KFC’s new finger lickin’ campaign; a daredevil ad from Volvo; and Whopper Detour tops WARC 100

KFC’s gives U.K. customers the fingers

The concept is simple and easy to understand, but a new U.K. campaign from KFC may take on new meaning as fears about the spread of the coronavirus grow. The spread of the virus has been accompanied by repeated warnings from health officials about the importance of washing your hands.

Created by London’s Mother, the campaign revives the chicken chain’s famous “Finger Licking Good” slogan, although the phrase itself never appears. Instead, the ads feature people, a piece of the Colonel’s chicken in hand, “cleaning” their fingers by inserting them into their mouth.

The accompanying copy reads “It’s____Good,” with the accompanying visual of people licking/sucking on their fingers intended to fill in the blank. There is also a 60-second ad, “Piano,” featuring a series of shots of people licking their fingers that, frankly, starts to make us feel a little queasy the longer it lasts (see it below).

“When you’ve had your hands full of the Colonel’s Original Recipe chicken, there’s really only one thing to do…” reads the explanation on Mother’s website. To which we respond: pass the wet wipes.

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Aviation Gin helps a Leap Year baby celebrate turning ’21’

Ryan Reynolds’ gin brand Aviation has released the latest in a string of charming ads, this one celebrating Leap Day. “Arlene’s Big Leap” featured a woman named Arlene Manko, who’s about to turn 21 and have her first “legal” drink (which, of course, is Aviation). “I’m ready to party,” says the mother of seven.

The twist, of course, is that Manko was actually born on Leap Day in 1936, making her 84 years old. With narration by Reynolds, the spot features several sight gags: Manko celebrating her big day with banners and balloons and a cupcake topped by a “21” candle; presenting her ID (complete with a bad disguise) to a bewildered store clerk, and reacting with a “Holy Moses” after that first sip of Aviation. 

There’s also a nice little postscript, with Manko informing viewers that she didn’t know who Reynolds was prior to the ad: “Ignore her, she’s been drinking,” cautions the Hollywood star.

Volvo Trucks president  with “The Tower”

It’s been nearly six years since Volvo released its “Epic Split” ad starring Jean Claude Van Damme. This week it released another equally ambitious and daring ad, except this time the daredevil is Volvo Trucks president Roger Alm.

To show off four new truck models that are being launched simultaneously, Volvo stacked them on top of each other, with Alm standing atop them (about 45 feet in the air). The tower is then driven down a short stretch of road. In pouring rain. With lots of thunder and lighting. And dramatic music. And, for some reason, wolves running nearby.

“I’m used to being on top of things, but for me, shooting the truck tower was definitely an unusual day at work. And let’s just say I have a certain respect for heights. I’m a down to Earth guy,” said Alm.

Like Epic Split, “The Tower” is an elaborate product demo film, showing off the power and driving precision of the new Volvo FMX at the bottom of the tower. There’s a making of video as well, though it never reveals the measures taken to ensure that Alm stayed safe atop the rolling tower of trucks.

Whopper Detour tops WARC’s Creative 100

After showing up at awards shows around the world in 2019, Burger King’s “The Whopper Detour” by FCB New York was named the most awarded campaign for the year according to WARC’s The Creative 100 Ranking.

“The Whopper Detour was a unique idea because it not only broke through from a creative standpoint, it also drove significant business results, solving a real business problem through creativity,” said Gabriel Schmitt, co-chief creative officer, FCB New York.

“Viva La Vulva” for Bodyform/Libresse was second on the list, followed by Nike’s “Dream Crazy.”

McCann finished atop the most awarded agencies list, followed by Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy, while BBDO topped the network rankings ahead of DDB and McCann.

In terms of brands, Burger King was number one, while parent company Restaurant Brands International (officially a Canadian company since acquiring Tim Hortons) was the most awarded advertiser. And speaking of RBI….

Popeye’s goes with Gut

Popeye’s has moved its creative business to Gut Miami. The account had been with GSD&M since 2008.

Gut has close ties to Popeye’s parent company Restaurant Brands International. Gut was launched in 2018 by two former employees of the WPP agency David, which had worked with Burger King (also part of RBI). Tim Hortons has been using Gut for some creative work since late 2018.

Zion Williamson appears in his first Gatorade ad

Gatorade has released a new ad starring NBA rookie sensation Zion Williamson, his first for the sports drink brand since signing a multiyear endorsement deal in September. The ad, “Fueled by the Best,” was developed by TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles.

Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, doesn’t get the spotlight all to himself however, appearing alongside other sporting legends including Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Lionel Messi.

Soundtracked by the Vince Staples song “Fun!” (carefully edited to cut out its liberal use of the F-word), the spot is comprised of a series of quick cuts of legendary athletes performing at their best (and refuelling with Gatorade, of course).

“The best are fuelled by the best,” reads the accompanying copy, before concluding with “Then. Now. Forever.” The spot ends with the “Nothing beats Gatorade” tagline that has been in use since 2018.



David Brown