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June 26, 2013

From the Desk of the Creative Chief: Uncle Sam and Thomas Jefferson Go Surfing


With Honda’s July 4th sales event coming, we enlisted our Holiday Hipster icons to spread the news.  You may remember Tommy J and Sam from last year’s July 4th Honda spot, where they were hanging in a coffee shop, surf’n the web, and just chillin.

Honda Hipsters

Well, this year, our idea was to send Uncle Sam and Thomas Jefferson surfing for real, showing off how epic Honda’s are for the great outdoors, and hype the deals at the July 4 Honda Sales Event. To make this spot work, we wanted to make the cars look like a million dollars even though the comedy is fairly cheap.  Check out how ridiculously hot the CR-V looks with a surfboard on its rack.  And marvel how a surfboard can fit in the back of a fuel-efficient sporty Fit and stylish Civic.

surfin pres

Check out the :60 extended version here.

To get the perfect look for the cars and TV spot, we headed out to the Oregon coast, a couple hours outside of Portland, where our actors, JJ Johnston and Dallas Bryant, reside.

Oregon, the beautiful

We also enlisted the talents of DP extraordinaire Kevin Emmons.  Kevin’s eye and a rare 2 days of incredible weather (thanks David) made for a luscious look. And as promised, the comedy was plenty cheap.

Three cars 4 Honda

See the :10 shortened cut here.

Now the twist on this story created a story of its own.  The punch line of this spot is that as TJ steps from the car bragging about his spectacular 44 mpg, he reveals a bathing suit that is… well as Uncle Sam so delicately put it, “Tight.”

To find just the right suit that everybody felt walked the line between funny and “awkward” (as my 12 year old put it) we had to scour the streets of San Francisco from the Castro to the Haight.  Here’s the short list, so to speak.

Option #1: The Hugo Boss

Option 1

Option #2: The Star Spangled Spanx



Brian Bacino, Creative Chief B2, Holiday Advertising, Honda

June 25, 2013

Dribbling for Dollars: Which Miami & San Antonio players will score on Madison Ave?


A player on the championship Miami Heat team can expect to score a low six-figure bonus payout, a shiny new $30,000 ring, and bragging rights for a lifetime.

But that’s small change compared to the millions of dollars in endorsement deals, speaking engagements, appearance fees, memorabilia sales, reality show gigs and other marketing opportunities that this Finals triumph can unlock.

So which Heat players—and Spurs, if any—have the best shot at scoring big on Madison Avenue? Who gets the Wheaties box, trip to Disney World, milk mustache, talk show gigs, guest spot on Dancing With The Stars?  Here’s how this ad guy rates the commercial talent:


LeBron James.  Already the NBA’s most marketable player, King James’ second consecutive ring and Finals’ MVP award could add another $5-7M a year to his current $40M in yearly off-the-court income. Sports Illustrated just ranked him the world’s most influential active athlete.


And he’s not just a pitchman, he’s a businessman—with ownership stakes in the Liverpool soccer club, PureBrands, Cannondale bikes, and more. After last summer’s Olympic Gold in London, James has been busy building his global brand, especially in the booming Asian market, signing deals to pitch Dunkin’ Donuts and the NBA2K14 video game in China. Seen during Finals commercial breaks in ads for Beats by Dre headphones and 2K Sports’ NBA2K14 video game—his first game cover ever—James also scored congratulatory ads from Nike and Samsung, and could make a trip to Disney World, nab more work from current clients Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Samsung and State Farm, and earn heavy rotation on talk shows, award shows, and in social media.


The LeBron brand is global, his celebrity transcends his sport, and his appeal crosses all demographics. Except, perhaps, the Cleveland market. And at 28, he’s got plenty of big years—and ring opportunities—ahead. And though his marketing dance card is very full, there are still openings for automotive, financial institutions, men’s fashion and grooming products, Eau de LeBron cologne, King James’ Triple Double BBQ Sauce, Gentleman James bourbon, and more. LBJ has been taking himself very seriously these days; might be nice to see his sponsors inject a little more humor into his ads, as Sprint does with Kevin Durant, Kia does with Blake Griffin, and Nike did with The LeBrons. But if you want King James to pitch your product, it better be a multi-year deal for a global brand and/or an equity stake. And you better have at least seven figures to offer.




Dwyane Wade.  With three rings, two cute kids (co-stars in his Dove for Men campaign), and one hot girlfriend (actress Gabrielle Union), it’s no wonder D-Wade pulls in $12M a year in endorsement earnings. He’s a familiar name and face to even the most casual hoops fan, a style icon, and an engaging personality.

Dwyane Wade Dove Commercial

His current Gatorade spot with Kevin Durant is one of the year’s best  (more…)

Dorfman on Sports

June 5, 2013

What The Kids Are Up To: Sunrise Tradition


Whether it’s a summer BBQ with extended family, a nightly trip to a local ice cream parlor, or even watching your favorite football team on the weekend, almost everyone has some sort of tradition in which he or she partakes. But in this fast-paced world we live in, these regular rituals are slowly but surely disappearing. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for work, jobs around the house, sports practices, or fatigue to get in the way of a previous commitment, sometimes ending a trend that had withstood the test of time. Which is why, when we’re all home, my closest friends and I make sure one tradition of ours remains alive and well.

It started as a fun idea that we had all wanted to try, but soon evolved into a full-blown routine with new additions every time it occurs. The tradition is as follows: one morning when we have all returned from our various adventures away from home, the five of us rise and shine bright and early, and head off to a previously selected location in San Francisco or the Marin Headlands. Once situated, we sit in the dark and watch as the sun peaks over Mount Diablo, and sneaks its rays into the Bay Area and downtown SF. After blinding ourselves for about 30 minutes or so, we get back into the car and head for Haight Street.


Creative Intern Kirk, From the Desk of the Intern