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Tim Hortons Surprised This Calgary Street by Taking Over a Residential Home Overnight Redefining neighborly

Usually when you wake up and something weird has happened at a neighbor's house, you call the police and get the kids in the basement. But not Tuesday morning on a street in Calgary. People there got together and had coffee—at the new Tim Hortons on the block.

Overnight, the chain secretly turned a residential home at 303 Oakfern Way into a fully functional pop-up restaurant. It opened, much to the surprise of nearby residents, at 6 a.m. Tuesday and stayed open until noon, when it abruptly closed—but not before demonstrating that Tim Hortons isn't just neighborly, it can sometimes actually be your neighbor.

The stunt, orchestrated by by Taxi Canada, was part of a recruiting campaign, as the chain is trying to fill more than 2,000 positions. "We are inviting people to join us today to have a coffee and talk about maybe an opportunity to work at a local Tim Hortons in the Calgary area," said a spokesman.

This follows a different stunt last month in which the chain totally blacked out one of its locations in Quebec—for more quasi-nefarious reasons.

Check out more pics below from the #TimsNextDoor hashtag.

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September 23, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT

Adult Swim's Rick and Morty Get Muppet-ized in Promo for Season 1 DVD As does Mr. Meeseeks. Look at him!

Behind the scenes with the Rick and Morty puppets Photo: Adult Swim

Adult Swim has put its back into marketing Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's insane sci-fi cartoon Rick and Morty. And well they might: It's one of the best shows on the air, and last year it occasionally got more demo viewers than Harmon's broadcast sitcom, Community.

So, it follows that the network would have a mild blowout around the release of the first season of Rick and Morty on Blu-ray, too.

Accordingly, Roiland called on Ben Bayouth, puppet maker and costumer to the ... well, to the very weird. (Seriously, the "creature suits and puppets" page alone is a huge productivity suck.) Bayouth made Rick, Morty and Meeseeks puppets and a giant Meeseeks suit (from this episode) in order to tell the world about the show.

Here's the 90-second spot. It's on Adult Swim's digital presence as of Tuesday evening and starts airing in cut-down form Wednesday night on AS.



When the cartoon premiered, AS erected a crashed spaceship in front of the Flatiron Building in New York, and the show got all kinds of attention at Comic-Con, with a panel and a booth for its production company, Starburns Industries. (I don't even want to tell you about the lines to get Harmon to sign things.) So, there are interestingly high standards for anything R&M related at AS, and they keep coming up with new tricks to promote it, not unlike FX's various shenanigans around Archer.

We also did an unboxing Vine (see below) so you could see the contents of the Blu-ray, because another fun piece of the campaign is inside the box: Like the Jim Mahfood-drawn Kickpuncher comic book in Community's Season 1 DVD set, Roiland and series writer Ryan Ridley collaborated with storyboard artist Erica Hayes to make a cool little Jack Chick-style comic book fleshing out some of the show's stranger sci-fi plot points.

September 23, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

Rob Lowe Is Ugly, Creepy and Hilarious as a Cable Customer in DirecTV Ads 'Don't be like this me,' he implores

DirecTV has gotten lots of actors to poke some fun at themselves over the years—notably Charlie Sheen in the Platoon spot. Now, it's Rob Lowe's turn to look hilariously foolish.

A pair of new ads from Grey New York outlandishly show what Lowe is like as a cable customer compared to what he's like as a DirecTV customer. As a cable customer, he's literally falling apart (in the first spot) or a complete pervert (in the second spot). As a DirecTV customer, thankfully, he is neither.

The message? You too can choose not to be a pervert with a combover and a lazy eye. Get DirecTV today! As a nice added bonus, these commercials—directed by Tom Kuntz of MJZ—end with the theme from St. Elmo's Fire. He's come a long way, baby.

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September 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

This Map of the U.S. Shows the Most Googled Brand in Each State Some surprises, some old favorites

Like it or not, your surroundings inform the special little bubble you live in. Just when you thought you couldn't be stereotyped, well, here are some handy maps that define each state by the brands they Google the most.

The results are pretty fascinating, too, from the obvious to the surprising. I had no idea Grand Marnier was so popular in Delaware, or that American Eagle was so in vogue among West Virginians. Less surprising results are Microsoft in Washington and Disney in Florida.

Where it gets super interesting is when competing brands bubble up in adjacent states, like Jose Cuervo and Patron in Arizona and New Mexico, or Dodge and Chevrolet in Montana and North Dakota. 

Finance company Direct Capital actually created three maps—showing the top three Googled brands in each state. Check them out below, and see the interesting juxtapositions that happen when geography and culture collide.

Via Design Taxi / Brand New / Direct Capital.

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September 23, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

Apple's New Ads Won't Sell You on an iPhone 6, Which Is Fine Since Everyone Already Bought One Not clever, not inspiring. Also not necessary

Remember when Apple's ads were more about witty repartee than about how its devices could alter the fate of humanity for the better?

With its newest ads, heralding the phone's newest iteration and its jumbo sibling, the iPhone6 Plus, the brand seems to be calling back to the Get a Mac days of good-natured ribbing by showing owners of each phone bickering about what makes them great.

Unlike the era of John Hodgman and Justin Long, we don't see the people behind the voices this time around. Instead, we gaze in wonder upon the phones while they do iPhone-y stuff like editing photos, playing videos and firing up apps you'll soon forget to keep using.

The ads aren't quite as charming as Get a Mac, nor as cinematic as the Your Verse spots. And the visuals aren't quite as memorable as the equally minimalist but stylistically superior "Stickers" ad for the MacBook Air. 

