Grab the accompanying presentation to get the definitions.
Thanks to an APG Invite, I just discovered Dave Trott’s blog. And it’s a good ‘un. This piece on creativity particularly caught my attention because it’s so spot-on. The excerpt above only gives you a glimpse – read the whole thing… here. And think about attending the APG evening talk – looks set to be time well spent…
While you’re there, make sure you read this entry too – it’s hysterically funny as well as useful thinking.
CDP, the agency that pretty much defined the 60s and 70s, limped along through the 90s and is just about to become Dentsu (the parent company). The work is almost the definition of great in those two decades (60s/70s), and the best thing about this celebration site (for us non-CDP’ers) is the collection of old work that’s being collected there. Go here to see it all.
If you ever worked at CDP, though, go and claim your party invite.
Meanwhile, can someone tell me how on earth they got so much outdoor media spend on the A4/A40 corridors??!!?
Even DDS is in on this, with a birthday note (mentioning their own history, of course!)…
Following on from an earlier post on the lovely Absolut film, I got pulled back in from an online ad and saw that there’s a “mentions” meter on each facet of the “Absolut World” film… which I really like – it’s more of a ‘mentions’ of the word than a genuine meter of sentiment or link to the Absolut ideal, but still.
The online ad had me intrigued enough to click, which is pretty rare…
Although I suspect I then got ‘weeded out’ for arriving from a UK IP address, since I never got to enter my vision of an Absolut world. It’s time that brands realise the web will act globally, so not doing so yourself is just annoying!
Still, I had a wander around, ended up on the New Zealand site somehow, then ended up downloading another iPhone app that tickled enough to get a place on my phone…
Not bad, although I left feeling they could do so much more – where’s the extension of that original thought? Although I suspect the answer is “on the US site” – and it is: you can get there by substituting your country code in the URL for “us” or maybe this link will work… And the whole site is so much better than the UK version – packed with a lot more engaging content, rather than just some films and product info!
Tonight is Earth Hour – at 8.30pm locally, wherever you are.
It’s started already – go to Flickr to see the photos of people taking part in New Zealand, Fiji, etc… Look at the YouTube channel for more info. Visit the main site and sign up to take part yourself or just share in the activity.
It’s a lovely, collective piece of passion for mother earth, organised by the WWF and friends.
And it’ll be interesting to go back tomorrow and see all the images, video, etc. from people involved – I wish there was a live satellite feed to show the lights going out – maybe there is and I just didn’t spot it.
The opposite of positive is what sells newspapers, online gossip, or soaps!
I read a great piece in this week’s The Week yesterday about the Vancouver Olympics, talking about how the British press have been identified as scapegoats by the Canadians for knocking their running of the games. One Vancouver journalist wrote this, which made me laugh: “Just because you long ago abandoned any ambitions and became a lethargic nation of elitist whiners whom no one really likes, don’t fault those younger nations who enjoy and embrace life.” (Which is a posting topic in itself.)
Marina Hyde reposted in The Guardian with a commentary on how we will receive the same treatment in 2012, which entitles us to laugh a bit now. Finishing with this rather brilliant insight: “And make no mistake: no one will be cheerily undermining London 2012 more than the British themselves. It’s what we do. Were it an Olympic sport, we would win gold every time.”
So true. We joke with colleagues and we tease good friends. “Banter” is an art form and an accepted signal of friendship. Although we support success, we still love to see a calamitous fall. The American papers love a ‘rags to riches’ story, whereas we love a good dose of ‘riches to rags.’ We rally around a common hatred in TV soaps. And we consider ourselves the world leaders in sarcasm and cynicism. So why all the positivity for brands?
There’s some obvious stuff that is simply illegal according to our own codes of advertising and marketing… as detailed here from the ASA site:
Although comparative claims are permitted, marketing communications that include comparisons with identifiable competitors and/or their products should not discredit, or denigrate the products, trade marks, trade names, other distinguishing marks, activities or circumstances of competitors. Other marketing communications should not unfairly attack or discredit businesses or their products.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we start breaking these rules. Nor that all ads should become negative. But I do think we could be less absolute in our belief that brands have to inhabit a world of positivity.
There was a great paper on “Sadvertising” written some time ago by David Bonney of DDB Needham, which is one way to beat the absolute. The ‘polarising’ nature of something like Marmite is another good example of being less bound by the positive. Numerous charity ads play on heart-rending imagery or outright shock. Virgin Atlantic painted “No way BA/AA” on their planes. But these are exceptions to the rule. And maybe there’s more to it… the US is more lax on this sort of behaviour (although they’d spell that behavior anyway), and that gives rise to a couple of corking examples”
The first is “Got Milk?” Not the stupid ads with celebrities sporting milk moustaches, but the ‘what happens when you haven’t got milk?’ work from Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The classic launch ad – Aaron Burr (search YouTube for “Got Milk Ad” and you’ll find it first in the listings) – epitomises this campaign and the blindingly good insight that not having milk is a bad thing; which is far more impactful than talking about how great it is.
