The Ad Lab

Is it just me or is this one insanely busy week in the ad world? No time for a standard post. But in the mean time you should check out an incredibly helpful tool to fuel your marketing minds, created by the good folks at Ad Arena. They have set up a new video blog Virtual University, which features lectures, seminars and presentations from some of the world's most insightful marketing/advertising speakers. Go check it out and expand your mind at the Ad Arena Lab. And good luck getting through this pre-Labor Day blitz.

Swiss National Insurance

Here's a smart ad for the Swiss National Insurance Company. What better way to paint a picture of the unexpected than to char a picture perfect Ikea ad? Ikea represents that everything-in-its-right-place company, and this is what happens when things go wrong. You're always taking a risk when you reference advertising other than your own. So, Ikea should take this as a complimented. Ikea's work is so iconic and embedded into the culture that it makes this do a lot of work. We get it right away. It's jarring and it pulls you in. Wish I knew the agency.

via seaspace

Orbit Gum

Copy: Orbit leaves your mouth feeling clean

More big, bold, attention getting, mouth sparkling outdoor work. You can see additional pics at a/d goodness.

via Marketing Post

Antena 3 TV

Copy: Two premieres at the same time. What are you going to watch?

These are simple, fun, and play a bit of brand trickery on your eyes at first - which is the point. You can see the ads' exact opposite here. I'm not sure if the reverse images ran side by side or not. But I think the ads are stronger if they stand alone. Showing both versions is a bit heavy handed. Hey, I don't know about you, but these remind me a bit of Ad Mashup. Cool stuff. Agency Unknown.

Burger King Nascar

Nascar is the most bi-polarizing sport that exists (if you can call it a sport). You either love it or you wish to God it would go away. What's amazing about this new BK spot done by Crispin is that they created a Nascar Burger King ad that anyone could love. BK chicken strips just might be the one thing Nascar fans and anti-NASCAR supporters can agree on. What really makes this spot work is that they let Nascar poke fun at itself a bit - didn't take it too seriously but still gave it the respect many argue it deserves. Even though Crispin ads are beginning to feel a bit forced and overtly concepty, they always execute with flawless precision. So, these days I still just leave my hat off for them. You can also check out the site at


Click to enlarge

Just when I thought I was completely sick of seeing Post-it note ads...I'm still sick of them. But this one is better than most. Simple, makes a good point, and I'm a sucker for diagrams. I do like the custom tag on the ad "Just don't forget to buy it." The secondary thought is kind of funny, you need a post-it note to remember to buy your Post-it notes. Maybe that should have been the ad. Don't know the details on this one. Brains are cool. Look, I have another brain ad down below.

via adverbox

The Great Hummer Escape

I will admit, I might have a complete bias towards this Hummer commercial just because I'm a big fan of The Great Escape. If you have never seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It stars bad ass Steve McQueen, who makes a cameo at the end of the spot. And you just have to love that song. Sure, the movie parody might feel a bit shallow in concept, or a bit of a stretch, but this consumer got pulled in hook line and sinker. I loved it. Funny how powerful borrowed interest can really be. Let's not overlook the execution was perfect. Of course, I'm still not buying a Hummer. But sweet work by Modernista! You guys rock. Thanks for the spot.

Update: This just in...Steve McQueen Died in 1980. It sure looks like him. But Never trust a blogger.

Thanks to Brent for the tip

Bus Ticket Origami

I figure I should post this before the rest of the world does. Rez, a design shop in Liverpool stuck these bus ticket origami instructions on the back of bus seats. The "project is all about daily rituals and interacting with the viewer, with the intention leaving a smile on their faces by giving them something to do while they commute to work or study on the bus." It's always nice to see an ad give back to the little people.

via wooster

Prison Break

I would really be digging these wanted posters featuring the characters from FOX's Prison Break, if they didn't remind me so much of these. Regardless, nice find by this flickrer on Church St., in Toronto, Canada (2006).

