Advertising Archive

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    Delightful stuff here from London-based, self-pronounced “architects of experience” Silent Studios, who have recently launched a new film to celebrate the Spring/Summer 2014 collection from Anya Hindmarch. This beautiful short was created in-house by their little team of very lovely, very experienced people who were briefed by Anya herself to make a piece of promotional material that explored the theme of “weightlessness.”

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    All too often big, successful companies get caught up in pouring hundreds of thousands of pounds into adverts which still won’t hit the nail on the head, no matter how many celebrities driving sports cars into simulated fires are featured – which is perhaps why it’s so refreshing to see Haribo’s new simple 30 second slot garner so much attention. The ad sees a corporate company meet to discuss their classic Starmix sweets, with the only twist being that they’re lip-synching along to audio of children debating the best ones. The resulting ad is short, funny and to the point, and includes a tip or two on how best to get the most from your confectionary, including fashioning inflatable rings from jellies. Sweet.

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    To show off the latest features in Sony’s new lens-style QX100 camera-phone, Wieden+Kennedy Portland have put together a stonker of a campaign that combines childlike wonderment with cutting-edge miniature film-making.

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    In recent weeks my inbox has been bombarded with missives about The LEGO Movie which opens in cinemas this Friday (NB: not everyone will find this a romantic Valentine’s Day plan). Although I’m interested in the film I’ll admit to being slightly put off by the sheer weight of PR, but the promoters’ latest stunt is an absolute slam-dunk. During last night’s episode of Dancing On Ice (a show where celebrities you kind of assumed were dead compete to impress a panel of comically unimpressable judges) ITV ran a whole advert break during which current spots for companies like Premier Inn, BT and The British Heart Foundation were recreated entirely in LEGO.

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    Hoorah! Let’s give a huge round of applause to Channel 4 for putting the camp in campaign for their their unflinchingly risky, rainbow-infused new teaser for the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Featuring acclaimed “bearlesque” act Fred Bear, this short trailer will have you humming “Be proud on gay mountain” for the next few days. Nice to see Channel 4 are up to their old tricks again and are pushing the boat out in the daring category, there has just not been enough cheekiness in the world of late. Something as hilarious, tongue-in-cheek and absolutely spot on is just what the sportsmen need, don’t you agree? Lyrics below, on the count of three…

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    When Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor of Us arrived at last week’s Nicer Tuesdays they were just days away from delivering this brilliant Sunday Times spot. As excited as they were exhausted, the duo were clearly relishing a gruelling project for such a big-name client. Commissioned by Grey London, this promo for the newspaper’s culture section focusses on icons from the worlds of fine art and television, cinema and music. Shot in one take (as proved by the nice “making of” video below), Luke and Chris created a wonderfully fluid celebration of an array of cultural cornerstones, each represented by simple but iconic single visuals. And yep, Rodin’s The Thinker really does transform into Forrest Gump…

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    In the past couple of years we’ve used the morning after Superbowl to write a post that crams in as many of the adverts as possible, regardless really of quality or impenetrable American cultural references. This year I decided enough is enough and that a little curation was required. So here are the ads that jumped out amid the dross, the schmalz and the bewildering (what even is Full House?).

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    When your gym looks like Warhol’s Factory without all the drugs and weird shit everywhere, you’ll probably enjoy exercise a little bit more than when you begrudgingly drag your potato physique that place in Croydon. And as much as it would be terrifying to actually be filmed whilst exercising by a cool guy like Tyrone Lebon, if your bod’s as hot as these guys is, there wouldn’t be that much to worry about.

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    I turn 30 in a few months’ time but in a spirit of denial, my plans to mark this milestone are unambitious. But to mark the game-changing MacIntosh turning 30, Apple have really pushed the boat out. On both an interesting video and an excellent dedicated website, they have lined up some of the creatives whose work has been defined by their relationship with Apple’s famous computer; both famous names like Moby, Es Devlin and Iris van Herpen to lesser-known but no less impressive case studies for whom the Mac has played an indelible part in their life and work.

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    War is shit, love is good. Got that? If you feel like you still need convincing, here’s a little film from ad-makers BBH which’ll drill terror into your heart and then Polly Filla the hole back in with gooey, strong love. It’s a very, very well-shot advert that swoops over the world following men at war going about their conflict-y day-to-day things. Men in tanks storm towns, helicopters buzz over Asian fields, a middle-eastern leader prepares to detonate a bomb…I won’t say any more, just watch it, spray on some Axe deodorant, then go and snog someone immediately.

