Ad of the Day – February 11 (Johannesburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Draftfcb
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Client: Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Name: Border Post
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Storytelling. It’s really so important. Unless the product is truly, and I mean truly exceptional…just showing it in action is not enough. Too many car ads are extended beauty shots. A complete waste, because few consumers will notice the ad (since it looks like every other car ad,) and even if they notice, they won’t care (since they likely don’t find the car as beautiful as the manufacturer does.) But an interesting story can be a Trojan Horse to the consumer’s mind. The cinematic quality in this Toyota ad grabs your attention and keeps you there for 90 seconds, even through the somewhat predictable chase sequence. And while you’re paying attention, the “car shots” are delivered. Storytelling. If you’re in a category where it has all been done before, it’s possibly the only way to do something that hasn’t.
Advertisements

Ad of the Day – September 4 (Johannesburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

bar_2 (1)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Client: Airwaves gum
  • Name: Bar
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: If there was an “elegance” sub-category in print awards, I would submit this one for consideration. Notice how this ad takes care of the tricky basics so deftly: a great visual hook, an unconventional headline placement right in the middle to deliver the message with power, and an interesting claim born of a product truth (menthol,) brought to life very clearly through the image. But notice also that it is all done with great flair. The art direction, the typeface, the styling, the photographic style, the casting…it’s the attention to these little details that makes the difference between a functional ad, and a finely crafted one that is a joy to see, share and remember. Well done to our friends in South Africa!

Ad of the Day – August 8 (Cape Town)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Brandlab
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Client: Nedgroup Investments
  • Name: Hudson
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Ah, the power of storytelling! Let’s say I tell you I’ve got an ad for a financial institution…[yawn] With a tagline of “Make thing happen” [zzzzzzz], and the ad conveys the value of  “calm, informed decisions” and “in the right hands, everything is possible” [drool, snore] Fine, let’s try a different approach…the ad depicts the “miracle on the Hudson”, where a passenger plane leaving Manhattan blows all engines in mid-takeoff, can’t make it to a runway, and within seconds the captain makes the decision to glide into a crash-landing on the Hudson river…[wait, WHAT?! Let me see that!] I can’t recall an example where a story so clearly lifts the mundane and cliché into an interesting, sensible, even compelling message. It works because you’ve got the charming captain delivering the message. And because his qualities perfectly match those which the bank wants to be known for. But the real star here is the story. It’s a compelling, gripping tale that captures the imagination. We are all used to the idea of famous people in ads, mainly as an attention-getter. How about “employing” famous stories?

 

PS – Thanks to @Dan_FranDisco for the find!

Ad of the Day – July 22 (Johannesburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: OwenKessel
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Client: Amstel lager
  • Name: Chef
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: There is much about this that seems like a formulaic story of overcoming adversity, holding on to your dream, etc….and yet, it totally worked for me. There is something different about the way this is put together that makes the film immediately interesting, even inspiring. That “something” is hard to pin down: is it the great music track, that builds and flows with the story without overpowering the piece? Is it the choice to have both the original VO and the English version overlapping each other, adding a genuine feel and bringing us closer to the protagonist’s story? Or is it the great casting and tight editing, which gives depth and human interest to the kitchen crew and makes us care about them during their celebration? It’s all that and much more – who said this stuff was easy? Skeptics may say that there is not enough branding, or that the brand message is similar to others in the category, or even that people will walk away thinking it’s an ad for the ubiquitous Amstel Light, and not for Amstel Lager- and they’d probably be right, too. But on the other hand, this film got noticed, got shared , and made us aware that there is such a thing as Amstel Lager. In this category, that’s called an auspicious start.

Bonus content: check out the other film in this series. Really nice too, with a slightly different structure and energy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJFVjotVtxQ

Ad of the Day – December 11 (Johannesburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Client: Doom (insecticide)
  • Name: “Wall of shoes”
  • Category: OOH, Ambient

Why I like it: It’s an original idea, on brief, well executed, and stretched beyond the boundaries of the outdoor medium by engaging consumers further via radio and social media. So seemingly simple but so rarely seen. I worked for over 4 years on insect control brands and have seen probably hundreds of ideas of all types for communicating efficacy against roaches – yet never anything like this. I’m puzzled as to why not, when it’s so obvious, and so relatively simple and inexpensive to execute. Perhaps therein lies the brilliance: not so much in the idea, but in the doing. In overcoming one-thousand-and-one objections and obstacles and problems to actually get the idea built and posted. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, slowed to inaction by fear of “what if” – but not in this case. Kudos to the folks at TBWA South Africa for pulling it off!

