Aspiring advertiser about ads

My name is Jiri Jon and I work as an Account Executive at Nydrle Digital in Prague. This blog was made to share my views on anything from this industry, but I have changed it to a place to share either cool, creative or just interesting advertising.

www.jirijon.cz
Recent Tweets @georgaJJ

How my picture got stolen

It is weird when “your creation” becomes sort of viral. The quotation marks are there only because I didn’t make the subject of the picture, however I did make the picture. Just for non-czech speakers it says: “One coffee - 95 CZK. One coffee please - 65 CZK. Hello, one coffee, please - 35 CZK”.

I had seen this offer online before and to be honest I am really glad that this bar copied it - it works perfectly fine and I wish they would get some recognition for it. Same with me. The thing is that I have many dreams - bigger ones and smaller ones. The bigger ones (in non-family life) are creating a movie,writing a book, writing a book and (I know it might sound sort of sad) have something of mine going viral. And it happened. I have heard that this picture of mine is sort of going around the internet in the Czech Republic. I didn’t care, I didn’t think it was big enough. But as I am seeing it now, it is getting kind of big. 

I know there is nothing I can do about it now (I didn’t put any branding on it), but there should be a couple of conclusions and hopefull wishes for the future:

- This was made at Wigwam bar at Prague (http://www.cafebarwigwam.cz/) - go there, if you have a minute - it is nice place to go with a good cuisine. I would like them to have some credit for this.

- don’t steal somebody else’s stuff. If you use the picture, give credit where it is due. It will not hurt your likes or shares. You will be helpful to you and the creator. And I am not talking about just me, I just took this picture (which is nowhere near a good picture), I am talking about the people for whom this is an important part of life.

Reason for branding #1

One of the coolest ads I have seen in past couple of months.

So simple, so creative, so cool. Great job, Sunday Times and Us.

TedTalk by Rory Sutherland - approaches in thinking and perceived value.

This is probably my most favorite TedTalk and I recommend it to everybody. For those interested in advertising, I recommend it because of the explanations and examples of the perceived value. For those who are not interested in advertising, I recommend it for the jokes (“I usually attend TedEvil, which is Ted’s secret sister organization that pays all the bills and is held every two years in Burma. I remember hearing a particularly good speech by Kim Jong-Ill on how to get the teens to start smoking again”).

Rory Sutherland, who is a vice-chairman and strategist at Ogilvy, London, became one of my favorite personas in the industry. Rory explained many things and I use his explanations in my life quite a lot – for example some of the situations after quitting smoking and why it sucks in terms of social interaction and perceived personality. Rory described a situation at a party when you go stand by a window with a cigarette. You enjoy the moment, think about your stuff and you are perceived as a thinker, philosopher and a visionary. Stand there without smoking the cigarette and you are perceived as “antisocial friendless idiot”.(source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iueVZJVEmEs) But to get back to what I wanted to talk about – he made two different comments that really resonated with me:

The first one is seen in this video as the example of improving the train ride from London to Paris. He says that engineers would improve it by making the ride shorter. But Rory, as a “naïve advertising guy” would hire tom models and serve champagne. This example perfectly shows the differences between the approaches and thinking from people with different education. I, myself, think that schools today are not about what information you actually learn, but more about the approach and way you think while solving a problem. Given the fact that most of the information we learn at school are outdated by the time we graduate, the only thing we learn and actually benefit from are the processes used to accomplish tasks. I received my bachelor degree in Economics and I was used to solve all the problems by lowering the costs and improving the monetary results. As an advertising student I learnt to solve problems by using creative and out-of-the-box thinking. The real life and the job showed me, that the best way to tackle problems is using different ways of thinking and talking to people with different educations/backgrounds/approaches in order to come up with the solutions. I know this is like re-discovering America, but I am glad that someone as respected as Rory actually proved the point I was thinking.

The second thing that resonated with me was that All value is perceived value. This is perfectly aligned with the theory I learnt from a Neuro-linguistic programming book by Richard Bandler. He basically says that reality is how we perceive the world (and consequently how we react to it) not what it really is. And let’s be honest, value of things is given by brands today. Regardless of the product per se, Armani will always be more expensive and perceived as a better quality product than some brand-less product. But put the logo on it and people will immediately perceive it as a higher quality. It is amazing how you can shape the opinions of people just by adding one element or starting to say a fact about the product (i.e. potatoes in Prussia and veils in Turkey). And to be honest, I believe that a “superpower” like this should be used for more than just making money. But that is a topic for another blogpost.

Just to wrap this up – have fun watching Rory’s videos, because they are definitely videos worth watching.

 

One of the best campaigns of the past couple of months

When I attended a presentation by Gareth Kay (http://garethkay.typepad.com/) a couple of months ago, he said one thing that I still think about. He said that modern campaigns should be shaped like the letter L. A lot of hype and awareness should be raised at first. But when the media spend is over, people should have something little, but tangible and real, available to use. Since then I have been thinking about all our clients and my projects in this way. Create something that will be useful even when the campaign is over – that is the future of advertising. Or at least one of the branches.

