Tag Archives: commercial

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

This week’s top five should be titled A Series of Unfortunate Crap. My general feeling from the spots this week is that they were phoned in. Literally. I genuinely think that someone pitched a general concept to the agency, they liked the idea, and then plugged in one of their clients’ brands to the concept. There is a serious disconnect between what we’re seeing and the tie-in at the end. Are we templatizing ideas now?

We begin with Pelephone’s ad “Zeppelins.” Twenty-six seconds of really intriguing visuals. Beautiful art direction and an interesting story line that pulls you in, making you ask, What is this all about? And then suddenly, “Wherever you land, you’ll get the best roaming rates.” This is a mobile plan ad? Seriously? You could literally plug in almost any product to this spot.

–       Wherever you land, you’ll get the most reward points for your Visa card.

–       Wherever you land, you’ll get the most out of your Expedia vacation.

–       Wherever you land…

I could go on, but it’d just make me more upset.

Then again, the melodrama of the Sunami and Hornbach ads pushes me over the edge. The Sunami ad in particular just kills me. For two minutes we follow this incredible story of an underappreciated woman and her escape from an oppressive husband. We love her! She’s a hero! If only more women had this sort of courage!…

To use Sunami laundry soap.

The Hornbach ad is a decent story. And yes, we understand the “And what will remain of you” tagline. It’s just a bit of a stretch for a hardware store. Leave a legacy by shopping at Hornbach. I don’t know. Just doesn’t add up to four.

The winner this week goes to Del Monte Fruit Cups––light-hearted, universal, and straightforward in its concept. We love the complex, but it’s just flat-out unecessary with this spot.

And Export Gold? You’re trying too hard.

As always, chime in and cast your vote. Until next time!

1. Pelephone – “Zeppelins” – ACW Grey

 

2. Export Gold – “Fire at the Old Well” – Colenso BBDO Auckland

 

3. Sunami – “Moving” – Kráneo *S,C,P,F…

 

4. Del Monte Fruit Cups – “If Spencer Can” – Blammo

 

5. Hornbach – “And What Will Remain of You” – HEIMAT Berlin

Hornbach “And what will remain of you?” from Source on Vimeo.

Author: Eric Swenson

Behavior-Changing Apps: A Vanguard Direct Survey

Behavior Changing Apps

Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized how we understand communication and information. He completely shifted our society. It was his products that transformed, in a way, how we think and behave. And it’s this last point that is the most fascinating. Behavior. Our behavior is different simply because of a small, handheld device. This was enough to drive Utterly Orange to ask: How else has our behavior changed as a result of technology? And in particular, which applications have leveraged the mobile platform and really changed our world?

We surveyed over 100 Vanguard employees on this topic and received, as you might imagine, a plethora of opinions. I’ve done my best to collate those opinions into something more chewable. However, one can’t help but wonder what makes one app’s utility more important than another’s? Yelp has blown away Zagat as the number-one restaurant-reviewing site/app. Foodies live and die—and, likewise, restaurants—by Yelp and its five alluring stars. But is it more transformative than, say, the flashlight app? Did you ever think you’d be bringing your phone camping in order to properly navigate?

So while I’d like to say our list is exhaustive, it’s limited and inherently subjective. And oftentimes it’s like we’re comparing Apple and oranges.

Banking & Financial Apps

The day that I heard I could deposit a check without having to go to the bank, I pretty much flipped. Or transfer money to a friend simply by typing in her email address? Who knew? There was a time when one would scan through thousands of ticker symbols in order to see if his Kodak stock went up a half point or not. Today it streams in real-time on the home screen of my phone.

These financial apps may not be the sexiest, but they certainly have changed our behavior.

Honorable mention goes to mint.com and its highly intuitive, highly beautiful app. Connect with every financial account you maintain (if you have the gumption) and see your net worth. From setting budgets to tracking your spending trends, your eyes will awaken to how you spend a dollar. You can’t help but want to modify your behavior.

