World Cup 2014 – Best of the Best Ads

May 20, 2014

I love the World Cup. The best players in the world, the roar of the Three Lions, the heartache of England losing on penalties. The ads which can cross over into popular culture.

Nike shows a journey from footy in the park to the pinnacle of the world. One of the best things about world cup ads is that the boot manufacturers get to show off all their best sponsored athletes and we get to see them doing amazing skills.

Whereas adidas focuses on just one player, but what a player he is:

An inspiring, tear-jerking, emotionally charged piece of film brought to you by Powerade:

Samsung pays homage to one of the great series of Nike ads, “The Mission“:

ESPN makes Brazil look pretty tempting about now:

Whereas back in the UK, ITV plays on the emotions we footy fans face (well, all sports fans):



I bet he drinks Carling Black Label

April 28, 2014

We were talking about this ad at the office today – an oldie and a goodie from the UK. Its amazing to see the power of a great execution of a powerful brand idea, with evocative music.

I remember seeing the “behind the scenes” on a science show when I was younger and it was fascinating. The team trained the squirrel to move along the course over a series of weeks by placing the nuts at sequentially further spots throughout the course.

Music trends in advertising

April 24, 2014

Young female singers covering songs by older white men…and advertising agencies using them to make a strong emotional connection with “mom”.

Lilly Allen covers Keane’s “somewhere only we know” for John Lewis

Ellie Goulding covering Elton John’s “your song” (one of my favourite songs ever) for both John Lewis and Kraft Peanut Butter

Trend or observation?


The power of the post-launch

December 9, 2013

So much of our time is spent focusing on launching a campaign or on shipping a product. There’s a feeling that that moment is the zenith, the peak that we should we working towards and when its achieved, we can take a breath. Sadly, that is no longer the truth. The “set and forget” mindset is long behind us and it is great to see a huge, multi-billion dollar brand that not only gets that but that then uses the data it gets from its consumers to fuel its ongoing marketing. In this case. its the EA Sports football franchise, FIFA.

With all of the connected devices playing network games, or even just relaying statistics back to the mothership, EA Sports has a treasure trove of data that it can use to continue to market itself in smart, low cost ways – the definition of building marketing into the product.

Here are two examples:

First, FIFA has partnered with the football clubs around the world to showcase the goals of the week scored by the clubs’ fans on their game. Now you have football clubs with a social presence reaching into the 10s of millions promoting a video game. Here’s my club’s goals of the week:

And secondly here is FIFA using its data to cement its place in the cultural fabric of its potential consumers – football fans.

FIFA player data

There’s enough rich data in the infographic to start a conversation between any two (or more!) footy fans from different clubs, countries and cultures.

Bear, Hare and John Lewis

November 13, 2013

Every year John Lewis outdoes itself with its Christmas advertising. Past tear jerkers are below, but this one is particularly great, thanks to a Lily Allen cover of an old Keane song and Disney animation…literally, animated by Disney. Lovely from my friends at Adam&Eve/DDB

Perhaps I’m drawn to it because I read the “Bear wants more” series to my little man!





And my favourite John Lewis work from 2010:

Radar 10am One Thing: ASICS Treadmill Challenge

November 7, 2013

The following is this week’s 10am One Thing that I wrote for the DDB blog.

asics treadmill challenge

For most people, a marathon is a passive event that we observe on TV. Perhaps we make a flippant comment about how we “could do that” (if we had the time) or about how “they aren’t running that fast, are they?”. To answer both those comments, ASICS marathoner Ryan Hall has an average pace of 4’46” per mile. I don’t know how long I could last running a marathon pace 4’46” per mile but that’s what ASICS challenged consumers to do in its treadmill challenge. The running brand set up a treadmill, and the necessary safety equipment, to run at Hall’s pace and then put the best results of its experiment on YouTube. As one would suspect, 4’46” is a really really fast pace, one that many of the participants failed (and flailed) to match for any length of time:

The idea of taking real world events, augmenting them with digital technology and amplifying through online video is a tried and true tactic in this post-social world, but that doesn’t make this any less effective or awe-inspiring. As an aside, this execution itself is an evolution of a 2011 initiative that saw Ryan Hall’s digital self challenge consumers in the subway to keep up with his pace. [as a caveat that didn’t make it into the blog, his pace has remained the same, a solid 4’46” since 2011]

The One Thing is a result of the weekly 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies. For an archive of the 10am links, visit our Pinterest board. Follow Radar on Twitter

House of Deadly – Nike Hypervenom

October 22, 2013

I read this on the BBH blog and then checked out the “making of video”. It is a truly spectacular undertaking – and having lived through one of these real-life technology driven installations before, I know just how tough it can be. Having the ambition to create a nearly fully authentic football experience for consumers has to be applauded.

%d bloggers like this: