A face for Facebook.

The target demographic is anyone who uses or doesn’t use Facebook. Everyone. Wieden + Kennedy, known for great dramatic pieces had their hands full when working with Facebook’s very first ad campaign. Of course there have been fantastic ads out there for online giants. But how do you create a brand ad for a social networking site? W+K uses chairs.

Putting together a branding campaign is important. It creates a scope of how the brand should be viewed. It identifies a touchstone that users from varying demographics can connect to. Of course this isn’t always how the brand is viewed; it’s not always to be taken for face value. But that’s what PR is for.

If you remember Google’s Parisian Love ad — see “online giants” above for a reminder — they created an emotional connection through use of the product. Something people can relate to.

In contrast, Facebook’s Things that connect us doesn’t use what Facebook does — which isn’t a bad thing; unless you live under a rock — it instead compares Facebook to items in real life that connects people.

I believe W+K missed here. It’s hard for an MLB homerun hitter to strike it big the first at bat against a softball. The story was told pretty slow, and very abstract. This might work as an introduction to the sequel of the social network, but it was largely boring and vague. The video to introduce Facebook’s timeline was actually much more interesting.



Can iz haz thumb?

Cats are evil. They’re murderous assassins who are constantly seeking destruction. They run between your legs as you walk by. They sit on your keyboard to cut off your communication resources. Some even have laser powers.

Cat’s have been an internet phenomenon since Al Gore created the internet.Wieden+Kennedy took the craze and ran with it to create the #CatsWithThumbs campaign for Cravendale milk in 2011.

The campaign uses the idea of why we should be fearful of cats, and it all boils down to them wanting our Cravendale milk.

This was the most recent ad.

If you’re unfamiliar with the campaign – here’s the original.

W+K extended this campaign into a variety of different media. The hashtag is a call to action for people to collect their thoughts about the ads on social media.

Creating this personality is cool, but I don’t see Bertrum the Thumbcat featured in any other media. I’m not sure if they created this personality specifically for the facebook page, but by creating a personality, they open up the door for much more.


Bertrum the Thumbcat is a digital mastermind that answers questions to what a thumbcat can do. It’s safe to say, if a cat had a thumb – s/he may be more interesting than the most interesting man. They even went as far as creating their own “ask the oracle” page.

Thanks to Neil Christi from W+K. 

Your cat can even join Bertrum’s army.

Also in the digital realm is the new mini-page.

Unfortunately, I believe the mini-page is half-baked. They’re are a lot of cool things, but there isn’t much that you can play around with. You can watch the most recent commercial, but the only thing interactive with this page is the ability to turn and off the light. Though that’s cool, they missed some opportunities where the change of the light may actually add more dimension. Another shot that could have been fired is making all the other fun looking things interactive, especially with such a playful campaign.

Overall, I love how they jumped on an already popular train and rode it into multiple different media outlets. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they brought it all the way home in digital realm. Considering that the internet started the long running cat jokes.

Quit the charade, wear a seatbelt

Everyone can be creative. Remember that. This PSA was created by an independent film group, Alexander Commercials, not an ad agency. Yet, it’s one of the most powerful seatbelt PSA’s I’ve ever seen. I still get the chills watching it.

The way I believe this concept came about came from life experience rather than research. No numbers were listed, no facts were stated, it’s pure human emotion. A few life experiences come to mind when thinking of how they created this.

I’m sure you’ve stomped the brake too quickly and  reached over to protect your passenger – the mommy stop. This, combined with an interlocking hug can trigger the idea of a human seat belt. Now, I don’t know what kind of game of charades they were playing with such unequal teams – but it gets the point across. The family is spending some quality time together.

The rest of it is music and incredible effects – pieced together to make it gorgeous.

Try to watch it without shedding a tear, I dare you.

Don’t drink and drive, you might spill.

If you were to rob a bank, what would be the first thing you would do? Go into hiding and launder the money. Grab a beer to celebrate a job well done of course. Carlton Draught, famous for good beer and even better commercials, has an ad that personifies just that in a new piece from the down under.

The thing I love about beer ads is that they’re usually pure entertainment. It’s a chance for a copywriter to play screenwriter and hope for an invitation to the Academy Awards. Of course, the creative must be drawn from the product and fact.

How did they come up with this?

I’m sure started with the drinking-to-celebrate prototype (very relatable concept). But how would you spice it up? Let’s have bankrobbers take their new found wealth into the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course we can’t encourage drinking and driving (celebrate responsibly everyone), so let’s have them run instead. But this isn’t your normal run, this is your normal 80’s action movie car chase – without the car.

The flow and rhythm are fantastic, but unfortunately I feel the ending fell pretty flat. The big climax was just before the ending with the stop in music and walking through the barricade, yet it continued into another prototypical action scene. I understand that it’s already a minute and a half in length, but the joke wasn’t nearly as strong as it’s predecessor.

One question though, how the hell do you run so fast with beer? Please help me avoid embarrassing nights.

Cheers mate, you kids in Clemenger BBDO know how to party.

All the same, but all different

Always wanted to be a producer, but never wanted to risk the music business?

It’s a dream we’ve all had. You weren’t necessarily the Vince Chase, you were the Ari Gold. You made Vince Chase, Vince Chase. You knew everyone to make it work, and when you got to work it was gold.

