Now that Pepsi has defused social unrest, what are you waiting for, on-the-sidelines brands? If you’re not addressing an issue or cause with your advertising, then who needs ya?
Coke has ended cyberbullying (which must be why it deleted the commercial from its YouTube page). Brawny kicked both its blond and brunette tough guys in the balls and destroyed gender barriers. Pedigree ended racism in 2015. And, lest you forget, advertising even solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And now Heineken — amazingly — needed only four minutes to end human divisiveness. Its latest “Open Your World” ad (it’s not a film, keep repeating this) brings together people with diametrically opposite political and social views. As the video progresses and the loud prison buzzer keeps going off (What is that about?), the “opposites” find common ground. Yay! I’m thinking Heineken probably got everybody drunk first to ease tensions.
Meanwhile, Unilever is trying to completely rebrand itself as a for-profit United Way with its “So Long, Old World” campaign. We already know Dove has treated and cured all female psychological insecurities. And now Unilever brand Lynx (known as Axe in America), the preteen boy fragrance, presents us with its new and improved Male via a series of nine videos titled, “Men In Progress.”
“Boys Don’t Cry”
Above is the most emotional ad of the series. Whether men cry, or even should be allowed to cry, is of course one of the major social issues of the 21st century. Buck up, wussies; tears are just orbital sweat — pretend you’re doing eye squats. Then body-spray yourself. Lynx’s marketing director David Titman (that’s a perfect last name; see Lynx ad below) says the campaign “was created to highlight what it means to be a guy living in the U.K. in 2016 and is designed to challenge labels that prevent men from expressing themselves.”
But what about us loyal Lynx users who have — through your past ads — come to view women as just body parts?
Anyway, watch all nine videos, dudes, and save thousands on therapy. Note: The males in the videos are not “real” people; they’re actors and “key influencers.”
Still: Not enough brands are jumping into this new “illusion of purpose” pool. Let’s help them out with some (very rough) suggested “issue” concepts.
(L) Don’t make the mistake that Nivea made, Clorox. Get out in front of those Nazi trolls. (R) A chainsaw is perhaps not the best visual for a domestic violence awareness ad, Stihl. Still, chicks definitely dig woke tough guys.
(L) Equal, this is a layup for you. Even change your packets, and boom, watch the sales explosion. (R) Who better than The Bell to take on Trump’s dystopian immigration policies? (Remember that a previous Taco Bell tagline was “Make a run for the border.”)
(L) Children are the future, Huggies, so your brass better already believe in global warming. And you best jump on the issue before Pampers or Luvs does. (R) Again, this is a layup for the Shell-owned chain. Jiffy Lube could even start manufacturing a sexual product with the same name.
A 2015 Cone Communications study showed that 70 percent of millennials will spend more on brands that support causes. Therefore, it would behoove you brands to lamprey your name onto a hot issue/cause ASAP.
This article first appeared in www.digiday.com
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