Ad of the Day – September 15 (Amsterdam)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Client: FIFA 15
  • Name: Feel the Game
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: It would have been so tempting to just rely on the gameplay action (which is stunning), or the celebrity (featuring biggest soccer star in the world), or the special effects (high-end cinematic flourishes.) But…no. Instead, they combined ALL of those elements seamlessly, and wrapped it around a completely innovative creative/visual device which shows everyday “you” being put in the middle of the game. The crescendo towards a climatic finale is expected…the surprising twist is the way in which everyday people (and by extension,you) are brought into the heart of the action. A heart-pounding piece of work.

Ad of the Day – November 28 (Amsterdam)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Messi 2

To access the web site click here, or go to lifesizemessi.com

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Client: FIFA 14
  • Name: Life-size Messi
  • Category: Web site
  • Why I like it: It seems so quaint…once upon a time not so long ago, companies and products debated whether or not to even have a web presence at all, and talked about how being online gave you an advantage of awareness and an opportunity to engage with the consumer. Today, having a website is a given, but the benchmark for engagement is so high, that on some level I’d bet 9 out of 10 web site efforts are a waste of time – their mediocrity makes it engaging only to the development team and their family members. To really capture the imagination of consumers, the benchmark is pretty much “something super cool that I’ve never seen before”. That’s a tough benchmark! This one hits it. They create a life-size digital Messi in astonishing detail, it’s a little spooky actually. Lovers of the game will spend minutes “interacting” with this creation, and will naturally detour to learning about the equally amazing life-like characteristics of the 2014 version of this popular video game. Super cool, and I’ve never seen something like it before. That’s what it takes, so well done to the folks at W+K Amsterdam for pulling it off!

    Bonus content: The TV ad is also pretty cool

 

Ad of the Day – June 14 (Amsterdam)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: JWT
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Client: Nationale Nederlanden (insurance)
  • Name: Do Re Mi
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: (watch the ad first) Take a song that is super-charged with nostalgia and emotional color (yet seldom if ever is heard in TV commercials). Bring it to life in a modern setting, with plenty of whimsy and wholesome family fun. Once you’ve got your audience in a very specific mental space…give them a surprising twist (without letting go of the good vibe!) and introduce your brand while the attention is at a peak. Nicely done! Now, to be fair, I think they don’t “connect the dots” to the brand/benefit clearly enough, it’s somewhat murky in the last 10 seconds….but the initial effect is so delightfully fresh (and the twist so unexpected) that the ad stays in your mind, and upon second viewing you’ll get it. More importantly, it gets people talking about your ad, which if you’re in the insurance business is quite a coup!

Ad of the Day – January 28 (Amsterdam)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Client: Booking.com
  • Name: “Booking.yeah”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Very strange, because I love…1/2 of this ad. “Less is more” or “More is more”? It depends. Think back to some of the great ads of late and you’ll see many of them are 1 minute or more. A narrative with a heavy emotional impact quite often benefits from just a little more time to truly develop. But that assumes you’ve got an amazing, crisply defined idea at the core! In this peculiar case for Bookings.com, I wish they’d cut the ad half way through, because the extra time allowed the idea to meander all over the place, effectively creating 2 separate ads, which we’ll call “The hold-your-breath moment” and “Booking awesome”. I loved the first one…the dramatic build-up to that hold-your-breath moment when the key goes into the door…that all-or-nothing feeling…it felt very real, very human, and it sets up the brand as the ace-up-your-sleeve in these pivotal moments. Excellent. Except that we then continue into the “second ad”, more irreverent and featuring a brand-centric play on words that could have been funny/memorable in a different setting – but here the shift in tone is so at odds with the first half that the whole thing comes off as just…a little strange. A reminder that “more is more” and also “less is more”…it’s all relative, and you’d better know the difference!

Ad of the Day – January 9 (Amsterdam)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R Amsterdam
  • Location: Amsterdam, Holland
  • Client: LG
  • Name: “Smart thief”

Why I like it: We kick off 2012 at Adboardingpass with a good one from our always-so-damn-good-at-creativity friends in Amsterdam. A couple of thoughts on this one: a)Boy is it cool when you get to work on a project where the product has something unique, something different, a real selling proposition. b)conversely, I can think of the same 1,000 lame and all too predictable ways of talking about this product. So yes, good source material helps, but talent is talent. c)Very well executed…catches your attention immediately and, even though it’s arguable a bit too long…manages to keep it until the end. What is it about some ads that can do this, and most that can’t? I’m convinced there’s some voodoo involved, it can’t just be explained. And finally d)I always find this construct risky: a huge creative hook that relies on a last second brand reveal and a big “aha” moment. 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t work. Here it does, because the creative hook is so interesting and well done, AND the product benefit is unique and interesting enough that it pays is all off retroactively. Well played, Y&R, well played.

Ad of the Day – November 17 (Treviso, Italy)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today we’re featuring not an ad but a campaign. The print ads first caught my eye, but check below for much more.

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Fabrica, and 72andSunny
  • Location: Treviso, Italy, and Amsterdam, Holland
  • Client: Benetton
  • Name: “Unhate” (check out the site for the Unhate foundation here, there’s lots more to see)
  • Why I like it: OK, I’m going to go ahead and make a prediction: This campaign is going to win a TON of awards. A ton. It’s a done deal. And it’s a pantheon level candidate for my ad/campaign of the year.

Why? Because it’s tremendously creative. It’s superbly executed. Its core idea is broadly appealing, yet the execution is controversial enough to get people talking. It’s global in reach, yet can infinitely personal and customizable. It’s campaignable across any medium, and for a long period of time. It’s highbrow, yet a 6-year-old can understand it. It has an emotional heft, even as it toggles between humor, outrage, tenderness and love. It can be boiled down into one friggin’ word(!) It’s, it’s, it’s just…awesome.

Now, an important disclaimer for the cynical among you. I too think that it’s easier to “sell” unhate than to sell a detergent, or a motor oil. The benchmark of difficulty is not terribly high. I get it. But…the trick is always in the doing, and these guys have done it, as far as I’m concerned. I grew up with Benetton being a big deal, and the campaigns were iconic and groundbreaking even back then. This one I think recaptures that style, and we shall see if it helps bring the brand back into the global limelight. I can bet you that you will be seeing/reading/hearing about this campaign more in the next week/month than anything other campaign out there, by far – so that’s a start. This was done by Fabrica, their in-house agency in Treviso, in partnership with Sunnyand72 in Amsterdom. Awesome stuff, guys! More to come, I’m sure.

PS – The mini-film deserves extra commentary: whereas the print is very iconic and you get it right away, the film shows the fine line between love and hate, and it teeters back and forth in a way which is beautiful in its subtlety…it keeps the mind guessing the entire time. It’s so unconventional and just, cool. Don’t you think?

Ad of the Day – Oct 25 (Amsterdam)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
  • Location: Amsterdam, Holland
  • Client: EA Sports FIFA12
  • Name: “Bury me”
  • Why I like it: Just so slick, like so much of the work coming out of this shop. Imaginative story, immersive writing, well acted, good special effects, clearly branded, larger-than-life feel, expertly paced and edited…the real deal. Oddly enough, W+K cranks out so much awesome work, including the now famous Nike “Write the Future” campaign, that this otherwise awesome add feels almost…ordinary. Talk about being spoiled! Soccer lovers, enjoy!