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    Football is often held up as a sporting metaphor that can teach us about life, love, justice, heartbreak, dedication and much more besides. Lola Madrid have extrapolated this idea even further in this great set of ads for Libero football magazine. They show four women patiently explaining to their partners how to make small-talk with the father-in-law or why it’s important to take the bins out, using analogies based on Brazilian full-backs or managerial cycles.

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    The lead-up to next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi have (rightly) been dominated by discussion over Russia’s questionable gay rights record, but as the event nears the focus is likely to shift to the actual sport. This spine-tingling promo from RKCR /Y&R for the BBC’s coverage certainly strikes the right chord. In a similar way to how Channel 4’s multi-award-winning Meet The Superhumans identified a new way of looking at paralytic sport, the idea of Winter Olympians conquering nature repoints the way we look at these sporting endeavours.

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    Hey everyone we’ve got a killer early competitor for the best phrase of 2014; may I present “sonic flavourscape.” That’s how the clever folks at Grey London are describing this new work for Schwartz called The Sound of Taste which aims to convey the power and the glory of the brand’s new Flavour Shots. Expect exploding spices set to stirringly dramatic classical music building to a messy, multi-coloured climax. This will probably make you hungry and may make you a bit jumpy if you’re someone who has a penchant for all things clean and tidy.

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    Afternoon dragging a bit? Crying out for some LOLZ? Alrighty then. The Guardian has treated us to some impressive ads before (notably in the multi-award-winning Three Little Pigs) and by jove they’ve done it again. Ahead of a special issue this weekend packed full of suggestions for things to see and do, this spot from BBH London warns of the perils of trying to do EVERYTHING they recommend yourself. In one, long panning shot the piece unfolds as we see the results of one man’s overreaching folly, and there’s a lovely pay-off with an early contender for slogan of the year. Shed’s on fire!

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    Alexey Lyapunov and Lena Erlich are People Too, a pair of Russian illustrators who have taken paper sculpture as their medium of choice, and made it entirely their own. Their deceptively delicate and very intricate creations for Amnesty International’s Fan the Flame campaign, which are fashioned entirely from white paper. Depicting acts of violence and brutality with a quiet poignancy that is hard to match is any other medium, the detailed sculptures all the more impressive for their impermanence. Their portfolio is full to the brim with incredible paper sculpture of the more colourful and naive variety, much of which looks more like it has been crafted with clay than with several sheets of humble A4.

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    I can’t remember who turned me onto the Brilliant Ads Twitter feed last year but a thousand thank yous to whoever it was. It describes itself as: “The most creative, unique, remarkable and powerful advertisements, signs and marketing-related things from around the world,” and that pretty much sums it up nicely. What I really like about it is the scope; from DIY shop signs to big brands’ most innovative offerings from all over the world (and some historical gems as well), it’s a great way to get a daily hit of creative inspiration away from the mainstream and increasingly same-same advertising resources. They’ve just done a top 100 countdown of 2013 and safe to say it included some absolute pearlers; here’s some of our favourites…

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    Did you know that if your home lacks a fireplace – and that can be a real problem at this festive time of year – then you can get a realistic-looking film of one courtesy of online video platform Netflix? You didn’t did you? No you’re right it’s a bit weird, but the Netflix chaps have embraced this absurdity with this terrifically tongue-in-cheek trailer for said fireplace. Over-the-top voice-over? Check! Silly quotes that make little sense? Check! An inflated sense of its own importance? Check! Clearly these guys see a lot of trailers, which allows them to lampoon the genre with consummate skill. Well played Netflix, well played indeed.

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    Sometimes the best way to challenge injustice and inequality is through humour, an idea that Mother London have again explored in their new project. Horrified by the treatment of the LGBT community in Russia, where homosexuality has been classed as a mental illness since 1999, Mother have worked with The Kaleidoscope Trust charity to create something silly that has a serious point to make. To Russia With Love is a limited edition set of hand-painted Russian dolls but in place of bonneted matrons, the sets feature prominent British LGBT figures, namely Sir Elton John, George Michael, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Tom Daley (presumably a late addition). The dolls are being auctioned off on eBay to raise funds for the charity and sets are being delivered to both The Kremlin and the Russian Embassy in London.

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    Corporate calendars tend to be as dull as post-Christmas-lunch-washing-up dishwater but super-hip US hotel chain The Standard have produced an exception to prove the rule. Under the direction of Erik Kessels and photographer Thomas Mailaender, their 2014 calendar takes inspiration from the strangest letters, suggestions or complaints they’ve received from guests. Starting points include, “My girlfriend and I spent lots of money at the bar and on room service. Any compensation would be greatly appreciated,” and the terrifically odd, “I lost my kush. Where’s my kush?”

