I love this ad, for the recently relaunched Observer.
Brilliantly written & executed it demonstrates what Sunday papers are about. More specifically, it positions the Observer as the one that cuts the crap & tells it like it is.
Rather than showing a Sunday morning idyll featuring lots of lovely pots of coffee & crisp white bed linen, they’ve gone for a nice juxtaposition to make their point; demonstrating the contrast between the constant stream of news (and wanky buzz words) that we’re bombarded with and slowing down to take the time to reflect upon the week’s news.
In case you’re wondering, it’s by Wieden & Kennedy London
Filed under: Advertising | Leave a Comment
Tags: Advertising, Newspapers, Observer, Observer Relaunch, TV, Wieden and Kennedy
Just got sent an email with a link to this absolutely brilliant animation that has been put together for the Creative Circle.
A veritable “Where’s Wally” of iconic ads, with cameos from the Hovis delivery boy, the Guinness fish on a bike, the Cadbury’s eyebrow kids, the Hamlet man, the Sony Bravia rabbits and bouncing balls and many many more. How many do you recognise?
Filed under: Advertising | Leave a Comment
Tags: Adland, Advertising, Animation, Creative Circle, Creativity
If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of one “weapon” in the marketer’s arsenal it would undoubtedly be the continued use of flash mobs.
Initially flash mobs started a few years ago as a form of performance art, whereby large groups of people got together to perform a “unusual and pointless act for a brief time“. Needless to say these were more often than not very amusing and it’s obvious to see why brands would want to get involved in something similar. After all, nothing provides water-cooler chat more effectively than something a little out of the ordinary.
In an age when we’re all very cynical about brands and the messages that are being thrust upon us, to see a brand do something that has an air of altruism, can only be a good thing. Right?
Er, wrong. Well, wrong in the case of flash mobs anyway. Yes, we all know that some brands have done it well and with great success *cough T-Mobile cough*. But for every one that has, there must be 100 that are done excruciatingly badly. And the really good ones are an increasingly rare occurrence.
I thought I’d seen the worst of them when I saw this recent attempt by Dr Pepper. Earlier this month they gathered together a woefully under-rehearsed troupe of performers to sing a song amongst the traders at the NYSE. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end for all of the wrong reasons. It smacks of something the agency were forced to do because their client’s wife “came up with a really “jazzy” song and wouldn’t that be fun?”
Then, yesterday, came this effort from Dublin radio station 98FM. Cashing in on the current popularity of Glee, or at least trying to. A bunch of stage-school pupils performing a poorly choreographed routine (yawn), in the same location that all PR stunts are done (double yawn) and without anything resembling fun; just an air of smugness & showing off from the dancers (cue full on snooze). All over my Facebook & Twitter stream yesterday were people talking about how amazing it is. It is amazing though, amazing anyone pretends it was any good.
A quick aside: did anyone else notice the total fail that was the date on the opening captions too? Sigh.
Are we all really still supposed to stand around and look on with expressions of wonder and amusement when we see every single one of these? Not only are these examples of badly done flash mobs, but also, of the worst kind of laziness too, from client and agency alike.
So you want to do something that causes a real buzz and gets people talking about your brand? You want to bring a smile to people’s faces in the middle of a crappy day? You want to get people involved and genuinely do something with them at the heart of it? You want to do something that gets you some press coverage and goes “viral”* so that your brand/product’s name is the one on everyone’s lips?
Go for it.
But put some thought into it. And preparation. And imagination. Maybe even some budget. But more than any of that, at the very least, have a genuine idea at the heart of it: one that is borne out of genuine insight. Anything else is guaranteed to just look half-arsed and will quite rightly, make you a laughing stock.
And whatever it is that you do end up doing, please, I beg of you, please don’t let it be another tedious flash mob.
*And don’t even get me started on the misuse of the term, “viral”. Ugh!
Filed under: Uncategorized | 6 Comments
“What do people who were once paid to be creative for a living do when they’re laid off? They get creative with their own lives. Lemonade is an inspirational film about 16 advertising professionals who lost their jobs and found their calling, encouraging people to listen to that little voice inside their head that asks, “What if?”
All resources for Lemonade were donated. From cameras to lights to flights, this is a project by and for those who have been affected by unemployment.”
That’s the synopsis of the Lemonade film which is currently being shown in the US. I’ve been looking forward to seeing the film ever since Mark tweeted about it a few months ago and have ordered a copy of the DVD, which is currently winging its way over the Atlantic.
