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: November 25 (Chicago)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Downtown Partners
  • Location: Chicago
  • Client: Get Covered Illinois (organization urging people to enroll in healthcare coverage)
  • Name: Luck Health Plan. You’ll be ok. Probably.
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Capturing the attention and motivating millenials is the obsession of our time, and there are as many techniques for it as there are agencies and marketers. I love this one from Chicago…which pushes the “self-aware/ironic/tongue-in-cheek” envelope extremely far and succeeds in capturing the attention. (Whether it will succeed in motivating the desired action remains to be seen – but one thing is for sure: if you don’t have their willing attention, you have no chance at all of getting them to act.) What courage it takes to play this card and not give away the punchline at all! If you go to url, you’ll see that the joke continues even in the online space, although finally the reveal comes, once you’re well inclined to act. Really gutsy, risky and fresh…that’s what it takes these days to even have a chance.

 

Ad of the Day: November 21 (Oslo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: Canal Digital
  • Name: The Silver Hand
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: It’s amazing that this ad works as well as it does. Sure, there is a solid insight (fear of missing out), a simple creative idea, wonderful storytelling and deft use of humor, excellent pacing (they don’t rush it, letting the joke build over time), and a logical, welcome role for the brand (a scheduling service so you can catch your shows.) And yet…there are so many ways in which this could have fallen flat, or simply failed to take off. As with all things comedic, one degree off and it doesn’t work at all. Luckily for us they nailed it: somehow “the silver hand” becomes an instantly believable meme that ties everything ties together. Fun stuff. Have a good weekend, everyone.

 

Ad of the Day: November 20 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy
  • Location: New York
  • Client: Tiffany
  • Name: A Tiffany Holiday
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: So lovely…a 60 second demonstration of when everything goes right in our business. Every single choice made helps to elevate this far above the standard branded video: The use of animation gives the film a dreamy quality which is exactly right for the season. The gracefulness of the illustration evokes a timeless, nostalgic sense of romance. Both the brand (through the color palette) and the products (through clever, non-illustrated inserts) are featured throughout to help drive the action…but neither ever bursts the bubble of emotion that is being created. And the marvelous song choice manages to be cheerful, nostalgic, dreamy, inspiring…all at once. It all adds up to a marvelous, whimsical holiday message that cuts through the seasonal clutter and lives up to the standards of the brand. Huge congratulations to my colleagues in Ogilvy New York!

 

Ad of the Day: November 18 (Shanghai)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.09.05 AM

Click on image above to play

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Factory Design Labs
  • Location: Shanghai
  • Client: The North Face
  • Name: Never one place, always one jacket
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: In “advertising dreamland” every brief would focused on one simple-yet-compelling benefit, and every ad would tell this story in a deeply emotional way. In the real world, brands often have complementary and overlapping messages to convey: whether it be a product benefit, a reason-to-believe, an emotional payoff, or even a brand positioning. Suddenly the odds suddenly are against you achieving greatness. But there are always two wild-cards that can still be played. One is talent: employing truly talented people (this could be a creative, a director, a producer, etc.) with a disruptive vision for how to make your film stand out and be special. The other is courage: having the courage to really let go, to trust those people to deliver their vision, even when it feels risky, or uncomfortable, or when it’s hard to see how it’s all going to come together. Here’s a film for The NorthFace, wanting to plug two different lines of outerwear (with demos, please!) along with a higher-level statement about exploration and adventure within the city and out in the wild. The way this puzzle was solved through inspired creative execution is a nice example of how unleashing talent can still get you there, when all else fails.

 

 

Ad of the Day: November 12 (Oslo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Try/Apt
  • Location: Oslo
  • Client: DMB (Bank)
  • Name: The 24 hour ad break
  • Category: Media/content
  • Why I like it: So great. An example of individual components meshing together to deliver a disruptive branded benefit. User generated content with advice is interesting, but not revolutionary. A benefit of 24 hour customer service sounds quite standard. Even a 24 hour media buy, which is quite unique, could come off as gimmicky if not backed up by a strong idea. And yet when put together, all of a sudden you’ve got a captive audience being served interesting and useful content which ties to your brand name and product offering, and the 24 hour format makes the combination incredibly disruptive (remember, if you’re not noticed, you’re not even in the game…). They probably blew their yearly media budget on this, so trying something so new must have taken heaps of courage. But the results speak for themselves.

