Ad of the Day – December 24 (Shanghai)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

CokeSanta final CokeSanta 4

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Shanghai
  • Client: Coca-Cola
  • Name: “CokeSanta”
  • Category: OOH

Why I like it: Just in time for Christmas, this is running in Manila. I love the iconic simplicity, it’s almost amazing that it hasn’t been done before. I wish you all some very happy holidays, and a lovely new year! Back on January 7.


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Ad of the Day – December 14 (San Francisco)

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Today’s pick:

Why I like it: Cynics may say that this looks and sounds like every corporate IT ad ever made (IBM, SAP, Cisco, Microsoft, etc.), down to the piano that starts up on second 10. And they wouldn’t be far off the mark. Nevertheless, this one stands out. An inspiring, “hefty” message, executed with visual beauty that makes the 60 seconds fly by while keeping you in full attention. What’s interesting here is that I’d bet that the copywriting was intended to be the main driver…tons of time must have been spent on getting every single word just right, to convey a serious corporate manifesto for the ages. And they did a very nice job. But actually, what reallyhooked me was the beauty of the art direction! Take just about any frame in this entire ad and try to picture it as a double-page spread print ad. Not too hard, is it? Every single shot is artfully shot, and all together they add up to a visually breathtaking feast that keeps you hooked while the voiceover seeps in. That’s the importance of craft, folks. The little things matter! Rock-solid work from Goodby.


Ad of the Day – December 13 (Miami)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: La Comunidad
  • Location: Miami/Buenos Aires
  • Client: Time Warner (telecom)
  • Name: “Rings”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: So bloody simple…and so bloody brilliant. No further explanation or comment is necessary.

OK…I can’t resist. I just love this ad to death, one viewing was enough and I was really touched, but I could watch it on TV repeatedly. It totally gives me that “I’m not worthy” envy as I watch it because it’s so obvious, so simple – yet so original, so pitch-perfect and so expertly executed. I totally didn’t expect this given the category, and the agency (I know the guys at La Comu and they are magnificent, but normally much more quirky in style, less emotional). So I was blown away. The insight and the way it’s executed is so vastly universal that this could work anywhere in the world. There is a bit of elegantly written copy at the end, but it’s almost not necessary, so strong is the idea communicated from the very start. What can I say…I just loved it. They totally nailed it. Los felicito, chicos!

Ad of the Day – December 12 (Sydney)

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jockey_aotw

butcher_aotw  waitress_aotw  skater_aotw (click to enlarge)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Tide (detergent)
  • Name: “Revive your whites”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: It’s interesting to trace this one from inception to final result and see how it got improved along the way. Remember, that magical “fairy dust” of inspiration can strike at any moment!  Here we have a very common product benefit, not much to work with at all. Not much of a strategy either, probably because this benefit has been done to death. Ah, but the idea of “revive your whites”…this has some promise, yes…bring the whites back from the dead…it has a certain zing to it now that zombies are so hot in pop culture. And the execution? Perfect. The medical setting, the “life” slowly seeping white back into the clothes (what a great demo!), it all comes together with visual interest and clarity of message! Having a dull product and strategy and leaving it all to the hopes of some creative  or execution miracle is a risky proposition – most of the time it’s not enough, and that’s why we strive to improve the odds with product development and clever strategies. But if you’re fortunate, and creative inspiration strikes…well that’s really all you need. Consider yourself lucky, and prepare the awards show submission!



Ad of the Day – December 11 (Johannesburg)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Client: Doom (insecticide)
  • Name: “Wall of shoes”
  • Category: OOH, Ambient

Why I like it: It’s an original idea, on brief, well executed, and stretched beyond the boundaries of the outdoor medium by engaging consumers further via radio and social media. So seemingly simple but so rarely seen. I worked for over 4 years on insect control brands and have seen probably hundreds of ideas of all types for communicating efficacy against roaches – yet never anything like this. I’m puzzled as to why not, when it’s so obvious, and so relatively simple and inexpensive to execute. Perhaps therein lies the brilliance: not so much in the idea, but in the doing. In overcoming one-thousand-and-one objections and obstacles and problems to actually get the idea built and posted. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, slowed to inaction by fear of “what if” – but not in this case. Kudos to the folks at TBWA South Africa for pulling it off!

