Common Problems Call for Comprehensive Solutions

Digital media is one of those inventions, like television, with the potential to change the world for the better. Instead, many digital spaces have become a cesspool, and a cesspool is an unhealthy place for marketers wanting to connect with future customers. Meet GARM Some of the world’s largest advertisers including Adidas, Diageo, Mars, Procter […]

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David Droga Wants You To Care, And He’s Not Alone In That

David Droga poured his heart out during The Lion of St. Mark interview at Cannes this year. He cares and he wants you to care too. Do you care? Adweek picked up on his call to action, and captured the essence of the hour-long chat with this pull quote: I would put down everything in […]

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A Child’s Pain Is The City’s Pain Is The Nation’s Pain

The kids who rely on Youth Ambassadors in Kansas City are in the line of fire today. In other words, the kids are not currently living a storybook childhood. Perhaps, that’s why these animated tales from VML contain such awesome power. The agency is presenting some of the harshest truths about our culture in a […]

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Like Lions, Hard Truths Are Hard To Come By

Photojournalism is a beautiful documentary art and a much-needed pursuit in today’s mixed up world of lies and propaganda. Thankfully, The New York Times employs some of the world’s best photojournalists. The newspaper’s ad agency, Droga5, wisely saw this truth and placed it at the center of this Cannes Lion-winning ad campaign. The combination of […]

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No Wonder I Break Hearts When Spilt

Milk continues to be the perfect canvas for creative expressions of advertising. Witness these three little films from Colenso BBDO and New Zealand milk brand Anchor. The campaign just won a Gold Lion in the Health & Wellness category at Cannes. The campaign features slam poet Harry Baker working through some of the smartest product […]

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Cliff Notes from Cannes

Here’s a recap from a selection of today’s talks at Cannes, in case you were too hungover to attend any panels today, or maybe you’re not in the south of France this weekend: “The sun is setting on Cannes,” one agency exec affiliated with a major holding company told Ad Age. Clients with each passing […]

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Ad People Can’t Kick The Cannes

I don’t know who goes to Cannes for the panels, but some of the featured panels do look promising. Given the high cost to attend the industry’s marquis event, perhaps agency principals could demand attendance at X number of panels, plus a full debriefing for the team upon return. According to a memo reviewed by […]

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This Stripped-Down, High-Tech Vehicle Could Change Auto Advertising Forever

When you’re shooting an automotive commercial, why bother using the actual car being advertised? That’s so 2015. 

Wouldn’t it save time, money and effort to employ a motorized, highly malleable rig that could transform into virtually any car on the planet? A rig you could use over and over to stand in for different makes and models? 

Production and visual effects company The Mill—working in tandem with JemFX, Performance Filmworks and Keslow Camera—won a coveted Innovation Lion at Cannes last month (one of only nine such Lions bestowed) for developing such a vehicle.

It’s called the Blackbird. At the push of a button, it can change its length by four feet and its width by 10 inches, as well as alter its wheels and suspension. This allows the rig to mimic just about any chassis design—plus, its programmable electric motor lets it adopt a wide range of driving characteristics. 

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How 2 Young Creatives Made One of the Most Celebrated Ads at Cannes in Just 48 Hours

The Young Lions competition at Cannes is a stressful thing. You get briefed by a nonprofit on the Wednesday during the festival, and then you have 48 hours to come up with an idea, film original footage (entirely on a camera the festival provides) and edit your 60-second film. It is then presented to the Film jury, featuring some of the top creatives in the business.

It’s a lot of pressure for the young creatives who compete. But this year’s French team—comprised of Gautier Fage and Julien Bon, two twentysomething creatives at Paris agency Romance—rose to the challenge with a remarkable piece for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative.

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See the Nivea Campaign That John Hegarty Called the Stupidest Thing He's Ever Seen

Ready for a sunscreen-shitting seagull?

Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and all-around advertising legend, was jury president of the Titanium and Integrated Lions at Cannes this year. And his jury recognized plenty of brilliant work, including the Titanium Grand Prix winner, REI’s #OptOutside campaign.

But at the press conference announcing the winners, Hegarty didn’t open his remarks by talking about the top-notch work. He opened by mentioning a Nivea campaign that was so shockingly wretched, it’s a wonder it was entered at Cannes at all. In fact, it’s a wonder it’s not a parody.

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Jaguar Gave People the Craziest VR Experience Ever With This Sneaky Prank

Jaguar’s “Actual Reality” prank from a few months ago just won big at Cannes, taking home four Lions (a gold, two silvers and a bronze). It also would have probably given me a heart attack if I’d participated.

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A Volkswagen Drives a Trailer Backwards at High Speed in This Marvelous Campaign

Imagine walking down the street, going about your business, and seeing a car-towed box trailer whizzing past—backwards.

