The Monthly Report Card: November

(1.) Amazon – Jackson Five

Grade B+

Amazon set the bar high with their new holiday ad featuring the infamous singing boxes and a remake of Jackson Five’s ‘Can You Feel It?’. This year the singing boxes dance too!  As the boxes venture out of the warehouse, their journey to your home begins and it sure is an exciting one. You’ll catch yourself jamming out and maybe even dancing along with them because the joy in this ad is absolutely contagious. The spot closes with a little girl shhhhing the Amazon box on her dresser. She rolls on her side and gazes into the snow globe that’s resting beside her.

(2.) JBL – ‘Booth’ by Shakira

Grade A+ 

JBL boasts about their wireless headphones in their new ad series which show ordinary people truly getting lost in the music. In this spot, which is part of the series, a woman is grocery shopping with her wireless headphones and listening to Shakira’s ‘Booth’. She is dancing and singing as if she were the real Shakira all while weighing an apple in the produce aisle. Each spot in the series is very funny. Thanks to JBL’s unparalleled pro sound quality the individuals sing and dance as if they’re the actual artist recording in the studio. JBL hit a home run with these ads. They are hilarious and market the product well too.

(3.) SKYY Vodka – John Cena

Grade C+

WWE star John Cena is proudly American. He “pledges allegiance to the American dream,” in the new SKYY ad which touches on all the freedoms that make living in America great. Like debating whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza or running in a city-run charity race. The spot falls short in several ways but mainly in its use of patriotism, since SKYY is not even made in America. Something original and more on-brand would probably sell better. Better luck next time.

(4.) Carl’s Jr. – Celeste Barber

Grade B+

Carl’s Jr. spoofs their own ad in their new spot with comic Celeste Barber. In 2005, Paris Hilton starred in a Carl’s Jr. ad. In it she wore a skimpy bikini while washing a shiny black Bentley and posing with a Carl’s Jr. burger. Not surprisingly, the spot garnered heavy critique. The 2018 version features Barber in a wet suit washing a station wagon and its hilarious (as if the fact that Carl’s Jr. is poking fun at themselves wasn’t funny enough).

(5.) Brita – Stephen Curry, Anwar Jibawi

Grade A+

Steph Curry joins Anwar Jibwai and his family for Thanksgiving dinner in Brita’s ‘Home for the Holidays’ ad. But there’s a plot twist – Jibwai plays the role of each family member – mom, dad and grandpa. Jibwai’s mom keeps adding plastic water bottles to the table and the family barks at her for it (and rightfully so). Its ironic really, drinking from a plastic bottle while giving thanks. Brita highlights the gravity of plastic waste. “I got you fam,” Curry chimes in as he pulls out his Brita. Jibwai’s father dabs in response. All in all the ad highlights the gravity of plastic waste and the delivery is entertaining too.

(6.) Ancestry – Kelly Ripa

Grade B+

Kelly Ripa is eager to share her AncestryDNA results with everyone. The spot opens with Ripa ordering from a bakery in what appears to be a cross between English an Italian. “74% Italian,” Ripa exclaims as she opens the Ancestry app on her phone to show everyone the details. Most notably, Ripa is able to see her ancestors’ migration path from. “South Italia to exotico New Jersey,” she jokes. The ad is quirky and Ripa nails the linguistic sarcasm.

(7.) Cadillac – ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

Grade B

This new ad is Cadillac’s second since the brand promised they’d shift to a more positive tone. In this spot a group of women piles into the 2019 XT4 and drive through the city. The new vehicle is said to “make driving joyful once again,” and the spot sure does deliver in terms of joyfulness. For starters the ad opens with Ariana Grande singing, “she got a booty like a Cadillac,” from her hit ‘Bang Bang’. The song is an excellent choice and emphasizes the automakers new tone shift – especially in comparison to the orchestral tunes of Cadillac’s past ads. The XT4 is their first new vehicle in years and this ad brings every ounce of energy to the table.

(8.) VISA – Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Marcus Brandon

Grade A+

Saquon Barkley boasts about how easy it is to tap and pay with VISA. He shows Eli Manning how to use VISA’s new feature when Manning is checking out at the pharmacy. Eli grins and his schema begins. Next at the grocery store checkout, Eli asks Barkley to remind him “how do you do that card thingy again?” when its time to pay. Barkley taps to pay for Eli and then the two meet again at a vending machine. Barkley has finally caught on, “I’m not falling for that again,” (or so he thinks). “Falling for what?” asks Marcus Brandon as he joins the two at the vending machine. “How I tap to pay with my visa,” Barkley explains. Brandon grabs the Gatorade and winks, “thanks bro.” By this point, you too are laughing at Barkley.


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