Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sprite oral sex ad was a fake

A controversial new ad for Sprite, that has been doing the rounds online and has been revealed as a fake, is a very interesting marketing experiment.

The Huffington Post reported on the ad, which it claimed had been banned in Germany, but has now been revealed as a fake originating from the US. The TVC has no official affiliation with Coke or its agencies. The fake ad can be watched here. Its interesting to see the presenters refer to Singapore’s recent Burger King ad scandal.

Its also quite fascinating about the media storm this ad, which is not real, has created. Has the kerfuffle actually indirectly helped Sprite, because it wasn’t involved and looks responsible compared with the oral sex ad? Or not? With what seems like a constant recent stream of offensive and controversial ads, are brands now looked on better if they play it safe in their marketing, or should they be edgy?

Friday, July 10, 2009

What agencies will do for business

Its been a tough 12 months for the advertising industry and it's interesting what agencies these days will do for money.

We’ve seen pitches with 30 agencies involved, heard claims of massive undercutting and more marketers are making agencies jump through hoops for little return.

But on 30 July at the Ritz-Carlton we’ll put that all aside to celebrate agency excellence and the best client-agency relationships in Singapore. This year we'll announce our first ever Agency Professional of the Year, and unveil several new categories such as Search Marketing Agency of the Year and Web Design Agency of the Year. Will Ogilvy & Mather take home the overall Agency of the Year crown again? Who will be 2009's Next Big Thing?

I hope to see you all there at our Agency of the Year awards, and share a drink with you.

Also, thanks to LloydNorthover Yeang for creating our ad campaign for the awards, and thanks to JWT's Angus Fraser and Ogilvy's David Mayo for being good sports. Not that I'll be able to look at either of you the same again though.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Droga5 fires up Aussie adland

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since advertising guru Dave Droga launched his agency in his native Australia 19 months ago, but this week the often-maligned creative outfit made the local ad industry sit up and take notice as it unveiled two huge campaigns.

Dave Droga, a former ECD of Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore who has gone on to worldwide fame and fortune, started Droga5 in Sydney on 1 January 2008 and straight away the new agency made waves. It brought in a number of industry heavy-hitters, like Marianne Bess, David Nobay and Sudeep Gohil from Saatchis, and picked up one Australia’s top brands in VB, which had been with George Patterson Y&R Melbourne for more than 40 years. For those who don’t know, marketing for VB in recent times has been extremely successful and won many advertising awards. Droga5 Sydney also won V Australia, a low-budget international airline owned by Virgin, and is working on Puma down under after a global win.

Consistent with Australia’s tall-poppy syndrome (Aussies love to criticize the high and mighty) Droga5 has copped a lot of flak, particularly for its work for the VB sub-brand VB Gold ( a mid-strength beer). See the work on YouTube here and then check out comments about a similar piece of work here (on this one Droga5 publicly acknowledge that it collaborated with the writer of the Manstrokewoman sketch).

However this week Droga5 has hit back in big way. Firstly, it launched an ambitious campaign for V Australia. This great idea, which echoes Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” campaign in some ways, uses Twitter and social media in a very smart way. How effective will it be? Its early days, so only time will tell.

Also this week Droga5 Sydney unveiled its highly anticipated work for VB, which is one of the largest beer commercials ever produced in Australia with a cast of more than 2000 people and a crew of 150.

The massive campaign, which includes this site and the usual suspects – print, radio, outdoor, in-store etc – also ties in with the current Ashes series between Australia and England. Foster’s, VB’s owner, is a big sponsor of the Aussie cricket team. It includes different executions of the TVC and features Aussie celebrities and sports stars.

The ad harks back to some of Foster’s best ever beer ads, like “The Big Ad”:

And “Flashbeer”:

Will it reach the same heights as those? Again, its too early to say but it will certainly give them a shake. No matter what happens Droga5 Sydney has definitely answered its critics in the best way possible and let its work do the talking.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Is Microsoft’s ad too sick for YouTube?

Having recently been panned for its unsuccessful ads involving Jerry Seinfeld and founder Bill Gates, Microsoft’s marketing team has taken another hit with news that their latest online ad has had to be pulled off YouTube following complaints from users.

The controversial ad features Dean Cain, of Superman fame, and is directed by Bob Goldthwait –the guy who played Bobcat in the Police Academy films.

It’s already been pulled from YouTube but you can watch what all the fuss was about here.

What do you think of the ad? Does it warrant the public outcry? Or is it even funny?