Three (well, 5) Cheers for Creativity!

I would never call myself a creative. That being said, I appreciate great creative work. That’s probably an understatement: I’m in awe of amazing creative and I can’t wait to be in a situation – whether that’s at an agency or in a grad program – where I can surround myself with “creative types” and even have input, as the essence of what I want to do — account planning — is writing the creative briefs that drive the direction of a given campaign.

So, this post celebrates crazy/awesome/ridiculous/engaging work that I’ve come across on the interwebz lately.

1. Burt’s Bees put a fresh face on billboards last week with the promotion of its new Intense Hydration line. They placed an interactive billboard on a busy street in Minneapolis and invited passersby to “peel away” the flakes of dry skin, which were actually coupons. The before-and-after is seen in this awesome time-lapse video,  which now has over 70,000 hits on YouTube and sends viewers to the Burt’s Facebook page where they can get their own coupons.

Agency: Baldwin&, Raleigh, NC

2. Forget Windows and their intense new ads for the Surface and Windows 8, Apple (with the assistance of a VCU Brandcenter 2010 CT alum! — aaaand this is why I want to go there) went old school, hitting at the hearts of most Americans with an iPad/iPad Mini duet of Heart & Soul. Adorable, I believe, would be the right word; and perfect in its simplicity, quite typically Apple.

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

For reference, here’s Microsoft’s spot introducing the Surface:

3. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of whimsy once in a while, and this ad from John St. and War Child Canada fits the bill. Fantastical as guns shooting crayons and grenades launching bubbles may be, the commercial certainly plays with your expectations and, hopefully, moves you to action.

Agency: John St., Toronto

4. In an absolutely terrifying ad, (well, at least if you’re a 5-year-old at heart like me) from German teddy-bear company Steiff, a little boy must be rescued from the dangers of an ambiguous gorilla-like creature by his most loyal protector, his Steiff teddy bear.

Production Company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Director: Denis Parchow

5. BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted a picture last night that I’d seen before but forgotten about. It’s a bus ad from 2009 for the Copenhagen Zoo. Promise, this wasn’t photoshopped:

Agency: Bates Y&R, Copenhagen, Denmark

So, you see, the best creative work isn’t always “high art,” there isn’t one magic pill that brings an ad from ‘meh’ to good to great. What makes great creative work for me is its ability to make me think, to drive me to action, to draw me in to what’s being sold. These are just five examples; maybe I’m just an ad nerd, but if you pay attention, I promise you’ll find what draws you in, too.

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One Comment on “Three (well, 5) Cheers for Creativity!”

  1. […] not on-brand. Known for clever spots (I wrote most recently about the Heart & Soul iPad Mini ad here) that portray ordinary people doing extraordinary things by way of Apple products, this sitcom like […]


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