Shuttershock Gets Strange…Imagines Stranger Things 3 with Only Stock Imagery

In preparation for the July 4 release of Netflix’s Stranger Things 3, Shutterstock has gotten in on the world of the Upside Down by releasing its own version made entirely of Shutterstock stock footage.

Via Adweek:

If you’re eagerly awaiting the July 4 debut of Stranger Things’ third season—dubbed Stranger Things 3—on Netflix, Shutterstock is hoping it can quench your thirst with a version of its own, made entirely from stock footage.

The stock-footage company’s new campaign, Strange Things, intended to parody the science-fiction horror aesthetic that’s made Stranger Things a pop-culture phenomenon and the recipient of dozens of awards nominations.

“Enjoy binge watching strange things?” the ad for Shutterstock reads as an ominous synth plays. “Well, you’re in luck. We have millions of strange things. Like 80’s things, shady things, upside down things—and even stranger things.”

Save for the iconic cast of the show, the video—made entirely from Shutterstock’s own assets—points to the breadth of the company’s stock-footage library.

It’s Game Time: Tracking the 2019 Super Bowl Ads

Image result for super bowl mercedes benz atlantaIt’s the week before the Big Game and some advertisers have already started rolling out sneak peeks and in some cases, full ads.

Up first, Stella Artois released their full ad on Monday, which features two memorable characters coming together to pitch the Belgian pilsner.  The unlikely duo of Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude were brought together for the beer brand’s Change Up the Usual campaign.

Lil Jon is tempting the fates of losing his “Atlanta” card by partnering with Pepsi in a trailer for the Big Game, which takes a mocking tone towards Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola and its Perfect Pour.  Standby for if Lil Jon will be invited back to his hometown after Sunday’s game in the ATL.

ASMR is a hot trend right now.  Pepsi is creating its interpretation using Cardi B and Michelob Ultra is leveraging Zoe Kravitz in its version of the kooky internet phenomenon.

Take a look at the rest of the ads and teasers here: Adweek

If you want to get in on live action, this year 3 Percent Conference is expanding on their Super Bowl Tweet Up, by rolling out locations in cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.  To find out more, go here: https://www.3percentmovement.com/tweetup

And if you want to vote for your favorites and not so favorites, you can visit USA Today’s Ad Meter to cast your vote! http://admeter.usatoday.com/ 

Why Its Hot:

Its the Super Bowl.  And at over $5M for a 30 second spot, this ad arena is not for the faint of heart, or the light in the wallet.  But overall trends here, will dictate the direction for brands and advertisers in 2019.  Agencies will need to quickly have POVs for the winners and the losers and how we can use those learnings to guide future creative requests.   Watch this space for a recap of the winners and the losers next week!

#Mute: Soon Spotify Will Let Users Block Problematic Artists

On January 3, an explosive documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly” was released on Lifetime. The six-part series resurfaced decades of abuse allegations against the popular R&B singer and within a weekend, the social media campaign #MuteRKelly was a top trending topic.

But as tweets and Op-Eds put pressure on R. Kelly’s music label to drop him and for police to investigate him, streams of the artist increased 116% after the doc aired.

Streaming services have been caught in the crossfire when problematic artists are allowed to still benefit financially from their art.  Spotify tried and failed to remove R. Kelly from the streaming platform back in 2018 when a Buzzfeed article leveled serious allegations against the singer.  The backlash was swift and Spotify was forced to re-instate Kelly’s catalogue when powerful artists like Kendrick Lamar rallied around the singer.

In the wake of a crop of new allegations and new investigations, what is the responsibility of a music streaming service when an artist becomes problematic?

Spotify’s solution this time, gives the ultimate veto power to its users.

Spotify is about to launch a feature within the app that will allow users to mute artists they don’t wan to hear on the platform.  The feature is currently being tested in the latest iOS version of the app.  The feature will allow a user to block an entire artist from playing.  That means content from a blocked artist will never play from a library, playlist, chart list or even a radio station.  Currently the block feature only works for content by an individual artist, but doesn’t apply to tracks that are collaborations that might feature that artist.

