The Last Ad of the Day, part 1 of 2: February 27 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

As of tomorrow, Ad of the Day will be taking a leave of absence. It will re-emerge at some point in the future: still focused on celebrating great creativity from around the world, but with a different format, focus and scope. For more on this, and learnings gathered in the last three and a half years, click here for Part 2.

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: McCann
  • Location: London
  • Client: Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
  • Name: Buy them a delegate pass
  • Category: Print/OOH
  • Why I like it: I’m in awe of this series of print ads. It’s the disease of our industry and its cure, all rolled into one. This campaign is quite narrowly targeted, and it’s not going to change the world…but it’s so enjoyable and packs so many of the ingredients of superior work. Let’s count some of them: a) wonderful art direction: the colors, the styling, the casting, the expressions, the way the copy box “hangs” on the people…impossible to miss and so nicely crafted. b) rich insight: shining a light on the hypocrisy and lack of ambition in our industry is bold and incredibly impactful, because it comes from a deep truth. We all know these folks, some of us have even been these folks. Nothing as powerful as a carefully placed mirror into one’s soul. c) inspired writing: just the right dash of truthful aggression, delivered with humor, poignancy and a hopeful/tongue-in-cheek call to action. Marvelous. d) knowledge of your audience: nothing wrong with being niche if you fully invest in the specificity. It’s a thought-provoking, timely challenge to agencies as they start planning for Cannes. e) humor: so hard to make funny work. But when it works it’s a joy – in this case with the right mix of snarky and cheery. f) business sense: it has to link back to the brand/benefit, otherwise it’s just babble. And the message that Cannes can be the antidote with a good “return on creativity” is a good one. In conclusion: a great set of print ads, that manages to be funny and deep at the same time. Sign me up!

Ad of the Day: January 30 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

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Click here to go to the web site

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: N/A (Produced by Unit9)
  • Location: London
  • Client: Casio G-Shock
  • Name: Five Minutes
  • Category: Interactive Film
  • Why I like it: Is it advertising? Well let’s see: There is a story being told. There are multiple elements which grab your interest and keep you engaged. The product/ brand plays a central role in the action. It leaves you with a good feeling for the brand, and a sense that your time and attention were not wasted. Sure sounds like advertising to me, and of the good kind! The fact that the experience feels like a cross between a video game and a movie is just proof that innovation is the lifeblood our industry, and we have more outlets than ever to reach consumers with great ideas that sell.

Ad of the Day: January 28 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Virgin Airlines
  • Name: Let it fly
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Hook them in quickly, build entertaining momentum to draw them in further, and deliver your line during the climax, which will have your brand seamlessly woven into it. Somewhat easy to describe, hard as hell to pull it off. But they sure do here. I love the line “life doesn’t come to you, so go to it.” It’s such a perfect call to action: it feels real, it’s inspiring, and it brings to life the role of the brand in a very credible way. But you can’t just toss it out there and hope people care. That’s where the entertainment comes in. From the music, to the pace, to the humor and more, everything about the first minute has you leaning in all the way into the punchline. Expertly done. 

Ad of the Day: December 10 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Maille Mustard
  • Name: Be a memorable guest
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: When all else fails, be funny. Make people laugh. In the ad above, the brand/product integration is almost non-existent, and comes in only at the very end. At that point, you could plug 100 products at the end of that scene and the ad would still work. Normally this is a recipe for a disastrous recall, and an inefficient ad. And yet…this ad is hilarious. The laughter comes, the brain opens up, we lean forward towards the TV, and (shockingly) we subconsciously seek out and take in the advertiser that shared this chuckle with us, as a sort of retroactive gratitude. And thus somehow, implausibly, it works. It’s a high risk maneuver, and you shouldn’t make it a habit – but when all else fails…

Ad of the Day: November 11 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Guinness
  • Name: Munster
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Sometimes it feels like they’re playing with a loaded deck. Guinness, Irish pride, sponsorship of home nations rugby…it all seems so perfect together that the ads practically write themselves, right? Wrong. Any good creative team could maybe come up with a good advertising cocktail using these ingredients, but the real magic comes from the little details, and that takes tons of talent. The precise storytelling, the way the film focuses as much on the faces of the fans as on the action in the pitch, the dramatic use of special effects, the black and white cinematography that so subtly ads to the branding, the stirring score, and more…each of these decisions made correctly, are what make the difference between good enough and great. Because good enough is not good enough.

