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Bryan Cranston Acts Out Baseball's Greatest Moments in Fantastic Ad for the Postseason Emmy winner's tour de force for TBS

As the Baltimore Orioles became the first Major League Baseball team to clinch a division last night, baseball fans, fairweather and hard-core alike, are gearing up for the most exciting time of year—the postseason. 

And TBS, which plays a major part in bringing the games into our homes and sports bars, has tapped Bryan Cranston to star in this amazing tribute to baseball's big dance. 

Clocking in at almost six minutes, this extended ad is a delightful watch as Cranston impersonates some of the game's great players in a comically earnest one-man theater show—citing his muse to be everyone's favorite cartoon rabbit: "You never know when inspiration will hit you ... the Bugster ... Mr. B. Any actor that tells you that he is not inspired by Bugs Bunny is a liar, frankly—or just a hack."

As an added bonus, Misty Copeland and Pedro Martinez make cameos, too, as we follow the former Walter White in his entertaining rollick around the diamond. 

Check it out, and someone please start a petition to get this on Broadway. 

Via Bleacher Report.

September 17, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

Strange Prada Storefront in the Middle of Nowhere Can Remain, Texas Decides Ruled not to be an illegal ad

It's the world's oddest Prada store. And now, it looks like it won't be torn down.

Prada Marfa, an art installation 26 miles northwest of the West Texas town of Marfa—featuring a fake Prada storefront containing luxury goods—is not an illegal advertisement and can remain on its site off U.S. Highway 90, the state decided this week.

The installation, by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, has been up since 2005. But it came under scrutiny last year, when Playboy built Playboy Marfa—which was deemed to be illegal advertising.

This week, arts organization Ballroom Marfa reached a deal with the Texas Department of Transportation to have Prada Marfa designated as an art museum site and the building as its single art exhibit.

An Adweek colleague who has been to Prada Marfa tells me you can see bullet marks in the bulletproof glass, as the stuff inside is indeed real Prada.

Photo via.

September 17, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

Awesome Beer Cans Show the Pantone Color of the Brew That's Inside Drink it up, designers

If you always suspected that a pale ale would rate a shimmering, golden 604C on the Pantone color system, have a pint on me.

Spanish agency Txaber matches brew types with their Pantone hues in this stylish package design exercise. It's reminiscent of last year's "Beertone" cards that provided the exact color values of various beers in RGB, CMYK and HTML code. Here, however, we get simple, gorgeous cans and bottles that really let the shades of the suds inside shine through.

See the whole collection on the Txaber site.

Beer packaging has been a powerful muse in the design world, inspiring some impressive work. The comeback of the can, particularly among craft brewers, "opened up a 360-degree canvas for label designers typically restricted to the few stickers on a beer bottle," according to my AdFreak colleague David Griner. That's true, though some creative types have made heroic efforts to sass-up humble glass containers and do that medium justice, too.

I like Txaber's restrained, elegant approach. You get lots of color and, in tiny typeface (HipstelveticaFontFamily, which is free to download), the beer names and Pantone designations. That's all you need. The results are especially compelling when the cans and bottles are grouped together. Their hues play off one another like the bands of a rainbow, ranging from pale ale's carefree vibrance through the playful, almost purplish tones of the porter's 1817C to the dark grandeur of imperial stout at 426C.

Though, as we've learned, nothing represents the vibrant soul of "black" quite like Guinness.

Via Design Taxi.

September 17, 2014, 9:37 AM EDT

Blake Griffin Slams Poetry, Not Basketballs, for Vizio We'll sit here with our judging eye in this dark corner

Slam poetry nights can be awkward, but Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin makes it look easy—his specialty in any environment—in a new series of videos for Vizio.

The ads, by David&Goliath, have the basketball star waxing poetic about his bobblehead, his tearaway pants and even his mouthguard. He's got the requisite pauses and sighs down to an art. Still, he probably shouldn't quit his day job.

The clips are part of Vizio's slam dunk poetry campaign, which also includes a nifty feature on its microsite where it will compose a Griffin-esque poem based on your name and an item of your choice. Unfortunately, the power forward isn't available to recite these ditties. (He is available in gif form on this Tumblr, though.)

So, grab yourself a seat at a dimly lit table, order a stiff drink and appreciate these works brought to you by Griffin.

Credits below.

Click to Read More →

September 16, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

Costumed Man Sexes Up a Giant Ear in Very Strange Ads for Headphones Sensual massages and candlelit baths

After an inexplicable quite period, we have a resurgence of giant ears in advertising, thanks to this incredibly silly McKinney campaign for Sennheiser's Urbanite headphones.

A scraggly-bearded guy with a German accent (the brand's from Germany) who calls himself "the Urbanite" dons a headphone costume and gets romantic with … a giant ear.

