Sponsored Heroes

“Imagine if one day capitalism reaches the point, where the big brands starts to sponsor the superheroes. How would this influence their images?”

Being a superhero doesn’t seem to be a lucrative gig, but what if it was? Brands sponsor athletes and celebrities all the time, and with the increasing popularity of superheroes, it’s not all that shocking to think that The Incredible Hulk could one day be rocking a massive Monster logo across his chest.

Italian graphic designer Roberto Vergati Santos imagined many of our favorite superheroes sponsored by our favorite brands. The aptly titled ‘Sponsored Heroes’ series sees characters from both the Marvel and DC Comics universe, and includes all the members of The Avengers, Batman, Wolverine, and many more. Batman can be seen sporting a Nike suit of armor, while Iron Man has been stamped with the golden arches of McDonald’s,  and Captain America is seen holding a massive UPS shield. Check out some of the superheroes from the collection below.

IRON MAN – Sponsored by McDonald’s

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HULK – Sponsored by Monster Energy

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WOLVERINE – Sponsored by Adidas

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BATMAN – Sponsored by Nike

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CAPTAIN AMERICA – Sponsored by UPS

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FLASH – Sponsored by Red Bull

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AVENGERS – Sponsored by Coca-Cola

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SILVER SURFER- Sponsored by Apple

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SUPERMAN – Sponsored by Giorgio Armani

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IRON MAN (Sponsored by McDonald’s) vs CAPTAIN AMERICA (Sponsored by Burger King)

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TBWA/Berlin for adidas – A Giant Case History

IMPOSSIBLE GOALKEEPER

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Just before the start of the UEFA Euro 2008 football tournament, adidas turned one of Vienna’s best-known landmarks, the Prater ferris wheel, into a huge image of the Czech national goalkeeper, Petr Cech. At a whooping 53m tall, this gigantic installation was visible far beyond the Prater entertainment park and the nearby public viewing sites. In the installation, Cech had eight arms that constantly rotated with the ferries wheel. The erection of the metal construction started on May 13 and was finished just before the launch of the tournament on the night of June 5, 2008. This advertising landmark also hosted the official adidas press conference prior to the tournament.

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Advertising Agency: TBWA/Berlin
Creative Director: Stefan Schmidt
Creative: Marco Bezerra, Emiliano Treierveiler

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OLIVER KAHN BRIDGE

Oliver Kahn Poster Presentation

If you travelled to Munich for the first game of the FIFA World Cup in 2006, chances are you saw this huge installation, which shows an enormous Oliver Kahn (the then German national team goalkeeper) diving across the motorway. The 65-m installation managed to bypass the law forbidding advertising on the German Autobahn, and was the only piece of advertising adidas conducted in Germany during the tournament. Over 4 millions people commuted through the installation and many more saw it in the press. In its first week the Oliver Kahn bridge was displayed on double-page spreads in leading magazines including Focus, Stern, Autobild and Fortune. It was also picked up by newspapers including the New York Times and the Financial Times.

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Advertising Agency: TBWA/Berlin
Creative Director: Stefan Schmidt, Kurt-Georg Dieckert
Creative: Helge Bloch, Boris Schwiedrzik

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IMPOSSIBLE HUDDLE

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For the duration of the UEFA EURO 2008 football tournament, TBWA/Berlin transformed the main hall of Zurich’s Central Station into a large-scale celebration of team spirit. Eleven European football players (all sponsored by adidas, naturally) formed the Impossible huddle. The bodies of the footballers represented were 3D-scanned as were their faces and hairstyles, to ensure that the sculptures were faithful to the originals. It took 40 trucks to move the installation components from the production sites in southern Germany to Switzerland, where they were assembled in the station.

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The Swiss rail authority reported that an estimate 13 million people passed through the station during the three-week period the sculptural installation was in site, and at 17m high and approximately 30m wide, it was impossible to miss. Add to this the fact that various news titles such as the Financial Times, Die Welt, Gazzetta dello Sport, Le Parisien and the BBC featured the campaign on their front pages or online editions, plus the fact that it was picked up by dozens of blog worldwide.