News-aggregate Apps

We’re living in a content-driven world, and Vanguard is a content-driven girl. The Information Age is a tired expression, but it’s still undoubtedly accurate. Our survey suggested Vanguard has an overwhelming enthusiasm for apps that curate content.

That said, our sample comes from digitally savvy New Yorkers who have the subway free-time and industry knowledge to be interested in these sorts of apps. However, you cannot deny how we think about information today. It’s completely different from ten years ago. And without getting too grandiose on you, think about what this says about our evolution as human beings. I can barely fathom the implications.

Honorable mention goes to Flipboard. It’s intuitive. It’s user-friendly. And it works. Our senior management team loves it––and if they get it, you will.

Barcode-based Apps

Genius. There’s no other way to describe the utility of these apps other than to say simply: Genius. Want to know if that protein bar isn’t actually filled with carbs and sugar? Scan it. Want to sign up for a chance to drive a Lamborghini? Scan it. Want to know if that product was made in a child sweatshop factory in China? Scan it. Boycott it.

Never in a million years did someone think a telephone would have this sort of function. And yet, here we are. Honorable mention goes to Fooducate. This handy app scans your food and assigns it a letter grade. Skippy peanut butter gets a C? The app suggests a more healthful, A-rated alternative.

Music-driven Apps

Regardless of whether you hate all its ads or not, Shazam is 100% a unique game shifter. You can call it an app, but it’s an invention that has revolutionized our relationship with the sound waves coming out of your bar’s speakers. The minute you even hear the concept behind this app, you’ll get goose bumps.

Honorable mention goes to apps like Spotify and Pandora, which have changed radio forever. They’re like the news-aggregate apps from above, but for the soul.

Google Apps

Google is a category of its own. One cannot put down in writing the impact that its array of products have had on our organization, our culture, and our world. Your phone tells you when to turn left and when to turn right. Thanks, Google Maps! Your phone tells you that the phallic object in the middle of Buenos Aires you’re viewing is the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. Thanks, Google Goggles! And on that note, what does “Obelisco” mean in English? Obelisk. Thanks, Google Translate!

Google Now, a new app designed to adapt to where you go and what you do to predict behavior, is creepily amazing. But wait, there’s more!

I won’t go on, but this stuff is incomprehensible. And there are plenty of honorable mentions for me-too products, but we all know they’ve just been modeling themselves after Google.

These five categories and their top apps were chosen because of their utility and surprise. Did we think that we’d be talking to people using video someday? Well, yeah. It was in Back to the Future Part II. That isn’t to say it isn’t impressive; it really is. Social apps and game apps have altered how we interact with peers and friends. We are social beings, and these apps have encouraged social behavior. As I said in the beginning, this list is certainly nowhere near exhaustive––if you had to suggest another, what app has surprised you most?

Author: Eric Swenson

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

Take a look below at AdForum’s top five commercials for this week. There’s a nice, dynamic range of spots that I’m sure will intrigue you. Each spot sort of pulls at a different pathos string. The Sealy spot is a bit obvious—and far more sexual than I think we’re used to seeing for a mattress company. Then again, maybe that makes sense.

I felt like I needed Ritalin after watching both the Cadbury and Chevrolet ads. Is this the new trend for commercials? Flashing sequences that are almost impossible to keep up with? Perhaps we’re beginning to target the ADD youth of today. I will say that the Chevrolet ad seemed big-budget and an art director’s dream. The Cadbury ad, too, made me think that some AD out there was basically instructed to re-create Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and add a dash of James Bond. Um, yes, please.

The Boston Pizza spot had me laughing. I genuinely think I’m going to start referring to my food as being “divine.”

And how can you not love Matt Lauer and an old father/daughter spot? Cute, catchy, and effective.

Have a favorite? Take a look at these five and let us know what you think!

