Typically, the copycat stunt is not the way to go. Last year, it was Hamburger Helper’s mixtape “Watch the Stove” people were freaking out over. Now here comes Wendy’s with a “Ready To Die”-inspired cover and five tracks featuring a female MC throwing jabs at the fast-food competition. “Why yo’ ice-cream machine always broke? Why yo’ drive-thru always slow?” she raps on “Rest in Grease.” On “Holding It Down” she calls out Burger King, “Can’t be a King/Your burgers aren’t the finest thing.” Not sure about the burger rhymes, but if the social media response–not to mention No. 1 ranking on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart–says anything, it’s that a good beat goes a long, long way. Onward!
Wendy’s “We Beefin’?”
Fresh, never frozen beats.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 21, 2018
What: A mixtape called “We Beefin’?”
Why we care: Burger rhymes, french fry beats. Whatever it takes to get that epic pop culture earned media, I guess.
Spotify “Black History Is Happening Now”
What: A wide-ranging brand initiative aimed at celebrating Black History Month all year long that includes a new content hub where artists, creatives, and organizations that are working with communities of color will tell stories through curated playlists, videos, and podcasts.
Who: Spotify, Saturday Morning Co.
Why we care: As Saturday Morning Co. cofounder (and Twitter group creative director) Jayanta Jenkins told me earlier this week, the goal here was to make the acknowledgement and celebration of black history, culture, and contribution brand behavior instead of another one-off stunt. Not only does this include impressive content ambition, it extends to an internship, podcast bootcamps for aspiring podders of color, and more.
What: A new Apple ad that hypes the educational value of an iPad.
Why we care: The brand marks the launch of a new, cheaper iPad that boasts a stylus pen and new education-focused software, with a Stranger Things-meets-The Magic School Bus group of kids studying gravity. As a baritone-voiced narrator reads poet Jack Prelutsky’s “Homework! Oh Homework!”we get a delightful cross between fun story and comprehensive product demo.
Hammer Museum “Will Ferrell and Joel McHale visit the Hammer Museum”
What: A private tour of UCLA’s Hammer Museum’s new “Stories of Almost Everyone” exhibition.
Who: Hammer Museum, Hecho en 72
Why we care: Here–in a spot directed by Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, for some reason–Ferrell and McHale are their hilarious selves, but also our intrepid avatars when it comes to getting some truly unique contemporary art explained to them. Even as an almost parody of exhibits like this, in their discussion you start to see the value of examining the meaning of what can often be bewildering art. Like piles of mail, a couple of socks on the floor, or giant telephone poles. In Ferrell’s words, “I appreciate the effort.”
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) “Project 84”
What: A PSA called Project 84 that perched 84 lifelike mannequins on the ledges of London’s ITV Southbank buildings to raise awareness on male suicide.
Who: Campaign Against Living Miserably, adam&eveDDB, Harry’s
Why we care: Sponsored by shaving brand Harry’s, this is an experiential PSA that certainly got people’s attention in London. Every two hours, a man commits suicide, making about 84 deaths per week. CALM enlisted sculptor Mark Jenkins to create 84 figures for the installation to raise awareness for men seeking help. Visualizing statistics can be a difficult task, but this clearly illustrated the weekly toll of this issue.