burger king’s “ai” TV campaign…

Burger King revealed several new TV spots that say they were “created by artificial intelligence”.

Via AdAge – “The brand’s statement claims that BK “decided to use high-end computing resources and big data to train an artificial neural network with advanced pattern recognition capabilities by analyzing thousands of fast-food commercials and competitive reports from industry research.” Burger King goes so far as to say that more than 300 commercials were created and tested in focus groups and says the ads will be the first ones created by an A.I. to air on national TV.”

But in reality, Burger King says it’s actually work done by real creatives, mocking the excitement around technology like AI.

According to BK, “we need to avoid getting lost in the sea of technology innovation and buzzwords and forget what really matters. And that’s the idea,” Marcelo Pascoa, Burger King’s global head of brand marketing, tells Ad Age in an emailed statement complete with the word “idea” in all caps. “Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a great creative idea coming from a real person.”

Why it’s hot:

Is Burger King right here?

The spots they have created feel they could have been generated by even some primitive artificial intelligence. Japan’s “AI Creative Director” was more than a year ago, and its work was actually not far off from what you’d expect from a real creative. There seems to be a point missing here that AI is not meant to replace people, but to help people. Attempting to make a joke about the enthusiasm around technology, it seems Burger King might have actually shown us a glimpse at advertising’s future.


kia’s anti-commercial, commercial…

Knowing that no one likes to watch commercials, Kia in Europe created the anti-commercial, commercial. Buying the last spot of each commercial break, it’s 30-second ad consisted entirely of a countdown to when your programming would come back on, alongside the message “always brake in time thanks to the autonomous emergency brake system”. It was both an ad for its latest innovation, and a functional instruction that helped people know when to hit play again.

Why it’s hot:

First, they used the very traditional TV medium in an outside-the-box way. Rather than fighting a behavior, Kia brilliantly used it not just as a brand advertisement, but an opportunity to promote a specific innovation of its car. Plus, they didn’t just promote the car, they also helped people – so even if the Niro isn’t for you, you may remember Kia just by what it did.

Bonus – Google is working on Waze for the Subway. So, that’s cool too.


Scrabble Tells a Delightful Love Story Entirely in Anagrams

When it comes to telling a brand story through anagrams, Lola Madrid’s new Scrabble spot tops them all.

The ad presents the stories of Agostina and Santiago. Though they’ve never met, anagrams link almost every aspect of their lives. She’s a “cab driver,” he’s a “crab diver.” She frets about being “forever alone,” while his life seems as dull as “a veneer floor.”

“The idea of using anagrams was a way to salute the intelligence of avid Scrabble players, but by using a love story, the spot became universal,” Lola executive creative director Pancho Cassis tells Adweek. “This communication was aimed at opening up to a broader audience, specifically younger players and non-players who spend a lot of time online but are seeking out offline experiences.”

Millennial word nerds will surely enjoy the ride and share the ad with friends.

Source: AdWeek

Why It’s Hot

We always talk about how to tell stories, even for the most emotion-less products. This clever approach is both cute and lovey, and spot on for the target audience. I find it inspiring!

Dollar Shave Club Takes to TV in a Big Way With New Campaign

Dollar Shave Club made its name largely on viral video and heavy Facebook advertising. But it’s about to take to TV in a much bigger way with a campaign breaking this week from the director behind spots for big spenders such as Geico and Dos Equis.

Chalk at least some of that up to success. Founder and CEO Michael Dubin said the upstart subscription razor brand finished October with 1.1 million active subscribers, $7.2 million in monthly sales and what the company estimates as a 10% volume share of U.S. cartridges.

“It’s no secret that advertising on television is a great tool in building your brand,” Mr. Dubin said. “Some of the messages we wanted to communicate felt really right for television.”

Three-year old DSC has been a major disruptor in the razor market, increasing sales and grabbing share while others faulter. In the retail market tracked by Nielsen, razor blade unit sales are off by 11% for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 25, according to Deutsche Bank

Like all DSC’s efforts to date, the four new 30-second ads rely on trenchant humor and focus on the high cost and inconvenience of store-bought blades. Hapless customers trying to buy razors in a store are alternately Tased, felled by a tranquilizer dart, punched in the legs or forced to strip nearly naked, either to get into locked razor cases or pay for what they find there.

Source: AdAge


Why It’s Hot

Dollar Shave Club is a fun brand to watch — they took the ecommerce space by storm with a super focused offering, an entertaining and quirky brand voice and a vision to own a very specific market. They’ve been pretty “underground” up until this point in terms of marketing, it’s interesting to see a brand like this break into TV. It shows: (1) TV spots can still be modern and relevant and (2) brands can find success in social advertising and use that to expand reach through other media.

Brita Attacks Big Soda With Sugar Cube City Ad

Beverage companies are required to label how much sugar is in each can, but that doesn’t mean people understand how quickly these numbers add up. The Brita water filtration brand decided to clarify that for us. In a new advertising campaign, Brita dramatizes the sugar in sodas by building a city made entirely of sugar cubes. The new 30-second spot shows an intricate skyline, complete with skyscrapers, parks, and bridges, meant to symbolize the lifetime sugar consumption of a person who drinks one soda a day – a shocking 221,314 cubes.

