Great Ad 21: Before It’s Too Late

I went “wow” when I first saw this advertisement, it hits the nail right on the head.

WWF Lungs

Through “Lungs”, WWF France reminds us how greenery impacts our body and health. Visually, the art direction is stunningly well executed, so much so that TBWA can even afford to lose the tagline “Before it’s too late” without fear of losing the meaning. The ad is simply self explanatory.

I believe the ad has served it’s purpose and this is why I was a little irked when some creative folks were so quick to bombard it.

Yes, the idea may not be very original, but it is the truth, isn’t it? Without trees on our planet, our life will be devastatingly changed for  the worse. Can you imagine a world without tree and we have to wear an oxygen mask? So what’s wrong with it being a “regular idea”? Why the sarcasm “Heck, why not skip the whole ad and save some trees!!!!”? Why ridicule  and call it a “cartoon idea”? Are these folks shooting arrows simply for the sake of having something to criticise? Feedback is useful when it is constructive, with clear indication about why it is flawed and offers a plausible solution to make it better. Mindless criticism and bombardment will not help to improve the standard of advertising.

What’s the fundamental function of an advertisement? Continue reading “Great Ad 21: Before It’s Too Late”

Great Ad 20: I am a Virgin

Advertising Agency: Contract Advertising, Thailand ~Executive Creative Director: Manirat Banthukamphon ~ Art Directors: Kavin Sitsayanaren, Manirat Banthukamphon ~ Copywriter: Manisa Orprasert ~ Published: October 2008

If you have a commodity-type product and you do not quite know how to sell it, there’re 2 options:

The tedious, but certainly, a proven and effective method is to build a brand around it.

The fast and attention grabbing, but sometimes controversial, method is to pimp your product.

Just look at the above advertisement … it is really funny. Please, click on the advertisement if you can’t read the text, to see the magnified version.

The chicken is branded “S-Pure”. I don’t know what the “S” stands for, there are just too many suitable words starting with “S”. However, when you associate the brand with the screaming headline, “I am a Virgin”, the “S” could mean “So P…”, “Soft P…” or “Sexy P…”. Whatever it is, the mind goes wandering and fantasizing despite the fact that it is an ad about chicken.

The headline, “I am a Virgin” is also open to lots of interpretation, response and reaction.

  • “So what?”
  • “Are you sending an invite?
  • Or like WhiteSpace commented at AdsOfTheWorld, “Not for long!”
  • While another guest commenter brutally but truthfully stated the cruel fact, “then I was slaughteredand wrapped in plastic . . .”

And the copy makes me LOL. This S-Pure chicken is certainly health conscious – she eats, sleeps and stays untouchable in the purest environment imaginable. However, naughty readers will only remember these words, “Will you believe me … I truly am a virgin … Will you bring me home.”

I don’t know much about the guys in Thailand. If the majority of them are like other men I know, they should enjoy a steamy yet tender relationship with their chicken; and sales should be pumping high and fast. But I bet there will be those who will not be too hot about the S-Pure chicken style. Sex is dangerous, especially when used in ads.

Source of Ad: AdsOfTheWorld

Great Ad 19: Wide Eyes Sea Turtle & Clownfish

Don’t click on these 2 ads to see the enlarged version first. That will burst the suspense bubble right away. Make a guess at what the sea turtle and clown fish are staring at, with their eyes super big and round?

Agency: Publicis Conseil, Paris ~ Executive Creative Director: Olivier Altmann ~ Art Director: Frdric Royer ~ Copywriter: Olivier Camensuli

OK … now click to check out the logo at the bottom right of the advertisements.

Now,  do you appreciate these advertisements better or do you give it a thumbs down?

Whatever your stand, you’ll have to admit that the Wonderbra people has lots of guts to churn out unorthodox advertisements.

When it comes to women’s lingerie or swim wear advertisements, the conventional, safe, in-the-box way will be to feature a sexy blond with big boobs, rounded behind and with an hour-glass body to kill for. Her sultry looks, alluring figure and of course, the sexy 2-piece will drive up our blood pressure and cause our eyes to bulge.  This “sure-to-work” sexy formula ticks like clockwork but it is so boringly predicable.

On the the other hand, the unorthodox, non-sexy Wonderbra advertisements breathe a new breath of life. We don’t get to see the sexy results, however, we got to see the benefits and effects of the swim-wear through the squirmy looks and wide eyes of the sea animals. What you don’t see may actually spark a wilder imagination. It’s really a sexy ad without being at all sexy.

I would say these are great ads from the creative perspective. Beautifully art directed, simple to understand and relevant to the product.

Will it get the cash register ringing? Who knows. These types of advertisements only appeal to a certain niche of people. However, this niche appreciates individuality, originality and anything out-of the-box, and will likely be steadfast supporters.

Wonderful ads.

Great Ad 18: Tulipan Rabbit Ads

Do read my previous post on Durex Extra Safe Stork Ad if you have not so that you can join us in deciding if you like the stork condom ads better or this condom series from Tulipan.

Advertising Agency: Y&R, Buenos Aires, Argentina

These Tulipan condom advertisements were released on Spring Day, a.k.a. Students Day, in Argentina. Spring Day is where young hot-blooded kids make merry with outdoor activities like camping and hiking with their friends and classmates. This is the marked period where many unexpected surprises were conceived.

