Category Archives: ddb

commodity no more

My first book right out of ad school used to have some ads for Duracell (parity product and all that), but then Acme Idea Company launched their fantastic campaign for the brand:

You can probably remember when advertising for batteries was nothing more than competing ads from Duracell and Energizer talking about how their batteries had more power. Before you knew it, nobody cared and batteries were well on their way to becoming a commodity.

Then this campaign ran and it became about more than power. It became about trust because, whether it is you and your daughter or you and the EMT trying to save your life, when it just has to work only Duracell is the battery to choose. And, really, that is what batteries are about. Nobody cares about the battery, they just need to be able to rely on it to make whatever product it is in work.

The current Duracell campaign, though now getting a little long in the tooth, rescued the brand from commodity suicide and made their power claims actually mean something.

Batteries don’t only have to be serious, though. Over at i believe in advertising I ran into an ad for Energizer by DDB Johannesburg that takes a more whimsical approach:


I have to be honest, this used to happen to my roommates a lot in college and I am not sure that having a light in the bathroom would have resulted in a different ending.

My roommates were special people.

mcdonald’s & one big burger

I like when fast food restaurants, especially the traditional burger guys, just tell it like it really is and stop tip-toeing around the fact that their burgers are big, greasy, unhealthy and totally indulgent. They are not something that you should have every day, but doesn’t that make the times that you do have them better?

At least until you’re in the bathroom and hour later.

DDB Stockholm took that strategy and ran with it for the new McDonald’s Big N’ Juicy burger launch where they created this fantastic outdoor piece:


It made me laugh, is pretty creative and it definitely makes me think that the Big N’ Juicy is exactly what the name says…even though I am pretty sure that it’s not.

From i believe in advertising.

every car has a color

I came across yet another wonderfully shot ad by DDB Milan, this one for the Audi Q7:


DDB Milan seems to lean on photographers Winkler & Noah for a good portion of their work, and rightly so. Not only do they always do very good work, but the home page of their website is a big picture of a woman’s breast.

Nothing wrong with that.

Back to the Audi ad. Like I said, I love the shot, with its attention to detail and the dog staring down the car, I love the “makes everything else go pale” line (it even sounds good in translation) and think that this is a solid, upscale auto ad. My only nitpick is with the color of the car.

Every car has its color. The one color that brings out the beauty of its design more than any other. On a Ferrari, any Ferrari, it is red. The BMW 5 Series needs that classic midnight blue (to hide the oddities of its “flame surfacing”). The new Jaguar looks best in a silver that shows off the sleek lines of the metal and seems to be straining to contain the power of the engine.

The Q7, especially when it makes everything else pale, needs more color.

I don’t which color is best for the car, though one of the agency partners has a very sleek black Q7. But it needs something (or I need something to complain about).

Either way, it is a small nitpick.

smart horses & good auto advertising

Having worked on an automotive account in the past, I always look at auto advertising with a critical eye. I know that I am critical, too, I just can’t help myself.

There are lots of ways to do auto ads well.

There is the approach Fallon took BMW and the famous BMW Films:

You also have the classic DDB / Bill Bernbach ads for VW:


There are even interesting ways to illustrate the product benefits, like the Saatchi & Saatchi ads for Toyota:

There are lots of ways to create compelling work for auto accounts. There are an equal number of bad ways to do auto advertising as well, but the point is that there is good work out there and I am particular about what I like.

So when a reader emailed me a print ad for VW (by DDB Milan), I was ready to pick it apart:


There were a few things that jumped out at me. Like the German-language newspaper in an English-language ad. Very weird. It reminds me of Bozo the Clown, the lead CD at the agency, who I know watches German porn (in the office, whenever I start talking about things he doesn’t understand or isn’t interested in), in German, even though I know he is an English speaker. But I digress.

I liked the line, “intelligent horses.” I liked the ad in general, actually – very VW, interesting information about the car, compelling visual. But, beyond the weird language thing, I wanted a little more. Even just a sentence more, to tell me what was intelligent about the horses in the car. Were they more environmentally-friendly? Were they more powerful? Were they bilingual?

Clean layouts are nice and all, but it’s better when you have great copy involved.

Like the classic Bernbach ad.

ddb makes garmin spooky

Just in time for Halloween, DDB Milan has come out with a campaign for Garmin that takes spooky mainstream. Not that spooky was their point:

garmin-lampione-scuro.jpg garmin-semaforo-scuro.jpg

Granted, the photography (by Winkler and Noah) and art direction (by Francisco Fallisi) are striking…but the women in the ads look like waifish city nymphs that may or may not be alive (and, as such, may or may not be about to steal my soul if I were to follow their directions…though, depending on how things went before the soul stealing, I might not mind). They properly scare me.

I like the simple copy, but am not sure what, exactly, “a seductive navigator” means with respect to a GPS system. Its design is nothing special. It doesn’t make driving any more silky than any other GPS. Perhaps it gives directions in the waifish scary city nymph voice.

There are elements here to like, but I don’t know what it is saying.

I do know that it is perfect for Halloween.

a food stylist’s masterpiece

I was over at i believe in advertising as is my wont, and I came across a very funny, very well art directed ad for Negroni. Apparently, they make cut meat.


They also make good ads. And have one heck of a food stylist.

I think that I am going to send this to PETA, just to see if I can get a rise out of them. They deserve a little riling up after their current campaign, which I have panned once or twice and which made me a mortal PETA enemy because of the whole Steve-O naked thing. Not cool.

DDB, Milan did the Negroni work.

ddb leaves me cold

I was over at i believe in advertising because it’s a cool site, and I happened upon this spot by DDB Norway for the Hydro Train:

It’s a pretty fun spot, and who can resist the excitement of those little boys when the train does the loop-the-loop? That said, I don’t really know what the point of this spot is. Maybe it’s just a branding exercise, except it’s for an intra-Norway train so you’re only really competing against cars…and they’re engineered too. Some pretty well.

This spot is like the new girl at our office. I can see some merits, but she just doesn’t do it for me.

I am crude.