You just need to turn on the TV or clickety-clack the internet for five minutes to know that doing anything even remotely original in advertising is not an easy task. Now go look at some tourism ads. It usually goes something like this: beautiful scenery tastefully shot, upbeat soundtrack, ending with “Place Name: Slogan!” Now here comes Sweden, for the second year in a row, with one of the most original ideas around. Last year it was the Swedish Number, and now they go and put the entire country on Airbnb. Maybe next year they’ll invite the entire population of Buford, Wyoming, for a visit. Onward!
Visit Sweden “Sweden on Airbnb”
What: A new tourism campaign for Sweden aimed directly at the wanderlust of the Airbnb generation.
Who: Visit Sweden, Forsman & Bodenfors
Why We Care: An imaginative way to both get people’s attention, but also do it using such a unique and interesting part of the local culture–the allemansrätten or “freedom to roam.”
Gillette “Go Ask Dad 2017”
What: For Father’s Day, the brand once again aimed to get more young men real-talking to their fathers–this time by disguising the dads as a Siri-like personal assistant app.
Who: Gillette, Grey New York
Why We Care: Gillette’s research says 84% of guys said their go-to source for information is their phone, while just 13% said they turn to Dad first. And 72% of guys said their phone was the one source of information they can’t live without, and only 10% said Dad. Those are some sad dad stats that hopefully ads like this can help turn around a bit.
Netflix “Day In The Life Of Frank Underwood”
What: To promote the upcoming launch of House of Cards season five, the network blended fictional Frank Underwood into Washington, D.C., reality, with the help of former White House photographer Pete Souza.
Who: Netflix, Pete Souza
Why We Care: It’s a smaller gesture, but it’s consistent with Netflix’s previous efforts–remember FU2016?–that have been just brilliant at juxtaposing the fictional world of the show with our own seemingly fictional political realities.
Syoss “The Thief”
What: An insanely stylish spot on the thievery in a morning commute.
Who: Syoss, Walker Zurich
Why We Care: Sometimes you just have to acknowledge a damn good shampoo ad. Dude sleeping standing up on the train FTW.
Whiskas “Iris & Thula”
What: A spot from Brazil that tells the true story of a young autistic girl whose cat helped build both self-confidence and social skills.
Who: Whiskas, AlmapBBDO
Why We Care: It’s a cute story, based on a true cute story. And when’s the last time you found yourself charmed more by the story than the feline in a cat food ad?