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There's Already a Parody of the John Lewis Penguin Ad, and It's Painfully Hilarious A darker take on an adorable spot

This year's John Lewis Christmas ad was released today, and it's super good—it'll be hard for anyone to top. And in one of the quickest turnarounds ever, Redshirt Films has made a pretty funny spoof of the adorable spot featuring a boy and his penguin.

We won't spoil it, but let's just say the creators shine a light on the terrible practice of enslaving these poor little creatures with tiny minds who are forced to perform tricks and act as "fluffy hot water bottles for spoiled rich children."

Take a look below at this scathing send-up of the instant classic.

November 6, 2014, 12:55 PM EST

Puddles the Golden-Voiced Clown Wants You to Ditch the Corporate Drudgery Loan service ad reminds entrepreneurs of all they leave behind

If you've ever been a corporate clown, you can relate to this spot aimed at small business owners who fled the office circus to live their dreams.

Puddles, the Sad Clown with the Golden Voice, sings an altered version of the 1899 song "Keep on the Sunny Side," made popular in the 1920s by The Carter Family. His version, entitled "Keep on the Corporate Side," is a satirical ode to all things loathed by corporate wage slaves.

From the mockery that is casual Friday to dreams of vacations we can never take, the song is depressingly accurate. Lines like, "When they give you birthday cake, it just seems a little fake," might make you rethink every corporate-enforced celebration you've ever tried to enjoy. Luckily, Puddles' antics in the video and his melodious voice keep you smiling. And, of course, the video ends on a happy note as Puddles packs up his desk and quits.

Small business loan service Kabbage Inc. created the spot with Atlanta's BreenSmith Advertising Agency to appeal to small business owners who've jumped the corporate ship (and those about to make the leap).

It's interesting to note the video encourages people to share their #sadclown stories, since that's a hashtag already in use by Puddles for his unrelated antics. But hey, you might as well have something come up when people search for your hashtag, and you could do worse than videos of a sad clown with an amazing singing voice.

November 6, 2014, 11:52 AM EST

Why Every Marketing Person in Canada Is Cursing the Name of This One Agency (NSFW) What is going on at Cossette, anyway?

Today in amusing Canadian agency videos, we have this one from Cossette—in which marketing people all over the country ask the same bewildered question: "What the fuck is going on at Cossette?"

It's a good question, as it turns out. And kudos to people from rival agencies who make cameos here, including Carlos Moreno and Peter Ignazi of BBDO and—at the very end—Geoffrey Roche, who founded Lowe Roche. Other folks making appearances include the Trailer Park Boys, Chris Van Dyke of School Editing and Ted Rosnick of RMW Music.

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November 6, 2014, 10:51 AM EST

All the Best Fake Commercials From Movies in One Amazing Supercut Some are better than the films themselves

In building a reality that suspends disbelief, moviemakers must pay attention to the smallest details—to make sure the world they've created is consistently styled. This means not only creating an engaging plot, but filling in the everyday occurances like the ads that inhabit these worlds. 

Well, Screen Junkies has done us all a solid and culled together the best of the best fake commercials in real movies. Sometimes the spots were incidental, buried on a TV in the background, and sometimes they played a more central role. 

The movies represented here include Robocop, Goodfellas, Wreck-It Ralph, Anchorman, Tropic Thunder, Jack and Jill, Jingle All the Way, Toy Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Serenity, Ghostbusters, Happy Gilmore, Batman, Lost in Translation, Anchorman 2, Prometheus, Punch-Drunk Love, Donnie Darko, Requiem for a Dream, Talladega Nights, The Running Man, Tommy Boy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Truman Show, UHF, Westworld, The Wolf of Wall Street, Total Recall, Beetlejuice, Coming to America, Dodgeball, Halloween III, I Robot, Robocop 2 and Starship Troopers.

And the results are fantastic.

November 6, 2014, 9:37 AM EST

These Subtly Animated Posters for Disney's Into the Woods Are Creepily Compelling Putting GIFs to good use

Animated posters for movies? Sounds annoying. Wait, subtly animated posters? Now you have my attention.

Disney's cinema adaptation of the Broadway musical Into the Woods is being teased with a series of animated portraits that do a good job setting the mood for a dark fairy tale. In most of the GIFs, the only movement is in the form of shifting shadows and reflected moonlight. 

