This week: Year-end ideas that kept us chuckling, a stealthy condiment-meets-gaming move and more.
The top 5 creative campaigns you need to know about right now
5. Vizzy: Holi-delay Drinks
Agency: Rethink New York
Travel during the holiday season sucks. But hard seltzer Vizzy is helping to soften the blow with this promotion for the most hellish flying days. From Dec. 21 to 23, travelers delayed at the airport are invited to upload their flight info to the campaign’s site for a chance to win $8 toward a can of Vizzy. A pop-up at the Denver International Airport will also be passing out free Vizzy samples directly to the delayed.
4. Hotels.com: Not-So-Silent-Night Challenge
Agency: ICF Next
There was so much to laugh about this past week (as you’ll see when you scroll down the list), but the premise alone of this one made us totally lose our eggnog. Travel platform Hotels.com is challenging brave lodgers to endure 24 non-stop hours of holiday music at a suite in The Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. Consumers can apply to take part in the experience on a special site, and if they can survive the bells and carols marathon, they’ll score 25 hotel nights on their Hotels.com rewards account. As our reporter Parker Herren described it, it’s “either a dream for those with hearts made of tinsel or an apocalyptic hell for the seasonal Scrooge.”
3. Heinz/Activision: Hidden Spots
This clever campaign from Heinz and agency Gut hinges on a fascinating insight about gamers: they need to eat at some point. Anyone playing first-person shooters online knows that stepping away from a match might mean death if your enemy happens upon your avatar, so the ketchup company worked with gamers playing Activision’s Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific to map out places they could safely take a break and eat a burger and fries, preferably with Heinz ketchup. The spots were plotted on a special map marked with branded Heinz markers.
2. Publicis Groupe: 2021 Holiday Film
Agency: Le Truc
One of the funniest pieces of content we’ve seen all year is the 2021 edition of Publicis Groupe’s annual year-end film, which stars the ad world’s own Laurel and Hardy—the agency’s CEO and Chairman Arthur Sadoun and his predecessor Maurice Lévy. In this episode, the pair discuss the program the company recently announced allowing any staffer to work for six weeks out of any of its offices. The idea sparks a series of cinematic “fantasies” in which the two step into famous roles such as Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music,” Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in “Titanic,” the kid from “The Shining” and "E.T. " The duo should have their own comedy series already.
1. Metacore Games/Merge Mansion: What’s Grandma Hiding
Humor combined with terror makes for especially tantalizing entertainment, as we can see in Wieden+Kennedy’s campaign for Metacore Games title Merge Mansion, starring Kathy Bates as a creepy grandma with "absolutely nothing to hide." Comedy pro Jim Jenkins of O Positive strikes a perfect balance between sinister and silly in each of the films. It’s the best celebrity gaming ad appearance we’ve seen since Liam Neeson showed up at the Super Bowl for Clash of Clans.
Plus a bonus bit of humor and horror:
Wonderhood Studios: Holiday Film 2021
Many of us will be signing off for a bit for the holiday season. This film, from U.K. agency Wonderhood Studios, is a cautionary tale to make sure you really do sign off.