Film Review: ‘Po’

November 25, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Noble intentions alone do not a great movie make, as evidenced by “PO,” whose heart is in the right place but whose drama is woefully lacking in momentum.

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Golden Globe TV Nominations Embrace International Appeal

November 23, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Series like 'Outlander,' 'Narcos,' and 'Penny Dreadful' find more love from HFPA than Emmy voters

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Despite Post-Election Depression, Social Chatter Around Black Friday Is Mostly Positive

November 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Despite the negative nature of pre- and post-election social, Americans seem to at least be on the up and up when it comes to shopping. According to an analysis of social conversations conducted by the Marketing Cloud social team at Salesforce , nearly 80 percent of all Black Friday conversation have been positive in nature in the 30 days leading up to it. Salesforce—which so far has tracked 934,000 mentions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday—said 78.6 percent of posts have been positive, with leading topics including deals, the season and online shopping. The volume of social conversation about Black Friday seems to keep growing, with 2016 up 30 percent over 2015. (Last year, overall volume was up 20 percent over 2014.) So who's doing all the shop talk? According to Salesforce, 56 percent of dialog is coming from women. Also notable is that the higher percentage of mentions isn't coming from social-savvy millennials—the largest group has been consumers between the ages of 25 and 34, with the 35- to 44- year-old demographic also contributing more than other groups

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2 Students Turned November Into Brandsgiving With These Incredible Mockups

November 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How do you show brands you're grateful for them? If you're Cat DeLong and Micah Wilkes, creative directors for the Brigham Young University AdLab, a student-run, professionally-mentored ad agency, you spend November producing creative for 30 brands. Their project, Brandsgiving, is simple: Pick 30 brands you love, then each day randomly select one and spend an hour developing art and copy that conveys its message. Drawing inspiration from Communication Arts magazine and Brent Anderson, creative director of TBWA/Chiat Day Media Arts Lab, the pair wanted to create visual expressions for brands representing a variety of industries and styles. The project would improve their abilities to generate and produce work at a clip that's standard for a professional in the industry. As for how they split the work—DeLong is the copywriter of the duo while Wilkes, who has a passion for typography, design and illustration, does the design for each piece. The team is especially proud of the work it did for Jif and Delta (see below), as well as TruMoo. "We felt they were on brand, but coming at their brand from a totally different angle," they said. "It would have been really easy to create a whole campaign for them because they were strategically smart." They plan on submitting their favorites to Comm Arts and other brief shows, as well as using them in portfolios for competitions like One Show to vie for a coveted Pencil award. With graduation right around the corner, they've attended Advertising Week in New York and have a trip planned to Los Angeles in December to meet with various agencies. "I think we were especially fond of Wieden+Kennedy New York, Droga5 and McCann Erickson New York," DeLong said.

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Ad of the Day: Ram Trucks Salutes Blue-Collar Workers in Big, Poetic Ad for Thanksgiving

November 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ram Trucks is giving thanks this holiday in classic Fiat Chrysler style with a big, sweeping, poetic paean to blue-collar American workers—in a 90-second spot from The Richards Group, airing Thursday, that gives praise to waitresses, janitors, mill and factory workers, fishermen and more, as well as the work they do. The spot honors the "true everyday heroes" who may often struggle to make ends meet but always "labor to make their families and this nation strong," according to press materials. Each line of the poetic voiceover begins with the word "praise," lending an almost religious feel to the sacrifices these men and women make—the grueling workdays that help make their family time at home possible. The spot will air on Thanksgiving Day during the NFL games on CBS and Fox. "Appropriately airing on Thanksgiving Day when families across the country take time to reflect and give thanks, 'Praise' is the Ram brand's tribute to hard-working Americans and the story of people who are the backbone of our country," said Olivier Francois, global CMO of Fiat Chrysler. The spot evokes the famous Ram "Farmer" ad that ran on the 2013 Super Bowl, which Francois references in speaking about the "Praise" ad. "Just as the brand paid homage to American farm families a few years back during a Super Bowl telecast, we always look for opportunities to build unique, impactful creative around a defining cultural moment that allows us to reach large audiences in a very effective way

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What Marketers Can Learn From America’s Election Shock

