Mercedes-Benz – Invisible
Not all publicity stunts are created equal. Often times, attempts at organic press coverage confuse potential customers more than lure them, usually because the marketer’s message is lost in the mess of the stunt. Whether Mercedes’ invisible car will help sell the brand’s new fuel-cell, electric vehicle is yet to be seen, but the message is decidedly effective. Their point? The new fuel-cell vehicle from Mercedes leaves no trace, has no impact on the environment and is therefore invisible as far as the planet is concerned. Granted, there are some gaping holes in their logic, but covering the car in camera-equipped LED lights so as to mask it in the image of its surroundings is nevertheless a memorable message speaking to sustainability as well as modernity. The German automaker spent a week around the country engaging the public in this mobile message and since Saturday the ad has already tracked over a million views.
The Guardian – Three Little Pigs
You’ve got a British news source that has been in publication since the 19th century. You’ve got a fable as old as time itself. And then you’ve got this week’s brilliant viral advert combining the two into something entirely new. For years now The Guardian, like many other standard print publications, has been reporting earnings losses, so it thrills us to see them taking this creative, incredibly effective approach illustrating the evolution of news and their role in the news of the future. In the ad, The Guardian reports, online and in print, the murder of the Big Bad Wolf. Social media allows citizens to chime in on the case with opinions, observations and even new information and the story changes before our eyes from three innocent pigs defending themselves to a foreclosure scandal in which the wolf was framed. Coverage combined with national debate spark citizen dissent and riots, all the while the ever-present news source is involved and informative, engaging its readers to be a part of the news and see all sides of the story. It appears that perhaps we’ve been hearing the story of the three little pigs from a less-than reliable source.
Kia Optima – Dunkology
Will Ferrell and the team behind Funny or Die have been bottling up their viral magic and selling it like hot cakes to brands like K-Swiss, Denny’s and Pepsi. The site is becoming a major player in creating one of the few forms of marketing anyone cares about anymore: viral advertisements. With this week’s Dunkology ad and subsequent interview (is that a two-for-one price, FOD?) Kia joined the list of viral brands on the web’s top comedy source. Jeff Goldblum is obviously someone to trust, especially when wearing a lab coat (sometimes I think Jeff Goldblum was born in a lab coat) and since he is now an expert in “dunkology,” it makes perfect sense that basketball star Blake Griffin would take part in a stunt where a Kia drives over his head (sort of) to dunk a basketball. Dunkology 101. The ad is funny, but the post-stunt interview with comedian Wyatt Cenac is hilarious. Links to Funny Or Die below:
Kia Optima Dunk
Carl’s Jr – Drive-In
Okay … Let’s see … What is there to say about the new Carl’s Jr. ad featuring Kate Upton? You see this photo here? It’s even hotter than that. It has something to do with a spicy burger. Yeah, that’s it. There’s a burger and there’s some jalapeños and it’s so spicy that this year’s Sports Illustrated cover model gets all sweaty (in the attractive way, of course, not the real-life way) and writhes around in her convertible while eliciting stares at the drive-in. She takes clothes off, we watch over and over. I thought videos of this nature weren’t allowed on YouTube, but Carl’s Jr. must have found a loophole. Sexiest. Burger. Ever.
Bamboo Sushi – The Story of Sushi
‘The Story of Sushi’ is an artisan advertisement. Part PSA, part self-promotion, this tale about the state of the world’s fishing industry took 7 months to create and produce. Feature length Hollywood films are done in less. The miniatures were all crafted by hand specifically for this advertisement for Portland’s Bamboo Sushi. Nothing gets the slow-food message across like a painstaking production process. We saw a similar throw-back approach with the stop-action video ‘The Joy of Books’ from Toronto’s Type bookstore, romanticizing our connection to pages and stories, and they too received lots of attention (not to mention 3 million views) for their heartwarming viral ad. ‘The Story of Sushi,’ however, is less heartwarming than it is alarming and informative. It is an attempt to wake consumers up from eating in ignorance and consider the source of their seafood. The problem is, few of us know anything about how the fish we eat was caught, but that is also why this restaurant’s message works so well. Because at the very least, we now know that we should care, that Bamboo Sushi cares and that their tables can be trusted. The time spent on this production was absolutely worth it. We wouldn’t be surprised to find ‘The Story of Sushi on next year’s TED compilation of Ads Worth Spreading.