This is one Whopper we pray will never find its way onto BK’s menu.

WARNING: If you’re squeamish, prepare yourself and, please, don’t throw up on your computer monitor!

burger-king-moldy-whopper-2020

        Burger King highlights “the beauty of no artificial preservatives” in its Moldy Whopper campaign.
Burger King

In a word, BLEAHHHHH!!!

Last week, according to Adweek, Burger King unveiled a global ad campaign  highlighting its commitment to dropping all artificial preservatives. Such campaigns, while laudable, come and go somewhat often without generating much more than passing interest.

This one is truly bizarre. It tests just how far Burger King can virtually thrust its product down its customers’ throats before they gag.

The Moldy Whopper campaign, created through a partnership between three agencies, features intriguingly high-resolution photography and video of a Whopper being consumed not by humans, but rather by the horribly incredible passage of time itself. In other words, we get to see a Whopper rotting. Lovely!

Adweek reports that each ad shows a Whopper whose ingredients are being engulfed in mold, alongside a date stamp letting you know how long the burger has been exposed to the elements (too long, but typically about a month). The tagline, are you ready for this, describes the images as “the beauty of no artificial preservatives.”

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?

The work promotes the brand’s pledge to drop all artificial preservatives, which it has accomplished across much of Europe and 400 locations in the United States. By the end of the year, Burger King says it will have removed artificial preservatives from Whoppers in all U.S. locations. That’s nice and laudable.

I’m still feeling nauseous.

“At Burger King, we believe that real food tastes better,” (no kidding) said Fernando Machado, CMO for Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International. “That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”

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Burger King

I’m sorry but this just looks gross! It’s certainly not appealing at all. I get what they’re trying to convey but I wonder if BK ever considered giving out Tums, Alka Seltzer or nausea tablets with their meals.

In addressing reality, Adweek posits that the mold campaign might be challenging to common sense, but it was also a difficult one to accomplish in terms of craft and required months to achieve.

“We are very proud of crafting this idea,” said Björn Ståhl, executive creative director for Ingo, one of three agencies involved. “Mold grows in a very inconsistent way. We had to work for several months, with different samples, to be able to showcase the beauty of something which is usually considered undesirable.”

” . . . the beauty of something undesirable.” Really? Sort of sounds like a contradiction in terms. I’m still feeling nauseous.

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Burger King

So how will it go over? According to Adweek’s reporting, in the short term, the likely answer is: not great. Head-scratching advertising tends to generate quite a bit of short-term negative publicity, usually thanks to morning talk shows and late-night monologues.

And some within advertising will call the work “awards bait,” knowing that juries at Cannes Lions and other awards festivals tend to swoon over concepts that challenge every seemingly obvious but unwritten rule of advertising, such as “Don’t make your food look like it will literally kill people.”

But in the process of sparking debate and consternation, the campaign is also likely to resonate across the industry and encourage other brands to take similar moves, knowing that the ideas will be easier to sell when something so “off the wall” (that’s one way to put it) has already been sold to a major global corporation.

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Burger King

This campaign will indeed show something else:  How strong are BK’s customers’ stomachs? This is revolting no matter how “beautiful” the photography. Just because a global corporation has gone along with this hideous idea doesn’t make it one to copy. After all, how many global CEO’s have signed off on something that should never have come out of committee?

What will definitely be interesting to see will be the types of “toned down” ideas and executions coming forth that are based on the Moldy Whopper campaign.

In the meantime, BK needs to supply their restaurants with plenty of Tums and barf bags, just in case.

 

PS . . . Thanks to David Griner (@griner), creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek’s podcast, “Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad” for source material for this blog.

Handwritten OOH Boards Deal Delicate Subject Gut Punch. Kudos!!

In most circles, any discussion of mental health is still taboo. On this side of the “pond” we often pretend mental health is something other than what it really is, a disease, which can and should be treated.

In the UK, mental health is being put to the forefront by some interesting outdoor boards.   The campaign is for Samaritan, a charity who tackles mental health and its challenges.

Featured in Ad Age, the campaign by Mother London directly takes on mental health by asking actual men, not actors, to share their stories and opinions. A unique approach the campaign uses is to feature handwritten words of advice from real-life men who have previously contacted the Samaritans feeling depressed or suicidal.

Running at locations like train stations, the boards are aimed at men when they are most susceptible, when they may be considering hurting themselves or pondering suicide. The campaign also includes social media ads.

Mental Health Billboards in UK

According to AdAge’s reporting, the campaign comes as Samaritans releases results of a nationwide survey, which shows two in five (41%) men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need it because they prefer to solve their own problems.

Paul McDonald, executive director of external affairs at Samaritans, says: “We didn’t want to create just another awareness campaign. So we asked men to share their stories with us. Men who have been through tough times and come through the other side.

“They wrote some words down, and we’ve got those words on the posters to inspire and encourage other men going through difficult times to seek help, and to contact Samaritans if they’re ready to talk.”

Being in the U.S., I can’t help but wonder what kind of effect this sort of campaign would have on men here in the states. My guess is that results would echo the UK’s results if not prove more so. Most men like to solve our own problems or not even admit we have one.

