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--:          On Saturday, May 13, Ventura County letter carriers will be caravanning more than just incoming and outgoing mail and community members won't have to venture far from their doorsteps to help solve hunger. The day will mark the 25annual National Association of Letter Carriers' "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive –the largest single-day food drive—when thousands of letter carriers across the country will collect residences' food donations for their local food banks.Ventura County residents are asked to leave non-perishable, protein-rich foods in a bag next to their mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up while on their daily route. The donations will then be collected from participating post offices and taken to FOOD Share's distribution site in Oxnard.  Canned tuna, chicken, meats, fruits, and vegetables as well as spaghetti, rice, dry beans, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter are all nutritious food sought by the regional food bank.:          Saturday May 13, 9am – 6pm (Hours of collection are the same as normal residential postal routes):          Participating Post Offices Include:·         Thousand Oaks Main Post Office, 3435 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks·         East Ventura Post Office, 41 S. Wake Forrest Dr., Ventura·         Ventura Main Post Office, 675 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura·         Oxnard Main Post Office, 1961 N. "C" St., Oxnard·         Port Hueneme Post Office, 560 E. Pleasant Valley Road, Port Hueneme·         Fillmore Post Office, 333 Central Ave., FillmoreThe National Association of Letter Carriers benefitting FOOD Share of Ventura County.


News Article | June 1, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHY WE CARE: As fans of Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, or This Is The End know, there’s nothing quite like a Danny McBride rant. And here we get McBride in full ad mode (remember his K-Swiss MFCEO?), this time to debunk the idea that more isn’t actually more. Math! He wants more of everything, and makes a compelling argument, no matter how unrealistic. “I’d like more people to come up to me on the street and say, ‘Hey Danny, you were great in Your Highness.'”


News Article | May 30, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHAT:  A scorcher of a speech about the way women were portrayed at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and how it’s reflective of the limited number of female filmmakers involved. WHY WE CARE: Don’t be fooled by the fact that Sofia Coppola took home a Best Director trophy at this year’s Cannes Festival for her forthcoming film, The Beguiled. According to Jessica Chastain, this honor was an anomaly amid a festival lacking in female representation. The actor, who served on the jury at this year’s festival, sounded off during the closing press conference on the cognitive dissonance she’d just experienced. “I do hope that when we include more female storytellers, we will have more of the women I recognize in my day-to-day life,” she said. “Ones who are proactive, have their own agency, don’t just react to the men around them. They have their own point of view.” Chastain’s comments are in sync with a report released in January, which revealed that female filmmakers lost ground in 2016. The fact that she voiced her concerns to her fellow jurors at the world’s most prestigious film festival ensures the message will not go unheard. Whether or not it’s acted upon, however, only time will tell.


News Article | June 2, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

National Geographic made what many considered the best Super Bowl ad of 2017, a promo for its new show Genius, about Albert Einstein, starring Geoffrey Rush. Now for its latest marketing for the show, it’s honoring the life, inspiration, and imagination of Einstein in 10 short films. The network and agency Pereira O’Dell worked with show director Sam Spiegel for two headlining films, The Instrument and The Mirror, then partnered with the Tongal filmmaking community to give new filmmakers a chance to create the final eight installments. It’s a fun, entertaining way to promote a TV show, both in subject matter and creative process. What else do we want from brand content? Onward! Why We Care: Perhaps the idea of a 10-part film series would’ve been enough, particularly as they’re entertaining in their own right, not just as a piece of marketing. But it’s the process of blending the creative process between the show’s director and the collaborative Tongal community that adds a whole new dimension to the campaign. Relevant, interesting, and engaging. MacMillan Cancer Support “A dad with cancer is still a dad” What: A new campaign from a U.K. cancer support center that uses an emotional touch to illustrate that life goes on after a diagnosis. Why We Care: The ads in this campaign cover a wide variety of relationships–father, sister, lover, friend–but it was this one that hit home the hardest. The spots feature the kind of self-reflection and loving message you’d expect. But as it juxtaposes that with scenes of the tough times behind a cancer diagnosis, it only makes those precious moments that much stronger. What: Danny McBride aims his rage at the notion of “less is more” in a new ad for Xbox Game Pass Why We Care: It’s about time someone got Danny McBride in full ad mode again (remember his K-Swiss MFCEO?). Now it’s to debunk the idea that less is more. Here he outlines his carefully curated theory that more is actually more. Math! What: A series of surreal short films that are more Black Mirror than traditional car ad. Why We Care: I’m not sure if they’ve been officially released or not–haven’t seen any ad or PR push–but, regardless, the series of two-minute shorts is a fine example of how a brand can create content worth watching that is an integral part of, without being crassly obsessed with, its own logo. Also, the Charlie Brooker influence doesn’t hurt. What: A billboard across from the New York City flagship of iconic streetwear brand Supreme, to show the young and fashionable waiting in line for the newest gear how they may tap their passion for limited editions for retirement. Why We Care: It’s like a Hypebeast MBA, and perfectly illustrates the brand positioning as the investment tool for a new generation.


