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Holy Crap, Someone Is Actually Making a Working Hoverboard for Real This Time And you're gonna want one

Marty McFly and Tony Hawk both drove demand for hoverboards—but alas, supply has been nonexistent, as both of them had to rely on camera trickery and special effects. 

But now, finally, we're getting a glimpse of the first prototype of a functioning hoverboard. Hendo is the company producing this miracle of engineering, and it's launched a Kickstarter that lets you help bring it to market.

What's cool is you can support it by donating and even buying the development kit and experimenting with "The Whitebox"—a floating box that uses the same technology as the hoverboard. They've also drawn up plans for hoverparks, which are coated with hoverboard-friendly material so you can float around and try to be the first to pioneer a new sport.

Take a look at the pitch video and also check out the fascinating Kickstarter page.

October 22, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

Barton F. Graf Has a Clever Idea for Getting More Men to Become Mentors Excuse them from jury duty, and soon you'll need fewer juries

Esquire recently asked three ad agencies to help with its male mentoring initiative. Today, Barton F. Graf 9000 unveiled its campaign: a political initiative to establish mentorship of children as a legal excusal from jury duty. The idea is that more mentors would mean better guidance for at-risk youth, and eventually, reduced crime rates and the need for fewer jurors in the first place.

The proposed Mentor Act is explained in a print ad in Esquire's October issue. The ad itself could be mailed to state representatives, and it also points to TheMentorAct.org, which features a powerful film—directed by Michael Bonfiglio of Radical Media—asking prisoners who their mentors were. The bill can also be sent to lawmakers directly from the site.



"Ultimately, The Mentor Act aims to use the same court system that convicts people to help children avoid committing crimes and entering the court system in the first place," say Barton F. Graf and Esquire, which are "already beginning talks with state politicians to adopt this bill and hope to move the bill forward on a state-by-state basis."

The other two agencies that got involved in the Esquire project are Makeable and 72andSunny. The former built a campaign around the website webuildmen.org, while the latter made ads with the theme "F*ck off, I'm helping." See three of those ads below.

72andSunny's work for Esquire:

Click to Read More →

October 22, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

Craigslist Is the Setting for This Interactive Music Video About Humanity, or at Least Weird Ads 72andSunny gets classified

Craigslist might be best for making a couple bucks off that one-wheeled leopard-print bicycle your ex left behind, and it's just that kind of random human curio that makes the classified site the inspiration for—and theme of—this new interactive music video created by 72andSunny's in-house creative school 72U.

Set to the song "Catch a Break" by the group Superhuman Happiness (founded by Stuart Bogie, who's played with the likes of Arcade Fire), the project's website is designed to look like Craigslist, with sparse blue links. When clicked, they lead to various pop-ups—150 in total—emulating the kinds of posts found on the real Craigslist.

The point, according to the agency, is to capture the human experience, and illustrate how "all of your life—heartbreak, happiness and surplus appliances—can be contained in a message board like Craigslist."

That might be a a stretch, but the fake ads at least do a pretty good job of capturing the often-weird spirit of the iconic site (if not the heights of glory and depths of shame found in its finest, most insane postings). The ads range from emo, to desperate, to pseudo-philosophical, to touching, to ridiculous, to name just a few.



Perhaps best (that is to say, most true to Craigslist form) is the legal category—one post, titled "Free Divorce Advice," wonders "Where are all the almost single ladies at?" Another, titled "You pay I counsel," reads, sic, "I just got paralegal very professional master certificate from university. I sue to make you feel so good. Forget about about wife, husband, car, work. Why worry? Relax time. It’s gonna be good. You pay in form of gold watch, expensive jewelry, deli meats, credit card, or traveler check. No American Express. NO AMERICAN EXPRESS."

72U's seven-person team created the website with a budget of less than $1,000, and the video will launch in a not-at-all-spammy way with 275 real Craigslist posts in 11 categories in 25 cities. Whether it fits the song, we'll leave to you—the "Haiku" link pops up parts of the lyrics, pieced together after the jump.

And if you don't have the patience to play with the interactive site (coded for Google Chrome), there's a static demo version of the video below, which includes the obligatory strange geek salute: a GIF of a man humping a robot before they both explode under the header "When will humans be able to love machines?"—posted, naturally, in the biotech and science section.

Click to Read More →

October 22, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT

Ikea's Parody of The Shining Is Devilishly Good BBH Singapore strikes again with creepy ad for Halloween

Heeeeeere's … Ikea's parody of The Shining!

