Burger King Fights Bullying

In their latest ad, Burger King speaks out against bullying in an effort to bring awareness to National Bullying Month which takes place in October.

The ad documents a real-life social experiment where they hired teenage actors who were supposed to portray bullies, picking on their target in public. Burger King set up hidden cameras to capture real-life customers’ reactions to the teens bullying their “friend”. The customers that were shown during this phase of the commercial look shocked, but don’t speak up. They continue to enjoy their meals as the teen is getting bullied and picked on by his peers.

Next, they showed what it looks like to “bully” a Whopper Jr. They had their cooks “punch” the Whopper, wrap it up and serve it to customers. Each customer with a burger that came out sub-par, brought their smashed burger to the cashier’s attention. The cashier responds, “is your burger bullied” – the customers were thrown off guard, not understanding the context of what was happening.

They flash two statistics onto the screen; “90% of customers reported the bullied Whopper Jr,” while only “12% of customers stood up to the High School Jr. being bullied.” The ad demonstrates that bystanders to bullying find it easier to not get involved, than to stick up for the person who is being bullied.

As the ad concludes, two different customers are shown as “heroes” as they go up to the teen who is being bullied, and set his peers straight. One goes as far as to give his testament as to why he decided to stick up for the kid being bullied, noting that he has been in his position before. The last image to appear on the screen says, “Help stop bullying at nobully.org”

Why Its Hot:
Burger King wins with this one, as far as social-purpose advertising goes. Not only do they stand up for a cause that needs to spoken up for much more from large brands, they do it well. The end user feels as though they are getting something from watching this ad, and the timeline of the events hooks them on to watch until the end.

Google Express Just Upped Their Game

A few years ago, the idea that Target and Walmart would publicly chat about having the same strategy would have seemed odd—the retail titans are notoriously tight-lipped about their tactics, particularly when it comes to giving the other intel on what they’re doing.

But as Amazon’s dominance continues to grow, stealing shoppers away from brands’ ecommerce sites, an intriguing partnership today with Google offers a look at how retailers could be more willing to put their differences aside and work together to fend off Amazon’s encroaching competition. While Google said that it will keep the two partnerships separate from a data-sharing perspective, the deals show how major retailers are willing to back the same initiatives for the sake of shaking off Amazon.

“These partnerships aren’t about voice—they’re really more symbolic of the fact that major retailers are willing to partner with Google in the fight against Amazon,” said Cooper Smith, director of Amazon research at L2. “Brands and retailers need to scale their audiences in order to compete against Amazon online, and Google can offer them that. We’re in the beginning stages of what eventually could be a legitimate alternative to Amazon.”

Today Target announced that it’s making its inventory available on Google Express, the shopping service that also counts Costco, Kohl’s and Walgreens as clients. Consumers will also be able to ask Google Assistant, which is plugged into its Google Home devices, to order products.

By next year, shoppers that use Target’s credit card to purchase items will save 5 percent on orders from Google Express. The retailer also plans to build out a capability that allows consumers to link their Target.com accounts to Google to receive personalized product recommendations.

In August, Walmart announced a similar voice deal with Google that allows consumers to purchase “hundreds of thousands of items” by linking a website account to Google Assistant. Over time, Google’s technology can remember which products, sizes and flavors someone regularly buys to make check out a bit faster.

Now, Walmart and Target will somewhat compete on terms—or keywords—that consumers order from Google. For example, if someone asks Google Home to order detergent and they shop from Target more frequently than Walmart, Google will surface product recommendations from Target.

“This is clearly a chain reaction to the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM. “Google’s expertise founded around search gives them a profound understanding of consumer intent—they probably know more about what people are specifically searching for than any other company. Finding ways to bridge that with what Walmart or Target understands around satisfying demand seems like a potentially powerful partnership.”

Source: AdWeek

Why It’s Hot
I guess it truly is Amazon against the world… Who would have thought that two major competitors would ever join forces, let alone allow their products to be sold on the same platform. Target joins Walmart as one of the major retailers on Google’s e-Commerce store, Google Express, that allows shoppers to access a variety of products all in one place, ala-Amazon. Both retail giants will have their products on the website, where shoppers can shop right from their Google Home devices. This is sure to be an interesting battle going forward, as Google has more access to an unlimited amount of data surrounding keywords and how users shop than any other company.

How SeaWorld Made the Most-Liked Ad

SeaWorld’s image sank a few years back in the wake of the controversial Blackfish documentary. That film probed the death of whale trainer Dawn Brancheau, killed by an orca at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010, and condemned keeping such creatures in captivity.

Today, however, the marine life park is turning the tide, on the marketing front at least. It just topped Ace Metrix’s quarterly survey of “Top Breakthrough Ads” with the 90-second spot below, created by Charleston, S.C., agency Push Digital. Ace defines its Top Breakthrough Ads as the ones with the highest combination of “Attention” and “Likeability” scores in its methodology.

Whoa, that pouty porpoise and sweet-faced seal are so gosh-darned adorbs, SeaWorld must be the greatest place on earth. Right?

While there’s nothing revolutionary about the ad or its creative approach, those cuddly rescued animals and feel-good vibes did really resonate with viewers.

In fact, according to Ace Metrix, the SeaWorld spot “ranks as the single highest-rated travel ad” in the research group’s database, which dates back to 2010. “Viewers were moved by the powerful message, which was reinforced by beautiful visuals,” Ace says in a post published with the rankings. “After dealing with a tarnished reputation in recent years, SeaWorld successfully demonstrated to most viewers that they are committed to making a positive impact on this planet.”

Michael Rentiers, president of brands and advocacy at Push Digital, says that his shop—well-versed in crisis communications and political campaigns—chose to create inclusive content that emphasizes SeaWorld’s broader mission beyond its tarnished reputation as an entertainment venue.

“Our goal was to cut through the clutter and to present SeaWorld in a new light, with a larger mission that every SeaWorld guest contributes to,” he tells Adweek. “We wanted people to see that SeaWorld is a premier destination that is a force for good in the world. We absolutely feel like we are accomplishing our goal. A good political approach is about moving people to take action. We took a creative and emotional approach to a direct message: ‘Together, we can save the oceans and ocean animals, and have fun doing it.’”

Adds agency CEO Wesley Donehue: “We just need to get the truth out there and show that SeaWorld is spending a ton of money making the world a better place.”

Source: AdWeek

Why It’s Hot

It’s a little ironic that one of the most publicly-disliked brands has created the Most-Liked Ad. Although SeaWorld’s brand image and credibility may have been tarnished in recent years – this article serves as a good example as to how brands can still revitalize their reputation and hone in on their message. By showcasing all of the “good” that SeaWorld is doing in a documentary-style way, they have almost silenced their naysayers (for now). Instead of focusing on keeping marine animals in captivity, they are trying to change their brand perception and show that they are actually rehabilitating and “saving” these species.