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We’ll be back on Feb 10, including our 3rd yearly Superbowl Ad Review.

Happy year of the horse!

Martin

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Ad of the Day – January 24 (Toronto)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: Woodgreen Community Services
  • Name: Gossip Today
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A simple idea, executed perfectly to deliver a worthwhile message. Well done! There are many “do good” efforts out there in the last few years, it has become a welcome movement, of sorts. (hey, ad agency people need to earn their way into heaven somehow!). These efforts can be organized into a pyramid, from most numerous to least. At the base are the ads that miss the mark on tone. They are either too preachy (shame on you!) or way too saccharine and manipulative (woe! woe!) The result is a consumer brain that shuts off at the soonest possible point. Level 2 incorporates some clever catch or conceit (for example, a cool engagement model through social media!) but misses on message…most likely because the idea for the clever engagement model came before the assignment for the cause. So far…not so great. But then we get to level 3: Pitch perfect on tonality. Makes you think and even moves you, while talking with you, not at you. I love this example from Almap BBDO in Brazil, it was one of my favorites last year. Finally there is level 4…where the pitch perfect tone is wrapped in a layer of innovation and surprise. The execution, the narrative…something about the ad pulls the rug out from under you in a way that hadn’t been done before, and as a result you focus even more keenly on the message. This ad for Woodbridge Community Services qualifies, for its finely tuned message, wrapped in a Trojan horse that is our celebrity obsession. Very well done!

Ad of the Day – January 23 (Paris)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BEING
  • Location: Paris
  • Client: Schneider Electric
  • Name: Blow a Fuse
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: If you happen to have a temperamental teenage son, this ad will be sweet glory: a sort of harmless, karmic payback. Watch it and you’ll know what I mean. Even if you don’t, it’s hard not to crack a smile. This one is a boring category (home automation app) elevated by a clever idea, and made to soar by flawless execution. The way the boy descends into utter despair…while still latching onto thin hope every time the power comes back on…the operatic track and the slo-motion camera to heighten the drama…the little details like the way he gingerly puts down what he was about to smash a few seconds before…the introduction of the product at the right time, and in the right context to illustrate the features…it all adds up to a magical ad.

Bonus content: If you liked the one above, you’ll like the other ad in this series. It’s hard to do humor right, and so rare to see two ads in a campaign completely nail it (albeit in a different way) The expressions on the boy’s face are priceless.

Ad of the Day – January 22 (Toronto)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Giants & Gentlemen
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: Day’s Inn
  • Name: Enjoy your Bizcation
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wow, loved this. This ad is a rarity, folks. It’s wonderful because of its use of humor, the emotional mis-direction , the weaving of copy into the lyrics…all expertly done to great effect. But what makes it a rarity is that the entire creative idea is driven by an amazing insight. If you think this happens all the time in advertising, think again. We talk a lot about insight, but a finding a good one is harder even than finding a good ad (you don’t need a good insight to have a good ad…) Most of the time what is claimed to be an “insight”, is just an observation of fact. An amazing insight recognizes a behavior that is hidden well beneath the surface. It is different from anything else being said by others. It surprises, delights, elicits a sense of “wow…that’s so true!…” and maybe it even inspires action. A little gem, by a Canadian agency with a very cool name.

Ad of the Day – January 17 (Manila)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Manila
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: Hooray for Morning
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Both lovely and unpretentious, this ad spoke to me. I hate waking up. The predawn hours seem so harsh and unwelcoming…and yet…slowly as the light seeps through the sky, as the city wakes and gets going, there is a daily sense of optimism and rebirth which can be quite touching. This ad captures that sensation: it’s beautifully shot, paced just right (almost like a slow, reluctant awakening,) and backed by an amazing soundtrack. And because for many people the morning coffee is the exclamation point in this feeling of “ok, let’s go for it!”, the connection with McDonald’s feels real, and it’s pushed just enough but no further. A perfect ad for a sunny Friday morning!

Ad of the Day – January 16 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey
  • Location: London
  • Client: Schwartz flavor shots (food flavouring)
  • Name: The Sound of Taste
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: (If possible, watch this in HD) “Unleash Flavour” is a nice brief that should yield some interesting work. And yet here I think they went above and beyond – bringing the concept to life in a way that both surprises and enthralls. It’s reminiscent of Sony’s “Balls” or “Paint” ads of a few years ago, and yet they take it a step further by combining sight and sound in an unusual manner, especially for the food category. Making work that is truly beautiful, almost in an artistic way – those chances come across very rarely in a career. I’m glad that both agency and client took the risk and made this one happen.

Ad of the Day – January 15 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Guinness
  • Name: Sapeurs
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Be interesting. Be different. It’s the first rule!This film is instantly captivating, without resorting to fireworks or over-the-top energy. The colors, the location, the voiceover, the music track…all forming a mysterious window into a world you haven’t seen before. The “climax” of the spot is buoyed by the magnificent track and slo-mo shooting style. And while one could perhaps argue that the brand linkage is a bit thin, I think they just manage to pull it off – Guinness is one of those rare brands that can recite poetry in their ads (“you see my friends…I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” from Invictus) and have it somehow connect with a brand’s higher calling. An inspired piece of work, it goes right in the “wish I had done it” file.

Ad of the Day – January 14 (Madrid)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: LOLA
  • Location: Madrid
  • Client: Libero (football magazine)
  • Name: Taking out the Trash
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: As the World Cup nears, we should expect an increasing number of soccer-themed ads. Few other topics manage to stir such passion among the common man (and interestingly for us, few other topics are so universal in their appeal – this campaign is very Spanish, but could run anywhere at all.) I love the deft humorous touch of these ads, featuring great writing, spot-on natural acting (which is somewhat rare for Spanish advertising, alas) and capped by a brilliant tagline (introduced with great flourish.) Congrats to the folks at LOLA Madrid!

Bonus content: If you liked this one, here are the other 3 ads in the campaign, in order of my preference: The Ab Machine, Relationship Going Nowhere, and Lunch with Father-in-law

Ad of the Day – January 13 (Zurich)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

findtheteacher01

findtheteacher02

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBDO
  • Location: Zurich
  • Client: Nu Schweiz (anti-aging cream)
  • Name: Find the teacher
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: When advertisers talk about pushing  the consumer to “act”, most of the time what we mean is to drive them to purchase, or to go to the website, or some other means of getting closer to the sale. The ad is just the stepping stone, and the call to action aims to get you beyond the ad as soon as possible. Well, what if the purpose of the call to action were…to drive you to interact with ad on a deeper level? It’s a bit of an unusual approach, but it works wonderfully in this ad. People love puzzles, and as you accept the invitation to find the teacher, every second you spend on it is a second that reaffirms the product benefit. Quite brilliant, actually.

 

Ad of the Day – January 10 (Mumbai)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

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Please click here to go view the version with subtitles.

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Mumbai
  • Client: Cadbury 5 Star (chocolate bar)
  • Name: Nail and Tyre
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Such a charming, brilliantly simple spot. Let’s speculate wildly on the journey that brought this quirky idea to your screen: it starts with a product truth (the candy bar is now softer), which gets re-written into a claim of “no hard fillings”, which in turn (and this part is the magical leap!) is the springboard for the notion of “no hard feelings”, which then is brought to life brilliantly through the interaction between two inanimate objects…which is executed flawlessly (the voice talent, the insistent nature of the apology, the uncomfortable silence of the tire, the interruption by the ant – all fantastic choices.) A very windy road, but well worth taking to arrive at this quirky, lighthearted, off-beat approach to advertising a candy bar. Congratulations to my colleagues in Ogilvy Mumbai!