Kudos to the Brits for trying to face this problem head on. Again, creativity in this case is best showcased rather simply but directly.

More OOH Mental Board

So what, dear readers, do you think of this campaign? Think it will work. Think it will do what it’s designed to do?

Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your comments!

Quotes . . .Quotes . . .Quotes. And then some!

Greetings and good day to ‘ya! Here’s your respite into the world of famous and sometimes infamous quotes from a variety of personalities. Any one of these could prove motivation for that ad you’re working on, tweak your imagination, inspire you or just plain bring a smile to your face.

Feel free to share.

It’s the start of the week. Have some fun. NOW!

Enjoy!!

smartquote-top The most common trouble with advertising is that it tries too hard to impress people. —James Randolph Adams, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Advertising did not invent the products or services which called forth jobs, nor inspire the pioneering courage that built factories and machinery to produce them. What advertising did was to stimulate ambition and desire – the craving to process, which is the strongest incentive to produce.– Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.  Vince Lombardi

Advertising is what you do when you can’t go see somebody. That’s all it is. — Fairfax Cone, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

In writing advertising it must always be kept in mind that the customer often knows more about the goods than the advertising writers because they have had experience in buying them, and any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled. — John Wanamaker, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth. — Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

There is no such thing as ‘soft sell’ and ‘hard sell.’ There is only ‘smart sell’ and ‘stupid sell.’ —Charles H. Brower, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. – Arthur C. Clarke

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.       – Bernard Baruch

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. – Edgar Allan Poe smartquote-bottom

 

Extraordinary Creativity. Dynamic Images, strikingly different. 100 Years Apart.

What do you get when you pair an egotistical, genius architect from the early 20th Century with a young Canadian-born illustrator producing incredibly creative work?

Oh, and throw in 100 years difference between the two.

What do they have in common? Extraordinary talent.                                 Extraordinary images.

One was a visionary; the other expresses her visions colorfully. He showed bold and dramatic executions; so does she. He was extremely creative and imaginative. Her: Ditto. That’s what this blog is all about: Various and different perspectives on creativity.

In reading articles recently on re-imaging, I was reunited with the subject of a paper I’d written years ago. This article took a different perspective. About the same time, I was introduced to a new subject of creativity in an article on illustration.

The subjects: Very different and very dynamic.

The subject I wrote about years ago was the infamous and egotistical architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. I was intrigued by his designs and his persona. His works were that of genius. My aunt, being an interior designer, was quite familiar with Mr. Wright, especially after seeing him in Chicago during the fifties. This heightened my interest and pushed me to write the paper.

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Courtesy PPG Paint Color Collection: Frank Lloyd Wright™

Since this blog centers around creativity and innovation, let alone imagination, I thought it appropriate to publish some of Wrights work with an intriguing take on some of his designs that were never built. They’ve been reimagined here in the 21st Century. Keep in mind, dear audience, that Wright flourished during the early 20th Century. He died in 1959. His last project, in Phoenix, was recently put on the market for $2.7M.

Spanish architect, David Romero, has created photorealistic computer renderings of unbuilt or demolished Wright buildings. Admittedly, as I was first reading about his process and looking at the photos, the settings seemed surreal.

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Wright’s Roy Wetmore Car Repair and Showroom was to have been built in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: David Romero

Romero also painstakingly researched the context and location of the building, including adding era-appropriate cars, traces of rain and dirt on the building, and other details in order to bring the project to life. As a result, at times it can be hard to tell these are illustrations rather than stylized photographs.

gordonstrong-davidromero

Intended to stand atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the plan for the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective commissioned in 1924 called for a planetarium and restaurant to accompany a scenic overlook. Its developer, wealthy Chicago businessman Gordon Strong, envisioned it as a destination where families would drive for the day from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Credit: David Romero

Take a trip back to yesteryear and see for yourself various Wright projects either demolished or even never built.

Larkin-Administration-Building-01

Larkin-Administration-Building-inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Larkin Administration Building (left) and inside the building (right) made design statements all throughout. However, the building does not exist any longer. Wright’s Larkin Building in Buffalo, New York—his first office building—was built in 1903 and demolished in 1950.

According to Romero, after gobs of research and learning, they had to be works that did not exist, either because they disappeared or because they never came to be built. The reason is simple: 3D rendering tools serve precisely for this, to show what does not exist.

Describing his process of recreation, Romero explains: “I start the model in Autocad, then I export it to 3ds Max + Vray where I add textures, lights and cameras, as well as vegetation and the environment. Finally there is some retouching in Adobe Photoshop, although very light.”

Creativity of today depicting creativity of a bygone era. Fascinating!

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From the early 20th Century to present day we go. I find that creativity is not age based. What’s creative and imaginative is creative and imaginative, regardless of when created.

Take the young Canadian illustrator, Lynn Scurfield. She has positioned her career path thusly: “I wanted to be an animator until I saw artist Alphonse Mucha’s work in high school. I knew that I had to do what he did! Drawing insanely beautiful images and then having them used in different commercial ways was mind blowing.”