News Article | June 1, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHY WE CARE: When most of us think of retirement advice, it’s someone in a suit, folding their hands, looking at us with parental concern, and telling us if we don’t save as much as possible for our retirement right now, our golden years will consist of tuna fish coupons and maybe a Walmart greeter gig. But as Wealthsimple has pointed out before, it’s all about investment advice for young people, from the perspective of young people. And there may be nothing that screams this goal more emphatically than this billboard, and its Supreme Retirement Plan. It’s simple, it speaks directly to a specific audience in their own language. It’s like a Hypebeast MBA. And it makes sense–just look up a pair of Adidas Yeezy’s on eBay to see their investment potential.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

You just need to turn on the TV or clickety-clack the internet for five minutes to know that doing anything even remotely original in advertising is not an easy task. Now go look at some tourism ads. It usually goes something like this: beautiful scenery tastefully shot, upbeat soundtrack, ending with “Place Name: Slogan!” Now here comes Sweden, for the second year in a row, with one of the most original ideas around. Last year it was the Swedish Number, and now they go and put the entire country on Airbnb. Maybe next year they’ll invite the entire population of Buford, Wyoming, for a visit. Onward! What: A new tourism campaign for Sweden aimed directly at the wanderlust of the Airbnb generation. Why We Care: An imaginative way to both get people’s attention, but also do it using such a unique and interesting part of the local culture–the allemansrätten or “freedom to roam.” What: For Father’s Day, the brand once again aimed to get more young men real-talking to their fathers–this time by disguising the dads as a Siri-like personal assistant app. Why We Care: Gillette’s research says 84% of guys said their go-to source for information is their phone, while just 13% said they turn to Dad first. And 72% of guys said their phone was the one source of information they can’t live without, and only 10% said Dad. Those are some sad dad stats that hopefully ads like this can help turn around a bit. Netflix “Day In The Life Of Frank Underwood” What: To promote the upcoming launch of House of Cards season five, the network blended fictional Frank Underwood into Washington, D.C., reality, with the help of former White House photographer Pete Souza. Why We Care: It’s a smaller gesture, but it’s consistent with Netflix’s previous efforts–remember FU2016?–that have been just brilliant at juxtaposing the fictional world of the show with our own seemingly fictional political realities. What: An insanely stylish spot on the thievery in a morning commute. Why We Care: Sometimes you just have to acknowledge a damn good shampoo ad. Dude sleeping standing up on the train FTW. What: A spot from Brazil that tells the true story of a young autistic girl whose cat helped build both self-confidence and social skills. Why We Care: It’s a cute story, based on a true cute story. And when’s the last time you found yourself charmed more by the story than the feline in a cat food ad?


