Articles on this Page
- 05/05/16--08:19: _The Fish at This Gr...
- 05/05/16--11:27: _This Art Director P...
- 05/05/16--11:48: _Ad of the Day: Harv...
- 05/05/16--14:07: _Taco Bell and Snapc...
- 05/06/16--05:33: _Pedigree Used Heart...
- 05/06/16--05:42: _Intel Beautifully L...
- 05/06/16--08:42: _180LA Targets Other...
- 05/09/16--05:52: _Girls Have No Time ...
- 05/09/16--06:05: _Addicts Trying to G...
- 05/09/16--06:15: _Love Cards Against ...
- 05/09/16--06:39: _Ad of the Day: Camp...
- 05/09/16--07:31: _The New Yorker's Co...
- 05/09/16--07:48: _HelloFlo Just Unlea...
- 05/10/16--05:43: _The One Show in Mex...
- 05/10/16--06:51: _British Girl From S...
- 05/10/16--07:17: _Ad of the Day: Sams...
- 05/10/16--07:51: _Need a Creative Dir...
- 05/10/16--08:21: _Subaru Goes Stargaz...
- 05/10/16--08:43: _Autotrader Bets on ...
- 05/10/16--08:43: _DDB's Top Execs Tak...
- 05/10/16--07:51: Need a Creative Director? You Can 3-D Print This One
- 05/10/16--08:43: DDB's Top Execs Take Us on a Tour of the Agency's 3 U.S. Offices
Nothing says fresh fish quite like the anguished death spasms they exhibit upon being caught, which Y&R Poland recently simulated in amusing fashion for a grocery-store prank.
The agency, working with creative lab Jack the Maker and production company Raymond, created "The Live Fish Pack," which looks like a fish in a box—but behaves like a fresh catch by jumping around now and then. As a fun added touch, the boxes were connected by wifi to a proximity sensor, allowing them to sense when shoppers were approaching—and start shaking and jumping accordingly.
Check out video of the prank here:
To spread the slightly macabre fun beyond the immediate shoppers, Y&R broadcast the prank on a website, where people could see the store in real time and activate the three "live packs"—dorada, mackerel and tilapia—to prank the shoppers.
Agency: Y&R Poland
Executive Creative Director: Luis Tauffer
EVP, Global Director of Creative Operations: Paul Schulman
Copywriter: Luis Tauffer
Art Director: Tomaz Wozniak
Art Director: Piotr Jakubowski
Copywriter: Michal Konert
Account Manager: Paula Gurgul
Managing Partner/Y&R Mobile: Romek Lubczynski
Web Developer: Adam Karpowicz
Managing Partner/Labstore: Grzegorz Sierzputowski
CEO: Michał Kazimierczak
Chief Creative Officer/Y&R Europe: Jaime Mandelbaum
Creative Lab: Jack the Maker
Production Company: Raymond
Head of Production: Piotr Owsianka
Agency Producer: Agnieszka Fatek / Jan Deluga / Michał Zamencki
Print Producer: Rafal Pawela
DTP: Darek Kurnikowski
Video Director: Piotr Janowski
DOP: Lukasz Gutt, Sebastian Kniza
Set designer: Paulina Szpila
Photographer: Katarzyna Hryciow /Jacek Kolodziejski/ Anna Loskiewicz
Video Editor: Ziemowit Jaworski/ Stephan Stefanski/ Jan Taras
Video Production: Mniam TV
Post Production: Badi Badi
"I had to get my portfolio together and I thought, what better way to spin it than to put the entire thing on Instagram?"
Art director Castro Desroches had been working in digital marketing positions at various agencies for several years, and like most creatives, he needed a concise way to sum up his career to date. After 300 images, seven videos, five separate accounts, five total do-overs and three instances of being banned from Instagram, he finally managed it with a project called "Frame by Frame."
In updating his personal portfolio and résumé, Desroches wasn't happy with the available options. He tells AdFreak: "LinkedIn didn't seem like a narrative that would allow people to make an informed decision on hiring [because] it doesn't show the character of the person."
As a solution, he created two separate Instagram accounts: one to lay out his career trajectory and one to showcase his work. He did so by arranging 225 total posts to form two distinct grid-based visual narratives that can truly be appreciated only on mobile (which is where most users access Instagram in the first place).
Desroches describes @castro.frame as "a timeline of my artistic milestones, when I was in school, certain things in my early childhood and a startup I had a while back." Most of the individual entries include additional information leading to a "Skill Acquired" conclusion. And throughout the chronology he interspersed video snippets of early computer-focused TV shows, Dragonball Z clips and software demos to better illustrate his progression.
The set Instagram layout allowed him to experiment a bit. At a specified "Turning Point" and "Pivotal Moment" in the story, users must physically turn their phones to view it correctly.
"I tailored it to how you hold your phone," he tells us. "Once you get to the present day, it comes full circle, and you flip your phone right-side-up again to view a link to my portfolio at the end of the scroll."
The @castro.portfolio account is much smaller so far, but it showcases Descroches' work for clients such as Mozilla and the NYC Water Taxi, along with an entry for the "Frame by Frame" project itself.
As mentioned above, Desroches ran afoul of Instagram's anti-bot controls when he attempted to upload too many of the images at once. "Instagram cracks down on suspicious accounts that upload over 50 images," he says. "And the only way to get around that was to create another account, upload pictures, like some of them to seem human, then upload to the original account while liking them at the same time. That way I could break up the Instagram algorithm for finding fake acounts."
That's what we'd call dedication.
Desroches tells AdFreak how the whole idea came about: "At the tail end of last fall semester [in my Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) masters' program at City College], everyone was creating their websites using Squarespace, Behance, etc. I saw this as an alternative. It took about four months of actual work ... but it adds a layer that's just not there on a traditional site or platform, where I can't just tag the friends I've worked with on projects and give them credit that way. I'm on Instagram all the time, so it came naturally."
He says he has so far received positive feedback from his instructors and classmates, but the real test of the project's success comes when it truly serves as his mobile portfolio.
Check out screenshots of both accounts below, but view on mobile for best results.
We used to joke that equality will finally be achieved when men are given as much shit for their looks as women. Good news! Evidence suggests we've finally made it—or we're damn close, anyway.
Harvey Nichols, the British department store that excels at helping you celebrate all your worst human characteristics, just released its new menswear campaign under the banner "Great men deserve great style." Each ad takes a great man from history, lists a few of his achievements, then undercuts all of the above with a burn about his crap look.
The campaign was created by adam&eveDDB to punt a new menswear department in its Knightsbridge store. The TV spots—a first for the brand—follow the same formula as the print ads do, with one extra perk: After the doldrummy music and punch line, each man's fashion faux pas is whimsically made over, to give an exciting sneak-peek at how much sassier you can look once Harvey gets ahold of you.
Below, we give you President Obama, accompanied by a gnarly pair of "dad jeans":
Next up, Boris Johnson, whose hair is not unlike something you'd find on a muppet:
But let's not rely only on current events. What is a genius, after all, in sandals like these?
Here, Darwin is given a trim that would make hipsters in Brooklyn beam with pride.
Lastly, check out Shakespeare. We'll never know whether he was stylin' for his time, but we do know what he looks like now:
We'll leave you to check out the print ads below. And whatever you achieve in life, remember: None of it is half as important as your taste in shoes. (Zuckerberg, we're looking at you.)