You might imagine you had stumbled onto the set of an action movie. Or perhaps it’s a Norwegian Volkswagen campaign from agency Try Oslo that picked up four Lions last week in Cannes, including gold in the Promo category, as well as silvers in Outdoor and PR and a bronze in Film.

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We Brought an 'America Box' to Cannes, Introducing the World to Simple Pleasures of U.S. Life

America doesn’t always have the best image among our friends overseas, and at this year’s Cannes Lions, AdFreak set out on a humble quest to fix everything. 

Our tool for global reputation improvement? The America Box.

Through a thoroughly researched and exhaustively planned 1-hour trip to a Publix grocery store, I loaded up on a few of the items that make America truly great. More importantly, these are the simple pleasures that you simply won’t find in the aisles of your Parisian supermarché.

I lugged this clunky cornucopia of consumer delights across the Atlantic, then cajoled non-Americans into digging in and seeing what they could find.

Here are the myriad joys of discovery that awaited them:

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Orangina's Ingenious Upside-Down Can Forces You to Mix Up the Pulp

Lots of Orangina’s marketing is about shaking up bottles of the stuff—to mix up the pulp, which makes the carbonated citrus beverage taste better.

“An advertising guy told me there was a weakness, and we’re going to make a strength out of this weakness by saying, ‘The bottle needs to be shaken,’ ” Orangina’s founder, Jean-Claude Beton, said in an interview a few years before his death in 2013. “Television offered an opportunity to shake things.”

Orangina’s most recent marketing coup, though, was not in TV but in packaging.

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Love, Grit and Hypothermia: The Real Story Behind Xbox's Insane 'Survival Billboard'

Last November, Xbox celebrated the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider in the U.K. with quite a sadistic stunt in London. It challenged eight Lara Croft fans stand on a billboard and get pummeled with harsh weather conditions, as voted for by the public watching online.

Last person standing would be the winner.

In the end, the McCann London stunt was a rousing success. And last week at Cannes, the work won 17 Lions, including five golds, becoming one of the most-awarded campaigns of the year.

We wanted to learn a little more about how McCann pulled off the stunt, which of course brought with it myriad logistical and medical concerns. Below, Lolly Thomson, co-president and chief creative officer at McCann London, tells us how it all came together—from the contestant who got hypotheriam to two others who found a love connection. 

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Why Working In Advertising Sucks And What We Can Do About It

Editor’s Note: I am excited to introduce Mark St. Amant to our readers. Mark is an accomplished ad guy and author of two books about sports. He lives in Boulder, CO. Human Centipedes And Other Nastiness Right now, more than any other point I can recall in my 25-year (yikes) career, the Advertising industry is […]

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Ask David Ogilvy And Watson Will Reply

Wouldn’t it be nice to ask one of the early heroes of the ad business a few questions? Thanks to IBM’s Watson, and some diligent research work from The Drum, we are now able to ask one deceased legend—David Ogilvy—about various items of importance. By the way, The Drum is a global media platform and […]

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FCB’s Creative Leader Sets The Story Straight

Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB, believes in the power of story to move people to buy and to believe. She’s not alone in this, although it pays to clearly make the argument over and over. In a guest piece written for The Wall Street Journal, Credle explains the great tradition that today’s […]

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Descendants of South African Slaves Honored In Museum’s Slave Calendar

What role did slavery play in the shaping of modern nations, and how is its legacy impacting contemporary thought and policy? These are important questions for Americans, but also for South Africans, and people from scores of nations who have committed crimes against humanity. They’re the kind of questions that might be answered in a […]

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How Do You Improve Sex on the Cannes Red Carpet? Bring Along a Mattress and Pillows

“It is your last night in Cannes. Make it more comfortable.”

That’s the message, printed on the pillows, that awaited Cannes Lions attendees who discovered a mattress on the event’s red carpet during the festival’s final hours.

The stunt was a well-played callback to this year’s much-buzzed-about moment when two unidentified people had sex on the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals around 4:30 a.m. last Tuesday.

While re-enacting the public sex became a frequent gag in photos from the event, one creative team decided to take it a step further.

Valery Volchetsky, group creative director for Moscow-based agency Hungry Boys, said he brainstormed the idea while talking about the sex photo with Romanian creatives Razvan Ghilencea, Anca Wirdy, Robert Capraru and Bianca Dumitra?cu. A gathering at the Gutter Bar turned into a brainstorming session as they tried to think of a way to play off the growing conversation around the sex act.

Initially thinking they’d make a spec bit of guerrilla branding for a brand like Ikea (“We even thought about PornHub, but they definitely do not need any comfort for sex”), the team instead decided to simply turn the whole thing into an attention-grabbing joke.

They created pillow cases printed with the message about making your last night in Cannes more comfortable, then brought their mattress and pillow setup to the entryway of the Palais. About 60 people gathered to photograph the stunt, Volchetsky said.

Here’s a brief video clip they created from the prank:

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.