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Tobacco flavors that seem fun and vaping devices that look like tech gadgets have led teens, and even parents, to underestimate the damage of nicotine. Most people know it’s powerfully addictive. But addiction is only the beginning. Nicotine is actually a neurotoxin whose changes to the teen brain could be permanent. And that’s what our campaign sets out to communicate.

New TV spots show teens in familiar adolescent scenes, yet homework sessions, prom and parental squabbles burst with enough tension to make the viewer wonder if there is more going on than garden-variety angst. To create the unsettlingly true-to-life campaign, DC and director Floyd Russ, who is best-known for his award-winning documentary short Zion, allowed teens to inform the action of the spots — which were entirely unscripted.

Complementing the TV and video are arresting outdoor boards running across the state and a website solely devoted to the dangers of nicotine on the teenage brain.

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It’s not just the sugar talking when we say that we’re so fired up about our new client: iconic candy brand and childhood favorite, SweeTARTS. Check out our Be Both launch work designed to speak to Gen Z’s embrace of duality and fluid identity.

The manifesto video above will live on the brand’s homepage and act as a kind of north star for all the Be Both work. New bite-size TV and digital spots begin playing this week on E!, Comedy Central, MTV and others. And the media spend will be fortified with a robust social presence as well as influencer activity.

Said DC ECD, John Kovacevich: “The Be Both idea is such a rich creative territory — the collision of colors and styles is a fresh new look for an old favorite. We’re excited by the first batch of work and the ways the campaign will come to life in the years ahead.”

We even got a little launch-day love from Ad Age.

Rakuten is back with the latest installment of the “Life to the Power of R” campaign, this time featuring a relatively well-known professional basketball player. Poised to continue the successful awareness-building achieved by the first round of work, these spots continue to bring to vivid life just how easy and rewarding using this no-brainer of a service is. Watch for the commercials all up and down your TV dial and across the digital universe.

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Today we’re thrilled to announce the acquisition of A2G, a widely recognized experiential and social influencer agency. The acquisition extends our reach to two new major markets, adds a robust suite of complementary services to our offering and brings us a powerful new partner.

Amy Cotteleer (she’s the stylish one on the right) founded her agency in 2005 and was a pioneer in the experiential and influencer space. The LA- and New York-based agency created experiences and campaigns with social and digital engagement built into their fabric — from Gap’s award-winning Be Bright campaign, to Nintendo’s Wii video challenge that delivered 900 million earned impressions, to Flo’s Rockin’ Rally for Progressive that engaged a quarter million bikers.

So why’d she sell to the likes of us? We’ll let our new partner tell it: “The last thing we wanted was to be absorbed by a big agency who just wanted to staple us to a long list of capabilities. DC implicitly understood that A2G has an established brand and reputation for a reason. We’re incredibly excited by the possibilities to do great things creatively as we grow together.”

And here’s what our CEO Andy said on behalf of the rest of us: “This move is about a shared vision to help clients succeed in the evolving world of integrated marketing. The days of simply buying attention are dead — and winning brands need to build relationships with consumers online and, ya know, IRL.”

Big thanks to our friends at McCracken Advisory Partners who acted as exclusive M&A advisor on the deal.

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Our ECD John Kovacevich challenges whether Facebook’s “best practices” are really the best we can do. He is also aware that he uses lots of ironic quotation marks. Check them out below:

“Make the logo bigger.”

This piece of client feedback is such a cliché, it’s been an advertising meme for decades (even before we called them “memes.”) But in recent years, a new demand has taken its place: “Put the logo FIRST.”

The rise of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as the premier digital channels to deliver ads has created an army of “experts” on how to get the most out of the dollars you spend on these channels. Facebook’s sales army has said it so many times, it’s become gospel: “You need to make a ‘brand impression’ in the first 2 seconds of your ad.”

As a result, creative briefs regularly include the line, “Digital versions must include the logo at the top of the spot.” Except…maybe it’s not true?

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The two lovable locals that anchor Kona Brewing’s Dear Mainland campaign are about to hit the court and the big time in a series of new spots running for the first time nationally during this year’s March Madness.

After gently correcting us hapless Haoles in markets on both coasts, the brothers are ready to tackle all of the Mainland. Expect to see them throughout the tourney, including featured spots in all Elite 8 games, along with showings in the Final Four. We even dusted off an old chestnut for the National Championship because of its reference to Monday.

In a down beer market, Kona continues to outpace the category with significant growth over the last five years, thanks, in no small part, to two locals with a simple reminder: One life, right?

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Today marks the release of DC’s first campaign for InnovAsian since being named agency of record. The four 15-second spots use rhymes that play with the catchphrase “InnovAsian occasion” to help consumers better remember the brand when navigating the crowded grocery freezer aisle.

The spots will run nationally on TV stations in 20 markets and on social media. As part of the media strategy, two 15-second spots will run during the same commercial break — separated by other marketers’ ads — to reinforce the rhyming message and drive recall.

The Japanese e-commerce giant dropped its first ever North American campaign during last night’s Grammy Awards. Directed by acclaimed Israeli duo Vania & Muggia (check out their vids for Coldplay and DJ Snake), the TV introduces Rakuten as a premium lifestyle brand for savvy online shoppers.

The work is just the first public piece of a months-long, ground-up brand overhaul that saw DC helping to determine how the brand expresses itself in every dimension, including strategy, style guidelines and even the product itself.

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