Client: Harvey Nichols
Project name: Great Men
Client: Shadi Halliwell, Group Creative & Marketing Director; Anna Davidson, Head of Marketing
Chief Creative Officer Ben Priest
Executive Creative Directors Ben Tollett, Richard Brim
Art director: Tim Vance
Copywriter: Paul Knott
Head of Design: Alex Fairman
Agency Producer: Amanda Davies
Production Assistants: Nic Akinnibosun & Raluca Anastasiu
Account Management: Paul Billingsley (Business Director), Britt Lippett (Account Director), Katie Gough (Account Manager)
Agency Planner: Michelle Gilson
Media agency: Zenith Optimedia
Media planner: Tim Payne; Becky Dorfman
Animator: Rob Rae @ MOTIONCULT
Post Production: Touch Digital
VO Artist: Joe Dixon @ Sue Terry
Music Supervisor/ Audio post: Factory Studios
Soundtrack name and composer: main track – Moonlight Sonata/ Beethoven. Dance track composed by Si Begg/ Siren
Ever wonder what it'd be like if your head turned into a taco, wobbling on your neck as pigeons pecked away at the shell?
No? You're not alone.
But for the few who have that fantasy, Snapchat's Cinco de Mayo face lens sponsored by Taco Bell today might be up your alley. And for those who plan to get sauced tonight, Taco Bell's got you covered with a packet of Diablo that promises to "turn up the heat."
The Yum! Brands franchise joins Starbucks, Hollister and Wendy's as yet another company finding creative ways to draw in a younger crowd on the social app, which gets as many as 10 billion video views a day. Last month, Starbucks bought a star-filled lens to promote its loyalty program, while Hollister bought a geofilter in 2015 to get U.S. high schoolers interested in the fashion brand.
But even while brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to playfully get in front of Snapchat's more than 100 million users, consumers don't always bite. In fact, many accused the Los Angeles-based app of creating a black-face filter last month when it launched a Bob Marley lens for the April 20 "Weed Day."
Taco Bell's effort probably isn't the kind of photo you're going to screen shot for an avatar selfie, but it's sure to make you not want to be reincarnated as a chalupa. (Or worse: a Quesalupa.)
Puppies. They're like nature's Xanax.
In "Hearts Aligned," a sweet new Australian campaign from pet food Pedigree, agency Clemenger BBDO ran an experiment that measured the heart rates of dogs and their owners, both separated and together.
The video below captures the results, which are unsurprising to anyone who's ever unwound with a pooch in his or her lap: Humans and canines are calmer in each other's company. What's less obvious, and harder to believe, is that their heart rates seem to sync up.
Sweeping conclusions aside, the clip is also full of touching personal, emotional moments explaining why the dogs matter so much to their owners: A deaf woman takes cues about her surroundings from her pet; a man who suffered a construction injury finds a way to reduce his anxiety and depression; and a teenage girl, mourning the loss of her family's previous dog, finally succumbs to the relentless charms of their new one.
The basic strategy is solid, if familiar. Last year, U.K. animal shelter Battersea made a similar argument—minus heart monitors—with an ad about pets who saved their humans.
Pedigree's campaign launched Down Under in late April, but BBDO is promoting it in America now, in observance of National Pet Week.
To celebrate the FAA's loosening of restrictions on who can pilot commercial drones, Intel has put on a flying robot light show—and the results are pretty.
In a new clip, 100 drones, manned by a single operator (and his walkie-talkie-sporting support team), dance across the night sky, changing color in concert and flowing between choreographed formations, like some kind of sci-fi psychedelic Esther Williams wet dream.
Intel staged and filmed the event—the first such swarm with explicit FAA approval—in the Palm Springs desert. A small audience was on hand to witness it live, but the marketer hopes to bring similar shows to much larger audiences—crowds in stadiums, for example—in the future.
The landscape is, naturally, stunning, and the iridescent beacons are intriguing to watch, even if they're slower moving and less dramatic than an amped up gearhead might wish. But it's easy to imagine how the same basic approach, given time, could yield faster-paced, more dazzling results.
Though for accidental, uninformed witnesses, such eye candy might also conjure fears of an alien invasion. But once the FAA's rules go into effect, anyone who passes an aeronautical knowledge test every two years will be able fly a drone—and everyone everywhere will get used to seeing bright flashes zipping around overhead.
Here's a sneaky recruitment stunt from 180LA, which is using Snapchat geofilters targeting West Coast ad agencies and tech companies to advertising a social media manager position.
180LA targeted five agencies—72andSunny, Pereira & O'Dell, Deutsch, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and R/GA—as well as the L.A. offices of Facebook, Google and BuzzFeed. (Any decent social media manager is using Snapchat regularly, the agency reasoned.) Content on the agency's Snapchat Story tells viewers which positions are open, instructs applicants on how to apply, and gives 10-second tours of the agency and its view of Ocean Avenue.
In the first 10 hours, more than 40 candidates approached 180LA about the position, and the agency even booked a few interviews. "Let's just say my phone has been blowing up all day," Gregg Louis, the agency's creative recruiter, told AdFreak late Thursday.
It's definitely a crafty scheme, but 180LA has dreamed up novel recruiting methods before. (Most notably, it put a recruitment ad inside a Cannes award entry last year.) But the Snapchat stunt is all in good fun.
"We all know recruiting happens," the agency says. "Instead of cold calling like some agencies do, we are taking a different tactic, having some fun with it, and putting ourselves out there in the event someone is interested."
A couple of months back, Saturday Night Live depicted Hillary Clinton hilariously morphing into Bernie Sanders. Now, the show is ribbing the leading Democratic candidate with a bit about "President Barbie"—the boring new doll nobody wants to play with.
A group of little girls star in the spoof ad, showing off their favorite toys and imagining themselves in space, Paris, and in a magical fantasy world they've cooked up.
But to the growing chagrin of the faux Mattel voiceover artist, none are particularly psyched about the blonde-bobbed figurine who comes clad in a blue pantsuit—even if she comes with a mini smartphone pre-loaded with Snapchat.
While the clip doesn't explicitly mention Clinton, it doesn't need to. Poking fun at President Barbie as "stiff" and "trying too hard"—criticisms frequently lobbed at the candidate—does the job for them.
In the ad's funniest and most insightful (if most brutal) line, the girls shrug off the notion that they should play with the doll because there was a time when a woman couldn't even hope to be president. "I wasn't alive then," says an unimpressed child, deflating the absurd if much discussed notion that gender identity alone ought to determine political support.
Mostly it works because it's based on a grudging sort of respect, presenting Clinton's presidency as inevitable. At least SNL isn't portraying her supporters as racist, or Clinton as a delusional politician in desperate need of a powerful new anti-dementia prescription.
Even if she's less exciting than a broom.
One person's waste is another's treasure.
In partnership with Action on Addiction, Leo Burnett London is putting that little chestnut to work with "The Dry/Clean Initiative," a program that helps recovering addicts dress for job interviews, using clothing that was never picked up from the dry cleaners.
The case study tells us 15 percent of dry cleaning is never claimed (per the Columbus Dispatch). We also learn the story of Debbie, the first Dry/Clean Initiative benefactee.
Debbie started on her road to addiction as early as 10 years old, to deal with an unstable environment at home. "The drink and the drugs had always come first, and that made it impossible to find work. It took me years to even realise that I was an addict," she says.
Today she is dry ... and clean. (This pun suffers under the weight of knowing that those two words basically mean the same thing in the context of sobriety, but we suppose it was too good to pass up.)
"I just need someone to give me a chance," Debbie adds.
There are many reasons to like this campaign. It transforms perfectly good forgotten clothing into opportunities, and lends hope to people on the road to a more stable future. It's also a reminder of what creative minds in advertising can achieve when set to helping a charity do more than make cold calls. It reminds us that we're part of a continuum, one in which the ad industry can be a force for good (and not just brand lift for candy bars).
But what we have to say about it is less meaningful than what Debbie's walked away with.
