Merrick Backcountry, dubbed an "ancestral" dog food line from Merrick Pet Care, launched an online video where the pet food was tested -- but not by dogs. No, the brand went a step further and performed a taste test using dog's ancestors, wolves, as subjects. The taste test took place in the Colorado Rockies with two bowls of dog food and infrared cameras. The wolves devoured the Merrick dog food. If I was a wild animal, I don't think I'd be picky. The spot ends with a wolf howling next to the Merrick bowl and the tagline: "Wolf-tested. Dog-approved." Talk about timing. See it here. TDA_Boulder created the campaign.
Every day is a holiday, and Aug. 16 is National Bratwurst Day, or "Bratsgiving." To celebrate, Johnsonville sausage launched a music video and Bratwurst song, "The Ballad of Bratsgiving." The video is two minutes of cheesy sausage lyrics, positioned like those Time Life Music ads of yesteryear, encouraging folks to join together on Bratsgiving to share Bratwursts with people they love and people they might not know very well. I love the added touch of adding a phone number at the end of the video. You know I called it. Watch the video here. The campaign doesn't end with the video. Johnsonville wants fans to pen the third verse of "The Ballad of Bratsgiving" and submit it on Johnsonville.com or the brand's Facebook page. The winning submission will be recorded and added to the end of the final song. Hopefully, the winner also receives a year's worth of bratwurst and a recommendation for a local cardiologist. Droga5 created the campaign.
Natural curves are on display in the latest Carl's Jr. and Hardee's ad, promoting its Mushroom & Swiss All-Natural Burger. The ad budget was minimal; rather than spending dough on models like Charlotte McKinney, Kate Upton and Kim Kardashian, it's mushrooms that receive VIP treatment. "Natural Beauties" shows off a curvacious body that one might initially mistake for a woman's physique. In reality, the curves belong to the mushrooms found atop Carl's Jr. and Hardee's all-natural beef patty. Watch it here, created by 72andSunny.
To celebrate National Hot Dog Day, Oscar Mayer introduced a new vehicle to its Wienermobile fleet. The Wiener Rover is an all-terrain hot dog on heavy-duty wheels that carries hot dogs to hungry fans across the country. Take that, Mars Rover. I wonder when the Wiener Rover will be available for sale? The vehicle is a remote-controlled and battery-powered version of the larger Wienermobile. The Wiener Rover is 23 inches tall and 43 inches long and holds up to eight hot dogs PLUS condiments. It goes 20 mph with ease on dirt roads, grass and rocks. Anyone else hungry? The Wiener Rover will made its debut in New York City on July 23. New Yorkers should pay close attention to the Oscar Mayer Twitter handle (@OscarMayer) to find the Wiener Rover and get a free Oscar Mayer hot dog. After that, the Rover will travel to additional cities to give away a summertime staple. Watch a video of the Wiener Rover in action here, created by 360i.
Apartments.com launched a contest on its website in which the finalists -- 12 in all -- will compete to receive free rent for life. Only one winner for that. Contestants must write a review of their apartment on the company's website to enter. Supporting the campaign is a TV campaign starring Jeff Goldblum as Brad Bellflower, the quirky Silicon Valley maverick and futurist behind Apartments.com. In "Rentless Future," a man, more than 200 years old, describes how he won free rent for life from Apartments.com and, thanks to advances to modern medicine, he's still living large and rent-free. See it here. "Contest" is just 15 seconds of Goldblum's character describing the contest and wondering whether the company is really offering such a large prize offering. Watch it here. RPA created the campaign.
Random iPhone App of the week: David Wiesner teamed up with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to create a wordless children's book app that takes kids on a world-within-a-world fantasy adventure. "Spot" uses animation, atmospheric sounds and interactive elements to create an Inception-esque experience for four- to eight-year-olds that's never the same twice. The journey begins through a spot on a ladybug’s shell and continues by zooming in on random objects like a dust bunny or spot of mold. Smashing Ideas created the app, which costs $4.99 in the App Store. Download it here.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched "Not Allowed," an ad that illustrates what consumers can and cannot bring into a Kroger's store. Viewers watch customers grocery shopping. Management tells a woman with a pet that dogs aren't allowed in-store, and a kid playing with a squirt gun is told to stop playing with the toy because it's unsafe. A kid on a skateboard is told to stop riding around the store -- but a man with a large firearm strapped to his back shops without interruption. See the ad here, created by Grey Toronto, produced by Spy Films and edited by Rooster Post.
