Ads of the week: Toyota goes ‘Back to the Future’

To stand out in the crowd, agencies and brands must make their ads novel and interesting. We selected four commercials for you, to illustrate how advertisers think outside the box. From Toyota’s Diner to Clearasil’s Teacher Truth, these ads really make you laugh, think, and want to rewatch.

1. Diner by Droga5

Back to the Future fans probably remember that October 21, 2015 is the date Marty McFly time-travels to in the sequel, Back to the Future II. To mark this historical moment, Toyota and agency Droga5 have reunited the film’s two stars, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, for an ad based on the movie.

Reminding the viewers of the friendship between Marty and Doc Brown evokes a sense of heartwarming nostalgia. The old friends, who’ve maintained their iconic pop culture status for almost 30 years, exchange casual conversation, laughing over coffee as they compare the predicted technological advances asserted throughout the ’80s film trilogy with the technology of today.

Everyone is curious to see how the two buddies travel through time in a modified Toyota car (not DeLorean!). It’s too bad that the company will not release the full movie until October 21 of this year. In the meantime, here’s the teaser.

2. The Big Adjustment by Preacher

This ad comes from men’s underwear brand Tommy John and Austin-based creative agency Preacher. The minute-long video captures men in public situations dealing with the universal issue of bunching, sagging, and pinching undergarments.

Embarrassing, right? But true to life, the ad uses observations about a universal guy problem – the need to make “adjustments” even in public – and employing humor, emphasizes that this is something that all men experience. The agency cleverly uses the song Angst in My Pants by Sparks to further underscore the humorous aspects of these everyday situations.

The genius part is that the video ends with Tommy John underwear as the ultimate solution to this “adjustment” problem. Though totally embarrassing and awkward, realizing that this is something that happens to everyone (well, all men) and being able to laugh about it gives the brand a relatable, down-to-earth, humanistic quality. It’s as if Tommy John is saying to consumers, “Don’t feel awkward – it just means you’re a normal man!”

3. The House Party by BBDO Worldwide

We selected this 50-second video because liquor brand Bacardi and its new agency BBDO Worldwide made a bold move: the ad is different from Bacardi’s previous ads, which emphasize the brand’s historical significance spanning through the 20th century. 

Unlike Bacardi’s prior campaigns that romanticized the sophisticated elegance of the past, this commercial is hip and refreshing, radiating with youthful energy. What starts with two friends shouting for a third to catch up quickly evolves into a raging mobile house party. Because the only thing more exciting and liberating than a spontaneous dance party is a travelling spontaneous dance party (with a sober designated driver, of course).

Obviously the ad is designed to cater to young audience, but even veteran Bacardi drinkers can feel the pulse of exuberance, as they are reminded of past adolescent adventures of their own.

At the end of the ad, Bacardi’s new tagline appears: “There’s Nothing in the Way,” a fresh update to the brand’s former tagline, “Bacardi Untamable Since 1862.”

4. Teacher Truth by Droga5

For students, the feelings of embarrassment, awkwardness, and overwhelming insecurity finally subside after graduating from high school, but teachers are essentially “stuck” at school forever.

In Droga5’s new campaign for acne care brand Clearasil, teachers confess that being forced to reckon with all the hormonally-charged emotional baggage that comes with teenage puberty can be exhausting and even frustrating at times.

“Teens, let’s be clear. Teenage acne? It’s not going to last forever. So next time, you’re worrying about a pimple, remember: The hard stuff? It’ll all be over soon,” one teacher says.

Hearing about the plights of puberty from the adult perspective might be unexpected approach for selling a product commonly targeted at teens. But it’s an original and smart way to leverage the contrast between students and teachers, delivering a strong message: puberty does not last forever. 

The video also encourages viewers to submit a true from their teacher and they will be able to win $5,000 college scholarship from Clearasil.

This ad’s brutal honesty, in conjunction with this strong call-to-action, conveys a level of genuine and organic sincerity that resonates with all age demographics, casting a wider net for the brand to reel in consumers.  

Did your favorite ad make the cut? We would like to know more clever ads that think outside the box.

Homepage image via Flickr

Related reading

nurcin-erdogan-loeffler_wikipedia-definition-the-future_featured-image
pwc_experience-centre_hong-kong_featured-image
12919894_10154847711668475_3893080213398294388_n
kenneth_ning_emarsys_featured-image
<