"Putting on that suit instantly changes the way you feel," she says at the video's end. "You have more confidence. An interview is all about first impressions. I can walk into that room, head held high, and make sure I get that job."
Client: Action on Addiction
Agency: Leo Burnett London
Creative Director: Darren Keff, Phillip Meyler, Adam Tucker
Art Director: Laura Clark
Copywriter: Elliott Starr
Graphic Designer: Stathi Kougianos
Account Director: Alex Fenton, Vienna Hartley
Agency Producer: Nick Haley
Photographer: David Lidbetter
Director/Production Co: Nick Haley
Producer: Nick Haley
Editor: Nick Haley
Post Production: Nick Haley, Prodigious
Sound Design: Nick Haley, Prodigious
DoP: Chris DuMont
The Sid Lee Collective, an agency incubator for Sid Lee's non-commercial creative projects, took a few choice Donald Trump quotes and transformed them into an unofficial Cards Against Humanity expansion pack—Trump Against Humanity: A Party Game About a Horrible Person.
Seriously. You couldn't make this shit up, and neither did they.
The Collective scoured the media for the very best, most offensive and nonsensical Trump quotes they could find, limited themselves to 30 (somehow) and built their deck, which lets you take phrases like "Make ____ great again," and respond with stuff like "Father-Daughter Incest" or "A Short Fingered Vulgarian."
Jeffrey Da Silva, co-executive creative director of Sid Lee in Canada, came up with the idea at the start of the primaries. "Trump floods everyone's newsfeeds. He's the most talked about person in the world right now. We just couldn't help ourselves," he tells AdFreak.
On getting the Collective to weigh in on Trump, Da Silva explains, "The Sid Lee Collective is a creative incubator that helps fund, produce and exhibit the passion projects of our staff all over the world. It creates an environment where people are always thinking about ideas, big and small—for clients, for themselves, or for Trump."
The incubator has worked on a variety of projects, including art exhibits, the world's most uncomfortable meeting room chairs, and even a machine that knits tweets in real-time. But they didn't expect the yuuuge reaction to this latest idea.
"We thought it had the potential to be yuuuge, but we didn't have any media weight behind it," Da Silva says. "The whole thing started with just a couple FB posts."
Demand is such that they've created a website for the expansion pack. Drop by, and drop in your email for a chance to get one.
For those wondering whether this is even legal, consider that Cards Against Humanity is itself a ripoff of a game called Apples to Apples. Since you can't actually copyright game mechanics, anyone is free to continue the meme. As a result, lots of completely legal, money-making, unofficial Cards Against Humanity expansions already exist, including Crabs Adjust Humidity and Cats Abiding Horribly.
Two years ago, ad agency The Juggernaut, also based in Canada, created Advertising Against Humanity, an expansion pack for horrible ad people. And in addition to Cards Against Humanity's own instructions for creating custom cards, other non-official websites exist to help you make them, too.
Asked whether the Sid Lee Collective plans to follow Trump Against Humanity with a game like Cards Against Hillary or Coots Against Hegemony—or maybe something for whatever whackjob third-party candidate inevitably adds their name to this demented funhouse mirror of an election—Da Silva says, "Not yet, but that's a great idea!"
Don't go soft—get some balls.
When the product name is Mike's Harder and the target is millennial men, it's impossible not to bust out the dick jokes. Why fight it? It's the low-hanging fruit, so to speak, and the brand and its new agency are going there, unequivocally.
Mike's Hard Lemonade brand Mike's Harder—some call it an "alcopop," but technically it's a "premium malt beverage"—rolls out a brazen bunch of sight gags in three digital ads launching today. They involve having characters pitch a tent (literally), sit on a pool noodle, knead lifeless bread dough and wrestle a garden hose. Get it? No, really—get it?
It's the first work from Los Angeles indie agency Battery, whose chief creative officer Philip Khosid said subtlety can be overrated. "The client wants to own it," Khosid said. "So we came up with something to engage the young male audience and be irreverent but still be clever about it with a play on words."
Client marketing execs have spent the past few years differentiating Harder, a convenience-store staple, from the core brand, the already quirky Mike's Hard Lemonade. They've collaborated with graffiti artists and fans to design collectible cans and tied in with Fox's R-rated blockbuster Deadpool, said Harder's creative director Kevin Brady.
Sales for the brand—which is 8 percent alcohol, packaged in 16-ounce and 23.5-ounce sizes and dubbed by Serious Eats as "a tasty, sleazy way to get a $3 buzz"—are up 13 percent year over year, he said.
The new campaign will run through the summer or longer. "It's funny and bold," Brady said, "and it made us laugh out loud." He thinks it has, well, staying power.
The new issue of The New Yorker, on newsstands today, comes with a tech tie-in befitting its title of Innovators Issue—a cover, designed by Christoph Niemann, that springs to life through augmented reality, and a couple of inside-cover Qualcomm ads that do the same.
Niemann's cover is actually a front-and-back, two-page cover. It features a yellow-and-black subway car and city skyline landscape that begins to writhe with life when viewed through Uncovr, an augmented-reality app that transforms the printed page into an interactive experience.
The Uncovr app was made for The New Yorker by Nexus Interactive Arts, a London-based studio. You can download it at the App Store and at Google Play.
"The idea of an augmented or virtual reality is inherent in any drawing—it's almost the definition of a drawing," says Niemann, who collaborated with Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker's art editor, on the project. "If you create a world on paper, you create a window. Usually, you just break the surface with your mind, but you always have the feeling of: What if you could step into that world or if something could come out of it?"
He adds: "In a drawing, the barrier between the real world and the made-up world is the surface, so at the very beginning I thought of an elevator with its doors closing. But then I realized that the subway is even better, because it really does take you to a different world. The closing doors are a flat surface that separates two worlds, and so are the covers of a magazine—separating before you read it and after you read it, what you know and don't know, how your views change. So between the front and the back cover, and the experience created by the app, I like that we could show essentially two different angles on the same world. Like stepping through a mirror."
See the cover experience in action here:
"I can't think of a better way to mark our Innovators Issue than collaborating with the incomparable Christoph Niemann, one of the most inventive artists working today, and Qualcomm, a company at the forefront of mobile technologies," says Lisa Hughes, publisher and chief revenue officer of The New Yorker. "This augmented-reality experience—both the covers and the ads—represents innovation, creativity, and next-level storytelling—longtime hallmarks of The New Yorker."
"It's an honor to collaborate with The New Yorker on its Innovators issue to showcase how mobile and connectivity technologies are accelerating innovation across industries," said Susan Lansing, vp of brand at Qualcomm Technologies. "As an advertiser in this issue, we love how mobile technology has come together with The New Yorker's iconic cover art to bring the future forward in this compelling reader experience."
Women's health site HelloFlo has released a new ad about postpartum urinary incontinence.
The women's health site is known for its fun, disruptive ads, but "Leaks Can't Stop Me Now" is no "Camp Gyno." After a few home runs, this one is a swing and a miss. HelloFlo gets gold stars for talking openly and candidly about women's health issues, but this spot lacks the fun-and-cool factor that permeates its previous spot.
It's a full two and a half minutes of singing ("Stop, cock a hip, squeeze"), dancing and cringe-worthy moments. HelloFlo has done the postpartum musical thing before. And while the topic may resonate with some moms, for this one the delivery misses the mark.
We're hopeful HelloFlo quickly goes back to its refreshingly smart and clever roots and drops the moms-gone-manic music video routine.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico—The spring sun is baking the white sand of the Quintana Roo coast, and flashing off one of the biggest infinity pools you've ever seen, here at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, a sprawling, seriously swanky resort where families are shelling out $1,500 a night to enjoy a flawless week in March far from the spring-breaking kids sardined on beaches an hour up the road in Cancun.