Ikea Closets

A couple months ago I pointed you all to the mesmerizing Ikea Kitchen website. Well they have gone and out done themselves once again, this time with a new closet website,done by Forsman & Bodenfors. With this site, Ikea continues to push the interactive envelope (which I guess is actually an email), demonstrating that the web is much more than an information portal. It's a place where anything you can imagine can happen (if done right). If Wes Anderson could direct a website, this would be it. Check out this sahweet new site here


If you have never seen the work of Theo Jansen, it's incredible stuff. I like what BMW is doing here. By celebrating the work of this artist/engineer, they are in fact "Defining Innovation." BMW is the epitome of a brand that merges art and engineering - so Jansen is a good fit. The spot is well filmed and directed. It's educational and inspiring. I'm glad this spot was made, both as an advertising guy and a regular person.

via elmaltshift


Copy: Irresistible doggy treats.

This delightfully gruesome print piece might warrant a second look if you didn't get it right away. It's another example of painting the negatives to promote a positive. There's a secondary message in this ad that I find interesting. It's the idea that dog owners put up with almost anything their little rascal does - no matter how naughty - they're just too cute. While some might find this ad a bit disturbing, it has a lot of truth to it. I think dog owners will subconsciously identify with the ad. But when a blogger uses the word subconscious, it's usually a good time to stop reading. Cool work done by - Grey Worldwide, South Africa

via ads of the world

Amnesty International

Copy: See more clearly.

Some of you loyal readers might remember a previous ad I posted using the eye exam chart. But this ad for Amnesty International, an organization working to protect human rights worldwide, has a lot more depth to it and really makes a strong point - most of human suffering goes unseen. Compelling work done by DDB, Hungary.


The Guardian

Copy: Lose yourself in the 60 page puzzle special tomorrow

I have seen a lot of mazes used in ads lately, but I have resisted posting any of them. This is the first maze ad that I think really works. It's a simple but smart execution. Best of all it feels natural, not forced. The Guardian created this nice little print piece for their upcoming puzzle issue.

via marketing post


Copy: The new Z750

I wasn't really digging this ad too much, and then I saw the little kids faces poking out at the bottom. It's moments like that when I remember what it's like to be impacted by an ad, the way a regular person is, instead of just critiquing every ad I see. I've seen thoughts that are similar to this but I love the execution on this one. Even down below the bike, the kids are still cute.

via seaspace

Horse Racing

Copy: Everything's a race

And they're off. Yes, this ad needs an announcer. A copywriter would have too much fun if this got turned into a radio campaign. I like how individually these ads mean very little, but together, all the ads with numbers in a row... well, they would certainly cause me to get a little competitive during my turn. Great work by Ogilvy, Calgary for Horse Racing in Alberta, Canada.

This gives me an idea for an ad above the urinals in Medieval times. Copy: Let the duals begin. If you don't get it, you're not a boy.

via Ad arena

Grand Theft Coke

A lot of people are talking about this new Grand Theft Auto style coke spot done by Wieden + Kennedy. It's really well executed and it has a nice insiderness to it that doesn't leave anyone feeling too left out. As coke would say, Enjoy.


Perrier is having some fun with T-shirts in this campaign. No copy. No Tag. These ads are hip and stylish but there's very little advertising happening. You could substitute the Perrier with any other beverage. Any other product really. It's hard to say what kind of effect, if any, these type of ads have on consumers. You could argue that if the kids think the product is cool then the advertising did it's job. But then if the kids aren't buying any Perrier how well did it actually work?

via coolz0r

Smith & Wesson

Copy: Precisions Rifles

Killer work for the prestigious rifle maker Smith & Wesson (pun intended). The idea here is so simple but it truly elevates rifle accuracy to an art form. All gun politics aside, it would be really cool if there were dudes who could make art like this with their guns and Smith & Wesson sponsored a rifleman art gallery and had live performances by gun artists. Beautiful work. Agency unknown.

