Taylor Swift, Under Armour, And ManBoobs: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Apple teams with Swift again, socially acceptable breast exams, three seconds of Curry, the life of a strawberry, and modern fatherhood.

Taylor Swift, Under Armour, And ManBoobs: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Earlier this week I talked to Apple Music’s head of content Larry Jackson about these Taylor Swift ads, and how they represent what he calls the brand’s “artist-driven” strategy. Is this thing the best ad ever? Of course not. But it’s fun, seemingly personal, and the real power of it is in what it represents. Swift made this with Jackson and director Anthony Mandler, and that relationship, coupled with her ringing endorsement on a personal level to her fans, gives the brand a boost on two levels. First and most obviously, with her fans and other consumers. But second, to other top and up-and-coming artists who see that relationship and want to be on the team with tay tay, Drake, Future, Kenny Chesney, among others. Onward!


Canal Plus “Dads”

What: French TV channel Canal Plus’s mobile app illustrates the joys of fatherhood, with a twist.

Who: Canal Plus, BETC Paris

Why We Care: Fatherhood is a unique and life-affirming role that must be taken up with the utmost of sincerity. Today’s dads are capturing every significant moment of their child’s life on their smartphone. Well, they’re catching every minute of something on their smartphones. A pretty perfect spoof of the now-familiar sadvertising ad strategy to hit parents straight in the heartstrings.

Apple Music “Taylor Mic Drop”

What: The second ad in a multi-part campaign to feature the pop superstar’s karaoke and lip sync skills.

Who: Apple Music, Taylor Swift

Why We Care: The brand continues its effective use of artist relationships to create engaging ads. I made perhaps the easiest prediction ever earlier this week, that this spot would catapult Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” to a significant sales boost, and Apple has confirmed that–surprise!–it happened. Sales are up a whopping 1,500% in just a few days.


Macma “#ManBoobs4Boobs

What: A unique breast exam demonstration created to circumvent the decency policy of various social media platforms.

Who: Macma, David Buenos Aires

Why We Care: As an elbow is just an elbow, sometimes a boob is just a boob, especially when we’re talking about the prevention and awareness of a deadly disease. And yet, some social media platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, have filters to prevent objectionable content, of which the sexual version of boobs has been deemed. How to get around it for a good cause? Hairy boobs, apparently.

Under Armour “#BreakTheGame”

What: As the Golden State Warriors embark on the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs, Under Armour vows to air a three-second Stephen Curry ad for every three-pointer the star point guard makes in the postseason.

Who: Under Armour, Droga5

Why We Care: Sure, this is a gimmick, but seeing as Curry demolished the previous postseason three-pointer record last year with 98, running a new three-second ad for every three is no small commitment. It’s a fun, engaging, and, importantly, ongoing way to keep the brand’s cash cow and biggest star front and center.


Natural Resources Defense Council “The Extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry”

What: A look at the long, perilous, inspiring, delicious life and totally pointless death of a strawberry, used to demonstrate the sad truth about food waste.

Who: Natural Resources Defense Council, SapientNitro, AdCouncil

Why We Care: Numbers can only get so far when it comes to conveying a significant issue, but this fun and affecting PSA puts a Pixar-ish spin on the fact that 40% of food in America is wasted, and will no doubt make you think twice about the poor citizens living in back of your fridge.

About the author

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