Insurer Delta Lloyd’s briefing: how do you get people to think about their pension, when “as soon as the word pension is mentioned people stop listening.” (indeed, we were quite happy to have finally learned to live in the now!) Since hoaxes are the new ‘truth ’ TBWA created a nightmare scenario (case film); an entrepreneur transforms an old jail into a fully automated budget retirement home “where the elderly are kept alive as efficiently as possible” – with small basic rooms, computerized care etc. You can easily imagine how journalists jumped on this. And then the hoax was revealed live in a talk show. This is how Delta Lloyd ‘earned’ €2.1 million in PR. Simple as that.
O.k., we’re now properly getting in the Christmas mood. In 2010 KLM, together with Boondoggle, surprised 28 passengers at Schiphol with a ‘small act of kindness’ – which was a little present for those who checked in with Foursquare at the airport. This was filmed, seeded online, and thus received quite some attention. This Christmas KLM repeats the trick. Only this time without Boondoggle and by upgrading some Chicago-bound travelers to Business class. On top of that the travelers receive a Happy Holidays show, performed by the Amsterdam based comedy institution Boom Chicago. Even Santa makes an appearance. It looks so easy – maybe even corny. But if you see this video, you can’t help to start loving KLM or love the airline even more.
What a nice ‘infographic’ (click to enlarge). It depicts the best agencies in town by comparing them with different ships. We shouldn’t take it too seriously, the introduction tells us, since it is not science and “therefore absolutely not measurable.” Glad we got that straight. The infographic is quite nicely designed (though the body copy font is a touch too small) and compares TBWA with a tanker; “It’s capable to ship a lot of work at the same time.” BSUR is a powerboat; “It needs space to go fast.” And Tribal DDB a submarine; “Fully equipped with the latest techniques.” Doom & Dickson is compared with a Ferry: “It will safely ship you to your destination, something many marketers still appreciate.” And Red Urban a pleasure yacht “about having fun, not too complicated.” We received this piece anonymously so we cannot hand out any credits. In any case, it seems as if the person or agency behind it could use some extra work – let’s say it’s comparable to the proverbial raft; very crafty, but completely surrendered to the waves of our feeble economy.
This is weird, a car brand that tries to hypnotize you to like their new car. The first case of hypno-tising we ever heard of. Last time Fitzroy tried a creepy viral that was supposedly not approved by Hyundai’s head office to sell the 3-door Velostar. This time they’re going subliminal. We can imagine that when “new”, “improved”, etc. won’t cut it, the temptation of taking the art of persuasion to the next level is there. It’s done by means of Peter Powers – we assume that’s his ‘artist’ name. The concept is definitely original, but when we see this trailer we have the feeling that we’re looking at Derek Ogilvie ‘genuinely’ talking to the dead. And since many people think Ogilvie is a fraud, you’re walking on thin ice here. As for the hypnosis-session itself; we tried it. Seriously, we really tried, but didn’t get hypnotized. “The love and affection” that Peter Powers wants us to feel for the i30 didn’t occur. But as you can imagine, we’re not the average Hyundai buyer. And one thing is sure, just like the previous viral this will easily generate some (negative) rumour around the brand.
Here’s yet another agency that converted its creativity into a special Christmas concept. Last week Wieden + Kennedy organised a Virtual Holiday Dinner via Skype. It allowed the many expats ‘living’ at Wieden to enjoy their Christmas dinner with their relatives overseas. The software was quite ingenious, allowing the Skypers to move their own virtual doll by turning their heads left and right in front of their webcam to face the other people at the virtual table and have a real conversation – that is, as ‘real’ as the paper turkey, of course. Traditional and innovative at the same time. Now we think of it, a little more tweaking and W+K might be able to do all its international conference calls like this.
The compact team of SSSS & Orchestra – a name that always makes us trip between the third and fourth ‘S’ – thanks its clients with a very sympathetic Christmas present this year; a CD (read: compact disc) in black tie with the agency’s favourite Christmas classics. Since we don’t own any Christmas compilations and – more importantly – always appreciate a gift, we’ve already played the album quite a few times, reminding ourselves that it is Christmas soon. We have to admit that every now and then we skip a song, since the different music styles are as diverse as the people on the album cover. As you can imagine Bela Stamenkovits (glasses, showing his watch) and Ed Stibbe (grey hair, tilted bow tie) have a more – let’s say – mature taste with Otis Redding and Chris Rea, while the pretty girls prefer Beyonce, Lady GaGa, and Destiny’s Child. In the CD booklet the S’s and their orchestra explain what kind of Christmas mood belongs to their favourite songs, which gives the album an extra personal touch. Thanks, 4xS&O for getting us in the Christmas mood!
