The Creative Round-Up: September

From labelling people travelling on a bus as ‘naked’, to showcasing the superhuman amongst us, there’s an awful lot of hit and miss going on in the creative world of PR and marketing. All subjective of course.

From labelling people travelling on a bus as ‘naked’, to showcasing the superhuman amongst us, there’s an awful lot of hit and miss going on in the creative world of PR and marketing. All subjective of course.  

Every month (ish), we’ll highlight some of the most notable creative campaigns we’ve spotted. Something to chat about during those infamous water cooler moments. Or perhaps a little archive to look back on, as we wonder what was so right about the meerkats.  

This time, we take a look at the creative offerings of Channel 4, Mattel and BrewDog to find out what hits the mark and what hits…different.


Channel 4 goes superhuman

As part of its campaign to promote the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, Channel 4’s television adverts and billboards have been showing the painstaking training and preparation it takes to be a Paralympic athlete – and even if you’re not a huge follower of sports, this campaign makes it difficult to not get caught up in the hype. 

The campaign features the phrase “To be a Paralympian there’s got to be something wrong with you”, designed to challenge common misconceptions of disability in sports and the language used to describe athletes. 

Channel 4 shows the remarkable, and inspiring, drive of the athletes to achieve great things. You can feel the strength and determination through the screen – that stuff will give you goosebumps. And perhaps prompt you to watch…  

Explore Channel 4’s campaign here. 


The Naked Attraction bus…

Now for a campaign that didn’t *quite* hit the spot… 

Channel 4 recently launched bus adverts to promote its late-night television series, Naked Attraction, with many having branded the campaign “creepy”. 

The exterior of the buses featured the slogans Loves Naked AttractionHates Naked Attraction and Loves Being Naked, with arrows pointing up towards seats on the top-deck. Critics of the campaign pointed out the issue of labelling non-consenting passengers, as well as the tone-deaf approach taken, especially considering the rate of sexual assault on public transport. 

What was clearly intended to be a light-hearted, humorous campaign from Channel 4 has come under such fire that the broadcaster has pulled all the adverts from TfL buses in London. Perhaps this campaign could have benefited from a little more workshopping…

What do you think? Would you take offence to being labelled ‘naked’ while travelling on a bus?

Read about the Naked Attraction bus here. 


Mattel gets inspirational

The iconic American toy company, Mattel, is well-known for manufacturing children’s toys such as the Barbie and Polly Pocket, but they recently switched their focus from the merely aesthetic to the inspirational, with the launch of a doll in the likeness of the British vaccinologist, Sarah Gilbert. 

Designed to alter its representation of women and encourage young girls to pursue careers in STEM, the brand is also launching other doll figurines in the likeness of Covid heroes from around the world, attempting to make their mark as a forward-thinking company. 

But whilst this is an encouraging step forward for the brand, who have, in the past, come under fire for sexism, we would hope that this will mark the start of a continued effort from the brand to revitalise its image and modernise its approach, rather than sitting as a standalone, token campaign. 

Read about Mattel’s new campaign here. 


BrewDog makes a frosty comeback

Following a string of highly-publicised PR scandals surrounding its treatment of employees and the banning of several of its television adverts due to ‘misleading claims’, BrewDog’s new ‘Beer for All’ campaign marks the company’s latest stunt to revitalise its waning public perception. 

In an attempt to launder its image and position itself as an inclusive and sustainable organisation, BrewDog’s ‘Beer for All’ television advert focuses on the ways in which the brand is designed with the everyday drinker in mind, from young to old, men to women, meat-eaters to vegetarians, hipsters to normies.

But while it’s obviously very tongue-in-cheek, with its dry narration and relentless referencing of people BrewDog is geared towards, it misses an opportunity to make any kind of meaningful point about its values and ethos. 

It’s a campaign delivered in true BrewDog style, but when the laughter stops, the brand still has a lot of work to do to convince people of its genuine commitment to its people. 

Check out the new BrewDog campaign here. 


Argue these points and let us know what you think about creative campaigns that have caught your eye: @WeAreKenyons