Dozens of top advertising creatives are here this week, too. Not that they have much of an idea what's going on down at the beach.
They're spending most of their time in cool, darkened rooms up at the resort's conference center, a shuttle ride away from the coast, judging The One Show. It's a funny thing about judging these kinds of shows: You fly thousands of miles to a stunning vacation spot, and then you mostly have to work—for a dozen hours a day, sometimes more—in windowless rooms that might as well be in Toledo.
The stunning scenery and impeccable accommodations simply serve as solace for an indisputable fact—that judging is a long slog, and can be very hard work.
The One Show jurors for 2016, a who's who of revered creatives from all over the world, have been arriving and leaving, in shifts, for a week now—staying a few days at a time, depending on the rigors of their particular jury. (Some category judging lasts barely more than a day; the Film jurors were stuck watching the monitors for four.)
I've come down, too, to see how it all works: the briefing, debating, philosophizing, voting, the sheer endurance contest of looking at thousands of individual pieces of advertising and design—and deciding, as a group, which of them are any good (and which creatives, as a result, will enjoy a nice boost to their careers).
In many ways, let's agree, it's an absurd task.
Getting a dozen people from a dozen agencies in multiple countries on a single jury to agree on what inspires them, what excites them, what moves them, what could move the industry—it's no wonder these things can get contentious. Then make it 13 of those juries. Then add in elements of nationalism and career-making, and the jury rooms at some award shows can get downright hostile.
The goal, mostly, is an admirable one—honor the year's best advertising. Of course, that's easier said than done. Sure, there are occasionally pieces of work we can all agree are singularly great. The rest? It's subjective—intensely so. Any system that aims to resolve that subjectivity into an objective list of winners will always be fraught with pitfalls.
The jurors all wrestle with this, individually and as a group. Gerard Caputo, executive creative director at BBH New York and a Print & Outdoor juror this week, tells me there's a particular irony in subjecting top creatives to this kind of work in the first place.
"It's a really hard thing to take something that's so subjective and put it into a format to be evaluated," he says. "It's actually what we hate, as creatives, when we do our work with clients. They do that!"
But do it, these juries must. And at least it's creatives doing the judging, not clients.
Both the Direct and Print & Outdoor juries are doing their final judging on the afternoon I arrive. They've already weeded out hundreds of entries at home, judging on the computer, before even coming to Mexico. Now, after another round of judging here, they're looking over the finalists and picking the winners—the entries that will get Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencils, or merit awards, which is a step down from Bronze. (Most finalists will receive one of these four prizes, though a handful of finalists will be left out of the annual entirely.)
As if it didn't have enough to do, the Direct jury has spent much of its time trying to decide what, exactly, the definition of direct marketing is these days. (This is hardly the first ad awards jury to be stymied in this way.) Direct used to refer simply to direct mail and direct response TV advertising. But with the advent of social media, in particular, much more work is explicitly seeking a response from the consumer—even if it's just a "like."
"There's two parts to this," Direct juror Pam Fujimoto, ecd at WongDoody in Los Angeles, tells me over lunch. "One, there's direct in terms of how you target someone more directly. And then there's the response you're trying to elicit on the other side—what kind of response, and what degree of response. Our discussion was around: Is a response that's as passive as a like or a share enough? Or does it have to be something that feels more transactional, or more specific, but maybe not all the way to a 'Call this number now,' like in the old definition, where we're making a sale. There's this big grey area."
"Does a like correlate to a buy? That's the million dollar question," adds juror Dan Fietsam, who was chief creative officer at BBDO Chicago and then ecd at FCB Chicago before starting his own business, The Fietsam Group, late last year.
Kevin Swanepoel, the One Club CEO, likes to be on hand in each jury room during the final round, if he can, to help answer these kinds of questions. (He or the One Club's content and marketing chief, Yash Egami, serve as facilitators of the discussion at this critical stage, as One Show juries, unlike many other award shows, don't have jury presidents.)
In the end, Swanepoel has suggested not putting too strict an interpretation on what could be considered direct work. "I think it helped that Kevin opened up the definition of it to make it a little looser," says Fujimoto. "In the end, it ended up somewhere in between. I was worried about it skewing too far in either direction—that anything is direct, or that it has to be something that elicits a sale directly. That rules out so many great pieces of work."
There was glowing discussion around a number of specific direct pieces.
Among them: McCann Copenhagen's "Europe's Most Punctual Offer" campaign for Scandinavian Airlines, a game that challenged people online to get fare discounts by screen-capturing SAS airplanes that were landing in real time; BBDO Russia's 3M campaign that turned retargeted banner ads into Post-it notes; and BETC's registration form for Canal+ that made the most boring part of paid TV—signing up for it—a lot more entertaining.
"Anything that closes the gap between reaction and transaction, that's what we're looking for," says Fietsam. "If you can express your brand through a registration form, that's when it's amazing."
"They're taking this barrier point, this point of friction, and turning it into the most engaging and fun part of the process," adds Fujimoto of the Canal+ work. "It was about flipping that experience around from the worst part to the best part."
Direct may be one of the least sexy award categories out there. But in some ways, that fact makes the winning work that much more impressive—because it's harder to find creative solutions to many of the business problems that direct work addresses. Thus, if ad awards are inspiring at all, then excellent direct advertising can be doubly so.
"A lot of these campaigns seemed like they were really hard briefs coming in, and not glamorous ones, and ones that had real client objectives behind them that ended up being solved in a really creative way," Fujimoto says. "A lot of other pieces of advertising, like a Super Bowl spot, get so much more attention, but are so much easier, honestly, to do well. These are the kinds of pieces that I show to my creatives, because I'm trying to prove to them that you can do good work on these kinds of assignments."
Two other themes emerge in the Direct judging that will echo in other jury rooms later in the week—first, the sometimes irksome nature of case study videos; and second, the value of debating the work, which The One Show handles a bit differently than some other shows.
Direct juror Vanessa Fortier, creative director at The Martin Agency, tells me that the sheer volume of case studies was overwhelming. (Indeed, the Direct jury fell so far behind in the first round of judging that the Print & Outdoor jury had to come in and help.)
"That first day was like drinking out of a firehose," Fortier says. "We talked afterwards about the art of the case study video and how crucial that is. A lot of them need to be shorter. The first 20 seconds really should have me hooked. You should get the heart of the idea out. You spend so much time on these case studies—and we do this ourselves—that you really want to draw people in and craft the story line. But it's to everyone's advantage to make these shorter and get to the point."
Debating the finalists with the other jurors, though, was a high point, Fortier adds. "That's why they fly us out here. If we could do it all on the computer, then why even leave home? It's that human conversation," she says of the discussion around the best direct work.
"I found them to be very persuasive," she says of her fellow jurors. "My heart was just palpitating last night. You feel people's careers going up and down. They spend all this time making this stuff, and here we are debating it. And whether you medal or not is a big deal in someone's career."
In Pursuit of Fairness
Swanepoel was named CEO of The One Club, the nonprofit that puts on The One Show—and does educational and professional development work in the ad industry—in April 2015. The personable South Africa native has been with The One Club since 1998, and was its president from 2006 to 2015—focusing largely on expanding the U.S.-based show's international presence.
"We think of [The One Show] as a global show with an American accent, much like the D&AD might be considered a global show with a British accent," he tells me during a break from monitoring the juries. "We owe it to ourselves to the keep that American-ness of our show very real. That's one reason why people want to enter. They want to be judged by the Americans."
The show is trying to keep the jury mix at around 50 percent American and 50 percent international. But that 50 percent American is probably only about 25 percent American in reality, Swanepoel adds, since so many U.S.-based creative chiefs now are foreign born.
