Ad of the Day: November 4 (Hong Kong)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Red Fuse
  • Location: Hong Kond
  • Client: Colgate Palmolive
  • Name: Turning packaging into education
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: My friend Davide is not going to be pleased about this one. Davide is an ex-colleague at Ogilvy Shanghai who had virtually this same idea one year ago. But nothing happened with it, and his version of it exists today only as a drawing on a paper at the bottom of some drawer. And therein lies a tricky truth about the advertising business: ideas are the magical core output – the holy grail of the work that we do. But unless they get made…ideas are just paper at the bottom of a drawer. If an idea doesn’t get launched to hopefully meet some sort a commercial objective for a client, it’s just an artistic project, at best. Nothing wrong with art, of course – but most art isn’t advertising. So in this fine case study from Myanmar, what is it that came between the original idea and the actual reality of it? Probably an army of account people, planners, brand managers, logistics specialists, regional marketing directors, producers, public relations folks, government liaisons, education specialists, factory managers, teachers, etc. etc. etc. Creatives give birth to the idea, but it often takes a village to turn an idea into advertising.

 

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 – 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 – April 16 (Stockholm)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Doe Blomberg Gottberg
  • Location: Stockholm
  • Client: Fjalfill (milk products)
  • Name: More night skiing for the people
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: This idea may seem simple, but it’s quite brilliant in the way it ties together all of its components. The brand role is clear, as a sponsor of enjoyment in the mountains. The payoff to consumers is clear, by giving them more time to ski. Even the “ask” from the consumers is something that gives back – it allows them to do something fun in an otherwise dull moment. In our industry we tend to take for granted that consumers will care, or want to engage…the reality is that we must dig deep to find those activities that are truly “win-win”, as this one is. On a separate note, I love the tone of the video when it states proudly that this was an offline activity. I guarantee this will catch the attention of the judges at award shows, whose minds will have been bombarded with a million cases trying to out-digital one another. This short video shows a keen understanding of who its consumers are, both during the live event and during the judging period. Wonderful job.

 

Ad of the Day – October 31 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: directed by Jon M. Chu
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: Virgin America (airline)
  • Name: VX Safety Dance
  • Category: in-flight film
  • Why I like it: Oh, so much comes to mind after watching this, so here goes a bit of a rant: 1. All marketers and ad people know that branding is the totality of consumer interactions with the brand – it goes far beyond advertising. There are so many critical “moments of truth” that are opportunities to make a lasting impression. Some companies really get this and do something about it…and they tend to be most admired and revered (Apple, Starbucks, Disney, Virgin, etc.) So if it’s so obvious, why don’t more companies take this to heart? 2. The toughest of communications challenges can be cracked if you have the courage to stretch beyond the safety net and risk spectacular failure.The courage part is easy to preach and to understand, but really hard to do. I’ve flown a bit and would never, ever watch one of these videos. And yet if I was on a plane and they played this I be glued to the screen in awe, my mouth in a silly “I can’t believe this” grin…and I wouldn’t be the only one. Guaranteed there is applause in the plane after this is shown. For a safety video! Imagine that. 3. Talent matters.  Talent is a smart insurance policy, applied in the proper place. The guy that directed this also directed the Step Up movies…so you know he can deliver, and then take it to another level. This is where you buy the insurance policy, not in making the idea safe! 4. To everyone that says “yeah, well, it’s Virgin/Apple/Axe/Perrier/Old Spice…they always do this, good on them, that is awesome. Of course, MY situation is different.” …why would you willingly surrender to others the aspiration to greatness? Why wouldn’t you take it upon yourself, especially if you know the path to take? There was a time when the communication for all of these brands was entirely mediocre. And then one day they decided not to suck. It’s not easy, but there is a path. Let’s take to heart this quote: “Be the change you wish to see”. Why not now? Why not us?…[end of rant] 

 

