John Lewis’ Christmas Ad Follows Snowman on Epic Shopping Journey

John Lewis Christmas Ad - The Journey

UK department store chain John Lewis is out of the gate early with their 2012 Christmas ad. The ad follows the quest of a snowman who one morning mysteriously disappears, leaving the snow-woman behind as he heads off on an epic (but very slow) journey over mountains, through flocks of sheep, across streams, over highways and past raucous gangs of snowball-throwing . The special purpose behind the quest is finally revealed upon his return on Christmas morning.

This year’s ad features a remake of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s classic ‘The Power of Love’ by English singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Aplin. John Lewis ads from past Christmas’ since 2008 have featured versions of other classic songs, including Slow Moving Millie’s (Amelia Warner) rendition of The Smiths “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” in 2011, Ellie Goulding version of Elton John’s “Your Song” in 2009 (which went on to reach #2 on the UK singles chart), 2009 saw Taken By Trees record Guns n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine“, and in 2008 Matt Spinner performed the Beatles’ “From Me to You“.

‘The Journey’ was created by adamandeveddb.

UK

Walmart Canada and Mattel Team Up for Virtual Toy Store in Toronto Underground

Walmart Mattel Virtual Toy Store

With only 50 days left to go before Christmas Day (yes, only 50), Walmart Canada and Mattel have launched a Virtual Toy Store in a busy area of Toronto’s PATH system near Bay and Front Street.

The virtual toy store features Mattel toy products such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends. Each of the pictured products features a unique QR code, that when scanned redirects to Walmart Canada’s mobile site, where a shopper can purchase the item and receive the special offer of free shipping.

The virtual toy store is set up at the same spot where Well.ca’s virtual pharmacy was set up last April, and is similar in execution to the Tesco and Peapod virtual grocery stores.

I’m curious whether having the Walmart and Mattel brands on-board will help make busy pedestrians stop and scan the QR codes. There seemed to be little interest in the installation.

Dozens of people passed by while I watched, but few gave the wall even a passing glance, let alone made any effort to stop and take a closer look. Are these types of virtual shopping installations a bust?

The virtual toy store was created by Brandfire Marketing Group working with IMA Outdoor Inc.

[via BrandChannel]

Canada

Kmart’s Halloween Costume Challenge Sets World Record

Kmart Halloween Costume Challenge

Nearly 36 percent of Americans say their biggest source of Halloween costume inspiration comes from what they see in retail stores or costumer shops, according to data collected by the National Retail Federation. A third use online search, and 26 percent turn to friends & family for inspiration.

One of those US retailers, Kmart along with their ad agency Draftfcb Chicago, have created a very cool ad featuring a selection of their Halloween costumes. The ad, filmed using 360 degree cameras, features dancer Monternez “Monty” Rezel of America’s Got Talent. Kmart challenged Rezel to get in and out of 150 of their Halloween costumes in 8 hours.

The event was filmed in a parking lot of a Kmart store in northwest Chicago and broadcast on Livestream. When it was done, Rezel had managed 150 costume changes in just 6 hours and 5 minutes, setting a Guinness World Record in the process.

I love the zombie doctor, werewolf and creepy clown costumes, but that Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a bit dodgy.

The track featured in the ad is ‘Like Wolves’ by David Condos track and is available on Bandcamp.

USA

Old Navy Assembles Human Coupon to Celebrate 5 Million Facebook Fans

Old Navy - 5 Million Facebook Fans

Old Navy is marking the milestone of 5 million Facebook fans (or Likes) by providing a coupon for 30% off a customer’s total purchase this weekend (October 12-14).

However, instead of a traditional coupon, hundreds of people were assembled in a field carrying strategically placed placards, that when photographed from above created a 120 x 60 foot coupon.

The coupon available at oldnavy.com/5million is redeemable at US and Canada Old Navy stores by showing the printed version or by showing it on the screenof your smartphone.

The coupon was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

USA

Get the Puck Out of Here! – Sharks’ Logan Couture Creates ‘Avant Garage’ Art

NHLPA Hockey Gear

Sometimes you can spot the house of a young hockey player just by looking at the garage door. With a driveway (paved or gravel) serving as an ideal spot to work on those slapshots, the garage door serves as the perfect backstop. Whether it was real rubber pucks or orange street hockey balls, they all left a sizable dent.

Back in July, San Jose Sharks all star centre Logan Couture and 8 year-old Ryan spent the afternoon shooting 800 pucks at a garage door, gradually knocking the paint off to reveal the outline of a helmeted hockey player that vaguely looks like Couture. At least I think it’s a hockey player, it’s been a long time since we’ve actually seen one in action.

The afternoon of shooting (boy their arms must have been tired) was captured to create an ad promoting NHLPA hockey gear, sold at Walmart stores across Canada. At the end of the ‘shoot’, Logan signed the garage door, which will be displayed at the Arena in Logan’s hometown of Lucan, Ontario.

