Ad Love: Nike’s Unlimited Future

Life is harsh, it won’t coddle you, and there is no one to blame for the fact that you’ll face stuff you didn’t ask for and probably don’t deserve. But you can still decide the outcome of your own adventure, and sometimes knowing that makes the difference.

All of the above is at the heart of Nike’s recent, “Unlimited Future,” spot. Lebron James, Serena Williams and more star as the babies.

It takes the spirits of a gladiator to conquer. This as demonstrates that point and more. Check it out:

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Ad Love: The Boy Who Learned to Fly

As world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, prepares to make a three-peat of his wins in both the 100m and 200m races at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Gatorade has debuted an inspiring animated film chronicling the athlete’s rise — and the light-hearted approach that’s helped him along the way.

TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles teamed with Oscar-winning animation shop Moonbot Studios ( and directors Limbert Fabian and Jake Wyatt to deliver the tale. It begins with Bolt’s childhood in Jamaica, when he was a young student sprinting his way to and fro, not even letting a grumbling stomach get in his way of beating an older, more trained runner in an impromptu race.

The story moves on to his days as a junior competitor, highlighting a moment when he’s struck by a bout of the butterflies and the anxiety that comes with representing his country. But those all fall away when his mother reminds him, “You can always go faster when you keep it light.” I love this:

Harry Belafonte’s Many Rivers to Cross

Harry Belafonte will launch a racial and social justice festival in October with the inaugural event featuring appearances and performances from actors Chris Rock and Jesse Williams and musicians John Legend and Common.

Belafonte recently announced that Sankofa.org , his social justice organization, will put on the “Many Rivers to Cross” music and arts festival on Oct. 1-2 in the Atlanta suburb of Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. The event will promote advocacy and awareness around urgent human rights issues.

Carlos Santana, Dave Matthews, Public Enemy, Danny Glover, Dr. Cornel West, Michelle Alexander and Estelle will also participate in the two-day festival. More performers and entertainers will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for the festival go on sale July 29. Belafonte founded Sankofa.org in 2013.

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Woke Mondays: Jesse Williams is Crown.

Actor and Activist Jesse Williams woke us all during the 2016 BET Awards.

He was honored with BET’s Humanitarian Award for his activism last night. In October 2014, he joined protests in Ferguson, Missouri to protest the shooting of Michael Brown. He was also an actor and executive producer of Stay Woke, a documentary about the movement that premiered in May. He has written extensively on Black Lives Matter and met with President Obama earlier this year to discuss his humanitarian work.

Last night, he used one of the most watched awards shows to further drop jewels on an audience which may have never heard of his political/organizing work. Further, he did it in such a relate-able way, nearly everyone was speaking on it then and will for a very long time. One of my favorite quotes:

This award is also for the black women in particular who have spent their lives nurturing everyone before themselves — we can and will do better for you.”

But wait. There’s so much more. Check it out via Billboard.com:

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Ad Love: Serena Looks to Her Younger Self

I love Serena Williams and always will. In a new campaign for Gatorade, a young Serena motivates her #1 fan in time for the Olympic games.

“For the Love of Sport,” skillfully portrays various athletes’ dedication and enthusiasm for their sports with humor and heart. Additionally, as part of the new campaign Gatorade will be, for a limited time, featuring Williams  and other athletes on its bottles.

Gatorade is also championing a donation initiative. Consumers are encouraged to choose between 19 youth sports-focused organizations to find four that Gatorade will donate $50,000 to on their behalf. Consumers can vote online until November.

AdWeek Intros Cause Marketing Report

Today, AdWeek debut its Cause Marketing report and I was all over it.

Described as a, “a deep dive into the rapidly evolving nonprofit world,” it features organizations who are doing an amazing job at pushing the envelope when it comes to cause marketing.

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A few highlights:

    • Staff writer Robert Klara and staff artist Yuliya Kim have created a detailed infographic looking at the millions of lives saved and improved by the Gates Foundation, which has given an astounding $36.7 billion to global charities since being founded in 2000.
    • Brands, especially tech leaders, have quickly become the most potent opponents of anti-LGBT state laws. Staff writer Christine Birkner looks at how corporations have shifted from being part of “the establishment” to being advocates for progressive policies.
    • Virtual reality can often seem impractical, but VR has quickly proven its value to nonprofits looking for new ways to create emotional connections between potential donors and charitable work being done overseas. Staff writer Marty Swant reports on the trend, alongside Adweek’s video production team, Alfred Maskeroni and John Tejada.
    • We often only see the downsides of anonymity on apps like Whisper, but staff writer Lauren Johnson reports on how nonprofits are also discovering the benefits of encouraging conversation in a place where young people can be open and honest.

Um …you know I’m in heaven, right? What do you think of AdWeek’s cause marketing report?

Ad Love: Cookie Monster for Apple

Cookie Monster is my favorite character from Sesame Street. He has been for a while. When this pic was taken, the only apples everyone knew came from an orchard:

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Apple has been rocking out as of late with their ads. The latest iPhone 6 spot stars a Cookie, who chats with Siri—and uses the phone’s timer and plays music, hands free—as he waits, agonizingly, for some cookies to bake.

Patience is a virtue….

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Check out the ad: