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'Emoji Among Us' Short Film Is Cute, Whimsical and an Advertisement in Disguise How many can you spot?

"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 they'll fawn all over you. No, seriously, they’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 they 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 they were 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 goldmine 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 every-growing cultural crossroads in America.

Honda pokes some fun at the marketing world's Hispanic fixation in its newest ads from the Santa Monica-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

Social Ranking Site Creates a New Battleground for Agency Egos Pivotstack tallies audiences, and Ogilvy's on top

Does Ogilvy & Mather have the best online presence of any advertising agency in the world? Yes, according to a new site that ranks shops based on the size of their social audiences.

Created and maintained by Pivotstack, a tech company that creates software specifically for marketing agencies, the "Top 50 Ad Agencies" list takes into account the number of likes and followers an agency has on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as the traffic to an agency's website, as ranked by analytics firm Alexa.

The leaderboard, so far, is a bit of a surprise.

Design consulting group Ideo is at No. 2, with Wieden + Kennedy taking the bronze. The first historically pure-play digital shop on the list is Razorfish, clocking in at sixth.

The list also includes media planning and buying agencies like Mindshare, along with public relations shops like Edelman. There's even a holding company: MDC Partners.

The first 100 agencies were drawn from other lists of top shops and the personal knowledge of Pivotstack staff, although the site includes a callout inviting agencies to contact Pivotstack to be added.

Some digital brand names, like AKQA and Huge, are notably absent from the list. But the current version is just a first draft that "might not have hit some of the bigger ones," Michael Koehler, director of sales and marketing at Pivotstack, tells AdFreak. "It's nothing personal against them, and they'll probably be added in the next few months."

The social media numbers for each agency are currently entered manually, but Pivotstack also hopes to automate the update process in coming months. (For example, Ogilvy's Facebook score on the list is currently only 205,000, whereas its Facebook page has grown to 215,000 likes).

The website bills the list as a "fun project" aimed at measuring how well an agency is doing at managing its online presence, hinting how that might speak to their ability to manage a client's. It's also—perhaps moreso—a clever way for the company to draw attention to itself among its target customers. (It rarely hurts to appeal to vanity or envy in the advertising business).

What about the age-old "cobbler's shoes" argument that agencies might be neglecting their own presences in favor of servicing their clients? Koehler says an agency's online presence is "just a reflection of how well a shop is run" and demonstrates one facet of their abilities. "By no means," he says, "is this supposed to be the definitive list of best agencies in the world."

Via Design Taxi.


July 18, 2014, 9:18 AM EDT

Fellas, Bill Kurtis Wants You to Go on a Mancation to Illinois With Him News veteran's tourism spots rally the bros

Legendary anchorman Bill Kurtis is a man's man. Just ask Ron Burgundy ... or the Illinois Office of Tourism.

A new campaign from JWT Chicago features Kurtis, a veteran Chicago journalist best known today for hosting cable crime shows like Investigative Reports, Cold Case Files and American Justice. This time we see a new side of Kurtis, pitching his home state as an ideal destination for "mancations"—getaways that focus on stock car driving, gambling and—wait, wait... don't tell me—golf.

These trips are cast as reciprocation for womanly leisure activities like book clubs, because, the argument goes, if a guy suffers in the name of love through a sentimental novel, he should be rewarded.

Kurtis oozes charisma, and the message is certainly more down to earth than the zany miniature replica of Abraham Lincoln the state has been using to appeal to potential visitors. The world didn't really need another advertising portmanteau, but the real risk for the brand is that Kurtis's outsized personality eclipses a concept that, at its core, doesn't add much new to the resurgent trend of testosterone-drenched advertising

Then again, if a person in a bear suit playing a bugle comes standard with vacations to Illinois, sign me up.

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July 18, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

Devin SuperTramp Creates a 260-Foot Water Slide Down a San Francisco Street Bear Naked Granola is YouTube influencer's newest client

YouTube influencer Devin SuperTramp is a man who knows how to get what he wants. And in this case, he wants to ride a 260-foot water slide down the streets of San Francisco. 

The video for Bear Naked Granola, with more than 600,000 views in its first few days online, is basically two-and-a-half minutes of young people screeching and squealing as they slosh down the steep track on inflatable rafts, boogie-boards, various rubber sea creatures and, in some cases, their bare bellies.

(I'm sure the locals who spend a zillion dollars for their shoebox-size garden apartments were just thrilled with all the brand-fueled water tomfoolery.)

Street surfing is rapidly becoming a thing. Last year, an artist turned a boulevard in Bristol, England, into a 300-foot water slide to highlight the intricacies and costs of urban planning, because, clearly, only a giant water slide could communicate those complex points.

Check out a behind-the-scenes video below to see the equipment, logistics and rapid jumping reflexes required to pull off a shoot like this.

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July 18, 2014, 9:11 AM EDT

The Other Bieber, Letterman and Zellweger Star in Ads for the Other Amazon Agency finds people who share its famous-name problem

Sharing a name with a celebrity has got to be a blessing and a curse. But it can also make you mildy famous.

Lynda Pearson and Millie Olson co-founded Amazon Advertising, an agency based in San Francisco. In the video below, they explain that while they and the e-retail juggernaut have filed seperate trademarks that keep each from encroaching on one another's business, it's gotten harder to maintain an identity as the Amazon that's not THE Amazon.

"We just didn't know they were going to take over the entire world," Pearson says. 

Taking a page from Jack in the Box and Taco Bell's "Real Ronald" and Seattle's Best's "Real Duncan" campaigns, the folks at Amazon Advertising have started the Mistaken Identity Project, recruiting real people with famous names to help explain their dilemma.

The results are pretty amusing too. "The real" Justin Bieber explains how he's been kicked off Facebook (for not being the douchier but more famous Bieber), and Jon Stewart talks about how he dated a girl named Hillary Clinton (who incidentally wasn't so proud to share her name when the Lewinsky scandal broke). 

As for Amazon Advertising, you'd think they're quite lucky to share a name with America's most popular brand.

Take a look below as Bieber, Stewart, Zellweger, Letterman, Alice Cooper and the Amazon Advertising team give us a taste of what it might be like to be famous...ish.

Via Creative Criminals.

Justin Bieber

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July 17, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

Nike Boosts Brazil's Morale After World Cup by Looking Ahead to the Olympics 'Tomorrow starts now'

Nike doesn't want Brazil to linger on its loss in the World Cup. Instead, the brand's new ad aimed is aimed at pumping up the passionate nation of sports fans for their next global event: the 2016 Olympics.

"Tomorrow Starts Now" is a beautiful tribute to the outstanding athleticism of a country whose chances at glory were abruptly and embarrassingly snuffed out by a 1-7 World Cup loss to Germany.

But instead of trying to tend the wounds of Brazil's futebol fan base, Nike is instead looking ahead to the many events where the country is expected to do well when the world returns to Rio de Janeiro's for the next Summer Games.

The spot from Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo is a solid minute packed with diverse talent like track athlete Ana Claudia Lemos, beach volleyball siblings Clara and Carol Salgado, basketball players Leandrinho and Anderson Varejão, and Yane Marquez, a bronze medalist in the modern pentathlon at the London Olympics.

As usual, Nike is on top of its game, finding those perfect moments that celebrate the unparalleled power of the world's best athletes. It's also a moving reminder that the soul of sport lies not in winning, but in the passion it takes to keep going after a defeat. You can make it, Brazil. You can get past this.

July 17, 2014, 4:02 PM 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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