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Can You Figure Out the Mystery Inside This Remarkable Ad About High School Love? A message deeper than idle sketches

Here's a pretty amazing ad from BBDO New York, with a mystery at its core. 

At the outset, we meet Evan, a high school kid who can't wait for summer break. He's so bored that he begins etching words into a table in the library. The next day, he finds that someone has written back to him on the table—and there ensues a back-and-forth that's pretty captivating. Perhaps too captivating. 

There seems to be romance building, or at least the hint of it. Who's been writing back to Evan? And will he ever connect with them? 

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December 2, 2016, 10:21 AM EST

This Gym's Reserved Parking Spots for Members Are the Farthest Ones From the Door Anytime Fitness extends your workout

Parking a few steps from the gym door is kind of like ordering a cheeseburger and a diet Coke. Isn't it?

Anytime Fitness won't dictate where its members leave their wheels, but the international 24/7 gym chain is encouraging its workout warriors to go the distance, even before they hit the treadmill. As part of a new campaign, the gym has created reserved spaces in the farthest reaches of their parking lots. How far? Several football fields away, whenever possible.

How's that for turning your life into a gym?

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December 2, 2016, 9:12 AM EST

Holiday Movies 2016: All The Films to See This Month, and How They're Being Marketed From comedy to drama, and indie to blockbuster

Harry: "Every year I just try to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's."
Sally: "A lot of suicides."

Yeah, it's a stressful time of year. Many of us are dealing with extended family more than we do any other time of year, and so are looking for moments of respite and escape. We might disappear into our phones, we might hide a small bottle of wine in the linen closet, or we might drive to Target and just sit in the parking lot for a sec.

Hollywood is, of course, hoping we got to the movies. To that end, it's put together a December release slate that mixes in a little bit of everything, from family-friendly comedies to big-budget blockbusters to prestige dramas vying for awards consideration.

Let's have a look at the contenders.

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December 1, 2016, 10:38 AM EST

Sonos Embraces 'Subway Therapy' After Its Ads Threaten to Displace the Sticky Notes in NYC Brand tries to preserve post-election art project

Photo: Kena Betancur/Stringer/Getty Images

For those in New York City grieving the results of the presidential election, the "Subway Therapy" wall of sticky notes inside New York City's Union Square station has been a source of solace and inspiration.

The wall was set up within hours of the Nov. 8 results by artist Levee, who showed up in the station with pens and hundreds of sticky notes—and urged people to share their feelings in those early traumatic hours and stick them on the wall for everyone to see.

Thousands did.

Which is why it was a little awkward for Sonos, the consumer electronics brand, this week, as its new ad campaign was set to take over much of the Union Square station—and in the process, displace many of the "Subway Therapy" notes. And indeed, as the installation of the ads began Tuesday, there was some backlash as the notes were taken down.

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November 30, 2016, 1:02 PM EST

Netflix Made a Gilmore Girls 'Binge Candle' That Smells Different as You Burn Through Each Episode Smell-O-Vision is almost real!

You can binge watch or binge read. And now you can even binge smell!

Check out the Binge Candle, created by Netflix (with help from TBWA\Chiat\Day) to help promote the Gilmore Girls revival. There are four 90-minute episodes as part of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, each related to a specific season. The series follows the lives of Lorelai, Rory and Emily as they go through winter, spring, summer and fall of 2016. 

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November 30, 2016, 12:09 PM EST

If You Cooked Up TV Shows in a Kitchen, It Might Look Like This Crazy, Delightful Ad BETC's latest for Canal+

One reason people go for over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix is you don't have to worry about channels anymore. You can just run it and have this broad array of awesome content at your fingertips. 

Barring HBO, channels are too dispersed to put up much of a fight against that kind of variety. They're niches, and if you don't fit into theirs, it isn't likely you'll visit the channel all that often. 

Then there are bundles. Bundling is one of the things millennials would like to see vanish—you're paying for a few channels you like, and getting a whole bunch you don't care about. 

Even so, French network Canal+ has just released an energetic little ad that makes bundles feel a lot like ... well, Netflix, frankly. 

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November 30, 2016, 11:26 AM EST

Napoleon Dynamite Stars Reunite in Burger King's Stupidly Charming Ad for Cheesy Tots Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez, like the product, are back for a limited time

If you're going to talk about tater tots, you might as well get the stars of Napoleon Dynamite to do it.

Yes, the cult film debuted over a decade ago (2004, to be exact) but there probably hasn't been another piece of pop culture that has embraced—and celebrated—tater tots. So, Burger King has gotten Jon Heder (the titular Napoleon) and Efren Ramirez (Pedro) to help sell Cheesy Tots, back at BK for a limited time. 

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November 30, 2016, 11:06 AM EST

Minute Maid Opened a Store for the Holidays Where You Can't Buy Anything at All And yet there are plenty of gifts

Parents, man. Whatever they do, they traumatize you.

That's just something we like to say in hard times. But parenting is obviously a job best characterized by improvisation, one constantly learned and never really mastered. Around the holidays, it's natural for parents to feel wracked by self-doubt. 

In honor of the people doing their best to make functional adults, Minute Maid has launched "The Holiday Store with Nothing to Sell." At this paradoxical little pop-up, crammed with sparkly snowflakes and light-drenched Christmas trees, kids walk in and write letters to their parents while sipping on orange juice. (Hemingway would cringe.) 

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November 30, 2016, 10:35 AM EST

Cheetos Has a 2016 Winter Fashion Collection for Those Who Can't Get Enough Orange And yes, you can buy the stuff

Cheetos seems to have figured that if you're wearing their product anyway, they might as well make a wearable collection.

Chester Cheetah himself is said to have designed a new winter fashion line that elevates the typical orange fingers and striped clothing stains you get after eating a bag of Cheetos—all the way to leggings and male onesies.

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November 30, 2016, 10:09 AM EST

Snowmen Migrate North to Colder Weather in Quirky Mockumentary About Climate Change A lighter approach to a grave problem

In the meadow, we can build a snowman … can't we?

Rising temperatures resulting from climate change can put the kibosh on such seasonal fun. And more important, increasing heat threatens all manner of species on planet Earth, including human beings.

That's the message of "Save Our Snowmen," a public-service campaign dropping today from Cool Effect, an online crowdfunding platform that backs carbon-reduction initiatives.

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November 29, 2016, 4:02 PM EST

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AdFreak is a 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.

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