Amsterdam Ad Blog

Read your way to a Bell’s

There’s no handwriting like mine

July 25, 2014,

Homelessfonts - July 2014And probably none like yours. The way we handwrite is unique and communicates a lot. But do we really give that much importance to it? This casefilm does. Imagine you’re homeless and all you have is that particular weapon to imprint a cry for help on a cardboard sign that people tend to ignore – that’s where handwriting could really make a difference. is a charity project that believes that “the same thing that helped homeless beg in the street could now help them leave it behind”. Idealised by The Cyranos McCann together with the Arrels Fundació – a Barcelona-based homeless center that wants #nobodysleepingonthestreet.

Killer concept

July 4, 2014, AAB

ACC Verkoop Een Werkeloze  - July 2014Killing two birds with one stone. That’s what this new platform – “Sell an unemployed” – does (in Dutch). It is an initiative by the ACC, the Belgium Association of Communication Companies, to persuade text writers to become a copywriter in advertising – there always seems to be a shortage. That’s the first bird. Since the text writers need to help Belgians find a job through an eloquently written application letter, the platform can also be seen as a charity – the second bird. And if the application letter does well – both effectively and according to a jury – the ambitious text writer can win a master class copywriting. The winner of the master class wins a job at Happiness Brussels – also responsible for the concept. So, maybe even 3 birds with one stone.

The Universal Typeface

June 10, 2014, AAB

BIC - Universal Typeface - June 2014For ballpoint brand BIC keyboards and voice recognition must sound like digital photography to Kodak when it saw the sales of analogue film plummet. With this new website, created by DDB Düsseldorf and MediaMonks, however, BIC seems to be alive and kicking in our digital world. The ballpoint brand is crowdsourcing the “Universal Typeface” by asking people from all over the world to write down their own alphabet. Though this will theoretically generate a very bland typeface, when it comes to typefaces bland can actually be a benefit – sometimes you simply require a neutral personality in writing. So, all in all an interesting experiment that makes us quite curious for the end result. In August, the first version of the Universal Typeface will be downloadable and can be used like any other font. Hopefully this is not the last exploration by iconic brand BIC in the realm of digital script. Cause if it is, the plastic ink holder brand will end up just like Kodak.

Straight. Unbiased.

June 5, 2014,

Guardian World Cup by BBHWith the World Cup being only a week away, you can’t have missed that every other brand is heavily gearing up for the event. The UK’s national press is no exception and naturally they all focus on their coverage of the British team. The Guardian, however, sees things differently – click to see full ad. They want to be all the FIFA is not and promise us straight, unbiased coverage of the entire event. This not so subtle stab at FIFA is BBH’s first ad of a series of copy driven ads to be launched during the World Cup. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Will BBH’s writers continue to slag off FIFA or will the players be exposed as well?

Donating hope

May 26, 2014, AAB

Red-Cross-Donate-Blood---May-2014In this campaign for the German Red Cross, some of the most famous football players from the Bundesliga donated blood to sick children and simultaneously the fighting spirit to get better. On the labels of the blood bags the young patients could see which of their football idols helped them win their fight. Of course the Bundesliga is not big enough to help out enough sick children, but the campaign is an intelligent and aspirational vehicle for the Red Cross to ask people to donate blood – as you can see in this casefilm. Created by Jung von Matt.

Hasan & partners opens in Stockholm

May 21, 2014, AAB

hasan&partners Stockholm - May 2014In March Helsinki based hasan & partners acquired Perfect Fools. Today the agency opened its first international office in Stockholm, with internationally acclaimed founding partners Camilla Hahn Fortkord (managing director), creative directors Peter Laurelli, Jakob Swedenborg and Daniel Wall. Hahn Fortkord about the agencies formula for success: “hasan & partners has a reputation in Sweden and beyond for great work thanks to a perfect formula that combines creativity, insights, unorthodox thinking, technology and sisu – a Finnish word meaning determination, bravery and resilience.” We wish h&p Stockholm lots of sisu!

Overselling Europe?

