Advertising Archive

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    We’ve all been there – the slightest twinge and it’s straight onto Google to terrify yourself with what it all might mean in the worst case medical scenario. DDB Brussels have taken that premise as the basis for this spot for Flemish online health platform Gezondheid en Wetenschap, which aims to underline the importance of getting information from reputable sources. While the starting point may be a staple topic for observational stand up comedians, the DDB team have pushed it to the extremes and the execution makes the most of the raw material. A nice extra touch uses Google Adwords to warn people to seek proper professional help when the search for symptoms like “twitching eyelid.”

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    There was a time when a great video was enough. Come up with the idea, film it with the right production values, whack it up on YouTube and watch the hit counter go through the roof. But that was then, and now viewers expect more. They don’t want to just consume online content; they want to control it. There have been several innovative and exciting interactive videos where the viewer can call the shots, change things up and make decisions that affect what they’re seeing. But too often this can come across as a gimmick, a fun but ultimately futile set of bells and whistles that don’t really add anything to the experience.

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    The Coca Cola trucks, the red cups at Starbucks and now the John Lewis Christmas adverts; the commercialisation of Christmas is nothing new but these days the touchpoints seem more clearly defined. The latest John Lewis spot by adam&eveDDB was unveiled this morning and there’s no doubt it will massively split opinion. Some will castigate its formulaic saccharine sentimentality, while others will love its unapologetically heartwarming fluffiness. Also (SPOILER ALERT!!) some will see the Calvin &Hobbes style twist coming but I admit I really didn’t.

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    Ambition is an often underrated component of creative undertakings, but that’s not a charge that can be levelled at Robert Bösch’s genuinely astonishing shoot for Mammut’s 2015 campaign. Working with hundreds of specialist climbers, Robert took this extraordinary series of images to mark the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn ridge by Edward Whymper. These pictures have been doing the rounds for a few weeks now but if you haven’t come across them yet then let yourself be dazzled by their brilliance and the organisational feats that brought them into being.

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    IKEA are known for using their stores to promote their goods (I’m referring of course to the highly successful ad where they filled one of their shops with cats and filmed it) and today they’re back with a new spot to celebrate Hallowe’en. This time they’ve taken the famous scene from The Shining where Danny rolls around on his trike and inserted that same ominous fear into their own store. I swear anyone that puts a Rail Cam anywhere and follows a kid on a small tricycle around for a while is going to give everyone the heebie-jeebies, and this is no exception. The ending’s a bit weird, but at least you’ll be able to sleep after watching it, which is more than I can say for the original.

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    Forget what you think you know about surfing; the “gnarly dudes” on the hunt for “tubular waves” (I’m basing most of this language on Sean Penn’s character in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but you catch my drift). Finisterre’s latest surf film is more in line with Jonathan Glazer’s legendary Guinness ad than any piece of footage you’re likely to see for O’Neill or Billabong. For one thing it’s not set in an exotic location – there are no bikini-clad babes – as they’ve traded warmer waters for the icy depths off the coasts of northern Scotland and Ireland.

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    It was 17 years ago (!) that the BBC released a star-studded cover of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, and tonight they marked the relaunch of BBC Music in a similar way. Musicians from Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder to Lorde and Chrissie Hynde weigh in on this heavyweight effort that more than anything confirms the strength of the BBC’s pulling power. Sure some people will find it cheesy as hell and on balance it’s probably not as good as Perfect Day but when you can roll out guns as big as these it’s sometimes fun to put them all together and see what happens. Also the song’s writer Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys plays a piano with a tiger on it. Because, well, just because I think…

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    Is there nothing Tim and Eric can touch without turning it into a gleaming hunk of gold? I’d have imagined that homeware would be simply too dry for their unique brand of slapstick, but somehow the American comedy duo have succeeded in making an ad for GE Link lightbulbs, dreamt up by BBDO New York, which is pant-wettingly funny and super slick without undermining their usual offerings on American channel Adult Swim.

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    Spectacular promo film here from Reebok, inviting you to “give me your classics and I’ll show you the future.” As well as taking you swerving around northern A-roads in a BMW E28 M5 (dream car) stopping briefly on the way to pick up a blonde girl in the leafy suburbs (dream babe) this short film perfectly promotes the nostalgia associated with the Reebok Classics.

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    Like police officers getting younger, feeling estranged from Radio 1 is a sure sign that you’re getting on a bit. But even I – from the rarefied perch of my early 30s – can appreciate the brilliance of this promo for the station’s Even More Music Month. They had the good sense to commission animation duo Nicos Livesey and Tom Bunker, who created 30 seconds of trippy music-themed madness complete with gurning lollipops, bopping pineapples and an infernal rock-band playing on a spooling tongue. It’s fun, it looks great and it gets its message across in a half-minute energy burst, even if disappearing into Fearne Cotton’s mouth is slightly terrifying.

