Make Love Not Scars

reshma

Since its founding in 2005, YouTube has been home to a myriad of beauty bloggers who post tutorials and other how-to makeup videos. But in a powerful new campaign for Make Love Not Scars by Ogilvy & Mather, the woman giving the red lip tutorial looks a little different than the typical 20-something beauty blogger.

Reshma, whose face has been scarred and disfigured, is a spokesperson for the #EndAcidSale campaign, whose goal is to curb the number of acid attack victims in India by limiting the accessibility to acid (you can buy a liter of it in any drugstore in India for about $1.50).

According to a petition that Reshma asks viewers to sign (which has over 65,000 signatures), India has over 1,000 reported acid attack cases per year, of which 90% of the victims are female.

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative and powerful campaigns that capture attention and call for change.

Raising the Bar

obi

The next step for global connectivity? A smartphone for the developing world. And it’s designed by none other than John Sculley, former Apple executive and Robert Brunner, the designer behind Beats by Dre headphones.

The Obi Worldphone marks a greater push toward accessible technology–Sculley aims to provide developing countries in places like Africa and Southeast Asia with high-powered, affordable smartphones, which he predicts will replace their needs for personal computers.

In addition to its sleek design, the phone is tailored to its target consumers’ preferences. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, texting, taking photos, and banking are popular uses for smartphones, so the Obi Worldphone has features like a 13-megapixel camera and a diverse marketplace of applications.

The phone will retail for $200, a reasonable price to most first-world Americans, but still may be a problem for the standard income in a developing country.

What Sparks Our Fire: A quest for a high-powered but inexpensive smartphone that makes technology more available on a global scale.

McWhopper for World Peace

mcwhopper

Burger King released a video proposal on Wednesday as an open letter to its No. 1 competitor McDonald’s, calling for the two burger powerhouses to bury the hatchet in honor of World Peace Day on September 21st.

The fast-food chain proposed a pop-up shop at the halfway between its headquarters in Miami and McDonalds’ headquarters in Chicago, in Atlanta as the middle ground. The shop would exclusively serve “The McWhopper,” half-Big Mac and half-Whopper, designed to “settle the beef” between the two companies for a day. In addition, to the video, the company also created a website illustrating the logistics of the proposal, even featuring an endorsement from nonprofit Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley and the recipe for the proposed hybrid burger.

However, the advertisement was seen by some as both a not-so-subtle challenge and a cheap marketing stunt, namely, by the face of McDonald’s himself, who released a public rejection letter of the proposal. “We commit to raise awareness worldwide, perhaps you’ll join us in a meaningful global effort?” wrote Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s. “And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.”

Despite what is clearly a highly-publicized branding move, Burger King seems sincere in its efforts to contribute something meaningful using its status as a popular fast-food chain. McDonald’s seems a little more reluctant to do so, at least in partnership with Burger King.

So who “won”? McDonald’s is making it clear that they refuse to play the game, and in terms of tactics, what was doled out to them as a friendly curveball was slam-dunked over Burger King’s head. But the circumstances of the offer should be taken into account as well. Was it smart or snobby for McDonald’s to reject the offer given that it was for a good cause, especially considering McDonalds’ struggle to stay relevant as of late? You decide.

But all things considered, McDonald’s had better come up with a really great campaign with all this talk of “global awareness.”

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative inter-brand collaborative marketing campaigns (and a little beef)

And So It Begins

old spice

For the first time in history, the two Old Spice spokesmen (Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews) are squaring off in a spot together. Last week, Old Spice released a commercial simply entitled “And So It Begins,” which features Mustafa as the rugged everyman in-touch with nature spokesperson for the brand’s Timber scent. Mustafa pitches the scent as “what the angel-faced woman in your life deserves” but is interrupted by Crews, who interrupts him by bursting onto the scene, the embodiment of the aggressive, hyper-masculine male personifying the Bearglove scent. The third scent, Swagger, is also portrayed by Mustafa, as a smooth-talking, debonair gentleman.

mustafa

The campaign encourages consumers (particularly male millennials) to choose which scent best fits their personality and “make a smellmitment,” and the use of both iconic Old Spice spokespeople in one campaign has garnered widespread attention for the brand. However, the two actors aren’t the brand’s only first. Old Spice, in conjunction with the video advertisement, partnered with Imgur, a popular image-sharing site frequented by male millennials, to create a sponsored post that would appear on the site. Its innovative use of GIFs, laser-shooting helicopters, and Imgur-friendly terminology won the community over, and the brand was commended for its familiarity with its target audience, with users commenting things like “a shamless ad I can get behind” and “I’ll allow it”.

bearglove

The scents are available in a variety of products, from body wash to deodorant, and will be promoted through a series of six more spots this fall.

What Sparks Our Fire: Brands that not only invent creative and engaging campaigns, but know their audience well.