Monday, January 30, 2012

5 Cool Things Superbowl Special Edition

Considering I'm a Yank & a HUGE New York Football Giants fan (channeling my inner Chris Berman, for those of you who don't get the reference), I thought it'd be worth doing a special Superbowl edition of 5 Cool Things.  Is that an original idea?  Not at all.  Does it make for a fun 15 minutes of you time?  Absolutely.  Read on the posts below for the latest and greatest in advertising for this Sunday's game.

Also, don't forget to check out Youtube AdBlitz during (or before) the game, where the Youtube team will be posting the various spots as they air during the game and allowing fans to vote for their favorites.  

Honda - Ferris Bueller

Ferris Bueller is back, but for whom?  This unbranded teaser was uploaded to Youtube last week with the  following in the video description: "We hate to be such a tease, but on a day like today, we just have to. Stick it out until the Super Bowl, or take a 'day off' on Monday and catch the big reveal."

After racking up 4 million + views and generating a ton of buzz in a few short days, it turns out it's an epic two and a half minute spot for the Honda CR-V that stays true to the movie.  According to Honda:

To celebrate the launch of the all-new 2012 CR-V, Honda brought Ferris Bueller's Day Off back in a big game commercial. We cast Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of acting work and living it up in his all-new CR-V. Relive movie history with Honda's fresh twist and wonderful homage to this '80s classic.

Think you're a true fan of Ferris Bueller's Day Off? We hid over two dozen references to the movie throughout the commercial. Some are obvious, some are VERY subtle. See how many you can find. #dayoff 

My only question is...where's Cameron?

VW - The Bark Side

Lat year The Force: Volkswagen Commercial was the clear winner (at least in my mind) of all the Superbowl ads.  Not only was it the best spot of the game, but they also dominated in the lead up to the big game by releasing their spot five days before the Superbowl and racking up 14 million views prior to kickoff on Superbowl Sunday.  Those views (and this holds true for all of this year's pre-released ads) are arguably more valuable than a typical TV view.  Why?  Well a view on Youtube (or other channels) represents an explicit choice to view the content, rather than a passive, interruption based view that one normally associates with TV.  In fact, Kantar media estimated that the pre-game views for The Force equated to more than $500,000 in free media for VW, and that didn't include the PR/buzz around it.

With that in mind it's not surprising to see more and more brands releasing their full creative or the extended versions of their creative as VW did last year.  So how do Deutsch LA and VW follow up on last year's hit?  We won't know until Gameday, but they've generated a tremendous amount of buzz (not to mention 10 million+ views) with their teaser 'The Bark Side.'

I just hope that the actual spot can live up to the expectations generated by this canine chorus.

Audi - Race The Light

Audi has been teasing it's upcoming Superbowl spot from Venables Bell & Partners.  The teaser looks back at the highlights of the spots they've run during the big game in past years.

They've now revealed the full Game day commercial, 'Race The Light.' which promotes the Audi S7.  Rather than just a typical reveal, they challenged Facebook fans to piece together/gather all 60 frames from the 60 second spot in order to unlock it.

Result? nearly 2 million views of the full spot as of Monday.  See below for the spot.

First Bank - Pee Break

Without a doubt, this year has seen more brands releasing their full creative before the Superbowl than in any previous year.  By my count there's more than a dozen spots that have already been released and it's only Monday.  All of these commercials are battling for pre-game buzz and hoping to be 'The Force' of 2012.

For me there's one commercial that stands out among the rest.  It's just so completely different than the typical spot and takes such a different approach to the insane media buy that's become the 30-second Superbowl spot.  I really wish I could've been a fly on the wall during the client pitch for this.  It's really too bad it's only a local spot.

As The Denver Egoist explains:

'For the jittery Super Bowl fan whose own unflinching game day passion exceeds his bladder’s, FirstBank offers solace. Continuing its ongoing “helpfulness” campaign, the bank’s first-ever Super Bowl spot, created by TDA_Boulder, is a pee break. The spot runs on NBC’s Colorado Super Bowl programming during the break between third and fourth quarters. Wish the rest of the country could witness this genius.'

Coca Cola - Polar Bears

Coca-Cola is undertaking an ambitious Gameday initiative using the much loved Coca-Cola Polar Bears.  This year Coke promises that the bears, one of whom will be supporting the Patriots, and one the Giants, will respond in real-time across the web and even in the TV commercials during the game.

According to the press release:
'Coca-Cola is capitalizing on the growing trend of second screen media consumption to extend its connection with fans beyond the television screen to the computer screen and the social media universe. Coca-Cola is launching a unique viewing experience for fans that merges a live digital stream and social media with traditional television advertising. The stars of the campaign are two Coca-Cola polar bears who will be watching the big game live and sharing a Coke from the comforts of their Arctic ice cave.
Fans can join in on the fun and watch the game with the polar bears "in the Arctic" by visiting The digital platform uses proprietary technology to bring the computer-generated polar bears to life through live animation -- a technological first for the big game or any media event. The live stream will showcase the animated polar bears' reactions to all the plays on the field, the halftime show and highly anticipated commercials.'