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    It’s time to play Spot the Creative here in this fantastic video from Rotterdam design studio From Form. I was going to say that it was an animation, but that’s the beauty of this film – it’s totally not. By using clever, olde worlde-style fairground aesthetics they’ve conjured up a mechanical set with which to promote the annual Reasons to Create conference.

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    Fresh off the press trail from Under The Skin, Jonathan Glazer has just finished work on an intensely physical advert for Canon. The spot, called Gladiator Football, focuses on the annual Florentine game of Calcio Storico, a brutal combination of cage fighting and football that sees two teams pitted against each other in a sandy ring, beating the crap out of each other in order to win a cow.

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    If I’m being completely honest for the first ten seconds of this new Guardian ad, I thought it was going to be frustratingly saccharine. But what starts out seeming like just another cutesy, family-orientated spot packed full of adorable little children making a mess of their middle-class parents’ homes, quickly develops into a beautifully structured bit of film, suggesting that we’re all influenced by The Guardian’s weekend offerings, as person after person engages uniquely with their cultural and culinary content; attending the same shows, cooking the same Nigel Slater recipe and even having a crack at making the same bird house. Which sums up the weekend I’m about to have perfectly. Fetch me my tools!

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    Film4 has been one of the UK’s foremost production companies since its inception in 1982, responsible for titles like Trainspotting, Paris, Texas, Hunger and This Is England among many others. They’re also the UK’s number one film channel, screening films for free since 2010. But we’ve always just liked them for their weird TV spots. When they launched their free service four years ago they had Lucy Liu, Ewan McGregor, Gael Garcia Bernal and Judi Dench dressed up in all manner of strange outfits making fools of themselves. Now they’ve grown up a bit and have a new look to show off, but the ads are no less enjoyable.

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    It’s been nearly a year now since Breaking Bad ended although its die-hard fans remain evangelical in explaining to literally anybody how they really should have seen it by now. Maybe this will distract them for a while, as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reunited for this super six-minute promo to mark Audi’s sponsorship of Monday’s Emmy Awards. We find the duo running a slightly creepy pawn shop where they encounter Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is trying to pawn her Emmy statuette after drunkenly buying an island because she was jealous of Celine Dion. There are lots of nicely sly nods to the pair’s previous incarnation, the merits of supporting actors and comedy vs drama, and there are (so I am told) a few neat Breaking Bad in-jokes too. The high-production values help of course but it’s the script that sets this apart.

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    If Quentin Tarantino made ads, they’d look like this. The scene is a dark, chintzy bar. Our protagonist wears a studded denim jacket and glitzy gold earrings. There’s a song in the background about Little Red Riding Hood, and I think we all know who’s the Big Bad Wolf.

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    There has been a lot of discussion about brand stories recently, but it’s important to differentiate between vaguely extrapolated marketing gimmicks and genuine humdingers of revolution and exile, fire and earthquakes. BACARDÍ boasts a heritage that includes an astonishing array of interesting tales, and they’ve drawn on this rich reserve to create their very own graphic novel.

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    There was a time when it was all about fitting in, running with the in-crowd and following the masses. But over recent years we’ve all come to realise that it’s much more interesting to dare to be different and that weird and unusual can be so much more exciting.

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    The word “sumptuous” shouldn’t be thrown around willy nilly, but in the context of a new Johnnie Walker whisky ad featuring Jude Law lounging on what could be the world’s most expensive antique boat, lolling about on the sapphire Mediterranean, it’s totally acceptable. You may well have seen the Johnnie Walker ad in collaboration with Mr Porter going around the web last week, a 6-minute visual feast that is infused with style and money and a Talented Mr Ripley-vibe. Tom Cockram, a photographer we hold very dear to our hearts, has put all the behind-the-scenes shots from this ad that was directed by Jake Scott up on his site, and I’m tempted to say that I’m enjoying these even more than the ad itself.

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    Do I love this ad campaign more because it’s French? Probably. It’d be super cool from anywhere though. Intermarché – a big supermarket chain in France – decided it was time to save an endangered species from the rubbish bin; ugly duckling fruit and veg. In the UK a whopping 40% of greens don’t reach our shelves simply for being a bit unfortunate looking and globally we waste $750 billion worth of food each year. Ouch.

