Archive for April, 2008

a response to the next creative revolution

April 30, 2008 8 comments

I re-read the creativity-online article, the next creative revolution from Nick Law, chief RGA’s creative director. And I realised I got it completely wrong the first time I read it. Here’s my understanding of what he was trying to communicate to us, in Plain English (or Franglish as you may say).

On advertising as entertainment:

Followers of Saint Bill believed that people are so amused by advertising that they run right out and buy stuff.

Well, that’s a bit provocative for the sake of it. Advertising is not just entertainment. And they aren’t that many ads that actually try to be funny. People don’t run right out and buy stuff as a general rule, even if you give them the coolest brand utility.

Advertising as entertainment still works very well (when done properly that is). Look at Nike, Axe, Honda… Period. But Nick’s got a point there:

The sons of Bernbach like making ads more than people like watching them

The problem is not trying to do funny ads or entertainment, the problem is that there is more and more advertising and the quality has dropped massively. This is what makes TV advertising less efficient. But it’s still the most powerful media when used properly (I watched the Nike ad yesterday on telly, spectacular).

Nick’s got another good point in saying a good joke with a punchline is not a good thing. This is because it’s not good advertising either. He’s right when he mentions the fact that a TV executions doesn’t always have an idea. This is a problem.

The first thing an advertising agency will create is a TV script. And if you are lucky, it’s got an idea within it. But most often than not, it won’t. Hence why the majority of TV ads are being ignored, or worse, laughed at. Leading to the next point…


The storytellers will just keep coming up with “Big Ideas” as they’ve always done, but instead of putting them on TV, they’ll figure out a way to “extend” them on the web.

For the web guy, who was recruited with the promise of a seat at the Bernbachian table, it feels more like integration at gunpoint […] shoving a square-peg concept into a round-hole medium.

Again, the problem with starting with traditionnal creatives (not storytellers) is that (most) have learned to think in passive medium. No one needs to tell them how a TV or print ad works. But unfortunately, the idea they come up with are often not transferable to the active medium that is the Internet.

The product influences the choice of medium and the medium influences the message.

A modern idea needs have legs for the digital world. You cannot force integration out of a TV execution that wasn’t meant to achieve that in the first place.

Which leads me to my most important point: ideas are the new executions. Ideas are now more powerful than a single execution. Look at Nike Joga Bonito. The campaign was very powerful, yet no executions really stood out. It was the whole campaign (TV + online + events + community) that turned it into a success.

And how do you get to these big ideas? By changing the creation process and yes, collaborating:

The copywriter and art director should now be a part of a flat, flexible and modular creative team that understands technology and how the customer relates to it. Flat: because no one knows it all. Flexible: because you’ll be making a bunch of different things (including some things that haven’t been invented yet). Modular: because you’ll need different combinations of talents at different times to make all these things.

The ‘future’ of advertising depends on our ability to recognise that we need to get to a great idea first and that’s not the sole responsability of a art director and copywriter but that of a new creative team that incorporates new types of creative people.

Executing should come at the very end of that proccess, with the relevant people for each task. Consistency should be achieved with the idea, not the execution.


Uniqlo does its thing again

A nice little app following the award winning clock.

It’s a very well done remixer. Works pretty well.

Categories: advertising campaign Tags: , ,

Nike: take it to the next level in HD

April 29, 2008 2 comments

Well not really HD but the quality is much much better than the Youtube one and it’s got 30s of additional footage.

So good.

The website seems to disappoint though. I seriously hope they’ll be adding more content.

One can suscribe to a training camp and that’s pretty much it. Come on, sort it out.

That and they do announce the Cesc Fabregas TV show. Thankfully, he’s dropped the mullet.

The video promoting it is a good reminder of why footballers shoul never act (apart from Monsieur Cantona that is).

It’s a partnership with Sky. They’ve done another promotion ad with Little Britain Matt Lucas. Not extremely funny.

I’m a gooner, but I’m not really sure I want to watch that.  They might prove me wrong.

Football ads: the good, the bad and the ugly

April 28, 2008 4 comments

The euro kicks off in a month. And everyone is getting ready to cash in.

