Harley Spirit

Harley Davidson has been doing a great job with its brand communications for a long time now, and this ad is just one more example of how it’s done, properly. One of the great things about their communications is how exclusive the brand is. One of the best ways to create a passionate following is to define your brand, and exclude people from it. With clearly defined borders, your audience is either in, or its out.

The central tenet of this ad is that you are either a born Harley owner, or you aren’t. It’s an exclusive brand, as opposed to the come-one come-all inclusive brands.

Hunting Season Begins

This ad appears to be for a shopping centre in Italy, but the concept is still great. Retailers run their end of season sales at the same time, with smaller retailers looking out their shop’s doors to see when the bigger shops start their clearances.

I’m wondering how well the headline translates from Italian into English – it seems like a competent copywriter could tighten it up a bit.

Four Great Ads from Spike Jonze

He’s best known for his work on such films as “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” But Spike Jonze has also created some of the most engaging TV commercials. Notice that the ads are all at least 60 seconds long, he takes time to tell a story, instead of just hitting you with the feature-benefit-advantage combo.

IKEA – Lamp

Nike – Y2K

Gap – Pardon Our Dust

Levi’s – Doctors

More Assorted Cleverness

I’m a fan of pretty much anything that acknowledges its media/surroundings and embraces it as a part of the design. Here are four examples of that.

Relevant ad for Ford trucks.

Careerbuilder offers some support to office workers struggling with their work.

Denver Water leads by example.

Clever bag design for YKM department stores (hopefully for their fitness section).

Assorted Cleverness

Floods in Bartlesville, Oklahoma complete this billboard.

I really appreciate the kind of thought that goes into creating an experience like this. A great use of surprise and delight.

This is K-Mart’s error page for gamers. If you don’t “get” this instruction, don’t worry. You just have to know that it fits perfectly with their audience. Inside jokes like this work really well to create a sense of community.

Click to view full-size.

The ad on the left was placed in Cosmo, and the ad on the right was placed in assorted men’s magazines (eg: Maxim). The men’s explains that the women’s ad is creating a subliminally positive image of men that drink Molson Canadian. If they only ran the men’s ad, would it have made any difference?

Endangered Species

I have to take a minute just to recognize this long spot for Forza Motorsport 4. The Gran Turismo franchise is the recognized leader of racing video games, so Forza has a bit of an uphill battle with its latest release.

But they’ve done a lot right. They hired Jeremy Clarkson, one of the most recognizable voices amongst auto enthusiasts to do the voice over. The copywriter also did a great job with the script, a long editorial about the struggle of being an fan of powerful cars. Overall, it’s very easy to watch this 2’40” spot and feel passionate about driving expensive cars fast and irresponsibly.

World Gone Sour

Here’s a really entertaining music video from Method Man and Sour Patch Kids. It’s kind of surprising to see a member of Wu-Tang hocking candy, though rap is no stranger to paid product placement.

I can only imagine that this is an attempt from Sour Patch Kids to do some “viral” marketing (I wonder how that meeting went). While I’m not sure about how viral it actually is (it isn’t), and I don’t know how the video contributes to the brand perception (do these candies need more street-cred?), I give them credit for getting a credible artist, and not some hip-pop “star”.