Weird Al Stars in GSD&M’s Holiday Effort for Radio Shack

By Erik Oster 

In an attempt to boost holiday sales, GSD&M enlisted the services of one Weird Al Yankovic on behalf of the struggling Radio Shack.

The resurgent Yankovic, of course, just had the first number one album of his career with his fourteenth full-length, Mandatory Fun. Radioshack CMO Jennifer Warren cited Yankovic’s resurgent popularity and “cross generational appeal” in explaining the decision to enlist the King of Parody, telling MediaPost, “He’s had a resurgence, including a No. 1 album, and an appearance on the Grammies, as well as a recent tour of the talk shows.”

And, indeed, Yankovic has appeal from everyone from those introduced to the parodist in the eighties, to those of us who bought Bad Hair Day on compact dist in elementary school, to the kids just being introduced to him today through the music videos he released to promote the new album. But does GSD&M make it work?

Kind of. Yankovic’s quirky, nerdy charm is certainly on display in the ad, and Radio Shack could benefit from the association, but the spot stops short of fulfilling its comedic potential. When a customer asks if Radio Shack carries HeliQuads, Shack employee Yankovic bursts into song about how it is the perfect place for holidays toys for, boys, girls, and your cousin Bob who is 43 and lives at home. GSD&M worked from a script, collaborating with Yankovic from there, according to GSD&M President Marianne Malina. Given Yankovic’s distinct personality (which is what you got him for), it may have made more sense to just let him come up with his own ideas.

Interestingly, the ad will debut in cinemas, where viewers can use the Shazam app to download a longer version. The ad is part of GSD&M’s larger “Gift Smart” campaign as the agency continues to attempt to start conversations around the sinking Radio Shack brand. Recent efforts include the suggestive back-to-school campaign, which ruffled a few conservative feathers with its innuendo.

“Everything we’ve done together…is about getting buzz, and getting back into the conversation,” Warren told MediaPost.


Agency: GSD&M

Client: RadioShack

Title: Toyland Gift Smart

Launch Date: 11/7/2014

Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell

Group Creative Director: Scott BrewerRyan Carroll

Associate CD/AD: Ross Aboud

Associate CD/Writer: Kevin Dunleavy

Director of Production: Jack Epsteen

Sr. Producer: Alison Wagner

Director of Product Development: Rye Clifton

Business Affairs: Stephen Duncan

Account Leadership: Sabia SiddiqiLindsey MongrainElizabeth PerezNadia EliasEmily Charlton

Project Management: Sara RosalesRyan Gallagher

Experience and Insights: Klaudia Flanigin

Production Company: Prettybird

Director: Rami Hachache

Executive Producer: Ali Brown

Line Producer: Hilary Calhoun

Editorial Company: No. 6

Editor: Kyle Brown

Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone

Producer: Kendra Desai

Music: HUM