The Advertising Apprentice

July 25, 2009

Impressive Honda Campaign

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 9:30 PM
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Here’s a set of five print ads that, I found on Ads of the World, together make-up a campaign for the Honda and Honda FCX Clarity.

(I apologize that you can’t see them displayed on this page large enough to read the text. So at the bottom of each ad I’ve included a link so that you can see them in a larger form.) 

Let me discuss why this campaign works from a creative standpoint:

  • It’s aesthetically pleasing. There’s not a lot of clutter, just the capital letter and a few short sentences below.
  • The copy itself. If you take the time to read each ad you’ll see that the copy ties in very nicely to the visuals used to make up each letter. You’ll also notice that the first two ads promote the FCX Clarity while the other ads are used to promote how green and environmentally friendly the company is.
  • Consistency. All five ads end by asking the question “Do you believe in the power of dreams?” That’s a pretty powerful tagline that ensures attitudinal consistency in all the ads. Visual consistency is present in the layout and design of the five ads. This campaign achieves verbal consistency by the use of the phrase “Honda engineers” in three of the five ads. I suspect that by referring to the work of the Honda engineers it’s their way of showing the R&D work they’ve done to improve their products and thus they’ve invested time and money to be more socially responsible.
  • The absence of the Honda logo. Could they have included the logo in one of the corners? Of course! Someone with minimal graphic design experience could have easily used Photoshop and inserted the logo. But this is is one of those situations where  I think less is more. A logo would have taken away from the synergy of the ads. 
The last thing I should acknowledge is that these ads were created to appear in magazines. While it’s possible that you’d see all five, in order, while flipping through a copy of The Economist or Newsweek, it’s not likely because of the extremely high cost to advertise five full-page colour ads in these magazines. So you’re probably looking at a situation where the ads would appear “randomly” in various magazines with lots of readers and over a period of time you’d come to recognize the ads. This technique is used to build people’s curiosity and interest in the ads, create a little bit of intrigue which in turn will lead to some sort of action whether it be a visit to the Honda website or a visit to a Honda dealership! And that’s the ultimate goal of advertising: to generate action. It’s said that in order to get to that point of action a person has to be exposed to your message anywhere three to seven times! How long does it take for you? 

Oh, and by the way I at the recent Cannes Lions 2009 Awards Ceremony, this campaign won a Silver Award under the “Press Lions” category for the agency that produced the ads, Wieden+Kennedy!

July 23, 2009

Taking Sports Sponsorships to a Whopping New Level

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 12:46 AM
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Just came across the following story and more importantly, pictures of a Spanish soccer team that has signed a deal reportedly worth $1.8 million US to be sponsored by the makers of the Whopper, Burger King.

The team called the Getafe C.F., their nickname is The Dark Blues, plays out of a suburb in the metropolitan Madrid area. Last year Getafe finished 17th in their league, so the front-office must be desperate to generate buzz for the team given that the on-field product is lacking. So when you’re desperate for some publicity and want to make a promotional splash who do you turn to? The same people that brought us a Whopper-scented fragrance, that’s who!    

Words can’t be used to describe this. I feel so bad for the players of the team. Looking at the picture above, maybe one or two of them actually look happy to be wearing those uniforms! Out of embarrassment you may see scoring down if this is what the celebration will look like!!
Sports and marketing bloggers alike are having a field-day (pun intended) with this promotion. I had to search through literally dozens upon dozens of websites to find a credible source to link to. 

As much as people, like myself, are criticizing this, it is turning out to be a successful promotional “stunt”. Now it may not result in you heading out to Burger King the next time you’re hungry, but you can’t argue with the name/brand recognition it’s creating for Burger King all over the world.

July 22, 2009

Major Shakeup at Cossette Imminent?

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 1:16 AM
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This afternoon I came across an article on the Globe & Mail’s website that anyone with any interest at all in the advertising industry should take note of: The battle for Cossette.

The article does a good job at explaining the specifics of the proposed takeover. The aspect I’m sure many of Cossette’s current high-value clients such as Coca-Cola Ltd., McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, and Procter & Gamble are concerned with is how will this affect business? It seems like Cossette has a revolving door with their executives and therefore lack solid foundation at the top and in the running of the agency. This is turn could have a negative effect on the quality of the work they produce.

Now I’m not an expert on the business of the advertising industry nor do I have a Business degree; but, you don’t need to have a MBA to know that should this hostile takeover go through, this would have a huge impact on the advertising industry. 

This also isn’t the first time in the recent months that Cossette has encountered major adversity. This winter they lost a very valuable BCE account that represented approximately 10% of their revenue. (There was an article in the Globe & Mail from January 3rd that did an excellent job at explaining the situation that is only available if you have a GlobePlus account. So instead if you want additional information on the BCE loss you can visit this page.)
You may recognize these fun-loving beavers as Frank and Gordon. They are a large part of probably the most memorable campaign Cossette produced for BCE.

Needless to say the hostile takeover of one of Canada’s largest advertising agencies is something to closely monitor, as should Francois Duffar and his group be successful in their bid, it will reverberate throughout the Canadian advertising industry.

July 20, 2009

First Post of Many

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 8:03 PM
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I recently was sent a video that I thought would make for a great, light-hearted first post.

It’s a 60-second commercial for Evian that shows a bunch of babies roller skating.
Here’s the YouTube link. It’s only been online for less than three weeks and it already has close to 6.5 MILLION hits!!

Needless to say that’s some great exposure! Considering that people’s attention spans continue to decrease more and more, especially when it comes to commercials, the fact that this video was able to attract such a high view count is astonishing! (Although I suspect the number of views is also because of the “cuteness”!)

There’s some other elements that make this a really good commercial:

  • The pause about half-way through for the phrase “Naturally pure and minerally-balanced to live young, body and mind.” This sudden pause is not very common in many commercials, but it definitely works here. (Note the SFX of the dripping water)
  • The baby skating through the slalom course of what would normally be orange pylons, but in this case, it’s the well placed product we see with a very nice close-up at the 53 second mark!
  • The end slogan “live young” is reinforced throughout the commercial by babies skating around the park and fountain and doing maneuvers on roller-skates that most couldn’t begin to do.
So all and all this was a fun commercial that has generated some serious online buzz for Evian, that will probably win the advertising agency a couple Cleos, and that may or may not translate into an increase in sales for Evian!!

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