LBB’s Addison Capper presents a safe space for killer work that has nothing to do with the S**er Bowl
January is a weird ole month, isn't it? It feels long. Like a never ending, deep, dark and soulless winter of the sort that Jon Snow would never stop banging on about. But at the same time it just flies by. Where did all those days that I thought would never end disappear to? Alas, here we are. 10 days through February and tasked with rounding up the best ads of the first month of the year. Now, this is a round-up of American campaigns so it'd be easy to fill it with Super Bowl ads. But they've had their moment. I even summarised my favourites here in this handy list. So for High Five January, there's a light ban on anything Super Bowl. This is a safe space for all of the killer stuff that was happening in January that had nothing to do with the #BigGame. Here goes.
Equinox - The Most Selfless Act of All
The new year consistently brings with it wave upon wave of annoying ad whose sole aim is to guilt trip us into feeling bad about being a fatty. Props, then, to Droga5, Believe Media director Floria Sigismondi and the marketing team at Equinox for producing a New Year gym campaign that we actively enjoyed watching. Telling the outlandish story of a man who fell in love with his own reflection, 'The Most Selfless Act of All' is Droga5's first piece of work for Equinox and brings to life the philosophy that self-obsession is the first step to bettering yourself and the world. Perhaps it's my vanity speaking or the poetic nature of the film's copy but it's a message that speaks to me on a personal level.
Heineken - Daniel Craig vs James Bond
I'm a 28-year-old male so I'm supposed to want to be James Bond and live all the glamour and glitz that comes with being a 00 agent. But, truth be told, it all seems like a drag to me. I don't want to be shot at and if that were ever to happen I'm not very good at running away from people shooting at me. Daniel Craig personified my thoughts exactly in this brilliantly produced Heineken spot by Publicis and SMUGGLER director Miles Jay. Miles told me that Daniel was "a dream to work with" which I think translates to the final production. It's a hoot.
HP - Wake Up
The Lab at Anonymous Content, director Olivia Wilde and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress Margaret Qualley collaborated on this intriguing short film for HP. It tells the story of Qualley's character who wakes up in hospital to a world that's perpetually distracted by their relationship with technology, so much so that it can't look up to embrace the world around them. It's an interesting premise for HP given that it's a technology company. But it's not anti-technology - it's a poignant message for the viewer to consider their time spent looking at a screen and a gentle reminder that life has a lot to give if you cast your eyes upwards. The film doesn't feel like a piece of branded content. The lack of dialogue and overall eerie nature suggest a state of freedom for the creators and it's all the better for it.
adidas Originals - Superstar: Change Is a Team Sport
This spot is packed to the rafters with stars. Loads of 'em. You can find out who they all here. Jonah Hill even directed it. But that's not why I like this ad. It's a 60-second ad that somehow feels reassuring in that it's just a well-crafted piece of film without a bunch of bells and whistles. That feels rare in advertising sometimes and I'm always thankful when something like this drops in my inbox.
Orangetheory Fitness - Welcome to More Life
Here's another gym campaign with a startlingly different approach to the Equinox campaign we saw earlier. This iteration to Orangetheory Fitness's 'Welcome to More Life' campaign - which was created by its long-time agency Tombras - is notable for its partnership with Krewella, a music duo who are also members of the gym group. Krewella wrote the song inspired by the campaign notion of 'more life'. Tombras and Orangetheory made the most of the connection with a partnership that involved exclusive previews of the single - which was released later in January.