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The Top 10 Ads of 2015

2015 has been a great year for advertising. We’ve seen some amazing storytelling through beautifully crafted, hilarious, heart-warming and memorable ads. Whether they carried a powerful message or not, all of them managed to achieve what really matters; we remember them. We’ve had emotional PSAs, beautiful Christmas commercials, big celebrities, even bigger outdoor displays and, of course, a few adorable animals.

Here’s TDLY’s pick on the most awesome ads of 2015.

10. Sky Atlantic – Fortitude

Who said that outdoor advertising is dead? Sky proved us wrong with the release of the TV crime drama Fortitude. Special effects company Millenium FX created an incredibly real-looking giant polar bear and let it loose around London. The bear drew quite a lot of attention and spurred authentic conversations across social media.

9. The Ad Council – Love Has No Labels

2015 was an important year for LGBT rights, with empowering ads promoting marriage equality. In this beautiful stunt by the Ad Council, a giant X-Ray screen was set up in Santa Monica (CA) on Valentine’s day to show that all humans are the same and love has no boundaries. The tech used might be simple, and the reactions a bit acted, but the message was powerful nonetheless.

8. Nike – Short a Guy

Another year, another masterpiece from Nike and agency W+K. Frenetic, beautifully shot and cool, this ad is fresh and energising and will make you want to shut your laptop and get active (we’ll stick to binge watching commercials though).

7. Apple – Shot on iPhone 6

Simplicity is often the key to produce truly effective ads. In one of the best user-generated campaigns of all times, Apple showcased real iPhone 6 users’ pictures on billboards in major cities. All photos were noncommissioned and simply found online/ loved by Apple.

top 10 ads 2015 Apple
top 10 ads 2015 Apple

6. Clash of Clans – Revenge

Ah, good old celebrity endorsement. Once used only for perfumes and fizzy drinks, today mobile games are becoming such a huge phenomenon to afford a $9M Super Bowl commercial featuring Liam Neeson. The world is truly an amazing place.

5. States United to Prevent Gun Violence – Guns with History

To raise awareness on gun violence in the US (apparently there are still people out there who need an ad for this) Grey did the unthinkable; they opened a gun shop in New York City. The buyers were not prepared for the tags on the weapons, showing which model had been used in a particular mass shootings.

4. ComCast Xfinitiy – Emily’s Oz

Such an amazing ad from Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Comcast and GSP asked Emily, a 7-year-old blind girl, what she sees in her mind’s eye when she watches The Wizard of Oz. Using Emily’s suggestions, the agency then built her version of the story to promote Comcast’s “talking guide” for people with visual disabilities.

3. Android – Friends Furever

Cute animals. Advertising wouldn’t be the same without them. Droga5 is one of the most creative and original independent agencies in the world, and prides itself of making some of the most unconventional advertising around. So this ad, featuring nothing but found footage of cute and funny animals, came as quite a surprise. However, advertising is not art, and what really matters is effectiveness. And boy was this ad successful; with more than 6.5 million online shares and almost 22 million views, it’s the most viral ad ever! So there you go, a reminder that cute animals do work.

2. John Lewis – Man on the Moon

Behold, the mighty Christmas ad by John Lewis. Every year the department store delights us with a multi-million campaign that marks the beginning of the shopping season. As usual, the ad is a cry fest but this year it also carries an important message; aiming to use the brand’s profile to raise money for Age UK, one of Europe’s biggest charities supporting the elderly.

1. Geico – Unskippable

Everyone hates unskippable pre-roll ads. I mean, seriously, they are probably the most interruptive form of media that was ever conceived (YouTube preroll i.e. where ads go to die). It took a completely different approach to change this. A simple, clever and innovative idea; how about making fun of preroll ads using a preroll ad? What Geico and the Martin Agency did is reverting the traditional ad by placing the end at the beginning, with a super-short sales pitch that finishes in a few seconds. The viewer is hooked to the ad with something funny before being able to skip it, and when they can “it’s already over”, as the voiceover says. Simply genius.

Anything to add? Comment below!

Top 10 independent creative agencies in London

It’s that time of the year again. Dear marketing students, university programmes are drawing to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to friends, one-night stands, junk food and start looking for a real job. In a world where advertising is dominated by the three mega-corporations WPP, Omnicom and Publicis, is there still space for good old-fashioned independent agencies?

Hell yeah. It’s a Declaration of Independence started on Madison Avenue and then moved to Soho and East London. Indie agencies don’t fear the giants.

Take a look at our list of the top 10 London independent creative agencies.

