Ad of the Day – September 18 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Deutsch
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: VW
  • Name: Feeling Carefree
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Oh, I love this one so much. If you grew up in the West during the 80s, watch it right now. How blessedly different these VW ads are from the usual car advertising fare: winding roads, shifting into 5th gear, autumn leaves blowing in the asphalt, salt-lake drifting, and all the other generic nonsense! Breakthrough is the first step – without it you’re not even in the game! In this one they had me from the first second (the opening chord/illustration), and it kept me hooked with a great track, amazing animation, and fantastic little details (eg. the “80s dance” they are doing on second 26 – epic!) The brand/benefit feels a little more tacked on than in most VW ads of late, but it hardly matters – there is such a wellspring of positive vibe created by the preceding 30 seconds, that it would have worked just as well as a brand ad. Another strong effort from VW and Deutsch. It’s becoming a trend…I’ll have what they’re having, please!

Bonus content: I feel like some context is owed to my Chinese colleagues: in the West, the 80s were the peak time for music videos and semi-cheesy one hit wonder bands like the Norwegian “A-ha”. The song in the video was a huge international hit, in large part due to an extremely breakthrough music video, that everybody saw and remembers to this day. You can see it here or go to this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914)

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Ad of the Day – May 20 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Pedigree
  • Name: “Bad Dog, Good Dog”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Classy. Even for those not the target audience, it’s hard to not be taken in by the superb executional flair of the “symmetric” narrative device. You don’t quite perceive it as it’s initially happening, but once it dawns on you in the second half, it’s a joy to follow the narrative through to the end. And, having “bad food…good food!” as the pivot-point of the ad…brilliant. A wonderful narrative device that satisfies the creative director and the brand manager in equal measure – not something you see every day! It also happens to be the difference between a normal dog food ad and a superior dog food ad. These little details take a lot of talent and make all the difference.

Ad of the Day – May 13 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Adam&EveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: VW
  • Name: “Baby”
  • Category: Film

Why I like it: Terrific. In world filled with mediocre ads, this high standard is actually becoming the norm for VW, which is truly amazing because it’s so hard to do even one time. This one is the latest in a long string of ads that feel incredibly human: both accessible and completely universal. They are well-branded. They are expertly crafted with little details made to count (for me it was the zombie-like opening of the eyes…and you know the crying comes one second later…or the haggard and resigned expression of the dad, or the “brothers-in-arms” knowing look between the two dads…all the little things that matter so much!) They often show a minor product feature as a way into the heart (while getting the branding job done), instead of featuring the cliché car talking points that lead to a cliché ad. They have a light, happy vibe about them, always going for the heart-warming smile instead of the burst of laughter. Above all, they generate brand love for VW. If you’ve had kids, chances are this ad will work for you, some little detail will trigger a smile and a memory…and in the midst of that, “VW” will register. And that’s a lot to ask for in the automotive industry, where ads tend to blend into one another.

Ad of the Day – August 24 (Auckland)

Every morning I go to adsoftheworld.com and elsewhere, 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 you will love it, and others you may not. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

  • Agency: DDB Group
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Client: VW
  • Name: “Milk run”
  • Why I like it: What a human, feel this ad has. It’s cinematic, it’s warm, it tells a simple yet compelling story, it seamlessly integrates the car into the story (and not one, but many of the models!). But on top of this, it feels so real, so human, so authentic, so everyday, that it just draws everything, including VW, into my heart. An example of when words are just not even necessary. Well done! (One of many VW winners at this year’s Cannes awards, in this case a bronze Lion).