Ad of the Day – September 3 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Guardian - run

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: The Guardian
  • Name: Run
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: Lovely little ads such as this one make it all look so simple, don’t they? A bright, joyful visual to lure you in. A headline that builds on the image to deliver the message in one fell swoop. Supporting body copy that says what is needed…and no more. And the art direction is amazing. I lack the technical know-how to describe it accurately, but it just looks…crisp. With an elegant and unconventional placement of the logo, a classic typeface, dominant white space, it all adds up. So if it can be so simple, why do we over-complicate so much? Well, in truth it’s only “simple” to truly talented people, if at all. And there are many more ads needed than talented people to make them and clients to approve them. So-called “complication” (process, research, revisions, strategy, testing, tweaking, briefings etc.) is merely a well-meaning attempt to bridge that gap. Because if you don’t get there by sheer talent and inspiration, smarts and grit can go a long way. But, every so often, it’s nice to have a reminder of how “simple” advertising can be.
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Ad of the Day – October 31 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: Bailey’s
  • Name: “Cream with spirit”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: “A lovely little feast for the senses”. Bailey’s lovers might describe the product in this way, but it’s what I felt while watching the ad. It’s like a one-minute party for the eyes, ears and mind, leaving you with a smile on your face and the name Bailey’s on your brand. Very nice! Let’s list the ways: An inspired execution that more than makes up for a fairly vague idea/tagline. A fantastic opening visual of the ice breaking through the surface, which hooks you right from the start…and this is amplified tenfold by the music track which is oh-so-right for this ad. A lovely closing visual linking us back to “real” world. And even quirky little touches throughout that kept you wondering (did anyone notice the dancer with the tattoo on her upper back? that must have been on purpose – perhaps they were trying to portray “real” women instead of professional dancers?) Very nice indeed. I wonder if they passed quantitative testing on this (they probably didn’t!). Folks, take note – there is a place for “art” and “risk taking” in advertising. Every now and then let’s hand the reigns over to someone really, truly talented, and let them fly freely to see where they get us. Rationality, clarity and discipline are a must…but without a touch of risky, artsy whimsy every now and then, the advertising world would be a very monotonous place filled exclusively with side-by-side demos, whiter fabrics and “reasons to believe”:)


Ad of the Day – October 8 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Google Chrome
  • Name: “Jess Time”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Many people, especially in a young and creative industry like advertising, aspire to be cool. We’re drawn to that which is a little edgy, different, non-conformist, ahead of the curve. And that’s perfectly fine as an aspiration, because many breakthroughs come from pushing that envelope. But there’s a big trap there, and that is to live exclusively within a progressive bubble that looks down upon the “masses”, upon the familiar, the traditional, the every-day. In our quest for coolness we sometimes forget about the “real” world that we’re advertising to, filled with real people who don’t live in Manhattan, London or Shanghai. Big mistake. This lovely ad for Google Chrome takes something with high “cheesy potential” (dad and daughter apart, loss of mom, family bonds, etc.), and delivers it with such understated power. Not too over the top with emotion, not too flashy… just right, and with the product at the very core, actually making all of the action possible. When I see an ad like this it makes me smile, not just because the ad itself touches me and gives me a warm glow for Google Chrome…but because I know how hard it is to get the elements just right. Dozens of ways to screw this one up, to make it too sentimental or too cool, and they just nailed it. A great way to start off the week after a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival break! 

Ad of the Day – November 9 (London)

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: BBH UK
  • Location: London, UK
  • Client: Barnardo’s (a UK children’s aid organization)
  • Name: “Life Story”
  • Why I like it: Wow. Just…wow. This is virtuoso work, even by the incredibly high standards of BBH (boy, are these guys good!) Mind you, normally I think that “public service” campaigns are almost like cheating, because who isn’t going to be touched by people in need. It’s like an easy ticket to emotional impact, at best, and at worst it can overstep into being manipulative. But I thought this ad was just fabulous, and a very instructive example of a great insight (perhaps “focus on the positive outcome without ignoring the severity of the issue”?), improved into a great idea (“it doesn’t have to end like it began”), magnified 100-fold by a stunning execution (the seamless time regression) – for an overall very impactful and memorable message. Hats off, BBH! (and all this considering I didn’t understand some parts of the dialogue because of his accent!)