Apple’s Health app ad makes you want to relax

Apple is using soothing animation and stop motion in their ads in the simplistic new spots show the benefits of being good to your body.

Apple health App

Everyone these days seems to be so busy saying that they are busy getting healthy and/or losing weight.   I’m having very little of the fodder.  In fact, it’s a pet peeve.  Is losing 2 pounds in 2 weeks a milestone that needs to be shared on Facebook?  Anyway, I am into this recent ad Apple’ Health app campaign that sedates viewers into believing that using the app will make them feel just as comforted as the ads do.  

Tracking steps in the right direction

Fitness tracking apps and wearables are nothing new, and are a standard part of most major smartphone operating systems sold today. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit have hit mainstream popularity, while in-phone apps like Apple’s Health app makes health tracking as easy as lugging your phone around – something most people do anyway.

These apps are just a tool towards taking the first step in getting healthier, something Americans desperately need to do. Apple is taking steps to help by having you think healthy choices can become the lullaby of your day. With this app and just  a few small life changes, it appears your life can be drastically improved.

The most relaxing activity

It’s not just the words spoken in the latest Apple Health ads that speak to viewers, but the images and tonality of it. Fitness ads commonly contain high-energy content, like muscle-clad athletes partaking in extreme sports or high-endurance workouts to inspire the viewers to buy their products in hoping they too can reach the heights only the top 1% of athletes ever will. The Apple ads, however, take a different view, without a single hint of neon sweat or top-tier athlete in sight.

A dreamy, female British voice speaks over soothing colors and images as the user feels more like they’re entranced in a children’s animation than an ad for an app to get you sweating more. Images in the “nutrition” campaign show colorful, healthy-looking veggies next to vibrant snack and junk foods, potentially asking the viewer “which will you choose,” though everyone knows that cookie will be eaten before the asparagus any day.

It’s not telling viewers they’re bad for eating the cookie, but rather, they should eat half the cookie and eat an apple too – and that’s okay they want the cookie, because who wouldn’t?

Simple as an avalanche

“Everything’s connected,” is the mantra of Apple Health backbone, with explanations of “eating better leading to sleeping better,” and alluding to a few good behaviors escalating into a full-blown healthy lifestyle whether you like it or not. It’s the chilled-out butterfly effect of being healthy.

“Squeeze in a minute here, a minute there – anything to get your heart beating. As long as you’re moving, you don’t need to hit the gym, just find something you love to do.”

It’s a great notion, especially since even a small amount of daily activity can amount to great outcomes in the long run. Making time for that activity in a busy workday, however, especially when trying to pay off the debt of buying the latest Apple device, isn’t as easily explained.

Health, mind and wellness are all interconnected, but with the busy work schedules of many Americans, that tends to take a back seat. While many ads for improved health and wellness tend to shy on the edge of fear-of-obesity, you have to give Apple credit for trying to showcase it differently. However, if working out was as easy as listening to a British lady explain animations in front of pretty colors, everyone would be doing it.

“The less we sit now, the more active we can be later in life,” the dreamy voice says, quietly inspiring viewers to get off the couch and get outdoors. There is another option untold in the ad however – you can always just sit now, and sit later in life, and buy an Android that won’t tell you to do otherwise.

Sweet dreams are made of this.  I guess.

-Howard Davidson

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Goodby’s Adobe Stock campaign is a work of art

It’s rare when advertising can be called a work of art, but that’s the best way to describe this campaign for Adobe Stock.

Goodby’s Adobe Stock

If you didn’t know that Adobe had a stock image offering, I’ll forgive you because I honestly didn’t know either. Of course we’re all familiar with the usual stock image suspects – and I say suspects because have you seen some of their cheese-tastic images? Don’t get me started on clip art, BTW.

Well apparently Adobe wants to compete with the likes of Getty Images and shutterstock, so they tasked Goodby Silverstein & Partners with promoting their brand.

Those who use cliches (I would never) might say a picture is worth thousand words, but the Make a Masterpiece campaign says a whole lot more about Adobe Stock. Four digital artists from around the world were hand-picked from Behance to show off their digital brush-work skills by re-creating lost, stolen, or destroyed art using Photoshop and images from Adobe Stock.

