Ad of the Day – November 1 (Oslo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: Lofoten (fish burgers)
  • Name: Hold the cod
  • Category: Web film
  • Why I like it: Bring on the silliness. And why not? Fish burgers sound like a dull product to advertise. So you take the creative approach: build a story around the product, personify the brand (in this case, the place town where the brand originates), add a humor, drive the narrative with quirky/interesting characters, don’t be afraid to push into crazy territory – (seriously, don’t be afraid because this is key), and once you hook them, deliver the message clearly and attractively. It’s a clear-cut formula that is easier to recite than to execute. But it’s worth the effort, and the proof is in the result: in this case a wonderfully odd little film from Norway.

 

Advertisements

Ad of the Day – October 31 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: directed by Jon M. Chu
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: Virgin America (airline)
  • Name: VX Safety Dance
  • Category: in-flight film
  • Why I like it: Oh, so much comes to mind after watching this, so here goes a bit of a rant: 1. All marketers and ad people know that branding is the totality of consumer interactions with the brand – it goes far beyond advertising. There are so many critical “moments of truth” that are opportunities to make a lasting impression. Some companies really get this and do something about it…and they tend to be most admired and revered (Apple, Starbucks, Disney, Virgin, etc.) So if it’s so obvious, why don’t more companies take this to heart? 2. The toughest of communications challenges can be cracked if you have the courage to stretch beyond the safety net and risk spectacular failure.The courage part is easy to preach and to understand, but really hard to do. I’ve flown a bit and would never, ever watch one of these videos. And yet if I was on a plane and they played this I be glued to the screen in awe, my mouth in a silly “I can’t believe this” grin…and I wouldn’t be the only one. Guaranteed there is applause in the plane after this is shown. For a safety video! Imagine that. 3. Talent matters.  Talent is a smart insurance policy, applied in the proper place. The guy that directed this also directed the Step Up movies…so you know he can deliver, and then take it to another level. This is where you buy the insurance policy, not in making the idea safe! 4. To everyone that says “yeah, well, it’s Virgin/Apple/Axe/Perrier/Old Spice…they always do this, good on them, that is awesome. Of course, MY situation is different.” …why would you willingly surrender to others the aspiration to greatness? Why wouldn’t you take it upon yourself, especially if you know the path to take? There was a time when the communication for all of these brands was entirely mediocre. And then one day they decided not to suck. It’s not easy, but there is a path. Let’s take to heart this quote: “Be the change you wish to see”. Why not now? Why not us?…[end of rant] 

 

Ad of the Day – October 29 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: 101
  • Location: London
  • Client: Bailey’s Chocolate Luxe
  • Name: Chocolate Luxe
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: “I’m looking for something different”, the client says. You’re discussing the demo in the tv commercial you’re working on. You’ve been through 12 different proposals, and frankly, you’re a bit out of ideas. By this stage, you’ve managed to convince yourself that it has all more or less been done by now, either by you, or the category, or the brand in the past.  And then…you see an ad like this one, which is basically one long unique luxurious demo, and you say. “Oh. Wow. Ok then…back to work!” Chocolate. Bailey’s. Sensuality. Indulgence. Sophistication. It’s all there, with such a high level of craft that you can’t help but be drawn in. Taking inspiration from the film world (reminds me of the opening credits for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and managing to keep it incredibly rich in its visual imagery…yet simple everywhere else (eg. no disruptive voiceover). Very classy, very universal, and sure to get noticed.

Ad of the Day – October 28 (Singapore)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

(click on image to enlarge)

darkdogblackdarkdogyellow darkdogred

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: Dark Dog Energy Drink
  • Name: Black/Yellow/red
  • Category: Print/OOH
  • Why I like it: Awesome. I love long form copy ads, they are a sign of courage and a gamble on differentiation in this day of hyper-visual print design. I love writing that takes you down a narrative spiral…once you’ve entered the first sentence, you can’t pull away until you’ve reached the end. I enjoy a hipster, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that shows you they don’t take themselves too seriously, even if attempting to go long on the copy. But enough about the copy…how about that design? I can’t recall the last time I saw art direction which so crisply managed to combine: striking minimalism in the design…while clearly conveying the product cues…in a completely innovative way that actually forces the eye to read the copy. Wow. Yet another fantastic set of ads that pass the “could it go up on a living room wall?” test.

Ad of the Day – October 24 (Toronto)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

(click on image to enlarge)

coronaskull2aotwcoronaskull1aotw coronaskull3aotw

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: Corona
  • Name: Day of the Dead
  • Category: Print/OOH
  • Why I like it: Anytime you see a print ad that could be blown up, framed, and hung proudly on a living room wall, that’s pretty special. These Corona Ads have it all. They’re timely: in advance of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration analogous to the American Halloween. They’re relevant: the skull motif and the illustration style is very traditionally Mexican during this holiday. They’re inspirational: the copywriting is a call to action to go out and live before your time is up! They’re functional: the layout manages to include a large product shot, a headline, a product announcement, and a hashtag…yet all in harmony with each other, all complementing (not interrupting) the design. And finally, they are elegant: not only is the poster beautiful, the design of the cans is gorgeous. And notice where the can is placed…so much better than if it were in the traditional bottom right. Lots of amazing, mature art direction going on! I’m quite impressed, because this brief likely started as a request for a “seasonal promotion point of sale poster” (shudder…) and they managed to turn it into something amazing. Good on them. So…dear Corona, or Zulu Alpha Kilo – what do I have to do to get one of these shipped to China?

