Tell me I’m the only one you love…

After the incorrigible persistence of Steve and his banality for FNB, a banking ad that breaks through the clutter and makes us sit up and take note is more refreshing than lemonade. TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris has reinterpreted Standard Bank’s payoff line – Moving Forward – for their latest epic now flighting on TV.

Look again. It’s not just stock footage. The deft Kim Geldenhuys from Egg Pictures along with the help of Kobus Loots’ editing hands at Upstairs Post has brought the spot to life by (almost) seamlessly positing actual characters into historical moments – all singing the ever-catchy Sh Boom Sh Boom (Life Could Be A Dream), originally written by The Chords.

Nice work. We like.

Read more about this work here.

Creativity is on

Frank Capra said that a hunch is your creativity trying to tell you something. More often than not, doubt outweighs confidence and we go with neither. I’m no trained psychologist but I can tell you that we do this time and time again because of our own preconceived notions on how creativity should be allowed to be… well… creative.

Using your creativity is not defined by the agency you get to work at or the type of accounts the executives can score. It’s how you approach the message you are tasked to communicate. It’s about finding what connects you to the product or brand, and then being able to successfully sell that idea to all the others in the agency-client food chain.

Those allegedly ‘cool’ clients are few and far between. And even then, the creatives that get to work on those brands will probably tell you different. There are far more clients in the middle arena supplying everyday goods to a range of income-earners, personalities and gender types. Coming up with a solution for a client’s product that doesn’t hand funky to you on a silver platter makes you better at your job than the guy in the corner office with an expense account.

Case in point: Phonak – one of the world’s leaders in hearing technology. Cooler (and smaller) than a hearing aid, this significantly advanced instrument senses and selectively suppresses multiple noise sources in 20 separate channels. So no matter the setting, you can keep up without missing the goss or the boss’s snide remarks. But, on a scale of one-to-Coca-Cola for creativity? Probably a two or three… As exciting as a brochure for garden sheers, isn’t it?

It isn’t. Not when you take this work for Phonak by Wunderman in Zurich, Switzerland as an example. You are looking at interpretations of what their brainstorm produced as tangible experiences to our ears that shouldn’t be missed – and what they would look like if you dressed them up and allowed them to dance. A trickle of water, the whoosh of fireworks, the laughter of a child, the rustle of paper, the swish of fabric and the twitter of birds. Hear it. Even in the most challenging of listening environments.





We all fall far too easily into the imagine-if headspace; imagine-if I worked on BMW, or imagine-if I had to write website content for the Plaza Hotel in New York City. I’d have to stay there first – naturally. Then… my life would be complete and I would be happy for forever. Try again. The BMW specs you would get closest to would be on a PDF document sent from Germany and the somewhat luckier person tasked with handling the Plaza’s website revamp would send you endless, uncoordinated attachments about the hotel, a sitemap and follow that up with an email five minutes later asking: “Are you done yet?”

This work for Phonak isn’t the only proof that life is on. It is. And if you want to work in this industry, so should your creativity be.

© Dylan Balkind

Credits: Advertising Agency: Wunderman, Zurich, Switzerland; Copywriters: Samuel Textor, Florian Tillmann; Art Directors: Michael Gallmann, Silke Heinzelmann; Photographer: Ted Sabarese; Graphic Designers: Nora Angstmann, Christoph Krummenacher; Chief Creative Officer: Markus Gut; Executive Creative Director: Roger Rüegger; Consultants: Renato Di Rubbo, Rahel Güttler, Sonja Wyss; Strategy: Benedikt Bitzi; Costumes: Ami Goodheart.

Beyond the noise of the media

This work by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, UAE is most appropriate globally, though the irony and timing is surely not lost on us South Africans considering how our Government pledged on the Protection of State Information Bill on 22 November, 2011.

Censorship tells the wrong story – no matter which way you look at it. And now while discussions are deemed necessary beyond the noise of the media, it is exactly that that the 7 billion global citizens should be frightened of.


Nice concept. Great work.

Reporters Without Borders. Advertising Agency: Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, UAE; Executive Creative Director: Steve Hough
Creative Director: Ramzi Moutran; Art Directors: Leonardo Borges, Rafael Rizuto; Copywriter: Sascha Kuntze; Photographer: Atp.

Get Up!

I care if you think this is self-righteous. I care if you don’t get what the big deal is all about. I care if you watch this and feel nothing because I care about being able to feel the same things most other people in the world are allowed to feel. And I care about you.

The mere fact that same sex marriage has been a contested issue for so long puts a very different angle on understanding and connecting with it – even sometimes for the couples who are in these relationships. If you spend almost every waking moment together, even when not in the same room, there should be no hesitation, insecurity or law that prohibits you from making the announcement to each other and the world.

It’s time. Globally.

Created by the Motion Picture Company, Australia.

The absence of war

Global conflict is something that armchair activists from all around the world are so disillusioned with. Yet that’s where they sit, complaining about the state of nations north and south while living in some derisory hope that one day they will wake up and all of these problems will have gone away. Just like that. Governments are like personalities though – you’re not going to like all of them all of the time. And if you’ve got a lot to say and nothing to do – try figuring out away to swap those two things around.

Inspiring then when a brand makes such a bold statement as seen in this work by agency Fabrica Italy for Benetton. Putting these bold, mesmerizing images in the spotlight to highlight the Unhate Foundation by drawing attention to the conflict between the Vatican and Al Azhar, North and South Korea, China and the USA, Germany and France, Venezuela and the USA, and Palestine and Isreal – makes you think about what could be possible with a little more kindness in the world.







