Ad of the Day – January 31 (Boulder)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TDA Boulder
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado
  • Client: 1st Bank
  • Name: “Customer service”

Why I like it: I always love the ballsyness of the “uncomfortable pause”. Shows like The Office have made it a mini-art form which consistently delivers humor and an almost irresistible attraction (the opposite of what one would expect from “boring silence”). I’ve always thought it’s a potential goldmine, yet…it’s a device rarely seen on tv advertising. Why? Well, because it takes guts to “waste” seconds of valuable airtime. And if you’re talking about the Superbowl, well every second of silence is probably worth about 100K(!), so you really need the conviction to stick with it and not start blabbing about your secondary and tertiary benefits! For me, it pays off handsomely. It catches my attention,  it’s well branded, it’s fairly credibly linked to the consumer benefit (customer service)…as far as Superbowl ads go, this is pretty darn good. Good on 1st Bank for rising well above the average Superbowl ad mediocrity, and good on the other Boulder ad agency for making it happen. Let’s see what the reaction is next Monday, I’m expecting big things!

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Ad of the Day – January 27 (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: Kube Libre
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Client: Fiat Panda
  • Name: “This is the Italy we like”

Why I like it:This ad would fit perfectly in my previous post about patriotic imagery in advertising, it’s a perfect example of the “rallying cry” approach. As such, I thought it was really, really nice. Keep in mind this is going to run in Italy, as part of a widespread campaign to launch the new Fiat Panda in that country. I don’t see how this doesn’t generate a powerful response, because it hits all the right notes: the cinematography has a nicely lyrical quality to it, as does the writing, it’s well branded, it’s emotionally persuasive, it has a powerful core idea that translates to multiple communications channels, and (in this case perhaps most importantly), it’s very emotionally charged. It transcends the category and dares to reach higher. Fiat in Italy has the credibility to attempt such a feat (not everyone does), and I think they do it in a very ballsy, artistic way. It reminds me of the Chrysler “Made in Detroit” mini-masterpiece from last year. Great work from a Milan based shop that I wasn’t familiar with – I sure am now. Well done, Kube Libre!

Ad of the Day – January 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: Villarrosas
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Client: Nike
  • Name: “Run Madrid”

Why I like it: I absolutely love, love, LOVE everything about these print ads. From the urban style of the photography, to the way they capture the tragicomedy of young-adult anxiety, to the art direction with the opposing text blocks and the burnt border in the middle, to the genuine-yet-inspired copywriting, to the way they show off the Nike gear appealingly  without making it too obvious, to the way they manage to make this something very personal yet very social at the same time(totally capturing the way this target lives), to – most importantly – the way the just nail the wild, cathartic exhuberance and fun of running as an antidote to all the stress in the world – with Nike as an enabler of course. What more can I say? This one really struck a chord with me. Congrats to a hot creative shop from Barcelona for today’s Ad of the Day. Enhorabona amics!

Ad of the Day – January 25 (Berlin)

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: Heimat Berlin
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Client: Adidas
  • Name: “The Face of Marathon”

Why I like it: Building on a previous ad of the day for SAS, I’m organizing my thoughts on what makes a good digital tactic. I think it goes something like this: 1) It’s got to be all about a strong core idea (as measured by our 6 principles), not about the cool technology bringing you the message. 2)On the other hand, the tactic has to be only possible because of the clever use of digital…it wouldn’t work the same without it. Finally, 3)the core idea, brought to life in an interesting and contemporary manner, has got to be credibly linked up with the brand/product promise. In this case, I think they did a great job: I like the core idea of the broadcasting the pain, elation and a million personal thoughts in between that happen in a marathon. The execution through the head-cams is cool, but even more so is the live broadcast during the marathon. And finally, this all ties together with Adidas somehow and a story about meeting and surpassing one’s own boundaries, whatever they may be. Inspired work for Berlin to start your Wednesday!

 

Check out the web site below for more.

http://www.adidas.com/campaigns/angesichtdesmarathons/content/index.asp?country=en

Ad of the Day – January 24 (Rio)

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! (note: I was in trouble today, couldn’t find anything worthy – but then faithful reader Cristina from Miami came to the rescue with this submission. Thanks, Tina!)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: NBS (no bullshit)
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Client: CCAA (a language school)
  • Name: “Megan Fox”

Why I like it: Is this a Cannes Grand Prix winner? Perhaps not, but let’s be honest here – the use of celebrities really helps generate buzz, and elevates the “viral” potential of a commercial that most people would very otherwise never see or be interested in. I like the very high production values, I like the humor, and I like the fact that Tyson, who is completely “mental”, is a better actor than Fox! But what I like most of all is that all of this is not merely the self-indulgence of “let’s get a celebrity to get us buzz”: The main gag of the commercial (not knowing a language will make you miss out on opportunities in life), is inextricably bound with the benefit being offered by this language center. So…it’s a little over the top, a little out there, but I think it totally works: it catches your attention, it’s decently branded, and it’s reasonably persuasive. Not a bad day’s work from the folks at NBS in Brazil. Parabens, meus amigos!

