Sometimes in advertising, geography is everything. Several campaigns in this week’s Top 5 relied on location, location, location to deliver the goods—whether comedic, adrenaline-fueled or somewhere in between. Hop in as we globe-trot with our favorite campaigns of the week.
The top 5 creative campaigns you need to know about right now
5. PepsiCo: La Chingada
La Chingada, a town in the Mexican state of Veracruz, is famous for its name—which is basically a curse word. PepsiCo found this to be fertile ground for a campaign promoting the “Xtra Spicy” versions of its Xtra Flamin’Hot snacks, which are so spicy they’re liable to lead to blurted obscenities. The almost five-minute video below, shot in La Chingada with many of the locals there, is worth a look for its curious mix of humor and craft. You really feel like you’re there, eyes watering and instantly regretting the decision to eat those friggin’ hot Cheetos.
4. Apple: Ian Treherne and Esmé Moore
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Apple traveled to the U.K. for its latest accessibility campaign, which saw two photographers with disabilities create new “Shot on iPhone” portraits—using the phone’s accessibility features. Watching Ian Treherne and Esmé Moore at work, you’re struck by their abilities rather than their disabilities, which of course is the point—along with Apple once again showing how it’s putting accessibility at the core of its most popular device. Treherne’s portraits are particularly inclusive, featuring the blind model Livi Deane and the model and wheelchair dancer Monique Dior.
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3. e.l.f.: Makeup Over Makeup
Fans devastated by the breakup of social media stars Chris Olsen and Ian Paget got a special treat this week, as the exes reunited for an almost 10-minute video from e.l.f. Cosmetics. It was the first installment in a project called “Makeup Over Makeup,” whose intriguing premise involves getting people who’ve publicly butted heads in the past to “make up” while applying makeup to each other. The resulting intimacy works wonderfully in this first chapter—in part thanks to Madwell Chief Creative Officer Chris Sojka’s skillful direction—as viewers got to enjoy Olsen and Paget digging deep into their relationship (and using plenty of e.l.f. products along the way).
2. Saucony x Galen College of Nursing: NIL Student Nurse Initiative
One of our favorite ideas of the week was Doner’s decision to expand the concept of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals beyond star athletes to other kinds of college students—in this case, those training to be nurses. Galen College of Nursing students Lauren Lowe, Sarah Sangha, Ashley Lutes and Brianna Nelly all signed NIL deals with the performance footwear brand during National Nurses Week, securing paid endorsement deals along with lots of Saucony products. It’s a great example of combining two hot topics of recent years—NIL deals and support of healthcare workers—into something completely fresh and new.
1. BMW: The Calm
BMW Films, how we missed you. Back in the day, the automaker rose from the primordial ooze of pre-YouTube, early-2000s branded entertainment with a short-film series that quickly became the standard setter for the genre. There’s still plenty of equity in the franchise—even if everyone else has since caught up. The latest installment, starring Pom Klementieff and Uma Thurman, doesn’t disappoint with its eight minutes of relentless winking style and Bond-like action. The film hawks so many product features so blatantly, we have to assume a level of campy intent (much like the Bond films themselves, which are always ultra self-aware)—and on the whole, the piece works nicely, thanks to the Hollywood-level filmmaking and wry imperviousness of the lead actresses. Bonus points for premiering the piece at the Cannes Film Festival—and making attendees watch it on the huge screens in the backseats of several hundred BMW i7 M70s shipped in for the occasion.