Special Co-Branding

Oreo’s Homage to “Game of Thrones”

From upper left to lower right: House of Stark, the Night King, House of Targaryen, and House of Lannister

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

Season eight provided the perfect opportunity for Oreo to issue special edition cookies that would appeal to “Game of Thrones” fanatics. Instead of showing its brand as a friendly chocolatey snack, Oreo emphasized the stark black-and-white appearance of its cookies and stamped them with the crests of the fictional warring families. The packaging, too, showed the sinister-looking iron throne.  Oreo and HBO took this brand pairing a step further by teaming with Elastic Creative to substitute the show’s title sequence with a cookie-built version made entirely out of 2,750 Oreos.  The brand campaign is so imaginative that the limited edition offering is selling out as fans join in the fun of munching on “Game of Thrones”-themed snacks.

Oreo packaging with the Iron Throne
Humorous Advertising

Believe It or Not – April Fools’ Day Ads

Is it brand advertising?  Yes.  Is the product offering real?  No way.

April Fools’ Day is an excuse for ad people worldwide to take a break from practicing “truth in marketing” and spin fanciful selling points that stretch credulity to the breaking point, and make even gullible people go “Huh??”

April Fools’ Day spoofs are an advertising tradition and lately they have become more elaborate and expensively produced to capture the interest of social media and go viral. Some ad pitches told with a straight face (wink wink) include Rent-a-Runway wardrobes for dogs, Virgin Australia offering inflight spin classes, Seiko making watches for ninjas, Heinz selling chocolate mayonnaise in the U.K.   Funny and in good fun, April Fools’ Day advertising is becoming something that consumers look forward to seeing like Super Bowl commercials. It’s feel-good advertising that make consumers like a brand that enjoys having fun.  Here are a few April Fools Day ads from 2018.

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Advertising

Babbel Presents: An Alien Abroad

How better to illustrate how frustrating and isolating it feels to be a foreigner who can’t communicate with locals than to use a “real” alien. The funny commercial, made by Wieden & Kennedy London and directed by David Shane, features a tourist named Alexi from who knows what planet explaining how Babbel, the language learning app, transformed his travel experience. He went from being treated like a strange alien to the gregarious, likeable individual he really is. The advert was charmingly “convincing,” except for the fact that on first meeting Alexi, the locals remained infinitely polite and patient and didn’t threaten to call the cops. Must not have been made in the U.S.

Advertising

Fanciful Humor of Apple iPhone Ads

Film director Dougal Wilson and Furlined, a global production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, are sweeping the 2018 ad awards shows, including medals from the Art Directors Club, One Show, Webby Award, D&AD, and British Arrow. Their winning entry is “Barbers,” a quirky commercial promoting the Portrait mode on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. Previously available only on DSLR cameras, the Portrait mode uses the iPhone’s rear cameras to separate the foreground subject from the background, to secure impressive studio-quality lighting effects.

The location for showing the iPhone’s Portrait is set in a funky New Orleans barbershop, enlivened by “Fantastic Man” by Nigerian synth pop artist William Obyearbor. Apple says it had to do 24 haircuts to make the advert. It donated the shorn hair to Locks for Love, a nonprofit that helps provide hairpieces to disadvantaged children in need.

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Advertising

Overdramatic Edeka Grill Commercial

Berlin-based ad agency, Jung von Matt, has produced a wildly over-the-top ode to grilling meats that could be a scene from “Game of Thrones.” Made to promote the German supermarket chain Edeka, the ad titled “Men of Fire” relates the affinity of fire to meat through the ages. British actor Christopher Fairbank narrates with Shakespearean gravitas the importance of fire as he walks us through the centuries. “In the beginning there was fire kindled by lightening from heaven,” he roars, taking us past cavemen gnawing on “slain” charred meat. Fairbank’s scorns the modern barbecue fare – the “ridiculous sparkling drinks, the fussy pretentious artisanal salads, breads, and sweet dips too.” The one eternal truth he tells us is that “meat was meant to be charred.” The ad was a wonderful spoof, although since Edeka isn’t an American brand, it was unclear what the ad was plugging. Still it was memorable and fun.