Split Screen Is The New Nostalgia: Part Two

I never understood the draw to Blackberry. I especially don’t understand the draw to Blackberry now, when everyone and their Mother has an iPhone, or an Android capable phone. It was just one of those things/fads/wants that passed me by. How fitting of me to try and wade in on the most recent Blackberry ad as they attempt to sell me their way of life, their mantra, and of course, their new handset.

Here’s what Blackberry had to say;

We believe life’s made up of two kinds of people. Those content to go with the flow, and those who grab life with both hands. If you are someone who seizes opportunities, asks the questions, makes things happen, BlackBerry is designed for you.

Thanks for the life affirming choice defined by a telephone Mr.Blackberry. I better get a handset so people know I’m the ‘get up and go’ kind of cat that doesn’t follow anybody’s rules, not even his own! Facetiousness aside, the advert is okay I guess. It sells itself on the idea that a person is defined by what phone they have. In fact, I can remember a time when you were defined by what phone you had (does this still happen?). If it was anything other than a Nokia 3210 you were the scum of the earth…

That reminds me of a little story.

I’ve only ever been mugged once in my life, but there could have been a second time. I was surrounded by a group of at least 5 late teens when I was about 14 years old in the centre of Manchester. I was told to give them my phone. I of course obliged, because it’s only a phone, and I quite like my face the shape that it is. On pulling a blue brick with detachable antenna from my pocket, I was immediately laughed at, and told to be on my way, phone in hand. That’s right, when I was 14, even muggers didn’t want my phone.

Distractions aside, the advert does it’s job. It sells the kind of lifestyle Blackberry want their phone owners to have. They’re attracting the strong thinking individuals clamouring to get away from the large market reach of Apple. Has it been successful? Time will tell. How do I feel about the advert? Well I’m glad you asked…

First thing’s first; the soundtrack is god awful. In the ad we’re trying to associate with the images on the right, or at least we’re supposed to if we fit in with the Blackberry way of life. So why on earth is the soundtrack so wishy-washy? So boring?! It’s lift music. It’s exactly what the viewer is not supposed to be; indecisive! It’s the entire opposite of the campaign idea.

Text is kept to a minimum throughout, so very much like the Gu advert ‘Give In’, we’re left with imagery, and our own imagination. That’s usually a nice experience, but here the choice of imagery is a tad strange. None of it really screams ‘individual’. The choices could have had a little more thought put into them, as some are a bit lacking. Fillers if you will.

However, there are a few hidden gems in there. The “can’t be bothered” vs the “can’t wait” is at least a second baser, but hidden in the last fifteen seconds of so is an absolute home-run. One of life’s great questions. If you didn’t see it, take a look.



That, is fucking genius, and I’ll applaud the creative until the cows come home for that one. It’s perfect. It’s witty, clever, and questioning, all in two seconds of moving image. In fact, sack the entire advert off, run this as a billboard campaign, use the line “We believe life’s made up of two kinds of people. Those content to go with the flow, and those who grab life with both hands” (or the line from the ad, whatever), and the tagline “Which one are you”? Heck, I’d buy a Blackberry right now if that existed.

I don’t like ending a post on a high note, so we’ll go for the shit sandwich approach. Music; rubbish. Imagery of glass; genius. The line “Do You?”; hate it. I don’t really know why either. It just doesn’t sit right. Maybe I’ve got some sort of vendetta against the written word at the moment, because I hated the line from the Suzuki advert too. Who knows.

Anyway, I’m off to stare at a glass of water in the hope it’ll magically turn into a Blackberry. That, or I’m just going to drink it.

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Split Screen Is The New Nostalgia: Part One

In a rather elegantly filmed 41 second short, the WWF (the guys that like animals, not the sweaty guys in tights) are trying to insinuate that we are all connected. Animals and humans that is.

The execution is incredibly simple. The WWF have taken pre-existing footage of animals going about their daily lives; swimming, sleeping, having a wander… blinking. Then they’ve refilmed and choreographed the exact same footage, but with human beings in place of the animals; cycling, sleeping, having a wander…blinking. It’s a bit cutesy, but the ad manages to pull the heart strings in the correct direction. You’d have to be stone hearted to not be upset for little Marcel holding his head in his hands as he watches his habitat burn.

Sorry, I’m being a bit insincere, but it’s all a guise to stop me from gushing at the fact this advert is actually damn good at what it’s trying to achieve. Sure it has the same message as any other appeal advert, but at least it’s shot to make it look nothing like an appeal advert. It’s artistic, it’s clever, it’s nicely choreographed and framed, and it’s already had me click through twice. Of course both of those times my Adobe flash plug-in crashed, but one day it’ll load the website.

While we certainly share the planet earth, and we are almost definitely connected, I bet a tiger has never had to CTRL+ALT+ESC his way out of a crashed Firefox. Lucky bastards.

