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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

MLB Rolls Out Its Derek Jeter Tribute Ad, and It's Amazing in Its Own Way Capturing the Captain's real legacy

This ad from Major League Baseball honoring Derek Jeter is perhaps the simplest, least epic tribute we've seen to the Yankees captain, who, barring an unlikely postseason appearance by the team, will play his final game this Sunday against the Red Sox in Boston.

But for my money, the spot, from BBDO New York, is also the most poignant and moving Jeter tribute of the season, because it eschews grandeur and hype to focus on the future Hall of Famer's most important legacy: the generations who grew up idolizing No. 2.

They're embodied here by California Angeles outfielder Mike Trout, the most complete player in baseball today, along with college and high-school stars, right down to Little League phenoms Mo'ne Davis and Marquis Jackson.

In the low-key 30-second ad, we see youngsters copy Jeet's mannerisms in the batter's box and at shortstop, intercut with footage of the man himself, followed by the words, "A model of greatness. Thanks, Derek."

During his storied 20-year career, Jeter has always given 100 percent on the field—and in an era when so many professional athletes capsize in controversy, agents of their own destruction, the Captain has sailed above the fray, celebrated for his dignified demeanor and respect for the game.

Sure, it's an image. But that's the whole point. It's an image worth emulating, a model for success that transcends Jeter's many roles—team leader, five-time World Series champ, media celebrity—and gives kids hope that if they follow his example, they can overcome their struggles and achieve something great, whatever that may be.

The Jeter paeans from Gatorade (made with his input) and Nike's Jordan Brand are each 90 seconds long and stand as suitably heartfelt, dazzling farewells to a player who's meant so much to so many for so long.

The MLB spot goes deeper. It reminds us why heroes are important in an increasingly complex, confounding and cynical world, and gives Trout and his superstar peers a lofty standard—beyond wins, stats and multi-year contracts—to swing for.

September 22, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT

Cheerios Tugs at the Heartstrings Again With a Dad Working the Third Shift And his kid, who wants time with him

Oh man, grumpy dad who's working weird hours in this new Cheerios ad from Saatchi & Saatchi. Don't get mad at your kid. Take a lesson from Peanut Butter Cheerios dad, and be cool. Hang out for a minute and laugh with Junior. It'll be nice before you head off for however many grueling hours of whatever it is you do.

Judging by your rugged appearance and attire, and that clocking in at midnight is even an option, it's presumably something blue-collar. Dock worker? Warehouse worker? Auto worker? You are in the Cheerios demo. You should be eating lots of Cheerios at 11 p.m.

Sure, Cheerios might be mimicking your frustrating but also beautiful existence right back at you just to sell more breakfast cereal, because times aren't just tough for salt-of-the-earth people with families to support, they're tough for cereal brands, too. Nobody wants to eat cereal with their kids at any time of day these days.

So, also don't get mad at Cheerios, because making ads that use children to pander to your heartstrings is what they do. Indeed, sometimes manipulating your love for sentimental family moments really does work well … so Cheerios is probably going to keep trying.

September 19, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

Oops! One of the First People in the World With an iPhone 6 Drops It on Live TV Hate when that happens

Unless you're living under a rock, you know the iPhone 6 hits stores today. And if you're one of the souls brave enough to endure insane lines to get your new bleeding-edge item—congratulations on your achievement!

Since Australians literally live in the future, they were the first to get a crack at Apple's new device, which has amazing new features like a free U2 album no one wants.

Well, as Australian Jack Cooksey was being interviewed by a Perth television station to get a first look at his new prized possession, well—take a look below at the dramatic conclusion.

Via Daily Dot.

And here it is from another angle:

September 19, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

Guinness Takes You Inside Its Storied Dublin Brewery in Almost Mystical New Ad '255 years into a 9,000-year lease'

By celebrating its Irish roots, Guinness subtly sails into the mystic with "In Pursuit of More," a campaign that bows with this 90-second spot from Philadelphia agency Quaker City Mercantile.

St. James's Gate, the brand's 255-year-old Dublin brewery, is the inspiration for a meditation on its heritage. We learn something of its history, meet current employees and get a feel for the brewing process. "We're only 255 years into a 9,000-year lease," Irish actor Cillian Murphy says in a lilting, raspy voiceover. "We have a lot more beer to make."

In fact, the lease is no longer valid, as Guinness purchased its Dublin site long ago. Even so, that historical detail fits the overall thrust of this broadcast and online initiative. Developed mainly for the U.K. and Ireland, with more short films to follow, the work creates a timeless, almost mythical aura around the brand.