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Advertising Agency: TBWA/Berlin
Creative Director: Stefan Schmidt, Markus Ewertz
Creative: Erik Gonan, Hendrik Scweder

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FOOTBALL FRESCO

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During the German-hosted 2006 FIFA World Cup, adidas wanted to get across the message that they cooperate with the best football players on the planet. Rather than run a traditional poster campaign, the creatives at TBWA/Berlin decided it would be far more impressive to create a huge Renaissance-style fresco on the ceiling of the main lobby of Cologne Central Station. Within minutes of the fresco’s unveiling, it was featured on national German Television and press covered it throughout the World Cup. More than 8.5 million people saw the frersco in the flesh during the course of the tournament.

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Advertising Agency: TBWA/Berlin
Creative Director: Stefan Schmidt, Kurt-Georg Dieckert
Creative: Helge Bloch, Boris Schwiedrzik


Adidas: Adicolor Project – United Colors of adidas

The adicolor podcast is a series of seven short films created for adidas to celebrate “colour, costomization and personal expression”. The films were created to be specifically viewed on iPods, PSPs and online, which was still a fairly revolutionary proposition back in 2006 when the films were made. A team of excellent directors was put together, with Neill Blomkamp, Psyop, Happy, Tronic, Roman Coppola and Andy Bruntel, Saimon Chow and Charlie White each given an entirely open brief to create a film based on their emotional response to a particular colour. The podcasts related to the adicolor global digital campaign for which adidas had asked 20 artists to design a shoe based on their response to a colour. The films feature such surreal scenes as an orgiastic dinner party involving green paintball splashes and a pink-loving teenager’s transformation into a bejewelled figurine. With an original goal of achieving one million views globally, the campaign actually achieved over 25 million views in just seven weeks.

Adicolor BLACK
Stills from Saiman Chow’s film for the colour BLACK. The film is a surreal tale about a lonely, crazed panda.

Adicolor PINK
Charlie White directed the adicolor PINK film, which sees a teenager turn into a bewelled figurine while her pink teddy looks on helplessly.

Adicolor BLUE
Psyop is behind the adicolor blue film, where New York City is turned black and white, apart from the odd splashes of blue.

Adicolor GREEN
Adicolor green by Happy shows a space-age dinner party where everything gets a little out of hand after some green treats are consumed.

Adicolor WHITE
Adicolor WHITE was directed by Tronic and sees Jenna Jameson enthusiastically playing a funfair game.

Adicolor YELLOW
Neil Blomkamp directed the adicolor YELLOW film, a gripping tale about robots and artificial life.

Adicolor RED
Roman Coppola and Andy Bruntel created this animated history of the colour red for the adicolor RED film.

Advertising Agency: Idealogue, New York
Year: 2006


15 Best Olympics Advertising for London 2012

1 – Procter & Gamble – Best Job

Arguably the most memorable Olympics 2012 ad, Procter & Gamble champions mums in this commercial titled ‘Best job’. The tear jerker, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, follows four child athletes on their path to the London Olympic Games, supported, cared for and encouraged by their mothers every step of the way.

2 – Nike – Find Your Greatness

Nike does it again. Now famous for its ambush marketing tactics around major global sporting events, the sports apparel giant launched ‘Find your greatness’ in 25 countries yesterday to coincide with the opening ceremony. Cleverly avoiding any mention of London 2012 and the Olympic rings, the ad features places across the world with ‘London’ in their names, along with local everyday athletes enjoying their sports. The ad was created by Nike’s longterm agency partner Wieden + Kennedy.

3 – Coca-Cola – Move to the Beat

Mother London, Mark Ronson and Coca-Cola traveled the world to create a new dance track using the sounds of sport from 5 Olympic hopefuls.

4 – Omega – Star Me Up

A remix of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start me up’ sets the pace for this commercial with the same title for Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympics 2012. The ad lingers on the moments right before the start of a race or event, the tension felt by the athletes as they hone their focus for the task ahead.

5 – McDonald’s – Rivals

The Olympic spirit lives within us all. And when gold medals don’t provide enough motivation for greatness, McDonald’s is proud to serve the Happy Meals, Big Macs, and Fries that put everyone in the mood for a little competition.

6 – British Airways – London Calling

British Airways has launched its Olympic advert as anticipation builds ahead of the Games. It features one of BA’s jets strolling through London and showcasing landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and the Palace of Westminster, before taking in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Best of all though, it is set to the soundtrack of The Clash’s London Calling

7 – Adidas – What will you take?

