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Reebok Gets Into the Bacon Business, Catering to CrossFitters' Sizzling Indulgence Brand ships meat to athletes and takes it on the road

It's a big week for that neighbor of yours who can do a hundred pull-ups and toss tractor tires 20 yards. The CrossFit Games kicks off this week, and to celebrate, Reebok is releasing a new product: Reebok Bacon.

CrossFitters as a whole are notorious for also abiding by a Paleo diet, which allows and praises the consumption of smoky, savory strips of tasty bacon.  

The sneaker brand, once thought of as a go-to for mall walkers, has revamped its image to cater to a hipper, younger crowd, and there's no doubt that bacon has taken on a cult-like status in recent years. 

Reebok Bacon was created by agency Venables Bell & Partners, which notes: "In sticking with Paleo recommendations, Reebok Bacon is uncured and contains no nitrates, preservatives, MSG or sweeteners. Packaging in dry ice will keep the bacon refrigerated until recipients throw it in the skillet." 

Beyond sending packages directly to athletes and others in the community, Reebok will have a physical presence at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games with its very own Reebok Bacon Box—a food truck handing out bacon-based menu items to CrossFit Games attendees. While it's tapping into what I feel is a little bit of an overdone trend (I'm over the bacon thing, the mustache thing, the bacon-as-a-mustache thing), Reebok Bacon will likely be a hit for CrossFit diehards. 

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July 25, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT

Nike Packages Ultra-Flexible Sneakers in a Tiny Shoebox 1/3 of the Regular Size Cute, and not bad for the planet either

Here's a lovely little packaging idea from Nike, and we do mean little.

The Nike Free 5.0 is one of the most flexible sneakers ever made. And that's clear right from looking at the box, which was designed to be one-third the size of a regular shoebox.

As you can see from the video below, the sneakers easily fold up and fit inside. It's a cool idea for a few reasons—it uses less cardboard, it cuts down on shipping space, and of course, it communicates a product benefit right in the packaging. A great example of thinking outside the box—about the box.

Unfortunately, it was only promotional packaging for the launch, and wasn't used on a mass scale. Still, it earned Publicis Impetu a silver Lion in Design at Cannes last month.

Credits below. Via The Dieline.



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July 25, 2014, 7:22 AM EDT

Internet Hero Hunts Down All 74 Stickers From Apple's New Ad He even found alternatives for most of the fake ones

If you watched that new Apple ad with dozens of stickers adorning a MacBook Air and felt compelled to track down all 74 in real life, I have bad news and good news.

The bad news is, uh, that's a strange and unnatural compulsion you've got there. The good news? Someone already did it for you!

Mike Wehner at The Unofficial Apple Weblog sussed out all 74 stickers featured in the ad, and while several weren't actually available for purchase, he came up with some pretty good alternatives.

You'd think that a brand that built a commercial around customizing its product would have planned to offer all of its examples for easy purchase, but apparently not. Maybe Apple was hoping to target people who already own cool decals and convince them to buy a nice $1,000 computer or two to go with them.

July 24, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT

Expedia Travels Back in Time to Recreate Your Best Throwback Thursday Photos One a week through August

Expedia and 180LA have done a nice job lately of thinking more broadly about the concept of travel, going beyond physical journeys into emotional, even spiritual ones. (Among its more memorable ads was the 2012 spot about the father's difficult journey to accepting his lesbian daughter.)

Now, the travel site is getting even more ambitious—and more social—as it travels back in time with a fun project around people's Throwback Thursday photos.

Between now and the end of August, Expedia is asking Instagram and Twitter users to tag their #tbt photo with @Expedia and #ThrowMeBack. Each week the company will pick one lucky winner and give them a travel voucher so they can indulge their nostagia and return to the place where the photo was taken—and recreate it.

Or, says Expedia, you can travel somewhere different and make a new memory—which seems to suggest this campaign is less about actually recreating the old snapshots and more about just piggybacking on the #tbt trend in general. However, the brand is asking the winners to send in the recreated photos with the goal at the end of the campaign of telling a photo story with all the side-by-sides.

"We all have great memories of summer vacations," says Dave Horton, creative director at 180LA. "So to promote the nostalgia of summer travel, we wanted to tap into the most nostalgic trend out there, #tbt."

To promote the contest, Expedia has posted the video below, "Back to Ocean Beach," showing one family's journey from Washington State to their old beach spot in San Diego to recreate a cute photo from the '80s.

Read more about the campaign at instagram.piqora.com/expediathrowmeback.

July 24, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

Leave It to a Laxative Brand to Make the Year's Most Uncomfortable Ad Welcome to poop prison

At first glance, this Dulcolax ad draws you in with its warm sepia tones and lovely vignetted glow. Then you look closer, and ... oh my God. Are those turds in prison?

Indeed, orange is the new brown in this extremely odd laxative ad, showing what appear to be the stinky love children of the Michelin Man and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Turdles?) awaiting sweet release from bowel purgatory. And they're huddled around ... is that ... ? No, it's not the Sarlacc Pit that almost eats Han Solo and Lando Calrissian.

"Only you can set them free," explains the tagline. If the point is to make the viewer as uncomfortable as a constipation sufferer, mission accomplished.

The agency, McCann Health in Shanghai, says the ad ran in Singapore newspapers and bus shelters. "Instead of approaching the dramatization from the patient's [point of view], we approached it from the excrement's," the agency says. True enough.

Brand awareness is up "from almost zero to 21 percent" among the target, McCann claims, and the purchase intention rate increased 57 percent. The agency adds that it expects similar success from the next round of "media bursts" this year.

Below is the full ad in all its glory. Click to expand, if you dare.

Via Ads of the World.