About 65 percent of the entries are now international, and 35 percent from the U.S., Swanepoel adds. The U.S. still the No. 1 entrant, typically followed by Canada, the U.K. and Germany—though it changes a bit from year to year. The U.K. was a little soft with entries this year, Swanepoel says. (Ian Tate of Wieden + Kennedy London, who's on The One Club board, told him "it's just one of those years where there hasn't been the breadth of great work coming out of the U.K.") Brazil was also soft, as was South Africa, which Swanepoel chalks up largely to economic difficulties in those countries.
Asked what distinguishes The One Show beyond its demographics, Swanepoel says he wants it to be known as the fairest of all the advertising award shows out there.
To that end, it has several mechanisms in place. Voting is done anonymously on iPads, and debate is limited almost entirely until the final round. Even then, jurors are encouraged only to make positive comments about work they like, not negative comments about work they don't like. This is intended to keep lobbying—said to be a big problem at shows like Cannes Lions—at a minimum, and to give each piece of work the fairest shot at a Pencil.
"I've participated in a lot of juries, and there is a lot of lobbying and you get cliques forming," Swanepoel says. "We keep discussion out of it until the end, so at least there is a gauge of what the professionals in the room have determined should be near the top. And then we open it up a bit, so if somebody's missed something for some reason, it can at least have a hearing and get a fair shot."
Swanepoel also tries to control the tone of discussion, which is something at which he excels. With no jury presidents to run the rooms, it's left to Swanepoel to do so. Soft-spoken and accommodating, yet firm in his resolve—and also willing to work with the personalities on hand, and not rush things—Swanepoel commands respect, and any disputes almost always seem to be resolved to everyone's liking.
"The tone of the voice can sway an audience," Swanepoel says. "Talking down work—we hate that. If you're going to say something, say something positive about a piece of work that you like. Don't trash somebody else's piece. Because that's when you get into, 'I want to push this piece up and make it better than that piece.' "
The hidden ballot is a big thing, too.
For several years, The One Show has been using iPads and a custom app developed by Alison Bourdon, The One Club's visual content manager, that allows for seamless, anonymous voting—whether you're watching work on a screen or looking at printed materials on a table. (The app scans QR codes for the printed work, giving the jurors all the information they need. This replaces the old print system of marking scores on Post-it notes for the printed work, which could unduly influence the results.)
"The process is extremely important because the jurors shouldn't have any distractions," Bourdon says of The One Show's efforts to streamline the physical process of judging. "They're here to see the work, and all they should have to focus on is the work. If you're constantly being distracted by systems that don't work properly, it's more pressure on you."
The system also automatically abstains jurors when their own agency's work comes up, where before they were on the honor system not to vote for their own shop's ads.
The final discussions, too, allow for one revote—but only one—on any particular piece.
"When you hear the end-of-discipline discussions, people change their votes, sometimes two or three times," Swanepoel says. "A case should be made for things, and then it should go back to an anonymous ballot. But only once. If you bring it back up and then somebody doesn't like it, they'll want to state a case for something else harder. And then it's lobbying."
Print & Outdoor Judging
If Direct is an unsexy category, then Print & Outdoor—particularly the Print portion—could be considered a dated one. Final deliberations are already in progress as I walk into the jury room. Swanepoel and Egami are both on hand to help guide the discussion.
A number of pieces have caught the jury's eye here. Among them: striking timeline-style print work for Twitter by Ogilvy & Mather Singapore; Domino's funky DXP delivery car from CP+B; and McCann London and Momentum Worldwide London's "Survival Billboard" for Microsoft's Rise of the Tomb Raider game, which forced eight people to stand on a billboard for 24 hours and get pelted with rain, wind and snow.
Caputo, of BBH, tells me that while Outdoor in particular is evolving in interesting ways, both Print and Outdoor are useful in teaching the fundamentals of advertising. In that sense, as with the stronger Direct work, the winners here are worth showing to young creatives.
"[Print] is clearly a shrinking category, for many reasons," he says. "But I do think the value of it—it's concept/execution on a basic level. It's like—say you want to be a great basketball player. Maybe you can shoot a great 3-pointer, but you can't pass the ball, or you can't dribble. For people coming up in the industry to see good print, or to work on it, it builds so many fundamental skills that help them become better."
He adds: "You don't get to do great print or out-of-home that often. Normally it is the hard-working stuff. That's why it's good to come here and see how people have done it. You need that inspiration, even just to show your own creatives—that this is an opportunity for them. … It goes back to the fundamentals of how people communicate. Something well written can move somebody, or stick with somebody. And it's a craft, writing in this space. People are coming out of ad schools with case studies. Slow down. Learn the fundamentals first. So many things can come off the simplest thought and the simplest idea. You could take a lot of these print ads and make cool TV spots or films or digital experiences out of them if you wanted to. It's about that nugget of thought."
So, how is the quality of this year's Print & Outdoor ads overall?
"There's some pretty nice craft," Caputo says. "There's some good writing. It's better than the last time I did it, about five years ago. It's definitely improved. It's evolving."
One of his favorite pieces was DDB New York's "Endangered Love" posters for the WCFF, showing endangered species in sexual positions like an animal Kama Sutra. "Usually you're inundated in these shows with stuff like a dead rhino, or an elephant with its tusks ripped out, which is shocking—and valuable in some ways," he says. "But it's nice to have someone come at it from a different way that makes you want to engage with it. And it's just so well art directed. It had everything going for it."
Sara Rose, group creative director at 72andSunny, is also on this year's Print & Outdoor jury. She tells me a lot of the work reflects today's pop culture—i.e., plenty of emojis, Twitter-speak, hashtag stuff. "There aren't as many visual solutions as in years past," she says.
This is her first award show judging in person, and she's found the discussion at the end to be the most rewarding part of the process. "It's really interesting to see how people from different countries react to the work, even how men and women react to some of the same kinds of work," she says. "Having a jury that's diverse in nationality and gender and areas of expertise invites a lot of great discussion and interesting points of view. I've learned a lot from just talking to them."
The Quality of the Idea
Every ad award show is different. D&AD has more of a design bent. Cannes Lions is the most purely international. The Effies are all about effectiveness and business results. How does Swanepoel describe The One Show?
Quite simply: "This is an award for the best creative ideas that happened this year."
To find those ideas, the show first and foremost puts strict requirements on the judges. Past judges and board members nominate future judges, which leads to a pool of about 2,000 nominees each year. Crucially, they have to be engaged in actually producing creative work.
"You can't be from the client side, or the press side. You can't be a strategist, or the like," Swanepoel says. "That foundation sets the tone for the award. What we are really judging is creative idea and concept. Of course, for something to win a Gold Pencil, it must have both the idea and the execution—that goes hand in hand."
The downside of focusing purely on the idea, of course, is that it opens the door to scam ads, which may feature brilliant ideas but take a short cut—they're made specifically for award shows, and they skirt, or outright break, the key rule that entries must be real work, that really ran, for real clients.
The One Show has tried to protect itself from scam, particularly following the discovery of a scam piece in the show about a decade ago. Agencies submitting scam work can be banned for five years. Agency ecds must sign off on all entries. And The One Show investigates any work flagged by the judges as suspicious.
Still, Swanepoel admits, it's "becoming more and more difficult to distinguish the gray area of scam—work that technically meets the criteria, but is actually produced for award shows."
Given that The One Show is devoted to the quality of the idea, how does Swanepoel feel—at this stage of judging, in the middle of the second week—about this year's crop of entries?
