US – Disgraced Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte stars in a tongue-in-cheek campaign by PowerBar.
Clean Start plays to the controversy surrounding the former Olympic swimming star. The ad depicts Lochte as he prepares to ‘wipe away the past’ and take the Clean Start Pledge. It features several references to the 2016 Summer Olympics, including the Lochtegate scandal and his unusual ice-blue hair colour.
The ad taps into the new year’s resolution zeitgeist at a time when many consumers are struggling to stay on track. ‘We can all use a clean start, especially at the beginning of the new year,’ says Doug Cornille, vice-president of marketing at Premier Nutrition.
The campaign’s playful approach and Lochte’s self-deprecating performance is designed to encourage viewers to consider the underlying message and reflect on life’s challenges.
Brands are creating campaigns with controversial elements that aim to capture consumers’ attention and spark debate. To find out more, see the Controversy-courting section of our Backlash Brands macrotrend.