Advertising, Car Design

VW in a New Light


For baby boomers who came of age in the late 1960s, the VW Beetle is a symbol of carefree youthful abandon, beach parties, rock concerts, and living happily on a shoestring.  It was a protest against the materialism of the older folks and their thirst for big cars with long tail fins.  Aware that the humpbacked VW Bug could not compete on speed, comfort or sleek styling, ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach had the chutzpah to turn the Beetle’s shortcoming into a symbol of hipness with bluntly honest slogans like “Think Small” and “Lemon.”  It worked.  By 1973, VW had sold more than 16 million Beetles worldwide.

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Advertising

Google Says “Hey Mom, Thank You”

What’s a good analogy to describe how people talk to their Google Home Hub?  The way kids talk to their mothers and always expect her to be there and respond.  No “please” or “thank you’ or “when you finish what you’re doing,” but simply “hey, Mom.” Released in time for Mother’s Day, this commercial by Wieden & Kennedy for Google’s Home Hub draws a parallel with how people talk to their Home Hub and other Google support devices. No prefaced niceties, but just “hey Google, call my office,” “hey Google, where’s the nearest Starbucks,” “hey Google, tell me how to get to the bridge from here.” That’s okay, don’t feel sheepish. Google, afterall, is internet technology designed to do your bidding. Moms, on the other hand, occasionally like hearing how much she is appreciated. 

Special Co-Branding

Oreo’s Homage to “Game of Thrones”

From upper left to lower right: House of Stark, the Night King, House of Targaryen, and House of Lannister

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

For the two or three people in the modern world who don’t know, Sunday April 14thmarks the start of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” on HBO TV.   Based on the adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire” book by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is a medieval fantasy epic that chronicles the violent dynastic struggles of noble families vying for the Iron throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  The HBO series, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is predicted to attract more than one billion viewers worldwide in its final season. 

Season eight provided the perfect opportunity for Oreo to issue special edition cookies that would appeal to “Game of Thrones” fanatics. Instead of showing its brand as a friendly chocolatey snack, Oreo emphasized the stark black-and-white appearance of its cookies and stamped them with the crests of the fictional warring families. The packaging, too, showed the sinister-looking iron throne.  Oreo and HBO took this brand pairing a step further by teaming with Elastic Creative to substitute the show’s title sequence with a cookie-built version made entirely out of 2,750 Oreos.  The brand campaign is so imaginative that the limited edition offering is selling out as fans join in the fun of munching on “Game of Thrones”-themed snacks.

Oreo packaging with the Iron Throne
Humorous Advertising

Believe It or Not – April Fools’ Day Ads

Is it brand advertising?  Yes.  Is the product offering real?  No way.

April Fools’ Day is an excuse for ad people worldwide to take a break from practicing “truth in marketing” and spin fanciful selling points that stretch credulity to the breaking point, and make even gullible people go “Huh??”

April Fools’ Day spoofs are an advertising tradition and lately they have become more elaborate and expensively produced to capture the interest of social media and go viral. Some ad pitches told with a straight face (wink wink) include Rent-a-Runway wardrobes for dogs, Virgin Australia offering inflight spin classes, Seiko making watches for ninjas, Heinz selling chocolate mayonnaise in the U.K.   Funny and in good fun, April Fools’ Day advertising is becoming something that consumers look forward to seeing like Super Bowl commercials. It’s feel-good advertising that make consumers like a brand that enjoys having fun.  Here are a few April Fools Day ads from 2018.

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Advertising

Babbel Presents: An Alien Abroad

How better to illustrate how frustrating and isolating it feels to be a foreigner who can’t communicate with locals than to use a “real” alien. The funny commercial, made by Wieden & Kennedy London and directed by David Shane, features a tourist named Alexi from who knows what planet explaining how Babbel, the language learning app, transformed his travel experience. He went from being treated like a strange alien to the gregarious, likeable individual he really is. The advert was charmingly “convincing,” except for the fact that on first meeting Alexi, the locals remained infinitely polite and patient and didn’t threaten to call the cops. Must not have been made in the U.S.