I went to Japan, specifically to Tokyo, and an opportunity difficult to refuse came up. And here it comes.
The Japan Sumo Association, as you may know, its a legendary association, stepped into Japanese tradition and culture, a place of cult for Japanese people. Generally speaking, people will consider sumo as a cool but outdated sport in terms of how is showcased.
Even this tradition makes it beautiful and admirable, there is the stigma of their wrestlers, association and the whole performance being too serious. Of course, there is a tradition and Japanese reputation behind, but why the wrestlers usually don’t show a more human side? Why they have to glare at their opponents with a straight-serious-poker face? Since when giving a look of complicity to their trainers or just a mid-smile would seen criticallly? Aren’t LeBron or Messi showing their rage, frustration, smiles or joy moments to the public? If a sumo wrestler did the same, why it would be seeing as a lack of professionally, harm to the sport, or even offense to the culture? Wouldn’t at the end make it more human?
After bringing up all this questions, I tried to just change that, and was appointed to contribute to change that, even if its in little and humble way:
If you wonder what was the outcome of it, you better ask the Japan Sumo Association. Nonetheless, I can ensure it was lots of fun and whatever the outcome scale was, I think when it comes from a truth and pure intention it most probably be good.
Have you ever thought if you are really living your life or perhaps you are just part of a movie setting?
Nowadays is nothing new stating technology progresses with a speed and precision to replicate reality to a certain degree beyond to what we’ve never had imagine.
Technology influences everything and that includes advertising. Even I’m always curious about what’s the next camera, music gadget, software, laptop, interactive game and even industrial machinery; at some point I prefer reality, real ‘drama’.
If you’ve ever seen a movie series before the first complete animation movie was released and afterwards, you’ll know what I mean. If not check the first 3 volumes of Star Wars and the other trilogy released during the 90s and 00s. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
And below its ‘real drama’.
What’s better to advertise drama than actually using drama? The guys at TNT knew it very well.
The People’s Republic of China, and extensive and vast land where many companies obsessively have their sight put on as it was a massive cake waiting to be ‘shared’ under the attentive and hunger sight of corporations, and mid-small businesses.
But how big is that cake? And how many know ‘when’ and ‘how’ to take their piece? Those are completely different questions, not many can’t answer.
When it comes to the Mainland, first thoughts are -rich, new economic super-power, high potential and business opportunities. While all those are true at some degree not everything behind it, is a mine full of gold. I’m not going to spoil anyone’s dreams but focussing only on the opportunities, is as dumb as only focussing on the risks. So being aware can save you from bitter experiences no matter if you are eBay, Uber, Mattel or Revlon. And I know everything can be a lesson from which you can learn, but think about telling the CEO the hundreds of million dollar investments are all gone through the WC tube.
Business success in your country, not necessarily means success in China.
Is it necessary a big investment? Are Mainland Chinese that different? Are there ‘unseeing’ laws that regulate commercial business? Was it the right time to enter the market? What happened to those who run away?
None of those are statements, but if they had being asked by those companies, perhaps their outcome had had brighten their business outcomes in Mainland China.
Leaving aside spending capacity, demographics and other blah blah, there is one thing on top. And that is today’s unshakable fact that Chinese are increasingly fickle. This means that in between the time you feel like farting and the actual fart bursts out, people’s consuming behavior already changed. (Hoping that, clearly illustrates the situation).
And this is where all the game begins. If not check the automotive industry, FMCG or the apparel sector.
The Super Bowl LI, just happened few days ago. One of the major sport events in America and also one of major days for TV commercial of the year, where budgets worth millions of dollars are invested for few seconds of glory -and prospect sales- or spent and thrown away to a big-deep-black whole.
I really enjoy seeing how brands and agencies try their best to craft their best ‘pieces of art’ -even sometimes turn to be big pieces of…you know. An event that many see as crucial, which potentially will define the year to a path to success or mediocricity.
Here, the ads of this year. Get ready because its going to be long.
#1. ‘Born The Hard Way’
Seems a punch in the face to Trump’s immigration policies. Even the company says it took 8 months for them to fully complete, for me it just looks like an opportunistic politic situation.
Even the setting and shooting seems taken from the 1850s, it looks more like another 1800s movie rather than an ad. We all know production requires time but 8 months its unnecessary keeping in mind the dimensions of the implicated parts; then a budget close to USD 3 Million (!) and a message that just tells me ‘hey! we’re American born, made by immigrants, look how cool we are!‘ leaves me a feel of indifference.
Well, I don’t know how popular are ‘kid self-made-car races’ in the US public roads, anyways…seems like another ‘grab the contentious’ Trump comments against woman and make an ad. Progress is for everyone, #DriveProgress…I would like to hear what are the last pioneering advances that Audi has done in their last years.
Another commercial using the US political situation but again, how positioning themselves against it is doing some good? besides of course their self-interest -sales- but what about really helping on to avoid the wall been build?
