I come from a Land Down Under – Telstra TV ad

Video

The ad, created by DDB Sydney, features Men At Work’s Colin Hay and a cast of Ozzies in London. An unbranded version of the ad was played to the whole Olympic team just after Australia’s flag bearer was announced. This immediately shows that it is hitting the right note with real people.

I like it for its honest simplicity and emotional effectiveness, versus other efforts to convince us of Ozzie roots / provenance or general “Ozzieness”. This spot seems to strike the right “C’mon Ozzie” chord with the locals versus metaphorical skyward gazing from Qantas or too much deep and meaningful from CommBank with Toni Collette.

A few people have referenced this ad in preference to the Qantas effort and I can understand why. Both use music to bring you the brand, but Telstra hit a better note with the locals.

And we might even assume that it is relevant as these Ozzies will all be phoning home!?

A good tune with the right emotional pull can make even a modest ad, with few rational reasons to believe, a memorable and magical effort. At the end of the day and as Hegarty once said:

“If you can’t say it, sing it…”

Advertisements

OXY – Zit popping man sized problems

Video

Please note – I wouldn’t look at this if you’ve got food on your mind! It contains explicit zit popping material.

A while ago an almost surgical excising of a zit became an internet viral hit – the on-line pimple squeezing got a lot of views. 5 million endured the 3 minutes in full glory.

Some of those unforgettable moments are in this piece from Naked Comms in Sydney together with a multitude of other zit popping moments.

The venerable Adam Ferrier said:

“We pride ourselves on finding the right solution to the presenting problem. This video, although difficult to watch for some, will tickle the target markets interest and get people to try Oxy.

“The idea came from the simple insight that guys like watching videos of guys squeezing big pimples. It speaks to our target much more authentically than the glossy, cheesy work of Oxy’s big spending competitors. We believe this work will result in mass trial of the brand, and change consumer behaviour towards Oxy.”

An age ago I worked on the brand when it was with SmithKlineBeecham. We thought ourselves somewhat revolutionary for introducing the word “zit” into our ads – famously coining the line “Blitz those Zits with Oxy”. It did well as it appealed to the target in their terms versus Clearasil which was still talking “cleansing”.

That was prior to the connected revolution the target enjoy today so I think it is probably a very smart strategy to re-calibrate the conversation (on-line at least) and show the true gory glory to the target.

The on-line piece concludes on a free sample afer the “man sized” message – it works and should generate trial if it reaches enough people. My only add-on would have been something a bit more brand centric about to close…something like:

“Blitz those Zits with Oxy…”

Carefree Actifresh – The “Vagina” Word TV ad

Video

Much of my recent postings have been around the subject of “taste”.

This is taste in terms of what advertising should and shouldn’t say and suggest around traditionally taboo subjects. As well as examples of poor taste propped up by the excuse of irreverence and tongue in cheek (Lynx being a shocker)

Some would argue that taste is a subjective measure of what we as individuals deem appropriate as advertising.

I think that the question of taste or advertising standards is more than that. We need to arbitrate in these matters on behalf of the mass market majority who are exposed to the advertising – particularly when it is on TV. Rather than crushing creativity, this should actually prompt more ingenious, imaginative solutions to communication.

The creative community can argue that we should break these taboos – use the word vagina when discussing feminine hygiene. Show explicit imagery to demonstrate problems (accidents / disease etc). Many might suggest that we are lessening the creative impact by embargoing these words and images.

At the risk of sounding conservative on creativity, I don’t agree.

I think that this ad is a beautifully produced ad. It captures the attention and the dialogue is relevant and motivating to the target. The last thing it needed was the seemingly gratuitous inclusion of the word vagina. I don’t think this inclusion adds anything to comprehension or awareness of the message. It just shocks the casual viewer, as in “did they just say that”?

Are we to imagine that the target didn’t get the message and needed to be alerted to it through hearing vagina in the monologue?

In the words of Johnson & Johnson:

“We have decided to take a bold approach in this campaign with the aim to tackle a subject which has always been taboo.”

I don’t think the language is going to make this a bold ad on a taboo subject.

There is a lot of debate on it at present. Daye Moffitt, brand strategy director at creative agency Moon, offered a female perspective.

“Personally, it makes me cringe, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I do think it is a good strategy. The shock tactic helps with getting young women to listen up – it gets their attention in a very loud marketplace.  It’s an effective and memorable ad, certainly.”

With the greatest respect to Daye, I think that cringe is the issue – imagine how parents with teenage boys respond when they hear it.