May 9, 2014, AAB

It’s a pity many Europeans don’t realise that the EU is quite a solid concept – it brings convenience, stability, peace and even prosperity. And since voting is not the favourite pastime of teenagers anyway, you have to nudge them a little into the right direction, when the European Parliament elections are about to happen. This Belgium commercial/music video, dubbed And then came a lot of sheep, persuades teenagers from all 28 EU member states to vote between 22 and 25 May. A possible danger of this film is that it’s overselling the voting process somewhat. Though you will probably come across a character that eats his lunch while you’re collecting your ballot, you will definitely not be overrun by a flock of sheep – come to think of it, what is it selling anyway? However, if the brief was to give the event style; job well done! It was created by Ogilvy Brussels, directed by Koen Mortier (Czar), shot by Menno Mans, and the music was done by Senstudio.

Sensory Overload

May 1, 2014,

How do you explain what autism is? This film highlights one of the important symptoms; sensory sensitivity. The film starts of easy with a dripping tap but soon turns in to a cacophony of sound and imagery that makes your ears bleed. The sudden silence is a welcome break. Though the call to action is hidden a touch too subtly in the end frame – you can support the National Autistic Society through - we all understand a little bit better now what it’s like to be autistic. Created by The News, directed by Steve Cope (Rattling Stick) and the sound was designed by Grand Central.

Ideas To Steal

April 24, 2014, AAB

Ideas to stealAs we all know, the most frustrating thing about being an ad creative, is seeing your ideas get killed. Another anxiety driver in advertising is getting a brief that is hard to crack. London based and freelance digital creative director team Kalle Everland and Timo Klaarenbeek decided to turn these two negatives into a positive and created, an online platform for advertising creatives to post their bottom drawer ideas and allow fellow creatives to steal them for a chance to actually make them happen. Klarenbeek about the project: “The entire world has become social, we share everything online, so why not share and use each other’s ideas?” Well, we can think of a number of reasons, but with Picasso’s well known ‘good artists copy, great arists steal’ the creative team encourages us to upload any unused ideas. And if used successfully, the site also encourages you to credit the ones submitting it.

Read your way to a Bell’s

April 9, 2014,

I recommend you have a tissue within reaching distance when you watch this. It’s the latest in a campaign by independent agency KingJames Cape Town. You’ll be forgiven for wondering what this beautiful story has to do with drinking whisky. With the campaign line – Give that man a Bell’s – that has become synonymous with rewarding ‘admirable’ deeds, it looks like the creatives saw the brief and decided to take it straight to Hollywood standard heart tugging, much to the delight of the viewers. Besides the obvious disconnect, it’s a moving piece of storytelling.

Fuck the poor

April 8, 2014,

Publicis created this interesting stunt to reveal the hypocrisy inside all of us. Let’s face it, people in the streets raising money for the needy are just a nuisance, handing out useless bits of paper and trying to make those awkward conversations to generate a wee bit of change. Great to see how the public all of a sudden seems to care when you flip the massage and tell the poor to fuck off. Question remains if this ad actually made Londoners give a fuck about the Pilion Trust. On the bright side; it made me think about how I usually react to people who are trying to make a difference.

Fli Fy

April 2, 2014, AAB

Samsung Fly Fi - April 2014Yesterday was April’s fool. That’s why Cheil London created a hoax (easily recognisable as such) for Samsung. Featuring, among other Cheil employees, AAB contributor Tim Polder (“Tim Verhoeven,” from the “Samsung Innovation Lab”). Mini-routers become omnipresent wifi sources by attaching them to pigeons. Not a bad idea. It would change pigeons from flying rats into useful objects. Do it!

You can’t say no to a dead man

March 19, 2014,

If there’s anything beautiful about death it is the capacity to dream of a thousand ways to leave this world for good. That’s what the newest ad for Funalcoitão portrays – a small funeral company that doesn’t do funerals but truly pays a tribute to the deceased. It’s pretty uncommon to see such an open-minded approach to death in my good old Portuguese nation. Especially in this advertising form, but it means things are changing – and I’m glad. The spot almost makes you look forward to your funeral. The creativity came from Bar Lisboa and Kripton handled production.

