Archive for August, 2009

Sony Bravia: Big budget advertising, flamboyance, and beauty.

Are the glory days of advertising dead and gone? Over the last few years, the budget crisis has transformed advertising. Here is a closer look at what was, what is, what advertising will be in the future. And will online advertising transform branding and customer outreach?


While this is certainly an interesting advert, I am still confused about what is actually being sold. A life-sized zoetrope it being used to illustrate the smoothness of motion. An artistic genius seems to be at work, instilling in us the very idea that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Isn’t that true? When I saw this advert, I immediately knew what they were saying. However, zoetropes are the most rudimentary, unsophisticated tool used for motion graphics and animation. How ironic right? What is not technically the most bleeding-edge can be romanticized to sell Sony Bravia’s high definition video experience.


Those are real bouncy balls. That is actually San Francisco. And it was actually captured on film. What I like about it is that it is striking, mad, and utterly flamboyant. It brilliantly captures, metaphorically, our perception of beautiful colors, with sheer surprise and beauty. These adverts are just desperately pretty. However, I find myself asking, what is being sold and why is this important to me? Will I make a buying decision simply because I like this ad or will other factors such as price, affordability and screen size make a better pitch? Since I am logical, I will go with the latter.

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It certainly has been a long time since I have seen a good TV ad. I think advertisers find it harder to justify flamboyant advertising. And, I think, two factors that play the biggest role, are smaller budgets and the waning attention from customers. When I am with friends and family, I find that I am the only one actually watching advertising. Maybe this has something to do with my profession. People, contrary to an advertisers beliefs, generally tune it out. There is a growing rift between how people wish to be reached and spoken to, and how advertisers reach customers. Customers spend their time on Facebook, YouTube, chatting and video conferencing on Skype. When we watch TV, we often record shows before watching them to skip the advertising. So I find myself asking, why do you need storytelling in advertising? Do advertisers really need to try so hard to instill brand recognition or is recognition defined by what people think of the product? Case in point are technologies, products, and services like Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and the iPhone which have all succeeded by word-of-mouth and offering customers what they really want. It seems like advertising today is more an extension of the product, an experience, rather than storytelling, that alludes to the products’ features and its applicability for the end-user.

Advertising is no longer going to be sandwiched between TV shows into thirty second spots. It is now consumable. Therefore, consumable advertising has to be more experiential and content based to really affect the lives of its target market. The words to carry away are: make your customers’ lives better.

This type of advertising is taking many shapes and forms. The types of media span from flash-based video minisites to installations. The idea seems to be to seamlessly connect the online and offline worlds to create one harmonious engaging experience. Take a look at the examples below:

Fiat eco:Drive by AKQA london is an application stored on a USB drive that plugs in your car and records your driving habits. When you’re back on the computer, the application shows you how to drive better.

Fiat is the first car manufacturer to launch the concept of ‘The Connected Car’, developing an innovative way of mapping a car’s engine, and thus providing diagnostics about how the car is being driven. We saw a huge opportunity to send this data to a USB stick via Blue&Me™ (Fiat’s in-car Bluetooth system); it could then be collected and analysed via a user-friendly desktop application. Called eco:Drive and based on real and accurate journey data, the technology allows Fiat drivers to easily understand how their driving techniques and habits can be improved to reduce CO2 emissions and save money on fuel.

The Best Job in the World by Cumminsnitro Brisbane is a recruitment site for the “Best Job in The World.” It was made to promote the tourism industry in Australia and also to attract people to come work on this Island. You get a giant rent-free apartment and $8,800 monthly salary to look after the Island.

To raise awareness of Queensland’s Islands of the Great Barrier Reef we created ‘The Best Job in the World’- a position that sounds too good to be true, but is a genuine opportunity with Tourism Queensland. We recruited through online job sites and small display ads, directing traffic to News of the opportunity spread across online news sites, forums and blogs. In 56 days had 6,849,504 visits, 47,548,514 page views with an average of 8.62 minutes spent on the site. 36,648 people from 201* countries applied. And we received over 450,000 votes for the Wild Card applicant. *Web-coded countries (only 195 countries are recognised by the UN).

