We're big fans of Mini cars at Egg and are loving that the brand is striving to retain those hipster drivers as their lives change by adding bigger vehicles to the fleet. However, like all good brands, Mini knows what has to remain in the brand vault - the values that are unshakeable and stay at the core of everything they do. The sheer fun and exhilaration of driving is part of Mini's appeal and that is firmly communicated in the latest offering from agency BSSP. To launch the new Mini coupe, the brand ran a contest, asking drivers to describe "The Best Test Drive Ever. Period" - in 6 words. The winner got to shoot a film of his description. Mini exudes the confidence that comes from knowing exactly who they are...and it is perfectly captured in this 2 minute film. I had fun watching...imagine how much fun the driver had in making it.
Teaching an old dog a new trick is difficult business. When it comes to advertising, the classic billboard is about as old a hound of the print breed that you'll find. Sometimes they move, wave, blind, use a lenticular lens, or countdown to grab out attention. But, more often than not it's creative (and often times provocative) messages that captures our attention best. Here's a great example of the "not" with a very unique twist.Until now, we've never seen backlit electroluminescent billboards. Using patented low voltage electro luminescent Light Tape® lamps, Jeep has partnered up with Activision to promote the special edition Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. It claims to be "the toughest in the world", or "any world" for that matter. However, at first glance, the imagery is generally unassuming and fairly bland in the flavor of your typical Jeep advertisement. Then, after nightfall, the action begins.Checkout this other billboard experiment by Gillette: http://theideagap.com/post/3490332397/multi-stage-billboard-experiment.
I was in London in May and noticed a lot of teenagers/twentysomethings drinking iced tea. This was surprising to me as I thought pretty much any deviation from "normal" tea (hot, Tetley/PG Tips, milk2sugarsthanks) was considered peculiar at best and traitorous at worst. It was enough for me to mention it to clients as a change worth noting. I just saw these nice ads today from W+K London for Nestea which capture the sentiment perfectly with a tagline "The Start of Something Different". Nice spots, even though the strategy is peeking beneath the hemline a bit too obviously.
When I was growing up in the UK, Lucozade was a brand that mums bought for their kids to help relieve colds and flu. It was pretty much a fizzy orange soda with some extra "healthy" ingredients like glucose. It's amazing what we thought was healthy back in the 70s and 80s. In a brilliant bit of re-positioning in the mid 80s Lucozade became the UKs first sports/energy drink with a simple campaign featuring Olympic legend Daley Thompson (yes....I realize this is a stretch for anyone born after 1985 or not from the UK). Over the subsequent years, Lucozade has become the UK's Gatorade.Here's my beef - their most recent campaign, which just launched and can be seen here and here has no ownable idea. Great music, great energy, some inspiring/attractive/hip people...but what makes it unique to Lucozade. Nothing.Like our previous post on the Adidas "Are You All In?" campaign, this ad could be for about 10 brands...no one owns the idea of "Life" or "Yes"...or whatever the tagline is. Diet Coke produced a strikingly similar ad (Venice Beach, roller skates, beautiful people....maybe 5 years ago....here)Of course the kids will love it, but it leaves me pretty uninspired.
I remember once seeing a pitch video produced by BBDO showing how they won the Pepsi business way back in the 80s (or maybe even the 70s). Their point was that back then, Pepsi's ads looked exactly like Coke's and to illustrate this for the pitch, they recut Pepsi's entire campaign with Coke logos at the end. At the time, BBDO argued that Pepsi needed to differentiate more aggressively against Coke and claim new ground with a new audience. Rather than appeal to everyone, Pepsi needed to focus on youth only...hence the beginning of a campaign that ran for years and years anchored by the tagline "Pepsi. The Taste of a New Generation." It was a masterful bit of pitching and it taught me to ask a fundamental question when looking at ads, which is, "could my main competitor put their logo at the end of this spot...or do we OWN this?" This question came up again when I saw this beautifully shot, mixed and edited anthemic spot for Adidas that brings together a ton of their sporting and non-sporting superstars (Beckham, Rose, Messi...even Katy Perry's in there). The tagline "Adidas is All In" is great too...inspiring thoughts of always giving your all etc. I've seen this spot maybe 5 times now and get goosebumps everytime. However, and it's a big however, I can't help thinking this could have the swoosh and just do it at the end and be a spot for their neighbors Nike. Is there anything here that's truly Adidas (even in emotion/spirit)? The nod to their more fashion/music side is not Nike...but really I'm clutching at straws. Does anyone else see these blurred brand lines?
As everyone has spent the day picking the winners from last night, I'm interested in the the spots that missed the mark. I've seen more criticism of the Groupon spot (Tibet) than anything run by the beer companies or even GoDaddy. This spot and the others in the campaign (Brazilian Rainforest with Liz Hurley and Protect The Whales with Cuba Gooding Jnr) are misguided at best and offensive at worst. However, I don't think they'll make any difference to Groupon's juggernaut success.While people may think Groupon are thoughtless idiots to run inane spots like that, I'm guessing that they're not about to abandon the brand overnight. There are a few reasons for this. First, Groupon is a facilitator of great deals and therefore we love them for sharing a bargain. That status is almost bulletproof, despite the fact that there are loads of little upstart Groupons popping up in competition. Second, Groupon gets positive "brand credit" from the quality of those deals, so the Groupon brand is enhanced and "protected" to some degree by the brand values of its daily partners. Thirdly, Groupon has massive database of users who have opted in to a system that provides them with a positive reminder EVERY DAY, of how good that brand is. These daily deals will continue to build a positive brand relationship for Groupon long after people have forgotten their crappy ads.
As we get ready to break for the holidays, our spirits filled with happiness and our bodies filled with spirits, I thought I'd share a lovely print ad that caught my eye yesterday. It's a Mini ad for the larger 4-door Countryman. Perfect fit with the brand (fun, unconventional, a bit whimsical), rooted in a product difference and attempting to solve a perception issue about little cars in bad weather (all wheel drive, more heft/size). Great work by Butler Shine and Stern in SF. Happy Christmas all!
We blogged about Axe a few months back and the fact that their work always has balls. Axe always speaks to it's audience on its own terms, with a confidence that is a HUGE part of it's brand identity. What a shame then, that this billboard that takes a shot at Old Spice appeared in Canada recently. Smacks of desperation to me. Cheeky maybe, confident not so much. A couple of words changed here or there might have made a difference, but as this is a family blog, I'll leave that open to our Axe using readers to contemplate. Thanks Ted for the spot.
Sometimes the best insight is the one that flips the category behavior on its head.
This new Microsoft Phone spot by Crispin does it beautifully. Can such a brave strategy that promotes actually using the brand less, be effective? I'd like to hope so...just because it called my own behavior into question in such a compelling way. It also struck me as coming from a different and more engaging Microsoft voice...one that I'd be interested in listening to for the first time in a while.
Blogs that follow the advertising and marketing industry are fond of quoting Bill Bernbach. A Bernbach quote in your post means that you know that all great ads come back to the fundamentals that Bernbach laid down in the 60s like an advertising Moses.
Here's one: "The most powerful element in advertising is the truth."
I saw these ads for Panda cheese the other day and I'm not sure if "Never Say No To Panda" would really be the "truth" - but maybe another Bernbach quote rings true here:
"In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal". I wonder what Bernbach would have made of Panda?
Panda cheese is made by Arab Dairy. Available next time you're visiting Egypt. The Applebee's in Cairo uses it apparently.