Name a brand or media channel and Bill Green’s probably worked on and in it. An art director by trade, he’s focused on an overall holistic approach to brand madness that merges the worlds of traditional, digital and social – whatever it takes.
Having worked previously with Darryl and Humongo and current AdVerve podcast partner with Angela, he’s currently doing creative strategy and pitch development with BFG in Hilton Head. The ad blog Make The Logo Bigger is about his experiences in the world of advertising and beyond.
Angela Natividad is a strategist, copywriter and journalist based in Paris. She writes MarketingProfs’ #SocialSkim, is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast, and co-hosts AdVerve the podcast. Most of her secret thoughts are on her blog, Live and Uncensored.
Darryl Ohrt is a former punk rocker, and Executive Creative Director at Carrot Creative, in NYC. In addition to his posts here, he also writes for Advertising Age’s Small Agency Diary, as the voice of the small guy in a big, big world.
After founding the legendary agency Humongo, he sold out to the man, left the entrepreneurial life and joined Carrot. Now he’s the self proclaimed Prime Minister of Awesome, and he’s tweeting, blogging, and exploring the internets as if it matters. He knows just enough to be dangerous, and is always ready for action.
Today in new things we’ve learned about Germans: their engineers can sprout wings! But that’s not all they can do.
Brought to you by Volkswagen, packin’ some (on-point) trademark weird for the Super Bowl.
Volvo’s killing it lately with its product demos, the most notable of late being the one in which its CEO tests a hook 20 metres over a harbour. But this one, where Jean-Claude Van Damme tests Volvo trucks’ stability and Dynamic Steering System, takes all the cake.
The demo was taken in one shot, with invisible safety lines in case Van Damme suffered leg cramps and fell to his roadside doom. There were also foot supports to ensure he wouldn’t slip between the two trucks. But still. Does anything beat Van Damme doing the splits between two moving vehicles? No. This product demo kills all the product demos that have ever been done in the known universe.
When someone sent a letter to WeBuyAnyCar.com and suggested they purchase his Little Tike car, the response was a typical unimaginative corporate memo that you would expect from an out of touch company.
But now WeBuyAnyCar has come back with a response that’s better than anything they could have written in an initial response letter - they launched an entire site focused on buying old Little Tike cars. And got the last laugh.
"Do-overs" win. Sometimes.
In a magnificent coup that demonstrates that car execs are like us, and that (most importantly) gives us yet another excuse to sing “Take On Me” at full volume in the living room, Volkswagen makes no-charge scheduled maintenance a more contagious subject than it has ever been in the history of the universe and all things good under the sun.
Revisit some great inventions of past, and a few sneaky peeks at the future, in Honda “Hands”. The sound and texture of this piece are top.
The cool thing about the MINI brand is that it fits just about anywhere. And putting it anywhere generates fun attention.
Fans at the Head of the Charles crew racing event in Boston were reminded of this over the weekend, with a MINI “crew” boat. (Thanks, Eliza!)
For client Citroën, whose ads are reputed for their awesome indie music, Agence H comes up with … well, you just have to watch it. It’s not quite the world Terminator imagined, but maybe this one is better if you’re willing to exchange merciless destruction for the half-android cast of Glee.
If this gets stuck in your head, we are so sorry.
Nissan Japan does the scrolling site thing. It’s pret-ty fun, and best of all, it’s a hair away from passive entertainment. You haven’t got to do anything but scroll and LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN.
Here’s something you don’t see everyday. As a sponsor of Shark Week’s 25th anniversary, Volkswagen built an underwater shark cage shaped like its new Beetle. Talk about road rage; I don’t even want to know what happens when you cut off a Great White.
"Direct mail has never been more direct," brags client Pfaff Porsche in this video about a recent direct mail it conducted in Toronto.
Agency Lowe Roche Toronto targeted a wealthy neighbourhood in the city, drove a Porsche up the driveways of select homes, took a photo, and produced a direct mail piece that was unique for every residence. The headline read, “It’s closer than you think.”
