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Ads of the Week: from Peloton’s ‘Unspoiler Alert’ to Ford’s ‘Night Swimming’


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

December 15, 2021 | 10 min read

Every Wednesday, The Drum picks the top global campaigns from our Creative Works. This week, Peloton, Ford and Air Canada released standout spots from Maximum Effort, AMV BBDO and FCB Canada.

Peloton’s ‘Unspoiler Alert’ is narrated by Ryan Reynolds

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Ford: Night Swimming by AMV BBDO

When you think of pickup trucks you might imagine dusty rough terrain and rugged outdoorsy-type people, right? Ford and AMV BBDO have completely flipped this stereotype on its head and developed a serene short film to capture the depths of their new Ranger truck.

‘Night Swimming’ features stunning underwater scenes of people wading the waters one evening in what, at first glance, appears to be a pool. Viewers witness the friends gliding around as ethereal lights shine all around them, illuminating the air bubbles and making everything appear to sparkle. As the group dips in and out of the waves, it becomes clear that they are actually in a lake surrounded by Ford trucks with the headlights on.

Directed by Adam Berg at Smuggler, the film was shot both in a creative studio and on location in Romania in late summer.

Vote for the work here.

Air Canada: ‘Tis the Season To Believe by FCB Canada

Magic is in the air this festive season as Air Canada debuts a heartwarming campaign bringing an imaginative take on traveling.

‘Tis the Season to Believe’ was created by FCB Canada, in partnership with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and hopes to emotionally connect with people who haven’t been able to see loved ones in the last couple of years.

It’s a touching tale of an Air Canada pilot who brings home a snow globe for her young son to add to his growing collection. Through the boy’s imagination viewers witness the ornaments coming to life as the camera pans from the real-life shots to stop-motion animation scenes inside two of the glass domes.

As the story continues, we meet two characters in the separate snow globes – one in a cold wintry scene and the other in a tropical setting. Although separated by glass, and climates, they form a bond with each other and long for the day that they can eventually meet – leaning into the campaign sentiment that being together really is special.

Vote for the work here.

Adland in the Metaverse by Very Serious Partners

In a tongue-in-cheek move, Very Serious Partners has unveiled that it has built adland in the metaverse. For a small price your agency can hold prime real estate in Decentraland’s most creative neighborhood, Voltaire, just a stone’s throw away from Sotheby’s and SuperRare.

The video, posted on Twitter, sarcastically asks viewers: “Are you an agency looking to impress your clients with how future-thinking you are?”

Wondering how much a spot in the virtual environment will set you back? In a fun twist the duo, which compromises of Alex Morris and Oliver Finel, ask that all you do is arrange to work with them and you will receive the keys to your swanky new blockchain build.

Vote for the work here.

Peloton: Unspoiler Alert by Maximum Effort Productions

Last week, Peloton faced major Wall Street losses following a scene in the premiere of HBO’s Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That... where [spoiler alert] beloved character Mr Big dies after working out on one of its bikes.

Yesterday the exercise equipment company swiftly turned the narrative around to drum up some positive publicity by enlisting actor Chris Noth (aka Mr Big) and Ryan Reynolds in a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal. The short video begins in a cozy festive-looking room with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata serenading the scene. Viewers see Noth toast to “new beginnings” with real-life Peloton instructor Jess King, who featured in the first episode of the series. After boldly asking if she would be up for going for another ride, the camera pans out to reveal two stationary bikes and the duo share a cheeky laugh together.

As the video fades, adland favorite Ryan Reynolds’s voice sarcastically notes: “And just like that the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels.”

The actor concludes, “he’s alive!” as the Peloton logo pops up on the screen.

Vote for the work here.

Guinness: Good Things Are In Our Grasp by AMV BBDO

Guinness is lighting up 22 pubs across the country this December to celebrate their returning role as hubs of the community and places of joyful times this festive season.

