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Blake Griffin Slams Poetry, Not Basketballs, for Vizio We'll sit here with our judging eye in this dark corner

Slam poetry nights can be awkward, but Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin makes it look easy—his specialty in any environment—in a new series of videos for Vizio.

The ads, by David&Goliath, have the basketball star waxing poetic about his bobblehead, his tearaway pants and even his mouthguard. He's got the requisite pauses and sighs down to an art. Still, he probably shouldn't quit his day job.

The clips are part of Vizio's slam dunk poetry campaign, which also includes a nifty feature on its microsite where it will compose a Griffin-esque poem based on your name and an item of your choice. Unfortunately, the power forward isn't available to recite these ditties. (He is available in gif form on this Tumblr, though.)

So, grab yourself a seat at a dimly lit table, order a stiff drink and appreciate these works brought to you by Griffin.

Credits below.

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September 16, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

Costumed Man Sexes Up a Giant Ear in Very Strange Ads for Headphones Sensual massages and candlelit baths

After an inexplicable quite period, we have a resurgence of giant ears in advertising, thanks to this incredibly silly McKinney campaign for Sennheiser's Urbanite headphones.

A scraggly-bearded guy with a German accent (the brand's from Germany) who calls himself "the Urbanite" dons a headphone costume and gets romantic with … a giant ear.

"Unt no pleasure is verboten," he explains in a 90-second introductory spot that shows tender caresses, a sensual oil massage and a candle-lit bath. The tagline is, "Let your ears be loved," and the salient product benefit—that Urbanite headphones lovingly pamper your ears, providing an incredibly enjoyable listening experience—resonates with crystal clarity.

Giant ears skateboard through a park and hang out in bars in a second video promoting a New York City scavenger hunt. Our smitten hero finds them "erotish." (Thankfully, he doesn't whip out the giant swab.) Through this Sunday, folks who find one of 1,000 golden ears secreted around town will receive free headphones.

The self-consciously wacky approach is designed to get away from technical descriptions and focus on real-world benefits to appeal to millennials, client exec Stefanie Reichert tells MediaPost. It recalls ESPN Radio's hideously overgrown anthropomorphic ear from a few years back, and follows closely behind this exceedingly abnormal spot for Normal's 3-D printed earphones.

In Sennheiser's spots, the theatrical black backgrounds and minimal props enhance the inspired lunacy. Amusingly daft and highly sharable, the work speaks volumes about the brand proposition, and I hope we'll hear more from the Urbanite soon.

September 16, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT

Expedia Has an Idea for Parents Who Travel Too Much for Work Cash in your reward points for a trip your kids won't forget

Parents, Expedia wants to offer you a consolation prize for all the heartbreaking time you have to spend traveling for business rather than being at home with your kids.

Instead of making them settle for toy animals from the airport kiosk, says a new ad, try taking your daughter on a safari, financed by the rewards points you've racked up booking flights and hotels as you bounce around for your day job.

The ad, in its broad strokes, can't help but be a little reminiscent of Up in the Air (though Expedia's hero certainly doesn't seem averse to personal commitment).

Mostly, the commercial is a sweet bit of family-driven storytelling and a nice addition to Expedia's growing collection of ads about much more than just airfare or accommodations. The uplifting piano music and emphasis on computers make it feel a little like a Google commercial—another take on how technology can enrich your life.

If you're wondering how many Expedia+ Rewards points it takes to afford a safari, the guy in the ad has more than 83,000 points banked. With Expedia typically rewarding one point per dollar spent on booking, that's obviously a whole lot of trips.

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September 16, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

12 Ordinary People Who Beat Major Brands to Their Own Twitter Handles And they're not breaking any rules

You know when you try to find a brand on Twitter, and you just assume the handle will be the brand name? Well, not so fast.

A surprising number of brand-name handles aren't run by the brands at all. They're run by real people who got there first. We've highlighted a few of them below. Since they're not otherwise posing as the brand, they are not subject to Twitter's trademark policy.

Though the brands surely aren't too happy about it.

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September 16, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

Why This BBDO Creative Director Is Lying on the Ground and Licking a Screen for You Carlos Moreno salutes his own work

You can be proud of your ads. But reenacting them in real life? That can get awkward.

Carlos Moreno, though, takes one for the team in the video below—a promo for the Bessies, which is a big ad awards show in Canada. The executive creative director at BBDO Toronto masterminded the weird Skittles Touch ads back in 2011, and here he reenacts the famous one with the cat—complete with eager licking of the screen.

