Nike Football, “My time is Now”

Video

14 million views on YouTube and still going strong.

I’ve often eulogized the Nike work. Their access to and use of stars is often exemplary, but does this one go too far?

It is a promo that invites you into an interactive on-line opportunity to “find out what it takes”.

All very slick as you would expect, but is it too much?

With a wealth of talent at their disposal, everyone is in this spot Neymar, M’Vila, Götze, Ribéry, Sneijder, Ronaldo to name a few. Even Lebron James is crammed in there!

A case of not seeing the wood for the trees and not getting the best value out of priceless talent?

Obviously Nike and football have moved onto the global stage, but I still prefer some of the more tailored work – any excuse to show Park Life again:

Commonwealth Bank “Can” and “Can’t” Campaign with Toni Collette – “An Ode to Can” and the latest TV ad

After being teased with “can’t” we now see the “can” campaign in full from Commonwealth Bank.

Much has been written about the merits of the teaser campaign, about those that ambushed it and if it was effective against the target, assuming that we know who it is targeted at and what effect “teasing” has on a target inundated with advertising messages? I think “teasing” is a figment of the agencies imagination and the consumer rarely notices the message, despite a massive amount of expensive media.

This campaign has plenty of polish. M&C Saatchi work their magic in film and their creative team wrote a very nicely crafted poem as well (see the bottom of the post for the words), delivered impeccably by Toni Collette, who is surprisingly appropriate for the tone of the ad.

You are invited into the prospect of a great big brand reveal in the ad. Nike? A charity? Perhaps a vocational career? Saving the world or rain forests?

And then it’s a bank?

Some more cynical consumers might say that banks are the antithesis of “can”. They could pass on the interest rate cuts in full, but “can’t” due to the bottom line, economy, shareholders etc. Banks certainly suffer in a financial crisis and are often and sometimes wrongly (who helped me buy the house again…?), portrayed as the pariah of the masses. They are arguably no longer a badge of honor for employees – all post GFC issues that are very real if you are trying to attract and retain customers and the best staff.

So back to the bank ad, it positively glows with warmth and radiates assured positive vibes…the choice of Toni and the strategy to read a nice poem about the “possible” entertains and entices beautifully. It is a very slick, simple piece of work that you enjoy viewing.

But what is it aiming to achieve?

I wonder if a large part of the client “buying” the campaign is to do with internal communications? If all Commbank staff adopted a “can do” mentality, the customers might be happier which equals more money and happier staff, which equals happier customers and more money (over simplified I accept).

I am less certain about the relevance of “can” to the bank’s consumers when delivered so conceptually via a TV ad. Are people likely to be left feeling inspired, perhaps taking up that hobby after all, but left confused about what it means to their banking?

The consumer might be doubting the message given their experience.

They might be thinking where is “can” when they ask if they can lower their interest rate on the mortgage, or when they ask if Commbank can better a competitors rate? The “can do” concept is contrary to the current perceived truth and I am left wondering what facts back up this “can do” claim? If there are new products and services in this regard, the campaign could be a golden opportunity to make this known? If this is a precursor to all the answers about what Commbank “can do” then it could develop nicely. Perhaps if you go in and ask you just might get a deal (…a bit like Bing Lee)?

But this particular ad is all about emotional not rational values. And perhaps this is where it misses an opportunity to “sell” in the minutes worth of poetic action. Why not do both?

Advertising should close the deal. It should engage you emotionally and entertain you, whilst convincing you rationally of the product or services it wants you to buy. It is a sales tool (sorry, but it really is). It gives you reasons to believe and then act. With a significant media spend on TV, I feel both emotional and rational messages should be in the ad to drive engagement and “sales”.

This is arguably a very unfashionable and even old-fashioned view of the art of advertising. One held by the likes of John Hegarty, Dave Trott and the like (try DT’s blog for more).

Consumers should be credited with the capacity to look at advertising and discern the sales message amongst the shine of a polished ad. This is what great advertising does – engage and sell.