"It's like this every year—when you first look at the work, you feel it might be a light year," he says. "From a television standpoint, I was a bit disappointed. There wasn't that big piece where you turn around and say, 'Oh my God, that was amazing.' "
But he adds: "When you start whittling down and you get to the finals, there is some amazing work. So far, I haven't seen an 'Epic Split' or a 'Dumb Ways to Die.' But when you have a look at the REI [#OptOutside] campaign, which is just such a big idea, or you have a look at [Beats by Dre's] Straight Outta Compton, another amazing idea, there are so many great nuggets of work that we should feel proud to celebrate. We're pushing the boundaries of all these different media."
Social Media Judging
If the Print jury is looking at a medium on the decline, the Social Media jury has one of the hottest mediums on its hands. As was the case with Direct, the jurors here have to deal first with the category definition. What is social media these days? Does making something explicitly sharable make it a social idea? Or does it need to spark a social conversation?
"The whole category is so broad," juror Laura Fegley—who is freelancing these days after a holding top jobs at BBH and JWT—tells me. "When you're talking about social, you're talking about ideas that are inherently passable in social and interactive. Or it can be work that makes great use of a brand's social real estate."
The jurors have seen plenty of both this week.
Among the pieces that have been singled out for praise: Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer's "Netflix or Study" Periscope campaign, which live-streamed a guinea pig in a box half marked "Study" and half marked "Netflix" (so students at finals time could decide which to do); George Patterson Y&R's "Melanoma Likes Me" campaign, in which the disease got social accounts and started commenting on people's posts; and a couple of Deutsch projects—its Pinterest yard sale for Krylon, and its efforts to help Taco Bell get a taco emoji made.
Neisha Tweed, a creative strategist at Facebook and a Social Media juror, tells me that, to begin with, a lot of the work has been miscategorized. And then, a lot of it is just underwhelming.
"I think there is a good range, and I think a lot of people are doing cool, experimental things in social media right now. But I think overall the industry has a ways to go to really start playing in a way that can be really valuable for brands and for people," she says.
The work she likes best has taken really simple ideas and brought them to life.
"The Netflix idea is really super simple," she says. "It doesn't need to be really elaborate. There is a lot of stuff where it's like, 'And then you go here and do this, and then you come back, and then we aggregate' or whatever. But these networks are a canvas for creativity, and you just need to have a strong idea and a strong connection to the platform. The stuff that stands out, for me, is stuff that couldn't have happened anywhere else. The right brand, the right message and the right platform. That stuff all coming together is magical."
To get better at social, Tweed adds, agencies need to open up and be willing to collaborate with outside sources. "We know the platforms. You know your brand. Together we can create something amazing," she says. "I think we [at Facebook] have a lot of work to do on our part to build those relationships, too."
Fegley says the best social work always starts with a social idea, not an idea from another medium that is then activated socially.
"The simplicity of 'Melanoma Likes Me'—I was like, holy shit, that would totally make an impact in my feed. It's dead simple," she says. "That's the one big thing we seem to have consensus about. Anything social that requires me to do a lot, or if the case study takes five minutes to explain how it worked, it probably didn't work very well."
Fegley kept coming back to Krylon, too.
"Pinterest and Instagram is where a lot of brands live. But a lot of times it's just handled by the brands. It's not something that is really in the agency's scope yet. So you're not seeing a lot of cool uses of those places yet," she says. "That's why I keep trying to rally around the Krylon thing. Somebody finally did something great with a brand's Pinterest page. In the next couple of years, that's the kind of thing that's going to explode."
The Role of Award Shows
At one point, I ask Swanepoel: Are advertising award shows really about inspiring an industry to do better, or are they more about wealthy agencies paying to keep a lock on clients and creatives padding their résumés?
He replies by relating a story about Judy John, the Leo Burnett Toronto creative chief who rose to become CEO—and who was here last week judging Film.
"She had this beautiful slide on the role of award shows," Swanepoel says. "It said award shows reward people who are in a pretty anonymous business. And by doing that, you celebrate and elevate the level of work in the agency. And you uplift the culture in the agency. And by doing that, you attract and retain great talent who want to do great work for good clients to put in their book—so if they move, they've got something to take with them. And by doing that, you attract good clients who say, I want you to make me the next Nike ad, or the next Old Spice thing, or the next whatever. It ends up in this circle, which feeds back into inspiring and doing great work."
The dynamic may play out like that for some agencies. But there's no shortage of cynicism around awards, either—a sentiment that's usually muffled but got wide attention in January when Amir Kassaei, chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide, openly questioned the value of awards in a column for Campaign US.
Kassaei's point, in part, was that agencies are making a lot of slick case-study videos for work that hasn't actually had any real impact on the world, or on client business—it's made simply to win awards. "You will see less work from DDB at some of the shows. And maybe they won't win much against the phony prototypes. So what?" he wrote. "We want to be the best and most influential company in our industry, not the most awarded."
Indeed, case studies have been a topic of discussion here all week. And it's pretty clear that flashy case study films do give certain pieces of work an upper hand, warranted or not.
For his part, Swanepoel says he understands where Kassaei is coming from—to a degree.
"First of all, as you've seen, there has been some great work that's been submitted and is winning from the DDB network [this week]," Swanepoel says. "Amir's concern—and I think it's a valid one—is that so often, people are creating case studies for work that probably doesn't need a case study. And they're trying to make an OK idea look shiny and polished. Maybe in the future what we've got to try and do is, in some categories, cut back on the ability to enter a case study, to get back to the purity of great work and let the great work stand on its own."
In some categories, of course, that's not possible.
"Categories like integrated branding or innovation, or the illustration of social media, where you can't very easily go back and show a series of tweets or something that's readily accessible," Swanepoel says. "But when it comes to a print ad, it should just be on its own. Or a 30-second TV spot—we had things entered in Film where the jury was asking, 'Why are we judging the case study? Why aren't we just watching the piece?' You've also got these case studies with music—a really great song that gets the jury going. The production value on some of these things is more than the cost of the original ad. Not all case studies should go away, but if you're able to just show great work, you should let it stand on its own—and let the professional jury, who are good creatives, gauge it on its merit."
To prove the point about case studies, look no further than this year's Mobile judging.
As I arrive to check out the discussion about the finalists, one juror is raising a question about a piece of work that didn't seem to make it out of the preliminary round. Didn't anyone else see this brilliant piece? How could it possibly have been overlooked?
Well, it was overlooked—because the case study was poorly made, and it didn't grab people the same way. The idea was, indeed, incredible—and the jury reinstates it (with Swanepoel's blessing). In the end, it is even voted best of discipline.
That's a pretty remarkable turn of events, and it goes to show that even great work can slip through the cracks completely if it's not packaged properly. Case studies are just advertising for advertising. When done poorly, any piece—even the single best piece in a category—can be in danger of not connecting to its audience.
As for quality of the Mobile work overall this year, juror Cedric Devitt, chief creative office of Big Spaceship, tells me he's a little disappointed.
"I get the sense we'll see fewer Pencils in the category, certainly fewer golds," he says. "There were familiar themes we've seen over the years, particularly this idea of missing children. Facebook won a couple of years ago with an app they developed, and Google had something along the same lines that alerted people on platforms when children went missing, using geolocation. I wonder, are we seeing a rise in missing children in general? Or is it because people are focused on their mobile phones and they're not looking at their kids?"
There are bright spots—among them, Phenomenon's Wilson X Connected Basketball; REI's #OptOut campaign for Black Friday, from Venables Bell & Partners, Edelman, Spark and North Kingdom; and several Samsung apps for Alzheimer's patients. But even some of these ideas felt rehashed, Devitt says.
"The Wilson thing is great, but it feels very similar to some of the things Nike has done in the past," he says. "I liked the Alzheimer's Samsung work. But again, I think people look at that and say, it's brave and important but it's not really a big brand idea."
Maritza Lerman Yoes, a social strategist at TBWA\Media Arts Lab and a Mobile juror, is here judging an award show for the first time. Her response to some of the work also echoes critics who say many award-winning ads aren't really made for the real world.
