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: October 31 (Portland)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: Portland
  • Client: Nike
  • Name: Together
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Damn, they got me again! Most excellent ads take us from indifference to love. Some lucky brands already “have us at hello,” so all they have to do is be consistently good and the love continues. And everyone has a few brands/categories/topics/products which they are predisposed to dislike. Turning that dynamic around, now that’s a challenge! As you may know, LeBron is going back to Cleveland, and all the messianic buzz is getting…a bit over the top. I was ready to hate this ad. And yet, one can’t help but get swept up. Partly it’s the grand visual impact of the growing human huddle, or the lovely black and white cinematography, or the stirring pre-game speech. But no, this one is all about…Pride. The pride of a city, the pride of a group of people being reborn. They managed to tap into the same midwestern, blue collar, gritty perseverance as the Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” series, an the result is fantastic. You try to fight it, but you can’t. Well done for Nike…again. (PS – notice the end frame has a link allowing you to download a high res poster right to your desktop – never seen that before on youtube, but it’s utterly brilliant.)

 

Ad of the Day: October 30 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: White Label
  • Location: London
  • Client: Laphroaig (Scotch whisky)
  • Name: Opinions welcome/Halloween
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Of all the Halloween ads out there, this is among the best. Far from being a complicated prank or moody cinematic piece, the format is extremely familiar: people sampling the product and giving their honest opinion. So what makes this ad so deliciously different? a) the unexpectedly frank descriptions of the product (“it smells good!…uh…no it doesn’t”) – this is the key to the campaign because it manages to pique your curiosity while imbuing the product with a very complex, nuanced character, b) the quirky, colorful personalities… something tells me a few of those folks are like that year round… and c) the inspired decision to let one of the longer stories serve as a narrative through-line, helping to hold the entire ad together. I love and admire this campaign for the courage it has to speak about the product with brutal (and actually extremely compelling) honesty. It’s unprecedented and extremely disruptive. If you like it, here is the launch (non-Halloween) film from a few months ago.

 

Ad of the Day: October 28 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBH
  • Location: London
  • Client: KFC
  • Name: Fans
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This lovely ad understands what effective “branding” truly means. When a product/brand is credibly involved in the climax of a well-told story…that’s branding. When the brand makes a natural, unforced appearance only towards the end of the film, yet people the next day are saying to each other “did you catch that KFC ad about the brothers?”…that’s branding. It doesn’t have to be about making an appearance in the first 10 seconds, or plastering the logo on the screen, or saying the name three times, or any other such crutch. It’s a simple two step process: a) tell the most amazing story that you can, in the most amazing way, without compromising. If that means the brand comes in early that’s fine, if it comes in late that’s fine too! b) credibly insert your brand into the moment of peak attention…if the brand can credibly be the catalyst for that climactic moment, even better. And that’s all it takes. It’s a trap to think of “need more brand” , or “need less brand”…it’s about the right amount of brand, in the right place. Make an amazing piece of content, give a brand a proper role, and sit back and congratulate yourself when people talk about “…that KFC ad about the brothers.”

 

Ad of the Day: October 28 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

nyc-tourism-staten-island-01-2014 nyc-tourism-queens-01-2014 nyc-tourism-harlem-01-2014 nyc-tourism-dumbo-01-2014 nyc-tourism-bronx-01-2014

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: N/A
  • Location: New York
  • Client: NYC & Company
  • Name: See Your City
  • Category: Print/OOH
  • Why I like it: Another wonderful example of the “if a print ad looks so amazing that you would happily frame it and hang it in your living room wall…that’s a good thing” rule. This series of ads mix charming layouts with playful copy, and the result is a poster that lures you in and gets the point across effectively. And notice that the vintage look gives it a touch of class without sacrificing modern trappings like urls and multiple logos. Crisp, colorful, and extremely well done.

