The Monthly Report Card: September

Showcasing industry best practices and providing insight into best use of celebrities and influencers. 

(1.) Nike—Colin Kaepernick

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Grade A

Nike commemorated the 30th anniversary of their, “Just Do It,” campaign this month. During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick brought attention to racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. Great controversy arose once the kneeling escalated into a social movement and in 2017 Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers. Nike debuted their new Dream Crazy campaign, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing Everything,” with Kaepernick as the face of inspiration. Although the campaign had immediate backlash, such as the burning of Nike sneakers it had a favorable impact on sales—as Nike saw a 31% increase. Lebron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquem Griffin, Lacey Baker, and Serena Williams are among others taking part in the campaign which encourages you to follow even the wildest of dreams. “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.” #justdoit

(2.) Hulu—James Harden

Harden

Grade B+

Hulu’s ‘Never Get Hulu’ commercial made its debut during the 2018 Emmys awards show on NBC. The spot opens with Houston Rocket’s James Harden suggesting that the audience listen carefully. The reverse-psychology ad relies on celebrity joke-telling in what feels like a very desperate attempt to mock their competitor’s “Netflix Is A Joke” 2017 campaign (which made its debut during last year’s Emmys). Miles Brown, Samira Wiley, Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Sarah Silverman and Jared Goff also appear in the ad. The overwhelming celebrity variety was a deliberate effort to better represent all of the content that Hulu offers—and it did. Although the cast was superb, the reverse-psychology felt passé and was quite literally unoriginal.

(3.) Levi’s—Aretha Franklin

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Grade A+

Levi’s ‘Use Your Vote’ commercial is a call to action—specifically encouraging millennials to get to the polls and vote. The spot is also commemorative of Aretha Franklin as it features her song, “Think”. The commercial follows diverse individuals as they head to the polls. Each person is linked to the next not only in their choice to wear Levi clothing but also in their choice to exercise their right to vote. Levi’s also set up voter registration booths in select stores on National Voter Registration Day.  This ad is an excellent display of branding, Levi’s drove home their brand purpose all while catering to the millennial consumer.

(4.) Macys—Becky Hammon

Macys

Grade A+

Macy’s and BBDO continue the ‘Remarkable You’ campaign with six female professionals, each of whom is a star in their career. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach, Becky Hammon is perhaps the best known of the bunch. But Hammon is in great company—Mishaal Ashemimry (aerospace engineer), JoAnn Falletta (conductor and music director), Vanessa Beckman (teacher), Patricia Valoy (civil engineer) and Tiffiny Blacknell (public defender). The ad highlights each woman at the helm of their unique professional elements to the tune of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl”—a true image of female empowerment.

(5.) Verizon Fios—Gaten Matarazzo

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Grade A

“Stranger Things” star Gaten Matarazzo, who made his debut as a FIOS spokesperson last year, resurfaces in Verizon’s ‘Good Neighbor’ ad. He sees his neighbor unloading a sweet new 4K TV but is shocked to find out he didn’t get FIOS to go along with it. Matarazzo explains how a fiber optic connection would help all of their devices work a lot better. The spot is simple, to the point and quirky with Matarazzo as the spokesperson.

(6.) Nissan—Naomi Osaka

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Grade A

Naomi Osaka captured her first Grand Slam title and made her appearance as Nissan’s new global brand ambassador within days of one another. Nissan’s Japanese roots were highly attractive to Osaka, the first Japanese tennis player to win a women’s singles Grand Slam event. The partnership feels natural and Osaka embodies all that Nissan strives for. After all, Nissan’s slogan is, “Innovation that excites,” and Osaka’s victory exudes excitement.

(7.) Dior—Jennifer Lawrence

Joy

Grade B

Dior introduced their new JOY fragrance with Jennifer Lawrence as the face of the scent. JOY is Dior’s first new fragrance in 20 years. Lawrence’s face has become somewhat of an icon for Dior as she has worked with the brand for over six years. In the ad, Lawrence is wearing a stunning white gown as she lounges poolside. Each moment leaves her smiling—diving into the pool, basking in the sun, she even smiles as she reaches for a jellyfish and emerges from the pool in a sopping wet gown. Although the aesthetics of the ad are eye-grabbing, the smell that accompanies swimming in a pool is not one that people would be eager to douse themselves in.

(8.) Geico—Stefon Diggs

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Grade A

In Geicos new spot, Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings grabs mail from his mailbox when the mail sticks to his hand. The mailbox, garbage bin and even a neighbor high-fiving Diggs as he jogs past his house, also stick to his hands, because “everything sticks to Stefon Diggs’ hands.” Across the street his neighbors are watching in awe, but for a different reason—it was so easy for them to save money on car insurance by switching to Geico. The Diggs’ spectacle is humorous and timely as it made its debut during Thursday Night Football.

photo credits: YouTube 

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