It’s Game Time: Tracking the 2019 Super Bowl Ads

Image result for super bowl mercedes benz atlantaIt’s the week before the Big Game and some advertisers have already started rolling out sneak peeks and in some cases, full ads.

Up first, Stella Artois released their full ad on Monday, which features two memorable characters coming together to pitch the Belgian pilsner.  The unlikely duo of Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude were brought together for the beer brand’s Change Up the Usual campaign.

Lil Jon is tempting the fates of losing his “Atlanta” card by partnering with Pepsi in a trailer for the Big Game, which takes a mocking tone towards Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola and its Perfect Pour.  Standby for if Lil Jon will be invited back to his hometown after Sunday’s game in the ATL.

ASMR is a hot trend right now.  Pepsi is creating its interpretation using Cardi B and Michelob Ultra is leveraging Zoe Kravitz in its version of the kooky internet phenomenon.

Take a look at the rest of the ads and teasers here: Adweek

If you want to get in on live action, this year 3 Percent Conference is expanding on their Super Bowl Tweet Up, by rolling out locations in cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.  To find out more, go here:

And if you want to vote for your favorites and not so favorites, you can visit USA Today’s Ad Meter to cast your vote! 

Why Its Hot:

Its the Super Bowl.  And at over $5M for a 30 second spot, this ad arena is not for the faint of heart, or the light in the wallet.  But overall trends here, will dictate the direction for brands and advertisers in 2019.  Agencies will need to quickly have POVs for the winners and the losers and how we can use those learnings to guide future creative requests.   Watch this space for a recap of the winners and the losers next week!

Haitors Step Aside

Haitors step aside, #LoveHaiti is here to showcase the beauty that is their S*** Hole country! Creative director Fabien Dodard felt the need to respond to the “s*** hole countries” statement made by the current President. Haiti ended up receiving a lot of press after the President singled them out, infuriating many and even causing an uprising of the Haitian community where they banded together and started sharing their experiences of their country. Dodard started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money so that these ads can hopefully run in Washington D.C. With a goal of $40,000 Parkour studio hopes to get these ads out there for the President to see.

Why it’s hot:
It’s in no way affiliated with the Haitian government or its tourism agency, it’s purely done by the people for its people (you can’t be Haitian on that, it’s too beautiful). They’ve also created a website in case people search the ads and want to learn more about Haiti ( 

Source: AdWeek

Brands Taking a Stand

It doesn’t take a political science degree to know that civic discourse in the U.S. is strained. As tensions wear on, brands are entering conversations they might’ve shunned in the past. But how do they ensure their statements and actions ring true?

Ben Jones, creative director at Google, recently spoke with agency and content leaders in a panel conversation at a SXSW conference to unpack how socially conscious brands can take a stand—and remain standing—through a fraught period.

Why It’s Hot: More and more consumers expect brands to be socially conscious and to have a perspective that causes the safe space to disappear. Taking a stand requires genuine and authentic brand actions. Owning the actions is more important than making the statement.


April Fools Round Up

Since April 1st fell on a Saturday, we likely were not scrolling the day away to see all the wonderful April Fools pranks pulled by brands this year. These are lighthearted and fun, something that we can forget is a perk of working in such a creative industry. We try to please our bosses and our clients, stay mindfully within our brand guidelines, come up with crisis management plans, try not to shake the boat, or shake the boat just enough to get those impressions – but 1 day a year, we can actually have some fun with the freedom of creativity.






Hurricane Grill & Wings


  • The level of production on some of these videos is as high as any corporate campaign, which means planning
  • It’s highly enjoyable to watch creative teams have some fun with their brands
  • Pressure to compete among brands for best hoax is care-free competition

Country Roads: Helpful Hazards

Read About It:

Why It’s Hot

Typically when you think of advertisements, you don’t think of cattle. Knowing that people are served thousands of messages a day, whether it be by mobile, TV, or the standard billboard sign… people often miss the crux of all ads because the space is flooded with messages. Therefore, I think this was a very clever idea because its all about thinking outside of the box in order to grasp someones attention. The placement couldn’t be any more perfect considering that people can’t help but to sight see and look at animals in the countryside.

IBM Media Campaign – Creative Overview

An IBM cloud media campaign on MIT Technology Review caught my attention today. The compelling creative, eye-catching formats mixed with more subdued ones, common theme with intelligent looking faces and matching landing pages – all converged into a campaign that made me pay attention. Great execution, IBM!

Banner Executions. Each one leads to unique landing pages where benefits are explained. Look and feel is extended from banner to landing page. Example of one landing page is below the banners.







