Well, here we are on the lead up to the holiday season and one thing is for certain: We could all use a little good news and positivity! So this week, I wanted to focus on creative output that put a smile on my face and surprised me with moments that helped me find that extra gear on the final sprint to 2021. I hope it does the same for you.

Burberry – “Singin’ in the Rain”

First up is an astounding musical number for the British fashion brand Burberry that taps into a little Hollywood nostalgia to make us all feel good.

Why it matters: There’s something so infectious about this spot that you can’t help but feel that no matter what is going on in the world, everything is going to be OK. Admittedly, I can’t dance. But the utter joy and energetic optimism on display actually make me want to try.  This is the world we all long for: no masks, no social distancing, no politics; just an unbridled joy for being alive.

The details: Dreya Mac has created a beautiful modern rendition of the timeless Gene Kelly track that creates incredible syncopation and energy for the spot to take off. They shot this in London’s Petticoat Lane in a tongue-in-cheek stab at the street which is famous for luxury brand knockoffs. And finally, a little Hollywood sidenote…Gene Kelly filmed the iconic scene with a 103-degree fever while getting drenched with water. Now that’s what stars are made of!

Calm – CNN’s “Key Race Alert” sponsorship

Next up, I wanted to take a departure from video-based advertising and feature a very smart sponsorship that was hard to miss on election night if you happened to watch CNN.

Why it matters: You know the old adage, ‘timing is everything?’ This election night placement from wellness brand Calm has to be one of the smartest and best-timed placements of the year! 

On a night filled with anxiety and contentious rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle, Calm chose their moment in what could be looked at as a Super Bowl Sunday type event to get their message out and help everyone take a deep breath and relax.  

Calm’s sponsorship with CNN gave it prime placement on the screen throughout the network’s election coverage as it appeared in the corner of CNN’s Key Race Alerts all night long. According to Danielle Abril on Fortune.com, “the juxtaposition couldn’t have been more jarring: Calm’s logo in the corner of the screen while CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and John King were anything but, well, calm.”  

The details: In an email from the brand, a Calm spokesperson said “we understand the uncertainty of this election cycle can be a source of anxiety for many of us, especially as it coincides with an ongoing pandemic. Our goal during CNN’s Key Race Alerts was to provide viewers a moment of Calm and a reminder to take a deep breath during a stressful night.”  Apparently, downloads of the app during this window saw about a 40% increase as their message clearly landed with its intended audience. Bang on Calm. Well done!

Corona – “Free Range Humans” video series

Yes, I took a detour from video-based advertising in the last example because I knew I wanted to double down on this last selection and hopefully inspire us all with the road less traveled.

Why it matters:  Although some like to say traditional video-based advertising is a thing of the past, I guess the Mexican beer brand, Corona, begs to differ. Corona has just gone live with an 8 episode series to launch their Corona Studios brand which is ‘dedicated to providing high-end consumer content about travel, the outdoors, surf lifestyles, and sustainability’ among other topics.  I love it when brands see the intrinsic value in being their own broadcasters of great content. Look at what it did for Red Bull. According to Corona Global VP Felipe Ambra, “with the events of this year, we know that people around the world are increasingly appreciative of the outside, and pondering what an alternative life could look like.” I have to admit, after watching Episode 8 on the underwater sculptor, I was hooked and dreaming of being able to fast forward to a time when I can return to going on adventures with my family around the world.

The details: Apparently the agency behind this looked at 500 candidates before landing on their eight hero storylines. And in order to enable more people to be able to follow their dreams and lead this type of ‘free-range lifestyle,’ Corona is establishing the Free Range Fund which is a grant pool to help support outdoor-oriented projects of select consumers globally. This fund will also help the brand identify those individuals who have broken with their indoor careers and pursued their passions outdoors to potentially be featured in the next season of Free Range Humans. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly considering it. 🙂