Read More: The Verge

Why Its Hot: In the social media age, a trending hashtag is all it takes to put pressure on brands and businesses.  And increasingly, brands are being asked to use their power to right wrongs, be that removing an ad from a controversial news program as in the case of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, or to remove controversial artists from their platforms.  This solution, if it takes off, may be a way for streaming services to side step having to take a public stand, but in the end give its users the final say over who they want to block…and #Mute.

Image result for lil yachty remote gif

The Best a Man Can Be: Gillette Shines Light on “Boys Will be Boys”

Proctor & Gamble has not been shy about using its voice to step in to political and cultural conversations.  In 2017, the CPG giant sparked some controversy with it’s award-winning spot, “The Talk” and its 2018 Winter Olympics “Thank You Mom” proudly advocated for love over bias.

This time, P&G’s Gillette brand took a stance on toxic masculinity, bullying and harassment in the age of “Me Too” with a spot questioning the “boys will be boys” excuse.  The spot was launched on the 30th anniversary of the razor brand’s famous tagline, “The Best a Man Can Get.”  In a tweet, Gillette asks, “Boys will be boys”? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at .

P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard spoke at the 2018 ADCOLOR conference on why he felt it was so important for P&G to continue to speak out on controversial topics and take a stand saying, “If not now, when?  If not us, who?”

Watch his full speech here.

Why Its Hot:

It all come down to the bottom line.  Consumers are demanding more from the brands they give their money to, and those brands that aren’t willing to take a stand are at risk of losing two generations of customers.  A 2018 Nielsen study found that 73 percent of millennials and 72 percent of Gen Z are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies dedicated to social and environmental change.  Additionally, 70 percent of Gen Z would actively engage with a brand that could help them make a difference.

Read more from AdWeek here.

 

 

 

Bada Bing! HBO Celebrates the Sopranos By Giving Brands Show-Inspired Nicknames

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking HBO show, the network decided to have a little fun and give brands who asked for them Sopranos-style nicknames only Tony could love.  

Image result for sopranos gifs

Via AdWeek:

HBO’s Twitter account today has been having a blast coming up with Sopranos-inspired nicknames for just about anyone who wants one, especially if it’s a brand or celeb with a decent-sized following.

Brainstormed in real-time by the in-house HBO Digital team alongside creatives from agency Engine, the nickname thread quickly became one of the most entertaining ways to spend your Thursday afternoon.

Obviously Wendy’s, queen of the Twitter cool kids, wanted in on the action:

 

A day on Twitter without Lin-Manuel Miranda is like a day without content, so clearly he needed to be a part of this moment—especially given his Sopranos cameo before Hamilton made him a household name.

Fresh off his stellar comeback via advertising, Macaulay Culkin got a perfect nickname from his Home Alone days:

You know what they say about Olive Garden. When you’re there, you’re…

Poor Jack Dorsey. He just wants to have some fun on his own platform, but even HBO can’t let him forget the global chorus of users asking for an “edit tweet” button. He seems to have taken it in stride, though, changing his display name to “Jackie No Edits.”

Personally, I probably laughed the hardest at this one for HBO’s own svp of digital and social, Sabrina Caluori:

 

Can you even call it an HBO party until Game of Thrones rides in on dragonback?

Why Its Hot: Brands playing with other brands in a cheeky continue to viral success.  Social media is about human interaction and tapping into emotions whether that be humor or outright snark (see Wendy’s).  If brands want to be on social media, they have to work to use the platforms like their consumers do.  Engaging other brands is an easy way to show a brand’s sense of humor…when done well.  HBO did a good job here, but when it comes to brands killing it on social media Wendy’s still holds the crown and no one is taking that away any time soon.

Choose Your Own Adventure Comes to Netflix’s Black Mirror

While everyone spent their Holiday breaks blindfolding themselves after watching “Bird Box” on Netflix against the advice of the streaming service, Netflix also rolled out an interactive standalone Black Mirror movie on Dec. 28.  The interactive movie allows viewers to choose the ending.

