Oreo Spot Tells the Story of Mel’s Mini Mini Mart

The Martin Agency created a long form video for the Mini Oreo “Wonderfilled” campaign. Reminiscent of Wes Anderson and Dr. Seuss, it’s a whimsical tale of a mini roadside shop that sells only Mini Oreos.


Why I’m Curious

Long form video is picking up in the digital space as a new medium for brands to tell their story. From Beats by Dre to IBM, many brands are dreaming up creative ways to entertain their audience. An interesting fact about this video is that the team at Martin sold the idea by building a set and shooting the first version in their garage over a weekend. I’m interested to see if this video boosts Mini Oreos sales, and if it will lead to similar work in the future.


P&G For The Win

P&G got the gold with their latest Olympics commercial – as one of AdWeek’s ads of the day this week. It tugs at the hearts strings while adding to their #BecauseofMom campaign. Have a watch.

From AdWeek:

Despite focusing on a quartet of icy winter sports, the new spot, “Pick Them Back Up,” is as warm and fuzzy as it gets. The video follows four future athletes—a skier, ice skater, snowboarder and hockey player—from their first (not so successful) baby steps to their Olympic debuts. But the ad isn’t really about the athletes, of course. It’s about the dedicated moms who were there to pick them up when they fell (which is quite a lot), ice their bruises and warm their freezing toes—and send them back out to try again.

Why I’m Curious

Storytelling is all the rage these days. Commercials are becoming longer and brands are becoming the ultimate content creators. Is the way of the world to create longer stories or are we going to see the :15 second spots stick around?

Virtual Penguins Lead Visitors to Tokyo Aquarium

Using augmented reality, an app for the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo guides visitors from the closest public transit station to the aquarium. But forget the arrows and “turn left, now turn right” directions – waddling penguins guide the way.

Watch the video to see how this fun experience helped solve one of the aquarium’s unique business challenges.

Source: PSFK

Why I’m Curious

The aquarium could have easily leveraged traditional GPS navigation, yet by opting for a more creative and rich experience that still offers basic utility, the elements of surprise and delight were harnessed to convert something quite functional into a conversation piece.

But the biggest takeaway: Injecting a functional, tech-driven idea with creative charm can make everyday technology worthy of press and viral reach.

Ad Platform Pays People to Host Ads on Their Phone’s Home Screen

Wouldn’t we all look more kindly upon smartphone ads if someone paid us to do it? That’s the idea behind Android app Locket, which displays ads on a phone’s lock screen. A user earns one cent each time he or she swipes to unlock the device.


Founded in March, the app has already attracted 150,000 users and signed big-name advertisers like OrbitzAmazonSpotify, and SunnyD. To the orange-flavored drink brand, Locket is an opportunity to target “mobile moms in grocery stores.”

Consumers may be targeted by demographic, age, location, time, and type of device. Glancing quickly at their phone, they see a static advertisement. Swiping right unlocks the phone; swiping left engages the ad, bringing the user to a brand’s landing page, coupon deal, or video. Users get paid whether they engage or not, and may cash out earnings as a gift card, donation to charity, or a simple PayPal transfer to a personal bank account. Brands are rotated constantly to avoid tiring out users, and Kim claims a click-through rate of four percent (four times the average) for marketers.

Why Am I Curious?

I am curious because it is a very interesting idea with immense hyper-targeting opportunities and one that consumers voluntarily sign up for. However, despite the initial 150,000 people sign up, I am not convinced that the payout is big enough to convince people to actually do this and clutter their personal property with advertisement. Or is it perhaps that people who would sign up for this service would a self-selecting group (“Couponers”) that end up dictating what kind of ads are served on the platform?

Your Phone’s Homescreen: The Next Ad Platform

locket-ads2-copyNow brands can truly own your mobile device. Locket, a new Android app, displays ads on a phone’s lock screen and pays users one cent every time they unlock their device. The app has already attracted 150,000 users and signed on major advertisers including OrbitzAmazonSpotify, and SunnyD. These high-definition, fullscreen ads go far beyond run-of-the-mill mobile ads and pop ups ads.