British rock band Kaiser Chiefs were killin’ the music scene, but like many good bands – they went on vacation to enjoy their success for a little too long. By the time they came back they were no longer the superstars they once were.

Wieden + Kennedy stepped in to help with their new album release, but instead of releasing an album, they released millions of the same CD personalized for millions of different people. What they did was utilize a very interesting concept of blurring the line between product and marketing – the product was the marketing.

Tune into the video:

What happened here is they had one person listen to 20 new songs, and he got to choose 10 of them, arrange them in any order he liked, and released it into his ideal album.

Though he was first, he wasn’t the only one.

The video was released and W+K used multiple media channels to release the news of the possibilities. Fans worldwide were able to make their own CD for ₤7.50. They designed it, they arranged it, they put it together. Then they were able to sell their CD to other people, if they bought it, the sellers would make ₤1 per album.

This spread like wildfire. You could make a mixtape and sell it to your girlfriend. People were enticed by the music, and promoted because of the money. Of course, when someone figures out that they don’t have to buy their friends’ album and they can make their own to sell, they were going to go straight to the source. Overall the album release was a huge success and credits go to the incredibly creative minds that brought you “Just Do It.”

Makes you wish you could put that in your portfolio.


Click to See Blog

Drama Button > Easy Button

In the battle between Staples “Easy Button” and TNT’s “Drama Button,” I have to go with the latter. The easy button may be more adoptable and long lasting, but when you can make an impact with a single idea, the ripples turn to waves turn to floods all around the world. TNT’s little explosion really did some damage.

Smoke Causes Rain

I may not know the exact scientific evidence behind the phenomenon, but TNT’s #flashtvseriesmashup sparked a media storm. This small quiet area of Belgium was the center of attention around the globe. The key with guerrilla marketing isn’t so much getting the attention of the people and customers, but getting the attention of the media. News travels fast, and the reach of news media outlets are far greater than any guerrilla campaign.

A quick google search shows that major sources like Forbes, MSN, Fast Company, Geekologie, ABC, Huffington Post, Examiner, Top News Today, and countless blogs have all spoken about it. Obviously something like this has made its way around the social circles of facebook, twitter, and google+ but also conversations around the dinner table and unproductive emails at the office.

Everything Right

The original intention of this piece by Duval Guillame Modem, TNT’s ad agency, was to promote the launch of TNT in Belgium. The buck didn’t stop there for the film job and edit was perfect for this to go viral. The greatest thing about this mini play is that it was extremely brandable. TNT has had the tag line ‘We know Drama” for quite some time, and fully commits to that niche. The way the button is introduced uses the term. The surprise banner unfolding on the building makes use of the tagline and all essential information.

Not all guerrilla tactics are that easy to associate with the brand. Often the idea plays off a single tangent that may not be the “One Thing” about a brand. The idea overpowers the brand because it’s just a very good idea, and then the conversation is lost. If TNT were to just have a red button in the middle of the square and all the actors wear a shirt with the logo, it would’ve garnered a WTF moment rather than stroking the curiosity. Then when people spread the conversation, it would no longer be the “TNT Red Button,” it would’ve just been the “Red Button.”

Bravo Duval Guillame Modem, well played.

False Promises

People are inherently good.

Something that we all wish were true. Years of studying ethics at Marquette University, I still find it inconclusive to side with any particular belief on human nature. Are we truly a blank slate, or is there a destiny laid out for us? With so many philosophies on life and stark contrasts in culture, it’s impossible to know for sure.

In an effort to improve the quality of life, there are so many volunteer organizations asking for contributions. All with good intentions, but their work may not always lead to the happy ending. The recent Sandusky case that was in the news, multiple former kids in Sandusky’s second mile charity were molested and raped, was high profile but things like this do happen and many times are never reported. Rape in general is a very tricky subject.

These ads were created by DDB in Maputo, Mozambique as a PSA awareness campaign. Human trafficking happens all over the world, sometimes in your own neighborhood. Doing a quick google search, I just learned of a prostitution ring that was busted in the surrounding area of my hometown. Even if the world seems perfect around you, it has its flaws.

Africa as a whole is a common beneficiary of the seemingly ethical practices of charities, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. With charities helping out the less fortunate, the devils among us are cloaked by smiles and presents.

School Promise

False promise Football

False Promise Gift

Execution wise, these ads take a simple and common technique and make it their own. The art directors look like they clipped the blindfold into it’s own layer, and desaturated the base image of the subject. The hand drawn blindfolds are treated to the same contrast as the rest of the image, but left decently saturated. There is so much drama and focus in the visual.

As far as the copy goes, I like how neutral but dramatic it can be read. The visual really dictates the voice. Unfortunately, I believe that this advertisement is very visually driven and the copy works, but is treated as a caption or explanation of the subject. The writing may have been copied directly from the strategy or the creative brief because it is an impressive fact, but it is written in a way that doesn’t connect to the audience. 1000 is a large number, but I believe numbers speak more in a comparison. If it were written to say something like “Year after year, thousands of women and children become sex slaves because of false promises” or “1 of 10 women and children you see today will be sold for sex after being blinded by false promises” (though I’m unsure of that last statistic, comparisons are much easier to imagine then numbers and percentages).

Let me know your thoughts below,