Fresh off of LeBron James Sprite duties, Translation is back with a new 30-second State Farm spot that includes the Scooby-Doo Mystery Gang and one lucky animated insurance agent. A far cry from the days of slackers triumphantly yelling “Can I get a hot tub?” this ad mixes together some interesting threads of nostalgia and pop culture. Even if people no longer watch Scooby-Doo, the characters are, for better or worse, iconic. Of course Velma knows how to summon help. Of course Shaggy knows how to set the exposition with his stoneresque wail of a voice. If the creatives really wanted to get creative, they could’ve brought it all together with Shaggy yelling, “Can I get a hot tub?” Still, the spot is a cool little change-up from the Da Tailgate spot that we’ve seen too much during football season. Credits after the jump.
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Translation, which was recently tapped by Coca-Cola to handle marketing for Sprite, has a new spot for the green-bottled lemon-lime soft drink.
Although Sprite has changed agencies and approaches several times in recent years, this ad hits on well-trodden ground for the brand: LeBron James, basketball, and mentioning the word “thirst.” This time around there’s a lot of screaming, though. We open with LeBron James superhumanly blocking a dunk attempt and screaming in celebration. Then we see a marching band drummer “marching to his own beat,” a dude posting a video of some biking tricks, a guy with a lion tattoo, and a woman getting a truly bizarre haircut. All of them scream. Somewhere a silently screaming mime gets thrown in. “If you’re gonna put in the work to show the world who you are, you’re going to get thirsty. Then: drink a Sprite.” proclaims the voiceover, before adding in the tagline “For The Thirsty.” Reasonable enough logic here: lots of screaming will make you thirsty.
Here’s the thing though: soft drinks are actually terrible at quenching thirst. Why would you make that a selling point for your brand? Isn’t that playing to your weakness? Yes, it is a beverage, but it’s a sugary one made to be enjoyed for its taste, not to quench thirst. I get that they’ve gone with athlete endorsements aplenty to sell their product, and I get that this strategy harkens way back to their “Obey Your Thirst” days. But who is really reaching for a Sprite after a workout? Especially with the vast array of flavored bottled water drinks now available. Is marketing towards a function your product doesn’t actually serve really going to help sell your brand? I’ve never understood this. Who knows though, since Sprite is constantly changing their approach, maybe this tactic will die out soon as well. Credits after the jump.
Budweiser’s new campaign “Made for Music” launches in 85 countries today, featuring Jay-Z and Rihanna carefully dispersed amidst other artists including an ice sculptor and street art painter. Jay-Z’s ad is backed by his song PSA, while Rihanna’s features her newest single, “Right Now.” Both spots are directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, Bee Season) and each closes with inspirational words from Bud: “It begins and ends with what you make.”
Made for Music was inspired by the Budweiser Made in America Festival which debuted in Philly last year and Jay-Z headlined. This year, Beyonce and Nine Inch Nails will take the marquee billing over Labor Day Weekend.
Jay and RiRi’s ads are mildly inspiring with their filmic, black-and-white “creative spirit.” After the Samsung deal, Jay-Z’s authenticity feels slightly compromised, but both he and Rihanna are still solid examples of hard-working performers. The scenes are nothing new–star reads in the car, star makes decisions with sweeping hand motions, star stands triumphant as the lights go down–so I wouldn’t mind a bit of original dialogue, but all in all these spots do the job. Time to turn up Magna Carta Holy Grail and channel HOV’s productivity.
Credits after the jump as well as clips from our interview last year with Translation CEO Steve Stoute on his agency’s relationship with “the king of beers.”
On Monday night, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul hit a 15-foot bank shot as time expired to put his team up 2-0 over the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs. You should have seen it—it was really cool.
You know what’s even cooler? The fact that Chris Paul finally met his long-lost brother who we learned existed during the holiday season. Finally, State Farm and agency Translation’s sick little experiment, which included separating twins at a young age and documenting their lives for over two decades in the name of insurance, is coming to an end. Finally, Chris Paul can be at peace. And, finally, Cliff Paul has enough money to quit his job at State Farm once an for all, pursuing a new career of professional moocher.
However, having established a reputation for inhumane cruelty, don’t count out the possibility that Translation isn’t done toiling in the lives of the brothers Paul. Sure, they may have reunited the twins, but that doesn’t mean that before the NBA Finals, Cliff is “accidentally” run over by an uninsured driver. I’m just saying, if Blake Griffin shows up to Cliff’s funeral wearing an argyle sweater in a few months, don’t be surprised. Credits after the jump.