The ad was created by Toronto ad agency Lowe Roche, and directed by Dean Vargas for Motion Pantry.

[via Adrants]

Canada

With Zellers Set to Close, Store Mascot Zeddy is Released into the Wild

Zellers: Adopt Zeddy

The fate of 81 year-old Zellers brand in Canada was sealed earlier this summer, with the news that the 64 remaining stores not being converted into Targets would be closed.

Over the past year the Zellers has been running a series of tongue-in-cheek campaigns featuring the (hopefully) fictional ‘executive managing director’. In the ‘Festive Finale‘, fans and customers were invited to make all the decisions around their final holiday campaign. That was followed with ‘Zellers Memory Showcase‘ a campaign asking customers to submit their memories of the store chain under the categories ‘heartwarming’, ‘nostalgic’, ‘strange’ or ‘funny’.

Since everything must go, that includes the Zellers mascot since 1986, Zeddy. In the first spot (embedded below) the ‘executive managing director’ releases Zeddy into the great outdoors to make little woodland friends. The second spot shows that, as expected, the great outdoors (with it’s burrs and strange berries) is not the ideal place for a department store mascot.

But, not to worry, Zellers has put Zeddy up for adoption. Just write (in 750 characters or less) why you, or your organization would be the perfect home for Zeddy. The best three submissions will be posted for Facebook fan voting, with the winner receiving a $5000 donation to the charity of your choice.

The campaign was created by Toronto agency, john st.

Canada

UNIQLO Recruits YouTube’s Maru to Catvertize San Francisco Store Opening

UNIQLO Lucky Cube with Maru

Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO has teamed up with YouTube-famous feline Maru for ‘Lucky Cube‘, in a promotion for the October opening of their new San Francisco store.

Maru, a five year old Norwegian fold, is the star of his own YouTube channel with over 174 million views. If you love watching a large cat jumping into boxes or paper bags, this is the channel for you.

Maru’s skill at jumping into boxes is the basis of the ‘Lucky Cube’ contest. Each box contains a prize code which can be redeemed at a UNIQLO pop-up store in September or at the store after it opens in October. Prizes include 50 blimp rides, 100 ultra-light down jackets, and 1000 heat tech long sleeve crew neck shirts.

[via BuzzFeed]

USA

AFC Ajax Fans Get Fitting Room Surprise Party

AFC Ajax Fitting Room Surprise Party

AFC Ajax is one of the most longest-running and successful football teams in The Netherlands. To give their fans an extra surprise at the launch of their new home jersey, a series of fake fitting rooms were installed inside the Ajax Experience store in Amsterdam. Once the fan had pulled on the jersey, the wall-length mirror was pulled away to reveal a private party including Ajax players Vurnon Anita, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Daley Blind, Jasper Cillessen, team captain Siem de Jong and women’s team players Leonne Stentler and Babiche Roof.

As seen in the video, the fans reacted with a wide range of mixed reactions from absolute terror to delight.

The experience was created by Iris Amsterdam.

Netherlands

Cardboard Suits and Tin Foil Underpants: Ikea Imagines a World Without Textiles

Ikea - Life Without Textiles

Ikea has released a new video where they imagine what a world without textiles might look like.

The cardboard suit does look a tad stiff and uncomfortable, but nothing compared to a close-call with cactus covered arm chair. The young mother’s dress consists of broken plates and cups and the baby’s clothes is made up of leaves. Seems the only soft and fuzzy thing in their lives is the rabbit, who I thought was about to be used as an impromptu towel after the shower scene.

Life doesn’t get much easier once the couple heads off to bed either. Their bed is made of hay with a log for a pillow, the man’s pajamas are made of grass and the wife’s is wearing flowers.

The music in the video is a rendition of the Bread classic ‘Everything I Own’ by Brooklyn band Maplewood.

The ad was created by McCann New York and directed by Olivier Babinet of Paranoid US.

USA

Holographic Lingerie Model Struts Stuff in Paris Shop Window

Empriente lingerieAt Empreinte l’Atelier lingerie, curious passerby are being stopped in their tracks by what appears to be a lingerie model in the shop window. The masked model appears in the Paris store window in a burst of stars, strikes a pose or two and then disappears again.

The technology used is likely very similar to that used to create the illusion that the late rapper Tupac Shakur was performing onstage with Snoop Dogg at Coachella. It that case, animation created by Hollywood special effects studio Digital Domain, was projected onto an angled sheet of mylar foil, known as Musion Eyeliner. These experiences are best described as a ‘holographic illusion’ rather than a hologram.

These illusions are actually an updated adaption of a 19th century magician’s trick known as ‘Pepper’s Ghost‘, which used hidden rooms, reflections and special lighting to achieve it’s effect.