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Ad of the Day: Airbnb Pitches You a Fantasy Rental Home Right Out of The Jungle Book

I'm nine thousand foot up, preparing to land on open ocean."

That's the kick-off from an epic new ad series launching today from Airbnb's latest "Love this? Live there" campaign—the perfect post-Super Bowl Sunday surprise.

The spots benefit from two separate partnerships. This first one begins with Bear Grylls of Man vs. Wild dangling from an airplane before letting go and careening toward an island surrounded by turquoise water. No, it's not selling sky-dives, but the experience may well come part and parcel when you book a stay on a private island of your choice for $100 off. (Who says Richard Branson gets to have all the fun?)

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The other spot, the fruit of a cross-promotion with Disney's The Jungle Book film, speaks exclusively through a CGI-rich live-action reimagining of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale of Mowgli, who cavorts wildly with his jungle buddies—before Airbnb punts you $100 off all treehouses! Because if you've never dreamed of living in a treehouse, even as an adult, you don't get to be our friend. 

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"The diversity of homes on the Airbnb platform is unrivaled," Airbnb's CMO Jonathan Mildenhall tells Adweek. "In this campaign, we put the spotlight on some of the more unusual accommodations like treehouses, islands, ski chalets and beachside homes that travelers really love."

He adds: "Our partnership with Disney captivates the deep connection between both brands. This flagship film marks the perfect beginning of an exciting partnership. There is no better way to live the epic adventure in The Jungle Book than a magical treehouse experience on Airbnb. This film leans directly into this creative insight."

Both ads, conceived by TBWA\Chiat\Day, come in :15 and :30 variants and go live today. Over the course of the next few months, they'll be accompanied by seasonal content about people living out various passions—be they surfing, skiing or just lying back beachside. Expect to see them internationally in theatres and across digital supports. 

What's cool about this collection, which builds on the back of recent non-corporate stories like the Netflix and Chill apartment or even that post-snowstorm igloo number that Airbnb wasn't so crazy about, is that it puts the "Dream it, live it" narrative back into Airbnb's hands. If the brand unlocks the popular imagination, it isn't just because it provides a "local" alternative to hotels; it's also because time has blessed it with an accumulation of exceptional rental experiences that actually empower users to inhabit spaces once consigned to fantasy (and brought to you by Disney—"Swiss Family Robinson," anybody?)—or limited to people like Sting.

Think of it as the Uberization of adventure … and non-stop envy fodder for your insatiable Instagram account. Where will you go—what could you live—next?

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Facebook Makes ‘Friends Day’ Videos for Millions of Users on Its 12th Birthday

Facebook gets back to basics—the importance of friendship—with a new product it's been rolling out to users Thursday on the occasion of its 12th birthday, which it has dubbed "Friends Day."

Facebook users around the world who've logged into the social site today have been greeted with a personalized "Friends Day" video, which they can watch, edit and share. The project was created by Facebook's in-house agency, The Factory. Facebook is also releasing two sticker packs, free to download, called "Best Friends" and "Friendship."

See an example of the video here:

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If you don't see the "Friends Day" interface in your newsfeed, you can access it here.

Facebook also hosted a Friends Day event earlier this week, inviting 18 members of the Facebook community with interesting stories to get together at the company's Menlo Park headquarters. They included GirlCrew, a Facebook group created in Dublin (it's now in 40 cities) that empowers women to find friends and organize events in their area.

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The company outlined its thoughts about friendship in a blog post:

"Today, February 4, marks Facebook's 12th birthday. Each year we recognize this day as Friends Day and invite the world to celebrate and reflect on the importance of connecting. When people connect, powerful things happen and lives are changed. We see this on Facebook every day, whether it's an exchange with an old friend that brings a smile to your face or a new connection that changes your life path, or even the world. To celebrate, we are releasing an updated degrees of separation statistic, highlighting inspiring stories about the power of friendship, and launching new products to further encourage our community to rally around their friends today." 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Mutants and a Talking Puppet Can’t Believe Pizza Hut Is for Real in These Silly Ads

Pizza Hut embraces absurd wordplay in a new campaign from Ogilvy & Mather London—and it's not a bad deal. 

A series of 10-second spots and a 30-second wrap-up (below) pitch viewers on the fast-food chain's "Big Deal" promotion by sizing it up against a series of scenarios that might seem impressive, but actually pale in comparison. 

An invisible woman in a bathrobe and towel head-wrap, a magnetic man covered in spoons, and a charred woman (who's been struck by lightning) all open their doors to register surprise at the incredible value of Pizza Hut's delivery.

