Advertising Archive

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    Can we please give a round of applause for Michael Birch who, after years of having the piss taken out of his early social networking site and puberty wagon Bebo, is back with maybe the best comeback video we’ve ever seen. The fact that the actual founder is narrating the video in person is so old school and perfect and the fact that they’ve taken something so genuinely hilarious – and possibly the only positive thing that Bebo harvested – and used it to make them appear cool again is so perfect it gives me goosebumps. Unfortunately it’s so good that after watching this you may find yourself immediately signing back up to Bebo, back on the puberty wagon. But don’t worry, I’ve saved you a space next to me and it’s going to be a sweet, sweet ride.

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    This week, assistant editor Liv Siddall asks why there were so many complaints over the new Marmite advert when it is, essentially, just a good advert. What do you think? Love it or hate it? Comments welcome.

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    Do you have a sticky pot of Marmite in your cupboard that hasn’t been opened since 1982? Personally I get through a jar a week so I couldn’t entirely relate to this new advert, but it’s very funny nonetheless. Marmite have launched a new campaign based around the fact that 1 in 10 Brits admit they “haven’t opened their jar in three months” and have created a series of videos that will hopefully eradicate this kind of ludicrous behaviour. In this Animal Rescue-esque ad, a team of experts invade suburban homes and rescue the poor little jars of neglected Marmite to give them caring new families. As well as the main advert above, there are lots of spin-off stories you’ll find on YouTube, including this Interview with a Shocked Neighbour. Lovely.

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    This very smart set of posters was created by the Aesop agency for an event in London last weekend which saw a corner of Soho turned into Little Italy for a couple of days. Sponsored by Birra Moretti, Italy Live included cooking demonstrations and even a live satellite link-up with the San Gimignano Piazza in Tuscany, and Aesop produced this striking set of visuals to help inform visitors and spread the brand message across the weekend. We like.

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    This feisty little girl’s just started surfing the crimson wave of puberty at her summer camp. Luckily for her, she’s the first girl at camp to get her period, so she becomes something of a coach, nay dictator, among her naive peers as they all start their periods too. “For these campers, I was their Joan of Arc…I’m Joan, and their vaj is the Arc…”

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    The contribution of plastic bags to my emotional development has been limited at best. Oh, sure, I got a bit misty-eyed about that one blowing around the empty street in American Beauty (who didn’t?) but other than that they’ve been a largely pragmatic part of my life… until now. Back in 2005, creative agency Mother launched a range of Uncarriable Bags adorned with embarrassing motifs and they’ve just launched a second range “to make people think about plastic bags in 2013.”

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    Last autumn we sung the praises of Sam Hofman – pointing in particular to his eclectic personal work – but as with most photographers, Sam’s portfolio is a mixture of these kinds of projects with commissioned work. Recently Sam collaborated with food stylist Iain Graham (who worked on this great shoot for The Gourmand) and set designer Linnea Apelqvistto to create this series for Ted Baker’s Tasetfully Ted campaign. What I really like about this is that while it’s got a recognisably commercial aesthetic, there’s also a sense of fun running throughout; a combination which raises this above your run-of-the-mill advertising shoot.

  8. Sabbath-list

    Move aside Carly Rae Jepsen, the Brummy grandfathers of heavy metal are back in town and they’ve got a devastatingly effective ad campaign in tow that tears right through the heart of modern music and puts Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer back in the limelight they left 35 years ago. For their latest album, 13, Black Sabbath have employed McCann Copenhagen to dig through generations of fly posters back to their infamous logotype used in their heyday (before Ozzy got fired). The result looks like the rediscovery of some pristine vintage posters underneath layers of pop-song detritus which, for my money, makes this one of the best billboard campaigns in a long, long while.

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    I’ve railed before about “science’s” disappointing tardiness in providing robots to cater to our every whim, but I will generously forgive our egghead chums if they keep doing things like this. For their new spot promoting the European Golf Tour, Saatchi & Saatchi London decided to test Rory McIlroy’s skills against a robot on a driving range. So far so good. But where this spot really soars is in the personality of the robot – he’s a snidey wind-up merchant with a great line in put-downs and folksy sayings. There’s also a nice element of Rory not quite knowing what’s going to happen next, which adds a certain authenticity to the slightly surreal proceedings. This is the latest in Saatchi’s Every Shot Imaginable series; a consistently interesting and super-playful way of promoting the tour which has previously featured players driving golfballs into a boat and the clay pigeon golf shot. Nice.

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    Ever wondered what pigs eat? Or what they do when they hang out together? Or if they dream? Well the answer to this conundrum is…apples! And they snuffle into each others bellies, and yes, they dream a lot. In fact, they’re really just huge snuffly pink balls of niceness, as Compassion in World Farming, or CIWF, are trying to prove with their latest campaign to reduce cruelty to farm animals and encourage people to eat free range.