Landing Page Example:
Landing Page

Why It’s Hot: memorable execution and exceptional follow-through with banner campaign.

Man uses his iPhone to insert TV and movie characters into everyday life

I’ll let the following content speak for itself…Capturesfvfdb


Read More:

Why It’s Hot

This concept marries well into the average Instagram users state of mind. When a person goes on Instagram, they are drawn towards images that evoke creativity. Therefore, this simple idea is very noteworthy because one simple concept like this can start a trend across digital. It’s all about keeping things simple while still thinking outside of the box.

“We Are Good on Supplies” #SaidNoSchoolEver

Trash bag company Hefty and Havas Worldwide Chicago tackle a big issue—one that’s more powerful than smelly garbage or nondurable bags—for the brand’s new #SaidNoSchoolEver campaign.

The new work, which includes two 30-second online spots and a handful of playful memes, aims to raise awareness of the serious lack of funding many public schools and teachers face—but does so in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
The writing in the 30-second spots is both sarcastic and sharp, with teachers delivering lines like “We do not need any more art supplies,” and “This map—from 1913. Almost all of the states are there.”
“At no point was this supposed to be polarizing for the brand,” Havas group creative director Ecole Weinstein told Adweek. “We wanted to touch the surface of the issue and still do it with a bit of a smile and make [the campaign] culturally relevant and sharable.”

Havas also wanted to bring Hefty’s involvement with the Box Tops for Education program to light. Hefty, the only trash-bag brand currently supporting the initiative, has donated over $3.5 million to Box Tops over the years. The subject matter also hit close to home for some members of Havas’ creative team.
“Myself, as well as a couple members of the creative team, have deep ties to the education system,” Weinstein said. Weinstein, whose mother was an inner-city school teacher in Florida for 29 years, said she grew up knowing all about the challenges teachers and public schools face. She added that the dry, sarcastic humor would share well on social channels, especially among the teacher crowd searching for a little bit of humor.

Check out some of the memes from the campaign below.

Were-Good_meme_0 Budget-Cuts_meme_0

Google Builds AI Image Network That Could Benefit Search


Improvements in image recognition for Google mean building an artificial neural network where the software is capable of recognizing, learning, and eventually, generating its own network in the likeness of the original. It’s one way that the future of search could improve on serving results, and perhaps another way to give creative advertising agencies an alternative perspective.

Artificial Neural Networks, a Google research project, relies on software based on the structure of how biological brains learn when being shown millions of images. It is trained by seeing millions of examples. The researchers gradually adjust the network parameters until it gives the desired results, such as recognizing the image.

If an image is incorrect, researchers adjust the neurons as images change to help the network reach the correct conclusion. There are between 10 and 30 layers of “artificial neurons,” and each talks to the next until it learns to redraw the correct image and recognized when the last layer is reached.

One remaining challenge is an understanding of what exactly goes on at each layer. “We know that after training, each layer progressively extracts higher and higher-level features of the image, until the final layer essentially makes a decision on what the image shows,” wrote a team of Google software researchers in a blog post. “For example, the first layer maybe looks for edges or corners. Intermediate layers interpret the basic features to look for overall shapes or components, like a door or a leaf. The final few layers assemble those into complete interpretations — these neurons activate in response to very complex things such as entire buildings or trees.”

The researchers were surprised to find neural networks that were trained to discriminate between different kinds of images have quite a bit of the information needed to generate images too,” according to researchers, who learned that the technology doesn’t look for the signals once thought to recreate the image.

The researchers used an image of dumbbells to provide an example. In this case, the network failed to completely identify the dumbbells because it lacked a muscular weightlifter in the picture that most would associate with the exercise equipment.

Researchers said the techniques help to better understand and visualize how neural networks are able to carry out difficult classification tasks, improve network architecture, and check what the network has learned during training. They also suggest it might make a tool for artists, or perhaps creative advertising agencies, presenting a way to remix visual concepts or even shed a little light on the roots of the creative advertising process in general.


Read the full story here

Glorix Is Trying To Send A Message Through Art

Glorix recently launched its new message in a unusual and artistic way. This bug spray brand created an exhibition to showcase their “Blood Portraits” in the hopes of having people buy into their brand and save lives in the process.

This Russian brand is attempting to sell their brand with the idea that donating blood can help save a person’s life but in order for us to do that, we need to stop donating it to mosquitoes.Therefore, you must us Glorix to stop the mosquitoes from stealing your blood.

The exhibition that Glorix has created has nearly doubled in size since its launch recently because people are curious to see these unusual paintings. So what are the paintings and how do they relate to bug spray? Instead of using paint, Glorix teamed up with a Russian artist to create portraits using mosquito blood. Odd right? However, this weird idea helped spread the message that we as humans need to stop letting mosquitoes steal our blood and put it to more effective use.

