Lost in translation

Sheiße! What happens when an idea that seemed so good in the brainstorm process flatlines just after that? Well, if you have the time – you go back to square one. If you don’t have the time, you pull an all nighter and go back to square one. Not only is your client’s communication and brand-building strategy at stake, but so is the reputation of your agency and the creatives that put their names on the work.

Frese & Wolff from Germany produced this campaign for Animal Rights and… well… I think that somewhere along the way, the greatness of where it began got lost in translation. It’s not the fight for the safety or care of the monkeys, horses, pigs and minks’ lives I am disagreeing with – it’s the execution and the final product I am not buying.

“The term art director is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions … but an art director unifies the vision. In particular, the art director is in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience…” – Wikipedia.

It must be said, I don’t think the concept here is the problem. However, someone chose very pretty models with no acting experience whatsoever. Stills or moving, believing feeling is all about expression and comes down to what a talented performer can offer with their eyes. It is either believable or not, and these I am sorry to say are not. Look at Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny and James Franco; these are artists that whether pretty or not, can convey emotion and power in a stills shoot as much as in a scene for a film. And if it’s unknown faces you are after, there are models with the same abilities and who can access the same depth of emotion.

“One of the most difficult problems that art directors face is to translate desired moods, messages, concepts, and underdeveloped ideas into imagery,” says Wikipedia again. I don’t think this work is short on merit in terms of concept. I just think the execution is weak. None of these models convey an experience of pain equivalent to what the animals would. To be honest, they all just look a little constipated if you ask me.

What do you think?

Credits: Advertising Agency: Frese & Wolff, Oldenburg, Germany | Creative Directors: Uwe Linthe, Ingo Steuber | Art Director: Thorsten Abeln | Graphic Designer: Alexander Wille | Photographer: Tim Thiel | Published: December 2010

You shoot. You score. Your tongue is done.

This is the tongue-perfect promise from Oise Language Coaching, brought to you via the theme of basketball. Yes it’s a designer’s dream. Yes it’s far out. Yes it’s cleverly executed. And from pronunciation to audio, Oise Language says you’ll get it in the hoop!

DDB Düsseldorf is responsible and got mileage out of their designer’s salary in this recreation of reality. Although weird (only because of the abject tongue on a basketball court), I think the team should be proud. Is it creative? Absolutely. Could it win the team awards? Probably. Will it speak to the audience and result in more enrollments? Hard to say.

What do you think?

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:

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.

Blah blah boring yawn

Do you love it when you have to swoon over desert sand and grumpy looking men who take themselves verrry seriously, scowl at the camera (you) like it’s your fault they are lost in the desert and all alone, and then tell you how they love it though? Then you must hop in your car with haste and dash to the pretty shop. There you will find CK Free and you must purchase several immediately. That’s how ads are supposed to work, aren’t they?

Apparently this one made some people over at Ornico sit up and take notice.

I never said it was good. I said it made them sit up and take notice.

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?

Burnt Advertising. Good idea gone bad.


You know the feeling. A commercial starts so nicely you can’t help but being pulled in. You lean forward in your seat and wait for the double-clutch moment that drives home the message with style. The music, the lighting, the direction and the performances all work in harmony to tell you a story about the product, and why you shouldn’t want to live without it. Seems simple enough. Anyone working in advertising will tell you it’s not though and that the road to advertising-redemption puts every creative at a crossroads everyday, with every job.

With every story, movie or message comes the moment where you can liberate your message and leave it indelibly in the minds of your audience, or you can so badly misunderstand why you went into advertising in the first place, and lose the plot altogether that another day at the office should be questionable. “Burnt Toast” for Warburtons Bread by RKCR/Y&R in the UK ticks all the latter boxes for me. When does something go from witty to worthless, or clever to clumsy? Watch this TVC and to check it out. It happens at the 19” mark. The idea’s a seller. The execution is not. The fine line between ‘success’ and ‘silly’ is crossed and they have done themselves a disservice. It was so close to being there but didn’t quite make it, and unlike bread that has been in the oven too long, it is more like a premature baking flop. Pity. Nice William Orbit tune though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2C_gxH2PAs

Did it work for you?

Come as you are. Gay burgers accepted.

We’re ok with two men holding guns, but two men holding hands? Not so much. Read it anyway you want, there’s still a long way to go before everyone gets the same acceptance in everyday situations, no questions asked. So it’s quite something when a brand attaches itself to homosexuality with favour. Few have done it, but those who have, have certainly made a statement. Ergo, I like the French offering from McDonald’s called “Come as You Are”. There is little more affecting than the elephant in the room when one person has a secret to tell and assumes the other is not going to want to hear it.

What resonates for me with this spot is that no product or promo is being sold and there is no cheesy exchange of service brilliance. There is simply a soothing reminder that everyone is welcome at McDonald’s, told tenderly between furtive whispers, nervous glances and a moment of suspense in the climax where a son sees that the distance between him and his father is nothing but obvious.

Television commercials are wonderful opportunities to tell stories that leave an indelible impression. This one wins and delivers realistic performances in a neatly packaged spot that successfully puts the brand into the subject of conversations. In a few days, you will still remember who it was for, you are likely to tell a friend, and where it goes from there is only limited to the vast atmosphere of social networking. I’m sold, are you?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...