via cool looking ads

Pizza Pie-er

I thought these print ads for Pizza Pie-er were a playful way of exposing their creative pizza topping combinations. The toppings have come to life in the form of freak of nature pizza monsters. The ads don't necessarily make me hungry for pizza but I'm definitely intrigued, and will make a point of stopping by next time I'm in Providence or Boston. Enticing work by Untitled, Waltham, Massachusetts.

via elmaaltshift

Heal's Winter Sale

Copy: Heal's Winter Sale Has Started

I like how subtle these ads are. Very simple. Smart work by DDB, London.

via adverbox


Looking for some creative inspiration? Check out the The Perry bible Fellowship. It's home to the genius comic work of Nicholas Gurewitch. I've pulled just a few of my favorites. His comic strips are smart, simple and fantastically twisted. Enjoy.

Angry Hammer

Ballerina Slippers


The Telephone Guide

Copy: You'll find it in the telephone guide.

These signs read like the way people think. Looks like The Telephone Guide is helping out all those business who have such poor branding that no one can remember their name. Goes to show, bad branding and bad memory is a hellacious combo. Sadly it's becoming more prevalent in a society where we no longer need to remember phone numbers, e-mails or addresses. They say advertising is sometimes a mirror of the culture, and sometimes it shapes the culture. This is a mirror. Done by N=5, Netherlands.

via ads of the world

Ad Mashups

I'm pleased to report the launch of was a success. I received several submissions within the first few days and the site drew a lot of traffic. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. I find it quite fascinating to see the different ways people are dramatically changing the communication of an ad by simply swapping out a logo or making a small tweak to a design. The Mashups are pretty fun, smart and have proved to be an excellent creative outlet.

Here are a few highlights from the first week of the Ad Mashup debut. I hope all of you will send in your Mashups - there will be a best Ad Mashup award each month. It will be judged by some of the top ad bloggers and industry creatives, which could get you some good exposure. So get mashing.

Honda Diesel»Playboy

by: Pasi - Helsinki, Finland

DHL»Western Union

by: Robin - Belgium


by: me


Don't ask my why, but this commercial for the American Obesity Task Force is hilarious. So awkward, so bad, so genius. I'm still smiling the third time through. On paper this spot would be a complete flop. But props to director Tim Abshire, for polishing this up to be quite the conversation piece.

via vlan


Copy: Brings out the boy in you.

Sure it's sexist, and yes, it's a cheap gag. But for some reason it's still funny. Sometimes the first thought that comes into your head is still a keeper. A nice little one shot for BMW. Keep in mind with a line like "brings out the boy in you" it could have been much worse. Don't know the deets on this one.

via coolz0r

Ad Mashup Blog

After mentioning the possibility of an Ad Mashup Blog, there seemed to be a lot of interest and several emails from people wanting to be a part of the community experiment.

So, I have created an official Ad Mashup blog at I'm inviting any and everyone to submit their Ad Mashups to the site, where they will be posted along with your name and a web link. I have posted my first three Mashups to get the ball rolling. I'm hoping for the blog to be a place for the ad and design community to have some fun with the industry's work, show off some creativity and start some interesting conversations. Hope you all enjoy the site. Now start working on your own ad mashups.


Copy: The Game of Global Domination

I don't know how I missed these. Love this work for Risk done by Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore. Funny stuff for quite a serious game. I haven't played in a while. I guess I haven't had 5 and a half hours to kill lately.

via ads of the world

Nike Air

If you haven't checked out the new Nike Air website, you're in for a pleasant jog. It's an impressive use of the web. And I like the thought behind the campaign, "Everything you've never seen is just beyond where you always stop. More Air. More World." They also have some incredible new commercials on the site where runners come across things they've never seen because they have never run so far. It's great work. I especially like the robot spot.

It just won site of the month at The Favorite Website Awards. Go experience what it's like to Run on Air at

Created by Big Spaceship