Read More:

Why It’s Hot

This is just a great example of how brand’s should think outside of the box to not only raise awareness for their brand but help humanity out in the process. It certainly sparks attention in a different and creative way.

Programmatic Goes Beyond Display Ads, Opening Up to Splashier Units

Programmatic isn’t just for banner ads anymore– soon some of the most prominent sites on the internet will be employing automated buying for homepage takeovers and pushdowns.These splashier ad units are being made available by ad network Undertone which sells space on sites owned by Gannett, American Media, USAToday Sports, Accuweather, Bonnier Corp. and more.

Many brands today are looking to increase their programmatic spending, but are limited by the unspectacular selection of available ad units; Undertone’s new offering will help eliminate the problem and other networks will likely follow suit.


Why It’s Hot

The ad industry is predicting a steady growth in programmatic spending over the next few years (eMarketer expects that over 55% of display ads will be purchased programmatically in 2015). While there are many benefits to leveraging this automated form of purchasing media, there are still limits when it comes to the type of ad formats available. To date, most custom buys like homepage takeovers require direct negotiation with a single publisher and are usually priced at a large premium. This new opportunity will now allow advertisers to purchase high impact units and homepage takeovers at scale, at more efficient pricing, and while leveraging the wealth of data provided by partners like Undertone.


Tongal: Crowdsourced Creativity

What happens when process hampers creativity?  Exceptional ideas go to waste.  There enters Tongal, a new platform that helps unite creative folks with brands to bypass the traditional agency model and crowdsource the best ideas possible.

The Tongal model is simple: Brands sign up, announcing they’re looking for the next campaign concept. Users can then respond with Twitter-length pitch ideas. The client reviews the ideas, selects the a favorite, and then pays the user for his/her thinking. Directors (also Tongal users) then pitch ways of shooting the ad. The winning idea is then selected, shot and produced by the client.

Here are some samples already produced and executed via Tongal:

Welch’s: The Fruit Will Set You Free

McDonald’s: Fishy Fishy Fisher Man

Speed Stick: Unintended Laundry


Why It’s Hot

As PSFK writes, “[The Tongal model] allows for new, fresh talent to push the envelope while being rewarded for their work.”  But more than empowering creative individuals, Tongal is a great option for brands with smaller budgets who are trying to break through the clutter with unique, quirky videos with viral potential. Even for agencies, Tongal could be an interesting opportunity to complement larger campaigns with one-off video assets to make brand messages more dynamic. Because while one great video may gather attention, significant strategies can be developed to boost reach, promote within owned channels, and raise the potential for going viral. And who better to manage that success than your agency?

The Only Pen You’ll Ever Need


A futuristic tool may open up a colorful new world for doodlers.

Imagine, instead of being forced to resort to “Forest Green” for the grass in your next masterpiece, you could take Photoshop’s “eyedropper” tool to extract the color from a single, blade of grass and turn that color into ink.

Scribble is a new device that lets you do just that. The pen matches hues from the world around you and transfers them onto paper or a mobile device. For the latter, the tool works in conjunction with a stylus and a mobile app to sync the colors that attract you onto your phone or tablet.






















So long colored pencils and markers! Scribble is now introducing a pen that captures colors from any object around you. There are two scribble models, the pen that works like a regular marking pen on regular paper, and the stylus that works with your tablet, smart phone, or laptop. Both the stylus and pen connect with the Scribble mobile app (which is FREE!), to instantly synch every color you scan directly to your mobile device. The only limitation here is your imagination.


Essie Creates First Virtual Nailpolish Wall

Super popular nailpolish brand, Essie, has the first ever virtual nailpolish wall on their website. The wall replicates the nailpolish wall at salons, recreating the fun process of comparing and choosing a color for their web experience. Each bottle on the “wall” links to a product detail page [layered over the wall] that includes links to purchase, other compatible colors, and links to share on several social networks.


Why It’s Hot 

Essie not only recreated for the web the fun of taking a trip to the salon; they have taken nailpolish beyond an in-person experience. Now it is easy for consumers to share favorite colors and looks online, making Essie one of the highest shared beauty products across social networks (such as tumblr and Pinterest), and ultimately one of the most popular nailpolish brands across the market.

Other brands like CoverGirl and OPI are following in Essie’s footsteps making their products socially shareable in hopes of broadening their reach, but Essie is clearly ahead of the game in using creative ways to enhance and broaden customer experience, create loyalty, and drive customer engagement.