Links you should click on

  1. Old Spice Manmercials channel on YouTube is worth 4 minutes of your time.
  2. Wranglers Blue Bell website is awesome.
  3. You should become a fan of the Extreme Group on Facebook (the agency I work for).
  4. Belgium ad agency sites are on strike and have created a unique online experience to express why.
  5. Toronto Raptors mascot is making big news for eating a cheerleader. 400,000 plus views.
  6. The street views snowmobile captures the sights of the Vancouver Olympic slopes.
Have a great weekend!


Old Spice: The Man your Man could smell like

The Old Spice work from W+K has been consistently good. They haven't disappointed me here.

Most woman probably buy the bodywash and the man just uses whatever is in the shower. They are pushing the purchaser to buy more. Gotta love consumerism!

Found on sosticky


Molson Canadian: Our Land

I am sure we will be seeing this spot every other commercial break over the Olympics. On a side note I think the overhead footage of the kid skating across the lake is the same as in the CTV spot that played during the Superbowl.


Do This or Die

I recently finished Terry O'Reilly's book Age of Persuasion - How Marketing Ate our Culture (from CBC's Age of Persuasion). If you're looking for a nice, quick, history of advertising (with some great new and old examples) it is worth picking up. It's also quintessentially Canadian which is a nice change considering the majority of ad related books come out of the States or the UK.

At the conclusion of the book, O'Reilly recounts a contest that Time magazine held in the 1960's. Time asked people to create an ad that was for the public interest (ie. not a product). DDB writer Bob Levinson won with the print ad above. I've captured the full copy so that you can read it - trust me, it's worth it:


Is this ad some kind of trick?

No. But it could have been. And at exactly that point rests a do or die decision for American business. We in advertising, together with our clients, have all the power and skill to trick people. Or so we think. But we're wrong. We can't fool any of the people any of the time. There is indeed a twelve-year-old mentality in this country; every six-year-old has one. We are a nation of smart people. And most smart people ignore most advertising because most advertising ignores smart people. Instead we talk to each other. We debate endlessly about the medium and the message. Nonsense. In advertising, the message itself is the message. A blank page and a blank television screen are one and the same. And above all, the messages we put on those pages and on those television screens must be the truth. For if we play tricks with the truth, we die.

Now. The other side of the coin. Telling the truth about a product demands a product that's worth telling the truth about. Sadly, so many products aren't. So many products don't do anything better. Or anything different. So many don't work quite right. Or don't last. Or simply don't matter. If we also play this trick, we also die. Because advertising only helps a bad product fail faster. No donkey chases the carrot forever. He catches on. And quits. That's the lesson to remember. Unless we do, we die. Unless we change, the tidal wave of consumer indifference will wallop into the mountain of advertising and manufacturing drivel. That day we die. We'll die in our marketplace. On our shelves. In our gleaming packages of empty promises. Not with a bang. Not with a whimper. But by our own skilled hands.

It's been almost 50 years since this ad was published and I can't think of something more relevant that encapulates the state of the industry better. Everyone seems to say that digital has changed everything. That consumers want real products that help them (functionally and emotionally) and they don't want to be lied to or tricked in any way.

But still marekting trickery we see banners, site experiencesces and Tweets. A line of micetype legal below the fold of a website clarifying the offer or a 'see in store for details' message that makes us think twice about what we are actually being sold.

Digital hasn't changed the fact that if we aren't honest in our communications and with our clients, the consumers will see through it and we will fail.

Somehow the industry has chugged along since Levinson wrote this execution. But if we don't step up our game, think differently about what consumers actually want (hint: it's not a contest) and focus our efforts on products and services that are worth talking about, we won't have another 50 years to get it right.


Google Wins Super Bowl

Paul recently posted the top Super Bowl ads and Google's first foray into the US TV space was a spot that a lot of people are going to remember (and not just because the company - at one point - swore off mass advertising and has finally decided that it might be a good idea).

What interests me about this spot is the fact that it positions Google as a company that lives what it strives to be - the brand that organizes the worlds information. No matter who you are, what you are looking for or any questions that you have, Google can help you find the answer - quickly.

I have friends that work at Google and have heard that they are - for the most part - an engineer driven company. They obsess over numbers, metrics, data and products (a huge step for most agencies and marketers out there). Sometimes, they focus a bit to much on the data side of things and the design gets forgotten.

This time, though. They've created a great balance. As a Google engineer, you've got to be pretty happy with this spot. It showcases the core product (Search) but also a ton of others including Maps, Translation, Wikipedia and Flight tracker - all great applications that Google can help you find. Furthermore, the entire ad is a product shot. How many marketers have secretly craved this and had their agencies tell them that they have to do more and push for the 'big idea?'

What makes the truly ad great, though, is the story.

It's quirky, fun, real and human. It's short and succinct but tells the story of a lifetime.

Sometimes visuals, actors and big scenes wreck spots. The intentions where there but something just doesn't get executed to the full extent. This spot sets the scene and leaves the rest up to the viewer to imagine how the story plays out - how they met at the Cafe, what the girl looks like, where they had the wedding and what will happen next.

And through it all, Google was there. Helping and assisting along the way.

It's been said that brands don't define who they are anymore - Google does. For a long time it was hard to define what Google really did. Was it Search? Or Maps? Or E-Mail? Or Phones?

This spot makes it clear - it's the company that does whatever you need it to help you get where you're going in life.

(...and it also makes for great mash-up material if you're less sentimental about it...)


The top 3 Superbowl ads based on views

The top 3 Superbowl spots based on total views in the last 24 hours are:

1. Google - Parisian Love

2. Audi - Green Car

3. Kia - Big Game spot


A comment on Memes

Memes have always interested me. Where do they come from? What is their origin? What human insights can we extrapolate from the development and spread of memes and how can we use this to predict or create future memes? Or is that what makes them so great?

If I was to go back to school it would be a deep dive into the world of internet memes; but then again most Universities probably block 4chan.

One of my favourites:

Know Your Meme: Advice Dog from Rocketboom on Vimeo.

I wonder what memes may come out of Superbowl Sunday.