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3 great ads I had nothing to do with!

In the tradition of the popular Thinkbox series of shorts that explore some of the greatest TV advertisements in the company of leading Creatives ‘who know a thing or two about making them’, I’ve decided to put forward my own three choices of great advertisements that I had nothing to do with. Now, I’m no Chief Creative Officer of a huge agency, but I feel like I still know a good ad from a bad one. So here goes.

In the age of digital television recorders, advertisement skipping, product placement, overlay ads, Google and pretty much the internet in general, making a TVC stand out above the rest has become tough. Attention spans have shortened, and the point now is to make a TVC that instantly grabs attention and is genuinely engaging. I’ve selected three TVCs that have recently inspired me in my journey through studying advertising; brilliant commercials, old and new, that I admire. (Oh and by the way, if you’ve never heard of it, check out advert.ge on Facebook – absolutely brilliant page constantly posting great TVC’s from around the globe.)

Ad #1: It’s now or never.

As the rest of the world runs for their lives and civilization crumbles around them, the bar-goers enjoy their last moments together and make the most of theirs. The bartender pours shots of Cuervo, a man plays Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” on the jukebox and couples tango while destruction around them ensues, because as for these brave souls; ‘tomorrow is overrated’.

The coolness factor is stratospheric here. CP+B’s campaign, directed by Ringan Ledwidge, features stunning visuals and uses an end-of-days scenario in charming fashion as a metaphor for living in the moment. The Elvis ballad, which was the second best-selling single of his career, is conceptually perfect and cuts right through the mayhem. The end tagline, “Tomorrow Is Overrated,” is a fun way to highlight tequila’s reputation as a liquor that can lead to unparalleled nights of abandon – and a way to emphasize the primacy of now in times of uncertainty.

Ad #2: Only time.

Who would have thought that more than 85 million people would watch the Muscles from Brussels doing his signature split with two Volvo trucks moving in reverse on a highway, backed by Enya’s “Only Time”? Volvo knew.

Directed by Andreas Nilsson, Volvo filmed the short on a runway in Spain in one take after three days of rehearsals. The short was, at the time, the latest in a series of videos Volvo used to promote how easy it was, and is, to steer its new high-tech big rigs – others have featured a woman walking a tightrope between to moving trucks heading toward a tunnel and a hamster steering one up the edge of a cliff.

The series, and the Jean-Claude Van Damme video in particular, are an insanely clever way to get attention to a type of vehicle most consumers usually don’t care or even think about while proving to other brands that they can use short clips to generate a Super Bowl-sized audience for little money when upping the creativity level of their campaigns.

Ad #3: Satisfaction.

While they sleep, a man’s tongue crawls completely out of his mouth and embarks on a journey to a house party down the road, bringing back home a cold Tooheys Extra Dry.

Yes, another alcohol ad. But prove to me that this isn’t one of the greatest Australian ads ever. I distinctively remember always rushing to the TV whenever I could hear Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” playing. “The tongue beer ad is on!”, I would say. I was 12.

This Tooheys TVC, created by BMF in Sydney, drew dozens of complaints but ranks as one of the best television commercials in the world. The Advertising Standards Board rejected a deluge of complaints about the ad, while Tooheys claims it reinvigorated Australian beer advertising. The advertisement is deliberately distinctive to reflect the diverse and growing consumer appetite for the brand, with a particular focus on younger consumers. At the core of the ad, the tongue is a simple yet strategic device to highlight the importance of taste.

The overall theme of my three advertisements, it seems, is that they all effectively make use of one huge feature amongst the impact of the visuals; that of music. Each advertisement conveys a strong message, but through the added characteristic of music, and specifically popularised music, the ad becomes something else. It becomes engaging.

Rowan James Slade

It’s all about the Idea!

You could have the greatest production team, the best global agency, and an amazing client. But just remember this does not mean anything with a bad idea.

Let me give you an example of a simple idea that was a pure genius. Do you remember the power cut during the third quarter of Super Bowl 2013, which caused the lights to go out for 34 minutes? The sandwich cookies brand, Oreo was quick to think in this situation and posted on social media ‘‘Power out? No problem. You can always dunk in the dark’.

