Choose your toys. Choose your message. Get ready to roar.

Before this was set to raise questions, inspire debate and result in lengthy red-wine-teeth debates on how men and women communicate, it was set to animate the differences going on in either minds when the mood strikes and the iron is hot for poking. Sexy Avenue couldn’t have been closer to telling the story of men and women and mars and venus – albeit with stock footage of two lions and an eventual TVC.

Choose your toys. Choose your message.

This one’s spot on!

Roar.

PS: Print ad’s clever too. Click image to enlarge.

What happens in the forest… could become an issue…

Picture the setting (insert own 80s score here): A lush wooded area filled with trees that were tall when your grand parents were small. The cool, fresh air is textured by the sounds of baby birds as they implore their mothers for food, fluffy squirrels that scarper across branches and the soothing drone of crickets in the shrubs. But then, on the air from afar, comes the soft hum of a low rumbling engine and the tranquility is forestry-interrupted by the arrival of “Tree Fellas”.

Then Eco Warriors.

And then Channel 7 News.

You fill in the gaps. Which is terrific advertising all on it’s own. There’s no hard sell about engine power and fuel consumption, or what the Euro NCAP rating is or what your balloon payment will be in a hundred months time. Just a journey that you can go on with this brand. That’s the promise.

It’s enough for me.

For any business. Ogilvy.

Click to enlarge:

Would you Graffitti your mother’s face?

Ogilvy in Paris France (said parisfrance) have used imagery that would otherwise make us say “aah” and, with “modifications” not unlike what we see in our day-to-day surrounds, have posed respect as a question and asked how far we will go in the lack of ours? What will it take before we respect the planet? Indeed. I think these print ads for the WWF are impactful and communicate exactly what they were intend to.

Powerful stuff.

Click to enlarge:

6 Billion people on the planet. One bore her soul.

There are over six billion people on this planet. That’s six billion opinions, thoughts for and against. Against Palestine. Against Israel. Wagers in the war against terror. Think then, what will we wage in the war against HIV?

We are moved in so many different ways. We are angered quickly. We choose to fight before we choose to hug. If we could be moved to be more involved, we might be getting somewhere. Isn’t storytelling the easiest way to spread the word and be understood? Pictures are not limited to languages or translations, and although they may paint preconceived notions of with whom and where this disease exists, they certainly get the message across.

At the 57th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Ogilvy Johannesburg won South Africa’s first Gold Film Lion in 11 years for The Topsy Foundation; a spot produced by Egg Films in Cape Town. Many people opened their hearts to take this story from concept to completion. Many people gave of their time. Some may have confronted their fears. One person bore her soul. In a world where Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga and Avril Lavigne break records on YouTube with hundreds of millions of hits, we sit with less than a collective 25 000 views globally of an 85-second Public Service Announcement that has only one message you should really want to know: The effects of AIDS can be reversed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6zCNdEfm5w

Buckle up. Or buckle under.

It’s no joke. Death. Mourning. The financial issues. An absent parent. All the elements creators are playing on here, and just why they go from funny to everything but funny in 90 seconds. To me, the young girl’s performance is the most memorable in this spot, produced by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. Tangible and vulnerable enough to convey who would suffer the most from the unthinkable; enlivened in a simple setting with direction that takes this moment from light to dark in slow motion.

A thousand shiny moments are not that pretty when it’s the glass from your windscreen and not a kiddies table, covered in sequins and thrown into the air. “Embrace Life. Always wear your seat belt” – portrayed in this treatment by those who would be left most affected should the driver make it through the accident without one on. After seeing this, you’d have to be a moron not to wear yours.

Buckle up. Or buckle under.

Personality and originality

What a nice 20” this would make! The first half of this TVC for Johannesburg’s newest rapid rail transport system is spellbinding. It is inviting and commanding while showing off personality and character as it dances across faces and through hair. I think it gets a little bit carried away though and the more it does, the less memorable it is. The cheesy grins take over honest smiles and the flying dog? Well, who can say?

Too much is just too much. 25 seconds less in this case would have been a commercial novella – at just the right length! Not faulting the way the story is being told, shot or directed, but maybe the second half should have been left for the “making-of” reel.

What do you think?

Dolphin for dinner?

Bank ads have always elicited opinion because most of them don’t walk the walk they’re talking. “Why would a bank be interested in people’s values?” asks the opening voice over on this ad I found. The answer stands behind the obvious messaging that with a shortage of sea life still lies an interesting tale of survival vs morals. This commercial walks the walk of Advertising for me. You will remember it tomorrow. And with powerful imagery and performances, it proves that actions – and visuals – speak louder than words.

Hungry, cold and tired men work hard to feed and provide, but, as the message is so strikingly laid bare before us, there are still decisions to be made at every turn. Check out HSBCs ‘Personal Responsibility’ by JWT London.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHW4noLp9mE

What choice would you make?

Advertising and Awards

A prominent placement talent once told me that a candidate looking for a Copywriting role (and being considered for one at a small-ish agency) asked her what their awards budget was before his CV would be submitted. He never applied and who can say where he is now? Sure, you get into the industry and want recognition, but am I a hopeless romantic for thinking that such spotlight should be secondary to being effective, strategic and creative (at the same time) anyway? There’s a burning question that asks if award shows really care about strategy? If not, who – or what – are you appealing to?

Clients don’t like their money being spent for where awards will follow. Client wants bottom line effectiveness as payoff for the countless presentations by the people they see as weirdos with “fun” jobs. They reckon awards are just for the agency and don’t necessarily translate into a bottom line bulge. While on the pursuit of a statue, are strategy and creative speaking the same language? And while they are reaching for a dictionary to translate the other’s passion-pitch, the client throws their hands in the air and considers moving the account altogether, or worse still, running it in-house. Then again, there are brands like Nando’s and Kulula that thrive on conversations around their messaging and how this translates into actual income. But those brands and their bold recognition are few and far between. Can the same approach be taken with Johnson and Johnson? Clicks? Menshealth? Koo? So if you work on one of these – or similar – accounts, how do you earn your keep and satisfy your need for recognition? Start with a mantra. Drive home a message. Maybe win a medal. What do you think?

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