Image result for bandersnatch

Via NY Times:

“Black Mirror,” the speculative fiction series that encouraged people to be wary of new technology, is now hoping they will embrace it. The Netflix show released just one episode on Friday, a narrative titled “Bandersnatch” during which the viewer decides what will happen next.

It begins like this: Should the teenage video game whiz Stefan have Sugar Puffs or Frosties for breakfast? Soon the choices become more consequential. Will Stefan work at a game company, tell his therapist about his mother, take his meds? As so often on “Black Mirror,” reality is up for grabs.

Viewers are voting on more than who lives and dies on one program. If the response to “Bandersnatch” is enthusiastic, Netflix will take it as a strong signal that the public is ready for interactive movies and television shows, and a new age of storytelling will commence.

Not that the company needs much encouragement. It has already developed software to help organize stories that have endless permutations. It has perfected, or so it hopes, the technical ability to present these tales on multiple platforms around the world simultaneously. And it is calling for producers to submit interactive proposals in genres from horror to romantic comedy while hinting that it already has a few new shows in the works.

The idea behind the interactive push is simple: Viewers will care more if they are complicit.

“If bad things happen, you’ll feel even more crestfallen, because you were responsible,” said Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president for product. “If the character is victorious, you’ll feel even more uplifted because you made that choice.”

Source: NY Times, Read More Here.

Why It’s Hot: As more and more streaming services vie for the same pieces of the pie, services like Netflix and Hulu are constantly looking for ways to be the next most talked about show.  If “Black Mirror Bandersnatch” does well, interactive long form content may be the next big thing for entertainment, much like what “Avatar” did for 3D, and what Pokemon Go did for AR.

Stay Tuned.  The Future is Bright. 

‘Tis the Season for Cute Christmas Spots: Lonely Hedgehog Finds a Squad

It’s unclear what the connection to banking is, but the cuteness cannot be denied.

Via AdAge:

German banking group Erste worked with animators at Passion Pictures to bring to life adorable woodland creatures in this heart-tugging Christmas ad.

It’ tells the sad tale of a hedgehog who’s ostracized because of his spikes — nobody wants to sit next to him on the bus, play with him or even kick a football around as they always get in the way. Eventually, the other animals come up with an ingenious solution (although we’re not quite sure if it’s environmentally sound) and he finally gets to feel some holiday love.

Passion directors Kyra & Constantin worked with Jung von Matt/Donau on the film, bringing a tactile and “fuzzy” feel to the CGI characters.

While it’s doesn’t seem to have much to do with banking, it’s a charming story, and the tagline “believe in yourself” is one that everyone can appreciate at this time of year.

Source: AdAge

Why Its Hot: A good spot is a good spot.  Sometimes brands may not think their brand lends itself to emotional storytelling, but a good idea will draw people in introduce new people into the conversation. I think this spot will have a lot of people asking, “What is Erste?” this holiday season.

 

Burger King Trolls McDonalds, Gets 1 Million App Downloads.

The Art of the Troll. #Petty

Burger King got national attention this week for offering 1-cent Whoppers to those who drove up to a McDonald’s location (and then, presumably, drove away to redeem their BK coupons). Key to the stunt was the brand’s smartphone app, which unlocked the offer when it detected users approaching within 600 feet of a McDonald’s.

The “Whopper Detour” sent customers to a rival’s doorstep, and it worked, in terms of both publicity and app downloads.

Burger King today said its app was downloaded more than 1 million times since Whopper Detour launched on Tuesday, and the app is currently No. 1 among free software in the Apple App Store. That puts Burger King’s app, for now at least, above app giants like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Amazon.

(The McDonald’s app, in case you’re curious, is currently at No. 42.)

Why It’s Hot:

Brands trolling other brands has become a sure fire way to go viral, this uses brand trolling in conjunction with location based apps to drive people to a competitor and it worked to drive sales and app downloads.

 

Source: AdWeek https://www.adweek.com/creativity/after-trolling-mcdonalds-burger-kings-app-was-downloaded-1-million-times-and-hit-no-1/