Ad of the Day – September 18 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: London
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: 40th Anniversary: Just-passed-test drive thru
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The CCO at my previous agency says that the right music can give you up to 80% of the effect in a film. This lovely 30 second film manages to combine slapstick humor, sweet nostalgia, budding romance, and a sense that McDonald’s is a brand that is woven into the fabric of our lives. All in 30 energetic, meaningful seconds. Now turn off the volume and view the ad again. What a difference: the film becomes a nicely shot slice-of-life vignette, and not much more. Music can be such a shortcut to the heart, bypassing every rational filter along the way. Messages that wield this tool with flair have a huge head start.
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Ad of the Day – January 17 (Manila)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leo Burnett
  • Location: Manila
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: Hooray for Morning
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Both lovely and unpretentious, this ad spoke to me. I hate waking up. The predawn hours seem so harsh and unwelcoming…and yet…slowly as the light seeps through the sky, as the city wakes and gets going, there is a daily sense of optimism and rebirth which can be quite touching. This ad captures that sensation: it’s beautifully shot, paced just right (almost like a slow, reluctant awakening,) and backed by an amazing soundtrack. And because for many people the morning coffee is the exclamation point in this feeling of “ok, let’s go for it!”, the connection with McDonald’s feels real, and it’s pushed just enough but no further. A perfect ad for a sunny Friday morning!

Ad of the Day – September 14 (Stockholm)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

 

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Stockholm
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: “Cheese. A defense.”
  • Category: Print

Why I like it: Sometimes, seemingly against all odds, an ad just grabs you. Too much copy, who has time! Ugh, I hate junk food! What a boring visual style, how old-fashioned! etc. etc. Still…this one grabbed my attention, and left me with a smile on my face. Visually it’s very elegant, unusually so for this category (it looks kind of like an Apple ad, doesn’t it?). The headline is made to grab you: people may or may not like burgers…but most folks tend to like cheese, and for quite a few people it’s a passion. By setting this all up as a defense of cheese – having cheese be the stand-in for the burger…the underdog that is asking for some respect, I think it’s clever, and it works. And the copy, well if you read it you likely come away with a smile, it’s written with wit and style – tongue-in-cheek yet a bit serious, and it’s endearingly European in some bits (“discotheque”!) All in all, a damn fine print ad coming at us from Sweden to end the week in style.

Ad of the Day – July 13 (Warsaw)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: Warsaw
  • Client:McDonald’s
  • Name: “Hamburger Timetable”
  • Category: Digital Outdoor (note: we’re going to go for an all-digital week in “Ad of the Day”!)

Why I like it: When I lived in Chicago there was a McDonald’s right next to the train I took to get home every day, and this type of mental calculation about food vs. time happened all the time. I’m intrigued by attempts to substitute a brand for something else that is intangible – be it love, a memory, friendship, pride…In this case, something very functional like an order of fries or a Big Mac is replaced for a unit of time, and it totally works! Easy to implement, attention grabbing, amusing because it focuses on a perceived truth ( how many times did I say to myself “do I have enough time to eat? No, but I can grab some fries on the go”) and, importantly, leading to action – since presumably the McDonald’s is right around the corner and people will flock to it after noticing the message in such an interesting context. Really well done – why don’t we see more of this in all waiting areas?

 

Thanks to M. Violo for the tip!

Ad of the day – May 7 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

  

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: DDB
  • Location: New York
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: “Forgiveness is never far away”

Why I like it: There is a word for an ad like this, and that word is charming. Love it, because it’s true – all of it. Parents will eventually throw away some of the overflowing crap artwork lying around the house, kids will occasionally find it, a happy meal bribe will often be transacted, and all will be forgotten. A simple, charming slice-of-life observation. Not too much on the branding and linkage to the product, but McDonald’s can afford to do a couple of these every now and then – it’s not like they lack in brand recognition. A special note on the execution: on the one hand, beautiful, warm photography that draws the eye. On the other, the layout is classic “scam ad”…I doubt it given the client and agency…but still:) Great start to the week, and another in a series of great McDonald’s “Ads of the Day”!

Ad of the Day – February 14 (Toronto)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Cossette
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: “Flashback”

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?)

Ad of the Day – January 17 (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: I’m finding a lot of good stuff from the US, so today and tomorrow we’re going to bend our rule)

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Arnold Worldwide
  • Location: New York, US
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: “The Egg McMuffin of…”

Why I like it: Wow, this is really the Egg McMuffin of fast food ads. You take the brand/product and with some clever writing you…amplify its meaning, seamlessly inserting it into running pop culture vocabulary. And likely creating tremendous brand recall during the ad. Nobody is going to confuse this for another brand. This is all so hard to do I’d go as far as to call it a “happy accident”. Sort of like the “wassup” campaign for Bud, it starts off as a perhaps-good-but-definitely-quirky idea, and then…it takes a life of its own. Usually with ads I can explain why I like them but this type of ad is so subtle and so hard to do, that I can’t even speculate on the process behind its creation. I read once in a fictional book about a copywriter that had retired after coming up with the line “Chivas Regal. The Chivas of whiskies”. This is sort of the same. I bet you only get one or two of those in your career, if you’re lucky! Well played, Arnold!