The Devil is invariably in the Details

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Sports Bet CommBank parody TV ad

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It was bound to happen given the earnest nature of the initial Toni Collette effort.

A bit cheeky, but fun for a tactical moment.

The bank is now investigating whether the parody breaches its intellectual property rights. You would not want to get into a legal battle with these billionaire bankers.

Clearly Commbank spotted this parody very quickly, unlike it’s appalling and “unapproved” Backpack Bomb hoax ad that aired on-line for the Olympics.

The parody has now been removed courtesy of Commbank.

K-Swiss Kenny Powers MFCEO – Vimeo winner

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This won an award for advertising in the recent Vimeo awards which brought it to broader attention after it’s launch last year.

It’s not often that you see a brand take such a left turn in it’s promotional thinking

K-Swiss the American footwear brand, has won recognition for the Kenny Powers campaign spun off the fictional character’s appearance in the HBO series Eastbound and Down.

The MFCEO campaign won K-Swiss Client of the Year at the One Show Awards, along with three Gold Pencils for Non-Broadcast/Online, Branded Content/Online Integrated Branding/Consumer Campaign as well as Vimeo recognition.

Danny McBride appears as Kenny Powers, the CEO in an online campaign. The campaign included billboards in Times Square and Venice Beach, a campaign micro-site, New York City subway posters and a 1-888 number where callers could call and hear an inspirational message from Powers.

One of the more interesting and risky brand initiatives that has propelled K-Swiss upwards in the “cool” charts…and very unusual for American advertising.

The Blades launch is quite something (there might be some strong language in this one…!).

It’s an interesting question – what is acceptable in advertising? This keeps winning awards and the ex Adidas marketing chief who commissioned it is supplying sales figures to say it works. Humour is often subjective, but this was a proven character from HBO’s Eastbound and Down and using Kenny was less of a risk than it might appear.

It certainly forces a reappraisal of the brand and this association will stick for a while, not that the company is moving away from it, more ads are in production with Kenny.

One things for sure, these ads make a statement – irreverent and without apology, differentiating the product from everything else on the shelf (and in the store!). That’s why I like it. Bold and brave, but hopefully not foolhardy – time will tell.

K-Swiss are committed and are on a roll.

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

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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!

IKEA Radio ad – holidays with the swearing kid

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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.

Woolworths Select ad – Droga change the category

By their own admission, this isn’t the new strategy, just a tactical ad for own label. It communicates the rational product values well, but I wonder if it could have contributed more to the overall Woolworth’s positioning and emotionally connected better?

Is the humour a bit left field for the target? it definitely interrupts a viewer, but the bigger question is will it engage them and give Woolworths a connection to the consumer?

Did that woman blink in the entire ad? Do the kids seem a bit on edge…?

More to come and eagerly awaited as Droga get the strategy going.