‘Unfairy Tales’ Wins Cannes Grand Prix

This animated spot is simply awesome. And touching. And serious. And gripping.

It sort of grips you by the throat as you’re reaching for the Kleenex.

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Every so often I see a commercial or piece of design work that intrigues me or, in this case, stops me in my tracks. The photo still alone does that but the spot goes on to do more damage to my soul.

According to Advertising Age’s “Creativity,” 180LA and UNICEF have earned the Cannes Grand Prix for Good for the “Unfairy Tales” campaign, a series of films that first seem to start out like sweet kids’ stories but then take dramatic and, at times, terrifying turns when you discover the children are fleeing for their lives from war-torn Syria.

Among the stories were the tale above, “Malak and the Boat,” which chronicled a seven-year-old girl’s harrowing journey on the seas, and, at the end of the trip, is the only survivor of a boat that had been once full of her fellow countrymen.

Kudos to the men and women who had the guts to go forth with this message and for the artful way in which it was created and produced. While the animation brings a potent emotional punch to the stories, the appearance of the real-life protoganists at the end of each short really drives the point home.

Visually stimulating animation and poignant storytelling.

A powerful combination. We’d be well served to see more of this.

The short films mark the debut of UNICEF’s #actofhumanity global initiative, designed to promote positive perception of the tens of millions of refugee children around the world.

The Grand Prix for Good is chosen from all the Gold Lion-winning work that was created for charities or not for profit, as well as those with public service messages, with the exception of those awarded in Pharma, Health/Wellness, Innovation and Film Craft. Such efforts are not eligible for Grand Prix in their respective categories. The Titanium/Integrated Grand Prix jury determines the winner.

Nicely done and well deserved!

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It’s Friday . . . What’s that you say, Fred?


Fred Flintstone at Halifax Bank

It’s Friday and I’m ready for a good chuckle.

Actually, I got my chuckle a few days ago when I first read about this ad for Halifax Bank in the U.K. Featuring a few of The Flintstones’ characters, the spot does a wonderful job with the animation and the bank’s message.

Kudos to them for wanting to do something different, especially being somewhat contrarian to that British stiff-upper-lip perception.

According to Creativity Magazine, U.K. bank Halifax has collaborated with Warner Bros. once again, this time to feature Flintstones in a spot about switching banks. This ad, by Adam&Eve/DDB, sees Fred and Wilma walk into a Halifax branch and interact with a real-life manager as they explain why they want to switch from their Bedrock bank.

Once again, directorial duo Dom&Nic at Outsider worked with the Mill’s VFX team to integrate the iconic animated characters into a live action setting, and recreate them authentically (and) as close to the original as possible.

The team worked closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to get the character designs as accurate as possible, combining modern techniques with more traditional methods.

To give it a classic aged look, the Mill team also hand animated and color graded the entire end sequence, where we see Fred with his new shoes taking Wilma home, followed by Dino. Love the scene where a banker-lady is giving Dino a treat!

I’ve always appreciated a scenario when the agency is blessed with a client who is willing to bend or even break the supposed rules in order to impress and be innovative in a classy and, in this case, cute execution of a timeless classic.

The situation is scripted well and the actors are, well, believable. More importantly, the creative treats the concept with respect.

Alas, the poor boob who plays the banker. Imagine playing second fiddle to a famous caveman who is not part of Geico. Ah, the Brits!

Way to go, Fred and Wilma!

The Future of Advertising?

Ever tried to predict the future? Not easy, is it?

I don’t know if this article comes close but it is an interesting read. Dax Hamman, Chief Product Officer, Rubicon Project, did a nice job with it.

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The future of advertising may take many forms, some of which may not even be known to us at present – wait, let me jump into my time travel Shuttlecraft (on loan from Star Fleet) and I’ll get back with you.

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Until then, the publishers of Rubicon have put together an intriguing read in this their 2016 Biannual Issue, The Programmatic Mind.

Whatchathink?

Well, for one thing, how will advertisers get consumers to pay attention to ads if when we all live in an era of super-saturation? The author states we start by using information as advertising – using data available to us in order to make our ads as relevant as possible so the consumer has no choice but to pay attention.

Hmmmm, I thought that’s what we try and do everyday . . . now. That’s what smart creativity is supposed to do. Let’s face it, cutesy only goes so far! Mr. Hamman further states “. . . that elegant design won’t be enough if your ads are not providing valuable information.” That’s true.

I agree with the author when he says the future of advertising is full of tremendous promise. It’s also full of a whole bunch of challenges and subsequent responsibilities. Information overload will, I think, be even more so than it is today.

