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Farmers InsuranceFarmers Insurance launched a pair of TV ads that take place at the popular University of Farmers, starring J.K. Simmons as Professor Nathaniel Burke. “Jack In The Box” bowed Jan. 2 during the Rose Bowl and begins with Professor Burke turning the handle of an oversized version of a child’s toy. Each turn represents the unexpected surprises that homeowners sometimes face. Once the toy hits the famous “pop” sound, nothing happens, surprising the students, who expected something drastic. The big surprise comes seconds later when a space capsule crashes through the ceiling, onto the Jack-in-the-box.  “Random space junk falling from the sky? We cover that,” Burke says. See it here. “Maze” launches in February and features a man wandering through a maze, representing the confusion consumers feel about insurance. A Farmers University student guides the man to freedom and Professor Burke gives the student false accolades about setting a course record. Watch it here. RPA created the campaign.

McCainWhen it comes to watching my weight, I have to confess that French fries (or any fries) are my downfall. It made it easy for me to relate to the woman in an ad for McCain fries. Airing in France, the spot follows a housewife as she eats a fry and is transported to a fantasy place: the men’s locker room. The housewife plays the role of soft towel and the wet, hunky athlete plays himself, picking up a towel to dry himself off. As the man dries his back, the housewife moans with pleasure, and wakes up on her kitchen table, with her teenage son watching. Awkward. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Paris.


Paddy PowerOnline gaming firm Paddy Power launched “The Bad Date,” a TV spot airing in the U.K., that highlights its Home Free Hotline app. The app allows users to call themselves with a faux emergency so they can leave a sticky situation, like an awful date. The spot stars comedienne Laura Checkley as the woman stuck on a date from hell. Rather than run to the bathroom to have her best friend call her with a faux emergency, now she need only press a button on Paddy's Home Free Hotline app, which will then walk her through the excuse to tell her date. Like her Dad’s in jail and was forced to join a gang. Now she can go home, relax and play Paddy Power Bingo on her couch. Watch the ad here, created by CP+B.


LG PhoneThe HD screen on the LG Spectrum phone is a feature you’ve never seen on a phone. That’s also the name of the campaign. “You’ve Never Seen This” TV ads launch January 19 on ESPN, featuring ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott. ESPN’s ScoreCenter HD app comes preloaded on all LG Spectrums. A football coach is being interviewed on the sidelines, while in the background a “Cheerleader” tackles a football player like a linebacker. Cue Stuart Scott reporting creepily behind a mobile user watching the play on his phone. Watch it here. The same creepily close reporting takes place when another man, watching a basketball game on his phone, sees the referee dunk a basketball in play. See “Alley-Oop” here. DOJO created the campaign.

Environmental DefenseEnvironmental Defence launched a TV and online campaign in Canada to educate women about dangerous, cancer-causing ingredients found in many cosmetics. In “How To Look Pretty Without Poisoning Yourself,” a woman appears on a game show, with the objective to select a cosmetic that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients from a wheel of makeup. As the woman applies a red lipstick, the game show host informs her that her lipstick contains lead and that all the makeup there has harmful substances. See it here. The company also relaunched its Web site, offering consumers information about safe beauty products. Open, Toronto created the campaign, produced by Partners Film and directed by Aleysa Young.

Floridas NaturalsFlorida's Natural orange juice launched a brand campaign focusing on the juice’s fresh and natural flavor. "Blossom" begins with a seed sprouting from a pair of gloved hands. The seed becomes a flower, then a juicy orange, and lastly a carton that’s handed from farmer to consumer. Watch the ad here, created by 22squared.


Prairie MilkThe Prairie Milk Marketing Partnership launched a TV spot that positions milk as a healthy drink that provides natural energy to allow folks to compete and perform at their best level. The ad starts out with an energetic teenage girl, looking for a sport she really excels in. She tries mountain biking, skateboarding and soccer, but each doesn’t click. When she tries her hand at gymnastics, her talent finally sticks. “Milk helps keep you going. Where you go is up to you.” Watch it here. Dare Vancouver created the campaign, directed by Mark Zibert of Sons and Daughters and edited by Matthew Griffiths of Cycle Media.


San Francisco ZooThe San Francisco Zoo launched a print campaign in the Wall Street Journal that depicts zoo animals in corporate settings. The zoo has seen a decline in donations recently, and decided to change its marketing strategy by targeting corporations for donations. Three print ads feature animals at the office: a penguin at the copy machine, a giraffe sitting at a desk and a koala at a company meeting. Once you get past the adorableness of a penguin making copies and read the actual ad copy, you feel for the little guy: “When penguins can analyze bond market yield curves, they’ll no longer depend on your company’s donation.” See the ads here, here and here, created by twofifteenmccann.


Marie Claire AppRandom iPad App of the week: Marie Claire magazine created the Backstage Beauty Trends App for iPad, featuring runway trends selected by the beauty editors of Marie Claire, an interactive makeup tester, how-to guide and e-commerce tools. The virtual makeup tester tool allows users to apply makeup on the iPad using customized palettes of makeup. In addition, users can purchase makeup directly from the app. The app costs 99 cents in the App Store.

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