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.
Small budget, great demonstration
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.
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.
Sexy 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.
20 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.”
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.
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.
Hungry 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.
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.
The 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.
Usain 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?
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!
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.
Danes 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.
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.
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.
Former 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 kraakmee.be where you can virtually squat a house yourself if you like the campaign.
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.
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.’
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…