We need more silly stuff

March 10, 2014,

Wieden+Kennedy London’s latest ad for telecom company Three celebrates the possibilities of sharing silly stuff. The powerful ad shows a little girl and her cat singing their guts out to the tunes of Starship’s one hit wonder ‘We built this city.” The ad was directed and produced by Traktor and post produced by MPC – nice job on the VFX. Stinkdigital built the online activation that gets people to create and obviously share their own silly video, and although superimposing your face onto a video has been done to death, it still works like a charm. Last year’s campaign, the dancing pony, was also a viral hit – although I never really understood why the pony was doing the moonwalk to a Fleetwood Mac song. Whether the girl and her cat will get as many views as the pony remains to be seen.

From England with Love

February 7, 2014, AAB

Amnesty Glove of Love - February 2014Some more ‘Olympic bashing’ from London; the Glove of Love. Sounds like a steaming condom brand, but it’s actually a double-handed-glove created for Amnesty International with the Olympic rings on it. Looks a bit gay, maybe, but that’s the whole idea, of course. With this glove you remind the IOC that at the Olympics everyone should be equal. The creatives who made it asked us not to mention them for the “fear of losing (new) business and eventually employee mortgages,” which unfortunately shows that politics and money overrule principles. Then again, it’s clearly for a good cause, so buy yours (100% cotton, lined with fleece, “cause warm hands are great”) for £13.50. Half of this goes to Amnesty International.

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Luge action

February 5, 2014,

Noted lovers of the speedo, Russia, and its small Olympic host city, Sochi, are not winning any friends with their attitude towards the not-so-gay-friendly games. The Canadian Institute of Diversity isn’t terribly pleased with all this, and decided to team up with Vancouver agency, Rethink, to shine a light on the obvious: The Olympics are kinda gay anyhow. CIDI CEO Michael Bach notes, “The discrimination in Russia is unacceptable. As an organization, we want to show our support, especially for the athletes competing at the Olympics in Sochi.“ Well said. And what better way to illustrate a point than some hot, man-on-man luge action.

Ad Capital Reporter

Snapchat yourself an internship

January 31, 2014, AAB

Every time a new social medium is invented, agencies come up with the idea to use it for recruitment. Last year we saw Vine Something, the year before that Draw Something and 2014 is the year of Snapchat Something. A smart idea by DDB Oslo since the agency will only need 10 seconds per application. The winners – to be announced April 3rd – will be invited to Oslo for an interview – flight taken care of, just pack warm clothes. No excuse not to try.

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Super Bowl Sickie

January 28, 2014,

Despite England being a rugby nation, American football seems to be quite a popular excuse to get inebriated too. If it’s up to the Channel 4 in-house team, that is. They came up with this funny TV promo. It educates us on how to call in “sick” on Monday morning, after having watched the Super Bowl live on Sunday night. There is also a website with more tips on how to fake a 24 hour illnesses and mask a massive hangover.

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Women talking football

January 22, 2014,

Imagine your woman explaining you things in football jargon. Simple things like why it’s so important to take out the trash. Or how to behave in front of your father-in-law. That’s how LOLA Madrid presents Líbero - a publication that is “not just a football magazine, but also one that uses the world’s most popular sport to talk about culture, art and style, among others”. I could get used to a wife that only uses football analogies to get her point across. Goaaaaaaal!

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#Lookup, mom, an interactive billboard!

November 22, 2013,

Ever looked up at a plane in the sky and wondered what amazing destination it was heading to? Well, you can stop wondering because British Airways built two digital billboards that interact with its planes in the sky. As the plane passes these billboards – in Chiswick and London’s Piccadilly Circus – a toddler looks up, points, and follows the aircraft as it goes overhead, with the flight number and destination showing next to him. Wow. This plane-spotting campaign created by Ogilvy London (claiming the hashtag #lookup) is breaking new advertising ground, using custom-built GPS technology to add a new layer to their billboards. The ads are part of the airlines’ “Magic of Flying” campaign, which reminds people of how magical flying is, especially from the eyes of a child. And before you ask, these billboards have a weather feed which read the cloud height to ensure the plane is visible before showing the advert! I’m not sure whether the video does the experience justice, but all in all a very simple, yet effective story.

