Why I like it: What a wonderful set of ads, combining 4 pillars of great print advertising: 1) Idea: A captivating way of telling a story about the ubiquitous role IKEA has played in our lives for years, decades, and in some cases generations. 2) Art direction: this is the kind of visual hook that is almost impossible not to fall for, and the structure is such that there is a clear beginning point at the top…leading inexorably to a delightful twist at the bottom. 3)Copywriting: in our very visual era, most good advertising is capped by a solid line, and the double meaning in those one (both deep and cheeky) doesn’t disappoint. 4) Last but definitely not least, Product: It’s not an ad unless the product is credible integrated in some form. In this case, the product if front and center, amplifying and building the story, not competing with it. So simple to describe, so hard to pull off!
Why I like it: Advertising campaigns have a life span. A big percentage of campaigns are in their fragile beginning stage, like the first season of a tv series. Still trying to find out what they’re about, trying to establish the solid footing and groove that will give them the chance at a long life. A smaller percentage are the veteran campaigns, slowly fading away, still benefiting from familiarity and occasionally cranking out a great “episode”, but clearly on a gentle and well-earned downward glide. In the middle are those campaigns that are in the sweet spot. Self assured, clear in what they are about, effective, well liked, and incisive…all seemingly with little effort. They are in the zone. Such is the case with this TNT campaign from Guillaume Duval, making us “…imagine how life becomes more interesting when you add some drama to it.” I loved these ads. Simple, sweet and self-assured. More, please!
Why I like it: Argh! This goes right onto the list of “why didn’t we think of this???” Completely charming, and awesome in how simple the idea, writing and art direction are. And yet…it’s deceptively simple…there is lots under the hood on this one. The flowchart layout takes your attention on a journey and doesn’t let go…I think our brains are incapable of not following through from top to bottom…and then starting over to see what the others routes say. You just have to do it. By the time you’re done, the ad has communicated the product benefit, has conveyed product versatility, has entertained, maybe caused a smile…and has planted a seed that might flourish next time you’re shopping for tissues (if you happen to be in Turkey!). Nicely done.
Why I like it: If there was an “elegance” sub-category in print awards, I would submit this one for consideration. Notice how this ad takes care of the tricky basics so deftly: a great visual hook, an unconventional headline placement right in the middle to deliver the message with power, and an interesting claim born of a product truth (menthol,) brought to life very clearly through the image. But notice also that it is all done with great flair. The art direction, the typeface, the styling, the photographic style, the casting…it’s the attention to these little details that makes the difference between a functional ad, and a finely crafted one that is a joy to see, share and remember. Well done to our friends in South Africa!
Why I like it: When absolutely all has been said and done, sometimes the way in which you execute can make a standard benefit feel fresh, even interesting. Every choice made in this print ad is well-taken, if simple – from the style of illustration, to the typography, to the snowflakes and subtle lens flare, and more. And best of all, they are in the service of clearly communicating the product benefit. It really doesn’t need to be any more complicated than this…
“I am a girl who is yet to join the world. If I grow up to weigh 70kg or more, will you still welcome me?”
“I am a girl who has not yet been born. If I grow up to have a flat nose, will you still embrace me?”
“I am a girl who is yet to breathe. If I grow up with A cup breasts, will you tease me?”
Why I like it: Wow. Many print campaigns stand out for their striking simplicity. Others stand out for their rich, textured visuals. A minority hooks us with a very original approach that we haven’t seen before. And fewer still manage to connect those visuals with a message that is emotional, relevant, and branded. So let’s enjoy this campaign by Ogilvy Shanghai, because it’s a rare, lofty accomplishment that combines all the elements of great print advertising. An original visual idea, featuring beautiful Chinese calligraphy artfully applied to an unconventional “canvas”. Supreme craft, (notice the lighting, the contrast, the texture of the paint against the skin, the grace with which the body is shot.) Add to it an inspiring and thought-provoking message, based on the insight that we are generous with praise for little babies and kids, but far too quick to criticize and judge women for their physical appearance as they grow older. And finally, the delicate balance of conveying a universal message yet delivering it a uniquely Chinese manner. These lovely print ads (and its accompanying online campaign) once again showcase China’s growing ability to produce world-class work for world-class brands. Congratulations to the super-talented team at Ogilvy Shanghai that fought hard to make this happen!
Why I like it: Now in its second year, this lovely campaign from Germany is a metaphor for advertising as a whole, and where we often sell ourselves short. We are afraid to be too different. We often prefer the sedative safety of being good enough to the anxiety-ridden risk of really going for it. We perfect our message and fill it “category cues” and “best practices” that we know our bosses and clients will feel comfortable with. To use the image above as an example, we take the old guy in the dark suit…and give him a better suit, a flashier tie, a starchier shirt. We tell him to smile. Maybe update his haircut. Maybe (if we dare) we put a bright pin on his lapel. Then run him through focus groups where a couple of people tell us that they feel ok with how our man looks. And then we send him out into the world…where he blends right in, and the cycle begins again. And one day, someone leaps out suddenly with a flying motorcycle and changes the conversation completely, and you ask yourself…”why don’t we do stuff like that?” You can! Be different, get noticed – without this, your idea “will pass like a ship in the night.”
Why I like it: The basic message of this ad is “look beneath the surface”, let’s do the same with these lovely ads: Some print ads grab you with a visual that says it all instantly. Others with a great headline. Others still with a quick simple image that contains a double meaning, or a hidden joke. Like beautiful people, great prints ads come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. This one from Russia is what I would call a “craft ad”, where the exquisite execution brings the idea to life in a way that is less instant…but more layered and sophisticated than the norm. The grandness of the visual hooks you in…you come in a little closer, starting to be drawn in by the detail…a quick detour to read the headline to see if there is an actual “ad” here, or just a neat illustration…the connection between the idea and the brand “clicks” and feels right. ok, you’re satisfied that you can go on…and then you let yourself really dive in and marvel at the lovely details of the illustration. (Instantly reminiscent of other “craft” ads, such as last year’s Cannes Lion winner from JWT China.) Quite beautiful and rewarding.
Why I like it: Beautiful, stop-you-in-your-tracks craft. There’s nothing I don’t love about this series of ads. From the bold colors, to the geometry of the cells, to the sense of depth and texture, to the whimsical drawings which you could stare for ever, to the art direction of the product placement and tagline, to the tagline itself. This ad tells the product story in a way that is simple, clear, and extremely interesting. Well done! The only knock against it might be that this idea is not completely new, but regular consumers won’t know and won’t care, because this level of execution speaks for itself.
Why I like it: It’s difficult not to be charmed by the child-like illustration style and the subtle, humorous hook revealing the product benefit. Simple, catchy, well executed, different, and with the product benefit at the very core of the idea. Boom, you’ve got a great print ad! Lovely work coming at us from Mumbai! (note: the cynics among you will marvel that a pencil company has the media budget to run a multiple-execution, double-page spread print campaign developed by a big-name agency, when you’re working for a major brand whose media budget barely affords a couple of pamphlets…C’mon now, cynicism is at odds with creativity – don’t let it cloud your enjoyment of great ideas when you come across them!)