Ew: SF’s School Of Thought efforts a fruitcake rebrand in holiday stunt

Fruitcake could very well be the George Costanza of pastry, especially during the holidays. You want to like it, but sometimes, it’s just too much. Pity the poor fruitcake — long banished to the back of the holiday joy line, unless you’re my Aunt Pauline (I still don’t know why she likes this stuff).

San Francisco indie School of Thought, feeling both charitable and naughty (Santa won’t like that one), took it upon themselves to give fruitcake a fighting chance, in the form of creating a fictional client, the National Fruitcake Board.

But this was no ordinary faux client effort. Like other past fake campaigns (see April Fools Day or certain Cannes Lions entries), creative was put together. What made this one a little bit different was the fact that the agency brought in a live focus group of foodies to bounce their ideas off of.

Do people like fruitcake? Not really.

Did they like the campaigns put forth? Well, it did pretty go from bad-to-worse-to-WTF?

A more standard campaign met with a resounding “meh” — with the word “lumpy” being called out as not ideal. A Drake-centric campaign (#fruitdrake — ya gotta have a hashtag, right?), though met with laughs, was deemed too “weird.” Finally, a sexually charged campaign was, er, “too much” (ya think?) though one ad with a naked man and the copy “Nuts Deep In Fruitcake” elicited laughs and, surprisingly, a thumbs up from one of the women on the panel.

Thankfully, the agency does some pretty stellar work for clients like the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Milliman, Integrate, Cisco, WebEx and more. And even more thankfully, the agency decided against sending fruitcake to clients as a holiday thank you. Our guess is that show of “gratitude” might have been met with client/agency reviews shortly thereafter.

This is certainly a great spin on holiday wishes from School of Thought and hat tips all around for taking it to the next level. Next year, though, we’d like to see egg nog as the target. I mean, what’s a “nog” anyway?


ECD: Tom Geary

ACD: Ben Bellayuto

AD/Junior Editor: Sydney Sharek

CW: Nick Comney

Dir./DP: Conor Hagen

Senior Editor: John Buscaglia

Producers: Jenny Hardin, Karina Kondachkova

Production Assistant: Taylor Reid

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