Sunday, August 30, 2009

A hardworking TVC

I first saw this ad a few weeks ago and flagged it to blog about... unfortunately time got away from me and its not so new anymore.  Nevertheless, my thoughts about it are still relevant.

As a Communications Strategist I am often briefed on developing campaigns that will cut-through the clutter.  I am always slightly amused when tasked with this objective, as almost every brief I have ever addressed has asked for cut-through.  How can I keep recommending tactics to cut-through when everybody's doing it?  This issue of cut-through is what struck me about the Daylesford "Live a double life" campaign.  It completes its task very well.

What I like about the ad is that the sheer nature of it makes you stop and pay attention.  I actually thought I had missed the start of a movie when I saw it come on.  

It is well shot; and may be easily mistaken for a movie. This is a nice relief for the viewer overwhelmed by the plethora of TVC's that pound them over the head with a message about 50% off and an extra fries with the purchase of every bbq chicken wing.

It is well cast; with the use of a celebrity that people know, but don't know too well.  Isabelle Lucas purveys a sense of intrigue that could not be achieved by using an overexposed sportsperson who may hold similar brand values as the product but leave little to the imagination when it comes to their personality.

It has an original soundtrack; that is haunting to the point of recognition.  Its originality creates an immediate link with the visual content and thus allows for non-visual extensions of the ad.

It is provocative; which means the advertiser is reaping a whole heap of free promotion through organic word-of mouth activity.  When people like the ad r not, it is doing a good job of putting little-known Daylesford on the map. 

"Lead a double life" is a great example of how TV can still be used to grab the attention of a mass audience.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Digital as an adjective NOT as a noun

I read an interesting article today by Nigel Walley, MD of UK media strategy consultancy, Decipher. His article focuses on advancements in digital technologies that have expanded advertiser's capabilities in many 'traditional' media channels.

He argues that many media agencies have turned the word digital into a noun rather than allowing it to remain as it was originally intended, as an adjective. I think he makes a good point.
Digital technologies have pervaded almost every aspect of our lives and certainly EVERY traditional media channel so referring to online activity as digital is a disservice to the capabilities of our industry.

As consumers become more and more used to receiving content tailored to their needs, their expectations around how they interact with this chosen content increase and it is digital technologies that will allow advertisers to rise to these expectations.

I would argue that whilst it may seem scary recommending a little-used digital feature to a client, it is a disservice not to because if we don't recommend it, one of their pro-active consumers will.

Check out Nigel Walley's article here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

History of the Australian web

A group of clever digital types have put together this interactive
timline that shows the history of the web. It shows trends that can
be cut different ways according to time spent with site, visitors
to sites etc etc.

Check it out here.

Fiat planter boxes??

This is a really cool execution by Fiat in Milan.

It has been positioned as an art exhibition to show 'two elements always vying for urban space, as a symbol of a new way of living"'.

Personally, I think it would be a really interesting way to demonstrate a brand's sustainable thinking. Perhaps it would have had more consumer appeal if they had have used actual, old Fiat shells.

Either way - a nice idea.

Relief & the three things we learnt

This post is somewhat belated but was a piece that I wrote on behalf of Tristan & myself for News Limited. It recounts our experience competing in the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Sitting waiting to be presented with the award that made years of ticking confirmations worth it and all we could think was “PLEASE, don’t let us trip over whilst walking on stage....”

Retrospect is a funny thing. As we look back to competing in the Cannes Young Media Lions competition we can’t remember all that much. It was such an overwhelming experience that the months of preparation, events in Cannes and whirlwind of emotions have blurred into one very messy memory.

When we were announced the winners of the international competition, for a split second in time we became minor celebrities. And during this time we were repeatedly asked how we felt about winning. As mundane as it sounds, the answer was relieved.

Relief for many reasons.

We had been given the opportunity to represent our company, our youthful peers and above all, the Australian media industry. A big responsibility and one that if performed well, would have positive ramifications for all involved. Whilst our trusted advisors assured us that having won the Australian leg of the race was an achievement in itself, for us, it wasn’t enough. We had been presented with this rare opportunity and we weren’t going to let it pass without giving winning our best shot.
35 hours of travelling, seven hours in a hotel room, a dodgy pizza and three hours sleep down, we sat at breakfast barely speaking. In fact, from the outside we must have looked like a couple amidst a lover’s tiff characterised by silence, poor appetite and enormous dark circles under the eyes. Far from a lovers tiff, we simply hadn’t cracked our idea in response to the passionate brief the World Food Program had delivered us the night before. We were clutching at straws trying to turn some mediocre ideas into something we’d be proud to present to the internationally esteemed judging panel, 24hours later.

