Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2020

Even though most celebrations have been cancelled, Guinness can still produce an ad to carry us though.


Smithsonian Opens Up Images

February 27, 2020

In an effort to promote access to its resources and increase public engagement, the Smithsonian Institution has released 2.8 million images from copyright restrictions on its site, Smithsonian Open Access.  Visitors to the website can download and use the files in whatever way they wish without requesting express permission from the organization.

 

Made available from the institution’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo, samplers now have an enormous range of new images to work with.

 


Changing Our World

February 25, 2020

I have noticed recently that a vast swathe of TV ads use mixed-race families, which helps normalise them in the eyes of the average TV viewer.  There are also a good number of gay and lesbian couples in ads these days.  It becomes hard to remember when that wasn’t so.  Here is a great ad by Guinness from 1995.

1995 is not a long time ago, but Guinness were forced to cancel the ad just before its showing due to the number of complaints and the vicious media backlash they received.


Big Brother IS Watching #2

February 25, 2020

Do you remember Foursquare? I guess it is still around but I haven’t heard of it for quite a while. It was an app that directed you to stores and restaurants close to where you were physically located based on the GPS data supplied by your mobile phone. I was reminded of it when I read this article from Creative Review called Creativity and Programmatic Advertizing.  The article might be a bit inside-the-beltway for those not in the advertising and marketing business, but it includes some extraordinary insights into the kind of information databanks that corporation compile about you and me.

First of all, the definition of “programmatic advertizing”:

“Programmatic advertising offers the chance to connect with the right consumer at the right place and time … Programmatic allows you to run segmented work that will appeal to all of your audiences – it then optimises the creative to the version that best suits a media channel’s audience.”

There is nothing new about the first sentence.  If you are placing ads on the TV show “Sesame Street” you are no doubt aiming at a different audience than if you place the same ad on “The Batchelor,” for example.  Even the second sentence is unoriginal: the ad you place on “The Batchelor” will (or should be) different than the ad you used on “Sesame Street“.

The difference today is the matter of scale.  Old campaigns may have had half-a-dozen different sets of copy and images for various market segments.  Today, technology has exploded that almost infinitely.

“Unilever’s Axe brand in Brazil … recently used programmatic adverts to serve online viewers with up to 100,000 variations of its Romeo Reboot ad.”

The particular variation you get to see is not random, of course. It is designed to appeal specifically to characteristics about you that the advertiser already knows from your purchase history, demographics, browsing profiles, and a million other data points that you don’t even recognize you are giving away.

I have no doubt that within a few years almost every ad will say something like “Hello Jak, here’s a piece of cookware that we know you’ve been thinking about.”  We already get this from Amazon.

I don’t need or want that kind of omniscience from corporations. And it sure makes me think more fondly of those quaint old Foursquare days.


Best Ad of 2019

December 28, 2019

I am not an Apple user nor indeed an Apple fan, but this is genius storytelling at its commercial best — a full-on story in 2:50.

 

Thanks to Adweek for the link. They think the Game of Thrones Super Bowl ad was best, but I prefer this.


The New Normal

December 24, 2019

My favourite cannabis ad (or PSA) of the year.


Paris 2024: A Logo

November 4, 2019

This week, the IOC Organizing Committee for the 2024 Paris Olympics introduced their logo. The same logo will be used for the Paralympics, too:

An excellent piece of graphic design, the logo manages to capture the gold medal, the Olympic flame, and Marianne, symbol of the French Republic in a single image.