March 18, 2015

AME AWARD WINNERS

It’s hard work judging awards but very inspiring too. Was lucky enough to be judging the AME AWARDS this year and saw a lot of cool work. Of course there was also a lot I’d already seen in previous festivals. Like a bad smell, the more successful projects hang around for a long time.

Here are some of my favorites from AME

AID COUTURE – Platinum award
“An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, leaving thousands of casualties. Each year, the Philippine National Red Cross receives 18 tons of donated clothes. A good number of these are fashionable pieces that are not appropriate for everyday wear of calamity victims. In the aftermath of a typhoon, when the hot sun is up again, leather jackets and long gowns are of no practical use to the intended recipients of this donation. What they need are food and daily essentials that will help with their survival needs. Check out the video and see how Leo Burnett Manila convert fashion to food, water and medicine”

Jaguar British Villains – Platinum award
“How does an iconic yet misunderstood luxury car company reignite its mojo and win back the hearts and minds of US drivers? By casting its newest sports car as a Villain, of course. Jaguar’s “British Villains” campaign played off the insight that the best Hollywood Villains are played by Brits, and introduced Jaguar as the newest British Villain. An integrated campaign touted the idea that it’s #GoodToBeBad and encouraged audiences to embrace their dark sides”

Coca Cola Mini kiosk – Gold award
“To launch the new Coca-Cola mini can in Germany, we created the Coca-Cola mini kiosk. A fully functional, normal looking kiosk with vendor – just in mini version. Combined with a small Coke vending machine, it appeared spontaneously around different cities. The mini kiosk sold a series of miniature products, but first and foremost the 0.15L mini can”.

Art of OLDTOWN – Gold award
“THE ART OF OLDTOWN As proprietors of the original white coffee recipe, OLDTOWN White Coffee took ownership of the one place no other white coffee brand could – Old Town in Ipoh, the birthplace of white coffee. A collaboration with street artist Ernest Zacharevic and the Ipoh tourism board saw OLDTOWN transform Ipoh Old Town with 7 unique murals. We turned art tourism into a medium, and spread our brand story with every piece of PR coverage and social media sharing. Best of all, we created permanent fixtures associated with OLDTOWN White Coffee that will live long beyond the campaign period”.

Suntory 3D on the Rocks – Silver award
“Whisky is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world. However, whisky fans are getting older as time passes, while younger generations see it as an out-of-date, boring drink. Our challenge was to attract younger drinkers and once again to create the golden age of whisky. We designed a service at the bar which users can enjoy whisky with ice cubes created in their desired shape with use of the state-of-the-art 3D technology. In addition, we designed a system that uploads ice cubes selected by users to the web gallery”.

Google Maps Urban Escape Plan – Silver award
“Google Maps is known by the majority of Germans. Most people use the product to get from A to B, but they are not really aware of the fact that Google Maps can also help you explore new places near and far away. In order to make people re-discover Google Maps, we decided to focus on a unique proposition: inspiration as part of navigation. In Summer 2014, after a long winter, we set out to help German urbanites find what they really needed the most: a bit of green. But not any bit of green. A new bit of green. We wanted people to explore their environment and visit places, where they have never been before – nearby green treasures accessible within a short walk or bike-ride. That is why we created the „urban escape plan“: The world’s first hyper-localized, nationwide exploration campaign”.

Congratulations to all the winners (which you can view here). This may not be Cannes but since this festival is about effectiveness it means that you are faced with a load of scam work that boosts the agency’s ego but does nothing for their clients’ sales. Looking through all the entries there are definitely some major trends. We are in an era of brand experiences now. I hear a lot of talk about “storytelling” but that seems like a bit simplistic and patronizing. People want meaningful experiences that change their attitudes towards a brand. Better still, engaging experiences that lead to purchase. After all, if our clients don’t sell they won’t pay us and we can’t enter awards any more. That’s the circle of life. Hakuna matata.

September 13, 2013

AMCHAM Advertising After Party

Last night Nils Anderson, Y&R China’s Chief Creative Officer, and I jointly presented at a special event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. We wanted to share the winning campaigns from global advertising festivals like Cannes Lions to business leaders in China. I thought it would be interesting to share my own part of the presentation here.

While Nils focused on the Film category and spoke in depth about the craft that goes into winning work, I covered many of the other categories. I began by talking about the dramatic changes the advertising business has gone through since the Mad Men era. Just look at the picture below to see how quickly mobile devices have become the main way to create and consume media. Both show the announcement of a new Pope just 8 years apart.

Yet even with such amazing developments in technology, it is ideas that win not techniques or (dare I say it) gimmicks. In my presentation I began with a look at the category of DIRECT which is all about targeted communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism. It’s all about having a measurable response.

This multi award-winning campaign from McCann Melbourne was based on real human insight. Take a serious message then make it fun and engaging. Make something that people want to share. Allow people to participate and own the campaign so the message gets magnified. The results speak for themselves. It didn’t just connect with people but changed behavior and demonstrates where our industry is going – harnessing the power of digital & social to seed the message.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with MINI Cooper to teach dogs how to operate a car, in the hopes that it will draw attention to the talented and adorable dogs that were up for adoption. It shows the power of talk value in a campaign in order to capture attention.

