Sunday, 29 July 2012

3 big brands, 3 Olympic adverts - Vol. II -British Airways

I´m going to share during three weeks a very interesting review of 3 big brands that are rolling out their Olympic adverts: Adidas, British Airways and Omega.

You can find this review an other interesting material about advertising at "AD Breakdown", the BBC´s magazine's review of advertising.

British Airways

THE ADVERT: British Airways, Don't Fly

THE BRIEF: BA takes Britons out of the UK, right? So show what the airline is doing to support its athletes at home.

THE SCHTICK: A BA jet taxis through the streets of London. Counter-intuitively, the airline is instructing its customers not to fly abroad but to stay at home and cheer their team.

THE BREAKDOWN: The UK's flag carrier is famed for its grand, big-budget, award-winning adverts.

Remember its famous commercial in which thousands of extras in the Utah desert formed a winking face? Or its 1983 sci-fi-style advert in which the entire island of Manhattan appeared to fly over the streets of suburban Britain?

BA's latest effort is no less grandiose in scale. But its tone is far more playful, self-mocking even.

Its premise stems from the conundrum that, in advertising to a British audience, the airline is usually encouraging them to leave the country.And yet as an Olympic sponsor, it feels obliged to urge them to stay.

The result is more than a little tongue-in-cheek.

A BA jet collects a load of passengers at Heathrow. But instead of taking off, it taxis down the M4 to central London.

The plane trundles past a series of landmarks - Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, the Shard - before stopping to let its customers disembark at the Olympic park in Stratford.

Some viewers may find it a little too knowing. Others will focus instead on the rather impressive CGI imagery.

There's more for social media users. BA also commissioned an interactive version which allows browsers to type in their postcodes and see their own street, rendered via Google Maps, through the window of the aircraft as it makes its way to east London.

One rather incongruous choice, however, is the use of The Clash's London Calling as the soundtrack.

Some may question whether a song about nuclear catastrophe and urban unrest is the best way to celebrate the capital, but presumably BA are banking on most listeners only paying attention to the title.

THE VERDICT: Paul Domenet, co-founder of ad agency Johnny Fearless and former creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, says: "I like that there's something slightly disingenuous about the whole thing, having the nerve to say 'Don't fly with us in the first place'. Self-effacement always goes down well with the British. BA have been responsible for some of the best ads that have ever been produced. What I liked is that it's a return to that scale. It's beautifully crafted. The personalisation is a bit of genius. It adds an extra dimension. It elevates it above a TV ad. This is really how social media should be done - you shouldn't intrude on people's conversations, you should be the subject of their conversations."

Read the riginal piece of news here

Sunday, 22 July 2012

3 big brands, 3 Olympic adverts - Vol. I - Adidas

The Olympics are ready to begin. We can see almost all the adverts during the last weeks are related to the Games. I´m going to share during three weeks a very interesting review of 3 big brands that are rolling out their Olympic adverts: Adidas, British Airways and Omega.

You can find this review an other interesting material about advertising at "AD Breakdown", the BBC´s magazine's review of advertising.


THE ADVERT: Adidas, Take The Stage

THE BRIEF: Make viewers truly empathise with their Olympics heroes by showing the pain, disappointment and gruelling hard work that goes into preparing for a medal.

THE SCHTICK: Footage of Team GB's stars preparing to compete, intercut with gritty shots of young urban types on the streets of Britain. A rousing voiceover urges all of them to take the knocks necessary to reach the podium.

THE BREAKDOWN: So you thought being an Olympic athlete was fun and glamorous, did you? Beer and skittles and glory? You were wrong.

As stars Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley and Louis Smith gear themselves up, a narrator sombrely reminds them of the pitfalls that stand between them and glory.

"Take the knocks, the blows, the heartbreaking disappointment," a narrator orders, in terms reminiscent of the film Trainspotting's opening scene.
He continues: "Take the backlash, the criticism, and be written off by people who think you're just a kid."

It's not exactly Whitney Houston's sentimental Olympic anthem One Moment In Time, the usual template for footage of sporting endeavour.

But the result is oddly uplifting.

The viewer is invited to share in the misery and physical discomfort a top-level athlete must endure.

Implicitly, the consumer then shares in the emotional journey to any eventual triumph.

It's a smart move, especially in the age of reality television and instant celebrity, to emphasise hard work and sacrifice over medals and glory. The campaign is complemented by a series of online interviews with each of the featured athletes about the highs and lows they have encountered en route to Stratford.

"Take the risk of losing your pride," continues the narrator, over shots of Daley on the diving board and then of an inner-city estate. It's a very British sentiment - the possibility of failure is something it's hard to imagine in an advert aimed at American audiences, for instance.

And in an understated way, the clip is subtly patriotic - a flash of a Union flag painted on the fingernail of a girl in a hooded top intercut with hopeful-looking youthful faces.

The shots of urban UK lends the advert a further note of authenticity, in contrast to the slick, big-budget commercials that populate airtime during the Olympics.

THE VERDICT: Patrick Burgoyne, editor, Creative Review: "They've gone for quite a youthful approach and that's all about who their target audience is. Their take on Britishness, with the east London setting, is quite interesting and very forward-looking. With big sporting events, there's a tendency to go very bombastic. But this is quite restrained. It's all about the athletes themselves. When you see the print adverts from this campaign, what you notice is their simplicity and cleanliness and I think they've got it right."

Read the riginal piece of news here

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Holidays at home are great

In a summer when most Londoners would love to escape the city and its transport delays and traffic jams (yes, that's what the Olympics mean for London workers) and go on holidays as far as possible, the UK government has made ​​an interesting advertising campaign to promote tourism in the country, inviting British citizens to travel around the British territory, forgetting about visas, passports, currency and problems.

Obviously, this campaign is not directed exclusively to the citizens of London, but to all citizens of the country who summer after summer crowd the Spanish coasts (for example) hungry for sun and sand.

Why not offer these holidaymakers the option to enjoy a holiday at home? To achieve this, the campaign had to show a clear benefit, an incentive to supply the lack of sun and sand: a 20.12% discount on hotels and leisure activities.

The campaign has been a huge success, with an excellent commercial (with a simple but superb slogan) which is based on credible and reliable character references for the  British citizens who act as prescribers (a strategy widely used in the British advertising campaigns).

In addition to the spot, the campaign has been based on a web page where users can find all necessary information on how and where they can enjoy that 20.12% discount and a very good communication through social networks.