So far, four paintings from Frida Kahlo, Carvaggio, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and Rembrandt have been recreated and showcased in Adobe’s video series. There’s a plan to bring even more masterpieces back to life, and to have “how to” tutorials. Right now there’s a time lapse, behind-the-scenes video of artist Ankur Patar from India recreating “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” after it was stolen in 1990 from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Goodby’s associate partner and creative director Will Elliott said, “No one can truly replace these lost paintings. But by faithfully re-creating them with Adobe Stock, we can remember them again and reshape what the world thinks about stock photography in the process.”

Goodby managed to take an artist community owned by Adobe (Behance) and combine that with software from Adobe (Creative Cloud/Photoshop) to promote a third Adobe product – Stock. It’s a campaign that matches different pieces better than the most perfect color palette, and truly shows that for a digital artist/designer, Adobe has everything you need.

Visit the Masterpiece site to watch the transformation that happens during this process. You’ll get to see work that’s a thousand times better than some paint-by-numbers watercolor creation.

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MTV says “Elect This” to Millennials

MTV is telling millennials to “Elect This” and vote in November.

The network has an edgy campaign to get millennials, who are often criticized for being too entitled, to show that they care enough about politics to take action. This might seem like mission impossible, but MTV had a genius idea: only talk about issues that millennials care about because they’re directly affected by them.

Basically MTV wants to inspire people to go from watching Real World to actually doing something to change it.  And yes, I’ve watched the show — many times.

The main spot touches on gun control, student debt, immigration, LGBT rights, and the war on drugs. It’s a very upbeat video that features an “Elect what?” “Elect this!” call-back chant. We’ve also heard (and seen first-hand in some cases) that millennials are narcissistic, so it makes perfect sense that this video ends with a re-purposed Leonardo DiCaprio quote saying, “You are the last best hope of Earth.” Talk about inflating egos, but can someone really go from unpaid intern to the best hope for Earth in under a minute? That’s pretty scary.

If you aren’t sick of the election yet, then you’re really in luck because this campaign is a lot more than just one video. There’s a whole “Infographica” series, which is a collection of 30-second clips featuring quick-hit facts about many of the same hot button issues from the first video. Give it a watch if you care to find out what percentage of millennials support gun control.

I find this interesting because it seems like more of a peer pressure tactic doesn’t it? What happens when you find out that you don’t agree with 80% of people your age? I would think this would make you less likely to want to vote, but then again I think it’s crazy to pay $5 for a single slice of pizza even if it is “artisan,” so what do I know about millennials?

Just when you thought it was over, there’s more! This is starting to feel like an infomercial, but MTV added another leg on to this campaign with a “Robot Roundtable” video series. This is a big shift from focusing on the seriousness of issues, to making fun of them with talking stuffed animals. It appeals to a totally different audience from the first two ideas, so if weed smoking parrots is more of your wheelhouse, then give these a watch.

Finally, there’s a celebrity component that features Melissa McCarthy and Common among others telling the viewer their stance on the important issues. Again I find myself asking “how will this convince people to vote?”

This campaign truly has something for every millennial, but the biggest thing I take away is that neither candidate is mentioned – at all. Not sure if that says more about the mindset of millennials, or the quality of our nominees, but 74% of voters age 18-35 have said that they’re embarrassed by the current election because it reminds them of a bad reality show (and MTV seems to know enough about those).

Every 4 years we can count on MTV doing an election campaign, but do they really work? We see stats about issues millennials care about, but where are the stats that prove MTV actually influenced people to go out and vote? If they’re not making an impact, then they’re just adding more to all this election noise. Maybe MTV should treat these campaigns like they treat music videos now – just not show them.

 

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Medical Students Get Trained Using Origami, Sushi and Insects

Ad agency TBWA conjured up an ad that identifies medical students who have the dexterity to make brilliant surgeons.  The clever ad is helping to train medical students – using origami, sushi and insects..

Medical Students - Surgeon Tryouts

Countdowns, Bright Lights and Unexpected Challenges

Keep all the multicolored production lights, countdown buzzers and come-from-behind dramatic finishes from Ninja Warrior, but replace those agility and upper body strength obstacles with challenges that aim to identify steady hands, scalpel precision and staying calm under pressure.

Kurashiki Central Hospital in Okayama, Japan partnered with advertising agency TBWA/Hakuhodo to develop a practical examination striving to identify elite ninja surgeons.

Medical students applying for surgical rotations at Kurashiki Hospital were required to perform three, 15 minute challenges in game show-esque fashion to showcase their coronary artery tweezing, scalpel slicing, combo move potential.

