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Crystal Pepsi Is Back, And Santa Gets Hacked: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

KitKat goes blank for Christmas, Verizon makes a call in Minecraft, Three UK asks why Xmas birthdays suck.

In January 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII, Pepsi launched Crystal Pepsi. It was a bold step, a soft drink revolution, completely clear . . . annnd a total bomb. Now Pepsi’s jumping on the ’90s nostalgia train to make another go of it with a Crystal Pepsi redux. Of course this time it’s part of a limited contest gimmick because no one would be dumb enough to go mainstream with this translucent swill, right? As the old saying goes, fool me once, and all that. But it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a truly fun ad and get Tag Team stuck in our heads just in time for the weekend. Whoomp, there it is!

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Three UK “Why Do Christmas Birthdays Suck So Much?”

What: A look at the life of one boy forced to share his birthday with the Baby Jesus.
Who: Three UK, Gravity Road
Why We Care: Not sure what it has to do with a mobile plan, exactly, but the brand will score points for dropping a cheeky Christmas treat down the chimney amid a stocking full of holiday ad schmaltz.

KitKat “Christmas Break”]

What: A completely blank screen to give viewers “a break” from all the holiday ads.
Who: KitKat, JWT London
Why We Care: Again, given the avalanche of Christmas advertising in the U.K., KitKat is able to differentiate itself in a creative way that actually ties into its already familiar tagline. Pretty damn perfect.

Pepsi “Crystal Pepsi Returns”

What: A magical trip back in time, to the 92nd floor, where the ’90s never ended, to celebrate the first return of Crystal Pepsi since 1993.
Who: Pepsi, The Barbarian Group
Why We Care: You could’t pay me to drink it, but dropping this stylish, fun nostalgia bomb is almost enough to convince that bringing the failed sideshow of a soda back could actually be a great idea. (Couldn’t they have gotten Van Hagar back for it, though?)

Verizon “Minecraft”

What: Verizon built a working mobile network within the popular game, so you can make calls, order pizza, send texts and more in real-time, from within the game.
Who: Verizon, Minecraft, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why We Care: Whaaaaat?! You don’t need to know the difference between an Enderman and a Creeper to know that ordering a real pizza from inside a video game is pretty awesome.

Norton “Santa Got Hacked”

What: Santa gets a software virus (the Bah Hum-Bug) that steals the Naughty and Nice List, leaving him with a yuletide data recovery nightmare.
Who: Norton, Grey San Francisco
Why We Care: As we said earlier this week, antivirus software isn’t exactly the merriest of products, but as these spots prove, you can Christmas anything up if you drop the right Santa and script into the campaign.

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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