Why I like it: Much of what we see here is quite standard for the category: beautiful, sophisticated people partying it up. But when there is such parity in the category clichés, even the little details can make your ad stand out. The “Trojan Deer” idea was a fresh touch (the deer is the logo of the brand), and the music and overall art design felt very sleek and modern, giving the brand the right shade of cool. Most of us have not-so-good memories of warm Jager shots in a dorm room somewhere…So re-defining the brand in this more adult, more sophisticated, and “done just right”(eg: drink it very chilled) manner? Very smart. I for one will give them a go, maybe even this weekend? Have a good one, everybody!
Why I like it: It seems so quaint…once upon a time not so long ago, companies and products debated whether or not to even have a web presence at all, and talked about how being online gave you an advantage of awareness and an opportunity to engage with the consumer. Today, having a website is a given, but the benchmark for engagement is so high, that on some level I’d bet 9 out of 10 web site efforts are a waste of time – their mediocrity makes it engaging only to the development team and their family members. To really capture the imagination of consumers, the benchmark is pretty much “something super cool that I’ve never seen before”. That’s a tough benchmark! This one hits it. They create a life-size digital Messi in astonishing detail, it’s a little spooky actually. Lovers of the game will spend minutes “interacting” with this creation, and will naturally detour to learning about the equally amazing life-like characteristics of the 2014 version of this popular video game. Super cool, and I’ve never seen something like it before. That’s what it takes, so well done to the folks at W+K Amsterdam for pulling it off!
Why I like it: Just because we’re used to it from Apple doesn’t mean what they do is any less great. Sure, everything is one step easier when you have an iconic brand and a compelling product benefit. But the road from there to a great ad is so treacherous…and here they handle it with their usual flair. Beautifully shot and clearly demonstrating the “wow” product benefit in a way that is universally understood, from child to grandparent. And yet what’s really nice about this ad is how they take their time. Time to calmly allow the mis-direction to seep into our brain, while patiently doling out a narrative that puts the product benefit on a grand scale. The visual trick would work in a 15 second format, sure – but at 1 minute, the deeper message has the necessary time to sink in. When the reveal comes, it feels delightfully surprising, oh-so-clever, and (most importantly) true to the claims that came before. A winner.
Why I like it: It’s a bit baffling to me that we don’t see more of this. For all the talk of interactivity, web films are still mostly one way-affairs. And yet, this “choice” functionality breathes enormous energy into the storytelling, and gives the viewer a sense of immersion that is enthralling. Behind the scenes, it can be logistically complex to pull this off, but the viewer experience is seamless: You’re hooked early (notice that the first video is only 19 seconds…who doesn’t have 19 seconds to spare?) and all at once you’re living the story (which is credibly enabled by BA, of course!), interacting with the platform, and engaging with the brand. Storytelling and technology working together to achieve the holy grail of branded entertainment! Fantastic – much congrats to my colleagues in Ogilvy New York for pulling it off!
Yesterday’s gone Tomorrow is not yet here
You only have today
So enjoy it
Enjoy it a lot
Live more freely
Enjoy the after office…
…and the office
Have the best Saturday night…
…and a great Wednesday, 3:38pm
Think of a great tomorrow
And a great today
Remove drama from your life
Waste time with friends…or win time.
Drink up life, like you drink up a Brahma
Why I like it: I love manifesto advertising, a great many of my favorite ads ever are manifestos. Many of us may look at this beer ad and think “It’s too generic. It doesn’t say anything about the product. It doesn’t give you a reason to choose it versus the competition. It’s a bunch of cliches that don’t really connect with the beer, etc.”. But I really believe 22 year old guys and girls in Paraguay (the target of this ad) will look at it and say “hell yeah!” A manifesto is a statement of belief by a brand, and this can be so powerful because, when you’re in a commoditized category like beer, beliefs are infinitely more important than functional benefits. Trust me, for a 22 year old, beer is basically beer. It’s all pretty much the same. Nobody cares about your hops, or your brewing process, or even your refreshing quality. But if you’re talking to the heart, if you’re talking at a deeper level, if you’re saying something that others aren’t…and you mange to connect?…this will make a huge difference.
Why I like it: One could talk about the amazing streak of late for Volvo and Forsman & Bodenfors, with great little ads like this one, or this one. One could talk about how this ad rates so highly on replayability, shareability, and brandability, making it deliciously viral (indeed. 21 million views in a few days!). One could talk about how this is a cool torture test idea (have trucks drive in a perfect parallel line, backwards), taken to new heights by amazing writing, celebrity casting, timing, visuals, tonality, environment (sunset!), camera work (one fluid, graceful take), and sublime use of exactly the right music at exactly the right time. One could even speculate that this is a guaranteed Cannes Lion come next June. But perhaps it’s best to simply sit back, hit play, and bask in the sheer awesomeness that is this ad:) We’re not worthy.
