With what some days seems like hundreds of e-mags and marketing news emails going into my inbox in the morning, I admit this headline really caught my eye. Probably the mention of coffee while sorting through emails at 8:10 am, but that’s not really the point.
These are some seriously SIMPLE BUT CREATIVE ideas! Ideas that cross over all media from social, to outdoor, to guerrilla marketing. What makes them so compelling is the true simplicity of the concepts and delivery of the ideas. Check these out, and see if they inspire you to “K.I.S.S.” as much as they have me! And enjoy that first cup of coffee…
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One of the best ways to come up with new creative advertising is to take a walk down memory lane. Memorable design work never goes out of style. Taking a good look at some of these great pieces of art can put new ideas into the mind of a designer – opening up their creativity to new takes on the classics. Here are a few of my personal all time favorites – and what I feel are the key successful tips that can be drawn from them.
- West Side Story movie poster
Way before the iPod commercials with dancing silhouettes, there was this beautiful movie poster. The silhouettes in white stand out bold yet artistic on a deep red background while the black of the title in a large grungy font are constructed to appear strong, like a building in the city – the setting for the movie.
1961 :: Saul Bass, designer
Read more about Saul Bass’s legacy at http://on.today.com/12dXCGN
TIP:You don’t need 4-color to make a piece stand out. Simply using 2 colors effectively can create an eye-catching design.
- Bud Light Real American Heroes Ads
Listen to one of the ads!
One-minute radio spots don’t get much better than this. The quick humor in these commercials had you turning up the radio. The solemn voice with the hair band in the background had the audience hanging on every word, avoiding laughing so that we could hear the rest of the ad. Very rarely does a radio spot accomplish that – and help its product stay in the audience’s mind long after the radio spot is finished.
Starting in 1998 :: DDB Chicago
The ads changed names to Real Men of Genius in 2001 but the approach stayed the same. Listen to the majority of these ads at this link: http://budlight.whipnet.com
TIP: Playing with contrast can make a piece unforgettable. Imagine these ads without the play of the narrator’s serious voice or the rock band lyrics in the background. The ad doesn’t work. Only through the contrast of the two voices does the ad make us laugh and listen at the same time.
- Volkswagen Bug ad campaign
The original Volkswagen Bug advertising campaign is a favorite of designers everywhere. The designs were simple – image and text – but were catchy and memorable. I can imagine if I had been around when the ads were originally published; they would have been cut out and displayed on my walls – as great pieces of art should be.
1960 :: Doyle Dane Bernbach
For more on the history of the Volkswagon campaigns visit this link: http://greatvwads.com
TIP: Simplicity. An ad doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Sometimes the use of white space and a basic message make a loud impression.
- Absolut Vodka Ad Campaign
Place a picture of your product smack in the center of the page and dress it up with accessories and a clever short tag line. Seems easy enough. But the designs of the Absolut Vodka ads of the 80’s and 90’s made the idea into a work of art. I will bet an entire generation of young designers scoured the pages of magazines looking for the newest ads each month. I know I did.
Starting in 1980 :: TBWA ad agency
There are dozens of Absolut ads to view – check out this gallery: http://bit.ly/1c4sukw TIP: Constant repetition can lead to memorable moments. The ads didn’t need to change drastically each month. They simply needed to keep relaying the same overall message of the beauty of the bottle and the name of the product. Simple adaption’s made the ads perfect and clever.
- To Kill A Mocking Bird movie Title sequence
Click to View the Title Sequence
Those close to me know that this movie and book top my list of favorites – and have been since I was very young. But what most don’t know is that the title sequence was one of my first big design inspirations. Again, another piece of art simplicity – but this time in motion. The title lines move onto the page with grace and ease as the child’s view of the little items move slightly. And I can’t forget the sound: the mix of music and child sound effects pull the entire thing together. I always rewind to the sequence and watch multiple times before beginning to watch this movie treasure.
1962 :: Stephen Frankfurt
This is a great read on the development and thought that went into this classic: http://bit.ly/Mj5qBg.
TIP: Changing a perspective can be powerful. The entire title is in the view of a child’s eye – although the audience is typically much older. This sets you up for the entire movie as well as introduces a new way of looking at basic objects.
In the past few months, Omni has been working on several rebranding projects. Rebranding is an exciting time for companies, and we enjoy experiencing that excitement with our clients. But a lot more goes into creating a logo than just a bit of art and type. A successful logo is the most important representation of your company, and gives an instant message to your potential customers, either drawing them to you or pushing them away. So how does one decide on a brand identity that sends the right message?
Below is a list of things to consider when deciding on a new corporate image:
Does the new brand stand out among the competition? Will the clientele be drawn to your company as opposed to the competition?
Does the new logo make sense? Yes, it might stand out from the competition but if it doesn’t send a clear message to your clientele, they may be drawn to competitors.
Will the logo stand the test of time? Think clean and simple – they never go out of style.
