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YouTube's Famous 'Slow Mo Guys' Get You Up to Speed in Ads for the Video Site They 'make every second epic'

The Slow Mo Guys are shifting into the fast lane.

As part of YouTube's ongoing effort to introduce its popular channel stars to a wider audience, Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy are appearing in a multimedia push that includes TV, print, billboard and online ads. The campaign, breaking now in the U.K., is tagged "You make every second epic," and also highlights Vice News and beauty vlog Zoella. (In the U.S., YouTubers like Bethany Mota and Michelle Phan starred in similar ads earlier this year.)

"YouTube stars are not only entertaining us through their quirky videos and updates, but building long-lasting relationships with their fans," says Ben McOwen Wilson, who oversees partnerships for the Google-owned service.



The 30-second Slow Mo Guys teaser shows highlights from some of their nearly 100 videos shot at 10,000 frames per second. Watermelons and paintballs explode in plumes of color, and a teacup tossed through the air disgorges its contents in caramel cascades. This sampling merely hints at the channel's treasure trove of dazzling footage, which has garnered almost 430 million total views and 4.5 million subscribers in the past four years.

It feels right that the Slow Mo Guys were chosen to take part in YouTube's mainstream crossover push, because their oeuvre encompasses elements of old and new media. Free and Gruchy condense the frantic, silly vibe of shows like You Can't Do That on Television and America's Funniest Home Videos into highly shareable bites. They add dashes of Bill Nye-style scientific curiosity and genuine artistry (some of their slow-motion work is amazing). Even their goofy Brit-bro personalities are in sync with the times, reminding viewers that these are average Joes using technology to create amazing stuff.

At times, the guys present serious, brand-centric material, including a couple of clips that showcase General Electric's cutting-edge tech. Such efforts are informative and boast hypnotic imagery, but the real fun comes from their sillier escapades. You'll gasp at the epic cuteness of dogs and cats frozen in mid-air, striking impossible ballet poses. You'll cringe as milky puke sluggishly slithers from Gruchy's twisted, lactose-tortured lips. You'll jump in your seat when dozens of mousetraps dance in an insanely prolonged (and painful) chain reaction.

These are awesome time wasters. No matter how slow the antics, the minutes fly by.

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October 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

This Suite of Fonts Was Made From the Handwriting of the Homeless Going beyond messages on cardboard

Homeless signs have been a font of ideas for creatives, but rarely has the focus been on the fonts themselves.

The Arrels Foundation in Barcelona has created Homelessfonts—typefaces based on the unique handwriting of the homeless people it helps. Each font comes with the story of the person who penned it and their personality. After all, few things are more personal than our handwriting.

The work not only helps fund the foundation, it humanizes the homeless and lets people see them as unique individuals, not as an amorphous problem. The video about the process is moving, but moreover, the fonts are actually good. The glyphs were captured with fat Sharpies on poster board and then transformed by volunteer typographers.



If you are a typographer, you can donate your time and expertise to help create more fonts. If you just like the concept, you can download a free app to use the fonts in social media (be a nice person and make a donation, too). And if you're a brand, you can purchase the fonts and the stories that come with them for professional use at surprisingly affordable prices.

Samples of the scripts as they might appear on packaging are included, so you can see just how beautiful and unique the font—and the people behind them—truly are.

October 17, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

So Happy Together? You and Android Lollipop Should Never Be Apart, Ads Say OS connects all your devices all the time

Android wants to be with you. Everywhere. All the time. Is that so wrong?

The Google-developed platform doubles down on the "togetherness" theme in work touting its new Android 5.0 Lollipop OS. That system runs across mobile, wearables, TVs and a range of other devices, including the Nexus 6 smartphone (built by Motorola) and Nexus 9 tablet (from HTC), both of which dropped this week amid much fanfare.

"Be together. Not the same" is Android's new tagline, introduced in a trio of 30-second animated spots on Sunday during the season premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead. The South Park-y visuals are strictly G-rated and give the ads, which teased the Nexus 6 and 9 handsets a few days before their Wednesday release, a distinctive flair.

