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  • 03.06.15

Vince Vaughn Turns Stock Model, Geico Makes The Unskippable Pre-Roll: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Audi outruns mechanics, Marvel tweets for more Ultron, an anti-abuse poster that heals when you look at it, and more.

Vince Vaughn Turns Stock Model, Geico Makes The Unskippable Pre-Roll: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

As noted, very recently, in this space, marketing has become a much more complex proposition over the last several years, and it’s a trend that’s only going in one direction. Brands working to keep up with changes in media and consumer behavior must always be looking at the new thing, the new technology, the new way to not be completely ignored. But this week we’ve been treated to several examples of brands who put their own unique twist on a more traditional advertising approach.

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Whether it’s Marvel using Twitter to trigger the release of a movie trailer, Geico playing with our patience in a YouTube preroll ad, or Women’s Aid creating a outdoor billboard that changes when people look at it, the best work this week tweaked our expectations, and its strength was just as much in the delivery as the original idea. Sure, a third trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron would be watched in any event, but putting fans in control of its release lends another level of oxygen to those fanboy flames.

Read more below about these and our other picks for this week’s best in brand creativity.

Marvel “Avengers: Age of Ultron–trailer 3”

What: The studio asked fans to combine their social super powers, sending a tweet that asked followers to tweet out the hashtag #AvengersAssemble in sufficient numbers as to “unlock an epic new #Avengers #AgeofUltron trailer.”
Who: Marvel
Why We Care: Multiple trailers for blockbuster movies are commonplace. Dumping six trailers on YouTube smacks as much of PLEASE-LOVE-ME desperation as thoughtful marketing. Frankly, it’s unbecoming. But giving fans a reason, or better yet a challenge, to see it and then make it worthwhile by actually revealing something (but not everything) new, is a little piece of silver screen marketing gold. Thank you fanboys, for teaming up on Twitter so we could get our first real peek at Vision.

Geico “Family: Unskippable”

What: A YouTube preroll ad from Geico that takes full advantage of those precious, unskippable five seconds and then ensures there is some serious payoff for anyone who sticks around and doesn’t hit “Skip Ad.”
Who: Geico, The Martin Agency
Why We Care: You mean aside from the big, hungry, furry surprise? As we said, it’s about defying expectations and making something that’s so commonplace that it would be invisible if it weren’t so damn annoying–the dreaded preroll ad–and transforming it into a source of fun. Not an easy feat, but expertly done here.

Audi “Mechanics”

What: World War Z meets auto maintenance in this new spot that turns your local mechanic into a monster.
Who: Audi, Thjnk
Why We Care: The portrayal of everyday mechanics as slack-jawed (yet swift-footed!) zombies may smack of snobbery, but that’s pretty much the demographic here. Either way, the swarming chase is still a welcome change from the bulk of yawn-inducing car ads still clogging the airwaves.

20th Century Fox “Unfinished Business Stock Photography”


What: The upcoming Vince Vaughn movie based on a David-and-Goliath business story teamed with Getty Images’ iStock to make corporate stock photos even funnier than they already are.
Who: 20th Century Fox, iStock,
Why We Care: We’ve seen films dip into real life to make their marketing mark–remember The Simpsons Movie 7-11, or Semi-Pro‘s Old Spice ads?–but it’s far from a typical approach. To see Vaughn with co-stars Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson gracing these weird artifacts of business culture is funny–making them available for free editorial use over the next three weeks is even better.

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Women’s Aid “Look At Me”


What: To raise awareness of domestic abuse, national charity Women’s Aid put up a digital billboard in London, featuring a woman with a bruised face, that uses facial recognition technology to make it appear as though her wounds are healing when people actively pay attention.
Who: Women’s Aid, WCRS London
Why We Care: A good ol’ billboard (combined with some digital technology) is able to make a point about abuse–when we pay attention we are helping to solve the problem. The technology and creative here aren’t just for their own sake, but drive home that message effectively and in an engaging way.

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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