Ad of the Day: January 27 (Sydney)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Host
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Pizza Hut
  • Name: Mitey Stuffed Crust
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A round of applause for this ad, exhibiting courage with a capital C. Sure, the notion of vegemite being an acquired taste is nothing new, advertising has been riffing off of that for ages. If you were the brand manager you would allow yourself to have a lot of fun with that, push the envelope, right? Wrong. If you’re like 99% of people out there, you wouldn’t. It takes a special breed of crazy courage to say that your product is awful, tastes like shit, and more…all in your own ad. It’s downright unusual. And yet, it’s that very hyper-genuine approach that, handled properly, is irresistible to a younger target. A startling honesty which becomes the hook that draws you close. Join that up seamlessly with a little national pride to boot, and the result is a disruptive, entertaining little film that will make a dent. More of this, please!

 

Ad of the Day: October 8 (Sydney)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: McCann
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Corelle (dinnerware)
  • Name: The Tipsy Hostess
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: These ads (this one above is part of a series, do watch the other two) are oddly compelling, like a slowly developing train wreck that you can’t avert your eyes from. I’m sure it tickles the same part of the brain that makes a hit of shows like “Housewives of New York/LA/etc.” Expertly executed with amazing casting, acting, storytelling and editing. And in the midst of this…gently, almost subliminally, the product and product benefit are woven in so effectively! You’re completely hooked by the action, and when the tagline comes and focus shifts to the product, the message hits home with a powerful logic and you’re left thinking “wow, that was kinda weird, but kinda cool!” Loved it.

 

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 – May 5 (Melbourne)

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nissanfast3_aotwnissanfast1_aotwnissanfast2_aotw

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Whybin\TBWA
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Client: Nissan GT-R
  • Name: Quick
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: A huge challenge in advertising is figuring out what is the one thing you want to say. The more specific, singular and precise, the better. And then comes creativity…the “how” you’re going to say it which grabs your attention, speaks with clarity, and imprints upon your mind that key nugget. In this case Nissan wanted to communicate just how quick its car goes from 0 to 100. And they did this with impactful simplicity…by eschewing all the tropes of car advertising and opting instead for a visualization that even a child could understand. Wonderful stuff.

Ad of the Day – April 18 (Melbourne)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Redhanded
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Client: Kubota Grand X
  • Name: “Sheer Tractoring Pleasure”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Getting noticed is the first step. Without your consumer’s attention, all the rest of your work is meaningless. That’s why the opposite of good advertising is not bad advertising…it’s mediocre advertising! Even truly awful “bad” advertising stands a better chance of being noticed and somehow sneaking in through the back door of your brain! You see, all the clichés and conventions and best practices that give us the “all-boxes-checked-so-at-least-my-boss-won’t-blame-me” comfort…they are also our worst enemy, very often condemning our work to indifference in the eye of the consumer. Take this tractor ad, for example. They probably couldn’t come up with a “great” ad, so they came up with the very “worst” ad they could think of, and the result is fresh, funny and noticeable. If I worked on this ad, I would feel proud. But if I work for a car brand and my latest ad featured billowing fabric, sullen supermodels, unwinding country roads, dramatic voice-overs, or slow-motion soaring eagles through the snowfall…I would feel the shame of mediocrity. Which path are you going to take?

“Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night”. David Ogilvy

Ad of the Day – December 12 (Sydney)

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jockey_aotw

butcher_aotw  waitress_aotw  skater_aotw (click to enlarge)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Tide (detergent)
  • Name: “Revive your whites”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: It’s interesting to trace this one from inception to final result and see how it got improved along the way. Remember, that magical “fairy dust” of inspiration can strike at any moment!  Here we have a very common product benefit, not much to work with at all. Not much of a strategy either, probably because this benefit has been done to death. Ah, but the idea of “revive your whites”…this has some promise, yes…bring the whites back from the dead…it has a certain zing to it now that zombies are so hot in pop culture. And the execution? Perfect. The medical setting, the “life” slowly seeping white back into the clothes (what a great demo!), it all comes together with visual interest and clarity of message! Having a dull product and strategy and leaving it all to the hopes of some creative  or execution miracle is a risky proposition – most of the time it’s not enough, and that’s why we strive to improve the odds with product development and clever strategies. But if you’re fortunate, and creative inspiration strikes…well that’s really all you need. Consider yourself lucky, and prepare the awards show submission!



