Samsung Goes Surfing Again, Gatorade Animates Usain Bolt: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Dwayne Johnson wants you to open Ballers, Ford is using tequila waste to make car parts, and Heathrow Airport makes flying adorable.

Samsung Goes Surfing Again, Gatorade Animates Usain Bolt: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week
[Ballers Photo: Jeff Daly, courtesy of HBO]

The idea to develop sustainable products is a great one, but for many companies the logistics of shifting their production, distribution, supply chain, and more, all while maintaining product quality and brand image can be a seemingly impossible undertaking. And yet, it’s still necessary. Important challenges are rarely easy. And while no one would ever confuse Ford with a B Corp, the brand’s latest project certainly steers things in a meaningful direction.


According to the company, its researchers are testing agave fibers that Jose Cuervo is left with as a byproduct of making tequila, for durability and heat resistance for potential use in vehicle components like wiring harnesses and storage bins. The sustainable composite could also reduce the weight of car parts, helping to improve fuel economy, and cut down on the dependence on petrochemicals, decreasing cars’ and trucks’ overall environmental impact. Not only is teaming with a brand like Jose Cuervo make a great story, but doing it to find manufacturing uses for agave plant waste from tequila is just damn cool. Who wouldn’t drink to that? Onward!

Samsung “The Snail”

What: Samsung taps its World Surf League sponsorship to somehow find inspiration for riding waves and life in the daily toil of a snail.
Who: Samsung Mobile, Leo Burnett Chicago
Why We Care: Both “Every Day Is Day One,” and “We Are Greater Than I” (done with agency 72andSunny Amsterdam) are tough acts to follow, but the brand pulls it off with yet another soulful, epic turn in the water. And the background story of the 14-year-old star is just a perfect kicker to an already engaging spot.

Heathrow Airport “The First Flight”

What: A stroll through the airport in the eyes of an adorable little girl, about to embark on her first airplane ride.
Who: Heathrow Airport, Havas London
Why We Care: Bonus points for being set to David Bowie’s 1967 tune “When I Live My Dream,” but the spot really works at evoking that wide-eyed wonder of a first-time traveler, a little of which still shines in all of us as we’re getting ready to go on a big trip. Given it shares a very similar emotional tone with the department store’s own ads, it should also come as no surprise–yet is still a deft move–that the little owl suitcase is on sale at the John Lewis store at Heathrow.


HBO “#BallersIntroContest”

What: A contest launched by Ballers star Dwayne Johnson ahead of the show’s season two premiere, giving fans a chance to be featured in the show’s opening title sequence.
Who: HBO, Dwayne Johnson
Why We Care: Look, Ballers isn’t exactly Game of Thrones when it comes to HBO audiences, but it’s Khal Drogo-sized star has enough personality to draw in just about anyone. So when The Rock invites you to be a part of the show, you listen. Last Sunday, Johnson did just that and, according to the network, since then it’s generated 978 million impressions, a 90% increase from the season one premiere day, and received over 5,000 entries–including one from American Ninja Warrior Kristi Platt doing the salmon ladder in her wedding dress. Fan culture being what it is today, this is a perfect way for a show to get people involved and excited ahead of a new season.

Gatorade “The Boy Who Learned To Fly”

What: A six-minute animated short from Gatorade and Moonbot Studios, that chronicles the rise of the world’s fastest man.
Who: Gatorade, Moonbot Studios, TBWA/Chiat/Day
Why We Care: It may not be the first time we’ve seen pro athletes animated, but this could’ve been a pretty traditional sports ad in cartoon form. Instead, Gatorade thankfully kept largely out of the way and let the talents of Moonbot Studios be the focus, opting for quality story-telling over logo overload.

Ford “Agave Products Get a Second Chance”

What: Ford and Jose Cuervo are teaming up to take agave plant waste from the tequila-making process and turn it into plastic cup holders, and other components for Ford vehicles.
Who: Ford, Jose Cuervo
Why We Care: Not exactly the two brands that come first to mind when we think of environmentally conscious collaboration. Road trips and hangovers, sure. But sustainability? That’s part of what makes this so great–two iconic brands teaming for a truly important reason. As part of the automaker’s #FarmtoCar campaign, the project aims to replace petroleum-based plastics with plant-based materials in Ford’s vehicles, shipping byproduct agave fibers from Jose Cuervo’s Mexican production facilities to Ford’s car plants in Michigan.


About the author

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


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