 It revealed a simple picture of an Oreo cookie in a dark room. You could argue how Oreo was a great success compared to the other brands that paid for a spot in the memorable, global game. However I disagree with this theory as great ideas also went into all of those other commercials even If they didn’t think of it in 10 minutes. For example the Budweiser commercial- brotherhood, it worked because of the idea behind it. It was a surprising advertisement away from the typical alcohol ad. It told a warm, hearing story between a man and his horse that were separated, yet three years later they were reunited. It engaged the audience from the start as we questioned what the advertisement was for as it had a cinematic feel to it.

According to SJ Insights the number of ads that adults are now exposed to across all five media (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines) is about 360 per day; of these, only 150-155 are even noted, and far fewer make a strong enough impact to be recalled, make an impression, and ultimately, make a sale. It is vital that there is a strong idea behind any campaign; if your ad is noticed out of those 360 per day then you are on your way to success. One campaign that has stood our for me this week as my bus goes past it everyday is a campaign that was advertising Mardi Gras. It was the simplicity that made me love the outdoor advertisement. Instead of using a billboard outside Westfield in Bondi Junction they have simply made a mural to advertise Mardi Gras using a colourful set of wings, which, people can stand next to and take photos. This always grabs my attention, as the advertisement looks different every time I look at it with different people laughing and smiling, whilst taking photos with the wings. It is memorable as it made me feel happy. You could spend fortunes on a TV commercial or a print ad but if the idea is not relatable or doesn’t make your audience feel an emotion then it gets lost in the world of advertising.

Just remember the greatest ideas are the simplest.

Chloe Alexandra Geggus

Social Media Strategy and Brand Influencers

 

What a thrill for Macleay College’s Advertising & Digital Media students to be delivered a guest lecture on social media strategy and brand influencers from two of the best: HotnDelicious strategist Dan Wilkinson (https://hotndelicious.com/) and model & fashion blogger Lauren Vickers (http://www.laurenvickers.com) – all as a live podcast in Macleay College’s multi-media studio.

Brands that move at the speed of culture

Macleay College Advertising students recently attended an AGDA event, “How to make brands and influence people,” presented by Chris Maclean, Creative Director of Re.

1_coverMaclean believes the term ‘branding’ has become so nebulous it’s lost all meaning and is even a dirty word in some circles. Even the design industry struggles with the concept, confusing ‘Corporate Identity’ with ‘Brand Identity.’ To make matters worse, the world is confused about branding; both clients and audiences alike.

Your average cabbie, worldwide, has long been considered a good sounding board for community sentiment. With equal measures of humour and frustration, Maclean shares his regular attempts to explain what he does for a quid without saying he ‘just’ makes logos. A good analogy is that a corporate identity (beginning with the logo), is like wearing a uniform, and the brand is more about the personality under that uniform.

Maclean believes that brands are living, breathing entities that should be built to evolve and meet the changing needs of people. Modern brands are “expressive personalities that attempt to influence how you think, feel and behave.”

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Chris Maclean was “shi#*ing himself.” In 2011, as Creative Director of Interbrand, Maclean was about to launch the Telstra rebrand.

In The Australian, Sydney reporter Mitchell Bingemann had not been kind: “Telstra’s new $3m logo puts critics off colour”, and “It really seems to be a dilution of a powerful brand,” comments conveniently attributed to an unnamed “senior brand design specialist.”

A household name, we’ve probably all heard worse descriptors than “shi#’ used to relay a typical Telstra customer experience. Telstra was keenly aware that many of their customers were ‘hostages,’ and that “more people buy from us than ‘like us.’” Notwithstanding, CEO David Thodey’s mission for Telstra was “to become Australia’s ‘most loved’ Telco.”

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In this environment, Telstra had the seemingly impossible task of re-emerging as a brand relevant and engaging to everyone from a tween to a government department. This realisation was instrumental in the decision to introduce a six colour system. With colour, Maclean had extra levels of emotional flexibility to play with, from hot pink for a teenage girl toting birthday cash, to deep blues for bureaucrats and contracts.