Does the brand have room to grow? If you were to add a new product, are their ways to tie that product into the original brand?
Does the logo appeal to your target audience? Know your customers and decide on a logo that is likable to them. For instance, a high-tech logo may not appeal to a low-tech crowd and might be intimidating.
Do a little research. What are other companies similar to yours doing that works? Know your competition and others in the same market elsewhere. Learn about other company logo successes and mishaps.
A great article featuring big rebranding projects is http://bit.ly/gfd1mb.
Need a partner in creating this new company image? Give us a call.
I recently came across the trailer for the film Art & Copy, a 2009 documentary by Doug Pray about the world of Advertising, and I always feel compelled to stop and make time to watch parts of it over and over again, so I thought I’d share this gem of a film with those of you who are not familiar with it, so you can meet the real Mad Men. I too share the belief that advertising can be revolutionary. Enjoy!
“Art & Copy: is a powerful film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray, it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising’s “creative revolution” of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in ART & COPY were responsible for “Just Do It,” “I Love NY,” “Where’s the Beef?,” “Got Milk,” “Think Different,” and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their ads are brought to light in this dynamic exploration of art, commerce, and human emotion.”
“Good advertising makes food taste better, it makes cars run better,” Lois says. “It changes everything.”
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. -Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)
After 5 years of being home with my 2 favorite children, I am back to work for the company I love. But don’t think I have been out of practice for 5 years. My son who is now 7 and my 4 year old daughter are constantly pushing my creativity.
For example, with the several inches of snow on the ground, I spent a couple hours yesterday building a fort with my children. When we were finished, my daughter decided we needed to decorate it. She found a mirror and placed it at the entrance. The purpose: so that it could scan a visitor’s eyes to detect if they were aliens or not. I was amazed and amused that from a child’s perspective, our simple fort wasn’t just a place to hide out in the snow, but also a high-tech fortress to protect us from alien life forms.
From playing make-believe to finger-painting, children find new ways to be artistic daily.
The best way to become creative adults is to tap into the child inside all of us. Try these easy and fast exercises to get your brain in the right framework to be its most creative:
- Look around the room and find an object that has a specific use – such as a plate. What other ways could you use the object that normally you would not think of? A Frisbee that shatters on impact. Use a dry erase marker to draw a face on it. Balance it on your head.
- Go an entire evening talking in a foreign accent – mine always end up sounding like a pirate. And while you are at it, rename yourself to match your new accent.
- Dream up a BETTER electronic (for example an iPhone). I am truly addicted to my iPhone and honestly don’t know if it could be any better at keeping me organized. But what if it actually had wings and a way to fly out of hiding when you were looking for it? And what if it had an alarm so that when a person other than you (with finger print technology of course) grabbed the phone, it would play Gangnam Style at a very loud volume to let you know? Who would run away with a phone playing that song extremely loud?
- Something less silly? Sit down for a half hour and color/draw – with crayons. Try different techniques, such as coloring and then scraping it off, or coloring with 3 crayons at the same time.
Adults take life way too seriously, that is why we find ourselves stuck on a project. So relax a bit – take 10 minutes to be a kid – and you will be amazed at the ideas that you can come up with.
Need more wacky creative ideas to “wake up your brain”? Option 1: One of my favorite resources is “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield. Or, Option 2, just spend the day with a toddler!
Yes, it’s true. You may have recently noticed the trend in celebrity A-listers in marketing “partnerships” with various brands. Gone are the days when marketers paid big bucks for the usual celebrity endorsements, where the stars grace a box of Wheaties or sip on a beverage in a commercial. You could basically pay a celeb to say anything to represent a brand.
Now, brands are working with celebs to fill specific roles on their marketing teams witch such titles as “Brand Ambassador, Creative Director, Musical Curator”, etc. This is all in an attempt to position the pair as a more authentic team, a true ambassador, in a time when consumers are much less impressed by the usual endorsements.
There are pros and cons to this idea, and there is no doubt it will have an impact on traditional celebrity marketing.
Check out the recent article by Ad Age;
“If you wanted to take a very cynical view, you could say these brands are taking borrowed equity to another level, trading on the celebrities’ name at a higher level,” said branding consultant Denise Lee Yohn. “But in some cases, a lot of value is being provided by these celebrities.”
“So what do real creatives think of celebs getting these titles? “Most is hype,” said Pete Favat, chief creative officer at Havas-owned Arnold. “But no doubt some people become celebs because they are truly creative people, so why not experiment?”
That said, he added, “If brands are doing it for PR buzz, it’s a stupid idea. … No one cares who the creative director is as long as the work is great.”
For the full article visit:
I doubt I was the only one who thought the Budweiser Clydesdale ad was awesome. It was great to see them going back to an iconic image associated with Bud. And more subtly, the Stevie Nicks “Landslide” song evokes some good memories for anyone over 40. I even loved the ‘name the baby Clyesdale’ campaign at the end. I don’t even drink beer, but could almost like Budweiser after this.