Seen the new Blank Canvases ads by Amex? The idea is a little reused and cliched in my opinion, especially for a bank. But still, I have to give props for the execution. My favourite scene? 0:07 with the slices of bread. Clever!
We’ve seen the Tourism Australia ad making its rounds across social media networks in the last few weeks. It’s no secret that many Australians absolutely hate the ads. Most of the responses I’ve seen around the InterWebs have talked about how boring, unoriginal and cliched the ad is. It seems, locals aren’t taking too kindly to being compared to “tone-deaf bogans“.
I particularly enjoyed this gem by @DuncanRiley:
I have to admit, I do agree on some level. The ad looks like it’s been pulled off one of those awful daytime television shows called Planet’s Funniest Commercials (usually bundled together with the Planet’s Unfunniest Host) or something. Cliched Australian icons that have been reused to death (I mean, seriously, did they really have to open with surfers watching the sunset??). But okay, sure, I guess it’s sort of cute and can kind of imagine an old gal in her 60s going, “Aww, remember what an awesome time we had in Australia 25 years ago? We really should go back some time soon to visit!” Maybe that’s just me.
And then a couple of days ago, we see Iceland ads racing around Twitter and blogs.
Yes it’s a little weird, and I find myself fidgeting while I’m watching it – I’m just not sure if I should be singing along, admiring the cinematography, or mimicking some of the hilarious dance moves (check out the dudes at 01:11), but I think I actually enjoy it. My opinion is probably biased though, because the song they used is one of my absolute favourites to dance to while making pancakes on a sunny Sunday morning. Plus, I think Emiliana Torrini is amazing and beautiful and I want to be her. Digression aside (ha, was that ironic?), I think this video really encapsulates Iceland’s quirky nature. They’ve got the crazy volcanoes with crazy names (that I still need to Google for reference), huge geysers in their backyards and, of course, they have Bjork. Need I really go on?
So who wins in the Iceland vs Australia tourism ad war? I say, hands down, Iceland. Iceland had embraced the quirky (read: weird) and used it to their advantage. Sure, they have the standard landscape shots of rivers, mountains yadayadablabla, but they’ve managed to identify one thing that truly sets Iceland apart. In comparison, all the Australian ad does is remind us about what we already know about Australia. My question to them is: So What?
Ding ding ding, one-nil to Iceland. Any more competitors want to jump into the ring and get down and dirty with the weird?
“Adult life carries many restrictions so we want to remind people that McDonald’s is still a place were you can have fun, be yourself and not be judged. A place where you feel like a kid again,” said Helen Farquhar, Director of Marketing, McDonald’s (ANZ). “This adult-sized Playland allows us to forget about the deadlines, budgets and stresses of life and just revel in this incredible childhood arcadia. And the best part is the McDonald’s characters we loved as kids are back old school style giving us the opportunity to reclaim our childhood, to look at the world through younger eyes again and just lose ourselves – if only for a minute.”
DDB Sydney did an amazing job of helping adults remember how much fun and joy McDonald’s could bring. We’ve gone through years and years seeing McDonald’s advertising and marketing to children with built-in-store playgrounds and Happy Meals. I find it extremely refreshing that DDB and McDonald’s chose to target a market that has been neglected by many fast food companies. Not that McDonald’s needs more proof, but this effort certainly reminds us that McDonald’s isn’t just a place for you to buy fast food; McDonald’s is a lifestyle.