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Levi’s Vs Nike.

Two brands I actually buy into have joined together in a collaboration that actually speaks to me. It’s rare that something like this happens, but at least it’s a decent looking video short.

It’s funny, because if I could only wear one brand of jeans it would be Levi’s, and if I could only wear one brand of trainers it wouldn’t be Nike. While I love the swoosh, my heart has been taken by Vans. I do very much appreciate the amount of time, effort and money Nike has pumped into Skateboarding (Pacman Nike 6.0s you will be mine), it just isn’t the skate brand for me.

Either way it’s a cracking short; straight to the point, selling the alternative lifestyle. Isn’t that what any good ad should do?

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Girls With Balls.

Note to self;

Never look at The Best Of D&AD New Blood again.

It’ll make you feel worthless.

Source; http://cargocollective.com/girlswithballs – An incredibly good creative team.

DC Shoes – Gymkhana

I wasn’t going to post today, and yes, I realise that since my triumphant return quite a few of my entries have been based on entertainment shrouded in sponsorship rather than straight up advertisements, but I think you’ll find that three years ago I predicted that this might happen. That’s why today I am again bringing you another rather lengthy video clip that should shock, amaze, and inspire.

Brought to you by DC (one of my favourite skate brands might I add), this video, quickly becoming a viral sensation, is a modern day retelling of Bullitt… but, without the chase.

What we have here is a perfect promotional video. A brand known for their participation in extreme sports, lends their name (and money) to something truly amazing. The result? Over 400,000 hits in a day, and there’s still 6 hours left. This video will bring DC shoes more exposure than any billboard, press ad or TV commercial could. It’ll be talked, written, and blogged about for at least the next two months solid. It’s virally charged internet gold; front page news on Reddit, 4chan, MSN, and of course the most important of all, right here. Heck, I have a feeling it’ll even make the news as an ‘And Finally’ piece.

The kicker in all of this? In 9 minutes and 52 seconds, only 2 seconds are spent advertising a facebook website for DC… Not even a link back to their own website. A missed opportunity some may say, but I think the approach is perfect. Wearers and lovers of the DC brand will forever be excited to have been part of DC history, regaling new fans of stories for the previous Gymkhana videos and achievements captured by the brand, while new fans of the video will remember DC as ‘that one who sponsored Ken Block in a race around San Francisco. You know, the one with the video we saw on youtube’.

It’s a win-win situation for the brand. Providing interesting content for old fans; “hey, you know what we do, so have some more”, and captivating new fans; “this is what we do, so come and be a part of it”.

Mass exposure might not always equal sales… but in this case, I’m sure it’ll help.

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Vans – Since ’66

Here we have a very inspirational short on my favourite footwear brand. A short and concise history of Vans.

“It was never about waving around the brand like a flag. It was always about the people” – Paul Van Doren

If only other companies worked like that. I’m sure I’ll be bringing back at least 3 pairs of Vans when I head Stateside in less than three weeks. For now, I’ll just rewatch.

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We’ve Been Go Compare’d

A couple of days ago I posted an image of a defaced Go Compare advert. I looked, I laughed, I posted, I moved on. The world was a great place to live in, that was until my lunch time when I saw this on facebook.

Now, that’s a very similar style of graffiti to the one I posted the other day. A serial attacker maybe? Who knows.

Well, guess what. I do. It’s been playing on my mind all day, so I went on a little research spree. Now without seeing that second image I would have lived my life merry in the notion that only I (and you) had seen the aforementioned graffiti, but two similar occurrences? Impossible. It seems there have been a few other “vandalism” attempts on subsequent Go Compare billboards.

This is all starting to seem like a bit of a consipiracy to me.

Well I guess it’s no surprise that the images I’ve posted are part of a broader campaign to, get this, bring even more attention to the launch of the new Go Compare advert. Mainly by abusing the fact that they have the most annoying character on television and most hated advert two years in a row by running a campaign making fun of their own star, all the while encouraging the smartphone obsessed public to eagerly snap pictures and send them flying through the internet to various social media websites for a couple of extra thumbs up? Clever Girls (read girls as ‘advertising bastards’).

I can’t be angry for being fooled when it’s a stroke of genius by the creatives at hand. I haven’t seen Gio’s new ad, but I’ll be sure to seek it out one day when I can be bothered purely out of respect for tricking me into reposting their billboards. Now that I think about it properly, the website address and logo hadn’t been defaced in any of the ads, and I’m pretty sure that’s the first thing that most anti-advertising paint specialists go for. Oh to be you and naive again, and not have to ruin what could have been an enjoyable entry. Damn my mind, and damn the clever creatives.

Bugger. Turns out even the Youtube channel is covered in graffiti. My detective work certainly needs a bit of practise.

Don’t mind me. I’m just a gullible idiot.