Ad of the Day – December 10 (Buenos Aires)

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Today’s pick:

Secretary: “excuse me…that alarm that is ringing…isn’t it yours?”
PANIC ENSUES, MAD DASH THROUGH THE OFFICE
LATER…SURVEYING THE NEAR-LOSS OF HIS “MILANESA” (classic Argentine breaded steak)
Secretary: “What happened????”
Man (indignant): “They tried to swipe my milanesa..!”
Woman (indignant): “Son of a bi…!!”
VO: win a special Tuppeware Alarm by sharing our cooking tips on FB
VO: BGH Quickchef: meals that require an alarm

Why I like it: This one comes with a pedigree worth noting: from the makers of the great “Dads in Briefs” campaign for air conditioners, the imaginative “Quick Chef Music” special edition Microwave, and the ambitious-but-not-quite-right “Summer Hater” follow-up for air conditioners. The folks at BGH and Del Campo Nazca S&S are committed to ballsy thinking, and as a result you get quirky gems like this one. The premise is that these microwaves are so good at cooking (not just re-heating), that they make “Meals that require an alarm”. You make food, and you have to put an alarm on your Tupperware when you take it to the office, because people will try to steal it. Best of all, they actually joined up with Tupperware to make an alarmed version…and they’re using it as a give-away promo piece! How they get from the brief (good for food, not just re-heating) to the creative idea (food that requires an alarm) is a pretty inspired leap, normally that would be enough. But the genius is that they went all-in with the Tupperware concept, going as far as to produce it and make it the centerpiece of their communications push (2 other tvcs, social media, etc.) Consider also that there probably hasn’t been anything interesting to say about microwaves for about 25 years, product-wise. So to put a spin on things and come up with attention grabbing advertising not one, but two years in a row…wow. Para sacarse el sombrero, senores! 



Ad of the Day – December 7 (Dubai)

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Click on image to enlargePrint

Print  Print

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R
  • Location: Dubai
  • Client: Land Rover
  • Name: “Monologue”
  • Category: Print, OOH

Why I like it: I missed this one when it first came out, but I wanted to share it with you because it’s somewhat of an oddity, and delightfully so. Most print ads are inevitably skewed to one side of the copy/art spectrum. You have ads that catch the eye and tell the story with a fantastic visual, and efforts are then made to minimize copy so nothing gets in the way. Conversely, you have copy-heavy ads rich in verbal storytelling, and these normally have a spartan, clean layout…so that nothing gets in the way. In this campaign I find the art direction really inspired…very clean, quite original, and helping to initiate the narrative while drawing the eye to the copy nestled in the middle. And that copy, is…a joy. Rich, opinionated, expertly paced, with a cheeky, highbrow sensibility. Not enough talk of the car? Perhaps. But as part of a larger communication strategy to high-end consumers, these ads are lovely little gems.

Ad of the Day – December 6 (Cape Town)

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william_aotw

sailor_aotw

churchill_aotw_0

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Lowe
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Client: The Cape Times (newspaper)
  • Name: “You can’t get any closer to the news”
  • Category: Print, OOH

Why I like it: Brilliant. In general one should strive to create work that is original in every way, a uniquely singular idea. But if you can’t get there (and let’s face it, this is quite rare) what can also work really well is to take something very common…and put a unique and original spin on it. This way you benefit from the awareness of the former, and the impact of the latter.  In this campaign, the message of “bringing you close to the news” is delivered in a way that is clever, playful, accessible and…so simple and obvious ( another sign that you may have struck creative gold: if the reaction is “wow…that’s a cool twist!…but…it’s so simple, so obvious…someone must have done it before!” Once you check and realize that it actually hasn’t been done at all…run with it before someone else does it!). Good stuff from our friends in Cape Town! 


Ad of the Day – December 5 (Chicago)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Draftfcb
  • Location: Chicago
  • Client: KFC
  • Name: “Happy Holidays”
  • Category: Web Film

Why I like it: Just right! Really enjoyed these 3 videos for their universal insight, their comedic timing, the improv-style dialogue, and the great silent acting from our dejected hero sitting in the middle. It may seem like the easiest idea ever pitched in a conference room, but it takes real talent to execute something so finely balanced: consider the timing (not too little or the tension doesn’t build, not too long or you kill the joke), consider the role of the product (the catalyst, the pivot-point in the video, but not at all intruding on the initial joke), consider the role of the main message (clearly delivered at the end, but not competing with the action that generates the interest). You get the point. This is an example of proper craft. And perhaps the most striking example of craft: how easy would it have been to put in a big logo at the end? Or a super? Or or a “Season’s greetings, brought to you by KFC”  voiceover? Or, god forbid, a seasonal promotional offer? And yet…they didn’t. And it’s better because of it. And it will get passed around and enjoyed much more because of it. Sometimes the hardest thing to figure out is what not to do. I think they nailed it! Well done, and happy holidays to my colleagues at DFCB Chicago, my home of 5 years:)