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Um, Did Pop Secret Just Make the Worst Commercial of the Year? It's like a sad, seizure-inducing nightclub for corn

You can almost picture the marketing meeting that led to this ad.

"OK, we need to get millennials to like our popcorn. What are they into? What kind of ad would Miley make? You think we can get the popcorn to twerk?" All while making air-quotes for an entire meeting and gesturing to a PowerPoint slide with the words "NO BUDGET" written on it.

The plan, obviously, was to have a cool EDM track playing over the DIY-style video vibe of an extended brand Vine that takes place in a microwave—er, MicroRave (GET IT??)—in what looks like a Brooklyn back alley.

The result instead was 60 seconds of insufferable club music and an ad that seems to have been helmed by a stoned high school sophomore with a GoPro. The slow motion. The butter-grease-sweat. The weird and sad queue of kernels waiting to get in.

You'd think the "secret" in Pop Secret was ecstasy in every bag. Possibly they blew all their marketing dough on these computer-animated spots from 2010?

You be the judge. And seriously, consider this your photosensitive epilepsy trigger warning.

Miley would have done this so much better. 

Via Ads of the World.

July 10, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

Colorless Coca-Cola Can Is Lovely, and Might Be Good for the World, Too Spec project by Ryan Harc ditches the red

Most spec redesigns of classic brand logos aren't that great, so I cringed when I saw that someone was putting a new spin on Coca-Cola cans. Turns out I underestimated Ryan Harc, whose colorless can with a convex logo pressed right into the aluminum is pretty snazzy.

This apparently might be more eco-friendly than painting the cans, as it could reduce energy use and pollution in both the production and recycling processes. Plus, it looks like it was dispensed from a vending machine in The Bourne Identity, which is a good thing.

Not that Coke is going to ditch its iconic red anytime soon, of course.

Via PSFK.

July 10, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Japan Is Selling Zoo Jeans, Fashionably Ripped by Lions, Tigers and Bears Charity project is pretty wild

Fashion designers can be temperamental beasts, but this is ridiculous.

Supporters seeking to raise funds to renovate the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan, have launched a brand billed as "the only jeans on earth designed by dangerous animals." Sheets of material are attached to tires and big rubber balls that are tossed into enclosures with lions, tigers and bears, which use their teeth and claws to give a whole new meaning to the phrase "distressed denim." That torn, chewed-up fabric is then used to create fashionably tattered Zoo Jeans.

Mithun Romandani, a men's buyer at swanky London department store Selfridges, told The Guardian that he was unimpressed with the results because "the rips are too sporadic" and they "don't look natural." Hey dude, tell that to the lions. (I wouldn't be so quick to give a bad review to an artiste that can sever your spine with a single chomp.)

Check out the video below, with the gnawing and the clawing and such. It's got more bite than Levi's new campaign, that's for sure.

Via (appropriately enough) Devour.

July 10, 2014, 7:55 AM EDT

German Radio Station Sums Up the Destruction of Brazil in This Simple 9-Second Ad Adding more insult to injury

Just when we thought we'd seen enough reaction to Germany's shellacking of Brazil in Tuesday's World Cup match, here is German radio station Radio Bayern 3 with a concise metaphorical translation. Um, cheers?

Via Digg.

July 9, 2014, 12:43 PM EDT

Even If You Hate Greenpeace and Love Lego, You Have to Admire This Gorgeous Attack Ad With Shell around, everything is not awesome

Greenpeace takes a page from Chipotle's marketing playbook—haunting animation plus a distressing cover of a well-known song—in its continuing assault on Lego for partnering with Shell on a set of Shell-branded Lego products.

Attacking a beloved brand like Lego isn't easy. But if you're going to do it, you need to do it right. And this spot, showing a Lego version of the Arctic drowning in a sea of oil, is incredibly well made by creative agency Don't Panic—which, you'll remember, also did the memorable Save the Children ad that brought the Syrian war to London.

The visuals in the Greenpeace spot are beautiful, and the ethereal cover of "Everything Is Awesome," from The Lego Movie, is the perfectly ironic backdrop. Yes, it is angering people (check out the YouTube comments if you're looking for a grand old time), but Greenpeace is rarely interested in making friends as it pursues its enemies.

You can debate whether Lego was right to partner with Shell—here is Greenpeace's point of view, and here is Lego's reply to the attack ad. But as a pure PR play, "Everything Is NOT Awesome" (which has topped 1 million views since Tuesday) is itself pretty awesome.

July 9, 2014, 11:38 AM EDT

Neutrogena Warns Men Not to Wash Their Junk and Their Face With the Same Soap Yes, it's called Junkface

Neutrogena is very concerned about "Junkface," which is apparently what happens when a man washes his Downtown Manville and then his face with the same bar of soap. Naturally, the brand suggests its own Men's Face Wash as a solution to this problem.

