It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports (Top 5)

This year ESPN and Wieden + Kennedy came out with their new campaign “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports”.  They feature ads for all the major sports and even some team specific commercials. I’m a sports fan, but these ads take the love of the game to a whole new, hilarious level.  All of the ads are great, but these are my personal top 5 from the campaign.

1. Michael Jordan

If you’ve ever wondering what would happen if someone else was named Michael Jordan – wonder no further. And yes, he’s the exact opposite of the real slam-dunking Michael Jordan.

2. Ole Miss Searches for It’s New Mascot

I wasn’t aware Ole Miss retired their mascot in 2003, but it happened and they needed an on-field replacement. As the Rebels, they only had one place to look – the Rebel Leader himself – Admiral Ackbar (from Star Wars). Unfortunately, Ackbar was unavailable because he was fighting evil forces in another galaxy.

3. Shake On It

Betting on sports can be fun, but it’s not so fun when you’re the one losing.  Trust me, I’m generally losing handshake bets with my dad. This ad shows the crazy bets that you are glad you didn’t lose.

4. Jumbotron Marriage Proposal

What’s more romantic than getting proposed to on the Jumbotron at a Detroit Tigers game? Well, maybe the guy spilling beer on you after you say, “Sure”.

5. Roll Tide

When’s the appropriate time to say Roll Tide? Well, according to this commercial, anytime you can fit it in a sentence. I’m pretty ambivalent to ‘Bama, but I desperately want this to be saying Roll Tad (Go Buffs?)

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Drew Brees joins a boy band

Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints, joined fellow NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers in showing up in commercials this fall.  Aaron Rodgers has been a staple in the “discount double check” ads for State Farm, which are pretty funny if you haven’t seen them.

The latest commercial for Pepsi features the popular U.K boy-band One Direction as they face off against Drew Brees for the last Pepsi.  Pepsi always draws huge celebrities for their commercials and cashing in on a boy band can’t be a bad move.  I think it’s pretty smart, also a little strange, for Pepsi to target the biggest tween idols (who have very vocal support on Twitter) and a football crowd.

The Pepsi ad features two endings: One ending is with Drew Brees getting to be in the band and the other where the guys suit up as football players.  My personal favorite is the ending with Drew Brees being in the band:

While the original ads are funny, Pepsi filmed some additional footage to show a “Behind the Scenes” of the new One Direction once Drew Brees joined and by the looks of it, Brees really loves it and the guys of One Direction think he “a bit monotone and he takes up too much space”.

Check out the behind the scenes here:

Bottom line: Drew Brees probably won’t be selling out any concert venues anytime soon and he should probably stick to throwing touchdowns, but him joining a British boy band is pretty funny.

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Samsung’s Next Big Thing: “I could never get a Samsung, I’m creative” “Dude you’re a barista”

In light of Apple’s event yesterday which announced several new products, I thought I would post Samsung commercials that are competitively positioned at Apple.

Yesterday, Apple announced a few new products (new iPad and iPad mini) and refreshes to other product lines including the MacBook Pros. Samsung and Apple have been fighting each other for a while, especially legally.  While I’m a definite Apple user, I think the Samsung ads pointedly making fun of Apple users are so funny.  “The Next Big Thing Is Already Here” is a campaign that Samsung has been running since the Super Bowl.  Samsung and their agency 72 & Sunny position these perfectly before Apple has an event launching their new or refreshed products.

Here is the original “The Next Big Thing Is Already Here” ad from the Super Bowl:

The line that absolutely makes this commercial? “I could never get a Samsung, I’m creative” “Dude you’re a barista”.  Spot on for targeting a large typical user group of Apple products.

Here a more recent commercial that was shown before Apple’s latest event:

My favorite part is that the “Dude, you’re a barista” guy from the Super Bowl commercial is back, but he’s waiting in line with his Samsung Galaxy phone.  Turns out, he’s saving a spot in line for his parents.  I love this – it’s showing that Apple products used to be cool and now they’re “so cool” your parents want to get them.  The mom even says, “This is the line I stand in for apps?” Shout out to all the not-so-tech-savvy parents out there.

I don’t really think that this is going to convert many (if any?) Apple users, it might have some effect on people who aren’t so brand loyal and are looking to upgrade especially around times that new Apple products are being released.

Bottom line: Samsung’s characterization of Apple’s loyal following are hilarious, but I’m not really sure how big of an impact it really has on purchasing Samsung products.

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Ragu – For those tough childhood moments

I’m not sure I’ve ever vividly remembered a pasta sauce ad, ever.  This Ragu ad makes an impression and one that you won’t forget.

The ad is about 5 months old and has over a million views on YouTube, so I would deem that fairly popular.  It’s definitely not the new Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber video, but why would someone take the time to re-watch a pasta sauce commercial? It’s that awkwardly funny.