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    Every once in a while an ad campaign comes along which manages to convey a really powerful message in a beautifully simple way. That certainly applies to this project by Publicis Singapore for the country’s Samaritans and their suicide prevention work. Under the strap line "The signs are there if you read them, " creative director Erik Vervroegen and his team created this series of graffitied ambigrams which read either as simple platitudes or desperate cries for help depending which way round you read them. At a time when the usual debates around the annual ad junket to Cannes are in full flow, it’s nice to be reminded of the potentially life-changing – in this case life-saving – power of a great idea.

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    Last night the great and good of the advertising and design industries assembled in London for the D&AD Awards, with all eyes on who would walk away with the coveted Black Pencils. McCann Erickson Melbourne was the big winner for their utterly charming Dumb Ways To Die metro safety animation which won five yellow pencils – art direction, earned media campaigns, digital advertising, TV and cinema advertising and writing for film as well as one of four Black Pencils.

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    If your Twitter feed’s anything like mine, last night it would have been dominated with breathless reactions to Apple’s iOS7 launch. That’s not to say it was all positive; Apple’s way of talking about its products can split opinion and we’ve previously posted two very good spoofs in the form of this cider promo and this chewing gum spot.

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    New signage popping up all over National Trust properties across the east of England is making a mockery of the stuffy reputation of country houses. Nature’s Playground, the new campaign by The Click Design Consultants, sees a series of nine brightly-coloured notices dotted about the grounds, which are designed to encourage exactly the behaviour which they initially seem to inhibit. Resembling restrictions and warning notices, the signs actually encourage tree-hugging, flower-sniffing, photo-snapping and general fun, undermining the conservative reputation of informative notices. Not so stuffy now, eh?

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    Not often does a video simultaneously make James Cartwright admit feeling that he’d rather be a girl than a boy (finally) and also make me genuinely want to participate in competitive sport – but this one did. This was released a few months back, but because I only ever witnessed it in the five seconds before a YouTube clip until I could skip, it meant it was never watched in full. The first time I actually did, I watched it three times in a row.

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    It’s certainly not often that online dating references make us do anything other than cringe on our morning commute (I’m looking at you hand-drawn type and soft-focus record player) but please welcome an absolute game-changer from Channel 4! Meet Arthur, the grieving tortoise who, after losing his wife in the zoo in which they’ve shared a life together, goes on the hunt for a new companion.

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    It’s not surprising really that this campaign for children’s charity Fundacion Anar has received so much attention over the past couple of days – its brilliance lies paradoxically in its simplicity. The organisation runs an anonymous helpline for at-risk children and Grey Spain was charged with raising awareness of the service to mark International Day of Child Abuse. Using lenticular printing the poster campaign shows a different message to adults and children based on the height of the person viewing it, therefore reaching out even to victims accompanied by their aggressors. Very, very impressive stuff.

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    Aha! I know you thought when you clicked on this post we had succumbed to really crass advertising. Do you think we would do that to you? Really? We will put our hurt feelings aside (because we love you), and reveal that these adverts are actually a French literacy campaign, created by ad agency DDB Paris. Clever eh?

  19. Evian-list

    For some time now it’s been Evian’s prerogative to advertise solely through the medium of CGI babies engaging in strange physical pursuits (rollerblading and synchronised swimming in particular). While you can’t deny that the brand has been extremely successful in flooding the bottled water market with advertising that doesn’t just bang on about volcanic springs and the health benefits of keeping hydrated, those computer generated infants still have a habit of freaking me out – something about their automaton-like movements is wholly unnerving.

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    Not many videos warrant the reaction of “somebody had to do it” much more than this life-like remake of one of the most famous title sequences in history —the intro to The Simpsons. Devilfish, a London-based creative agency, and director Chris Palmer at Gorgeous made this video as a teaser for Sky One a few years back, but just like the program it’s promoting, it’s just not getting old.

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    Now and again we come across work that our name doesn’t quite do justice to; calling it nice doesn’t cut it, and now and again is perhaps even a little misleading. In this particular instance that’s definitely the case – there’s nothing nice about this advert from Grey NYC. Nevertheless you can’t fault the execution of this 30 second piece of film that manages to be provocative, shocking and flawlessly communicative with little more than a simple message, clear direction and well-considered copy. Whichever side of the gun control discussion you’re on (and it’s a more nuanced debate than most comments sections on the web would have you believe) it’s impossible to deny the directorial skill at play here.

