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Thursday
Jul112013

CGI Bruce Lee Stars In Slightly Spiritual, Slightly Baffling Johnnie Walker Ad

We're not sure what it says about the current state of celebrity that we seem to be running out of living people.

Tupac was famously revived in hologram form at Coachella last year, while Marlon Brando appeared in 2006's Superman Returns two years after his death.

Now Johnnie Walker adds their own entry to this growing roster, with a rather meditative spot produced by BBH's China branch. Set against the glow of night-time Hong Kong, we see a suited Bruce Lee holding forth on life, the universe and everything.

Of course, the real Bruce Lee died in 1973, but CGI-modelling attempts to bring the martial arts maestro back to life. The result is occasionally effective, if a little creepy, and works best when 'Lee' isn't in close-up.

As for the content, the model provides some inspirational phrases ("Don't just seek the path to success, but to exceptional success"), before we cut to a loving shot of some Johnnie Walker: Blue Label

While we appreciate the technical ambition that went into the spot, we can't help but find the concept a little bizarre. There's already been a minor backlash to the ad in the Chinese press, but we'll have to wait and see how the general public responds.

Thursday
Jul112013

Microsoft Takes Another Bite Out Of Apple With Latest Cheeky Spot

What's more American than a good ol' game of baseball? Well, other than the country's two tech giants, Apple and Microsoft, battling it out for everyone to see.

Yes that's right, everyone's favourite corporate rivalry is back and just as mud-slinging as ever. In what's rapidly becoming a new national sport, Microsoft's 'Baseball' takes aim at the short-comings of Apple's iPad, by comparing two competing baseball scouts.

While we can't claim to understand baseball drafts, we do know a thing or two about Apple-baiting.  

The anti-Apple field is clearly highly contested and riddled with sporting machismo. So how does 'Baseball' stack up against the competition?

Taking fairly gentle swipes at the iPad's lack of multiscreen and touchy videoconferencing, this certainly isn't the boldest attempt we've seen. With Nokia using zombies and Samsung going crazy, Microsoft is going to have to step up their game if they want to stay on top of the game.

C'mon kid, this is the big leagues.

Wednesday
Jul102013

Surf Brand Roxy Courts Controversy With Sexualized New Spot

After the internet firestorm over John Inverdale's comments about Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli, it's been a week in which perceptions of female athletes have been under heavy scrutiny.

Bad timing then for Roxy's '#WhoAmIGuess' campaign, which asks viewers to identify a famous female surfer whose face we never see, and whose body is revealed in tightly controlled close-ups. 

Now if that sounds like a pretty harmless gimmick (not to mention reminiscent of a certain Blue Peter segment), then you're right. But the issue is all in the execution.

Many critics online have noted that the surfer (her name is Stephanie Gilmore, if you're wondering) is treated more like a glamour model than the 5-time world champion she is. We see Gilmore lazing on her bed, getting undressed, taking a shower, getting dressed, with about 15 seconds of cursory surfing at the end.

And that's the other problem. As a company which claims to address female surfers, '#WhoAmIGuess' completely ignores the primary reason for her recognition (her surfing ability) in favour of sexualizing her appearance. 

While advertising has always had an obsession with beautiful athletes (male and female), there is a way to do this kind of thing tastefully. If Roxy wants a role model, we recommend J Crew's collaboration with womens' surf brand Pret‐à‐Surf, which features beautiful women actually engaging in the sport in question

Tuesday
Jul092013

Latest Animal-Related GEICO Ad Is A Real Hoot! 

Why do people think owls are wise? I mean, if we really thought that spending all night eating mice was a wise thing to do, why don't we try it?

We are not the only ones wising up to owls. In the latest animal-related ad from GEICO, the motor insurance company has a little fun with its long-running tagline, "15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance".

While driving down a motorway, a woman repeats the tagline after spotting a billboard. The man replies,"Yep, everybody knows that". She responds: "But did you know that some owls aren't that wise?"

The ad, once again created by The Martin Agency, then cuts to two owls on a tree (let's call them Mr and Mrs Owl). Mrs Owl tells her partner that she plans to have lunch with her friend tomorrow. However, Mr Owl can only respond with "Who?"

It's a nice one-liner and a welcome addition to the highly-successful GEICO stable, which also boasts already boasts a camel, a pig and an antelope.

'Owl' still has a long way to go to match the success of its predecessors, but it has made a good start, attracting 5,000 shares already.

However, one thing is for sure: GEICO's $1 billion-a-year advertising strategy is working. According to business data company SNL Financial,  they are about to surpass Allstate as America's second-largest auto insurance company.

Monday
Jul082013

The Future Not As Bright As We Would Like, Says Toyota In New Spot

By all accounts, the future is going to be pretty great. High-tech clothes, robot vacuum cleaners, holograms reading you the weather: what more could humankind ask for? 

In their new spot for the Auris Hybrid car, Toyota gives us their own vision of the future. We see a couple living in harmony with technology, as their beds wake them up and their closets pick their outfits.

But like all great sci-fi concepts, there's a dark secret behind this stream-lined, touch-screen paradise. Nope, it's not Soylent Green, nor is it The Matrix.

Rather, the flaw in this world is (drum roll, please) pollution. To make this point, our heroes leave their sparkling smart-house and strap into a gaz-guzzling, smoke-chugging 1920s automobile. 

The contrast is intentionally absurd, but visually striking. The end of the spot shows Toyota's glistening metropolis overcome by clouds of smog, as a short line of copy hammers the point home:

"No world will be truly advanced until automotive technology changes." 

While there are certainly funnier and more bombastic ads than 'A Better Way' around right now, Toyota deserves credit for a simple concept, well conveyed. 

Monday
Jul082013

Rory McIlroy Rages Against The Machine In Bizarre Golf Challenge

We've known it a long time but the machines are finally taking over. First, Deep Blue beat Kasparov at chess. Some time later, HAL killed the guy from 2001: A Space Odyssey. These are facts.

But now our metal foes are hitting us where it really hurts: our chipping skills

This new spot promoting the European tour pits golfing-wunderkind Rory McIlroy against his toughest challenge yet: a computer-assisted hitting robot. What's worse, this robot comes fully equipped with a sassy attitude.

Amusing adverts are surprisingly effective at humanizing even our most taciturn athletes, and 'Rory vs. the Robot' is no exception. Not only do we see McIlroy trading quips, but the challenge itself is based on his favourite childhood practice regime: chipping into washing machines. 

We won't spoil who triumphs in this tense struggle, but the spot is absolutely worth a watch. The challenge is real spectacle, and whoever voices the robot does a fantastic job of winding McIlroy up. 

Currently trending on Unruly's Viral Video Chart with 35,000 shares, 'Rory vs. the Robot' paints a grim, dystopian picture of man-machine relations, beginning on the driving range. 

If this keeps up, we'll soon be watching Terminator 5: Sand Trap