Posts tagged #FMCG

RADvertising from Super Bowl 53

It’s almost obligatory for a blog about advertising to comment on the Super Bowl each year. If you want to watch them all in your copious spare time, you can see them here. But why would you when I’ve just done the homework for you?

So here goes my 3 favourite Rad Ads… and a few runner-ups.

#1. Hyundai: The Elevator. Humour never goes out of style. Jason Bateman and the cast of characters deliver perfect comedic timing and make you want to know how the ad finishes as they descend into life’s most miserable experiences… including root canals, jury duty and a vegan dinner party (Beetloaf!) —- naturally vegans are outraged by the ad. Car shopping is down there with the vegans (I can pick on them because I practically am them) - but then all is revealed for how to make car shopping a pleasure.

#2. BUD LIGHT: Brewed with No Corn Syrup. Sometimes a brand just needs to take off the kid gloves and just punch its competitor(s) in the face, which is exactly what Bud Light does to both Miller and Coors Light - which are apparently brewed with corn syrup…. who knew?! There is the risk that this will bring the entire “light beer” category down rather than lift Bud Light up (new mental model: “Light” beers = corn syrup) but I admire their bravery in portraying competing brands in their ad. It’s ballsy - just like Bud Light. Certainly seems more motivating than sister-brand Budweiser’s ad which uses Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” to tout that its beers are produced using wind farm energy, which I’m even less sure its audience cares about than corn syrup in beer.

Verizon: The team that wouldn’t be here. One of the more poignant ads, it features 12 NFL players who nearly died in accidents earlier in their lives - and the first responders who saved them. The ad celebrates the players and first responders and drills home Verizon’s clear brand positioning as “America’s most reliable network” due to its role in helping first responders receive emergency calls. It encourages you to go online and hear more about their stories (bring tissues).

And there are 3 runner-ups as well:

  1. Pringles Stack - Sad Device… because I never thought to combine flavours by stacking them - which might really increase my cart size next time (I’ll buy a Ranch tube AND Honey Mustard). Also - it’s very funny. See it here.

  2. Pepsi “Is Pepsi OK?”…. As far as I can tell, Steve Carell can do no wrong. This insightful ad brings to life a snippet of real world dialogue that always happens when a you order a Coke but the restaurant only has Pepsi: “Is Pepsi OK?” After seeing this ad, you’ll never hear that question the same way again. See it here.

  3. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold… You have to admire a brand that uses the whispery sounds of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response ) as Zoë Kravitz plays with a bottle of “beer in its pure form.” Only problem is…. this ad would not have worked in a rowdy and loud party of beer drinkers who wouldn’t be able to hear it. See it here.

    What WASN’T working for me: a) Anything much over 1 minute long (gratuitous!); b) unclear what the ad is for (and you really don’t care to find out); c) blatant use of celebrities without them adding to the story (ie: M&M’s doesn’t need Christina Applegate to be a soccer mum; but Sarah Jessica Parker reprising her role as Carrie and choosing a Stella Artois instead of a cosmo has relevance to the actor so it feels less crass).

    What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Posted on February 7, 2019 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Cillit Bang makes household cleaners sexy

Look there's not much to say about this one: Brilliantly shot, 80s nostalgia music, and one of Madonna's tour dancers.  What more do you need?  We rarely sit through ads over a minute long as they always seem gratuitous but this one is worth the full 1 min 37 seconds of your life: 

* Note:  If you're looking for Cillit Bang in Australia we call it Easy Off BAM!  

Posted on February 5, 2016 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: 3 brands that get benevolence

First off, I’m going to be totally honest: I didn’t come up with the idea of benevolent brands – it’s been around the past few years.  Even worse, I had to google “define benevolent” to even understand what the word benevolent even meant at first!  I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only one, so for those of you who suck at Scrabble too, here you go:

Benevolent (adjective):  “well-meaning and kindly” and “an organization serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.

In the past month there’s been a surge in brands doing cool, benevolent things that take them beyond their core categories (cars, dog food, vodka) – and into an adjacent space that might not make them rich, but certainly make their brand proposition stronger. 

The one you’ve probably seen mentioned the most is Volvo’s “LifePaint.”  The boxy family car that’s synonymous with “safety” has deepened its commitment to safety by creating a spray that can be used on bikes, backpacks and clothing so they become reflective at night (but look no different in daylight).  Apparently the bike shops that sell it are receiving hundreds of phone calls a day about it.  Whilst Volvo isn’t in the bike business, it is in the business of safe driving and this initiative has got people talking about the brand again.