I would like to say something positive about it but I don’t want to force faking it. It breathes 2000s ad style with a directory of overused bad jokes filling.
#5. ‘The Handmaide’s Tale’
Most probably because I’m not ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ target, but I doubt Super Bowl LI’s audience is.
#6. ”Nintendo Switch’
Good moment -Super Bowl LI- for a gaming ad to be aired, bad timing if it can’t be bought -2 months left to be launched.
Not bad. Has humor, has kids but all gets decaffeinated because it lacks of freshness.
#8. ”The Conspiracy’
The fact you haven’t brought your team to the final its because of a fast food chain. What’s the reason, fun and value that brings this to the brand? Honestly I have no idea, ask Buffalo Wings.
#9. ”Calling JohnMalkovich.com’
If I had no choice I would pick this ad. It has a simple but meaningful story. And most probably the most expensive part of the production itself was hiring Mr. Malkovich.
#10. ”Hero’s Journey”
Without doubt the best ad in the group and a good ad itself. It has humor without feeding too much on it, good music -and lyrics- and a nice-familiar copy which all combined -and this is the best part- made me forget I was watching an ad!
Wix.com, you did a great job here. Besides the use of the word ‘disruptive’ the rest was great. A self-explanatory story through a well paced and entertaining ad. Without renouncing to explain the value proposition they knew how to end with an optimistic and positive ending. Love it!
These weren’t all, but some of them.
This shows that 30 sec. can feel like eternity or not enough, in a way you want to see even more.
Whatever is your impression about them, it also rises a the classic saying that not all the good things need to be expensive nor long. The shorter and simpler the better’.
(Ergo completely the opposite to this post)
Specially when airing for 30 secs. means paying to Mr. Fox channel USD 5 Million.
The one I like the most. It has good momentum, sets you in the mood.
Duracell – It Keeps Going…And Going…
Would say it sounds too ‘proud’ -as Taiwanese say, or a bragging as I would say. In short, what Trump would say. Over-Promise.
McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It
Descriptive and joyful. Ok.
Burger King – Have It Your Way.
Not bad. Sounds chill, easy going, an open mind with a free spirit. It feels like when you go on an airplane and the pilot says ‘enjoy the ride/trip’ sort of.
In-N-Out – N/A
Since there is no slogan accompaning the naming, there is only the brand’s name. Which is to cold and descriptive. Indifference.
KFC – Finger Lickin’ Good
Although we all have a small pervert inside this crosses the line to something that sounds wrong. Creepy and distasteful.
Although we all have a little pervert inside us -yes, don’t be shy, you too, lustiness taken in a desperate way and merely as an animal sense just sounds wrong. And gross. Am I right?
The Home Depot – You Can Do It. We Can Help
Resourceful. Even though I wouldn’t want someone to interfere in ‘my business’ to help, it definitely denotes resolutive skills and sounds kind of encouraging there will be someone getting your back. I guess. That sounded very weird.
Pokémon – Gotta Catch ‘Em All
The thin line between ambition and greed. Not my style, maybe I’m a romantic.
Adidas – Impossible Is Nothing
Challenge is brought over the table in here. Defying. Your imagination seems to be the only barrier from keeping you to decide what’s next. No space left for the ordinary. Good slogan.
Nike – Just Do It
It may work in retail but wouldn’t in condoms, unless you had more than a drink and feel ‘libidinous’ or more than ‘itchy’ in…you know, there. Feels more in a mission than something to be delighted by or amused. Kind of aversive.
I’m more into ‘quality’ than quantity so I guess that makes me more romantic?
Gatorade – Is It In You
Too reflective and such a complex slogan for that moment. Being sober-headed and philosophizing about life in such a moment are not complementary.
Obviously, saying that a slogan doesn’t work as a condom brand doesn’t mean it not works. Every brand has a different mission and works in a different industry. However it will certainly make you reconsider a brand’s name.
First weekend of 2017 has passed and we are starting to roll in a new year. People have done their new year’s resolutions and while we usually think of how was the past year, I just recalled two events that happened in the last months of 2016 and I found quite interesting.
With the inclusion of internet many media companies -specially newspapers- shifted from paper to online or just adopted as the main channel -NYTimes, WSJ, The Economist, etc- which is nothing new, but its closely related with these events above.
In the partnership between Disney and Snapchat, Disney will create the content and -most important- control and sell all the shows produced for Snapchat. Yeah, they really know what are they doing.
On the other hand, CNN wants to also approach an audience its not reaching right now, neither the rest of other traditional media, why? Answer you the question, it shouldn’t take you much time.
This is the end?
Asking ‘does this means the end of TV?’ is like asking ‘the new burger resto that just opened downstairs will end the other resto’s business?’ of course not, it just adds variety. It will just add another player in the game.
Anyways, a tendency to online has been very obvious since internet was open to the public, but this doesn’t mean the end of the rest, just a fact its necessary being aware of.
Contrary to what the ‘The End’ song says, it’s not the end. It will rather ‘light up the fire’.