Art Director Ewoudt Boonstra and Copywriter Zack McDonald, both working as a team at Sid Lee Amsterdam, created the website ‘Emtpy The Web’, which shouldn’t be visited when you easily get triggered into an epileptic attack – we are not kidding! Actually, even if you like to bounce at techno parties, the site might still give you a headache. It is even more ADHD than the previous site the creative team launched; ‘All the banners on the web’. What is similar about it though, is that it’s not selling us much more than creativity – in other words, they didn’t create it because some client told them to. The e-mail we received in our inbox explains: “The Internet is like a cup. And the cup is almost full. The web is growing at an alarming rate. It currently holds 5 trillion megabytes of data. Every minute, 35 hours of content is uploaded to Youtube. Every month, 2.5 billion photos are added to Facebook. As technologists continue to warn of an impending Data Explosion, we felt we needed to do our part to raise awareness of this threat, and save the world while we’re at it”. Fortunately Boonstra and McDonald didn’t actually show a cup (and two girls) to make their point, though this site is also quite difficult to watch.
This very basic phone, branded John’s Phone, was created by Amsterdam agency John Doe. As it is the most simple mobile phone you can imagine, it is dubbed ‘dumbphone’ – you cannot even text with it. But it’s also made with a sense of humour, since it carries a pen and small address book (at the back) to write down (sic) mobile numbers. The phone’s simpleness gives it a stand-by time of three weeks. And since the phone is also made of soy it’s (partly) bio degradable. John’s comes in different colours and this week a golden limited edition (picture) will be released at the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. The phone is not the first product John Doe has created. With the brand From The Supermarket (“Buy it, and it’s yours”) the agency already made Japanese styled water cartons, t-shirts, and even a scooter called Toni Electroni. John’s Phone could be very successful for its simplicity and the fact that it combines design with eco, but its limited ‘smartness’ could just as well be the nail in its coffin. Only the future will tell. In any case John Doe has once more put itself on the map quite smartly.
Since 1999 Amsterdam based The Stone Twins, ‘a creative communication agency’ – with a profound feeling for design – is run by the twins Declan and Garech Stone. This month the talented Irish brothers reached their 40th birthday and to celebrate this they published ‘A catalogue of CRAP’. It is one of the most original pieces of agency advertising we have come across in a long time. While most ‘creative’ agencies cannot do any better than a spread in Adformatie with commercial stills – together with some copy along the lines of “we love advertising” – The Stone Twins created a catalogue about their lives. Or, as described in the introduction; “this catalogue is a potpourri of venerated objects and people. A visual timeline of a life conveyed through curiosities, relics, art & propaganda” (read: C.R.A.P.).
KesselsKramer is known for every now and then creating stuff that is not necessarily made to sell products. It just makes its employees – and the world around them – happy. Take for example this website, called ‘All the banners of the web’. It was sent to us by Zack McDonald from KK, with a little note: “Unless you are a newborn baby, a prisoner of war or a pet rock, banner ads are an inescapable part of your life. You see them every day, yet you don’t know anything about them. Not really. Now is your chance to get to know Vertical Rectangle, Wide Skyscraper, Micro Bar and the rest of the gang. Learn about their fears, their desires, their ambitions, their fetishes. See them as the unique individuals they are, rather than the anonymous annoyances you imagine them to be”. So when you click on a banner, you can read about its personality. For example the rectangle (a banner we sometimes – but not very often – use on our website) is described as: ‘Rectangle likes to party hard’. Apparently it’s a female, cause ‘sometimes she kisses a stranger’. And if you think that is a bit trashy, you don’t have to worry, since ‘she rarely goes all the way with someone she just met’. Besides, ‘her friends are just catty little prudes with sticks wedged way far up their butts’. And this is just one of the banners. If this site is to sell anything, it is KesselsKramer’s creativity.