Ric Flair Is a Complete Lunatic as a Used-Car Salesman in Ads for US Auto Sales Channeling his real insanity

Let's get one thing clear right off the bat. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is a national treasure. He's also a human train wreck who lives on the knife-edge of self-parody, but even that is a gift. If Jay Gatsby had lived long enough to become your embarrassing uncle, he'd be Ric Flair.

I bring this up because Slick Ric plays the stereotype of a pushy, overexcited, cornball used-car salesman in three ads for US Auto Sales. And he's pretty much perfect for the role.

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January 23, 2017, 2:06 PM EST

What a Tobacco Company's Office Party Would Feel Like If Everyone There Were Totally Honest Cheers to the addicts!

Tobacco is the No. 1 cause of death in the Netherlands, taking 20,000 people to the Big Sleep every year. Frustratingly, it's also the most preventable one. 

But research also shows that smokers know how unhealthy smoking is, and don't particularly care—either because we're addicted, or because nothing ever seems all that scary until a little cough becomes something else, and suddenly your whole life has changed. 

Stivoro, the country's Foundation for Smoking and Health, wanted to get people up in arms about this, so it worked with Wefilm, last seen on Heineken's HR campaign, to produce "A Deadly Serious Matter."

In this odd fable, we get to see a tobacco company from the inside, talking openly about the ugly reasons for their success. All of it takes place in the context of a good-bye party for a fond colleague.

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January 23, 2017, 1:38 PM EST

The Dutch Are Speaking Trump's Language in This Hilarious Satire Video 'Welcoming' Him 'We've got the best tax evasion system God ever created'

While much of Europe seems understandably concerned about Donald Trump's "America First" stance, the Dutch are happy to find a middle ground: "The Netherlands Second."

In the clip below from satirical news show Zondag met Lubach (Sunday with Lubach, hosted by Arjen Lubach), The Netherlands rolls out the yuge red carpet for Trump with narration inspired by the president's own distinctive delivery style.

While there are plenty of jabs at Trump and his policies, the clip also pokes some fun at The Netherlands itself (not to mention the Spanish, Danish, Germans and a few others). It's definitely worth a watch:

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January 23, 2017, 1:20 PM EST

A Year Later, W+K Remembers David Bowie With Stunning Data-Driven Breakdown of 'Space Oddity' London shop's first window display of 2017

The great thing about an artist as prolific as David Bowie is that his work will continue to spawn new creations. He left us with a constellation of intersecting worlds we can live in and reinterpret for generations to come. 

Naturally, and perhaps because advertising also owes him a debt, creative people will want to do a lot of this spawning themselves.

For its first window display of 2017, Wieden + Kennedy London created "Space Oddity—a visual deconstruction," a data-driven tribute to Bowie's work marking the one-year anniversary of his death.

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January 23, 2017, 12:14 PM EST

Duracell Pushes the Idea of Trust in Its First Offbeat Ads From W+K Plus, a fun glossy catalog

When you're hacking away at unsightly ear hair, the last thing you want is for the battery in your trimmer to conk out. That would leave you with bushy lobes and broken dreams.

You'd prefer those tiny blades to cut fast and true, the reassuring buzz of your AA-battery-powered device ringing like sweet music in your progressively less-hairy ear. Now you're ready to take on the big, bad world. See you in hell, unsightly ear hair!

Wieden + Kennedy New York brings this shaggy scenario to life in the ad below, part of its new "Trust Is Power" campaign for Duracell:

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January 23, 2017, 11:31 AM EST

Dads Play Barbie With Their Daughters in the Doll's Latest Charming Effort to Modernize BBDO explores a unique bond

Mattel has had a lot of success modernizing the perception of Barbie over the past few years, by focusing on her power to help girls imagine a powerful and fulfilling future for themselves. Now, the brand is quietly subverting gender roles, too, in a new campaign that shows fathers playing Barbie with their girls.

The "Dads Who Play Barbie" campaign, from BBDO San Francisco, kicked off this weekend during the NFL playoffs with a 30-second spot, "Doctor," in which a self-described "typical man's man" admits his Sunday afternoon ritual of watching football is now often interrupted by Barbie time.

For which, he says, he couldn't be happier. "You would do anything, anything to make her happy," he tells the camera, in between unscripted clips of him playing Barbie with his girl in a high-pitched voice.

There are two other 30-second executions, along with a 90-second anthem film of sorts, which you can watch here:

Kristina Duncan, vp of global marketing communications at Barbie, tells AdFreak that the campaign features six real dads and their young daughters.

"We looked for families that consumers could not only relate to in one way or another, but that had a true and honest connection between them," she says. "These play moments were completely unscripted, so throughout the campaign you will see imaginations run wild, genuinely funny moments, and of course the sweet tender connections between these dads and their daughters."

Matt Miller, executive creative director at BBDO San Francisco, says the work was particularly poignant to him personally.

"When our brilliant creative team, Rachel Kelly and Taylor Garrett, first showed this idea, I immediately fell in love with it. Not only is it a perfect expression of Barbie's purpose of helping girls imagine all their possibilities, I could see myself in it," he says. "I grew up with four brothers, no sisters, so I never had Barbie in the house. Despite that, now that I have a 3-year-old daughter, I often find myself on the floor with her, Barbie in hand."

