Creative Media Blog
Car Paint, Heal Thyself
Posted by Amy Corr on May 13, 2:40 PM
Nissan has developed self-healing paint, a technology that renders a car scratch-proof.
Does this spell the end of parking at the far end of the store so errant shopping carts don’t ding my car? Someday, just not today.
The technology isn’t cheap; it’s only available on very select models, targeting tech-savvy affluents. I’d also target those who have yet to master the art of parallel parking and backing out of spaces near large, colorful poles.
To promote this technology, TBWA\G1 Paris, DAN Paris and OMD Europe created an iPad ad that makes a universally hated sound: fingernails scratching a chalkboard. Having self-healing paint should be a reward, not likened to the punishing sound of nails on chalkboard. It's a grating way to promote the technology.
The iPad ad running in The Economist begins as a simple ad for the sporty Nissan 370z. Creative takes over the entire tablet, and when a user attempts to swipe the ad away with their fingers, the ad stays put. The innocent finger swipe sounds like metal scratching metal. Each finger swipe leaves an actual scratch mark on the 370z. The user is subjected to two swipes -- that make the hairs on your arms stand up -- until the scratches disappear. “Now with self-healing paint” closes the ad, seen here.
Maybe Nissan could create a self-healing health-care system next.
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Mail A Letter -- It Could Save A Life
Posted by Amy Corr on May 6, 3:24 PM
New technology, like social networks, not only reconnects old friends and relatives but sheds light on cold-case crimes, most recently helping to solve a 45-year-old hit-and-run death.
This month, The Missing Children’s Network in Canada goes old-school in its effort to help locate missing children by placing the pictures of those missing on postage stamps.
The timing of the campaign coincides with May being National Missing Children’s Month in Canada. Lowe Roche created a site, MissingKidsStamps.ca, which explains how to create the stamps for children missing, along with brief bios about the kids.
The technology for users to create personalized stamps had been around for years, but The Missing Children’s Network believes this is the first time this medium has been used for this purpose.
“The concept really is ingenious, and in line with our mission,” said Pina Arcamone, director general of The Missing Children’s Network. “We’ve made a commitment to the families that we work with to use every channel available to us to help them find their loved ones. The postage stamp is so universal, and passes through so many hands each day – it offers a way of paying homage to these children so they will never be forgotten.”
For those who pay bills mostly online and use few stamps, the site offers the option of creating an email footer to place at the end of each email that’s similar to the postage stamp layout.
Canadian residents can also purchase books of stamps at Missing Children’s Network events taking place throughout May.
“When all is said and done, this initiative is about bringing home as many missing children as we can, and honoring those who are still missing,” said Monica Ruffo, CEO of Lowe Roche.
Since its inception, the Missing Children’s Network has helped locate more than 870 children.
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A&W Restaurant's Social Media Moves: Locked Out Of LinkedIn, Rebounds With Vine
Posted by Amy Corr on Apr 29, 3:43 PM
A&W Restaurants is jumping headfirst into social media with the help of its mascot, Rooty The Great Root Bear and its agency, Cornett-Integrated Marketing Solutions. Back in February, A&W Restaurants created a LinkedIn profile for Rooty, marking the first time a brand mascot had its own LinkedIn profile, according to the company. Those who added Rooty as a connection received a fun and light-hearted LinkedIn recommendation.
Rooty wasn’t able to deliver too many recommendations, however, because once LinkedIn caught wind of his page, it was shut down completely, because Rooty isn’t a real person. In a follow-up video posted to YouTube, Rooty begs to differ.
On April 1, A&W Restaurants launched a new product, Mini Polar Swirls, using Twitter’s Vine app. The company believes it is the first brand to launch a product on Vine – which may be correct, given that the app is fairly new, although increasing in popularity.
Since users have just six seconds of video to get their point across, a product launch seems more challenging than being restricted to 140 characters. And I wasn’t kidding on how new Vine is; Rooty has a whopping four followers.
“We loved the unique opportunity in Vine,” said Liz Bazner, Social & Digital Communications Strategist at A&W. “It's a great platform to allow us to share our delicious products in a really fun way. And since #magic is hot on Vine, we felt that sharing the news of shrinking our Polar Swirl into a Mini Polar Swirl created a natural content strategy for a fun size campaign.”
The Mini Polar Swirls are miniature sizes of the restaurant’s larger Polar Swirls, which blend ice cream with candy or cookies. In various Vine postings, Rooty shows off his flair for magic tricks by transforming cookies into an ice cream and cookie mini polar swirl, making a little girl appear from thin air -- or a hula hoop and playing whack-a-mole on a table, causing mini polar swirls to vanish. See Rooty’s magic tricks here, here and here.
“Embracing a new digital platform wasn’t something that people probably expected from A&W, but over the past 16 months we’ve made a concerted effort to change that,” concluded Bazner. “Our fans realize that we’re a fun brand with a sense of humor. Social media is the best place to take advantage of that and really interact with our customers.”
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A Campaign That Uses Its Noodle, Literally
Posted by Amy Corr on Apr 22, 4:55 PM
Nothing beats indulging in various ethnic cuisines while on vacation but what to do when a craving arises and you’re stateside?
