Hails & Fails – May 17th 2024

If you were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights last weekend, that’s wonderful, but here are some bold, bright campaigns that made our eyes light up this week (no, we’re not jealous at all).

Paddy Power made us laugh or cry depending on our football team, McDonald’s partnered with BBC Children in Need to make a real difference and Cadbury also used a partnership to do good. While ‘The Bumble Fumble’ is our fail of the week.


Escape with Trafford Travel

Gambling company Paddy Power launched its very own Travel Agency, Trafford Travel, to offer Man United fans an escape from the grim reality of being a Reds fan.

With Man City looking likely to win the league this weekend, United fans can now travel to island locations miles away from civilisation with no signal or internet to avoid any mention of football, with not a Liverpool or City fan in sight also guaranteed.

The launch video is a must watch, unlike the rest of the season.

Charlotte Leigh – Account Director: “As a United fan, this hurts, but even I’ve got to admit this tongue-in-cheek content piece is actually… quite funny. The genuine football woes that every United fan can relate to, and every other football fan can laugh at, packaged up into holiday bundles really do hit the nail on the head, especially paired with the melancholy music, impeccable script and classic Paddy Power humour. Sign me up to the Wilderness Package please”

Escape with Trafford Travel

McDonald’s remove the happy from happy meal

Half of all children feel pressure to be happy all the time, even when they don’t want to be.

So, this Mental Health Awareness Week, McDonald’s has partnered with BBC Children in Need to remove the smile from their Happy Meal boxes to encourage children to communicate how they might truly feel.

2.5 million of the limited-edition boxes were distributed to over 1,400 restaurants across the country, along with a pack of stickers depicting different emotions for kids to stick onto their box. What’s more, the fast-food giant has created a dedicated resources hub to teach families how to have more open conversations about emotional well-being.

Jess Redfearn – Midweight Creative: “For me, this idea is world class. With the Happy Meal being so iconic, removing the smile is such a bold move. But with the mental health of young people being an epidemic, it’s these bold moves that the world needs”

McDonald’s remove the happy from happy meal

Life’s a box of memories

British confectionery company Cadbury partnered with Alzheimer Research UK this week to launch ‘Memory Bar Boxes’.

Part of the brand’s 200-year anniversary campaign, the limited-edition Dairy Milk bars aim to stimulate memories and spark conversation for individuals suffering with dementia.

Beautifully nostalgic with packaging dating back to 1915, each bar contains a digital download link; taking customers to additional content including vintage advertising posters and illustrations.

Sophia Stewart – Planning & Strategy Director: “Nostalgia is the perfect place to play for Cadbury, particularly poignant for the brand’s 200 year anniversary. This campaign really strikes a chord, driving home the importance of connection. Bravo, Cadbury… bravo!”

Life’s a box of memories


The Bumble Fumble

Dating app Bumble was forced to apologise this week for a series of billboards that were so poorly received online that they’ve now been removed from a global marketing campaign.

The billboards featured headlines including “A vow of celibacy is not the answer” and “Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun”, but it took no time at all for them to be slammed on social media for “undermining women’s choices” and “shaming them for refraining from sex”.

For an app founded by women that aims to empower them, we’re baffled as to how these ads were ever signed off.

The Bumble Fumble

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