A new National Football League season has just begun, so it’s appropriate we have two NFL-related ads in this week’s list. While one is brand content and the other a more traditional commercial, both seem like just the kind of thing that would make the stodgy league owners cringe. Richard Sherman, speaking candidly in a season-long video series? Von Miller emerging half-naked from a rock in outer space? You can almost picture Roger Goodell closing his eyes, covering his ears, and LALALALALAing. But both are exactly the kind of thing fans want–honesty, access, and a few laughs. Onward!
Samsung “Out of Context with Richard Sherman”
What: A new video series from NFL star Richard Sherman, promising to give fans the unfiltered look at his life and opinions.
Who: Samsung, The Players Tribune
Why we care: Over the last year, Samsung’s marketing strategy shifted from using ads to try to get people to use its products, to using people using its products as the ads. By being the tools for creators like Casey Neistat, the brand was showing, rather than telling, why its goods were the best around. This is an incredibly smart sports version of that, essentially sponsoring Sherman’s new series and being his in-house studio.
HP “Little Moments”
What: A back-to-school HP ad that uses the evolution of a father-daughter relationship to hype its new handheld printer.
Who: HP, Giant Spoon
Why we care: In a mix between Ikea’s “Good Listener” and Apple’s 2013 Christmas ad, you think the kid’s just glued to that phone, ignoring Dad the whole time, but then . . . KABLAMMO. They hit you in the cryballs. Emotionally manipulative? Yep. A good story told with a great tune? Indeed. Perfect back-to-school timing? Yuh-huh.
Old Spice “Cinema”
What: A surrealist film start to the NFL season for Old Spice’s quirkiest spokeslinebacker.
Who: Old Spice, Wieden+Kennedy
Why we care: What I like about these Von Miller Old Spice ads is that they don’t punch you in the face. That high-octane approach worked for Terry Crews, but since signing Miller the brand’s gone for a quieter quirk, and it works really well. There’s also just something hilarious about the idea of any athlete screening their commercial endeavors for teammates in the locker room.
Lowe’s “DIY Instagram Stories”
What: A unique Instagram Story that actually gives people step-by-step DIY instruction.
Who: Lowe’s, BBDO New York
Why we care: While Lowe’s has long been using short-form video for DIY utility fun, this idea came from a creative hackathon hosted by Facebook Creative Shop. It shows a space makeover through a series of more than 50 microclips, all less than a second long, that viewers can rewind by tapping back to see specific clips. Sure, it’s fun and innovative from a brand creativity perspective, but more importantly it’s done in a way that can potentially help people with their projects.
Visit Sweden “The 72-Hour Cabin”
What: Visitors with stressful jobs are invited to live in a small, glass cabin in the Swedish wilderness for 72 hours to help in a study on how a natural Swedish lifestyle can affect their well-being.
Who: Visit Sweden
Why we care: The tourism board is bringing a German police officer, a French taxi driver, and a British broadcaster to live in small cabins made of glass in Sweden’s nature, to swim, fish, cook outdoors, and just generally get a wholesome experience. They will be monitored for study, developed by leading researchers from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, based on several parameters such as pulse, blood pressure, problem solving, and creativity, with an aim to show the role of environmental and biological factors in reducing stress levels and fatigue, and to enhance resilience. How’s that for a postcard?