1. Sealy – “Life Before Your Eyes” – Arcana Academy

2. Cadbury – “Taste” – Fallon London

3. Chevrolet – “Find New Roads Anthem” – Commonwealth

4. Boston Pizza – “Foodie Monster” – TAXI, Toronto

5. Toshiba – “Future” – LBL Communication Group

Publisher’s Pick: National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse – “Hiding” – Campbell Ewald

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

Take a look below at AdForum’s top five commercials for this week. It was a refreshing group of spots that, for the most part, made me smile.

It’s clear that “Summer Hater” really doesn’t apply to the northern hemisphere this time of year, but nonetheless, it’s an effective ad whose tone is sure to keep your attention.

Owens Corning continues to do a great job marketing itself. Its social media alone is inspiring! The “Easy” ad was AdForum’s publisher’s pick, but isn’t Utterly Orange’s. No, our hat is tipped to Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ “Robot” ad. It hits all the right notes: concept, tone, relevance, and appeal—in this case, through humor.

Honorable mention certainly goes to Coca-Cola, who in our opinion plays on the world’s holiday heartstrings like no other brand in existence.

Have a favorite? Take a look at these five and let us know what you think!

1. BGH – “Summer Hater” – Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi

2. Adobe Marketing Cloud – “Robot” – Goodby Silverstein & Partners

3. Coca-Cola – “Christmas Family” – McCann Erickson Madrid

4. TriNet – “Raise Denied” – TDA Advertising & Design

Publisher’s Pick: Owens Corning – “Easy” – Campbell Ewald

Author: Eric Swenson

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

Take a look below at AdForum’s top five commercials for this week. In a nutshell, we were underwhelmed with most of the spots. Coke Zero’s “Unlock the 007 in You” was fun, but I’d hardly call the concept original. Nike Russia’s “Spartak Forever” falls in that same boat. How many Nike commercials have we seen that are exactly like this?

As for the St John Ambulance commercial, all we have to say is, wow—and that shouldn’t be confused with “Wow!” There are ads that shock us. There are ads that make us pause. And then there are those that take the risk of doing both and end up winning our hearts. This is not one of those ads.

We admire BBH’s gumption for trying something so bold. Across the board, however, this is an epic fail. Yes, we understand the cancer connection. Yes, we get the shock-and-awe factor, but unfortunately, a bigger objective was missing. What does this do for the brand? We certainly know what it does for BBH and its award aspirations, but after viewing this ad, do you find yourself more likely to call St John Ambulance? I doubt it. My guess is that you’ll just chew your food more carefully.

And if the “masticating best practices” message isn’t enough of a sell for you, just remember, even cancer survivors can choke and die in front of their children. Sorry, guys––we’re not impressed.

We do think the “Hands” commercial stands out from the pack of subpar spots. Would it have been better suited as an advertisement for hand lotion or arthritis medication? Probably. But the execution was great, so five points for that.

Have a favorite? Take a look at these five and let us know what you think!

1. Coke Zero – “Unlock the 007 in You” – Publicis Counsel

2. St John Ambulance – “Helpless” – Bartle Bogle Hegarty

3. Peugeot – “Hands” – BETC Paris
Please note: video contains brief nudity.

4. Nike Russia – “Spartak Forever” – Instinct

5. State Farm Insurance – “Ivy” – DDB Chicago

Olympic Sponsors – Worth Their Weight in Golden Arches?

There’s been a lot of talk this year about the sponsors of the London Summer Olympics. As is always the case with gossip, that conversation has been primarily negative. From Ralph Lauren’s Chinese-made uniforms to obesity-promoting sponsor McDonald’s, large corporations are accused of corrupting the purity of the Games.

It’s easy for us to point the finger at corporate giants and highlight the obvious hypocrisies. I’m certainly guilty of it myself. I think it’s important we remember, however, that things aren’t always so black and white.

First of all, let me point out that the US Olympic Team is one of the very few teams in the world that doesn’t receive public funding. All the training, travel, and other expenses that help our (very large) team to be one of the primary dominating forces at the Games are paid for by private donations and sponsorships.

