Mar 17, 2013

The Smart Way to Travel

Cute campaign for the "smart way to travel". Three short stories; the product -disclosed in the last one-, surprised me.

I am not sure if this is actually true when it comes to humans but the idea is good, was very well produced and reinforces the slogan. Here another short:

Nicely done by Duval Guillaume Brussels for the De Lijn brand; animation by Creative Conspiracy

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Jan 1, 2013

Tell me what you are buying...

...and I will help you with cooking ideas!

This is a great idea from Hellmann's Brazil (Ogilvy). The brand teamed up with supermarket chain St Marche to install special software in 100 of its cash registers. The software recognizes when consumers are buying Hellmann's and also clocks any other item they are buying to came up with recipes that combined several of those ingredients, printing them out on the till receipt. This way the brand encourages people to use Hellmann's not just in sandwichs but for cooking and actually "gives a service" to anyone buying the product.



According to the brand, in the first month alone of the three month experiment, sales increased by 44%.

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Sep 12, 2012

Romney, Ryan, Russia, France and a very expensive ride

As someone that worked in advertising for almost 15 years, I am picky like hell when it comes to logos. Not picky as clients normally are ("can you make the logo bigger?") but picky in the sense that I want a logo to be simple and yet I want it to be original and I want it to "tell a story" if that's possible.

Since this election started there was something that was bothering the hell out of me about the Romney campaign logo and I could not put my finger on what was exactly.

Let me be clear, I am not a fan of Mr. Stiff at all (I am a woman and I think, ergo I don't like the GOP ticket) so for a minute I thought that maybe what was bothering me was just his name in there but it wasn't the case. To test myself, I actually stripped that double/triple R from the name and there, alone, that "R" was still bothering me.

Then I saw the logo in another position (thanks Rachel Maddow for having it sideways!) and I start playing with it. By doing so I realized that the very first thing that was "not right" was that the logo reminds me of another flag, not the USA flag but the French flag. Of course, you can say that the colors are the same (and the French flag has them in a different order) but the lack of reference to multiple stripes or to the stars makes the Romney logo more similar to the French flag, with just three equally sized stripes.

Can you see it? Do you see it?

But that was not all that was bothering me. The blue, that blue, was wrong. Ok, I can go all Pantone into this (and I am not a graphic designer but years of working with them can do that to you) but c'mon, you can tell that the blue in Romney's logo is not the blue of the USA flag, is a watered down blueish.

To be fair, while I still remember how struck I was when I saw the Obama logo for the first time (as it had those three qulities I named before simplicity, originality and was telling a story) I also had a problem with the blue in his logo but in his case the blue was also a sky, so I took it as a "poetic license".

Not representing the sky in the Romey logo, I realized that this specific blue reminded me of another flag..., the flag of the country Mr. Romney considers "America's number one foe", the blue of the Russian flag. Once, again, do you see it?

Now, don't get me wrong I have nothing against France or Russia (I have been in both countries and I loved them both) but I do find kind of funny that one is not exactly the most admired country by the Romney followers (France) but at the same time was the place he chose to avoid Vietnam while the other one is the one he chose to pin in the map as "America's greatest enemy", going back in time to the cold war and apparently missing what happened with the Twin Towers.

Still, I knew that was not all that was bothering me. It was the colors and the resemblance with other flags, yes, but there was something else... something...

And then, suddenly, it struck me! I have seen that logo before!! Yes, I have seen that logo before and here it is...

Now...,do you see it?




So I was finally able to pinpoint all that was bothering me: from the three factors that a good logo needs, this logo has just one (simplicity) but it totally lacks originality and if it would be trying to tell a story it would be a story that starts in the wrong country.

On the other hand, you have to give it to the Romney campaign; France, Russia and Rolls Royce seems a good mix for a candidate that loves "dressage", wants to take us back in time and is all about the money!

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Jan 18, 2012

Strike Against Censorship

For any Hispanic like me it is difficult to take seriously a law called "SOPA" (in Spanish means "Soup") but truth be told, I take it seriously.

So, I may have not updated my blog in almost a year but I am joining the strike. Learn more about the strike at: http://sopastrike.com/strike/




And inform yourself about SOPA, here: http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa

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Jun 18, 2011

For Father's Day, the Best Tribute

Yesterday I received an unexpected email from the director of the unforgettable "Stop Sign" that I posted before, telling me that he has a different video to share with everyone. It is really something different, totally different and awesome.

