An Angry Durex Punishes the World With Eggplant-Flavored Condoms

Flavored condoms generally come in sweet and fruity flavors, like strawberry, grape and banana. Now imagine one that tastes like eggplant.

Durex is retaliating against the Unicode Consortium, after the tech-standardization overlord in August rejected the marketer’s bid for an official condom emoji, by launching a gag campaign about the launch of a savory rubber based on the phallic purple plant—which, in millennials’ texts about sex, has become a popular metaphor for dick.

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Everyone Is an Emoji in This Bizarre and Terrifying French McDonald's Ad

What are we all but a bunch of emoji with arms and legs and a hankering for McDonald’s?

An insane new French ad for fast-food chain shows a city full of people going about their daily lives—driving around with friends, getting a shave at the barber, break dancing in the streets. But instead of human heads, they all have giant, 3-D, cartoon faces.

The soundtrack—a bubbly electro pop cover of the Buggles’ 1978 classic “Video Killed the Radio Star”—almost makes the ad feel like a music video. But the song, a rendition apparently created specifically for the ad, when coupled with the visual concept, which feels fresh in and of itself, seems to imply a critique of technology that’s more contemporary than the one baked into the lyrical hook, and a bit out of place for a major fast-food marketer.

McDonald’s and agency BETC Paris have explicitly created a world where digital communication reduces facial expression—a wildly subtle and complex phenomenon—to a series of shiny yellow orbs representing monolithic and equally monochromatic feelings. That’s a pretty excellent premise for a video, but the brand presents it here without any of the real anxiety about change that defines the text of the original synth pop song—or the deadpan theatricality with which the Buggles promoted and performed it; or, say, the more explicitly ironic bitterness and dissatisfaction of the 1996 alt-rock cover by the Presidents of the United States of America.

Instead, McD’s presents everyone being a stiff caricature of their own ids as a good thing. And that only really makes sense if you’re a faceless corporation that deals in cardboard platitudes like Happy Meals peddled by a brightly colored clown mascot, and other overly processed hamburgers that can save the doomed love lives of awkward young adults.

It probably doesn’t help the brand’s case that the tagline, “Venez comme vous êtes,” which translates to “Come as you are,” inadvertently bastardizes the spirit of another classic song about the tension between individuality, conformity and perception. (To be fair, that tagline has been around for years—and McDonald’s France has used it to, among other things, promote gay rights.)

Within the emoji ad’s own construct, it includes clever little tidbits—some of them perhaps more deliberate than others, like the kid who turns from angel to devil, as opposed to the weatherman with the smarmy, oafish look on his face. The spot also deserves credit for doing a distinctly better job of getting its message across than some other emoji-driven attempts at marketing. (In fact, it’s way simpler and more accessible—if less delightful—than some of the brands that decided to try to invent their own emoticons.)

It’s also worth noting that BETC Paris is experienced in creating absurd viral sensations, having graced the world with Evian’s classic roller-dancing babies, and the agency appears to be swinging for the fences again here. But the idea, for all its potential, suffers as a result of its attempt to be broadly appealing to what’s seen as the perpetual sunshine ethos of millennials. In that, it turns into a nauseatingly saccharine panacea—without near enough sarcasm or skepticism about what it’s actually saying.

In fact, the insistence on framing a fundamentally disturbing set of images as lighthearted and upbeat can’t keep the dark subtext and implicit social critique at bay. So, the whole thing ends up seeming unintentionally dystopian, like the Kia hamsters tossed into a meat grinder with a deadmau5 helmet and Katy Perry fever dream, with the resulting slime squeezed out into a bunch of circular, cookie-cutter nuggets, baked golden and plopped onto a bunch of necks.

Ultimately, it mostly adds credence to Taco Bell’s case that Ronald McDonald is actually a Stalinist looking to control all aspects of your life—only he’s way more insidious than you thought, mostly interested in brainwashing us into grinning idiots by defining happiness in terms of Big Macs and faces made of pixels.

Plus, you know the spot can’t be trusted because it doesn’t show anyone who just gobbled a McDonald’s burger and turned into the emoji for “I have a stomach ache and I wish I hadn’t eaten that”—which isn’t available yet, but is slated for release in 2016.

