Ad of the Day – May 31 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey
  • Location: London
  • Client: Vodafone
  • Name: “Lake”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Slow it down for a moment. Put on the headphones. Watch the ad. Amazing, isn’t it? In a world of rush-rush-rush, taking one’s time can be very disruptive. In a category where it’s all about the network range that enables you make that call (send that file! tweet that pic! like that post!) giving people the freedom to ignore that call…why that’s both brave and incredibly interesting! The execution? It lives up to the greatness of the idea: the framing of the aerial shot, the summer breeze blowing through her hair,the arch of her  knee pointing at the blue sky, the nameless drone of the background ambient noise, the almost imperceptible movement of the head and fingers when she decides to acknowledge…and then ignore. All just brilliant. Best enjoyed on a pre-summer Friday morning!

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Ad of the Day – May 30 (Oslo)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: DNB Bank
  • Name: “Call the bank”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Humor is such a great trojan horse into the brain. Hard to pull off, yes – but when you succeed it’s devastatingly efficient, and it even seems so simple! This ad leaves you with a smile, delivers the benefit clearly, and (critically) gets the name of the advertiser into your head, and into your conversations with friends. Think how terrifying this ad must be for the marketing manager to sign off on…no bank setting, no happy customers, no mention of a bank at all until the middle of the ad, no branding until the very end, no logo…etc. And yet…this is the type of ad you would watch again, and pass on, and not immediately reject. Normal bank ads? Not so much. Get noticed, provide something of value (in this case, a chuckle), and then deliver your message and your brand. A great follow-up by DNB to their great George Clooney ad from last year.

Ad of the Day – May 29 (Mumbai)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Mumbai
  • Client: MP Tourism (tourism board for the state of Madhya Pradesh)
  • Name: “Festival of Holi”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: What a rich visual feast. It’s almost a crime to view this through a Youtube window measuring 8x10cm! (time to bring out the big screen television and the high-definition player.) Just when you think certain narrative approaches have been done before (like the throwing of the colors), just when you think certain executional elements have been covered off on (like the rotating-camera effect), along come tremendously talented folks to re-imagine it, mix it up in different ways, and give us something that feels powerfully fresh and alive. A day-long course could be taught just diving into the details of the craft involved in these 90 seconds, the cinematography, soundtrack…every element is executed to the hilt. But, importantly, it’s all in the service of imbuing Madhya Pradesh with a sense of wonder and whimsy. It works, in a most impressive and colorful manner. Congrats to my colleagues in the Mumbai office!

Ad of the Day – May 28 (Hamburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grabarz & Partner
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: DEVK (insurance)
  • Name: Stadium TV Hijack
  • Category: Outdoor/Ambient

Why I like it: A little rough around the edges perhaps, but it works due to its combination of humor, ingenuity, and media placement. The client briefs you that “video media units have been bought during half-time at Bayern Munich football matches, and we need to generate content for it.” Sixty percent of the time the agency/client will run the existing TV spot and be done with it – after all, everyone is busy. Another twenty percent of the time they will use this as an opportunity to create interesting video content with “viral” potential that they can also later post online. Yet another eighteen percent of the time they will develop entertaining content that leverages the specific place, time and moment it is being played (stadium, half-time, etc.) to bring the attention of the fans onto the screen. And one or two percent of the time they’ll do this while playing a special trick of perception, where the action on the screen seemingly comes out onto the stands, where the viewers in the stadium are the actual protagonists of the action onscreen (…or are they?) Very clever, funny, innovative and different. And that’s how something has a chance to go viral. Cheers to the one-or-two percenters!

Ad of the Day – May 24 (Toronto)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Sid Lee
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: Moosehead beer
  • Name: “Wild Nights”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Levi’s and BBH said it best: “when the world zigs, zag.” In a time where seemingly all beer advertising is rock & roll, dark night clubs, fast action, dudes, babes, and parties…how nice it would be to just…slow it down a bit. Strip the excess away, until all that is left is old friends, a warm summer night, the breeze blowing through her hair, the carelessness of youth, perhaps a twinkle in the eye. Lovingly shot, languidly paced, buoyed by the perfect soundtrack, and expertly signed off by the self-aware contradiction of the tagline (“to wild nights”.) Loved it, and what better way to ease into a lazy Spring weekend?

