Why I like it: A simple idea, executed perfectly to deliver a worthwhile message. Well done! There are many “do good” efforts out there in the last few years, it has become a welcome movement, of sorts. (hey, ad agency people need to earn their way into heaven somehow!). These efforts can be organized into a pyramid, from most numerous to least. At the base are the ads that miss the mark on tone. They are either too preachy (shame on you!) or way too saccharine and manipulative (woe! woe!) The result is a consumer brain that shuts off at the soonest possible point. Level 2 incorporates some clever catch or conceit (for example, a cool engagement model through social media!) but misses on message…most likely because the idea for the clever engagement model came before the assignment for the cause. So far…not so great. But then we get to level 3: Pitch perfect on tonality. Makes you think and even moves you, while talking with you, not at you. I love this example from Almap BBDO in Brazil, it was one of my favorites last year. Finally there is level 4…where the pitch perfect tone is wrapped in a layer of innovation and surprise. The execution, the narrative…something about the ad pulls the rug out from under you in a way that hadn’t been done before, and as a result you focus even more keenly on the message. This ad for Woodbridge Community Services qualifies, for its finely tuned message, wrapped in a Trojan horse that is our celebrity obsession. Very well done!
Why I like it: Wow, loved this. This ad is a rarity, folks. It’s wonderful because of its use of humor, the emotional mis-direction , the weaving of copy into the lyrics…all expertly done to great effect. But what makes it a rarity is that the entire creative idea is driven by an amazing insight. If you think this happens all the time in advertising, think again. We talk a lot about insight, but a finding a good one is harder even than finding a good ad (you don’t need a good insight to have a good ad…) Most of the time what is claimed to be an “insight”, is just an observation of fact. An amazing insight recognizes a behavior that is hidden well beneath the surface. It is different from anything else being said by others. It surprises, delights, elicits a sense of “wow…that’s so true!…” and maybe it even inspires action. A little gem, by a Canadian agency with a very cool name.
Client: World Championship Martial Arts (martial arts school)
Name: I woke up
Why I like it: A small town, a small independent agency, a small local advertiser, a small media buy, most likely a small production budget. Normally this is not the source of creativity with an national…much less international appeal. But inspiration and talent can and do strike anywhere at all. Think about it – a local martial arts school wants to recruit new students. From that…to this. What is in between is a wonderful insight, a smart strategy, a charming creative idea, pitch perfect execution, and lots of trust and courage along the way. Fantastic work, and an inspiration for all: every single brief is an opportunity to make something great happen.
Why I like it: I try not to feature the same city two days in a row, but in this case I couldn’t resist – this one is pretty cool. The visuals, the music and sound effects, the crescendo, the eerie night-time location, and finally the message of overcoming adversity – all add up to a powerful package. I admit it had me a bit confused (was this the end of the world? was this how he lost his own leg?) but, in a cinematic kind of way, this ambiguity made it work even better than the typical in-your-face message. Really good stuff, once again, coming at us from Canada!
Why I like it: When this kind of “stunt” advertising goes right, it goes very right. I love the candid camera premise and it would have been funny even if it had been performed by total strangers. But what is really fantastic, and so ballsy, is that this casting agency put their target (a famous creative director) at the very center of the stunt! And better yet, the whole purpose of the stunt was to prove their value proposition: that they can provide actors so real that not even the pros can tell what’s what. Bravo. Fantastic. Creativity closely bound with a believable and extremely interesting product selling proposition – that’s what it’s all about in this great piece from our friends in Toronto.
Bonus: Here’s the second spot in the series – not quite as good, but still awesome.
Client: ReThink Breast Cancer (a public service campaign)
Name: “Your man reminder”
Why I like it: This one has been around for a while, but it popped on my screen the other day and I thought it was very good, and very much in line with the recent trend of spokesmen-that-don’t-take-themselves-too-seriously. It’s interesting to think of different ways in which this assignment could have been approached: heavy emotion, scaring you into action, shaming you into action, scientific lesson, etc. Yet here the tone is lighthearted, even sexy, but the message comes across, (I think..!). There is a lessons here about having the courage to do things differently. I’d love to hear from our female readers, but it seems to me there are better ways to spend 2 minutes than being reminded about breast self-exams, but…than staring at a hot guy show you how it’s done on himself? That’s a different story. This is the second Ad of the Day from Toronto agency John St. in less than a week, so my hat is off to them (if I had a hat).
Name: “Festive Finale, a mega important message from the AMD…”
Why I like it: It’s funny in a boderline-crazy-Will-Ferrell style that gets me every time. Are ads with irreverent, senior management spokespersons “saying it like it is” the future of viral video? The previous Ad of the Day from K-Swiss is a great example, as is this one from Dollarshaveclub.com, which was in contention for the “honor” today. Throw in the Old Spice ads of late, and you have the makings of a trend. What do they all share in common? A larger than life personality. A brand that definitely does not take itself too seriously. “WTF?” type of humor. And a brand/product message woven in without sacrificing the authenticity vibe. And best of all, they are great candidates to go viral because they’ve got replayability, brandability, and sharability! And for you on Friday, it’s a nice, light, chuckle-y way to end the week. Cheers!
Why I like it: I just loved every teensy bit of this ad! Fom the casting, to the acting, to the stories, to the setting, to the subtle showcasing of the product, to the great nostalgic soundtrack. Just a real gem that totally surprised me and stayed with me. A few things are also at play which I find very interesting: a) Some brands are truly woven into the fabric of our lives, both from a cultural and historical standpoint, yet this can often be taken for granted. So when a brand makes a bold statement and shows that “they are us”, it can really resonate. A recent example of course is the Budweiser “Eternal Optimism” ad from the Superbowl. b) Some industries take a constant PR beating, fast food being on of the main victims. But instead of hunkering down and retreating in shame, McDonald’s is turning it around on us, as if saying “you know what? You love us. Deep inside you really love us”. And it’s true. We do. c) This ad would probably be completely void of impact to anyone under 30, because they just don’t have the life perspective to appreciate it. But it resonates heavily with people my age, who are looking at “old” down the road, but yet still very much remember and feel “young”. It’s interesting for McDonald’s to aim a little higher in their targeting than normal, and I totally loved them for it. A really inspired piece by Canadian agency Cossette (that’s 2 Canada related Ads of the Day this week so far! Can they keep up the streak?)
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!
Why I like it: I was looking for something apt for Halloween, and most of what is there is so overdone. Zombies, trick or treat jokes, more zombies…this one I thought was subtle, and very well done. But more than that, it’s based on a truthful insight about dressing up to be something you can’t be in your “real life”. These guys at TAXI are super skilled, keep an eye out for them!