In this new episode of Ad Chatter, Dan Goldgeier and I discuss new work from KFC, Alaska Airlines, Google, and a PR mess for North Face.
Harland Sanders Gets A Modern-Day Makeover
The soap opera. It’s a classic format used to entertain viewers between commercials. What could be better? How about a storyline that embeds the brand mascot? How about the brand mascot transformed from an old man into a young man about to find love, fortune, and fame?
The made-for-TV mini-drama, which aired last week on Lifetime, was reviewed in The Atlantic.
It’s silly, but deeply aware of its silliness. It’s escapist in a moment when distraction from the world’s realities can be a rare commodity. And it is blithely straightforward about its reason for existing: the selling of chicken. This is product placement turned upside down, a story placed within the product.
Close, but no. This is not product placement, it’s the reworking of the brand story. On the podcast, I call it the prequel, because it takes us back to a more exciting time in Col. Sander’s imaginary life.
Alaska Airlines Goes Retro and The Timing Is Perfect
Let’s continue with the borrowed equity theme.
Alaska Airlines made this new spot work by setting their new safety story to “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. The video remake features real Alaska Airlines employees performing lyrics about what they do to keep you safe when you fly.
Alaska Airlines hired director Warren Fu to make the video. Previously, Fu has worked with artists Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, and Daft Punk.
Why? Why? Why?
Google can’t answer the world’s toughest questions. But the world’s most popular search engine can lead you to the information that lets you formulate an answer.
Virtue Signaling, The World Was Better Without It
Innovex Downhole Solutions in Houston had intended to give North Face jackets customized with its company logo to employees as Christmas gifts this year. However, that plan was foiled by guess who? That’s right, by North Face.
North Face, which is owned by a conglomerate, doesn’t want to be associated with an oil and gas company. Isn’t that precious?
Innovex confirmed it purchased the jackets for its employees from a different vendor. The firm’s CEO, Adam Anderson, also wrote a letter to the CEO of North Face, pointing out that North Face makes its products from petroleum and relies on oil and gas to enable the outdoor lifestyle.