Little did we know but we were about to learn one of our most important lessons from the Cannes experience - a BIG idea can come from anywhere.

Sitting in the foyer of our hotel we discussed our frustrations with our very patient other halves. Lauren’s boyfriend was ranting about the uselessness of one cent coins and light bulbs went off. We had our idea.

In the current economic climate people don’t have money to spare, but everyone has spare change. Spare change that they can’t even use. We would propose to abolish the penny and give the lowest unit of currency in each developed nation a real value, by redirecting the funds from jars and dishes on top of people’s fridges to those who need it most via the World Food Program.

Armed with an idea big enough to do the brief justice, we split up. Lauren to concentrate on what she was good at - constructing the argument, and Tristan to produce the presentation that would aid us to cut through the other 24 big ideas in the competition. This method of working was something we learnt during the previous round of competition in Australia – play to your strengths and trust your partner.

Having put our best thinking on the table, roaming Cannes for nine hours waiting for a decision to be made, then following the announcement, hurriedly making calls back home, at 7pm sharp on Tuesday 23rd June we found ourselves seated close to the front of the famous Debussy Theatre in the Palais des Festival amid advertising celebrity. It was here, as we sat with a sense of relief that we learned our third most important lesson from Cannes. Good advertising is brave advertising. It is about challenging the norms and putting out-of-the box ideas in front of the client, even if it means the less easy road to success.

So, what did we feel when we won the 56th International Advertising Festival Media Gold Young Lion? A sense of comfort that we’d done a good job. A sense of happiness that the long hours and hard work in our short careers had begun to pay off. A sense of excitement that our futures would be underpinned by this early success.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nice work Nissan

So we've heard alot about brands jumping on the Twitter bandwagon but other than ispylevis I haven't seen any campaigns by which I've been wowoed.

This however, is a nice concept from Nissan.

Its a site that profiles your 'Twitter' personality. Check it out.

The reason it works is because it is not obviously branded. I clicked on the link because one of the people I follow said it was cool and then before I knew it, I had been profiled & tweeted it on for all of my followers to see!

Its a nice way to leverage a social platform that is relatively new to the masses.

A literal interpretation

This is very cool.

A new plugin that allows you to update your facebook/twitter status upside down. It is a very simple and clever way to get attention.

From a comms perspective is demonstrates that a literal interpretation of a brief can very well, work.

Check it out here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My friend Nic

My friend Nic is the best.  

I have oft described my boyfriend Matt as akin to alcohol.  He's a social lubricant.  Put him into any situation and he makes it better.  He has this way of making people feel special and he gives every person his full attention when he is speaking to them.  It is an incredible thing to watch.
And, it amazes me that only today, have I realised that Nic is very similar.

She is absolutely gorgeous so attracts people irrespective of her personality but then when she opens her mouth she is so entertaining that you can help but love her.  She organises these outings with all of her friends irrespective of which part of her life they come from and she manages to engage everyone and make sure they have a great time whilst she does too.  She always looks polished without spending a fortune.  She's there to listen when you need it and she is REALLY good at calling just to catch up whenever the time is right.  

I just wanted to out there that I have two of the most naturally amazing people in my life and that I don't appreciate them enough.

Neither of them read this blog but I need the world to know that people this amazing DO exist and that somehow I've struck the jackpot in having two of them in my life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In a creative rutt? Unplug your mind...

I've been feeling like I'm in a bit of a creative rutt over the last week or so. I've just finished working on two briefs that were almost identical and now I'm working two other briefs that are.... lets just say.... challenging. The problem is I can't come up with a cracker of an idea.

I keep thinking back to times when the creative juices have flowed easily but these moments are difficult to recreate.

It seems I'm not the only one who gets stuck. I came across this article on Fuel Your Creativity and it makes sense.

The crux of the article is in its final paragraph:

The bottom line is, you are blocked and you need to undergo a mental reset. Your brain needs to decompress and get refreshed by whatever means works for you. You cannot force the flow, but with a little help from your friends, you can find a way to get it back in motion once more! Just unplug your mind?or you could just always go and have a movement!

Check it out as a start and let me know what gets your creative juices flowing.... I'm thinking I'll makeover my desk today!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Addictive advertising

Check out this banner from Pringles. So simple yet so smart. Once you click you can't stop. It is a perfect interepretation of their tagline. The only real challenge is getting people to make the first click but once they have, then they're hooked.