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Nokia viNe is a breakthrough mobile application that records photos, videos, songs, text, voice and bookmarks onto a multimedia map of your life. It’s an easy way to relive, search, and share your experiences, just how you lived them. To start your vine, simply load the application on your GPS-enabled device. Press record, then do what you were doing already. As you move through your day, each photo you snap and video you capture appears on your vine exactly where you take it. Songs appear where you listen to them. You can even use GPS to bookmark your favorite locations. Nokia viNe is the ultimate travelogue tool that lets you capture and share all dimensions of your life. –

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Nike+ Human Race
The largest one-day running event in history, and the next evolution of the award-winning and industry-changing Nike+. With a little help from technology, runners around the globe came together, both physically and virtually, to challenge and inspire each other, and raise money for some very worthy causes. In the end, the Nike+ Human Race was one of Nike Running’s biggest success stories:

  • Nearly 800,000 participants representing 142 countries
  • Nearly 2.5 million training miles logged
  • 280,000 new challenges issued


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NIKEiD was introduced as the world’s best online customization tool, then as a 23-story digital sign experience in Times Square, to a customization destination at NIKEiD Studios worldwide. This year, we took it to a new level. With Nike’s help, our team set out to evolve the NIKEiD consumer experience. At the heart of it is the new NIKEiD builder. Now, the product is the interface: guests are welcomed to the experience by a hi-res photorealistic shoe, where they actually customize color on the shoe (or product) itself. The site seamlessly integrates image rendering of guests’ designs, giving them 360-degree views of their creation. The zoom feature lets guests get see stunning detail of the stitching, fabrics and form. What’s more, guests can now customize performance aspects of Nike products, like selecting from a variety of cleat options.
Another key addition is Design Search, a feature provides instant access to thousands of designs created by the NIKEiD community, searchable by color and other filtering options, helping to inspire NIKEiD designers everywhere. –

Team One Advertising, a subsidiary of Saatchi & Saatchi, has also made some inroads into the integrative ad space. Check out these campaigns:

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VCG worked together with advertising agency Team One to launch an innovative web application as part of a campaign for Lexus to support the launch of the all-new Lexus IS luxury sports sedan.
The website featured an interactive photo mosaic of the IS which was made up of thousands of photos submitted from visitors to the site. Photos uploaded by visitors to the website for the mosaic were randomly projected on the world famous Reuters board in New York City’s Times Square.
The ground-breaking site was created in Flash technology for the front end, and programmed in Java for the back end functionality. Guests to site were treated to stunning imagery composed of a photo mosaic of random images which simultaneously highlight the dramatic lines and classic styling of the new IS. Selecting major categories on the website led to the rotation of an innovative homepage “cube” that directed visitors to the next section. The entire website fully encapsulated the vision that Lexus had for a major launch website, and was accomplished under a very tight timeline.

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In an overcrowded cellphone market and the brand wished to leverage their association with footballer David Beckham and Cantonese pop-star Jay Chou as well as the sponsorship opportunity of the launch of the new terminal of the Hong Kong international Airport. The key goal was to create a huge splash and be remembered.

The above video tells the story best, however in a nutshell Motorola employed The Hyperfactory to devise a program linking people to their environment through their mobile devices.

  • Passengers using the terminal could say ‘goodbye’ to those waiting by taking a picture of themselves on their mobile phones, adding a goodbye message, and sending it to the large video screens overlooking the terminal.
  • Messages and photos were then played out on the screens seconds later.
  • Custom ‘goodbye’ messages of David Beckham and Chinese pop star Jay Chou were produced and were accessible by Bluetooth via the big-screens and shared virally all over the world.

Tens of thousands of people participated and Motorola received unprecedented amounts of free publicity and buzz. This Motorola campaign remains the most awarded and recognized mobile campaign in the world to date, garnering every award globally in 2007 (final tally, 18 awards) and one ofBrandweeks’ Ten Biggest Ideas of 2007.



In partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, we produced one of 2008’s most groundbreaking and emotional awareness campaigns. Winner of the Best Mobile Advertising Webby, Best Mobile Integration Webby, D&AD Yellow Pencil in mobile marketing, an AIMIA Award, a Bronze Lion at Cannes and an unprecedented four wins in four categories at the 2008 Mobile Marketing Association Global Awards.

This was UN Australia’s most successful marketing campaign ever, drastically increasing awareness in major urban areas and the video speaks for itself.

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