Sometimes a brand event comes along that transcends the common drive for ever more consumers and the almighty dollar, something so creative it’s celebrated more as an idea than a marketing exercise. For us, the McWhopper was not one of those ideas.
Let’s also pause for a moment to acknowledge last week’s release of EA Sports’ “Madden: The Movie,” that marked the Madden 16 launch with a trailer that makes The Expendables look like The English Patient. Or The Terminator look like Terms of Endearment. Or Armageddon look like Out of Africa. You get the idea. It was released too late to make press time for last week’s list, but still not, technically, part of this week. Our eyeballs have barely recovered.
Now onward to the picks for this week’s best in brand creativity.
What: The first-ever ad campaign from home remodeling and design platform pegs the exact moment people know a change must be made.
Who: Houzz, BBH LA
Why We Care: As a platform, Houzz takes the idea of a home design junkie’s web dream board and takes it a step further. Here it quickly and simply gets its overall concept across, while also cheekily illustrating for its more than 35 million monthly unique users how the 800,000 active home professionals can help them actually get things done.
What: Target and Lucasfilm have created an interactive site to collect and share as many memories and tributes as possible from Star Wars‘ estimated 147 million fans around the world.
Who: Target, Deutsch LA
Why We Care: Of course, as The Force Awakens draws closer, the onslaught of Star Wars-related marketing continues, but this is a fun, easy-to-navigate way to marvel at the cultural impact of the space saga, across multiple generations, with minimal branding. As an added bonus, when the campaign is over the site and content will be passed on to Lucasfilm for permanent archiving.
What: Prominent German literary critic Hellmuth Karasek reads and reviews an Ikea catalog for the retailer’s Swiss YouTube channel.
Who: Ikea, Wirz Werbung
Why We Care: At 220 million copies, the retailer claims its catalog boasts the world’s largest print run. But despite such global popularity, its never been taken seriously as a piece of literature. Go figure. But Karasek seems to take it seriously enough to reference Goethe and Freud, but ultimately It’s all just a unique wink-wink from the brand in on the joke. We know at least one person who isn’t impressed with Ikea’s way with words.
What: Retired Korean soccer star Lee Young Pyo plays the tempting voice of negativity in every athlete’s mind.
Who: Nike Korea, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo
Why We Care: An inner voice heckles athletes across a variety of sports and activities—baseball, figure skating, running, BMX, boxing—breaking down their egos with dismissals and insults before changing tack midway through to build them right back up again. This is a classic example of Nike being Nike, this time in Korea. Call us a sucker, but when the Swoosh hits these long familiar notes just right, it’s still goosebumps.
What: A new awareness campaign to clue us in on the unforgiving nature of heart disease, with ads that illustrate the often cruelly abrupt way it can affect our lives.
Who: British Heart Foundation, DLKW Lowe
Why We Care: An effective use of the shock-and-awe PSA technique, without getting too heavy-handed. Between this and the other two spots, the campaign covers sad and surprising in equal measure to (hopefully) get people’s attention.