Showing posts with label auto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label auto. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Dodge Durango & Ron Burgundy

As part of the promotion for the upcoming release of Anchorman 2, Dodge has teamed up with Will Ferrell (in character as Ron Burgundy) to promote the new Dodge Durango.  Ferrell and his Funny or Die colleagues, in conjunction with Wieden & Kennedy Portland have produced over 70 different ads for the Durango in the form of TV commercials, YouTube videos, Vines, etc.  It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds in the lead up to the release of Anchorman 2 in December. It's kind of a big deal.

The ads are (as one would expect) absolutely hilarious.  It seems like a win-win, bringing additional exposure to the movie as well as a great deal of levity and fame to the Dodge Durango. Ron  Burgundy isn't your typical spokesman.  For instance, rather than focusing on the power of the Hemi engine, he chooses instead to call out the many excellent features of the glove box.

Have a look at the playlist below or head on over to to see Ron Burgundy in all his glory, or as Dodge says:  Style. Power. Performance. Best-in-Class Handsome. What more could you ask for from a Dodge Durango spokesperson? Watch Ron go Burgundy all over YouTube. #BurgundyDodge

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Forget Cats, Chickens Are The New Heroes Of The Internet - Mercedes, LG & Foster Farms

Conventional wisdom says that the Internet is dominated by cat videos (if you haven't seen the hilarious video from agency john st. on 'catvertising' then stop what you're doing and watch it here).  However, the past month has seen the unlikely emergence of chickens playing a starring role in several campaigns.

The first example comes from Mercedes.  The 'Magic Body Control' commercial was created by Jung Von Matt to demonstrate the stability and comfort of the intelligent drive system.  How ironic that  they use a $5 chicken to demonstrate the capabilities of a $50,000 car.  Check it out below:

Similarly, LG and their agency SuperHeroes are using chickens to show off the new optical stabilization features of the LG G2 phone.

Last but not least, Foster Farms are combining chicken puppets and classic 1980s songs to demonstrate the 'amazing' chicken that Foster Farms brings to the table.

Other Things I Like But Don't Have Time To Write Up - Steinlager, VW, MTN

Steinlager - Be The Artist, Not The Canvas
I love this ad from Steinlager to promote responsible drinking.  Rather than tap into the typical cliches around responsible drinking, it appeals the juvenile, yet common occurrence that can happen when young men get too hammered.

VW - Take On Me
I'm blown away that Take On Me hasn't been used in an Ad before.  VW remakes the classic song to promote their no-charge scheduled maintenance on every new VW.

MTN - The Everywhere Library
Another great example of a brand doing good, in this case the Telco MTN brings books to students across Africa via SMS.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Honda - Hands

To celebrate more than 65 years of engineering accomplishments and innovation, Honda has released this delightful film, 'Hands.'  As W+K London (the agency responsible for the film) writes: We have simply called the film 'Hands' as a testament to the tinkering nature of the Honda R+D engineers whose curious spirit (or hands) has made Honda the largest engineering company in the world.'

The film is a delight to watch and simply features a pair of hands magically transforming Honda products from one into another, taking the viewer from the earliest Honda products to the present day.

It's captivating enough to want to watch it again.  Additionally, Honda (and their digital agency, Collective) have launched an interactive version of the film.  The interactive version of the film, called The Engineer's Cut, allows 'viewers to interact via seemingly hand-written notes and doodles. Once clicked, the notes reveal the tales of engineers and innovation that have gone into the various Honda products.'

See the screenshot below and have a play around yourself by heading over to Honda Hands.  My only criticism is that there could be a stronger link between the flat film and the interactive version.  Clearly car enthusiasts or people who were delighted by the film would be interested in the interactive version, so an embedded link in the video sending users to the interactive version could help drive even more users to the deeper version.

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Toyota - Meals Per Hour

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Toyota teamed up with the with Food Bank For New York City to assist those families still affected by the storm.  In addition to providing financial support, they also brought expertise in terms of operational efficiency and engineering.  They recently released a video documenting their efforts, called 'Meals Per Hour.'  For example, Toyota brought in experts around the 'The Toyota Production System (TPS),' which is based on the principle that 'the summation of many, many small, cheap improvements can have a big impact.'  They dramatically increased the efficiency of the local food bank by implementing the TPS system to help distribute meals.  As one of the Toyota employees says: 'These basic principles of the Toyota Production System apply to any kind of process — it doesn’t have to be manufacturing.'

