AdFreak | Adweek AdFreak | Adweek

ModCloth Signs Pledge to Avoid Retouching Photos of its Models Photoshopped images will get 'Truth in Advertising' labels

Photo: ModCloth

Ever wish advertisers would just admit when they've airbrushed their models? Online retailer ModCloth promised to do so when it became the first retailer to sign the "Heroes Pledge for Advertisers."

The petition, drafted by The Brave Girls Alliance, sets boundaries on image retouching in ads.

ModCloth has pledged that it will "do [its] best not to change the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical features, of the people in [its] ads in postproduction.”

In cases where retouching is used, the pledge requires adding "a 'Truth In Advertising' label to these ads to ensure consumers, in particular children and teens, do not confuse an advertising 'ideal' with what's real."

"It's easy for us to sign on to something celebrating real people," ModCloth CMO Nancy Ramamurthi told Forbes. “When you see in the public this kind of change in attitude of embracing a company that does what’s right, companies will make the shift.”

ModCloth's participation is a significant step for advocates of the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014, a bipartisan bill that asks the FTC to create guidelines on the use of image-altering techniques, such as Photoshop, on people in advertisements.

“It is a courageous movement that we were excited to get behind,” ModCloth said in a blog post. "We have agreed to label images of models who have been materially Photoshopped because that's what we all deserve—to know the truth!"

By signing the pledge, ModCloth has promised to mark advertisements that include retouched models. They also will not run ads with retouched models in media catering to children under the age of 13.

With lingerie maker Aerie’s recent attention-grabbing campaign of unretouched models, brands seem to be catching on to this movement. Which one will be next?

August 22, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

The World's Biggest Dandy Wants to Teach You All About PUR Water Arthur Tweedie isn't just full of hot air

Arnold has enlisted a Chris McDonald (circa Thelma and Louise) doppelganger to tout the taste of water filtered with PUR.

The new spots feature Arthur Tweedie, a self-proclaimed water critic, and his milquetoast assistant Dave. Tweedie's alternately eager and surly demeanor (the actor really goes full camp) is somewhat endearing, but the effort feels perhaps a little too wink wink nudge nudge. Still, the ads, which are the first for the brand since 2008, are quite educational.

Oh, and like any self-proclaimed spokesman, Tweedie's got himself a blog.

Click to Read More →

August 22, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

Chilling Agency Video Captures the Utter Horror of Deadlines Creatives will enjoy this fake movie trailer

If you make anything, literally anything—you know the pressure associated with finishing it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, aren't you the portrait of cool? Enjoy that weird bridge you live under, Rumplestiltskin.

Admine, a Greek agency, empathizes—and has created a terrifying yet campy little trailer for a fake film called Deadline, in which the protagonist creatives get hunted and tortured by the evil, evil client. We're not really sure what it's promoting (beyond the agency itself), and frankly not sure it matters. It's a fun take on one agency's view of the industry. 

They've created a microsite that features ridiculous reviews from real organizations. "Scariest shit ever," says The New York Times. "Already a classic," adds

What? OK. Take a look below and see for yourself. 

Via Ads of the World.

Agency: Admine, Thessaloniki, Greece
Creative Director: Nickolas Moustakas
Art Director, Illustrator: Panagiotis Hatzis
Copywriters: Kyveli Kardasi, Silvia Kaffe

August 22, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

Samsung Galaxy S5 Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge, and Calls Out the iPhone That's cold

With some exceptions, brands haven't broadly embraced the immensely popular Ice Bucket Challenge craze, benefitting the ALS Association, and understandably so. You don't really want to be seen as profiting off a charity campaign. And also—well, this could happen.

Samsung, though, doesn't care. In the Ice Bucket Challenge, it saw yet another opportunity to slam Apple. And any opportunity like that, it does not pass up. The Samsung Galaxy S5, you see, is advertised as waterproof. The iPhone? Not so much.

Did anyone even challenge Samsung Mobile U.K.? Doesn't matter. It made this 15-second video anyway—and gleefully calls out the iPhone 5S, HTC's One M8 and the Lumia 930. 

