The Replacer Returns For Activision, Barbie Evolves: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

NFL stars’ hairdressing skills, The Force Awakens for Lego, and Canal’s French footie fan.

The Replacer Returns For Activision, Barbie Evolves: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Well, dear reader, here we are mere days away from The People Actually Want To See The Ads Bowl. So far this week, we’ve talked about the teasers, who might be the next great NFL pitchman, and Drake, but here in the hallowed halls of Top 5 headquarters–which resemble a cross between The Overlook Hotel and The Netherworld’s waiting room–we’ve decided to hold off on any Super Bowl judgement until after the big game, when our brains will be at their beer and wing sauce-soaked best. Onward!


Canal+ “The Fan”

What: A lovely profile of a diehard soccer fan of Olympique de Marseille in France, with a twist.
Who: Canal+, BETC Paris
Why We Care: Okay, is it a French copy of this earlier Sky ad about a German soccer fan? Perhaps. Should the guy not be distracted by, say, an iPad while doing his job? Maybe. But regardless, it’s still a great story that will hit the heartstrings of any sports fan either way.

Activision “The Replacer” Returns

What: Peter Stromare is back to take over for people who need some time off to play Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s “Awakening” DLC.
Who: Activision, 72andSunny
Why We Care: It’s always fun when a classic ad character returns, and The Replacer is no exception. We can only hope they’re calling JB Smoove again to make this happy Replacer reunion complete.

Pantene “Dad-Do”

What: NFL stars deliver some tender moments by doing their little girls’ hair.
Who: Pantene
Why We Care: Okay, yes, it’s technically football-related, but here Pantene taps the momentum leading up to the game to use the Pittsburgh Steelers’ DeAngelo Williams, New Orleans Saints’ Benjamin Watson, and the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten to illustrate the importance of dads spending time with their daughters. Each player also gets their own heartmelting individual video. A great message, expertly–and adorably–delivered.


Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Game Announcement

What: A Lego re-imagining of the original Episode VII teaser to announce the new Lego video game based on The Force Awakens.
Who: Lego Star Wars
Why We Care: You’re kidding, right? We love Star Wars. We love Lego. We love that Poe is making toast in an X-Wing.

Mattel “The Evolution of Barbie”

What: Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy helms the brand’s announcement that it’s adding different shapes and sizes to the iconic toy line.
Who: Mattel, BBDO San Francisco
Why We Care: More of a high-five to the brand move than the ad itself, but getting both little girls and the people behind Barbie to talk about the need to evolve and encourage positive self-image is a cool, down to earth and authentic way of telling the world about it. And hopefully that Abby Wambach Barbie will actually be a real thing.


About the author

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