The campaign — which probably took all afternoon — yielded a 32% response rate to a site where recipients could schedule test drives, says AdWeek, which adds, “Direct mail is typically about hitting as many people as possible for as low a cost as possible, but this creative idea shows that for luxury brands, a smaller effort can sometimes go a long way.”
We don’t think this applies merely to luxury brands, although luxury tends to be so far out of the stratosphere that they probably need to hear the “go-local” message more often than most. You don’t have to invent a new way to market; just think differently about how you go about it.
This effort unites peoples’ desire to be personally addressed, to be seen, with the immediacy of direct mail. And while it takes time and more labour than sitting at a desk printing 20,000 postcards, isn’t this how you want to touch people?
A touch that personal takes time, in the same way a face-to-face conversation carries more personal resonance than a pitch made to thousands.
Well, here’s a case of wasted intention. Dutchman Theo Jansen is the creator of “Kinetic Sculptures”, sculptures “powered” by the wind: the movement imposed upon them by their environments is part of what gives the sculptures life, form and ultimately mobility.
The video concludes with the tagline “BMW: Defining Innovation”. The message seems to suggest that BMW is working on technology that’ll enable its automobiles to power and sustain themselves in harmony with the planet.
But maybe that message was too subtle. The two top YouTube comments read:
WTF does this have to do with BMW???
of coarse BMW had to hitch a ride on that guy’s success.
Here’s the thing. Plenty of art and innovation is underwritten by advertising, and often there’s no problem with that. Problems arise when pieces like these are narrated by people who are obviously and sincerely driven by the good their work can do and by what it could mean for humanity.
When you sponsor a propos like that, you can’t just paste your name on its bumper and leave users to make the connection between you and that-responsible guy-doing-responsible-things. You must make that connection damn evident: “Okay, everyone, here’s how we took this basic idea and turned it into a car whose tank magically fills when you blow into the pipe.” Otherwise, it just looks like you’re fishing for somebody else’s brownie points.
That isn’t to say BMW does nothing in the sustainability arena; far from it. Its VC arm i Ventures just took an equity stake in car charging firm Coulomb Technologies, and BMW regularly tops Dow Jones’ sustainability index in the dimensions of economy, environment and social.
No surprise that it wants to bank on that. But people have become (rightfully) skeptical, and it’s unjust to assume anyone knows BMW is a sustainability leader in its own right. This is the type of message that must be reinforced in action after action after action, in marketing as well as in communities — not at the tail-end of artsy vids.
Saatchi & Saatchi in Italy gives us the unimaginatively-named “Toyota Hybrid” (somebody please tell us that’s just a placeholder). By now, we’ve all seen videos that recap the first half of this piece: that sexy, easy Smart life we’re all going to have in a future where everything in our home is benignly robot-operated and we’re all inexplicably skinny again. But the second half takes on a surprisingly glib twist.
The ad wraps thus: “No world will be truly advanced if automobile technology goes unchanged.” We readily agree, but automobile innovation must be closely followed by accommodating advancements in city planning and the culture if it’s truly going to be impactful.
We’re happy to say this is a more reasonable demand than it was a handful of years ago, especially if the star subject of auto innovation is electric. Paris just got its first series of AutoLibs: nearly-ubiquitous electric car hubs where you can swipe your card, unplug a car for rent and go. Toronto’s piloting a rollout of charging stations throughout the city later this year. And, of course, there’s Oregon’s electric highway.
With all this said, the only critique we really have of “Toyota Hybrid” is that it gives us too easy an out: the brashly backward car culture it depicts at the end is already part of our past, which risks lulling us into a false sense of “everything is more than all right.” But yeah, we know, their goal was to strike the most extreme juxtaposition ever, blah blah blah. And since history is probably too indifferent to this ad to fall on either side of it, we’ll just shut up and sit down.