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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 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 City 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 hardcore "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

Emoji Among Us Is Cute, Whimsical and an Advertisement in Disguise How many can you spot in short film?

"Since they first appeared on our shores early in this decade, these charming, versatile and intelligent figures have captured our hearts," an eloquent David Attenborough-esque voice narrates as Emoji Among Us: The Documentary begins. 

Except it's not really a documentary. The two-minute clip is the latest ingenious self-promo piece from stock video company Dissolve, whose amusing anti-advertising masterpiece, "This Is a Generic Brand Video," you probably remember from earlier this year.

Like that previous effort, Emoji Among Us was also made completely from stock footage available on Dissolve's site. To keep you interested this time, they've inserted little emoji everywhere and pretended it's a film about them. Spotting the emoji becomes a little game. Dissolve says there are 68 in the piece. How many can you find? has other fun self-promo videos, including a trailer for a fake movie called Cutezilla and another piece simply titled Awesome New Clips.

Via Summer Anne Burton.

July 21, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

Kimpton Hotels Fawn on Guests With a Half-Goat Who Keeps You Satyr-sfied Ads credit luxurious rewards to mythical man-beast

Join Kimpton Hotels' Karma rewards program and it'll fawn all over you. No, seriously, it’ll send a half-man, half-goat to surprise you in unexpected ways.

Not that the goat is actually going to do things TO you, but he's thinking really hard about how he can personalize your room. From spelling your dog's name out in tasty doggy treats that make him scream in delight, to placing cardboard cutouts of half-naked men in your room just when you’re arguing with your husband over the phone.

Well, that last one may not be real. Apparently, the actual rewards you get are more like the typical spa cards and free nights, but where the program is radically different is that it gives guests points for interacting with the hotel socially (although it won’t say how many points). But Tweeting and Facebooking about your Kimpton experience, traveling with your pet, and attending the complimentary cocktail hour will raise your karma.

That's a long way from the last time we wrote about Kimpton Hotels when it was bragging about the fact that every room comes with a sentient yoga mat.

According to creative director Kai Hasson, "Karma feels like magic, so what if something magical was behind it? That's what led us to the idea of going behind the scenes with a mythical satyr character." He can't fool me; it was all a bad pun. Goat man is a faun. Kimpton fawns all over you. But hey, you can't go wrong with a screaming Boston terrier named Zeus.

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July 21, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

Adman Is Selling More Than His Crappy Old Car in This Ridiculous Faux-Epic Ad A bit of agency self-promotion, too

Entertainingly overblown homemade ads for used cars are now part of a burgeoning tradition. But an Australian adman, backed by his agency, is throwing his hat into the ring to good effect.

The spot below for an old and battered two-door hatchback—a 1999 Holden Barina worth maybe $2,000 at best—is mostly a sight gag playing on the slick tropes often used in commercials for new cars. David Johns, the owner, features prominently, complete with smug grin, suit (but no tie) and aviators. There is ample fake flame effect. There is dubstep.

While the ad has generated some intriguing offers for the car, like large volumes of unicorn tears, it's mostly an exceptional sales pitch for Digital Chimney, where Johns works, and which helped fund production of the spot.

Other creatives, like the "Buy My Volvo" maestro, have arguably done better (if much, much crazier) sales pitches for their unwanted rides. But the "Buy My Barina" YouTube video has generated more than 1 million views since July 13. Not bad mileage for a beater.

July 21, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT

Carlton Draught Is Re-Airing This Awesomely Cheesy '80s Ad to Go With Its '70s Can The earnestness goes down smooth

Oh, the 1980s. Such quaint times. The tank tops. The big hair. The now-unsettling sense of enthusiasm. Even though the '80s revival was so 2000s, Carlton Draught is still dusting off a real ad from that decade and airing it again to celebrate the brewer's 150th anniversary.

The vintage commercial doesn't have the overblown magnetism of Australian competitor Hahn SuperDry's mondo-'80s recipe spoof from 2012, or the gold mine of throwback references packed into Delta's '80s-themed flight safety video from January. But it does have authenticity. That is to say, its bad decisions were genuine. So, when the corny jingle rises full of glory, and barflies laugh and cast suggestive glances at each other, the wholeheartedness of it all makes for great rubbernecking.

High-five to Carlton Draught, whose recent advertising has been non-ironically celebrated, for poking fun at its cheesy past. The throwback party also includes bringing back 1970s-era can designs for a limited run. Now all it needs to do is fast-track the '90s nostalgia.

July 21, 2014, 9:28 AM EDT

Honda Targets Hispanic Millennials by Mocking the Way Brands Target Hispanic Millennials Bilingual ads bust open the 'box of clichés'

Young Latino consumers: They're hip! They're mobile! They lead active, on-the-go lifestyles!

They're also, you know, pretty much like anybody else—though that's something marketers rarely want to hear when they're paying small fortunes for demographic "experts" to demystify the millennials who live at an ever-growing cultural crossroads in America.

Honda pokes some fun at the marketing world's Hispanic fixation in its newest ads from the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Orci agency for the Fit. Wild-haired comedian Felipe Esparza serves as a tour guide of sorts into the world of young Latinos, only to find that they're mostly just focused on running errands and getting to work.

"Are we going to a party?" he asks a couple from the back seat. 

"We're ... just going to the movies," the young woman replies.

He's also shocked to learn that instead of packing their trunk with trendy fixies, they're just grabbing groceries. "Groceries? Rebels!" 

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July 18, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT


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