 

Ad of the Day: November 7 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

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Click the image above, or click here to see the video

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: London
  • Client: Honda Civic type R
  • Name: A double sided story
  • Category: Web Film
  • Why I like it: There’s cool, and then there’s advertising cool, and this one is definitely the latter. It’s cool with a purpose. Branded, purposeful cool. So you need to introduce an “evil twin” variant of a popular family car? You want to communicate this duality in a way that catches the attention and gets talked about? Heck, you even would like for people to remember the letter “R” if possible? Well, here you have it. A nice story, shot expertly two times over, delivered through an innovative, blow-your-mind, forced-engagement use of the media channel. A wonderful combination of strategy, creative idea, execution, and media delivery – the likes one rarely sees. More of this, please!

 

Ad of the Day: November 6 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: John Lewis (retailer)
  • Name: Monty the Penguin
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Surrender. There’s a bit of a grinch inside all of us that initially thinks “oh, here we go again with the Christmas adverts, the commercialization of the season, etc.” But then you watch this magical little film for John Lewis…and you’re swept away. Wondrous storytelling, resting on the fine edge between the expected and the surprising. Expertly produced, blending warm cinematography, inspired casting, and seamless CGI. And a separate note on the remake of John Lennon’s “Real Love”…just magical. John Lewis (and adam&eveDDB) are quickly establishing a Christmas tradition with their Christmas ad…it’s not cheap or easy, but the value to the brand must be priceless. Merry early Christmas.

PS – If you’re curious about the commercial side of this effort, click on the screen at the end of the clip and prepare to be amazed. Yes, there is a Monty the Penguin toy, surely destined to sell out. But a million other elements, from apps, to in-store, to experiential, to charity. This is not just an ad, it’s a seasonal marketing platform. Bravo.

PPS- Thanks AJ Coyne for the heads up!

Ad of the Day: October 30 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: White Label
  • Location: London
  • Client: Laphroaig (Scotch whisky)
  • Name: Opinions welcome/Halloween
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Of all the Halloween ads out there, this is among the best. Far from being a complicated prank or moody cinematic piece, the format is extremely familiar: people sampling the product and giving their honest opinion. So what makes this ad so deliciously different? a) the unexpectedly frank descriptions of the product (“it smells good!…uh…no it doesn’t”) – this is the key to the campaign because it manages to pique your curiosity while imbuing the product with a very complex, nuanced character, b) the quirky, colorful personalities… something tells me a few of those folks are like that year round… and c) the inspired decision to let one of the longer stories serve as a narrative through-line, helping to hold the entire ad together. I love and admire this campaign for the courage it has to speak about the product with brutal (and actually extremely compelling) honesty. It’s unprecedented and extremely disruptive. If you like it, here is the launch (non-Halloween) film from a few months ago.

 

Ad of the Day: October 28 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: KFC
  • Name: Fans
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This lovely ad understands what effective “branding” truly means. When a product/brand is credibly involved in the climax of a well-told story…that’s branding. When the brand makes a natural, unforced appearance only towards the end of the film, yet people the next day are saying to each other “did you catch that KFC ad about the brothers?”…that’s branding. It doesn’t have to be about making an appearance in the first 10 seconds, or plastering the logo on the screen, or saying the name three times, or any other such crutch. It’s a simple two step process: a) tell the most amazing story that you can, in the most amazing way, without compromising. If that means the brand comes in early that’s fine, if it comes in late that’s fine too! b) credibly insert your brand into the moment of peak attention…if the brand can credibly be the catalyst for that climactic moment, even better. And that’s all it takes. It’s a trap to think of “need more brand” , or “need less brand”…it’s about the right amount of brand, in the right place. Make an amazing piece of content, give a brand a proper role, and sit back and congratulate yourself when people talk about “…that KFC ad about the brothers.”

 

Ad of the Day: October 21 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Haig Club (whisky)
  • Name: Reunion
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Come for the glitz, stay for the story! It’s tough to resist the glitz and glamour dripping from every second of the ad. From the beautiful scenery, to the mega celebrity, to the color palette, to the soundtrack…it all feels and looks like a high-end perfume ad. But the real hook here is the narrative thread: it’s the classic “team coming together” sequence from so many films, which reels you in and keeps you looking ahead towards that point of convergence. The film cleverly sidesteps the common pitfall of these types of ads (all style, no branded substance!) by placing the product right in the middle of that point of convergence between the characters. Expertly done – it’s a pleasure to watch a lot of money get well-spent!