December 04, 2022 BY Jacey Edwards in Newsletter
Super Mario Bros. vs. The Rock: NL #124
To those who contend that Christmas is getting a little too commercialized, I’d say: you’re absolutely right. I’d also say, grab some popcorn and hot cocoa and get comfortable. Sometimes The Christmas Spirit works in mysterious ways.
Without further adieu, here are some of the holiday season’s brightest (ad) spots so far:
Apple’s magical “Share the Joy”
Leave it to Apple to conjure up a fun, hip, and original AirPods Pro ad complete with modern dance, magical realism, and absolutely zero dialogue. This festive reimagining of “the Midas touch,” checks all the boxes of a memorable brand messaging tailor made for the holiday season.
Chevy’s heartwarming “Mrs. Hayes”
There’s a fine line between heartfelt expression and sentimentality, and Chevy is masterful at navigating it with precision. December is historically a hot month for buying a car, but with inflation woes and recent supply shortages, signing the dotted line on a shiny new SUV isn’t exactly in the cards for most Americans. With this ad, Chevy expertly pivots to another layer of appeal: memory. Where were we when we got the call? Went on that first date? Said our goodbyes to someone we love? Sitting behind the wheel. Maybe in a Chevy. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of this masterful feel-good tear jerker.
Uber’s cheeky “Dramedy”
Ok, let’s pause on the warm and fuzzies and get real for a second: sometimes family get-togethers during the holidays are less Norman Rockwell and way more Home Alone. In this hilarious and all-too-relatable spot–complete with the classic obnoxious uncle–Uber makes the bet that no matter how much you “like” your family, you need to have an escape plan (just in case).
Sam’s Club’s chuckle-worthy “Merry Like That”
If you can’t have Kevin Hart and The Rock in the same commercial, the next best thing is Kevin Hart and an awkward family situation. In this almost 3 minute long saga, Hart’s Scrooge-ish attitude towards his daughter’s well-meaning boyfriend during a last minute Sam’s run is everything you’d expect and more. Complete with clever punmanship.
Ocean Spray’s jiggly “Power Your Holidays”
Let me be clear: jiggly, wiggly, and wonderfully weird. In this nifty little spot, Ocean Spray isn’t shy about calling out your totally beige Christmas dinner. But when you pop a can of cranberry sauce, everyone–even your most boring dinner guests–will start to loosen up.
And there you have it, folks. The best and the brightest. While I’ll always be partial to classics like the Campbell’s soup snowman, this year’s banquet of holiday ads is sure hitting the spot.
Spotify Wrapped, Instafest and NOT Apple Music.
Spotify Wrapped came out last week, and I’m proud to say I’m in the top 0.01% of Third Eye Blind listeners. Stephan Jenkins, if you’re reading this, maybe throw some tour tickets my way?
If you’re not on the platform, here’s the skinny. Every December, Spotify offers an end-of-year listening roundup for its users. The annual feature includes a breakdown of listeners’ favorite artists, tracks, and genres. And social media goes crazy for it. Once released, Spotify Wrapped takes over Twitter, Insta, TikTok, and Facebook. This year’s Wrapped even introduced a “music personality.” Based on your listening habits, users were assigned one of 16 flattering categories, such as “Adventurer,” “Fanclubber,” and “Specialist.” I was dubbed a “Fanclubber.” Obviously.
This year, Spotify took it a step further, and partnered with Instagram to create “Spotify Instafest.” Instafest will work out users’ dream music festival, complete with 35 acts based on listening history.
Apple Music has answered the end-of-year roundup trend with its own version, Replay. Honest review? It’s weak. Users can find a personalized highlight reel of their top songs, artists, genres and total minutes listened on the platform, which is nearly identical to Spotify. Except in a much worse fashion, because it’s not easy to share. In fact, the feature is so mediocre compared to Wrapped, memes have flooded the internet on the very subject.
COVID lockdowns and tension in China.
China’s zero-COVID policy is creating serious tension across the country- and the globe. Historic protests across China on Monday battered U.S. stocks, revealing a close link between contentious Chinese measures and domestic economic conditions.
Quick update. Over the past few weeks, more than a dozen Chinese cities have been overrun by large protests. The government’s extreme lockdown measures have left many without sufficient food or medical care for months. While the rest of the world seems to have put the pandemic in the past, the Chinese remain stringent in their lockdown efforts. In October, when the Chinese Communist Party showed no signs of easing the three year lockdowns, citizens took to the streets.
With so many under lockdown, economic growth has slowed and unemployment has continued to rise. The policy has also led to major global production constraints that are sustaining inflation. How will the Chinese government respond? While they don’t want to abandon their zero-COVID policy, they certainly don’t want such political unrest to go unchecked much longer.
Best of the Week
Tips and Tricks
The metaverse market is expected to reach $800 billion by 2024. That’s a lot of billions. A great resource on what the metaverse means for brands, and smart strategy for the days ahead.
The top trends that are driving consumers this holiday season, according to Forbes. Biggest takeaway? The desire for experiences continues to grow. Think less blenders, more Mavs tickets.
Engadget’s gift guide for all the tech-loving nerds in your life. Just FYI, we love most of the items on this list. We also love Christmas cookies and hot chocolate.
Lights, trees, tacky sweaters and no parking spaces at the mall. Must be the holidays. Get in the spirit with our ‘Tis The Season playlist. Santa hats and the Cabbage Patch are encouraged, but not required.
More News From This Week
- Netflix still delivers to some folks through the post, in the original red and white envelopes. Grandpa, is that you?
- The second official trailer for the upcoming Super Mario Bros movie. Team Luigi forever.
- San Francisco approved using robo cops to shoot guns. Seems like a smart idea (insert heavy sarcasm).
- Amazon celebrated record sales over the holiday weekend, surpassing $1 billion.
- Struggling to find that perfect gift? Look no further. And no need to thank me. My pleasure.