Ad of the Day – December 6 (Cape Town)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

william_aotw

sailor_aotw

churchill_aotw_0

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Lowe
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Client: The Cape Times (newspaper)
  • Name: “You can’t get any closer to the news”
  • Category: Print, OOH

Why I like it: Brilliant. In general one should strive to create work that is original in every way, a uniquely singular idea. But if you can’t get there (and let’s face it, this is quite rare) what can also work really well is to take something very common…and put a unique and original spin on it. This way you benefit from the awareness of the former, and the impact of the latter.  In this campaign, the message of “bringing you close to the news” is delivered in a way that is clever, playful, accessible and…so simple and obvious ( another sign that you may have struck creative gold: if the reaction is “wow…that’s a cool twist!…but…it’s so simple, so obvious…someone must have done it before!” Once you check and realize that it actually hasn’t been done at all…run with it before someone else does it!). Good stuff from our friends in Cape Town! 


Ad of the Day – September 7 (Jakarta)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey
  • Location: Jakarta
  • Client: [watch the ad first!]      Allianz (insurance)
  • Name: “Car thieves”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: It’s best to watch this ad fresh, just like a viewer would at home. If found this one pretty charming: it dramatizes the benefit in a very simple, almost obvious manner – and yet despite the simplicity it manages to surprise. Clear proof that something seemingly as dull as anti-theft insurance programs can be given a fresh spin, if you’re good, if you execute well, and if you have a little good luck along the way. One can never have enough “clever simplicity in advertising”. We’re happy to end the week with our first-ever Ad of the Day from Indonesia!

Ad of the Day – September 5 (Cape Town)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

 

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: FoxP2
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Client: MWeb (a cloud storage provider)
  • Name: “Full of goodness. Rediscover Dairy”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: Sure, it’s a little “scammy”…but I think it’s well worth sharing because there’s something about it that is pretty unique. It seems like a pretty simple print ad, with a central image paid off by a small tagline in the bottom right. Certainly the image stops you on your tracks, the kinetic motion of the milk coming out of the mouth like vomit is not something I’ve ever seen (in a print ad..), and once you’re hooked you’re drawn in to notice the person, the bleak surroundings…and a question starts building in your mind about what this is all about. Very cool. But what really sets this ad apart is that it’s a sort of “double negative” approach to selling a product: The milk is shown in a negative way (spewing out of someone’s mouth in disgust)…but…this comes from a negative person (whale killer, child exploiter…). So, a negative times a negative equals…a positive! It’s just like math! The tagline helps you understand that this is all actually a good thing…it’s happening because milk is wholesome! The entire logic thing actually clicks in your brain much faster than I just described it, and it’s just intriguing because it’s such a logical contortion…which somehow…works. Wow. Second interesting print ad in a row from the same agency in Cape Town, I want whatever they’re drinking!

Ad of the Day – August 29 (Cape Town)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

 

  

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: FoxP2
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Client: MWeb (a cloud storage provider)
  • Name: “Make sure you never have to do this again”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: It catches your attention, and forces you to read the copy, where it delivers the message that pays it all off, in a branded way, and with a chuckle. That’s all you need. Two  thoughts that came to mind as I appreciated this series of ads. 1) One often hears that you need to be telegraphic, to tell the story in an interesting and immediate flash of brilliance, before the fickle consumer turns the page. But…I think this might not be enough for great print. You need a two-step process where you hook the attention…without giving it all away. That’s how you force them to read the copy. And that’s where you introduce your product as a central part of the story. If not – they’re just going to remember the very clever visual metaphor/analogy, and not that ad about your product. 2) It occurs to me that in print the very best images not only communicate the message of the moment…but create a story in your mind…set your mind thinking about the before and after, the whole universe that surrounds this one shot. A couple of buddies backpacking across India, daring each other to eat the first thing they see when they arrive to a village…the friend barely containing his laughter as he takes the picture…the jokes at the gastro-suffering that surely followed…it goes on an on. Same with the poor overweight backpacker that reached the peak, cursing to the heavens in his mind, but still gives a feeble thumbs up to fake his good cheer…or the guy in the dolphin suit wondering if it’s all really worthwhile. You could write whole paragraphs triggered by these shots. And this has to count for something. Inspiring work coming at us from beautiful Cape Town!

Ad of the Day – April 24 (Cape Town)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Client: Stimorol (chewing gum)
  • Name: “You decide the flavour”

Why I like it: There is something to be said for the “WTF School of Creativity”. Skittles and others have mastered it, and there’s no denying that it stops you on your tracks. Of course, the trick is doing it right: you need to make people ask WTF???…and then you have to give them the answer. That’s the key. Without the answer, it’s just like so much of Japanese advertising – a completely surreal puzzle (maybe it’s that I don’t speak Japanese…but I kinda doubt it – that shit is weird!). But with the answer, the payoff is so satisfying. In this case, there’s a huge WTF? paid off by the different flavors message for the gum. Very nice. Well done for our Ogilvy friends in Cape Town, previously featured here for their Carling Black label work. Cheers!