Among others, Olympic Games sponsor Adidas created ‘What will you take?’ in support of Team Great Britian in partnership with agency Sid Lee. The colourful advert touches on all aspects of being an Olympian, both good and bad, as it challenges the athletes to take the stage and embrace this fleeting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

8 – Icy Dew – Sixty Percent

Taking a break from the blood, sweat and tears approach, Coca-Cola bottled water brand Icy Dew created this amusing ’60 per cent water’ TVC in partnership with BBH Shanghai ahead of the Games. While this one might not stir the Olympian in you, it will certainly make you chuckle.

9 – Powerade – Power Through

Another Wieden + Kennedy addition, Powerade‘s ‘Power through’ Olympics advert focuses on “the line between breaking point and breaking through”, the extra effort that makes the difference between those athletes that go home with a medal and those that return disappointed. More muscles, more tension and another emotionally charged voice-over, the real stuff of Olympics advertising.

10 – Samsung – Are You Ready?

Cheil Worldwide launched this ‘Are you ready?’ ad for Olympic sponsor Samsung in support of its Galaxy S3 model across 20 countries this week. Olympics ambassador David Beckham signals the start of the event by kicking a ball against a gong in an impressive long-range shot.

11 – Visa- The Difference

Worldwide sponsor Visa has been putting its name to the Olympic Games for 25 years. This ad, titled ‘The difference’, was created by TBWA Chiat Day Los Angeles and narrated by Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman. This is just one in a series of Sepia-coloured ads marking Visa’s quarter century partnership with the Games this year.

12 – National Lottery Funded Athletes – Jenny Meadow Mother’s Story

Inspired by the story of 800 metres runner Jenny Meadows’ mother, our newest TV advert looks at how National Lottery funding helps British athletes achieve their dreams. Extended version. Thanks to TNL players we’re helping over 1,200 British athletes fulfil their dreams at London 2012 and beyond. No-one has contributed more to our athletes than our players.

13 – EDF – Powering The Games

EDF is an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, supplying the Olympic Park with low carbon electricity for a sustainable Olympics to remember.

14 – GlaxoSmithKline – Marlon Devonish

Touching on the ugly side of sport, GlaxoSmithKline features English sprinter Marlon Devonish to promote its provision of anti-doping laboratory services at the Games. Created by TBWA London, the advert takes the viewer inside the athlete’s body to experience the tension and exhilaration as he prepares to run the race of a lifetime.

15 – BP – Fuelling The Future

BP is proud to be the Official Oil and Gas Partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad.


Cannes Alternative Grand Prix (2001/2011)

Grand Prix 2001 – FOX Regional Sports (Turkey/China/Russia/India)

A Turkish sports reporter is at a cliff-diving tournament. A diver jumps off a steep cliff, goes into a ‘swan dive’ and lands on dirt. Turkish peasants clap politely. Super: Sports news from the only region you care about. Yours. Fox Sports Net.

A Chinese sports reporter is showing highlights of a ‘tree catching’ competition. We see two lumberjacks chop down a giant 200-ft tree for an athlete to catch. He is not successful. Super: Sports news from the only region you care about. Yours. Fox Sports Net.

A Russian sports reporter is covering a ‘slapping contest’ in a smokey, seedy bunker. Two large men take turns slapping each other in the face. Suddenly, an impressive slap causes the drunken crowd to erupt. Super: Sports news from the only region you care about. Yours. Fox Sports Net.

The host of a Mumbai sports show is interviewing the National Clubbing Champion. Two blindfolded men chase each other with clubs in front of a large crowd. They swing wildly at each other … but miss. Then one loses his bearings and starts pounding a gentleman in the crowd. Super: Sports news from the only region you care about. Yours. Fox Sports Net.

Advertising Agency: Cliff Freeman and Partners, USA
Creative Director: Eric Silver
Copywriter: Dan Morales
Art Director: Rossana Bardales
Production Company: Partizan NY
Director: Traktor

Alternative Grand Prix – John West (Bear)

At a river, a man fights a bear for a salmon. Voiceover: John West endure the worst to bring you the best. Super: John West Red Salmon.

