Archive for the ‘nike’ Tag

Kings, Virgins… Hipsters

Wow. Two campaigns that put a meat cleaver down the middle of it, back to back. Same agency, same brand. Same technique?


Crispin Porter + Bogusky‘s latest work for Burger King is Fire Meets Desire. It flips the truth that burgers make you stink by peddling a seductive new fragrance.

“The Whopper sandwich is America’s favorite burger. Flame by BK captures the essence of that love and gives it to you. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”


This website takes that truth out for a walk, a spot of dinner and a greasy finger by the fire. Hit the interactive Flame spray and you disperse the sappy clichés of romanticism, obliterating and channel-surfing with one click.

You can buy the fragrance from Ricky’s. Or eBay. Needless to say.


And what hasn’t been said about the previous campaign?

Whopper Virgins took Z-Boy director Stacy Peralta to Thailand, Romania and Greenland in search of “the hamburger illiterate” for a culturally blind test (see YouTube commentary below).


If we are staring into an abyss the good news is it appears to be bottomless.

Ferocious right on-ers have bashed the campaign’s off-ness, fans have whooped, fence-sitters (like this one?) have done what they always do best. The people have spoken. To one another. Just Google Whopper Virgins and take a straw poll.

If Fire Meets Desire takes a bite out of Lynx/ Axe’s global campaigns, then Whopper Virgins has a deep swig of the Pepsi Challenge. In both bursts of advertising cannibalism, the taste is ironic.

But first thing’s first. These campaigns are exceptional – in advertising terms. They’ve taken the bench and given it a mark. No doubt. Why did that bother me?


These Burger King campaigns reminded of something pretty rare: a great article on Adbusters. From Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

“Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties.”


Is this the 2.0 advertising creative par excellence?

Or did the creatives at Crispin Porter + Bogusky get at an uglier brand truth with Whopper Virgins?

“If you don’t have shit, you don’t know one shit from another.”

With that statement, even a hipster could be proud or some shit.

More burger related:

Delete 10 Facebook friends and get a free Whopper

Facebook deletes Burger King application

Nike Air Big Max

Momtroversy: That Ain’t Right

In case anyone missed the Motrin Momtroversy, here’s a recap. Skip to the concluding thoughts if this is old news to you.

1. The offending article

2. Righteous indignation

3. Trial by Twitter

4. Parody

5. Apology


I’ll whisper my words here because this whole fiasco has woken up a big, bouncing bundle of ire.

How can ads cause this kind of offence? What causes them to miss the mark? Is there any other recent example?

In the summer, Nike pulled a bunch of ads from their Hyperdunk print campaign. Item A:


In Nike’s case, the campaign at large was well received. But specific executions weren’t – as they were deemed homophobic.

One ESPN basketball blog felt sadness at the loss. Because he believed the campaign had a smart message and was shot down by political correctness.

W+K removed the ads from their blog but the remaining comments show a real mixed reaction, including ardent advocacy.

Compare the two controversies:

Nike got the message right for their target but suffered from a blindspot. The subconscious or implied meaning was offensive to group that, in all probability, weren’t considered as their consumer. Backlash.

Motrin got the conscious message wrong because they spoke directly to mums (moms – sorry, I’m from the UK) about a concern that, for most, is likely to be subconscious and if it exists, a potentially guilty feeling. That ain’t right.

Did either of these ads offend you? And if so, why?

Kobe Kills the Critic

Last week at the BFI an esteemed panel gathered to discuss the role of the film critic.

All the panellists were writers. One, at least – Mark Cousins – is also a filmmaker. All of the discussion revolved around the critic as writer.

But online film distribution and viral films are not best criticized by writers. They’re best criticized by more films.

When Kobe Bryant jumped an Aston Martin back in April, eloquent replies quickly followed.

Firstly the literal critic. This critic wanted to point out that the jump wasn’t possible. The sceptic annotates the film to question the physics. “The workings are wrong”:

But that’s not as compelling as the moral critic. The moral critic says that Nike making and distributing a film to suggest their sneakers can help you jump a speeding sportscar is irresponsible.

You could write that opinion. But who reads anymore? Make a film showing the consequences instead. (I truly hope that this film is also a fake – if anyone knows differently, please let me know and my apologies):

So what’s the most powerful critique? Show how Kobe could kill, or write about the potentially irresponsible approach of Nike’s viral marketing? Are you even reading this?


But if you are still reading, and you dig that kind of thing, stick your nose in Mark Cousins’s new book. I had the pleasure of working with him on Widescreen: Watching. Real. People. Elsewhere. I think he’s one of the best critics alive.

Burger’s Gonna Get Ya

Smart work by Olle Hemmendorff, commissioned by Nike in Sweden. Gloppy junk food on your feet? It’s strong and nippy thought.

Reminded me of a TV spot for Reebok – ‘Belly’s Gonna Get Ya’. Worth watching again, if you don’t have instant recall.

So what’s more compelling: having the cause of obesity splattered all over your feet or a big, fat belly chase you down the street?

Either way, the answer is in a pair of new sneaks.


Not nearly new enough, you say? OK, so in internet terms I came to this one about 1.2 gigayears late. But a good meal’s worth the wait.

(Thanks James for the link).

I’m not sure which piece made PES the cult star he’s become.

RoofSex is well worth watching if you haven’t already seen it. He’s been tapped up for work by Diesel, Bacardi, Nike and Orange, to name just a few money men. Michel Gondry gushes over him.

Drooling yet?

Previously: The beat goes on – Stop-Motion Graphic Equalizer.