Vote. Don’t.

Ad from the New Zealand government in attempt to push Auckland voters to take part in their upcoming council election.


Quite a cool idea and I like that it is cut from a different cloth from the regular, often rather dry voting ad. Unfortunately, I think that this might be one of the times where minimalism has been pushed too far and the message might not land as hard as it could’ve.

Maybe it’s the unclear border between the two figures or the fact that my brain reads “don’t vote”, or maybe even the idea that if I don’t vote I’ll get some cool invisibility superpower… I don’t know. But this ad lacks the conviction and call to action that an ad should have.
An example of a great idea with poor execution.



St John’s Ambulance

Public Service Announcement (PSA) advertisements can be a hard thing to successfully “sell”. It’s difficult to be as funny, or wordy or… sexy when preaching the importance of road safety or the like.

To communicate their PSA message, agencies often employ scare-tactics to shock’ people into paying attention. I was watching a couple of road-safety ads here in Australia and, although confronting and shocking, I was left feeling a bit flat with regards to the message of the ad. As far as messages went, all that had been truly communicated to me was that… shit happens. As blunt as that sounds.

Some agencies have acknowledged this and have used different methods of getting the message over the line. McCANN’s train safety campaign ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ springs to mind. I had seen such effective use of mixed-media for PSA that I had all but written-shock campaign strategies. Until I saw the most recent work from BBH London for their campaign for St John’s Ambulance and first-aid awareness.

Brilliant. After I watched this I spent the next hour in complete shock, frantically googling first-aid manuals.

This ad comes from the same pair who produced the chilling Helpless campaign, a silver lion winner at last year’s Cannes.

All I can say about this is that it shows that advertising can be refreshed and re-invigorated with clever production.


Simply perfect

I have quite the penchant for the simple. The times where and understated ad is plain yet clever. Free from noise – letting the message be heard loud and clear.

Copywriting guru Luke Sullivan proposed that “the only antidote to clutter is draconian simplicity” (from ‘Hey Whipple, Squeeze This’). I have to agree.

So here are just a couple of ads that I believe have embraced this idea with superb results.




Advertising and Porn?

It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but how do you get to his stomach? Well according to a recent marketing campaign, the answer is porn.

Advertisers are always fighting to grab the attention of the public to deliver a message. As part of the consumerist culture that developed countries find themselves in, capturing this elusive attention of the frantic masses is challenging and highly competitive.

Welcome EAT24, an American-based online and app-driven food delivery service. The people at EAT24 wanted to promote their company but wanted to perhaps try something new, push the proverbial envelope. When companies come to distributing their ads, the common plan often includes purchasing advertising space on Google, Facebook and Youtube – with good reason (these websites see the most web-traffic). Using these channels though is quite expensive and consumers encounter so many facebook/google ads that they may even be slightly desensitised to them at times (not good!). A quick bit of research revealed that porn websites, perhaps unsurprisingly, see some of the most web traffic too – so why not advertise on them? Well the answer is that, people already do it’s just that the ads are devoted to either male ‘enhancement’ pills or… just… more porn.

EAT24 thought that maybe there was a place for 24-hr food advertising on a porn website. It makes sense – who wouldn’t feel like ordering pepperoni pizza after watching a hunky-dude deliver a similar pizza to an aspiring actress in a nurse costume.


In short, the campaign worked like a charm with EAT24 showing a massive (no enhancement pills required) increase in sales and App downloads almost immediately. Which serves up the question – why haven’t people done this before? Well firstly there is bravery – EAT24 were willing to gamble on it working despite the risk of potential, undesirable associations to be made. Secondly, there is also a knowledge of their market. They weren’t too worried about limiting their market-reach with these ads because their market is already limited – a pretty small number of elderly people are ordering food off their smartphones.

So maybe there is potential to see some *cough* growth in this area for certain companies – I admit that there is likely a 0% chance of this campaign strategy taking off for, say, a dentures company

(although you never know?)


Vintage Lego Ad

Just a quick post here. Came across this great ad for Lego from 1981. I love that they decided to move away from the advertising norm of the 80s where girls would need to play with ‘girly’ toys.

Great piece of copy too. 

Heartwarming. Filled me with nostalgia.




Top 5 Nike Ads of All Time

In 1971, a graphic designer was paid US$35 for her work designing the logo for the newly-founded sports brand Nike. Since then, this “Nike Swoosh” has become one of the most recognisable brand logos in the world with Nike being one of the leading sports brands of the world. Nike has also become an integral component of the very heart of sporting culture.

A large part of Nike’s success can be attributed to its marketing and brand promotion, equalled by few other companies. Nike has produced a vast amount of advertisements – across a variety of mediums. In this post, I’d like to show you a few that I think really stand out – each for different reasons. So here are, in my opinion, the top 5 Nike ads of all time (NB: in no particular order). Please comment with some of your favourite Nike/Sport advertisements!


1. Michael Jordan’s Failure

In this ad for the Nike-owned Jordan Brand, we follow basketball legend Michael Jordan walking from the car to the arena. In a narration, we hear Jordan speak of all his failures; the number of shots he’s missed, the games he’s lost, as his primary driving force. An extremely powerful ad promoting hard work and determination.

This ad also demonstrates one of my favourite things present in the vast majority of ads: brand-focus. These ads aren’t there to promote a new shoe or t-shirt. They aren’t boasting low prices. It is a simple, potent message, followed by the brand logo. I think it is a beautiful. A poetic ad showing that greatness is not achieved with ease.

2. “Fate”

Another interesting aspect to the development of a sports-star – their upbringing. In this ad we see the journey of two pro NFL players, LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu, from birth up until their first meeting – a collision in a professional NFL game. I guess when you get David Fincher to direct an ad, it’s always going to be a pretty interesting piece, but I think this ad does a great job of showing the aspirations and hard work of the two children in their progress towards success.

3. Earl and Tiger – NikeGolf

Another example of Nike pushing the envelope with an ad. Earl asks his son, Tiger Woods, some questions following the controversy surrounding his off-course behaviour. This ad is wonderfully simple – a lack of action in the photography helps the message stand out.

Nike was, somewhat controversially, one of just a couple of brands that continued sponsorship of Tiger after the allegations of infidelity arose. This ad was released in the wake of the scandal and acts to show that Nike is a brand that truly cares about sport culture and the athletes involved.

As a nice followup, nike released this ad after Tiger regained the world #1 ranking.

4. “My Better”

I love this ad. captivating cinematography and direction. Great message, full cast. Not much more to say

5. “Find Your Greatness”

One of my favourite Nike ads. Incredible simple action with a beautiful narration. The message is clear – greatness isn’t something reserved for a few. It is promoting the “Just Do It” slogan as a message, and it is delivered impeccably.