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett UK
Creative Director: Mark Tutssel
Copywriter: Paul Silburn
Art Director: Paul Silburn
Production Company: Spectre UK
Director: Daniel Kleinman

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Grand Prix 2002 – Nike (Tag)

A young man is tagged in an elaborate game, involving the entire city. He races off to tag someone else, and they elude him to the very end.

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, USA
Creative Director: Dan Wieden, Hal Curtis, Jim Riswold
Art Director: Monica Taylor, Andy Fackrell
Director: Frank Budgen

Alternative Grand Prix – Levis (Odyssey)

A man and a woman hurtle through a string of solid walls. They crash out of the building, land on a tree, and run up it into the night sky.

Advertising Agency: BBH, UK
Creative Director: Stephen Butler
Art Director: Gavin Lester
Production Company: Academy, UK
Director: Jonathan Glazer

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Grand Prix 2003 – IKEA (Lamp)

An old lamp is thrown out to make way for a new one from Ikea.

Advertising Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, USA
Creative Director: Alex Bogusky, Paul Keister
Art Director: Mark Taylor, Steve Mapp
Copywriter: Ari Merkin
Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles
Director: Spike Jonze

Alternative Grand Prix – Honda (Cog)

Cog is a two-minute chain reaction using only parts from a Honda Accord. Each car part cleverly triggers off the next, showing the beauty and precision of the pieces, and the ingenuity of the engineers who built it, prompting the V/O to comment “Isn’t it nice when things just work?”.

Advertising Agency: Weiden + Kennedy, London
Creative Director: Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth
Art Director: Matt Gooden
Copywriter: Ben Walker
Production Company: Partizan, London
Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet

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Grand Prix 2004 – Playstation 2 (Mountain)

Hundreds of thousands of people are forming a human mountain higher than any of the other buildings in the city. At it’s zenith a variety of people enjoy a moment of exhilaration before others scramble over them and take their place.

Advertising Agency: TBWA/London
Creative Director: Trevor Beattie
Art Director: Tony McTear
Copywriter: Paula Marcantonio, Tony McTear
Production Company: Gorgeous Enterprises, UK
Director: Frank Budgen

Alternative Grand Prix – Lynx 24-7 (Getting Dressed)

A man and woman wake up in bed. They start getting dressed. We soon discover that their clothes are scattered right across the city. The last shoe sits by two opposite-facing shopping trolleys in a supermarket. The couple met there only hours ago. The man was wearing Lynx 24/7 bodyspray.

Advertising Agency: BBH, UK
Creative Director: Rosie Arnold
Art Director: Nick Gill
Copywriter: Nick Gill
Production Company: Small Family Business, UK
Director: Ringan Ledwidge

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Grand Prix 2005 – Honda (Grrr)

Can hate be a good thing? Honda ‘Grrr’ sets out to prove just that. A tranquil world is invaded by flying, dirty old Diesel engines. However, the population get angry and even, using their hate for the better, destroying every last one. Finally, they herald the brand new Honda Diesel.

Advertising Agency: Weiden + Kennedy, London
Creative Director: Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth, Chris O’reilly
Art Director: Sean Thompson, Michael Russoff, Richard Russell
Copywriter: Sean Thompson, Michael Russoff, Richard Russell
Production Company: Nexus Production, London
Director: Adam Foulkes, Alan Smith

Alternative Grand Prix – Adidas (Hello Tomorrow)

Adidas 1 is the first shoe with a computer. “Hello Tomorrow” demonstrates that with every step these magical shoes can create an entirely new world out of nothing. It is a story of rebirth and
taking your first steps – again.

Advertising Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco
Creative Director: Lee Clow, Chuck McBride, Joe Kayser
Art Director: Joe Kayser
Copywriter: Chuck McBride
Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles
Director: Spike Jonze

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Grand Prix 2006 – Guinness (Noitulove)

Three young men at a bar drink Guinness. Suddenly the action pauses and the film starts to play in reverse. The men walk backwards out of the bar. As they walk they seamlessly go back down the evolutionary chain through hundreds, thousands, millions of years. Super: GUINNESS. Good things come to those who wait.