While the video is an inspiring piece of content, it might not have had a great deal of viewership without an additional twist.  Upon the release of the video, Toyota pledged to provide one meal for every view of the video (up to one million views).  This is a great example of marketing for a good cause.  Additionally, it's a great way to both drive viewership of the video and further anchor Toyota's commitment to CSR initiatives in the mind of the viewers.  Check out the video below or head on over to Meals Per Hour to find out more about the project.

AdWeek has some stats around the media generated by the project.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Volkswagen On YouTube

Over the past month or two, Volkswagen and their Brazilian agency, AlmapBBDO have embraced YouTube in a big way.  It seems as though the agency was tasked with finding new and innovative ways to use YouTube in order to communicate various features of the new Volkswagen automobiles.  First up is a Chrome extension that's being used to demonstrate the Volkswagen start/stop engine technology that automatically turns the engine off to save energy and starts it again when the car is about to move.  The Chrome extension automatically pauses YouTube video if the user looks away from the screen and resumes playing as soon as the user looks back.  Check it out below.

Next up is a nice use of the ability to hover over the video timeline in YouTube to preview what's coming later in the video.  AlmapBBDO used this YouTube feature as a way to demonstrate how the VW side assist technology works to warn drivers of any danger approaching that they may not be able to see.

And finally, AlmapBBDO wanted to demonstrate the smooth shifting Tiptronic transmission technology using YouTube TrueView, or skippable ads.  They created a five second ad that appears to automatically skip the ad for you, thus tying back to the smooth shifting functionality of the VW.

All in all it shows how a client/agency can use the various features and existing functionality of YouTube in clever ways that demonstrate various product benefits.  Hats off to AlmapBBDO and Volkswagen.

P.S.  It seems that it's not just AlmapBBDO that's using YouTube in new and resourceful ways, DDB Espana also created the 'fastest ad in YouTube' that's so fast you can't even skip it.  Not quite sure how that links back to functionality of the new VW though...

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

VW - Slowmercial & 2013 Golf Auto Show Reveal

Here are two nice, but unrelated pieces of work for Volkswagen from the past couple weeks.

Volkswagen Beetle Slowmercial
According to DDB Brussels, more than a third of Belgians regularly timeshift their TV viewing and of those viewers, more than 80% of them fast forward through commercials.  So how do you get your commercial message across to viewers who are watching at 2x, 4x, or even 8x the normal speed?  DDB Brussels created the Slowmercial for the new VW Beetle.  It's essentially a static TV commercial, not unlike a moving print ad.  Kudos to them for rethinking the existing TV format to take into account new viewing behaviour.  Check it out below to see what the ad looks like at both normal speed and 8x viewing.

VW Golf & Golf GTI
The new 2013 VW Golf & Golf GTI were unveiled at the NY auto show with a very cool projection mapping event that traced the evolution of the Golf through a cultural timeline.  Delightful.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Google - Art, Copy & Code

Art, Copy & Code in a series of experiments that started last year with the Google Project Re:Brief. Whereas Re:Brief re-imagined classic ads for the modern web, Art, Copy & Code looks at the future of modern advertising on the web through a series of experiments conceived, developed and executed in partnership with brands such as VW, Adidas & Burberry.  As the site explains:

A Time of Change
In the 1960's, advertising went through a creative revolution that changed everything simply by partnering up art directors and copywriters. The idea of a creative team made up of art and copy was born.  Today, it’s happening again. We’re in the midst of a second creative revolution, driven by technology. Code is being added to the core creative process, enabling new forms of brand expression and engagement. Art, copy and code is the creative team for the connected world.

The Idea Is Still King
What hasn’t changed is the need for human insights, breakthrough ideas and emotional stories. Code facilitates new kinds of experiences, but it doesn’t replace the storytelling skills the advertising industry has honed over the past fifty years. Our connected world is giving brands more dimensions and touch points, but they still need something compelling to offer in order to create a real connection.

A Series of Experiments
How will the modern web shape the future of advertising? We’re partnering with the innovative brands, storytellers and makers who are defining it to find out.

I highly recommend watching the dynamically generated manifesto/intro film on the Art, Copy & Code site.

