Summertime is VACATION time!

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I’m on vacation in Spain and won’t be back in Shanghai until August 6, so Adboardingpass is going to follow suit and go in a mini-hiatus.

There may be a few semi-thoughtful posts, but the daily Ad of the Day won’t be back until then.

There is a special birthday coming up: in early August Adboardingpass turns 1 year old! So be on the lookout for special posts that look back at the best that was, and thoughts and hopes for what is yet to come.

My beer beckons…so here is a toast for you, dear reader. More to come soon!

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Ad of the Day – July 13 (Warsaw)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Warsaw
  • Client:McDonald’s
  • Name: “Hamburger Timetable”
  • Category: Digital Outdoor (note: we’re going to go for an all-digital week in “Ad of the Day”!)

Why I like it: When I lived in Chicago there was a McDonald’s right next to the train I took to get home every day, and this type of mental calculation about food vs. time happened all the time. I’m intrigued by attempts to substitute a brand for something else that is intangible – be it love, a memory, friendship, pride…In this case, something very functional like an order of fries or a Big Mac is replaced for a unit of time, and it totally works! Easy to implement, attention grabbing, amusing because it focuses on a perceived truth ( how many times did I say to myself “do I have enough time to eat? No, but I can grab some fries on the go”) and, importantly, leading to action – since presumably the McDonald’s is right around the corner and people will flock to it after noticing the message in such an interesting context. Really well done – why don’t we see more of this in all waiting areas?

 

Thanks to M. Violo for the tip!

Ad of the Day – July 12 (Gothenburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: CP+B
  • Location: Gothenburg, Sweden (yes, again)
  • Client: SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Name: “Point and fly”
  • Category: Mobile (note: we’re going to go for an all-digital week in “Ad of the Day”!)

Why I like it: It’s all based on a simple idea around impulse travel – by showing you where these destinations are, how far/close you are from them, and how cheaply and quickly you could get there…it really makes you start thinking about that weekend escape. It’s built with an appealing, clean design (very Scandinavian!)It uses a unique functionality of the tablet medium(the built in compass/geo location)in a way that is central to the entire idea, not merely a gimmick. And finally, it’s seamlessly connected to the desired outcome of getting people to book a ticket – the e-commerce functionality at the end is what really showcases the potential of the digital medium versus say, a print ad. This is stripped down (here’s what I’ve got, buy it now)but effective. No social media sharing, uploading, pinning, blogging, or anything else. Old-fashioned like a coupon, but amplified by today’s technology. Nice!

Ad of the Day – July 11 (Gothenburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: CP+B
  • Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Client: JustDance 3 (video game)
  • Name: “Autodance”
  • Category: Mobile (note: we’re going to go for an all-digital week in “Ad of the Day”!)

Why I like it: So many branded apps get made and then pass by like a ship in the night, to be downloaded only by the employees of the agency and their family members… If I had the formula for how to avoid this I’d be rich, but here are two theories: you need to provide to people the ability to do something useful that they could not have done without your app…OR you need to give people the ability to be entertained in a (new)way that is made possible only by your app. In both cases, you as the brand need to give a lot more than you ask in return. In this example from Sweden, they hit the nail on the head with the entertainment value (tell me you don’t crack a smile once the music starts!)and what’s best: the whole thing is completely linked with the product being sold, yet ithout being pushy. This is the holy grail, and the results speak for themselves!

Ad of the Day – July 10 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: ALMAP BBDO
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Bradesco Seguros (Insurance)
  • Name: “Fake Ad”
  • Category: Mobile advertising (note: We’re going for an “all-digital” week at Ad of the Day!)

Why I like it: Brazilian ad agencies are great at taking the simplest of ideas that clearly reflect a benefit, and then executing it in a completely new way so as to attract the attention of the target (and, let’s face it, of awards shows juries!) We saw an example of this with Sprite, where they put a unique spin on a refreshing summer shower. And now here again for an insurance ad on an iPad auto magazine. No big case study video here…it’s so straightforward that you just watch it, and chuckle, and marvel at the simplicity, and curse at the heavens for not having thought of it yourself! Well done, yet again, for our Paulista friends!

Ad of the Day – July 9 (Copenhagen)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Uncle Grey
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Client: Only (Jeans and clothing)
  • Name: “The Liberation”
  • Category: Online/film/e-commerce/PR/social (note: We’re going for an “all-digital” week at Ad of the Day!)