A branding campaign for Noodles & Company curbs worldly cravings with outdoor, newspaper, radio and online elements supporting the company’s “Your World Kitchen” initiative.
TDA_Boulder created the campaign, which debuted first in Denver, Kansas City, Austin, San Diego and Sacramento, with a national campaign to follow.
Outdoor is the largest aspect of the campaign, with some ads city-specific. A billboard in Austin, for example, shows three clocks to depict the time zones for Japan, Italy and Austin. One slight problem: the clocks all read the same time because Noodles & Company can offer Austin residents Japanese noodles and Italian pasta in their own time zone.
A Denver wallscape has five arrows pointing down to a parking lot with the headline: “Recipes imported from more countries than these cars.”
Pandora music lovers that request any type of world music were shown an ad that states: “Based on your selection, we think you would like: Japanese Pan Noodles.”
My favorite part of the campaign took place in Kansas City, where home subscribers to The Kansas City Star received their papers in a polybag written in a foreign language. The first week was Italian, the second week was Japanese and the third week was written in Thai. On the flip side was an ad for Noodles & Company that read: “Travel the world without leaving your table.” In total, 400,000 polybags were distributed over a four-week period, with the final week including a buy one get one free coupon.
“With a menu of the best dishes from around the world, Noodles & Co has made it easy for people to travel the world of food,” said Jonathan Schoenberg, executive creative director at TDA_Boulder. “Our work needed to do the same thing. Whether it was surprising them with foreign newspapers or exposing them to exotic music, we wanted to transport consumers to another place and mindset.”
The biggest challenge of the campaign was “communicating the true variety of Noodles' offerings to such a large audience,” continued Schoenberg. “Noodles has dishes from around the world, but not everyone is aware that they have salads, soups and sandwiches on top of the variety of noodle dishes.”
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Look Up: Agency Transforms Water Tower Into Art Projector
Posted by Amy Corr on Apr 15, 4:39 PM
Rusty, the 100-year-old water tower that resides on the roof of Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, received an artistic upgrade that draws pedestrian attention skyward.
The agency partnered with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to create a loop of mapping projections running throughout April from sunset until midnight. Projects differ in time, running from 15 seconds to 2 minutes, totaling a 10-minute loop. See it here.
“In 2010 Carmichael Lynch began projecting visuals on the water tower that sits atop the agency's offices in the Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis,” said Dave Damman, chief creative officer at Carmichael Lynch “It was conceived as a public art space that would showcase pieces from a variety of artists. In 2012 the agency opened up the unique canvas to students from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and their work is currently being projected.”
Students had one month to submit their work and judges from Carmichael Lynch selected an overall winner and finalists.
It’s not every day that a water tower gets a makeover; the last time I heard of a water tower campaign was in 2009, when a water tower was covered with a knitted yellow cozy for D&AD's annual award show. Read about it here.
The water tower doesn’t include any Web addresses or Twitter handles, only art. The project broke April 1 to coincide with the Minnesota Twins opening game. Fans inside Target Field are treated to a great view of Rusty.
According to Damman, the biggest challenge for the students was “figuring out how to design something that translates to the tower’s unique shape."
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The Latest Impulse Buy: A Car?
Posted by Amy Corr on Apr 8, 3:14 PM
When I think of impulse buys, I think of the candy section at the grocery store and the trial-sized beauty supplies that consume the checkout line at Sephora. But a car, as an impulse buy, is something I’m not buying.
While this ad for Volkswagen Canada is clever -- not to mention challenging for the production team -- I’d position the car as affordable without labeling it as an impulse buy.
“Butcher” promotes the 2013 Jetta, which costs $14,990, a decent price for someone in the market for a new car. The ad begins with a woman buying meat from her butcher. She then asks him “How fresh is the Jetta?” as you’d ask how fresh the fish of the day might be. The camera pans out to show two silver Jettas hanging behind the counter, suspended from the ceiling. The best part is how the cars sway, just like a piece of meat in a butcher shop. After considering the price, the woman takes the plunge and buys a Jetta, but insists on the “one on the left.”
The ad, created by Red Urban, was shot inside the stables of Casa Loma in Toronto.
“The biggest challenge was to hang the cars so that they would hang authentically – and even sway a little the way a piece of meat would,” said Christina Yu, Executive Creative Director at Red Urban.
“To accomplish the stunt, we removed the engine, transmission and fluids from both vehicles to reduce the overall weight. A European trailer hook part was installed and reinforced before employing a custom rig solution to hoist the cars up inside the Casa Loma stables. No CG was employed.”
The cars still weighed more than 3,000 pounds after certain parts were removed.
Red Urban also seeded a behind-the-scenes video illustrating how the agency was able to suspend the Jettas.
As to positioning the Jetta as an impulse buy, Yu states: “We chose this angle because it allowed us to appeal to our audience’s appreciation of both good quality and good value. The impulse buy that we depicted isn’t taken literally by viewers. The position of the vehicles, swaying slightly as they hang from a ceiling hook, is surprising and funny. The customer notices them and makes her purchase."
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