Both series have a large dominant illustration that tells the whole story. Durex Extra Safe has no words while Tulipan promotes “Fun Now, Kids Later”. If you follow the conversations at Ads of the World, many industry folks were of the opinion that these 4 words were superfluous and redundant. I tend to agree. It is common knowledge that rabbits multiply rapidly and frequently. The connection between rabbits and condoms is therefore instant and the association is incredibly funny. Australia is often said to be overrun by rabbits because they produce and reproduce faster than one can catch them to make into rabbit pies. When there is no text, the ads will leave the audience with a wide grin. Yeah, it is funny just thinking of Tulipan condoms preventing broods of bunnies bounding up and down. With the 4-word copy, it gives rise to unnecessary connotations. What else can “Fun Now, Kids Later” mean?

I cannot help but wonder if Tulipan realises that it has, like it or not, endorsed promiscuos sex. Encouraging sex to sell more condom does not really seem like a responsible corporate behaviour. Worse, if the ads are targeted at young people, it borders on irresponsible corporate advertising.

Comparatively, the Stork advertisements did not suffer from such unfortunate and negative connotations.

So why did Tulipan have the words? Honestly, I have no idea. I hope it’s not because Tulipan was concerned that the public will not understand the connection between rabbits and condoms. I have had clients who doubt of the intelligence of their own target audience so much so that they wanted the obvious to be stated. Whatever it is, the Durex’s stork and Tulipan’s rabbits shared a few common traits – Nice picture, great analogy, few or no words, and dubious ad effectiveness. Both series are visually attractive and they are undoubtedly useful in building awareness of their brands. However, increased awareness does not always equate to increased sale. I don’t have any figures to substantiate that sale volumes did not increase by leaps and bounds. To me, these are just nice advertisement, they lack the killer punch to deliver a killer impact to make a sales killing. Nice ads that don’t sell are pretty useless, pun intended.

Still, I like the digital art and I enjoyed the laugh.

Great Ad 17: Durex Extra Safe Stork Ads

Today is one of those lucky days where I have a breather to go blog visiting and I chose to roam at Ivan’s Ads of the World. For us in the advertising and design industry, Ivan’s blog is a treasure trove of delights.

I chanced upon this series of Durex Extra Safe ads:

Advertising Agency: DDB New Zealand ~ Executive Creative Director: Toby Talbot ~ Senior Art Director: Dave Brady ~ Art Director: James Tucker ~ Copywriter: Simon Vickers

Most of the Ivan’s fans thought that the illustrations suck and the idea was lame.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the illustration. They are just not the typical DC comics, Japanese anime or even the hip, retro style that we are more accustomed to in our day-to-day life. Such an illustration style is mostly found in nurseries, pre-schools and pre-schoolers’ pictorial books. That might be something many of us may not be in touch with or are already out of touch with. If these ads were actually wall murals in a nursery as what Rainman said, I would say it is a great match to the medium.

As for the idea is lame. Well, we can look at it from two perspectives. Continue reading “Great Ad 17: Durex Extra Safe Stork Ads”

Great Ad 16: It’s Hard to Concentrate on a Good Book With a Wet Diaper

It's hard to concentrate on a good book with a wet diaper on your mind

The ad has a single line, “It’s hard to concentrate on a good book with a wet diaper on your mind.” The rest of the copy is made up of one letter, “p”.

Who do you think the line is for? For the baby who cannot hear anything except “p” as you read him/her the bedtime story? Or is it for you who finds it tough to concentrate when you know junior’s diaper is soaked again? Continue reading “Great Ad 16: It’s Hard to Concentrate on a Good Book With a Wet Diaper”

Great Ad 15: We Wish You a Merry Christmas

As EmpressEricka had said over at YouTube: “This commercial is LEGENDARY. Its been around for almost 20 years now.” That’s certainly a long time, especially in the advertising world.

This 15-second commercial distinguishes itself from other Christmas commercial by being simple and minimalistic. There is no frills. There’s just the products – Hershey’s Kisses chocolates – neatly positioned to form a Christmas tree. However, when the music of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” started, Continue reading “Great Ad 15: We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

Great Ad 14: Santa Drinking Coca Cola Vintage Ads

I always like Coca Cola’s Christmas TV commercials and print ads. With BigBearLodge’s sharing at YouTube, I learned that the big jolly Santa image was influenced and shaped by the soft-drink mogul. “Starting in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola featured St. Nick as a kind, jolly man in a red suit. Because magazines were so widely viewed, and because this image of Santa appeared for more than three decades, the image of Santa most people have today is largely based Coca-Cola advertising.”

In this beautiful produced video, BigBearLodge put together a collection of vintage advertisement of “Santa drinking Coca Cola” in the memory of her grandmother. Well, thanks to BigBearLodge’s efforts, I got to see these beautifully painted illustration for the very first time.

Appended is the original article penned by BigBearLodge published at YouTube

My Grandma loved Christmas Time. She was a very giving person. She also loved Coca-Cola too. She really loved the ads of “Santa drinking a Coca-Cola”…

**Coca-Cola and Santa Claus**

Most people can agree on what Santa Claus looks like — jolly, with a red suit and a white beard. But he did not always look that way, and Coca-Cola advertising actually helped shape this modern-day image of Santa.

2006 marks the 75th anniversary of the famous Coca-Cola Santa Claus. Starting in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola featured St. Nick as a kind, jolly man in a red suit. Because magazines were so widely viewed, and because this image of Santa appeared for more than three decades, the image of Santa most people have today is largely based Coca-Cola advertising.

Before the 1931 introduction of the Coca-Cola Santa Claus created by artist Haddon Sundblom, the image of Santa ranged from big to small and fat to tall. Santa even appeared as an elf and looked a bit spooky. Continue reading “Great Ad 14: Santa Drinking Coca Cola Vintage Ads”