I may be doing a disservice to the Commbankers who will certainly have a clever “can” direct mail out there, giving some rational reasons as to what Commbank “can do” tout de suite! This could be the entrée to a campaign about all the proof points as to why Commbank can? But such a good ad would be a great ad if it delivered a reason “why” or “how” Commbank “can” in these 60 seconds.

The current reality is that the press is full of contradictory stories on the problems in the sector and Commbank has taken a fair share of criticism over job cuts and mortgage rates, leaving consumers with a different perception of the product to that presented in the ad. and testing the credibility of the “can” promise with consumers. Consumers are suspicious of banking institutions and are lacking confidence in their motives.

This ad is wonderfully produced, full of emotional engagement, but what is it hoping to achieve without some rational reasons to believe in the bank’s products and act? Maybe the next bit of the campaign is the hard sell?

Commbank doesn’t need to build awareness, it doesn’t need to change the colour of the logo, it needs to change negative attitudes based on what consumers perceive the banks to be and give skeptical people rational reasons to move from their bank to Commbank. The hardest bit is done – it captures the attention in a positive manner, but what am I motivated to do?

I don’t think that the current mortgage rate and GFC driven negative perceptions to banking / individual banks can be altered by just the warmth of a positive, well presented, but ultimately generic “feel good” statement. This is a luxury most advertisers can’t afford and most CFO’s won’t support. Customers treat this category seriously and need compelling reasons to break up with their bank and get a better deal elsewhere. This isn’t selling cosmetics it’s selling control and care of your cash.

The excellent NAB ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDbvAEcP_2k took the decision to be “on your side” and “break up” with those other bad banks. BUT it also had one of the lowest mortgage rates of the high street banks. Clever, creative and insightful advertising backed up by a strong product proposition.

ING got it right with a simple, well branded ad that showed the interest rate. Less likely to win awards, but more likely to win customers for who it is relevant (I want to save money), interesting (orange apes?) and motivating (the best rates).

The Saatchi and Commbank marketing team are all top players in the game. As noted, this could be the opener to a campaign full of answers for the rational side of the pitch of new products and services, all predicated with what Commbank “can” and will do for you.

They have a new set of TV ads out here…New Commbank Campaign so judge for yourself. I think the best rational support is delivered in the press ads posted later here: CommBank Press Campaign. The most recent work takes yet another direction with James Magnussen.

Ultimately I still believe that this TV creative could have been a much more effective ad if it had the rational “what we can do for you” sales message incorporated, complementing the engaging entertainment. A much bigger creative challenge, but with much greater rewards.

But hang on…What about BT?

An interestng post script to this high-profile campaign are the reports in Mumbrella and AdNews of plagiarism, even if it is from the same agencies earlier work in 1999 for BT in the UK. The similarities are striking – the original BT work was pitched as follows:

“Focusing on the idea that chief executives hate the word ’can’t’, poster sites on major routes into London will initially carry a teaser campaign reading simply ’Can’t’.

“After a few days, the teaser will be transformed into ’Can’ with paint, eggs and graffiti, above the line, ’BT. You Can.”

An interesting conversation between agency and client no doubt as it potentially takes the polish off this one, but then how many ideas are truly original and who but a few of us actually remember 1999?

Ode to Can.

There’s a four lettered word
As offensive as any
It holds back the few
Puts a stop to the many.

You can’t climb that mountain
You can’t cross the sea
You can’t become anything you want to be.
He can’t hit a century
They can’t find a cure.
She can’t think about leaving or searching for more.
Because Can’t is a word with a habit of stopping
The ebb and the flow of ideas
It keeps dropping
itself where we know in our hearts it’s not needed
And saying “don’t go” when we could have succeeded.

But those four little letters
That end with a T
They can change in an instant
When shortened to three.
We can take off the T
We can do it today
We can move forward not back
We can find our own way.

We can build we can run
We can follow the sun
We can push we can pull
We can say I’m someone
Who refuses to believe
That life can’t be better
With the removal of one
Insignificant letter.

