Top 5 Ads of the Week: Selling socialism, Burger King’s Pink Tax

Tom Cruise really flies a helicopter; Apple gets wild playing in the street; and Seth Rogen is the voice of public transit in Vancouver.

Top 5 Ads of the Week: Selling socialism, Burger King’s Pink Tax

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new young Democratic candidate for Congress grabs national headlines with an ad that immediately gets people’s attention, spreads like wildfire across social media, and sparks the kind of coverage any candidate–or brand, for that matter–could only dream of. Back in May, it was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York. This week, it’s Kaniela Ing in Hawaii. Not only do the two candidates have democratic socialism in common, but production company Means of Production helped both with their ad success. No matter where on the political spectrum you’re sitting, it’s not tough to admire how Means is working with these candidates to use modern advertising strategies to create a broader, more cohesive message. It’s like how a Nike campaign might feature individual ads with pro athletes from different sports, all touting the same shoe. Except instead of shoes, it’s selling socialism. Onward!


Kaniela Ing “A New Possible”

What: A new ad for 29-year-old Kaniela Ing, a House candidate running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

Who: Kaniela Ing, Means of Production

Why we care: The spot’s association with Ocasio-Cortez aside, its power is in how it pairs emotional visuals with a compelling narrative and Ing’s individual story–and how he shows us a side of Hawaii we rarely see.

Burger King “Chick Tax”

What: A new Burger King stunt aimed at raising awareness and support for the Pink Tax Repeal Act.

Who: Burger King, David Miami

Why we care: To help raise awareness and support for the Pink Tax Repeal Act, a legislative initiative aimed at ending gender-based discriminatory pricing, Burger King decided to illustrate this absurdity by putting its popular chicken fries in a pink box, calling them “Chick Fries,” and charging double the price. Female customer reactions of shock and outrage are pretty much what you’d expect. But the brand then asks: If Chick Fries make you mad, why don’t all the other pink-taxed products you buy? Good question.


Mission: Impossible – Fallout “Behind the Scenes 360”

What: A 360-degree look inside just one of the many insane stunts that Tom Cruise decided to do himself in his latest blockbuster.

Who: Paramount Pictures

Why we care: It’s always been a hallmark of the two-decade-long Mission: Impossible franchise that star Tom Cruise does his own stunts. And just as the movies have evolved, so too has the cornucopia of ways Cruise has found to challenge his own mortality on film. Here we get a look at how he became an expert helicopter pilot for a particularly harrowing chase sequence, and the 360-degree just makes it that much more compelling. When the action behind the scenes is better than most other action flicks, you know you’re on to something.

Apple “Unleash”

What: A new spot for iPhone X that focuses on the gaming power of its A11 Bionic processor.

Who: Apple

Why we care: Walking down the street with people who are staring at their phones maaaaay be one of the most annoying things in the universe. But here, Apple gives us a glimpse of the world from the other POV. Specifically, one dude’s pedestrian adventure playing Vainglory 5v5.


TransLink “Seth Rogen – A guest voice on transit”

What: A suggestion. A reply. One magical partnership.

Who: TransLink, Seth Rogen

Why we care: There is so much wrong and terrible on the internet, but sometimes–sometimes–it spins some solid gold. What started as a nationalist tweet suggestion for a Canadian actor when the Vancouver public transit system announced Morgan Freeman would be the voice of its announcements, has quickly become Seth Rogen’s dusty chuckle greeting Vancouver commuters. Amazing.


About the author

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