Superbowl Ad Picks
Well its that time of year again. The biggest day for TV advertising and football fans - at least Ravens and Niner fans. As usual we’ve got the fan made Doritos commercials filled with the usual sort of ridiculousness we’ve come to expect but nothing particularly special. Nevertheless this year’s Superbowl entries do not disappoint. My top three picks for the year are from M&Ms, Dodge, and Axe.
Good Clean Fun: M&Ms “Love Ballad”
Inspirational: Dodge Ram “Farmer”
Axe being Axe: Axe “Lifeguard”
Bond for 70 seconds.
Coca-cola has been at the center of some fantastic alternative advertising in recent years. From Google’s Project Re: Brief to their Happiness Machines, Coke is just one of those brands that can go anywhere. Their most recent foray into the exciting realm of alternative advertising is a partnership between Coke Zero and the upcoming Bond film: Skyfall.
The masterwork of communications agency: Duval Guilaume Modem; this ridiculously interactive experience gives everyday Coke Zero drinkers a chance to fall in line with the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig for seventy intense seconds.
Starting with a Coke Zero vending machine, commuters in the Antwerp Central station who want a chance at free Skyfall tickets are prompted to make their way across the station to collect their prize. As the countdown clock starts, nearby street performers break into a well timed performance on the iconic Bond theme music and the race is on for the unsuspecting commuter. The mad dash through the station is naturally riddled with the usual Bond inspired obstacles before finally ending at another Coke Zero vending machine - and of course the tickets.
This wholly interactive experience is perhaps one of the most exciting alternative advertising effort this writer has seen to date. From the street inspired rendition of the classic theme song, to the well timed and choreographed performing obstacles. You’d be hard pressed to top this experience with anything short of giving away forty carat diamonds on the street.
As you might have already guessed, the first hand exposure to this experience is limited to only the handful of participants and intrigued passersby that were there. As is often the case for alternative advertising tactics success lies in media exposure. Within twenty hour fours of the video’s posting on YouTube, some 53,000 views and nearly seven thousand likes have been earned. Ideas like these don’t often have the chance to come to fruition as marketing objectives tend favor more traditional approaches. However, given the right brand, the right time, and the right idea, every now and then, something truly exhilarating can come along.
In stark contrast to experience depicted above, below is a TV spot done in France for Coke Zero on the same premise of Unlocking The 007 In You.
Cool, but not quite the same.
When selling a product in a thoroughly saturated market, the need to stand yourself out from the rest is perhaps a slight understatement. Generally speaking, businesses, marketers, and advertisers will explore every aspect and every feature of a product to find the best way to sell it. For the most part, we rely on a unique selling proposition or USP - the one thing that this product has that no other product out there has. Or at the very least, the one thing that no other product is saying loudly enough that they have.
I recently came across this inventive package design for Festina’s Profundo watch. A watch that is - for lack of a better word, description, or really anymore need for elaboration - waterproof. (See picture below for clarification.)
Winning gold in 2011’s Epica Awards for Package Design, this boastful, but elegant display of the product’s USP by German agency Scholz & Friends is simply brilliant. A waterproof watch is of course nothing new, with most watches on the market have a guaranteed waterproof depth of at least a hundred feet. However, no other watches to date have voluntarily taken a dive in a transparent water-filled bag for the duration between packaging and purchase.
On its worst day, the Festina Profundo in a bag is an irresistible head turner. On its best: revenue. This simple idea that exploits the importance of a selling proposition and product packaging is one that is both demonstrative and eye-catching. An idea that is perhaps making a few creatives wonder why they didn’t think of that sooner.
Mentos. The official sponsor of Singapore’s reproductive endeavors.
So here’s one creative session I would’ve killed to be a part of, or at least watch. If I might venture a guess, the creative objective here is to get the Singaporean population to do some additive math by way of the bedroom. A creative objective one doesn’t expect to hear very often – with all the overpopulation and world hunger problems going on in the world. Singapore though, has an apparent fertility problem and its people might have to abstain from abstinence (bad pun very much intended) for a while. So as it stands, the internet was recently exposed to a very public and thankfully not too graphic plea for love making.
Coinciding with Singapore’s National Day celebrations, Mentos Singapore has given its fresh-making properties to the higher pursuit of baby making. This kinetic type music video, filled with all sorts of innuendo woven into everyday aspects of Singaporean life, is perhaps the tamest way to broach the subject. With such a stimulating subject, one can’t help but wonder the different concepts that came and went through the creative process: Some sort of installation piece? Perhaps a phallic addition to the Merlion? Or a slightly x-rated augmented reality experience? The insinuating and inappropriate possibilities are endless.
This video is the work of none other than Bartle Bogle Hegarty. As some of you might recall, BBH was in the public spotlight not too long ago for their work in Austin. Wherein during South by Southwest, the agency fitted a number of homeless “volunteers” with Wi-Fi devices, offering internet connectivity to pedestrians in return for a small donation. The Homeless Hotspots initiative garnered an overwhelming amount of negative responses from both the media and public and was shut down. BBH’s National Night video is its most recent incursion into the public, and one that is fortunately less crass than before.
Whether or not we can expect to see overfilled maternity wards in nine months is still up in the air at the moment. The video itself is amusing in a crude, schoolyard sort of way without being terribly off-putting. While the apparent crowning of Mentos as the official sponsor of Singaporean reproduction is not too shabby as far as brand positioning goes. Personally though, I think that calling the world’s favorite pastime a “civic duty” is a bit of a turn off and that the video has some interesting possibilities in the campaign for abstinence
The instrument of the future.
Just when you think you’ve pretty much hit the limit on musical instruments and resorted to using trash cans and empty containers to make music - “Stomp” comes to mind - a bunch of brilliant guys down in New Zealand come up with this:
Using the Kinect, prerecorded sounds, and some software manipulation, the V Motion Project turns the body and its movements into a musical instrument. No, this isn’t like Guitar Hero or one of those Kinect dance games where you’re pressing buttons or moving to music. Here the music comes from the movements the young man is making in front of the Kinect. This is of course a promotional project for the V Energy Drink but the possibilities that come out of it are exciting.
From a whole new evolution in DJ-ing to turning this into an actual instrument, the new musical possibilities are almost endless. Imagine an entire dance floor that creates music from a dancing crowd - or entire symphonies and arias played only by one person. This technology even lends itself into a game that can actually allow the player to make music instead of following a specific sequence for points.
While recent years has seen the creation of many new musical inventions such as the Tenori-On, Eigenharp, and the Hydraulophone. Nothing quite embraces technology and the future like the V Motion Project does - and to be quite frank, the Hydraulophone is really just a water wasting gimmick more than anything; cool, but hardly the instrument of the future.
As we move headlong into a very motion interface oriented future, the adoption of the Kinect as a potential musical instrument is indeed exhilarating. I mean, it sure beats having to lug a violin case to school everyday.