Why I like it: It’s rare these days to feature a piece of direct mail, but this one really stands out for its innovation…so unexpected, and hence quite delightful. The DM medium is beleaguered these days, but even the most tech-obsessed person watches this case video and says “wow…awesome!” The ease of interaction (no app downloads!), the transformation of a paper illustration into a “live” turntable, the blending of the old-world analog vinyl with the new-era digital playback, the fun interactivity (being able to move the needle is a key touch), and the pleasant subject matter (who doesn’t like to hear some tunes in the office?)…all just right, in a most charming way. Now, interestingly, what stands out here is the innovation (how they did it) much more than the idea itself. Yet, this is still clearly creative. Which begs the question, is technical innovation another form of creativity? I believe so. And the industry is increasingly recognizing it as a separate achievement/category. Perhaps the nuance is that innovation does not necessarily come pre-packaged with a soul…so it can be quite cold. The most powerful combination is when innovation is wrapped around an idea (ie, the soul), when the innovation elevates a strong idea. This is when things really start to shine. It’s the topic for a much broader discussion:)
Why I like it: The first 44 seconds were not only quite cinematic and well produced – they were completely compelling. Once you start watching it’s impossible to pull away: the all-too-familiar vibrating “bzzzz”, the sleek lines of the kitchen, the suspenseful and deliberate movement punctuated by the falling salt shakers, the sudden realization of the doom that lies ahead, and finally the graceful, tragic plunge over the edge and onto the waiting blades. As the tagline comes in (“hard times for old smartphones”) we are treated to a visual reminder of just how hard those times are. Fantastic! In the back of my mind I was thinking “great…but where’s the brand or product? What is being offered in exchange of the old phones? how are they going to introduce it?” And then…we enter a different commercial altogether, with a jarring dub step soundtrack laid over flashing neon and angular shots of the new phone. It’s such a disconcerting departure…so violent, so awkward, and yet…it kind of works! I’m a little confused, a little jarred, but I’m sure not indifferent – and this matters. The creators really went for it in the first part…and really went for it in the second (albeit in a totally unexpected way). Nicely done – both times(!) for our first ever Ad of the Day from Dusseldorf!