Ad of the Day – Oct 31 (Toronto)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TAXI
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Client: Mini
  • Name: “Dress up”
  • Why I like it: I was looking for something apt for Halloween, and most of what is there is so overdone. Zombies, trick or treat jokes, more zombies…this one I thought was subtle, and very well done. But more than that, it’s based on a truthful insight about dressing up to be something you can’t be in your “real life”. These guys at TAXI are super skilled, keep an eye out for them!
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Ad of the Day – Oct 28 (Sao Paulo)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R 
  • Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Client: Goodyear
  • Name: “Trust it”
  • Why I like it: If I’m honest I have to say upfront that this has all the markings of a “fake ad”, or at least one cleaned up for an awards show and not for real life. And this is a pet peeve of mine. But…I just found this ad very visually elegant. And that counts for something. It brings to mind not only performance and reliability, but a certain premium-ness to the brand that can be very aspirational. Nice little Friday eye-candy from our friends at Y&R in Sao Paulo. Bom fim de semana!

Ad of the Day – Oct 27 (Wellington)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Clemenger BBDO
  • Location: Wellington, New Zealand
  • Client: NZ Transport Agency
  • Name: “Legend”
  • Why I like it: I give it high scores for tackling a difficult challenge with the right, subtle touch. When talking to teens about anything, authenticity is about the most important thing you can have. And it’s especially hard to hit the right note when you’re talking to them about booze, drugs & sex. Most often it comes off looking like the effort of hopelessly out-of-touch old people. This one, I thought got the tone quite right. Not over the top, but not underselling it either. The right dose of humor, a good execution, and great casting and acting. Yesterday our Ad of the Day was from Contrapunto BBDO, today it’s another agency in the hyper-creative BBDO network, but exactly on the other side of the world.. Well done, Kiwis!
via @copyranter

Ad of the Day – Oct 26 (Barcelona)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Contrapunto BBDO
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Client: Andalucia Natural Gas
  • Name: “No more drama”
  • Translation
      • Woman: How DARE you do this to me!
      • Man: This time, it was not me…You are VERY mistaken! 
      • Mother in law: It was ME! I finished the hot water!
      • Anncr: Running out of hot water is a big drama. Install a natural gas heater and enjoy hot water without interruptions.
  • Why I like it: I enjoy 20 good second ads because they are by definition a distilled, crisp creative idea clearly communicating a single benefit. In this case, the notion that running out of water is a big drama…(and it doesn’t need to be this way) pretty much says it all and it’s something we all “get” instantly. And the dash of humor is what really makes it stick. Felicitaciones to the folks at Contrapunto BBDO, who show that you don’t need exciting products or clients to make good advertising!

Two ads. Same product. Same idea. Different Execution. Vastly different results!

Check out this video first. It’s from Germany, and a pretty memorable little viral video for Halloween season.

What did you think?

Now have a look at this one, this time from the UK.

What did you think?

It’s the same product, the same basic creative idea, and a very different execution. It’s not often that you get an apples-to-apples comparison like this, so it piqued my curiosity right away.

Personally, I like the UK version best, without a doubt. And while I think the German version has a lot going for it, it’s just not as good of an advertisement. Let’s look a little deeper, using the criteria I’ve written about in a previous post for judging creative. (you do remember this handy guide below, right?)

UK Version:

  1. Good? Yes, it caught my eye and clearly stood out for me, it “broke through the clutter”.
  2. Sticky? Yes, the visual gag of the vacuum cleaner sucking the toupee, moving it across the ceiling, and then dropping it on the other, sullen looking bar mate…well it worked for me. It was funny and unexpected.
  3. Branded? Yes, the link between the creative hook and the brand/product was obvious and very linear. This is one powerful vacuum cleaner. (obviously shown via an exaggeration, but that’s creative license).
  4. Persuasive? If I were in the market for a vacuum cleaner, I’d probably want more “real” proof-of-benefit than the hyperbole shown here. But I take their overall point that this vacuums well, and the machine itself looks nice. So I’d give them a half-mark on this one.
  5. Stretchy? Not so sure. Once the gag is revealed the impact is greatly reduced. And the ability to take this outside of TV might be limited (although I’m sure I could be proven wrong on this one).
  6. Wow!? Not really. Beyond the fact that I appreciate the humor, there’s not much else that stirs the soul, that touches me emotionally.

So, all in all…not bad, not bad at all!