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    Forgive us for two things this afternoon. Firstly for shamelessly nicking this off The Fox is Black and secondly for posting something that was made back in 2008. Yep, that’s right. This utterly perfect promo for Kubrick Season on Channel 4 was created back when the Hollywood writers strike and the sudden death of much-loved actor Heath Ledger was taking effect on the film industry. Nevertheless, popular agency 4Creative took it upon themselves to make a minute-long paean to Kubrick’s infamous The Shining by shooting a fictional, one-take, behind-the-scenes film. Really though, has any promo ever come anywhere near being this good? I doubt it.

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    Whether we admit or not, jealousy plays a not insignificant role in the creative industries. In fact D&AD is honest enough to address this head on; when it comes to choosing pencil-winning work judges are asked to consider whether the entry stokes their creative envy and make them wish they’d done that piece.

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    It’s fair to say that Christmas marketing campaigns are – on the overwhelming whole – pretty cheesy. Kudos then to Daniel Fisher and Richard Brim of adam&eveDBB who managed to persuade Harvey Nichols to subvert the spirit of the season with their Sorry, I Spent It On Myself range. It constitutes a series of rubbish presents (think a bag of gravel or some toothpicks) with an explanatory apology that the giver had splurged their Christmas cash on the person who really matters at this time of year – themselves.

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    Oh Volvo Trucks where have you been all my life?! From impinging very little on my cultural compass until a few short months ago, the Swedish manufacturer has dazzled and delighted us with a series of funny, unexpected and powerfully communicative adverts over recent weeks. Back in September we sung the praises of a spot which saw the company’s president perched precariously on a truck suspended over Gothenburg harbour and now they’ve topped that with the help of the Muscles from Brussels.

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    BOOM! That’s the sound of Sainsbury’s smashing their competition out of the park in the Christmas department. They’ve enlisted Oscar-winning, Last King of Scotland director Kevin McDonald to make a 50 minute long film celebrating the honest joys of the festive season. By using real people in real families as the cast and shot in a home-video style, this film genuinely stirs up joy and excitement in your belly. Also, this film isn’t sugar coating Christmas by making everyone good-looking and eating expensive canapés, and there’s no weepy cover of an 80s song to get stuck in your head for the next two weeks. Big plus. Judging by the trailer (which made me cry even though I PROMISED MYSELF I would not) this is going to be a true celebration of British christmas, and an absolute corker of a festive film.

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    Last year D&AD broke new ground by releasing this behind-the-scenes video of the judges’ discussion around which work should be awarded the coveted Black Pencils. This year they’ve done it again and it remains an interesting insight into one of the industry’s most respected prizes.

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    Love it or hate it, it’s been nigh on impossible to escape John Lewis’s new Christmas ad over the past few days. The pressure was on Adam&Eve/DDB to follow up their much-talked-about offerings from the past couple of years, and early indications suggest that whatever the cynics may say, the public have been charmed anew. But regardless of whether The Bear & The Hare makes you feel nicely festive or a bit nauseous, this “making of” is really interesting. Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn of Blinkink/Hornet were the duo charged with bringing the ideas to life and you get a nice sense of the painstaking stop-motion process they went through over a period of several months. The song will be stuck in your head all day though.

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    Get your eyeballs comfortable in their little red, gooey sockets and strap them in safely because Sony are back and they’ve brought out the big guns. By big guns we’re actually referring to 8 million flowers that were used in the production of this stunning advert for their new camera which boasts an 8 million pixel display. In true Sony fashion the flowers are taken and dumped over a beautiful landscape, put into slow-mo and soundtracked by a man with a guitar who may or may not have been dumped by his girlfriend only minutes before recording the track. Regardless, this is a stunning advert for a gadget that could otherwise easily be advertised in a pretty drab way. Hoorah!

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    We’ve already seen Google’s predictive search function used in a charming creative way this year but now that same technology has been harnessed to socio-political ends, with blisteringly powerful results.

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    This year has been great for car adverts, we’ve had hilarious examples in the shape of dancing chickens Mercedes-Benz and the death-defying company president for Volvo. To complete the corporate hat-trick, we are pleased to present Ron Burgundy’s series of adverts for the Dodge Durango, whatever that is, in which he does what he does best: says mundane things and makes them hilarious. Watch him argue with a mute horse, attack ballroom dancers and rant about glove boxes in this seemingly endless series of mini ads that will make your day you worthless idiot. Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you had a child with you.

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    It’s no massive surprise that this video has had 13 million views (and counting) in just two days, because this is how to pull-off a publicity stunt. Ahead of the release of the upcoming Carrie film, a New York coffee shop was tricked out with moving tables and jumping books, filled with actors and a stuntman and then opened as normal. What unfolds is freaky, funny and very, very well-executed; proof that if a trick’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Also check out the terrified young woman still intent on filming the goings-on on her phone; a great comment on our social-media-obsessed culture. A tip of the hat to all involved here.