Ad of the Day – May 23 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: B-Reel (this was previously miss-attributed to Google Creative Labs)
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Google Chrome
  • Name: “Building the web together”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: The most obvious thing about this film is how it brilliantly encapsulates something as broad as “the evolution of the web.” But there’s more here than meets the eye: Notice that, uncharacteristically for Google, this film doesn’t use emotions at all, it doesn’t even feature humans…in fact, the whole thing is quite technical. So how do they manage to keep it so interesting and dynamic? It has to do with the ears, not the eyes. Listen to it again with headphones, or at loud volume: the sound design is brilliant! The key strokes and computer beeps provide a percussive backbone that drives the story forward, while a brilliant musical score builds and slowly takes over the narrative, ending in full motion picture-like grandeur. This is a long way from the “picking out a song once you’re done with the script” approach to TVC making – wouldn’t be surprised if the entire idea began with something is simple as “the sound of a keyboard”. Great stuff.

 

Ad of the Day – May 22 (Rio de Janeiro)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Publicis
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro
  • Client: Arno (appliances)
  • Trnslation: “New Arno Mixer Deluxe. The perfect mix, no matter the ingredients”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: In today’s multi-sensorial world, print media still comes in strictly through the eyes. So as we flick the page there has to be something visual that will catch the eye, have it linger, then draw us in. Quite simple. This campaign delivers on that perfectly. The composition of the family portrait, the styling (notice the patterns on the clothes and on the wallpaper), the washed out crispness of the colors, the earnest expression on the faces, they are all unique enough to make you pause…and once you look at the faces, you’re hooked. It’s uncanny how incredibly unattractive the two parents are, yet how oddly-plausible it is that they combined into the lovely child. The gag works because the effect is somewhat believable, and very funny. Amazing job on the casting! These are ads an example of a middling idea made special by superb execution. The extra money for that special photographer, stretching the timeline for a little more retouching, paying the usage rights to get just the right actors…the sacrifices made for these little details can add up to the difference between good and great.

Ad of the Day – May 21 (New York)

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Because_Music_Doesnt_Judge

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Droga5
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Spotify (music streaming service)
  • Name: “For Music”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: I do love this print ad, it stopped me on my tracks. The photography is so raw, so honest, so un-advertising like. And the headline is keenly observant, finding a really interesting angle to describe our relationship with music. Really fantastic, it caught my eye and made me stop, think, and acknowledge the brand. The rest of the work, consisting of multiple TVCs? Not so much. This campaign for Spotify is probably one of those briefs that you’d just love to work on: I mean, what is a sweeter challenge than to define our relationship with music? There is limitless creative potential here: fewer things are more universal, more innate, more filled with memories, meaning and emotion! And yet…precisely because it’s so big…because it’s so very personal…once you start really thinking about this, you probably realize this is going to be a hard nut to crack! The grass is always greener on the other side, they say. But the “best briefs”, the ones that seem so easy…are actually some of the toughest.

Bonus content: here is my favorite one of the TVCs: “Stupid Gym

PS – This campaign got placed in the Ad of the day”draft” folder and then forgotten, nearly 2 months ago. Not as “fresh” as usual, sorry!

Ad of the Day – May 20 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Pedigree
  • Name: “Bad Dog, Good Dog”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Classy. Even for those not the target audience, it’s hard to not be taken in by the superb executional flair of the “symmetric” narrative device. You don’t quite perceive it as it’s initially happening, but once it dawns on you in the second half, it’s a joy to follow the narrative through to the end. And, having “bad food…good food!” as the pivot-point of the ad…brilliant. A wonderful narrative device that satisfies the creative director and the brand manager in equal measure – not something you see every day! It also happens to be the difference between a normal dog food ad and a superior dog food ad. These little details take a lot of talent and make all the difference.

Ad of the Day – May 16 (Sao Paulo)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: ALMAP BBDO
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Getty Images
  • Name: “85 seconds”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Almost exactly 1 year ago (May 24 of last year) we shared a great ad by the same agency and client. It used a lovely visual narrative and an innovative execution style to engage you fully, all while clearly bringing to life the storytelling potential of Getty’s vast image archive (Click here to see “From love to Bingo“). A year later, they’ve done it again, this time showcasing Getty’s video library. A normal creative team would have taken a winning formula and ran with it again…why not? But these folks at ALMAP are much better than normal: They kept what was good, and then put a new wrinkle on it to make it better: the split-screen device gives you a whole new layer of narrative depth and visual engagement. Even if you begin by thinking this is a repeat from last year…by the end you’re fully swept up in the moment. So many great lessons here: from the appeal of narrative, to the magnet-like pull of great music, to the importance of weaving the brand/benefit into the ad, to the power of leveraging deep human emotions. Great work from Sao Paulo, yet again.