Why I like it: A wonderful, wonderful short film commemorating a momentous event in automotive history…the manufacture of the very last VW “Kombi”. For a vehicle nearly as ubiquitous and culturally relevant as its beetle-shaped cousin…how do you mark such an event, and hit the right tone? This film is how. We’re shown a wonderful retrospective on the history and some of the very real lives this van touched along the way. But what really sets the film apart is that it manages to be imbued with the personality of the van, in a way that I wouldn’t have thought possible. It personalizes the vehicle and fills the film with cheery, forward-looking optimism. The end is both respectful of the past, pragmatic about the present, and doggedly optimistic about the future. The last line is…sublime. Hats off to my friends at ALMAP BBDO for living up to the legend of the Kombi!
Why I like it: Almost exactly 1 year ago (May 24 of last year) we shared a great ad by the same agency and client. It used a lovely visual narrative and an innovative execution style to engage you fully, all while clearly bringing to life the storytelling potential of Getty’s vast image archive (Click here to see “From love to Bingo“). A year later, they’ve done it again, this time showcasing Getty’s video library. A normal creative team would have taken a winning formula and ran with it again…why not? But these folks at ALMAP are much better than normal: They kept what was good, and then put a new wrinkle on it to make it better: the split-screen device gives you a whole new layer of narrative depth and visual engagement. Even if you begin by thinking this is a repeat from last year…by the end you’re fully swept up in the moment. So many great lessons here: from the appeal of narrative, to the magnet-like pull of great music, to the importance of weaving the brand/benefit into the ad, to the power of leveraging deep human emotions. Great work from Sao Paulo, yet again.
Client: Casa do Zezinho (educational foundation for needy kids)
Why I like it: (watch the ad first) Fantastic. The gritty, hidden-camera execution is quite inspired: just as you’re sensing that you’ve “seen this before” there comes a delightful twist that makes you smile and lean in closer. The notion of having “other ways to help children” is also quite different and empowering, which is key in breaking through the clutter of public service advertising. Yet what truly hits the mark here is the inspiring emotional appeal. Not guilt-inducing emotional appeal, which often works but leaves you feeling a little blue. Not horror-inducing emotional appeal, which often fails because you reject the message, if only to spare your overloaded senses. But the optimistic, almost uplifting emotional appeal of showing the inherent goodness and solidarity in random strangers. The kindness of those who stopped to help…the way two of them gently place their hand on the shoulder of the kids before they walk away…it’s touching, it’s real, and it works.
Why I like it: Back in April 5 we featured 3 great print ads done by Leo Burnett forFiat Original Parts. This time it’s for VW Original parts, so I guess this is a very large industry in Brazil. Either that or creative awards season is around the corner (wink, wink). Even though this sets of the Adboardingpass Scamocity radar, I wanted to share it with you because they really did find a pretty creative twist to deliver the message of “imitations suck”, and they did so in a way that is new and gets people talking. These days we are so over-bombarded with messages today that if you don’t take a different angle on things it’s likely you will not be noticed. So congrats to the guys at Almap for this stunt – it’s the type of oblique creative thinking that is offering a peek into the future frontiers of advertising. Some of it may work, some of it may not pan out – but it’s worth trying, or we’ll never know.
Why I like it: The good: “A good story, well told”, is one of the simplest attempts at defining good advertising. Well, this one fits the bill: a lovely, fully textured story told in a very unique, arresting, lovingly crafted, almost incredible-that-they-made-it-work manner. Best of all, it so clearly illustrates the product/brand benefit! This is a great example of the theory that great creativity lowers your mental filters and opens your mind to receiving a marketing message. And major extra points for giving this the flair of being “from love to bingo”…a mediocre approach would have been a generic “from birth to death”, or “from first sight to last kiss”, etc. Simply superb, and honestly Almap BBDO has us used to this by now! Now…the bad: I really hesitated in including this truly fantastic ad… Why? I’m so sorry, but this sets off my “Scamocity scale” in a big way. I suspect it’s what I call a “Mother Teresa” scam, whereby flower shops, dog pounds, abuse shelters, and yes even stock photo companies around the world are gifted these fantastic ideas (and even finished executions) by top creative shops. Does it diminish the end result? You decide… but look for a post on this topic very soon!
Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random 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!
A slow Friday, not the same level of pickings as other days. But here’s a VW spot for you from Brazil:
Dad “So excuse me, but if anyone should feel embarassed of someone else here, that would be me, eh?”
VO: “New Space Cross – it’s up for whatever adventure you dream up!”
Why I like it: This ad is not perfect, far from it. But I was drawn to the well acted, natural tone of the commercial. A real, very human insight that likely resonates with the target audience for this car – old enough to have the money for it, but still young enough to feel entitled to some fun. This one might have been an ok storyboard, but really came together in the execution.