Ad of the Day – November 19 (Buenos Aires)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: JWT
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Client: Brahma beer
  • Name: Drink up life, like you drink a Brahma
  • Category: Film
  • Translation:

Yesterday’s gone
Tomorrow is not yet here
You only have today
So enjoy it
Enjoy it a lot
Live more freely
Enjoy the after office…
…and the office
Have the best Saturday night…
…and a great Wednesday, 3:38pm
Think of a great tomorrow
And a great today
Remove drama from your life
Add comedy
Laugh more
Worry less
Waste time with friends…or win time.
Drink up life, like you drink up a Brahma

  • Why I like it: I love manifesto advertising, a great many of my favorite ads ever are manifestos. Many of us may look at this beer ad and think “It’s too generic. It doesn’t say anything about the product. It doesn’t give you a reason to choose it versus the competition. It’s a bunch of cliches that don’t really connect with the beer, etc.”. But I really believe 22 year old guys and girls in Paraguay (the target of this ad) will look at it and say “hell yeah!” A manifesto is a statement of belief by a brand, and this can be so powerful because, when you’re in a commoditized category like beer, beliefs are infinitely more important than functional benefits. Trust me, for a 22 year old, beer is basically beer. It’s all pretty much the same. Nobody cares about your hops, or your brewing process, or even your refreshing quality. But if you’re talking to the heart, if you’re talking at a deeper level, if you’re saying something that others aren’t…and you mange to connect?…this will make a huge difference.


Ad of the Day – August 24 (Buenos Aires)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Madre (the Argentine outpost of Mother)
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Client: Matarazzo (a brand of pasta)
  • Name: “Rock the pasta”
  • Category: Film
  • Translation: With eggs (a wordplay also meaning “with guts”), with veal, with friends, with family, get together…rock it. Matarazzo…people want to get together.

Why I like it:Wow, for a commercial about pasta this is really pretty bad-ass! Almost a rock music video/mood film rather than a typical pasta ad about wholesome ingredients and your sweet Italian grandmother’s recipe. Cool editing, camera tricks and of course the rocking sound track really grab your attention…and then, subtly, the message of group bonding and getting together over Matarazzo pasta is delivered. One can debate the relative merits of this ad at communicating the brand, or specific product attributes, etc., but what is not for debate is that this ad is different, while still being delicious and showing off the food quite nicely. And if you’re a low involvement product like “pasta”, being different is just about the only way you’ll be given a chance to be first noticed, then heard, and perhaps even remembered, and hopefully then…purchased. Dare to be different – it’s not just good creativity, it’s good business. Great work from Madre BA to close out the week!

Ad of the Day – March 21 (Buenos Aires)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!


Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Y&R
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Client:
  • Name: “Festive Finale, a mega important message from the AMD…”

Why I like it: Let’s just say it’s “spot on” as far as capturing the computer usage habits of the target audience, so the relevance is high, (although you have to be familiar with the Mac operating system to really “get this” fully!) It’s also very well designed, with a very arresting visual that tells a joke in a cheeky manner, while also delivering the key message of the url, if somewhat subtly. But what most caught my eye was how this static print ad seemed to…move. In your brain, this is not a static image, you can see the disappearance of the naughty image. Pretty cool! (I’ve seen moving film ads basically work as static pieces, but it’s very seldom that you see an example of “dynamic” print advertising – here is another). Well done to the guys at Y&R in BA – and yes, I’m just going to assume that it was a bunch of guys that worked on this one!

Ad of the Day – December 6 (Buenos Aires)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest 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!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Client: BGH Air Conditioners (BGH is an electronic appliances brand)
  • Name: “Dads wearing tightie whities” (tightie whities = slips = tight underwear)
  • Translation:

VO: Summer arrives, and with it, the terror of every family…dads wearing tightie whities
SUPER: Dress them up with a BGH silent air

  • Why I like it: Let’s face it, air conditioners are not the most exciting product around, and I can think of 1,000 boring briefs and 1,000 resulting boring ads. But this one starts with a strong insight (we can be defenseless against the heat in summer) , builds with a great, funny creative idea (what is a more horrible result than your dad walking around in tightie whities?), and caps it off with a nice execution, including an epic soundtrack and slick black&white cinematography. That’s a talented agency, folks. And, importantly, a client that is clearly willing to take chances.  If this brand and this agency rings a bell, it’s because they were featured last week in this great case study, this time for microwaves.

Normally I don’t include campaigns, but I couldn’t resist sharing the second ad in this campaign. The translation is “Is there something more humiliating that seeing your dad act like a cool dude in front of your friends? Yes. When he does it in his tightie whities. Fathers in slips. Dress them up with a BGH silent air.

Product design in the hands of creatives? Hilarity ensues

In a previous post I wrote about how agencies should keep their eye on the ball and realize that everything they do should be geared towards developing great ideas that grow the client’s business.

The post stemmed from a quote about that more or less said “if the product isn’t good enough, we should help the client in creating a better product” – which I thought was bogus.

Well, looking through (a good Spanish language blog on advertising, by the way), I came across a very entertaining case study for BGH Microwaves in Argentina:

Faced with a request from a client to make an ad for a boring product with no differentiation, the creatives at Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi took it upon themselves to first “improve” the product, and then produce some very kitschy-licious ads! Continue reading

The “Zapruder” technique in advertising. A powerful shortcut to your gut!

