Tag Archives: music

Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice

“The matchup you never knew you needed to see”. PepsiCo has started the much anticipated influx of Super Bowl adverts by recruiting Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage alongside rappers Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes to appear in an advert for Doritos and Mtn Dew. The full 60-second spot from Goodby Silverstein & Partners is the first time any of its products have been advertised together.

The campaign concept is a lip-sync rap battle with Dinklage lip syncing to Busta’s’ “Look at Me Now” and Freeman lip syncing to Missy’s “Get Ur Freak On”. Doritos is pushing its new spicy Blaze flavor and Mountain Dew is advertising the new lemon-lime Dew Ice, so it’s fire vs. ice.

PepsiCo (North America) Chief Executive Al Carey said:

This is a great example of the power of PepsiCo’s food and beverage portfolio coming to life for consumers on one of the world’s largest stages. Doritos and Mtn Dew go perfectly together, and both brands have passionate fan bases. We think consumers will love Doritos Blaze and Mtn Dew Ice, as well as this engaging Super Bowl ad.

The campaign includes content for Snapchat lens on Super Bowl Sunday where fans can record themselves trying to lip-sync like Dinklage or Freeman. Additionally, the ads are accompanied by hilarious short clips below.

I love this concept! It’s so interesting to see two products in one advert. What a cast too.

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | Logic: 1-800-273-8255

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This creative mashup is a wonderful example of when music, film, advertising and a PSA come together to create a piece for such an important issue – suicide. The song was created in partnership with the federal government initiative and was named “1-800-273-8255” as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. The song was written and produced by American rapper Logic, alongside producers 6ix, and features guest vocals from singer-songwriters Alessia Cara and Khalid. The song was performed in August last year at the MTV Video Music Awards and received a well deserved nomination for Song of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. At the VMAs, Logic shared the stage with suicide attempt survivors and consequently the line received 5,041 calls following the emotional performance.

The song and video takes us through a narrative of a young man’s life feeling suicidal, considering suicide and eventually coming out on top as an older adult. The context itself explores a lot of issues that people of all ages, races and backgrounds have to face. I think it’s a very clever choice that the directors chose when casting the actors for the video, as suicide amongst young men is an epidemic of the 21st century. Additionally, there is a cultural representation explored as the main character comes from a family that racially, typically has traditions and values not associated with talking about emotions, sexuality and depression in men.
Although the video narrates serious themes, including racism, politics and Logic’s own biracial identity, ultimately, the song delivers a message of hope. I think this should be shown to young people in schools across the globe. It is incredible that someone in the music industry (who is nowhere near as popular as his other VMA performer counterparts) put so much time, effort and heart into a project. The results speak for themselves: on the day of the release, the lifeline received over 4,573 calls, and a 27% increase from the usual volume. Also, the NSPL website saw a monthly boost of 100,000 visits, from an average of 300,000 up to 400,000, in the two months after the song’s release. Google searches for the phone number doubled immediately after April, and they remain consistently 25% above the previous average today.

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Christmas Adverts 2017: Who is my number 1?

Well well well, this year is almost over and what better way for any creative to finish the year then to look forward to the competitive Christmas ads. Unfortunately though, this year I was thoroughly disappointed! John Lewis? Meh; Aldi, cute but the same as last year; Very, cute I guess; Debenhams, errr I didn’t get the hype; Very… cute I guess.

I had big expectations for John Lewis this year – I absolutely adored last year’s trampoline ad, but this year’s monster ad felt like a washed down version of the same vibe. I don’t know, it just didn’t do it for me. There wasn’t the same creative spark and humour.

There’s one ad that stands out from the rest by far, and that’s ASDA! Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi created a Willy Wonka cross Wes Anderson style advert for ASDA called “Best Christmas Ever”. The ad depicts a magical tour around The Imaginarium where all of ASDA’s Christmas treats are created:

Sara Rose, CD at Saatchi & Saatchi (London) said:

Although the campaign has a fantastical element to it, our stories are firmly rooted in what Asda has to offer shoppers this Christmas, from old favourites to inventive new treats like gin infused chocolates and massive Christmas puddings. Our first thought was ‘how do they come up with these things?’ And the campaign just grew from there.
Earlier in the year we held sessions with our customers to get feedback on our Christmas range. As we talked to them about Christmas we could see how much joy and happiness planning their Christmas brought them—we knew we wanted to reflect that in our ad.

