London is renowned for its gloomy weather but it seems it's now so bad that even the tower housing Big Ben has had to wrap up warm. Or has it? As part of a new campaign, clothing retailer JD Sports has released a video of the iconic British landmark sporting a coveted North Face puffer jacket – but some viewers were a little confused.
While on closer inspection it's clear that the video is CGI, a casual glance could be a little convincing to the untrained eye, showing how much AR technology has advanced – hats (or should I say coats) off to JD for this clever campaign. (For more inspiring branding, take a look at our collection of the best billboard advertising).
The short video shows a crowd of onlookers marvelling at the coat-clad monument while a voice within the bustle proclaims "That's mad," and another insists that he should "definitely get a pic of that". While the limited dialogue is convincing enough, the astute among you will notice that all three visible onlookers are also sporting North Face puffers – perhaps the illusion is only available to those repping the brand?
Many fans responded to JD's TikTok post with confusion and dismay, commenting questions like "Chat is this real?" and disappointed remarks such as "a new low. a iconic building being sold to advertisers." Among the bewildered, most commenters got in on the joke, with the official Post Office TikTok account commenting "After watching Top Boy once..." – a reference to the popular London-based crime drama in which many a puffer jacket is donned.
This might be one of the hardest campaigns in history. 🔥November 9, 2023
London Ben New York Ben pic.twitter.com/P4KSY6sI5CNovember 10, 2023
The video joins the recent trend for playful pieces of fictional OOH marketing that aim to go viral. JD has really nailed the random silliness that attracts a Gen Z audience and I'm surprised by how much I love the creativity of this ad. It's now becoming a little more common to see brands branching out into AR advertising and it's a welcome break from conventional campaigns. I'm excited to see how technological advancements will bring the fun back into advertising.