Apple Store Knock-offs in China

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This is already pretty old, but it’s worth seeing regardless. I won’t get into this too much, because others have already done a really good job talking about this (original post | analysis by Brandchannel).

The amount of effort that’s gone into this is impressive; even the employees think they’re legit Apple employees. The BrandChannel post observes that there is a Sony store nearby, and they wonder if anyone considered whether it is a knock-off as well. An odd question, as (based on the last time I was in a Sony store), the experience design in a Sony store is completely unremarkable. Who would want to knock-off a Sony store?

It makes me wonder though, have you ever made something so good, people wanted to steal it?

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VW Golf Ad Makes Clever Use of the Media

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This bus ad for the VW Golf makes a clever use of the media to engage the audience’s participation in the message. This is the kind of work the makes ad people say “I wish my clients let me do stuff like that.” The ad reads, “A Golf is up to 10% cheaper to run over 3 years than the competition. It’s true, no need to shake your head.”

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Ameriquest Understands

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I won’t comment on how these commercials impact the Ameriquest brand; they’re several years old and require a lot more context to fully appreciate. But it’s clear that these would have been really fun for the ad agency to produce, and they do a good job of providing entertainment in exchange for the commercial message.

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Vivident Gets a Little Weird

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While advertisers like Skittles have employed the method (successfully) for years, I think Old Spice kicked off a fad amongst ad agency creatives: they all seem to love the idea of the bizarre storyline in their ads. The worst offender, I think, is Dairy Queen, who doesn’t seem to understand the how or why of this method of storytelling, but instead comes off like a 4 year old kid try to tell a dirty joke they don’t quite get.

Vivident does a good job of tying the concept back into their brand promise to make the whole effort worthwhile.

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H2Oh! Tells a Great Story

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Terry O’Reilly talks often about the implicit agreement that exists in advertising: viewing an ad is payment for entertainment. Put another way, advertisers are responsible for entertaining the audience they advertise to.

H2Oh! shows that they understand this reciprocation in this ad. This is the kind of work that the audience will actively seeks out. It’s unfortunate that we rarely see this much effort put into entertainment outside of the Superbowl.

One last thought: notice that you’re not hit over the head with the product placement. The soda makes subtle appearances throughout the spot, and each one feels natural.

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K-Swiss and Kenny Powers get NSFW

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjc5LFThDTQ


K-Swiss has produced a fantastic video designed to go “viral”, and it will. This foul-mouthed bit hits a lot of perfect notes, and does a great job shifting the perceptions of the brand. Like the old Rebook Terry Tate Office Linebacker campaign, it’s tone is spot on with the audience and works hard to provide genuine entertainment.

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Open 9 Days a Week

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I am forever fascinated with the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that brands use to strike the right tone in their communications. I love seeing little bits of whimsy in what can otherwise be a sterile landscape. Surprise and delight, I often say, are some of the key elements for building a memorable experience and eliciting passion from your audience.

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Well, I don’t love it

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I’ve had to present creative concepts before. While it can be the most rewarding part of the project, often the experience is completely deflating. That’s why I was so taken with this article in The Province that recounts the moment Nike executives got their first look at the now-iconic logo.

When the Nike pioneers caught their first glimpse of the black, curvy checkmark, the graphic designer who created it waited patiently for a reaction.

Nothing. Then, “What else you got?”

Carolyn Davidson, pushing back disappointment that spring day in 1971, pressed on. One by one, she presented a handful of sketches. But ultimately the three men circled back to the checkmark, her favourite.

“Well, I don’t love it,” Phil Knight said at the time, “but maybe it will grow on me.”

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Pepsi Mega Jug for Diabetes

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I believe this came from KFC. I think about all of the people who worked on this endeavour: the person who came up with the idea, the designer who laid out the artwork, the sign maker/printer who created it, and the people who installed it. I think about them and wonder: Was the irony of selling massive servings of sugar-water to raise money for diabetes research lost on any of them?

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