Using Tradition To BREAK Tradition

To protect unsuspecting patients from a rag-tag gaggle of newbie medical doctors, Kurashiki Hospital’s actual Surgeon Tryouts were designed around popular Japanese art forms including origami paper folding, reconstructing dead-dismantled beetles, and preparing immaculate plates of various sushi dishes.

Watch Kurashiki Central Hospital’s new recruitmentment video below to see why these modified tests of Japanese tradition were so unique for evaluating surgeon slashing potential:

Now I know there’s a certain kind of pleasure one gets from watching over-achieving med students sweat bullets from the pressure cooker that is folding microscopic origami paper and rolling ant-sized sushi rolls, but the most striking point about this recruitment ad is how Japanese tradition is being used to break Japanese tradition.

In The Land Of The Rising Sun, Test Scores Rule Supreme

Doctors, technical specialists and even graduating high school seniors in Japan are hired, selected and accepted to university based almost entirely on their entrance exam test scores.

As you can imagine, this creates a national culture that values book knowledge and rote memorization over practical skill potential.

Kurashiki Central Hospital’s Surgery Tryouts go completely against the Japanese, sticky-rice cultured grain here because they’re filtering applicants based on actual ability to perform precision skills every future surgeon should show a propensity for.

Seriously, leave it to an ad agency like TBWA to help institutionalized traditionalists like Japanese medical doctors think outside their delicious bento boxes! Maybe modern ad agency creative departments have finally reinvented themselves in this emerging, modern day niche of developing practical skill tests for industries that usually exhibit unquestioned obedience to authority and legacy hiring practices.

Consider Surgeon Tryouts For Your Next Regularly Scheduled Dissection

Although most surgical procedures won’t require your doctor to fold 5 millimeter squares of colored paper into teeny-tiny origami cranes…

 

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Aetna Pays Employees To Sleep

If you work for Aetna Inc., you can get paid to sleep and count sheep.

According to a CNBC interview, Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna Insurance, is offering his employees up to $500 to get more sleep.  Sleeping on the job?  Gotta love it.

Aetna

I’m not sure if Bertolini and George Costanza are somehow related, but great minds surely think alike. And enjoy their beauty sleep, of course.

The perk is a part of Aetna’s ever-improving wellness campaign for their employees. While many companies offer wellness benefits such as gym memberships or smoking cessation assistance, Aetna is going straight to the core of wellness by providing incentive to wake up refreshed and well rested, and not just to lower annual coffee bills.

Improved shut-eye is something Bertolini claims is “really important.” The program is offering employees $25 per night of 7 hours plus of sleep for 20 nights in a row, with an annual cap of $500. The sleep will be tracked by the ever-popular fitness trackers you can see on the wrists of nearly everybody these days, which apparently are more useful than checking your heart rate after walking up a flight of stairs.

The program isn’t solely vested in the interest of good sleep or more time spent dreaming, but in pursuit of a more effective and alert workforce. According to the National Institutes of Health, 7 hours of sleep per night is the recommended minimum a person should get. But I am so done with recommendations for anything other than desserts.

Bertolini is hoping this incentive will help show up in Aetna’s revenue down the road. He quoted in a CNBC interview saying “It’s going to show up in our bottom line and in the Street’s confidence that we can do it quarter after quarter; year after year.”

I’m all for a good afternoon nap at work.  But getting paid for doing so it truly a dream come true.

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Dyson Goes from From Vacuum to Vroom

.Dyson is is not sucking wind.  They’ve gone from vacuum to vroom. Racers, start your silent electric motors. It looks like a new competitor in the race to produce the best electric car may be soon in the running next to Tesla.

Dyson car

In a release of the UK’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, (who knew from such a plan?) Sir James Dyson of the popular yet eccentric Dyson company best known for their unique vacuums, was named to be working with the British government to create a new “battery electrical vehicle.” Released on March 23, the plan claimed the partnership would include 174£ in investment in the project, and would create nearly 500 jobs. Oddly enough, after making a splash, the plan was re-released without mention of Dyson’s plan for the next electric jalopy.  I was scandalized.

A History of Innovation

The Dyson company has long been known to be forerunners on innovation and design. Their bagless vacuum cleaners were the first of their kind, and other products like the Air Blade and BallBarrow have shown Dyson’s commitment to providing the consumer market with new and unique twists on everyday necessities. No bathroom is complete without an Air Blade, right?

