiniest chapter ever

Imagine if bees could stop humans from killing them by hijacking pesticide sprinklers, putting up banners and picketing grocery stores. That would be the bee's knees.

Greenpeace has conjured up just such a scenario in its latest ad, "Greenbees," aimed at raising awareness of the global colony-collapse epidemic threatening honeybee populations. In this spot, tiny hive-minded bee protesters hang signs with messages like "Honey You Sprayed the Kids" and "No Bees, No Future." (Unlike BBDO's Grand Prix-winning World Wildlife Fund campaign, these bugs are all computer-generated.)

According to Greenpeace's related website, sos-bees.org, "Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. A third of all our food depends on their pollination. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production."

All they are saying is it's really gonna sting unless we "give bees a chance."

Via Ads of the World.

 

CREDITS

Creative Director, Copywriter: Daniel Bird
Art Director: Jaroslav Mrazek
Music: Hecq
Production Company: Savage
Executive Producer: Klara Kralickova
Producer: Vojta Ruzicka
Director of Photography: Martin Matiasek
Postproduction: Progressive FX
Producers: Jan Rybar, Jirka Mika
Computer Graphics, Visual Effects Supervisor: Jan Rybar
Animation: Peter Harakaly, Jakub Sporek
Computer Graphics Modelling: Frantisek Stepanek, Martin Frodl, Hynek Pakosta,
Textures: Martin Konecny
Lighting Artist: Frantisek Stepanek
Grading, Compositing: Radek Svoboda
Additional Compositing: Pavel Vicik, Peter Orlicky

April 23, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.

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