Advertising Agency: Abbott, Mead, Vickers, BBDO, UK
Creative Director: Paul Brazier
Art Director: Matt Doman
Copywriter: Ian Heartfield
Production Company: Kleinman Productions, London
Director: Danny Kleinman

Alternative Grand Prix – Sony (Balls)

Dropping 250,000 brightly coloured bouncy balls down the streets of San Francisco for real = colour like no other.

Advertising Agency: Fallon London
Creative Director: Richard Flintman
Art Director: Juan Cabral
Copywriter: Juan Cabral
Production Company: MJZ, London
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

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Grand Prix 2007 – Dove (Evolution)

We created a film that exposed the manipulation of the female image in the media. The objective was to encourage discussion around the subject of real beauty and lead people to the campaignforrealbeauty website.”

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mother Toronto
Creative Director: Janet Kestin, Nancy Vonk
Art Director: Tim Piper, Mike Kirkland
Copywriter: Tim Piper
Production Company: Reginald Pike, Toronto
Director: Yael Staav, Tim Piper

Alternative Grand Prix – Epuron (Power of Wind)

Wind has a strong nature. Better keep him busy…

Advertising Agency: Nordpol + Hamburg, Germany
Creative Director: Lars Ruehmann
Art Director: Bjoern Ruehmann, Joakim Reveman
Copywriter: Matthew Branning
Production Company: Paranoid Projects, USA
Director: The Vikings

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Grand Prix 2008 – Cadbury (Gorilla)/Microsoft (Halo 3 Campaign)

We hear ‘In the air tonight’ by Phil Collins as we realize we’re in front of a calm looking gorilla. ‘I’ve been waiting for this moment for all of my life…’ The ape stretches its neck like a heavyweight boxer would do before a fight. He’s sitting in front of a massive drum kit as the best drum fill of the history of rock is coming. The Gorilla knows this. He smashes the drums phenomenally – feeling every beat. The camera leaves the ape and his drum. United, the way they are meant to be.

Advertising Agency: Fallon London
Creative Director: Richard Flinthan, Juan Cabral
Art Director: Juan Cabral
Copywriter: Juan Cabral
Production Company: Blink, London
Director: Juan Cabral

On-line, the Halo 3 website served as a virtual museum, providing an interactive fly through of the entire John 117 monument and putting visitors right in the middle of the fight. They could also learn more about our enemies and hear first hand stories from the men who were there. For that we filmed interviews with surviving veterans of the battle who served with Master Chief. They talked about their experiences and spoke with reverence and awe about what it was like to serve with mankind’s greatest hero.

Advertising Agency: T.A.G. San Francisco/McCann Worldgroup
Creative Director: Geoff Edwars, Scott Duchon
Art Director: Ben Wolan
Copywriter: Rich Herrera
Production Company: Go Film, Hollywood/RSA Films Los Angeles
Director: Simon McQuoid, Rupert Sanders, Neil Blomkamp

Alternative Grand Prix – Nike (Next Level)

“Next Level” is new take on Football from Nike. Made to inspire football obsessed teens, the film is a first-person journey up the football ranks–from being discovered by Arsenal in a youth match to a life-defining moment playing for our national side. Along the way we experience success (finishing a cross from Cesc Fabregas) as well as frustration (getting burned by Ronaldinho). The film celebrates playing the game with purpose and passion. It shows what it takes to become a modern, brilliant fofotballer – to take your game to the next level.

Advertising Agency: 72 And Sunny, USA
Creative Director: Glen Cole, John Boiler, Bryan Rowles, Jason Norcross
Production Company: Anonymous Content, USA
Director: Guy Ritchie

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Grand Prix 2009 – Philips (Carousel)

Philips set out to own the idea of a cinematic viewing experience at home. From the start the strategy was to create a film that movie lovers would want to see.

The film is hosted within a site that, through interaction, educates the audience about the three main features of Philips televisions – Ambilight, Cinema 21:9 and Picture Quality – and ties these features to the act of film making. So, what would movie lovers want to see? We decided on a seamless tracking shot, one long take that a film loving audience could marvel at and be fascinated by. Within the ‘housing’ of a tracking shot we inserted behind the scenes glimpses where the experts could talk about their craft and the decisions they made whilst filming the shot. The DOP on lighting, the Director on the 21:9 format and VFX supervisor shows why picture quality is so important. To allow for more interaction, we decided that a frozen time film, shot using a state of the art motion control rig, would give the audience control upon interaction allowing them to literally move the camera back and forth frame by frame. This is done intuitively through a ‘grabbing hand’ cursor when the screen is moused over.