I am happy to see that these campaigns exist and to be honest, I can benefit from them.  So do the companies, because I spread the word about interesting campaigns like a plague. This particular campaign is for KLM and is called the Must see map. The principle is easy – you pick a city you want to travel to and create a virtual map. You share this map on the internet and your friends recommend you places to visit. When you have enough recommendations, you click send and they send a hard copy of your map to you for free. It works; I actually have a map of Chicago like this at home.

There are many things I like about this campaign besides being very creative and creating something useful and tangible. I like the idea of KLM making our travels, well, worth traveling. They want to make the experience as good as possible. They promote good experiences during travelling more than actual KLM products. I know, I know – I had to give them my e-mail address and they send me newsletters now, but that is not that big of deal. Even without this KLM would be my most favourite international airlines – only if they weren’t partners with Delta. But that is another story.

They have the idea of sharing, spreading the message and overall virality pretty much taken care of – you don’t need to share your map with anybody and it would still work. But in order to get as much as you can from it, you have to share it. And the fact that I didn’t have to share it (very much like crowdsourced competitions – if your photo gets the most likes you win – ugh I hate that) actually made me want to share it. I don’t know if it makes sense, but it is true to me.

I think that KLM has to be a really cool client. Their campaigns are always about people – the way it should be. Sometimes their campaigns are just to get awareness and nothing else. But still, the mission of making the travelling as good as possible is a good one. It can have many interesting executions (and it already does) which actually helps people. These kinds of campaigns make me want to have airlines as a client. What’s up, ČSA?:)

Just to make sure that this blogpost is not only appraising KLM and this campaign I have to say something negative, too. I am very sad to announce that my map came in a shitty condition. I know it is a minor thing, but I was a little upset about that. It also could have used a better promotion. If I wasn’t from the industry and advertising enthusiast I would probably never hear of it.

But just to sum this up – this was a brilliant piece of advertising and I am hoping I will see more of these campaigns. And also create a couple of them.

Internet Explorer ad - Child of the 90s

I personally don’t like the browser but this nostalgic ad is brilliant. Targetting the Generation Y, which shapes the internet community the most and leveraging quite possibly the only benefit of the browser - history -  was a great idea. Regardless the real “qualities” the product can offer. Sorry, Microsoft.

But stil, very well done.

You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.
Andy Warhol

One of the tasks of advertising is to engage the consumer and to make memorable ads that would break through the ubiquitous advertising cluster. Classic TV spots are not always the best choice to achieve this. Since everybody’s favorite subject to talk about is himself or herself, it is easy to spot a way to make the experience memorable – make it about every each individual.

People share more information than they actually realize. A brilliant way to point this out and show the power of shared information is campaigns that use the APIs of Social Media. Except for one of the campaigns, none of them are used to warn users about the amount of information they share (and that is not the point of this blog post either). The point is to show you various ways how to use Facebook to create an unusual experience in advertising.

Take this lollipop – After logging in with your Facebook account, you are then shown a creepy man stalking you. This campaign is a proof how much people can find out about you just based on what you share. The message would be stronger if there was a short body copy at the end stating the goal. My friends didn’t understand what was it for. The creators are already working on the second one. I hope that the goal will be clearer in the next one. It was supposed to be released on Halloween, but…well….it wasn’t.

Intel’s Museum of Me is something completely different. Although it uses the same information, the aim is very different. The website makes you log in and then creates a virtual exhibition of your Facebook presence. The objective is not just to amaze people (which the last sequence usually does), but to promote Intel’s i5 processor.

Jameson 1780 - Jameson takes the interactivity even further. You are not just looking at a story about you, but you are actually interacting with it. The story is that one of your friends stole a barrel of whiskey and you, using clues given by various people, need to find him. It is very amusing and I have done it a bunch of times. Unfortunately, more than often the website stops working. My friend saw a note saying that he couldn’t use it because he didn’t have enough FB friends (although he had about 500). I witnessed a situation when, by the end when I was supposed to choose the friend/thief, it just didn’t show anybody to choose from. Besides these problems, the campaign is great.

These campaigns are just an example of how Facebook can be used and I hope that in future we will see more campaigns like this. The problem is that people don’t generally trust anything that you have to log in to Facebook with. They are afraid that it will post something on their wall. Even opting-out from that function (using “only me” visibility) doesn’t change their mind. Hopefully, we could do something about that.

But as I said – these customized ads are one the future’s possible solutions to break through the cluster and make advertising that people wouldn’t hate, but would actually actively share because they think it’s cool.

In order for people to see work I did either for school or just as a projects of my own, I have decided to create a Slideshare account. Feel free to go through them and send me your feedback.