When the laughs died down I then went on to talk about winners in the Cannes Cyber Lions. Very few people use the term “cyber” these days. It’s a throwback to the late 90s when the internet was still science fiction to many people. Now people talk about “digital” which is already sounding narrow and old fashioned. Maybe, after 5 years, I need to retire this blog if that’s the case.

The internet and social media as radically changed the advertising industry as much as other industries like music. But rather than being its death it breathed new life into what we do. Look at any great campaign now and see how it harnesses the power of digital to connect with consumers in ways not possible only 15 years ago.

Oreo’s 100th birthday mission was to help everyone around the world celebrate the child inside.  Draft FCB’s “Daily Twist” aimed to filter the world through the “playful imagination of Oreo.” It went way beyond a simple print campaign as it was designed to spark conversation and sharing on social platforms. On Facebook alone the population of fans grew to 27.7 million!

When an Adidas store is closed can you still allow people passing by to buy your clothes? That was the questions answered by agency TBWA Helsinki. It really shows how broad the category is.

It has been a long time coming but mobile marketing is now a force to be reckoned with. Today almost everyone carries smartphones and in many countries they are the primary access point to the internet. Mobile opens up lots of amazing opportunities to connect with consumers to deliver timely and relevant messages or to provide utility.

People love free wifi so Ogilvy Paris came up with an award-winning idea for their client Mattel by offering win free Wi-Fi minutes in places where there isn’t any. All you had to do was play Scrabble and your words became passwords to access the free Wi-Fi connection. You could stay connected as long as you are good at spelling words on Scrabble!

When everyone thinks of mobile they immediately think of high-end smartphones and sophisticated apps. But Philippines agency DM9 used a simple and low-tech solution to make a profound sustainable impact using the simplest phones. It shows how creative you can be with technology when it comes to solving problems

In the PROMO category it’s all about targeted online communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism.

Sometimes the product becomes the campaign especially when you do something innovative. Coca Cola in with Ogilvy Paris and Singapore developed a can with a difference. One you could share without sharing germs.

How do you get more people to become organ donors? Ogilvy and Mather Brazil took real patients on organ-transplant waiting lists and created films directed at fans of the Sport Club Recife soccer team—telling them their hearts will keep beating for the team, even after they are gone, if they sign up to be an organ donor.

Like award ceremonies themselves I kept the best until last with the Titanium category from Cannes. Sometimes ideas are too big and multi-dimensional to fit into a single category. That’s why festivals like Cannes Lions created Titanium awards. The idea is everything, whether it’s for a car or toothpaste, telecommunications or charity, big budget or low budget.

“The Beauty Inside” by Pereira & O’Dell, which won major awards in digital, film and branded content categories, was born out of a powerful brand truth—just like an Intel processor, it’s what inside that counts. The campaign involved episodic films that followed the story of Alex, a man who wakes up looking like a different person every day. Apart from being “really social at its core” and “really beautiful” the smartest part was the integral role the brands played in the film. At Cannes it won grand prix in Cyber, Branded Content as well as Titanium.

Another Titanium winner came from Nike. When you are not sponsoring the Olympics how can your brand be heard? Nike tested the limits of the Olympic rules on ambush marketing with a global campaign by Wieden & Kennedy featuring everyday athletes and ordinary people enjoying sport in places around the world named London. Anybody could be their own champion no matter how great their achievement.

In fact, if there is one big trend recently in awards festivals it is the number of campaigns where brands are on a mission to do good. It’s not just about changing the world but helping people have a better outlook on life, to treat others and themselves with respect. Brands that are seen to do good are more attractive to consumers. Many of the cases I shared at the event reflect this. One of the Titanium Gold winners epitomized this trend.

Real Beauty Sketches is beautifully simple idea from Ogilvy Brazil centered on the insight that women often see themselves as being unattractive when in fact they are prettier than they think. The result is emotionally powerful and helped spark meaningful online conversations.

A saw a few tearful people in the audience so decided that I couldn’t leave them feeling down. I ended by demonstration that when a campaign is so successful you have to be prepared for one thing – to be parodied…

September 19, 2011

Welcome to Spikes Asia

I haven’t been to Singapore in over 10 years. What a difference a decade makes. It’s become like physical manifestation of the internet. Overblown, full of ways to spend money and geared for entertainment. Spikes Asia 2011, like every other advertising festival today, has digital on the brain. Every speaker and panelist says that the industry has dramatically changed. So how come the work submitted in the digital category was not hung on the wall with the other categories? Some things never change.

