10 of the Best Ads from August: The Eclipse, Sugar, and the Worst Voice Assistant Ever

Advertisers got creative in August, experimenting with the increasingly popular six-second ad format, contributing to the buzz surrounding the solar eclipse, and building a mountain of sugar in Times Square.

Let’s take a look at some of the last great ads of summer 2017:

Click here to check out the best marketing and advertising examples we've ever  seen.

10 of the Best Ads from August

1) SafeAuto

Say hello to the world’s worst voice assistant: a stylish wooden box named Fârnhäan. In a brutally funny take down of our growing fascination with artificial intelligence, insurance company SafeAuto developed a vaguely German-accented AI device who always gets it wrong — very wrong.

In a series of 30-second spots, Fârnhäan flubs question after question, with hilarious results. “Fârnhäan, what’s in baklava?” one man asks. Fârnhäan responds: “Sugar, cabbage, pickles, and just a touch of toothpaste for color.” Who knew?

 

2) KIND

On August 22, healthy food manufacturer KIND dumped 45,000 pounds of sugar on Times Square to demonstrate how much sugar the average child consumes annually.

Accompanied by several child-shaped statues (made of a sugar look-alike material to avoid attracting swarms of bugs), the art installation was orchestrated by Magnetic Collaborative, a London-based marketing shop.

Photo credit: KIND 

3) Canon

If you follow virtually any media site in 2017, you’ve probably heard the news that millennials are collectively killing everything from diamonds, to fabric softener, to lunch. But if Canon has any say in the matter, this ruthless, avocado-hungry generation won’t do away with point-and-shoot cameras.

To convince twenty and thirty-somethings to put down their beloved iPhones and opt for a real camera instead, Grey NY set up a wacky Rube Goldberg Machine, manufacturing some perfect photo-ops that could only be captured on a Canon — naturally.

 

4) Volvo

To showcase the unique design of Volvo’s new fastback Arteon, German agency Grabarz & Partner enlisted the help of Pete Eckert — a blind photographer famous for his otherworldly “light-paintings.”

Eckert brought his signature long-exposure techniques to the project, producing a series of mirage-like images of the new Volvo model. “The new Arteon represents expressive, avant-garde design. Pete Eckert has presented this design in a unique way,” said Xavier Chardon, Volkswagen’s head of marketing, to Adweek. “The images he has created are genuine works of art and have a very special atmosphere that only he can create.”

 

5) JetBlue

There are now souvenirs for workaholics who never take a vacation, celebrating the very place they never, ever leave.

JetBlue worked with MullenLowe to produce a line of delightfully kitschy keepsakes to remind you of the vacation you need to take. The line of mugs, decorative plates, candles, and other trinkets usually reserved for tourist trap gift shops feature phrases like: “Paper jams are my jam,” and “Remember the free bagels?”

“If your last good memory is that time free bagels were left in the break room, we feel for you,” said Heather Berko, manager of advertising and content at JetBlue. “These Office Souvenirs are just our way of reminding everyone there are blue skies and fresh air waiting to provide much happier memories.”

Photo via: Adweek

6) Carlsberg

This Danish brewery’s founder died in 1887, but that didn’t stop him from hosting a TED Talk in Copenhagen in August — courtesy of FCB agency Happiness in Brussels.

J.C. Jacobsen, who founded Carlsberg back in 1847, showed up (via actor) to give a talk entitled, “Why You Should Answer Every Question With Probably.” The topic plays into Carlsberg’s longtime slogan: “Probably the best beer in the world,” but it ended up being a surprisingly insightful meditation on the value of uncertainty.

 

7) Hitotoki

This just might be the most beautiful clock ever created — and it only took 30,000 objects to make.

To celebrate the do-it-yourself spirit their brand embodies, Japanese stationary company Hitotoki teamed up with agency Dentsu to assemble a 24-hour clock with a hand-crafted set of hands for each minute of the day — 1,440 total. Against a backdrop of lovely Hitotoki paper (of course), the team mesmerizingly assembles each arrangement using every object imaginable — cupcakes, confetti, even a miniature spaceship.

You can watch a real-time version of the Hitotoki clock on their website.

 

8) Chiquita

Is there anything bolder than slapping a logo on the solar eclipse?

Chiquita saw an opportunity that wouldn’t come along for another seven years, and they jumped on it (with help from Wieden + Kennedy). Who can blame them really? It really does look like a banana.

“It took an intense knowledge of celestial bodies and an unrelenting love for bananas, but we did it,” Chiquita wrote on their YouTube channel. “On August 21, Chiquita will move the moon in between the sun and the earth. For a fleeting moment before and after the totally overrated total solar eclipse, the sun will appear to be an enormous fiery banana. This phenomenon shall henceforth be known as the Chiquita banana sun. Please enjoy it.”

 

9) Air New Zealand

A flightless bird might not seem like the most natural spokesperson for an airline, but you’ll change your mind after meeting Air New Zealand’s latest pitchman — a tiny, adorable kiwi.

After getting some devastating news from a doctor (“You’ll never fly … because kiwis don’t have wings”), our fluffy little hero discovers that the convenient flight options from Air New Zealand still allow him to get around in the sky.

 

10) Zappos

In this series of quick, clever spots for online retailer Zappos, the creative team at barrettSF had a little fun with the phrase, “Save the drama for your mama.”

Each ad plays off an alternative version of the saying, e.g.: “Save the drama for your daughter’s diorama.”

What were you favorite ads this month? Talk to us on Twitter.

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