Ads of the Week: Big Shaq battles a voicebot, the first original sign language song and more

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BBH London – Trainline

To celebrate Trainline’s voice app, built for the Google Assistant, Europe’s leading independent train ticket retailer and train travel app, has released a new campaign featuring the first voicebot rap battle of its kind. The film, available on YouTube and Trainline’s website, features rap phenomenon Big Shaq and highlights how customer-friendly the tech company’s products and services are in a light-hearted, youthful and engaging way. The film sees Big Shaq, the “Man’s Not Hot” rap character created by comedian Michael Dapaah, go head to head with Trainline’s voice app to demonstrate how the app can help simplify rail journey planning. In line with Trainline’s Wonderfully Predictable brand platform, the campaign aims to demonstrate how Trainline uses its understanding of travel, travellers and technology to help deliver a more seamless journey experience. The campaign was created by BBH and media planning and buying was by Blue 449.


WCRS – The Royal Navy

The Royal Navy has released the latest two commercials in its high-profile “Made in the Royal Navy” recruitment campaign, aimed at showcasing the wealth of possibilities it offers female recruits and aspiring apprentices. “Louise’s Story” (above) demonstrates the sheer scale of opportunities available to female as well as male recruits, from flying a helicopter to driving a speedboat, fixing an engine, or running a warship as its Captain. The biographical television commercial, created by WCRS, follows the story of Louise, a young woman whose experiences exemplify the possibilities a career in the Royal Navy can offer, regardless of gender. Its release comes three days ahead of International Women’s Day 2018. A second commercial, “Modou’s story” goes live online today on Royal Navy digital channels to mark National Apprenticeship Week. Focuses on the story of a young man who has pushed himself to personal and professional bests, including completing an apprenticeship within two years of joining, the film reveals what recruits can achieve through Royal Navy coaching. Both films are based on the lives of real Royal Navy personnel and star real recruits. “Louise’s Story” will be live on TV, VoD and Social until 25th March. The film was shot by director Greg Hackett through Trailer Park London and features an invigorating soundtrack, “Steady” by God Colony.


Wieden + Kennedy London – Tyrrells

Tyrrells, the premium hand-cooked English crisp brand, is launching a new “Absurdly Good” advert to showcase its “Best Ever Recipes.” The advert, which is the second creative from the Absurdly Good campaign, will be aired on TV and Video On Demand from 5th March 2018, as part of the brand's continued investment in above the line advertising. The advert will be on air from March to May 2018, with £2m of investment behind it. Following on from the VIP Potato execution, created by Wieden+Kennedy London, the advert is centred around Tyrrells most popular flavours: Lightly Salted, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar and Mature Cheddar & Chive. The advert focuses on how Tyrrells hunts down the finest ingredients to make its crisps taste so Absurdly Good, with the renowned crisp packet characters and Tyrrells' signature style and humour featuring throughout.


How Now – LBC

LBC reveals a fresh regional TVC and national VOD, written and produced by London-based creative production agency, How Now. In a move to bring the national talk and phone-in radio station continued brand awareness and introduce LBC to a new audience, How Now have crafted five 30-second films. The campaign takes viewers straight into the action, featuring snippets of engaging debates between callers, presenters, and topical figures, such as Theresa May. Controversial Brexiteer, Nigel Farage, who joined the station as a presenter in January of 2017, also appears. We watch as listeners drive the conversation, tuning in from various environments, in turn highlighting the 24/7 accessibility of the station across devices. With their most recent instalment, How Now conveys LBC’s quality, credibility, and breadth of programming for news and current affairs. The latest films will be followed by an additional three spots that each focus on LBC’s presenters, guests, and callers.