If you work in advertising, marketing or PR (or know someone who does) then you’ll know that, even during the best of times, redundancy is fairly common to the industry, as accounts move from one agency to the next. Things being what they are at the moment, it has obviously been more prevalent than usual over the last 12 months or so.
Here’s a few things that have been said about the film:
“It reminded me that there’s a lot of heart in this business and that all the talent that drives our agencies is not to be taken lightly, or for granted, regardless of the economy. That talent will always find a place that welcomes and values their creativity.”
Most of the screenings are “user generated” as there was zero budget for the film. It isn’t on general release and subsequently there are currently no plans to show it in Ireland (as far as I’m aware).
I think it would be great to arrange a screening or two over here and ,with that in mind, I have emailed the film makers to enquire about arranging a screening in Dublin. If there’s enough interest from people to watch it I’m more than happy to “find a white wall to project it on” somewhere in the city within the next few weeks.
If you are interested in coming to the screening please pre-register your interest in the comments section below. I’ll add your names to the list and keep you posted regarding dates, times & locations etc. Or if you know of any decent “white walls”, or even better, if you know of anyone that would perhaps be interested in sponsoring the screening, please feel free to let me know.
UPDATE: I’ve heard back from the film makers and they’re really keen to come to Ireland for a screening, or screenings. We’re currently looking at doing something in early March, and they will even give a talk after the film, about how & why it was made etc. As I mentioned before, I’m going to have to look into getting sponsors on board to make it happen, but I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have spoken to the guys in the US in more detail about what’s required etc. I think it’ll be a great night though and really interesting to hear the guys talk also. Oh and one more thing, tickets to see the film will be free & gratis!
(I’ve not forgotten the rest of the country by the way. If there’s enough interest I will also look into arranging screenings in other cities wherever possible too)
ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m waiting to hear back from the Lemonade guys, who have, frankly, gone AWOL on me. Probably very busy touring as they’ve, deservedly, had great feedback on the film. However, I do have a copy on DVD and am tempted to run a screening in Dublin anyway (as soon as I can get their OK). I’ve fired off yet another email to them, so will keep you posted ASAP.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 19 Comments
Tags: Advertising, Dublin, Film, Help, Ireland, Lemonade Movie, Recession, Redundancy
Augmented Reality is one of the digital developments I’m most keen on keeping an eye on this year. The possibilities, as they say, seem almost endless. From initially fairly basic uses of it, brands are starting to really get on board with it and I’m really interested to see the inventive ways that it could be used throughout the course of 2010.
Late last year we saw Esquire launch their AR cover in conjunction with the launch of the new Sherlock Holmes film, which we can all agree was pretty fab. Now new band Alberta Rock have used it on the cover of their début album. Magazines & CD sales are both suffering as we’re getting our news, articles & music digitally, so it definitely makes sense to incentivise the purchase of hard copies, and if it’s done well then it’s only going to boost sales/readership both on and offline, surely.
Now some super clever folk (Teradadesign & Qosmo) over in Tokyo have gone and brought Augmented Reality into, er… reality by covering the N Building in QR code data, allowing store information to be captured in real time from street level.
There’s even an iPhone app to boot. Not available via the iTunes store, but on request from the developers, which is a bit of a faff. The app means that you can see what’s happening inside the building as well as real-time comments via Twitter.
I’d LOVE to see something like this in Dublin. We had Playhouse last Autumn, allowing people to design their own animation which could be displayed on Liberty Hall, along with interaction with Twitter, but this project really takes things to a whole new level.
I wonder which brand will take on the Augmented Reality challenge this year and wow us with something really innovative and spectaular. Fingers crossed we’re not waiting too long. I, for one, can’t wait!
(Hat tip to Brandflakes For Breakfast for bringing this to my attention)
Filed under: Digital | Leave a Comment
Tags: Alberta Rock, Augmented Reality, Brands, Digital, Dublin, Esquire, Playhouse, Twitter
I’ve noticed this new ad on TV the last week, for the Halifax (UK).
Now, I’ve had issues with their advertising for a while. They’ve been merrily splashing out HUGE amounts of money on overly produced ads of sub-standard creativity in my opinion. I have no issue with banks requiring ads & campaigns with high production values, and understand more than most the costs that come with them. But their singing bank staff campaigns became nothing short of ridiculous.