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    If you watched any of this year’s World Cup you’ll most likely have noticed all the players strutting about in pairs of weightless neon boots. If, like me, you don’t really pay attention to that kind of thing, then you may not have known what they were. Luckily this stunning spot from ManvsMachine grabbed my attention for long enough to inform me that they were Nike’s latest Mercurial Superfly boot, capable of eviscerating a giant marble army of footballing warriors with their superhuman speed. But more important than my education in high-performance footwear was my appreciation of the phenomenal skill of Mike Alderson and his team at ManvsMachine whose ability to turn pure fiction into a believable, 3D-rendered reality is nothing short of breathtaking.

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    Remember the Speedo-clad old dude strolling casually through beach-bronzed beautiful people in Wieden + Kennedy’s hugely popular Southern Comfort spot a few years back? Course you do (and it’s still worth a watch in case you were wondering). Anyway Young Gun is the latest spot in the campaign and we think it’s another winner. If you’ve ever stood incandescent with rage as a barman holds up the entire queue showing off their “moves,” then you’ll enjoy this.

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    You and I dear reader look at a beret and see what? A GCSE textbook staple; an affectation, an effortless shorthand stereotype (often teamed up with a stripey Breton top and a string of onions)? But directorial team Tenis looked at a beret and realised it could be repurposed into a perfect record player. This charming short spot has been released to promote the new collaboration between peSeta and Marc Jacobs, although the espadrilles themselves don’t make an appearance until quite late in the day.

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    According to the new Stella Artois campaign, “There are no rules,” and “Continuity is clearly overrated.” These mysterious instructions actually come from the great Wim Wenders, who stars in the new Stella promotional short titled Wim Wenders’ Rules of Cinema Perfection.

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    This advertising world descended on Cannes last week for the annual sun-kissed celebration of some of the best work created during the past 12 months. With multiple winners across the 16 categories you’d be forgiven for struggling to keep up with who won what, but the excellent official winners’ website is the best place to get acquainted with the big picture. Here we’ve picked out a few examples of winners that caught our eye; some bits we’d championed on the site before and some we came across for the first time via the Lions.

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    Whenever Tom Darracott and Carl Burgess join forces the results are spectacular. The two directors and digital specialists are experts at creating polished 3D-generated worlds that feel part computer game, part hyper-real dream – every element a slightly altered version of a recognisable, real-world object. Even when they’re advertising clothes the pair produce unconventional results that delight and disorientate your eyes with their effortless surrealism. Their latest campaign for Loft is no exception, showing the brand’s brightly coloured collection folding itself into a state of geometric order.

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    Parties thrown to celebrate getting your first period aren’t really a thing, but if they were then uterus piñatas, “pin the pad on the period”, bobbing for ovaries and vagicians should be 100% obligatory. Created by the same absolute geniuses who dreamed up Camp Gyno last time around, Jamie T. McCelland and Pete Marquis, this brilliant advert for monthly sanitary care packages by Hello Flo is just as hilarious as the last one, but with more one-liners – see “your Grandpa is bobbing for ovaries like a champ!” – than you can shake a big, unadvertisable sanitary towel at. I’ll stop now for fear of ruining the fun, but this might be the best advert we’ve seen this year.

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    I heard recently about something called the arc of expectation which writers and comedians use to build up their ideas. For its latest campaign, Volkswagen UK is disrupting this arc in sumptuous cinematic style. Launched to promote the car giant’s longstanding support of independent UK cinemas, Made for Real Life by adam&eveDBB takes iconic blockbuster movie moments and shows what would actually happen if the high tech VW safety systems came into play. This Speed homage is the first of three films to be released over the coming months [N.B. The second in the series, Explosion is now available below!] and its slick production values ensures the neat central idea is played to maximum effect. Great work all round.

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    Last week I saw the photographer Jess Bonham give an excellent talk about her work, during which she showed this project for Kenzo which I had never come across before. Collaborating with long-term partner in creative crime Anna Lomax, she created this series of GIFs to mark the launch of the brand’s Resort 2014 edition in association with New Era. Playful and visually arresting, it’s rare to see the GIF used so neatly in a commercial context and is proof positive of why you should trust creatives of Jess’ and Anna’s calibre to deliver the goods.

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    In my humble but heartfelt opinion everyone even remotely connected to the creative industries should watch this amazing promo for next month’s Creative Fuel conference in Sydney. The strapline for the conference is “Cut the bullshit and focus on creativity” but we get there the hard way via this funny but at times excruciatingly close to the bone spoof. It follows a group of creative industry types and their plans for The World’s First Crowd Sourced 3D Printed QR Code, Live Streamed Via GoPro To A Mobile Or Tablet Device, Drone Delivery Ticket System Project, which we are constantly ensured will be a “gamechanger.”