Any good and fair work done by CommBank (plagiarism aside) has been potentially ruined by their on-line attempt at humour – a joke set in London featuring a back-pack bomb hoax. Now removed by CommBank, but widely reported. Interesting proof if it were needed of the reach and impact of some viral on-line efforts.

High Profile = High Parody

As a more lighthearted close, here is a Sportsbet parody of this more than earnest effort by Toni. Sportsbet have offered a ‘can can’ dance off to see who would host each others ad for 24 hours and donate $50,000 to charity – CBA declined on the basis that they don’t gamble with charity donations (…and this is more NAB territory!). Perhaps they might have chosen a more human answer and capitalised on this PR opportunity?

And Finally…Gloss vs Gold?

So after all is said and first posted, what is the final (final!) take on the campaign?

Fundamentally I think that this is a big idea. Nice to see.

An idea that relies on a big voice and a lot of support in all areas of the business. Also being executed well in terms of spend and ‘touch points’

It started in a esoteric, ethos sort of way, which lost it for me – a bit too much emotion without the support. It subsequently (and as of Sept) has reverted to much more traditional ‘proof point’ rational advertising. Saying exactly what Commbank can do. Not award winning, but useful delivery of attitude changing info with the emotional engagement of a can do attitude:

This is an idea with many, many facets to the campaign.

I still believe that the campaign would have been more effective in changing hearts and minds if the campaign that melded the emotional and rational messages from the start. It is always a lot to assume that people follow every twist and turn of a big campaign. However loud it shouts.

A lot of money was spent saying ‘can’ and teasing the consumer into being  interested. Despite the new sexy image of banking, I still don’t think finance is just about the gloss (the poem opener) when people are counting their gold (i.e. what is the best rate for me?).

Perhaps more might have been devoted to ‘can do what exactly’ from the opener?

And some of the best, most innovative things Commbank have done – make a Kaching payment app in the face of an amazing omission from the new iPhone, and give your iPhone an invaluable tool to look for and buy your new house.

Nice to see something different generating plenty of opinions.

Carlsberg Euro 2012 Fan Academy TV ad. Probably the best football ad this year?

Video

You probably need to be English to get the most out of this. Which in itself is a great compliment to the spot – it nails the England fan mentality.

There are also very good choices in casting: headed by Des Lynam featuring England legends Bobby Charlton, Peter Shilton, Stuart Pearce and Ian Wright; actor Brian Blessed; ex-Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie; explorer Ray Mears; and TV presenter Helen Chamberlain serving pies.

But at the end of the day, stirring that in-built passion for the great game is going to bring rewards.

You might even feel that Carlsberg are in this one with you…before you realize that it is Danish brewing company founded in 1847 by J. C. Jacobsen after the name of his son Carl. Not very English really.

Interesting to see Carlsberg getting it right for the market and continuing a strong campaign of understanding who they are talking to. The watchability is great (to the England fan at least!)

ITV’s Euro 2012 trailer “It’s good to dream” – best football ad this year.

Video

As the Europe and football fans everywhere look towards another Euro 2012, there is a flurry of advertising activity from the likes of adidas, Carlsberg etc.

But of all the choices, I think that the ITV effort gets top marks.

For a TV promo. it is pretty good. And if we were talking about an agency, we might even say there’s a good insight on the beleaguered English fan thinking (dreaming) of what might have been.

Above all it is entertaining and gives you a positive feeling about ITV and perhaps a stronger inclination to watch the channel where you have a choice.

Some great little insights that show what might have been. I particularly like the Gazza (Paul Gascoigne) monument in place of the “Angel of the North” and the Kevin Keegan references (bias of a Newcastle United fan) and if only Maradonna had been sent off!

Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: “Uncle Drew”

Video

I believe in the “truth” in advertising – that is the fact that creative scenarios are relevant, interesting and believable to the people who they are targeting.

This is critical in talent use. A previous post on Beckham and Beethoven shows that “making it up” doesn’t cut it. The joke or demonstration of skill needs to be genuine.

