Ad of the Day – April 1 (London)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey
  • Location: London
  • Client: Vodafone
  • Name: The Call
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wonderful. The hard part in advertising is coming up with a good idea, or a good insight. But the hardEST part of advertising is coming up with a good one…done in a slightly different way. You see, much of the good stuff, as rare as it is, has been done before in some way or form. It’s the twist that often makes the difference between good and great. Mobile communications gives you the peace of mind of being connected at a moment’s notice, right? While a good ad shows you the wife being able to reach her heroic fireman husband to check in on him…a great ad talk to you about …the fireman checking in on his wife! What’s the first thing he’d want to do after he’s risked his life? Reach for the phone, of course! I love this ad because (while sidestepping cliché) it shows you that truthful glimpse into human nature that you knew was out there, but somehow were unable to see.

 

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Ad of the Day – March 31 (Paris)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Proximity BBDO
  • Location: Paris
  • Client: Carte Noir (coffee)
  • Name: Rose
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Food porn at its best! There is a hypnotic quality to this film, the way it’s shot, the music, the progression from ingredient to finished product…once you start watching, it’s hard to stop. Indeed, this one features the three components of strong web content: It has some “replayability” (it’s an easy watch, and well executed enough that it bears watching more than once), “sharability” (who doesn’t love a great food video? This can be shared with anyone from your grandmother to your neighbor) and “brandability” (the role of the brand is nicely woven in – very much present but not overwhelming the whole.) A delicious start to the week!

Bonus content: If you enjoyed the one above, what the other videos in the color-inspired series (“rouge”, “vert”, “jaune”) by clicking here

 

Ad of the Day – March 28 (Birmingham)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Tinker Taylor
  • Location: Birmingham, UK
  • Client: Scottish Police Federation
  • Name: It’s What We Do – Andrew
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wow. So many interesting things happening in this campaign. The film is incredibly immersive due to the reality-cam style of shooting, which makes you feel like you’re there. Great use of narrative pacing: the tension builds at the right pace (not too fast, not too slow) until it becomes palpable at the end even for you as a viewer. And an unusually effective device to achieve relevance: showing the personal information of the police officer at the end (and asking you “what would you do?”) breaks down the barrier and makes you see police as human beings – as colleagues, friends, brothers or sisters, or maybe even yourself… Fantastic. But here’s the most interesting thing of all: how many ads sell a brand/product by showing you the most stressful, anguishing and unpleasant part of it? If you’re running a recruitment campaign, wouldn’t this scare people away? Wouldn’t it make more sense to show proud officers getting a medal pinned on them as their mother looks on? And there’s the brilliance of this campaign – it goes against the grain. It avoids the clichés. It rejects the easy way out. And because of that, it sticks in your mind, it gets you thinking, and (I”m betting) it will meet and surpass its objective. The big payoff goes to the ones with guts!

Bonus content: The above is my favorite, but click here and here to view the other two films in this campaign.

 

Ad of the Day – March 27 (Lima)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R
  • Location: Lima
  • Client: Colgate
  • Name: Water
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Sometimes you get the feeling that all the simple ideas have been thought up. That everything has been done. That the only place to find different twists is in the wild frontier of innovation and technology. So it’s refreshing when you stumble across a really simple film or print ad that conveys a message with clarity, impact and persuasion. I loved this ad, because even in its simplicity it managed to hide a twist that made you perk up and pay attention. And the message is one that you can’t easily brush away. Really well done, with the added delight that it comes from a far corner of the advertising world.

Ad of the Day – March 26 (London)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: Clipper Teas
  • Name: Change Tastes Good
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: There is something delightfully retro about this ad, and yet it also feels fresh and current…for an overall mix that is very enjoyable. Today’s advertising world is very visually driven, so it’s a nice break to find an ad where the writing is so spot on perfect. Simple, but concealing a clever twist. Just the right amount of cheeky-ness. A wonderful signoff: “Ditch the old bag. Have an affair with Clipper.” It feels old-school, yet it’s shot and paced in a way that makes it all feel contemporary and relevant. Just great. I love it when challenger brands take the fight to Goliath head on, and here it’s done with guts, humor, and craft.