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Dinner with an aftertaste

November 7, 2013,

Yes, there was a hint. The name of Stockholm’s new Michelin level restaurant “Dill”, came from the letters of “Lidl”. The always-hugry-for-the-new-and-the-hipp Swedes fell for it … until it was revealed that it was actually a stunt by the supermarket chain. All ingredients used in the restaurant were things you’d find in the cheap grocery store. If your heart pumps for advertising, you probably love it. The ad agency Ingo executed it so well, that similar concepts from the past don’t really bother me. Still, some Stockholmers left with a sour aftertaste. They don’t like being fooled. Oh, dear.

Ad Capital Reporter

Monster score

October 15, 2013,

This commercial, dubbed monsters, and for the first time aired a year ago, won three awards at the Golden Drum Festival in Portorž, Slovenia, last week – among which a Grand Prix for PR and a Virtuoso award for best cinematography. The film shows the world from the child’s point of view. Which in Finland is a point of view from which one out of every four suffers from parents that drink too much. As you can see it renders a pretty ugly picture. With this film Havas Helsinki was shortlisted and won awards at every mayor festival around the world. It was directed by Mikko Lehtinen, and shot by Jure Verovšek.

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Brazilian Stache

October 8, 2013,

Sexy Cover - October 2013Sexy is a Brazilian adult magazine that has been improving its graphic and editorial quality over the last few years to grow its client base in Brazil as a “harder but smarter” version of classical Playboy nude approaches. Innova São Paulo was challenged to communicate that the magazine has more than just sexual content. The agency took its inspiration from the Brazilian bikini wax styles used by girls in the magazine – and on the seashores of Brazil, for that matter – and turned it into moustaches. Not just any moustaches, but those of Freddie Mercury, Mario, and Charles Chaplin.

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Viral with a capital Y

September 24, 2013,

2013 09 What does the fox say20 million views in a week, 50 million in 20 days… that’s 10 times the population of Norway. One can safely say that “What does the fox say” has gone viral on YouTube – what a phenomenon! So you’ve probably already seen it. But did you know it was made to promote “I kveld med Ylvys” (read: tonight with Ylvys), a talkshow on TVNorge, presented by the Norwegian comic brothers Ylvisåker? If you like the ironic humour á la “Real men of genius,” you should also check out “Stonehenge” and if you’ve ever been to a cabin in the Nordics, you’ll love their latest release “The cabin.”

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Sophisticated imagination

August 23, 2013, AAB

Gaming graphics keep improving; it will only be a matter of time before you can’t distinguish between film and games anymore. When you see this beaut of a commercial for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag you might think for a second that this time has come already. But when you watch all of it, you’ll find out that the incredible rendering is only a very sophisticated form of imagination. Which ironically makes the in-game footage at the end almost a disappointment. Inviting nevertheless. Created by Sid Lee Paris, directed by Adam Berg, shot by Mattias Montero, produced by Stink, post produced by MPC, and sound by Creaminal and composer Son Lux.

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Taxi driver politics

August 16, 2013,

A chat about politics with a cab driver usually leads to a dead end. Not when you’re in a cab with the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He may not be the best driver, but he can easily make it up with his debate skills and wit. To speed up the campaign of his Labour party, he drove a taxi and talked politics for the day. It all was, of course, filmed and turned into a viral. 1.4 million hits in 5 days is pretty good for a video about politics… in Norvegian … a language of about 5 million people. Well done Jens and well done Try.

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Endangered 404 pages

July 25, 2013, AAB

WNF 404 pages - July 2013Hungry Boys Moscow came up with the idea to put a WWF message on the 404 pages of Russia’s second largest social network Odnoklassniki. The insight being that the animals shown – part of the international ‘Red List’ of endangered species – are as invisible as the 404 pages themselves. Of the Siberian Tiger in the picture, for example, there are only 450 left. Even though we’ve never encountered a 404 page on Facebook, with Odnoklassniki’s 148 million users, the 404 page is still loaded 170.000 times a day. Which means about 4000 click-throughs to WWF’s donation page. Not so invisible after all.

