News

The Swirl: October 3, 2016

What day is it? That's right - it's October 3rd. We hope you celebrate Mean Girls Day in all its glory. In case you need some thought starters, you've got you covered. In other news, there's the return of a giant, a new phone, and a new candidate.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Fear (n). - an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous or likely to cause pain. Also, something to lean into. Last week, we had the pleasure of attending a talk led by David Baldwin and learned that the riskiest thing you can do is to play it safe.

Challenge: get out there and do something that scares you. You might be surprised at the outcome. What's the worst thing that could happen?

HO, HO, HO

One of your favorite friendly childhood characters is *almost* back in town. And no, we're not talking about Santa. Last year, CPG brand Green Giant found a new home at B&G Foods after parting ways with General Mills. To celebrate, the brand is teasing the return of the iconic Jolly Green Giant after an eight year hiatus. While the beginning might be mysteriously ominous, we think the end will likely leave you feeling whimsically nostalgic. Why? Well for starters, he's certainly changed a lot over the years. And we're pretty pumped about what his comeback's gonna look like.

WHY IT MATTERS

While the Jolly Green Giant and Santa Claus have historically shared the same tagline (although, up to you on who says it better), looks like only one is getting a makeover this year. This comes in the wake of other brands giving their mascots a facelift (looking at you Brawny, KFC and Mr. Clean). But what we like about what Green Giant is doing is that the brand's preparing for appealing to a more modern audience, all while keeping their cards close to their chest with a teaser video. Well played. The jury's out on if we're running out for canned veggies, though. One thing's for certain. We're definitely staying tuned for more on his return at #TheGiantAwakens because apparently he's got big things in store.

YOU'RE SO CLASSIC

Remember the classic short “The Red Balloon?” Refresher: the thirty-five minute film produced in 1965 that many remember as a symbol of love, friendship, the triumph of good over evil, and many other things we never knew a balloon could represent. If you missed it, don't worry - Apple just brought it back. Their new spot for the iPhone 7 clearly draws inspiration from the original. What's missing? The boy. This time, you'll see a balloon flying solo. It's a little womp until the balloon finds its soulmate (AKA a yellow balloon). They travel through the city and eventually end up on the iPhone 7 screen. And now we can all be happy again.

WHY IT MATTERS

At the end, you'll see that the spot focuses on one of the key features of the new phone: expressive messaging. What does that really mean? Pretty much that you can send someone animated graphics for their birthday instead of a cake emoji. Or as they put it, practically magic. This is yet another example of how Apple takes something so simple and turns it into something beautiful. Props for that, but for also understanding that consumers want a more meaningful way to text and talk. There's no doubt Apple and iPhone are always thinking ahead. Thanks for making our day with some balloons.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

There's a new presidential candidate in town - and the choice is rather obvious. As if last week's debate didn't show there's enough fire in the ring, Hotels.com mascot Captain Obvious has decided to run for president (read: jog). He's really fit for office. Obviously. And what other way to make his announcement than in half faux-military jacket, half running shorts? We've always heard you've got to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Killing the game.

WHY IT MATTERS

Election year is heating up, and so are political ads. We've seen a lot of brands try to take advantage of this time of year. Between Audi, GoDaddy, and others, we've got entertainment for days. But Hotels.com sticks out. Instead of doing a one-off spot or social activation, they've launched a completely integrated effort, including things like an interactive website, tv spots, 50-state tour, and more. Also important to note: presidential candidates spend an average of $405,000 on hotel lodging during primaries and caucuses. So there's a reason Hotels.com picked this year to blow it out of the water. Even if the presidents don't use their service, some of their fans probably will. We see what you did there.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

If you want your ads to be seen on screen, you should probably leave them there for 14 seconds. Or more.