i'm with the brand

Who’s afraid of the big bad internet? (hint: it’s these guys)
March 4, 2010, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , ,

Paloma Vazquez is a frequent contributor to PSFK and her posts there are invariably fascinating. This time I stumbled upon her posterous, where I found these shrewd, Clio-winning ads by the International Society for Human Rights. The metaphor is spot-on, the wordplay is implicit, and the picture says it all: nothing is more terrifying to a dictator than free and open access to information.





Wrangler and Levi’s: Jeans campaigns share conceptual genes
January 27, 2010, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , , , , ,

Wrangler We Are Animals

AdFreak recently highlighted Fred & Farid’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning “We are animals” campaign for Wrangler’s European rebranding, and it reminded me strongly of the ads we’ve seen all year for Levi’s—Wieden & Kennedy’s expertly-hewn “Go forth” campaign. (Advertising Age pithily notes the latter is “no good because it’s too good by half.” I’m inclined to agree.)

It’s interesting to me that two such similar brands would take such a similar route at around the same time—and that both would manage to do it so well. In Levi’s spots, stern, crackling directives and psycho-scrawls send dust-bowl darlings bounding across the vast pioneer-promised land; in Wrangler’s, red-dusted hellions  flail and contort like the primal spirits they are.

What we see in both campaigns is the cheesy discount cowboy hokum of yore replaced by something earthy, optimistic, and deliciously reckless. Each has an element of Americana, Whitman romantic while Kerouac ominous. In a world where jeans have turned hyper-tailored, sleek, and designer-fussy, both Levi’s and Wrangler replace pretension with authenticity and present an alternative that’s unhokily rugged, young, and raw. Each campaign makes it about some underlying truth about human nature, so it’s a question of lifestyle and an assertion of outlook rather than a drab and meaningless global uniform. Each has the unironic sincerity of a stripped down close-up portrait, and each is aspirational—just maybe in a way we’re not used to seeing. Whether they’ll make an impact on sales is another issue altogether, but in these aesthetic-and-conceptual-DNA-sharing campaigns, both brands offer us something fresh and powerful in a world of winking blasé preciousness.

Wrangler We Are Animals

Levi's Go Forth

Vampire Weekend, Beirut, MGMT, others appear in Vogue indie glamtacular
December 17, 2009, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

Vampire Weekend & MGMT in Vogue

Music! Fashion! Music and fashion! Go together like peanut butter and more peanut butter. Stereogum reports that Vogue is styling your favorites (Vampire Weekend, Beirut, MGMT, Adam Green, Chester French, Golden Silvers, Mika, and The Horrors) for their January issue…sort of. The bands are basically a living mood board whose audio-visual aesthetic inspires and informs the designer duds worn by the model, Sasha Pivovarova—all this in an effort by Vogue to highlight the rebranding of many major European labels now under the creative auspices of cutting-edge and emerging designers dubbed “young lions.”

Stereogum brought us another cool bit of music-as-design-palette-and-vice-versa a while back in their coverage of the New York Times’s profile of some Brooklyn’s bumper crop of indie hometown heroes and their distinctive sartorial stylings (read: how to dress like Deerhunter for less more.)

NY Times Profile

Lego shows that it’s not always the medium, it’s the message
December 4, 2009, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , ,

It’s been a long time since I’ve been impressed by a print ad. Maybe all the other great stuff going on, all the other ways to be really innovative and tell interesting stories, well, interestingly, unfairly jaded me to the old ink-and-paper. I know that dating to 2006, these ads are hardly new, but when a friend (thanks, Blair!) sent me these ads by Lego, I was reminded that even with the panoply of ways a brand may express itself and interface with audiences, that it’s possible–and relevant–to tell simple, rich, and compelling stories in 2D.

In these ads for Lego, the brand’s belief in imagination and endless possibility are brought to life with emotionally-resonant, on-brand simplicity thant evokes the wonder, creativity, and poignancy of childhood. One look and nostalgic parents will agree that it doesn’t need to have a mouse, batteries, or a joystick to stimulate their little ones’ developing brains, and that Lego is a timeless classic for a reason. Capturing and communicating the essence and the aesthetic of the Lego brand, the following ads were all released in 2006: the first four are by Blattner Brunner, and the last, entitled “Periscope” and winner of top honors at the Cannes Lions, is by FCB Johannesburg.






Browse more great Lego ads from a number of excellent campaigns.