About Martin Murphy

International advertising guy, family man, soccer fan; on a daily mission to enjoy life. My entire personal and professional life has taken place in an international setting. This I think gives me a perspective on our industry that is different than the norm, and perhaps can contribute to the virtual conversation. I started this blog with two main objectives: a) to reinforce the discipline of being observant and thoughtful about the advertising and marketing industry b) to exchange ideas, meet people, and grow my perspective of the business that I work in To be a thought leader one day, the first step is to be a though contributor. This is my first step. Check out my linkedin profile for more info: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/martin-murphy/9/4a0/6a7

Ad of the Day: January 28 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Virgin Airlines
  • Name: Let it fly
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Hook them in quickly, build entertaining momentum to draw them in further, and deliver your line during the climax, which will have your brand seamlessly woven into it. Somewhat easy to describe, hard as hell to pull it off. But they sure do here. I love the line “life doesn’t come to you, so go to it.” It’s such a perfect call to action: it feels real, it’s inspiring, and it brings to life the role of the brand in a very credible way. But you can’t just toss it out there and hope people care. That’s where the entertainment comes in. From the music, to the pace, to the humor and more, everything about the first minute has you leaning in all the way into the punchline. Expertly done. 

Ad of the Day: January 27 (Sydney)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Host
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Pizza Hut
  • Name: Mitey Stuffed Crust
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: A round of applause for this ad, exhibiting courage with a capital C. Sure, the notion of vegemite being an acquired taste is nothing new, advertising has been riffing off of that for ages. If you were the brand manager you would allow yourself to have a lot of fun with that, push the envelope, right? Wrong. If you’re like 99% of people out there, you wouldn’t. It takes a special breed of crazy courage to say that your product is awful, tastes like shit, and more…all in your own ad. It’s downright unusual. And yet, it’s that very hyper-genuine approach that, handled properly, is irresistible to a younger target. A startling honesty which becomes the hook that draws you close. Join that up seamlessly with a little national pride to boot, and the result is a disruptive, entertaining little film that will make a dent. More of this, please!

 

Ad of the Day: January 26 (Stockholm)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

the_flag_of_flags_aotw

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: M&C Saatchi
  • Location: Stockholm
  • Client: Norwegian Airlines
  • Name: The Flag of Flags
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: If I were in the team that came up with this and we actually got it to run exactly as featured…that’s a “drop the mike” moment right there. Just pack it up and walk away in victory, because you’re not going to capture lightning in a bottle like this for a long time. The idea of flags within flags is not new, granted. But in the real world – you don’t have a norwegian airline company as a client, so the Norwegian flag won’t work. In the real world, the airline company doesn’t actually offer travel to Bangkok, or Poland, so you lose the ability to make that connection. In the real world, there is no media budget to run a double page spread, so you have to do it in a vertical format and it doesn’t work. In the real world…there are so many other reasons why brilliant little executions like this one never see the light of day. So when, against all odds, they DO see the light of day…it’s something worth celebrating.

 

Ad of the Day: December 22 (Los Angeles)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: N/A
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Client: 20th Century Fox
  • Name: A Particular Set of Skills
  • Category: online/social media contest
  • Why I like it: Watch the video first. If you enjoy seeing Liam Neeson kick ass in the “Taken” move series, then you’ll enjoy this contest announcement. Then take a moment to appreciate the sheer brilliance of this marketing action. It lives at the precise intersection of advertiser, co-sponsor, target and medium – delivering an interesting and compelling “everybody wins!” that is actually extremely rare in these types of activities. Fox drums up inexpensive awareness of their upcoming release (the value of the prize they’re giving away? $0!) Linkedin is the perfect catalyst for a conversation about “skills” and becomes 1000% more relevant and hip to a younger audience than they were last week. Young professionals are given the chance to win big-time social currency while engaging with fun content, and social media once again is leveraged as both an amplifier and executor of activities, at less cost and offering bigger potential payback than traditional media. A slam dunk.