Ad Capital Reporter

65 years of innovation

July 9, 2013,

Honda UK and W+K London have launched a two-minute brand film that celebrates the brand’s creations over the past 65 years – it follows a teaser campaign of idents promoting Honda’s sponsorship of Channel 4 documentaries. The film shows us a pair of engineer’s hands morphing one famous company invention into another – from lawnmowers to spacesuits to jets – demonstrating Honda’s great innovational spirit. Although this spirit has pushed the company to be the largest engine manufacturer and racing company in the world, this film (directed by Nexus Productions‘ Smith & Foulkes) brings it all back to the basics; one screw, two hands and “The Power of an Engineer’s Dreams”. And beautifully done. Back in 2005, Wieden produced a similar brand film for Honda whereby a range of their products (mostly automotive then) smoothly convert into one another. Although a completely different execution, the brief was probably near identical. Apparently, Honda needs to keep reminding people of their inventiveness and versatility.

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Small budget, great demonstration

July 1, 2013,

Small demonstration - July 2013The Cannes Lions festival went by so fast this year that I was only having a first glance at the winners yesterday. With a natural interest in my country’s agency performance, I have come to realize that the Portuguese results in the festival have grown timid (only 1 Lion this year) compared to previous years (4 lions in 2012 and 6 lions in 2011) and that propelled me to analyze this phenomenon a little more. It’s common knowledge that Portugal’s economic situation is not the best, which deeply affects advertising budgets and the client’s willingness to go the extra mile for a damn great campaign. But wait, Portugal has been in crisis for quite a while now and advertising is in fact always the first to take the fall. And good creativity goes against the theoretical rules, and that’s just one of the beauties of this business. Though most agencies feel the harsh consequences of the recession – they often face the “0 budget campaign” request from clients – some of them are still able to deal with the situation creatively, proving that great advertising, doesn’t need big budgets. So regardless the small impact in Cannes, Portugal should still be able to produce some great advertising. That’s also what the only Lion in Cannes (Silver in  Promo & Activation) metaphorically proves; “A small demonstration,” created by O Escritório.

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100 meter scroll

June 10, 2013,

100 meter scroll - June 2013Usain Bolt is the fastest man on our planet. Beating his record, 100 meters in 9,58 seconds, wouldn’t really be a realistic challenge for any of us. Instead, the title of “the fastest man on the Internet” is now up for grabs. The 100 Meter Scroll is an online game by a Danish team whose alias is “Mom! Look What I’ve made”. Basically it is an ad for Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech. They have toured agencies from Copenhagen to Amsterdam and London. With this website they want to open doors … maybe in Jamaica?

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Bipolar fruit

May 29, 2013, AAB

To launch the Philips Walita Avance blender, Ogilvy São Paulo offered the consumer the effect of blending fruit in a very unexpected way. They teamed up with molecular gastronomy chef Clecia Ribeiro to create fruit with two flavors. After 3 months of research Ribeiro invented the Kiwigerine (kiwi and tangerine), Bananaberry (banana + strawberry), and Pinegrape (pineapple + grape). The agency then took their bipolar fruit to the busiest street market in São Paulo to open the consumers’ eyes. Director Heitor Dhalia (Paranoid) registered the reactions, which resulted in this casefilm. How sweet!

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Swedish irony

May 24, 2013,

This piece of advertising quite aptly trashes the theory that “irony is the discipline of losers.” Though at first you might wonder what it is you are looking at, this video is basically a commercial for Sweden. It was shown during the Eurovision song festival and paid for with taxpayers’ money. But worth the investment when knowing that over 100 million viewers have learned what a great sense of humor Sweden has. That’s probably why even Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt accepted to be part of it – laughing at himself and Sweden in general. What a stunt. I’ll give it “douze points.” Created by FLX and directed by Felix Herngren and Fredrik Falck.

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Happy landing

May 15, 2013,

Coca Cola Happiest Country - May 2013Danes are convinced that they live in the happiest country in the world. According to Forbes they’re pretty darn close, having made it to the 2nd place for four consecutive years. No wonder that the creatives at McCann Copenhagen spotted a Danish flag in the logo of Coca-Cola – the company that says “We’re in the business of opening happiness.” Little “Dan-cola” flags were made available from a Coca Cola vending machine at the airport, so that people could welcome their friends back home. Only 2,400 flags were handed out to welcome 25,000 arrivals, but as this case-film will probably be submitted to 10 different award festivals and ad sites, it’ll get more exposure online than on site – as is the case with most ambient advertising nowadays.

