So that was quite a week, eh? Of course, the biggest hits on the industry Richter scale came from the top of Mount WPP, and we’re still a ways out from seeing how the aftershocks affect the work we actually see and the agencies that help create it. But there were two other big hits of the week that once again illustrate the power of finding just the right way to break into culture. Spotify and Uniqlo helped create two pop cultural pieces of art that were singular, accessible, events in their own right. MORE PLEASE. Onward!
What: An art installation at UCLA’s Hamme Museum created and directed by Solange Knowles. See the whole thing here.
Who: Solange Knowles, Droga5 London, Uniqlo
Why we care: So many brands talk a big game about creating culture. Here, Uniqlo and Droga5 walk the walk, and it’s an impressive stroll with one of the most popular artists on the planet.
Spotify “David Bowie Subway Takeover”
What: To celebrate the “Bowie Is” exhibit landing at The Brooklyn Museum, Spotify teamed with New York City’s MTA to turn the Broadway-Lafayette station in Bowie’s old Soho stomping ground into a commuter’s tribute.
Why we care: It’s just putting a little Ziggy Stardust into everyday life, through wall-sized images, fan-made art, and five limited edition MetroCards commemorating the late Thin White Duke. The brand is also using its Spotlight platform to host a new content series called David Bowie Stories, featuring anecdotes, origin stories, making-of’s, mini-essays and more, paired with photos, video, and other items from the David Bowie Archive.
Greenpeace “The Ocean of the Future”
What: A PSA warning of the disastrous effects of the truckload of plastic that ends up in our oceans every day.
Who: Greenpeace UK, Ogilvy & Mather UK
Why we care: Here we get a classic bait-and-switch ad stunt–we’ve seen it with gun safety and abusive relationships–this time to raise awareness for the state of our waters. I’d say that’s a good enough excuse to trick small children.
Under Armour “Will Finds A Way”
What: Dwayne Johnson stars in a new Under Armour ad, telling stories of a diverse collection of athletes.
Who: Under Armour, Droga5
Why we care: Johnson is one of the more uplifting, positive personalities in the celebrity-industrial complex, and here he’s in full Tony Robbins, brand spokesRock mode. Pairing him with lesser-known athletes—at least lesser known than UA stalwarts Steph Curry, Tom Brady, and Missy Copeland—fits the underdog, fighting-spirit narrative like a glove.
Uppersafe “Hide Yourself–The Last Intrusion”
What: An ad for online security brand Uppersafe that used open-source hacks to access cameras in people’s homes.
Who: Uppersafe, Herezie Group
Why we care: This might as well be an ad for the International Luddite Society. Confirming all our worst fears about access and privacy, the brand does a bang-up creepy job of illustrating the need for its product. It’s terrifying, and pretty damn clever. You’re either going to want to look into buying its product, or rush around your house slapping duct tape over every camera in sight.