Ad of the Day – July 4 (Milan)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Milan
  • Client: Montblanc
  • Name: “The Beauty of a Second”

Why I like it:¬†Tell me if you’ve come across this brief: “we want to create buzz and awareness for [product], but budget is limited so we should leverage digital and social media to engage consumers.” It’s so common that it’s pretty much a clich√©, right? One of these assignments that may sound simple (in this digital age we live in!)…but is quite hard to actually pull off. Have a look at this case study and you’ll see how Montblanc absolutely nailed it. I’ll give you three reasons why this one stands out: The first two are from a technical/executional standpoint: First, the central idea stems from a product truth: it’s a chronograph that can accurately measure a second, so they latched onto that unit of time as the core of their idea. By doing this, you give the whole program credibility and linkage to the brand – it starts becoming about the brand/product, and not about the mechanics (which is such an easy trap to fall into). Second, they really went out and did it. It would have been easy to do this on a smaller scale, after all it’s a luxury brand, not a mass market product – yet they got a real director to be the face of it, they went out and screened the films at SXSW, they built a robust site that allowed for editing and creation of personal playlists, they had an awards show in Berlin during a film festival…they pulled out all the stops. You have to dare to be great, or you probably won’t be. But the final reason why this stands out, and by far the most important in my mind, is: the output of this is not merely “awareness and buzz”, anyone can have that. Here, what they created is …beauty. These little one second videos, strung together and backed by the score are beautiful and mesmerizing (have a look at one of the compilations, below). They touch you emotionally with their fleeting, fragile beauty, and keep you wanting to watch more. THIS is what makes people engage, people share, people appreciate what you’re doing. Because you (the brand) did something for them (instead of something for you)…you made them feel something. And they responded in kind with submissions, appreciation, and all of the rest. There’s the secret, I think: make things that matter to people, and you will be rewarded.