Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Smart Argentina - Animated Twitter Commercial

Smart cars pretty much fit anywhere and in any parking spot.  BBDO Argentina decided to demonstrate this fact by showing how a Smart car can even fit in Twitter.  Using a series of 455 tweets they've created an animated commercial in their Twitter feed.  It unfolds much like an animated flip-book.  Scrolling through the Twitter feed doesn't really convey the intended effect, so the best thing to do is go to the Smart Argentina Twitter page and use the 'J' or 'K' keys to scroll forward or backward.  Of course you can just check out the video below.

The strapline at the end reads approximately: 'It goes anywhere, even in 140 characters.  A big idea for the city.'  Nice use of a small space to demonstrate a small product.

Supporting Articles: Adverblog | Adfreak

$#*T Kids Say & Course To Shine - Topical/Relevant PSAs

There seems to be a wealth of really wonderful and emotionally evocative public service announcement (PSAs) work being done lately.  In the past few weeks I've also begun to notice PSAs that tap into the current zeitgeist/memes/trends as a clever way of creating relevancy with the intended audience.  I'm not sure of the agency responsible for this first one, but it seems that VW has teamed up with Nikkietutorials, one of the many Youtube stars/gurus, to help communicate this message.  Rather than trying to describe the video, please watch below (hint: be patient)

We often talk about brands enlisting Youtube stars/gurus as part of their marketing activity, so it makes complete sense to partner with them in order to get across the message that '500,000 road crashes are caused by women drivers applying make-up.'  Just a great execution in terms of creating something unexpected within the perfect context of a beauty tutorial. (via my colleague Briain Curtin)

Next up is a PSA for the NSPCC (National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children), created by Inferno London called $#*! Kids Say

While perhaps it's a bit late to the Shit _____ Say meme, it's still a great way to convey the message which asks the viewer to trust their instincts when they think things aren’t quite as they should be & generally raise awareness about the NSPCC mission.

Romanians Are Smart

I love seeing examples of Google search or AdWords used in creative ways.  Converse Domaination was probably the most prominent example of a creative campaign using AdWords.  Now McCann Erickson has developed a campaign for Romanian confectioner Kandia Dulce, producer of the ROM chocolate bar, to improve the online reputation of Romania.  Currently when you type 'Romanians are...' in Google search you get Google Instant results that are less than flattering, for example when I type 'Romanians are' Google instant returns 'scum' and 'latin.'  The campaign aims to change that by essentially Google bombing the results so that first instant result will be 'Romanians Are Smart.'  Check out the case study below for more details and feel free to help change the Google results by heading over to RomaniansAreSmart.com

It'll be interesting to see if this is successful in changing the Google results, but regardless it's a great concept.

Supporting Articles: Inspiration Room | SEO Moz

Project Re:Brief - Alka Seltzer & Avis

I'm slightly obsessed with Project Re:Brief.  If you're not familiar with Project Re:Brief then stop reading and head over to ProjectRe:Brief.com for some background.  Anyhow, I just love the concept of bringing iconic campaigns to life through digital media and truly believe that we're just scratching the surface in terms of the potential of display, mobile and digital advertising as a way to create an emotional connection between advertisers and users.  With that in mind, I was excited to see the last two of the Project Re:Brief campaigns have gone live.

Check out the re-imagining of Alka Seltzer - 'I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing' & Avis - 'We Try Harder' below.  It's better to head over to the Project Re:Brief site and play with the desktop versions of the ads, they really are exceptional.  Mobile demos/walkthrough videos are included below, but if you're not familiar with the original campaigns then it's definitely worth heading over to the site to get the full context of the original and re-imagined campaigns.

Tipp-Ex Experience 2

I thought I'd post this in case you've been holed up in a cabin without Internet.  If not, you've probably already seen this...the Tipp-Ex Experience is back for round 2!  The original Tippex Experience, developed by Buzzman in 2010, proved to be one of the most popular and successful Youtube campaigns of all time.  The campaign garned millions of views and many, many awards (see original campaign here or the case study here).  I wasted far too much time playing around with the original campaign and this version is no different.  In the original campaign users were invited to rewrite the story of 'A Hunter Shoots A Bear.'  In the new campaign users are invited celebrate the Hunter & the Bear's birthday throughout different times in history (see video below for backstory and to begin the experience).  Just type in a year and see what happens (check out 1990 for the Saved By The Bell spoof).  There are about 40-50 different videos from various years and some of them include interactive features (try typing in 1980).  Have a play around and say bye-bye to a couple hours of productivity.