In an interview with The Independent, Dyson CEO Max Conze said how the Dyson company is similar to Apple in their desire to perfect their products. Apple has seen its fair share of rumors recently around the creation of electric cars as well, which could be yet another product the company could slim down until perfection. Products like their Rotork Sea Truck, a cargo boat used by the military, have shown an interest in transportation for Dyson. Maybe it’s time to evolve from sea to land.

It’s All About the Batteries

When it comes to building the next electric car to race Tesla to the finish line, the battery and electric motor are the keys to success. We’re not talking about AA’s here either, these batteries are top-notch and are what keep these cars and inventions high-powered for extended use.

Creating a electric car won’t be as simple as throwing a few wheels on a vacuum cleaning however, but the Dyson company appears to be ready for the challenge. Their acquisition of Sakti3, a solid-state battery company, in October points to a line of improved batteries for all their electric products. Improved batteries are the key towards efficient electric cars, which is one of the reasons Tesla’s promise of a Gigafactory creates so much hype in the tech market.

Additionally, in 2014, Dyson spoke out publicly on working towards improved electric products over the coming years. Dyson claimed his company would dedicate 1.5£ billion on research for new electronic products, and would aim to have 100 new products on the market by 2018.

Maybe one of these products will be a car? If nothing else, hopefully they will at least make a ride-on vacuum cleaner to make house chores a little more fun.

The Waiting Game

Only time will tell what Dyson has in store for us as far as electric cars go. That market, however, is seeing a significant growth of interest with Tesla leading the way. With all the technological advances in electric motors, batteries and cars on the horizon, it sounds like our future transportation may be a lot quieter and easier on the gas stations.

There is still one last burning question we have about the potential Dyson electric car: regardless of price, ingenuity and reliability, is it self-cleaning?

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Poo-Pourri Lawsuit Stinks up Federal Court

The smell of potpourri really stinks. And now there’s a lawsuit with Poo-Pourri that’s stinking up federal court.

Scentsible LLC, the Dallas-based company that owns Poo-Pourri, is suing the makers of V.I.Poo for its marketing tactics.  Once the Dallas-based toilet deodorizing line Poo-Pourri got wind of what their rival V.I.Poo was doing, it aired its grievance in court.

There’s a rotten smell floating through the corridors of a United States District Court in Texas, and it’s not the scent of dirty politicians. Pou-Pourri – a company that sells air-freshening toilet sprays – is suing a British competitor for copyright and trademark infringement.

International manufacturing goliath Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is the defendant, and it would appear that Poo-Pourri’s claims of crappy conspiracy hold some messy merit. According to Poo-Pourri, RB intentionally copied Poo-Pourri’s popular “Girls Don’t Poop” YouTube video, as well as several images from advertising materials.  Based on the wording in the suit, Poo-Pourri is the leader in the market, with V.I.Poo “a distant number two.”

While RB removed their English-language video for V.I. Poo – the British company’s take on Poo-Pourri – it’s still available in other languages. There’s certainly some stinky idea-theft going on here, as the two spots are remarkably similar, even with the language barrier.

Still, it’s hard to see Poo-Pourri dropping a victory in this case’s bowl. V.I. Poo’s marketing absolutely lacks in originality, but I don’t think it crosses the line into copyright infringement – especially since V.I. Poo is not sold in America, calling into question whether U.S. laws apply to a product that isn’t available here.

No matter how the case ends up, I got to say the phrase “Pou-Pourri is suing V.I. Poo” with a straight face. That’s a win for everyone.

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Nadkins: A Refresher Towelette for Masculine Hygiene

Finally, a refresher towelette for men and their most treasured region: Nadkins.

Nadkins is a new cleansing wipe for men dubbed “Male Jewels Refresher Towelettes.”  After all, a guy can’t make it through a day with sweaty balls, right?  

Wet nap for the crotch

The towelettes are “100% natural, non-toxic towelette specifically formatted for a man’s most sensitive area.” But of course.  What guy wants a lavender scented and toxic wet nap schmeared on his crotch?  After wiping down the area, users will get a “cooling and refreshing feeling without any irritation,” according to the press release. It also removes dead skin and helps protect against added aggravation.

