August 5, 2014
Mr. Sketch Markers: Yep, we admit, they smell like a**

Take a quick gander at the below video:

Now think about this: Adults created this video. As in, full-grown adult men and women collaborated on both the client and agency sides to create a video that, in essence, says our markers smell like farts. 

Okay, maybe I’m being harsh, since the end-user is most likely a 4th or 5th grader…

March 31, 2014
Ford to Cadillac - “It’s Not About Stuff”

Well that didn’t take long. It looks like Ford is the first to strike with a response to Cadillac’s “Poolside” ad previously written about here

Ford has produced a hard-hitting ad that’s basic message is something like: “No. Stuff is not why we work hard. We work hard to create a better world.”

The star of the ad isn’t a professional actor either. It’s Detroit’s own Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt—a company that is taking Detroit wasteland and turning it into farmable land to feed the community—a far cry from the capitalistic spot from Cadillac. Take a look: 

There are two interesting points to the delivery of this ad:

1. Ford used a new YouTube channel called “upside,” which could mean there are more positive message ads coming along, in addition to they may have wanted it separated from the rest of Ford content for some reason. 

2. The product is barely mentioned. The “C-Max” car is an hybrid electric car, similar to the car being shown in the Cadillac video, but the star of the show here is sustainability and community, not the car. 

As an extra note, It’s not as interesting, considering Ford has employed the same strategy in all of their uploads, but they disabled comments on this video. 

So, this video has garnered nearly 700,000 views and it was released on Friday. That’s more than any other Ford video available…but let’s talk about the strategy:

As I mentioned before, Cadillac’s target audience is a wealthier and probably more capitalistic person, which “poolside” spoke well to. Why should Cadillac care about the opinion of people who aren’t buying their product? Does it really matter? 

Ford has always gone after the more “middle-class” (which gets re-defined every week it seems) customer, and this video does a great job at engaging them.

Let’s see if it sells more cars—after all, that’s the real test, right?

March 24, 2014
Samsung: “It’s not just Apple anymore”

For as long as I can remember, Samsung has always had a thing against Apple—the rivalry goes deep and includes tales of lawsuits, mudslinging and, of course, ads that are pointed directly at the behemoth tech company that Steve Jobs built. 

These ads built around “the next big thing,” have always poked fun at the presentation style of Apple’s new product announcements. Like this first one: 

It appears that Samsung has decided to widen that competitive attack. In their newest ad, they not only attack the iPad, but also the Kindle and the Microsoft Surface tablet. Samsung has always had a knack for using Apple’s self-proclaimed advantages and it looks like they are doing it again to Microsoft and Amazon—although with Microsoft having only a little over 3% of the market share currently, it’s definitely a curious decision. 

As you can see, they point out the ability to multi-task, the fact that the surface tablet is bulky and more like a laptop than a tablet and of course, the display vs. that “retina thingy” that Apple touts. 

So, the real question is, does this come off as snobby and contrite? Or does it make you want to buy a Samsung? 

March 5, 2014
What Do Hump Day, Chocolate and a Quarter of an Hour Have in Common?

Well this was unexpected. 

Usually during brand-team exercises, one brand has an obviously greater benefit (usually the one footing most of the bill), but as luck would have it for Geico, BBDO NY managed to squeeze in just as much brand benefit for them as they did for their delicious client, M&M:

Brilliant spot reminds consumers of the irresistibly delicious M&Ms, while also highlighting Geico’s infamous 15-minutes claim and even throwing a little bit of pop-culture (hump day) into the mix. 

This is nicely done. 

March 3, 2014
Cadillac - Garages and Capitalism (Did They Nail it?)

GM has been doing a sort of rebrand lately for Cadillac. They seem to be siphoning the brand tone from their Chevy rebrand. The last two spots they released send a couple fairly different, but still connected messages.

So I’m a little late to the party on this one, but every time I see this commercial released last November, it just doesn’t sit right with me. Last night was no exception during the Oscars.

The spot is beautifully produced. The voiceover choice is a perfect blend of trustworthy and bold. 

Here’s the problem I have: Is this a differentiating factor? Doesn’t every “American-made” (I use quotes, because everything is “American-made” now it seems. Import has become a bad word) car come out of an American garage? It just feels like the concept falls short. Not only that, but does anyone remember the car brand? 

I actually thought it was Lincoln while I was searching for it. Whoops.

Now, the second spot does show more of a differentiating benefit.

The tone is more egotistical and capitalistic, but let’s be honest: Isn’t that their target? They aren’t targeting someone with an average HHI, not when their median price range is the median annual salary. It’s been welcomed with a decent amount criticism, saying this spot promotes “working yourself into the ground, never taking time off and owning a lot of sh*t”

I actually like it. It’s risky. It’s edgy. I want to hate the lead role, but at the same time, kind of want to be him, but then again, I’m kind of a capitalist myself. 

So where does Cadillac go from here?

February 28, 2014
Buy Some Sashimi, I’ll Throw In Some Rice Paper…Gratis!

Well, here it is: The first weed commercial aired on a major network—And it’s not in Colorado…It’s in New Jersey!

They use the concept of “You wouldn’t buy your sushi from this guy, so why would you buy your marijuana from him.” See below:

This “you wouldn’t _____, so why _____” concept is overused in the ad world. Almost as much as the buzz word “innovative.” 

However, my real issue with this ad is the waste of 30 seconds. You made a 60 second ad, and half the ad is just voiceover—you know what, maybe that’s on purpose. It might take a stoner about 30 seconds to notice the number—perhaps that was well played, after all. 

February 27, 2014
This Ad Blows… Well, see for yourself…

Apolosophy, a hair-care product line in Sweden worked with agency Akestam Holst and production company Stopp to create an ad that not only grabs your attention, but really supports a message. See below:

Apotek Hjärtat - Blowing in The Wind from Ourwork on Vimeo.

February 25, 2014
IKEA - A New Story for Space Saving

Why tell people that you’ll help them save space with innovative home decoration, when you can actually show them?

This is a brilliant way to tell a boring message:

Way to go IKEA. 

Source: Mindfields

February 24, 2014
Mila Kunis—The New Face of Jim Beam

Okay, so I’m personally biased on this one. Mila Kunis has been a crush of mine since that 70’s show, but putting that aside, does the obvious reach out to millenials alienate any other loyal consumers? 

Their prior spokesperson was Kid Rock—quite a large difference. Personally, I say no. I think true loyalists drink Jim Beam because of the taste and now they should be able to open a whole new channel of revenue with this new face. 

Also these spots are very well done. The bring out specific benefits (aged for double the time required by law and consistent for 200 years—see below):

They also produced a great 3-minute spot starring master distiller and great-grandson of Jim Beam showing Mila the ropes. It definitely comes off as genuine, with some heartstring tugs towards the end. 

I say good move, Jim Beam. Good move. 

February 12, 2014
Esurance - That’s not how it works!

Geico has built a brand around the concept of 15 minutes could save you 15% or more—it’s been their mantra for years. Instead of being another voice in the sea of sameness, Esurance is attacking it head-on. 

In this campaign, they cut the legs out from under the Geico claims (they literally claim they can save you more in half the time). 

Esurance uses common everyday tasks (like posting photos on your wall) done completely wrong and compares them to the idea of saving only 15% in 15 minutes. 

Or here’s Larry. Larry wants you to save time by not rewinding the DVD after you rent it…

Due to the humor and the obvious call-out of Geico, surely top-of-mind awareness has to be impacted by this, but time will tell if acquisitions increase. 

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