Pepsi’s viral “Uncle Drew” ad campaign featuring NBA star Kyrie Irving is taking new form: a full-length movie slated for release June 29.

It remains to be seen just how much the Pepsi brand will be woven into the script, but a new preview offers some clues, such as a Pepsi sign at an outdoor basketball tournament.

The Uncle Drew campaign, which cast Irving as an old man who can seriously hoop, debuted in 2012 as a five-minute online video promoting Pepsi Max. As reported early last year, PepsiCo’s Creators League studio has been working with Temple Hill Entertainment to get the character on the big screen. Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment is also involved.

The film stars Irving, along with NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber and Reggie Miller, plus Nate Robinson, a former NBA player who spent time with teams including the Knicks, Celtics and Bulls. Former WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie is also in the movie, along with actors Milton “Lil Rel” Howery and Tiffany Haddish. Howery plays a character who convinces Uncle Drew to return to the court one last time for a streetball tournament in Harlem. The duo hit the road to reunite Drew’s old squad.

PepsiCo formed the Creators League unit in 2016 to serve as an internal production arm for scripted series, films, music recordings, reality shows and other content. Some of it is heavily branded, like Pepsi’s Super Bowl commercial earlier this month. But some content has little branding, such as a short documentary film called “The Rugby Boys of Memphis” that was backed by PepsiCo’s Gatorade and shown at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. The Creators League was also behind Pepsi’s widely mocked Kendall Jenner ad, which was pulled quickly last year amid criticism.

The Creator’s League was started by Brad Jakeman, PepsiCo’s former global beverage group president, with the aim of creating both branded content and unbranded content that could earn revenue to be poured back into marketing. Jakeman left the company late last year.

Brisk tea, ‘Black Panther’ star partner to support ‘creative hustlers’

Brisk iced tea, a product offered by the PepsiCo and Unilever tea partnership, launched an arts program in partnership with actor and “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan. The Creators Class program joins industry leaders and emerging artists in urban areas for mentorship and collaboration on three projects in 2018, according to a press release.

To promote the effort, Brisk is hosting an event for “Black Panther” fans during the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, CA, on Feb. 16-17 with interactive Marvel-inspired installations. The pop-up event will also showcase the nine new Brisk labels created by emerging artists to kick off and promote the Creators Class program. The labels will debut on all Brisk packaging nationwide later this month.

Jordan is also directing, producing and starring in an online video celebrating artists’ “creative hustle” by highlighting his process of transforming into his latest movie character Erik Killmonger. Creators can win an apprenticeship with Jordan’s production company by visiting starting Feb. 15.

Dive Insight:

Brisk’s multi-channel campaign aimed at empowering “creative hustlers” through real-world opportunities and exposure is tailor-made for millennials and Gen Zers, groups parent company PepsiCo has recently struggled to reach with its soda brands. These generations tend to embrace creative efforts and innovation while shunning traditional views of gender roles and racial stereotypes, which appears to align with the Creators Class program and spirit of the “Black Panther” movie.

Nearly 70% of Gen Z think brands should help them achieve their goals. Brisk’s campaign to showcase young creatives in their struggle for success will likely appeal to these sentiments and boost brand awareness among the younger consumer group through an out-of-home (OOH) activation, digital video and partnership with a popular movie that’s been nominated for multiple Academy Awards.

from Marketing Dive:

Dining Is a Minefield in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’

How the film’s food scenes prove both seductive and sinister


In Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, which was nominated for six Oscars this week, food is used as a weapon in a struggle for control. The breakfast table in the film’s early moments is Chekhov’s rifle on the wall. Dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) reaction to morning sweet pastries, borne by his soon-to-be-former muse, offers up a clue in the first minutes that the next two hours won’t be simply a period piece about midcentury couture. That first meal of the day sets up everything to come in a film as gorgeous as it is gripping.

