Agency L O V E

Silver + Partners, wow!

Your first love is always special. It’s likely that it won’t feel as good the second time, it’ll still be love but you’ve built up a tolerance of sort. Apparently that is not true for me when I fall for ad agencies. I haven’t felt like this in a year, when I found the works of Dare’s Vancouver office.
Now I have found something in the Big Apple. The agency isn’t big, but the ideas and concepts are.

Ben & Jerry’s
These campaigns have a hard focus on social media and small budgets. But the use of both Twitter and Facebook is phenomenal.

Fairtweets –Twitter

I think this is a very clever idea. I don’t usually like ideas that can work on a number of brands. But in this case I don’t see that problem. Instead I’m envious of the guys who came up with this idea. Being first at an idea that could’ve worked for a number of charitable organizations. I think that’s something impressive, especially when the idea is as good as this.

Wanna spoon? – Facebook

It’s a very clever insight about how Facebook campaigns should work. What I like so much about this campaign is that it’s actually social. It’s not just a clever viral ad and a “share on Facebook”-button attached. This is a campaign that helps you connect to lost friends. It’s not focused on mass sharing, but the one-on-one sharing, which of course eventually leads to mass sharing – but it’s not the focus. Ben & Jerry’s helps you start a dialogue with old friends. Branding themselves not so much as a cool brand, but a brand that’s involved in and care about their customers’ relationships.

CarMax – Super Bowl TV-spots

The top one is my favorite, easy choice. It’s visual, nicely edited and every time the camera cuts I chuckle a little. But the second ad is not as good. On the idea/concept level it was probably as good as the first. I think it’s clever, it gets the point across, but the actor is neither fun nor believable. All the ingredients are all there but something’s wrong with the recipe.

Ultimat Vodka
The guerilla ad for this brand got a huge media spread. But the same insight was also used for prints, outdoor and banners. It’s also cool to see how differently the tone of voice is compared to the CarMax ads. They’re both humorous and from the same agency but hits completely different target groups.

Window Cleaner – Guerilla/Event/Real Life Interaction

If your target group is rich people who work all the time, you know where to find them – at the top floors. So if they won’t come to you, why not go to them? Point out their lack of social life, and how little they see their family. Show your brand as a solution, the balancer of their life.

Get Offline – Banners

Banners are a hard medium to work in, the formats are weird if you’re used to print or TV and no one seem to notice them. So for a banner to be visible, there has to be an idea. Something that can catch us off guard, there is no other way past banner blindness. And I think the rich-media-use in this ad does just that. It’s the greatest display ad I’ve seen since I first saw Zappos streaker. But this ad have a harder task, it’s confined within that small box and can’t run all over the place. Big props on the media buy as well, bullseye on strategy.

The campaign also came with print ads, and tbh… these are kind of harsh, but I still like them. It hits you were it hurts, but also offers a solution (of sort) to your problem.

From what I can find at AdAge, the agency is 35 employees small. So thank all of you at Silver + Partners, you turned the start of my week into a weirdly emotional one. Filled with a mix of envy and adoration. This is the type of advertising I want and hope to do in my future career.

It’s time for Droga5 to show you why I love them.

Mel the Milkbite

I’m starting out with a campaign that I love. It’s cute and funny. But it’s also a smart way of marketing the product.

This spot was bashed for racism. I understand why people found it racist, but I can’t really agree. You can read a lot into this commercial if you’d like to. How deep racism still runs in the world – some still won’t date people with another ethnicity.

But does that make the ad racist? Definitely not. It takes the issue of being a mix, or not knowing who you really are, and puts it in another perspective. That’s not racist, there’s nothing here that says that X is better than Y. It just says that she’s only into X, until she actually meets the X+Y combination.

You might say that it simplifies a big issue and mocks it. I say: what’s wrong with bringing these issues out into the light? Especially when a big corporation pays for it. I’m sure this ad actually started conversations about Internet dating and prejudice. A commercial did that. That’s a very good thing!