Pepsi have developed this film with Australian-American basketball player and 2012 NBA Rookie Of The Year, Kyrie Irving, in disguise as a fictional character named “Uncle Drew”.

It plays out in a really believable manner – you see the surprise and delight is genuine in the crowd. As it develops it becomes truly entertaining as Uncle Drew turns it on.

The branding is light. A couple of pack shots and credits.

But because of the high level of engagement, it works. This is creative content that is clever and attributes a lot of brand value to the guys who thought it up.

3 million plus views and the associated talk-ability prove that the effort is worth it.

Great talent is also important – the film was written and directed by Irving.

David Beckham kicks Beethoven’s Ode To Joy for Samsung Galaxy Note

Video

Samsung’s Olympic Games Ambassador David Beckham displays precise footwork with a 15-foot wall of drums, the GALAXY Note and the illustrative capabilities enabled by the S Pen.”

True, but as we saw when Beckham kicked it for Pepsi, there is increasing cynicism around these “skill” based creative ideas. (He didn’t really kick the shot that featured in the ad)

The product demo is great – big screen and a pen with an instant publish feature (my words not theirs!). It also looks good.

But we are all thinking that Becks probably popped in and did a couple of shots and the rest was done in post.

The thing that really gets the viral charts racing is when there is some genuine and believable skill. I can’t help thinking that this would have been more effective if we believed Becks had given it a go?

Reference Federer in his tennis shot for Gillette Fusion which knocks the bottle from the guys head – a bit more “believable”!

Stonemen “striptease” afternoon delight underwear ad

Video

Some controversy is bubbling up in marketing circles.

Recently there has been much discussion at how safe (vs shocking) advertising has become. If shock tactics work, how far can you go (ref the latest Amnesty International work)? Are shock tactics (sex, violence or otherwise) the lowest common denominator and lacking any true creativity?

This is where the advertising standards bureau plays a role. The problem is that the rise of the viral marketing campaign and the lack of a traditional TV ad leaves them in limbo and potentially powerless to act.

One thing is for certain, this campaign is creating brand fame for an otherwise unknown underwear brand called Stonemen.

As reported in B&T magazine, the ad asks the user to take a webcam headshot of themselves which is then overlayed on the face of a Stonemen underwear model in the featured magazine, with the user thereby becoming the object of the woman’s sexual fantasy.

Media personality and founder of women’s advocacy group Collective Shout, Melinda Tankard Reist, today told B&T she thought the campaign was backward and delusional.

Offensive or not, it is getting the attention and notoriety it intended.

This teaser when watched on Youtube leads you to the website where you can personalize the picture. The only distribution is via your own social media choices. View it here: http://afternoondelight.stonemen.com/

Some see this as the “diffusing and amusing” humorous element to the campaign. The problem as we all know is that the average high volume user of social media is under 18 and there is no barrier to them accessing, personalizing (in what ever fashion they chose) and distributing this?

The brand director has said:
“The high production values of the film reflect Stonemen’s own obsession with quality. To print a seamless 360 degrees image on a pair of undies has been a labour of love for us and we wanted to bring the same level of craft to the film. It’s rare that virals have this aesthetic and adding an interactive element is a genuine marriage between beauty and the kind of fun you like to have with your mates.”

The debate rages on and of real interest is how we moderate the ever increasing digital distribution of advertising messages, as well as what we deem acceptable in personal social media distribution, particularly when the age of the average user is most likely to be under 18 and it is facilitated by brands with campaigns like this.

A stark contrast to the ad posted here earlier this month. Conflicting strategic thinking, creative execution and impact:

Arnott’s Tim Tam ‘Truly, Madly Tim Tam’ orchard

Video

Tim Tams are as Australian as it gets.

Arnott’s did a nice piece of experiential work in Sydney based on the thought that “I wish Tim Tams grew on trees” as we all do!

The campaign was created and developed by DDB Sydney and its PR/experiential arm Mango Communications. The ad features real people and as I truly believe, the real reactions far outshine those of actors. You believe the delight and surprise of the happy punters.