BBH Singapore reimagines the creepy hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic in this spot-on 90-second Halloween ad. Instead of a haunted hotel, however, the little kid peddles around a spooky Ikea store late at night. Nice touches include eerily flickering lamps and ghostly diners in the kitchen display, and the word "REDRUG" above, yes, a red rug. It goes on a tad too long, just like the movie it's based on.

The point of the spoof is that Ikea stays open late (until 11 p.m.) for your shopping pleasure, and it's also part of a social media contest to win gift cards. So, when you chop down your door in an axe-wielding frenzy, you can get a replacement for less at Ikea.



Ikea has done plenty of scary-good promos lately, from hilariously pitching its 2015 catalog as "cutting-edge" technology (also by BBH Singapore) to inviting shoppers to spend a night in one of its stores to challenging them to climb this amazing outdoor apartment/wall.

Assembling its furniture, of course, remains a frightening experience.

October 22, 2014, 11:34 AM EDT

Snickers Gives You an Early Halloween Treat With This Truly Twisted Ad You're not you when you're hungry. You're a damn monster

Halloween is like Christmas for candy brands, and Snickers usually swoops in, batlike, with some fun and spooky advertising (most notably, perhaps, BBDO's truly odd "Grocery Store Lady" spot from 2010).

And this year, it's a Spanish-language Snickers spot that's giving people chills.

Everything about the ad is great—the premise, the visual effects, the guy at the end bellowing about his TV show. A real treat from LatinWorks.

October 22, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

Watch This 6-Year-Old and Her Friends Drop F-bombs for Feminism (and to Sell Clothes) A shocking way to deliver a shocking message

Activist T-shirt maker FCKH8 asked the world a question. What makes you more uncomfortable: the way society fucks women, or a little girl saying the work fuck? And it turns out that for a lot of people, the answer is watching a little girl say fuck.

Even though that's the point, and the complainers say they get that's the point, the hilarious part is they just can't get over it. So, of course, they're already crying about child exploitation. Though, if you watch the video, it's pretty clear that these little girls are not shocked by their own potty mouths. In fact, they seem to be having way too much fun. Kids, after all, love breaking the rules.

Still, can't FCKH8 make its point (and sell its shirts) without cursing? Sure, but would people watch? The statistics are old; little girls saying the F-word is pretty much the only new thing in this video. Besides, it was created by a company called FCKH8, not SCREWH8 or DARNH8. They're so comfortable with the F-word they slapped it right in their name.



What I also love is that I think most people who are complaining never got to the end of the video. I say this because there is a 12-year-old boy dressed in a princess costume at the end (making a really good point about how sexism affects men), and not a single YouTube commenter has yet suggested he's going to turn out gay. (UPDATE: The video has actually been removed from YouTube now, but is up on Vimeo.)

Maybe it's a generational thing, but I'm less concerned with the swearing, and more concerned with the loss of innocence that results from telling these 6- to 13-year-olds that between one and five women will be raped in their lifetime and then having them count off and wonder if they're going to be the one. Yes, "fuck" is a sound we've deemed "bad" to say. Rape is a horrific concept that little girls shouldn't ever have to worry about.

And I guess the fact that they will have to worry about it is kind of the problem. Certainly before age 13 these girls will already know about how they're supposed to dress to avoid it, and how they should always walk in groups and not go out too late at night and how to avoid those "rapey" looking alleys and such. You know, the terrifying advice we all give our girls in the hope that it will keep them safe.

Because really, as much as we don't want little girls saying fuck, I think we can all agree that we'd much rather create a world in which no one fucks them.

Video producer Mike Kon (yeah, a guy made this) agrees with me, saying, "Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but … the big statistic that one out of five women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four-letter word, and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance."

Speaking of imbalance, one point of amusement: FCKH8's own press release about the video censored the F-word. C'mon, FCKH8, if the little girls can say it, so can you.

October 22, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

Fred Savage, Hired to Do Honda Voiceovers, Wants to Practice by Narrating Your Home Videos Getting in game shape

Fred Savage will soon be the new voice of Honda. But he's not exactly a voiceover specialist (that's Daniel Stern you're thinking of, Wonder Years fans). So, Honda agency RPA came up with a fun way to help him practice—by having Fred narrate your home videos first.

Anything you've got, feel free to throw at him. Babies, animals, vacations, weddings. Whatever you have documented on film, Savage wants to describe in his presumably dulcet tones. Just tweet your video with the hashtag #HondaPromo to get on the actor's radar.

But are his tones dulcet? RPA says, actually, that Honda is hiring Savage because his voice stands out and doesn't feel like a traditional car spokesperson. So, we'll just have to see how that goes. It's a more reasonable option, anyway, than the plea from someone on Twitter to "bring back Burgess Meredith."