Decode Jay-Z

This is probably Droga5’s most famous campaign. It won too many awards to name them all but the list includes: a golden Cannes Lion in Direct, one Grand Prix in Outdoor and another in Integrated, a One Show Gold in Outdoor.

The campaign wasn’t the first to use this technology. But it’s the biggest integrated campaign ever. It’s spread out over the world, not in a single city or even a country, the world.

But what makes this campaign so freaking cool is the media buys: pool table mats, fast food soda cups, luxury jacket linings etc. This was an expensive campaign no doubt, but it’s also cool to see a global brand like Microsoft spend their money on it. No doubt was this a gamble, but they really went all in. Thank you for that. Now all we want are global brands doing the same thing.

The above campaigns were both from the New York office, so lets take a look down under. The following two campaigns were made by Droga5’s Sydney office.

Facebook intervention

Many Facebook campaigns are just about likes. Some campaigns have taken it further, like take this lollipop. But that can get a bit scary. So how do you use the same technology but for something fun? And how do you make people connect to each other with it instead of themselves.

Case study here (couldn’t be embeded).

This is what you do when your friends become total Facebook posers. You give them an intervention. I think it’ll be hard to see how many beers this campaign actually sold. But in the long run this is the kind of ad that’ll make people like your brand. Few things are as powerful for marketing as people actually liking your brand.

The strongest and most loved brands don’t have to fight their battles and try to get likes. People will do it for them, and if your product isn’t good or different enough this is one of the ways to earn that love. Fun, integrated campaigns that fit your target group perfectly. A beer brand spoofed young men on the Internet = perfect match.

Raise a glass

This is another campaign for the beer brand VB. But if you’re not a total cynical you’ll have to press the tears back rather than laugh.

I am a bit of a cynical and I don’t like brands to free ride on people’s deaths. But I don’t think this does. The campaign is focused on remembering lost soldiers. Honoring them with a raised glass, and gathered money for the ones left behind. It’s a lovable campaign and the greatest part is that it’ll be permanent.

Raise a glass shows that brands can do great things. They’re not all evil corporations. Even if VB makes money on this I don’t think that’s their main reason. If it were, it wouldn’t have worked as great as it did.

Sweden’s Advertising Flagship

Forsman & Bodenfors have a very special place in my heart. Not only because of their great work, but because it was their advertising that made me choose this career path. There is one ad I remembered specifically, and it’s the one just below. I apologize in advance for all the Swedish ads, I’ll try to explain them as well as possible, but some of them won’t translate very well. Luckily the first one has headlines.

Familjen Dafgård Kama Sutra

It’s such a brilliant ad. It doesn’t speak much about the food, but it does tell the story of how easily you can get dinner ready when you absolutely have to. It’s easily one of my favorite ads of all time. The casting is perfect for the script. On one hand the idea is so funny and simple. On the other hand I can’t imagine the amount of time it’d take me to stumble upon an idea like this.

Västtrafik Tram Sightseeing
During the last few years public transport have often been promoted on it’s environmental benefits. But Forsman & Bodenfors took a completely different approach. They saw it as an opportunity for the cheapest guided tour possible.

I believe this is the cleverest use I’ve seen of mobile yet. Sure there are a lot of cool branded apps but few add something useful to my life. Sadly I haven’t tried it yet as I’m stuck in Karlskrona. But I will visit Gothenburg later this year and then I have to try it out. The only bad thing I can see with it is that a lot of tourists will get pretty high phone bills due to the data usage, but maybe you can prep it over WiFi. Which leads us to the next campaign.

Tele2 only free is cheaper
Everyone has been told of how they must protect their WiFi with passwords and encryption, but apparently some people missed the memos. Forsman & Bodenfors saw an opportunity. With an outdoor campaign telling people how they could use the Internet for free.

From left to right the ads read:
Here you can surf the web using the “pizzalover” network. But there’s a lot of people using it so sometimes it might be a bit slow.
There’s an open network here. Thank the Lidman family for that. Just enter: “FamiljenLidman”
Right here there aren’t many open networks. Try over at Nytorget instead.”