Lots of clever social media integration, but at the end of the day people really do like free stuff. Particularly chocolate.

(still waiting for my free cadbury bars…)

Nissan Leaf – a world without petrol bowsers

Video

A very nicely executed idea that could grow into an ad.

It certainly demonstrates the core “USP” of the car i.e. it’s electric.

I’m also assuming that people who buy electric cars (and have the cash to pay the premium) are attracted by this.

Certainly grabbed some attention of quite a few school kids by the look of it. Kids are apparently strong influencers of the family car purchase so might not be a bad thing if Nissan are cool with the kids.

Created by Whybin\TBWA Group Melbourne and supported by it’s own Youtube channel

Pedigree “rescue unrescued” cinema ad – adoption drive

Video

This stirring (and long) cinema ad by Colenso BBDO New Zealand, invites cinema goers to make a choice in coloured 3D glasses. Accordingly they see a film based on whether they donate.

It’s a nice spot. Bit long in narrative and the idea is creatively intriguing holding your attention in the story.

But, the real point is Pedigree and their true commitment to the cause. The cynical might suggest it is a one off PR stunt. Not so. Pedigree really are pet people (dogs to be precise).

I’ve previously posted a brilliant spot featuring slow motion footage of dogs eating treats. It captures everything that the pet owner wants to see in a deliriously happy dog. And it is incredibly shot.

But back to the commitment to the annual Adoption Drive. last year Pedigree launched an eight part online documentary series for Facebook and YouTube to champion this year’s Pedigree Adoption Drive. The fourth year it has partnered with PetRescue.

Few campaigns can even claim a 4 year period of consistency. Yet fewer can claim such creative resourcing of the campaign which is based on the simple insight of pet lovers wanting to help dogs (not just nurture their own).

To place the icing on the cake, the entire effort is branded in the now trade mark yellow and black.

This is one of the best examples of a strong brand leader asserting it’s position in market through exemplary strategy and on-brief execution. The fact that they left the kitchen floor / bowl advertising and championed something new in the category is to their credit.

And here is one of the best pet ads ever made…

Woolworth’s Everyday Rewards ad – the simple talking green pea

Video

Woolworth’s is the brand leader.

Woolworth’s prices, range and customer experience are far superior to Coles in my view as a shopper. But Coles are doing a fine job at challenging that view.

Both brands battle it out with big budget media spend. Coles have stuck to a consistent brand formula using personalities and price to great effect (…even though they are unlikely to win any creative awards). The new my5 proposition is well sold by Dawn. As Simon McDowell, Coles Marketing Director has stated in adnews: “Who are we trying to appeal to? Are we trying to appeal to 14 million bodies who shop at Coles every week, or are we trying to appeal to the advertising industry? You can guess what my answer is. We’re very clear on our brand and what it stands for. We’re very clear on our personality.” Nice to see an unapologetic marketing response.

Woolworths “the fresh food people” have a new agency and have recently embarked on a couple of pretty different campaigns – “Select” as posted earlier and this one for their equivalent of Coles “Flybuys”. Neither Woolworth’s campaign contributes directly to the core proposition of “fresh food”. This is done by Advertorial promos. Price seems to be tackled through short lead press ads.

The potential risk is that Woolworth’s looks like a challenger brand, following Coles and lacking consistency and a core proposition.

Further to which Coles are on an aggressive PR offensive as a Coles representative has said:

“Woolworths are playing catch-up again but what they have launched is a hastily pulled together program which does nothing for their customers. Their ‘extra special’ rewards program has simply taken the hundreds of promotions that they would have been running for all their customers anyway and made them exclusive to Everyday Rewards Customers. That’s why they were able to respond to my5 so quickly and it explains why they have not included any fresh items including fruit and veg, home brand milk and meat (these items are predominantly private label and so they can’t get them supplier funded)…”

Tough talk.

This ad feels like a tactical effort before the strategic tour de force we all expect from Droga who are cutting new ground in many categories with outstanding creative.

