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Zoolander Hits The Runway, House Of Cards Goes Native: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

An epic interactive site for Killing Jesus, kids read mean tweets, the Queen celebrates Mother’s Day, and more.

Zoolander Hits The Runway, House Of Cards Goes Native: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

This shouldn’t be happening. In no textbook would a sequel to a 14-year-old film, not slated to be released for another year, about 50-something male models, become a social media marketing hit. And yet here we are.

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Just the other day, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson both hit the runway during the Valentino Show at Paris Fashion Week, as their characters from 2001’s Zoolander to announce Zoolander 2. It was retweeted, Instagrammed, and Vined to the point Paramount Pictures execs must’ve been Blue Steel-ing each other with glee. The release date isn’t until February 2016 and it seems the only downside to all this hype and excitement is now they have to sustain it over the next 11 months.

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

Netflix “The Ascent”


What: A multimedia feature article on the dynamics of First Couples that mingled Frank and Claire Underwood in with their real-life counterparts, and served as an elaborate native ad for the show’s third season
Who: The Atlantic, Netflix
Why We Care: The Atlantic learned about the boundaries of native advertising the hard way in 2013 (Scientology!) and now returns with a perfectly attractive, entertaining and informative piece that even John Oliver might not gag at the site of.

Canadian Safe School Network “Kids Read Mean Tweets”

What: A spoof of Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets series that replaces the celebs, pop stars and pro jocks with everyday kids.
Who: Canadian Safe School Network, John St.
Why We Care: The framework of the wildly popular (and funny) late night gag is a perfect way to illustrate the difference between ridiculous trolls tossing bombs at millionaires and the cruel cyberbullying that terrorizes children. The uncomfortable fading laugh track was a nice touch.

National Geographic “Killing Jesus”

What: An immersive and epic interactive site for NatGeo’s upcoming three-hour TV docudrama based Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s bestselling book.
Who: National Geographic, Mullen
Why We Care: Going far, far beyond the traditional companion site, the same folks behind the similarly impressive Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy sites, once again amaze with an online experience that not only complements, but adds depth to its broadcast counterpart.

The Body Shop “Mother’s Day for HM The Queen”

What: For its “Treat Your Mum Like A Queen” campaign the brand posts a (totally, totally fake) candid look inside Buckingham Palace on Mother’s Day morning.
Who: Body Shop, Mr. President, Alison Jackson
Why We Care: Everyone loves a good doppelganger gag, and with the amazing lookalike artist Alison Jackson, the brand probably fooled some people into thinking it was the real deal. But really the spot cleverly taps into the ubiquity of web exclusive videos for some wholesome holiday fun.

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Paramount Pictures “Zoolander 2”

What: As mentioned above, Stiller and Wilson hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week to officially launch the marketing campaign for Zoolander 2.
Who: Paramount Pictures
Why We Care: Despite it being older than any of the social tools it used to get the word out, Zoolander is a cult classic that people will get excited for and it looks like Paramount is ready to embrace all the new tools it can to market the sequel. Planting Jerome Jarre on the sidelines might’ve been a bit much, but overall it was a stunt that got enough earned media in a day that any movie coming out this weekend would kill for, let alone for a film not slated to hit theaters until February 2016.

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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