Advertising Archive

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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 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.

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    Hey remember PES? Sure you do, he’s the guy who does mind-bending stuff with stop motion animation (like this and this), combining incredible technical skill with charm and wit. So when KesselsKramer wanted a film as part of their campaign launching the new citizenM hotel in New York’s Times Square, they knew who to call. OK so they might have emailed, but the point is PES was exactly the person who could take the campaign’s cliche-busting message to dizzy new heights.

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    The ad industry is never more exciting than when a big ol’ company takes everybody by surprise and hits the nail absolutely on the head, as is the case with this new ad by Snickers Australia. The advert is built around their campaign heading “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry,” and plays on the stereotype of builders objectifying women. Accordingly, it focuses on a group of Aussie builders on a construction site surprising female passers-by with empowering statements, from “I appreciate your appearance is just one aspect of who you are!” to “Y’know what I’d like to see? A society in which the objectification of women makes way for gender neutral interactions free from assumptions and expectations!”

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    You know, all the time I spent red in the face, 50 quid down in the pub, screaming at a small screen for my horse to get a flipping move on I never once considered the history behind the Grand National. 4Creative have, and their new advert for the coverage of the famous race celebrates the place it came from – a somewhat legendary steeple-chase.

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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.