Ad of the Day – January 23 (Chicago)

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! (note: I’m finding a lot of good stuff from the US, so we’re going to bend our rule)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Energy BBDO
  • Location: Chicago, US
  • Client: The Partnership at Drugfree.org
  • Name: “Enabler”

Why I like it: I believe some type of communications are inherently more difficult to pull off than others. One such example is anti-drug and anti-drinking campaigns: affecting people’s behavior is hard enough, but when you’re trying to tell them not to do the thing they very specifically like to do…well that’s a challenge! So it’s cool when these ads work. We had earlier featured a good one from New Zealand, also from BBDO (mind you, I think anti drunk driving ads are a slightly simpler sell because no one in their right mind specifically wants to do this). In today’s example, what was interesting is how they targeted not the user, but their periphery – in this case the parents, who are at times enablers, at times in denial. Very effective, very insightful, and I think very likely to change behavior in a positive manner. If not for the user, then for those that clear the path. I had the good fortune to meet Dan Fietsam and his team, and they are absolutely top-notch. It’s great to see them start the year with this very solid work, hats off to them!

“Denial”

Ad of the Day – January 20 (Paris)

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: Fred & Farid
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Client: WeightWatchers
  • Name: “Treat Yourself Better”

Why I like it: On Adboardingpass I’ve tried to share a coherent and consistent opinion on what I consider to be good creative. But hopefully I’ve also conveyed the truth that advertising is not computer science – there is much “voodoo” involved and sometimes things that should work, don’t, and things that shouldn’t work, do. This campaign is an example of the latter. One could argue that this ad is not well branded, the visual doesn’t clearly convey a benefit, it’s not actively persuasive, it’s not very campaignable, it’s not very emotional, and altogether it’s perhaps a little more art than advertising. And yet…I can’t take my eye off of it. It’s so visually interesting, so different, so arresting, so…mysterious, that it makes me want to find out more! It’s almost like a viral video that is so entertaining that it predisposes you favorably towards the brand and makes you want to find out more, almost as a reciprocal gesture. I predict a polarizing reaction towards it, with most people thinking that it’s an over-reach, a creative indulgence. And yet…I love it. I can’t hide it! What do you think? This comes from Farid & Farid in Paris, who were featured on Ad of the Day previously for their also uniquely arresting and art directed print ads for Schweppes, as well as for this fantastically cinematic Martini ad. That’s a really impressive portfolio, and they’re the first agency to be recognized here 3 times. Cheers to that!

Ad of the Day – January 18 (New York)

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! (note: I’m finding a lot of good stuff from the US, so today and tomorrow we’re going to bend our rule)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Being
  • Location: New York, US
  • Client: Wheat Thins
  • Name: “WHheat Thins…”

Why I like it: Whether or not you’re familiar with these characters from the TV show “Family Guy”, this is a really nicely done ad (if you are familiar, it’s even better!). It pairs up nicely with yesterday’s ad in terms of a constant repetition of the product/brand at the core of the ad. And of course, when your product is the very trigger for the gag in the commercial, you’re on the right track. Imagine this commercial without Wheat Thins…that’s right, you can’t. Interestingly, there’s not a single product shot, nothing about the texture, or the flavor, or anything at all. I think this is Kraft’s play for rejuvenating their brand, injecting it with a little hipness, making it top of mind and contemporary. They did this with commitment and “single-mindedness” and it shows in the work. Who knew this product could be hip? Never in a million years. Unless of course you take a change and let your skilled creatives do their thing! In fact, Kraft has continuously surprised me of late in this regard, and it’s no surprise they’re the darlings of the marketing world. Cheers to them.

Ad of the Day – January 17 (New York)

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! (note: I’m finding a lot of good stuff from the US, so today and tomorrow we’re going to bend our rule)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Arnold Worldwide
  • Location: New York, US
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: “The Egg McMuffin of…”

Why I like it: Wow, this is really the Egg McMuffin of fast food ads. You take the brand/product and with some clever writing you…amplify its meaning, seamlessly inserting it into running pop culture vocabulary. And likely creating tremendous brand recall during the ad. Nobody is going to confuse this for another brand. This is all so hard to do I’d go as far as to call it a “happy accident”. Sort of like the “wassup” campaign for Bud, it starts off as a perhaps-good-but-definitely-quirky idea, and then…it takes a life of its own. Usually with ads I can explain why I like them but this type of ad is so subtle and so hard to do, that I can’t even speculate on the process behind its creation. I read once in a fictional book about a copywriter that had retired after coming up with the line “Chivas Regal. The Chivas of whiskies”. This is sort of the same. I bet you only get one or two of those in your career, if you’re lucky! Well played, Arnold!

Ad of the Day – January 16 (San Francisco)

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! (note: today it’s from the US, but it’s my blog so I can break the rules every now and then, ok?)

Today’s pick:

Why I like it: Ads like this make me giddy. They are exhibit A of the marriage between content and delivery. A David Ogilvy quote applies here: “You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them in buying it.” This is a great example of fantastic story-telling. And it’s truly fantastic because it’s interesting and very well told…AND, the story is inextricably linked to a core product/brand benefit. In this case Audi Quattro’s prowess in tough weather. This is one of those pieces of communication that, (far from being churned out from a sausage factory) is crafted. You can see the minute, loving attention to detail that went into it. And the result reflects glowingly on the brand, the car, the agency, and those consumers that now even more attracted to the brand. Major, major props.