Looking back at 2017, it’s clear there has been a massive shift in what is perceived as the norm.
The racist, nationalist, capitalist and patriarchal society we have been consumed with for way too long has come to the forefront of conversation and, with a little help from social media, has been the topic of many conversations, debates, protests and even adverts.
Prepare to ball your eyes out at a few of them:
Procter & Gamble “The Talk”
P&G and BBDO delivered one of corporate America’s most evocative statements on race with this two-minute spot, in which black parents through the years are seen having “the talk” with their children about the difficulties and dangers of growing up black in the U.S.P&G and BBDO delivered one of corporate America’s most evocative statements on race with this two-minute spot, in which black parents through the years are seen having “the talk” with their children about the difficulties and dangers of growing up black in the U.S.
The attention to detail is remarkable, the acting sublime, and the emotions—from fear to pride—come through crystal clear.
P&G framed the ad not as a political statement but as a reflection of real life. These are, after all, conversations black families have been having for generations. Still, the goal was to expand the talk about bias beyond the black community, and inspire a world with equal voices, equal representation and equal opportunity for success.
In the feels:
Heinz “Pass the Heinz”
One of the 10 best ads of 2017 was created in 1968—at least, fictionally speaking.
That year, within the world of AMC’s Mad Men, Don Draper presented a campaign for Heinz ketchup that didn’t show the product at all—just close-up images of food practically begging for ketchup. “Pass the Heinz,” said the headline. This audacious idea to sell something through its absence came a full 25 years before Jeff Goodby dreamed up “Got Milk?”
Heinz rejected Don’s ads on the show, but David Miami convinced the client to run them exactly as Draper had envisioned them—a meta exercise in defictionalization [sic] which, though the ads were 50 years old, couldn’t have felt more fresh and modern.
Thanks, Mad Men:
Apple ‘Face ID’
The ad takes us through various stages of a man’s beard, and implies that he can continue to open his iPhone X through each stage.
There’s one word that comes to mind to describe all three of these ads, and that’s “cool.” The music is a rolling hip-hop beat that one might hear in a night club. The shots are crisp, clean, and against dark backgrounds, and they feature young people looking smug and satisfied. In watching these ads, the iPhone X seems to have the same allure as an expensive night club: hip and super exclusive.
You’re beautiful, friend:
Look at that tech in action:
We know all about the iPhone X, because Seth happened to get one from Digicape and now he won’t stop talking about it.
At least his review is pretty damn funny.
How’s this for advanced technology – the screen won’t unlock if your eyes are closed, but will unlock if you’re wearing sunnies and your eyes are open.
Unless you have reflective lenses on, because cut them some slack.
Anyway you can be also be a cool kid and grab your iPhone X HERE. Then you and Seth can compare notes and we can catch a break
Alright, moving on to Burger King…
Burger King “Bullying Jr.”
David Miami also had an incredible year on Burger King, including the Cannes Grand Prix-winning “Google Home of the Whopper” and “Burning Stores” campaigns. But it was “Bullying Jr.” that felt most broadly effective—a hidden-camera experiment that made a surprisingly poignant statement about bullying.
Perfectly on brand, with the product at the core, the spot was expertly crafted (by “Evan” director Henry-Alex Rubin) and cleverly called out not the bullies but the bystanders—showing the simple steps that can put a stop to bullying in the moment.
After the viral video that has been everywhere this week, this is particularly relevant:
On April 28, the rapper Logic unveiled one of the most creative and culture-embedded PSAs ever made—his song “1-800-273-8255,” named for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number and created in partnership with the federal government initiative.
The results were staggering. On the day of the release, the lifeline received over 4,573 calls, it second-highest daily volume ever at the time—and a 27 percent increase from the usual volume. Logic performed the song on Aug. 27 at the MTV Video Music Awards; the next day, the line received 5,041 calls.
The NSPL website saw a monthly boost of 100,000 visits, from an average of 300,000 up to 400,000, in the two months after the song’s release. Google searches for the phone number doubled immediately after April 28, and they remain consistently 25 percent above the previous average today.
Reach out – help is available:
Told you they were deep.
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