Watch: The top 5 creative brand ideas you need to know about right now
Welcome to a live episode of the top 5 creative brand ideas you need to know about right now.
Ad Age's Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz, Creativity Associate Editors Alexandra Jardine and I-Hsien Sherwood, and Reporter Jessica Wohl review the week's best ideas, which include crafting tips from a beloved "Office" icon, the latest in snack marketing and International Women's Day marketing moves.
5. Joann: Ring in Spring With Phyllis
Agency: Where Eagles Dare
Phyllis Smith, aka Phyllis from “The Office” returns with another comedic episode promoting Joann fabric and craft stores. Smith made her first appearance in the campaign during the holiday season, in films showing how she made time to feed her obsessive crafting habit even when she was supposed to be working from home. In the latest film, meant to ring in the spring season, she takes on many a role to help an engaged couple on their way to marital bliss.
4) Highkey: Adorable
Agency: Maximum Effort
Ryan Reynolds returns with his latest shill—and this time, he’s playing a panda posing as a Girl Scout. In a new spot from Reynolds’ agency Maximum Effort promoting low-sugar snack brand HighKey, Reynolds voices an animated critter known as “Sugar Panda.” Sugar Panda’s is the poster animal for bad eating and he’s always trying to push sugary, high-carb foods to those around him. Here, he’s trying to push boxes of those Girl Scout cookies many of us know and love, but unfortunately his neighbor isn’t having any of it (she’ll stick to her HighKey, she says). It doesn’t help that Sugar Panda undergoes cardiac arrest and has a nosebleed when he’s making his pitch.
3) State Street Global Advisors: Fearless Girl Glass Ceiling
In 2017, on International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors’ “Fearless Girl” made her first appearance on Wall Street, proudly confronting the iconic “Charging Bull” statue. To celebrate International Women’s Day this year and to mark the four-year anniversary of her debut, “Fearless Girl” appeared in a new installation, surrounded by 400 shards of glass. The idea is meant to honor the landmark achievements of women over the last four years, such as Vice President Kamala Harris’ appointment to the second highest office in the U.S. However, the piece also acknowledges that there’s progress yet to be made, and a placard on it reads, “Today’s broken ceilings are tomorrow’s stepping stones.”
2) Maltesers: Supporting Mums' Mental Health
Agency: AMV BBDO
In time for International Women’s Day and on the heels of breastfeeding-focused ads from baby and personal care brands Tommee Tippee and Frida Mom, we have yet another campaign acknowledging women’s nursing struggles—but from an unexpected advertiser. Mars Wrigley candy brand Maltesers addresses the topic, as well as mothers’ mental health, in a pair of comedic TV spots. The lighthearted ads from AMV BBDO feature a woman frustrated over her uneven milk supply and another mom who has a bit of leakage while her mother-in-law steps in to “help.” Maltesers play an unobtrusive supporting role throughout. The campaign also includes social ads addressing the "dark" and "light" sides of motherhood.
1) Unilever: Say No to Normal
Agency: Spring Studios
The boldest move we saw from an advertiser this week came from Unilever, which announced that it would no longer be using the word “normal” in its beauty packaging or advertising. For all its brands, which include Dove, Degree, Tresemmé and Axe, among others, it’s nixing the word in an effort to promote the idea of “Positive Beauty.” A video supporting the campaign, created by Spring Studios, highlights practices such as hair-style discrimination, gender stereotypes that have historically been considered “normal,” but that are actually harmful and damaging to consumers’ self-esteem. The video also attempts to disabuse viewers that plastic pollution and animal testing is “normal” as well, and supports Unilever’s pledge to be more environmentally friendly and eliminate testing its products on animals.
That's it for the Top 5. Make sure to check out more of the best in brand creativity at Adage.com/Creativity. And for an even deeper dive into great creative work, watch the first episode of Ad Age's "Backstory," our documentary series exploring landmark campaigns. The first one explores the origins and evolution of The New York Times' "The Truth Is" campaign from Droga5.