So now we’re in a new era. Money’s tighter than it’s been in a long while. Bankers have been proven to be the money-grabbing, soul-less humans we had long thought them to be and we’ve had to repeatedly bail them out.
With the dawn of this new era comes the new Halifax ad – wherein we see their staff high-fiving themselves and sending high-fives out to all their customers, whilst calling each other from inside wastepaper baskets & pretending to be in space! Basically being idiots.
Now, I’m not saying I want banking ads to be the sombre, characterless bunch of beige they were historically, however, if your bank has been RESCUED by the government in the middle of a massive economic black hole, I do expect there to be an air of responsibility to your communciations, yes.
And don’t get me started on the size of the actors used. Clearly those bonuses buy a lot of cream cakes 😉
Filed under: Advertising | 3 Comments
Tags: Advertising, Bail Out, Banking, Halifax, Recession, TV
Today the guys who own the Polaroid brand, announced a “multi-year strategic partnership” with Lady Gaga which sees her take on the Creative Director role for a range of Polaroid Imaging products, bringing “one of the world’s most iconic brands with today’s fastest rising musical artist and cultural trend setter”.
Needless to say, Ms. Gaga was adequately gushing about the cash in her bank new venture. “The Haus of Gaga has been developing prototypes in the vein of fashion/technology/photography innovation–blending the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film with the digital era–and we are excited to collaborate on these ventures with the Polaroid brand. Lifestyle, music, art, fashion: I am so excited to extend myself behind the scenes as a designer, and to as my father puts it–finally, have a real job.”
It’s a fine partnership on the surface. She’s certainly creative and can grab a headline or two and there is no doubt a need for Polaroid to reinvent themselves in some way. The original product, although carrying with it a cachet of retro chic, has ceased production and subsequent product launches have died a death – anyone remember the Polaroid iZone (and accompanying stickers of tweens left all over the place)?
In recent years, as a brand, they’ve been very much on the back foot; seemingly always half a step behind the zeitgeist. Launching a sticker phone when the rest of the world is getting online & embracing digital for example. So, as partnerships go, yes, I can see the merit in this, to some degree.
However to launch a “multi-year strategic partnership” seems a little naive to me. Yes, she’s currently enjoying global fame at the moment, brought about by her apparent creativity, but in the 12 months since she’s crash landed onto the scene, she’s already showing signs of reigning it in – at least in terms of her own personal appearance. Less wig-wearing & dramatic make-up and more piano playing to show her underlying musical skill (hence we were ever to think that she’s a stylist’s puppet & not an artiste in her own right no).
So where will we be in 2 or 3 years time from now? Will she revolutionize digital photo frames? (Or ideally kill them off) Or will she merely tart-up already existing technologies? Creative as she is, she’s not exactly done anything really new so far.
So is this on the money right now? Absolutely. Will it be on the money in a couple of years? I’m sceptical. I can’t help but feel that as a brand, Polaroid, have somehow snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.
Filed under: Celebrity Collaboration, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Tags: Branding, Collaboration, Creativity, Design, Lady Gaga, Polaroid, PR
Seriously. Well, kind of.
For a long time we’ve known that consumers are tuning out. Ever lived by a train line, or on a really busy road? At first the noise of the trains or the traffic is all you can hear, but soon enough you learn to screen out the noise & no longer notice it. The same can be said for marketing, in all its forms.
Then there’s the cynicism & lack of trust that, as consumers, we have for brands. And why should we trust them anyway? After all, brands & advertisers have treated us all like idiots since Don Draper was in short pants. Just as we’ve learned to screen out the noise, we’ve learned through experience not to take on board all advertising messages as truths.
In addition to this is the shift in how we’re all consuming media, and subsequently those marketing messages I keep harping on about. Hands up who’s got the TV on in the background, laptop on their knee & their mobile no more than an arm’s length away at present. *loses count of the hands*
And yes, I know that none of this is new news to you. However, it does mean that in many ways advertising* is dead; in it’s previous incarnations at least.
What we’re left with is new, constantly evolving, challenging & exciting. The experts of old are on the back foot. Smaller operations are “getting it” more quickly and more successfully. Amateurs are outdoing the professionals. And it’s brilliant.
Advertising is dead. Long live advertising.
Filed under: General | 3 Comments
Tags: Advertising, Branding, Marketing