What makes this interaction really special is the interactive cinematic score. The score, composed by Michael Fakesch, was composed as a linear piece, but was then handed over to a flash music developer to carve up and distort as the user moved back and forth through time, frame by frame – all designed to pull the audience in and hold them there longer whilst they try to unravel the mystery of how the film was made.

The second main element of interaction is the way the audience is able to trigger the three behind-the-scenes educational scenes from the film’s timeline. When the user clicks on the timeline, they reveal films within the film. The timeline unfolds and expands, the post production disappears, each expert walks in and the rigging reappears revealing that all along the actors were simply holding their position whilst a state of the art motion rig captured them in frozen time. All this was designed to be as seamless as possible with maximum visual reward ensuring the audience clicked all three of the hotspots.

In addition to the interaction within the film, the ratio of the film itself could be changed at anytime through first person interaction. This simple, but effective comparison tool really did get across the spectacle of the new Philips 21:9 TV. The other elegantly simple piece of interaction is Ambilight on and off, in the words of the DOP – “you really miss it when it’s not there.”  A final point worth noting is the dynamic title sequence. Instead of a traditional loader, we crafted a title sequence correspond to the speed of the users internet connection. The slower the connection, the longer the sequence.

Advertising Agency: Tribal DDB Amsterdam
Creative Director: Michael Fakesch, Chris Baylis, Andrew Ferguson
Art Director: Mariota Essery, Maximilliano Chanan
Copywriter: Carla Madden
Production Company: Stink Digital, London
Director: Adam Berg

Alternative Grand Prix – T-Mobile (Dance)

On 15th January at 11am, a single commuter started dancing in the middle of a train station. The dance grew as more dancers joined in, until there were over 300 people perfectly choreographed. The excitement caused hundred’s of genuine unsuspecting members of the public to join in and share the moment.

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
Creative Director: Paul Silburn, Kate Stanners
Art Director: Rick Dodds
Copywriter: Stephen Howell
Production Company: Partizan, London
Director: Michael Gracey

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Grand Prix 2010 – Old Spice (The Men Your Man Could Smell Like)

This TV commercial was created to appeal to men as well as women, showing them both how great a man can smell when they use Old Spice Body Wash.

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland
Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
Art Director: Craig Allen, Eric Kallman
Copywriter: Craig Allen, Eric Kallmacanal
Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles
Director: Tom Kuntz

Alternative Grand Prix – Canal + (Closet)

Canal+ launched its new ‘Original Creativity’ campaign in September 2009. The objective highlight to Canal+’s showcase of original programming, consisting of series, documentaries and fictions, created exclusively by and for Canal+, scripted by prestigious writers such as Olivier Marchal and Jean- Hugues Anglade. To launch this new campaign, we produced THE CLOSET. The film unites quality, humour, originality and a touch of impertinence inherent to the brand’s communications: ‘Never underestimate the power of a great story”

Advertising Agency: BETC EURO RSCG, Paris
Creative Director: Stephane Xiberras
Art Director: Eric Astorgue
Copywriter: Jean Christophe Royer
Production Soixan7e Quin5e, Paris
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen

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Grand Prix 2011 – Nike (Write the Future)

Every four years, the keys to football heaven are dangled in front of the international elite. One goal, one pass, one game saving tackle can be the difference between fame and forgotten. What happens on the pitch in that split second has a ripple effect that goes beyond the match and the tournament.
‘Write the Future’ was a messaging platform that allowed Nike to show how football creates this ripple effect. It allowed us to give a glimpse into the future to see what the players were really playing for, in their own lives and the lives of those that follow them. Our goal was to weave the brand into the conversations around this major tournament in a way that celebrated the participating teams and athletes and engaged football fans around the world.

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
Creative Director: Jeff Kling, Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Art Director: Stuart Harkness, Freddie Powell
Copywriter: Stuart Harkness, Freddie Powell
Production Company: Independent Films, London
Director: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu

Alternative Grand Prix – Volkswagen (The Force)/Crysler (Born of Fire)

For the all-new 2012 Passat , Volkswagen brings Star Wars™ to one of TV’s most talked about events. Accompanied by John Williams’ iconic “The Imperial March,” the spot features the most infamous villain in the galaxy, a pint-sized Darth Vader who uses the Force when he discovers the all-new 2012 Passat in the driveway. The two iconic brands leverage humor and the unforgettable Star Wars score to create an emotional spot and make Super Bowl ad history.