Why I’m Curious: As more brands realize that people are media, there will be more platforms and pathways for tapping into that even further. Clearly this app provides a highly targeted way to speak to consumers – brands can target not just by demo and age but by location, time of day and type of device. Time will tell whether consumers are interested more in the money or if brands find a way to delight consumers with each swipe.

The Scarecrow

Chipotle has done it again – their newest effort, “The Scarecrow,” is another grand short-film statement from the restaurant chain about the world of industrial food production. The centerpiece is a free, arcade-style adventure game for the iPhone and iPad that reflects the video.



In the game, you’re challenged to “fly through the city of Plenty to transport confined animals to open pastures, fill fields with diverse crops at Scarecrow Farms, and serve wholesome food to the citizens at PlentyFull Plaza, all while avoiding menacing Crowbots.” And if you get at least three stars out of five in each of the game’s worlds, you get a coupon for free food at Chipotle.

Why I’m Curious

Chipotle is knocking on the door of the gaming world, using a short film and a well known musician (Fiona Apple). I think this is a creative partnership and gives Chipotle an advantageous edge in their market.

Yawn-Activated Coffee Machines Surprise Travelers

Based on research, Douwe Egberts coffee discovered that consumers tended to switch to their brand after sampling a cup of their joe. To drive contextually relevant sampling, the brand placed a yawn-activated coffee dispenser in an airport, a place where tired travelers were sure to be found. Watch to see what happened next.


From Adverblog & Mashable

Why I’m Curious

With so much advertising being fueled by the latest industry trends rather than research, it’s refreshing to see a tactic that’s rooted in a solid strategic insight. However, based on the fairly low sampling number (210 individuals participated), it seems the brand wanted consumers to be surprised when they yawned and received a coffee rather than overtly communicating the process. Though directly stating “yawn to get a free coffee” would have removed some of the surprise and delight, it seems that travelers would have still been ecstatic, and far more samples would have been distributed, laddering up to the ultimate strategic goal: get people to try the coffee and they’ll switch to it. Moral of the story to all strategists – don’t miss the creative reviews!

Heineken #Dropped Departure Roulette on JFK Travelers

As part of Heineken‘s global ‘Voyage’ campaign, the Departure Roulette experiment invited travelers in Terminal 8 at JFK Airport to change their scheduled destinations and board a plane to an unknown place.

Travelers aged 25 or older were given the opportunity to go to an adventurous location by simply pushing a button on a display in the terminal. However, they had to be willing to drop their existing travel plans and immediately board the plane to the unknown. The inspiration for Departure Roulette is ‘Dropped’, a series of episodic adventures that involves Heineken sending four men to remote destinations around the world and filming their experience and the challenges they face along the way.


Why I’m Curious

I thought this was an interesting way to take a TV spot and bring it to life in an unusual way. From the video it looks like quite a few people participated, which is interesting because it’s so hard to change flight plans and life plans. Would you drop everything to play Destination Roulette?

Printing Technology Makes Paper Interactive

Novalia, a science team, is turning paper into an interactive platform.


From PSFK:

Print may seem fairly dull and lifeless medium to many who are more inclined to use technology – but one company is trying to reinvigorate print by turning it into a useable interface.

Novalia is a team of seven scientists, programmers and designers from the UK – all of whom are interested in turning paper into an interactive platform.

Their first venture into this territory is an interactive drum-kit poster. Able to produce up to seven different sounds, the team say you could play along to your favorite songs, or add your own beats to existing ones. Using printed touch technology you could have easy access to a seven-piece drum-kit – without even needing any sticks!

It works using touch sensors printed with electrically conductive ink, to which a simple circuit board is attached. The poster then recognizes when a graphic has been touched, in much the same way as the touchscreen on a smart device recognizes your fingers.