The simplicity of the my5 Coles proposition is winning consumers – 5 regular buys registered and get a discount. The Woolworth’s Everyday rewards response is actually simpler and stronger on paper, but falls short as it is pitched as a response to the other guys. It even references (and therefore credits) the competition’s proposition.

I think that the Coles guys are getting to the Woolies guys…as McDowell concluded: “We take our brand and our business seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are trying to sell and serve with personality, to make ourselves warm and approachable.” I agree, the personality that matches the target (not necessarily all of the creative community) is there. Interesting use of “warm and approachable” versus Woolworth’s Select ads.

A great marketing battle in the making and I look forward to the next salvo from Woolworth’s and Droga as the strategy comes into full swing.

The Wait – anti-smoking ad

Video

The question is does this work better than showing the physical impact of smoking or the real emotional impact on a family?

I think it could make more of the emotional price paid, the rational message is largely overlooked (ref packaging) – the ads featuring real people who appeal directly to the viewer are arguably more effective. Particularly those featuring people who have died subsequent to making the spot.

A bit more shock and awe combined with the victim verbatim is probably a prerequisite to getting the attention of the stubborn smoker. Actors and inference of the problem have probably become less effective with decreasing impact.

Motorcycle reconstruction – TAC road safety TV Campaign – “Slowing Down Won’t Kill You”

Video

I ride a bike and have done for many years. I also drive a car.

I therefore notice the campaigns to keep riders safe – those that encourage car drivers to check the blind-spot etc.

The best was still “think once, think twice, think bike” aimed at car drivers who “didn’t see the bike…” before they turned into it.

This ad is one of the worst kind. It depicts the biker as the only one at fault and yet again ignores the role of the car driver.

As written in the Age yesterday: “But nowhere is there any criticism of the driver who has caused an accident by failing to give way when facing a stop sign. There is not a hint of it. There is, instead, a subtext that it is all the rider’s fault, that since he was speeding, the driver can be exonerated entirely.”

I get that it is aimed at speeding bikers, but for a client that should know better, this ad and depicted situation, will alienate all bikers who understand the constant threat of cars turning into their path.

Amazing lack of insight into the both the problem and target.

If it is speed you want to curb, then show the perils of hitting a corner too quickly, not the perils of avoiding cars turning into you without looking!

Ironic that a SupaCheap auto ad does it better than the TAC: http://youtu.be/z8mOX8PdtOU

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/giving-way-on-the-road-wont-kill-you-either-20120509-1yczr.html#ixzz1uWln6pg2

Ford Falcon Ecoboost – Cane Toads on the road

Video

You have to applaud an attempt at something different, but for the category the bench mark is the Super Bowl work posted here earlier.

This is the launch of a new model in a fairly conservative sector, from a very established brand.

The question is will this execution reach the target, interest them and motivate them to buy the new Falcon?

Interestingly the “power” message is well conveyed and perhaps everyone does indeed know what the Ford Falcon looks like?

Fun Ford Falcon family entertainment.

I look forward to the Cane Toad Activist’s complaints against the gratuitous violence (surely even Cane Toads must have them?)

Lynx Anarchy Invisible ad in Sydney House

Video

Lynx have been successfully using activation stunts to great effect (ref Virtual Fallen Angels posted earlier).

They get the technology and apply it in a way that drives the PR around the brand and builds brand fame. Even after all these years it still breaks new ground with innovative ideas and causes a stir.

This keeps it fresh and relevant to the target and is integrated into the creative in more traditional media work.

Soap were responsible for this and ECD Brad Eldridge said: “We wanted to create something as disruptive and innovative as the product itself. We used a clever hack combining LCD screens and polaroid glasses to create something that extends the campaign in an innovative and unique way.”

Argentina Falklands Olympic ad

Video

As many people have already seen this, here is an ITN news report showing the ad and discussing the reaction. The controversy continues to build.

The campaign is titled: ‘Olympic Games 2012: Homage to the Fallen and the Veterans of the Malvinas.’

The spot ends with the words: “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil. In homage to the fallen soldiers and war veterans.”