Subtle animation is quite a creative trend these days, so it's not like Disney's marketing team invented the idea. But it's still a great example of when form and function work well together.

Check them all out below, via Disney Insider.

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November 5, 2014, 5:28 PM EST

GoldieBlox Hammers Barbie-Style Dolls in This Creepy-Cool Homage to Apple's '1984' Smashing the patriarchal beauty standard

GoldieBlox is back with a charged ad aimed once again at tackling sexism in children's toys.

The spot, which is structured much like Apple's famed "1984" commercial, features young girls decked out in all manners of glitter and pink (you know, "girly" things) lining up to grab perfect Barbie-like dolls while a "Big Sister" drones, over and over: "You are beauty, and beauty is perfection."

What is it about Orwellian spots and hammers? Why is smashing things to smithereens so satisfying? Anyway, you can guess the ending.

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November 5, 2014, 4:25 PM EST

Gap Made a Bunch of Short Art Films, and They're Weird but Very Good A case for artists to get into advertising

If there ever were a case for injecting fine-art theory into advertising, and vice versa, it's these latest short spots from Gap. The 10 mini-spots, from Wieden + Kennedy in New York, promoting the clothing retailer's holiday gift guide, are so odd—but could totally pass as an MFA thesis or be seen at a gallery in Chelsea.

Gap—which last week rolled out four proper holiday commercials directed by Sofia Coppola, also from W+K—ditches human models here and clothes ordinary objects in its newest threads, aided by some perfectly matched sound effects and tracks. They're delightful and ridiculous and playful, and among my favorite ads this year. 

If Marcel Duchamp were still alive to make ads, this is what he'd make. 

Oh, and Gap and W+K also collaborated on a digital game where you use your webcam to "play" the stripes on your Gap striped sweater.

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November 5, 2014, 2:27 PM EST

How JWT Is Turning Campaign Signs Into Furniture After Elections Are Over Upcycling comes to politics

Now that the elections are over, just think about all the fun craft projects you can do with irrelevant campaign signs—at least, if you live in Brazil.

Civic nonprofit Mobilidade Urbana Sustenável and JWT are out with the Political Furniture project, a campaign in the wake of the country's elections that shows people how to turn post-ballot sandwich boards into DIY home fixtures.

The project includes instruction sets for how to build coat racks, stools, towel horses, side tables and coffee tables out of discarded campaign materials. You still have to do a fair amount of work—the key element in the designs seems to be thee two-by-fours found in sandwich boards. The wood will need sawing and sanding and screwing, so don't forget your toolkit.

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November 5, 2014, 1:22 PM EST

Remarkable Ads Protest the Absurdity of the Open-Carry Gun Policy at Kroger Skateboards no, firearms yes

Agencies have taken many approaches to creating memorable gun-control ads. Grey Toronto's latest work for Moms Demand Action, opposing an open-carry gun policy in Kroger supermarkets, is thought-provoking—and notably restrained by category standards.

A pair of minute-long radio spots use actual recorded phone calls in which Kroger employees try to explain why people can openly carry firearms in the store, but pets and kids' scooters are banned. This approach could easily have veered into mean-spiritedness, but the conversations never make the employees sound foolish. These folks are, after all, not the policy makers.

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November 5, 2014, 11:56 AM EST

Brilliant YouTube Banner Ads in Peru Cover Subtitles to Promote English Lessons 'The action's up there, not down here'

Learning a new language is never easy, and for many Peruvians, it's a lot easier to just read the Spanish subtitles on their favorite U.S. movie trailers.

Armed with that insight, language school Euroidiomas has been trolling these viewers with clever YouTube banner ads that covered subtitles on movie promos and urged them to sign up for English classes.

"The action's up there, not down here," notes one ad.

"Go to watch movies, not to read them," says another.  

Clever as they may be, it's unlikely they worked very well if (as in the case study below) the ads were written in English. We're going to guess the real ads were in Spanish and that this version was just created for us English speakers to appreciate the campaign. 

Now, if we're done, I'd like to get back to this Tortugas Ninjas trailer. 

Via Creative Criminals.

November 5, 2014, 10:07 AM EST

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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 and David Griner.

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