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REI Opts Out Of Black Friday, Ikea Gets Design Advice: Top 5 Ads Of The Week

A non-traditional toy commercial, sexual consent as a cup of tea, and a creepy social experiment.

REI Opts Out Of Black Friday, Ikea Gets Design Advice: Top 5 Ads Of The Week

This week we have two very different PSAs on a very similar topic. One is a 10-minute social experiment using a hidden camera and an actress to show how really damn creepy dudes can get around an intoxicated woman. The other is a three-minute chat using a cup of tea as a metaphor for sexual consent. One is bleak, the other cheery, but both show what many claim is a complicated issue is actually the exact opposite. Onward!

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REI “#OptOutside”

What: A call to action for consumers to take a pass on the annual retail clusterf**k that is Black Friday.
Who: REI, Venables Bell & Partners, Edelman, Spark
Why We Care: We’ve obviously loved Patagonia’s Worn Wear initiative, but here REI takes a new approach on a similar idea. Both are companies that ultimately want to sell you something, but seem to care how they go about doing it. It’s a line that its consumer base, and many others beyond, will find refreshing amid the typical SALE!SALE!SALE! frenzy on Black Friday.

Dallas Vintage Toys “5 Years Old”

What: A toy store ad that tweaks a familiar formula to show that not all our child-like instincts are good.
Who: Dallas Vintage Toys, Dieste
Why We Care: This has all the trappings of a father-son spot that will have dudes weeping openly on their couch–until it flips the script to illustrate that some toys are meant for grown-ups. Like, say, an $800 sealed Return of the Jedi Imperial Shuttle.

Thames Valley Police “Tea and Consent”

What: An amazing metaphor, charmingly animated, cleverly adapted into a PSA campaign.
Who: Thames Valley Police, Blue Seat Studios
Why We Care: Sure the video itself has already made the rounds a bit since Blue Seat Studios first posted it on Vimeo, but something this great can’t be seen enough. Using it as the PSA for its #ConsentisEverything campaign is a brilliant move, full-stop.

IKEA “Soft Toy 2015”

What: Ikea held a kids design contest for new plush toys, turning the winning entries into actual stuffed toys that will be sold to help fund children’s education projects through Unicef and Save the Children.
Who: Ikea
Why We Care: A creative charity project that involves and empowers consumers and their kids. Plus, who wouldn’t want an orange unicorn?

The Centro Europeo Neurosalus “Social Experiment”

What: A “social experiment” with an actress pretending to be drunk to illustrate how dangerous and threatening the world can be for women.
Who: The Centro Europeo Neurosalus
Why We Care: It’s the middle of the day in a cosmopolitan city and a woman is treated less as someone in need of assistance, and more so as a target. It’s creepy, sad, bleak, and makes its point loud and clear.

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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