DigitasLBi – Pringles

Pringles have launched a series of animated films that transport us to new worlds with their classic potato chip flavours. Dark Energy, DigitasLBi and Cookie Studio created the quirky spots with the snack brand. In each mixed-media film, characters take a single bite of a Pringles flavoured chip and is momentarily propelled into a tantalising fantasy universe of taste immersion. In each of the six commercials (Hot & Spicy, Paprika, Spring Onion, Sour Cream & Onion, Nacho Cheese and Texas BBQ) the all-consuming taste experience of the snack evokes an epiphany moment for the taster, depicted by their entering of a vivid and colourful mixed-media land. In Hot & Spicy (above) the character takes a bite of the flavoured chip and, in a moment of taste ecstasy, is transported from a friend’s kitchen to an animated platform where they comically pole dance around a chilli tree to an audience of chilli’s and Pringles chips, whilst dressed in a firefighter’s uniform. Mixing humour and escapism, viewers return to the kitchen, where, Pringles in hand and eyes closed, the character is still jigging away to the imaginary scene to the bewilderment of their friends. The fantastical universes are crafted with a combination of two-dimensional and three-dimensional illustrations, live action, Stop Motion and Cell animation, each layered to create the surreal and bold scenes.


Havas – Vanish

Created by Havas and produced by UNIT9 Films, “Vanish: Love Longer” is a 20-second spot that encourages social change by proving a stain should not be the end of your clothes. Vanish reveal the backdrop to a sustainable project where they encourage the recycling of clothes that would typically go to landfill sites. LS Productions worked closely with UNIT9 Films and Havas on the production, securing the authentic landfill site for the documentary-style call-to-arms commercial. Directed by UNIT9 Films directing duo Greg & Jacob, the film opens on a landfill site that spans endless mountains of debris, stretching far into the distance. This narrative runs alongside the shocking fact that “every year UK families throw away over 300,000 tonnes of clothing.” To urge families to spare landfill by starting in the family home, the narrative cuts to show a mother using the clothing detergent to clean her families stained garments – rather than discarding them. In a call to action the advert ends with the statement “If we play our small part, we can reduce landfill together.”


Doner – Chrysler

“Transparent” and “Bad Moms” star Kathryn Hahn stars in Chrysler’s hilariously relatable new campaign - proving that you shouldn’t let parenting get in the way of flaunting serious attitude. Creatively devised by Doner and directed by Jordan Brady of Superlounge, the Primetime Emmy-nominated actress amusingly acts out guilty pleasures in the series of five commercials to promote the new Pacifia S. In the campaign, Hahn portrays a fun-loving mum who’s not quite ready to let go of her youth. She’s not going to let the school run ruin a chance to blast her speakers, “back that thang up” and roll around on the bonnet. Superlounge director Jordan Brady brought his comedic expertise to the five spots. Working closely with Doner on the new campaign, he builds on his relationship with the agency. Brady shot with Hahn over two days – perfecting the comedic tone and timing. The five-part campaign is now live on TV, digital, and online.


TMW Unlimited – CMI

TMW Unlimited has created a short, tongue-in-cheek film for The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which forms part of a wider campaign designed to reduce ongoing, discriminatory behaviours in the workplace. The two-minute film, entitled “Achieving gender inequality in the workplace – a how-to guide,” is designed to highlight some of the workplace behaviours that can lead to gender inequality. Starring Fringe comedians Stevie Martin and Thom Tuck, the film parodies corporate training videos, highlighting the sometimes accidental behaviours and micro-aggressions that still mar the reality of work for too many people. These behaviours ultimately contribute to the pressing gender inequality issues prevalent in many company workplaces. The film is part of a larger body of work which is designed to position the CMI as leading the way for women in management and leadership roles. It will be released ahead of International Women’s Day and will be promoted across social media as well as on the CMI’s own channels. A panel will be live-streamed on Facebook on International Women’s Day, featuring Stevie Martin, one of the comedians in the film. Viewers will be invited to ask questions and share experiences.


J. Walter Thompson London – Shell

J. Walter Thompson London and director Caswell Coggins (through Dark Energy) partnered up with Shell to seek out the “Heroes of Houston,” in a moving series of films that follow just some of the people who helped their community following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey. The short documentary series was all shot on the ground in Houston, Texas. “Tom Ashworth” follows the story of an unstoppable man, who despite having an incredibly challenging medical condition and having his own home flooded, shows up every day to volunteer in a food bank. According to Tom, “It’s the most rewarding thing” he’s ever done in his life.


