Friday, September 9, 2016

#Maltesers tries mixing disability with humour, nails it

How interesting is this? Maltesers, a British candy brand, has taken the bold step of taking a humorous look at the lifestyles of people with disabilities in a new campaign for the Paralympics.

Instead of dewy-eyed homages to bravery and overcoming obstacles, these ads portray people with disabilities talking to their friends about real-life challenges like awkward sexual situations:

Another talks about a hearing aid being eaten and shat out by a partner's goofy dog:

Yet another is about a wedding dance floor disaster:

They're funny (the first one especially), respectful, and wonderfully human. They don't pretend the disabilities don't exist; they show instead that they are essential parts of the lives and identities of the people who live with them.

The other thing I like about these is that they're still ads. No product benefits (like taste) are mentioned, but the candies still play a big support role in these cute little vignettes.

And they're paying off! According to campaign, Britain's Channel 4 offered a million Pounds worth of free TV media during the Paralympics to the advertisers with "the best creative idea with diversity at the heart of a campaign."

Maltesers (a Mars brand) and its ad agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, were selected from a shortlist that included Amazon (Lucky Generals); Barclays (Bartle Bogle Hegarty London); Dove (Ogilvy & Mather); H&M (Adam & Eve/DDB); Lloyds Bank (Adam & Eve/DDB); Lynx (TMW Unlimited); and Purdey’s (Iris Worldwide).

My only criticism is of the third one, "Dance Floor," which seems a little forced at the end. But kudos to a brand and agency for trying something new with the right mix of bravery and sensitivity.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spike Jonze sequels "Weapon of Choice" ... for a perfume ad?

Well, it sure is entertaining. shared this video with a commentary about how ads for organic social media are getting more and more cinematic:

This one, for France's Kenzo perfumery, is directed by Spike Jonze. He's one of an increasing number of film directors being recruited to do branded entertainment for consumer companies.

Let's face it: This video is awesome. The woman, played by Margaret Qualley, is bored of stiff formality. She breaks out of reality does an awesome solo (mostly) dance — choreographed by Ryan Heffington — through a vast empty lobby.

Sound familiar?

Yeah, that was Jonze's work for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," back in 2001. It's one of the best music videos ever made.

And now, its child is selling perfume.

Thanks to Justin for the tip.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Enough already with "meatatarian" marketing

Via Burger Business

I like meat. I eat quite a bit of it. But there's nothing more tiresome than a junk food brand thinking it's being edgy by trolling vegetarians.

Remember this one?

It's an old idea, and this kind of oppositional marketing is only funny once or twice.

Call me a "meh-tetarian" I guess...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

David Duke: From KKK to intellectual property theft

You've probably heard the news that David Duke, former "Grand Wizard" of the racist KKK, is running for United States Senate. He's promising to "defend the rights of European Americans."

One of the many meme-ish campaign posters he's sharing on social media is this one, which Lisa Wade of Sociological Images pointed out looks rather... ummm...

Aside from that, the photo appears to have been stolen from the portfolio of Dutch model Romy van de Laar. Signed to Elite Model Management, Ms. van de Laar was photographed in this shot in 2012 or before, as far as I can tell from the many fashion blogs (and creepy tumblrs) the shot appears in. Now 20, she must have been 15 or 16 at the time.

Tweeter @joshuacomer also tracked down the model's identity through a reverse image search, and says he has reported the presumably-unauthorized use to Elite.

So to summarize: David Duke, a venomously racist white nationalist, is running for high office in the United States. I suppose stealing a picture of a teenage girl to further his evil agenda isn't the worst thing he's ever done, but it's pretty despicable.

Oh yeah, and Donald Trump seems to like him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#canneslions bronze winner for Bayer makes fun of consent

I first saw this ad on Twitter, shared by marketer Cindy Gallop, with the comment "Don't use this to sell aspirin, male-dominated ad industry, & don't award it, male-dominated juries. #canneslions"

Seriously. I'm a male Creative Director in this industry, and I think it's awful.

The ad is part of a series by AlmapBBDO of Brazil for Bayer. It won a Bronze Lion at Cannes 2016 in the Outdoor category.

The other two in the winning entry were a little less explicit:

These are part of a over-arching campaign that describes situations that might give the listener/victim a headache. They play all kinds of stereotypes about ex-wives and protective fathers, and are mostly harmless.

But not "'Don't worry, babe, I'm not filming this'.mov"

I see a lot of regressive ads coming out of Brazil, and I'm used to a certain kind of humour in them. But this one, translated into English for an international awards show, is really bad timing for a joke about non-consensual filming of sex.

Yeah, yeah. Call me an "SJW" if you want. But I'm trying to raise a son into a man who doesn't exploit and abuse women. The idea of filming and possibly sharing an intimate sex tape of a woman without her consent is just not funny anymore. It's the kind of bro-attitude that we should be denormalizing, rather than normalizing, along with jokes about other kinds of sexual violation.

Bayer, BBDO, and Cannes should do better than this. It's 20-effing-16.

UPDATE: Cindy Gallop added, via Facebook, some further context as to why this ad's timing is so bad.

UPDATE 2: Adweek reports that BBDO global creative chief David Lubars, who stated: "I learned last night that one of our very own agencies had a pretty scammy ad in the festival, and it won a Lion, I told them to return it. Because I don't want that kind of Lion. BBDO doesn't want that kind of Lion."

It turned out that the sexism was one thing, but what the global ad giant couldn't stand was that AlmapBBDO had paid for their own media placement. Even though Bayer had signed off on the ad, the agency paying to make it official is against the rules.