Ad of the Day: December 22 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: N/A
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: 20th Century Fox
  • Name: A Particular Set of Skills
  • Category: online/social media contest
  • Why I like it: Watch the video first. If you enjoy seeing Liam Neeson kick ass in the “Taken” move series, then you’ll enjoy this contest announcement. Then take a moment to appreciate the sheer brilliance of this marketing action. It lives at the precise intersection of advertiser, co-sponsor, target and medium – delivering an interesting and compelling “everybody wins!” that is actually extremely rare in these types of activities. Fox drums up inexpensive awareness of their upcoming release (the value of the prize they’re giving away? $0!) Linkedin is the perfect catalyst for a conversation about “skills” and becomes 1000% more relevant and hip to a younger audience than they were last week. Young professionals are given the chance to win big-time social currency while engaging with fun content, and social media once again is leveraged as both an amplifier and executor of activities, at less cost and offering bigger potential payback than traditional media. A slam dunk.

 

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Ad of the Day – June 4 (Mexico City)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Mexico City
  • Client: Casa de la Amistad (youth cancer support services)
  • Name: Hairfest
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: Cannes is right around the corner, so this is the time of year where you see an outpouring of public service initiatives that use the force of creativity for a good cause. It has become challenging to stand out in this area due to the sheer numbers; and the questionable nature/execution of some of these ideas has opened the door to cynics and “haters”. So it’s a wonderful thing when an idea like this one gets made. It’s unassailable. It just…makes sense, right from the very start. I love how they hit the right tone in the first line: it’s not a solution, or a cure, it’s just “…a nice way to help,” and who can dispute that? The idea itself is brilliant, and the way it’s executed is uplifting. One of those “everybody wins” scenarios that is fresh, fun, and brand-relevant. It left me with a smile on my face, and for that, a big “rock on!” to my colleagues in Ogilvy Mexico.

Ad of the Day – May 15 (Hamburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt/Alster
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: Hanseatisches Wein und Sekt Kontor & Pommery Champagne
  • Name: The revenge of the champagne
  • Category: Ambient/Event
  • Why I like it: So simple, and yet so fantastic. This sounds like an idea that got tossed around in a creative brainstorm at 11pm, over a couple of beers. Instead of tossing it in the bin, they took it and went for it, and went for it big. The result is not going to change the world…but it’s a fun, engaging, memorable celebration, unlike so many thousands of events that take place every week. And let’s be honest, at a time when so many serious topics are being tackled, it’s a nice diversion to also take a moment to address the more nonsensical side of life.

Ad of the Day – May 14 (Rio de Janeiro)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro
  • Client: Sol de Janeiro (sunscreen brand)
  • Name: Tattoo artists against skin cancer
  • Category: Public Service/Film
  • Why I like it: Look closely at this video and you’ll get a mini-masterclass on how to expertly package a creative idea. Start with an underdog product/brand that likely has a tiny budget. Big campaigns are out, so they arm themselves with courage and take a leap of faith to do something different, much less safe than your standard “key visual”. Then, look for an idea that connects to relevant cultural truth. In this case the beach-worshipping, sun-loving culture of Brazil youth. Please select an idea that has some edge…some unconventional sexiness that makes it interesting and different. A skin care cancer prevention film could be all about doctors and microscopes and cellular diagrams…this one is all about bad-ass tattoo artists sporting serious ink and a healthy dose of attitude. And finally, execute the hell out of it. In this point my Brazilian colleagues at Ogilvy are at the top of the game. The sexy images jolted by the introduction of the word “cancer”, the pacing, the music, the introduction of the idea through the credible voice of a newscaster, the slo-mo panning shot of the artists, the buildup of emotion,  the personal payoff, the subtle sharing of results that matter, the call to action…every single detail is polished for maximum effect – easy to see, but very hard to do when you’ve got 40 hours of footage to edit. Good stuff. Parabens, galera!

