How Pepsi Got It So Wrong: Unpacking One of the Most Reviled Ads in Recent Memory

Since the moment Pepsi released its new two-and-a-half minute spot—featuring Kendall Jenner, protesters and a message of unity via soda—response to the ad has been anything but positive.

According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged it as the “worst ever.” Amobee also looked at content engagement around the term “tone-deaf” in the last day, and 77 percent of digital content using the term mentioned Kendall Jenner and Pepsi.

So what happened? How did Pepsi get here and what can marketers learn from this debacle? Continue reading


Jeep’s First Snapchat Lens Makes Your Hair Fly Around Like You’re Driving With the Top Down

If you open Snapchat tomorrow to use one of the app’s face-swapping lenses, you’ll see an ad for Jeep that makes it look like your hair is blowing around while you’re driving a car.

This is the second year that Jeep has used Snapchat for its “4×4 Day” campaign. Last year the brand ran sponsored geofilters where users could apply a graphic of mud tracks over photos and videos and the brand also opened an account to push out organic content.

Instead of geofilters, Jeep created a sponsored lens this year because, “of the popularity of the feature on Snapchat—they’re seeing that is their No. 1 engagement mechanism on the platform,” said Marcie Perez, Jeep brand media and social media manager. Continue reading

This Guy Was Georgia’s 6 Millionth Tourist, and He Got One Incredible Surprise

Sandwiched between Turkey and Russia, the Republic of Georgia recently greeted its 6 millionth tourist (per the nation’s best estimate, at least) with a surprise VIP experience that included dinner with the prime minister.

The lucky winner was Jesper Black, a Dutch traveler who flew into the capital of Tbilisi to visit friends living there. He had planned to explore the city by day and spend time with his friends at night. From the moment he checked in at customs, however, things took a surprising turn. Here’s a case study video of how it went down:

Continue reading


What It Took for Absolut to Pull Off a Major Product Launch at the Grammy Awards

In February 2017, Absolut launched its first new flavor in over four years: Absolut Lime. A lot was banking on this rollout, considering the sharp decline in vodka sales beginning in 2014, a rise in competition from the whiskey market and a growing fatigue of sickly sweet flavors like cookie-dough vodka.

In a major activation effort with 360i, Absolut landed on the 59th annual Grammy Awards as the venue for the new product debut to target younger drinkers, between the ages of 21 and 30. Continue reading

Québec’s Fun Tourism Campaign

Last spring, the shop rolled out a clever and inspired Québec tourism campaign that showed a blind man touring the Canadian province—the point being, Québec offers such a rich experience, for all your senses, that seeing it with your eyes is just a small part of the picture.

Now, a year later, lg2 has come up with another delightful tourism idea. The agency created a documentary called “A Room With Many Views,” in which it invited two travelers, Glennis LaRoe and Kip Geddes, to come to Québec for a very special adventure indeed: They were transported around the province in a mobile room (moved by helicopters, boats, trucks and more) and woke up in a different place each morning—from the St. Lawrence River to the historic Château Frontenac to the Foresta Lumina. Continue reading


Why ‘Car Guys’ Are 4 Times More Valuable to Marketers Than Average Consumers

Auto enthusiasts are more valuable than you realize.
Getty Images


Superfans are a powerful target audience for brands and marketers—almost twice as valuable overall, to be exact. That’s according to “The Power of the Enthusiast,” a new study by The Enthusiast Network (TEN) and GfK, which examines the purchase behavior and influence of “enthusiasts” in the automotive, adventure sports/outdoor and home tech categories.

Enthusiasts are defined, in the study, as consumers who are passionate about a certain category, and are looked to by friends and family as trusted advice givers who offer recommendations via word-of-mouth or social media. They’re consulted for advice on a purchase three times more than the average consumer. Continue reading


Studios Flirt With Offering Movies Early in Home for $30

Six of the seven biggest Hollywood studios are continuing to push to offer movies in the home mere weeks after their theatrical debuts.

However, the companies, particularly Fox and Warner Bros., are showing greater flexibility about timing. Initially, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara had kicked off negotiations with exhibitors by offering to cut them in on a percentage of digital revenues if they agreed to let them debut films on-demand for $50 a rental some 17 days after they opened. Currently, most major movies are only made available to rent some 90 days after their release. Some studios offer films for sale electronically roughly 70 days after their bow in theaters. Continue reading


Casper’s Hotline for Insomniacs without a Sales Pitch

So, how’d you sleep last night? If you said “lousy” (or “I didn’t”), you could be among the 10 percent of Americans with chronic insomnia. Or maybe you were just up too late stressed about something, slumber eluding you once again.

Either way, mattress brand Casper was looking to reach you. In case you missed it, here’s what happened:

At 2 a.m., TNT, TBS and AMC began airing a series of bizarre 15-second spots with “Can’t Sleep?” superimposed over nonsensical footage—a salmon jumping upstream, time-lapse video of plants sprouting—set to what can only be described as 1970s-era elevator music with a hint of porno-film soundtrack. Nine seconds in, a toll-free number appeared at the bottom of the screen. Continue reading


The unusual story behind Dr. Bronner’s suds

Read the label on most soaps and you’ll find a few words about freshness and lather. But pick up a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s and you’ll read this: “Whatever unites us is greater than whatever divides us! … Only if constructive-selfish work, perfecting first me, like every arctic owl-penguin-pilot-cat-swallow-beaver-bee, can I teach the Moral ABC.” Continue reading


50 Years Later, Heinz Approves Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ Ads and Is Actually Running Them

It was a compelling idea, even if the client wasn’t convinced at the time.

Fifty years ago, in the fictional world of Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a daring ad campaign to Heinz execs, for the brand’s ketchup, that proposed not showing the product at all. Instead, the ads would show close-ups of foods that go great with ketchup—french fries, a cheeseburger, a slice of steak—but without any ketchup in sight.

Don’s proposed tagline: “Pass the Heinz.”

The campaign’s “Got Milk?”-like strategy of creating a craving for a product through its absence was apparently too far ahead of its time. Don didn’t get the account. (Nor, for that matter, did Peggy Olson, who, pitching for a competing agency, presented a much more product-centric campaign right after Don.)

But now, in 2017, the time for “Pass the Heinz” has come. Continue reading