This ad has definitely been the breakout of the campaign.  Other ads feature a girl whose cursive teacher doesn’t even use cursive and a sister who has to share her toys.  Not a high impact and have had a lackluster response as a result.

Ragu and their agency (Barton F. Graf 9000) tried their luck again by using the kids from the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video that went viral on YouTube a couple of years ago, but it seems a lot less cohesive.  Charlie and his brother, Harry, are re-watching their video on YouTube and then it switches to a guy opening a bottle of Ragu.  They use the same tagline that they did in the previous video “A long day of childhood calls for America’s favorite pasta sauce”, but it has less impact than the ad where the kid walks in on his parents in the bedroom.  

Charlie Bit My Finger (Ragu Style):

And in case you don’t remember it, the original Charlie Bit My Finger video:

Also the country songs in the background of these ads definitely remind me of those Budweiser radio commercials “Real Men of Genius”.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just search for it on YouTube, they were pretty funny.

Bottom line: Charlie Bit My Finger was funny, but the execution of the newest Ragu ad was lacking.  But Ragu earned big points for  their first ad in the campaign.

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Throwback Thursday: “Hi, I’m a Mac” “And I’m a PC”

Over the course of four years and 66 commercials, Apple and TBWA created the “Get A Mac” campaign. Four years and 66 commercials?! That’s unheard of for a campaign and I highly doubt something like that could be created again. What made these commercials so great was the characteristics of PC and Mac: PC was old, stuffy, business like, and a little clumsy.  Mac, of course, was the complete opposite: cool, collected, and confident.

This was the very first ad of the “Get A Mac” campaign (circa 2006):

And this was the very last ad in the campaign (circa 2009)

I really enjoy how they created completely different scenarios for the Mac vs. PC and made the commercials “feature and benefit” centric without showing the product.

AdWeek put together a collection of all 66 ads in the campaign here.

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Pocket Like It’s Hot

Some brands have catchy jingles…Hot Pockets has Snoop Dogg. Hot Pockets teamed up with the rapper in this bizarre 3-minute “music video” for the microwavable sandwiches.  Snoop Dogg remixed his 2004 song “Drop It Like It’s Hot” to be, yes you guessed it, “Pocket Like It’s Hot”.

If you like the prospect about being rapped to for 3 minutes about the delights of Hot Pockets, check out the video below:

This ad made me literally groan out loud and to some point it’s almost funny how terrible it is. Maybe Hot Pockets wants to target a younger demographic that likes Snoop Dogg, but clearly I’m not who they’re targeting. Surprising, a lot of people so far have “liked” the video on YouTube, but if you read this and like this ad for more than it’s sheer ridiculousness, let me know!

In case you didn’t catch all lyrical “gems”:

Checkin’ applications for the Hot Pockets fan club
Pepperoni pizza, much better than some fish eggs
The interior too hot let it cool off for a few secs
I’m running for the taste, that can be my phys ed
Chompin Hot Pockets, that’s how you get ahizzead
Winners get the meaty meats,
Winners get da cheesy eats

Bottom line: Ugh. Please never do this again. I’m looking at you Hot Pockets and Snoop Dogg.

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Snickers’ Horseless Headsman

Before you watch Snickers’ newest Halloween themed ad, take a second and think: Of course you’ve heard of the Headless Horseman, but what exactly is the Horseless Headsman? Pondered enough?

Check it out:

Snickers has been producing consistently great juxtaposed commercials like a cranky Betty White playing football or the diva Aretha Franklin on a road trip, but what makes this ad great is the sheer creativity and cleverness.  Who would ever think of switching up a classic Halloween legend to be something that is humorous yet consistent with Snickers’ brand image? I like that Snickers’ has kept a consistent tagline of “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry”.  It fits perfectly within this ad as the Horseless Headsman is confused because he’s hungry.

Snickers’ has also timed this ad to be a great reminder for people about to do their Halloween candy shopping. It’s memorable and entertaining enough to keep the brand top-of-mind while people peruse the candy aisle. As an added bonus, Snickers’ has gotten a jump on their competitor Reese’s as Reese’s has yet to come out with their Halloween ad for the year.

Bottom line: The horseless headsman in all his ridiculousness is still making me laugh.

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Chanel No. 5’s newest spokesman

Brad Pitt. Once People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, but as the first male spokesperson for the ever-feminine perfume Chanel No. 5? It’s just awkward and confusing.

Take a look at the newest Chanel No. 5 commercial:

Sure, Chanel is a global brand with a pretty high awareness level so Brad Pitt didn’t need to make much sense, but it certainly didn’t make me want to run to my nearest department store to pick up a bottle.  Why? Well, to quote a YouTube commenter, it felt more like an SNL parody than a highly touted “film” that Chanel is positioning it as.

Bottom line: Not impressive. For $7 million, I think Chanel could have done much better.

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