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Errol Morris And ESPN, Christopher Guest And PetSmart: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Samsung’s ode to indie creativity, HelloFlo’ sings about bodily functions, HipChat harks back to Office Space, and more.

Errol Morris And ESPN, Christopher Guest And PetSmart: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

This week we’ve got a hearty dose of movie nostalgia, served alongside contemporary creativity. Office Space hit theaters in 1999, and Christopher Guest’s Best In Show the following year. Now, 15 years later we’re given two ad campaigns that evoke those great films, while adding some fresh air of their own.

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HipChat convinced actor Gary Cole to once again don the glasses, French cuffs, suspenders and coffee cup to put Office Space‘s Bill Lumbergh in a modern office, while Guest gets back to the weird and wonderful world of pet people for PetSmart. Funny and perfectly tuned to the brand and products they’re pitching. In the meantime, as the Oscars celebrated today’s best films, Oscars advertisers brought their most cinematic game to the commercial breaks. And as the Academy showed that you don’t have to be a box office blockbuster to be an Oscar monster (Birdman, the evening’s big winner is one of the lowest-grossing Best Picture winners ever) Samsung charmingly showed that anyone with patient friends and a vision (oh, and some large Android devices) could be an auteur.

Read more about these and the rest of our picks for this week’s best in brand creativity.

PetSmart “Partners In Pethood”

What: Christopher Guest jumps back in to the animal lovers’ ring with this new campaign for PetSmart, starring Anna Faris and the always hilarious Guest regular Jennifer Coolidge.
Who: PetSmart, GDS&M
Why We Care: Honestly, we welcome any excuse to hark back to Best In Show, but here PetSmart has made the inspired move to take that and delightfully aligned itself with the bizarrely hilarious character quirks of pet folk.

ESPN “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports”

What: A new series of short films on sports fandom for ESPN by director Errol Morris, created in partnership with the network’s ad agency Wieden + Kennedy New York.
Who: ESPN, Wieden + Kennedy New York, Errol Morris
Why We Care: The idea for the series was born from an ad–2012’s “Team Spirit” spot–and it’s always refreshing to see an ad agency help to create content people actually want to watch. Beyond that, the Worldwide Leader is also adapting the content across its platforms–from a two-hour TV special, to a dedicated page and “Errol Morris Week” on Grantland.

HipChat “Lumbergh Returns”

What: Office communication software brand brought back everyone’s favorite worst boss for a series of ads highlighting the difference between a today’s office and the dreary halls of Initech.
Who: HipChat
Why We Care: Yeeeaaah, we’re gonna have to go ahead and suggest brands look to ’90s cult movie characters more often, mmmkay?

HelloFlo “Postpartum: the Musical”

What: One woman’s journey to make “Postpartum: The Musical,” a fitting–and catchy–look at the physical toll of child birth.
Who: HelloFlo
Why We Care: When the makers of Camp Gyno and First Moon Party come back with another ode to bodily function, we pay attention. While it may not have the knock-out LOLs of its predecessors, “Postpartum” is still a hilarious way to promote a product package that helps with what HelloFlo calls “the weeks with leaks.”

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Samsung “Movie Magic”

What: One family’s wacky indie film creative process by way of Samsung’s Galaxy family of products.
Who: Samsung, 72andSunny
Why We Care: It was no mass celeb selfie, but aired during the Oscars, this spot was a perfectly charming tribute to our everyday love of movies, and all the creative people far from Tinseltown who are chasing their own creative vision.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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