Ad of the Day: September 30 (Singapore)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: Nike
  • Name: #Playpinoy
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Many ads try to convey local “flavor”, but few succeed as convincingly as this one. The Filipino (“Pinoy”) love of the game…the grit, the color, the vibrancy, the pride and the daily struggle of these street players comes across with tremendous power…all buoyed by an inspired use of the “My Way” lyrics (it sort of sneaks up on you.) A delightful balance of local nuance with universal sports imagery, this one is a notch above.

 

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Ad of the Day: September 29 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: mcgarrybowen
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Verizon
  • Name: iPhone6 trade in
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A simple functional benefit that compels one to act, wrapped up in a bit of creative whimsy designed to get our guard down. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that! Retail-type accounts are infamous for being uncreative and uninspiring, sometimes soul-crushingly so. How to handle this in a creative industry? I’d imagine there are four options, from worst to best: 1) Given up the ambition, and just focus on execution: churning out whatever claim the client gives you, week by week, hoping the magical market forces work in your favor and the phone sells and you don’t get fired. 2) Overplay your creative hand, and go for broke trying to go for an award-winning, emotional, highly stylized approach that features fields of wheat gently swaying in the wind…but not phone, or mention of the offer. You resign yourself to a fight to the death with the brand manager and eventually to getting fired. 3) You take to heart the words of David Ogilvy, “we sell, or else” and deliver the functional benefit with supreme clarity and focus. Hard selling messages, well crafted by skilled creatives, which will give you a great shot at selling phones. 4)You go for the balancing act: a hard selling message, wrapped in a creative package. The key here is to not overplay the “creative” part, but to use it to amplify the offer. It’s so tricky that you’ll know you’ve nailed it when the end result looks simple. The Verizon ad above, I think they nailed option four. So hard to do, so simple to take in.

Ad of the Day – September 26 (London)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: The Guardian
  • Name: Own the Weekend
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Fittingly for a Friday morning, here’s a wonderfully crafted collage of an idillic-yet-quite-attainable British weekend. This one deserves to simply be enjoyed as a whole, but if we must pick it apart we see so many elements working together perfectly: the way the brand/product is woven not only into the film, but into the very fabric of our weekend lives…the diversity of people enjoying the same moments, each in their own special way…the way the story takes its time and remembers that a real weekend is made up of two distinct days (that pause and “rebirth” between Saturday night and Sunday morning is so joyfully true!)…the pitch perfect execution, from music track to casting to editing and beyond…I could go on. This is confident, talented and purposeful advertising – more of this, please.

Ad of the Day – September 25 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: SapientNitro
  • Location: London
  • Client: Lycra
  • Name: Lycra moves you
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Nice! Imagine the brief: take a dull, almost industrial product (a stretchy fiber!) and delicately try and balance the functional (must feature product! must convey functional benefit through some sort of demo!) with the emotional (make it a part of people’s lives! make it contemporary! make it meaningful!) A groan-inducing challenge, which they somehow pulled off flawlessly: The film is beautiful, and almost hypnotic in its use of special effects, color and movement; there is a linearity to the storytelling as we go through the woman’s day; and all of this is wrapped around a clear message of how the product moves with us through life. Really impressive.

Ad of the Day – September 24 (Brussels)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: n/a
  • Location: Brussels
  • Client: Coca-Cola
  • Name: Special Olympics
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: (watch the ad first) One of my favorite quotes about creativity comes from an old BBH Levi’s ad, which reads “When the world zigs, zag.” It brilliantly encapsulates the critical importance (the imperative, even) of going against the grain if you hope to get noticed and make an impact. We’ve seen many messages for Special Olympics – from the forgettable to the epic. And yet this one takes an approach I’ve never seen before, to dramatic effect: it pulls the rug out from under you so brilliantly that it forces you to backtrack and reconsider your feelings on the subject, much more so than even a well-made “celebration” ad. Simple and very effective.