As anticipated the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau has received over 30 complaints since the ad first screened on Sunday evening. A spokesperson for the ASB said:

 “Most of the complaints are about the terminology that’s used and the nakedness of the woman,”

Interesting that the nudity got so much attention, suggesting how conservative our viewers really are.

The creative challenge reaches beyond the use of explicit or provocative language. And “vagina” can be considered as explicit language to many in the mass market living rooms.

Creativity needs to find new ways of reaching into the consciousness of viewers. Ways that don’t rely on gimmicks, tricks and controversy.

The ad is good, not great, and the inclusion of the word vagina merely serves to draw attention to the word not the problem or brand. Probably at the cringing discomfort of many women who would rather not shout it loud and proud from the living room floor.

These women are after all the target market and discretion in communication is perhaps more relevant and motivating than the vagina monologue.

LEGO Build with Google, LEGO Movies, LEGO Spaceman and LEGO VW Combi Camper

Video

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

LEGO logo

LEGO is a brand that has successfully re-invented itself.

Licensing innovation and an ability to evolve has been a major part of the strategy. LEGO has realised that it’s functionality and core proposition of creativity expressed as “Just imagine…” can be applied to an abundance of diverse brands and even services.

Some great examples include:

LEGO Technic, originally launched in 1977 and relaunched in the modern format in 1984, made efforts from brands like Frank Hornby’s  Meccano redundant to modern kids.

Star Wars LEGO with cheeky characters and amazingly accurate models, relaunching the brand to a generation of new consumers (and collectors).

A LEGO pilot even took to the upper atmosphere courtesy of some enterprising Canadian students:

And I spent a very enjoyable couple of days, unashamedly reliving my childhood by building a LEGO VW 1962 Combi Camper, using all 1,322 pieces of the stuff.

A few sore fingers later and it has pride of place on the mantlepiece and well out of reach of the kids…

Needless to say every great brand is in the sights of a Hollywood producer.

The “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller is directing “LEGO: The Piece of Resistance” which is a hybrid of live-action and LEGO-based animation. It follows the adventures of “instruction worker” Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), a manual labourer in the LEGO world, capable only of following directions from a manual. Will Arnett will voice the role of LEGO Batman. LEGO Yoda, Indiana Jones and Superman will also feature in this battle of good versus evil.

Australian visual-effects house Animal Logic will handle the CGI, which is expected to comprise 80 percent of “LEGO.” The project is scheduled for US release on Feb. 28, 2014.

So despite its plastic rigidity, LEGO has certainly become an incredibly flexible brand without losing it’s core promise of creativity and imagination – as brilliantly established in its classic 1981 Mike Cozens “Kipper” ad, still one of the best ads ever made (interestingly the impressionist Roger Kitter not Tommy Cooper does the voiceover):

If movie licensing and production weren’t enough, this latest collaboration with Google proves LEGO is a brand still innovating in exciting and very relevant new areas.

LEGO and Google have linked up in a new project, called Build, via M&C Saatchi’s digital agency Mark, to showcase the 3D capabilities of Google’s web browser Chrome. The project was produced by Swedish digital agency North Kingdom. It also marks the 50th anniversary of Lego’s launch in Australia.

The campaign allows users to claim their own plots anywhere in Australia and New Zealand, with plans to roll it out globally. Builders can use up to 1,000 virtual bricks to construct buildings and can then share their creations online and with their friends.

To show just how far LEGO has come, Lucinda Barlow, head of marketing for Google Australia and New Zealand said in a press release:

“If a toy could be part of a company’s DNA then Lego would be part of Google’s. We’ve loved working together to create Build, which turns the web into a collaborative canvas where you can create and explore a new Lego world together, online.”

All this from a brick first invented in Billund, Denmark in 1949.

Once in Build, it feels a bit like the early virtual world / second life experience, but you are excused any criticism of reality and pixilation because it’s LEGO.

Also fascinating to see the bizarre buildings already built in my street. Who knew that I had such interesting neighbours!

This latest Google collaboration continues to perpetuate the core brand proposition across another new sector and user group, helping to secure LEGO’s  future for another 50 years amongst kids of all ages.

Have a go, but watch out it is incredibly addictive…BUILD

Hahn Cannes Gold Winner – Super Goes in Super Dry comes out

Video

Hahn by Publicis Mojo wins, but by the skin of it’s teeth as it wasn’t originally shortlisted and got in via a wild-card vote (another peculiar aspect to Cannes voting).

In such a tough category, an interesting choice. Maybe it’s the Night Rider music as much as the action that makes it memorable? It certainly stands out from the beer crowd and has been recognised for the fact.

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

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.”