Still, consumers are a fickle bunch; they’re also quite intelligent and can certainly discern an ad that makes sense, is relevant and interesting. Our future world will most likely be more intense, with more information, quite problematic, more programmatic and probably more “anything-atic.”

Oh, boy, pass the Excedrin!

Since you folks will undoubtedly have a thought or two on this subject and the article, pro and con, let me know. Don’t be bashful. There’s plenty of Excedrin for all of us.

A little creative juice for the soul. Thank You, Creativity!

Ever get curious? Well, I was curious as to what the back cover of my Advertising Age issues referred when they featured someone and a quote. Near the bottom of the page was listed “Thank You Creativity.”

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OK, what gives?

“A love letter to the stories, lessons and magic of creativity.” Or so says the home page.

The rest is rather intriguing. See for yourself and Enjoy.

Thank You, indeed, Creativity!

Advertising Hall of Fame Quotes – Part 5

Happy Mardi Gras!!

Here’s the fifth in a five-part series (more to come later) of various worth-remembering quotes which I believe you’ll find interesting and hopefully inspiring. Excerpted from the newsletter “Smart Brief” from the American Advertising Federation, these quotes are usually from a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Quote

41. I don’t like closed doors. Creativity flourishes best in an environment of open doors and open minds.

— Keith Reinhard

42. There is no such thing as ‘soft sell’ and ‘hard sell.’ There is only ‘smart sell’ and ‘stupid sell.’ 

— Charles H. Brower

43. In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.

— David Ogilvy

44. Grant graciously what you dare not refuse.

— George Gallup

45. Advertising makes people discontented. It makes them want things they don’t have. Without discontent, there is no progress, no achievement.

— Morris Hite

46. The artist defines creativity. The audience defines effectiveness. To be creative, study art. To be effective, study the audience. To be both, study how the audience responds to art.

— Keith Reinhard

47. I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.

— David Ogilvy

48. Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there.

— Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

49. We don’t grow unless we take risks. Any successful company is riddled with failures.

— James E. Burke

50. There’s nothing wrong with being fired.

— Ted Turner

So, which one or ones is/are your favorite(s)?

Do you have a favorite or favorites in the series?

Lemme know.

Advertising Hall of Fame Quotes – Part 2

Here’s another in a multi-part series of various worth-remembering quotes which I believe you’ll find interesting and hopefully inspiring. Excerpted from the newsletter “Smart Brief” from the American Advertising Federation, these quotes are usually from a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Get ready to chuckle, and, I hope, remember.

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11. Know what the client wants, know what the client needs, and know how to cause the client to want what the client needs.

— Keith Reinhard

12. The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.

— Charles Brower

13. The three ingredients of effective advertising are relevance, originality and impact, the initials of which spell out what clients most desire: ROI.

— Keith Reinhard

14. Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people — and he won’t do very well in advertising.

— Leo Burnett

15. Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.

— Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

16. When you are through changing, you are through.

— Bruce Barton

17. There are two kinds of men who don’t amount to much: those who can’t do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.

— Cyrus H. K. Curtis

18. You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.

— Rosser Reeves

19. Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret … to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.

— Leo Burnett

20. An important idea not communicated persuasively is like having no idea at all.

— William Bernbach

So, which one or ones is/are your favorite(s)? Lemme know.

Advertising Hall of Fame Quotes – Part 1

Once in awhile we see or hear someone say something that we like and want to remember, so we make note of it somehow, somewhere. That’s what I’ve done with various quotes on the advertising and marketing industry by different icons from the industry.

Every time I read the newsletter “Smart Brief” from the American Advertising Federation, I notice the quote at the bottom, usually from a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame. Sometimes I chuckle, yet in most cases I want to remember them.

So here’s the first in a multi-part series of various worth-remembering quotes which I believe you’ll find interesting and hopefully inspiring.

* * * * *

1. When executing advertising, it’s best to think of yourself as an uninvited guest in the living room of a prospect who has the magical power to make you disappear instantly.

— John O’Toole

2. A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

— David Ogilvy

3. Creative imagination — the lamp that lit the world — can light our lives.

Alex F. Osborn

4. I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.

— Philip Dusenberry

5. If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature.

— Bruce Barton

6. We pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success.

— Bruce Barton

7. The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff.

— Roger A. Enrico

8. Let us blaze new trails. Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art and good writing can be good selling.

— William Bernbach

9. Creative people thrive in environments that stimulate and reward original thinking — where freedom is valued and controls are kept to a minimum.

— Keith Reinhard

10. The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything.

— David Ogilvy

 

So, which one or ones is/are your favorite(s)? Lemme know.