 

Ad of the Day: December 16 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Johnnie Walker
  • Name: The Next Step
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: The magic is in the story…in how it’s told…or in rare cases, in both. I think that achievements in production (the “how it’s told”) are often under-appreciated, made to seem less lofty than breakthrough ideas. But in many ways, ads such as the one above are harder to pull off and require more courage and risk taking than a simple, brilliant idea that sells itself on paper. I mean, how do you present or test this JW ad on a storyboard? You can’t. It’s the type of thing that doesn’t come together…until it comes together at the very end. And that takes guts. The result is lovely to watch, and it elevates a generic idea and makes it stick. Well done to the client/agency/production team that had the courage to see this one through.

Ad of the Day: December 15 (Hamburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Jung von Matt
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: Vodafone
  • Name: Bucket List (“what would you do if you could do anything?”)
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Ah, the bucket list. It sounds so incredibly generic, and yet this film works so well. What sets it off on solid ground is the “show me don’t tell me” rule. We see the multiple benefits in action: some subtle, some overt, but all very real and within an engaging flow that keeps your attention. With a few notable exceptions, showing (in an interesting way) always works better than telling. And then comes the magic…those touches that set this ad apart. From the music, to the editing, to the wonderful casting and acting (the bulbous nose on the grandpa – wow!): these are all the elements that will never show up in a storyboard or an animatic, but can be brought to life through trust, courage and talent during the production process. A lovely little film from Germany to start the week.

Ad of the Day: December 11 (Wellington)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Clemenger BBDO
  • Location: Wellington
  • Client: New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Name: Local Legends
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Engaging storytelling, with a purpose. It’s simple as that. The characters here are so richly painted, so quickly…it’s as if there is a full, real universe happening around these people, and we just happened to get a peek at a 2 minute sliver of it. It hooks you from the beginning, and it delivers the message with exactly the proper tone. By the way, anti-drunk driving might sound like an easy assignment, but when you get into it I’m sure you’ll find that it has been already done a million different ways, and most of them flop. And yet this client/agency combo has been doing exceptional work for the last few years (look them up,) always hitting the right tone in a fresh and different manner. Pretty amazing. 

Ad of the Day: December 10 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Maille Mustard
  • Name: Be a memorable guest
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: When all else fails, be funny. Make people laugh. In the ad above, the brand/product integration is almost non-existent, and comes in only at the very end. At that point, you could plug 100 products at the end of that scene and the ad would still work. Normally this is a recipe for a disastrous recall, and an inefficient ad. And yet…this ad is hilarious. The laughter comes, the brain opens up, we lean forward towards the TV, and (shockingly) we subconsciously seek out and take in the advertiser that shared this chuckle with us, as a sort of retroactive gratitude. And thus somehow, implausibly, it works. It’s a high risk maneuver, and you shouldn’t make it a habit – but when all else fails…

Ad of the Day: December 9 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Weightwatchers
  • Name: If you’re happy
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: People’s relationship with food and weight loss can be quite emotional and complex – it’s a potential minefield for advertisers. So if you’re a brand selling a weight loss system, the way to do it is to skirt around the issue. Metaphors are good, because they say without directly saying. Also perhaps humor, to disarm and make palatable the tricky parts. You can even make use of visual cliches that have become widely accepted. You could do that. OR…if you’re courageous…if you’re really good…you can dive right into the middle of the cultural tension, as they do here. Call it out clearly, dive into it, and revel in it. It’s not easy, and it’s bound to raise some level of controversy. But it’s the definition of disruptive, and by being so it gives the brand a stage, not to mention a leadership aura. Hard to say how it will turn out, but I hope their courage is rewarded.

 

Ad of the Day: December 4 (Toronto)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Tribal Worldwide
  • Location: Toronto
  • Client: McDonald’s
  • Name: Fry Defender: the first french fry security system
  • Category: Film/mobile
  • Why I like it: It’s hard to get this type of web video to work – so it warms my heart when it does happen. McDonald’s is looking for different ways to drive consumer engagement with the brand, and even enhance the experience in-store (anything to get minds off of obesity, calories, food safety, etc.) If you can get a laugh, or people talk about it/share the video – or even download the app and try it out with a group of friends next time they’re in the store…it’s all a big win. It makes sense to try for it. But none of this works if the video isn’t funny…and that’s where the magic comes in. The casting, the acting (love the expressions of the guy with the white shirt), the copywriting (“Frimes”…classic), the editing, the overall tone…all of these little bits of inspired spontaneous fun are what brings the whole thing together. Well done.