I think that this is just the start. We’re not far away from companies offering WiFi at bus stops to promote their service. However, here we have something completely different. Tele2 is offering other people’s access to anyone who wants. And tell them that if they want to keep browsing the Internet where there is no free access, the cheapest way is to use Tele2. What I like about this approach is that it’s so unexpected for a big telecom company to do something like this.

The cool part of this campaign is that all these networks could be accessed at the start of the campaign.

Apotekets Magtest
The ads for the Swedish pharmacy Apoteket were some of my absolute favorites last year. Instead of showing illustrated or animated shots of this and that part of your stomach, they dreamed up a metaphor where a stomach is the world’s most chaotic office.

Every character represent a different part of your digestive system the stomach and the small intestine as well as the large intestine. All the ads end with the question “What’s the working environment like inside your stomach? Take our stomach test.

The humor is great as well as the style, but I find that the absurdity in the ads is what makes them perfect. Compared to other ads talking about stomach problems it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s humorous without fart jokes and still makes you think and wonder. It’s a testament to the fact that you don’t need a convincing guy in a white coat in medical ads and you definitely don’t need cheap and boring animations.

Kalles i Tokyo
There have been many brands promoting how good they are by associating their product to national pride. Few ads have shown how people from other counties can’t stand the product. So with this approach Forsman & Bodenfors promoted a Swedish spread as the opposite of ‘Big in Japan’.

To explain this a bit Kalles Kaviar is a, comparably, cheap Caviar brand that is used every day on Swedish sandwiches, preferably in combination with a hard boiled egg.

I think this ad summarizes why I love Forsman & Bodenfors. Their ideas are so different but still sell the product perfectly. And while other agencies also do this, few can do it with the subtlety and elegance with which Forsman & Bodenfors does it.

How BBDO Clemenger stunned me.

After a few weeks I’ve realized that there are a few agencies I need to write about. They’re spread out all over the world; but for now, let’s jump back down under.

I’m also coming back to the BBDO network. But landing slightly to the west, in Australia and the Clemenger branch. Who are also the owners of Colenso.

The top three ads all come from the Melbourne office. I’ll start out with the print campaign that won a golden lion this year in Cannes.

This might be the best print ads ever to play on the independent-man-cliché. It starts with a simple idea and a great copy line. The execution is amazing; the casting, is perfect and the styling is even better. But still I wonder when we’ll see beer ads aimed at women on a large scale. It’s long since women started drinking beer, why not make some moniez? And just imagine how ground breaking the advertising could be.


Let’s move on to this beautiful video.

When I first watched this I knew it was for Strongbow cider. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it snowed. What was so cool with people swimming around in a pool when it was snowing? And what did it have to do with cider?

I got the answer the last five seconds and I felt so stupid. I had sat through the whole commercial secretly dissing it in my head, and BAM – stupidity.

I keep coming back to, how much I love when the pieces come together in my head the last five seconds. And this is what it did, but I had just sat there trying to figure it out beforehand. I guess I’m not as smart as I think, or that the picture was too grainy ;)


This campaign is one of my favorites of all time. It gives me goose bumps!

It’s probably the one campaign (or ad) that I’m most pissed that I never thought of myself. The solution is so great, yet obvious. How can no one have thought of this before? Why in the world would you make charity ads for blind people that they can’t see? I can honestly say that this is pure brilliance in my eyes. Getting an idea this obvious and simple, I can just hope it’ll happen to me some day.

Of course, I’m not the only one loving this; it won a Titanium & Integrated Silver Lion – Cannes Lions 2010.


I’m finishing with this campaign; it’s from the Sydney office. Maybe campaign isn’t the right word. It’s a survival guide, but not for the zombie apocalypse or a snowstorm. It’s small tips to help you through domestic violence, make it more comfortable to live in the streets and how to not fall back into alcoholism.

I found the pics here, hope it’s OK that I borrowed them.

