Ad of the Day – April 17 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DLV BBDO
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Sogni d’oro chamomile tea
  • Name: Don’t drink and drive
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wow. What a great example of a standard product benefit elevated into something interesting and almost artistic, via an inspired idea and fantastic execution. There is magic in the creative process…it’s often difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it. The idea of including a kid and staging what seems like a car accident at the center of a “don’t drink and drive” ad, that’s magic. The way the camera moves and gives us visual cues…yet manages to pull the tension back before we truly get concerned…that’s magic. Lots of it at play here in this wonderful little spot from Milan.

 

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Ad of the Day – March 21 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DLVBBDO
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Yamaha MT-07 (motorcycle)
  • Name: The Dark Side of Japan
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A beautifully executed anime film, thick with atmosphere and drama, revved forward by the motorcycle itself. Fantastically, deliciously different! Now, for a large group of people, this approach may be boring or strange – the visual hook just won’t work. So be it. For others (like me) the approach is so interesting that you’re lured in and made to care about something you weren’t really thinking about (motorcycles). And for fewer still, this will be an amazing, meaningful intersection between what they love (motorcycles) and what they’re attracted to (this type of visual treatment.) It’s that simple: Knowing the target well, and going at them with something so compelling, crafted, and different that it simply overwhelms them, while luring in bystanders that may become the future target.

Ad of the Day – November 29 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Publicis
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Jagermeister (liquor)
  • Name: Deer Sculpture
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Much of what we see here is quite standard for the category: beautiful, sophisticated people partying it up. But when there is such parity in the category clichés, even the little details can make your ad stand out. The “Trojan Deer” idea was a fresh touch (the deer is the logo of the brand), and the music and overall art design felt very sleek and modern, giving the brand the right shade of cool. Most of us have not-so-good memories of warm Jager shots in a dorm room somewhere…So re-defining the brand in this more adult, more sophisticated, and “done just right”(eg: drink it very chilled) manner? Very smart. I for one will give them a go, maybe even this weekend? Have a good one, everybody!

 

Ad of the Day – November 11 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DLV BBDO
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: ActionAid
  • Name: Donate Your Profile
  • Category: Social media
  • Why I like it: A lovely initiative that feels like it could easily be rolled out on a global scale.  It’s a delicately balanced combination of the old (celebrities and companies using their captive audience to spread a positive message) with the new (leveraging social media for its ubiquity and viral potential.) Best of all is that there is a story at the core. It’s not explained too well in the video, but the output of it all is the sharing of stories that personalize the benefit of all this activism. Well done, and for a good cause!

Ad of the Day – September 5 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Toyota Auris
  • Name: The Station Wagon
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Quite cool how the reverse chronology tricks your brain into paying attention and then staying there. It’s the same principle as a loyalty program, but in micro form: Once you’ve stepped into the trap by watching the first 2-3 vignettes, you simply can’t not see it through until the end…after all, you’ve “invested” so much time and mental focus! So, knowing that you’re hooked, the ad takes its time (perhaps too much time?) in reversing through the story, freely interspersing car and lifestyle shots. The storytelling is merely amusing, the car is merely decent, and it all registers because the executional device managed to keep you engaged for the full running length. (In fact, your attention and focus actually sharpens the closer you get to the end.) Pretty neat.

Ad of the Day – August 1 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Com.unico
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Swatch
  • Name: Scuba Libre
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Occasionally a tvc can succeed by the sheer strength of its execution. A visual hook, a special effect, a film treatment, a particular production value – all employed with originality and flair, to capture the imagination. This Swatch ad takes a child’s daydream and brings it to life with stunning beauty, conveying both the serenity and the excitement of the ocean, juxtaposed to dramatic effect with our everyday world. On execution alone this ad has enough merits to stand out…you could plug just about anything at the end and it would get noticed. But…when the reveal comes and it’s for an under-water watch, delightfully named “scuba libre”, by a brand known for its whimsy and color…then it really all comes together. The strategy, the creative idea, the expression, the role of the product…It all explodes in a moment of clarity and you’re left with an “aha” moment that gets you not only noticed…but also liked and remembered. That’s the ticket, and it’s lovingly brought to life in this effort from Milan.

