Samuel L. Jackson & Jewish Council for Education and Research Super-PAC | “Wake the Fuck Up”
Does one ever tire of listening to Samuel L. Jackson swear? I’m not sure it’s possible. Well, good news folks! After showing off his quieter, gazpacho-cooking side in his iPhone commercial, Mr. Jackson is back to his old grumpy self. And just in time for the election.
It’s ironic that a year after Jackson narrated the children’s book “Go the Fuck to Sleep” he is now encouraging people across the country to do just the opposite in the new pro-Obama ad, “Wake the Fuck Up”. WTFU is the story of Little Susie, a politically conscious 8-year old girl, who must convince her family the importance of campaigning for the upcoming election. Four years ago Susie’s family was riding high on the Obama Hope wave but this time around they are less than enthused. Lucky for Susie, she has the motivational skills of Samuel L. Jackson on her side. Speaking in true story-book rhyming scheme Samuel L. encourages everyone, from siblings to horny grandparents, to “Wake the Fuck Up!” And he’s a very hard man to say no to…
Febelfin | “Mindreader”
Of the course of the past few years branded viral video campaigns have evolved to the point where one can loosely classify them by “genre”. Three major categories come to mind. First are the short narratives, like this one from Perrier, that borrow a distinct cinematic aesthetic from filmmaking. In the “stunt” genre (a strategy trail blazed by Red Bull) the audience is treated to a death defying extreme sport or activity that only minutely involves the sponsored product. Finally there is the “prank” genre where average, unsuspecting folk are confronted with a peculiar or unnerving situation in a public space. Although “prank” ads are designed and promoted as nothing more than a branded observational documentary, sometimes the situations and reactions appear too contrived to have taken place unscripted. Like reality TV before it, these advertisements beg the question: “Is this real or staged?”
That is certainly something to consider when watching this spot from Belgian financial group Febelfin. Here’s the set-up: inside a white tent in Brussels, passersbys have been invited to take part in an upcoming TV show starring a clairvoyant named Dave. The New Agey Dave first appears to be an authentic medium- he uses his powers to ascertain all sorts of personal information from his guests, including detailed financial information. So how does he do it? In true dramatic fashion, a curtains is ripped down, revealing a team of ski-masked techies who have (supposedly) gathered all this information online. The Febelfin logo appears, encourages us to be vigilant, and practice safe online banking. The victims look genuinely surprised by the stunt- but the execution is almost too good to be true. Then again, truth is stranger than fiction.
iPhone 5 Glued to the Ground | iPhone5NL
It’s that time of the year again! That’s right folks – flu season is here. But fear not! I’m not here to warn thee of the diseases and ailments caused by swine or deranged bovine. I speak instead of the iPhone fever that now grips the country.
It is true that the phone has received a lukewarm reception from critics but this hasn’t deterred millions of Americans from helping Apple set record profits. Rival Samsung has done a great job poking fun of the hype surrounding the iPhone in their latest commercial. And Apple has released a slew of advertising for the latest incarnation, ranging from inspirational to cheesy. But my favorite ad for the phone comes from Dutch website iPhone5.nl. If the name didn’t tip you off already, these folks whole business is selling iPhone 5’s, specifically in the Netherlands. And you’ll never guess what they did with the first one they got their hands on…
They super glued it to the ground! A fantastic idea really, taking something that so many people covet and rendering it completely useless for a laugh. And unlike the Febelfin ad, this spot has a low-fi production value that lends to its authenticity. It is interesting to compare the two advertisements: both follow the criteria of the “prank” genre, but one has a large corporate budget while the other has a guerilla, D-I-Y feel to it.
Ironically, I found myself wishing some of the reactions were more extreme. I guess the Dutch don’t go ga-ga over iPhones the way us Yanks do. Maybe they’ve been inoculated with an iPhone flu shot. Makes sense, given their health care system.