Two versions of the poster are being developed, one that will connect to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, playing the drum sounds wirelessly, and a stand-alone version that transforms the poster’s surface into a speaker.

Made of mainly paper, card and ink, the company says that recycling would also be easy – especially as the electronics module is separable from the poster.

In a world where paper and monitors are often seen as mutually exclusive, Novalia wants to show people that there can be a connection between the two.

The team are currently running a Kickstarter that would allow a more cost-efficient production run – compared with the hand-assembled versions they have been showcasing so far.


Why I’m Curious:

I think this could have huge implications for print advertisers and for OOH and add a new layer of interactivity to these tactics.

New Castle Mocks Bud’s ‘Bowtie’ Can

The latest installment in Newcastle Brown Ale’s snarky, social-media fueled “No Bollocks” campaign is poking fun at traditional beer advertising and its recent focus on the can. And in this case, Budweiser’s much-heralded “bowtie” can is in the cross hairs.


Bud’s limited edition can was introduced in April after three years of development and a significant capital investment. Newcastle, part of Heineken USA, is essentially calling it a can with a couple of dents, like something you’d find on the street.

“Introducing the new, Newcastle Brown Ale bow-tie can,” Newcastle wrote on its Facebook page. “It’s our regular can with the sides pushed in. Innovation! #NoBollocks.”


The image drew thousands of Facebook likes and hundreds of Twitter retweets and favorites. Not to mention, it sat atop Reddit’s Beer board for an extended period of time. However, Newcastle found out that social-media snark cuts both ways. A commenter asked if the can is meant to “hide the fact” that Newcastle uses artificial coloring to get its caramel tint, not toasted barley.

That prompted the brand to get serious. “We will explore the situation as well as potential alternatives for this ingredient,” Newcastle posted in a reply on Facebook, assuring the commenter that the caramel coloring is “well below the California legal standards, which are the toughest in the country.”

Regarding the spoof ad, “we’re an irreverent brand, and we’re poking fun at industry conventions,” Charles van Es, a Heinken USA senior brand director, said in a statement to Ad Age. “In our advertising we also make fun of ourselves all the time. Similar to our neon signs in the on-premise (A $400 sign to sell a $6 beer), our ‘No Bollocks’ approach takes a refreshingly honest look at the world of beer.”

Why Am I Curious?

I like that New Castle is poking fun at innovation that consists entirely of silly packaging and it is neat that it fits well within their larger brand image and campaign. However, if you are going to make a blatant jab at others, you should be ready for attacks as well. To me, it is pretty amazing how one comment from one consumer completely changed the tone of the conversation around New Castle’s campaign as it went from being a social success to a PR crisis where the company had to acknowledge the situation and respond seriously.

Heineken Dares JFK Travelers to Ditch Their Plans, Press a Button and Board a Flight to Parts Unknown

 Here’s an airport stunt from Heineken that truly embodies the brand’s adventurous spirit. Twice this week, Wieden + Kennedy in New York set up a board at JFK’s Terminal 8 and dared travelers to play “Departure Roulette”—changing their destination to a more exotic location with the press of a button. They had to agree to drop their existing travel plans—without knowing the new destination first—and immediately board a flight to the new place.

On Tuesday, a man played the game and ended up going to Cyprus instead of Vienna. (He had been planning a six-week visit with his grandparents, but soon learned he would be headed to Cyprus on a 9:55 p.m. flight. Heineken gave him $2,000 to cover expenses and booked him into a hotel for two nights.) W+K set up the board again on Thursday, and brought cameras along to document the gameplay. The game is inspired by “Dropped,” the new Heineken campaign that launched a month ago from W+K Amsterdam in which four men are sent to remote destinations and film their adventures. We should have footage from Thursday’s event next week. For now, Heineken should set this up in the Moscow airport. There’s a guy there who would welcome any chance to fly to oblivion.