Advertising Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles
Creative Director: Eric Springer, Michael Kadin
Art Director: Ryan Mclaughlin, Craig Melchiano
Copywriter: David Povill
Production Park Pictures, Santa Monica
Director: Lance Acord

Of the big three American car companies, Chrysler was in the most danger of failing. Had there not been a last-minute vote of confidence from the U.S. Government, they would not exist. This was public knowledge, debated throughout the country—should we have loaned Chrysler the money?  When it came time to introduce a new product, we had a car to sell and also had to win back America’s confidence. To do this, we took the unlikely position of embracing Chrysler’s Detroit heritage when every other American car company was distancing themselves from the city.  We created a 2-minute homage to Detroit, a city primed for a comeback, and ran the spot only once, on Super Bowl Sunday.

Advertising Agency: Weiden + Kennedy Portland
Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman, Aaron Allen
Art Director: Jim Lasser
Copywriter: Mark Fitzloff, Joe Staples, Kevin Jones, Greg Rutter, Dan Kroeger
Production: Serial Pictures, Culver City
Director: Samuel Bayer


Adidas – Runners. Yeah, We’re Different (The most truthful ad campaigns)

German sporting-goods company adidas-Salomon AG returned from near death in the mid-1990s with a new focus and global strategy. No longer content to allow competitors, especially the seemingly invincible Nike, to dominate the sporting-goods category, adidas launched a full-scale offensive designed to increase awareness of the brand, enhance its image, and elevate sales. The company moved production facilities to Asia to cut manufacturing costs, formed high-visibility alliances with sports organizations and athletes (including a sponsorship of the New York Yankees baseball team beginning in 1997), purchased the French company Salomon SA (a manufacturer of golf, ski, and bike equipment) in 1997, and pumped additional funds into its modest marketing budget. Hoping to increase the sales of its running accessories in the United States, adidas America, Inc., the U.S. headquarters for adidas, released a provocative campaign titled ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different.’’

The San Francisco office of advertising agency Leagas Delaney released the branding campaign with an estimated $1 million. To prove that the company understood the sport of running, the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign, which began in 1998, targeted the serious runner, a relatively small and anonymous audience. With full-page and two-page ads in specialty magazines such as Runner’s World and Running Times and with some executions in the general-interest Sports Illustrated, the series of print ads celebrated the rather unusual but relatively common habits of dedicated runners, such as smearing Vaseline on the inner thighs and under the arms to prevent chafing. Sean Ehringer, Leagas Delaney’s creative director, explained, ‘‘[adidas] wanted to do a brand focus campaign that gave them some running credentials, and the way we decided to do that was to let runners know that we understand them . . . Runners have their own kind of weird way of doing things, so there’s a lot of things to talk about there.’’ The campaign ended in 2000.

According to the ad-industry publication Campaign, ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ was the third most awarded series of print ads in the world for 2000. It helped Adidas’s brand awareness in the United States reach record highs and was eventually expanded globally.

For the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign, Adidas narrowed its audience to pinpoint the serious runner, a group frequently overlooked by the sports media despite the popularity of running. The lack of hype surrounding running could perhaps be attributed to the individuality and solitude of the sport. As Leagas Delaney’s Ehringer remarked, ‘‘Most people who run run silently on their own for their own reasons, and nobody even knows they exist.’’ Ehringer also emphasized the importance of running and said, ‘‘It is very much a unique and individual sport, but it’s a part of almost every athlete’s life at some point.’’ To lure runners, an extremely dedicated lot, Adidas adopted an honest and direct approach. Ryan Erickson, a marketing executive at adidas’s rival Reebok International Ltd., explained the importance of credibility when advertising to runners. Erickson said in Footwear News, ‘‘Runners sniff out fake stuff in a heartbeat.’’