Joint – Thatcher's Cider

Thatcher's cider has released a new advertising campaign from Joint that humorously tackles the topics of farms and family life. This 16 episode content series sees the return of the Thatcher’s spokesman from the 2017 “Hot Air Balloon” campaign. This time he’s exploring the “farm and family” facts behind Thatchers cider. The content represents the third phase of the “What Cider’s Supposed to Taste Like” platform demonstrating the Thatcher family’s utterly uncompromising commitment to the quality of their cider. In keeping with the authenticity of the campaign messaging, the films were shot entirely on location in Somerset on the Thatchers family farm and Martin Thatcher, the fifth generation of the Thatchers family to make cider, even makes an appearance in a few of the spots. The campaign runs in VOD, social, programmatic video and Youtube pre-rolls and was shot by Matt Carter through Dark Energy films.


BETC – La Parole aux Sourds

BETC Paris and non-profit La Parole aux Sourds have joined forces to create “Unsilenced,” the first original song sung entirely through sign language and dance. The ground-breaking project appears at first to be a music video for an instrumental song; only when the viewer arrives at the end of the clip do they realise that the dancer they’ve been watching has actually been sign-singing the lyrics. The film’s powerful message (that it’s easy to miss out on everything the deaf community has to offer when we don’t speak their language) is meant to motivate viewers to learn the basics of sign language. On first viewing, Unsilenced appears to be a music video for an instrumental song. It’s only when viewers get to the end of the film that they discover the dancer they’ve been watching is actually deaf and that he’s been sign-singing the lyrics the whole time. Viewers are then invited to visit unsilenced.fr, where an interactive digital experience reveals the lyrics hidden in his movements. By “turning up the volume” on the film, users discover the message hidden in the dancer’s signs. The track for Unsilenced was composed through a unique collaboration between electro-pop band Haute and deaf dancer Billy Read. Read, who lost his hearing at the age of 3 due to a severe case of otitis, worked with the band to write and translate the song’s lyrics into sign language and dance through the help of an interpreter. The video for Unsilenced was produced by Insurrection Films, the powerhouse behind award-winning music videos for artists such as Travis Scott, Drake, and Alt-J.


Forsman & Bodenfors - Nokia

Nokia doesn’t come from the sunny beaches of California or the futuristic skyscrapers of South Korea. Nokia comes from a remote little country up in the cold and dark north, far from the sunny imaginary life that’s usually presented to us. The campaign, created by Forsman & Bodenfors for the new Nokia 8 Sirocco, displays real and ordinary life. Because it’s when life is real and ordinary you need your phone to be extraordinary.


Solve – Founders Solid Gold

Solve’s campaign for Founders Brewing Company’s new premium lager, Solid Gold, highlights the brewery’s hell-bent philosophy of taking risks. Representing an active play from Founders to go after a larger segment of beer drinkers outside the confines of craft, Solid Gold is a departure from the Grand Rapids, MI-based brewery’s typical line-up of bold, heavy hitting ales. It’s their take on a classic, mass style – a drinkable premium lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients. Anchored by the tagline “Brewed To Take On Life,” the beer’s messaging centres around ignoring the voice inside your head that urges you to play it safe. The Solid Gold campaign marks Founders’ largest-ever marketing effort in its 20-year history. Media partners include Hulu and Esquire.


Marcel Sydney – Tinder

There's an emoji for everything these days. And everyone. Well, nearly everyone. Unicode, the company behind Emoji, offers emoji for people of many races and emoji for same-sex couples, but one group of people is still excluded from emoji representation: interracial couples. Together with Marcel Sydney, Tinder, one of the world's most popular dating apps, has created a global campaign that leads people to a petition that aims to change this. They might be small icons on a screen, but emoji have also become a universal language of this digital age. A recent study suggested that Tinder, and the popularity of dating apps today, is responsible for an increase in interracial marriages - so it's high time that interracial pairs join the emoji party. The new project, called “#representlove, the interracial emoji couple project,” will ask Unicode to give mobile phones the option to customize the skin tone of the couple with the heart emoji. The online film, directed by Tim Kindler through Heckler, highlights the fact that there are thousands of emoji for almost everything and everyone, but none that represent interracial couples.


