Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!
Agency: N/A. Directed by Devin Graham, aka Devin Supertramp
Location: Provo, Utah
Client: Mountain Dew
Name: Human bungee slingshot
Category: web film
Why I like it: Fun. Youthfulness. Extreme. Wild. Smiles. Friends. Awesome…notice that none of these words were spoken or shown on this video (actually, no words at all!), and yet all of this comes through so vividly – I’ll bet you were smiling as you watched it! This web video is a great example of the maxim that action (showing it) speaks louder than words. Also known as “don’t tell me you’re funny, tell me a joke and make me laugh!” Or said more elegantly still: “Preach the gospel always…if necessary, use words”. We often get way too lost talking to ourselves and rationalizing away in our advertising, instead of just being. Many other interesting things going on here: 1) it’s so important not to overplay the brand role if you want your video to have a chance at going viral…here Mountain Dew does it just right. How easy would it have been to screw this one up by putting in some voiceover, or some product claim, or painting the whole thing with a huge MD logo? And yet they didn’t. 2) This director does only Youtube videos for a living. Very interesting, and says a lot about today’s new media landscape. Check out his link below. 3) Music music music music. So important, it can’t be said enough. 4) Two Ads of the Day by Mountain Dew in just a few days. This actually means something, these things don’t happen by coincidence. Probably a year ago there were big changes on the marketing/agency side, a new system/ambition/philosophy came into place, and perhaps we’re starting to see the output trickling out now. I’d keep an eye out on their market share.
Why I like it: Very cool. So obvious, and yet someone has to be the first to think of it and actually do it…so good for them! These types of ambient ideas, (where you “borrow” something in the environment and re-purpose it to convey your message in an eye-catching manner,) tend to be quite effective when done right. But rarely have I seen such a perfect fit…the image on second 54 is a priceless home run at conveying “great grip on wet roads”! On the negative side – this idea is so crisp and simple, that to take one and a half minutes is a bit much, when 15 seconds would have sufficed. And while we’re at it, let’s declare a moratorium on the following when it comes to case study videos: a)”Construction shots”, where we show guys with drills erecting the structure; b)”They love it! shots”, where we show by-standers taking a picture with their phone; c) and the part where, after mentioning some initial results, they transition into “but most importantly…”, “and even better…”, “but most of all…” etc. These have become case study clichés that detract from the overall effect.
Why I like it: We don’t feature many web sites at Ad of the Day, simply because most are not that good, interesting, or different. But take a site for a brand that isn’t targeted at you, features 3 celebrity endorsers that you don’t know anything about, and yet you spend 10 minutes interacting with it…then you know they’re doing something pretty special. In this case, an amazing blend of technology and art direction gives us a “living portrait” that is a unique mix of photography, video, and 3d animation. I’d never seen anything like it before. Better yet, it becomes the platform for loads of content, providing brand and celebrity fans with a wealth of opportunity to interact and have fun. Extremely cool, and raises the bar for brand web sites. (remember when the bar was “to have or not to have a web site?” and then it was “to have it nicely laid out, with sensible navigation,” and then “to provide content and allow a two way dialogue.” Most are still working through these stages…but things move fast.)
Why I like it: This beautiful film doesn’t require careful analysis, it’s there to be enjoyed and cherished. Sports are so intertwined with the human condition that they are an endless source of gripping, emotional advertising. In this, a lovely ode to the highs and lows of loving your football team, every detail is just right (the execution is superb), and the end result is beautiful. Repeated viewings will unearth lovely gems, such as the father trying to hold the hand of his son in the crowds and the son shirking away, or the wisdom and experience in the old man’s eyes that shows he is there for the ride, not just the destination. The end result is uplifting, appropriately branded, highly relevant, and true to the experience of being a football fan. Sublime.
Why I like it: I was mesmerized by this ad. It comes so close to the paradigm of greatness: “a good story, well told, well branded.” Its backbone is plain old storytelling, drawing you in as you helplessly go deeper and deeper into the experience, just as if you were around a campfire listening to a scary story told by your dad. The sparkle is provided by the magnificent, almost hypnotic visual treatment. I hadn’t seen something like this before, so simple and yet so can’t-take-my-eyes-off-it addicting. It reminded me of those Mandelbrot screen savers from way back in the day. A really nice ad, worth sharing. Did they miss a chance at greatness by letting the brand get a little lost in the midst of all this amazing storytelling? Sadly yes…and yet even so the finished product stands out among its competition.
Why I like it: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a person decides to rebel against their conformist, pre-determined, dreary life. So they reject the “system”, break free from their chains, and assert their individuality. In the Western world at least, this has been told hundreds of times in advertising, perhaps most famously in Apple’s “1984” ad. So why do we keep seeing it? Because classics are classics for a reason. There is something within them that so strongly resonates with our human experience, that you can seemingly keep going to that narrative source over and over.. And yet…if you do this, the story alone will eventually not be enough. This ad is an example of really nice execution elevating a story, and giving the message a chance to be heard. This is not ideal – I’m fairly convinced that story should come first, and execution should amplify the story. But…it can work. The way the story is told in this ad is so interesting and well produced, that it becomes pleasant to watch, ultimately memorable, and just maybe a bit persuasive (that last one might be a stretch.) It’s a risky approach, but if you’ve got “nothing else”, it’s one worth considering.