The first in the series of experiments is the VW - Smileage app.  The official Google blog has a good overview of the experiment or check out the video below.  I envision it as the driving equivalent of Nike+, providing both entertainment AND utility back to the user in the form of insightful information about the individual's driving behaviour, habits, etc.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Audi RS4 - Ultimate Paintball Duel

I think of the Audi station wagon ( car as it's called over here) as a boring staple of the British upper-middle classes.  Generally speaking, estate cars/station wagons are thought of as boring family-mobiles that just appeal to Moms.  Audi's challenge is to shift the stigma away from estate cars and demonstrate the performance and handling of their recently relaunched RS4 wagon.  Rather than just talk about specs like the 450hp V-8 engine, Audi's agency Rubber Republic have brought the promise of the RS4 to life through a top-gearesque paintball duel.  You may remember Rubber Republic from their awesome Bodyform response video work.  In this case, they've enlisted two of the best UK stunt drivers (check out the behind the scenes video here) in 'two brand new 2013 RS 4 Avants with bonnet mounted paintball guns take over a military aircraft hangar and go head to head in the ultimate paintball duel.'  The result is sheer joy to behold & a perfect way to appeal to a male audience all of whom believe they could secretly be race car drivers.

Check it out below.
via: Yoram Cisinski

Friday, February 15, 2013

Final Superbowl Thoughts

Contagious has a good Superbowl Advertising roundup which can be found here

My personal favorite spot was Samsung Next Big Thing with Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, & Bob Odenkirk.  I love the shots that they took at AdLand (I counted at least five).

The VW 'Get Happy' Superbowl ad generated a whole bunch of controversy with many people calling the spot offensive and even racist.  I was surprised that nobody has really picked up on this response video from Red Strip that ran during the game.  Everyone was swooning over the Oreo blackout execution, but the way that Red Stripe responded and attempted to insert themselves into the debate around the ad was incredibly smart in my opinion.  See below.

VW had a backup ad created for the Superbowl, but decided to run the 'Get Happy' ad after the teaser spot had significant response on YouTube (see the behind the scenes article).  I'm wondering if this ad below isn't the backup spot.  Personally I prefer this to 'Get Happy.'

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dodge Dart Registry

I was blown away when I first saw this idea for the new Dodge Dart.  Developed by W+K, the Dodge Dart Registry works like a normal gift registry, but for purchasing a car.  The Dart is targeted at a younger audience who typically can't necessarily afford a car.  The potential buyer picks out the features they want, then invites their friends and family to sponsor parts of the car as gifts.  Once they reach the fundraising goal, they are the proud owner of a brand new Dart.  As Dodge says, it's an entirely new way to buy a car.  Check out the intro video below.

The reason I love this idea so much is that it's grounded in consumer truth and presents a new twist on existing consumer behaviour.  In hindsight, this idea is almost inevitable. The rise of crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo has been relentless, so it was only a matter of time before that funding mechanism spilled over into the main stream for big-ticket items.  Additionally, the idea of a gift registry has been around for years.  More recently, the idea of contributing cash/funding to a wedding registry to make one large purchase (such as a honeymoon) has become commonplace.  Combine all of these factors with the insight that the target audience often needs help to finance a new car purchase and you can see how it all comes together beautifully.  Have a look around on

Thursday, January 17, 2013

BMWi Born Electric

Here's a nice bit of mobile advertising.  The BMWi Born Electric campaign allows users to take a virtual test drive in the BMW i8 or i3 concept car with Google Maps and Street View.  After selecting one of the concept cars, users are put in the drivers seat and can choose a route that they want to take to any location or one of many landmarks in different cities.  Users are given an in-car perspective and given a view of their route via Google Streetview.  An accompanying map shows the location on the route and how much power is left in the electric battery.  If you select the 'Interior 360' option you can pan around inside the car and get a 360 degree interior view of the car and a 360 exterior view of your location in Street View.

Targeted at city dwellers, the mobile experience is a really nice way to put the experience of the i3 and i8 into the users hands while showing how electric cars can easily fit into their existing urban life.

Have a play around with the London experience.

Subaru EyeSight

So how do you demonstrate a relatively dry product feature (collision avoidance system) of the new Subaru?  That was the challenge addressed in this delightful video.  Subaru decided to use mini electric cars to demonstrate the power of their new Eyesight collision avoidance system.  They outfitted hundreds of these mini cars with stereoscopic cameras and miniature speakers that emitted different sounds when the system was engaged.  The resulting video is a delight both visually and aurally.  Check it out below.

via Adverblog

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mercedes Benz - #YOUDRIVE

Mercedes, AMV BBDO, & Stink have developed an innovative idea to help launch the new Mercedes Benz A-class.  On Saturday, October 6th viewers are invited to take part in #YOUDRIVE a campaign that's being billed as a social media first (at least in the UK).

