Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Fever - Adidas, Old Spice, P&G & Channel 4

The Olympic ceremonies open tonight, so I thought I'd share my favorite Olympic work that I've seen in the lead up to the games.

In terms of Olympic stunts, I think this one takes the cake.  Adidas invited fans to show their support in a #takethestage photobooth that had been setup in Westfield Stratford shopping mall.  What they didn't know is that David Beckham was just around the corner.  Check out their reactions when he joins them in the booth.

In terms of pure humor, I love the most recent Old Spice spot, 'I Will Live Forever.'  Notice how they nimbly dance around the fact that they're not actually official sponsors of the Olympics.

And of course there's just plain emotionally evocative as you can see in the latest spot from P&G 'Kids.'

But ultimately, the best piece of advertising I've seen for the Olympics, doesn't come from an official sponsor, in fact it's not even for the Olympics.  It's from Channel 4 to promote their upcoming Paralympic Game coverage as well as the shows/features that they'll be airing.  I literally get chills down my spine watching it.  For some reason they've turned off embedding, but you can see it here.

OXY - Man Sized Problems

Warning, this might be is the most disgusting ad you'll ever see.  Oxy face wash and their agency, Naked Communications, wanted to reach the 13-18 year old male audience and convey just how bad pimples can get if left untreated.  To reach their audience in an authentic way, they compiled a number of Youtube clips and assembled them together to demonstrate just how a pimple can turn into a 'Man Sized Problem' and therefore why they should be using Oxy face wash.  As Adam Ferrier of Naked Communications says:

"The idea came from the simple insight that guys like watching videos of guys squeezing big pimples. It speaks to our target much more authentically than the glossy, cheesy work of Oxy’s big spending competitors. We believe this work will result in mass trial of the brand, and change consumer behaviour towards Oxy."

As someone who spends an ungodly amount of time on YouTube, I found that insight surprising (perhaps even questionable), but then again I'm not exactly the target audience.

via Buzzfeed & Randy Matheson

Pepsi Max - From Youtube To A 30-second Spot

This is a bit old and I meant to post it a month or so ago, but it's still relevant as we see more and more brands working from the inside out.  That is, starting with a digital execution and then translating that to traditional media or into a 30-second spot.  This example comes from Pepsi Max.  In the video, we see Uncle Drew going to attend a pickup basketball game with his nephew.  When one of the other players goes down with an injury, Uncle Drew steps in.  After a slow start Uncle Drew starts dominating and talking trash while the  other players try to figure out how the hell this old guy has such ridiculous game. At the end of the video we see NBA rookie of the year, Kylie Irving, being transformed by Hollywood makeup artists into an old man, 'Uncle Drew.'  The stunt actually relates nicely back to the brand as Pepsi Max is 'the zero calorie cola in disguise.'

The five-minute video is fantastic.  It's compelling enough that 80% of the viewers were still watching at the 4 minute mark.  Pepsi could've considered the 10 million views the video over the course of a month success in it's own right.  This was never intended to be a 30-second spot or to have a presence on TV, but as a Pepsi spokesman says "Once we started looking at the metrics, it became clear that we couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring Uncle Drew to the sport’s biggest stage."  Pepsi decided to run a cut-down version, basically just a teaser for the full video, during the first three games of the NBA finals.  That in turn drove further viewership of the YouTube video, creating a nice virtuous cycle.

Additional Articles: MediaPost | AdAge

Coca-Cola Security Cameras

Damn you Coca-Cola and your continuous ability to evoke emotion through video.  Coca-Cola Latin America, Young & Rubicam and Landia created this delightful 90-second spot to remind people that acts of kindness and bravery are taking constantly taking place.  The video shows off the warm fuzzy side of security camera /CCTV footage.  'People tend to associate security cameras with negative events, but we wanted to disprove that assumption by demonstrating the abundance of happy events and actions they capture,' said Creative Director Martin Mercado.

via Yoram Cisinski

McDonald's Gets Transparency Right (after getting it wrong)

Here's a nice effort by McDonald's Canada to be transparent and respond to questions/concerns from customers.  This comes a few months after the Twitter #McDStories fiasco.  The #McDStories was promoted tweet centered around the idea that 'when you make something with pride, people can taste it' and invited Twitter users to submit their stories.  No doubt they expected stories of love, laughter and general culinary delight.  Within minutes it'd been highjacked by such lovely recollections as 'Watching a classmate projectile vomit his food all over the restaurant during a 6th grade trip.' (@jfsmith23).  Needless to say McDonald's pulled the plug on the campaign very quickly.