We'll update this post when Savage's first videos come in.

October 21, 2014, 2:52 PM EDT

Wish Old Navy a Happy 20th Birthday, and It Will Make a Giant Balloon Portrait of Your Selfie Just don't get a big head

Everyone knows that if you tell people what you wish for when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, it's not going to come true. Unless, of course, you wish that you could eat a giant piece of cake in two minutes.

Old Navy turns 20 this year, and to celebrate, it's sharing the fun with a giant machine that takes your selfie and converts it into a giant balloon portrait. Yes, if you happen to be in New York's Times Square on Wednesday or in Los Angeles on Saturday, and you tweet a birthday wish with the hashtag #Selfiebration, you could see your mug rendered in blue balloons. 

It might not be quite as sophisticated as the Grand Prix-winning MegaFaces Pavilion from the Sochi Olympics, but the Selfiebration Machine is a neat contraption consisting of almost five miles of wire and 1,000 balloons custom-made to withstand the city elements. It will generate two selfies per minute, and 1,000 selfies per day. 

My wish is to install this thing in my living room. 

Via Design Taxi.

October 21, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

This Agency Is Giving $1,500 to Each Employee to Go on an Exotic Vacation. Here's Why 'Some people might call this crazy'

In our latest installment of places where you wish you worked, a California creative agency named thinkParallax recently gave each one of its employees $1,500 and an extra paid day off to travel somewhere they've never been and get inspired. The catch? They have to blog about their journey.

"Some people might call this crazy. We’re calling it Parallaxploration," says the agency. Which is great because parallax is the difference in perspective you get by looking at the same object from two different positions. In other words, the agency's very name suggests that traveling to new places gives you a new perspective on the same old thing.

"The goal of Parallaxploration is not only to ensure happy employees, but also to provide them with energizing experiences that will allow them to continue creating exceptional work for our clients," the agency adds.



The little design inspirations that naturally come from exploring new cultures are exactly what you see in the four blog stories already posted—Germany, Holland, Peru and New Zealand. From ancient to modern, pastoral to urban, those four locations have already created a breadth of influence for creative exploration.

The agency also says it hopes its experiment makes other companies think differently about employee engagement, and I wonder if this sort of thing could catch on. The agency where I work gave each of us a $1,000 Delta credit last year for the same reason, but we didn't blog about our journeys. (Missed opportunity? Or a welcome lack of corporate oversight?)

The important part is, there's nothing preventing this good idea from becoming a movement. Or an individual creative from remembering how important it is to always be open to travel and new experiences.

October 21, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT

Philips Creates a Stunning Explosion of Color and Snow With 'Afterglow' Night skiing becomes a work of art in ad for backlit TVs

If you like any combination of amazing colors, night skiing and striking imagery, Philips has an ad for you.

To promote its color-backlit Ambilight televisions, the electronics manufacturer teamed up with Stockholm agency Ahlstrand & Wållgren, film company Sweetgrass Productions, and a crew of pro skiers to create "Afterglow," a 12-minute clip shot on the slopes at Golden Alpine Holidays in Aleyska, Alaska, under giant color lights during the dead of night. The result is snow like you've never seen it before.

Under 4,000-watt spotlights of varying colors, spraying powder takes on an iridescent quality, calling to mind the pigments thrown during Holi. (As such, it's slightly reminiscent of the project that photographer Chase Jarvis did for Samsung monitors, also featuring colorful dust clouds. Screen manufacturers are generally fond of playing up brilliant, hypnotizing palettes, the most famous example perhaps being Sony Bravia's bouncing balls.)

The skiers also strapped on 7,000-LED suits for some of their downhill runs, making for even more dramatic footage.

If you're not ready to commit to a 12-minute short film, which we've put at the bottom of this post, here's a 3-minute-plus short that gives you a solid idea of what to expect:

A cut of the LED-suit footage posted to Vimeo a week ago has over 1 million views.

Commenters there point out some similarities to other works—one to the 2012 art piece "L.E.D. Surfer" by filmmaker Jacob Sutton, featuring snowboarder William Hughes plying his craft in the dark (but without the polychromatic vibe of the Phillips clip), another to a Sony Xperia smartphone commercial from a few weeks ago featuring night snowboarders in color LED suits (though that one clearly took a fraction of the effort shown in the Philips spot). This summer, Lexus also put out an LED-suit nighttime acrobatics ad. So it's probably safe to call this a trend.

October 21, 2014, 10:58 AM 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 and David Griner.

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