(Via AdWeek)

Why I’m Curious

It’s an interesting idea that you’d fly somewhere else, on the fly. It’s also interesting to think about how this was executed and knowing the challenges of airlines to do stunts and do them successfully, this seems so spontaneous to consumers, but we know these campaigns take a long time to build so I’m curious to know more about the backend of getting the client to say “yes” to this idea.

New York Times + Zombies

Last week some visitors to nytimes.com were greeted by a disturbing headline stating, “Population Loss Projected at 4.7 Billion.” An array of unsettling articles about power outages, survivor searches and cities going dark were included in the ad that resembled the NYT front page almost exactly. The ad was only served up to viewers for a few seconds, before defaulting to the daily headlines, giving viewers barely enough time to process that what they just saw was an ad to promote the new zombie flick, World War Z.


Why Am I Curious?

We’re now living in a world where outrageous headlines are our reality. I’m sure this ad made many people’s heart flutter for a second. I’m curious, does this add take it too far or is it just a great piece of advertising that in the end got us good?

Smart cars: For your Offroading Adventures

As good off road as an off-roader in the city, BBDO Germany created a David and Goliath story about a Smart Fortwo that travels outside of the city for an offroading adventure. 


Why I’m Curious

This BBDO Germany Smart car commercial, which was aired at Cannes, gained much traction and took home two gold awards (for Film and Film Craft). I think this was a funny and creative way to highlight the Smart car’s strengths, and poke some fun at its weaknesses. 

Say ‘I love you’ with bacon this Father’s Day

Just in time for Father’s Day, Oscar Mayer has launched “Say It With Bacon”. This campaign is a homage to jewelry commercials, and even references to the four ‘c’s’. In this case, the four c’s stand for cut, color, cure and consistency of breakfast meat.

The microsite includes four different options to choose from for your father, including The Commander, The Matador, The Woodsman and The Messenger. The FAQ section assures you that yes, this is for real and even includes a link for tracing your bacon gift.


Why I’m Curious

It seems like a growing trend for Mother’s/Father’s day is to create microsites with a funny twist (Momtract). I thought this was an interesting way to relate bacon to Father’s Day and create a great buzz for Oscar Mayer.

IBM’s OOH ads make cities smarter

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 3.37.33 PM

Many of us are aware of IBM’s Smarter Planet corporate initiative, which highlights how forward-thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress.  For example, solutions to traffic congestion, smart grids, water management, greener buildings, and more.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 3.30.38 PM

Smarter Planet ads are often seen in business and tech-leading publications, both online and in print. IBM’s latest OOH ads really bring this proposition to life:

“Cities can be difficult places to live. Despite all they have to offer, they often make lives difficult for its citizens, with stairs where there should be ramps, no shelter when it rains, and nowhere to sit your weary self down. Ogilvy & Mather Paris and IBM’s “Smarter Cities” campaign try to ease things for you, by turning their ads into useful, smart solutions. By adding a simple curve to a poster, they turned them into places to stand under when it rains, and someplace to sit when you’re tired. With some modifications, they also turned them into a ramp for bicyclists to easily traverse”. – via @Creativity-Online

The ads drive to the Smarter Cities Challenge [people4smartercities.com] where the company is crowdsourcing ideas for building Smarter cities.

“IBM launched the Smarter Cities Challenge to collaborate with local governments and co-fund technology-based solutions to city-specific urban challenges. Through the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM aims to help 100 cities across the world address urban issues with $50 million worth of IBM technology and expertise”.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 3.41.51 PM

Why I’m Curious

Demonstrating real value in a tangible way in an excellent way for IBM to extend its Smarter Cities proposition to more people. This initiative truly demonstrates IBM’s commitment to address key problems in cities to make the world a better place using their technology and solutions.  While this initiative clearly demands a large budget and scope, I’m curious about how smaller companies – tech or otherwise – can create simliar CSR programs.

