Advertising

Buster the Boxer Likes To Bounce.

Every year British department store chain John Lewis goes all in on their holiday marketing campaign, and this year is no exception. From the TV commercial, “Buster’s Garden” to the extended length YouTube spot, the VR 360 companion video and the website, plus social media (they have a dedicated Snapchat filter you can get) they have pulled out all the stops. The video is a really nice blend of CG and live action with a story that ties it all together. The concept is built around the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to bounce. When her mom and dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas, they soon discover that she isn’t the only one with a passion for jumping.

If you click through to YouTube and select the more information section you will see where John Lewis has partnered with the Wildlife Trusts to help protect and restore our nation’s wildlife and natural habitat for our children today and in the future. I addition there are options to sign up for additional videos that will be posting this holiday season and the usual hooks to social media as well. The microsite does a really solid job of integrating the extended content and encouraging visitors to do more than just shop. While shopping is encouraged and there are really strong ties to product related specifically to the advertising, there are additional calls to action with Bring Skills to Life which ties the campaign to real world activities children can engage with at home.

One of the things that I think is really interesting, and I wish I were going to the UK to see it in person, is the fact that John Lewis has created Buster’s Garden at a number of their stores allowing you to explore the space using Oculus Rift technology. Like the rest of the campaign, its a nice blend of technology and the physical store environments.

“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.

Paypal Cut Paper 3D Animation.

The video below from Sehsucht is one of those great examples of where technology and craft come together to create something that makes you question if it is 3D animation, stop motion, or a blend of the two. It turns out it was all done on the computer, but the effect is fantastic. Botht the finished video, and the making of are below showing you how it was done. The finished video looks like animated cut paper and is surprisingly convincing as something that was done with physical materials by hand. The animation was built using Cinema 4D and if you watch the making of video you can see how the team developed the sequence from storyboards, to style frames, to some intense animation sequences that capture the look of layered paper cutouts. Great stuff.

“PayPal isn’t just an online payment method, it is a licensed bank as well. Die Botschaft and SEHSUCHT Berlin developed a nice concept to communicate this and other facts about PayPal.  Our main Character Mr. PayPal is explaining that PayPal is more than just a bank and shows the benefits of using it. We really had fun bringing him to live in this beautiful 3D paper cut world. The goal was to animate everything exactly like it would be done if animated by hand with stop motion techniques. This was a tedious and mind-bending challenge, but fun and every frame was worth the love and passion.”

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.

 

 

Madita, a New Typeface from Animography.

If you work with After Effects, or you are a graphic designer you might be familiar with Animography, the company that produces animated typefaces that are fully customizable. I’ve been a fan of these guys for quite some time, and always love it when a new release comes out. In the past Animography has done a pretty straightforward promotion of the product, they show the typeface animating, and the variations that can be achieved with it. All of this is an effective demonstration of what they are trying to sell, but the promotional animation for Madita is a winner.

Animography Shows the typeface in use, but blends it with a catchy little story, some wonderful animation, and shows how the typeface can be used in a project before wrapping it up with a simple question, “Where can I get this typeface?”  The design and animation by Philip von Borries does a really nice job of showing Madita in use, and combined with the narration, the story hooks you and keeps you interested until the marketing punch at the end, which hopefully gets viewers interested in the font. Even if you aren’t a designer, or animator, the video is worth watching simply for the visuals and the nice little storyline.

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.