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Posts Tagged ‘Shauna Prescott’

Union Made Creative Inspires Girls for Lego

Union Made Creative recently launched an inspirational ad for Lego targeted at young girls and for many the reaction will be: “It’s about time.”

Despite its roots of mostly gender-neutral marketing (which makes sense, given that there’s no real reason to attach a gender to building blocks), Lego has come under fire from many, including feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian, who devoted two segments of her “Feminist Frequency” series to the subject, for its overt marketing towards boys in recent decades. The “together” in the brand’s “Let’s Build Together” campaign, for example, was limited to fathers and sons. In 2012, the brand reacted by releasing its Lego Friends line, marketed towards girls, but the extension was viewed by many as an after-thought at best and by its more vocal critics, as Sarkeesian put it, a “a pastel-colored gender-stereotyped suburban wasteland.” That Lego Friends is “for girls” only reinforces the problematic notion that the rest of Lego’s products are intended for boys. The majority of sets in the line feature stereotypically feminine constructions like beauty salons and bakeries, and are dominated by soft pastel colored blocks.

A kind of tipping point came early this year when a letter from a 7-year-old girl went viral and put renewed pressure on Lego to better serve its female fans. The company showed that they might finally be getting the message this summer when they released the Lego Research Institute, developed by Swedish geochemist Ellen Kooijman through the fan-sourced Ideas platform, which features three female scientists. The limited-edition set sold out within days, delivering a clear message to the company that there’s a demand for such products.

All of which brings us to “Inspire Imagination and Keep Building” from Union Made Creative, which (finally) addresses many of the sexist tendencies in Lego’s advertising. “I don’t always want you to help me,” says a girl narrator at the beginning of the ad, “Do you know why? I want to figure it out on my own.” While the ad shows the girl playing with figures from Lego’s Friends set, it shows her using those pieces in creative ways, and she doesn’t play with them exclusively. She also makes a hospital bed and plays doctor, creates a helicopter and a maze for a hamster. In short, it explores the wonder and imagination at the core of the brand. “Because you taught me how to think and how to dream,” the narrator says at the conclusion of the spot, “I’m about to make something that I know will make you proud.”

The ad is very well crafted and would be emotionally powerful even without the background of the brand’s gender-biased marketing, but is all the more so because of it. At the very least it is a big step in the right direction for Lego, as they hopefully continue to move toward making all of their fans feel equally welcome, regardless of gender. Read more

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Copywriting: Creative Ad Writing

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RPA Debuts New Work for ARCO


RPA recently debuted a new campaign for recently-won client ARCO, following Tesoro’s purchase of ARCO from BP.

The campaign celebrates ARCO’s “top tier” designation, as its gasoline “exceeds EPA minimum detergent requirements to help clean engines and maintain optimal vehicle performance.” To highlight the benefits of treating your car right with ARCO gasoline, RPA chose to show some of the ways mistreat their vehicles in a series of four 30-second broadcast spots.

The light-hearted approach works best in “Treat” (featured above), when a woman decides “If top-tier gas at ARCO helps clean my engine, maybe I should clean the rest of my car.” She then imagines all the hard work inherent in undoing the neglect, including some pretty gross tasks, before tossing an empty coffee cup in the backseat and deciding “I’ll do that another time.”

Other spots in the campaign take a similar approach, with “Embarassing” focusing on some of the moments your car shouldn’t have to witness and “Mishap” taking on minor vehicular abuse. “Try It” changes things up, focusing instead on a couple’s misguided decision to go somewhere other than ARCO for gas. Each spot ends with the tagline, ““Your car puts up with a lot. Help protect it from harmful engine deposits. ARCO has quality TOP TIER® gas for less.” emphasizing ARCO’s quality and top tier designation. The campaign began last month with one broadcast spot and an outdoor component, and currently supports the four broadcast spots with online and radio elements, as well as a revamped website.

“We have a long history working on the ARCO brand, and appreciate the challenges of the competitive motor-fuel category,” said RPA EVP, Management Account Director Tom Kirk. “The agency’s goal is to further support ARCO’s brand positioning, and this new work focuses on ARCO’s holistic value proposition around product quality and affordability.” Read more

Samsung Galaxy S4: Great for Confused, Tired Young Dads

Sure, 72andSunny and Samsung have had some fun comparing the latter’s smartphones to Apple’s in recent years, but in the last several months, it seems like the brand’s finally getting over their complex and showcasing the product line on its own. First, they highlighted the Galaxy S4 with a graduation-centered campaign. Now, they’re showcasing new features for Father’s Day with “hip dads in action.”

In “Swaddle Master,” a befuddled father learns the tricks of the swaddling trade via Smart Pause YouTube. With “Quick Snooze” (below), meanwhile, the same cardigan-wearing dad watches the game with his little one at the end of the day. As his eyes droop shut, the game pauses. He reopens them and it picks up where he left off.

Though this creative work may not go viral or win awards, showing the practical (and less glamorous) application of the S4’s features will perhaps win the hearts of young parents everywhere. On a special occasion like Father’s Day, maybe hitting your target audience is enough?

Credits after the jump.

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With the NBA Lockout Looming, This is All We Have

Basically, it comes down to next Monday’s meeting between the NBAPA, the owners and commish David Stern (yes, it seems these meetings are proving to be increasingly useless) to see whether an actual season will happen, so, in the meantime, why don’t you NBA fans and gamers take solace with this spot for NBA2K12 from 72andSunny. Basically, it’s a follow-up to Jordan’s “Kiss my rings, biyatch” spot and asks fans, whether they be celebs like Drake and the dork from Dodgeball or your average joe, to profess what they think is the greatest NBA team ever. What say you, audience? Damn, this impending lockout irks us. Credits after the jump and, thanks to a tipster’s heads up, a Samuel L. Jackson-starring Nike spot that aired during the last NBA lockout in 1998.

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