He wrote because he wanted to share "this really special music video project/experiment I directed and literally just finished last night (...) The video's for a song by my friend Tony Rogers. It's about the genuine emotions between fathers and daughters; sort of a mix between a music video and psychological experiment (... )It features candid emotional reactions of 35 real girls and women of all ages, in the act of being surprised by their fathers—in a magical environment, looking right into the camera, and captured in super slow-mo high definition."


I may be not the most objective person to judge the result, considering that I lost my dad this year but I truly believe that any daughter and any dad would be moved by the video. It is simple, extremely simple and as someone said in the "Making of" it is a "small great idea". What it makes it so different is the fact that is so real, so pure, so spontaneous. We do not see the dads, just the daughters faces going through the emotions.

Here, the video, enjoy it!


PS: As it happens with "small big ideas" the simple result was way more complicated to execute that it may seem. You can see the first part, the  "make of" here and judge for yourself. According to Michael, the director, "perhaps the most interesting thing about this whole project is how it affected the fathers involved, and also the entire production team." I do not doubt that at all...

PS2: The song is in the just released album Sycamore by Tony Rogers

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May 10, 2011

The Best Beer Ad (for beer drinkers)

video

This ad shows how to give a good use to their ad.
Simple great idea.

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Oct 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Global Warming

Today is BAD. Not a bad day but Blog Action Day and the topic for this year is global warming.

As always I will "talk" about it with an ad, this time one from Brazil. It is a more or less recent campaign (aired in January this year) that uses a very simple analogy to help us perceive what some others are feeling already, thanks to global warming.

The agency behind the commercial is Ponto de Criação from São Paulo. Here, the ad:



While millions of people have seen that last shot more than once, I know that some do not take what is already happening seriously. I believe that this ad successfully conveys the fact that what is happening is not funny. At all.

Nevertheless, there are other arguments to be made about this problem.

I find particularly creative the list compiled by the Center for American Progress, a list towards what I call, "the selfish ones". Titled "The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming", it is not about hunger spreading or crops failing is about how global warming can affect your fun. Yes, your fun.

Some of the things in the list are: Say Goodbye to French Wines, Say Goodbye to Baseball, Say Goodbye to Lobster and Salmon Dinners and Say Hello to More Mosquitoes and Poison Ivy. If you want to read the whole list, here it is.

Global warming is a fact and it will affect all of us, sooner or later. It is really up to us to do something.

What can you do? Here is a list of ten things we can do to help stop climate change. Of course, it may be impossible to do all of them: I know I can consume less and unplug my electronics, but I also know that I will never -ever- go vegetarian willingly (I am from Argentina, remember?)

My point is that this is not about changing your ways all at once, but it is important to start taking as much steps as possible. At the end of the day it is a fact that no one can dispute that we have just one planet.

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Sep 16, 2009

Universal Health Care for Dummies

Those that know me, know perfectly well where I stand in this so call "debate" on universal healthcare. Even if you don't know me personally but you read my blog, you probably know where I stand, but so far, I kept my mouth shut (or better said my fingers quiet) and didn't talk about the issue in my blog for two main reasons:

a) I didn't see real debate happening, what the media was showing as "debate" was just a bunch of ignorant/misinformed/selfish/fearful individuals (choose one or all of the above) yelling nonsense.

b) More important so, there was little "creativity" around the issue: at the beginning most of the material available was coming from those against universal healthcare and let's face it, people so afraid of change tend to have little creativity.

But finally those for the plan have started to surface with their own take on the matter and I want to share with you some of the good material I found here and there. (Note: if I am calling these "good material" is not just because I agree with what they say but because of how they say so.)

Let's start with these cards from SomeEcards. I talked about them before, but they have conquered my heart with these e-cards about the issue: my sentiments exactly!





Now, a video that I think it should have been named:

"Universal Healthcare for Dummies"
(Think about it. The water in your house comes from a "socialist" service:
Beware, by drinking it you may become a commie!)


Animated by Andy Lubershane. More comics at http://www.earthlycomics.blogspot.com


So, we all talk about "the facts". The problem being, which facts? Which ones do you believe in? Here is what happened to someone trying to get good, real, reliable info online about the plan (for or against it):

Ze Frank finds out that "It's complicated"


This last video may not be as funny as the ones before, but it clearly presents facts. Facts with names and numbers and parents or kids. Not funny maybe but on the creative side, a little gem. Made with "social" help, giving voice to those that need it the most, and the music of R.E.M.