10. The Corner

In the very heart of Soho there exists a corner where “people meet and things happen”. Great things, judging from this highly emotional advert for Chelsea Football Club:

 

9. BMB

BMB (or Beattie McGuinnes Bungay) may not have a super-long work portfolio, but they certainly know how to make fantastic ads. This one for All Saints is my favourite, as it’s perfectly able to capture the coolness of the brand in just about 60 seconds.

 

8. Gyro London

Tucked in a back street of South Chelsea lies the London office of Gyro, an independent advertising agency with a highly effective approach towards challenges.  Check out this impressive PR campaign for Hobart:

 

7. Krow

This all-British independent creative agency has only two offices, one in East London and one in Birmingham. Despite being quite young, Krow already has an impressive list of clients, including Unilever, Paypal and Fiat. This is a crowd-sourced ad for Pets at Home, a mixture of babies and pets that we are pretty sure will melt your heart.

 

6. Karmarama

With a massive ping-pong arena and a ping-pong tournament hosted every year, Karmarama is an independent advertising agency that certainly boosts an amazing working environment. But it’s not just play and no work: this campaign for Bombardier helped the brand to improve the sales by a whopping 30%.

 

5. Mother

‘To make great work, have fun and make a living. Always in that order.’ We love your motto Mother. And we love your campaigns as well. Take a look at this hilarious and bonkers ad for Piri Piri Noodles.

 

4. Don’t Panic

Don’t Panic is like the punk-rocker of the independent agencies. A mixture of humour, art and controversial messages that soon created an icon of London counter-culture. They also have a super-cool online magazine. The agency is responsible for some of the most viral advertisements ever, including this Cannes Lion Winner video for Save the Children.

 

3. Droga5

Things start getting much bigger here. Droga5 is a massive independent advertising network that, despite being Manhattan-based, deserve a place on this list thanks to their impressive list of clients and awesome campaigns (and yeah, they have their office in Soho as well). My personal pick is this great transmedia storytelling campaign for Bing and Jay-Z, that has become a best practice and an example for all creative agencies.

 

2. Wieden + Kennedy

Nike, Tesco, P&G. These are just some of the clients of this impressive independent advertising network with offices in Europe, Asia and the US. W+K London produced this famous and highly emotional ad for P&G that helped position the brand as a “Proud Sponsor for Mums” in 2012.

 

1. M&C Saatchi

The agency was founded in 1995 by Maurice and Charles Saatchi after they were “removed” from Saatchi&Saatchi. Now the company is a huge advertising network, listed on the London Stock Exchange and with 25 offices all over the world. Despite being highly international, the group manages to maintain a certain ‘UK vibe’, with an amazing office overlooking Golden Square in Soho and a series of key UK clients, including Transport for London, GlaxoSmithKline and NatWest. The motto “Brutal Simplicity of Thought” dominates the walls of their London office, a clear commitment to effectiveness and measurable results. This shocking advert for THINK!, with its overwhelming simplicity, will certainly make you think twice about road safety.

Architecture and Branding: Identity needed.

During the last decade, architecture and branding have developed an intimate relationship.

At a first glance, architecture and branding have nothing to share in terms of field of work, working environment, and purpose of what they intend to create. However, these two disciplines do share some similarities. Both marketing and architect professionals typically aim to interpret a client’s need and morph that desire into a product. Both fields work to shape and give an identity to a company’s product or service. Architecture and advertising investigate and observe their surrounding space with the aim to summarise, through the symbolism of form, the expression of their own distinctive content.

In our media-saturated global marketplace, advertisers realised that storytelling your brand’s identity is not enough any more. As B.Joseph Pine and James H.Gilmore pointed out, we live in the “experience economy”, where experiences are the cornerstone of our purchasing decisions. In this changing market environment, architecture came to play a crucial rule becoming a “catalyst” towards memorable perceptions and involvement of a brand.

The quintessential example of the game-play between advertising and architecture can be observed on Omotesando Street in Tokyo: the street of Fashion. Omotesando Street represents a unique collection of contemporary architecture buildings, each one designed by different professionals for a specific high-fashion brand. “Omotesando is a place to preen, to study, to practice style solitary, and to shop.” From Dior to Vuitton brands, from Ando to Kurokawa architects, this avenue is one of the perfect examples where culture and consumption merge and blend with each other. Omotesando street throughout decades of collaboration between architecture and advertising has sparked the “lexutecure” movement, where luxury brands use the exterior design of a building to advertise the product within.

Architecture and Branding

Nevertheless, brand’ identity embodiment through architecture is not only expressed through the exterior of a building. The Prada concept store in NY is another great example of how these two subjects operate and communicate through media and interior space simultaneously. The Prada Epicentre in New York was built more than a decade ago (in 2001), already showing the company pursuit of transformation and its forward thinking approach. Indeed, Prada outperformed its “family business” at the end of the 90’s facing a significant growth in visibility and brand consciousness which made them think that it was the right time to strategically renovate their business’s image. The image below shows how the interior of the Prada Epicentre store looks like:

This hybrid environment has been ideated by the architect as a changeable platform that turns the stairs into an auditorium for performance, film projection and lectures, with a simple push of a button.