The first seminar off the block was brought to us by Coca Cola and crowdsourcing platform eYeka. The title – Is tomorrow’s agency the consumer? With panelists from both Coke and eYeka along with agency folk from Draft FCB and BBH plus someone from Diageo there was a lot of debate. The featured project involved co-creation with the public for a Coke competition called “Energizing Refreshment”. Some amazing figures were mentioned such as the 1.6 million submissions within China when Coke launched a previos crowdsourced campaign. The challenge was to sift through all of that to find the “diamonds in the shit” as one panelist put it. Would agencies become curators rather than being the sole producers of the creative ideas? The panelist from eYeka suggested that crowdsourcing accelerates innovation for brands. Co-creation questions the role of agency. The public now competes with agency creative departments. There are “millions of talented people out there” so why restrict yourself to an agency? Clients like Coke are looking for creative collectives rather than agencies where you might mix up “teenagers with professionals” as one speaker suggested. It was pointed out that the most popular Superbowl ad in 2011 was a $500 film created by a member of the public. It had “authenticity and simplicity”. Co-creation is “not about changing advertising – it’s about creating an environment where public gets involved with the brand”. One panelist said that the role of agencies needs to change for co-creation – but can they? Many agencies “missed the boat with the internet revolution and are still trying to catch up”. During question time I pointed out that the best work submitted in crowdsourced projects was most likely submitted by moonlighting agency creatives rather than the public. The speaker from eYeka admitted that a number of participants are from agencies but over 60% are non-professionals from the general public. Then they showed the winning entry for the “Energized Refreshment” competition… who just happens to be a motion graphics designer based in Brighton UK. Say no more.

Another interesting seminar was hosted by Yahoo and covered emerging markets such as Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia where 6 out of 10 people that access the internet do so via mobile phones. There was a lot of discussion about the internet not being the same there than in other countries – especially the west. We should not try to impose a western way of thinking on these new markets. We need to bring “5000 years of experience and knowledge” to whatever we do with digital.

There followed an inspiring presentation from JWT about breeding creativity with cultural diversity. Shame all their links to sound and video failed as it was a thoughtful and well put together seminar. They began by showing how Picasso did not find his path until he saw an exhibition of African art while the architect Frank Lloyd Wright was highly influenced by Japanese design. Special guest Gilles Peterson is a DJ that has spent his career exploring the cultural exchanges that can make music so diverse. In his words, to be “truly creative you need to get out of your comfort zone”.
Havana Cultura: Remixed // Gilles Peterson Bonus DJ Mix by gillespeterson

Matias Palm-Jensen, formerly of FarFar but now chief innovation officer at McCann, presented his pinball approach to advertising. The old way was more like bowling where you sent your ball down the alley hoping it will knock down as many pins as possible – then you turn your back and walk away. Now things are a lot more dynamic with assets, stories, formats, vehicles, destinations, conversations that then create more assets… and the ball keeps moving. Today every creative idea “needs a digital/social platform”. Fascinating guy with a big job ahead of him at McCann.

This post is getting a bit long so I’ll follow up with a second one featuring Microsoft Advertising, TBWA and Joel Cohen – one of the writers for the Simpsons who showed everyone how to make an entertaining presentation.

April 23, 2010

Week of Tweets #11

It’s time to take a walk down memory lane again and see what’s been most interesting in my Twitter feed in the past week (more like 3 weeks).

Here they come… RT @BBHLabs: Introducing BBH’s Very First iPad App, for Cadillac – a new @BBHLabs post:http://j.mp/a5EwHr

  • Only a few weeks old now and the iPad continues to get a lot of attention. This is one of the first commercial apps for the device – a partnership between Cadillac and Cool Hunting.

Just can’t get enough? RT @inspiredmag: 5 Things Depeche Mode Can Teach You About Effective Online Marketinghttp://bit.ly/bwf1Bm

  • Someone challenged Brian Clark of Copyblogger if he could write an article about online marketing using a pop-music-analogy,featuring Depeche Mode songs. The result is very clever.

Great collection… RT @loopdiloop: 30 Inspirational TED Talks on Design and Creativity http://ow.ly/1vuXg

  • It’s great when someone puts together pages like these that gather together a collection of inspiring videos. Below is the one from novelist Amy Tan.

Don’t wait for permission – RT @loopdiloop: The Delicate Art of Unauthorized Innovation http://ow.ly/1whuD

  • If you’re on Twitter then it is definitely worth following Loopdiloop who always finds great articles… like this one.

Cool… RT @100ftzombie: Iron Man 2: Interactive Trailer!http://is.gd/bq6Xf Get inside this “Iron Man 2” trailer like

  • Forget your traditional movie trailer in a banner – this example shows how far you can take the format…

Great read. RT @inspiredmag: Change, digital transformation and social media: notes from Boulder Digital Workshttp://bit.ly/as1gSQ

  • It’s great when you can feel part of amazing events around the world without even attending. But secretly I’d rather be there 🙁

Very cool! RT @baptistelimb: The Future Happens Now! When Coca Cola meets hollographic illusion: http://bit.ly/cyGqXG

  • I love it when digital and physical come together. Seen something similar at the Samsung boutique here in Amsterdam. But this is cooler.

and finally…

I’ll be there… RT @adland: Augmented Reality Flash mob in Amsterdam Saturday the 24th – join in.http://adland.tv/node/149972 via @Dabitch

  • Will have to find a way to convince my wife to come and see this happening but I hope to witness this first hand. Damn, just remembered that Layar does not work on iPhone 3G – just 3GS. Oh well, I’ll be going along anyway.