You Won't Believe the Freaky Rats in This GoodBoyBob Commercial

Maybe they shouldn't feed those things caffeine

We've got an early contender for the most sublimely stupid ad of the year.

If you're queasy about medical research and rodents with human eyes, ears, noses and mouths CGI-ed onto their furry frames, you might want to skip this one.

It's darn funny. Also unnerving. A rat gets the last word.

Now, let's see what two science types get up to in the lab, courtesy of coffee roaster GoodBoyBob and agency Erich & Kallman:

GoodBoyBob | Lab Rats

That java seemed to help them focus. The human race is doomed!

"This spot has what are probably the most memorable visuals I've ever been a part of creating. This will work for the brand because, frankly, viewers won't forget it," agency president and CCO Eric Kallman tells Muse.

Every single day, ad types play the "memorable" card. This time, it's well earned. Can't shake those images. Won't sleep well tonight. It's like I drank too much premium blend.

"Instead of targeting coffee snobs by talking about flavor notes of different blends, we decided to keep it simple and communicate exactly what people say when they try GoodBoyBob: that it's the best coffee they've ever had," Kallman says.

The team played with ways to bring that notion to life, but "how do you go about trying to actually prove something so subjective? That led to the lab idea, and eventually the 'face' of rats."

Of course. It could hardly lead elsewhere. Please, Eric, tell us more.

"Shooting rats was a bit more challenging than I thought. As soon as you put one down they wanted to scurry off to the corner of the cage and curl up with their friends," Kallman says "It took a lot of patience and treats to get footage of them standing still for a few seconds. Luckily our friends at Parliament, our VFX company, were able to place them where they needed to be."

"Luckily" is one way of putting it.

Jokes aside, we're crowning this experiment from Tool director Erich Joiner an unqualified (if icky) success. The work scores by gleefully embracing weirdness and delivering creepy critters the likes of which we're unlikely to see again anytime soon. (We hope!)

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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