Gamers, put your best face forward in NBA 2K15, launching Oct. 7. For the first time, gamers will be able to scan their face into the game. This new technology prompted NBA star James Harden to call his beard guru for grooming his famous beard. In a 3:00 video supporting the game's launch, beard guru Fritz flies in from the Swiss Alps to ensure Harden's beard looks its best. Fritz does a lot of deep thinking and close staring at Harden's beard, then removes a small pair of scissors and trims approximately two hairs. Probable cost: $1,000. Fritz then uses crystals to rid the beard of bad energy, contemplates the use of a chainsaw and knife and then plays a flute mimicking the moves of snake charmer. When satisfied, Fritz begins work on Anthony Davis and his unibrow. See it here, created by CP+B and directed by HAM.
I don't think Gatorade could have picked a better song to pay homage to Derek Jeter's illustrious career than Frank Sinatra's "My Way." En route to Yankee Stadium, Jeter asks his driver to stop early, so he can walk to the stadium. He encounters giddy women thrilled to shake his hand, school kids at recess, sanitation workers -- and, my favorite, a group of Yankee fans readying to watch the game at a local bar. The bartender tells Jeter that he's been waiting for a visit since 1998, and Jeter says he was never invited and autographs a rookie picture of himself. By the time Jeter makes it to Yankee Stadium, the crowd of fans is dozens of people long and deep. Jeter hugs those closest, autographs baseballs and suits up for the game. Add Sinatra's "My Way" heard throughout the spot and the equation for the perfect ad is complete. See it here. During the Yankee's home game against the Orioles on Sept. 22, Gatorade coolers, cups and towels will feature Jeter's No. 2 in place of the Gatorade G. TBWA\Chiat\Day LA created the campaign.
Anheuser-Busch has launched a pair of pilot programs on Facebook that greatly benefits beer drinking adults 21 and older who live in Denver and Chicago. For residents of these cities, giving and getting the gift of beer is just a click away. Bud Light Birthday and Buds for Buds are fairly self-explanatory. Facebook users will be prompted through posts in their News Feed to gift their friends a free Bud Light to complement Happy Birthday wishes or buy a Budweiser for friends to celebrate other occasions, like the start of the weekend, an engagement or just because. Writing on someone's Timeline seems like a thing of the past... In both scenarios, an online voucher will be sent to the recipient, which they can redeem in-person at a local bar or restaurant once they show ID to prove they are of legal drinking age. No external application must be downloaded to gift or redeem a beer. People who click on the News Feed post will be taken to a customized mobile or desktop page to send or claim a beer. Gift delivery and fulfillment is powered by Gratafy. Plans for a national launch are slated for spring 2015. AKQA created the campaign. Cheers!
This is definitely the most violent video game ad I've ever seen. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment launched a trailer for Mortal Kombat X, available for purchase in 2015. The trailer is set to Wiz Khalifa's song, "Can't Be Stopped," and introduces the campaign's "Who's Next" platform. Mortal Kombat X gives players the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character, like Scorpion and Sub-Zero, along with adding new challengers representing both good and evil. The brutal fight in the trailer takes place in a cold, dark forest. Two men engage in heavy hand-to-hand combat, using tree branches and fire as weapons. Not only do you hear the sound of bones breaking, but then you actually see it happening. The spot ends with one man standing, and the loser's head affixed to a tree with a sword. Watch it here, created by AKQA.
Random iPhone App of the week: Buffalo Wild Wings has launched GameBreak, a football app that can be played in-restaurant, online or on mobile devices. The app serves as a destination for users to access sports content (beginning with the NFL season, but extending to more sports throughout the year), track their fantasy performances and create leagues to challenge their friends. Users can earn points each time they play to win weekly and season-long prizes based on their performance. GameBreak Live is played in-restaurant and asks players questions about live sporting events in real time. Pro-Football Salary Cap Challenge is a fantasy football-style weekly game where users create a roster of eight pro-football players within a predetermined virtual budget. Pro-Football Pick'em Challenge is a traditional pick'em game designed to test a user’s skill in correctly selecting the winner of each pro-football weekly match-up. Weekly prizes -- including Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards and two season-long prize packs valued at $2,000 -- will be awarded to players who stay on top of the leader board. Download the free app here.
