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Samsung Dares People to Take Underwater Selfies in a Frigid Lake With the Galaxy S5 Plenty take the plunge

Selfie aficionado Samsung recently offered free phones to people loony enough to jump into Lake Zurich in Switzerland (which was a balmy 46 degrees) and snap an underwater selfie. Why? To show that the Galaxy S5 can withstand being submerged.

That's right. The phone works under water. Samsung had a diver in the water who swam over to potential underwater selfie-ers, surprising them with an already wet but still working phone. On the other end of the line, a hidden challenger requested the shot. If they cooperated, a new, dry phone was theirs.

As someone who has dropped my phone into the toilet and the ocean and been caught more than one torrential downpour umbrella-less, the prospect of having my phone get wet and not have to hope for the best with rice—well, that's certainly appealing.

I'm not sure I'd jump into a lake for it, though.

July 23, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT

McDonald's Launches 'Chicken Legend' With World's Least Dangerous Daredevil Stunt Yet it's still rather suspenseful

Chickens might not fly much in life, but in death, a few of them got some pretty good air time with this odd U.K. stunt for McDonald's new Chicken Legend sandwich.

A spot recapping the effort opens with ingredient action shots that are slightly more melodramatic than standard-fare food porn. The finished recipe is placed in a box and strapped to the back of a remote control car.

The whole package proceeds to perform an Evel Knievel-style jump over a couple of McDonald's tractor trailers, all under the direction of RC car world champion Lee Martin.

Why does this chicken patty get to jump over trucks? Because advertising puns! It's a Chicken Legend, and legends do fearless things, and what better way to sell sandwiches than to project human qualities like courage onto inanimate food like chicken cutlets.

It's brilliantly shot—even serene, at moments—if a bit more involved than the brand's work on the other side of the English Channel. And it's an ultimately endearing bit of fun, even if it is pretty dumb, not unlike your average chicken. 

If you feel so inclined, you can carve up your own cut of the video on a McDonald's microsite.

July 23, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

Put Away the Duff Beer and Pour Yourself a Glass of Simpsons Wine Mmmm, Homer and Marge concept packaging

Looking to stock up on beverages for FXX's 12-day, 25-season Simpsons marathon? Simpsons wine would do the trick—if only it were real.

Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich did some fun concept packaging for what wine might look like if it were inspired by the famed cartoon series. The bottle colors are pure Homer and Marge, with the geometric shapes inspired by the works of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

There's more to the concept, though it's hard to pick apart. "Maybe it is wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out yourselves," the designers say.

Whatever it is, it has to be better than Duff beer.

More images below. Via PSFK.

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July 23, 2014, 11:23 AM EDT

Sex in the City Supercut Shows How Much It Loved Name-Dropping Brands Manolo Blahnik. Manolo Blahnik. Manolo. Blahnik!

(As if they needed an introduction): Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha

Sex in the City's leading ladies—Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte—turned everything from Manolo heels to sex swings into household names during the series' run on HBO.

To show the women's love affair with consumer culture, artist Pierre Buttin clipped every single brand mention throughout the six seasons, alphabetized them and then presented them in the nearly 10-minute clip below. (I'm waiting to hear back from my supervisors on my request to diligently double-check his findings with my own marathon viewing session.)

In case you were wondering, the most uttered name was Vogue (36 times), followed closely by "martini" (34 times), though that's a questionable inclusion since it's not a brand. The humble Post-it came in at eighth place with 14 mentions, but probably left the most lasting brand impression. Because, seriously, who breaks up with someone via Post-it?

July 23, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

Jaws in Lake Ontario? Nah, It Was Just a Shark Week Video Prank Discovery hoax causes some gnashing of teeth in Canada

Discovery

If you thought there was something fishy about that YouTube video of a shark swimming off Lake Ontario's Wolfe Island, you were absolutely right.

The clip—uploaded on July 10, with nearly 650,000 views so far—was part of a marketing campaign by Discovery Canada designed to lure viewers to its annual "Shark Week" programming, which includes a segment asking if sharks could surface in the Great Lakes.