Ad of the Day – March 26 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DLV BBDO
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: La Cucina Italiana (cooking magazine)
  • Name: “Where there is love, any match can work”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Ahhh, the power of storytelling. Turning even the most mundane topics into something with tension, with personality and with human interest. Ideally you look for the perfect balance between storytelling and execution (a great story…well told!) You can definitely get away with an ok story, wonderfully executed. What isn’t as common these days is to see a middle-of-the-road execution buoyed by a gripping story. This ad is like a mini 30 second play…and yet in such a short time it manages to capture the attention. And when the reveal comes, it’s a bit jarring, so unexpected, yet somehow just credible enough. This one is a bit different from every other ad that you see out there, and deliciously so.

Ad of the Day – July 4 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Montblanc
  • Name: “The Beauty of a Second”

Why I like it: Tell me if you’ve come across this brief: “we want to create buzz and awareness for [product], but budget is limited so we should leverage digital and social media to engage consumers.” It’s so common that it’s pretty much a cliché, right? One of these assignments that may sound simple (in this digital age we live in!)…but is quite hard to actually pull off. Have a look at this case study and you’ll see how Montblanc absolutely nailed it. I’ll give you three reasons why this one stands out: The first two are from a technical/executional standpoint: First, the central idea stems from a product truth: it’s a chronograph that can accurately measure a second, so they latched onto that unit of time as the core of their idea. By doing this, you give the whole program credibility and linkage to the brand – it starts becoming about the brand/product, and not about the mechanics (which is such an easy trap to fall into). Second, they really went out and did it. It would have been easy to do this on a smaller scale, after all it’s a luxury brand, not a mass market product – yet they got a real director to be the face of it, they went out and screened the films at SXSW, they built a robust site that allowed for editing and creation of personal playlists, they had an awards show in Berlin during a film festival…they pulled out all the stops. You have to dare to be great, or you probably won’t be. But the final reason why this stands out, and by far the most important in my mind, is: the output of this is not merely “awareness and buzz”, anyone can have that. Here, what they created is …beauty. These little one second videos, strung together and backed by the score are beautiful and mesmerizing (have a look at one of the compilations, below). They touch you emotionally with their fleeting, fragile beauty, and keep you wanting to watch more. THIS is what makes people engage, people share, people appreciate what you’re doing. Because you (the brand) did something for them (instead of something for you)…you made them feel something. And they responded in kind with submissions, appreciation, and all of the rest. There’s the secret, I think: make things that matter to people, and you will be rewarded.

Ad of the Day – May 21 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: 1861 United
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: IKEA
  • Name: “Toilet”

Why I like it: Ah, yes. this is what happens when an agency doesn’t settle for executing the brief, but goes further. In this case, the flipped things on their head and instead of “bringing the people into the store, they brought the store to the people”. It might seem like a nice stunt, but it was done during Italy’s most important design expo. The people at the expo are exactly the type of influencers that take a small, inexpensive “stunt” like this one and amplify it to make the brand talked about and famous. Great thinking, and superb execution from a small Milan agency which we had previously featured for another (more conventional) ad for IKEA. This one has awards in its future – Bravo!

Ad of the Day – January 27 (Milan)

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: Kube Libre
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Client: Fiat Panda
  • Name: “This is the Italy we like”

Why I like it:This ad would fit perfectly in my previous post about patriotic imagery in advertising, it’s a perfect example of the “rallying cry” approach. As such, I thought it was really, really nice. Keep in mind this is going to run in Italy, as part of a widespread campaign to launch the new Fiat Panda in that country. I don’t see how this doesn’t generate a powerful response, because it hits all the right notes: the cinematography has a nicely lyrical quality to it, as does the writing, it’s well branded, it’s emotionally persuasive, it has a powerful core idea that translates to multiple communications channels, and (in this case perhaps most importantly), it’s very emotionally charged. It transcends the category and dares to reach higher. Fiat in Italy has the credibility to attempt such a feat (not everyone does), and I think they do it in a very ballsy, artistic way. It reminds me of the Chrysler “Made in Detroit” mini-masterpiece from last year. Great work from a Milan based shop that I wasn’t familiar with – I sure am now. Well done, Kube Libre!