ASDA has gone full force on this campaign with the use of social by creating a Snapchat filter that turns users into the ad’s moustached weightlifters. Also, 2-second content and carousel ads feature on Facebook, and the use of Trueview videos for the first time. Trueview will connect audience search terms to relevant video content online via YouTube and Facebook.
The 60 second TV ad will be supported by 30 segments (focusing on gifting, home decorations, parties and gatherings, and “the big shop”) as well as :10s and :06 bumpers on YouTube. AND all of that will be joined by cinema, radio, print, digital OOH. And breathe.

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You are streaming consciousness: Three

Creative company Gravity Road were commissioned by Three to create an ad for their campaign “Go Binge”, which explored findings from an extensive consumer research survey around the bingeing behaviours of the UK (The Binge Files). 44% of people aged 16-24 years old watch more than an hour of streamed content on their phones daily and 46% binge because they can’t wait for the next episode. With these facts, Gravity Road created a (hilarious) short film parodying people’s streaming addictions, and despite the research insights this binging culture is constantly being discussed on social media and in memes.

Three’s deal allows binge-obsessed customers to stream films, TV shows and music on popular streaming services (e.g. Netflix, TV Player, Deezer and SoundCloud) without the fear of exceeding their data limit. Directed by the multi-award winning director Tom Geens, the short film is set in an eccentric electronics store, where the store owner hosts secret ‘Binge classes’ after hours. The owner encourages people to become more in-tune with streaming and love their devices, to help them achieve a higher stream of consciousness through activities like chanting “Stream in, and stream out, I love my device, the device is me…”. Hilarious. This is definitely one of the best UK ads I’ve seen this year.

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California: Designing Freedom | The Design Museum

If you haven’t been to the new building for the Design Museum which recently relocated to Kensington, you are missing out. The architecture and gift shop alone are worth a visit!
The exhibition “California” caught my eye based on the parts that explore ‘freedom’. The exhibition explores more than just the expression of human rights freedom:

California: Designing Freedom explores how the ideals of the 1960s counterculture morphed into the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and how ‘Designed in California’ became a global phenomenon.

The central premise is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters and portable devices, but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the San Francisco Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences. By turns empowering, addictive and troubling, Californian products have affected our lives to such an extent that in some ways we are all now Californians.

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Aside from the array of Apple inventions and iconic technological advances that California has blessed the world with, the most interesting part of the exhibition for me was “Say What You Want”. Described as “tools of self expression and rebellion”, this part of the exhibition showcased artefacts that were created to highlight racism, sexism and homophobia:

P.S. sorry for the awful photo quality! Taken on my phone.

It was incredible being able to be so close to relics that were created to protest against the biggest human rights movements in the world. They even displayed newspaper articles from the past, and contemporary pieces created against Trump’s America.
I cannot recommend this show enough. It has to be one of my (if not THE) all time favourite exhibitions.

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Spotlight: Daniel Arsham

Contemporary artist Daniel Arsham has created some fantastic and very popular work, but one project has caught my eye. ‘Future Relics’ features a series of fossilised contemporary items such as cameras, Walkmans, phones, furniture and clothing. Based on Arsham’s theory that mundane objects will soon become completely obsolete, he created “future versions” of objects, cast in white ash and other materials like glacial rock dust, ground volcanic glass, hydrostone, rose quartz, and steel. To create the crystallised objects, Arsham casts a mould of the object; crushed calcite is then pressed into the moulds with a binding agent, and if wax is added to the mould in certain areas, it causes those parts to not bind. The effect is amazing…

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Things we associate with the present, as if they were crystallised over millennia.

Arsham created over 3000 pieces for exhibitions including ‘The Future is Always Now’ and ‘Remember the Future’ alongside a film series, focusing on a world many years down the line, in which a major and transformative ecological shift has occurred.
Arsham collected a tone of objects for this project, mainly from eBay! He has said that he started to think of eBay as a “bizarre Library of Alexandria”, but these mundane objects weren’t all Arsham used for fossilisation. Visit his website or his instagram to see more stunning images:

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They are so bizarrely satisfying to look at.

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Mainframe: For Approval

Look at those renders. Motion Graphics studio Mainframe took an idea for a downtime project by using recognised objects and movements, and turned them on their head. For Approval is a combination of seamless motion graphics elevated by the work of sound designer Max Greening. Chris Hardcastle (Mainframe, Manchester) says that the concept was “simply to subvert the physical properties of objects and materials and have some fun with a viewer’s expectations of how those things should behave”.

I could literally watch this on loop all day. Also, love the art direction.