Ad of the Day – May 7 (Singapore)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: Coca-Cola & Singapore Kindness Movement
  • Name: CokeDrones
  • Category: Activation/Film
  • Why I like it: In recent years, an increasing number of brands have realized that “helping to make the world a better place” is not only inherently satisfying, but it also helps to build the brand. And yet, even doing good has to be done just right, or you risk a backlash of cynicism, inaction, or simply being ignored. This lovely initiative by Coca-Cola Singapore manages to strike just the right note through a careful blend of variables: 1) Topic: the plight of immigrant workers is top of mind in Singaporean society, especially following a riot in Little India a few months ago. 2)Tone: They don’t set out to “fix” things, or to alter the course of these workers’ life. By providing a bridge to relay feelings of support and appreciation, they bring a smile to a face, brighten up an afternoon, and leave it at that – which is the right level of ambition for such a thorny subject. 3)Creative hook: the drones provide a striking visual and allow the brand to reach workers that are out of normally out reach (and thus invisible) on a high construction site. 4)Brand’s role: Ever-present yet tastefully subdued, putting the focus squarely on the human interest story that drives the emotional punch. In summary, it’s a lovely, nuanced activation idea that brings a smile to the face, raises respectful awareness of a social tension, and supports Coca-Cola’s role as a purveyor of little moments of happiness. Congratulations to the team in Singapore (and a big thanks – I was privileged to have been a part of this project!)

Ad of the Day – April 21 (Auckland)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: FCB
  • Location: Auckland
  • Client: A.S. Colour (clothing store)
  • Name: A.S. Colourmatic
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: For all the undeniable promise of technology, it’s still somewhat unusual to see a high-tech installation that closes the loop so well. Far from being self-obsessed with the technological “wow” factor, this one is based on a real insight in the category (we all default to the same neutral, boring colors) and puts the technology to use to change that behaviour. Of course what is most crucial is that this happens at the store, and so the fun moment is connected with a compelling opportunity to buy. And thus the loop from insight, to action, to sale is closed. Solid!

 

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 9 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Thinkmodo
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Carrie (the movie)
  • Name: Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
  • Category: Stunt/web film
  • Why I like it: “Prankvertising” has become all the rage lately, and for good reason: they’re simple to ideate(*), they’re relatively cheap to produce, they’re ready-made for the web/social age, and if you hit the jackpot, the returns can be huge. This one nailed it by perfectly calibrating the three ingredients that make these things work well: a)Impact: increasingly you have to push the envelope more and more, and this one really goes for it – even though I knew what was going to happen, my jaw dropped alongside that of the poor victims. b)Tone: this one borders on going over-the-top (the scream was a little too much, perhaps?) but at no point do you feel the participants are being overly manipulated. c)Role of the brand: This is a must, and it’s also where seemingly great ideas often falter. I was highly skeptical that they were going to effectively weave a brand into this, but I was wrong. It’s a stunt for the upcoming remake of Carrie, based on a Stephen King book about a girl with telekinetic powers. So it’s right on. Really well done, and in just one day it was all over social media (9 million views and counting) so there’s your smash hit!

(*) the ideas are somewhat easy to come up with because they all share a standard structure: hidden cameras, controlled environment, make something happen, film the reactions of the “victims”, edit the video, etc. This does not mean that it’s simple to come up good ideas, much less execute them – quite the contrary!

Thanks to K Kuan for the tip!

Ad of the Day – July 6 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

Why I like it: Taking something common and given it a completely different spin – that’s a damn good way of getting people’s attention. Think of all the ways in which we’ve all been sold on the experience of running, the emotions of sport. I thought I had seen it all, and yet here we go with a Nike film which completely catches you by surprise. And what’s best is that it’s not all bells and whistles (although the execution is quite masterful) – what’s best is that what they say will actually ring very true to anyone that has caught the bug of running, or other types of endurance sports. I’ve been there myself, and it’s a terribly compelling message because it taps into an inner universal truth about the slightly strange, slightly masochistic world these people live in. At times the lines between good addiction and bad addiction are ever-so-thin, and this comes across very powerfully.

Ad of the Day – July 5 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
  • Name: “Recipe Receipt”

Why I like it: I love “dammit, that’s so obvious! why didn’t I think of that!” ideas. These ideas are simple, direct, obvious, and pleasing, and this is a powerful card to play if you want a consumer’s attention and appreciation. I also love “dammit, I thought of something like that but figured it was just too tough to pull off!” ideas. These ideas are defined by steep implementation hurdles, and when you see them come to life it’s a sign that a group of people believed strongly enough and overcame big odds to make it happen. That’s very gratifying to see for anyone in our industry. This case study by Hellman’s is an example of both. Such an obviously brilliant way to bring the brand to life at the point of sale (literally, at THE point of sale!), and you can tell the programming and implementation behind it must have been fierce – I heard that it took the team in Brazil two full years to take this from idea to reality! The end result is a clear consumer benefit, with the brand at the center making it all possible. You give and you get, in a seamless transaction of goodwill between consumer and marketer. Good stuff! Parabens to my colleagues at Ogilvy Sao Paulo, who won a Gold Lion for this baby.