Ad of the Day – March 29 (Charlotte, NC)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BooneOakley
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  • Client: Bojangles (a fried chicken restaurant chain)
  • Name: “Chicken cops”

Why I like it: This is one of a series of ads that broke this month for a small southern chicken chain in the US. Much like this crazy Vitautas water ad from last week, I love it when small brands have the guts to make a statement and get noticed. It’s so obvious, and in retrospect it’s so less risky than it seems…but humans are risk averse by nature, and that includes marketing directors and their agencies. Too bad. So anytime we see David hurl a rock at Goliath’s eye, we celebrate. I liked everything about Chicken Cops, especially that it seems to be making fun of itself as much as anything. The production values, the 80s buddy movie/Pulp Fiction reference, the acting (are they about to crack up halfway through their line?), the over-the-top ham-handedness, the sudden outburst of mock-violence – it just reels you right in, doesn’t it? More importantly, I thought it connected well with the product benefit and gave it its proper due. Inspired, campaignable, persuasive – really nice work from a small shop in a small city in the US advertising firmament. Well done, my Tar Heel friends!

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Ad of the Day – March 28 (Madrid)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Madrid
  • Client: VW Golf Rabbit
  • Name: “Greyhound”

Why I like it: The tagline translates as “Stop chasing it. Golf Rabbit for 17,200 Euros”. A simple message, an incredibly simple premise, and a very nice execution: it builds proper suspense, it’s shot in a way that it grabs your attention with the sleek speedy beauty of the dogs, and it ends with a twist that is at once cute, surprising and believable. Really nicely done! The ad even has a nice “easter egg”: if you’re a lover of Golf/Rabbit, there’s a pretty good chance you’re recognize the homage to the classic print ads from the 70s/80s. Enhorabuena a la gente de DDB Espana!

Ad of the Day – March 27 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Hertz
  • Name: “Park, then fly”

Why I like it: Loyal readers will know that I love vintage/retro style advertising. There’s something about the aesthetic that makes it seem actually quite modern to me, and in a very cut-through way. So in honor of Mad Men’s return to television, I’m going to go with 2 days of retro goodness for our Ad of the Day. Today’s is from New York, and it’s fantastic because the choice to go retro serves a real role. Beyond just cutting through the clutter, it’s a statement about how truly fantastic these services are that we just take for granted. By reaching back to that time when the future seemed so wondrous and limitless, it illustrates how far we have actually come. Some of these dreams are actually reality, at least when it comes with renting cars with Hertz:) Fantastic work. If you’re a fan of the design, you should check out a previous Ad of the Day for Amtrak, very similar lines!

Ad of the Day – March 26 (Barcelona)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: JWT
  • Location: Barcelona
  • Client: Fundacion Ideas (a public service campaign)
  • Name: “Plane, Customs”

Why I like it: Loyal readers will know that I love vintage/retro style advertising. There’s something about the aesthetic that makes it seem actually quite modern to me, and in a very cut-through way. So in honor of MadMen’s return to television, I’m going to go with 2 days of retro goodness for our Ad of the Day. The first comes to us from Barcelona, and I just Iove the design, mixed with sense of humor, mixed with message. It’s amazing to me how near awards season so many public organizations have a healthy media budget (wink, wink), but in any case, this one stood out and I think the decision to go retro makes all the difference. Felicitacions to our Catalan friends!

 

Ad of the Day – March 23 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Droga5
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Puma
  • Name: “Live life, don’t watch it”

Why I like it: If I’m honest, I’m a little torn on this one. The good: I’m sharing it 1 minute after having seen it for the first time, because I think it’s one of those ads that I define as epic, worthy of my advertising pantheon.  According to the Adboardingpass scale, this one is the rare birds: “interesting, brand linked, persuasive, campaignable and emotional” – a real feat!  Soaring narrative, makes the brand stand for something bigger than itself, seamlessly integrates the product, expert writing, superb depiction of urban, youthful energy for life, inspiring and thoughtful. I just love it, it really touches me. If you follow the genius shop that is Droga5, you’ll know that this ad is a follow-up to their Cannes Grand Prix-winning “After hours athlete” campaign. They just got tired of winning awards on that one, and deservedly so! Really, just hats off. I’m in awe. – Now the bad: If you ask me what my very favorite ad is, I actually have an answer: It’s Levi’s “Go Forth“. To me, there’s nothing better. It’s the ultimate. Now, go and compare the two. I’m sorry, but they’re the same ad. Levi’s is broader, more lyrical, etc., but really they’re the very same call to arms directed at youth. There’s no plagiarism here, none of that nonsense. I just think this fantastic Puma ad has the misfortune of coming out at a time when this exact high-ground has been claimed. You climb to the very peak of Mt. Everest and that’s unqualifiably great…except that if you get there to find another climber from a different expedition taking pictures, it’s just not the same, is it?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Ad of the Day – March 22 (Warsaw)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: JWT
  • Location: Warsaw, Poland
  • Client: Nokia
  • Name: “Around the world on 1 battery”