WTF!? Tupac Performs At Coachella

Remember that Dave Chappelle skit where Tupac wasn't really dead (if you haven't seen it, check it out here.  Chappelle's show was brilliant and is sorely missed)?  Anyhow, in a case of art imitating life, Tupac has in fact risen from the dead with help of holographic/CGI technology and decided to perform with Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre at Coachella.

Very cool technology and not the first time it's been used.  For example, there's a holographic pop star in Japan and T-Mobile staged a Mariah Carey concert in multiple venues using similar technology.  That said, I believe it's the first time that the technology has been used to bring back a dead artist.  The whole stund reportedly to have cost more than $500,000.  What's scary is that it's being talked about a future revenue stream for the music industry, that is resurrecting long-dead artists to do holographic performances.  Ugh.  I'm pretty sure that's one of the signs of the apocalypse no?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mix Against AIDS

Back in December for World AIDS day, the Brazilian radio station Mix FM launched a campaign (developed by Quê Comunicação) to raise awareness about the dangers of HIV/AIDS 'In Brazil, surveys have shown that the number of HIV cases keeps growing among young people. The radio Station Mix FM could have an important role in this scenario: alert young people, making them feel how easy it is to a virus to spread around. So we've made our own virus.'

Mix FM posted two sexy videos (one of a hot guy, one of a hot girl) to their Facebook page with a message encouraging viewership.  The end of each video included the message:

'That's What Happens With HIV.  You Get Distracted. Get Infected. And Spread The Virus Without Even Noticing.  Take A Look At Your Wall. Always Protect Yourself.'

Once a user watched the video it was automatically posted to their Facebook page/timeline without their permission, thus driving home the 'viral' message (pun intended).  Just a genius idea to encourage condom use & demonstrate the dangers of unprotected sex in a tangible way.  Of course, it was completely against Facebook policy since it was essentially spam, so Facebook took it down within a day or so.  You could imagine doing something similar in a less spammy way by retargeting users who'd viewed the video with display ads across the web that drove home a similar message.  Would it potentially cross the 'creepiness' threshold.  Absolutely, but then again that's the point with a campaign like this.

Hungry Jack's (aka Burger King) - The $5 Experiment

Hungry Jack's is the Australian equivalent/subsidiary of Burger King.  They want to promote their $5 Stunner value meal and the idea that you can get great value for $5.  So Hungry Jack's and their agency (BBDO Sydney) decided to run the $5 Stunner experiment to see if they could source all the elements for a 30-second TV spot through the services site Fiverr.  For those of you who may not be familiar with Fiverr, they bill themselves as 'the world's largest marketplace for small services, starting at $5.'  On Fiverr, you can hire people to do various odd jobs for you, including various creative services large and small.

Check out the description from Hungry Jack's & the video below:
'You've asked for it, so the $4.95 Stunner is back.  And to prove just what great value the Stunner is for $5; we've successfully made a Stunner TV ad, where each element costs just $5.  We used a website called Fiverr to find the elements we needed from people all over the world.  We also asked our Facebook fans for a photo of their dog, and we ended up choosing Axel, a lovely dog from Western Australia, to star in the ad. His face was animated for (you guessed it!) just $5 on the Fiverr website.
This is the end result - we hope you like it!'

It's a really interesting initiative (my soul dies a little bit every time I have to use the phrase 'crowd-sourcing' or 'co-creation) and it will be interesting to see if other brands embrace this format moving forward.  One of the constant issues with UGC-type of campaigns is tapping into the 'Why?' of user participation.  What's the motivation/incentive to participate, especially when it's not necessarily the user in front of the camera or actually featured in the TV campaign?  In this case, the user is actually getting paid, so that eliminates much of the incentive dilemma.  Of course it opens up an entirely different debate about agency compensation models, eg. the whole Victors & Spoils crowd-sourcing debate.

