Ad Age expanded its "Creativity Top 5" series to include new roundups of our favorite special-interest campaigns and ideas from brands. This week, we look at some of the latest innovations in the food and beverage space. Visit our site each Thursday for a new list of niche campaigns from the past month.
The top 5 food and beverage campaigns you need to see now
No. 5: Kit Kat's staring contest
Kit Kat, the snack brand whose message has been about taking a break, found a clever way to deliver that to gamers—a web-based staring contest with animals, of course. “Blink Break,” which debuted earlier this month, challenged people to a staring contest with footage of animals, with the user’s movements tracked via their mobile phone or computer camera by a machine-learning platform that ends the game when the user blinks, providing the “break,” behind the message. Wunderman Thompson and a platform called FaceMesh were behind the stunt. Domino’s Pizza recently took a different approach to similar technology, offering an app that allowed shoppers to “mind order” a pizza in a stunt tied into Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
If you’re doing 1990s comedy nostalgia, it doesn’t get any more on the nose than “Seinfeld.” Snyder’s of Hanover and agency Saatchi & Saatchi dive deep into the reruns to revive cameo lawyer Jackie Chiles. The ad looks and feels like the kind of late-night tv campaign the character himself would shoot, down to the 4-3 aspect ratio, garish graphics and Johnnie Cochran-inspired outrage and language. In the video, Chiles demands customers take action against Snyder’s for calling its Pretzel Pieces “pretzels,” by calling a hotline that actually enters them into a sweepstakes.
Krispy Kreme, which cheered from the sidelines when rival Dunkin’ dropped “Donuts” from its name to better support Dunkin’s expanding focus on foodservice, itself is expanding its horizons—but doughnuts remain close to Krispy Kreme’s heart. The brand this week debuted doughnut-inspired ice cream at 50 stores as it pursues a vision of becoming “the world’s most-loved sweet treat brand,” Chief Brand Officer Dave Skena explained. The ice cream remains closely associated with Krispy Kreme’s signature products: The flavors are “Original Glazed,” cones are pressed from its doughnut mix; and toppings include doughnut crumbles which are made of dehydrated leftover inventory.
No. 2: Jack & Coke say 'Yes we can'
The non-stop collision of brands and styles in beverages has produced what Ad Age’s E. J. Schultz writes is “the highest-profile representation yet of the burgeoning trend of soda giants teaming with beer companies on alcoholic versions of mainstream drinks,”—a canned version of the barroom favorite “Jack & Coke” from Jack Daniels’ maker Brown-Forman and the Coca-Cola Co. Premixed cans of Jack & Coke will be sold globally beginning in Mexico late this year, and are expected to hit the U.S. in 2023.
No. 1: Popeyes' golden anniversary
Fifty years is a significant milestone for a brand—and a really long one for a marriage. Popeyes Louisiana Chicken this month is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding by likening the strengths of 50-year marriages to the bond developed between Popeyes and its customers, who “love that chicken.” The promotion highlights Census Bureau data indicating that just 6% of marriages last 50 years. A video uses footage and over-the-years photos from actual couples who’ve met their golden anniversary talking about the bonds that hold them together, and ends with a vintage Popeyes restaurant shot and the message: “It takes time to celebrate 50 years. And time takes love.”