Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!
Location: Sao Paulo
Client: Mix Brasil (a cultural diversity festival)
Name: Everyone is gay
Why I like it: We often talk of leveraging a cultural tension in order to make our advertising more relevant and disruptive…this often leads to work that is emotionally charged. What is interesting is how they built around a cultural tension (ie. stereotypes and prejudices in Brazilian society) and yet the film still manages to pull off a lighthearted, almost humorous vibe. It’s a good lesson – building off a tension does not have to equal a heavy-handed approach. In fact here they shine a light on a societal failing…and then give it a spin that is both inclusive and inviting. The result is a fine balance that delivers on the objective of getting attention and encouraging participation. Nicely done!
Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!
Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
Location: Sao Paulo
Why I like it:There’s a lot to be said for knowing yourself. Say you’re a niche brand, with a solid connection to a niche target. Do you devise a generalist strategy to reach a broader group and expand your sales prospects…or do you double down on your narrow target? Both are valid, actually, as long as they’re done well. Here Leica chose the latter path…and executed the hell out of it. A visual photography quiz for serious photography buffs (how many did you recognize?), the way it’s choreographed and shot presents a unique, entertaining spin on the historical. And the best part? By being so uncompromisingly specific in their outreach to their target, they managed to produce excellent content, and excellent content has a way of spreading (it’s what Coke calls a “liquid” idea.) So your reach actually goes beyond what you expected. A nifty little trick!
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!
Why I like it: A wonderful, wonderful short film commemorating a momentous event in automotive history…the manufacture of the very last VW “Kombi”. For a vehicle nearly as ubiquitous and culturally relevant as its beetle-shaped cousin…how do you mark such an event, and hit the right tone? This film is how. We’re shown a wonderful retrospective on the history and some of the very real lives this van touched along the way. But what really sets the film apart is that it manages to be imbued with the personality of the van, in a way that I wouldn’t have thought possible. It personalizes the vehicle and fills the film with cheery, forward-looking optimism. The end is both respectful of the past, pragmatic about the present, and doggedly optimistic about the future. The last line is…sublime. Hats off to my friends at ALMAP BBDO for living up to the legend of the Kombi!
Trnslation: “New Arno Mixer Deluxe. The perfect mix, no matter the ingredients”
Why I like it: In today’s multi-sensorial world, print media still comes in strictly through the eyes. So as we flick the page there has to be something visual that will catch the eye, have it linger, then draw us in. Quite simple. This campaign delivers on that perfectly. The composition of the family portrait, the styling (notice the patterns on the clothes and on the wallpaper), the washed out crispness of the colors, the earnest expression on the faces, they are all unique enough to make you pause…and once you look at the faces, you’re hooked. It’s uncanny how incredibly unattractive the two parents are, yet how oddly-plausible it is that they combined into the lovely child. The gag works because the effect is somewhat believable, and very funny. Amazing job on the casting! These are ads an example of a middling idea made special by superb execution. The extra money for that special photographer, stretching the timeline for a little more retouching, paying the usage rights to get just the right actors…the sacrifices made for these little details can add up to the difference between good and great.
Why I like it: Almost exactly 1 year ago (May 24 of last year) we shared a great ad by the same agency and client. It used a lovely visual narrative and an innovative execution style to engage you fully, all while clearly bringing to life the storytelling potential of Getty’s vast image archive (Click here to see “From love to Bingo“). A year later, they’ve done it again, this time showcasing Getty’s video library. A normal creative team would have taken a winning formula and ran with it again…why not? But these folks at ALMAP are much better than normal: They kept what was good, and then put a new wrinkle on it to make it better: the split-screen device gives you a whole new layer of narrative depth and visual engagement. Even if you begin by thinking this is a repeat from last year…by the end you’re fully swept up in the moment. So many great lessons here: from the appeal of narrative, to the magnet-like pull of great music, to the importance of weaving the brand/benefit into the ad, to the power of leveraging deep human emotions. Great work from Sao Paulo, yet again.
Client: Casa do Zezinho (educational foundation for needy kids)
Why I like it: (watch the ad first) Fantastic. The gritty, hidden-camera execution is quite inspired: just as you’re sensing that you’ve “seen this before” there comes a delightful twist that makes you smile and lean in closer. The notion of having “other ways to help children” is also quite different and empowering, which is key in breaking through the clutter of public service advertising. Yet what truly hits the mark here is the inspiring emotional appeal. Not guilt-inducing emotional appeal, which often works but leaves you feeling a little blue. Not horror-inducing emotional appeal, which often fails because you reject the message, if only to spare your overloaded senses. But the optimistic, almost uplifting emotional appeal of showing the inherent goodness and solidarity in random strangers. The kindness of those who stopped to help…the way two of them gently place their hand on the shoulder of the kids before they walk away…it’s touching, it’s real, and it works.
Why I like it: One of the happy surprises in advertising is when you come across a campaign that seems creatively exhausted, and yet suddenly it takes new life and soars. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” has been around for a long time now, and inevitably some of the recent efforts have lost the incisiveness and freshness the campaign once had. It seemed like there wasn’t much left to mine creatively here, and increasingly the efforts seemed manipulative or over-preachy. And yet to my delight, the super-talented folks at Ogilvy Sao Paulo have pulled this one off flawlessly. They found a completely fresh and interesting angle to bring to life the message of women’s negative self-perceptions. And then they executed the hell out of it: they didn’t get a street artist, they got an FBI-trained forensic artist. They didn’t shoot it in a garage, they shot it in a beautiful loft, they didn’t shoot it in one afternoon, they likely shot for days until they had the perfect footage. And then they launched it with style, with a nice web-site that shows all the videos, the sketches, a message area to encourage dialogue and sharing, etc. In summary, they nailed it using the old formula: “A good story, well told.” So impressive. There are no sure things in advertising, but I’ll be really surprised if this doesn’t pick up a couple of lions at Cannes this year. Parabens, galera!
Why I like it: Ha! Some ads take their time in building towards the gag. Others like this one smack you with it in the first 3 seconds and don’t let go. It’s a simple idea that was executed “to the hilt”, with great results. The hair effects are well done and set up the great contrast with the drab surroundings and the average looking guys. And…the music! Music is often an amplifier of emotion but it’s not so often used to create “funny”. Here…it’s just hilarious. Might it have worked better as a 30? Perhaps. Is it a little bit confusing once the reveal comes? Maybe. But the hook is so crisp, so up-front, and so well executed that you start with a smile and don’t stop until the brand name gets imprinted on your brain. “Parabens” to our colleagues in Rio!
Why I like it: yes, yes, and yes! “Road safety” has been done to death, so when you come across work that is completely different and unexpected, work that is expertly crafted to deliver a unique and arresting visual “punch”, and work that is intellectually honest and on message…well it just makes me happy:) Furthermore, it’s proof that creativity can truly flourish anywhere: yesterday it came from Minneapolis, and today it comes from a small independent agency in Curitiba. One day inspiration strikes, and the next day you’re shortlisted at Cannes (my prediction). Believe it: your next project could be “the one”…and why the hell not?