"Unt no pleasure is verboten," he explains in a 90-second introductory spot that shows tender caresses, a sensual oil massage and a candle-lit bath. The tagline is, "Let your ears be loved," and the salient product benefit—that Urbanite headphones lovingly pamper your ears, providing an incredibly enjoyable listening experience—resonates with crystal clarity.



Giant ears skateboard through a park and hang out in bars in a second video promoting a New York City scavenger hunt. Our smitten hero finds them "erotish." (Thankfully, he doesn't whip out the giant swab.) Through this Sunday, folks who find one of 1,000 golden ears secreted around town will receive free headphones.

The self-consciously wacky approach is designed to get away from technical descriptions and focus on real-world benefits to appeal to millennials, client exec Stefanie Reichert tells MediaPost. It recalls ESPN Radio's hideously overgrown anthropomorphic ear from a few years back, and follows closely behind this exceedingly abnormal spot for Normal's 3-D printed earphones.

In Sennheiser's spots, the theatrical black backgrounds and minimal props enhance the inspired lunacy. Amusingly daft and highly sharable, the work speaks volumes about the brand proposition, and I hope we'll hear more from the Urbanite soon.

September 16, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT

Expedia Has an Idea for Parents Who Travel Too Much for Work Cash in your reward points for a trip your kids won't forget

Parents, Expedia wants to offer you a consolation prize for all the heartbreaking time you have to spend traveling for business rather than being at home with your kids.

Instead of making them settle for toy animals from the airport kiosk, says a new ad, try taking your daughter on a safari, financed by the rewards points you've racked up booking flights and hotels as you bounce around for your day job.

The ad, in its broad strokes, can't help but be a little reminiscent of Up in the Air (though Expedia's hero certainly doesn't seem averse to personal commitment).

Mostly, the commercial is a sweet bit of family-driven storytelling and a nice addition to Expedia's growing collection of ads about much more than just airfare or accommodations. The uplifting piano music and emphasis on computers make it feel a little like a Google commercial—another take on how technology can enrich your life.

If you're wondering how many Expedia+ Rewards points it takes to afford a safari, the guy in the ad has more than 83,000 points banked. With Expedia typically rewarding one point per dollar spent on booking, that's obviously a whole lot of trips.

Click to Read More →

September 16, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

12 Ordinary People Who Beat Major Brands to Their Own Twitter Handles And they're not breaking any rules

You know when you try to find a brand on Twitter, and you just assume the handle will be the brand name? Well, not so fast.

A surprising number of brand-name handles aren't run by the brands at all. They're run by real people who got there first. We've highlighted a few of them below. Since they're not otherwise posing as the brand, they are not subject to Twitter's trademark policy.

Though the brands surely aren't too happy about it.

Click to Read More →

September 16, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

Why This BBDO Creative Director Is Lying on the Ground and Licking a Screen for You Carlos Moreno salutes his own work

You can be proud of your ads. But reenacting them in real life? That can get awkward.

Carlos Moreno, though, takes one for the team in the video below—a promo for the Bessies, which is a big ad awards show in Canada. The executive creative director at BBDO Toronto masterminded the weird Skittles Touch ads back in 2011, and here he reenacts the famous one with the cat—complete with eager licking of the screen.

The line at the end explains everything.

Though Moreno works at BBDO, the Bessies spot was actually done by JWT Canada.

Credits below.

Click to Read More →

September 16, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

This Brilliantly Designed Alarm Clock Wakes You by Brewing a Cup of Coffee And looks damn good doing it

Tired of being awoken by talk radio or the dulcet default chimes of your smartphone? Maybe you'd like a nice cup of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe instead?

The Barisieur is here to help. Or at least it will be when British designer Joshua Renouf gets it to market at an estimated price of £250 ($405 on our side of the pond).

The device "eases the user into the day with the subtle movement of stainless steel ball bearings that boil the water through induction heating." Fancy!

It's clearly a beautiful piece of functional decor, with a removable Corian tray, drawers for grounds and sugars, and even a cooled compartment for cream. Alas, my cat will likely have all of this on the floor by 2 a.m. on Day 1.

Via Design Milk.

Click to Read More →

September 16, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

Jennifer Garner Returns to TV as Capital One's Newest Spokes-Celebrity And she won't stand for airline seat rip-offs

Jennifer Garner is back on TV and very upset with chairs in two new ads for Capital One's Venture Card.

The visuals in the two spots, titled “Seats” and “Musical Chairs,” are bright and whimsical, which contrasts with Garner's concerned vocal delivery. Did one of those chairs kick a puppy or something? 

She hasn't gone full Clint Eastwood, but she's still pretty intense about the first-world problem of airline mile blackout dates.

Garner joins a growing roster of big-name celebrities who've starred in Capital One ads, including Alec Baldwin and Samuel L. Jackson.

September 16, 2014, 9:58 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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