'The Simpsons' Spoofs Trump (Plus 10 Times The Show Predicted The Future) (Video)

 

Homer & company have a little fun at the expense of Trump's little hands. Politics has never been so funny (or terrifying). But the show has a long history of predicting the future. Check this out:

 

Let's just hope they were wrong about that whole Trump-gets-elected part, though.

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'Let's Be Evil' Trailer: Tech Gone Bad? (Video)

 

Another day, another dystopian vision for a future, this time from the POV of "Glassholes."

Get the inside scoop, here.

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Pokémon Go—to Switzerland: Funny Promo for Town of Basel Features AR (Minus the 'A')

 

Still loving this hilarious video promoting the town of Basel, which capitalizes on the Pokémon Go craze with a fun stunt. Hey, the game's supposed to get you outside, right? Why not make a vacation out of it. I want to shoot a prank like this just for fun.

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Touching 'Justino' Wins Cyber Grand Prix (Video)

 

It's hard not to love this Cyber Grand Prix-winning initiative promoting "El Gordo," an annual holiday lottery in Spain.

While the rest of the industry obsessed over John Lewis' "Man on the Moon" last Christmas, "Justino" quietly went about its business—with a touching animated short about a night watchman at a mannequin factory who never gets to meet his day-timer co-workers. In an attempt to create a bond, he poses mannequins in fun scenarios as a way to greet them each morning. But when he sees news that the company had set up a lottery pool without him—and won—he's heartbroken. You have to see what happens next for yourself.

While brilliant even as just an online video, "Justino" took social sharing a leap further than most such promotions—even John Lewis' acclaimed holiday campaign.

According to Libris, the Spanish national lottery set up social media accounts specific to the #Justino campaign, with content optimized for each channel. In one, viewers could comment on their favorite scenes. In another, they could guess at key elements of the story line. In all, viewers were brought into the story even while becoming viral engines for it.

It was exactly this kind of finely crafted digital storytelling that inspired its Cannes win, according to reports in Ad Age.

Kudos to Leo Burnett Madrid and all involved for a job well done.

 

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Surprising Entry in 'New Directors" Showcase': An AI-Directed Film (Video)

 

"Is filmmaking a uniquely human skill? Can a film made by a machine move you?"

That's the question posed by the team behind Saatchi & Saatchi's "New Directors' Showcase" at Cannes.

The result: "Eclipse," which was conceived, directed and edited by Hollywood's future android overlords. To be clear: There's a lot of human talent at work here. And the video is a music video—which by the very nature of music carries emotive power.

But make no mistake: Tomorrow's blockbusters will no doubt depend on this kind of AI—for better or worse. Still, if this is any indication, there's hope it's more of the former. Or maybe it just signals better computer-human collaboration. If the AI will put up with us. See the YouTube video above, read more here, and don't miss this year's human-created "Showcase" entrants, here.

 

 

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GramGram: This Is Your Grandma's Social Media—Here's How to Use It (Video)

 

Check out this spoof video from Project GramGram, which comes with some great tips for connecting with your dear old grandma—including using a fictitious new service that lets you send social media posts via snail mail, so you can update her instantly, "in three to five days."

My favorite: Alternative options like, "the phone app, available on most mobile devices."

Apparently it's all the work of some Brigham Young University students. Which means their muse was, most likely, a certain somebody who wasn't going to hear any more about their excuses for not staying connected.

If this is the result, we hope they tell her thank you for us.

Read more.

 

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Prankvertising With A Purpose: Reflections in a Bar's Bathroom Mirror—From Prison (Video)

 

The man in the mirror has a deadly serious message for you.

We love this PSA-based prank from We Save Lives, which campaigns against what it calls the 3 Ds: Drunk, Drugged and Distracted driving.

This particular initiative (see YouTube video above) involves a bar bathroom mirror in Los Angeles that serves up a video feed with a man convicted of manslaughter from drinking under the influences—live from jail in Florida.

Longtime readers know we love prankvertising—especially the kind promoting horror movies (and certain zombie stunts on sisters after dental surgery.)

This is a horror flick of a different kind. One where the story is, unfortunately, true.

Pretty powerful stuff.

Read more here.

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Coke Ditches 'Happiness,' Tells You to 'Taste the Feeling' (Video)

 

You can stop looking for "Happiness" now.

That's the word from Coca-Cola's new global CMO Marcos de Quinto, who says the decade-long "Open Happiness" campaign had become too preachy in promoting sharing and co-existence for his, er, tastes.

So now, Coca-Cola, Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, will all share a common theme: "Taste the Feeling."