If you have any doubt, I guess now is obvious that I am all for universal healthcare. I do not need it, I have healthcare here through my job AND I keep my private healthcare in my native country. I simply believe that health is like education: everyone should have access to it on time.

Last but not least, a couple of thoughts.

For those that believe that a public option would be "unfair" for the private companies: have you seen any private university closing their doors due to the "unfair" competition that public schools represent?

For those that do not want to do it now, because "we need to get it right": Do you really believe that 40 years in the making is not time enough? And do you believe that when the actual system fails, you will be able to get it "right" then, in a hurry?

And for those that are just wondering "how we'll pay for it" I hope you never lose the private healthcare you have now. On second thoughts, I hope you lose it. Don't get me wrong, I am not wishing you bad. I am just wishing that you experience the same experience other have. Maybe that way you will understand a bit better how awful it may be to be sick or have your relatives sick and think "how I will pay for what they need"?

The US has an enormous advantage to get it right. We can learn from all the others countries out there with universal healthcare. We can take what works and avoid proven mistakes. We can be creative and start working on a problem when it's in the early stages. You know what? I hate super used slogans, but I will make an exception this time: "Yes, we can".

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Sep 13, 2009

A Campaign With an Edge

From Singapur (Singapore), probably the most clever campaign I have ever seen for a product like Play Doh. And the cutest one, in a "Tim Burton" sort of way.

These ads talk to parents directly, reminding them -at the same time- about the thousand of possible things you can make with the product but, even more important, it also reminds them about how safe it is to play with it.

According to my friend Odra -who is living there and sent me the ads-, the whole campaign appeared in one of those small free magazines that you can pick up at the coffee store (in her case it was at Spinelli's) and it is "the type of magazine that let you know what there is out there to do if you want to be young, crazy and informed of the last tendencies...".

Clearly, the target is young, progressive, open minded parents (my friend being one, she also fall in love with the campaign).

Here, the ads (click to enlarge):

Matches
Playdoh_Matches
Razor
Playdoh_Razor
Pills
Playdoh_Medicine
Knife
Playdoh_Knife

The magazine where she found them is called Navigator and if you are planning to visit Singapur soon, you can also read it online. I don't know the agency behind the campaign but I surely hope they get some recognition!

UPDATE: Hasbro denies the ads were correctly approved (even when they were approved by someone in the company). Read more here!

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Sep 7, 2009

On Parents and Education

As seen in CNN - Weston, FLI can't help but laugh at the "controversy" about the President giving a speech to students about the importance of education on their first day at school. Parents that are complaining about "indoctrination" clearly have no idea what that word means (no surprise there).

You can read Obama's speech here, there is nothing in there that even gets near to political propaganda.

I guess that those parents complaining like cry-babies are threaten by anything that the POTUS may say just because they have little positive to say at all. Or maybe, they really would prefer their kids to become rich and famous the quick way, through reality TV or rap because that would not challenge them (the parents) in any serious way. Something in the lines of "Let's keep 'thinking', 'asking', 'learning' and 'commitment' out of our lives." What is a shame, because if there is something that nurtures creativity is exactly that, the capacity to keep asking questions.

The very sad part is that their complaining just comes to show what kind of parents they are: the lousy type. Good parents are not threaten by that real big world outside their homes that is so full of different ideas. Good parents do care about what their kids are exposed to, of course, but they are powerful enough in their knowledge and conviction, -and most importantly in the eyes of their kids- to talk with them about what they may have seen or heard anywhere and discuss those things with their kids, as another way to teach them.

As I said, I don't see any indoctrination or political propaganda in this speech, but even if there was a hint of it, a good parent could easily rub that off from their kids. Of course, to be able to do that, you need to have half a brain, some basic capacity to articulate coherent sentences and -last but not least-, the ability to talk with your kids (as opposite to give monologues to them.)

Really, parents that do fear a speech like this, should re-evaluate their parenting skills; they obviously do not know what means (or how to be) a good parent. It may sound harsh but it is just a fact of life: Good parents are not threaten by a 20 minutes video that their kids will see just once in their life!

PS: BTW, have you read Reagan's speech for the same occasion? It wasn't exactly what I would call an "objective" one. If you compare them, there is clearly more political propaganda in this one that in Obama's speech, but I guess that was another time. Maybe at the time, those parents that differ in their views knew how to talk to their kids or maybe the type of people that are complaining now would have not complained about Reagan's propaganda because it was "their" propaganda...

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