Camp+King – RE/MAX

RE/MAX has announced the launch of its 2018 advertising campaign which, along with social, digital and traditional activations, features TV spots created by Director Autumn De Wilde and San Francisco-based advertising agency Camp+King. The campaign focuses on the power of personal recommendations and the substantiated claim that more buyers and sellers would recommend RE/MAX than any other real estate brand. The campaign furthers the claim by saying RE/MAX agents are more recommended because they recommend what’s right for buyers and sellers. The TV spots along with digital, social and some print assets show RE/MAX agents pairing unique families with their perfect homes. This is the third iteration of the advertising campaign Camp + King launched in 2016 called “The Sign of a RE/MAX Agent” that highlights the behind-the-scenes hustle of RE/MAX agents. The new campaign spans traditional and contemporary advertising mediums including short, dynamic spots for digital and social and content creation for popular sites like Buzzfeed.


Dentsu – Toyota

Dergin Tokmak is the subject of Toyota’s new “Start Your Impossible” film, created by Dentsu and directed by Adi Halfin – one of ten remarkable stories of strength and adaptability, produced by Hamburg based company, Rejell. In honour of their shift to a mobility company, Toyota’s Start Your Impossible campaign was officially launched on February 8th - celebrating eight years of Olympic and Paralympic sponsorship, and their unwavering commitment to the spirit of encouragement, challenge and progress. The series features Paralympic and everyday athletes, embodying the values of humility, hard work and sheer resilience. Adi Halfin directs the story of Turkish originated Dergin Tokmak. Aged one, Tokmak contracted polio, a disease that left him with very limited use of his legs. Little did Tokmak let this phase him, however. His strength staggering, Tokmak began his career as a dancer by designing his very own, unique style of movement. Bold and mesmerising, here is a story of challenge and perseverance, but more so one of joyful expression and striking freedom through movement. Today, Tokmak is a world-renowned break-dancer and acrobat, on crutches, like no other.


Wieden + Kennedy – Bud Light

Originating in the US, the “Dilly Dilly” campaign for Bud Light quickly became a pop culture phenomenon with everyone from sports fans to celebrities adopting the phrase as a new form of “cheers.” sparking a snowball effect. Created by Weiden+Kennedy, the UK TV starts on game day in the kingdom, and friends of the royal family present gifts to the king and queen - the crowd cheers “Dilly Dilly!” as each guest offers up Bud Light until, one unfortunate friend bears a random, spiced honey mead wine. Without hesitation, the crowd raises a Bud Light toast as the wine-giver is banished to the pit of misery. The campaign accompanies the launch of a new Bud Light bottle, which is already rolling out in-store across grocery and convenience, using the same iconic design and branding as the can format, which arrived in the UK last year.


AMV BBDO – Guinness

In the latest campaign for Guinness, AMV BBDO tells four uplifting “Made of Black” stories that celebrate individuals who are showing unexpected character in the world of football and inspiring those around them. The four films were directed by Wilkins & Maguire – BAFTA nominated documentary-makers at production company Stink and co-written with Andy Clough and Richard McGrann. They were filmed by Oscar-nominated James Laxton and coloured by Alex Bickel, both of Moonlight fame. Each film features a true story sourced during a wide-ranging search and cover issues such as gender stereotyping and overcoming disability.


Ogilvy & Mather – Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK has launched the next instalment of its marketing campaign with much-loved British actor, Martin Freeman, and offers eagle-eyed viewers a discount off Google Home products. The campaign from Ogilvy highlights Vodafone’s pledge to deliver home broadband customers a guaranteed minimum speed. The Ultimate Speed Guarantee, which launched this week for home broadband and small business customers, promises guaranteed broadband speeds customers can rely on or money off until its fixed. The TV advertisement begins with a spaceman floating through space, trying to make his way back to a space station before his oxygen depletes. The camera angle then switches to reveal Freeman is playing an online spaced-themed game. Unfortunately, Martin loses connection at the most crucial part of the game, much to the disappointment of his friend who is left abandoned in outer space. Working with Framestore, the BAFTA and Oscar-winning studio famous for its visual effects work in films such as Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049, the advert incorporates computer-generated graphics of the space station and a fully CG astronaut, Martin’s friend in space. British composer, music producer and songwriter Peter Raeburn composed the music and featured 54 musicians as part of the final recording.


