Creative that comes out of the Pacific Northwest has its charms. On one hand, work from Portland and Seattle can have an edge, (see: early Nike work from Wieden + Kennedy), and on the other, it is at times deliciously airy and fun (see: current KFC work from Wieden + Kennedy).
For people who live and work here, it can be easy to pick out something that feels of the region creatively. It’s nuanced and has an indefinable quality, but when you see it, you know it came from here.
“I think that work from here is a bit more irreverent,” said Britt Fero, principal at PB& who also leads ambitious work for Visit Seattle. “Also, it likes to reinterpret in ways that no one could have imagined. KFC is a good example. [Wieden] took Colonel Sanders and completely reinvented the brand.”
Sure, we’re sometimes painted as quirky tucked up here in this little corner of the country—which is perfectly OK—and that vibe is evident in new Sparkling Ice work from Bread n Butter out of Seattle.
For the uninitiated, the sparkling water product is from parent company Talking Rain, based east of Seattle. A Costco staple, Sparkling Ice is a delicious alternative to LaCroix which, for some reason, is advertising’s unofficial fizzy water. The brand also has several delicious flavors (16 in all) which play a prime role in the fun 30-second spots.
The ads are a variation on the boss-employee work theme, but what makes it stand out and keep your attention are the two stars who give off a Will Ferrell-Ana Gasteyer vibe (strangely, the male character looks like a mashup of Paul Rudd and Alan Ruck as Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). They are enthusiastic about getting the word out about the product, yet lurking in each of the five spots is the boss, who poo-poos the duo’s bizarre ideas.
From a (questionable) rap to a spinning wheel—fruit rocket to WTF (“What the Fruit” to, you know, connect with millennials), the gags come at you fast but, like drinking the product, leave you satisfied.
In a way, it feels like watching improv instead of a commercial, with certain boundaries ever so slightly crossed and ad conventions nudged outside of the comfort zone. But it’s undeniably fun and may make your agency or brand think twice about what bubbly drink they stock in the fridge—perhaps one that comes from Preston, Wash.
The spots were produced by Kaboom Productions and directed by Erik Moe whose comedic touch can be found in work for brands like Kia, Bud Light and Citibank.
Agency: Bread n Butter
Production Company: Kaboom Productions
Director: Erik Moe