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All it takes is one angry viewer

May 2, 2013,

Earlier this week Hyundai released a viral to promote their 100% water emissions car, the ix35. The ad, created by Innocean displayed a middle-aged man trying to commit suicide but failing miserably due to the car’s clean emissions. London advertising creative Holly Brockwell didn’t see the humour in this, she only saw the bad memories of her own father’s suicide and posted an angry letter on her blog. A letter that went more viral than the car ad and resulted in Hyundai taking it down. Hyundai gambled and lost to a true story that in the eyes of the public was far more compelling. Then again, this is starting to become standard policy for Hyundai. Earlier we wrote about the Velostar and a commercial showing hard nipples; both banned by the head office shortly after their release – and both created by Amsterdam’s Fitzroy for that matter.

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Sweden’s best gay ad

May 2, 2013,

We Finns think all Swedes are gay. Oppositely, the Swedes think all Finns are morons. So, one of the winners at Guldägget (Golden Egg), the most important award show in Sweden, last week, didn’t surprise me. In this film a middle-aged man’s tragedy is that he never got the letters from the teenage holiday romance, a boy (!) he met in Paris. Missed chance; he should have used the “forwarding service” (from client ‘Svensk Adressändring’). A gay fling is hardly shocking to the readers of this blog, but selling the idea – making fun of man who has stayed in the closet – to a client, would make most of us think twice. The gay agency that made this subtle ad is TBWA Stockholm – it’s their first Guldägg in 5 years. The film was directed by Max Vitali and produced by Callboy – what a gay name! Though the winning film confirms my prejudice towards Swedes, I have to admit that I’d rather be gay than a moron.

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Love it, or hate it

April 17, 2013,

Marmite Margaret in Guardian - April 2013Former UK prime-minister Margaret Thatcher passed away last week and will be buried today. Her death turned out to be just as controversial as her years at the helm. Her passing led to mourning, riots, parties to celebrate her demise and also inspired the creatives at BBH to create this clever press ad for newspaper the Guardian (click image for full page). The ad is inspired by the much awarded “love it or hate it” Marmite campaign (Here’s an example with Bush) and it turned out Illustrator Lucy Wragg had a similar idea, what caused a stir on Twitter. Did the creative team steal the idea or was it just two great minds coming up with the same idea? It doesn’t matter we think it all adds to the Iron Lady’s controversy.

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Smart fridge app

March 25, 2013, AAB

Years ago people were already talking about intelligtent fridges that would automatically order new products when running on empty. But often imagining things is easier than executing them. This (fictional) product demonstration, created by Miami Ad School graduates Christoffer Åhlén and Chelsea Frangie for ICA – the largest supermarket chain in Scandinavia – shows how the future is getting nearer. Åhlén and Frangie took ICA’s loyalty card as a starting point. After all, you must be able to do more with it than simply handing out discounts – what a waste of data! The ‘Food Fight’ app transfers all your purchases to a virtual fridge – including the expiry dates – and thus knows what you have in stock. The downside of the app is that you need to actively delete products from your fridge to keep it up to date. What is really awesome though, is that it can make recipe suggestions with the ingredients still left in your fridge or connect to other virtual fridges to sponatenously organize left-over-dinner dates. Which is actually the central proposition of this concept; it fights food waste – hence the name ‘Food Fight’. You also get an alert when your products are almost expiring and you can donate the food you won’t be using. What’s more, if you donate more than 3 items, ICA will come and collect it. Maybe the concept still needs a little work, but this film makes you realize smart fridges really are just a matter of time now.

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Blood spatter art

March 21, 2013,

There are a lot of things in this world that should not exist – for a lot of different reasons. This “Exhibition that Shouldn’t Exist” is addressing one of them. What seems abstract art at first, proves to be blood sprays created by Dexter-like ballistic tests, based on real gunshot stories. The Exhibition is initiated by Control Arms, a worldwide coalition lobbying for the Arms Trade Treaty, regulating the international, irresponsible trade in conventional weapons. Leo Burnett Lisbon, asked to promote Control Arms’ cause, conceived the exhibition. They also created an online experience with ‘making of’ videos, giving a more interactive perspective on the paintings.