Why I like it: Wow. Just wow.If you want to see a digital campaign taken to its highest expression, this is it. On the one side I’m just stunned at the depth of the planning and the execution, at how far they went with it. Just the e-commerce angle alone would be impressive enough, but they pushed it far beyond: big social media component, amazing production values, totally awesome music track that you can download, a personalized catalog (awesome!), a choose-your-own-plot component…I mean, really, what didn’t they do! On the other side, it’s interesting that all of this rides on the back of…technology? Contact strategy? Experience architecture? Clever coding? Nah…it’s the same old thing – storytelling! This is an interesting story of teenage rebellion, told in a compelling manner. To me this is the golden lesson: a great story is what everything else rests on, and is in turn amplified by all the other components. This is advertising (not just digital) done at a really high level. Amazing how they pulled this off! I really suggest you go check out the actual site – the link is below. Cheers to this awesome entry, and our very first Ad of the day from Denmark!

http://www.onlybecausewecan.com/

Ad of the Day – July 6 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

Why I like it: Taking something common and given it a completely different spin – that’s a damn good way of getting people’s attention. Think of all the ways in which we’ve all been sold on the experience of running, the emotions of sport. I thought I had seen it all, and yet here we go with a Nike film which completely catches you by surprise. And what’s best is that it’s not all bells and whistles (although the execution is quite masterful) – what’s best is that what they say will actually ring very true to anyone that has caught the bug of running, or other types of endurance sports. I’ve been there myself, and it’s a terribly compelling message because it taps into an inner universal truth about the slightly strange, slightly masochistic world these people live in. At times the lines between good addiction and bad addiction are ever-so-thin, and this comes across very powerfully.

Ad of the Day – July 5 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
  • Name: “Recipe Receipt”

Why I like it: I love “dammit, that’s so obvious! why didn’t I think of that!” ideas. These ideas are simple, direct, obvious, and pleasing, and this is a powerful card to play if you want a consumer’s attention and appreciation. I also love “dammit, I thought of something like that but figured it was just too tough to pull off!” ideas. These ideas are defined by steep implementation hurdles, and when you see them come to life it’s a sign that a group of people believed strongly enough and overcame big odds to make it happen. That’s very gratifying to see for anyone in our industry. This case study by Hellman’s is an example of both. Such an obviously brilliant way to bring the brand to life at the point of sale (literally, at THE point of sale!), and you can tell the programming and implementation behind it must have been fierce – I heard that it took the team in Brazil two full years to take this from idea to reality! The end result is a clear consumer benefit, with the brand at the center making it all possible. You give and you get, in a seamless transaction of goodwill between consumer and marketer. Good stuff! Parabens to my colleagues at Ogilvy Sao Paulo, who won a Gold Lion for this baby.

Ad of the Day – July 4 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Montblanc
  • Name: “The Beauty of a Second”

Why I like it: Tell me if you’ve come across this brief: “we want to create buzz and awareness for [product], but budget is limited so we should leverage digital and social media to engage consumers.” It’s so common that it’s pretty much a cliché, right? One of these assignments that may sound simple (in this digital age we live in!)…but is quite hard to actually pull off. Have a look at this case study and you’ll see how Montblanc absolutely nailed it. I’ll give you three reasons why this one stands out: The first two are from a technical/executional standpoint: First, the central idea stems from a product truth: it’s a chronograph that can accurately measure a second, so they latched onto that unit of time as the core of their idea. By doing this, you give the whole program credibility and linkage to the brand – it starts becoming about the brand/product, and not about the mechanics (which is such an easy trap to fall into). Second, they really went out and did it. It would have been easy to do this on a smaller scale, after all it’s a luxury brand, not a mass market product – yet they got a real director to be the face of it, they went out and screened the films at SXSW, they built a robust site that allowed for editing and creation of personal playlists, they had an awards show in Berlin during a film festival…they pulled out all the stops. You have to dare to be great, or you probably won’t be. But the final reason why this stands out, and by far the most important in my mind, is: the output of this is not merely “awareness and buzz”, anyone can have that. Here, what they created is …beauty. These little one second videos, strung together and backed by the score are beautiful and mesmerizing (have a look at one of the compilations, below). They touch you emotionally with their fleeting, fragile beauty, and keep you wanting to watch more. THIS is what makes people engage, people share, people appreciate what you’re doing. Because you (the brand) did something for them (instead of something for you)…you made them feel something. And they responded in kind with submissions, appreciation, and all of the rest. There’s the secret, I think: make things that matter to people, and you will be rewarded.

Ad of the Day – July 3 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: London
  • Client: Lurpak (spreadable butter subsitute)
  • Name: “Rainbow”

Why I like it: “Healthy doesn’t have to be humdrum”, says the VO in this ad for a butter substitute. You know what else doesn’t have to be humdrum? Creativity for motor oil…or enterprise computing software…or diapers…or talcum podwder…or shampoo…or salt…or nail clippers…or garden hoses. My point is – most people would like to be involved with a beer account, or a soft-drink, or luxury brand because they think these are among those “creatively fertile” categories. Fair enough. But the lesson to learn is that creativity can be unearthed anywhere, in anything. In fact, it’s our duty to push for it and seek it out, against all obstacles, no matter what business you’re on. Others have done it, why not you, working away quietly on your retail automotive account? Or your tax preparation account? I have a friend that went to work on the Lurpak business and I thought to myself “meh…”. Shows how little I know. What color, drama, pacing, editing, and immersive universe this little ad weaves. Fantastic ambition for a little product…brought to life on your TV set. Cheers to the folks at W+K London!

PS-  Winner of a Bronze lion at Cannes.