It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running in the Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and exercising on the island’s Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.

Despite requests from WPP, the Government of Argentina has refused to bring the ad down. It has been reported Argentina’s foreign secretary Hector Timerman said: “”Britain’s defence minister [Phillip Hammond] demands, like a mighty knight, that Argentina expresses its regret for the creativity of an advert which sums up what we feel.

“He has still not explained what punishment he will select if we refuse to obey his demands. He ought to know the world is a safer place when you use creativity instead of bombing civilian populations in independent countries.”

The International Olympics Committee has denounced the ad, saying the Olympics should not be a fourm to raise political issues.

Far from political action, a number of “British response” ads are already posted on-line provoking some strong reactions on both sides.

The latest is that WPP’s Y&R network will make a contribution to war veterans’ charities in an attempt to compensate for the controversial spot created by its Buenos Aires office.

A different take on the power of advertising.

Vitek Vodka “Parkour” ad – “distilled by peasants drunk by royalty”

Video

Here’s an interesting one.

My initial thoughts were as follows…A send up of “Parkour” runs as a nice piece of entertainment – it does engage you in the story and the inevitable conclusion. The question is does this build brand awareness for Vitek and give you any reason to buy?

Is it really motivating to suggest that the brand is distilled by Peasants and drunk by Royalty? (I keep thinking about hygiene issues). I’m also not sure that the “made in Australia” claim sits well with the brand positioning around Polish distillers?

There is a series of these and we are encouraged to believe that the distillers, whilst expert in making the vodka, are a bit eccentric when it comes to other skills. Presumably through their single minded dedication to the art of making vodka.

If there was some indication as to why we might believe that the Polish peasant brewers are the best distillers it would help.

Perhaps I’m being a bit too literal and critical, but I do feel that the motivation is lacking to buy the brand when there are so many other alternatives.

So given my skepticism, I went on-line to find out more and uncovered a convenient brand truth!

This is an on-line venture and in his own words goes like this:

“My name is Vitek, I was born in Poland, and grew up watching my father not only infusing vodka but also distilling it. So by the time I was a teenager, I knew how to put a bag of potatoes into a bottle.

Regardless of what I was doing professionally I always considered vodka a hobby – until now – suddenly it’s a job and a business.

Like all hobbies you become a bit of an authority on the subject and today I am regarded – in all modesty – as one of Australia’s leading vodka experts.
By applying traditional infusion methods that have been in our family for generations, to a contemporary product, I have created a range of fresh produce vodkas that have received both critical and commercial acclaim. They are Rose, Coffee and Strawberry.

Vitek Vodkas are purposely at 25% A/V because they are designed to be enjoyed for their flavour. They can be drunk with food, as a sipping drink or just hanging out with friends – much like wine. Doing that at 40% A/V, which most vodka is, would get you so trashed you would be losing friends instead of making them.

Like all vodka, Vitek Vodka should be drunk very cold. Put it in a freezer for a couple of hours or in the fridge for several hours before you drink it. Come in, have a look around and get real with the only flavoured vodka that’s made from real ingredients not chemicals.”

I then spotted some magazine articles (Vogue no less!) on Vitek and was left wondering why the ads don’t bring more of this marvelous provenance and product differentiation to life! There is some creative gold in the Rose, Chocolate, Coffee and Strawberry frozen sipping infusions, as the magazine articles point out.

Couple this to a genuinely interesting and innovative website and the product differentiation leaps out at you.

From skeptic to fan in a matter of clicks.

A sin to say it (..to some), but perhaps spending more on the PR campaign will build this into a bigger and better proposition!

Unilever Domestos Body Builder ad – meet Phil Pace

New from Droga 5 and continuing the stream of good new Aussie ads.

Good advertising relies to a large degree on insights and truths told through believable stories that are relevant, interesting and motivating. Encouraging people to engage, believe and buy.

This is a great example of engaging with the audience. We might not all be body builders, but we can all see the relevance of this story. Also nice that the brand isn’t sold to us in the first scene – we are invited on a journey that entertains us courtesy of the brand.