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Poker face friendships

March 14, 2013, AAB

Beer is what you drink with your friends. We all know that. But are your friends your real friends? Carlsberg is putting friendships to the test by creating a very hairy scene that walked straight out of a Guy Ritchie movie. Would you save your friend, in the middle of the night, from this dodgy poker den? Interesting question. Though we always have our doubts about the level of scripting when seeing these kinds of ‘add drama’ ads, this one looks pretty well executed and thus quite genuine. And, apart from the fact that it feels like a crossover between two Heineken ads (Classical Concert vs Champions League and The Date), it made us smile broadly. What a feel good film! Created by Duval Guillaume Modem Antwerp.

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Uncomfortably ambient

March 6, 2013, AAB

The kind of idea that makes us jealous! For the non-profit organization fiftyfifty Havas Worldwide Düsseldorf turned down the temperature in cinemas across Germany to let the visitors experience what the homeless feel in wintertime. At the same time they showed interviews with homeless people on the big screen. Saying things like: “8°/9° ist noch angenehm” (is still comfy). Donations could be made instantly through the QR-codes on the blankets, a direct telephone number, or in cash. Speaking of ambient advertising!

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Powered by pee

February 27, 2013,

During Rio’s Carnival both tourists and locals always face the same problem when visiting a street “bloco” (parade party): where to piss? The lack of public toilets makes that the city becomes impregnated with urine for days. The situation became so serious that last year the local authorities decided to detain people who were caught urinating out in the open. Afro Reggae, an NGO and musical group linked to the “favela” culture, asked JWT Sao Paulo to solve this problem in a more friendly way. The result is symbolic, but distinctive: ‘Electric Pee,’ a urinal turning pee into electric energy through a hydro-electric dynamo. The urinal working as a battery fed right into Afro Reggae’s Trio Eléctrico, parading down the street along the famous Ipanema Beach.

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Beckham runs with H&M

February 11, 2013,

In this new “short film,” directed by Beckham’s friend and director Guy Ritchie, we see the football celeb sprinting, swimming, and kicking a football, as he tries to flag down his family in a Range Rover after locking himself out of his L.A. mansion. All to ‘promote’ (all his earnings go to charity) his personal 2013 bodywear line made for H&M. Even though the fashionably tight boxers aren’t made for women, the film is larded with drooly close-ups of Becks’ bum and at least twice he takes a moment to pose with no other explanation than to give his female audience a moment to glare. Not likely to be starring in the next Bond film, only Becks can get away with ‘pulling a wedgie’ on camera. Which, for that matter, makes you wonder whether his pants are a size too small or simply badly designed – after all, we’re talking about H&M here. But thanks to the typical tongue-in-cheek Guy Ritchie details, the 1.40-minute film is easily worth watching, with enough share-value for both men and women. The scene with the furry slippers that remain on his feet at full sprint is even hilarious. Created by Strange Cargo.

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What My Brother Bob did to me

February 6, 2013,

Always interesting; agencies making their own creative ‘piece’ to show others what they have in store. Or, in boutique, actually. Even more specific, in their independently owned boutique post-production house called My Brother Bob. Still following? This London based company recently released an online film to showcase their talents. It immediately grabs your attention with its serious setting, quite craftily creating a moment of suspense around their quirky agency name. And then the sudden, surreal twist that makes you instantly smile. As you can expect from a (post-) production company, the details in the film are spot on. Take the subtle laugh when he realises the idiotic situation he finds himself in, the constant tick of the clock in the background, and the twist of the zebra’s tail at the end. The film was conceived and written by Dave Martin and Jon Gledstone of Fun Uncle and starring actor Adeel Akhtar (Utopia). Oh, and before I forget it, My Brother Bob pride themselves in delivering innovative and beautiful content and have created work for clients including Puma, Cadbury’s, M&S, Ogilvy, Fallon and Publicis.