Similarly, dog food Pedigree has launched Pedigree Found – an app that lets dog owners notify if their pet has gone missing, and in conjunction, Google Display Network will post a picture of the dog to people within a 2.5km radius of the owner – acting almost like a digital “Missing Dog” poster. So far it's only in New Zealand (and so far it only applies to missing dogs... what about us crazy cat ladies?!?!) 

And last, Absolut Vodka is elevating its 30-year connection to the art world with Absolut Art – an initiative that helps regular folks like us (I assume you’re not a high end art collector either) discover and purchase artworks from rising talent around the world.  First stop: Stockholm (of course).  It demonstrates that their commitment to artistry and creativity isn’t just lip service – it’s part of who they are as a brand.

Based on my own newsfeed of friends’ posts, the social media currency of these benevolent initiatives seems strong – and I imagine they have a good deal of PR value as well.  The beauty is they manage to strengthen the brand without resorting to traditional forms of advertising… and do some good for the world at the same time.

What do you think… Is it all hippy-dippy feel good stuff with little reach and impact?  Or something every brand needs to be investigating?  

RADvertising: Organic Valley Saves the Bros

It's so refreshing when a brand is able to take the piss out of something and have a bit of fun - especially an FMCG brand like Organic Valley.  With the recent 40 year anniversary of Saturday Night Live, ad parodies are on the top of our minds.   This ad is so good it could be on SNL.   At first we weren't sure if it was a real product however - but by clicking on the Organic Valley website it appears to be so - that's the only slight problem we had with this ad which had us wondering "Is it April fools day?"  


Posted on February 20, 2015 and filed under RADvertising.

The only piece of native advertising we've ever re-posted on Facebook

There are a million cat videos on the interweb but probably the best one we've ever seen comes to us on Buzzfeed from Friskies brand cat food in a video titled, "Dear Kitten."  It's an open letter told from one experienced cat to the new cat on the block.  Over the course of 3 captivating mins (yes, a whole 3 minutes - which is like a year in internet time) it manages to pull the viewer in by giving us a glimpse of the world through a cat's eyes, including the menacing threat known as "va-cuum" (a pronunciation we now use whenever cleaning the house).   

About midway through it manages a very subtle product placement of delicious Friskies wet food - deemed superior to the "dehydrated brown nibblets" designed more for astronauts than for cats.  It's a clever way to get a product message in, and it supports the entire video story line, rather than feeling jammed in there.  We posted it to Facebook knowing full well the brand managers at Friskies are gleefully watching the video view counts go up in hopes of an end of year bonus.    We don't mind - it's THAT good!  

What do you think?  Watchable for native advertising?  Would you share it?  Got any other pieces of native advertising you've considered worthy and share-able?

Tags: RADvertising, Branded Content, Video, Cats, Friskies, Viral, Funn, Buzzfeed, FMCG

Posted on October 2, 2014 and filed under RADvertising.

Bread Wars and Supermarkets Behaving Badly

It seems unfair to pick on just one of our Australian duopoly supermarkets so it's an uncanny coincidence when they BOTH manage to behave badly in the same month regarding the same topic: Bread.   

Woolies is currently airing a TVC "Cheap Cheap" that features a parody of the song Rockin' Robin ("cheap cheap" replaces "tweet tweet").  It's main thrust is a tactical promotion of their 85-cent loaf of their Homebrand white bread.  Now we're all for finding a (rare) bargain on food in Australia so applaud helping out Aussie families that have kids to feed.   We also expect the deal to be hugely popular among German backpackers in hostels across the country (but not French ones of course).  

But the whole execution just feels a bit too much like a rip-off of "Down Down" from Coles.   Using language like "It's cheap, and staying cheap" is really no different from the "Down and staying down" Coles message.  Great brands aim to create real and sustainable difference - this ad, with the read signage that recalls the Coles "Down" foam finger - just blurs the two brands further together.   

Coles on the other hand was just banned from advertising bread FOR 3 YEARS(!) after the Federal Court found them guilty of misleading consumers by claiming its bread was "freshly baked in store" when in fact it was sometimes partially baked elsewhere.   We love the way Coles bakery smells so we're somewhat disheartened by this - but the moral of the story kids is one of transparency: lies, even itty bitty teeny tiny (cheap cheap!) lies will get caught.

Posted on October 1, 2014 and filed under BADvertising.