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    For London’s many tourists, their experiences of the city hinge on famous and historic landmarks like Tower Bridge or Buckingham Palace. But for us Londoners, iconography works in a different way and I know I’m not the only person for whom the hulking, brooding presence of Battersea Power Station exerts a strong emotional pull. This neat little film for Palladium Boots shows singer Eliza Doolittle and her friend enjoying a private tour round the extraordinary building, discussing its powerful presence, its place in the aesthetic of dereliction and the musician’s own creative process. It’s beautifully shot, with long lingering shots of the power station taking precedence over smack-you-in-the-face branding, and is well worth five minutes of your time.

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    We’ve long sung the praises of ceaselessly inventive duo Lernert & Sander and so we were rather embarrassed that we missed the boat (lolz) on this excellent advert when it was released late last year. Commissioned by Dutch bank Knab to create a short spot that encapsulated the organisation’s mission to do things differently, the lads took the centuries-old tradition of christening a boat by smashing a champagne bottle against its bow, and flip-reversed it. The result is simple, smart and memorable, thereby ticking pretty much all the requisite boxes.

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    I love this kind of advert. Remember that Carling Belong ad with the birds that made you feel all team-player and united as one? Well, times that by a million and you get the latest ad by Romain Gavras (of controversial Bad Girls and Born Free fame). In this new video for Samsung, Gavras leads almost every type of team – from New York City cops, to gladiators, to cheerleaders, to dinosaurs, to ancient aristocracy careering wildly down a Herculean beach for their new Charge campaign. This advert, a simple idea executed with gunpowder, completely blows other current adverts out the water. Romain, again, well done sir.

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    So imagine you’re naughty boy Tyler the Creator and your pseudonyms include Wolf Haley, Ace Creator, Thurnis Haley, Tyler, The Creature, Ty Dollaz, T-Dollaz, Creator Ace, Dr. T.C., Tyler Haley and Tron Cat. You get approached by one of the biggest soft drink companies on the planet and offered the chance to create an advert, however you like — what do you do? Well, no-one cares what you would do, becaus you’re not Tyler the Creator, and you would never make anything as good as this, ever. How funny are those goat’s arms?!

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    They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and there’s an increasingly burgeoning genre of adverts that spoof Apple’s very particular way of doing things. While Wieden + Kennedy have in the past poked gentle fun at Apple’s own advertising, London agency Fold7 have taken a different tack with this ace new spot for Carlsberg’s Somersby Cider. Spoofing the cult of new releases at the tech giant’s stores, it is an unerringly accurate take-off of both the staff’s demeanour and the customers’ apoplectic excitement. To be honest I could do without the slightly cheesy ending, but all in all this is very, very well done.

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    Looks like Christmas has come early! Well-dressed filmmakers and genii Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola have got their brains together and come up with an idea for a short film for Prada entitled Candy in celebration of the brand’s new perfume. Let’s just forget about the perfume for a minute and concentrate on what’s really important here: the creation of a Jules et Jim-inspired, Jacques Dutronc-soundtracked three-minute masterpiece.

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    If someone asked me to create an advert that shows off the fact that a new phone is water-proof, I’d film myself throwing it in the sea/a canal and take a long, well-deserved lunch. That’s why nobody asks me these kind of things. But when Sony Xperia and O2 wanted to show off their new product, they went to some people who knew exactly what they were doing, and created three ace, fun and great-looking promo films. They are directed by Thomas Brown – of whose still-life work we are long time fans – with art directors Jason and Joris at VCCP and director of photography Mattias Nyberg (who previously worked on the brilliantly phallic PETA spot and this beautiful gymnast film).

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    As it’s Friday, thoughts are turning to how to make the most of these two glorious days of freedom about to be unleashed on us – but wouldn’t it be great if you were just given a bonus day off on the condition you use it to do something you love? That’s the charming premise behind Camper’s new campaign which has kicked off with a series of videos featuring the brand’s employees – from store staff to accountants – kicking back and doing something they’re passionate about.

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    I have 104 friends but I am not sure that any of them like me enough to come out in the middle of the night to bail me out of a shady poker game. Lucky really then I wasn’t part of this excellent stunt ad for Carlsberg by Duval Guilllaume. It’s the latest in a series of spots for the Danish beer that put ordinary people in extraordinary situations and films the results, and as ever it’s the level of commitment to the prank that really makes this stand out. I love all the weird and wonderful things they do to the participants when they turn up – from the boxers to the chickens and the really weird guy in the lift and there’s a nice uplifting message about loyalty when all’s said and done.

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    In 1902 Henry Sturmey, James Archer and Frank Bowden (founder of Raleigh bicycles) revolutionised cycling with the invention of the 3-speed gear hub. Billed as “The Gear That Makes Cycling Easy” it seemed to make any mountain surmountable. Sturmey-Archer produced gear hubs throughout the next century and garnered a loyal following of cycling connoisseurs in the process.