Hardly something new

Nadkins, which is a new brand from Manager Inc., is one of the few brands aimed at this small but growing niche. Other products released in recent years such as 2009 Fresh Balls brand liquid soap for masculine cleansing and the 2013 Depend pads aimed for light bladder leakage for men show an increasing interest in this sensitive market. Now manliness can be added to the age old proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

In the past, the men’s hygiene market has been widely overlooked. Umm, let’s not discuss Woody Wipes. And I having none of Mangroomer Biz Wipes, a drugstore gem that provides “a masculine executive scent.”  Then there’s Niche from Birchbox. These things can also be used on a guy’s face. If it’s safe for your penis, it’s probably great for your cheeks, I presume.

Mad dogs and Englishmen love it

If mad dogs, Englishmen and dancing whistling men love it, well you should too. Displayed proudly in a 46 second video, those sensitive areas are apparently quite thankful for the release of Nadkin’s new Male Jewels Refresher Towelettes.

Dancing triumphantly in the clip to the famous whistling theme from “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” the anatomy of men ranging from boardroom executives to friendly mailmen seem totally elated that their jewels are ferociously fresh.  Gotta love the “when they’re happy, you’re happy” tagline.

So…

As for me, I’ll stick with unscented powder, thank you.

 

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Taco shop turns tables on robbers with a tasty ad

A taco shop has turned tables on some robbers with a tasty new ad.

A Las Vegas taco shop, Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos, was robbed, but they turned the ordeal into an ad and created a hilarious YouTube video.

Taco ad campaign with robbers

You know when you are totally bummed and some way to chipper person says “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?” Well Frijoles & Frescas did much more – they turned a burglary attempt into comedy gold. And a great ad for their brand.

Not only did they make fun of the robbers, by picking on one guy who’s weaker than a soft shell taco since he couldn’t manage to break a window with a rock, but they also flipped the script on the negative situation by pretending that the burglars were just looking for food.

Can you really blame the bad ass guys? With all the Chipotle news they’ve probably fallen on tough times, and hungry people do desperate things.

The video uses security footage and comedic subtitles as it follows the robbers breaking in, searching around, and finally leaving as the video points out when their “mom” comes to pick them up. The subtitles include lines like: “Homeboy checks the storage room. No tacos.” And “Maybe they keep tacos in the register.”

At the end, everything wraps up as nicely as a big, juicy burrito with  a great pitch for the brand: “We take full responsibility for what our tacos cause people to do.” But that’s not the only twist. There’s one frame that shows photos of the suspects with the words, “Please help us find these guys.” Just when you think they’re starting to get serious, the words “so we can get them the tacos they rightfully deserve” appear on screen.

I think Frijoles & Frescas won a lot of new customers with their creativity. It’s nice to see them have such a lighthearted attitude when a lot of other business owners would freak out. By staying positive and having fun, they’re able to gain great brand exposure and get almost 4 million views on YouTube.
Hopefully, now people come when the restaurant is actually open. Sometimes, revenge can taste pretty sweet.

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The Fat Jew’s Kingdom Tumbles Down

Comedian Josh Ostrovsky – AKA ‘The Fat Jew’ – has seen his comedy kingdom destroyed by plagiarism accusations.

Fat Jew

It would appear that The Fat Jew‘s rise to fame will be snuffed out as quickly as it started. For weeks now, Josh Ostrovsky has been under fire for stealing jokes, pulling the rug out from beneath the social-media phenomenon.

Joke-stealing is an unfortunate part of comedy that will never go away. It’s often hard to prove whether a gag was actually stolen, or whether two people simply had a similar, funny idea. Regardless, while I’m more ‘Dad bod’ than fat, as a fellow Jew, I was rooting for Ostrovsky – that is, until he was exposed as a fraud.

After he landed a deal with big time talent agency CAA, joke-theft accusations came in a flurry from high-profile comics like Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black. Perhaps more damning was the media storm, with The Hollywood Reporter, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post tearing Ostrovsky apart in quick succession.

As a result, The Fat Jew lost a TV deal with Comedy Central, and pre-orders for his upcoming book are nearly non-existant. Though his once-anticipated book is due for release soon (November 3), “Money Pizza Respect” currently ranks as the No. 42,957 best-selling book on Amazon.

An additional intriguing angle to all this is that Ostrovsky built his Fat Jew comedy empire in the most modern way possible. He essentially just mined the internet for jokes, aggregating the results into sketches and routines. He’s like a human SEO device.

Shame on you, Fat Jew!

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