Luckily, with iPhone 6 sales already shattering records, these ads probably exist less to sell hardware than to keep Samsung from dominating the entirety of YouTube.

September 23, 2014, 11:23 AM EDT

This 2,400-Pack of Krispy Kreme Donuts Is a Glazed Gift From Heaven Just don't try to lift it

Krispy Kreme has long been associated with the more diabetic parts of the American Southeast. But Krispy Kreme U.K. has outdone the Yanks with the Double Hundred Dozen, which is exactly what it sounds like: a box of 2,400 doughnuts.

My left arm hurts just typing that. The box measures 11.5 by 3 feet and requires eight Krispy Kreme staffers to deliver it. So, no, it's not a regular menu item.

Rather, it was a marketing stunt for the company's new catering service, and was given to a company called 360 Resourcing Solutions, which won a contest on Twitter.

Hopefully it comes with a few copies of Heart Disease for Dummies and at least one 99-pack of Peacemaker Anytime Ale.

September 23, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT

This Restaurant Wants to Be the Worst Rated on Yelp, and the Reviews Are Indeed Hilarious 25% off for your 1-star critique

Botto Bistro, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, is vying for the worst Yelp rating in the Bay Area by offering customers 25 percent off for their 1-star reviews. Owner David Cerretini, who tells SFGate that the promotion is "the best business move I have made in years," says the whole thing started when Yelp blackmailed him.

Cerretini claims Yelp called him 20 times a week asking him to advertise. He did, to the tune of $270 for six months. But when he stopped advertising, he claims his reviews turned negative and one of his best reviews even vanished. That, according to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, is something Yelp is legally entitled to do.

So, Cerretini hatched his 1-star plan. Next to a sassy sign explaining how much it charges for extra marinara sauce ($3 for just a splash, $4 if you want some to smell), Botto Bistro lists its various offenses—from charging for bread to lacking ranch dressing—and suggests patrons give it a 1-star Yelp review in return for 25 percent off a pizza.

Beyond press, it has generated some of the best Amazon-esque reviews on Yelp. The site sent Botto Bistro a threatening little letter, but Cerretini refuses to back down, claiming he's attracting higher-paying customers who are quite loyal. Not to mention, damn funny.

Photo via Yelp.

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September 22, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

Kevin Smith's New Movie Was Inspired by This Insane Ad Seeking a Part-Time Walrus Classified offered free housing

Hollywood movies aren't usually based on prank ads, but Kevin Smith's latest proudly is.

The comedy-horror hybrid, titled Tusk, is about a crazy person (played by Michael Parks) who wants to surgically modify a sane person (played by Justin Long) into a walrus. The inspiration for the bizarre story came from a similarly quirky classified ad from Britain that offered free housing to anyone willing to act like a walrus, in costume, for two hours a day.

"Whilst in the walrus costume you must be a walrus," read the ad, "there must be no speaking in a human voice, and any communication must entail making utterances in the voice of a walrus—I believe there aer (sic) recordings available on the web—to me, the voice is the most natural thing I have ever heard. Other duties will involve catching and eating the fish and crabs that I will occasionally throw to you whilst you are being the walrus."

Smith found the joke ad online and discussed it on his podcast, reports Variety, then decided to turn it into a movie after receiving popular support for the idea on social media.

The ad's author, Chris Parkinson of Brighton, got an associate producer credit for the movie, visited the set in North Carolina and attended the premiere in Los Angeles. He is apparently a regular writer of joke ads, though most don't yield quite as much success—in addition to the movie, he says this one drew 400 responses.

That's not really that surprising, though—paying rent by pretending to be a walrus actually seems like a pretty good deal.

Full text of the original walrus ad below.

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September 22, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

These Are the Top 18 Names That People Really, Really Want on Their Coke Bottles And they'll pay a lot for them on eBay

Sparking people to collect, hack and do all kinds of things with them from earnest to cynical, Coca-Cola's #ShareaCoke promotion has taken on a life of its own. And now there is some interesting data on which names are most sought after. 

Terapeak, an eBay analytics firm, has scoured the site to uncover behavioral trends behind this campaign. Aron Hsiao, copywriter and consultant for social media operations at Terapeak, tells AdFreak that his team used several sophisticated search techniques to identify auctions of named Coke bottles.

"Across all #ShareaCoke bottles, just around $32,000 in eBay sales have occurred since the start of the campaign," he says, "with individual bottle sales valued at an average of between $7 and $8 but going as high as $80—significantly higher than retail price."

Take a look at the results below, and see if your name made the list. 

View Gallery

September 22, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT

Iceland's Police Have One of the World's Cutest Instagrams Kitties, kids and much more

What is it about law enforcement that makes it so delightful when they actually try to have fun in social media? It's probably just enjoyable to see the softer side of people who are trained to use deadly force and deal with the bleaker aspects of society.

The Seattle police set the bar in this regard, of course, with their fascinating and amusing Twitter account. But now, the Instagram account of the Reykjavik, Iceland, police force has been brought to our attention—and it's a real mosaic of cute.

It's full of fun pics of animals and kids and people on the force doing goofy things. "Police kitty in training," says the caption on the photo above, along with the hashtag #copcat.

Sure, humanizing any police force can lead to better relations with citizens, and a safer community overall. But this is also just about being real, not taking things too seriously and delivering useful information in a more entertaining package.

More pics below. Via Demilked.

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September 22, 2014, 12:01 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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