Partizan – Pretty Green

New signing Sophie Jones’s first collaboration with Partizan is the brand film for Pretty Green, promoting Liam Gallagher’s newest collection. The film highlights the beautiful collaborative prints between Katie Eary and Pretty Green and stars indie rapper Bakar. Featuring beautiful moving portraiture it takes the audience on a surreal journey that explores the intricate patterns of the fabric. Shot with varied textures - 8mm, 16mm and digital. Pin hole style shots maximise the fisheye effect with super wide lenses. Slow tracking shots and handheld create peaks of energy and fast movement.


Deutsch – Nest

With Nest’s newest product, the “Hello” video doorbell, you'll never miss a moment at the front door. To launch the “Hello,” Nest’s Marketing and Creative teams collaborated with Deutsch and Alldayeveryday’s director Matt Baron to produce this spot. The spot, titled “Prom Night,” taps into the topic of how men treat women in society. It’s a little story about one of those critical conversations between parent and teenager. The brand was driven to the script because of the important and topical subject matter it focuses on - treating women, and each other, with respect. The ad debuted during the Oscars on March 4.


CHE Proximity – Cochlear

Cochlear has released Hearprint; an online application that calibrates online video and music to the listener’s unique hearing ability. CHE Proximity, together with audiologists and sound engineers have collaborated to raise awareness about the 3.6 million Australians living with some form of hearing loss. Based on a series of user inputs, Hearprint works by adjusting audio frequencies so they are tailored to the listener’s hearing ability. It then calibrates online content to the viewer’s ears. Anyone can download the software as a Google Chrome extension to hear all their favourite online films, TV shows and music, with their unique sound calibration. Unlike hearing aids, which simply turn up the volume for all sounds around the wearer, Cochlear implants accommodate an individual’s unique hearing needs by recalibrating their ears to the world around them to restore their hearing. Hearprint has been applied to the first content series calibrated to user’s unique hearing. The documentaries, by the award-winning director of The Glue Society, tell the stories of how Cochlear is changing the lives of people with hearing loss.


McCann Manchester – Co-op Funeralcare

McCann Manchester has launched its first work for Co‐op Funeralcare after it won the business in 2017 following a competitive pitch. Having been awarded the business, McCann Manchester has assumed duties across strategy, creative, design, digital and social media with offline and online media planning and buying shared between Rocket and Mediacom respectively. McCann Manchester has been responsible for creating a brand campaign “Right By You” and a brand response campaign “Keep Loving Life,” which has been developed to promote the availability and importance of funeral plans. The Right By You campaign celebrates life. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. A first for the category and a refreshing approach to funeral care. It plays on the people who have been by our side our whole lives, and the support Co‐op Funeralcare provides when they can no longer be there. Keep Loving Life tackles the sensitivities of funeral planning in an accessible way by celebrating our achievements, hobbies and zest for life. With an inspirational mix of ages and characters, the ad encourages people to sort their funeral plan in an easy, affordable way, so they can carry on loving life.


Pablo – Toby Carvery

Pablo London has launched its new campaign for Toby Carvery with a trio of tasty spots directed by Squire's Simon Stock. The films unearth three of the special little things that make a British roast just the way it is – highlighting the dedication and passion that Toby chefs put into preparing the freshest ingredients every day. It’s a story that took the team at Pablo all over the UK, taking in sights that you can only catch when you're normally still tucked up in bed. The films highlight the iconic staples of a Toby carvery, from Yorkshire puddings to roasties.


Anonymous Content/MPC – Walmart

Walmart continued to celebrate the art of storytelling at the 90th Oscars last night with three of Hollywood’s brightest creators: Nancy Meyers, Melissa McCarthy and Dee Rees. Each directed a 60-second short film inspired by Walmart’s blue shipping box that premiered during the Oscars telecast. While each story begins when the box arrives, what happens next has been uniquely interpreted by each director to showcase their individual styles and voices. 2018 Oscar nominee Dee Rees’ sci-fi story was action-packed, featuring a space captain, sand monster and an evil commander. Rees’ “The Box” stars fellow Oscar nominee and Mudbound collaborator Mary J. Blige, and two-time Olympic Gold Medal Boxer and WBC / IBF Super Middle Weight Champ Claressa Shields. MPC worked closely with Anonymous Content’s Dee Rees to realize her vision of creating an epic sci-fi world.


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