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: 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.

 

Ad of the Day: December 2 (Singapore)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: TBWA/Singapore
  • Location: Singapore
  • Client: Airbnb
  • Name: Welcome to airbnb
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: Mojo. Momentum. Being on a roll. I’m not talking about sports…I’m talking about brands. Airbnb has it of late. When you see good work popping up – different ideas, different mediums, different locales…but a lot of interesting, disruptive stuff from the same brand – then you know that something is afoot. These things don’t happen by coincidence: almost always there is a central marketing figure that has a vision and the means to go after it. Like moths to a flame, the best creative talent is instantly drawn to gifted marketers that talk the talk and walk the walk. The output is creative success, followed by commercial success. In the case of Airbnb, they have the good luck of now having that gifted guy to set the vision…the same guy who most recently took Coca-Cola to the top of the marketing world. Watch this space!

Ad of the Day: November 26 (Sao Paulo)

Your daily dose of advertising awesomeness from around the world!

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: NeogamaBBH
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Client: Mix Brasil (a cultural diversity festival)
  • Name: Everyone is gay
  • Category: Film
  • Why I like it: We often talk of leveraging a cultural tension in order to make our advertising more relevant and disruptive…this often leads to work that is emotionally charged. What is interesting is how they built around a cultural tension (ie. stereotypes and prejudices in Brazilian society) and yet the film still manages to pull off a lighthearted, almost humorous vibe. It’s a good lesson – building off a tension does not have to equal a heavy-handed approach. In fact here they shine a light on a societal failing…and then give it a spin that is both inclusive and inviting. The result is a fine balance that delivers on the objective of getting attention and encouraging participation. Nicely done!

 

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.