 

Ad of the Day: October 24 (Istanbul)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Smart - Oct 24

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Alice BBDO
  • Location: Istanbul
  • Client: Smart Car
  • Name: Be lucky, be Smart
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: This charming ad for a little care manages to get the little details just right. The art direction, the use of color, the unspoken narrative, and so much more. The resulting effect is brilliant: you’re jolted into attention, then very cleverly (and not by accident!) your eye is taken from top left, to the middle, to the car, to the tagline on the bottom right, and then back to the middle. You do so with full attention, and at each step your brain uncovers an extra part of the “narrative/puzzle”, until it all comes together in a satisfying “aha” moment. It’s a risky approach (most print ads put the gag right in your face, this one takes a chance and visually lays out a path to be followed – if any little detail is off…the thread is broken.) But with risk comes reward, and I think they really nailed it.

 

Ad of the Day: October 23 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Colossal Media
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Perrier
  • Name: Inspired by street art
  • Category: packaging/web film/ooh
  • Why I like it: It’s a great time to be in this business, especially for those with an ambitious, creative, action-oriented mindset. It used to be that packaging design, outdoor, street art, on-site activations and film were all completely separate items within a broader “creative industry” umbrella, for good and sensible reasons. And to most marketers, they still are. But to companies with a progressive mindset, it doesn’t have to be this way. Take a look at what Perrier has done – on the surface it’s a limited edition label re-design which you (hopefully) will notice when you see it on the shelf. But dig a little deeper and a whole program emerges which multiplies the opportunities for consumer engagement (have a look at the other videos to see what else they did), and puts the brand right at the core of a global, urban creativity design movement. Fantastique.

 

Ad of the Day: October 22 (Stuttgart)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Leithaus Filmproduktion
  • Location: Stuttgart
  • Client: LBS (Financial Services)
  • Name: Wet dream
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Oooh, I love this ad to death. It’s like a mildly deranged dream sequence, hyper-produced to such a detail that it starts to cross the barrier between moving picture and still image (it’s very rare that you want to re-watch an ad and pause the image so you can take it all in…there is so much to look at!) How does something like this even get made? It’s a jaded world, but I’d like to think that work like this only happens when people trust and fully let go. It can’t be done by committee because the vision is so singular and unique…you have to hire some talented people, set them up for success, and then get out of the way. When it works, it works oh so well.

Ad of the Day: October 21 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: Haig Club (whisky)
  • Name: Reunion
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Come for the glitz, stay for the story! It’s tough to resist the glitz and glamour dripping from every second of the ad. From the beautiful scenery, to the mega celebrity, to the color palette, to the soundtrack…it all feels and looks like a high-end perfume ad. But the real hook here is the narrative thread: it’s the classic “team coming together” sequence from so many films, which reels you in and keeps you looking ahead towards that point of convergence. The film cleverly sidesteps the common pitfall of these types of ads (all style, no branded substance!) by placing the product right in the middle of that point of convergence between the characters. Expertly done – it’s a pleasure to watch a lot of money get well-spent!

Ad of the Day: October 17 (Nairobi)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Client: Sprite
  • Name: Bill the Billboard
  • Category: OOH
  • Why I like it: This is the first time I’ve seen an outdoor board that truly comes “alive” with a distinct personality of its own. The key here is what this does for the brand: instead of showing you “cool” and hoping you’ll associate it with the brand…the brand (speaking through the billboard) acts coolinstead of urging bystanders to “obey you”, it obeys its own instinct. It’s the old “show me, don’t tell me” maxium. Bill Board speaks with a casual, easy confidence that does more to convey the brand’s emotional benefit than hundreds of refreshing visuals of “cool urban teens on skateboards”. Fantastic. Big congratulations to my Ogilvy colleagues in Nairobi for the first ever Ad of the Day from Kenya!

 

Ad of the Day: October 15 (Istanbul)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

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Today’s pick:

  • Agency: BBDO
  • Location: Istanbul
  • Client: Arzum Cleanart (vacuum cleaner)
  • Name: Coin, Card
  • Category: Print
  • Why I like it: Interesting to imagine how this ad evolved: from a product claim “powerful vacuum action”; to an advertising claim “reaches places never reached before”; to an idea “showcase the ‘relics’ one would unearth if reaching places that haven’t been reached before”; to the idea brought to life visually via an interesting image that focuses the eye on what matters; to a nice layout that gives proper due to the claim and the product. In between each of these steps is a little moment of creative “magic”…without it you have a standard boring ad, with it you have something that works. We’re always chasing the little bits of magic!