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Similac Has a Big Hit With One of the Most Honest Ads Ever About Parenting Showdown on the playground

Parenting today comes with more than the stress of kids. It comes with the derision of your fellow breeders when you choose a path that goes against their deeply help beliefs. And it's going to happen. No matter how closely you choose your friends, someone—even if it's just another parent at the playground—is going to judge you harshly for your choices.

Similac shows us what happens when our beliefs clash through an ad that's a little bit funny, a little bit moving, and a lot true. It's all about an (almost) all-out playground brawl. It's strollers versus baby slings, breast-fed versus formula-fed, stay-at-home versus working mom, plus yoga moms, lesbian moms and stay-at-home dads.

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January 26, 2015, 5:07 AM EST

ZzzQuil Isn't Feeling the Love From Its Tweet About Landing a Husband 'What is this, the '50s?'

Sleep-aid ZzzQuil left some followers wondering what year it was when they saw the brand's recent engagement-themed tweet.

"SLEEP LIKE he finally proposed," the tweet noted. "And you have been dating for a decade. #SleepLike #engaged #shesaidyes"

The message felt a bit too 1950s for women who'd like to move past the stereotype that peace of mind is all about finding a husband.

Despite being posted late Thursday and sparking quite a lot of backlash, the tweet remained live this morning, and the brand hasn't responded to any of those upset by it. 

Here are just a few of the responses:

January 24, 2015, 2:32 PM EST

Skype Is Great for Lots of Stuff, Like Helping Russian Pet Detectives Find Dogs Named Donut As long as you have sock soup, too

There's a real-live Ace Ventura in Moscow, and Skype wants you to know he uses its technology to help find lost cats and dogs.

Meet Valeriy Subrigov, a former police officer and now a pet detective of 25 years who stars in Pereira & O'Dell's new documentary-style ad for the video chat and messaging service.

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January 23, 2015, 11:44 AM EST

Here's the Simple, Powerful Starbucks Ad You Probably Missed on MLK Day Changing your perspective

Amid all the dubious tweets and outright fails from advertisers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday, here's a little gem from Starbucks that flew under the radar.

"It's time to look at things differently. Again," says the copy on the newspaper version of the ad, which ran in The New York Times. The brand also posted versions of the ad to Twitter and Facebook. A rep at one of Starbucks' agencies said it was done in-house by the marketer. "But we all are big fans of it," the agency rep said.

Simple, classy and powerful.

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January 23, 2015, 11:23 AM EST

Ad Student Hijacks Agency Hashtags on Instagram, Hoping for Job Interviews Max Kurstjens wants to negotiate

File this one under creative ways to get agencies' attention.

In hopes of landing an internship at an ad agency, Dutch student Max Kurstjens, who's studying in Sweden, took matters into his own hands. Kurstjens tells AdFreak via email that he struggled to get in touch with the agencies, so he targeted their Instagram hashtags instead.

"Why? To get their attention and to mock the hashtag phenomenon, especially in the advertising world," he says.

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January 23, 2015, 10:48 AM EST

Apple's New China Store Has One Hell of a Beautiful Facade and a Great Story to Tell A 2,000-year-old poem rendered in calligraphy

The new Apple Store in China unites ancient and contemporary design elements to striking effect—its modern steel-and-glass exterior draped by a simple yet elegant mural that contains the text, rendered in traditional Chinese characters, of a 2,000-year-old poem.

"The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them," artist Wang Dongling says of his creation in the new two-minute Apple video below. "They need to have aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature."

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January 23, 2015, 10:24 AM EST

Movie Stars From Iconic Scenes Stare Right at You in FX's Intense, Eerie Promos Neat trick by Imaginary Forces

How would you feel if, during high-tension moments in your favorite movies, the cameras cut to slow motion and the lead actors turned to stare right at you?

Now you might find out, thanks to a new campaign by from Fox Entertainment's movie channel, FXM. Production company Imaginary Forces took key frames from films that are slated to air on the network, and then used 3-D animation techniques to manipulate the characters' faces so they'd be looking at the camera.

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January 23, 2015, 9:39 AM EST

Conan Tours Taco Bell HQ, Visits the Test Kitchen and Ends Up Convulsing on the Floor Seeing how the chalupa is made

If you've ever seen late-night mastermind Conan O'Brien venture into the real world and interact with the commoners, you know you're in for a treat whenever it happens.

Turns out the head of Conan's IT department, Chris Hayes, is a Taco Bell superfan, eating it at least three times a week. As Conan is a benevolent boss, he decides to make Hayes' dream come true and take him to Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

We get an interesting glimpse behind the tortilla curtain, where we see how the magic happens. But more important, comedy ensues as Conan and Hayes rollick through the chalupa palace, interacting with food taste testers, trying new creations in the "Innovation Kitchen" as well as inventing new ones like Conan's Irish-inspired concoction, "The O'Taco."

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January 22, 2015, 1:23 PM EST

This Heartbreaking Puppy GIF Is the Perfect Teaser for Budweiser's Super Bowl Ad Brewer aims to get America all weepy again

Budweiser pretty much won the Super Bowl, advertising-wise, with last year's "Puppy Love," a success the brewer hopes to reclaim with this year's sequel.

"Lost Dog" continues the story of last year's Clydesdale-obsessed pup, and Anheuser-Busch today released several images and even a few animated GIFs to tease the game-day ad.

"In the spot, the Budweiser Clydesdales will tell an emotional story and help a puppy who has lost his way learn the true meaning of friendship," Anheuser-Busch says in a statement. 

(We sincerely hope they mean the horses will literally tell the story, with actual neighs and whinnies and flapping horse-lip sounds, but sadly this seems unlikely.)

Our favorite teaser is, of course, the shivering puppy shown above, which perfectly illustrates just how adroitly Budweiser will be playing with America's emotions on Super Bowl Sunday. I mean, just look at him, the poor guy. Golly I hope it ends well for the trembling little scamp.

Here are a few more GIFs and pics from the spot, which is sure to be a fan favorite:

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January 22, 2015, 12:27 PM EST

Audi Jumps in the Deep End With an Epic Tale of Rebellion at a Swimming Pool Brand lessons learned early

This Audi spot from Venables Bell & Partners presents a pint-size rebel with a full tummy who's eager to cannonball into a pool even though a sign clearly says, "Wait one hour to swim after eating."

Will he or won't he? What's your guess, people?

The spot morphs into an engaging slice of excess that delivers on its premise with good-natured absurdity and considerable charm. (Audi is sitting out the Super Bowl this year, for the first time in seven years, but it's not inconceivable that this ad might have been under consideration for Big Game play at some point.)

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January 22, 2015, 12:17 PM EST

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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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