The line at the end explains everything.

Though Moreno works at BBDO, the Bessies spot was actually done by JWT Canada.

Credits below.

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September 16, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

This Brilliantly Designed Alarm Clock Wakes You by Brewing a Cup of Coffee And looks damn good doing it

Tired of being awoken by talk radio or the dulcet default chimes of your smartphone? Maybe you'd like a nice cup of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe instead?

The Barisieur is here to help. Or at least it will be when British designer Joshua Renouf gets it to market at an estimated price of £250 ($405 on our side of the pond).

The device "eases the user into the day with the subtle movement of stainless steel ball bearings that boil the water through induction heating." Fancy!

It's clearly a beautiful piece of functional decor, with a removable Corian tray, drawers for grounds and sugars, and even a cooled compartment for cream. Alas, my cat will likely have all of this on the floor by 2 a.m. on Day 1.

Via Design Milk.

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September 16, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

Jennifer Garner Returns to TV as Capital One's Newest Spokes-Celebrity And she won't stand for airline seat rip-offs

Jennifer Garner is back on TV and very upset with chairs in two new ads for Capital One's Venture Card.

The visuals in the two spots, titled “Seats” and “Musical Chairs,” are bright and whimsical, which contrasts with Garner's concerned vocal delivery. Did one of those chairs kick a puppy or something? 

She hasn't gone full Clint Eastwood, but she's still pretty intense about the first-world problem of airline mile blackout dates.

Garner joins a growing roster of big-name celebrities who've starred in Capital One ads, including Alec Baldwin and Samuel L. Jackson.

September 16, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT

4 Things Marketers Should Know About This Season of Dancing With the Stars How and when to leverage the show's star power

By David Schwab, managing director of Octagon First Call

Entering its 19th season tonight, ABC's Dancing With the Stars features a new judge (former pro dancer turned actress Julianne Hough), a large crop of new pros, and of course, a brand new cast. As marketers tune in this season, here are four things to keep top of mind throughout this cycle.

• Contestants to Watch
At first glance, Season 19's most interesting name seems to be Bethany Mota, a YouTube star with a massive millennial fan base. She may not be a household name now, but her star has risen quickly as one of the faces of YouTube's national ad campaign, and she recently landed the cover of Seventeen magazine. DWTS will help boost her profile from computer screen to mainstream. We expect beauty, young fashion and technology brands to be playing close attention to her.

Perhaps the biggest name this year is Lolo Jones. As both a summer and winter Olympian, Jones regularly garners significant media attention. She has already enjoyed brand deals (BP, Red Bull) and will continue to do so leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. A DWTS stint will allow Jones to broaden her reach outside the Olympics/sports space and into mainstream and lifestyle categories, where she will have more longevity post-Olympics.

• The ABCs of Casting DWTS
While Mota and Jones are standouts this season, the cast as a whole comes off as a bit vanilla. As always, DWTS has seemingly found a casting formula it feels delivers well—and is sticking to it.

The cast includes an Olympian (Jones), a comedian (Tommy Chong), an older competitor (Betsey Johnson), youth-appealing talent (Mota and Pretty Little Liars actress Janel Parrish), a reality star (Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty), a media personality (Tavis Smiley), "tough guy" pro athletes (Randy Couture and Michael Waltrip), Hollywood heartthrobs (Antonio Sabato Jr. and Jonathan Bennett) and celebs who appeal to audience nostalgia (Alfonso Ribeiro of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Lea Thompson of Back to the Future).

• Types of Deals That Work
Because the show is only on the air for a few months, PR, social media, hospitality and corporate speaking are the types of marketing deals that typically make the most sense for DWTS talent to take advantage of their increased appeal and attention.

These activities allow marketers to quickly leverage the current relevance of the show, whereas advertising would not hit until after the show is over and buzz has died down. In season, DWTS celebs get weekly exposure on top entertainment outlets including Ellen, Extra and Access Hollywood, making them that much more valuable and relevant to marketers in the short term (including products they can wear during the interviews—clothing/shoes/jewelry).

• Pros and Judges Pick Up the Slack
The pros and judges are starting to have equal if not more star power than the celebrity cast. While the celebrity talent varies season to season and brings fans in and out of the franchise, the judges and pros become anchors for the series as familiar faces.