 

Ad of the Day: November 11 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Guinness
  • Name: Munster
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Sometimes it feels like they’re playing with a loaded deck. Guinness, Irish pride, sponsorship of home nations rugby…it all seems so perfect together that the ads practically write themselves, right? Wrong. Any good creative team could maybe come up with a good advertising cocktail using these ingredients, but the real magic comes from the little details, and that takes tons of talent. The precise storytelling, the way the film focuses as much on the faces of the fans as on the action in the pitch, the dramatic use of special effects, the black and white cinematography that so subtly ads to the branding, the stirring score, and more…each of these decisions made correctly, are what make the difference between good enough and great. Because good enough is not good enough.

 

Ad of the Day: November 7 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 9.21.22 AM

Click the image above, or click here to see the video

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: London
  • Client: Honda Civic type R
  • Name: A double sided story
  • Category: Web Film
  • Why I like it: There’s cool, and then there’s advertising cool, and this one is definitely the latter. It’s cool with a purpose. Branded, purposeful cool. So you need to introduce an “evil twin” variant of a popular family car? You want to communicate this duality in a way that catches the attention and gets talked about? Heck, you even would like for people to remember the letter “R” if possible? Well, here you have it. A nice story, shot expertly two times over, delivered through an innovative, blow-your-mind, forced-engagement use of the media channel. A wonderful combination of strategy, creative idea, execution, and media delivery – the likes one rarely sees. More of this, please!

 

Ad of the Day: November 6 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Location: London
  • Client: John Lewis (retailer)
  • Name: Monty the Penguin
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Surrender. There’s a bit of a grinch inside all of us that initially thinks “oh, here we go again with the Christmas adverts, the commercialization of the season, etc.” But then you watch this magical little film for John Lewis…and you’re swept away. Wondrous storytelling, resting on the fine edge between the expected and the surprising. Expertly produced, blending warm cinematography, inspired casting, and seamless CGI. And a separate note on the remake of John Lennon’s “Real Love”…just magical. John Lewis (and adam&eveDDB) are quickly establishing a Christmas tradition with their Christmas ad…it’s not cheap or easy, but the value to the brand must be priceless. Merry early Christmas.

PS – If you’re curious about the commercial side of this effort, click on the screen at the end of the clip and prepare to be amazed. Yes, there is a Monty the Penguin toy, surely destined to sell out. But a million other elements, from apps, to in-store, to experiential, to charity. This is not just an ad, it’s a seasonal marketing platform. Bravo.

PPS- Thanks AJ Coyne for the heads up!

Ad of the Day: November 5 (New York)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: W+K
  • Location: New York
  • Client: GAP
  • Name: Mistletoe
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: “Nice” is so comfortable. It’s easier to get approved. Nobody in a focus group will tell you anything bad about “nice”. So you end up with a holiday ad about smiles, and family, and good looking, comfy Gap clothing. Which nobody remembers or cares about. OR…you can insert just a little bit of edge. Edge make life interesting. It makes you lean forward. Edge stands out. We’re talking “just the right amount” of edge, not “scorched earth” edge – this ad is a great example: It’s joyous, it’s festive, it shows the clothes, it’s about family reunion, it’s kindhearted, it’s very true to the brand, etc. And it’s also extremely interesting. you can’t completely figure it out. And that’s what makes it stick. Can you imagine what people would say about it in a focus group? These naysayers are the same people who will be hopelessly drawn in when Gap has the courage to run the ad on TV. A very classy, quirky series of ads directed by Sofia Coppola

 

(PS – for you non-Americans who are completely puzzled: it’s Christmas tradition in the US that if you’re both standing under a sprig of mistletoe, you’re supposed to kiss. That’s where the tension is coming from in this film)

 

Ad of the Day: November 4 (Hong Kong)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Red Fuse
  • Location: Hong Kond
  • Client: Colgate Palmolive
  • Name: Turning packaging into education
  • Category: Ambient
  • Why I like it: My friend Davide is not going to be pleased about this one. Davide is an ex-colleague at Ogilvy Shanghai who had virtually this same idea one year ago. But nothing happened with it, and his version of it exists today only as a drawing on a paper at the bottom of some drawer. And therein lies a tricky truth about the advertising business: ideas are the magical core output – the holy grail of the work that we do. But unless they get made…ideas are just paper at the bottom of a drawer. If an idea doesn’t get launched to hopefully meet some sort a commercial objective for a client, it’s just an artistic project, at best. Nothing wrong with art, of course – but most art isn’t advertising. So in this fine case study from Myanmar, what is it that came between the original idea and the actual reality of it? Probably an army of account people, planners, brand managers, logistics specialists, regional marketing directors, producers, public relations folks, government liaisons, education specialists, factory managers, teachers, etc. etc. etc. Creatives give birth to the idea, but it often takes a village to turn an idea into advertising.