CREDITS
Client: Dulcolax
Agency: McCann Healthcare Worldwide, Shanghai
Executive Creative Director: Kevin Lee
Creative Directors: Danny Li, Band Bai
Art Directors: Danny Li, Band Bai, Qin Qian
Copywriters: Kevin Lee, Bati Wu
General Manager: Joanne Wang
Business Director: Yama Chen
Account Manager: Celine Lv
Production Company: Visionary Group

July 24, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

Japanese Toyota Ad With Dancing Gorilla Is So Preposterous, It's Actually Great Just try to look away

Imagine, if you will, "What Does the Fox Say?" Now, picture Psy's "Gangnam Style" mating with it. Oh, and now throw in the Cadbury gorilla. Think adver-dance-ment. Got it? Good. Now press play.

I can only imagine that was Dentsu Aegis's pitch to Toyota before producing the ad below, which will surely be the oddest 1:46 of your day. Double that, actually, as you'll probably watch it twice.

The plot is simple: A group of Japanese businessmen are driving through the jungle in their Toyota truck, as Japanese businessmen so often do. But one of them has to pee, so they pull over. We won't spoil the rest, but it's definitely weird and actually pretty awesome. 

It's part of a rather clever campaign called "Do the Wakudoki," in which consumers are encouraged to submit clips of themselves dancing to win a trip to Tokyo (or also some Beats headphones). If you think you have the moves, Do the Wakudoki all the way to Tokyo. 

Via Ads of the World.

July 24, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

Sure, You Could Bubble-Wrap Your Kid, but This PSA Has a Better Idea U.K.'s St. John Ambulance takes a break from being bleak

The joke that an overprotective parent might make a child walk around in a cumbersome padded suit might not be a new one, but it certainly still has legs.

U.K. health charity St. John Ambulance is encouraging moms and dads to learn first aid rather than saddling their children with full-body airbags (and a lifetime of emotional damage, to boot).

Created with agency Architect, it's a welcome change of pace from the organization's habit of producing heart-rending PSAs. Gen-Y types might find the spot evoking Bubble Boy. Older viewers might think of that movie's forebear, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

But the St. John ad's playground theme manages to keep its focus limited to mild, perhaps character-building threats like scrapes and bruises. And while some parents might bristle at being the punch line, most will probably watch the ad and laugh at their own occasional overprotective inclinations.

Then again, it's better to be safe then sorry—you could always learn first aid, and still make your kid wear bubble wrap. 

Via Laughing Squid.

July 24, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

'Better Call Saul' Billboard in Albuquerque Really Turns Back the Clock Meet James M. McGill, attorney at law

Breaking Bad fans, this time you'd better call James!

Those dying for a taste of AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff series, Better Call Saul, got a nice little present this week, as this billboard popped up in Albuquerque, N.M. The sign is actually a prop being used in the filming of the prequel series, set to debut next year.

It seems Saul Goodman, in the days before he met meth king Walter White, went by the name of James M. McGill, attorney at law.

The exclamatory "Better Call Saul!" billboards seen in episodes of Breaking Bad showed Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, pointing at the viewer, Uncle Sam style, against a hot orange/yellow background. On the deep-blue McGill board, the actor rocks a bad toupee and gangster-style pinstripe suit. (Your honor, I object!)

Best of all, the phone number on the board, 505-842-5662, actually works.

Saul Goodman was ethically challenged in the extreme. James McGill, however, seems ethnically challenged, as Odenkirk's recorded message, promising "a lawyer you can trust," is delivered in an Irish accent so self-consciously awful, it makes Lucky the Leprechaun's whiny brogue sound authentic.

Photo: varago01 on Instagram.

July 24, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

Famous Children's Characters Are Just as Recognizable in Pantone Posters Y&R Shanghai shows the personality in each swatch

Because designers never get tired of minimalist poster projects and Pantone-themed stuff, let us present to you the ultimate mashup: Y&R Shanghai's minimalist Pantone posters.

Each one features the eyes of a famous children's character (Kermit the Frog, Garfield and Cookie Monster) set against a unique Pantone swatch with the Highlander-esque tagline, "There can only be one."

The idea here is to introduce Pantone to a younger generation of artists, which will probably work if they're talking about little kids. Anyone older than 14 with ideas about studying design will hear all about Pantone, don't you worry.

Via Fubiz.

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July 23, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT

Family Gets Shot by 3,192 Paintballs in 5 Seconds in Ad That Supposedly Means Well The real target? Foul language

VidAngel doesn't like foul language, but clearly has less of a problem with violence.

The company, which cleans up streaming content online by filtering out obscene language and other objectionable material, just released the crazy ad below—in which a family sitting on a couch gets shot by 3,192 paintballs in five seconds. The point? Curse words are really bad for you!

Or as the tagline puts it: "Every word has impact."

The video was produced by Ackermania Creative, MysteryBox and Harmon Brothers. Joel Ackerman also worked with Harmon Brothers to create the superviral "Girls Don't Poop" ad for Poo-Pourri (which is closing in on 30 million YouTube views). That was a comic video; this one is more of a spectacle.



"Comedy is only one of seven elements of virality we've identified," says Joel Ackerman, the self-described "chief creative genius" at Ackermania Creative. "Visuality, or visual spectacle, is another and maybe more universal element of virality because it can cross cultures more easily."

As stunts go, it's a decent effort—though perhaps not quite in line with VidAngel's broader mission. Along with bad language, VidAngel also claims to strip out violence from the content it cleans up. And this ad, whatever else it may be, isn't anti-violence.

(VidAngel also cleans up sex scenes, by the way, which is also a bit strange, as the company's name practically screams porn studio.)

See some behind-the-scenes footage below.

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July 23, 2014, 2:19 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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