'When purpose meets play. Just perfect' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Sasha Marks, director at Brazen, examines this week's creative offerings.

This week, parents all over the country probably breathed a sigh of relief that it’s ‘school’ half term. At last, we can place our children in front of a screen and not feel guilty about it, take our teachers hats off and happily allow the kids to swap partitions and punctuation for playing.

And it appears, playful is the theme of the week as brands move through the crisis with campaigns that are full of personality.

Here are my personal favourites.


Burger King does social distancing

Burger King has long held the crown for possibly the most playful of all the fast food chains and, this week, its kept that crown firmly in place.

First off, Burger King Italy unveils the Social Distancing Whopper - the burger that keeps others away from you - with triple onions. The idea being that your onion-induced bad breath will mean people won’t want to go near you. A little extreme you may think, but let’s face it, it’ll do the job.

Then, it creates giant social distancing crowns ensuring customers keep six feet apart, as franchises began to reopen dine-in services in Germany. Cue social networks being flooded with customers sporting rather silly headgear while tucking into a Whopper. Win win.

Striking a balance between acting responsibly and delivering a serious message with a cheeky PR stunt and humorous tone isn’t easily done, but Burger King makes it look that way. It's a simple, authentic and eye-catching (or watering - depending on which one you go for) way to reassure customers Burger King takes safety and hygiene seriously and remind them to keep their distance when dining in its restaurants.

JK Rowling publishes free book

The much-loved Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, announced she is publishing a standalone fairytale called The Ickabog and will make it available for free online for children.

Having written the story 10 years ago, she put it away in a box in the attic as she published her bestselling novels and now, after having retrieved it and a little re-writing, will be publishing a chapter online every weekday.

To further capture the imagination and creativity of bored children all over the country, Rowling also invited them to illustrate the story for her and will be including the best pictures in each publishing territory in the books she intends to publish in November 2020, encouraging parents to share their childrens’ pictures on social media.

And if that wasn’t good enough, she pledged to donate her author royalties from the published books to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by COVID-19.

When purpose meets play. Just perfect.


Nobel Hygiene, #KnowYourFlow

One of India’s largest manufacturers of personal hygiene care products has released a campaign for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020 that aims to tackle the taboos around periods and menstrual hygiene in the country.

The creative for the #KnowYourFlow campaign sees a series of visual images including a burger with too much ketchup and a wine glass seemingly overflowing with red wine, with the tag line: "Did this make you think of the blood gushing on your period?"

Quite frankly, no it did not.

As a woman who has both suffered with a heavy flow (can’t believe I’m immortalising this fact in print) and who’s partial to a glass of red (more so since lockdown), it somehow made me really want to drink a glass of wine and never want to drink one again in some weird juxtaposed way.

But did it make me consider my flow? Afraid not.

I appreciate the sentiment behind the campaign and I’m all for removing the stigmas attached to talking periods, but there are some things that should never be compared – a woman’s flow and wine. Period.

Pick for Britain

Prince Charles came under fire this week for promoting the Pick For Britain campaign, calling for people who have been furloughed from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to pick fruits and vegetables.

He appeared in a video on the Clarence House Twitter page in support of the UK government initiative seeking people to work on produce farms due to a labor shortage as a result of travel restrictions.

While the message behind the campaign is an important one – the country will face a food shortage without the help of pickers – its delivery gave rise to criticism with some citing ‘the optics of Prince Charles calling for the commoners to pick the fields’.

This could have been a great campaign and one we should all be getting behind as a nation, but unfortunately it went pear-shaped in the execution, just reinforcing the importance of considering not what you say, but how you say it.

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