Supporting Articles: Fiverr Blog | Digital Examples

Samsung - Elephant Plays with a Galaxy Note!

Samsung has been coming on strong in the smartphone market lately.  According to Cannacord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, Samsung is the second place manufacturer for mobile carriers in the US behind Apple.  Of course, that's really just an excuse for me to post this delightful video that The Viral Factory created to promote the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet.  The video features an elephant (named Peter) playing/interacting with the Galaxy Note.  What I found really interesting (besides the fact that an elephant is playing with a freaking smartphone!) is that so many viewers were skeptical about the authenticity of the video, despite the fact that the description is explicit in saying that this was 100% real, In fact, the Viral Factory posted several behind the scenes videos to demonstrate that no post-production trickery was involved.  I suppose skepticism is to be expected considering how good the execution has become for various hoax campaigns such as those produced by agencies like ThinkModo.

See below for original video and behind the scenes.

Supporting Articles: Inspiration Room | AdFreak

Skittles - Touch The Rainbow

Skittles (and their agency BBDO Toronto) cleaned up at Cannes last year, winning a Gold Lion in the Film Category and a Gold Cyber Lion for the now famous 'Touch The Rainbow' campaign.  My personal favorite was the Skittles Touch: Cat spot featuring Zach Galifianakis as a half-man/half-cat (see below).

Now Skittles & BBDO are back with another series of 'Touch' videos that are bizarre as their predecessors.  All five can be seen in the playlist below.  My personal favorite is the Zombie Tennis video.  Personally I don't find the latest videos as impressive.  Then again, they set the bar pretty high as the previous 'Touch' campaign that surprised and delighted viewers with the unexpected nature of the spots.

Columbia - Great Moments In Trying Stuff

I posted this to the 5 Cool Things G+ page a couple weeks ago, but just have recently had time to explore the rest of the Columbia Sportswear Youtube channel.  Their latest campaign 'Great Moments In Trying Stuff' is a series of videos that demonstrates the benefits of various Columbia sportswear through a series of amusing pseudo-science experiments.  As they put it: 'What do sweaty hot dog buns, cafeteria workers, mesh tank tops and a cat have to do with proving our gear is the best in the industry? Everything. Watch as we put our most innovative products to innovative tests.'  The videos are extremely entertaining while also being peppered with features/benefits/functionality throughout.  Anyone know the Agency responsible for the work?  In the meantime, here are my two favorites, but check out the rest of the 'Great Moments In Trying Stuff' on their Youtube channel.

BONUS: 8-Bit Mad Men

The Fine Brothers are one of the more established Youtube Stars, ie. content creators that have created a huge audience/following on Youtube.  They release videos twice a week that typically tap into the Youtube zeitgeist (such as this one, Kids React to Nyan Cat) and have racked up more than a million subscribers.

They recently released a fantastic Youtube game, tapping into the excitement around the Season 5 premiere of Mad Men.  The game (done in 8-bit/Nintendo style complete with awesome Nintendo-ish sound) uses Youtube annotations to create a choose-your-own-adventure experience where you play Don Draper looking to level up on his inner peace, new ideas, and confidence.  Have a play around below:

This is just one of many interesting executions across various mediums that tapped into the excitement around Mad Men, with Sky in the UK running 60s-style spots during it's ad breaks & Newsweek revisiting it's 1966 design for the issue the featured a Mad Men cover story (again complete with 60s-style ads from contemporary advertisers throughout the magazine).

Supporting Articles: Forbes | MTV

BONUS: The Best April Fool's Day Joke (excluding Google)

Google always goes big for April Fool's Day & this year was no exception.  The 8-bit Google Maps, the Youtube Collection, & Google Racing were all genius, but I also loved this April Fool's Day Joke from WestJet.

Introducing Kargo Kids.  So good:

'...with plenty of toys and a state of the art feed trough, your children will be able to run, play, scream and eat all they want, while you enjoy your flight in peace and quiet.'