The favorite way for most brands to connect in the Super Bowl is humor. Here's when it works best.
Alfred Maskeroni is director of video for Adweek.
Alfred Maskeroni is the director of video at Adweek. He is also a photographer and contributor to Adweek and its creative blog, AdFreak. He enjoys brands, infomercials and the work of Alan Smithee.
When trying to get the necessary dank-meme-millennial vote, you have to pull out all the stops. And you may not know it yet, but the perfect conduit to that vote is a moustachioed celebrity who may or may not be stoned at all times. Thus, the obvious choice is, ahem, Professor James Franco.
It's a tragic day, as one of the most gifted musicians of the modern era has passed. Despite his moniker, Prince, who died Thursday at 57, was a king among men and will live on only through memory and the hours of powerful and provocative music he left behind. Brands, as they usually do, tried to join the conversation about Prince online with mostly purple-clad homages. That's challenging in the best of times—and doubly hard when the conversation is mostly one giant outpouring of grief. Not every brand managed it well. As of this writing, at least two brands have had second thoughts about their posts and deleted them outright. Many others remain up, though some are clearly in questionable taste—mostly because they feel overly self-promotional.
Parting is such sweet sorrow when it comes to one of the most iconic brand spokesmen ever. Yes, Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World is leaving us—he's headed on a one-way flight to Mars. So, what better way for him to celebrate leaving Earth than giving away all of his earthly possessions? With help from Havas Worldwide, the Heineken brand presents a geniusly prop-styled and photographed smattering of knick-knacks in "The Coveted Collection." You can enter to win this stuff, including a round-trip flight to Mexico and the chance to live in a "17th-century domicile [that] was once a royal pied-à-terre, a pirate hideout and most importantly, the former hacienda of the Most Interesting Man." Below is a gallery of some of the better items, complete with some of the best copywriting in the business, that help weave together the rich tapestry that is our beloved hero.
Virtual reality experiences have started to take over popular culture—if you want to be somewhere you can't be, well, there's a VR headset for that. But a virtual beer? Is that a thing? Anheuser-Busch is making a compelling case.
There is no shortage of immersive activations at South by Southwest this year, but none can boast an experience that literally stays with fans for the rest of their lives, like the Warner Bros. Suicide Squad activation.
Have you ever been eating your favorite snacks and thought, "Boy, I sure wish this thing I'm eating was INSIDE this other thing I'm eating, like Dexter-meets-flippin'-Frankenstein!"?
You probably already knew this, but there's an essential vitamin that promotes bone growth. It's called Vitamin D. Up in Canada, Yukon's Health and Human Services wanted to spread this information with ads promoting the vitamin's benefits. The wording of the headlines was unfortunate, though, as lines like "How do you do the D?" and "Need a little help... with your daily D?" betray a lack of awareness about what "the D" means in slang.