Ad of the Day – September 6 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Deutsch
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: VW Jetta
  • Name: “Bad dog”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: VW has been on somewhat of a virtuoso streak in the last couple of years, particularly in film. One inspired ad (say for example “The Force”) can be attributed in part to some good luck – after all, if there was a formula we’d all be doing it more often. But when you start seeing multiple great ads like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one or this one…from different agencies, from different countries around the world, and for different models…well then you know that something is going on…perhaps there actually is a formula! More likely it’s a philosophy about creativity that stems from one or two very talented people at the top of VW. I’d like to know more, because whatever it is, it’s working for me! This one above is one more in a line of really good ads. Simple as hell, focused on an interesting benefit that might seem small…but hooks you in (without this nothing else matters!) and leaves you with a warm feeling for the brand, crisply shot and expertly produced (the soundtrack is once again a difference-maker, as is the casting of the dog). Sometimes I fear we over-complicate things: deeply debating the human insight, the broad strategy, the maslow’s pyramid, this paradigm here and that global learning there…ultimately getting so invested in our own brilliance that we then feel it must ALL appear in the 30s ad…when all people want when they get back from work is to sit in front of a couch…not think too hard…and maybe crack a smile. Well done, once again for VW, who clearly gets this and makes it look easy!

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Ad of the Day – August 13 – (US)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: ? I think this is BMW in-house, if anyone knows differently let me know
  • Location: ?
  • Client: BMW
  • Name: “Caught”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Lovely, creative, funny, endearing, leaves-a-smile-on-your-face, catchy, shareable…and also teaches us something quite counter-intuitive about advertising: In some cases, you’re better off if your ad focuses not on the main product benefit/promise, but rather on your most interesting product benefit. Your main benefit may be quite boring or expected, as a result it does not catch the attention…and your ad passes “like a ship in the night” (example: 95% of all car advertising, showing “driving performance” on beautiful windy roads). But what if, 17th on the list of product benefits is something quite interesting…should you consider taking a chance on it if it can lead to a good idea? Hell yes! Is it silly to try and sell a $50,000 car by featuring a rear-view camera? I say it can be very smart! Some of the previous automotive Ads of the Day here, here, here do exactly this! In advertising you need a hook. There’s no sense in checking the boxes if you’re going to be boring and forgotten! Here, BMW uses a minor product benefit to tell a funny story that makes you smile and sticks in your mind. You are now open for more from BMW (and believe me, they have budget for reaching you with more than this single message…which is key!). And yes, once I was hooked I got to looking at the car…and I want it! So, mission accomplished, BMW.

Ad of the Day – January 27 (Milan)

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: Kube Libre
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Client: Fiat Panda
  • Name: “This is the Italy we like”

Why I like it:This ad would fit perfectly in my previous post about patriotic imagery in advertising, it’s a perfect example of the “rallying cry” approach. As such, I thought it was really, really nice. Keep in mind this is going to run in Italy, as part of a widespread campaign to launch the new Fiat Panda in that country. I don’t see how this doesn’t generate a powerful response, because it hits all the right notes: the cinematography has a nicely lyrical quality to it, as does the writing, it’s well branded, it’s emotionally persuasive, it has a powerful core idea that translates to multiple communications channels, and (in this case perhaps most importantly), it’s very emotionally charged. It transcends the category and dares to reach higher. Fiat in Italy has the credibility to attempt such a feat (not everyone does), and I think they do it in a very ballsy, artistic way. It reminds me of the Chrysler “Made in Detroit” mini-masterpiece from last year. Great work from a Milan based shop that I wasn’t familiar with – I sure am now. Well done, Kube Libre!

Ad of the Day – November 15 (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: DDB UK
  • Location: London, UK
  • Client: VW Golf GTI
  • Name: “Vanishing car”
  • Why I like it: A cool concept, well executed. The clip above is a viral video that started it all, you’re then invited to go check out the rest by going to the VW UK Facebook page, including adventures in the 70s and 80s where the valiant time travelling pilots interact with key moments in the history of this great car (go check these out, it’s the best part!) A cool viral video idea, well shot, that gives you a fun narrative through time while bringing you closer to the VW Golf brand. I’ve always wanted one of these cars, so I was a prime target and I admit I was hooked. Once you’ve gotten someone to interact for 10 minutes with your videos and your Facebook page, it leaves a mark! Classy, fun work from DDB in London. Good on them! By the way, frequent readers of the ad of the day will note that VW has been present quite a bit, with different work by different agencies all around the world. This tells me that VW is doing something seriously right at a global marketing level. Bet you we’ll see the difference in sales…

Ad of the Day – Nov 8 (Sydney)

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!

After a brief stay in Shanghai, where there is no Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or WordPress (the horror!), we are BACK!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB Sydney
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Client: VW Tiguan
  • Name: “Cross Country”
  • Why I like it: The big things are important. But in advertising, it’s so key to get the little things right. This ad loses me on many levels (for example, I think the critical failure is that it doesn’t do enough for the car…and it’s a car ad). BUT…I love this ad for the way it does the little things. The leisurely music contrasting with the frantic action. The way she slides the muffins into her pocket. The way she ties her shoe on the dashboard. The way she smacks his hand when he honks the horn. The disheveled way in which they “wake up” for the second time. It’s all so real, so human. So spontaneous-looking.  It’s what makes this an inspired ad for me, whatever its shortcomings. Yet another VW “ad of the day”, and yet again some solid work from the folks down under at DDB Sydney!