The second great US example is the Truth campaign produced jointly by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Arnold Boston. It is a rallying cry, inciting teenagers to stand up against smoking. Rather than highlight the negatives in a typical ‘smoke and you die’ story, they told the tale of corporate greed and shock ingredients. Again, you’ll find them on YouTube or on the cp+b site (for a couple of good ones, search for “truth body bags” and “truth rat man” but there’s a league of them and they’re all brilliant).
The ‘truth’ campaign feels all the more potent because you can see how it would play to social media as well as broadcast. And that, to me, is a vital reason to rethink some of this in our new world. Social media campaigns tend to do really well when there’s a cause to rally people. They need some bite, otherwise they get ignored! Dan Zarrella wrote a nice little blog piece on this just recently (See it here).
Anyway, it’s a simple thought – we don’t need to flaunt the rules of the ASA, but we could be more liberal in how we judge ideas. And we may need to open our minds to being more ‘negative’ in our approach. Negative can be very dramatic, it can be involving, and it can drive sales… even if it is un-British!
Repost: First posted at WARC Blogs
Saw this new spot on Creativity – which is a beautiful, balletic, majestic, dog-loving extravaganza.
This is the write up on creativity:
Playing catch the Phantom Camera way.
Director Bob Purman used a Phantom camera at 1,000 fps to capture these expressive canines in action.
The director was initially charged with shooting two spots, a “Catch” and a “Jump” execution. The director says: “The ‘Catch’ spot was to be a series of shots of dogs looking with anticipation as a piece of dog food is flying through the air towards them. We shot close-ups of the dogs at 1000 fps. The result was really wonderfully anthropomorphic. The super slow motion really captured this intense sense of desire in the dogs’ eyes. To me it was equal parts awe inspiring and hilarious to see so rich a palate of personality in a dog’s facial expressions. A few days after the shoot I started to get emails from Mark, Steph and the editor Chris Parkins with the different iterations of the spots cut to different music selections, all of them interesting for different reasons. But then they put footage from the two spots together to form this new greater whole that really exploits the dynamics of the dogs’ athleticism and their emotive personality in slowed time.”
So I searched YouTube to see if I could find it there – and found the two “Catch” and “Jump” executions, which come with very different music and a voiceover to boot… Have a watch and decide for yourself what you think might be more effective, but I’m touched by the long format piece without the VO and I’m left feeling like I’m watching something far less memorable, far less extraordinary, far less motivating when I watch the two shorter, VO’d ones.
It’s rare that we see that sort of comparison outside of a personal project, so it’s rare to be able to view them without having an innate bias. But, for me, this is a lovely craft skills comparison – we often kid ourselves that the “message won’t get in the way” and that creatives are being “arty rather than commercial” but all these little differences in music, in timing, in purity all add up.
Meanwhile, in a different country (since the above’s all going on in Canada), Pedigree are doing more great work to help Shelter dogs… If you’re not in the US, you can see it by going to the cached page on Google…
Check this out immediately. The Wrangler site.
This is simply the best fashion site I’ve ever seen. Shows off the clothes in a way I couldn’t conceive before seeing it. The use of movement/video, without losing the focus is smart as almighty hell! Go in, choose a chapter, click on a character and start wanting Wrangler jeans like never before…
W+K London have produced a TV ad for a relaunched Observer… I’ve read that it features “The Thick of It actor Justin Edwards, sending up the shallowness of 24-hour news culture” but I’d be interested to see how many people bother to get that far with the ‘message’ behind it. It’s eminently watchable, it’s just not in the realms of some of their other work…
It was quickly parodied, so it’s at least provocative enough to get some reaction!
You’ve got to wonder if Victors & Spoils aren’t right – as we see more and more of this type of creativity being sourced from the wider world. And why not?
Doritos also ran a double-page spread ad in Campaign this week, with a lovely piece of creative that extols you to win this prize before it’s won by some marketing hack (I’m paraphrasing here and I’m NOT suggesting all marketeers are hacks – just the one lovingly brought to life in their ad!). Couldn’t find it to post – apologies!
From the marketing info, the thought is this:
“Every day from now until Fair Cone Day on April 27th, fans will be invited to bid for the daily prize by submitting what they would do as a fair trade in return for the item on offer. Trades can take the form of a favour, a stunt, a funny video, a good deed or an achievement – whatever they think is a fair trade! Bidders need to be prepared to complete their trade by uploading a picture or video of themselves doing their trade to the 100 Fair Trades online gallery. There are lots more brilliant prizes up for grabs including a Journey Latin America holiday for two people to the Fairtrade producer country, Ecuador and a Trek America Tour to the East Coast of America, including a visit to the Ben & Jerry’s Vermont Factory!”
There’s also a great quote from Jerry Greenfield:
“Fairtrade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. The whole concept of Fairtrade goes to the heart of our values and sense of right and wrong. Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else.”
I’m here – a love story in an Absolut world…
This is fascinating – a movie supported by Absolut, shot by Spike Jonze.
With a campaign around it that does lots of interesting stuff…
Starting everywhere, but including…
1. A trailer:
2. A book:
3. A window display:
4. A web site:
5. A blog:
And that’s just what I’ve seen so far…
It’s content – it’s interesting – it’s got a star director to pique your interest – but I really love that they’re surrounding it with communications that get you involved and intrigued.