17. Liquid plumber corners the “sexy plumbing” market

If you haven’t ever thought of liquid plumber in that way before now then you clearly have been missing out on the brand’s new hot and steamy persona. I personally found this ad pretty amusing, but some people are saying that this and ads like it are crossing the line and putting too much sexually explicit material in ads. It is hard to decide where (if at all) the line is for what is acceptable in a commercial like that. DDB ,the company that produced it, probably got what they wanted out of the ad because it is so clearly memorable, but are they losing former customers because of their new radical commercial?  Hopefully Clorox will try and continue this campaign for the sheer amusement factor, but they have to be careful about who they may offend if they do.


16. Big ad, little message

Ok, so this ad made by Euro RSCG was pretty entertaining to say the least, but does it miss the point?

If you saw this ad on the Let Your Body Drive website you would probably know that they are trying to sell you a car, but if you just randomly stumbled across it I don’t think you would have a clue. While I do like it when ads work to engage and actually hold some entertainment value, I feel that making something amusing for the sake of being amusing is pointless. I had a few friends watch it and even they had to admit they didn’t really understand what they were looking at until it was right in front of them. It seems that more time is spent trying to hide the fact that the video is an ad rather than actually making you want to buy the product.

15. Twitter gets sized up

Is twitter a broadcast medium? A writer from Adage feels that it is not so far from the truth. At a time in advertising where we are so frequently inundated with demands for brands to reach out to consumers using two-way social interactions, it is interesting to think that it may not be completely necessary. While I am saying that those campaigns, when done well, are incredibly worthwhile, brands don’t always need to be clamoring for attention from their consumers.

Twitter Bird - Paper Toy

Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa. via Flickr

You can find numerous twitter case studies or infographics that rant about twitters success at reaching out to people, but the article points out that despite brands reaching out there is a very small part of the population actually working to maintain that kind of interaction. Twitter has the power to do great interactive work with its consumers, but brands could also learn to take advantage of its ability to get messages out there.

While I can’t definitively say whether I think it is a good or bad thing for companies to get the idea that Twitter is a broadcast medium into their heads, I think there is definitely evidence that points to the fact it is.

14. I spy + Twitter= Win

Hear is another interesting campaign by the Australian agency Host that was meant to reignite Levi’s popularity among youths.

For those of you who didn’t watch it, a basic summary is that a group of Levi reps were scattered throughout Sydney wearing levis and tweeting people their locations. If a person walked up to one of these reps and asked “are those Levis?” the rep would give up their pair on the spot.

While the campaign ended in 2010, you can still check out iSpyLevi’s twitter page to get a better idea of how it worked. This is the kind of campaign that really shows progress in the advertising industry because it doesn’t just engage people through social media, but also creates the opportunity to put a face to the brand. The campaign helped give Levi’s some of its “edginess” back and really does a lot for the brand in the way of making a lasting impression. There is such a high level of engagement with these kinds of campaigns and it could be difficult on a larger scale, but I this is the kind of work that we should be seeing more often as brands interact more with consumers.

13. An airline offering you a little more than peanuts

If you have a few minutes you should hop over to kiwi skeptics to check out a great campaign by the ad agency Host. Instead of going with a more traditional ad campaign for an airline that focuses on their amenities, Air New Zealand decided that it would focus on the destination to persuade Australians to visit. This is great because passengers would spend such little time in the air that most inflight amenities wouldn’t seem that important and they definitely make a good attempt to cater to every demographic.

It’s great to see a campaign like this were a company goes out of its way to try to get you interested. While there are obvious risks, like a bad trip or there just isn’t a connection, these kinds of risks are what make interesting. I ended up watching all the videos because they were actually entertaining and that is what Air New Zealand was counting on. They basically created a miniseries and did it in such a way that leaves you wondering about all the great possibilities that are available to you if you are just willing to hop a quick flight over.

12. It’s pretty much the Fonzie of college recruitment videos

So if you haven’t seen that yet, then you have been missing out on what is probably the best recruitment video ever made. It’s made by the comedy team Henry & Aaron and for a second almost convinced me to transfer over. This video was great because it had so much personality and really worked to speak to the students’ imagination. After watching a few other college recruitment commercials, I feel like they are stuck in a rut, trying to hard to appeal to the pragmatism of college rather than showing you what makes them unique. I hope colleges in the US will try to step out of their comfort zone like this in the near future, but who knows if these kind of commercials will catch on.

