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Ad of the Day: Scrabble

Meet the personalities behind the tiles in Pereira & O'Dell's global brand spots

Gimme a P! Gimme a Q! Gimme a blank square!

What's that spell?

Nothing. It spells nothing at all. You're useless. If you had an I, you could spell "quip," but that's it. And you don't. You have to sit there and miss a turn while everybody else spells words with X's and J's that you swear aren't in the dictionary. You just sit there, hating your letters.

Did you ever think about how that makes them feel?

P, predictably, seems pretty nice, although she does say "I'm P!" at the end in a way that makes my inner 6-year-old giggle, the way he used to when asked to spell "icup." Q, unsurprisingly, has low self-esteem, but the spot featuring the little guy is a great boon to pedants like myself, who are forever telling their siblings (who are all getting a link to this blog post, believe you me) that "qi" is so a word.

Easily the best of these 30-second spots is "Blank," which makes everyone's favorite square out to be a huge Donald Trump-level jackass, owner of everything everywhere and the life of all the parties. That's totally what he'd be like, amirite?

San Francisco's Pereira & O'Dell got the Mattel games account earlier this year. (Though Hasbro markets the game in the U.S., Mattel does so abroad. These branding spots will break this month in France, Latin America, Spain, Germany and Mexico.) The agency has been doing good things for the kids market—notably some really, really fun stop-motion spots for Lego's DC Super Heroes line—and it's interesting to see them give wildly different personalities to the each Scrabble letter's advertisement. You have to dig a little bit to find the humor in the P ad (unless you're 6, of course), making it probably the weakest of the bunch. But the running theme of letter-people making interesting words mostly by accident is a nice way to realize the brand's aspirational, we-promise-your-family-won't-end-up-arguing-this-time strategy.

For a real challenge, let's see what Mayfair Games can come up with to promote my family's notorious fight-starter, Settlers of Catan. Proposed tagline: "The murder should look like a robbery."







CREDITS
Client: Mattel
Vice President, Games Marketing: Nick Karamanos
Global Marketing Director: Elizabeth Grampp
Senior Marketing Manager: Rebecca Cottrell 
Marketing Manager: David Schwartz
Associate Marketing Manager: Blake Knight
 
Agency: Pereira & O'Dell
Chief Creative Officer: P.J. Pereira
Executive Creative Director: Jaime Robinson
Creative Directors: Aricio Fortes, Paulo Coelho
Art Director: Keli Linehan
Copywriter: Charlie Wolff
Executive Producer: Jeff Ferro
Producer: Monica Wilkins
Director of Client Services: Gary Theut
Account Director: Henry Arlander
 
Production Company: Biscuit
Director: Jeff Low
Executive Producer: Shawn Lacy
Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
Line Producer: Mary Beth Jenner
Director of Photography: Igor Jadue-Lillo
 
Editorial Company: Umlaut
Editor: Inome Callahan
Assistant Editors: Jaime Kruse, Peter Geiger, Michael Pavloni
Executive Producer: Gina Locurcio
 
Graphics: Laundry
 
Music: Tonic
Track: Original Track

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