This Canadian campaign from DDB Toronto assumes that men start low and move up in the shower, but what if they wash their face first? Even if we assume Junkface is a real thing and not another pseudo-problem invented so a product can then solve it, the concept is pretty easily undone.

The Junkface website has its moments, though. The importance of keeping owls away from your mating parts cannot be overemphasized.

And if you do buy Neutrogena products to fight Junkface, be sure to also invest in the True Clean Towel—the only towel that keeps you from drying your face with your testicles.

July 9, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT

Thailand Does It Again With an Ad That Will Leave You Bawling Like This Baby Grab some tissues and your phone charger

We've all been there, as a father, family member or designated baby holder. Mom hands off her bundle of joy to you as she grabs four minutes of alone time in the Applebee's bathroom. Now it's you and Junior. Alone. And he just. Starts. BAWLING.

There's nothing like the sound of a weeping baby to whip you into a state of panic. And you want nothing more than to find Mommy. But if Mommy's gone, and you're in Thailand, you grab your DTAC cellphone in a frantic effort to distract the child with soothing technology.

Let's just say it doesn't quite work out as planned.

This new DTAC ad, from Y&R, is the latest in a spree of sob-fest spots from Thailand in recent years. (Man, they're good at this stuff.) The premise is debatable—show me a living human infant who is actually immune to cartoon penguins—but the sentiment is a sweet one, and parents with vague underlying guilt about the smartphone as babysitter will relate.

Plus, it's refreshing to see a tech ad where the gadget most certainly doesn't save the day. Not every tech marketer would be OK with that.

Check out the spot below. Spoiler: Dad doesn't eat the baby.

July 9, 2014, 9:07 AM EDT

8 New England Agencies Had 72 Hours Each to Brand a Startup. Here's the Winning Entry Mmm, cake in a can

facebook.com/officialspraycake

The Ad Club, the advertising trade organization of New England, recently held its first "Brand-a-thon" contest for creative agencies to come up with branding campaigns for area startups in just three days.

Eight shops competed on behalf of nine startups. (Hill Holliday worked on two.) Third place and a check for $500 went to Forge Worldwide for its work on eyewear-on-wheels startup Project 2020. In second place, earning $1,000, was Allen & Gerritsen, which teamed with Supplet, an organic products subscription service for new moms.

The night's big winner was Nail Communications in Providence, R.I., which took home $2,500 and bragging rights for its work on Spray Cake, a product invented by a pair of Harvard students that "makes warm, fresh and delicious cake as easy as a whipped cream-style can of our batter, a pan, and an oven or microwave."

That cash prize seems like a fair payout for a couple of all-nighters—even if Spray Cake, which won an innovation contest at Harvard and could be on store shelves by the end of the summer, isn't the future of dessert.

Check out Nail's Spray Cake video below.

July 8, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

Old Geezers Battle Young Whippersnappers at Basketball in Centrum's Short Film Guess who doesn't keel over

Sometimes experience proves more powerful than youth. That's certainly true in this new long-form spot for Pfizer's Centrum from Leo Burnett in Chicago, which pairs middle-aged basketball players against a group of twentysomething guys.

We won't spoil what happens, but you can probably guess.



Yep, it's not surprising that in a film made for a multivitamin, we'd see the older gents have still got game. Though that doesn't make it any less entertaining to watch the young punks get schooled.

The film was shot in Goat Park in Harlem, New York, and has already garnered half a million views online. Maybe the appeal of watching real people play basketball has something to do with it. Or maybe we're a bit sick of the soccer.

Credits below.

Click to Read More →

July 8, 2014, 2:12 PM EDT

BMW Goes for a Spin on the World's Most Insane Racetrack: An Aircraft Carrier Probably fake, but the feeling is real

It's one thing to drive at breakneck speeds around a barren salt flat or abandoned airport, but the pucker factor goes up a few notches when you're teetering on the edge of an aircraft carrier.

In BMW's questionably real "Ultimate Racetrack" ad for the BMW M4, we see the typical anonymous, black-gloved stunt driver fishtailing and drifting around a course built on what looks like the redesigned deck of an aircraft carrier.

Several YouTube commenters believe it's fake, and Jalopnik points out some pretty compelling reasons to be dubious, such as the inconvenient fact that aircraft carriers don't have rounded edges. We've reached out to Cundari, BMW's agency in Canada, and will update with more information if we hear back.

[UPDATE: Andrew Simon, chief creative officer at Cundari, tells Adweek: "We know there is debate and we encourage that. One thing that is for sure is that the M4's dynamic performance on the Ultimate Racetrack is thrilling viewers all around the world and for that, we're thrilled!"]

In any case, it sure doesn't feel fake when you're watching the car cut around those edges and risk a drop into the ocean. 

If nothing else, the ad highlights the fact that the only three differences between one high-adrenaline car ad and all the others like it: location, location, location.

July 8, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.

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