Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!
Agency: Tribal Worldwide
Name: Fry Defender: the first french fry security system
Why I like it:It’s hard to get this type of web video to work – so it warms my heart when it does happen. McDonald’s is looking for different ways to drive consumer engagement with the brand, and even enhance the experience in-store (anything to get minds off of obesity, calories, food safety, etc.) If you can get a laugh, or people talk about it/share the video – or even download the app and try it out with a group of friends next time they’re in the store…it’s all a big win. It makes sense to try for it. But none of this works if the video isn’t funny…and that’s where the magic comes in. The casting, the acting (love the expressions of the guy with the white shirt), the copywriting (“Frimes”…classic), the editing, the overall tone…all of these little bits of inspired spontaneous fun are what brings the whole thing together. Well done.
Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!
Name: World’s first iPhone 6 dumped in a pitcher of beer
Why I like it: Quite often, long-form video content is key to letting an idea develop properly. But the longer the video, the better it has to be, because people today have a healthy attention span for entertainment, but an extremely short one for everything else. I was skeptical when I saw that this video was 4 minutes, but couldn’t stop once I started – what a wonderfully calibrated mix of charismatic storyteller, pop culture relevance, mad stunt idea, and unique, memorable product demo…if any of these is off even by a few degrees…the whole thing falls apart. They pull it off, and the “reviving” part ends up being the easiest bit, which sells the product with a bang. Well done!
Why I like it: A simple idea, executed perfectly to deliver a worthwhile message. Well done! There are many “do good” efforts out there in the last few years, it has become a welcome movement, of sorts. (hey, ad agency people need to earn their way into heaven somehow!). These efforts can be organized into a pyramid, from most numerous to least. At the base are the ads that miss the mark on tone. They are either too preachy (shame on you!) or way too saccharine and manipulative (woe! woe!) The result is a consumer brain that shuts off at the soonest possible point. Level 2 incorporates some clever catch or conceit (for example, a cool engagement model through social media!) but misses on message…most likely because the idea for the clever engagement model came before the assignment for the cause. So far…not so great. But then we get to level 3: Pitch perfect on tonality. Makes you think and even moves you, while talking with you, not at you. I love this example from Almap BBDO in Brazil, it was one of my favorites last year. Finally there is level 4…where the pitch perfect tone is wrapped in a layer of innovation and surprise. The execution, the narrative…something about the ad pulls the rug out from under you in a way that hadn’t been done before, and as a result you focus even more keenly on the message. This ad for Woodbridge Community Services qualifies, for its finely tuned message, wrapped in a Trojan horse that is our celebrity obsession. Very well done!
Why I like it: Wow, loved this. This ad is a rarity, folks. It’s wonderful because of its use of humor, the emotional mis-direction , the weaving of copy into the lyrics…all expertly done to great effect. But what makes it a rarity is that the entire creative idea is driven by an amazing insight. If you think this happens all the time in advertising, think again. We talk a lot about insight, but a finding a good one is harder even than finding a good ad (you don’t need a good insight to have a good ad…) Most of the time what is claimed to be an “insight”, is just an observation of fact. An amazing insight recognizes a behavior that is hidden well beneath the surface. It is different from anything else being said by others. It surprises, delights, elicits a sense of “wow…that’s so true!…” and maybe it even inspires action. A little gem, by a Canadian agency with a very cool name.
Client: World Championship Martial Arts (martial arts school)
Name: I woke up
Why I like it: A small town, a small independent agency, a small local advertiser, a small media buy, most likely a small production budget. Normally this is not the source of creativity with an national…much less international appeal. But inspiration and talent can and do strike anywhere at all. Think about it – a local martial arts school wants to recruit new students. From that…to this. What is in between is a wonderful insight, a smart strategy, a charming creative idea, pitch perfect execution, and lots of trust and courage along the way. Fantastic work, and an inspiration for all: every single brief is an opportunity to make something great happen.
