Advertising

“How Life Unfolds” Paper and Packaging Leverages The Power of Storytelling.

Last night while suffering from a bout of insomnia I was watching TV trying to will myself to get sleepy so I could just go to bed and dream the night away. It wasn’t working and I’m glad it I stayed up. The fact that I was watching late night TV allowed me to see a commercial for Paper and Packaging that originally dropped back in April, which led me to the online campaign that it is tied to as well. And this got me to thinking about how really nice this campaign is.

In a day and age where no one really writes physical letters anymore, how does a company communicate the use of paper, of how personal handwritten communication is, and how touching a physical letter can be instead of an email or text? They do it through compelling storytelling. When I first saw the commercial below, the sound was off on my TV. I was actually working on my iPad and happened to look up and see it. I didn’t turn the sound on, instead I watched the entire spot in silence and was still drawn in by a storyline that simply works. The visuals are as equally compelling as the voice over. After watching the spot I backed up, turned on the sound and watched again, this time listening to the message, and thinking about how this spot hits a home run.

The commercial is relevant because it does a number of things. It unites multiple generations with the experience of writing an actual letter. It ties three generations together, one that grew up in a time where email and texts didn’t exist, one where these technologies emerged, and one where the primary form of communication is digital. In doing so, it humanizes what could be a forgettable experience, (a text, or an email) and replaces it with something that we all know is memorable, a hand written letter. Everyone everywhere knows the power of a correspondence written by hand. A letter takes time, require focus, and tends to feel more genuine. It isn’t something that is typed out on a phone, reduced to 140 characters, or lost in a digital inbox or folder that exists on the cloud out of sight out of mind.  The commercial also shows the products in use. Not just the piece of paper, remember this is for “Paper and Packaging”, a company that also produces cardboard boxes. The commercial shows the letters, written on paper, shipped in a box, and returned the same way, all while telling a great story about how the product is used as a form of communication and delivery.

After watching the spot a couple of more times, I no longer cared about willing myself to sleep. I was curious about the rest of the campaign, so I did a quick Google search and found that Paper and packaging had recently created a new series of YouTube videos entitled “Letters for Peace” on their channel “How Life Unfolds”, great tagline by the way. I have one of the 3-minute videos below, but I highly recommend clicking through and watching the remaining six. Every one of them is  done at the same high level of production and tells a wonderful story all coming back to the same basic component of the commercial “Letters to Dad” that I happened to look up and catch last night.

All of this is tied together through digital media of course. Let’s face it, they might be a paper company, but even they know you can’t escape from the digital realm, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing your products. There is an Instagram account that has a little over 400 posts and a few thousand followers. Followers are encouraged to celebrate how paper and packaging helps them accomplish their goals at home, at school, and in the workplace by posting images using the hashtag #howlifeunfolds. The website is an online archive of the letters of peace, and a place where comments are fed to the site and people are encouraged to like and share. In addition the site offers additional insight into the authors, invites people to submit their own letters, promotes the product line, and has feature articles on why you should write things by hand.

Great stuff from Cramer-Krasselt, Paper and Packaging’s agency of record.

I’m Loving Spike Jonze’s new commercial for Kenzo.

One thing we can all look forward to this fall and winter are the absolutely moronic perfume ads that get produced for each holiday selling season. There will be plenty of reuse from the ones that have been around for a couple of years, because they are always big budget affairs, and the manufacturer tries to get the most mileage out them as they can. One however, will be a breath of fresh air, even if they won’t be able to show it in its full 3-minute entirety on TV. That ad is the new Spike Jonze directed spot for Japanese perfume makerKenzo.

The online spot which has gathered more than 2 million views in the last 3 days, features hypnotic choreography as a young socialite Margaret Qualley, escapes the stale atmosphere of a formal gala to go nuts in the hallways of the empty building. The choreography was created by Ryan Heffington becomes a full blown rapturous explosion that you simply can’t look away from as Qually dances  to the tune of “Mutant Brain” by Sam Spiegel, Jonze’s brother, and Ape Drums.