Those clips were followed by a pair of minute-long spots that expand the campaign's message by emphasizing the "And" in Android. One mixes animation with live-action shots of diverse folks enjoying life and interacting in positive ways with technology (backed by the inspired musical choice of Andrew W.K.'s anthemic "Party Hard").



The second spot ditches the animation but really lays out Google's vision. A voiceover begins: "Remember back in school, when you either invited the new kid over to your table, or you didn't? If you did, that was a cool move. That was an and move. 'And moves' take guts, but they can mean everything."

Footage of the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King Jr. follows, stressing how inclusiveness combined with independent thought drives innovation and change. "Everyone doing the same thing won't move us forward. Everyone doing their own thing, together, can."

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October 17, 2014, 12:55 PM EDT

What's in McDonald's Food, Anyway? Ex-MythBuster Grant Imahara Is Hired to Find Out Transparency campaign echoes one from Canada

Does McDonald's put horsemeat in its burgers? What about pink slime? Would you feed McDonald's food to your kids?

So many questions. But now, taking its cues from a well-received transparency campaign from McDonald's Canada, the chain is responding to whatever hate its American critics want to throw at it. And it's hired former MythBusters host Grant Imahara to be your third-party, completely unbiased, totally trustworthy, quasi-celebrity McMyth investigator.



Imahara's first three videos have already dropped, where he visits a Cargill plant and answers the following: Is McDonald's beef real (and are there eyelids in there)? Why are the patties frozen (when fresh should theoretically be much tastier)? Why are the burgers so cheap (you get what you pay for, right)?

It's everything you'd expect from a hard-reboot, Domino's-style brand turnaround. What I most admire is that they're letting the comment feed on YouTube be just as brutal as it wants to be. And man, is it brutal. It's hard to tell the legit processed-food concerns from the horsemeat crazies.



Though honestly, that's good for Micky D's. The more they can discredit the really nutty folks by letting them be themselves—and there are some excellent conspiracy theorists blowing up the feed—the less McDonald's itself actually needs to say.

That said, I'm probably not going to bite the bullet like Imahara and munch a Big Mac anytime soon. But those sodium acid pyrophosphate fries, man. Who can resist those fries?

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October 17, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

Kids Describe Their Real-World Superheroes in Save the Children's Empowering New PSA A charming mix of imagination and appreciation

A film crew investigates "superhero" sightings in India, Kenya and Mexico, interviewing needy kids in this touching spot for Save the Children.

"They did something magical and the maize grew from the ground," one child says. "He came and destroyed the mosquitoes," reports another. "She flies with the clouds and she gives water," says a third.

These are real kids, not actors, and their performances infuse this minute-long pseudo-documentary with considerable energy, charm and emotional resonance. Of course, the superheroes in question aren't of the Justice League variety, a point conveyed with great poignancy and perfect pitch by creative agency Don't Panic and Unit 9 directors Greg Hardes and Jacob Proud.

"The key to this project was the imagination of the kids," says Proud. "It was important that we only planted the seed of a story in their minds, and then let them run away with that story in the way only a child can. They were writing the script for us—all we had to do was turn the camera on and let their imaginations run wild."

The film supports Save the Children's Race for Survival campaign, and its release is timed to coincide with today's UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. (This marks the third stirring Save the Children effort for Don't Panic and Unit 9, which previously teamed up for "Reverse" and "Most Shocking Second a Day," both of which dealt with the conflict in Syria. The pair also collaborated on "Everything Is Not Awesome," a film for Greenpeace calling on Lego to end its relationship with Shell.)

"Superheroes: Eyewitness Reports" was shot on three continents in roughly a week. "The pure scale of the task was intimidating," Proud says. "The locations were so photogenic. Our natural instinct was to capture nicely composed, well-lit shots, but we kept having to remind each other that we were playing the role of a run-and-gun documentary crew and it needed to not feel too cinematic."

The footage is beautifully photographed, with the accents on hope rather than despair. It's the perfect way to deliver the message that caring is the ultimate "superpower," so anyone can #BeASuperhero.

October 17, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT

See the Truck-Side Ad That Caused 500 Car Accidents in Moscow in One Day Even more distracting than meteors

There are enough distractions when you're driving. Your phone, the tunes, your coffee. But Russian drivers have to put up with so much more—like meteors falling from the sky and suggestive truck-side billboards.