News Article | June 15, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

The scale and scope of the work are as vast as our own media consumption. It’s why among the upwards of 15,000 people heading to the south of France next week, for what’s often been called the Oscars of advertising, will be people from IBM and Deloitte, mingling with people from Snap and Facebook, strolling with names like A$AP Rocky, Helen Mirren, Elizabeth Moss, and Halsey, all surrounded by some of the best and brightest from ad agencies around the world. Anyway, that’s a long way to say for the purposes of this pre-Cannes list, I’m sticking to the good ol’ fashioned film category, as good a barometer as any for brand creativity, since its demise has been reported for about a decade now, yet it keeps on ticking. Of course efforts like Addict Aide’s “Like My Addiction,” TAC Victoria’s “Meet Graham,” and State Street’s “Fearless Girl” will also be highly awarded across other categories. Fear not, I’ll put together a Top 5 winners post after the festivities have wrapped on the Croisette. So, caveats aside, here are five ads–and pretty safe bets–we’re pulling for heading into Cannes Lions. En avant! WHAT: A PSA that brilliantly illustrates the need to watch for warning signs of gun violence. WHY WE CARE: Sandy Hook Promise says that 80% of school shooters and 70% of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their violent plans prior to taking action, yet no interventions weren’t made. This expertly told story aims to raise our awareness to better see and hear the potential warning signs. As BBDO New York creative director Peter Alsante told me back in December, one of the biggest challenges in crafting a story for this issue is that it’s often difficult for most people to relate to. “It’s such a tragedy, and so many people say, ‘That’s terrible but it would never happen here.’ Our big goal or challenge going into this is to take this thing that’s so abstract to so many people, and frame it in a way that it becomes believable, relatable, something tangible,” WHAT: WHAT?!? Possibly the greatest fragrance ad of all time, directed by Spike Jonze and featuring Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers, The Nice Guys) moving her body–and face–in mesmerizing, and sometimes explosive, ways to the sounds of “Mutant Brain” by Sam Spiegel and Ape Drums. WHY WE CARE: Aside from just being a swift kick to the funballs of your brain, it’s also a result of creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s approach to advertising and their goal to infiltrate culture with culture (which also helped them land Kenzo on Fast Company‘s 2017 Most Innovative Companies list). “We’re cultural nerds and buffs, and it’s exciting for us to tap into culture in any way we can,” Leon told me back in October. “Two years ago we said, ‘How can we do advertising that feels different?’ I came up with the idea to do short films and then do print ads that were done up like movie posters for the short films. Super simple idea. And it worked out really well for us.” WHAT: A Samsung ad that takes on a new perspective for the inspirational potential of its Gear VR. WHY WE CARE: It’s product demo as an expression of pure joy. Not an easy feat. That, and pairing Elton John and a charming, giant flightless bird can never go wrong. WHAT: A fun, inspirational look at the athletes to promote the UK broadcaster’s coverage of the Paralympic Games in Rio. WHY WE CARE: For too many, the Paralympics get relegated to afterthought once the Olympic Games are over. Here, Channel 4 serves up plenty of reasons to watch, celebrating the athletes’ accomplishments on and off the athletic field of competition, in a delightfully inspirational way, all set to a snappy Sammy Davis cover. WHAT: A PSA campaign to raise awareness, particularly with young men, about the importance of being an organ donor. WHY WE CARE: Narrated by Will Arnett, this is the story of Coleman F. Sweeney (played by Thomas Jane), one of the world’s preeminent a-holes. Knowing that millennials like to be entertained even when the topic is serious, that they like darker, edgier storytelling, and see through marketing BS faster than any other demographic, and if they like something they share it with friends, Coleman seemed like a great way to get a point across. Martin Agency group creative director Wade Alger told me back in August, “We also realized given today’s media-drenched society, we wouldn’t just be competing with other nonprofit work that is out there–we are competing with everything that is out there,” says Alger. “So we had to do something that really stood out. And while the campaign uses language that may be startling to some, it is increasingly routine among younger audiences.”


News Article | June 23, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHO: This unsettling experience was written, directed, and programmed by Noah Levenson. WHY WE CARE: It’s so natural to get used to the way things are that one seldom stops to question how odd it is to constantly come across intimate photos of friends, family, and acquaintances. The delightfully disturbing new short, Weird Box, presents the act of scrolling through another person’s Instagram in an analog format (the titular box full of photos) as though Instagram itself never existed. A woman confronts her boyfriend about why he is collecting photos of a stranger and his answer is an exaggerated version of the truth. Over the past decade, we have normalized stalking people we barely know or don’t know at all. And the fact that the person being stalked in this instance is YOU should induce shudders.


News Article | June 9, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHAT: A new ad from Volvo that uses a little girl’s first day of school to illustrate how just one moment can impact an entire life. What’s that got to do with the new XC60? You’ll see. WHY WE CARE: Car commercials are a staple of advertising–from local dealerships to national ads of the latest models careening through Sedona. But lately, we’ve been seeing less of these glorified product demos and a hint at something more soulful–a realization that brand story and image can be as powerful than a slick hood design and leather interior. Back in March, it was Mercedes, and here Volvo uses emotionally deft storytelling that actually revolves around a product strength.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

WHY WE CARE: Can it be that it was all so simple then? Back in the ’90s, when the possibilities of the internet were just coming into focus, people were amazed at how easy it was to digitally connect with a stranger. That part where the two would have to meet in real life was complicated as all get-out, but the instant ease of finding a potential love interest was brand new and shimmery with promise. This new animated short, which has been screening at film festivals throughout 2017, immortalizes the promise of that moment–partly with the use of a legendary Final Fantasy VIII dance sequence–and also telegraphs some of the heartache that would follow, as online dating evolved into . . . whatever exactly it has become now.

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