A lifelike prosthetic shark model appears in the video, which caused considerable concern and consternation both before and after being revealed as a prank. Initially, locals were fearful that a deadly menace might be lurking in the murky depths. Six days later, when they learned it was safe to go back in the water, they were pissed off that they'd been pranked. Canadians—they're never satisfied, eh?

Discovery Canada President Paul Lewis issued the requisite explanation/non-apology—"There was no anticipation on our side to cause any kind of fear or upset at all"—and the channel now feasts on free publicity like a Great White gorging on buckets of chum.

Sure, the coverage is mostly negative, but, as several experts quoted in said coverage point out, the ruse was harmless, and the public has a short memory, so Discovery probably hasn't bitten off more than it can chew.

Our neighbor to the North has been besieged by contentious marketing stunts this month. The Lake Ontario shark scare came shortly after Coors Light got into hot water over a Toronto scavenger-hunt promotion that resulted in rerouted streetcars and rush-hour delays when authorities were called to check out a suspicious-looking briefcase attached to a railing.

Predictably, there's been some gnashing of teeth. Monica LeBarge, a marketing professor at Queen’s University, told City News that when agencies and clients "are trying to be cutting and edgy" they "just aren't thinking through what the implications are."

True enough. But let's face it: marketers are sharks, and we shouldn't expect them to stick around and apologize after eating their fill. 

July 23, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT

Rosetta Stone Says Learning a Language Is Good for You, and Great for the World Newly aspirational message

With millennials eager to travel abroad and a wealth of language-learning options available, Rosetta Stone doesn't want to get lost in translation. So the company teamed with Energy BBDO and content platform Vice.com for a campaign that positions Rosetta's offerings as a way for young adults to connect, share experiences and broaden their understanding.

Rosetta's iconic yellow product boxes, airport kiosks and direct-response plays of the past are nowhere in sight. Instead, we're served aspirational branding work tagged "Create a smaller world." Narrative storytelling and positive vibes drive both a 60-second commercial and the first of four long-form videos.

Now, brevity is usually a virtue in adland, but the traditional TV spot falls a tad flat. It's not awful, just sort of generic and too schmaltzy, with quick-cut, feel-good images of people "connecting"—during karaoke, or running to catch trains in the rain—and an overly optimistic voiceover: "If everyone learned just one more language, the world would be a more tolerant place, a happier place."

That's a lovely sentiment, and perhaps even true, but many consumers buy Rosetta for more practical reasons. Often, they just wish to learn enough of a language to be understood when they ask directions to restaurants, bars, hotels and other locations while traveling.

KidSuper Watches the World Cup in Berlin With German Ultras, an 11-minute film running on Vice Sports, seems more in tune with this reality. We meet Colm Dillane, a goofy but likable millennial soccer fan from New York who journeys to Berlin to soak up the atmosphere, play in some neighborhood pickup games and watch the recent World Cup contest between Germany and the U.S. on an outdoor Jumbotron. Thanks to Rosetta, he knows some useful phrases—"Germany, protect your balls, I'm coming" is my favorite—and his adventures in a Berlin bar and on the streets among hard-core "soccer hooligans" (mostly just enthusiastic ultra-fans) are genuinely charming.

That said, three to five minutes would've sufficed, and I wonder how many viewers will hang around until the end. Still, Colm's story should resonate with the target, and it does a great job of illustrating how small linguistic triumphs can have huge meaning when you're far from home.

Credits for the :60 below.

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July 22, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

Don't Play League of Legends? You'll Still Enjoy This Epic 6-Minute Trailer Beautifully animated battle brings one of today's top games to life

I'm not one of the 27 million people playing League of Legends each day, but this amazingly action-packed video kind of makes me wish I were. 

"A New Dawn" is the free-to-play game's newest cinematic trailer, clocking in at a sprawling six minutes and enjoyable right to the end. 

The game pits a hodgepodge assortment of heroes, monsters and mythical creatures against each other in a sort of battle arena. You might think that would make for a chaotic free-for-all with no real narrative, but with subtle storytelling cues and a nonstop tempo of visually stunning combat, this mini-movie ends up being far more compelling than you'd expect.

Cinematic trailers for video games have plenty of detractors, who rightly point out that in-game animation has advanced to the point that it almost seems deceptive to create CGI videos out of whole cloth. But the reality of League of Legends is that watching gameplay can make the game seem baffling and inaccessible for non-players. 