"We felt it was time to open the gates and let the world see the people who make our beer special," says Guinness marketing director Stephen O'Kelly. Fair enough. But Philip Montgomery's smooth direction, with visuals that are muted, gauzy, and at times slightly over-bright, give the piece an ethereal, quasi-spiritual vibe.

This vibe resonates even during some of the clip's most commonplace scenes. For example, the spot opens with a guy cycling to work at the brewery. As a moody piano piece by Alain Francois Bernard plays in the background, he turns down a narrow cobblestone street—it resembles a tunnel—and rides up to St. James's Gate. The huge doors are dark and imposing, like freshly pulled pints of Guinness stout. As he slips inside, it's no stretch to imagine he's entered a holy place where past, present and future blend into a heady brew.

What could be more on brand for a company emphasizing its ties to Ireland, the land of legends and strong beliefs, and particularly for Guinness, which has a devout cult following worldwide?

Photo via.

September 19, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT

As Scotland Counts Votes, Groundskeeper Willie Offers Himself Up as the Nation's Leader Simpsons character's ambitions grow

Should today's vote lead to an independent Scotland, the country will need a fearless leader to represent it on the world stage. Obviously, Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons is that man. It's the latest bit of genius from the Fox show, and expect a lot more of it very soon.

September 18, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

Travel Ad Features Singing Fart Bubbles, and That Might Be Its Least Crazy Part The wonderful world of Wotifia

OK, you world-wise travel people. Ever been to Wotifia? Never heard of it? It's right next to Freedonia, that fake country invented by the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup.

Wotifia is actually the brainchild of ad agency M&C Saatchi in Sydney, which borrowed a page from the Marx Brothers—and early Terry Gilliam's work for Monty Python—to help rejuvenate the image of Australia's largest online travel site,

The agency created a short buddy movie that features two clueless looking dudes literally falling into surreal travel adventures in an animated world called—what else?—Wotifia.

The adventures are set to a ridiculous music track with ridiculous lyrics that sound like a mashup of Barry Manilow and Lionel Richie after you've taken a whopping dose of hallucinogens.

The boys encounter dancing llamas in South America, a soil-your-swimshorts experience with sharks, a bone-breaking ski trip to the Alps, a run-in with a 100-foot bikini clad beauty who emerges from the sea like Godzilla, and a lazy Susan full of Chinese food like it's a merry-go-round.

Michael Betteridge, Wotif's general manager of marketing, says the campaign, which launched last month, "is designed to reach the 'next generation' of travelers and introduce them to our brand, our range of travel products and experiences, and to our irreverent and fun approach to travel."

Irreverence is certainly the theme. Credits below.

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September 18, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT

How 9 Brands Used Twitter's Sign Bunny Meme to Make Little Billboards And what its creator thinks of that

Illustration: Alfred Maskeroni

Watching brands fail at Twitter has become cliché at this point. And just when you think they've gotten the idea, it's fail whale all over again.

Still, they keep trying.

Earlier this week, a fun meme spread through Twitter starring a cute ASCII bunny holding a sign. If you were on Twitter that day, you couldn't miss it. If not, a few explainers will bring you up to speed.

Amber Gordon, a creative strategist at Tumblr and former community manager at Denny's, is credited with starting the meme and has since seen it go viral.

Of course, brands—ever vigilant to real-time trends online nowadays—quickly noticed. And many of them whipped up little corporate bunnies of their own, brandishing pithy little branded signs.

We spoke with Gordon about the phenomenon and what it was like watching big brands attach themselves to a meme in real time. And she also has some advice to the community managers of the big brands, too. 

How does it feel to see big brands joining in the fun?
Seeing brands use these types of silly Internet trends is so exciting. Using a native language that's become relevant to your audience is exactly what more brands should be doing, but in an authentic way. Meaning, research it before you post! ( is a great resource.)

Will it break the Internet if @Energizer does one?
If Energizer does one, I might cry tears of joy.

Does it feel weird that the bunny signs have now basically become little billboards for corporations?
I love them. Twitter itself is just words, and ASCII art makes them visually interesting. Honestly I think a message has a stronger impact (for me personally) when you can associate an image with it. That's why Tumblr is so great, because you can do all of that there!

Below, check out nine brands that have given the sign bunny meme a shot:

September 18, 2014, 3:12 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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