    It’s so packed with quotable lines that I don’t really want to spoil it, but a special mention must go to: “It’s very hard to find an idea so sometimes we just…don’t.” Clients don’t escape censure either (“I don’t understand it but I love it!”) and the little details are to die for; pay attention to the captions and look out for the fridge full of awards.

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    If you don’t give a toffee about typography, then the fixation on any font probably seems a touch tedious. But this fantastic new film from Steven Qua for The Times newspapers is an engaging and accessible exploration of this famous typeface, which takes in both its history and its current incarnations at the newspaper for whom it was designed. There’s insights from the likes of Andy Altmann, Marina Willer, Neville Brody and Monotype’s Dan Rhatigan so there’s more than enough here for both the initiated and the as-yet-to-be-converted to enjoy.

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    My Mum emailed this to me yesterday with the subject title of “try and guess what this is advertising.” Wrongly thinking I’d outwit her, I watched it the whole way through and was still stumped until about three seconds from the end. What a triumphant piece of advertising from none other than some graduates of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. The ad’s three years old, so we can assume the men behind it, creative Andre Price and direct Andreas Roth, are both powerful filmmakers or ad-men nowadays. You don’t get much better than this fantastic, thrilling advert for what is promoting, in all honesty, a very dull product indeed. It’s dramatic, it’s spine-tingling and it’s genuinely funny enough to make you squeak a little giggle out at the end – and you can’t say that for many ads these days.

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    Top tip: if you’re making a toilet paper advert, just get your hands on the nearest soft baby animal and make them do cute things (I’m looking at you, Andrex). The formula for advertising what we really only use to clean our butts after doing a poop doesn’t necessarily need changing, and what better way to detract from how gross that is than with a newborn animal softer than a cloud? Saatchi knows this, and their Stockholm arm have released this advert featuring a lamb wandering around a house trying to find the softest pile of stuff to have a nap on. I don’t blame you Lambi, I don’t blame you. Anyway, the point is we know this isn’t rocket science, and we know that you’d probably click on a land-mine if it had a picture of a cute animal on it, but we had to share this with you. Happy Friday. Maaaahhhhhhh!

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    It’s always great when a creative for whom we’ve long banged the drum turns their talents to something slightly new and wows us all over again. So it is with Dutch creative Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, who has just created this great promo short for young accessory brand A Scarf Called June, to mark his own addition to its range. There’s soaring choral music, some nudity and a riotous culmination of colour in Jordy’s signature style. Believe us; this is well worth one minute of your time.

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    It was only a few months ago that we featured Julien Vallée and Eve Duhamel’s videos launching their new new studio, and it turns out the’ve been mighty busy since. As well as this ace video for Hermes, they also produced this brilliant series of shorts for the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. You know, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. The “development capital organisation whose overriding mission is to invest in local businesses to further the economic development of all the regions of Québec.”

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    It’s more than possible to lose whole afternoons in the weird and wonderful world of stock photography. Whether I am preparing a presentation or researching a magazine article, once you delve in it’s hard to break free; just one more abstract concept into Google Images to see what comes back.

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    I’ll happily throw my hands up in praise of a filmmaker who can flirt with controversy in order to create a truly clever piece of advertising, and Raf Reyntjens from content agency Caviar Brussels is one such director. Dvorak is an advert he made for B-Classic to encourage listeners to engage with classical music, specifically in this case Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, which was composed 120 years ago.

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    There is more than one way to skin a cat, or so the old expression goes – and there’s more than one way to create a brilliantly effective fashion ad too, the new offering by Hermès being my case in question. It’s a short ad operating around a simple concept, but its infinitely quirky nature makes for a fascinating, surprising and very original watch.

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    As publicity stunts go, here’s one that totally floats our boat. Stationery company Moo.com have launched a new range, and to promote it they have created business cards and letterheads for a host of famous names; from Charles Darwin and William Shakespeare to James Bond creator Ian Fleming and US founding father Benjamin Franklin.

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    It’s fair to say my dancing “style” is very much of the embarrassed-dad-at-a-late-1990s-wedding school. You know the type; he knows the Macarena but he’s not sure how. Luckily though i-D and Diesel have ridden to my rescue with this brilliant new video taking us through the A-Z of dance. It’s fair to say that it’s modern dance, so twerking and East Coast Swing are in, but anyone waiting for the waltz will be disappointed. Nonetheless it’s a super-fun celebration of some of society’s rhythmic foibles.