But if it means running around a forest chasing armored ninjas and anchor-swinging robots, I'm game.



To see how this epic battle was storyboarded and brought to life, check out the behind-the-scenes clip below.

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July 22, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

World's Greatest Dad Shows You How It's Done in Ad for Peanut Butter Cheerios Watch and learn from a cereal lover

Fathers have been making a comeback in ads lately—they're no longer just sniveling idiots with no parenting skills whatsoever. Now, General Mills helps dads in their revival with this Canadian campaign for Peanut Butter Cheerios. 

The ad below, from Tribal Worldwide in Toronto, shows us a dad who is seemingly on top of his game—delivering a rapid-fire manifesto about the wonders of dadhood as he navigates his house, making sure his wife and four kids are all happy and well cared for.

He's sensitive but no pushover. He's the rule maker, not the rule breaker—but he'll be your buddy as well. He's a good dad, one who cares about his kids, even though he wings one son across a bed in the first scene. (No wonder the kid already has a broken arm.)

In its style, the ad will inevitably draw comparisons to Old Spice and Dollar Shave Club, with some GoldieBlox empowerment thrown in for good measure. And while it's a little on the goofy side—especially toward the end, when Dad mugs in slow motion, throwing fake gang signs around behind a hashtag—the sentiment isn't lost on us.

"Because being a dad is awesome, just like new Peanut Butter Cheerios are awesome," he says at the end. "And that's why it's the official cereal of dadhood. And this, my friends, this is #howtodad." (There's a Tumblr, too, with tips and aphorisms for those who are truly eager to do better dadding.)

See, Dad doesn't have to be cool. He just has to be there. And not be a moron.

Credits below. Via Ads of the World.

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July 22, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

Lawyer Quits to Become an Illustrator With Brilliant Cartoon Telling the Whole Sordid Story Another great sign-off

There's something particularly satisfying about a resignation letter that tells an old, boring career path to piss off in the very format of a new, fun one.

A former corporate lawyer named Catherine does just that in a very public, delightfully illustrated "Departure Memo" explaining her wayward path into the legal field, and why she is leaving her gig at a big firm to pursue her passion for making art.

It's a new spin on the now-familiar practice of colorful professional sign-offs. (The soon-to-be baker's cake resignation letter was pretty sweet, as were Marina Shifrin's viral quitting dance and that Montana agency employee's F-bomb Facebook post.) But Catherine's missive stands out for how joyfully it throws an extra dose of shade on the frustrations of what she describes as a grueling white-collar job.

She deserves extra credit for her nuanced perspective on those of her former colleagues who are enthusiastic about law, especially when she makes calling them "cyborgs" sound almost, but not quite, like a compliment. ("The world needs cyborgs!")

It's also, obviously, a clever way to announce her availability—and demonstrate her chops—to a new job market. Commenters at legal industry trade blog Above the Law are already suggesting that site hire her, but something tells us she might not be interested.

She does preface her story by saying it includes some flat-out exaggerations, though. So, advertising is probably the perfect field for her.

Via Design Taxi.

July 22, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

Lars Ulrich Has the Best Line in the Outtakes From Metallica's SportsCenter Ad Getting by in a post-Mariano world

Wieden + Kennedy's latest SportsCenter spot, featuring Metallica, has gotten lots of attention, and almost 800,000 YouTube views, since its debut a week ago.

The veteran band visits ESPN HQ and jokes about having no work since New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who famously used their thrash-anthem "Enter Sandman" as his theme song, retired after last season. (Other players also enter games to that particular track, but since they're not Rivera, who cares?)

This season, the Yankees desperately need some fresh arms. Can any of these hippies throw a curveball? At one point, guitarist Kirk Hammett shows off some fancy fretwork. He's got supple fingers, put him in the rotation!

Ah well, if Metallica's sports drought continues, they can always hit the water-park circuit on an '80s metal mega-bill with Krokus, Ratt and Slayer. In that lineup, Metallica would be the closer.

Check out the spot below, along with newly released bloopers and outtakes from the shoot, including a pretty funny Lars Ulrich line at the very end that didn't make the final cut.

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July 22, 2014, 8:59 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. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.

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