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Top 5 ads of the week: Nike’s still running, Ikea makes a sequel

KFC explains the tranquility of deep-frying, Google wants you to do more than just browse, and an incredibly powerful domestic abuse PSA sends a strong message.

Top 5 ads of the week: Nike’s still running, Ikea makes a sequel

It’s rare that a sequel can match the sheer excitement, surprise, and emotional impact of a popular original. For every Godfather Part 2, Aliens, or The Empire Strikes Back, there are a dozen like Teen Wolf 2, Taken 2, and Speed 2. This applies to advertising as well. The second Old Spice guy spot just couldn’t hit the same high note as his first “Hello ladies . . . ” And as charming as Dos Equis’ The Most Interesting Man was, the schtick was clear after our introduction. Brands that can find a way to keep us entertained with the same style or device–like Old Spice and Dos Equis, and Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry” marathon–are truly impressive. Which brings us to Ikea.

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Back in 2002, Spike Jonze directed one of the best ads of the 21st century in “Lamp.” It was simple, unexpected, quirky, and hilarious. Now, 16 years later, the brand comes back with a sequel that, while not quite equal to the original, adds a fun new twist without committing total heresy. Which is all we can ask, really. Onward!

Ikea “Lamp 2”

What: A 2018 sequel to a legendary 2002 ad.

Who: Ikea Canada, Rethink Canada

Why we care: A fun update to a classic spot that nicely encourages us to reuse and repair over tossing in the trash.

Nike “Just Do It: Caster Semenya”

What: Nike’s third spot in the new “Just Do It” campaign.

Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

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Why we care: After last week, you may have expected Nike to lay low or ride out the Kaepernick wave for a bit longer. But the brand dropped another pretty epic spot, featuring another controversial athlete. Semenya of course is much lesser known in America than Kaepernick, but the South African distance runner has sparked her fair share of debate. Here the brand utilizes her story and voice to show once again it’s not shy about taking a side.

KFC UK/Ireland “KFChill”

What: An unexpectedly relaxing pitch for the tranquil qualities of deep-frying chicken.

Who: KFC UK/Ireland, Mother London

Why we care: Look, I love the ever-changing Colonel gag as much as the next chicken-loving chucklehead, but the work coming out of the U.K. and Mother London has been just as good, if more subtle, at embodying the entirely goofy personality the brand has been churning out in recent years. Witness their sheer genius (and award-winning) response to a full-on PR crisis last year. And y’know what? The sound of rain and deep-frying chicken are incredibly similar and intoxicating.

Google Chrome “Don’t Be A Browser”

What: A new Chrome ad in which the browser doesn’t want you to be . . . a browser.

Who: Google, Virtue Worldwide

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Why we care: The spot cleverly uses the browser window (much like early Pixel ads used the search box shape) as a window into real life, and the tasks of everyday to convey fun and excitement, and most of all that tune (“Din Daa Daa” by George Kranz) to expertly tie it all together.

Women’s Aid “Unedited”

What: A new ad that shows there’s too often more than one victim in a house with domestic abuse.

Who: Women’s Aid, WCRS London

Why we care: It’s stark, painful, and unflinching–all key ingredients to a powerful PSA.

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About the author

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

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