Ad of the Day – September 23 (Paris)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BETC
  • Location: Paris
  • Client: Canal+ Football
  • Name: Cameramen
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: “Such and such sports channel puts you at the heart of the action.” How many times have we heard this claim? If the claim is going to be the same, the only way to stand out is to go for broke, as they do here. The idea is a simple visual gag (the cameramen on the field,)…but then they keep raising the ante, and don’t stop until it’s way over the top. It’s a fine line, but it works: it gets noticed, it brings a smile, it bears repeat viewing, it’s very single-minded, and best of all, it crisply communicate the benefit. A winner.

Ad of the Day – September 22 (Brisbane)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BCM
  • Location: Australia
  • Client: Bundaberg Ginger Beer
  • Name: A tribute to old school dads
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Marketers and ad agencies everywhere are constantly turning themselves inside out in their effort to “crack” communications with younger folks. And of course, there is a robust industry of messaging to senior citizens. Lost in between is a huge segment of the population. They’re not young in the traditional sense (although they feel young) and they’re certainly not old (although some may be starting to look it.) So how to reach them with a fast-moving-goods message? Is there a way to celebrate who they are and what they’ve accomplished, while still keeping it fresh, light and interesting? The folks at Bundaberg beer evidently think so. Wonderfully written, delightfully tongue-in-cheek, and gleefully reverential; I think this ad will hit it with their target, and trickle on down very well to the younger folks – a fancy trick to pull off indeed.

Ad of the Day – September 19 (Los Angeles)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: Gatorade
  • Name: Made in New York
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wow. What an ad! (background: Derek Jeter is a legendary player for the NY Yankees, who are the most legendary baseball team. He is retiring in a few weeks after having played on the Yankees for 20 years.) You don’t have to be a Jeter/Yankees/Baseball fan to get swept up in the wonderfully crafted emotional ride of this film. From the soaring Sinatra tune (so perfect!) to the genuine joy and surprise in the face of the bystanders, to the crisp black and white cinematography, to the subtle, respectful brand placement, and beyond. A wonderful sendoff message laced with respect, pride, and bittersweet nostalgia. I’m not a baseball fan at all, and I just loved this one.

Ad of the Day – September 18 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: London
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: 40th Anniversary: Just-passed-test drive thru
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The CCO at my previous agency says that the right music can give you up to 80% of the effect in a film. This lovely 30 second film manages to combine slapstick humor, sweet nostalgia, budding romance, and a sense that McDonald’s is a brand that is woven into the fabric of our lives. All in 30 energetic, meaningful seconds. Now turn off the volume and view the ad again. What a difference: the film becomes a nicely shot slice-of-life vignette, and not much more. Music can be such a shortcut to the heart, bypassing every rational filter along the way. Messages that wield this tool with flair have a huge head start.

Ad of the Day – September 17 (Chicago)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: FCB
  • Location: Chicago
  • Client: Kmart
  • Name: Shop like a boss
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This one feels like it could be polarizing, but here’s why it works. First and foremost, it stands out. Think of all the many (dull, formulaic, forgettable) ways in which one could have communicated the benefit – and yet this one catches your eye, focuses your attention, and may even (gasp!) be fun enough for you to share the link with a friend. This is a big deal, and most films don’t even near this hurdle. Second (and this is the critical part that most objectors will lean on) it is true to and consistent with Kmart’s brand voice. Whether right or wrong, Kmart has taken an irreverent brand voice of late, and this is just a continuation of this identity. Third, it’s wonderfully executed, like something right out of an SNL sketch: The over-the-top posturing, the sudden explosion of dance, the fabulous, vaguely middle-eastern music track, the bad-ass granny attitude, etc. And fourth, despite all of the above, the functional communication is crystal clear. All the entertainment and humor is in function of (not competing with!) illustrating that if you “buy at home, pay in store”, you will be shopping…like a boss. Loved it.