I love it, from the laser beams to the statue licking, to the contrast of the green dress against the desaturated color pallet, to the sheer insanity of it all. It’s as though Jonze looked at commercials like the one Dior produced and said, no more. And thank god he did.

 

 

Remember Those Great VW Ads from the 1960’s?

It’s Friday afternoon, and my creative juices are all but shot after a week of writing, designing, and building ads for everything from camcorders to auditorium speaker arrays. I was out trolling the internet, specifically Vimeo, when I came across the video below. Dial M and Joe Marcantonio have put together an 18 minute short on DDB’s icon VW ad campaigns from the 1960’s. Talk about rejuvenating the creative spark.  Universally acknowledged to be some of the greatest and most influential ads of all time, these changed the game for advertising when the campaign first launched. At the beginning of the short, there is a sequence from Mad Men where Don Draper says he hates both the ad and the car. Obviously Mr. Draper couldn’t see the impact that these were going to have. I remember these from when I was a kid, and I still think they are some of the best written and produced ads from that period.

IKEA -Relax its a meal not a competition.

I love this new spot from Ikea poking fun at all the Instagrammers obsessed with taking pictures of their food. The tag line at the end sums it up so well it’s not a competition, it’s a meal. When tied to the line Relax, they completely sell the concept behind IKEA kitchen design, and the companies approach to cooking and sharing a meal, sharing is about relaxed human interaction, not seeing how many people react to that photo of your meal out. Put down your phone and have a conversation people.

This Viral Video Experiment was HUUUUUUUGE!

Just because you saw it on the internet, and it looks real doesn’t mean that it is. However, if you put the right kind of fake content together though, you end up with a recipe for a successful viral video, and that is just exactly what Melbourne-based The Woolshed and Company did. With over 205 million views, I say Woolshed has found what works.

From shark attacks to lightning strikes, bears chasing snowboarders, to drones falling into Burning Man – the world watched, they shared and then they argued like hell over their authenticity.  And it was this debate over authenticity that propelled each videos’ viral success.

The content series was envisioned as a social experiment to explore the creation and distribution of ‘new media’, with the process involving The Woolshed Co. strategizing, creating, releasing and then integrating the learnings into the next piece.  We set out to better understand exactly how to create short-form, highly shareable, ‘snackable’ content, that is capable of reaching worldwide mass audiences without the luxury of pricey media buys, ad campaigns, publicity strategies or distribution deals.

Series Directed By:  Richard Hughes & Caspar Mazzotti

This is Why Timing, Cadence, and Tempo are so Important.

OK maybe it’s just me, but the narration on this exquisitely animated piece by French motion designer and director Cyrille Smaha  just ruins the visual. It sounds like some jacked up auto tune rendition. There is no punctuation, no timing, no cadence, no flow. Everything is delivered at the exact same tempo which creates an auditory tension that completely takes away from the collage of visuals that are really quite striking in form, and movement. Watch this with the sound off first. I say off first because once you hear it, the voice over will be stuck in your head. Just watch the animation and take it in, now turn on the volume, and give it a second go. It’s jolting, and disconcerting how the audio juxtaposes itself against the visual. this might have been the intent for artistic director Roxane Lagache but it seems to break the overall experience. If you watch it a third time, pause the playback and read out loud the words on screen as you would if you were speaking them with punctuation, and normal inflection. That will make it even more apparent that the voice over is simply not working. It seems completely out of place for the Chanel brand and product line.

Flattr Plus

I was originally going to post about the animation in the video below, but after digging into what Flattr Plus is about things kind of morphed. First off the animation from Sebastianbap is really quite nice. the video is made up of simple shapes and a storyline that keeps you interested as you build to the payoff. The payoff is for a new company that lets you fund content you care about, rather than having web pages crammed full of ads. Frankly I see this as the future of the internet. As ad blocking increases, content providers have to figure out new ways to keep the lights on. Web advertising has always had horrible returns. Banner ads have abysmal clickthrough rates,  modal popup windows are annoying as all hell and every bit as ineffective, so what is a content provider to do? Turn to something like Flattr Plus  would be a good start.