Gabriel Beltrone

Adweek contributor
Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.

Ads for 2011 ESPY Awards Are Just So High School

Washington Wizards star John Wall earned something of a reputation for his dancing during his one year at the University of Kentucky, before being snapped up as the first pick of the 2010 NBA draft. The point guard, and his namesake fist-flex choreography, appear in this new, humorously self-deprecating campaign for ESPN's 2011 ESPY Awards, hosted for the second year running by comedian Seth Meyers. (Notably, Wall canceled plans to attend the show last year, despite ultimately winning for best male college athlete.) While we won't pass judgment on whether he or Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji emerges as the least awkward in the dance-off, we're pretty sure the defensive lineman would have the advantage in a fight. Other takeaways from the spots? Serena Williams, despite loving karaoke, isn't much of a singer. And Carmelo Anthony is terrified of bluegrass music. In addition to a heavy roster of sports talent, the spots were crafted by a stacked creative team: L.A.-based Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener worked with head Saturday Night Live writer and director Neal Brennan—co-creator of Chapelle's Show, as well as a contributor to Meyer's routine at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. Court Crandall, the agency's executive creative director (who also happened to write the movie Old School), says they shaped the spots by playing together in the "sandbox" of the campaign's conceptual framework: that the show is, like a high-school prom, mostly about celebrating. Hopefully nobody ends up needing a stomach pump at the end of the night. More spots after the jump. 

Ad of the Day: Carl’s Jr.

Last January for Absolut vodka, TBWA\Chiat\Day and director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) created a 30-minute short film that revolved around humanized robot themes including robot loneliness, robot love, and robot dismemberment.

R/GA Poaches Top Ogilvy Planner

R/GA has hired Russell Davies, a top planner at Ogilvy, to help build out the planning practice at its London office, the agency announced Wednesday.

How to Rig Up Household Items to Do Voice Searches on Google

If you happen to be a member of the super-niche class of super geeks who have dreamed of activating Google Voice Search—launched for desktops and laptop PCs earlier this month—by pulling a rope or rubbing a genie's lamp, you're in luck.

Children (and Husbands) Still Going Rogue in Walmart’s Latest Ads

Having cute kids can be a real pain in the ass. Like when your daughter hilariously glues your brand-new smartphone to the wall of her dollhouse, so her Barbie can have a flat-screen TV. Husbands can also be real gems, undermining your authority by behaving like children and indulging your offspring in video games well past bedtime. So propose a couple of new Walmart spots in The Martin Agency's product-packed conveyor-belt campaign. The series continues to emphasize the brand's role in enabling these somewhat humorous slices of middle-class life. The focus is expanding from household goods to consumer electronics, but it keeps the same general formula. The campaign is a winner, but will it get a little less funny, and feel more like an exercise in hawking, as the number of spots pile up? After the jump, check out two other new spots—a more banal tribute to an Alabama farmer's juice-dribbling peaches, and another illustration of Walmart's price-matching proposition, which attempts to cram as many images of the store's offerings into a 30-second spot as possible.

Ad of the Day: Sony

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then self-imitation is probably the highest form of self-flattery. That seems to be the main takeaway from this Sony U.K. spot promoting the brand's 3-D broadcast of Wimbledon. The ad is a remake of the famous 2005 U.S.

Anomaly’s ‘Avec Eric’ nabs second Emmy

Avec Eric, the cooking show produced by Anomaly, has picked up its second daytime Emmy. Last year, the series won the award for its title sequence. This year, it picked up the trophy in the culinary category.

StrawberryFrog Brazil Adds CCO

StrawberryFrog Brazil has named Mauro Perez its first chief creative officer, to help oversee a growing client portfolio and team, the Sao Paolo outpost has announced.

Ad of the Day: In the Raw

The impulse to gorge on sweets in the wake of getting dumped is likely to exacerbate feelings of self-pity by turning you into a cow. Lucky for you, In the Raw—marketers of all-natural sugar and a zero-calorie sweetener—is happy to mitigate your infatuation with your own inadequacy by facilitating a less-fattening brownie.

Father’s Day: The Crappier the Card, the Bigger the Love

One of the challenges of being a father must be the developing the ability to enjoy works of so-called art by your offspring—a fact immortalized in "I am better than your kids," the classic site dedicated to taking children's drawings down a notch or 10. The Father's Day spot below by Muhtayzik/Hoffer for TinyPrints, an online seller of customizable stationery, evokes that meme and momentarily ameliorates the underlying truth, telling a charming visual memoir through a lifetime of handmade holiday messages for Dad. You can do no wrong—even if your card is not the most brilliantly designed, or is just a toddler's illegible scrawl, or portrays Dad as a button-eyed, yarn-brained, pipe-cleaner-mouth love child of Carmen Miranda and Mr. Potato Head. You win just by showing up. And that's where TinyPrints comes in. Its cards are also handmade. Well, sort of—you drag and drop text and photos on the computer—today's version of arts and crafts. Bottom line: No matter how old you are now, your father will love your card because it's personalized. Overall, it's an appealing spot that's on message, following a similar Mother's Day spot for the brand (posted after the jump). Notably, this one gets a significant boost from the music, which, while produced by sound-design shop Volume, strikingly knacks DeVotchKa's score for Little Miss Sunshine.