Freak Week: A Cut Above

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Last week on AdFreak, we posted one of the freakiest, most shocking ads we’ve seen this year. Most bizarre, perhaps, is that it’s a toy commercial. The spot promotes little alien-looking toy figurines made by a company called Alimana-and features a whole lot of blood, guts, nudity and sex. Done in the style of a fake movie trailer, it tells the story of a Japanese woman living in Mexico who falls in love with one of the toys after finding it in the garbage one day. Her friends laugh at her weird choice of mate, so naturally she murders each of them brutally, forcing one of them to eat his own intestines, before losing it completely and slicing off the top of her own head. And remember, this is meant to sell toys.

Speaking of strange, impromptu head surgeries, New Balance includes one in its new spot from BBDO. The ad shows a guy running around with feet growing out of his forehead. It’s a crazy metaphor for runners thinking about their aching feet all the time, instead of losing themselves in the simple pleasures of a jog. Turns out the jogger is on his way to the hospital, where a doctor fixes things with help from a pair of New Balance shoes. It’s visually memorable, but some runners feel it’s out of touch with the running community.

Last week we also posted the latest ad from Rhett & Link, the Internet comics from North Carolina whose side projects include making offbeat commercials for local businesses. This new spot is for a mobile-home seller in Alabama. In it, the owner, Robert Lee, says he really doesn’t really care about having you as a customer. “A bouncer in Birmingham hit me in the face with a crescent wrench five times,” he says. “And my wife’s boyfriend broke my jaw with a fence post. So, if you don’t buy a trailer from me, it ain’t gonna hurt my feelings.” It doesn’t get much more honest than that.

Finally, we posted yet another homoerotic-themed Quiznos spot last week from Siltanen & Partners. This one features two greasy Southern gents sharing a “hillbilly hot tub,” which the Quiznos oven admits is hot, but not as hot as the chain’s new double-cheese cheesesteak. (This is the same oven that sexually harassed a male Quiznos worker in an earlier ad.) It’s not easy to ridicule gay people and poor people in the same ad, but Quiznos has pulled it off.

BEST OF BRANDFREAK: KFC offends world with UN stunt

AdFreak’s sister blog, BrandFreak, was once again appalled by KFC’s behavior last week. This time, the chicken chain is messing with the United Nations, sending a letter to the Secretary General requesting that “Grilled Nation” have a seat at the organization’s table. “Grilled Nation” is the name KFC has given to the 60 million people who have allegedly tried its grilled chicken. The UN, of course, is dedicated to the pursuit of social progress, human rights and peaceful resolutions to the world’s conflicts. It does not need to address grilled chicken. The letter asks that the Secretary General call a special lunch break so that UN members can “unthink” their regular lunch routines. The stupidity continues Monday, which has been declared “UNFry Day,” when consumers will get another stab at some free chicken at 5,000 KFCs.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.