These Emoji Flashcards From Domino's Will Teach You How to Talk to Your Kids

These days, if you can’t understand emojis, life is not worth living. But there is hope, thanks to an “Emoji Literacy” campaign from Domino’s and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

As you might recall, CP+B won the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes (honoring the most breakthrough idea of the year) for designing an emoji ordering system for Domino’s, which lets folks place orders on Twitter and via text message simply by typing a pizza emoji.

Now, in something of a follow-up, client and agency have created 52 flashcards designed to help the uninitiated “speak” emoji. The cards—a tongue-in-cheek promo which really should boost your emoji prowess—are available for free starting today at

There’s even a faux PSA explaining the initiative.

“I didn’t know what to say,” laments one befuddled middle-aged dad. “I just replied BRB and hoped they don’t text back.” A teary-eyed mom fears that if she can’t communicate with emojis, somebody might “take my kids away from me.”

So, smarten up and master emojis! (Sure, you could spend your time learning an actual language, like French or Spanish or Mandarin, but really, what for?)

These 'Abused Emojis' Can Help Kids Tell Someone They're Being Hurt

A children’s helpline in Sweden just released an upsetting set of emojis showing kids being physically and verbal abused—in the hope that young victims of violence might use them to communicate their situation when words fail.

“A complex reality demands a complex set of symbols,” says the nonprofit group, BRIS, which helps at-risk children and teenagers. “The Abused Emojis make it possible for kids and young people to talk about situations where they felt bad or wrongly treated without having to put words on the situation. If you or somebody you know have been hurt, mistreated or feel sad, Abused Emojis makes it easier to talk about.”

Among the images are kids with bruises and cuts; a baby being struck; a child thinking about a skull (suicide); images of parents drinking; and a literal shithead (a boy who’s presumably having thoughts of being ugly or worthless).

It’s pretty fascinating and bleak. Would kids really use something like this?

Full set of images below.

WWF Now Lets You Donate by Tweeting the Emojis of Endangered Animals

Among the gajillion emoji campaigns out there right now, here’s a clever one.

Wieden + Kennedy London creatives Jason Scott and Joris Philippart recently had an idea for how to use emojis to help endangered animals. So, the agency approached the WWF with a proposal. The result is the #EndangeredEmoji campaign, which launches just in time for Endangered Species Day this Friday.

The key insight was that 17 animal emojis that people use every day actually depict endangered species (see the list below). The WWF today tweeted out an image of the 17 animals, and asked people to join the campaign by retweeting the post.

Those joining the campaign agree to donate 10 euros (about 11 cents) every time they use any of the 17 emojis in a future tweet. (You get a monthly statement, essentially.)

“We’re proud to announce the launch of our global social campaign with WWF and Twitter, created with technical partner Cohaesus,” the agency says.

Text Like a Creative Superstar With These Advertising Emojis

The obsession with emojis comes to ad agencies’ corner of the universe today with the launch of Advertising Emojis, created by Swedish ad agency Dogwash.

Among the 70-odd images are famous ad awards of all kinds (from Lions to Clios), advertising characters (from the Old Spice guy to Van Damme in full epic split), Mad Men’s Don, Roger and Peggy, and other visual shorthand for ad issues.

Download them here. Surely they’ll add an Adweek cover in the next update.

Foot Locker Catches Emoji Fever With 80 Individually Drawn 'Shoemojis'

If your brand hasn’t made custom emojis yet, sorry—it’s now mandatory.

Or so it seems, given the rush of marketers doing so. And the latest brand to jump quite literally into the mix is Foot Locker, which is stocking its smartphone app with a library of “Shoemojis,” beginning with 80 individually drawn sneakers from iconic brands like Nike, Adidas, Asics, Under Armour and more.

“Communicating with your fellow sneakerheads will never be the same,” says BBDO New York, which conceived the concept with the client. More images below.

Client: Foot Locker
Project: Shoemoji
Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Chris Beresford-Hill
Executive Creative Director: Dan Lucey
ACD: Damjan Pita
ACD: Derek Harms
Director of Creative Technology, Experience and Design: Simon Mogren
Art Director: Bhanu Arbuaratna
Senior Designer: Jason Merenda
Copywriter: Allie Townsend
Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
Director of Digital Operations: Clemens Brandt
Senior Producer: Carissa Ranelycke
Director: Janelle Van Wonderen
Account Manager: Nick Robbins
Account Executive: Samuel Henderson
Senior Digital Strategist: Rhys Hillman
Production Company: The BBBDO Digital Studio
Technical Director: Michael Condouris
Associate Technical Director: Konstantin Rosinov
Studio Director: Marty Ford

Twitter Unveils Star Wars Emojis, and All Is Right With the Galaxy

Emoji product placement on Twitter just advanced a few light years today, as the social network—in partnership with Disney and Lucasfilm—unveiled Star Wars emojis at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Calif.