(people from Nike, Oregon, please click here, I’d like your opinion on taking Nike to the next level)

Today we review ‘how to waste wisely invest million of pounds in already overpaid football celebrities’ latest entries.

The first one is Nike, ‘take it to the next level’. I was disappointed by their last campaign, put it where you want it. But this new one aspires to correct that. It seems to be the most elaborate football campaign to date. From what I gathered, this campaign will seriously kicks ass.

The campaign appears to be part game, part simulation and part erm… advertising?

The 2 minutes ad to kick-start the campaign is an absolute stunner. From the Sun:

The Lock Stock director has made a stunning new two minute blockbuster starring the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, to be aired on ITV before Manchester United’s Champions League showdown on Tuesday.

Titled ‘Take it to the next level’, the ad follows the fortunes of an unknown teenager who is plucked from a youth team game by Arsene Wenger and ends up starring for Arsenal and Holland.

Absolutely amazing. I’ve just watched it 5 times in a row. I want MORE! It’s fresh, epic, jaw-dropping, inspiring, motivating, the pace is hypnotic. In my opinion, the best football ad in years since the classic airport and good vs evil. And by far the best ad of the year.

I just hope this is the beginning of a big integrated campaign because they got me seriously excited here.

‘Take it to the next level’ is an engaging line, only if they somehow give me chance to really take it to the next level (as I don’t think I’ll ever get scouted in my midweek football league at the age of 30, come on Arsene!).

I heard it’s 72 and sunny‘s first ad for Nike. Is it the end of W+K’s domination? It’s better than much of what they have produced recently and truth is I can’t wait to see the whole campaign.

Now the bad. Well, it’s not really bad, but it’s not really good either. Adidas ‘dream big’ campaign. With Jose Mournhino’s voice over. I’m not sure about the choice of the spoke person here, but anyway.

It seems to feature the footballers Nike didn’t want! And is going the opposite direction, trying to talk about football values, friendship, solidarity…

It’s a nice idea and yes it’s cute, but it doesn’t create pull, fade in comparison of the Nike ad and ultimately, will be quickly forgotten.

Read the background of the campaign on The Reel. And the campaign website is here.

And last but not least, a total waste of money, time and talent, the latest Pepsi ad, with a mix of all the footballers featured above. But without a plot, or an idea. It’s just crap isn’t it?


April 25, 2008 8 comments

How does a company respond to that?

Since starting it’s campaign for real beauty campaign, Dove has been the target of many activists. This is the latest one from Greenpeace about the deforestation in Indonesia, spoofing Dove’s own Onslaught.

It’s a very interesting point. Dove is the unfortunate target, but pretty much every big company / governments should face similar issues. Are they the worse offender in the world? I doubt it.

But the lesson is dirty little secrets will always find a way out…

It will be interesting to see Dove’s reactions.

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Now Volvo

What is going on? Another brand that used to do fairly decent, at least brave advertising is now doing the utter HSBC s**t type of cliche questions. It’s so poor. Saying nothing at all about the car, actually saying nothing interesting whatsoever.

” is this a tatoo? or a twatoo?”

“Design creates debate. And debates brings us together”

“Life is better when lived together”.

I mean, what a lot of b*ll*cks?!?!!

And what’s going on with the 80s pink punk haircut in the end? Is that to create debate? Where does that still create debate? In rural Spain, that might still be provocative.

It seemed to be quite an interesting car, apparently the design is really creating debate among car enthusiasts. It could have been really interesting to explore more that route rather than vomitting some outrageous stereotypes on our delicate faces.

These australians ads were at least more interesting and brave, leveraging the range of diverse emotions inspired by the car. Far from perfect they at least tickle my curiosity and make me actually want to see what the car looks like.

Categories: advertising campaign Tags: ,

What has happened to Pot Noodle?

April 23, 2008 2 comments

The once slag of all snacks? The darling of advertising? Pot Noodle was one of the first brand I worked on at glue. It was a brand that made me proud to work in advertising in the UK.

Now, this hurts a little.

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