With Christmas nearly upon us, 3.3 million Brits have already booked a reservation at a pub or restaurant over the holidays. To ensure these festive celebrations could take place at local pubs, Guinness has donated £30m toward keeping pubs, bars and restaurants open.

Created in partnership with AMV BBDO, the campaign also sees The Guinness Pub Choir making their debut performance covering the classic Elvis Presley hit Always On My Mind.

Vote for the work here.

M&S Food: This Is Not Any Christmas Song by M&S Romford

M&S Food has tied with TikTok to release a Christmas song from its staff in Romford, with profits being donated to Shelter and Together for Short Lives.

Capitalizing on M&S Romford’s TikTok success, with videos hitting 1.4m views and gaining praise from Clara Amfo and Michelle Keagan, as well as meme account @loveofhuns, the store has recorded This Is Not Just a Christmas Song.

Currently number two in the iTunes download chart, the track features products from M&S Food’s Christmas range. The accompanying video is shot in the aisles of the Romford store with staff adorned in Percy Pig Christmas jumpers and Percy himself.

Vote for the work here.

Wild Turkey: Trust Your Spirit by Eleven

Wild Turkey, which counts actor Matthew McConaughey as its creative director, has launched a campaign in Australia in which people can camp in a tent that plays a story narrated by the Hollywood star.

Wild Turkey bourbon has created the tent alongside Australian outdoors brand Homecamp. The set includes a two-person tent and a cooler for drinks. The narrated story is activated through a QR code, linked to a unique batch number on the tent – a nod to the batch numbers that can be found on the whiskey bottles.

The campaign is part of Wild Turkey’s ongoing purpose-driven messaging around the preservation of the wilderness ‘Trust Your Spirit.’

Vote for the work here.

Chevrolet: Holiday Ride by McCann

Iconic American car manufacture Chevrolet, alongside ad agency McCann, has premiered a heartfelt holiday spot centered around love, redemption and restoration.

Based on true events, ‘Holiday Ride’ opens with some downbeat guitar chords as we see an older man try to get into the Christmas spirit by hanging up a wreath on the door of his garage. Inside rests a 1966 Chevy Impala, and as the main character sits in the front seat he is flooded with memories of his late wife.

The four-minute-long video was the product of three Academy Award winners: Tom Hooper, a famed director whose work includes The King’s Speech and The Danish Girl; composer Rachel Portman OBE; and cinematographer Claudio Miranda.

Vote for the work here.

This: A Lovely Village Called Quorn by This

Fledgling plant-based meat brand This has sponsored an English town called Quorn in a bid to take on the meat alternative legacy brand ahead of Veganuary.

The in-house stunt sees the Leicestershire town, which Quorn was rumored to be named after, taken over by This with its local bingo, chip shop and pub all sponsored by the brand.

This has also jumped on the meat-free football sponsorship wagon by supporting Quorn AFC with kits touting ‘We Love This’ and branded water bottles. The deal follows the likes of Meatless Farm sponsoring Real Madrid, Quorn partnering with Liverpool FC and vegan pet food brand Hownd tying with Forest Green Rovers.

Running alongside the campaign is a 90-second social video showing all the ways This has plastered its branding across the town, including beer pumps, missing cat posters and chip shop paper.

Vote for the work here.

Burger King: Order From McDonald’s by 180heartbeats + JUNG v MATT


Burger King chipped into the Ronald McDonald Houses Foundation, a charitable foundation supporting children with illnesses, by encouraging sales of its rival’s fries – for which McDonald’s is donating one Polish Zloty from every serving sold.

Offering participants a free Whopper Junior as an incentive, the pan-fast food promotion saw McDonald’s host a McHappy Day charity event on Saturday December 11 when the nationwide promotion went live.

Devised by agency 180heartbeats + JUNG v MATT, the altruistic campaign follows an ‘Order from McDonald’s’ call by the burger giant intended to encourage diners to dine at its competitor’s restaurants to kickstart the leisure industry.

Vote for the work here.

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