Ad of the Day – December 24 (Shanghai)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

CokeSanta final CokeSanta 4

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Shanghai
  • Client: Coca-Cola
  • Name: “CokeSanta”
  • Category: OOH

Why I like it: Just in time for Christmas, this is running in Manila. I love the iconic simplicity, it’s almost amazing that it hasn’t been done before. I wish you all some very happy holidays, and a lovely new year! Back on January 7.

Ad of the Day – Oct 24 (Tunis)

Every morning I scour the web and look at 10 random 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!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Memac Ogilvy
  • Location: Tunis, Tunisia
  • Client: Engagement Citoyen (voter drive for upcoming elections)
  • Name: “Retour de Ben Ali”
  • Why I like it: I mean come on, this isn’t just good, it’s bloody brilliant!! For those of you that have forgotten, Ben Ali was the long-serving head (dictator) of Tunisia, who was ousted on January of this year as part of the “Arab Spring” uprising. What a way to send a message about civic involvement, eh? Vote…or one day you can easily find yourself in a dictatorship again. One of the most creative usages of the OOH medium that I have seen. Just fantastic. Congratulations to our friends at Memac Ogilvy!

Keep your eyes open! 11 interesting ads to see as you walk to work.


When travelling to different countries, I’ve always been a big fan of outdoors advertising. It says a lot about the place you’re in (are the boards printed or painted? Are they large or small? What type of products are advertised? Are they sophisticated back-lit mega signage, or simple posters pasted on the side of the wall?)

I haven’t been travelling much in the last few months, but I’ve been keeping my eyes open as I walk to and from work every day. Most of the stuff you see is average, and forgettable. But every couple of days something catches my eye, and I’ll share it via Twitter. I think there are small lessons to be learned on every single walk, but you have to be looking for them!

Below are the ones for the last 2 months, in the following format: original Tweet, photo, additional comments. I look forward to hearing about YOUR favorites!

Jell-O: I stand by what I said…with one important correction: I shouldn’t have used the word “campaign”. Because I hate the outdoor and the print…it gives me an uncomfortable feeling which is not right for Jell-o. And the TV, which plays along these lines, is equally as disturbing. But I’ve recently taken my hat off to the folks at CP+B for their brilliant development of the Jell-o “Jiggle-it” app. Check it out here.


Amstel Light: Ummm, no. Sorry. I’m no beer snob, and Amstel LIght is actually one of my 5 favorite beers. But you can’t write a headline lightly mocking water, and have it be for a product called “Amstel LIGHT”! If this was for “New Belgiumn Triple Hop Lambic”, then yes. But for a light beer? Nope. Even if you’re from Amsterdam, and you spell it “bier”.


Virgin Mobile: Oh, snap! It’s remarkable the degree to which TMobile has spent behind their latest campaign identity, featuring a very cute spokesmodel, and the brand’s identifying fuchsia. This one, viewed from a distance, looks instantly like a TMobile ad…but a sloppy TMobile ad…and that’s exactly the idea. Game on!


Newcastle Brown Ale: I was attracted by the use of the word “bloody” on this headline. Clever, very atmospheric, and a nice tension between bloody/smooth which matches the tagline “taste the lighter side of dark”. And the image looks very yummy too!


State Farm: We all know that sex sells. But a little known secret of the trade is that implied sex on escalators…well that’s just irresistible! In all seriousness, I do like this campaign a lot (there are other iterations – “you can do it at the mall”, etc.) I mean, how many insurance ads do we have to see with the friendly neighborhood rep, the one that is “just like you”, standing by ready to help? Puhleaze. Give me sex in a museum any day. Special note: I’m no expert on design, but the art direction on this is superb, it makes a real difference!


Ketel One Vodka: The pretentiousness of this ad cracks me up, although I guess it’s standard for this premium spirits category. My tweet above says it all…despite the steely confidence of the waitress, I’m guessing that right then and there those gentlemen couldn’t care less what vodka this is!


Lyric Opera of Chicago: Pretty cool, you’ve got a seemingly old-fashioned, conservative form of entertainment now going on the offensive. And why not? The logic of the headline is irrefutable, and it grants the body copy the right to be read. Most interestingly, they’re looking to expand their target base. So this message is not about pleasing the season ticket holders, and they can afford to go a little more “edgy”.


De Paul University: I saw this one from afar and I wanted to like it, I was all set to like it. But it just didn’t click with me. The 3 copy points make sense if you really think about it, but they’re a little complex (especially the first one), and nobody stops to really think at a bus board. Most ads don’t even catch your eye, so when you have a headline that draws you in, and then you don’t deliver, we’ll that’s such a shame.


Pan Am: My tweet pretty much says it. I’m a big fan of the design on this poster. If you’ve seen the show it comes off at times as just a little fake…but here it’s perfect, not a single extra element (plane flying in the background), to mess it up.


Virgin Airlines: Cheeky! Just the perfect irreverent tone for the brand, and a very unabashed way to go after the competition. Nicely done all around.


Lyric Opera of Chicago: Once again, the opera folks come out swinging, and it’s so unexpected that you can’t help to he taken in by their passion. In this case the placement is also pretty stunning, it’s a HUGE board on the facade of a huge building right on the river. I think I may be one of the targets for this campaign, and I must say I’m impressed by how they’re going about it.

That’s it folks – this is what has caught my eye in the streets of Chicago. You can follow me on Twitter  to see them as they happen (@martinmurphy72), or I’ll post a compilation every few months.

But more importantly, I’d love to hear from you… what outdoor advertising has caught your attention, and why? Share what you know, don’t be greedy!

As always, thank you for reading.