Miller adds: "Those are truly amazing moments where I get see her imagination in action. One day we're doctors, the next we're sisters, the next we're fighting off ninjas. This body of work celebrates the incredible moments that every dad can have with his daughter if he's just willing to pick up a Barbie."

The campaign is a new articulation of the ongoing "You Can Be Anything" positioning, which has included the famous "Imagine the Possibilities" spot from late 2015, which showed little girls acting as teachers and doctors and businesswomen in real-world environments.

In press materials for the dad spots, Barbie cites research by Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University showing that girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their fathers from early childhood are less likely to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as they grow up.

"We think it's important to shine a spotlight on all of the role models in a young girl's life that help to build self-worth and self-confidence, including men," Duncan says.

This integrated campaign will include TV, cinema, digital and print advertising. Partnerships with Social Native, Tongal and Time Inc. will further promote #DadsWhoPlayBarbie.

Father-daughter story lines have been popular in other advertising airing during NFL telecasts over the past few years—in particular, the memorable Pantene campaign from last winter in which NFL stars styled their girls' hair.

Client: Barbie
SVP, Global General Manager: Lisa McKnight
VP, Global Marketing Communications: Kristina Duncan
Global Marketing Communications Director: Liz Maglione
Global Marketing Communications Manager: Nicole Leeds
Agency: BBDO San Francisco

BBDO San Francisco:
Matt Miller, Executive Creative Director
Christina Whalen, Associate Creative Director, Art Director
Andrew Shaffer, Associate Creative Director, Copywriter
Rachael Kelly, Art Director
Taylor Garrett, Copywriter
Whitney Ferris, Senior Producer
Danielle Ivicic, Business Affairs
Marc Burns, Managing Director
Kim Fredkin, Senior Account Director
Nicole Dongara, Management Supervisor
Erin Albertson, Account Supervisor

BBDO New York:
Crystal Rix, Chief Strategy Officer
Alaina Crystal, Strategy Director

Director: Karen Cunningham, Slim Pictures Inc.
Editor: Andrea MacArthur, Lost Planet
Senior Colorist: Steve Rodriguez, Apache
Sound Designer: Matt Miller, Lime
VFX Supervisor: James Bohn, Black Hole
Principal Composer: Alexis Harte, Pollen Music Group 

January 23, 2017, 11:04 AM EST

This Nut Brand Bought the Bluntest Front-Page Ad Reacting to Trump's Inauguration Lebanese agency explains the decision to publish it

Brands that have weighed in on Friday's inauguration of Donald Trump as the U.S. president have mostly tiptoed around the issue with cryptic or broad messaging. But not Al Rifai, a Lebanese nut brand, whose front page ad on Saturday in The Daily Star newspaper is nothing if not frank.

"The world has gone nuts," says the headline, above a product shot and below the paper's coverage of Trump's big day—and the conflicting reactions to it.

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January 21, 2017, 9:51 AM EST

This Ad About Dangerous Driving Is 100% Not Headed Where You Think It Is A 'road without rules' that already exists

Imagine a road without rules—one where you can drive like a madman, cut people off at will, and stop wherever you want for an impromptu selfie.

That might sound either awesome or awful. Luckily, none of us has to experience it in real life ... or do we? This riotous spot on the subject veers off into a message you might not see coming:

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January 20, 2017, 5:42 PM EST

Expedia Shares a Powerful Message of Global Togetherness Amid a Divisive Inauguration The timing is no coincidence

While most brands seem to be quietly disinterested in discussing today's inauguration, travel booking site Expedia seems a bit more willing to wade into the fray.

A new ad from the brand and agency 180LA is debuting today during CNN's coverage of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, but its message is notably out of sync with Trump's general worldview of American exceptionalism and (specifically) distrust of Muslims.

 "The Train" tells the story of a woman traveling the globe and immersing herself in a wide range of cultures and events. The rapid-fire storytelling packs in a world of romance, tension, exploration and activism. Beautifully shot and perfectly cast, it's a stellar ad for any time period, but one that's likely to be especially impactful today and in the months to come.

"We believe that travel has the power to transform you and shape your views of the world," said Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia. "We believe that the more each of us travel and peek over our neighbor's fence, we learn that we have more in common than we have different. Our hope is that everyone can take this day to reflect on how they can connect to their neighbors across the country and around the world."

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January 20, 2017, 11:29 AM EST

This Colorado Agency Just Made 3 Strains of Marijuana Specifically for Ad People Special cultivars for creatives, strategists and technologists

Need a little mind-altering inspiration in your advertising job? Colorado agency TDA_Boulder has just the thing—three new strains of marijuana designed to get agency creatives, strategists and technologists in the groove and doing better work.

The ad pot was made as part of a promotional campaign for The Fifty, which is the Denver Ad Club's award show, showcasing the market's 50 best ideas of the year. "The Fifty Weed," as the drug is being called, was made in partnership with Colorado Kind, a marijuana grower and award show sponsor.

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January 20, 2017, 8:06 AM 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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