This month: Snoop Dogg and T-Pain treat themselves to fast food fare, Ted Danson and a gaggle of former boy banders entice elder generations and Jennifer Lopez gets AI-ed.
The top 5 celebrity brand collabs you need to know about right now
Snoop Dogg continues to appear in so much advertising that he may someday warrant an Ad Age Top 5 list devoted just to him. In classic weed-innuendo form, the rapper partnered with Jack in the Box for the fast food industry’s latest celebrity meal. Snoop’s Munchie Meal—an overflowing box containing a spicy chicken sandwich, brownie, taco, curly fries and a drink—was meant to celebrate the chain’s 10th anniversary of offering a late-night menu as well as five years since Snoop’s first Munchie Meal.
A spot for the partnership parodies Snoop’s ad prolificness by seemingly opening on the set of his Corona spots, which aired as recently as May. As the Jack in the Box mascot presents the elements of the Munchie Meal partnership, Snoop nonchalantly responds to each. “I’ve been known to get the munchies from time to time,” he says as the spherically-headed humanoid slides the meal toward him. “What up Miatch,” he responds to the fast food creature offering Snoop his own intern, named Mitch. And when presented with his own globular helmet, “Oh no, I’m not wearing that.” Perhaps Jack in the Box’s mascot is less trip-friendly than its food.
Ted Danson’s storied career as a comedic actor in popular sitcoms and films may make him an ideal brand spokesperson, but Consumer Cellular tapped the “Cheers” lead for another reason altogether: his age. A recent campaign from the wireless company sought to solve the issue of underrepresentation for people 55 and older in media with a handful of spots featuring the 75-year-old Danson narrating fantastical versions of common scenarios for the demographic.
For example, a couple who fled chilly winter regions for retirement in the toasty south march onto a pickleball court like assassins in an action movie to face off against another older couple with a fiery ball. Danson's smooth vocals document the interaction with a poetic cadence, noting the couple’s cross-country move was made possible due to a cheaper phone plan.
T-Pain momentarily became “Fros-T-Pain” when he partnered with Wendy’s to promote the chain’s frozen Frosty dessert. A spin on his popular tune “Buy U a Drank,” T-Pain’s branded rendition “Buy U a Frosty” is equal parts incredibly catching and extremely silly.
The song is mostly the same as the original version, with a few suggestive remarks removed. The main differences lie in the line “Imma buy you a drink” becoming “Imma buy you a Frosty” and “We in the bed like ooh ooh” becoming “We taking bites like ooh ooh.” The accompanying music video is delightful. It shows the rapper, clad in pink, hanging out and chowing down on Wendy’s treats with customers.
Who wouldn’t want to be Jennifer Lopez? The singer and actress exudes glamor, luxury and effortless perfection. Well, apparently the crew of Virgin Voyages really wants to be Jennifer Lopez in a spot that merges the star’s universal appeal with emerging AI technology.
The hilarious spot finds Lopez at the mercy of Virgin Voyages crewmembers donning a headset and motion-tracking gear, forcing what we’re led to believe is an AI replica of the songstress to promote the cruise line. One captain of the faux JLo delivers the lines a little too flirtatiously and gets the boot, but the next overcompensates by being robotic. The next impersonator is mesmerized by her Lopez-ification, and the final crewmember sums up Virgin’s benefits by saying, “There’s no kids here, that’s all you need to know.”
Passengers-to-be can log onto the campaign’s site to create a custom invitation to their cruise celebration by taking a quiz (guided by recordings of Lopez) that will compile various clips based on selected interests. While a fun touch, perhaps AI still has a ways to go before a bot can actually generate a greeting in the form of JLo.
Agency: Deloitte Digital
Perhaps the most impressive act of brand stuntery came to us by the unlikely hands of CSAA Insurance Group. The provider of services such as AAA auto and home insurance united boy band stars of decades past to form the ultimate musical act to send teens squealing—well, ‘90s teens who are now adults. Boys No More is comprised of Joey Fatone from NSYNC, Nick Lachey from 98 Degrees, Joey McIntyre of New Kids On The Block and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men.
And yes, the band is creating actual music. “Make It Right,” a tune about correcting the many grievances that one might seek insurance for, is a spot-on tune that perfectly emulates the boy band era and is actually very listenable. The jam was written, produced, recorded, arranged and mixed by Heavy Duty Projects and the accompanying music video (brimming with matching outfits and synchronized dancing) was made by Calmatic, the director of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” music video.
The campaign also took replicable choreography and a karaoke version to social media, and the band’s tour bus went on a North American tour last month. Here’s hoping Boys No More drops a follow-up hit (or at least puts the first on Spotify).