A Russian mobile advertising company recently sent a fleet of 30 trucks out on the streets of Moscow with self-promotional ads on the side showing breasts cupped by a pair of hands and copy that translates to "They attract"—to illustrate the power of truck-side ads.

And attract they did—to the tune of 517 traffic accidents in one day, says the Daily Mail.

"I was on my way to a business meeting when I saw this truck with a huge photo of breasts on its side go by," said Ildar Yuriev. "Then I was hit by the car behind who said he had been distracted by the truck. It made me late and left my car in the garage, and although I am insured I am still out of pocket."

A spokesman for the company, AdvTruck, added: "We wanted to draw attention to this new format with this campaign. In all cases of accidents, the car owners will receive compensation costs from us that aren't covered by their insurance."

The image above has been blurred. See the (NSFW?) version below.

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October 16, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

This Video About Dropping a Brick Is Worth a Few Laughs and 67 Million Gallons of Water Part poop joke, part drought relief

If you're going to drop an upper-decker, you might as well help fight a drought in the process.

"Drop A Brick" is a nonprofit Indiegogo project created by a partnership of several California businesses, including San Francisco agency BarrettSF, that encourages you to buy an eco-friendly rubber brick filled with hydro-gel that expands 200 times its size when water is added. Putting the brick in the top tank will displace half a gallon of water, saving about 50 gallons a week for a family of four.

If every Californian dropped a brick, the initiative says, it would save 67 million gallons of water a day.

The crowdfunding video is basically one big poop joke, but it's surprisingly amusing and has been getting quite a bit of passaround. Still, organizers say they'd like to see more bricks being ordered to help alleviate California's crippling drought as soon as possible.

So check out the video and explainer photos below, then go see about dropping a fat one in the tank. No need for a courtesy flush.

Via Osocio.

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October 16, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

40 Brand Logos With Hidden Messages, Starting With the Most Famous One How many of them can you spot?

You probably already know the story behind the famous FedEx logo and its clever use of negative space. (If you don't, read this.) But of course, it's hardly the only logo with a "hidden message."

British plastic card maker Oomph has collected 40 such logos—check them out below. Amazon, Unilever and the Tour de France are particularly cool. How many of these sneaky messages would you have spotted without the help?

Note on the BMW logo: There is some debate about that one.

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October 16, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT

These Ads for Glass Bottles Are About as Hilarious as Ads for Glass Bottles Could Be Ditch the plastic and cans today

A world without glass would be pretty soulless.

That's the main takeaway from these new TV ads that Doremus and sister shop DDB produced for O-I, the world's largest manufacturer of glass packaging (mostly bottles, but other packaging too). They're part of O-I's ongoing "Glass Is Life" campaign, which began three years ago with a business-to-business focus but now targets consumers.

Doremus, a b-to-b specialist, is something of a glassvertising expert, too—having made the awesomely peculiar "Brokeface" campaign for Corning's Gorilla Glass NBT. But the agency doesn't have a presence in Latin America, so it turned to Omnicom Group sibling DDB Colombia for help, and together they've created five fun, memorable ads.

The basic premise is that plastic and aluminum are no substitute for glass, whether you're toasting at a bar, serving up water to a bikini-clad babe or desperately trying to push an SOS message out to sea.

The ads first appeared online and will extend to TV this week in Colombia and Peru.

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October 16, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT

Sprite's 'Bill the Billboard' Keeps Drivers Entertained by Cracking Endless Jokes Chatty ad from Ogilvy Nairobi

If it's more comedy you want from your billboard, Sprite is happy to oblige.

Ogilvy Kenya recently put up "Bill the Billboard" at a busy intersection in Nairobi, and programmed him to endlessly crack jokes. He's sort of an outdoor version of the famous Pringles banner ad from 2009, offering seemingly stream-of-consciousness quips to keep viewers entertained.

The jokes aren't exactly side-splitting, and the case study's boast that Bill is the "first ad ever with mental issues" isn't exactly P.C. But at least he's a little different than your typical boring digital ad.

October 16, 2014, 8:32 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 and David Griner.

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