Ad of the Day – April 10 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BEING
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Wheat Thins
  • Name: “Night vision”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: I believe in the “process” of creative development. The rational justification for doing concept research, positioning write-ups, consumer boxes/diamonds/stars/whatever, insights studies, brand manifestos, ethnographies, in-homes, creative brainstorms, IMC workshops, well-applied creative research, etc. But I’m also grateful that (every so often) you see an ad that invites healthy introspection and makes you question it all just a little bit. An ad that reminds you that simple-good is almost always better than complex-good. Just grab the attention (humor/special effects/celebrities/sex, whatever), put the brand credibly at the center, and call it a day. In and out, 30 seconds, thank you very much. This ad for Wheat Thins is not going to change lives or improve the world, but it’s so “out there” funny that I’ll bet you that after 2-3 times it will get Wheat Thins on your mind, and next time you’re in the super market aisle, who knows maybe you’ll pick up a box. It sounds like a humble aspiration, but for a single TV ad…it’s quite a feat. Keep it simple, and make it good, that’s the trick. Which, of course, is hard as hell. And so we need some help. Which then takes us to concept research, positioning write-ups, consumer boxes…etc. 🙂

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Ad of the Day – January 8 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
  • Location: New York
  • Client: ESPN
  • Name: “Michael Jordan”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Heh:) This would be a great brief to work on. “People take sports seriously…almost crazily so.” This can be done in so many ways! Of course, the trick is to be impactful (the name Michael Jordan still has huge cache in sports), funny (the disappointment of the maitre d, the tacit acceptance of Michael to his fate), memorable (how many times have you wondered about what it must be like for these people?), well-executed (the acting, the music, the casting…all just right), and balanced (don’t overplay the joke, don’t over-complicate, don’t oversell). Working on this brief is easy…but getting out an ad like this that stands out, that’s the trick that we all chase every day. Good stuff from W+K.

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 – June 13 (Moscow)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Friends
  • Location: Moscow
  • Client: LG Consult (law offices)
  • Name: “Coin flip”

Why I like it: Does this belong on the pantheon of the all-time advertising greats? No, of course not. But it made me smile, even chuckle. It made me think about the message. It made me curious to pay attention to the brand. It stayed in my mind. A few days later, when I saw it again, my mind was welcoming the repeat viewing, a sly smile was on my face as I pressed “play”. And guess what? This alone makes this little ad for a Russian law firm more special than 99% of the thousands of marketing messages we are bombarded with every day! Nobody says good creativity has to be for a big brand, or for a momentous cause, or use major special effects to draw your eye. Sometimes a simple idea, executed well, is enough to bring forth the magic. And this does set off the scamocity meter a bit, but what the hell, we’re in a good mood today:) Congrats to our friends from Moscow for bringing this to life (no ads from Russia and 11 months, and then 2 ads within a week!)

Ad of the Day – February 4 (Portland)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: StruckAxiom
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Client: Jack in the Box
  • Name: “Marry it”

Why I like it: Hell yeah! I love the approach here – take the addictive awesomeness of BACON, and go balls-to-the-wall with a creative idea that brings it to life in the strongest possible way. I think this is going to attract major attention from viewers, how could it not? Much more so than the tired “assembly-of-the-burger” type ads. Sometimes when the category is so tired, you’ve got to have the guts to step out and redefine the game, while still linking strongly and credibly back to your product benefit. This really caught my eye, and made my cholesterol go up by 14 points just by watching it. It’s the first time I hear of this agency, which has offices in Portland, Salt Lake City, NY and LA. Well done, in the name of bacon lovers everywhere!

Ad of the Day – January 12 (New York)

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! (note: today it’s from the US, but it’s my blog so I can break the rules every now and then, ok?)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey NY
  • Location: New York, US
  • Client: DirectTV
  • Name: “Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch” (my instant nominee for “best ad name of the year”)

Why I like it: Funny is good, but funny is hard. There are many different types of funny, and this one appealed to me. Ballsy, well written, well cast, well shot, declarative, unapologetically over the top. And yet, it managed to start right off the bat with an insight/category hurdle, and end with the product/solution, so it wasn’t just gratuitously funny…it was well-crafted 30 seconds of funny. I’d bet in the highly cluttered US market, in a tough category to crack, this one makes a dent. Good for Grey and DirectTV for putting a little edge on what could easily have been quite dull. If you’ve been following Grey’s work of late, they’re definitely putting to bed the reputation of being dull and by-the-book. More of this, please!

 

PS – If you liked it, there’s another one in the series that’s also quite good.