Using Twitter, viewers will drive the action of a 3-part story that will be shown during the commercial breaks in the X Factor.  The spots center around a musician and a professional driver who are chased by 'the man' on the way to a secret gig.  In practice users are invited to choose what the characters should do next by voting on Twitter with the hashtag #YOUDRIVE.  Think of it as choose-your-own-adventure on a massive scale and brought into the television experience.  But wait...there's more!  The spots will also direct viewers to the lovely Mercedes Benz YOUDRIVE YouTube channel where they can view the ads as well as create their own story.  The final ad will also show the voting percentage /breakdown for each choice. 

This is quite an effort.  Obviously each of the possible decision paths had to be shot and readied for the voting outcome, but it actually pays of the much bandied about term of social TV viewing.  David George, marketing director of Mercedes-Benz UK, said the new A-Class vehicle represents a "new, younger, more dynamic' & that it's 'a modern Mercedes-Benz that encourages people to do what we know they enjoy – to get involved.'

What I find fascinating about this idea (and 'social TV' in general), is that the creative can't be separated from the media.  In other words, this idea, this execution only works if the media placement is spot on.  In order for this to be a success it needs to run against a TV program that is considering destination viewing, where liveness is important, and where the audience is passionate enough about the show that you can pretty much guarantee that they'll be around for the second spot and ultimately the following week for the third spot.  It's interesting to see how new creative ideas and formats (see the Coke Polar Bears during the Superbowl) emerge around premium programming where the 'liveness' guarantees a large and captive audience.

So check out the trailer below & if you're in the UK you can use this campaign as a good excuse for why you're actually watching X-Factor
Additional Articles: Brand Channel | Campaign

Friday, August 10, 2012

Volkswagen - Street Quest

I don't know if it's just an American thing, but I have vivid (and often painful) memories of long car trips playing punch buggy with my brother.  Note: for those of you who have never heard of Punch Buggy; it's a children's game where whoever spots a VW beetle first shouts 'punch buggy, no punch backs' and gets to punch the arm of the person next to them.  See wiki entry here.  Now Volkswagen South Africa & Ogilvy Cape Town have created a contest that brings Punch Buggy into the digital world (minus the pain)

The campaign features a nice integration of Google Street View & Facebook.  Over the course of a month, users are challenged to find and pin as many VWs as they can find on South African  roads in Google Street View.  Each week, the user who pins the most will be flown to Cape Town for a final showdown with the other winners.  They'll then go forth into the real world to spot the most VWs to win the grand prize.  See below for more details or have a play for yourself here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

VW - The Original Click

Really clever use of Youtube advertising formats in this campaign for official Volkswagen auto parts (developed by AlmapBBDO).  The idea is simple, people shouldn't accept imitations auto parts.  Similarly, they discovered that on Youtube many of the most-popular videos have poor quality knock offs/imitation videos, some of which have millions of views.  So VW bought in-stream ads against these imitation videos with the message 'Don’t accept Imitations. Prefer Original Parts.'  Clicking on the ads redirected users from the imitation video to the original version.  Check out the brief case study/explanation video below.  According to this AdFreak article the campaign generated '125,000 views and 500 clicks for every $100 spent.'

via Sibylle Tretera

Additional Articles: Adverblog | Digital Buzz Blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Nice Uses Of QR Codes - Emart, Guinness & Mercedes-Benz

QR codes have gotten a pretty bad rap and are generally shit on by the creative community (case in point, this genius Tumblr).  Until certain smartphone technologies mature, the fact of that matter is that it remains one of the best ways to quickly and (relatively) easily get mobile users to a site/app.  While there are definitely some absolutely abysmal executions out there, here are a couple of recent ones that work extremely well.

The first example comes Emart, the Walmart of Korea.  The Sunny Sale (created by Cheil Worldwide)  aimed to drive sales during lunch, which is a typically slow time for the retailer.  They created clever shadow QR codes which are only be readable/active in certain light, ie. between the hours of 12-1PM.  Users who scanned the sunny sale QR codes received special offers, coupons, etc.  It proved so popular they expanded it from 13 to 36 locations in Seoul.  Over the course of a month they sold over 12,000 coupons and increased store membership 58% month or month, but perhaps most impressive they increased sales by 25% during lunch hours.  Who says QR codes can't be effective!?