One of those sponsors is Visa. Visa, along with its associated banks, could be considered evil incarnate for its high interest rates, hidden fees, and enabling a country that is addicted to debt. Let’s ignore for the moment that Visa has little to do with setting credit card interest rates, etc., and instead focus on what Visa has actually done. First, Visa has joined the other ten Olympic sponsors in donating a total of nearly $1 billion dollars to the Games. Second, Visa, along with McDonald’s and GE, has publically announced it would be waiving any charitable tax break. And finally, Visa––a 25-year sponsor, by the way––gives additional funds to athletes and athletes-in-training (both Olympians and Paralympians) to help them gain access to our best resources, ensuring Americans spots on the medal podium.

McDonald’s, the “cause” of America’s obesity epidemic, has always been a sponsor that makes people turn their heads and say, “Really?” Sure, a diet of Big Macs and Shamrock Shakes is probably not going to turn little Janie or young Friedrick into the next superstar Olympian. However, the global reach and international impact of McDonald’s is hard to deny.

A sponsor since 1976, McDonald’s has contributed billions of dollars, employed thousands of workers, supported volunteers, and even airlifted food to US athletes in Grenoble, France, during the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. The company just signed a contract to extend its sponsorship through 2020. While it’s hard to make a case that McDonald’s is the food of all athletes, I don’t really think that’s the point (although the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, ate chicken McNuggets every day before the Beijing Olympics). Corporate sponsors like McDonald’s have been incredibly successful and, whether it’s mutually beneficial or not, are doing a lot to help people around the world.

Sure, a mistake was made when Ralph Lauren, the company chosen to produce the US team’s clothing, wasn’t thoroughly vetted. But, in the Committee’s defense, Ralph Lauren is an American-based company. It’s just unfortunate that it––like every other American clothing brand, it seems––outsources production.

Like I said, it’s easy to go through each company and find discrepancies. It’s our job as marketers to show both sides of the coin to the world. Does it kill me that many of these large companies hurt small businesses? Sure, of course. Do I want to support BP after one of the worst oil spills ever? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean these companies aren’t trying to help the world, too.

Companies are built by people. And people are both selfish and altruistic. They can have integrity, and they can make mistakes. If you have the fortune (or misfortune, depending on your take) of being an agency representing these behemoths, make your own assessment, distinguish gossip from fact, and share the story with the world as truthfully as possible.

Propaganda or not, it’s hard not to get caught up in some of it: http://www.olympic.org/sponsors

Author: Eric Swenson

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

Take a look below at AdForum’s top five commercials for this week. There was a nice range of spots that had various appeals to the psyche. In general, we found them to be both artistic and funny.

The Amul Milk ad was a CGI wonder. Maybe it’s not the most original of ideas—having liquid form objects—but because of my serendipitously timed James Bond marathon this past weekend, it got me thinking of The World Is Not Enough’s opening credits and the liquid ladies in that. Admittedly, however, I found the black leather liquid Bond girls much more enjoyable to view than the one made out of milk.

That being said, is it strange to anyone else that Amul Milk is a sponsor of the Olympics? Are Olympians really drinking milk before an event? And how do milk companies have such large budgets that they can both sponsor the Olympics and also create what seems to be a highly expensive CGI ad? While you ponder those brain busters, I’ll move on.

Since we’re on the subject of women, this week’s Playboy magazine ad “Barber” is just really funny. The music, art direction, and cleverness of it all make perfect sense for the tone of Playboy. Sure, taste may have a factor in your feelings toward it, but if you have the sense to laugh about our culture and all of its absurd definitions of beauty, you’ll probably enjoy this spot.

Have a favorite? Take a look at these five and let us know what you think!

1. Playboy Magazine – “Barber” – Y&R


 

2. Amul Milk – “Amul Milk Olympics” – Draftfcb+Ulka India


 

3. New York Lottery – “Zombies” – DDB


 

4. Burger 21 – “21st Burger” – Red Tettemer, Inc.


 

5. WWF – “Cycle for Life” – Euro RSCG Sydney


 

Author: Eric Swenson