I like this because it hits me where it hurts. I know they have a rough time; I see the misery every day, read about it in papers and watch it on TV. But I don’t hear it first hand. And I don’t hear it from this angle. As always, doing things differently is what’ll get you noticed. Combining that with such raw emotion, that these ads express – and you’ll people right in the heart.

I recommend that you watch the TVC’s here.

I love Dare.

Dare is an agency that I had never heard till some months ago. The office that hooked me was the one in Vancouver. I got dragged in with three ads for the whistler film festival.

See all of them here.

After watching all four I just had to know which agency created them. I found their site and on it I started watching an ad for Sony Ericson Xperia Arc, then I watched all the others from start to finish. Ads have to be good for me to do that. And although they’re filled of stereotypes, they take on so many of them I just can’t resist liking it.

Check them out here.

I kept browsing the website and found more great stuff. For McDonalds they made a campaign to promote that McDonalds actually have greater coffee than most people think. Combining a smoking hot coffee bus stop display combined with a print ad where they had “stained” the pages with coffee rings.

See the full story and the super cool bus stop coffee cup here.

I stayed on the site for a lot longer than I usually do. There’s just something there that I can’t ignore, advertising that I won’t forget. And I write them at the top of Agencies to check out-list.

I few months go by and I only check back once, to check for news and see the Sony Ericson ads again. But then one day I see this video on adsoftheworld, and I’m stunned. Why? Not only because it’s a beautiful ad for milk; but because 99% of all agencies would cast a boy/man.

We need more agencies that do ads like these. It’s simple to create great ads and still break conventions. Just think slightly outside the box when you’re casting and be part of the movement for a gender equal world.

Why I love Colenso BBDO

Today I’m starting a new series of posts. Every week I’m going to share my love for an individual agency. I don’t know for how long but there’s going to be a few at least. I’m not sure which ones yet but I have an idea. And I’m not going to go for too obvious ones. It’s going to be single offices, not networks.

I’m going to start out with Colenso BBDO. Thanks to them you could say that Auckland and New Zeeland is one of the best places in the world for advertising. It’s also as far away from Sweden one could possibly go without leaving the planet. But I still consider if I should sell my soul for an internship spot there. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

I discovered Colenso BBDO about a year ago when they created the Doggelganger campaign. It gained worldwide attention, and it’s not hard to see why. Try it out at

Here’s me and my doggelganger.

It’s modern advertising at it’s absolute finest. Don’t just say you’re good. Do good and people will know you’re good.
Show, don’t tell.
But it’s not doing some small thing. This actually helps mistreated dogs find new homes. Pedigree is making the world a better place when they spend their advertising budget on this. And Id’ like to thank their marketing director for saying yes to these ideas – because there is a follow up.

Or a new campaign maybe. This time they, once again, utilize new technology. But instead of facial recognition it’s a 3D cinema experience. Watch their mischievous use of 3D glasses below.

Being able to show two different things at once is new. You can only do this because of the 3D glasses technology. And I think this example shows how important it is to be on top of new trends and tech. This stunt will be replicated, mark my words.

But Colenso BBDO has made other great campaigns.
Like the Books Shape You campaign for the New Zeeland Book Council.

Maybe The Communist Manifesto is an easy way out. But it makes the ad simpler, and better. Because this is powerful advertising 101: the tag line isn’t powerful in itself and the visual is hard to get. But together they create a small two-piece puzzle that you’ll solve in your head. And after solving it you’ll be thinking about which books shaped other famous people and which shaped you…

And to finish you off I’ll leave you with a viral campaign. A clever one that used the product packaging and a very natural ingredient to create an interesting buzz.

I like this so much because they went out on a limb (pun intended, sorry). For two weeks they just stood there while people complained. The negative publicity was surrounding them, but they didn’t give in. They followed the plan, waited two weeks and then “apologized”.

Lastly I’d like to thank Colenso BBDO and their clients for making the world of advertising a better one. Keep breaking barriers and keep doing ads that give more than they take. I’ll keep my eyes on you, because I know I’d love to work with you some day.