Omar Comin’ …

In its first brand campaign in a decade, The Atlantic decided to make an impact through an ad, featuring an excellent actor, Michael K. Williams, who played The Wire‘s Omar Little, one of the most complex, badass characters ever. And, you best believe Omar makes an appearance. “Spread the word, darlin’. Omar back.”

The ad campaign works on a number of levels. The use of Williams and the Omar character, and the powerful discussion, grabs attention and is impactful in and of itself. Also, the ad’s “Question Your Answers” tagline not only frames The Atlantic’s brand well as a news and commentary medium, it also taps effectively into today’s political climate where we’re absolutely forced to question EVERYTHING we see and hear, even from government and media sources we once deemed, at least somewhat, trustworthy.

From a branding standpoint, it’s a good reminder for brands to re-evaluate their message, image, and marketing approach often to ensure they are who they say they are. Ultimately, brands need to avoid becoming stale, finding new ways to surprise and inspire. In other words, brands don’t want to be typecast.

As Omar says, “You feel me”?