ADOTAS – Godzilla waterskis, Tony Hawk floats and a blogger has a heart attack. Yep, it’s just another bizarre week in Adland.
But which ads have been rising up the chart this week? Which commercials have been lighting up the Open Web?
Here are our fab five. Enjoy!
5. Pepsi MAX, ‘Test Drive 2’
About a year ago, Pepsi Max ruined interactions with strangers forever thanks to their blockbuster “prankvert,” “Test Drive”. Teaming up with sadistic NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon, the brand set about scaring the living daylights out of an unsuspecting car salesman, racking up over 2 million shares in the process.
As with all overwhelming successes, the big-budget sequel was inevitable. “Test Drive 2” certainly does not disappoint in ambition, altogether abandoning the test drive conceit in favor of something a little more high-octane. Gordon’s acting is similarly scaled up, with him seemingly channeling a grungy side character from ‘True Detective’.
Having said that, “Test Drive 2” is remarkably cruel, even for a “prankvert.” Though it sets out to disprove the ‘Jeff Gordon Is A Lie’ conspiracy theories, I ended up seriously hoping the whole thing was fake. Because honestly, taxi ride conversation is awkward enough without having to worry about police chases.
4. HUVr, ‘BELIEF’
I would begin by disclaiming that “BELIEF” is actually not an advert for a real product at all — but when the spot is this good, who really cares?
If you’ve seen 1989’s loveable semi-disaster “Back To The Future 2”, then you’ll know that film’s greatest mark on pop culture: the hoverboard. For years, children of all ages have dreamed of floating placidly over pavements, just like Marty and those future-bullies did.
Well, thanks to tech brand HUVr, now you can (or at least you can pretend to). Enlisting the help of hover-enthusiasts like Tony Hawk, Moby and Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, the spot shows our test subjects zipping around a car park in gravity-defying style.
Of course, it turns the whole thing was faked by the merry pranksters at Funny Or Die. But hey, even if hover boards are still a way off, let’s hold on hope for Nike’s ‘power laces’. A man can dream.
3. Hugo Boss, ‘The Mast Walk by Alex Thomson’
I know little to nothing about competitive sailing, but hats off to Hugo Boss and sailor Alex Thomson for bringing us an eye-popping stunt that I’ve never even considered.
The name “‘The Mast Walk” pretty much says its all, but the proof is in the act itself. Thomson, arriving on a speed boat like a villainous drug lord, clambers aboard a very big yacht and then, you guessed it, starts walking up the mast.
But hey, when was the last time you walked up a mast? Never is my bet. So keep your cynicism to yourself and just enjoy what looks like a completely unnecessary stunt from one of Pierce Brosnan’s later James Bond films.
2. Pepsi Mini Cans, ‘Mini Hollywood’
With Oscars buzz reaching critical mass this week then quickly dissipating into the night, brands are always keen to ride the Hollywood wave. This time round, Pepsi has opted to push their new ‘Mini Can’ with a slightly baffling ode to the silver screen.
As tiny cans of Pepsi circulate a studio backlot, a series of vignettes adopt and remix classic lines from lines. There’s the prerequisites (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner”, “Hasta la vista, baby!” et cetera) as well as a couple more esoteric nods — Will Ferrell’s “Old School,” anyone?
There’s also a couple of handy impersonators thrown in, including a pretty generic Spike Lee, who I imagine is tweeting a complaint as I write this. At the end, Cuba Gooding Jr. appears to down a tiny soft drink, except at this point we’re unsure whether we’re looking at a real Cuba or a fake Cuba. A head-scratching ad, but the cans are indeed very small.
1. Snickers, ‘Godzilla (Extended Version)’
Snickers smartly reverses their “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” mantra with their latest spot, featuring Japan’s favorite city-chomping reptile.
As the spot claims, Godzilla is actually a pretty cool guy. He likes dancing, playing table tennis, and even partaking in a little friendly tomfoolery at the beach. The “Pacific Rim”-style carnage only begins, we learn, when ol’ Godzy gets a bit peckish.
While not exactly the most sophisticated concept, the spot is pulled off with a sense of fun and sharp comic timing. What’s more, they’ve even thrown in a sneaky plug for the upcoming Godzilla remake. Two lizards with one stone!
– Jamie Fraser