Ad of the Day – October 22 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Draftfcb
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Jamaica Tourism
  • Name: Valentine’s Day
  • Category: Activation
  • Why I like it: Socially Activated Nano-time Digital marketing…gotta love that! It’s an interesting idea, taking technology so far forward that the breakthrough idea becomes…going backwards to the analog. It’s useful to the consumer (you send a public message to a loved one in an innovative way), it integrates the brand in a central and credible way (the message is on the very sands of its beaches, can’t get closer than that!), and it’s delivered with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek, .laid back humor. A lovely little piece of digital/sand media. Congrats to my ex-colleague Gary in New York for this one!

Ad of the Day – October 21 (Copenhagen)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: & Co
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Client: Jack & Jones (clothing)
  • Name: Made From Cool
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This ad oozes class from every pore! It’s one of those that really come together (or not…) at the execution stage – you’ve really got to trust the process and hope for the best. What a great example of celebrity casting: it’s not about a mere endorsement, or simply leveraging someone’s fame. Here they borrow Walken’s mysterious and magnetic essence to great cinematic effect. Perhaps the nicest touch is how, after a surreal start filled with odd, hypnotic tension, the ad ends quite abruptly without a single spoken word, leaving you slightly befuddled, slightly confused…but definitely wanting more. So often we pressure ourselves into tying everything into a perfectly logical 30 second package, into communicating one precise message to everyone…when in fact a little mystery could be much more alluring (the most interesting part of life are often the “messy bits”, right?) Every choice they made, they got just right. Great work coming from Denmark, to start off the week.

Bonus content: If you like the one above, click here to check out the other ads in this series.

Ad of the Day – October 18 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Playstation 4
  • Name: Perfect Day
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This ad is awesome, when it so easily good have been just…”pretty cool.” Follow me on a thought experiment: close your eyes and picture this ad, exactly as you just saw it, except that the soundtrack is “Back in Black”, by AC/DC. Powerful guitar riffs, screaming vocals, crescendo drums! Great fight scenes and explosions, rocking energy, lyrics which reference the product…a cocktail of visual bravado, testosterone, adrenaline, and badass tunes! And this new ad, we would have seen it and thought “hey, pretty cool!” And then…we would have forgotten it. So what have we here? I’d like to think the creators got as far as “pretty cool”, got to where they knew they had ticked all the boxes, passed all the tests, and had everything logically held together. And then, someone said…”you know what? Let’s turn this completely upside-down and see what happens.” So they pick the diametrically opposite song…a slow, mournful ballad from 1972(!), well before the target audience was even born. It’s so random that it jolts these young viewers to attention and brings everything into sharp focus. Just like a touch of salt makes a sweet cookie’s flavor come to life, this out-of-place ballad makes the brain struggle to process the crossed signals it is receiving…and in doing so, it elevates everything that is happening on-screen. Wow! Folks, let’s not be afraid to tinker. Let’s not be afraid to ruin a pretty good thing. Let’s have a little courage. That is how you get to awesome.

Ad of the Day – October 17 (Buenos Aires)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Woonky
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Client: Ballantines’s (whisky)
  • Name: Ballanvine’s
  • Category: Vines, web video
  • Why I like it: It’s the first time I see a brand use Vines effectively. We’re lucky to work in a time where the number of means to get the message out seems to increase every day. There’s always the “new thing”, and since Vines popped up months ago one felt it had potential, but it would be hard to pull off given the format. (Vines is an app that allows you to make 6 second looping videos that can easily be shared over social media.) Here it works because all the variables align perfectly: The idea (mixing great drinks with Ballantine’s is easy), the format (looping 6 seconds make for looping, quick instruction manuals that can be posted and shared) and the brand (a whisky targeting a younger crowd) all mix into a lovely little cocktail: tasty, balanced, and unpretentious.

Ad of the Day – October 16 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Threshold Interactive
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: Hot Pockets
  • Name: You got what I eat
  • Category: Music Video
  • Why I like it: This one is a gem, for its unapologetic self-awareness, for its fearlessness in speaking to its “real” target, and for its overall boldness.Two main lessons to draw: 1. Know your target. No, I mean, really know your real target – half the time we deal with generalities because we have the well-meaning conviction that we appeal to everyone. Get over it. Find the bulls-eye. Find the core, and talk to them (the others will listen!) If not,someone else will find them, and they will steal them from you.The other half of the time, we know who they are…but we don’t know them. Yes, you read the research report, yes you went to a focus group. Nonsense, you’re only scratching the surface. Dig deep, live with them, be them. Or hire people who can give you that insight. Any consumer knowledge you get from a Powerpoint or two will lead to generic advertising. 2. Make the bold choices – I can just imagine the thousand well-meaning objections that had to be overcome: a music video hasn’t been done before, it’s too risky, is not right, it will send the wrong message, it’s too obvious we’re talking to stoners, the cost is too high, we’ve always done 30s, it will not get approved by management, the media plan is already pre-booked, moms will object, it will be too expensive, it will not get us coverage, this can’t be quantitatively tested, etc… And yet…The result is a complete home run: funny, interesting, perfect in tonality, shareable, with buzz factor. And did you notice that they manage to sneak in about one thousand product shots, and engage in a whole debate about the functional attributes of the product (filling vs. crust) all while entertaining and engaging? That’s how it’s done, people. Very, very nice job. It almost (emmm…not quite) makes me hungry for a Hot Pocket.
     

(Context for the non US readers – Kate Upton is the hot starlet du jour, Snoop Dogg is a famous SoCal rapper that is all about the weed, and the song “Just a Friend” is a classic sing-along rap hit from 1989, and it features the lyrics “baby you, you got what I need…”)

PS – Thanks to Paul M for the tip!