The juxtaposition of such different imagery is not an entirely new idea but considering the context, I don’t think it’s a problem. A certain unstoppable talent once said that peace is much deeper than the absence of war. Imagine we could all just get along…

Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people. Living life in peace.

© Dylan Balkind

Worth a giggle

Sometimes concepts are odd. And God knows they could afford to be so more often. Talkability is king however and what with Royal weddings, Kardashian weddings (and divorces to pave the way for more weddings… surprise!), this spot still offers some relevant connection with us. Although if produced a little sooner, it would have been more memorable and offered greater impact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVNINsxQKlA

Still, worth a giggle. Even if it’s just a little one.

My kind of camping

I really really like this. It’s an old take on wanting an excuse to drive your new car while speaking to my lack of sense of adventure when it comes to camping, running water and adequate ablution facilities. And as DDB Sydney tells it, when you’re choosing a car like the Tiguan, you are going to start expecting the finer things in life.

Director: Sean Meehan; ECD: Dylan Harrelson; CDs: Steve Wakelam & Nick Pringle; Copywriter: Malcolm Caldwell; Art Director: Ian Broekhuizen; Production Company: SOMA Films; Executive Proucer: Sam McGarry.

Everybody wants to rule the world

We live in a big big world. Most of us spend 99% of our time within a little nucleus of people that include our co-workers, traffic buddies and our significant others – sometimes and most often in that order.  It gives a whole new take on the notion that you can’t please everybody all of the time. Think about it: What do you have in common with people who are outside your nucleus? In South Africa alone, we have a colourful mix of people across nine provinces that speak eleven different languages. You’re never going to impress all of them at once.

Ergo, the problem with commentary on advertising is that you almost always have no idea who created it, how their sense of humour works and who agreed with them as they spat milk through their noses, cackling away in a meeting as they deemed the idea brilliant and effective. God knows you sometimes have that problem in one agency alone.

Case in point: Pert Plus Dog Commercial. So very Truman Show-esque and no, I don’t think it is brilliant and nor will it make me want to buy the product. But somewhere in the seven billion people that we share this planet with is a legion of consumers that will spit milk through their noses, cackling away when they watch this, deeming it brilliant and effective.

Sigh… the flipside of this ‘argument’ is this example for Robert Irwin Jewellers. On behalf of all seven billion people, I can assure them that it’s rubbish.

See?

© Dylan Balkind

It’s so clever it’s Lego

Did you know? More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949. If you placed these all one on top of one another, your Lego creation would connect the Earth and the Moon ten times over!

Lego is an amazing part of most people’s youth – where your imagination station could go wild. Straightforward fun limited by only your own creativity and I guess the number of pieces you had in your set.

It’s great to see that TBWA\Costa Rica has used their client’s product literally to communicate the endless fun available with their products. I think these executions are artful, intelligent and memorable. Conversations about your advertising will go a long way in converting browsing to buying.

Clever. Clean. Smart.

Nice one

© Dylan Balkind

Keep walking. Keep drinking.

Power!

Credits:
Advertising Agency: NEOGAMA/BBH, Brazil
Creation: Alexandre Gama
RTVC: Maxie Fox, Fernanda Crespo, Tico Cruz, Marcos Camurati
Production house: Gorgeous & Zohar Cinema
Director: Peter Thwaites
Producers: Isabelle Tanugi, Anna Hashmi
Photography: Joost van Gelder
Editing: Bill Smedley / Work Post Production
VFX: Angus Kneale, Robert Petrie, Gavin James Wellsman, Camila de Biaggi / The Mill
Sound Production: Big Foote Brazil
Planning: Eduardo Lorenzi, Luciano Eugenio, Emanuel Spyer
Media: Luciana Schwartz, Gabriela Azevedo, João Paulo Ferraz
Account Management: Silvia Tommasini, Oleg Loretto, Guilherme Fracaro
Approval: Tânia César, Leandro Medeiros, Gustavo Hila
Brazilian Adaptation: Full Frame

Copywriters and Designers, sitting in a tree…

Q. How many Copywriters does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Change! I’m not changing crap! This is bullshit – who said to change it?

Q. How many art directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Does it have to be a light bulb?

Agency mechanics and politics. Always on. Not always funny. You’d think that, what with being on the same ‘team’ and all, there would be a little more collaboration. Is there a lack of willingness between Copywriters and Designers to leverage each other’s work?  Absolutely. Too many Designers just drop the Copywriters text into a print ad. Why not actually treat the text and create memorable work for both your portfolios?

These guys on the other hand, got it so right! It’s great to see when the text in an image actually plays a role in creating the story.



There could be a lot more of this in the industry today.

Imagination Station

Where is your Imagination Station and do you know how to get there? How do you feel when you arrive and what do you take with you when you leave?

Is it wanting a better, more rewarding state of being that prompts you to go there or is it just feeling disconnected from inspiration that does the same? Is there a difference?

It’s work like this that reminds me that others have an Imagination Station too. Let’s keep visiting. Don’t tell us to stop.

I ‘like’ my Imagination Station – and then some. It’s where I go. It’s how I get there. They are the same – they are one.

They say: “We come from light. And to it we shall return.” I come from the Imagination Station – and to it I shall return.

© Dylan Balkind

 

Warmth in the spaces we call family

Far too much of our attention is consumed by retail porn. We are bombarded with uninvited messages constantly, coercing us to want more, buy more and text more. It’s nice then to see for a change, a gentler, warmer and kinder message that celebrates what this world seems so bad at holding onto – the warmth in the spaces we call family.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bP75ms5HSA

A chain store never looked more inviting.

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