UGG Australia launched "This Is UGG," a global brand marketing campaign starring Tom Brady. The first ad, "Time Out," is a sweet spot that illustrates how the small moments in life are actually the big, important ones. Brady cherishes time with his father, bonding over a game of golf. Wearing UGG for Men "Leighton" boots on the course, Brady explains: "Truth is, you only get so many time-outs. That's why I don't like to back-pocket them, especially off the field. No matter how many I need, or how complicated things seem, it's not like you can carry them to the next game, or the next day. You can't recreate them, or bargain for more, you just have to actually take the time out to enjoy them." Watch it here, created by M&C Saatchi, Los Angeles and directed by Brendan Malloy.
Three successful college football players who flopped in the NFL poke fun at themselves in an ad for DISH. The brand's anywhere app allows fans to watch live college football anywhere on any device, such as on a mobile phone in a diner. As one fan eats and watches a game, diners Matt Leinart and Heath Shuler yearn to relive their glory days. Brian Bosworth walks in and begs:"Take me with you." See "Going Back To College" here, created by Havas WW Chicago.
Burt's Bees is celebrating its 30th "BeeDay" with a live web event Sept. 17 featuring company co-founder Burt Shavitz, his beloved bees, an improv actor and a bluegrass band. Burt will be outside his home in Parkman, Maine, joined by improv actor Dan Chamberlain and bluegrass band Tumbling Bones. Burt will read birthday messages submitted by fans on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #burtsbeeday. All messages will be also viewable as they come in via Facebook and Twittter and birthday readings will be divided up into amusing short segments like "Greetings from our sponsors" (fruits, the sun); "Burtisms" ("What a bear does in the woods is his own business."); and bee-related trivia. Post-event, the complete, unedited video and a trimmed-down version will remain live at BurtsBeeDay.com through October 31. All fans whose entries were read will receive a video clip of Burt's reading. Baldwin&, Raleigh created the campaign.
Expedia launched a new loyalty program, Expedia+Rewards, that allows travelers to earn points from every airline and hotel on every trip they take. They have my attention. Supporting the new program is "Safari," a 60-second ad that illustrates how time flies when parents travel for work. In the ad, a doting dad spends more time than he'd like as a business traveler. When he returns from a trip, he always brings her a gift: an exotic toy animal. One day, he realizes just how much time he's away from his little girl when he looks at the large collection of toy animals residing in her bedroom. Enter Expedia+Rewards. Dad redeems his points and turns his daughter's fantasy safari into a reality, when he takes her on a trip of a lifetime to see her the real-life versions of her toy giraffe, zebra and elephant in their natural habitat. See it here, created by 180LA.
Sports fans immerse themselves in their favorite games, and football fans dive into the global campaign for FIFA 15, a video game available Sept. 26. "Feel The Game" is 2:15 of pure adrenaline for players, as the video depicts gamers so enmeshed in each game that they can actually feel each kick, tackle, and goal that takes place. Each action seeps into a gamer's environment, so when a player is tackled, he's thrown across the room; when a player readies a penalty kick, a trio of gamers, and the pet goldfish, jump in unison to block the ball. It's probably the closest fans will get to feeling what Lionel Messi does on the field. Messi has a cameo in the video as an avid gamer who, not surprisingly, plays himself in the game. His impressive goal looks good in the game and in Messi's apartment. See it here, created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam.
GE has launched "The Boy Who Beeps," a sweet two-minute video that launched last week during NBC's NFL Kickoff. The gist of the video is that GE speaks the language of business, and its software can connect machines with the potential to change the way industry works. But how to depict technobabble as sweet and emotional? By introducing viewers to a boy who beeps. Even immediately out of the womb, this boy doesn't cry, he beeps. As the adorable boy grows up, he realizes his special connection with machines, like his toy spacecraft -- and even stoplights, turning a row of red lights into a sea of smooth sailing green. A great companion to have when you're running late. The boy's true gift isn't discovered until a citywide blackout occurs. He works his magic and brings power back for everyone. But nothing beats what he does for the girl he likes. He makes a vending machine dispense her favorite snack, and when she want to stargaze, he wipes out the street lights. Very sweet. "When you speak the language of industry, the conversation can change the world," closes the video, seen here, created by BBDO New York.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum launched a TV and social media campaign coinciding with the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The campaign aims to drive visitors to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum which is open to the public on 9/11 for the first time. The campaign begins with an animated film, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, called "Survivor Tree." The actual tree is truly a sight to see. Rescue workers discovered the Callery pear tree a month after 9/11. The tree was given some TLC and now stands a healthy tree as a "living reminder of how we rose from the dark. With the power of hope, there's nothing so bad that we can't overcome it." Watch the video here. Twitter users can "Donate-a-Tweet" by tweeting out messages of remembrance and donating 25 cents per character tweeted. The site integrates the user's Twitter accounts and is now live. The campaign was developed pro-bono by BBDO New York.