You know it’s a particularly fat week in brand creativity when a whole handful of plain, ordinary ads can outshine even the Super Bowl teasers—those ads for the ads that should be the best ads of the year—that flooded the market this week.
With all the noise around the big game, it was a ladies underwear campaign that won the week. Young women's lingerie brand Aerie was a highlight not for its ads, per se (some images of young ladies in their underwear) but for the apparent stance taken about how the brand was going to present itself to its audience. Aerie generated huge buzz by depicting some realistic-seeming (well, more realistic than this, unphotoshopped models in its ads and on its site. Yes, the bar is pretty low when we all cheer that an advertiser includes beautiful models, some with a slightly higher body fat percentage than the beautiful women we typically see in ads. Some critics of the campaign argue that all the models are still relatively thin; others argue that the idea is uninteresting; low hanging fruit. But it's a step, and another brand will follow with yet another step (read more about Aerie's approach here).
The campaign comes at a time when we're starting to see a number of brands, quietly or loudly, take a more inclusive approach to casting ads (see the Swiffer ad that starred an amputee Dad who was part of a multi-racial family).
And whether or not you declare the Aerie effort a victory for women, the brand did generate a ton of talk—almost as much talk as Richard Sherman's rant (which itself factored into one of our picks this week).
Another shirtless presence—this one chiseled to perfection; no pretensions about being "real" here—stood out this week. And that shirtless presence was Isaiah Mustafa, back with a vengeance in nine "interneteventions" for Old Spice.
See all in the gallery above.