Client: Target (kind of like a Tesco, or a Carrefour)
Why I like it: I like this campaign because it deeply respects the consumer, enough to challenge and push them a little bit. Yes, Target sells very mundane, inexpensive, every-day things, to a fairly mundane, normal, middle-class American audience. And yet…instead of dumbing things down in the vapid search of “relevancy”, they go all-out with design, aesthetic, music, casting, styling, writing, etc. Does it make Target stand out as unique? Definitely. Will it help sales of pasta/Oreos/detergent/etc? Probably. Does it respect the consumer? Absolutely. Does it reflect the consumer’s life? Not at all! Think about this the next time you’re at a meeting and you hear “…well, our consumers are very straightforward and linear”, or “…consumers want things that relate to their life, that mirror their existence”. Fight to be different, and respect the consumer…for the consumer is all of us. (Or as David Ogilvy famously said decades ago, “the consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.”)
Why I like it: Ah, yes! Hats off. Standing ovation. I’m not worthy. This is the first of Coke’s “healthy lifestyle ads” in which I’ve think they’ve completely nailed it, and then some. In advertising, as in life, degree of difficulty matters. The harder the challenge, the more people notice when you rise to meet it. And I don’t think there are many harder challenges in advertising that Coke’s attempt at promoting healthy lifestyle choices. After all, we live in a snarky, cynical world where even good intentions are taken in the most suspicious, leery manner – the bar is set quite high! And yet, this ad dances through the minefield with uplifting style and grace. The strategy is unimpeachable (shift the messenger: from a self-interested corporation to….your very own grandpa, your very own nostalgic memories, your very own inner common sense). The message is not preachy at all, does not over-reach, and is accessible enough to be enticing (“Live like grandpa did. Move more, eat well, take it easy.) The product role is entirely credible (Coke WAS there for your grandpa, just as it is for you. This is obviously key, the whole thing collapses if it’s unthinkable that Grandpa would have a Coke…not so). There is the right touch of emotional (the reunion at the end, the real-life pictures with grandpa). And finally, the execution is top notch: A fantastically uplifting track, visually interesting use of the split-screen, and an excellent attention to craft in the little details of what they do, what they wear, their hair styles, the different-yet-alike nature of their days, etc. Top notch. I think the best advertising makes you not only think about the product, but also about your own life and human experience. The message here has Coke at the core…but is much more profound and has implications for all of your life, not just your choice of soft drink. Wow. Such a high level of difficulty, pulled off with such flair by my colleagues at David Argentina. Makes one proud. Los felicito, chicos!
It’s fine, it’s just some pencil marks…(they hug)…do you still love me?
I used to…
Super: Admit it…you always prefer the new one!
Super: 2014 New products are here.
Why I like it: A riveting mix of humor, poignancy, and mis-direction, used well to deliver a fairly standard message. IKEA has played with this core idea before, and it’s easy to see why: the attachment we develop to objects around the house, and the ease with which we suddenly chuck them out of our lives to replace them with something newer and fancier, both mirror some of the best and worst sides of very real human behavior. But, let’s give the team behind this credit for their courage: had the story been a guy and a girl it would have been ok…but choosing to do it with two guys…that’s where the magic comes in! It inserts a whole other layer of interesting tension which elevates the piece into something that will truly stand out. I’m guessing they had the script, they tweaked a variable, saw the potential, and weren’t afraid to go with it. Well done to my colleagues at Ogilvy Taipei!
Why I like it: What a delight it must be to work for a product that so gleefully accepts its polarizing image. Most people haven’t tried Marmite (myself included): it’s a spread for food/bread, supposedly very dark, strong and salty. The taste is not for everyone, and the brand has taken this to heart by acknowledging that “you either love it or you hate it.” In the latest campaign, they expertly parody pet-rescue reality shows to highlight the shocking truth: “Unloved and forgotten, thousands of Marmite jars across the UK are being neglected. This year alone, over 1 in 10 Brits admit they haven’t opened their jar in over three months.” As with all parodies, the beauty is in the details, which are captured here in all their glory – the shame, the self-righteousness, the misery, the mock drama…Yet all of these details are not self-serving, they are there to highlight the product in all its divisive glory. The brutal honesty is capped with the campaign tagline, which implores you to love the product, hate it…just don’t forget it. Refreshingly honest, expertly executed, delightfully cheeky, in a very British way. Loved it!
Bonus content: This is but one introductory video to a larger set of content, where they take the reality show concept further (interviews with the new recruit, the neighbors, etc.) If you like the above check out the link below.