Volvo Makes Life-Saving Paint, General Electric Hires A Donkey: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Amnesty International makes a font, Patagonia hits the road, Deadpool poses tastefully, and more.

Volvo Makes Life-Saving Paint, General Electric Hires A Donkey: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

If you’re a regular Co.Create reader, you know that sometimes the best advertising doesn’t look, walk, or talk like advertising at all. A product, a retail design, or a cause, even without a tagline or specific call to action, if it truly illustrates the mission, philosophy, and personality of a brand, it can be as effective in engaging consumers as anything else.


Volvo and its agency Grey London tapped into that brand’s legacy in commitment to safety to develop LifePaint, a reflective safety spray it’s giving away to cyclists in the U.K. for free. Grey London Chairman and CCO Nils Leonard said in a blog post: “Our job isn’t just to advertise our clients, it’s to help them make a positive impact on culture. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?”

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

Patagonia “Better Than New”

What: A short film to launch the brand’s Worn Wear tour, in which it’s taking its commitment to help consumers extend the life of their garments as long as possible on the road.
Who: Patagonia
Why We Care: We’re on record as admirers and advocates of Patagonia’s purpose-driven marketing. This takes that proven approach and brings it to new life with a solar-powered camper shell made from redwood salvaged from giant wine barrels, mounted on a biodiesel ’91 Dodge Cummins truck. Responsibility and badassery all at the same time.


Volvo “LifePaint”

What: A safety spray that’s invisible in daylight but glows brightly under headlights at night to help drivers and cyclists stay safe on the roads.
Who: Volvo, Grey London
Why We Care: There is so much terrible advertising in the world that when a brand and agency have the insight to come up with a free product that can actually help people, that effort should be applauded. The fact that it also ties in perfectly with Volvo’s safety legacy and recognizes we don’t live in a car-versus-bike world is an added bonus. Now the countdown begins for the first innovator to post his or her nude night-cycling video.

Amnesty International “Mutant Font”

What: Amnesty and Brazil-based agency Africa created a website that generates fonts unreadable by machines to help protect users’ online privacy from spying software.
Who: Amnesty International, Africa
Why We Care: A useful and thought-provoking way to raise awareness of and prevent online spying on regular citizens by government agencies, something Amnesty says is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Plus, waaay cooler than Comic Sans.

General Electric “Invention Donkey”

What: GE introduces an inch-tall talking donkey who grants invention as the next spokesthing for its commitment to innovation.
Who: General Electric, BBDO New York
Why We Care: Sometimes it takes a magical, miniature beast promising to help us change the world to expand our notion of tech breakthroughs beyond Candy Crush. Will you rub the donkey?


Deadpool “Portrait”

What: A sly and sarcastic introduction to Marvel’s highly anticipated Ryan Reynolds-starring comic book hero adaptation.
Who: Ryan Reynolds, 20th Century Fox
Why We Care: C’mooon, did you see that test footage from last summer? This “official” Deadpool suit reveal by star Reynolds–a tasteful if mildly confusing tribute to another bearskin-lounging Reynolds–had the perfect amount of cheek for Marvel’s snarky assassin. Looks like the balance of laughs and action that made Guardians of the Galaxy the juggernaut it was is alive and well. Add to that the footage of Deadpool beating the crap out of Extra‘s Mario Lopez to announce its R rating, and, come next summer, audiences may want to be wearing their brown pants to the movies.

About the author

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