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Eugen Merher: Break Free (Adidas)

Eugen Merher is a student director at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany, and has created an ad for Adidas that has left me feeling both emotionally vulnerable and inspired at the same time.

“Break Free” tells the story of 79-year old Karl, a former marathon runner locked up in a lifeless nursing home. One evening he discovers his old running shoes by Adidas and decides to take a run in his old marathon outfit. He wants to leave the boredom behind and tries to escape the nursing home, against the will of the nurses. His actions ignite a spark of life in the residents of the home and they support him on his way to freedom.

I even tried to find the beautiful soundtrack (composed by Alex Wolf David), but alas he is only 24 and also a student with Eugen, so not avaialble on Spotify.

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Enemies of Equality: If Coachella’s Price Tag Isn’t Putting You Off, Maybe Your Conscience Will

Put the flower crowns away, kids. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Live) has been exposed for his right-wing radical beliefs and contributions towards organisations against human rights!
The Coachella lineup has only just been released, and the hippie, beige, HOLLYWEED, home-made flower-power accessory makers of the world rejoiced after headliners like Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar were announced.

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In all seriousness, last year, festival-goers spent a minimum of $400 on the most basic tickets for Coachella, and LGBTQ activists are urging people not to spend their hard earned money funding hate. The wonderful organisation ‘Freedom for All Americans’ released this infographic, showing well-known and influential anti-LGBT supporters:

FFAA is the bipartisan campaign to secure full non-discrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. The organisation has gained attention from reporters, journalists and bloggers for their claims that Anschutz’s foundation gave $190,000 to anti-LGBTQ organisations between 2010 and 2013. Having picked up on this information about the 77-year-old billionaire, more information has come to the surface that shows how Anschutz supports some of the most damaging and oppressive organisations in America, donating the following:

  • $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) between 2011 and 2013. The ADF litigates cases to oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and civil unions.
  • $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. The lobbyist organisation battles pro-LGBT laws and has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013. The foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to ADF, the Family Research Council, and other similar organisations.

Apparently Anschutz has funded anti-equality groups for decades, supporting Colorado’s 1992 proposition Amendment 2, a ballot created to overturn laws offering LGBT protection. Also, he has been noted by Greenpeace to finance science denial groups, with a Greenpeace report alleging that he attends “strategy meetings” with the Koch brothers (Republican narcissists who don’t believe in climate change) twice a year. This man is starting to sound weirdly similar to Donald Trump…

So, why do I care? Why should you care? Well, as we’ve seen in last year’s US election, with great power comes great responsibility – and unfortunately power is often put in the wrong hands. Something that has always deeply disturbed me from a young age is the rose-tinted glasses people seem to wear surrounding topical issues that don’t directly affect them. This is exactly how immensely rich and powerful people take control and spread hate. This is particularly important when it comes to something like Coachella, because the artists performing (almost always), such as Beyonce, are pro-human rights. Most importantly, so are their fans (Beyonce is a huge gay icon and pioneer for young black women). Thousands and millions of people are fans of these musicians, yet they would probably still buy tickets to Coachella knowing this information. Headliners Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé have both released amazing, politically charged albums over the past two years that have helped set the conversation around blackness, feminism and progressive politics.
Similar to this situation, following the US election debates, business in the USA made their political beliefs known (which is unusual) and confidently showed support for democrats – check out the extensive list here. Also, here in the UK the campaign Stop Funding Hate has convinced businesses to stop advertising their products and services in newspapers that contain ‘hate campaigns’ – Lego being the first company to break their contracts with said newspapers.

By purchasing tickets to Coachella, you are paying towards an empire that supports the following:

  • gay conversion therapy
  • pro-abortion
  • anti-LGBTQ groups
  • extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s (a despicable televangelist in the US) ‘Pray in Jesus Name’
  • denial of climate change and global warming
  • Mission America Foundation (vomit), whose president considers homosexuality a “deviance”

…the list goes on.

Interestingly, a representative for AEG Live forwarded the following statement from Philip Anschutz in response to this report:

Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.

Let’s have faith in humanity for a moment and believe that Philip is pro-LGBTQ (which is hard to believe when he has had such a huge influence in Colorado politics)… this means that someone in his team is supporting these extremist views. These donations weren’t made by accident. Who is he trying to kid? That is so depressing.

My final thoughts on this terrifying, draining topic can be perfectly summed up by Ian Silverii, ProgressNow Colorado’s executive director:

At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history.

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