Ad of the Day: December 15 (Hamburg)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: Vodafone
  • Name: Bucket List (“what would you do if you could do anything?”)
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Ah, the bucket list. It sounds so incredibly generic, and yet this film works so well. What sets it off on solid ground is the “show me don’t tell me” rule. We see the multiple benefits in action: some subtle, some overt, but all very real and within an engaging flow that keeps your attention. With a few notable exceptions, showing (in an interesting way) always works better than telling. And then comes the magic…those touches that set this ad apart. From the music, to the editing, to the wonderful casting and acting (the bulbous nose on the grandpa – wow!): these are all the elements that will never show up in a storyboard or an animatic, but can be brought to life through trust, courage and talent during the production process. A lovely little film from Germany to start the week.

Ad of the Day: October 22 (Stuttgart)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leithaus Filmproduktion
  • Location: Stuttgart
  • Client: LBS (Financial Services)
  • Name: Wet dream
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Oooh, I love this ad to death. It’s like a mildly deranged dream sequence, hyper-produced to such a detail that it starts to cross the barrier between moving picture and still image (it’s very rare that you want to re-watch an ad and pause the image so you can take it all in…there is so much to look at!) How does something like this even get made? It’s a jaded world, but I’d like to think that work like this only happens when people trust and fully let go. It can’t be done by committee because the vision is so singular and unique…you have to hire some talented people, set them up for success, and then get out of the way. When it works, it works oh so well.

Ad of the Day: October 10 (Hamburg)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Lukas Lindemann Rosinski
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: Mercedes Benz
  • Name: Dirty Driving
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wonderful! A great percentage of advertising, let’s be frank, doesn’t earn the right to aspire to much: decidedly average, lacking in courage or conviction, reduced to merely “hoping for the best”. But Advertising (with a capital “A”) aims higher by following a simple formula: Be disruptive (to get the attention), and then communicate a compelling message (to induce action). Here Mercedes has a fairly standard message (car X is the combination of Y and Z) and serves it up in a memorably disruptive fashion. Think how easily this could have been the standard car-driving-inside-warehouse ad. And yet…from the first three words of the song, you know this is going to be wildly different, and you’re in for the ride. What happens next raises an ante that was already quite high (I was quite surprised –  not sure how they got it through legal!) and the end is memorable and crystal clear in conveying a benefit. Kudos to the client and agency team for having the courage to take us for an unexpected ride. It might seem like a risk, but actually the risk is in not doing so. “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

 

Ad of the Day – May 15 (Hamburg)

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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 6 (Hamburg)

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ikea_family_tree-03-kitchen_table_aotwikea_family_tree-01-washing_machine_aotwikea_family_tree-02-sink_aotw

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Thjnk AG
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: IKEA
  • Name: Family Tree
  • Category: Print/OOH
  • Why I like it: What a wonderful set of ads, combining 4 pillars of great print advertising: 1) Idea: A captivating way of telling a story about the ubiquitous role IKEA has played in our lives for years, decades, and in some cases generations. 2) Art direction: this is the kind of visual hook that is almost impossible not to fall for, and the structure is such that there is a clear beginning point at the top…leading inexorably to a delightful twist at the bottom. 3)Copywriting: in our very visual era, most good advertising is capped by a solid line, and the double meaning in those one (both deep and cheeky) doesn’t disappoint. 4) Last but definitely not least, Product: It’s not an ad unless the product is credible integrated in some form. In this case, the product if front and center, amplifying and building the story, not competing with it. So simple to describe, so hard to pull off!

Ad of the Day – April 30 (Hamburg)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: LEGO
  • Name: The whole force
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: It’s so hard to try and understand what makes humor work, but one of the often quoted rules is “don’t tell me how funny you are, just be funny.”The difference between telling and being is often a chasm, but here LEGO nails it. The spot is deceptively simple, but it manages to capture the fun, the playfulness, and even the miniature menace of the Darth Vader figurine. Major productions often fail to tickle the funny bone, and then a little ad like this comes around and reminds us that sometimes the simple answer is the best one.

Ad of the Day – April 15 (Berlin)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt/Spree
  • Location: Berlin
  • Client: NBC Universal Channel
  • Name: It’s the extraordinary ones that interest us
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: (Watch the ad first, before you read this) Ha…that’s great:) Very clever, very funny, very engaging, and all in service of a well-defined benefit: a channel that focuses on the “extraordinary”. As for the visual device/joke that makes this ad ..I’m surprised we don’t see it more often, because it works so well, and causes such impact when the visual reveal inevitably arrives. Very well done, and a fitting metaphor for what our advertising should aspire to: do we want to be the couple debating the bruschetta…or the other option? After all, only the extraordinary captures the imagination of consumers.

 

Ad of the Day – February 28 (Hamburg)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: OBI (home improvement chain)
  • Name: Renovated Billboards
  • Category: OOH/Ambient
  • Why I like it: This is quite genius. A sublime integration of message, medium, brand, end-benefit…it’s all there in a way that is exceedingly rare (the only other example that comes to mind is the “smarter cities” effort by IBM/Ogilvy Paris, and that one won a Cannes Grand Prix in outdoor!)  Try and ignore the case video, which manages to say in 90 seconds what should be said in far less. Focus instead of the boundary-breaking thinking that is behind this…taking limits and crushing past them, redefining what the medium is and how it comes to life. Great work, and impossible to ignore. 

Ad of the Day – September 26 (Stuttgart)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt/Neckar
  • Location: Stuttgart
  • Client: Mercedes Benz
  • Name: Magic Body Control
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Bravo to Jung von Matt and Mercedes, for breaking one of the laws of automotive advertising! (Law 14.c.iii which states “When showcasing stability control, one must show the car in one of three situations: 1. Traversing impossibly rocky terrain, so that all four wheels are a different heights at the same time, 2. Driving around rough roads while humorously not disturbing something inside the car, like a sleeping baby or a cup of boiling coffee, or 3. Inside a modern, robotic “auto lab”, showing the car elevated, with each wheel attached to a hydraulic piston that violently shakes the axle in different directions at once.” There was nothing mentioned about chickens! Or not even showing a car! But were you instantly hooked? Did you get and understand the functional message? Were you entertained, even delighted? Did you remember who it was for? Did it leave you singing the song inside your head? Does it make you feel good towards the brand? Yeah, me too. And this is exactly why in advertising one must strive break the rules, if you’re striving for a great ad.

Thank you Guillaume Pagnoux (Ogilvy Kuala Lumpur) for the reco!

Correction: The original post incorrectly featured Hamburg as the location, an alert reader below let me know that it was Jung Von Matt/Neckar, which is in Stuttgart. Thanks!

Ad of the Day – August 26 (Frankfurt)

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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.