Several fan favorites have numerous marketing partnerships and continue to hold strong value for brands, including Cheryl Burke (Depend, imPress Nails), Carrie Ann Inaba (Purina, Arnicare, USA Dance) and Mark Ballas (GlaxoSmithKline, Pepsi, Holland America). Serial champ Derek Hough is one to watch for brands, too.

Returning in a new role is former pro (now judge) Julianne Hough, who has proven to be a marketing star through her partnerships with Proactiv, FFANY and Caress, among others. The judging shakeup not only adds a new dynamic to the show (à la Erin Andrews as the new co-host last season) but also brings back a fan favorite, which producers are surely hoping brings in additional viewers as well.

Judging as opposed to returning as a pro should open up greater opportunities for Julianne. Judges and hosts are not frequently in rehearsals and competing week to week, and so they have more availability to participate in branded opportunities.

While judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli travel weekly between London and Los Angeles to judge on both DWTS and its British counterpart, Strictly Come Dancing, their presence on both shows could be leveraged for international opportunities and appearances, too.

—David Schwab is managing director of Octagon First Call, experts in aligning celebrities with brands to deliver a quantifiable results against company objectives. Follow him at @david_schwab.

September 15, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

Watch GoDaddy's New Ads, and Tell Us What on Earth You Think You Just Saw Barton F. Graf goes full-on crazy

GoDaddy has tried various things to break out of its reputation for sleaze. First, it kept the attractive women but added some geeky guys. Then it had an attractive woman make out with a geeky guy. Then it did a quirky ad with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Now, though, the brand is really just going for it with new agency Barton F. Graf 9000—the New York shop known for its offbeat ads for Kayak, Ragú and Dish Network.

The ads start off like treacly testimonials, but quickly take a left turn. And before you know it, one woman is screaming at her dead father's ashes—while another is doing mildly obscene hip thrusts that go on uncomfortably long. (The focus remains on how the company supports small business owners with online tools to help create websites, get found online and keep businesses organized.)

To its credit, GoDaddy isn't afraid to go full-on crazy here, as opposed to the Van Damme spot, which felt a bit self-conscious and manufactured. And Gerry Graf and friends have that knack for making ads that seem truly, memorably peculiar.

"GoDaddy is an iconic brand, which makes this an exciting challenge and really, our team is much like a GoDaddy customer because we are a small agency with big ideas," Graf said in a statement. "GoDaddy has some innovative tools to help people who own their own business. I know this because I own my own business and I use GoDaddy's tools. We're going to let everybody else in the world in on this."

GoDaddy CMO Barb Rechterman added: "We want to maintain our sense of humor while focusing on how GoDaddy's services empower customers … and do it in a creative ways that speak to the 'go getter' inside of so many entrepreneurs and small business owners out there looking for an edge. The Barton F. Graf team took a very strategic view of our brand and pitched innovative campaign ideas that were right on message … and had us all laughing."

So, are you laughing, too?

September 15, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

Sydney Art Director Is Called 'Australia's Biggest Wanker,' but Is That Really Fair? Reddit vs. marketing magazine

Photo: B&T magazine

Jarryd Zankovic, a senior art director at Play Communications in Sydney, Australia, earned the karmic wrath of Reddit, which seized upon a douchey (though apparently tongue-in-cheek) interview with him in marketing magazine B&T and declared the 28-year-old to be "Australia's biggest wanker."

They made fun of his grooming regimen, his 30-40 pocket squares, his drop-crotch pants, which he says are necessary due to the large size of his wang. They even made fun of the spelling of his name.

The flame war caused B&T to write a rebuttal to the "shocking troll attack," asserting that Zankovic is not Australia's biggest wanker, though giving no other suggestions for who might better wear the crown. B&T even rolled out the hashtag #TeamJarryd, which was hijacked about 30 seconds later by more people who had never heard of Jarryd Zankovic and could give a rat's ass about B&T magazine, but who wanted to make more fun of this stylish young man and his immaculately groomed beard.

I could go on about how online bullying of men is often ignored in the assumption that they can take it, or point out that B&T is surely enjoying all the clicks at Jarryd's expense, or even admit that, in general, advertising creatives dress a bit hipper than the rest of the population. But really, what this comes down to is a total rejection of dandyism in its latest hipster format by a group of people who feel like they're fighting a battle for the very concept of manhood.

And really, I can't argue that it's a bit douchey to whine about needing drop-crotch pants cause you've got a lot going on down under.

Via Mashable.

September 15, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT


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