Sony's Xperia Z1S, of course, was not challenged.

August 22, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

It Looks Like Pizza Hut in Japan Is Now Totally Being Run by Cats And they're understandably terrible at it

If there are two things that go together on the Internet like cats and pizza—it's cats and friggin' pizza! 

The latest treat from Japan is a website announcing the grand opening of Pizza Cat!, a Pizza Hut restaurant apparently run entirely by cats. The campaign is rolling out as tiny "episodes" of each "employee" cat doing jobs like delivering pizzas, cleaning the floors and managing the money. The results are pretty hilarious, bordering on totally absurd. 

We're not quite sure of the actual point of it all, but according to the translation of the YouTube page, "Pizza Cat! Store is a fictional store." Shocking, I know, but it's great anyway. 

Check out the official Pizza Cats! grand opening announcement, followed by the many episodes of feline frivolity.

Click to Read More →

August 22, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT

Fanny Glitterwinkle and Harmony Freebush Give World's Worst Vagina Advice in Tampon Ads Stefan Van Der Blöed, too

Feminine hygiene brand Carefree has released some videos from DDB Sydney promoting its new website, and they're absolutely 100 percent not your typical feminine hygiene ads.

No mysterious blue liquid being poured onto a maxi pad. No woman in white walking along the beach looking unreasonably elated for someone who's supposedly on day two of her period. Instead, the spots feature three different hosts—Harmony Freebush, Fanny Glitterwinkle and Stefan Van Der Blöed—who monologue emphatically about different aspects of vaginal care.

One is devoted entirely to vagina names. The hosts and their monologues are all ridiculous (that's the point) and end with the on-screen text: "Really? For a more real take on [vaginas, periods, tampons, fill-in-the-blank], visit"

The videos range from funny to ridiculous to "watching a sex scene with your parents in the room" cringey. Stefan Van Der Blöed and his turtleneck get my vote for best videos, but you'll have to watch them all and decide for yourself which is best.

Click to Read More →

August 22, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

This Glorious Local Restaurant Ad Will Take Your Mind Off Everything Wrong in the World Troy had us at 'scroomin berts'

Feeling sad? Uninspired? Sick at heart over basically every single thing happening in the world right now? Well then, welcome to the "empire of taste," a place where you will be guided through the world of Staten Island's latest ... I'm going to assume Greek restaurant, Troy, where they serve delicious scroomin berts (don't ask me, man, just watch the video).

This is a.) fantastic and b.) probably a gag, but Troy is definitely a real restaurant where someone with a Central European accent picks up the phone and says they've been open for a few days (although the video is from April, so I'm calling that fishy). But you know what? If it's a gag, it's a great gag. If the proprietor is unable to prosper in the restaurant biz, I recommend he try to find a gig at Comedy Central.

Eater found a whole host of marketing images for this fabulous eatery, and I'm going there as soon as I can, if only to check out the dragon.

This is clearly the kind of thing that the Internet spontaneously generates after several days of horrible news stories, much like that Nicki Minaj song about buttocks (although not everyone is as happy about that as I am). Anyway, the restaurant is open, according to its Facebook page, and it's calling itself "the most innovative theme restaurant in New York," but honestly I worry that no food could ever top this ad.

August 22, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

I Ate Taco Bell's Entire New Dollar Menu in One Sitting, and Here's What I Learned Which ones are worth your Washingtons?

For the record, I don't recommend this.

When Adweek reported yesterday that Taco Bell had rolled out a new dollar menu with nary a TV ad, I felt it was AdFreak's responsibility to bring you vital information about exactly what you can expect from this cornucopia of consumer value.

So I slipped away at lunch and ordered "one of everything on the Dollar Cravings menu." This seemed to cause confusion with the friendly voice taking my order, and a manager suddenly took the mic to ask: "You want one of everything? And this ain't a game?"

No, this was business. Serious business.

They rang me up for the 11 items. I handed over $12.99. And a short drive later, I arrived home with two satisfyingly hefty sacks of warm, damp, processed food. It was time to get started.

