Ad of the Day: December 16 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Johnnie Walker
  • Name: The Next Step
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The magic is in the story…in how it’s told…or in rare cases, in both. I think that achievements in production (the “how it’s told”) are often under-appreciated, made to seem less lofty than breakthrough ideas. But in many ways, ads such as the one above are harder to pull off and require more courage and risk taking than a simple, brilliant idea that sells itself on paper. I mean, how do you present or test this JW ad on a storyboard? You can’t. It’s the type of thing that doesn’t come together…until it comes together at the very end. And that takes guts. The result is lovely to watch, and it elevates a generic idea and makes it stick. Well done to the client/agency/production team that had the courage to see this one through.
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Ad of the Day – October 18 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Playstation 4
  • Name: Perfect Day
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This ad is awesome, when it so easily good have been just…”pretty cool.” Follow me on a thought experiment: close your eyes and picture this ad, exactly as you just saw it, except that the soundtrack is “Back in Black”, by AC/DC. Powerful guitar riffs, screaming vocals, crescendo drums! Great fight scenes and explosions, rocking energy, lyrics which reference the product…a cocktail of visual bravado, testosterone, adrenaline, and badass tunes! And this new ad, we would have seen it and thought “hey, pretty cool!” And then…we would have forgotten it. So what have we here? I’d like to think the creators got as far as “pretty cool”, got to where they knew they had ticked all the boxes, passed all the tests, and had everything logically held together. And then, someone said…”you know what? Let’s turn this completely upside-down and see what happens.” So they pick the diametrically opposite song…a slow, mournful ballad from 1972(!), well before the target audience was even born. It’s so random that it jolts these young viewers to attention and brings everything into sharp focus. Just like a touch of salt makes a sweet cookie’s flavor come to life, this out-of-place ballad makes the brain struggle to process the crossed signals it is receiving…and in doing so, it elevates everything that is happening on-screen. Wow! Folks, let’s not be afraid to tinker. Let’s not be afraid to ruin a pretty good thing. Let’s have a little courage. That is how you get to awesome.

Ad of the Day – August 21 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH NY
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Client: Axe
  • Name: “Office Love”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: So much has been written, seen and debated about Axe that it’s hard to look at one of their spots without preconceived notions of horny teenage-boy fantasies. But put that out of your mind as you look at this lovely little ad for their shampoo. Two things jumped out at me as I watched. One, I love the insight about hair being the thing that girls see first. It’s different, intriguing, it rings true, and it fits perfectly within Axe’s brand positioning but in a more clever, slightly less over-the-top way. But the most obvious thing is the creative approach. Completely absurd and surreal…but it does manage to be endearing, truthful (what the guys look at first…true), and even sweet in depicting this budding office romance (which is not the common Axe approach.) It’s so obvious, isn’t it?: those of us in the industry (agency AND client) must take chances…or face indifference. There are probably 10 ways to make an ad about this insight, and very likely this is the only one that you would notice immediately on TV, that would catch your attention and even stick in your mind a couple of days later. This is the one you want…but that means that you had to had the courage of not going for the other 9. We should think about that as we engage with creativity: are we being courageous? If we aren’t, why should we expect the consumer to remember us?