Now let’s take a look at the German version

  1. Good? Same as above
  2. Sticky? Same as above.
  3. Branded? Yes…but far less so than the UK version, and this is the critical failing. Why? Because the ad is, in my opinion, edited in a way that puts the all the emphasis on the fantastic atmospherics, the engrossing setup, the cinematics of it all…leaving precious little oxygen for the payoff where the brand linkage happens. Once it was over, what remained was the fright at reliving “The Exorcist”…not the product benefit! If this was a 30 second ad it would likely be vastly improved in this regard. As it stands…it looks like this was a mini-film waiting for a brand/product to attach itself to it (which it did quite cleverly…but this is not enough!)
  4. Persuasive? Once you lost me on the linkage to the brand or product, it’s hard to persuade me to want to buy it.
  5. Stretchy? No. This (even more so than the UK version) is a one shot deal.
  6. Wow!? Not really. Gave me that angst that scary movies do…but if I can’t/won’t link this back to what the product offers me…then what’s the point?

Pretty cool to have these side-by-side, right?

What is the lesson here?  A careful comparison helps bring to light how an executional choice (length, editing, atmospherics) left no oxygen for the brand to thrive, turning the German version into a cool viral film for Halloween…but no more than that. And that’s a shame, because the very thing that makes this an admirable mini-film is what makes it a mediocre advertisement.

Dear reader, let me know what you think by posting in the messages section. Especially if you think I’m crazy and you’re convinced the opposite is true!

As always, thanks for reading!

A special thanks to my friend M Quinn for giving me the inspiration for this post.

Ad of the Day – Oct 25 (Amsterdam)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
  • Location: Amsterdam, Holland
  • Client: EA Sports FIFA12
  • Name: “Bury me”
  • Why I like it: Just so slick, like so much of the work coming out of this shop. Imaginative story, immersive writing, well acted, good special effects, clearly branded, larger-than-life feel, expertly paced and edited…the real deal. Oddly enough, W+K cranks out so much awesome work, including the now famous Nike “Write the Future” campaign, that this otherwise awesome add feels almost…ordinary. Talk about being spoiled! Soccer lovers, enjoy!

Ad of the Day – Oct 24 (Tunis)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Memac Ogilvy
  • Location: Tunis, Tunisia
  • Client: Engagement Citoyen (voter drive for upcoming elections)
  • Name: “Retour de Ben Ali”
  • Why I like it: I mean come on, this isn’t just good, it’s bloody brilliant!! For those of you that have forgotten, Ben Ali was the long-serving head (dictator) of Tunisia, who was ousted on January of this year as part of the “Arab Spring” uprising. What a way to send a message about civic involvement, eh? Vote…or one day you can easily find yourself in a dictatorship again. One of the most creative usages of the OOH medium that I have seen. Just fantastic. Congratulations to our friends at Memac Ogilvy!
via great-ads.blogspot.com

Ad of the Day – Oct 21 (Sao Paulo)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AlmapBBDO
  • Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Client: National Association of Advertising Agencies
  • Name: “Razors”
  • Why I like it: Quite simply, I like the retro-elegance of a longform copy ad, coupled with a very appealing art direction. It’s an ad that hooks you in very easily through the image, but then forces you to sit through it and pay attention to the idea. It’s not for every moment, or for everyone, I freely admit. But I appreciated it when I saw it, you don’t see many ads like this one nowadays. (and it’s telling that this isn’t for a “real” client, but for the ad industry itself.) These folks at Almap produce some of the better work anywhere, and this is yet another example of their creative chops!
via @adsoftheworld

Ad of the Day – Oct 19 (Sao Paulo)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Big hesitation here because I’m not sure if this is for real or not…but I’m going to go out on a limb and call it out because I think, if real, it’s a pretty awesome digital tactic. [update Nov 27 – it was real! I’m posting the video case and a proper updated visual below ]

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AGE Isobar
  • Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Client: Olla (a condom manufacturer)
  • Name: “Surprise son”
  • Why I like it: The image above is hard to make out, so here’s how it supposedly goes. A guy gets a very surprising friend request on Facebook…from a son that he didn’t know he had! On the invite is a picture of a baby with his same name (but with “jr” at the end), and the message “avoid surprises such as these. Always use Olla condoms”. The link leads to the Olla website. Gasp! Brilliant! Scary, crazy, logical, memorable, buzz-worthy…and every-so-persuasive! Assuming this is for real, this one is a real winner – congrats to the very skilled folks at AGE Isobar!

Ad of the Day – Oct 18 (Paris)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

I can’t tell if this is an actual ambient “event” (I doubt it, although it would be great if it were), or just a short viral film. Either way, it’s the Ad of the Day.

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Marcel
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Client: Contrex (mineral water)
  • Name: “The Contrexperience”
  • Why I like it: This one just reeks happiness. It’s funny, it seems very spontaneous, the participants are very into it, and the payoff and tagline credibly say something that links strongly back to the brand. I just thought it was really well put together. If this something that they actually pulled off “live”, then I give it an A+. If it’s just a filmed ad with actors, then a B+. Either way, it puts Contrex on the mental map, in a land dominated by Perrier and Evian. Keep pedaling, ladies!