LG’s New Smartphone Takes Abuse From Meatballs, Milk and More in Heat’s Global Ads

Agency's debut campaign for the tech giant

To tout the advanced features and durability of its new G6 smartphone, LG takes a hands-on approach in a series of playful ads created by Heat.

Each commercial presents the device front and center, positioned literally in the middle of the shot, manipulated by various hands.

And of course, there’s the occasional meatball smashing into the touchscreen, followed by a thorough hosing down:

Hey, who threw that spicy Italian treat? Apple, we’re looking in your direction!

“The sweet spot for our audience is anybody who has ever had trouble using a modern smartphone because of its size,” Evan Slater, Heat’s executive creative director and New York creative chief, tells AdFreak. “The toilet-droppers, two-handers, smash-scratch-n-denters are who we’re talking to. That’s pretty much all of us.”

But some people really like large phones. What’s wrong with that?

“If you’ve got a phablet and you’re happy, more power to you for having hands the size of a prehistoric creature’s,” says Slater. “The same goes to the people that are OK with smaller screens. The users we’re talking to are looking for a simple solution—a big screen that they can actually hold.”

Well, you know what they say about folks with big hands. Now, how about a cool glass of milk to wash down that spaghetti dinner?

“The visuals convey our message clearly, without a single word, and as a result translate into any country, culture or language,” Slater says. “For LG, this meant a campaign with truly global appeal and touchpoint versatility.”

This next ad actually takes place high above the globe:

“The glove was an actual astronaut glove,” Slater says, “but I don’t think it’s been to space.”

Here’s a longer video that dropped a few weeks back showing the G6 weathering all sorts of indignities:

Word to the wise: When skydiving, it’s probably best to take selfies after you’ve pulled the cord.

“The phones we shot with were not the final released handset, and given that we had a limited number of them, we were absolutely terrified to do things like dunk them into fish-bowls,” says Slater. “Each time we did it, we held our own phones and cringed, but each and every time, the G6 kept ticking. It made it through water, milk, showers and meatballs—and it’s still working away today.”

When filming “Meatball,” the creative team “originally had the hand model wearing a lovely white long-sleeve shirt,” he adds. “The first meatball toss not only missed the phone, but landed perfectly on the cuff of the shirt, rendering it useless. So, we swapped it out for a lovely yellow long-sleeved shirt. Second throw. Second miss. And that was the end of the shirt in that scene. We decided to stick with a T-shirt and work on our aim.”

Separately, LG produced a Rube Goldberg-style video illustrating the various quality tests each G6 must pass. Heat didn’t have a hand in this particular film, which was created by Ukrainian shop Radioaktive Film:

Agency: Heat
Chief Creative Officer: Steve Stone
Chief Executive Officer: John Elder
President: Mike Barrett
ECD / Head of Creative – Heat NY: Evan Slater
Creative Director: JB Byrne
Creative Director: Elaine Cox
Senior Writer: Jon Korn
Art Director: Justin Hargraves
Head of Integrated Production: Joyce Chen
Senior Producer: Andy Rosenthal
Producer / Post Production: David Cardinali
Associate Producer: MacKenzie Huff
Group Account Director: Matt Huntington
Account Director: Elaine Feinstein
Assistant Account Executive: Paris Clark
Director of Strategy: Justin Cox
Senior Strategist: Apo Bordin
Director of Business Affairs: Jenn Kennedy

Advertiser: LG Electronics
Global MC President: Juno Cho
VP Global Marketing Communications: Suyoung Kim
Director Global Marketing: YH Kang
Global Senior Marketing Manager: DK Seo
Global Marketing Manager: Leine Kim
Global Marketing Manager: Hayley Jun
Global Marketing Manager: Sunny Kim
SVP Marketing, US: Chang Ma
Director US Marketing: Romi Yoon
Sr. Marketing Manager, US: Jin Choi

Production Company: Gentleman Scholar
Directors: William Campbell & Will Johnson
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Line Producer: Richard Kaylor
DP: Rebecca Baehler

Design & Animation: Gentleman Scholar
Creative Directors: William Campbell, Will Johnson, Chace Hartman
Associate Creative Director: JP Rooney
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Senior Producer: Sue Yee Hubbard
Producer: Gregory Behrens
2D Animation & Design: Dennis Go
Designer: Trish Janovic
Designer: Christina Barna
Designer: Mike Tavarez
Designer: Chris Finn
CG Supervisor: Adam Burke
3D Modelers: Adam Rosen
Rigger: Lee Wolland
3D Animator: Nick Dubois
3D Lighting Artist: Mike Papagni
3D Texture Artist: Adnan Hussain

Editorial: Lost Planet
Editor: Charlie Johnston
Assistant Editor: Steven San Miguel
Executive Producer: Gary Ward
Producer: Tim Kirkpatrick

VFX/Finishing: Carbon VFX
Executive Producer: Frank Devlin
Senior Producer: Paul O’Bierne
Lead Flame/VFX: Kieran Walsh
Flame: Matt Reilly
Flame: Chris Wiseman
Flame: Peter Charles
Flame: Jamie Scott
After Effects: Max Benjamin

SDX + Mix: Heard City NY
Engineer: Keith Reynaud
Executive Producer: Sasha Awn

Music Production: Beta Petrol
Song: “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James
Remix by: Fabio BOI Angelini
Executive Producer: Brent Asbury
Music Supervisor: Bryan Turcotte

Color: Company 3
Colorist: Dave Hussey

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.