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 – August 26 (Frankfurt)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Frankfurt
  • Client: Goodyear
  • Name: Efficient Grip on wet
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: Very cool. So obvious, and yet someone has to be the first to think of it and actually do it…so good for them! These types of ambient ideas, (where you “borrow” something in the environment and re-purpose it to convey your message in an eye-catching manner,) tend to be quite effective when done right. But rarely have I seen such a perfect fit…the image on second 54 is a priceless home run at conveying “great grip on wet roads”! On the negative side – this idea is so crisp and simple, that to take one and a half minutes is a bit much, when 15 seconds would have sufficed. And while we’re at it, let’s declare a moratorium on the following when it comes to case study videos: a)”Construction shots”, where we show guys with drills erecting the structure; b)”They love it! shots”, where we show by-standers taking a picture with their phone; c) and the part where, after mentioning some initial results, they transition into “but most importantly…”, “and even better…”, “but most of all…” etc. These have become case study clichés that detract from the overall effect.

Ad of the Day – June 4 (Berlin)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

Why I like it: Loved it. And so simple (yet so hard…) Take a cool, distinctive product feature and design a challenge around it, forcing the product to literally be in the eye of the participant. And then, execute the hell out of it: The suspense, the use of humor, the extremely effective use of music, all building to an exciting and satisfying finale. Something worth watching, worth smiling over, and maybe even worth sharing. All in a good day’s work for Samsung and the folks at Heimat.

Ad of the Day – May 28 (Hamburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grabarz & Partner
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: DEVK (insurance)
  • Name: Stadium TV Hijack
  • Category: Outdoor/Ambient

Why I like it: A little rough around the edges perhaps, but it works due to its combination of humor, ingenuity, and media placement. The client briefs you that “video media units have been bought during half-time at Bayern Munich football matches, and we need to generate content for it.” Sixty percent of the time the agency/client will run the existing TV spot and be done with it – after all, everyone is busy. Another twenty percent of the time they will use this as an opportunity to create interesting video content with “viral” potential that they can also later post online. Yet another eighteen percent of the time they will develop entertaining content that leverages the specific place, time and moment it is being played (stadium, half-time, etc.) to bring the attention of the fans onto the screen. And one or two percent of the time they’ll do this while playing a special trick of perception, where the action on the screen seemingly comes out onto the stands, where the viewers in the stadium are the actual protagonists of the action onscreen (…or are they?) Very clever, funny, innovative and different. And that’s how something has a chance to go viral. Cheers to the one-or-two percenters!

Ad of the Day – April 24 (Shanghai)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Shanghai
  • Client: Coca-Cola
  • Name: “Friendship Experiment”
  • Category: Photo exhibition/ Web Film
  • Photo Gallery: www.friendshipexperiment.com

Why I like it: A rolling idea gathers no moss. It’s tempting to look at good work and think that you want to “do some of that”. But it’s not nearly enough to just imitate what is good out there; the only real breakthrough comes from tirelessly pushing things one step further and seeing what happens. Dove did it last week with their “Real Beauty Sketches”, taking a new angle on their campaign and completely revitalizing the conversation. This work from Coke China likewise stands a chance to change the by-now-familiar conversation on friendship and happiness. We are shown lovely images of childhood friends sharing an intimate, happy, bonding moment on China’s streets…and oh, by the way…10 minutes before the images were taken these people had never met! Oh…Ok then. Wow..! You think you know what’s coming, and then “smack”, here’s something new to think about! Which you do, as the video plays on…. “Friends were strangers once” it says. Thus, any stranger…is a potential friend. In this crazy world we live in, there’s something profoundly optimistic in the idea of an inherent, latent goodness between people, one that is often just waiting for the right nudge. This is a message with the potential to make a difference. Not bad for a soft drink!…but then again Coke has earned the right to speak in this way. Congrats to my colleagues at Ogilvy Shanghai, and a big “thank you” to the client for entrusting us with this project!

PS For the first time, I’m going to ask you for a favor: I’m very proud of this work, and think it’s a message worth sharing. So please, if you like the work, help me to share it with the world. Send the link to friends, post it on social media, watch the other videos (6 in total), do your part to help it spread. All it takes sometimes is a nudge for these messages to take flight. Thank you:)