11. Using this twitter machine properly

So personally I am not the most active tweeter in the world, but I definitely realize how crucial twitter will be in building brand credibility in the future. You can look over at tweet grader to get an idea of just how many brands are picking up on the importance of twitter and who is doing it the best. Although it is good that so many are embracing twitter, there is a lot more work that needs to be done for brands to do if they want to optimize twitter’s social branding potential.

This is what i wish would happen to some of the more annoying people on twitter...

One area of the market that is using twitter exceptionally well has to be airlines. JetBlue has done some incredible work with their twitter by interacting with customers on a deeper level. When something goes wrong during a flight and someone tweets about it later JetBlue has people dedicated to not only sending out personal apologies and provide compensation to show how important customers are to JetBlue.

Businesses like JetBlue who work to create a connection with their audience are starting to pop up more and more these days. They are even incentivizing people for following them to help build a strong social media base. By elevating social media planning to the next level, companies set them apart from being just another product and are able to establish loyalty centered around their brand.


*oh and here is a cool website i found involving twitter just for you: That can be my next tweet

10. Advertisements that won’t even win Miss Congeniality

After watching the Purity Bear campaign I definitely needed a way to restore my faith in advertising as a whole, so I headed over to Ads of the World to check out the creative talent from beyond our shores. This brought about a good question though, is quality advertising something that is supposed to be universally well received or is it more important for each country to pander to its own audience. I personally feel that, yes, good advertising needs to be something that can be communicated through multiple cultures, making some exceptions when it comes to the language barrier.

In a blog where I often want to talk about the progress the advertising industry is making, there comes a point where I also need to give a nod to the advertisements that seem to be… lacking some finesse… to put it nicely. While this list of 15 banned, offensive, or rejected advertisements is a good start, here are three more that didn’t quite sit right with me…

Up first from Russia, this advertisement may have been more of language barrier issue, but i mean c’mon.  I didn’t even know that world leaders were used to sell ice cream in other countries, maybe Ben & Jerry’s will produce Kim Jong Unbearable Mint Chip or  Putin’s Pistachio (yes, I’ve already accepted I won’t have an illustrious career naming ice cream).

This ad from China seems to insult its target audience more than inspire them towards career advancement. While there were three in this series, this is definitely the worst so far considering how badly beat up the doll looks. I don’t know how this ever looked like a good idea…

This last one from India definitely gives me chills. It is on par with Toddlers in Tiara’s, but with an added bonus that says childhood obesity is for kids of all ages.

9. Progress: Saying you will click stumble once more and meaning it

So as I start to mentally prepare for the coming storm that is week seven, it is nice to take a few moments to center my qi and look at some other great work from around the web…or as I like to call it, “pseudo-productive procrastination”. Whether I am looking at some great blogs (shameless plug for my partner’s blog in 3,2,1…Shawna Widmer) or stumbling till my eyes bleed, it is always nice to see a few fresh new ideas, especially when you are desperately waiting for inspiration to strike.

One thing that definitely caught my eye is this video by John St. for John St. that takes something normally mundane to most and glazes it over with some sarcastic goodness.  From the all-to-serious corporate format to the light-hearted execution, I think that videos like this are what really showcase what it means to flex your creative muscle.

8. Branding; A gift that keeps on giving

At a time where brands seem to be offering consumers everything the internet has to offer, from a smooth-talking spokesman bringing life to their tweets to pictures of a fake Sports Illustrated model, it is nice to see someone offer a product that you can bring home with you.

Although this is pretty old news now, Ben & Jerry’s Dutch Facebook page attempted to give its Facebook fans something to take home for the holidays. If you liked the page you would be able to download a pdf of a cow ornament that you could cut out and put on your tree. I think little branding things like this are what truly make for a great interaction with customers because they are able to take away a tangible experience with their brand. The Ben & Jerry’s ornament serves as a great reminder for people to indulge in a few extra pints of ice cream over the holidays, but does it in such a way that it almost feels like it has a right to be there, like it’s a member of your extended family.

Hopefully more companies will try to come up with clever brand interactions like this in the future, not to knock all the great things you see on the internet, but giving a physical gift creates a stronger connection in my mind. Who knows, maybe once this 3-d printing takes off we will be able to see a whole new level of brand connection.

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