Additional Articles: Adverblog | AdFreak

The second example comes from BBDO New York for Guinness.  The QR code is printed on the glass and only works when Guinness (or another black/dark liquid) fills the glass, so don't try filling these glasses with lager, etc.  Once full scanning the QR code launches a site that easily/automatically tweets, checks in, posts a status update or sends an Instagram photo about where you are and the fact that you're enjoying a pint of guinness.  Very clever.
via Digital Examples

Prior to the official car launch, you'll often see speculation about the new model based off photos of the car 'spotted in the wild' on various aficionado sites.  Manufacturers combat this by wrapping the cars in plastic and generally camouflaging them so the new body/shape can't be deciphered before launch.  Jung Von Matt/Alster has cleverly tapped into this behavior by turning the camouflage of the prototypes into a form of media.  They've wrapped the new Mercedes Benz A-Class prototypes in QR codes.  The QR codes contain links to an app in which users hunt for trophies based off spotting the new A-class and give them a chance to win a trip to launch event.  Nice expansion of the idea of owned media and tapping into the existing behaviors of passionate car fans and paparazzi. 

Additional Articles: Digital Buzz Blog

Monday, March 5, 2012

Subaru - First Car Story

Anyone who drives remembers their first car.  Now Subaru and its creative agency, Carmichael Lynch, are tapping into the emotion and memories of loving (or hating) your first car in a new integrated campaign for the new 2012 Subaru Impreza.  The hub of the campaign is features an amazing animation/video generator that allows users to recreate the story of their first car through bespoke animation, music, text and voiceover.  The site then generates a really cool custom animated short story, which of course are sharable via users social networks.

"Everyone loved their first car, no matter how bad, beat up, or borrowed. That first car became a new chapter in life or a ticket to freedom and first car stories are often the most memorable stories we have," said Alan Bethke, director, marketing communications, Subaru of America.  "The First Car Story campaign provides a creative outlet for reliving those unique, funny, unforgettable car experiences anyone who had a first car can relate to."
It's really worth playing with the site to get a full sense of what you can do.  I love the idea of turning phrases or words that the user types in the story as a way to trigger a library of animations (ie. typing in pulled over by the cops triggers an animation in the video with sirens and handcuffs.)  Another cool aspect is the ability to tag friends in the video, since many of our stories, memories, etc. from our first car include shared experiences with friends from yesteryear. really takes the idea of creating bespoke and personalized content for the user a step further.  All in all, just a great branded content tool to provide utility and entertainment to the user.

This really hits home for me, since I loved my first car, a beat up old, white '79 Buick Lesabre, so I took a stab at creating my own video, which you can see below.

Here's a story mashup that Subaru created to illustrate the tool.

Supporting Articles: Creativity

Peugeot - Let Your Body Drive

To promote the idea that the new Peugeot 208 is like an extension of your body, BETC Euro RCSG developed an interactive Youtube experience/video entitled 'Let Your Body Drive.'  According to Peugeot, the new 208 'has been designed to be perfectly in tune with the driver's body: more intuitive, more sensation, more stimulation. It allows the body to express itself fully, and the new interactive film perfectly illustrates this'.

That of course, tells you nothing about what exactly 'Let Your Body Drive' is all about.  Simply put, it's a choose-your-own-adventure story using Youtube annotations.  You're put in the shoes of a naked dude who's just been caught cheating on his girlfriend and is basically wandering the streets in his birthday suit.  Choose correctly and you get back together with her.  Choose poorly and...well you get the chance to play again.

The story is well done and amusing throughout.  Respect to them for not hitting the user over the head with Peugeot 208 branding/messaging throughout the experience.  From a more technical perspective it's nice that the experience takes place within a single video.  Many choose-your-own-adventure type executions using Youtube annotations pop the user off to a separate, unlisted video at each decision point.  That's great in terms of protecting the story flow, but from what I've seen there's significant drop off/bounce when users are taken to a separate video, rather than jumping another point within the same video.

'Let Your Body Drive' is part of a larger digital & ATL campaign that's currently running.  The interactive video is also nicely integrated into the new Peugeot 208 campaign site, which houses previous interactive experiences and promotions for the 208.

Have a play around yourself by going to their Youtube channel or see below.

via my colleague Inga Spitzer