Having brand consistency across its cola portfolio is indeed a no-brainer. 

And we're seriously digging the opening spot, "Anthem" (above). Be sure to catch "Under Pressure" and "Breakup," too.

In fact, there is a lot to like about each of 25 new spots released earlier today.

But here at Gen Wow, we can't help wondering if "Taste the Feeling" skates a little too close to Skittles territory.

And let's face it, there's a lot to miss about some classic "Happiness" initiatives over the last few years—especially the physical + digital variety.

Among our favorites:

COKE HAPPINESS MACHINE

Let's face it, Happiness shared is doubled. Or tripled. Or...

COKE HAPPINESS TRUCK

How Coke helps you brake for good times.

COKE DRIVE-IN THEATER

Call it the Happiness Traffic Jam

COCA-COLA WISH IN A BOTTLE

Open a bottle and light up the night sky.

THE SHARING CAN

A single serving—for two.

COKE DANCE MACHINE

Bust a move for your favorite beverage.

COKE POP-UP  PARK

Coke creates a city park and rolls out the happiness.

COKE SMALL WORLD MACHINES

Happiness brings even the people of India and Pakistan together.

THE FRIENDSHIP MACHINE

It takes two to use this 12-foot-tall vending machine.

COKE HUG MACHINE

Hug it, get an ice-cold Coke.

COCA-COLA FRIENDLY TWIST

An on-campus ice breaker for the first day of school.

COKE FOR COUPLES: ROSES ARE RED

Cupid makes you prove you're a couple to get a Coke.

PROJECT RE-BRIEF

Reinventing that age-old Coca-Cola classic for the digital age.

Of course, change is the only constant—and perhaps the time is right for a Coke refresh.

But that doesn't mean we won't miss the happiness we've shared in times past.

 

 

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Top 10 Best Brand Viral Videos 2015 (Video)

 

As I put it in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, viral isn’t a strategy—it’s an outcome.

While many people believe it’s a matter of simply posting a video and waiting for it to take off, success comes from share-worthy content backed by promotion—and plenty of it.

The problem with our 2015 list of favorites is that there was so much video that fit the description above that it’s hard to zero in on just 10 favorites. So out of easily two dozen brand videos that hit and stayed on our radar this year, here is an unusually imperfect breakdown of 10 that rose to the top.

(Though our annual list captures videos that generated massive numbers of online views, it reflects personal appeal, not literal rankings).

As in year’s past, a large number of our selections pull at the heartstrings. Others also made some of our other awards lists, most notably this year’s of Top 10 Prankvertisements. And a few won’t be appropriate for every person (or every setting).

But every one of them is worth at least one last look.

10. JEEP: ‘BEAUTIFUL LANDS’

Yes, we’re suckers for patriotic branding. And yes, this Super Bowl spot from Jeep was not without some sniggering (Adweek was quick to point out similarities with the North Face spot that ran during the Super Bowl last year—right down to the soundtrack). It still works for us.

9. NIKE: ‘SNOW DAY’

Athletes get to relive their childhoods with winter’s two most perfect words. A sure way to fire up your competitive spirit, even when it’s freaking freezing outside.

8. ALWAYS: ‘UNSTOPPABLE’

Always’ Effie-wining #LikeAGirl campaign’s summer 2015 entry. Not as good as the original “Like A Girl,” but still heroic.

7. HYUNDAI: “A MESSAGE TO SPACE’

Maybe we should call the Nazca Lines the NASCAR Lines. No, Hyundai’s not exactly going for racing glory here. But in an effort to highlight and humanize its innovative thinking, the brand is using synchronized driving to create markings that can only make sense from space. Nearly 70 million earthlings got the message.

6. SQUATTY POTTY: ‘THIS UNICORN CHANGED THE WAY I POOP’

It’s the “stool for better stools” – and it’s the latest potty humor-infused brand video from the team behind Poo Pourri’s mega hit “Girls Don’t Poop.” Over 50 million views later, this little brand that could has seen sales rise from $3 million last year to $15 million in 2015 (an appearance on NBC’s Shark Tank late last year didn't stink, either).

5. FAN PAGE: ‘SLAP HER’

On the flipside of the “Girl Power” ethos of #LikeAGirl, this public service spot from Fan Page spot addresses male attitudes toward domestic violence in Italy on the heels of a UN report calling it “the most pervasive form of violence” in that country, and after Prime Minster Enrico Letta referred to the problem as “femicide.” Put on the spot, some young men school some other members of their gender on basic human decency.

