Look, I know, April Fools' Day may be the most self-absorbed day of the year for brands. Everyone's got a HILARIOUS take on their product or audience that just has to be made. As a rule, most of these efforts cause more muscle cramps from cringing than laughter, but sometimes—sometimes—they're actually pretty funny. Even rarer than that is when the spoof still effectively ties back into the actual product. So yes, this week's list includes two such examples. I'll leave it to you to guess which ones. Onward!
What: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Alison Brie (Community) get some help from a Siri-powered Apple TV for rehearsing a romantic scene.
Who: Apple, TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Why We Care: As we said earlier this week, it's nice to get a product demo on how to use Siri within movies and other apps on Apple TV. But the real treat here is another unexpected celebrity cameo combo from Apple that works so well. Jaime Lannister and Pete Campbell's wife! Who knew?
What: An introduction to a handcrafted, small-batch TP to establish the brand among locavore, artisanal goods-inclined (and probably bearded) audience.
Who: Quilted Northern, Droga5
Why We Care: Everything else in your former factory loft is preceded by the words reclaimed, rustic, artisanal, or handcrafted, so why not expand that lifestyle into the bathroom? Exactly. Virgin birch FTW.
What: Going in to a week of international friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, we get a dramatic, fictional look at captain Arda Turan inspiring the players inside the Turkish national team's locker room.
Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Why We Care: Sure, it's the sports cliche to end all sports cliches (see: new Monster Strike ad), but this flips the script in a couple of ways. Most notably, it's in Turkish and starring the Turkish national team—far from the unexpected Nike likes of Brazil, France, or another perennial soccer power. It's a message that rings true to all those fans living in countries whose FIFA ranking isn't consistently among the top 10.
What: Japanese mobile gaming and social networking company Mixi Inc. introduces its mobile mega-hit to the U.S. with this classic American trope delivered by SNL alum and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg.
Who: Pereira & O’Dell, Mixi Inc., Tippett Studio
Why We Care: Instead of sport as a metaphor for the life in which we all struggle to find meaning and fulfillment, we get a wacky cast of mobile game characters. It's a fun and funny take on a familiar cliche, and the brand knew it needed a heavy hitter like Samberg to pull it off.
What: Esurance gets into the political game with a straight-faced offer for people who need someone to look after their house for the four years after they move to Canada, post-election.
Who: Leo Burnett, Esurance
Why We Care: It's a product and an ad to match the tone and sanity of our current electoral situation. As Dan Solomon suggested yesterday, maybe they should also offer extra insurance for Canadians who are trying to shore up their homes in the event of an influx of angry Americans.