As most of you will know, the Zapruder film is a hand-held film footage of the Kennedy assassination which, once shown to the public in 1975, became ingrained in the mind of everyone who was exposed to it. For those old enough, a whole slew of memories come flooding back at the very sight of these seconds of silent 8mm film.

Why do I bring up this sad piece of history? Because it reminds me of how certain historical images, footage and even sounds have such high emotional content that they act as time machines, bringing us back, immersing us, grabbing our attention. Many of them are sad (JFK), some are proud (man on the moon), and others are downright uplifting (fall of the Berlin wall, big national sporting wins, etc.) If we are seeking to touch people emotionally, these are a very powerful and effective shortcut to the place where emotion lies.

Now, it’s easy to decide to use these “shortcuts to the id”. It’s what you do when you get there that counts. Here are two different examples that I think work well in different ways. Both use sports memories as their flashback.

Peru: Bringing you in…and flipping it on its head – This was going to be an “Ad of the Day”, but there was more that needed to be said so it became the springboard for the whole post.

Now, to instantly get this example, you need to be a Peruvian male over 30, ok?

If you happen not to be…then know that Peru is a small but passionate soccer country. Their appearance in the 1978 world cup was the highlight of their history, and the very apex was a lovely free-kick goal in a victory against Scotland by “Nene” Cubillas. Watch the goal below carefully.

Remember, this is branded onto the brain of Peruvians. This is the most important goal in their history. Now watch the ad below: it was created at the government’s behest in response to a recent wave of violence which resulted in a death in a Peruvian stadium. It features the national hero Nene Cubillas reliving this historic moment, and it’s in Spanish, so for a version with subtitles click here.

Isn’t that just awesome? They tap into the emotion, they take you to that place. You’ve seen it 1,000 times before and know how it’s going to play out and are filling your lungs with pride…and then they switch it on you! History is changed! And it’s done to deliver a very powerful anti-violence message. Fantastic!

Argentina – an uncannily faithful recreation of a great moment – Back to soccer (I wrote earlier that sports were a powerful force in tapping emotions, didn’t I?) All Argentines remember Maradona’s second goal against England in the 86 world cup. It’s said by many (including myself) to be the greatest goal ever. If you need a refresher, have a look at it below. (an aside: below is also one of the best narrations of a goal you’ll ever hear)

Now watch this Coke ad. It’s in Spanish, but here’s the gist of it: Kid in the blue shirt gets into a pick-up game. Someone makes a hard foul and a guy goes “cool it, this is not the world cup here, we’re playing for a Coke”. “We’re playing for a Coke?” thinks our blue shirted hero…and then…

I loved everything about this ad from the first moment I saw it. Already the color of the shirt and the way he was dressed (short shorts!) made me think something was up. But then, from the very first dribble in mid-field on second 26 (seen in the still above), I knew exactly what this was about. It’s indelibly burned into my brain. The whole thing was fantastically executed. And thus, in one quick second, a tv borrows a treasure trove of good feeling from all consumers, and rides it out into a well delivered, feel-good message about coke. Seems simply in retrospect, but the magic is in the doing!

In summary, this so-called “Zapruder technique” (I just made that up, but the way, it’s not a real term!) is something that I think is a tremendously powerful shortcut into the world of emotions.

I’m surprised we don’t see it more often, because the rewards are tempting. But then again, this is not easy to pull off:

  1. You have to select the right shortcut. (The JFK one is probably not a good one…)
  2. You have to execute it properly to trigger the emotional shortcut.
  3. And most importantly, it’s what you do when you get there that counts: your brand and its message must be credibly and inextricably linked to the emotion and the moment you tapped into.

Creatives, who is up for it? I want to see more of this!

Readers, who can share a better example than the ones above?

I look forward to hearing from you, and as always, thank you for reading!



The 3 components of the Argentine Advertising Aesthetic (part 2 of 2)


3.      Retro Cinematography

Everything comes back. And thus emerges a retro visual style that is distinctive and occasionally polarizing. Now, I’m a little out of my depth here because I’m not a designer or a cinematographer so  I lack the vocabulary to describe this well, but let me try in everyday terms:  Washed out colors. Nontraditional color palettes and hues. Muted lighting. Minimalist set design. Unconventional camera angles.  And then of course the wardrobe and the casting mentioned above, which plays into the whole effect as well.

The earlier examples should also help illustrate (check out the very beginning of the Sprite ad), but here are three more examples by a small independent agency, La Comunidad, which for years has been one of the clearest and most successful proponents of this type of visual and storytelling style: Continue reading

The 3 components of the Argentine Advertising Aesthetic (part 1 of 2)

So much heartache of late…but hey the advertising here is great!

Argentina is not a large country in terms of population, and its local advertising market is quite minuscule in terms of billings.

But this country; long known for soccer, tango and a perennial state economic crisis; has scratched and clawed its way to a seat at the small VIP table of worldwide creativity, alongside other “big fish” like the US, the UK and Brazil.

This has been going on for decades and has really taken hold in the last 10 or so years. Take for example two nuggets from 2011:

  • At Cannes 2011 in the “film” category, Argentina placed 2nd worldwide in the awards ranking, behind the juggernaut US, but ahead of Brazil (who placed third with almost 20 times the number of entries), and the UK.
  • The AdAge 2011 International Agency of the Year award went to Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. This is the second consecutive year this award is taken by an Argentine shop, as last year the winner was Santo. Continue reading