4. BARBIE: ‘IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES’

Is it ironic or fitting that Barbie—a dichotomous figure that has always aspired to empower even while being seen by many to objectify—also made our list? In a year when an artificial intelligence-enabled "Hello Barbie" creeped out some parents (and child psychiatrists), it’s hard not to love this prank video that gets to the brand’s ambitions perfectly.

3. AD COUNCIL: ‘LOVE HAS NO LABELS’

Though it’s not exclusively about any one segment of the population, this video captures the spirit of summer 2015, when the US Supreme Court caught up with the rest of America in its collective declaration that love wins. It always does, even if it takes a very long time.

2. JOHN LEWIS: ‘MAN ON THE MOON’

In the UK, it has become an annual tradition to keep an eye out for the new holiday spot from retailer John Lewis. Even here in the US, this one has touched millions. That is, when it’s not being spoofed (with a mashup with this December's other big pop culture property, Star Wars, natch).

1. EXTRA GUM: ‘THE STORY OF SARAH & JUAN’

Who knew a gum commercial could pack as much narrative emotion as any of the year’s top movies into a two-minute video (at top)? Now that’s something to chew on. And in the spirit of giving a little extra, check out this BTS video of Haley Reinhart doing the Elvis cover. (You're welcome.)

 

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TOP 10 BEST PRANKVERTISING CAMPAIGNS 2015 (VIDEO)

 

EmojiI keep thinking Oxford Dictionaries was only pranking us by naming this emoji as its 2015 Word of the Year.

Not the word “emoji,” mind you. Literally this symbol – “tears of joy.”

GenWowAwards-2015But for those who have been doing their best to resist letting lose with their emojis, myself included, the year’s prankvertising-slash-stuntvertising videos proved "mischievous" doesn’t always have to be "mean," at least not all the time

A look at some of our favorites from what seemed (mostly) like a kinder, gentler year in branded pranks:

10. CHEVY CRUZE: CELL PHONE FAKE OUT

From WTF to WiFi in 6-seconds flat: The 2016 Chevy Cruze comes with built-in 4G LTE connectivity. Which is fortunate for the guy at the center of this prank.

9. TERMINATOR GENISYS: WAX ATTACK

Arnold pranks fans as the Terminator—to promote his summer movie, and to benefit afterschool programs. Worth it for the wax museum segments.

8. MICROSOFT COLLECTIVE: BIONIC ARM

Iron Man meets Bionic Boy as Robert Downey Jr. surprises this child with a new 3D-printed bionic arm.

7 & 6: DOVE: CHOOSE BEAUTIFUL & ALWAYS: UNSTOPPABLE

Let’s not forget that Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” and Always’ Effie-winning #LikeAGirl campaign are really prankvertising – putting young people on the spot to ask provocative questions in an effort to prove a point. Heck, I pull pranks on my daughter all the time, but rarely (okay, never) so successfully. This summer’s “Unstoppable,” timed perfectly around the hype around CBS’s girl power-themed ‘Supergirl,’ may end up describing this campaign. And “Choose Beautiful” is just that: beautiful.

5. CARLSBERG: CARLSBERG DID CASES

Would it kill Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada to pull this prank on one my outbound vacation or inbound business flights? Carlsbad did, in this prank pulled on some very happy Londoners on their way home from holiday, as the Brits say. A nice little souvenir that’s sure to put some fun on tap at home.

4. DISLIFE: MORE THAN A SIGN

Sometimes pranks are well deserved. This noteworthy effort from Y&R Moscow used technology to scan cars to see if they had disabled stickers. If they didn’t, and the driver pulled into parking places designated for the disabled anyway, a holographic image of a wheelchair-bound man accosted them on the street. Surely a sign of signs to come.

3. AD COUNCIL: LOVE HAS NO LABELS

 

Even in a year with some pretty monumental Supreme Court decisions on personal liberty, this is pretty powerful stuff – a prank to make passersby come face to face with their own snap judgments about age, race, sexuality, gender, religion and love. Projects like this makes me proud to be in this business.

2. JAGUAR: ‘ACTUAL REALITY’ PRANK

 

Longtime readers know I’m partial to horror movie promotional pranks like “Devil’s Due” and “Telekinetic Coffee House” but this one from Jaguar New Zealand may just take the cake. Not only does it play off all the hype around augmented reality, but it's spot on from a positioning standpoint – nothing can simulate what it’s like to drive a Jag, right? – and it drives it all home in unforgettable fashion. Hat tip to Rick Wootten for finding this one.

1. HEINEKEN: DREAM ISLAND

This video (at top) from Heineken takes our top this year—as a group of young contest winners get an amazing wake-up call.

 

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