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. 
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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 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 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!

Ad of the Day – February 21 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: VW
  • Name: Parachute
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The most powerful truths are often those that are staring us right in the face. When it comes to talking about cost, marketers and creatives often prefer to talk about “value” instead, usually contorting the message into crazy positions in order to make the cost more palatable. “You get what you pay for” is such a powerful, universally recognized truth, and yet you rarely see it mentioned. Why? Because, it takes guts and self-assurance to come out and say it (luckily VW has plenty of both.) Of course, it’s not only in the what, but also in the how. This ad is pitch-perfect in its use of humor and simple metaphors to bring to life this truth. A little gem that turns the table of “cost-apologists”…well done! 

Ad of the Day – November 12 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Adam&EveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: John Lewis(British retail store)
  • Name: The Bear & The Hare
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The chubby young man with the thick glasses steps nervously towards the microphone. The audience looks at him sternly. The judges sneer with thinly veiled contempt. He starts singing. Less than five seconds later, a wave of sweet, happy surprise sweeps visibly over the auditorium as the young man’s beautiful voice soars. The judges lean forward with raised eyebrows…the audience is enraptured. As the smiles spread, the expectation builds…as everyone waits for the climactic end-note, the one that wraps it all together. Can he hit it? The young man nails it, and joy…yes joy, erupts, drowned out by cheers and applause…We see this every single week at American Idol, Voice of China, or UK’s got talent. It’s a window onto human nature – we want these singers to be good. So when you hear people say that they hate advertising, and can’t wait to skip the disruptive adverts, think of this: people only hate crappy, mediocre advertising. The dirty little secret is that people love to be inspired, and they desperately want the advertising to be good. And it’s our job to live up to that. Like they do in this lovely Christmas ad for retailer John Lewis. I approach it with mild skepticism perhaps, fearing the ham-handed attempts at emotional manipulation so common at this time of the year. Instantly I’m intrigued by the lovely animation, of world-class quality and blended with live action scenery in a very subtle way. And I’m completely disarmed by the music…oh that music. You could sell me anything with that background track! Slowly the story grips you, and I start thinking “please nail that high note!”. I want it to be excellent, I want it to all come together. And then the ad nails the high note…you know what it was for me? Not when the bear sees Christmas for the first time…that was amazing, but expected. It was the alarm clock. It’s what made the story make sense. It’s what brought the brand into the storyline in a credible way. It’s what connected everything, it felt true, it was honest to the brand, and it flowed seamlessly. Masterfully done. Applause and cheers.

 

Ad of the Day – August 13 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Marmite
  • Name: End Marmite Neglect
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: What a delight it must be to work for a product that so gleefully accepts its polarizing image. Most people haven’t tried Marmite (myself included): it’s a spread for food/bread, supposedly very dark, strong and salty. The taste is not for everyone, and the brand has taken this to heart by acknowledging that “you either love it or you hate it.” In the latest campaign, they expertly parody pet-rescue reality shows to highlight the shocking truth: “Unloved and forgotten, thousands of Marmite jars across the UK are being neglected. This year alone, over 1 in 10 Brits admit they haven’t opened their jar in over three months.” As with all parodies, the beauty is in the details, which are captured here in all their glory – the shame, the self-righteousness, the misery, the mock drama…Yet all of these details are not self-serving, they are there to highlight the product in all its divisive glory. The brutal honesty is capped with the campaign tagline, which implores you to love the product, hate it…just don’t forget it. Refreshingly honest, expertly executed, delightfully cheeky, in a very British way. Loved it!

Bonus content: This is but one introductory video to a larger set of content, where they take the reality show concept further (interviews with the new recruit, the neighbors, etc.) If you like the above check out the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MarmiteOfficial?feature=watch

Ad of the Day – May 20 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Pedigree
  • Name: “Bad Dog, Good Dog”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Classy. Even for those not the target audience, it’s hard to not be taken in by the superb executional flair of the “symmetric” narrative device. You don’t quite perceive it as it’s initially happening, but once it dawns on you in the second half, it’s a joy to follow the narrative through to the end. And, having “bad food…good food!” as the pivot-point of the ad…brilliant. A wonderful narrative device that satisfies the creative director and the brand manager in equal measure – not something you see every day! It also happens to be the difference between a normal dog food ad and a superior dog food ad. These little details take a lot of talent and make all the difference.

Ad of the Day – May 13 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Adam&EveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: VW
  • Name: “Baby”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Terrific. In world filled with mediocre ads, this high standard is actually becoming the norm for VW, which is truly amazing because it’s so hard to do even one time. This one is the latest in a long string of ads that feel incredibly human: both accessible and completely universal. They are well-branded. They are expertly crafted with little details made to count (for me it was the zombie-like opening of the eyes…and you know the crying comes one second later…or the haggard and resigned expression of the dad, or the “brothers-in-arms” knowing look between the two dads…all the little things that matter so much!) They often show a minor product feature as a way into the heart (while getting the branding job done), instead of featuring the cliché car talking points that lead to a cliché ad. They have a light, happy vibe about them, always going for the heart-warming smile instead of the burst of laughter. Above all, they generate brand love for VW. If you’ve had kids, chances are this ad will work for you, some little detail will trigger a smile and a memory…and in the midst of that, “VW” will register. And that’s a lot to ask for in the automotive industry, where ads tend to blend into one another.