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Top 5 Ads Of The Week: AT&T knows when OK just isn’t enough

McDonald’s embraces the hangover, Wealthsimple targets today, Apple gets colorful, and Equinox gets arty.

Top 5 Ads Of The Week: AT&T knows when OK just isn’t enough

There’s a reason not a lot of people Google “cheapest child car seat.” Obviously price is always a consideration, but there are just some things that you don’t really want to find via the bargain basement. In its new campaign, AT&T is using this insight to suggest your mobile network sits alongside sushi, surgery, and tattoos on the list of such things. Not sure that phone contract is on par with that appendix operation or your dolphin tattoo, but it gets the point across. Onward!

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AT&T “OK Surgeon”

What: A new AT&T campaign about the limits of mediocrity.

Who: AT&T, BBDO

Why we care: A true insight, expressed in a clear, entertaining way. Sometimes it’s as simple as that, and it leads to ads that don’t feel like a complete and utter waste of time. This campaign, narrated by Lena Waithe–including “OK Tattoo Parlor,” “OK Babysitter,” and “OK Sushi“–is a perfect example of delivering classic, funny TV commercials that won’t make people hate your brand for interrupting the game.

Apple “Color Flood”

What: A new iPhone XR ad that gets conceptual with screen display.

Who: Apple

Why we care: Soooooomeone’s been watching old Sony ads. Apple serves up a beautiful ode to its retina display, courtesy of what appears to be the company’s parkour dance team. That or security footage of its factory workers at quitting time. Either way, it’s mesmerizing. Much in the same way Sony mesmerized us with bunnies and bouncing balls more than a decade ago.

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Wealthsimple “Tomorrow Begins Today”

What: A new spot from the financial planning startup that focuses on the effect planning can have on important life moments.

Who: Wealthsimple, The Blaze (directors Jonathan and Guillaume Alric)

Why we care: From the start, Wealthsimple has aimed to to come across as “a company run for and by smart, sensible” people. This new spot, directed by award-winning duo The Blaze, directly taps into that humanity with its attention to detail and subtleties of emotion. Not exactly something we’re used to getting from financial brands.

Equinox “It’s not fitness. It’s life.”

What: An arty new campaign from Equinox that goes beyond the gym.

Who: Equinox

Why we care: It’s not exactly original for a fitness brand to launch a campaign at the New Year, when culture is awash in healthy resolutions. But here Equinox keeps the artful vibe it’s had for years, and sets itself up nicely for the expected launch of brand extensions beyond the gym, like its hotel and business retreat programs. Plus, with a tone more pep talk than guilt trip, it maaaay just inspire people enough not to hit snooze that second time.

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McDonald’s “The Day After”

What: A New Year’s Day acknowledgement from the Golden Arches.

Who: McDonald’s New Zealand, DDB Auckland

Why we care: Over the last decade, smart brands have realized that they can’t entirely dictate their place in culture. The importance of knowing how people are using and talking about your brand for real cannot be overestimated. And so here we are with McDonald’s embracing the world’s long-time tradition of fighting a hangover with its conveniently cheap, tasty, and gloriously greasy options. We all know there’s no salad in that bag.

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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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