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Interview with Marco Spies, founder of think moto

January 23, 2013,

Marco Spies is an old friend of mine and neighbour since I’ve moved to Berlin 7 months ago. He is one of Germany’s most prolific UX Designers, co-founder of Berlin-based agency think moto, and, oh, author of a great book called Branded Interactions. Before think moto, Marco worked at Pixelpark and Razorfish, and headed the Interactive Design department of the Peter Schmidt Group (BBDO). Marco is Berliner by choice. And in my quest to promote Berlin as creative capital, I found it highly enlightening to hear what Marco had to say about living and working here. More…

Why they only insure women

January 15, 2013,

From Black River FC, the creative hotshop in Jo’burg, comes the latest installment in a long-standing campaign for life insurance brand 1st for Women, an insurer that – as the name suggests – only insures women. This unique selling point has given the agency lots of inspiration over the past seven years to show exactly why they don’t insure men – this was one of the earlier ones. Much to the delight of South African women, it has become one of the most loved brands in the country. There were definitely some weaker executions along the road, but this one is spot on in reminding us why it must be a smart move to insure women only. See other print ads here.

Ad Capital Reporter

QR Cobblestone

December 13, 2012,

To promote Tourism of Portugal, the agency MSFT Partners created the world’s first cobblestone QR code (casefilm). In Chiado, a tourist hotspot in downtown Lisbon, this camouflaged piece of advertising, made of black and white cobblestones, is embedded in the street. Though the ‘traditional’ QR code blends in pretty well with the historical streetscape and is thus not very intrusive, it should draw the attention of the rest of the world visiting Lisbon. Once scanned, the code will take you to a website with information about Portugal – historical facts, cultural events, insights, etc. More QR codes are laid down in other cities, like Barcelona and São Paulo. Probably one of the first attractive QR Codes ever.

Ad Capital Reporter

You can’t live in a waiting list

November 30, 2012,

In Belgium about 5.000 disabled people are on a waiting list for a disabled-friendly house. To make the public aware of that acute housing shortage Inclusie Invest made 6 disabled people – having Down syndrome, being blind and in a wheelchair – squat an old mansion in Brussels. Their motto? We can’t live in a waiting list. The very shabby house makes an impressive backdrop for Madness’ famous Our House. The film was created by TBWA Brussels and directed by Guy Goossens. The street of the squatted house is also recreated online on where you can virtually squat a house yourself if you like the campaign.

Ad Capital Reporter

Time for retirement

October 26, 2012, AAB

A while ago we posted about what we thought was quite a funny competition – organized by animation studio Hobby Animation. It was dubbed ‘Free the Swedish King’ and asked creatives to write a script for an animation explaining why Sweden doesn’t need a monarchy. The jury – consisting of people such as Gudrun Schyman, Mårten Knutsson and Arvid Svanvik – eventually chose Julian Hagemann & Torkild Jarnholtwere from DDB Oslo as the winners. This is the result. The film was directed by Hobby Animation’s Kristofer Ström.

Ad Capital Reporter

Smart advertising

September 26, 2012,

What a groundbreaking skateboard video; featuring pro-skaters Kilian Martin and Alfredo Urbon, doing a series of previously unseen stunts on the world’s first-ever tandem skateboard! Even if you’ve never touched a skateboard in your life before, you can’t help but gaze at the impressive moves these two are pulling off in this piece of content. Correction: branded content. What? Yes, this film, directed by Ben Newman (Pulse Films), is to sell the new Smart Fortwo that will be launched in 2013. Smartly enough the car brand has quite elegantly restrained itself from your typical ‘car porn’ by not showing the product until the very end of the film. That’s right, a 5-second glimpse of the Fortwo is all we get. The agency, Weapon7, was briefed to celebrate the unique experience offered by the Fortwo; it only has two seats. It is debatable of course whether having only two seats really makes it fun, but the agency sure knows how to get you looking. Perhaps not long enough at the product itself, but at least they made the car feel ‘off the wall.’

Ad Capital Reporter

Working in Berlin

September 4, 2012,

For two years I lived by the Amstel as one of the many, many expats in the Dam. And I enjoyed every day there. But being German, I recently decided to move back to start a new life in Berlin. I never lived in the German capital before, even though I wasn’t a stranger to the city. Many of my friends moved here over time which made it even easier to integrate in this strange, crazy and exciting metropolis. What I found out though is that not every city is as integrative as Amsterdam. German cities still have to fight the perception that it’s not easy for people from abroad to find a job and integrate here. So I asked myself the question what the chances would be to integrate in Berlin if I wasn’t German? In other words: can a British, Dutch or French person realistically expect to move to Berlin to work in a creative agency here? More…