Brunch Forum: Ashley Madison’s Ad Fail, Epica Awards, Burger King Uh Oh, Ad Blockers, Frozen Food Millennials & More

by James Thompson

Enjoy what’s left of your morning with AdForum’s daily round-up of the latest news, trends, and notable work in the advertising industry.

Ad Blockers Are Revolutionizing – and Destroying – How the Web Works

“On the surface, the sticking point is whether or not people should have to look at the pop-ups, banners, autoplay videos and the other attention-grabbing ploys that subsidize most free websites. The tools that enable them not to do so are easier than ever to use. But at stake, those who make their livelihood on the web warn, is the future of the Internet as we know it. Once the province of a small, dedicated core of code-savvy web surfers, ad-blocking software is enjoying more mainstream popularity thanks to simplified installation processes, security concerns and growing unease over mass personal data collection.” Read more at Mashable.

Epica Awards Adds New Category: Humor in Advertising


Epica has added a new category to its awards competitions, reflecting a burgeoning – and welcome – trend in the industry: Humor in Advertising. Founded in 1987, Epica is the only creative prize awarded by journalists working for marketing and communications magazines around the world. It offers an independent jury and global press coverage. Launched as the first European advertising competition, today it is an international celebration of creativity, attracting thousands of entries from more than 70 countries. For more information, visit the Epica website

Ashley Madison’s Advertising Fail: Totally Misunderstanding Women


“The company was founded in 2002 and named after the two most popular names for baby girls that year... If you want to convince a woman to fling herself into a fling, do you really want name associations with her own daughters, nieces or children of friends? Guilt is a deal-breaker on the road to vow-breaking. I suspect this was equally repellent to men, making it a double no-no.” Read the full story at Adweek.  

Frozen Food Brands Target Millennialls in Resurgent Category


“’When you think about millennials who are just learning how to cook, building that skill set, frozen foods are perfect for them,’” said Bob Nolan, senior vice president for insights and analytics at ConAgra.” Read more at The New York Times

Uh Oh: Burger King’s Genius McWhopper Idea Not So Original After All


Burger King’s viral McWhopper burger-hybrid concept simply won’t go away, but now for reasons that don’treflect well on the brand. It appears the idea may have been stolen. “The similarities between the Big Mac Whopper and the McWhopper work are, at the very least, striking. The two shared their idea two years ago, though it’s unclear where/when Burger King and its partner agencies may have encountered their work.” Read more at AgencySpy

Kellogg’s Aims to Revitalize Kashi Brand as Healthy Eating Surges

"Years before natural and organic foods exploded in popularity, cereal behemoth Kellogg Co. acquired one of the segment’s pioneers: Kashi Co. Kellogg let the Southern California firm, known for its cereals, operate autonomously. After the 2000 merger, employees continued to wear T-shirts and flip flops, often meeting in small groups to conjure up new products. Success followed.” Visit The Wall Street Journal for more.  

Swiss Bank UBS Hires Annie Leibovitz for Ad Campaign


“Leibovitz took a series of portraits of successful, but non-famous entrepreneurs alongside questions such as: 'Am I really making a difference?' or 'Am I a good father?' The aim was to show the bank’s ultra-rich clients that it is human.” Read more at The Independent

Are Consumers Ready for Boxed Water? (Let’s Hope So.)

"Just Water, which will launch at Whole Foods in late September, doesn't use any plastic. Instead, it's half paper, with an interior lining like you'd find with your favorite coconut water. The design cuts the carbon footprint of making the package in half (unlike something like the PlantBottle, which has a carbon footprint only around 11% better than normal plastic). Because the cartons can ship flat to a filling station—instead of shipping boxes of empty plastic bottles—they also save fuel. Once filled, the square cartons neatly fill up a truck without wasting space." Visit Fast Company for the full story. 

Agency of the Week


The Escape Pod: In 2007, advertising industry veterans Norm Bilow and Vinny Warren founded The Escape Pod, a full-service agency, to help clients navigate the unprecedented upheaval in the media and technology landscape. Our guiding principle is "bringing fresh ideas that move business" which has helped clients like Toys"R"Us, Can-Am Spyder, and Mondelez benefit from our unique storytelling abilities. We like to build ideas off previously unrecognized or ignored consumer insights about a brand. Creating advertising that is strategically sound, creatively exceptional, and makes optimal use of any media.

Because it is Tuesday and you need a reason to smile, check out this Listerine ad (below) by J. Walter Thompson London that shows how blind people react to knowing when others smile at them. (Score one for humanity.)