What in the World

Get your Motaur running…head out on the highway

Advertising has brought us plenty of delightfully weird spokes-thingies over the years, and U.S. insurance company Progressive Insurance has added to the list with its new creation, “Motaur” (a reference to the Centaur from Greek mythology).

Developed by Arnold Worldwide, Motaur has the upper body of a man, and the lower body of a motorcycle. He is appearing in a series of national cable ads in the U.S., touting Progressive’s insurance policies for “those who were born to ride.”

One of the spots features the Motaur talking with a fellow biker at a roadside stop. When the biker asks if he ever wishes he wasn’t a Motaur, he responds that he sometime wishes he had legs like a human—but with a motorcycle on top. Fingers crossed for a crossover spot featuring Progressive’s well-known spokesperson, Flo.

Burger King’s plays on fears of a clown

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 9.20.42 PM.pngFollowing the recent introduction of the Real Meal, Burger King is once again clowning its main competitor, this time with a new print advertising campaign built around the concept of coulrophobia—better known as a fear of clowns.

Created by Spanish agency LOLA MullenLowe, the campaign features vintage images of children being inadvertently terrorized by a clown at their birthday party. The accompanying tagline reads “Birthdays should be happy.”

The copy below invites parents to bring their child to Burger King, promising them a “clown-free” party.

The same agency was behind last year’s widely praised “Scary Clown Night promotion,” in which Burger King handed out gave out free Whoppers to people who dressed as a clown for Halloween. That stunt was accompanied by ads featuring an image of a sinister looking clown, a not-so-subtle nod to famed McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald.

Fear of clowns is real, with a 2016 report from Vox indicating that clowns were Americans’ second worst fear, behind only a corrupt government and ahead of a terrorist attack.

NBCUniversal introduces shoppable ad units

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The concept of shoppable TV has returned to the advertising lexicon with the launch of a new service from NBCUniversal.

The media company’s new ShoppableTV service will enable viewers to shop from the comfort of their couch using a not-so-new technology: QR Codes.

Users will be alerted about “shoppable moments,” and can simply point their phone at the TV to be taken to a marketer’s website. According to reports, the media company will take a percentage of the sales.

NBCUniversal plans to roll out the initiative across services including NBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, USA Network, Bravo, E1! and CNBC Prime. According to reports,  the company recently tested the process during episodes of the Today show, claiming that it saw tens of thousands of scans and six figures in sales “within minutes.”

Chris Powell