Blog news – December 16: Vacation, Awards, and 中國!

We’re going on vacation! It has been a long year with many exciting changes. And now, as it starts to get cold and nasty in Chicago…I’m escaping for 2 weeks of sunshine and beach. Back and fully operational on January 1 to kickoff the new year!

We’re taking a look back! Since we began over 4 months ago we’ve seen a lot of great work, and shared quite a few advertising thoughts…with an international twist. We’re going to take 1 week off and then we’ll do a “best of”, taking a look back and appreciating that which was awesome, that which was inspiring, and that which was lame. So stay tuned for this, starting Monday, December 26.

We’re moving to China! Big life change coming up for me and my family. I’ve taken a fantastic advertising job in Shanghai, and I’ll be permanently relocating there in January. What does this mean for Adboardingpass? Well, hopefully much more “on the ground reporting” on the booming advertising markets that are China and Asia. If you look through the “Ads of the Day” for example, the one area where we are lacking in variety is Asia: expect that to change. I’m really excited about what this will mean for Adboardingpass – I expect it will make the content richer, more diverse, and with a more unique viewpoint that you won’t find anywhere else.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you readers for what has been a fantastic experience. Working on this blog has wildly surpassed my expectations: it has made me more attuned to our industry; it has helped to clarify what I like, what I don’t, and why; and it has connected me to wonderful and talented people from all around the world.

I hope coming by has helped you catch an ad that maybe you would have missed, or has helped you in evaluating your own thoughts about the advertising business, or has given you non-advertisers a glimpse into this ever-changing industry. Please keep coming back, and tell a friend. I’ll keep writing:)

My best wishes to you for the new year!

Martin

Ad of the Day – December 15 (Montevideo)

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: Lowe Gingko
  • Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Client: Penalty (a Brazilian athletic apparel/accessory brand)
  • Name: “Passion rules”
  • Why I like it: An image conveys a thousand words, and some very good images also convey feeling. In this case, the overhead satellite views of improvised soccer pitches in the favelas of Sao Paulo and Rio transmit passion, perseverance, pride, and that creativity-against-all-odds that is a defining characteristic of Brazilians (and by extension, the brand.) This was a very generic brief, I’m sure – but the folks at Lowe Ginkgko found a very interesting spin on it that just…worked for me. Congrats to our first Ad of the Day from Uruguay!

Ad of the Day – December 14 (Sydney)

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: Three Drunk Monkeys (is there a better name for a small agency?!?!)
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Client: Ice Break (an ice coffee drink)
  • Name: “Paul”
  • Why I like it: Somewhat reminiscent of the Carling Ad of the Day from a few days ago, this short video is an example of turning nothing (or close to nothing) into something interesting, fresh and inspiring, merely by really thinking, daring, and following through. The end result was very solid, inexpensive, buzz worthy and (importantly) well attuned to the personality of the brand. I’d bet there is a case study similar to this in every single agency around the world…just waiting to be uncovered and brought to life. Why not you? Cheers to the folks at Three Drunk Monkeys, coming to us all the way from Sydney!

Ad of the Day – December 13 (Vienna)

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: Tribal DDB
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Client: McCafe (McDonald’s)
  • Name: “a.m…p.m”
  • Why I like it: Ah, how I love the simple brilliance of these print ads. If there is a simpler, more bang-on visual encapsulation of what coffee does for us, what it means for us in the morning…well I’d like to see it. These layouts just distill it down to the very essence of what McCafe promises. Superb! Now, nothing is perfect – you know what I would have done to make it even better? I would have flipped the order of the pictures, showing the awake picture on the left and the sleepy on the right…that way the am/pm could also stand for “after McCafe” and “pre McCafe”. (Yes, I know. You’re welcome, DDB!) By the way, this is our very first ad of the day from Austria!

Viral, baby! What it is, and how to get there.

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Viral, baby.

What is it?

It’s replayability, it’s brandability, it’s sharability. Continue reading

Ad of the Day – December 12 (Johannesburg)

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: Ireland-Davenport
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Client: The Walking Dead (a tv show about zombies)
  • Name: “Washing Powder”
  • Why I like it: The Walking Dead is a tv series about survival in a zombie-infested world. I thought this was a very clever way to get you thinking about the show. These types of parodies rely on careful balance – you can’t give it away too soon, but if you take too long people will think it’s a detergent ad and “tune off”. So, you’ve got to drop a clue, and it needs to be almost subliminal. Job well done! The  demo had me thinking something was “wrong”, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. Once the reveal came, I was hooked, almost in appreciation of the clever trap. Even though I’m not sure the final explanatory tagline truly works {the notion that “life goes on”), it’s a really nice idea and execution by the folks at Ireland-Davenport, certainly not your everyday TV show promo ad. Interestingly, we went 4 months without any “Ad of the Day” from South Africa, and now we’ve had two on consecutive days!

Ad of the Day – December 9 (Cape Town)

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: Ogilvy Cape Town
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Client: SAB (makers of Carling beer)
  • Name: “Darling to Carling”
  • Why I like it: This 2 minute case study is WELL worth your while. It’s a case study about how thinking harder, being ballsier, and committing to taking things “all the way” can have a huge payoff. Of course, beer is always ripe with creative potential – but between potential and fruition is the thinking and the doing. I won’t say more, just see it for yourself. And then kick yourself because last time your company did a similar sponsorship all you did was some t-shirts and a hospitality tent! Happy Friday, brought to you by the talented folks at Ogilvy Cape Town for our very first South African “Ad of the Day”!

“Hmmm…I feel like I’ve seen this ad before”

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If you come across a lot of creative, over time certain things you see or hear will trigger a sense of déja vu. Like in those memory-games you played as a kid where you’d try to find matching pairs, something pops in your memory that says “hold on a second…I’ve seen this before!”

Now, this notion is nothing new in advertising or in any art form, because inspiration and ideas always come from somewhere.

But it’s also obvious to a careful observer that not all of these “déja vus” can be classified into one single bucket: they range from crazy coincidences, to straight-up creative plagiarism. If we don’t make this distinction, it’s impossible to have a constructive conversation about what is right and what is wrong. Because believe me, there are grey areas like you wouldn’t believe! Continue reading

Ad of the Day – December 8 (London)

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: DDB UK
  • Location: London, UK
  • Client: Harvey Nichols (department store)
  • Name: “Walk of shame”
  • Why I like it: I had to laugh when the background song “Morning has Broken” came in..just right! They had my attention: great casting, great real-life situation (who hasn’t been there?)…and then the payoff was very credible and definitely memorable. A buzz-worthy Christmas ad that avoids the common sin of being overly sweet and sentimental. I would have loved to have been present at the initial creative presentation for this one! Inspired, edgy work from DDB in London. Nicely done!

Ad of the Day – December 7 (Milan)

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: 1861 United
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Client: IKEA
  • Name: “Invasion”
  • Why I like it: IKEA has been featured as the Ad of the Day before. As in the case of VW (also a recurring brand), it’s clear that there is a corporate philosophy of creativity and risk taking at play, which encourages good work from different agencies and countries around the world. Good for them! The idea here is fairly generic (preparing for unexpected visits), but the execution was really very well done, holding true to the parody of the action genre, while still featuring the product/s very much front and center. Nice work from 1861 United in Milan!