Like Water for Chocolate or Julie & Julia may come to mind when you think of a “food movie,” but Phantom Thread has nothing in common with those films. Set within the world of high fashion in 1950s England, the film’s portrayal of food, as the New Yorker’s Helen Rosner has also noted, is pivotal but also subdued. The Second World War was over, but food rationing continued during the first four years of the decade. As one article, for the British history site HistoricUK.Com, puts it: “The 1950s were the age of Spam fritters (now making a comeback!), salmon sandwiches, tinned fruit with evaporated milk, fish on Fridays, and ham salad for high tea every Sunday. The only way to add flavor to this bland cooking was with tomato ketchup or brown sauce.” Great Britain was hardly a moveable feast in the middle of the 20th century. As a result, there are no excesses of colorful cakes, like in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and no lavish dinner scenes obsessing over ingredients, as in American Psycho.

Anderson’s latest is not about food, per se, but the movement of the story is driven by its characters’ appetites: What they eat, and how — and by whom — their food is prepared. Food is never used as a prop. Every beat is blocked with purpose; consumption, and being consumed, is central to the film’s final act. It is at the center of how the two main characters, played by Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps, battle for control.

Read more at The Eater:

Even With 6-Second Ads on the Rise, Brands like Heinz, KFC and Taco Bell are Creating Animated Films to Try and Stand Out

Just as animated TV shows for adults (think cult favorite Rick and Morty or Netflix’s Big Mouth) are having a moment, animated films for brands are hitting their own stride. Tech brands like Lyft and Hinge have used the medium in recent years and over the last few months a new wave of marketers—Heinz Beans, KFC and Taco Bell—have rolled out animated spots.

The timing may seem strange in an era when attention spans are low and six-second ads are on the rise, but brand marketers are hungry to connect with consumers and animation can be the outlet to make it happen. Overall, brands are finding that animation can cut through the clutter and really strike that emotional chord with viewers online.

“The long-form, animated spot is definitely back on stage,” Howard Belk, co-CEO and CCO for brand consultancy Siegel+Gale, said. “Advertisers are competing for engagement not only with other products, but with social media content. People are much more accustomed and comfortable now with watching vignettes on their phones—they have been conditioned by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms. Savvy advertisers are taking advantage of consumers’ willingness to spend more time consuming content on these platforms.”

Matt Murphy, 72andSunny executive creative director and partner, believes animation is on the rise because it “can be an escape,” he said, adding, “It has the ability to make a bigger, bolder creative leap in terms of storytelling for any brand that wants to embrace it as a tool.”

In April, 72andSunny created a nearly two-minute animated film for toothpaste brand Hello featuring an anthropomorphic dancing tooth cheerily promoting the natural ingredients used in Hello products. Since its release, the spot has scored over 1.6 million views on YouTube alone. “If we just put an actor in front of the camera to talk to you for 90 seconds about toothpaste, I don’t think it would have worked as well as having an animated tooth,” said Murphy.

See the films below & read more at AdWeek:


New Vegan Documentary Alert: ‘The Yoyo Effect’ Trailer Is Now Out

The upcoming movie has been billed as ‘the film the weight loss industry doesn’t want you to see’

The award-winning filmmaker behind renowned vegan documentary Food Choices has revealed the trailer for his upcoming film The Yoyo Effect.

The new movie, which will be produced by Michal Siewierski, has been billed as ‘the film the weight loss industry doesn’t want you to see’ – and is a disruptive project about diet and weight loss.

The movie follows filmmaker Siewierski on his journey into the controversial world of weight loss and diet, as he uncovers shocking facts and confronts common misconceptions.

The crowdfunder for the groundbreaking documentary is now live, and it’s looking to raise just under $70,000.

Find out more about the documentary here


The Yoyo Effect aims to present its audience with science-based information from world class experts on nutrition such as Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Neal Barnard.

Talking to Plant Based News, Siewierski said he wants to raise awareness of America’s biggest pandemic – obesity.

He says: “I felt it was time to make a film that focused exclusively on weight loss, to help bring information to the public that can help them achieve their goals in a healthy long term sustainable way.

“And I wanted to do all that in a film that has great entertainment value and is fun to watch. At the same time, the film also tackles the food and weight loss industries, and exposes several shocking facts that most of the general public is not aware of.

“It also shows several new disruptive ideas from scientists and health experts from around the world, who are revolutionizing the way we think about weight loss.”

Siewierski goes on to mention that The Yoyo Effect will be distinguishing itself from other health movies by not focusing on single reductionist approaches to weight loss.