This special edition of Rick & Rick Rule the World looks at how Nike, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Ikea, Doritos, Wendy's and others are fueling fandemonium and driving sales through some absolutely blockbuster digital experiences spanning key categories, including:
Ever heard of ASMR? If you haven't, you soon will.
See what happens when Rick Mathieson does his best to elicit an "autonomous sensory meridian response" (the aforementioned ASMR).
Once strictly the domain of Internet geeks, even celebrities are doing ASMR these days—which means marketers can't be far behind. (Check out the one of the better—okay, pretty awesome—entries, from Ashley Graham, below):
No fooling: It was another banner year for advertising pranks.
Usually, but not always, this form of advertising is designed to create tension with unwitting subjects caught on video in order to drive home a point or to promote a brand and its offerings. As longtime GEN WOW readers know, this dynamic works especially well for promoting horror movies.
A trend that picked up speed in 2017: More positive, "purpose-driven" pranks, which is a development we wholeheartedly endorse. Not that we don't also still enjoy less altruistic efforts, too.
Here are a few of our faves from the year that was:
Frosted Flakes teamed up with Prank It Forward to pull this very positive prank on a young boy who once drew an anti-bullying comic book featuring a hero called Super Fight Guy. Makes you realize there are plenty of good people to prank in the year ahead.
This is one Whopper (Jr.) of an adverprank. It captures footage from a BK restaurant to compare how many real-life customers will speak up when there's something wrong with their Whopper Jr. vs. how many will speak up to stop bullying happening right in front of them. It's not a pretty picture. But thankfully, two Good Samaritans show up to redeem our faith in humanity. A must watch, and a clever way to promote this BK sandwich.
Even nearly a year later, we're loving this adverprank promoting 'The Ring' sequel. Fans of the franchise are very familiar with its "First you watch it, then you die" conceit—though this would freak out anyone, even without the backstory. Sure, it's no "Devil's Due" or 'Telekinetic Coffee Shop," but it gets the neck hair bristling just fine.
Heineken pulled off what Pepsi seemed to have been attempting with its ill-fated Kendall Jenner spot, but couldn't. And it did it by not trivializing issues, but put them front and center—bringing people who are worlds apart at least a little bit closer. Oh, and by being true to the role Heineken actually plays in the world—as an ice breaker. Good stuff.
Some began life as Super Bowl spots. Others started as YouTube ad buys. Whether through virality or by paying their way there, they all became what ADWEEK calls the Top 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in 2017.
Then they met Rick & Rick.
Watch the spots (#1 is below) and then listen to what Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten have to say about each and every one of them. Let us know if you agree, disagree or have your own take—we'd love to hear from you.
First there were "chiastic" literary devices, and now, "virtual Evoked Auditory Responses" ("vEAR").
Rick & Rick discuss a piece in the New York Times about silent gifs you (and 70% of respondents in a recent survey) can "hear," including the one shown below.
Sure, they love SCIENCE! just as much as the next set of geeks. But as Rick Mathieson points out, it could impact the way we as marketers develop animated gifs and videos—especially the kind meant to work with and without audio for optimizing impact in social feeds.
A recent article in The Atlantic postulates that the history of Sears Roebuck & Company predicts nearly everything Amazon is doing.
It's a fascinating and apt notion when you look at the evolution of first Sears and now everyone's favorite online retailer.
Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten discuss the similarities and how a retailer once deemed too big to fail got disrupted by another—and wonder about what's ultimately in store (pardon the pun) for Amazon.
Why create a blockbuster new show and then hide it away where nobody will ever watch it?
Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten assess the first episode of "Star Trek: Discovery," the first new show developed for CBS All Access, a kind of Netflix dedicated exclusively to CBS properties.
It must have seemed like a great idea at the time—create a show with a built in, hardcore fan base to draw new viewers to this new app. But is it enough to pull in the Ricktators, both lifelong Trek fans?
The first episode is solid, the 15-episode first season surely enjoyable, and a second season has already been greenlit.
Yet the Ricks have yet to watch another episode.
See what they have to say about the show and the legacy of Trek. Then let us know your own thoughts about "Star Trek: Discovery" and CBS All access.
The ever-popular coffeehouse chain scores a seasonal hit with its Pumpkin Spice Lattes and now every brand and its mother has to have its own pumpkin spice something. Anything. It doesn't even seem to matter what it is.
Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten aren't having any of it. And when they audit some of the ridiculous products brands are offering this year just to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, you're not going to believe what they found. But fair warning: Its not for sensitive stomachs.
Their mission: To share a little of their ongoing stream-of-consciousness about all things cool in movies, TV shows, comics, video games, media, marketing and advertising. You name it, they've probably got something to say about it. Either way, it's going to be fun.
All the Ricksomeness starts here:
RICK & RICK RULE THE WORLD: VIDEO GAME MOVIES & ROBOT BUDDHIST PRIESTS (EP1/PT 1) ON ITUNES (6 MIN)
It's hard not to love this 3-minute, CGI-animated short from college students Jacob Mann and Ashley Anderson.
“Once we had the idea that you could represent love as a flame, we decided to do a romantic love story,” Anderson tells the Daily Dot. “We wanted to make it everyday and relatable, but also sort of magical and fantastic.”