November 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, the world of advertising is currently filled with hand-wringing, astonishment and in some cases, all-out despair. There are tears and complete shock that we seem to have gotten it all wrong. Liz Ross The results of the presidential election were shocking to many, especially with election forecasters putting Hillary Clinton's chance of winning at anywhere from 70 percent to as high as 99 percent. How they got it so wrong is a cautionary tale not just for pollsters, but for marketers as well. The absolute No. 1 takeaway we should have tattooed on our collective forehead is that data, and the subsequent algorithms we use to parse that data, do not understand human emotion, especially the most intense forms—love, hate, anger, joy and loneliness. Emotions, which define who we are as humans, do not fit on an election forecaster's data chart just as they cannot be summarized through an evaluation of our Amazon purchases or our online surfing behavior. Our digital selves only represent a piece (a small but growing piece) of who we are. While the digital footprint of those of us in cities is growing exponentially, we must not project our own behavior and patterns on those in other parts of the country. My running joke is that people on the West Coast all believe the U.S. will soon have its toilet paper delivered by drone and people on the East Coast believe that everyone buys their toilet paper one roll at a time. Neither of these things is true, of course, and the reality is that most of the people in the middle of the country live different lives than those on the coasts. So if we want to know something or claim to know something about a person or a community, we sure as hell better be tuned in to their humanity and not just their statistics. We are in advertising, one of the most amazing industries in the world—an industry of creative thinkers, eccentrics and people who challenge the status quo. We are also an industry filled with optimists, and no time in history have we needed optimism more than we do today. So let's be the optimists we are, and use this moment of national tension as a learning opportunity. Here are four ideas for how marketers can do things differently as a result of what we learned from the election: • Stop using the word "consumer." It is a pejorative term, indicating that there are mindless people waiting in the world for messages and information from brands. No one in the world simply consumes; they are complex humans who make choices every single day. Regarding them as actual people will make our marketing better

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Ad of the Day: Homebuyers Start Turning Into Their Parents in Progressive’s New Ads

November 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Some serious Mommy and Daddy issues are amusingly on display in Arnold Worldwide's latest campaign for Progressive insurance. Homebuyers assume the most annoying traits of their parents in the ads, based on the insight that folks change in weird ways when they buy their first home. "It's as if you flip the 'grownup switch,' " Cat Kolodij, Progressive's business leader for marketing strategy and innovation, tells Adweek. "For many of us, the first time we realize we are grown up is when we catch ourselves doing something our mom or dad always did." The spot below shows a young wife acting like her father, with a gruff attitude, manly mannerisms and, worst of all, a taste for watching golf on TV: Honey, let's get divorced. You can keep the house! Next, a husband takes on the fuss-budget traits of his mother, right down to obsessive vacuuming and serving deviled eggs at all hours of the day: "Daughters are influenced by fathers as much as mothers," Kolodij says. "Sons are influenced by mothers as much as fathers. We didn't think the story had to conform to a traditional 'daughter-becomes-her-mother' paradigm. Since the insight is so true, we find people quickly get the idea." Too bad the characters didn't start dressing up like Flo and chasing each other around with name-your-price tools. (We're assured the iconic ad character will return for Progressive in the near future.) The new work trades in sitcom-y cliches, but director Roman Coppola keeps the material from lapsing into complete absurdity and coaxes spirited performances from the cast. "Roman is very good at identifying what's funny in an idea or a scene, and then nurturing that thing without overdoing it or pointing at it too hard," says agency executive creative director Sean McBride. "He told us from the beginning that he wanted to create moments that looked and felt like they were lifted from these people's lives." On set, improvisation was strongly encouraged.

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Film Review: ‘A Flickering Truth’

November 22, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Pietra Brettkelly evocatively layers damaged archival images, potently interspersing them with footage chronicling the rebirth of Afghan Films.

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Sony Aims for Oscars With ‘Sausage Party’ Original Song ‘The Great Beyond’ (NSFW)

November 21, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Watch an exclusive clip of the song, which will be presented to the music branch for consideration.

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How Disney Maintains a Strong Relationship With Its Millennial Audience

November 21, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Disney's brand doesn't want to be a tale as old as time. Thanks to creative thinking, adapting to new technology, and acting from an authentic point-of-view, Disney has been able to keep up with every age group of its fans. "As the audience evolves, we're making sure to lean in and being relevant to where they are," said Andrew Sugerman, evp of content and media with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. At the core of Disney's content creation team is what Sugerman calls "digitologists." "We needed a name for the folks who sit in the intersection of the Disney brand's placement in the cultural zeitgeist with the digital expertise of today," he said. "They create what's authentic to those original platforms and look at what's currently trending to put it through a relevant lens for Disney fans." That's the trick for legacy brands, it seems like, these days. How do you figure out how to stay relevant to a younger audience, like the oft-courted millennials, without seeming totally fake or pandering? For Disney, there's Babble, which is a news and entertainment site aimed at young parents. If you're in the 13- to 34-year-old crowd, then Oh My Disney is for you with quizzes and movie news. Disney LOL is geared around producing content for kids. But that's just the beginning. "We produce over 6,000 pieces of content per month across all of our channels," explained Sugerman. Disney lovers can find Disney content on multiple Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat accounts, in addition to messaging platforms and the websites themselves. "When you think about the 80-year legacy of these characters and stories, it's fun to think about how to connect the relevancy of those stories to an audience today," he said

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