Take "Melanoma Likes Me," for example—the George Patterson Y&R campaign that Laura Fegley of the Social Media jury enjoyed so much, featuring the disease following people on social media. That campaign has been getting mostly good buzz this week, but Yoes is a bit appalled by it.
"People get really excited about hacking something like Instagram," she says. "But when you think about the reality of it—that human interaction of getting a comment on a photo from an account I don't know. It doesn't register the same way with a normal person that we think it does. You get a comment from the @_melanoma account—and I feel really bad for them that they couldn't even get the real account name—and you go to their Instagram account and there's nothing there that would reward me for that interaction. Having worked in social media for so long, it felt really flat to me. There are a lot of campaigns that have award-worthy hooks, but the experience to real people needs to be a little more gratifying."
On the flip side, the value of great mobile advertising is its utility, she adds. One of her favorite pieces is L'Oréal's "Makeup Genius" app—created by McCann/Clichy, Image Metrics and My Studio Factory—which lets consumers test makeup virtually.
"That's so smart," Yoes says. "They put the emphasis on making it a beautiful technology that people wanted to use. We're going to see more of that, where it's less about the novelty of having something than the actual utility of wanting to use it and make a purchase with it."
Yoes also echoes other first-timers here in applauding the process of the judging.
"I loved how fiery people got. I was really exciting," she says. "The iPads were great. I really enjoyed Kevin [Swanepoel]'s interactions. It felt very equal, and was a bonding experience too. It's not your work, but suddenly you feel like a creative director fighting for it. That's an interesting challenge—finding the real reason for backing up certain work, and the reasons why it's valid."
Dinner on the Beach
It's not all purgatory at The One Show judging. It can be paradise, too. And it is on the Wednesday night of the second week, when everyone is invited down to the beach for cocktails and dinner on the sand.
The Direct and Print & Outdoor jurors have already left for home. Mobile wrapped up judging tonight. Social Media is almost done—they've decided to push final deliberations to tomorrow morning. Interactive and Design are halfway through. And UX/UI starts tomorrow.
For now, everyone is enjoying a picture-perfect night on the Playa del Carmon shore, with the lights of Cozumel across the water. It's like a beachfront party in Cannes, with lots of the same people but without all the extra hubbub. (Even Unit9's Tom Sacchi, famous in Cannes as the mayor of the Carlton Terrace, is here—he's judging Interactive this year.) Swanepoel is the mayor tonight, though, and mingles with his star jurors, clearly relieved to be out of the conference center for a few hours himself.
Over the course of the week, it's become clear that Swanepoel and his team hew to the philosophy that the best judging happens when you remove any and all impediments to it—less friction in the technical process; less discussion, until it's time; less lobbying; perhaps, in the future, fewer case studies.
There's another thing The One Show needs less of—financial profit. But Swanepoel denies the notion that being a nonprofit helps The One Club with entries because people can feel good about supporting the larger cause, even if they don't win. This is no charity case, he says.
"I like to believe people feel good about supporting a nonprofit—whether it's ourselves or D&AD—because we are trying to make this industry better," he says. "But I truly don't believe people are saying, 'We're going to enter because it's going to make the industry better.' I think the industry enters for their own betterment. At the end of the day, entering and winning—that's what's important to them. If they don't win, to turn around and say, 'Well, I still feel happy because it's making the industry better'—for a small agency, that doesn't cut it."
In the end, he adds, The One Club still a business—but it is one with loftier goals than your typical organizer of ad awards.
"The way I see my mission is to actually improve this industry," Swanepoel says. "I started the diversity initiative at The One Club in 2005, and we've built that into a robust program—three countries, 12 cities. We're making a meaningful impact in diversity. We started the gender equality women's series. We do a lot of educational work, and a lot of professional development work. On each of these business pieces, I really try, where possible, to break even on each one. We don't. But that's OK because the revenue from the award show helps to fund these things. We rely on revenue from agencies for those initiatives. If they break even, I'm thrilled. If they don't, I try harder next year."
As for The One Show itself, it all comes down to credibility, fairness and the quality of the work. On those scores, the creatives here, almost to a person, seem to agree that The One Show is worth judging, and worth winning—and not just because so many of them have done both.
"They attract the best people to take time out of their schedules to come here and do this. It's an honor to do it," says BBH's Caputo. "And I do think, in the end, it's one of the shows that consistently has the best work. Winning a One Show Pencil is really exciting. You want the creatives working for you to have that experience. It's highly motivating. There are a lot of other awards that I would trade in for one Pencil."
—The 2016 One Show winners will be announced at ceremonies in New York on Wednesday, May 11, and Friday, May 13.
Two years after making one of the most famous PSAs about the Syrian crisis, Save the Children has unleashed a sequel—which follows the girl from the original as she flees the war zone and becomes a refugee.
Lauded for its brutal, cinematic imagery and its creative path to empathy, the original spot, which has 53 million views and counting, imagined if the war in Syria were to happen in London. It used the structure of popular one-second-a-day videos to show an ordinary middle-class British girl's world falling apart over a year, from birthday to birthday, as her country plunges into war.
The new video, shot in the same style by the same agency (Don't Panic London), catches up with the same girl—11-year-old Lily—as she flees the U.K. as a refugee. Two years on, things have deteriorated for Lily, just as they have for kids in Syria and for Syrian child refugees.
The new PSA was inspired by real stories of child refugees that Save the Children has helped in Europe and the Middle East. The scenes are all the more harrowing because of this—particularly the boat scenes. (Some 340 child refugees have drowned since September, an average of two children a day, Save the Children says.)
"This video captures the terrible experiences of thousands of children every day, many undertaking horrific journeys that no one should ever have to endure. We wanted to bring home the reality of what it's like for those children, to capture the public's attention," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children.
She adds: "This is a generation of children who have lost everything—their home, their education, their family and in some cases their lives. Save the Children is calling for more support for children fleeing these conflict zones. We want a new deal for refugees, to ensure every child gets an education, protection and a fair start in life."
The new ad was directed by Tom Green and produced by Stink, the London-based production company. The original was directed by Martin Stirling via Unit9.
Samsung has created a smart surfboard.
The internet-connected sporting gear is the focus of a new ad from Leo Burnett Tailor Made, featuring Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina.
Obligatory footage of crashing waves give way to Medina striking out into the ocean, under supers lamenting the solitary nature of surfing. Meanwhile, the champion's shaper—aka, board maker—Johnny Cabianca, labors over a new slab of wood, painstakingly planing and painting it.
The Samsung Galaxy Sufboard prototype, powered by a Samsung Galaxy phone slotted into a special drawer on the side of the board, uses LEDs to display wave conditions to the rider, as well as tweets from fans and directions from Medina's coach (and father).
It's a nifty idea, an on-brand addition to Samsung's broader successes advertising around surfing. The presentation is a little melodramatic, and what's essentially a lighthearted invention might be better served by less serious framing—the lonely plight of the pro surfer doesn't quite rank as a world tragedy, even if a digital surfboard has some utility.
But it's still pretty cool as a novelty item, and perhaps serves as a glimpse of a dazzling future where all sports equipment is loaded with microchips and flashing lights. Just imagine some future Super Bowl, where the football spirals into the end zone during a winning touchdown pass, all the while flashing an ad for Wilson. Hey, they've already done it for basketballs.
