Volvo’s Human Stories, JetBlue’s Office Souvenirs: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Hungry Jack’s hipster burger matrix, Ken Block goes off-road for Pennzoil, and Orbit Gum stays calm.

Volvo’s Human Stories, JetBlue’s Office Souvenirs: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

According to recent research, American workers just don’t take enough vacation. More than half (54%) are leaving paid time off on the table. Turns out, not only is it costing us all in life happiness, and the country an overall economic impact of up to $236 billion, it also makes for truly terrible souvenirs. Terrible, but, as it turns out, pretty damn funny.


In a move of inspired satire, JetBlue took the sad state of vacation time affairs and made fun, irresistibly cheesy tchotchkes with it. Who wouldn’t want to bring the inspiring scent of HR back to their very own bedroom? Onward!

JetBlue “Office Souvenirs”

What: A collection of (real!) office souvenirs to cheekily remind us all to take more time off.

Who: JetBlue, MullenLowe

Why we care: Sometimes a dumb joke is best when taken to its illogical extreme. That, and given how much people like to talk about their lack of vacation time, it’ll get boatloads of earned media.

Volvo “Music of the Mind”


What: One of a pair of new short films in the brand’s ongoing “Human Made Stories” series.

Who: Volvo, Valenstein & Fatt, Sky Atlantic

Why we care: An emotional story, expertly told, about Rosemary Johnson, a young member of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra who suffered a brain injury in a car accident as a young girl. Many years later, she rejoins her orchestra and music composition with technology that reads brain waves. It’s an inspiring story (read more about it here), and one the brand seamlessly fits itself into.

Orbit Gum “Robbery”

What: A clever new campaign that has some fun in tense situations.

Who: Orbit Gum, Energy BBDO, CLM BBDO

Why we care: Sometimes you just have to enjoy a fun ad. That’s all it is. It’s not complicated. This new Orbit Gum campaign is a perfect example of that pleasant surprise spot that comes on during the game and actually makes you laugh. The writing and direction follow film and ad cliches, making you think you know where it’s headed–eat gum = save girl–then takes a cheeky left turn. I picked “Robbery” here but really each one is equally goofy in its own charming way.


Pennzoil “Terrakhana”

What: Ken Block takes his Gymkhana concept off-roading in a new branded content video for Pennzoil.

Who: Pennzoil, Hoonigan

Why we care: Block and his Hoonigan crew aren’t breaking the mold here, with another collection of high-speed drifts, jumps, and copious amounts of tire-spinning doughnuts. That’s what their millions of fans want, and that’s what Pennzoil is buying into here. The sequence starting at the 3:05 mark alone is worth the price.

Hungry Jack’s “Keeping It Real”

What: Hungry Jack’s (what Burger King calls itself Down Under) ad shows one man’s escape from the hipster matrix.

Who: Hungry Jack’s, Clemenger BBDO Sydney

Why we care: As I said earlier this week, remember when Morpheus explains to Neo just what the matrix is, and how all humanity is trapped within it? This is like the burger version of that.


About the author

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