Why I like it: The “torture test” is a time-honored tradition on advertising – and we keep seeing it because it works. Here I think the folks at JWT Warsaw took this device and made it big – stretching the boundaries of what we thought possible for 1 battery – while also making it interesting and thoughtful (following the Phileas Fogg route). I enjoyed watching this video, but it will end up being more than that: Nokia can probably derive tons of communications actions from this, from videos, to events, to travel blogs, to tv ads to print campaigns. Better bang for the buck that one would think. But most importantly, I came away genuinely impressed about the product benefit being sold, and about Nokia phones in general. Far from lost in the big narrative as often happens, the product selling point was elevated. Solid work. A big congrats to our first ever Ad of the Day from Poland!

Ad of the Day – March 21 (Buenos Aires)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Client: Playboytvla.com
  • Name: “Festive Finale, a mega important message from the AMD…”

Why I like it: Let’s just say it’s “spot on” as far as capturing the computer usage habits of the target audience, so the relevance is high, (although you have to be familiar with the Mac operating system to really “get this” fully!) It’s also very well designed, with a very arresting visual that tells a joke in a cheeky manner, while also delivering the key message of the url, if somewhat subtly. But what most caught my eye was how this static print ad seemed to…move. In your brain, this is not a static image, you can see the disappearance of the naughty image. Pretty cool! (I’ve seen moving film ads basically work as static pieces, but it’s very seldom that you see an example of “dynamic” print advertising – here is another). Well done to the guys at Y&R in BA – and yes, I’m just going to assume that it was a bunch of guys that worked on this one!

Ad of the Day – March 19 (Sydney)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: The Works
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Jim Beam
  • Name: “The Call”

Why I like it: Tell me that you can start watching this ad and then stop after 5 seconds. You can’t. It hooks you in with it’s odd-in-a-slightly-hypnotic way, and the trance-music like buildup is something I haven’t seen before. By the time it gets to the payoff…I’m bursting, and I’m ready to believe in whatever the hell you tell me…including that I should buy a can of “Jim Beam” – note to Jim Beam, I have no idea what you’re selling inside of that can. I assume it’s not straight Bourbon…so some follow-up messaging might be needed. A nice way to start the week in an offbeat way, from our friends down under (and first time Ad of the Day contributors!) at The Works.

Ad of the Day – March 16 (Vilnius)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Spec work by Katashnis85
  • Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Client: Vytautas (mineral water)
  • Name: “It’s Earth’s Juice!”

Why I like it: Because it’s bat-shit crazy. As simple as that. Don’t watch it with either your grandma or your 6 year-old daughter in the room. I’m not going to say much, because sheer crazy ball-out awesomeness doesn’t need to be over-analyzed, but I will say this: if you’re a brand that is at the bottom of the pile, competing against giants, with no scale or money to break out of the rut…the only way things will change is if you change the game. If you don’t take a chance, you’ll never break the cycle of being the underdog. These guys are probably not going to overtake Evian tomorrow…but they got someone in China to notice a mineral water brand in Lithuania, and that counts for something. Courage, people…it’s the single most glaring deficiency in a lot of the work we see every single day. What a way to end the week: with our first-ever Ad of the Day from Lithuania! Well done, you crazy bastards!

Ad of the Day – March 15 (Auckland)

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UPDATED BELOW WITH THE PRINT ADS – DEFINITELY WORTH A READ TOO!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Colenso BBDO
  • Location: Auckland
  • Client: Export Dry (beer)
  • Name: “The Wine is over”

Why I like it: This rocks my world. It’s funny as hell, yes. The casting is top-notch: I mean those hairstyles? C’mon, they are awesome! The aesthetics of the film are very washed-out retro-cool. (It actually reminds me very much of the Argentine aesthetic – I feel like in style and tone this ad could totally have come from Argentina, what do you Argie readers think?). The writing and the pacing is really well done. But above all…it’s all based on a really great, new insight: that plenty of men a times feel pressured into giving up beer in favor of wine, yet they long for the old comfort of the brew they truly love. I hadn’t seen this in beer advertising before, and it’s the type of thing that stands out, especially in a field where you’d think there’s not much new to discover! New Zealand might be a small country, but there are a handful of shops doing truly world-class stuff. Fantastic!