Why I like it: Anytime you see a print ad that could be blown up, framed, and hung proudly on a living room wall, that’s pretty special. These Corona Ads have it all. They’re timely: in advance of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration analogous to the American Halloween. They’re relevant: the skull motif and the illustration style is very traditionally Mexican during this holiday. They’re inspirational: the copywriting is a call to action to go out and live before your time is up! They’re functional: the layout manages to include a large product shot, a headline, a product announcement, and a hashtag…yet all in harmony with each other, all complementing (not interrupting) the design. And finally, they are elegant: not only is the poster beautiful, the design of the cans is gorgeous. And notice where the can is placed…so much better than if it were in the traditional bottom right. Lots of amazing, mature art direction going on! I’m quite impressed, because this brief likely started as a request for a “seasonal promotion point of sale poster” (shudder…) and they managed to turn it into something amazing. Good on them. So…dear Corona, or Zulu Alpha Kilo – what do I have to do to get one of these shipped to China?
Why I like it: Solid, even inspiring – which is rare for a deodorant ad. It might seem daunting to compete in this category, where such a big splash has been made by Old Spice and Axe. The only way around this wall is to go right through it: Degree stakes a claim as the anti-Axe (teen males wanting to get laid), and the anti Old Spice (tongue-in-cheek hipster cleverness).What do they stand for? Real life, where real men and women sweat and suffer and strive to overcome. It’s no-nonsense, very gritty, and it piggy-backs on a very current US cultural trend of “extreme group exercise” (muddy buddy races, Crossfit, etc.) Executionally, it takes a slightly non-conventional route…you think this is going to be about how these war veterans are doing the best they can within the limits of their injuries…but soon enough you realize there are no limits, and they will run right over you if you get in their way. Most good deodorant ads make me smile, and don’t ever bring up images of sweating…this one made me want to go running. If breaking through the category clutter is the first step, then: mission accomplished.
Why I like it: Levi’s and BBH said it best: “when the world zigs, zag.” In a time where seemingly all beer advertising is rock & roll, dark night clubs, fast action, dudes, babes, and parties…how nice it would be to just…slow it down a bit. Strip the excess away, until all that is left is old friends, a warm summer night, the breeze blowing through her hair, the carelessness of youth, perhaps a twinkle in the eye. Lovingly shot, languidly paced, buoyed by the perfect soundtrack, and expertly signed off by the self-aware contradiction of the tagline (“to wild nights”.) Loved it, and what better way to ease into a lazy Spring weekend?
Why I like it: I promise not to make this an “all VW, all the time” blog entry…but damn if they don’t keep making great, simple ads. How do you talk about price/value in a manner that is visually arresting, different, interesting, and (above all) without cheapening the product? Well, this ad is one example. The first challenges above (arresting, different, etc.) they totally nailed through the super-simple idea and a fantastic, no-compromise execution (they actually had to construct a set where they could hang real Jettas…it’s not CGI!) But the part about “value vs. low cost” is interesting, because it’s so fraught with danger. By going waaaay over the line into the realm of the ridiculous (a car being bought like a cut of meat), they actually get the value point across with crisp clarity…without compromising the integrity of the real car. A very fine line, but artfully managed here. Great work coming at us from Toronto.
Client: XBox Forza Horizon (car racing video game)
Name: “Streets of Toronto”
Category: Ambient/viral video
Why I like it: It’s a super-cool, branded music video. Awesome track, amazing cars, beautiful slow motion visuals, great sound design, fun to watch – what’s not to like? Oh yes, the actual idea was good too: for gamers, the “player 1” and “player 2” device is instantly recognizable as a video game convention and would definitely catch the eye if seen live, on such unusually awesome cars rolling through your city – it’s the type of thing you’d take a picture of on your phone and send it with friends. But more broadly, there are two lessons here: 1) I think this puts to bed any doubt that the “case study video” has become THE means of truly amplifying activations/events/ambient stunts. It’s increasingly unimportant how many people are actually there live, as long as you can get great footage that you can control, optimize, and ultimately serve up to the many more people who will see it online. The bigger that ratio between live/online is, the more successful the overall action (for the 007 stunt that Coke Zero just did, I’d estimate it was 200 people live for 10 million online – not bad!) 2) Until fairly recently (1 year ago) there wasn’t a big awareness of this – only a few agencies understood it and while they scored big with user engagement and awards shows, the others lumbered along believing that activations were limited in scope. Now…everybody gets it, and everybody is scrambling in the same direction. Good for us! Who’s next?