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    Just when you thought Paul Smith couldn’t get any cooler, here’s the new advert promoting his A/W 13 underwear collection. Just having hunky but kindly men flaunting their crotch at a camera clearly wasn’t enough for director Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, and so off they went to the mountains with two (still hunky) flat liners, Antoine Moineville and Tancrède Melet.

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    Hey gang, you know how I’m always going on about how brilliant insurance companies’ PR stunts are? Ok fine I don’t but that’s because there’s never been one worth mentioning… until now! The clever clogs at M&C Saatchi Milano came up with this astonishing stunt for Europ Assist IT’s Protect Your Life campaign, getting people to rethink how well covered they are by gate-crashing a submarine into the middle of a Milan street.

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    Alright, alright, we’re all totally “over” ads that feature cute animals doing hilarious things. Definitely. 100%. Oh wait, no we’re not! This is hilarious. Creative directors Lucasz Brzozowsk and Robert Herter from Stuttgart agency Jung von Matt have mustered up the guts to make a car advert that doesn’t actually feature a car, a beautiful woman or a swooping shot of a road somewhere near Montenegro. Instead they’ve opted to choreograph a dance for some chickens set to a simply smashing Diana Ross song. No more needs to be said, get your headphones in, you’re about to see chickens in a whole new and glorious light.

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    KesselsKramer have been handling the promotional material for Amsterdam’s Hans Brinker Budget Hotel for over a decade now; in fact they were one of the agency’s first clients. The hotel prides itself on being one of the city’s plainest, dirtiest and budget-est available, offering no more than the bare minimum to their guests. That means broken showers, doors that don’t close and bunk beds without ladders according to TripAdvisor. Nice!

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    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a clever take-off of the breathless tone and linguistic dexterity so beloved by big technology brands (these spots for Mintacular gum and Somersby Cider both spring to mind) but this new work by JWT for KitKat stands out for a couple of reasons.

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    If you you have that weird tummy-flipping thing when it comes to heights, I suggest you skip over this video, but for the rest of you, read on. To demonstrate just how hardy the Volvo truck towing hook is, the Swedish car giant followed the whole maxim of show rather than tell. And lo they suspended a 15 tonne Volvo Truck 20 metres above the water in Gothenburg harbour, and to ratchet up the tension they plonked Claes Nilsson, the company’s actual president (and coincidentally the man with the coolest accent on Planet Earth) on top of the truck’s cab. It’s the first teaser in a campaign (which also includes the buttock-clenching video about ground clearance below) which promises a series of similarly daring stunts.

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    It’s not the first time a technology ad has been parodied brilliantly but College Humor’s latest spoof, Every Tech Commercial has got the tone of modern technology advertising down to an absolute tee. It’s scripted to perfection, timed with skill and absolutely nails the way ‘family friendly’ communications companies like to patronise us in their online and television promotions. Take note Apple, IBM and Vodafone, College Humor have got your number. Might be time to modify the template a little.

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    Never one to follow the crowd that Miuccia Prada. On first watch, Real Fantasies, a short produced with long-term collaborator AMO to advertise the Fall Winter 2013 collection, looks like nothing short of a bad dream about a dystopian society which has been thrown into a time-warp and then emerged the other side only to be cut into tiny pieces and stuck back together again. What’s more, it’s oddly transfixing. The disjointed music, two-dimensionality and surrealist influence all come together with an absurd kind of harmony which shows the collection in its absolute best light.

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    Well this is an utterly tremendous blog and one of the most genuinely interesting creative resources we’ve come across for some time. It’s all very well young practitioners comparing their work against advertising’s great and good, but surely it’s far more relevant to see what some of the industry’s top names were producing when they were studying? That’s exactly what Before They Were Famous does, an initiative launched by a creative team at the Beattie McGuinness Bungay agency. They contacted a host of well-known figures both from within their company and without and asked them to submit their student portfolios to demonstrate how their creative thinking first started to develop.

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    When we interviewed him a couple of months back Ryan Hopkinson alluded to an (at that stage top secret) project he was working on with Sony, and now we can all enjoy the fruits of those labours. It’s no surprise to see something so impressive coming from a creative we are well used to being wowed by, but this new work sees him push his practice in a captivating new direction. Collaborating with Hirsch & Mann and featuring Christopher Raeburn’s S/S 14 collection, Ryan used 100 Sony Experia Z smartphones to create a spiral catwalk sculpture for his piece which “crosses the boundaries of art, fashion and technology exploring the process of photography and film creation utilising custom software, bespoke apps and a wireless control system.”