There are three emojis to start: C-3PO, a Stormtrooper and BB-8—a new droid introduced back in November in the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens. It’s the BB-8 emoji, of course, that’s the best marketing for the upcoming film—to be released Dec. 18—as Twitter users who haven’t been following the movie’s news wonder who the hell the cute little bot is.

As Twitter explains, the characters won’t show up in your emoji keyboards. You have to use the hashtags #C3PO, #Stormtrooper or #BB8 on or in Twitter’s mobile app (not in third-party apps). More characters are on the way, Twitter adds, “including iconic legacy characters and a handful of new characters from #TheForceAwakens.”

Pentagram Designs Climate Change Posters Made Completely Out of Emojis

Emojis are everywhere these days—even printed on posters at an environmental rally.

The popular social-media symbols found their way onto protest signs (made of what isn’t clear) at the recent People’s Climate March in London, thanks to design firm Pentagram, which created and handed out the placards.

Each featured mini emoji poems like “[Panda Bear] … [Hour Glass] … [Skull]” because, you know, pandas are endangered. Another triad: “[Tractor] … [Tree] … [Horrified Face]” (with the tree tipped to its side), translating roughly to “deforestation is bad.” It wasn’t all fire and brimstone, with sunnier odes to bicycling and recycling.

They look great—clear and clever, if perhaps a touch glib given the subject matter. But as Pentagram suggests on its blog, they’re certainly an effective antidote to “scrawled angst.” Nobody needs another badly handwritten rant.

It’s particularly nice that, unlike the proprietary emoticons (or even more complex visual systems) that brands have been conjuring of late, these are essentially all the standard emojis you might find on your iPhone (There are some minor modifications—like a red X through a blue car, and the fact that the aforementioned tree alteration). That means they’re more recognizable, and at least theoretically, more tapped into the zeitgeist.

On the other hand, out of context, they might tell a different story. Text your friend a panda turning into the grim reaper out of the blue, and he or she may think you’re in serious need of a hug.

State Farm Just Remade the 'Jake From State Farm' Ad Completely With Emojis

State Farm probably still can’t believe how popular the “Jake From State Farm” commercial has become. It became a cult favorite almost overnight and has been parodied relentlessly on Vine and elsewhere. Recognizing the love for all things Jake, the insurance company even gave him a Twitter account, which now has more than 33,000 followers.

The ad—technically called “State of Unrest (Jake)”—continues to air, and by now many people know the dialogue by heart. The dialogue is so familiar, in fact, that most people (and certainly the brand’s social-media followers) can likely follow along with the remade version below, posted to Facebook today—with the narrative told totally in emojis.

Random Friday fun, and a great quick hit from the advertiser.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.


Emojis ajudam a recapitular terceira temporada de “Game of Thrones”

Há alguns dias, mostramos por aqui como a PETA usou emojis para expor a crueldade contra os animais. A ideia pode não ser das mais novas, mas tem rendido projetos divertidos. É o caso de “Game of Phones”, um vídeo que usa emojis para recapitular a terceira temporada de “Game of Thrones”.

Criado por Cara Rose DeFabio, o vídeo foi lançado a poucos dias da estreia da quarta temporada. E, sim, antes de dar o play, fique sabendo que há spoilers, então se você ainda não sabe o que aconteceu na última temporada da série, talvez seja melhor evitar de dar o play.


PETA usa emojis para expor a crueldade contra os animais

Eles são parte da nossa vida digital e estão presentes em praticamente toda a nossa comunicação escrita, eliminando-se a necessidade de se usar palavras. Às vezes, um emoji é o suficiente para se dizer muito, especialmente quando o que precisa ser dito está muito além das palavras, como mostra “Beyond Words”.

Em seu novo filme – uma animação criada e produzida pela BPG Agency e Cut+Run, a PETA usa emojis para expor a crueldade contra os animais. De uma forma simples, mas ainda assim poderosa, “Beyond Words” acerta em cheio com sua mensagem, que no final é resumida desta forma: ”A crueldade que os animais sofrem por nossa vaidade está além das palavras”. Vale o play.


Brainstorm9Post originalmente publicado no Brainstorm #9
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