Advertising Archive

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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.”

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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.

  16. Opinion-list

    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.

  22. 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?

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    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.