Ads spoofing other ads are fun. But they can be a double-edged sword of sorts. It cannot be so close to the original that the consumer gets confused or attributes it to the wrong brand. And the joke has to work: if it doesn’t get the laughs then there is ni mileage for the brand.
Usually spoof ads works when there’s a war between 2-3 leading brands (a la Coke-Pepsi), when a brand wants to portray its competition in poor light in order to create dissonance (Pepsi taking a dig at Thumps Up & Akshay Kumar by calling his look alike an ‘uncle’) or simply to appear cool and charming. And self-deprecating humour works in such situations. Like with Stride Gum.
Stride Gum has recently launched a campaign in the US for its new flavour: Mintacular. It features Shaun White, the gold medalist snowboarder. The approach is to take a dig at making a mountain of the proverbial molehill. It’s just a new flavour but the creative idea is to treat it like a ‘revolutionary’ new product.
And the not-so-surprising-in-hindsight target? Apple and its way of promoting its products. Its common for Apple to refer to its new products as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘amazing’. That’s a style that’s likely to make Stride endearing to many, including Apple fans. Many believe that Apple is too pretentious and takes itself too seriously – their PR machine & the language used in publicity (bordering on the hyperbole) being the target. As Stride website says:
A groundbreaking chewing experience that fuses Shaun White’s skateboarding pizazz with mint flavor, the mellow grooves of Watermelon flavor and the second half of spectacular.
The teaser campaign included a billboard in New York with just the date ‘08.13.12’. The font is similar to the one used by Apple in its website & ads & merchandise. Since there’s talk of the next version of iPhone, it generated curiosity and fuelled rumours even in Mac forums.
The reveal is an ad, done in classic Apple style videos which get released after major Keynote events.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, London
Loved the whole approach. Good fun. Drives home the ‘new news’ of a flavour and the imbues Stride with a cool quotient.