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Sailor Jerry Uncut – Where Eagles Dare

There are three things about myself that pretty much any one I’ve ever met can attest to;

  • I love advertising – I’d live it if I could. I am constantly enthralled by new campaigns, creativity, and the notion of selling an idea that people would love to be part of.
  • I adore punk music and its offshoot genres, especially in a live setting – My record collection is about 80% pop-punk, 10% hardcore/screamo, 5% indie/alternative, and 5% hip-hop. I’ve been to way over 300 gigs in my life time, and I’ve got ticket stubs to prove it. Out of those 300, I can tell you exactly who I’ve thrown myself off of a stage, amp or speaker set to, and I can tell you exactly which shows I’ve caught a crowd surfer/stage diver to the face.
  • I’d take a spirit, mixed or otherwise, over a pint of beer any day – I’ve never liked beer. It’s probably because I had such a sweet tooth when I was younger that I started to drink vodka and mixers when I hit the clubs, and that has stuck with me ever since. Of course at the age of 25 my palate has matured, and I’m perfectly happy sipping a Long Island Iced Tea, Mojito, or a good spiced rum.

Yep! That’s me alright.

It’s a surprise then, that I stumbled on this next particular branded video while doing my internet rounds this evening. You should probably turn your speakers up, as the soundtrack is pretty damn good.

Now that’s a lifestyle video done well. Good rum. Good music. Good times.

There’s not much I can say about the video other than it sells the ‘Sailor Jerry’ lifestyle perfectly. It manages to do this much better than some other spirits. I’m looking at you Bacardi, maybe you could learn a trick or two. The spot is loud, fast, and blurry. Just like a night on the spiced rum should be.

I feel the effectiveness is all in the quick paced editing and cracking soundtrack from The Misfits. The quick cut montage approach appeals to my internet warped attention span, and the blistering soundtrack appeals to the fourteen year old in me wondering why I’m not playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the Playstation every second of every day. The imagery contained within calls out to my live music obsessed side, and after looking up just who has played outside the store in Philly, I’m sort of jealous I’ve never had a chance to attend one. There’s nothing like a good punk show to raise the spirits of anyone down in the dumps.

Overall, it’s a video that has managed to capture my attention, and has been replayed at least fifteen times so far. In today’s world, in which I am sitting at a computer with 8 tabs open and trying to use seven different computer programs, all the while simultaneously using my smart phone and giving my time to write a blog post, that’s something special. That’s something very special indeed.

Now be gone with you. I’m going to try and jump off my couch onto a beanbag. That’s sort of like stage diving right?

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Suzuki – The Never Ending Test Drive

I watched TV today for the first time in about two months. I think I managed around twenty minutes or so before I popped Netflix on, but that’s twenty minutes more than most days! During that fateful time I saw an advert that actually had me grinning, sitting on the edge of my seat, and getting excited about showing it off to friends.

It’s rather bloody good isn’t it! Sure, it starts off quite slow but from about twenty seconds onwards, it’s pure advertising gold.

Obviously the premise is that the agent never gets driven back to the dealership, as the lovely gentleman test driving the car can’t ever be parted with it which is all well and good, but that’s not what drew me in. It was the attention to detail that impressed me so! The comedic set-ups were amusing and got funnier as the advert went on, but I think the pièce de résistance had to be the family portrait including the agent himself in the background. Genuine chuckles.

Now you need to picture the scene. I’m sat on my armchair getting visibly excited about how much I’m enjoying this advert, and all I could think about was the tag-line. It was going to literally punch me in the face with brilliance, and before you know it I’d be driving my own Suzuki Swift in a car-park very very slowly in small circles. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What actually happened was me throwing my arms up in disgust, screaming “What. What the fuck was that”, and then getting disappointed. How can such an interesting and witty advert be finished off with such a droll tagline. Someone shoot the bloody copywriter. He should be ashamed of himself. I don’t think the line could be any more bland if it tried. Sure it sort of fits with the strategy, but it doesn’t do what I wanted it to! It doesn’t grab you by the bollocks and scream “YES! WE KNEW WE HAD YOU ALREADY, BUT YOU REALLY NEED TO BUY THIS CAR!!”. In all honesty, it ruins what could have been a contender for ‘best advert of July 3rd’.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that I could have done better, but someone, somewhere in the world could have thought of a much better line than “Once you try it, you have to have it”. Why not just “You have to have it”?…. I’m pretty sure you’re already thinking of a better line now. Bah, it annoys me just thinking about it. Ruining a bloody good advert like that. Grumble grumble grumble.

Any way, let’s not distract from what should be heralded as a damn good execution. Well done Suzuki, and everyone involved from The Red Brick Road. Excuse my grumbling about your tagline, but when your art direction is that good, your copy has to be just as good, if not better. It’s your own fault really, if you think about it.

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