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W+K tells the story of a doomed romance using pop-up ads in music video for Portugal. The Man

Pop-up ads typically aren’t used as fodder for music videos, but Wieden+Kennedy has cleverly used the loathed ad medium in an interactive music video for Alaskan band Portugal. The Man.

The music video is for the song ‘Rich Friends,’ one of the songs off of the band’s latest album. Starring ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ actor Glenn Howerton, the video uses faux pop-up ads to tell the story of a relationship that, while seemingly perfect from the outside, is actually a living hell.

In the video, which can be viewed at chardonnayandadderall.com, Howerton’s face appears in pop-up ads for luxurious watches, colognes and clothing. When he locks eyes with a fellow pop-up ad model – a woman who’s donning a pair of sunglasses for ‘Buzzari Eyewear’ – the two begin appearing in ads together for mattress brands, luxury estates, and more.

As the video goes on, it becomes apparent that the couple’s romance may not be as picture-perfect as it seems. For instance, the two appear to be a perfectly happy couple in an ad for ‘Sun God Orange Juice,’ but once you click on the ad, Howerton begins pouring a bottle of vodka into his glass of orange juice – much to his wife’s dismay.

Further ads reveal the extent of his alcohol and drug addiction; in another, he’s seen snorting “baking soda” off of a kitchen counter while his wife uses a rolling pin to flatten some dough. Later, he throws up the gin he’s supposed to be promoting into a toilet bowl cleaner ad. The interactive video concludes when his wife is seen using ‘Floor Gleam,’ a cleaner that “cleans the nasty away," to clean up his blood post-murder.

Max Stinson and Erik Fahrenkopf, creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy, came up with the idea for the tongue-in-cheek video.

"It’s been fun interrupting people’s favorite shows with our commercials, but we thought that there had to be other art forms we could ruin with ads,” the duo said in a statement.

"With a music video, only one thing matters: making shit people actually want to watch. As advertising agencies stumble towards a new way of working, this video has been a refreshing reminder to always keep your eye on the audience,” added Jason Kreher, creative director of publishing for Wieden+Kennedy.

Wieden+Kennedy also created an interactive music video for the single ‘Feel It Still,’ another song on Portugal. The Man’s Woodstock album.

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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