Ziploc celebrates tough mothers everywhere with a unique obstacle course that tests the strength of both moms and new products with easy-open tabs. Moms must navigate under couches, cook meals and open snacks for hungry children. Using easy-open tabs, moms can save the day even in sticky, greasy situations. The loser in the obstacle course is the cardboard cutout of the husband. Moms have the option to grab hubby and bring him to the bedroom, but each contestant simply high-fives Hubby, or pushes him out of the way altogether. See it here. Energy BBDO created the campaign.
Lately, brands have been encouraging people to walk away from their smartphones and interact with friends and family in person. Boost Mobile has done the opposite in its latest campaign. It celebrates those tethered to their smartphones 24/7. In "Come to Data," we see people in situations that are not smartphone-appropriate trying to fight the urge to use their phones. A devilish little voice tells them otherwise and even a man of the cloth can't resist the temptation. In "Priest," a man is confessing his sins while a priest half-listens. His phone is calling him, begging him to stream a horse race and block out the man's minute sins. The priest succumbs, just as the man confesses to knowing the whereabouts of a pair of missing hikers. Watch it here. In "Bathroom Dilemma," a guy at the urinal is so impatient to watch videos of adult heads on babies that he whips out his phone at the urinal, with his co-worker right next to him. Think about that image the next time you borrow a friend's phone. See it here. 180LA created the campaign.
Don't look at this campaign on a full stomach. Omaha is known for many positive things, but one stat the city isn't thrilled with is its high rate of sexually transmitted diseases: one of the highest in the country. Serve Marketing launched an outdoor campaign to encourage residents to get checked for STDs. Copy used in the billboards is spelled out in a font that resembles infected, blistered flesh. Look for nauseating snippets like "His and herpes," "Ignorance is blisters" and "What's the warts that could happen?" The effort is led by the Women's Fund of Omaha, whose Adolescent Health Project is working to curb STDs in Omaha and encourage residents to get tested for free. See the billboards here, here and here.
Airbnb launched a global campaign entitled "Is Mankind," running in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. The spot spot broke in the U.S. during last week's ESPY Awards, following Caitlin Jenner's acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. In the spot, Angela Bassett serves as voiceover while viewers watch a curious young child slowly walking toward a window. "Sit at their tables so you can share their tastes. Sleep in their beds so you may know their dreams... Go see and find out just how kind the hes and shes of this mankind are," says Bassett. Watch it here. TWBA/Chiat/Day created the campaign, Starcom handled the media buy and Lance Acord directed the spot.
If you've ever doubted the loyalty of gamers, check out these videos for Gears of War. Dedicated fans have placed their love for the franchise on their bodies, with tattoos that are undoubtedly worn out, since the game launched nine years ago. To celebrate Xbox launching a Gears of War Ultimate Edition on August 25, select fans were treated to a remastering of their Gears of War ink at Comic-Con by tattoo artist Steve Soto. The program, Gears Ink, first launched at E3 with a video that showcased four gamers having their tattoos remastered along with franchise co-creator Rod Fergusson, who got inked for the first time. See it here. Xbox then asked fans to share their own tattoos on social media, for a chance to have their own tattoos revamped. Excited fans saw their tattoos come back to life with vibrant colors and added designs. Watch it here, created by twofifteenmccann.
Love is really in the air in a video promoting the latest season of VH1's "Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps." Naked couples are jumping in slow motion, popping champagne bottles and spraying silly string at one another. Think Cirque du Soleil without the risk of major injury. The video ends with a close-up of each couple kissing and the tagline "Love is in the air." A floating pair of VH1-branded underwear closes the video, seen here, and created by Mistress. The second season of "Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps" premieres July 22 at 9pm ET.
This is not your mother's Coffee-Mate. To promote Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss, its line of all-natural coffee creamers, the brand launched a pop-up coffee shop, "Surprisingly Natural," with a cheeky way to draw traffic. Baristas, and even some patrons, went au naturel, wearing only body paint as curious consumers entered the coffee shop. Take note that all unsuspecting consumers have bulky jackets on and then there's everyone else... naked except for body paint. No one knows where to look and no one pays attention when a naked barista explains why she's naked. I love the woman toward the end of the video who asked one of the male baristas to turn around so she could see his butt. What were we selling again? See the video here, created by 360i.