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Carl’s Jr. Grows Up, Samsung VR Is For The Birds: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Kevin Hart gets ballsy for Tommy John, Vicks makes a social statement with a heartwarming story, Northwell Health goes for brand act over brand ad, and more.

Carl’s Jr. Grows Up, Samsung VR Is For The Birds: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Let’s take a quick moment to talk about April Fool’s Day. Much like an impeccably timed, earnestly chipper tweet, brands just can’t see to get enough of it. Man, you jokesters you. But in a world in which Pizzagate can happen, is it safe to assume your audience is all starting from the same basic common sense that would tell us that, say, Burger King won’t actually be selling toothpaste? (They aren’t are they? Just checking.) Onward!

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Carl’s Jr. “Carl Hardee Sr. Returns”

What: A new campaign that blatantly marks a shift of focus from the babes back to the burgers.
Who: Carl’s Jr., 72andSunny
Why We Care: For more than a decade, Carl’s Jr. has marketed itself as the frat-bro fast-feeder, with as many bikinis as burgers in its ads, courtesy of models like Kate UptonSara Underwood, and Emily Ratajkowski, and Hannah Ferguson. Here, Carl’s Jr takes a (totally silly) left turn by bringing the (completely fictional) adult back into the room. A pretty bold, but necessary move for a brand whose ad approach had become predictable.

Samsung “Ostrich”

What: New Samsung ad takes on a new perspective for the inspirational potential of its Gear VR.
Who: Samsung, Leo Burnett
Why We Care: Unveiled at the launch event for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones, the spot eschews specs in favor of style by the truckload. Elton John and a charming, giant flightless bird cannot go wrong. As opposed to say, a more overtly familiar concept.

Vicks “Generations of Care”

What: Vicks uses the universality of a loving mother-daughter relationship to make a statement on social justice.
Who: P&G, Vicks, Publicis Singapore
Why We Care: P&G is taking the opportunity with Vicks to take a stand on an issue of human rights, which is probably impressive enough. But doing so in such a thoughtful, wonderfully shot story elevates the statement even further.

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Northwell Health “The Return”

What: A short documentary chronicling the creation of a new, more functional prosthetic leg for swimming.
Who: Northwell Health, JWT New York
Why We Care: A cool story made even better (from a marketing POV) that the idea for not only the story but the actual amphibious prosthetic started as an advertising conversation. Read more about the campaign here. 

Tommy John “Cradle”

What: One of 22 short videos in Kevin Hart’s new series for the brand “Kevin Hart’s Morning Briefing.”
Who: Tommy John, Preacher, Hartbeat Productions
Why We Care: Okay, this is less about this individual ad–which is funny–and more about the overall project. Did Tommy John win the small brand lottery when Kevin Hart declared himself a fan of the product and essentially became a spokesperson out of the blue? Of course. But the brand is also embracing working with the comedian in such a way that looks to be taking full advantage of the situation. (And you can read what Hart has to say about it all here.)

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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