The strategy
In planning the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ branding campaign, Adidas and Leagas Delaney felt that it was important to speak directly to the runner. Ehringer told Joan Voight of Adweek, ‘‘I am so tired of this huge trend where ads keep telling you that you are not adequate in some way. ‘Be that’ or ‘Do this.’ . . . What is wrong with celebrating the fun-ness of the brand? . . . Better to have a conversation with people, not a conversation at people.’’ In keeping with this belief, and to make the most of Adidas’s marketing dollars, Leagas Delaney created a series of colorful print ads that celebrated running with a direct and unique approach only runners would likely appreciate and understand. Ehringer explained, ‘‘The unusual thing about [the campaign] was we were really very literal about it. I think it was pretty courageous to do ads that were so honest about really talking to runners that a lot of people wouldn’t even know what you were talking about.’’ To add an extra element of interest and to further suggest Adidas’s bond with runners, many of the ads starred Adidas-sponsored runners, talented athletes with little face-recognition value.


One of the early ads was a two-page color spread featuring a male runner—an adidas-sponsored marathon runner—applying bandages to his nipples at a road race. His shirt, with pinned-on race number, was casually tucked into the waistband of his shorts as he completed the bandaging task. Skyscrapers and other runners appeared in the background. A heavyset woman in nonrunning attire, perhaps a spectator, observed the runner’s ritual with a slightly bewildered look, emphasizing how odd the act must appear to nonrunners. The only text in the ad was the Adidas logo in one corner and the tagline in another.

A second ad showed a walking and running path in a city. A male runner blew his nose in typical runner fashion—with a finger pressed against one nostril to allow the forceful emanation of mucus from the other—as a disgusted nonrunning female looked on. The ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ slogan appeared in the middle of the ad, and the text at the bottom read, ‘‘You’ve never experienced a support shoe like this. The incredibly smooth ride of the Equipment Tyranny is something different too.’’ The $1 million campaign appeared in running-specific publications such as Runner’s World and Running Times and in the popular magazine Sports Illustrated.

Another ad showed two male runners racing a cable car up a steep San Francisco hill as cable car riders looked on. The Vaseline ad featured a male and a female runner getting ready for a race by applying Vaseline to various body parts that might otherwise get rubbed raw while running. The male runner was Peter Julian, who was a four-time all-American while at the University of Portland. Similar ads continued until the campaign ended in 2000. The ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign generated much interest and discussion among runners. The campaign ended in 2000, and some of the final ads were bolder than those from 1998.

One 1999 ad, for example, featured a full view of the backside of a naked male runner (two-time 10,000-meter Olympian and four-time 10,000-meter U.S. champion Todd Williams) who stood by the open trunk of his car to change out of his muddy running clothes. Another ad showed a female runner squatting by a tree next to a trail, her shorts pulled down. Although these ads were quite daring, the acts featured were not out of the ordinary for runners.

Adidas’s director of marketing communications, Karyn Thale, told Adweek that the company was pleased with the advertising efforts and said, ‘‘It is time to tell our story in the U.S., and the Leagas ads are doing a great job of [expressing] our brand’s young, fresh and hardworking image here.’’ Adidas continued to thrive and in 1998 held onto its number three ranking in the athletic-footwear industry with a 6 percent share, according to market research firm NPD Group, Inc. In comparison, Nike’s retail dollar share was 34 percent and Reebok’s 13 percent. Although overall spending on athletic shoes dropped 6 percent from the previous year, running shoes continued to lead the athletic-footwear category, acquiring 17.1 percent of retail sales. Adidas’s U.S. net sales jumped 68 percent to $1.59 billion, and the running category grew more than 50 percent from 1997. Adidas spokesperson John Fread told the Business Journal of Portland, ‘‘For us, [1998] was an outstanding year, another record.’’ Adidas was definitely back in the game, and it planned to stay there, pursuing its commitment to sports and athletes around the globe.

In the campaign’s final year adidas reached its highest brand awareness in company history. The adidas sales increase during the campaign shocked sporting-goods analysts because running shoes were previously considered a slow-growth category. The print ads collected more awards than print ads released by any other competitor in 2000, and adidas eventually expanded the campaign internationally.

Advertising Agency: Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, CA
Creative Director: Harry Cocciolo, Sean Ehringer

Art Director: David Ayriss, Peter Nicholson
Copywriter: Steve Morris, Scott Wild
Photographers: Eugene Richards, William Howard