I would say it is a future case study in how to tackle “taboos” – this really is classic “problem – solution” advertising in a new and groundbreaking effort for the category. Credit to the team for identifying the specific problem and communicating it!

As always there is a skill in storytelling that is beautifully executed here – Phil doesn’t say anything, the narrative all comes from the VO of his partner. It draws you in and you believe in the characters and believe that it is real – real problems = real solutions. This is so much more effective than trying to create characters and situations that aren’t believable or credible and yet hope to convince the consumer. This is a sector where “efficacy” and belief are critical and this execution delivers in spades…

I’m as interested to see the media strategy to maximize this 2 minutes worth – to be honest, it only takes a couple of views and you not only “get it”, but you remember the brand, demonstrating the power of strong, strategic creative.

And what about this for a “branded” journey we all want to go on… http://flushtracker.com/ (…who said this sector was dull!!??)

IKEA Radio ad – holidays with the swearing kid

Video

Monkeys as an agency is on a roll.

Star Casino, Oak Hungry Thirsty and one of my favourite categories (if completely undervalued) radio.

A cracking piece of radio work that uses the medium to best effect and shows genuine insight to the problem that IKEA suggests it can solve.

Strong strategy supported by excellent execution.

NRL Mothers Day TV ad

Video

The NRL needs to strike a balance between depicting a tough contact sport which attracts the core fan and attracting families.

The traditional “rock” approach will always work and I think that this “ode to mums” presents a nice truth behind the game. Rather than presenting saintly heroes (who invariably let you down…), this shows blokes who play rugby talking about their mums. It’s all about a balanced view.

It might help the rejectors to reassess the brand and mum’s and sons will feel the emotion.

A good tactical use of air-time and nicely produced given that we aren’t dealing with actors!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations

Video

As suspected, the “Joyville” ad posted here previously was the beginning of a wonker-like ride into the fun filled world of Cadbury.

This one is specific to Marvellous Creations.

A big production. No doubt appealing to the kids, but I would love to see it evolve with even more amazing bells and whistles. The pint and a half work stretched our imagination a bit more and I think in such a fun category even more liberties could be taken?

I like it – a nice diversion from the usual bite and mmmm approach. And the branding is top notch.

Eagerly awaiting more…actually still waiting for my multiple free bars “won” over a month ago!

There will be stories “Welcome to the Jungle” – Sydney’s Star Casino ad

Video

Rarely do you come across TV work where you are intrigued enough to really want to watch it through and see who or what it is advertising.

This is one of those rare ads – nicely shot of course and wonderfully cast ( a genuine legend in Bill Baker and a large cast at that…), with a nod perhaps to Fat Boy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” video featuring Christopher Walken? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZM1fkHQP_Pw

Heaps of watchability in repeat viewing – spotting the Ducatti in the pool, red Ferrari, Hippy, Emu line up and more.

Welcome to the Jungle – is a nice touch. Relevant to what they are selling and a nice re-imagining of the Guns n Roses original.

Good work from the Monkeys in Sydney

As an interesting post script – debate is raging in the trade press (ref. B&T) following Richard Chees’e claim of plagiarism on the music. The Monkeys have strongly denied this.

Here is his version and his Facebook page is pretty much to the point in terms of his opinion…

http://www.facebook.com/richardcheese: “Wtf. Wtf??????? Wtf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a commercial for some casino in Australia, and they ripped off my “Welcome To The Jungle” arrangement!!!!!!!!!!! You shonky ratbags!!! I’ll tell you right now, this shall not go unpunished. Crikey!!!”

Charlie Sheen is Reborn with T-Rex – Dutch TV Commercial for Bavaria Beer 0.0%

Video

Courtesy of AdNews, a “winning” ad with Charlie Sheen.

Already getting some attention! I for one was wondering just what sort of ending we would get.

Great music track and coupled to Mr. Sheen, it no doubt cost a few Euros to put this together. The viral exposure is already paying dividends.