Ad of the Day – November 29 (Melbourne)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Whybin\TBWA
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Client: Nissan Navara
  • Name: “Boulder Dash”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: For the second day in a road, here’s an automotive category ad that really catches the attention, yet this time in a very different way. Let’s dissect it: no narrative tricks here, it’s a linear story featuring two  “torture test” demonstrations of performance (the boulder dodging, and the boulder carrying).Throw in some nice special effects, some humor/surprise at the end and you’ve got a nice, decent car ad that probably delivers on the brief. But what really makes this ad special? The camaraderie, the realness, the warmth all brought to life by their silly singalong to a cheesy radio tune! It’s the story-behind-the-story that sets this ad apart – and I’d bet they didn’t feature this or test this in the original storyboard, it probably came about once they were already deep into production. The lesson here is that it’s never too late for that magical burst of inspiration to hit, that little detail that makes the difference. Even when you think you’ve taken care of the basics, one must keep pushing, picking, stretching. If you’re lucky the flash of genius comes early…or maybe it comes as late as the editing process…or maybe it never comes. But if you don’t push, it won’t happen. Can’t remember the last time I liked an ad about powerful pickup trucks, but this one makes the grade.


Ad of the Day – November 26 (Melbourne)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Clemenger BBDO
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Client: Dirty Granny (Apple Cider)
  • Name: “Tom, Richard & Ken”
  • Category: Print, OOH

Why I like it: A print ad should catch your attention in the first 2 seconds, or you’ve lost the reader. This one catches your attention, and holds it…you smile, look at the bottle, think of the name of the product, look at the man, then back at the bottle, then smile again, then remark on the product name once again, filing it in your memory bank…what else can you ask for? Much good advertising is born from a great product. And a cider called “Dirty Granny” (by the way, Granny Smith is a variety of green apple)is simply begging for some great work. But then you still have to execute it, and the trick is to be edgy but accessible, funny but not over-the-top. Many would take it too far, and fail for being too obvious. Here I think they nail it with amazing casting, sharp photography, fantastic art direction, and great copywriting (and by great copywriting, I mean resisting the temptation to include copy where none is needed!). Cheers to that. 


Ad of the Day – November 19 (Melbourne)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: McCann
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Client: Metro Trains (rail/subway systems of Melbourne)
  • Name: “Dumb ways to die”
  • Category: Film/viral video

Why I like it: Very catchy, very cute, but with an edge, and with a healthy dose of humor. Hits all the right notes, and delivers the “be safe around trains” message loud and clear. Just great. Getting the message across is actually quite hard in these public service announcements, because people instinctively don’t like being told what to do. If you go too soft, the message won’t be heard. If you’re too aggressive , people shut off their minds, or even reject your well-meaning message. Hitting that middle note is key, and here I think they nail it with an enjoyable 3 minute animated music video. There are so many other ways in which they could have attempted to deliver on this brief…and even once they landed on this idea, there are so many other ways in which they could have executed it…Just goes to show that when something is “just right”, it’s a minor miracle of brilliance, courage, perseverance, and good luck! 


Ad of the Day – November 14 (Sydney)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BMF
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Mamia (diapers)
  • Name: “Ready when you’re not”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: If you’re a parent it will be hard for you to stop watching the ad, hard for you not to smile…and sometimes that’s all it takes. (if you’re single and living in a studio apartment in NY with your two buddies…well you’re not the target!) Overall I loved this one because it had that “right on” feeling about capturing real life, and it also passed the “this is something I would share” test, which for an ad in the diaper category is not common. But to be fair let me point out the bad along with the good. The bad is that I think they fail on the brand linkage front – the brand/product is just not central enough for you to take it away with you, and thus this likely becomes an ad for the entire category…which is bad news and a missed opportunity for Mamia, because the mental “anti-advertising filter” was brought way down by the good: they really nailed it here on execution (the over-dramatic opera music is great comedy, reminds me of the BGH “Dads in Briefs” campaign…) on casting, and on capturing those almost imperceptible expressions on a baby’s face that marks the “oh no…!” moment for parents. Most of all they nailed it when they decided to take a chance on this. The storyboard for this idea was quite dull, I’m sure – they had to go until filming day and beyond to know if they were going to capture the magic. They took a risk, and they made it happen. Cheers to that.