You know how much automakers love advertising during the Super Bowl. Volvo is launching a campaign that's cheaper than a 30-second big-game ad, piggybacking off competing automakers that actually bought a Super Bowl ad. Volvo Interception lets game day viewers nominate someone deserving to receive a new Volvo XC60. Each time an automotive ad runs during the big game, viewers are urged to tweet the name of the person deserving of a new car using the hashtag #VolvoContest. All eligible tweets will receive a response from Volvo, and contest entrants must describe why their nominee warrants a car. Grey NY created the campaign. Watch a video about the contest here.
The water in the town featured in Skittles' Super Bowl teaser spot must be contaminated with a heavy dose of vitamins, because every resident sports some big guns. When the clock strikes in town, each resident drops everything and heads outside. Men and women alike have biceps the size of your face and are ready to settle something. Or, they are just in need some protein, stat. See it here, created by DDB.
I wonder if the full ad will involve a football to the face? Too obvious? Snickers released a teaser video of its upcoming Super Bowl ad, airing in the first quarter of the big game. Continuing with the brand's "You're not you when you're hungry" theme, the ad takes place in "The Brady Bunch" house with Marcia Brady played by action star Danny Trejo. He recreates one of her memorable scenes -- brushing her hair 100 times each side -- and when mom interrupts, Danny/Marcia must start from square one. See it here, created by BBDO New York.
Desktop PC users and zombie fans, get ready to play FIVE MINUTES, a live-action game that combines the zombie apocalypse and product placement. Players meet John, a man fighting for his life following a run-in with fast zombies. No walkers here. The game is based on the notion that the first symptom of infection is memory loss. John has five minutes to figure out his fate and for the player to help him and his daughter survive. The aim is keep John focused on his memories, which is the only way to keep John alive. And John uses his G-SHOCK watch to keep track of time. See a trailer here and play the game here. Maximilian Niemann and Felix Faißt created the game with help from Unit9.
Even a small donation can help save animals from death in America's shelters. Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, illustrates how a donation can mean life or death for dogs and cats in shelters. The adorable animals -- and the spot shows plenty of cuties -- are simply looking for a chance to find a good home and best friend. Watch it here, created by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA.
It's not every day that you see a seven-foot-tall sad clown with a good voice singing alone in an empty office about working in corporate America. Puddles the Clown (of the band Puddles Pity Party) sings "Keep on the corporate side of life" to the tune of "Keep on the Sunny Side." But what is this sad clown promoting, other than how to photocopy your face and steal office supplies? The video is for Kabbage, a provider of online loans for small businesses. As Puddles aimlessly wanders through an empty office, singing about eating lunch at your cubicle and casual Fridays, he wrestles with leaving the corporate world and following his passion. I hope it involves making people laugh. "Here is to all the small business owners who work for more than a paycheck," closes the video, seen here. The spot was created by breensmith, produced by Tacklebox Films and directed by Mason Dixon.
Random iPhone App of the week: Show+Tell launched Retina Calc, an app that helps designers calculate ideal screen resolutions and viewing distances for large-format digital displays. When users enter the dimensions of a planned digital display along with the average viewing distance, the app calculates what the optimal screen resolution should be. If the resolution of the prospective screen has already been decided, users can calculate the best viewing distance for the display. The app is available for free in the App Store. Download it here.
M&M'S in their crispy form are back after a decade off the shelves. That makes me feel better, since I don't remember ever having crispy M&M's before. To help spread the word, Red and Yellow M&M's star in a 15-second TV spot informing "fans" of the candy comeback. The twist: Red finds Yellow telling the news to an oscillating fan. When Red questions this, he finds out that Yellow has been speaking to ceiling fans, hand fans and oscillating fans -- not the type of fans that actually eat M&M's. See it here, created by BBDO New York.
Toronto Crime Stoppers has launched a public service campaign to educate recreational or party drug users about MDMA, a/k/a. ecstasy or Molly. "Cookin' With Molly" is a cooking show where the host cooks a batch of Molly in his garage. The man describes each step and ingredient used before crushing the batch into pills. What's disturbing about the video is how the cook uses harmful, stronger drugs in his batch of Molly, like bath salts or heroin. "Molly is not the drug you think it is," closes the PSA, seen here. The creative also drives consumers to www.cookinwithmolly.com, which offers additional, shareable content. DDB Canada Toronto created the campaign, directed by Michael Downing of Partners Film.
Why talk and chew gum when you can chew gum and speak using armpit farts? That's the gist of one of Juicy Fruit's new ads, the brand's first TV spots in more than a decade. The brand's tagline, "so sweet you can't help but chew," gives two men in a locker room the green light to finish their conversation using armpit farts. See it here. Siblings on a road trip are so busy chewing Juicy Fruit that they speak by zipping their sweatshirts up and down. Their infant sibling shakes his rattle, wishing he could get in on the fun. Watch it here. DDB Chicago created the campaign.
Sport England, a provider of services and funding to sport in England, launched "This Girl Can," which aims to free women from the judgments that might hold them back from participating in regular activity. The 90-second ad uses no actresses but everyday women of all ages and sizes, exercising. Set to Missy Elliot's "Get Your Freak On," the video opens with a view of a woman's tush as she walks to a swimming pool. There are shots of women running and owning it, regardless of whether their body jiggles. These women are confident and secure in their body image. Viewers see snippets of women athletes boxing and recreational fitness buffs taking Zumba and spin classes. Some women have empowering statements toward exercise included with their workouts, like "I jiggle, therefore I am," "Sweating like a pig. Feeling like a fox" and "I kick balls -- deal with it." Watch the motivating video here, created by FCB Inferno and directed by Kim Gehrig.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To escape captivity and "Live Free Range." The star of Reebok's New Year's resolution campaign is not a bunch of men and women looking to get fit in 2015; it's a chicken with a will to live. This chicken is faced with obstacles left and right, yet still she perseveres, running from a cruel life living in a cage and waiting to be someone's dinner. First, the chicken escapes. Next, a close call with a tractor sends her scurrying in another direction, right into a busy highway road. After crossing the road, the chicken sees an ad for a fitness barn, complete with 1,000 treadmills. She also sees a group of trail runners blow past her in the opposite direction. Chicken takes the trail less traveled and follows the runners down an unknown path. The point: Changing up your exercise routine might help you stick to your New Year's goals. See the video here, created by Venables Bell & Partners.
Here's an upside to taking daily selfies: you'll see when it's time to get a haircut. Supercuts launched a TV spot that follows a man after he gets a haircut. Viewers live vicariously through the man's selfies and active lifestyle; this guy packed a lot of action into a handful of weeks. The time-lapse meshes all the selfies into a 30-second spot and ends with the man back at Supercuts for a touch-up. Watch it here, created by Olson.