First, I decided to spread out and record this bountiful feast:

Perhaps it was my air of supreme confidence that led them to think, "This is a man who's only going to need two napkins. And, hell, three sporks." But god bless 'em, they didn't skimp on the Fire Sauce.

Since I was tackling the project at home, I settled onto the couch with the food arranged before me and fired up an episode of Cosmos featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, my spirit animal on this fast-food vision quest.

Without further ado, here's my take on each of the items on the new dollar menu. (I've also spared you actual photos of what I ate and instead bring you these delightful promotional images from Taco Bell HQ.)

• Beefy Mini Quesadilla

It's more like a melted beef and cheese soft taco than a quesadilla, but it's actually pretty good. Surprisingly spicy thanks to its creamy chipotle sauce, it's one of the few Taco Bell items I can think of in recent memory that didn't require Fire Sauce.

Is it worth $1? Definitely, though without the spicy sauce it would be a 75-center at best.

Click to Read More →

August 21, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

You'll Be Hot and Cold on W+K's New Honda Work, and That's a Good Thing Testing the Civic in extreme temperatures

This Honda Civic campaign by Wieden + Kennedy London is cool. And pretty warm, too.

The centerpiece is an engaging 30-second film that shows the freezing and thawing of a Civic on a stylized desert set. This dramatically illustrates that the automaker tests its vehicles at temperatures ranging from -22°F to +176°F. (This is helpful in case you're planning a road trip from the North Pole to Hell.)

The tagline for the pan-European campaign is: "Reliability in the extreme."

Delightful details include a cowboy skeleton that morphs into a snowman and a rolling tumbleweed/snowball. According to a post on W+K's blog, the agency (and Johnny Hardstaff, who directed through RSA Films) encased the car in ice and let it melt over five hours—filming 200 takes using a motion-control rig, with 3-D enhancements providing the skeleton's transformation and other effects.

An interactive version is in the works that will allow users to control temperature changes and see the results. I wish they'd let us melt the Civic into a plastic-metal soup, then freeze it until it explodes into sparkling, razor-sharp shards of ice. Now that would be some fancy branding!

Nissan also recently launched ads that show the temperature testing of its vehicles. Though with Poison's Bret Michaels performing a power-schlock version of "Endless Love," that campaign is extreme for entirely different reasons.

Check out a print ad from the campaign below.

Click to Read More →

August 21, 2014, 1:41 PM EDT

'Got Milk?' Isn't Dead. In Fact, It Just Made Two Curious New Ads Tackling sales slump with comedy and drama

There was major media hubbub earlier this year about the death of the "Got milk?" campaign. But while it's no longer being used nationally by the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), it's still very much alive in California, where it originated with the California Milk Processor Board.

And now, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which created the legendary tagline back in 1993, is launching new "Got milk?" work in an unusual partnership with Grupo Gallegos, which created the "Toma leche" campaign—and acknowledging that milk sales have been in decline for years.

"Milk is losing relevance, and sales have been in decline as family life and diets have changed," GSP says. To reestablish milk as the right choice for families, the two agencies have partnered on a campaign "that highlights how a person's future self is determined by the nutritional choices he or she makes today—starting, of course, with milk."

The agencies are approaching California as one whole market to deliver bilingual work that appeals to all consumers, regardless of ethnicity. The campaign launched Wednesday with two spots, each airing in English and Spanish, that couldn't be more different.

"Champion," directed by Dummy's Harold Einstein, is an amusingly quirky set piece that takes place in a grocery store. "Brave," meanwhile, directed by Anonymous Content's Armando Bo, presents a much more emotional appeal by showing a firefighter rescuing a family.

"It's time to start addressing the California market on the basis of things we all share," GSP chairman Jeff Goodby said in a statement. "California consumers are extremely diverse, but when it comes to wanting what's best for our children and their future, we are one united front. This campaign embraces every parent's personal desire, which is preparing our children for a successful and healthy future." Credits below.

Click to Read More →

August 21, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT


Sign up for AdFreak Newsletters

About AdFreak

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.

Click to Subscribe to AdFreak RSS