Why I like it: Wow. Someone please pass me a tissue! Extremely moving, in all the right ways. Ads like these elevate our profession. To me this is a master class in weaving in the brand into the lives and stories of consumers. This is so important, because the fact is that consumers very rarely care about brands…but they care a lot about their life, and the human experience. Google has been mastering this “weaving the brand into life” art for a while now, in ads like “Dear Sophie” and “Jess time“, and even recently started raising the stakes, in amazing ads such as the recent “Homeward Bound“. Throughout, Google is the subtle, powerful, and credible enabler of human connection. The result conveys a functional benefit while generating tremendous love towards the brand. A really, really hard trick to pull off! Masterful…and yet…what’s really also very interesting is watching them almost screw it up halfway through (you can learn a lot from mistakes). Which part of this ad lost you for a second, which part awoke the “inner skeptic”? The part where the son checks the weather…and the part where she checks the flight information, right? It’s too much! Not necessary at all! To me it feels like a brand manager getting over-eager to jam in an extra benefit, or the agency not making the tough call in the editing room. The lesson: Google credibly creates human connections? Very compelling. Google credibly informs you of the weather? Boring as hell. Both are true, but we must choose wisely. Luckily, the story is more than strong enough to recover, and the end is a tour de force. Notice that in nine out of ten ads, the final reunion is where the big climactic music bursts in…and yet here they keep the music track unchanged, and it’s all about the moment…the acting…the feeling. Sublime. Heartfelt congratulations to my colleagues in Ogilvy India!
Why I like it: Humans are hard-wired to be captivated by “shiny objects”. In an advertising context, this refers to craft and styling. This ad, for example, has a visual language that is very unconventional – the colors, the shapes, the clothing, the sets, the props…all heightened to create a visual experience that breaks through the clutter. And “shiny objects” applies figuratively as well. Just like in a good book, anytime a brand new, unique world is laid out before us, our mind starts imagining, building upon it, wondering…it’s very absorbing. The trick of course is what to do with this attention you’ve earned, and this ad is far from perfect (I’m not sure at all that they manage to close the sale here by weaving the brand in a meaningful way.) But maybe for local consumers the brand has legacy meaning which makes this all make more sense. Either way, a lovely visual feast, and our very first Ad of the day from Israel!
Client: World Championship Martial Arts (martial arts school)
Name: I woke up
Why I like it: A small town, a small independent agency, a small local advertiser, a small media buy, most likely a small production budget. Normally this is not the source of creativity with an national…much less international appeal. But inspiration and talent can and do strike anywhere at all. Think about it – a local martial arts school wants to recruit new students. From that…to this. What is in between is a wonderful insight, a smart strategy, a charming creative idea, pitch perfect execution, and lots of trust and courage along the way. Fantastic work, and an inspiration for all: every single brief is an opportunity to make something great happen.
Why I like it: The chubby young man with the thick glasses steps nervously towards the microphone. The audience looks at him sternly. The judges sneer with thinly veiled contempt. He starts singing. Less than five seconds later, a wave of sweet, happy surprise sweeps visibly over the auditorium as the young man’s beautiful voice soars. The judges lean forward with raised eyebrows…the audience is enraptured. As the smiles spread, the expectation builds…as everyone waits for the climactic end-note, the one that wraps it all together. Can he hit it? The young man nails it, and joy…yes joy, erupts, drowned out by cheers and applause…We see this every single week at American Idol, Voice of China, or UK’s got talent. It’s a window onto human nature – we want these singers to be good. So when you hear people say that they hate advertising, and can’t wait to skip the disruptive adverts, think of this: people only hate crappy, mediocre advertising. The dirty little secret is that people love to be inspired, and they desperately want the advertising to be good. And it’s our job to live up to that. Like they do in this lovely Christmas ad for retailer John Lewis. I approach it with mild skepticism perhaps, fearing the ham-handed attempts at emotional manipulation so common at this time of the year. Instantly I’m intrigued by the lovely animation, of world-class quality and blended with live action scenery in a very subtle way. And I’m completely disarmed by the music…oh that music. You could sell me anything with that background track! Slowly the story grips you, and I start thinking “please nail that high note!”. I want it to be excellent, I want it to all come together. And then the ad nails the high note…you know what it was for me? Not when the bear sees Christmas for the first time…that was amazing, but expected. It was the alarm clock. It’s what made the story make sense. It’s what brought the brand into the storyline in a credible way. It’s what connected everything, it felt true, it was honest to the brand, and it flowed seamlessly. Masterfully done. Applause and cheers.