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 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!

arzum_supurge_60x40_01_aotwarzum_supurge_60x40_02_aotw

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!

 

Ad of the Day: October 14 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Leica
  • Name: 100
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: There’s a lot to be said for knowing yourself. Say you’re a niche brand, with a solid connection to a niche target. Do you devise a generalist strategy to reach a broader group and expand your sales prospects…or do you double down on your narrow target? Both are valid, actually, as long as they’re done well. Here Leica chose the latter path…and executed the hell out of it. A visual photography quiz for serious photography buffs (how many did you recognize?), the way it’s choreographed and shot presents a unique, entertaining spin on the historical. And the best part? By being so uncompromisingly specific in their outreach to their target, they managed to produce excellent content, and excellent content has a way of spreading (it’s what Coke calls a “liquid” idea.) So your reach actually goes beyond what you expected. A nifty little trick!

 

Ad of the Day: October 10 (Hamburg)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Lukas Lindemann Rosinski
  • Location: Hamburg
  • Client: Mercedes Benz
  • Name: Dirty Driving
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Wonderful! A great percentage of advertising, let’s be frank, doesn’t earn the right to aspire to much: decidedly average, lacking in courage or conviction, reduced to merely “hoping for the best”. But Advertising (with a capital “A”) aims higher by following a simple formula: Be disruptive (to get the attention), and then communicate a compelling message (to induce action). Here Mercedes has a fairly standard message (car X is the combination of Y and Z) and serves it up in a memorably disruptive fashion. Think how easily this could have been the standard car-driving-inside-warehouse ad. And yet…from the first three words of the song, you know this is going to be wildly different, and you’re in for the ride. What happens next raises an ante that was already quite high (I was quite surprised –  not sure how they got it through legal!) and the end is memorable and crystal clear in conveying a benefit. Kudos to the client and agency team for having the courage to take us for an unexpected ride. It might seem like a risk, but actually the risk is in not doing so. “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

 

Ad of the Day: October 9 (Kansas City)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: VML
  • Location: Kansas City, MO
  • Client: Wendy’s
  • Name: #BBQ4MERICA
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: When in doubt, there are a few “Hail Mary” type of devices that can take your work to another level. Music is definitely one. Humor, pop-culture, nostalgia, and celebrities can also work great – as we see in this film for Wendy’s. It’s a risky proposition because if you’re one degree off it just doesn’t work. But for a certain demographic (Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio, I used to worship you, man! where have you been?!) this one works wonderfully. What’s most admirable here is that that they didn’t rest on their laurels once they sold the idea or secured the celebrities. The difference between good and great is in their pushing beyond and really going for it – that’s where the little killer details are born (Steve Austin wiping away a tear, Ralph Macchio’s caption, the wonderful spelling of the hashtag, etc.)

 

Ad of the Day: October 8 (Sydney)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: McCann
  • Location: Sydney
  • Client: Corelle (dinnerware)
  • Name: The Tipsy Hostess
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: These ads (this one above is part of a series, do watch the other two) are oddly compelling, like a slowly developing train wreck that you can’t avert your eyes from. I’m sure it tickles the same part of the brain that makes a hit of shows like “Housewives of New York/LA/etc.” Expertly executed with amazing casting, acting, storytelling and editing. And in the midst of this…gently, almost subliminally, the product and product benefit are woven in so effectively! You’re completely hooked by the action, and when the tagline comes and focus shifts to the product, the message hits home with a powerful logic and you’re left thinking “wow, that was kinda weird, but kinda cool!” Loved it.

 

Ad of the Day: October 7 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Location: London
  • Client: Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Name: Bring food to life
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Here’s a tough puzzle: if ketchup brings food to life (which is a nice line, by the way!) how do you convey this without making the ad all about food? How do you make ketchup have a central role…when it plays a supporting role in the way it’s used? Not easy, but I think they cracked it. A bit like the use of white space in graphic design, the little bit of visual trickery at the core of this ad manages to say so much so much based on what it doesn’t show (the food). The CGI trick holds the attention, the ad certainly has ketchup front and center…and yet the food is also very much somehow present. And importantly, the notion of ketchup bringing food to life is crisply delivered. Wonderful solution to a tough brief. (side note: the “sliced tomato” pack shot – not sure how they get that past legal, but it’s brilliant)

 

Ad of the Day: October 3 (Montreal)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ig2
  • Location: Montreal
  • Client: Reviveaphone
  • Name: World’s first iPhone 6 dumped in a pitcher of beer
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Quite often, long-form video content is key to letting an idea develop properly. But the longer the video, the better it has to be, because people today have a healthy attention span for entertainment, but an extremely short one for everything else. I was skeptical when I saw that this video was 4 minutes, but couldn’t stop once I started – what a wonderfully calibrated mix of charismatic storyteller, pop culture relevance, mad stunt idea, and unique, memorable product demo…if any of these is off even by a few degrees…the whole thing falls apart. They pull it off, and the “reviving” part ends up being the easiest bit, which sells the product with a bang. Well done!

 

Ad of the Day: October 2 (New York, Miami)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Ogilvy, David
  • Location: New York, Miami
  • Client: Spotify
  • Name: Don’t go chasing girls
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: They say that good acting is not about acting at all, but rather about truly being in the moment. One can tell the difference. A similar concept applies in advertising –  many an ad tries to reflect the human condition (“slice of life,” we call it), and yet the end result is almost always an advertising fantasy, quite unlike real life. Sometimes by a lot (think clichéd pharmaceutical ads with laughing seniors canoeing in a lake,) and sometimes slightly, annoyingly so. But when our human condition is captured just right, as it is here, it can be quite a magical 30 seconds. Sure, the strategy is solid, the executional format (user-narrated plus filmed re-creation) is interesting, and the hashtag engagement mechanism has potential – but none of these really shine without that magical dose of humanity that comes across so deliciously. What’s the formula? Most likely a combination of talent, luck, perseverance, and a product (music) that weaves in very tightly with our very lives. Either way, congrats to my colleagues at Ogilvy/David for this home run.

Bonus content: Here’s another one that captures the human condition so well – it’s a favorite of mine by Disney.

Ad of the Day: October 1 (London)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Grey
  • Location: London
  • Client: Volvo
  • Name: The Swell
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: I beg of you, try to see this ad in full screen mode/hi-res, and with headphones on, or the sound turned up (a big proper screen would be even better…) I’m a little in awe of how classy this ad is. It’s not a word I normally associate with advertising, but this one just oozes sophistication and a certain self-assured elegance. From the sleek color palette of dark blues and grays, contrasted by the angular white lines and bold red tail lights of the car; to the radio crackling in Swedish; to the lofty sounding copy which, far from being frivolous, later ties to a functional benefit; to the beautiful way the camera captures the motion and fluid power of the ocean, to the out-of-this-world sound design (music yes…but seldom is sound so captivating); to the courage to leave the car behind and not come back to it; to the serenity of our protagonist as she finds the perfect wave; to the sudden cut to black for maximum effect and attention on the tagline…and more. I loved every second of this ad…delectable stuff from Volvo!