After an inexplicable quiet period, we have a resurgence of giant ears in advertising, thanks to this incredibly silly McKinney campaign for Sennheiser's Urbanite headphones.
A scraggly-bearded guy with a German accent (the brand's from Germany) who calls himself "the Urbanite" dons a headphone costume and gets romantic with … a giant ear.
"Unt no pleasure is verboten," he explains in a 90-second introductory spot that shows tender caresses, a sensual oil massage and a candlelit bath. The "Let your ears be loved" tagline and the salient product benefit—that Urbanite headphones lovingly pamper your ears, providing an incredibly enjoyable listening experience—resonate with crystal clarity.
Giant ears skateboard through a park and hang out in bars in a second video promoting a New York City scavenger hunt. Our smitten hero finds them "erotish." (Thankfully, he doesn't whip out the giant swab.) Through this Sunday, folks who find one of 1,000 golden ears secreted around town will receive free headphones.
The self-consciously wacky approach is designed to get away from technical descriptions and focus on real-world benefits to appeal to millennials, client exec Stefanie Reichert tells MediaPost. It recalls ESPN Radio's hideously overgrown anthropomorphic ear from a few years back, and follows closely behind this exceedingly abnormal spot for Normal's 3-D printed earphones.
In Sennheiser's spots, the theatrical black backgrounds and minimal props enhance the inspired lunacy. Amusingly daft and highly sharable, the work speaks volumes about the brand proposition, and I hope we'll hear more from the Urbanite soon.