Now McDonald's Canada (and their agency Tribal DDB Toronto) has taken the lessons learned and launched the McDonald's Canada 'Your Questions website and Youtube channel.  The premise is simple:  'Ever wanted to ask us about the food in our Canadian restaurants?  Now's your chance! We'll answer any questions about our food - even  the tough ones - then post a personal reply from McDonald's Canada.'  

In an extreme act of transparency, they're committed to answering each and every question.  Certain handpicked questions such are being answered with an in-depth behind the scenes video.  A great behind the scenes video answering the question 'Why does your food look different in the advertising than in the store?' has racked up million of views and is an incredibly interesting look at what goes on during a food photo shoot.  Check it out below or head on over to the McDonald's Canada Youtube channel to see more video response videos.

Again, this is a really nice effort to actually engage in meaningful dialogue with customers in a completely transparent manner.  This is increasingly important in light of the recent customer satisfaction index that ranked McDonald's last in satisfaction amongst fast food chains (though those results may just be for the US).  Then again McDonald's was just named the most effective global brand for the second year running at the Effie awards.

via Leon Bayliss

Refuge - Don't Cover It Up

Does something happening twice make it a trend?  Well I'm calling it one.  If you recall, a couple months back I posted about VW & DDB enlisting Youtube Star, Nikkie of Nikkie Tutorials, to create a PSA highlighting the dangers of applying makeup and driving.  That video recently took a gold for viral advertising Cannes.

Now YouTube star Lauren Luke and BBH have teamed up to create a video on behalf of domestic violence charity, Refuge.  The video offers tips on how to cover up bruises, with Lauren Luke indicating that her bruises are the result of domestic violence ('if you got some bruises from a jealous type of partner, etc.).  The video abruptly ends with the sound of someone entering the house and closes with '65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden.  Don't cover it up.'  This is part of the wider Don't Cover It Up anti-violence campaign from Refuge.  More information can be found here.

It's a great way to reach Lauren Luke's nearly 500,000 regular subscribers and to highlight the silence that too often accompanies domestic abuse. The video feels particularly authentic as Lauren Luke has talked about her past experience with domestic abuse.  Contagious Magazine has a more in-depth write up with additional background and insight.

Cannes 2012 Roundup & Trends

Regardless of what you think of the annual advertising boondoggle festival that is the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, the fact is that it remains the most prominent showcase of advertising excellence.  This year saw Mobile and Branded Content get their own categories.  I highly encourage everyone to spend at least an hour going through the Cannes Lions site and reviewing the case studies for the winners in each category.  Without going into too much detail, the macro trend from this year's Cannes seemed to be awarding work that provided utility or gave something back to the user/customer.  As James Hilton aptly said during one of the Lightning Talks at the Google Sandbox 'the best advertising isn't advertising at all.'  Rather than try to recap the festival, I'll rely on the efforts of people more talented than myself.  See below for some nice round ups/highlights from the winners this year.

This comes courtesy of Bridget Jung, Chief Creative Officer - Digitas

I'd also recommend this nice roundup from AdWeek of all the Grand Prix winners for 2012.

Adverblog has a nice article on the overall Macro trends among the winners that's quite nice.

Last but not least, Contagious Magazine has a nice breakdown which includes snippets/quotes from about the work in each category.

But again, it's really worth spending some time on the Cannes Lion site and checking out the various winners across categories and the corresponding case study videos.