Good Riddance to Office Holiday Parties: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, how creatives are fueling the Georgia Senate race

The sculptures will soon be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Miller Lite
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Why Is Miller Lite’s Ad About Holiday Parties So Unnerving? Because No One in It Is Real

In a new campaign, Miller Lite celebrates the best gift of 2020: The comforting lack of awkward holiday office parties. But this party is even more unnerving and surreal than usual—because its scenes, apparently frozen in the midst of workplace revelry, are created using statues instead of real actors. The brand and agency DDB worked with artist and photographer Alex Prager to create the video, which includes 15 lifelike sculptures reenacting typical party moments.

Enter the uncanny valley: Prager says it explores “the line between reality and artifice.”

How 3 Sports Leagues Leaned Into Brand Purpose More Than Ever This Year

The Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit wrapped up yesterday with a forward-thinking batch of sessions with some of the most innovative minds in the industry. The event carried a familiar tune that we’ve heard throughout 2020—that it’s the year of brand purpose. In one particularly powerful session Thursday, Nascar’s Jill Gregory, MLS’ JoAnn Neale and NLL’s Jessica Berman had a frank and compelling discussion about the future of sports and the reason that their “unique ability and power to effect social change” will make all the difference.

Discover key insights from these three leagues. 

Also at the Summit: 

More Than 850 Creatives Are Coming Together to Help Democrats Win Georgia’s Senate Races

With two Senate seats still up for grabs in Georgia—which will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate—a group of industry professionals have joined the fray. Creatives for Georgia is composed of more than 850 designers, video editors and web developers whose goal is to produce a massive line of digital content in support of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidates in the races. They’ll coordinate with the campaigns, activist groups and party organizations to align the messaging and creative. 

Applying ad savvy to the challenge: The scale of this creative movement is unprecedented.

The Era of Gap’s Mass Appeal Is Over—But Specialization Could Bring the Brand Back

As the already dying American mall is dealt further blows by pandemic challenges, fashion titan Gap is suffering from a loss of identity. The retailer has suffered sharp declines this year—a 43% drop in Q1—and announced plans to close 350 stores. Within three years, 80% of Gap stores will be outside of malls. Part of the problem, too, is that Gap’s customers no longer have a clear sense of what it is and who it’s for because it ventured too far into the promotional.

Leaning into legacy: But there’s hope for the retailer if it can continue to zero in on the key distinctive factors that made consumers fall in love in the first place.

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@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.