Talking Cats, Solitary Confinement, And Sports Trolls: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Plus, a first-person look at being an aid worker with Save the Children, and an Olympic hopeful smashes a few stereotypes for Nike.

Talking Cats, Solitary Confinement, And Sports Trolls: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

This week’s theme is “Different Perspectives on Sports” . . . Okay, not really, but two of the picks here dive headfirst into a few issues consistently facing the male-dominated narratives of sports culture. Forget “throw like a girl” and all its unfortunate connotations, how about “face down death and rape threats on a regular basis” as a metaphor for toughness? Onward!


Nike “Amna Al Haddad Raises The Bar”

What: Nike’s latest “Inner Strength” series continues with United Arab Emirates’ Olympic hopeful Amna Al Haddad talking about training as both a woman and a covered Muslim.

Who: Nike

Why We Care: Here we have a mainstream sports ad that takes a swing at two stereotypes in one shot. Amna Al Haddad is a woman, a Muslim woman, and a weightlifter. And yet anyone can understand, identify with, and be inspired by her story because sports are one of the world’s great equalizers. What better message could you hope for?

Temptations “Catterbox”

What: A 3-D printed, rubber-lacquered cat collar kitted out with a microphone, speaker, Bluetooth technology, and Wi-Fi that translates your cat’s sounds into a human voice.

Who: Temptations, adam&eveDDB


Why We Care: Okay, this is pretty weird. The brand, obviously inspired by that dog from Up, spins some fun science in an attempt to make the connection between people and their pets even stronger with not only an ad, but something you can (hopefully) give to your own cat.

Not Just Sports “#MoreThanMean”

What: To illustrate the kind of abuse they get spewed at them online, ESPN radio host and columnist Sarah Spain and broadcaster/columnist Julie DiCaro sit face-to-face with some ordinary guys who volunteer to read the tweets sent to them.

Who: Not Just Sports

Why We Care: Obviously we all love Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets,” but this puts a darker spin on the concept for a good cause. As Dan Solomon wrote earlier this week on Co.Create, “As a way to inform an audience who might not know what the sort of harassment that women like Spain and DiCaro receive regularly for having the temerity to be women who talk and write about sports, the video is painful, harsh, and absolutely necessary.”

The Guardian “6×9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement”

What: The Guardian‘s first virtual reality project puts you in solitary confinement within an American prison cell, to tell the story of the psychological damage caused by isolation.


Who: The Guardian, The Mill

Why We Care: Because reading stats like 80,000 American prisoners are in solitary confinement, spending up to 24 hours a day in their cells, with little to no human contact for days to decades. This trailer expertly conveys that just a few minutes hearing some of these prison stories while virtually surrounded by those walls, adds some much-needed weight to the discussion.

Save the Children “Every Last Child”

What: A 60-second shift as an aid worker to illustrate the conditions and situations faced by some of the world’s poorest children.

Who: Save the Children, adam&eveDDB

Why We Care: A rapid-fire, first-person peek at the important work being done in places like Jordan, Mexico, Bangladesh, Kenya, and an ebola emergency treatment centre in Sierra Leone, that stylishly illustrates just how much more there is to be done.

About the author

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