One can only imagine the pitch required to sell this to the decision makers. He laughs at his cabbie’s efficacious summary, reducing the extent of his three-year project to having “just changed the colours, six times,” and that he “didn’t even design” the Telstra logo. By then he truly wished he’d booked an Uber and was instead enjoying his own music, the complimentary water, and mints to boot.

telstra-rebrand

Maclean takes us on the journey of the branding creative. After months of strategic planning, design work refinement, and celebratory launch, the project culminates in a design firm handing over a collection of digital artwork (brand assets) and guidelines to the company and their ad agencies for ongoing implementation. At this point, Maclean feels heartbroken and ready to capitulate – “Maybe I am (just) ‘the logo guy.'”

Reflective self-assessment leads him back to an ongoing exploration – how can Advertising and Design play nice together? He sets the scene: for consistency, designers want to build visual glue for brands. Conversely, advertising creatives don’t want to be restricted by static visual communication as it becomes featureless wallpaper. If a brand stays the same in a changing world, it loses relevance. So, while adhering to strict brand guidelines, how does a brand stay relevant and engaging?

Maclean’s discovery of the collaborative ‘middle ground’, is his innovative compromise that enables design and advertising to “play nice” together. The solution is explained with a simple graphic featuring the ‘core’ and the ‘playground.’ Maclean outlines a scenario where the brand agency creates the brand essence at the core, which remains consistent and stable. The playground is a large area orbiting around the core which allows the brand to remain relevant and engaging.

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To use a successful brand as an example, Apple (of course, though image shows Nike), has a notorious solid core (no pun intended). No other brand has managed to deliver such a consistent brand experience and any changes in the delivery move at a glacial pace. Yet, when they need to ‘circuit break’ the market, they elegantly but deliberately step into the playground and shake up the space. For example, the dancing silhouettes of the 2004 iPod campaign.ipods

Maclean’s model is entirely appropriate for a landscape of digital disruption, and brands that move at the speed of culture.  Relevant brands are in beta state – alert and focussed. They need to evolve, and as brand designers and strategists, we need to build in flexibility.  Maclean likens it to a ‘Creative Thinking’ exercise: “Listen, think, create. Repeat”.

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Chris Maclean and ‘Re’ are currently hiring: “Design Directors, Senior & Mid-weight Designers, Motion Designers, Strategists, Account Managers.” Get in touch hello@re.agency  These roles are all suitable for graduates of the Macleay College Advertising & Media courses.

In a follow-up post, Julieann will review Maclean’s theory that “brands have the power to change the world.”

jules-stripesJulieann Brooker is a lecturer in the Advertising & Media Faculty at Macleay College. Study options include a Diploma of Advertising & Media, Diploma of Digital Media, BA Advertising & Media and BA Digital Media.

UNTAPPING YOUR IMAGINATION WITH USER EXPERIENCE

1g0a7505By Daniel Koublachvili, Bachelor of Advertising and Media

I have to say Sam Court’s UX course has started the Macleay year on a high! Instead of the traditional classroom setup, Sam invited us to have our lessons at The White Agency, helping to give us exposure to industry professionals like himself as he talked through all the nitty-gritty components in UX Design. ALSO Ping-Pong ladies and gentlemen, Ping-Pong!

I’ve always wanted to learn about UX Design and honestly had no idea what it really was and what goes into – I just assumed it was the concept of graphic design. Oh how very wrong of me, it’s much more than that.

Sam started by essentially teaching us how to think about UX Design. A great example is a technique called crazy 8s, which is a process that makes you create eight unique ideas in the space of five minutes. Not only that but you share your ideas to the class, and they take what ideas they like from you and you take what ideas you like from them. 

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The White Agency

It’s cool because you evolve from the core of your idea and merge with other people’s ideas – #appropriation at it’s finest. You go and go, keeping it all really simple and visual by sketching (low-fi). I didn’t realise how well this process would originally work, but it’s kind of like stretching before a work out – you find your mind warming up to creativity and then BAM! Here comes all that creativity you had locked inside.

Taking the thinking process further in regards to UX really truly amazed me. We got asked a simple question that stated; think of how many ways you could use this paperclip. Seems simple enough just write down how many ways you could use this paperclip. Now, depending on how many answers you came up with shows your ability of divergent thinking. The result with this test is that a pre-school kid will score a higher result in the test versus a high school student, due to a child being able to use his imagination to his absolute will.

