'I definitely don’t want a slice of this' – Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Jack Hutchinson, creative director at Engine Mischief, casts his critical eye over creative offerings from the past seven days.

HIT

Wendy’s, 'The Meat Is Meaty'

In a masterstroke of reactive thinking, fast food brand Wendy’s brought to life an advert written by a young fan in the US – apparently within a matter of hours.

Slight cynicism regarding turnaround time aside (the original tweet was posted on the Wednesday, the advert went live on the Friday evening), this has so much to love about it.

It’s a brilliant demonstration of listening to your audience and rewarding your fans (the ‘Thank you Julien’ tweet, which accompanies the video, is a lovely touch).

It has bucketloads of personality and humour (the Napoleon Dynamite-esque metronome soundtrack is just brilliant).

It manages to walk the tightrope between schmaltzy and funny perfectly (using the original spelling verbatim ramps up the cute factor immeasurably without being overdone).

In short, I love it.

With Wendy’s returning to open stores in the UK for the first time in 20 years, I’ll be interested to see if it can bring some of this same brand magic back to our shores.

HSBC, 'No Fixed Address'

A world away from Wendy’s is the new campaign from HSBC designed to promote its ‘No fixed address’ service, offering financial support to the homeless.

What I love about it is the simplicity – it’s a brilliant example of a human truth being brought to life in a clear and relatable way.

The vast majority of us, hopefully, won’t have to experience homelessness, but a smart strategist somewhere identified that we’ll all experience the feeling of being caught in a vicious circle at one time or another, and the team has really run with this.

By bringing to life the stress we all feel in that situation and showing how it endlessly afflicts the homeless, HSBC has created a campaign that makes the subject matter easy to empathise with, while clearly demonstrating the product that it is offering. Bravo.

MISS

Domino’s, 'Domin-oh-hoo-hoo...'

Less successful for me is the new Domino’s campaign that features… yodelling.

In the ad a group of friends orders a pizza together by communicating through the medium more usually associated with Switzerland. This is backed up by some (yet to be seen) street art murals, which will apparently interpret the ‘DOMIN-OH-HOO-HOO’ strapline.

Now, I love a Mighty Meaty as much as the next person, but I just don’t get the thinking behind this one.

Apparently it’s a ‘fun’ and ‘unexpected’ way to capture the attention of the nation ‘away from earnest, well-trodden reunions territory’ but, while it definitely isn’t earnest, there is no clear brand link, no visible human/cultural truth and, in my opinion, it isn’t particularly funny, either. And while I can’t make a judgement on the murals yet, I wouldn’t want to be the street artist taking that brief...

So: sorry Domino’s, I definitely don’t want a slice of this.

Balenciaga x Crocs & In-N-Out Burger

To round out the Misses we have not one but two branded shoe releases: fashion house Balenciaga teaming up with Crocs (for a second time), and US fast-food chain In-N-Out Burger staking its own claim in the fashion game with its ‘Drink Cup Shoes’.

The Balenciaga x Crocs collaboration will no doubt sell out in seconds, but brings nothing different from the last time they worked together, while the In-N-Out attempt seems to have had no additional thought put into it beyond putting the brand icon on some generic white sneakers.

With many other brands playing in a similar space (Miller Lite x New Balance and Lego x Adidas being just two recent examples), these activations feel devoid of any personality in comparison and, in all honesty, a little lazy.

Please, no more shoes next week.


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