This week, the Adweek staff is highlighting Bel & Bel's Vespa-inspired desk chair, a smart grill and more goods that are perfect for Father's Day gifting.
Kingsford Charcoal cooks up some strawmen in this ad from DDB California mocking the high-tech features of today's newest gas grills, which it dismisses as the playthings of lonely cyberchefs. "The Social Grill" centers on the X4 Platinum, a fictional example of voice-activated, selfie-taking, photo-sharing patio gear. As the grill owner fumbles with the machine, his neighbor's guests look on judgmentally, despite the fact that lighting a grill with a smartphone app would actually be pretty cool. Making fun of neighbors who put too much stock in costly gadgets is a trusty old saw in the advertising world, but surely there's something Kingsford could have done to make its "heroes" a bit more likable? Maybe at least offer the guy a beer and a burger? Who's being antisocial now?
Of all the classic archetypes that fill American consumer culture, few are as universal as dad grilling in the backyard. Yes, we know: Humans have been cooking over fire for 500,000 years now. But everybody knows that the real story starts after WWII, when the definition of the good life was a suburban ranch house with a Chevrolet in the driveway and a patch of lawn out back.