Ad of the Day – March 21 (Milan)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DLVBBDO
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Yamaha MT-07 (motorcycle)
  • Name: The Dark Side of Japan
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A beautifully executed anime film, thick with atmosphere and drama, revved forward by the motorcycle itself. Fantastically, deliciously different! Now, for a large group of people, this approach may be boring or strange – the visual hook just won’t work. So be it. For others (like me) the approach is so interesting that you’re lured in and made to care about something you weren’t really thinking about (motorcycles). And for fewer still, this will be an amazing, meaningful intersection between what they love (motorcycles) and what they’re attracted to (this type of visual treatment.) It’s that simple: Knowing the target well, and going at them with something so compelling, crafted, and different that it simply overwhelms them, while luring in bystanders that may become the future target.

Ad of the Day – March 20 (Toronto)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: UNION
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: Canadian Real Estate Association
  • Name: Raid
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A bit of a silly idea that becomes fun and watchable through the sheer force of the execution “going all out.” Well produced, with a good attention for detail, and nicely paced…all enough to make it enjoyable despite a fairly tepid conclusion. But another thing caught my eye – this is a so-called “banned version”, the one they supposedly couldn’t show on TV. Everyone naturally assumes that the banned version is the better version, so why don’t we see more of this? In today’s environment, when all brands are praying for web video to spread their message much further than their media buy, why not always think “banned version” first?

Ad of the Day – March 19 (Moscow)

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S7-Airlines-Moscow-4

I can’t embed the video, make sure you click here to go see it

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Good
  • Location: Moscow
  • Client: S7 Airlines
  • Name: Peace (Kiev – Moscow)
  • Category: Outdoor/Print
  • Why I like it: I don’t want to overreact, but this could well be the best outdoor/print ad I will share with you all year. It has very similar elements to CokeHands, which won about every award there is. So, really, I’m in awe. Why do I love it so? A brave point of view on a deeply relevant, life-or-death topic. Beautiful graphical simplicity. Instant comprehension. Co-opting a timeless icon (peace sign)…and seamlessly weaving it with the brand (airplane and green color) so as to create a new one, undiluted in power and message. And importantly, it’s a message that ennobles both the brand and our profession. Absolutely stunning.

Ad of the Day – March 14 (London)

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Today’s pick:

  • Why I like it: Epic indeed. One of the oldest narrative devices (“the journey”) becomes a lovely little film that celebrates camaraderie and an adventurous approach to life. I was worried that the brand linkage was going to be weak, but the end delivers it well (given that Jagermeister is a social drink to be drunk very cold…the connection is credible enough to stand.) A word about the near magical-effect that music can have: watch this again with the volume off and imagine the ad with a rock and roll track. All of a sudden it’s a “bro” booze ad, and it loses 90% of its power. Listen to it again and realize how epic this track is, how it shapes the narrative perfectly and gives it real depth…it’s 50% of the impact of the ad, easy. Amazing. 

Ad of the Day – March 13 (Singapore)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: IKEA
  • Name: Frank the Cosplayer
  • Category: Web Film
  • Why I like it: Ah yes, storytelling. A skilled advertiser’s best friend, and a trusty antidote to the inherent dullness of our sales pitches. I mean, let’s face it: Despite a brand manager’s conviction, IKEA storage solutions are boring. Despite a creative’s conviction, taking a person’s room and transforming it to his surprise and delight is still boring. Enter storytelling…NOW we’re interested, now we lean forward! As the story unfurls, our brain’s ad-blocker defense drops, and what follows is a beautiful thing: the mind is stimulated, the message is delivered, the brand is subconsciously credited with the entertainment, the consumer leaves knowing a bit more about a certain cosplay-crazy Singaporean, and next time they look at their own messy room, the thought “IKEA” is likely to pop up. Everybody wins. Now that’s a great story.