Why It’s Hot?

The campaign is Brita’s ongoing efforts to remind people that water is the easiest and healthiest beverage around.
“Clean, refreshing Brita.” The brand also created a “sugar cube city” in New York’s Chelsea Market made from nearly 7,000 pounds of sugar, an equivalent of 1 million sugar cubes. That exhibit represents the adult lifetime sugar consumption from soda for a family of four, according to Brita. The marketing event will be used to generate content for a social-media campaign scheduled to run throughout 2015. Brita has formed a partnership with the alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation that works to reduce childhood obesity and encourage healthy habits in children.

The TV ad is from Omnicom’s DDB, which handles the brand from its San Francisco and New York offices. Interpublic’s Jack Morton agency is producing the New York sugar cube event, while IPG’s Current Lifestyle Marketing is handling PR and content strategy. The campaign follows a Brita ad from earlier this year called “Cola Rain” that showed pedestrians being pelted by soda cans.

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Hits a Rough Patch

The brand’s latest “Campaign for Real Beauty” video, in which women are tricked into believing they’re wearing pharmaceutical patches that will make them feel more beautiful, is raising the ire of commentators in social and conventional media. Critics expressed outrage — saying that the study was much more about Dove branding than women’s self-esteem. Unilever, however, sees big viewership numbers and overwhelmingly positive social-media sentiment.

With 4.5 million views on YouTube alone over two days and 15 million globally via all channels by Unilever’s count — the “Patches” video from Ogilvy & Mather Brasil, Sao Paulo, is off to one of the strongest starts ever in the 10-year-old “Campaign for Real Beauty.”

Even beyond the outrage machine of social media, those critiques may have left an unsightly mark. “We see an initial down-trending with women for Dove on their buzz score,” said a spokesman for YouGov, which tracks brand sentiment in online surveys of 4,500 panelists daily. “It’s not dramatic at this point,” he added. “But so far, it’s definitely distinct.”  Yet social-media monitoring service Infegy, in an analysis done for Advertising Age, found the broader social-media sentiment toward “Patches” 91% favorable and only 9% negative among the 49% of 2,181 Twitter and Facebook posts that expressed sentiment during the first two days of the campaign. That’s similar to the 92%-positive sentiment Unilever found in its social-media tracking globally from more than 20,000 comments tracked by Radian6/Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said a spokeswoman from Dove’s PR firm, Edelman.


In the “Patches” video, women are portrayed as going from seeing no difference to feeling more confident about their looks, then laughing or crying as they discover the patch had no real ingredients. None are shown getting angry. “All the women who participated in the social experiment feel that it was an extremely positive experience that has empowered them to be far more confident about their beauty, inside and out,” said Steve Miles, Unilever’s senior VP-Dove, in a statement.

He said Dove created the “Patches” video “to intentionally provoke a debate about women’s relationship with beauty” given that 80% of women feel anxious about how they look and only 4% consider themselves beautiful

Why it’s hot:

Is this thinly-veiled capitalism from Dove or more evidence that women are easily tricked especially in the subject of beauty without consequences?  Or is this a lesson of true beauty from within and that inner confidence radiates outward?  No matter which side you’re on, this heated debate continues today (even after 10 years).

Taco Bell Launches Breakfast on All Fronts

Yesterday, March 27th, Taco Bell launched it’s breakfast menu. The fast food chain’s promotional strategy was deployed through TV, radio ads, in-store point-of-purchase and earned and paid social media and guerrilla tactics.

The TV spots central to the campaign are a blatant poke at McDonald’s, the biggest player in breakfast by a wide margin. Taco Bell located a bunch of actual Ronald McDonalds and got them to proclaim their love for the breakfast menu in the spots.

Over the last week, Taco Bell has sent 1,000 prepaid disposable phones to TB enthusiasts to go on “brand missions,” asking them to post photos on Instagram or tweet posts related to Taco Bell and get rewarded various breakfast-related gifts. In addition, Taco Bell bought its first Instagram Ad to support their #WakeUpLiveMas campaign pushing breakfast.

Taco Bell is also utilized Vine and Snapchat messaging for the breakfast effort, highlighting the brand’s view of these emerging platforms as more than passing fads. The quick-serve player is running Pandora ads as well, while leveraging its branded station on the digital music streaming service. Additionally, Taco Bell president Brian Niccol held a Reddit question-and-answer session on the day of launch to chat with consumers about the breakfast menu.

Why so many different tactical approaches to promotion of the new breakfast menu? Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt states “Our target is millennials…You have to talk to them where they are. Certainly, our TV spots are very important—but we like to call it ‘the power of the and.’ So it’s not just television anymore given where consumers are engaging, in social and mobile. Therefore, those things are a big part of our campaign.”

Read more here.

TV Spot


Why It’s Hot

Taco Bell demonstrates how there’s no “one size fits all” for marketing campaigns anymore. Different audiences engage and interact with messaging on different channels, so communications plans need to be multifaceted to be effective. Traditional media types are table stakes and brands need to be tuned into their audiences to create platform-tailored and unique strategies for success.