John Lewis, Disney, and 'Make America Rake Again' - Creative Hits of the Week

Alex Grier, managing partner at Frank, discusses the campaigns he has liked from the past seven days.

John Lewis, Disney, and 'Make America Rake Again' - Creative Hits of the Week

When I was growing up, I was told it was rude to talk about politics, but as last week's Hit or Miss came out before the results on the other side of the pond unfolded it would be wrong not to mention a few brands who made the most of the proceedings and prompted a smile from those of us following from afar. Sorry mum and dad.

And with a week of Lockdown 2.0 under our belts and winter evenings drawing in, there's been a flurry of Christmas brand campaigns, many supporting good causes, to provide some welcome relief, entertainment, the occasional tear and much talkability.

Four Seasons Total Landscaping

On 7 November 2020, Donald Trump’s team held a post-election press meet at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a Philadelphia garden centre. It's still unclear whether this was intentional, or if Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel was the intended venue. Either way, the press conference went ahead and the rest is history. Four Seasons Total Landscaping has been quick to make the most of its new found fame releasing a merchandise line, including branded t-shirts, hoodies, and stickers with phrases like “Make America Rake Again” and “Lawn and Order.” There's also now a Zoom backdrop that can be downloaded for anyone looking to recreate the moment.

Calm election sponsorship

Meditation app Calm sponsored CNN's coverage of the American Election results. Not only was it a high-profile placement, reminding viewers of the need to relax during a stressful time, it also gave everyone a welcome laugh and brought a smile to proceedings as it did the rounds on social media channels. Calm also launched a number of free resources on its site from sleep stories to relaxing sounds to help people manage their emotional and mental wellbeing. The campaign appears to have been a success for the brand as there are reports of the app reaching number one on the US Health and Fitness app charts.

Oura sleep tally

Oura, the wearable sleep tracking ring, used its data to tally how much sleep Americans lost on election night and ran an out of home digital campaign in Times Square showcasing the results. The stats showed that Americans lost c.139m hours of sleep, with tags for stress and anxiety being increased 15 per cent and nine per cent respectively. A good example of a brand (that until now I've only registered in tech media and Instagram ads) showcasing its core function to a wider audience, using a high profile news agenda as its platform to create cut through.

Tussauds and Trump

Madam Tussauds has always been quick to capitalise on topical news and the US election was no different. Donald Trump was playing golf when news of the Pennsylvania results were announced. As a result the team at Tussauds has been quick to redress its waxwork Trump in golf kit, releasing the image and footage on social media with resulting media pick up. A smart move to keep the attraction front of mind and provide a wry smile as we ride out the first week of lockdown 2.0. Well played once more to the Tussauds team for maintaining it reputation for of-the-moment-modelling.

Southampton FC social media team

Last Friday, mid US presidential election vote count, Southampton FC temporarily went top of the Premier league - the first time the club has ever done so in their entire history. Their social media admin reacted with a genius of-the-times tweet, pulling reference from across the pond with a simple "STOP THE COUNT" tweet which went on to do big numbers on Twitter. At last count, it had been retweeted nearly 100,000 times and had received close to 400,000 likes. There are now Stop The Count t-shirts for sale on the Southampton FC site for anyone wanting to commemorate the moment.

Disney, 'From Our Family to Yours'

Christmas looms big on the horizon in my house (we have four kids) and we've been enjoying all the recent campaigns, but the current favourite (as judged by my three-year old daughter) is the Disney ad which follows the relationship between a grandmother and her grand-daughter over the years. It certainly pulls on the emotional heart strings prompting "it's water works central over here" responses from a number of the Frank team. Disney is selling the vintage Mickey Mouse toy that features in the film in support of its long running partnership with Make a Wish and asking consumers to share their own festive memories. Each post featuring #LoveFromDisney will result in a donation. The track by UK artist, Griff, is also being released, with 100 per cent of proceeds being donated to Make a Wish. And yes, the Mickey toy has made it onto four Christmas wish lists...

John Lewis & Partners, 'Give a little love'

And a last minute write up as the 'big' one was released this morning. Always eagerly anticipated after years of big production value, humour and emotive soundtracks, the John Lewis & Waitrose Christmas campaign is out and it's a good one (featuring an original song this year). 2020 has seen the best of human kindness from those working heroically on the frontline, to individuals whose acts of kindness captured the nation's hearts and supported good causes, to the everyday moments of neighbourliness and community - and it's against that backdrop that the ad draws inspiration. Give a little love is the campaign message, showcasing acts of kindness and encouraging us to do the same. A little teaser on the theme yesterday as John Lewis & Waitrose added a heart to their logos and no coincidence that the ad launches today: World Kindness Day.

The brand made no secret of the fact that this has been a tough year for their business and that it considered whether it was right to make an ad at all. I'm glad it did. It wouldn't be Christmas without an ad from them; they're supporting great causes, Fareshare and Home-Start and we could all do with a little kindness in our lives. With that in mind, you'll notice there are no "misses" this week. I hope you can pay it forward.

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