The most clever—and the funniest by far—features a puppet who's ditched his ventriloquist. "And I thought going solo was a big deal!" he quips.

While puns are usually ill-advised for advertising, these work well enough—probably because they're so short, and manage to make something of the little time they have, even with a hard sell baked in under the cheesy jokes. "Such a big deal, nothing else seems like a big deal," proclaims the voiceover. 

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

This is Ogilvy London's second campaign for Pizza Hut, following last year's similarly ridiculous "Classic Crust" ad, where a man tricks his friend's girlfriend into sharing her pizza by wearing the world's worst disguise. 

It goes without saying that the ads are still pretty dumb, but that's the point. The over-the-top, incredulous tone for a deal-themed selling point does feel a little like some of Barton F. Graf's work for Little Caesars, though. 

Regardless, as long as Pizza Hut U.K. isn't peddling branded hoodies with idiotic phrases like "Pizza Is Bae" plastered across them, it's coming out ahead.

CREDITS
Pizza Hut Delivery – The Big Deal
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather London
Brand: Pizza Hut Delivery
Client name and job title: Adrienne Berkes (Chief Marketing Officer, Yum!)
Copywriter: Will Marsden
Art director: Jordan Down
Chief Creative Officer: Gerry Human
Creative Partner: Sam Cartmell
Planner: Matt Box
Planning Partner: Gen Kobayashi
Business Partner: Laurence Sassoon
Account Director: Jawad Ashraf 
Director: Michael Clowater
Production Company: Smuggler Films
Producer: Adam Smith
Agency Producer: Thea Slevin
Post Production: The Mill
Media agency: Starcom
Exposure: TV, Radio, Online
 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Daily Burn Is Targeting Fitness Beginners With TV Ads and Ephemeral Workout Sessions

As fitness and wellness becomes a bigger part of everyday consumers' lives, workout and nutrition brand Daily Burn is shaking up its advertising with a new message.

Two new spots from Hearst-owned iCrossing align the brand with everyday people who want to step up their fitness goals. According to Patrick Bennett, svp and executive creative director at iCrossing, the work is new territory for Daily Burn, which has traditionally steered toward direct-response TV ads.

"Gone are the immaculately chiseled trainers and equally immaculately chiseled folks that are getting trained—now we have regular people," Bennett said. "These people have been turned off by a gym, [and] they don't feel like they fit into a lot of these health crazes."

The ads promote Daily Burn 365—a daily workout-on-demand video series. Similar to Snapchat's ephemeral posts, each daily episode is only available for one day before it disappears.

"The beginner workout market in fitness is underserved, especially in streaming, and as a result we see an opportunity to help a large portion of the population live healthier, fit lives," said Kevin Ranford, head of marketing for Daily Burn. "By providing community and support to help beginners stay motivated and engaged, we see a big opportunity in 2016 and forward."

In one ad, a woman discovers Daily Burn's workouts and tells all of her co-workers and friends about it. "She's a regular, quirky girl who works in a regular office," Bennett said. "She is really a person that you know."

The other spot shows people exercising in their living rooms with "these little vignettes of reality where you would really use the product in your home," Bennett explained.

The campaign is running on daytime TV, Hulu, Facebook and Twitter.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

It's the first Daily Burn work from iCrossing, which is better known as a search agency, and some say it's had a hard time breaking out of performance-driven marketing.

These days, Bennett said iCrossing's business is split equally between performance and creative work. And it's that mix of marketing tactics that got Daily Burn's attention.

"They were looking at working with some other companies who were either closer to their [direct-response] past or their brand-building future," Bennett said. "Why we hit it off was because of our approach to marketing, which is focused on the melding of performance with brand building. We understand that all of this stuff needs to drive your business—why you're spending money is not just to build your brand, but also to drive the bottom line of your business."

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Thai Brand Apologizes for Blackface Ad That Said ‘You Just Need to Be White to Win’

A Thai company has apologized for producing an ad for a skin-whitening product that featured a woman in blackface and suggested people with dark skin are losers.

The company, Seoul Secret, pulled the ad off YouTube on Friday, Reuters reports. The ad showed two women side by side, one of whom suddenly becomes dark-skinned, much to her evident distress. "You just need to be white to win," said the tagline.

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This isn't the first time the issue has come up in Thailand, where a pale complexion is  associated with a higher social status. But Seoul Secret denied any intention of being racist.

"Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist messages," Seoul Secret wrote on Facebook. "What we intended to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance, skills, and professionally is crucial." 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Why Google and Facebook Are Uniquely Positioned to Control How Marketing Evolves

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As the drum beat on media personalization grows louder and more urgent, Keith Grossman, head of sales, Americas for Bloomberg, kicks off his tour of duty at CES 2016 charting the increasing influence Facebook and Google have on connected consumer conversations.

Both mega media platforms, in Grossman's estimation, have the most access to what consumers are doing from a logged-on perspective and therefore are uniquely and powerfully positioned to control how marketing will evolve.

"They are doing it in a manner that is not overly intrusive, but in a stepped and logical manner," he says, adding that they clearly have the ability to "overwhelm the consumer" but have been savvy enough to launch marketing programs that "feel additive to what the consumer wants."

Grossman is also intrigued by the notion that wearables that don't soon vanish from users' wrists, fingers and clothes will be rendered obsolete.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Twitter’s Goal at CES: Show How It Makes Everything ‘More Shareable, More Live’

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The pace of tech innovation over the past decade will seem positively glacial compared to what will happen in the next four as increasingly smart, predictive hardware creates the super powered consumer.

That's according to Joel Lunenfeld, vp of global brand strategy at Twitter, who says his company's mission for CES 2016 is to show how Twitter can be an integral live connection to culture and personal passion points via deeper integration into these new hardware tools coming online at every turn. 

Lunenfeld's comments came fast on the heals of Twitter announcing a new conversational ad product designed to create deeper brand engagement among its users.
 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Here Are Some of the World’s Best Ads You Might Have Missed in 2015

Even if you feel bombarded by ads every day, you've probably missed quite a few of the better ones that never quite reached a global audience.

This past week, I was one of about 30 trade journalists from around the world who judged the Epica Awards in Berlin, where we got to review some hilarious, heartbreaking and truly innovative pieces of marketing. In the process, I discovered some gems that, while likely hits in their home regions, never crossed my screen here in the states.

We've already covered a few of the best bits, from ElaN Language's "Taste the Translation" and the fantastic Renault ad written by a creative who was slain in the Paris terror attacks, but in addition to the Grand Prix winners I wanted to share a few of the other standout ads:

Rekorderlig Cider: "Silver Skaters"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
Country: U.K.

It's hard not to love something so joyously quirky and yet still perfect for the product. In case you're curious, the music is The Reindeer Herder's Joik by contemporary Swedish musician Jon Henrik Fjällgren. At Epica, it won gold in the Alcoholic Drinks category. 

Hardys Wine: "Proud Sponsors"
Agency: McCann Central, Birmingham
Country: U.K.

This cheeky campaign featured a huge array of ultra-short sponsorship spots, showing that a great idea isn't limited to 90-second cinematic ads. The campaign shared a gold in the Alcoholic Drinks category at Epica with the Rekorderlig Cider spot above.

Telenor Norway: "Puppy Love;
Agency: Try Advertising
Country: Norway

Here's a fun spot that brings a modern twist to some classic (and charming) storytelling. The spot from Norwegian telecom Telenor won gold in Epica's Telecommunications & Public Service category.

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Canal Digital: "The Clowns / The Chainsaw"
Agency: TBWA Stockholm
Country: Sweden

I won't spoil the hook on these spots, which both take their stories in some wonderfully unexpected directions. The ads won gold in Epica's Media category. 

Fundacion Argentina de Trasplante Hepatico: "The Man and the Dog"
Agency: DDB Argentina
Country: Argentina

Sure, this one tugs at the heartstrings in some pretty tried-and-true ways, but it's still a strong example of sentimental storytelling that can leave a lasting impact. It won gold in Epica's Health & Safety category.

Fundacion Juva Santé: "Whatever Happens"
Agency: HAVAS 360, Puteaux
Country: France

These spots are a bit repetitive, but at least they're supposed to be. The campaign has some fun with the timeless challenge of having to sell multiple, largely unrelated products in one ad for a parent company. They won gold in Prescription & OTC Products at Epica.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

 

Durex: "Arrivals"
Agency: Havas Worldwide Istanbul
Country: Turkey

There weren't too many standout print campaigns at Epica this year, but this one was certainly a hit. Perhaps the best part was the audience's delayed reaction at the awards ceremony, when a few seconds of silence were followed by booming laughter.The ads won gold in Healthy, Beauty, Cosmetics & Toiletries.

(Click the images below to expand.)

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.