Heading into the opening weekend of the 2018 U.S. Open, it’s only appropriate to start with the overhand smash of an ad starring Serena Williams. The 37-year-old has been No. 1 in the world eight separate times over 16 years. She reached the Wimbledon final this year as the world’s 451st-ranked player, barely a year after giving birth to her first child. She’s long been an amazing athlete, but her return has reminded people how great she’s been all along. She is a certified badass, and this week Chase and Droga5 have seized on that with an absolute banger of an idea. Don’t call it a comeback. Onward!
Chase “Mama Said Knock You Out”
What: A new ad from Chase for the U.S. Open in which Serena Williams makes an LL Cool J classic her own.
Who: Chase, Droga5
Why we care: The shifts between hushed mother-daughter moments and approaching the tennis court with quiet steel evokes the confident intensity behind one of the greatest athletes ever. Also, c’mon: “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
Land O’ Lakes “She-I-O”
What: The brand worked with country artist Maggie Rose to make her newest single and music video part of its “All Together Better” campaign, to raise awareness and celebrate female farmers ahead of Women’s Equality Day on August 26.
Who: Land O’ Lakes, The Martin Agency, Maggie Rose
Why we care: Butter and cheese are not product categories anyone would immediately link to pop culture. But here Land O’ Lakes managed to find a way to do so that doesn’t feel forced or superficial–and ties directly back to both its product and brand values. An impressive feat with a country twang.
JAT Holdings “Petal Paint”
What: Sri Lankan paint brand JAT Holdings took a centuries-old tradition of Buddhist temple art and the leaving of flowers at shrines to make its newest product line.
Who: JAT Holdings, Leo Burnett Sri Lanka/Toronto
Why we care: This new line of paint is made with the discarded flowers found at temples around Sri Lanka, and will soon be distributed to artists working on Temple Murals and marketed as an authentic way for people to paint their own household shrines. Product development aside, JAT Holdings found a unique way to tie brand story, product design, and packaging directly to a strong, cultural tradition.
AMC/Postmates “Los Pollos Hermanos”
The best ingredients. The spiciest spices. Definitely nothing illegal. That's the Los Pollos Hermanos promise. And starting Monday, you can get a mini-meal of their fried chicken & curly fries delivered for FREE in NYC and LA – only on Postmates, courtesy of @BetterCallSaul. pic.twitter.com/cn55PDJ9ni
— Postmates (@Postmates) August 18, 2018
What: To promote the new season of Better Call Saul, AMC teamed with Postmates to have IRL chicken delivery in New York from the fictional chicken chain.
Who: AMC, Postmates
Why we care: I’m a sucker for IRL cross-overs and this one is pretty damn cool. The chicken may not have been as good as the show, but AMC continues to push the boundaries of entertainment marketing efforts. If you couldn’t order some chicken for yourself, check out the training video for Madrigal Electromotive.
New York Public Library “Insta-novels”
What: The NYPL takes its mission to make literature accessible to its social media extreme by putting classics like Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in Instagram Stories.
Who: New York Public Library, Mother New York
Why we care: I’m not sure how many people are actually going to read all of Alice in Wonderland in Stories, but this is the kind of creative cross-platform experimentation that more brands should be doing.