Agency: Leo Burnett Tailor Made
Co-president and Creative General Diretor: Marcelo Reis
Creative Director: Marcio Juniot, Pedro Utzeri, Rodrigo Jatene
Art Director: Breno Balbino
Copywriter: José Arnaldo Suaid
RTV: Celso Groba, Maria Fernanda Moura, Noemi Marques and Dudi Ciampolini Bourroul
Account Services: Fabio Brito, Renato Broggin, Sandra Sales
Digital Project: Denis Gustavo, Pedro Rais, Andrea Faccio
Planning: Tiago Lara, Gustavo Zilles
Approval: Loredana Mariotto
Hardware and Software Producer: Media Monks
Production House: SAIGON
Direction: Rafa Carvalho
Director of Photography – Drone: Will Etchebehere
Surfing Scenes: Lucas Pupo
Executive Producer: Marcelo Altschuler
Account Services: Fernanda Gomes and Karina Bueno
Film Editor: Paulo Augusto Miranda Rosa
Finished Artist: Fabio Abreu
Post-Production: Mosh Post Production/ Saigon
Post-production Coordinator: Virgini Fares
Sound Production: Antfood
Production: Pedro Botsaris / Lou Schmidt / Wilson Brown
Account Services: Lou Schmidt / Sean McGovern
It's not enough for Johnnie Ingram to leave his footprint on the ad business.
The new creative director at Team One in Los Angeles had himself rendered in 3-D so his friends and former colleagues "can have a little piece of Johnnie wherever they may go," according to the agency's tongue-in-cheek announcement of his arrival on the West Coast.
A tech lover who has worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, Juniper Park, Leo Burnett and Taxi on brands like Mini Cooper, Burger King, Kraft and Cheerios, Ingram tapped into Team One's nascent VR lab—an in-house geek-dream repository of Oculus Rift headsets, supercomputers and development software—for this project.
One of the lab's creative technologists spent about an hour tinkering with a Kinect to produce "3D Johnnie," which can be printed "so he'll always be by your side." This, the agency adds, is "not creepy at all." You also have rendering options for the image, and the ability to enjoy it in full VR mode, if you fancy the idea of joshing around with the disembodied upper-half of a creative director.
Ingram, who will work on Lexus and other Team One clients, joins an ongoing cross-country relocation boom, which has seen a flood of senior-level creative executives leave New York for Los Angeles. But in Ingram's case, he—or at least his upper-body avatar—could end up being bicoastal.
Definitely not weird.
Check out Ingram in good old-fashioned 2-D below.
Twinkle, twinkle, little car.
Subaru Canada channels the magical feeling of a night drive beneath celestial lights in a new campaign from Red Urban. Developed with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, #SubaruDarkSky invites Canadians to venture far from the haze of cities and suburbs to study the heavens.
In the launch video below, a typical family does just that, piling into their Subaru Outback for some stargazing:
The automaker's logo, a stylized representation of the Pleiades Cluster (isn't it obvious?), helped inspire the campaign, says Red Urban creative director Christina Yu, who adds that the approach fits the brand "because Subaru is about getting out and enjoying nature."
Rolling out over the next few months, #SubaruDarkSky includes print ads, digital elements and a closed-captioning sponsorship on TV. The campaign website also features lots of astronomical information, and tips for getting the best views of constellations and other objects of interest.
Client: Subaru Canada
Creative Agency: Red Urban
President: Steve Carli
Executive Creative Director: Christina Yu
Senior Creative: Patrick Shing
Senior Creative: Pete Gardiner
Producer: Anna Tricinci
Strategist: Mario Ramirez Reyes
Group Account Director: Trevor Byrne
Senior Account Executive: Tim Simpson
Production Company: Untitled Films
Director: John Mastromonaco
Line Producer: Tom Evelyn
Executive Producer: Lexy Kavluk
Director of Photography: John Houtman
Editorial Company: Panic + Bob Editing
Editor: David Baxter
Assistant Editor: Alec McKay
Executive Producer: Carolyn Atyeo
Transfer: Alter Ego
Colourist: Eric Whipp
Colour Assistant: Patrick Samaniego
Online: Alter Ego
Flame Artist: David Whiteson
Assistant Flame Artists: Andrew Thiessen/Alexa Salsberg
Post Producer: Hilda Pereira
Original Music + Sound Design: Grayson Matthews
In its latest effort to pitch Autotrader to the 18- to 35-year-old crowd, Zambezi casts the online service as a kind of Tinder for millennials looking to hook up with new cars.
Our story takes place in and around a music festival, where a millennial guy and gal, dissatisfied with their respective means of transportation—and in the girl's case, her current boyfriend—form an instant attraction.
"We wanted to create a story with a strong music track at its core," Zambezi executive creative director Josh DiMarcantonio tells AdFreak. "We got to talking and realized we all had memorable and unexpected encounters at or on the way to music festivals. We liked the idea of randomly finding love at one of them and having the song become the soundtrack of their meeting."
"Seventeen," a shimmery slice of piano pop by Bay Area indie band Sjowgren, captures the spirit of young love. The band even makes a cameo during the spot:
"One of our ACDs, Ben George, came across 'Seventeen' by Sjowgren through a Spotify search," DiMarcantonio says. "At the time, the band still had full-time day jobs, less than 100,000 plays and a four-song EP. By the time the commercial was finished, 'Seventeen' was up to 7.7 million plays. The band is now transitioning to become full-time musicians and working on its first album."
Throughout the ad, Autotrader search windows pop up to punctuate the narrative, illustrating how events in people's lives can influence what they're looking for in a car. For example, in the scene where Sjowgren performs, the term "Premium Audio" appears.
This client and agency have driven down similar roads before with millennial-themed spots "The Journey" and "One Search." Here, in "Concert," director M Blash succeeds at conveying the earnest, goofy essence of young love at first sight, and relating it to the brand's ability to make the car-buying experience easier and more enjoyable.
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl drive off happily ever after. If only life were so sweet and simple.
Founder + CEO: Chris Raih
Executive Creative Director: Josh DiMarcantonio
Associate Creative Director: Ben George
Associate Creative Director: Nick Rodgers
Sr. Art Director: Max Pollak
Sr. Copywriter: Brian Hallisey
Jr. Art Director: Sean Jackson
Managing Director: Pete Brown
Head of Content: Alex Cohn
Producer: Andrew Gage
Account Director: Matt Kline
Account Supervisor: Lauren Bondell
Account Executive: Tori Tessalone
Chief Strategy Officer: Kristina Jenkins
Group Strategy Director: Ryan Richards
Production Company: The Directors' Bureau
Director: M Blash
Director of Photography: Jas Shelton
Production Designer: Noel McCarthy
Executive Producer: Elizabeth Minzes
Line Producer: Benjamin Gilovitz
Post Production: Blink Studios
Editor: Ling Ly
Assistant Editors: Sasha Perry & Paul Oh
Audio: Blink Studios
Audio Mixer/Designer: John Reese
Executive Producer: Meghan Lang
Producer: Rebecca Boorsman
Colorist: Mark Gethin
VFX: Zoic Studios
Executive Producer: Ian Unterreiner
Producer: Alyssa Evans
Flame Artist: Adam Flynn
Composed and Performed by Sjowgren
New York's Madison Avenue is where the advertising business started, and it remains the industry's spiritual home. Among its landmarks is 437 Madison, a modernist tower raised by architect Emery Roth in 1967, and home to renowned firm DDB.
It's been over 60 years since industry giants Bill Bernbach and Ned Doyle left Grey and teamed up with Mac Dane to establish a firm bearing their three names. DDB achieved global fame with its work for blue-chip clients like Volkswagen ("Think Small") and Avis ("We Try Harder"), and revolutionized the way advertising looks, sounds and feels.
Today, DDB remains a cornerstone of the industry, with 600 employees in three U.S. offices, each of which has a dynamic, unorthodox environment that we thought would be worth a visit. In this exclusive video tour, the DDB brass lead us on a tour of each workspace—in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.