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Advertising student Nathan Sarmiento and Sam Court

What does this have to do with UX? Well because a high school student becomes more educated he will know the uses of a paperclip, and simply state it’s uses, but a child thinks of endless boundaries. So in regards to UX you want to be able to do both, be a divergent thinker and a convergent thinker all in one.

You start with your ideas and think about a problem, make the longest list of all of your ideas using your imagination to your hearts content then push the boundaries of what’s there and say “what’s not”? Then simply converge these ideas, narrow them down to its purest solution and address the problem you are trying to solve. So to address my earlier statement, no it’s not like graphic design.

We were stunned when hearing that we were Sam’s first class, it feels honestly feels like the man has been teaching for years. There is still more to come from this class seeing as the trimester isn’t over. I can’t wait to present my final assessments with the rest of class and show off all that creative thinking.

Daniel is currently studying the Bachelor of Advertising and Media. The User Experience class is taught by Sam Court, Head of Experience Design at The White Agency.

Ad Students create new commercial for MyDish

Macleay College’s advertising students recently had the opportunity to develop and produce a commercial for the home cooking service ‘MyDish’.

From the development of the concept, copy and storyboard, the students then filmed and edited the commercial. Each took on a different production role, from production manager, to casting, styling, locations, camera assistant, gaffer, grip and editor.

Check out the results below.

Owner Tim O’Donohue was thrilled with the results:

A huge thank you to the advertising students of Macleay College, for My Dish’s new 60 second advertising film. After meeting with the head of the advertising faculty and video production lecturer, Ian Thomson at Macleay College’s Open Days with my son, My Dish was offered the opportunity to brief 2015’s advertising students on our business, products  and services in order for a TV commercial to be created. Following the briefing, the students developed a detailed analysis of the target audience, a key message for the advertisement and storyboarded the whole video. To create authenticity, the filming was done at our home with the cast consisting of family and friends. On the day, we were all blown away by the professionalism of the students who were in charge of everything, from set, food styling and costuming to lighting and sound. Five weeks after the briefing, we were presented with a polished and professional TVC, edited by the students themselves. We couldn’t be happier with how everything went, and are thankful to Macleay College for the service they provided to our small business. We can’t wait to put it out there and see the reactions from our existing customers, and our target audience!

Thanks, The Team @ My Dish”

Macleay Ad Students Tackle Issue Of Domestic Violence

Independent education provider, Macleay College, has teamed up with advertising agency GHG in an attempt to address the national emergency that is domestic violence in Australia.

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Presentation

 

The initiative sew students develop primary prevention campaign ideas that target young people for Our Watch – an Australia-wide, not for profit organisation focused on primary prevention that addresses the pre-determinants of violence against women.

Four groups of Macleay students presented their campaign ideas surrounding the key message – ‘Know the line. Call out those who cross the line’ – to a panel of judges, including:

Madeleine Clifford – manager of campaigns, Our Watch

Tim Brierley – managing partner, GHG

Ian Thomson – head of advertising, Macleay College

Julieann Brooker – lecturer, Macleay College.

Judges

The line KEY NOTE.key

 

Macleay College lecturer, Brooker, said: “At Macleay College, we are huge advocates for the promotion of social issues and include these in our education programs. We recognise that building Emotional Intelligence during the teen years is the key to combatting domestic violence in the next generation.

“Our work with GHG for Our Watch aims to arm students with creative and strategic skills to contribute to their community. This creative collaboration comes at a time where we are finally seeing the wider community stand up against violence towards women. With more than one woman killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia, the issue has never been more important, and our students appreciate working on current and topical projects,” said Brooker.

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GHG managing partner, Tim Brierley, said that this campaign has been an eye-opening experience given the current agenda and attention given to the issue.

“Getting to the crux of this movement is an important lesson to these students, who absolutely should learn how to channel their talents and passion into an ethical campaign that can help their community, while remaining sensitive to the issue at hand.”

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PowerPoint Presentation

 

Click here to see the original article in B&T

Click here to see the TVC that level 3 students produced