3D Ad Lets You Be A DJ

To promote their new mobile DJ mixing app called Slussen, Urbanears created an ad printed on a 3D printer. When scratched with your fingernails at different speeds and pressure application, the ridges on the ad poster reverberate with familiar sounds that a DJ could create by scratching vinyl records on his or her turntable.

Why I’m Curious:
We’ve been seeing 3D printing pop up a lot, but we don’t often see it showing up in advertisements, per se. I think this is a really creative campaign that lets people actually interact with the brand’s ad in a context that is relevant to the product. The posters could be put up at events where interested musical consumers can scratch the posters along with music playing in the background.

Low battery at the beach? No worries, Nivea has you covered.

Giovanni + Draftfcb in São Paulo, Brazil, developed an ad for Nivea which includes a wafer-thin solar panel and phone plug, to promote the Nivea Sun line of skincare products. It ran in Brazilian magazine Veja Rio, promoting the brands sunscreen line. Users of the ad could charge their phone as it dwindled away while they were at the beach and miles away from an outlet.

Why I’m Curious

This is an interesting way to link sunscreen to a common problem that many face while at the beach – their battery depleting. It is an interesting twist to traditional print advertising – will we see a shift to enhance traditional advertising?

Perfect Fools Encourages You to Get Into Staring Contest with Samsung G4

When the word “free” is involved, people will do anything. They’ll even stare at a new phone with eye-tracking software for an hour to win that phone for free. We can file this under the Must Be a European Thing Club, not because people will complete strange tasks to win free products, but because they did so as crowds of people cheered on the contestants. And it’s not as if they were just staring at a phone, they were staring at a phone secure in a tall box as chefs pretended to be on fire and motorcyclists drove by for distraction. If a contestant stayed focused on the phone for more than one minute, he/she received a 100 SFr (Swiss Franc) discount. If he/she looked away for a millisecond, their turn ended. One dude, looking very European in his sleek jacket with infinite pockets, won the grand prize, a Samsung S4, in the above video (go here for more). People cheered. He now has to pay for a monthly plan.

The campaign comes from Switzerland, where creative studio Perfect Fools and Swisscom agency Heimat incorporated the smartphone’s new eye-tracking abilities to generate some buzz. The original video was filmed in Zurich, and crews will also travel to Lucerne, Bern, and Lausanne for similar showcases. If you are a guy who owns a jacket with too many pockets, you may also be able to have an opportunity to stare at a smartphone for an hour. On your mark, get set, F-R-E-E.

(via AgencySpy)

Why I’m Curious

I thought this campaign was really interesting because it combined a lot of different roles within an agency. A live event was sold into the client with a box built for people to stare into and a mechanism that knew when they looked away. The people were filmed and after the videos were cut and then released online through social media. Actors were hired to distract people. I searched online but couldn’t tell if more social media was used day-of to encourage people to stop by but that is another tactic that could have been successful. This campaign could be a great application to bring to the US for some of our clients (Chase: cash prize, United: airline tickets, Verizon: devices/phones).


Hyundai Suicide Commercial

Hyundai recently launched a commercial that’s bound to get your attention:

Why I’m Curious:

Commercials continue to push the limits, first with language as we saw with Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial and now one that has you sitting in suspense, wondering just what’s going on.

Kit Kat Uses Last 50 White-Chocolate Bars to Make Posters

In honor of its limited-edition white-chocolate bars, Kit Kat gathered the last 50 and asked illustrator Mike Watt to create 50 original illustrations from them. After crushing and melting the bars, he created 50 posters for Kit Kat to remember their white-chocolate masterpiece by.

kit-kat-breaks-melts-paints-candy-bars-lovely-posters-148517 Kit%20Kat%201 Kit%20Kat%204 Kit%20Kat%202%20copy


Why I’m Curious

I thought this was a cool concept to bring attention to the last of the limited edition candy bars. However, what are they going to do with the posters? They showcased all fifty on Facebook, and out of their 15m fans, only 100 ‘liked’ the gallery. I feel like Kit Kat could have done more to get their fans involved.