Lynn-Slf_Portrait2020

I was taken with this illustration of a smoke monster-type creature (any Lost fans out there?) apparently poised to eat a woman who is just leaving this house, oblivious to her impending danger.

Scurfield Illust

“Hello! I’m an illustrator living in a sleepy town just outside of Toronto, Ontario. My work is defined by crazy colours and textures with strong emotional qualities.”  For Marzena Czarnecka’s article ‘Unsafe at Home, Lost in the System,’ for city lifestyle magazine Avenue Calgary.

She describes her approach as . . . “My art style, which utilizes a mix of media, really confuses people because they never know how much of my work is done traditionally versus digitally. People are also intrigued by how emotional my work can feel. I’m usually hired to create images about emotionally difficult topics, like death, mental health and separation. The fact that I’m being hired to make illustrations that emotionally connect with a general audience is special and amazing.”

. . . and her philosophy as . . . “Don’t overthink your work. When I was in school, I was always worried if my work was good enough, if it was cool enough, if I was a two-bit artist. Since I’ve started working in the industry, I’ve realized that thoughts like these aren’t healthy, and they don’t make you a better artist. I like my work more now that I care less about what people think. As long as my clients are happy with the final results, I’m happy!”

Walrus-Lynn

“For Erin MacNair’s short story ‘Thin Crust,’ for general interest magazine The Walrus.”

Interestingly, both Wright and Scurfield, though a century apart, expressed their work in striking and dramatic ways while emitting strong, emotional qualities. Imagination is at the heart of creativity and the images exhibited by these two talents stirs that imagination.

Born of different generations, one has left his indelible mark in the world of architecture while the other continues to illustrate hers. Take heed; the rest of us can learn something. Creativity and imagination are not constrained by time and space, and to a lesser degree, neither are we. Think about it!

Fun, Frivolous, Famous, and Fearless Quotes . . . Food for your Soul!!

red-quotation-marks-vector-online-royalty-free-picture-435958Here we are again, searching through the online Quote Bag. Some of the gems I found are listed below.

Your respite into the world of famous and sometimes infamous quotes from a variety of personalities. Any one of these could prove motivation for that ad you’re working on, tweak your imagination, inspire you or just plain bring a smile to your face.

 

Charles Kettering Quote

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” – Henry Ford

My stories run up and bite me on the leg. I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite.” — Ray Bradbury, the author of Twilight Zone’s 100th episode!

Ray Bradbury Title Card

From someone on Twitter:
It was the great Ray Bradbury, whom I interviewed as a young reporter and aspiring novelist going in five different directions at once and totally befuddled.  His simple advice to me:  “Write what you love to read.”

Rod Serling Quote

 

Mark Twain Quote

 

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”   – Albert Einstein

There have been three writers that most suit me: Rod Serling, Clifford Odets and Neil Simon. With Neil it was the humor and the rhythms. Odets, the staccato. But with Rod Serling, it was the anger, the defiance and fire. He brought such fire to everything he wrote.” — Jack Klugman

No knowledge of what went before. No understanding of what is now. No knowledge of what will be.  #ZoneQuotes #S3E14  “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” by Rod Serling

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Frommred-quotation-marks-vector-online-royalty-free-picture-435958

 

 

 

 

Which ones ring true for you? Inspire you? Make you want to scratch your head and say “Huh?” Let me know in the comments.

Friday Fun Quotes . . . is baaaack!!

It’s back. Friday Fun Quotes. Sorry we’ve been away for awhile but other priorities surfaced and we’re just now trying to get back into the swing of things.

Searching through the online Quote Bag, some of the gems I found are listed below. They are a variety of ad-related and TV-related quotes from some very significant folks in our culture such as David Ogilvy, Rod Serling, Steve Jobs, and Van Gogh.

So, without further ado, enjoy!

If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, and the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular. David Ogilvy, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Great designers seldom make great advertising men, because they get overcome by the beauty of the picture – and forget that merchandise must be sold. James Randolph Adams, member,                       Advertising Hall of Fame

Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life. Arianna Huffington

RodSerlingQuote-singular evil

RodSerlingQuote-where will he

I want to put a ding in the universe. Steve Jobs

VanGogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

‘something like the colour of a really dusty potato, unpeeled of course’. Van Gogh painted in earth tones. He wanted to show that they ‘have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and that they have thus honestly earned their food’. 

We don’t grow unless we take risks. Any successful company is riddled with failures. James E. Burke, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

NightGallery-Michelle Lee

The weed is employed by the aging witch who has used up her present body to facilitate her entry into the new, young body she has chosen for herself. #GalleryQuotes #NGS2E3, “Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay” (Night-Gallery) Michelle Lee

***And, finally, with a wink and a nod . . .***

The man I knew, my dad, was nothing like the black and white image walking across the MGM soundstage… #my lampshade, guitar and I don’t know where he got the rest of the outfit. Anne Serling, excerpted from “AS I KNEW HIM: My Dad Rod Serling”

RodSerling-at home

Rod at home