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…
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Ad of the Day: December 9 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Weightwatchers
  • Name: If you’re happy
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: People’s relationship with food and weight loss can be quite emotional and complex – it’s a potential minefield for advertisers. So if you’re a brand selling a weight loss system, the way to do it is to skirt around the issue. Metaphors are good, because they say without directly saying. Also perhaps humor, to disarm and make palatable the tricky parts. You can even make use of visual cliches that have become widely accepted. You could do that. OR…if you’re courageous…if you’re really good…you can dive right into the middle of the cultural tension, as they do here. Call it out clearly, dive into it, and revel in it. It’s not easy, and it’s bound to raise some level of controversy. But it’s the definition of disruptive, and by being so it gives the brand a stage, not to mention a leadership aura. Hard to say how it will turn out, but I hope their courage is rewarded.

 

Ad of the Day: December 4 (Toronto)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Tribal Worldwide
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: Fry Defender: the first french fry security system
  • Category: Film/mobile
  • Why I like it: It’s hard to get this type of web video to work – so it warms my heart when it does happen. McDonald’s is looking for different ways to drive consumer engagement with the brand, and even enhance the experience in-store (anything to get minds off of obesity, calories, food safety, etc.) If you can get a laugh, or people talk about it/share the video – or even download the app and try it out with a group of friends next time they’re in the store…it’s all a big win. It makes sense to try for it. But none of this works if the video isn’t funny…and that’s where the magic comes in. The casting, the acting (love the expressions of the guy with the white shirt), the copywriting (“Frimes”…classic), the editing, the overall tone…all of these little bits of inspired spontaneous fun are what brings the whole thing together. Well done.

 

Ad of the Day: December 2 (Singapore)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TBWA/Singapore
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: Airbnb
  • Name: Welcome to airbnb
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Mojo. Momentum. Being on a roll. I’m not talking about sports…I’m talking about brands. Airbnb has it of late. When you see good work popping up – different ideas, different mediums, different locales…but a lot of interesting, disruptive stuff from the same brand – then you know that something is afoot. These things don’t happen by coincidence: almost always there is a central marketing figure that has a vision and the means to go after it. Like moths to a flame, the best creative talent is instantly drawn to gifted marketers that talk the talk and walk the walk. The output is creative success, followed by commercial success. In the case of Airbnb, they have the good luck of now having that gifted guy to set the vision…the same guy who most recently took Coca-Cola to the top of the marketing world. Watch this space!

Ad of the Day: November 25 (Chicago)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Downtown Partners
  • Location: Chicago
  • Client: Get Covered Illinois (organization urging people to enroll in healthcare coverage)
  • Name: Luck Health Plan. You’ll be ok. Probably.
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Capturing the attention and motivating millenials is the obsession of our time, and there are as many techniques for it as there are agencies and marketers. I love this one from Chicago…which pushes the “self-aware/ironic/tongue-in-cheek” envelope extremely far and succeeds in capturing the attention. (Whether it will succeed in motivating the desired action remains to be seen – but one thing is for sure: if you don’t have their willing attention, you have no chance at all of getting them to act.) What courage it takes to play this card and not give away the punchline at all! If you go to url, you’ll see that the joke continues even in the online space, although finally the reveal comes, once you’re well inclined to act. Really gutsy, risky and fresh…that’s what it takes these days to even have a chance.

 

Ad of the Day: November 21 (Oslo)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: Canal Digital
  • Name: The Silver Hand
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: It’s amazing that this ad works as well as it does. Sure, there is a solid insight (fear of missing out), a simple creative idea, wonderful storytelling and deft use of humor, excellent pacing (they don’t rush it, letting the joke build over time), and a logical, welcome role for the brand (a scheduling service so you can catch your shows.) And yet…there are so many ways in which this could have fallen flat, or simply failed to take off. As with all things comedic, one degree off and it doesn’t work at all. Luckily for us they nailed it: somehow “the silver hand” becomes an instantly believable meme that ties everything ties together. Fun stuff. Have a good weekend, everyone.

 

Ad of the Day: November 20 (New York)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Tiffany
  • Name: A Tiffany Holiday
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: So lovely…a 60 second demonstration of when everything goes right in our business. Every single choice made helps to elevate this far above the standard branded video: The use of animation gives the film a dreamy quality which is exactly right for the season. The gracefulness of the illustration evokes a timeless, nostalgic sense of romance. Both the brand (through the color palette) and the products (through clever, non-illustrated inserts) are featured throughout to help drive the action…but neither ever bursts the bubble of emotion that is being created. And the marvelous song choice manages to be cheerful, nostalgic, dreamy, inspiring…all at once. It all adds up to a marvelous, whimsical holiday message that cuts through the seasonal clutter and lives up to the standards of the brand. Huge congratulations to my colleagues in Ogilvy New York!

 

Ad of the Day: November 18 (Shanghai)

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Factory Design Labs
  • Location: Shanghai
  • Client: The North Face
  • Name: Never one place, always one jacket
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: In “advertising dreamland” every brief would focused on one simple-yet-compelling benefit, and every ad would tell this story in a deeply emotional way. In the real world, brands often have complementary and overlapping messages to convey: whether it be a product benefit, a reason-to-believe, an emotional payoff, or even a brand positioning. Suddenly the odds suddenly are against you achieving greatness. But there are always two wild-cards that can still be played. One is talent: employing truly talented people (this could be a creative, a director, a producer, etc.) with a disruptive vision for how to make your film stand out and be special. The other is courage: having the courage to really let go, to trust those people to deliver their vision, even when it feels risky, or uncomfortable, or when it’s hard to see how it’s all going to come together. Here’s a film for The NorthFace, wanting to plug two different lines of outerwear (with demos, please!) along with a higher-level statement about exploration and adventure within the city and out in the wild. The way this puzzle was solved through inspired creative execution is a nice example of how unleashing talent can still get you there, when all else fails.

 

 

Ad of the Day: November 12 (Oslo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: DMB (Bank)
  • Name: The 24 hour ad break
  • Category: Media/content
  • Why I like it: So great. An example of individual components meshing together to deliver a disruptive branded benefit. User generated content with advice is interesting, but not revolutionary. A benefit of 24 hour customer service sounds quite standard. Even a 24 hour media buy, which is quite unique, could come off as gimmicky if not backed up by a strong idea. And yet when put together, all of a sudden you’ve got a captive audience being served interesting and useful content which ties to your brand name and product offering, and the 24 hour format makes the combination incredibly disruptive (remember, if you’re not noticed, you’re not even in the game…). They probably blew their yearly media budget on this, so trying something so new must have taken heaps of courage. But the results speak for themselves.

 

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.