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    There’s been a lot of chatter around Diesel’s new hook-up with Edun, which goes well beyond a new denim range made in Uganda. To promote the project they’ve approached a host of exciting up-and-coming creative talents who represent the cream of the new generation of African practitioners, from photographers and fashion designers to artists and bloggers. Bringing them together as Studio Africa, the hope is to create “a virtual loudspeaker and platform for a new generation of creative talents from across the continent.” This teaser video released this week has a really nice energy about it as well as some gorgeous shots and there’s a host of live events, broadcasts and more video content on the way.

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    In the same way that many Americans are baffled by our obsession with football (yes football, not soccer!) baseball is something I struggle to get my head around. But that was no barrier to enjoying this advert for Dick’s Sporting Goods, which I’ve never heard of but which I assume is some kind of shop that sells sporting goods, owned by an avuncular figure called Dick. Anyway Anomaly commissioned director Derek Cianfrance and cinematographer Peter Deming have produced a gorgeous spot which was shot in one continuous take and captures some of the tension and drama of America’s national sport. In lesser hands this could easily have ended up feeling a bit gimmicky but thanks to such talented treatment it’s pitch perfect (see what I did there?).

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    The commission to create the opening video for the TED 2013 conference must have been a daunting one, but illustrators Oliver Jeffers and Mac Premo have smashed it out of the proverbial park. It starts gently with some lingering close-ups of a strange TED branded piece of furniture which then reveals itself to be a flipboard. As the music builds to a crescendo we are bombarded with names and visuals and ideas in a way that leaves you slightly breathless. It’s not just a really beautiful execution either – it also feels very on-brand, capturing what people love about TED in terms of its almost overwhelming weight of interesting and inspiring content.

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    It’s very, very depressing here in England as we crawl on our hands and knees to the end of February, which is why we look to our Californian friends to help us through it. Luckily we’ve just seen that illustrators Andy Rementer and Honet have released two fun, quick animations for LacosteLIVE. Andy’s focuses around a shade-wearing, graffiti-spraying alligator created using what can only be described as a palette more often seen in an ice cream parlour. The second animation, by Honet, The Story Behind The Mask features an array of cleverly-illustrated tribal scenes to celebrate the famed Lacoste alligator logo. Nice!

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    The new Guy Ritchie-directed short film (come on guys, it’s an advert!) for H&M has just been released and it’s a nice little piece of viral fodder. The premise sees David Beckham chasing down his family car after being locked out of his house, and as he runs the rest of his clothes come off in a variety of ways. The gratuitous shots of Becks’ body are knowingly down and there’s some neat touches along the way, plus an ending I didn’t really see coming. All in all not a massively original idea, but beautifully shot (the swimming pool scene filmed from inside the house is gorgeous) and a good example of a big mainstream brand playing the populist card neatly.

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    Some things around the Superbowl are predictable annual occurrences. The same joke about superb owls being made all over Twitter, Brits who have no idea about American football casually dropping phrases like “Hail Mary Pass” into conversation, and of course the eagerly anticipated advertising bonanza. With a 30-second spot apparently costing up to $4 million but an estimated audience of more than 90 million people the pressure is on for all the brands lining up for the evening’s bug creative showdown.

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    About a year ago we featured a surreal and magnificent short film about a communist werewolf submariner. The direction and script were hilarious, but the set and prop design stole the show; all constructed by LA-based creative Adi Goodrich. The hugely talented Californian has a list of clients longer than my arm that include international names like Wieden + Kennedy, Michel Gondry, Pizza Hut and Universal Records, and she’s renowned for her punchy, colourful sets for fashion shoots.

  39. Hlist

    This year to celebrate Heineken’s 140th anniversary, the beer brand has thrown open its archives as part of the Remix our Future campaign. People are challenged to take one of the beer’s old adverts and create a new version ripe for the 21st Century, and while some of the efforts so far are pretty impressive, the real joy from a design point of view comes from the old visuals themselves. From weird illustrations to slightly sexist 1960s affairs, muted arty efforts to brash ads for the 1980s US market, it’s a tremendous collection of images and an interesting study in how a brand’s visual languages evolves over time.

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    Red Stripe has good prior form when it comes to embracing creative advertising campaigns but even by their own high standards their latest effort is really something. By rigging up an east London mini-mart with all manner of musical tricks, they created an interactive installation whereby the shop burst into song (The Specials’ A Message To You Rudy) whenever a customer took a Red Stripe from the shelf. It’s really cleverly done and the reactions of the customers are a joy to behold, plus it’s been documented in a way that means you didn’t have to be there (a common problem with these kind of installations).