Ad of the Day: Kingsford Charcoal

Grill a nice meal, and avoid having an all-around wretched Mother's Day

It's not really grilling season yet. But Kingsford Charcoal wants to push the traditional beginning of summer up a few weeks—to Mother's Day.

The spot below, from DDB San Francisco, paints a gloomy portrait of the traditional Mother's Day experience—i.e., getting dressed up in awful clothes, then fighting traffic to get to a restaurant where you eat food you don't like. Most of the spot has a father talking wearily to his son, giving him a play by play of the drudgery to come. But soon, Mom herself shows up, and she's just as sullen about the miserable chore ahead. Isn't there a better way?

Apparently, it involves grilling—with Kingsford Charcoal, of course. "Make her Mother's Day meal special by making it yourself," says the copy at the end, followed by an amended tagline: "Slow down and grill. For mom."

It's a quirky spot indeed for Mother's Day, casting a bit of a curmudgeonly pall on the weekend. It also, of course, falls into the trap of inventing a problem that doesn't really exist, so the product can swoop in and be the hero. (Is eating at Mom's favorite restaurant really that horrible?) Still, the father's performance is amusing, and the spot might well stand out amid the holiday's traditionally lovey-dovey spots.

If you do choose to grill, and the kid wants to help out, he might have to keep that uncomfortable sweater on. It isn't quite summer yet—it's chilly out there.


Client: The Clorox Company

Product: Kingsford Charcoal

Title: "Sweater"

VP of Marketing: Suzanne Sengelmann

Agency: DDB, San Francisco

Chief Creative Officer: Lisa Bennett

Director of Production: Frank Brooks

Group Creative Director: Mike Andrews

Art Director: Mike Andrews

Copywriter: Daniel Mabe

Agency Senior Producer: Rob Lee

Group Account Director: Vicki Sanders

Account Director: Lindsey Lucero

Production Company: Licorice Tree

Director: Mike Andrews/Daniel Mabe

Producer: Anton Laines

Editorial: Union Editorial      

Editor: Nicholas Wayman Harris

VFX/Online: Resolution

Sound Design and Audio Mixing:  Union

Sound Designer: Milos

Director of Photography: Richard Henkels