The unique power of the Prada concept store lies in its ability to engage and leave significant experiences at different point of contact though the brand and architecture identity. The consumer is recognised within this commerce space not only as a buyer but also as a public persona. Through architecture the Prada store increases the capacity for social interaction, personal growth and discovery, in addition to the lucrative purpose of advertising the brand.

You might be interested to see how the Prada store looks like in a Sex and the City episode:

Not only the fashion industry has taken advantage of the architecture embodiment in the brand. The new BBC broadcasting house is also a great example of how architecture played a crucial role in shaping a company identity. The new BBC building took 10 years to be completed costing approximately £1bn in public money. We must remember, that the BBC is a public service broadcaster – the underlying goal for the architect was to project a “common good aura” dedicated building and space. As Jonathan Glancey wrote on the Guardian, the BBC executives hope that this expensive investment “will be a symbol of corporation’s openness and accountability. “

Architecturally speaking, the new room is fully made of glass and shining steel, with a glass ceiling ”vanishing into the crevice-like atrium”.

Thanks to the glass facade, the building is visible from the street and through a large glass window in a BBC Media Café open to the public. The selection of the transparent materials aim to convey a sense of transparency, openness and brightness towards the people who look at the building, towards the people (the public) who invested the money on the building, and also for the people who work within it. “Because the public pays for the BBC, the new Broadcasting House has been made accessible, in no uncertain manner. Visitors will be able to watch newsgathering in action from a glazed gallery above.” By using architecture the BBC was able to physically represent what is its inner and historical ideology.

As Anna Klingmann pointed out in her book Brandscape, “architecture is never isolated but its necessity political. What counts in a building is not so much the looks but how it comes to life for people and forges lasting connections.” I feel sorry for the conservative architects who do not want to see their holy job being instrumentalized and capitalised in our global media marketplace, but architecture’s morality is mutating, consumer’s expectation are evolving and branding’s practice moves minds.

 

 

 

10 Most Inspiring Documentaries about the Creative Industries

Most Inspiring Documentaries

Stop wasting your lonely nights on Facebook and lean back! Here is my personal top 10 of inspiring documentaries about the creative industries from the last 10 years. Please let me know about any good ones that are missing on this list and I’ll be happy to add them. Have fun!!

10. Art & Copy (2009)

In Art & Copy, director Doug Pray takes you right into the U.S. advertising industry. The film follows some of the most important industry professionals including Hal Riney, George Lois, Mary Wells Lawrence, Dan Wieden, and Lee Clow and discusses what good advertising really is.

 

9. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)

Infamous New York Times fashion expert Bill Cunningham takes you through the most fashionable streets of New York City and rigorously states what’s hot and what not. One of the most famous fashion documentaries ever, check it out!

 

8. Objectified (2009)

If you have an eye for aesthetics and industrial design, you will love Objectified. The full-length documentary examines the role of everyday non-living objects, and the people who design them, in our daily lives. 

 

7. Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

You have surely come across Banksy, a London-based famed street artist who sells his painting anonymously for millions. Exit Through The Gift Shop gives a glimpse into his studio life through the perspective of a French street art photographer Thierry Guetta.

 

6. Eames: The Architect & The Painter (2011)

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames, best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture and the Lounge Chair, are widely regarded as America’s most important designers. Watch their documentary to learn more…

 

5. Girl Model (2011)

The fashion world clearly has its up and downsides. Girl Model takes a critical point of view and follows some 14 year old wannabe models from the Russian province into the big fashion hubs. Anorexia, harassment and no money is the usual result, definitely worth a watch.

 

4. Helvetica (2007)

There are barely any days that you do not come across the world’s most popular typeface: Helvetica. The documentary takes you back to 1957 and shows how the Swiss designers Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann would change graphic design forever.

 

3. How much does your building weigh Mr. Foster? (2010)

How much does you building weigh, Mr. Foster? This and other questions about contemporary architecture will be answered in this documentary. Look over the shoulder of one of the most important architects and learn more about the infrastructures that surround us.

 

2. Ai Weiwei – Never Ending Story (2012)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a 2012 documentary film about Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman. Get to know more about political China, new activism and how digital media can be of great help.

 

1. PressPausePlay (2011)

And the winner is…YES, PressPausePlay. This beautiful documentary film features stars such as Björk or Moby and discusses how social media and other new forms of technology have democratised our culture and what this means for artists. Watch the full documentary right here… 🙂