During last night's Grammys, I found myself much more intrigued by what the brand advertisers were doing than what was happening at the show.
I took detailed notes then ranked my favorite spots. Here they are..
4. Adidas – Original Is Never Finished
Adidas’s latest “film” (their words, not mine) came pretty strong during last night’s Grammys. The spot was a super fresh blend of beats, colors, influencers, effects, and product. The ad featured lots of diverse faces and scenes, more than enough to keep a viewer's attention for the entire 1:40. A remix of Inaya Day’s “Keep Pushin” stood out on a night where music was at the forefront (not an easy task!). The piece also featured a star-studded cast, and did it in a subtle way. Viewers who were watching closely could pick out Marcelo Vieira, Playboi Carti, A$AP Ferg, and Nick Young amongst others. Adidas definitely hit their mark.
3. Apple – Animoji Alien
Plain and simple, Apple’s animoji/Childish Gambino mashup worked. Right before the ad dropped, Childish Gambino absolutely crushed his performance of “Terrified” which meant the timing could not have been smoother. The psychadelic visuals in the ad are rich and rewarding, and align very nicely with the song. Couple that with one of this year’s most recognizable tunes (“Redbone”) and it’s no wonder Apple had people talking.
2. Cross Colours – Bruno Mars + Cardi B perform Finesse
What do you get when you align your brand with arguably two of the hottest names in music right now? An absolute home run. Cross Colours, the throwback brand that’s been making smart decisions since a revival earlier this decade, had one of the biggest influencer marketing wins of the night. The performance sounded great, and injected life into what, up to that point, had been a fairly serious show. Having the entire set design, all of the backup dancers, and two grammy-nominated powerhouses styled head-to-toe in Cross Colours was a major win for the retailer.
1. Target – The Middle (Presented by Target) #moremusic
The genius of this spot is multi-dimensional. First, Target effectively teased this piece throughout the night, without totally tipping their hand, making watchers more than aware that something was coming. Whether or not viewers were excited is a different story. Next, Target timed the spot to run well after Maren Morris' emotional rendition of Tears in Heaven(in honor of the victims killed last year in Las Vegas and in Manchester).
Because the ad recreates what is supposed to like a Grammy-themed live performance, Target essentially got the chance to shoot, edit, and broadcast a flawless version of The Middle without any of the sound or design challenges associated with real performance (GENIUS). Couple that with the fact that the performance ends with both artists dancing in… wait for it… THE MIDDLE of the Target logo was a very nice touch. I have to give it up to Target. I thought they won the night.
Honorable Mentions to Gap, Old Spice, MasterCard, KFC, El Vive, Lipton, Citi and Google Pixel... better luck next year!