AT&T launched a pair of ads highlighting its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team. The first stars swimmer Ryan Lochte traveling to the Olympic games by water. He swims in rain, past a school of fish and a whale, while explaining that it takes more than luck and hope to earn an Olympic spot. “Luck didn’t get me to London, I swam here,” closes the ad, seen here. I love the second spot, starring marathoner Ryan Hall streaming an audio book on his smartphone for his short run. His book of choice? “The Odyssey.” And that was just one way. Hall selects “Moby Dick” to stream on his return run home. Watch it here. BBDO New York created the campaign.
It’s no secret that seconds count in sports, but a hundredth of a second can really change the outcome of an event. Michael Phelps knows this feeling, as described in Visa’s TV spot paying tribute to Phelps’ winning eight gold medals in 2008. One medal was won by one hundredth of a second, which is faster than the blink of an eye and a lightning strike. See it here, created by BBDO Brazil.
EDF, the electricity supplier of the Olympic games, launched an amusing TV spot in the U.K. and France showing two technicians checking the power supply to Olympic Stadium. The slapstick duo not only checks the electricity, but the sporting equipment as well. Hey, I would, too. How many chances does one get to act like an Olympian? The men fence, swim, cycle, and, my personal favorite, cautiously walk over hurdles. Watch it here, created by CLM BBDO.
Robert Griffin III, the rookie quarterback for the Washington Redskins, is the star of two different campaigns this week. He first appears in an ad for adidas’ adizero 5-Star Mid shoe. “Weighs on You” shows Griffin playing the role of bus driver, security guard, police officer, sports trainer and color guard, as seen through the eyes of one man. Essentially, RG3 has consumed the mind of his opponent, and the rival sees RG3’s face everywhere. The spot ends on the football field, where RG3 outmaneuvers his rival to score a touchdown. See it here, created by 180LA.
“Greatness is not given. Greatness is taken -- taken in the summer when no one is looking,” says Robert Griffin III in a spot for Gatorade. Judging by the hot, grueling workouts RG3 completes, he’ll be taking a lot this upcoming football season. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.
Combos launched TV and print ads that feature a set of bad combinations, compared to the tasty Combos offerings, like pizzeria and pretzel. In one TV spot, a not-so-stealth burglar awakens a homeowner when Mr. Burglar walks on a floor in wooden clogs. See it here. In another ad, a zookeeper sweeps a lion’s den wearing a zebra shirt. Not wise. See it here. Print ads show equally unwise pairings, like an old woman with a wrinkled tattoo and a fiery redhead about to be charged by a bull. See them here and here. DDB Chicago created the campaign.
An Australian ad for “Adults Only” Pascall Chocs Mallow Bites shows its cheeky side in the name of comedy. We have naked body parts, screams of pleasure and bouncing springs, but it’s not what you think. In reality, we’re in a factory where chocolate-covered marshmallows are made. The woman is testing the finished products, much to the pleasure of her male co-worker who runs the machine in a lab coat and hairnet. See it here. Droga5, Sydney created the ad, directed by Paul Goldman, with visual effects created by Afterparty, New York.
To educate young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Ad Council launched a PSA starring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” shows people skydiving, performing surgery, and putting wood into a wood chipper, with text message bubbles appearing at these inopportune times. “There are a million places you’d never consider texting, so why would you do it while driving?” says Kahne at the close of the ad. See it here, created pro bono by RPA.
Random iPad app of the week: DOJO created Abductionary, a fun word puzzle game for the iPad. In Abductionary, each player is an alien sent to earth by an inept alien overlord that demands his underlings “steal words from the tiny brains of those ugly, puny, bipod earth creatures.” Players have to extract words to prevent the “Language Extractor 6000” from overheating, by forming words from a stream of letters being sucked out of human brains. The app costs 99 cents in the App Store.