They also have alternate versions of the commercials set to run depending on which team is winning.  See this mashable article for a more complete explanation of the Weiden + Kennedy campaign.  It'll be interesting to see how successful Coke is in engaging the audience on a second screen during the game.  The strategy makes a ton of sense considering more than 50% of viewers watching the game plan to have a second screen running.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Honda - The Great Unknown

The past couple of months has seen some great work from Weiden + Kennedy London (as well as B-Reel & Partizan films) for Honda's 'The Great Unknown' pan-European marketing campaign.  The campaign supports the launch of the new 2012 Civic.

The first phase kicked off with the launch of the new Honda Civic UK Youtube channel which (according to W+K London) 'introduced the campaign idea and was car-specific: the content relates to the various improvements and enhancements of the Civic.'  This included the adorable Happy Dog interactive film (see below), which highlights 'the journey the Honda engineers undertook- how they got to the final design of the Civic and the lessons learned along the way.'

The second installment,  Honda - The Experiment evoked the iconic Honda Cog commercial (see here) from 2003, brought to life through a physics based HTML5 game/challenge where: 'Each video window contains an object that interacts with those around it to create hundreds of possibilities and combinations. After six levels of solving chain reactions you get the chance to create your own and challenge your friends.'  The goal is to experiment and discover what works, just like Honda engineers do.

Warning, it's addictive and frustrating at the same time.  There's also an interesting making of video, that can be found here.

For the third and final installment of the campaign,  Honda launched the 360 degree interactive film 'Off The Grid.'  It feels very much like Google Streetview, but aims to take users to places 'off the grid' or part of 'the great unknown' that they'd never get a chance to see otherwise.  This includes new perspectives/views of places such as Antelope Canyon, an Alaskan glacier cave and an underwater sculpture gallery.  The locations and cinematography is incredibly stunning, and the Yellowbird 360 degree player means that users can control the perspective as the experience unfolds.   See below, but I highly encourage you to experience it yourself on the Honda Civic Youtube channel.  There's also a nice 'making of' video here.

In fact all three installments of the campaign can be seen on their Youtube channel.

Supporting Articles: B-Reel | PSFK | W+K London

Axe Anarchy - The Graphic Novel

Razorfish and Aspen comics have created a cool new campaign for Axe Anarchy.  A bit of background... Axe is looking to expand beyond their typical audience of young men.  They're introducing a new line of fragrances for both men and women called Anarchy.  To promote Axe Anarchy they've embarked in a co-creation project with fans to create an interactive graphic novel.

The Youtube channel is the hub of the campaign where fans are invited to shape the graphic novel by contributing storyline and character ideas (users contribute directly using Youtube, Facebook or Twitter from directly within the channel).  Think of it as a participatory version of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books.  Every few days, new chapters are added to the Youtube channel with story arcs evolving depending on fan input.  Additionally Axe is rewarding good ideas from fans by depicting (and tagging them via their social media handles) in the actual graphic novel.

While I really like the idea, I do question the strategy and wonder how effective it will be in attracting a female audience.  Regardless, take a few minutes to check out the Youtube channel and see for yourself.

via Andrew Bent

Supporting Articles: Digital Buzz Blog | CreativityAdFreak

Israel Anti-Drug Authority - Adam Barak FB Timeline

McCann Digital Israel is running a clever campaign for the Israel Anti-Drug Authority using the new Facebook Timeline feature.  As far as I know it's the first campaign use of the Facebook Timeline.  They've created a fictional profile for Adam Barak and shows a photo comparison of a year in his life on drugs vs. a year where he stays clean.  The split screen photos shows his downward spiral into addiction (leaving out all the fun parts ;-)  You can see the profile here  (UPDATE: the campaign violates Facebook regulations on brands using fake profiles and has been removed).  

This sort of comparison has been done before, most memorably in the Faces Of Meth posters from the US, but it's a nicely done piece of work.  My favorite part is that the photos are of a real copywriter at McCann, Daniel Barak.

Supporting Articles: Campaign | Creativity | AdFreak

Doritos Crash The Superbowl Finalists + One That Should Be A Finalist

A few months ago I wrote a  post featuring the latest iteration in Doritos Crash The Superbowl competition.  Well the five finalists for the 6th annual Crash The Superbowl competition have been selected!   They're all amusing spots, though not mind blowing or particularly original.  Out of the finalists, my personal favorite is Bird Of Prey (see below).

What's interesting is the buzz around one of the submission that didn't make the cut.  I think it's far and away superior to any of the five finalist videos.  It's racked up nearly two million views on Youtube in the past week, far more than the views for the finalist videos on Youtube.  To be fair, the Crash The Superbowl site uses a different video player, so it's impossible to know how many views each of the finalist videos has racked up on

See the playlist below for the rejected video and the five finalist videos.  You can vote for your favorite at  Predictions anyone?

Supporting Articles: AdFreak | Buzzilla | Devour

Delta - Your Bag's Journey

Ever wonder what happens to your bag after it gets checked in at the airport?  Delta recently released a video that shows what happens to a checked bag once it goes behind those black rubber flaps.  They put together a piece of luggage with six built in cameras that then traveled on a flight from Atlanta to New York City.  Obviously this bag got special treatment (there's no baggage handler rifling through the luggage to nick your electronics or chucking it haphazardly onto the baggage cart), but overall a very cool behind the scenes look at what a bag goes through to get from point A to point B.

The video (which has racked up about a million views in two weeks) is also an effective way to promote the new Delta mobile app that allows flyers track their checked baggage.

Supporting Articles: PSFK | Devour | USA Today